MMO Boot Camp: Redux


In the summer of 2009, I compiled a list of basic MMO social terms and abbreviations after being unable to find such a thing on the Internet.  The original list was posted over a 4 day period, which served to divide the list in retrospect. In an effort to streamline things, I present to you what I call the MMO Boot Camp, now in one continuous form. Study this list. Familiarize yourself with it. Your virtual life could depend on it. DISMISSED!


  • AFK – “away from keyboard” – your friend has left you and may not be coming back due to circumstances beyond his or her control.
  • ATM – “at the moment” – this has nothing to do with money.
  • BBL – “be back later” – lies.
  • BRB – “be right back” – a quest in real life has been triggered (usually by a parent or spouse) and must be completed.
  • “BIO” – bathroom break.
  • DING – “level up” – used by those desperately seeking attention and a pat on the back.
  • GANK” – higher level player(s) killing a lower level player.
  • GRIEFING” or “GRIEFER” – those that intentionally seek to harass or cause grief to fellow gamers in game.
  • MMORPG – “massively multiplayer online role playing game” – Warning, may contain addictive elements.
  • NPC – “non-player character” – computer controlled character.
  • OMW – “on my way”
  • PVE – “player versus environment” – killing is consensual and the environment deadly.
  • PVP – “Player versus player” – open season has arrived!
  • RL – “real life” – once upon a time you knew what this meant.
  • Solo” or “Soloing” – paying $15 a month to play alone.
  • SPAWN” – enemies reappear after being killed.
  • XP – “experience points” – time and lives are lost in the pursuit of these elusive points.



  • Group/Party/Fellowship – players banded together for a common goal.
  • Guild – a large group of players who enjoy being used as pawns. Guilds, and their benefits, vary from game to game.
  • Kinship – an over glorified name for a guild.
  • LFF – “looking for fellowship” – sometimes two are better than one.
  • LFG – “looking for group” – see above.
  • LFM – “looking for more” – we are weak, help us!
  • LOOT – items that are coveted and fought over in game.
  • “TANK” – serves as the lead protector/ defender of a group.

Additional Terms/ Abbreviations:

  • “Add” – an enemy joins the fight unexpectedly. Kind of like your kid brother wanting to hang out with you and your friends.
  • AGGRO – “aggression” – sometimes you’ve just got to let it out.
  • “BUFF” – any ability or skill that increases the stats/attributes of the player or group.
  • DOT – “damage over time” – one day researchers will be able to measure the dot videogames cause.
  • DPS – “damage per second” – math geeks…
  • HOT – “heal over time” – the amount of time it takes to heal.
  • “KITE” – a diversion to attract enemies away from your party.
  • “MOB” – an in game monster(s).
  • “NUKE” – inflicting maximum damage per second.
  • PAT – “patrol” – roaming squads of death.
  • RES or REZ – “resurrect” – death is overrated.

Did I miss something? Feel free to add to the list in the comments below.

*Terms and abbreviations may very from game to game.

**This is by no means a definitive list of MMO terms and abbreviations.