Home : Software Terms : DLC Definition


Stands for "Downloadable Content." DLC refers to additional content that can be downloaded within a video game. It has become a common feature in PC, console, and mobile games.

The most common type of downloadable content is extra maps or levels that extend the gameplay of the original game. For example, Activision provides Modern Warfare players with new downloadable levels every few months. The company also releases new songs for its Guitar Hero series on a regular basis. By downloading new levels or songs, players can continue to enjoy new challenges after completing the original game.

Another popular type of DLC includes extra items that can be incorporated into the game. For instance, Capcom allows Street Fighter IV players to download custom outfits for their favorite players. Microsoft provides additional vehicles that can be downloaded by Forza Motorsport 3 users. Epic Games provides Gears of War 3 players with new characters that can be added to the game.

While some downloadable content is offered for free, most DLC must be purchased. The cost of downloadable content packs is typically much less than the price the original game, though multiple DLC purchases may surpass the cost of the game itself. Therefore, DLC has become a common way for software developers to generate a continual long-term revenue stream from video games.

NOTE: While DLC first became popular on gaming consoles, it soon progressed to PC games, and then to mobile devices. Now, many mobile apps offer "in-app purchases," which is synonymous with DLC.

Updated: September 6, 2012

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of DLC. It explains in computing terminology what DLC means and is one of many software terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this DLC definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.