In the modern world there is one term that is often used and not fully explained. The term in question is “RNG”. RNG stands for Random Number Generator. It has an especially important role in various industries, but the one that comes to mind the most is the gaming industry.
In this article, you will learn what exactly Random Number Generator aka RNG is, how it is used and where, and what is the future of this mechanic. We will also shed some light on how it is so important in everyday life, even if you are not a gamer.
What is RNG?
Overall RNG is a mechanic, an algorithm of sort designed to create a sequence of numbers or outcomes based on the criteria. It all needs to look as random as possible. It not always is, but it always seems to be. It does not have a predictable pattern so the results or numbers cannot be rigged.
There are plenty of video games and casino games that use that kind of mechanic. Knowing how to play roulette is one thing, and knowing how exactly it works is another. It is an easy example because you have a random chance of being able to win in this game. You can bet on either black or red spaces, which gives you almost a 50% winning chance, which makes the RNG 50%, so 50/50. It is not exactly a 50/50 because there is an option for a 0 to be rolled, but it is a singular space so it is very close to 50% that the result will be either black or white.
If you bet or something with less probability, then you will be able to win more. If you bet for a specific row of numbers, you have much less chance of winning, closer to a couple of percent, and if you place your bet on a specific number, it makes it into single digits probability of winning.
Examples of RNG in Games
There is a similar situation when it comes to video games, but it is used mostly in looter-based games. The RNG in the video game industry is mostly around getting the items you want to drop. There are several games like RPGs or looter-shooters that rely heavily on RNG mechanics like the Diablo franchise, Borderlands franchise, Path of Exile, and many more games.
Here it is all about a chance of dropping a certain item. Most legendary items in a game like Borderlands 2 can drop from a specifically named enemy. Some enemies have a 10% chance of dropping a desired item, while others have a 30% chance of dropping a dedicated drop. However, if there is more than one item in the drop pool the chances are divided. For example, one boss can have two dedicated drops, which means even though there is a 30% chance for a drop from this enemy, it is a 15% chance of getting the item you want.
Some games cheat a little in that algorithm, by increasing your actual chance of getting an item. You have that exemplary 10% chance of getting an item at the beginning, however, after not getting the item several times in a row the chance increases so the player feels rewarded and is not frustrated because the randomness of it all is not in their favor. In addition to that, some games have absurd chances of dropping certain pieces of gear. As an example, in Borderlands 2 there is a 10% chance of dropping an Unkempt Herald from Savage Lee. However, the weapon consists of several parts like grips, barrels, elements, etc.
This weapon has only one element so it is locked, but it can drop on your level or two levels below, it can also drop with many different parts so if you are looking for a perfect Unkempt Herald you will need to get the right grip out of eight, the right level (ideally the same you are), and a specific prefix of that weapon. It all summed up makes farming for a perfect Unkempt Herald a bit tricky. The overall chance is 1 in 1120. So, you will need on average defeat that enemy over 1000 times in order to get a perfect pistol.
Importance and Fairness of RNG
It is important to note that the whole RNG mechanic should be as fair as possible. It plays a pivotal role in making any online games as fair as possible. By being able to generate random outcomes, RNG ensures that no one has an advantage in these types of games. If everyone is playing by the same rules, it makes all the players involved much safer and calmer.
The integrity of RNG, especially in online casinos and video games with microtransactions, needs to be preserved. There needs to be an entity or a party that is overseeing and making sure that the RNG used in this specific game is not rigged in any way, giving an advantage to someone who understands the algorithm used in that specific game.
What the Future Holds?
As technology is getting more advanced than ever, there is always room for improvement of RNG algorithms overall. Integration of these technologies with other new tech like blockchain and AI allows for new possibilities for advancing this mechanical way beyond any form of games and could be used broadly throughout the other parts of our lives.