Top 10 Bad Decisions in Games

Don’t judge me now. You’ve done it and I’ve done it, we’ve all done it, no matter how good or how bad we think we are at any game, we’ve done it. We’ve made a horrendously bad decision which has caused mass destruction, ended entire campaigns, caused things to just generally go wrong or even break the whole damn game itself. We’ve done it, so don’t delude yourself otherwise.

Don’t judge me now. You’ve done it and I’ve done it, we’ve all done it, no matter how good or how bad we think we are at any game, we’ve done it. We’ve made a horrendously bad decision which has caused mass destruction, ended entire campaigns, caused things to just generally go wrong or even break the whole damn game itself. We’ve done it, so don’t delude yourself otherwise.

Oh what, you think I’m wrong here? You think this is a joke and that you’ve never made a bad decision in a game? Well I’m here to prove to you that bad decisions are rife in gaming and that you’ve likely made some of these too… Providing you’ve played the relevant games, naturally. So buckle up, this one’s a train wreck of a list, this is our Top 10 Bad Decisions In Games. For the record, these aren’t all going to be about specific games, but often the choices you make within games. A lot of these will apply to you.

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This Top 10 brought to you by just Timlah, as Joel is enjoying himself at Alcon! Check out our gallery from last year!

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10. Choosing A Wrong Server – MMOs

WoW Servers

You and your friends are all excited for your next MMO game of choice. You’ve all got your accounts activated and you decide to start up the game and start playing early so you can get used to the game and be the cool dude of your group whose already level 10! Your friends now all load their game and you all plan to meet at Spawn Village B, like some grand adventure where you’re already the kingpin of your group – But what’s this!? You all get to the village and you can’t see your friends… and they can’t see you?

A mild irritation, due to the nature of MMO games, however it’s still frustrating when you cannot play with your friends due to a decision as simple as that. As time has gone on, cross-server play has become a part of MMOs, however it’s still not the state it could be. Of course, this isn’t technically exclusive to MMOs. Recently, I asked a friend to play a game of Hearthstone with me, but he is on an American server, thus we’re unable to play together. A pity, as it’s rare I boot that game up any more!

Hey, there’s another version of this: Picking an opposing side to your friends, because you forgot to tell one another what side you were going to pick.

9. Saving… Bad Saving – Older Games


You’re playing through an epic play through and you’re proud of yourself. You’ve been working hard at perfecting your character and being sure that you’re able to defeat all of the enemies ahead of you. Then you take a rough streak and think “Dang, I need to save up”. So naturally, you save your game and you think “right, if I now go on”. You then open up the door to the next room and as you walk in, it locks behind you and there’s a boss fight. You’re on half a heart.

Or how about the times you save – Just before an enemy strikes you to your death? This was a common complaint, particularly in older games. It doesn’t happen so much these days, but when it does it is still incredibly annoying. It’s a bad user decision to save before something like that. But we’ve all done it!

Another variation on this, as pointed out by regular reader and all around amazing blogger AngryJellyfish, please check their stuff out, is the ones where you just make a bad save. Not death, but something worse: When you save and you realise afterwards that you made a mistake and you should have waited. Classic examples include saving the game in a point where you can’t go back to get an item you needed to complete a mission. That’s just torture!

To anyone who doesn’t quite know what that picture represents, it’s what they use to represent hard drive, or storage space. Commonly used in database design!

8. Triggering A Trap – Any Game That Has Traps


You’re playing through a game and you’re doing really well. You’re happily slicing through your opposition like they’re butter and you’re a hot knife. Well then, you take a step forward and your foot touches the ground. As it does, it activates a wall of swinging axes to come crashing into your character. You watch in absolute disbelief as your character is destroyed so brutally and so effectively, not by enemies, but by a thing that you did. You sprung that, well done.

And it’s so annoying! Often, you can see these traps, yet you consciously moved forward to allow the trap to be triggered. Now you’re all dead and all of your blood is littering the floor. Good game, game. A game that features this to perfection is the Legend of Grimrock. You can see where the traps are… Yet you still somehow manage to trigger them. Perhaps it’s our fingers playing tricks on us?

