Login with Patreon
Off Topic > Video GamesOct 13, 2022 10:00 am CT

Everything Marvel SNAP doesn’t explain to you about leveling and currency

Marvel Snap has a good new player tutorial which teaches you the mechanics of the game in an easy and fun way, but with any complex games, there are some details that aren’t explained well. Fear not, gifted youngster — Professor Honor’s Hammer is here to help.

When you first start playing SNAP, the currency system can feel convoluted, confusing, and overwhelming. You have four currencies (Credits, Gold, Boosters, Cosmic Cubes, and soon Collector’s Tokens) and three different levels (Collection Road Level, Season Pass Level, and Rank Level). So let’s unpack each one and explain how they work, step by step.

Collection Road Level

Your Collection Road Level is the number directly under your avatar in the center top of your SNAP screen on a green background. It always increases and never resets. The number isn’t all that important. What is important is that about every few levels, you’ll receive a reward like Boosters, Credits, Collectors Reserve. Collectors Reserve are basically loot boxes than can contain Credits, Boosters, Gold, Variants, or new even new cards. It’s random what you get from them. The new card will one you don’t have in your collection chosen from your current card pool.

Collection Road Level is the primary way you get new cards. You earn Collection Road Levels by upgrading your cards. How do you upgrade your cards? You need two currencies to upgrade a card: Credits, and card-specific Boosters. We’ll take about how you get those in just a moment, but let’s look at the process of upgrading first.

Upgrading does not change the cost, power, or effect of a card. Instead, it changes the card art and border color. Your cards start at Common with a grey border. Once you have enough card-specific Boosters and Credits, the Upgrade button lights up. Press it, and you’ll upgrade the card to Uncommon. The border turns green and the art will “Frame Break” meaning it will go a little bit outside the frame of the card — see the image below, how Shocker’s name and the circles from his powers are outside the frame. This upgrade from Common to Uncommon gains you 1 Collection Level.

Collection Level cost and perks

Here’s a breakdown of the costs and benefits for each upgrade. They get increasingly more expensive and award more and more Collection Levels.

  • Uncommon costs 25 Credits and 5 Boosters. This is green border and “Frame Break” art. It earns you 1 Collection Level.
  • Rare costs 100 Credits and 10 Boosters. This is a blue border and matte 3D art. It earns you 2 Collection Levels.
  • Epic costs 200 Credits and 20 Boosters. This is a purple border and enhanced 3D art. It earns you 4 Collection Levels.
  • Legendary costs 300 Credits and 30 Boosters. This is an orange border and enhanced 3D art. It earns you 6 Collection Levels.
  • Ultra Legendary costs 400 Credits and 40 Boosters. It’s a shiny pink border and enhanced 3D art. It earns you 8 Collection Levels.
  • Infinity costs 500 Credits and 50 Boosters. This is a glowing purple border and the enhanced 3D art. It earns you 12 Collection Levels.

When you reach Infinity, you unlock a Variant of the card. It’s the same card art, but it has a background that attempts to emulate the foil look you see in some physical card games.

Collection Level means new cards, and requires card-specific Boosters and Credits. Let’s look at how you get those.


Boosters are card-specific. In that way, they are like Coins from Hearthstone Mercenaries. Also like Mercenaries, the Boosters you get will be for one of the cards in the deck you just played. They are awarded to you at the end of the match. Confusingly, the UI makes it look like the card is getting Cosmic Cubes, but what is happening is the Cosmic Cubes are shown with the card getting the Boosters in the background. If you tap the Cosmic Cubes away, you’ll see the current Boosters. Update 9/22/2022: Marvel Snap Patch 6.9.1 fixed the UI issue. It’s now more clear what is happening.

In the case of my Shang-Chi in the image above, I have 23 of the 40 Shang-Chi Boosters I need to upgrade him. If I tap again, I’ll see the six Shang-Chi Boosters I got from the game added and the number of Boosters below the card increases from 23 to 29. If the match goes the distance, you get six Boosters, win or lose. If one of the players concedes early, you’ll receive fewer Boosters.

