Last Updated on February 5, 2022 by Anastasios Antoniadis
We feature the best gacha games for Android and iOS in our 2021 revision list. The majority of the titles are free-to-play, and we tried to include F2P-friendly games or at least games that won’t rip you off.
Gamers who purchase Gacha games generally obtain time-limited exclusives and new, evolving content.
When you are new to the gacha genre, it is evident that you will become confused when picking the best one because there are tons of games available for download. Worry not if you’re tired of trying or bored with your current one. There is sure to be a game to suit your preference in this collection.
Popular gacha games I am not fond of (anymore)
Before we start with the list of games I like and recommend, I would like to throw in some games that fans of franchises may like, but I did not, or I eventually quit. That’s either due to the lack of content, a flat combat system, or the P2W nature of some games.
Let’s see them:
- Azur Lane
- Bleach: Brave Souls
- DISGAEA RPG
- Dragon Ball Legends
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
- Fire Emblem Heroes
- Summoners War
- The Alchemist Code
You will find these games on most other best gacha games lists, so they are somewhat honorable mentions. I am not a fan of gacha Final Fantasy games, even though I love the franchise.
BBS has been great for many years, and it’s excellent for Bleach fans, but Genshin Impact has brought the action RPG gacha Genre to another level on mobile. Summoners War remains a classic, but you will find better idle games you can play on auto on this list that are more f2p friendly.
Gacha(?) games I look forward to
Like everyone else, I look forward to the global release of Blue Protocol. No introduction is necessary here. The other one is Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds.
The game has only recently launched in Japan, but it will launch worldwide in 2022, and visually it gives me Genshin Impact vibes. The game has more than 100,000,000 downloads in Japan and has some common mechanisms with Lineage 2 and other popular MMOs by Netmarble.
The game may look similar to Breath of the Wild, but honestly, that’s just another indication of how great it is. Genshin Impact comes with a compelling story, great characters, and a great combat system and mechanics. It doesn’t come without shortcomings, of course, as players complain about the limited amount of freebies we get compared to other games, but it is still worth exploring.
This is a visually stunning game and one of the best action RPGs on any platform, including mobile devices. You can find more information on the playable characters, and make sure to check our Genshin Impact tier list.
Archero is very different from the other games in this list, as it is not RPG at its core. Instead, it’s a very innovative dungeon crawler. There is some sort of gacha system that players can utilize to get better characters and generate some revenue for the developers.
The great thing about archero is that you won’t have to spend anything on the game if you don’t want to, and you will still be able to get a bunch of decent of good characters and clear most of the game’s content at a relatively fast pace. Archero is a game worth playing as it is delightful, and it doesn’t require the commitment and grind of other gacha games, especially gacha RPGs. If you are looking to give Archero a go, make sure to look at our Archero tier list for the best characters, weapons, and abilities.
RAID: Shadow Legends
Plarium’s marketing strategies may be annoying to most people, but very few gacha games have the strategic depth RAID: Shadow Legends brings to the table. Visually, the game looks great, and it comes with a ton of champions you can acquire and multiple different PvE and PvP game modes.
Punishing Gray Raven
PGR was one of my favorite action gacha RPGs in 2021. It might as well be the best mobile action RPG and the best gacha game released in 2021, just like Genshin Impact was in 2020. For those who may feel a bit lost in Genshin Impact’s open-world experience, Punishing Gray Raven comes with a sequential campaign, along with unique boss fights and Co-op.
The combat system is impressive, and its graphics are stunning, creating a fantastic, moody cyberpunk atmosphere. You can get started with our Punishing Gray Raven tier list and promo codes for free rewards early on.
While it essentially has 2D graphics, AFK Arena deserves a place close to the top. This is an idle RPG and an amiable game for free-to-play players. Trust me, I’ve been playing AFK Arena for more than a year, and I never felt overwhelmed by it.
The grind in AFK Arena might as well be among the least time-consuming ones on this list. I don’t love the graphics, there is not much of a story to the game, but the heroes and team compositions are pretty cool. In the past few months, I’m more hooked on RAID, to be honest, as I find it more complex than AFK Arena, but overall this is a game worth trying out and one of the best gacha games out there, especially for fans of “Auto” mode in combat.
One of the less popular games in the gacha category, Another Eden, is very good. We have the same creators of both the story and the music on Chrono Trigger. Chrono Trigger-like elements are found throughout the game, including time travel and other story and design elements. This might be enough reason to play Another Eden, although I feel too old for this type of graphics and gameplay.
Currently, the gacha element is relatively small, but we expect it to grow over time. Mobile RPG mechanics are different from traditional ones. Like early console JRPGs, you travel across a map and participate in story missions instead of the usual missions-style gameplay. It’s surprisingly good, even though it’s different from most gacha games.
You can get started by checking our Another Eden tier list.
Guardian Tales is inspired by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, so you will get retro-pixel graphics in this game. While this is not ideal for many gamers in 2021, it brings back nostalgia, while focusing on a nice story and some really nice 2D visual effects during combat.
Guardian Tales has a great system that doesn’t systematically prevent free-to-play gamers from enjoying themselves. Players are able to unlock many characters and costumes by playing the game.
The Gacha aspect allows you to accumulate lots of currency gems quickly. The advantage of this Gacha game is that it isn’t required to play the game and explore it fully. it just makes the grind for equipment and character shards easier.
The Korean publisher Smilegate has one of the most popular free-to-play gacha games in its portfolio, called Epic Seven. Since 2018, the game has been available on smartphones and downloaded several million times on Android alone.
