An object that gives the player an extra life (or attempt) in games where the player has a limited number of chances to complete a game or level.
To collect all collectibles within a game, either indicated within games as a percentage counter or determined by player community consensus.
An abbreviation of 1 versus 1, denoting two players battling against each other. Can be extended to any player versus player grouping, such as '2v2' to mean two teams of two battling each other, or "1v4" to refer to a team of four players against one (as seen in asymmetrical gameplay).
A type of trickshot, very common in first-person shooters and similar, in which a player spins a full 360 degrees and lands a shot (usually with a sniper rifle of some sort) without aiming, ultimately heavily damaging or killing the adversary on the receiving end of the shot.
A game that is forgotten about or abandoned by its developers for any number of reasons, including copyright issues.
Usually used within first-person shooters, where a single player manages to eliminate the entire opposing team by themselves while their teammates are alive. Can also be used to describe situations where a player manages to complete a possibly difficult section of game flawlessly. Comparable to pentakill in competitive games with teams made up of 5 players, such as MOBAs. Not to be confused with Team Ace.
Sometimes used to refer to individual levels or groups of levels that make up a larger world or storyline. Rarely refers to a downloadable game intended to be part of a larger series which functions as a single game series and gameplay-wise.
A game genre which emphasizes exploration and puzzle-solving.
Meaning "away from keyboard". Generally said through a chat function in online multiplayer games when a player intends to be temporarily unavailable.
An abbreviation of 'aggravation' or 'aggression'. 'Causing aggro' or 'aggroing' in a video game means to attract hostile attention from NPCs or enemies to attack the player-character. 'Managing aggro' involves keeping aggressive NPCs from overwhelming the player or party. The term may be facetiously used in reference to irritated bystanders ('wife aggro', 'mother aggro', etc). Also see hate and rushdown.
A first-person shootercheat that lets players instantly or near-instantly target other players without having to manually aim. In most cases, the aiming reticle locks on to a target within the player's line of sight and the player only has to pull the trigger. Aimbots are one of the most popular cheats in multiplayer FPS, used since 1996's Quake.:119Compare to the feature auto-aim.
aiming down sights (ADS)
Also aim down sights.
Refers to the common alternate method of firing a gun in a first-person shooter (FPS) game, typically activated by the right mouse button. The real-life analogue is when a person raises a rifle up and places the stock just inside the shoulder area, and leans their head down so they can see in a straight line along the top of the rifle, through both of the iron sights or a scope, if equipped. In most games, this greatly increases accuracy, but can limit vision, situational awareness, mobility, and require a small amount of time to change the weapon position.
An initial, incomplete version of a game. Alpha versions are usually released early in the development process to test a game's most critical functionality and prototype design concepts. Compare with beta release.
Short for 'alternate', the focus on gameplay/progression/development of other available characters (or classes) in a game after one has completed the development of a favored 'main' character. Compare with main.
A partially animated storyboard with sound effects used during early game development.
A type of gameplay mechanic in which the playable character's animations have priority over the player's input; in other words, if the player begins an action with a long animation, the animation must play out first before the player can then enter a new command, and attempting to enter a new command will have no effect. Games like the Dark Souls and Monster Hunter series are based on gameplay using animation priority.
A type of cheat commonly found in first-person shooter games that makes it difficult or impossible for the user's hitboxes to be hit. This can be achieved many ways, but the most common ones are rapidly moving the user's hitboxes, flipping hitboxes (usually backwards or sideways), and sending false packets to the server.
A coin-operated ("coin-op") video game usually contained in an upright, tabletop (cocktail or candy cabinet) or semi-enclosed sit-down cabinet. Popular primarily during the late 1970s to 1990s in the West, and still popular in the East to the present day, arcade machines continue to be manufactured and sold worldwide.
A term used in many role-playing and strategy games to describe attacks or other effects that affect multiple targets within a specified area. For example, in the role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons, a fireball spell will deal damage to anyone within a certain radius of where it strikes. In most tactical strategy games artillery weapons have an area of effect that will damage anyone within a radius of the strike zone. Often the effect is stronger on the target than on anything else hit. See also: Splash damage
Area of effect can also refer to spells and abilities that are non-damaging. For example, a powerful healing spell may affect anyone within a certain range of the caster (often only if they are a member of the caster's party). Some games also have what are referred to as "aura" abilities that will affect anyone in the area around the person with the ability. For example, many strategy games have hero or officer units that can improve the morale and combat performance of friendly units around them. The inclusion of AoE elements in game mechanics can increase the role of strategy, especially in turn-based games. The player has to place units wisely to mitigate the possibly devastating effects of a hostile area of effect attack; however, placing units in a dense formation could result in gains that outweigh the increased AoE damage received.
Point-blank area of effect (PBAoE) is a less-used term for when the affected region is centered on the character performing the ability, rather than at a location of the player's choosing.
The practice of creating a game using 'free' art and audio assets, either from an online marketplace or the default stock of assets included with many game engines. Asset-flips are often of very poor quality designed to catch onto a currently popular theme to turn a quick profit. It mimics the practice of flipping in real estate markets.
Cooperative or competitive multiplayer games in which each player will have a different experience arising from differences in gameplay, controls, or in-game character options that are part of the game. This is in contrast to symmetric gameplay where each player will have the same experience, such as in the game Pong. Asymmetric gameplay often arises in competitive games where one player's character is far overpowered but outnumbered by other players that are all competing against them, such as in Pac-Man Vs. Asymmetric gameplay can also arise in multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) and hero shooters, where each player selects a different hero or character class with different gameplay abilities from others.
Competitive multiplayer games where the players do not have to be participating at the same time. Such games are usually turn-based, with each player planning a strategy for the upcoming turn, and then having the game resolve all actions of that turn once each player has submitted their strategies.
Also display mode and show mode.
A pre-recorded demonstration of a video game that is displayed when the game is not being played.
Originally built into arcade games, the main purpose of the attract mode is to entice passers-by to play the game. It usually displays the game's title screen, the game's story (if it has one), its high score list, sweepstakes (on some games) and the message "Game Over" or "Insert Coin" over or in addition to a computer-controlled demonstration of gameplay. In the Atari 8-bit home computers of the 1970s and 1980s, the term attract mode was sometimes used to denote a simple screensaver that slowly cycled the display colors to prevent phosphor burn-in when no input had been received for several minutes. Attract modes demonstrating gameplay are common in current home video games.
Attract mode is not only found in arcade video games, but in most coin-operated games like pinball machines, stacker machines and other games. Cocktail arcade machines on which the screen flips its orientation for each player's turn in two-player games traditionally have the screen's orientation in player 1's favour for the attract mode.
Supplementing a real-world environment with computer-generated perceptual information with matching alignment to the real world, which may add to or mask the physical environment. Augmented reality alters the perception of a physical environment, whereas virtual reality replaces the physical environment with a simulated one.
Also known as "auto chess", a subgenre of strategy games that feature chess-like elements where players place characters on a grid-shaped battlefield during a preparation phase, who then fight the opposing team's characters without any further direct input from the player. It was created and popularized by Dota Auto Chess in early 2019.
A game mechanic built into some games to decrease the level of difficulty by locking onto or near targets for faster aiming. Games utilize "hard" or "soft" aim settings to respectively either lock directly onto an enemy or assist the player's aim towards the enemy while giving some freedom of precision. Not to be confused with aimbot.
A system in video games that causes the player-character to move forward without input from the user. The system is predominantly used in platform games, as well as being a toggleable feature in some open world and MMO games where users may need to travel long distances without the assistance of fast travel systems.
Repeated use of the jump button while moving, which increases the character's momentum in some games. Originally a glitch in early GoldSrc games, a large portion of games have implemented it as a feature and gamers have taken into doing this.
Aspects of a multi-player game that keep it fair for all players. This usually refers to balance between characters (or any other choices made before battle) and options (which occur in battle). Balance between choices made before battle usually means that no character is likely to dominate another opponent, while balance between options usually refers to every option having a viable counter, preventing gameplay from degenerating to using a single option with minor variations. The issue of balanced gameplay is a heavily debated matter among most games' player communities.
What players usually call the gacha mechanic in a game. Depending on the game, it can stick around indefinitely or have a time limit. The latter kind most often increases the probability of getting specific characters or items.
A video game genre that blends elements of survival games with last-man-standing gameplay. Players search for equipment while eliminating competitors in a shrinking safe zone. Usually there are many more players involved than in other kinds of multi-player games.
