Game Terminology

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It is not jargon, it is a way of life

This article is intended to cover all of the slang terms used in Anarchy Online, as well as all of the terminology for the many important game concepts at work not only in Anarchy Online, but other MMORPGs, PFSs, and RTS games where applicable to AO.

"Soft-driven, slow and mad, like some new language" - Texas Radio and the Big Beat

Equipment and Item[edit]

  • Breakpoints
  • EQ
  • Equipment Weapons Armor Utilities HUD Inventory Deck
  • Slot Belt Neck Back Wrist Finger
  • Unique (item)
  • Util
  • Implant
  • loot
  • loot rights
  • NPC
  • Mob
  • Mission
  • Reclaim
  • Splitable. Press left ctrl and left mouse click on the stacked item and drag to the right to increase the count; left to decrease it. Release the left mouse; move the mouse cursor to an empty slot in inventory and left click.
  • SSC. The Star Steel Corporation and its products all or mostly found in The Gauntlet
  • Stackable multiple items with a count number displayed at upper left are almost always stackable (the whiskey from Biomare is a rare exception). Pick up one item or items, place it on the other to stack it.
  • Kiosk - Terminal
  • trade
  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • Burst cycle
  • Requirements
  • Attack Skills (nano)
  • Equip time
  • Attack time
  • Recharge
  • Recharge time
  • Clip
  • Ammo
  • Slot
  • Instas (only from items, in AO)



(One Handed Edged)




  • Absorb : Stops damage and sometimes, instead heals an amount of damage
  • AC. Armor Class. Damage reduction is 10% of the value of the AC. Damage type and AC type are compared, damage taken off the top, down to the minimum damage. Shadowlands enemies have high ACs, necessitating weapons with high minimum damage
  • AE : Area effect: effect takes place in a given area. AoE : Area of Effect : the area, although the two are both used to mean an effect in an area
  • Behe: Strength/Stamina buff from Enforcer, the Behemoth line
  • CC : Crowd Control
  • PBAE. Point Blank Area Effect. Effect with a short range or only a radius around the user
  • Chant, Pulse, Pulsing Effect, Pulsing PBAE : Continuous effect of a given radius which is checked for what it affects at intervals
  • Cone Effect : effect whose area is a cone, or more accurately a section of a circle, starting at the caster and radiating outward
  • Damage Shield. Set value of damage incurred by attackers. Name may be used to mean Reflect, but this mechanic is not currently in AO
  • DD : Direct Damage. Can mean damage instantaneously, with nanos, or damage directly to the target at melee range, depending on which game the player played before AO. Since there is a term for the latter already: "melee", it makes sense to use DD to mean ranged Nano damage.
  • Debuff : Opposite of a buff; something that is detrimental to the target's abilities
  • DoT: Damage over Time
  • EoB : Essence of Behemoth, Str/Sta, Enforcer
  • EP : Extreme Prejudice Engineer Pistol buff
  • ES : Enhanced Senses Agent Sense buff
  • FG : Feline Grace Agent Agility buff
  • Ground Targeted AE : GTAE
  • GSF : Gridspace Freedom Fixer +720 Run Speed and 79 Evades
  • HoT, Regen, regeneration : Heal over Time
  • Lifetap : Deals damage, heals the user
  • Life Bestow : Damages user, heals the target
  • Meep: Teleport nano. To Grid-Fixer and Doctor, or to City-Nanotechnician
  • Mongo. Enforcer Aggro nano
  • Nuke : Usually instantaneous damage from a distance
  • Nano Tap : damages target's nano (points), heals user's nano
  • Nano Bestow. AO is one of few games where, eg Traders can give some of their Nano to friendlies.
  • Reflect. Damage reduced, and up to a set value incurred by attackers
  • Nanoline. Effects from nanos in the same line do not "Stack", ie add their effects and both remain in the NCU.
  • SFA : Superior First Aid Doctor +80 to Treatment and First Aid
  • Stacking Order. When nanos in the same line are cast, either is added and the other taken away or the 2nd cannot be cast with an error message, depending on the stacking order
  • School : Category of nano. Storytelling mostly, although it does organize and inform the players of tactical applications
  • Shield : Stops an amount of damage. 10x more effective than ACs, for the number value, since ACs stop their value divided by ten.
  • Visual Profession


