The Bartle Test


Yes, as a player you can be defined, and with surprising accuracy too.

In 1978 a man by the name of Richard Bartle, along with Roy Trubshaw, would create the world’s very first MUD (multi user dungeon). For those of you newer to computer games, imagine an all text based, no graphics, MMO, and you have a MUD. Now imagine how cutting edge that would be in 1978. MUD’s were popular up through the mid 90’s even making the transition from BBS’s to the internet.

Bartle, who has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, would go on to write a study on what he defined as the four player archetypes found in MUD’s (and later MMO’s). These archetypes were achievers (diamonds), explorers (spades), socializers (hearts), and killers (clubs).

In the mid 90’s a named named Erwin Andreasen would create an electronic version of the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology. And yes, you can take this test. It only requires a couple minutes of your time and you may find it uncannily accurate.

The test can be found here.

So what did it say about me?

I’m what’s known as a “KEAS”.

“KEAS players are often individuals who like to feel immersed in a virtual worlds and see themselves as a great villain or crusader within that world. They seek out challenges against other players, but they are going to find all the areas of that world. They’ll often know about the best hiding places and ambush points.”

My percentage breakdown was: Achiever 46.67%, Explorer 60.00%, Killer 86.67%, Socializer 26.67%

I have to admit… my friends and I all had a good laugh. They’re all too familiar with me dragging them off to world PVP at some new hot-spot or ambush point I’ve found. (My favorite in pre-Burning Crusade WoW was the fallen tree above the road in Felwood.)

When it comes to game design it’s interesting to guess what player archetypes the designers had in mind. For WoW, my guess is the priorities were, Achiever, Socializer, Explorer, then Killer. Looking at Warhammer I’d say it’s going to be the killer’s version of WoW. I can hardly wait.

Alright, now that I’ve fessed up to what I am… what are you?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thurokiir January - 2008 at 7:06 pm

SAEK players enjoy socializing more than anything else, but they also like to achieve the goals within the game. Often, the increase in social status that comes with defeating a powerful foe or finding a unique treasure is more important than the achievement itself. They also enjoy being part of a team that tries to accomplish great deeds, often finding as much satisfaction in the success of the group as with oneself.
Breakdown: Achiever 53.33%, Explorer 46.67%, Killer 40.00%, Socializer 60.00%

The total and complete opposite.

2 Cocles September - 2008 at 3:58 am

So I took the test again today.

Apparently I’m a little bit more into PVP these days and a little bit less in socializing.

K 93%
E 60%
A 33%
S 13%

3 Steven Smith December - 2012 at 7:37 pm

I’m E73, S73, A33, K20 … I’m googling around looking for bartle test and this old article ranks pretty high in Google. Some day soon, I’ll turn my martial arts practice into something with more micro-feedback and fun.

4 Cocles December - 2012 at 7:49 pm

Comment all you want. šŸ˜‰ I read the comments on all of my posts, old and new.

5 hind October - 2017 at 4:57 pm

Please, can I get the test answer key to design this test in Arabic for students
and what is The relationship between the number of questions and the patterns of the players and how the percentage is calculated
Please Help me

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