Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

In the world of video games, the characters that players interact with and control are known as in-game characters. These characters come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, each with their own unique personalities, abilities, and backstories. From the heroic protagonists to the diabolical villains, in-game characters are what make video games the immersive and captivating experiences that they are. But what are these characters called? Are they simply referred to as “characters” or do they have specific names and titles? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the various names and titles used for in-game characters in some of the most popular video games today.

Quick Answer:
In popular video games, in-game characters are often referred to as “NPCs” or “non-player characters.” These are characters that are controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence and interact with the player character. Examples of NPCs can be found in games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, where they are known as “Fallo’n,” and in World of Warcraft, where they are referred to as “mobs.”

Types of In-Game Characters

Playable Characters

In-game characters that can be controlled by the player during gameplay are referred to as playable characters. These characters are central to the game’s storyline and are often designed to have unique abilities and strengths that enable them to overcome challenges and defeat enemies.

Definition of Playable Characters

Playable characters are in-game characters that can be controlled by the player during gameplay. These characters are often designed to have unique abilities and strengths that enable them to overcome challenges and defeat enemies. The player assumes the role of the playable character and navigates through the game world, completing tasks and objectives.

Examples of Popular Playable Characters in Different Genres of Games

There are numerous examples of popular playable characters in different genres of games. In first-person shooter games, playable characters often have access to a variety of weapons and are skilled in combat. In role-playing games, playable characters may have unique abilities and skills, such as magic or stealth, that enable them to overcome challenges. In sports games, playable characters are often based on real-life athletes and are designed to reflect their abilities on the field.

Characteristics of Playable Characters

Playable characters are often designed with specific characteristics that make them unique and interesting to players. These characteristics may include physical attributes, such as height or weight, as well as personality traits, such as bravery or intelligence. Playable characters may also have specific strengths and weaknesses that affect their performance in the game. For example, a playable character in a racing game may be skilled at drifting, but may struggle with tight turns. Understanding these characteristics can help players make informed decisions and strategies during gameplay.

Non-Playable Characters (NPCs)

Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) are in-game characters that are not controlled by a player. They are pre-programmed to follow specific scripts and engage in various interactions with the player-controlled characters or the game environment. NPCs are an essential element of many video games, as they add depth and realism to the game world.

Examples of popular NPCs in different genres of games include:

  • In role-playing games (RPGs), NPCs often serve as quest givers, merchants, or party members. Examples include Navi from The Legend of Zelda series, who serves as a guide to the player, and Moogles from the Final Fantasy series, who serve as travel agents and vendors.
  • In first-person shooters (FPS), NPCs often serve as enemies or allies. Examples include the Combine soldiers from the Half-Life series, who serve as enemies, and the Vortigaunts, who serve as allies.
  • In simulation games, NPCs often serve as residents or workers in the game world. Examples include the Sims from the eponymous series, who serve as virtual people for the player to control, and the citizens of the city in SimCity, who serve as residents and workers in the player’s virtual city.

Characteristics of NPCs include:

  • They are pre-programmed to follow specific scripts and behaviors.
  • They can be either friendly or hostile towards the player.
  • They can be non-interactive, only providing information or serving as decoration, or interactive, engaging in dialogue and responding to the player’s actions.
  • They can have their own schedules and routines, adding a sense of realism to the game world.


Definition of Bosses

In popular video games, bosses refer to in-game characters that serve as formidable enemies or opponents. These characters are often featured as the final challenges in various levels or stages, and their defeat is required to progress further in the game. Bosses are designed to be more powerful and difficult to defeat than regular enemies, with unique abilities and strengths that require special strategies to overcome.

Examples of Popular Bosses in Different Genres of Games

There are numerous examples of bosses in popular video games across different genres. In role-playing games (RPGs), bosses may take the form of legendary creatures or powerful warlords. In first-person shooters, bosses may be enemy commanders or giant robotic enemies. In platformers, bosses may be large, menacing creatures guarding important areas. In fighting games, bosses may be formidable warriors or other legendary characters.

Characteristics of Bosses

Bosses are typically characterized by their unique abilities and strengths, which make them challenging opponents. They often have multiple phases or forms, requiring players to adapt their strategies as they progress. Bosses may also have powerful attacks or special moves that can inflict significant damage to the player. In addition, bosses are often associated with important story elements, such as serving as the main antagonist or representing a significant challenge for the player to overcome.

Character Design

Physical Design

Physical design plays a crucial role in the overall appearance and appeal of in-game characters. The elements of physical design include appearance, size, and movement.

  • Appearance: In-game characters’ appearance refers to their visual representation, including their physical features, clothing, and accessories. This includes factors such as facial features, body shape, skin tone, and hairstyle.
  • Size: The size of in-game characters can vary significantly, from small and agile to large and cumbersome. This can affect the character’s mobility and combat abilities, as well as their interactions with the game world.
  • Movement: In-game characters’ movement can be influenced by their physical design, including factors such as weight, balance, and agility. This can affect their ability to move and interact with the game world, as well as their performance in combat and other activities.

