That One Player

"Of course, the problem with playing alone is that when you do finally get your mates around, suddenly you turn into that guy. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. That guy who's so much better than everyone because he plays it on his own, the loser."

That One Player describes someone who has played a game so much, discovered all the secrets, knows all the moves, hell, he might as well have gotten the timing down to the point where he plays with almost super human reflexes. However, this ruins the fun of everyone else who plays with or against that one guy because he's so skilled, he's either doing all the fun parts or able to take on an army of adversaries without breaking a sweat. However, sometimes being That One Guy can be a talent for entertainment, when he can show off his inhuman skills.

That One Player, though, may not necessarily mean a stop having fun guy or the other way around. Nor is he That One Boss, though if he was a boss, he would be. May possibly be a Challenge Gamer, which would certainly explain their ungodly skill. And chances are they are a munchkin, and their munchkinry is to blame for their annoyingness.

Some video games have a "handicap" option to either make a certain player weaker or everyone else stronger, purely to keep That One Player from restricting other players' fun... or their own, for that matter.

Not to be confused with The One Guy, a trope about one male character in an otherwise all female cast.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • Konata Izumi of Lucky Star is seen playing a fighting game at an arcade in one episode. She beats a guy, much to his dismay of finding out who beat him. A strip similar in idea was: since she is excessively short, the other tomboy misjudged her ability and got owned. On the next day, that other tomboy beat Konata— but with such razor thin of a margin that she knew that Konata let her win!
  • Ami Mizuno in Sailor Moon manages to be this on a game she has never played before, twice! First a platforming game in the original series and then a fighting game at a tournament in the Stars series. She's just that smart.
  • Makoto Kousaka from Genshiken is like this with all video games, but his skill at fighting games (as well as Puyo Puyo) makes other otaku quake.
  • In Ai Kora, Closet Geek Yukari is secretly a fan of video games, and likes to unwind after final exams by going to the local arcade incognito and getting a high score on all her favorite games under the alias "Fantazma".
  • Sora and Shio in No Game No Life turn this Up to Eleven. Through teamwork, and years of experience from never leaving their house they are the greatest game players in the world to the point that they catch the God of Games' attention and win an invitation to his world where everything is based on games.

     Fan Fiction  

  • White Devil of the Moon, a crossover between Nanoha and Sailor Moon, has Nanoha perform so well on the Sailor Moon arcade game that she maxes out her score and reaches a Kill Screen. She notes that the only thing difficult about it is that it was built for right-handed people (Nanoha is left-handed).

     Films — Animated  

  • Monster House has one of these, who gives the kids a vital clue as to how to handle the eponymous creature.

     Films — Live-Action  


     Live Action TV  

  • How I Met Your Mother: Marshall Eriksen has a preternatural skill for board games, such that he can deduce the rules of a complex foreign gambling game just by watching others play for a few minutes, despite not understanding what the players are saying. His friends assigned him to officiate their game nights rather than playing, because otherwise he'd win every time.
  • Nestov in Tracker was this with one of the video games in the Watchfire. He could analyze the math and patterns well as a Dessarian, according to Cole. He was making bets and money off it.


  • The song "Pinball Wizard" by The Who is about a psychosomatically deaf, dumb, and blind kid who still manages to be That One Player.

     Tabletop Games  

  • Every table top RPG can have that player who has read every sourcebook and is Crazy-Prepared for every challenge and has the right tactics for every situation and knows every metapoint and knows how to read the Game Master. If they're the Lawful Good type, they'll use their vast experience and preparedness to help new players and avoid breaking the game. If they're not, they can quickly annoy the entire table or get less talented players killed as the GM struggles to make things challenging enough for That One Player.

