As with other hobbies, gaming has its own set of unique acronyms and terms—sets of words and phrases that are known to those actively involved in the particular hobby. In today’s society of faster, shorter, and smaller; everyday communication between people has seen a dramatic change. This change has also been seen in the gaming world where rapid responses and quick reactions are the difference between victory and defeat.

What follows are 10 of the most important gaming acronyms and terms, along with easy-to-understand definitions. While this is not meant to be a comprehensive list, it contains gaming acronyms and terms that you would most likely come across while talking or playing with a fellow gamer. Think of this as a crash course in gaming acronyms and terms that will prevent you looking like a “newbie” in front of your gaming friends.

DLC – Downloadable Content

DLC refers to all additional content created for a game that can be purchased online, downloaded, and installed on your console or PC. Similar to an expansion pack, examples of DLC include additional levels, new characters, additional game modes, new challenges or quests, different costumes, etc. Games like Fallout 4, Doom, Guitar Hero Live, and Star Wars Battlefront are just a small sample of games that have DLC available.

HDR – High Dynamic Range

One of the latest terms in the gaming industry, HDR is now supported by the Xbox One S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 4 Pro—the difference is incredible. Essentially, HDR allows for a wider range of colours that have brighter highlights and deeper blacks while maintaining clarity and detail on screen. HDR allows for a more true-to-life presentation on the screen with accurate colours.


K/D Ratio – Kill-Death Ratio

Commonly referred to as KDR, K/D or Kill/Death, this term is used in most online shooters to rank players. You would be ranked higher for ending a game with six kills and zero deaths—a 6 K/D ratio—than you would for 10 kills and six deaths—a 1.6 K/D ratio.

NPC – Non-Playable Character

Sometimes referred to as a non-player character or non-person charter, this gaming term refers to all characters in a game not controlled by the player or another human opponent. This means the character is controlled by the computer through artificial intelligence.

RPG – Role Playing Game

RPG is a type of game where you assume the role of a character within the game/fictional setting. Gamers must act out specific character roles within a story, and gameplay usually stresses social interaction and collaboration between players. If you are looking for a good RPG to play, then you have to check out Paul’s review of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. It’s one of my favourite RPG games this year!


FPS – First-person shooter or Frames per-second

FPS can refer to a first-person shooter, which is a type of game where you view the world around you through the eyes of your character. FPS games are typically centred on weapon-based combat that involves taking down your opponents. Additionally, FPS can refer to frames-per-second displayed on the screen.

The higher the amount of frames displayed on the screen the smoother the action is. Typically a game runs anywhere between 30 fps and 60 fps. If you are even remotely interested in first-person shooters then you will not want to miss Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Read Brad’s review of Battlefield 1 to find out why he thought it was the greatest Battlefield yet.

TFLOPS – Teraflops

With the imminent release of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the upcoming release of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, both Sony and Microsoft have been using this term quite a bit. For example, Project Scorpio was announced at E3 2016 touting the console has six TFLOPS compared to the Xbox One’s 1.31 TFLOPS. In a nutshell, TFLOPS refers to the computing power that a system is capable of, and gives developers the ability to create larger and more complex worlds.

Camper – term used in online shooters

An online term that is used to describe other gamers who stand, sit, or lay still in a strategic position rather than moving around the map in an FPS game. Generally, this allows the player to easily pick off any opponent that comes into sight without giving them any indication that they are in the area. Camping is frowned upon and many consider it cheating. Though I have to admit, taking a camper out sure is satisfying.

4K UHD- 4K Ultra HD

Yet another hot term in the gaming community, 4K Ultra HD refers to the resolution a TV can display. 4K Ultra HD offers four times the resolution of traditional 1080p HD displays with approximately 8 million pixels on the screen. The Xbox One S, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio all support 4K Ultra HD resolutions. Plain and simple, 4K means a more detailed, crisper, and clearer picture than ever before.


HUD – Heads Up Display

In many games you are given a varying amount of on-screen information to assist you as you play. While the information that is displayed on the HUD varies from game to game, commons features are time, weapons, mini-map, time, health, etc. Sometimes, the HUD can be toggled on and off the screen, thereby improving you field of view.

Final thoughts

So there you have it, the 10 most important gaming acronyms and terms used in and around the gaming community. While these are only a fraction of the gaming acronyms and terms used in the gaming community, you now have an understanding that can help you converse with your gaming friends. Furthermore, terms like TFLOPS, HDR, FPS, and 4K UHD can help you make informed gaming choices on upcoming purchases from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.

Are there are acronyms or terms you think should have been included in my list but weren’t? Let me know in the comments section below.

Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.