Team Strategy Identification

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Discovering and deciding on a team strategy, often based upon using synergies.

Some games encourage or force players to work together. A part of working together is discovering how one's actions can be coordinated into supporting each other, and succeeding in finding such cases are examples of Team Strategy Identification.

Note: The use of 'team' in the name of this pattern refers to any type of cooperation between players rather than the more formalized cooperation that the pattern Teams describe.


Quite naturally, Team Strategy Identification occurs in games where players need to cooperate. This is given in games where players either play in teams, e.g. Soccer, Counter-Strike, and Bridge, or in those where players need to work together against the game system or game environment. Examples of games where the latter can promote Team Strategy Identification include Forbidden Island, Left 4 Dead series, Space Alert, and Yggdrasil.

Using the pattern

Team Strategy Identification requires that players have other players to work together with and that they have a reason to find strategies. This means that the pattern relies on Multiplayer Games and typically make use of more or less formalized structures for groups of players, e.g. Guilds, Parties, or Teams. These can provide common goals which encourage common strategies or be ways for people that wish to cooperate to find like-minded. Providing external threats, either through other Teams or by PvE gameplay, is another way to motivate players to find common strategies. In games where players have Internal Conflicts, the goal of Team Strategy Identification can be to minimize losses within the player group or to evenly balance negative effects. Team Strategy Identification can also be encouraged in games where players have different Characters that have Orthogonal Differentiation in Abilities or Powers but where they still need to work as a Team.

An exception to the rule that Team Strategy Identification needs multiple players is when AI Players can be used. In this case human players need to figure out how the AI Players function, or to which level they can negotiate over strategies.

Interface Aspects

The presences of Mini-maps can help with Team Strategy Identification in games with Teams since in these cases the Mini-maps can show the location of team members and players can to a certain extent find strategies solely on the knowledge of where the other players are.


Negotiation is a typically consequence of trying to reach Team Strategy Identification. When strategies related to this are successfully identified, these can be perceived as Team Accomplishments and be Social Rewards for those active in the identification. Both identifying the strategy and being a part of that strategy can give a sense of Togetherness. A typical result of Team Strategy Identification is the discovery or planned use of Team Combos.

The possibility of Team Strategy Identification in games is likely to cause Stimulated Planning (at least as long some players recognize this possibility).


Can Instantiate

Negotiation, Team Accomplishments, Team Combos, Social Rewards, Stimulated Planning, Togetherness

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

Internal Conflicts

Characters together with Orthogonal Differentiation and Teams

Mini-maps together with Teams

Multiplayer Games together with Guilds, Parties, PvE, or Teams

Can Be Modulated By

AI Players

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



A pattern first identified in Exploring Aesthetical Gameplay Design Patterns – Camaraderie in Four Games[1].


  1. Bergström, K., Björk, S. & Lundgren, S. (2010). Exploring Aesthetic Gameplay Design Patterns – Camaraderie in Four Games. Paper presentation at Mindtrek 2010. Tampere, Finland.