Questions tagged [terminology]

for questions that ask what a gaming-specific term means. Note that questions that ask to find the right term(s) to describe something are not allowed here.

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96
votes
8answers
24k views

Where does the concept of “Mana” as a resource come from?

In today's field of gaming, the humble mana bar has become nearly as widespread as the health bar. Everywhere from MMOs to flash games, to traditional turn-based RPGs, Mana exists as a finite ...
96
votes
4answers
12k views

Why are bosses called 'bosses'?

There were bosses in games ever since 1975, and I don't think I really have to define 'boss' here. But how did the word get stuck? And when was the first time when the challenging enemy was referred ...
94
votes
7answers
141k views

What does 8-bit / 16-bit actually refer to?

When talking about retro games, terms like "8-bit music" or "16-bit graphics" often come up. I myself often use these terms, but I'm not exactly sure what they refer to. What do they mean?
85
votes
15answers
71k views

What's the difference between “Bug” and “Glitch”?

I heard about 2 terms defining a game error: "Bug" and "Glitch". What's the difference between them?
81
votes
4answers
54k views

What is kiting?

What does the term 'kiting' mean when used for games? I've seen the term thrown around here and there in reference to a few different games. Are there specific types of games that it applies to?
76
votes
9answers
27k views

What exactly is a “cheese” in Starcraft 2?

I seem to see commentators mention "cheese" with regards to Starcraft 2, but I'm not quite sure what they mean. If a particular build/tactic is called a "cheese", does that mean it is a considered to ...
73
votes
2answers
87k views

What's the difference between a “Roguelike” and a “Roguelite” game?

What exactly defines a Roguelike game and what is the difference between them and Roguelite games?
70
votes
3answers
18k views

What does “Game of the Year” actually mean?

Often times, many games have an additional variant named "Game X: Game of the Year edition" or "Game X: GOTY edition". Within the same year, there are multiple games that seemingly have GOTY versions. ...
68
votes
2answers
15k views

Why are people who spend a lot of money on video game micro-transactions called “whales”?

Pretty much every game that involves micro-transactions has a large amount of their micro-transaction revenue coming from a very small percentage of their players, the so-called "whales" that spend ...
61
votes
2answers
18k views

What's the difference between “Free” versus “Free to Play” on Steam?

On Steam, there are the labels "Free" and "Free to Play" - what is the difference between the two?
61
votes
2answers
85k views

What is V-Sync and when should I enable it? [duplicate]

Most modern 3D games have a graphics option "V-Sync". It's usually an on/off setting. I'd like to understand settings I tweak with, and this one kind of eludes me. What does "V-Sync" mean, and when ...
58
votes
3answers
10k views

What is Direct X, and why do games keep on requesting different versions?

I am not very experienced with computers, and was wondering what Direct X actually does, on my PC. Why do various games request different versions? Should the latest version cover all of them, or do ...
57
votes
6answers
60k views

What is ping, and why is it important?

I've seen the term used in many online games. What does it mean? Also, is higher or lower ping better?
53
votes
3answers
14k views

What is a “pixel shader”?

I have noticed that some games quote the requirement for "pixel shader 3.0 or better". What is a pixel shader and is it some software requirements or hardware requirements?
49
votes
5answers
139k views

What do those abbreviations mean in League of Legends?

I'm quite new to League of Legends (LoL) but try to improve through reading guides. All too often I stumble upon abbreviations I am not sure what they mean. Some of those are: AD AP ArPen AS bot ...
48
votes
3answers
25k views

What is Stream Sniping?

In this YouTube video, Some streamer says he "doesn't want to stream the game, because he gets stream sniped every day by a Symmetra but they still have a chance to ...
47
votes
4answers
10k views

What is Vanilla?

What do people mean with the term "Vanilla"? I see it more and more often. For example, with regard to World of Warcraft: Which Vanilla achievements will be lost with Cataclysm’s release? And ...
47
votes
2answers
6k views

What exactly is the Masamune sword?

The Masamune sword is featured in many games that I've played over the years, from Soul Calibur to Chrono Trigger to Final Fantasy. It's a sword that is usually surrounded with some sort of magical ...
46
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the purpose of MMO “maintenance”?

In massively multiplayer games, the servers are routinely restarted, for example EVE Online performs "maintenance" daily, and World of Warcraft performs it weekly. What goes on during it, and why ...
46
votes
1answer
313k views

What is CP? Why is it important?

Pokémon have a statistic called CP. What does it do, and why is it relevant? Is it a substitute for the nonexistent levels and statistics, or is it something completely different?
42
votes
4answers
15k views

What is “radial blur”?

I've thought that radial blur is a form of motion blur that is only applied to mobile objects, not camera movements, but I may be misinformed. Radial blur can sometimes, albeit rarely, be configured ...
42
votes
2answers
9k views

What is “OpenGL” and why did a player get banned for it?

Today, while playing Counter Strike 1.6 on a server, I saw a message at the left corner saying: Player Name - x. Permanent Ban. Reason - "OpenGL" detected So what is this OpenGL thing in Counter ...
40
votes
2answers
9k views

What is arbitrary code execution (ACE) and how does it affect speedrunning?

There has been a lot of records being set in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time within the last couple of weeks or so. A lot of these records keep stating that "ACE" is the reason for this. I have ...
39
votes
3answers
12k views

What is the difference between Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and bots in video games?

