"Try hard..." why is that an insult again?

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So I've been wondering about the phrase "try hard" in online gaming. I've seen it crop up with increasing regularity for a few years now. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's usually a derogatory term used to describe someone trying hard to win.

...

I'm sorry, but am I missing something here? Why is calling someone a "try hard" supposed to be an insult? Isn't winning the match the goal for most online games? At least the "try hard" is actually, y'know, TRYING instead of being a griefer and trolling.

Someone want to clarify for me why trying to win is apparently a bad thing now?

I use try hard differently from most. I use it to refer to people to whom losing is physically painful. Where winning is literally their everything and it isnt enough that they win. Everyone needs to know they won. And every mistake or loss needs to be blamed, or deflected or excused on someone else. Every victory MUST be gloated about and every mistake a team mate makes MUST be mocked to the enemy team. These people validate themselves on others "Knowing" they are the best and its never their fault they lose and they are perfect. I hate these people a lot. THESE are try hards to me. Whiny attention seekers who demand fealty for the victories and sympathy for their "plight" should they lose and its OBVIOUSLY something/someone elses fault.

because people who say it want you to think they are naturally good without having "no life".

RomanceIsDead:
because people who say it want you to think they are naturally good without having "no life".

This, anyone who is worse then you is a try hard noob and anyone who is better then you is a loser with no life

Because those try hard scrubs in my LoL games are awful. :3

A try hard is someone who goes to extreme lengths to win, always using the latest over-powered build or character or class etc, rather than just playing what they like. Normally it wouldn't be an issue, but multiplayer games can be very unbalanced, and facing the same overpowered characters over and over can make multiplayer games very unenjoyable at times.

It is also kind of tongue-in-cheek, we all like to win.

Normally I get called that when I win my lane in league, I never gloat or even communicate to the enemy, So i imagine the reasoning behind people that use that term is to make them feel better, like convince themselves that they weren't really trying, but that's just my guess.

BiscuitTrouser:
I use try hard differently from most. I use it to refer to people to whom losing is physically painful. Where winning is literally their everything and it isnt enough that they win. Everyone needs to know they won. And every mistake or loss needs to be blamed, or deflected or excused on someone else. Every victory MUST be gloated about and every mistake a team mate makes MUST be mocked to the enemy team. These people validate themselves on others "Knowing" they are the best and its never their fault they lose and they are perfect. I hate these people a lot. THESE are try hards to me. Whiny attention seekers who demand fealty for the victories and sympathy for their "plight" should they lose and its OBVIOUSLY something/someone elses fault.

So it's another way of saying they're an egocentric poor sport. I see where you're coming from.

Shpongled:
A try hard is someone who goes to extreme lengths to win, always using the latest over-powered build or character or class etc, rather than just playing what they like. Normally it wouldn't be an issue, but multiplayer games can be very unbalanced, and facing the same overpowered characters over and over can make multiplayer games very unenjoyable at times.

It is also kind of tongue-in-cheek, we all like to win.

Okay, that makes sense. Speaking as a longtime TF2 player, there are definitely certain builds for classes that have been somewhat OP or plain annoying to fight.

Still though, sometimes it's good to "take one for the team" in a game like TF2. Nobody likes the player that fills the role of Spy/Sniper #4.

IDK why it's being used in this context, to me try-hard is a way to call someone a poser that's trying so hard to be something they're not. i.e. Corey from the Pawn Stars is a try-hard because he tries his hardest to not be associated with things he calls "Nerdy". From his tattoos, motorcycles, claiming to have never seen Star Wars and outright shaming anyone who enjoys such things, he embodies the true nature of being a try-hard.

it's generally an insult in australia since it goes againsts our laid back attitude
basically if everyone isn't enjoying themselves and 1 guy is busting his ass to be awesome he is a try hard and is ruining it for everyone else

Neverhoodian:
So I've been wondering about the phrase "try hard" in online gaming. I've seen it crop up with increasing regularity for a few years now. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's usually a derogatory term used to describe someone trying hard to win.

...

I'm sorry, but am I missing something here? Why is calling someone a "try hard" supposed to be an insult? Isn't winning the match the goal for most online games? At least the "try hard" is actually, y'know, TRYING instead of being a griefer and trolling.

Someone want to clarify for me why trying to win is apparently a bad thing now?

It is referencing to the point that the person is trying hard but always failing. Basically a long way of calling them stupid or incompetent. Also usually used by younger groups who haven't figured out that trying hard is what eventually gets you ahead and that failure isn't always perpetual.

I sort of use it in terms of table top wargaming. I used to play warhammer 40k. These games were just me and my friends, some beer and spending a night laughing, playing the game, drinking and socializing.

