I try not to make a habit of overindulging in games that rely heavily on gacha mechanics. It’s potentially addicting, and I’d rather play a game where I don’t have to gamble for its content. That said, gacha mechanics are becoming a bit of a mainstay whether we like it or not, so at the very least, if we have to put up with them, it’s nice that they’re guaranteed to pay out once in a while. On that subject, what is pity in gacha games?
A pity system in a gacha game stipulates that, for every specific number of rolls you make, you’re guaranteed at least one item of a higher quality. Basically, let’s say every nine rolls you make on the gacha are just the usual toss-up odds, but the tenth roll is guaranteed to be something you actually want, like a banner weapon or character. It’s called “pity” because it’s the system taking pity on you for rolling nothing but garbage multiple times in a row. How flattering.
Gacha Games Pity explained
To use a contemporary example, Genshin Impact’s gacha has a fairly well-defined pity system. Genshin’s gacha uses the same basic framework as the hypothetical I just used; if you make nine wishes on a banner and don’t get any characters or weapons of at least four-star quality, then on your tenth roll you’re guaranteed to get one.
This also applies to five-star characters and weapons, albeit in broader strokes. For weapons, you’re guaranteed a five-star if you don’t get one within 80 wishes, and for characters, you’re guaranteed a five-star if you don’t get one within 90 wishes. As for what you’ll actually get, it’s a fifty-fifty shot you’ll either get a weapon or character featured on the banner you rolled on or something completely random.
Each banner has its own hidden wish counter that resets whenever you roll a four or five-star item. If you’re trying to grind up wishes on a particular banner, you can wish on other banners without messing up your counter. And in the event the banner you’re working on expires, the counter will carry over to the next banner of the same type.