For questions that ask what a gaming-specific term means.

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86
votes
15answers
19k views

What's the difference between “Bug” and “Glitch”?

I heard about 2 terms defining a game error: "Bug" and "Glitch". What's the difference between them?
85
votes
7answers
14k views

Where does the concept of “Mana” as a resource come from?

In today's field of gaming, the humble mana bar has become nearly as widespread as the health bar. Everywhere from MMOs to flash games, to traditional turn-based RPGs, Mana exists as a finite ...
79
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are bosses called 'bosses'?

There were bosses in games ever since 1975, and I don't think I really have to define 'boss' here. But how did the word get stuck? And when was the first time when the challenging enemy was referred ...
75
votes
6answers
81k views

What does 8-bit / 16-bit actually refer to?

When talking about retro games, terms like "8-bit music" or "16-bit graphics" often come up. I myself often use these terms, but I'm not exactly sure what they refer to. What do they mean?
72
votes
9answers
23k views

What exactly is a “cheese” in Starcraft 2?

I seem to see commentators mention "cheese" with regards to Starcraft 2, but I'm not quite sure what they mean. If a particular build/tactic is called a "cheese", does that mean it is a considered to ...
70
votes
4answers
28k views

What is kiting?

What does the term 'kiting' mean when used for games? I've seen the term thrown around here and there in reference to a few different games. Are there specific types of games that it applies to?
56
votes
3answers
7k views

What is Direct X, and why do games keep on requesting different versions?

I am not very experienced with computers, and was wondering what Direct X actually does, on my PC. Why do various games request different versions? Should the latest version cover all of them, or do ...
55
votes
2answers
6k views

What's the difference between “Free” versus “Free to Play” on Steam?

On Steam, there are the labels "Free" and "Free to Play" - what is the difference between the two?
53
votes
2answers
46k views

What is V-Sync and when should I enable it? [duplicate]

Most modern 3D games have a graphics option "V-Sync". It's usually an on/off setting. I'd like to understand settings I tweak with, and this one kind of eludes me. What does "V-Sync" mean, and when ...
51
votes
6answers
30k views

What is ping, and why is it important?

I've seen the term used in many online games. What does it mean? Also, is higher or lower ping better?
48
votes
3answers
12k views

What is a “pixel shader”?

I have noticed that some games quote the requirement for "pixel shader 3.0 or better". What is a pixel shader and is it some software requirements or hardware requirements?
47
votes
2answers
5k views

What exactly is the Masamune sword?

The Masamune sword is featured in many games that I've played over the years, from Soul Calibur to Chrono Trigger to Final Fantasy. It's a sword that is usually surrounded with some sort of magical ...
46
votes
4answers
9k views

What is Vanilla?

What do people mean with the term "Vanilla"? I see it more and more often. For example, with regard to World of Warcraft: Which Vanilla achievements will be lost with Cataclysm’s release? And ...
46
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the purpose of MMO “maintenance”?

In massively multiplayer games, the servers are routinely restarted, for example EVE Online performs "maintenance" daily, and World of Warcraft performs it weekly. What goes on during it, and why ...
44
votes
5answers
88k views

What do those abbreviations mean in League of Legends?

I'm quite new to League of Legends (LoL) but try to improve through reading guides. All too often I stumble upon abbreviations I am not sure what they mean. Some of those are: AD AP ArPen AS bot ...
40
votes
2answers
7k views

What is “OpenGL” and why did a player get banned for it?

Today, while playing Counter Strike 1.6 on a server, I saw a message at the left corner saying: Player Name - x. Permanent Ban. Reason - "OpenGL" detected So what is this OpenGL thing in Counter ...
40
votes
1answer
277k views

What is CP? Why is it important?

Pokémon have a statistic called CP. What does it do, and why is it relevant? Is it a substitute for the nonexistent levels and statistics, or is it something completely different?
39
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the difference between Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and bots in video games?

An NPC refers to any character that is not controlled by a human player, e.g. a fictional character portrayed by a human gamemaster. In the context of video games, what is the difference between NPCs ...
34
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the FEAR strategy?

My friend was telling me about the FEAR strategy while I was playing Pokemon Heart Gold. But he isn't sure what the FEAR strategy is, because he was playing this game long time ago and he doesn't ...
34
votes
1answer
43k views

What does “Squelch” mean?

I have an option to Squelch or unsquelch the other player. What does it mean/what does it do?
33
votes
6answers
4k views

What's the right term for the list of “X killed Y with Z” messages in a multiplayer shooter?

It's probably obvious from the title, but I'm specifically thinking of messages like ProGamer64 [image of shotgun] L33tCamper that appear in the bottom right corner when a kill happens, then ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

What does it mean to “savescum”?

I play a roguelike now and then and the term "savescum" comes up fairly often. What does it mean, and where did the term come from?
32
votes
3answers
6k views

What does RTC stand for?

