Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki

(except in Rebirth)
This article is about the challenge. For the item, see Pay To Play.

PAY TO PLAY is Challenge #24 and was added in The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth. In this challenge, Isaac starts with 50 coins, Collectible Money = Power iconMoney = Power, and the Collectible Sack of Pennies iconSack of Pennies. However, every doorway is now an arcade door, and taking any damage will cause Isaac to lose more pennies than can be picked up, similar to when being attacked by GreedGreed. Having 0 pennies will kill him and end the challenge. The goal is to defeat Boss Isaac ingameIsaac. This challenge is unlocked by unlocking the Collectible Sack of Pennies iconSack of Pennies and Collectible Mr. Mega iconMr. Mega, done by defeating Isaac with Cain and blowing up 10 Tinted Rocks, respectively.

Difficulty[ | ]

Needing money to continue the run causes shop purchases to become much riskier, and extra coins may have to be found in addition to hearts when getting hurt.

The arcade doors in this challenge appear to be "overlaid" on the level's normal doors, even after they have been opened. In most cases, this allows Isaac to unlock and enter rooms that normally require keys (or bombs) with a coin instead. However, certain doors are still "active", and can still damage or block the player, even after being unlocked with a coin. These doors will appear to be normal open doors, despite the effects triggering when attempting to pass through them.

  • Curse RoomCurse Room doorways will still damage the player (without flight and/or shielding) after unlocking them with a coin.
  • Challenge RoomChallenge Room and Boss Challenge RoomBoss Challenge Room doorways will still prevent the player from entering with too few or too many red hearts respectively.
Also, the doors to these rooms will appear to be the same as all the other doors on the level. It may be helpful to keep an eye on the mini-map to ensure that health (and coins) aren't needlessly lost to a Curse Room, or waste a coin on a Challenge Room he cannot enter. (Bombing into these rooms appears to leave them unaffected.)
  • Presumably because they hold 0 coins Co-op babies are killed instantly upon entering the game.

Strategy[ | ]

