The Language of Gaming: A Dictionary of Terms

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Can’t tell your MOBA from your Mod? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled our very own gaming dictionary just for you. This guide can support you in understanding the jargon and lingo that comes with gaming. Can’t tell your MOBA from your Mod? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled our very own gaming dictionary just for you. This guide can support you in understanding the jargon and lingo that comes with gaming.

Page Contents:

  1. Game Genres

  2. Terms Used In-game

  3. Terms Used in Chat

Game Genres

Let us take a look at the different gaming genres. Here you will be perfectly acquainted with what acronyms may accompany specific games and the people who like to play them. That being said, genres like action, sports, racing, have not been included as they do a pretty good job of explaining themselves.


Third-Person Shooter

Meaning: Third-Person shooters that involve players shooting enemies or targets with a camera  position behind the playable character.

Game example: Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto


First Person Shooter

Meaning: Similar to third-person shooter, this is a video game where the user shoots enemies or targets but from an angle where the player is seeing the action through the eyes of the character.

Game example: Call of Duty (CoD), Halo,


Collectable Card Game, Digital Collectible Card Game, Trading Card Game

Meaning: A popular strategy game, CCDs (or otherwise) involve using often highly decorative cards of artwork, imagery, or text. They can also be played alongside counters, dice, or other components to complement the gameplay.

Game example: Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering


Massively Multiplayer Online

Meaning: More of an umbrella term for genres, MMOs covers online games designed to support a large player base across multiple genres.

Game example: World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Minecraft


Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

Meaning: Players control a single character, often referred to as a hero or champion, within a team-based game involving real-time strategy.

Game example: League of Legends


Role-Playing Game

Meaning: For those looking to really immerse themselves in a digital world; Role-Playing Games take the element of playing as a character to another level. Assuming the role of a character, players can be responsible for their actions while following a narrative with considered decision making and character development.

Game example: Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Skyrim


Real-Time Strategy

Meaning: Once one of the most popular gaming genres, Real-Time Strategy games involve gameplay which does not pause, with the user tasked to build armies, societies, structures to compete against opponents.

Game example: Age of Empires, Civilization



Meaning: Ever fancied yourself a bus driver, a farmer, or even a goat?! Designed to simulate real-world activities, SIMs take aspects of the real world and create a game from it, sometimes for training, more often for escapism. For example Bus Simulator, where you can create your own public transportation empire.

Game example: Bus Simulator, Goat Simulator

Terms Used In-Game

Whether you are about to strap on your headset for the first time, or you simply want to know that when someone says they are low on HP they’re not referring to the sauce, take a look at some popular in-game terms.


Meaning: Gaining an extra life.


Meaning: Additions, often used when challenging a high-level character, which summons additional monsters or tools for you to overcome.


Meaning: One which is used in everyday life, aggro is short for aggravated or aggravation. Can be used when you are being targeted by a common enemy, or monster.


Meaning: To not move, or stay in one spot during a game, particularly in FPS (First Person Shooter) games. Used to gain an advantage over opposing players.


Meaning: Known as Experience Points, these are points accrued to ‘level up’ and used to measure character levels, reputation, skill or ability in game.


Meaning: Stats or information that are presented on the gaming screen. These often advise the player of current health, where they are on the map or how many items they have.


Meaning: Short for Health or Hit Points, HP measures how much damage a user/player can take before they die.


Meaning: An abbreviation for Kill-to-Death Ration, or Kill Ratio, this is how many enemies you can overcome before your own death. KDRs are considered an indicator of a player’s ability, but most commonly featured in team games.


Meaning: Most often relating to the internet connection, someone has ‘lag’ or is ‘lagging’ when their connection is poor. Leads to a delay in a player’s actions between the controls and the in-game reaction.


Meaning: Loot, like treasure, are items which can be found or collected in game which often benefit the player. 


Meaning: Short for modification, mods can range from simple bug fixes to new missions and characters. Most common in online gaming, particularly MMOs.


Meaning: NPC stands for Non-Player Character. These are characters controlled by the game, rather than a living person. They help to build the plot to a story line and vary in narrative function. Many you can interact with.


Meaning: Skin, or skins, are changes to a characters aesthetic which a player makes. You can choose to make your character look more like you, more imposing, or more realistic depending on what skins you can get.


Meaning: Tags are a player’s online handle, or player name. This is often used to find other gamers and is often presented to others when playing online games.

Terms Used in Chat

When we say chat, we mean via headsets in conversation, or through messages. You may overhear these words being used at school or at home, but their most common place is in-game communication tools.


Meaning: Simple enough, DC is short for disconnected, mostly down to technical error.


Meaning: As it sounds, EZ means easy.


Meaning: FF stands most often for Friendly Fire, where a teammate accidently, or on occasion deliberately, shoots you or other members of the same team.


Meaning: If you someone who is familiar with ‘text-talk’ you may already know that FTW is ‘For the Win’.


Meaning: Good Game.


Meaning: There are a couple of definitions or meanings for Hacks and Hax. Someone could be called a Hack is they appear to be cheating. It can also refer to software installed to hack accounts or the game.


Meaning: “Stop being such a noob!” Noob, or its variations, is used to describe a new player or someone who isn’t familiar with the game and competing against more experienced players.


Meaning: A shortened version of wrecked. Rekt is usually said after a one-sided match, or when someone has outplayed someone.


Meaning: Salty is another way of describing someone who is bitter. When someone is complaining in chat, or through headsets, they may be described as salty by others for losing.

Of course, our dictionary of gaming terms is not extensive. There is a whole language used in the online digital world. More often than not, it is friendly and playful, but when you do not understand it, it can be difficult to process. When trying to understand gaming terminology and language, consider sport. Each sport has its own jargon, or chat. Gaming is no different. But, we hope that having taken a look at our examples that you have a better understanding of some of these terms. If this has whet your appetite for gaming, why not check out some of the other resources on our website?

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