Dump Stat

Who needs Charisma for smashing orcs?

A phenomenon that occurs in games that involve multiple attributes for your characters and allow you to customize those attributes in some fashion. This is the stat that you put your lowest score in, or else don't spend any points on at all.

This can occur for multiple reasons:
  • The stat is an ill-defined "flavor" stat that doesn't help your character survive the frozen wasteland or kill the evil troll king. After all, how much sense does it make to pump your Orc Barbarian's "Hairdressing" skill?
  • The effect of the stat is overshadowed by, or even made redundant by, the effects of a different stat. If the only purpose of wisdom is to affect your defense, and dexterity affects your defense while also improving your accuracy, why waste points on the less efficient stat? (Even having wisdom exert a greater influence on your defense than dexterity can't always alleviate this.)
  • The stat affects absolutely useless aspects of the game. Why put points in stun resistance when a character with the minimum stun resistance never noticeably gets stunned anyway?
  • The stat would be useful if it wasn't nerfed into oblivion at some point in the testing process. Luck increases your chance to instantly kill weaker enemies! ... by .01% per point, and it maxes out at 10. Pass.
  • The stat is glitched so it doesn't do what it's supposed to. Final Fantasy VI's Physical Evasion or Final Fantasy VII's Armor Magic Defense are two notorious examples.
  • The stat actually is useful, but made redundant by other party members who are potentially more capable with it. Therefore, it's illogical for your character to waste resources in this area. Why bother teaching your Knight Lock-Picking for Dummies when you have a master thief working for you? Or when your Wizard has a spell to automatically pick locks?
  • The particular game requires you to have a dump stat, either implicitly (e.g., a game where a score of 2 in a stat is "average" and you have 3 stats but only 5 points to buy them with) or explicitly (e.g., the same game, but instead of having points to spend, you are simply told to assign one stat a value of 1, one a value of 2, and one a value of 3).
  • It's just a stat you don't need for this character or playthrough. If Min-Maxing is involved, playing twice with different styles will pay better than playing it with average in all stats, so one has to be sacrificed.

The phenomenon has many causes. The primary cause is poor game design; ideally, all of your customization options should have some use beyond "flavor". Another common cause is that a game system is designed to handle multiple facets of gameplay, but the game itself only encompasses a few of those facets. If your party ever went into town to barter instead of trawling the depths of this dark dungeon, maybe your Barter stat would see some use. Another common reason is that a game engine has been copied over from a tabletop game to a digital game verbatim; it's really damn hard to make a Charisma stat do anything reasonable when your interaction with NPCs is suddenly governed by cold, unfeeling dialogue trees instead of a reactive and creative game master.

Another common cause of dump stats is tweaks to the game system during testing. Initially, maybe Diplomacy was wicked awesome; however, it let a savvy player win the game in ten minutes without lifting a finger. Unfortunately, when they scaled the skill back enough to prevent that contingency, they also scaled back the completely reasonable uses of the skill to the point where it's not worth using in any situation. This occurs frequently in game testing because some powers don't scale well; putting a few points into the skill works as intended, but putting all of your points into the skill breaks the game. Diminishing returns are really hard to balance and, honestly, how many bored players are going to choose to go through your high-octane first person shooter with maximized Basket Weaving anyway?

Note that in multiplayer games, this trope is not necessarily a bad thing, at least in some forms — as long as the stat isn't always a dump stat for everyone. Assuming everything else is balanced, encouraging players to make highly-focused characters allows each player's character an area to shine without competition and ensures that nobody feels overshadowed. In single-player games, it often doesn't make as much sense, but many such games use it anyway...

Not to be confused with "the stat you dump all your points into", that's One Stat to Rule Them All (also often referred to as the God Stat).


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    Tabletop Games 
  • "Comeliness" in Champions does little to nothing with the base rules (its effect on social skills is a recommended houserule), and actually gives bonuses to Presence Attacks if it's low enough. Since it's also the cheapest stat in the game (1/2 point per increase), most people either sell it back to get an extra skill, or buy it up when they can't think of anything else during character creation.
    • In Sixth Edition Hero System (which is based on Champions), the Comeliness stat has been dropped — if you want looks that have an in-game effect, you buy Striking Appearance. If you don't care if your looks have any in-game effect, you can define them however you want.
    • Also in Sixth Edition, the OMCV stat (Offensive Mental Combat Value) has essentially no use whatsoever for non-mentalist characters. They still get it at its starting value of 3 for free, though, which can mean some easy free points by the simple expedient of buying it back...
  • Every build in Dungeons & Dragons has at least one Dump Stat. One of the keys to good Min-Maxing is to identify your dump stats - what don't you need/want to care about? The D&D 3.5 community developed the term MAD (Multiple ability Dependency) as a criticism of classes that couldn't effectively dump several stats, and had to spread their resources too thin to be effective at anything—a classic case of Master of None. Some notable cases of and references to Dump Stats are listed below,
    • Strength for most Arcane casters. At lower levels, anything not worth using a spell on isn't worth the damage bonuses that Strength provides to physical attacks, while at higher levels, using Polymorph to turn into a creature with high Strength is the best option if you can't use your offensive spells. The only disadvantage comes from the encumbrance rules, but spells, magic items, and pack animals provide easy ways around a low carrying capacity. Beyond that, in 3.5, if you have a good Dexterity score and a 'light weapon' you can take a feat to use your Dex modifier instead of your Strength modifier for attack rolls.
    • The one golden rule for any successful build is to never ever dump Constitution. Never. You don't need it sky high but you should never under any circumstances give it a value below 10, even if you are a purely ranged combattant. Better aim for a 12-13, a bit more for melees if you can spare the points. But dumping Constitution is the fastest way to ensure an early grave for your character.
    • Charisma
      • In D&D3, any build without feats, skills, or class features based around that stat can afford to have a low Charisma. Of the six basic stats, Charisma has no intrinsic value; like all other stats, it modifies skills and class features, but it is unique in doing nothing else on its own. For builds based around Charisma, such as Sorcerers or characters that focus on the Charisma-dependent Diplomacy skill, it can easily become One Stat to Rule Them All, but it is useless if you're not utilizing one of those. This is likely why classes outside the core tend to favor Charisma as the stat that powers their special abilities.
      • In earlier editions, Charisma was needed to hire and keep the henchmen that were helpful for survival at lower levels — not much use after that except improving NPC relations. Usually the party needs only one charismatic negotiator. Forgotten Realms paid attention to non-hack and slash play, so there's a classic character (AD&D 1 campaign set and Gold and Glory) apparently existing just to give a decisive answer on two questions: "who needs topped out Charisma?" and "What Kind Of Lame Power Is Mindlink Anyway?". Not many adventurers get one treant, mimic or beholder hireling...
    • 4th Edition avoids having a universal Dump Stat. The three defenses (Fortitude, Reflex and Will) are each based on the higher of two stats; Str/Con, Dex/Int and Wis/Cha respectively, so every stat has some intrinsic value while still allowing for each build to have its own Dump Stats. That being said, some stats consistently show up as Dump Stats for builds not based around them:
      • Strength. The builds that can take advantage of a good Strength bonus (pretty much any melee class that isn't based on one of the other attributes) generally need it, leaving the survivability-boosting Constitution a better choice for those that don't.
      • Intelligence. Dexterity grants an initiative bonus and Dex-based skills are necessary for survival in a dungeon, while Arcana is the only major skill that gets bonuses from Intelligence, making Dex a much better choice for classes not based on Int. (Note that Int and Dex both apply to AC, whichever is higher, but if you're wearing heavy armor, neither apply. Sometimes you can dump both if you don't mind a low Reflex defense or are using a shield since shields also boost your reflex defense.)
