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PC Gamer Chat Log Episode 44: Should games have tutorials or not?

PC Gamer's latest Chat Log episode, titled "Should games have tutorials or not?" delves into the age-old debate of whether games should include tutorials for new players or rely on more intuitive gameplay for teaching mechanics. The podcast, hosted by seasoned gaming journalists, explores the various perspectives on the issue and provides valuable insights for game developers and players alike.


The topic of tutorials in video games has been a contentious one for many years. Some players argue that tutorials are essential for learning the mechanics of a new game, while others believe that they disrupt the flow of gameplay and detract from the overall experience. PC Gamer's Chat Log episode 44 seeks to explore this debate in depth and shed light on the pros and cons of including tutorials in video games.

The Hosts

The episode is hosted by a panel of experienced gaming journalists, including [Host's Name], [Host's Name], and [Host's Name]. Each host brings a unique perspective to the discussion, and their combined expertise provides a well-rounded view of the issue at hand.

Pros of Including Tutorials

The discussion kicks off with the hosts' exploration of the benefits of including tutorials in video games. One of the primary arguments in favor of tutorials is their ability to ease new players into the game's mechanics. Tutorials can provide essential guidance on controls, game objectives, and unique features that might not be immediately intuitive to a new player.

Additionally, tutorials can help prevent frustration and confusion, especially in complex games with intricate gameplay systems. By providing clear instructions and demonstrations, tutorials can help players feel more comfortable with the game and encourage them to invest more time in mastering its mechanics.

Cons of Including Tutorials

On the flip side, the hosts delve into the drawbacks of including tutorials in games. One of the key arguments against tutorials is that they can disrupt the immersion and flow of the game. Instead of allowing players to discover and learn through gameplay, tutorials may interrupt the natural progression and detract from the overall experience.

Furthermore, some players argue that tutorials can be overly hand-holding, robbing them of the satisfaction that comes from figuring things out on their own. In this sense, tutorials can undermine the sense of accomplishment that players derive from mastering a game's mechanics through trial and error.

Finding a Middle Ground

As the hosts examine both sides of the debate, they discuss the concept of integrating tutorials seamlessly into the gameplay experience. Rather than presenting tutorials as separate, tutorial levels or pop-up prompts, some games have successfully incorporated tutorial elements into the story or environment.

For example, a game might introduce new mechanics organically as part of the narrative, allowing players to learn and adapt in a more natural and immersive manner. This approach strikes a balance between providing guidance for new players and maintaining the integrity of the gameplay experience for seasoned gamers.

Player Feedback

The hosts also touch on the role of player feedback in shaping the effectiveness of tutorials. By gauging player responses and adjusting tutorial systems based on user experience, game developers can fine-tune their approach to teaching mechanics without alienating their audience.

Player feedback can help identify areas where tutorials are overly intrusive or insufficient, allowing developers to iterate and improve the tutorial experience over time. With the advent of online communities and social platforms, gathering player feedback has become more accessible than ever, providing valuable insights for refining tutorial systems in games.

Case Studies

To provide concrete examples of how tutorials can impact the gaming experience, the hosts discuss several case studies of games that have effectively implemented or eschewed tutorial systems.

One notable example is "Dark Souls," a notoriously challenging game that offers minimal hand-holding and leaves players to discover its mechanics through trial and error. The hosts delve into the impact of this approach on the game's player base, highlighting the polarizing nature of its tutorial-free design.

Conversely, games like "Portal" are praised for their intuitive and seamlessly integrated tutorials that guide players through complex puzzle mechanics without breaking immersion. By examining these contrasting examples, the hosts illustrate the diverse ways in which tutorials can shape the player experience.

The Future of Tutorials

As the episode draws to a close, the hosts speculate on the future of tutorials in video games. With advancements in technology and game design, there is a growing opportunity to create more adaptive and personalized tutorial experiences that cater to individual player preferences and skill levels.

The advent of machine learning and AI-driven game design also holds the potential to revolutionize the way tutorials are implemented, providing dynamic and contextually relevant guidance based on player behavior and performance.

In conclusion, PC Gamer's Chat Log episode 44 offers a rich and thought-provoking exploration of the role of tutorials in video games. By examining the pros and cons, exploring alternative approaches, and analyzing real-world case studies, the hosts provide valuable insights for both players and game developers. Whether tutorials are a necessary crutch for new players or an unnecessary intrusion on the gaming experience, the debate continues to evolve in an industry that thrives on innovation and experimentation.

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