Boosters are also awarded from Collection Road Level, Season Pass Level, and Rank Level. You can also buy Boosters. The Shop will offer you three cards in your collection as “Fast Upgrades.” If you spend the Credits to buy the “Fast Upgrade,” you’ll get the Boosters you need and upgrade the card. Don’t do this.

This is incredibly tempting early on because you’re flush with Credits and don’t have many cards to upgrade. You’ll feel like Boosters are the limiting factor. That’s an illusion that would make Mysterio proud.

While buying “Fast Upgrades” will advance your Collection Road Level, you will quickly reach the point where you have plenty of Boosters and not enough Credits. The father you advance, you more cards you’ll have waiting for Boosters. For example, I have over 7,000 Boosters right now. It would cost 70,000 Credits to use all those Boosters to upgrade cards and get loot boxes.

Clearly, I need more Credits. But how do I get them?


Credits are rewards from the various advancement tracks (Collection Levels, Season Pass Levels, and Rank Levels), but the main way you get them is by completing missions. You’ll have the Weekly Challenge, and Season Pass Missions. These all roll out on timers and you can see in the game when the next mission will be available.

Daily missions are things like “Draw 20 cards” or “Win a location with four cards.” These typically award 50 Credits and a bit of Season Pass XP. “Hard” missions reward double that. The Weekly Challenge is to complete to 35 Daily Challenges. Completing the Weekly Challenge earns 500 Credits, 50 Gold, and 1000 Season Pass XP.

You can get even more Credits by buying them with Gold. You get 50 Credits for free every 24 hours. The game will even remind you if you haven’t gotten your portion for the day. But you still have to go to the store and buy them. They just cost 0 Gold. 120 Gold will get you 150 Credits, and 400 Gold will get you 500 Credits. It works to the same Credit per Gold, so there’s no advantage to choosing one over the other. Each time you buy Credits, regardless of the cost, it puts that bucket of Credits on a 24-hour cooldown, so the most Gold you can spend in a day on Credits is 520 Gold.


Gold is another reward from the various advancement tracks (Collection Road Levels, Season Pass Levels, and Rank Levels). But if you want more Gold, prepare to deploy your wallet — this is where we move from virtual currencies to real-world currency. The graphic above is just the first tier of the store. If you want to go full Mer-Max, the most expensive bundle currently available is 8000 Gold for $99.99.


In addition to Credits, you can also use Gold to purchase Variants. Variants are copies of Cards in your collection, which upgrade separately. If you have two Deathlok Variants, one can be at Legendary while the other is at Rare. The Boosters you receive for a card can be used for any Variant. For example, Deathlok Boosters can be used for any Deathlok Variant you own, not just the Variant in the deck you played when you got them.

Variants add a little graphical variety and provide a cheap way to gain some Collection Road Levels. Variants currently come in two rarities. Normal Variants cost 700 Gold a piece. Epic Variants are offered less often and will cost 1200 Gold. The team has also stated they have plans for a Mythic Variants which will be even rarer and more expensive.

The Shop will offer you nine different Variants at any time. It will rotate through different ones on a timer. This means if there’s a Variant you really want, you have to wait for it to show up in the Shop and grab it before it rotates. I haven’t purchased it yet, but I’m sorely tempted by the America Chavez in the graphic above.

The other major advantage to acquiring Variants is they give you another card to spend your Boosters on. Cards you play over and over get a ton of Boosters. I have six copies of Yondu (Original at Infinite, Foil 1 at Infinite, 8-bit at Infinite, Bow and arrow at Epic, Foil 2 at Rare, and 8-bit Foil at Uncommon. I still have 122 Yondu Boosters I can spend and I can earn more Yondu Boosters every time I play a deck with Yondu in it.