  • Ladder - Implanting an implant with Abilities or Treatment that enable higher implants with Abilities or Treatment that enable higher implants, etc.
  • Leet or 1337: See Leet. Another variation in the term is Munchkin, from tabletop roleplaying games, where the connotation is more that the player is choosing to task themselves with chores and grab all the material rewards without enjoying the challenge and the aesthetics of the game as a story or drama; and/or putting stress on other players' enjoyment of these experiences.
  • PK, MK, Grief - Player Killer or Player Killing - more of a term from MMOs with permanent PvP, where the slightly negative connotation comes from the business of leveling being interrupted by someone else's decision to engage in PvP. If the PK is seen as relentless and cruel, this might be termed Griefing. MK, or Monster Kill, is a type of PK where the ambushed player is busy fighting a difficult target when the PKer decides to attack, especially if the PK waited until their victim was engaged and even more especially if the PKer let the monster kill the victim so they would lose XP.
  • Twink - To Ladder implants, equip the best gear (usually expensive) on a character. A character so equipped, usually a lower level character being funded by a higher level character.


  • Aggro - an enemy's intention to attack a player target. Enforcer and other nanos and even some items can modify
  • Crowd Control : Blind, Calm, Mez, Root, Snare
  • Attack speed : Initiative, Init. Speed : The old system had these Skills in a separate section : Melee Init, Nano Init, Physical Init, Ranged Init, Runspeed
  • Evade : The old system had all the evades in a different section


  • Aggro - the attention of an enemy. Enforcer and other nanos and even some items can modify
  • Add, Social: "Social" enemies will "add" into a combat.
  • BAF: Bring A Friend. Enemies adding to the combat if they see one of their kind either attacked, or in combat, or attacking a player. Rarely, it can even be another type of creature
  • Boss and Uniques
  • Spawn: Enemies enter the game world instantly, and thankfully in AO there is code to PREVENT them spawning too close to players, rather than the way it is in some other games, where the code actively MAKES them spawn too close
  • Unique Encounters
  • camp
  • Dyna Camp
  • Kite, kiting: Attacking an enemy while moving, with instacast nanos or melee or a pet, while staying out of the range of the enemy's attacks. Moreso in other games, it can mean running between attacks; the evasion is what counts, more than the means of attacking
  • Proximity Aggro - some enemies attack when you get too close, rather than only when you attack them

Team and Raid[edit]

See also Assist, Concentration of Fire, Raids
  • 12m : Two-team raid, twelve people, hence 12 man raid. Almost exclusively used for in reference to The Xan raid
  • Team, group, squad, Team leader, Team lead. On the lower right hand side is the Team button. AO has a maximum of eight members in its player groups, which most call Teams. F1 targets yourself, F2 the team leader, and then the other members.
  • Healer - In AO, everyone is a healer, as they can use their healing items on other players. But Doctor is the pro, and a few other profs can heal to lesser extents.
  • Support Profession. Buffs and Usually, professions other than damage dealers and Tanks; sometimes other than those and healers. This term means so much less in Anarchy Online, where every profession has some support capabilities, everyone has decent armor, and Adventurers and Traders can heal and everyone has meds to heal. But probably the best example of it in AO is the Fixer, with damage add, runspeed, HoT, NCU buff, evade buffs and Grid Meeps
  • Assist, Caller or Main Assist Caller may be called, somewhat redundantly, Dedicated or Assigned.
  • Tank: Soak up damage. Wear heavy armor that prevents damage. Keep Aggro to prevent less protected team members from taking too much damage. Adventurers and to a lesser extent Traders add a different angle, and and heal themselves with nanos as well as meds; this both makes them able to take damage, and gives them aggro.
  • Light tank. Not really a thing in AO. Armor is identical. Usually light tanks do more damage to offset their lighter armor.
  • Buff: an effect that enhances character abilities
  • Ninja: short for "loot ninja". Someone who takes more than their share of the loot, or doing that.
  • Pull, Puller. There are many sorts of pulls, but the basic principle is for a single player to bring an enemy or enemies to the team. This is almost always done with the aim of greater safety; if not reducing the number of attackers, then at least to prevent being too close to enemies when they respawn. Pets are often good pullers because monsters can have code to not concern themselves with fights against pets. Dedicated Tank classes will often have a nano specifically designed for pulling single targets without aggroing other enemies around them
  • Body Pull: coming into the aggro range of one monster without entering the range of others. Attempts to pull the one, where attacking would aggro all of them

