The Free to Play Game Design Bible: How to Design Loot Boxes and Gacha Systems

Loot Boxes and Gacha are a very contentious form of game design. Lucrative due to their monetization potential, they’ve allowed the free to play ecosystem to flourish – whether you like them or not.

No longer is free to play design pushed solely towards creating timer driven wait fests. Instead, games can rely on the near never-ending chase that players have to gather all the content in a gacha.

Source: Overwatch

Gacha ultimately comes down to an understanding of how randomness works, and ensuring that your game’s systems can handle any outcome. Developers need to make sure that, regardless of what drops from the gacha, the player is going to have a good time. Pure randomness from a gacha can lead to a lot of buyer remorse, or worse, churn from your game. Ensuring that no matter what comes from the gacha a player will feel like they are making progress is key for gacha systems.

We go into detail here on how to ensure each drop feels great:

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Beyond this, it’s all about ensuring that your gacha has enough depth. Too many games fail because their gacha is too easy to unlock all the content, meaning said content eventually the becomes useless to players, or the player no longer needs the content of the gacha to progress. In this post we compare Clash Royale to Brawl Stars, and measure how important depth is:

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We’ve put together multiple guides that go deep into the subject of creating working Gacha and Loot boxes. Read on to find out:

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