If you’ve been a multiplayer gamer for a long time, getting into single-player games (or getting back) can often feel boring or even make you feel lonely.

One way to enjoy playing video games alone is to take a gaming break for a few weeks. After that try playing a game that you enjoyed alone before and see how you feel.

If you still feel like you can’t enjoy playing alone, try some of the tips at the bottom of this post!


Is It Normal to Play Video Games Alone?

Yes, there’s nothing weird about wanting to play video games alone, unless it’s starting to get in the way of your relationships and your life in general. Just as there’s nothing wrong about wanting to play video games only with other people.

As with any hobby, people have different preferences when it comes to the type of games they play.

According to the research done by Entertainment Software Association in 2022, 83% of people play with others online or an in-person co-op. In the average 13-hour gaming week, 25% of that time is spent playing online with others and 16% as a co-op.

I’ve done a small poll on my Twitter to see what games people tend to gravitate towards and I was surprised to see the majority was single-player games.

https://twitter.com/geekygamestuff/status/1554115357094416385?s=20&t=8Dgt7qE_bHrm_oI7I3V-_Q

That being said, playing video games alone doesn’t mean playing only single-player games. You can play multiplayer games on your own and still have a good time.

I enjoy playing multiplayer games on my own – sometimes my friends aren’t available or don’t have the game I’m playing, which is fine. I just join a game, get assigned to a team and go do my thing. 🙂

Why Do People Prefer to Play Video Games Alone?

There are several reasons why people might prefer gaming alone. Here are some of them:

  • single-player games offer an immersive experience
  • they don’t enjoy MOBA type games (multiplayer online battle arena)
  • multiplayer games can get repetitive
  • toxic online multiplayer environment
  • they want to go about things at their own pace
  • they don’t want to hold others back with their lack of skill
  • they’d rather play alone rather than chat with strangers

Games with great multiplayer can have a bit of lackluster storyline since the sole focus is on the MP rather than the campaign. Though I really loved the campaign in Battlefield 1 as well as the multiplayer and I’m sure there are more games which nail both MP and SP.

But there is something special about great single-player games besides a good story – the environments, the characters you meet and the music that changes based on the place or a story point all enhance the experience.

All these elements make it more memorable and make a greater impact.

Does Gaming Lead to Social Isolation?

While playing video games definitely improves your social skills if you play with other people, it can lead to social isolation if they take over your life entirely.

Some people are more prone to this – often times they use video games as an escape from their real life and immerse themselves into another “life”, where they don’t have to deal with real life problems.

Research has shown that based on self-reports, online games tend to lead to social isolation more as there is always new stuff to do – new seasons, new lootboxes, new skins, new maps, etc.

Social isolation can also be a symptom of video game addiction which can trigger an anxiety attack.

V4 PC Gameplay - Beautiful MMORPG -...
V4 PC Gameplay - Beautiful MMORPG - But Really??? Auto Play Game!!!

Are There Drawbacks to Playing Games Alone?

Aside from the social isolation aspect for some people as I mentioned above, there are some drawbacks.

We get less free time as we age and have more resposibilities. As a result you have to divide your free time and long, single-player story-focused campaigns become fragmented.

You might play for two hours one day, then can’t play at all for a week and continue after that for another two hours. While it’s still possible to immerse yourself in that world, it does tend to affect it.

If I don’t play a story-driven game for a while, I often forget what happened previously, so jumping back to some random point in the story is a bit jarring.

I find that playing a little bit every other day or a few times a week can really solve this.

How Do I Enjoy Gaming Alone?

If you exclusively play just with your friends, transitioning to a single-player game might be difficult. You may get bored quickly and the whole experience is not the same.

In this modern world we tend to be connected all the time, so practicing some disconnect from social media and internet can be really beneficial.

I think everyone should learn how to spend time by themselves without having to rely on company of others for entertainment. This way you can reflect on what you enjoy and what you want.

That being said, everything in moderation. 🙂 As I mentioned above, social isolation caused by extensive gaming is a thing. Find a healthy balance.

If you can’t enjoy a video game without someone else sitting next to you or via a party chat, then try taking a break from gaming altogether and reevaluate how you feel a month or two down the line.

Multiplayer zeroes in on our competitive nature and there’s also the pressure to perform well to not let your team down with your lack of skill.

You don’t have to worry about any of that in a single-player game or while gaming alone.

Consider Streaming

Not everyone wants to livestream their games and that’s fine!

Nowadays you don’t have to stream to the entire world – Discord and Guilded have streaming capabilities, so you could share your game only with the people in the server.

