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From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
(Redirected from Taxonomy)

Project aim

  • Taxonomy is a project on PCGamingWiki to categorise every game on the wiki.
  • A game should only include a category if the category forms a major part or section of a game, for example parachuting is a major gameplay mechanic of Just Cause but not of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare which only features parachuting in a small section of the game.


  • Andytizer is leading this project. To discuss further please visit our Discord on the #taxonomy channel.

New categories

  • A new category should encompass at least 10 games before being proposed.
  • Categories exist to help group games meaningfully, however they should not be too granular so as to cause thousands of categories to require creating, e.g. we have shooter which meaningfully encompasses a large number of games, however an AK-47 category does not meaningfully distinguish from other shooter games.
  • Please discuss on the Discord on the #taxonomy channel before creating new categories as core templates (which are not freely editable) must be updated to support the new category. Note though that the individual {{Glossary}} pages are freely editable.

Glossary guidelines

  • Category names should be as short as possible.
  • Definition is intended primarily for visitors and should explain the category within one or two sentences. Do not use any wikitext as this appears unformatted in the abbreviation tooltip.
  • Notes should be filled out with any relevant in-depth editing notes or guidelines, such as detailed exclusions or requirements. It is fine to use wikitext in this field.
  • Examples needs 4-5 games to be as clear as possible.




  • These below rows should sit within the {{Infobox game}} and below the reception rows.


|taxonomy     =
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/monetization      | DLC }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/microtransactions | Cosmetic }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/modes             | Singleplayer, Multiplayer }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/pacing            | Real-time }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/perspectives      | First-person }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/controls          | Direct control }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/genres            | Action, Shooter }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/sports            | }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/vehicles          | }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/art styles        | Stylized }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/themes            | Sci-fi }}
{{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/series            | Doom }}


  • Limit of 5 categories per row (except for monetization/microtransactions) - pick the items which most apply to the game.
  • {{Glossary}} and new use of Glossary namespace to hold definitions which will be transcluded to every Taxonomy term.
    • For example, FPS adds the categories First-person and Shooter.
    • Place FPS into the standard {{Infobox game/row/taxonomy/genres}} row and remove the Shooter category (don't remove the perspectives, only remove from genres).

Monetization and Microtransactions tables

When completing the monetization/microtransactions taxonomy, please also add the relevant tables under Availability:



Battle/season passes are not handled through a separate definition but is instead covered by the individual content it is made up of.
Category Definition Notes Examples
Ad-supported Monetized through advertisements which do not form natural part of the game, e.g. watching a video before playing, on-screen launcher ads, ads in the in-game menu system, etc.
  • Does not include games that advertise their own microtransactions.
  • NBA 2K20 video advertisements before playing a match.
Cross-game bonus Games that encourage buying other games, which'd unlock bonus items like (but not limited to) items, cosmetics, extra currency, unique dialogues, or other features, be they exclusive or not.
  • Old Save Bonus - TV Tropes
  • Multiplatform games with known cross-game bonuses on consoles, may not always support it on PC as well.
DLC For the purposes of PCGamingWiki's taxonomy, 'DLC' specifically refers to medium size chunks of additional game content such as maps, levels, quests, new gameplay mechanics etc. that is normally created in addition to the game, paid for and downloaded, but less substantial than an 'expansion pack'.
  • This category could be called 'Extra gameplay', but DLC is a much more familiar term to most gamers.
  • Soundtracks do not constitute additional in-game content and should not be covered as part of this category.
  • Mass Effect 2's 'Lair of the Shadow Broker' is a purchaseable story mission with voice acting and new gameplay mechanics.
  • NieR: Automata's '3C3C1D119440927' includes three new battle arenas, three new outfits, as well as a new short side-storyline.
Expansion pack Game content which can extend the percentage of playtime substantially. Including and not limited to: large story campaigns, a large number of new maps or levels, expanded gameplay, etc.
  • As a rule of thumb PCGamingWiki considers individual DLCs or bundles of DLCs in packs that extend the playtime of the main game 'substantially' or by 40% or more as appropriate for this category.
  • In pre-digital distribution age, expansion packs were separate boxed products that may or may not require the original game to install and run.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown's expansion is XCOM: Enemy Within, which substantially adds new content and gameplay mechanics.
  • Borderlands 3's multiple DLCs contain substantial new campaigns which are each individually large enough to constitute an expansion pack
Free-to-play Free-to-play or F2P games give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying. They might include an optional subscription, or are supported by expansion packs, DLCs, microtransactions, or advertisements.
Freeware Games that are completely free to own in their entirety.
One-time game purchase Games which requires an upfront purchase to access.
  • This is the base monetization used for most games and is in modern times often combined with additional monetization.
  • This is in contrast with Freeware and Free-to-play where the game can be accessed without a purchase.
Sponsored Sponsored content is a type of in-game advertising that forms part of the natural game experience.
  • In-game content that game developers have licensed for use from a third-party company (e.g. music, cars, etc) is not necessarily the same as that content having been "sponsored" by the third-party company. There is a fine line separating licensed content from sponsored content, and whether content is one or the other may not be obvious from the perspective of an outsider.
  • Final Fantasy XV has a quest called The Perfect Cup which features Nissin Cup Noodles which is sponsored content that is part of the 'natural' game world.[1]
  • PC Building Simulator features real world products from companies such as Intel and AMD that are used in-game.
Subscription Game may require continuous subscription payment from a player, or a subscription offers premium features.
  • This is distinct from subscription services which allow access to multiple games, for example EA Play.
  • World of Warcraft requires a subscription in order to play the game beyond level 20.
  • Fallout 76's subscription Fallout 1st is not required to play the full game, but offers premium features like private servers, unlocks, currency, cosmetics, etc.
Subscription gaming service Game is included in a collection of games accessible as part of a monthly video game subscription service such as EA Play or Xbox Game Pass.
  • This is distinct from regular game specific subscription services which may require payment from a player to continue to play the game (e.g. MMOs), or offer premium features to the player.
  • If the subscriber cancels their subscription plan, access to the included games are revoked unless they have been bought separately.
  • So called "monthly bundles" subscriptions that grants the subscriber permanent access to games are not included here (e.g. Amazon Prime Gaming, Humble Choice, etc).


