Dead Space 3 Microtransactions and Ration Seals – John Calhoun Explains How They Work

Written by Will on January 27, 2013 and posted in News & Updates.

Update: A lot of people are arriving at this post about the Dead Space 3 Microtransactions while searching for info on the Ration Seals. More specifically you want find out how to use ration seals in Dead Space 3 so I’m adding a section at the top about how to use them.

How to use Ration Seals

A lot of people are having trouble figuring out how to spend their collected Ration Seals. I have to admit I was one of them but I soon figured it out. To spend your ration seals you need to go into the workbench and select the DLC menu in there. You can also just press ‘Y’ (on Xbox anyway) when you go to craft an item you don’t have enough resources for. You can see the latter option in the screenshot below.

When in the DLC menu you will be able to pay for resource packs with your ration seals instead of using real money or Microsoft Points to get them.

Why Dead Space 3 has Microtransactions… but you can get the paid items for free with Ration Seals!

A sharp-eyed member of the press spotted that Dead Space 3 microtransactions are available right there in the upgrade bench. They allow you to use real world money to buy in-game upgrades. You can reach your goal with a bit of work but you can get there much faster by paying to unlock. There’s a rather unaffectionate name I like to give to this way of playing and that is ‘pay-to-progress’ or ‘pay-to-unlock’.

Why Dead Space has Microtransactions for Resources

With the Dead Space 3 microtransactions you can buy packs of resources to use in the hundreds of upgrade combinations you can do. They feel that gamers coming over from the mobile and casual market are more likely to enjoy the experience if they get the feeling of a similar gaming environment. They’re used to seeing something they want they going ahead and getting it – without needing to go out and work for it.

Some players need that “instant gratification”.

DS3 upgrade bench microtransactions

Dead Space 3 Upgrade bench showing the ability to buy resources

He also goes on to detail that everything you can buy with real world money you can also get by using Ration Seals collected throughout the game.

“So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals. You’ll start to accumulate ration seals at a pretty steady clip throughout the game, and everything that can be purchased with real world dollars can also be purchased with ration seals.”

So no need to worry that people will have an advantage if they buy the packs, they won’t. Upgrades will still be locked until the same point in the game as they are for you, the only benefit of buying is getting the resources quickly.

No more Credits

Dead Space 3 has done away with the credits system entirely and instead you now use combinations of the resources you find to build and upgrade everything. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of different combinations you could use to build the greatest tool of Necromorph destruction you can.

Plasma Cutter with a Force Gun underneath? Sure! A Javelin Flamethrower? Yes, of course!

Microtransaction Gamers.

The microtransaction gamers have become more widespread in recent months and years. I first noticed a push towards this with Zynga when their games were rising to popularity but it’s been around since before then – in the form of weapon packs in shooters and car packs in racing games etc.

Dead Space 3 Isaac at in-game upgrade bench
Isaac Clarke using his engineering know-how to build a weapon


It’s common in MMO type games for a player to use real world money to buy in-game upgrades. Sometimes those purchased items are better than anything you can earn in the game world.

Dead Space 3 Screenshots

As has become customary in recent weeks I’m including some bonus screenshots for you to enjoy.

So will you be buying any of the resource packs in Dead Space 3?