What's a plural noun describing a set of topics with an average importance/complexity, in the context of a learning environment? For a video game, I'm designing a sequence of three tutorials, with the first one explaining the basics and the other two going into progressively finer details. To indicate this to the player, I like the idea of calling the first one 'Essentials' and the last one 'Subtleties', but I'm struggling to find the right word for the middle one. It should basically mean 'moderately advanced topics', but I'd like to express that with a single-word, plural noun.

A sample sentence using the word that we're looking for would be:

In this tutorial, you will learn the ____ of how to play this game.

The setting of the game is technological, futuristic.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  • 1
    specifics, particulars, or a synonym thereof Commented Mar 14 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


You used a suitable word in your question, and it's usually used in its plural form to denote a collection:

In this tutorial, you will learn the details of how to play this game.

detail (n.)

The details of something are its individual features or elements.

The details of the plan are still being worked out.
No details of the discussions have been given.
I recall every detail of the party.


These essentials are discussed in the order below. The details and the finer points, i.e., those that help tomake the difference between a really good brief and one that in merely adequate, are considered in Chapter 5.
Frederick Bernays Wiener et al; Effective Appellate Advocacy (2004)

To extend our foundation for the remaining chapters, we'll look at a few essential rules of Python syntax...After we've had more chances to work with simple and compound statements, the detailed syntax rules will make sense. Steven Lott; Python Essentials (2015)

The Fine Points might be an alternative title for the third topic.

  • Again, 'details' trivialises the question. 'What's a word between 'essentials' and 'subtleties': ... referring to average importance/complexity?' Commented Mar 13 at 23:59
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth So a single word for meat and potatoes or nuts and bolts?
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Mar 14 at 0:36
  • For nuts and bolts, Collins Thesaurus gives nitty-gritty, practicalities, ins and outs, details (and because "nuts and bolts" means "the essential or practical details", other words meaning basics/fundamentals).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 14 at 16:43

The technicalities might sound too advanced. The fundamentals could be viable if you named the first "the rudiments".

Although I think it is better to use "essentials" as your middle word and a more basic word in its place like "rudiments" based on this definition.

The essentials are the most important principles, ideas, or facts of a particular subject. ...the essentials of everyday life, such as eating and exercise. [+ of] This has stripped the contest down to its essentials. ...the bare essentials.

From collins

It would then be :

The rudiments

The fundamentals/essentials

The subtleties/intricacies/technicalities


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