Given that Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes was the game that triggered our interest in auto-play, it was appropriate we had the opportunity to discuss the practice with the game's executive producer John Salera.
A much-used technique in Chinese games, auto-play isn't something that comes naturally to western game designers, who have grown up with a more skills-based approach.
Yet as F2P game experts point out, it's an incredibly powerful way to boost engagement.
As for Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Salera explains why developer EA Capital Games came up with the three different play modes.
"We wanted to ensure player progression," he says.
"It's important to enable them to optimise their time."
Quick to the rewards
In this way, every battle can be played in fully manual mode, or automatically, using the game's AI. Or you can seemlessly toggle between the two.
However, because the AI isn't very intelligent, the most effective way to three-star a battle is to play it manually.
Once a battle has been three-starred, you can use a Sim ticket and gain the reward immediately.
If you've proved you can dominate a battle, your reward is to be able to sim it.John Salera
Whichever way you choose to play, you'll be using up some of your energy.
"If you've proved you can dominate a battle by gaining 3 stars, your reward is to be able to sim it," Salera says.
"Using a sim ticket is a short cut to the reward."
Similarly, he describes the auto mode as "an acceleration to the reward".
"But we don't want the AI to be too intelligence," he adds, when asked why it's notably stupid.
"The manual mode should also provide a different way to play."