Scrappy Mechanic

"Blue Shells Ruin Everything"

A gameplay mechanic in an otherwise fun/enjoyable game that generates a sizable hatedom. Perhaps it's out of character for the game, or the quality of its execution is lower than the rest of the game, or it really exposes the problems in the game.

Gameplay tactics do not count unless it's the exploitation of glitches and hacks. Otherwise, that's just abuse of an otherwise fair and good mechanic that causes the game to be played in a way that it's not supposed to. That One Boss is only related to this if a boss villain's status under that trope is solely because of a gameplay mechanic.

Compare to Disappointing Last Level, Gameplay Roulette, and Unexpected Gameplay Change. Despite appearances, this trope is not to be confused with a machinery technician who picks a lot of fights, nor is it about Slippy Toad, who is merely a Scrappy who happens to be a mechanic. Can also cross with Oddball in the Series where that one game that differentiates itself from the others in the series may stand out due to the Scrappy Mechanics it uses.

For a sometimes overlapping Sister Trope, see That One Rule. Contrast Anti-Frustration Features, which are intentionally included to avoid this kind of feeling.

Please keep in mind that this trope is based on opinions. What one player could consider a Scrappy Mechanic, another may see as an acceptable gameplay element, and vice versa. Don't take it personally if you see a mechanic you like here, and keep the Edit Wars down to zero, please.


Individual Games:



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  • For a player with disability or using an emulator, any mechanic that utterly relies on a sense that they can't use is bound to become a scrappy mechanic for them, even if normal players would find it acceptable. This is typically an issue for the hearing impaired; video games inherently require at least passable vision to even view what is displayed on the screen, the senses of smell and taste is irrelevant to gaming (at present anyhow), and touch tends only to be used for vibration functions on rumble controllers (although emulators will struggle with not having a rumble-feature if an actual game mechanic relies on it). But sound is an expected aspect of video games, although the degree to which it is used varies from game to game. For games that only use sound to set the mood, a player with a hearing loss can manage to at least play the game from beginning to end without any unusual frustration. But for games which rely on sound for practical purposes like detection, pitch-based puzzles and the like will frustrate such a player who will have no legitimate options to continue but to find a guide, a friend with intact hearing who can communicate effectively what is happening, or engage in trial and error gameplay. Additionally, games without subtitles when players speak (especially during cut-scenes) will ruin the experience and possibly prevent such players from understanding the plot.
  • On a similar note to the above, many games and game systems that operate on the assumption that the player is right-handed if the player is left-handed; various Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS games such as Kid Icarus: Uprising and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, for example, require the player to use the D-pad or Circle Pad and the touchscreen at the same time, and the Atari 2600 stock controller places the button to the left of the joystick, making the 2600 nigh-unplayable for lefties unless they invest in a third-party controller or make modifications to the controller that will void the warranty (warranty is irrelevant now due to the console being long out of production, but imagine being a lefty in the late 70's and early 80's).
  • Games like Evergrace II where all the characters you play have a shared life bar. This leads to frustrating moments, especially if some of the characters you control are played by the computer. In a similar vein, shared lives, especially if the life counter does not increase to accomodate the extra players. Monster Hunter and Dariusburst Another Chronicle are two such examples; you can quickly go from zero deaths to Game Over if you're playing with three other players and experience a Total Party Kill.
  • Quitting PC Games. Games for the PC seldom have an "Exit Game" option in the pause menu. Typically you have to quit your current game, wait for it to load, go to the title screen, then hit "Exit Game" from there. Some games even force you to watch the intro cinematics again, prompting a lot of users to just use task manager or, if available, the Alt+F4 or Command-W keyboard shortcut to quit their game more quickly.
  • The analog buttons on the PS2's DualShock 2 had the same issue, such as in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty where pushing the look button hard in a locker caused you to bang Raiden's head into the locker door and alert any nearby guards. Incidentally, Metal Gear is probably the only non-flight sim series that actually takes advantage of the "analog" part of the analog buttons.
  • Metal of Honor: Frontline. They made the dumb decision to make the fire button analog, so if you didn't press it hard enough your gun would not fire. Many players ran around the first level wondering if their controller was broken because this 'feature' was not mention anywhere.
  • To some, Quick Time Events are a horrible implementation that interrupt the gameplay at the most inappropriate times just to activate a glorified cutscene. Yahtzee may have something to do with it, since it is one of his pet peeves.
  • Tank Controls are severely divided by two factions. On one side, those who believe tank controls are a challenging feature; and on the other, people who believe tank controls are a lumbering dinosaur that should be long obsolete thanks to much more refined controls. The latter hates them for feeling clunky and making the character act all sluggish especially when trying to escape the thing that's trying to kill them.
  • If you try to play the Blizzard Entertainment games Diablo III, StarCraft II or World of Warcraft in an internet cafe when the Internet at home is down, your Blizzard account will sometimes be locked due to different login sequence. You will have to answer the safety question or enter the serial number to unlock your account. This is made for safety reasons, but most other players find it extremely frustrating.
    • Google has gotten in on this too, making it annoying at best and impossible at worst for people to access their e-mail or Google Docs at home after logging into it at school or work (or vice-versa).
  • Shall I Repeat That? becomes a Scrappy Mechanic if the cursor defaults to "Yes, I do want to hear that again" after a long monologue conversation, as a player mashing the "A" button to skip the NPC's text as quickly as possible will accidentally make the NPC repeat himself/herself over and over and over again until they scroll down and select "No, I don't want to hear that again". Kaepora Gaebora from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is most notorious for this, since he actually varies between "Do you want to hear what I said again?" and "Do you understand?", and the cursor does always default to whichever one makes him repeat everything.
  • Some forms require you to fill out your zip/postal code, yet some countries do not use them.
  • Friend Codes on Nintendo's consoles/games (Wii, 3DS, and any DS game with online play). Both people having to share a randomly generated combination of 12 numbers with each other before being allowed to play with each other annoyed a lot of gamers... especially when they had to put in a new code for each and every game. Made slightly better with the 3DS, which shares one Friend Code for all games and the console itself. As of the Wii U, the friend codes are gone and replaced with adding your friend's usernames instead.
  • Anything in a game that costs actual money to acquire, particularly outside of MMORPG games, especially in app games. Amazon's Underground service attempts to fix this, although unfortunately it's only available in the United States and a few countries in Europe.
  • Any game where the text scrolls slowly can get on the player's nerves pretty quickly, as it will take several seconds to get through each line of monologue/dialogue, unnecessarily wasting a lot of time. Examples include the aforementioned Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (though the 3DS remake has much quicker text speed) and Xenogears. See also Scrolling Text.
  • Escort Missions. While these can be done well (Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the few ways to do this right), almost every escort mission sucks. They're often bogged down by the escort being controlled by an AI that is so mind-bogglingly stupid, you're left wondering if it's trying to get itself killed. The sections are often filled with some of the most powerful enemies in the game. The escort is often given no means of self-defense. Said escort usually has a frighteningly low amount of health, and you often have no way to restore it. Thankfully, developers seem to be getting wise to this, as escort missions began to steadily decline with games released in The New Tens, or at least given some way to mitigate some of the more annoying issues associated with this mechanic.
