PlayStation Stars is now available globally, meaning all of the big three console makers have reward schemes for you to potentially benefit from.
If you’re on PS5, you have the newly launched PlayStation Stars. Xbox Series X|S owners get Microsoft Rewards. And over on Nintendo Switch, there’s the My Nintendo rewards program. Each scheme lets you earn reward points for buying and playing games, but all three differ significantly.
One has highly detailed digital collectibles, for example, while another lets you trade points for sweepstakes entries. There’s a good deal to learn about each console’s reward scheme, so let’s get stuck in.
Read on to learn all about PlayStation Stars, Microsoft Rewards, and the My Nintendo reward scheme.
PlayStation Stars is the newest reward scheme on the block, launching in October 2022. If you own a PS5 or PS4, you can use Sony’s new rewards platform, which is accessible through the PlayStation Store on your console or via the PS app on Android and iOS devices.
The main draw of PlayStation Stars is its digital collectibles, which you earn by completing a unique challenge. Some are simple; you’ll earn one unique collectible a month just by checking into the app. Others require a bit of thought, like the ‘Press Play: 1994’ challenge, which requires you to launch a game that matches a song released in that year. I’d recommend ‘Stay x Circle of Life’ or ‘Baby I Love Your Way x Go West’, the answers to which are the roguelike Returnal, with its looping game structure, and walking simulator Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, respectively. Both games are available to play on the PS Plus Extra tier at no extra cost.
If you don’t already have one that meets a challenge’s criteria in your library, or isn’t available on PS Plus’s game catalog, earning these collectibles often requires you to buy a game from the store.
Buying games and unlocking trophies will get you points in the PlayStation Stars app. Those points can be redeemed for unique digital collectibles or PlayStation Store credit. Do this enough, and you’ll level up to a new tier. Higher tiers will unlock new collectibles to earn and, controversially, priority for PlayStation’s official support chat. Right now, four levels exist, each with escalating criteria. However, there’s evidence of a fifth ‘diamond’ tier, but info on how to reach this level is currently unknown.
Microsoft Rewards is available to try on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One consoles. It's the most straightforward reward scheme of the three. You won’t be earning collectibles of any kind, but you can redeem your hard-earned points on a wide range of rewards, including Microsoft Store credit, sweepstakes entries, and even Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.
You don’t need to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber to use the reward scheme, but if you are, you’ll have access to a suite of new challenges, letting you earn even more points. Game Pass missions include playing certain games on the platform, signing into the Xbox Game Pass app daily, and so on.
Rewards are tied to your Microsoft account, so you can earn points in places other than your console, such as the Bing search engine. So if there’s a reward you’re eyeing up in the store, you can speed up earning points by switching from Google.
The My Nintendo reward scheme is available across Nintendo Switch and the My Nintendo website, and it’s arguably the most interesting of the three. It’s separated into two earnable currencies – gold and platinum – you can spend on goodies, game discounts, and more.
The scheme is only available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, but when you buy a new game on the Nintendo eShop, you’ll earn a number of gold points based on how much it costs you. These can then be redeemed for discounts on future purchases.
Platinum points are more interesting. Earned through a rotating selection of missions, viewable in the Nintendo Switch Online console app, the points can be redeemed for unique icons, frames, and backgrounds for your account’s profile picture. Or better yet, a range of physical products on the My Nintendo store, including playing cards, posters, and more. You’ll have to pay for postage, but otherwise, it’s a great incentive to tick off those platinum point missions as soon as they become available.
Which reward scheme is the best?
All three reward schemes have their benefits and novelties. PlayStation Stars is the most straightforward of the bunch, and potentially the most addictive if you like the look of its digital trophies. Unfortunately, points in PlayStation Stars don’t come cheaply, it works out to around 10 points for every $1 / £1 / AU$1.50 spent, and you’ll need 1,250 points for just $5 / £5 of PlayStation Store credit.
Microsoft Rewards offers many ways to earn points passively, whether that’s through its reward campaigns, Bing searching, or exclusive Xbox Game Pass missions. You may find that you’ll rack up points fairly quickly just by engaging with the Microsoft ecosystem.
My Nintendo is unique in that it will actually reward you with real, tangible products for earning enough points. The Platinum point cost for these goods is usually pretty reasonable, too. Gold points earned through purchases are quite generous, too, at least compared to PlayStation Stars. When you make a purchase on the Nintendo eShop, you’ll get 5% of that back as Gold points.
All three have their benefits, but, for me, the My Nintendo reward scheme wins out. It’s simple to engage with, has a decent discount ratio with its gold points, and being able to earn physical, Nintendo-themed rewards is really neat. Though, the main takeaway is that if you own an Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo, you may be sitting on a pile of points that you can cash in for goodies, so don’t miss out.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.