Gacha Game Rate-Ups: What They Are & How They Work

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All gacha banners feature a pool of items that have different drop rates. These rates determine how likely it is that you’ll get a specific item. And most gacha games have featured rate-up items in their banners.

Rate-ups are items that have their drop rate increased for that specific banner – but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually get that item. It just increases the chances of you getting it.

Games can have different mechanics in how their RNG works, but most of them follow this order: RNG first decides the rarity rank you get and then decides which item you get among all items with that same rarity rank.

So there are actually two drop rates that determine which item you receive:

  1. Base rate is the % chance of you getting a certain rarity rank vs other rarity ranks
  2. Specific rate is the % chance of you getting a specific item vs all other items with the same rarity – rate-ups usually increase this one

As an example, let’s take a look at how Genshin Impact’s event banner works.

Genshin rarity drop rates / Genshin Impact
Genshin rarity drop rates

This is the list of their rarity base rates:

  • 5-star characters have a 0.6% drop rate
  • 4-star items have a 5.1% drop rate
  • 3-star items have a 94.3% drop rate
Genshin’s 50/50 system / Genshin Impact
Genshin’s 50/50 system

Additionally, Genshin Impact has a 50/50 system.

This means that you have a 50% chance of getting the rate-up character and a 50% chance of getting another 5-star character (not the rate-up one) – this serves as the specific rate.

And when visualized, their character event banner works like this:

(Click for full-size)

As a comparison, this is how Genshin’s standard banner system works – it doesn’t have a rate-up.

(Click for full-size)

You can notice a significant increase in the specific rate of rate-up items vs non-rate-up items.

This increase differs for every game. Some gacha games even offer a 100% specific rate for the rate-up item in their event banners.

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Maeri Mgdrg

Maeri is an avid gacha player currently in the clutches of Genshin Impact. She mainly focuses on character analyses, underlying game mechanics, and occasionally reading game code. She also yearns for the day that Dainsleif is finally playable.