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In a multiplayer video game, servers have "slots" for players to join into. I have been trying to figure out what is the best translation for "slot" in this context.

Basically, a multiplayer server must have at least one open slot, or else new players cannot join the game. When they join the game, they fill up the slot. If a server has 5 slots, only 5 players can join. Another similar word in English in this context could be "opening".

Google Translate suggested some of these, but I don't know if they're right:

  • "fente" and "rainure" - Both of these seem to relate to long thin holes, the example usages were a slot to put coins into at an arcade or piggy bank, or cracks in ice.

  • "créneau" - This seems to be more on the right track, but I'm skeptical of it, since the reverse translation is "niche".

  • Translating various phrases also led me to "emplacements".

  • This is a really good question because "slot" is kinda weird in English when used like this. – Joshua Mar 27 at 19:18
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I'd recommend place or emplacement.

As you said fente and rainure don't fit in this context.

Créneau is closer but is really associated with time slots and I wouldn't use it.

Place literally means spot, but is also very associated with a one-person "seat". For example "une place de cinéma" is both a movie ticket and the seat where one person can sit. "There are 2 seats left in the car" is "Il reste 2 places dans la voiture".

Emplacement is good too. It's more often used for things that people, but is closer to the definition, and very common in video games : a weapon with "3 gem slots" will have "3 emplacements de gemmes" in French. And since it's a server and the spots are virtual it wouldn't bother me to use that word.

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    Even maybe "place libre" in the specific context of slots that are intended to be filled by people but aren't yet. That's what would be used to describe the free spots in a parking lot for instance, and I'm pretty sure I've also read that in online games. – Aaron Mar 27 at 13:24
  • « Place » ou « joueur » sont les termes courants mais jamais je n'ai trouvé « emplacement » pour des jeux ; existe t-il des cas pour les jeux informatiques ? Sinon il me semble qu'il vaut mieux enlever « emplacement » ou bien le justifier comme étant une nouvelle possibilité qui convient au jeux informatiques. – LPH Mar 27 at 15:40
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Some purists will scream, but many French native speakers in the gaming community will simply use the English term "slot".

An example here.

The anglicism "slot" is common in French in other technical fields, for instance, in the aviation industry, when talking about the slots assigned to planes for taking off from an airport.

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I think place is the right way to go, I don't see how emplacement would fit in this context.

Place would be used in the context of a bus, train, plane or in a car park: In front of a car park there might be a sign "X places libres".

Showing a list of servers, you could go for:
Serveur AZ123 (4 place(s) libre(s))

But it is also common to use joueurs (players) in your context:
Serveur AZ123 (1/5 joueur(s))

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Créneau can be used, especially in a négative sentence:

Il n'y a pas de créneau disponible.

However, it is more used to mean a time slot in this context, i.e. fixed periods of time like when making an appointment to a doctor which is unlikely the case with your game.

You might then just use place here :

Le serveur permet à cinq joueurs de se connecter simultanément. Il reste deux places disponibles.

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