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"If there was no way for us to 'destroy' Neopoints, inflation would be even worse than it is now. There would be so many Neopoints in the economy that they would practically be worthless. It would cost players more and more Neopoints to purchase things, because each Neopoint would have so little value. Could you imagine a Krawk Morphing Potion costing 150,000,000 NP? That's what it would possibly cost if all the Neopoints that have been created by Flash games and other areas of the site were never removed. For players who make their Neopoints by playing games to earn 1,000 NP at a time, it would seem like an impossible goal."
The Neopian Times editorial (bottom of the page), Issue 469 (Note: The average Krawk Morphing Potion is sold at 15,000,000 NP)

A desirable but expensive item commonly found in MMORPGs and some single player games. It often has no game play significance except to remove virtual money from the economy. Especially true of many intangible goods, like fees, tolls, and the like, because they can't be resold back into the economy.

Money sinks are important in many virtual economies as a method to control inflation. When currency is constantly being added to the economy from Money Spiders, quests, etc., if there weren't a method of getting rid of it for good, prices for player-traded goods and services would theoretically grow without limit. New players (and those without large amounts of time to devote to acquiring money) would be unable to compete. Hence, as a game goes on, developers will often introduce more and more expensive ways for players to dispose of excess cash. It also saves your money from becoming useless once you have bought everything there is to buy.


Exists almost solely to avert Money for Nothing. See Cash Gate for when this is required to advance in the game. Not to be confused with Crack Is Cheaper.


  • World of Warcraft
    • Training, mounts, non-combat pets, repair bills, flight paths, vendor-bought reagents, and the Auction House cut are explicitly designed to be money-sinks; each expansion (and many content patches) has added more. The developers further encourage this through an Achievement System that awards points for completing non-game play related goals such as acquiring rare and/or expensive items. Some crafted and purchased mounts in Wrath of the Lich King run into the tens of thousands of gold.
    • In Cataclysm, there's this one alchemy recipe known as "Vial of the Sands". It turns you into a dragon, able to fly super-fast and carry a friend on your back. Cool, right? Unfortunately, one of the reagents is the Sands of Time, which is only sold by one NPC for 3,000 gold. And you need eight of these.
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    • Since the Mists of Pandaria expansion, there is the black market auction house. Where players can bid against each other to get rare drops, high end gear, or items that otherwise no longer drop in the game. Some items regularly hit the max gold cap of 1,000,000.
    • Warlords of Draenor saw the introduction of the WOW token, allowing players to extend their subscription with in-game gold. Later on, the WOW token could also be exchanged for store credit, to buy mounts and other collectibles from the Blizzard store.
    • Due to a glut in gold after Warlords of Draenor, Legion raised the gold cap to ten million, allowing even higher bids on the auction house. At the same time a luxury vendor was introduced who sells a toy for 250,000 gold, a bag for 500,000 gold, a pet for 1,000,000 gold, and a mount for 2,000,000.
    • Battle for Azeroth took it Up to Eleven with the brutosaur mount. It has a portable auction house on it and costs 5,000,000 gold.
  • City of Heroes
    • There used to be very few money-sinks at high levels. With the introduction of Super-Groups, one could choose to earn Prestige for one's group instead of the regular Influence/Infamy for one's character, which partially solved the problem. But when Inventions came out, suddenly, the high-level characters with lots of Inf were buying low-level salvage that only low-level characters could get for huge sums, effectively redistributing a lot of money from high to low.
    • More importantly the Auction House (which was added at the same time as inventions) takes a 10% cut of all transactions. This serves as a pretty effective Inf-sink.
  • Kingdom of Loathing
    • In the early days , there was a rather nasty period of bug exploitation known as "Black Sunday" that resulted in some people gaining ludicrous amounts of meat, the game's Global Currency. Thus, "meatsinks" were created, such as the Penguin Mafia raffles and the "Save the Yeti" fundraisers. Ironically enough, the problem arose from an item that was actually itself a money sink—well, when used outside of combat, that is—called a "meat vortex." It was intended to be used in combat to take some meat from an enemy, and just for fun the dev team made it take 30 or so meat from you when you used it outside of combat. Unfortunately, using it without any meat in your inventory caused the problem, as your meat total went below zero and all the way up to the top.
    • The early version of the Money Making Game did nothing except take Meat from you. Well, there was one quest that required you visiting it once, but all other visits would simply take your money. For many years, the revised version awarded money to one of the two players involved, but the house took a cut of every game. The game's creator, Jick, grew to hate it, and revised it again to passively-aggressively insult players for taking part in it before finally erasing it from existence.
    • On meeting certain requirements, you get a trophy for it — if you pay for it. Only 10k apiece. There are nearly a hundred trophies right now, with more added periodically. Some of them require you to spend a lot of meat to qualify. The Three Amigos trophy requires spending 3 million meat in exchange for 15,000-30,000 substat gains. The 99 Red Balloons trophy is particularly notable, as it requires spending 9.9 million meat on red balloons, a useless item only available at a certain NPC store after you've beaten the game 26 times.
    • Also notable is Hobopolis, a clan-specific area similar to raids in other MMORPGs with a finite number of enemies and much of the best skills and items in the game, all exclusive to that area. It costs 1 million meat from the clan's collective coffers every time it is reset, and depending on how active your clan is, a reset could be needed several times a week or even daily. And to get to Hobopolis you need to open up the clan basement, which will set your clan back a cool 10 million meat. This, however, is a one-off payment and does allow you similar access to other Bonus Dungeons like the Slimetube, but your clan's first Hobopolis is still going to cost 11 million.
    • There is also Uncle P's Antiques, which is definitely not a front for the Penguin Mafia. Almost everything there is mediocre and expensive, existing mostly to prove that you can waste that much meat. The main exception is the antique accordion, which is genuinely useful for its price even in-run, but still pretty expensive.
