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[[quoteright:250:[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RDrop8_5839.JPG]]]]

->"''How fortuitous! Evil doom-chicken #3 (second from the left, but otherwise indistinguishable from doom-chickens #1, 2, and 4) had a Great Big Nasty Sword of Serious Hurtfulness + 5. Funny, I didn't notice that sword anywhere on its feathery person while it was still alive. If it was so heavily armed, why didn't it use it in the fight?''"
-->-- '''Ernest Adams''', [[http://www.designersnotebook.com/Columns/044_Bad_Game_Designer_3/swords044_bad_game_designer_3.htm Gamasutra.com]]

A gameplay mechanic used principally to give a sense of reward to the players by assigning enemies a list of items you might gain if you defeat them. These items are called "drops" because the foe drops them when they die, and there's a probability table assigned to each item the enemy can drop--"Okay, 30% of the time you get a Potion, 5% you get a Red Shield, and 3% you get Cod Liver Oil"--which is where the "random" comes in.

Different kinds of games can do this with different kinds of items, from instant-use [[HealThyself health pick-ups]] to items and equipment that are stored in inventory for the long-haul. Either way, a dry spell of Random Drops can seriously increase the challenge of many a gameplay segment.

If a drop is especially rare, it goes under the {{subtrope}} RareRandomDrop. Or use the RandomDropBooster to increase your odds.

This often results in ImpossibleItemDrop and OrganDrops. Relative of the LuckBasedMission. See also MoneySpider and ExclusiveEnemyEquipment. Also often see with RandomlyGeneratedLoot. When combined with HundredPercentCompletion, you could end up with FakeLongevity.

Subtrope of ItemDropMechanic. Compare and contrast LootCommand when looting requires a specific command. Both that and this trope may appear together; i.e what you looted from the command may be random, or using a specific command will let you take a specific item/higher chance at getting rarer drops.



[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series has a lot of examples:
** ''Videogame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness'' has any number of items that only very rarely drop from enemies. This is the ''only'' way to acquire many of the materials needed to make weapons and armor. However, most of the materials can be stolen from ''other'' enemies, so it's not quite so bad. That being said, since stealing in this game works by locking onto an enemy and then pressing a button when they do a specific action that leaves them open for stealing, some of the items can be even more of a pain in the ass if you can only steal their item with a ridiculously good timing, using obscure gimmicks or avoiding a hard-to-dodge attack with perfect timing and be positioned correctly right afterwards.
** ''Videogame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'' was particularly egregious in two respects. There is an item that increases the rate of random drops, but this item was also a random drop. There's also a spell that boosts your luck (and thus increasing your odds of getting a random drop), but to get the materials for the spell you needed '''two''' random drops (although the odds of getting those drops was much more realistic--no worse than a 10% chance). Remember too, in this game there is no other way to get ''any'' items other than through random drops. Even the most basic Potion is a rare drop from just a handful of enemies. The people who made this game hate you and your family.
** Similarly, in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'', enemies can drop money, materials used in side quests and Glyphs, ''[=OoE=]'''s equivalent of Souls. Enemies also cast glyphs, which means that you'll have to absorb them quickly while the enemy is preparing the attack. On the plus side, absorbing the glyph ''stops'' the attack, gives you five hearts, and briefly stuns the enemy.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' has a bunch of really cool (But sometimes impractical) weapons that randomly drop from enemies. Most infamous would be the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Crissaegrim (AKA the Valmanway in Japanese and subsequent titles onwards)]] that drops at an insanely low rate from one of the game's resident GoddamnBats. (Though unlike every other goddamned bat these don't spawn nearly as often.) Some locations do allow you to kill enemies with rare drops in rapid succession by switching rooms back and forth quickly if they don't drop the item you want, but that also tends to devolve into a reaction test of actually being able to see the item drop and stop yourself from instinctively changing the room again before picking the said item up, which of course makes it disappear. There's also Heaven Knights, which fly around, are unhindered by walls and appear in an area where they can easily drop their rare item in a location where it's impossible to get even if it didn't disappear in 10 seconds or so. For the former sword's case, it's saying something in that it's become a bit less "lucky" to get in future titles, though not as potent when using it as a trade-off.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow.'' Souls. Incredibly common from some enemies (you'll have ten copies of the Bat soul by the time you hit your second boss), incredibly rare from others. The worst? "Tsuchinoko," which spawns in the far corner of one room maybe half the time, and immediately tries to burrow out of sight, and drops his soul maybe one time in fifty kills. There are other bad ones, but he's the worst. Many players have killed it once out of curiosity after killing the boss before its room, gotten the soul, and wondered if that was actually the boss-fight reward.
*** Sky Fish says StealthHiBye. Yes, that flicker at the top of the screen in certain rooms is a monster with a soul, and without it you can't get 100% completion.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow'' takes random drops to new extremes by making the soul system of the above even more grindy. EVERY enemy in the game can drop their soul which gives you an ability based on their power. Add on to that the facts that most souls require 9 copies to be at full power, good weapons come from fusing them with souls (which subtracts your total so you'll need to get more if you want the weapon AND the soul), and that monsters still have regular items as random drops and you'll find that there's basically no location in the whole game that you can't random drop grind if you wanted to. And if you think you can make things easier by boosting drop rates then you'll soon find that even with a full luck build (lucky sword, lucky armor, ring of higher drop chance, 9 copies of luck boosting souls) you'll still need to kill about 10 copies of a 2 star rarity monster to get one soul drop, and heaven help you if you're going for a tricky 3 star drop.
** Every relic except two in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence'' are found throughout all the levels, like good hidden items should be. With the exception of two. These two are the rare drops for somewhat difficult to kill monsters and it's rather frustrating to try to obtain them...
** This goes back all the way to the original ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaI'' and most of the non-{{MetroidVania}}s in the series that followed. Enemies would randomly drop hearts, money, or even subweapons, if the game was feeling generous. [[NintendoHard Which wasn't too often.]] Maddeningly, sometimes a subweapon you didn't want would be unavoidably dropped, especially when dealing with aerial monsters. Thankfully, most games since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' have allowed you to pick up your old weapon, as long as it didn't ''fall down a pit''.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair'' takes this trope and runs away with it. Soma's souls make a return appearance, as do Shanoa's glyphs (though they're easier to get here). However, Shanoa only gets new weapons from chests dropped by bosses, meaning that, unless you want to go through the whole game with her default rapier, you'll be doing some grinding to pick something up. Jonathan also only gets subweapons randomly, which is problematic considering that he doesn't get stronger without using subweapons. Charlotte also suffers, as she only gets spells by using a shield to absorb them from enemies, meaning that you might sit in front of an enemy absorbing fireballs for the full [[TimedMission thirty minutes]]. And then she has to absorb the same spell to get stronger.
* Most enemies in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series have random loot such as rupees and hearts.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' has special items dropped by certain monsters that are stored in your Spoils Bag. These are specific to each monster (i.e. Big Moblins only drop Skull Necklaces), and usually drop randomly. However, the Grappling Hook can be used to [[VideoGameStealing steal their item]] with 100% success if it hits. Each type of item is useful in a different SideQuest.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' introduced "treasure" items, like slime blobs, that drop infrequently from certain monsters, and which are used for [[ItemCrafting improving weapons and shields]]. The NewGamePlus gives you all of the loot collected in the first playthrough at the start, allowing you to get better equipment earlier to compensate for the increased difficulty. Some items, like the Gold Ornamental Skull, are [[RareRandomDrop especially rare]], and unless you have a Medal that makes enemies drop items more frequently and do ''a lot'' of grinding, it's unlikely that you'll ever find more than two or three of them throughout a single playthrough.
** Certain enemies in the ''Legend of Zelda''/''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' crossover, ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'', will drop either materials used to craft badges used to upgrade characters or weapons that can be equipped by certain characters.
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/TheGoonies'' games drop items like keys, hearts, and bombs.
* In ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', several recipes can only be acquired in {{Bonus Dungeon}}s from specific enemies, which ''might'' spawn on a certain floor, and ''might'' drop a loot bag upon death which ''might'' contain your recipe. Several ingredients are obtained in a similar manner. When you realize that some of these recipes are found only in (certain floors of) the [[MarathonLevel 115-floor Palace of the Dead]], you will either [[GuideDangIt look up a guide]] or scream and give up.

[[folder:Driving Game]]
* A rare racing game case, the third ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' game has a prize system in which, starting with the late game beginner races, there are four cars that you can win. Too bad you can only win one of them--very frustrating since the endurance races are long as hell, you can't save in the middle of them, and there's a good chance that you'll get stuck with a crappy Renault instead of that GameBreaker F686/M. In some tournaments, it doesn't even matter because the 4 prize cars ''are all the same.''

