What Does RNG Mean in Gaming?


RNG stands for Random Number Generator and in gaming it is synonymous to luck. If someone claims to have bad RNG, they’re simply saying that they’re having bad luck.

How RNG Works in Games

A random number generator (RNG) is a built-in system that is used to generate random events. It can be compared to throwing a dice, though as the possible outcomes in games are often many more than just six, that would be one big ass dice. The opposite of a random outcome is a deterministic one.

It’s important to note that RNG doesn’t necessarily mean that every outcome has the same probability of occurring. This is hardly the case in games. Comparing to a dice, this could mean that the side with a 1 has a 5% chance of occurring, while the 2 has a 15% chance and all the rest 25%.

In a game, this could be translated to loot where the 1 would be legendary having a 5% chance of dropping; the 2 being rare with a 15% chance of dropping and the rest being normal loot. Other examples in games where RNG plays a factor include the following:

  • Critical strikes
  • Chance to hit
  • Damage done
  • Map generation

Is RNG in Games Good or Bad?

It all depends on the type of game and also on player preference. Most RPGs rely heavily on RNG. A perfect example is turn-based ones such as Baldur’s Gate. It would be difficult to picture the game without damage having a random span or chance to hit having a factor of randomness.

On the other hand, competitive games such as Dota 2 and CS:GO should have as little RNG as possible in order to promote skill. Imagine if you perfectly aimed your crosshair on the head of someone in CS:GO, fired and completely missed half of the time because of RNG. That would never work.

When it comes to loot, whether we’re talking about loot-boxes or killing bosses that drop it, some players prefer RNG while others argue that a deterministic outcome is better. With the latter, when you open the box or kill the boss you would know exactly what you’re getting.

Generally speaking, RNG is a good thing as it keeps games fresh and unpredictable. However, the more RNG there is the less skill and vice versa.

Can RNG Be Affected in Games?

Most definitely. The vast majority of games that rely heavily on RNG allow you to affect it in your favor. A perfect example is picking up a new weapon in a game that increases your chance to hit from 80% to 95%. Here, the RNG would consist of numbers 1 – 100. Initially, you would hit on 80 of those numbers, but with your new weapon, you would now hit on 95 of them.  



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