    • The Raffle House South of the Border offers players the chance to win one of four prizes each day, all for the low cost of 10,000 meat per ticket. Originally the prize was one of several familiars, but was then changed to one of several skill-granting items. In 2021, it changed again to instead offer old Items of the Month.
  • In Final Fantasy XI, chocobo fares and Limbus entry fees were once major gil sinks, but now are only minor ones. In the face of deflation, outpost teleportation fares have been reduced as well. However, fees for the Jeuno auction house remain high enough to interfere with the sale of minor items (more so in Al Zahbi/Whitegate than in Jeuno proper), and the fees charged for the endgame area Dynamis, even after being reduced for deflation, are exorbitant enough that they could only be plausible as intentional gil sinks.
  • Final Fantasy XIV gives out gil like candy. Gear and materials can easily be sold, you get thousands of gil for completely duty finder roulettes, and you can potentially earn hundreds of thousands of gil if you get lucky in the treasure map dungeons. There's also tons of money to be made from other players if you sell materials or items that are highly requested. Even though there's loads and loads of alternative currencies, there are a few major Money Sinks for Gil.
    • First and foremost, from A Realm Reborn onwards, the player's Teleport spell is no longer time-gated by Anima points, but the teleportation fee is collected after a successful teleportation. From Stormblood onwards, teleporting to another continent and beyond would cost 999 gil.note 
    • Secondly, player's gear durability will gradually wear down after a battle and if it reaches zero, you will suffer massive stat penalties. You can repair the gear yourself, though depending on the type of gear, you'll need to be in a specific job class and level to repair the item. Alternatively, you can just find an NPC mender who can repair your items all at once for a small fee.
    • Thirdly, buying items from other players via the Market Board incurs a transaction fee, which is a bit higher if the item was posted from a different region.
    • Fourthly, the game also has housing for free companies (player formed groups) that are nothing more than a place to hang out, but even the smallest plot of land can run you for several million gil.
    • Lastly, the game has Golden Mounts, which are recolored to a metallic gold and have the graphic effect of tossing gil everywhere as the mount moves, these mounts start at 150 MILLION gil. It says something for how easy to make money is for players invested in the gathering and crafting side of the game that these mounts are nowhere near as rare to see as they should be.
  • Runescape
    • The entire construction skill is this, from requiring money to create planks (even if done with a magical spell, but not if done by a machine) to having to pay money to build rooms in your house, which you're ostensibly building but have to pay for anyway.
    • Money spent at NPC shops is removed from the game, meaning anything that requires large purchases from NPCs gets a good amount of money out of the game. Whether it's getting planks made for construction, buying spirit shards for summoning, cleansing crystals for prayer, getting armour repaired, or buying items from shops that sell to players for higher prices, there have been a lot of shops added to the game over the years to help drain money out of the economy.
    • Managing the Kingdom of Miscellania is a subtle one. You put money in the kingdom's coffers and every day, up to 75k is withdrawn to pay for resources that sell to players for a profit. Who's going to turn down almost effortless free money, since you only need to spend a couple minutes every few days on the kingdom itself? The money you invest is removed from the game, while the profit comes from other players, meaning that almost everyone who's completed the required quests is removing a small amount of money from the game every day.
    • Invention flips this around, working as an item sink. Just about everything in invention requires components, which you get from disassembling items. This does push the prices of items up, as there's reason to destroy them and limit the supply, but it helps to keep many items from becoming completely worthless. It also acts against inflation by being an alternative way to dispose of items compared to High-Level Alchemy, a spell that turns items into money.
  • EVE Online:
    • There are many of the usual money sinks, though some go to obscene levels - blueprints for a Titan cost the equivalent of several thousand dollars, and the skill to fly one costs several hundred. Also notable is that player-owned structures (necessary for gaining control of player-owned space) are all bought from NPCs, and require fuel that is also bought from NPCs.
    • Later patches mean that structures are made from blueprints, and fueled from harvestable resources made into fuel by other players. Inflation has started to become an issue, not helped by market fluctuations. Large alliances can afford to spend multi-billion ships like water.
  • Anarchy Online has tried a number of these after a few 'unintended features' left the market bloated with credits (the game's currency).
    • The Clinique Plastique, a feature introduced with Alien Invasion, allowed players to change how their character looked (but not breed or profession) for the measly sum of 50 million credits (since reduced to 25 million).
    • In the game, skills are managed via point expenditure, and you are given a limited number of times to reset skills. With the Lost Eden expansion, a new and larger money sink was introduced by allowing players to purchase these reset points for a large sum.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • A common Monkey Sink throughout the series are player houses. Though the exact details vary with each game (see below), they are often simply glorified Superhero Trophy Shelves that offer a safe place to rest. That doesn't stop them from being extremely popular with players, to the point where countless Game Mods have been created to expand upon them and add more options into the games.
    • Daggerfall:
      • You can buy houses in several cities for astronomical sums of money. However, apart from letting you feel like a big shot, they have no real impact on the game play other than letting you rest for free. Due to a glitch, any items you store in the chests and cupboards there tend to disappear.
      • You can also buy an expensive ship which does have two practical game effects: It cuts down travel times, and provides a cheap way to escape danger. Since your ship is always anchored in the same corner of the map, selecting "ship" as your means of transportation will cause you to teleport to it. It can also save you money once you've bought it, as you can choose to (and when going to islands, must) travel by ship before buying a ship, which costs money. Buying a ship makes going by ship automatic and removes the cost.