In addition to these elements, the characteristics of different physical designs in in-game characters can vary widely. For example, some characters may have realistic, human-like appearances, while others may have more fantastical or stylized designs. Some characters may be designed to be highly detailed and realistic, while others may have a more cartoonish or exaggerated appearance.

Overall, physical design is a critical aspect of in-game character creation, as it can significantly impact the player’s experience and perception of the game world. By carefully considering the elements of physical design, game developers can create in-game characters that are both visually appealing and mechanically functional.

Personality Design

Personality design is a crucial aspect of in-game character creation, as it contributes significantly to the overall gaming experience. It encompasses various elements that shape the character’s identity and help players connect emotionally with the game.

  • Importance of personality design in in-game characters
    • Provides a sense of immersion: Personality design allows players to become invested in the characters and their stories, enhancing the overall immersion in the game world.
    • Fosters emotional connections: By developing distinct personalities for in-game characters, players can form emotional connections with them, making the gaming experience more engaging and memorable.
    • Drives narrative and gameplay: Personality design plays a vital role in driving the narrative and gameplay, as it influences the characters’ actions, dialogues, and interactions with the player.
  • Elements of personality design
    • Traits: Traits refer to the unique characteristics that define a character’s personality, such as intelligence, courage, or humor. They help create a distinct identity for each character and make them stand out in the game world.
    • Dialogue: Dialogue is a critical element of personality design, as it reveals the character’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations. Well-written dialogue can make characters feel more lifelike and relatable to players.
    • Behavior: Behavior encompasses the actions and reactions of characters in various situations. It provides insight into their personality and helps players understand their motivations and desires.
  • Characteristics of different personality designs in in-game characters
    • Protagonist: Protagonists often possess traits such as determination, courage, and empathy. They drive the game’s narrative and are usually the player’s alter ego in the game world.
    • Antagonist: Antagonists are often characterized by traits such as ambition, cunning, and ruthlessness. They create conflict and opposition for the protagonist, driving the game’s story forward.
    • Supporting characters: Supporting characters can have a wide range of personalities, from loyal and friendly to eccentric and quirky. They provide depth to the game world and often serve as allies or mentors to the protagonist.

In conclusion, personality design is a crucial aspect of in-game character creation, as it shapes the characters’ identity, drives the narrative, and fosters emotional connections with players. By carefully crafting the elements of personality design, game developers can create memorable and engaging characters that contribute significantly to the overall gaming experience.

Cultural Significance

In-game characters have become an integral part of popular culture, and their impact can be seen in various aspects of society. These characters have the ability to transcend the boundaries of the game world and become cultural icons that are recognized and celebrated by fans worldwide.

Examples of in-game characters that have become cultural icons

One of the most iconic in-game characters is Mario, the protagonist of the Mario series. Created by Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario has been a part of popular culture since his first appearance in the 1981 game, “Donkey Kong.” Over the years, Mario has become a symbol of gaming culture and has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, and other forms of media.

Another example is the character Lara Croft, the protagonist of the Tomb Raider series. Created by Core Design, Lara Croft first appeared in the 1996 game, “Tomb Raider.” Since then, she has become a cultural icon and a symbol of female empowerment in gaming. Lara Croft has appeared in films, comics, and other forms of media, and has even been featured in a stage show.

Characteristics of in-game characters that contribute to their cultural significance

In-game characters become cultural icons due to a combination of factors, including their design, personality, and backstory. Characters that are well-designed and have unique personalities tend to be more memorable and enduring. For example, Mario’s design, with his distinctive red and blue overalls and “M” emblem, has become an instantly recognizable symbol of gaming culture.

In addition to their design and personality, in-game characters’ backstories also play a significant role in their cultural significance. Characters with rich backstories that are full of mythology and lore tend to be more compelling and memorable. For example, Lara Croft’s backstory, which includes her family history and her quest for ancient artifacts, has helped to make her a more complex and interesting character.

Overall, in-game characters have become an important part of popular culture, and their impact can be seen in various aspects of society. Their design, personality, and backstory all contribute to their cultural significance, and they continue to inspire and captivate fans worldwide.


1. What are in-game characters called in popular video games?

In-game characters in popular video games are typically referred to as non-playable characters (NPCs). NPCs are characters in a video game that are controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence and are not played by a human player. They are often used to provide a sense of realism and immersion in the game world, as well as to advance the game’s story or provide information to the player.

2. What are some examples of NPCs in popular video games?

There are many examples of NPCs in popular video games. In the game “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” for example, NPCs include merchants, guards, and townspeople who the player can interact with in various ways. In the game “Fallout 4,” NPCs include characters such as settlers, raiders, and Brotherhood of Steel members who the player can recruit to join their team. In the game “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” NPCs include characters such as merchants, craftsmen, and warriors who the player can interact with and trade with.

3. How do NPCs interact with the player in popular video games?

In popular video games, NPCs interact with the player in a variety of ways. They may provide information or quests to the player, or they may attack the player if they are hostile characters. They may also engage in dialogue with the player, offering opinions or asking questions. Some NPCs may have romantic relationships with the player character, while others may be rivals or enemies. The way that NPCs interact with the player can greatly affect the player’s experience of the game and the story that unfolds.

Asking A.I. What Game Characters Would Look Like in Real Life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *