The Top 10 Gamer Slang Terms You Should Know

Insights5 minutes read

When you start your gaming journey online, the chances are you’ll feel like a rank outsider. That feeling is perfectly normal.

Dipping your toes in a completely new virtual world can be daunting enough as it is without the added stress of attempting to understand what the heck your fellow gamers are chatting about.

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With jargon and acronyms flying around the chat boxes, it can be distracting when you’re not familiar with gamer slang. As with any hobby, you often need someone to take you under their wing to show the way.

Within this guide to the most popular gamer slang terms, consider us your Fairy Godmother of the gamer lingo world!

1. GRINDING

Do you consider yourself someone that’s prepared to invest hours on end at honing your gaming skills? If so, most gamers would consider you a grinder (not to be mistaken with a certain dating app...).

A grinder is someone prepared to dedicate the time to build their in-game characters, worlds, armies, whatever it may be, in your quest for dominance. When you hear gamer slang about committing to “the grind”, this is precisely what they mean.

2. N00B

Gamer slang doesn’t come much more iconic or popular than the term "n00b". Also written as "noob" (with the letter "o" instead of the zero digit, "0"), this particular gamer slang refers to new, inexperienced players.

It can also be used as a derogatory piece of video game slang towards someone who’s just not that good at the game. If you’re told you “play like an n00b”, then chances are you need to brush up on your skills!

3. OWNED

Ever been told that you’ve been "owned" in the chatbox of an online game? No, your destiny is not in the hands of someone else. Being "owned" in video game slang terms is to be easily defeated.

We’re not just talking narrow defeats, either - we’re talking cataclysmic defeats that were totally one-way traffic. When you’re up against a gamer that’s just too good for you, it’s often best to hold your hands up and admit when you’ve been owned!

4. CAMPING

If there’s one thing that most first-person shooter (FPS) gamers are infuriated by it is camping. This gamer slang term relates to its real-world use when one lays claim to a piece of land and stays there for a while.

In the gaming world, campers are those that hide and lurk in a single spot in a map, picking off players and rarely engaging in one-to-one combat. Camping is frowned upon in some gaming quarters, with the tactic being attributed to n00bs that don’t have the skill to move around the map.

5. FARMING

This piece of gamer slang is most common among gamers of RPGs and MMORPGs. That’s because these genres ask very particular things from in-game characters. Farming in a gaming sense does not mean growing crops on the land.

Instead, a farmer will accumulate in-game items to build up their character’s health. In addition, farmers will return to areas they have previously cleared in a bid to accrue experience points and increase their characters’ in-game levels.

6. EASTER EGGS

No, you’re not destined for an Easter Egg hunt for chocolate. Instead, Easter Eggs is a gamer slang term for irrelevant in-game features that the developers hide within the open world.

Many gamers enjoy an Easter Egg hunt to unlock unique features, which can also help to level up in-game characters. You’ll also find some Easter Eggs that are inspired by popular culture, like hit movies or TV shows that have no relevance to the game whatsoever!

7. GHOSTING

If you are new to playing a certain online game, you may look to indulge in a spot of ghosting (which is quite different from its meaning in the world of dating). This requires you to spend time watching other successful players and attempt to learn their techniques.

Some gamers hate being ghosted as they feel it’s a lazy tactic from n00bs. Others enjoy having their egos massaged, in the knowledge that newbies are coming to them for advice.

8. MEAT SHIELD

A meat shield is not something that belongs in a butchery, it’s actually a popular piece of gamer slang. Also known as a tank, they are in-game characters that have accrued immense strength or stamina are often described as meat shields by fellow gamers.

A meat shield proves particularly useful in team-based combat, with the character capable of absorbing attacks and damage, while the rest of the team picks off the enemy.

9. AFK

If you are in the middle of combat and suddenly an in-game character is suspiciously frozen still, the chances are the player is away from the keyboard. Scroll back through the live chatbox.

You might even find that the player in question had typed "AFK" to let people know their in-game avatar would be inactive for a few minutes. AFK is one of the most popular acronyms in the gamer slang dictionary.

10. GANK

The term "gank" is one of the worst-sounding pieces of gamer slang and it also represents one of the most irritating pitfalls of online gaming. On occasion, a team of players may look to gang up on a single player to take control of a map or mission.

This is known in the gamer slang vocabulary as a gank. It’s deemed a cowardly move and can be quite literally paralyzing for your avatar when on the receiving end!

Honorable Mentions

It wouldn’t seem right not to list a handful of other honorable video gamer slang mentions that are just as prominent in those real-time chat boxes. Acronyms like FTW and GLHF need a brief explanation.

FTW stands for "For The Win". In the gamer terms slang world, FTW is used when a fellow gamer thinks what you are saying in the chatbox or how you’re performing in the game is all kinds of awesome.

Meanwhile, GLHF isn’t some kind of hidden threat, it’s a warm welcome. It stands for "Good Luck, Have Fun". Some gamers may use GLHF at the end of a game to congratulate a fellow gamer and wish them well in future games.

Hopefully, this guide to the newfound world of gamer slang proves useful when chatting before, during, and after your gaming. Once you’ve mastered video game slang you can truly say you are bilingual!

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