      • Charisma and Wisdom. Aside from the bonus to Will defense and class-specific abilities, these stats are mainly useful for skills that someone in the party needs to have, but not everyone. As such, builds that aren't based around Cha or Wis can afford to dump one of them. If the class you've chosen needs neither it's usually a better choice to dump Charisma as the important Perception skill keys off Wisdom.
      • That being said, each individual character is bound to have at least two Dump Stats. Since the rules allow for all of your useful abilities to be powered by One Stat to Rule Them All, pretty much everything else becomes one of these (except Con, because everyone needs hit points).
      • Most 4th edition characters need two good stats to work properly. Their main stat, which covers attack and damage rolls, and a secondary one depending on their powers (like Rangers and Paladins needing at least a little bit of Wisdom, and the Fighter either Wis, Dex or Con depending on the weapon for secondary effects). Anything else can be dropped in case of extremely bad dice rolls.
    • Though it's still very young in development, 5th edition appears to de-emphasize the intelligence stat, making only truly relevant for wizards (who, of course, cast spells from it). While a few skills are keyed from intelligence, they are not very useful in combat and could even be fully substituted by roleplay if the DM allows. Finally, there are exceedingly few effects that demand intelligence saves, the only exception being to disbelieve a hostile illusion. In other words, if you're not a wizard, you can feel safe dumping intelligence.
  • R. Talsorian's Mekton and Cyberpunk games effectively made every stat except Reflexes (and possibly Body) a Dump Stat. The Reflexes stat was the One Stat to Rule Them All: all-important to every aspect of combat and if your character did happen to get hit, Body determined how hurt he was. Several of the others - Empathy, Cool, and Technical Ability, were worthless. The most egregious of these was Attractiveness. No. Use. At. All. That said, house-rules can save other stats - something so simple as a "Luck Save" will convince Player Characters not to skimp on anything. Except Attractiveness.
    • Cyberpunk 2020 also has two dump skills. The Brawling skill is added to a character's Reflex score when they make an unarmed attack. The Dodge & Escape skill is added to a character's Reflex when they try to avoid an attack or escape when grabbed. But the Martial Arts skill is added to a characters Reflex score when making an unarmed attack and when avoiding an attack or escaping when grabbed, and is added to the damage of unarmed attacks, and gives the character an additional bonus with "key" attacks (e.g., kicking for Muay Thai, throws for Judo, holds for Wrestling). This was supposed to be offset by the fact that each Martial Art had a difficulty factor, by which you multiplied the cost to improve the skill during play ... but some Martial Arts (like Wrestling and Boxing) have difficulty factors of 1. This makes Dodge & Escape useless unless your Game Master doesn't let you use Martial Arts for dodging non-melee attacks, and makes Brawling completely useless for anything other than role-playing a character who had no formal combat training.
    • Empathy was actually ridiculously useful in Cyberpunk, as it determined your starting Humanity score, which determined how many cybernetic enhancements you could cram in your body before flipping out and killing everyone. This had the ironic effect of guaranteeing that anyone who wanted to end up as a weapons platform with (most of) a human brain somewhere inside it had to start out as one of the most empathic people on the planet. Conversely, Attractiveness and Movement Allowance (MA) were not only of little use, but could be replaced wholesale with biosculpting or cybernetic legs respectively. With most stats you were either stuck with your starting score or could only modify it to your starting score plus a few points, but Attractiveness could be raised to a maximum of 12 whether it started at 1 or 10 (you paid by the point, so it did cost a litte more if you started ugly) and anyone could buy a pair of cyberlegs that set their MA at 16 (out of a human maximum of 10) regardless of how fast they were with their organic legs. So, yes, it was a game of lightning fast sharpshooter supermodels with personalities like The Terminator who started life as glacial sharpshooter trolls with the compassion of Mother Theresa.
  • Enforced for the Tech-Priests in Dark Heresy, who quite simply cannot improve their Fellowship stat (unless they take a certain career choice on creation), and who have upgrades available that automatically reduce it.
  • In Eon, the attribute Bildning, roughly translated to Education, is often treated as a dumpstat. Education shows how much general knowledge a character has about the world and things in it, and players make a check in case they want to see if their character knows something about the town they're in, what races are common in the country, and other miscellaneous stuff. The thing is, pretty much everything you get to know by making a check against Education, can also be revealed by making a check against an appropriate skill, like History or Cultural Knowledge. These skills are often more specialized, granted, but at the same time they provide more in-depth information than Education. Besides, most classes that are expected to have a high score in Education also have most of these additional skills. Also, if there's anything worth knowing about a town, odds are a NPC is willing to share some knowledge, or one of the PC's have already been there before.
  • GURPS carefully avoids a universal dump stat, mainly by using optional traits for things that are mandatory in other games. However, many character designs benefit from picking a dump stat, e.g. A brilliant telekinetic can afford to drop his ST down pretty low in order to get points to enhance his powers instead. Additionally, although the game lacks an official Charisma stat, many players tend to saddle themselves with social problems for more points, turning social skills into a Dump "Stat". This pattern can get players in a lot of trouble, however, if they are in situation where they ever need to pump NPCs for info: just because you can kill some one with your brain doesn't mean you can scare people to get the info you need.
    • In GURPS 4ed games where the party have access to firearms, strength is only useful up to the minimum needed to effectively use your weapon. 11 is enough to use nearly anything. Light machine-guns or very heavy magnum handguns may require as much as 13, but any more than that is a waste if it's a point short of 20, where things like heavy machine-guns become possible. (While HP is also based off of strength, almost any firearm is capable of dealing enough damage to kill you instantly, and so HT, used to save against death, becomes a far bigger deal.)
    • Also, HP can be bought independently of strength, or sold back for points to below what the character's strength would imply, and so is really only based on strength in name only. However, the core rules do recommend allowing HP to only be bought up +30% of its default ST-based value for "normal" human(oid) characters.
  • In Ironclaw and Myriad Song the usual dump stat is Species/Legacy. Body is needed for melee combat and resisting damage, Speed is needed for ranged combat and dodging, Mind is used for most skills and spells, Will is the most commonly used resistance dice after Body, while Career and Species/Legacy both apply a bonus to three skills depending on Splat, and the latter is also used for Natural Weapons (usually not as good as artificial ones). However, many players, especially in Ironclaw, choose their race for aesthetics and base their build around their Career, with the exception of Atavists who need a minimum Species dice of d8 and have many Gifts that enhance their natural weapons, they tend to dump their Career.
  • Space Munchkin parodies this trope with "Stat X" a mystery stat in addition to the 6 core D20 stats. The Game Master is, however, advised to make Stat X count for something awesome if someone actually bothers to put a high score in it.
  • Mutants & Masterminds and DC Adventures (the 3rd edition of the game) feature this for Presence, which only has the effect of adding bonuses to three solitary Skills, all of which can be bought up for cheaper than spending points in Presence. It was already a weaker option in the 2nd Edition, and the changes in the 3rd Edition made it even worse. The Dexterity stat can also become a Dump Stat at times, as anyone who isn't a long-range fighter can just take a "0".
  • Star Wars: Saga Edition runs off an adapted version of the d20 system seen in Dungeons & Dragons. However, unusually for d20, the dump stat in Star Wars is generally seen to be Strength. It affects only three skills (jump, climb, and swim), none of which are common in the setting, and the only other thing it affects are carrying capacity (which can be easily offset by buying a cheap hoversled) and melee attacks (a rarity in a setting generally focused on range combat). Even dedicated melee builds can use strength as a dump stat, thanks to an array of feats and talents that allow you to use a different stat in its stead.
