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The act of a player to abandon a game instance in acknowledgment of being beat.

Many games recognize one player as a winner of a game instance in some way. Those that do naturally give players the goal of being the winner, but can also make players that perceive that they have no chance of winning decide that the best thing they can do is Surrendering and start doing something else.


Two-players competitive Board Games with perfect information, e.g. Chess or Go, have well-established traditions that Surrendering is socially accepted and a way of indicating that one perceives the other player to have bested oneself.

The act of folding in Poker or Texas Hold'em can be seen as a form of Surrendering.

Online Games such as League of Legends, the Left 4 Dead series and the DoTA series have problems in different degrees of players leaving a game when they perceive that they cannot win but long before the gameplay is intended to end. This is called "ragequitting" when this is done due to frustration with how team mates behave.

Using the pattern

While Surrendering may be seen as a Negative Pattern, it is that only way to end participation in Unwinnable Games. The possibility of perceiving a Predictable Winner which is not oneself can trigger a wish for Surrendering but a more specific form of Surrendering, Ragequitting, can occur when actions from a player or from that player's Team members causes the player to become so frustrated that the quit in anger. Of course, whole Teams can decide to surrender to another team.

If Surrendering is a wanted behavior of players or one as a design wants to mitigate the effects of it on other players, implementing a Possibility of Graceful Surrender can make gameplay possible for other players after the surrender with little or no negative effects; this of course in one sense also encourages Surrendering.

The likelihood of players Surrendering can be lessened by making it more difficult to judge who is the winner and thereby mask for players in the worst positions that they are likely to lose. Both End State Scoring and Secret Goals can be used for this. In contrast, Bluffing can increase the chances of players Surrendering if other players skillfully bluff that they seem to be in a better situation than they actually are (an important part of games like Poker and Texas Hold'em).


Surrendering causes Early Elimination and Early Leaving Players through self-inflicted Player Elimination. It also creates Unsynchronized Game Sessions when it occurs if gameplay still can continue. It can be seen as a modulation of Last Man Standing since it provides an alternative way for players to be eliminated, but since this exists for free in all games and Surrendering is rarely a positive experience there is seldom design rationales to encourage Surrendering in relation to Last Man Standing.

In conjunction with Late Arriving Players it formally supports Drop-In/Drop-Out but only as long as the design of Surrendering actions does not ruin other players' gameplay.


Can Instantiate

Early Elimination, Early Leaving Players, Player Elimination, Unsynchronized Game Sessions

with Late Arriving Players


Can Modulate

Last Man Standing, Teams

Can Be Instantiated By

Predictable Winner, Possibility of Graceful Surrender, Ragequitting, Unwinnable Games

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

End State Scoring, Secret Goals


New pattern created in this wiki.