Feeling obligated to return a favor, share resources, trade an item, etc.

If the game allows you to share resources, trade items or send gifts to your friends or other players then it may be using the dark pattern of Reciprocity. The person who receives your gift may feel a sense of obligation to return the favor. They may not have resources to share, and so they may feel bad that they gave something valuable away, or they may feel shame or guilt if they do not reciprocate. These unwanted negative feelings make the game less enjoyable.

If a game allows players to band together into guilds or clans, then sharing resources may be a requirement for participating in the group. Players may be punished by the leaders for not pulling their weight and helping out the team by donating valuable items.

The social pressure to donate items to other players means that you are giving up some of your own valuable resources that you have spent time and maybe money earning. This means that you have to spend more time and money to earn those items again.


Mario Kart Tour Mario Kart Tour
"Coins can be gifted to people on your friends list, and most will expect you to return the favor."

Adopt Me Adopt Me
"This game is heavily focused on trading. You can trade pets and accessories with other players. Getting a profitable "good trade" is one of the most addicting features of this game, next to the chance of hatching the rarest pet from an egg."

Albion Online Albion Online
"As is common in other MMOs, there is trading"

"During the team events where you pick a side you can give energy out to your team mates. You have 3 free drinks that also replenish once per day. I like it."

Merge Manor : Sunny House Merge Manor : Sunny House
"There are some advantages to have friends helping you daily, but you are not totally compelled to do it. I don't feel like I would be missing out that much. Also, you can add random friends easily, you don't have to know them."

SimCity BuildIt SimCity BuildIt
"Not necessarily a bad thing i don't think. And anyway you sell items."

Pokémon Shuffle Mobile Pokémon Shuffle Mobile
"You send "hearts" to allow more plays. No other sharable resources."

FarmVille 2: Country Escape FarmVille 2: Country Escape
"When you friend other players in the game, you can sell and buy resources from one another."

Clash Royale Clash Royale
"You can trade cards"

Figure Fantasy Figure Fantasy
"You can send Otaku Hearts to your friends every day."