What does Broken mean in gaming?

Too strong

In the gaming world, ‘Broken’ is a term used to label certain game features or mechanics that are too strong, or overpowered (OP). These broken aspects can disrupt the balance of the game, making it unfair for those who don’t exploit them.

For instance, in the card game Hearthstone, a character called Leroy Jenkins was often considered broken. This resulted in the creators, Blizzard Entertainment, banning Leroy in many competitive scenes to stop every match from becoming a Leroy showdown.

As you might imagine, gamers generally aren’t fond of players who constantly take advantage of these broken elements, as it can take away from the enjoyment of the game. However, the perception of what is considered broken can be subjective. After all, what one gamer might see as an unfair advantage, another might see as their best tactic.

Example for using ‘Broken’ in a conversation

Hey, have you played that new video game yet?

Yeah, I have! It’s pretty fun, but there’s this one character that’s totally broken.

Oh really? What do you mean by broken?

Well, broken means that the character is overpowered. They have abilities that make the game unbalanced.