Category Definition Notes Examples
Boost Allows player to pay to accelerate progress in a game, whether it is faster speed, levelling, level skipping, boosting % chance to find rare items, etc. or to instantly unlock rewards.
Cosmetic Cosmetic microtransactions are any paid additional content that are designed to be cosmetic in nature and are not intended to affect gameplay substantially nor alter game mechanics.
  • Examples include items such as skins, hats, decorative items etc.
  • Apex Legends sells weapon skins, character skins, emotes, dances, etc.
Currency A virtual currency that must be purchased using a real-world currency. The virtual currency can then in turn be used to buy other microtransaction items, or be traded for account credit. Typically the virtual currency is locked to a single game or publisher.
  • The virtual currencies often have a wide array of different names, depending on the game, such as gold, gems, tokens, crafting materials, credits, V-Bucks, etc.
Finite spend Finite spend games have a limit to the number of microtransactions that can be purchased. For example, a game could have x5 unlock microtransactions, and after those have been purchased no more can be purchased by the player.
  • If the game has other microtransactions which qualify for Infinite spend then that will overwrite the finite cap category.
  • For The Sinking City, the player can purchase the Experience Boost microtransaction, but after it is purchased no more can be purchased, meaning there is a finite cap on the number of microtransactions.
Free-to-grind The main gameplay unlocks/goals of the game can be achieved through grinding or naturally in gameplay without real money payments.
  • The category is designed to be a rebuttal to the criticism 'The game forces you to buy microtransactions', but for 'free-to-grind' games, 'everything you would want (gameplay) can be unlocked by playing or grinding'.
  • Free-to-grind means you have freedom to choose to grind to unlock content within the game - regardless of whether an initial purchase was required or not to access the game itself.
Infinite spend Infinite cap games have microtransactions that can be purchased over and over again without any limit.
  • This is in contrast to Finite spend games that have a limit.
  • 'Infinite spend' excludes services that the player only ever sees or make use of once, e.g. character name change, server move etc.
  • If the limit is finite e.g. one can spend over $1,000 US dollars, then for all intents and purposes this is considered an 'infinite cap' on microtransactions.
  • If the game has a loot box system, then it is likely that for all intents and purposes it is an 'infinite spend' microtransaction game.
Loot box A variation of microtransaction where the player purchases a loot box where there is a chance to receive varying qualities of in-game item, similar to gambling.
  • Some games, like Overwatch and the FIFA series, have had loot boxes disabled in several countries like Belgium and the Netherlands due to conflicts with local gambling laws. Games like Diablo Immortal, which rely heavily on loot boxes, have not even been launched there.
  • Overwatch's 'Loot Box' can be earned in-game or purchased, and have a random chance to drop icons, skins, emotes, sprays, credits, etc.
No microtransactions Game does not contain any microtransactions.
  • Does not apply to any game pre-April 2006.
  • Display this as 'None' in the Infobox.
Player trading In-game items and digital currencies can be traded between players on the game marketplace that allows the developer to receive a cut on transactions that players make. Also covers blockchain games involving the trading of NFTs.
Time-limited Game sells microtransactions that are exclusive to a specific time period, promotion, or pre-order bonus. Once the time period is over, the microtransaction cannot normally be purchased again, or there is a long duration of time between periods of availability.
  • Team Fortress 2 has had many tie-in promotions that offered cosmetic microtransactions for a limited period for players with Apple Macs.[4]
Unlock 'Unlocks' are normally chunks of a game that have been already developed and have been 'locked', and can be 'unlocked' with a purchase. This commonly includes individual characters, maps, levels, weapons, armors, etc.
  • Purchase of microtransaction content that affects gameplay and is not solely cosmetic.
Category Definition Examples Notes
Limited use items Purchaseable items that have a limited number of uses or may expire.
Physical DLC Only a handful of PC games use 'physical DLC' and are defunct e.g. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.
Singleplayer only


