While developing games for mobile devices, should I consider implementing In-App Purchases like currency system (The users buy virtual "money" to get upgrades) or enabling users to buy specific items (Like for $1.00 get specified Weapon). Is this consider a good UX practice, and if it is, which method work best for the user?

  • 2
    in general, in-game 'upgrade' purchases tend to be an annoying user experience. – DA01 Feb 7 '13 at 5:54
  • I think you should rephrase the question to make it fit the purpose of the site (including adding a specific question) – edgarator Feb 7 '13 at 8:48

You should charge outright for the game instead. I find it frustrating when I get into a a game that is "incomplete" or where I need buy "toughness" to keep it up with good records or other players. With a limited number of exceptions I tend to delete these apps from my devices!

On the other hand, buying expansion packs, is not that annoying.


In my opinion, having "virtual currency" gives a user more flexibility and is less annoying as compared to buying individual upgrades. As a developer it gives you more flexibility because you may add more "upgrade" options without creating them on the Apple Portal.

You can have multiple "coin packs" ranging from small (having less number of coins and costing less) to large (in which you may decide to give a bulk-buying discount). So users may decide how much they want to spend at a given point.

  • I disagree. I find it annoying to have to buy a stash of some virtual currency ('coins') in order to do a purchase. First of all, it requires me to do another step. As opposed to doing the buy directly, I now have to first buy 'coins' and then use that to buy the upgrade itself. Second: after doing that upgrade, I am now left with some left over 'coins' that I have no use for. Nice profit for the game owner, but annoying for the user. – André Feb 7 '13 at 15:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.