  • The World of Darkness games make players decide on a Dump Stat Category due to being a Point Build System - you choose one category to get the most points for, one for the middle amount and one for the least. Mental Attributes are the most common choice; while you want to be able to put up a fight and be smooth, you can get by with one dot for each stat in Mental (you start with one automatically and two dots are the human average).
    • Or, if you're playing the Old World of Darkness, put most of your mental attributes in Perception (being able to spot what's trying to kill you can come in handy) or Wits so that you can attack sooner rather than later and make others suffer due to wound penalties for their rolls, and don't bother with Intelligence unless you're playing a character specialized in knowledge/occult skills.
    • Many campaigns make physical stats Dump Stats. Sure, the buffed out PC can bash an opponent or two into the ground, but the master of Social Fu can determine the course of whole cities, mind control the Big Bad, call in higher powers from their faction, or buy their way out of problems. Much like in Real Life, being able to beat others up comes in handy every once in a while, but being well-connected and clever can come in handy daily. As a general rule in both Old World of Darkness and New, Werewolf and Hunter value physical stats more, Mage and Vampire value mental and social more, and the other games can go either way.
  • Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG, 1001-1500:
    1047. If my troll is the smartest character in the party, the entire party is vetoed.
    1097. Even if he used INT as a dump stat, I don't have to carve 'this end towards enemy' on the barbarian's axe blade.
  • No Werebeast in Bleak World needs poison, not even Werecockroaches.

    Video Games 
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, charisma and appearance are dump stats. Outside of shop prices, they have very minor effects on gameplay. Shop prices, after the mid-game, are irrelevant because there is a way of generating an endless supply of money (the Casino).
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has Beauty. It affects people's initial reactions to you, which in most cases either won't affect their dialogue in any meaningful way or, with a couple extra points in Charisma, can be made positive just by asking them to tolerate you for the duration of the conversation. As long as you don't have any other effects that lower the reaction modifier (like a barbarian-style armor), you can get every single quest in the game no matter how ugly you are. Possibly the only way it impacts upon the game is by altering how much merchants will charge during trade dialogue.
    • Due to the game's Absurdly Low Level Cap, any character build is bound to pick more of those. Non-ranged fighters or mages can safely dump Perception, Constitution is only useful for spellcasters (and can be bypassed by stealing a necklace that artificially increases mana regeneration). Beauty is notable for being universal.
    • Arcanum also has dump skills, particularly Gambling and Haggle. The reason is because money isn't hard to earn to begin with, and the one advantage those skills give - access to the items equipped by merchants - can be achieved with Fate Points or exploiting the AI quirks.
    • The game also allows using character points to directly boost Health and Fatigue. While this raises them faster (4 points per CP instead of 1-2 points via Strength, Constitution or Willpower), you get 2 extra points of both automatically with every level, so neglecting your stats in favor of durability in not a very good idea.
  • The Charisma and Wisdom scores are typically dump stats in Baldur's Gate II. Unless you're playing as a Cleric, Wisdom is only useful for the Wish spell, and even then you can just get a character with high wisdom to cast it. As for Charisma, you get a ring after completing one of the first quests in the city which boosts your Charisma score to 18 when wearing it.
  • Subverted with early Shin Megami Tensei games. The Player Character is usually unable to use magic, but is still able to increase Intelligence (normally a universal Dump Stat) and Magic. Despite this, they are still both important as Intelligence increases the success of demon negotiation regardless of the game it appears in, and without a decent Magic or Intelligence stat most end-game spells can rip a character to pieces. The second game goes a bit further by requiring the main character to have at least ten Magic points at one point in order to win a dance contest.
  • In Devil Survivor if you make your Player Character a magic user (you should), increasing strength serves no purpose except when you run out of MP (which you shouldn't if you increase magic properly), don't have any other physical attackers on your team, and need it to use certain spells/passive abilities.
  • Dark Souls:
    • In Dark Souls I, Resistance increases physical and flame defense and resistance to poison. This first two are almost useless because they both go up nearly as much when you raise any stat (because this raises your level, which increases all of your defense stats) and you can gain much more defense against every type of damage (including lightning and magical, which Resistance does nothing against) by wearing heavier armor and putting points into Endurance (which decides carrying capacity) to compensate for the extra weight. Poison resistance is only especially valuable in specific areas, so it's better to get it from equipment. To make it even worse, Diminishing Returns for Balance kicks in once your armor-less defense reaches a certain point from putting points in resistance or level up—so you're just getting a headstart up a slope that gets pretty close to being flat at higher levels. Neither of the next games have a Resistance stat: Dark Souls II effectively spread its effect across Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Endurance. Dark Souls III has Resistance's effect as a secondary effect of Vitality (which is now what decides equip load, but not stamina).
    • Despite Dark Souls III having numerous armors and items that increase Poise, raising the stat does nothing at all.
  • In ''Daikatana, leveling up Speed results in a nigh-uncontrollable sprinting speed, which is especially useless given how fast you can sprint around with base stats anyway.
  • The campaigns of Dawn of War II both require and encourage this trope, as Attribute Points are severely limited and certain stats provide incredibly powerful traits at higher levels. For example, it is just as useless increasing the melee damage of Avitus (a ranged specialist) as it is increasing the ranged damage of Thaddeus (a melee specialist) or the health of Cyrus (a Glass Cannon). The only uncertain character is Thule however, who gains useful traits from all his stats and which one a player decides to be the Dump Stat (or whether he will be a Master of None) is entirely a personal preference.
    • It is somewhat averted with Tarkus and Thaddeus since putting points into their "dump stat" actually allows them to change specializations to a limited degree by allowing them to equip new weapon types (Tarkus get the ability to equip melee weapons while Thaddeus becomes able to use ranged weapons), it's debatable how useful this is though.
    • The Chaos Rising expansion plays with this, however, by putting several near- or outright Game Breaker traits (we're looking at you, Cluster Mines) in progression tracks of attributes you'd normally not consider putting points in (in the case of the aforementioned Cluster Mines, Cyrus' melee attack. Cyrus is one of two characters who can't even equip a melee weapon).
  • The Diablo series has quite a number of examples throughout each generation.
    • Diablo:
      • In the first Diablo, healing potions were both plentiful and easy to spam, so any damage you took could be undone right away. The main danger on higher difficulty levels was inescapable stunlock from multiple enemies attacking at the same time. To counter stunlock, you needed miss chance which was provided by armor. In short, the size of one's health pool was largely irrelevant and Vitality was mostly useless beyond the early game. Luckily you could purchase stat points and max out everything anyway.
      • For Sorcerers, Vitality was actually worse than useless. The Mana Shield spell enabled you to use your mana pool as hit points. Due to a bug, taking lethal damage did not stun you, even if the damage was then absorbed by Mana Shield. Basically if you kept your health as low as possible, you were immune to stun from Hell difficulty monsters, giving you a slight advantage in combat. Players even intentionally allowed themselves to get hit by Black Death zombies (which permanently drain hit points) to further reduce their maximum health.
      • Dexterity for Sorcerers was a noob trap. Yes, the only thing that could kill triple immune enemies was a weapon. But what the game didn't tell you was that the Stone Curse spell sets enemy armor to zero, and your attack speed was so slow that you pretty much had to stone your targets anyway just to win the fight. Also, there was a rollover bug that made high level opponents trivial to hit.
    • Diablo II:
      • Diablo II has Energy, which controls mana. No one, not even Sorceresses, puts a single point into it for several reasons. Your mana pool increases with character level, and high level items add a lot of mana as well. Mana steal scales with weapon damage, making it more effective too. There is also a runeword for hirelings that gives the entire party a large mana regen bonus. Also, mana potions are readily buyable and dropped in massive quantities by every mini-boss if those are still not enough for you. Meanwhile, very few skills go up in mana cost per skill level. This means if you just wait for a few more character levels, your lack of mana will solve itself.
