7 Most Common Video Game Glitches and Bugs, and How to Improve Player Experience

7 Most Common Video Game Glitches and Bugs, and How to Improve Player Experience

As polished as the developers want each of their games to be, bugs and glitches are commonly seen in video games. We can see these errors more often today than before, due to game patches and updates or upgrades which give developers chances to fix defects “later”, after release.

In a gamer’s dictionary, bugs and glitches can either be helpful, amusing, creepy or game-breaking. Though these flaws are not entirely a new deal in games, they are still most likely unwelcome and can be annoying for the players. Since nobody’s perfect, it’d be hard to spot games with no glitch or bug. On the one hand, you must hope that an error from your game is harmless during gameplay and lets the players proceed in completing the game. This is so your players will less likely be quitting. On the other hand, more than irritation, players might kiss your games goodbye if they experience anything that makes your game unplayable.

To avoid that worst-case scenario, here we’ll discuss what the 7 most common video game glitches and bugs are, their impact on the players, and how to create a better player experience.

7 Most Common Video Game Glitches and Bugs Players Encounter

Gamers are naturally playful and can turn around any in-game obstacles. Sometimes, players just let video game glitches and bugs go, as long as these imperfections are not game-ruiners. In opposite of that, gamers can also be hardcore and serious about leveling up or conquering quests. With this, the last thing you’d want is to kill the mood of these players because of unwanted errors. Understand here the most common video game glitches and bugs that players are frustrated whenever they encounter:

1. Freezing, Hanging or Crashing

This kind of bug stops the game from working upon launch or during gameplay. This happens by closing or hanging the game. However, this can be triggered by an incomplete program or a hardware issue. This obviously delays or interrupt players from progressing into the game. One example according to a few players is the Call of Duty Black Ops 4 PC version which crashes or freezes when switching to secondary weapons such as rocket launcher and Hellion Salvo. To avoid closing the said game every time, players have come to odd solutions such as unequipping camos, removing the scopes, and using default skins in the meantime.

2. Graphics Glitch

Graphics glitches may wrongly display an image within the game. It could be anything from an object or character, to user-interface. This could hinder the gameplay as some graphical glitches may affect the environment of the game. For example, in other games, the graphical glitches may be random distortions. Though it’s not forming or shaping into any object or symbol, this graphical error may still cause players stress. However, in The Sims 4, there are two glitches recognized. One is that some babies are distorted into demonic babies and the other is a fork being permanently attached to a Sim’s hand. These glitches are the opposite of random distortions as they do have a physical or concrete existence.

3. Gameplay Defect

This kind of error exists when a particular feature or action is not functioning as it’s intended inside the game. This removes the players’ ability to do an action they desired whether it is jumping, dodging, or using weapons. This may put players in a disadvantaged position, for example like in Sea of Thieves. According to Shacknews, there are reports from players across the globe who loaded the game but were unable to use any inventory item except cannonballs and bananas. Unfortunately, it takes more than those two items to complete the challenges in the game, meaning these users who encountered the defect could not properly play.

4. In-game Purchase

There are in-game purchasing issues that can be simply resolved by the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). These may be general problems such as unavailability, incompatibility, not enough payment options or complicated process. However, there are also purchasing issues that bugs are responsible for. These may come from unexpected errors, unable to complete the process, charged failed purchase, unwanted pending charges, and more. This can waste players’ money or hinder them from advancing through purchasing items or contents. All these need to be escalated to player support because there’s no way of fixing it up but reporting the issue. According to Epic Games, one of the recent issues they will investigate in their game is related to Vbucks (Vindertech Bucks or Vinderbucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency). The company has found that some players get an error message when buying Vbucks or experience delay in receiving it after purchase.

5. Audio Problem

An error may come from the sound or music. For sound, there could be delayed, missing or wrong sound effects. On the other hand, there could be inconsistency or change of volume for the music. This is the issue both games Shadow of the Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite suffer from. Audio bugs in the first-mentioned game cause the sound to fade in and out or outright disappear. On the other hand, in the second-mentioned game, it’s as if the sound errors depend on the act of rotating, moving or position of the character. This may or may not interrupt players during gameplay, however having the right sound effects or background music sets the mood when playing a game. This point may be important to some gamers out there. Moreover, audio is an important element for determining what is currently happening inside the game. In the case of the example games above, enemies may sneak up on your deaf moments or sides which gives them the advantage to attack.

