Pay to Skip

Spend money to avoid waiting for a timer to expire.

There are a number of ways that this dark pattern can be used, but they all rely on spending money to skip over something in the game that you don't want to do.

1) You may have a limited amount of "energy" or "turns" that you can use before you are no longer allowed to play the game. You then have to wait for that energy to recharge, or you can pay to instantly recharge it.

2) You may start an activity in a game (building, researching, hunting, etc) and the game starts a timer that indicates how long it will take for this activity to finish before you can collect the rewards. You have to wait, or you can pay money to skip the timer and collect the rewards right now.

3) The game show you advertisements, but will allow you to spend money to skip the ads. This is how you can trade money for your attention.

In these examples, a game designer intentionally puts an undesirable blockage into the game that prevents it from being played unless you wait or pay money. This causes the player some discomfort which can be overcome by paying money. If the player chooses to wait instead, this turns into a different dark pattern called Wait to Play.


Old School RuneScape Old School RuneScape
"The main game mode, non-ironman, allows you to buy bonds to exchange for money and thus skip a good chunk of the grind"

"There are two items to purchase, at least in the Android version. A permanent ad skip, valued at around $5, and an ad skip + unlock all basic items (cars), valued at $10. These purchases are one-time and do not need to be replenished. At most, a customer might spend $15 on the game as a whole if purchasing both items for whatever reason."

Plants vs. Zombies™ 2 Plants vs. Zombies™ 2
"You can pay coins to retry a failed event."

Tiny Tower Tiny Tower
"You can spend bux in the game to skip timers"

Delicious World - Cooking Game Delicious World - Cooking Game
"in the form of hats, you have 5 hats (lives) to play"

LEGO® Tower LEGO® Tower
"You can spend bux to speed up timers."

LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
"You can spend gems to replenish your energy bar in the game."

GrandChase GrandChase
"Energy packages"

Hades' Star Hades' Star
"Skip waiting days for planet / tech upgrade / research, buyable ingame resources to be able to perform actions"

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
"Pay to randomize hero choices in Brawl game, refresh discounted options in shop, etc."