Decoding Gamer Speak: A Guide to Gaming Slang

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Gaming is truly a world of its own. An ecosystem that can often feel cliquish, gamer slang, or gamer speak, is a big part of the lingo. Learning gamer speak is how the excluded can suddenly feel more included. It allows for quick, abbreviated communications that are sometimes essential during play; and sometimes, its just how gamers like to communicate.

We’ll break down the most popular gamer slang so you won’t feel like such a “noob.”

The History of Gamer Speak

Gaming slang may feel new, but it is far from it. It’s been around for many years, including back in the 1980s when gaming really took off. Gaming slang is a lot more popular and noticeable these days due to the Internet. And you see more people using gamer slang in non-gaming situations due to online crossover activities.

But it began in the arcade era with games such as Space Invaders. “High score” and “extra life” were two early gaming slangs.

But gamer speak really took off when the Internet came to be and gaming forums arose. The Internet began connecting players globally, leading a fusion of gaming jargon derived from a multitude of cultures.

Following that, we saw multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like “World of Warcraft” and online shooters like “Counter-Strike” make their own slang contributions.

And of course, consoles came to be and helped merge PC and console gaming language.

And finally, game streaming platforms, such as YouTube and mainly, Twitch, popularized phrases. These streaming platforms have the ability to fast track any slang that gets mentioned and finds a little traction.

Most Popular Gaming Slang

If you know these, you’ll blend right in with the gaming community.

  1. GG: Short for “Good Game.” It’s a sign of good sportsmanship to say this at the end of a game, regardless of who won or lost.
  2. Noob: Derived from “newbie,” it’s used to describe inexperienced or unskilled players. It’s often used in a teasing or playful manner.
  3. AFK: Stands for “Away From Keyboard.” Used when a player needs to step away from their game for a moment.
  4. Rage Quit: When a player gets so frustrated or angry that they abruptly quit the game.
  5. NPC: Non-Playable Character. These are characters in the game that players do not control.
  6. PvP/PvE: Player vs. Player / Player vs. Environment. Describes the type of combat in a game.
  7. Grinding: Repeating specific actions in a game to make incremental progress, like leveling up or acquiring specific items.
  8. Loot: Refers to the items or rewards you get from playing, often from defeating enemies or completing challenges.
  9. Camping: Staying in one spot in a game, often in a strategic position, to gain an advantage.
  10. Meta: Short for “metagame.” It refers to the current dominant strategy or trends in a game.


Gaming slang, or gamer speak, has been around for decades. The connectivity of the Internet helped to propel the lingo into spaces beyond the gaming world. Gamer slang will continue to evolve as new technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, continue to grow.