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What Does PUG Mean in Gaming?

As a gamer, you’ve probably come across the word “PUG” at least a few times. If you don’t know what that means, you’re not alone. But don’t worry because we’re here to clear things up for you. 

In this guide, we’ll shed light on what PUG means in gaming, so stick around.

What Does PUG Stand For?

PUG may stand for “Pick Up Game”, “Public Groups”, or “Pick Up Groups”, depending on how you like to call it. But wait, where did that term even come from? Well, the acronym “PUG” started popping up within the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) communities, like World of Warcraft and League of Legends. 

In a PUG-format game, you get teamed up with a group of players you don’t know to carry out a specific mission or fight a similar group of players. 

How Does PUG Differ From MMORPG?

Alright, now that you know what PUG means, you’re probably wondering what makes it any different from the main “MMORPG” term. Put simply, in a PUG game; players may come and go in the middle of the game. For example, in a five-player team, if the team consists of players V, W, X, Y, and Z, the player “Y” may leave the game in the middle of it, and a different player “A” joins in their place. 

There’s one thing to keep in mind, though; in most PUG games, if a player decides to leave the game, they’ll probably lose some points. 

In a classic MMORPG game, you may either play the game solo or with a team. However, your team will remain like it is throughout the game. If a user decides to leave the game at half-time, no player is going to replace them until the next round.

PUG Rules

In PUG games with a ranking system, you may only get teamed up with players with a similar or close rank to yours. The same goes for the competing team.

However, not all games have this feature, but most of them do. This ensures that newcomers have a better chance of winning and gaining experience to progress in the game. It also keeps the game competitive for pro players since they won’t probably enjoy playing with new players that much. 

On a side note, some PUG games don’t have a ranking system, so all players are randomly grouped into equal-sized teams no matter their experience.

Other Related Terms

Sometimes, the term “PUG” is used interchangeably with the term ”PUB”. “PUB” is an abbreviation for “Public”, which refers to games played on public servers with random players. 

On that note, any PUG game can be called a PUB game, but the opposite isn’t true. A public game can have any format, not necessarily PUG.

Final Words

So these were our two cents on what PUG means in gaming. The term isn’t that common, which may confuse some gamers. But now that you have a better understanding of what that means, you can start searching for some PUG games, at least if they sound interesting to you. 

Xander (Editor-in-Chief)
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