But there is always that one guy (and it was always the same guy) who was a try hard. The game was his fucking everything. He tried his damnedest to win. He would specifically play off an old codex if there was something overpowered in it (and of course, we let him because none of us cared). The thing is, if he ended up losing his attitude would sour and he would just be a wet blanket on the whole night.

I guess "try hard" can mean a lot of things in a lot of situations. To me, it means someone who is putting in an overexertion of effort just to win a game that is, for all intents and purposes, just for fun.

In LoL, for instance, we all want to win. However, if you're not even playing ranked yet pour over item builds, what characters are the best, top tier pro-level rankings and, basically, expecting a professional level of play from people in the unranked, custom or, God help you (and this has happened to me once) bot games... you're simply trying too hard.

You're trying too hard compared to your peers.
Trying hard is not a bad thing, per say, but you'd do better to simply play a mode more suited to the seriousness of play you're expecting rather than expect everyone to take the game as seriously as you.

It is a suitable insult for someone who doesn't seem to recognise how their effort:reward ratio is so out of whack for entertainment. It's like people who spend hours perfecting a rotation in World of Warcraft just to get an extra 5 DPS average.

Essentially it's for people who have turned entertainment into a job. They seem to be missing the point. They also are frequently terribly stressed out over the thing so the "try hard" insult has the benefit of cutting extra deep.

Its Basically Gaming Doublethink, but its also dependent on the other person.

If your on someones team and you lose the game for them, you suck

If you're against them and win the game, your a try-hard noob faggot
__________________________________________________________________________

So, its basically the person who's calling you that's way to make him/herself feel better

Neverhoodian:

BiscuitTrouser:
I use try hard differently from most. I use it to refer to people to whom losing is physically painful. Where winning is literally their everything and it isnt enough that they win. Everyone needs to know they won. And every mistake or loss needs to be blamed, or deflected or excused on someone else. Every victory MUST be gloated about and every mistake a team mate makes MUST be mocked to the enemy team. These people validate themselves on others "Knowing" they are the best and its never their fault they lose and they are perfect. I hate these people a lot. THESE are try hards to me. Whiny attention seekers who demand fealty for the victories and sympathy for their "plight" should they lose and its OBVIOUSLY something/someone elses fault.

So it's another way of saying they're an egocentric poor sport. I see where you're coming from.

Shpongled:
A try hard is someone who goes to extreme lengths to win, always using the latest over-powered build or character or class etc, rather than just playing what they like. Normally it wouldn't be an issue, but multiplayer games can be very unbalanced, and facing the same overpowered characters over and over can make multiplayer games very unenjoyable at times.

It is also kind of tongue-in-cheek, we all like to win.

Okay, that makes sense. Speaking as a longtime TF2 player, there are definitely certain builds for classes that have been somewhat OP or plain annoying to fight.

Still though, sometimes it's good to "take one for the team" in a game like TF2. Nobody likes the player that fills the role of Spy/Sniper #4.

Yes, but based on Shpongled's post, what if that is what you like to play as? I've always been on the side of winning is the goal. Of course, I take my winning attitude to the actual field and tend to play video games solo, but in the gaming world why should anyone feel bad for picking the over-powered character? If its a problem, then the game is at fault. Jim Sterling once called foul when the devs of Hydrophobia accused him of playing their game wrong. If I find a way to win with a higher success rate, then it is my choice to do so. I'm not playing it wrong or being a try hard, I'm using the system to my advantage.

I always thought it was troll try harder? I couldn't see this as an insult, just patronizing.

Everything is used as an insult... If you're good, you're either a no-lifer or a tryhard. If you are bad you are a noob.

Simply put, insecure kids vent their rage at whomever they can, however they can.

I was unfamiliar with the term until now, but even in that context it doesn't sound that insulting.

You can definitely be called worse things online.

Basically, there are people who would rather blame their opponent for their own losses rather than themselves, and decide the best way to do that is to insult them for doing so well.

ie, "it's your fault I can't kill you and you should be ashamed of yourself because of it."

However, there are people who repeatedly use OP tactics in games which can get pretty annoying, but I don't call those people try-hards. I call 'em "easy-moders" (but not to their faces, because that would be rude. I just 'try harder' to kill them). ;)

the only time I ever felt "try hard" was an actual insult is was when people actually try and win on plr_hightower
the people who take hightower seriously are just evil. its a silly map thats perfect for stupid loadouts. I want to trolldier for another half an hour, thank you very much.

I don't really see it as much of an insult. Just a denominator for a specific group of people, at least in the way I use it.

