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Over the years, video games have evolved tremendously. We no longer play on black and white screens; F2P games are being released everyday and advanced graphics games are common now. We all have the advancement of technology to thank these innovations.

But as technology progressed, so did the profitability of the gaming industry. The mobile gaming industry market generated around $138.7 billion in revenue in 2018. So, when we take a look at this figure, this isn’t a joke. This spawned a lot of companies and individual developers dedicating their whole career around making games.

As games evolved, we have seen it take multiple forms. First, it was paid to play now the most common mobile game form is free to play. We know that developers make money out of these from in-game transactions. But what are the reasons why these games have 2 currencies? That’s what we’re going to find out in this article.

What Are In-Game Currencies in f2p games?

What Are In-Game Currencies

We know that free to play game developers make money by making players buy in-game items such as extra levels, characters, costumes and more. But how do we buy these things in the game using real money?

That’s where virtual currencies come in. In order to give you money to spend in the game, your real money is converted to its equivalent virtual currency in the game. This makes it easier to buy things inside the game.

Games Having 2 Currencies

We now know that virtual currencies are used to purchase items in many f2p games, but why are there 2 currencies in most games? Isn’t this going to confuse players? Is it just a tactic by the developers?

We’re going to list down the reasons why developers do this. But first, let’s define the 2 currencies.

Soft currency – The first currency is called the “Soft currency”. These are usually called coins or gold, but it depends on the game. In the Clash games made by Supercell, they call these gold which is given to players freely. They can also be collected by doing certain things or accomplishing tasks.

Premium currency – The “premium currency” is self-explanatory. These are the currency that you’ll need real money in order to obtain. Sometimes games give this premium currency freely but in low quantities, other games don’t. But the premium currency usually has more value since this allows you to buy all the items they’re offering in the game.

Why Do Games Gave 2 Currencies

So, what’s the reason why there are 2 currencies in f2p games? Here are they:

  • The developers want the player to get hooked into the game using the soft currency at first. This way, the player will spend that budget into whatever he wants in the game. This creates a psychological effect on the player.
  • It helps the developer separate items that are purchasable things from things that aren’t for sale in the game.
  • The existence of soft currency gives players reasons to play the game. Then, as they progress and buy things, they find that they need more money to buy more luxury items that cost “premium currency”. They then spend real money to acquire this currency to spend in the game.
  • By giving players a taste of the power of the currency (soft currency) early on, they’re enticing players to spend more time playing the game. When they are hooked, they are much more likely to spend real money on the premium currency as opposed to having just one currency. When there is only one currency, the players won’t be invested as much as they would with the 2-currency system.

Are F2P Games With The Dual Currency System Successful?

Are F2P Games With The Dual Currency System Successful

So, are games with dual currency more successful than games with only one currency? The short answer is yes. The dual currency system is used almost on every game platform whether its PC, mobile or consoles.

The dual currency system in f2p games provides more control and creates an illusion of interesting choices for players. This is the biggest reason why these games are so successful. If we look at popular games with this system such as Clash of Clans, they actually have four currencies: Gold, Elixir, Dark Elixir and Gems. They call the first three resources and they can be collected freely inside the game. But you need to wait for a certain time before you can collect these resources again. So, the fourth currency which is the premium one is the “gems”.

The gems are the ones you’ll obtain once you pay real money. These gems can do a lot of things in CoC such as speed up the process of collecting the three resources. Or, they can be used to buy items that are otherwise aren’t available to purchase using soft currencies.

They’ve done this with their other successful games too such as Clash Royale and Brawl Stars. In fact, this dual currency system is now the norm for most F2P games in the mobile gaming industry. So, if big and popular games do it, that means the strategy is working effectively.



There you have it, those are the psychological reasons why developers made the dual currency system. Hopefully, you’re now more aware of the tactic’s developers use in their quest to monetize their games. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be in obsessive amounts.

So, the next time you play any of your favorite f2p games, think about whether you really want to pay for something, or you’re just being conned. In any case, if you spend real money on these P2P (Pay-to-play) games, it’s your choice. But try not to do it for the sake of gaining items fast because that’s how you get caught in their trap.