The best gacha games for 2023

Screenshot from Genshin Impact

Screenshot from Genshin Impact

Looking for your next mobile obsession? It's time to read up on the best gacha games around. Whether you like to pull for characters, equipment, or just some cute outfits, gacha titles are an exceptionally popular and infinitely rewarding style of mobile game with enough genre variety to appeal to nearly everybody.

Our list will look at some gacha games that come highly recommended for beginners and seasoned veterans alike. We'll break down the key concepts behind each game, so you can get a feel for them before choosing which to download.

Here are the best gacha games

Dragalia Lost is one of the best gacha games around.
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Dragalia Lost

Genre: Action-RPG

Sadly Dragalia Lost's servers have now shut down for good, but it's still worth celebrating this gacha hit.

Published by Nintendo and developed by DeNA, Dragalia Lost is a really diverse game, having crossed over with properties like Monster Hunter, Persona, Mega Man, Fire Emblem, and even Princess Connect in the past. That's a lot of gacha potential already and certainly enough to make it one of the best gacha games around.

Things start off simple enough. You play as Euden, the prince of Alberia, a kingdom in a world that once embraced dragons that finds itself in a complicated war of succession at the hands of a demonic empire. After making a pact with a wyvern, Euden and his band of merry men go off in search of his kidnapped sister.

While he certainly finds friendships in a kingdom of his own creation, his worldly travels ultimately uncover deceit, betrayal, multiple backstabbings, dark deals, identity crises, and ancient enemies.

In terms of gacha, Dragalia Lost is one of the most generous entries out there. You do it through the Summoning system where you use in-game items such as Wyrmite, Diamantium, or Summon Vouchers to roll. Plenty of these are dished out for free through story chapters, events, log-in rewards, and celebrations.

New characters and dragons are introduced regularly and have heaps of backstory to get you invested. Most shake up the meta, making it necessary to build hyper-specific teams for its dizzying amount of complex action-RPG boss battles. It would be a dangerous path to tread down if not for its generosity.

AFK Arena is one of the best gacha games around.
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AFK Arena

Genre: 2D Arena RPG

Next is another wildly popular gacha game. As the name suggests, AFK Arena is perfect if you can’t always sit at your phone, as you can earn rewards just by leaving it running in the background. It takes place in the world of Esperia, where you battle enemies, collect rare items, and seek to conquer the entire map. Objectives are purposefully short and simple to complete, meaning you can fit AFK Arena around your schedule.

On top of the generous gameplay, the gacha elements here are well done, earning it a place on the best gacha games list. Free rewards are tossed at you on a near-constant basis, ensuring any premium pulls you do still feel worthwhile and special. Some spins have greater odds of unlocking certain characters over others, meaning if you’ve got a favourite in mind, you’re told how you can boost your chances. That sounds pretty accessible to us.

Genshin Impact is one of the best gacha games around.
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Genshin Impact

Genre: Open-World RPG

Genshin Impact is arguably the most popular gacha game out there right now. It’s helped by a much wider release, available on PlayStation consoles and PC, as well as mobile devices. Mihoyo’s behemoth RPG takes place in Teyvat, where you play as a twin traveling across the landscape to find their missing sibling. For all intents and purposes, it's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with anime waifus, husbandos, with both a world and storyline that grows and expands every six weeks or so.

As it’s free-to-play, Genshin Impact makes its money from gacha mechanics. Like most, this boils down to character and equipment banners that change around every six weeks, offering new characters tied to the storyline or a bunch of weapons you can use to lightly tweak or augment their combat skills.

As addictive and flashy as Genshin Impact's real-time combat is, you're only able to take four characters into battle at any one time. You won't notice it early on, but as you pull for more and more new and exciting characters, deciding which to use in your team can get difficult, diluting the experience somewhat. That doesn't make its gameplay any less engaging, though.

Arknights is one of the best gacha games around.
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Genre: Tower Defense

Tower Defense continues to be an addicting and ever-alluring genre, making it a great fit for the natural draw of a classic gacha system and noteworthy addition to this best gacha games list.

In Arknights, rather than building cannons or turrets, each ‘tower’ is a human character or 'Operator'. As such, your tower arsenal isn't a bunch of immediately erectable structures, but an army of close to 200 guys and girls with names like Beeswax, Croissant, and Gravel. What's not to love?

In battle, each of these individuals use their unique skillset to ward off waves of enemies. It's an easy-to-understand concept with a ridiculous and ever-expanding level of depth. How you decide which few will accompany you into battle will dramatically affect your chances of success before the first enemy even leaves the gate.