Ability and Skill[edit]

See Melee and Ranged, Ability, Skill

  • Ranged Weapons: Aimed Shot, Burst, Fling, Full Auto
  • Melee Weapons : Fast Attack, Brawl, Dimach. Flurry of Blows is a related, Shop-buyable item
  • Profession
  • Body
  • Trade & Repair
  • Nano and Casting. Formerly Nano and Aiding
  • Multi Ranged, Multi Melee: Using two of the same type of weapon. Weapons that can do this have a value for the required amount of either skill. If they are two different weapons, the lower of the two requirements is used. Before you get the admittedly bright idea of using some low QL weapon in the left hand, FunCom is way ahead of you; the total amount of damage done by two weapons is not simply a matter of addition. It actually hurts the damage output of a strong weapon in the right hand, to put a weak weapon in the left hand.
  • Attack Rating, Attack Skill, Attack Rating Cap : The weapon is only half of the damage output story. With any weapon equipped, the damage output will always be higher if the attack rating becomes higher. This is done by increasing the Attack Skill of the weapon. The Attack Rating cap is roughly speaking (with the caveat that the mechanic has changed and may be changed by the time this is read) the highest amount of the Attack Skill that counts to increase damage. After that, more of that skill only increases the chance to hit
  • Train, IP Spending Improvement Points to obtain higher levels of Skills
  • Heal Delta
  • Nano Delta
  • Defense, Add All Defense, AAD
  • Offense, Add All Offense, AAO : A powerful bonus to damage calculation. Eg, +10 AAO is more effective than +10 damage
  • Pet : Engineer and Bureaucrat robots, or Metaphysicist heal, attack, and mez creatures. Adventurers in animal form should be given the more respectful name, "mascot". Just joking
  • Pet Pull : one of the ways to pull proximity aggro creatures that do not add; it has the advantage of longer range than ranged attacks, but is (slightly) more dangerous than pulling to a dedicated [[#Teams and Raids|Tank]
  • Burst Cycle : The time it takes for Burst to be ready to use again, a type of Cooldown separate to
  • Attack Rating : The more Attack Skill, the higher the Attack Rating
  • Attack Skills : The Skills checked for their values to determine additional damage with a weapon or nano, or effectiveness of Debuffs
  • Tradeskill

Visible Game Mechanic[edit]

  • Attack (Time), Recharge (Time), (Cooldown). The two status bar "timer"s at the top left show the amount of time it takes to attack, and the amount of time after the attack before you can start the timer to attack again. This is affected by the amount and type of Initiative that the equipped weapon uses (Ranged, Melee, Physical). See AggDef and Initiatives for more details.
  • Flag (item use), Locked. Items are Flagged with attributes such as Wear, (allowing them to be equipped), Eat (for nanos and First Aid items, allowing them to be consumed). If an item that would normally be allowed to do these things is not allowed, it is called Locked. Also it can be flagged as NOT allowing something, eg instead of and this is also called Locked. Or a piece can be flagged as allowing something it would not normally, such as "Can Wear With Social Armor", which allows it, for example, to be worn with Grid Armor.
    • Side, Sided : Omni or Clan or Neutral Side players can be Locked out of using Equipment either of two ways: either specifying a particular faction, locking out two, or specifying NOT a certain faction, locking only that one out. Sided more implies that it is locked out of two, although the term can be used for either distinction.
  • OE Overequipped; items on a character that no longer meets their requirements (buff running out) turn red, and become either 75% or 50% less effective in a few respects. Notably, these handicaps do not include bonuses to skills or abilities, so buffing armor like Neleb's Nanomaster Robe will continue to provide its +15 to nanoskills, even when its defense is lowered by OE, and a weapons like Concrete Cushion will continue to provide their +8 to the Stamina and Strength abilities. Plus damage is unaffected, but Add All Defense AAD and AAO Add All Offense are reduced


