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


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."

Stealth Master Stealth Master
"After a certain objective is completed, it tells you "You were better than X% of players!" This is false and could not be true, as the game does not require internet."

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
"The entire game is centered around chance"

Clash Royale Clash Royale
"Occasionally places you against weak opponents despite the skill-based matchmaking"

Merge Dragons! Merge Dragons!
"the game uses the playerbase as beta testers, so some people get perks that others don't."

"When you play with low level legends (Each champion or legend has individual leveling) the game pits you against bots that are very weak and play awfully to give you a sense of power that vanishes once you play against real people."

Evony: The King's Return Evony: The King's Return
"if you spend money"