FGC Terminology and Slang | Fighting Games 101

FGC Terminology and Slang | Fighting Games 101
Date Published: August 23, 2017

As with any community, be it large or small, habits and traditions are developed as the community grows and forms an identity, and the fighting game community (FGC) is no different despite being relatively new within its own right.

While they might not be used all the time, there are a few terms and phrases thrown around the FGC, that have become common vocabulary of sorts. Therefore, it’s good to know the meanings of these words and phrases if you plan on listening in on an FGC crowd.

Standard Terminology


Fighting Game Community (FGC) – perhaps the most common term in fighting games as it’s the only description for those who are enthusiastic about fighting games. FGC commonly refers to those who are interested and somewhat invested in fighting games (ex: playing, watching, supporting.)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 01
The Fighting Game Community rallying behind Alex Valle after his upset win vs Bonchan at EVO 2015.

First to # (FT#) – a set of games to be played between two players, be it tournament, money match, or standard competitive set. Common sets are 3,5, and 10 games (ex: “That was a fluke win, FT5 me.”)

Footsies – commonly the act of fighting within roughly a character’s length away, trying to punish whiffed moves, capitalizing on close combat mistakes (ex: “If you want to get better at King of Fighters, you have to develop some solid footsies.”)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 05
Geese Howard demonstrating footsies vs Angel.

Okizeme – often shortened to Oki, is an offensive set-up or mix-up usually after a knockdown, making it more difficult for the opponent to block upon their wake-up (ex: “Narukami’s sweep to 5d Oki in P4A was a nightmare to deal with.”)

Losers/Winners – tournament positioning with regards to a double elimination tournament. If in Losers bracket, the player can only continue playing by winning or until eliminated. If in Winners bracket, the player can continue playing after losing, dropping down to loser’s bracket (ex: “I went 1-2, I got sent to Losers in the first round.”)

Match-up – the reference to how two characters match up with each other competitively (ex: “Chun Li vs Zangief is a tough match-up for Zangief.”)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 03
Throughout Street Fighter’s history, the Chun Li-Zangief match-up always proved to be an up hill climb for the Russian wrestler.


Slang Terminology


Godlike – a term used when a certain player performs an act mid-match that showcases high level skills. Can also be used to describe players who are considered to be of the best in their respective game (ex: “Daigo’s 20+ hit combo vs Momochi was godlike.”)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 04.jpg
Daigo “The Beast” Umehara also sometimes referred to by the FGC as “Daigod” for his immaculate fighting game prowess.

Free – derived from the arcade community sense of not having to put in more money into the arcade machine if victorious. The loser, however, had to keep paying in order to continue playing the winner, therefore making the argument that the loser, is a free game for the winner (ex: “Everyone at my local weekly tournament is so free, I never lose a match.”)

Fraudulent, Fraud – the perception of being better than the actual skill of play would indicate (ex: “How is he a Grand Master rank, that was free, his rank is fraudulent.”)

Salt – usually a feeling after losing, a combination of rage and disappointment (ex: “I can’t believe I lost to that Shadow Jago, I’m so salty.”)

Cheap – refers to a move, strategy, or character that is thought to be highly advantageous with little to no risk. Also, sometimes referred to as “too good” (ex: “Dragunov’s running 2 is too good, it’s such a cheap move.”)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 02
Dragunov’s running 2 (Russian Assault) is a very difficult move to punish and sidestep, making it extremely advantageous.

Runback – another form of the word rematch, except with a bit of a salt laced in. Also, sometimes referred to as Salty Runback (ex: “Run it back, you got lucky that game.”)

Bodied – the most popular FGC slang term with regards to losing horribly. Bodied can also be regarded as the FGC exclusive version of “rekt”, “owned”, etc. (ex: “I got double perfected, I got bodied.”)

Respect – the action taken by the opponent or the player after a knockdown, showing respect often translates to not hitting a button on wake-up (ex: “He wouldn’t respect me so I woke-up uppercut.”)

Bait/Baited – anticipating your opponent’s action, and when they perform the presumed action, reversing the situation, leaving them vulnerable, playing to your advantage (ex: Person 1: “How did you know to backdash bait his Burst?” Person 2: “I saw he didn’t have meter to get out of the corner, so his only option was Burst.”)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 06
Akihiko using his backsway as to move away from Mitsuru, baiting the burst.

Dumb – referring to a type of mentality, or way of play. Not calculating risk, just executing set moves or going through with a strategy without considering the consequences (ex: “Why is he just spamming hopkick when it’s launch punishable? Oh, I forgot that Claudio players like playing dumb.”)

Smart – the reverse of playing dumb, playing calculated, thinking about the risk/reward of certain aspects before going through with them. (ex: “Shikki rarely jumps in randomly to avoid getting anti-aired, he plays smart.”)

Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang WP 07
Woshige moments after losing to Ogawa due to popping-off prematurely.

Pop-off – a celebratory act after winning a game, set, or tournament. Often seen in friendly duels, bad blood rivalries, and large high stake tournaments (ex: “Woshige’s early pop-off  vs Ogawa at EVO 2015 is one for the ages.”

On Tilt – the FGC version of being flustered, often occurs under pressure, or stressful situations, leading the player to make mistakes, or performing poorly at a specific moment in the match. Also, sometimes referred to as Cracking (ex: “Ibuki kept knocking me down so I woke up Ultra, I was on tilt.”)

Hold that (L) – a phrase that can be used when someone wins (often rather convincingly) and the runback isn’t granted (ex: “He beat me twice online and sent me a message saying ‘hold that’, now I’m salty.”)

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