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** In ''Super Smash Bros. Melee'', there is a 1 in 151 chance of getting Mew from a Poké Ball, and a 1 in 251 chance of getting Celebi. Disappointingly, they only appear and fly away, but reward you with a lot of points, and an alert after the match is done telling that you met them for the first time.
** This happens in ''Super Smash Bros. Brawl'', but with severely decreased chances of getting any legendary Pokémon at all. This being the case, however, most legendary Pokémon are much more lethal; Mew drops [=CDs=], Celebi drops trophies, and Jirachi (who wasn't in ''Melee'') drops a ton of stickers.
** For all those die-hard completionists, Brawl's Subspace Emissary will be HELL. To get [[OneHundredPercentCompletion all the trophies in Brawl]], you have to play Subspace Emissary, and have a trophy stand randomly drop during all the [[BossBattle Boss Battles]]. When it comes to Meta-Ridley, it's incredibly frustrating - not only is there a ''time limit'' on the battle, but unless you have ABSOLUTELY PERFECT timing, the trophy will most likely drop into a bottomless pit if you're not fast enough. Luckily, trophy stands appear much faster in this battle.
** Then there's the stickers in ''Brawl''. There are 700 of them. 5 you get for completing challenges (and you can do the challenge over and over again to get multiples), but the other 695 of them are obtained completely at random; you have no way of knowing what sticker you get until you already have it (which is especially annoying if you're trying to get the stickers through Coin Launcher, since you can't save your coins to get one you know you don't have.)
* The ''{{Tekken}} 6'' Scenarion Campaign has this with clothing items. While you'd pretty much always get at least one item per stage, the effects they give off and how powerful those effects are is also random, so getting something useful was even less likely to happen than in most games with RandomlyDrops.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' is the {{FPS}} equivalent of this (its initial pitch: "[[XMeetsY Halo meets Diablo]]"). It, too, has a list of super-rare ({{DLC}}-exclusive) weapons known as "Pearlescents". These [[InfinityPlusOneSword super-strong]] firearms drop at a rate of 1 for every 60 orange (the previous highest-level category) items. Of course, they're a ''little'' more prevalent than you might think, thanks to a [[GoodBadBug multiplayer glitch]] that allows for easy item duplication. Gets to the point of ridiculousness in the sequel, with drop rates so low some players have to farm bosses ''over a hundred times'' just to get a specific item drop.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{STALKER}} S.T.A.L.K.E.R.]]'' does this in a really silly fashion, sending you to collect the Eye of a Fleshie or Foot of a Snork. Which makes no sense--why fight potentially dozens of them for a single item to drop rather that just using your knife to cut off the body part from the first one you killed? What, did it take several tries to get it right?
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' features a random drop system rewarding players with random weapons (and, very rarely, cosmetic items and tools) based on time played, up to a certain weekly cap. Prior to its introduction, the only way to obtain items was through class-specific achievements and milestones. While the first release of the system was quite shoddy (very rarely giving out items and often granting duplicates back when the game had no crafting or trading system), it has since had considerable improvements made to it.
** Originally, the system was meant to replace the achievement system entirely, but after player complaints, the achievement system was re-introduced and the drop rate modified.
** Early on, players attempted to game the system by using external idling programs which simulated gameplay without actually having the game client open (and thus using system resources) and playing, greatly magnifying the rate at which players could obtain [[CommonplaceRare hats]]. Valve brought the hammer down on these players by removing their items while rewarding more honest players with a golden halo hat called the Cheater's Lament and increasing the hat drop rate, [[BrokenBase greatly dividing the fanbase]].
*** Later, the overall drop rate was increased by changing the system to decide ''when'' a player received a drop, instead of whether ''if'' a player received a drop, and a weekly cap of 8-12 items was introduced.
*** Finally, the system was edited again to curtail idling by only rewarding active players who meet certain conditions, such as responding to in-game drop notifications, only running a single instance of the game, and [[NoFairCheating playing on VAC-secured servers]].
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' has random drops for Hazmat and Riot zombies. The Hazmat infected will drop Boomer Bile and the Riot infected will drop Tonfas. The odds of them carrying the said items are low but since they always respawn down the road, you are bound to score the items at least once per map.
** The Passing campaign introduces the Fallen Survivor infected. Somewhat rare since they only appear at least once or twice per map and they can carry either a First Aid Kit, Pipe Bombs, Molotovs, or Pills and they can carry either one of the items or all of them. However, this immune to the sounds of the Pipe Bomb, have as much health as a Witch, has their head protected so making a head shot is harder, and they will run away if attacked. Because of the amount of items they can carry and their low encounter rate, Fallen Survivors also double as a MetalSlime.
* Robots in ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' can release energy or shield boosts, or various weapons that your ship can use. The probability of the item appearing is always out of 16, unless a robot is customized so that a certain drop always occurs. Customization can also enter ImpossibleItemDrop territory— which generally happens with the unarmed [[PinataEnemy Supervisor Droids]], but other examples include coded "clones" of enemies like the Omega Spawn and Green Spider in ''Descent II'', which look the same as their regular counterparts but sound different, are worth slightly more points and can drop missiles (usually Guided Missiles) that are bigger than they are and not part of their arsenal.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}},'' enemies have a random chance of dropping ammunition for your weapons. (Unlike ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', where an enemy programmed to drop ammo would always drop ammo.) Some had a rare chance of dropping [[RareRandomDrop valuable artifacts]] instead of ammunition.

[[folder:Hack And Slash]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' games feature items that aren't just randomly dropped, but ''randomly generated'' from thousands of potential combinations of attributes, special abilities and base weapon types. Runes (items you can place into other items to make them better) are particularly glaring, with some high-level runes having such tiny chances to drop (1 in millions, and even that requires finding enemies even capable of dropping the runes in the first place) that most hard-core players have never seen a legitimate one (ones created by hacks, of course, are another matter entirely). In fact, one person apparently estimated that one has a better chance of getting hit by a falling plane that was struck by lightning than one does of finding the rarest rune. Nobody knows if that estimation is true, but you get the idea.
** The rune example is fairly straightforward, but it can get much more complex: A base sword, for example, might have an inherent range of say 5 +/- damage and 10 +/- quality. So, just getting a "max" sword would take at least 15 rolls of that sword, of which, the top swords are also rare. Then, the top prefix is "Cruel," which varies between 200-300% added damage. The top suffix is "of Eviscration" which also varies by 20 points. It is estimated that maybe 1 sword has ever existed that was truly "perfect." You would need 10's of thousands of rolls to get a perfect roll, but you would probably need somewhere around 100 million of that sword to get 10k with that roll to even have a chance at the perfect stats. And then, there's the "Etheral" version, which is 1/3 as common as the regular version. Only 1 300% Cruel, Etheral, Elite class, 2 Socket sword has ever been found.
* ''Diablo II'' includes many items that, when equipped, increase the odds of an item drop, notably socketing an item with perfect topaz gems. Some players traded for as much of this equipment as they could cram onto themselves, and went hunting; the Barbarian had an edge over any other character in this respect, because the optimum item-finding equipment package requires dual-wielding a pair of enchanted broadswords, which only the barbarian can do, and the barbarian had a skill that basically amounted to "trigger the random drop again".
* ''Diablo III'' allowed people to buy gear with real life money... which prompted cries that it was ruined amongst people who mysteriously now actually ''liked'' farming over and over again for random drops of equipment knowing 90% of it was worthless and only good for bribing other players to run you through zones ''if'' you're lucky. However, having a system that allowed buying equipment meant that since people would rather buy the best equipment than spend hundreds of hours finding one ended up taking fun away from the end-game, and eventually the market was removed from the game. One of the main features advertised for the ''Reaper of Souls'' expansion was that loot is favored towards your class.
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile'' has a similar system to Diablo concerning item drops, but some unique items are more common than others. The general rule is that uniques that are essential for specific builds are more common than ones that are simply powerful. So items like The Three Dragons (switches the elemental status effects for each element) and Wings of Entropy (a two-handed weapon that benefits from dual wielding passives) are more common than something like Soul Taker (lets you use active skills with insufficient mana) or Belly of the Beast (which just has really nice defensive stats). You also can use an Orb of Chance on a basic item for a small chance at turning into a unique items. Divination Cards help mitigate the need to bet on chance all the time, since each card always drops in specific zones and can be traded for whatever's written on the card.
* ''VideoGame/NinetyNineNights'' is a terrible offender in this category, with the final boss being almost unbeatable without an item which randomly drops (Or more likely does not drop) from one of the finite number of enemies within the last level, often forcing you to restart the mission hundreds of times over before it finally drops.

* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has a couple items that are stupidly rare. Not only is there The Ridill (average drop rate: about one every 20 kills of Fafnir at best), but it also has Defending Ring (about one every six months) and Hauteclaire (about one every three months). Dynamis often falls victim to this due to the fact that every monster in a Dynamis zone has an extremely low chance of dropping one of many different armor pieces (which is made up by the fact that these zones contain hundreds of monsters). Many linkshells end up with a particular set of pieces that are rare, while three jobs (usually Beastmaster, Dragoon, and one job that is actually desired at first) tend to drop at a fast rate. And this is just endgame. Listing all the things that eat a ton of time due to ridiculously low drop rates would take up too much space.
** Also worth noting are the respawn times on these monsters. Fafnir takes a whole day to respawn, the other two spawn every three days. And there are other groups competing with you. Even worse would be Voluptuous Vilma and Defoliate Leshy, which only spawn if other rare monsters are not killed for a long time. The existence of these monsters was unknown until a small group of players went onto the test server for a tournament and saw them.
** Rarely do drop rates in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' drop below 7%... except in Salvage. The premise of Salvage is that collecting 3 like pieces of equipment (3 mage gloves, 3 warrior boots, etc) from the ancient ruins of the Alzadaal civilization could allow a player to restore a piece of Salvage equipment, which constituted [[InfinityPlusOneSword quite a bit of the game's Infinity Plus One gear]]. The first two pieces are generally easy enough to obtain, with the first piece (level15) being 100% and the second piece (level25) usually being around 25%. Then you have the third piece (level35)... If it happened to drop in the Silver Sea Remnants section of Alzadaal, chances are you're ''still'' looking for it. Or not, because they've almost all since been replaced with better and more immediately satisfying equipment.
* Played seriously straight in {{MMORPG}} ''MapleStory''. Monsters have a very good chance (roughly 50~75%) of dropping some money (Mesos) and an "ETC" drop unique to the monster (or monster type). They have about a 1-in-10 chance of dropping potions or material ores, a ''very'' rare chance of dropping equippable items, and an ''extremely rare'' chance of dropping scrolls (which are used to upgrade equipment) or throwing stars. A coupon in the game's cash shop doubles the drop rate of monsters killed by the user. It doesn't help that sometimes only one particular enemy drops a particular item. Or that there's no indication that a miscellaneous drop is needed for a quest you don't have. Or quests that ask you to get an item, but don't say what enemy drops it. Then there's the major bosses Zakum and Horntail, who are guaranteed to drop at least one Zakum Helmet or Horntail Pendant each time they're killed, it's ''how many'' that drop that's random. All of their other drops are subject to Random Drops.
** The Malaysia exclusive map (guess what it's called) has somewhat broken drop rates- i.e. something around twice or thrice that of the original maps. ''This stacks with the event bonuses''.
** This aspect is where some quests become truly, stupidly hard. For instance, there's one quest where you have to find a little fairy's lost glass slipper. The slipper was stolen by the fire boar enemies in the mountains around Perion. No one is quite sure of the drop rate, but you can stand there and kill - quite literally - ''thousands upon thousands of fire boars'' and never see the item.
** It doesn't help that they randomize the drop rate at least once a week so you can't even figure out what the drop rates are.
** Worst of all is Nexon's "solution" to the botting problem that has plagued the game for years. Rather than implement ways to prevent such cheating, EXP and droprate is based off of character level, making it impossible for high-level characters to obtain items from low-level monsters.
* Several dungeons in ''WorldOfWarcraft'' include rare magic items with drop rates of under 0.01%. One instance, Shadowfang Keep, includes a set of items that possess a drop rate of roughly 1-in-''7000''. Previously Baron Riverdare's Deathcharger, an epic mount, was an example, but the drop rate for it was raised to 1% in the 3.0.2 update, also considering you can easily solo the Stratholme instance with a level 80 or even 70 character. Still, quite some work for some BraggingRightsReward--and Blizzard loves doing that, especially for mounts. Sabertooth mount anyone?
** Of course, there are also the "world drops"--rare items which have a very small chance of dropping from ANY monster of the given level range. Acquiring them comes down to pure luck. Or having a ton of money to spend on the AH.
** In Wrath of the Lich King, high level leatherworkers need Arctic Fur in quantity both for buying and for making high-end patterns. Arctic Fur is randomly skinnable from any skinnable Northrend mob, with a drop rate more normally associated with the above-mentioned "world drops." Many patterns require more than two.
*** Arctic Fur and it's Cataclysm equivalent Pristine Hide, can be traded for with leather, but that doesn't mean it's any ''easier''. Buying one Arctic Fur requires lots and lots of leather, so much leather that you'd probably get the Fur to drop while farming the leather needed to buy it.
** There are also some items that are easy to get but useless unless you get the correct version. What is essentially one item can have about 12 different sets of stats.
** Additionally, a huge number of quests require randomly dropping items that cannot be traded, and only drop if you have the quest. Oh god... How long does it take to find four hooves from a four hoofed animal? It's longer than you think.
** There is a quest where the player must collect 12 raptor heads. If you think this involves killing anywhere near as few as 12 raptors, you've clearly never played ''WorldOfWarcraft''.
*** [[http://www.wowhead.com/?item=3692 Hillsbrad Human Skulls]]. The listed droprate is a little off (Since they only drop if you have a quest to collect them) but the exact population of Hillsbrad that actually have skulls was about 35-40%. And you need to collect 30. Ouch. Fortunately, Blizzard finally made them a 100% drop. But still no fix for the headless raptors...
*** http://darklegacycomics.com/107.html
*** Prior to the Cataclysm expansion, a southshore alliance quest had a man request that you bring him 10 murloc heads. You rarely completed this objective with anything less than 25 murloc kills, ''at least.''
** The game eventually LampShaded this with one of many items that drop irregularly from a specific group of mobs. "Surely enough, not every one of them is wearing one. Cowards!"
** Another special case are drops from bosses that can only be encountered during an ingame holiday with a low drop rate. Not as bad as the above examples but the limit on the boss itself cranks it up considerably.
*** Two particularly aggravating examples are the Hallowed Helm hat and Sinister Squashling pet, two rare drops from the Hallow's End event. The items have three sources: the event's Headless Horseman boss with a 7% chance each, from a daily quest during the event with a 1.7% chance, and from an hourly repeatable interaction with any innkeeper for a 1.3% chance. Why is this example particularly bad? Because acquiring ''both'' items is requisite for the achievement "Sinister Calling," which is in turn requisite for the holiday's meta-achievement, which is in turn requisite for the meta-achievement "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been" which requires a year, minimum, to complete anyway, turning an already arduous task into a LuckBasedMission.
** Blizzard likes RandomlyDrops so much that they were included in the TradingCardGame. The so called loot cards have codes that can be used ingame to acquire one of several special items, although most of them are pure flavor.
** Farming for dragon whelps. At a 0.1% drop rate off only certain monsters (some of which share spawn points with monsters that don't drop the whelps), it can be painfully boring.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'''s most powerful weapons often have drop rates ranging from 1-in-72 to 1-in-''22000''. Add that to the fact that the 1-in-22000 monsters usually only show up singly, and only in certain map variations...
** And only for certain characters, as a character gets 1 of 12 possible dropcharts permanently assigned to it upon creation based on the character's names, class, and even gender, with some items having a 1 in 299594 chance from only 1 chart, from 1 monster, that can only be found in 1 area, with the monster being the rare form of an already rare monster.
* Beaten to death in ''AnarchyOnline'', an {{MMORPG}} where you will find that some of the most powerful and sought after items in the whole game (and since this game deals also in quality levels per any given item, in that as well) are so rare, they could be the poster child for this trope. The number of times that one specific item, the Sparkling Scimitar of Spetses (a stupidly rare item dropping from a semi-boss from the 2nd hardest area in the known game) is so ridiculously rare that it is counted among the forums. The numbers are kept as to which dimension (of the 3 this game has) has dropped how many... at last count, it was STILL IN THE SINGLE DIGITS for dropping after at least 3-4 (maybe longer) years of play in the game that allowed the zone. Though if you want similar horror stories, ask hardened, end-game players about the Spirit Shroud, anything regarding Alien boss drops, or really anything valuable in the game in question. As a result of this, of course, AdamSmithHatesYourGuts.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' uses this extensively. Also, certain quests require you to get items from standard enemies, which will never drop those items until you get the quest. The dread of this class of random drop is mitigated by the ability to buy some of them. But by no means all. This has been justified by the creator as "you did not know it was important so you didn't pick it up" which, considering the item is a [[spoiler:twig]] is believable.
** And let's not forget the game's "ultra-rares"--the player base STILL isn't sure how it works. The game's fansite says your best bet for getting, say, a 17-ball (erases your ElementalRockPaperScissors worries) is to save your money.
** Then again, the game also lets you play with the drop percentages. It's not much, but the game's guides do show how to maximise item drops.
** Most of the very-rare drops in ''Kingdom of Loathing'' are just icing on the cake for most players, which is helpful; most of the best equipment in the game is acquirable by playing through a "hardcore" ascension. A few rare random drops usually become the purview of SpeedRun players who use them to shave a few more turns off of their ''next'' game.
** Apparently, it is possible on a Bad Moon ascension to get a rare item to drop, only to have a nearby kitten bat it into a nearby sewer grate, meaning that you don't get it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Everquest}}'' had some mean ones. One otherwise uninteresting newbie zone had a high-level halfling that spawned every few days in a random location, disappeared after two minutes whether anyone killed her or not, and had a one in eight chance of dropping a very expensive item.
* In ''Everquest 2'', in most zones, monsters will drop an "exquisite chest" (a chest containing the best kind of treasure, Fabled) 0.0126% of the time. Of course, which Fabled treasure drops depends on random chance and which monster dropped the chest...
* A staple of ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline''. Each enemy has a 1/10,000 chance of dropping a "card" (with rare exceptions like porings at 1/1000) which can be permanently placed into a "slotted" weapon or armor, which also have an extremely rare chance of dropping. The cards give bonuses to you when you wear armors with a card equipped. They range from completely useless in the case of most ordinary monster cards, to boss cards which have downright [[GameBreaker Game Breaking]] stats such as ''immunity to spells and abilities''. The catch is, since bosses only respawn once per hour in one location, if you were to kill a boss every hour on the hour for a ''year'' you would only have a 58% chance to get their card...
** Due to the way the RNG works in this game, it's actually 1 in 5000. (The RNG can actually hit 0, giving stuff a .01% higher chance to drop.) There's cash shop items to increase this further.
* In ''[[WarhammerOnline Warhammer: Age of Reckoning]]'', although there are still random drops, when you get a quest to get, let's say, 10 wolf eyes, at least the game have the decency to give two eyes to most wolves, and no quest has a <1 drop ratio. You also get fairly good items from influence and even better ones for cheap if you have renown, so the rare-drop ones aren't all that needed.
* ''[[Website/GaiaOnline zOMG!]]'' loves random drops. Your basic things like gold, loot, Power Ups, and the occasional [[ItemCrafting recipe]] drop. However, there are several more unorthodox examples. Charge Orbs (the games version of experience points) are a random drop as well (though quests always drop them). Rings (which represent skills) are also random drops. Thus, your progress through the game is ''reliant'' on random drops. You can, in theory, buy high leveled rings from the marketplace to max your charge level. However your drop rate is affected by your charge level. The higher your charge level in relation to the monster your fighting (represented by a color system), the lower your drop rate. This is complicated by the fact that certain quests (most notably the Totem Collection quest at the Otami Ruins) ask you for specific loot items, which you ''have'' to get through a random drop. Buying and trading them doesn't work. Complicating things further, drops are automatically rewarded to players to prevent fighting. Thus, drops cannot be delegated based on who needs them for quests, making this pretty much a LuckBasedMission. (Luckily, [[LuckStat luck is a stat, albeit an invisible one]]). And finally, by crewing with someone radically more powerful you actually hurt your drop rate by a significant amount. Trust me, [[SurpriseDifficulty this game is harder than it looks.]]
** On the main site itself, there's Chance Items that, when opened, can net the user anywhere from cheap commons to rare, exclusive items that usually go for millions on the market. The rarest of these items is almost always a cute animal companion for your avatar.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' cheerfully chucks all this out the window--pretty much any enemy that gives you experience points also has a chance of dropping pretty much any loot (within certain confines--mostly level ranges and loot types, neither of which prevents them dropping the 'good stuff'), although more difficult enemies have a slightly higher chance of dropping higher-quality whatevers.
* ''VideoGame/AceOnline'' goes almost into orbit with this trope: In addition to a normal Item drop table, rarely-spawning gold-named mobs have a supplementary Gold Mob Drops table, and Boss Mobs have ''their own'' Boss Drops table. The latter two are '''not''' affected by the regular item drop bonus given by regular Happy Hours (but are affected by Nation's Growth and Mothership Victory happy hours).
** In addition, [[HolidayMode Event Mobs]] and the aforementioned Gold Mobs have a (slim) chance to spawn whenever you kill a normal monster. Happy hunting.
** It even ups the ante with itself with the much vaunted Boss Armors. Each Gear has special armors from a specific boss. Now let us list the prerequisites on how to obtain it:
### Defeat the boss and get the drop. Problem: Bosses rarely spawn more than three times per 24 hour period, and the drop rate of said armor is 0.002%. And it's hard since it's a boss. And this drop is an ''unfinished version'', and most of the bosses spawn in areas where the two opposing nations can access, which is why some Boss Hunts end up as PVP Camping Contests.
### Find a ''corresponding'' item to combine with the unfinished version. Problem: said drop, although more available than the bosses ''also'' has a low rate: 0.008% rate.
### Combine the two items, ''which has a 50% chance of failing''. If you fail, both items are, yep, LostForever.
** 0. The zeroth prerequisite to these is that you must be above a certain level to equip this in the first place.
** The Episode 3 Part 1 however, makes it somewhat easier; there're three bosses in Pandea Maps that can drop any one of the unfinished boss armor. The corresponding item has the same quirk. There's only one slight problem; the entire Pandea maps are {{Scrappy Level}}s made of [[EverythingTryingToKillYou aggro, aggro]], and... [[SerialEscalation more aggro]]. [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment And more aggro]].
* Even kid-friendly MMORPGS like ''VideoGame/ToontownOnline'' have this. Many "Toontasks" (quests) have you go fight certain kinds or levels of Cogs (the main antagonists) to get certain items. Even worse is if the type of Cog that drops it is found exclusively in one of the * shudder* Cog Headquarters. Here, it's downright evil because you only get items and experience points that you earned at the ''end'' of a boss fight. Including defeating the BigBad after destroying all his MechaMooks (Technically, they're ''all'' Mecha Mooks.) If your connection drops out, or you lose all your Laff Points (hit points), you don't get ''anything''. And if you failed by droping to 0 LP, you lost all your gags (weapons) as well. Horrifying if you had just earned a Level 7 Gag (which you can't buy; after you max a type of gag, you get one every 500 EXP). Some tasks are more benevolent versions of this trope, only making you go fishing (yes, fishing) at a pond in a certain area to get X number of whatever item was requested. (The game gets really mean by coupling this with other sub-tasks, mostly involving the meaner example of this trope. No more Cashbot Mint fights, please...)
* ''VideoGame/{{RuneScape}}'':
** Almost every monster has random drops on death, even those with 100% guaranteed drops (which are usually some variant of bones or ash). This is usually coins (or equivalent local currency), but a large number of monsters have access to the Rare Drop Table, which has more valuable drops on it. There are also monsters that can drop a nice RareRandomDrop.
** A specific type of rare item drop is the Champion Challenge Scroll, these are dropped by specific monsters and are a challenge issued by that monster's champion fighter; oh and they have a drop rate of at least 1/5000. Collecting at least 1 scroll is required to unlock a music track to unlock the Completionist Cape; collecting all 13 challenges, plus 2 formally issued challenges obtained after collecting the original 10 scrolls and the additional 3 scrolls that were released later, are required for the Trimmed Completionist Cape.
* In "DynastyWarriorsOnline", random drops are interesting. How it works is 3 LAYERS of random drops, but done fairly so you can actively seek out such drops without going "please, lord let this be it or kill me. but not both." The actual fighting aspect is done via arena setup. So you start a room, up to eight people (4 vs. 4) live players can join, but you can just go with a Dumb computer in it's place, and there can be as many as 7 comps in a game. In the field, there are named officers that appear to be mooks but have a slightly more unique look and are stronger than mooks. They will drop one of three things. Random layer one is what officer has one of the 2 items on that side, there are four total but unless you can kill friendly players then you can only get two. Layer 2, for each of those drops there is a random chance that you will get either an armor/clothing piece, or a weapon that you can pick up during the battle. Layer 3, after the battle, and if on a choice above newbie level pairings then losing means you also lose all found items, but the enemy doesn't gain them, then there is a random chance what the weapon/wearable will be, and of what quality.
** Depending on how many weapon updates there are, the chance that you get a certain weapon lowers but there are no "rare" weapons, all weapons have a chance to show up. Armor is slightly different in that you must fight a certain faction to have a, or possibly a greater, chance of getting certain armor.
** Items, actual items that get used up after the battle, do have a more % chance of finding then weapons. However, even the most rare can be found in game via simple habit of getting on every day, or via buying.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'', of course, also has these. They can be found by killing monsters, breaking items, or more commonly by finding sparkling objects (cabinets, alters, plants, etc.). There's also the loot system for chests; every time you open a chest, there is a random chance of between 3 and 10 items appearing that depend on your level and the difficulty of the quest. The weapons and armor in turn are generated in such a way that, once the base item is generated, it has a random chance of having certain effects and attributes. Quest rewards can be random, but many give you access to the whole list of available items.
* ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline'' has many quests of the form "Bring me 12 craban (crow) eyes." There used to be an ''astonishing'' number of blind crows flying about. The drop rate has improved with later updates, but they're still all one-eyed at best. Another quest requires wolf fangs, and you may be excused for wondering exactly how that fangless wolf you just killed was biting for so much damage.+
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' is a bit more forgiving with the loot drops compared to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'':
** Loot from treasure coffers usually have an equal chance of appearing compared to the other loot in the same table and there's never a piece of gear or crafting material that has a ridiculously low drop rate. Some minions (cute little wind up dolls that are just for show) are incredibly rare due to their very low drop rate and they fetch a ton of gil on the player market board because of their rarity.
** The infamous Atmas almost rival some of the low drop rates that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has. In order to proceed with the process of powering up your InfinityPlusOneSword, you need 12 Atmas that drop when you complete a FATE. However, the drop rate of the Atmas are only 3%.

