In Smite I have access to several gods. For each god I have used they have 4 abilities. In several guides, the fourth ability is referred to as "ult". For example:

Use your ult to stun a group of enemies

I am guessing that "ult" means "ultimate". Is this correct? If so, why is the fourth ability referred to as "ultimate"?

Does this term apply outside of Smite?

  • The ultimate is, in general, the ultimate (best) ability your character has. its combination of power/utility almost always mean it is the number one ability to make stronger when you can make an ability stronger. IN games Like LOL and dota, and smite to i believe, you can upgrade your 4th ability at levels 6, 11, and 16 or so, and almost all characters in all games do so at those levels.
    – Ryan
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:59
  • 1
    Yeah, but it doesn't really matter about votes. I got what I needed from the answers. Pretty useful for someone with less than 10 hours spent in just the single MOBA when it comes to reading guides full of abbreviations and jargon.
    – user101016
    Mar 15, 2016 at 19:55

4 Answers 4


The origin of this term comes from the grand MOBA of all of them: the WC3 map "DOTA".

In Warcraft 3 generally the characters learned on level 6 their so called "ultimate" (I'm actually not even sure they had a name or in general just were named ultimate).

So of course these special match making abilities were in the DOTA map called "ultimates" as well. This obviously abbreviated into "ult" or "ulti".

In this regard the term was pulled into all games that were direct siblings of that WC3 map, if not by the devs, then by the community as they had been used to calling it that way.

But this is just true for siblings of DOTA (i.e. not for all MOBAs). For example, in Awesomenauts there is no equivalent of overskill like the ultimates from WC3. Therefore, no one would name them as "ultimates".


You are correct, ult is short for Ultimate, and refers to the (most of the time) most powerful of your abilities. It's usually on the 4th sloth on most MOBAs and it takes some time to be able to actually unlock it and level it up, 5-6 levels of experience for most MOBAs.

You may hear the term be used outside Smite in game like CS, in a mode based on MOBAs still, and there it too refers to the ultimate ability at your disposal.

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    There are a couple of exceptions to this. For example, in Awesomenauts, a 2D MOBA, there are only two abilities and while the second one is usually on a longer cooldown, you'll be laughed at if you try to call it an 'ulti'. But this is mostly because the cooldown and the power of the ability are more comparable to your usual MOBA abilities.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Mar 15, 2016 at 12:42

Your "ult" is your ultimate ability. This is typically the ability that becomes available to you in a MOBA once you have leveled up around 5-6 times. This ability is called ultimate because it typically is more powerful than your other abilities and usually can be used much less than your other abilities. This term also applies in League of Legends, but I don't know about DOTA. I feel it is generally widespread.


Yes, "ult" stands for your ultimate ability, usually requires a buildup of some sort and is almost always incredibly powerful. Shown here, an example from D&D Neverwinter, the large orange gem in the center slowly fills as you damage your enemies, when it is full, you can use your "daily power" a reference to D&D. It is in other words, your "ult"imate power. The orange gem is labeled with the number 1.

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