Anybody who’s played multiplayer games where you can play with random strangers online from around the world have encountered this issue before. Like with society, while majority of people are either neutral or good, there is always that small minority of assholes that spread their toxicity to make others suffer. This isn’t just limited to trolls sadly, as there also exists hackers, griefers, and what I like to call “punishers”. Knowing who they are, what they do, and how to deal with them can make online gaming a better experience and help you deal with losers in real life.
Origins of Toxic Lightweights
Now I’ve already written my own guide on Steam, but since this guide focuses on toxic players across all gaming platforms, I won’t be so specific. Let me start off with their origins – why they started being toxic to others in the first place. Majority of these rejects are kids and teenagers that have are either very bored, extremely immature, using the power of anonymity given by the internet, or are suffering from issues in real life and are venting their negative emotions. Adults that resort to these kinds of behaviours are doing it because they suffer from being a socio or a psychopath.
They tend to be college aged or still in their 20’s, aren’t financially successful, have a poor social life, and/or dealing with toxic people themselves. There can be other reasons but those are most common for them becoming sociopaths and hurting innocent people online. It gives them the power and satisfaction they lack in real life, leading to sadism, lack of empathy, and emotional manipulation. Looking back, I have to conclude my own mother is a sociopath so I know how to deal with them and what it’s like to be emotionally abused and neglected by such assholes.
Characteristics of These Idiots
- Their profile is usually private to have full anonymity online.
- If public it tends to reveal very little of their gaming activities.
- Accomplished/played very little despite having joined for years.
- Only or mostly plays games that are “competitive” to them.
- Spends very little to no time at other games that are “casual”.
- Has a controversial or NSFW profile username and avatar.
- Very low level compared to other veteran players just like them.
- Constantly changing their username and avatar for anonymity.
- Having few friends that are just as low level and toxic as them.
Terminology of Losers
Trolls – These people are the most common and exist outside of online servers and lurk on forums, social networks, and other place where they can socialize with others. They tend to write anything they can to provoke others to get a negative reaction so they can feed on such emotions to satisfy their lack of positive ones. Resorting to pathetic tactics such as swearing, name-calling, threatening, hate speech, bigotry, childish comebacks, and so on. They also all for some reason love to censor to make themselves look better and lack original arguments instead by copying other people.
Griefers – Usually these players are the ones you meet in servers but they can exist in forums as well. Instead of using words to harass others, they will use actions which is more effective in pissing people off. Team-killing, idling, suicide, vote-kicking, and abandoning teammates are examples we’ve all been through. Words can’t stop them so you must fight back using actions to counter theirs. Unlike with trolls, simply ignoring them won’t solve anything and it just benefits them since they can then ambush the team or other players when they least expect it.
Hackers – Very obvious of what they do and more of these assholes exist on PC gaming rather than consoles due to easy access to installing cheat codes. While developers try their best to permaban such losers, some hackers are still persistent by using alternate accounts of using a different PC or IP address to bypass the punishments. Not much can be done with them other than reporting them to the developers who will then look into and investigate before punishing them. Games that have “dead” communities will have lots of hackers as companies no longer care about them.
Punishers – Rarest breed of toxic people that consist mostly of corrupted moderators, administrators, and developers themselves! Why do those with authority tend to abuse it when their egos are shattered so easily? They will use whatever tools they can to punish others to silence them or get even for insulting them or hurting their image. No, just because a moderator deletes your thread doesn’t automatically deem them to be toxic. People who also pretend to be moderators also fit in this group since they too try to punish others by snitching for bullshit reasons.
Strategies To Deal With Them
- Block the player’s profile(s) so they can no longer play or contact you.
- Mute their mic or disable yours completely to censor their trolling.
- Report them to the moderators or developers depending on situation.
- Ignore their posts in forums and move on with your awesome life.
- Change the profile settings to private or restricted access to comments.
- File a complaint or lawsuit against corrupted developers if need be.
- Get ready to teamkill, votekick, or abandon griefers at moment’s notice.
- Avoid playing games or game modes that have lots of toxic people.
- Resort to only or mostly playing with friends or by yourself with bots.
- Have other people ally with you and gang up on such toxic losers.
- Appeal to people with high authority like admins and customer service.
Exceptions To This Guide
Of course, having a few or many of those traits listed above does not automatically deem them to be toxic. Many griefers and trolls know about these and some will actually try to disguise themselves among normal functional people. Others are just inexperienced or immature, maybe have had a bad day which isn’t anything abnormal, or have personality traits that turn people off. Usually mentoring or comforting such people can make them change their unintentional toxic behaviour. Hackers and punishers sadly can’t be dealt with regular means which is annoying.
Being passive aggressive such as ignoring and snitching should only be used as last resorts for the extremely toxic people. Once you’ve exposed or dealt with these toxic people, they tend to lose face and ego, and slowly vanish away from the community only to prey on other innocent victims. I do not recommend going against trolls and punishers directly unless you’re intelligent and rational like me, as I am able to outsmart them by using their manipulation against them and take their insults without being offended. I hope this guide has helped you and be safe online.