The 25 most annoying things about online gamers

Playing games online isn't just about avoiding bullets, but also the F-bombs of the Internet's growing army of digital yobs...

They say,“give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime”. It’s a perfect idiom for self-sufficiency, and one of the most well-known such sayings. Perhaps this may soon be eclipsed, though, by the phrase “you can give someone a game, and they’ll play for a while. Give them a mic, and they’ll troll for a lifetime”.

It’s no revelation that the online world is full of trolls, people who set out to purposely irritate and annoy to get a response. Forums are full of ’em, comments sections are their pastime, and games really are their playgrounds. Far from being in it for the fun of the game itself, or to have a good time with others, some players instead revel in spoiling things for everyone else, be it intentional or not. Some may go about their daily dose of upset and make no secret of it, whilst others my cause problems unwittingly.

Regardless of how the issues arise, most of us have come across players online that make our blood boil. And here’s our look at the 25 most annoying things about online gamers.

25. Gender swappers

For a reason only a player’s psychoanalyst could say, some gamers like to go online and play as the opposite sex. Not being honest about gender is a strange side effect of gaming. We’re not talking a woman controlling a male character in a game (it’s not like there’s too much choice still) or a man navigating Lara Croft through Tomb Raider. No, it’s in the likes of PlayStation Home. Even beyond that, in other online games, where in particular guys pretend to be girls, typing sexual comments and trying to hook up with men. To be clear, sexuality and gender identity aren’t the issues here. It’s that these interactions are rarely anything to do with legitimate advances, and are often simply mind games, or tricking the person they’re talking to.

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24. Clan players

Clans are everywhere these days. Arguably gaining major popularity in the FPS genre, most types of game now support clans, be they RPGs, driving or open world titles like GTA Online. Clans are a way for like-minded players and friends to bond together and take on the world with their combined skills. That’s awesome. However, do we need it in every game? And do you have to be so damn vocal about it?

Not every game we play is a pro-gaming competition, and if you’re a member of a clan, you can take time off and give everyone else a break, especially if it’s a game that doesn’t even support clans. Simply adding your clan tag to your game name doesn’t make this so.

The problem here is that most players in a game or lobby are in it for fun. The Xbox 360 even has game area types, such as recreational and hardcore to denote this. So, if you’re a hardcore clan player in a lobby full of people just wanting to play the game, can you just leave us in peace? Thanking you.

23. Achievement hoarders

Ever since Microsoft popularised in-game achievements, a new class of player has appeared: the ‘achievement whore’ (not our term, we should add). Rather than play the game to simply enjoy it and unlocked rewards naturally, these players obsessively ditch the story or any slow-paced immersion and, with achievements list in hand, go about earning each and every achievement/trophy they can in as short a time as possible. And damn any team mates that get in their way. They have to be the one to get that high kill count or flag capture, and if you don’t let them, they’ll sure as hell let you know about it.

Now, what players do in their own time is their own business, and far be it from me to say otherwise. However, when a player on your team is more concerned with earning a rare achievement in an online game, causing you to lose, that’s a different matter.

There’s something to be said for not including achievements in online modes, and anyone who’s been stuck in a game with players of this type will likely agree.

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22. Bros

Bromances, the jock-driven testosterone-fuelled mentality, are all too prevalent in online gaming. And this kind of player is one of those that simply can’t get enough of their own voice. Often acting as if they’re downing a few cool ones at a bar with others in the game after a big match, their bro-speak universally annoys. Why can’t we all just admit we’re sat on our couch in our undergarments, drinking Coke and eating yesterday’s pizza? Do we really have to pretend otherwise?

21. Bored experts

We’ve all met them. These are players that have spent so much time in a game, they’ve simply got nothing else to do or see, so they often resort to wasting time and flit between various types of player on this list, even if they’re not naturally bad players per se. They’re just bored.

Some use their experience to help others, which is nice, but others take that power and use it for evil, using superior weapons to kill newcomers, or spending time lording it over those less well off.

They can often be seen in games that show player levels and/or have rare weapons and armour. These players are always high level, carry the best equipment and with no new quests to do until the next DLC, simply kill time, and often other players.

20. Spoilers

In the world of voice chat-enabled titles, spoilers are inevitable. Many games come with both single and multiplayer, with the solo title having an actual story (well, at least a semblance of one). If you’re the type of person who always wants to see things for themselves and hates to know what’s coming, then you go online before you finish said story at your own risk.

