Population: One - Battle Royale will soon be free to play on Quest 2 & Pro
In March, Population: One, the leading battle royale game on Quest 2, will be free for everyone.
Meta recently announced one of the Quest 2’s most popular first-person shooters will soon be available for free to play. As the only way to play a VR game similar to Fortnite on a Quest headset, Population: One is unique. The current price is $30, and it's well-rated at that price, enjoying over 11,400 ratings and more than 5,600 reviews, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
As a free game, the number of new users will certainly increase. With more players, it will become easier to quickly assemble teams and start a battle. The downside, of course, is an influx of green players that will quickly fall to seasoned Pop One veterans.
In addition to going free to play, Population: One also announced several updates that go live on March 9.
Population: One upgrades
A Sandbox map, made in Population: One's new level editor, will be moving into the Squads Evolving Map replacing Outpost Hill, and it will receive consistent updates throughout the year. The original Battle Royale map from Season 1 is returning and will be available for classic squads.
Developer BigBox VR, now owned by Meta, also promised better guns, characters, and worlds with improvements to colors, sharpness, and the addition of real-time shadows. Improved visuals are an important upgrade for any Quest game, as long as game performance isn't affected.
Population: One currently supports Quest 2, and Quest Pro. According to BigBox VR, they stopped supporting the original Quest on 10/31/2022, so the listing in the store is incorrect. Given the age of the processor in the first Quest headset, it also seems rather unlikely that it would be able to handle higher-quality graphics.
Several gameplay balance changes are coming to make weapons behave more like you'd expect. Healing and ghost speed will also be adjusted.
For those new to Population: One, a single player mode will help get you up to speed, battling against dynamic bots and gaining rewards. New lobbies will help with match-making in an attempt to place players with others of similar skill levels.
There are many more changes and improvements coming on March 9. Population: One will receive another update on March 30 and will continue to evolve over the course of the year.
Rewards for owners of the game
An Original Banana Rewards bundle will be given to existing owners of the game and anyone that purchases before March 9, 2023, the day the game becomes free.
The Population: One Twitter account clarified what the reward bundle is. The list includes five "Legendary" character skins, 14 full gun sets, an exclusive calling card and spray, 1,000 bureau gold, and the exclusive title "Original Banana" to let everyone know you were among the first to play Pop One.
Thanks POP1 players!
Exclusive Original Banana Rewards:
🎉$80 value (for free!)
🎉For ALL players who own POP1 before March 9
🎉Automatic rewards incoming March 9 @ 10am PT
🎉Redeem anytime after F2P launch
— POPULATION: ONE (@populationonevr) February 28, 2023
The Original Banana Rewards bundle will be applied to your account automatically if you purchased the game before March 9. You can access the rewards via an in-game pop-up at that time.
Meta and BigBox VR seem very focused on improving Population: One. With this developer effort and making the game free, it will be interesting to see how quickly Pop One grows in 2023. Gorilla Tag earned millions as a free game, and Meta might be looking to duplicate that success with Population: One.