Side quests

Side quests is a narrative-oriented gamification mechanic. Their function is to provide the user with a list of additional tasks, which is easy to navigate and manage.

Side quests belong to the "Quests" category. They can be either individual or collective (see Guilds). Contrary to other types of quests, such as Main quests and Boss fights, side quests are optional.

Side quests belong to the Social and the Narrative layers in the model of gamification (see Model).

Strong effect

Side quests are extra tools that help to create a deeper emotional bond between the user and the game, as it is up to the user to either complete those quests or not.

Weak effect

Side quests are valuable when their completion helps users to stand out, for instance, by gaining extra points or additional information about the game mechanics or the game itself.

Duration of the effect

A game with a small set of side quests, or none at all, is suitable for short-term objectives. When the gamification is long-term, implementation of side quests may give the game a new lease of life. Please note that side quests should be connected to main quests for users to become more deeply immersed in the game.

What can I do with this?

The main goal of gamification is to further motivate the user to act in one way or another. Accepting side quests is one of the basic motivating gamification mechanics.
Side quests may be time-limited for additional value.
The motivation to complete the quests can arouse in users simply by accepting them.
Quests may include additional information for a better understanding of tasks, statistics of their completion, and other relevant information, which not only increases the time spent by users in the game but also contributes to general knowledge of the game principles.
Certain types of quest systems allow users to choose the order of quests completion themselves.
When completed quests become valuable, then the higher the amount of them users have, the higher their in-game status is. The ability to accumulate several quests is another motivating in-game mechanic.
It's better to make completing side quests perceived as the means and not the goal for them to value longer. Completed quests are then accumulated not for the sake of their amount but rather to discover new in-game features via their conversion to other in-game items.
Demonstration of completed quests is a crucial mechanic that allows players to display their achievements for others to note.