What does "PvE" mean in gaming? Explained

Tweet

What does PvE mean in gaming?

'PvE' is an abbreviation for ‘Player vs Environment’, a term used to describe in-game content where a player is fighting against the game itself as opposed to real players (which is called 'PvP' or ‘Player vs Player’).

What type of PvE content is there?

PvE can come in many forms in gaming. The clearest example is one or more players fighting against a boss character in an MMO game. Here, they’re pitting their skills against a foe developed by the game's programmers.

In other genres, such as FPS games, PvE content tends to be a smaller addition of what’s available to players — like Call of Duty’s zombies mode. In both of these cases, the player is fighting against the game itself rather than a set of real players.

PvE’s Overlap with PvP

While it varies from game to game, most titles will offer some form of PvE and PvP to players. MMOs, for example, tend to have a greater focus on PvE, with only select servers or portions of the game world facilitating PvP combat.

Areas in MMOs that combine PvE and PvP are usually labelled 'PvPvE', which indicates that they allow AI mobs to attack you as well as other players who might be adventuring in the same area. Not everyone wants their gaming experience disturbed by another player killing them unexpectedly (called ‘ganking’), so these areas come with plenty of clear warnings and often a pop-up message before players enter.

Which is better: PvE or PvP?

This is all up to you! Do you enjoy competing against other players more, or would you rather work your way through the game world and any perils it might be hiding? Only you can determine which play style you enjoy best.