In action-genre video games, a basic action—such as attacking—requires the user to enter a quick command input. These inputs can be tapping a button or hitting a small sequence of separate inputs; they can be performed in a split second. For special actions, a game may draw out this process, requiring the player to delay finishing his input or otherwise preventing him from performing an action quickly, under the idea that the player is "charging up" extra energy for the exertion.
Charged attacks come in many shapes and sizes, largely depending on the type of game, but there's two basic types:
- 'Collect' type charge attacks. Closely related to the Limit Break popular in JRPGs, this involves performing some sort of action repeatedly to fill up a Charge Meter, and once it reaches a certain point (usually full) the attack may be unleashed. This action can be anything, from waiting for the bar to fill automatically, to inflicting damage on enemies, suffering (or blocking) their attacks, healing allies, or so on.
- 'Hold' type charge attacks. These require holding a controller button (or direction) for a set amount of time and then releasing it (or performing a final combination of button presses) to actually launch the attack. The button to be held is often the attack button, leaving the player defenseless while preparing it. As a result, depending on the game design and situation used, the charged attack may or may not be worth the time to prepare it—doubly so if charging the attack leaves the player unable to move or evade enemy attacks in the meantime.
In either case, be aware that The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
and an AI-controlled opponent might be able to execute charged attacks spontaneously without performing the actions necessary to prepare them up (especially if the opponent Turns Red
). Alternately, when the AI actually takes time to prepare its attack, this may be a warning that the attack will be incredibly
powerful (if not a One-Hit Kill
) and the player should immediately assume a defensive stance
...unless it's an Unblockable Attack
, in which case dodging or interrupting the attack is in order.
for a common visual motif for hold-type commands.
"Charge" in this trope means to fill or store, such as with electricity. Not to be confused with "charging attack" in the sense of rushing forward
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- In Team Fortress 2 the Medic has an Ubercharge meter for his mediguns that goes up by healing teammates. When it's full, it allows the user to make themselves and the healing target invulnerable to enemy attacks, triple his damage output or triples the Medic's healing power, and makes both players immune to slowing or knockback, depending on the type of medigun.
- The Soldier also has three charge-type bugles. They all charge by dealing damage, and provide bonuses to the Soldier and nearby allies when used. One grants extra damage; another reduces damage taken, and the third heals based on damage done, and gives a speed boost.
- The Pyro has the Phlogistinator, which charges whenever he causes fire damage and can be unleashed to cause triple damage for a few seconds.
- The Soda Popper for the Scout has a charging attack that builds up by moving around while wielding the Sawed-Off Shotgun. When the meter is full, you can activate it and have the ability to quintuple jump for a short while (like Double Jump, but 2.5 times better!).
- R-Type series:
- Delta and Final have the Dose Attack / Delta Weapon, a smart bomb charged by absorbing shots with the Force Device.
- Similarly, some of Taito's lesser-known shooters feature the collection of power-ups (Metal Black) or absorbing of enemy shots (Grid Seeker) to power up a large-scale laser beam/bombardment attack.
- Ikaruga has a similar special attack, charged by absorbing like-polarity bullets.
- Gungrave features the "Demolition Shot Gauge." To fill the gauge, Grave must collect "beats", which are obtained by shooting enemies and objects in succession, causing the beat counter flame to get bigger. When Grave has a least one gauge of energy stored, he can either expend it to heal himself, or expend it for its main use of firing a "demolition shot", which utilizes one of the heavy weapons stored in the coffin on his back.
- When fighting the final boss of Metroid Prime, in order to use the final weapon, Samus must stand in a pool of Phazon while firing. And yes, as you can imagine, standing in one place leads to bad things if one is not careful. That said, the boss is totally helpless while taking damage, and the Fission Metroids it spawns can be one-shot killed with the phazon beam if you're willing to to aim it away from the boss.
- Metroid Prime 2 features a similar weapon with a twist: when fighting Dark Samus at the end of the game, she'll occasionally release Phazon "sparks" that Samus must absorb using the charge beam in order to turn it into a Phazon blast, the only thing that can bypass Dark Samus's shield. It's really very annoying, mainly since the boss this weapon is used on has a strict time limit and comes directly after a long endurance match with the boss before, but at the same time, undeniably cool.
- Street Fighter in its later incarnations features variants of a super move gauge, allowing use of more powerful moves when the bar is filled.
- Rogues from World of Warcraft build up points through use of several charge-up moves, and have several finishing moves whose effect becomes more powerful the more points have been built up.
- The planeswalkers from Magic: The Gathering have a similar style. They can use one ability a turn, some of which increase loyalty, while the more powerful ones decrease it, and with very few exceptions, must 'charge' for several turns before they can use their 'ultimate' ability.
- Guitar Hero:
- Groups of "star" notes; hit all of them and you get a quarter of your Star Power meter filled. Additional star power is gained by whammying any sustain notes in the group. Once your meter is at least half full, you can enable Star Power.