      • Strength. The damage bonus provided by the stat is negligible, so the only reason to invest into Strength is to meet gear requirements and you can make do with zero strength if you have some + strength items. Therefore 95% of the viable builds in the game require the same stat point distribution: the minimum Strength to wear end-game gear, just enough into Dexterity to attain max block and everything else into vitality.
      • There is one build that benefits from a lot of Energy, but that build only uses the extra Mana to sponge damage, not to fuel attacks: the Sorceress skill Energy Shield transfers some damage from Health to Mana, so it's possible to crank it up to the point where you take very little actual damage, but it puts a huge stress on your Mana pool. Instead, Vitality and/or Dexterity becomes the dump stat, depending on your focus.
    • While Diablo III does away with assigning stat points altogether outside of Paragon levels and even removes stat requirements for wearing gear, the items nonetheless get affected by this phenomenon. Some of the primary magic properties on items that are generally regarded as less valuable include +Life on Hit, +Life on Kill, +Armor, +Resistance, +Life from resource use and occasionally Vitality. Once the Mystic NPC was introduced in Reaper of Souls, it was very common for players to re-enchant these affixes to things like Cooldown Reduction, +% Damage, Gem Sockets, % Critical Chance, Vitalitynote  and/or +Critical Damage, which are considered among the highest priority stats.
  • INT in Dragon Quest. Yes, it's useful in the early levels, but it suffers serious decay since it does not determine magic damage. (Magic damage is fixed and then multiplied by elemental resistance.) INT and its cousin, VIT, are still useful, mind: They do raise HP and MP. But after a while, that's irrelevant.
  • The first Kingdom Hearts makes you choose a dump stat. It's odd, in that its effects on your stats is minimal, but its effect on when you learn which abilities is massive, making the choice very much a Guide Dang It.
  • In the Might and Magic games, intelligence has no effect on classes lacking elemental spellcasting abilities, while personality is useless for classes that can't cast self magic. Very few classes make actual use of both.
  • Defensive stats in Nippon Ichi games can be viewed as dump stats (unless using a class whose attacks are based on them), especially at moderately high levels (say, when you first top 1000). This is because the games are turn-based and damage is calculated in such a way that the absolute value of an attack stat matters quite a lot (i.e., 17K attack against 17K defense can still do several thousand damage while 100 attack against 100 defense will barely scratch). Depending on the game, it may be best to view Bonus Dungeon maps as one-turn blitzes. SPD, especially in the later Disgaea games is useful though; since almost everything in the post-game is a one-hit KO even with maxed defensive stats, simply being hard to hit is a good way to be defensive. Not only that, but for fists (which are one of the better weapon types due to the Big Bang ability), the SPD stat is half of the damage calculation, making it quite the opposite of this trope for fist users, acting as both offense and defense.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons Online, every class will have to pick a dump stat just like the P&P version if they want to be the best at what they do. However there is a number one rule of character builds that all veteran players agree upon: "Con(stitution) is NOT a dump stat" for any class, due to hitpoints being extremely important for fighting (and sometimes the only defense against) high level monsters.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has a few, though players focusing on roleplaying can find uses for many of the stats listed below.
    • Personality in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: there are ways to boost the stat for the infrequent few seconds you need it, and you typically only need it for a few seconds because time freezes when you start a conversation.
    • Personality was also a Dump Stat in the first two Elder Scrolls games (plus the spin-off Battlespire). In Arena, all it affected was prices, which wasn't really an issue past the very early stages of the game. In Daggerfall it also affected whether the randomly generated townspeople would give you information, but even with the lowest possible starting Personality, you could just ask someone else and would always find what you were looking for in a few tries. In Battlespire it's even more useless since just about anything you talk to is trying to kill you anyway!
    • If the game didn't give you unlimited skill points, security (the skill governing your ability to pick locks) would be this in Oblivion: successfully picking a lock is based more on player skill than anything else; high Security only slows down the tumblers to make them easier to set (which is already easy with practice) and affects what happens when you fail to set a tumbler (each Security "perk" reducing the number of tumblers that fall back into place by one). Additionally, the Open Lock spell makes lockpicking redundant, and the Skeleton Key gives effectively infinite lockpicking attempts. In Morrowind, on the other hand, lockpicking is based on character skill instead of player skill, so Security is a worthwhile investment . . . at least so long as you didn't bother enchanting items with Unlock spells.
    • Monster language skills in Daggerfall: they only allow you to speak with a particular class of monster to have a chance to avoid combat. Even more useless as you also needed to sheathe your weapon, not a good idea in a monster-filled dungeon.
    • In Morrowind, there really wasn't any need to bother with the Destruction skill since all the damaging spell effects it incorporated were massively trumped by Mysticism's Absorb Health. Oblivion partially averted this by making Absorb Health a touch-only effect, but in a sense compensated for that by moving it to Restoration (thus giving all the more reason to invest in said skill). As such, Mysticism became even more of a dump-skill than Destruction. For that matter, with the removal of Levitation and Jump effects between Morrowind and Oblivion (combined with the ease of lockpicking in the latter), Alteration got likewise nerfed from one of the best schools to one of the worst.
    • Willpower in Oblivion. One of the only things it affects is your maximum fatigue, which is also affected by other stats. It also controls your rate of magicka regeneration, but it's more effective to increase your Intelligence so you have more magicka in the first place. In addition, mages often take Atronach birthsign which give you additional mana and chance of absorbing enemy spell but completely stop mana regeneration.
    • In Skyrim, they've gotten rid of stats all together. Everything boils down to Health, Magic, and Fatigue. There are, however, dump-skills that would be inefficient to waste perk points on; Lockpicking and Speechcraft work just fine without putting any perk points into them or artificially trying to raise them.
      • Between Health, Magicka and Stamina (Fatigue), the middle one is the dump stat even (especially) when playing a mage. Yes, having more magicka lets you cast more spells. Right up until you figure out enchanting and amass a total of -100% destruction spell costs on your equipment. All of your level-ups into magicka (and the points into reduced magicka perks) are now wasted. At least you can respec, right? Just kidding. Start over.
      • It seem Bethesda are aware of this, the Dragonborn DLC give you the ability to convert perks back into perk points by spending a dragon soul.
      • Magicka is never useless for a mage, since there are many magic schools, and try as you might it will never be possible to reduce the costs for all of them by 100%. SO if you're planning on casting high-level spells from any school other than your main one (usually Destruction), you will need magicka.
  • In EVE Online, only characters training to be traders, corporation executives and fleet commanders benefit from high Charisma, and even they need the other stats to train to fly the right ships as well. The developers attempt to make charisma more useful by making a high Charisma stat grant a boost to learning the skills that boost stats, so having a higher charisma means you spend less time boosting the skills that boost your stats, but the effect is minor enough that it takes at least a year to recoup the time you invested in boosting your charisma.
  • E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy has Mental Balance, which reduces the likelihood of the player freezing up or going insane when casting psychic abilities or taking huge amounts of damage. However, insanity can be cured by using the Maintenance ability, which only takes a few second at the cost of locking up your weapons and screwing with your vision. Not like it particularly matters if you die while using it, because you have multiple resurrectors in each mission. Mental Balance is made further redundant by researched items which increases your resistance to insanity, and later can make you outright immune to it.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 2 has a Dump Stat that may come across as surprising: Endurance. Most of the skills it modifies can be increased by books or quests. The resistances it provides are rarely relevant (and reloading the game is always an option) and items exist to erase any effect that Endurance resist. It influences Hit Points, but so does Strength (albeit to a lesser degree) and there's enough good armor laying around that you're rarely going to take damage that isn't a freak One-Hit Kill critical, anyway.