* Completing quests in ''VideoGame/ElementalStory'' gives evolution slabs, slab fragments and monster pieces randomly.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar 2''. Space orks, space elves and space bugs all have similar chances of dropping ancient SpaceMarine equipment neither of them should have needs for or (in case of Tyranids) means to carry.
* ''KingdomsOfCamelot'' on Facebook is this way. You have a random chance of getting Crests or Seals from wilderness attacks, and once enough are accumulated, you can start another city. Incredibly annoying if you get the crests out of order; you can have all of them but lack crests for an earlier city deed and have to wait until you get the missing ones to get both cities. There is also a chance of items from Dark Forests that go toward crafting items in the Fey Tower and gaining the seals needed for the Fey City. Additionaly, Throne Room items can be gained by attacking other players' cities.
* ''Wasteland Empires'' has this as well. You attack other players' colonies and hope for random drops of items needed to build up your own. Good luck hunting down higher level items like Old Books, though. It's not easy.

* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'', enemies will randomly drop their own body. Bodies are food. If you're [[WizardNeedsFoodBadly hungry]] and the wild boar you just clubbed does not drop a dead wild boar, you may starve. Only large monsters like rothes and [[DemonicSpiders Leocrotta]] are guaranteed to leave a corpse. For other items, this trope is mostly averted. Monsters always drop their entire inventory on death, so when you kill a spear-wielding elf you can count on looting an elven spear. The "mostly" qualifier is because there's a very small chance of a monster dropping a item that wasn't there before on its death, so a centipede just might drop a broadsword.
* ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery''. Nearly ''everything'' can be randomly dropped or pickpocketed, even artifacts. Unfortunately, many items that are important for various quests (notably the amulet of life saving) are also random drop items. Where the Creator really extracts the urine is when you are required to find a boar skull as part of the Ultra ending quest. Said boar is [[RandomEncounters only encountered infrequently]], is in the highly-dangerous overworld and even ''then'' rarely leaves a skull. Low-to-mid-level players frequently starve to death or spend 60-''320'' game days trying. Higher-level players resort to dooming themselves to increase the encounter rate, or hunting for an item that grants one wish (also only available by random drop, and extremely rare).
** The boar skull is much easier to find than the scroll of danger needed for the same quest. Boar skulls about a third of the time from giant boars, so any character over level 15 can find them pretty easily. You can go through the entire game twice and never see a scroll of danger.
* ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight''. While rewards for killing enemies are set between "low", "medium", and "high", the exact number of resources gained in those sets can vary quite a bit, and there exists a small chance for weapons to drop. Straighter examples include the "Holy crap!" event, where you find a random weapon in space, and an Advanced edition event where the player is prompted to pay scrap for a random weapon, augment, or drone.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* This is no doubt a VERY common trope in this type of genre; be it rare items found by rare enemies and/or specific occurrences. RNG has its ways with you, but it usually depends greatly on the franchise/series in question.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''. Pink Tails. They are held by one enemy, found in one room, with approximately a 1-in-64 chance of encountering it ''and'' a 1-in-64 chance of dropping the proper loot once defeated -- and that's the only way to get the best armor in the game. For those of you who didn't study math, that's a whopping 1-in-4096 chance per encounter. This is ameliorated somewhat if you've accumulated a stockpile of Alarm items, which trigger encounters; in the room in question, they trigger an encounter with these particular monsters. This is made worse in the DS remake since the newly added optional bosses are impossible/near impossible without said armor... on all party members. Also in the DS version are Rainbow Puddings. Some people have attempted three days with none of it dropping... and some people get tons of pudding without even trying.
** Additional...fun in relation to pink tails. The only way to find the monsters that drop it in the DS remake is to use an Alarm item. Otherwise the room is completely clear of random encounters. So, at least now you have a 100% chance of encountering the enemy, right? Well, you now have a 1/64 chance of the Princess Flan dropping any item AT ALL, and a 1/64 chance of it being a Pink Tail. So the odds are the same (1/4096). But you can only hold 99 Alarms at a time, and each time you need more you have to trek ALL THE WAY OUT of the dungeon (or teleport), use your airship to reach the one shop in the game that sells them, and then walk all the way back to that one room. Remember, every 100 encounters, you have to spend 10ish minutes walking, even with the teleport and no random encounters. And the chance is 1/4096. Have fun spending on average 6.5 ''HOURS'' walking back and forth per tail. If you don't teleport, or run into lots of encounters, expect 13 or more hours just walking. And that's not even taking the fight with the flans into account.
* Most enemies in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' have a random chance to drop various items, either crafting items or VendorTrash. However, they re guaranteed to have the equipment they wield in their inventory.
* Its sequel, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'', seemed to be guilty of the above as well, but then it was discovered that thanks to its cellphone roots, its RNG is comparable in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' in its simplicity and people have already found methods to get pretty much any and all 1/256 items every time. There's also items that increase the droprate normally, and change that drop to the next item on the rarity list. Due to the way this works, you'll be seeing a lot of supposedly rare items and zero common ones just by playing the game normally with the best items of each category equipped.
** Played straight in the PSP collection, where the random drops are actually random again, but averted slightly in that it's more likely you get rare item from the [[BonusDungeon Challenge Dungeon]] boss chests that're randomized and the worst item you can get is an X-Potion: however, you can't get any extra copies of any of the items, including Adamantines that're used to trade them for parts of ArmorOfInvincibility at the end of the game.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', like the other Final Fantasy games, has several rare drops. The Tinklebell is the most annoying, and belongs to [[ThatOneBoss Twintania]]. It's technically a 1/16 drop ratio, but Twintania's drops change based on whether it's in Normal form, or if it's in its Gigaflare form. The Normal form is the harder to kill of the two, and is the form that drops the Tinklebell.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' subverted this trope in a clever way. Every monster in the game had common and rare drop items. The rare drop has a certain (small) percentage of dropping. Otherwise, you get the common drop guaranteed. Most monsters did not have common drops, but some monsters (especially bosses) were guaranteed to drop certain items because they had the same item as both common and rare drops. (Barring a certain glitch that makes the second Behemoth Suit you're supposed to get unattainable.)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' is an unpleasant offender, too. Several of the items required to get Quistis's best Blue Magics (Shockwave Pulsar, for example, though Ray-Bomb is a worse offender) require either hours and hours of card-playing, at least a couple hours of stealing from enemies, ''or'' (in the hideously egregious case of Ray-Bomb), attempting to steal a 12-in-256 drop from an uncommon monster.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has a variation on one of these: Eiko's Fairy Flute can stolen from Hilgigars on disk 2, a full disk before it becomes available in a Mogshop. Not hard - equip Bandit and spend a few turns trying to steal it, right? Wrong. It is quite possibly the hardest item to steal in the entire game[[note]]It's in the hardest-to-obtain fourth Steal slot, which isn't even ''used'' by most monsters in the first two disks. Later in the game, the Master Thief ability can be used to get the item from that final slot with less fuss, but Hilgigars is fought before you have any access to the Master Thief ability. To add insult to injury, Hilgigars' third Steal slot is left empty, so if the player uses Zidane's Detect ability to see what can be stolen, it will falsely look like the Fairy Flute is in the third slot.[[/note]], and Hilgigars isn't an easy boss, either. Most walkthroughs advise just giving up on the Fairy Flute and buying it later. Not necessarily a random drop, but the difficulty and time required in getting the item definitely qualifies.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' took things to somewhat ridiculous length: not only does every monster have common, uncommon, rare and ultra-rare random drops (and a fifth class of drop that requires you to purchase a 'monograph' describing that class of monster), but also (different!) lists of random [[VideoGameStealing steals]] and 'poaches'. Crafting Tournesol, the game's InfinityPlusOneSword, requires multiples of the rarest loots from the rarest monsters.
** The vast majority of ''treasure boxes'' in ''Final Fantasy XII'' were random drops; sometimes, the chest wouldn't be there, and most of the time, all the treasure you'd get from most boxes was a paltry sum of Gil. Worse, most of the chests that were fixed caused the Infinity Plus One Spear to become ONLY a random drop, with a chance of 1-in-1000.
*** The Chest that contains the aforementioned spear is in the Bonus Dungeon and has a 10% chance to be there. The Spear has a 1% chance of being in that chest. It can be obtained through this even if you've already got the one that's in the fixed chest in another BonusDungeon. If you're INSANELY lucky, you can get 6 or more Z. Spears allowing you to outfit every character in the game with the Best Weapon in the game.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' adds the notoriously uncommon Trapezohedron to this growing list of epic loot. The Traps are extremely rare items that only drop once in a blue moon from an Adamantoise, which is basically a BonusBoss for all intents and purposes - and one that requires extensive planning, preparation, and LevelGrinding to defeat. (Or Death spamming, if you're willing to put up with the antics of the RandomNumberGod.) Many players have killed several dozen of these absurdly tough enemies without getting a single Trap, which is needed to upgrade your InfinityMinusOneSword to an InfinityPlusOneSword.
* In the ''VideoGame/RuneFactory'' game series ItemCrafting is a major part of the game. To create the vast majority of powerful equipment and potions requires many battles with the various monsters, to get the RandomlyDrops components you need.
* ''{{Persona 3}}'' has Elizabeth's requests, in which she usually asks you to kill a specific enemy and bring back a number of parts from it. The trick is that if you don't kill the enemies with the protagonist, the item drop rate is extremely low. And even if you ''do'' kill said enemies with the protagonist, there will be a few times where you'll kill five of the same enemy in one battle... and get nothing at all.
** ''[[UpdatedRerelease FES]]'' corrected this: if you kill at least one monster of the required type in a battle, you'll always get at least one item of the required type, guaranteed, though at the expense of other possible drops.
* AlterAILA Genesis: In the core of the [[BonusDungeon Orbital Prison]], there is a chance that you will fight watermelon enemies that use a countdown. They drop Enhancer ABC's (Improves all stats except speed) and they will ALWAYS drop them. The problem is the encounter rate.
* ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}''. Its 1-in-128 items have become the focal point of several [[SelfImposedChallenge fan quests]], as numerous gamers try to get them all. In fact, one character's ''only weapon that doesn't lower his offense,'' the Sword of Kings, is a 1-in-128 chance item. and when you defeat the boss of the dungeon it's in, [[LostForever the enemy carrying it never appears again.]] [[InfinityPlusOneSword The Gutsy Bat]] is found in the area right before the final boss, so it'll only be used against Giygas. The broken antenna/Gaia Beam is dropped by an enemy that [[ActionBomb explodes upon defeat]]. The Magic Fry Pan is the ''simplest'' to get; killing a dinosaur. At least after hunting Starman Super for the Sword of Kings, Poo can make use of it for a long time.
** If you try for the Sword of Kings (or any 1/128 item), your levels will likely be pumped up to some ridiculous number. But if you abuse the [[GameBreaker Rock Candy]], you don't ''need'' no stinking RandomlyDrops weapons. [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu You could beat Giygas to death with your bare hands]].
** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' is a bit nicer, with a 3% to 5% chance of getting good weapons from certain enemies.
** ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'' has a 1/16 chance of dropping any item from battles.
* The ''BreathOfFire'' series. Numerous examples of this. In fact, ''Breath of Fire 3'' features a rare enemy, the Goo King, that has a 1/256 chance of dropping a [=GooKingSword=] (1/128 if the chance is upped), which incidentally is (in raw power) the best weapon for the main character. This item is so rare it has become a running gag that it's really a hoax and not actually in the game.
