What does debuff mean in online gaming?

Weakening effect

In gaming, a debuff is an effect that weakens an in-game character. For example, an ability that slows a character or reduces their attack power (AP) is a debuff.

Typically, both player characters (PCs) and non-player characters (NPCs) can use and be affected by debuffs. For example, in World of Warcraft (WoW), players can cast debuffs on enemies, and enemies can cast debuffs on players. In fact, WoW bosses often cast debuffs on a player's entire party.

Some debuff abilities are targeted, meaning they affect only one or more specific characters, while others are area of effect (AoE) abilities. AoE debuffs weaken any character who enters the effect's radius.


We need some big heals when the boss puts the hp debuff on everyone
A FFXIV player discussing the game's debuffs
A FFXIV player discussing the game's debuffs

Related Slang


Updated February 9, 2022

Debuff definition by

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