    • Poor little Charisma in Fallout 3. While the other SPECIAL values control things like damage, criticals, enemy spotting, health, skill points per level and action points, charisma controls very little. It is rarely if ever used for speech checks, usually defaulting to its respective Speech or Barter skills, and has little other practical use. There are also only two Perks that require Charisma to gain. It's just easier to rely on alcohol and items to boost your Charisma the few times you need it.
    • In, New Vegas Charisma and Luck may be completely useless depending on build and no build at all needs Perception. Charisma only boosts companion damage, but at the very least it does that and can be useful on a pacifist character or such. Where as Luck in the earlier games can be useful for random encounters, it has two uses in New Vegas: critical chance and gambling. Gambling can be very profitable but money can be easy to get elsewhere and if you are using a weapon that has a low critical modifier (like most automatic weapons) or doesn't get extra damage from crits (explosives), the SPECIAL points could be better suited on something else. Perception, outside of a few skill points that can be remedied with a simple level up or two, only decides your radar range to sight enemies (which is slightly useful), is used in a very small number of stat checks (which you can pass by using items to temporarily raise your Perception a very large amount), and is required for a few decent perks. To make it worse, just having ED-E as a companion gives you the same radar range as having a whole 10 Perception, and he's the first companion most people are able to recruit.
    • In Fallout 4, Endurance becomes the Dump Stat again, after having the opposite position in New Vegas. All of the perks the Endurance stat unlocks provide some sort of healing or defensive bonus, but are rendered non-essential for any build due to the prevalence of healing items and armors that take care of all the things the Endurance perks provides without the need to spend levels on them. However, this becomes inverted with the Survival Difficulty as of patch 1.5. Due to the Survival Mode mechanics, the perks in the Endurance tree become much more useful.
  • The intelligence stat in the original Final Fantasy is bugged; it does absolutely nothing.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, you can boost your Strength, Magic, Speed, Stamina, HP, or MP when you level up with the correct Espers, but you only get so many levels. For those players who want to max their stats, boosting your HP or MP for more than a few select levels turns out to be a waste — not because of the stats being useless, but because HP and MP increase with levels anyway, and come pretty close to the max without Espers. The true Dump Stat is Stamina. All it does is improve your resistance to instant death attacks (which can be blocked entirely anyway), and increase the power of Poison or Regen when afflicted to the character. That's right, boosting your Stamina increases the damage you take from Poison. The Regen boost isn't worth the bonuses you could be getting in Strength, Magic, or Speed, so a savvy player won't bother deliberately boosting Stamina. Additionally, Physical Evasion does literally nothing in the SNES version; Magic Evasion covers both physical and magical effects.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Luck is a dump stat, but not for the reason you'd expect. In terms of what it does for your characters, Luck is absolutely godly, combining the effects of two other stats (in a game that generally averts this trope) and increasing your critical hit rate to cap it all. The problem is that the developers realized this, and made the Luck stat ridiculously hard to actually put points in - while you'll have more of the spheres increasing every other stat than you know what to do with, you'll get a grand total of four spheres for Luck boosts over the course of the main game, and if you want more you'll have to kill one of the game's Bonus Bosses at the Monster Arena, for one each time. Most players just invest in the two other stats (Accuracy and Evade), since it's just so much easier to do.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, MP is by far the least useful stat in the game to invest in. This is because the game uses a system where all characters start at 0 MP and accumulate it over time during each battle, at a rate of 10 per turn. There are ways to gain MP faster within battle, but almost invariably your characters will never need more than 50 or so, and certainly no more than 100 - and both numbers are trivially easy to reach without any investment whatsoever in the MP stat. The only reason your MP cap would even slightly matter is if you were using the MP Shield reaction ability - and given that you would need to actually reach the cap every time you used that unit, even that is absurdly impractical.
  • The Avatar creation system in Fire Emblem Awakening goes out of its way to avert this. Whichever stat you pick as 'worst' will actually lower other stats too, though not as much. Picking Luck or Resistance (generally considered Dump Stats) for worst will also lower Strength and Magic or Magic and Speed respectively, all of which are considered very important stats.
    • In practice, Luck still ends up as this more often than not. the deficit in Strength or Magic can be easily worked around, and the Avatar's initial Luck growth (which the Asset/Flaw system also influences) will be quite high anyways. Averted however with Resistance, due to Speed being as important for offense as it always is, and Magic being an important stat for those who go with magic classes as well (and, to a lesser extend, hybrid classes). Also averted with Skill (the third consideration for a Dump Stat) because a high Skill growth helps to ensure that you're able to Dual Strike more easily, and Skill itself factors into the proc rate of many useful (offense or defense) skills in the game. In addition, taking Skill as a Dump Stat also results in a deficit in Defense and Strength, both useful stats (with Defense being the most useful of the two for any character).
    • The Luck Stat, even if chosen as your flaw, will usually eventually reach near the cap, mostly due to how much you'll probably use the main character and put him/her through reclasses which basically amounts to infinite levels, meaning that even with flawed luck you can still reliable or assuredly pull off the skill that uses it the most, which most people want because it lets you use a weapon without expending the uses.
  • In the first four Inazuma Eleven games, Stamina only affects how fast a character uses up GP, representing physical fatigue. Characters will eventually hit a point where they'll seldom if ever become fatigued, making Stamina only useful early in the game. Usually, you can stop caring about your team's Stamina entirely around halfway to 2/3rds through the story. Inazuma Eleven GO 2 fixed this with the introduction of the Mixi-Trans Super Mode, which drains the user's GP very quickly. With the revamped stat system in Inazuma Eleven GO, adding 4 points to a character's Technique stat had the exact same effect as adding 1 point each to Kick, Dribble, Block, and Catch, making Technique a dump stat. This was also fixed in GO 2 with the addition of Critical Failures, the odds of which decrease as user's Technique stat increases.
  • For a long time, moxie became a bit of a dump stat in Kingdom of Loathing, to the degree that having a high level of it would make the final boss battle exponentially harder, with the main attractiveness of the moxie classes (the special Moxious Maneuver) being less than useless. This disparity has since been modified. A bit.
  • Certain types of equipment in La Tale such as gloves can be enchanted with unique enchantments that tend to be prioritized, but all equipment that can be enchanted can have the base four, strength, stamina, magic, and luck. Strength and magic boost damage for physical and magical classes respectively, but by such a small amount that almost everyone prefers luck (boosts the odds of a critical hit) and stamina (only base stat to boost survivability) over them.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals allows you to boost your four stats through the Mystic Stone board. The GUT stat affects IP regeneration, but the Mystic Stone board already has spaces that give boosts to IP regen or max IP when activated. Most characters don't need the boost, and you can just switch out IP-reliant party members to let their IP regenerate. The other stats let characters hit much harder with all of their attacks, IP or non-IP, with STR and INT also boosting defense stats.
  • The four spellcasters that join your party in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis use magic for everything, even standard attacks. This gives them no way to use their attack stats. Pamela's immunity to physical attacks also renders her defense stat useless once unlocked.
  • The defense stat in the Mario & Luigi games is pretty much useless, since you can dodge every single attack in the game and none of them are that hard to dodge (except for the Elder Shroob Princess' spinning tentacle attack in the second game, fumble-fingers nonwithstanding), spending your bonus at level-up on the defense stat or getting accessories and clothes that increase your defense instead of your attack is a waste.
  • In Mario Kart DS, drift and weight. Due to the exploit of snaking, it was actually beneficial to have LESS drift since if you had more, you'd be turning too sharply while power sliding on straightaways. The same is said for weight since it's combined with the "offroad" stat. The less weight you had, the faster you could go off road such as in grass or dirt. Plus, bumping into other players had no effect online. The item stat was also pretty useless, especially online where you couldn't get triple items. It was good for some courses during time trials though, as you got more mushrooms to take shortcuts.