* ''{{Pokemon}}'' has the unique problem in that the frustration-causing random drop is more often than not the Pokémon themselves. Some appear very rarely in the wild, with 1-in-20 odds or worse. The frustration is compounded by the fact that you have to weaken these monsters without defeating them (and, sod's law, you'll kill the Pokemon you spent so long finding with a random CriticalHit), as well as hoping they've got the right gender, nature, ability, [=IV=]s...
** This is compounded in the case of the aptly-named Chansey. They're one of the most common features of the meta-game and tournaments due to their evolution's usefulness in battle. The teeth-grinding part is that they're notoriously hard to find in the wild. They're found in two areas in the most games, at a rate of five percent. This wouldn't be so mentionable (many of the {{mons}} have this annoying characteristic) if it weren't for the fact that one of the most useful items in the game, Lucky Egg, is ONLY found on wild Chansey, at a one-in-twenty rate. Crunching the numbers, that's a 1 in 400 chance of getting a Chansey with a Lucky Egg. You want that item, you're gonna be spending a whole lot of time working for it. Ironic, considering Lucky Egg multiplies experience gains by 1.5 on a single Pokémon, meaning the only reason to go after it is if you want to ''save time''. Luckily, later games have a variety of ways to make specific-drop hunting easier; if you're dedicated, a few minutes on Bulbapedia will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about it. In the [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Generation]] [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 V]] games the Lucky Egg is outright given to the player by Professor Juniper as the player proceeds through the story. Needless to say fans were overcome with joy.
** Another Pokémon that deserves a mention is Feebas. This fish isn't so incredible at first and you need to evolve it in order for it to be useful (this is a [[GuideDangIt tedious task in itself]]) but finding that Feebas in the first place is going to eat up a lot of time. It can only be found by fishing, but get this, it can only be fished up on '''certain tiles'''. Between 4 to 6 tiles out of hundreds, depending on the game. And these tiles are randomly generated and are prone to change. Once you've found your Feebas tile, try to catch a [[GenderEqualsBreed female one]], or a Ditto if you're not playing Ruby and Sapphire, so you won't have to find one again.
** There's also Munchlax. Originally the only way to obtain it (without trading a Snorlax from another game and breeding it) was through Honey Trees. There are 21 trees that you can spread honey on. Of these 21 trees, only 4 of them have even a chance of having a Munchlax. These are assigned randomly at the beginning of the game and you have no way of telling which ones are Munchlax trees until you actually catch one. Each tree also has 2 of 3 different possible drop charts that vary from tree to tree. The third set can only be used by Munchlax Trees and has a 93% chance of generating a Munchlax. Bad news? There's only a 1% chance of a Munchlax Tree using the Munchlax chart. Also it takes 6 hours after slathering honey for a Pokémon to appear, and messing with the DS clock doesn't work. And the Pokémon you find is set once you slather honey, so saving right before you check the tree and restarting won't change anything.
*** Given this horrendous process it's no wonder that virtually every player went the easy route and transferred a Snorlax from their Generation III cartridge into their Generation IV cartridge and just bred a Munchlax. One would be hard-pressed to find an actual person who caught a Munchlax through the honey-slathering method.
*** It's a complete wonder that the rival in [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Generation IV]] even has a Snorlax (and a Heracross as well) considering that boy [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny can't even sit still]] [[HotBlooded for five seconds!]]
** ''Videogame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' have Hidden Grottos, which in a sense function similarly to the honey-slathering mechanic. For every 255 steps the player makes, there's a 5% chance that a given grotto will generate something within it. 80% of the time, its an item, and usually then, it'll be [[VendorTrash Mulch]] (though rarely it'll be a useful item). The other 20 percent, it'll be a Pokemon with a Hidden ability (a special ability that isn't usually available during normal play). The Pokemon that are found here vary from grotto to grotto, but usually the ones with amazing hidden abilities would be the rarest ones... Which will only appear 1% of the time. The most insidious part is that the gender ratio for these Pokemon are usually skewed to favor males, since only females are able to pass hidden abilities in the Gen V games.
** Oh, but that's not all. This isn't technically a drop, but if you want a rare, ''Shiny'' version of a Pokémon, with a sparkling intro and an alternate color, you have a one in '''8192''' chance. By the way, Legendary Pokémon and starters can be Shiny as well, so start breaking in (or outright breaking) your soft reset fingers! Luckily, like the item example above, Generation IV introduced ways to boost this probability.
** Don't forget the Pokérus! It behaves like a virus (once your leading Pokémon has it, it can easily infest everyone else in your party, etc.) but its effects are very beneficial. Without getting into stupidly hardcore hidden values in the game's deep arcane math algorithms, suffice it to say that you want the Pokérus. Too bad that any random encounter you finish has a '''1 in 21,845''' chance of giving it to you (in Gold and Silver). Luckily you don't have to ''catch'' it for it to spread, just battle. More luckily, now that you can trade online, it's very easy to achieve as you only need one and you're set for life.
** The enigmatic Mirage Island of [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald]]! Every day a number between 0 and 65535 is generated. In order to access the island, you have to have a Pokémon in your party with a personality value that matches the number of the day. And the Personality Value of a Pokémon can be anywhere from 0 to 4,294,967,295. The only thing worthwhile about Mirage Island is a particularly rare berry tree.
** Pickup, the ability to add even more random drops in your life. Basically, there's a 10% chance that a Pokemon with the ability gets an item after a battle. In Gen. III (the first games where Pokémon can have abilities), it always culled from the same list--resulting in a DiscOneNuke if you got one of the more rare items early (like a Nugget or a RareCandy). Later games balanced it to make the list level-dependent, removing the DiscOneNuke status but adding a reason to [[LevelGrinding level grind]] fairly weak 'mons. The potential rewards? Greater chances at getting a RareCandy, some otherwise-rare evolution items, and the rare chance at acquiring items otherwise TooAwesomeToUse. Plus, you always have the chance to get the item--sure, the odds are astronomical, but there's the chance your level 100 Ambipom can find five Earthquake [=TMs=]. In a row, even.
** Thanks to the addition of natures, getting the best possible specimen can turn into this. There are 25 different natures, so that's already a 1-in-25 chance of trying to get the one you want. Then there are Individual Values, which can range from 0 to 31. Rerolling these to get decent values makes the odds even worse. If you want to get perfect [=IV=]s, the best way would be breeding. In the best case, two [=IV=]s would be randomly generated, and the odds of getting a perfect value on those would be 1 in 1,024, which combined with getting the nature you want would be 1 in 25,600. Good luck if you're trying to get them with a wild 'mon.
** While Gen VI games are a bit kinder when it comes to obtaining monsters with hidden abilities and other good traits (even maxed [=IVs=] are easier to find, making breeding a breeze). Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire has a pretty nasty example where the only way to get a Destiny Knot (an item that allows 5 [=IVs=] out out of 6 from either parent to be passed to offspring as opposed to 3 out of six) is to either hope to get one from winning a Master Rank Contest, or hope to get one from battling a young couple in Sea Mauville. The chances of getting one from the young couple is slim.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}} 8'' enemy drops and chest contents are determined when loading an area. So after a 15-minute fight, if the monster doesn't drop [[InfinityPlusOneSword Excalibur]], you can't just reload and fight again. You have to reload from before you entered the area, then make it all the way back to the monster, ''then'' fight it again.
* Both ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' games have rare weapons and armor that drops from certain monsters across the world, and since store-bought equipment is horribly mundane in these games, acquiring this equipment could certainly be handy. The problem is that each item only has a ''0.4%'' chance of dropping, upped to 1.6% if you kill it with a djinni attack of the correct element. However, given the rather simplistic nature of the random number generator in both games, it's possible to fix encounters to up the drop rate to 100%. Guess which method most sensible people pick?
** Don't forget that some randomly dropped items can be forged into new, powerful equipment. A whole range of different equips per item, actually. How does the game decide which you get? Randomly, of course!
** There are also the slot games that, while not necessarily "random", are a total pain to predict and give you some of the best stat-boosting items in the game.
** Unfortunately, the RNG of ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' is much harder to manipulate, which may have been deliberate on the part of the developers.
* The quality of items found in chests in the [[BonusDungeon Ancient Cave]] in ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'' has no relation to the dungeon level. Not so in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheRuinsOfLore'', though.
** ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom'' has the Might Sword and the Might Armor, both pieces of ultimate equipment and both rare drops.
** ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns'' has Zombies who drop the Alumina Sword, a 480-attack weapon. [[DiscOneNuke On the first continent.]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'', where enemies simply don't have rare or valuable items to drop. This has the interesting side effect of averting MoneyForNothing - since you aren't going to get much out of the enemies ''but'' money, shops and the items within become more important.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' seems to be initially guilty of this, and the game blatantly taunts you with drop rates that ultimately go as low as 1/30th of a percent. However, this doesn't matter much as you can initially increase the drop rate by as many times as your current level in exchange for a lowered maximum HP (i.e. your current level is currently 30, you can drop it to 1 to multiply all drop rates by 30), then further increase it by chaining together battles and multiply it with the number of battles you chain in exchange for increasing enemy stats for each successive battle. As if that wasn't enough, there's also [[RareCandy expensive and relatively hard to get food items you can consume to permanently increase your base drop rate by 1 or 3]]. Thus, in the end it's not as much of a question of lucking out with ridiculously small odds as it is a question of being able to win a battle with odds heavily stacked against you, which is far more acceptable.
** Not ''that'' heavily stacked, though -- by the time the rarest drops become available, you're going to be at a high enough level that losing 20 or 30 levels doesn't hurt that much, even on Ultimate difficulty. At that point, chaining five or six battles (which doesn't increase enemy stats that much) will give you a good chance of obtaining even the rarest items.
** If you're planning on time-attacking, raising your base drop rate is [[BlessedWithSuck a very bad idea]]; instead of finishing the battle once you deplete the enemy's HP, you have to wait for your dropped items to spiral around your characters and get collected.
* While not technically drops, ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'' has random events throughout the game with varying percentages of encountering. In the case of the infamous Uboa event, the randomness of it actually heightens the suspense and makes it more terrifying when it appears.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'', many of the games require you to have used each [[WaveMotionGun Program Advance]] at least once for HundredPercentCompletion. The problem? Doing so requires you to have exactly the right chips to form it in the exactly right code, which can usually only be obtained from random encounters, or if you're ''really'' a masochist, spending a couple hours at the chip traders. Even if you have the right chip and have [[GuideDangIt figured out the Advance]], the odds are pretty good that the chip you have is the wrong code, and many of the codes you need for them are the ones that are only dropped at a particular busting level by a particular enemy in a particular location, who generally appears together with other enemies that drop things you don't want.
