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Video Gaming Terms, Words and Lingo to Understand

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Gaming, like any other hobby, has its own terms and phrases. You’re here because you want to be able to understand the terminology and how to play video games.

In simple language, we’ll explain common gaming terms. Although there are many gaming genres and games that have their own terminology, these definitions will help you get to grips with the most important terms.

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1. AAA (Triple-A).

AAA games are titles made by large studios like Ubisoft and EA. These games are often expensive and have a lot of marketing. AAA games are different from “indie” titles which are created by smaller development teams.

2. Additions

This refers to “additional enemy” which are often encountered during boss encounters. It is often difficult to strike a balance between doing damage to the boss and taking care of additional enemies.

3. AFK

AFK stands to “away from keyboard”. This is when a player is temporarily unavailable.

4. AoE

AoE (or “area of effect”) refers to abilities or attacks that have a specific area. This is in contrast to abilities that only target one target, such as a rifle. You’ll usually see a circle or some other indication that the ability is in effect.

5. Bots

A bot is another insult. If someone is playing very poorly, you might call them a bot.

6. Buff/Nerf

A buff is a change that increases the power of a weapon or character. Nerf, on the other hand, is a change that decreases the power of an element.

These terms are used to describe the balance between characters and weapons in online games that get frequent updates. A buff would increase a weapon’s power, while a nerf would make it take longer for it to reload.

7. Bullet Sponge

A bullet sponge is an enemy that takes excessive damage to kill. It “soaks up damage” like a sponge. A bullet sponge is an enemy you might expect to be able to take down in a few shots but which ends up taking many magazines to defeat.

8. Camping

Camping is a way to stay in one spot, rather than constantly moving around the map. This is what people are called campers. They do it to gain an advantage over other players. It is most commonly used in online shooters such as Call of Duty.

9. Cheese/Cheesing

Cheating in a video game is when you use a cheap strategy to accomplish a task quickly. To beat your opponent, you could repeat a powerful combination against them over and over. In a single-player match, you can also find a way to get around a problem.

10. Clans

Clans can be described as groups of players that play together in many multiplayer games. Call of Duty allows you to add a clan tag on your username to join a clan. These are often informal and don’t have professional organizations.

11. Cooldown

Many games require that you wait for a set amount of time after you use an ability. This is known as a cooldown period. Cooldown periods for more powerful abilities are generally longer.

12. Crafting

Crafting is the art of using materials from a game (such as plants or scrap metal), to create other useful items such as weapons or healing potion. This can be done in many genres. It is simple or more complex.

13. DLC

DLC is for downloadable content. This refers to extra content that can be downloaded separately from the main game. It includes characters, cosmetics, and other similar items. DLC can sometimes be extra expensive, but it is not always.

14. DPS

DPS is an acronym for damage per second. It measures how much damage a weapon or attack output does. DPS can also be used to refer to characters who are primarily designed to deal damage and not other classes such as healers or tanks.

15. DRM

DRM stands for digital rights management and refers to tools that protect copyright for games. This includes everything, from anti-piracy features in games to the need to check in to Steam in order to play PC games.

DRM measures can sometimes be too strict and cause harm to legitimate users.

16. Easter Eggs

Hidden messages and features in video games are similar to their real-life counterparts. These can be a nod to another series or a humorous message that developers have hidden.

17. Feeding/Throwing

Although they aren’t the same, these two terms manifest in a similar way. Feeding refers to the act of being repeatedly killed in an enemy team’s game. This obviously benefits your opponent as your teammate is already dead. Feeding can happen unintentionally if it is done by an inexperienced player or intentionally to throw.

Throwing refers to intentionally acting in a manner that will result in the loss of the game. Throwing might mean that someone is content to stay at their spawn and not attack the enemy. They may also avoid using their abilities or run in unaccompanied and ignore their team.

18. FPS

FPS stands for first-person shooter games. This is a genre that lets you see the world from your character’s perspective, rather than through a camera. First-person shooters usually have a weapon in their floating hands. It’s almost as if they are characters.

FPS can also be used to refer to “frames/second”, which is a measure of how smooth a game runs. Learn more about the differences between framerate and refresh rate.

19. Ganking

Ganking refers to a skilled or high-level player who gangs up on someone with no chance of defense.

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