It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
The partner to the Life Meter
, the Mana Meter describes the amount of power
, often called Mana
, a character has remaining for his special abilities. It is commonly associated with spell-casting characters in action RPGs
and Real-Time Strategy
In colour-coded games, this meter is most often blue
, as a handy contrast to the Life Meter
, which is most often red or green (or green that turns red when low on health). Whether the Mana Meter recovers on its own, or needs to be replenished by items, is much more variable than it is for the Life Meter
or the Sprint Meter
This does not necessarily need to be magical in nature. It can represent an auxiliary power reserve, or other quantity that must be recovered between uses of a special ability. Sometimes it's a catchall, and Ki Attacks
, Psychic Powers
, and Functional Magic
all drain the same "stuff"
A Mana Potion
can restore all or part of it, or it can restore on its own with Regenerating Mana
- Cael Cyndar from the game Dragon Rage has a real interesting one, instead of it being a actual meter his Mana is represented by a bunch of particles swirling around a gem.
- Units in Starcraft have "energy meters" that can indicate either the unit's remaining energy reserve (Terrans), psionic power (the Protoss) or bioweapons (the Zerg). They are depleted as that unit's special abilities are used and recover with time (with the exception of several zerg units that can restore their energy by consuming another friendly unit).
- Bloodline Champions averts this - despite using archetype common to MMORPGs, Cooldowns are used to limit abilities. An energy meter charges from hitting with abilities, to be consumed to use other ones.
- Terraria requires you to gather 10 fallen stars to craft into a mana crystal which expands it by 20 points. A player can also expand it by equipping accessories and armor which can expand it until taken off, such as bands of star power, accessories with the "Arcane" prefix, jungle armor, or the helmets made from hard mode ores such as the Cobalt Hat (increases by 40), Mythril Hood (by 60) or Adamantite Headgear (by 80). Those three can then be used to make the Hallowed Headgear (which increases it by 100 points).
- Supers in the MMORPG City of Heroes have a blue endurance bar.
- Some archetypes have an extra bar. Brutes have Fury, which increases their damage output as the bar fills while they attack enemies and are attacked in return. Dominators have Domination, a bar that fills from dealing attacks and when full allows them to activate the Domination Mode that increases the strength and duration of their status effect powers and renders them heavily resistant to status effect powers from enemies..
- ''World of Warcraft has quite a bit of variants.
- First is the classic blue mana bar. It used to grow with increase of Intellect stat, but as of Mists of Pandaria it has been standardised to level and specialisation. However, while the bar remains the same, different classes use it differently
- Most damage-dealing casters have a big bar and very good regeneration, leaving them with few worries about filling it. Arcane mages stand in a separate niche among them - unlike others who regenerate it passively, they consume it much faster and actively use special regeneration spells to restore it. Failure to hold back on nuking may result in running dry before their refills are ready and being forced to do minimal damage for a time.
- The healers typically are more involved with their meters than casters - they obtain regeneration from stats on their gear rather than passive abilities and running dry is a constant threat. Thus they have to balance the heals they dish out to both keep everybody alive and to not run out of mana before the fight is over.
- Mana-using melee classes, such as paladins and enhancement shamans, have a much shorter mana bar and their abilities tend to take solid chunks out of it with every use - however, their regeneration refills them just as fast. They tend to not run out doing their usual damage rotation, but will run out fast if the situation forces them to throw out some heals. Paladins also have a separate "Holy Power" bar which is accumulated via use of select abilities and can be used on powerful effects or free heals.
- Other classes have differently named and looking resource bars that fulfil the same function:
- Warriors and Guardian Druids utilise Rage mechanic, a red bar that fills as they deal or take damage. It has a cap of 100 or 120 and their skills usually cost a hefty chunk of it, sometimes emptying it out entirely and dealing more damage the more full it was. It also slowly drains out of combat and thus warriors typically move from one monster to another in a hurry, unleashing the stored up rage on the new target before it vanishes.
- Rogues and Feral Druids use Energy, yellow bar that refills fast by itself and limits them from spamming attacks at high speed and Combo Points which are accumulated as red dots on their current target and allow them to unleash powerful finishers.
- Introduced in Wrath of the Lich King Death Knights use a double-type resource system: they had six runes, two of each type of Unholy, Blood and Frost and a light blue Rune Power bar. A portion of their skills cost specific runes to use, which then refill themselves - and activation of runes gives them rune power to be used on other skills. Similar to warriors, rune power drains out of combat.
