Struggling to keep up with gaming jargon? Don’t sweat, we’ve all been there! If you’re new to gaming (or have been hiding under a rock for the last two decades), here are some old and new gaming terms you should add to your vocabulary to enjoy gaming to the max!
While you’re not going to hear these phrases when playing a peaceful game of Solitaire, chances are you’ll be inundated with gaming slang the moment you jump online with friends. Regardless of what gaming genre you’re playing, whether that is a fast paced shooter or some of the greatest single player zombie games, knowing the various gaming terminology is essential to maximising your experience and keeping up with the pack.
While some gaming terms are unique to certain types of gaming genres, the majority of those on our list are universal, no matter what game you are playing.
Gaming slang is a whole new language within itself and the majority of players use these terms a lot, especially when conversing with other gamer friends and when playing online multiplayer games. So, if you don’t want to get confused, make sure you go AFK for a moment and read our gaming glossary of the most common gaming terms used right now!
Scroll down to view our complete list of gaming terminology or click the links below to reveal the gaming slang that has been burning on your mind the most!
As one of the most common phrases for gaming slang, AAA titles are games produced by the most well-known developers, such as EA, Ubisoft, Square, etc. These game developers usually have massive budgets when producing triple-A titles and are surrounded by a ton of marketing to get the word out there. AAA games are the opposite of independent or indie games, which are created and developed by smaller and lesser-known companies. However, that doesn’t mean that AAA games are automatically better than indie titles. Many AAA games had their fair share of flops and successful releases.
2. Adds Meaning
A less common phrase of gaming terminology, Adds is a gaming term that refers to additional enemies that a player would typically encounter during boss fights. Many games use adds to make boss fights a lot more challenging. Adds sometimes come as separate enemies or foot soldiers, but some massive bosses have adds in the form of limbs and body parts.
3. AFK Meaning
AFK simply means “away from keyboard.” The term is commonly used when a player is unavailable or took a quick break when playing multiplayer games.
4. Aggro Meaning
Aggro is a gaming term used in massive multiplayer online-role playing games or MMORPGs, such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Ragnarök, etc. It is an abbreviation for aggression or aggravation, which describes enemies that prioritize attacking your in-game player. For example, when you get too close to a group of enemies, they will go “Aggro” on you.
5. Aimbot Meaning
Aimbot is a cheat code used in first-person or third-person shooting games that makes it easier for you to land headshots and kills.
6. AoE Meaning
AoE is short for “Area of Effect.” It refers to a character’s ability and how large the area it affects when used. Unlike spells or abilities that only hit one target, AoE abilities usually damages more enemies, depending on how large the AoE is. In most games, you will see a circle that indicates the area of effect.
7. Bots Meaning
Bots are non-human opponents or characters you can encounter in multiplayer games. When playing a multiplayer game offline, you can add bots to fill in the roster and play by yourself against or alongside AI-controlled bots. Because some bots are not as smart as human players, many gamers use the term bot as an insult to other players who are not very good at a specific game.
8. Buff Meaning
A buff refers to a specific upgrade or change that powers up a weapon or character in some way. Online games that regularly release updates add buff to create balance among weapons and characters. For example, if Call of Duty released an update and made a specific weapon more powerful, that would be referred to as a buff. If a weapon is now more powerful but with an increase to its reloading time, the term to use is “nerf” instead of buff.
9. Bullet Sponge Meaning
The term bullet sponge refers to an enemy that takes an extremely excessive amount of damage to kill. If you encounter an enemy that takes more than one magazine reload to kill, that enemy is a bullet sponge that soaks up a ton of damage like a sponge before it dies.
10. Cheese or Cheesing Meaning
Cheesing is a term that defines a cheap tactic to kill an enemy. For example, if you are playing a game like Mortal Kombat, cheesing is when you repetitively do the un-blockable “sweep the leg move” until you beat your opponent. Cheesing can also happen in RPGs when you find a workaround move that makes beating enemies a lot easier.