    • Morrowind:
      • You can build a stonghold, essentially a large mansion with some surrounding houses, shops, and a guard tower, complete with items and servants, upon reaching a certain high rank in one of the three Dunmeri Great House factions. In each case, it requires a sum of money to fund the construction, a land deed from the Duke, and you'll need to complete a series of quests (differing depending on the Great House you joined) in order to make the stronghold viable, attract settlers, and remove threats/obstacles to it. Given that it is the first game in the series following the 3D Jump, it allows plenty of opportunity to become an Interior Designer, displaying all of your questing treasures and turning it into your own Superhero Trophy Shelf. Unfortunately, each of the strongholds are far from other major towns, lack the variety of services beyond a simple Trader, and lack fast travel options, making them too impractical for some players. (Game Mods exist which resolve each of these issues and then some.)
      • Though more useful, high level Enchanting and Spellmaking services are extremely costly. For enchanting, you need to provide the item to be enchanted, the spell you want to burn into it, and a filled soul gem. Even with an Enchant skill of 100, it is virtually impossible to perform high level enchantments yourself, forcing you to go to a dedicated Enchanter. For ultra high-level Constant Effect enchantments, be prepared to shell out potentially tens of thousands of gold per item. (Thankfully, there is plenty of Money for Nothing around if you need it.)
    • Oblivion has houses the player can buy and upgrade in each town, but aside from looking pretty, giving you a place to sleep, and offering a safe spot to store items (the latter two of which can be done in many other places), it seems that their only function is to make you feel like a big shot. Additionally, like Morrowind, enchanting items and creating spells also costs a huge amount of gold if you use more powerful effects, but at least these tend to be fun to play around with due to the game's sandbox nature.
    • Skyrim
      • In the vanilla game, you can purchase a house in each of the major holds of Skyrim once you've built up enough of a reputation in those holds. In addition to the money required to buy the house, furnishings (including useful things like extra storage, Alchemy stations, Cooking stations, Enchanting stations, etc.) are separate and cost even more money.
      • The Hearthfire DLC allows you to purchase land and build your own house from the ground up. Once again, it is quite costly, but you can at least find many of the building materials yourself to save money. You can build anything from a simple one-room cabin-like house to full blown mansions with dedicated trophy rooms, Mage Towers, libraries, shrines to the gods of your choosing, and much more.
    • The Elder Scrolls Online does not have buyable housing at the time of writing, but has gold sinks for: armor repair; horse purchasing and training; some forms of instant teleportation; trading fees in guild stores; NPC bribes in some quests; upgrades to inventory and bank size; and purchased items reselling to vendors for less than their purchase price.
  • Gaia Online refers to these specifically as gold sinks, and they keep an economist on staff to balance the amount of gold in the economy at any given time.
    • The most basic gold sink is the Salon, where users can purchase new Hair and Eye styles. (Many people don't realize that this is supposed to be a gold sink, and beg for wigs of Salon hair as a result). Skin Tyte also sells Species and Skin Tone modification potions that are consumed after use. Marketplace Taxes, and Item Sellback (Which removes 50% of the purchase price from the economy) are also major Gold Sinks. Finally, Gaia features a yearly "Gold Sink" event, in which players can donate money to NPCs, with many players donating millions at a time for bragging rights. These range from Megalomaniacs begging for Tower Money, NPCs selling cures for The Virus (or even The Virus itself), Shops being foreclosed by the GRS (which then promptly...built a giant tower. Our tax dollars at work...), or Vampire Heiresses standing in an alley begging for gold. Most people think the Von Helson Sisters are hookers because of that event...
    • Dernier*Cri. The cheapest item clocks in at a little over one million gold — the most expensive is close to seven NINE million. And no, you can't buy any of the items there with Gaia Cash. Have fun emptying those virtual wallets! (When it "rematerializes", of course.)
    • Even normal Gold Shops these days tend to update with items running from the thousands to the tens of thousands of gold, depending on their usability according to what's popular to wear in the forums these days.
    • Due to poor planning, gold sinks became commonplace due to the billions of gold entering the economy daily due to gold generators being sold for Gaia Cash, with some requiring trillions of gold to meet all the intended goals, and often succeeding or getting fairly close to doing so! That said, the massive amounts of gold bought with real money are still in the economy (and they're still selling said generators), so it's highly unlikely that it will recover no matter how many sinks are done, at least in the near future. The "Ridiculous Future Inflation" and "Bribing Your Way to Victory" pages gives a much more detailed explanation about the mess.
  • DragonFable has a House feature. You can buy a house with virtual gold, then buy stuff for the house with virtual gold. There's no purpose for the house except to dispose of gold and to have another place to call 'home town'. You can't even heal in them unless you buy a highly expensive healing pad. Or pay 100,000 gold for a broken healing pad... You can also buy stuff with Dragon Coins, an in-game currency which costs real money, and you need a Dragon Amulet to own the house in the first place, which also costs real money. So it's not just a Money Sink for virtual gold...
  • From the same company as DragonFable, AdventureQuest Worlds has the Tercessuinotlim area, in which many of the game's best-looking or rarest items can be created. The easiest armor to obtain there uses an item costing exactly a million gold as one of its materials, and then there's the Wheel of Chance used to get the materials to upgrade it (which acts like roulette with items as prizes).
  • In Entropia Universe, everything in the entire game is a Money Sink, from basic ammunition and supplies to land and housing to the orbital nightclub asteroid. Even your equipment sucks cash away, because it requires periodic maintenance that must be paid for with in game cash. Justified, because game money is generated by players voluntarily paying real money to get it, and you can convert the game money back to real cash. There is consequently an extremely well-balanced and competitive player economy.