- Rock Band does the same thing with a twist: in addition to adding Overdrive power for each group of glowing notes, on occasion the band will all get glowing notes at the same time. If everyone hits the notes, they all get an extra quarter bar of Overdrive power. Otherwise, it's the same as Star Power, but the vocalist gets no benefits from the unison bonus.
- In Lunar Knights, you can use the Trance gauge (which fills by attacking, blocking, and taking damage) to trigger either character's Super Mode and change the time from day to night, but the more widely available option is Burst Attacks, which are essentially twenty seconds of free damage and a change of the weather to that associated with the terrenial.
- In Eternal Sonata, each attack builds up "Echoes," which make special attacks deal more damage. At the highest party level, this allows multiple characters to use special attacks together on the same turn, frequently allowing each party member to attack the enemy six times (two special attacks on each of the three party members' turns) before it gets a chance to fight back.
- In Mega Man X2, X's Armor Upgrade gains the ability to absorb enemy fire to fill up a bar. When filled, X can release a screen-filling discharge that instantly destroys most minor enemies. This became a staple of the series two games later.
- Interestingly, in Mega Man X3, after getting the upgrade for the arm part upgrade (not a typo) or the Gold Armor, taking damage fills up a meter (Collect-type) which allows for using Charged Shots without needing to charge (Hold-type). Sadly, the Hyper Buster isn't all that useful, due to the downgrades it received from the previous game.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission also uses this for the characters' Action Trigger special attacks.
- The Noise Crush from Mega Man 7 is a variant- Fire it at a wall and let it rebound back to you to charge yourself up, then you can fire out a stronger, faster shot.
- Most Professional Wrestling video games only allow you to perform a more powerful signature move upon filling up a meter (usually given a label such as "momentum") by performing a series of normal moves, often without receiving much damage in return.
- Monster Hunter features both types:
- Iji goes in the other direction: The enemies have to use various kinds of charging to fire anything, while Iji is considered an terror to fight because her gun is a "preloader," meaning her gun reloads after firing instead of charging to fire when she pulls the trigger. Normal enemies have to use hold-type charges on most of their attacks. The final boss also has a "preloader," but has a collect-charged super-attack called Phantom Hammer, which collects shots that don't hit you and aren't reflected back at him and turns the gun into a one-hit KO beam cannon. Phantom Hammers are known to destroy spaceships in one hit, or blast through kilometres of rock.
- Pretty much every Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy VII has had some type of charge-up uber attack meter.
- Final Fantasy X has Overdrive moves, which require filling a meter. What exactly fills the meter can be selected for each character (such as attacking, being attacked, healing allies, etc).
- The indie shoot-em-up Medicalat has the Burst attack, which you gather energy for by letting go of the fire button so your cyborg nurse can use her syringe to absorb small bullets and the explosions of certain enemies, damage enemies that touch it and drain energy from shots that can't be absorbed. When the Burst is used, every enemy shot onscreen is absorbed for more energy, and a stream of big blasts is fired until the Burst gauge runs out. The gauge turns red when it's completely full, because if you absorb too much energy, you'll overcharge and take damage. If you can beat one of the bosses without using Burst (continuing to fire a Burst you already started is okay as long as you don't use it again during the fight), you'll get a Convert capsule which uses whatever Burst energy you have to refill your health.
- Seiken Densetsu 3 and Legend of Mana build the charge meter using successful attacks landing on the enemy (and in Legend, successful magic attacks).
- In Diablo II, a separate tree of Assassin skills is devoted to this—charging with these skills, then releasing with a normal attack. Effects vary from life and mana leech to area-affecting Elemental Punches, and can be applied all at once.
- In Dot Hack GU, there is a meter that builds up over the course of many fights. When it's full, the player may use Awakening, which is usually powerful enough to wipe out an entire team of Mooks in one shot. Performing combos, Rengeki attacks, and healing teammates all contribute to the meter. A lone player cannot use Awakening... there must be at least one other person in the party.
- Your ship in Radiant Silvergun can collect pink bullets with its sword which fills up a bar. When the bar is full, a very powerful hyper sword attack can be activated.
- The Dynasty Warriors series features the musou gauge that can be filled either by charging or by defeating enough mooks. When it's full, the character can use their musou move to destroy pretty much any NPC that gets in their way, provided they aren't using their musou as well.
- Jak II: Renegade has the dark eco meter. Dark eco is obtained by defeating non-human enemies. When it's full, the player can use Dark Jak and gain powerful area of effect attacks.
- Kirby Super Star has the Plasma ability, which can be charged to five different levels by mashing the directional pad. Kirbys Return To Dreamland lets the Spark ability build up a similar charge, this time by shaking the Wii Remote.
- In Super Smash Brothers Melee and Brawl, Mr. Game & Watch's "Oil Panic" move works by collecting three enemy projectiles in a bucket, then unleashing a splash of oil. The power of the splash depends on the power of the projectiles that were absorbed (Though in Brawl, it's always fairly strong regardless of what it absorbs).