    • For Mario Kart in general (and many other racing games made in its image), Top Speed tends to be a dump stat whenever AI drivers are involved, since the game's Rubber Band AI will simply speed up all the other racers to compensate if you decide to focus on it. This is doubly true if items are involved, since the AI will be throwing them at you so often that you'll almost never be able to maintain your top speed for very long, making acceleration (i.e. the ability to recover when you do get hit) much more important.
    • On the flip side, everything but Top Speed tends to be a dump stat in Time Trials, since poor acceleration can be compensated for by boosting at the start of the race and avoiding obstacles, and poor handling can be compensated by turning earlier and/or power-sliding.
    • Handling is a dump stat in pretty much every game in the series simply because courses are designed to be forgiving enough that even with the lowest possible handling there's no turn that can't be taken with practice and by simply drifting earlier than usual. However, this seems to have changed a bit since Mario Kart 8 introduced the 200cc class. You move so much faster than in 150cc, and many courses weren't designed with that in mind, so many sharp turns are much harder to take. Handling builds started seeing an uptick since it came out.
  • Trade in Mount & Blade basically lets you see market prices. And then it tells you what to buy and where to sell. That's it.
    • Shield: Each point reduces the damage your shield takes when blocking a hit by 8% and improves how quickly you can block with a shield. Not a whole lot useful when your shield rarely gets destroyed anyway and even if it does you can grab one from the battlefield.
    • Athletics: Increases your base running speed and nothing else and even then unarmored Looters can still outrun a heavily armed and armored man or woman on foot even if he or she has 10 points in this skill.
  • Charisma in Murkon's Refuge just reduces the rates you pay at inns and clinics. And the inn in the first town is always free, so if you keep that as your home base, it only affects clinic prices. (In the pre-web version, it instead affected how often monsters were friendly, a feature which the creator decided to dump for the web port.)
  • In Nicole, there are five main stats: Amity, Wit, Diligence, Zeal, and Clues. The last tracks the progress you're making on the mystery; the first four pertain to the love interests. Each guy has a single stat that appeals to them, and you can only end up with one guy, so the best way to win the game is to focus on Clues and the chosen guy's stat. The three remaining stats have no effect on gameplay and putting points into them is a waste of time.
  • Planescape: Torment averts this with the main character. The Nameless One can be a fighter, thief, or mage, which means Wisdom and Charisma should be unimportant stats. However, combat is not a major focus, so Wisdom and Charisma are both extremely valuable, while Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are fine at fairly mediocre values.
  • In Planet Alcatraz, Charisma can be safely lowered to 1 for little to no penalty. A higher charisma gives you better "Attitude" and thus makes it easier to persuade or intimidate people, however, a variety of clothing items and weapons can boost your Attitude, making this stat useless. A lesser example is Perception, which determines deviation when shooting firearms, is irrelevant when the character in question uses a melee weapon or always engage at near point-blank range.
  • Attacks in Pokémon are divided into physical and special; usually a Pokemon naturally has one attack stat higher than the other. By teaching a Pokemon inclined towards Special attacks only Special moves, the Attack stat becomes completely useless. The opposite is also true; similarly, it's not usually worth it to boost either defensive stat for Glass Cannon Pokemon who have really bad HP, since they're not going to survive much of anything anyway, or the speed stat for a slow Pokemon, because once you're slower than any likely opponent, the stat doesn't matter anymore (and some attacks/sets benefit from a low Speed stat, like Gyro Ball, which gets more powerful the higher the targets speed is compared to yours, and Metal Burst, which doesn't even work unless you go last). There are, however, some movesets that take advantage of upping what would normally be a Dump Stat in order to barely survive what would normally be a lethal blow, or to better-utilize attacks that work well against an otherwise difficult opponent.
    • Each Pokémon Nature gives a bonus to one non-HP stat and a penalty to another (except for a few that don't increase/decrease anything), thus it's generally advised to select a Nature where the penalized stat is the Dump Stat. For example, a pure physical sweeper would want Adamant to maximize their Attack and lower their Special Attack, which they do not need. A speedy special sweeper would want a Timid nature to maximize their Speed and lower their Attack. A physical wall would want a Bold or Impish nature to maximize its Defense, and lower Attack or Special Attack. So on and so forth.
    • Some Elite Tweak builds that emphasize this to the extreme. The most ridiculous example is for Shuckle, which naturally has four dump stats: its Speed, Physical attack, Special attack, and HP are all, to be charitable, quite abysmal. Due to its absurdly high Defense and Special Defense, as well as the Sturdy ability (which allows it to resist One-Hit Kill attacks), it can afford to use only Standard Status Ailments to deal damage — a strategy used by the Pike Queen in Emerald. Using this strategy, everything except HP becomes a Dump Stat when leveling up: the two defenses are already high enough that they don't need the help (though Defense will end up getting points anyway because they have to go somewhere), the attack stats are irrelevant, and Shuckle is going to be going last so often (i.e. pretty much always) that there isn't much point to increasing its Speed.
    • Pokemon actually encourages the dump stat mentality for Special Sweepers; it's more advantageous to have a special sweeper with a low attack than a high one. Why? Confusion damage is calculated based on the attack stat, so a Pokemon with a higher attack will take more damage hurting itself in confusion. That's the whole point of Swagger. There is also a move called "Foul Play" which uses your attack stat against you instead of the user's, and several special attackers are already weak to the move from Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
    • The Pokemon Shedinja essentially has three dump stats; since its HP is always set to 1, putting effort values in HP, Defense, or Special Defensenote  is altogether meaningless, not to mention its pitiful Special Attack.
    • There was a Suicune build in the second generation that actually used Speed as a dump stat — even though it's normally the God Stat! You see, the vast majority of people dealt with powered up Pokemon by using Roar or Whirlwind, which normally goes last... but a bug made them fail if it went first, and if both pokemon used Roar or Whirlwind, only the slower one succeeded.
    • A snag that can occur with some Pokemon is that their movepools (a list of moves that a Pokemon is able to learn) don't work well with the base stats that the species have. This could change if the Pokemon can evolve into another more powerful form (For example, Larvesta has a higher attack stat, but it evolves into Volcarona, who has a really strong special attack stat), but some aren't as lucky as they're forced to fight left-handed while letting their higher stat go to waste.
    • Mega Beedrill actually invokes this. Its weak special attack stat is shot down even further so that the removed stats are transferred to an even bigger boost to attack and speednote .
  • In Progress Quest, Strength is the only stat that affects gameplay at all (increases your carrying capacity, which means fewer trips to the store for faster leveling). The rest are completely useless.
  • In the doujin game Touhou Labyrinth, points put into stat and skill advancement, equipment enhancements to them, and points from gaining experience levels all act as a percentage multiplier to the base score. Thus it's hard to avoid emphasizing a character's initial strengths and weaknesses. Beyond that, every character (and monster) has one common dump stat: due to an unfixable bug in the game engine, it is impossible to avoid attacks, making Evasion completely useless (This is quite bizarre, as basic Touhou gameplay is built on dodging). This makes the Fragile Speedster-type characters significantly more squishy (as they would have relied on high EVA to dodge often lethal attacks), but on the plus side, your super-powerful Master Spark will never miss.
  • Kaguya Table parodies this trope. You can dump Experience Points into Mastery, which does...absolutely nothing. Additionally, you can also dump skill points into Hardcoreness, which makes the table stronger and is intended as more of a Self-Imposed Challenge than anything.
  • The LCK stat in Ragnarok Tactics. It raises magic attack and criticals, but 1. Criticals almost never trigger and 2. It's easier and more efficient to raise magic with the MAT stat, which raises magic attack, magic defense and MP at the same time.
