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Game actions the result in new players being invited to join the game.

Some games allow, or may even need, players to arrive after specific game instances have started. While this can be handled informally by players and facilitators like game masters in many cases, the games themselves can provide Invites, game actions that allow players to try to recruit new players and possibly get in-game rewards for doing so.


FarmVille and Mafia Wars allow players to try and recruit new people to the game. By doing so they get other players that are likely to help them with the various tasks the games challenges them with.

The Left 4 Dead series uses the Steam platform to make it easy to invite other players owning the game to quickly join ongoing games.

Using the pattern

Invites are mechanized ways for players to invite new people to play the game, often automatically making them part of Friend Lists. As such, they require some kind of medium which allows the games to perform Extra-Game Broadcasting in order to reach non-players; this typically means that they require internet connectivity. Given that they are actions handled by the game system to add more players to game instances, the games that are to include Invites need to already support Late Arriving Players or Drop-In/Drop-Out gameplay. They make most sense in games with very many players, i.e. Massively Single-Player Online Games and Massively Multiplayer Online Games, but may also be important for games relying heavily on Cooperation, e.g. the Left 4 Dead series.

Using Invites may be motivated by the players' context, e.g. adjusting Team Balance by recruiting new Team members. This may not only be to get better Cooperation in one's own team but also getting a more Challenging Gameplay by improving the other team. Games existing on social media sites, e.g. Combine on Facebook, show another reason for Invites - Bragging through Extra-Game Broadcasting about new positions in local and Global High Score Lists and thereby taunting others to try and beat them.

While games may provide players who successfully invite other people with Rewards, FarmVille shows that Invites can also be packaged as Rewards waiting for the new possible players.


Invites are wholly or partly Extra-Game Actions. When used to get aid they are a sort of Non-Player Help in that they ask people not playing a game to join for this reason.


Can Instantiate

Extra-Game Actions, Non-Player Help, Rewards

Can Modulate

Cooperation, Drop-In/Drop-Out, Friend Lists, Late Arriving Players, Massively Multiplayer Online Games, Massively Single-Player Online Games, Teams

Can Be Instantiated By

Extra-Game Broadcasting

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects

Potentially Conflicting With


New pattern created in this wiki.