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Starcraft 2 - Speak the Language of Gamers

Updated on November 11, 2011

GL HF? What does that mean?

In Starcraft 2, like in many online games, there's a multitude of abbreviations that may not be immediately obvious to the newcomer. This article attempts to explain many of the common terms and short forms of words gamers use online.

Common Starcraft 2 Terms

All-in: An attack strategy where the attacker sacrifices so much economy to execute the attack, that if it fails to do sufficient damage, he will never be able to catch up in economy and will lose the game. Common all-ins include the 4-Gate, Roach-Ling, 2-Starport Banshee, 2-Stargate Void Ray, and 6-Pool Zergling Rush.

BFH = Blue Flame Hellions. Indicates Hellion units that have received the Infernal Pre-Igniter damage upgrade (which makes them spout blue flame instead of orange).

BM = Bad Manners or Bad Mannering, generally talking trash or raging.

Cannon Rush: A Protoss strategy where pylons and then cannons are placed near or in the opponent's base and then built towards enemy structures until they can hit them.

Cheese: A strategy relying on the opponent not noticing it until it's too late, but can be shut down completely if detected early.

Death ball = army composition that is hard to beat once it reaches a certain size

Defender's Advantage: The ability of the defender to reinforce faster than the attacker and to build fixed defenses against attacks.

FE: Fast Expand

FFE: Forge Fast Expand (by Protoss). This build relies on an early Forge and Cannons to defend against aggression while maximizing economy off of 2 bases.

Get a third = take a third base, or your 2nd expansion

gg = good game.

gl hf = good luck, have fun!

GSL: Global Starcraft League (Korean Pro League)

Kite: To shoot and move, shoot and move, thus killing a melee unit or other unit that has a shorter range, while staying out of its range. Often done with Marines or Stalkers against melee units, such as Banelings.

Massing: Making almost nothing except a single kind of unit. For example, massing Stalkers means having an army of pure Stalkers and nothing else. Often done with air units such as Vikings, Void Rays, Carriers, and Battlecruisers.

MM: Marine-Marauder, a Terran Army Composition.

MMM: Marine-Marauder-Medivac, a Terran Army Composition.

NASL: North American Starcraft League

Obs = to be an observer in a match. Often seen as "Can I obs?", meaning the person would like to observe your upcoming game.

Poke: Moving attack forces towards the enemy base to briefly engage, and pull back. Often done to scout or to pressure your opponent into building units or structures to defend against a possible attack.

Protoss Death Ball = typically mix of Zealot/Sentry/Stalker/Colossus that Protoss can get after the 11-min mark, but can indicate any Protoss mix of forces in sufficient number is hard to beat.

Push: Attack. To Push = To Attack. A Push = An Attack. Differs from a Rush in that the attacking player usually has not sacrificed much economy to make early units - he's just created a force large enough to be a threat, and is moving out with it.

Rage-quit: To quit the game abruptly due to an emotional reaction.

Raging: Similar to BM, involves general temper-tantrum about a loss, usually over a perceived game imbalance or "unfair" play.

Run-By: Indicates a swift attack by ground units, where they dash into an enemy base and do damage, then retreat before defenders arrive. Often used in the context of "Zergling Run-By".

Rush: An early attack. Most often has to sacrifice economy to attack early enough to catch the opponent off guard and overcome the defender's advantage

Timing attack: An attack designed to hit the enemy at a time when they are vulnerable to your current composition (can involve upgrades like Stim Pack). These timings are based upon the builds you and the opponent are using.

Timings: Usually referred to as "know your timings". For example, Dark Templar can be out by the 7-minute mark, which is a "timing".

TSL: Team Liquid Star League

Did I miss anything?

If you can think of any more terms I have missed (that aren't already obvious to non-gamers), please leave me a comment and I'll add it!


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    • Bazmak profile image

      Bazmak 6 years ago from Michigan

      Love the definition of rage quit. Death Ball and Poke were new to me, cool.