Mobile Game Hive

Insights and updates on the mobile game industry.

10 kinds of Gacha system that monetize your F2P game with higher in-app purchase rate

Free to Play


Almost 100% of top ranking games in Japan use Gacha to get high IAP rate

If you are developing F2P (Free to Play) game, have you ever wondered how to monetize your game?

There are already many solutions offered, such as advertisements or online casino, but of course, there’s no fixed solution yet to succeed in the F2P gaming business, so the best way to always try out new strategies and see if it works.

In this article, I want to introduce how game app developers earn high IAP rate for their F2P games in Japan, where the F2P market is most advanced.

You might have already heard about the Gacha system. If you play the famous puzzle-RPG game, Puzzle and Dragons, then you must be aware of this strategy. Most of the games in Japan are using this to promote in-app purchases, but do you know that there are several types of Gacha?

I would like the quote the article from GrowthApp, which is owned by SIROK,Inc. that introduce trend marketing analysis in Japan.

Introduction of 10 kinds of Gacha System in Japan

The author of the article, Mr. Mukouyama played 30 games and categorized Gacha into 10 categories.

1)     BOX Gacha

From Bahamut

There are a fixed number of rare items in the box and once users draw Gacha, a card will be randomly picked up from the box. The more you draw Gacha, there’s more possibility to get a rare card, and if you draw every card on the box, you can get every card which includes a rare item.


2) Step Gacha

From Girlfriend

Step Gacha changes the reward every time when user draws an item. For example, if the user draws Gacha for the first time, his reward could be a free item, then if he draws for the second time, the reward could change to a 1000 coin discount.

3) Redrawing Gacha

From Pro Yakyu Pride

User can redraw items with a onetime cost.

4) Scratch Point Gacha

From Bahamut

Every time the user draws this Gacha, he gets a point called “Scratch point”. Then once the user gets enough number of scratch points, he can get another reward.

5) Sugoroku Gacha

From Legend of Monsters

Sugoroku is traditional Japanese board game played with dice, which is similar to Snakes and Ladders.

The basic system is similar with Scratch Point Gacha. First, the user rolls the dice, and move based on the number of spaces of the dice roll, so he can get every item on the spaces that they pass on.

The user rolls the dice and moves to the number of spaces according to the dice roll. The user then gets every item on the spaces that he passes on.

6) Nth Time  Draw in a Row Gacha

From Dragon league X

Game offers a rare item if the user play N times draw in a row. In this picture, the user needs 12 draw in a row to get a rare weapon.

7) Special Attack Gacha

From Gundam Area Wars

Almost all raid boss events have this Gacha system. When the user draws this Gacha, he can get an item that gives him an advantage when attacking his/her opponent.

8) Increased Probability Gacha

From Bahamut

This is also a common Gacha system that gives users more probability to get a rare item.

9) Limited Number of Rare Item Gacha

From Ragna Break

As the name suggests, the rare items from this Gacha are limited so there is a time limitation for users to draw this Gacha.

10) Raid Gacha

From Valhalla Gate

When the user defeats the boss in the Raid, the game rewards the user by enabling this Gacha. This Gacha is basically for non-paying users.

In Japan, F2P game app developers use a lot of ways and timing to promote their in-app purchase items, such as the Gacha strategy, so it’s no wonder that they have highest ARPU.

I hope you can also consider this kind of strategy for your F2P game, especially if you are interested in launching your game in Japan.

What do you think about the Gacha system? Are you looking into trying it out to increase your IAP rate for your F2P game in the future? Looking forward to your comments!



I'm in charge of international sales and marketing for GaiaX's game and app-centered customer support service. Unlike most Japanese, I don't fancy eating sashimi, or anything raw in particular. Currently based in San Francisco, California. Feel free to get in touch with me via LinkedIn, or Google+.

game development, ios game development, android game development, player retention, customer retention strategies, game dev, mobile games, social games

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply