What Are Megaways Slots?
Nowadays, you’ll notice that many of the best online casinos have a category dedicated to Megaways slots. The questions that remain, though, are what makes them so special and how are they different from regular online slots?
Essentially, Megaways slots are an exciting new genre of casino game that incorporate some truly unique mechanics. As opposed to utilising a standard payline structure, each of these releases benefits from a special reel modifier that randomly alters how many symbols will appear on each reel on any given spin, which leads to the possibility of over 100,000 ways to win.
This groundbreaking innovation was the brainchild of Australian casino game developer Big Time Gaming and is now licensed to many other top providers. As a result, many of the finest online slots have undergone the Megaways upgrade, which means you get even more entertainment and unpredictability, along with higher volatility and the potential for incredible cash payouts!
How Does The Megaways Mechanic Work?
Playing a new online slot can be an intimidating experience at first. If you’re unsure of the game’s mechanics and features, it’s unlikely that you’ll be fully aware of what you’ll need to happen in order to achieve a win. Regular slots can be complicated enough but when you factor in the Megaways component each game can initially appear to be overly convoluted and confusing. Therefore, we’re here to shed some light on the topic.
As we’ve already touched upon, the Megaways mechanic is essentially a random reel modifier, which causes the play area to dynamically alter on each spin. The premise is that each individual reel generally displays between 2 – 7 symbols – these can be entirely different symbols or they can appear in a matching stack.
The resulting Megaways of the spin are a combination of all of the symbols on each reel as part of a multiplicative effect. For example, on a typical 6-reel Megaways slot, if symbols appeared in a 2x7x3x3x4x6 pattern you would end up with a total of 3,024 ways to win. However, if all reels were to display 7 symbols you would have the maximum 117,649 ways to win.
The History Of Megaways Slots
Over the course of history, the key building blocks of online slots have evolved to keep up with the latest demands. The initial offering of classic 3-reel slots with limited features was once enough to satisfy most players but with new technologies and ideas being dreamt up everyday providers have had to do more to appease the needs of the masses.
Then, in 2016, an Australian casino game developer came up with an idea that would forever change the online slot landscape. Still relatively new to the scene, Big Time Gaming had a goal to improve upon existing models and create a new wave of online slots that would benefit from game changing-features and thus the Megaways mechanic was born.
The first release to undergo the Megaways treatment was immediately met with plaudits from both fans and experts alike. Dragon Born Megaways reinvigorated the slot market via the introduction of a dynamic reel system that offered up to 117,649 ways to win – up until that point the nearest competitor only provided 4,096.
BTG was quick to capitalise on the success of Dragon Born Megaways and released the fan favourite Bonanza shortly thereafter. However, it wasn’t only Big Time Gaming who realised the potential of this new mechanic. Other leading providers wanted to get in on the action and in time several companies struck licensing deals so that they could create Megaways slots.
Fast forward to the modern-day and you now have hundreds of Megaways titles to choose from and, thankfully, NetEnt has also recently started to adapt some of their most popular slots to incorporate this exciting feature.
Top NetEnt Megaways Slots
NetEnt is one of the largest names in online slot development. Since its founding in 1996, the company has created and released over 150 unique games. However, it’s only recently that they’ve started to release Megaways titles. Those of you who are familiar with NetEnt’s past releases will instantly recognise the new launches, as they’re variants of earlier games. So, if you’re looking to see how new changes can improve upon classic gameplay, make sure to check out what’s currently available below.
Divine Fortune Megaways
To say the original Divine Fortune release was a huge hit for NetEnt would be a gross understatement. The game’s progressive jackpot along with the various special features struck a chord with iGamers from all over the world when it was first released in 2016.
Now, NetEnt has opted to rejuvenate their early creation and re-release it in the Megaways format. Divine Fortune Megaways offers many of the same features as its predecessor, so you should feel right at home from the outset. You can expect to see the original Wild on Wild Feature, Falling Wilds Re-Spins and an impressive free spins bonus.
There are two noteworthy changes though. The first is the evident inclusion of the Megaways mechanic that improves the available number of paylines. However, the second may not be to everyone’s liking. The progressive jackpot that was included in the original is no longer available. Instead, there are 3 fixed jackpot prizes that you can now win – worth 10x, 25x and 500x respectively.
Twin Spin Megaways
Another of NetEnt’s classic slots that has been reimagined several times is the hugely popular Twin Spin. After the original release, NetEnt developed the Twin Spin Deluxe sequel, which converted gameplay to a cluster pays mechanic. Now we have the third installment, which alters the core features once again – Twin Spin Megaways.
