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Over the years Worms has grown its own unique community, with its own rules and codes of behavior. These are of course not written in stone but they are pretty well agreed upon. Keep in mind that these might change over time without this article changing (written June 2007).

Also in this article, game rules for various schemes.

Nice things to say

Wish your opponent good luck

It is common practice to wish your opponents good luck at the start of the game. Although not doing so isn't considered by many to be offensive, it is common practice. Usually a simple acronym GL & HF, which stands for Good Luck and Have Fun will do.

Say good game at the end

At the end of the game, or at the death of a player's team the other players often congratulate them on their performance in the game with the acronym GG, meaning Good Game. This is considered to be the polite thing to do, especially towards the host. Not doing so at all often leaves people with the idea that the player in question is too taken in with his own defeat that he can't be bothered with the niceties of the game. Don't do this, it's considered rude and people might take offense.

An acronym somewhat less commonly used is that of BG, which means Bad Game. This isn't all that nice a thing to say either, but at least it's an honest opinion.

Another use of the GG acronym is at the start of a player's turn. This might mean he's planning on taking an opponent's team out. In reverse; at the end of a turn this might mean he expects to be taken out himself before his own next turn.

Some people like to type "99" instead of "gg", since the "9" and the "g" have similar forms.

Other stuff

Common in-game abbreviations:

  • afk – "Away from keyboard"
  • bl – "Bad luck"
  • brb – "Be right back"
  • gg – "Good game"
  • gl – "Good luck"
  • hf – "Have fun"
  • n – "Nice"; prefixed with "v" to mean "Very nice"
  • n1 – "Nice one"
  • nd – "Nice drop"
  • ne1 – "Anyone"
  • ns – "Nice shot"
  • nt – "Nice try"
  • nh – "Nice hide"
  • nl – "Nice landing"
  • nk – "Nice knock"
  • nr – "Nice roping" / "Nice run" (for non-rope races)
  • np - "No problem"
  • rh – "Rehost"
  • rm – "Rematch"
  • t or thx – "Thanks"
  • ty – "Thank you"
  • u2 – "You too"
  • wp – "Well played"

Leaving the game

Don't quit during the game

People don't appreciate it if players leave a game. These people are often called quitters. If a player gets the reputation of a quitter he might not be allowed to join a game at all. It's best not to leave a game at all once you are in. They don't last hours so just make sure you've got enough time to finish, and if you don't it's good to ask the host if he would still want you to play.

Especially team games are ruined if a player suddenly decides to leave. Just don't join them if you don't have enough time because you will ruin the entire game by leaving. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have to leave unexpectedly. Inform the other players of the situations to avoid people thinking of you as a quitter.

Don't leave your keyboard without notification

It is very annoying if people have to wait for a player who has left their keyboard. Because this game is turn based they can't do anything while you are getting your beverage of choice. Tell people when you leave the keyboard and expect not to be back before your turn.

Worms Armageddon has an away function which can be activated by typing /away or /afk in the chat box. This will automatically skip your turns until you are back. If you are playing WA you should use this function.


Let people know if you have little to no experience in a game

If you have little experience in a game, it is best to say so. This way the players can then help you to understand the game/scheme better. This will prevent any conflicts in the game.

Ask for the rules

Games on W:A have a set number of rules, which can be read at the Schemes page on this wiki. However, if you want to get started before reading through these pages or they're hosting a scheme that's not described here, it's always a good idea to ask for the rules. Asking them in advance shows you're willing to learn the rules and avoids breaking rules with all ensuing flaming.

The host decides

Usually the host will state any rules for the game (e.g. All But Last), and they will be the set rules in the game. These rules are usually final, and not up for discussion. If there is any conflicts in the game (i.e. a player breaks a rule) then it is up to the host to decide what happens, whether it is a warning, skip a go and so on. Players should abide and if any disagreement speak to the host.

Etiquette for hosts

Don't mess with the schemes

Schemes have a history on Worms. Chances are, the people that join your games have been playing the scheme you're hosting for years. Of course, sometimes, schemes do change over time and if you make your own scheme, notify the others in your game of the most important changes, so there won't be any unpleasant surprises for them.