The following modes are not mutually exclusive. If a game includes e.g. a singleplayer campaign as well as a multiplayer mode, add both modes to the article (comma-delimited).
Category Definition Notes Examples
Multiplayer The game supports some form of multiplayer either locally (e.g. hot seat play/pass-and-play) or remotely across the network or internet.
Singleplayer The game supports solo play through a singleplayer mode.
  • If the game also has multiplayer, the singleplayer component needs to be substantial enough (e.g. a campaign) and not just consist of an offline training mode.
PCGW MobyGames Definition to be modified Notes Examples
Local multiplayer
Online only Only playable online. Defined by {{DRM}}. Diablo III
Online multiplayer


Category Definition Notes Examples
Continuous turn-based Plays in real-time but based on turns. Includes real-time with pause, active time battle and timed turns.
  • Final Fantasy VII - ATB system is real-time but characters take turns.
  • Baldur's Gate - real-time with pause and is based on Dungeons and Dragons ruleset 'rounds'.
Persistent Gameplay continues even when player is not playing the game, and the game state is either simulated on a remote server or changes over time are calculated when the player returns to the game. MobyGames
Real-time Real-time games present the game continuously, as opposed to in turns. MobyGames
Relaxed Meditative may aim to relax the player and often have no goals and no fail states. MobyGames
Turn-based Turn-based games are divided in turns and rounds. Players can usually only interact with the game during their turn. MobyGames


A game can have multiple perspectives.
Category Definition Notes Examples
Audio-based Audio games have no graphical viewpoint and feature only audio. Audio games can have visuals, but can be played on audio cues alone. MobyGames
Bird's-eye view Any view that is above a player character or is an overview of a larger world, often at a small angle. MobyGames
Cinematic camera Fixed camera positions that the player cannot exert control, or exert limited control over. MobyGames
First-person View from the first-person. MobyGames
Flip screen Flip screen divides the game world into fixed screens, displayed one at a time. Commonly found in 2D platform games. MobyGames
Free-roaming camera Player can freely control the camera to scroll, rotate or zoom through a larger environment. MobyGames
Isometric View using isometric 2D assets to create the impression of 3D space. Often incorporates a bird’s-eye view. MobyGames
Scrolling Game world scrolls according to movement of the character. MobyGames
Side view Any view from the side for both scrolling and static environments. MobyGames
Text-based These games have no graphical viewpoint as they are composed entirely of text or spreadsheets. MobyGames
Third-person View from the third-person of a player character, normally behind or over the shoulder.
  • Used for games that do not fit into the more descriptive categories.
  • MobyGames
Top-down view A view from directly above facing down, is relatively fixed and does not have much of an angle. Also called an overhead view. MobyGames


Category Definition Notes Examples
Direct control Directly control a single character at a time, usually using directional buttons and other action buttons to interact with the environment directly. MobyGames
Gestures Controls captured through motion controllers, gyroscopes or cameras. MobyGames
Menu-based Controls primarily through menus or an abstracted interface. MobyGames
Multiple select Control or selects multiple characters or units at the same time. MobyGames
Point and select Controls actions or movements of characters or objects through pointing and selecting. This can be done by mouse, controller or motion controls or other gestures. MobyGames
Text input Control through text input from the player, typically in the form of typed sentences or keystrokes. MobyGames
Voice control Controlled by the voice of the player or other sounds the player (or their environment) makes. MobyGames