- The Charge ability in the Paper Mario series grants the user a boost to the damage of their next attack. It can be used repeatedly to keep increasing the damage boost and turns multi-hitting attacks into game breakers.
- Ray Storm and Ray Crisis have a Smart Bomb attack of this type.
- The Secret World has weaker skills build up "resource" charges, which you can then spend to unleash more powerful skills. Blood Magic skills, however, can Cast from Hit Points instead if you want to pull something big off without building up charges.
- Battle Pirates has an unusual "collect"-type attack with its Impulse Launcher weapons; sequential hits from these weapons build up a charge on the enemy that unleashes an area-of-effect shockwave when it reaches its maximum level.
- Jam Kuradoberi in the Guilty Gear series has a move that applies a powerup to each of her other special attacks depending on the button pressed. Each move can have up to three stacked on it, which are discharged the next time you perform that move.
- A lot of Fighting Games has this type as a character\move type. Using a charge move involves holding one direction down for a little, and thrusting in the opposite direction alongside the button press. Difficult but Awesome due to a lot of charge characters being high tier at least.
- Many other Shoot Em Ups feature these, such as Bio-Hazard Battle, Blazing Star, etc.
- Metroid series:
- Samus Aran has a charged beam attack, and in some versions also a dash move, the Shinespark, charged by running.
- In Super Metroid, bosses are immune to normal shots, so if you run out of missiles, the only way to damage them is with charged beam shots, or pray for Boss Arena Recovery items to appear.
- Taken to an extreme in Metroid Prime, since you can charge any beam weapon and use an added missile attack with the charged shot. Super Metroid had secret charge combos with the power bombs.
- Obviously a major theme in Mario Strikers Charged. Charging the ball is often essential to scoring normal goals, and activating skillshots and megastrikes requires the player in possession to charge the ball as well.
- In Super Paper Mario, Luigi has a charged jumping attack, which goes back further than that. It started with Super Mario Bros. 2 (US), where every character can power up their jump by ducking.
- Mega Man (Classic) is one of the earliest users of this. The Charged Attack has been a staple of his Buster ever since Mega Man 4', and even before then, he was able to charge up Heat Man's Atomic Fire in Mega Man 2.
- In the Star Fox series, charged shots are a staple ability, and can also lock-on to most enemies. In Command, one of the several characteristics of the various ships is the lock-on system, which can be non-existant, lock onto the same target multiple times or lock onto multiple targets. Leon's ship has a rather weak laser, but a quick charge that locks onto every enemy on screen.
- All characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee can charge up their Smash attacks.
- Some Special B move attacks are more powerful the longer the attack button is held, but some (Samus, Donkey Kong, Mewtwo, and Lucario's neutral B moves, especially) can be charged up and released whenever the player wishes it. The Super Scope item can also be charged.
- No More Heroes. A basic charged circular slice for low grip and a charged overhead slash for high grip.
- The Gundam Vs Series of video games gained charge attacks in the first Gundam SEED-themed installment, with the Charge Meter being located on the ammunition indicator for the weapon in question.
- In Dark Chronicle, Max and Monica can charge their melee attacks, by holding down the attack button.
- In Devil May Cry, gauntlet weapons (Ifrit, Beowulf and Gilgamesh) have the ability to increase their power by holding the button. Dante also has Drive/Round Trip for his sword, and in 1, 3 and 4 there's the ability to charge gun shots (all of them in 1, Ebony & Ivory and Artemis in 3, and Ebony & Ivory, Blue Rose and Coyote-A in 4).
- Half-Life series:
- Half-Life has the Tau Cannon, whose charged secondary attack is powerful enough to peneterate walls and gib opponents hiding behind them, but causes the gun to misfire and hurt the user if it's held too long (the gun is essentially a particle accelerator strapped onto a miniature nuclear reactor, so it's no wonder if the capacitors are unable to hold that much charge). In fact, camper-hunting is its intended purpose. The Half-Life 2 buggy-mounted version trades off the peneteration capabilities with huge knockback, infinite ammo (it's tied into the buggy's electrical system) and lack of misfire (due to stolen Combine capacitors). A hand-carried version was in the HL2 beta but was cut from the final game.
- Somewhat weirdly, Half-Life 2's pistol has a charged attack, allowing it to fire a burst of shots in a short span of time. Especially weird in that it's not your standard 3-round burst, but more like 15 bullets fired at the exact same time. This is such a Game Breaker that it was disabled for multiplayer in a later patch (although it still works in single player).
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess contains a variation on the typical charged attack. When Link is in wolf form, he and Midna can team up for a specialized attack by holding down a particular button (which one depends on whether you're playing with the Wii or the GameCube) and generating a circle of twilight to encompass multiple enemies. Releasing the button will then cause Wolf Link to more or less ricochet against all enemies caught in this circle, killing them instantly.
