5 Ways To Be A Massive Jerk To Your Opponents In Video Games

Maybe you reached your skill plateau despite constant practice. Maybe the odds are against you. Maybe you're just a terrible human being. Whatever the reason, you need to win, and you need to win bad — no matter what the cost. Perhaps at the cost of my morality and integrity, I'm here to help.

Here are five ways to screw your opponents over in games, ranging from silly, amusing ways to downright horrible tactics.

5: Trash-Talking

How to dole it out: Let's start with the cornerstone of all shady win-practices: trash-talking. Now, it's easy to to dole out a long list of expletives, but there's an art to trash-talking, see. You need to make sense, first of all. It's very common to hear folk talk up a nonsensical storm.

As for what to say, the narrative you want to construct is one of superiority and intimidation. You want to do this without being too annoying or stupid — listen to any 13 year old on Xbox Live for a 101 on what NOT to do. Unless you want to sound hilarious and have no one take you seriously, that is!

The big question is if you want to be offensive, like the folks who played Gears of War 3 with me were. This will rattle the opponent.

Most importantly, while part of the idea is to psych the competition out, you don't want to overtalk your skill — if you lose, you'll end up that much more embarrassed.

How To Deal With It: If you're on the other end of trash talking, I'd advise against retaliation: usually, that sort of thing just escalates endlessly. You're better off trying to focus.

If trash-talking bothers you, you can usually mute the person, if not set your console to avoid that person in the future.

But if you simply can't let something go, pay attention to what the other person is saying. Chances are, it's completely ridiculous and makes no sense. Point that out and hopefully they'll stop.

Confidence is key for both dishing it out and standing your ground when it comes to trash-talk.

4: Get A Buddy On Your Side

How To Dole It Out: Teamwork always wins. Always. Get someone to coordinate tactics with you and double-team other people. The person doesn't even have to be on your team-sometimes, that even makes it better. Who cares if you're the Boomer in Left 4 Dead. Vomit and slash at your "teammates" for the good of humanity if it means you anger everyone in the game's lobby.

My favourite type of dubious teamwork is getting a friend to come over at a predetermined location, and setting explosives on them. I've done this in Battlefield games, but any game with remote detonated bombs will do. Then, they run over to the enemy team, tell me when they're in position, and I set it off. Every game has similar troll-y things you can do to mess with the other team — creativity is required to figure these "strategies" out.

How To Deal With It: If you're on the receiving end here, there are two options. One, you recruit someone to be on your side to fight fire with fire. Two, you retreat and find a match with a more even playing field.

3: Use The Game To Your Advantage

How To Dole It Out: Sometimes, the game itself will have ways to troll other players built-in. Sometimes, like in New Super Mario Bros Wii, the point of multiplayer is the trolling and the fun that arises from it. In these cases, don't be afraid to be a dick! That's why the game exists, really.

Let's take Spelunky, for example. When playing multiplayer in Mossmouth's roguelike, you can pick other players up. Maybe you're sick of the leader buying all the good items for themselves. Welp, you can just throw them into some spikes to get rid of them. Their treasure is all yours now!

How To Deal With It: If you have to deal with this sort of thing, my condolences. As I said, these are the types of game that have trolling as a feature and playing any other way feels boring by comparison. Why not indulge? It's there to use, after all. Don't worry, nobody can think less of you for it.

2: Induce a Choke

How To Dole It Out: This is where things get interesting — and potentially, morally wrong. But I'm not here to judge or endorse, just to inform.

A large part of playing games is the performance. If you can't carry out the motions, then you're done. The thing is, it's insanely easy to get someone to choke. There's a whole science to it, even.

Distraction is one of the key methods, and there are multiple ways to do it. Have you ever heard any of the "you are now aware of ___" sayings? Like, being aware of your breathing, your blinking, that sort of thing? You can go a step further and be specific.

Ask someone the intricacies of an action or behaviour they perform regularly — like a reload or a melee. Chances are, they won't be able to stop thinking about it and go into "paralysis through analysis".

Or, they'll get so concerned with directing an automatic action, it'll become impossible not to screw it up. Studies show that asking someone to actively monitor their actions while playing hinders performance.

Choking can also be induced by pointing out insecurities that have roots in social misconception. You may hear stereotypes around race and gender and know for a fact that they're not true, but thinking about them at all can have a serious effect on your performance. If you want to be a particularly awful person, this is the sort of thing you can bring up. Studies have also shown that even the slightest mention of "your mother" can have surprisingly successful results. Use with caution.

How To Deal With It: The best thing you can do to avoid a mental psych-out is to clear your mind and focus on getting in the "zone". The more meditative and zen-like you can be, the better. Counting backwards can be good for this.

1: Cheat

How To Dole It Out: Finally, we get to the mother of all shady tactics: cheating. There's multiple ways to cheat. If you're playing locally, you can screenwatch or physically mess with the person you're playing with. Setting your game or avatar to have handicaps for just you can help, too.

