The Magic of Gacha Games: What Keeps Me Hooked

October 2, 2023


The rush of anticipation, the joy of pulling your favorite character, and the heartbreak of getting duplicates—Gacha games are a rollercoaster of emotions. I will be examining both gacha and traditional game mechanics that I love and hate.

Gacha Mechanics:

The Gacha Pull Experience

The main pull of the gacha game itself is the feeling you get when you pull a character in the gacha roll you wanted. Some games will add weapons or cards to the gacha roll to add more variety to the roll. During the roll when you get a rare character most times will have special animation or in case in gold. This will add to the excitement if you trigger it when getting a character.

Gacha Pull Mechanics from Genshin Impact

Rarity and Odds

All gacha games that I know of have tiers of rarity for characters. The minimal amount is two-tier but some games can go up to five or six tiers of rarity. The higher the tier the lower the chance of rolling the characters. If the game has weapons or cards with their own rarities also can either split or heavily favor these over the characters in the rolls. The higher the rarity the more excitement or the lower the rarity the greater the disappointment.

A lot of the newer games have a piety system that either kicks in after a certain amount of rolls or you again in-game tokens to exchange for a character. The piety system is a net that if you roll a lot and don't get the character you will get it at some point.

Multiple Copies

If you roll multiple copies of characters, weapons, or cards you can upgrade the same character, weapon, or card. For characters most of the time five to six copies is the limit of max upgrade. For weapons and cards, it can vary from four to six. The upgrade bonus matters on the type of game. For a character, it can be bonus stats, new traits, an increased level cap, adding more stars to the character, or increased ultimate damage. With weapons or cards, for the most part, is increased bonus stats, upgraded stats for its effects, or increased level cap. This adds incentive to roll more for a character.

Going more into adding more stars to the character some gacha games give more stats if you gain more stars to characters. Some games will require you to only roll another copy of the character while other games have another means of doing it. For example, another currently that you gain by rolling more characters or buying in a store. Probably my most disliked method is having to combine similar star characters to level up the star rank of existing characters. The reason for this is most of the time the game has a character space cap which can cause issues if you like collecting a lot of different characters.

In-Game Currency and Spending

The majority of gacha games have currency split or ticket type split into two types for rolls on the gacha banner. If it is a currency split it would most of the time be paid and nonpaid currency. Most of the time this is used for paid banners where they guarantee high-tier characters, skins, or bundles. For the tickets they split, most of the time will be the normal ticket type and the premium type. The normal ticket will be for the standard banner while the premium will be for the rotating banner for new or old characters.

Traditional Game Mechanics:

Gacha games will always be wrapped in some traditional game mechanics. The vast majority of gacha games will have a combat system attached to them. What type of combat system will vary but a lot of them will have a strategy element along with the ability to use multiple characters. A lot of gacha games are turn-based but there are ones that are action-based.

The next part is the quest system, which can be easily broken up into daily quests, weekly quests, achievement quests, and story quests. Daily and weekly quests are just easy quests that you do once per day or week to get a small reward for playing. I sort of wish that games would get rid of dailies or shorten the dailies so you can need only to spend less than 30 minutes on the game. Achievement quests are just quests for special things in the game. The story quest is just for beating parts of the story in the game. These two quest types of rewards can vary.

Based on the gacha game the character progression can vary. A typical breakdown is character level, character skills, character weapon or card if they have it, character equipment, bond level, and other mechanics unique to the game itself. The longer a gacha game has been out normally the more they would add to the character's progression. To level most of these things would require in-game materials and game currency that are only meant for character progression or use on other traditional parts of the game. Sometimes they have the materials have tiers that are required to be farmed or combined.

Some of the other traditional game mechanics are events and storylines. Most of the events are only one or two times thing which involves the characters with new interactions between them. The storyline is standard to hook players in along with the characters. Last of all challenge quests or end-game content are one of the core parts as it keeps player playing or have something to do.

Without any of the traditional game mechanics, there would be nothing but a character-rolling simulator.

The Synergy:

The main synergy between the gacha mechanics and traditional game mechanics should be the core gameplay which is combat or whatever is in place of the combat in the game. Having a character you like should make combat fun and being able to use multiple different characters should make everyone's experience different. The game itself should be designed in a way to uses a few different strategies based on what kind of character you have. For me, having a character I like always makes a gacha game more fun than having a character I dislike.

If the game has a weapon or card type system it adds another layer of depth of character customization of play style. The weapon or card-type system for the most part will have effects attached to them. Based on the effect it will interact differently based on your character. For example, if you like dashing with a character having a type of weapon or card that plays off of it can help.

