This is a glossary of various official and player terminology seen in varying levels of usage among players of the game. They can range from names, nicknames, slang, acronyms, and much more.
For alternative hero names and shortenings, plus alternative names for individual abilities, see Glossary/Hero shortenings.
Please note: Any terms on this page must be as clear-cut as possible. All terms must be related to Overwatch or the game's community explicitly. Other online terminology can be found on Urban Dictionary.
Editors: when adding new terms, please use the source editor to add them as members of a Definition List. You can then use the visual editor to write the actual text.
- A group containing the given number of players.
- A team composition of 2 Tanks, 2 Supports, and 2 DPS heroes.
- The Assault gamemode. Abbreviation for 2-Capture Point, as the game mode requires the attacking team to capture two objective points.
- A team composition usually used on defense to counter a dive composition. This comp consists of Orisa as the main tank, and Mercy Zen as the healers.
- It can either be Soldier: 76's ultimate, Tactical Visor, or a cheating device that a players uses to automatically target enemies (which is completely frowned upon).
- Baby D.Va
- D.Va without her MEKA suit.
- Refers to a combination of Nano Boost, Death Blossom, and occasionally, Crossfade: Speed. The name originates from the anime and manga series Beyblade.
- An alternate term for Orisa's ultimate, Supercharger as the shape of the device is akin to a bongo drum.
- Another term when a player gets knocked back. Also means Lucio's Alt Fire or Pharah's Concussive Blast.
- An instance where a Lúcio receives a Nano Boost by accident.
- Bloo (Blue)
- The random players found when queueing non-6-stack. (see also Random/rando)
- Bunny Blaster
- Another name for D.Va's Light Gun.
- An instance when a player with higher skill helps a low skill player to gain SR/rank. Therefore, the low skill player will be playing at a higher rank. For example, a silver player suddenly jumping to Grandmaster after one season. This usually results in poor play because the low skill player will not be able to perform better than the person who boosted him.
- Shorthand for badmouthing, bad manners. Refers to toxic behaviour.
- The set of 4-5 players displayed at the end of the match. All 12 players can then vote on the player they think performed best. You are allowed to vote for yourself. Reaching 5 / 10 votes grant that player bonus experience.
- An individual player, much better than the rest of their team, winning the game for them.
- Cooldown - when using an ability, there is a short amount of time before it can be used again.
- Crowd Control - abilities that allows players to force enemies into tough positions or off the map (i.e. Roadhog Ult or Hook, Pharah's concussive blast, Junkrat mine, etc.)
- A player who will chase a fleeing enemy for a long period of time to get the kill. Knowing that a player is a chaser can be valuable since they can be baited away from the point or payload.
- Cheese/Cheese Comp/Cancer Comp
- Strategies or team compositions that are considered cheap or lazy at low-level, usually because the skill required to counter it is much greater than the skill required to perform it (although it has been pointed out by some commentators that technically, any strategy that does not have this property should never be used). At high level these are rarely used because all players are highly skilled. Here are a few examples:
- Pharmercy (Pharah + Mercy) A team combination of Pharah and Mercy. Pharah flies above shooting rockets while Mercy repeatedly uses Guardian Angel and Angelic Descent to remain in the air while healing or buffing Pharah. Considered cheesy because it is difficult to deal with except by dealing sustained hit-scan damage to an erratically moving target at long range, which can create skill cliffs or lock out heroes that cannot deal long-range hit-scan damage. It also has highly variable effectiveness between console and PC due to the relative difficulty of aiming with a thumbstick as opposed to a mouse (although this also applies to the Pharah)
- Patheon (Symmetra Shields + Brigitte Rally + Torbjorn Armor) This involves putting more health on their team to make them more durable and less likely to get one-shotted.
- Pirate Ship/El Presidente (Bastion + Orisa or Rein Shields + Mercy Damage Boost) This is usually used on payload based maps. It involves the Bastion parking himself on the payload while Orisa/Rein protects him with their shields, along with a Mercy to Damage Boost him. Unlike Pharmercy, this is considered cheesy because of team coordination: the coordination required to perform it is fairly obvious and easily set up even without communication, but defeating this requires a timed flanking attack which needs very precise team co-ordination and can be nearly impossible without comms. A team that trickles (see below) against a Pirate Ship is doomed every time.
- A narrow area where the attacking team is forced to go through
- 1. The "Competitive" game mode
- 2. The team "Composition" - the range of characters picked on a team and how well they work with each other.
- Conga Line
- An alternative term for Trickling; also a player failing to respond to someone attacking them from behind, trying to rush ahead anyway.
