Accidental Purchases

Making it easy to accidentally spend money with no confirmation or ability to undo or refund the action.

Games like to make it easy to accidentally spend premium currency. They sometimes do this by making the purchase button big and easy to push. Additionally, it may not be immediately obvious that pushing the button spends your premium currency, and once you push it, there is often no confirmation screen and no ability to undo or refund the purchase. One accidental stray tap of the screen can irreversibly spend your money.

Sometimes games may go even further and introduce a popup button right where you normally tap to play the game. For example, there may be a blue button in the lower right corner that you normally press to start a level when you have enough energy to do so. But if you have run out of energy that blue button may turn into a green button that spends premium currency to refresh your energy and start the level. By placing this button where your muscle memory has conditioned you to tap, the game can trick you into wasting your money on items you didn't intend to purchase.

Another tactic used is the "Status Quo" or "Bad Default" effect. This is when the most expensive option is selected by default, or when you must opt-out instead of opt-in to purchasing something. By making the option to spend more money the default option, some people will accidentally spend more than they wanted to. In effect, the game is trying to sneak more expensive items into your shopping basket. Without an option to easily refund the purchase, players are often stuck having spent too much.

Spending more than you wanted to can can cause a snowball effect. If you have spent money on the game, you may feel that you have to "get your money's worth" by playing the game a lot. This in turn gets you more invested in the game and more likely to spend money again.


Examples

Block Jam 3D Block Jam 3D
"When a player loses all their hearts and they're not actively playing in a level, the pop-up that allows them to get more hearts can be misleading; they can watch only ONE ad and if they try to watch another one for a heart they're immediately directed to pay money."

Isekai:Slow Life Isekai:Slow Life
"several limited events, mini-games, and collection pages puts purchasable pop-up windows where the progression button normally is after random events."

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
"When purchasing heroes, the button to purchasing them through Diamonds (which is the main in-game currency, which is acquired by exchanging for real life money) is more prominent them buying them through Battle Points (in-game currency acquired by just playing it)."

Beatstar Beatstar
"Revives have no conformation button. Gem purchases often bring up a second dialog box containing the actual purchase button. (however that's not protected either.)"

Beatstar - Touch Your Music Beatstar - Touch Your Music
"Revives have no conformation button. Gem purchases often bring up a second dialog box containing the actual purchase button. (however that's not protected either.)"

My Baby Unicorn 2 My Baby Unicorn 2
"Star shop Is right at the food shop"

MONOPOLY GO! MONOPOLY GO!
"Pop-ups that intentionally place the buy button in the same area as the dice roll button, which is the main game mechanic"

Asphalt 9: Legends Asphalt 9: Legends
"Most in-game currency purchases are one click away from the player, however, there is an option for an added safeguard confirmation before spending premium currency (Tokens). It is hidden in an unrelated settings menu, is turned off by default and the game never tells you about it existing."

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS
"At times, yes."

Ping Pong Fury Ping Pong Fury
"In the shop, you'll find Events, Limited Time Offers, not to mention a Limited Time Battle Pass, all available for purchase with real money, providing you with in-game currency and diamonds."