Whilst NetEnt has remained true to the classic look and feel of the game, the inclusion of the Megaways mechanic has breathed new life into the slot. The Twin Reel feature truly shines thanks to the dynamic reels. On each spin two adjacent reels will feature identical symbols but this can expand to cover the entire game area to create astronomical payouts worth up to 20,000x your stake. Elsewhere, other special features include the traditional avalanche mechanic, wild symbols and a free spins bonus with an unlimited multiplier.
Ultimately, Twin Spin Megaways offers players the best of both worlds. You get classic slot gameplay and modern features that can pay great dividends!
Megaways Slot Features
Whilst the dynamic reels mechanic is the driving force behind each Megaways slot release, the overall engine has a few more tricks up its sleeve. Every casino game provider that has obtained the license to create these slots has added its own dusting of individuality but there are several core features that you’ll find on most games in this genre.
First making an appearance in Bonanza Megaways, the cascading reels feature is now central to many titles within this genre of online slot games.
Whenever you successfully create a winning combination, where this feature is present, the winning symbols will explode and disappear from the reels. After doing so, the remaining symbols will fall to the bottom of the reels, leaving empty spaces behind. Once the reels have settled new symbols will fall in from above or potentially roll in on upper or lower reels depending upon the game.
The key thing to remember is that the cascading reels feature will continue until it creates no more winning connections. The benefit of this is twofold. First, more cascades mean more potential for extra wins. However, the second aspect is that it can also play an integral part in triggering the bonus features in many of these slots. As more space is created, it results in additional chances for the necessary Scatter symbols to drop in, thus activating the respective free spins features on each Megaways slot game.
Another element that is present in many Megaways releases is the Mystery Symbols feature. Although it isn’t included in every game, it has become an increasing core facet since it debuted in Diamond Mine Megaways.
The idea is that the feature randomly activates on any given spin, whether it be during the base game or the free spins bonus round. When it triggers, a random number of Mystery Symbols will appear on the reels, which will then transform into one matching symbol.
However, even if it triggers it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a win; there is still the chance that the symbols will not connect. That being said, the feature does have the potential to deliver incredible payouts – especially during the free spins feature when increasing multipliers come into effect.
Free Spins Features with Unlimited Win Multipliers
If you manage to trigger the main bonus feature on most Megaways titles, you’ll likely earn a number of free spins that benefit from an unlimited win multiplier. The feature itself is typically linked to the cascade mechanic; each winning combination increases the win multiplier by x1. Of course, this means that you can improve your win multiplier several times during a single spin if cascades keep occurring.
You will see certain variations of this feature in different Megaways releases. Some games simply award a set number of free spins with a x1 multiplier to begin with but others may offer you a choice. Games such as Temple of Treasure Megaways and Legacy of the Gods Megaways allow you to choose your initial setup. You have the option between several free spins features, which each offer a varying number of spins and a different starting multiplier. Essentially, it’s a risk versus reward scenario: you can opt for a larger multiplier with fewer starting spins for the chance to hit a big win early on, or you could choose more spins with a smaller multiplier to see if the wins gradually roll in and improve over time.
Additionally, the mystery symbol feature is often active during the main free spins bonus. Therefore, its potential to deliver huge wins is enhanced even further when you factor in the respective win multipliers.
Megaways Slots with Bonus Buy
If you’d prefer to get right to the heart of the action, certain Megaways slots enable you to skip the base game entirely and purchase the main bonus feature. Typically, this is set at around 100x your current stake but it can vary from one slot to the next.
One thing to bear in mind though is that, although this option is available to many players from around the world, it has been removed in certain jurisdictions. This is due to the regulations set forth by certain regulatory bodies such as the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) to help promote responsible gambling.
As always, we advise that you consider your available bankroll before using a Bonus Buy. As online slot features are random, there is no guarantee that you’ll come out a winner.
How To Choose the Best Megaways Slots
Before you play Megaways slots for real money there are a few factors that you’ll want to consider. Therefore, we’ve provided a list below that will improve your overall experience and also help you to make the most out of your time playing.
- Check the RTP: The Return to Player percentage is what helps you to estimate your returns over an extended period of time. As such, the higher the RTP, the better chance you have of winning. Anything around the 95% – 96% mark is considered to be above the industry average.
- Take a look at the special features: Typically, the largest prizes are awarded via certain in-game features. That’s not to say you can’t hit a big win during the base game but certain bonuses award special multipliers and modifiers that increase your chances of winning. Thankfully, most Megaways slots come with multiple bonuses, so there should always be something to look out for.