  • Browser-based MMORPG Travians has ten resources. You can eat the bread, but after a certain level it's better to buy other food at the Tavern. Other than that, the resources go to enlarge your warehouse (ability to hold resources) or your guild warehouse (ability to hold donations) or... taxes. Every ten levels, you hand over a certain number of resources and money to the Tax Collector, or else you stop gaining levels and can't use guild artifacts. Argue about this on the forums and you're told that it keeps the economy going, since without the taxes, who would buy resources? and selling resources is about the only way to make money. So you gather resources to sell to other players, who buy them only to hand them over to NPC's who get rid of them. And guild artifacts that give you buffs, guild buildings that give you exp., etc. If you're not in a guild... your warehouse is the only thing you use resources on.
  • In Granblue Fantasy:
    • The cost for upgrading Siero's Shop when it is your first time unlocking an Eternal? 200,000 rupies, that would be a lot, considering the amount of coins a player earns by joining quests. (though there are faster ways to earn millions of coins outside of quests). Upgrading the shop does not do any other gameplay significance, either. Luckily, this is only done once per account.
    • Reducing Weapons and Summons for Elemental Quarts, and Stones take up a lot of money, yet this is the most efficient way of gathering said items if one were to uncap the 4th star of a weapon or summon.
  • In Guild Wars:
    • Optimal equipment is relatively easy to obtain. It's not too hard to grab a good base weapon/armor and add the one or two mods needed to make it perfect, and this costs only around 10-30 thousand gold for a whole set(Depending on how common your build is and thus the scarcity of parts) which is a sizable chunk, but not unreasonable for a character who has gotten to the point where he can buy all this. For example, in the third campaign (Nightfall), it is customary for new characters who have the cash and materials available to seek a "ferry" to a certain outpost (Consulate Docks) where a NPC armor crafter is present who can craft "maximum" armor for you at a relatively low cost (not counting the runes/insignia you put on the armor to buff it, and the dyes you use to color it). The game's actual money sinks come in the form of the absurdly expensive armor pieces, from the simple Elite Armor (Which is 10 times as expensive per piece) to Obsidian Armor, which runs for hundred of thousands of gold. These expensive pieces of armor do nothing but look prettier. The same can be said of the rare weapons, but as they involve mostly trade between players, this is not a proper money sink. On a smaller scale, skill purchasing is also a decent money sink, with the cost per skill going up until a 1000 gold cap.
    • Everything that goes into a Hall of Monuments is a money sink, given that once it's IN a hall of monuments, its value will drop sharply if it doesn't drop to nil outright, or is made entirely of components that themselves aren't convertible to game funds through any method (the latter generally applies to titles, although a few pets and one Hero also count). For instance, the value of many "miniature" pets (miniaturized versions of various game heroes, villains and creatures) drops drastically once they've been placed in the Hall of Monuments, or "dedicated", in the in-game term. For that reason, many players prefer not to dedicate their more valuable miniatures.
  • Guild Wars 2, the sequel to the original Guild Wars, largely follows suit in letting players gear up cheaply (even letting them spend karma points built up from events instead of cash). The money sinks come from:
    • Waypoint costs, from one to seven silver a trip depending on distance.
    • Trading Post transactions with other players, which incur a 15% fee.
    • Crafting. Almost all crafting requires cheap components that can only be bought from merchants. And the highest-level weapons and armor are even more of a sink: They only provide about a 5% boost over the much cheaper exotics, and the items are automatically account-bound, removing them from the economy.
    • Legendary and Precursor crafting are even worse than regular crafting. The collections and materials used to craft a Precursor can run into the hundreds and the items needed to convert it into a Legendary are even more expensive.
    • The Mystic Forge. Some recipes for converting items requires the use of items that can only be bought from a nearby NPC.
    • Gem conversion. Gems can be bought with real money, and used on boosters, cosmetic changes, or convenience items. You can use gold to buy gems or vice versa, but there's a fee going either way.
    • Collections. The player must collect and either use or bind certain items. While basic ones such as eating a certain number of steaks are inexpensive, others such as collecting all racial armor appearances can ring up a massive bill.
    • The Griffon mount. To unlock it the player must spend 250 gold on vendor items that have no use except unlocking the Griffon.
  • The Might and Magic series had the training barracks. You had to pay for every single level your characters actually earned in these places, so they can actually gain those levels (experience alone doesn't cut). It is mostly a sensible and natural concept, however. And the cost for leveling up increases geometrically (10gp times current level squared, meaning that going from level 1 to 2 costs 10gp, 10 to 11 costs 1000gp, and 100 to 101 costs 100,000gp), meaning that eventually it will be impossible to get enough gold to level up anymore. Same for MUD Realms of Kaos, except the rate which you will gain experience will be faster than you can gain money.
  • Ace Online has the repair/reload bills, and a percentage tax on purchases from the town shops, as well as a tax on the warp shops, to control the flow of SPI and prevent virtual inflation from going too far. The occasional "Rare-storm" when rare items drop more often (during a Nation's Growth or Mothership Victory happy hour) also helps to offset ridiculous trade prices for especially powerful items and keep the money going around.
  • Diablo II:
    • In the 1.10 update, Blizzard added a special encounter with a "Diablo Clone" (who drops a very powerful item) if and only if enough Stones of Jordan are sold to vendors in the game. The SOJ was a powerful ring that was duped to such ridiculous levels that it served as the de facto currency in the game, and the Diablo Clone was Blizzard's way of getting rid of excess SoJs.
    • Gambling. Gambling allows one a relatively decent odds of getting a desired item, assuming one has sufficient money (it "only" takes a few thousand tries, if you're not unlucky). No-twink/single players will also practically require it in order to make sure all their gear is adequate at any given time.
  • Diablo III:
    • The game has auction house fees and high repair costs for top-tier items, as well as a few scattered one-time costs: artisan training, storage space increases, and access to the gag level on higher difficulties.
    • Crafting also serves this purpose, with the blacksmith taking the place of gambling in Diablo II and the jeweler upgrading gems which level to level have a linear power boost for an exponential cost increase.
