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Theorycraft (or theorycrafting) is the mathematical analysis of game mechanics, usually in video games, to discover optimal strategies and tactics. Theorycraft often involves analyzing hidden systems or underlying game code in order to glean information that is not apparent during normal gameplay.[1] The term has been said to come from Starcraft players as a portmanteau of "StarCraft" and "game theory".[2] Theorycraft is similar to analyses performed in sports or other games, such as baseball's sabermetrics.

Theorycraft is prominent in multiplayer games, where players attempt to gain competitive advantage by analyzing game systems. As a result, theorycraft can lower barriers between players and game designers. Game designers must consider that players will have a comprehensive understanding of game systems; and players can influence design by exploiting game systems and discovering dominant or unintended strategies.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bonnie Nardi (2 June 2010). My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft. University of Michigan Press. pp. 137–142. ISBN 0-472-02671-2. 
  2. ^ "Theorycraft". Retrieved 13 March 2016. The term originated in the Starcraft community as composite colloquialism between the name Starcraft and Game Theory. 
  3. ^ "Optimizing Play: How Theorycraft Changes Gameplay and Design". Retrieved 13 March 2016. The growth in the role of theorycrafting offers room to analyze how games change over time and how players can influence a game’s design by reshaping how they play..