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Not the Way It Is Meant to Be Played

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Some people will take a Video Game and do everything you can possibly imagine with it... except playing it as the developers intended.

This is an index of the numerous ways the player community cleverly turns games on their heads, much to the creators' dismay. Over time, many of these subversions get acknowledged, expected, encouraged, and finally assimilated into new games, becoming part of standard gameplay.

Naturally, if disruptive enough to the game, any of these tropes may become Game Breakers. Nerfs are likely to be implemented quickly if this is the case.

The entry name is based on an Nvidia marketing slogan; "The way it's meant to be played." plastered on games they had some involvement in.

This is just a page listing the tropes. Please put examples into their proper pages.


  • Advanced Movement Technique: Instead of walking normally like the developers intended, really good players use these tricks to move around faster, often exploiting bugs and oversights in the process.
  • A.I. Breaker: Performing certain actions which abuse the game's Artificial Stupidity.
  • Cheat Code: Putting in place a different set of rules that change the game to give you an advantage — or, occasionally, a disadvantage.
  • Cheese Strategy: A particular easy tactic or strategy that can circumvent the intended way to tackle a puzzle, boss, or enemy, particularly in single-player games.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Always using the same advantageous character/character build/team/mode/ruleset/etc. despite the developers offering numerous other options.
  • Developer's Foresight: The creator anticipates one or more items on this list and programs the game to handle them.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Acquiring a powerful item or ability earlier in the game than intended, trivializing early game threats.
  • Easy Level Trick: A means of beating an in-game challenge more easily/quickly than designed, likely by using one of the other tropes on this list (or a combination of them).
  • Elite Tweak: Utilizing a specific combination of abilities, characters, items, etc. to achieve a greater than intended result.
  • Game Mod: Making changes to the original game, or employing its engine to derive new works.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Taking the game's built-in, unmodified mechanics and abusing them for fun and profit.
  • Good Bad Bugs: A glitch is found, exploited, and it actually improves the game to a point it becomes quite something else.
  • Lord British Postulate: Finding ways to kill or otherwise disable what is supposed to be an invulnerable NPC.
  • Min-Maxing: Optimizing a character's stats during creation, such as by taking points out of Dump Stats to put into the One Stat to Rule Them All, in order to create a character well ahead of the power curve.
    • Min Maxers Delight: A legitimate gameplay element which makes Min-Maxing easier and/or more effective.
  • Model Dissonance: Tricks to optimise the game's graphics can look downright bizarre if you peek behind the scenes.
  • Munchkin: Someone who plays competitively in a non competitive game or those so excessively dedicated to winning that they ruin the enjoyment for others.
  • Nerf: One of the game creator's few tools to push back against these tropes. Can take the form of an Obvious Rule Patch if blatant, or can be more subtle, such as allowing the advantageous situation to remain as is but introducing new characters/items/abilities/etc. to counter it (essentially The Worf Effect on a meta-game level).
  • Not the Intended Use: Using an item or ability in an unexpected way.
  • Optional Stealth: The game tells you to use stealth, but it's easier not to use it.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Employing an alternative strategy, that proves particularly effective against a certain opponent (or type of opponents) beyond what was intended by the game developers.
  • Pause Scumming: Excessively pausing the game to give yourself an advantage.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: A location that allows for especially quick Level Grinding.
  • Save Scumming: Saving the game just before undertaking an action that involves the Random Number God and reloading until you get the desired result.
  • Score Milking: Using some trick or exploit to gain a rapid or near-infinite stream of points.
  • Script Breaking: Breaking the scripts which run the game. Could be considered a super trope to several other tropes listed here.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Playing the game with an intentional handicap as a means to increase the difficulty.
  • Sequence Breaking: Finding a way to do things in a different order than the game wanted you to do, or skip them entirely.
  • Solo-Character Run: Using only one character in a game meant to use several.
  • Speedrun: Beating a game as quickly as possible. Often involves the use of other tropes on this page in the process.
  • Stats Dissonance: A character's stats do not convey how they should actually be played in-game.
  • Strong Enemies, Low Rewards: Defeating high-level enemies will give you little-to-no rewards, usually to deter players from getting ahead faster than intended.
  • Twinking: Using a high-level character to make life easier for a lower-level one.

Related to Meta Game. Compare Scrub and the "Stop Having Fun" Guy, who play the game in their own idiosyncratic ways because they think they've found a more fun way of playing than anyone else, even the developers.

Related to Unexpected Reactions to This Index. See also Error Index for unintended things that happen against the player's will.