Is Black Desert “Pay To Win”?


Is Black Desert “Pay To Win”?

Black Desert Online is probably one of the most exciting video games right now. Due to its nature as a sandbox MMORPG, all kinds of players are attracted to the game. The developers and producers call it a “free-to-play” game,  but some players tend to disagree. Is Black Desert a “pay to win” game hiding behind a f2p cover to attract more players?

Black Desert and its mobile version, Black Desert Mobile, are not “Pay To Win” games. Most of the items offered in the shop are for aesthetics and other trivial game mechanics. Seasonal costumes, pets, and other in-game items are available in the game as long as the player can grind. 

Black Desert Online is a multi-platform sandbox MMORPG developed by Pearl Abyss. It was released for PC in 2015, but later on received ports for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile. It’s a game where you can build your camps and play with other players to kill world bosses. Quite a fun game to play whether you’re a lone wolf or playing with friends. 

There are two monetary systems used by the player’s Pearls and Black Pearls. Black Pearls are acquired by playing the game and finishing daily quests. On the other hand, Pearls are paid using real money. With two monetary options, players have more options when it comes to advancing the game. 

However, many players wonder if the game offers a free-to-play experience or hiding a pay-to-win mechanism. Is it worth the grind for items you can get by buying pearls? And if you want to buy something, is it worth the purchase? 

This article will review the Black Desert and Black Desert Mobile’s economy and in-game purchases. Is it better if you grind for items or spend for Pearls instead? Is buying items worth it in this game or not? Will the paid items to give a considerable advantage or not?   Let’s find out! 

Is Black Desert Pay To Win? 

Pay-to-win games are frowned upon by a lot of gamers in the industry. Such systems are seen as unfair for players who legitimately allot time to make the grind. However, there is a massive difference between P2W and F2P games. Not all F2P games are P2W. One example of non-P2W, F2P games is Black Desert, and here are the reasons why.

Reason 1: Item Shops Galore 

Black Desert has tons of items available on the in-game shop. All of these can be bought using Black Pearls, which can be acquired by doing missions. Even so, the majority of these items are skippable. In fact, expert players recommend skipping buying certain items because those do not make your skills better. 

If the player is into cosmetics (costumes, interiors, beauty, and more), then it’s really up to personal preference. You can spend money to look good and have some advantage on the aesthetic side. For casual players who just want to spend their time having some fun, they don’t have to pay anything to enjoy the game fully. 

Reason 2: You Can Get The Items Later

Yes, you can get items for free later on. Better items are given by doing quests, receiving daily rewards, gaining up loyalty points, and even trading with other players. Even pets are acquirable by just playing the game as it is. Players who complain about not receiving pets while playing for free are often those who skip missions. 

Reason 3: Automatic Grinding (AFK Farming) 

Building AFK farms are the best ways to process materials such as copper automatically. These farms are also used to train horses and more. It is another good reason not to pay for functions that can make your life easier. 

Players can develop AFK farms if they know what they’re doing and if they’re willing to take the grind to make it possible. 

Reason 4: You Need Skills To Advance

Players need skills, study item types, and read the game economy to win in this game. Your character’s strength mainly depends on how you develop your gears and weapons. Here’s an example: you have a friend, Michael, who bought tons of items to upgrade armor and weapons. However, Michael didn’t know how to do a proper fail stacking and failed to get good equipment. 

Meanwhile, your friend Ryan knows the essentials of fail stacking. Even though he only got his items from playing the game daily, his failing stacking skills gave him better equipment. It’s possible to get top-tier items if you know what you’re doing and if you can spot deals from the Player Market. 

Reason 5: Seasonal Cosmetics

Cosmetics is largely based on the player’s preference. But that doesn’t mean that free players don’t have a chance to win cosmetic items. Seasonal cosmetics are obtainable via events and defeating world bosses all around the map. 


Take note: some events are one-time challenges only. If you want to obtain a seasonal skin, you need to gear up and go on a grinding spot to level up. Otherwise, you can wait for it to be on sale at player markets. 

Reason 6: The Player Marketplace

Another good reason you don’t have to spend money in the game is Marketplace’s existence. Players can buy and sell their items from other players. These marketplaces are available at Heidel, Calpheon, Altinova, and other large towns. Because the prices in this marketplace depend on the supply and demand, get ready to pay more for rarer items. 

Reason 7: Only PvP Will Require Armour Advantage

Finally, only PvP requires a good set of armor, just like other sandbox games. Armor level difference will only be noticeable if you’re going to PvP. For example, if you fight a player with slightly better armor, there’s a great chance that that slight advantage can tell victory or defeat. 

For casual players who just want to progress in the game, you can get by and make better items from loots and rewards. It’s especially enjoyable if you’re a player who likes to build clans and make it better over time.

Is Black Desert Mobile Pay To Win? 

Like its PC and console counterpart, Black Desert Mobile can only be considered Pay to win if you intend to be competitive on the PvP level. It’s not even the case if you’re good at enhancing your gear. Although admittedly, it requires a lot of time and effort to grind. If you enjoy Black Desert Online, you’ll probably enjoy Black Desert Mobile too. 

Microtransactions are available for players who want to play the game at a faster pace. Most items in this category are for costumes and customizations, just like its PC and console counterparts. 

Is Black Desert Mobile Worth Playing? 

Black Desert Mobile is designed for people who are quite busy to play the game in console or PC versions. It is slightly different from its PC counterpart, but not so different that you’ll find it unenjoyable. Casual players will also love this game, as it can stand alone on its own. Even if you’re not a Black Desert player, you can still enjoy the game. 

One of the biggest reasons why players love Black Desert Mobile is its top-notch graphics. It has gorgeous graphics for a mobile game. Some players even commend the mobile version because the aesthetics are pretty close to the PC and console versions. The Mobile version of PC games is known for having low-quality graphics, which is not the case in BDM. 

Albeit having great graphics, the Black Desert Mobile game is not a resource-intensive app. As long as your phone has at least 2GB of RAM and the right OS version (Android 5 and iOS 11 or higher), you can play the game smoothly. The game is available on both Android and iOS, with players from over 150 countries worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no support for moving characters from one server to another. 

Players don’t need to rank up to enjoy this game. The PvP is only an additional fun activity in which you can show your hard-earned gears and strength. There is a story mode which you can play if you want to play alone. But overall, you only have to pay if you’re going to have strong characters and gears faster. 

Guilds are like “camps” from the PC version. Players can join any guild starting from level 1. However, you need to have at least 400,000 silvers and level 30 to make your guild. Being a guild member is almost essential if you want to receive daily rewards and event stuff. There is also a guild boss option called the Guild Rush, in which participants and members can win special items.

Final Thoughts

And that’s it for Black Desert Online and Black Desert Mobile review. Both games have microtransaction options but not that overpowering. Buying pearls are totally skippable because the paid items only matter on PvP matches. If you’re just looking for a fun and long-term way to pass the time, both games are great options. Enjoy the game!

You can order your copy of Black Desert: Prestige Edition – Xbox One at Amazon.com

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