An early release of a video game, following its alpha release, where the game developer seeks feedback from players and testers to remove bugs prior to the product's commercial release. Games are usually almost finished at the beta stage.See also closed beta and open beta.
In online games, a list of player information (such as player ID or IP address) that the server checks for when admitting a player. By default, players are allowed to enter, but if they match information on the blacklist, they are barred from entry. The opposite is a whitelist, where the server bars players by default but allows players matching the whitelist. Blacklists and whitelists can be used in tandem, barring even whitelisted players if they try to log in via a blacklisted IP address, for example.
"Bad Manners"; conduct that is not considered 'cheating' but may be seen as unsportsmanlike or disrespectful. Some games may elect to punish badly behaved players by assessing game penalties, temporarily blocking them from re-entering play, or banishing them to a playing environment populated solely by other badly behaved players. What constitutes bad manners is subjective and may be hard to gather a consensus on.
In online multiplayer games that include ranked competitive play, boosting is where a player with a low-ranked level has a more-skilled player use their account to improve the low-ranked character to higher levels, or other improvements and benefits for their account.
An option featured in many modern PC games and moddable into others in which a game appears fullscreen but is actually running in a maximized window. Since the game does not take full control of the output device, it confers benefits such as seamless task switching and automatic vertical synchronization.
An opponent non-player character in a video game that is typically much more difficult to defeat compared to normal enemies, often at the end of a level or a game.
Short for robot. A non-playable character which is controlled by an artificial intelligence (AI). The player may compete against or work with a bot to complete objectives. Is also a derogatory term that implies a player is less effective than a computerized character.
A hazard common in platform and action games, which consists of a deep hole or void with no visible bottom, presumably leading to a fatal drop. The player-character falling into this void typically results in an instant death (and the loss of a life) for the player, regardless of how much health the character had; although some games may instead take away a percentage of the character's health before respawning them nearby. Bottomless pits can also serve as obstacles that can be overcome by using abilities or finding alternate routes.
A type of shoot 'em up where the player must generally dodge an overwhelmingly large number of enemies and their projectiles.
Any enemy that appears to require more firepower than would be considered realistic or reasonable to defeat. This is an allusion to how the enemy can absorb bullets much like a sponge absorbs liquids. For example, an enemy soldier in a first-person shooter that requires several full magazines of ammunition to defeat, in comparison to other soldier types that are defeated in a handful of shots, would be a bullet sponge.
A portmanteau of bullshit and screenshot, referring to the misrepresentation of a final product's technical or artistic quality by artificially enhancing promotional images or video footage.
1.The pressing of different button combinations in rapid succession to perform or attempt to perform special moves, typically with little rhyme or reason. This technique is most often encountered in fighting games, especially among weaker players.
2.The rapid pressing of a single button to accomplish a task, especially in minigames. Sometimes, this requires the rapid pressing of two buttons simultaneously, or rapidly pressing any button.
common name for the value that dictates how much stun a weapon deals.
Also story mode and campaign.
A series of game levels intended to tell a linear story; some campaigns feature multiple 'paths', with the player's actions deciding which path the story will follow and affecting which choices are available to the player at a later point.
1.Where a player stays in one place – typically a fortified high-traffic location – for an extended period of time and waits to ambush other players. Many players consider camping a form of cheating. It is most common in first-person shooter games, but is also frequent in fighting games with projectile-heavy characters.
2.The act of waiting around a rare mob or player's spawn point, usually in MMOs. This may be known as spawn-camping or spawn-trapping.
In team-based video games, when a player disproportionately contributes to the success of their team. For example, Team A's sole remaining player defeating the rest of Team B, thus saving Team A from a close defeat, would be considered carrying, as would one player on Team A having the most kills among the rest of their team. The term is usually but not always interpreted as indirect slander towards the rest of the team, though the term may also be used generally. Carrying may also be a method experienced players use to win rounds when the rest of their team are less experienced or less efficient at completing tasks; this may entail taking on enemy combatants alone, or using teammates as a distraction while completing objectives for the round.
Deliberately inducing glitches and other strange behaviour in cartridge-based games by tilting the cartridge slightly in its slot in the console, enough for the connection to be altered but not completely severed. Cartridge tilting creates similar effects to using a corruptor, and may include such glitches as character models becoming distorted, extremely loud noises and in particularly severe cases, both the game and the console itself may crash.
Playing video games on an infrequent and spontaneous basis without a long-term commitment. Casual video games are distinguished by a low learning curve and ease of access, often web-based for mobile phones or personal computers. Most casual games have simplified controls, with one or two buttons dominating play. Casual games can normally be played in small periods of time, and may not have a save feature.
A game mode offered beyond the game's normal play mode that tasks the player(s) to replay parts of the game or special levels under specific conditions that are not normally present or required in the main game, such as finishing a level within a specific time, or using only one type of weapon. If a game doesn't feature a 'challenge mode', players will often create self-imposed challenges by forbidding or restricting the use of certain game mechanics.
A job or profession that comes with a set of abilities as well as positive and negative attributes. Most common in role-playing games, a character's class helps to define their playstyle as well as the role the character plays in a team based game. Often as players gain experience with a class they learn new abilities related to their chosen profession and some games allow players to change their character's class or become proficient in multiple classes. Some examples of archetypal character classes include warrior (strength and defense), thief (speed and stealth), wizard (magic and intelligence), and priest or healer (healing and buffing allies). A popular example of a class-changing system is the Job System in the Final Fantasy series.
To play the game unfairly; giving an unfair advantage via illegitimate means.
An area in a level from which the player will start the level from next time they die, rather than having to start the level over. Checkpoints typically remain in place until the player completes the level or gets a Game Over.
cheese (or cheesing)
Cheese(ing) refers to a tactic in a video game that may be considered cheap, unfair, or overly easy, requiring no skill by others as to otherwise complete a difficult task. What may account as cheese depends on the type of game. Its origin traces back to players of Street Fighter II who would frequently use the same combo move over and over against to defeat their opponent. In multiplayer games like MOBAs or hero shooters, certain team compositions of heroes are considered cheese compositions for how easily they can defeat most other team compositions. In other games, cheese can refer to exploiting glitches and other bugs to make difficult gameplay sections easy.
Music composed for the microchip-based audio hardware of early home computers and gaming consoles. Due to the technical limitations of earlier video game hardware, chiptune came to define a style of its own, known for its "soaring flutelike melodies, buzzing square wave bass, rapid arpeggios, and noisy gated percussion".
When a player/team that is currently winning or expected to win a match performs unexpectedly poorly.
An advanced method of movement in many first-person shooter (FPS) games where the user utilizes both thumb sticks (console) or mouse and keyboard controls (PC) to maintain a constant circular motion around an enemy, while maintaining a relatively steady aim on that target. This practice minimizes incoming fire from the target's teammates, as any misses are likely to hit and harm their teammate.
When you clap a player, you deal enough damage to eliminate them, without them hitting you or shooting you once.
The perception of a character class's distinctness from others. For example, the class identity of a "paladin" would include defensive and melee capabilities as compared to a ranged class like an "archer".
A type of game where clicking (or tapping) the screen repeatedly is the only gameplay mechanic. See also idle game.
1.Programming used to ensure that the player stays within the physical boundaries of the game world.:119Also see noclip, a cheat where clipping is disabled.
2.A 3D graphics process which determines if an object is visible and "clips" any obscured parts before drawing it.
To achieve a score so high it resets the in-game score counter back to 0, often used in older arcade games. More commonly used nowadays to express the (absolute) 100% completion of a game. Also see rolling the score.
A game that is similar in design to another game in its genre (e.g., a Doom clone or a Grand Theft Auto clone). Sometimes used in a derogatory fashion to refer to an inferior 'ripoff' of a more successful title.
A cloud gaming server runs the game, receiving controller input actions from and streaming audio and video to the player's thin client.
The player's saved game is stored at a remote server. This may provide a backup, or enable access from a different game system. See also cross-save.
Also clutching the game and coming in clutch.
Being able to perform exceptionally well in a high-stakes situation, or have certain events occur at the right time in a very important or critical moment, in particular in a way that changes the outcome of the game; scoring a victory for your team when it was on the verge of defeat.
A video game hardware unit that typically connects to a video screen and controllers, along with other hardware. Unlike personal computers, a console typically has a fixed hardware configuration defined by its manufacturer and cannot be customized. Sometimes includes handheld consoles, to differentiate them from computers, arcade machines, and cell phones.
