Is Clash Royale Pay-to-Win? Is It Worth Playing?

is clash royale pay to win

Clash Royale has rocketed up the lists of most played mobile games of all time, becoming an esport in the progress and making it possible to even earn money off the mobile game. But is Clash Royale pay-to-win and is it worth playing?

Clash Royale is definitely a Pay-to-Win game although it is not impossible to win as a free player. It still requires skill to win at the top levels although you will be at a massive disadvantage versus a paid player, especially as the meta shifts.

Let’s look at Clash Royale and why it is pay-to-win, what you get as a paid player versus a free player and whether it’s worth playing at all. So join me as we go into this game and learn all about it to see what the hype is all about.

Is Clash Royale Pay-to-Win Kind of Game?

Yes, Clash Royale is one of the more infamous pay-to-win games.

Purchasing things with real money will give that player an advantage over free-to-play players. This is mainly in the form of gem chests and leveling cards which will speed up your in-game progress much faster than a free player.

If you’ve ever played the game, you will quickly notice how often you get prompted to purchase items to speed up the game. A bit of money will quickly net you a max-level deck, which isn’t going to guarantee you a win, but get you most of the way there at least.

There is skill in using a max-level deck properly, and a new player that spends a lot of money in the game won’t know how to use this.

The main items you get through using real money are gold, cards and card upgrades, chests, emotes, starting tournaments, joining challenges, continuing lost special challenges, global tournament bonus rewards, pass royale and also allowing you to skip tiers.

The developer of Clash Royale, Supercell, is known for making games like Clash Royale that allow you to purchase things to speed up every aspect of the game. While most players won’t do this, it will encourage a small segment who are too impatient or want to win.

These games rely on this small percentage for the vast majority of their revenue.

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How Much Does Clash Royale Make in a Day?

Revenue streams and other data points show that Supercell’s $2.5 billion in revenue adds up to an average of around $2.3 million spent by players each day since launch. Supercell seems to consistently pull in $2 billion every year since launch.

The majority slice of this at 30 percent or some $750 million comes from the United States of America.

The app was one of the highest grossing on launch day, as for both iOS and Android in the top 46 countries it was receiving about $3.9 million per day in total. [1]

Is It Worth to Play Clash Royale?

As a free-to-play player, you can still compete with players at the top of the ladder and build up a strong deck if you play the game long enough. Therefore if you want to win in the game and don’t want to play, it is still possible to be very competitive.

Most of these games like Clash Royale reward you if you log in everyday. This can net you free chests, crown chests, and reward chests, allowing you to progress in this game if you keep playing.

As a free player, you are given a lot of rewards for consistently playing the game and this is the best way to get better at Clash Royale, and is also why it is considered a relatively free-to-play game. 

It will take a lot of grinding to get to this point, and the difference between free-to-play players and pay-to-win players will become a lot more apparent and the top end of the leaderboards.

Clash Royale is a blend of the extremely popular Clash of Clans mobile game. It is a real-time strategy, and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game similar to such massive titles as League of Legends.

Unlike Clash of Clans, however, Clash Royale has synchronous, real-time combat. This would require an absolutely huge amount of infrastructure and the game functions incredibly well considering the amount of technology needed to work together for it to be enjoyable.

You have a slate of characters that you can drop onto the battlefield, and once selected they start moving slowly toward the enemy’s defenses.

The field consists of two forts and a main castle with some bridges, which can be thought of as the combat lanes.

The main gameplay mechanic is via cards that can be selected at the bottom of the screen. 

You get a total of four to choose from, with them being limited by mana or time. While the gameplay is repetitive and simple, as to be expected of a mobile game, it does require some involved strategy to win. You do need to react quickly and be aware of interactions to win.

The cards have certain characters like giants that have more damage output, but will take longer to get to the enemy’s fort.

The battles can end within three minutes on average. The win condition for the game is to take out the enemy king’s fort. Otherwise, it is whoever destroys the most forts in the time limit.

If this condition is not met, then you go into a sudden death for one minute where the first to destroy something wins. Clash Royale is so exciting because many battles will be very close, requiring you to work hard right until the timer runs out.

Rewards come in the form of chests rewarded at the end of the game. Different types of chests release better loot, but here is where one of the pay-to-win mechanics comes in: it takes 15 seconds to open a wood chest. 

But, it takes three hours to open a silver one and eight hours for a gold chest. You get better loot as you go from wood to silver to gold, but to speed up this ridiculously slow opening time, you’ll need to spend gems.

While gems can be earned in combat, generally you’ll need to purchase with real money.

One common criticism by the playerbase is the apparent biased nature of the matchmaking algorithm. This happens often once you get a win streak going, as you are suddenly matched against a player with a deck that is the perfect counter to yours, so you lose.

This means you are constantly going on small winning streaks and loss streaks, gaining and losing trophies and not being able to build up the win streaks that get you such good prizes.

Supercell has not admitted this, but it makes sense that Supercell would program their game like this, as it would encourage players to keep playing to restore their win streak.

It is also important to realize that like all strategy games, the meta will shift over time. This has big complications for free players, as if the meta shifts away from your current deck, to max out another deck is going to take a lot of work and time to get the new deck up.

Paid players will therefore be at the advantage in this situation, as they can quickly switch to what are the more powerful decks, or even be the leaders in the situation forcing a switch to the new meta.

  • Ashley has fallen in love with computers and technology ever since playing a Super Nintendo at his friend's house. After building his own computer and learning how to fix it when it broke, he started doing a variety of tech-related jobs to get paid for his knowledge.