    • Reaper of Souls introduced the Enchanter who acts as a gold sink via transmogrification and enchanting. The former changes item appearance at a fixed cost per skin while the latter changes one stat with each additional change costing more.
    • Empowered Rifts were added in a later patch. They grant the player an additional chance to upgrade gems, but the cost is in the millions and increases significantly per tier.
    • Kanai's Cube acts as a crafting material version, allowing the player to dump their stockpile of materials to reroll stats on items and randomly generate new legendaries. It also offers the money sink of empowering ancient items which requires, among other things, three top-tier gems which cost at a minimum 4,400,000 gold to craft. That adds up to a minimum of 13,200,000 gold per empowered item or 18,600,000 with lower quality gems.
  • Billy vs. SNAKEMAN has, among subtler Money Sinks, the Party House and Robo Fighto, where you pay Ryo for a small chance at a rare item.
  • Forging and refining weapons and armor is a money sink for many players of R.O.H.A.N. Online. Forging entails combining two weapons or pieces of armor into a rare weapon or armor, and you can do the same with two rare weapons or pieces of rare armor to get a unique weapon or armor. Refining involves lowering an attribute or level on a weapon, piece of armor or other item so that you can equip it. Both forging and refining have its problems both of which stem from the fact that success is not assured and the chance for failure increases when you try to forge higher-level stuff, particularly uniques. If you fail at a forge attempt, you lose both items you were using for the attempt (which can be REALLY aggravating if you were trying to combine two good weapons or pieces of armor into a better weapon or piece of armor), and if you fail at a refine attempt, in the case of weapons and armor, the item you were trying to de-level instead goes up by a number of levels equal to what you were trying to lower it by (though never above the level of the original), and if you de-level a given weapon or piece of armor enough and fail on a refine, you can actually destroy it. All this serves to gobble up whatever crones you have, and the only way to save whatever weapons or armor you have on a forge attempt is to get a preservation stone, which can only be obtained in a Consignment Auction for a good amount of crones or in the Item Mall or Exchange Market for real money, and which only protects your items against one failed forge attempt per stone. Also, mounts, pets and food for pets are quite frankly the most expensive items you are likely to find in Rohan in general, and are not recommended for anyone below the 30s in regards to level.
  • Phantasy Star Universe has a few (most of which are found only in online mode), but the most notable is the Photon Charger, which restores the Photon Points of your weapons. Not having any PP is okay for Hunters (who use melee weapons), but Rangers (guns and other ranged weapons) and Forces (spell casters) cannot use their weapons if they don't have enough PP. There are two (expensive) items that restore PP (one affects one weapon slot, the other affects all weapons slots) and PP regenerates at a slow rate (which can be boosted by (even more expensive) armor upgrades), but recharging a full pallet of S-rank, fully ground (upgraded) weapons will cost a good chunk of cash. Of course, by the time you get anywhere near that sort of gear, you won't be worrying about 1000-2000 meseta a mission...
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 uses weapon grinding. Nice, you got yourself an 11 or 12-star weapon! In order to make the weapon more powerful, you need to use Grinders to get it to +10, a process which can up to double its base attack. Here's the bad news: Each additional +1 reduces the chance of the next's success (down to a 30% chance), and increases the amount of grinds possible to lose if you fail (up to -4). Your chances of making it from +0 to +10 in one go? Only seven hundredths of one percent for an 11-star, though it's much more lenient for lesser weapons. Failure Is the Only Option, so it's not uncommon to see people drop millions upon millions of meseta to get a rare weapon to +10. Getting it to +10 also lets you unlock its Latent Ability, which ranges from useless to game breaking...only doing so resets the weapon to +0 again. And since each Latent has three levels, to get the third you need to grind it to +10 four times.
  • MapleStory:
    • The game has a quest that is completed by literally just paying the NPC 5,000,000 mesos. If you're unfunded it's a ridiculously high amount, and even if you're well off you have to come to the decision of if 5,000,000 mesos is worth it to unlock 3 more quests in the chain. Also out of all the random rewards you have the chance to get at the end of the quest, only about 2 or 3 out of 27 will net you a profit selling it to the player base.
    • The mounts work similarly, requiring you to buy extremely expensive items off NPCs to get them. The original mount will cost 70,000,000 mesos all together after upgrades, with the Knights of Cygnus classes needing 37,000,000 mesos total for theirs.
    • Advancing to Fourth Job can sink mesos. The classic Explorers can either pay 10,000,000 or hunt two rare bosses, while the newer Resistance classes have no choice but to pay 5,000,000. (Separate from the other 5,000,000 example above)
    • Lastly, any time players make a trade worth over 1,000,000 mesos, there's a small tax on the proceeds. The more you trade at once, the higher the tax, so trades for 1 meso under a boundary are common.
  • Plants vs. Zombies has a money sink in the form of the Tree of Wisdom, for 2500 dollars (the biggest currency in the game is the diamond, worth 1000 dollars each) you can buy food or fertilizer for the tree to grow. The Reward? access to some visual cheats and tips for the game. More importantly, the tree keeps growing, so it functions as a kind of high score. Sadly, this Tree does not yet exist on the iPhone version, leaving players with no way to dispose of excess money. This is remedied by the inclusion of Mini-games, "I, Zombie" puzzle mode, and the silver/gold gift boxes (50% and 100% chance of containing a plant you don't have in your Zen Garden). Each set of minigames costs 50000, the puzzle mode 150000, a silver gift box costs around 25000 and a gold one costs 50000.
  • Neopets. They do try to keep the inflation somehow reined in, but when most of your players make money by creating it (by playing games) you have your work cut out for you.
    • Most basic money sinks are in the form of NPC-run shops. Buy an item, and the money disappears. However due to low shop prices and the huge amount of players who make their money by restocking (i.e. buying from NPC shops at low prices and selling at a profit in player-run shops) it's a a matter of excellent luck, good timing, and lightning reflexes to find and get any item in the NPC shops.
