Path of Exile is full of confusing acronyms, and this article offers a list of definitions designed to help you understand what everyone's talking about.
Path of Exile's skill tree.

Path of Exile Acronyms: Gameplay, Items, and Skills

Oct 2, 2017
Path of Exile's skill tree.

One of the hardest parts about getting into a new activity is simply understanding what everyone else is talking about, and there are few hobbies where this problem is as pronounced as it is in video gaming. Other players will frequently talk about things that you’ve never heard of in ways that don’t make sense, and it can be hard to find definitions to some of the more obscure terminology.

Path of Exile is no exception. The game is rich, complex, and full of fascinating mechanics. This depth is part of what has made it one of our favorite games over the course of the past year. At the same time, all that depth means that discussions about Path of Exile are often full of strange phrases, abbreviations, and bizarre words you’ve never heard before. It certainly doesn’t help that most of the guides and forum conversations are littered with this jargon. This article is designed to help newer players get acquainted with Path of Exile acronyms.

Generic Gaming Acronyms in Path of Exile

These acronyms might be new for people who don’t play video games much, although many of them are used frequently on the internet. I decided to include them in this article since some of these acronyms have taken on a new meaning in Path of Exile.

AFK – Away from Keyboard. This means exactly what it says, the person isn’t there. You’ll run into this a lot when you trade in Path of Exile. There’s an automated response that lets people know that you are AFK when they contact you. This will happen very frequently.

AoE – Area of Effect. Certain spells and attacks target an area instead of individual enemies. For example, Warcries only provide a buff to your allies if they’re close enough to the caster.

GG – Good Game. In today’s competitive titles, saying “gg” is the equivalent of shaking hands with the other team after winning (or losing) a game. In games like CS:GO and Dota, players sometimes write “gg” in chat to express frustration with their teammates and/or suggest that the game is unwinnable. In Path of Exile, you’ll see “GG” as a response to players finding powerful items. The best items are often referred to as “GG items.”

HP – Hit Points. The life that your character has. In Path of Exile, your HP can come in multiple forms, including life and energy shield. We’ll discuss these later.

IGN – In Game Name. This is a person’s username. In Path of Exile, this typically refers to the name of a specific character, not their account. (You can have multiple characters on the same account.)

RIP – Rest in Pieces. In Path of Exile, this is typically used when someone dies or loses an expensive item.

WTS/WTB/WTT – Want To Sell, Want To Buy, Want To Trade. If you use the in-game trade channel, you’ll see these terms a lot. These acronyms are usually followed by lists of items that the player is looking for.

Basic Path of Exile Acronyms

AD – Attack Damage. This is damage that a character deals. In Path of Exile, ‘attacks’ are specifically damage dealt with non-magical means. Any skill that uses a weapon or fists is considered an attack. Spells are not. The description text for each skill will specify whether it is an attack or a spell.

APS – Attacks Per Second. Your character has a certain attack speed, and will attack a certain number of times each second. Your APS is determined by your stats, items, skills, and a host of other factors. To check your APS, go to your character sheet.

BIS – Best in Slot. This acronym is used when someone is discussing what item to wear in each slot on their character. An item is a “BIS item” if it’s the best possible item for maximizing the efficiency or power of your build.

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DPS – Damage Per Second. This is the total damage that your character is capable of dealing in one second. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to calculate in Path of Exile, as the tooltip damage is often incorrect. External programs like Path of Building (more on that later) let you accurately calculate your DPS.

EHP – Effective Hit Points. This describes the total amount of damage your character is able to withstand before dying, factoring in all sources of damage mitigation. Your EHP is determined by your total life pool, energy shield, armor, and skills.

Path of Exile Gameplay and Item Acronyms

Alc – Alchemy Orb. This is a form of trading currency. Alchemy Orbs are typically worth about a third of a Chaos Orb.

C – Chaos Orbs. Chaos Orbs are the standard trading currency in Path of Exile.

CI – Chaos Inoculation. Chaos Inoculation is a node on the tree that changes your life total to 1, but you no longer take chaos damage. This is used for pure energy shield builds.

CWDT, CWC, CoC – Cast When Damage Taken, Cast While Channeling, Cast on Critical. These are skills that allow you to use an attached skill without activating it yourself. Their trigger is fairly clear from the names of each gem. CWDT is used in most builds to mitigate some incoming damage.

ES – Energy Shield. In Path of Exile, characters can choose to use life, energy shield, or a combination of the two. Shields “stack” on top of your life. Any damage you take will drain your energy shield first, but once your energy shield is depleted, any additional damage will start chipping away at your life.

Ex – Exalted Orb. This is one of the most expensive forms of trading currency in the game. Exalted Orbs are worth significantly more than a Chaos Orb.

HH – Headhunter. Headhunter is the most expensive piece of equipment in the game, on par with the most expensive currency. If you ever find one, please give it to me.

LL – Low Life. Used to describe certain builds that rely on energy shield, but don’t take Chaos Inoculation. Low Life builds preserve health with auras.

PoB – Path of Building. Path of Building is an external program that you can use to calculate damage. It is extremely efficient and most players use it. You can download Path of Building here.

Path of Exile Skill Acronyms

Skills are often referred to using acronyms, for fairly obvious reasons. These are the acronyms for the more popular Path of Exile skills.

BV – Blade Vortex.

BF – Blade Flurry.

RF – Righteous Fire.

SR – Scorching Ray.

EK – Ethereal Knives.

DP – Dark Pact.

AW – Ancestral Warchief.

GC – Clacial Cascade.

GMP – Greater Multiple Projectiles.

SRS – Summon Raging Spirits.

ST – Spectral Throw.

ED – Essence Drain.

KB – Kinetic Blast.

TS – Tornado Shot.

This list of definitions only scratches the surface of what Path of Exile has to offer. But if you’re a newer player and you find yourself overwhelmed by all the vocabulary, hopefully this article was helpful. If you have any questions about this or have any suggestions for Path of Exile articles, feel free to contact me on Twitter.

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Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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