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Top 10 Basic Gaming Terms

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-08-18
The world of gaming can seem arcane to an outsider, as there is a lot of slang and many acronyms in gaming. To the uninitiated it can seem like a foreign language! To top it off, each game has its own unique slang terms based on classes, skills, game mechanics, gear, and a wide variety of other factors. Here is a glossary of a few common terms, not in order of importance, but in the order which a gamer generally learns them.

10 FPS

Item 10

This refers to a first person shooter, such as Call of Duty (aka CoD). The action is seen from a first person point of view, and you basically run around with a gun and shoot things. These can be a lot of fun and great stress relief to the player because there is something just so relaxing about blowing things away.


Item 9

This stands for role-playing game, which is a game that has a story and the player plays one or more of the characters in the story, determining how the story turns out. For you parents, this is similar to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book but in video game format and far more sophisticated. Some of the most famous games are RPGs, including Resident Evil and Final Fantasy.


Item 8

An MMO is a massive multi-player online game. This means that the game is located at a centralized server, and players log in on a client which allows them to interact with and participate with other players. Many MMOs are also RPGs. The most well-known of them all is World of Warcraft, but a few others include Aion, Ragnarok Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Lord of the Rings Online, to name but a few (more can be found at the Top 100 Arena home page).

7 HP

Item 7

Hit points, or HP, is the common term for the number of points of life you have before you die. The term dates back to the precursor of MMO-RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons. In almost every game, hit points are measured with a green bar that gets shorter the less life you have.

6 Newbie

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A newbie is someone who is brand new to the game. It pays to be nice to newbies, because some of them can be top-ranked players someday. They will have a ton of questions about things like mechanics and skill builds, and will be eager to learn about the game.

5 Noob

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A noob is someone who refuses to learn the game even after a lot of time spent playing. Many of them depend on others to get levels, gear, or missions and quests accomplished. Many of them also are oblivious to the fact that they are noobs, often thinking they are actually very good players when in fact they leave a lot of room for improvement. Not to be confused with newbies, who are often accused of being noobs; the difference is subtle but important.

4 Lowb

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This term refers to a low-level character. In many games, you are required to achieve higher levels to unlock more difficult scenarios, such as dungeons or missions. Most gamers refer to their high or max-level characters by the character’s class or level (such as in Warcraft, they are currently called “85’s” and will be called “90’s” as of late September when the new expansion raises the maximum level).


Item 3

DPS stands for “damage per second.” It also refers to classes that deliver high damage per second through their various skills. There are two kinds of dps – ranged and melee. Ranged is delivered from a distance while melee is delivered in hand-to-hand combat. The objective of a dps class is to get high dps.

2 Tank

Item 2

A tank is a character whose entire purpose is to attract the attacks of monsters and take damage from them. They have high stamina and deliver powerful attacks which cause huge bursts of damage (also known as “burst damage”). Although they may have some ranged abilities, they are always melee.

1 Alt

Item 1

Eventually, a player might make an alt, or alternate character. Alts come for all sorts of reasons. Some people want to experiment with a variety of classes. Others might make several of one class to experiment with different skill builds. Still others are made because the main character is maximum level and the player still wants to play that aspect of the game.

So now, next time you hear your gamer friends use these terms, you’ll be in the know thanks to this handy list of common words and acronyms!

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