Gacha games are generally available on mobile and PC platforms and are often free. In-app purchase options range from optional progression boosts to unlockable aspects required to level up. Although most people avoid gacha games – both because they dislike in-app purchase pop-ups and because the word “gacha” has such negative connotations – the games themselves can be quite fun.
Chances are you’ve played a gacha game at least once. If so, you know they’re addictive, building on the dopamine hit you get as you progress to the next level. Some are pure action and fighting games, but some also have very story-driven plots, letting you choose your own pace.
11 Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space
Besides having one of the greatest subtitles in gaming history, Another Eden is a classic sci-fi RPG with cute and thoughtful graphics. The game is rich in story, following you as a time traveler with your pet cat, a unique concept to say the least.
The only really gacha aspect of Another Eden is the in-app purchases to earn new characters. If you are happy to play with the default characters, you can play it 100% free without problem.
ten Guardian Tales
An action RPG, Guardian Tales blends puzzle solving and strategic combat to create their gameplay. There are options for PvP battles, with leaderboards, giving it a competitive edge and a sense of community that other gacha games may lack.
The overall story is light and fun with comical characters and situations. The graphics are done in an anime style, centering on the knights of the town of Kanterbury (an obvious nod to The Knight’s Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales).
9 Fire Emblem: Heroes
A tactical RPG, the game is over 30 years old and is now available in gacha format on mobile. As a Nintendo title, its history and branding make it an obvious choice when it comes to reliable and fun games. There are story-driven quests and battles, all of which are family-friendly.
The in-app purchases are primarily for upgrading characters and acquiring gear to boost your stats quickly. It’s possible to play Fire Emblem: Heroes without spending any money, as long as you’re willing to grind and wait for timed stats to regenerate.
8 Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation DX2
A classic RPG from another gaming titan, Sega, Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation DX2 is a spin-off from the canon SMT games, with new stories and characters. The character you play as, as well as your party, are fully customizable, and there are over 100 demons to wage war against.
SMT: Liberation has a deep narrative aspect that accompanies the game, making it easy to spend time on it. The in-app purchase is primarily for unlocking features and character options, so it’s possible to play the game with little or no expense.
7 Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
A classic RPG from the Final Fantasy series, mobile battles are simple styled for easy play. There’s strategy-based gameplay and PvP battles, as well as open-world elements. You can explore hidden paths and dungeons during the main story or side quests.
Brave Exvius does a solid job of capturing the overarching world of Final Fantasy in a smaller medium and with as strong a story as the larger releases. As for in-app purchases, you’ll find them most appealing when trying to level up or power up your character in PvP.
6 Dragon Ball Legends
An action RPG based on the iconic anime, Dragon Ball Legends brings an original story and new characters to an ever-expanding world. You can also play as familiar Dragon Ball characters if you don’t want to learn all the new people.
There are unranked battles and PvP against friends and rivals. While you can play it completely for free, there are times when in-app purchases can help you level up and overcome some battles if you’re struggling on your own.
5 Raid: Legends of Shadow
Ninja in Raid: Shadow Legends.
Calling itself a “freemium” RPG mobile game, Raid: Shadow Legends lets you fight against mythical characters. There are over 100 playable characters to choose from, all in the mythical/magical/fantasy realm.
You can play the base game completely for free, but there are limits to what you can access without paying. In-app purchases will unlock characters, items, and other features so you can continue your game.
4 Pokemon Masters EX
Another iconic name in gaming, Pokemon has built its gacha game to make in-app purchase entirely optional. You can play the game 100% free, or pay for extras or faster boosts. New stories are also available to play with class trainers from previous games.
You work to build your team for 3v3 battles with other trainers. Patterns are the typical objectives of all Pokemon games – catch them all and fight to become the best trainer in the world.
3 Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
EA, Lucas, and Disney are teaming up to bring you a mobile RPG with a collectible card format that lets you build your dream team of iconic Star Wars characters and battle them against other parties. You can participate in Light Side Character Campaigns or Dark Side Character Campaigns, depending on which side you personally choose to be on.
In-app purchases are required for some characters and game progress, but other purchases are completely optional. How much money you invest in Galaxy of Heroes is up to you.
2 Marvel Strike Force
Marvel and Disney have released several gacha games, but Strike Force has been the most successful, overall. It’s a turn-based RPG with single and multiplayer options. A wide array of classic Marvel characters are available to play with (and against) – and the roster is constantly being updated.
The real-time arena game makes the game battle-based, with a less strong storyline, but it hits the plot points of the comics and movies. In-app purchases are primarily used to unlock characters and gear, although they are not required to play.
1 Genshin Impact
A cute and fun RPG with a fully plotted storyline, Genshin Impact has fantasy elements mixed with action-adventure in an open-world format. There are always new characters added, as well as weapons, all of which you can earn by playing in Wish events – or you can buy them outright.
However, all purchases are completely optional and the game is playable without paying any money. Genshin’s co-op mode is limited, but as a solitaire game it offers countless hours of content for free.
NEXT: Genshin Impact: Things You Can Do in Co-op Mode
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