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People in online lobbies often blurt out plot points from the main game, revealing how the story ends, or what happens in a certain missions (such as that mission from Call Of Duty 4), and there are no spoiler tags here.

As with real life, most people consider that others may not yet know, or want to know such events, but there are plenty of lobby-jockies who will reveal this information, accidentally or otherwise. Whichever it is, it’s no less irritating.

19. Farmers

Usually, it’s only MMORPGs that suffer from this kind of online ‘player’, and I use air quotes for a reason here. Farmers are players who spend hour after hour farming the game for money and resources, rather than actually playing the game as it’s intended.

This may be in a legitimate manner, such as repeating a particularly lucrative mission, or it may be in the form of exploits, effectively cheating their way to riches. In some circumstances, farmers are actually paid players (or in some parts of the world, exploited ones) who grind away for money, selling it to other players for real-world cash.

It’s a practise that may not hurt players as obviously as griefing or bad language, but it undermines the game, and allows players to amass more wealth and acquire the best kit without actually working for it. It can even adversely affect the game’s economy, with a flood of high level items becoming worthless. Unsurprisingly, developers like farmers even less than players.

18. Laggers

It’s nowhere near as prevalent as it once was thanks to the saturation of broadband connections and more affordable gaming hardware, but there are still some instances of people lagging. Mainly an issue facing PC gamers, where system specifications vary, laggers are players who simply can’t keep up due to slower connection speeds or hardware. This causes lag – players jumping around or freezing. It’s a pain, and it can affect an entire game session if said players remain.

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Although it may be unfair to judge players who simply don’t have or can’t afford better systems or Internet connections, it’s always a problem to the game itself, and some would say most titles should group player speeds, keeping thing even for everyone.

17. Overly-attached friends

Online gaming is all about friends, and it’s great to have a group of them on call whenever you want a session. However, this can quickly turn to annoyance when friends constantly send messages or game requests to you when you’re busy doing something else.

You can be desperately fighting that hard-to-beat boss, watching a Netflix movie or playing in a really enjoyable online session, and all you’ll see in the top corner of your screen is message after message, after message. And, in games like Call Of Duty or GTA Online, it’s not always easy to simply stop and reply, which makes you feel ignorant to boot.

Not all games or online services allow you to set a busy status, or even turn yourself invisible, so this can be a problem, and one that can get you killed.

16. Millionaires

In the age of the microtransaction, these kinds of players irk many. Although many gamers have to save up to simply buy a vanilla version of a game, or choose a free-to-play title due to lack of funds, there are some for which money is seemingly no issue. They’ve got everything – weapons, armour, player colours, rare skills, special edition content, and all the DLC, and they wear it like a badge.

Often making a point of strutting around lobbies or hub areas full of lower level, or less financially sound players, they imagine themselves as gaming royalty, even if everyone else has another word for them.

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15. Elit3 p14y3r5

Obviously, the English language simply isn’t sufficient to show the world just how cool you are, and so there are many players who feel the need to craft grammar-shattering tags for themselves, jumbling up letters and numbers because, well, they’re just too cool for school. Okay, English class, anyway.

It was a trend started in the late 90s, and for most who dabbled in it, it quickly died off in most areas of the Internet, but gaming is one area where so-called ‘l33t speak’ has yet to go the way of the dinosaur.

Some players should note, names like Elit3-Ki113R, Haxx04-4-l1f3 or xXr3ap34_dud3Xx do not create an air of coolness, fear or awe. Instead, they simply bring to mind several derogatory words and an image of a 12-year-old pretending to be 21. And more often than not, gamers with such name tags often fall into many of this list’s categories.

14. Children

Speaking of underage players, children make it onto this list with ease. Now that’s not because they’re children, or that younger players shouldn’t play online, it’s when these pre-pubescent gamers play games well beyond their years, or behave like foul-mouthed idiots.

I’ve lost count of how many mini 50 Cents I’ve seen spouting abuse in GTA Online or Call Of Duty, and it’s shocking to think that some of the most foul language I’ve heard comes not from a 20 or 30-year-old, but a player who can’t even see a 12-rated movie without parental accompaniment.