6. Text Problem

There could be a mistyped, missing, unaligned or misplaced text inside a textbox. There may also be a code shown instead of text. A minor text error may not cause a problem that much, but a major one may confuse players regarding the storyline especially for narrative games. The creators of Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia admitted in a tweet that they are aware of the missing text bug and they will fix it as soon as possible. Players of the said game have noticed that no text appears in some dialogue boxes and for skill names or attacks.

7. Save Glitch

This glitch is an ultimate game-breaking one. This can be found in occurrences such as no option to save, unable to save, and corrupted or lost files. Players invest their precious time playing their favorite games just to keep their levels moving forward. Losing all their efforts or game files would totally frustrate them. One example of this bug which Nintendo has admitted, is from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The game’s “Song of the Hero” quest is impossible to be completed as the save file gets corrupted. Good thing, Nintendo also explained where the bug arises from and two workarounds for it here.

The Impact of Video Game Glitches and Bugs to the Player Experience

When you hear these words “glitches” or “bugs”, it’s usually complimentary with the word “fix” as they are no doubt technical problems in programming. However, these game errors are not always as bad as they seem. In fact, players receive these glitches and bugs in different ways. They may find it:

Amusing or Harmless

Some glitches and bugs are amusing and harmless to the gaming experience of the players. However, it still lessens the experience as the players are still denied what the game developers or designers have originally intended for either visual, auditory or functional purposes.


Some are called “best video game glitches and bugs” or “exploits” because they do not bother the players but help them go through game levels. This is especially true for speedrunners who take advantage of these programming errors in finishing a game or the storyline faster. Do note, however, that not everyone is into exploits, as these errors make an unfair and easier progression of a game.

Weird or Scary

There are also simply crazy or creepy errors which freak out or bother players during gameplay. These are the weird distortions of either graphical or audio glitches. Some of these glitches or bugs make a game more chilling than it already is, while there are games that shouldn’t be frightening but gets messed up by these kind of bugs.

Game-breaking or Annoying

Some bugs or glitches are limiting to the game progress. These game-breaking errors may be the functional defects of the items or objects and the freezing or crashing of the game itself. This will stress out players especially if they’ll get helplessly killed by an opponent or lose a round.

Whether overlooked in the code or unexpected by the developers or game testers, video game glitches and bugs are unintentional behavior. They can be consequences of either personal or unexplainable mistakes in the code. Considering these unintended errors occur, you need to simulate the players’ experience to check for such glitches before the release. It is better to be able to fix these before the players notice themselves. If not, releasing your game without assuring its quality, would result in losing the trust and interest of players.

No matter how the players look at these video game glitches and bugs, they still hinder the full player experience. It is not to say that these errors just simply make games unplayable, as there are so-called exploits which put players in an advantageous place. However, this only means that the challenges in your game should only be inside your storyline and concept.

Avoid stressing your players more than the gameplay itself. Chances are, your players would complain, quit, or be pissed – all that doesn’t add value to your return on investment (ROI). If you’re lucky, players would try to reach out and find a solution for these game errors first. Video game glitches and bugs, especially the frustrating ones, may push your players away from your game. Although some players go back in playing the game once the issue is fixed, some bugs and glitches take some time to be resolved. This may lead players to think about whether they still want to keep playing your game or not. Still in a wider picture, be it game-breaking or harmless issues, players, in any way, would not have the full game experience that was intended.

The Role of the Middleman: Outsourcing Game Player Support

Aside from developers improving or fixing the video game glitches and bugs, your game should be armed with good quality player support. There will always be a higher need for attention to your game development especially with the increasing demands from your players. This is when outsourcing your game support comes in handy to help you maintain better player experiences.

Since you would need your players not to quit your game despite glitches or bugs, your players need the middlemen to relieve them from their worries and help them solve their game error issues. This means a support team that is well-versed and knows how to respond to your players’ inquiries about glitches or bugs. You, on the other side, will continue to give them new and upgraded in-game worlds, items, loots, skins, characters, and challenges.

Completely terminating video game glitches and bugs, or simply perfecting your game as being code error-free is impossible. Even players have accepted that fact. Go beyond technical errors of your game, and invest in a reliable partnership with adish for excellent handling of your game player support here now.

Here in adish, helping out players is what we do best. We believe in communication as a tool for increasing player experience. We help gaming companies grow their player support satisfaction with the quality and prompt assistance.