Top 10 Most Annoying Things in Video Games

There are a lot of things in video games that can be annoying, even the best, from bad checkpoints to making it hard for you to save your progress, as well as things like bugs and terrible controls. The list can be endless, but here's the top 10 rounded up.

Top 10 Most Annoying Things in Video Games

Video games are supposed to be fun. However, there are some things in games that can take the edge off your enjoyment. Some things are very trivial that you can put up with, but others make you want to throw the controller at your screen. Every gamer has something that they find annoying in video games, even the best. There are countless things that can gripe any player. Here are just 10 of the most annoying things that players hate in video games. The games themselves aren’t bad, but there’s always something that’s annoying for players.

BAD A.I.

A.I., short for Artificial Intelligence, refers to characters out of your control. There are many roles and behaviors that A.I. have. Some just stand in one spot and never move, waiting to be spoken to. Others are far more complex and have a lot more responsibilities as essentially a programmed robot. This is when A.I. tends to go rogue and become very annoying in video games.

Your in-game companions should help you out, not be a hindrance.

Your in-game companions should help you out, not be a hindrance.

In a lot of games, the character you’re controlling is accompanied by a companion, sometimes even a whole group of them. Usually, these characters are given jobs such as keeping up with the player and helping out where necessary. Some A.I. though are completely useless. They’ll fail to come to your aid, they get stuck, they block your path, and they get themselves killed when under attack. This, of course, is very annoying in any video game. Good A.I. should assist you, they won’t get in your way, and they can defend themselves.

Enemies too can suffer from poor A.I., but this isn’t always a bad thing. You can take advantage of their shortfalls. For example, enemies are supposed to be alerted when they spot you and start attacking. Sometimes though, enemies won’t spot you, which makes it much easier to eliminate them. This is an example of when something doesn’t work as it should, but the player doesn’t mind because they can use it to their advantage. However, if enemy A.I. is strikingly bad and it’s almost too easy to wipe them out, that’s when it becomes an issue. Games should be challenging, but when it’s too easy, not to mention buggy, it becomes boring and loses its quality.

Top 10 Video Games With The Worst AI

(Video from WatchMojo.com)

BUGS AND CRASHES

Bugs and crashes are any gamer’s worst nightmare. Some bugs can be used by players to their advantage. Most of the time though, they’re very annoying. The reputations of video games have been ruined by notorious bugs and crashes.

BUGS

Some bugs are very small and have very little impact on the game and the player. Some though cannot be avoided or ignored. The worst kind of bugs are those that are game breaking or affect being able to play the game and enjoy it. 

One example of a recent game that experienced many bugs was The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories Game Pack. While it was well-received at its reveal, once it was released, players experienced a lot of annoying bugs. These bugs affected players being able to put on weddings for their Sims, which was the whole premise of the pack, making it almost unplayable. The bugs were so bad that it impacted on reviews, with some people vowing not to play until they were fixed. Fortunately, the bugs were addressed, thanks to a patch released a few weeks later. Practically every issue discovered by players were fixed, and it seemed that weddings could be successfully pulled off at last.

Another example of a game being very buggy at release was the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy. All three games in the trilogy (GTA III, GTA: Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas) had issues, obviously annoying for expectant players of the three remasters. Fortunately, these were addressed in patches released shortly after they were discovered.

The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories Game Pack was notoriously buggy when first released, but was later fixed in a patch.

The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories Game Pack was notoriously buggy when first released, but was later fixed in a patch.

CRASHES

There are also crashes to deal with. Every gamer dreads a crash, and they are extremely annoying. The last thing you want is for a game you’re playing to automatically exit you out without warning. Crashes do happen, but how frequently depends. If a crash happens more often, it’s likely to be a problem with the game or an issue with the console or device the game is being played on.

Games should be rigorously tested inside and out to remove any bugs or unexpected issues. They do sometimes slip through the net, but other times you wonder how they got missed in the first place. This can sometimes be put down to games being rushed out too quickly to meet release dates. Games often get delayed due to more time needed to work on them, but if that means making them as bug-free as possible, that’s understandable. Players are more likely to find a buggy game annoying than a delayed game. 

