One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.
What is a Load-Out, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?
What It Is: Load Out = The weapons, armour and abilities the player selects for their character prior to heading into battle.
What It Means: A player’s load-out refers to the items and objects they assign to their character before heading into battle. For a magical themed game, it might be items such as a staff or wand, for a shooting game, a gun or grenade, and for a racing game, might cover the body-work of the car, which types of tires are being used and so on. Implicit in the use of the term load-out is the idea that the items are assigned once, at the beginning of the round/level/adventure, and cannot be changed until the next round/level/adventure. This is not 100% the case any more, with advances in game design and technology, but some subgenres of games, particularly the TBS (turn-based strategy) genre, are more inclined to require the player to commit to a particular chosen load-out rather than keep chopping and changing. Load-outs are picked via an “Equip” or “Select” menu; if the player can be observed frozen in an agony of indecisiveness, or frenziedly doing comparative sums trying to decide between two items/factions/abilities, they are probably trying to select their load-out! Other games take a much more relaxed approach to the load-out, with cosmetic choices only, such as in Mario Kart 8.
Why You Care: The term is often a false friend. We often do quizzes with the parents and guardians we work with and this term is frequently wrongly assumed to be something to do with “waiting times” or “how long the game takes to load up” or “a crash – it doesn’t load, it loads out!” Load-out is simply the digital items, such as guns, armour, grappling hook, grenades, hacking devices etc, that a player will select for their character before heading into battle. It’s an aspect of the game design and nothing more complicated than that!
Teens talking gobbledegook? Decode their gaming slang by sending us a word to explain: