Social Pyramid Scheme

You get a bonus for inviting your friends and then they have to invite their friends.

Some games will give you a bonus when you invite your friends to play and link to them to your account. This bonus may be a one-time benefit, or it may be an ongoing benefit that improves the gaming experience for each friend that you add. This gives players a strong incentive to convince their friends to play. Those friends then have to sign up more friends and so on, leading to a pyramid scheme and viral growth for the game.

Often, this is combined with another Dark Pattern called Social Obligation where you and your friends can help each other in the game. This leads to a feeling of obligation and people keep playing the game even when they no longer enjoy it.


Shadow Fight 3 Shadow Fight 3
"referral system"

SimCity BuildIt SimCity BuildIt
"You can invite friends via Facebook."

BitLife - Life Simulator BitLife - Life Simulator
"If you want to post on social media, share this app to someone!"

Merge Dragons! Merge Dragons!
"You can receive exclusive items for inviting friends"

Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales
"You get a number of shards for sharing on social media, but you can simply click the task, let it redirect you to the site, then navigate back and it will register as though you actually did something, even if you never actually post."

Baseball Superstars 2020 Baseball Superstars 2020
"get rewards for inviting players"

"You get from currency, icons, borders to literal skins."

Destiny 2 Companion Destiny 2 Companion
"Destiny stops being particularly "FUN" Solo. Friends or Quick acquances makes Destiny more fun. Fireteam XP Bonus only active with at least one other player not solo."

Legend of Slime: Idle RPG Legend of Slime: Idle RPG
"in game rewards for inviting up to 5 people"

Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac
"Guild play is heavily encouraged... so you want friends to play with you... Other than that it has an event that encourages you invite friends but it is not constant."