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The terms draw and pull are used interchangeably to describe the actions or results of a gacha. Many games in the series thematically use the term summon to describe the same.
Gacha are frequently associated with loot crates found in free-to-play titles outside the Final Fantasy franchise, since loot crates are essentially paid packages of random items. Within the franchise, however, purchases of loot crates are not necessary to play a gacha game, but can sometimes improve the odds of drawing better items.
Because gacha games are often considered on par with gambling because of their randomness and the tendency to involve real-world currency, they are regulated or barred outright in certain territories. China, for instance, requires gacha games to disclose odds. Belgium and the Netherlands have a full ban.
In Japan, "complete gacha" (requiring drawing multiple parts to complete a premium item) has been banned since 2012, while the other types of gacha require the publishers to declare the drop rates.
Games using gacha
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A forked gacha system was used. Within any given event period, the player could participate in one of two gacha spins: one for units, and a second for weapons used by those units. Each required Regalite to play.
Where a unit spin became available, it was either a standard spin (choice of 1 or 10) or a step-up spin (tiered spins with increasing rarity guaranteed per step up to a max of 250 Regalite for a 10-draw spin with one featured unit guaranteed). Any 10-draw spin could award an event item for the duration of the event. Some draws were only available to players who purchased Prime Regalite, and even if this was not the case, regular Regalite took precedence.
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Overlapping equipment draws are rotated weekly, or in time with current story events. The player can choose which draw to participate in, and spend Draw Tickets or accumulated Gems to attempt pull(s). Draw Tickets are 1:1, but do not guarantee a high pull. 500 Gems are equivalent to one Draw Ticket for the same odds. Within each draw is a 5,000 Gem "10+1 Multi-Draw", wherein 11 items are pulled including one guaranteed 5★ item. There is no guarantee that the item(s) carry Affinity for a player's current units, or that the same item is not pulled more than once. Even so, this can work to the advantage of the player, as duplicates can be fused up to three times to boost a relic's attributes. Native 5★ weapons can also be sold for valuable Power Stones, of which four are needed to limit-break a 5★ weapon once without a fusion (up to 12 for a max limit break).
Starting with client 1.10.0, if the player is able to pull a 5★ weapon for a unit not already on their reserve roster, the missing unit is awarded automatically, regardless of whether or not the player has completed an associated scenario.
As of August 2020, all draw banners guarantee that any 5-star relic obtained is for one of the units featured in a linked event; for example, if Sephiroth is part of a co-op raid event and Kefka is not, drawing from the attached banner will increase the odds of getting a greatsword tailored for him. The player will not receive 5-star relics for Kefka in any draw that does not feature him specifically.
As of late March 2022, new draw banners will not issue 4-star armor relics as have been provided since launch. Players will instead need to buy these relics with earned and/or purchased Gems at 10 Gems apiece.
While not a gacha game in and of itself, this title relies on gacha-style mechanics to acquire any of more than 30 heroes from the main series as possible units. For 99¢ apiece, players can randomly draw one hero to appear alongside the randomly-generated party in battle. Unlike the nameless job characters, only one copy of each purchased unit can appear per battle. Once a hero is drawn, they are removed from the pool of available units.
While it is possible to draw one free piece of equipment per day beginning at 5:00 AM PST/13:00 UTC, such equipment is often of lower rarity than found in the gacha Relic Draw. Relic Draws rotate periodically with in-game events, offering a chance at 5★ and 6★ relics that could prove advantageous in high-difficulty stages. Featured Relic Draws require accumulated Mythril stones or purchased Gems, with most guaranteeing one 5★ or better drop per draw. Though duplicates may also occur, they can be fused up to two times in order to boost the original relic's strength.
Some events have used roulette to award exclusive relics and rare materials. The player needs to obtain gambling chips from an accompanying dungeon. Only the highest-value spin is displayed if multiple spins are bought.
The gacha system is the most complex used in the series. Non-story units are frequently subject to lottery, which requires the use of special summon tickets or accumulated Lapis. There are several varieties of lottery summon as well, each requiring a specific ticket type. Standard Rare Summon Tickets guarantee a 3★ or better unit. Guaranteed 4★ Rare Summon Tickets are also available, requiring completion of certain advanced events or other high-ranking tasks.
As with the parent title, multiple gacha and shops are available. One summon costs 200 Visiore, while 10 summons are 2000 apiece. Most draws will contain a mix of units and summon cards. Special draws may also award exchange tokens for the Mog Shop.
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As a card battle game, a gacha system was used to acquire ★3 or better ability cards. This gacha rotated every two weeks. Players could use magicite or stocked Summon Tickets to draw new cards, with a chance at obtaining a maxed ability card, a Job card, a Legend card, or any combination of these special cards. Summon Tickets were dropped as area completion rewards, rare treasure chest rewards, Login Bonus items, or as part of the "Mobius Gift Box" loot crate available every 30 days from the last Gift Box purchase.
Some gacha draws awarded special prizes when a signature card from a set (called a "batch") appeared in a player's draw. The prizes could include accessories for Meia or Sarah, multiplayer stamps, or special Echoes for a given event.
gacha is a contraction of gachapon, a term used to describe the toys dispensed in plastic capsules from vending machines. The word itself is an onomatopoeia for the vending machine assembly as the "prize" tumbles toward the customer. Western audiences did not use the term until recently. but may be familiar with the concept through toys dispensed in plastic eggs from similar machines.In Japanese,
Several games may use "summon". Evocation is the act of calling upon or summoning a spirit, demon, god or other supernatural agent, in the Western mystery tradition. Comparable practices exist in many religions and magical traditions and may employ the use of mind-altering substances with and without uttered word formulas.