Money Grinding

So there's an item you want or there's many supplies you need. Unfortunately you don't have enough money (or whatever) to afford anything.

So what do you do? You go grinding for money. Basically you go around killing various Money Spiders and Pinata Enemies, as well as searching many places in the world for money. Or perhaps go item farming to sell certain items.

Doing too much of this may lead to Money for Nothing.

Sister trope of Level Grinding and Item Farming.

Examples

  • Tales of Xillia 2 slams the player with a twenty million gald debt early on in the game. In order to progress through the main story, the player has to pay off part of this debt every so often. Don't have enough money to continue onward? Better get back out into the field and grind for more money! The good news is that the job boards have plenty of elite monsters that give out big paydays if you can kill them.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has plenty of Vendor Trash to sell for easy rupees.
    • It's even worse in some games, because in those, if you kill an enemy with a Light Arrow, said enemy will reward you with 50 rupees (not a fortune, but still a lot of rupees).
  • Running out of resources in Age of Empires leads to sending all your villagers to farm/chop wood/mine/ etc.
  • This might happen in Alter A.I.L.A. if you aren't careful with your item management. The "item" command practically takes the place of the "ability" command, so you'll be using items a lot, and for many uses. If you're out of healing items or some such, you will probably need to do this in order to survive.
    • Averted in Genesis — items are still important, but characters have more skills, reducing the need for damage items, and you're granted an ally with a powerful healing skill early in the game. You'll still want to have a decent stock on hand, but you probably won't have to grind for them.
  • Many Final Fantasy games. Especially the early ones, though Final Fantasy XII is a pretty bad offender as well.
    • In the prequel to Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Duodecim, sweet fancy Moses will you be doing this. In Quickbattle, the maximum amount of gil you can get from an opponent—fighting a lvl100 opponent (worth base 1100 gil) on a gil bonus day (doubles that, so 2200 gil) while wearing a specific set of lvl30 gear (worn as a set, Gold equipment will increase gil earned by 50%, so 3300 gil) and taking up one accessory slot with a non-combat accessory (the Beckoning Cat, which cannot help you in a fight but will, among other things, increase gil earned by 20%) will yield 3990 gil per encounter. To put this in perspective: A lvl30 sword will cost between 40K-60K gil. Level 60 swords? 130K+ gil. Level 90? 150K+. Level 100? 180K+ gil. And that's just one of your four equipment slots. For that one character. You have 31 to outfit. Even doing that game's equivalent of exploiting Vendor Trash and Money Spiders, which will if done right yield roughly 125K gil per encounter, it still takes hours upon hours upon hours of grinding to get enough gil.
  • Frequent in Dragon Quest games, you often have to buy new equipment as well as leveling up just to survive.
    • Dragon Quest IV gets special mention given its multiple parties up until the final chapter when they all converge into one team. For every chapter except the final, you play as a different group of the playable cast and they each have their own inventory and gold reserves. When the chapter ends, the party's gold in that chapter will not carry over into the next one, which means that the start of each new chapter must be spent grinding gold as well as levels for the new party.
      • The common workaround is to either buy expensive equipment and hang onto them to sell later or spend all of the gold on Tokens at the Endor Casino before ending the chapter, both of which will carry over into the last chapter.
  • Sometimes necessary at low levels in Kingdom of Loathing, and many players keep doing it at higher levels in order to earn money for expensive items (often Mr. Store items).
  • Common activity in Guild Wars, often using unusual character builds in particular areas to kill enemies with unusually small parties.
  • Common in Runescape.
  • In Pokémon, you will end doing this to get casino prizes if you suck at the slot machines, or simply because it's faster. Unless it's Platinum and you're European.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies, this may be done in minigames or sometimes survival mode to get money for upgrades. Often uses marigolds and upgraded magnet-shrooms.
  • Mass Effect 2 had an infinite source of money on Tuchanka, where you could bet money on Urz in the varren fights and he would win most of the time. That grind is extremely slow and boring, but before enough DLC have been released, it was the only way if you wanted to purchase all available upgrades.
  • This is basically the entire point of the multiplayer mode of Mass Effect 3. You need money to buy packs which contain the games gear. Said packs come in four tiers: Recruit, Veteran, Spectre, and Premium Spectre. Each pack will give you weapons/classes/weapon modifications/armor modifications (non-consumable reusable upgrades that go in the gear slot) and random consumables like weapon amps, ammo types, shield upgrades of the appropriate tier. Beating one game (usually takes about 20 minutes) will give you enough money to buy a pack of the equivalent difficulty: one Bronze game will get you 5000, enough for a Recruit Pack, one Silver game will get you 20000, enough for a Veteran Pack, one Gold game will get you 60000, enough for a Spectre Pack, and one Platinum game will give you 100000, enough for a Premium Spectre Pack. After all the (free) DLC is installed, there are 55 guns, 52 classes, 36 weapon mods, and 34 'gears', as well as various other, miscellaneous upgrades for all characters. Since each and every one of those items has upgrades that drop with the same frequency the items themselves donote , you'll have to do a lot of grinding indeed.
    • With the Citadel DLC, it is now possible in single player as well, since there is both a casino (where you can reload as much as possible), and a Holodeck arena, where victory grants tokens which can be exchanged for credits.
  • Taken Up to Eleven where Farmville and Happy Farm are games entirely about grinding.
  • You have to do this in Alundra 2 to get the best upgrades, either by killing monsters, cutting grass or playing the minigames at Gamar Isle.
  • Has to be done in Samurai Warriors 2 to buy skills.