- When a team loses the match because no one was paying attention to the objective, or got off it accidentally. Derived from the esports team Cloud 9, who famously lost a match by forgetting about the payload.
- Car Wash
- Refers to a room or location, usually a chokepoint, filled with an absurd number of Symmetra turrets.
- A teamplay style focusing on the team sticking together and synergizing with others in order to win fights. The two main team strategies for Overwatch are Deathball and Dive. (Alternative: a physics basketball with Symmetra turrets mounted on it.)
- Deep Strike
- To pass over/under/through the enemy's defense line and onto the point/payload, forcing some of the enemy team to turn around and deal with you and thus breaking apart the line.
- A Deep Strike strategy performed by the entire team, aiming to jump on the opponent's back line and kill one or more characters by targeting them individually and then escaping, thus weakening the whole enemy team for any future fight.
- Dive Comp
- A set of heroes picked to enable Dive strategies. Favorite dive comp heroes are highly mobile damage dealers such as Tracer, Genji, mobile shielding tanks like Winston and D.Va, and Lucio for his speed boost.
- Dive Meta
- The combination of game and hero design aspects which encourages the use of a Dive Comp. Many of the early year's Competitive seasons of Overwatch were considered to have Dive Meta.
- Double Point
- The Assault game mode (because there are two points to capture).
- Damage Per Second. A measure of how much damage a player, hero, or weapon does. Also used to describe a type of hero who specializes in dealing large amounts of damage.
- Dry Push
- An attack where none of the attackers use their ultimates so that all ultimates can be used together on the next push.
- A character's second special ability, from the key used to activate it on PC. On consoles it is usually the right shoulder button.
- A shorthand request from a Mercy player, meaning "go to the edge of the platform you are standing on, so I can see you and use Guardian Angel". Usually ends up being repeated multiple times with increasing frustration, alternating with the "need healing" standard line.
- ELO Hell
- Being trapped in a low Competitive rank because you are put in teams with others who drag you down. Possibly a legitimate claim where team cooperation is a problem. Possibly just boasting. From the ELO Rating System used for calculating scores.
- It means "Easy", but it's pronounced "Eeez". This is usually said after a one-sided stomp. Or claiming the match was "easy", even when it's clearly a tough match. Which is very annoying to the losing team. It is usually typed with the words "GG". But in Overwatch, it will be filtered out.
- To allow enemies to rack up kills and thus charge their Ultimates quickly is "feeding them". On most teams, always what the other person is doing.
- Flash Fan
- As McCree, the combination of Flashbang followed by Fan the Hammer, which can kill or deal substantial damage to most heroes.
- A player skilled in a diverse range of heroes. Flex players in esports play whatever hero the team needs at a given time, rather than sticking with a particular role.
- Forcing 50 Percent
- The belief, commonly stated but never explicitly acknowledged, that the Overwatch matchmaker attempts to enforce a 50 percent win-rate for each individual player to prevent them becoming either bored or frustrated. Usually referred to in frustration that it exacerbates the effect of SR imbalance (below) or eventually forces players who are "winning too much" into unwinnable matches by placing them on outclassed teams.
- Competitive gaming term for a kill or elimination. First coined in the game Doom.
- The ability to know what is going on in the match as a whole, rather than in only your individual perception of it. Critical to team cooperation at higher levels of play.
- Gold Medal Fallacy
- The belief that because a player has a gold medal in a given stat, indicating they are #1 in their team in that stat, they must be playing well or correctly. Untrue, since a) the team could be bad also, or being sabotaged by their behavior; and b) "trash damage" and other phenomena can distort the stats.
- Short for "good game". Usually said after the game ending as a thank you and a sign of good sportsmanship. Occasionally said before the end of the game sarcastically, which is the sign of very bad sportsmanship.
- Hanzo Main
- The term used derogatively to refer to a player who only plays Hanzo and refuses to change to another hero even if they are not favouring the team's progression. It is used to refer to any player using his/her main ignoring teamwork even if it is other than Hanzo. Generally, this player does not join team chat or communicate with other players.
- Refers to guns which do not shoot bullets that are visible in the game world, but simply hit if the enemy is lined up with the sights. For example, McCree is hitscan and Pharah is not.
- The amount of difference a player's actions make to the team winning the map objective.
- Impact Frag
- Killing an enemy hero or heroes in a way that makes a significant difference to the map objective. Usually used as the opposite of "Trash damage" (see below).