Alternatively you can also broadcast via Steam to some of your friends. It’s technically not playing alone, but if you find you really can’t enjoy gaming alone, it’s a good way to find a compromise between the two.

Is It More Fun to Play Video Games Alone or with Other People?

It generally depends on the person and their mood. I think most people like to play with others, some more, some less.

I’m introverted by nature, so while I prefer my own company, I don’t mind playing video games with friends or other people online. It also really depends on my mood – sometimes I just want to play alone and not talk to anyone.

Sometimes I want to play online multiplayer games with friends and sometimes I just want to play with strangers. That being said, I don’t really talk to strangers via voice chat. I might use a text chat if it’s available and if necessary.

You can have as much fun playing video games as when playing with other people.

Some people enjoying joining gaming groups and making clans, and having a great group makes multiplayer a much better experience.

What type of video games are good for playing alone?

Story-driven games are a perfect choice when it comes to gaming alone. You can get sucked in by the story, can concentrate more without needing to hold a conversation.

As I mentioned in my Gaming while bedridden post, RPG games are great for immersing yourself in fictional worlds. They can be a good substitute when you crave a connection.

Obviously you can’t completely replace a human interaction and that’s not what I mean. If you’re struggling with not having a friend to talk to during a game, then RPG characters may provide some of the interaction.

Some great RPGs to play alone:

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • The Witcher
  • Fallout
  • Deus Ex
  • Mass Effect
  • Final Fantasy
  • Dark Souls
  • Dragon Age
  • NieR: Automata
  • and many more

But RPGs are not the only games you can play, there are a ton of video games that have an immersive story. Some great examples are:

  • The Last of Us / The Last of Us 2
  • Portal 2
  • Tomb Raider
  • Uncharted
  • God of War
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Bioshock
  • and more…

No Friends To Play Games With? Try These Tips!

It happens to all of us – your friends might not be into the same games (or into video games at all) or have moved on to other games. That’s completely normal and not your fault in any way – you’re not an outcast. People also have different playstyles and have different levels of skill.

Not to mention, as we grow older, some of us find less time for playing games and coordinating play times with your equally busy friends can become a hassle and you end up not playing anyway.

LFG/LFP

Looking For Group (or Looking For Party) is a great way to connect with people who like the same games as you. This way you can meet new people with the same interests.

But how?

Xbox LFG

Xbox has an in-built LFG feature that functions like a bulletin board. You can respond to LFG posts already there or you can post your own, detailing who you’re looking for. Then simply start a party and off you go. Xbox LFG is cross-platform, so you can use it on both the console and your PC.

Reddit LFG

A lot of gaming subreddits have their own Discord and Guilded servers. There are specific video game subreddits or you can choose a general gaming subreddit. Most of these groups will have an LFG room, where you can connect with other people.

Some subreddits are dedicated to LFG, so you don’t even have to join their Discord server. A lot of subreddits also have weekly “making friends” posts.

A few gaming subreddits:

These are just a few but if you Google your favorite game subreddit, I’m sure you can find one! You can try googling “[name of game] + LFG” and you should see some results!

There’s also an Android/iOS app, GamerLink, so you can give that a go too.

Voice Chat

Who says you need to be in the same game as your friend? If you just want to talk to somebody while you play, why not get into a party or a voice chat with a friend who’s playing a different game and are up for it?

I’ve done that with my friends mutliple times and it works well – I was on Battlefield or The Sims while my friends played other games such as Call of Duty or Animal Crossing. We can catch up, chat about random things and have a good time without being in the same game.

That being said, voice chatting might be a little bit distracting when it comes to single-player games requiring your attention and immersion.

Finding a Community on Twitch/Youtube

It may surprise you but Twitch and other streaming platforms can be a great tool to finding new people to play games with. While befriending randoms in your game might work in some cases, finding people who like the same stuff and getting to know them before is definitely better.

Look for streamers who play the same games you enjoy, or simply your favorite streamer. Obviously DO NOT go to a creator’s livestream and go “Who wants to play x with me?” or “[StreamerName] can I join you?”. Chances are you will either get warned, timed out or outright banned.

The best way is to join their Discord or Guilded, see if they have an LFG room. Get to know the community, participate and you might find like-minded people. And who knows, maybe you will become good friends!

Conclusion

If you can’t enjoy playing a game alone, take a few week break from gaming. Then try again with a game that you know you used to love playing alone.

If after that you still find that you can’t enjoy gaming on your own, try some of the tips I suggested above.


References




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