Renamed MobyGames 'Gameplay' into 'Genres'.
Some categories, most notably FPS, sets two or more other genres when used (e.g. First-person and Shooter).
Category Definition Notes Examples
4X 4X is the abbreviation for "eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation, and eXtermination" and are often a type of grand strategy game. MobyGames
Action Primary gameplay tests some of the following: accuracy, movement, reflexes, timing.
  • Only used for games that do not fit into the Driving or Sports genres.
  • MobyGames
Adventure Primary emphasises on narrative, dialogue and puzzle solving, with less emphasis on action. MobyGames
Arcade Simple games with origins in coin-op arcades. MobyGames
ARPG Role-playing games with more focus on real-time action elements, such as combat and exploration, than most role-playing games. MobyGames
Artillery Tactical games in which players try to damage each other by shooting artillery shells or other weaponry influenced by gravity over large distances. MobyGames
Battle royale Battle royale (BR) is an online multiplayer genre that blends the survival, exploration, and scavenging elements of a survival game with last-man-standing gameplay. Battle royale games involve dozens to hundreds of players, who start with minimal equipment and then must eliminate all other opponents while avoiding being trapped outside of a shrinking "safe area", with the winner being the last player or team alive.
Board Board games are usually strategy games which often represent or are recreations of real-life tabletop board games. MobyGames
Brawler Focus on melee combat with a large number of enemies. Usually divided into levels similar to platform games or action games. Not to be confused with fighting games. MobyGames
Building Players manage a city or other construction project, including but not limited to theme parks, hospitals, towers, zoos, etc. MobyGames, Wikipedia
Business Business games normally have the player manage resources in order to make money or grow a company.
  • If the game involves creating or expanding a building or city, use Building instead.
  • MobyGames
Card/tile Card games such as Poker, Solitaire or Bridge, as well as modern games that use the format of a card game or a card game as a mini-game.
  • For collectable/trading card games, use the CCG category.
  • MobyGames
CCG Collectible card games (CCG) or trading card games (TCG) simulate trading card games in which players can buy or earn booster packs of randomly selected cards with which to build a deck for play. MobyGames
Chess Chess refers to any game featuring chess or its variations. MobyGames
Clicker Gameplay revolving around clicking and menus with often very shallow gameplay.
Dating Player dates characters with the goal of developing a romantic relationship with gameplay consisting mostly of conversations with multiple branching paths that change the character's disposition towards you.
Driving Driving gameplay, which could be in a vehicle or mount and not just as a short sequence within the greater game. Distinct from racing category. MobyGames
Educational Teaching educational topics through gameplay. MobyGames
Endless runner Endless runners are platformers where the character always moves forward and is unable to stop at all, having to avoid obstacles by moving sideways and sometimes up or down. The character is often limited to moving between lanes, but can also be moving within a much wider or less precise area. Wikipedia
Exploration Exploration is a genre of video game where roaming around the game world and exploring the various nooks and crannies is a major part of game play. TheAlmightyGuru
Falling block Action based puzzle game in which objects enter the screen and have to be arranged by the player to form pairs, lines, or other shapes or combinations of colors and/or shapes. MobyGames
Farming Games involving farming of plants, animals, or similar, whether on an industrial or sustenance scale. Has large overlap with life sim, and some overlap with simulation and time management.
Fighting Players fight one-on-one in a constricted melee arena, or in teams of 2 or 3. Fights continue until one of the characters or teams is knocked out. MobyGames
If the game makes the player face multiple enemies in levels, it is more likely to be a Brawler.
FPS First-person shooter (FPS) are action shooting games from the first person perspective. Combination of First-person and Shooter categories.
Gambling/casino Simulation of a casino game (slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, etc.) or any other form of gambling or betting. MobyGames
Hack and slash Hack and slash refers to third-person weapon-based action games that emphasize combat, usually against multiple opponents at the same time.
Hidden object Games where the player must find objects hidden in a picture. MobyGames
Hunting These games simulate hunting of wildlife or game as the primary gameplay. MobyGames
Idle Minimal gameplay that rewards players who do not interact with the game. Wikipedia calls this an Incremental game.
Immersive sim Immersive sims are made up of simulated systems that respond to a variety of player actions which, combined with a comparatively broad array of player abilities, allow the game to support varied and creative solutions to problems, as well as emergent gameplay beyond what has been explicitly designed by the developer. Wikipedia
Interactive book Game is represented as a picture book where the story is read or narrated and are often educational and aimed at children. Players can interact with parts of the book for a short sequence or a reaction. This does not influence the story and interactions do not represent a choice that alters the course of events. MobyGames
JRPG Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) usually feature a linear story with a focus on character development of a group of fixed characters. Actions are often selected from a pop-up menu, and the art style is often anime or stylized. MobyGames
Life sim Life simulation and social simulation games allow the player to control the life of humans, animals or other things that are alive or resemble living things. MobyGames
Mental training Mental training games serve as means for the player to improve their mental capacity. These games most often offer various puzzles, sums and reflex mini-games that serve to train and exercise the mind. MobyGames
Metroidvania Metroidvania refers to games set in an explorable world that is gated in content mainly by specific abilities that need to be acquired by the player, and which gradually opens up more as the player overcomes its obstacles.
  • Generally there is a central hub from which the player can move to various interconnected areas or levels, some degree of persistency to their game worlds and some degree of non-linear progression while subtly guiding the player towards the next intended path.
  • MobyGames
Mini-games Some games have a collection of mini-games. Either this is the entire game, or the mini-games are in addition of a core game. Mini-games are short activities with almost instant gratification. Games should have a significant amount of mini-games to be tagged with this category. MobyGames
MMO Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are online games where a 'massive' number of players can play within the same space. While the majority of games often features RPG style progression systems (so-called MMORPGs), MMOs can technically be combined with most other genres.
MMORPG Massively multiplayer online games that feature an RPG-style progression system. Combination of MMO and RPG categories.
Music/rhythm Music and rhythm games are games in which the player makes music or must operate at a certain beat or rhythm. Some music game might require actual music instruments or controller facsimiles (or singing) as input for the game. MobyGames
Open world Players have a game world in which they can freely explore and try to interfere with the status quo. Open world games usually do feature certain goals, side quests and main quests. Usually the player is given a broad freedom of how to achieve these goals. MobyGames
Paddle Paddle/Pong games are arcade action games in which the players control one or more paddles which can be used to bounce a ball in various directions. Goals can include scoring goals or destroying bricks inside the playing field. MobyGames
Party game Party games focus on play sessions with a group of players. Party games are focused more on social interaction. Party games usually have simple controls and allow for easy drop-in and out so that everyone can enjoy them. MobyGames
Pinball Pinball games simulate existing or fictional coin-op Pinball machines. MobyGames
Platform Platform games can be both 2D and 3D games in which jumping or climbing onto platforms on various elevations is a major focus of the game. Early platform games mostly focused on climbing onto platforms using ladders, while later games generally focus more on jumping. MobyGames
Puzzle Puzzle solving gameplay, which could include physical, logical, trivia, word puzzles and others etc. MobyGames
Quick time events Games with Quick Time Events ask the player to react to prompts on the screen to progress. A small time window is provided for a single, exact key or button to be pressed. Contrary to Timed Input games where such gameplay forms the entire game, Quick Time Events are small events in addition to very different gameplay which forms that majority of the gameplay. MobyGames
Racing Racing gameplay to win a race, which could be in a vehicle or mount and not just as a short sequence within the greater game. Distinct from driving category. MobyGames
Rail shooter Rail shooters are shooter games that place the player on rails. Usually the player can only control a targeting reticule or has very limited control over the vehicle, being or thing the player controls. MobyGames
Roguelike Roguelike games are games that mimic the gameplay of the 1980 Mainframe game Rogue. These games allow players to crawl through a randomized dungeon in which the player encounters randomized monsters and randomized loot. In most of these games if the player dies, they cannot reload earlier save games (permadeath) and must start anew. Certain abilities are permanent and unlock through multiple sessions, while other are drawn randomly for each session. MobyGames
Rolling ball Games where the player controls a round sphere or the environment around it, to lead it through a maze, path or track, towards a finish line. Distinct from ordinary platformers by their heavy physics reliance and in some games being unable to jump. MobyGames
RPG Player controls a character or party members in a world which often includes quests, items, dialogue, and character progression in the form of experience, levels and skill points. MobyGames
RTS Real-time strategy (RTS) games focus control of a real-time battlefield with multiple units, and often (but not always) features resource gathering and base building.
Sandbox Sandbox games present the players with a game world in which they can freely explore and try to interfere with the status quo, and do not necessarily have fixed goals. MobyGames
Shooter Shooter games are a broad action genre in which the player shoots enemies or targets as a primary gameplay mechanic. This can be from any perspective. MobyGames
Simulation Gameplay closely models real world activities in a more realistic manner than most other games. MobyGames
Sports Players control either players or managers of a real or fictional sports. MobyGames
Stealth Stealth games require the player to avoid contact with enemies in the game and instead try to pass them by silently and hidden or using disguises. Goals can range from reaching a certain position, theft, sabotage, etc. MobyGames
Strategy Games that use strategy.
Survival Survival gameplay including gathering food, materials, crafting etc. MobyGames
Survival horror Survival horror games drop the player in a horror setting where survival against usually supernatural enemies is made difficult by sparse distribution of weaponry and ammunition and often a more realistic approach to the protagonist's physical capabilities. The goal of these games is usually to escape the hazardous situation and trying to survive. MobyGames
Tactical RPG Tactical RPGs are role playing games with a focus on tactical combat.
  • In Japanese-style Tactical RPGs these are usually denoted with the term “Tactics”. These types of games usually feature more combat options than other RPGS, such as party combat with character positioning and more varied attack effects other than just damage.
  • Combination of Strategy and RPG.
  • MobyGames
Tactical shooter Tactical Shooters are a type of Shooter game with a higher degree of realism than most shooters. Many tactical shooters are squad-based where the player either has control over multiple squad members directly or can issue commands to the AI. MobyGames
TBS Turn-based strategy (TBS) is a sub-genre of strategy video games in which the game progresses incrementally in turns.
Text adventure Text adventures are adventure games where the player navigates through a game primarily through text or typing sentences or commands. MobyGames
Tile matching Tile matching puzzle games are puzzle games in which the player must match tiles.
  • Actual mechanics may vary from flipping over the right tiles as in the traditional Memory game or moving them next to one-another in Bejeweled.
  • MobyGames
Time management The player must use their insight and reflexes to perform the tasks in the best order and as quickly as possible. Time management games often simulate jobs. MobyGames
Tower defense Tower Defense games are a type of strategy game in which the player builds so-called towers to thwart an invading NPC army to reach a certain location on the map. Towers typically shoot at NPC units or otherwise hinder them from reaching their destination. Some of these games allow the player to build mazes out of towers for the NPCs to navigate, while others only allow towers to be build on predefined positions. MobyGames
TPS Third-person shooter (TPS) is any game where the player controls the character shooting from a third-person perspective, normally over the shoulder (not from the side).
Tricks The game requires the player to perform stunts to score points or advance in the game. MobyGames
Trivia/quiz Trivia/quiz or game show games test the player on their knowledge on certain subjects or their ability to discover hidden words or pictures. Usually the player is rewarded with points or virtual currency. MobyGames
Vehicle combat Vehicle simulators in which the player engages in combat. The vehicles may be fictional such as "mechs" or space ships. MobyGames
Vehicle simulator Vehicle Simulator games are games in which the player takes control of any type of vehicle in a peaceful manner. A game is required to have a certain level of realism to be considered a simulator. Vehicles may be fictional such as space ships. This genre is not to be used for games that allow the player to perform combat in said vehicles; use Vehicular Combat Simulator instead. MobyGames
Visual novel Games in which the story is told through text overlaid on a background representing the scene being described. The player input is confined to periodically making choices which might affect the direction and outcome of the story. Mostly regarded as a branch of Japanese adventure, but Western examples exist as well. Also known as "VL" or "NVL" games, "digital novels", and "choose-your-own-adventure" (CYOA) games. MobyGames
Wargame Wargames are military simulation games. Most wargames revolve around a single war, campaign or battle in which the player can play out various what-if scenarios by trying out different tactics and/or strategies. MobyGames
Word Word Construction games are Puzzle or Educational games in which the player must form words. Usually the player is given a series of letters or letter combinations that have to be rearranged. MobyGames