The game is an RPG based heavily on character collection and development. Units can be acquired via gacha though Epic Seven offers multiple character acquisition methods.
There is a lot of content in Epic Seven that can be overwhelming at first, but the more time you spend playing it, the faster you’ll become accustomed to it. It’s easy to get sucked into the game thanks to its excellent visuals, dynamic clashes, and eye-pleasing production style.
This is another gacha game that offers promo codes for free rewards to get you started.
Exos Heroes is another hugely underrated gacha game that is updated frequently and gets new additions regularly.
Most of the best gacha games have RPG elements that make them great for this list of games to play in 2021, and Exos Heroes delivers on that perfectly with the Guardian Stone system to add more fun to strategic battles! Add to the that the fact that it looks absolutely stunning!
Besides the incredible graphics, the game offers more than 250 characters that you can unlock and play.
Pokemon Masters Ex
Just the fact that Pokemon Masters Ex is a Pokemon game available on smartphones is enough of a reason to be on this list. But it is going further than that; this is a great Pokemon game for those who want to engage in old-school Pokemon battles between trainers. The difference?
The battles in Pokemon Masters Ex are real-time! The game looks excellent overall, so it’s worth looking into.
Princess Connect! Re: Dive
Princess Connect! Re: Dive was actually launched in Japan many years ago, but it wasn’t released in the rest of the world until 2021. The game is a light gacha with RPG mechanics. The game features over 50 characters that you can summon, level up, and equip.
The bond rating of a character unlocks extra quests and other features. This one stands out from the pack by combining a solid combat system, online PvP game content, and a decent story along with a nice soundtrack.
Dragonalia Lost is the second Nintendo game available on smartphones. Dragonalia Lost primarily focuses on single-player content, though it does offer optional co-op for up to four players. It follows the standard action-RPG formula. The game’s objective is to fight opponents and defeat bosses to gain experience points and items needed for development.
These items are then spent on upgrading equipment. As in many mobile games, new characters are gained from gacha summons, using in-game currency or real cash. There is no doubt that the chibi-style graphics appeal to many, though not everyone will enjoy it.
Fate/Grand Order was released in Japan in 2015, where it was a huge success, climbing instantly to the top of the highest-earning mobile games. The game was released worldwide two years later. Fans of the Fate anime franchise will definitely love this game.
Players assume the role of a master who summons servants in Fate/Grand Order. You can then develop your servants and engage in turn-based battles. There is a lot of content in Fate/Grand Order, so it’s a good choice for those who want to concentrate on one game. Make sure to protect your wallet from all the waifus, though.
Lord of Heroes
Despite being one of the newest games here, it is rising to fame fast. Thanks to its outstanding visuals and addictive gameplay reminiscent of classic JRPGs, Lord of Heroes could become one of many mobile hits.
The heroes in Lord of Heroes are classified according to their classes. This game relies a lot upon team composition, and along with the standard story mode, there are side quests and PvP modes.
Arknights is one of the newest games on the list, one that has quickly gained popularity. The game was first released in China in 2019 but wasn’t released worldwide for quite some time. Arknights owes its popularity to excellent visuals, addictive gameplay, and no pressure to spend real cash. This is a pleasant surprise especially from one of the best gacha games.
It is true that the gacha in Arknights is essential and acts as a source of new units. However, the gacha element does not dictate game progress. Overall, Arknights is a very F2P-friendly gacha game.
The game focuses on the tower defense formula, which has dominated Roblox games in the past few years or older Final Fantasy games and other RPGs.
The role of towers is played by characters that players have previously acquired. Players can upgrade the characters/towers with materials gained throughout the game. Besides PvE modes, the game also relies heavily on PvP competition, making it one of the best games available on mobile devices.
Marvel Strike Force
Marvel Strike Force is one of the best gacha games on Android and iOS, which lets you recruit your favorite superheroes like Spider-Man, The Hulk, and Iron Man and form the ultimate team.
There are not many Western gacha games that are tolerable, but this one is the cream of the crop. The RPG genre is prevalent in this game, and players can assemble a team with their favorite Marvel superheroes and fight against a new threat against the world.
Sadly, players have to spend a lot for new characters representing the newest PvP meta at launch, just like many other games. This gacha game is decent if you leave PvP alone and stick for the main story.
The NieR series is already one of the strongest brands on the JRPG market. Nier Reincarnation is a sequel to Nier Automata, set in an unspecified period. Contrary to most gacha games, NieR Reincarnation has a solid storyline, and for that reason alone, it deserves a spot in our best gacha games list. Thi
This is a story and gameplay-oriented JRPG with very light gacha elements, limited to weapons. It is worth exploring if you are a fan of the series.
Tales of Crestoria [Discontinued]
Tales of Crestoria is the newest in the long-running Tales series that’s been around since 1995. The most recent entry in the franchise was released exclusively on iOS and Android in 2020, with you filling the role of Kanata, a young man who creates a gang of low-level offenders to overthrow an oppressive regime that made them all outcasts.
The gacha content of this game comes in when you consider the game’s large cast of characters. Tales of Crestoria’s Summon system provides you with a randomly selected Memoria Stone, which includes a character’s skills and, if powerful enough, the character themselves. If you get a character stone or simply an ability stone, it all comes down to chance.
Sadly, Tales of Crestoria will reach the end of each life on February 7th, 2022.
To conclude, these are my current recommendations for the top gacha games of the year. If you believe I have missed any potential candidates for the best gacha games list, please get in touch with me. Nevertheless, I believe all the above games are worth trying for yourselves.