What does Diff mean in Overwatch 2 (and other games)?

What does Diff mean in Overwatch 2

It’s short for “difference”

If you’ve played Overwatch 2 since launch, odds are you’ve seen the phrase “diff” pop up on screen.

One of the earliest known uses of the term that I could dig up (and roughly when I recall seeing it) was 2020 (NSFW Urban Dictionary warning), used mostly in League of Legends (there’s even a community song called “Jungle Difference”). Since then it’s come up in games that also use specific characters/roles in a heavy fashion: like Overwatch 2.

So what does “diff” mean? It’s literally just short for “difference,” and is generally used a term to deflect blame in a PVP game. In other words, if you’re playing as a DPS role, and someone on the other team (who is also DPS) is getting more kills than you, someone may type “DPS diff.” This basically just means that ” [in the view of the person typing it] the other team is fulfilling its role better than you.” That can extend to “Reaper diff,” and so on (someone is saying the other Reaper was better than you).

This sort of thing has been said for years in any online PVP-based game, and can be applied to a wide variety of sports with any sort of positions/proper roles. It’s also extended to memes where someone will compare two images, like “our mage” (a human with a wizard hat), and “their [team’s] mage (a warlock with magic swirling around then creating destruction).

In any case, just be aware of it, and potentially mute anyone who says it. Losses can elicit all sorts of responses from teammates, and you can take the time to either check your replay to see if you have room for improvement; or move on.

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!