Ava Firewell Guide to Gaming Lingo

The Complete Gaming Glossary


AFK (Away From Keyboard): When a player is not actively participating in the game.

Aggro: Slang term for ‘aggression’ used in gaming to refer to hostile NPCs (non-player characters) attacking.

AI (Artificial Intelligence): Refers to computer-controlled characters in a game.

AoE (Area of Effect): Spells or abilities that affect multiple targets within a specified area.

AR (Augmented Reality): A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

Avatar: The character a player controls in a game.



Battle Royale: A game mode where a large number of players are released onto a map with the objective of being the last player or team standing.

Beta: A version of the game released to a limited audience for testing before the final version is released.

Boss: A powerful enemy, often found at the end of a level or game.

Buff: A positive effect applied to a game character.

Bug: A glitch or problem in a game that prevents it from working as intended.

Bots: Computer-controlled players in the game.



Camping: Staying in one spot in a game, often for strategic reasons.

Cheats: Codes or mechanisms used to gain an advantage in a game.

Clan: A group of players who play together regularly.

Cloud Gaming: A way of playing games where the processing is done on a remote server rather than on the device being used to play.

Cooldown: The period of wait time before a spell or ability can be used again.

Crafting: The process of making new items within a game, often from materials found within the game world.

Cross-Platform: Games that allow players on different gaming systems to play with or against each other.



Debuff: A negative effect applied to a game character.

DLC (Downloadable Content): Additional content available for download after the game’s initial release.

Drone: In gaming, it’s often a unit controlled by the player that can scout or attack.

Dual Wielding: A game feature that allows a character to use a weapon in each hand.

Dungeon: An area in a game, usually filled with enemies and bosses.

DRM (Digital Rights Management): Technology used by game publishers to control the use of digital media or devices after sale.


Easter Egg: A hidden feature or surprise in a game.

Emulator: Software that lets one system behave like another. For example, an NES emulator lets you play NES games on your PC.

Endgame: The final stages of a game.

Epic: In gaming, this term often refers to something that is impressive or very good. In MMORPGs, it can also refer to high-quality, rare items.

Esports: Competitive, organized video gaming with tournaments and events.

EXP (Experience Points – see XP): Points gained from completing tasks or missions, used to level up characters.



Farming: The act of collecting resources in a game.

FOV (Field of View): The extent of the observable game world that is seen on the display at any given moment.

Free-to-Play (F2P): Games that are free to play, but often include in-game purchases.

Friendly Fire: When you can damage or harm your own team members in a game.

FPS (First-Person Shooter): A genre of game where players view the world from the first-person perspective of their character, typically involving gun or other weapon-based combat.



Gacha: A monetization model used in many free-to-play mobile games, likened to capsule-toy vending machines.

Gank: An ambush or surprise attack on a player.

Game Engine: The software used to build and run the game.

GG (Good Game): A term used to express sportsmanship after a game.

Grinding: Repeating actions to gain experience or items.



Healer: A character type in many games, responsible for healing allies.

Hitbox: The invisible shape around a character that registers hits from attacks.

HP (Hit Points): A measure of a character’s health.

HUD (Heads-Up Display): The on-screen interface showing a player’s stats and information.

Hyper-Casual Games: A genre of games characterized by simple mechanics and quick gameplay.



Idle Game: A game that continues to progress even when you’re not actively playing.

In-Game Purchase: Buying items or services within a game, often for real-world money.

Indie Game: A game typically created by individuals or smaller development teams without the financial support of a large game publisher.

Instance: A separate copy of a game location for each group or player to prevent overcrowding.

Inventory: The items a player is currently carrying in a game.


Jargon: Special words or expressions used by a particular profession or group that are difficult for others to understand, in this case, gaming lingo.

Joystick: A controller input device, often used in arcade and flight simulator games.

Jump Scare: A sudden unexpected event in a game designed to scare the player.

Juke: A maneuver to dodge or feint in a game, often used in competitive multiplayer games.

JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game): A genre of games that originated in Japan, often characterized by intricate plots and turn-based combat.



Keyboard Warrior: A person who behaves aggressively in online text-based discussions or games.

Kill Steal (KS): Taking a kill from another player in a multiplayer game.

Kiting: A strategy in gaming where a player draws an enemy away from its post or leads it around.

Knockback: A game mechanic where an attack pushes a character away.

KDR (Kill-Death Ratio): A statistic in multiplayer combat games that refers to the number of kills a player has achieved versus the number of times they have died.



Lag: A delay between player’s actions and game’s reaction, usually due to internet connection issues.

Level Up: To advance your character to the next level, often gaining new abilities or skills.

Loot: Items, often valuable, collected by players in a game.

LFG (Looking For Group): A term used in multiplayer games when a player is seeking others to join a party or team.

LAN (Local Area Network): A network of computers in close proximity to each other, like in a home or office. LAN parties are events where gamers get together to play multiplayer games on a LAN.



Microtransaction: Small, often optional, purchases made within a game, often for cosmetic items or game enhancements.

Mod: Short for modification. User-created changes to a game, ranging from character skins to entirely new gameplay mechanics.

MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online): A game genre that involves a large number of players interacting in a virtual game world.

Multiplayer: A mode of play that involves more than one player.

MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena): A popular game genre that involves two teams of players competing in a strategic battle with the goal of destroying the opposing team’s main structure.



Nerf: A change to a game that reduces the power or effectiveness of a character, item, or strategy.

Noob/Newb: A new or inexperienced player.

NPC (Non-Player Character): Characters in a game that are controlled by the game’s AI rather than by a player.

Nuking: Using very powerful attacks to defeat enemies quickly.

Nerdrage: Extreme anger expressed by a gamer who is frustrated with the events of the game.



OP (Overpowered): Something that is too strong and upsets the game balance.

Online Multiplayer: A game mode where players can play with or against each other via the internet.

Open World: A game design where a player can freely explore a large game map.

Overlay: An interface that appears over the top of a game’s usual interface, often used for streaming or in-game communication apps.

OOM (Out of Mana): A phrase often used in games to indicate that a player has exhausted their ability or spellcasting resource, commonly known as mana.



Ping: A measure of the time it takes for data to get from your computer to the game server, lower is better.

Power Leveling: The act of leveling up a character as quickly as possible.

PvP (Player vs. Player): A type of combat in a game where players fight against each other.

PvE (Player vs. Environment): A type of combat in a game where players fight against the game’s AI-controlled enemies.

Patch: An update to a game that fixes bugs or adds new content.



Quest: A task given to a player, often with a reward upon completion.

Quick Time Event (QTE): A gameplay mechanic where players must press buttons at specific times to progress.

Quake: A popular first-person shooter game, often used as a shorthand for the genre.

QQ: A term often used in gaming to indicate crying or complaining, based on the resemblance of the letters “QQ” to teary eyes.

Quad Damage: A power-up found in games, most notably Quake, that multiplies the damage of weapons by four.



Raid: A large-scale attack on an enemy, often requiring a large group of players.

Respawn: To come back to life after being killed in a game.

RPG (Role-Playing Game): A game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting.

RTS (Real-Time Strategy): A genre of games where players command and manage units and structures in real-time.

Roguelike: A sub-genre of RPG games that involve dungeon crawling and permadeath.



Sandbox: A style of game where players can freely explore and interact with the game world.

Server: The computer or system that hosts the online game.

Single Player: A game mode designed to be played by one person.

Skin: A cosmetic change to a character or item, often available for purchase.

Spawn: The location or process by which a player or entity enters the game world.

Stealth Games: A genre of games where the player must avoid or overcome adversaries by remaining unseen.



Tank: In multiplayer games, the character designed to absorb damage and protect the rest of the team.

Triple-A (AAA): High-budget games produced by large studios.

Tutorial: A guide or introduction to teach players how to play the game.

Twitch: A popular live streaming platform, primarily for video games.

Teabagging: A controversial move in video games, particularly shooters, where a player crouches repeatedly over a defeated opponent in a taunting manner.



Upgrade: To enhance a character, item, or ability.

User Interface (UI): The visual elements of a game that allow the player to interact with the game world.

Uninstall: The process of removing a game or software from your device.



Virtual Reality (VR): A technology that allows players to experience games in a fully immersive way.

Voice Chat: A feature that allows players to communicate with each other using microphones.

VPN (Virtual Private Network): A service that provides privacy and data security for internet connections, often used by gamers to prevent throttling, avoid censorship, or to play games not available in their region.



Win Condition: The specific objective or set of objectives that must be achieved to win a game.

World of Warcraft: A popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).

Wipe: In multiplayer games, when the entire team is defeated.



XP (Experience Points): Points earned through gameplay that often lead to character leveling up.

Xbox: A popular gaming console developed by Microsoft.

X-axis: In 3D games, the horizontal axis on which movement and positioning are based.



Y-axis: In 3D games, the vertical axis on which movement and positioning are based.

YOLO (You Only Live Once): A phrase often used in gaming to justify risky actions.

Yield: In strategy games, the resources or rewards produced by a specific action or entity.


Zoning: In strategy games, controlling the map to limit your opponent’s options.

Z-Axis: In 3D games, the axis that measures depth, allowing characters to move towards and away from the camera.

Zero-Sum Game: A situation in which one player’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss.

Zerg: To overwhelm an opponent with sheer numbers, named after a race in the game StarCraft.

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