Grinding

Being required to perform repetitive and tedious tasks to advance.

Grinding is a game mechanic where players are required to perform repetitive tasks. Each task earns the player experience points, levels, items or some other in-game benefit. The player will need to repeat the task many times to accumulate enough of the rewards for them to make a difference.

Often, the more you play the game, the more tasks you have to perform to get the same benefit as before. For example, level 1 may require you to perform 5 tasks, but level 2 may require you to perform 10 tasks for the same increase in level. This "ramping up" of the repetitive tasks allows new players to get hooked on the gameplay before it becomes too repetitive and boring. By the time the grind becomes excessive, players have already become addicted to the gameplay and continue playing even though it's not enjoyable anymore.

It should be noted that Grinding is the core mechanic of many games, and some people enjoy it. For those people, this isn't a dark pattern. However, if Grinding is combined with other dark patterns, like Pay to Skip where you can spend money to skip parts of the grind, then this dark pattern can be amplified.

Another way this can be amplified is by combining it with the Wait to Play dark pattern. If you need to perform 10 tasks, but you only have enough energy to perform 5, now you have to put the game down and retain some Endowed Progress. This is a powerful urge to come back to the game later and complete your goal.


Examples

Rise of Kingdoms Rise of Kingdoms
"Daily quests - same evey day"

Girls' Frontline Girls' Frontline
"Large amounts of frequent grinding to level up characters is nearly mandatory."

ISEKAI:Demon Waifu ISEKAI:Demon Waifu
"Repeated cutscenes for events you must use"

Old School RuneScape Old School RuneScape
"Anything above the very early levels require several hours to level up and unlock new content"

Tone Sphere Tone Sphere
"[ikan] [Minor] You need to play songs to level up (referred as "sphere" ingame). You also need to grind a bit Lumina to explore the Sphere Map to unlock a couple songs. This is pretty good for rhythm games since you'll be playing a lot if you suck, so nothing too surprising here. It's also pretty easy to grind Lumina if you have good-enough skills."

#DRIVE #DRIVE
"Some of the achievements in the game require multiple runs and aren't always in the player's best interest. There's also the cars, some of which require a lot of in-game currency to purchase, and the maps, which require hundreds of playthroughs to unlock all of them."

Need for Speed No Limits Need for Speed No Limits
"Must collect lots of parts to upgrade the car. Only certain races have the part you want."

Call of Duty®: Mobile Call of Duty®: Mobile
"To complete missions, you have to play certain game mods many times."

Delicious World - Cooking Game Delicious World - Cooking Game
"re-play levels to collect coins that you van use to upgrade the Kitchen and decorations , else it's impossible to pass levels, also events with limited time that if you lose, you have to start from scratch or pay to buy gems and coins to keep your current score(if you don't have any), read under daily rewards too"

LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
"You have to farm tiles to unlock/star up characters and sets."