Pay to Win

A player can spend real money to purchase something that gives them an advantage in the game.

Many games have a system where you can purchase items by using in-game currency. This currency can be earned by performing certain actions, such as grinding and sometimes it can be purchased with real money, which makes it a premium currency. If earning the in-game currency through gameplay is so slow that it's almost impossible to realistically earn enough to buy the necessary items, then spending real money becomes necessary. The players who spend the most will have the biggest advantage and a free-to-play (F2P) player will be at a significant disadvantage.

If you can spend real money to give yourself an advantage over other players, then a game is exhibiting the "Pay to Win" dark pattern. In addition to accelerating the normal earning of in-game currency, you may also be able to purchase a "cheat" or unlock some otherwise unobtainable item that gives you an advantage.

Sometimes games give large incentives to be in the top ranks, but make it impossible to get into the top ranks unless you constantly spend money to purchase the latest items or upgrades. This dark pattern is sometimes called "Monetized Rivalries", and when its combined with another dark pattern, called depreciation, it can setup a player to be constantly needing to spend money to stay ahead of other players.


"Pay for hints"

WWE Champions 2019 WWE Champions 2019
"Pay for new characters, get bonuses in events"

War Robots Multiplayer Battles War Robots Multiplayer Battles
"entire game is pay to win, robots are too expensive to grind. it will take 1/3 of a year to get one robot"

The Tribez: Build a Village The Tribez: Build a Village
"examples include. Volcano of Fate, These premium building automatically create certain resources on a regular basis, but still need to be collected !, and only last for a short time before disapearing."

The Walking Dead: Survivors The Walking Dead: Survivors
"Heavy PvP content, only way to win is to spent more money than others"

Bingo Blitz™ - Bingo Games Bingo Blitz™ - Bingo Games
"More tokens, more power-ups are very enticing."

Life Makeover Life Makeover
"Gacha tickets can be bought with real money"

Purrfect Tale Purrfect Tale
"Yeah- you can buy the main currency and the other harder to get currency ("

Ensemble Stars Music Ensemble Stars Music
"impossible to do competitive ranking without paying in some way"

GunboundM GunboundM
"avatars + jewels + pets"