What does meta mean in video games?

Meta in video games refers to the most effective tactic available, however, metas changes every season, so you have to update your gameplay regularly.

Video gamers all over the world know that video games have their own language, with terms that describe specific aspects of a game. However, if you are a new gamer, you may not know what these terms mean.

One of the terms that new players may encounter while learning a game is meta, and several players have wondered what it means.

Most common video game terms

Although there are thousands of games out there, most of them use the same terms and slang to describe aspects of the game. Some of the most common video game terms are:

Term name Description
Adds It refers to additional enemies that generally appear during boss encounters. Players have to balance defeating adds and doing damage to the boss.
Bots Bots are all non-human opponents in multiplayer games.
Camping Camping refers to sitting in one place, instead of continually roaming the world map.
DLC Downloadable content (DLC) is any extra elements that players can download separately from the main game.
GG It is common gaming lingo online which means good game and is generally typed at the end of a match to show sportsmanship.

What does meta mean in the context of video games?

There are thousands of video game terms that players have to know while playing a video game. As a new gamer, learning these terms might be overwhelming for you.

One of the terms that you might encounter while progressing in a video game is “Meta,” and several new players have wondered what it means.

Meta refers to the most effective tactic available. It focuses on strategies and skills that are generally used in the endgame phase or competitive elements of gaming. The objective of meta is to give gamers peak performance to enable them to be the best in the game.

Meta essentially encourages gamers to use their real-world expertise to gain an in-game advantage. This means that you may have to learn and test the optimal strategies or gain awareness of the latest game updates and bugs.

Multiplayer games are usually about defeating other players. They are all about tactics, teamwork, strategy, and coordination. Every team has unique tactics, and you have to have your own tactic to be better than your opponents.

To signify a common tactic, the term meta is used. A strategy means that the whole plan and tactics are part of a strategy.

The meta is the most optimal and commonly used tactic to do what you need to do in a multiplayer game. However, it is not the winning strategy itself, instead, it is merely part of a strategy such as using a specific weapon or character.

Endgame players usually follow a meta strategy to ensure that they are the best in the game and therefore, that they have an advantage over others.

When did meta first come to light?

The term meta first came to light in 1956 with zero-sum games in a report from the Mental Health Research Institute. However, 15 years later, Nigel Howard published a book called Paradoxes of Rationality: Theory of Metagames and Political Behavior.

However, he used the term “Metagames” in the context of the ongoing Cold War as an alternative to “Prisoner’s dilemma.” This approach was used for years when getting under the skin of game theory.

In 2000, game designer, Richard Garfield, helped bring the metagame into a new universe by defining its next-generation purpose as, “how a game interfaces beyond itself.” Subsequently, the term meta  came to life in video games.

Why is meta used in gaming?

As previously mentioned, the objective of meta in games is to win by being the best at what you do. Players choose the most effective tactic to be the best in a video game instead of a less known tactic.

It is vital that you know that the meta changes regularly in video games. Therefore, no meta can be used eternally.

Multiplayer games are constantly changing and evolving, which means that the developers are changing the current meta. What may have been the meta in a previous season can become an outdated tactic in the next season.

How is meta represented in games?

There are thousands of video games, which means there are even more metas that you can use. The following table lists some of the video games and describes how their metas function:

Video game Meta
Super Smash Bros and Street Fighter Players create tier lists to rank the characters in the game from strongest to weakest. The meta in this case comes from players using the strongest characters to win events.
Hearthstone The meta refers to the strongest deck in the current set.
Rainbow Six: Siege The common meta is using a shotgun with smoke and mute to make rotate holes. This allows players to roam clear when attacking.
PUBG Some metas mean playing near the edge of the circle, getting health boost in late rounds, and avoiding hot dropping.
Apex Legends The meta means players need to have the strongest weapons and the best characters.

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