** This is especially annoying in ''Battle Network 4'', where you're forced to bump up the difficulty level which in turn levels up the enemies. Good luck getting the Level 2 Chips once you hit difficulty level 3, they're reduced to rare encounters and only in one or two locations.
** And then there's the Battle Mystery Data, items that appear on one panel and have 1 HP, and it must survive to get the item. Most of the time, these are placed in such a way that you must risk either the data or damage to make sure it survives. Then there's [=ShadeMan=] Omega's [=EvilChip=], which can get randomly destroyed if the bat he turns into after any 10 HP or higher attack goes in that row - or you destroy it with a missed shot. At least [=LaserMan=] Omega keeps his attacks toward you.
** And in ''[[MegaManStarForce Mega Man Star Force 3]]'', there's "Illegal Data Aquisition". Overkilling random enemies or attacking bosses with a specific subset of cards (Non-elemental, non-time-freezing) and then not shifting into your super form will allow you to receive a random drop after battle. And it really is random. You could get almost any standard card in the game, or a bug frag for trading; but most importantly you can get Illegal Cards that are unobtainable every other way in the game. And there's more illegal cards than there are normal battle cards! The ''smallest'' pool of random drops for any enemy in the game, however, goes to the already stupidly rare and powerful v5 [[BonusBoss Bonus Bosses]], and that's roughly 30 possible drops; most enemies in the game can drop upwards of 80 different battle cards via IDA, so getting what you want can be ''extremely'' frustrating, nevermind that most of the ones you do want, you'll want ''5'' of!
* Refreshingly averted in ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}''. If the player kills a wolf, and he has the 'skin wolf' skill, ''he will skin that wolf''. Of course, this doesn't stop people wondering exactly how much skill it would take to pull the wings off a giant mosquito, or why wolves only seem to have four claws, total.
* In addition to randomly dropped items, ''ValkyrieProfileSilmeria'' has randomly dropped party members; when you recruit an einherjar, unless it is plot-critical, the game will pick one at random from a list, usually 2-3 possible characters to a recruiting item. Highly annoying if you want to get specific spells.
* ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestVII Dragon Warrior 7]]'' for the Playstation uses this one frequently. If you want a certain type of monster heart, you must play Memory at the casino or keep fighting monsters until one of them drops a heart. Otherwise, you can never transform into certain monsters.
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'': this is one of the main extra difficulties in the game, for almost ALL kind of loot and carves. Examples include:
** The Lao-Shan Ruby item. This item is necessary to craft some ''very'' good armors and weapons, and is only given by a monster named the Lao-Shan Lung. Unlike many others in this page, the odds are more decent - only slightly below 1%. Not so bad, except the Lao Shan Lung is a ''huge boss that always takes about twenty minutes to kill'', each time (since it's scripted that he can't die until he reaches a certain point, his health will stop going down no matter how much you attack it). Twenty minutes per attempt, with a 1 in 100 chance. Other examples are Rathalos Plates and Rubies, and Heavenly Scales (which, by the way, you need ''several'' of to make anything from them), and it's easy to see why one of the chief concerns of the ''Monster Hunter'' fanbase is finding the best ways to kill the enemies as quickly as humanly possible.
** Then there are the Big Elder Dragon Jewels in Unite, which can be the hardest items to get in the game. They are dropped by G-Rank Elder Dragons with a 1% chance (or in Chameleos case, 2%). What makes these more frustrating than other extra-rare items, such as Heavenlies and Rubies, is that you must kill the dragon in case to even dream of obtaining it, and [[MarathonBoss every Elder Dragon takes 3 or 4 quests to be slain]]. And some of them, like Teostra, are not exactly easy.
** Regarding the ancient dragons, there's [[spoiler:Ceadeus and it's very difficult to get Deep Dragongem]], the same could be said of [[spoiler:Alatreon and its Azure Dragongem]].
** Uragaan's Rubies are very difficult to get as well.
** The Deviljho has it's own Gemstone as well, happy hunting a T-Rex on Roids for a gemstone used in "Shady Rituals"
** ''Portable 3rd'' takes this trope to an extreme with the introduction of Guardian Stones, which has different skills and point allocations each time you mine a raw stone for examination. Granted, you may have limited control over those skills you may get (see various analyzation sites), but ''not'' their values. For example, a popular (and rare) stone with Sharpness 4 and ESP 10 will only appear as the highest rank stone., with a minumum of 0.019% chance, at best 0.944%. It becomes worse when you can't control which type of raw stone you may get from mining (most times it's not even a raw stone to start). Good luck mining.
** Carried over for the CrossOver in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker''. Rathalos drops plans for the Taneshigama, one of the most useful weapons in the game, and Tigrex and Gear Rex drop parts of the most powerful Co-op weapon in the game. With a 1% chance. Enjoy your grind.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** The series has randomly dropped synthesis items, each one normally dropped by 2 different monsters. These items were needed to make the ''Infinity Plus One Sword'', but it is almost completely averted due to the amount that you can increase the drop rate of these items. Even the rarest synthesis item could usually be found with a 1:5 ratio, aside from those that only came from chests. However, in later games, it gets much easier due to the inclusion of more drop rate increasing mechanics.
** In the ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded Re: coded]]'' installment, you can unlock a special cheat that allows you to multiply the drop rate of the various command chips dropped by enemies in exchange for lowering your maximum HP, up to 16 times its normal rate. The difficulty level of the game also affects enemy drops. A few of the game's strongest enemies will drop stat-boosting chips on Critical mode, the highest difficulty. Seeing in that this kind of thing is also in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', it's not very surprising via a [[Creator/SquareEnix company relation]].
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' almost entirely averts this trope. Every item needed for a main line quest is always fixed, and even in ''Arena'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' where sidequests are randomly generated the item will be placed the minute the quest is accepted and won't move until you get it. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', which have no random quests, ALL quest items and artifacts (and even non-artifact unique magic items) have fixed locations. Then ''Shivering Isles'' came and introduced a quest that required you to collect half a dozen random drops. Needless to say this is the quest that usually stays uncompleted.
* ''LostOdyssey'' has [[ItemCrafting Ring Assembly]] components randomly drop, but thankfully nothing important. Then the ''Seeker of the Deep'' ExpansionPack had to go ruin that by including some ridiculously good, ridiculously hard to get randomly dropped accessories.
* ''SummonNight Swordcraft Story 2'' is notorious for random drops, especially after you finish the main game. You missed a rare item in the story? No worries, you can get it again from random monsters in certain areas! ...maybe! And since the monsters that drop the valuable materials you need are so rare already, it makes completing your Weapon List take forever to complete!
* This happens in ''VideoGame/LiveALive'', with the [[GameBreaker Cola Bottle]], a powerful accessory and attack item. It is a rare drop from a GuideDangIt BonusBoss, which means that it is quite possible for the player to not realize that the aforementioned boss can even DROP a different item to its normal drop. Also of note is Feminophobia/[[TranslationCorrection Gynophobia]], who has an attack that causes [[StandardStatusEffects Drunk]], which makes it ThatOneBoss... Unless you get a certain drop ([[GuideDangIt with zero hints]]) that protects from the Drunk status. THEN it's much easier.
* ''RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon'' features Ukemochi liver, a useless item that's necessary for exactly one sidequest, which in turn is necessary for OneHundredPercentCompletion. The only way you can get it is by donating money to a shrine, at 300 yen a pop, for a roughly 1/256 chance of getting it. Cue an hour and a half of standing there throwing money at the shrine hoping to get it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}''. First, as in Suiko2, the upgraded elemental runes (Rage, Flowing, Thunder, Cyclone, and Mother Earth) are rare random drops from specific enemies in the endgame, and just like in Suiko2, they are useful and you want them. Secondly, most of the best armor and accessories in the game are random drops that cannot be bought in any store--it's bad enough trying to equip a single six-person party for taking out the FinalBoss, God save the poor bastard who wants to outfit his ''entire army''. Thirdly, those of the [[RareCandy Rune Piece stat-boosters]] that aren't in limited quantity throughout the game are random drops from various enemies. So, if you want to do something about, say, [[MightyGlacier Pesmerga]]'s lead foot, get ready to farm like you've never farmed before--because, you see, the best part has been left for last: The odds of a monster dropping any item after combat in ''Suikoden'' are generally abysmally low, but everything described above--runes, equipment, rune pieces--has drop rates starting at around 1.5%, and going as low as a quarter of a single percentage point. Hope you didn't have anything better to do with your day.
* ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden II}}'' has this with the upgraded forms of Fire (Rage) and Lightning (Thunder) Runes. If you wanted more than one you could freely attach (and you did, as they were useful in many ways), you had to hope for a drop from specific enemies near the endgame.
* Monsters in ''VideoGame/ShiningInTheDarkness'', although using the confusion spell "Muddle" can also make them give you their items.
* In the ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' series, monsters [[MoneySpider don't drop money]] -- you get raw materials from their corpses, which you can then sell back to the local shops both for cash and to help create even better weapons, armor and other supplies. This is your primary source of income. However, monsters don't always leave things behind, and many monsters also have Conditional Drops, which require you to [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin meet certain conditions to trigger]], like defeating it in a single turn or finishing it off with a certain element/status effect. Even if you meet the conditions, they ''still'' don't always drop, unless it's a boss... and many times, getting a boss to drop their special item also blocks the ''regular'' drop. The third game, ''The Drowned City'', has an {{NPC}} who frequents the local bar called Scavenger Toma. His whole purpose is to [[GuideDangIt tell players how to meet most of these conditions]], all for the low-low price of a drink or two.
* ''VideoGame/{{Opoona}}'' has many monsters with rare drops attached to them. Some of these are equipment, which is expected. A few drop stat-boosting items. However, some of them drop items necessary for sidequests, and the ''only'' way to get said items is by beating up monsters until you get lucky. Having the sidequest does not, sadly, make said drops more common.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' has this in spades with its random badge drops. Most HP-related badges, as well as attack and defense-boosting ones, can be eventually found on an enemy, then stolen off of them, but if you want any FP-related or special-attack badges, you'll likely have to kill several hundred of a specific enemy to get them.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/ArTonelicoMelodyOfElemia'', where all enemies have predetermined item drops ranked from C (most common) to S (least common) based upon your "Harmonics Gauge," which is supposed to reflect how well you do in a fight. Except the way the Gauge really works, you have to draw out a non-boss fight as long as possible to get the best drops, rather than finish quickly. (And boss fights tend to take long enough that you'll max the Gauge before you whittle them down, but this is desirable for their rare item drops.)
* In ''VideoGame/TheLastRemnant'', you mostly get random OrganDrops off the monsters you kill, though if you capture a monster alive you have the option of butchering it to get more and rarer body parts that normally would've been destroyed killing it.
* The random drops in ''VideoGame/RogueGalaxy'' are the most reliable (relatively speaking) way to acquire many items necessary to unlock your characters' skills.
* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'' has these, with each enemy having a low chance of dropping a small item and an even lower chance of dropping a nice piece of gear. It's not as bad as in some games (because giant bosses seemingly always drop any rare gear they have, and normal ones drop gear about 50% of the time), but for normal enemies it's damn near impossible to figure out what they're meant to drop in the 1 in 2 million chance they give you anything. Add a very low enemy respawn rate and well...
* In ''Videogame/{{Toukiden}}'', every oni carcass and limb is guaranteed to drop something once [[LootCommand purified]]. However, each one has at least two possible drops and it's possible to kill quite a number of one particular oni and never acquire the one item you need. One item that can be acquired from many large oni limbs is the aptly-named Moan of Anguish, which is not used in many recipes and frequently replaces an item that is.

