Friendly Fire

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Attacks from members in the same team that cause damage.

Friendly Fire existing in games where attacks can affect enemies and friends alike. This typically makes players have to be more careful with how the act in combat environments.


Most examples of Friendly Fire do unsurprisingly come from combat-oriented games, mainly First-Person Shooters. The Left 4 Dead series has Friendly Fire except on the easy difficulty mode, America's Army has it as a consequence of wanting to be realistic and harshly punished players who do it, and it is available as server-side options for the Team Fortress series. The Battlefield series has Friendly Fire in different varieties for each game, sometimes having it deactivated as default, sometimes letting it have less effect that enemy fire. It exists both in the early isometric versions and in the later 3D version of Fallout series, but here it is not other players but companions that can be the targets or perpetrators of the Friendly Fire.

The Dragon Age series have Friendly Fire in the same way as the Left 4 Dead series - it exists on all difficult levels except the easiest.

The web site Giant Bomb has an extensive list of games with Friendly Fire[1].

Using the pattern

Making Friendly Fire possible in games basically consists of letting Combat rules and Death Consequences affect other members in players' own Teams. This makes the presence of Teams in combination with Player Killing or Companions that can be killed a requirement for having the pattern.

The risk of achieving Friendly Fire can be modulated by giving players some extra information about how is how, for example by changing or augmenting the appearance of Crosshairs depending on whom one is aiming at.


Friendly Fire modifies the way players can engage in Aim & Shoot activities as part of Combat while playing Multiplayer Games with Teams. The risk of hitting team members, either other players or Companions, make Friendly Fire give more Challenging Gameplay while at the same time supporting Thematic Consistency - at least in games which try to simulate real world weapons. When part of Optional Rules, selecting Friendly Fire in Team-based games is one way of setting Difficulty Levels, or as an alternative Friendly Fire may not be present on easy Difficulty Levels.

Friendly Fire can easily spark of Internal Rivalry in Teams and create Scapegoats for Teams failures, but also make it difficult to maintain the rivalry for a longer time since violence can end the conflict quickly. When Friendly Fire does occur but fails to create these effects, in can instead create Spectacular Failure Enjoyment.


Can Instantiate

Challenging Gameplay, Internal Rivalry, Scapegoats, Spectacular Failure Enjoyment, Thematic Consistency

with Optional Rules

Difficulty Levels

Can Modulate

Aim & Shoot, Combat, Companions, Teams

Can Be Instantiated By

Player Killing together with Teams

Can Be Modulated By

Crosshairs, Death Consequences

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Internal Rivalry


New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. Page on the Giant Bomb web site for games with Friendly Fire.