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

Single City: Life Metaverse Single City: Life Metaverse
"Grinding resourses."

Titan Quest: Legendary Edition Titan Quest: Legendary Edition
"Farming bosses for good unique items. Takes a long time to get to max level, well after game is completed"

War Robots Multiplayer Battles War Robots Multiplayer Battles
"unless you pay, everything in the game is grindy af, you have to play 100 matches a day to have a good progress, which no one does... at least i hope no one does."

The Tribez: Build a Village The Tribez: Build a Village
"example - Farmers bay. To open up sections of the map needed to access new building types and resources youu need to complete LOTS of deals in one of two buildings. To complete deals you need to obtain certain items from the Market by using resources abtained from other areas. Types of items dropped by the market are random! The number of items needed for the sections number in the 1000s but only 10's are available with each deal.."

The Walking Dead: Survivors The Walking Dead: Survivors
"Grinding for upgrade materials for heros"

Life Makeover Life Makeover
"There is a stamina system used to collect material to craft clothes"

Purrfect Tale Purrfect Tale
"Yeah, doing small mini games to get hearts and fish (the currencies) so you can buy stuff and unlock chapters of the storyline- they also have you play the same minigame over and over for monthly events to get a currency specific to that event to unlock special furniture and outfits but it takes so long and you need to play the minigame a ridiculous amount of times to the point you don't enjoy it"

Crush Crush Crush Crush
"Contains clicker mechanics to gain points as well as constantly giving gifts to gain affection."

GunboundM GunboundM
"to be competitive, yes"

Melvor Idle: Ad Free Melvor Idle: Ad Free
"The entire game is grinding"