What IMBA Means in Online Gaming World


IMBA! In online gaming world, a lot of gamers say the word “imba” and a lot more don’t know what it means. I myself asked the question, what is imba? when I heard it for the first time while playing DotA (Defense of the Ancients) a few years ago.

Imba is a word usually used in online gaming as an abbreviation for imbalanced. It can be applied to a subject in gaming whether a weapon, army, race, role, abilities, job, etc. which either can be too strong (overpowered, OP) or too weak (underpowered, UP) according to Urban Dictionary.

Although the word “imba” is applicable to both overpowered and underpowered subject, it’s mostly referred to an in-game subject that is too strong that makes the imba user hard to beat or nearly invincible.

Here’s an example of “imba” used in DotA with Rikimaru, The Stealth Assassin.

Triple Kill! Godlike! (DotA announcer said when Rikimaru killed 3 foes in a row)

Player X: What the pak! I got killed again. Riki’s abilities are so imba!
Player Y and Z: Wow! IMBA!
Player Rikimaru: Is it Riki or just my skills? Ahaha!

Another DotA example now with Mirana Nightshade, Priestess of the Moon.

Player X: Dang! I got hit by Mirana’s Jumong (Elune’s Arrow) again!
Player X’s Ally: IMBA!

When not used in relation to a game, it’s mostly used as a word of praise for being an elite, awesome, the best or unbeatable rather than an insult for being weak.

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