Which is better?! No, no not which is better because they are both great in their own ways. What I want to talk about is the differences between the two! In regards to what each offer, what personality traits factor into enjoying which one, and fun stuff like that!
What does a singleplayer offer that multiplayer might not? It offers you the ability to play alone, haha. Really though, that is a big thing because it means playing at your own precise pace. You play when you want, and you play when your friends aren’t available. It also offers the ability to play games if you are not interested in socialization.
Another big thing singleplayer offer is a more in-depth storyline. Even if you can play through the storyline mode in co-op, playing it on your own connects you to the story more. The story is essentially your only friend at the moment. You are freed up to really connect with the characters and the world.
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Multiplayer offers you socialization, of course. Which means competition. That is a pretty thrilling thing. It also brings the potential for new friendships. Back in the day, I formed some strong bonds over the MMORPG Phantasy Star Universe (yes, I’m a Phantasy Star nerd). I played hundreds of hours with my crew, working through areas to level up our characters and get sweet item drops. I was a magic user and did a lot of the healing. Jeez, now I really want to play some Phantasy Star, but those jerks didn’t even release the last one in North America.
Multiplayer can also offer fun bonding with friends you already have. Lan parties are an especially fond memory of mine. Can you see where I’m going with this? I love multiplayer. That is probably because of my personality.
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You see, I’m more inclined to the fast-paced, easily distracted school of thought. I need a constant push to stay interested. Whether that is exciting competition or proper old socialization. I’ve played my fair share of singleplayer, but I clock a whole lot fewer hours in singleplayer than multiplayer in life so far.
What kind of personality features might draw someone to singleplayer then? I don’t know. No, I’m just kidding. I mentioned above that some people just do not want to socialize. They are not social creatures in life or in games. Totally okay, and that makes singleplayer remarkable for them. Perhaps it’s not even about being social, maybe you think playing with others takes away from a game–makes it watered down.
Another trait that will draw people to singleplayer is pretty much being the opposite of me. That is someone who can and will spend all the hours in singleplayer, immersing themselves in it and working through the entire thing (or a good chunk at least). Their mind appreciates depth above quick thrills.
Overall single players offer immersion/depth, while multiplayer offer thrill. I think that is a great boiled down core difference of the two.
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However, personality isn’t the only factor when it comes to which game you play more. Life situation is a big thing. I find that the more responsibilities a person has, the harder multiplayer are to enjoy. That’s because it’s hard to compete skill wise when you are spending a lot less time on the game. It’s also hard to build a crew to romp with. Which may mean always playing with randoms. It may not even be about not having the time, but that a multiplayer may make you spend more time playing than you wanted. They can be sort of addicting and you can start ignoring other stuff.
Though, I can see the argument the other way around too. That having more responsibilities means not having the time to work through the storyline. That multiplayer are easy to play and enjoy in small chunks.
These days I have switched over to singleplayer. I know I made more for multiplayer, but it’s super addicting to me, and I need to put some of my time into other parts of my life more. Also, I’m tired of needing others to have a good time in a game. I’m a reformed multiplayer addict turned to singleplayer–haha.
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Now, I don’t think everyone is an all or nothing person. Though, I do believe there are preferences. Do you know which kind of gamer you are? It really all comes down to hours played in which mode in my opinion. Have you spent more time playing singleplayer or multiplayer in your life? Although, maybe you are someone who does both evenly. I know there are gamers out there like that!
Like I said, I’m a multiplayer gamer at heart. Rounding corners to shotgun other players in the gut over and over in a match is absolutely exhilarating to me. As is playing long hours with a group of friends, fighting rooms of monsters and laughing away in conversation. However, these days I’m all about singleplayer because it just fits with my life right now.