11. Clans Meaning
If you are playing team-based online multiplayer games, a clan refers to people who team up and do raids together. You can start or join a clan on any online game. Since it is not an official in-game feature, you can start or join a clan by adding players in your network and schedule playing times so you can play together. Clans are usually informal and not organized professional e-sport gaming teams.
12. Cooldown Meaning
Cooldown refers to an ability in most games that need time to regenerate after each use. For example, in RPGs, there are special abilities that you cannot use repetitively. You will have to wait a specific amount of time before you can use the ability again, which is referred to as the cooldown time. In some games, you can shorten the cool down time as you progress or when you equip a specific item that has a shortened cooldown time effect.
13. Crafting Meaning
If you are playing an RPG or open-world title with a lot of enemy looting, treasure chests, and materials scattered across the map, you can usually craft new items or upgrade weapons, armor, and abilities. For example, in Horizon Zero Dawn, you can collect plants and scrap metal from enemies to craft new weapons, ammo, potions, and armor. Crafting in some games is simpler but if you play games like The Witcher 3, crafting can be super complicated!
14. DLC Meaning
DLC stands for downloadable content, such as extra elements that improve a stand-alone game, for example, more game content, new weapons, features, characters, etc. It is a fairly new term that didn’t exist in classic consoles—because what you get in the cartridge or CD has everything you need. Many gamers hate DLCs because some game developers use them as a money grab and sell game content that should already be in the game when you buy it.
15. DPS Meaning
DPS means damage per second, and it measures how much damage a particular character or weapon can inflict. In some games, DPS also defines an attack class of characters as opposed to mages and healers.
16. DRM Meaning
Digital Rights Management or DRM refers to tools that manage copyright protection for games. However, it is also a term used in copyright of music as well. It includes built-in anti-piracy measures in games, which prohibits ripping discs and digital content.
17. Easter Eggs Meaning
Easter Eggs are hidden messages, features, real-life references, and references to other gaming titles found in games. They are put in by the developers, which gives players more things to discover when navigating through the game. Some easter eggs are more mind blowing, while others are quite funny if you catch them.
18. F2P (Free to Play) Meaning
Free to play refers to a business model created by game developers in which they create games that doesn’t charge the players to play. However, some F2P games make revenue through in-game purchases such as the full game content and other features. Some free games are also flooded with annoying un-skippable ads, which push people to buy the full game instead.
19. Feeding/ Throwing Meaning
Although these two gaming terms are not identical, they have some similarities, particularly in the way they manifest. Feeding happens when a character is unintentionally killed repeatedly due to poor playing. And getting killed will help the opposing team win. However, when you intentionally feed the opposing team, the right term would be throwing.
Throwing the game is when a player intentionally tries to lose the game by avoiding attacking the enemy, ignoring the mechanics to win, or simply making no effort to try and win.
20. FFA (Free for All) Meaning
FFA or Free for All is a gaming term used to describe a specific game where every player is against everyone. It is kind of like playing an individual battle royale game where the only goal is be the last man standing against all opponents.
21. FPS Meaning
FPS stands for first-person shooter. It is a shooting game genre where you see the world in first person through the eyes of the character you are playing, as opposed to third-person games where you see your character on screen. Typically, you would only see your character’s hands and weapon floating as it emulates a character’s point of view.
FPS also refers to frames per second, which measures how smooth the game is running.
22. G2G Meaning
G2G means got to go, and it is used when you want to be excused from an online multiplayer game because you have to do something in the real world.
23. Ganking Meaning
Ganking is a term that describes a higher-level or skilled player that gangs up on an inexperienced player that has no chance of winning.
24. GG Meaning
GG is a term used short for “Good Game.” Although it is sometimes used for sportsmanship, many gamers use the term to trash talk their opponents, especially after easily beating them. Some players say “GGEZ” as an insult or way of gloating because of the easy win.
25. Glitch Meaning
A glitch or bug is an unintended gameplay issue, such as getting stuck in a wall or freezing your game when you get to a specific point. Some games have minor glitches, while some games have glitches that could ruin your entire progress. Hot Tip: Make sure you save often!