    • Another very basic and very old money sink is the Lever of Doom event which most of the time just grabs 100 NP from you, or, if you're super super lucky gives you a site avatar that cannot be gotten in any other way.
    • Each Neopets player has an album for collectible items: the catch is, once you put an item in your album it's there forever: you can't take it out. The other, bigger catch is, while a few of the collectibles are dirt cheap, the rarest items in the older themes range in multiple, even hundreds of millions of NP due to extreme rarity. Just to give some perspective, if you send your scores in ten games the maximum three times per day, each day, and play well enough to always get a score that gets you the maximum of 1000 NP per score, and do this for an entire year, you'll get about 11 million NP, enough for one reasonably rare stamp. Completing a theme page awards you an avatar, and these avatars are one of the most coveted on the entire site. To counter disinterest in collecting due to the insanely high prices for older themes, Neopets has been releasing quite a few new themes for the past few years.
    • Another collectible-related money sink is the relatively new addition of a certain mysterious account. Each month it releases a single supremely rare stamp in an auction open to any user with the money. In effect, the account sucks above 100 million NP from the Neopian economy each month and some chokingly affluent Neopian gets their stamp collection closer to completion. The pace is kept slow on purpose: to keep the impact on the economy minimal apart from removing NP.
    • The wheel-o-fortune type of games are another very old money sink on the site. For 50, 100, or 200 NP a spin the player has a chance to get a random item (ranging from useless junk to extremely profitable collectibles), some NP, an avatar, nothing at all, or in case of some wheels, an even worse outcome. However the wheels all have time limitations per player and their cost was doing little to sink the money. In came an entire money sink event...
    • The biggest money sink Neopets has yet seen was the "Save the Wheels" event, where players making donations to upgrade the wheels in Neopia received guaranteed prizes in exchange, ranging from toys to rare painted Petpets to collectibles to a new pet-customizing background depending on the sum given at once. The price of several of these items have gone down compared the amount you needed to donate in order to earn them but the stamp and background are still very expensive, costing at least one million Neopoints to buy from another Neopian who was willing to donate enough to get one.
    • Soon after the stamp auction account, a new and currently (as of Jan 2014) the latest money sink was introduce: the Wheel of Extravagance. Unlike the older wheels it costs a whopping 100 thousand NP to spin. The prizes are upgraded as well, and designed to closer meet the interests of a Neopian wealthy enough to spin: some of the items can be sold at much higher prices, one of the prizes is 5 stat points for one of the player's stats, and there is of course an elusive stamp too... and just as familiarly the wheel can also give out just a fraction of the spinning cost, or nothing at all.
  • La Tale has several, such as the repeatable guild quests, which could require you to buy several expensive fashion items easily costing over a million Ely, with one of the last quests in the chain requesting three golden hammers, very expensive items costing a million and a half Ely each. ss5 quests also require you to upgrade an item with a golden hammer, but with a 50% chance of failure, potentially costing even more if you're unlucky. And then there's crafting special class armor at level 130, which needs, guess what? Another golden hammer. With five pieces in each armor set, and each upgrade needing another copy of the armor as fodder, a full set would easily cost tens of millions of Ely. Want to upgrade your awesome Valkyrie weapon? Well that'll take another golden hammer, for each upgrade. Never mind you need to upgrade them 11 times, and when (not if) you fail, you need to start all over again. And of course, if you don't like the enchantments on your equipment you can have Tonio reassign them. Of course the amount it costs to attempt this is depends on what the item itself costs, there's again only a 50% success rate, and the resulting enchantments are random, meaning you probably won't get what you want, you can easily wipe out your entire savings on an expensive piece of equipment trying to make it perfect. But then, you have to repeat the ordeal with every other piece of equipment you need reassigned...
  • The online game HoboWars has several examples of this, some including buying food and alcohol, recovering life at the hospital, and purchasing parts for your hobo's cart.
  • There is a form of Rare Candy in Skies of Arcadia called Seeds, and there is one of each that will increase one's stats by a small amount. If you recruit a certain character for your crew, he will sell you an infinite amount of these seeds, but each one sells for 50,000 gold each. By the end of the game, though, money can become over-abundant, so it's possible to give your party a large stat boost if you have enough.
  • Text/ASCII-based MMO Hell MOO has a variety of money sinks: apartments (which are only necessary for players who WANT a home of their own, as they can easily join a corporation or use the Cube Hotel for a free place to safely sleep), furniture for those apartments, and death itself: dying results in increasingly large fees for cloning, while players must periodically update their clone by manually going to the cloning center and paying a fee.
  • In Team Fortress 2, metal has effectively become the currency among players, but with the steady stream of dropped items everyone receives it would rather rapidly become worthless if not for crafting hats taking very high amounts of it.
    • Mann Co Keys also act as currency: You can buy them for $2.49 at the online store, 1 key can be traded for some amount of metal that seems to change all the time. Like metal they maintain value because actually using them consumes the item.
    • Demonstrating the economics behind this, metal's value in keys has dropped considerably from what it once was because it's trade value was much higher than the items you're likely to get crafting it, meaning extremely few people actually used it. Add in a large number of people having numerous dummy accounts just to sit in place on idle servers for extra drops to craft into metalnote , and you get quite a lot of inflation.
    • Valve introduced another sink in the form of Chemistry Sets, dropped items that require using up a large number of regular items to get a Cosmetic Award. Either you spend about a half dozen regular items plus one Strange weapons to get a Strangifier (which makes a specific item count kills while you're wearing it) or spend 200 of a regular item to get a "Collector's" version.