- Rushing to select a hero before someone else does and they become unselectable due to stacking limits (see below). Usually used as an insult with the implication that the player paid no regard to the team comp when selecting the hero.
- King of the Hill
- Alternate name for the Control game mode.
To increase distance between your hero and the enemy, usually used when you are at a disadvantage and need to disengage.
- Abbreviation for King Of The Hill.
- A player who quits a match in the middle. In Casual Play, this is annoying, but the player can be replaced. In Competitive Play this is devastating as it means that either the match will be shut down, or one team will have to play the remainder of the match a man short, which will almost certainly mean they lose and suffer full SR loss for doing so. (Earlier versions of Overwatch would reduce SR loss as compensation if a team had a leaver, but this resulted in players deliberately leaving, or even being told to leave, when their team was losing.)
- Looking For Team
- Line Of Sight. Most abilities that affect other players require them to be visible.
- A character's default fire mode, as the mouse button used for it on the PC. On consoles, it is the right shoulder button.
- A character's alternate fire, as the mouse button used for it on PC. On consoles, it is the left shoulder button.
- 1. The hero a player uses a majority of the time.
- 2. The midsection or most used route of the map.
- Main Tank
- A Tank hero that can effectively lead their team's charge and protect several people at once, i.e. Reinhardt, Winston, or Orisa.
- Map Out
- To kill someone by pushing them off the legal map. From the similar term "Ring Out" in fighting games.
- "Metagame": the aspects of the game which are more about the relationships between the players than the actual rules of the game. In Overwatch, usually refers to team dynamics. Essentially, it's the "game within the game", specifically, looking at how the strength of each hero changes throughout different iterations of the game via patches, nerfs, and buffs to heroes, changing the way heroes work with and against each other based on how the developers change the heroes.
- Match Making Rank. A "hidden" rank stored together with your SR in Competitive mode that influences who you are match with and how many SR you gain or lose when winning or losing a match. Blizzard have suggested this is calculated by comparing your performance to others who play that hero.
- A combination of Nano Boost and an Ultimate ability, with (X) being a part of the Ultimate ability's name. Some common names include NanoVisor, NanoBlade, and NanoHog
- Nope / to Nope
- To cancel a character's Ultimate by killing them. Sometimes used as a team callout to tell your team that a previous Ultimate announcement is no longer relevant.
- A Tank hero that can't protect their team the way a main tank can, but can still absorb a lot of damage, i.e. D.Va, Roadhog, or Zarya.
- One Life Rule
- "On Defense you only get one life." Rule in force at the highest levels of play with highly coordinated teams; a team that can overcome a defensive strategy will likely pick off remaining heroes and then 6-hero capture the point, which can happen so quickly that respawning and returning to the point even once can be too slow.
- One Trick
- A player who plays only one hero, even if this does not fit in with the requirements of the team. A main complaint against Solo Queue play is that a mismatched team of One Trick players can end up in an unwinnable match.
- Pushing too far forward in the direction of the enemy team and/or their spawn room.
- The Escort mode.
- Alternate term for "Edge" as a request (as above).
- To lightly spray shoot someone with a scattering weapon, used with some characters such as Dva, Reaper, and Roadhog.
- From "pick off" - to kill single critical enemy players in the opposing team, as opposed to winning a fight between entire teams.
- For a fast character, typically Tracer, to run around on the point as fast as possible - not prioritizing killing enemies but just being hard to hit in order to remain there and contest the point while teammates arise. Also sometimes used for Mercy when using Guardian Angel to quickly move between groups of teammates healing them. Rarely, used as a verb for the Guardian Angel ability itself.
- Point to Payload
- The Assault/Escort game mode, which consists of capturing a point then escorting a payload. Also "Hybrid", "Assault to Payload", "Assault to Escort", etc.
- Poke at the Choke
- A fight where the attacking team stands near/outside a choke point and does not initiate, making little progress and often dealing trash damage to the defending team.
- Refers to guns which shoot bullets that are visible in the game world and have travel time before it can hit the target, in contrary to Hitscan . For example, Pharah's Rocket Launcher, Hanzo's Storm Bow, and Junkrat's Grenade Launcher are projectile weapons, while Soldier 76's and McCree's guns are Hitscan. Ana is unusual: her Scoped Shot is hitscan, but her Unscoped Shot is projectile.
- Usually means a healer who exclusively sticks to just one player and only heals him rather than the whole team.
- Pick Up Games. Means playing with randoms, usually in Quick Play.
- An alternate name for an ultimate ability, as the key used to activate it on the PC. By default, Y or Triangle on consoles.
