What type of player are you? - Bartle's Taxonomy


So im procrastinating currently and figured I’d get an idea of why people on these forums play IF games.

If you’ve never heard about it “Bartle’s Taxonomy” is a way of categorizing players reasons for playing games. Originally it was designed around MMO’s but can also apply to single player games.

There are 4 types of players:

Achievers - These people want to manage everything, to complete the game, get all the achievements, get the highest score possible. In choice of games these are the people that want to get all the achievements, that want to save all the people + get the love interest + get all the power

Explorers - These people want to see everything, to find the hidden secrets of the game and get into all the areas. In choice of games these are the people that want to find the unusual endings, the rare bits of text that only a few people ever find that the designer has placed for those who hunt the deepest.

Socialisers - These people want to meet others, in MMOs they play to make friends, guilds and generally interact. Within single player games and Choice of Games these people like to get involved with the characters, to get the love interest they want and play the role imagined. They play the games for the social aspect and the interaction IF allows.

Killers - These people play to hold power over others, in MMOs they play to beat down others, hold all the resources, become a kingpin. In single player and Choice of Games these people like to torment thE NPCs, to mess with the world and become an all powerful being.

What do you like to do most in IF games?

  • Achiever
  • Explorer
  • Socialiser
  • Killer

0 voters


I’m like 49% explorer and 51% socialiser


I suppose I’m mostly a socializer (in single player games at least), with some Archiever thrown in (I’m a bit of a completetionist, but I don’t try to unlock every single frakking archievement, but I do aim to do things such as getting most of them at least, romance most of the love interests, find most of the endings, do as many quests as I possibly can, etc… A great emhasis on ‘most’ as you can see, so I can’t consider myself a full-fledged archiever, but something of one, at least…


In MMOs I’m a Killer. PvP is like heaven and being able to take down multiple people is my focus.
But I play COG games for the interactions and story. So it’s kinda hard to choose haha


Um, is the also an option for being a no-life potato who does everything like me?


Lol, I guess for this I would go for your reason you play IF games. Although even IF games have many features that appeal to the Killer such as becoming an almighty hero that rules the world or an all powerful being destroying towns.

I’ve heard many people requesting such features in the forums so at least I know it exists :smile:

Aww… No life? Seems a little hard but also sounds very much like an achiever, gotta catch them all!!


in Single player games mostly socialiser, with a bit of explorer thrown in for good measure. The first draw for games is always how well they manage to breathe live into their worlds with the sheer beauty of them, especially in games with graphics a close second. (Yeah, I’m one of those people who likes to download mods to make the worlds of the modern Bethesda games as breathtaking and beautiful as possible).
Never have and never will play MMO’s though, I’ve got enough crap to deal with in my life right now to want to have to deal with rude and immature (teenage) people for fun. Besides if I considered such thing “fun” I would have gone into education or social work in the first place.


I dun think I fit into many of those categories.
I’m a mixed bag, though I tend ]
to ‘collect’ things in sandbox type games (weapons, armor sets Fallout)
I’m a killer in jet simulators (ace combat)
RPG’s I’m a socialiser I like to see the angles on emotional responses and find the moral to the story
and an Explorer in IF


You could say i’am a killer, explorer and an achiver cause in most games I tend to explore the world in it and get every rare item that I find and ofcourse the most important part … LEAVING A TRAIL OF EVERY WEAKLING WHO DARED TO STAND IN MY WAY!!! Heh heh whisper “me love power … me become overlord HAHAHAHA”.


In multiplayer games I’m a socialiser, but anywhere else I’m an explorer, I always try to find the little details in things.


I’m a hard core explorer. Well, perhaps not so much an explorer, it’s more that I like to make choices that affect the game’s world. I have a theory that it stems from my frustration with not being able to change things in real life, but that’s what originally turned me on about CoG’s.


Haha you’ve just explained to me in two sentences why I was writing Wizardry the way I was. Haven’t seen this before. Gotta find all the endings :smile:


I guess I’m a Killer/Explorer. I’ll always give first priority to any “domination” paths (and usually enjoy them most), but I also want to see the rest of the game.


I’m like a socializer that takes the role of a killer. Probably because I always do the kill everything/ all bad choice run in games


All of the above! I’ll play through a game or IF because I need to achieve all, see all, be social and become the overlord.


None of them. When it comes to text games I play through them once (so far very few exceptions), wanting an authentic and maxed out experience where I achieve all goals I may set up for myself, but I never go back trying to collect them all.

I think the only text game I’ve played several times was Choice of the Dragon, because it was short and satisfying without cementing your character into a canon true ending, which is what tends to happen with most other games.

The problem with Choice games is that the path the story follows is usually the same, things happen in the same sequence, you meet the same people. The things that are different because of your choices are very few and far between, without much lasting consequence. Granted that the Dragon wasn’t all that diverse either, but somehow it defied that rule. No idea why.

So when you start a new character, it just feels hollow, because they’re basicly walking in the same shoes as the first character you created. And even if they react differently, it usually doesn’t make that much of a difference.


Explorer and Achiever, I like play to see all paths, but still want get all achievements the game has to offer.


Mmmmm not really sure this taxonomy is good for CoGs… or at least I cannot see myself in it, how would it apply for example to people playing things like SimSity also? No “builders” in there… or maybe these fall into achievers?


No single game encompasses all 4 types. But the genres as a whole can tailor for each depending on how they’re designed. That’s why no one IF game appeals to every player.

Even so, sim city can appeal for different reasons. Some want to play to build the biggest towns, becoming the richest.

Others play to find all the different buildings and discover unique designs

Some play to watch over the town, watch how the different departments interact and the city runs.

Others like to build a big town simply to destroy with a disaster and watch it burn

(In the case of the sims I liked to marry everyone in the town and kill them off 1 by 1 until I had a huge graveyard and all the wealth)


Bartle’s taxonomy was developed for and really only applies to online multiplayer role-playing games.

Perhaps we need a new way of sorting or thinking about interactive fiction fans? Something like the old GNS of Ron Edwards for tabletop RPG players?