10 Worst Game-Breaking Bugs

(Video by TripleJump)

FORCED TUTORIALS

When you’re new to a game, you’ll often find that you don’t know how to play it. Sometimes, it’s the first game on a device you’re not familiar with. It’s great when a game takes you through the controls and mechanics, teaching you how to play. They don’t have to hold your hand the whole time, but you’re given enough to understand it. Some games even have tutorials or “lessons” that you can access any time. The Sims 4 has a Lessons option in the pause menu, which tells you the basics of everything in the game, including any DLC you have installed.

What about when you’re already familiar with how to play a game though? That’s when tutorials can get annoying, when they’re forced on you. There’s no way to skip them or avoid them. You just have to grit your teeth and get through it, even though you just want to get on with the game already.

GOOD EXAMPLES

Fortunately, not all games force you to go through their tutorial. Some games give you the option to ignore tutorials or skip them. This means you can focus on getting on with the game. One such game is The Simpsons: Hit & Run, which gives you the option to skip the tutorial. The tutorial is also very humorous while informative, avoiding being annoying.

A lot of games have tutorials that are done subtly so they don’t feel so forced. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, has an early mission that introduces the mechanics of hunting. It doesn’t feel too forced and it’s integrated nicely into the story. Another game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, has a good example of a non-forced tutorial. The first chapter of the game (not the prologue) has you playing a young Nathan Drake. Here, you learn the mechanics of taking cover, climbing, sliding, using the grapple hook, and jumping.

While tutorials can be great, players shouldn’t be made to do them if they don’t need to. The option should be there to bypass it. If they do have to go through the tutorial in order to progress, at least make it fun and not forced and annoying.

Games like The Sims 4 have lessons that you can access anytime.

Games like The Sims 4 have lessons that you can access anytime.

GRAPHICAL ISSUES

Good graphics in video games are very important. Games with terrible graphics aren’t really good to look at. Good graphics helps transport you to a whole new virtual world. With today’s technologies, video games have been taken to an incredible level with graphics. The difference between games today and 20 years ago is astounding. However, games have to work hard to produce such stunning graphics. That can sometimes lead to issues. Graphical problems can also come down to different things, including incompatible graphics cards and bugs. Even games with the best graphics possible can suffer.

Graphical issues do occur in video games. When they’re obvious, they can take away the immersion of the game. Such issues can include flickering, which can be anything from objects to lighting and shadows. Sometimes in games, objects and textures don’t render correctly. They may still be loading in a new area you’ve entered, then suddenly appear right. 

Graphics nowadays are fantastic, and when they’re right, they can impress players. However, when things start looking off or playing up, it’s hard to ignore and can be annoying. 

PS5 Graphical Issues - Faulty hardware or poor software?

(Video by RandomBaz)

LACK OF CHECKPOINTS

There’s nothing more annoying than playing a game and then dying. What’s even more annoying is when the game reloads and you’re taken far back to an earlier point. Sometimes, you even have to start an entire segment or mission again. It’s fair enough if you mess up and die, but it’s frustrating when you can’t get right back to where you were before, the place where you went wrong. You have to repeat all the things before it to reach the place where you were. That only wastes time and adds to the frustration you’re already feeling from messing up.

SAVING FRUSTRATION

Fortunately, a lot of games alleviates the frustrations of dying and losing progress. It’s obviously important to save games (if you can, that is; more on that later). A lot of games allows you to quickly save your game right before a difficult section, or after you’ve just done it. Some games even have auto save features, providing you have them enabled. This means that if you die, it’s easy to carry on right from where you left off. 

Another thing that some games have (notably open world games) are places that you can fast travel to. These can be towns or marked spots in the world that you can warp to. It’s especially useful if you’re stuck or have low health and need to retreat to a place of safety. Also, it’s a time saver.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has good checkpoints. Link can quickly warp between towers, shrines, and towns. You have to find them first (and activate the towers and shrines), but once you do, travelling is a lot easier.

Fast travel is a super-useful way to quickly get around sprawling game worlds.

Fast travel is a super-useful way to quickly get around sprawling game worlds.

LAG AND OTHER PERFORMANCE ISSUES

Games ideally should be slick and smooth. One annoying thing players find is performance issues. Games are supposed to be fun, immersive, and as frustration free as possible. When lag, stuttering, and even freezing comes into play, it can hinder or even completely ruin a player’s experience.

LAG

Lag and stuttering are the result of a game’s frame rate dropping. This causes the game to slow down, which can affect the player’s ability to play, creating frustration. Good performance is  important to any player. Otherwise good games have been known to disappoint and annoy players with their poor performance issues.