- And the Jump Strike skill, as well.
- In the older Zelda games, however, Link had the spin attack, where he spun 360 degrees, dealing extra damage and hitting all enemies surrounding him. However, it had to be charged by holding the attack button. The 3-D Zelda games introduced an instantaneous version of the attack, albeit weaker and somewhat tricky to perform. The Wii version of Twilight Princess, however, since it uses the movement of the Wii Remote to activate the sword (and thus, no button to hold down), changes the spin-attack to an instantaneous attack with a Cool Down period. The GameCube version behaved as status quo.
- Fable series:
- Ranged attacks become more powerful the longer you hold down the attack button. In Fable 2, the longbows are replaced with firearms, but now, instead of a magic bar, all the spells are charged attacks.
- You can also "charge" a firearm after getting the level three ranged combat ability: the longer you aim at a target, the closer you'll zoom in to the enemy, and the closer you zoom in, the more damage you do. This can even be used to kill extremely powerful enemies in one shot. A possible exploit exists in that you can, using a flintlock (one-shot) weapon, fire repeatedly and continue to zoom in between shots, thereby increasing the amount of damage each successive shot causes.
- Magical Battle Arena has these for most of the characters' Special Attacks. Some, like the attacks of Original Generation characters and most of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha cast, can be fired immediately but have the option of being charged first for a more powerful attack. Others however, like Sakura, the Slayers sorceresses, and Hayate, have spells that can only be launched after they are charged, otherwise they will piffle out if you fire them prematurely.
- "Burst Mode" in Gungrave. Holding down the fire button while standing still makes your shots more powerful as it causes Grave to go into a frenzy and he will jump and spin around, shooting everything without looking. Billy and Juji in the sequel get their own variation (Juji's can launch a charged sword combo when the melee button is held for a few seconds and then released). This is if you turned the rapidfire/full-auto option on though.
- In Cave Story, the one weapon whose level isn't affected by energy crystals is the Spur, whose level of strength depends on how long it gets charged.
- Air Rivals uses a variant. The "Charged Shot" and "Hyper Shot" skills work almost the same as these, except it's more of a toggle than a hold. The button is pressed, then the skill charges up automatically for a period of time, then the charge is released with another press. Firing prematurely will cancel the charge, similar to releasing the button prematurely with a hold-type charge.
- Once again, Monster Hunter plays this one fairly straight: the Hammer, Great Sword and Bow all allow players to use a hold-charged attack. In the case of the Bow, this is the same action as a regular shot, although different Bows behave differently when charged up (gaining armor-piercing properties, firing multiple arrows rapidly, firing a spread of arrows, etc). The Hammer and Great Sword differ mainly in that the Hammer can be charged while the player is running, whereas the player must stay still in order to use the Great Sword's charge. Of course, a fully-charged Great Sword strike is frighteningly powerful (or would be, if you weren't fighting monsters the size of houses).
- Fraxy's Charge Blaster. Charge it and you get a big blaster shot. Overcharge it and you get a star-like blaster shot that explodes several times before dissipating.
- A PC Engine shoot-em-up, Override, has an unusually powerful variant on this. If you let go of the fire button, your ship will charge up energy on its own. If you let it charge for three seconds, pressing the fire button unleashes an enormous barrage of fireballs with an equivalent amount of power to a Smart Bomb. What really makes it overpowered is that there's no limit on how often you can use this weapon, except that sometimes you won't have a chance to charge it up while a large amount of enemies are attacking.
- Phalanx, with its "E" Power-Up.
- The Pokemon Ranger games have an interesting version of this. As you progress through the game, you eventually get the option to hold your "Styler" in place on the touchscreen and let it charge up. Afterwards, you can draw circles around the enemy with an increased power, making them easier to capture. It can be difficult to pull off, though, as enemy Pokemon can easily break the charge by so much as stepping on the spot, let alone attacking it.
- Touhou has got it in the Phantasmagoria of Flower View/Dimensional Dream, where you can unleash a charged attack(while still attacking normally, effectively damaging more). In the case of Youmu, her charged attack will vanish some danmaku above her; Youmu also has a charged attack in Ten Desires, in focused mode, unleashing an increasing series of sword slashes above her.
- The Apple of Eden near the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. You can charge it to fry the brains of your enemies.
- The Melnorme spaceship in Star Control 2 has a charge attack that changes colors as it builds up. The "red" projectile is extremely powerful, and can fly through pretty much everything but a planet. Moreover, the charging attack is manifested as a globe at the front of the ship, which can be used as a sort of shield against incoming attacks—nothing except a collision with another ship/planet/asteroid will destroy a red globe, and having it collide with another ship is the almost the same as firing it. When you're holding down the button and something hits the red globe, the game deletes the red globe and does damage. However, since the ship now isn't charging a shot, on the next cycle, since you're still holding down the button, a green ball (lowest charge) will appear in front of your ship. Right where the enemy ship just collided. Therefore, the enemy ship, unless it's moving really fast, is still there, and thus was just hit with another shot. Basically, if you ram an enemy with the shot fully charged, you will not only do the normal massive damage that the full charge does, but also get 3-5 subsequent low-charge shots in as well. So ramming the enemy ship isn't a bad tactic, when you can pull it off.
