Away from keyboard

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Away from keyboard (AFK) is a colloquialization used in many online communities such as chatrooms and gaming environments to denote the fact that a player has stepped away from their device, and will be unreachable until they return.”[1] It is often encountered in servers and multiplayer games, and can be observed when a player's avatar is standing idle, without any input from the player. Such players are often removed from the server as to reduce server lag. Minecraft servers, for instance, will remove AFK players automatically.

In gaming, AFK players are sometimes punished not only by being kicked from the server, but also by having his/her credit score reduced. If his/her credit score is lower than the required minimum score to play in certain modes such as ranked play, he/she will be banned in that game mode. This is done to prevent players from being AFK in competitive matches where server speed can hinder performance drastically. "Downsides to online connections include increased difficulty detecting cheating compared to physical events, and greater network latency, which can negatively impact players' performance, especially at high levels of competition."


  1. ^ What is Away From Keyboard (AFK)?. techopedia. 2018.