13. Pretty fly (for a white guy)

What’s worse than a foul-mouthed eight-year-old constantly claiming he’s had relations with your mother? A foul-mouthed eight-year-old constantly claiming he’s had relations with your mother who thinks he’s a gangser, that’s what.

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Constantly trying to sound like a thug you might see on the streets of Los Santos, these players are everywhere, and arguably make you run for the mute button faster than anyone else. Even more crude than their normal siblings, there’s no expletive or comment too foul for such players, and they know it.

12. Glitchers

Every game has glitches, little physical or logical issues that can allow players to gain access to places they’re not supposed to be, amongst other things. When this is introduced to an online title, it can become a major problem.

For one, as with ‘achievement whores’, there are groups of players who, rather than pay the game, run off and try to ‘glitch’ the level, attempting to find ways to exploit such glitches. This leaves your team short-handed, and upsets the whole flow of a match.

Secondly, when some such players find a glitch, and get onto a previously inaccessible rooftop or area of the map that makes them invisible, they then use it as an unfair advantage, camping in a glitch spot racking up kills.

Until they’re patched, if at all, these glitches, and the players that exploit them, are a bane of those playing a game properly.

11. Singers

Quite why some players decide to have the radio on full blast in the background while playing, we’re not certain, but you know what? We don’t want to hear it, and what’s more, we certainly don’t want to hear your god-awful singing voice.

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But some players just can’t help themselves, and take to a game lobby or match like it was a qualifying round for The X Factor. And that’s if you’re lucky, believe it or not. Often these kind of players can forgo any form of actual language and simply moan and grunt their way through a match.

It’s bizarre, sometimes disturbing and always unwelcome. We’ll happily beg them to put a cork in it.

10. Noobs

Now, I’m certainly not going to jump on the noob-hater bandwagon, as each and every player out there deserves to play any game they wish. We’re all newcomers to each and every game we buy (unless it’s a samey series), and the term noob is usually used in a derogatory manner, which is unfair.

That said, there are definite downsides to being in a game with fresh-faced players, especially if you’re in a team-based setup. Newcomers can, a lot of the time, be perfectly fine, as they’re gamers already and have some inherent skills. Sometimes, though, they’re little more than a handicap, totally unable to function as part of your team.

The worst type of noob player is the one who seems to embrace their green standing. They try little to actually play correctly, bumming around doing stupid things (there are masses of them in GTA Online, for example), and you have to wonder why they even bought the game in the first place.

9. Backstabbers

Only lower down the list as there are fewer games that allow this kind of player, the backstabber is, arguably, the only one worse than our number one. The backstabber is a player who pretends to be a friend, even to the point of helping you out for a time, only to lure you into a false sense of security so they can stab you in the back, often literally.

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They’ll act kind and passive, and then when you least expect it, boom! They’ll kill you for the cheap point. I’ve mentioned GTA Online a bit already, as it’s fresh in our minds and is one of the games that features pretty much this whole list of player types, and here the backstabber is particularly prevalent.

They’ll ensure they have no weapon drawn, offer to drive you somewhere or rob a store with you, and eventually they’ll kill you just for laughs. Not only is this immediately annoying, but it has more far reaching repercussions, as it lowers your opinion of players in the game globally. Many GTA Online players who want to just enjoy the game, for example, now avoid other players entirely, as they simply don’t trust anyone. It’s a shame.

8. Happy campers

Usually a player type in FPS titles, the camper is a person who likes to set up shop in a hard to reach or see place so they can rack up the easy kills. They’ll spend most of the match stationary, waiting for enemies to wander into their gun sights, and usually incur the wrath of almost every other player in the game.

Often associated with sniper rifles, this is a gaming tactic that’s been vilified so much that developers have even started to put in measures to stop it, timing how long a player stays in one place and punishing them if they do.

It’s sad, though, as camping is a suitable tactic to employ in some game types, such as base defence and even capture the flag, but it’s been abused so much that if players dare to stand still for more than a few seconds, they’re branded a camper, and suffer a painful fate.

7. Rage quitters

So, you’ve been involved in a pronged battle, long race or whatever kind of multiplayer challenge you’re playing with another gamer, and you’re winning. Your kill count is higher, approaching the winning score, or that chequered flag is closing in and your pulse is racing as victory is looming. Then, out of the blue, the game is over. There’s no fanfare, no impressive scoreboard or award, oh no. That’s because your competition has upped and left in a huff.

