AFK stands for “Away from Keyboard”. It means exactly what the name suggests. Being AFK means that a player is currently away from the keyboard. They can be gone to get something to eat, something to drink, or maybe they went to open the door. In all those situations, the term AFK suggests that the person is not on the computer right now and will not be touching the keyboard until they get back.
You may be wondering where is the term AFK useful? Why is it even a thing? Basically, if you are playing a multiplayer video game, like let’s say Rainbow Six Siege or New World if you want to get up from your computer and go do something, it is good manners and expected by your fellow teammates that you inform them about this so they know how to react accordingly. Your teammates might be about to start match-making, but if you don’t let them know you are going away, they won’t stop the match-making and might have to play the first round without you. So before you leave your computer, if you just type “AFK” or “AFK 5 minutes” your teammates will know that you are about to leave the computer for about five minutes.
AFK is a short and easy thing to type and conveys important information about what you are about to do. In this way, the gaming experience becomes a whole lot better for you and the ones playing with you.