A new research study helmed by 3D Aim Trainer has analysed gaming communities across Reddit to uncover the most “toxic” gaming communities online. The study analysed thousands of comments from subreddit forums of the most popular gaming communities to identify toxic behaviours, opinions and in-game activity which was then ranked on a 10-point scale. Of the games analysed, the study found PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ community to be the most toxic, with an average score of 7.655 out of 10.
Toxicity was defined in the study as a combination of derogatory and foul language, trolling and using hacking to gain an unfair advantage in a game. This toxicity was largely attributed to a heavy emotional investment in a particular game or a callous need to find humour in provoking or harassing others.
Other factors playing a role in this final toxicity score included the prevalence of swear words in a subreddit (which Super Smash Bros. ranked highest for, with a 23.03% proportion of swear words to total comments) and references to hacking (won by PUBG) as well as general toxic behaviour like cheating, trolling and griefing.
PUBG‘s subreddit community was identified as displaying a high amount of toxicity, particularly in regards to in-game hacking, as well as general poor behaviour like trolling and being banned for a variety of reasons. (Players can be banned in-game for acts like discrimination, utilising bugs, having inappropriate nicknames, stalking and many other reasons.) Of the games analysed, it also had the second highest proportion of online interest, making it one of the most talked-about games.
Next up was Call of Duty Warzone, followed closely by CS:GO — but neither reached the same heights of toxicity that PUBG did.
Overwatch ranked lowest in 21st place, with the study concluding it had the highest proportion of positive and friendly interactions despite being the eighth most-searched for game. It ranked very low for trolling, cheating and bans, making it one of the nicest communities on Reddit. This was largely attributed to the endorsement system, which allows players to actively compliment their teammates. Minecraft and FIFA shared similar statistics, ranking very low for toxic behaviour online.
The rankings of the top 10 most toxic game communities in the study (on a 10-point scale) are as follows:
- PUBG — 7.655
- Call of Duty Warzone — 6.045
- CS:GO — 5.180
- Super Smash Bros. — 4.965
- Payday 2 — 3.909
- League of Legends — 3.787
- Rocket League — 3.748
- Grand Theft Auto V — 3.419
- Team Fortress 2 — 3.339
- Dota 2 — 3.195
While not all gaming communities are toxic, it’s important to recognise and avoid these behaviours online.
Video games are meant to be fun for everyone and players should always report, block or ignore players that participate in toxicity online.
To read more about the 3D Aim Trainer study, check out their full report here.