The Success Of Sols RNG Is Absolutely Fascinating To Me

By admin Feb23,2024

As the holder of a Masters Degree in Game Design, it’s always interesting to me to look at the reasons why some games rise while others fall. Sols RNG is a recent success that has really set the gears of my mind spinning. Why, exactly? Because, while it’s technically classed as a game, in reality it’s little more than a glorified slot machine.

The Bizarre Success Of Sols RNG

Let’s back it up a little. Sols RNG is a Roblox experience in which you click a button to roll for Auras. These are cosmetic items you can equip, coming in a dazzling range of colours and an even more dazzling range of rarities. Some Auras can be used as materials to craft items, which can then be equipped to increase your luck, helping you roll rarer Auras sooner. There’s also a short platforming challenge you can complete for a luck boost.

And that’s it. That’s the whole game. These Auras don’t feed into any kind of RPG progression or tangible gameplay loop, they simply are. On the surface, this should be little more than a joke, a bizarre meta-commentary on the overuse of gacha systems in Roblox games that makes you chuckle before swiftly moving on. It’s gone far further than that, though. Sols RNG is, unbelievably, a huge success.

Tracing The Lineage

At time of writing, the game has had over 13.6 million visits, with an 82% overall approval rate. Perhaps even more impressive, it has over 38,000 active players. As I write these words, 38,000 living, breathing human souls are clicking away in front of their monitors, undergoing the familiar rollercoaster ride of anticipation and disappointment, or elation, with each new Aura they roll. These numbers boggle the mind, even more than the ridiculous odds the game eventually throws at you: one late-game Aura has a 1 in 20,000,000 chance to appear each time you roll, in a particularly extreme example.

Of course, it’s not like there’s no precedent for experiences like Sols RNG being popular. Turning the hands of time back just two years gets us to Vampire Survivors, another breakout hit that relied largely on gambling mechanics as a means of engaging players. Gacha gameplay is also pervasive in the industry at large, so much so that gacha has essentially become its own genre (one that makes up a huge percentage of all the games on Roblox). Even if you don’t play games, you’ve likely heard of Genshin Impact or Honkai Star Rail, after all.

To go back further, casinos have been evoking that ‘just one more spin’ feeling long before their customers could even conceptualise the kinds of games we have today. In his 1961 book Man, Play and Games, French sociologist Roger Caillois defined Alea, games of chance, as one of the four core types of play essential to humanity. In other words, you’d have to dive pretty deep into history to reach a time when we weren’t, collectively, susceptible to the lure of lady luck.

Rolling For Rolling’s Sake

There’s an essential difference that separates Sols RNG from the examples we’ve discussed here, however. It’s a game of chance for chance’s sake. In Vampire Survivors, your luck gets you weapons you can use to fight through the hordes. In Genshin Impact, your high rolls get you new weapons or characters you can use in the core game. At a casino, your rolls dictate whether you’ll be going home a rich man or a pauper.

In Sols RNG, though, All your rolls determine is which new cosmetic you’ll receive. Some Auras do have utility in crafting, but the only purpose of said crafting is to increase your luck to get even rarer Auras. It’s the gacha concept boiled down to its absolute purest form, divorced from any distractions or greater meanings. It’s a slot machine you can play as much as you want, but one that never pays out. So why is it so damn popular?

Some Working Theories

There are a few possible explanations for this. Chief among these is the basic appeal of the Auras themselves. These are all well-designed, with flashy visual effects and, in many cases, an accompanying soundtrack. Simply admiring these pieces of digital couture is satisfying in its own right, particularly when you’ve chanced upon one of the rarer ones. The decision to display the name and roll chance of each Aura above the character wearing it was inspired, letting wearers flex while also providing crucial information to onlookers.

And while this piece has focused on the lack of mechanical meaning in Sols RNG, for many players the simple act of proudly displaying a rare Aura to a group of friends will be motivation enough for rolling again and again and again. It’s a dynamic that brings to mind the sticker albums of childhood, and one that makes a lot of sense when you consider the youthful demographic that Roblox largely appeals to.

Whatever the reason behind its success, Sols RNG is a brilliant showcase of the surprise hit generator that is Roblox, and a reminder that, no matter how long you’ve spent in the games industry, you can never quite tell what the next big thing will be. If this indulgent rambling has convinced you to try out Sols RNG, you can do so via Roblox. For the already-converted, our guide on how to get money in Sols RNG may serve you better.

By admin

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