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A phase in a gameplay instance where eliminate goals, typically directed at other players, are predominant.

Some games have distinct phases in their gameplay. Extermination is the one where the focus is upon eliminating, in most cases other players.


The concept of an Extermination phase way coined to describe the final gameplay phase of Master of Orion. The Civilization series provides a weaker example since eliminating other players is only one of several end strategy one can have to win those games.

Using the pattern

The main challenges of designing Extermination phases is to make sure that the gameplay has several distinct gameplay phases in which different actions and goals dominate. Not too surprising, Extermination requires the strong presence of Eliminate goals, typically made possible by Combat or players' experiencing Game Over events. Delaying the most powerful Units related to Combat until the appropriate time is a typically strategy for controlling when Extermination is to begin.

Extermination is, often voluntary, the last phase in several games, especially X4 games[1] such as Master of Orion. The name for this category of games comes from the typical phases of (Game World) Exploration, Expansion, Exploitation, and Extermination.


Extermination intensified or provokes PvP gameplay and can increase the likelihood of Player Elimination if it is possible at all. For this reason, it is often used as Endgame phases, and quite likely creates Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses - especially if Player Elimination is possible.

By placing Extermination as an Endgame phase, it works against Early Elimination of players. By being a phase during game instances, Extermination is difficult to combine with Quick Games as these seldom are long enough to contain phases.


Can Instantiate

Endgame, Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses, Player Elimination, PvP

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

Combat, Eliminate, Game Over

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Early Elimination, Quick Games


New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. Wikipedia entry for 4X games