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Theorycraft is the mathematical analysis of game mechanics to discover the best strategies and tactics to maximize player effectiveness. It uses tools such as statistics, ability priority lists, and simulations to analyze strategies. The term was coined by the community of Starcraft players as a portmanteau of "StarCraft" and "game theory", which studies reactions of players in response to game rules.

In video games, theorycraft breaks the barrier between game players and developers, since players try to discover the mechanics that usually are accessible only to developers, such as damage coefficients and hidden but subtle mechanics.

Damage per second (shortened DPS) is unit of measure of damage to a character in relation to time; it is the measure of how quickly a character does damage. Maximizing DPS is often a primary focus of theorycrafters. Theorycrafters will usually factor in all of the following but not limited to: Base damage, cooldown time, global cooldown time, cast time, "procs" or triggers of other effects when the primary skill is used, skill chaining, appropriation of "buffs", frequency and placement of temporary abilities, party makeup, "aggro" gain, frontloaded cast timers, character downtime (from death or otherwise), character stat values, and equipment selection. Gear score is a unit of measure of a character's global potential virtues and weaknesses.

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