  • Fallen Earth has an economy built almost entirely on Item Crafting, but with a constant stream of chips (game currency) flowing in from quests and sales to NPC merchants. As a result, some ubiquitous crafting components (such as fasteners) are difficult to find anywhere except merchants, to help drain money out of the economy. There are also several services such as fast-travel, mail, and towing vehicles, all of which have service fees that steadily add up. Scavenging is also just tedious enough that once you get a few levels and some extra cash, it's far more tempting to just buy low-end and hard-to-find materials in bulk from NPC merchants and make up the lost cash somewhere else.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online has a number of money sinks. The most obvious in-game are crafting materials (cheap, but they add up) and player houses. The cheapest player house is 1.5 gold. The largest amount of gold free-to-play characters are allowed to have is 2 gold. House owners must also pay a "maintenance fee" of 0.15 gold per week. If this isn't paid for long enough, you get locked out of your house and it's put back on the market. Other money sinks are auction fees (which you have to pay to put an item up for auction, and is based roughly on the item's vendor price) and the commission (which you pay only if the item sells, and is a percentage of the winning bid). Higher level players who might want to switch back and forth between two or more sets of traits depending on what they're doing are forced to pay a fee for this as well. Training new skills costs game currency too. That said, unless you're a free-to-play account, all of these are pretty trivial.
  • Red Dead Redemption II :
    • The most elite horses will cost you over $1,000 which is about $30,000 in today's dollar. Luckily you can find an Arabian (fastest horse in the game) in the wild as soon as the map opens up in chapter 2 that can last you for the entire main game if you want. However, if you want another type of elite horse, you will have to pay for it. Your main horse dies towards the end of the main story and the ones in the stables also don't carry over to the Playable Epilogue . The wild arabian won't respawn so if you want another, you'll have to buy it.
    • The gambling challenges which often rely on exact conditions to win. Like challenge #4 where you have to bust someone out in three different poker stations. The hands quickly get expensive and you usually have to go all in yourself to bust someone out. The Saint Denis location for poker is a $5 buy in and the hands can quickly get up into the $20 range. The most notorious of these challenges is #8 where you have to beat the dealer in Black Jack by hitting exactly three times. Nintendo Hard doesn't even begin to explain it. Even if you're betting small amounts, the total racks up quickly and it could very well you six hours worth of play to get the challenge.
  • Robopon has expanding the floors of your company in the first game, and Hoffman Tower in the second game.
  • WildStar will have player housing and various other money sinks, and put up an article detailing the hows and whys behind it.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a series of books based on Luigi's adventures that cost hundreds of coins each. It's worth collecting them, however; aside from giving a hilariously inaccurate version of the story Luigi tells you between each chapter, it reveals the actual ending of his adventures, which he refuses to tell you. It's significantly sadder than he lets on.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda, rupees are hard to come by. The maximum you can carry is 255, but you can spend 250 of them on the blue ring alone. Also, the magical shield (at least 90 rupees), blue candle (60), arrows (90) and meat (60) will cost you a lot of rupees. Most of these items are required, if not strongly recommended. Upgrades to carry more bombs also cost 100 rupees.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the Pond of Happiness, where Link can toss in rupees in increments varying from 5 to 50 at a time. For every 100 rupees he throws in, a fairy will increase the maximum amount of bombs or arrows he can carry. Since most of the Cash Gates are cleared within the first half of the game, this gives the player something useful to do with the rest of it. Seven upgrades (six at +5 each and one at +10) can be "bought" for each item, allowing you to spend a maximum of 1600 rupees to bring your bomb and arrow capacity up from 10 and 30 respectively to 50 and 70.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Tingle, who requires you to spend 398 rupees eight times in order to complete the Triforce quest. Also, getting the Island Merchants' items (which also gives you the magic armor and a Piece of Heart) also means using lots of rupees if you're aiming for 100% Completion, since you always have to pay a value difference between the item you're trading and the item you're receiving. The HD remake does away with most of the Triforce Charts (five shards out of eight are acquired directly), but since the Magic Armor doesn't drain magic anymore, it instead takes away rupees every time you get hit, which means the more rupees you have, the longer you'll stay protected.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has several money sinks. There is the sidequest where you donate 1000 rupees to repair a bridge and then 2000 rupees (can be reduced to 200 by completing a different sidequest) to open a shop. There is also an old man who you can give 30 or 50 rupees every time you talk to him. Donate 1000 in total and he'll reward you with an heart piece. And then there is the magic armor which costs almost 600 rupees and consumes rupees when you wear it, but makes you immune for damage.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has both Beedle's shop (in which most items are very expensive, and in the case of the pouches the price increases upon each purchase) and the products and upgrades from the Bazaar. And until the very end, you're almost always in need of something — which is also why your wallet is able to get so much bigger. Unlike any of the other console Zelda titles, it's actually possible to go through an entire 100% Completion campaign and never once have your wallet filled to capacity.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has Ravio's item rental shop. You have to pay 20-50 rupees to rent each item, and if you die, you have to re-rent them. While the rent prices are reasonable, at one point in the game Ravio gives you the option to buy the items for 800 rupees apiece and have them permanently, which also lets you upgrade them via the Maimai sidequest. There's also a fairy fountain where you can toss in a combined total of 3000 rupees to earn a (Commonplace Rare) glass bottle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has jewelry and the armor pieces, where some of them cost 2000 rupees. Purchasing Ancient weaponry is also really expensive. Bows, melee weapons and shields cost 1000 rupees a piece, while arrows cost at least 80 rupees per arrow (if you buy the bundle of 5). And unlocking the final Fairy Fountain will cost you a whopping 10.000 rupees! Luckily, there are a lot of options to earn rupees really fast.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has struggled to institute meaningful Money Sinks across its history:
    • Training costs to level up or improve skills have been part of the game since the beginning, but were often ignored or made completely optional.