7. Choosing Random In A Fighting Game


Not strictly always a bad move, especially if you’re a master of the fighting game you’re playing, but there’s usually at least that one character you don’t quite get along with. Fighting games are very skill-based, very reaction-orientated, thus you gain a lot of experiencing using characters you like, because they fit your style. However, whenever you press to play as a random character, you know you’re going to get screwed over at some point.

It’s inevitable, however as I previously mentioned, you can get off lucky. It’s a good way to get other people to play with you if you’re known for being particularly good with some characters, because then at least you’re giving them a sporting chance, but honestly – It’s just a bad decision overall.

6. Incorrect Build


Some games require you to put stats into a characters skills and attributes, which is simply called a “Build”. You know roughly what you want your character to do, but the problem is when you started the game, you were new to all of the things people consider good. So you build a character and realise you’re not performing nearly as well as you could be, or even should be for your class.

Severely outclassed by others who are playing the game with the same class or race as you, you find out that you’ve built your character incorrectly and as such you’re penalised for it. Perhaps you should reset your stats if you can, or otherwise, get ready to rebuild that character.

5. That’s A Nice House You’ve Got There – Creepers From Minecraft

Creepers Valley


The ultimate **** move of Minecraft comes from the sort-of lovable green creatures that were supposed to be pigs to begin with. These explosive creatures love to creep up behind you and you know when you hear hissing you need to move and move fast… But even though you know this, how often do you find you’ve cornered yourself, or you just don’t move fast enough?

Build my house in a forest, I said. Build my house inside of a cave, I said. There’s no way a Creeper will appear inside of this abandoned mineshaft, I said. My god, the creepy Creepers are everywhere and they’re waiting and willing to blow you up, along with all of your damned possessions. We hate (and love) you Creepers! They deserved a special spot unto themselves. The above picture was legit what happened to me, for the record. I decided to punch that nearest creeper and they all exploded after he did.

4. Playing On Hardcore Mode

Hardcore Mode

Again, this is a subjective one but I am told time and time again that I’m daft for playing on Hardcore mode in games. I play a lot of games and I love Roguelikes, which means that for me, Hardcore Mode is built in. However, I started playing Diablo 3 a little while back, where I decided to play through that in hardcore mode. My friends all decided “That sounds like a fun challenge”, so they did the same as well.

However, it does get frustrating when you’re still alive, waiting for your friends to catch back up. I helped power level them many times over in that daft play through and I’m sure many others have played a game with hardcore mode and gone “why am I doing this to myself”? Or is that just me..?


I see a lot of people do this when they’re new to a game, often forgetting that there are stories, or there are reasons for enemies in some zones being much tougher than in others. One of the earliest examples I have of this is during my World of Warcraft days, where right next to the Undead starting zone is a level 50 zone called the Western Plaguelands. Don’t wander in there by mistake, folks. But I’ve seriously seen people just attack everything without even thinking about the repercussions.

It can be a lot of fun and sometimes highly rewarding to attack everything, but often this’ll give you a lot of backlash. Especially if your name is Link and you happen to see a bunch of Chickens, waiting for a sword across the back. C’mere chick—OH GOD MAKE IT STOP!

2. Anger the GM/DM

I'm so not sorry for using your game face Joel. I'm SO not sorry.
I’m so not sorry for using your game face Joel. I’m SO not sorry.

Tabletop gaming is rife with bad decisions, but there is no decision worse than to incur the wrath of your Game/Dungeon Master. This is the person who has ultimate power over your game world and you’re stepping into the uncomfortable zones of angering them? Why? What does this do for you, except make your GM/DM resent you more and thus possibly skew your progress in the game in some way?

Heck, worse yet is when everyone decides to incur the wrath of the GM/DM. When everyone does it, the GM/DM might get so frustrated, he yells out them infamous words:


DISCLAIMER: Joel is not like that. Joels face used for comedic effect. Sorry buddy!

