Illusion of Control

The game cheats or hides information to make you think you're better than you actually are.

Games may make you think that you are getting better and better, when in reality you are just unlocking better tools inside the game. Perhaps the game doesn't even have a component of skill at all and it just makes you feel like you have some amount control over the outcome. If a game is doing this, it is trying to make you feel like your apparent skill is greater than your actual skill.

For example, a claw machine doesn't always grab at full force, it cheats and makes it impossible to grab an item until it decides it's time to give a prize. This makes you feel like you did a good job at aiming the claw and that you are getting better, even though it's random chance.

Another way that games manipulate information to make you feel more skilled than you actually are is by grouping players into isolated worlds. These are sometimes called "shards". In a competitive game with a single leaderboard, it would be very discouraging to have a rank of 124,204. Instead, what games do is they break people up into tiny groups or shards. Maybe only a few thousand people per shard, and you only compete with those people. Your rank may be 283 which sounds a lot better. Being the 283rd best player in the world is pretty encouraging, but the game doesn't tell you that you are only competing against a small percentage of the players. This makes you feel like you are more skilled than you actually are.

Games may also randomize the difficulty of the game to make it more interesting. This is why you may get an easy level immediately following a difficult level. If the difficulty secretly becomes easier, you may feel like your skill has increased when it really hasn't and this feeling of control may get you to play the game more often.
Citations and SourcesWikipedia :: Illusion of control


Mighty DOOM Mighty DOOM
"I suppose there is a lot of scaling and biased algorithm (random upgrades when you level up during a run)"

Rocket League Sideswipe Rocket League Sideswipe
"When you won. There are offen Special effects."

Coin Dozer Coin Dozer
"Rare items such as prizes and powerups often spawn right next a pit, and makes you think you can push to the center where they can be collected."

Obey Me! #Shall we date? Obey Me! #Shall we date?
"When UR+ came into the game, even if it was less levels than UR cards, it would be pretty OP from my experience."

"Sort of, in the arena you battle against people your level, as well as competing to get to the highest tower level for rewards against people around your level, which makes it seem like you are close to being the best"

Kawaii Home Design Kawaii Home Design
"The game can make you feel that you're good at designing, or better than the others if you're high in ranking. Is it real though? After days and days of playing this mobile game, are you a professional interior designer now?"

Sky: Children of the Light Sky: Children of the Light
"A lot of people think they are better than others or cooler than them just because they have rare or exclusive or limited cosmetics."

Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS
"Maxed OP weapon, lots of 2 (good) items that can be used when playing a mission."

Disney Emoji Blitz Disney Emoji Blitz
"I don’t have a way of proving this but I’m fairly certian the daily wheel is rigged or at least deceptive. You spin it for a daily reward and there are two big prizes that together make up >10% of the circle. I have spun the wheel at least fifty times (minimum) and never won."

Baseball Superstars 2020 Baseball Superstars 2020
"making players have very easy opponents so you feel better playing them than other players."