Gacha game is a term that originated in Japan and but has spread all over the world, making it one of the most played and popular games of the year. But what exactly does “gacha” game means, how do they work, and why are people splurging money on them?  

What is a Gacha Game?

Mobile gaming has been around for years and people are getting addicted to it year by year. And this year, another genre of mobile gaming has entered the scene and has become insanely popular. It’s called “gacha” games, it comes from Japan, and all games under this genre have similar monetization schemes. 

gacha game
Gashapon, Japan’s Capsule Toys

Gacha games are based on Japan’s famous vending machines that release small capsules with unknown toys inside, similar to Kinder Surprise Toys. It’s a fairly simple game but the appeal of it comes from opening the packaging and seeing what’s inside. 

Mobile gacha games are the same. You spend money to open mystery packs or boxes or to collect items, cards, and characters. Usually, these collectibles are characters from popular mangas or anime shows and can be used to fight with other players and complete missions and challenges. It’s a neverending buying and collecting as these characters also have different variations to them, such as rankings or levels. 

A huge part of the spending will also come in the form of the highest-ranking and most powerful collectibles. These are very rare and difficult to obtain. If the player is dead on collecting them, it will involve dozens of microtransactions. 

The Problem with Gacha Games

Based on the nature of gacha games, it’s no fun if you stick to the default character and its default settings. There is always the need to customize them, to level up, and to collect others. The system of the game usually prompts players to spend money, making gacha games an addictive kind of microtransaction. 

The most committed of gacha players can splurge off huge amounts of money in a short time to collect the best and rare collectibles. 

Another problem that can be seen in these gacha games is the lack of barriers to play. Since these are mobile games, children of young age can easily access and purchase without a parent noticing. Some developers are even accused of designing games to incite the players to open multiple and consecutive capsules.

To flatten this excessive spending, Japan banned the “complete gacha” system in 2012 after viral cases of minors spending thousands of dollars in the game. 

Complete gacha is another monetization scheme commonly found in gacha games. This is which a player can obtain rare collectibles if he completes a set of other common items. This encourages spending money as players would usually get the same items over and over again. 

Other countries aside from Japan also have laws that protect players from these deceptive practices. A few European countries have mandated games with randomized items that cost money to disclose the drop rates of all collectibles. 

The Best Gacha Games of 2021

Despite all the issues that gacha games have faced, it is still undeniably a top-tier engaging and fun mobile game to play with.

In recent years, major media companies in Japan such as Nintendo, Square Enix, and Aniplex have turned their franchises into gacha games. Aside from capitalizing and profiting from the game, it is also a technique to retain the players and keep them engaged. 

It is still a very popular genre of mobile gaming, in and out of Japan and misleading practices have lessened since the complete gacha ban. 

If you’re still interested, here are your top 5 most popular gacha games of 2021. 

Raid: Shadow Legends

gacha game

A visually stunning RPG that is available on both PC and mobile. It features a wide selection of collectible heroes and missions that you can battle through. 

Genshin Impact

gacha game

Another top-tier virtually stunning gacha game that will prompt you to explore a wide world, battle through it, and collect the game’s characters. 

AFK Arena

This game doesn’t feature characters from popular manga and anime franchises but that doesn’t stop it from topping one of the best gacha games of 2021. This is all thanks to the fairness for free players. 


Arknights is a mixture of strategic gameplay and gacha game and brings a little bit of diversity to this list. 

Dragonball Legends

If you’re a huge fan of Dragonball, you’ve got to try this game and create a powerful party from your favorite characters. 

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