Playing online, it's a bit more difficult to successfully cheat: it's not as if the developers want you to ruin other people's experiences. Still, there are a variety of tools if not services for purchase that can allow you to do all sorts of game-breaking hacks.

The only question is how comfortable you are sleeping at night, you stinking cheater, you. You don't have to wonder if you'll be widely dislike when you're found out. Count on it. You either have to be OK with constant match hopping, or sneaky enough to not be found out.

How To Deal With It: If you have a cheater in your match, just leave. Really. It's not worth playing a match that is completely unfair and not fun. Make sure to use whatever options are available to you to report the offender, and try to go into servers that specifically look out for and protect against this sort of thing.

Hopefully, you don't go out there and completely ruin the experience for everyone — but sometimes, you just got to win, right? You know what they say. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia ltd/Shutterstock


    Why does this article exist? We don't need more trolling in games, there's already too much. If you need to win THAT BAD, go play a different game, relax, chill out, then call a therapist.


        I agree, but trolling as it exists now is little more than obscenities and racial slurs
        I think we deserve a better class of criminal, so to speak

      Its part of the nature of gaming. Of competition.

        And yet I haven't seen any sports news talk about the best way to abuse fellow athletes mid-competition.

          Now what would the opinion of this article be if it were instead titled "Ways to not let people being a massive jerk get to you" because it touches on that quite a bit too. And besides, when there is nobody to judge you (and in an anonymous forum such as the internet, this rings true) people will, given the option between being a bastard and a gentlemen, usually go with the former.

          And while it may be true that I haven't seen a sports news show talk about a topic similar to this, it doesn't mean the behaviour itself doesn't exist, blaming referees because their doing their job meant a team lost a point, not owning mistakes/blaming others for your own shortcomings, having an entire crowd droning their champions name resulting in aggravated performances by their opposition (tennis, Lleyton Hewitt for example). Simply because it is more formal doesn't mean it isn't played by humans

            Also, In sport they are regulated by governing body with strict guidelines and rules, there are severe penalties if an athlete goes overboard
            Gamers aren't held to the same standard because they aren't athletes and really who would hold them accountable

              The gaming press and community. Although judging by this, the gaming press is for arse-like behaviour. So much for trying to promote the 'gamers are respectable citizens too' view, rathre than the 'hey, look how much of an arse these gamer people really are!'

            If the article was titled that but still exactly the same, I'd say the same thing. When the "How to be an unlikable arse" section is bigger than all the "How to deal with unlikable arses" it's still promoting arse-like behaviour.

              I think I've used my weekly quota of the word 'arse' today in one go. Blast.

        I get the rest, as they're all part of competition, but cheating absolutely isn't. The nature of competition is getting away with as much as you can without breaking the game's or the tournament's rules, and cheating is playing outside of the rules entirely.

      Sounds to me like someone can't take a bit of good natured ribbing

      I love how one item suggests we destroy games...

      "Still, there are a variety of tools if not services for purchase that can allow you to do all sorts of game-breaking hacks."


    No mention of the most powerful insult in gaming?

    "U mad bro?"

      its like the "I know you are but what am I?" for the new age

        Well said!

      If people ask me U mad bro I reply with something like "of course I'm mad, I'm positively seething, my rage in incalculable, I'm literally shaking with anger" to which they seem confused and unable to continue. Sometimes when you tell someone exactly what they want to hear, in an articulate manner, they lose momentum and choke.

    like the olympic road race where right at the end the Kazakstani totally juked the Columbian out of the gold...



      hahaha that was brutal
      before reading this article I wouldnt have recognised the psych-out

    It's like I'm on Cracked, except without the fuuny.

    My Number 1 hated insult: nub.
    A nub is when you lose the end of your finger or something. If you want to abbreviate the ridiculously large word "noob", it needs umlauts. You illiterate, uneducated gimp.

      actually NUB is a military acronym for Non Useful Body, it translates into exactly the same thing though

    Wow. Cheating and changing to the other side in BF to betray them. And you can still say "It’s not worth playing a match that is completely unfair and not fun." with a straight face!

    Much, much worse playing in a game with someone like you than with a 13 year old spewing verbal vomit in your ears.

    Hate this player, not the game.

    Team work is not trolling. Eather your being for real about it, or your trolling us in this artical...

      Also, Cheating is not trolling eather. ITS CHEATING. YOU GET BANED FOR IT AS PER THE ULAR YOU AGREE TO YOU MORON.

      Who the FUCK let this guy write?

        Yuo know what. The ONLY thing that is has any relation to trolling in this is THE ARTICAL IT SELF. What a load of garbige. Someone make sure we don't say any of this sort of atical again. EVER.

        Probably the same person who let you comment. "ULAR" is EULA or End-User License Agreement.

        Cheating is the ultimate troll. Especially if they don't get caught.

    haha i haven't used my mic in years, if anyone wants to insult me they will have to take the time to send a message.

    So... Is this an article for or against messing with people?

    Very strange that people think this is an article FOR cheating...

    People do realize that this article is meant to be tongue-in-cheek right? It's not actually endorsing trolling. Oh wait, of course they don't because people are idiots.

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