What is a Nerf? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]

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Ever feel yourself get angry when you’re fighting another player and feel as if they are way stronger than you? Maybe you’re playing a FPS title and see that a gun seems to be overpowered in comparison to other weapons. This, folks, means that maybe the developers need to reconfigure some elements of the game and change the balancing. In the video game world this is known as a nerf. However, maybe you’re not too privy to gaming knowledge such as what a nerf really means. Well don’t worry Honey’s Anime is about to insert some terminology into you with our What is a Nerf article.

The best way to teach you future gamers about the term nerf is to examine multiple games and genres. We will be looking at a fighting game, a FPS title and a MMORPG to give you beautiful gamers a better understanding of how a nerf affects a game. Don’t worry as always we will keep the description simple and easy to understand to make sure you’ll become a master of gaming terms such as nerf in no time. Now then let us look at this What is a Nerf article together by starting with our first example. Just scroll down and let the article begin folks.

Damage Reductions

Fighting games are some of the biggest examples of modern day nerfs in video games. Too often a particular character or skill within the game will just do too much damage. This can affect how gamers enjoy a match because too often others will abuse these in game mechanics to help them win a battle. While some may consider it fair play, developers and most gamers will consider it just unfair. Our

Tekken 7

  • System/Platform: Arcade, PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Release Date: Mar 18, 2015

While it should have ended with Azazel’s death, the war between the G Corporation and Mishima Zaibatsu rages on with no end in sight. However, these two mega corporation’s continue to leave death and destruction in their wake. Tekken 7 thus follows a young reporter who has lost his family to this needless war and thus he wishes to show the world what is going on behind the scenes. As the reporter ventures into the various powers at be he will learn the truth of a rivalry that goes back many generations. Welcome to Tekken 7 where this time there is more to be gained than just a tournament victory.

Tekken 7 is the best place for us to begin our journey into our What is a Nerf article. One of the newest gaming mechanics in Tekken 7 is a feature called Rage Mode. The concept of this new feature is when a character’s health reaches below a certain level, their bar begins to flash red and they can perform either a special combo or a Rage Art. However, immediately fans of the long running Tekken franchise noticed that Rage Arts were too powerful and usually would take too much damage from another player leading to a fight that would basically end in victory for the losing side in almost every situation. In a recent update, Bandai Namco Entertainment reduced the damage of the Rage Arts and thus led to an in game nerf. Simply put, it changed an unfair game mechanic and made it more balanced for all the players.

Tekken 7- Launch Trailer | PS4

Overpowered Guns

In the same vein as fighting games, FPS titles also need to be nerfed at times as well. In this case, it usually comes in the form of the guns within the game. Perhaps they fire too fast or maybe seem to do too much damage. Regardless it won’t take a veteran gamer to notice that these weapons are unfair to all parties and if they aren’t nerfed than gamers will abuse them. Usually the games that need guns nerfed the most happen to be titles that are primarily online such as Call of Duty or Counter-Strike: Go to name a few. However, for an easy reference, we’ll be looking at another very popular title in the world of FPS games.


  • System/Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Release Date: Sept 9, 2014

Humanity once was preparing for the greatness of space exploration and colonization. Having found the means to travel in the galaxy in mere minutes, it seemed as if the human race could populate other worlds and expand their presence beyond Earth. Then suddenly humanity found their numbers almost reduced to zero when an event called “The Collapse” occurred. Luckily, those who remained with their feet on Earth were saved by a giant orb like being known as the Traveler and began to learn about the concepts of light and darkness. Within one city on Earth—the only safe haven for humans—humanity begins its fight to not only survive but to see about regaining the power they had within the stars.

Now we know for most gamers Destiny is a pretty well-known title by now. Destiny 2 is slated for a September 2017 release and we couldn’t be any happier enjoying the greatness of the first entry before the sequel releases. Now while Destiny was an amazing game, a lot of the issues it had stemmed from various guns or powers that players could obtain from the players. For our explanation though we will be focusing on a weapon known as the Ice Breaker which was pretty awesome thanks to its infinite ammo—which would just regen a singular round every 5 seconds—and its amazing power. However, online PVP—player versus player—was hurt a lot by this gun as player would just sit in one spot and constantly regain ammo to use making the Ice Breaker way overpowered. Luckily though, it was nerfed by making the ammo regen at a longer amount of time giving other players a chance to stop a sniper from using it too much. While this would affect its use in the environmental sections of Destiny, it made the game more balanced and made a weapon that was flat out broken more balanced and fair.

Official Destiny E3 Trailer—New Beginnings

Unbalanced MMORPG Classes

Games like WOW or The Elder Scrolls Online give players a huge amount of customization to enjoy various skills and classes. Players can use powerful magic or use strong weapons and take down various enemies or other players in a multitude of ways. At times some of these classes can be a bit too strong leading to bosses or even other players being taken down with too much ease. While it can be said that a player who level grinds and gets the best armor and weapons will gain this effect, sometimes it can be obtained just by having a magic attack do an absorb amount of damage with little MP cost or skill cooldown. For our example, let us look at the largely popular MMORPG known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

  • System/Platform: PC, macOS, PS3, PS4
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Square Enix Business, Division 5
  • Release Date: Aug 27, 2013

The Garleans Empire in the world of Hydaelyn has begun to make waves that would affect the world as a whole. Using their powerful magicians and skills, the Garleans found a means to summon a giant planet-like object and planned to launch it at the beast race. This action would in turn cause the beasts to become extinct and give the Garleans a chance at more land for their empire. However, neither side realized that the Garleans had actually found a prison known as Dalamud that was housing within a being known as Bahamut. Now free, the hope for a peaceful resolution falls on the shoulders of warriors from another time…

In our final example for our What is a Nerf article, we examine some of the classes in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Let’s examine just a few of the several classes, namely the Paladin class and Ninja/Rogue class. In the case of the Paladin one skill that was reduced was a skill called Holy Spirit which had damage reduced so it wouldn’t do so much damage. The same could be said of the Ninja/Rogue’s skill known as Gust Slash. While some gamers may think these are just minor changes or alterations, these small reductions in damage just balance the game out and make a skill from being over powered. Other classes have had other skills reduced and even enemies have been at times reduced in terms of damage but these are things that most gamers will come to expect while playing an MMORPG like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn- Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)

Final Thoughts

The idea of reducing something in any game seems kind of scary. The idea that a favorite fighter or gun you used now does less in damage seems harsh but it helps make the game fair for not just you—cause you will have to at one point face that gun or fighter being used against you—but for all the players in the gaming world. Now that you know what a nerf is, we hope that you can pass this information along to other players and tell them that you learned it from Honey’s Anime. As always folks, comment down below to tell us what you think of the article or leave some future suggestions for us to consider. Please keep coming back to our amazing site so we can continue giving you more gaming terminology that will make your gaming knowledge level up in the real world.

final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-wallpaper-700x394 What is a Nerf? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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