What Is DLC in Video Games?

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What Is DLC in Video Games?

DLC. It’s become as much a part of gaming as the actual games. But, precisely, what is DLC? How can you tell the difference between different sorts of DLC?

Let’s take a look at what DLC is in modern video games.

DLC in Video Games, Explained

The phrase “downloadable content” refers to stuff that video game producers and players contribute to the basic game.

The purpose of DLC is to add additional material to a game after it has been released in order to keep people interested. Extra narrative material, cosmetics, map packs, in-game objects, full-fledged expansions, and so on are examples of this. DLC is basically anything you may download that adds additional content to a game.

As a result, software updates and patches are not considered DLC. Despite the fact that they are downloadable, their major goal is to enhance a game than than add material to it.

This includes a wide range of information, both paid and free. It would be tough to name each piece of downloadable material simply “DLC.” So, let’s go through the different forms of DLC.

Single-Player DLC

Single-player DLC is downloadable content that, you guessed it, adds to a game’s single-player mode.

This may vary from little updates like new weapons or costumes to major material like more levels and massive expansion packs that add hundreds of hours to your game.

DLC for single-player games may also be intangible. For example, if a game receives an update that includes a New Game Plus option or an additional difficulty level (for example, Ghost of Tsushima’s Lethal difficulty). Although you cannot interact with it directly, it does provide fresh stuff to your game.

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Multiplayer DLC

Multiplayer DLC focuses on a game’s multiplayer feature. Again, no shocks there, but this implies that the DLC will be less narrative-focused, instead focusing on new weapons, skins, emotes, voice-overs, and map packs.

Unlike single-player DLC, which you’ll almost certainly play through many times, producers create multiplayer DLC to make their game as replayable as possible. The idea here is that the longer a person plays a multiplayer game, the more likely they are to spend money on it, often via microtransactions (which we’ll discuss later).

As a result, both gamers and journalists have chastised numerous developers and publishers for utilizing deceptive strategies to get players to spend money on their video games.

Season Passes and Battle Passes

Season passes provide a limited quantity of DLC, both current and future, at a lower cost than purchasing each DLC separately.

Battle passes are timed passes that provide you access to a series of prize levels that you may unlock by accumulating experience points (XP).

Season passes may be used for both multiplayer and single-player DLC, however battle passes are only available for multiplayer DLC. These, too, are not without criticism. In reality, low-quality season passes and battle passes that force you to acquire them add to the reasons why you shouldn’t pay for DLC and season passes in most circumstances.


Now we’ve arrived to practically everyone’s least favorite kind of DLC: microtransactions. These small, repetitive transactions often include cosmetic content or goods such as premium in-game cash, in-game resources, and XP boosters that accelerate your progress.

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While there may be a justification for microtransactions, this writer is not interested in making one. You’ve probably heard of different problems involving loot boxes, “pay-to-win” gaming, and predatory techniques that force you to part with your money on a regular basis.

Microtransactions contribute to the Games as a Service business model, in which a game is lucrative even after it has been purchased. While it’s great to see creators get a more reliable source of revenue in an otherwise difficult business, microtransactions are often used to cover up bloated, shallow, and missing games.

Ubisoft’s ‘time savers,’ a microtransaction in a handful of their games, where the player may pay for a permanent XP increase or other time-saving features to speed up their growth, is a prime example.

Part of the goal is for busy players to be able to enjoy the narrative of Ubisoft’s games in a timely manner, or for novice players to catch up with more experienced ones in multiplayer settings. In actuality, this translates to “pay us to level up quicker.”

DLC Is Here to Stay

That is DLC. A three-letter abbreviation for what is probably the bulk of current game material. It’s diverse, it’s disorganized, and it’s not going anywhere.

DLC isn’t necessarily terrible, and there are several excellent examples. Just be cautious about who you support and how much you receive for your money.

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