- Random or Rando
- The random players found when queueing non-6-stack.
- A character's first special ability, from its key used on the PC. Usually the left bumper on consoles.
- Skill Cap
- The maximum amount of technical skill that can be expressed playing a given hero. If two players of equal skill playing different heroes duel, the hero with the higher skill cap has an advantage because they can express more of their skill before running into the limitations of their hero. In pro and high level play, using high skill cap heroes is almost mandatory. Tracer, Genji and Widowmaker are examples of heroes with a high skill cap.
- A secondary account created by a player which is deliberately engineered into a lower competitive tier than the player's main account. A typical case is in which a group of high level players play together; if one of those players uses a secondary account with an artificially lowered SR, the team's average SR will be lower, causing all team members - including those on their main accounts - to gain more SR when they win.
- Solo Meta
- The game environment in which each player chooses their own hero without regard to the choices made by other players. Usually results in an unusually disjointed game that descends into tragedy-of-the-commons arguments where each player insists someone else should be the one to switch.
- Solo Queue
- Playing without a group, in Quick or Competitive matches that draw players randomly from a queue. Probably the most common mode of play, but also looked down on by "pro" players because of its tendency to limit team tactics.
- Solo Ult
- Using an Ultimate only on a single member of the enemy team.
- SR Imbalance
- When, in Competitive mode, a player is regularly losing more SR points for a loss than they gain for a win. This means that the player will tend to lose rank even in average play.
- 1. Having multiple people playing one hero on a team; see Hero stacking.
- 2. When the effects from an ability increase with each additional simultaneous use of that ability; for example, the increasing slowing effect from each Sentry Turret.
- Alternate term for Trickling.
- A hero with a low maximum health and/or no way to mitigate damage done to them.
- A character's Ultimate.
- Syncro Suicide
- Deliberately killing your own hero when most of your team is dead, to ensure that you respawn at the same time as them and can join in the next push without waiting. While it may be an option to retreat and wait for your team, killing yourself can be a better option than risking the rest of the enemy team hunting you down and killing you separately from anyone else, meaning that the rest of your team must wait for you to respawn or else leave you trickling (see below)
- To step onto the capture point, causing overtime to reset, even with no intention or expectation of being able to stay there.
- Helping a Mercy by standing at max Guardian Angel range outside of spawn so that she may reunite with the team sooner.
- a) Intentionally attempting to lose a match ("direct throwing"). Sometimes done just to troll, sometimes with a deliberate intent to lower one's own SR, and sometimes threatened as an ultimatum to enforce a given team composition.
- b) Choosing not to play seriously in a competitive environment ("indirect throwing") - not trying to lose, but not playing purely to win. Usually done because a player is on tilt (below) or has given up. Not considered as unpleasant as direct throwing because it is an understandable consequence of being demoralised, but almost as damaging to the play experience for others; especially dangerous because it is infectious.
- From Poker, anger or frustration that damages the quality of a person's play. A player who is angry and playing badly as a result is on tilt or tilted.
- Alternate name for Tag: touching the objective to trigger overtime countdown.
- Trash Damage
- Damage inflicted in a way that does not generate important kills for your team; for example, damage that the opponent immediately heals. This creates a misleading Damage stat on the medals screen.
- A series of individual players running in one-by-one to an entrenched team and being hopelessly cut down. What usually happens if a team is losing and they aren't coordinating properly.
- Zenyatta's Ultimate, Transcendence.
- Alternate names for Ultimate Ability
- How much impact is gained from certain actions compared to the potential impact they can make.
- Widowmaker's Ultimate. From a term for a computer program used for cheating which either makes walls and other solid objects partially transparent or reveals other players behind obstructions.
- Wet Push
- The logical opposite of a Dry Push: an attack using a large number of ultimates, possibly including a Wombo Combo (below). Can be exaggerated as a single that the enemy has used up their ultimates: "that last push was soaking wet".
- Wombo Combo
- Combining an offensive Ultimate ability with a setup ability. The setup ability is most often Zarya's Graviton Surge, but can apply if the ability is Reinhardt's Earthshatter, Orisa's Halt!, etc.
- YouTube Smurf
- A Smurf account (see above) created for the purpose of making videos to post on YouTube or Twitch to show how bad play at low levels is, or how easily a skilled player can dominate everyone at those levels. Also shows the creator to be willing to ruin multiple peoples' games for a few views, since they will usually Throw (above) to reach the low levels thus damaging games, and then Carry (above) once they are there thus corrupting the players' SRs. Arguably the worst kind of smurf.