  • Thanks to bugs, the Agility stat is worthless for every character not named Hawk in Seiken Densetsu 3; the only things it affects are Hit Rate and Evasion Rate, which don't work, the speed the trapped chests' roulettes spin, which is insignificant, the rate at which Hawk learns skills, and the damage of some of Hawk's skills. And for this reason, the spells Speed Up and Speed Down do nothing of value, either (they don't even work on Hawk!).
  • In System Shock 2:
    • Endurance becomes a dump stat on the Hard and Impossible difficulty settings. On Easy you gain ten HP per point of endurance, on Normal it's five (not a whole lot, but still useful to a point), and on Hard and Impossible it's a paltry three, which doesn't justify the hefty cyber module cost. It also adds resistance to radiation and toxins, but you find a Rad Suit in the early stages that gives you 75% resistance to both anyway...
    • The Exotic weapons tree also qualifies. Not only are they situational weapons with very sparse and limited ammunition, you also need to sink a ton of modules into the Research skill before you can even begin to use them. Meanwhile, the basic pistol and shotgun (and grenade launcher) have plenty of ammo to scavenge and cost far fewer modules to access...
  • Tales of the Abyss's ENH stat, in subsequent playthroughs. The game gives characters special skills in combat that are based on the buffs they've received to their stats; for example, buffing AGL can increase speed in combat, or allow for a Double Jump, while buffing P. Atk can increase your number of basic attack hits. ENH can give some of the best abilities in the game when invested in, but it doesn't do anything other than give these abilities. The skills you get from these stat boosts carry over to a New Game+, but the boosts themselves don't. So ENH has the odd position of being very well-balanced and important on your first playthrough or two, but once you've gotten all the skills to start carrying over and start playing Unknown, ENH may as well not even exist.
  • Altough Torchlight II is a legitimately good game, Dexterity is by very far the worst stat in the whole game, even for the Outlander class that is supposed to improve this stat above all else : it gives a very weak increase in critical hit chance, that gets weaker with each point invested and doesn't give any noticeable increase in damage unless you have a lot (and really, a LOT) of Strength to get an increse in critical hit damage, an increase in dodge rate, also with diminishing returns but justified in this case, that hits a hard cap quickly and is helpless against area attacks that are everywhere at high level, and a decrease in damage penalties of "fumbled" attacks, that happen for 20% of basic attacks and never happen for special skills that all classes spam continuously rather than using basic attacks. The Outlander class was as a result very inefficient with its main weapons since dumping Dexterity meant only using the crappiest ranged weapons and increasing it meant lacking in other stats, and Outlander builds using anything else were more powerful.
  • To this day, no one has figured out what Combat Shooting does in the PC port of Wasteland. It's one of the most attractive point sinks to first-time players, and yet it might well be good for absolutely nothing. (On other platforms, it simply doesn't exist.) During the production of Wasteland 2, Brian Fargo affirmed that it indeed did nothing. In reference to this, Wasteland 2 has Combat Shooting as a secret, ridiculously powerful skill teachable to one player that makes every attack a Critical Hit.
  • Luck in Wasteland 2 affects Chance to Evade, Critical Chance, chance of an extra AP point each turn, and chance of getting extra Constitution at level up. Some people think it affects item drops, but this has been conclusively disproved. The extra AP point chance is unlikely even with max Luck and pathetically negligible even if you get it. The other affects are useful, but Luck's effect on them are far too minor compared to Skills and other attributes: Chance to Evade is increased twice as much by Awareness, which would be the One Stat to Rule Them All even without that. How much weapon skill increases crit chance varies by weapon, but on average each level increases it as much as four points of Luck (where 3 is considered average and 10 is the max). Only the Constitution bonus comes close to matching Strength's potency, and even that's only after level 16.
  • After several years worth of alterations, World of Warcraft Cataclysm arrived at a strict and simple system:
    • Out of three core stats of Strength, Agility and Intelligence each class is geared towards one of them and the gear with others is mostly worthless and the loot distribution system tries to prevent players from grabbing an inappropriate equipment. One of them is always present on a piece of gear. Stamina is present everywhere and simply gives HP. Ironically, vanilla Warcraft had intelligence a dump stat for mages of all people, as it only affected mana pool and gave a very minor critical hit bonus, making stamina a much bigger help in surviving. It has since been upgraded to primary stat as it now gives a one-to-one increase in spell damage in addition to the extra mana.
    • All other stats are deemed secondary and are randomly distributed. Haste, Critical Strike and Mastery used by damage dealers and healers alike, while tanks get defensive stats of Dodge (every class), Parry (every class except Druids) and Shield block (Warriors and Paladins). Expertise stat is for melee classes (including tanks) only and cannot be found on caster-oriented Intelligence gear. Hit is used by every non-healing spec. Spirit's main purpose is for healing with secondary use by substituting for hit for caster Shamans, Druids and Priests.
      • Even these secondary stats can become dump stats based on role. For druids, Critical Strike and Mastery are dump stats for Balance Specs but necessary for Restoration Spec; Haste is the dump stat for Restoration Spec but necessary for Balance Spec.
      • Versatility is near universally considered functionally useless to basically everyone. It increases damage and healing done while decreasing damage taken by half as much. The problem comes from the fact that outside Arenas, no one wants or needs more than one of those, leading towards players just ignoring it and instead gearing for a different stat.
      • Leech is considered only somewhat less useless than Versatility for a couple reasons. It heals players by a given percentage of damage they do but again, outside of Arenas, no one can use it well. Tanks don't deal enough damage to noticeably affect the damage they're taking, dps shouldn't be taking enough damage for it to matter, lastly healers are in the same boat as dps for taking damage and can simply heal themselves anyway. Furthermore, most classes already have a method to heal themselves.
  • HP in The World Ends with You. Not because it isn't useful, but because the only thing that has much effect on it is your effective level. Equipment can have a huge effect on your other stats, but will never do much, positive or negative, to HP, even if the item is dedicated to it. The gains from food are so minimal that it's only really worth bothering if the character has maxed everything else.
  • As alluded to by this ProJared review for Quest 64, anything that isn't Earth or Water magic. Earth contains a magical repulsion spell and since everything in the game uses magic to attack, you can't be hurt if you use it so you definitely want that (and the Avalanche ability has the potential massive damage so that doesn't hurt either). Meanwhile Water elemental enables healing and you'll need that before you get your repulsion spell and by the time it's earned, you might as well just grind it all the way up. The character's innate abilities (like Agility) also operate like this due to the "you-get-more-by-doing-that-thing" experience system (which, as also mentioned in the review, works against itself and creates Dump Stats of counter-productive abilities, such as physical vs. magical attacks).
  • In the game Punch Club, you have three skill trees to work with with one of them being the dump stat. Way of the Bear is all about hard hitting strikes while sacrificing agility, meaning you'll whiff a lot of attacks which suck up energy. Way of the Tiger is all about hitting people hard and often, though you sacrifice stamina in your fights. Way of the Turtle is all about being a tank, making people wear themselves out trying to take you down, though you'll also have to sacrifice agility.
  • PAYDAY 2 has Health, Armor, Dodge, Stamina, Steadiness, and Speed for character stats. Each stat is determined by whatever skills you unlocked in each skill tree, what perk deck you have equipped, and the type of armor you are wearing. Heavy armor will give more armor at the cost of not being able to dodge bullets and moving slower and tiring out faster when sprinting while light armor or even wearing no armor makes you be able to dodge bullets via random chance and be able to run really fast for a while before tiring out at the risk of going down quickly due to your lack of armor. A lot of players gravitate towards dodge builds where they focus on having a high dodge stat and dump the armor stat since moving quickly means they can zip from cover to cover and move loot quickly whereas heavy armor users can't run across the street without getting mowed down by the police. While it is possible to play in a setup where you have a ton of armor and shoot from cover, it won't protect you if A) cops focus their fire on you and B) Cloakers can instantly incapacitate you, regardless of your health or armor.

