What Does “RNG” Mean? + When, Where & Why You Might See It Used

Whether you’re a gamer or a budding mathematician, you may be running into the acronym “RNG” a lot. What exactly does it mean and why does it often make people mad.

The phrase “RNG” appears in a variety of real-world contexts and may even be synonymous with “life” itself, although video games remain by far the most frequent setting in which to see this term.

You have almost likely been familiar with the phrase “RNG” if you have been participating in specific games with pals or simply watching your favourite streamers play games on Twitch, Youtube, or Facebook.

What Does “RNG” Mean? + When, Where & Why You Might See It UsedPin

The phrase “RNG” is almost never used in a positive context. It is a common criticism and one that is justified given that RNG can always find a means to ensure that your talent is meaningless, no matter how skilled you may be at particular games.

So, in a nutshell, what does RNG stand for? In the following paragraphs, we will first provide a definition of the phrase before demonstrating several situations in which it is applicable and likely to be used.

What Does RNG Stand For?

The term “RNG” stands for “random number generator”, which usually refers to a computer programme that generates random numbers. A random number generator is a device or technique that generates numbers by chance. RNG, in gaming terminology, refers to occurrences that do not repeat themselves every time you play.

While it may seem to be straightforward, computers have difficulty generating random numbers. This is due to the fact that computers are programmed to obey instructions, which is the polar opposite of randomness. Giving instructions on how to choose something randomly is an oxymoron, therefore you can’t simply order a computer to “come up with a random number”.

The most basic way to think of this concept is if you put the numbers 1 to 100 in a hat and got somebody else to pick one out without looking. They would then put the number back in and go again if required.

RNG In Gaming

In gaming, there are a whole host of examples in which RNG is used. Here, we’ll go through some of the most common examples so that you can relate them to your usual gaming sessions.

Damage Dealt

The random number generator is utilised in a lot of games to figure out the odds of anything happening. The majority of role-playing games (RPGs) in particular are guilty of this.

When you fight foes in a variety of video games, there is often a random possibility that you may score a critical hit, which does extra damage. This occurs rather frequently. In many games, this happens at random; however, you may increase your odds by using particular equipment.

In many games, random number generation is also responsible for determining how much damage is dealt by normal attacks. However, the levels and items held by your character, along with many other aspects of the game, may have an effect on how the RNG is delivered.


The importance of random number generation is crucial in loot-focused games such as Fortnite, Borderlands, and Warzone. When you land, defeat an NPC, open a treasure chest, or explore the ground for weapons, the reward that you get is not always the same.

Due to the fact that the algorithm picks it at random each time, there is a chance that you may obtain a really uncommon item right away, but there is also a chance that you will repeatedly receive a piece of low-level armour.

In order to keep a game fair and balanced, the process through which loot spawns and is dropped is often completely at random. In this scenario, RNG might either be your best ally or your worst enemy.

Games that either have mechanisms in place that prohibit you from receiving the best weapon in the game from the very first treasure box you open or have mechanisms in place that gradually raise your chances of getting a better weapon as the game proceeds are exempt from this rule.

Another aspect of random number generation that can be seen in Battle Royale games like Fortnite, Warzone, and Apex Legends is the location of the storm and where the zones go to. This means that even if you have the best equipment, the game might still go against you.

Game Generation

Random Number Generation is at the heart of procedural generation, a prevalent trend in the game industry. The term “procedural generation” refers to the method of producing in-game material by means of an algorithm, as opposed to manually building each individual element.

Games like Minecraft allow the user to construct a new world, and each time they do, the area they create is radically different from the last. Games like this one generate one-of-a-kind worlds via the use of a seed value, which means that each and every player has a unique experience each time they go through the game.

Restrictions are added by game creators, much as in other kinds of RNG, so that worlds are not produced entirely at random. In Minecraft, for instance, you won’t come across random earth pieces just floating in the air over an ocean.

Is Gaming RNG True RNG?

To properly produce a random number using a computer, you’ll need to employ a hardware random number generator, which is a physical device. To generate random numbers, this method employs minute physical phenomena such as electrical noise.

Because no one can forecast or know what is going on with these undetectable occurrences, they are as random as possible. This sort of RNG is essential in security-centric systems, and it’s why it’s used in so many encryption schemes.

With gaming RNG, true RNG isn’t as imperative. Many applications, especially games, use pseudorandom number generation for increased speed and reproducibility.

Pseudo-RNG generates a random number using an algorithm that conducts mathematical operations on a seed value. It’s critical to select a seed that’s as random as possible to get different results each time.

Jake McEvoy

Jake is a professional copywriter, journalist, and life-long fan of technology. He covers news and user guides for KnowYourMobile.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top