Player Versus Player

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What Does Player Versus Player Mean?

Player versus player (PvP) refers to a game that is designed for gamers to compete against other gamers, rather than against the game’s artificial intelligence (AI). PvP games generally feature an AI that acts as a second player if the gamer plays solo.


PvP games are the opposite of player versus environment (PvE) games, where the player contends largely with computer-controlled characters or situations.

Techopedia Explains Player Versus Player

PvP elements are also incorporated into PvE games, such as role-playing games (RPG). Hybrid games engage users in several different ways by creating games within games operating under different game play mechanics.

The purest form of a PvP game is a fighting game that pits one player against the other until one is victorious. Other genres that depend on varying levels of PvP elements include:

  • Racing games
  • Exercise games
  • Party games
  • Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG)
  • Strategy games
  • Puzzle games
  • Musical games

When played solo, many PvP games become repetitive. Designers depend on the competition in the room or over the online platform to create the game’s atmosphere. Without another human, these games can quickly become pure progression games, in which a player merely checks off levels or opponents and never returns to the game once it is complete.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.