Category Definition Notes Examples
American football Codes of gridiron football, including American football and Canadian football. MobyGames
Australian football Also known as Australian rules football or "Aussie Rules".
Baseball Incorporates the bat-and-ball sports of baseball and softball. MobyGames
Basketball MobyGames
Bowling Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a ball toward pins (in pin bowling) or another target (in target bowling).
  • Usually referring to ten-pin bowling; other forms of bowling (e.g. candlepin, duckpin) are rare.
  • Does not need to use traditional balls, lanes and/or pins (e.g. Elf Bowling).
  • MobyGames
Boxing MobyGames
Cricket MobyGames
Darts/target shooting These games simulate target shooting with either darts, guns, bows or other projectiles for sport. MobyGames
Dodgeball MobyGames
Extreme sports
Fictional sport A fictional depicted sport.
Fishing MobyGames
Football (Soccer) Association football. MobyGames
Golf Golf or miniature golf. MobyGames
Hockey Ice hockey and field hockey. MobyGames
Horse Managing horses or horse competitions. MobyGames
Martial arts Including mixed martial arts.
Mixed sports Multiple sports, similar to the Olympics. MobyGames
Paintball MobyGames
Parachuting Parachuting, including also skydiving, is a method of transiting from a high point in the atmosphere to the surface of Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent using a parachute or parachutes.
Pool or snooker Referring to such cue sports (billiards). MobyGames
Racquetball/squash MobyGames
Rugby Any of the rugby union, rugby league, or rugby sevens sports disciplines.
Sailing/boating These games simulate piloting or racing sailboats, wind sails, rowing boats, powerboats, etc. MobyGames
Skateboarding MobyGames
Skating Including roller skating and ice skating.
Snowboarding or skiing MobyGames
Surfing MobyGames
Table tennis MobyGames
Tennis MobyGames
Volleyball MobyGames
Water sports Jet skis, wakeboarding, scuba diving, etc. MobyGames
Wrestling Including competitive forms of wrestling (e.g. freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman/Graeco-Roman/classical wrestling) or theatrical forms of wrestling made "real" thanks to video games (i.e. professional wrestling). MobyGames