- As of Cataclysm expansion, Hunters have switched from mana bar to an orange Concentration bar, which refills by itself or with use of certain abilities.
- Diablo uses round glassy "vessels", whose level of fullness varies. In Diablo II, the mana orb is blue and held by a statue of an angel.
- In Star Control II, spaceships in combat have battery meters, in red; many races have a special way of filling them, from the Pkunk's psychic insults to the Druuge's sacrifice of crew members.
- Both Rune Factory and its sequel fulfill this trope with a Rune Point meter. The RP meter is blue and the HP meter is green.
- Eternal Fighter Zero has a rare example of a magic meter used for a 2D fighting game, albeit only for one character. Kano Kirishima, whose character is based off of RPG magic users, possesses a magic gauge that must be manually charged in order to cast her tiered elemental spells. Different tiers of spells consume different amounts of the bar.
- Most Star Wars games have Force meters.
- The X-Wing games don't have mana, obviously, but every single laser has a meter which slowly recharges, or slowly drains if you're trying to run away really fast. The shields also recharge or drain if you're trying to run away really fast. There's also a beam weapon, which is essentially Sprint Shoes. Finally, missiles have a finite number; an X-wing, for instance, has 6 proton torpedos.
- The blue EVE gauge in first two BioShock games.
- The Final Fantasy games have MP, which stands for Magic Points (Or Mist Points in Final Fantasy XII). Aside from certain actions (such as regular attacks, stealing, and items to name a few) most attacks drain MP.
- Kingdom Hearts makes use of a similar system, but uses it in a very different way.
- Various The Legend of Zelda games have green meters for Link's spells and magical items. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds instead uses a purple one for most items, regenerating over time.
- The Tales Series games and Star Ocean games generally have one meter (Technical Points for the former, Magic Points for the latter) which are used in both techniques and spells.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time introduced the unusual mechanic of being able to die from losing MP. Physical attacks used HP, Magic attack used MP, and different attacks caused differing amounts of damage to one of them or both. In essence, you had two separate meters that both were a hybrid of Hit Points and Mana Meter.
- Although it's still technically a Mana Meter, later Tales Series games by Team Destiny get rid of Technical Points in favor of some other mechanic that usually regenerates whatever it is you need to do special attacks quickly.
- System Shock has PSI meter.
- Runescape is one of the few MMORPGs to avert Mana Meter. Instead of mana, runes are used to cast spells.
- Kingdom of Loathing has MP, which can be restored by resting, items, or certain familiars. If you're a caster, the game will call them "mana points", if you're a fighter-type, they'll be called "muscularity points", and if you're a rogue-type, they'll be "mojo points". Of course, everything that drains, restores or otherwise affects MP, does so in exactly the same way regardless of class.
- Arcanum borrows Diablo's liquid-filled vessels, with a unique twist on the local type of mana: It's called Fatigue and represents exactly that. In addition to being used for casting spells, it can be drained by carrying too much gear or getting hit with blunt weapons.
- zOMG! has a blue, battery-shaped Stamina meter next to your Health. Stamina is consumed when you use rings. Like Health, you restore a certain amount of Stamina per tick, though you can increase the rate by kneeling (at the cost of tripling all damage received) or by using certain buffs. Certain power-ups also instantly restore a portion of your Health and Stamina. Unlike Health, your maximum Stamina never increases, nor can you reduce the Stamina cost of a ring. Like Health, having low Stamina causes a rather irritating sound effect to play constantly.
- Lost Magic has a yellow bar that appears below Isaac's blue Health bar on his status screen. The rate at which it refills and the delay before it starts refilling are determined by the number of Mana Crystals on the map that are "pure" (captured by you).
- Fable plays this straight with its Will Gauge, but the sequel doesn't even bother with it, resulting in magic, gunplay and swordplay being equally spammable.
- The Paper Mario games have Flower Points which act as this, in keeping with the mushroom\flower\star theme of some Mario games.
- Freelancer has the power meter, which is consumed by firing your weapons. Usually, you consume power only slightly faster that it regenerates, which keeps you from just holding the button down forever. The stolen Nomad weapons are awesome because they consume no power, which means that having a few can free up infinitely regenerating power for your other guns.
