Common Gaming Terms

This resource gives you the definitions of a variety of common gaming terms that you might find in a LitRPG or GameLit novel.
Aggro
This is an abbreviation of Aggravation. When you ‘get aggro’ it means you attract the attention of something hostile. It could be an animal / monster or an NPC.
AI / Artificial Intelligence
Usually refers to robots, but in LitRPG / GaemLit terms it is the entity that controls the game.
AoE / Area of Effect
This the circular area on the ground that anyone with will experience the effect of whatever spell is being talked about.
Boss
This is a high level mob that is much more difficult to defeat. Usually found at the end of a dungeon and often in its own room.
Buff
A temporary benefit that can be given to a player. For example: increased strength for 5 minutes. They come from either another player, a consumable item (food, potion etc) or from one of your own skills.
Casting Time
The length of time it takes to cast a specific magic spell.
Class
Some games (and LitRPG / GameLit novels) give the player an opportunity to play a definded type of character, eg a Warrior or a Mage. This determines their skills and attributes, as well as what weapons they can learn to use, what type of gear they are allowed to wear and what stats they will benefit from increasing.
Cooldown
This is the length of time after you use a skill before it becomes available for use again. It is analogous to the length of time it takes to reload a weapon in real life, or how long of a rest you need before you can sprint again.
Crafting
Like in real life, this is about making things. It might be something like cooking, tailoring, jewelry, armorcrafting, leathercrafting, weaponsmithing, or even something more exoctic like alchemy, enchanting, tinkering, artificing or scribing with magic symbols.
Critical Hit
Shortened to Crit Hit, or just Crit. It is a strike (physical or magical) that does more damage than your usual range of damage. Usually a rare occurance, however you can make it more frequent by increasing the stat that controls your Crit Rate (the rate at which you Crit) or get a buff that increases your Crit Rate.
CC / Crowd Control
The use of an AOE skill that can control the movement of a group of enemies all at the same time. Either by slowing them down, or preventing them from moving all together. eg a chill, cripple, knock-back, knock-down or root effect.
Debuff
The opposite of a buff. This is a temporary handicap players can get. For example: bleeding, poisoned, crippled, chilled, immobalized, vulnerable. They come from either whoever they are fighting, a toxic consumable item (food, potion etc), the environment or from a certain lapse of time (eg fatigue, hungry).
DoT / Damage over Time
This is an effect, like poison, bleed, chill or fire that will continue to do damage over a specific amount of time. Often it comes in pulses, eg 3 pulses where the receipent loses a certain amount of health with each pulse of the skill. Sometimes (not always) the skill is confined to a specific area and leaving that area will stop further damage.
DPS / Damage per Second
This is a metric of a players offensive capabilities. Players with a high DPS, are the damage dealers. Players with a low DPS include the healers, tanks and other support type roles.
Dungeon
An enclosed area, or separate instance, players can enter, usually in party with other players. Often they contain the best rewards as well as the most difficult mobs. They have various boss mobs at certain points along the set path.
Farming
A specific action players take over and over to gain rewards. eg Killing off one mob after another, over and over, thus gaining you XP (called Farming XP). Can apply to actions that will get you money (Gold Farming) or a certain item eg pearls (Farming Pearls) etc.
Grinding
Similar to farming, where a player performs a repetitive, time-consuming, often annoying action in order to gain XP and therefore level up.
HoT / Heal over Time
This is an effect that will restore a player’s health over a period of time. Often it comes in pulses, eg 3 pulses where the receipent gains a certain amount of health with each pulse of the skill. Sometimes (not always) the skill is confined to a specific area and leaving that area will stop further healing.
HP / Health Points / Hit Points
The health of a being. A numerical attribute that tells a player how much damage they, or a mob, can take before they die. Often linked to the color red.
HP Potion / Health Potion
An alchemy potion a player can take to restore a specific portion of their health. Usually red in color.
Inventory
A character’s bag. Usually has a number of slots items can be placed into. Often each slot can continue multiples of an identical item. eg 250 HP potions.
Kiting
This is where a player gains aggro from a mob, then runs around, staying out of their reach, causing the mob to chase after them (like a kite on a string). This is used to get the mob to ignore other players, allowing a party to kill multiple higher level mobs at the same time, or to lead a mob to a specific place, like a trap.
Knock-Back
A type of skill that pushes the recipient backwards.
Level
As a character gains expereince, they ‘level up’ and receive points they can invest in their stats to grow their characters. The level is a measure of how powerful they are. A player starts at level 1 and when they gain enough XP they increase to level 2. The higher the level, the more powerful they are. Players, mobs and sometimes items can have levels. Sometimes armor or weapons will require the player to be a certain level to be able to use / equip them.
Loot
Rewards. This could be a piece of armor, a weapon, coins, an item required to complete a quest, crafting ingredients (eg a piece of leather, a vial of blood, a venom sac etc) or even trash (eg a broken claw).
Mana
This is an attribute of a being, like health or stamina, that is concerned with magic. For instance, the more stamina you have, the further you can run. The more mana you have, the more spells you can do.