Category Definition Notes Examples
Automobile These games allow the player to take control of an automobile (both driving and racing it) or otherwise focus on automobiles even if they are not driven. MobyGames
Bicycle These games allow the player to take control of a non-motorized bike to explore or race, or allow the player to manage a bike racing team. Overlap with cycling category?
Bus These games allow the player to take control of or otherwise focus on buses. This includes both racing, simulation driving or any managerial game focusing on buses. MobyGames
Flight These games allow the player to take control of an aircraft (both flight and combat) or otherwise focus on aircrafts or aviation. Helicopters have their own genre where Flight/Aviation is implied. This genre also covers hot air balloons, blimps, zeppelins, gliders, hang-gliders and similar ones. MobyGames
Helicopter These games allow the player to take control of a helicopter (both flight and battle) or otherwise focus on helicopters. MobyGames
Hovercraft These games allow the player to take control of a hovercraft, a hybrid craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud or ice and other surfaces. This also includes futuristic crafts that hover above the ground. Hovercraft games do not have the genres Flight/Aviation or Naval/Watercraft. MobyGames
Industrial Games that prominently feature agricultural / industrial vehicles controlled directly in a simulation. MobyGames
Motorcycle These games allow the player to take control of a motorcycle, dirtbike or similar vehicle or otherwise focus on motorcycles. MobyGames
Naval/watercraft These games allow the player to take control of a boat, ship or other type of watercraft, or otherwise focus on watercraft or naval combat or navigation. Hovercrafts are considered a separate genre. MobyGames
Off-roading These games allow the player to participate in or otherwise focus on off-road racing/driving. MobyGames
Robot These games allow the player to take control of or otherwise focus on robots or machines controlled by people. These machines vary great in size and shape, but are distinguished from other vehicles by their humanoid or biomorphic appearance. MobyGames
Self-propelled artillery These games allow the player to take control of a self-propelled artillery or otherwise focus on self-propelled or mobile artillery. MobyGames
Space flight These games allow the player to take control of spacecraft or otherwise focus on spacecrafts. MobyGames
Street racing Games which revolve around the practice of street racing, i.e. racing of motor vehicles on a public road. This practice is mostly illegal in real life, and many games depict it as an underground, illicit affair (and may feature themes such as dodging regular traffic or avoiding police), but this is not necessary for inclusion in the group. MobyGames
Tank Gameplay featuring tanks whether they are fictional or based on reality. MobyGames
Track racing These games allow the player to participate in or otherwise focus on racing/driving on racing tracks.
  • This does not need to be a real race track, but it needs to be clear the environment has been fenced off or designed in such a way that a track is created, regardless of the surface or the setting.
  • Racing games that take place in open environments where all obstacles or routes are natural, without human intervention to create a track (e.g. Outrun), do not receive this genre.
  • Invisible barriers also do not count as a way to create a track.
  • In order to receive this genre, the majority of the racing needs to take place on a track.
  • MobyGames
Train These games allow the player to take control of a train or otherwise focus on trains. MobyGames
Transport These games allow the player to take control of or otherwise focus on transporting people or cargo using vehicles. MobyGames
Truck These games allow the player to take control of or otherwise focus on trucks. This includes racing, but also transport. MobyGames

