"Instalock" is a term commonly used in multiplayer video games, particularly in games with a character or hero selection process before a match begins. Instalocking refers to the practice of quickly selecting or locking in a character, hero, agent, or champion as soon as the selection phase begins, often without regard for team composition, strategy, or the preferences of other players.
In games that feature a draft or selection phase, players typically take turns choosing their characters. This phase allows players to strategize, coordinate with teammates, and create a balanced team composition that maximizes their chances of success in the upcoming match.
However, when a player instalocks a character, they bypass this phase by immediately selecting a character without giving their teammates a chance to discuss or choose their own characters. Instalocking can be seen as selfish behavior because it prioritizes the individual player's desires over the needs and coordination of the team.
Instalocking is indeed seen as a bad thing by many gamers around the world. This is mostly due to a couple of reasons including:
With all of this being said, there’s also a rather big percentage of players who believe instalocking isn’t bad at all. On the contrary, they encourage it and say that video game character selection should always be on a first come first serve basis.
It's important to note that not all instances of quickly selecting a character indicate instalocking. Some players may have a preferred character that they are very skilled with, and they might choose that character quickly to secure it without necessarily intending to undermine team coordination. Effective communication and a willingness to adapt based on the team's needs are essential for a positive gaming experience.