2019 What Makes A Good Tutorial In Games?


Often in games, you run into a tutorial that is designed with the object of teaching the player some basic mechanics and that allows them to better understand how things work. Sometimes these are really intrusive and in your face with no option to skip over. While other times, you often do not think “this is a tutorial.”

I remember back in the “good old days” when the concept started to go around in MMORPGs that giving new players a laid out path in a fix instance that made it clear “HEY NOOB THIS IS A TUTORIAL” was the thing of fashion. It was up in your face acting like they just did you this massive favor.

Sometimes you did not even have an option to skip over this content even if you had a dozen characters already. They were often filled with tasks that were not very relative once you passed the “this is how you move in our game,” “this is the attack buttons” now go collect 20 of X item. Sometimes even you were stuck having to go through what seems like endless hoops for an hour or more just to be free.

When all was said and done you got some basic gear. That you often replaced that gear a level or two later. Other times you have quests right after the tutorial that was not even upgraded because they never went back in and upgraded or changed things.

Over The Weekend Playing Diablo III

I was power leveling a new player who had never played Diablo III before and we were playing on the season ladder. I have been playing this game on and off since 2012 right around when it was released if memory recalls. While there have been many changes over the years I’m an old venture at this point. I give little thought to what a new player might not understand in the game since I’ve done everything a thousand and one times over. I have killed over 1.7 million monsters and ran over 2k rifts. So to say I’ve played this game and then some is an understatement.

As such I just tried to point out everything that is happening and hope that’s good enough. Sometimes I miss something and since they don’t know what to ask they missed out since I was just power level them very quickly from 1 to 70. Since for me, that is no longer a big part of the game and we don’t have to run the campaign either.

The person was almost level 70 and I start thinking of all the things they needed to do.


  • Upgrade all the crafting stations (blacksmith, jeweler, Mystic)
  • Teach this person about sockets


  • Talk about getting a follower when you are solo
  • Unlock the Cube


  • Complete bounty’s in all acts so they can extract powers out of items

  • Talk about enchanting and many other things

  • Complete Chapters 1 to 4 so they get some set gear pieces that you earn for complete this Seasons Journey objectives. Since after all I just power level them and they more or less have no gear!


Hey, wait a moment!!!! I don’t have worry about forgetting to tell this person something important. While the Season Journey often has things I don’t need to do. Each season I’ve completed it up to a certain point because the gear from it help me progress faster. Anything that took some time I NEEDED for my own progression anyways. So, it was just a basic thing I did every season as it felt natural.

Basically, since they created the Season Journey in Diablo III I’ve been running a tutorial every season and not once thought “not this thing again.”

The fact of the matter is you don’t even have to do this if you don’t want to. Just naturally as you are playing the game you unlock quite a few of the things needed always.

So What Makes A Good Tutorial In Games?

At least for me once that you hardly even think is an actual tutorial. It’s just embedded into your natural gameplay to the point you see it worthwhile finishing to get the reward for.

It is something you are not forced into. Some people prefer to learn as they go. Not to mention a really horrible tutorial often gives people the mindset that the game itself sucks. I’ve played many great games where the “new player experience” was a nightmare of hours wasted. Sure people often skip when given the option. Then post a stupid question on forums asking “how do you do this” because hey they skip the tutorial! That on them though and not the game.

They do not require an endless amount of reading or takes you out of the core game player to do for hours (s) on end. While still having a good enough explanation of things in case you want to know more. Basically, stop breaking my game immersion.

Finally, if you can get someone like me to be interested enough in complete it for reward(s) and I’m not thinking “not another pointless tutorial.” Well done on creating a wonderful experience while not driving the veteran players up the wall.

What do you think makes a good tutorial in games?

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Screenshots taken and content written by @enjar. Screenshots from the game Diablo III