     Video Games  

  • If you beat I Wanna Be the Guy on the hardest setting, you're instantly this, even if you use the save glitch near the end, which most (which is exactly 2) people have.
  • reallyjoel's dad (an in-joke of Daniel Remar and the eponymous reallyjoel, which developed into a Running Gag of his games) is a Memetic Badass version of That One Player.
  • PVP nuts in the average MMORPG tend to have this reputation, especially the camp that is vocal about establishing serious tournaments for the game.
  • The Fighting Game Community has a small number of individuals who are just so many cuts above the rest that the title race in every tournament seems to be among them alone.
  • The Tournament Play scene for the original StarCraft and its Expansion Pack had the bonjwas, players with incredible streaks of dominance in the top Korean tournaments.
  • In Team Fortress 2, competitive level Scouts run through enemy ranks Scattergunning and Back-capping everything in sight. Competitive Soldiers have the tendency to blast the shit out of any player in their way (whenever they aren't flying over the heads of their opponents with tricky rocket-jumps). Competitive Demos won't let the enemy team go NEAR an objective. Competitive Snipers often are accused of aimbotting and are a #1 source of ragequitting. Competitive Spies are good at not only disappearing and reappearing without a trace, but also making ridiculously tricky backstabs even on the players that know they're there. (And are the #2 source of ragequitting.) There's a trend going on here...
    • On a community level, people generally accept B4nny as the best That One Player in TF2, with frequent claims that he's worth at least two competitive-level players.
  • Ace of Spades seems to have one of these on every server.
  • Pokémon is full of these players. A player may be the best in their circle of friends and probably holds their own in random online battles until they meet the one player that knows all the game mechanics, knows how to manipulate the stats for their Pokemon, and has their team set up to counter most common teams and set ups. Pokemon tournaments may as well be made for these kinds of players.
    • It can be said that serious competitive play is basically creating the most elaborate Xanatos Gambit you can come up with.
  • Left 4 Dead has its share of players that know everything when it comes to VS mode. A skilled and dedicated player can almost know exactly where the infected team will hide or attack from and effectively counter as survivors. When playing as the zombies, that one player will play off the weaknesses of the survivor team and tear them apart with their zombie team, even if the survivors are fully armed to the teeth.
  • In MOBA games you are expected to be this or you will be raged at by your team if your skill at the game falls short of this. Understandable since one sub-par player can drag the entire team down but that doesn't make the communities of these games any less unpleasant.
    • At the same time, since the genre requires good teamwork at higher levels of play it's not unusual to find That One Player being shackled by a team that is only sub-par when compared to that individual, who will often be the team's superstar 'face'. Notable examples in DotA 2 include Team Liquid's Miracle- and Evil Geniuses' Suma1L while League examples include SK Telecom's Faker and CLG's Doublelift.
  • osu!, being a rhythm game, has several of these, most famously Cookiezi. Also he gets perfects on maps where he can't see the beats.
  • Racing games also have their share of super skilled players. The really skilled drivers will know when to boost at the right time, how long they need to drift, and will avoid every obstacle the track may have. Even more casual racing games that have items designed to screw anyone over, such as Mario Kart, have players that can either dodge attacks directed at them or know how to use items that can cripple their opponents way more than what the item can do by itself. The highly skilled players can even beat out the Rubberband AI, Spiteful A.I., and any potential handicaps that the game may impose on the skilled.
  • In Ingress, a single well-stocked player living or working at the site of a portal farm can prevent enemy players from being able to take control of it. Even worse is if the farm is on private property that is non-trivial to get into (e.g. an amusement park) and the player works there, in which case they can regularly hack for supplies with almost no hassle.
  • In Mario Party, despite many of the mechanics being luck-based, can create these types of players. One such example is Liam from the now defunct Zeta Beta Omega Frat Boys; out of all of the Mario Party games they have played, both uploaded and not, he wins the majority. The only one who beat him on-screen is Colton from Just Another Lets Play, and Rob (from the same group) off-screen.
  • Anyone with a Grand Master title in Tetris. There's relatively few of them, and for a good reason.
  • In any game with a matchmaking system smurfs (high level players on new, lower ranked accounts) tend to gain the ire of the enemy team.
  • In professional Counter-Strike, especially in the early 1.6 scene it wasn't unusual to see single players carry their teams to victory. Neo from ESC and coGu from various Brasilian teams are the most known examples. f0rest tends to be the exception as he usally had at least one other player on his level in every team he played in.
    • Global Offensive scene tends to favor more balanced teams, but around mid 2014 kennyS was almost singlehandedly carrying Titan to great results, even scoring 50 kills in regular time (30 rounds). Unfortunately Valve nerfing the AWP threw him off his game to the point he now is simply one of the best at his role instead of uncontested #1 player in the world.
  • In Pokémon Shuffle's competitive events, starting from the Blazikenite one, pretty much anyone at the near-top (or outright number one) ranks whose Pokémon consist of simply a Gengar (a common Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution used to score lots of points), Arceus, and two strong Normal-type mons. This combination is considered Difficult, but Awesome because you need to think fast (especially getting Double Normal to work without breaking your combo), but once you've mastered it, you'll soon become this type of player and the "Optimize" button means nothing anymore (that is, unless the target Pokémon is resistant against Normal-types). For a somewhat specific example, one Japanese player used this exact strategy and managed to score around 150,000 points! Assuming that Attack Power ↑ is used (making the base score around a still-whopping 75,000), such score is near-impossible to achieve (even if the Random Number God is friendly towards you) unless you're using a "Home" button exploit that no longer works in the more recent versions.
  • Infamous World of Warcraft player Angwe was this to all Alliance players on the Dethecus server. Angwe was an Orc Rogue whose tactic of choice was to set up camp at a certain strategic point which the Alliance used a lot, and kill absolutely everyone - from lowbies to high-levels - that passed through, for 8 to 10 hours every day. That was back when Rogues were pretty much unstoppable if they got a drop on you, as they could get you in a virtually infinite stunlock loop and tear you to shreds, plus Angwe was really good at playing a rogue. He evolved beyond a simple griefer into an almost mythical figure, a God of Ganking of sorts. Entire guides have been written about how to avoid him. Cracked lists his actions as one of the most legendary dick moves in online gaming history.

