Player Versus Player (PvP) is a mode of play in Video Games
where the enemies are other players of the video game. This is in contrast to Player Versus Environment
(PvE,) where the enemies of your character are generated and controlled by a computer's artificial intelligence. The idea of Player vs Player is not only to outplay, outlast, or outwit your opponents, but to put your opponents at as many disadvantages as possible so they can't do the same to you.
Some games have both a PvP mode and a PvE mode. In some cases, the two modes occur at the same time, like in most MMORPGs
. In World of Warcraft*
, the player character can be busy with a quest vs. computer generated monsters in an outdoor zone, and be ambushed by enemy players nearby. This can be either irritating or exhilarating, depending on your mood and tolerance for fellow players, forming the basis of The Great Player Versus Player Debate
Most games have strictly defined modes where only PvE (usually even separating single player and Coop Multiplayer
from each other) or PvP, but not both, can occur.
Player vs Player is actually the older
of the two modes, since it eliminates the need for any sort of AI. Very early games such as Space War
- Mortal Kombat players know that most of its charm is PvP, one big reason the game went online, though you can still play two-player at home.
- Fighting Games and Racing Games in general have a big focus on players competing against each other.
- Team Fortress 2 is nothing but players fighting each other. Even the bots are meant to simulate other players, down to "Virtual Mousepads" that control how fast they turn.
- A team-based Player Versus Environment was finally added in the Mann vs Machine mode, though the enemies are more or less robotic playable classes.
- Paranoia was (at least one of) the first Role-Playing Game specifically designed to have lots of PvP.
- Minecraft has player vs player on by default for servers, though it can be disabled by choice. The feature's uses range from every player for themselves or even clan battles.
- Dark Souls has several covenants that cater to PvP action, with different rewards for each.
- RuneScape has several different PvP areas. The most well-known is the Wilderness, a volcanic wasteland where players can be attacked by anyone within a certain number of levels of their own, defined by how far into the Wilderness they are. There's also the Duel Arena, where players can fight each other one-on-one using agreed rules, the Soul Wars game where players try and stop the opposite team from destroying their team's Avatar, the classic Capture The Flag game of Castle Wars, and the Clan Wars where teams of players can fight each other.
- PlanetSide, being a MMOFPS, was entirely PvP - each faction was always at war with other two factions; the New Conglomerate, Terran Republic, and Vanu Sovereignty. Everyone on your faction is always on your side. Everybody else is someone to shoot at. The only non-player enemies are the turrets guarding bases and the player-deployed turrets.
Non-Video Game examples:
- In episode 2 of Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai, Kodaka, Sena, and Yozora are all playing Monster Hunter. Sena "accidentally" hits and knocks out Yozora's character, and later Yozora "accidentally" shoots Sena with her bow and arrow. She then knocks out Sena with a sleeping arrow while fighting a boss, and sets an explosive, and blows up both Sena and the monster. A few moments later, both girls are fighting each other much more than the monsters, and in the end fail the quest due to running out of time.
- Due to the players' circumstance, PVP is deeply frowned in Sword Art Online. A minor arc dealt with someone exploiting bugs in the PVP system to send players to their death. No, not character death — actual death of the person behind the joystick.