  • In Chrono Trigger, you need an alternate currency (Fangs, Petals, Horns, Feathers) to buy useful equipment from the prehistoric village. Cue beating up that one elusive Nu over and over again to deck out your entire team in what's best.
  • You'll need to do this in Castlevania for certain items and weapons. There are many ways of doing this, like killing the same enemy to get 9 of some really good weapon and sell for lots of money, using the Mimic Soul in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow which gives you money when you take damage, or upping your luck and destroying a lot of candles/lanterns/lights.
  • The filler play between bosses in No More Heroes. Lampshaded, natch.
  • The Fable series has this in the form of the properties, which also class as Money Sinks. Prepare to spend hours and hours working. It gets easier once you have a large number of properties all giving you rent admittedly.
  • The entire point of Recettear, since its pretty much a Perspective Flip on the Adam Smith Hates Your Guts trope.
  • Required if you want to have all the weapons before the end of the game in Ratchet & Clank. There's usually one weapon that costs far too much and will take a ton of grinding to get.
  • If you want to get all A ranks in both Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, you'll need to replay the levels constantly. Just so you can afford to buy all the items required to upgrade your Chao.
  • Not only popular on World of Warcraft, but it also has some huge Money Sink items as well (mostly mounts, which are pretty much cosmetic). A new name might be "Harvesting Those Money Spiders".
    • The single biggest motivation for grinding gold in World of Warcraft is learning higher riding skills and getting faster or more versatile mounts, though. These provide a level of convenience that frankly is insane. Additionally, money grinding becomes much simpler when you reach the level cap, because quests give higher monetary rewards in lieu of experience points.
  • In Animal Crossing, one major goal of the game is to get enough money to pay off your house. Inevitably, you will end up growing and selling fruit, as that's the fastest way to earn money.
  • Secret of Evermore does this. Lampshaded in one case, where a shady character is offering the amulet you need to get a ride across the desert and charging an outrageous price for it. (You're expected to give up and walk across instead.) To come up with the money in the local currency, you'll most likely have to do a lot of this. When you actually do return with the money, the shady character says something like "You must have been out fighting lots of bad guys to get it!"
  • In Earthbound, you can do this when you first play as Jeff to get items that you're not meant to buy until later. This is made extraordinarily difficult by the fact that money drops in this game go into Ness's bank account, which is inaccessible in this part of the game, because Ness isn't in your party — so the only way to actually earn the cash is by selling randomly dropped items.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto games, the more powerful later game weapons (your first real reason to hoard money) have prices well within the four-digits, with some of the heavy-hitters reaching the five-digits. Also, in later games, you have to buy certain assets to advance the plot. Missions will typically NOT cover your expenses, so odd jobs will often be necessary to proceed. It doesn't hurt that completing most of these grants bonuses akin to Level Grinding, but the difficulty, on the other hand...
  • Air Force Delta Strike has optional Stand By missions available for the player to take on as necessary to increase the characters' bank accounts so they can buy new aircraft.
  • In Escape Velocity, you start off as a simple trader, so much of the early game will be spent doing the randomly-generated delivery missions for credits.
  • Actively encouraged in Marvel: Avengers Alliance, where the player sends up to eight heroes on Remote Operations to earn Silver (the main currency of the game). Remote Op durations range from three minutes to 24 hours of real time, but twenty 3-minute missions earn more Silver than one 1-hour mission.
  • In Infinite Space, keeping your ships and equipment up to date is essential to surviving the game, and ships cost tens or hundreds of thousands of the local currency to build and outfit. Even carrying over a large fortune via New Game+ may not prevent the party from going nearly broke when the fleet needs an overhaul.
  • In Eternal Sonata, you're likely to always have enough money to upgrade your equipment and buy important items for the entire main game. However, in the Mysterious Unison bonus dungeon, you need to spend 99,999,999 gold to get one of the pieces of Claves' soul.
  • In MS Saga: A New Dawn, your party fights in Mobile Suits, which require weapons and stat upgrades to be competitive, and can also be customized with parts from other mechs. All of this takes money, especially when upgrading one of the more powerful Mobile Suits to bring out its full potential, so the party will probably spend a great deal of time grinding cash.
  • When Vyse get his own pirate base in Skies of Arcadia, there's a one-hundred thousand gold building fee you need to pay in order to progress, as Vyse needs a base for his crew and the ship upgrade to get to the next area. It's not quite as bad as it sounds, as a previous dungeon has an item you can sell for thirty-thousand gold and you might have a good chunk of change already if you had some frugality and didn't waste your cash.
  • Generally more useful than Level Grinding in the Shin Megami Tensei series. EXP rewards diminish as the party levels up, but Macca rewards do not, meaning if you want a high-level demon, summoning costly demons from the Compendium for use in fusion (especially high-experience ones for Sacrificial Fusion) is much more time-effective than grinding the levels manually.
  • In Pharaoh, you can pay yourself a salary every month which transfers to the next level, which you can give back to the city or use to bribe your way to a higher standing in the Kingdom. Unfortunately, even if your city has a dozen gold mines the amount is fixed (and at best, gets you 100 per month), meaning grinding money is something best kept for endgame (and even then, The Dev Team Thinks of Everything and prevents you from drawing a salary if you choose to keep governing after you've won). Oh, and giving yourself a higher salary than you're allowed makes you a pariah to be attacked consequence-free, and you're forbidden from transferring money from city funds to yourself (again, no matter how rich the city is).