A “how to avoid «pay to win» (a.k.a. p2w) games” guide

After literally hours upon hours of gaming and searching for nice rpgs, tactical strategies and gacha games that were not not p2w, I decided to write this guide so as to help people avoid wasting their time on them.

I consider myself as a competitive gamer and I always search for games competitively fair for everyone all the time. Games that start that way but after a few hours require actual money to progress further or gain a serious advantage over your adversary truly irritate me.

This guide is for people like me, who just want to play games the old traditional way, meaning that hours and effort dedicated are the reason for success and not how deep one’ s pocket is.

Below you will find the most common signs of p2w games.

Signs of p2w games:

  1. VIP system. If you see this in a game its 200% p2w. VIP is usually a system where your VIP level increases by spending money and the higher this level the bigger your competitive advantage.
  2. If there are heroes or cards whose stats are defined not by their level and/or class but their rarity. There is absolutely no point in playing with all heroes advertised if there are just 5 that give you a serious advantage, who “randomly” are the rarest to find of the bunch. And to find them you have to pay, of course.  
  3. If there is also a rarity system in equipment. You slay daemons hours on end to find crappy swords and stuff due to restricted drop rate. The possibility of finding something good is next to nothing unless of course you guessed it, you pay money. In addition, if by any chance you find something valuable, to level it up you have to grind days, even weeks to farm in game currency. Unless of course you spend Euros to speed up the process.
  4. If it requires copies of the same hero, equipment, rune etc to be upgrade. Even if the game’s currency for summons isn’t limited and can be farmed, its upgrade or empower system makes it a p2w because you will have to grind till kingdom come to reach a so called “WHALE” who has solved all his money related issues.
  5. If there is an auto system then this is an indication of a p2w, because your success is decided by your overall power and not your strategy/ tactics.  Of course, this grind can be bypassed or with real money.

In this lifetime, I have played countless mobile games, and most of the time I get frustrated because while they start by being fair to the player, after a couple of hours you realise they are p2w. Most of the gacha games (if not all) are p2w and i say not all because there are those which while they might give you the option to take a head start in competition by paying, they are not particularly grinding and eventually you reach the same skill level with other experienced players!

My personal advice is to stick to games that only require money for cosmetic upgrades and not competitive advantage. After all, games exist for us to have fun, not to get frustrated!