Follow TV Tropes


Video Game Tactical Index

Go To

This is an index, but it's also a handy guide to tropes specifically relating to common player tactics deployed in video games. Taking a read through these tropes may even give you some tips to try during play...

For tactical combat gameplay tropes, see Common Tactical Gameplay Elements.

Tactical Tropes include the following:

  • Boss-Altering Consequence
    If you complete certain objectives or obtain certain items or abilities before fighting a boss, they can have unique effects on bosses that often make them easier in a manner aside from normal fighting.
  • Button Mashing
    Don't know which button to press? Completely new to a Fighting Game? Press anything and hope for the best. Some educated guessing is advisable though, what did you think pressing forward and B would do?
  • Cherry Tapping
    Less a tactic and more a form of humiliation. Deliberately using a weak attack or deliberately weakened character to defeat the enemy in the most embarrassing way possible.
  • Combo Breaker
    Breaking big chains of hits with a special move.
  • Confusion Fu
    Remember, predictability is a weakness. I hope you people who play Fighting Games are listening!
  • Damager, Healer, Tank
    One character draws the enemy's attention, while the others heal them and backstab the enemy.
  • Draw Aggro
    The art of focusing the enemy's attention on the guy who's actually capable of taking hits.
  • Elemental Ignorance
    For when you just have to use fireball on the fire elemental.
  • Fishing for Mooks
    Too many to deal with at once? Try luring them away one at a time and continuing the slaughter from the shadows!
  • Gathering Steam
    Some weapons and enemies take a while to get ready, this opens up a window of opportunity for you.
  • Grapple Move
    Grab the enemy to bypass its blocking of your attacks.
  • Highly Specific Counterplay
    A very narrow option for counterplay.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics / Kiting
    Shoot, run away, shoot, repeat.
  • Immune to Flinching / Super Armor
    Certain contexts where a character can endure attacks without flinching, getting knocked back, or having their own actions interrupted.
  • Item Farming
    Grinding for items for whatever purpose.
  • Knockback
    Getting moved or pushed around when you take damage, or for its own sake.
    • Ring Out
      You made your opponent step out-of-bounds. You win!
  • Lead the Target
    Shoot along the path the target is likely to follow to avoid them "outrunning" your shots.
  • Leeroy Jenkins
    The Berserker in video game form. (Though this is more an absence of tactics.)
  • Level Grinding
    Committing mass murder of random monsters for experience.
  • Min-Maxing
    Unbalancing equipment, spell casts, armour, and any other stat-influencing items to privilege a specific trait to the detriment of another. A common tactic of a Munchkin.
  • Money Grinding
    Get enough money for whatever purpose.
  • Mucking in the Mud
    You know that when you see a mudpit or a mud bog, you can go through it. Just be aware that there are only a few safe spots, and there are some swamps in which you can go too deep...
  • Ninja Looting
    Refusing to share the best items after a team effort has brought an enemy down. Very frowned upon.
  • No Scope
    Not using the scope to aim on a weapon you would be expected to do so with (e.g. a Sniper Rifle).
  • One Stat to Rule Them All
    Some abilities are so overpowered and / or versatile that you'll end up prioritizing them above all the others.
  • Optional Stealth
    A video game mission where stealth is encouraged, but not vital to win.
  • Path of Greatest Resistance
    The way to go is the way the enemies are coming from.
  • Pause Scumming
    If in constant danger of death, pause often, giving you more time to react.
  • Player Data Sharing
    Get more content from other players.
  • Randomized Damage Attack
    An attack/ability that has its damage/quality etc randomized per each usage, forcing you to be wise on using it.
  • Reduce Aggro
    Items and abilities that make foes less likely to go after you.
  • Save Scumming
    If in constant danger of death, save often, minimizing loss of progress.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock
    Having a type advantage doesn't necessarily mean that victory is even likely.
  • Sequence Breaking
    Breaking the pre-determined order of events the game designers have laid out. May shorten the game considerably... or screw up your game file. A risky tactic, but valuable for completing Speed Runs.
  • Shoot the Mage First
    Shooting the blaster of the enemy group to prevent them from doing major damage.
  • Shoot the Medic First
    Shooting the healer of the enemy group to prevent them from healing the others/themself.
  • Situational Damage Attack
    An attack that depends on some certain variable/action that can make it more powerful.
  • Stats Dissonance
    A character's stats do not convey how they should actually be played in-game.
  • Straight for the Commander
    Killing the enemy commander will win you the battle regardless of how the enemy army is doing at that moment.
  • Strategy, Schmategy
    Being unpredictable because you have no idea what you're doing.
  • Tactical Door Use
    Monster chasing you? Shut de do'.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors
    Cavalry can run down crossbowmen, crossbowmen turn pikemen into pin-cushions, pikemen turn cavalry into horse-kebab. That sort of thing.
  • Three-Strike Combo
    A basic combination of three attacks that form the basis of more complex tactical options found in many video games of different types.
  • Throw the Mook at Them
    You can throw Mooks at other enemies/objects in order to damage them.
  • Whoring
    Using only one narrow tactical option to devastating effect, often to the chagrin of other gamers. A common subset is "Turtling" (a passive defense where you do as little as possible, waiting for your opponent to move).
  • Zerg Rush
    Sending waves upon waves of cheap, weak units in order to overwhelm a more tech-aware enemy with sheer numbers.