The words "buff" and "nerf" are used to mean "beneficial modifier/spell/enchantment" and "detrimental modifier/spell/enchantment" respectively in video games. Is there a single noun that represents/categorizes both of these in a concise and precise manner?

I know I've introduced the words "modifier", "spell" and "enchantment" as part of this question, but they still seem overly broad to me to be used for the purposes of identifying the "buff+nerf" group. "Modifier" is a very generic word that can mean basically anything, "spells" like a fireball are neither buffs nor nerfs, and I'm not sure enchantment fits too as it also seems to represent something more broad, like "spell" (could even be used as a true synonym of "spell" in that sense).

I need to name this concept on a game engine and wanted to find the best term to handle both the positive as well as the negative meanings concisely and in a way to avoid confusion while reading the code.

  • As this is video games terminology, you might get a better answer in a video game forum (or RPG/D&D forum). ELU Stack Exchange isn't always the best place to ask for technical terminology or jargon.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 21, 2021 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


Possibly the word “mechanics”, short for game mechanics.

Or “element”, short for game elements.

“Action”. “Dually/Dual”. “Fluctuate” pronounced (FLUCT-OO-EHT)

Function. Movement. Move. Step. Maneuver. Creation.

Dang this one is hard.

Channel? No. Phenomena.

Operative. Operation.

Act. Activity. Gesture.

Derivative. Biproduct. A change. Shift. Budge. Form.

  • 1
    The problem with those is that in a game there are other types of "elements", "actions", "mechanics", so they don't represent only buffs and nerfs very precisely. "Movement"-related words are a bit misleading since they'd indicate that it would only apply to moving entities, which is also not true. Channel doesn't fit at all IMHO, while Phenomena is very, very generic (probably more-so than my original "modifier").
    – julealgon
    Aug 20, 2021 at 21:59
  • 1
    Ill think into this further.
    – C Cross
    Aug 20, 2021 at 22:05
  • Integral. Supersedure, a custom, remold, remake, conversion, tweak, adjust, qualify, permutation, tailor, realign, alternate, calibrate, effect, placement, a skin? aesthetic - done or made to improve a person's appearance or to correct defects in a person's appearance
    – C Cross
    Aug 21, 2021 at 5:15

Add-on? Retrograde....

To bad Codicil is used about wills. an addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will or part of one.

Progress Boosted Booster Nerfbuff Insertion Composite Edit Insert MOLD Institution Form. Enacted Refined Reformed Enriched Implemented Scaling/scaled Morphed Mutated Cultivated Enhanced Manifested Enriched Construct

<<<<<<<<<<I really tried -_-

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