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 Not to be confused with the Web Comic Pv P.


Player Versus Player (PvP) is a mode of play in Video Games where the enemies are other players of the video game. This is in contrast to Player Versus Environment (PvE,) where the enemies of your character are generated and controlled by a computer's artificial intelligence. The idea of Player vs Player is not only to outplay, outlast, or outwit your opponents, but to put your opponents at as many disadvantages as possible so they can't do the same to you.

Some games have both a PvP mode and a PvE mode. In some cases, the two modes occur at the same time, like in most MMORPGs. In World of Warcraft[1], the player character can be busy with a quest vs. computer generated monsters in an outdoor zone, and be ambushed by enemy players nearby. This can be either irritating or exhilarating, depending on your mood and tolerance for fellow players, forming the basis of The Great Player-Versus-Player Debate.

Most games have strictly defined modes where only PvE (usually even separating single player and 2 player from each other) or PvP, but not both, can occur.

Player vs Player is actually the older of the two modes, since it eliminates the need for any sort of AI. Very early games such as Space War and Pong are examples.

Examples of Player Versus Player include:

  • Mortal Kombat players know that most of its charm is PvP, one big reason the game went online, though you can still play two-player at home.
  • Fighting Games and Racing Games in general have a big focus on players competing against each other.
  • Team Fortress 2 is nothing but players fighting each other. Even the bots are meant to simulate other players, down to "Virtual Mousepads" that control how fast they turn.
  • Paranoia was (at least one of) the first Tabletop Games specifically designed to have lots of PvP.
  • Minecraft has player vs player on by default for servers, though it can be disabled by choice. The feature's uses range from every player for themselves or even clan battles.
  • Dark Souls has several covenants that cater to PvP action, with different rewards for each.
  1. Technically WoW allows players to create characters in different realms. Only in PvP realms can ambushes of that sort happen. In Normal realms you can only be attacked if you have recently attacked other players, certain NPCs, or chosen to "flag" yourself. Many other MMORPGs have similar separations.