- Marathon has the Mercury-Class (later Zeus-Class) Fusion Pistol—it's perhaps the first FPS to have a chargeable weapon. The charging effect is activated by the secondary trigger; however, the Zeus-Class will explode if the trigger is held down for too long, killing the player.
- And, of course, following from Marathon's Fusion Pistol is Halo's Plasma Pistol, with an overcharge shot that homes in on enemies and knocks out energy shields with one hit.
- Lost Planet in general uses this on all but two of its energy weapons. One of them is a rifle; the other is a three-barreled rapid fire weapon.
- In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, players can use a Focus Attack with their weapons this way. Magic is also cast in a similar charge-up fashion.
- Prototype allows you to charge Alex's attacks and jump. For seamless movement, the jump charge can be readied while sprinting.
- In Time Shift, the E.M.F. Cannon (which is essentially a full-auto plasma rifle) can be charged for a more powerful shot. At max charge it's the most powerful projectile in the game, and can gib any infantry enemy (even the toughest Superpowered Mooks) with one shot.
- In zOMG!, successfully using your rings (whether attack or support) or receiving damage from enemies fills up a "Rage" meter, which is divided into three segments. You can consume filled segments to use a higher "Rage Rank" version of a ring that increases the potency of its function. A recent update that rebalanced the rings made nearly all of them have additional effects at higher Rage Ranks. A following update also provided a clear indication of how many segments you or your party members currently have available.
- Various special moves and fatalities throughout the Mortal Kombat series have required holding a button for a certain number of seconds. Naturally, the AI can not only perform these moves instantly, but in rapid succession.
- In Mortal Kombat II, Liu Kang has the bicycle kick: he floats towards his adversary, making turkey noises, kicking his feet in a bicycle pedal motion. Players had to charge the low kick for a few seconds, but it was well worth the wait.
- Raiden has a Shocking Grasp for his Charged Attack, which in turn has a Fatality variation, and also a Charged Uppercut fatality. Many other fatalities require you to hold a button for a certain length of time, usually well before you defeat your opponent (eg Shang Tsung's Kintaro morph).
- Eternal Champions makes it so that every character is a charge character. (Although if you buy their Activator controller, you don't have to deal with the charge times...)
- Phantasy Star Zero uses this type of charge functionality to expand your attack options. Charging the Basic or Heavy Attack yields a Photon Art—a specialized technique dependent on the currently-equipped weapon. Charging techniques yields an altered version that is usually meant for crowd control or group augmentation. For example, Foie flies straight ahead and fries the first thing in its path, but Rafoie lobs a fireball over the enemy ranks and fries everything in the blast zone. Alternately, Anti treats the statuses the user may be suffering short of Paralyze or Freeze, but Alanti does the same to the group and revives anyone in range, though only at 1HP. If you're going to use this to revive folks, then invest in Star Atomizers or Alresta.
- In the original arcade version and Sega Genesis version of Joe And Mac (AKA Caveman Ninja), you can hold the attack button for Joe/Mac to charge up by spinning his arm and looking angry while doing so, then release it to throw a bigger version of whatever weapon he's using (including boomerangs, stone wheels, fireballs, and even clones of himself). If you hold it too long, he'll get tired afterwards.
- In Fallout 3, every melee attack can be charged by holding down the button for half a second. This produces a larger swing and a war cry.
- S4 League brings us the Cannonade and the Rail Gun, which do massive damage when fully charged but as a result make them very slow firing weapons, more suited for sniping than close-range combat. Reinforcing this purpose is the zoom feature both of these weapons get.
- Secret of Mana and Secret of Evermore have the hold-type charged attack. At higher weapon levels (lvl 4+), this may become Awesome but Impractical, depending on the weapons equipped, allied AI settings & the current opposition.
- This is how you damage bosses in Mobile Suit Gundam Climax UC.
- Doom 3's BFG 9000 can be charged to create a heavier hitting projectile (at the cost of more ammo consumption). A fully charged blast can take out everything in the game with one shot except the Cyberdemon. You'd better be careful to watch the charge meter, though, or else you'll end up overcharging and having the gun blow up in your face.
- Several of the heavy weapons (most notably the Cain) in Mass Effect 2 need to be charged for a few seconds before firing. Also, the Downloadable Content Geth Plasma Shotgun has this as its Secondary Fire.
- Optionally chargeable weapons have become more common in Mass Effect 3, with multiple chargeable shotguns and a chargeable pistol in the core game, as well as the Chakram Launcher (a promotional item), which is a chargeable assault rifle. There's also a sniper rifle (the Javelin) that has a mandatory short charging period before it fires.
