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 also starts to point directions (skipping tutorials), giving you all high level stuff (say, the best items you'd find in a high level dungeon, or unique ones), and if possible, to make you level up asap.

I'm really sure that there's a name for such typical acts.


3 Answers 3


There are several terms to cover the behaviors you are asking about.

Giving Powerful Items = Twinking

Some of the behavior you are describing is called twinking.

In role-playing video games, particularly MMORPGs, twinking refers to outfitting a new character or player with items or other resources that are not normally available to new or low-level characters.

The Wikipedia page goes further to include some types of hacking as part of twinking, but I've always heard it used as giving really good gear to a low level character. In my experience with MMORPGs, a small amount of twinking always happens (like a higher level character finds some loot that is great for a lower level character) but it becomes frowned upon when the lower level character is twinked so much that it has the absolute best gear for each slot and the character absolutely dominates an untwinked character of the same level.

Note that most games restrict more powerful items to more powerful characters. Sometimes these items will have level or stat requirements, preventing a level 1 character from using them. Other times the items will be untradeable so that the lower level character must actually complete the content themselves to get the item.

Helping Gain XP Quickly = Powerleveling / Boosting

Power leveling describes a higher level character doing all the work to take a lower level character through more powerful content than they could normally handle. This was more prevalent in earlier games, as newer games have anti-powerlevelling mechanics that make it less efficient for the lower level character. These games don't award XP/loot if the character doesn't do a good portion of the work or if they are too low a level for the area.

Skipping Content To Get To High Level Areas = Rushing / Running

The skipping tutorials portion of the behavior you describe is closer to rushing or running, such as the higher level character "running" the lower level character through dungeons or areas so that the lower level character can pick up warp locations and such. Again, this is not as prevalent in newer games as older ones. In earlier games, unlocking a new area was sometimes as easy as walking into the area and talking to someone. Newer games will lock content behind mandatory quests, gear checks (meaning that the character must earn particular types of gear elsewhere order to enter the area), or level requirements. These mechanisms make it take longer to unlock the area, so a rush or run through is more difficult (but still possible) for someone very dedicated to helping a lower level character.

  • 9
    As a WoW player, I've always heard "twinking" used in the context of making a lower level character as powerful as possible for a specific level. This almost always involves high-level help, of course, but the way I've seen it used didn't really carry the asker's connotation.
    – two bugs
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 17:43
  • 3
    It's more than twinking, which is solely to equip the lowest character with the best possible items. It doesn't involve skipping part of the game (tutorials) or leveling asap even if being twinked helps for that. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 17:50
  • @twobugs in wow terms, the OP seems to be combining giving powerful items (twinking) with leading the lower character through high level areas (running) as well as helping the lower character to level up (power leveling). None of these are an exact match, but twinking seemed to be the closest to what OP was intending. But yes, I remember all the level 29 twinks in warsong gulch too. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 17:50
  • We RuneScapers (yes, we're still around) use powerleveling in the context of grinding, usually for large amounts of money and rushing in the context of actually rushing through dungeons as quick as possible or pvp killing. We don't use them as terms for helping people. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 19:36
  • 2
    I would add "boosting" as a synonym of "powerleveling" in this context.
    – user69603
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 20:13

Power leveling is probably the term you're looking for. Wikipedia description.

There's many ways to help someone gets to the highest level, one of which is to give them better items/equipment they wouldn't have access to when starting, twinking, which is best described in GodEmporerDune's answer.

Another is to kill and/or assist them in killing to get more experience then they would alone.

Doing both is sometime counter productive as, often in games, items have a level requirement or statistics that are level based. It's preferable to wait till the new character is at the highest level to give them items.

The most common way to power level is to have a high/highest level character do all the work while the lowest level character reap the rewards, usually by being in the same party.

For example, in Everquest, a way to power level would be done with healing-able classes (Clerics, druids, paladins, etc) which would heal and buff the lower level character while they fought higher level monster that they wouldn't normally be able to fight alone. This and twinking the lowest character was a way to power level.

