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Thinking of getting a game, but want to know how long it will take to play first? A couple of sites have statistics from other players, so you can look this up.

It’s easy to know how long a movie will take to watch: just look at the back of the box. Video games aren’t so simple: how long a game will last depends a lot on the player. Hardcore gamers will breeze through a game that beginners struggle with; completionists will explore every corner of a game while casual players rush toward the story’s conclusion.

Still, there’s only so much content in a game. Here is a couple of sites that use player feedback to guess how long a given game will take you.

How Long To Beat

This is the site I’d check first: it gets right to the point, showing you how long a given game will take you.

how-long-to-beat

There are four different times offered here, so you might be wondering: how long will the game take to “beat”? It depends how you play games. Here’s quick rundown of the four boxes:

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  • Main Story: How long it takes to beat the game if all you care about is seeing the ending.
  • Main Story + Extras: Playing the game enough to get to “The End”, then playing the extra content you unlock by winning (and/or pay to download).
  • Completionist: Working to hit “100%”. This is how long it took players to do absolutely every quest and find every collectable the game has to offer.
  • Combined: The average time players spent playing the game.

If you’re the kind of player who usually only plays through the main plot, the “Main Story” metric is probably most useful for you. If you (like me) like to linger in a game long enough to get to 100%, the “Completionist” metric is probably more useful.

how-long-to-beat-reviews

You can dig a little further into the information, if you want, exploring the playtimes of individual players.

We included this site in our list of tools for getting more out of Steam games 6 Useful Tools For Getting More Out Of Steam Games 6 Useful Tools For Getting More Out Of Steam Games Steam is packed with a variety of useful features you may not be aware of, but third-party developers have made utilities and websites that add even more features to Steam. From moving installed games to... Read More ; check that article out for other resources.

GameLengths

With fewer submissions, but an arguably cleaner way to sort gameplay times, GameLengths is a worthy resource. It’s extremely clean.

gamelengths

You’ll see how many playthroughs the average is based on, along with the shortest and longest time from those results. You’ll also see the average – along with whatever comments gamers decided to leave.

It’s a simpler approach than How Long To Beat, which you might appreciate, but there are generally far fewer gameplay times submitted.

Searching/Forums

The above two sites are great starting points, but if you’re not satisfied with the information you get, don’t worry. There is a variety of forums for gamers across the net, where people discuss the games they love.

The easiest way to find such a conversation: Google it. This is obvious, sure, but it works for most games. You’ll probably find a conversation with a variety of different times.

If you can’t find a result, you could always try to ask at MakeUseOf Answers or another gaming forum; someone there might be able to help you out.

Play Time

There’s more to life than playing games. Video game addiction is a serious problem Video Game Addiction In Teens - What Is Too Much and How to Curb the Problem Video Game Addiction In Teens - What Is Too Much and How to Curb the Problem Video game addiction is a serious issue. I know this because I am an ex-video game addict. Read More , and for some scheduling gameplay is a helpful way to keep a pleasant diversion from becoming an all-consuming time sink. These sites should help you know what to expect while scheduling.

But if you’re not a potential addict, knowing how long a game takes to play is a way to gauge the value of buying a game. It’s not the only metric: a short game can be fun, and a long tedious game certainly isn’t. If you’re on a limited budget, buying games you’ll quickly beat isn’t a good value proposition.

What do you think: is knowing how long a game will take to beat useful? Let me know in the comments below, along with any resources for finding out I’ve missed.

Image Credits: Digital Stopwatch Via Shutterstock

  1. G
    January 29, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I play to get to the end as fast as possible and go back (if possible) to do anything I've missed (quests, etc.). I sometimes look for walkthroughs or guides to help me complete the game faster, but I don't use any cheats.

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