What Games Use Game Theory?


Vincent White

Game theory is a popular topic in the world of gaming. It’s the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. In simpler terms, it’s about analyzing how different players make decisions in a game and how those decisions affect the outcome.

Many games use game theory as a basis for their gameplay mechanics. Here are some examples:

1. Diplomacy

Diplomacy is a strategy board game where players represent different European countries before World War I and try to outmaneuver each other through alliances and negotiations. The game is heavily reliant on game theory, as players must use their knowledge of other players’ motivations to make strategic moves.

2. Poker

Poker is another classic example of a game that heavily relies on game theory. Players must analyze their opponents’ behavior and bet accordingly to maximize their winnings while minimizing losses.

3. Chess

Chess may not seem like a game that involves much strategy, but it actually relies heavily on game theory principles. Players must anticipate their opponent’s moves and think multiple steps ahead to win the game.

4. Rock-Paper-Scissors

Even simple games like rock-paper-scissors can be analyzed using game theory principles. Players must predict what move their opponent will make and choose accordingly to win.

5. Civilization

Civilization is a popular strategy video game where players build and manage empires over time, starting from ancient times up to the modern era. The game uses many elements of game theory, including resource management and diplomacy with other nations.


These are just some examples of games that use game theory principles in their gameplay mechanics. By understanding these principles, players can develop better strategies and improve their chances of winning. So next time you sit down to play a game, consider how game theory may be influencing your decisions.