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'', virtually all shop items change from day to day based on luck. Fossil identifications and offers of foreign fruit in both versions are also based on luck.
* ''[[VideoGame/SimCity Sim City 4]]'' has this as "randomly develops" and "randomly awards" with city development.

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* Lampshaded in ''Zombie Situation'' where after a certain wave of zombies dropped an ''inflatable boat'' Fred the {{Crazy Prepared}} gun shop owner commented "These zombies drop the strangest things."
* In VideoGame/{{Hatred}}, You can loot any enemies you kill for extra weapons.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2''. What you can buy is determined by what pieces of loot you bring to the Bazaar, which is determined solely by how much of a lucky bastard you are. This means that it's almost impossible to tune your team to your liking until much, much further into the game, since most classes require that you have enough abilities in others to unlock them... and abilities are granted by these same items you depend on luck for finding. So you end up having to get by with whatever you have available. Or by looking at the ''guaranteed'' loot given for completing a mission.
* ''VideoGame/EternalEyes'' has many different items available as drops, but one of the most valuable is Magical Puppets; they're the raw material for your {{mons}}, and each one you get equals a new unit. All monsters can drop them, but the chance is ''very'' low, and if you don't waste a turn opening the treasure chest it's in (no way to tell until you open it, of course), it stands a good chance of being destroyed by one of its former allies. A few chapter ends will simply give you a new puppet, so you ''will'' gain new units if you progress through the story normally, but if you want to expand your army further? Get to grindin'!
* Happens occasionally in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'', generally justified by the fact that you have to fight a big creature like a dragon or a whole group of enemy units to get it.
* In the original version of ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2'', whether or not an enemy dropped any of their equipment when they died was entirely by chance. If you wanted to upgrade your gear past starting limitations, you had to get close with pistols and drop enemies with submachineguns and rifles and hope that they dropped them, because your only other source for weapons - the online weapons dealer Bobby Ray's - wouldn't upgrade his stock past pistols for a full month after the game started. The v.1.13 GameMod, however, includes a starting option that causes every enemy you kill to drop all of his or her gear, though this results in your sector inventories rapidly filling up with weapons and miscellaneous gear, especially after multiple large-scale battles are fought there, but sifting through all that weaponry and equipment can yield some ''nice'' stuff. And all the crap you don't have any use for can be muled over to the ArmsDealer in San Mona and sold for an excellent price.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII'' has three things that randomly drop: First, the Credits that units need to promote to advanced classes (the Certificate and Diploma items are especially subject to this); second, crafting materials needed to construct custom weapons (each material has a rank A to D and a level from 1 to 5; recipes are highly specific); and finally, enemy Aces drop one of two or three special weapons starting with the second time you defeat them.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' has mobs drop their materials and other items at a random rate when killed. Sometimes you can get a handful of the items and other times mobs drop nothing. A few mobs after an update were given rare drops where they can drop better items like weapons and raw materials.
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' Has the Moon charm, it only drops from Werewolves. Doesn't sound bad does it? It has a 1.67% Drop chance, to make things worse, Werewolves only spawn during a full moon, only on hard mode, have 400 HP, Very immune to knockback, and Even then, they don't spawn as often as you'll like, only chance you'll have if it's either a blood moon, or you have a battle potion. Also, Blood Moons and Battle Potions let monsters spawn near [=NPCs=].

