Why Is He Allowed To Do That?!: Facilitating Rage-quitting In Video Games


If you have ever played an online game of 1v1 PvP, you have likely experienced a rage-quitter. Leaving a game before it is finished to avoid potential humiliation, protect win ratios or even just to spoil the victory of the opponent, rage quitting is a phenomenon unique to gaming but hardly new, so the question remains why rage quitting is still somewhat ignored by the majority of developers.

Okay, so say the game above, Street Fighter 4, has a fight that ends with a disconnect because someone just decided to unplug or take the disc out before they lost, how does the game treat the one who stays behind? Why it does nothing of course, move on and find another game, no points are lost or given so it was a wasted endeavour for both parties. Why doesn’t it just default the player who stayed as the winner and reward them? Hardly a big deal for some to gain or lose some points for their character in a game where they are but an arbitrary means to gauge the skill of each player, nonetheless there are too many games where those ranks often tie into something important. There is a need for designers to be meticulous with their systems that feature player versus player content, especially when it is either a 1v1 basis or the systems revolving victory and defeat play into actual progression. Who honestly thought it was a good idea to have more points taken away from players ranks depending on the gap between them, the numbers aren’t indicative of skill only how long you probably have been playing, while the numbers themselves are arbitrary it appears a lot of people hold them in regard and to lose so many on a bad day or a deceptively good opponent is clearly damaging to the pride.

A Korean MMO known as GrandChase hooked me for a while in my own “MMO phase”, you know that point where you first get introduced to the concept and on paper it seems like the most fantastic thing in the world and you lose most of your life in levelling and not doing quests? Okay so maybe not everyone goes through one but I did, and this one caught my eye. There was a PvP option in the game and as you might have guessed levels and money were part and parcel of improving the characters. However to promote trying and trying without jumping out the moment you lose, you still get rewards even when you lose. Not a large amount in comparison to the winner(s) true but you still get something for your time other than a big “YOU LOSE” in front of your screen bringing you down. I liked this system a lot, it never made me feel bad for losing yet pushed me to improve and win for the satisfaction of the sizeable reward difference and of course because winning feels pretty darn good. An odd thing occurs though: even when leaving the match gets you a loss so rage quitting is discouraged, people would still just up and leave the minute they start losing or they ran out of lives. Perhaps they are just impatient with failure and the pacing of the menus, perhaps rapidly getting people into their next match and not prolonging the results screen would at least reduce this issue.

Regardless of the problem, it is important to note that in all the above examples default that any leaving is a rage quit and treated as such, which is a unfair treatment in an age of inconsistent internet speeds and heavy loaded servers. I point you to how Super Smash Bros. for 3DS deals with leaving. When you leave a match, any match online, you get punished with a 10-minute time-out from online play. Any disconnects for any reason? You are kicked out of play, regardless of the quality of the connection. I find this to be absolutely mind boggling when the connections in the game aren’t always smooth, the results tend to be polar opposites of either fantastic or sluggish and laggy, with may a few moderate connections thrown in. I’m not sure how the systems work so I may be completely out of order in asking this, regardless I would like it if they actually checked the ping and the stability of the connection before throwing out red cards left right and centre. I have left a match in Street Fighter: Third Strike when the connection was so bad that the opponent was blinking across the stage and I simply was getting annoyed, leaving the match seemed like the most sane option and I am happy I didn’t get punished for it. Playing online still has kinks and developers should take the time to consider these when designing what is the second generation of effective online gaming, we are a bit too far into this to still be meeting such poor forethought.

So what about all of you people then,hmm? What has your life been with rage quitters in your games? Do you think someone should just stick it out with a bad connection or leave before they get frustrated and bored? What systems have you experienced that worked and what haven’t? Thanks for the read, see you all around.


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  1. #1 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 6:07 pm

    I don’t understand rage quitters either. But with that said I know of atleast 1 game where if you are being hit and you log out, when you log back in you are dead and have to respawn, and your quit counts as a successful kill on behalf of the player hitting you. I don’t RQ as a habit but me and a friend tried it in the game’s PvP mode just to see what would happen. Turns out it’s a good system.


