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

Everskies Everskies
"Playing minigames to earn currency."

Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game
"At a certain level you unlock stars for recipes and you have to make multiple to get the time down"

Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS
"Achievment, weapon upgrade, buying new weapon..."

DRAGON BALL Z DOKKAN BATTLE DRAGON BALL Z DOKKAN BATTLE
"there is some grinding to get some characters. there is also grining to level up some of the links for a character but it not mandatory to play the game"

Vampire Survivors Vampire Survivors
"The entire game."

Doodle God™ Doodle God™
"Often involves trying endless combinations of elements in order to progress."

MARVEL SNAP MARVEL SNAP
"Climbing the rank ladder to the highest rank is very grindy. Missions repete and often cannot be completed with the deck you want to play to climb the ladder so you have to play a specific deck to complete the missions."

DragonVale DragonVale
"You have to repeatedly spend hours and hours just waiting, to get useless “rare” dragons."

Hero Wars - Men’s Choice Epic Fantasy RPG Hero Wars - Men’s Choice Epic Fantasy RPG
"you need tons of seldomly dropping items to evolve your characters"

Papa's Mocharia To Go! Papa's Mocharia To Go!
"It can feel grind-y when you're bored of the current holiday or don't have enough tips to buy new items but you need to continue playing through days to earn tips or get to a new holiday."