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I have heard "aggro" said in commentaries in a few different contexts and I have no idea what it really means. I can figure out what the commentator means, but I don't understand that word.

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As you understand what the word means, and just want to understand the word itself, you should know that it's related to "Aggressive". The more "aggro" something is, the more aggressive it is. If someone is being aggro towards you, they're being aggressive, etc. –  Django Reinhardt Mar 3 '11 at 16:12
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It's worth adding that the term was around long before MMORPGs. –  Django Reinhardt Mar 3 '11 at 16:14
    
@Django It comes from MUDs, does it not? Or did it predate those as well? –  Grace Note Mar 3 '11 at 17:10
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@Grace Note, I think it pre-dates video games. There's also a good article that does a better job of explaining the why of the word: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/aggro –  Django Reinhardt Mar 3 '11 at 19:02
    
@Grace Note Mum has been using this since the 70's and hasn't played a video game in her life. I don't think it's etymology puts it originally in games at all. –  northirid Mar 4 '11 at 1:40
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up vote 26 down vote accepted

Aggro as a term originated in MMO's, but its usage has spread considerably.

Originally it was coined to describe any creature who would attack you on sight. So an "aggro" mob was one who would attack without being provoked, as opposed to one who wouldn't attack unless you attacked it first. The related usages here are "aggro range" or "aggro radius" which is the distance at which the mob will attack, and "aggro chain" which is whether or not the mob will bring his friends along, even if they are outside of normal aggro range.

As the games evolved "aggro" became the state of being attacked. If you were being attacked, you "had aggro", and if you did too much damage to something and it started attacking you instead of someone else you "stole aggro". If you did something stupid you could have "too much aggro" which meant too many things were drawn to attack you.

In your example, he's saying that the unit AI can be exploited because they don't chain aggro, so you can move into their aggro range, and individually "pull" them from their groups and eliminate them one at a time.

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I've also heard it used as a verb, something like "Aggro one of the soldiers and then lead him back to your camp" –  Kip Mar 3 '11 at 17:56
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@kip: Yep, it's all purpose (though I usually hear it as "pull" in the context you're talking about). –  Satanicpuppy Mar 3 '11 at 19:29
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As I commented on the question itself, this is not a gaming term, originally. Mum has been using this since the 70's and hasn't played a video game in her life. I don't think it's etymology puts it in games at all to start with. FWIW, aggro typically meant aggravated or upset. We used to have a morning cartoon show, "Agro's Cartoon Connection" - Agro was supposed to be an AU equivalent to Oscar the Grouch. –  northirid Mar 4 '11 at 4:51
    
You're all wrong, it's the name of your horse from Shadow of the Colossus ;) –  Alex May 10 '13 at 8:59
    
@northirid Words can have multiple meanings. This meaning of the word originated in MMOs. Its MMO meaning may have been borrowed from other meanings, or it may be a case of parallel, independent coining. Can't know which without academic etymological research. Regardless, the meaning in the question is the one specific to videogames. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 14 '13 at 19:13
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It means that you move closer to enemy forces (may be slightly attack 'em) and move back.
If your opponent does not react properly then only couple of units will "aggro" and start moving to attack your units. So you can easily pick them alone.

i.e. as terran you can aggro enemy to go into range of your tanks

you can also check wiki. Starcraft's AI uses distance and type of unit to determine what to attack.

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Aggro basically means aggressive. If you see or hear it in a game in reference to something (ex. Juliet in Lollipop Chainsaw complaining that the zombies are being so aggro) it just means that they're aggressive and will attack you.

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It means aggravated much more often though. –  scenia yesterday
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It is a shortened form of aggressive. It describes monsters that will recklessly attack with no regards to their own defence. This term is in Magic the Gathering, a popular TCG, it is a type of deck with cheap, fast creatures that have high attack but low defence to try kill the opponent as quickly as possible. Aggro creatures are mainly in red. Mono-Red decks and Red-White decks are commonly used as aggro decks.

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+1 for mentioning its meaning in another genre. –  scenia yesterday
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"Aggro" means to have aggression, and to be extremely violent. Monsters with high "aggro" are to avoided unless you want a serious fight on your hands. I never heard this term until I played video games, don't know where it came from, all sources seem to be inaccurate when they say it was before MMORPG's. It clearly means violent, mad, and aggressive in MMO terms though, which makes sense anyway, any other usage is silly. Which is why no one else has ever heard of it before MMORPG's because it IS a term that originated from them, at least in an intelligent form anyway.

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"Aggro" is a shorted form of aggravate, meaning to annoy someone or something so it will attack you.

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This is actually more accurate than a lot of the upvoted answers here... –  scenia yesterday
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