A video game genre that involves planning and managing a population of citizens in towns, cities, or other population centers. In such games, the player rarely has direct control of the computer-controlled citizens and can only influence them through planning.
Classifying video games according to suitability-related factors such as violent or sexual content contained within a game. Some countries use industry self-regulation models to accomplish this, while others have government rating boards. Certain content ratings result in products being legally or de facto banned from sale, such as the AO (adults only) rating in the United States. While legal, such titles are not stocked by retailers and will not be certified for release by major console makers such as Sony and Microsoft.
A common term in video games for the option to continue the game after all of the player's lives have been lost, rather than ending the game and restarting from the very beginning. There may or may not be a penalty for doing this, such as losing a certain number of points or being unable to access bonus stages.
In arcade games, when a player loses or fails an objective, they will generally be shown a "continue countdown" screen, in which the player has a limited amount of time (usually 10, 15, or 20 seconds) to insert additional coins in order to continue the game from the point where it had ended; deciding not to continue will result in the displaying of a game over screen.
The continue feature was added to arcade games in the mid-1980s due to arcade owners wanting to earn more money from players who played for longer periods of time. The first arcade game to have a continue feature was Fantasy, and the first home console cartridge to have this feature was the Atari 2600 version of Vanguard.:26 As a result of the continue feature, games started to have stories and definite endings; however, those games were designed so that it would be nearly impossible to get to the end of the game without continuing. Salen and Zimmerman argue that the continue feature in games such as Gauntlet was an outlet for conspicuous consumption.
In more modern times, continues have also been used in a number of free-to-play games, especially mobile games, where the player is offered a chance to pay a certain amount of premium currency to continue after failing or losing. An example of this would be Temple Run 2, where the price of a continue doubles after each failure, with an on-the-fly in-app purchase of the game's premium currency if required.
Multiplayer gameplay where the players work together on the same team against computer-controlled opponents or challenges.
A computer program used either as or in conjunction with an emulator to corrupt certain data within a ROM or ISO by a user-desired amount, causing varied effects, both visually and audibly, to a video game and its data, usually as a humorous diversion or for the sake of seeking out and documenting interesting examples, hereafter referred to as corruptions. The effects of a corruption may include: displaced or misdirected pixels in a spritemap; never-ending levels; bizarre or unexpected changes to the colour palette of characters and levels; artifacts; distorted or entirely incorrect sprites, polygons, textures, or character models; spastic and outlandish animations; incorrect text or dialogue trees; flickering graphics or lights; incorrect or distorted audio; inconvenient invisible walls; lack of collision detection; and other forced glitches. Corruptions often result in the game becoming unwinnable, and may also result in unusual crashes and softlocks. See also real-time corruptor and ROM hacking.
A game mechanic which allows the player to use walls or other features of the game's environment to take cover from oncoming ranged attacks, such as gunfire in first-person shooters. Many cover systems also allow the character to use ranged attacks in return while in cover although with an accuracy penalty.
A game mechanic that grants players the ability to jump for a brief period of time (typically just a few frames or fractions of a second) after leaving solid ground. Used predominantly in platform games, the mechanic is designed to give players the impression of having jumped at the last possible moment, and as a method of forgiving players that would have otherwise missed the jump. The mechanic derives its name from the Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote who, upon leaving solid ground (e.g. by running off a cliff), briefly hangs in mid-air before plummeting to the earth below.
Commonly used in Fortnite, cranking 90s refers of a way to build in the game. "90s" refers to the 90-degree turn one must make when they make a 90, and "cranking" refers to how one must perform this repeatedly. "Cranking" 90s usually results in a tower being created.
To complete an arcade game by using as many continues as possible. Prevalent in action games or shooters where the player is revived at the exact moment their character died during their previous credit. Some home conversions (such as AES versions of Neo Geo games) tend to limit the number of credits each player is allowed to use in a playthrough as a way of preserving the challenge, while other conversions (such as the ports in the Namco Museum series) impose no such limits in order to faithfully reproduce every feature of the original version. Compare with 1CC.
A phase within a character's super move where the game briefly pauses the character's attack and shows their face (or full body) before proceeding to complete the attack. In fighting games, this move can be blocked.
A game segment that exists solely to provide detail and exposition to the story. They are used extensively in MMOs and RPGs in order to progress the plot. Cut-scenes are more likely to be generated by the in-game engine while cinematics are pre-recorded.
A 4-directional rocker button that allows the player to direct game action in eight different directions: up, down, left, right, and their diagonals. Invented by Gunpei Yokoi for the Game & Watch series of handheld consoles, Nintendo used the "directional pad" (or "cross-key" in Japan) for their Nintendo Entertainment System controller and it has been used on nearly every console controller since.
damage over time (DoT)
An effect, such as poison or catching on fire, that reduces a player's health over the course of time or turns.
damage per second (DPS)
Used as a metric in some games to allow the player to determine their offensive power, particularly in games where the player's attacks are performed automatically when a target is in range.
Also release date.
The day of release for a video game; often accompanied by a 'day-one patch' to repair issues that could not be addressed in time for the game's distribution, or 'day-one DLC', where the developer offers content for a price. 'Day-one DLC' is often associated with on-disc DLC, where the content is already a part of the game's data, but the player must pay to access it.
1.A region of the screen in video games in which the camera is controlled via free look where the mouse cursor can be positioned to lock the camera in place. Can be adjusted in some games.
2.A deadzone setting for the analog stick that lets players configure how sensitive they want their analog sticks to be, popular in console FPS games, and in racing games where it appears as Steering Deadzone.
A game mode in many shooter and real-time strategy games in which the objective is to kill as many other characters as possible until a time limit or kill limit is reached. Compare to last man standing.
The number of vectors of player-character movement that the player has control over, which are often a criterion associated with the game's genre.
Side-scrollers typically have 2-DoF: left/right (run along X-axis), and up/down (jump/fall along Y-axis).
Top-down, isometric graphics-based, and 3D graphics-based games may have 3-DoF or 4-DoF: aim left/right (rotate around Z-axis), move left/right (strafe along X-axis) & move forward/backward (run along Y-axis), and move up/down (jump/fall/crouch along Z-axis).
3D flying games may have up to 6-DoF: movement along the X, Y, or Z axes as left/right (along X-axis), forward/backward (along Y-axis), and up/down (along Z-axis), and rotation around X, Y, or Z axes as pitch (around X-axis), roll (around Y-axis), and yaw (around Z-axis)
In addition, special features of games may manipulate other dimensions not associated with the X, Y, & Z axes of 3D space as DoF, such as time, player state, macro-location (fast travel), map state, NPC visibility or other game parameters.
An unofficial, indefinite "waiting period" during which a project is effectively stalled and unable to proceed. Projects that enter development hell are often delayed by several years, but are not usually considered to be formally cancelled by the publisher.
The act of running games and applications from storage media not originally supported for this use. For example, external hard disk drives or USB flash drives can be used on consoles that only officially support running games and applications from CD or DVD disks. Usually can only be done in modded game consoles.
Found primarily in adventure games, a means of providing a menu of dialog choices to the player when interacting with a non-player character so as to learn more from that character, influence the character's actions, and otherwise progress the game's story. The tree nature comes from typically having multiple branching levels of questions and replies that can be explored.
The action, when game mechanics allow, of a game character being able to execute two successive jumps, the second jump occurring in mid-air without coming into contact with anything. The player must then typically touch the ground before being able to jump again.
A term for near-death state, typically found in team battle royale games, in which a player becomes incapacitated instead of dying after losing health points. Players in this state can be revived by teammates as long as they still have health.[relevant?]
A game mode associated with collectible card games including digital variants. A draft mode enables a player to create a deck of cards in such games by selecting one card of a number of randomly selected cards at a time. The player then uses the completed deck to play in matches against other players or computer opponents until they meet a certain win or loss record. Draft games contrast with constructed deck games, where players draw on their personal collections of cards.
A typical malfunction that affects the analog stick(s) of a gamepad, in which its neutral position is set somewhere on its fringe, instead of the central position that it default maintains when the analog stick is unmoved. This can cause undesired gameplay effects, such as causing a character to constantly move or the game camera to constantly be locked to one skewed angle while the analog stick(s) is/are unmoved, depending on which stick is affected or the game's controls.
A type of competitive or cooperative multiplayer game that enables a player to join the game at any time without waiting and leave without any penalty, and without affecting the game for other players.
