In decades gone by, land-based slot machines required zero skill among players. It was all a matter of fate and chance as to whether a player would win. As the iGaming industry continues to evolve, so too has the concept of skill-based online slot games. As iGaming developers attempt to improve the gamification and interactivity of online slot titles, skill-based elements have started to change the game.

In a conventional online slot game, the outcome of a spin is wholly dependent on the game’s random number generator (RNG) which operates continuously in the background. The RNG is constantly churning out random number combinations. These combinations relate to symbol positions on the reels. When a player clicks ‘Spin’, the RNG selects the most recent number combination to generate the on-screen result in the reels. As a matter of fact, the only interactive nature of a conventional online slot is deciding on the size of your bet, the number of pay lines you wish to play, and hitting that all-important ‘Spin’ button.

Even the bonus features in a conventional slot game require very little player engagement. Take free spins as a prime example, which gives players a genuine opportunity to win real money on the reels without having to spend a cent. Once a free spins bonus round is triggered, the feature will activate and the spins you’ve earned will be spun without you having to press a single button.

Instead, skill-based slot games are starting to put greater power in the hands of players, giving them the ability to influence the potential of their payouts. Some skill-based slots even mimic the arcade-style games, by encouraging players to ‘level-up’ and complete challenges which, in turn, increase their potential payouts.

The Most Popular Skill-based Slot Titles Today

Source: Piqsels
  • Invaders (Scientific Games)

    Invaders was one of the archetypal arcade classics across the globe. It was futuristic of its time but offered unrivaled simplicity in its gameplay. iGaming development studio Scientific Games has worked to design and build a skill-based Space Invaders-themed slot that looks and feels like a conventional online slot on the surface. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see the game come alive. Unlock the bonus features and players can sample the classic Space Invaders game with 150 attempts at shooting down alien ships.
  • Danger Arena (GameCo)

    GameCo’s Danger Arena slot game is designed to look and feel more like a first-person shooter. It was the first of its type to offer skill-based slot gameplay, with players able to enter 3D bonus rounds and shoot enemy robots in a time-limited feature. Players must gun down a minimum number of robots to bag an instant cash prize. It goes without saying that players who clear all of the potential enemies will be rewarded with the biggest possible jackpot. Players can also collect “power-ups” during base game spins which can be used to shield players from robot fire in the 3D bonus stage.
  • Arkanoid (Next Gaming)

    iGaming developers Next Gaming has also moved with the times to reboot Taito Corporation’s iconic Arkanoid brick-breaking game. One of the first intriguing features about this slot is that players can set their own difficulty from easy, normal, or hard. One would assume the higher the difficulty, the bigger the potential prizes on offer. Players use the paddle provided to divert energy balls towards the bricks, accruing power-ups to take down the invading aliens. As a level-based slot game, players advance through the levels to try and overcome the final “boss”.

Skill-based slot games give players a semblance of control over their destinies. As the iGaming industry pivots to attract millennial and Gen Z customers, embracing skill-based slots is a big step in the right direction.