Some glitches can be fixed through patch updates. However, back in the day players challenge themselves to find glitches and unlock cheats or hidden areas in the game that were put there on purpose. And because downloading fixes and patches were not a thing back then, gamers would have to live with the unfixable glitches.
26. GOAT Meaning
GOAT means the Greatest of all Time. This is a superlative term that is used to describe a highly-skilled gamer or character in the game. However, the term is not exclusive for gaming. It is a term often used to describe athletes like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.
27. Grinding Meaning
Grinding is a term used in RPGs, where you fight enemies repeatedly to increase your level or get enough in-game currency to purchase a certain weapon or upgrades.
28. GTFO Meaning
GTFO is a term used in gaming to insult noobs and novice players. It is short for Get the F&$% Out, but we don’t suggest you use this term unless you are just having playful banter with gaming buddies. Remember to always respect fellow gamers!
29. Hitscan Meaning
Hitscan is a term which is usually used in first-person shooter games that refer to weapons that hit what they aimed for when fired. Hitscan weapons are guns, blasters, and rifles that have accurate aim—as opposed to weapons like a bow and arrow that usually takes time before it hits a target.
30. HP Meaning
HP means hit points, and it usually measures the vitality of a gaming character. When the HP drops to zero, the character will usually die unless the game allows your teammates to revive your character when you hit zero HP.
31. Instalock Meaning
This gaming slang is commonly used in multiplayer games, and refers to the process of instantly locking down a character in the character selection screen—so the person you are playing with is unable to pick the same character.
32. Inv or Invite Meaning
On most gaming platforms like the PlayStation Network or STEAM, an Inv means to invite another character to play an online game with you or invite them to be on your friends list.
33. HUD Meaning
HUD stands for heads-up display. It is the graphical element in front of a gameplay screen, such as a mini map, health bar, currency count, equipped weapons, etc. A HUD will allow you to glance to keep track of information so you don’t need to go to the menu screen.
Some games add “diegetic” elements to make the game more realistic. For example, if you want to check your character’s phone, they will show you on the screen that the character will hold their hand up. Some players like to remove the HUD and make the game more realistic and immersive.
34. JRPG Meaning
A JRPG is a role-playing game developed in Japan, although some people believe that JRPGs are defined by the game design. JRPGs usually require a lot of grinding to level up, looting enemies, finding treasure chests, going through dungeons, and a lot of tactical turn-based combat. JRPGs also have interesting main characters with a good story that you will enjoy for countless hours. Some examples of JRPGs include Dragon Quest games, Final Fantasy, and the infamous Chrono Trigger.
35. K/D Meaning
Kill to Death Ration or simply K/D is used to measure your performance and stats on online shooting games. To compute for your K/D, you simply need to divide the number of your kills by the number of times you have been killed.
36. Lag Meaning
Lag is a common online gaming term, which occurs when there is a delay between your screen and what is actually happening in the game. Online lag is caused by excessive ping, which causes your internet to slow down. Lag can also happen when the game server is down and it takes too long for it to respond to your actions.
Another type of lag is called input lag, which happens when the game doesn’t respond accurately to the buttons you are pressing on your keyboard or controller.
37. LFG Meaning
Gamers use the term LFG or Looking for Group when searching for people to team up with on online multiplayer games.
38. Mashing Meaning
Mashing or button mashing is when a player presses a single or random buttons at a fast rate. A “button masher” can be a negative term to describe a gamer that mashes random buttons to win without strategizing. Some games are also referred to as “button mashers,” particularly hack and slash games that only require minimum strategic methods for defeating a bunch of enemies. However, there are specific parts of games where you are required to mash a single button to get out of a sticky situation.
39. Meat Shield Meaning
A meat shield in gaming is a character that holds off aggro enemies and absorb the damage, letting the attacker slip through. Usually, meat shields are tank characters that don’t die easily. Meat shield can also be a stunned or dead enemy character used as a human shield to decrease damage.