For event and story additions normally they add in a new character for gacha rolls along with giving out more lore for the character. Having this may give someone more attachment to a character and a want to roll for a character. I would say that has happened to me on few times like when I rolled for Toki on Blue Archvies. I did not really plan on rolling for her but when I played through the story it changed my mind.


Now, let's delve deeper into these three beloved Gacha games, exploring how they incorporate Gacha and traditional mechanics and what sets them apart.


Arknights excels in blending Gacha mechanics with its tower defense gameplay. Each battle map requires a diverse roster of characters to defend against waves of enemies. The variety of character abilities, from blockers to healers and ranged attackers, makes each map a unique challenge. This dynamic gameplay means you have many character combinations to choose from, enhancing the Gacha mechanic's appeal. Moreover, Arknights introduces a unique element by replacing the traditional in-battle leveling with RPG elements common in Gacha games. This approach to character progression adds depth to the game. Coupled with a compelling storyline and well-designed events, Arknights offers an enjoyable Gacha experience that stands out.

Screenshot of Arknights Combat

Fate/Grand Order

Fate/Grand Order distinguishes itself with its compelling storytelling and well-developed characters. The game's storylines read like visual novels, immersing players in rich narratives. Each character is uniquely crafted, ensuring there's always a character to resonate with. In addition to the captivating characters and story, the game introduces a layer of complexity with Craft Essences (CE), which grant bonus effects and stats when equipped. These CE add an extra strategic element to the game, creating an engaging gameplay experience. Fate/Grand Order successfully blends narrative depth with Gacha and traditional mechanics, making it a favorite among players.

Screenshot of Fate/Grand Order with Drake in Story Menu

Blue Archive

Blue Archive takes a different approach with its combat system, employing a team of six characters in a distinctive on-field/off-field setup. This uniqueness adds an extra layer of strategy to the game. Like other Gacha games, character progression is crucial, featuring character skills, equipment, and more. Blue Archive's story, which has resonated with me similarly to Fate/Grand Order, further deepens the player's connection to the characters. The game's innovative combat system and character progression mechanics make it a noteworthy entry in the Gacha world.

Screenshot of Blue Archives' Combat

Comparison and Analysis

Each of these games has its strengths. Arknights is excellent at making the most of Gacha mechanics within its tower defense gameplay, Fate/Grand Order shines in its storytelling and character development, and Blue Archive introduces a unique combat system that keeps players engaged. However, they share a common thread: a good story, memorable characters, and enjoyable gameplay are vital for a successful Gacha experience. These elements ensure that players keep coming back, rolling for their favorite characters, and exploring the vast worlds these games offer.

By offering more detailed insights into each game's strengths and unique features, this section provides a richer understanding of what makes these Gacha games stand out and why players are drawn to them.

Honorable Mentions

Before we wrap up our exploration of Gacha games, I'd like to give a nod to a few other remarkable titles that didn't make it into our detailed discussion. Games like Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail, Girls' Frontline, Goddess of Victory: Nikke, and Alchemy Stars have their unique charms, whether it's their innovative mechanics, captivating stories, or beloved characters. Each of these games has carved out its own special place in the Gacha gaming universe, and they're certainly worth checking out for fellow enthusiasts. Now, as we conclude our journey, I invite you to share your personal Gacha favorites and experiences. What other games have left an impression on you in this captivating world of Gacha gaming?


In the world of Gacha games, it's the convergence of mechanics, storytelling, and characters that truly define the experience. After exploring the intricacies of Gacha and traditional game mechanics in these games, it's clear that what makes a Gacha game enjoyable goes beyond the mere act of summoning characters or collecting items.

For me, a good Gacha game is one that offers a compelling narrative, well-crafted characters, and engaging gameplay that avoids monotony. As a free-to-play or perhaps a dolphin, I've come to terms with the reality that I won't collect every character, but I know I'll have a shot at most of my favorites. The RPG elements in these games, from character progression to story exploration, keep me hooked and invested.

Your Gacha journey might differ, and that's the beauty of these games. The wide variety of Gacha games ensures that there's something for everyone, whether it's the heart-pounding excitement of a summoning animation, the thrill of tactical combat, or the deep connection with in-game characters.

I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with Gacha games. What do you value most in these games, and which Gacha titles have left a lasting impact on you? Whether you're a seasoned Gacha gamer or just starting out, the world of Gacha offers a vibrant community and diverse experiences waiting to be explored.

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of the mechanics and intricacies that make Gacha games a unique and enduring part of the gaming world. As we continue our Gacha adventures, let's remember that the thrill of the unknown, the joy of unexpected discoveries, and the bonds formed with our favorite characters are what makes this genre so captivating.

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