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What do you want to get out of Netrunner?

After Worlds 2016, I recall an interesting podcast (RLC, I believe) talking with some of the top British players about Worlds and their experiences with the game.

At one point, Chris Dyer answered a question by saying “it depends on what you want to get out of Netrunner.”

So I wonder what are some of the different things players here hope to get out of Netrunner. What do you want to get out of the game?


What an excellent question.

My goals:

  • I would like to do better than expected with weird decks, especially ones built around my favorite cards
  • I would like to continue to enjoy the community of the very lovely Netrunner community
  • I would like to play fun games with my friends

Well for me the answer is ALL YOUR AGENDAS! :smiley:

  • Satisfaction from experiencing and mastering a complex and entertaining mental exercise that is (almost) any game of Netrunner.
  • Learning how to be a better winner and a better loser.
  • Partaking in a rich meta/lore, with its very own and unique memes and memorable moments.
  • Sharing the above with nice people from all over the world.

This will do nicely.


I want to take high risks for high rewards, facecheck ICE without instalosing, and to install a naked 2/1 (heck, even a 3/1) as a bold play that is guaranteed to impact the game one way or another. So far, no dice :frowning:


I want 99.99% of all of you out, so I can have a chance at world champion.

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I want to have fun conversations about this game, create stories through game play, and help be a good member of the local and digital community.

Also, I want to keep working on a Reina deck that can push into Tier 1.5

I am chiefly interested in Netrunner as a kind of spectator sport, in which there are heroes, zeroes, and villains; good teams and bad teams; controversy on and off the field.

I follow the meta keenly, theorycraft, watch almost every stream/video and listen to almost every podcast. Netrunner has also altered my social habits, both online and offline. I like to deckbuild—especially with some kind of constraint—and I love to test mid-tier archetypes which explore the card pool.

I’m a devotee of “small” cards that are either extraordinary flexible, have more than one use, or have esoteric applications. Selling a zero cost program to Aesop’s is my favourite interaction in the game.

Unfortunately, there are stretches of time where I don’t actually enjoy playing Netrunner, and my play has not really improved beyond a certain point. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I like deckbuilding for corp and playing corp far less than runner. I’d quite happily only play runner, if given the chance (and on Jnet, I play very little corp).

I’ll confess to a bit of uncertainty at this very moment. The direction of the card pool, particularly for corps, hints at a future for the game that does not encourage me to play more: net damage, meat damage, kill decks, grind decks, punishment cards, Skorpios, more punishment cards, advanceable traps, three-card monte games, hate cards, and terrible matchups. Netrunner is a game of hidden information and risks, sure, and damage is an important deterrent, but when so many games turn into “not this again” and when even your favourite streamers, commentators, and hosts can barely restrain their sighs, there might be something wrong.

The Ban and Restricted list doesn’t even scratch the fucking surface, folks. I think we’d need to double or triple it to get to a point where most people felt most of the time that the overwhelming majority of their matchups were viable, where damage and kill required more skill than just putting every card that says “net damage” on it into a deck (cough PU), and where tedious lockout games were extremely rare rather than decided on a coin flip (is Door to Door in hand turn 1? Y/N). Concern has been expressed about the game’s ability to attract and retain new players. For this to work, FFG would need to take a decidedly non-relativistic approach. Stop listening to or tacitly encouraging the type of people who say “X is fine, just slot Y” or “B-b-b-but Door to Door Making News is my preferred playstyle.” This is has done irreparable harm to the game’s playability and long term forecast outside a fairly narrow subset of the fanbase.

So I’m not sure. I’d love to keep playing as well as just watching from the sidelines, but I’ve got concerns. That’s all.


This is a great question – and I hope the devs have thought hard about it, far beyond their own personal preferences. (This is one reason I worry, just a tiny little bit, about having a Netrunner fan running the game.)

Anyhow, here’s what I know, or can admit, that I want:

  • …to win.
  • …to meet people.
  • …to get better at losing. I tend to personalize and psychologize and catastrophize games, especially online where (crucially, maddeningly) I can’t tell how hard the other players are playing/working. As a result, Netrunner’s especially challenging for me – it’s a kind of demonic poker game emphasizing luck-management and information warfare, so I’m having to deal with bad beats and high-stakes uncertainty. I’ve played 100 games now, almost entirely on j.net, and I feel absolutely great about having won 34 of them (including 11 of the last 17). That’s a big step forward for me.
  • …to test myself against other humans. This goes with the previous. I spend a lot of time at home and in cafes writing, alone even when surrounded by other people, and tend to work on books rather than shorter, quicker-turnaround pieces. My self-sense can get all fucked up as a result: Netrunner checks my ego and offers a domain to test skill and a bar to measure growth by. I don’t just have to determine for myself how good I am; j.net happily tells me where I stand.
  • …to study a game in depth. I’ve never been the type to push hard at a game – to worry about deck matchups, memorize a card pool, play repeatedly with a single deck as ‘practice’ instead of just ‘for fun,’ etc. Netrunner’s the most complex game I’ve ever invested significant time and mental resources in, and I’ve enjoyed thinking hard and systematically about gameplay for the first time since grad school.
  • …to slow down. Netrunner is a bottomless well of anxiety, obviously, but it’s also an area where I can think deliberately and analytically about my choices.
  • …the cyberpunk vibe. I reread Neuromancer recently and am reading the rest of Gibson’s cyberspace trilogy for the first time; Netrunner is that with the serial numbers filed off. (I might’ve sued, in Gibson’s publisher’s place.) I like the aesthetics of the game, and the perfectly matched theme and mechanics.



