Often abbreviated as PvE, Player Versus Environment gameplay involves the player fighting computer-controlled enemies rather than other players (Player Versus Player). While this technically applies to every single-player or cooperative game, the term is best known in the world of MMORPGs, where it denotes anything that isn't directly connected to Player Versus Player.
Depending on the game, these two types of gameplay can be strictly separate or can overlap.
- Champions Online: It has PvP options but the main gameworld is PVE.
- Elsword: It splits PvP and PvE into two completely separate gameplay modes—PvE is run-of-the-mill dungeon-hopping, playing through extensive platforming levels to reach the end and fight a boss, while PvP is random matchmaking.
- EVE Online: About 90% of the things going on in Hi-sec. Also is used as an adjective for ship fits. Generally, it's a bad idea to take a PvE fit to PvP. Because Eve is a PvP Wide-Open Sandbox, PvE in Eve is ironically said to mean "Player vs. Everyone".
- Final Fantasy XIV: The majority of the gameplay is completely against enemies in dungeons, raids, and other such modes, while the Player Versus Player aspects are segregated to a few modes that are in no way necessary for progress and are treated as optional content by the players.
- Guild Wars:
- It has the two completely separated and its community is known for massive Flame Wars between fans of each, with PvE players calling PvP players "elitist" and PvP players claiming that PvE is too easy.
- Exacerbated by the third-party commercialization of Endgame PVE. Corporate sponsorship of World Firsts is bound to make people a bit touchy.
- The Lord of the Rings Online: This is the primary (i.e., nearly exclusive) focus of the game. Players can "spar" with each other if they both want to, but there's no way for one player to unilaterally attack another.
- Phantasy Star Online: It mainly focuses on going on PvE quests with other players, including offline in the GCN and Xbox versions. Its Battle Mode is somewhat limited in comparison.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: It's entirely possible to play through the game doing nothing but PVE alone and in groups.
- Toontown Online: It's mainly focused on PvE, with emphasis on cooperation. You can compete against other players with racing, golfing, Trolley Games, and the like, but your gags can only be used against the computer-controlled Cogs.
- Warframe: The majority of the game pits teams of up to four players against hordes of computer-controlled enemies. The primary exception is the Conclave, a PvP arena where weapons, abilities, and mods are all rebalanced to account for player vs player. Originally, the Conclave used the same balance as PvE, resulting in massive Rocket-Tag Gameplay, since players were using weapons designed for use against mobs with thousands of hit points against players with hit points in the high hundreds.
- World of Warcraft: It has an open world where the two things can overlap depending on the server rules, while the instance areas are either purely PvE (dungeons, raids) or purely Player Versus Player (battlegrounds and arena).
- Evolve: The Deepest Dark level modifies the usual player-controlled Gorgon into a boss that the players must pursue deeper into its lair while primarily facing off against corrupted wildlife and Gorgon hatchlings.
- Overwatch has had three time-limited PvE modes, all of which are a departure from the usual team-vs-team setup:
- "Junkenstein's Revenge" has players assemble in teams of four, picking from a limited Hero pool (Soldier: 76, Cassidy/McCree, Ana, and Hanzo) and defending a castle door from wave after wave of zombie robots and the occasional boss. The second time it rolled around, it introduced an "Endless" variant with a wider selection of Heroes available.
- Uprising is based on an in-lore crisis where players again form teams of four from a limited selection of Heroes (Tracer, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, and Mercy), although an "All Heroes" variation is also available. The mode takes place in four phases: capturing three points of interest, defending the payload while it waits to warm up, escorting and continuing to defend said payload to its destination, and destroying a series of bosses before time runs out.
- Retribution involves the four players (Genji, Cassidy/McCree, Moira, and Reaper, although it also features an "All Heroes" Variation) pushing through waves of enemies and a few bosses to reach a final point and escape the area.
- Splatoon: From Splatoon 2 onward, the series has a multiplayer PvE mode called Salmon Run. In this mode, a team of four players is dropped onto an island, where they must fend off wave after wave of Salmonids in order to collect their valuable eggs.
- Team Fortress 2: It has Mann Vs. Machine mode, where a team of 6 players fights against Grey Mann's waves of robots on various maps.
- Golf: While it's true players occasionally compete against each other, the main obstacles for scoring are those imposed by the environment. Distance, wind currents, and geography are all important to take into account.
- ARK: Survival Evolved: It has both a PvP mode and a PvE mode. The main difference is that in PVE, players are unable to attack other players or anything owned by them, like tamed dinosaurs.