It wouldn’t be too bad being a game character, would it? It definitely has its perks. One of the best of them is the fact that if you die, you can come back to life instantly. 

That’s not the case in all video games, though. Some uber serious titles involve a concept called permadeath. Permadeath is when a character dies and is then removed from the game permanently. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? 

What Is the Meaning of Permadeath?

You’ve probably heard of permadeath before. It’s an interesting gaming mechanic because it goes against the mainstream idea of respawning when you die (think Super Mario coming back to life after falling into a pit of burning hot lava). Permadeath means there are no second chances. If your character dies or fails a specific task, they will be eliminated from the game. When this happens, you won’t be able to play as them again and will have to start again as a new character. 

Some developers like to use permadeath in their games because it adds to the realism and increases the challenge for players. When players know that there’s permadeath, they are more careful and strategic in their thinking. Do you think you can handle a permadeath game? It’s a lot more stressful than you may imagine. 

What Is a Permadeath Game?

A permadeath game is any game in which you don’t respawn if you die, and ROTMG (Real of the Mad Dog) is a good example.

Pretty simple, right? There are some normal games that also come with a permadeath feature, though. As you might imagine, these are usually aimed at more hardcore players. Watch out for these other features that usually appear in permadeath games:

  • Permanent Consequences – All progress is lost when you fail at a task or die. Sounds a bit like real life, doesn’t it? 
  • Strategic Decision-Making – Players need to plan carefully before making their moves. 
  • Challenge and Immersion – Players become deeply invested in their character’s survival – it’s like trying to keep a loved one alive.
  • Roguelike Elements – Many permadeath games will have procedurally generated levels and a focus on short, replayable runs.
  • Learning Through Failure – There can be a lot of trial and error involved, so you need to learn from your mistakes. 

Is Permadeath Good for Games? 

Some would say that permadeath is a great feature for games. It adds to the challenge and makes players more invested in the outcome. However, it may not be aimed at all player types. Hardcore gamers may relish the chance to test their skills and be the best. Casual players, on the other hand, may not enjoy the fact that they can’t throw their lives away willy-nilly. So, which side of the fence do you sit on? Do you think permadeath sounds like a good feature for games? 

What are the Best MMOs with Permadeath?

Now that you know about permadeath, it’s time to start playing some permadeath games. There are a few games out there with permadeath, but the permadeath concept is quite niche. EVE Online is an MMO that involves permadeath, but players have to select this mode. Realm of the Mad God also has a permadeath feature for real hardcore players.