Grinding

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.


Examples

Wild Tamer Wild Tamer
"The game has grinding but it is not too bad"

Tsuki Adventure Tsuki Adventure
"Repeated interaction with characters is rewarded"

Food Stylist - Design Game Food Stylist - Design Game
"The more style challenges you complete, the more money and bonuses you can earn."

Sliding Seas Sliding Seas
"Expanding the island takes a very long time."

Two Dots Two Dots
"Difficult levels may take several attempts; there is no way to skip them and go to more interesting puzzles."

Pokémon Shuffle Mobile Pokémon Shuffle Mobile
"Increasing skills requires playing the same level over and over. (Combined with play-by-appointment - some levels won't be around later.)"

VALKYRIE CONNECT VALKYRIE CONNECT
"especially during events, you have to repeatedly battle in raids with other players for limited rewards"

Family Island - Farm game adventure Family Island - Farm game adventure
"One must buy machines in order to make items, and then make the items. Increasing storage particularly requires you to grind."

Grim Soul: Survival Grim Soul: Survival
"Unless you pay, you need to do the same low level locations over and over in order to get materials to replace your gear. Because your gear breaks. Fast."

Equestrian the Game Equestrian the Game
"You have to train and compete with your horses."