40. MMORPG Meaning
This term is an acronym that stands for massively multiplayer online role-playing game. These games have RPG elements, such as side quests and levelling up characters. However, instead of playing alone, there are thousands of other players in the virtual world you can either team up with or play against.
41. MOD Meaning
Mod is short for modification. It refers to any player-made changes to a game. A mod can range from sample tweaks to fix bugs to more significant mods to fix graphics and replace design elements. Games like GTAV have tons of player-made modifications that makes it feel like an entirely new game.
42. MP Meaning
MP is a term typically used in RPGs that refer to magic points or mana. It is a resource used to cast spells and perform other special abilities. When your MP meter runs out, you will not be able to perform these abilities unless you rejuvenate or use items that restore MP. Some gamers use MP as an abbreviation for multiplayer and SP for single player. However, the wider term for MP is Magic Points.
43. MVP Meaning
MVP in gaming means 2 things. The first one is most valuable player, which is a term used in all types of sports. In gaming, the player who ranked the highest in a single game is called most valuable player—whether it is an online multiplayer game like Call of Duty, Apex: Legends, PUBG, etc.
MVP also means minimum viable product, which is a term used in the business world including the gaming industry. Many large game developers create minimum viable product games to collect data and understand what features customers want. So basically, an MVP is releasing a product quickly to gather information on what to release next. Funnily enough, MVP is also the name of a South Korean e-sports team.
44. Nerf Meaning
If a buff means an upgraded weapon, a nerf is a buff that reduces a value of a buffed weapon in a different area. For example, if the developers buffed a weapon to increase power, but at the same time decreased its reloading speed to balance things out—that will be referred to as a nerf.
45. Noob Meaning
A noob refers to someone new to gaming or to a particular game. Calling someone a noob can be an insult for someone who makes basic gaming mistakes.
46. NPC Meaning
NPC stands for non-player character or non-playable character. NPCs are the characters you encounter in RPGs and most open-world games. Some are usually townsfolk, store owners, and people giving you side missions. Basically, all the characters that are non-playable and less memorable in a game are referred to as NPCs.
47. OHKO Meaning
OHKO Stands for one-punch knock out. It is commonly used in blood sport games like UFC, Wrestling, Boxing, and other hand-to-hand combat games. However, OHKO can sometimes apply to other game genres if a character can quickly beat an enemy or kill an enemy with one attack.
48. OP Meaning
In gaming, OP stands for overpowered. It is used to reference anything in a game that seems too strong. It can be used for overpowered enemies, weapons, and players who are too strong and it doesn’t seem fair anymore.
49. Peel Meaning
Peel or peeling is the act of diverting an enemy’s attention away from your allies onto yourself. For example, if you want to protect a member of your team like the healer, a tank character should peel to get the enemies attention off the character you want to protect.
50. Ping Meaning
Ping measures how long it takes for information from your gaming rig to travel to a server and back to you. Higher ping means more lag, and that is not good when playing online multiplayer games.
51. POG Meaning
POG stands for Play of the Game, which means the best highlight of a single game. Many game streamers use the term POG as a positive term for cheering a noteworthy gamer who did something remarkable in-game.
52. PUG Meaning
PUG refers to pick up group, which is a term used in online gaming when a player forms a random group with players they have never met. If you are playing online games and randomly started a game with a random group of people—that would be your PUG or pick up group.
53. PvP/ PvE Meaning
PvP means player versus player, which refers to online game modes that allow players to compete against each other. And PvE means player versus enemy or player versus environment, which describes a player who plays against computer-controlled characters or bots.
54. Pwned Meaning
Pwned, pronounced as “poned,” is a derivative of the word owned and used to express superiority against a player you just defeated gloriously or a player you have been defeating for the entire gaming session.
55. QTE Meaning
QTE is an acronym that stands for Quick Time Event. It is an in-game segment where you have to quickly press buttons to avoid damage, solve a problem, to get out of danger, etc. Many gamers dislike QTEs because they don’t require much skill and can come randomly in some games.
56. Rage Quit Meaning
When a player gets extremely upset after losing and immediately stops playing without saying anything – that player just did a rage quit.
