As you may have noticed, thanks to some in-game interstitials, the F1 2021 game has a ‘Podium Pass’, first introduced in F1 2020. This feature allows you to unlock, earn or buy new cosmetic items.
But what are these items, how do you get hold of them and how is that related to the Podium Pass? Keep reading to find out more.
What is F1 2021’s podium pass?
Podium Pass is a system where cosmetic in-game items can be purchased or acquired within the F1 2021 video game. You can be rewarded with such items for your in-game performance. The ‘Podium Pass’ element refers to a combination of new in-game items, challenges, the item store, XP, tiers and series.
There are 30 tiers within F1 2021’s Podium Pass. After each race you partake in, you receive experience points (XP). These help you move up the tiers, starting at tier one.
Should you finished all 30 tiers, there are five additional ‘Prestige’ levels to complete too, for those who are really into the Podium Pass.
For every other tier you progress through, you unlock an in-game reward. To stress, not every level, but every other level e.g., level 1 at the time of writing is a helmet design, level 2 is blank and level 3 is a glove design. There is a second level of rewards, labelled ‘VIP’, and we’ll cover that later.
You get XP from most things you do in the game. Finishing a three-lap Grand Prix netted me a paltry 245 XP, whereas for winning a ranked online race I received 1,400 XP. The rewards vary depending on how well you do. In the My team career, for example, you earn 100 XP per lap in any session, plus bonuses based on results, so simply playing through practice programmes, qualifying and a race will almost certainly bump you up a tier for each weekend you complete.
So, to unlock free items in the Podium Pass section of the game, you can simply continue to play the game as you normally would and you’ll be able to check back every so often and unlock some shiny new trinkets.
These items, crucially, do not affect performance in any way and can be applied to your car design and driver for My Team, solo and online multiplayer events.
How do I access Podium Pass in F1 2021?
At first, this may seem a little hidden, but from the main home screen of F1 2021 you can click on the left stick (L3 on PlayStation, for example) which brings up a menu. From there, select Podium Pass. Alternatively, at the bottom left of the home screen is an option for the Item Shop. Select that, then use your controller shoulder buttons to move left to the Podium Pass.
Once there, you can see your current tier and how much XP you need to reach the next tier. You can also scroll through to collect any items you have earned and see what can be unlocked by progressing in the future.
What kind of items are included in the Podium Pass?
Through the Podium Pass, you can unlock items to use with the F1 2021 game. These include full livery designs for your car and driver items such as suits, helmets, badges and gloves. Sometimes, amounts of Pitcoin are included as Podium Pass items – more on that later.
This also includes podium emotes. If you win a race using your driver, the game will show you a podium celebration and your custom character will be included. How they walk to the podium can be altered, with moves such as taking a selfie or doing the moonwalk.
New for F1 2021 is a ‘Victory Radio Call’, which are expressions of joy your character shouts over the team radio after winning a race. Online, your losing opponents also get to hear it – a classy touch.
What are Podium Pass Challenges?
Podium Pass challenges in F1 2021 are in-game actions that you can complete to earn additional XP.
If you visit the Podium Pass section of the game, you can select a ‘Challenges’ tab.
Some example challenges are simply finishing three wet races for 350 XP or winning a race as Fernando Alonso for 250 delicious XP. Once you complete each task, you will gain the prescribed amount of bonus XP, helping you move up tiers and therefore unlocking more items.
To enter a challenge, you don’t select it. Rather, you remember it and then go do what it says in the appropriate mode. For a lap time or single-race objective, it would be nice if you could select on the challenge list and for the game to set up the conditions.
There are three categories of challenges; Standard, VIP and Series. Standard challenges pay out a small amount of XP. If you happen to not like the sound of a challenge, you can choose a replacement task, but only once per day. VIP challenges are only for those with the VIP Podium Pass (details below) and Series challenges provide the biggest XP pay-outs through more detailed tests.
