Woman finds out secret to how claw machines work after buying one of her own


‘I feel like we all suspected this’: Woman finds out secret to how claw machines work after buying one of her own

‘We all knew it but I’ve never seen the hard evidence. Thank you.’


Jack Alban


If you ever thought that there was an inherently “scammy” element to claw machines, then you’ll be happy (or maybe disappointed) to know that to some extent, you’re right. At least, that’s according to a viral TikTok post uploaded by Katie Clark (@clarkatie) that’s accrued over 104,000 views as of Saturday.

Clark says she purchased a claw machine for herself and saw that the device came with a manual. While perusing through the booklet, the TikToker, who primarily uploads renovation-themed content, came across a pretty damning chapter that blew the myth of the claw machine wide open—it has less to do with skill and more to do with how sadistic the owner is with its difficulty settings.

We’ve all been there when playing the machine—you line up the claw perfectly over the item you want, maybe you even have a friend check the side of the glass so both your X and Y axes are covered. You take a deep breath and drop the claw down. You see it perfectly grab the item, but it fecklessly falls from its limp grasp, evoking a visceral desire to grab a brick and smash it through the glass.

However, according to the manual Clark showed off, the ability to grab an item is a manual setting that can be adjusted by the owner.


Exposing the claw machine industry !

♬ original sound – Katie Clark

“I found this, and, how about it, you can change the rate of success,” she says, opening the booklet to show the viewers. “So, you know in the claw, like, it’s, it’s not clawing. You know? You can, you can pick it, so I feel like we all suspected this and I’m here to tell the truth to spread the word.”

She shows the booklet instructing owners how to change the rate of success, with options ranging from one out of one times, all the way to the rate being one out of 50 times.

“When I’m playing, Imma put this baby on one-on-one…when my nephews and family come over, they better watch out,” she says, highlighting the option to have the claw machine succeed only one out of every 50 times.

Some Influencers post their successes with random claw machines on social media as part of their entire brand. The postings seem to suggest that the efficacy these folks are having with the claw machines is rooted in some type of skill, which could be the case. Or do these claw machine experts have the manuals on hand and are figuring out ways to reset the difficulty on them?

There are also some tutorials online that show folks how to adjust the grip strength of the claw, which could result in more prizes if you’re gunning for that Pikachu plushie for your kid. One claw machine owner detailed how they were adjusting the claw machine to be able to grip Valentine’s Day plushies for customers, to make it even possible for them to win anything at all.

Some viewers shared claw machine anecdotes of their own. One mom said that their kids hit the jackpot, even if the business owner didn’t think so. “My kids won about 10 random toys off only a few $ from one recently,” she wrote. “The next week we went in and the machine was off with an out of order sign.”

Another user seemed to think that this revelation was common knowledge. “Yeah they just schedule them to payout after a certain number of plays so they get enough revenue per payout,” they claimed.

However, others remained steadfast in their belief that the claw machines are primarily skill-based, with one user writing, “Even after seeing that i still believe it all depends on the placement.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Clark via email for further comment.

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