The Social Gamer Guide: How to Play Well With Others
Ever wondered what type of gamer you are? Well, there’s actually a way to find out and, if you stick with us for the next few minutes, we’ll help you do just that.
Thanks to something known as the Bartle taxonomy of player types, you can find out what sort of personality you have and how it manifests itself in the gaming world. The classification he came up is a bit rudimentary these days, and there are a lot more complicated and interesting ways to split up player types.
However, Bartle’s taxonomy is still a fun, helpful way to look at your playstyle and figure out where you fall into 4 distinct personality types: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers.
In this piece, we’re going to focus on the Socializers and how they fit into the gaming spectrum. Players in this category are more likely to interact with others and form relationships in a bid to progress in MMO games. Does that sound like you? And if so, how can this knowledge improve your game?
The Socializer Quiz: Are You the Social Type?
OK, so the full Bartle test involves a series of 30 questions and aims to cover all 4 personality types. But you don't need to go through it all, as we only want to see whether you the definition of a Socializer apply to you.
With this being the case, we’ve come up with our own selection of questions that will help you understand what it means to be the social sort in the online gaming arena:
- Do you enjoy playing with others or alone? Socializers by definition prefer to play with other people. Although all MMORPG players are social to some extent, simply because they’re not playing alone, not all MMORPG players are necessarily social. A killer, for example, likes playing with others because it gives them a chance to sabotage their experiences. In contrast, a Socializer likes to play alongside others rather than against them.
- Is winning more important to you than having fun? Socializers don’t typically care about winning or losing, as the social aspect of the game is enough for them. In reality, everyone enjoys winning, but a Socializer would often prefer to lose as part of a collective than win in isolation.
Part of the experience is to help and to receive help - to form relationships. If this leads to a win, fair enough. If not, then as long as everyone had fun, that’s just as good.
- Would you rather play an offline game or an online game? Online games, such as Plarium’s MMO games, PUBG or Destiny 2, take place over the internet which is, by definition, a network. Like all networks, being social is an integral part of the system.
In contrast, offline games such as Assassin’s Creed or Horizon Zero Dawn are more focused on the individual’s experience. In offline games, the player is really only challenging themselves, and it’s this internal quest that drives non-Socializers.
- Do you often get along with all types of players? Socializers usually get on with all personality types, including killers. On the other side of the coin, killers don’t get along with anyone. In fact, they’re actively trying to upset everyone. When it comes to achievers, there is a certain level of respect towards other players. However, achievers only really form relationships so they can better understand opponent’s weakness or the game's intrinsic mechanisms. In simple terms, a Socializer is willing to get on and play with anyone.
- Would you rather dispense information or receive it? Socializers are helpful by nature and would rather spread knowledge than receive it for their own personal gain. In a Socializer’s world, the key to a successful gaming environment is collaboration. If they can help someone, then maybe they’ll receive the same sort of help from someone else in the future.
Playing MMO Games as a Social Gamer
Whichever Plarium world you enter, the question you should be asking is: What type of personality do you and your opponents have? By using the questions we’ve outlined in the section above, you should be able to spot those with a social side to their strategies.
However, on a more practical level, you should look for the following clues to see if you can spot a Socializer. Naturally, depending on your overall plan, you might want to work alongside one (or be one yourself) or exploit them. Regardless of your intentions, a good way to spot one is to look out for the following:
Allies: If a player has a lot of allies i.e. more than the average, there’s a strong chance they’re gamer type is a Socializer.
Level and Achievements: We know that Socializers don’t care too much about winning or losing. With this in mind, this type of player is likely to have a low-to-average achievement level. If possible, cross-reference the time someone has been in the game with their level. The greater the time and the lower their level, the more social they are likely to be.
Contact: Any player that pops up with a warm greeting could be a Socializer. Even though everyone will need to contact others at some point, you can get a feeling for the way someone is by how long their introduction is, the tone of their messages and what they’re actually saying (i.e. small talk or all business).
How to Play Like a Social Gamer
If you feel like you fall into the category of a Socializer, how can you play like one? Well, the first thing you need to acknowledge is that your greatest strength is forming relationships. Of course, a true Socializer will be forming relationships to enhance their own enjoyment and that of those around them, but they will also want to up their game in this way.
However, it’s rare that anyone is 100% one personality type. With this being the case, you may want to form alliances to progress further in a game, level up quicker, protect your assets or more. If this is the case, then you need to understand how your dominant personality trait can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Where Are the Advantages of the Social Gamer
Depending on the online games you play, being a Socializer can work in your favor if you know where to look. Being able to link up with other players, give and receive help and generally get on with everyone is your greatest strength as a Socializer. When you put this in context, this gives you a huge advantage when it comes to forming crucial alliances that offer vital protection and support.
For example, let’s say you’ve taken a look through our selection of games and decided you want to play Vikings: War of Clans. In this game, forming alliances is crucial. Stepping into the game and trying to conquer the kingdom on your own is virtually impossible. Indeed, if even one clan decides to attack your fortress, the chances of surviving with a single army are slim. In this situation, it pays to be a Socializer and form a large network of contacts. Whenever you need help, a single call to your team can save your bacon and keep your subjects alive.
Where Are You the Weakest?
This gamer type’s greatest strength is also their greatest weakness. By seeing the value in every player and trying to work alongside them, you’re at risk of being exploited by a killer or an achiever.
For example, if you were to play Stormfall: Age of War, the ability to communicate and build strong relationships can help you learn new skills in a short space of time. When a League Marshal sets up an academy, they’re giving low-ranked players the chance to participate in activities they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
As a Socializer, you’d be championing the communal spirit of an Academy. However, for those looking to leverage their position, this attitude can be exploited. For instances, a killer would look to join an Academy so that they can find a way to break it from the inside. Of course, this isn’t easy, but it illustrates the point that those with ulterior motives will use their compassion against them.
Because social players will let others into an otherwise closed circle, they run the risk of letting enemies get close to them. Similarly, an achiever could use the Socializer as a way to accelerate their training by absorbing all the knowledge they’re willing to give away. Once the achiever has gotten everything useful from them, they can break away and use their newfound knowledge against those that helped them.
Should You Keep Being Social?
If you’re happy to play without any ambitions, there’s nothing wrong with embracing your social side. However, it’s important to realize that these types of gamers rarely progress very far or very quickly in an MMORPG. Again, if that doesn’t matter, you’ll be fine.
If you do have a certain amount of ambition, however, you may want to borrow some of the tactics that achievers and killers use. Whether that’s occasionally exploiting someone or taking without giving, you can give yourself an edge if you use your friendly image to thwart an opponent’s perception of you. At the very least, you should be aware that not everyone else plays like you, and see if you can figure out their motives before you help them.
Are You Just a Socializer?
Now, before you go putting on your new Socializer label and start searching for ways to utilize your new role in your MMO community, it’s important to note that very few people are 100% one player type. It’s entirely possible for you to share traits with all four gaming personalities. In practice, you will probably have a few more layers to you than just one personality type.
However, all likelihood is that you tend to lean more towards one category than another. So, if you feel as though you prefer to communicate with others, help those around you and have fun rather than win, you may very well be a Socializer in the gaming world. If not, check out the rest of our gamer guides on personality types to see what sort of player you are.