An NPC refers to any character that is not controlled by a human player, e.g. a fictional character portrayed by a human gamemaster. In the context of video games, what is the difference between NPCs ...
38
votes
1answer
49k views

What does “Squelch” mean?

I have an option to Squelch or unsquelch the other player. What does it mean/what does it do?
38
votes
1answer
4k views

What does the bracketed number mean in longplay titles?

I am referring to this: NES Longplay [540] Takeshi No Chousenjou ^^^ I've had no luck researching this. From Google, to the World-Of-Longplays website, to Wikipedia's stub of an ...
37
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the FEAR strategy?

My friend was telling me about the FEAR strategy while I was playing Pokemon Heart Gold. But he isn't sure what the FEAR strategy is, because he was playing this game long time ago and he doesn't ...
37
votes
2answers
9k views

What is “Hammertime” a reference to?

When the "knockdown" status effect is applied, text appears that says things like "whoops", "tripped", or "hammertime". What does "hammertime" reference? I'm familiar with the M.C. Hammer song "Can't ...
37
votes
6answers
39k views

Why do people call their characters “toons”?

I've seen that in games like MMORPGs and the Diablo series, where the player has an "arsenal" of several characters, people refer to their characters as "toons". What is the origin of this term?
36
votes
6answers
4k views

What's the right term for the list of “X killed Y with Z” messages in a multiplayer shooter?

It's probably obvious from the title, but I'm specifically thinking of messages like ProGamer64 [image of shotgun] L33tCamper that appear in the bottom right corner when a kill happens, then fade ...
36
votes
3answers
11k views

What does Metroidvania mean?

I've been hearing the term Metroidvania thrown around in recent years to describe games such as Cave Story and Megaman ZX, but have never quite understood what it actually means. What does ...
36
votes
1answer
8k views

What exactly is a softlock?

I've heard the term "softlock" used a lot, especially in speedrunning contexts, and I have picked up an intuitive vague definition from context. It seems to mean getting the game into a state where ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it mean to “savescum”?

I play a roguelike now and then and the term "savescum" comes up fairly often. What does it mean, and where did the term come from?
34
votes
3answers
20k views

Difference and meaning between “remastered” and “remake”

Since there are currently rumors that Bethesda is make a "remastered" Version of one of their games(most say Skyrim), I was wondering what exactly is "remastered"? And what's the difference to a "...
34
votes
2answers
8k views

What does AoS mean?

I was searching some maps for Warcraft III: Frozen Throne and I found a term I hadn't heard before: AoS map. I've searched for a meaning, however I haven't been able to find a concrete definition, ...
34
votes
1answer
18k views

What does the term “aggro deck” mean?

I think I understand what aggro means in the context of an MMO and explicitly in World of Warcraft. Arqade even has a good answer to What does "Aggro" mean? What I am not understanding from the ...
33
votes
5answers
41k views

What is Smurfing in online games?

What does Smurfing mean when applied to online games?
33
votes
1answer
7k views

What does DX mean in remastered games?

Today, a remake of the original Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game was announced, called Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. This got me thinking about how I've also seen the "DX" title in lots of ...
33
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the meaning of the term “gib”?

Especially while talking about FPS, the term "gib" is quite common. While I get it's related to a sudden and gruesome death, I'd like to know its actual meaning and where it comes from.
33
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the UP in 1-UP stand for anything?

I'm curious. Is it literally going "1 up" or does it stand for something else?
32
votes
3answers
60k views

What is the Destiny Cloud Fist build?

What is the Destiny Cloud Fist build? I've heard SC2 players talking about it.
32
votes
3answers
10k views

What does it mean when a game is a 4X game?

I've seen the term 4X game used to describe games, primarily strategy games. What does this term mean?
31
votes
10answers
9k views

What is the period after a game's main story line ends called?

Sometimes after you finish a game main storyline the game doesn't end there, and presents other opportunities to finish old quests or perhaps unlock new areas. Examples of this are like Fallout 3 (...
31
votes
3answers
8k views

What does RTC stand for?

When researching flash cartridges, I keep coming across the term "RTC", but never see it actually defined. I think it has something to do with a battery powered clock. What does "RTC" stand for?
31
votes
3answers
4k views

What does it mean to have map control?

I hear people talking a lot about having map control (mostly tzenes). What specifically does a good player consider map control? Is it simply having decent visibility of most of the map so that you ...
31
votes
2answers
32k views

What's the difference between “mythical” and “legendary” Pokémon?

I always see some Pokémon being called "mythical" or "legendary", but I don't understand what makes a Pokémon mythical and what makes it legendary. Is there any definition that differentiates a ...
29
votes
4answers
5k views

What does the term “rail shooter” mean?

What does it mean when a game is referred to as a "rail shooter"? When looking at some articles about the upcoming game Rage, I saw that it had been referred to as "not a rail shooter" for console but ...
29
votes
8answers
38k views

What does “Aggro” mean?

I have heard "aggro" said in commentaries in a few different contexts and I have no idea what it really means. I can figure out what the commentator means, but I don't understand that word.
28
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the word for when players give all high level advantages to lvl 1 players?

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 ...
28
votes
6answers
125k views

In some games, the rank above A is S. What does S represent?

In some (generally Japanese) games, the best rank is S. For example, this question talks about getting an S rank on story battles. Metal Gear Solid 4 ranks their weapons on an SABCDE scale. Does S ...

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