A brief period of time where developers allow fans of the game to test it out, look for bugs, glitches, and give feedback.
In games where your character has a special attack, there is often a timed cooldown on that ability, meaning that a specific countdown has to expire before your character is fit enough to perform that special action again.
A central processing unit is the electronic circuitry which functions as the brain of the computer, sending out instructions for inputs and outputs to make things run.
Downloadable content is gaming content that is released after the game is already out. Sometimes DLCs are free but more often than not they cost money. The DLC (although this isn’t always the case) can be nearly as expansive as the original title, like CD Project Red’s The Witcher III Blood and Wine.
Damage Per Second, this phrase can be used as either a noun or adjective. The original term was an adjective describing how much damage a weapon, character, ability, or spell does each second. As a noun, it refers to a subclass of characters who focus on dealing damage, whereas healers heal damage and tanks absorb damage.
The gaming community can be referred to as a collective whole, or more specifically towards that game’s group of players. These people will gather online or in person to play, discuss, and complain about the games they love or hate. Not only do these people help make the games popular, but in many ways, they are the backbone that keeps a game going after its release. Some exceptionally brilliant individuals modify existing games or even create their own games. They then share them within the community.
Loot refers to the new weapons or gear you discover on the body of a fallen enemy or gain through accomplishing a quest.
Gamers hate loot boxes. In recent years, many games have included these in their game in order to make more money. Generally, in-game cosmetic items such as skins or weapons are distributed through randomized "boxes of loot." Gaming companies offer their gamers the ability to either eventually earn the loot by sinking a ton of time into the game or simply buy the loot with real currency.
Modding refers to people who modify a game by creating custom skins, characters, levels, assets, or settings. Skyrim is one of the most popular games to mod; some Skyrim Mods are incredible graphics, weather, and texture upgrades, while other mods are a little more wacky like turning all the dragons into gigantic, flying, fire-breathing, Thomas the Train Engines.
Overclocking is when you set your CPU and memory (or graphics card) to run at speeds surpassing their designated speed grade. Boundaries were meant to be broken and overclocking can optimize your gaming rig’s performance.
Public test realm, like closed beta, is when players can test out for themselves the upcoming changes, patches, or characters released to the game. It also gives developers an opportunity to observe and collect data on these changes—which they then use to perfect the improvements.
Your rig, or gaming rig, is your gaming setup. There are a variety of things you can do to improve your gaming experience by upgrading your rig—such as buying a new graphics card. You also might be surprised how important it is to upgrade to a gaming monitor.
RNG, or random number generator, are the algorithms used in any game where there is a probability of something occurring, whether that be loot drops from raid bosses, critical hits, bloom, or bullet spread. If something bad happens in your game, just blame it on RNG.
A skin is a graphics file used to alter the look of a game character. It can include anything from outfits, to actually changing the physical attributes of the character.
Tracking is what is referred to as your aim mechanics. While practice is a great way to improve your tracking, you may also need to upgrade your rig, your mouse, or mousepad.
Typically called just Twitch, this live-streaming video platform is owned by Amazon and has millions of daily viewers. Gamers will play a variety of games and live-stream their gameplay in front of a virtual audience. The most popular twitch streamer in the world, Ninja, has average viewership surpassing 100,000 live viewers at any given time.
We hope that you learned at least a few new terms in this glossary. There are hundreds more, but these should provide a solid baseline to help you get acquainted with gaming parlance so you can easily fit right in.