When growing up, we are taught a bunch of life skills on how to interact with others and the world around us. Saying 'please' and 'thank you' become second nature to us as we go about our lives. Some etiquette rules vary from family to family; leaving elbows off the table, putting milk in tea first or last, how you take turns using the TV remote. Etiquette rules have changed and evolved over time and are different in each country. Japan has honorifics and bowing as a sign of respect. Somewhere in Thailand, a patron holds their place in queue by placing their shoe in a line of other shoes. Our own unique experiences define our personal etiquette rules. But some rules are just universally acknowledged, even if they are not always followed. This applies to video games as well.
From saying 'good game' to not abusing the text chat, the gaming world has its own set of etiquette rules. To make it even more complicated, certain games and platforms have their own rules as well. These rules are regularly broken around the world. Some people are new to the scene and may not know the rules just yet while some people know the rules and think that they are above them. If you're feeling confused, never fear because I have laid out some console gaming rules that are often broken by members of the gaming community.
30 Don't Walk In Front Of The TV
An age-old scenario; you are sitting at home playing your favorite game when someone decided to just stroll in front of the screen at the most crucial moment. Or, heavens forbid, they stand in front of the TV and talk to you. This act is usually committed by someone close to you like a family member or a friend, usually a non-gamer who does not understand the depth of the problem here. Just do it to them while they are watching their favorite show – then they will understand.
29 Swearing In Front Of Young Players
Online video games like Fortnite and Player Unknown Battle Grounds are more popular than ever these days, with people from all over the world playing them every day. Online multiplayer games can be played by anyone at any time which is both good and bad. If you know that there are young kids playing the game with you the right thing to do is to refrain from dropping any expletives in the chat. If you do it by accident then fair enough but if you know a kid is playing maybe use 'fudge' instead.
28 Do Not Beg For Currency
We all know the feeling - you see that super awesome skin or weapon in the game store, but you either do not have the money or the in-game currency to get it for yourself. You have two options here: hustle in the game and get it after working hard or hustle in real life and pay for it with real money.
Not a good look, honey.
Begging other players for items or in-game currency is not the right way to go. It does not paint you in the best light and can make things awkward for other players who just want to have fun.
27 Don't Flame The Noob
When trying something new, no-one knows what they are doing. There is no instance of someone knowing everything and being perfect on their first try.
Bearing this in mind, it is not cool to hate on people who just started playing a game.
You probably stunk just as bad or even more than them. If you have some tips, then help them out instead of just yelling at them down the mic.
26 Congratulating Others At The End Of The Game
In online co-operative play, it is common courtesy to congratulate players for their hard work after a game is over. The classic 'good game' or 'gg', maybe adding a 'well-played' or 'wp' will go a long way. Popping these in the chat after a great game makes everyone feel good about their efforts. However, a lot of players forget or just do not do it. Sure, sometimes you did get put with an awful or toxic team, but in a normal fun game, it does not hurt to pass on the love.
25 Do Not Rage Quit Before The Game Is Over
Everyone has quit a game in the middle because they were frustrated. Maybe that boss is the worst to fight. Perhaps that puzzle has been driving you crazy because it feels impossible to solve. However, when in co-op play with others, quitting in the middle of a game is incredibly rude and unfair. In games like Overwatch, quitting competitive thirty seconds before your team loses just irritates your teammates and puts them at an immediate disadvantage.
24 Mute Your Mic
Voice chat can be extremely helpful. It allows players to communicate quickly while keeping their eye on what they are doing.
It can save lives in-game and provide some quality banter during your Friday night raid session.
The problem comes however when you start chowing on chips and slurping your drink. Hearing you chew sounds gross, especially when it's coming through my headphones. Do not even get me started on hearing heavy breathing through the mic. If you are doing any of these things, just mute your mic, man. Your friends and teammates will thank you.
23 Do Not Cheat (Unless Everyone Else Does)
I think most people will agree that cheating is bad. Hacking, modding and smurf accounts ruin things for players who are there to have fun and improve their skills through honesty and hard work. Whether its aim bots or rare item cheat codes, you should work hard to earn your place instead of just cheating your way to the top. That being said, if your friends are all in a game and all decide to use cheat codes, for example, then it is not so bad.
