Clan (video gaming)

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"Clan Wars" redirects here. For a PC game by Team17, see Worms: Clan Wars.

In computer and video gaming, a Clan, Guild or Faction is an organized group of players that regularly play together in particular (or various) multiplayer games. Some people might say that a "clan" or "guild" becomes like a family, and that all opinions and decisions represent each single member in the "clan" or "guild".[1] These games range from groups of a few friends to 4000-person organizations, with a broad range of structures, goals and members. The lifespan of a clan also varies considerably, from a few weeks or months to over a decade. Numerous clans exist for nearly every online game available today, notably in first-person shooters, massively multiplayer games, role-playing video games, and strategy games. There are also meta-groups that span a wide variety of games.

Clans in FPSs[edit]

As the First-Person Shooter, or FPS, became increasingly popular the idea of a competitive clan became widely accepted. Clans became teams, or elite clan members form teams to represent the clan in online battle.[2]

FPS clans normally host servers with rules that they like. For instance if a group of gamers like to use pistols only they could join a clan that runs a pistols only server and the clan would enforce the rules. So it is important to join a clan that has server rules you enjoy or you could easily find yourself booted from the clan.

Clans in RPGs[edit]

Clans also exist in other genres, where they are often referred to by a different name and serve a purpose more suited to the game. Many online massively multiplayer and role-playing video games tend to call them "guilds" or invent their own term.

Examples of this include Star Wars Galaxies ("player associations"[3]) and EVE Online ("corporations",[4]). EVE Online is also notable for having defined the system in more detail than is common in most MMOs, with "alliances" being a larger grouping. In the superhero-based game City of Heroes, they are called "supergroups", and are similar in structure to comic book hero organizations like the X-Men. Lastly, in Final Fantasy XI, such clans are called "linkshells" and players of the game have the tendency and ability to be in more than one at once.

Clans in simulation games[edit]

See main article Virtual Airline

Many simulation games, such as those in the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, have clans that follow similar patterns to other genres. One notable type of simulation clan are Virtual Airlines. A Virtual airline (VA) is a dedicated hobby organization that uses flight simulation to model the operations of an airline. Virtual Airlines generally have a presence on the Internet, similar to a real airline. It has been proposed that there are over 100 Virtual Airlines of significance currently active, with tens of thousands of participants at any one time.[5]

Clans in MMOGs[edit]

Clans in MMOGs can range from several to several thousand. For example, in ROBLOX, one of the top multiplayer games in the United States, a clan is called a 'group'. Depending on the genre the owner chooses, it can be termed in any way.


Ro-Nations are groups which are made into countries. There are also groups which have been made for administration of Ro-Nations such as the United Nations and other groups depicting international organisations in real life.

Military groups are one of the most popular genres. The biggest and most popular group, the First Encounter Assault Recon (also known as FEAR), led by SONICTHEHEDGEHOGXX, has more than 153 thousand members. There are also smaller reenactment groups which take the name of military divisions, such as the 1st Armoured Division, led by YoursMostTruly (which currently is being reformed) and the 1st Infantry Division (led by DwightClark) which has 3100 members. There are also groups such as the Deutsches Afrika Korps (led by DesertFox) and certain German WWII divisions. One of the most famous of these German groups is the New Holy Roman Imperium, led by Mondkaiserkreig (previously known as Lewisado, VonLewisado, VonTuff, VonSieg, HerrKreig and EmperorKronenzoren), who has been named 'the father of German clans'. Many of these groups are based on political ideologies.

Fan groups do not take the name of any group but rather are made to bring together users to share their opinions on the fan group topic. For example, there is the Anime fan community.


  1. ^ "Helping Parents Get Set - A Family Guide to Games" (pdf). Microsoft. 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  2. ^ Wagner, Michael (2007). Friedrich von Borries, Steffen P. Walz, Matthias Böttger, ed. Space Time Play: Computer Games, Architecture and Urbanism - the Next Level. Birkhauser Verlag AG. p. 183. ISBN 978-3-7643-8414-2. 
  3. ^ "Star Wars Galaxies - Glossary". Retrieved 2007-11-17. "A Player association is a group of players who have formalized their group using the in-game tools." 
  4. ^ "EVE Online Frequently Asked Questions, Corporations". Retrieved 2007-11-17. "Corporations are groups of players joining together for a common goal or purpose, much like guilds or clans in other games." 
  5. ^ Mark, Robert (1999). Professional Pilot Career Guide. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 330. ISBN 0-07-134691-0. 

Further reading[edit]