Definition - What does Degenerate Strategy mean?
A degenerate strategy is a way of playing a video game that exploits an oversight in gameplay mechanics or design. Degenerate strategies apply to player-versus-player (PvP) as well as player versus environment (PvE) games. Degenerate strategies do not break the rules of a game like a code or a cheat, but they do prevent the game from being experienced in the manner intended by the game designer.
Techopedia explains Degenerate Strategy
Nearly every game has degenerate strategies that a gamer can exploit for the easy win, kill or level-up.
Common degenerate strategies include:
- Finding the most powerful and difficult special attack to block in a fighting game and then using only that move in every round
- Finding the spawn points for items and enemies in a roleplaying game and camping there for easy kills, experience points and cash
- Leveling up a character beyond its natural progression by constantly refighting battles
- Finding the range at which the enemy's artificial intelligence operates and using long-range attacks from the edge of that range
- Memorizing repetitive game elements, such as layouts or attack patterns, and exploiting their weaknesses
A degenerate strategy is not a gaming principle violation because no such principle exists. Degenerate strategies are merely alternative gameplay approaches that appeal to two types of gamers: those who want to play as efficiently as possible and those looking for shortcuts to beat the game.