Apr 24, 2011
If you’re new to gaming then some of the jargon that you see (especially on forums, twitter and other social areas) can be particularly confusing. So here’s a heads up on the low down of gaming Jargon:
fps (Frames Per Second)
Usually associated with PC gaming when relating how awesome your graphics card is – the higher the fps the better. Low frame rate can make for a painful gaming experience both in terms of eye strain, but also in gaming performance. Jerky, laggy graphics can make the difference between doing well and being full of fail in game.
FPS (First Person Shooter)
A first person shooter game is a 3-D based game where your primary objective is to shoot things. These types of games are always military based whether set in the past or the future with you as the protagonist being pitted against enemy soldiers, marauding aliens or some mix of the both. To date, you cannot see your feet in an FPS game, no matter how hard you look down. Under certain circumstances, usually single player FPS games, you may see your feet when performing special actions such as kicking open a door. An example of this is in the game Bullet Storm by Epic Games/EA. Other notable FPS game series are Doom, Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Ping relates to the time it takes information to be received by a server or host. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms) and the lower it is the better for you. Ping is especially important in connection based games such as the Call of Duty series as high ping results in a delay in the information relating to your position and activity reaching the host machine. As such, in an encounter where both players press fire at the same time in actuality, the player with host, or a lower ping to host will win the encounter. In most cases there is little that you can do to reduce a high ping if there is a problem with your connection. However, ensuring that your machine is connected directly to your modem/router via a cable and no connection intensive programs such as file sharing or even email/twitter/facebook/skype are running will help keep your ping as low as possible.
Host refers to a machine that is acting as a server for an online game. In console gaming lacking dedicated servers the host will be automatically selected by the game software – it is unusual for a player to opt to be host. The player with ‘Host’ will have an ping of 0ms (see ‘Ping’ above). This means that the player with ‘Host’ will in most cases have an advantage over other players in terms of hit recognition and show down results. Unfortunately, in the event that a game picks a poor host then the gaming experience for all people in that lobby will be adversely affected and may result in ‘Host Migration’ or even closure of the lobby.
Unlike a Host connection, a dedicated server is a centralised machine that all gamers connect to to play. In most cases it’s not going to be a single computer as quantum computing is not quite there yet and so you should be thinking more of a server farm with a big fat internet connection to it. Large companies such as EA will have dedicated servers for different regions in order to accommodate the varying ping rates from across the globe. For example, a player from the UK playing on an American server can expect to have a ping of 170ms+ compared to a local player with a ping of <50ms. There are pros and cons to both dedicated and non-dedicated server set ups, but in reality these are dictated by the games and game types.
Lag is caused by a high ping, also known as latency. Symptoms of lag include ‘rubber banding’ where your player character will move across the landscape and then snap back to a position they were at a couple of seconds previously. Lag can also effect hit registration and the ability to fire weapons in FPS games. Lag can be caused by a number of things including your connection, or a problem with the host you are connecting to.
This is a method of cheating that involves disrupting the information flowing from your games machine to the internet in order to gain an advantage over other players. In most cases it just results in you getting kicked from the game. Ideally it should make your games machine explode as no one likes a pathetic cheat.
To be continued