    • #2 by Prof.mcstevie on November 18, 2014 - 6:15 pm

      Sounds like an interesting system, although if you disconnected due to a testy internet connection it might end up as frustration point. I don’t want to say that if you don’t have a stable high quality connection you shouldn’t be touching online games but it sometimes feels like the penalties for even a small connection issue are large.

      I have come to know some games that perform matchmaking based on disconnects alongside normal rankings and it can become infuriating being stuck with the ACTUAL rage quitters and whiny players when all you have is a temperamental internet provider.


    • #3 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 6:31 pm

      I don’t recall how we figured this out, but it seems to know the difference between a DC and a RQ.
      My PC runs on steam and occasionally I need to feed it a new bit of coal. So I run my settings on best performance and on a bad day I still don’t get over 20 fps.
      This maybe how it determines when a player’s pc has crashed because I’ve been in combat a few times and lag crashed. When I logged back in I wasn’t penalised for it. (If I had to guess I think their server can read the nature and circumstances shortly prior to a connection drop and figure it out.)

      Like when I logged out to fake a RQ in my friend’s experiment it seamed to know I had clicked the [x]. Also this may interest you, we also similated a powercut by pulling the power plug out of the computer. Again. not penalised, atleast not penalised by death count though to do this just to RQ would be it’s own penalty anyway. As you then have to re-boot after a “failure to shutdown” and log back in again robbing time from you (if you are offline for more than 5 mins you are automatically dropped from party) so you would have to be darn fast or else be kicked from the PvP and have to re-load that again too.


    • #4 by Prof.mcstevie on November 18, 2014 - 6:36 pm

      Interesting, it seems there are a few games that have the extra work into determining whether or not to punish people based on the nature of their removal from the game. Shame that the industry doesn’t seem to hold onto any notion of actually learning from successes or we’d never have any bad lobbys or the sort. I can’t think of any right now but there will probably be SOMETHING that is wrong with that system and I’d love to see the size of the players who get the short end of the stick, if only to learn how the game reacts to situations I hadn’t conceived yet.


    • #5 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 6:56 pm

      Well I wouldn’t say it was fool proof, no system ever is %100 of the time. When it comes to computers there will always be a way around it, a way to trick the machine. But for the average PvP and WvW player it usually works more often than not. And considering the alternative is of no system at all… it’s quite a good feature really.


    • #6 by Prof.mcstevie on November 18, 2014 - 7:02 pm

      Yes, I was only advocating the education of what kind of players would be ignored by a system that seemed feasibly solid from our viewpoints. Good to see some developers taking note of the experience of a world of gamers rather than the few who can access games without concern.

      Liked by 1 person

    • #7 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 7:04 pm

      psst. Can you do me a solid and delete my comment to the user below? I sent it to the wrong guy by accident haha. 🙂


    • #8 by Prof.mcstevie on November 18, 2014 - 7:06 pm

      Certainly, although there seems to be a response in already just to let you know.


    • #9 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 7:08 pm

      Ok, thanks I appreciate it. 🙂 I will now send the comment to the right person instead haha.


  2. #10 by The Ludite on November 18, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    I think there are too many assumptions made about the real reason that players quit. In fact, the very term “rage quit” has this unsubstantiated narrative that the player is controller-throwingly angry. I’ve heard a lot of suggested reasoning for why players quit, and quite often it infantilizes the quitting party such as suggesting a futile attempt to protect his ego by not actually LOOKING at the You Lose message, or even some weird motivation to prevent his opponent from looking at the You Win message.

    What a lot of people have missed, however, is an extremely obvious and sensible explanation: the player is forfeiting. He recognizes that he has no chance to win, and rather than playing out an impossible match and wasting the time of BOTH players, he graciously forfeits the round so they can start new matches. This also has design implications: it suggests that the match might actually be too long, and that one of the players has been logically eliminated before he was strictly eliminated. In such a case, it makes perfect sense to forfeit, just as happens in chess very often. It’s not about some kind of weird malice or social misanthropy – it’s just the sensible thing to do.