Games such as Mafia III have suffered lag due to frame rate issues. These have since been addressed.

Games such as Mafia III have suffered lag due to frame rate issues. These have since been addressed.

FREEZING

Freezing is another issue affected by performance. While lag and stuttering makes a game slow down and not run smoothly, freezing stops a game from running at all. This issue might only be temporary, but it shouldn’t happen and is extremely annoying. Even if it’s only for a few seconds, it’s still bad. When the freezing is frequent, or the game stops for a long period of time, it’s unacceptable. Sometimes it doesn’t ever unfreeze, forcing an angry player to quit and reboot the game.

Fixing performance issues such as lag, stuttering and freezing can be resolved by patches. These things can sometimes be caused by a bug, and when they’re addressed, it fixes the performance issues. If a game freezes frequently, for example, it can be traced back to a certain action that’s causing it to happen.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack had a notorious freezing issue. The game came with a new world, Isla Paradiso. While it was a great world to play in with the pack’s new gameplay, it did suffer a few flaws. One big one was where after a while, a player’s game would start to freeze up, sometimes for a few minutes or so at a time. This was due to the layout of some of the properties in the world, which caused routing issues for NPC Sims. Workarounds for this issue included resetting all Sims with a cheat, moving Sims out of certain properties, or rebuilding them.

Sims 3 Island Paradise Freeze bug

(Video by ixcuincle)

HARDWARE/SOFTWARE CAUSES

Performance issues can also be traced back to the device the game is being played on. PC games are more complex than other gaming platforms because of the mixture of hardware and software a player can have. Computers with lots of software applications installed can cause it to slow down. Some hardware may also be unable to run games smoothly, especially games with demanding specs. Older hardware or barely compatible hardware will struggle to run newer or higher-demanding games. If performance issues in a game are attributed to hardware, the solution may be to upgrade the components or even think about investing in a more powerful PC. 

LAME REWARDS

Games are fun (or they should be, at least), but they can be hard work. Depending on what you’re playing, you’ll have lots of tasks to complete, battles to fight and win, collectibles to find, etc. With all that hard work and challenge, you should get a reward. These can range hugely. It could be something as simple as a cutscene or getting to the next level. You could also get new equipment or outfits, new locations could be unlocked, or you could get new gameplay or a new skill to learn. Whatever it is, it’s going to be something that’ll motivate you and keep you happy. When you’re doing a task or mission, you want to feel like you’re gaining something. You don’t want to feel like you’re wasting your own time. Unfortunately, that can sometimes happen, thanks to poor rewards.

There may not necessarily be anything wrong with the prize. It’s just bad in context to what you did to get it. For example, if you have to run around a huge world collecting lots of items while dealing with obstacles such as enemies and the harsh terrain, you’d expect to be rewarded greatly for your efforts. Sadly, that’s not always the case. You might receive a reward that makes you wonder why you bothered in the first place. Sometimes, you may not get rewarded at all. It might have been fun finding all the collectibles, but your victory may be dented with a lame prize for your efforts, and you’re left feeling very annoyed.

Rewards motivate you to keep playing a game.

Rewards motivate you to keep playing a game.

NO CLEAR GOAL OR DIRECTION

This faux pas is mainly relevant to open world games. The beauty of these games is that you’re given this wonderful freedom to explore a vast world and do whatever you want, usually in your own time and at your own pace. If you want to slow down and take a breather from the story, you can. It’s very easy to get distracted by stunning scenery and places of interest that coaxes you into exploring. There are side quests to complete and interesting characters to meet. You might want to focus on finding all the collectibles or exploring every inch of the map. It’s your game, you decide how you want to play, what you want to do.

EMPTY WORLDS

Not all open world games are like this though. If game worlds have little to do in them outside of missions , then there seems little point in them being “open”. There might be collectibles scattered around to find, but what else? No side activities? No optional bonus missions? If that’s the case, then these big vast worlds actually start to feel quite empty and lifeless. It’s like they have nothing to offer for the player.

LOST PLAYERS

It’s not just the side stuff that matters. The main story or quest is important too. In open world games, it’s down to you to go to the right place to start a mission or complete the next step. You might have to travel to a specific location or speak to a certain character in order to continue the story. The key is that the player must know exactly what they need to do. They should know where they need to go next, who they need to speak to, etc. If they don’t know what the next step is, then that’s a problem. The player can’t progress, and that makes them feel confused and frustrated. The player’s next goal, whether they’re following the story or just exploring, should always be clear to them. The last thing a player wants to feel is lost or annoyed.

