Are the terms "n00b" and "scrub" tossed around too frequently?


This is something that has been on my mind and I just want to get it off my chest. It seems like a controversial topic and I’ll probably get flamed or called one of these terms myself. Even if I try to defend myself, people may not believe me, lol. BY NO MEANS AM I SAYING THAT EVERYBODY DOES THIS! It’s just an observation and I may even be incorrect :wonder:

Noob :sad:
[list][*]By definition this is supposed to be somebody new to the game and there is no denying that’s what it means. However, it seems to have taken on a negative connotation. You’ll hear things like “OMG the n00bs on XBL are so shitty!” or “This n00b kept falling for my…” Instead, people should look at them with a positive and welcoming attitude. Everybody had to start somewhere and who knows, maybe that SF “n00b” is a solid FPS or racing-game player.

This is especially important with the release of SF4 around the corner. A lot of new players are confirmed to join in on the fun. Rather than having the attitude of “I’m going to go to the GameStop tourney and stomp them,” start up conversations and give tips even though you’re probably going to win anyways. So the next time you see a player who has little or no idea what he’s doing, think twice and maybe even sandbag (*purposely play at a level lower than yourself) a little. If sandbagging isn’t your style, then find some other way to keep things casual and friendly rather than writing them off as a “n00b.” Maybe you’ll even motivate them to get better and join your local tournaments![/list]

Scrub :arazz:[list][*]As far as I know, the definition of a “scrub” is somebody who engages in the following: a) complains about the game being broken/unfair, b) whines after losing, or c) claims that cheating/abusing was used. While these actions are undeniably of a negative nature, they don’t seem to be the only properties associated with the term “scrub.” Instead, it connotes players who are below a specific level. This level can be that of the majority of players at a local arcade or region, or even tournament players who do not advance beyond the early stages. This doesn’t make sense because you are labeling somebody as a scrub just because they don’t meet the criteria of an independent group. The “scrub” knows what he is doing and just doesn’t have the skill level or experience to beat a foreign group. In fact, that so-called “scrub” may be the best in his own group (this is sometimes frowned upon). And even though he might be at the bottom of the entire community’s barrel, that doesn’t mean that he is in the same category as a new player–he just can’t keep up with the group that he is playing in.

So the next time you call that guy who doesn’t know about a well-known kara-throw setup a “scrub,” think about the real definition of the term. Hell, maybe he has a setup or two that you don’t know!

But if they’re bitching and whining, then by all means classify them a scrub.[/list]

I hope I didn’t offend anybody! :sweat::sweat::sweat:



  • You are correct with your claim that a noob is, by definition, someone who is new to a game. However, it can also define someone either playing poorly, or making many mistakes, and hence seeming “noobish.” Keep in mind the people online or even in person who call you a “noob” are most likely meeting you for the first time ever, and are basing their judgment on your opening performance.
  • Unfortunately for us, not everyone can be kind. And especially unfortunately, fighting games have a tendency of pulling in some of the more competitive folk. You won’t hear as much senseless berating as, say, in a game of Halo 3 or CoD, but it’ll still be there. Many people in the world simply cannot be nice to another human, be it on the street or online.


  • Coming from the standpoint of a person who’s played online for several years but only competitive fighting games online for the past few months (hence my rather recent join date), I can say that I did not hear the term “scrub” thrown around very frequently until I began visiting this forum. I may have heard it once or twice over the course of my years of Xbox Live, but not with the frequency it is used here. I may be mistaken, but it leads me to believe the term is a bit more mutually exclusive to the fighting genre. For example, someone can be a “scrub” and not a “noob” in terms of gameplay if they have a lot of time / matches logged on the game and understand the system + moves, but they still make many mistakes, i.e. jumping too much, falling for easy traps, etc. However, you encounter problems similar to the classification “noob” because of the fact that you also lump complainers, whiners, and overall sore losers into the definition “scrub” right next to the “quality of their game” definition.

Having said all this, it’s important to point out that trying to define words such as these is rather pointless… the ones that throw them around constantly are the ones that misconstrue the definitions, and seem to simply say them for the sake of saying them. As I said earlier, not everyone in the world is nice. Many gamers shout “noob” and “scrub” simply to say something, anything, to rub their temporary superiority in your face. Or, on the other hand, to attempt to somehow redeem themselves after being thoroughly spanked.


Yes I think you are 100% absolutely correct-- there is way too much elitism around. I still don’t know exactly what defines a “scrub” but after such a long time, even before the foundation was laid that term is still around today. I never use that word.

Around the time I first heard it there was also another term, “urchin” from the first person I heard “scrub” from, but that never really caught on.



I see the term noob used a lot on the internet and not just on gaming forums. Scrub however aside from SRK I’ve only ever really seen it used within a sports context, like so and so player is a scrub. In this case scrub is interchangable with benchwarmer.


“n00b” to me is not really relevant in the SRK community. It’s more used in nintendo type of games like brawl and all that. They even used it in a few nintendo games. “n00b” is not all too common in the SRK community, and it’s not very insulting if someone does come across it. Calling an intermediate player a “n00b” can be insulting/funny, though. Maybe it is used to just talk shit with, but I agree, it is overused and it’s kind of losing it’s meaning aside from insulting the player.

“scrub” can be defined in many ways. There is no correct answer, and I agree with your post OP.

My personal definition of a “scrub”, is someone who can’t particularly get around a gimmick. After that, I also think that a “scrub” is going who cannot keep changing the mindset of the game. A “scrub” resorts to using the same setup (even when the opponent catches on after the 2nd or 3rd time), and does not know the situations to counter the better player when exchanging mixups + mindgames. So generally, I think that if they cannot take the game wherever it takes place (IE jump in game, keeps getting uppercutted/whatever), then they are a “scrub” in that particular area, and they are losing to one thing that they don’t know the answer to, hence them being a “scrub” overall.

That’s my opinion on it. I’m looking forward to taking some smart new players under my wing if they are determined and cool about it.


You’re posting on SRK. You’ve answered your own question.


Definitely thrown around too much. I have been saying for years that the attitudes of some players keep new players from getting good and killing the scene. It’s like “tapping the glass” at a poker table, all the fish leave and the game goes sour because of some fucking assholes. Some arcades you go to (I won’t mention any NAMES) feel VERY hostile and VERY segregated. If you play in Japan, there aren’t a lot of shit talkers, they might not say ANYTHING to you, but atleast they’re not fucking jerkoffs.

We need to be nicer to the newbs, and try to convert the scrubs into humble newbs by treating them at least OK until they get ridiculous/stupid.

Newb is not necessarily a bad thing. I am definitely not a newb at Super Turbo or SFII in general, but I AM a newb at SFIV. I’ve been playing it for maybe 3 weeks now. When SFIV comes out many of you guys WILL be newbs again as playing no other SF game really prepares you for 4.

A scrub is a bad player who thinks he’s good, won’t listen and is generally an asshole. These players also don’t tend to shower. This is the guy who will kick your ass online, kick your ass at his house, or REALLY KICK YOUR ASS IRL, BUD. They are living in denial, they get all angry and pissy, and they don’t think.


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Grits, your scrub definition was priceless. Too good, sir.


Good to know I’m not the only one, then-- but for those of you trying to come up with definitions of “scrub”, it is at best a relative term (cause you can say “anyone compared to Daigo is a scrub, gee they keep getting uppercutted” or whatever example you can come up with) and I bet your definition is not going to be consistent from member to member so it becomes a general put-down/insult.

All groups may have things like this, to “expunge like a virus” non-members but this one does not seem to help anyone and can actually work against the purpose of building a community. (Otherwise why would we ever be associated with a default button config console tournament, ie GameStop?)

btw “Noob” is derived from “Newbie” (Newb) for new user/ someone new to either some group or the Internet in general, and will surely have a Wikipedia entry but yeah I haven’t heard scrub mentioned much at all as looking down on anyone outside the srk community much.

