Game burnout and its causes

2020, with its ever-changing trends, perfectly demonstrates the phenomenon of gaming burnout or gaming fatigue. We’ve seen so many games come and go, and some hits are often lost in popularity over the course of a few months. Some, of course, return to the spotlight, but others just make you feel drained. If you’ve ever played a game and quickly got bored with it, then you’re not the only one with this happening.


“Madness is the repetition of the same action in order to get a different result when nothing changes.”

This free interpretation of the most famous phrase of the antagonist from Far Cry 3 perfectly illustrates the main symptoms of game burnout, which can be reduced to just two main ones. Either you play one game too much and it gets tiring, or the game is too repetitive and stops stimulating after a certain point. Remember that most of us play games for fun, and any game that fails to give us the excitement we want can seem boring.

There is a difference between good games with repetitive gameplay and bad ones where repetition is an obvious disadvantage. Most roguelikes and hardcore games, such as the Souls borne series, use repetition to stimulate trial and error, helping the player fix and learn to play. Moreover, often artificially created difficulties can, on the contrary, make the player not want to overcome them.

As a rule, specific games cause burnout, and you can find common features in such projects. These are, for example, competitive games with a monotonous meta, or projects in the genre of action or RPG that make you kill monotonous opponents. Projects that try to surprise with the same mechanics or with beautiful visuals, but lack of content. Many of the concepts of such games look good on paper, but are disgusting in practice and turn into a routine.

Take, for example, the most hype games of recent times, which went viral, became popular, but could not offer anything more than a fleeting attention to the players.  Interest in these games dropped significantly after the peak of their popularity passed, and the players got everything that these games had to offer them. They’re still trying, though.

The funny thing is that all these projects were not ready for such a wave of popularity that covered them. Developers were shocked by the number of gamers that appeared in their projects, and they had to drop everything and deal with adapting games for the crowd of players who appeared. Namely, optimizing and introducing new, varied content to prevent burnout.

In the case of Fall Guys, the developers have gone to great lengths to create a variety of new content. Despite all the same general style, new content manages to beautify it. Different themes and challenges inspire different ways to play, and Fall Guys is still one of the standout party games of 2020.

There isn’t much new content in Among Us, but fans have come up with ways to overcome burnout. Finding new ways to play and interacting, she is still a favorite on Twitch.

At first, the games are mesmerizing, because the players scare themselves more than the monsters. The sense of the unknown is too strong, but over time, when you study the behavior of all the monsters in your reference book, everything becomes much easier and not so scary. However, Phasmophobia is still in Early Access and is created by one person. Creating a one-man project is a reason why you can forgive the author for the rapid burnout in his game, but on the other hand, he still has a lot of time, as well as a large fanbase, listening to which he can work on the game and make it better.

But the fact remains – these games quickly became popular and quickly got tired of them. Even streamers get bored playing the same games, and this was the case even before the examples above. Playing too long can tire you out, even if you love this game.



So, what if you are burned out and want to delete everything to hell? Overcoming this syndrome is more than just a pause for a while. It’s about bringing back the passion for games that you had a couple of years ago, when you didn’t feel like deleting a new title after a couple of hours of playing.

People spend literally hundreds of hours playing this game without getting bored. One of the reasons for this is that it is a session game and there are many ways to play through it to revive the player’s interest.

You will not spend more than a couple of hours, if not minutes, on your virtual island a day, going into it several times in a row. It also has the qualities of a sandbox – the design of your island is completely up to you. The game was not designed to make you feel trapped – progress, being seasonal, is pretty much the same for everyone. This is not the case when you spend several hours in a row on a task or event and feel obligated to complete it.

This approach can be applied to other games with due diligence.

When it comes to competitive games, the rules are slightly different. Players can rarely dictate how they want to play; often meta affects everyone. There is a culture to do what the game wants, or to be punished by losing.

In addition to constant interruptions in the game, it is worth finding new tasks in it to complete. For example, learn how to play another character, or master a new weapon, learn mechanics that for some reason seemed to you that were not created for you. For example, change the melee class to ranged and vice versa. Since competitive games are quite extensive in terms of gameplay, there are tons of new positions to try and explore.