Why Are Paradox Games So Addictive?

Hello fellow gamers who've spent +1000 hours on Paradox Games. Let's discuss why are we addicted to games created by Paradox Studio.

why paradox games addictive

Paradox games are highly addictive, there is not debate. But why are Paradox Games so addictive? Paradox games are super addictive for number of reasons. In fact, I’ve break it down to 7 core reasons. You can scroll down and see why.

Most addictive Paradox games:

  1. Crusader Kings
  2. Europa Universalis
  3. Stellaris
  4. Hearts of Iron
  5. Victoria
  6. Imperator Rome

You see the 6 most addictive games of Paradox Studio. They’re all have one thing in common. And that is grand strategy 4x. For those who don’t know, 4X is the abbreviation of explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate.

Other than that, they all have thousands of different scenarios to explore, sandbox setting, and role-playing. In fact, all Paradox Games are mechanically same but set-in different settings.

7 core reasons why paradox games are addictive:

1. Dopamine Rush

Dopamine is the reason why many video games are addictive. We’re all addicted to quick dopamine rushes. Now you might be thinking, Paradox games are really long, how do they affect dopamine. Well, dopamine hit not necessarily need to come from fast-action games.

Each event, pop-up, positive-modifier, building, resource gain, and armies defeated hits you with dopamine. Don’t believe me? Next time actively look for how you’re being bombarded with dopamine hits when playing a Paradox game.

All in all, addiction is correlated with dopamine and Paradox Games take advantage of this factor.

2. Different Scenarios & Replayability

Paradox Games has so many scenarios like you wouldn’t believe. You can literally spend a lifetime while playing all the scenarios there is. For example, Europa Universalis 4 has +640 playable countries at 1444 start date. What’s more, one country can adopt multiple different playstyles that are offering completely different and unique gameplay experiences. I think Crusader Kings has more playable characters because you can play as one of the Emperors, Kings, Dukes, or a mere count in a country.

There is also modding. With mods, you can play even more scenarios.

In short, more scenarios equal more re-playability.

3. Learning Curve

At the beginning, you get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do because Paradox games are really complex. Each time you play, you learn something new. They have the steepest learning curve.

So, the better you get, the more you’re emotionally invested in. Sense of learning, getting better, and accomplishment hooks you really well to Paradox games.

That’s the curse of being enduring and patient. Ha ha.

4. History Learning

Aside from Stellaris most Paradox games are historical. Such as Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Imperator Rome, Hearts of Iron, etc. You can learn history, geography, and culture by playing Paradox games. Meeting or playing as historical characters is also a fun experience.

Stellaris is not really different either. It doesn’t teach history but introduce you to many scientific topics. Such as space geography, space geology, black holes, faster than light travel, quantum physics, Dyson sphere, etc.

All in all, you learn a lot playing Paradox Games. That’s why they’re so popular.

5. Low System Requirements

Paradox Games has really low system requirements. Afterall, they don’t need fancy graphics. As a matter of fact, you can lower the graphic quality and experience the same gameplay without any loss.

Anyone can play Paradox games on any computer! That’s one of the reasons why Paradox games are widely popular.

Also, if it’s the only game you can play, you get easily addicted to it…

6. Progress Feeling

Leading your nation throughout ages for an ultimate goal is granting you unmatched progress feeling. After all, you’ve spent 10 hours on that save, your kingdom / civilization / dynast grew tremendously. Of course, you’ll be thinking about it during your job, school, or whatever. That’s an emotional investment.

Also, there are bunch of achievements in a Paradox Game. To complete all achievements of let’s say EU4, you need to play the game at least 2000 hours… Perhaps even more.

Damn, I really want to play CK3 right now, but I know for a fact, if I start a new save, I’ll play at least 50 hours in a short amount of time…

7. Role-Playing & Escapism

Paradox Games are 4x grand strategy. But also, they are sandbox role-playing games. Especially the Crusader Kings and Stellaris. You can role-play as the character you’re controlling.

I’ve already released an article about the appeal of RPG games and why they are so addictive. In short, RPGs offering a way of escapism. Most people don’t enjoy or satisfied with their lives. So, what they do? Play a role-playing game as a second life. That’s the way of escaping from the struggles of real life.

Since role-playing games are much better than real-life, they’re addictive. Hitting you with constant dopamine and everything.

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