Random number generators or RNGs are algorithms that produce random numbers, hence the name.
These same mechanics are seen within the gaming industry to determine events on certain levels or your chance of landing a critical hit or even picking up a special item.
In many modern games, RNG is a crucial factor.
It is one of the main reasons you will get different weapons when playing Mario Kart, discovering unique Pokemon when walking through the tall grass, or finding unique treasures in titles such as Diablo.
RNG is the defining mechanic of games like Minecraft or even jackpot slots and is the reason they are so popular.
All this being said, not all successful games use RNGs. Titles such as Guitar Hero and Dance games are perfect examples.
The apparent game interactions are what makes them so appealing, helping you build skills with more experience gained.
How RNGs Work.
One of the simplest forms of an RNG is the roll of a dice or flipping a coin.
A single coin or die offers the same probability for each event that could occur.
Adding more coins or dice into the equation means that the high and lower possibilities become less likely, while the middle values have a higher chance of occurring.
RNGs can be Altered.
A random number generator is an algorithm, as we discussed earlier. It is basically a mathematical problem that produces random values.
You know that two plus two equals four since you’ve studied math for so long.
Variables (like X and Y) must be included in an algorithm used to produce random values.
From where do video games derive their variables? By looking for natural changes in the environment.
Your character’s name, your console’s internal clock, or even the sequence of buttons you’ve pressed since you first started a game could be used as variables in a game.
Several methods are available for generating random numbers on a computer.
Occasionally, these numbers can be manipulated in a predictable manner. The process is a bit like counting cards but more complex.
Competitive gaming does not involve RNG manipulation but is embedded in classic RPGs and retro video games where RNG algorithms are fairly straightforward.
How RNG Keeps Games Interesting
Variations in games keep them exciting and not boring for gamers playing for long periods of time. Keeping games fresh is how titles gain their success.
Simple games like Tetris are a great example of this random freshness.
If the block fell in a predicted format, the game would be boring and evident after being played just a few times.
The unpredictable nature keeps players entertained. The game would be one-dimensional with just right and wrong moves, while the RNG brings skills and risk into the equation.
RNGs take some stick when they are heavily seen in a title, with skill being removed from the gameplay and luck being the main component.
If you are someone who has just begun playing the game, you have a much better chance of beating an experienced player.
This certainly irritates gamers due to the time, effort, and build-up of skill wasted to be beaten by someone playing for the first time.
Classic competitive games such as chess would lose all of the attraction and enjoyment if random power-ups and moves came into play.
Are RNGs Good or Bad?
In many people’s opinion, RNGs are excellent for ensuring that games are always unpredictable and fresh.
Some action and multiplayer games are used to good effect by random number generators.
They are crucial parts of many modern puzzle games, card games, and RPGs.
A random number generator can be a good thing.
Do Minecraft worlds have to be identical year after year, or are Diablo items the same no matter what you find? A random number generator can offer variety.
RNG undermines skill, however, according to many competitive gamers.
It’s an annoying complaint, but it’s only irritating because some casual games, like Smash Bros., also serve as competitive games (so RNG is necessary).
Due to this reason, games designed for esports often feature skill-based mechanics.