‘Dad Builds’ Are Making Lazy Gaming OK, And I Love That

‘Dad Builds’ Are Making Lazy Gaming OK, And I Love That

It has come to my attention that some of you have introduced a new term into the video game lexicon, one that describes a phenomenon of great interest to me and the public at large. I am talking, of course, of Dad Builds.

What is a Dad Build? Why, it is any character that uses the Dad Loadout when selecting what weapons and armour to equip in Destiny 2, a video game where players soar through space and time to fight some great menace called “RNG”.

As defined by PC Gamer, the Dad Loadout is defined by three criteria. It must:

  1. Be easy to obtain with good perks.
  2. Hold its own in competitive play.
  3. Be easy to use in pretty much all circumstances.

You can find all manner of guides and self-deprecating videos on YouTube about Dad Loadouts in Destiny 2.

The implication is that dads, blessed with all manner of obligations from the joy of child-rearing, marriage and work, cannot play involved games for terribly long stretches but would still love to. (I can relate on the last part.)

It also suggests that mums would not be interested in this — which isn’t true — but dads have become a culturally acceptable target for gentle mockery and loving parody, and while I am not a dad, I am personally fine with that.

While the Dad Build emerged in the Destiny 2 community, there is no reason that, as PC Gamer notes, it should be limited to that game.

In fact, I’d argue that we should have Dad Build guides for every game. What’s the laziest, most efficient way to spec my character out for The Division 2? Final Fantasy 14? Bloodborne?

Tell me, please, so I can get through these games and think about all the time I’d have to also be a baller parent, crushing raids and parent-teacher meetings. Let me be the subject of quiet middle-aged admiration, the way we gazed upon men in 2015 and declared “dad bods” a worthy goal.

Of course, the Dad Build has the opportunity to become even more egalitarian since it isn’t based in gendered ideas of attractiveness, but cold, hard maths.

But here’s the real reason why I like the concept of Dad Builds: It’s another, better way of articulating what otherwise would be a contempt for the “casual” player.

I look at Dad Builds and I think of the “noob combo” in Halo 2, or Hanzo mains in Overwatch — people who found an accessible way to play a game that let them feel competitive but not cheap, a way that then became so popular that hardcore fans started to be annoyed by it.

What if they didn’t get annoyed, though? What if they saw someone with a popular, optimised build and thought, ah yes, a dad/mum build. I respect your dedication to this game and your family. Video games truly are a diverse hobby enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

It doesn’t have to be a dream, folks. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Start a Dad Build today, and then tell me about it.


  • I used to call complex sims, dad games.
    You would always go to a friends.house and find a cool looking war/flight sim and get told “oh, that’s my dads game”
    They’ve certainly gone more mainstream these days though.

    I can defiently relate to dad builds.

  • In the latest Diablo 3 season, I made a dad build wizard. All you need to do is hold down a mouse button and everything just melts around you. It’s great.

      • Good ol’ lazy necro… I’m still baffled at how effective that build is. Previously, my highest character was a Thorns Templar, barely able to break GR64 after grinding for weeks. Started a necro targeting a lazy bonestorm build this season, and got my first GR70 within a week – and that’s just with having the right items; the actual rolls on my gear are all over the place.

      • My lazy necro’s based on the one here. The weapon choice is a little oddly presented, but it’s essentially either Reilena’s 2H, or Trag’oul’s + Lost Time, cubing either Reilena’s or Trag’oul’s depending on what you get to drop.

        Get 15 stacks of bone armour, run around and watch anything that gets close melt. Blood rush to get around a bit quicker, and simulacrum for double damage if needed.

  • Be easy to obtain with good perks.
    Hold its own in competitive play.
    Be easy to use in pretty much all circumstances.

    I must be getting old, because that actually sounds like an optimum build, not a dad build.

    • Same thing, different name.
      Just like optimal builds getting called meta builds.

      You gotta be down if you wanna stay with it.
      *does the Floss incorrectly to the embarrassment of kids*

    • But its not optimal. its more like simple and jack of all trades. its easy to use ‘decently’, but never as good as the spend 200 hours to perfect build.
      its certainly not a bad idea (i have a sort of go to build like this in destiny), but you could usually have a much more tailored and better for the mission/mode build.

      • Until they patch on item or weapon that your build requires to work and you have too grind another 200hours.

        • Yeah, basically every new season/dlc, or any nerf/item change.
          “Have fun starting again on your grind!”

    • Nah, its like… You spend a little time building it then just dont touch it.

      Its a build you create in half an hour (theory crafting wise) with minimal effort that lets you do most things.

  • I’m very much a dad with dads builds in Destiny 2 – if the light level is higher and it’s not a sword, I’m going with that.

    This is why the next update worries me. The first non-Activision “we are now an MMORPG” update, where they told Jason in an interview that it is no longer single player focused at all and that you’ll need to fiddle with your armour constantly.

    It might be time to leave Destiny 2 behind for the non-dads.

    • Will have to wait and see I guess but if they make it work like my other favourite looter (Warframe) then the dad builds will become even better. With that I mean at the moment you get a good armor set at level 720 let’s say but the roll on it isn’t the best and since as a dad you don’t have lots of time to grind the same armor piece again to have a chance at a better roll you just make the best of it.

      The new system you don’t need to grind the same armor again for a better roll, you just slot in the mods you already own or only grind for a specific mod to slot in to improve the stats. This means that over time with normal play you will build up a collection of mods that you can slot into your armor pieces. It will take longer than the other players but the collection will grow and building dad builds will become easier.

      Again that is if they make it work similar to Warframe. I have a large collection of mods on that game that I acquired over many months but now that I have them my builds are really good without excessive amounts of grinding.

  • I’m not a dad yet, but I’m sure as hell interested in the dad build. Good to know more terminology to use when hunting for the build that fits my preferred playstyle.

  • I would like a dad build for later monster hunter world quests involving the elder dragons. Like how am i supposed to damage kushala daora with my dual blades when I cant even get close to it.

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