Nintendo Badge Arcade is a collection of virtual crane machines that award decorative icons that the player can use to decorate their Nintendo 3DS' home menu. Crane machines rotate in and out frequently, so there is only a short window of time in which to collect every badge a machine offers. Plays on the crane machines cost real money and can be purchased five at a time. However, it is also possible to earn free plays by performing well on the daily practice machine, which is modeled on one of the active machines at the time and does not award badges. The player also has a random chance of being given free plays the first time they load the game on any given day. Since the game is free to start, it can potentially be played without making a single payment.