For instance, in a free to play multiplayer title you can meet people who have spent hundreds of dollars in the in-game shop and hundreds of hours playing this game to polish their skills to a mirror shine. The kind who do ALL IT TAKES to win a game even though they're playing against newbies who don't stand much of a reasonable chance anyway. The kind who have a deeply organized, millitary-like team that will wipe the floor with you while you're learning the game. Those are tryhards, and I call them that in the context of "oh I don't want to play on server X, it's full of tryhards".

That and, you know, people who desperately play the objective when everyone else has an unwritten agreement to ignore it and just kill eachother.

Neverhoodian:
So I've been wondering about the phrase "try hard" in online gaming. I've seen it crop up with increasing regularity for a few years now. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's usually a derogatory term used to describe someone trying hard to win.

...

I'm sorry, but am I missing something here? Why is calling someone a "try hard" supposed to be an insult? Isn't winning the match the goal for most online games? At least the "try hard" is actually, y'know, TRYING instead of being a griefer and trolling.

Someone want to clarify for me why trying to win is apparently a bad thing now?

The definition of 'Try Hard' that I am personally familiar with originated in Fighting Games like Marvel vs Capcom and other arcade titles. A 'Try Hard' character is a character that requires little to no skill to play, that no real effort needs to be put in to learning the character's abilities. If you've ever played Super Skrull from MvC3, that's the definition of a Try Hard as I've been given to understand it. I believe that online gamers use the term in a similar manner, implying that the person who's playing has absolutely no skill and is relying on playing an unbalanced character of some kind to win at all, at that if their skills were ever actually challenged, that they would fail.

Neverhoodian:
So I've been wondering about the phrase "try hard" in online gaming. I've seen it crop up with increasing regularity for a few years now. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's usually a derogatory term used to describe someone trying hard to win.

...

I'm sorry, but am I missing something here? Why is calling someone a "try hard" supposed to be an insult? Isn't winning the match the goal for most online games? At least the "try hard" is actually, y'know, TRYING instead of being a griefer and trolling.

Someone want to clarify for me why trying to win is apparently a bad thing now?

From what I've seen (I don't use it myself), "try hard" as an insult is not "you're trying hard to win, hah hah hah". It's "wow, you're so fucking bad that you really need to try hard at this activity I find easier than breathing".

The way I see it used and use it in Dota 2 is to insult people who do every little thing to win, rather than just playing for fun. Don't get me wrong, everyone wants to win, but when you pick the easiest character, use the easiest build on that character and then use the easiest pub strategy you're crossing a line.

FoolKiller:

Neverhoodian:

BiscuitTrouser:
I use try hard differently from most. I use it to refer to people to whom losing is physically painful. Where winning is literally their everything and it isnt enough that they win. Everyone needs to know they won. And every mistake or loss needs to be blamed, or deflected or excused on someone else. Every victory MUST be gloated about and every mistake a team mate makes MUST be mocked to the enemy team. These people validate themselves on others "Knowing" they are the best and its never their fault they lose and they are perfect. I hate these people a lot. THESE are try hards to me. Whiny attention seekers who demand fealty for the victories and sympathy for their "plight" should they lose and its OBVIOUSLY something/someone elses fault.

So it's another way of saying they're an egocentric poor sport. I see where you're coming from.

Shpongled:
A try hard is someone who goes to extreme lengths to win, always using the latest over-powered build or character or class etc, rather than just playing what they like. Normally it wouldn't be an issue, but multiplayer games can be very unbalanced, and facing the same overpowered characters over and over can make multiplayer games very unenjoyable at times.

It is also kind of tongue-in-cheek, we all like to win.

Okay, that makes sense. Speaking as a longtime TF2 player, there are definitely certain builds for classes that have been somewhat OP or plain annoying to fight.

Still though, sometimes it's good to "take one for the team" in a game like TF2. Nobody likes the player that fills the role of Spy/Sniper #4.

Yes, but based on Shpongled's post, what if that is what you like to play as? I've always been on the side of winning is the goal. Of course, I take my winning attitude to the actual field and tend to play video games solo, but in the gaming world why should anyone feel bad for picking the over-powered character? If its a problem, then the game is at fault. Jim Sterling once called foul when the devs of Hydrophobia accused him of playing their game wrong. If I find a way to win with a higher success rate, then it is my choice to do so. I'm not playing it wrong or being a try hard, I'm using the system to my advantage.

Yes, you have the right to abuse the imbalance in games, no it doesn't make you wrong.

