What Is Random Number Generator or RNG?
Random Number Generator, as the name suggests, is the process of obtaining a random number each time it is required, without being able to establish a pattern from the previous numbers generated. This number can be generated either by an algorithm or a hardware device and is very important to evade any predictable outcome. It is more like our life on planet Earth, where we do not know what would happen the next moment as no one knows where our RNG controller is placed.
Now that we have the technology to produce different numbers every time, what do we do with those numbers?
Random Number Generator Algorithm is commonly used in video games, where it establishes a different outcome every time, anyone plays it. You may have noticed that even if you play the same level in a game, it would not be quite the same each time you attempt the mission. The difference would not be observed in the location or the mission requirements, but it would be observed in a number of enemies approaching and their area spawn, climate changes, and different obstacles that come in between. This makes a game more addictive and interesting. Otherwise, a game would seem boring after a few attempts as you would be able to predict the events that would occur next. It may sound simple, but it is a difficult task for a computer to generate random numbers by following precise instructions coded into it.
True RNG vs Pseudo RNG.
There are two types of Random Number Generators, True and Pseudo.
True random number generator algorithm is generated with the help of a hardware device that uses very tiny physical processes to generate random numbers. As there is no algorithm written; hence, True RNG cannot be hacked to determine the predictability. It is customarily used in security-centric systems all over the world, and in some forms of encryption.
Pseudo-random number generator algorithm is used in areas, where there is no concern with security and randomness is used to avoid repetends and make something more interesting for the end-user. It is cheaper and faster to implement technology as it does not require hardware and can be easily inculcated in the software programming code. Although this process is not truly random and is determined on the basis of an algorithm still it is more suitable for games and programs.
Which applications use Random Number Picker?
Not all games follow random number picker, making them less competitive and often boring, however, random number picker is included in new games. Many applications and games benefit from randomness as they can only generate interest and profit in being random like:
Gambling games: Bingo, Card Games, Lottery and similar games.
Loot collection games: All games that require the players to collect loot to be used in the gameplay like PubG, Diablo, and Borderlands use RNG. The possibility of getting better loot each time is the reason why people get hooked to them.
Adventure games: Games like Mario and Pokémon use a random number generator algorithm to determine, which items would be obtained in the cart and meet a new Pokémon challenger every time.
Procedurally-generated games: All games that don’t have predesigned maps and levels but have been designed in-game by using procedural programming techniques like Minecraft and Civilization Series. It helps to create the entire game using the algorithm.
Competitive Games: Some competitive games like Counter-Strike use a random number generator algorithm to regulate how bullets hit targets.
For a clearer example, take, for instance, Diddy Kong Racing.
If you have played this game, you would have come across a zone that has two choices of loading a Dragon Forest map or an Overworld map. It seems to be a random choice, and there is no control where you might end up. However, if you have the North American version of the game, then you will always end up in the Overworld map. There is no random number picker involved at this point in the game.
RNG In Speed Running
Speed Running a game is a technical term used by gamers which means to finish playing a game as fast as possible. These gamers practice hard to beat the game, but RNG always creates an element of surprise which can delay in ending the game. However, a random number picker can also prove beneficial with some good luck, challenges can be easy, and the game can be completed much faster.
I had already discussed the differences between True RNG and Pseudo RNG and the fact that gaming uses pseudo RNG which based on an algorithm. A few over-enthusiastic gamers use emulation utilities for analyzing games and identifying the loopholes, which can be used to manipulate the outcomes even though a random number generator algorithm is used. An algorithm based RNG uses a seed which is a combination of certain factors and generates a result in the game. This is the laws of Mathematics applied and as 1 + 1 always equals 2, similarly if the factors in the game, which bring the desired result, are known, then you can always achieve the same outcome. For example, if a game requires the player to choose a certain character with certain power-ups and the result would be an easy boss battle, then this pattern would be constant, and everyone who chooses the same options will have the same results. But for an average gamer, it would not be possible to do so, and pseudo RNG would always seem as true RNG.
Why Do Gamers Hate RNG?
Gamers can be categorized into competitive players, speedrunners, and average players. Any competitive player who has mastered the game techniques and moves would want to challenge other players, & win on the basis of skill, and would unquestionably hate it if the outcome was influenced by random number picker. Similarly, a speedrunner would want to complete the game as soon as possible and a random number generator algorithm would apply brakes by creating unknown and unexpected scenarios in a game every time.
Ideally, gamers would want to reduce the number of times they encounter a random number picker in a game to keep the entire gameplay and the outcome in their control. But this is only possible up to a certain extent. And when a gamer spends hours mastering a game’s character and moves, he would feel most frustrated when something random happens, and the entire strategy is messed up. Sometimes it does act as a blessing too but generally, it is a curse.
Although, random number picker is the only factor that keeps the game from being monotonous and brings in factors like curiosity and risk. For example, one of the most commonly played games, Tetris, where random blocks drop from the top each time you play the game. If the same block pattern was to put in, then it could be more of a memory game instead of a strategy one.
Who Is RNGesus?
Average players who only play to have fun or pass the time don’t care about the outcome of the game. But, skilled professional players who hate the idea to lose just because lady luck was not in their favor. Gamers who lose often blame their loss on evil RNG, which favored their opponents. Now where it is evil, there has to be a God – RNGesus.
Among the gamers worldwide, a new term has developed, RNGesus, which is more of wordplay with “Jesus”. As Jesus Christ is considered to be our savior in the real world, RNGesus is an imaginable entity created to save gamers from the ill effects of RNG. This is no proof of it anywhere, but started out as a myth, and has now spread across the gaming community like wildfire.
The Final Verdict on RNG – Good or Bad?
This is a difficult question to answer and definitely cannot have the same answer for everyone. While average gamers would state this as good, others enjoy the competitive spirit, but speed runs would claim random number picker to be a hindrance. The random number generator algorithm does keep the unpredictable and interesting each time you play the same level. It has become a crucial part of many games, offering variety, like Puzzles, card games, Role-Playing ones and many more. But for gamers that believe in skills as the only way to beat the game, RNG would undermine their potential and pull out something random from the box.
Games are meant to be played for fun and enjoyment. If you have a good RNG, you’d be able to get the best options despite low chances. In case of a bad RNG, you’ll get the worst outcome even if you had played the game exactly the way it should have been played. The truth is that it is not something that can be taken so seriously especially when it is based on a random number generator algorithm.