As video game makers, we categorise our players into one of four distinct categories. Bartle’s Taxonomy of Player Types is going to be the tool that we utilise to do this.
Taxonomy of Players According to Bartle
The Bartle test of Gamer Psychology is a straightforward method for analysing a player’s mental state as they participate in a single-player or multiplayer video game, despite the test’s impressive-sounding name.
You may have a better understanding of who is playing your game and what sort of psychological profiles individuals have by classifying players according to the numerous ways in which they play the game.
Having a deeper view of what sorts of gamers fill various games and online communities, using it as a consideration in game design is important in certain circumstances. Various important components of a game attract to different sorts of Bartle players depending on the genre of the game that is being developed.
Due to the fact that a leaderboard and intense rivalry are the primary focuses of the gameplay in Call of Duty, the game is likely to be more popular among achievers and murderers. Because there are timed rounds, the action moves at a rapid speed, and the game environment is not very deep, Call of Duty is not likely to appeal to those who like exploring new places.
If a game is more informal in nature, chances are that socializers and explorers will flock to it.
It would seem that role-playing games are the sorts of games that most typically contain all of the player categories that are described in the Bartle taxonomy. Achievers acquire money and XP, socializers carouse and speak with pals, explorers search the game environment, and murderers wreak havoc.
Where Did the Bartle Player Taxonomy Get Its Start?
Richard Bartle conceived up the classification of players known as the Bartle taxonomy in the year 1996. Bartle, a British writer, academic, and game researcher, brought out the taxonomy in a paper he published.
Later on, in the year 2000, Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey devised the real exam, which requires individuals to respond to a series of thirty random questions, and the test measures intelligence. The purpose of these questions, each of which has a binary response option, is to discover which of the four different kinds of gamers you most closely identify with.
The original website that hosted the exam is no longer accessible, but there are many substitutes that are sufficiently similar to the original that test-takers may still learn about their psychological make-up.
To determine which of the four Bartle types a player belongs to, a diagram is used that has four portions, each of which has a separate category. The many Bartle kinds are defined by four distinct combinations of factors: the players, the actors, the world, and the interactions between the two.
The Different Kinds of Gamers, According to Bartle’s Taxonomy
The following categories of players make up the various taxonomies:
SEAK is an abbreviation that stands for “Socializers Explorers Achievers Killers.”
While any Psychology student may confirm, nothing is definitive, and that behaviours lay on a range or gradient. The same may be said about the Bartle test, by the way.
Let’s take a deeper look at the four different sorts of gamers, and then try to figure out which one you most closely identify with.
Players that are totally committed to accomplishing remarkable gaming accomplishments are referred to as “Achievers,” which is also another name for “Diamonds.” This presents itself in a variety of ways, including:
In first-person shooters, it might involve murdering every player on the other squad.
When playing role-playing games, the objective is often to acquire the most powerful gear and finish all of the game’s tasks.
For achievers, it feels like it is never enough. They are extremely driven to do in-game tasks for the possibility of loot, and they are willing to spend a significant amount of time improving oneself and perhaps reaching the maximum level possible in a game.
If you have ever attempted to reach a 100 percent completion rate in a game, chances are you have the makings of an achiever Bartle type.
Nothing else matters in a game to an achiever other than whether or not they can win. You will most likely discover achievers in the head of the pack, seeking glory and renown.
Appeal to the Achiever Through a Single-Player Mode
Achievers could find satisfaction in participating in single-player video games. Achievers in these games will strive to accomplish every mission and level with a completion percentage of one hundred percent. This may also refer to the accomplishments you get while playing a game.
Players that complete all of the in-game achievements in a single-player game such as Ghost of Tsushima or Final Fantasy VII Remake are awarded with special trophies designed just for them. A trophy for those who have won other trophies. This is a compelling draw for gamers of the achiever personality type all around the world.
A game’s achievements and trophies may vary from the straightforward and inescapable ones that are rewarded for making progress through the plot to those that require the player to accomplish difficult and specialised objectives while playing the game.
Appeal to the Achiever in Multiplayer Games
In single-player games, trophies and accomplishments may serve as a motivating drive for those who reach high levels of success, but in multiplayer games, players have more opportunities to win prizes.
For the player that puts in the effort, the game, whether it a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) or a first-person shooter, offers a wealth of awards, titles, points, and in-game cash. The concept of trophies may also be used to games with several players, since achievements can be shown via a system called Gamerscore.
It is simple to see that some of the Bartle kinds overlap with one another while multiplier games are being played.
Players that dive deeply into the game’s universe are referred to as “Explorers,” another name for the term “Spades.” They take pleasure in learning about the history, narrative, and plot of a game.
These athletes are so focused on their goals that they have no regard for the passing of time. These gamers get a kick out of exploring the universe of a game in search of hidden treasures, easter eggs, and other tidbits of information.
Explorers are committed to familiarising themselves with a game, understanding everything about gameplay, plot, and the surroundings. These gamers place an emphasis on independence and discovery above anything else.
Appeal to the Explorer’s Individual Competitors
A single-player game is possibly best suited to this Bartle kind of gamer.
In a single-player game, time constraints and restrictions are less, so an explorer may really immerse oneself in a gaming environment.
