Being required to perform repetitive and tedious tasks to advance.

Grinding is a game mechanic where players are required to perform repetitive tasks. Each task earns the player experience points, levels, items or some other in-game benefit. The player will need to repeat the task many times to accumulate enough of the rewards for them to make a difference.

Often, the more you play the game, the more tasks you have to perform to get the same benefit as before. For example, level 1 may require you to perform 5 tasks, but level 2 may require you to perform 10 tasks for the same increase in level. This "ramping up" of the repetitive tasks allows new players to get hooked on the gameplay before it becomes too repetitive and boring. By the time the grind becomes excessive, players have already become addicted to the gameplay and continue playing even though it's not enjoyable anymore.

It should be noted that Grinding is the core mechanic of many games, and some people enjoy it. For those people, this isn't a dark pattern. However, if Grinding is combined with other dark patterns, like Pay to Skip where you can spend money to skip parts of the grind, then this dark pattern can be amplified.

Another way this can be amplified is by combining it with the Wait to Play dark pattern. If you need to perform 10 tasks, but you only have enough energy to perform 5, now you have to put the game down and retain some Endowed Progress. This is a powerful urge to come back to the game later and complete your goal.


Rise of Cultures Rise of Cultures
"The entire game is built around this."

Blue Archive Blue Archive
"If you want to invest in your student(s) then you'll have to grind some stages (that might have limited tries) and hope to get the item required. If you didn't get it yet, spend money on pyroxene to recharge your energy/ticket or just wait for daily reset."

Good Pizza, Great Pizza Good Pizza, Great Pizza
"the gameplay is repetitive by nature because you are making pizzas over and over, but the issue is when you are grinding just to achieve the next unlockable pizza topping"

War and Order War and Order
"Leveling various buildings multiple times"

Drifto Drifto
"While the "grind" comes from playing the game, earning coins can be quite tedious. The player typically earns 5% of their score in coins once they crash. However, the player can earn double the coins by watching advertisements."

Little Alchemist Little Alchemist
"Upgrading your cards can only be achieved by paying or grinding levels for currency."

Stick War: Legacy Stick War: Legacy
"Skins are expensive and require lots of gems."

Pocket God™ Pocket God™
"It's kinda a sandbox game, but it does have a campaign you use to get statues in order to battle against AI in turn-based, rock-paper-scissors-​like combat, but you get statues by completing challenges / solving puzzles, which pretty much gives the player something to do besides aimlessly wandering around & trying things. The statues *do* level up though"

"The game is split into 'leagues', and sometimes you may be stuck on a league, having to play it a few times before becoming the champion, but at the same time, winning every league wouldn't be that fun, as the game wouldn't have any real challenge. I think the skill curve is not too steep and it's justified for what it is."

Cookie Run: Kingdom Cookie Run: Kingdom
"grinding is hella annoying in this game."