10 Genius Hidden Mechanics In Video Games

Your relationships in the Final Fantasy series are determined by a hidden stat system. Who knew?

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cloud Tifa Aerith
Square Enix

One of the most basic aspects of video game development is that gameplay mechanics are adequately communicated to the player, whether simple movement and combat or more complex, advanced techniques.

While you'd reasonably expect developers to want players to easily access every feature in their game, for whatever reason they sometimes opt to downplay some of their niftier, cleverer mechanics - or perhaps not even mention them at all.

These 10 video game mechanics are effectively hidden in their own games, whether sequestered away into a manual nobody read or fleetingly mentioned in a loading screen somewhere, if even that.

But considering they're all extremely smart, well thought-out features that actively elevate the experience, it's a total head-scratcher that you'd likely only find out about them by accident or by reading about them online.

While some of these techniques certainly require practise and training to perfect, others will near-instantly improve the game, or in the very least give you a greater sense of respect for those who tirelessly slaved away on it.

And above all else, this list just might give you reason to pick these (mostly) great games up once more...

10. Coyote Time Gives You Extra Time To Jump - Celeste

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cloud Tifa Aerith
Matt Makes Games

Celeste certainly isn't the first platformer to include this mechanic, though given that it happens to be one of the most brutally difficult recent games in its genre, it's especially note-worthy that it also makes use of it.

"Coyote time" is a technique in games development where players are given extra fractions of a second after leaving a platform to leap before gravity kicks in and drops them down - named after Wile E. Coyote's gravity-defying tendencies, of course.

This mechanic is employed to basically limit player frustration during difficult platforming, but given that Celeste is all about being hard as nails, many simply assumed it didn't include such forgiving mechanics.

And yet, the game's creator Maddy Thorson confirmed in a fascinating Twitter thread that Coyote time is indeed part of Celeste's platforming framework, that you're granted a few frames of "forgiveness" after leaving a ledge to make your jump.

Knowing this admittedly doesn't really make Celeste any less infuriatingly difficult.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.