When to use a lootbox vs purchasing specific assets

I have a lot of character customization assets in my upcoming game that I want to sell. But I can’t decide which ones to sell via a lootbox crate, vs buying a specific item for a specific price. What do y’all usually take into account when deciding?



Personally, I’d like it to be the special, or rare things you sell as a crate, like a special outfit and hat or whatever that is exclusive to this update and is limited time…Where as I think the random stuff, or more generic, I think should be able to be bought separate. idk just my opinion. :stuck_out_tongue:

Unless by lootbox do you mean a randomized one?


Thanks! However I am not really sure I understand what you mean by special outfit/hat - I’d argue that everything for sale is special and exclusive in some sense. Do you mean exclusive in the sense that you can’t buy it with in-game currency but rather only robux?

And by lootbox I’m referring to the system where a person buys a product and can get one of a range of assets (first example that comes to mind is vehicle skins in jailbreak). I honestly didn’t realize the word referred to multiple things in the videogame world.

What I’m trying to determine is how making something a lootbox effects spending, and if players are more likely to spend on a lootbox or a specific item - as Jailbreak has both forms available.

I’d suggest using both to appeal to both types of buyers. Island royale does a good job at this, they offer the new items for a limited time, otherwise they would be obtainable from a loot box.

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If your lootbox system is accessible to people who don’t spend money, and you have a large supply of items to give out at random, it is possible to also straight up just sell popular items. This way, people are essentially paying to save time from looking through endless lootboxes.

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Hey, I’m planning on doing exactly the same thing on my upcoming game. Would be interested to hear people’s opinions.

Personally, I like the way Lab Experiment just uses crates. It gives you a handful of stuff each time you get a crate (usually by leveling up), which gives you quite a few possibilities for customization. It actually keeps things interesting since you never know what you’re going to get, and also keeps players playing since they want to level up to get more items. In ̶c̶o̶m̶b̶a̶t̶ less social games where characters are merely cosmetic, I think it also entices players to customize their character at all, since they might be more interested in playing the game than their appearance.

On the other hand, you could just allow players to buy the items. This basically only benefits those who dislike the randomness of crates. The items themselves would probably need to be more expensive than if you just bought a crate if you wanted to make money, and unless your game is extremely social, I doubt players would care about saving up for specific items. They would probably not use the character customization that much.

I think that giving them a handful of items in each crate would be the best way to do it.

This way everyone can look cool and nobody will think you’re trying to sell them a thousand items.

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Well, you said Character Customization, correct?

So I mean you could buy the full outfit (or whatever you’re selling) in one crate.

But since you want to do a random crate sort of like Jailbreak, what I suggested may not be the best. :stuck_out_tongue:

I personally dislike random crates and like to just buy the individual items, but I know of people who’d rather have random crates.

So I agree with what @Orlando777 said and to do both things so you can appeal to many people. :slight_smile:

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When to use loot boxes:

  • To get a “rare” item
  • To get items that are no longer available to get
  • Getting clothing and accessories and skins

When to use purchasing specific items for:

  • Getting a boost or a bonus
  • Getting common items (Debatable. Depends on your game really)

Using a loot box system can allow users to get a variety of items that can give them more out of what they bought or get less. This could cause the user to buy multiple times making you revenue.

Buy items straight out is good for users who want to know that they’ll get this only and nothing random. This can allow you to adjust prices for this one item.

In conclusion just how @Orlando777 and @Stelrex said balance both out. You’ll attract both audiences and maximize your income and users playing.


What are your items in your game?

Generally random item boxes allow games to pace the release of content that is used to express the player. Without the pacing of content, the player will buy the single item or loadout of items that best represents themselves.

If your game has enough unique slots for items or, if the content is not cosmetic but explore-able, then it would be perfectly reasonable to allow players to buy items directly. This is because the player will either have to spend a lot of money collecting the desired loadout or paying for more gameplay content.


My game has:
-full body suits of various styles
-emblems on your chest
-back assets (capes, wings, jetpack)
-super powers
-textures to apply on your character
-various props your character can use
-facial features like smiles and eye sets
-non-super clothing sets

I think this is all for the initial release. I expect to have at least 20 assets in each category for it. I definitely feel the lootbox surprise back aspect would be a fun way to do distribute a variety of visuals


This is a recommendation. Change this all you like


  • Hairs, Hats, non-super clothing sets
  • textures to apply on your character
  • back assets
  • various props your character can use

Buy straight:

  • Full body suits
  • Emblems on your chest
  • back assets
  • super powers
  • Hairs, Hats, non-super clothing sets
  • various props your character can use
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I think with this amount of assets and this amount of categories, it would work just fine to sell individual items ontop of players slowly receiving random items for free from boxes.

The level of customization that you have is high, so players will have to make multiple purchases to build their personal character. I also believe that players may want to make more than just one hero persona after becoming invested in your game.

Super powers are explore-able content/gameplay. This will make a lot of money if they are sold, and players will likely buy more than just the number of abilities that they can equip. It is possible to both have these given out for free from boxes, and also purchasable. A game that I like to play that handles it this way is Heroes of The Storm. They sell playable Heroes, and heroes also have a rare chance of being rewarded from a lootbox. It seems to work out well for HoTS.

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Normally I would take into account the possible demand of it and the amount the rarity, and as both demand and rarity stem from appearance I would base it off of apperance.


What was you reasoning for sorting each item? I feel that if I were to do lootboxes people would want to buy super items more often than regular mode items.

I don’t know to be honest. I always sort and prep for something. Eh it might be a random habit I have.

I definitely agree that making sure players still have freedom to customize is important, however I also still plan to have 5-10 of the 20 items in each area be free from the start. I’m hoping this would balance it out

Apologies. I’m afraid I may not have been clear, when I asked your reasoning for sorting I don’t mean why did you sort, but rather what thoughts led to you placing each item in their category

I assumed when I placed something is a category it meant a “majority” of the items would be in that spot. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Anyways you shouldn’t keep one item to one method. Spread the item out over loot boxes and straight payments. Also have you thought of using one time payments?

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What would you describe as a one time payment? Like buying a gamepass and unlocking everything? I’ve done that in previous games but I could never decide on whether it earned me more, or cost me more in potential lootbox/currency sales lost. What’s your experience been?

What I mean is by buying like a boost once for a life or buying a boost for your time in the server. You can make really powerful power-ups for a fair amount of Robux that will only last until the user dies.

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