You may have heard the phrase “smurf” used when playing multiplayer games, particularly those with a competitive focus. But exactly what is a smurf? In this post, Derosaelectric.com will explain what smurfing is in gaming. And explain why people smurf so you can learn more about this.
What Is Smurfing In Gaming?
A “smurf” is a player in an online game who creates a second account to compete against lower-ranked competitors. The smurf appears to be new, then crushes their opponents due to their superior skill at the game. Unskilled players will typically presume that the smurf account has roughly the same skill level as them, then become disappointed when they are unable to compete.
The term “smurfing” was allegedly coined by two Warcraft II players who used the aliases PapaSmurf and Smurfette. The practice of making additional accounts to mislead or play less competent players quickly spread to other games, and the problem persists to this day.
It’s also one of the most serious issues in current gaming across all genres. Smurfing is a four-way arms race involving smurfs, developers, account dealers, and the average user.
Smurfs wreak havoc on the game for a variety of reasons. They create unfair scenarios for regular players who seek to compete against others of equal skill levels. Smurfs are also more poisonous. Because the consequences have little bearing on their main account, they are unconcerned.
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Why Do People Use Smurf Accounts?
Smurfing occurs for a variety of causes. One of the most prevalent reasons people do it is that finding matches at the higher ranks takes a long time. In Overwatch, for example, a Grandmaster could have to wait 30 minutes to locate a game. They can play considerably faster if they create a smurf account in Gold, where there are a lot more players.
Another motivation for smurfing is the desire to dominate other players. If you’re not performing well at your current rank, creating a smurf account and playing against individuals who aren’t as talented at the game is a simple method to feel like a better player.
While top players do a lot of smurfing, anyone may smurf for this reason. An average player may smurf down to the lowest rankings in order to kill inexperienced players.
Is Smurfing a Problem?
Smurfing is a vexing behavior because it contradicts the purpose of having ranked matchmaking systems. Regardless of your skill level, these systems are set up to have you play against people who are approximately your level. When you play well, you move up the ladder; when you lose, you move down. With smurfs in the mix, you can’t be sure that the opposing team’s players are genuinely fair matches for you.
Players who use smurf accounts are also less invested in the game than legitimate players. Smurfs frequently need to “throw” or purposefully lose games in order to keep their accounts at the required low rank. They can express this overtly by refusing to move, repeatedly jumping off the map, or running straight into the adversary.
Smurfs, on the other hand, may “soft throw,” which is purposely playing poorly in a way that makes it difficult for your team to notice. They could miss a lot of bullets, refuse to use some of their character’s powers, or anything similar.
Smurfs clearly wreak havoc on the ranking system that everyone else is attempting to enjoy. Playing against a smurf who is trying their hardest is nearly a sure loss, however if you have a throwing smurf on your squad, it will be very difficult to win.
Some say that smurfing helps you improve because you’re competing with people who are better than you. However, smurfing is frequently too intense for this to be true. For example, an eighth-grade basketball team may certainly benefit from playing against a tenth-grade team in order to develop new skills. But an eighth-grade team up against a professional team would not stand a chance.
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How to Avoid Smurfing
Some games have anti-smurfing features in place. For example, an MMORPG may prohibit you to achieve a specific level before you can equip powerful equipment, preventing you from using goods from a higher-ranked account.
Although Pokémon is a single-player game, it discourages similar conduct by requiring you to gain gym badges before high-level Pokémon acquired through trade would obey you. This implies you won’t be able to have a friend who has already completed the game send you a level 100 Pokémon to play with.
These systems, on the other hand, are ineffective for skill-based online games. To play rated matches, a game may demand phone number authentication, although this may be circumvented by purchasing prepaid phones. On the PC, creating a smurf account requires purchasing the game a second time, while on consoles, you can create as many as you want for free.
People that are determined to smurf will eventually discover a means to do so. It’s also difficult to stop smurfing because it usually requires expertise and the lack of in-game stuff. The major strategies to limit its frequency are to include mechanisms to discourage it and to allow people to report smurfs.
Smurfing is still a vexing problem in gaming. Smurfs can disrupt the experience for new gamers and give their team an unfair advantage. The easiest way to deal with a smurf is to report them and hope that the account is flagged for unfair behavior.
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