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.


Star Trek Fleet Command Star Trek Fleet Command
"Terrible pay for loot boxes. In some cases $100 will not unlock a full character or ship. Even upgrading a ship, $100 might get you 1/7th of the way to the next level."

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
"You can pay money to replenish your energy. Other than visiting Inns, that is the only way to do it."

Candy Crush Soda Saga Candy Crush Soda Saga
"If you lose a level, you can pay to skip it."

AFK Arena AFK Arena
"You can pay in game currency which was purchased with money to skip resource gathering timers."

Mortal Kombat Mortal Kombat
"Use in-game currency to hasten mission completion."

World of Tanks Blitz MMO World of Tanks Blitz MMO
"You can skip whole tank lines with premium currency. Or complete events."

Walking Dead: Road to Survival Walking Dead: Road to Survival
"Pay to replenish energy. Pay to recoup your army if they all die."

Hay Day Hay Day
"You can use premium currency, gems, to speed up certain tasks that would otherwise take a lot of time to finish"

Auto Chess Auto Chess
"skip the battlepass"

Pokémon Rumble Rush Pokémon Rumble Rush
"Ore timers"