  • Collectible A Quarter iconA Quarter and Collectible A Dollar iconA Dollar are fantastic items in this run, as they give Isaac a good amount of coins. IV - The EmperorIV - The Emperor card is useful in this challenge as it teleports him directly to the boss, preventing the loss of any coins.
  • Lucky RockLucky Rock will allow Isaac to gain more coins simply by destroying rocks. Combined with a means of infinite bombs or any other way to break rocks without a cost (such as Collectible Samson's Chains iconSamson's Chains), this trinket becomes invaluable.
  • Store CreditStore Credit, Credit CardCredit Card, Collectible Diplopia iconDiplopia, (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Mr. ME! iconMr. ME!, and (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Coupon iconCoupon will all help Isaac obtain items from the shop for free. Similarly, the Rune of JeraRune of Jera can create free copies of shop pickups.
  • Finding a 2 of Diamonds2 of Diamonds card early on can potentially max out the coin count, making the run much easier.
  • Collectible Blank Card iconBlank Card can be used to get multiple uses out of 2 of Diamonds2 of Diamonds or Credit CardCredit Card.
    • (except in Repentance) Additionally, if the player can manage to get a Rune of JeraRune of Jera, it can be used to get infinite coins, which makes it much easier to win.
  • Collectible Rune Bag iconRune Bag is very helpful in this challenge, especially if it produces Rune of JeraRune of Jera, Rune of EhwazRune of Ehwaz, or Rune of AnsuzRune of Ansuz.
  • Counterfeit PennyCounterfeit Penny can increase the value of found pennies. This also means that when damage causes Isaac to drop coins, it is likely to have a net gain once collected. If lucky, this can result in nearly indefinite coins, making this challenge mostly trivial so long as Isaac has a steady health supply.
  • Collectible Piggy Bank iconPiggy Bank and Swallowed PennySwallowed Penny will drop extra coins when hit, likely enough to stop the issue of coin loss from being hurt.
  • Collectible Wooden Nickel iconWooden Nickel can be used in every room to try and generate coins.
  • Collectible Contract From Below iconContract From Below will remove rewards when clearing a room 1/3 of the time, but it otherwise doubles any rewards that do spawn after a room is cleared. If it is found in a Devil RoomDevil Room, it may be worth risking hearts for the chance of extra coins spawning after clearing rooms.
  • (in Afterbirth † and Repentance)Collectible Eye of Greed iconEye of Greed can either make or break this challenge, as it can quickly chew through your money with a high-enough tear rate, but the gold tears you fire after every 20 tears will deal extra damage and can spawn more coins when killing a petrified enemy.
    • (in Repentance) Hitting an enemy while Isaac has money always drops a penny, which reduces the headache the item can cause for this run
  • Collectible Humbleing Bundle iconHumbleing Bundle will keep the coin count at high levels by doubling the value of all pennies found. The earlier it is obtained, the better.
    • (in Repentance) It has a 50% chance of transforming pennies into their double version.
  • Collectible Head of the Keeper iconHead of the Keeper gives a chance to earn coins after hitting enemies.
  • Collectible Midas' Touch iconMidas' Touch can be used to turn enemies into gold that splits into coins.
  • Collectible Glowing Hourglass iconGlowing Hourglass can allow Isaac to exit dead-end rooms, earning him back the coin spent getting in.
  • Collectible BFFS! iconBFFS! gives Sack of Pennies a 33% chance to drop a coin in rooms where it normally wouldn't.
  • If the player has many bombs to spare or a renewable source of explosives (such as Collectible Epic Fetus iconEpic Fetus), bombing through and out of Secret Rooms can save some coins. Since rooms count as "unlocked" on all sides once they have been successfully entered and cleared of enemies (except for the Shop, which must be exited through the main door to fully unlock), the remainder of the rooms bordering the Secret Room can be unlocked with bombs/explosives instead of coins.
  • Items like Collectible Treasure Map iconTreasure Map and Collectible The Compass iconThe Compass can help narrow down where Isaac can go and where is likely to just be a dead-end, so they can be valuable purchases from the Shop. The boss room usually appears at a dead-end far away from the spawn point.
  • ShopShops usually appear farther from the spawn point than a LibraryLibrary. Both can contain useful items, but the Shop generally has better items for this challenge.
  • Additionally, Collectible Guppy's Tail iconGuppy's Tail and Collectible Mom's Key iconMom's Key can provide a sustainable amount of money given that each chest opened will likely contain a large amount of coins and other consumables.
  • A combination of Broken RemoteBroken Remote with active items that are always charged (or have a recharge time in seconds) can prevent the loss of coins to doors, which can prove to be very effective, but may cause wasted time trying to reach the room desired.
  • When exiting Curse RoomCurse Rooms, it's possible to quickly backtrack into the room to pick up the coins that dropped due to taking damage from the door frame, and then quickly exit once again, without taking damage for the second time. This allows you to conserve coins, and is possible to pull off even with Isaac's starting speed.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Blood Oath iconBlood Oath can kill Isaac by rapidly draining all of his coins.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Clear Rune iconClear Rune can copy the effects of Rune of JeraRune of Jera and help generate coins.
  • (in Repentance)Blue KeyBlue Key can be used to completely bypass the money requirement of moving through the floor, at the expense of having to fight twice as many rooms per floor.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible Deep Pockets iconDeep Pockets increases the coin cap to 999, allowing Money = Power to increase damage further, as well as spawning coins in rooms where a room clear drop would not occur.
  • (in Repentance) Unlocking Fool's Gold rocks will help if you're willing to spare a bomb. Large clusters of them can reward you with more coins than you spent on the floor with.
  • (in Repentance) Golden Pennies give a variable amount of money before disappearing. If unlocked, they can be very useful, but their rarity makes their necessity for this challenge debatable.

Reward[ | ]

  • 2 new pills
    2 new pills - Complete PAY TO PLAY (challenge #24).
    • The pills unlocked are Addicted! and Percs!