1. Wasting Valuable Items During Fights Against Weak Enemies


This one is self explanatory and you have definitely done it, the same as me. You’ve wasted items during times where you’ve taken a bit of a beating and need to get your way out of a particularly tricky situation. You then carry on playing, now that you’ve wasted this item and you come across a boss, or at least a tougher challenge. You go to your inventory and oops, you’re all out of these items. We’ve all done it.

Some games take an extreme where you only find one of these highly valuable items every level. A classic example are the Mega Man games, especially in Mega Man 2, where you get only a limited amount of E Tanks, which (unless you’re radically superb at the game) are a blessing in disguise. But then you run across them darn annoying things that can’t be killed. They rush at you from the floor then bounce up, which makes them hard to jump over unless you plan for it. Honestly, those guys can hurt!

Honourable Mentions

Now that we’ve seen some of the bad decisions you can make in games, it’s time to look at other things that I consider generally pretty bad. Honestly, I’ve picked two examples of bad decisions not of playing a game, but of how or why you play a game. They’re a little bit silly but deep down, we all realise this is a bad decision.

Playing A Game With Timlah


A cop-out for one of our honourable mentions, but seriously, have you ever played against me in a game? Some of our regular readers have to varying degrees of success. Or hey, play a co-operative game with me instead. If you haven’t, which many of you haven’t, you should consider yourself lucky as I am somewhat of a video game rambler. I can cause some serious pain and suffering in games that I understand and I can seriously flump other games, but when I flump, out come the silly (usually not serious) excuses and cases of really bad showmanship. Hey, I want to entertain, but it doesn’t mean I’m perfectly good at it!

I’m pretty good at a majority of games, if I do say so myself. Others have told me I’m pretty good too – But if there’s something I don’t understand within a game, be prepared for me to critique the living daylights of the game, live! Usually I do it with a dose of my usual added comedy, but it does make life tricky for those playing a co-operative game with me, as they watch as I constantly get taken down. I’m looking at you Left 4 Dead 2. I did everything I was supposed to do, how can’t my shotgun kill off those hordes!? I once have been quoted as having shouted at a game: “FINE! Perhaps I wanted to be killed so I could get away from this crappy game!” So much sass.

Wanna play a game together? Look up Timlah on Steam!

Playing A Jump-Scare Game


We’ve all done it in this age of new and pretty terrifying indie horror games. We’ve all played these kinds of games at least once in our life, which we’ve discussed some of them previously in our Top 10 Indie Horror Games. But why on earth would we put ourselves through such a tortuous ordeal so regularly? We’re adrenaline junkies in our own rights. We live the thrill of seeing something jump out at us and we’re addicted to the feeling of being scared out of our little booties. Especially when the scary things resemble sentient teddy bears, a duck, a rabbit and a fox dressed like a pirate. I’m not stealing these ideas from anything that already exists, I promise… Much.

But yet, whenever we jump into a jump-scare infested horror game, we usually jump and shake our heads, curse and blind at the atrocity put before us. “Why would you do this to us,” you scream, startled by the shocking images on screen, “I was only trying to beat you, game!” Ah yes, we’ve all had to take a moment to collect ourselves after jump scares… And that’s why it’s a bad idea playing games with jump scares.

Now that we’ve finally stopped hitting the start button in hopes to take us back to the main menu, it’s time to call this Top 10 a wrap and press our Big Red Button of Destruction. Hey, who ever said all bad decisions shouldn’t be done? They can sometimes be super cool, especially when said button causes entire planets to be exploded dead!

Ahem, I digress. What do you think of this weeks’ Top 10? Do you agree or disagree with any of the ones on the list? Have I missed a trick and let you all down once again by forgetting to include a truly legendary bad decision? As always, please do comment down below, or over on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Whilst you’re at it, vote for next weeks’ Top 10! Get involved, folks – It’s free!

Author: Timlah

Certified gaymer with clout. Developing games and writing worlds. Loves people, but loves games and anime a bit more. Sorry people.

9 thoughts on “Top 10 Bad Decisions in Games”

  1. The very best thing about Death-By-Chicken is encouraging somebody who doesn’t know about Death-by-Chicken to kill the chickens, just to see their face when it all goes “BEEEERRRRRKKKK!”


