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Quests which are optional to a game's main quest structure.

Games that are built around players solving quests can have several types of quests. Sidequests are the ones that are not part of a larger main quest but instead are optional.


Sidequests are most commonly found in Computer-based Roleplaying Games since they usually have extensive worlds and storylines. Examples of such games include the Dragon Age series, the Elder Scrolls series, and the Fallout series. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series is an example of a First-Person Shooter using Sidequests.

Using the pattern

Designing Sidequests are quite similar to designing Quests in general. However, Sidequests assumes the presence of Main Quests since they would otherwise be ordinary Quests.

Although not part of the main series of Quests in a game, Sidequests can be linked together to provide their own Hierarchy of Goals and they can be incompatible with each other by making their goals be Incompatible Goals. One such example is Companion Quests that can be used to progress story arcs of Companions.

Sidequests functionally differ from Achievements by having Rewards but also differ through often being integrated in the Predetermined Story Structures of a game. Even so, Achievements may be considered an alternative to Sidequests.

Interface Aspects

Sidequests can add significantly to the amount of active Quests in a game. For this reason, games using them often provide the information about them in Secondary Interface Screens.

Narrative Aspects

Sidequests, like Quests, are narration patterns. They can specifically be used to offer depth or detail to the Predetermined Story Structures related to Companions and Factions without forcing players to have to ally themselves with them.


Sidequests are Quests that allow the Main Quests of games to be complemented with Optional Goals. These can be Supporting Goals since they can provide Rewards and Abstract Player Construct Development or Character Development like other Quests, and provide players with a Freedom of Choice on how much of the game to explore.

When games have Sidequests that are incompatible with each other, or have more Sidequests than can reasonably be completed in one game session, their existence supports Replayability of the games. Sidequests that have Incompatible Goals to each other allows players to perform Character Defining Actions for Characters by choosing between these incompatible Sidequests.


Can Instantiate

Freedom of Choice, Optional Goals, Predetermined Story Structures, Quests, Replayability, Supporting Goals

with Characters

Character Defining Actions

Can Modulate

Companions, Factions, Main Quests

Can Be Instantiated By

Companion Quests

Can Be Modulated By

Hierarchy of Goals, Incompatible Goals, Secondary Interface Screens

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.