How do you define camping in a first person shooter?
Is it a different than holding a position for a time?
Or, is it only a matter of degree?

  • 28
    If -you- do it, you're camping. If -I- do it, I'm being strategical.
    – user929
    Jul 15, 2010 at 19:12
  • 1
    This is really hard to define. Holding positions like this is -sometimes- used strategically in actual warfare, but is considered unsporting in gaming.
    – GnomeSlice
    Oct 20, 2010 at 13:12

6 Answers 6


Camping, in a first person shooter (or any other pvp genre, really) is the act of waiting in a particular area to take advantage of the same players repeatedly.

Spawn Camping means lying in wait just outside the area where players respawn, killing them as soon as they are alive again.

Camping might have some overlap with holding a position, but most places considered "camping" aren't areas that would necessarily benefit from being held in the first place.

It is, however, a pretty subjective definition that multiple players will disagree over.

  • 1
    Really its just staying in one place for longer than is reasonable. Usually one is only called a camper if the spot is used to unfair advantage and has no back entrance. Alot of people will call you a camper for no reason, so its easy to get confused with the definition. Its just something people do when they get pissed off in games. (Especially MW2) Personally to avoid people claiming im playing unfairly I rotate between spots at regular intervals.
    – Digid3vil
    Jul 17, 2010 at 21:57
  • 1
    Agreed, it's hiding in the same places for the purposes of generating the highest score for yourself, rather than actually helping your team win the game.
    – GnomeSlice
    Oct 20, 2010 at 12:58

You've pretty much answered yourself. Technically, camping is staying in one particular (and usually advantageous) position for prolonged periods of time. This can sometime be legitimate (snipers are prone to camping, once they find a good position from which they can pick off enemies and not be too exposed to retaliation) and sometimes illegitimate (spawn camping, for instance, which is the act of laying siege on an enemy spawn point to pick off newly spawned enemies which are usually disoriented by your unexpected presence there).

Of course, the legitimacy of the above examples is ultimately subjective.

And finally, as always, there's wikipedia.


I'd say camping is exactly how you'd use the word in ordinary context, when you go some place with a tent and a campfire:

Staying at the same place for a long period of time.

Of course, this is subjective in a FPS, but it's primarily used when that given player simply stay that without moving much (like a roof or a building, or a ledge above an entry point).


A camper is a person that sits in a corner or place where it is easy to frag people, but being fragged is difficult.

For example, in Chemical Reaction for Quake 3/Quake Live, a decent camping spot is the alcove in the shotgun teleport room -- I'm not talking about the easter egg "door". People coming from the nearby passage will turn left and turn you the back, at which point they will become easy targets.

  • Would there still be campers if the game didn't have corners? /s
    – chx101
    Mar 1, 2018 at 13:04

A camper is a person that stays in the same place for a long period of time, fragging people or shooting people that come in to your "tent"

  • 1
    As opposed to someone who waits a minute or two for you to run by and traps you. A camper has no intention of moving, but since we're talking about judging intention, the definition of a camper is subjective. I vote to close this question as subjective and argumentative. :D Jul 17, 2010 at 6:44

TL;DR: if it is an advantage to be there - it is camping, if it is (at least temporal) disadvantage it is holding.

I've read all answers but havent seen an direct comparison between these two (camping and holding).

How do you define camping in a first person shooter?

Camping is an process of passive occupying one single retaliation-safe point (really small area) with no intention to go anywhere else.

Is it a different than holding a position for a time?

Holding position is a process of defending one or more points with disadvantage with clear intention to leave it ASAP to closest cover or continue attack.

Except little bit subjective "intention part" main difference is "occupying" vs "defending" and advantage.

I would call occupying if you can safely take your left hand off keyboard and only use mouse. You do not expect something to happen to you, only shooting ducks when they enter crosshair. Defending requires local position change (at least strafing etc)

Retaliation-safe zones usually are covered from 5 sides, and only one for shooting left open. Depending on weapon they can be outside of enemy retaliation (at least accurate) range, or to close to them to react. Hold positions are most likely goal zones - flag room, checkpoint, other objectives, so you are in disadvantage by default (everyone on server knows this areas before even starting the map) and expects you to be there.

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