RNG vs Skill

RNG vs Skill

Do you believe in luck? Do you believe that things just happen?

When you hear someone say RNG, what comes to your mind? Typically, there are one of two things that will come to a person’s mind. It will either be, “what are you talking about?” or, it will be the idea that it is the bane of a video game players existence.

RNG stands for random number generator, and it is the basis on which the gaming universe seems to function. Almost all video games at this point in time have some form of RNG involved. This is what would be considered “the luck factor” in games.

Life is RNG

Whether you choose to pray to the RNG Gods or not, you will still be impacted in some form or another by the whole process. Whether we like it or not, our own personal lives deal with RNG on a daily basis.

Take for example when a random traffic accident occurs that you could not possibly avoid.

This just appears to be random occurrence that is unavoidable with little that can be done to change them. Are these events truly random occurrences?

A traffic accident is not necessarily a random occurrence because there were various factors involved. There are always reasons behind the accident occurring—a catalyst to the events. Perhaps another driver was distracted by something in their vehicle, they veered into your lane and it resulted in a traffic accident.

This circumstance indicates a bad set of RNG, yet they were due to varying factors involved rather than some random occurrence. Some of these factors include being on the road at the same time as the other driver, the speed at which you were traveling, the following distance you were giving the car in front of you and so on.

These factors all play their own specific part in this seemingly random circumstance, yet there were many different variables involved. What may appear to just be the luck of the draw in most cases will have some form of a reason behind it.

Yet, when we specifically set the program, how do we place these factors into something that is supposed to be completely random?

RNG in Video Games

The factor of luck in a video game setting can be rather frustrating, and not having the ability to rely solely on your own skill to get you through a situation is bothersome, to say the least. If a certain attack hits you too hard you lose, but if it doesn’t kill you, then you win. Seems completely fair, right?

Video games cannot technically be truly random since they are creations, and the factors involved are input within them by the creators. Or could they be? Technically, no, a video game cannot be in itself “random”  since it cannot create its own factors like humans can.

There are ways around the unique creation factor that humans possess in order to make these so called random occurrences happen. The process in which RNG is set up in video games is based around using complex computing algorithms in order to form these situations as random occurrences in every situation possible.

This will occur in every situation of a game from each hit landing on an opponent, the opponents hit landing on you, the chance of it missing completely or it devastating you fully. These complex algorithms decide all of these factors and more.

The randomness of RNG is painted in a less than positive light many times because when negative situations arise, we need something to blame. Yet it could be just as beneficial as it is problematic. View points change based on what occurs, and when you get “good RNG” to occur for you, it is a great situation to be in.

Blocking an attack over and over to result in your victory or great item drops back to back seem to give a sense of thrill to the situation. What it breaks down to is when RNG goes in your favor, you will see it as a positive and when it does not, you will see it as a negative. Circumstances will determine your view point, but sometimes randomness is just too risky.

RNG in Esports

Gazing into the world of esports and RNG places a different perspective on the subject entirely since in a competition, the unknown can be a scary thing. When a team is setting up a strategy around a chance occurrence, this can be difficult.

Many strategies are based around planning for specific situations to occur and then following through with the plan. When something does not work out the way it was intended, this can change the complete game plan. This is where the team must adapt quickly if their strategy did not work because of the bad RNG numbers.

Based on the game itself, factors such as RNG will affect gameplay and continue making an impact in the esports scene. Teams will need to differentiate themselves by either utilizing strategies that can mitigate the RNG or go full out with risky percentage based strategies. One must keep a close eye on not only their own arsenal of tricks, but also on what their opponents will plan in this ever-evolving sport.

Wagering and RNG

When it comes to RNG in the gambling world, this is nothing new. You could say that RNG is the backbone of gambling. For example, look at slot machines and the thrill they bring when the lines match up.

Are these machines luck based? Many people believe that they should be paying out if enough money is placed in. People rub the machines and believe there is a sense of karma involved, that the machine owes them.

Whether there is a magic to the algorithms having a better pay is up to opinion, but what we can wager on is the RNG placed in sports betting. Where one cannot legally influence the outcome of a slot machine, you can do research on how RNG may be impacting the team you wish to wager upon.

Identify Their Strategy

When choosing to place a wager down, one of the largest factors to consider is the strategy that a particular team intends to use. Whether it a 1v1 card game or an arena structured team game, RNG will play a part in your decision-making process.

Are they using a strategy that doesn’t take huge risks? This is the type of strategy that goes along the lines of “slow and steady wins the race” type model. This particular model can be quite useful since it allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the players very easily.

How much pressure they keep on their opponents? Do they over extend? What risks are they taking, and how quickly can they reinforce or adapt in a situation? How players react to various circumstances will indicate the gameplay style they use and can determine how effective they will be. This could be considered a skill based playstyle.

Usage of a high-risk percentage based strategy changes things dramatically, however, since you can’t always guess what that player or team will bring to the table. If things work out in their favor, they might completely decimate their opponents before they can come up with a proper reaction. In essence, this strategy is just as skillful as slow and steady, yet takes more risk.

The ever looming danger arises that if the player or team is countered and their high-risk strategy does not work. Lights out. Slow and steady will continue to counter them and keep their pressure going, and destroy their opponents ever so slowly. This does not guarantee victory for the slow and steady team but puts them at a clear advantage.

Which play style is better? The simple answer, the one that wins. Yet this does not mean that either style will always work. Any player or team can beat any other player or team. RNG does not pick favorites.

The Underdog Bet

Knowing when to choose an underdog to wager on can be a huge pay off for you in the betting world. In any match up there will always be a favorite that people will assume will win. When the underdog ends up winning, those that chose them to make a tidy profit.

RNG can play a big factor in your decision making on when to place that underdog bet. Choosing a team that uses a highly risky RNG strategy could potentially pay off here because if their strategy actually works, they might win thanks to it.

The choice can go in the exact opposite way as well if the favored team is the RNG based team. Since you are the savvy bettor, you get to determine whether or not the opposing team has a strategy that will shut their RNG based play style down.

This is where your decision when making a wager comes in to place. It is called gambling for a reason, and you will be taking a gamble on the teams particular strategy. You can determine whether you think the dam will hold back the rushing water or not. The right choice means victory.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.