Series challenges can also be across career and online modes, taking longer to complete when compared to Standard and VIP assignments. But, if you do complete them all before a series ends, there is an extra reward – such as an exclusive car livery.
How long does a Podium Pass Series last?
Podium Pass seasons typically last eight weeks. After the end of the eight-week period, there is a short gap between one series ending and the next beginning. For example, Season 1 in F1 2021 is available for 57 days.
Once a series resets, a new range of items and challenges is introduced and you are automatically set back to tier one. This is similar to ‘seasons’ in the popular online platform game Fall Guys, for example.
What is the F1 2021 VIP Podium Pass?
The VIP Podium Pass level provides F1 2021 players with additional in-game items to customise their car or driver with. These are extra to the free Podium Pass items you receive for progressing through tiers.
If you have VIP, you get both the ‘regular’ rewards for every other tier, but you also receive an extra item. This is also across all tiers, so each time you level up, you receive something new. You can see these in-game as the Podium Pass rewards section is divided into two rows. The top silver row consists of free items for users without VIP, the bottom row in gold is for VIP users.
It’s not just a suite of new items either, but you also gain access to more VIP-only Podium Pass challenges too. These are also highlighted in a separate gold VIP area within the Challenges section and provide more XP than the Standard challenges.
How much is the VIP Podium Pass?
The VIP Podium Pass in F1 2021 costs 9,000 Pitcoin. It’s important to note that this is 9,000 Pitcoin per series. Once a series ends, your VIP access will too.
If you have zero Pitcoin, you will need to buy the 11,000 Pitcoin bundle at a cost of £7.39/$8.49 for the VIP Podium Pass.
Should you complete every tier in a VIP season, however, you could earn enough Pitcoin to buy the next VIP season, should you wish. Those who purchased the Seventy Edition of the game received 10,000 Pitcoin too.
In essence, though, you are paying for the potential to unlock more items, provided you complete challenges and progress through all 30 tiers. Ouch.
What is Pitcoin?
Pitcoin is the in-game virtual currency for F1 2021. You can use Pitcoin to purchase the VIP Podium Pass and elements from the Item Shop in the game.
Not to be confused with Bitcoin, a popular virtual currency not used within F1 2021.
How much is Pitcoin in F1 2021?
Pitcoin costs real money and is available within F1 2021 in bundles of 2,000, 5,000, 11,000, 24,000 and 50,000. These cost £1.69/$1.99, £3.39/$4.49, £7.69/$8.49, £13.99/$16.99 and £28.99/$34.99 respectively. Outside of the UK and USA prices may vary.
Pitcoin is purchased via the in-game Store. To access this, visit the Podium Pass area and then use your controller’s shoulder buttons to move right.
Occasionally, amounts of Pitcoin can appear as items you can earn within the Podium Pass. In Series Four, if you reach tier 13, you can acquire 2,500 Pitcoin for free.
What is the F1 2021 Item Shop?
The Item Shop within F1 2021 is a place where you can directly purchase in-game items such as car liveries or driver suits, helmets, badges, emotes and gloves. You do not have to complete Podium Pass Challenges in order to receive these items, but you do have to spend Pitcoin.
The Item Shop updates with new items every day, while ‘rarer’ items are refreshed once a week.
Some example prices are 2,000 Pitcoin for a car livery within the Daily Items, and 2,500 Pitcoin for a ‘Legendary’ emote within Weekly Items.
The Item Shop can be accessed from the main menu or is to the right of the Challenges area.
What is a Legendary item in F1 2021?
A legendary item is a driver suit, helmet, glove design or celebration animation that is hard to find and usually, expensive. They may return to the Podium Pass or Item Shop, but it will be less often than Rare or Uncommon items.
Do I need these cosmetic items?
No, you do not. It’s entirely up to you and at the very least you will likely accumulate enough of the free items for free by playing the game naturally. You can then see if it’s for you, or not. But if you desperately want your character to jump for joy on the podium or have a pre-made livery that sparkles, then Podium Pass could be for you.