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.


Pick Me Up™ Pick Me Up™
"each level finished, you get money and it's the same task over and over again"

Chuzzle 2 Chuzzle 2
""levels" are built of a map of minigames that get very repetitive very quickly"

Pikmin Bloom Pikmin Bloom
"in order to level up or complete some events, you must plant a certain number of flowers, defeat mushrooms, send pikmin out on expeditions, and feed pikmin nectar to collect petals. you also frequently have to check if there are new expeditions in the area and select specific pikmin to send, which can be tedious"

Pokémon Café Mix Pokémon Café Mix
"The training puzzles are tedious and repetitive but necessary to level up your pokémon to get new ones/grind for the newest legendary."

Shadow Fight 3 Shadow Fight 3

Everskies Everskies
"Playing minigames to earn currency."

Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game
"At a certain level you unlock stars for recipes and you have to make multiple to get the time down"

Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS
"Achievment, weapon upgrade, buying new weapon..."

"there is some grinding to get some characters. there is also grining to level up some of the links for a character but it not mandatory to play the game"

Vampire Survivors Vampire Survivors
"The entire game."