What does AFK mean in gaming?

Let your teammates know you'll be right back with a brief message.

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Gamers across all platforms have their own ways of communicating that range from acronyms or phrases to universal in-game gestures. This new world of symbols and concepts can be daunting to the uninitiated, but learning a few key phrases can make it easier to navigate the gaming environment. 

One of the most frequently used acronyms in gaming is AFK, which means someone is away from their console or desk and will hopefully return shortly. 

What does AFK mean in gaming?

AFK stands for “away from keyboard” and is used to let other players know that you’re stepping away from your console or PC briefly. Many players will type “brb AFK” or a similar message before leaving to let their friends or teammates know that they’ll be briefly unavailable. 

Some workplaces have also incorporated AFK into their vernacular since it’s an easy way to let coworkers know that you’ll be unresponsive to messages for a brief period. This is an excellent way to keep everyone on the same page and not leave anyone wondering about your whereabouts. 

Some players will let the opposite team know when a player is AFK, which can speed up matches if they’re looking for the final player. AFK teammates can be annoying and leave your team at a disadvantage, so try to avoid being unavailable for too long. 

Now that you know what AFK means, you can understand what other players are trying to say and easily let your friends know when you take a quick bathroom break.