Buy Feature for Online Slots

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To make their online slots more adventurous and more immersive, and above all different from a multiverse of cookie cutters out there, developers keep brainstorming how to create new features. Walking Wilds, Random Wilds, Sticky Wilds, Stacked Wilds, progressive jackpots, multipliers, Pick Bonuses, Gamble Features, and similar do sound cool, but they have more or less become standard assets. 

Have you ever heard of Buy Feature? Designed to increase the temperature of the reels, this powerful element has gained immense popularity among consumers who like faster gameplay. Enabling them direct access to some of the key features in the game, this secret ingredient gives a notable boost to winning opportunities. 

As powerful as it sounds, Buy Feature has a couple of downsides, of which the most frequently discussed one is the increased risk of losing more money than initially planned. For that reason, some jurisdictions outlawed it, justifying such a decision as one of the measures to promote responsible gambling

Buy Feature Explained 

Also known as Buy Bonus, this feature allows players to purchase extra spins or access another valuable feature without waiting for them to naturally land

So, the Buy Feature eliminates all the waiting and countless so-called dead spins, giving a consumer the opportunity to instantly trigger extra spins or some other bonus, and increase winning opportunities. As for the price of this feature, it is usually proportional to the betting stake. For example, it costs between 50x and 100x the current bet, but it can be lower or higher than that as well.

Here’s how to calculate it: Let’s say the Buy Bonus comes at 100x the stake, and you are betting $0.50 per spin. The cost of unlocking FS via Buy Feature would be $50, but all payouts will be based on the standard bet you’ve initially placed, which in this case is $0.50.

One of the most extreme examples is San Quentin xWays® by Nolimit City, where this feature allows consumers to buy their way straight into the Lockdown Spins. Depending on whether they want to activate it with 3, 4, or 5 Bonus symbols, they should pay 100x, 400x, or 2,000x the bet. But this example is an exception, they come at a much more reasonable price than that. 

Aside from being referred to as Buy Feature in Relax Gaming’s slots or Bonus Buy in Blueprint Gaming’s games, this asset is also known under a couple of more names. If you were to play Nolimit City’s titles, you’d find it as Bonus Feature Buy, whereas Pragmatic Play names it Buy FS Feature. Big Time Gaming has Feature Drop, whereas Scientific Games’s content includes Buy Pass. 

Which Studio Presented Buy Bonus for the First Time? 

Wondering which studio was the first to promote this interesting feature? It was Big Time Gaming (BTG), a forward-thinking content developer widely famous for innovations, among which Megaways mechanics is definitely the most popular one. 

Premiered in 2017 with the release of White Rabbit, Feature Drop instantly captured the attention of players. It was the very first game to offer an option like that, but there was another thing that made it unique compared to the Buy Feature we know today. 

White Rabbit contains something called a token collection feature. While playing the base game, consumers collect tokens. When they acquire enough of them, they can lower the price of the Buy Feature. If they are lucky enough to collect a really large number of tokens, they can even activate the bonus game for free. 

Thanks to this, the gameplay is even more challenging and unpredictable, securing more immersive casino experience. What’s even more important, it makes Buy Feature available even to clients who are not playing at large stakes. 

Buy Bonus Advantages 

Talking about why Buy Bonus is an awesome thing, we could say that it’s because it provides: 

When playing games, some players like to take some time to admire the graphics and visuals, enjoy the soundtrack, and then start spinning the reels. The others don’t think any of that is important, so they skip the “admiration” part, they just press the spin button, and opt for the Buy Feature after a couple of spins to jump right into the bonus action without any delays. 

  • Faster access to rewarding features 

All that grinding can sometimes be quite time-consuming, right? Well, to eliminate those long sessions with infinite rounds of empty spins and no action on the reels, players have this option which allows them to directly access extra spins or some other features in the game. 