They aren’t interested gaining loads of experience points and gold, so more open-world games with less constraints are more their thing. Explorers tend to draw toward games like Myst and other mystery or puzzle games. It’s not about where you end up so much as how you get there.
Multiplayer Appeal to the Explorer
It is possible that explorers will not find anything of value in some multiplayer games due to the nature of the game. It is quite unlikely that they will be interested in the game if it involves lightning-fast battle rounds and intensely competitive sports activity.
These gamers are looking for a more meaningful experience from their gaming. They are fast to give up on a game if it begins to seem like too much effort to interact with it, and they often get bored with certain categories of games.
If the game isn’t updated regularly enough, this also applies to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).
You will most usually discover an Explorer scrounging through the remote regions of a gaming map, sometimes far away from any other players.
Gamers that place a high priority on interacting with other players in-game are referred to as “Hearts.” They want to be a part of a group or embark on adventures with their pals, and this desire exists whether they are participating in an online party chat or an MMORPG.
Single-player appeal to the Socializer
The player is not given many or any opportunities to interact with other players in single-player games. There are non-player characters, or NPCs, in many games that may be interacted with, but their potential for making friends is limited. Even while role-playing games include more NPCs with more in-depth conversation, eventually even that will get boring.
Where the Socializer flourishes in terms of single-player games is the community around the game. Games with robust communities may draw socializers in droves.
These gamer types congregate in particularly large numbers on Reddit and among the gaming communities that can be found on Steam.
The Socializer will like playing multiplayer games.
The people that are good at socialising make themselves at home here. Games with multiple players provide an incredible opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other gamers.
When it comes to online gaming, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), the sky is the limit. With fresh tasks and hundreds of new players at every turn, the Socializer actually feels at home within a community of gamers.
It is quite possible that you will discover a person who enjoys socialising at a pub with their guild or clan, lazily discussing their next journeys.
The ‘Killers’ are located at the conclusion of the Bartle exam, which is more chaotic, as you most likely anticipated they would be. Killers, known as ‘Clubs,’ are the individuals that join multiplayer games to fundamentally disrupt others’ experiences in different ways.
These are gamers that love to create havoc in games, murdering opponents with skill and reckless abandon. The most severe ‘killer’ sorts of gamers tend to test limits.
They attempt to influence the game’s experience for themselves and other players in a haphazard fashion. They do this in a variety of ways, including hacking and cheating.
They might participate in activities like spawn camping, friendly fire, exploiting flaws and glitches, and are above all motivated by personal interests. They are the utmost example of the phrase “fiddling while Rome burns,” and it perfectly describes them.
The Killer enjoys playing single-player video games.
Killers aren’t very interested in playing single-player games. Even while they may locate some features of the game to fool about with, they are only able to create a certain amount of devastation inside the confines of single-player games. Instead, they find their sustenance in the tumultuous competition that occurs between gamers online.
The Killer enjoys playing games with several players.
Killers may take pleasure in taking advantage of bugs in a game while playing a single-player mode, but when they play multiplayer games, their unpredictable behaviour is on full show. Killers are the agent provocateurs of the four different sorts of gamers. All they want to do is watch the gaming world burn while laughing (and benefiting from it) as they do it.
Pros and Cons of the Bartle Taxonomy
It is quite interesting to have a test and taxonomy that can establish where a gamer fits on a spectrum or what group they fall into. This provides an explanation for the behaviour of a large number of different players, and it may further assist you in determining the sort of gaming environment that you want to encourage in your own game.
Nevertheless, while looking at Bartle’s taxonomy, there are a few points that you need to bear in mind. Richard Bartle was thinking in particular of participants in a MUD, sometimes known as a multi-user dungeon. Most of the time, they are text-based MMORPGs. It’s not the definitive metric when applying it to other gaming genres.
The Bartle taxonomy should be used with extreme care when analysing games that aren’t massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), according to Richard Bartle, who reaffirmed his position despite the fact that it is applicable to titles like Halo and Assassin’s Creed.
Player Interactions (Dynamics) (Dynamics)
The interaction between the four different categories of players is by far the most entertaining part of this. If you can find a game, generally an MMORPG, that puts all of these player kinds together, you basically have a live, breathing universe full with diverse characters.
Everyone has a distinct personal objective, attitude, and personality. This provides incredible richness to the gaming environment but might bring complications.
What occurs when a murderer distracts an explorer when they are doing in-depth digging. What happens when a teammate who is more focused on achievement chastises a socializer for not taking the game seriously enough? When designing and playing video games, all of these aspects are important to keep in mind.
The Bartle Requirement
Why don’t you put yourself through the Bartle test and see how it goes?
You will be able to determine the sort of player you are as well as the category you belong in.
Are you the erratic Killer who merely wants to have his or her will carried out by the game and the other players? Or are you a sociable person who takes pleasure in playing games and working together with other people?
My own personal score was 87 percent, which indicates that I am a socializer. My favourite sort of player is a bard, and we have a lot in common, so I think it would be fun to hang out at a tavern with a buddy who also plays a bard and speak about the newest in in-game riches and rumours.
Which of them is most appealing to you? Friends or fame? Gold or the ability to play a role? Do you want ultimate power, or do you want to join a clan?