As such, the gacha element plays a big part in your eventual success as well. With it, you're given the chance to randomly unlock new operators to bolster your defenses and flesh out your final strategy. Though it didn't launch with a PVP system, which plenty of gacha fans see as the main reason to spend more and more, Arknights has since brought the feature into the game as an optional mode. If you want to be king or queen of the whales, the option is there. Otherwise, just pull to get you through the campaign. It's certainly one of the best gacha games around.

Tales of Crestoria is one of the best gacha games around.
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Tales of Crestoria

Genre: Turn-based JRPG

Developed by Bandai Namco, Tales of Crestoria is the latest in the long-running Tales franchise, which started in 1995. The latest in the series launched exclusively on iOS and Android in 2020, where you play as Kanata, a boy who forms a group of low-level criminals to overthrow the authoritarian regime that made them all outcasts.

As you can imagine, its sizeable roster of characters is which is where the gacha elements come in. The Summon system gives you a randomly selected Memoria Stone, which contains a character’s abilities and, if powerful enough, the character themselves. Whether you get a character stone or just an ability stone boils down to luck. If you get lucky, you’ve got another team member to join you on this sprawling 3D RPG adventure.

Another Eden is one of the best gacha games around.
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Another Eden

Genre: Turn-based RPG

Released in 2017, Another Eden (subtitled The Cat Beyond Time and Space) is a plot-heavy turn-based RPG. There's no shortage of these types of mobile games these days, but the anime art style and focus on team synergy and power really highlights its unique take on the traditional character-based gacha system.

You won't find need daily spins or log-in rewards here. Instead, this side-scrolling JRPG instead focusing on its story. You play as Aldo as he and his sister Feinne encounter a time-warping Beast King, who propels Aldo centuries into the future. You explore its 2.5D world on foot similar to a SNES-era game like Secret of Mana, with random turn-based battles kicking in as you explore the wilderness.

Another Eden’s business model is different from a lot of mobile games and its gacha system follows that trend. By completing story chapters for Chronos Stones, you can buy characters outright, dodging the gacha system entirely. If you’d rather spend some money to speed up your progression, you can pay to pull to your heart's content in the Star Dreaming Hall instead. Its freedom of choice earns it a top spot on this list of the best gacha games around.

Marvel Strike Force is one of the best gacha games around.
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Marvel Strike Force

Genre: Turn-based RPG

Prior to the recent release of Marvel Future Revolution, the main Marvel game on mobile was Strike Force. Similar to its successor, you can play as a range of Marvel heroes and villains, from Iron Man to obscure characters like Omega Red. Once you’ve got your roster together, it’s a battle to stop Ultimus—think Galactus but even more threatening—before the world is destroyed.

How you manage that depends entirely on the team you pull and the characters you choose to train up. Marvel Strike Force features a free Daily Spin system. You won't get characters this way, but the materials and in-game cash it frequently awards can scratch that gacha itch whenever you don't have the premium currency needed to perform a proper pull.

But that's not the only way to build up your team. There's more to this than trying your luck. Just keep your team capable of pushing through the main campaign and event missions and you should be able to keep the pulls coming.

Gacha World is one of the best gacha games around.
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Gacha World

Genre: Arcade

No prizes for guessing what this one’s about! This very meta entry in the gacha genre has no plot, instead marketing itself as a Japanese arcade you can access on the go. The most interesting part is that the prizes you get from spins are real: collect enough of them and you can get those gifts delivered to your door. Talk about bridging the gap between games and real-life!

Unsurprisingly, gacha spins are the name of the game here. However, they come at a price, as you have to spend diamonds to spin. You get 1,000 free diamonds when you first sign up, but from there they'll either cost real money or can be earned by watching ads. It makes sense since the prizes aren’t free, but you’ll need a good amount of diamonds if you want to spin a lot. Its premise is very unique, making Gacha World the most on-point entry on this list.

Girls' Frontline is one of the best gacha games around.
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Girls’ Frontline

Genre: Strategy RPG

This SRPG developed by MICA Team gives players control of armed T-Dolls: powerful robots that you'd never guess weren't highly trained human girls.

Through its gacha system, you pull to assemble your T-Doll echelon before sending them into the pixelated battlefield. Combat is mostly turn-based but spiced up with the manual activation of each girl's innate and unique skills. To win, you simply have to overwhelm the enemy with more kills, but there are some funky end-game abilities to top things off; like choosing to capture, interrogate, or execute tangoes.