When researching flash cartridges, I keep coming across the term RTC, but never see it actually defined. I think it has something to do with a battery powered clock. What does RTC stand for?
32
votes
4answers
4k views

Difference and meaning between “remastered” and “remake”

Since there are currently rumors that Bethesda is make a "remastered" Version of one of their games(most say Skyrim), I was wondering what exactly is "remastered"? And what's the difference to a "...
32
votes
2answers
6k views

What's the difference between a “Roguelike” and a “Roguelite” game?

What exactly defines a Roguelike game and what is the difference between them and Roguelite games?
32
votes
1answer
16k views

What does the term “aggro deck” mean?

I think I understand what aggro means in the context of an MMO and explicitly in World of Warcraft. Arqade even has a good answer to What does "Aggro" mean? What I am not understanding from the ...
32
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the meaning of the term “gib”?

Especially while talking about FPS, the term "gib" is quite common. While I get it's related to a sudden and gruesome death, I'd like to know its actual meaning and where it comes from.
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the UP in 1-UP stand for anything?

I'm curious. Is it literally going "1 up" or does it stand for something else?
31
votes
10answers
8k views

What is the period after a game's main story line ends called?

Sometimes after you finish a game main storyline the game doesn't end there, and presents other opportunities to finish old quests or perhaps unlock new areas. Examples of this are like Fallout 3 (...
31
votes
3answers
56k views

What is the Destiny Cloud Fist build?

What is the Destiny Cloud Fist build? I've heard SC2 players talking about it.
30
votes
3answers
4k views

What does it mean to have map control?

I hear people talking a lot about having map control (mostly tzenes). What specifically does a good player consider map control? Is it simply having decent visibility of most of the map so that you ...
30
votes
2answers
17k views

What is the source for calling your characters “Toons”

I've seen that in games where a player has an "arsenal" of several characters and each time he plays with one of them, like MMORPGs and the Diablo series, people refer to their characters as "toons". ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

What does Metroidvania mean?

I've been hearing the term Metroidvania thrown around in recent years to describe games such as Cave Story and Megaman ZX, but have never quite understood what it actually means. What does ...
28
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the word for when players give all high level advantages to lvl 1 players?

Say that you start a new character in a online game which has ways to progress (such as leveling up / improving your character) and you're playing it with a friend that knows 100% about the game, but ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

What does the term “rail shooter” mean?

What does it mean when a game is referred to as a "rail shooter"? When looking at some articles about the upcoming game Rage, I saw that it had been referred to as "not a rail shooter" for console but ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

What defines a game's “replay value”?

I've heard the term "replay value" thrown around a lot in many game reviews and some publications. As implied from the question, what does it mean? What actually defines it? Is it how long it takes ...
27
votes
5answers
20k views

What is a tick?

What is a tick? I have heard many instances of tick being used. For example, people will say that demos are recorded in 16 tick, that servers run in 64 tick, but really good servers will run in 128 ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

What does a “timing push” mean

I've heard this term used many-a-time in StarCraft 2 (and 1) replays on the web. At first, I always assumed it meant the player was sending out an attack force at a specific time in the game that's ...
27
votes
3answers
6k views

What does it mean when a game is a 4X game?

I've seen the term 4X game used to describe games, primarily strategy games. What does this term mean?
26
votes
5answers
17k views

What is Smurfing in online games?

What does Smurfing mean when applied to online games?
25
votes
2answers
4k views

What do people call spamming saves nowadays?

In the past, there were various derogatory terms for people who would abuse the ability to save the current state and keep retrying until non-deterministic decisions went in their way. What is that ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

What does it mean for a game to be linear?

I hear stuff like this all the time: "X game is so much more linear than Y." "Is X a linear game?" "It was a good game, but X was just way too linear." What does it mean for a game to be linear?
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a mod and a plugin

I know they both modify your gameplay, but I don't really know the difference and I feel like no one I ask truly knows. When I talk Minecraft with my friends mod and plugin show up often when I'm ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

In CS, what does it mean when someone gets accused of being an `interp`

I've been playing for a while, but I've never managed to get an answer other than "NOOOOOOB" to the question "What does interp" mean. Does anyone know what interp is? Is it a hack? and if so, why ...
23
votes
2answers
5k views

What do those abbreviations mean in Diablo 2?

After Diablo 3 gets delayed further and further I recently started playing Diablo II online again after aaages. Thanks reddit ;p Since I never was deep into multiplayer in D2 I have now some problems ...
23
votes
7answers
21k views

What does “Aggro” mean?

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.
22
votes
2answers
2k views

What is bunny hopping?

I hear the term bunny hopping thrown around a lot. What is it? Can it actually help me in some games?
22
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the Nuzlocke Challenge?

I've read some Pokemon fans' comic about this Nuzlocke Challenge, that have some "rules" about this challenge like if your Pokemon faint, then it means your Pokemon is dead. I want to know what is ...
21
votes
4answers
15k views

What is “quickscoping”?

I often hear people talking about "quickscoping" in the context of First Persion Shooter games. My understanding is that it means looking down the barrel of a sniper rifle quickly in order to get a ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

What is “ganking”?

In reading about "griefing" and "smurfing", the term "ganking" came up...is there a good definition for it?