    • Learning new spells has only ever been costly at low levels and a pittance later on, and researching became less important in later editions as casters began to automatically gain new spells when leveling and floods of sourcebooks provided ample material to find just what you wanted.
    • Pre-3rd Edition, characters could become landed nobles with followers and households to maintain once they hit a specific level, but that was often ignored as the name of the game was Dungeons & Dragons, not Manors & Maids.
    • Pre-2nd Edition (and replicated in many retroclones), characters gain experience points equal to the sum of the gold they bring out of the dungeon - the main method of XP at the time, in fact, rather than killing monsters. A common houserule is to hold back the XP until the money is spent on something suitably useless, such as carousing or philanthropy.
    • 3rd Edition (and later) eventually shrugged its shoulders and made accumulating personal wealth part of the power curve, as both gold and XP are currencies for buying character ability. Effectively, magical treasure can become a sort of Money Sink of its own as players rarely find exactly what they want (unless tailored to their wishes by the GM), so they must sell off unwanted or unusable magic items at half their value and still pay the difference on acquiring something actually useful. Or learn to make do, which can be annoying for the fighter built entirely around swords whose first magical weapon is an axe.
    • In the MMORPG version, Dungeons & Dragons Online, wealth comes mainly from found treasure which can be sold to other players. This is done through (a) pawnshops, who'd buy your unwanted treasure cheap, and sell it to other players at a markup, and (b) the Auction House, which a charges a handling fee of about 30%.
      • In addition, the game institute a crafting system. To get the necessary materials, you have to disassemble your unwanted loot rather than selling it for gold. (As a result, the pawnshop's shelves have been bare for years. Player would rather craft.)
      • The money sinks ended up being so minimal that the original in-game currency(gold/platinum) became effectively worthless, with many players walking around carrying the absolute maximum amount of currency possible and entire freemium accounts being added just to act as currency mules. The game then added a new form of currency that has to be bought with real money, but the meta has shifted largely to bound-to-account items and no real game in-economy currently exists.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has the Gun Runners Arsenal DLC to serve as this in the game. GRA introduces new guns like the 5.56mm pistol, new version of weapons that couldn't be modified in the base game like the Anti-Material Rifle, rare weapons like the Bozar, and new ammo to buy like mini nukes and their variants like Tiny Tots that burst into a hive of screaming nukes and Big Kid that packs a much bigger punch at a cost of lower range.
  • Several new-ish MMOs (TERA, Blade and Soul and Archeage to name a few) instated NPC auction houses for players to trade. Besides making economy more accessible and transparent, it also made a great money sink via taxing almost every monetary operation in the game.
  • In Ravensword: Shadowlands, the houses you can buy and the furniture to fill them up with cost ludicrous amounts of money, so if you want to play Sims with this game, then better get ready for lots and lots of grinding.
  • The Gold Clock in Stardew Valley prevents decay of the fences and debris from spawning, which especially on the first day of a season saves a lot of time and energy. However, it is also the most expensive object in the game by far, costing 10 mil (for comparison, the second most expensive object is only 2 mil). By the time you can afford it, your energy meter will have been maxed out and good food become affordable, most of the terrain will have already been built on (eliminating them as debris spawn points), and the fruit trees will have been fully grown (debris prevents them from growing). In short, at that point it's more of a trophy to show off your earnings than a tool.
  • The Messenger (2018) has a literal sink to dump currency into within the shop that was added by the devs as a way to offload the Time Shards you gain after buying up all the upgrades. Doing this earns you nothing and the protagonist is explicitly told by the shopkeeper this, but he stubbornly refuses to believe that there isn't some hidden reward for doing so. The Picnic Panic DLC did add some use to it, where it now teleport you into the Toymaker's room who makes miniature figurines of enemies for a very high price.
  • In Dink Smallwood mod Legend of the Duck buying a long sword at the item shop in Stant costs precisely as much gold as you happen to have on you at the time.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: As you progress through missions, you will unlock merchants in your camp, from whom you can buy randomly generated items using the emeralds you found.
  • Hades has a number of resources that are given large sinks to keep them relevant in the Playable Epilogue:
    • Gems and Diamonds have a large number of Cosmetic Awards available from the House Contractor. Notably, each music track in the game is available for purchase, most of them costing several diamonds.
    • Most resources have a UI theme that requires a vast number of that resource to unlock.
    • In the postgame, cosmetic titles can be purchased, each one requiring a great amount of Darkness and one of the other resources on rotation.
    • Each weapon has four aspects which, besides the vanilla Zagreus aspect, each take a large amount of Titan's Blood to upgrade to max. After maxing out one's favourite aspect for each weapon, more Blood isn't strictly necessary, but for those seeking completion of all aspects, it takes quite a lot.
    • It takes plenty of Ambrosia to upgrade all of the companions so they can be used multiple times a run. As with the Blood, this is more for completion's sake, as only one companion can be used in a run.
    • In the Temple of Styx, Charon's shop includes a valuable currency in the upper-right corner, which is usually a Titan Blood or a Diamond. However, it costs up to 1,200 coins, quite a money sink for players who have saved up so much from the previous levels.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In many games, the biggest money sink is the Secret Shop, hidden stores found in the later chapters that allow you to buy unusually powerful and expensive items—mainly rare and unique weapons, statboosters, and promotion items. It's not unheard of for players to sell off as much of their inventory as possible just to buy more at the shop (particularly in the handful of games that let you buy the movement-increasing Boots), as these items cost a pretty penny, especially when bought in bulk.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance introduces forging, which is the main sink in most of the games it appears in, allowing players to blow tons of cash on custom-built uber-weapons. The DS entries have both forging and a strong secret shop, meaning that the player should rarely be sitting on their money.

Alternative Title(s): Gold Sink


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