In WoW, this thread shows ways to power level that are quite different. Wasn't like that when I was playing but the ideas are similar, have the highest level characters do the work while the lowest gain experience. It was also possible to do it like it was done in EQ, high level character buffs and heals the lower level one.

In Diablo 3, one power level technique, with RoS, is to have a level 1 character starts a game in the highest torment level they can, invite a level 70 character and do rifts. The 70's character open the rift, clean the entrance, the level 1 enters the safe, cleared, zone and waits there while the 70 clean the rift level. The level 1 character gets experience with the kills and with the end of the rift.

Power level guides can be found for many many games because it ain't the same for all games.

  • Power leveling refers explicitly to increasing the level of the character, while the question is asking about giving advantages to level 1 (or low-level) characters.
    – gwj17
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 17:40
  • 2
    The question asks also to make you level up asap., which is precisely what power leveling is. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 17:43
  • The question also regards that OP is either being guided along or getting an express pass out of their level up pathing. Power Leveling and Twinking are not mutually exclusive, as you can power level a character into a Twink. The main idea (especially made popular in WoW) is that a Twink will always stay static at a level to be the best possible build whiten a requirement.
    – NBN-Alex
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 17:57

GodEmperorDune's excellent answer provided some of the most common terms. Below I'll list a few less common terms as an addition to his answer.

Supporting with high-level buffs/heals: Babysitting or Nursing

High-level magic users can provide healing or supporting magic (buffs) to lower level characters. While this is often done as part of power-leveling, it's not always just to gain EXP. A common example is in PvP.

For example, in the MMORPG EverQuest, the Rallos Zek server allowed players to attack anyone at any time at any location. The one restriction was that players had to be within +/- 4 levels to attack another. High-level magic users couldn't directly fight in low-level battles, but they could babysit low-level combatants through buffing and healing.

In some cases, high-level characters could intervene in low-level battles by "pulling trains". The high-level character would aggro a lot of mid-level monsters, then bring those monsters storming through a PvP combat scene. Intentionally forming such a train of monsters is often a prohibited and bannable offense, but this doesn't stop it from happening.. or even being popular: Leeroy Jenkins! If a healer or teleporter, the high-level character could then save low-level characters at will while leaving the monsters to finish off the rest.

Sharing high-level travel methods: Transporting

High-level characters have access to advanced forms of travel. Common examples include teleportation magic, being keyed into certain zones, share-able mounts, money to pay for convenient NPC-provided taxi services, and travel-enhancing magic (e.g. buffs that make characters run faster).

Low-level characters in large worlds often want to be transported to their favored starting ground so that they're not stuck with their default race/class starting area. Also, many low-level quests used to be based on traveling across the world (which was hard for low levels in some MMORPG's), so transporting helped low levels get quests done.

Directly assisting with quests: Multi-questing (MQ'ing)

Some MMORPG's allow items for collection quests to be traded. This item-sharing process is called multi-questing. High-level players can collect difficult-to-get items and give them to low-level characters who in turn complete quests otherwise inaccessible or impractical for them.

A very common multi-quest item was the Ring of Ancients in EverQuest. A very rare spawn would rarely drop a ring. When turned in, the character completing the quest would get non-tradable boots that would provide a significant boost to their run speed.

Assisting with a reputation grind: Factioning (faccing)

MMORPG's like WoW and EverQuest include a faction system in which certain groups of NPC's had their friendliness depend on the character's faction score. Faction scores can often be increased by repeatedly killing (grinding on) monsters that the faction hates. High-level characters used to help low-level characters by slaughtering faction-yielding NPC's while the low-level character is in group.

In some cases, the low-level character would need to be considered a combatant to get a faction hit (or rep increase). In these cases, the low-level character could provide token support such as by healing the high-level character or using ranged attacks.

Providing social support to new players: Cheerleading

Just like in real life, established players can provide social networking support for new players in social organizations. Whether it's a mentor helping you at work or a high-level player getting you into a good guild at Level 5, they're your "cheerleader".

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