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Facing defeat, and unwilling to accept it, rage quitters simply can’t bring themselves to admit they can be beaten, and by no means will they allow you to gain a solid win. By quitting out they, in their own minds, avoid a defeat (even if it still is one), but more importantly, they rob you of yours. What sportsmanship, eh?

6. Poor losers

Poor losers, unlike rage quitters, stay around after the final score, but in the end, you’d wish they hadn’t. Rather than the standard “good game” or acknowledgement of your skill, they’ll instead insult and berate you, accuse you of cheating, blame their controller or whatever force that made them lose the game. There’s just no way you could possibly have been the better player, no way.

Poor losers often set lobbies alight with abuse, and during a match they’ll often throw around even more abusive comments, accusing others of cheating and questioning their sexuality. The truth, however, it that they’re simply not that good, but we all knew that anyway.

5. Poor winners

Arguably even worse than poor losers, poor winners can make your blood boil. Not content with simply soaking up a victory, or taking appreciative comments of a good game, they instead insult the runners up, stating for all to see their self-proclaimed god-like abilities. They’re arrogant, self absorbed and as with all good trolls, they know how to push people’s buttons.

The best way to deal with these guys? Silence. They hate it.

4. Bad language

Whether they’re winning, losing or something in between, some players just can’t keep their mouths on a leash, and the foul language just keeps on flowing. They’ll swear when they die, swear when they kill, swear before and after a match, even swear when they have to go take a dump. For some reason, this kind of player, seemingly suffering from tourettes, just can’t stop dropping f-bombs, and using all the colourful language under the sun, sometimes as if they’re talking to themselves.

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This offensive word salad usually drowns out any legitimate conversation or team-speak, and isn’t limited to adult games. Even games for younger players, such as racing titles feature these fools, who think nothing of using such language around kids.

3. Cheats

Cheating is nothing new, and even after all of the evolution of gaming and the arrival of all other irritating player types, it’s still high on the list. Cheating is, simply put, inexcusable and pointless, and undermines the entire gaming pastime.

The main focal point of playing any game is to be challenged, be it single or multiplayer. You want to overcome difficulties using your own skills, and online you want to beat other players to demonstrate your abilities. It’s why you spend money on games. If you simply want to see a story without any form of challenge, go to the movies. If you want to win multiplayer with no threat of losing, start a game on your own and use two controllers.

Cheating comes in many forms, be it exploits, hacks or even legitimate cheat codes. The latter are usually not available in multiplayer, but exploits and other such tricks are, and we’ve all been the victim of cheats, from Counter-Strike to Call of Duty. In the end, no one likes a cheat.

2. Spawn killers

There are few kills that require less skill than spawn killing, and in games where it’s possible, this is one of the single most infuriating things that can happen. Some players who want to eschew any form of actual gamesmanship or skill instead take other people’s retaliation out of the equation by simply not giving them a chance in he first place.

Finding spawn points, they’ll sit there and kill people as they spawn back into the level. They don’t even get a chance to move much of the time, let alone fight back, and this leads to a mass of kills for the spawn killers, and a thoroughly wasted and infuriating game session for the victim.

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Some games put rules in place to avoid this, such as invulnerable grace periods, but not all do, and if you’re playing such a game, get ready for some rage.

1. Griefers

Arguably this class of player, which tops our list, could encapsulate everything here, but the thing about griefers is that they have no real agenda or tactic other than to make your life hell, and they’ll do anything to do so, as if they have a condition that makes them want to be idiots, and an unexplainable hatred for you. Even scores, kill counts or any reward means nothing to these morons, who will even sacrifice themselves to cause you grief.

This totally unreasonable, childish and downright ridiculous behaviour is enough to make normal gamers shun multiplayer completely, and much like online forums, there’s an ever growing presence of them, and all they want is to irritate and get a rise out of people, only in games they can do that in a way that doesn’t require knowledge of the English language, something that’s all too noticeable in forums.

There’s simply no reasoning with them or explanation for their actions – all you can do is ignore them, or leave the game. Whatever you do, though, never fuel them by rising to their provocations, it’s just like lighting a match in a room full of fireworks. You’ll find griefers in almost every game, from CoD to Minecraft.

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