Hate (video gaming)

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Hate (also threat or aggro) is a mechanism used in many MMORPGs, as well as in some RPGs, by which mobs (enemies controlled by the system) prioritize which characters to attack.[1] The player who generates the most hate on a mob will be preferentially attacked by that mob. The act of initiating such situation is called "getting aggro" or "pulling aggro."[2]

The character with the highest amount of hate relative to his allies has aggro. The threat list or threat table is the ordering of players by the amount of hate they have generated. Some mobs have fight mechanics that will ignore hate completely, change which player has aggro despite hate, or periodically reset the threat list, resetting all hate to 0.


For most characters, hate is an undesirable side effect of their attack on an enemy. However, a type of character called a tank deliberately pulls aggro towards themself, and away from other player characters.[3]

To do this, the tank is typically the first to attack an enemy, and may have powers or skills designed to draw the enemy's attention. The tank has a high amount of defense and health to survive constant attacks of mobs.[4]

Hate calculation[edit]

A game may calculate hate generated by a player on a mob based using factors such as:

  • Whether the mob is set to attack players on sight (aggressive).
  • The distance between the mob and the player. The area in which a player automatically gets hate or aggro is called the Aggro Radius.[2]
  • The relative strength of the player compared to the mob.
  • How much damage has been dealt to the mob by the player.
  • Debuffs and status effects inflicted on the mob by the player.
  • Heals and buffs given by the player to other players or NPCs (such as pets) who are attacking the mob.
  • Status effects on the player, such as invincibility, sleep, and death, which make them more or less favorable to attack.
  • Hate generating or reducing abilities (such as taunts or invisibility) used by the player.
  • Time elapsed since the player last generated hate on the NPC.

Hate can also be manipulated to deter a mob from attacking. A player may use a hate-reducing ability, ask another player to generate more hate than themself, run away or move to a distant position, or stop generating hate and wait for the mob to attack someone else. In many games, a player who is defeated or killed has the hate mobs have on them reduced to zero.


  1. ^ Kaelin, Mark (3 May 2006). "Playing a MMORPG is not all fun and games, you better have the right vocabulary". Tech Republic. CBS Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b Carless, Simon (2004). Gaming Hacks. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". p. 429. ISBN 0596007140. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  3. ^ Timothy, Rowlands (15 January 2012). Video Game Worlds: Working at Play in the Culture of EverQuest. Left Coast Press. p. 61. ISBN 1611320690. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  4. ^ Towers, J. Tarin; Badertscher, Ken; Cunningham, Wayne; Buskirk, Laura (1996). Yahoo! Wild Web Rides. IDG Books Worldwide Inc. p. 152. ISBN 0-7645-7003-X. A tank in a typical fantasy MUD is the character who, alone or in a group, is always the first to attack a monster. A mob will direct its attacks at the first person that hits it, so in a group the tank is generally some character with enough hit points to withstand this punishment. Meanwhile the others hack safely away at the adversary — at least until the tank is killed and somebody else becomes the lucky target. Some MUDs now have monsters that can switch their attacks to other characters in the group, so the tank approach doesn't work as well with them.