Still makes you a douche if you do it though. You can say that's just how you like to play etc so it's the developers faut not yours if your gameplay that they allow makes the game shit for everyone else, but imbalance isn't an intended feature of games, it's an unfortunate inevitability. People who get their kicks from abusing this are douche's who bring down the fun for everyone, thus deserve some sort of insult. "Using the system to my advantage" just doesn't really cut it. Just because something isn't expressly illegal or banned, doesn't mean it isn't a douchey thing to do.

Of course, the insult reflects the severity of the crime, so to speak, and "tryhard" isn't a particularly strong insult, there's much worse things people could say. Sometimes people just need to express their anguish at being beaten again purely because they aren't playing the current flavour of the month.

Because they will yell at their "inferior" team, relentlessly commenting every mistake since they are the self-proclaimed moderator of your team maybe?
They will kindly inform you of your status as a "noob", oftenly begin sentences with "omg" and frequently suggest that you uninstall.
Play a few games of league of legends to see what I mean, tell me that isn't obnoxious.

The best part is that those people can't even see why "just telling others that they suck" would be abrasive in any way since they're just "helping".
Also, "tryhard" does not even equal "good player" in any way as you will soon find out when playing league of legends.

I think I heard it used once. I was curious so I looked into this thread to see why I should be offended (insulting people over the internet is always stupid its only a matter of why its stupid). Apparently nobody has one definitive definition here either so its a nebulous insult of debatable meaning. That makes it even sadder.

I've not seen the phrase used in any sort of gaming context. As I understand it, someone is a 'try-hard' when they go to extreme lengths to prove how cool they are, despite it being painfully obvious that they aren't cool at all. Someone who will do almost anything in order to gain the approval of their peers.

There are two main meanings for it:

1. A person who puts winning ahead of everything, even if it brings down the quality of the game for him and/or others. He'll constantly play only what he deems are THE MOST powerful characters or use only THE MOST powerful weapons. What is deemed most powerful or effective is usually a general consensus and the Tryhard is only following the herd. He'll be playing a character in LoL or DotA not because he likes it or because he's good at it, but because he was TOLD it's the best one.

Tryharding may or may not correlate to actual winning. The term isn't about that, it's about desperation. The people it describes are desperate to win and only win and nothing else matters.

2. An insulting term roughly equivalent to "no-lifer", usually used by people to deride players who beat them. The implication here is that the only reason the "Tryhard" won a game or an engagement was because he was using overpowered game mechanics instead of playing for fun or normally.

Personally, I've found plenty of examples of the first meaning. There really are some people who really only care about winning. Not so say that I don't (I do, quite a bit), but to them it is literally the only motivation and they seem incapable of understanding why someone would play in a way that they perceive as non-optimal.

The underlined part is key here, since Tryhards are often wrong. One of the key components of tryharding is the lack of personal input. They aren't playing in a certain way because they found it to be good or fun or effective, but rather because they were TOLD that's the best way. They likely have characters or gameplay styles they like, but those are disregarded. Heck, they might even get better results with other methods, but will ignore that because they were TOLD this way is better.

And that's the sad thing about Tryharding...

In my experience, a tryhard is someone who plays the metagame, abusing overpowered weapons or mechanics knowingly to get an unfair advantage. The last part is important, because I know players who have been forced to adopt overpowered weapons or mechanics in order to have a level playing field, notably the pre-patch USG-11/H gatling gun in Armored Core V. I will generally refrain from using broken elements of the game on principle, but I can't expect others to do the same.

I was under the impression it became a thing because of DeliciousCinnamon's Vietnamese Crystal Let's Play. Am I not correct in assuming this?

Only times I hear "try hards" is when I'm on TF2 & trying to seed the server. One guy out of four is trying to cap all the points when the rest are tickle fighting heaves, waiting for more to join.

DasDestroyer:
The way I see it used and use it in Dota 2 is to insult people who do every little thing to win, rather than just playing for fun. Don't get me wrong, everyone wants to win, but when you pick the easiest character, use the easiest build on that character and then use the easiest pub strategy you're crossing a line.

And who would be the easiest hero with the easiest build that is actually worth anything against semi-experienced players?

OT: Only time I've heard it in DOTA 2 is when my team buys invis detection items against invis heros. Hilarious.

My interpretation, agreed upon by my mates, is 2 things:
1. You care more than your opponent, much more than your opponent, then you're trying too hard.
eg. If we're playing CoD, and I don't really give a shit...as in, I'm playin for shits and giggles - and you're trying your best to win, you're trying way too damn hard.
2. You care more than you're opponent, you gush and carry on - and then proceed to get slapped into the ground - you 'are' a try-hard.

growing up in the 80's it used to mean the person was a poser. they try hard to give the appearance but do none of the actual work, training, etc

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