Don't ever quit the game

As the host, you are providing the game to the other players. If you quit the game, then everyone drops out, and play ceases. It is not recommended to quit when hosting, unless you have to (and it is best to say so in the chat box before you do)

Predefine player limit

When hosting a game, hosts can say in the game title '4_max' or something similar, or in the host lobby, the host can say '4 players maximum'. The host can then choose 4 players (including himself - or not if he would rather watch) to play, typically the first four players or the first four to state a correct rule. Hosts should not discriminate if they are from a different country (i.e. Mexico or Brazil)

Hosts may also drag the bottom of the player list box to set the desired maximum amount of people.

Scheme rules

Shortcut: Rules

Rules were added to some schemes to make the gameplay more challenging by avoiding too cheap kills, prohibiting moves considered as cheating and to designate the way for playing the particular scheme. These are not enforced by the game engine and thus is up to all players in the game to follow them. Not only should you know these rules before playing the respective schemes, but some hosts may require that you enumerate them (sometimes in a private message) to prove that you know them. In this case, enumerating the acronyms (e.g. CBA, AFR, ABL/KTL for Shopper) or even the acronyms of the acronyms (e.g. CAK/KAC/ACK/CKA/AKC and so on for Shopper) suffices.

The rules described here apply to the most commonly-played schemes on WormNET. Other schemes may have other rules which are specific to that scheme. Please consult the scheme's page (found on the Schemes list) for details about specific schemes.

Shortcut: PACK


In Worms terminology, PACK represents the original set of Shopper rules, which is in use since the creation of the scheme around 1999. PACK is an abbreviation for Pile, ABL, CBA, and KTC.

Around 2000, a new rule which originated from the Roper scheme made its entrance into Shopper: AFR – Attack From Rope. The combination of AFR and the PACK rules then became known as the proPACK rules. Around 2003, the AFR rule got so integrated into Shopper, that the difference between PACK and proPACK was forgotten and AFR became a standard Shopper rule.

Shortcut: Pile


In Worms gameplay terminology, a pile is a group of worms close together, usually from different teams. If two worms can be harmed by firing a single shot of a weapon, they are considered to be in a pile.

When applied together with rules such as All But Last or Kill The Leader, it means that a player's immunity granted by these rules doesn't apply if his worms are in a pile with worms of an attackable player.

Shortcut: ABL

ABL - All But Last

Team energy bars. Top to bottom: 3-UP, 1-UP, 2-UP.
In this picture, 3-UP is the leading team while 2-UP is the last.

When there are three or more players, this rule forbids anyone to attack the team with the least total health. The team with least health will always appear last in the team list at the bottom of the screen (which can be fixed by pressing Shift+Del).

Shortcut: CBA

CBA - Crate Before Attack

The rule obliges all players to collect a crate before attacking with a weapon (rope knocking not included). If the crate is destroyed or is somehow inaccessible, the player must skip his turn.

Shortcut: KTC

KTC - Kill The Cow

"Cow" redirects here. For the weapon, see Mad Cows.

In case that a player doesn't abide the game rules, and refuses to take the penalty (usually skipping one turn), the players can decide to start attacking the cheating player (Cow), ignoring all other rules, until his team is eliminated or the player quits.

In Worms terminology, cow usually refers to a player that doesn't abide by the scheme rules. There are many speculations about the origins of this term. One is that it is "short for coward", other see it as an acronym of "Criminal of War", another say it is because "attacking last is bullshit behavior". However it seems this term originated in the early days of clan-on-clan matches. According to Vader, the clan "(o\|/" would typically attack the weakest worm on the weakest team, a strategy which resulted in the KTL rule being born. Consequently, when a player deviated from the KTL rule, he would be labelled the "cow".

