Fear of Missing Out

If you stop playing you'll miss out on something or be left behind and unable to catch up.

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is an anxiety that occurs when you worry about missing something exciting or important. In games, this can happen when there are timed events. If the event gives a special participation reward, then this anxiety can be heightened. If the player misses the event, not only will they miss the excitement of the new experience, but they will also miss the special reward. If the reward provides a benefit to the game, then the player will be behind everyone else and it will be difficult to catch up.

This anxiety can drive people to play the game at times when they wouldn't otherwise. It may even keep them playing a game long past when they derive enjoyment out of it. For example, a player who has lost interest in a game may see the announcement for the next event and think to themselves that maybe this new event will make the game interesting again.

Many online games are under continual development with new content and updates being added all the time, so there is a constant trickle of new things that players are at risk of missing if they take a break from the game. This is a strong motivator to keep playing. Often these types of timed events provide an incentive to spend money on the game in order to fully take advantage of the event. This enriches the game developers at the expense of the players who may be playing for reasons other than enjoyment.


Beatstar - Touch Your Music Beatstar - Touch Your Music
"1. There's a battle pass every month with 9 exclusive songs. These songs aren't purchasable afterwards for multiple seasons. 2. They add new songs to the base game in large batches. If you don't keep up in either way, you fall behind on the leaderboards or the grind towards Unlimited Play. 3. Some promotional songs have never returned to the game. (Permanent missables) 4. Unlimited play is a limited time pass. The timer starts ticking down as soon as it's purchased."

Honkai: Star Rail Honkai: Star Rail
"Limited Time Banners"

Limbus Company Limbus Company
"The game has a battle-pass component, and there are "E.G.O.s" and cosmetics exclusive to the battle-pass period, and are unobtainable afterward. Some of the rewards are only obtainable by paying for the battle-pass. And with any battle-pass, it requires that they player grind levels in order to obtain rewards."

Pokémon Café Mix Pokémon Café Mix
"Because there’s constantly events (especially with beloved, popular pokémon and legendaries) it feels like taking a break will mean you’ll miss the one time a favorite will be available to recruit"

Shadow Fight 3 Shadow Fight 3
"marathons and events are limited and sometimes contain limited items and is sometimes almost impossible to complete without paying"

Sandship: Crafting Factory Sandship: Crafting Factory
"Seasonal timed events"

Kawaii Home Design Kawaii Home Design
"It's so hard to have currencies that even just a day off is hard to compensate afterwards. There's dozens of rewards everyday. You also risk getting evicted from your guild if it's a competitive one."

RuneScape Mobile RuneScape Mobile
"Yes, there are seasonal events and stuff"

SongPop 2 - Guess The Song SongPop 2 - Guess The Song
"Limited time badges."

Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game
"My life"