What does the term "PvP" mean?

I've seen it used for minecraft, as in: "Anyone know a good PvP server?", but I don't know what it means.

  • 1
    I don't understand why this has been voted down. Perhaps it doesn't pertain to a specific game, but that doesn't make it any less of a question suited for gaming@SE. Voting up to compensate.
    – Neil
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 8:19
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    I don't know why this has so many downvotes, either. It seems like a perfectly relevant question (to a lot of people playing a lot of different games, too). +1
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 8:23
  • It's a rather basic term so I assume most of the downvoters didn't think anyone really wouldn't know the meaning of it.
    – Kempeth
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 9:01
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    It's been asked a lot, why not Google it? There are even multiple questions regarding the term 'PVP' on this site! It's not like it's something hard to find, out there in the vast nothingness of the Internets. (BTW I didn't downvoted the question, just playing the Devil's advocate)
    – thomaux
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 9:11
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    Perhaps they feel the question doesn't show any research effort. A question that said "I saw that PvP means player-vs-player, but why are people asking for a good PvP server? Why would one be better than another?" might get fewer downvotes. Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 11:05

2 Answers 2


Player versus player. It means players can attack each other and doing so is generally not discouraged on such servers.

  • 1
    Similarly, you've got PvE, or Player versus Environment, generally meaning you fight with other players against 'the computer' (say a boss).
    – Zsub
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 8:40

Player versus Player

As lunboks explained PvP describes fighting among player. There are different versions of PvP that you might encounter within different games:

  • Duels - this is the lightest form of PvP as it generally requires both parties to agree to the fight and the possible repercussions to your character are manageable. (No lost items or death penalty for example)
  • Arena fights - Comes in several flavors but essentially all willing participants enter some kind of special map or area to fight (usually in teams). Death penalties and items loss usually applies to this form.
  • Open Season - Generally you can attack other players at will and may loot their remains when you defeat them. There may be restrictions on what level of players you may attack or other measures to limit griefing. But generally speaking you're fair game...

Usually when people talk about PvP they mean the third kind (maybe second one too) as it does not require mutual consent and it is therefore easier to find opponents/victims.

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