Respawning takes place in both single-player and multiplayer gameplay. When a player dies, they reappear moments later at a certain location, letting the player continue on with the game. In single-player, the player does not need to revert back to a particular checkpoint or start the entire level again, while in multiplayer, players quickly jump back into action in the same level against opponents. Penalties are often given when respawning. This varies from losing an amount of money to any weapons you have picked up to points deducted from your final score.
Some games allow players to manipulate and change spawn points. A good example of this is Halo 3
's Forge mode.
Though respawning has its benefits, there are some potential issues that can arise from it.
One setback of the respawn concept, seen in multiplayer gameplay, is spawn camping. A spawn camper determines the locations of the various spawn points in a game's map where other players will reappear, and then stands and waits for players to respawn, killing them as soon as they appear.
Game developers have come up with various mechanics to prevent players from doing this. One example in team-based multiplayer gameplay is providing the team with a "safe area" to respawn in that enemy players cannot enter. Some games feature a "safe respawn" mechanic, which assures that a player will respawn in a safe area that is a certain distance from their opponents, making sure they are not killed immediately after reappearing. Another mechanic is the "wave respawn" concept (for example, in Team Fortress 2
) where players will not respawn immediately, but in a large group all at once, making it hard to take the whole team down once they leave their safe area.
In single-player gameplay, the implementation of how or when a player respawns can greatly change the difficulty of the game. Bioshock
's respawn system, for example, has been critisized as making the game much too easy; there are 'chambers' in set areas that the player respawns in, but there is no penalty for death in the game or any limit on how many times the player can respawn, making death a minor inconvenience instead of a major setback. In other instances, a player's respawn point can dynamically change depending on their progress, moving them back a certain distance from the point of death to try again.