     Web Comics  

     Web Original  

  • Pablo "DJ Mike Haggar" Bert from Speed Demos Archive qualifies, as he holds the run for Battle Toads, and he plays it almost perfectly. And it's not a tool-assisted speedrun either because he clearly makes a few mistakes.
    • Hell, pretty much everyone on Speed Demos Archive could count as this considering how much work goes into planning and executing a speedrun. You almost literally have to know the game inside and out.
    • Speed Demos Archive ran a charity event called Awesome Games Done Quick. Highlights include speedrunner sinister1 playing Punch-Out!! for the NES on an actual console and reaching Mike Tyson blindfolded, while fellow speedrunner Zallard 1 takes it one step further to complete Super Punch Out under the same circumstances. Zallard even goes so far as to precisely call match times down to the hundredth-second (1/100 of a second)!
  • LordKaT, formerly of That Guy with the Glasses. He beats insanely hard games (some deliberately so, more often those with Fake Difficulty) mainly through being a Determinator about never giving up. This means he's defeated games which have induced Unstoppable Rage in other internet reviewers. And yet even he couldn't beat some games, as he admitted in his Top 10 Worst Game Requests.
  • Isai is particularly memetic for his skill at Super Smash Bros. 64, while "Ken" is known as the best Melee player.
    • Ken retired in about 2008; he's replaced by any of three or four players, usually Mango. Mew2King has generally been this in Brawl, although to a much lesser extent. And pretty much every Smashboards-goer is this when in a non-Smash circle.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Zero, the best Smash 4 player in the world, who has lost very few tournament sets and not a single tournament
  • Exaggerated and parodied with AAA, who's essentially the best player in the cosmos.
    God: Who's this guy who always beats my Pong high scores?
  • The founder and leader of the Arma clan Shack Tactical, known as Dslyecxi, is famous for his uncanny ability to take down ridiculous amount of enemy soldiers solo through a combination of stealth and manipulating game psychology, to the point that a running gag within the group is dslyecxi being a hacker and players ingame calling 'dslyecxi watch' when he is known to be in the area.
  • There are a few Youtube videos of someone named "zeixpe", who does playthroughs of Metal Gear games, though some videos are devoted to just totally messing with the enemy AI. The sheer amount of stuff he seems to know about the game is scary.
  • Beaglerush, who happens to be friends with Dslyecxi and was a fellow member of Shack Tactical for years, is this with regards to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. He regularly (kinda) releases episodes of him playing Ironman Impossible gameplay, and considering the odds are stacked against him in such a manner, he does extraordinarily well. Sometimes the game just gives him the middle finger, but then there are times he beats missions that are Unwinnable by Design difficulty and only loses a single soldier.
    • Moreover, the XCOM game has a notoriously difficult, intricate and insanely long mod called Long War (taking hundreds of hours for a single playthrough). The so-called "Ironman Impossible" of this mod is almost literally impossible - even for those who have bested its cousin from the base game. Not only did Beaglerush play this mode for thousands of hours while losing a handful of times; he essentially regulates the ongoing development of the mod, its difficulty and the smartness of its AI by being so unerringly, frighteningly good. In the eyes of an experienced player, his winning streaks look no less improbable as hundreds of competitive chess games won by a single person in a row.
  • Posters on 4chan's video game board sometimes post about their (fictional) encounters with the Memetic Badass player known only as "Gregor", who joins a server and proves to be frighteningly competent at whatever role he chooses to play: offense, healing, whatever, and somehow knows exactly how to coordinate with his teammates in every situation despite never using any voice or text chat.

     Western Animation  

  • South Park: the main characters take up World of Warcraft, but find it unplayable because a griefer has leveled up so high that even the admins can't ban him. As you can see, IRL he's just a Perpetual Frowner fat guy.
    "But how do you kill that which has no life?"
  • A running gag in Aladdin: The Series was that Genie would always lose to carpet in the many, many games they played.

Alternative Title(s): That One Guy