Illusion of Control

The game cheats or hides information to make you think you're better than you actually are.

Games may make you think that you are getting better and better, when in reality you are just unlocking better tools inside the game. Perhaps the game doesn't even have a component of skill at all and it just makes you feel like you have some amount control over the outcome. If a game is doing this, it is trying to make you feel like your apparent skill is greater than your actual skill.

For example, a claw machine doesn't always grab at full force, it cheats and makes it impossible to grab an item until it decides it's time to give a prize. This makes you feel like you did a good job at aiming the claw and that you are getting better, even though it's random chance.

Another way that games manipulate information to make you feel more skilled than you actually are is by grouping players into isolated worlds. These are sometimes called "shards". In a competitive game with a single leaderboard, it would be very discouraging to have a rank of 124,204. Instead, what games do is they break people up into tiny groups or shards. Maybe only a few thousand people per shard, and you only compete with those people. Your rank may be 283 which sounds a lot better. Being the 283rd best player in the world is pretty encouraging, but the game doesn't tell you that you are only competing against a small percentage of the players. This makes you feel like you are more skilled than you actually are.

Games may also randomize the difficulty of the game to make it more interesting. This is why you may get an easy level immediately following a difficult level. If the difficulty secretly becomes easier, you may feel like your skill has increased when it really hasn't and this feeling of control may get you to play the game more often.
Citations and SourcesWikipedia :: Illusion of control


Examples

Ensemble Stars Music Ensemble Stars Music
"combo-rescuing abilities and card skills, as well as your score being super dependent on card level, so you can get a better score than someone else purely based on having better cards rather than skill"

GunboundM GunboundM
"matchmaking so that your chances of losing decrease the longer your lose streak is"

Last Fortress Last Fortress
"Grouped by alliances on our own server and in server groups"

Limbus Company Limbus Company
"Arguable; auto-combat system. May be rigged, but likely just up to chance."

Dragon City Mobile Dragon City Mobile
"There's a particular feature in the game, called the Wizard's Tower, where the player must progress through a series of rooms with 4 orbs, and pick any of the ones not containing the wizard in order to progress and keep their rewards. This feature was discovered to be predetermined by the community a while ago. Each run players are assigned a secret value of varying rarity that determines whether or not they encounter the wizard and at which point in the run, skewing heavily towards "bad luck"."

Love Live!School idol festival Love Live!School idol festival
"There is a particular kind of card that eases the timing window for the notes."

Mighty DOOM Mighty DOOM
"I suppose there is a lot of scaling and biased algorithm (random upgrades when you level up during a run)"

Rocket League Sideswipe Rocket League Sideswipe
"When you won. There are offen Special effects."

Coin Dozer Coin Dozer
"Rare items such as prizes and powerups often spawn right next a pit, and makes you think you can push to the center where they can be collected."

Obey Me! #Shall we date? Obey Me! #Shall we date?
"When UR+ came into the game, even if it was less levels than UR cards, it would be pretty OP from my experience."