Is Too Much RNG a Problem For Competitive Gaming?

RNG appears in more and more video games, which worries many players with a competitive approach. But is it rightfully so?

Updated on Dec 23, 2022
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Is Too Much RNG a Problem For Competitive Gaming?

RNG, or Random Number Generation for short, is a mechanism implemented in more and more video games, usually to make some aspects of gameplay unpredictable. One might think that such procedures would be fine in a casino, but in competitive games where million-dollar prize pools appear, and pro players treat their grind as a full-time job and are earning real money for playing these games? Well, not so much, right?

Apparently, there are some good and bad aspects of RNG in competitive games that we are going to cover today to give you a better understanding why it is hard to create a popular game without some random mechanisms.

Understanding RNG in Competitive Video Games

Random Number Generation mechanisms are in absolutely all top video games today, and it is often not even related to the gameplay itself, such as Loot Boxes in Overwatch, Item Shop in Fortnite, or Night Market in Valorant. Still, then we have competitive games like Hearthstone or Teamfight Tactics, where random elements have won games at major tournaments multiple times
Understanding RNG in Competitive Video Games

So, why do game developers choose to implement random mechanisms at all, especially in games with a well-developed eSports system? The answer is simple – to make them more addictive and make you want to play more. This has a biological basis, and believe us, game developers know this. Ask yourself, how many times have you entered a game just to see your item store or daily quests and stayed for 1-2 matches?

As humans, we usually get more excited about things we can't fully predict the outcome of, which is why going to the casino seems more appealing than playing a game of chess.  It's even the same with social media, where in fact, the main feature that makes them so attractive is how random they are! At the end of the day, you never know what will show up on your Instagram or TikTok feed, even though you can expect it to be more or less hooked on your interests. And then you end up scrolling all day.

How To Balance RNG in Video Games

RNG and generally gambling-like elements have to be in video games, and there is no other option for that, because, well, game developers need your time and clicks to pay their bills, and this method just works. However, in our opinion, RNG elements should stay out of competitive gameplay as much as possible

Overwatch Mystery Hero

However, honestly speaking, it seems that for now, none of the most popular eSports titles have a problem with this, and at the highest levels, a good player will always win against a bad one. Most RNG stays in a "Daily Quest" or "Item Shop" sections or some non-competitive game modes, and that is an example of healthy RNG, because it doesn't really stop you from going pro. 

Sure, there are games like Clash of Clans, or the new MARVEL Snap card game where RNG is just on another level, but let's be honest – these aren't the biggest eSports games you see in arenas. And as long as it will look as it does now, we think that RNG mechanisms are being a net positive for competitive games.

Can You Beat RNG?

We think that you can actually beat any RNG by just playing more games. Even if you lose one, two, or even five games against players that are worse than you are because of random elements, you will still win more games in the long run if you are really so good. It's the same in any competition or sport – sure, sometimes you will randomly fail eventually, but your consistent performance tells you how good you actually are, not just one loss.

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