Gaming Terminology


Tired of seeing acronyms being used and not having a clue what they mean? Never fear we have all common and many uncommon terms here in one convenient guide!




AI – Artificial Intelligence in video games these are the non player characters (NPCs) or robots (Bots).

ARTS – Action Real Time Strategy game. This is the official genre for DotA 2 Action RTS or ARTS.

AFK – Away From Keyboard

AOE – Area of Effect

Avatar – This it the digital you. Your avatar is what represents you in game. In games like DotA this would be your hero or your champion in League of Legends.


Beta – The final testing stage of a game often with two stages closed beta and open beta. Closed beta is limited to access granted by the developers where open beta is available to everyone without restriction.

BIO – short for Biological meaning bathroom break

BRB – Be Right Back

BRT – Be Right There

Bug – A fault in the programming allowing for an unintended effect good or bad. When players exploit bugs to their advantage it is known as glitching.

Bots – AI players in an online game. Bots are used as computer opponents for practice, fun or when human opponents are unavailable.


Camp – To stay in one place. A tactic used to set an ambush for an enemy waiting for others to come to you.

CC – Crowd Control, keeping your opponents where you want them.

Cheese – A popular term for Starcraft where players attack as fast as possible in hopes of catching the opponent off guard or out of position

CoD – Call of Duty

CS – Counter Strike


DPI – Dots Per Inch. This is a term for the mouse resolution and useful for gauging the accuracy of mouse movements. Higher isn’t always better. Pro gamers often use multiple DPI settings for one game. For example a sniper might want a DPI of 1,600 but someone using a AK-47 may want to use 800 DPI.

DPS – Damage Per Second, amount of damage a skill, ability or attack does per second.

DOT – Damage Over Time, a prolonged effect that causes ongoing health degeneration.

DotA – Defense of the Ancients a popular custom map for WarCraft 3.


EXP – EXP, XP both refer to experience points. As you gain experience points your character will level becoming more powerful.

Expo – Expansion, often used in Starcraft to describe expanding to another base

eSport – Electronic sport these are games such as StarCraft, Counter Strike and League of Legends that have audience, sponsors and tournaments.

eSport Athlete – Gamers that play professionally. An example from StarCraft 2 would be IdrA who plays on a sponsored team Evil Geniuses, travels the world to compete in tournaments and is paid a salary.


FPS – Frames Per Second, higher allows for a more fluid game play. Also stands for the game genre First Person Shooter

FTW – For The Win.

FoV – Field of View. This term relates to the monitor size, resolution and aspect ratio and how much you see inside the game. Increasing monitor ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 will for some games increase your field of view allowing you to see more in game.


Ganking- To team up to trap and kill a player. To go for a quick kill. Commonly used in ARTS games such as DotA, LoL and HoN

GG – Good Game

GL – Good Luck

Glitch – incorrectly displayed graphics, collision detection errors, game crashes or freezes, sound skipping, or other inconsistencies. This is also used as an excuse for dieing/losing. For example players could complain they lost because of a ‘lag glitch’ another would be ‘game froze’ or ‘stuck’ when the game is operating normally and the player is not familiar with the mechanics.


Harassment – This relates to in game harassment where you distract, attack and delay your opponent.

HF – Have Fun

HoN – Heroes of Newerth an Action RTS PC game.

HotS – StarCraft 2 expansion Heart of the Swarm


IMBA – Short for imbalanced, often used as an excuse blaming the game mechanics instead of accepting defeat gracefully.

IAMF – Its All My Fault.


Joinking – Luring a player into a trap. An example in LoL is when you entice a player by allowing yourself to fall to low health then luring  your opponent to where your team is waiting for a joinking.

JK – Just Kidding.


Kiting – To take advantage of having more range then an a opponent, allowing yourself to attack while they are unable to reach you to do any damage.


Lag – Having a slow computer causes you to have low FPS giving you choppy game play. Also internet lag which causes other players/units to react late or move in place.

LOL – Laugh Out Loud. League of Legends

LMAO – Laughing My *** Off.


Macro – Macro management refers to macromanagment. This is something seen in StarCraft and refers to managing the economic side of the game.

Warping – Refers to units/players who are lagging on your screen and instead of moving as usual they warp from one spot to another.

MOBA – Multiplayer Online Battle Arena a vague description referring to a wide variety of games including League of Legends.


Nade – Short for grenade.

NP – No Problem.

Newb(Newbie Newbizor Newbz) – Refers to a person new to a game.


OP – Over Powered used when something is perceived as unfairly strong.

Own – To beat someone to an extreme. To dominate and humiliate your rival.


Packet – Internet protocol packet, IP packet or often referred to simply as packet. If you have a poor internet connection or a weak wireless network signal you may experience packet loss. This packet loss causes in game lag and disconnects. When experiencing lag checking for packet loss is a way gamers determine if the game server or their own internet connection is the problem. If you run CMD and can ping Google (use “ping -t”) if you see dropped packets or longer than 500ms ping times the issue is with your connection otherwise the issue may be with the game server or your proximity to it.

Platform – The device you play the game on. Three examples would be PC, PS3 and XBOX360.

Pixel – The smallest possible unit of measurement for a monitor.  Changing your monitor resolution changes the size of the pixels. Imagine if you had a 17 inch monitor and a ratio of 800×600 pixel dimensions now if you change that resolution to say 1024×768 you now have 224 more pixels along the length of your monitor. Since you now have more pixels in the same physical 17 inches of monitor you have made the pixels that much smaller. Images and other media are measured in pixels so by shrinking the size of the pixel images and other media are the same number of pixels but appear smaller because the pixels are smaller.

Proxy – Proximity commonly used in RTS games where a player will build in proximity of another player.

Pwn – This is a knockoff of ‘Own’ and has become l33t speak from own being repeatedly mistyped. P and O are near on the keyboard.

Ping – This can refer to a mini-map ping to highlight a spefic area on the map common in RTS and MOBAs. Ping can also refer to your internet. When gamers refer to lagging with a 300 ms or 3 second delay the 3 seconds is the ping time to the server. This means there is a 3 second delay betwen any action you make and the games response.


QL – Quake Live

qq – This symbolizes crying or whining. The q is an eye with a tear drop so qq is two eyes with tears.


RL – Real Life

ROFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing

RTS – Real Time Strategy game, such as StarCraft 2.


Sac – Sacrifice to give up a unit or death to gain an advantage.

SC – StarCraft

Support – Often taking the role of a healer supports work to keep their allies alive through means of heals and crowd control.

Spam – When people repeat the same letter/word/phrase over and over and over and over and over and over and over and this is known as spam


Tank – Players who build to sustain large amounts of damage. Tanks act as a shield absorbing damage and keeping damage off less durable allies.

Turtling – To focus on defense, hide or camp to an extreme.

TY – Thank You

TS – Short for the software TeamSpeak


UI – User Interface. Also reffered to as GUI for Graphic User Interface. Some examples of UI in games are menus, health bars and mini-maps.


Vent – Short for the software Ventrillo


WoL – StarCraft 2 Wings of Liberty

WP – Well Played, a common term for complimenting a talented gamer.

WTG – Way To Go