I really enjoy The Finals. On paper, the free Steam game should be a perfect fit for the current multiplayer FPS market. From former Battlefield devs and invoking that series’ crisp gun feel, but with the movement of Apex Legends and dynamic environmental destruction that’d make Bad Company blush, there’s a lot to like about The Finals. After a great launch, however, its player base is drastically down, so developer Embark Studios is dramatically ramping up experience rewards in The Finals patch 1.7.0 to try and stem the bleeding.
The Finals got off to a fantastic start after its surprise launch at The Game Awards in December 2023, reaching a peak of 242,399 concurrent players. But with all 2024’s new releases including Palworld, Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth, Prince of Persia, and now Helldivers 2 alongside a glut of great Steam Next Fest demos, even being a free Steam game hasn’t been enough to keep people coming back – and its 24-hour peak is now at just 34,504 concurrent players, a drop of over 85%.
To help encourage players back, Embark Studios announces big progression boosts to both contracts and general experience gains, which should make it much faster to unlock the battle pass rewards and career ranks. End-of-round experience has been doubled, while most of the experience handed out for starting, stealing, or completing cashouts has been either doubled or tripled.
The experience given for weekly contracts has been raised from 2,000 to 4,500, while weekly goal experience has risen from 4,000 to 9,000. The number of weekly contracts you’ll need to complete to hit that goal has also been reduced from eight to six. All of that combined should mean you’ll be getting rewards faster, which should help you earn everything without feeling like you need to commit all your time to playing one game.
Embark has also introduced a new ‘play again’ button that appears at the end of round, encouraging that ‘one more match’ temptation rather than leaving you with downtime that might result in you putting it down for the night. The game’s voice over IP settings are now enabled by default (with push to talk on initially), as Embark “wants to encourage more team play in matches.” This setting has been changed even for existing players, but you can disable it again after the update if you wish.
The Finals patch 1.7.0 is out now. Embark also notes that it’s “aware of problems with the explosive power of red canisters and that barrels have unintentional stacking damage,” and says to expect a fix for these issues in the next major update. It remains to be seen whether these updates will help to bring players back, or whether a bigger content drop is required, but I’m certainly tempted to jump in for a few rounds, so perhaps I’ll see you out there.