- The Haunted Mansion allows you to do this with the Beacon of Souls, after you get the appropriate Soul Gem. The ability increases as you collect more.
- Super Monkey Ball's Monkey Fight has this, a multiplayer sumo like minigame where you can charge your fist before punching — a good smack can send opponents flying out of the ring.
- Shadow of the Colossus allows you to stab at the Colossi's weak points, taking away at least one fifth of their health, by holding the attack button. Holding the attack button with a bow will also make the arrow go faster and farther in a straighter trajectory.
- Purple applies this to every weapon you can find. The player can still move and stomp enemies while charging, fortunately.
- Knights in the Nightmare requires you to hold the item on the knight (hold your stylus on screen) to charge a skill, even longer for a Hi-Skill.
- Tekken has Jack's Gigaton Punch, which is charged by repeatedly rotating the joystick. At full power, it is unblockable and delivers a One-Hit KO.
- The Fusion Cannon in Descent. If you charge it too long, it starts draining your shields and does less damage.
- Recca uses this for your Smart Bomb- don't attack with your primary weapon and it starts charging up. Infinite smart bombs- you're oh so gonna need them.
- In the Pokémon series, the moves SolarBeam, Sky Attack, Skull Bash, and Razor Wind require a turn of charging before use.
- The hold item Power Herb eliminates this charge-up turn. In sunlight, SolarBeam does not require a charge-up turn, while in other weather (rain, sandstorm, hail), it does half damage.
- The move Charge boosts the power of electric moves on the subsequent turn; the move Charge Beam has a high change of boosting special attack, indirectly making it a charge-up attack.
- The Street Fighter franchise has had special moves that involve holding back or down then pressing forward or up (respectively) along with an attack button at least since Street Fighter II. Computer opponents could often forgo the charge portion.
- Street Fighter's Balrog has the Turn Around Punch special move, - the player holds down all three punch buttons, with longer holds resulting in greater damage (and in some games, an instant dizzy).
- Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman had this in the first game as the Shubibin Buster. The Mega Man-style sequel (released Sequel First in the U.S. as Shockman) replaced it with a similar weapon called the Shubibinbeam (Shockbeam).
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
- The most notable use of charged attacks are probably the Dragon Shouts. Once you've gotten a hold of two or all three words of a Shout, holding the Shout button gives you either a more powerful or a different effect. Let's use the Unrelenting Force Shout as an example: tapping the Shout button gives you "Fus!", which briefly staggers your opponents. Holding it for a second or two gives you "Fus Ro!", which knocks them down. Holding it for a few more seconds gives you FUS RO DAH!, which sends your opponents flying across the room (or off a cliff).
- More mundanely, if you're using a melee weapon, holding down the attack button lets you use a more-powerful power attack, at the cost of some stamina (and the time you used to charge up the attack).
- Most magic spells need to be charged before they can be used. Wards take a few seconds to appear. All healing spells except the basic Healing and Healing Hands require a brief charge-up period, and all Destruction spells except for the basic Novice-level ones have to be charged. As a result, the Master-level Destruction spells are Awesome but Impractical: they're slow to charge (at least 10 seconds, which is plenty of time to get killed), use up truly massive amounts of magicka, require both hands to cast (no Dual Wielding for you!) and, unlike all of the lower-level spells, you can't move while casting them. Most damningly of all, the damage isn't that much better than, say, a dual-cast Firebolt spell, which uses a fraction of the magicka, and, with the Impact perk, has the added advantage of staggering every enemy you use it on.
- Swords has this. It involves building up the character's spiritual energy and unleashing it, providing you can get the attack in before your opponent hits you.
- In Little Samson, Kikira's fire breath can be supercharged by holding down a button. The charging up is indicated by her body changing color.
- Tales of Vesperia:
- Karol can utilize a charge of this nature. Once his weapon is fully charged, it powers up the next attack he uses in ways that vary arte to arte, such as increasing the number of hits, increasing the duration of the debuff it applies, or increasing the range. A particular skill causes his charge to last for a certain amount of time rather then for a single attack, which drastically increases his destructive potential.
- Alvin from Tales of Xillia utilizes the same mechanic and has skills that provide various benefits as long as he has a charge active, the best of them making him Immune to Flinching.
- In the Kunio-kun hockey game Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey-bu, shots can be charged up by holding a button until the stick begins to glow. Powerfully charged shots can knock players right out of the rink.
- Team Fortress 2 has the sniper rifle and its various replacements act as charged weapons. A sniper must right-click to go into scoped mode (for rifles) or hold down the fire button (for the Huntsman) to charge up his primary weapon's damage. This is necessary to achieve the One-Hit Kill Boom, Headshot central to the class' play style, but it slows the Sniper down and often leaves him vulnerable due to a very narrow field of vision.
