Gaming Terminology Glossary

Gaming Terminology Glossary


3DS: Referring to Nintendo’s 3D handheld Console – The Nintendo 3DS


AI: Artifical Intelligence. Usually referring to the intelligence of enemies within games.
AFK: Away From Keyboard. (used in game chat)
Alpha: (General software term) First phase of testing software. The structure and most of the content has been developed but not all the intended features may be present. Alpha tests are typically run in-house or by specialist testing agencies.
Avatar: The game character’s model or picture used to represent each player.

Beta: (General software term) Second phase of testing software (not exclusively games) and last development phase prior to release. Most features have been implemented but some of these may be removed during the beta phase if they turn out to be too problematic to fix.
Bug: Faults in the programming which cause unintended effects both good and bad – crashes, unintentionally high character advancement, etc.

Camp: To remain in one strategic place and repeatedly kill people or enemies.
Crash: When your console/computer stops responding until you hit the power button, or reboots itself without asking. Game servers also crash.

DS: Short for Nintendo Dual Screen or Nintendo DS. A handheld gaming console with two screens that was released in Europe in October 2005.
DOT: Damage over Time. (refers to spells and abilities that have prolonged damage effects) 
DPS: Damage per Second. (Used to measure how quickly you can damage a target.)


E3: Electronic Entertainment Expo. An expo for games and technology developers and publishers to show their upcoming developments.
Exp: Experience gained within a game. Usually the means to gain levels and progress in the game. Also referred to as XP.
Expansion Pack: A large download of additional content and story progression created by the developer to add to or enhance gameplay.

Frag: Kill. Can be used as a verb or noun, e.g. “I just fragged him” or “First team to 20 frags”.
FPS: (1) First person shooter (game genre).
FPS: (2) Frames-per-second, a measure of system performance.

Gank: To be ganked is to have your character killed by unfairly overwhelming odds – e.g. six vs one with all players at the same level or one-on-one but one player is twenty levels above the other.
GBA: GameBoy Advance – a series of hand-held consoles made by Nintendo.
Gib: To reduce someone/thing to meaty chunks. Taken from the word ‘giblet’. Also can refer to the resulting chunks.
Gold, Gone gold: (General software term) The final version of software has been sent to the manufacturers for printing and publishing, which usually means it will be released soon. All future updates will be made though patches.
Grind: Performing repetitive tasks or battles in order to level up or proceed in the game – most often seen in MMORPGs or Turn-based RPG’s where you frequently have to kill massive numbers of creatures to gain the necessary experience to level up, or to get a specic item.

Homebrew: Applications written by unpaid, unlicenced coders to run on games machines like the PSP – could be an emulator, a homemade games, a web-browser, etc.
HP: Hit points. The number of points of damage that your character can take before dying. Otherwise referred to as health.
HUD: Heads-up display. Easy-reference display that shows the most essential information (health, current weapon, radar, etc) on the screen without blocking your view.

Lag: Time delay between sending a command to the game and your character actually performing the action resulting in delayed gameplay. (usually an issue with online play)
Lagger: Someone with a slow connection, or who is late to react.
Leet, 1337: Elite. Referring to a very high level character or someone who is highly skilled.
LFG/LFP: Looking for group/party/person
LFM: Looking for members (i.e. already in a group, need more players)

Mana, MP: Mana or Magic Points. Spells often have an MP cost with higher spells costing more points. Commonly used in RPGs.
MMO: Massively Multiplayer Online. (referring to online games where many players or active at one time – MMORPG,MMOFPS or MMORTS)
MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
MMOFPS: Massively Multiplayer First Person Shooter.
MMORTS: Massively Multiplayer Real-time Strategy.
Mob: enemy monsters or opponents.
Mod: Files created for a game to add functionality of change the behaviour of a game, written by people who don’t work for the game developer. Official developer-released modifications are called patches.

Noob: Newbie, new person, inexperienced player (often derogatory).
NPC: Non-player characters. AI-controlled characters who can be interacted with to further story progression.

OP: Over-Powered.

Owned: Beaten by quite a large margin. Also referred to as Pwned.


Patch: (General software term) Files distributed by the developer after a product is released that will change the software when they are installed. These are usually used to fix bugs and security issues but can be used to add functionality.
PC: (1) Player Character, as opposed to NPC (Non-Player Character).
PC: (2) Personal Computer.
Platform: Console type required to play the game. e.g. PS3, Xbox, 360, PC, DS, Wii, 3DS
Platform game: A design of game where the main character walks up and down a fixed platform, commonly contacting things as they pass. e.g. Mario Bros, Limbo.
PSP: PlayStation Portable. A handheld gaming console from Sony.
PSP Vita: Sony's latest handheld game Console.
Pwned: Beaten by quite a large margin. Also referred to as Owned.


RL: Real life. IRL is also commonly used for “In Real Life”.
RPG: Role-playing game (genre) eg. Elder Scrolls, Dungeon Siege, Final Fantasy
RTS: Real-time strategy (genre), e.g. Starcraft.

Sim: Short for simulation.
SP:  Single player.
Spawn: The act of a character popping into existence in the game world.
Spawn point: A position at which characters will pop into existence.
Spawn camp: To sit within range of a spawn point and kill characters as they appear, often before the newly-spawned players have a chance to get their bearings. Very heavily frowned-upon mostly.
Strafe: Move sideways. This is often used as an evasive manoeuvre while shooting.

Tank: Character who can take a lot of damage. Often the tank will be a melee warrior and charge out in front of the team, distracting the opponents from weaker characters.
TBS: Turn-Based Strategy (genre), e.g. Heroes of Might and Magic series, Disciples series.
Teabagging: A nasty practice where a player will crouch over a just-killed player’s body, appearing to dangle his private regions in the face of the dead player.
TPS: Third-person shooter (genre) e.g. Gears of War, Tomb Raider, God of War, Devil May Cry.

WTS/WTB: Want to sell/Want to buy. Commonly heard in the general areas of MMOs.

XP: Experience Points. Most commonly used in RPGs where characters must gather a certain level of XP to progress to the next level.

Zerg: To over-power someone with sheer numbers, rather than strength.
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