22 No Camping (A Spawn)
No, I am not talking about the outdoor in the woods kind of camping. In video game terms, camping is the act of finding a strategic spot and waiting there for players or items to appear. This strategy, while often effective, ruins the fun for other players. Sniping players when they leave the spawn room over and over again is rude and taking all the special items from others provides an unfair advantage. Do everyone a favor and just don't do this.
21 Hey, Stop Looking At My Screen
Back in the days of split-screen gaming, there was a strategy often employed by friends and siblings called screen-watching. In games like old-school Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, the other player could look at your screen and see what you were doing and plan their strategies accordingly, giving them an unfair advantage. A modern equivalent of this is stream sniping, which is where you play an enemy team member's Twitch stream and tell your team what they are doing. This allows your team to plan a counter-strategy before you even enter the game with them. This technique is rampant in competitive Overwatch, for example, and needs to stop.
20 Turn It Down
If you want to listen to music while gaming, that is totally cool. Just either mute the mic or turn the volume down. Nobody wants to hear your music blaring through the mic when they are trying to tell you where the enemies are. Similarly, if you are talking to someone who is not playing the game then again turn it down or turn your mic off. No-one is interested in how your random friend is doing in college or the fact you did not do your chores.
19 Cleanliness Is Next To Gamerness
Snacks are integral to a good gaming session. Whether it's crisps, ramen, sour candy or even toast – everybody has a favorite food to nibble on while dungeon crawling. Bringing food on your quest does bring certain risks: spilling crumbs or your drink on the controller for example. This is not great if it is your controller, but is even worse if you dirty another person's controller. Clean up after yourself so you don't potentially ruin the controller or generally gross someone out.
18 Charge It Up
Going for an all-night frag-bender is often a fun time, particularly with friends. You can just power through a bunch of levels and eat all the snacks; tomorrow can wait because tonight we raid! The problem with long gaming sessions is maintaining your controller's power. We've all had that moment where we see the low power notification and think 'I'll charge it later' before draining the battery entirely. This is not great for both future you and anyone who wants to play later.
17 Don't Be A Sore Loser
Your team is losing and you played pretty well. Maybe you felt that you should have gotten play-of-the-game instead of that other person. It can be frustrating to lose, especially if you were so close to winning.
However, it does not mean that you can scream abuse into the chat and tilt the game.
The other players are just there to have a good time, not to have everything ruined because you got tilted.
16 Ask First, Pay Later
If you have paid attention to the gaming world and the news in general in the last year, you will have come across the controversy regarding loot boxes and micro-transactions. Regarded as a form of gambling by multiple governments, there are calls to rack up the ratings of games with micro-transactions in them or to remove pay-to-win-items in general. There have been tales of kids stealing parents' credit cards to spend tonnes of money on loot boxes and items, which is terrible. If you must use someone else's card ask before you pay.
15 Arrive On Time For Raids
Raiding in World of Warcraft with your friends or guild can be super fun. Having a regular set time and date for raid night is even better as everyone can plan their schedules around it.
Showing up late to a raid, however, can be incredibly frustrating for your group.
A little late is whatever, but ten minutes plus and you had better have a good reason for turning up behind schedule.
14 Out To Lunch
Similar to the above, when in the middle of a game you may need a drink refill or some snacks. When this happens, double check with your team if it is okay for you to be AFK. Just leaving your screen is incredibly annoying for your teammates who may try to talk to you or strategize while you are away. This means when you get back you will have no idea what is going on and may put your team in danger.
13 Don't Just Sit In Spawn When You're Salty
Your team is losing. You have been playing really well all game and have experienced some real BS. You are furious and there are a few ways to deal with it. Ideally, you learn from what happened and move on, but that is not always what happens. Often, in team FPS games, the saltiest player in the universe will just sit in spawn and leave their team to perish. This one is worse than rage quitting – just don't.
12 Noobs Are The Future - Help Them Out
Following on from above, help newbies out. Are they heading the wrong way? Is there a more efficient way to manage their inventory? Know a shortcut?
Be someone's gaming senpai.
The player will appreciate your help and you may even make a new friend. Even if you do not end up making a new friend it is nice to help others and everyone can have fun. Spread your knowledge and know that your help may have made someone's day.