- Consider the slot’s volatility: Similar to the slot’s RTP, it’s volatility rating influences the overall gameplay. High volatility slots tend to favour infrequent, large wins as opposed to regular payouts, whereas with low volatility games the opposite is often true. In most cases, Megaways slots feature high variance gameplay but some outliers fall into the medium variance category.
- Choose a theme: Playing online slots is supposed to be fun. Of course, winning money is the ultimate goal but enjoyment should always be a priority. Megaways games come in all sorts of different themes and choosing one that appeals to you could be key to improving your overall experience.
- Read our slot reviews: If you’re still unable to choose between certain slots, check out our slot reviews. There you’ll find all of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision. We cover all of the game’s core features and mechanics, how much you potentially stand to win and everything else you’ll need to know.
Only play at licensed and recommended casinos: Your security is of paramount importance whenever you choose to gamble online. As such, we recommend that you only play at the NetEnt Casinos that we have fully vetted and reviewed.
Where To Play Megaways Slots
If you’ve decided to begin your Megaways slot adventure, you’ll need to find an online casino where the games are available. Thankfully, our experts have hand-picked a fantastic selection of NetEnt Casinos where you can enjoy the best NetEnt Megaways slots. Simply choose an iGaming site from the list below to get started – there may even be several casino bonuses to take advantage of!
Advantages & Disadvantages of Playing Megaways Slots
Just like any other casino game, there are various pros and cons associated with playing Megaways slots. Consequently, we suggest you familiarise yourself with them before risking your hard-earned cash. Take a look below to see the upsides and potential drawbacks to playing online slots of this genre.
- Unique gameplay: Online slot players are always looking forward to the next big innovation and the Megaways mechanic is perhaps the most groundbreaking creation in recent years. Megaways slots offer an unparalleled slot experience that is unique to each title. Although the game’s foundations are similar to regular online slots, insofar that you need matching symbols to land to win and that there are special features you can trigger, the subtle nuances of each game deliver incomparable gameplay.
- Huge potential wins: Whilst most NetEnt slots offer you a chance to win substantial cash prizes, the provider’s Megaways titles can deliver even larger payouts. Thanks to each game’s special features and win multipliers you have a chance to land huge wins worth over 20,000x your stake.
- Multiple special features: If you’re looking for feature-rich games then you needn’t look further than Megaways slots. Each title includes several unique features that can help you achieve large wins. You’ll enjoy several base game enhancements that can be immensely rewarding on their own, yet they can drastically improve if they trigger during the main free spins feature due to the huge win multipliers on offer.
- Classic games reimagined: If classic slots are more your thing but you feel as though they could benefit from a few modern-day upgrades you’re in luck. Although Megaways slots are often completely new releases, certain providers, like NetEnt, have chosen to revitalise their earlier portfolio. This means that you can still enjoy many of your favourite games and see how modern features can complement and augment the overall gameplay.
- High volatility: Those of you who play with a limited bankroll could be put off by the variance of Megaways slots. As they tend to be much more volatile than regular online slots, you can play through your deposit quite quickly and struggle to see any decent returns. Of course, those of you who prefer to play with an increased element of risk won’t necessarily see this as a drawback but, on the whole, Megaways games aren’t the optimal choice for the conservative player.
- Repetitive features: Although we mentioned that the features in Megaways titles often greatly differ from those found in regular slots, many of the same features are used within the same category of games. Each game has a similar variant of the free spins bonus, which utilises an increasing win multiplier, and mystery symbols are present in many of the games. Overall, very little differs apart from the overall theme. That being said, there’s a reason Megaways slots have become so popular and that’s due to the fact providers have found a winning formula.
Alternatives To Megaways Slots
The success of the Megaways mechanic has given rise to several similar variants. Not one to rest on their laurels, Big Time Gaming has been keen to maintain their presence in the online slot market and has developed other games using their initial innovation as a solid foundation.
Their first adaptation was implemented as part of a grid-style slot, which they coined Megaclusters. Each successful combination is removed from the play area as usual but each symbol position is then split into 4 quadrants to allow 4 smaller symbols to drop in.
The next addition to BTG’s series of Mega Mechanics saw the introduction of Megaquads slots. These titles allow you to spin four sets of reel simultaneously for a fixed initial stake, with certain features using all 4 reel sets to create potentially life-changing wins.
Finally, a new slot mechanic called Megapays is expected to hit the market soon. The idea is that its focus will lean towards jackpot-style games and we can’t wait to see what lies in store!