Dragonvale is a breeding simulation application in which players design a park and display dragons in habitats in order to earn “dragoncash”. Dragons earn dragoncash while staying in their habitat. Different dragons earn at different rates depending upon their type and rarity. Dragoncash can be used to upgrade a park with new islands, habitats, and decorations. Currently the game has a max park level of 60, and there is a total dragon count of 216, decoration count of 124, and an island count of 12.
There are ten basic elements: plant, earth, fire, cold, lightning, water, air, metal, light, dark, galaxy, and dream. Basic elemental dragons can produce a specific set of hybrid dragons by being paired in the Breeding Cave, the Epic Breeding Island, the Berrywhite Breeding Cave, which is only available during Valentine’s, or the Cooperative Breeding Cave. There are a number of limited or rare dragons that are only available during a specific period of time. These dragons are themed toward specific holidays, seasons, anomalies, and events. For example, the Ghost dragon is available for Halloween and the Reindeer dragon is available for the winter holidays. There are also limited epic dragons like the Leap Year Dragon that is theoretically only available every 4 years. Limited dragons are often released alongside a limited park decoration. Limited dragons include the gemstone dragons, which correspond to the monthly birthstones. Gemstone dragons earn gems rather than dragoncash. Backflip Studios has held several “bring them back” events to give players a chance to breed a limited dragon they may have missed the first time around.
Gems are a vital part of Dragonvale. Without them certain goals take longer to achieve. Gems can be acquired through trading them with friends, winning them in the colosseum and race track, purchasing them directly, or from gemstone dragons. There are also a small number of Epic dragons, including Sun, Moon, Rainbow, Treasure, Olympus, Gemstone, Dream, Seasonal, and Apocalypse. In addition, there is one legendary dragon, Kairos the Chronos dragon, who has the ability to fast forward all activities in your park by 6 hours.
Players raise dragons to adulthood by feeding them treats. Though breeding is the most common way to earn non-basic dragons, they can also be bought from the market for gems. Players can buy new islands to make space for more habitats. All dragons have a different dragoncash earn rate. For example, a gift dragon at level 10 can only earn 77 dragoncash per minute, while a rainbow can earn 400 per minute at level 10. A level ten moon dragon can earn 256 coins per minute.
To have dragons earn more cash, players may feed them treats grown from treat farms, won from the race track, or earned from the completion of quests.
The racetrack is a mini-game where players can race their dragons. Each Race lasts under one minute. Though timing plays a part, selecting a dragon whose elements match the current racetrack is required to win consistently.