[[quoteright:254:[[VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AOEonfire_535.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:254:Who knew [[RammingAlwaysWorks ramming]] put [[FridgeLogic stones]] [[IncendiaryExponent on fire]]?]]
Whenever structures in RTS games are damaged, the damage is usually represented by a tiny flame that burns perpetually in the corner of the building, which grows as the damage increases. The fire represents the damage, but does not ([[Franchise/{{Starcraft}} usually]]) damage the building further. Sometimes this trope will also apply to vehicles, which start smoking and sparking when damaged.

Being on fire is basically ''the'' standard way to communicate "this thing is damaged" to players.

See also ShowsDamage.

----
!!Examples:

* Critically damaged components in some ''MechWarrior'' games will smoke and burn.
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'', the flames are bigger than the building.
** Some of the buildings are obviously made out of ''stone''. The most likely scenario for fire destroying a stone building is that the fire would burn down wooden supports; the unsupported stone would then collapse. However, in Age of Empires, it just looks like the stone ''itself'' is on fire.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft|I}}'', Terran and Protoss buildings display this, with Terran buildings burning orange and Protoss buildings burning blue-white, [[YouFailPhysicsForever even in a vacuum]]. Unusually, Terran buildings ''will'' take additional damage if their health bars are red, and will eventually burn down if not repaired. Zerg buildings bleed instead of burn because they are OrganicTechnology, and will slowly repair themselves over time.
** Justified for Terrans. Due to NoOSHACompliance, their buildings are haphazardly constructed and tanks or lines for volatile chemicals are easily damaged. Combat can easily cause said damage.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' units. Killing a biological unit with a Roach or Baneling (which have an [[HollywoodAcid Acid attack]]) will cause that unit to literally melt away. [[KillItWithFire Killing a unit with fire]] (Hellion, Firebat, and Battlecruiser) will cause them to burn to death.
* ''RiseOfNations''
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}''. Particularly noticeable in ''VideoGame/WarcraftII'', as a growing flame in the middle is the ''only'' visible effect of damage to a building.
** This could get funny when you set a gold mine on fire by shooting arrows at it. ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' comes around, and suddenly [[ReverseFunnyAneurysm it turns out]] that all of those rocks that weren't gold were actually MadeOfExplodium.
** In the ''Warcraft'' RealTimeStrategy series, hitting a building with cold or water elementals will ''still'' set it on fire.
** ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' has buildings that will explode and leave a pile of cinders...from being whacked by steel axes. Bonus points for structures made entirely of carved stone and steel.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}''
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsGalacticBattlegrounds'' (then again, it runs on the AOE engine...)
** and ''Star Wars: Empire at War'', though not that noticeable (or for everything).
** The Rebel Fortress structure in ''Galactic Battlegrounds'' produces a flame approximately the size of an Imperial AT-AT walker when it's being torched.
* ''CommandAndConquer''
** Also slightly averted: Flames left behind as the result of a building or vehicle's ''destruction'' '''will''' damage anything placed on top of them until they burn out.
*** Also, the buildings usually have different graphics displayed depending on how damaged the buildings are, in addition to the fires. So the damage is not only represented by the flames.
* ''VideoGame/JustCause'' does this with vehicles. If it's on fire, you'd better jump out quick.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': Sentry guns smoke and spark if damaged; at higher damage levels, the smoke becomes fire.
** Likewise the ''Franchise/{{Bioshock}}'' turrets and security bots.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' does this with your vehicle.
* ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander''
* ''Robot Wars''
* ''TotalAnnihilationKingdoms'' - however, a burning building will be further damaged by the fire.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto 3'' and up implement the vehicular version, where the car begins to smoke as it is damaged. However, once it catches on fire it becomes a time bomb with a very short fuse.
* ''GearsOfWar'' - Your vehicle, though since the health in the game is the WalkItOff type your mechanic is repairing the thing.
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather'' game, vehicles will catch fire once they have taken enough damage, while a bombed building will be on fire.
* ''Constructor'' has tenants of houses politely inform you that their abode is filled with smoke and burning to the ground, complete with 40 foot flames shooting out of said domicile.
* ''HogsOfWar'' has this, and it extends as far as to your flesh-and-blood characters, who explode upon losing all their hitpoints (even from ''drowning'') and leave a pair of smoking boots behind.
* VideoGame/{{Prototype}} uses this trope for vehicular damage but averts it for buildings.
* BrutalLegend uses this.
* Taken to its logical conclusion in VideoGame/GoldenEye1997 (64). If you shoot a box enough, it Explodes and is partially deformed. Shoot it more and It'll explode again and look like it's falling apart. Shoot it MORE and it will explode AGAIN! finally being reduced to a few blackened remains.
* Most shmups, such as ''{{Raiden}}'', use this for large enemies and bosses, as well as destroyable scenery.
* Played amusingly straight in ''Singles 2: Triple Trouble'', a [[FollowTheLeader cheap knockoff]] of VideoGame/TheSims. It makes sense that a stove would belch smoke if it needed repairs... But can anyone explain why the ''bathroom sink'' does the same?
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestI'', both of your offensive spells, Hurt and Hurtmore, are fire spells. When ''VideoGame/DragonQuestII'' came out, the English translation turned one of the new offensive spells, [[BlowYouAway Woosh]], into another fire spell called "Infernos." Starting in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'', more varied forms of magical attacks appeared.
* ''FireEmblem 10'' technically plays this straight, but usually it's directly stated that the bandits or other enemies ARE burning down the structures in question.
* ''VideoGame/AztecWars''
* ''VideoGame/BattleRealms''. Buildings just get more broken when damaged by normal attacks. It's possible to set buildings on fire with certain units to deal damage over time, with the size of the flames is proportional to how much damage its taking per second, not by how much it has already taken.
** Stone buildings can catch on fire, but they go out almost instantly.
* ''VideoGame/SimCity''. This city simulation has no combat and thus no hitpoints. Fires in this game will destroy buildings if they are left burning too long.
* ''{{VideoGame/Netstorm}}'' has buildings burning after some damage threshold. They don't get worse, but you can't repair anything either.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'', when ships are damaged below about half health, they start shooting flames. Presumably this is due to the damage control teams desperately trying to keep the fire from spreading by venting the flaming compartments' atmospheres into space, so it's a [[JustifiedTrope justified example.]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TheSettlers II'', where buildings can't be damaged at all, but are destroyed or razed on occasion. This results in a fire and smoking ruins afterwards, indicating that razing actually happens ''through'' burning.
* ''KnightsOfHonor'': When pillaging, laying a siege, or battling enemy forces, the units/structures/castles are replaced with burning flames.
* ''Majesty''
* ''VideoGame/JeffWaynesWarOfTheWorlds'' uses varying amounts of smoke and flame to indicate damage, not only to faction units and structures but to literally everything destructible, which includes civilian buildings, bridges, trees, ''lamp posts''...
----