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The results or resolution of certain events or actions are determined in a probabilistic manner. The probability may or may not be known to the player. Randomness is also known as chance.

Strong Examples

Baldur's Gate

In the computer role-playing game Baldur's Gate, the success of a player character's attack is determined probabilistically by rolling a 20-sided dice. Since the rules-system is based on a well-known paper and pencil role-playing game (Dungeons and Dragons), it can be assumed that the players are aware of the probabilities involved.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee is a great example of a game containing randomness. One of the characters (Luigi) has a move called Green missile. The move has a 12 percent chance of misfiring and doing extra damage while going extra distance. Although the user knows the probability of misfiring, the player can't predict every time he will misfire due to the randomness.

Civilization 4

Sid Meir’s Civilization 4 has a strong example of randomness. You may have 1% predicted chance of winning a battle and still win or have 90% chance of winning a battle and still lose. This randomness factor is completely unknown to the player, though at some point the factor goes to 0% or 100% victory to make sure a spearman does not actually destroy a modern tank. Another randomness factor is where you begin the game on the map. It is different almost every time and you have no control over your or the computer’s spawning points. Another randomness in the game is that some maps have random recourse allocation in which the location of certain resources changes every time you start a new game on that map.


In this game, the order in which Snoods appear for you to shoot up at the screen is random.

World of Warcraft

The combat system in World of Warcraft is mostly a series of dice rolls to determine things like: if the attack hits or does not hit, how hard or weak the attack hits for, and other random events that might happen, say, every time a character swings his sword. These dice rolls happen very frequently, frequently enough that players can easily see a difference by increasing certain probabilities by only one percent.

The way characters are rewarded for defeating monsters is also highly random. When each monster appears, it is randomly assigned a few treasures from a very long list. The only way to know which monster has which treasure is by defeating it, leading some players to frequently defeat those monsters over and over again, looking for a specific treasure.


There are only seven possible tetrominoes, however they appear in a random order.

NBA 2k7

NBA 2k7 is an very strong example of randomness. Every shot, dunk, or lay-up takes into consideration the stats of that individual player when deciding if the shot will be made or missed. Another element of this game that contributes to the randomness is the fact that you can play against another human being, and the actions of a human are difficult, if not impossible to predict every time. This results in a game that is completely random, which makes each game different than the previous.

Texas Hold'em

This popular form of poker consist of randomly dealing out two cards per player. This is followed by five more randomly dealt cards which make up the flop, turn, and river

Weak Examples

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat is a weak example of randomness. Your enemies are presented to you in random order, but because you fight them all anyway, it doesn't really matter.

Need For Speed: Carbon

In NFS:Carbon, the city has many random factors that make gameplay less repetitive. There is traffic on the roads, police vehicles randomly patrolling the city, and sometimes there are individual and team challenges from other car teams. This makes the game world less predictable and more enjoyable. This is still a weak example though, because the main objectives in the game are predefined: the main storyline and the unlockable cards.

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

Although in this game, the player is indeed dealt random cards, the player still chooses which cards to use against the enemy. So, the player's move is only determined in part by randomness.

Far Cry

The enemies in this game have a fairly advanced AI which allows them to somewhat randomly patrol large areas. This means that retrying a part of a level with the same approach may not have the same result, as this time there might be an unexpected sentry in your path. However, the randomness is limited, and the number of soldiers is a constant, so from a sufficient distance, the randomness can be completely avoided with the help of a sniper rifle.

Diablo II

On the higher difficulty levels of Diablo II, the special abilities of boss monsters are randomly determined from a short list. While this creates some interesting and dangerous combinations (a monster that deals fire damage AND has an aura that lowers your resistance to fire), it is a weak example because it occurs so commonly. Over a given session you are likely to see so many boss monsters that you'll get a fairly even sampling of every property, with only a small chance of a truly dangerous and uncommon combination appearing.

Harvest Moon 64

The player in this game experiences cut-scenes between other characters and himself at certain points of this game. Although they are seemingly randomly experienced at all times of the day, every skit is put into effect by a choice the player makes. For example, the player must be friends with a character in the scene in order for the event to occur, although it is true that the date the event happens is "random", in that the player is unable to determine what day exactly it will occur. However, after a certain level of friendship has been achieved (i.e. if I give Kai precisely ten grapes he will go to the next level of our friendship), it is safe to assume that the next cut-scene will be triggered the next time the player goes to the appropriate place. In this way, Harvest Moon 64's "random scenes" are not random.

Final Fantasy Tactics

When moving across the world map there is a chance the player will have a random encounter battle forcing them to fight a random set of enemies.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

In the Fire Emblem games, "Random Chance" is often called upon, be it hit rate, critical hit rate, stat gains for levels, or even what path a movement an arrow takes when it is stretched too far. However, the random number generator it uses is simply a set string of integer values between 1 and 100. Normally, the game saves after each move, so this is not so obvious, but the player may examine movement arrows to see whether the upcoming "random" values are above or below fifty, in essence making it not strictly random.

Ragnarok Battle Offline

In RBO, the enemies are controlled by a relatively simple AI system that is driven by a combination of action/attack scripts with probability determining the use of those scripts. However, the probabilities seem to have a set pattern for when which tactics are more likely than others. Also, the damage inflicted/received by both the player and enemies are determined by the player and enemy's stats with a degree of randomness, giving attacks a range of possible damage, but within bounds.

Final Fantasy X

Most battles in the game (that is, all that are not entirely relevant to the progression of the story) are random, and determined mainly by the number of steps you take and where you choose to move. When in battle, the force of your blows (be they magical or physical) are determined by a randomly generating numerical system, which gradually improves through gaining certain spheres (particularly 'luck' spheres).

Descent 3

Although the progression of the game is mostly straightforward and predictable, sometimes when you destroy enemies, powerups are randomly dropped as a reward.

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