The gacha system in Girls’ Frontline is quite straightforward: if you want more T-Dolls, you’ve got to roll and hope for the best. You get a random drop after each battle, and the contents of the drop depend on how many in-game rewards you sacrifice before spinning. This also works for equipment, which you use to boost each T-Doll’s in-game stats. There’s also a separate gacha system for earning cosmetic items for the T-Dolls’ dormitories, making this a very gacha-heavy experience.

Fire Emblem Heroes is one of the best gacha games around.
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Fire Emblem Heroes

Genre: Turn-based Tactical Strategy

Next on this list of the best gacha games around is the ever-popular Fire Emblem Heroes. This mobile spin-off of the beloved strategy series is actually Nintendo’s highest-grossing gacha game to date, beating out the immediate success of Mario Kart Tour. In this installment, you fight alongside the Kingdom of Askr in their ceaseless battle against the Order of Heroes, with characters heavily influenced by Norse culture.

A familiar gacha system is used here to randomly unlock characters from across the wider Fire Emblem universe. You spend in-game Orbs on these rolls, which will give you one of the 700+ playable characters in Fire Emblem Heroes. Plenty of these can be unlocked by progressing through its lengthy story, but leaving your future team in the hands of Lady Luck is a big part of the game's allure.

Given how recent Fire Emblem games have seen success not necessarily through their tactical gameplay, but due to their character romance and offspring systems, pulling for a past love from previous games is often the aim: especially if they arrive with a fun seasonal costume and fresh voice lines.

Screenshot from Azur Lane, showing three shipgirls ready for combat
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Azur Lane

Genre: Side-scrolling shoot-em-up

This sci-fi mashup follows an alternate history, where robots based on battleships are fighting one another for the future of the world. You control shipgirls from countries like the United States and USSR, organising fleets and shooting other enemies.

With a range of shipgirls to unlock and use, it's no surprise that Azur Lane has an extensive gacha system. You head to the Building tab to get started on crafting a new ship. It requires Cores, which you unlock through winning battles, completing weekly objectives, and redeeming login rewards. From there, you'll randomly spin to see which ship parts you get - which once combined, earn you a new shipgirl.

Screenshot from Seven Knights 2, showing several Knights preparing for battle
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Seven Knights 2

Genre: Squad-based RPG

After years of anticipation, the long-awaited Seven Knights 2 finally released in November 2021. This follow-up to Netmarble's original brings back the squad-battle mechanics, with even more characters to add to your troupe. As you can expect, that's where gacha comes into play, as you spin to see which characters you can unlock.

You can have four characters in your squad, so plenty of spinning is required to get the fighters you want. It's done through the Summons menu, where you can spend your Summon Tickets to randomly roll for a character. From there, you can formulate the team you want, continuing Rudy's story in this stunning 3D RPG.

Screenshot from Blue Archive, showing three characters in battle on a desert landscape
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Blue Archive

Genre: Squad-based RPG

The latest release from NEXON Company is a team-based RPG with a focus on military combat. As the leader of a school of girls, your quest is to turn them into unbeatable soldiers, fighting the oppressive forces of a maniacal government

Of course, gacha is at the heart of Blue Archive. Characters have a proficiency in a range of approaches, either attack, tank, support, or healer. With a maximum of three students on your team, you have to balance up skills. Luckily the gacha system is nice and generous with plenty of chances to get new fighters, so if it's plenty of spins you want, Blue Archive is the way to go.

Screenshot from Figure Fantasy, showing several small figurines carrying a book on a desk
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Figure Fantasy

Genre: Idle figurine RPG

Figure Fantasy is all about toys; collecting small plastic figures to add to your collection, ready for battle. It's a reasonably new game too, so there's no better time than the present to dive into it. Think Toy Story meets Final Fantasy, and you're somewhere near what Figure Fantasy can offer.

It's a gacha game at its core too, with a range of figures to add to your roster. There's a range of boxes on offer to open, and if you want to get the best figurines in the game, then you'll need to play through plenty of levels, fighting everything from giant cats to plasticine tanks. If you like your gacha games slightly smaller in scale, then Figure Fantasy is definitely one to look out for.

There you have it: the gacha games worth checking out whether you’re new to the genre or a seasoned veteran. Whichever one you choose, we wish you happy spinning! Just be careful opening up that wallet. With so many new units being added to these types of games all the time, the odds of getting a specific one are typically very low. Don't get sucked into paying more than you can afford. Just enjoy the ride.

If you want some help in a few of the games you'll find on this list, we've got you covered. Check out our Genshin Impact tier list and AFK Arena tier list for two helpful guides. That's alongside a Wild Rift tier list for the League of Legends spin-off.

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