  • Pitchers in baseball tend to have hitting as their dump stat as they spend virtually no time working to improve it. Has been "fixed" in some leagues by use of the designated hitter.
  • Similar to baseball, in professional cricket, the very best bowlers tend to be the very worst batsmen. Australia's Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, the West Indies' Courtney Walsh, and Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan are four of the only five bowlers to take over 500 Test wickets in their international careers, and are also four of the only five batsmen to have been out for a duck (zero runs) more than 30 times.note 
  • In professional basketball the Quadruple-double is one of the rarest feats of the game because it forces a player to be dominant on both offense and defense. Most elite players focus on the offensive feats of points, rebounds and assists while using defensive skills like blocks and steals as their dump stat. Likewise this is why a Quintuple-double has never been accomplished above the high school level.
  • Goaltenders in hockey generally are poor puckhandlers and spend little time trying to improve it. This is because goaltenders generally shouldn't be handling the puck if there's an opposing player anywhere near it. There are exceptions, of course, the most famous being Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was so skilled at handling the puck, it basically made the dump-and-chase tactic worthless when he was in net, since any time the puck was anywhere near him, he would quickly play it out of the zone. Brodeur was sometimes called a "third defencemen", and he was a significant factor in the NHL changing the rules to limit where goaltenders could play the puck.
  • Another hockey example is enforcers and, to a lesser extent, pests. Both types of players have things like "scoring", "stickhandling", and "skating" as dump stats, skills you would probably consider fairly critical to being a hockey player. However, they make up for this in secondary talents - for enforcers, they are generally kept on the roster to deliver big hits, fight when called upon, and protect star players from being targeted; for pests, they are there to annoy the other team's star players with Trash Talk and borderline dirty plays to goad them into taking penalties, which not only removes the star player from the ice for a few minutes, it also gives the pest's team a power play. Both types of players were common in the 80s, but modern rules and the NHL's salary cap have largely discouraged teams from wasting salary on these types of players, unless they're decent at actually playing the game as well. However, modern-day pests and enforcers have one other dump stat that team owners appreciate: their salary is often amongst the lowest in the league.

  • Alt-text in Rusty and Co. suggests Madeline the Paladin's choice of dump stat has made her... a little gullible.
  • As the characters in The Order of the Stick are in a RPG-Mechanics Verse, they sometimes go as far as explicitly referring to Dump Stats. A running theme in the comic is that most characters would be considered poorly optimized in a real D&D campaign, and thus more often than not have bad choices of dump stats.
    • Intelligence is Thog's dump stat. Could you tell?
    • Charisma is O-Chul's. It's not that low, but for his badassery he not only needs high Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, but also high Intelligence and Wisdom as well.
    • Belkar's is Wisdom, which is so low that he can't even cast the most basic of the spells associated with his ranger training. (He apparently took the training just so he could learn Dual Wielding.)
    • V's are Strength and Charisma, fittingly for a Squishy Wizard and Insufferable Genius. Some of V's later actions also imply that in spite of having high Intelligence, V's a bit lacking in the wisdom department.
    • Roy's seems to be Dexterity, if only because all his other traits are above average.
    • Haley's is probably Constitution; she doesn't get hit often but takes it hard when she does.
    • Crystal is either another Intelligence dumper or a minmaxer—she seems to have emphasized Dexterity the way Thog emphasized Strength, but it's uncertain how high her Strength and Constitution are, and her Charisma seems to be at least moderate. Her Wisdom also seems to be low.
    • Celia seems to have dumped Wisdom, being a Stupid Good Genius Ditz.
    • Elan's dump stat is Intelligence to give him high Charisma; he also has a relatively low Strength off-setting his high Dexterity.
    • Eugene Greenhilt and Durkon are also lacking in the Charisma Department.
    • Xykon's seems to be Wisdom, given his impulsiveness and lack of planning, and his Berserk Button is that he's always being treated like an idiot by wizards despite showcasing average intelligence. Or - on several occasions - above average intelligence.
  • Referenced by name in Darths & Droids #102. The Rant explains the idea even earlier and calls out Charisma as the useless one. Much later, Jim is preparing to debut his new character. When Chewbacca shows himself incredibly dignified, refined, and well-spoken, Jim comments that he gave his sidekick high points in all his character's dump stats. Then Jim brings out the new character, "Greedo" (a renamed version of Han Solo), and he's a horrible Italian stereotype who speaks in broken English.
  • Stat Dump haunts protagonist in Crawlers on the page titled Skills You'll Never Use.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary is shocked that Bill focused on charisma for his character.
  • Secret from Keychain of Creation has only 2 in Stamina.

    Real Life 
  • High performance vehicles typically use driver comfort, ride quality, interior luxury and cargo space as their dump stats. Sometimes justified in the pursuit of higher performance and saving weight, but sometimes not where the modifications are a form of performance theatre to make the driver feel that they are going faster. The Bugatti Veyron goes the opposite way; It's an extremely luxurious vehicle, with all the creature comforts you'd expect from a less sporty vehicle, good insulation, ride stability, etc, while retaining a massively powerful engine. It sacrifices weight and handling instead : the car weights about 2 tons. Despite its ludicrous acceleration potential and record-setting top speed, it has failed to beat slowernote  vehicles at the Nurburgring trial due to its lack of cornering strength.
  • Aesthetics, aka Fit and Finish, tend to be the dump stat for military weapons built during time of war. Sometimes the low stat only affects appearance, other times it results in poor ergonomics or low mean time between failure. This was lampshaded by the Webley company during World War II with their Mk IV revolvers, which were stamped with "WAR FINISH" to make sure that no one would think the painted-on finish and visible tool marks were the norm for a Webley product.
  • Fuel Efficiency was the dump stat for American vehicles up through the early 2000's. Cars could be made cheap and powerful (or cheap and "luxurious") as long as one didn't care how much fuel they used to reach those speeds or move that bulk. Initially justified because oil was never something that was going to run out. Fuel efficiency mattered for a brief period in the 1970's, but that was followed by another two decades of low oil prices that put an emphasis on vehicle size and off road capability.
  • Your classic battleship was a compromise between Armor, Firepower and Speed. Being warships, firepower as a dump stat was never a consideration. Speed was invariably the dump stat, ensuring battleships could take as much as they could dish out. Battlecruisers were an offshoot of battleships designed to have armor as a dump stat relying on their speed to stay away from what their guns couldn't outrange. As cruiser-killers and scouts, this was an effective (though very expensive) solution, but it didn't go so well when they were shoved into the line of battle and expected to stay there. Which sadly proved an almost irresistible temptation to admirals due to their battleship-like firepower.
  • Tanks are similarly designed with a compromise between Armor, Firepower and Mobility. (Which encompasses ability to handle rough terrain as well as just straight-line speed.) While not all tanks have a dump stat (depending on the particular tank's role, being merely decent in all areas might be considered acceptable), heavy tanks invariably have speed as their dump stat while light tanks inevitably dump armor and often firepower as well. Dump stats tend to be even more exaggerated with tank destroyers (which specialize solely in taking out other tanks); firepower is always emphasized, and either mobility or armor gets dumped almost to nonexistence.
    • These kinds of tradeoffs have largely disappeared since WWII, as the vast majority of armies have opted for the Jack-of-All-Stats approach and settled for a fairly homogenous definition of "main battle tank": Something with as much armor as possible on a roughly 50-ton vehicle, a 120-125 mm gun, and an all-terrain speed of 40-60 kph. The "tank destroyer" role has been taken up by APCs and attack helicopters.