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.


Bloons TD 6 Bloons TD 6
"Monkey Money or Race Passes can be used to skip the 3-hour cooldown on race events."

Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
"You can spend money to skip forward on waiting timers from one minute up to 24 hours."

Best Fiends - Puzzle Adventure Best Fiends - Puzzle Adventure
"Can spend money to replenish energy, and also to increase your total energy amount, so that then you have a longer time to wait before you use up all your energy (and this also makes it that much easier to spend hours on the game even when you're not having fun anymore - because "I still have so much energy left!")."

Little Alchemist Little Alchemist
"You can use money to replenish energy and skip research timers."

Phase 10: World Tour Phase 10: World Tour
"You can use the 'premium currency' to buy ingame resources to do this."

Immortal Diaries Immortal Diaries
"There are microtransactions for just about everything in this game"

The Ants: Underground Kingdom The Ants: Underground Kingdom
"You can pay money to buy diamonds, which you can then use to speed up. However, it does also offer other speed-ups that you can obtain by completing tasks and events, and avoid spending money"

Shop Titans: Design & Trade Shop Titans: Design & Trade
"You can spend money on items or gems (the premium currency) to speed up literally anything with a timer"

"Most of the time spent progressing the game's story is spent playing music; the pace of this is sped up when using radiance, which are points acquired by waiting on a timer (capped at 10, of course). When there are no radiance points left, progress is at a snail's pace. One can buy an item, Coffee, that replenishes radiance."

Merge Mayor - Idle Village Merge Mayor - Idle Village
"I almost put no, but you can buy in game currency that allows you to replenish energy."