In this post, we’re taking a look at different combat approaches. Do you play as a stealthy assassin or do you rush in for action that is up close and personal? Do you try to avoid combat altogether? Maybe you prefer to soften up your targets from long range?

See how you compare with other gamers on 12 gaming motivations. Take a 5-minute survey and get your Gamer Motivation Profile.

A Quick Word About The Data

Here at Quantic Foundry, in addition to the Gamer Motivation Profile, we also have additional research surveys that gamers can participate in. These surveys tackle a variety of game preference questions, and allow us to link gamers’ responses back to things like their motivation scores, gender, and age. 1,266 gamers participated in this research survey.

In the survey, we asked gamers to rate how often they use different combat approaches. As a way of simplifying the presentation of the data, we first focus on the gamers who have a strong preference for each combat approach (i.e., they picked “Always”).


Cautious Long Range is Most Popular

Among gamers who have a strong preference for a specific combat approach, the most popular option was Cautious Long Range (34%). Stealthy Evasion was the least popular at only 18%.


Younger Men Rush In

Differences between men and women were minor. The only statistically significant difference was in the Rushing In approach—the men are more likely to prefer it.


In terms of age differences, the only statistically significant pair-wise comparison is between Rushing In and Cautious Long Range; gamers who prefer Rushing In are younger than those who prefer Cautious Long Range.


Combat Approach Profiles

To provide a more holistic look, we wanted to break down each approach, and the type of person who has a strong preference for it. For each approach, we will present the following:

  • Approach Popularity
  • Demographics: Gender + Age Notes
  • Top Motivation Correlates: Strongest significant correlations between frequency of each combat approach and the 12 motivations in our model
Stealthy Evasion Rushing In Cautious Long Range Stealthy Assassination
Popularity Least Popular
3rd Most Popular
Most Popular
2nd Most Popular
Demographics Very small gender and age differences. Men Prefer. Younger gamers prefer. Women slightly prefer. Very small gender and age differences.
Discovery (.14)
Strategy (.11)
Fantasy (.08)
Excitement (.30)
Destruction (.24)
Power (.18)
Discovery (.13)
Design (.12)
Strategy (.10)
Strategy (.21)
Challenge (.16)
Discovery (.15)

There are several interesting aspects of the motivation correlates.

First, we see the interest in long-term thinking and planning (Strategy) reflected in the two stealth-based combat approaches.

Second, it was interesting to see the appeal of experimentation and tinkering (Discovery) reflected in Stealthy Evasion and Cautious Long Range.

Rushing In is most strongly impacted by gender, age, as well as gaming motivations.

And finally, Rushing In is really the odd-one-out in several aspects. It is most strongly impacted by gender, age, as well as gaming motivations. Note also that its motivation correlates overlap the least with the other combat approaches. Among the other 3 combat approaches, there’s an overlap of at least 2 motivations with another combat approach. In this sense, gamers who prefer Rushing In are a highly differentiated player type.

What About You?

Does your combat approach change across games or do you have a strong preference?

We’d love to hear about your gaming experiences. Which combat approach do you usually prefer, and does this change depending on the game or do you have a strong preference? Which combat approach do you have the hardest time using?