I’m new to gaming and netrunner is my first serious card game. I got into netrunner because I was looking for a way to challenge my kid with problems that are complicated but not open ended. I consider the general school curriculum to lack complicated problems that aren’t based on open ended research.

I chose netrunner because of the theme and because I heard from some of its players that it’s way better than magic. Cyberpunk is one of the most important ideas to come from SF and it’s also an awesome aesthetic. (Though I sometimes feel that ANR is too focused on high tech and skips on low life.) Also, I consider the game to be very affordable: several hundred dollars for a serious hobby that I can do with my kid is practically nothing. Don’t ask what I pay for my kids’ other extra-curriculars like soccer or music.

After a year and a half with ANR, I can say that I’m addicted to enchanted by deck building. I love trying to build a decent deck around a terrible card…despite that it rarely works. I also love when me or my opponent makes a thoughtful play that isn’t routine. For example at gencon, an opponent used 2x early Aeneas on my Virtual Tour to fully install his rig over several turns and saved his econ for late game. I was in awe. I also played several games at Worlds against opponents that made me really proud to be a part of this community.

My kid says he likes “card combos and winning”.

Our mutually agreed favorite match was against each other recently. He was playing that cool Spatuala City deck with six agenda points, I was on Gauntlet Steve with five points. He had four cards in hand and I reconned (correctly) that he had a two point agenda in HQ. But only two credits so he couldn’t rez Franchise City. He popped Estelle for the credits and eight cards (including two more agendas) but that also took the last card in R&D. Now I was hoping to not access an agenda and win by decking. He needed me to hit an agenda to score his Franchise City. I hit the agenda, he won, and we both ran around the house screaming for about five minutes. What other game could end like that!!

(And why the #%*! are all of my favorite matches losses?!)


I’m new to gaming and netrunner is my first serious card game. I got into netrunner because I was looking for a way to challenge my kid with problems that are complicated but not open ended. I consider the general school curriculum to lack complicated problems that aren’t based on open ended research.

How old is your kid?

My 7-year-old son plays Star Realms, Pokemon TCG, and a variety of board games – including X-Wing, though it hasn’t hit the table in a while due to long setup and teardown times – and I’m very much looking forward to playing Netrunner with him down the line. But it’s too much for him at the moment.

I agree that learning a complex card game is a superb supplement to a public-school education, especially in a city with an active player community (unfortunately Boston/Cambridge isn’t big on Netrunner at the moment).

I’m always tempted to bust out the Star Wars LCG, an M:TG-ish game with wonderfully simple deckbuilding (pods of 6 cards rather than singles) and the best possible theme, :slight_smile: but the time commitment to learn a new game seems daunting.


He was 9 when he started, 11 now. He’s better than me in many aspects of the game and almost never forgets about cards effects in play. He could be really good if I could get him to practice on jnet…but he hates playing online. So I have to coach him on the meta. Also, fatigue is a bigger issue for him in competitive play than the adults. By the end of a long day he makes too many mistakes. I on the other hand make mistakes much more consistently:) We played lots of Munchkin and board games when he was 7-8.


What I want to get is losing games on mistakes instead of bad luck. And I’m really happy that I often get this, even if sometimes tracing down the mistake requires a really detailed analysis (@mediohxcore: I know I had a 100% line to pull off the Mad Dash trick against you, but I was too lazy to find it during the game, took an easy way of clicking for credits and got punished accordingly)

[quote=“analogBrad, post:12, topic:9578”]
we both ran around the house screaming for about five minutes
[/quote]This reminds me about @SimonMoon stealing the game winning GFI from me during round 9 at Euros, immediately standing up and running around the whole Netrunner playing space with the card in hand, his chances to make Top 16 still alive thanks to this win. And of course earlier during this match, as the runner, I had the win on the table and made a game-losing mistake which I saw just a few seconds too late due to not keeping my head cool. Fun times :slight_smile:


Great times indeed, that was a high point of netrunner for me.

I was thinking about posting what I want to get out of netrunner yesterday, so now I should for sure :).

In no order:

  1. Make friends
  2. Continually improve and play better and better
  3. Understand how netrunner works on a deep level and be able to communicate it
  4. Win big tournaments (which is largely external proof of 2/3 But I think I care about enough to be worth listing separately).

Wishing all these points to be out of the game seems pretty on-par with my methodology.



One thing I’m very annoyed about my Netrunner goals is that if not for my first goal “I would like to do better than expected with weird decks, especially ones built around my favorite cards” I wouldn’t have to do any work at all.

Playing stupid nonsense is zero effort. Figuring out how to tune stupid nonsense so you make a cut (or maybe just win a game, depending on how stupid the nonsense is) is really hard.


Gosh, best comment ever.
I’m there, too. I “almost” play competitive stuff now, but this is so hard :S

While it’s great to have lots of ANR friends and I am truly happy for it, if I’m being totally honest, my primary goal is to win tournaments; i.e. I enter ~100% of tournaments with the expectation/goal of winning (meaning I’m perpetually disappointed in myself, but perhaps that is a good thing)

ANR fills a hyper-competitive niche that is missing from most of what I do in life.


Just had our second child. I just wanna find time and just play the game. Nothing more, just play this excellent game.