Simply put, a noob is a novice at a particular game. Twisted from the term 'Newb', a shortened form of the word "newbie". Usually has a negative connotation. Often spelled "n00b", or even further degenerated to "nub" by the particularly lazy.
They tend to be disliked by more experienced gamers because (from the veterans' point of view) they ask extremely simple or obvious questions, lack proper etiquette or, in team games, drag down the performance of the rest of the team
. In the most extreme forms, they become God Modders
. They also never
admit to being wrong or belligerent, and will often accuse more experienced players that they're
the stupid ones
, when they try to correct them.
Some people make a distinction between a noob and a newb, with a "newb" being a level-headed beginner who is polite, heeds advice, and honestly wishes to improve, while a noob is obnoxious, annoying, and overconfident
. In other words, everyone starts as a newb — you're only a Noob
if you don't grow out of it. The difference is described in this comic.
A stereotypical 'Noob' will usually join a group with little regard for his (relative) lack of ability; many (but certainly not all) will enter a dungeon and immediately run right into danger,
thinking either that he can hold his own (despite being vastly outnumbered and overwhelmed), or that the other players are right behind him and will pick up the slack (which they very likely won't and can't).
The newbie and noob also appear in other cooperative and competitive genres besides the MMORPG. In less structured games, newbies may just get rolled over, insulted, and forgotten; noobs are the ones who have picked up on the least-inspired or lamest strategies
and earn the ire of those who are playing more "skillfully" and getting beaten
. In teamplay-oriented games, the team often helps the polite newbie along as it may result in their team winning more often; the noob will probably be the guy crashing planes into individual enemies or charging into the enemy base carrying the flag
, and so other players will probably just try to steal the helicopters before they can. In cooperative games, the teams tend to be small and everyone's contributions important: the newbie is exasperating to have on your side; the noob is usually booted from the server very quickly.
Of course, using the word seriously is an indication of being
a noob. It gets thrown around ridiculously much and has decayed enormously to the point of often being used completely uninformatively, like just calling someone "stupid" for no very good reason.
A really bad noob may sometimes spell the term as "nub". Amazingly, the term 'nub' has a corresponding meaning in naval jargon, referring to a 'newbie' (who doesn't stand watches and is considered 'deadweight' to his naval department), with a literal meaning of 'non-usable body'.
Not to be confused with a certain Noob
. See also Scrub
. If you're looking for the French multimedia franchise (that started with a Web Original
anglophone audiences are more likely to know about), this page is pretty much the only one using the "Noob" namespace that is not
associated with it. Otherwise, here
is a good place to start.
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Anime and Manga
- Lord En, of Beelzebub. A preteen demon who loves video games, he is nonetheless horrible at them. So he gets his demon maidservants to help him out by altering the game (from activating basic hacks and glitches with magic to enabling things not available in a game so he can win). Notable, these maids know he is really a Noob, but since whenever he cries the surrounding area is drowned in a sea of fire, they don't let him catch on.
- The French multimedia franchise Noob is about a guild for newbs, with an actual n00b in it.
- Forum Warz, a game about Trolling message boards, gives the title of "Permanoob" to the excessively weak class.
- Any form of the Call of Duty online multiplayer will see this a lot, player will be called noobs for such things as using grenade launchers ("noobtubing") or random spray fire from the hip.
- In the MMORPG Runescape the term 'noob' is often used as a very derogatory term - akin to calling someone a 'knob' - regularly thrown about with no prior provocation. Players were reported for this so much, the rules now clearly state that use of the term 'noob' (or any variant thereof) ONLY means 'newb/new player' and is not a reason to report players. Try telling that to veteran players when they're called a noob...
- Go to any online multi player game and make a new character. Anyone who's even one level above you will refer to you as a n00b.
- If you do not follow the generally accepted strategy in a MOBA game like League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, you are likely to get called this in the first 30 seconds and pretty much continuously for the next 40 minutes. A highly competitive team-based game where one weak link on your team can ruin your chance of victory will do that to otherwise normal players.
- The X-Universe boards look very poorly on using "noob" as a derogatory term. A, the moderators are fairly strict. B, everyone who's played any of the X games remembers vividly their own time as a noob, because it lasts so long. The net result is that any time someone comes on the board whining about how stuck he is (happens once or twice a week), you've usually got five or six veteran players who step in to help him get unstuck.
- The fourth generation of Pokémon, namely Diamond and Pearl, used internet-speak a lot, mostly as a Shout-Out to the Something Awful forums. Explicitly, in front of the Oreburg Pokemon Gym, the trainer there to help you does imply that people look down on trainers who don't know anything about the world of Pokémon as noobs.
- A "Gamer's Glossary" segment of Ctrl+Alt+Del tackled the differences between a newb and a noob/n00b. Both don't know what they're doing at first, but a newb will learn from mistakes while a noob will never admit to any wrongdoing.
- MMORPG webcomic The Noob is built around this, thought the titular character may be more of a newb after a few strips: Most of the times he does something he shouldn't, it's because nobody bothered telling him.
- In Something Positive, Jason's toddler daughter picks this up very quickly when Daddy introduces her to World of Warcraft. Then she takes it into the playground.
- In Sluggy Freelance's World of Warcraft parody "Years of Yarncraft," in-game culture considers being a newb tantamount to being a noob, and people who show evidence that they're unfamiliar with the game are treated with even less respect than those who show evidence of being raging douchebags. Don't associate with these people, or you're a newb too.