Toxicity, The Basics of Massive Multiplayer Team Games.

For those of you who have never picked up a Massive Multiplayer Game, you have been saved from ever having to deal with what the gaming community calls ‘Toxic Players.’ Toxic players tend to be people playing the game that grow frustrated or mad when their team is losing.

This frustration is then used to lash out on their teammates, sometimes even rattling their confidence to the point where they start to play worse than before, then in turn, the discouraged players turn ‘toxic’ themselves. This ends up becoming a vicious cycle that ruins the game for all involved.

The types of games I will be focusing on here are games that put you in teams with random players from all over. Games like Overwatchand League of Legends especially. These players are in every MMO, in regular play and in every ranked match. There is no escape even if you are in the top player listing of game mode. This article will talk about how to identify these players, and how best to work with them in hopes to win and enjoy the game.

Games that require teamwork are where you may have the best results in turning your game around, from ‘confidence destroying’ into a ‘win.’ The player that the gaming community calls ‘Toxic’, and they are the ones that talk a lot in-game, mostly about how great they are at the game and how you, personally, suck. A lot of the time they will use strong language to get you riled up. It is these types of players you, unfortunately, have to swallow your pride for.

There is no way to convince them that they are the player in the wrong, so you have to use reverse psychology on them. Tell them that, they are in fact a good player, appeal to their ego and ask them for tips. You should try to get on their good side in order to get them working with the team once more. Once you have that, the team will be back to full power and you can try again.

The one I want to address before I close this topic, is a more specific type of ‘Toxic’ player, one that I have personally encountered in my experience in gaming online. They tend to affect only half of the gaming community, and I come across them almost daily. These are the ‘toxic’ gamer that have an issue with women playing in their team or game.

These types of players will be very disruptive the moment it is even hinted, be it from your username or if the game allows it - your voice. They will latch onto the fact that the player is female and try to destroy the confidence of the whole team, or that one particular female player. They tend to overreact when it’s confirmed that you are female.

If they lose a game, the ‘toxic gamer boy’ will state that you don’t know what you are doing and use all the misogynistic insults in his arsenal. One of their more favored tends to be, ‘go back to the kitchen’, followed by their choice of profanity that relates to the fact that you are a woman.

For those who have never been on the receiving end, you can watch a lot of YouTube videos’ about it.

These are the worst-case-scenario incidents in multiplayer team games. If this teammate is not communicating with the team, or not playing properly with the team, it is much like a child having a temper tantrum. The best thing you can do against these players is to follow the previous steps, or find a new team. In games where you don’t get to pick your teammates you could also try taking a gender-neutral username, and if the game allows voice chat, use only text-based communication, it is true that this is horrible.

The idea that women sometimes need to take such steps in order to make the game pleasant for them. While you are playing the game pay attention to how your teammates talk to each other, you will be able to spot a ‘Toxic’ player within the first five minutes of game-play. If the game is going well, and the team is communicating properly, you then should have no issue joining the conversation in voice chat. This is not a proven method, but it’s one that I personally use to some success.

Have fun out on the battlefield my lovely gamers’, and don’t let the toxicity and the salt bring your games down.

Art by my good friend,  Ari .

Art by my good friend, Ari.


Hello reader, this is Jacky, a long time gamer and an admirer of the written word. As an Algonquin student, I have learned much in this program, and I can't wait to learn more. Here is hoping that it does not blow up in our face! Watch the train wreck as it happens in slow-mo.