Paying attention to slot games’ paytables, one will notice that titles that have Feature Buy offered as an option have different RTPs for base mode and the one where this asset is applied. Thanks to this, games with this element are suitable for those who like to play slots with higher RTP

The opportunity to access extra spins without having to wait is sometimes quite costly, and not all players can afford them. On the other hand, they are great for consumers with larger bankrolls. 

  • Less time-consuming gameplay

Some players have plenty of free time they can spend playing slot games, the others do so during shorter snack breaks or while commuting on their smartphones or embarking on an adventure on their smartwatches. The last thing they want is to spend those short playing sessions watching series and series of non-winning spins. That’s where Buy Feature steps in, allowing them more rewarding sessions, even if they are limited to a couple of minutes only. 

Analyzing the Disadvantages of Buy Feature

Faster access to valuable features- what’s not to like about that? What on Earth could possibly be disadvantageous about that? Well, every incentive of this kind represents a double-edged sword, and it all depends on the perspective you are observing it from. 

While the positive sides associated with this feature are numerous, some consider it disadvantageous because:

  • Sometimes it’s quite expensive 

As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, Buy Bonus is not always affordable to an average type of slot player who gambles with a limited budget. This feature can trick people into spending more than they initially planned if they are not careful enough. 

  • It makes the gameplay less challenging and more predictive

While “more action” does sound exciting, this feature actually shortens the time one spends trying to trigger a certain feature. The feeling of joy and reward that one feels when triggering a specific component by accident doesn’t exist if a Buy Bonus is applied. 

Worth noting is that if the only thing players want to do is a faster game, meaning they want reels to rotate faster, they can simply activate “Turbo Spin” or “Autoplay”. These are more or less common options in games, and they don’t come at an extra cost. 

  • Vulnerable players can become easily addicted 

Unfortunately, not all players are disciplined enough to stay within the limits of their budget and stop gambling when their predetermined budget is spent. They hope that the next shot is the winning one, the one they’ve been waiting for a long time, which is often not the reality. Such players should stay away from the Buy Feature. 

  • It’s not available in all jurisdictions

Following the UK Gambling Commission’s decision, UK players are not permitted to use this mechanics anymore. All casinos operating under UK license have this feature disabled, so if you happen to be from that region, now you know why you can access Buy Bonus. 

What to Take into Account When Choosing Slots with Buy Feature? 

Buy Feature certainly is quite a powerful element, designed to provide authentic, more dynamic, and sometimes, more rewarding gaming sessions. Yet, whether slots have or don’t have this element shouldn’t be the only criterium for you when looking for a game to play.

You should also pay attention to things such as:

  • Structure (3x3, 3x5, 7x7, etc.) and paylines/ ways/ Megaways, cascades…
  • Available features- Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers, extra spins, bonus games…
  • The theme of the game, visuals, soundtrack…
  • Hit frequency, volatility, and RTP

Access the game in demo mode, have a couple of spins “on the house”, to feel the game, and see how it performs. Then you will be able to see whether it’s worth playing in real money mode and eventually activating Feature Buy. 

When you decide to play for money, then make sure you choose a trustworthy casino. Don’t waste time on unlicensed sites and the ones with have bad reputation among players. 

On the other hand, if your bankroll is not large, and you don’t have the feeling that base game mode is too boring for you, there’s no need to speed things up by spending money on Buy Bonus. You can enjoy lengthier playing sessions. Plus, there’s always a chance for those features to land naturally, without having to be “nudged”

Buy Feature and Responsible Gambling- Frenemies?!

Justifying its decision as a way to enhance responsible gambling measures, the Commission decided to prohibit Buy Bonus because it allows consumers to spend more funds for shorter periods. The group believed to be at special risk are clients who chase big wins. 

Every player should know that their power is in their hands. Eventually, they are the ones who decide whether they want to speed the bonus features up a bit or want to let things flow naturally. Remember that the Buy Feature is optional, not mandatory. 

As long as you follow the guidelines on responsible gambling, and think of it as fun, rather than a source of income, there should be no problems. If you know how to set limits and stick to them, no feature, no matter how alluring, can interfere with your gambling habits.