In an open world game such as an RPG, an enclosed area filled with hostile NPCs where the player is likely to come under attack. In this sense, it can be used to refer to literal "dungeons" or include any number of other places, such as caves, ships, forests, sewers or buildings. Dungeons may be maze-like and/or contain puzzles that the player must solve and often hide valuable items within to encourage player exploration.
A genre of video game that is based on exploring dungeons or similar setting, defeating monsters and collecting loot.
Derived from the word "duplicating", the practice of using a bug to illegitimately create duplicates of unique items or currency in a persistent online game, such as an MMOG. Duping can vastly destabilize a virtual economy or even the gameplay itself.
A development model where players are able to purchase and play a game as it currently stands, be it early in development or close to a full release. On the developer's end, early access allows them to gather player feedback and further the game's development with the money made from these sales. See also open beta.
Gameplay that develops as a result of player creativity, rather than the game's programmed structure.EVE Online is well-known for its emergent gameplay, which allows player-formed alliances to fight extended 'wars' over valuable territory and resources, or simply become 'space pirates' and prey on other player-operated vessels.
A software program that is designed to replicate the software and hardware of a video game console on more modern computers and other devices. Emulators typically include the ability to load software images of cartridges and other similar hardware-based game distribution methods from the earlier hardware generations, in addition to more-traditional software images.
The gameplay available in a massively multiplayer online game for characters that have completed all of the currently-available content. In a more general sense of the term, End game also refers to the gameplay of a given title at the climax of its storyline or campaign., and is followed by the postgame.
A game mode in which players are challenged to last as long as possible against a continuing threat with limited resources or player-character lives, with their performance ranked on how long they survive before succumbing to the threat (such as the death of the player-character) or on score. This mode is typically offered in games that otherwise have normal endings that can be reached, providing an additional challenge to the players once the main game is completed.
A subgenre of platform game in which the player character runs for an infinite amount of time while avoiding obstacles. The player's objective is to reach a high score by surviving for as long as possible.
A video game made by fans, based on one or more established video games. Retrogamers may clone early video games to take advantage of more advanced hardware and game engines.
Repeating a battle, quest, or other part of a game in order to receive more or duplicates of specific reward items that can be gained through that battle or quest, such as experience points, game money, or specific reward items. Gold farming is a type of farming done for in-game currency. See grinding.
Common in role-playing games, a means by which to have the player-character(s) teleport between already-discovered portions of the game's world without having to actually interactively move that distance.
A term used around ongoing games with rotating content, the "fear of missing out" is an expression related to the psychological and social anxiety effect for players concerned about missing the opportunity to obtain limited-time items while they are available and thus devote more time and resources into the game as to obtain those items. This can include additional expenditures for microtransactions for free-to-play or freemium games.
In MOBAs, to consistently die to an enemy team or player (either intentionally or due to inexperience), providing them with experience, gold, map pressure, or other advantages.
A measurement reflecting how much of the game world is visible in a first-person perspective on the display screen, typically represented as an angle. May also refer to the general amount of the game world that is visible on the screen, typically in games where being able to see a lot at once is important, such as strategy games and platformers.
A developer that is either owned directly by a console maker or has special arrangements with the console maker; such developers have greater access to internal details about a console compared to traditional developers. A developer that isn't owned by a console maker but have special arrangements with them may be referred to as a second-party developer, instead. Games developed by a first-party developer are often referred to as 'first-party games.'
A genre of video game where the player experiences the game from the first-person perspective, where the primary mechanic is the use of guns and other ranged weapons to defeat enemies.
Also invincibility frames, invulnerability period, mercy invincibility.
An invincibility or immunity to damage that occurs after the player takes damage for a short time, indicated by the player-character blinking or buffering.
A game environment divided into single-screen portions, similar to individual tiles in a maze. Players see only one such screen at a time, and they transfer between screens by moving the player-character to the current screen's edge. The picture then abruptly "flips" to the next screen, hence the technique's name. UK magazines also refer to this as flick-screen.
Acronym for "Flavor of the Month", referring to a new meta that emerges after an update making certain classes or builds more desirable, that will only last a short amount of time. The phrase originated in the World of Warcraft community, but is also used in MOBA's.
1.To be able to look around the map freely, usually limited by typical mechanics of the game such as the boundaries of the game world. This is usually an ability that is disabled to common users, but left in the game coding as a developer's tool and is unlockable if the proper code is known. May also be allowed by a non-player in a multiplayer game to allow seeing every player's progress, especially in e-sports. Typically eliminates fog of war in relevant games.
2.Also called mouselook, a method of control where the player uses the computer mouse to indicate the direction they desire the player-character to look.
A pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or an application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for additional features, services, or virtual (online) or physical (offline) goods.
Games that do not require purchase from a retailer, either physical or digital, to play. Highly prevalent on smartphones, free-to-play games may also provide additional gameplay-enhancing purchases via an in-app purchase. Games that require in-app purchases in order to remain competitive, or gamers who engage in said purchases, are known as pay to win (P2W). (Compare 'freemium', a free-to-play game that follows such a model.)
full combo (FC)
Also full perfect combo (FPC).
A term used most commonly in rhythm games, when the player hits every note in a song with no mistakes, therefore never breaking a combo. Often results in the highest possible score on said song.
A genre of video game that implements the gacha (toy vending machine) mechanic. Similar to loot boxes, gacha games induce players to spend in-game currency to receive random in-game items or characters. The gacha mechanic is considered integral to the gameplay or player progression of gacha games, whereas loot boxes would not change the gameplay of the games they're attached to in a significant way if they were removed or replaced with a different reward system.
The codebase on which a game runs. There are different subsets of engines, such as specialized ones for physics and graphics. Often the game engine is only middleware which game specific behaviours are built upon, though end-users do not tend to make this distinction.
An event where participants try to develop a game from scratch in a very short amount of time, often with a theme determined by the organiser of the jam.
An application program for personal computers use to launch one or more games, rather than launching the game directly. Launchers typically include additional services from the software developer to provide middleware such as friends and matchmaking services, content updating, digital-rights management, and cloud saving. A game launcher may also provide features of a digital storefront to purchase and download games. Launchers include those designed by publishers specifically for their games, such as Battle.net or Ubisoft Connect, or may be a general platform to support first- and third-party games like Steam and Epic Games Store.
An overarching term that describes how a particular game functions and what is possible within the game's environment; the rules of the game. Typical game mechanics include points, turns and/or lives. An unanticipated and novel use of game mechanics may lead to emergent gameplay.
When a game is ported from one platform to another. Cross-platform ports are often criticized for their quality, particularly if platform-specific design elements (such as input methods) are not updated for the target platform.
A type of business model where games are bought and sold once as a finished product that receives few to no further content updates, as opposed to games as a service where games receive content updates in the long-term on a continuing revenue model.
Games as a Service (GaaS)
Also Live Service Games.
A type of business model where games receive content updates in the long-term on a continuing revenue model, as opposed to games as a product, where a game is bought and sold once as a finished product that receives few to no further content updates.
Losing a game on purpose, or losing a game badly. Mostly used in competitive, team-based games.
To use the element of surprise to flank and attack an enemy. More common in multiplayer games, where 'ganking' usually indicates an unwelcome attack on an unwilling or unsuspecting participant.
Part of a game's design that regulates how new gameplay elements, levels, weapons, abilities, or the like are introduced to the player.
Abbreviation meaning "good game". Used as parting words exchanged at the end of a competitive game or match as a gesture of good sportsmanship. "GGWP" (good game, well played) is also used. Due to this abbreviation being synonymous with a game's end, it is often used by spectators to indicate a situation, action or a move where a win of a particular player is obvious (e.g. "This attack just wiped all the blue player's forces, that's a GG"). It can also be used to taunt players while a game is still in progress as an implication that their win is assured. Insulting variations, such as "GGEZ" (good game, easy) can similarly be used to imply the opposing player is unskilled.
