The gaming world can often be overwhelming for new players due to the insider terms and slang -- it can even be confusing for seasoned gamers on occasion. The glossary of terms below will make your life just a little bit easier, so you can concentrate on the game.
AAA – Basically a game that has a large budget for development and promotion.
AFK – Away from keyboard.
Alpha – The first stage of out-of-house testing for a game to find any bugs or glitches in the software.
Alt – Alternate, as in take an alternate route or skill.
AOE – Area of effect.
B – Backing, as in you need health and/or mana and need to go back to the base. Usually used in MOBAs like "League of Legends."
Beta – Comes after alpha testing and opens up the testing stage to a larger group of people. There are two types of beta testing -- open means anyone can try it out, closed means you have to be invited.
Buff – An effect that is placed on a character that makes them stronger or gives them a benefit like more experience.
Bug – A problem that causes crashes, unintended character actions or other unexpected events.
Cheese – A strategy players use to win a game; can often be sneaky or unorthodox.
Cooldown – The time you need to wait before being able to use a certain ability again.
DC – Disconnected.
Debuff – The negative of a buff; hampers a character in some way for the duration of the debuff.
DLC – Downloadable content. Basically additions to the game (and in some cases things that should have been included in the original game) that make it more interesting.
DPS – Damage per second.
Elo – A rating system for calculating players' relative skill levels in competitive games. Mostly known for its use in "League of Legends."
eSports – Where professional gamers play online (or sometimes LAN, but streamed online), often for money or other prizes. This is usually also multiplayer, like in "Dota 2."
FPS – Usually means first-person shooter, a genre of game. Can also mean frames per second, a measure of a system’s performance.
FTP – Free to play.
FTW – For the win.
Gank – To kill another player by surprise.
GG – Good game. Said at the end of the game to thank team members.
GLHF – Good luck, have fun. Often said at the start of the game.
Going ham – Going hard as a motherf-----.
Grind – Performing fairly mindless repetitive tasks to gain a reward.
HP – Hit points. The amount of damage a character can take before it dies.
Lag – Describes the time delay between a player requesting an action and the character in-game performing it. Normally used when the time delay is longer than expected.
LAN – Local area network.
LFG – Looking for group.
Mana – A limited resource that is needed to cast certain spells and abilities.
Matchmaking – When the game’s system tries to match up players of equal skill level to battle.
MMORPG – Massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Think: "World of Warcraft."
MMR – Match-making rating. This is a rating system based on players' skill level and is used to match them against other players in-game.
MOBA – Multiplayer online battle arena. "Dota 2," "League of Legends," "Heroes of the Storm" and "Smite" are MOBAs.
Nerf – When a character's abilities are changed or removed by developers to make them less strong. This is usually done in a patch.
Noob – A new or inexperienced person, usually used in a derogatory manner.
NPC – Nonplayer character. Essentially someone you can’t control but who can give you quests and sell you items.
OOM – Out of mana. Often used to say a player is going back to base to recharge.
OP – Overpowered. Can also mean original pick, because it is so strong that it is one of the first characters to get chosen in a match.
Patch – A software release from the developer after the game is released, often to fix bugs.
Ping – The amount of time in milliseconds it takes for information to travel to the server and back. You want your ping to be low so you don’t experience lag.
PvE – Player versus environment.
PvP – Player versus player.
RPG – Role-playing game; it's a genre.
RTS – Real-time strategy is another genre of games.
Tank – A character that has a lot of hit points and is normally placed in front of other characters to take most of the damage.
TPS – Third-person shooter.
XP – Experience.
Has this glossary been helpful? If there’s anything you think we should add, or anything you want to know the meaning of, let us know in the comments below.