Other rules in shopper schemes

Shortcut: AFR

AFR - Attack From Rope

AFR, meaning Attack From Rope, is a common rule in schemes like Shopper. This rule obliges all players to use weapons from the Ninja Rope, if this is possible. Thus, weapons like Bazooka, Grenade, homing weapons and even airstrikes and global-effect weapons like Scales of Justice must be used from the rope. With other weapons which are impossible to use from the rope, such as firearms, the player is allowed to dismount the rope first. Depending on the Extended Scheme Options, it may be possible to use certain weapons that can normally only be used while jumping from the rope. In those cases, this rule applies to those weapons too.

Shortcut: KTL

KTL - Kill The Leader

Kill The Leader (or ATLAttack The Leader) only. Any team can take damage so long as the leading team (the team with the most total health) takes at least 1 hit point of damage. If the player whose turn it is is the leader, he should damage the 2nd team from the top. Used as an alternative to ABL.

Shortcut: WBA

WBA - Wall Before Attack

Wall Before Attack, the additional rule in Wall-X-Wall Shopper, requires the player to touch all specially-marked walls before attacking.

FBA - Fly Before Attack

Fly Before Attack, the additional rule in Fly Shopper, requires the player to fly over an obstacle in the middle of the map before attacking.

SBA - Surf Before Attack

Surf Before Attack, an additional rule in Surf Shopper, requires the player to skim across the water before attacking (usually applied if control is set to be kept after skimming).

SAA - Surf After Attack

Surf After Attack, an additional rule in Surf Shopper, requires the player to skim across the water after attacking (applied if control is set to be lost after skimming).

AFA - Attack From Air

Attack From Air, the additional rule in Attack From Air Shopper, requires the player to only use a weapon during a rope-roll.

Other schemes

Here are listed some rules (mostly) applied outside the Rope-based schemes:

S@S - Start at Start

Start at Start is a rule represented by placing a worm onto a special area on the map marked as start point at the beginning of the game, useful for schemes whose maps only have the start point and not the End/Finish point (for example: Golf or Mole Vaulting), but can also be used for races, although the Start to Finish rule is more specific for this.

STF or S2F - Start to Finish

Start to Finish is a rule specific for races in which the players not only need to Start at Start, as they need to reach the Finish/End point to end the match.

No roofing

Indicates that the scheme settings disallow you from evergetting upon the roof of the map (which isn't easy to reach anyway).

No rope knocking

Rope knocking is disabled. Applies for Team17 and Elite schemes.

AFJ - Attack From Jetpack

A rule used in Petrolia and Jetpack BnG. Players must always have the jetpack engaged when attacking or using any other weapon.

Etiquette for creativity: avoiding plagiarism and citing influences

The community of Worms games is constantly creating stuff and contributing to the evolution of the game. There are programmers (developing softwares for the game), scheme makers, map makers, soundbank makers, grave makers, fanfare makers, terrain makers, flag makers, etc. The creative process may take a lot of time and effort to get something done, so people behind an artwork or any other type of labour should be credited and recognized. Usually an idea doesn't come out of nowhere, people tend to be inspired by others to create stuff, so a good practice is to cite the work or the players that inspired you (your influences), this way you'll be valorizing the effort of other people and may even be seen as a nice person by doing this.

Another thing that may happen in the creative process is the so called "coincidence", when you have the same idea someone else had, creating something very similar or equal to a previous one. To avoid this, try to use the search tools of the community websites to see if your idea is really new or not. This way you may discover that someone already had your idea and made something similar to what you were thinking or may simply find out that your idea is indeed very unique. You can also ask other players (especially the ancient, influent or experienced ones on the niche you are planning to work) if they know if there is anything similar within the community. You will avoid future criticisms and plagiarism acusations by doing this, once you searched and predicted possible coincidences.

Stealing an idea of a player and saying it is your own idea (without crediting the original author) is not something ethical and all the "glory" you received by the copy (or plagiarism) you made from someone else's effort might be discovered over the time, thus losing a good part of that "glory" and turning it to a big decrease in your reputation.

If you want to improve an idea or simply want to make a new variant or variation, just make it clear that you worked on a previous idea to originate a new concept or possibility from that idea. Credits, references and acknowledgements are always welcome.

See also

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