  2. As usual, a great list… but there’s an even worse variation on #9 (saving before death) that I keep doing to myself when playing older games. I keep managing to save after screwing up somehow and making the game un-winnable, e.g. failing to pick up a necessary item before going through a door that then locks behind me, trapping me in there with no way of knowing that it’s effectively game over, until I’ve explored every single nook and cranny and resort to looking at a walkthrough. Waxworks and Thunderscape are good for that.

    At least death gives you a definite sense of closure! :P


    1. Haha, I might update the list to include that sort of “bad save”, because I think we’ve done things like that plenty of times. In FFIX, when I was playing it through early on, I wanted to do everything. So why did I save after I missed an optional boss? ._.; I went back and rectified it.

      Great addition!!


  3. Oh, I’ve had RPG players who’ve made bad decisions even when I have all but told them “don’t do it!” When every NPC tells them “that’s a bad idea” most people would take the hint, but not some of my players.

    I’ve had a Sorcerer pick a fight against a higher level wizard AND his Fighter Bodyguard. I’ve had a neutral cleric open up a sealed tower in Pathfinder, when even Gods in disguise–he knew they were gods–told him it was a stupid idea…So of course he opened it and unleashed hell on earth. Good job breaking it, dumbass.

    I’ve had players use a dagger charged with a spell that destroys everything on a 30 yd radius that a party member had just shot out of the villain’s hands from 100ft away in a sequence of perfect dice rolls. The idiot picks up the dagger and hits the villain with it, unleashing the spell and losing everything, every item, every bit of money and even his clothes and hair. The facepalming in the room I’m sure generated a shockwave.

    Also, f*#!# Grimrock and its traps, seriously! :P


    1. To add to this one Kev, I have had instances of players being GENIUSES. Like, super ordinarily out of the blue smart for some reason.

      “We have a 100 foot bird companion due to the weird effects of this tower… And a super heavy Minotaur. Right. Bird, lift the Minotaur and drop it on the bosses head.” boss suffers crushing damage and died in 2 hits.

      Players: The best and the worst of every game. ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Playing a lot of Sierra adventure games as a kid taught me to make multiple save files upon reaching a new scenario or development. Depending on the games you play, it can be an important skill.

    System Shock 2 had a particularly bad case of the “incorrect build” mistake in that you could potentially make the game unwinnable depending on how you specialized.

    I remember the many times in Mega Man where I used an E-tank when I was about to die against a boss only to fell them without taking another hit.

    I liken playing a game loaded with jump scares to eating a dish with too many hot peppers. It takes a lot of effort to enjoy it and, even if you do, there’s something that takes attention away from what’s really important.


    1. I suppose I was quite lucky. I played Monkey Island as my adventure games growing up, so I never suffered the problem. Is it Kings’ Quest you played?

      I loved System Shock 2… But you’re spot on. If you didn’t build correctly, SS2 was a nightmare of a game. But thankfully I found it wasn’t too often you would make a build that was that bad. Unless you tried to split between the builds as much as possible!

      Haha – That’s another bad use of item use!! I’ve done that, for sure :)

      Well said – I enjoy them… But I also enjoy hot peppers! Random fact from a GeekOut writer: The hottest I’ve eaten is the Ghost Pepper. Did I enjoy that? NO! My mouth was seriously burning for ages afterwards, but it was a damn good pizza and beer session! ;D

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, I played a lot of King’s Quest games as a kid. The sixth installment stands out as the best game in the series by far. I agree with that because it didn’t have too many dumb puzzle solutions and the unwinnable states were better broadcasted.

        A lot of Sierra fans criticized LucasArts games for having no unwinnable situations, thinking that it removes all of the challenge. Those people sure look silly in hindsight, don’t they? I’ve always maintained that there’s a difference between dumbing down games and adopting better design philosophies. I didn’t really grow up on too many LucasArts games, though I did eventually play Grim Fandango, which quickly became one of my favorite adventure games.

        It really says something about certain hot peppers that one needs gloves to handle them properly!

        Liked by 1 person

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