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    What is a newbie?

    A newbie is a new or inexperienced player in a roleplaying or gaming context. It refers to someone who is just beginning to explore the game or genre and is still learning the basic rules, strategies, and etiquette.

    Newbies might lack familiarity with common terminology, game mechanics, or story elements, but they are often eager to learn and become more proficient.

    The term originated in the early days of online and video gaming but has since become widespread in various gaming communities, including text-based and tabletop roleplaying.

    It’s used more as a descriptor of experience rather than an insult, highlighting a phase of learning and growth. Many new players self-identify as newbies and will use the term themselves.

    The shorter form, “newb,” is more likely to be used derogatorily, though not always.

    Newbie FAQs

    What should I do if I’m considered a newbie in a game?

    If you’re new to a game, don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek advice from more experienced players. Most communities are welcoming and willing to help. Focus on learning the rules, understanding the game’s world, and improving your skills at your own pace.

    How can experienced players help newbies?

    Experienced players can help by being patient, offering constructive advice, and sharing their knowledge of the game. Encouraging newbies and providing a supportive environment can enhance their learning experience and overall enjoyment of the game.

    See: Ways to welcome and include new players.

    Is it okay to be a newbie?

    Absolutely! Everyone starts as a newbie in any game or hobby. It’s a natural part of the learning process. Embracing your newbie status and being open to learning and growth can lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

    How long does someone stay a newbie?

    The length of time someone remains a newbie varies. It depends on how quickly they learn the game’s basics, adapt to the community, and become comfortable with the gameplay. There’s no set time frame; it’s more about personal growth and understanding.

    Can I be a newbie in a game I’ve played for a long time?

    Yes! You can be a newbie at certain things, not just the game as a whole. For example, even if you’ve played a game for years, if you’ve never tried the wizard class, you can be considered a newbie to that class.

    Myths about newbies

    One common myth is that newbies are not welcome in certain gaming communities or that they are often treated poorly. While some players may be impatient with newbies, many communities are welcoming and supportive. They want to attract new players to the game, so it’s in their best interest to treat newbies warmly.

    Another misconception is that being a newbie is embarrassing or should be hidden from other players. In reality, being new is a natural part of starting any activity, and everyone was a newbie at some point. Hiding your newbie status can have unintended consequences and can prevent other players from trying to show you the ropes.

    If a game seems to be unwelcoming toward new players, or if new players feel pressured to hide their newbie status, it may be surrounded by a toxic community.

    Newbie examples

    • A player who has just started their first tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) campaign and is still learning how to create a character and how the basic mechanics work.
    • Someone who joins a long-established online text-based game and is unfamiliar with the specific slang, rules, and customs of the community.
    • A gamer who is playing a strategy video game for the first time and is still understanding the controls, objectives, and strategies involved.
    • A member of a gaming forum who is new to the hobby and asks questions about basic terminology and advice on how to get started roleplaying.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."