Art styles

Category Definition Notes Examples
Abstract Abstract and not representing reality, usually reliant on shapes.
Anime Using an anime, or anime-esque art style, including manga and hentai. Not necessarily Japanese-only, but also not to be confused with cartoon art styles. MobyGames
Cartoon Exaggerated art styles based primarily on Western animated films and TV shows, with non-realistic character body shapes and proportions, colorful, larger-than-life environments, and sometimes a disregard of the laws of physics. Often runs on the rule of fun. Not to be confused with anime art styles.
Cel-shaded Art style that makes use of hard, flat shadows in a similar vein to animation cels. Wikipedia list
Comic book Art style that implements graphical elements typically seen in comic books.
Digitized Using footage or photographs of real-world actors, stop-motion figures, or 3D-rendered models as digitized sprites. Giant Bomb
FMV Games in which most of the game is presented as full motion video (FMV) or other forms of animations as well as live action. Many of these games are interactive movies where the player can from time to time choose a path to take with minimal or timed input. It also covers games where most of the game content is shown through full motion video. This art style refers to the gameplay content, not the cut-scenes. MobyGames
Live action Games where a large part of the interactive gameplay makes use of live action scenes.
  • This is an art style for videography that uses real actors in footage shot with cameras. It can be complemented with CGI, but the actors themselves are not animated.
  • This art style is not related to the use of motion capture to animate characters. Digitised characters also do not apply.
  • The live action scenes need to be part of the interactive gameplay.
  • A large amount of games with Live action as an art style for the interactive gameplay carry the art style FMV in addition.
  • It is also used for Chromakey recordings with actors against a video backdrop or an animated background, as long as the actors are part of interactive gameplay sequences.
  • MobyGames
Pixel art Graphics with old-school "blocky" by-pixel sprites and/or backgrounds. This was one of two default graphical styles of the early days of computer and video games, vector art being the other.
  • Does not apply to games that have pixelated graphics but are much higher-detailed and were meant to resemble full drawings (e.g. early Living Books and Disney's Animated Storybook games).
Pre-rendered graphics Computer-generated graphics rendered beforehand by the development staff and thus handled by the software, not the client's hardware. Used as static background images, animated cutscenes and game sprites. This technique was used most often during the earliest days of three-dimensional gaming, back when most home computers could only render simplistic 3D graphics, if at all. TV Tropes
Realistic Aims for realistic depictions of characters and environments with no exaggerations.
Stylized Rather hard to define on its own, "stylized" refers to something with its own distinct visual style. However, it is more often than not also used for exaggerated realism or hyperrealism, such where the game's world or environment is rendered realistically but contains some exaggerations, ranging from the subtle (e.g. a highly idealized version of an otherwise realistic environment; think "Disneyfied" versions of the real world) to the obvious (e.g. buildings with architecture that's very difficult or otherwise impossible to pull off in real life). [1]
Vector art Uses mathematical vectors to create geometric shapes, which can be transformed in many ways without loss of detail, unlike with raster images. Wikipedia
Video backdrop Games where the interactive gameplay largely or entirely takes place against a backdrop with recorded footage.
  • The footage can be edited or enhanced, but it needs to have been recorded with cameras. These games then have other elements in the foreground, either animated characters, vehicles or other elements, or live action actors brought into the game using chromakey.
  • This genre is not to be used for titles where in interactive parts both the actors and the environment are filmed together. It also does not apply to games where the video backdrop is only used for cut-scenes and not the gameplay itself.
  • MobyGames
Voxel art Graphics are constructed entirely out of 3D cubes called voxels.


