What does AFK mean? Popular gaming terms explained

Olivia Richman • September 27, 10:20

When players are trying to communicate via chat, it’s often quite easy to come up with quick terms and acronyms that are easy to type out and understood by everyone all over the world. It’s a practice that dates back to the early days of the internet, but it can get a little bit confusing when there’s so much lingo to keep track of in the insular framework of gaming.

Here’s a guide to some of the most well-known and commonly used gaming terms players need to know to better communicate in chat. 

GLHF

This simply means “good luck, have fun.” This is usually said at the start of a match to wish each other luck. It’s a sportsmanlike thing to write and informs the other team that it’s meant to be a fun match, even if it is competitive. 

Salty

salty gaming meaning

This is a commonly used word that means having a negative feeling or reaction to something in-game. It’s even in the Oxford English Dictionary, where it’s described as “an angry and ill-tempered individual.” Someone might act salty or be salty if a Widowmaker headshots them right when they leave spawn or has a teammate draft mid Crystal Maiden. 

Throw

In traditional sports, a boxer “throwing a fight” or a team “throwing a game” means intentionally losing to an opponent. This definition holds up in video games as well, but it can also refer to a team unintentionally giving up a lead and taking a comeback loss.

Tilted

This is pretty similar to “salty.” A tilted player is feeling angry or generally emotional because of something that took place in-game, and intentionally or unintentionally playing worse than usual as a result.

A lot of times getting tilted leads to “throwing” games, which means purposely letting the other team win. Tilted players may often blame their teammates for a bad play and attempt to “punish” them by losing the match. 

Feed

Feeding is giving the enemy team a kill without any sort of trade in return. It’s similar to “throwing” although it’s not always done on purpose. A low-level player may accidentally “feed” the enemy team by giving them easy eliminations. In a lot of games, these eliminations help the team snowball ahead, which isn’t too ideal for the team with the lower level player. 

GG

This means “good game.” This is often said after a match to show there were no hard feelings with the outcome. A winning team will say “GG” to acknowledge the challenge, skills, or effort the losing team put in. The losing team will say it to show they’re not salty about the loss.

In Dota 2 and StarCraft, “GG” is also used as an acknowledgement of defeat and a way of surrendering to an opponent. 

GGWP

This means “good game, well played.” This is quite similar to “GG” except extra polite. 

GGEZ

This means “good game easy” and it’s the opposite of GGWP. Instead of a sportsmanlike nod to the losing team, winning teams will say “GGEZ” to indicate that the other team was quite easy to defeat. This is often interchanged with “EZClap,” another acronym that means the other team wasn’t much of a challenge.

This is often seen as trolling and Blizzard doesn’t even allow it anymore in Overwatch. If a player types “GGEZ” into chat, a pre-written message will appear instead. It will say something like, “It’s past my bedtime. Please don’t tell my mommy” or “Well played, I salute you!” 

AFK

AFK means “away from keyboard.” While it references a keyboard, it’s also used by console players who aren’t using a keyboard. It simply means that a player is inactive.

They either left the match accidentally or are notifying their teammates that they had to leave their desk for some reason. This will inform other players that their character is not going to move, making them vulnerable. Depending on the situation, a player going AFK is a way of throwing a game.

POG

Poggers meaning

“Pog” means to be shocked or surprised, usually when a player feels impressed. POG, POGChamp, and Poggers refer to a Twitch emote of Street Fighter personality Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez in which he appears shocked during a blooper real. While the original meme was a guy, “pog” is often expressed through Pepe the Frog. 

Kappa

Referring to a grayscale Twitch emote of Justin.tv’s Josh DeSeno, which he called “kappa” after a creature in Japanese folklore. It’s now used over 2 million times a day on Twitch. The smirking picture can often be used to express sarcasm or irony. 

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