  • Tell : a message from a player, originally a message command, "/tell X Y", where X is the name of the player and Y is the message
  • AI Alien Invasion
  • QL : Quality Level. Usually a (very rough) indication of the power of the item relative to Player Level
  • ML : Monster Level
  • PL : Player Level
  • PvP Player vs Player. Combat against something with a brain. On the other hand, in Duels, also sometimes a combat between rock and scissors. This can be avoided by playing Team PvP (e.g. Battle Station or Tower Wars)
  • PvE Player vs Enemy (computer controlled monsters)
  • PvM Another word for PvE, meaning 'Player vs Monster' or 'Player vs Mob'
  • Flag (PvP) : Players are flagged as attackable by other players if they attack the other side's players or guards (and this can include hostile enemies in places like the outside of Biomare, not just the guards in cities that might only attack if attacked)


  • Cursor. In AO Classic, a light blue/grey arrow pointing up and to the left.
  • Drag and Drop. Not often a thing in AO. Click on an item, say in inventory, and you do not have to hold down the key to move it. The "Drag" part implies that you do.
  • Quickbar, Hotbar : Start the game with a bar with ten slots on it, and ten rows of slots. More can be added. The bars can be locked so nothing can be changed by accident.
  • Icon : the pictures signifying Nanos, Macros, loot items, etc

Expansion content[edit]

Behind the Scenes[edit]

  • Code; Patch. : What makes the program run, and how it is done; an addition or change to the code.
    • Script, Trigger : Any change to the current state of the code can be set to be a trigger for another Scripted coded mini-program, or Event. Add to this, the fact that there is no such thing as Random in video games, and you have a devil's playground of temptation that no coder in gaming seems to be able to resist. Like that Robot Chicken skit with new contestants surviving the previous sequence of traps that killed the previous contestants only to die horribly when they encounter the next one.
  • Devs : Developers of the game, the staff of FunCom. Coders.
  • Froob : free player; root is 'noob', but that connotation is barely noticeable now
  • Flavor text : AO has way more of this than it has things you can use. So you will almost certainly find yourself, at some point, staring at something completely useless in a Shop terminal, reading all about its past history and manufacture and

particulars of its operating capacity or what happened to the people who invented or used it or the life of crime they led in order to obtain the financial backing to manufacture it with

  • Instance (name for the individual playfields created for Missions, originated in AO and used by other games)
  • Mob (Dev term now in common usage by players, see Mob)
  • PH : Placeholder-a mob that spawns in the place of another, more desirable mob, which respawns instead after the placeholder is killed
  • Sloob : Shadowlands (SL) player; root is 'noob', but that connotation, once ironic, is rarely applicable and little used now
  • Requirements
  • Cap : Any upper limit of a limitation. So, to stretch the usage a little, since it more often applies to equipment, there is a level 25 cap on entering the Subway. There is usually a cap on Attack Skill for weapons, where exceeding the limit will only increase chance to hit, and not add damage

Getting Around[edit]

  • Borgs : usually referring to the Cyborg spawn in the center of Mort
  • EFP : Eastern Fouls Plains
  • FE Finest Edition shop (with Trader terminal), a meeting place for Clan
  • HUD Heads Up Display
  • Map, Minimap, Planet Map. Different maps can be downloaded for player use. The dots shown on the map used to only display if the player had spent IP to obtain the correct amount of Map Navigation ability
  • Meep: Teleport nano. To Grid-Fixer and Doctor, or to City-Nanotechnician
  • MMD : Meetmedere
  • OAG Old Athen Grid, a meeting place for Clan
  • OE in the navigational sense, Omni-1 Entertainment
  • Zone: Game area. zone border, zone wall, Teleport Wall :, purple coruscating energy, usually; transition between zones. Zone, verb, to teleport from one side of the wall to another


See Who Buffs What for other likely acronym sources


ES Enhanced Senses
Sense buff
FG Feline Grace
Agility buff
FP False Profession
Take the Shot Take the Shot - buff Aimed Shot 130 and CriticalIncrease 4
Unexpected Attack Unexpected Attack - buff Rifle 120 and Sneak Attack 30


SFA Specialized First Aid - Treatment buff


Behe - one of the Behemoth buffs from the top end of the Enforcer's Strength/Stamina line


the 131-point Wrangle

Various articles[edit]