Category Definition Notes Examples
Adult Adult games feature explicit sexual situations. MobyGames
Africa Setting is in the African continent, excepting Egypt but including the island of Madagascar and various archipelagos such as the Seychelles, or in an African-inspired setting. MobyGames
Amusement park Games that primarily take place at an amusement park (including theme parks and water parks) or involve the construction and/or management of one. May or may not involve the ability to ride the attractions themselves. MobyGames
Antarctica Setting is on Antarctica, Earth's southernmost and coldest continent and the only one without permanent inhabitants.
  • May also incorporate the surrounding Southern Ocean and various uninhabited islands within the Antarctic Circle.
Arctic Setting is within the cold northern tundra of the Arctic Circle, including the Arctic Ocean.
Asia Takes place anywhere in the continent of Asia, except Japan, China, or the Middle East.
China Includes the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Manchuria, and any pre-1949 empires that were considered part of the wider Chinese culture. MobyGames
Classical Ancient Greek and Roman, or use significant visual styles or themes from this period. MobyGames
Cold War Setting focuses on the geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II.
  • The period is generally considered to be from the beginning of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. If the game is only set during the period of the Cold War but not primarily focused or themed on the Cold War itself, it gets the Contemporary theme instead.
  • MobyGames
Comedy Comedy games present events in the game in comedic fashion. They feature jokes in conversations or one-liners, or rely on satire or absurdity.
Contemporary Taking place in a modern day setting, primarily any time period after World War II up to the present day. However, this does not include games that are focused on or themed after the Cold War from 1947 to 1991. MobyGames
Cyberpunk MobyGames
Dark Games with a dark theme usually contain disturbing elements that aim to make the player feel a sense of uneasiness.
Detective/mystery Detective/mystery games feature a traditional detective story or mystery that needs to be solved.
Eastern Europe Setting is on the eastern part of the European continent. Wikipedia
Egypt Setting is in the transcontinetal Middle Eastern (more specifically, northern African and southwest Asian) country of Egypt, whether it be in Ancient Egypt or Modern Egypt (including the present-day Arab Republic of Egypt). MobyGames
Europe Setting is on the European continent or the British Isles.
Fantasy Settings that are inspired by fairytales, revolve strongly around magic, include fantastic creatures, or make use of old myths. MobyGames
Healthcare Games that have as a theme the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. MobyGames
Historical Setting takes place in and/or focuses on a historical time period. MobyGames
Horror Featuring elements that attempt to frighten, shock or instill dread in substantial parts of the game.
Industrial Age Takes place in the 1800's West, or equivalent settings with steam machines, street lamps, trains or fountains.
Interwar Setting in the periods between 1918-1939, excluding games mainly set in World War I or World War II. MobyGames
Japan Setting is on the island country of Japan in East Asia, whether it's set in one of Japan's historical periods (such as the Edo period) or in Modern Japan (Meiji era onward). MobyGames
LGBTQ Games that prominently feature lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer characters, or plots with these themes.
  • A character or a theme revealed to be LGBTQ-related outside the game is not sufficient, as it has no bearing on the game content.
  • MobyGames
  • Wikipedia
Lovecraftian Based on the works of writer H. P. Lovecraft. Wikipedia
Medieval Takes place in Europe or the Middle East between roughly the years 900 and 1550, or equivalent settings. MobyGames
Middle East Games taking place on the Arabian peninsula or the easternmost Mediterranean coast.
North America Setting is on the North American continent. This includes the United States (except Hawaii, which is in Oceania), Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Does not include games set in the Pre-Columbian Americas. MobyGames
Oceania Setting is in the geographical region of Oceania.
  • This includes the subregions of Australasia (including the Australian continent), Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia (including the U.S. state of Hawaii).
  • MobyGames
Piracy Sea pirates or air pirates. MobyGames
Post-apocalyptic Taking place in a world set after the fall of modern human civilization or generally after a major world-destroying disaster. MobyGames
Pre-Columbian Americas Taking place on either of the Americas during historical and prehistorical times before the influence of European colonization. Aztec, Incan, and Mayan cultures are common themes. MobyGames
Prehistoric Setting predates the beginning of human written history, and usually take place prior to year 5000 BCE. Also includes settings revolving around dinosaurs or cavemen. MobyGames
Renaissance Setting focuses on the European Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries. Wikipedia
Romance Games that are about (not just feature) romance. MobyGames
Sci-fi Typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology. MobyGames
South America Setting is in the South American continent and certain archipelagos including the Galápagos Islands and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Does not include games set in the Pre-Columbian Americas. MobyGames
Space Setting is in outer space, either within our universe outside of Earth or in a constructed universe.
Steampunk Features steam machines being used for more advanced purposes than they ever were in real life, whereas electricity is uncommon. MobyGames
Supernatural Supernatural games have elements that are based on the real-world but violate natural laws, e.g. superheroes, vampires, werewolves.
  • Note that the elements are not so far away from our natural world that they constitute fantasy or sci-fi.
  • Wikipedia
Victorian Setting focuses on the Victorian England, years 1837-1901. Wikipedia
Western Focus on the 1800s USA west of the Mississippi River, including cowboys, duels, saloons, and pre-citizenship Native American tribes. MobyGames
World War I Setting is during the First World War (July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918) or a fictional post-1918 continuation of said war. MobyGames
World War II Setting is during the Second World War (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945) or a fictional post-1945 continuation of said war. MobyGames
Zombies Features zombies in the game.
  • Although arguably similar one way or the other, mummies, vampires, etc. should be excluded, as these belong in the supernatural category.
  • MobyGames


Type in the name of the game series if one exists. This then populates a floating seriesbox below the infobox, see e.g. Halo: Combat Evolved or Tomb Raider (1996) for examples.

This template replaces the previous {{Series}} template that used to reside below the {{Infobox game}}.


  1. Final Fantasy XV - All Cup Noodles Quest choices - last accessed on 2020-04-19
  2. Assassin’s Creed®IV Black Flag™ Time saver: Technology Pack (DLC) - last accessed on 2020-04-19
    "This pack will save you time by revealing all of the collectibles locations on your map. Note that you will still need to travel to these locations and beat the game play in order to get the rewards."
  3. League of Legends - MICROTRANSACTION.ZONE - last accessed on 2020-04-15
  4. Earbuds - Official TF2 Wiki - last accessed on 2020-04-26