Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games: Emote

Emote is a collection of icons or animations used in multiplayer games to communicate. Emotes were originally used to display a player’s current emotional state on their character. They have since expanded to include:

  • Communicating basic game information (winning, losing, special attack available)
  • Basic strategy (Hide, Attack, [Pointing to go in a particular direction])
  • Celebration
  • Humor

Emotes are a simple and effective way to communicate in a situation where written and spoken language is limited, either from a diverse player base not sharing a common language or from a fast-paced game where a simple set of symbols or animations can communicate entire sentences of text.


Finally, Emotes are a tool often used in games to limit communication in a standardized way that avoids vulgarity and abuse, and in a way that does not require direct communication from player to player.

What started as a simple method for communicating in multiplayer games, has become a rich language of its own. Emotes now provide character and charm to the game as well as communicate.


  • Well played Icon in Hearthstone
  • My Ultimate is Ready voice line in Overwatch
  • Dances in Fortnite
  • Praise the Sun (Dark Souls)
  • Astroneer (dances for fun or to interact with playing two player)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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