The Daily Grind: How quickly do you friend people in an MMO?

You all just hate me because you don't like me and I'm mean all the time.

As many of you probably know, my first MMO was Final Fantasy XI, which made adding someone to your friend list a sacred procedure in which you sent an invitation for mutual friendship and prayed that it was accepted. I believe at some point it was customary to offer a small gift, perhaps a fatted calf. The point was that it was a very specific procedure, and I got used to the idea that a friend list was a special bond in which you only added people you really did consider friends.

This is not a view held universally. Heck, this was not a view held universally in that game. In games with more casual friend features like Star Wars: The Old Republic I would find people putting me on their friend lists after one or two interactions that were fairly positive. There was a disconnect from my practices, in other words.

Of course, I also know there are other people out there who only fill friend lists with specific sets of people. So how quickly do you friend people in an MMO? Do you do so after just a few interactions? Right away so you don’t lose track of them? Only after an extended interaction and, yes, the exchange of valued livestock?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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I don’t think I’ve added someone to my friend list that I didn’t know and talk to in the real world since 2005(ish). When the prevalence was to make grouping a formality and downtime was all but eliminated which caused players to stop really talking to each other…that created a barrier for me of adding people to a “friend” list.

If it was a “casual acquaintance” list or a “that guy didn’t screw up and cause a party wipe so he’s useful” list then I’m sure I’d have probably used it more. I have to feel I know a bit about someone before I commit to further interactions with them…such as if they are racist, arrogant, a jerk, or otherwise entertained by anti-social behavior. I have to deal with people with those traits everyday in the real world (unless I stay home) so I filter them when it comes to my fun time.

Toy Clown

I’ve been around the internet since the 90’s and there are a lot of things I learned the hard way. ><

It depends on the game. For example, I hate friending people in FFXIV because you can never, ever, truly remove yourself from another player's friend list once you accept a friend invite. As a RPer, I have a rule that we must RP three times before I'll add someone to my friend's list, but I'm more than happy to add people to my discord friend's list. That's because I can remove people if they get weird or end up on that once-off-interaction list.

Another example, in ArcheAge I friended all my neighbors (because they don't know when you do that) and watched their playtime habits. When they were all offline, I tore down my small houses and placed a larger one. Then I removed them!

In short, if an MMO allows me to remove another person, I don't mind allowing people to friend me. Otherwise, I'm not trigger-happy running around friend-listing folks.

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I don’t really friend anyone per se, but I get friend requested a bunch and almost always accept them. However, whether someone remains on my friend list or not depends on how regular my interactions are with them.

I’ll usually give it a few days or a week and if I haven’t interacted with them again then i’ll remove them. Not to be cruel etc.. but simply because the friend list is not infinite it is finite in how many folks can be on it.

I only really use the friend list for purposes of seeing who is online that I know, for actual chatting and interactions I do that almost exclusively through my guilds.


I don’t friend people in games. I have occasionally joined guilds, which were more than enough social interaction for me.


I would add someone to my friends list if I thought that person could be useful in the future. To meet that criteria, they had to have the following:

1) Know how to play the game. Doesn’t have to play well, just not terribly.
2) Have to be social. They must have actually made an effort to talk to me/the group
3) Must be polite

That’s basically it. Sometimes, all it takes is 15 minutes playing together and I’ll add someone. Other times, we might have raided together for a month but I still won’t add them.

That said, I would also sometimes add people for “stalking” reasons. Like, in LotRO, you could see your friends locations if they were online and not private, so I would often add the big PvPers to my friends list just so I could keep an eye on when they were online and PvPing so that I could go join them. Same sort of thing with some of the other guild leaders – we weren’t friends, but it was useful to see when they were online in case anything needed coordinating.

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Making and maintaining friendships in games takes a lot of energy. I’d be tempted to suggest it takes more than even in person relationships do because you’re overcoming so many barriers.

As a function of time, I think that’s been the biggest reason I don’t have the in game network that I had once upon a time.

But oh, the nostalgia for the gilded guild days of yore.

Of course, there’s always Twenty One Pilots to convey it

Bryan Correll

I always wait till they’ve friended me first. I’ve been hurt too many times.


Hard to say. I don’t socialize much in games, so I only ever add anyone to my friends list if I hit it off with that person surprisingly well. That could be a few weeks in or a few months, depending on how necessary group content is.

Even then, I don’t usually talk to the person even after making friends. Like I said, I don’t socialize much.

Oleg Chebeneev

Im pretty good at it. Since Im usually good at the game and quickly find common ground with people who are also good at the game. But in some MMOs I just dont care about other people and do solo PvE

Robert Mann

Depends upon the people. I’m quite open to decent people. I’m also quite happy to remove not so decent people from my area of interaction.

Most people who interact quickly show themselves into the area of “Nope, no way, that person’s behavior is less appealing than norovirus.” Those who do not, and those who go beyond and act positively, are thus welcome… but I don’t friend just because.

It is more that I then give more respect to said person, and they have the chance should they wish to pursue any further interaction. On occasion I may reach out to somebody (especially if I happen to have a group looking for more and they have been a nice team member before).

P.S. No sacrifices required, just don’t be an ass about stuff, or to people who have not earned return behavior of assery.