!!Non-video game examples:

* In Myth/JapaneseMythology, when Susanoo defeated the {{Orochi}}, the [[LegendaryWeapon Kusanagi]] was in its tail. Why is not clear; some artists have implied that perhaps some earlier, unknown hero faced the monster, stabbed it with the sword, but lost, leaving the blade to be ingrown into the beast.

This is pretty common in pinball machines from the mid-80's and onwards, with computer technology and programming having become advanced enough to do randomized outputs. Most commonly, they are referred to as "Mystery Awards" or "Random Awards," following the theme of the machine. Which awards you get varies from game to game, tailor-fit to each game's rules.
* Creator/CapcomPinball's ''Pinball/BigBangBar'' has the aptly-named "Get Lucky," which gives a random reward when hit.
* In ''Pinball/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', shooting the left saucer when it is lit results in the Terminator choosing a random option from a list of rewards.
* Occurs when shooting the Secret Basement in ''Pinball/TheatreOfMagic''.
* When it is open, the Snack Bar in ''Pinball/CreatureFromTheBlackLagoon'' gives a random award from the menu, though some items are obviously joke entries ("A New Car!").
* In ''Pinball/GunsNRoses'', the player can collect a "Mystery Award" by shooting [[StealthInsult the scoop hole beneath Axl Rose's groin.]]
* Played with in ''Pinball/{{Transformers}}''; the Allspark Cube is supposed to drop a random award, but almost always gives something relevant to the current game state.
* ''VideoGame/RevengeOfTheGator'' has a three-reel slot machine that provides random rewards.
* In the first ''Pinball/HarleyDavidson'' pinball, the "Speed Trap" gives a random reward. There is also the "Mystery Rider," who will provide a random multiple of 1 million between 1 and 10 million (but most commonly 5 million).
* ''Pinball/MedievalMadness'' has Merlin's Magic. The odds vary depending on the state of the game, with a tendency to give you either something you really need or you are close to completing.
* ''Pinball/FamilyGuy'' has the Drunken Clam, notable for being ''very'' lopsided in how valuable some awards are than others. When this machine was [[PaletteSwap re-skinned]] as ''Shrek'', it was replaced with Merlin's Magic, most likely a nod to ''Medieval Madness''
* ''Pinball/JamesCameronsAvatar'' has Eywa. The rewards here tend to be pretty humble but will always give out one more ball when first triggered during a multiball.
* ''Pinball/StarTrekStern'''s counterpart is the Black Hole, earned by hitting all of the small stand-up targets distributed throughout. Like with Eywa, the Black Hole Awards tend not to be that valuable except adding one more ball during a multiball.
* The Fish Finder in ''Pinball/FishTales'' functions as a random award source, but it's unusual in that the machine keeps track of the past few games and will increase major awards like Extra Ball or Multiball if the past few games have been short and low-scoring. This system creates an unusual phenomenon on the digital port in ''VideoGame/ThePinballArcade'' in that starting up ''Fish Tales'' will always lead to Extra Ball as the first Fish Finder award: This is because the first game of ''Fish Tales'' on ''The Pinball Arcade'' is considered by the machine to be the first game ever played, meaning all previous games had a score of 0 and a play time of 0, the result being that it gives a guaranteed chance of its biggest award.
* ''Pinball/AttackFromMars'' has Stroke of Luck, which gives out pretty substantial awards. The game also keeps track of how many Strokes of Luck have been activated over a single game and gives out extra awards, like extra balls, for every tenth Stroke of Luck.
* The Concert Hall in ''Pinball/MonsterBash'' has the Franchise/UniversalHorror characters traveling on tour to perform at some location on Earth (all of which have {{Punny Name}}s themed on spooky stuff that wouldn't be out of place in ''Franchise/MonsterHigh'') and getting a random benefit from it (which rarely has anything to do with the venue). There is an EasterEgg called "Lyman's Lament" that activates once you've done the World Tour 44 times in one game.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has random treasure tables for the GameMaster who doesn't want to hand-pick every monster's equipment or treasure hoard, meaning there's a tiny chance for some ogre to be carrying a magic sword. Combined with the RandomEncounter tables for wilderness travel, you can effectively get the same experience as in a video game: rolling up a random treasure takes long enough that most will kick it back to after the fight, leading enemies to suddenly have gear they should have used or which they might have not reasonably carried. Of course, a GameMaster can also mitigate the FridgeLogic nature of the situation - the enemy might not have known they were carrying healing potions as opposed to poison, having just scavenged them off another kill, for example.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' when Torg plays an {{MMORPG}} and is beyond frustrated with his first quest.
-->'''Torg:''' "I've been putzing around for ''hours'' beating little salamanders to death with a stick in the hopes of getting a tongue out of them. And it's annoying because apparently not too many of them actually ''have'' tongues."
* In ''Webcomic/{{Cheer}}'', Alex and Lita get trapped in an MMORPG world (thinking that they're dreaming) and are asked to get a Rat Tail that is "dropped" from rats. Lita, who has played the game on her computer, [[http://www.cheercomic.com/?date=2009-02-27 tries to get the item drop through the normal methods]]. Alex, who has not, gets tired of waiting for the "drop" and [[CuttingTheKnot just uses her newfound magic powers to remove the tail from a dead rat]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''{{Neopets}}'':
** Random Drops can occur whenever you load a page. However, there exists a wide variety of these Random Events, which have many more effects than just giving you a rare item.
** There are certain avatars that can only have a chance of being given when you preform a certain event. Some of these events can only happen once every 24 real-time hours. Coupled that these avatars are infrequent in distribution, it makes avatar-getters frustrated in collecting them all.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Sweepstakes where prizes are won by collecting a specific set of game pieces--for example, [=McDonald=]'s Monopoly or Subway's Scrabble games. One of the pieces in each set is rare: the amount of those pieces are equal to the amount of prizes available for that set. The other pieces are common, so you are enticed to keep playing the game to find the rare piece. The rules usually list the odds of winning the prize, which is also the odds of a given game piece being the rare piece for that set. In the Scrabble variation, it's easy figuring out which letter is the rare to win which prize: just look for a letter that occurs ONCE in a given prize's name and doesn't occur in any other prize names. If you live in French Canada where the contests runs in English AND French, then the SAME rare letter must fulfill both conditions in TWO languages. Fun time being the guy who has to figure how to prevent the game from being UnwinnableByMistake while simultaneously avoiding giving out half a million cars.
%%* Three words: TradingCardGame. Or CollectibleCardGame. Whichever you prefer.
* Street vends, dollar stores, thrift and consignment shops - where items can range from the useless or overpriced to the rare and very valuable.
* In any major city or any place with a lot of people, money and other expensive items will occasionally be dropped or lost with no way to find or contact their owners. The most commonly found, though, are small denomination change and broken items.
* Thieves (and police raids of thieves or drug dealers) often run into this trope. Items stolen in a burglary or robbery or seized in a police raid can range from the utterly useless or squicky (e.g. garbage) to incredibly rare and valuable animals, art, drugs, electronics, vehicles, weapons...