A feature included in time attack or time trial modes in video games allowing the player to review their previous rounds. In racing games, for example, a "ghost car" may follow the last or fastest path a player took around the track. In fighting games, the ghost is an opponent that the computer AI player can train against outside of normal player versus player or story mode.[clarification needed] Ghost cars in racing games generally appear as translucent or flashing versions of the player's vehicle. Based on previously recorded lap times, they serve only to represent the fastest lap time and do not interact dynamically with other competitors. A skilled player will use the ghost to improve their time, matching the ghost's racing line as it travels the course. Many racing games, including Gran Turismo, F-Zero, and Mario Kart offer a ghost function. Some also have ghosts set by staff members and developers, often showing perfect routes and lap times. A variation of the feature, dubbed by Firemonkeys Studios as "Time-Shifted Multiplayer", was implemented in the mobile racing game Real Racing 3. It works by recording the lap times of players in each race, and uses statistics from other players to recreate their lap times for the player to beat. These ghost cars can collide with the player and other vehicles, and are fully visible to the player. In some rhythm games, such as the Elite Beat Agents and Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, saved replay data can be used in one of the player slots in a multiplayer game.
1.A character, character class, or character ability that is sufficiently underpowered to making using the gimp a severe handicap in the context of the game.
2.A design choice that has this effect.
3.In multiplayer games, killing a character much earlier than would be expected, such as by relentlessly pursuing them until they die in the early game.
Abbreviation meaning "good luck, have fun". Used as words exchanged at the beginning of a competitive game or match as a gesture of good sportsmanship.
Acronym for Greatest Of All Time.
Acronym for Game Of The Year, a game award given out annually by events and media publications to the games that they consider the best of that particular year. Game of the Year-awards are often divided in subcategories and an overall winner.
In games that generate randomized loot, the "god roll" is loot that has the subjectively best selection of possible random attributes such as perks and bonuses that could be generated for that particular piece of equipment.
The point in the software-development cycle where the software is considered final and ready to be shipped. The term traditionally related to the production of games on CD-ROM, where the final version of the game, the master copy, would be written to a gold film-based writable CD and sent to be replicated for retail.
A player in a multiplayer video game who deliberately irritates and harasses other players within the game. Griefers typically use actions permitted in-game; griefers who do not use intended or permitted actions are usually cheating or hacking. Many online multiplayer games enforce rules that forbid griefing.
Performing a repetitive and time-consuming action in a video game before being able to advance. Prevalent in online games, where it is alternately considered an annoying waste of time or an enjoyable necessity, depending on the player's attitude. Many online games have taken steps to reduce the 'grind', including doing away with traditional 'leveling' systems or allowing the player to temporarily 'boost' themselves to match the difficulty of NPCs in a given area.
Hack vs Hack
Hack vs Hack (HvH) refers to using cheats to compete against other players using cheats.
In first-person view games, the up-and-down (and sometimes left-and-right) motion of the player's camera to simulate the bobbing of the player-character's head when walking or running. It is often an option that can be disabled as it may induce motion sickness in players.
An attack that strikes the head of its target, causing extra (often fatal) damage. See critical hit.
An animation technique in which a new head is put on an existing character model, to save memory or animation effort.
heal over time (HoT)
An effect that restores health over a period of time; antonym of DoT.
An attribute showing how much damage a character can sustain before being incapacitated. Getting hurt lowers this meter and if it reaches zero that character can no longer continue. Depending on the game this can mean many different things (i.e. death, serious injury, knockout, or exhaustion).
In video games, an overhead representation of a game level showing, through background game data collection, a statistic such as where player characters died or which route players took the most. Brighter spots or highly concentrated areas show where these events occurred the most. Such maps may be used by developers to help refine map design.
1.(especially in fighting games) The area or areas that can inflict damage or other effects to a character (usually not the one which created the hitbox)
2.(used when not distinguishing between hitbox and hurtbox) The virtual envelope describing precisely where the game will register any hits on a game target. See hurtbox
Commonly seen in first-person shooters, hitscan is used to determine hits along a path with no travel time. Some games use this technique to detect hits with firearms in contrast to physics-based projectiles which have noticeable travel time.
A video game player or social media personality that is used as part of a game's promotion. Typically the influencer will be given a pre-release copy of a game to play and review to those people that follow them on social media or streaming sites, with the intent that those subscribers will be influenced to buy the game.
A number attached to a game item– e.g.: weapon, armor, or clothing– which roughly indicates the item's power, commonly seen in MMORPGs. A character who does not meet the required level of the item would be unable to equip it.
Graphic elements that communicate information to the player and aid interaction with the game, such as health bars, ammo meters, and maps.
A menu or area of the screen where items collected by the player-character during the game can be selected. This interface allows the player to retrieve single-use items for an instant effect or to equip the player-character with the item.
Preparations a player makes with their character's inventory, such as storing or retrieving items, repairing weapons, etc. Failure to manage an inventory properly may result in losing rare items or being less powerful in combat. Common in hardcore games with limited resources like RPGs and survival horror, while uncommon in more casual titles, which may have an infinite inventory or manage it automatically.
A brief period of time where a player can't take damage from attacks. Invincibility frames are most commonly triggered by a player action (such as dodging or rolling), or by taking damage. See also flashing invulnerability.
A character included in a game for humorous reasons, such as having weak stats or an atypical appearance or personality. They may also function as an additional challenge or handicap for skilled players.
An input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling. Modern gaming joysticks have several buttons and may include a thumb-operated analog stick on top.
Refers to a game mode where many players face one overpowered enemy (called the Juggernaut) and try to defeat it. The player who kills it often becomes the next Juggernaut.
A basic move where the player jumps vertically.:100–101
In online games, the ability of the server or the host of a game to remove a player from the server, thereby ‘kicking’ them out of the game. This can be to prevent undesirable player behavior such as griefing (where it is usually a precursory measure to banning; to reduce issues like lag, where one player's lag problems may affect other players’ enjoyment of the game; or to prevent server crashes when communication errors occur between the server and client.
kill-death ratio (K/D ratio or KDR)
A statistic typically found in player-versus-player video games, gauging the ratio between the number of opponents the player defeated and the number of deaths the player suffered at the hands of opponents. More skilled players typically have higher kill-death ratios.
Abbreviation of Kills Deaths Assists, a ratio used by MOBA players to evaluate their in-game performance. Used in a similar manner to the kill-death ratio.
When players are stationed near their opponent's spawn point and kill them the moment they respawn.
In multiplayer games, a portion of the game's user interface that shows the last few events (generally, when other players are killed) from the last few seconds, like a news feed.
"kill screen" redirects here. For the magazine, see Kill Screen.
A stage or level in a video game (often an arcade game) that stops the player's progress due to a software bug. Not to be mistaken for a game over screen, kill screens can result in unpredictable gameplay and bizarre glitches.
A game mode where opposing teams try to occupy a single point on the map for a certain amount of time, or for as long as possible until the end of the match.
The set of skills and abilities given to a pre-defined playable character in games featuring many such characters to choose from, such as many MOBAs or hero shooters.
1.A maneuver in which a player-character gets an enemy NPC to chase after them so as to lead them somewhere else (like a kite on a string). This can be used to separate groups of enemies to prevent the player from becoming overwhelmed or in team-based or cooperative games to allow the player's teammates to attack the opponent, or to lure the opponent into a trap.
A game mechanic in a fighting game or platform game where a character is thrown backwards from the force of an attack. During knock-back, the character is unable to change their direction until a short recovery animation is finished. Knock-back sometimes results in falling down pits if the character is standing close to the edge when hit with a knock-back attack.
A fixed series of controller button presses used across numerous Konami games to unlock special cheats (such as gaining a large number of lives in Contra), and subsequently used by other developers to enable cheats or added functions in these games. The term applies to variations on this sequence but nearly all begin with "up up down down left right left right".
In video games, an unintentional or unexpected delay between the start and end of a process, usually to a detrimental effect on gameplay. Lag can occur in any of the many different processes in a video game, to vastly differing effects depending on the source:
Frame lag: A direct delay in the rate at which a frame is processed. This is usually the result of having too many objects active at once - the physics, rendering and other processes of which must each be calculated on every frame. In turn, this results in choppy movement, and depending on how the code is handled, either slowed gameplay compared to real-time (when the lag is not accounted for) or a loss of player control precision (when it is accounted for). In multiplayer games, this is often called client-side lag, as opposed to server-side lag.
Rendering lag: A delay in the rate at which an otherwise-processed frame is rendered, usually due to a very large number of polygons or visual effects on screen at once. This can have similar visual effects as frame lag, but can alternatively result in frames being rendered incompletely - missing visual details, textures, particle effects or occasionally entire objects. Occasionally, a similar effect can be seen with layered audio cues.
