60 Gaming Terms You Need to Know if You Want to Be a Gamer
Welcome to the online world where the language of gaming terms isn’t just jargon, but the lingua franca of a vibrant community. Gaming has grown beyond just a hobby for many people, becoming a significant part of modern culture. In some cases, it’s a profession, and for others, it’s a form of social connection, entertainment, or personal expression.
Games have influenced music, film, and fashion, and even affected how we communicate, with game-based terminology and memes seeping into everyday language. So, whether you’re a fledgling Fortnite fan, an eager esports enthusiast, or a curious parent trying to understand your child’s new-found hobby, this blog post is your golden ticket to understanding the gaming language.
Below, you’ll find the common and not-so-standard gaming terms, so you’re ready for any conversation about gaming. Let’s explore!
1337 – numerical spelling of the word “leet”, short for “elite”, meaning someone’s a very skilled gamer.
AFK (Away from Keyboard) – the player is not currently playing and controlling their character.
ADS (Aim Down Sights) – a term in first-person shooter games. It refers to the transition of player perspective to looking through the weapon’s sights or scope, enhancing shooting accuracy, but decreasing movement speed and peripheral vision.
B2P (Buy to Play) – games that need a one-time purchase before you can play as opposed to a subscription model.
Battle Royale – a genre of game where a large number of players fight until only one remains, for example Apex Legends or Fortnite.
Boss – a powerful enemy faced at the end of a game level, with victory leading to game progress, new abilities, or other rewards.
Buff – when the game developers increase the power or effectiveness of a game element, such as a weapon.
Camping – a gaming tactic where a player stays in one location for an extended period, usually in a strategic spot, to gain an advantage.
Co-op (Cooperative Games) – a game where two or more people play together to win, like A Way Out or Deep Rock Galactic. Browse co-optimus for more co-op examples.
Crafting – the act of creating new items (a potion) in a game from resources (a plant).
DLC (Downloadable Content) – additional content (characters, accessories, or levels) that can be added to a game after it’s been released.
Easter Egg – hidden features or messages in a game that are off the main paths of gameplay.
Esports (Electronic Sports) – competitive gaming at a professional level.
Farming – repeatedly performing certain actions to gather a particular resource.
F2P (Free to Play) – games that can be played without purchasing the game itself.
FPS (First Person Shooter) – a genre of game where the gameplay is experienced from a first-person perspective and it involved shooting. For example, Call of Duty, Half-Life, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbox Six.
FPS (Frames Per Second) – this metric affects the smoothness of video games and videos. Limited by display device’s refresh rate and potentially affected by internet speed or bandwidth for online gaming. Low FPS can result in choppy visuals.
GG (Good Game) – typically used at the end of a multiplayer match to show sportsmanship, regardless of whether the player won or lost.
Ganking – in multiplayer games, when a group of players gang up on one or more players who do not have a chance to fight back, usually in PvP.
Grinding – performing repetitive tasks in a game to achieve a goal or level up.
Guild/Clan – a group of players who regularly play together in multiplayer games.
Hitbox – the part of a game character model that can be hit by attacks or other game actions.
K/D Ratio (Kill/Death) – a statistic in PvP games that compares the number of kills a player has to the number of times they’ve died.
Leroy Jenkins – originates from a viral World of Warcraft video, signifies rushing into a gaming situation without planning or against better judgment.
Loot Box – a consumable virtual item which can be redeemed to receive a randomized selection of further virtual items.
Meta – the current popular or dominant strategies, playstyles, or character choices within a game.
Microtransaction – a business model where users can purchase virtual goods with micropayments.
MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game) – a genre that involves a large number of players interacting in a virtual game world, for example World of Warcraft and RuneScape.
MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) – a genre that blends elements of RPGs and strategy games, usually involving two teams fighting against each other. For example, League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.
Modding – the process of modifying a game, often by players or community members, to add new content and alter the gameplay.
NPC (Non-Player Character) – characters in a game controlled by the game’s AI, not players.
Noob – derived from “newbie”, this term refers to a new or inexperienced player.
Nerf – when the game developers reduce the effectiveness of a game element (weapon or character) to level out the playing field. It’s the opposite of buff.
Open Beta – a phase in game development where a game is made available to the public for testing and feedback before its official release.
P2W (Pay to Win) – a controversial practice where players can gain advantages over others by purchasing items or abilities with money.
Permadeath – a game mechanic where a killed or defeated character can’t be brought back to life. This adds an additional level of challenge and consequences to gameplay.
Ping – The network latency between a player’s client and the game server.
Platformer – a genre where the gameplay revolves around jumping between platforms, often focusing on precise timing and spatial awareness. Examples include Super Mario Odyssey and It Takes Two.
PvE (Player versus Environment) – a type of interaction in games where players compete against the game’s AI or environment.
PvP (Player versus Player) – a type of interaction in games where players compete against each other.
Quest – a task with a specific objective that a player must complete.
Quick Time Event (QTE) – a gaming method where players must press designated buttons or do specific actions within a set time.
RPG (Role-Playing Game) – a genre where players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting.
RTS (Real-Time Strategy) – a genre that allows all players to play simultaneously in real time. For example, Age of Empires.
Sandbox – an open world where players enjoy significant freedom and autonomy to explore, interact, and create their own experiences within the game world. Examples include GTA, Fortnite, and Minecraft.
Save Point – a designated location within a game where players can save their progress and resume from that point later.
Spawn – when a character, NPC, or item appears in the game world.
Speedrun – playing a game with the goal of completing it in the shortest time possible.
Stealth – a type of gameplay that involves avoiding detection and completing objectives through silent movement and hiding to beat your enemies.
Whales – players who spend a large amount of real-world money on in-game purchases.
There you have it – a comprehensive dictionary of the most common gaming terms. In addition to these words, each game carries its own unique lexicon. A slew of game-specific words and phrases exist, echoing the distinctive gameplay, mechanics, and ethos of each title.
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