- The Hitman's Heatmaker adds 'holding' type as well: as he acquires kills, the rifle charges a 'focus' meter which, when activated, removes the need to look away from the scope after firing and speeds up the charge rate of the weapon, making it more lethal.
- Another weapon is the Soldier's Cow Mangler weapon, a Zeerust Ray Gun fired from the shoulder like a rocket launcher. The weapon's secondary-fire mode causes the soldier to slow down to a Heavy-like crawl and charge his launcher for three seconds before firing a large explosive blast at enemies.
- Soldier also has the Beggar's Bazooka, which can be loaded with multiple projectiles (up to three normally - and more than this will cause a misfire - but it can be upgraded to fire considerably more at once in Mann Vs. Machine).
- Jehuty's guard-breaking Burst Shot functions this way, though you don't have to charge it all the way. Zone of the Enders also has the Vector Cannon which requires you to be on the ground(not all that reliable outside of the places the game requires you to use it) and then spends about twenty seconds charging. But if it hits...
- The Lad in I Wanna Be The Guy Gaiden can charge his gun into a larger and shinier shot, much like the original game's Final Boss.
- Soul Calibur has Hilde who's special gimmick is the ability to use charge attacks by holding down either attack button. Given 15 seconds to charge, she can unleash some of the strongest unblockable attacks in the game.
- Over half the roster in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale has a charge-possible move, the most extreme example being Spike, who builds his strategy around how he times his charges.
- X3 Terran Conflict and its expansion pack feature several capital ship weapons, such as the Point Singularity Projector and the Photon Pulse Cannon, which are fired in salvos by ship turrets. When under the control of the player, the weapons can be charged up to deal huge amounts of damage, at the cost of draining significant amounts of weapon energy and the inability to use the assisted-aiming mode.
- Battle Zone 1998 has the MAG cannon, which can only be fired by charging. As the weapon is charged, it gains longer bursts, more damage, and range - and more ammo consumption. In the sequel, Battlezone II: Combat Commander, the MAG has two variants: the "combat" variant functions like a shotgun, but gains range, damage, and accuracy as it is charged up. The "assault" variant is a burst fire weapon much like the first game (though in reverse - low charge has longer bursts than a high charge), with the addition of firing explosive shots.
- Wing Commander Prophecy has the Charging Mass Driver, exclusively mounted on the Tigershark medium fighter and the Shrike bomber. Fully charged, depending on the enemy fighter, it can either take out its shields or destroy it outright if you're lucky.
- In Magicka you can charge rocks to launch them further. This can be very useful when anticipating an enemy caster appearing as you can kill them right off the bat and not have to deal with them later.
- Your main attack in Dynamite Dux is a punch that can be charged in this manner (shown by your duck's fist enlarging ala Battletoads).
- Elemental Master for the Sega Genesis has a charge-and-fire attack that creates a manji-shaped wave centered on the player.
- Divekick has the character Jefailey - a simple tap of the kick button has him do a slow kick that covers very little horizontal space, but holding down the kick button before letting go builds up power for a faster kick that can cover a greater amount of space.
- In X-Men 2: Clone Wars, Cyclops's Eye Beams, Gambit's card attack, Nightcrawler's teleportation and Magneto's orbs can be supercharged by holding down the A button. Other X-Men lack charged attacks.
- In Sengoku Basara, this is Tokugawa Ieyasu's schtick in the third game — practically all his moves are of the hold charge type and become more powerful by holding the attack button down (his special neutral even turns from a Megaton Punch to a Blow You Away ranged attack on full charge), and he gains additional levels of charging by levelling up. This is in contrast to his rival Ishida Mitsunari, who is a Spam Attacker instead.
- God Eater Burst gives any blade-wielding God Eater a hold-to-charge devour attack to have your Living Weapon take a big bite out of the enemy to unleash your Super Mode. Also, buster blades have the Charge Crush move, which involves a viciously powerful overhead swing with a sword the size of a canoe.
- Quarantine has the Fusion Boy gun which can be charged up by holding the fire button to deal major damage to vehicular Mooks, and certain vehicles can be destroyed in one hit from a fully charged blast. The drawback is that it uses up 3 energy cells for the charged attack, and it is next to useless during the boss fights, because it is too slow to be used effectively. The weapon will not be available in arms dealer stop-and-shops until the second level.
- In Disney Princess Enchanted Journey, holding down the magic button will let you cast a powerful area attack.
- In the Genocide series, you get to use an attack drone called Betty that can charged up for a powerful charged shot in eight directions.
- The Binding of Isaac features two items that make your attacks chargeable: Brimstone (which fires an infinite-range beam of what is presumably blood after holding down the fire button for a short while) and Chocolate Milk (Which deals damage based on how long you charged it for, a la Metroid.)
- In Bastion, shots from the Breaker's Bow become more powerful and pierce through multiple targets if the player holds down the attack button longer, and fire a "Power Shot" for maximum damage if the attack button is released when the Kid flashes white.