Server-side lag: A delay appearing only in online multiplayer games, between the client (the player's device) or the server sending information across the internet, and the counterpart receiving said information. This rarely looks like frame lag or rendering lag, and can instead cause a variety of effects such as dropped player inputs, desynchronisation between the player and server's versions of events, rubber-banding (where entities appear to ‘snap’ between different positions), or in worst-case scenarios, the player being removed from the server entirely, or kicked.
A player role in MOBA games that focuses on one of the typically three lanes on the map.
A gathering of people who play multiplayer games together over a local network, often bringing their own computers or game systems with them. LAN is an acronym for Local Area Network.
The action of getting the killing blow on an NPC, receiving gold and experience points that would have been reduced or awarded to someone else. MOBA games, such as League of Legends and Dota 2 use this term and most other games use "kill stealing".
2.A character's experience level in a role-playing game, which increases through playing the game to train a character's abilities. It serves as a rough indicator of that character's overall proficiency.
3.A round or wave in a single-location game with increasing difficulty.
A program, either provided within the game software or as separate software product, that allows players to place objects or create new levels for a video game.
A game mechanic in games where the player advances in level, which alters the attributes of a player character or opponents so that there is a similar challenge in combat. If the player character is several levels higher, either the enemy would be buffed or the player's abilities nerfed so that the challenge would be similar. The player would still gain added benefits with higher levels, such as additional abilities, better equipment with unique properties, and access to higher-level quests or areas. Examples of games with level scaling include World of Warcraft and Destiny.
Abbreviation of Looking For Group. Used by players looking to team up with others, the acronym is usually accompanied by a set of criteria or a player's specs.
Abbreviation of Looking For More. Used by players who have an incomplete team and are looking for players to fill the remaining spots, the acronym is usually accompanied by a set of criteria (such as a level or class requirement).
One of multiple chances that a player has to retry a task after failing. Losing all of one's lives is usually a loss condition and may force the player to start over. It is common in action games for the player-character to have multiple lives and chances to earn more during the game. This way, a player can recover from making a disastrous mistake. Role-playing games and adventure games usually give the player only one life, but allow them to reload a saved game if they fail. A life may similarly be defined as the period between the start and end of play for any character, from creation to destruction.
lifesteal (or "life steal")
The ability of a character in game to steal the HP of an opponent, typically by attacking.
A specific set of in-game equipment, abilities, power-ups, and other items that a player sets for their character prior to the start of a game's match, round, or mission. Games that feature such loadouts typically allow players to store, recall, and adjust two or more loadouts so they can switch between them quickly.
During publishing, the process of editing a game for audiences in another region or country, primarily by translating the text and dialog of a video game. Localization can also involve changing content of the game to reflect different cultural values and censoring material that is against local law, or in some cases self-censoring in an effort to obtain a more commercially favorable content rating.
A recorded playthrough of a game from the beginning to the end without any interruptions or commentary, often made as video walkthrough guides in case players get stuck on some parts of the game. Compare with Let's Play.
Loot boxes (and other name variants, such as booster packs for online collectible card games) are awarded to players for completing a match, gaining an experience level, or other in-game achievement. The box contains random items, typically cosmetic-only but may include gameplay-impacting items, often awarded based on a rarity system. In many cases, additional loot boxes can be obtained through microtransactions.
Methods used in multiplayer games to distribute treasure among cooperating players for finishing a quest. While early MMOs distributed loot on a 'first come, first served' basis, it was quickly discovered that such a system was easily abused, and later games instead used a 'need-or-greed' system, in which the participating players roll virtual dice, and the loot is distributed according to the results.
Finishing or completing the end objectives of the game while having the lowest possible score/using the least number of items.
2.An usermade algorithm made-up of series of different actions such as spells or abilities made in order to save the player time and gain an advantage in PvP or just quickly shout certain cliché phrases, especially popular in MMORPGs.
Any of a variety of game mechanics to render fantastical or otherwise unnatural effects, though accessories (scrolls, potions, artifacts) or a pool of resources inherent to the character (mana, magic points, etc).
To focus on playing a certain character in a game, sometimes exclusively.
A chain of quests that compose a game's storyline which must be completed to finish the game. In comparison, side quests offer rewards but don't advance the main quest.
A game system that automatically sorts players with similar playing styles, desires, objectives, or skill levels into a team or a group. In competitive games or modes, a matchmaking rating (MMR) is a number assigned to each player based on skill and is the basis for matching players. This rating goes up or down based on individual or team performance.
1.Reaching the maximum level that a character (or in some cases, a weapon or other game item) can have.
2.Raising a character's statistics to the maximum value.
A backronym for Most Effective Tactics Available. See also cheese.
In games that encourage repeated playthroughs and match-based multiplayer games, the gameplay elements that are typically not part of the main game but can be invoked by the player to alter future playthroughs of the main game. For example, in some Roguelike games, the metagame is used to unlock the ability to have new items appear in the randomized levels, while for digital collectible card games such as Hearthstone, the overall card and deck construction is considered part of the metagame.
The sum total of all known or implied stories of every character in the game, every branching storyline, and all potential outcomes and backstory.
A genre of exploration-focused games, usually featuring a large, interconnected world. Access to certain areas and defeating certain enemies requires items found elsewhere, necessitating exploration and defeating enemies to obtain them. These games are usually side-scrolling platformers or viewed from the top-down, although they can be found in 3D as well. Many borrow features from Roguelike games, such as permanent death. Named for two pioneers of the genre, the Metroid and Castlevania series.
A business model used in games where players can purchase virtual goods via micropayments. Usually disliked by players, especially when the purchasable goods give players an advantage over players who did not purchase the goods. See also in-app purchase.
A smaller version of the play area, typically displayed in the corner of a players screen used for navigating the game world. May also display locations of friendly and/or enemy players See also Radar.
1.The practice of playing a role-playing game, wargame or video game with the intent of creating the "best" character by means of minimizing undesired or unimportant traits and maximizing desired ones. This is usually accomplished by improving one specific trait or ability (or a set of traits/abilities) by sacrificing ability in all other fields. This is easier to accomplish in games where attributes are generated from a certain number of points rather than in ones where they are randomly generated.
2.Playing the meta, at possible detriment to the story and/or enjoyment of the game. Colloquialism.
A 'game-within-a-game', often provided as a diversion from the game's plot. Minigames are usually one-screen affairs with limited replay value, though some games have provided an entire commercial release as a 'mini-game' within the primary game-world. See also bonus stage, secret level and game mode.
A third-party addition or alteration to a game. Mods may take the form of new character skins, altered game mechanics or the creation of a new story or an entirely new game-world. Some games (such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim) provide tools to create game mods, while other games that don't officially support game modifications can be altered or extended with the use of third-party tools.
1.Technical or non-play modes for the hardware or software of a video game, such as a diagnostic or configuration mode, video or sound test, or the attract mode of arcade games.
2.Gameplay modes which affect the game mechanics. See game mode.
A broad term referring to various methods game developers and publishers have to make money off of their games.
A game system that requires physical movement by the player to control player character actions. Popularized by the Nintendo Wii, motion control is available on most recent console and handheld systems.
A multiplayer real-time virtual world, usually text-based.
An online game virtual economy phenomenon in which endgame players become rich in currency and drive down the cost of rare items.
Games, typically from the 1980s, that would only load one portion of the game into memory at a time. This technique let developers make each in-memory portion of the game more complex.[pageneeded][self-published source?]
When a game's story has multiple final outcomes, as compared to a linear story which typically ends with the defeat of the game's final boss. Players may have to meet certain requirements in order to view each ending.
1.In games with a scoring system, a gameplay element that increases the value of the points earned by the given multiplier value while the multiplier is active. A common feature of most pinball tables.
2.Refers to the specific factor which changes a playable character or enemy's attributes, either inherently or due to a temporary buff or debuff.
A visual element of most rhythm games that show the notes the player must match as they scroll along the screen. This is more commonly considered a "highway" when the notes scroll down the screen on a perspective-based grid, making it appear as a road highway.
Meaning "Nice try". Generally said through a chat function in online multiplayer games to boost the morale of players. Can be directed towards both the friendly and enemy teams. Used when teammates or opponents fail after trying something new, or put in large amounts of effort towards the objective to no avail. "Nice try" could also be used in a condescending manner to mock opponents.
A game mode in the Halo-series and a few other first-person shooters, where players on opposing teams attempt to capture and then hold on to a ball for as long as possible, while the opposing team tries to eliminate the player holding the ball in an attempt to get it back.