- The Elder Scrolls has the Magicka meter, which is a Mana Meter in all but name. There's also a Fatigue meter which is drained by various physical activities, such as running, jumping, and attacking.
- Bloodrayne and its sequel have a 'rage' meter which fills by attacking enemies using Raynes wrist blades. It is used to power 'bloodrage' and other attacks.
- Jade Empire features the Chi meter, used for magic attacks and transformations, as well as powering up your Martial and Weapon styles.
- The Dungeon Siege series, being heavily influenced by the Diablo series, also features a mana bar in the first two installments, but changes up the name and function in III, splitting it into the Focus bar and Power Orbs. Both are used for special attacks/abilities, but refilling them is no longer a matter of simply waiting or drinking a potion; to restore focus attacking and defeating enemies is required and power is restored by using focus abilities, with certain talents and other abilities affecting the refill as well.
- Pokémon uses Power Points, or PPs, which indicate how many times a move can be used (each move has it's own PP). When depleted, they can be filled with an item, or by fully healing the Pokemon at a Pokemon Center.
- Most champions in League of Legends use mana as a casting resource, with a few variations. Some use Energy, which has a fixed cap and regeneration rate, some are Cast from Hit Points, some use Fury which builds when they attack, one uses Heat which builds when he uses an ability, and some use no resources at all and are completely cooldown reliant.
- Eternal Darkness uses a magick meter for spells and it regenerates as you walk around or use items.
- Tales of Maj'Eyal has a lot of different resources spread over the different types of classes. Mages, and a couple of hybrid classes, have Mana, which regenerates over time. Warriors, Rogues, and most of the Magic Knights have Stamina, which also regenerates more slowly over time but is harder to restore otherwise. Psionic classes have Psi, which regenerates very slowly over time but can be gained quickly by using abilities that suck energy out of enemies. Corrupters have Vim, which does not regenerate over time but can be regained by killing creatures or from a few specific talents that all rely on enemies. Afflicted have Hate, which decreases over time, and can be gained by killing enemies or by being in a high-damage battle. Celestials have Positive and Negative, which both decrease over time but have talents whose cost to use is negative. Wilders have Equilibrium, which starts at 0 and increases with talent cost, and gives a chance of failure to associated talents once it gets high enough. Chronomancers have Paradox, which works similarly, but high Paradox increases the power of your abilities and also has a chance of causing random unintended effects or just backfiring on the caster.
- Trails In The Sky has one, named EP Bar (Energy Points) which is used in Arts (read: spells). It also has a separate meter for Limit Break and character-specific skills.
- Star Fox Adventures has a Staff Energy Meter which tells you how much energy Fox has available for the Staff Powers. It has three upgrades which you can, but are not required to, find. It is refilled by collecting Magic Gems. Tricky has a meter which tells you how many Grubtubs' worth of energy he has available for the Sidekick Skills that require it. It is refilled by feeding him Grubtubs from your inventory.
- BioForge: Your cyborg character's battery meter, used to regenerate health and to power your built-in gun.
- Art of Fighting was one of the first Fighting Games to use a meter to power the characters' Special Attacks. Taunting could be used to drop the opponent's meter, while you could rapidly build it up by having your character stop and focus their Ki.
- The Street Fighter series adopted the Super Meter in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which increased by throwing attacks and inflicting and taking damage. When it was full, the player could pull off a Super Move. Later fighting games, in Street Fighter and other series, would enact varying variations and uses for the Super Meter, like maneuvers that only partially drained the meter, stackable levels that allowed the player to store multiple Supers, and other ideas.
- Instead of the usual EN bar, all Deus Machina in Super Robot Wars UX have an MP bar instead. It has a variety of quirks, such as scaling up through leveling skills rather than upgrades.
- In Vampires Dawn, mana represents the vampires' blood. Casting spells costs blood points, and if they suck an enemy for blood their mana meter fills up accordingly. If their mana/blood points fall below a certain percentage they will go berserk.
- The Vibe Gauge in Super Princess Peach.
- Double Dragon Neon has this for Sosetsitsu moves.
- In both Enter the Matrix and The Matrix Path Of Neo below the health-bar is the yellow focus bar. How full it is shows how many more focused moves, moves that are faster and harder than regular ones, that you can still pull off.