It seems like we’ve been talking about gacha games a lot recently, right? I mean, that’s how the news cycle goes. But it’s no secret that those sorts of titles have become really popular worldwide in 2020. Especially since the base games are free. But which ones might be most worth your time? How many titles do you obsess over?
I’m sure this will shock you, but a lot of us are playing gacha games too. So we figured let’s share and talk about what we’re playing and find out what you’re playing too. I mean, not that we’re looking to become whales in even more games…
I know I’ve been talking a lot about Genshin Impact lately, but only one of these gacha games really has my heart. While I might dabble in Dissidia FFOO, SINoALICE and even Love Nikki, I am all about Fire Emblem Heroes. Ever since it launched, I’ve been dedicated to playing and building up rosters and teams of my favorite characters. Like my builds aren’t amazing, but I have fun. And that’s what really matters. Plus, I’ve managed to collect a lot of great people even though I’m free-to-play only. The four folks above are my main staples. – Jenni
So I don’t love gacha games in general! I don’t love what they do to you psychologically, and I don’t love what the need for revenue does to game balance. I also don’t love Fire Emblem Heroes. Outside of Hall of Forms, the game’s mode additions are all wastes of time and effort, and it now locks some pretty basic quality-of-life features behind a paid subscription. But I’ve played it every day since it launched over three and a half years ago. It could really use some work, and I’m not spending anything on it again until it does, but with the team’s efforts to include more and more franchise characters (like the shapeshifting Xane!) instead of the constant flood of alternate versions of protagonists, I’ll likely keep logging in. – Graham
If you let me create an ensemble team of my favorite Final Fantasy characters, I’ll likely enjoy your gacha game. And Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia does just that. Outside of being ridiculously generous (just this month alone players can receive up to 18 free x10 draws with one guaranteed 5★ weapon in each one), Opera Omnia allows me to see my favorites fight alongside one another. Ever wanted to see Gabranth and Basch actually team up? (No, those final five minutes at the tail end of Final Fantasy XII don’t count.) Totally possible. Perhaps you wonder what it would be like if Zack Fair, Sephiroth, and Ultimecia fought the High Seraph Ultima? Look no further. Outside of that, the turn-based combat scratches that itch I’ve been looking for since Final Fantasy X, and challenge quests are fun and entirely possible with even more obscure characters that have otherwise been forgotten. Anyways, it’s probably easy to see why Opera Omnia has become one of my favorite gacha games and, if you’re looking for something that tics all of these boxes, it’ll likely become a favorite of yours too. – Kazuma
Free-to-play gacha games come and go, but there are only two that I play regularly. One of them is Super Robot Wars DD, which a close friend of mine plays too. The other game, which is my absolute favorite, is Azur Lane. I originally came to it as a Kancolle player, but Azur Lane eventually won me over with its better content selection and quality-of-life features. It has skill-based gameplay, instead of forcing someone to rely on pure luck. There is a more balanced representation of shipgirls from multiple nations. It has a proper storyline and, most important, a generous gacha system. (At least, it is compared to other gacha games.) In addition to the higher-than-average 5★-equivalent character drop rate, diligently doing the daily missions also allows me to stock enough free Cubes for whenever a major event banner comes up.
I started playing Azur Lane not long after the Japanese version launched–right around the first Halloween event exactly 3 years ago. But I stuck with that version even after the English global version launched because I already invested so much in my JP account. My collection rate is now nearing 99%. If there’s anyone playing on the Japanese San Diego server and you see a French waifu fleet during Exercise, be sure to say Bonjour! – Kite
If you take a look at the stories I usually write up, you’ll probably find Fate/Grand Order news close to the top of that list. Of course, while we do write about games regardless of personal interest in playing them, I am pretty much a Fate-head at this point. I should also clarify that saying Fate/Grand Order is my favorite gacha game by far is by NOT the same as saying Fate/Grand Order is the best gacha game. The drop rates are low, the battle system is creaky, it’s stingy with the resources most days, and it commits the cardinal sin of gacha (a class of game whose players already have a built-in tolerance for predatory practice) by not having an effective cost ceiling on player spending. And yet, I thoroughly enjoy FGO and its poignant, often hilarious narrative component. If you’re interested…I’d recommend watching the cutscenes online rather than taking it up. Do as I say, not as I do. – Josh
My go-to gacha game would have to be Granblue Fantasy. When I first started, I had no idea what the hell I was doing, so I ended up dropping it after a few months. Fast-forward a few years, I decided to give it another shot after doing more research, and this time I kept going and never looked back. Oh, I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing, but I really learned to appreciate the sense of progress in this game. The grind itself is definitely real, and it will test your patience at times. Trust me, I come from a background of old KR MMOs and farming Empyrean Weapons on FFXI, but Granblue is on its own level. In the end, it’s the amazing characters and story that does it for me and makes it all worthwhile.
As far as Granblue Fantasy goes as a gacha game, I wouldn’t recommend it for people who like to roll all the time. The game rewards players for having more patience through features like “sparking” (essentially saving up for 300 pulls to guarantee a character pull of your choice), but this means constantly battling through banner temptations for months at a time. On the plus side, the devs are extremely generous during seasonal and anniversary events like no other. – Sato