Content that is on the physical media (usually a disc) of a game, but cannot be accessed without buying the content separately. Usually day-one DLC is assumed to be this, but not always. This term also includes data which is downloaded with a downloadable game but not accessible without payment. Not used for free-to-play or freemium games.
A term that refers to gameplay in which the player can only progress in one direction with limited exploration or branching, similar to a dark ride at theme parks. While this is expected in certain genres, like rail shooters, it may be criticized in genres that normally allow for more exploration.
When a player continually chooses to play as a specific character in a wide roster and often refuses to switch.
A game world where the player has much greater freedom in choosing the order that they visit areas within the world, rather than being restricted to a pre-defined or heavily constricted order of visiting areas. While 'open world' and 'sandbox' are sometimes used interchangeably, the terms refer to different concepts and are not synonymous.
A game controller that primarily included a large dial that could be turned either clockwise or counter-clockwise to generate movement in one dimension within a game.
Video game characters which are graphically similar except for a hue-shifted palette. Typically done to preserve resources or data space that would otherwise be used up by different designs for the same character, especially for games with sprite-based graphics, though other reasons may exist for palette swaps, such as differentiating similar-looking characters with different properties (e.g. the Green and Red Koopa Troopas from the Super Mario series having different behaviors), or accommodating for the presence of more than one instance of the same unique character to avoid confusion or paradoxes (e.g. Super Smash Bros. characters having multiple palette swaps to avoid confusion in matches where all players pick the same character).
2.In a single player game, a group of characters traveling together on a quest that the player may control or have the most direct access to. The characters themselves are typically referred to as "party members".
A block in fighting video games that does not have a downside to the player using it. Parries may fully negate damage from the attack or even reflect the attack.
A multiplayer game, usually consisting of a series of short minigames, that can be easily played in a social setting.
The process by which a developer of a video game creates an update to an already released game with the intention of possibly adding new content, fixing any bugs in the current game, balancing character issues (especially prevalent in online multiplayer games with competitive focuses), or updating the game to be compatible with DLC releases. See also zero day patch.
The option to temporarily suspend play of a video game, allowing the player to take a break or attend to an urgent matter outside of the game, or to perform other actions, such as adjusting options, saving the current game and/or ending the current game session. In multiplayer online or networked games, pausing may not be available as a feature, as such games require continuous activity from all participating players in order to properly function.
A monetization method that requires players to spend money to access gameplay features.
pay to win
Also P2W or PTW.
Elements of a game that can only be unlocked by making premium digital purchases. The purchase packages can include game currency, resources, special characters, unique items, summoning tickets, character skins that give buffs to their stats, or VIP points if the game has a built-in VIP system – anything that gives the buyer a disproportionate advantage. This monetization scheme can result in an unbalanced experience between players.
Usually used within MOBAs, a pentakill occurs when a single player gets the killing blow on 5 opposing players in rapid succession, resulting in a team elimination. Comparable to ace.
An optional hardware component for a video game system.
Generally refers to when a player must restart the game from the beginning when their character dies, instead of from a saved game or save point. This may also refer to the case of a player having to restart the game due to failing to meet a certain objective. The term may also apply to squad-based games such as tactical role-playing games, if the death of the character eliminates that character from the game completely but the game may continue on with other characters.
1.In online games, the network latency between the client and server. See also lag.
Can also be used like lagging, if there is a high network latency.
2.A means of highlighting a feature on a game's map that is seen on the user interface of allied players.
In co-operative multiplayer games, gameplay feature that allows players on the same team to visibly highlight, or "ping", other features on the map (such as waypoints, enemies, or treasure) to their allied players. While ping systems existed in various genres such as MOBAs before, Apex Legends in the late 2010s was cited with popularizing the system for first-person shooters that enabled effective communication between players without the need for voice chat.
A mechanic in certain gacha games where a player will eventually be guaranteed a high-quality item after too many unsuccessful pulls.
A game element that involves searching an entire scene for a single (often pixel-sized) point of interactivity. Common in adventure games, most players consider 'hunt-the-pixel' puzzles to be a tedious chore, borne of inadequate game design. The text-adventure version of this problem is called 'guess-the-verb' or 'syntax puzzle'.
Any video game, or genre which involves heavy use of jumping, climbing, and other acrobatic maneuvers to guide the player-character between suspended platforms and over obstacles in the game environment.
A term exclusive to Playstation users that refers to obtaining all achievements of a game. The word "plat" refers to the platinum trophy, which is usually the most difficult achievement to obtain and often the last one to be unlocked.
The character controlled and played by the human player in a video game. Often the game's main protagonist. Tidus from Final Fantasy X and Doomguy from the Doom series are all "player-characters" developed by their game studios. Compare with NPC.
A process in which game developers observe players (called playtesters) testing their game and what the user experience is like in real-time, in order to see where players get stuck, what information is and isn't communicated clearly, and which gameplay elements are found enjoyable or frustrating.
Pocketing refers in multiplayer games to when a player (usually playing the part of a healer support) supports exclusively a single teammate (usually a tank), either at an extended period of time but with several teammates or during the entire match with a sigle teammate. This is done with the intent of assuring the supported player's survival during the time they're being supported. The term pocket refers either to the supporting player, or the supported player.
From PogChamp, a term meaning great or awesome, often a play in a game.
point of no return
A point in a game from which the player cannot return to previous areas.
Gameplay which takes place after completion of a game's storyline; the postgame may unlock new means to play the game, such as new game plus, additional minigames or sidegames, or even an additional, second storyline for the player to play through.
Used mostly in the context of esports competitions or video game streaming, a gamer is said to "pop off" when they unexpectedly perform exceptionally well in a video game for a short period of time.
An object that temporarily gives extra abilities or buffs to the game character. Persistent power-ups are called perks.
The gradual unbalancing of a game due to successive releases of new content. The phenomenon may be caused by a number of different factors and, in extreme cases, can be damaging to the longevity of the game in which it takes place. Game expansions are usually stronger than previously existing content, giving consumers an incentive to buy it for competitions against other players or as new challenges for the single-player experience. While the average power level within the game rises, older content falls out of balance and becomes regressively outdated or relatively underpowered, effectively rendering it useless from a competitive or challenge-seeking viewpoint. Very occasionally may refer to the result of repeatedly balancing a game primarily through buffs and nerfs, thus making every character substantially more powerful than they were at release.
The moment in which a character sees a rise in relative strength from leveling up larger than that of a normal milestone. This is usually due to an item becoming available or certain abilities being unlocked.
Often awarded in games for completing a level or challenge 'perfectly,' such as in the fastest time possible or by defeating an enemy without taking damage.
Shortened version of the word "professional". Someone with experience, skill, and especially know-how in a certain game.
The activation or occurrence of a random gaming event. Particularly common for massively multiplayer online games, they are random events where special equipment provide the user with temporary extra powers, or when the opposing enemy suddenly becomes more powerful in some way. The term's origin is uncertain, possibly from programmed random occurrence, process, or procedure.
When the game algorithmically combines randomly generated elements, particularly in game world creation. See also Roguelike.
pro gamer move
A strategic and tactical move that shows that the player is familiar with or skilled in a game and its gameplay mechanics. Sometimes used outside of video games, and occasionally used in an ironic manner to describe a poorly-planned move or failure.
refers to 1) combat points (i.e., melee, range, etc.) and 2) skill points (i.e., beginner, expert, elite, master); often used as reference to meet requirements; to be able to equip armors, weapons, as well as for crafting weapons, ammunition and armors for specialists, and to unlock next tier skills (i.e., 30 beginner skill PT to unlock expert skills).
Quality Assurance teams for games will play through a title multiple times in an attempt to find and track down bugs, glitches and crashes in the game before it goes live. This process can start early in development and can last until after post-production. Not to be mistaken with playtesting.
quality of life (QoL)
Features or improvements designed to make games easier and smoother to play without changing the gameplay itself.
Any objective-based activity created in-game for the purpose of either story (story quest) or character-level advancement (side quest). Quests follow many common types, such as defeating a number of specific monsters, gathering a number of specific items, or safely escorting a non-player character. Some quests involve more-detailed information and mechanics and are either greatly enjoyed by players as a break from the common monotony or are reviled as uselessly more-complicated than necessary.
An event within a game that typically requires the player to press an indicated controller button or move a controller's analog controls within a short time window to succeed in the event and progress forward, while failure to do so may harm the player-character or lead to a game-over situation. Such controls are generally non-standard for the game, and the action performed in a quick time event is usually not possible to execute in regular gameplay.
