I understand what it is, like an item proc that delivers an effect on hit for example. But what does PROC actually mean? Does it stand for something or is it short for another word?

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    Related: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/4363/…
    – Niro
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 16:15
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    @Paralytic: Which is why you edit it in. Just because x is not contained in a list that should contain x doesn't mean this isn't a dupe.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 17:58
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    @MBraedley just as easy as answering this question, but no everyone wants to just shut down everyone this has become a site of trolls when it used to be a site of delightfully helpful ppl.
    – Paralytic
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 19:15
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz It actually seems to me like the question proper is asking about the definition, whereas the answer explains that as well as the etymology. The answer is good and deserves upvotes, but I feel like the question itself should still be closed as a dupe.
    – Schism
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 3:21
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz To be honest I never heard the expression PROC anywhere before, and according to the meta post Fluttershy linked to this may even be game-dependent - the "dupe" actually states Proc Refers to an item's or an abilities' activation, usually but not always based on % chance. Examples include Phage's Slow, Vi's Denting Blows, Caitlyns Headshot, etc.. I agree that circle-strafing couldn't be tagged counterstrike, but there's a FPS one for that...
    – Zommuter
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 9:59

4 Answers 4


Apparently, there are several definitions available.

1) It stands for "Programmed Random OCcurence". This term pretty accurately describes the event itself, both its randomness and the fact there is some special effect.

2) Short for Procedure, or Special Procedure. Coming far back from the old text MUDs (Multi-user dungeons), it stands for the special procedure, or event, that happens when the stars are right and a random number fits some required range.

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    Regarding "procedure", that's 20th century programming terminology for what you'd now more usually call a "function", so in older code you could be literally calling a procedure. It specifically refers to an ordered sequence of actions, so it would be highly applicable (from a developer's point of view) where the game needs to step through a particular set of states - animation, attack cycles, whatever. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:49

Being a programmer, I think of it as derived from "Procedure" (though what I think doesn't really affect where it originally came from). As an example, say you attack an enemy unit. As your attack strikes, an on-hit event occurs and all your items and abilities execute their procedures for that event - they "proc".

Programmed Random OCcurence doesn't sit well with me, especially w.r.t. LoL - does LoL even have any random procs left? The acronym may well be etymological, but even if that's the case it no longer has anything to do with the term "proc" as it's being used today.

Since "Procedure" is a bit technical and "PROc" has lost any potential meanting, I don't think "proc" should be considered an abbreviation or acronym for anything - it's just jargon.

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    I suppose that in the case of non-random procs, it could simply be "PRogrammed OCcurrence", if you really wanted to backronymize it. Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 12:48
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    "it's just jargon", agree. I think the majority of "proc" users do not know/care/agree on the origin of proc.
    – Amy B
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 18:53

An answer by way of example:

Let's say that I have a sword which does 16 damage but is also endowed with a 50% chance to freeze on hit.

I wouldn't say: "I proc the sword."
But if it hit I would say: "The sword proced."
Using the term loosely in this situation I might even say: "I proced the freeze."

It's worth mentioning in an answer that this is related to: On the meaning of 'proc'

Blem's answer in there mentions: http://www.wowwiki.com/Proc

Which I think probably has the best exposition on a definition.


To my knowledge, the word "Proc" is short for the word "Process". As in you hit, and the effect is processed upon hitting, and that applies its special effect.

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