- Every character in Super Time Force has one which does different things like generating defensive shields or firing piercing lasers.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo you need to hold square so the killing blow charges, but you can't move and the enemy can still kill you, so it's basically Awesome but Impractical.
- Perfect Dark's Mauler pistol has a charged Secondary Fire, but it doesn't work like either of the two examples because it charges automatically. Just keep the secondary fire mode active, and it'll automatically start glowing red and consuming up to five rounds in the current clip. Pulling the trigger consumes one more round and fires a shot with added damage based on how many rounds were used to charge up beforehand, with a full charge likely being a One-Hit Kill.
- The Zappflies in Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath also charge similarly. Leave them loaded and don't fire, and the double-barreled crossbow will become electrified after about a second. This charged state is needed to activate certain switches and hunt other types of live ammo.
- Children Of Mana has both types, whose effect varies depending on the weapon. For the hold-type, the sword acts as a shield to block ranged attacks, the flail will move straight forward to act as a grapple to pull an enemy or item towards you (or the other way around), the bow will make music that give some status ailment to enemies, and the hammer releases a sort of Ground Pound. The collect-type changes the aforementioned hold-type attacks, giving different, more powerful ones. It is charged by hitting enemies and taking damage.
- Champions Online has a combination. You use relatively weak "Energy Builder" attacks to build up your energy meter (Collect-Type), then you can use that energy for more effective powers by holding down the button for that power to charge and release (Hold-Type). Doing so partially depletes your energy meter so after one or two big attacks you have to go back to the weak ones to build up again.
- The Mutants & Masterminds supplement Mecha & Manga has both versions. Combo attacks allow characters to make moves that accumulate points to be used for powerful attacks and the Charge Power flaw makes a power less expensive by requiring it to be built up one rank at a time over a course of rounds.
- Silent Hill 4 utilizes both types at once. For one, Henry can build power to strike with a strong attack, but can also build charge over consecutive strikes to end a combo with a strong attack. The amount of charge time needed is proportional to the weight of the weapon at hand.
- Devil May Cry
- The gauntlet and greaves weapons, DMC 4's Gilgamesh and DMC 3's Beowulf's ground attacks can all be charged "Hold" style. Luckily, this only affects damage and not knockback so you can charge each of your combo's hits without the enemy flying backwards on your first hit.
- In DMC 3, there's the Devil Trigger Explosion, Which is a Gather & Hold style attack where you hold the DT button until the filled runes in the DT gauge in the HUD glows. The more of them glows, the more powerful the explosion, and you can't use it if the gauge has less than 3 runes filled up.
- "Gather" style charging.
- Nero has his Red Queen's Exceed System. Where you can "rev" it to up to three levels in order to ignite the sword, turning it into a Rocket-Powered Weapon if you attack with it with the meter filled up.
- DMC 3 & 4's Royal Guard Style. Royal Guard gathers Dante's "rage" each time he blocks successfully under the style. allowing him to "release" it later For Massive Damage. The gathered rage can also be used to access the "Dreadnaught" form in 4. where Dante becomes an invulnerable Stone Wall.
- DMC 4's Calamity Gauge for Pandora. It fills the more you hit enemies with Pandora's regular form attacks. once it fills, you can switch to Gunslinger style to use its "calamity forms" that use up the gauge. one is a Smart Bomb that does massive damage but has insanely slow windup. another is a mobile missile battery that can do a Macross Missile Massacre, and the last is a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
- Area Flat III has a variation- your Wave Motion Gun charges when you are not attacking. When you are attacking, you fire your Wave Motion Gun until your charge meter runs out, after which you revert back to your standard attack.
Non-Video Game Examples
- The Web Serial Novel Worm has a few examples:
- Battery, a superhero who can gain super-speed, super-strength, and super-durability in bursts after charging up.
- The superhero Prism has a similar ability where she splits into three selves then gets a temporary hit of super-strength, speed and durability when they rejoin into one.
- The Indian cape Phir Sē creates one using his Time Master powers.
- Non-Video Game example. In GURPS, a mage can charge up a magical projectile by holding onto it for a few seconds and adding extra energy.
- The Real Life practice of "cooking" a hand grenade (holding it for a few seconds before throwing) could be seen as a variation of this. It can even increase the attack power if it causes the bomb to go off in midair, as airbursts are typically more effective than the same weapon detonating on the ground.
- PPC capacitors and bombast lasers (the latter a canon immigrant from MechWarrior 4) in BattleTech. A capacitor turns the PPC it is attached to into one of these — it can still be fired normally or the capacitor can instead be charged by holding fire for a turn, boosting the next shot's power and heat buildup (with an additional small chance of blowing up the weapon). Bombast lasers are safer and can both fire every turn and be more finely tuned, but their firing delay if used on anything other than the lowest setting instead translates into an increasing to-hit penalty.