Play Mechanics

What Does Play Mechanics Mean?

Play mechanics are the rules that govern the gameplay within a video game. Play mechanics dictate what the actions the users can carry out within the game environment as well as how the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) can react to a user’s actions. Play mechanics differ greatly according to the genre of game being played.


Techopedia Explains Play Mechanics

Play mechanics control everything from how high a character can jump in a fighting game to how many units you can field in a strategy game. Play mechanics are at the root of the user experience and thus are the first thing to be planned out once an initial game concept is created.

Even in a finished version of a game, the play mechanics can be tweaked to make a game more or less challenging (hard, normal and easy modes). By choosing one of these modes, the rules of the game are changed. For example, choosing hard in a fighting game may mean that your characters’ attacks do less damage, whereas the AI-controlled opponents move faster and inflict more damage.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…