The “urchin”, if I recall correctly, was the srk name for the guy who was going to throw chairs, push and shove if you threw him at the arcade and “kick your ass for real” but I could be wrong.


Urchin used as asshole type of violent SF scrub, this post on agsf2 is one of a few. Luckily “tough guys” are mostly on the internet/fps games now lol.

I also forgot to add that the guy who will “kick your ass online, at his house or IN CASUALS” WILL NOT kick your ass in a tournament.

Also this guys definition is good too:


This thread just makes me all kinds of sad.

Sirlin already established what a scrub is and there is actually some significance behind that definition. Please stop trying to turn it into another synonym for noob, we have literally a hundred of those. :shake:


Basically you are a scrub based upon your mentality when playing a game. At least in my opinion you can be a noob and not be a scrub. Only because if you recognize your mistakes and constantly seek to improve yourself instead of blaming it on game mechanics. You will then have more of a chance for success. However, scrubs might put themselves in a hole, and blame their failures on something like “spamming a move” or throwing, and any other thing they can put blame on. So basically it’s limiting yourself to some things because of your mentality.


Well, be sad if you want. This thread isn’t at all about changing the definition of the word nor is it about defining it. The OP was giving background and asking if the terms are misused and thrown around too much.

I say yes. This thread also has some funny posts. Japanese have a word for “scrub” too “pampii” but it’s almost never said. I think they have a tolerant community due to that.


I agree with the OP but I want to amend the definition of scrub.

Scrub: A scrub is a guy that thinks he’s fine, and is also known as a buster.
Always talkin’ about what he wants, and just sits on his broke ass.


And yet that seems to be what everyone is doing. :v

I dunno, I just see a bunch of people trying to make “scrubs suck!” look as funny/witty/original as they can. Maybe I just lack a sense of humor for that sort of thing.



Late 90’s in online fps’, newbie was a new player, and newb or noob was the fps equivalent of a scrub. Obviously thats changed.


I think it’s worse to be a scrub than a newbie at least here in SRK land. Though many people try to use the term scrub and newbie interchangibly, they are not.

I believe a scrub is someone who relies on particular gimmicks to win. I have a friend who is a scrub, and though he does have the potential to be a top player, he refuses to change his gameplan. For example, he may use too many supers in a match, or he relies on particular gimmicks to win. And while it may do well in cassual play, in high level play, certain tactics will not work. For example, he likes to use Alex stun gun headbutt, but when you start to counter it he calls you cheap. Other than his stun gun setups, his overall game boils down to turtling and running away.

A scrub may also want to change certain rules of the game that aren’t considered standard play. For example, a scrub may like to turn off the timer, or turn down the handicap. Or they may rely too much on banned boss characters. A scrub is trying to win, but they are typically trying to rely on a gimmick to achieve this. A scrub is someone who tries to win matches, but don’t always rely on solid gameplay. They’ll rely on gimmicks.

Furthermore a scrub many complain about certain counters or tactics that he/she can’t beat. If you anti-air them too much, or if you throw, then they are quick to call you cheap. They may arbitrarily try to lay down certain rules like telling you not to use your best character, or they’ll tell you not to throw, or tell you not to use a mixup they can’t beat. This goes back to my original description, is that a scrub is trying to win by changing the rules, instead of becoming better.

However to be a scrub, you still have to be a fighting game enthusist or competitive to a degree. However a scrub is generally not willing or too lazy to adapt beyond a certain level. This is why the scrubs are generally looked down upon, when a newbie is not. A newbie simply understands that he is not a good player, but tries to get better. However a scrub doesn’t believe he is bad, and believes he is being cheated out of wins, because he believes he clearly is better than what he is.


What’s funny is that scrubs don’t know what a n00b is. If you go into the “what other players message you after you win” thread for HDR you will see that many very good players get called n00bs because they use (visually) very basic techniques to win.

If they’re the one getting beaten repeatedly by a n00b, then what does that make them?