GOOD EXAMPLES

A lot of games give you a task list, so you can keep track of any outstanding objectives. An in-game map can also highlight any people you need to talk to or places you need to visit. Whatever it is, you should have a clear idea of what you want or need to do next.

In the Uncharted games, your objective is never displayed on-screen, but you somehow know where you need to go or what you need to do next. You may have a landmark to head towards (such as the tower at the museum in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves). The game also discreetly funnels you down a path to your destination. Other characters may also lead you to your next destination, and cutscenes remind you what to do or where to go next. If you’re struggling, if you wait long enough, an on-screen hint will tell you where to go or what to do. Uncharted is one example of a game that makes sure you’re never lost or confused.

A player should never feel lost or confused in a video game.

A player should never feel lost or confused in a video game.

POOR CONTROLS

One of the most important things about video games is control. Good controls are vital to any video game. The player must feel like they’re in control all the time. The commands they put into the keyboard or controller must do exactly what they want, when they want it to. Controls should be responsive and easy to learn and memorize. 

UNRESPONSIVE CONTROLS

Bad controls can make a game feel broken. This isn’t referring to the actual controller or keyboard or whatever input device the player is using. This is about what happens within the game when you push and press certain buttons and joysticks. When you press a button, the command should be carried out immediately. By pushing a joystick in a certain direction, whatever or whoever you’re controlling should follow your directions as prompted. If the controls don’t work properly, the player feels like they’re not in control, which is annoying. It’s not fun playing a game with unresponsive, clunky, practically-broken controls. Games can already be challenging enough without having to deal with poor controls. 

CONFUSING CONTROLS

There’s also the matter of how difficult the controls are to master. The player should be clear on what each button does. They should know which button they need to press to enter a car or reload a weapon or bring up the map. If you end up firing a gun instead of switching weapons when you’re confused by the buttons, it’s annoying. Games should clearly inform the player what the buttons do. Players can forget, especially if there are a lot of different buttons. To address this, some games provide a page in their options menu with a labelled diagram of the device’s controller that reminds you what every button is for.

Some games have the option to bring up the controls to help remind you.

Some games have the option to bring up the controls to help remind you.

POOR SAVE POINTS

Saving your game has to be one of the most important things in video games. If you can’t save, you’ll lose all your progress. Saving should be quick and easy, such as a save option in the pause menu. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Games sometimes makes it much harder for you to save your progress. You may have to travel to a certain location or marker in the game world to save. Sometimes, there’s no option to save, and the game will only save once you reach the end of a level, for example.

BEING UNABLE TO SAVE

One of the worst cases though is being unable to save at all. It’s not that the game doesn’t have the option to save; it just won’t let you. You may be at a critical point in the game where saving isn’t possible. This is obviously extremely unhelpful and annoying. It’s very frustrating being unable to save if you have to quit the game and don’t want to lose what you’ve done. It’s almost like you’re forced to keep playing until you get to a point where you can finally save. You almost stop enjoying yourself because you don’t want to play but have to.

Red Dead Redemption 2, while an excellent game, has one small issue where saving is sometimes not an option. Sometimes, a mission will automatically continue into the next, where you have no time to save. There’s no way of knowing when in the game you won’t be able to save. It’s annoying when you go to save, only to find the option unable. You only know the parts when you can’t save if you’ve played before. To make it better, there should be an on-screen message that warns you when you’re about to enter a part of the game where you can’t save. The game does at least have an autosave feature, saving the game for you whenever you complete a mission.

The player should never lose the ability to save. It should be made clear if saving is not allowed.

Saving should be quick and easy in any video game. No player wants to lose progress.

Saving should be quick and easy in any video game. No player wants to lose progress.

The list of most annoying things that players find in video games can be endless. Every player has at least one gripe to deal with, even with their favorite games. Nothing is perfect, and most video games are fun regardless of their little irks. So long as the odd annoyance doesn’t stop the player from enjoying themselves, or even prevent them from playing at all, we can put up with small irritations.

Do the issues mentioned in this list relate to you as a gamer? What are the most annoying things you’ve encountered in video games? Let us know in the comments!

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