Satisfying mechanics in games

What are some of the most satisfying mechanics in games that you’ve played?

Here are some of mine.

Scoring a “Tetris” in Tetris. This happens when clear 4 or more lines. Need I say more?

Marking enemies then executing them in Splinter Cell: Conviction. Its very cinematic and gives you the feeling of being a bad ass.

Countering enemies in and punishing them in Batman: Arkham Asylum. While it can become a bit repetitive overall it is a mechanic that in my opinion was the back bone of the series.

Parry then back stab in Dark Souls. Pretty self explanatory but the animation and sound are equally as satisfying as the damage it does when you pull it off.

Parkour in Mirror’s Edge. If you haven’t tried this game and you’re into first person platformers then I highly recommend you give this a shot. It can be challenging at times but it’s very accessible and when you’re really on a roll going through a level it makes you feel like a super star.

The list goes on and on but I’m curious what everyone else has to say.

I’d love to read about other people’s favorite mechanics in games. Please post some of yours!


V.A.T.S - Fallout
Doing Ultra Combos - Street Fighter IV
Puzzle Solving - Amnesia: The Dark Decent
Enchanting - Elder Scrolls: Morrowind.
Double (Gravity) Jumping - Portal 2

Many more —> Just a few examples.


Enchanting in Morrowind was awesome! Maybe I’ll fire it up tonight.

I can’t think of a proper example other than the Sniper Elite games (which I haven’t played), but games that give you a bullet zoom when you get a good shot, especially if it comes with a particular impactful hit (like an X-Ray shot).

Really any game that really gives you feedback on a meaningful ‘hit’. Things like Dragon’s Dogma or God of War where you get a special animation for certain hits.

Funny that I’m naming games I don’t personally actually like that much, but those specific mechanics are definitely great.

For a game I do like, there’s double knockouts in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, though double kills are far more satisfying, and an example of something that annoys me in games, where it’s far more satisfying to play in a way that the game penalizes you for (killing in DX:HR or Dishonored, for instance).

Oh man, but RONIN was a similar sort of game that conversely encouraged the use of awesome kills, and that was really satisfying.

The crossbow in Half-Life 2 was really satisfying to use as well.

I mean, Critical Hits in games like Fire Emblem come to mind, but they’re not really ‘satisfying’ in the same way, because they generally don’t require skill, which is why so many of the games I’m mentioning here are shooters or RPGs with action-based combat.


Microsoft Solitaire’s fireworks :slight_smile:
And every happy Monday in HoM&M - the most unreal element of the series.


The pop and hiss of a headshot against Destiny’s Fallen enemies is the single most gratifying feedback I’ve ever experienced in an FPS. Some of the weapons that have fun kill effects (looking at you, Graviton Lance) make it even better.

Succesfully blocking a move in Kingdom Hearts, then earning tech points.
Landing a fatal blow in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I love the freezeframe effect.
Landing a critical hit in any Final Fantasy or Pokemon game.
Getting a headshot in pretty much any FPS comes to mind as well.

Evading in Bayonetta causing time to stop.

Staggering a monster with a well timed hit in any Monster Hunter, but specially in World.


Headshot in CS:GO. The light blue spark and the enemy quickly being thrown backwards is so satisfying.

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Absolutely, 100%

Oh my gosh yes!! Especially considering I’m not the greatest at FPS games. But that moment when is the X-Ray zoom in is so satisfying that I don’t care if I miss a few shots after that. It’s the same feeling as executing Fatalities in Mortal Kombat. :joy:

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Optional Dialogue trees in CRPGs that are character (or stat) based, thus giving you agency of your character based through choice of what you say, in addition to allowing you to play the game in different ways in subsequent playthroughs. Fallout 2 was the king of this. I’ve recently been playing Divinity Original Sin with some friends and it did it’s own take with this by having people in your party talk to each other and argue amongst decisions you each make.
Choices and Consequences are cool in narrative heavy games and are given more depth when the results of your decisions and eventual outcomes are not overtly telepraphed or explained! Mass Effect, Deus Ex. Alpha Protocol. Etc.
Exploration and Secrets in Platformers encourage you to 100% the game in ways that don’t feel grindy but appeal to curiosity. Like what other mechanic is truly satisfying to 100% a game than this? Was great in the 3d era with Mario 64! Sonic Adventure! Spyro!
World Degradation/Map Destruction in an FPS. Whether is Red Faction or Siege this is just so cool when you carry the big, bad guns!
’Kill/Utility’ FPS options on weapons. Grappling Hooks and translocators in late 90’s online FPS giving you options


I really like when games give you the opportunity to just sit down and chill out for a minute. Some examples:

Life is Strange - You can lay in bed and just listen to music for as long as you like. It also happened in the Captain Spirit game.
Brothers A Tale of Two Sons - There are benches where you just sit and take in the scenery.
Bloodstained Ritual of the Night - There are chairs scattered around that you can just make use of. Also a piano which you’ll start playing if you stay for a minute.

If anyone else can think of other examples of this I’d love to heard them, I’ve been kinda wanting to make a video about it.


Hollow Knight: the hot springs are a nice place to relax and I do enjoy simply sitting on benches and taking a break from the game.