Top 10 Forms of Currency in Video Games

Script written by Kurt Hvorup Money makes the world go round – and there's plenty of it in gaming. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Forms of Currency in Video Games. For this list we're taking a look at some of the most memorable and interesting monetary systems in the realm of gaming, spotlighting those with a stand-out feature or a unique element to their distribution. Be they gems, coins or glowing bricks, these currencies are notable for a reason. Special Thanks to our users "Andy Jackson-sullivan" "Robert Bruno Reyes" "samuraisly" for submitting this idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Top 10 Forms of Currency in Video Games


Money makes the world go round – and there's plenty of it in gaming. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Forms of Currency in Video Games.

Here we're taking a look at some of the most memorable and interesting monetary systems in the realm of gaming, spotlighting those with a stand-out feature or a unique element to their distribution. Be they gems, coins or glowing bricks, these currencies are notable for a reason.

#10: Super Sea Snails
“Splatoon” (2015)


Obtainable only during Splashfest events, these mysterious molluscs are intriguing in more ways than one. In the third-person shooter “Splatoon”, Super Sea Snails are used to get either additional gear slots or a re-roll of specific gear's abilities. To that end, players must visit Spyke, a gear expert living in a shady alley – with the Snails being traded in a manner akin to drugs. Given Spyke's large stash of Sea Snails and the cash price he puts on using just one, it's a fascinating if perhaps accidental parallel.

#9: Eridium
“Borderlands 2” (2012)


The world of Pandora is an odd place, to say the least, and its currency is no different. Eridium, an element spread across Pandora after the events of the original “Borderlands”, is a full-fledged tradeable item by the time its sequel rolls around. Specifically, this purple-coloured element is primarily used to obtain Black Market upgrades for characters. However, Eridium has been implemented elsewhere – from being refined for weapons manufacturing, to acting as a fuel, to even being absorbed by Sirens as a power enhancer. Nifty.

#8: Halos
“Bayonetta” series (2010-)


We imagine angels are wary of this. As it happens, the Halos collected in “Bayonetta” are said to contain some element of an angel's life force... and are obtained by way of mass slaughter. Those details alone add some ambiguity to the eponymous Umbra Witch Bayonetta's quest, without getting into her trading of the Halos to the fallen angel Rodin. On the bright side, all those Halos are useful for obtaining the game's various weapons, items and battle techniques. Even when she’s fighting demons who drop orbs instead of Halos, Rodin accepts those at a 1 for 1 value – like at some sort of fantastic vacation resort.

#7: The National Currencies
“The Witcher” series (2007-)


Change is not unheard of when it comes to the economy, and this game series is a fascinating case study. In the 2007 action-RPG “The Witcher”, the Northern Kingdoms relied on the oren coin for trade and other monetary concerns. This remained the standard for the sequel, but with the changes in political power in “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” the Kingdoms' start to use the Novigrad Crown. Most interesting of all, the Kingdoms allow oren to be traded for crown, with a one-to-one conversion rate.

#6: Bolts
“Ratchet & Clank” series (2002-)


Though they differ in shape, size and colour, the same unique design underlines it all. From the beginning, Bolts – as in actual fastening bolts – have served as the titular duo's main collectable, typically obtained by destroying crates... or foes. Visually quite unlike any other currency, Bolts also grant Ratchet and Clank a means of buying each game's full array of weapons, armour and upgrades. And that's before getting into the rarer variants, or the bolts rewarded from completing game-exclusive challenges.

#5: Studs
“Lego” series (2005-)


Unconventional though they may be, studs have quickly become a memorable form of currency. First introduced in “Lego Star Wars: The Video Game”, these tiny plastic Lego pieces soon found appeal as a plentiful form of collectable. Later “Lego” games peppered their levels with Studs and hid modifiers to boost one's total amount – as well as offering new characters and unlockable extras for trade. With varying amounts based on their colour and new incarnations such as Ghost Studs, it's difficult to find a neater balance between charm and worth.

#4: Souls
“Souls” series (2009-)


When all are undead and the world is in turmoil, what else could be used in trade? The “Souls” games' brooding atmosphere and embrace of subtle horror are encapsulated in their primarycurrency: the literal souls of foes. Taken from various enemies' corpses, Souls serve multiple purposes, from purchasing new armour and weapons to upgrading character stats. Thus, their multitude of uses gives them inherent value, making every death a burden and every effort to reclaim them a hard-fought victory.

#3: Rupees
“The Legend of Zelda” series (1987-)


Iconography is tough to pull off, but we feel Nintendo nailed it. Ever since the first “Legend of Zelda” game came to the NES back in 1987, the tunic-wearing hero Link has been greeted with gem-like Rupees in various incarnations of Hyrule. Bearing a simple yet colourful design, Rupees have at the same time evolved in terms of their worth, settling on a standard value for each colour of Rupee. And being distributed evenly enough to be both rewarding and reasonably plentiful certainly helps.

#2: Bottle Caps
“Fallout” series (1997-)


Speaking of something iconic, here's an effortless creation that makes sense as a replacement for money. In the “Fallout” series, traditional paper money and coins have fallen out of use, with their place being filled by the caps of Nuka Cola bottles. Besides being valuable because of their relative scarcity, though, the caps also reinforce something key: the theme of clinging to nostalgia. Their visual roots in 1950s Americana tie neatly into the “Fallout” world's inability to culturally move past that time and place – a reminder of what the world has lost.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Simoleons
“Sims” series (2000-)

Bells
“Animal Crossing” series (2001-)

#1: Bullets
“Metro” series (2010-)


There's nothing quite like the conflict between cost and convenience to make a player's experience thrilling. Set in the underground metro tunnels of post-nuclear Moscow, this series has relied on bullets as its currency since the 2010 game “Metro 2033”. The idea at play here is deceptively simple: special bullets the player collects can be used for either trade or combat. Trouble is, they're limited in number, making for tough moment-to-moment choices. Do you want to use these bullets to fend off enemies now, or abstain for the chance to spend them on valuable equipment? Decisions, decisions.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite form of currency in gaming? For more valuable Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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