11 No Spamming The Chat
Everyone hates junk mail. Whether it is paper or digital, junk mail wastes everyone's time and takes up storage space. The same goes for games. Chat boxes are meant for players to communicate and banter, not spam the same emoji or meme a hundred times.
Calm your twitchy fingers, friend.
Nobody likes hearing the notification ping every two seconds because someone can't help typing LOL over and over again to prove a point. We get it, you thought that was funny.
10 Respect When A Character Is Off Limits
The time-honored tradition of calling shotgun has been used by many gamers over the years. When someone shotguns a character, it goes without saying that that character is off-limits to you. It sucks, but you just have to deal with it.
Don't be that guy.
Sure you can ask to switch, but you do not just select that character anyway. Not only is it incredibly selfish, but also incredibly rude. No-one breaks the shotgun rule, you just don't.
9 Don't Talk During The Cutscene
Cutscenes are important to video game narratives. We can see the characters interact, feel many feels and maybe learn something important. There are usually animated to perfection and have wonderful voice acting and music to make you pay attention. Just like when watching a movie or TV show you do not talk when a cutscene is playing. Talking during a cutscene means you may miss important information or ruin other players' immersion in the game. Just respect the hard work that went into it and pause the conversation for a bit.
8 Passing On The Controller
When playing with a bunch of friends and limited controllers, there will inevitably be some controller passing happening. There are two rules to passing the controller in situations like this: if you are last, pass it on and if you have been in first for forever, give someone else a chance.
Hogging the controller is a no-no.
This way, everyone gets a chance to play the game and can have fun. No-one likes playing against someone who seems unbeatable.
7 Don't Forget To Have Fun
With e-sports getting bigger every year, more and more people want to become the best gamer like no-one ever was. They grind and hustle, honing their skills and spending hours working hard to improve.
Go have fun too!
Striving to get better at a game and do well is a natural goal for most people, but too much of a good thing can hurt you. Industriously powering through a game and leveling up will make you better, but don't forget why you wanted to do it in the first place: you love gaming.
6 Sorry, What Did You Say?
An NPC is a non-playable character who is not directly controlled by the person playing the game. NPCs usually have something to say if you interact with them and you can only be sure you heard everything if you chat to them twice. Talking to NPCs multiple times can often reveal new bits of dialogue and even bag you an achievement in some games. Secondary players should keep this in mind as their partner may not have been paying attention and may need a refresher.
5 Choose A Game Anyone Can Play
Group gaming can cause a struggle. It's a family gathering and someone suggests that you and your cousins sit down and play some games together. Your younger cousins may not be able to play games like Call Of Duty or Grand Theft Auto IV, but they may be good at Mario Party. Finding a middle ground game that everyone can play is key here. Making everyone play what only you want will put a damper on the mood.
4 Be Open To The Unfamiliar
In accordance with what I just said, if someone suggests a game you have not played before, do not just immediately write it off. If someone suggests playing a shooter but you are used to RPGs like Octopath Traveller, it may be worth giving it a go.
Don't be afraid to take the leap!
New experiences are a wonderful part of life and you may discover your new favorite game. As mums all over the world say, 'how can you say you don't like it if you don't try it?'
3 Take The Path Less Travelled
Video game levels often want you to follow specific paths to get to where you need to be. Even open world games like Breath Of The Wild have certain paths they want you to follow on the main story.
You could be missing out!
That does not mean that you are not rewarded for going off the beaten path. Going for a wander may nab you some sweet rewards like chests or loot. Remember this if you are playing with a bunch of people and you just want to power through the level.
2 No Foul Language In The Chat
We get it. You just lost a game or think a player could improve their play style. Everyone gets frustrated playing games sometimes, but that is no excuse to go off on someone in the voice chat.
Rudeness and explicit language are unacceptable.
If you have criticism, present it in a calm and constructive manner. If you do not want someone to scream down the mic at you for missing the checkpoint, then do not do that to others.
1 Be Polite, Kids
Remember how I mentioned that different games can have their own set of etiquette rules? Well, in Starcraft, for example, it is polite to type 'good luck have fun' into the chat before you head into a game. You can shorten it to 'glhf' if you want to be speedy about it, but players do appreciate the cheery greeting instead of just stony radio silence. The abbreviation means that there is no excuse to not type it in and say hello.