Gamers are not all the same. We have different motivations and objectives when we play. Gamers can be categorised in 4 broad categories called Player Types. The 4 broad Player Types are Achievers, Gurus, Explorers and Socializers. We will explain each of the Player Types in a little more detail below.
Achiever Player Type
Achievers are gamers who are competitive and love rewards. They love treasure hunt. The more challenging the goal, the more satisfaction they feel. Their main goals in game are gathering points and levelling up. Thus, they are motivated by the accumulation of tokens or rewards in completing the challenges in the games.
Achievers hate losing. They love to be the first. Be it getting a rare item, completing the game or in ranking. Difficult games are fun for achievers. This gives them bragging rights for their achievements.
Due to Achievers’ competitiveness, they can be aggressive. They might display intense emotions of anger, frustration and boredom during games. So it is not uncommon for Achievers to curse and hate a game while playing, but later declare it as a “great game”. Achievers will likely stop playing a game after they beat the game when the challenge wears off.
Trolls, hackers, cheaters, and attention farmers most probably are Achievers. Do note that not all Achievers are trolls, hackers, cheaters, and attention farmers though. 😇
Guru Player Type
Gurus can be described by two words, mastery and systems, revolving around strategic or tactical play. Acquiring skills is the main goal. They want to master all the techniques in the game.
For Gurus, winning is only meaningful if they have earned it through mastery of the game. They will continue playing the game even when the game is mastered. They enjoy the experience of being the master of the game.
Gurus typically enjoy open games, i.e. games with no specific end-point, especially strategy, construction and management games. They are good at multitasking, e.g. building an army out of diverse unit types. Thus, they like games that allow them to experiment with as many combinations as possible to achieve their goals.
Explorer Player Type
Explorers value enjoyment and experience in a game. They are always on a look out for unique and interesting experiences. They take pleasure in an engaging story and an intricately designed game world.
Explorers like to survey the game’s map. They enjoy seeking out information. They will look out for obscure actions in tuck away spots, interesting features and exposing the game’s internal setup. They are the players who know the short-cuts, tricks and glitches in their never-ending hunt to discover more.
Wonder, awe and mystery are important to Explorers. They decide their game preference within minutes of playing or even by observation. Explorers enjoy contributing to the progression of a game. They also love to play many different mini-games.
They will not play a game they do not enjoy and will stop playing the moment it ceases to be fun. They might get the help from Achiever or Guru players when they meet challenges in the game.
Socializers Player Type
Socializers are more interested in other players than the game itself. That’s why they talk more than they play! They also enjoy role-playing.
Socializers like to be involved in the community aspects of the game, like managing communities or role-playing that builds relationships through storytelling. Socializers love to play with others. They are less likely to play solo games. Even observing other players can be interesting. Socializers generally do not like direct competition.
The Use of the Player Types
We have introduced to you the 4 Gamer Player Types. In fact the 4 Gamer Player Types can be further divided into Hardcore and Casual Gamers. Each of the Player Types can also be matched to Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Game Designers use the understanding of Player Types to design games that are attractive for gamers.
If you are a gamer, by knowing which Player Type you are and your motivations for gaming, you will not fall into the trap of being hooked in games by identifying how the “trap” looks like. For adults who are concerned about the young person’s gaming habits, you have insight to what in the game is attracting them. From this knowledge, you probably can give them better alternative suggestions to gaming based on what they enjoy.