What are your favorite "house rules"?

Inspired by the PUBG game mode stuff, I want to extend this out to all video games, what are some good “house rules” ? Basically “house rules” are any kind of limitation you put on yourself to change the way a game is played.

Some examples are Austin’s Permadeath series, or Pokemon Nuzlocke runs, which is where you release every Pokemon that faints, and you are only allowed to catch the first Pokemon you encounter in each area.

I have always been a fan of the gimmick Arena runs in Hearthstone, whether “pick every card on the left”, “pick every spell”, or “pick every Dragon”. I won’t pretend I do them often, but trying to juggle with a difficult/misshapen deck can sometimes make for a fun and educational run.


The one city challenge is the OG. Incidentally, that how I played civilization III for about a week when I first got it because I was bad at comprehending tutorials (in my defense I was 8 and had trouble paying attention) and didn’t recognize that settlers created cities.

When I was first getting into board-gaming, I misinterpreted the rules to ticket to ride thinking that instead of doing either picking route cards, placing routes, or picking tickets, I thought you could do each action every turn. As a result, it made tickets immensely overpowered because there was no consequence to looking at tickets every turn, unless you got a bad hand (which isn’t all too likely in the game). For whatever reason I decided to look at the rulebook again and recognized my mistake, but sometimes we still like playing the broken way as it feels like an entirely different game.


Back in high school, my brother, friends and I played GoldenEye with one house rule. You couldn’t kill unarmed players. We shot at each other with honor, damn it!

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X-Ray moves were considered ungentlemanly among my friends and I in MK9.

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@Hailinel ha that’s so cool, we had the same rule! It’s so unsportsmanlike to attack a defenseless person. Let them pick up a gun first. Either that, or karate fight!

It’s a little off the question, but we had a house rule for pool (billiards) - if you lost the game without getting any balls in, you had to do a lap of the table with your pants around your ankles :laughing: I decided it would be smarter to practice on my own before working up to challenge anyone to a game lol.


When I was a kid we had a ping pong table in a very narrow basement room, so the rule was that if you hit the ball off the wall and it bounced in tthat point was still alive.

Oh, and that Penalty Kicks in FIFA were extremely poor form.

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My brother and I had a version of Goldeneye we would play with friends: facility, assault rifles, we would split into two teams and take turns having one team set up a base at one end of the level and the others then tried to take it. We would also informally time how long each team held the base for withe whoever had it the longest being the winner. In writing it down now I am realizing we basically just created our own version of king of the hill.

Oh also the house rule for playing Heroes of Might & Magic III was that everyone had to cooperate and share whatever grail information they gathered. Our collective desire to unearth the grail was more important than whoever got it.


In college when we played smash, we had a no edge guarding rule. Not letting someone get back on the stage was cause for very harsh punishment.

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In Watch_Dogs (the original), you had the ability to turn on friendly fire for the co-op! This lead to a really cool set of house rules.

  • Both players choose a location in the distance. They need to confirm the location with each other and agree that’s the one.
  • From the same point, both players must race to that location by any means.
  • Once someone is there, that player has the “advantage” and can set up traps and such while the other player makes their way to the location. At this point, I would typically ease off if I knew that my friend was already there, and look for an alternate route.
  • Kill, or be killed. Having the advantage doesn’t guarantee success.

This lead to some really interesting fights in rare moments where Watch_Dogs offered any verticality; there’s a construction site near Pawnee where we had a fight across multiple layers of the site. It was a really cool set of rules that I enjoyed playing with.

Another one I know of as well is that my friend loves playing tag in Dying Light, which is fun because of how you just traverse that world.

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Playing Breath of the Wild as a two-player game is a really interesting challenge; one player uses the left joycon, and the other player uses the right, and you have to collaborate to navigate Link around the map.


That reminds me of the time me and a friend tried playing Halo CE on PC. I don’t think the PC version had a 2-player option, so instead we decided one person was responsible for the keyboard controls and the other did the mouse controls.

I can only imagine how much better this must be with two separate joycons.

On that note, why’s Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons not on the Switch yet? Sure, it may not have been intended as a co-op game, but I would love to play it with the separated joycons.

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Does hoarding every consumable counts? :slight_smile:

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GoldenEye was the king of these for me too!! Played so much that me and my pals were always trying out new, mostly stupid house rules. The one that sticks out most in my memory was the Facility with only proximity mines, which mainly lead to reallllllly long sessions because everybody stayed hidden and unmoving from fear of being immediately exploded if they so much as made a step forward.


I used to play Warhawk a lot. We came up with a bunch of minigames. Most of them built up useful skills.

Jeep Launching: This works best on the Archipelago map. Two people start as pilots, and the rest are in jeeps. They have to race from A to B and back. The pilots have to try and knock them off the map. Anyone knocked out becomes a pilot and the final 2 to survive become the starting pilots next round. This built up a good skill, pushing around jeeps that flag carriers are in.

Hide and Seek: Fairly straight forward. One guy is on red and the rest of the group is on blue. Only the red team is allowed to kill. Anyone who gets killed switches to red. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, since if you get in a plane and select the weapon with the biggest reticle it’ll turn red if a target is in the reticle. This was good at building up your stealth strategies and learning the nooks and crannies.

Dodge Jeep: Like the name implies, you’re trying to dodge the jeeps. Typically you start with two jeeps and the rest of the group in a circle. Dead ground units can grab a jeep and join in, which usually makes things harder as they run into each other more than the people they’re trying to run down. Ground units can knife the drivers, who become ground units. Eventually one team is depleted of units. It was good for getting down the timing on knifing drivers, and for learning how much to adjust for ground units trying to get out of being run over.

Jeep Racing: pretty straight forward and the one I was best at. It was good for learning how to take the corners you’d need to take when running the flag.

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