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Quick Definition

A quest (or mission in games based around modern or science fiction settings) is a task a player is assigned by the game. Upon completion of the quest, the player turns it in (usually by talking to the character that assigned the quest) and receives exp and loot as a reward.

Quests are often used to steer the player towards the next part of the story. If a quest is optional and does not advance the story, it's known as a sidequest.