Long ago, games were very simple to control and play: you move around your character, hit something, and when you get a high enough score, you win. 

Today's games have become much more complex, and different mechanics and gameplay have been created to bring something new to the table. With new genres and subgenres to choose from, the gaming industry is constantly evolving different categories of gaming. 


In this article, we will learn more about game types and how they are different from each other, alongside examples of games that you might already be familiar with.

Discover the Difference Between Game Types (RTS, FPS, MOBA, Arcade, etc)
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The term RTS, standing for ‘Real-Time Strategy’ games, was initially used by Westwood Studios for their game Dune II. The term RTS came from players having to strategize in real-time and cope with the ever-changing landscape of the game while playing.

Discover the Difference Between Game Types (RTS, FPS, MOBA, Arcade, etc)
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RTS games often involve players building structures, recruiting units and upgrading them, while also gathering resources and defending their base from another player within the map. 


As opposed to turn-based strategy games where the mechanics are similar to chess, you don't have the luxury of waiting for your opponent's turn to see how they manage their base, resources, and units. 

Each player has to strategize on the fly as they play along to ensure that your base can defend itself from attacks or you gather enough units to attack another player.


While Dune II might be the first game to use the term real-time strategy, it wasn't until the early to late 90s when the RTS genre fully exploded and became a popular category. Games like Red Alert and Command and Conquer were very popular with players all over the world.


However, none can compare to the popularity of Blizzard's StarCraft. StarCraft is a real-time strategy game where players can choose from three different factions called Terran, Protoss, and Zerg. Each faction has its separate advantages and weaknesses which allows for more balanced gameplay.


First-person shooter games, commonly known as FPS, are one of the most popular genres of gaming. FPS games can have as many as millions of players playing a single game because of their skill expression. 

Discover the Difference Between Game Types (RTS, FPS, MOBA, Arcade, etc)
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First-person shooter games are typically played using the first-person perspective of the character and players will have to aim and shoot at opponents and take them down to win the game.

With so many shooter games currently available, there are bound to be some differences between games. FPS has broken off into different subcategories including battle royale like Fortnite and team-based shooter games like Overwatch

Many FPS games garner a lot of interest making it one of the few genres of gaming that is usually highlighted as a spectator sport.


Valorant is the perfect example of an FPS game that incorporates a team-based strategy while also allowing the player to have skill expressions with the character they have chosen to play. 

It is played with a team of five members with each character having a specific skillset. One team will have to plant the Spike and defend it while the other team will have to defuse it or eliminate all of the opposing team.

Valorant capitalizes on its characters, as well as the players that choose them, to bring fun and excitement to each game. No wonder Valorant is on its way to becoming a popular game with a solid esports scene.


A MOBA, or a multiplayer online battle arena, is a team-based strategy game where players, usually in a group of three or five choose a specific character and battle it out within a map with three lanes.

Discover the Difference Between Game Types (RTS, FPS, MOBA, Arcade, etc)
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Each player will have a designated role in the game that will help them win a match. Winning a game could mean eliminating all the enemy team members or destroying their base depending on the type of game you are playing.

First popularized around the early 2000s with a Warcraft mod game known as DOTA, the MOBA genre quickly garnered a lot of popularity by allowing players to express their skills and talent in these games through the characters they play. 

Teamwork is the ultimate key to winning games within the MOBA genre hence it is one of the most popular genres in gaming to be broadcasted as an esports event.

League of Legends

While DOTA was the first-ever popular MOBA game, League of Legends perfected the formula with its easy-to-understand, hard-to-master rules. Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game. Five player teams take on a side and the goal is to destroy the enemy base or the enemy Nexus.

Each player will choose a champion who gets to control the map. Champions have a unique set of abilities and while some are very easy to use, other champions in the game will need a lot of time and practice to master. 

With its constant updates and balance changes, and a very robust esports scene, League of Legends has regularly topped the charts as one of the most played games in the world since it was released over a decade ago.


RPG, or Role-playing game, is an umbrella term for a wide variety of games. While the RPG genre is one of the more diverse genres of gaming, the foundation of the game is all about getting to control a specific character for a long period. 

Players get to create and choose their character, equip them with items, learn new skills, and travel through a perilous world where they encounter monsters, complete missions, defeat bosses and solve puzzles along the way.

Some of the genre's subcategories include action-adventure RPGs where the game is heavily focused on providing action-oriented gameplay, or survival horror where your character must survive while also managing resources, solving puzzles, and crafting different weapons in the game.

The RPG category is a massive genre with so many subcategories to choose from. Your favorite game might even be within this genre of gaming.

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 is an action role-playing game set in a universe that is being threatened by an alien race called the Reapers set on destroying any living creature in the universe. Mass Effect 2 is a perfect example of an RPG that heavily focuses on action and storytelling. 

Players are kept on their feet with the action aspect of the game by learning new moves, upgrading items and ships, while also learning to navigate the morals of the character through different responses for each conversation in the game. 

The decisions you make along the way will affect the outcome of the game.


Platformer games are usually described as games where the character traverses through the game by jumping from one platform to another. Arcade games are usually platformer games where the game is divided into different levels for the player to accomplish. 

Discover the Difference Between Game Types (RTS, FPS, MOBA, Arcade, etc)
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Platformer games have essentially never changed since their inception in the early 1970s. Much of the genre's mechanics, including those that are very much alive thanks to arcades, have continued in many different platforms such as mobile devices and even on PC. 

Arcade and platformer games are very popular with indie game developers as well as those who want to have fun, retro games to play.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest is an aesthetically-pleasing platformer game. The player controls a forest spirit named Ori who sets on a journey to help revive the ailing forest after a cataclysmic event that also killed his adoptive mother. 

Set in a beautiful forest background with so much attention to detail, Ori and the Blind Forest is the epitome of a groundbreaking platformer game while also retaining the essence of what the genre is all about.

Fun, easy to control, yet still challenging to play, Ori and the Blind Forest takes the familiar mechanics of a platformer arcade game and elevates it into a very prestigious game that is poised to become an instant classic, to be played for many years to come.


The Sandbox genre is often used in many different games especially those that are open-ended and have no endgame in sight. Most of the other games mentioned in this list often have an endgame where players can either claim victory or can defeat the most difficult opponent in the game. 

Discover the Difference Between Game Types (RTS, FPS, MOBA, Arcade, etc)
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Sandbox games typically have no endings unless players reached a maximum level or have gathered all the items within the game. In these types of games, players often do not have a concrete goal. 

Most of these games are often survival games where players gather resources, build shelter, improve their gear, meet new people, and do activities that mimic normal life. 

The best part about sandbox games is that they encourage experimentation which is highly recommended in these types of games to make them more fun.

The Sims

The Sims is the perfect example of a sandbox game where you recreate a social world. First, you build a home for your character, get a job and go to work, meet other characters, start a family, and the list of activities goes on and on. 

With so many things to do, The Sims lets you play along with your character's life as if you are the character.

Apart from expanding your character and the universe around it, you can also take part in many activities with expansion titles of The Sims like Halloween in The Sims Spooky Stuff among many more.


Gaming covers a wide variety of genres, with each of them having its own unique and distinct feature that differentiates one genre from the next. 

With so many genres to choose from, there will always be a game to play for any kind of gamer out there.