Min-Max
The practice of assigning your level up points into a specific small set of stats, thereby maximizing them. As a consequence you leave all other stats at their starting point, thereby minimizing them. This creates characters with specialized builds. For example, investing all your points into attack stats give them an extremely high DPS but equally will keel over dead from a single enemy hit (called a Glass Cannon build). Another example is a character who has invested all their points into defense, so they are almost impossible to kill, however they equally unable to kill in return / hit like a wet noddle. (called a Tank build).
MP / Mana Points / Magic Points
The mana level of a being. A numerical attribute that tells a player how much mana they have to cast spells with. It is usually only used by magic users. Often linked to the color blue.
MP Potion / Mana Potion​
An alchemy potion a player can take to restore a specific portion of their mana. Usually blue in color.
Mob
This is an abbreviateion of mobile. An NPC enemy, either a monster or humanoid character.
Nerf
A change intended to weaken a particular item, class, skill, or character, in order to balance the game better. If something is OP (over-powered), the game controller nerfs it to bring it back within normal game parameters.
Newbie / Noob
A new, often inexperienced player. Also an insult meaning you are making mistakes and playing badly.
NPC / Non-Player Character
These are the characters the game itself controls.
OP / Over Powered
A player, mob, weapon or other item that is too powerful for the surrounding game.
Party
A group of players who have all joined together to complete something. It could be a quest, a dungeon, an event or some kind of battle. Players have the advantage of being able to see information about the other members of the party, such as their level, health, mana and possibly stamina. This allows them to avoid dying, when someone else could either step in, or heal them. A party usually has a relatively small maximum number that can join, eg five.
Perma Player
Something that only exists in fiction at the moment, but it means that a person has transferred their consciousness into the game, thus dying in real life.
Pew Pew
The sound that arrows make when you shoot them.
PvE / Player vs Environment
Fighting where the player is fighting mobs, instead of other players.
PvP / Player vs Player
This is when two players fight each other. It could be in an organized arena or simply out in the open world of the game.
Q.Q
A written emoji for crying.
Quest
Given to a player by an NPC, they are required to do something for the NPC. Discover something, collect a certain amount of specific items, perform a certain task, etc. Completing quests gives the player XP and usually other rewards. Some quests can be repeated, like killing a certain number of rats for example, other quests are one off quests and are often linked to advancing the story.
Raid
A type of mission that requires a very large number of players. Usually they form a specific type of party that lets more people join than a regular party. eg a Raid Party or a War Party. One player will typically be the Commander, who is in charge of all the other players and who can create Sub Commanders to facilitate smaller parties within the War Party.
Respawn
The resurrection of a player by the game after their death. Often there are some kind of dealth penalties invovled where the player is weaker for a short time after respawn.
Side Quest
An optional quest that doesn’t advance the story unlike the main quests do. Sometimes thought of as a distraction.
Skill Tree
A game mechanic iwth a progressive branching of skills from which a player can select the next skill they would like to acquire when they have enough points. The new skill could be an improved version of an existing skill (Combine 1, Combine 2) or it could be a completely new skill. These often exist when the game includes pre-defined classes, and each class will usually have a different skill tree. They can also exist in other forms, such as pet skills, or guild / settlement building.
Stats
These are the attributes a player invests their points into, like Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Toughness, Endurance, Fortitude, Wisdom, Karma and Charisma. There might be others, depending on the game and the exact definitions will vary game to game. Click here to see the definitions for the Zones of Alacria stats.
Stat Point
Points a player receives as they level up that they can invest into building their character. eg place one point into strength etc.
Unlock
When you have advanced enough in your skill tree that new, previously greyed out options, become available for you to invest your points into.
VR / Virtual Reality
A computer generated reality with a simulated world. A player experiences that reality through sensory feedback via items like haptic suits, allowing the player to interact with the environment.
Wipe
This is when everyone within a party dies. It usually occurs because a boss fight goes wrong.
XP / Experience Points
These are the points you get for defeating mobs and various other reasons. To progress, each level requires you to achieve a certain amount of XP, in order to level up.
Zone
A single map within a game. You can access other maps via portals. Most zones usually have a small range of levels the gameplay is suitable for. For example beginner zones might be specific for players who are levesl 1-10.

Curious About a Term that Isn't Listed?

If you’ve found a term in one of my books, or a different LitRPG / GameLit novel, that you wish was listed in here, then let me know.
Simply Contact Me and tell me what you don’t understand and if it’s relevant to the genre, I’ll add it to the list. Either way I’ll do my best to help you understand the term.
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