Last Updated on September 28, 2020
The year 2020, among many other things, has brought upon us some really big names in the genre of gacha RPGs. War of the Visions FFBE, SINoALICE, Tales of Crestoria, and more recently, Idola Phantasy Star Saga and Genshin Impact.
So what are a few key things I like to look for in gacha games?
Here’s five things I like to see, in no particular order:
1. Fair Rates for SSRs
This isn’t the most important thing in a game, don’t get me wrong. I still play games that have low rates. After all, if you can’t go through most of the PVE content without a full 5*/SSR team, then that’s on the devs, not you.
RNG when pulling is a thing, sure. But really low rates for the highest rarity in a banner makes that worse. I’m looking at you, Fate/Grand Order. Hey look, I love the game. They even give out free 4* every other event or so. But sheesh! Only 1%?
I think that the rates for an SSR should be at 5% or so. That’s not incredibly high, but not incredibly unreasonable either. I get it, the game’s gotta make bank.
2. Pity Pull
Rate up is a lie, or so the meme goes. But imagine (or maybe you don’t need to imagine – F in the chat for those of us who don’t have Orlandeau in WOTV) spending thousands of gacha currency (and this is ten times worse for those spending real money) and not getting the featured unit.
The concept of “pity” in a gacha means that, after a certain amount of pulls, you are guaranteed the featured unit.
At the time of writing, Tales of Crestoria doesn’t have any kind of pity system. And WOTV FFBE, while having a guaranteed UR pity, will not guarantee the featured UR itself.
A fair example of a pity system is Epic Seven, which guarantees the featured character after 120 single summons. This actually incentivizes spending real money because you know for sure you’ll eventually get the character, and you’re not technically gambling.
3. Auto Repeat
A lot of gachas require constant grinding. I’d rather be able to put my iPad down and let it run by itself while farming. I don’t want to babysit the device and constantly tap 4 or 5 times (sometimes more if the UX is terrible) after every battle. I previously wrote about why auto battle in and of itself isn’t actually a “bad” thing (long story short: it’s great for accessibility, and it’s optional anyway).
WOTV FFBE, GrandChase, Dragalia Lost, and Monster Super League all have auto-repeat options. This is especially good during limited time events when you want to grind for event currency, or for awakening/ascension materials for your units. In fact, I have WOTV auto-repeating right now as I’m writing this.
4. Fair Amount of Rewards
The daily/weekly/monthly missions should make it so that it’s easy to progress in the game. There should also be a healthy amount of gacha currency freely available as log-in rewards so we don’t feel like we have to spend real money.
And when the game hits big milestones and events, like download numbers and anniversaries? Make it rain with gleamstones/wyrmrite/visiore/gems/diamonds (etc etc). This will usually give us something to look forward to.
5. Regular Updates and Communication
Last but definitely not least, we need to hear from the developers. If a month has gone by and there’s no updates on the game’s social media (be it Facebook or Twitter), and/or a while without an app update, you’ve got us worried. These games need fixes for glitches and other issues, QOL updates, and so much more. And we want to know that the developers are aware of our concerns, what we like, and what we don’t like. We’re much more comfortable with gacha games when their development team is regularly updating us and we know they’re actually paying attention to their player base.