Why Are Android Games Free?

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  • Post last modified:April 11, 2023
  • Reading time:12 mins read

When I first got started with downloading and playing Android Games, it was a bit strange to see some really impressive games that could be downloaded for free from the Play Store.

I was like why would anyone spend so much time making this great piece and then give it out for free, there has to be a catch… and well, there is.

From what I’ve seen after a long time of playing and downloading Android games, I can tell you 3 reasons why Android games can be downloaded for free. They are Ads, In-App purchases, and Promotions.

We’ll talk more about each of them, so keep reading.

Now just so I don’t make every game developer look like they’re all in it for something, I really have to say that I have played games before that are entirely free. No ads, no upgrades, nothing.

Just play until you lose interest in the game.

I do believe that games like that still exist, only problem is games like that aren’t popular since the developers don’t do a lot of promotion for them.

Well, that’s all I can say about actual free games, so now, let’s start talking about each point.


Some free Android games come loaded with a lot of ads, these could be little ad banners at the top or bottom or those “watch for 30 seconds” video ads you randomly get while playing any of the free games.

why are android games free ads

We all know a lot of people find ads annoying, especially when they’ve gotten so hooked to a game, so what they do is turn off their internet (or block the game from having internet access) so no ads get downloaded.

Sometimes this works but since many Android game developers see this as a threat to their business, they are starting to make their games in a way that ads don’t just appear for no reason, ads appear to give you rewards for watching them.

It’s like a win-win situation, you have to watch the ads just to get those coins/diamonds/whatever it is you need to buy that upgrade and the developers get the money for pushing those ads to an audience.

So, although you were able to download the game for free, the developer of the game still makes money by pushing some ads to you.


According to Google, in-app purchasing is a way you can buy additional content or services within an app.

I believe that is easy to understand, but since we’re talking about games, I’ll just explain more.

why are android games free in app purchases

In-app purchases in games are things you buy with real money just to improve your gaming skills or continue playing a game. They could go from more lives, to better weapons or to more episode.

One thing about this is, it could either make or break a game for you. However, developers usually specify if a game has in-app purchases, so you know what you’re in for.

For example, one of my favorite games a long time ago was Dead Trigger, and the best weapon for me was the COLT-M4. I could go on a whole other level talking about how the gun is the best but I know that’s not why you’re here.

Anyway, the good part about the game is, you can actually finish the game without using that gun (or even spending any real money), but it won’t be as fun.

But to get that gun required gold coins. About a hundred or two, I can’t really remember.

Getting gold coins in Dead Trigger wasn’t easy, you’d have to play the game for days before accumulating enough gold coins.

Now that’s not something most people want, especially if they’re stuck in a level and the COLT-M4 was the recommended weapon in order to pass that level without a lot of trouble.

But at the same time getting about 200 gold coins to buy the gun was something you had to spend real money on.

If you’re like me that wants to experience a new good weapon, you’d have used actual money (or found another way to get it for free lol).

But the good part about it is that, with Dead Trigger, in-app purchases are not forced, you just have to keep playing the game to get fake money for purchasing new weapons and upgrades.

But not all free games with in-app purchases are like that. For example, there are great free games that have really good stories that you just have to pay for in order to continue playing.

I’m talking about games like The Walking Dead, Xenowerk Tactics, Life is Strange, Rebolique, etc.

When I said in-app purchases could make or break a game for you, this is what I mean by breaking the game.

It’s like by the time you are already hooked to the game; they ask you to pay if you wish to continue playing.

It may be frustrating at that point especially if you can’t afford it.

There is just no way you can continue the game without paying. Unless you use illegal means of getting the game, which I don’t recommend.

You should always check to see if a game has in-app purchases. And read the description of the game to know what you’ll be paying for.

Other forms of in-app purchases include:

  • Paying to get more lives (e.g. Candy Crush).
  • Paying to make your character look cool (e.g. PUBG Mobile).
  • Paying to skip missions you can’t find a way to complete.
  • Paying to unlock a stage, etc.

A lot of game developers use this method for getting money from their free games, it has that “you really don’t have to pay if you don’t want to” feeling attached to it.

Even though some games get to a stage where you literally can’t pass without some sort of upgrade that requires an in-app purchase.


Promotion is by far the least common way why Android games are created for free. The way it works is a bit similar to advertising.

It’s when a game is entirely free and you enjoy playing it.

Once the game gets to a point where it has reached a lot of people, all the developer has to do is update it and include other games in a recommended section.

This can also be done before the game gets popular.

The recommended games are usually the games that will make the creator a lot of money from ads or in-app purchases.

I’m sure a lot of you have seen games that recommend downloading other games before.

But these are by far the games that are actually free, no ads, no in-app purchases and no need to have an internet connection while playing (in most cases).

Promotions also help the creators gain the recognition they need so the games or apps they create in the future will receive positive feedbacks.

And finally, promotions increase the developers’ chances of being hired by big gaming companies. Developers have to eat right?


I always wondered why some Android games are free, what’s in it for the people who take their time to create games that a lot of people play.

Now that you and I know why most Android games are free to download, I also have to inform you that there are some games that could have a combination of having ads, in-app purchases and a lot of promotions.

There is no limit to what a developer can do with their game, it’s all left to you to keep playing or download something else.

Now of course not all Android games are like that. I have played some games that are completely free, even though that was a while back.

But what you’ll observe with those kind of games is that they aren’t usually that interesting (at least there weren’t to me). You only play them for a while and get totally bored because you keep repeating the same thing.

Well, that’s all I can say about why some Android games are free. I hope I have been able to help you out with the answer.

You can check out my YouTube Channel. I play a lot of Android games on it. Hopefully, you will find one or two interesting games to get lost in.

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask. And of course you can tell me if there are other reasons I haven’t touched yet. Until next time, stay awesome.