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
, Functional Magic
, or even Wave Motion Guns
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
- 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). This system can lead to some weirdness when the terran EMP drains psionic power and bioweapons in addition to energy and shields, but that's game balance for you.
- In Bloodline Champions, while Cooldowns are used to limit abilities, hitting with them charges an energy meter that can be consumed to use other more powerful ones.
- 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.
- In the X-Wing series, all ships have a Deflector Shield meter, and every single laser has a Cooldown meter that slowly recharges after being used. The "mana meter" functionality comes from being able to consume the charge of these meters in order to pull off very fast evasive manuevers, whatever they are full or not.
- 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.
- Various The Legend of Zelda games have green meters that are consumed when Link uses spells and magical items. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds uses instead a purple one that is consumed for most items, and regenerates over time.
- The Tales Series has Technical Points, which are consuming when using techniques. Although still technically a mana meter, Tales games by Team Destiny (Tales of Destiny and Tales of Rebirth) get rid of Technical Points in favor of some other mechanic that usually regenerates whatever it is you need to do special attacks quickly.
- The Star Ocean series uses Magic Points for spell-casting. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time introduces the unusual mechanic of being able to die from losing MP. With Physical attacks using HP and Magic attacks using MP, different attacks cause different amounts of damage to one of them, or to both. In essence, they function as two separate meters that both were a hybrid of Hit Points and Mana Meter. Note that this applies to both your party and enemies. This opens up things like seemingly tankish characters with high HP end up having low MP and therefore easier to kill with MP damage. And if you use certain skills (for instance, the Convert MP Damage or Convert HP Damage skills, which converts one damage type to the other, like 1 HP damage for 4 MP damage) can create really resistant characters - that Black Magician Girl Sophia can suddenly survive physical attacks because all the supposed HP damage is instead transferred to MP damage, and she has a lot of MP.
- Brink gives each player a "Supplies" meter, an abstraction of your side's current logistical capabilities. The bar is divided into segments referred to as "Pips", one of each is consumed when the player uses a special ability. note The default is three pips, but can be increased with upgrades to six; additionally, the team that owns the Supply Command Post gets one additional pip note for every member, increasing the potential amount to eight. Also, soldiers can unlock an additional ability to scavenge Supplies from bodies.
- 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 the Health meter. Stamina is consumed when using 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.
- The original Fable has the Will Gauge, which limits spellcasting for the player. The series foregoes this meter from Fable II onwards, making magic, gunplay and swordplay being equally spammable.
- Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario games have Flower Points, in keeping with the mushroom/flower/star theme usually seen in the Super Mario Bros. series, that are consumed when using special attacks and abilities. Uniquely, in Paper Mario FP is shared among all characters rather than each having their own separate FP meter. The Mario & Luigi series use Bros. Points instead of Flower Points for the same purpose.
- 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, being consumed when using any kind of magical ability. 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, with each move having its 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.
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky has the 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
- The Staff Energy Meter indicates how much energy Fox has available for the Staff Powers. It is refilled by collecting Magic Gems, and it has three upgrades that can be found in the world.
- Tricky has a meter that tells how many Grubtubs' worth of energy he has available for the Sidekick Skills that require it. It is refilled by feeding him Grubtubs.
- BioForge: The cyborg character's battery meter is used to regenerate health and to power their built-in gun.
- Art of Fighting uses a meter to power the characters' Special Attacks. Taunting can be used to drop the opponent's meter, and it can be rapidly build it up by stopping and focusing the character's Ki.
- The Street Fighter series adopted the Super Meter in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which increases by throwing attacks, and by inflicting and taking damage. In its original form, filling it allows the player to pull off a Super Move, and later games in the series added the ability to pull off powered-up EX maneuvers that only partially drain the meter.
- The Marvel vs. Capcom games, and by extention Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, have a stackable Hyper Bar that can be filled up to 5 times, allowing multiple Hyper Combos to be pulled off in succession. Depending on the game, a few to all of the characters have access to a Level 3 Hyper Combo: A significantly more powerful attack that consumes 3 Hyper Bars instead of the usual 1.