57. RL or Real Life Meaning
RL or Real Life refers to the real world, which is outside the virtual gaming space.
58. RNG Meaning
This acronym stands for Random Number Generator. And it refers to gaming elements or events that are not the same each time you play. Games like Destiny and Borderlands have loot RNG, which means that every time you see a loot box or when you loot an enemy, the in-game items you get are randomized and you don’t get the same thing twice.
59. RPG Meaning
RPG means role-playing game, which are typically games you play for countless hours because of the immersive world that lets you communicate with NPCs to learn more about the game’s lore. Characters in RPGs often have a variety of stats, items, upgradable items, armor, and weapons.
There are action RPGs where combat is not turn-based with a non-linear story—meaning you don’t need to follow the main story and beat the game your way.
60. Sandbox Meaning
A sandbox is a gaming title that is extremely open-ended, meaning the player can do whatever they want and finish a game at their own pace. Minecraft is a perfect example for a sandbox, and so are games like GTA V where you can do pretty much whatever you want without progressing the main story by completing missions.
61. Scrub Meaning
A scrub is another term for noob or for someone who is not good playing a particular game.
62. Scuff Meaning
When you call someone scuffed, that means they have low gaming standards, and their characters have low quality skills and equipment.
63. Skin Meaning
Skin in gaming means a cosmetic change in a character that does not affect the character’s abilities and gameplay. Many games sell custom skins to entice players to make a purchase to improve their character’s look.
64. Smurf Meaning
A smurf refers to a skilled plater who created a second online account that they use to play with low-ranked players. Smurfs manipulate a game’s ranking system to keep their characters at a particular skill level.
65. Tank Meaning
A tank is a common character class used in most online multiplayer games such as Overwatch. Tanks are generally very hard to kill characters because they don’t take a lot of enemy damage. They are usually the characters that peel the enemies away from the healer or attack character.
66. Tilted Meaning
A tilted gamer is one who experienced emotional confusion and frustration after losing big. A tilted gamer will adopt a less optimal strategy, making them become over aggressive and making wrong in-game decisions.
67. TDM or Team Deathmatch Meaning
No doubt you already know this gaming acronym. Team Deathmatch is a gameplay mode used in online multiplayer games where various teams battle to the death to see the last team standing, as opposed to FFA games where induvial players are fighting against each other in battle royale modes.
68. WRPG Meaning
A WRPG or Western Role-Playing Game, in contrast to JRPGs, are RPGs created and developed by European or American companies that feature a different game design. Unlike JRPGs, WRPGs start from creating a character class and allows you to create different character builds. For example, many WRPGs allow you to improve specific skills to match your gameplay style and preference. Examples of WRPGs include titles like Dagerfall, Mass Effect, Far Cry, and more.
69. XP/ EXP Meaning
EXP is a short word for experience points. It is a common term that measures your progress in RPGs and other action-adventure games. EXP is used to level up or upgrade certain in-game equipment. When you gain enough EXP and fill the bar, your character will advance a level, and the EXP bar will reset. As you level up, the experience points needed to increase your level will get higher. –
Gaming Jargon & Gamer Slang Glossary Roundup
So there you have it, the most comprehensive list of gaming slang online! From being salty to your opponents to using gaming acronyms as quick fire ways to send across important messages to your squad, there are a myriad of reasons why knowing what each gaming acronym is critical to success.
By no means should your children be familiar with some of these gaming terms, but, we have to say that we personally absolutely love flaming both our squaddies and our opponents. Especially when you’ve just clutched up on an intense battle.
While France may have banned English language gaming terms to preserve their own language purity, you can bet your cotton socks you’ll be hearing the language of gamers throughout most of your play time. So, get to grips with these gaming terms and impress your mates by throwing buzz words left right and centre during competitive tournaments!
Have we missed any gaming terms from our list?
Hit us up in the comments below with your go-to gaming slang and we’ll be sure to add to our collection! Meanwhile, check out some of our editor’s other awesome video game reviews and technology deep dives!