Game Design Psychology: How to Motivate & Engage Players

Games on sites like Casino League of Slots are not there just because the creators thought they looked and felt great. Every action or element has a purpose to it – to make the players stay and play more.

Casinos and game developers use a lot of psychological hacks to make gamblers bet more money. Even in a land-based facility, every color and placement of wall, lights — everything is put there for a reason. Today, we will take a closer look at the psychology of game design and casinos to understand how developers motivate players to play more.



One of the most important things that a player must feel is a sense of accomplishment. It is why many developers incorporate this value in their games.  

Here are some examples of achievements:

  • Killing an opponent – common in role-playing games like PUBG, counterstrike, Assassin’s Creed, etc.
  • Finding loots – loots, secret locations, and secret items make gamblers feel some sense of exclusivity—something that only smart and hard-working players like them can achieve.
  • Getting rewarded with trophies – commonly given as a “title” like the game, like the “ultimate terminator” or something equivalent.


The achievement makes the player value their efforts — an achievement, like a medal, is one that provides a person with some sense of honor. It is, by far, a reward system. Achievements indicate that the effort has amounted to something important.

We can also think of it as evidence of either hard work or intelligence — like getting a championship trophy. Without anything that gives a player a sense of achievement, the player is likely to leave the game.



Progression refers to how a player advances while playing. It is vital because a player wants to achieve a goal — to finish the game and improve their character. 

Here are some examples of game progression psychology:

  • Advancing the player to the next level.
  • Making a player level up his skills.
  • Giving the player more roles to fill.
  • Allowing the player access to high-level materials, weapons, or skills.


Game progression in itself is an accomplishment. In casino titles, it is too common in slot machines. There are slot meters that fill up based on the results of the spins.

In non-casino gaming, players often progress in stages or skill levels. For example, Diablo and Skyrim allow them to weld better equipment and weapons after achieving a certain character level. A player also can dress up their characters, buy more weapons, or even use better versions of magic as they progress while playing.



A certain degree of control is necessary to make players stay to play more. The gaming world is an alternative world, and games must allow players to do what they normally could not in the real world.  

In typical RPGs, control is too obvious, here are some examples of what a player can do:

  • Buy guns, reload if they want, and use the type of guns of their choosing.
  • Choose a character, design it, make it tall, small, etc.
  • Can walk, run, crouch, etc.


In the casino industry, control is much more limited compared to casual gaming. The reason is that the element of chance has to be higher. Nevertheless, casino gamblers can still exercise control. For example, they can decide on blackjack when to hit, call, or double down, etc.



The final gaming psychology in our list is a collection. It is a situation where a player can collect something from the game. There are many ways to do this, but the purpose is the same: to make the player own something and find meaning in his efforts.  

Here are some examples of casual gaming:  

  • Owning a property in the game.
  • Winning in-game credits or coins.
  • Making a profit in the game (in-game profits).
  • Collection of bonuses and rewards.


In the casino industry, the most common thing that players collect is money. They make a bet and collect the chips if they win. There are many casinos that add something better to this. They use a reward system, commonly called a VIP Program, which allows gamblers to collect rewards later.

Many casinos also use bonuses that players can collect after making a deposit. Often, these bonuses are in the form of cash or free spins in selected slot machines.  

For casinos, it is imperative that they convince players of the value they offer — winning money. For mobile game developers, they typically give a player challenges to motivate them to stay and play more.

Game psychology is an important aspect of every development activity. It is the key to keeping the players hooked in the process of gaming. Without it, people will leave. Casinos and mobile game developers want as many gamblers as they can get.

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