- Most games in the Super Robot Wars series have an EN bar, which is usually reserved for energy attacks, energy shields, and significantly-powerful melee attacks or Limit Breaks. Moving while flying also reduces EN by 2 per tile. Missiles, guns, and other ammunition-based weapons usually have their own separate ammo counts, as do Alpha Strike-style attacks.
- In Super Robot Wars UX, instead of the usual EN bar, all Deus Machina have an MP bar instead. It has a variety of quirks, such as scaling up through leveling skills rather than upgrades.
- Then there's Spirit Points or SP. This one is tied to the pilot and co-pilot. SP is consumed whenever you use Spirit Commands that buff you or your allies, debuff your enemies, or some unique commands like Self Destruct.
- In Vampires Dawn, mana is represented by 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.
- 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, can be pulled off.
- Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X have a 3-part gauge for each character filled by attacking and by being attacked. A single bar can be used to power-up a special move, two bars for breaking out of combos, and the whole 3 bars to trigger a brutal X-Ray attack.
- In Splatoon, the Inklings's Ink Gauge functions like a mana meter more than like an "ammo" counter. Firing or using the main weapon consumes ink; different weapons consume ink at different rates, with weapons with more punch to them generally eating through it way faster. The gauge is also used for sub weapons, which they consume a significant part of when thrown or used, from about a third of the gauge to the whole thing depending on the weapon. Ink is refilled by having the Inkling swim in their own ink as a squid, slowly over time by simply not firing, or filled immediately when triggering a special weapon.
- Tabletop Game/Dungeons&Dragons While most spellcasting classes used vancian magic and spell slots, psionic classes used something called Power Points, which acted something like a Mana Meter. You'd use however many points based on the level of the spell you were casting.
- In Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution using psionic talents consumes "power points", making the mechanic similar to casting spells from a mana pool.
- Parasite Eve uses Parasite Energy or PE, which serves as power source for Aya's abilities. Aya's PE recharges over time during battle, but the more often she uses her abilities in the current fight, the slower her PE refills unless you swap armor. Parasite Eve 2 uses a more traditional MP system where each ability has a cost associated with it and said MP can only be restored through items, certain armor, or after certain events.
- The Kingdom Hearts series has become rather infamous for gratuitously littering the screen with all sorts of gauges all over the place.
- Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III all feature the most straightforward example of them all: An old fashioned MP gauge used for Magic and Summons. KHII also includes a Drive Gauge that allows Sora to transform into powerful forms, and KHIII brings back the Focus gauge for Shotlocks.
- Completed averted in Kingdom Hearts Chain Of Memories - there are absolutely no additional UI bars in this game save for your HP, and enemy HP. Somewhat tweaked in Re:Chain of Memories in that Riku's DP system is re-designed with a gauge, though functions the same as the GBA game.
- Once more averted in Kingdom Hearts 3582 Days - HP is all you get. Magic instead uses number of casts you can perform per mission - each spell has extremely limited "ammunition" in a way.
- coded and "Re:coded" have a Debug gauge, and a Clock gauge. The Debug gauge essentially functions the same as the original MP gauge, for triggering special abilities and magics. Re:coded's Clock gauge simply buffs Sora with helpful status effects whenever it fills, culminating in a Finish attack.
- Taken to its absolute logical extreme in Birth by Sleep, where you have three gauges to keep track of aside from your HP. First is the Focus gauge, for your Shotlock attacks. The second is a D-Link gauge, for your D-Link abilities, and the last is the Command gauges, for Finishes and Command Styles. Factor in the fact that every Command Style has its own unique gauge, and that deck commands are in and of themselves gauges, BBS takes it Up to Eleven.
- Dream Drop Distance scales things down a notch. The deck commands are back, but gone is the rest. All you have are your Dream Eater Link gauges (found under their own tiny UI's), and a rather humongous Drop gauge which is nothing more than a fancy looking timer.
- Nihilumbra: Determines how much more color you can put down, and it's shared by all five colors.
- Everyone in Nexus Clash has Magic Points representing their angelic/demonic powers, arcane magic level, personal willpower/badassery, or any number of other power sources depending on their class. The only exception is the Redeemed, who spend points from their Karma Meter to use their powers instead.