Season Pass Level

Your Season Pass Level is the number at the top left of the screen on a purple background. This number will increase and then reset at the end of the season. Seasons in SNAP generally last about one month. The number isn’t all that important. What is important is there is a a reward at every Season Pass Level (for Premium players). Free to Play players only get some of the these rewards. You can tell if a reward is available to a F2P player by the green “Free” banner on it. Most of the time, only Boosters, Credits, and Gold are “Free.” The cosmetics are usually locked behind the Premium rewards. This is see how SNAP handled Season 2 with only one cosmetic available to free players. Recent seasons have locked all cosmetics behind the Premium wall, but has included Variants on the free track. Distressingly, recent season have introduced one card, and that new card is behind the Premium wall.

The developers have said that after the season is over, the new card will go into the final card pool and be available to free players from their Collector’s Reserve. They have also stated that all rewards from the beta period will be available in Collector’s Reserve once the game goes live.

Currently, Premium is $9.99 and must be purchased each season. You can also purchase Premium+ for $14.99. It’s simply Premium that unlocks the first ten levels of the Season Pass track for you.

Cosmic Cubes

In addition to the Boosters, you’ll receive, or lose, some Cosmic Cubes after your match. How many will depend on how the game went. If you Retreat (this is the same thing as Concede from Hearthstone) early enough, you’ll only lose one Cosmic Cube. If your opponent retreated early, you’ll gain one Cosmic Cube. If the game goes the distance and neither player “snaps”, the winner gets two Cosmic Cubes and the loser loses two. If one player “snaps” and the game goes the distance, the winner gets four Cosmic Cubes, and the loser loses four. If both players “snap” it goes to eight. If one player concedes after the “snap” the pot is two cubes.

Cosmic Cubes are SNAP’s equivalent of Hearthstone Stars and are used to climb the Ranked Ladder.

Rank Level

Rank Level is the number in the lower right of the SNAP screen on a background colored to your current tier. This number goes up and down based upon how many Cosmic Cubes you win or lose. Everyone starts at Rank Level 1. The first five Levels make up the Recruit tier. The next five are the Agent tier. Starting at Rank Level 10, you move into the Iron tier. Iron and every tier beyond is 10 levels. At these first three tiers, your Cosmic Cubes are under protection. Even if you lose Cosmic Cubes in the match, you won’t lose them from your Rank Level.

Once you hit Bronze, you lose that protection. The good news for new players is Bronze is hard break point. Once you hit Bronze (Level 20), that becomes your floor. From Level 1 to Level 20, a new player shouldn’t encounter a veteran player.  You can climb Bronze to Silver (30) to Gold (40) to Platinum (50) and so on until you get all the way to Infinite (100). Infinite is the SNAP equivalent of Hearthstone’s Legend rank. The vast majority of players hang out in Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Collector’s Tokens are coming soon!

SNAP announced a new currency is coming to the game called Collectors Tokens. These will finally give players some agency over what new cards they acquire for their collection.

Collector’s Tokens will be a free currency that will appear on the Collection Road along with all the other rewards like Boosters, Credits, and Collector’s Reserve (loot boxes). Once Collector’s Tokens are implemented, the Shop will offer you nine different cards (that you don’t currently have in your collection) to buy with your Collector’s Tokens. If there’s a specific card you want, just wait for it to appear in the Shop and then buy it. Feel the power of your agency!

This will be great even for players that have all the current cards as SNAP is getting ready to add even more cards. There are three series (or pools) in the game, but two more series, Series 4 and Series 5 are on the way. Players will need to earn all the cards in Series 1, 2, and 3 before Series 4 and 5 will appear in their Collector’s Reserve. It sounds like Series 4 and Series 5 cards will have an even lower drop chance than Series 1, 2, and 3 cards. Collector Tokens will be an important way to get them.

What other elements confused you as a new player? Let us know if there’s any questions we could answer.

Originally posted July 13, 2022. Updated October 13, 2022.

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: