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 are HP, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: HP = Health Points or Hit Points

What It Means: In many games, players and characters are assigned HP (health points or hit points) which function as a measure of how “alive” that character is. Attacking the character will deplete their HP until they “die.”

Why You Care: HP is a widely used video-games term and one you will hear and see used regularly. It’s simply a mathematical way of representing a character’s remaining life force. Harder to kill enemies will have very high levels of HP which the player must constantly whittle away, whilst low level enemies may have HP levels lower than the attacking power of the player, enabling “one-hit kills.”

Enemy X has HP of 100

Player One has three moves:

  • Standard depletes 25 HP.
  • Power depletes 50 HP.
  • Special depletes 125 HP.

Using the Special ability will kill the enemy in one hit, as 125>100.

Some enemy types may have regenerating HP, or blocks of protected HP which can only be depleted when certain parameters have been met, eg use of a special sword or combination of attacking moves. HP is nearly always represented as a bar with a number at the end representing the current remaining total, or as a colour graduated ring, with green representing good health and red representing near-death. The Diablo 3 game represented health of the player by use of an orb filled with blood which drained away as their life force faded, whilst enemies and attacking monsters retained the traditional “health bar.” Adding health bars to games that do not display them by default is a common mod request.


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