Reciprocity

Feeling obligated to return a favor, share resources, trade an item, etc.

If the game allows you to share resources, trade items or send gifts to your friends or other players then it may be using the dark pattern of Reciprocity. The person who receives your gift may feel a sense of obligation to return the favor. They may not have resources to share, and so they may feel bad that they gave something valuable away, or they may feel shame or guilt if they do not reciprocate. These unwanted negative feelings make the game less enjoyable.

If a game allows players to band together into guilds or clans, then sharing resources may be a requirement for participating in the group. Players may be punished by the leaders for not pulling their weight and helping out the team by donating valuable items.

The social pressure to donate items to other players means that you are giving up some of your own valuable resources that you have spent time and maybe money earning. This means that you have to spend more time and money to earn those items again.


Examples

Princess Connect! Re: Dive Princess Connect! Re: Dive
"You can ask your guildmates for equipment pieces."

Genshin Impact Genshin Impact
"Indirectly by inviting them to your world and letting them collect your resources there."

Pokémon Café Mix Pokémon Café Mix
"In the Remix update, energy (Stamina) may be gifted."

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
"You can ask for more lives"

Arknights Arknights
"There's a in game system where players can help each other out, but it's such a minor part of the game it can't affect anything out of it's own bubble."

Pokémon GO Pokémon GO
"my brother hates me for making him trade stuff."

Dungeon Crusher: Soul Hunters Dungeon Crusher: Soul Hunters
"A limited set of items is directly tradeable. A different set can be bought and sold through an escrow marketplace."

Cookie Run: OvenBreak Cookie Run: OvenBreak
"Minor, but Guilds are one way and there is a way to share cookies with other players."

Fate/Grand Order (English) Fate/Grand Order (English)
"Players can share their servants with other players to help with quests. During events, players who spend currency can get special equipment (CEs) that provide bonuses in that event, that can then be shared to other players."

Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen
"Collaborative mini game within your association (like a guild). Very minimal. Some events involve more reciprocity"