What does Homebrew mean in gaming?

Games or add-ons made by players themselves

When gamers get creative and build their own content for existing gaming systems, they call it homebrew content. This is a popular term in the video game community, used to describe custom-made games or apps designed for pre-existing gaming consoles.

The term ‘homebrew’ is not only limited to video games. Tabletop game enthusiasts also use it to describe modifications, additions, and tweaks they make to existing Role-Playing Games (RPGs), Collectible Card Games (CCGs), and other game formats.

For instance, a gamer could design a custom game for a console like the PlayStation 4 and share it for use with a tool like the Homebrew Launcher. This unofficial app helps players load and play homebrew content. Similarly, a tabletop game fan might develop a homebrew class for a game like Pathfinder and incorporate it when designing their new character.

The origin of the term ‘homebrew’ is interesting. It’s borrowed from the practice of ‘homebrewing’, where enthusiasts make their own beer at home. The analogy is that just like homebrewers create unique beer recipes, gaming homebrewers create unique games and game content.

Example for using ‘Homebrew’ in a conversation

Hey, have you seen this new game? It’s a homebrew for the Nintendo Switch! 🎮

No way! What’s it about? 🤔

It’s a custom game created by a player, not an official release. People are really creative with homebrew content! 🎮

That’s awesome! I love how gamers can make their own games and mods. It adds so much variety to the gaming community. 🙌