The Claw Machine Was Actually Designed To Completely F*ck You Over

You probably know slot machines are rigged, but did you know claw machines are, too? Yep.

Writer Phil Edwards recently discovered the popular prize machine is designed to fail unless a profit can be made.

The folks over at Vox recently created a video revealing the mechanisms behind the dishonest, money-stealing game machine, and it's one of the most frustrating things you'll ever learn.

According to Edwards, the machine is able to keep track of money spent and will only partially power the claw if the money expended is less than the cost of the prize.

Instead of utilizing all of the available power, the claw will run using only a fraction of the usable energy, making it weaker and thus unable to hold onto a prize. On average, it takes a full 21 attempts to finance the machine enough to give the claw full power — but even then, it's randomized.

The designers of the game also intentionally made it so that if the claw does snag a prize, it will drop it — making customers feel as though spending one more dollar could secure the prize.

It's dishonest, shitty and super annoying, but in a weird way, I feel kind of vindicated knowing the truth: It wasn't my poor hand-eye coordination to blame for my failures. It was greedy designers.


Citations: The Science Behind The Claw Machine Will Enrage You (BuzzFeed)