Like any hobby, gaming has its own terms, phrases and various jargon that will seem foreign to outsiders. If you’ve decided to get into video games and want to learn the lingo so you don’t get confused by it, you’ve come to the right place.
We will explain you the common terms of gaming in simple language. While many games and genres have their own lingo (some of these gaming terms can even have different meanings depending on context), these general definitions will get you up to speed with essential gaming terms.
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1. AAA (Triple-A)
AAA games are titles produced by large studios, such as Ubisoft or EA. They usually have bigger budgets and a lot of marketing going on around them.
AAA games are in contrast to “indie” titles, which are created by smaller development teams. You may also hear “AA” (double-A), which refers to a medium-sized studio such as Devolver Digital.
The term refers to “additional enemies” that typically appear during boss encounters. You often have to find a balance between taking care of the add and dealing damage to the boss.
AFK stands for “away from keyboard”. This means that the player is temporarily unavailable.
AoE, or “area of effect”, refers to attacks or abilities that affect a certain area. This is in contrast to abilities that only hit a single target, like a rifle. Typically, you’ll see a circle or other indication of where the ability is currently in effect.
Bots, CPUs, and “computers” all refer to non-human opponents in multiplayer games. Some multiplayer titles let you play the game mode by yourself or with friends in local multiplayer against bots.
Alternatively, calling another player a “bot” is an insult. You can say that someone is a bot when he is playing very badly.
Buff refers to a change that makes a character or weapon more powerful in some way. In contrast, a nerf is a change that reduces the power of an element.
These are commonly used to refer to the balance between characters or weapons in online games that receive frequent updates. For example, increasing a weapon’s damage would be a buff, while lengthening reload time would be a buff.
7. Bullet Sponge
A bullet sponge refers to an enemy that takes an excessive amount of damage to kill (as it “absorbs” damage like a sponge). For example, an enemy you’d expect to go down with a few shots that actually ends up draining several magazines is the Bullet Sponge.
Camping means sitting in one place, constantly moving around the map. People who do this are called campers, and they do so to impress other players. It is commonly used in online shooters like Call of Duty.
To cheat something in a video game means that you use a cheap strategy to accomplish a task without much hassle. For example, you can repeat a certain powerful combo over and over to defeat your opponent. You can even make some cheese by finding a simple solution to a challenge in a single-player game.
In many team-based multiplayer games, clans are groups of players who play together. Titles like Call of Duty allow you to add a clan tag to your username and join a clan. Usually, these are informal; They are not properly organized professional teams.
In many games, once you’ve used an ability, you have to wait a period of time before you can use it again. This is called the cooldown period. Generally, more powerful abilities have longer cooldown periods.
Crafting refers to using materials collected in a game (such as plants or scrap metal) to create other useful items, such as weapons or healing potions. It is common in many styles and can be simple or intense.
DLC stands for Downloadable Content. This refers to any additional elements that you can download separately from the main game, including characters, levels, cosmetics, and the like. DLC sometimes, but not always, comes at an extra cost.
DPS, which is short for “damage per second,” is a measurement of how much damage a particular weapon or attack outputs. “DPS” can also refer to a class of characters primarily dealing damage, in contrast to other classes such as tanks or healers.