Essential Online Gaming Slang
Learning how to git gud at online games is hard, but deciphering what other players are saying in chat might be even harder. To help you level up your online gaming lexicon, we've compiled a list of key acronyms, abbreviations, and slang terms that every gamer needs to know.
Gamers use AFK to tell others that they're going "away from keyboard" for a minute. A player who goes AFK will likely let you know when they're BAK and ready to resume playing.
Similarly, a gamer who sends you BRB will "be right back" after taking care of a quick task. If the player expects to be away longer than a few minutes, they might instead send you BBIAB, which stands for "be back in a bit."
A character, item, or game mechanic that is broken is so good that it "breaks" a game, because there is no way to beat it. Gamers use the word busted the same way, to describe game elements that are too strong and make a game unfun.
In gaming, to buff something means to strengthen it. Gamers might use this term while discussing in-game abilities and items that can buff characters, or while discussing a game developer's choice to buff a previously weak character or item.
Camping is the act of staying in one spot for a prolonged period of time (sometimes, an entire game). Players who camp (referred to as campers) do so because it gives them a strategic (and some would say unsporting) advantage.
Gamers use cheese and cheesy to describe strategies they consider cheap and unsportsmanlike. However, because different players enjoy different styles of gameplay, one player's cheese may be another player's favorite strategy.
A player who sends you G2G has "got to go." This player has some IRL responsibilities they have to take care of, so they're signing off for now.
At the start of a game, other players may use GLHF to say "good luck have fun." These well-mannered players hope you all have a good game. You may also see GLHF shortened to just GL.
A player who is LFG is "looking for group." This player wants to join or create a group so they can play a multiplayer game. In MMORPGs like World of Warcraft (WoW), you may see LFG written as the more-specific LFP, which stands for "looking for party."
A gamer's main is the character as which they typically play. For example, a League of Legends (LoL) player may say they "main Gangplank," meaning they usually play as Gangplank. Gamers also often specialize in one or more alt characters, which they can switch to if their main isn't suited for a particular match or task.
Gamers use meta when discussing how characters, items, and strategies fit into a game's current metagame. For example, a Hearthstone player may say "aggro decks are really dominating the meta right now," when discussing what types of decks are putting up good results.
In gaming, the word mod can refer to one of two things. Most commonly, mod refers to a modification a player has made to a game, to add extra (unofficial) features. However, mod can also refer to a moderator, who reviews player conduct and player-created content in a game or forum.
To nerf something means to weaken it. This term is often used in contrast to buff, to describe characters and items that a game developer made less powerful. Nerf originated as a joke among Ultima Online players, after a change to that game's swords rendered them "as deadly as NERF bats."
Gamers often refer to new players as noobs or newbs. On occasion, gamers also use these terms as insults, to mock experienced players who are playing poorly. (e.g. "Wow, what a noob, can't believe you missed that shot.")
When used in gaming chat, NP can mean a couple of things. If a teammate or opponent is complimenting you on your play, NP stands for "nice play." If you've asked another player to do something, NP instead likely stands for "no problem."
OP has multiple meanings among gamers. In most cases, OP is shorthand for overpowered, and used to describe characters, items, and/or mechanics that are too strong (making a game unfun). In other cases, OP stands for opponent, and is used to reference the player(s) a gamer is playing against.
Pwned means "dominated." This term most likely originated as a misspelling of owned, which means the same thing. Exactly where and how this misspelling first occurred is a matter of some debate.
When a player gets incredibly angry and quits a game, they are said to have ragequit. Players who ragequit are often triggered by an opponent's "unfair" or "outrageously lucky" play. And they're not shy about complaining about it, before quitting the game.
Gamers say they've rekt, or wrecked, an opponent when they've utterly humiliated them. You may see this word used as part of the phrase "get rekt," which means "I wrecked you" or "you got wrecked."
A smurf account is an alternate, usually low-level, account used by a skilled player. Some gamers create smurf accounts to play with their noob friends, try out different strategies and characters, and avoid being recognized during matchmaking. The act of playing on a smurf account is often referred to as smurfing.
If a gamer accuses you of throwing, it means they think you lost a game on purpose. To most gamers, throwing is an especially egregious offense - so don't be surprised if a player who accuses you of throwing doesn't want to play with you again.
Trolling is the act of purposefully riling up another player, by posting inflammatory or offensive remarks in chat. If you end up playing with or against a troll, the best thing you can do is ignore, block, and report them. Interacting with them only encourages them to keep trolling you.
Woot means roughly the same thing as "yay" or "alright." Gamers often say "Woot!" when celebrating a good play, victory, or other achievement. At times, you may see woot written as w00t.
WP means "well played." A teammate or opponent might send you WP at the end of a particularly hard-fought match, in which you played adeptly.
Want to learn even more online gaming slang? Then be sure to check out our full list of online gaming slang terms, which includes hundreds of general and game-specific terms.