Gaming glossary: The beginner’s guide to tech terminology

From cheesing to speed-runs, here are some important terms to know

Gamers who play online use words and phrases that can often seem unclear to those unfamiliar with it. AFP
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In gaming, communication is key. Whether instructing teammates what to do in an online battle or explaining to your friend what stage of a game you’ve reached, it’s beneficial to know what to say.

With more people playing together or alone, it has become evident that gaming has its own language. Not wanting to feel left out, here’s a list of key definitions that anyone gaming needs to know.


ARPG stands for action role playing game. A genre of gaming that heavily involves combat with other characters and enemies to advance the story. Games in this genre include Diablo 3, Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Elder Scrolls.

Backwards compatibility

This pertains to being able to play games from an older console on a newer one. For example, the PlayStation 5 is backwards compatible because it can play PlayStation 4 discs, but the PlayStation 4 is not because it can not play discs from any other console generation.


Refers to the act of exploiting loopholes or opportunities in which the challenge in a game is greatly reduced in difficulty. For example, if a player finds a way to defeat a game boss by being on a platform he’s not supposed to be on, or using a weapon he should not be using, then he is cheesing.


Used primarily in online shooters, this refers to players who prefer to stay put in a hidden area and snipe at enemies as they appear, rather than going on the hunt. Camping isn't always looked upon positively by players, as it can seem lazy or cowardly.

Easter egg

These are little nods or prizes left by the developers for fans to find and scavenge for while playing. It could be anything from a special weapon that can only be obtained after performing a meticulous or arduous task, or a funny picture left on a wall in a game.

Escort mission

These are missions that involve taking a non-playable character from one area to another while protecting them from enemies. These missions are often a source of frustration for players as they must focus on more than one task to succeed.


Refers to the act of performing a task or tasks that grow things like inventory or powers. Grinding usually means doing one thing for long hours until a particular goal is achieved. Usually used when playing games such as World of Warcraft.


Simply means good game. Often used after a match is won or lost and said to an online opponent. It can also be used to get a rise out of an opponent when beating them convincingly, essentially said sarcastically rather than sincerely.

Haptic feedback

A feature of the PlayStation 5 controllers, haptic feedback is when an action in the game translates to accurate sensations and vibrations from the controller. The feature is used in games to elevate the experience whether it be shooting a weapon or the swelling of music during key scenes.


NPC stands for non-playable character. These are all and any characters in a game that cannot be controlled by a player. The term can also be used derogatorily if wanting to describe someone as being boring or without a personality.


OP stands for overpowered. The term is used to describe characters or enemies whose powers or abilities are unbalanced. OP is used in frustration when an opponent is proving hard to defeat, saying that your shortcomings are due to them being overpowered rather than a lack of skill.

Rage quit

Used frequently during online match up games such as EA Sports FC 24 or Call of Duty, rage quitting is when an opponent abruptly quits their game due to being beaten. People who rage quit will often blame their internet connection to avoid embarrassment.


A speed-run is an attempt to complete a game in record time. Speed-runners often record or stream their attempts, partly as proof but also as content for viewers who enjoy watching games be conquered quickly.


A genre of games that involve procedurally generated levels, turn-based combat and character death. Games in this genre have grown in popularity recently, with games such as Hades, Dead Cells and The Binding of Isaac.


A subgenre of action role-playing games, they’re often characterised for being very difficult to master and defeat. The name comes from the Dark Souls games. Some of the most famous soulslike games are Bloodborne, Demon’s Souls and Elden Ring.

Updated: January 17, 2024, 6:29 AM