    Of course, the reasons for quitting come on a case-by-case basis. Obviously, if you can quit before the loss occurs in order to avoid having the loss recorded and your rank adjusted, players will absolutely do this, again not out of social misanthropy, but because it’s in their best interests to do this. Of course, no serious game should ever be set up in such a way. Player behavior is largely dictated by the game rules, which is the underlying principle of the field of mechanism design. This means that the designer is 99% responsible for the general actions of the playerbase! Quite the responsibility. For more on this, check out this PAX Panel “The Game Makes the Community” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRlYM9F50EQ


    • #11 by Prof.mcstevie on November 18, 2014 - 5:34 pm

      It does seem that there is a bit of presuming based on a small amount of people, while there may be a lot of people who quit because of “rage”, not everyone falls under that category and the phrase is used too much as an umbrella term.

      I’d have to definitely have to agree that when you make leaving in your best interest you will do it, there is complex design implemented to even skills and attacks in say a fighting game or RPG to ensure that there is actual incentive to use all that they give you.

      I do wonder if we would need people with a strong psychological skill among other game design skills to create a competent system that managed to work as we would all want? I have no doubts creating a broad system for a large amount of situations is difficult, law itself struggles with that so for a game designer such might seem like an insurmountable task.


  3. #12 by trevbook on November 18, 2014 - 2:33 am

    I think it really depends on what kind of game you’re playing. For your average team-based multiplayer shooter (COD, for example) there shouldn’t be any sort of penalty for an early quit – sometimes, like you said, the Internet connection might be choppy, or players just might not be having fun.

    However, for games that require heavy interaction between a small amount of players to function (MOBAs and fighting games both fall into this category), I think that there should be *some* sort of way to incentive remaining in a match. League of Legends will tempa-ban you for leaving early – this totally makes sense in a game where you’re incredibly disadvantaged after someone disconnects. For these sorts of games, I think that entering an online match is a sort of an unwritten commitment to stick it through. (I’ve never experienced an unruly penalty due to connection failure, though, so my opinion might change after that.)


    • #13 by Prof.mcstevie on November 18, 2014 - 5:25 pm

      I agree that it is very dependant on the situation, I simply fail to understand why the very fact that it exists often seems to be ignored or falsely interpreted at best. It definitely seems like a complicated sociological concept on the surface so perhaps there is a assumption that doing nothing is safer than trying and failing? I can only speculate.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. #14 by itsmeaustin on November 18, 2014 - 1:28 am

    Hey, I wrote a quick responce to this about how I feeling about anti-rage quitting measures.



    • #15 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 7:10 pm

      Respectfuly I must disagree. Ofcourse it’s a competition. That’s why it’s PvP not co-op’ not PvE. Life is too short to allow people to simply waste your time by childishly quitting as soon as it isn’t going the way they want. I get that it’s just a game, but that is no excuse to be inconsiderate.


  5. #16 by mejup on November 17, 2014 - 9:18 pm

    Well I mostly play moba’s. Since it is in teams it is kind of hard to get the, you win, because you would also put the people that are still there at a disadvantage.

    I wouldn’t know how to fix it, but I try to just let it be.

    But thank the Lord! When I am playing heart stone and the other guy leaves I win!


    • #17 by Prof.mcstevie on November 17, 2014 - 9:22 pm

      Hmm, what about someone can take the place of the disconnected so that you can even the odds back up again? not foolproof but it is a start, better than stuck with a 5v2 when you were just about to win.


    • #18 by mejup on November 17, 2014 - 9:24 pm

      It is a start. But would these players start with the average levels and gold of the time stamps or the teams average? And what about the earned points? It seems to me like some that could possibly get exploited…

      I really like the thought though, have never heard it before and has quite the potential I think.


    • #19 by Prof.mcstevie on November 17, 2014 - 9:26 pm

      Like I said, it is a notion that would need expansion by someone more knowledgeable in MOBA systems and formulae. I do think it might have some ground though.


    • #20 by mejup on November 18, 2014 - 7:05 pm

      Most definitely! But how could you justify this to the four or three other people?


    • #21 by mathie on November 18, 2014 - 7:06 pm

      tbh mejup I’m almost sure I replied to you by mistake. my appologies


    • #22 by mejup on November 18, 2014 - 7:08 pm

      That could explain why! no problem.


  1. Stop punishing people for “rage quitting”. | Wow! A video game blog!

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