1.A mechanism in a video game where progress to or from a saved game can be done by pressing a single controller button or keystroke, instead of opening a file dialog to locate the save file. Typically, there is only one quickload location and quicksaving will overwrite any previously saved state.
2.An option to use a one-time save which takes the player out of the game, allowing them to continue from where they last were and in the state they last were, thereby allowing the player to turn off the console or do something else with it without losing progress, but without gaining anything beyond that compared with not quicksaving. More common in handheld games, where an emphasis on short gameplay sessions encourages developers to give the player a way to play for shorter periods.
A smaller version of the play area, typically displayed in the corner of a players screen used for navigating the game world. May also display locations of friendly and/or enemy players See also Minimap.
A type of procedural animation used by physics engines where static death animations have been replaced by a body going limp and collapsing in on itself, with the only animation acting on the body and its connected limbs being from the game's physics engine. This often gives the impression that a character is flailing or being flung around, like a rag doll.
A genre designed to cause anger and frustration in the player, using unintuitive controls, unforeseeable obstacles, unfair challenges and/or taunting the player, often with the express stated purpose of causing the player to rage quit. Completing a rage game is commonly seen as a measure of determination and resolve as much as skill.
The act of quitting a game mid-progress instead of waiting for the game to end. Typically, this is associated with leaving in frustration, such as unpleasant communication with other players, being annoyed, or losing the game. However, the reasons can vary beyond frustration, such as being unable to play due to the way the game has progressed, bad sportsmanship, or manipulating game statistics. Apparent rage quits may occur due to a player's game crashing, or the player experiencing network connection problems. There are also social implications of rage quitting, such as making other players rage quit. Certain games can penalize the player for leaving early. Sometimes the player may damage or even destroy the device, console, or controller the game is being played on.Contrast with drop-in, drop-out.
A type of mission in a game where a number of people attempt to defeat either: (a) another number of people at player-vs-player (PVP), (b) a series of computer-controlled enemies (non-player characters; NPCs) in a player-vs-environment (PVE) battlefield, or (c) a very powerful boss (superboss).
A gameplay feature most commonly used in older Japanese role-playing games whereby combat encounters with non-player character (NPC) enemies or other dangers occur sporadically and at random without the enemy being physically seen beforehand.
Refers to the manner in which a game world reacts to and is changed by the player's choices. Examples include branching dialogue trees in an RPG, or detailed interacting systems in a simulation or strategy game. A reactive game world offers a greater number of possible outcomes to a given action, but increases the complexity and cost of development.
A type of ROM/ISO corruptor program which incrementally and gradually corrupts video game data in real time as the game is being played for the purpose of finding amusing or interesting results. The rate at which the data is corrupted, and its severity can be changed by the user at will, enabling the game to be played in a corrupted state or to suddenly increase the intensity of the resultant glitches.
A genre of video game where the player controls one or more units in real-time combat with human or computer opponents.
A "restart" of a video game series, usually applying big changes to characters, settings, gameplay, or the overall story, while still keeping identifiable elements of the original games.See also remaster and remake.
A revamped version of an older game. Sharing many similarities to a remaster, a remake may take more liberties with the changes made to the gameplay, graphics, and story.See also remaster and reboot, contrast with demake.
A modern version of an older video game rebuilt from scratch to run on modern hardware, often with upgraded graphics and gameplay, but retaining the fundamental gameplay concepts and core story elements of the original game.See also reboot and remaster.
The ability to play a game again after its completion with reasonable enjoyment.
The reappearance of an entity, such as a character or object, after its death or destruction.
In games where a player-character gains skills along a skill tree by spending points, the act of respecing ("re-specialization") allows the player to remove all skills and then respend those points on a different set of skills. This usually requires an expenditure of in-game money or other earned gameplay element.
Actions taken by players to leave negative reviews of a game or other form of media on a digital storefront or user-contributed as a form of protest due to actions typically unrelated to the game or media quality itself.
The act of restoring a defeated character or entity to life that is not removed from play after their health is gone; this is different from respawning, which only occurs typically without outside intervention and when a character is removed from play after their health has been depleted.
A character's ability that allows them to perform a revive, or a command to use the same. Abbreviation for resurrect.
Abbreviation of Random Number Generation. Often used in games that depend on item drops or successful spawn rates to emphasise chances.
Personification of rng, in a similar fashion to traditional personifications of Lady Luck, often addressed in humor to plead for more favourable RNG. Portmanteau of RNG and Jesus; also called RNGsus, RNJesus, RNGod, or Random Number God.
A tactic used in certain games that include physics simulation and rocket launchers or explosives. The player aims their weapon at or near their player-character's feet, or stand their character where there will be an explosion, and use the force of the blast to propel the character beyond normal jumping ability.
A sub-genre of games primarily featuring procedurally-generated levels, tile-based movement, turn-based action, complex maps to explore, resource management, and permanent death. Games that lack some of those elements are usually better termed dungeon crawlers, but can be referred to as "Roguelites"; in particular, permadeath alone does not make a game Roguelike. Roguelikes are typically set in dungeons, but may contain an overworld or other settings. Roguelike games are usually designed to be more challenging than typical games, with luck and memory playing a larger role. Named after the 1980 game Rogue.
Games that have some, but not all, features of Roguelike games. Typically they involve a different style of gameplay from the tile-based movement, but retain procedurally-generated levels, resource maps, and permanent death. While games may self-identify as Roguelites, it can also be used as a derogatory term. Often used instead of "Roguelike" by mistake, but the two are different.
A broad set of behaviours within video games where players change their behaviour to assume a role. Not exclusive to role-playing video games. Roleplaying may be as simple as a player acting to fit a medieval setting; as detailed as a player detailing their character's backstory, personal life, and mannerisms; or as complex as a MilSim game's clans having scheduled trainings, realistically long mission times, and military-like ranks and organization.
A game in which the human player takes on the role of a specific character "class" and advances the skills and abilities of that character within the game environment. RPG characters generally have a wide variety of skills and abilities available to them, and much theorycrafting is involved in creating the best possible form of each of these character classes. This is different from games such as first-person shooters (FPS), where the player-character in those games are all standardized forms and the physical skills of the player involved are the determining factor in their success or failure within the game. In an RPG, a human player can be the best player in the world at the game, but if they are using a character build that is substandard, they can be significantly outplayed by a lesser player running a more-optimal character build.
rolling the score
The act of achieving such a high score that the game's ability to display the score restarts, displays a negative number, or is otherwise unable to accurately display the score. Originates from early games that had limitations on the number that could be displayed as a score, such as pinball with a limited number of analog or digital number places, or video game systems with limited numbers of bytes. If a player's score exceeded that limit, it would cause an integer overflow, causing the display to 'roll over' and start again at the minimum possible score, or sometimes a negative number in 8-bit video games.
The process of modifying a ROM image of a video game to alter the game's graphics, dialogue, levels, gameplay, or other elements. This is usually done by technically inclined video-game fans to breathe new life into a cherished old game, as a creative outlet, or to make essentially new unofficial games using the old game's engine.
A small, open area in a map, typically self-contained, surrounded by walls and connected to adjacent rooms by doors. In many cases, specific types of entities such as enemies cannot travel between rooms, while the player can. Rooms are often used to reduce lag by only loading the entities in the player's current room, ‘pausing’ all other rooms.
The placement of a room directly above another room. This was impossible to achieve with the Doom engine which did mapping in 2D, with height variance done via numbers. In true 3D game engines to follow, such as those using the Quake engine, room-over-room became an easy effect to accomplish.
1.A game mechanic resulting from dynamic game difficulty balancing that alters the rules of the game to keep the game competitive and fun. Most notable in racing games, where human players may easily outdistance computer opponents; when this happens, the computer opponents are often given the ability to go faster than normal or to avoid certain obstacles as to allow them to catch up and outpace the player. The effect is likened to stretching and releasing a rubber band between the player and the computer opponent. This effect may also apply to human players as well, with the game providing (often unstated) handicaps for losing players to stay competitive.
2.The result of network latency during a multiplayer game; when the player's location is updated client-side, but the server does not immediately register the change, a player's character may 'bounce' to the appropriate location when the client and server finally synchronize. See lag.
A tactic in strategy games where the player sacrifices economic development in favor of using many low-cost fast/weak units to rush and overwhelm an enemy by attrition or sheer numbers. Can also be used to refer to a quick "rush" onto an objective or point, with the intention to overwhelm by surprise or speed.