  • Every game ever made that has a time-limit for no justifiable reason. Admittedly this was a throw-back from arcade games (which the home versions were based on) intended to keep people feeding more quarters into the machine by forcing them to waste lives by not allowing them to take their time to plan out their actions and thus make more mistakes, park their character into a safe spot so that they could take a break or make use of Infinite One Up tricks, all of which could drive away other potential players due to having them get tired of waiting for their turn or alternatively giving the player a chance to get enough lives to beat the game on a single credit regardless of how recklessly they play, but there is still no valid reason whatsoever for Mario to just abruptly drop dead because you didn't get through World 8-1 fast enough.
  • Stun mechanics, or crowd control in PVP environments. One or two isn't bad - but when there's no way to reduce the time spent stunned (or otherwise locked down), or the effects could be easily chained? Oh, and the only counter to them takes up a precious inventory space and isn't all that useful for the character you're playing? Cue keyboard breaking.
  • Region Coding, particularly on video game systems. The idea is to prevent people from cheating their own markets out of revenue by buying a game available for their home region from a different region, especially if their home region receives the game later. But region locking quickly becomes a royal pain when you consider that thousands of games never leave their home regions. The only legal and safe option is to buy a system of the region of the game(s) you want. Modifying one's own system will violate warranties and can brick or physically damage it (and since you broke the warranty, your only options are third-party repairs), and piracy can not only cause serious trouble depending on where you live, but some games have measures to thwart it.
    • When the Nintendo 3DS was revealed to have region locking, this caused a lot of uproar. With previous Nintendo handhelds, if you travel to another region (e.g. from North America to Japan or to Europe) and buy games there, you can play them on your system, no questions asked. Even Nintendo Power acknowledged the region-free and travel-friendly properties of the Game Boy Advance, which was released ten years prior to the 3DS, when a reader asked them about travelling and purchasing games. 3DS? No chance.
    • Similar to region locking, IP checks that keep you from accessing online services outside your region and credit card address checks that don't allow you to pay with a credit card which is not for the same region as the online store you are trying to access. IP locks have forced players to take roundabout measures such as VPNs just to play region-exclusive games such as Phantasy Star Online 2 and Kantai Collection.
  • Xbox Live introduced security proofs, which basically means adding an alternate email address and/or phone number to your Xbox Live account. However, this resulted in gamers being pestered by messages asking for their password as well as prompting them to add more proofs. Throw in security codes being emailed all over the place, and the process of signing into an Xbox Live account turns from something that took a few seconds at most into a giant hassle. God help anyone who attached their gamertag to an old Microsoft account whose password is long forgotten.
  • A lot of modern commercial PC games do not accept game controllers that are not recognized as Xbox 360 controllers. In some cases, third-party tools such as x360ce will allow you to get a non-360 controller working, but in other cases, you're out of luck.
    • Conversely, some doujin PC games do not natively recognize Xbox 360 controllers. Even if they do, they generally do not recognize the D-pad as directional input, as the directions on a D-pad are recognized as POV hats rather than directional control. If you're using an Xbox 360 arcade stick, for instance, you will need to either use tools like JoyToKey or set your stick to left stick mode, which is notorious for being laggy due to the way it is implemented.
    • Another issue comes in cases where you get a game that requires you to hold both the left and right trigger for any reason - since your computer treats the analog triggers the same as a joystick's throttle, holding both triggers is as far as the game's concerned the same as not pressing either of them.
  • Nintendo's practice of tying your digital purchases to your console which means you need to send the console back to them if its broken if you want to move your games to a new one and that you lose your games forever if your console is stolen.
  • Miiverse, the social network Nintendo made, has been given a new rule—it's now impossible to make multiple comments on ANY post outside the user's own for three minutes at a time. A patch later on reduced it down to two minutes. The entire rule was set to cut back on people spamming posts, though it did little to stop it anyway.
  • Online passes for multiplayer or other features of games (e.g. DLC). People who buy new have their time wasted entering access codes (often on lousy console interfaces) and are denied the right to sell the spot on the servers they paid for to someone else. People who buy used have part of the content denied them unless they pony up for a new key (and accept the same inconvenience), screwing over all the people who buy used because they can't afford a new copy. All this assumes passes are available and servers are running properly, allowing them to be redeemed. If there's a problem (e.g. if servers can't handle the high demand just after release, or if they're taken down a year or two after release for the sequel) you may not even be able to play a game you already paid for. The fact even single-player games sometimes require this also screws over any customers who can't easily access to an internet connection.
  • Anytime a game which normally gives you free control over the camera angle suddenly decides to abruptly wrench the camera around because the programmers decided there is really something over there you needed to see or figured they would make things easier. Often the gamer couldn't care less what the camera is trying to aim at or is busy trying to concentrate on something else, or would much rather set their own camera angle to line up their jump (which is kind of the point of giving camera control to the player to begin with).
  • With the rise of games having more online connectivity, many games now require you to sign in to your account or connect to a server simply to play the game and it makes sense to do so if you are playing multiplayer. However, being forced to connect online just to play a single player mode can be incredibly annoying, especially if you don't play online to begin with. Unless the game is programmed to be able to work offline, then you're royally screwed if you have connection issues or if the servers are down. This gets doubly worse if you have games that require a separate log in on top of your typical account log in.
    • Steam is somewhat better about this by including an "Offline Mode" that you turn on when you are about to disconnect, or anticipate a poor Internet connection. However, you still need to activate it manually. This means, for example, if you bring a laptop with you to, say, a vacation or road trip where consistent wireless Internet is a scarcity or outright nonexistent, but forget to activate Offline Mode prior to departure, you won't be able to play your games during the trip (however, when you open the Steam application when you do not have internet access, you do get the choice of activating Offline mode - but because that would be too easy, sometimes it completely ignores your choice and repeats an "unable to connect" error rather than letting you in). Some games on Steam are DRM-free, but you won't be able to tell prior to purchase without asking other players unless the publisher was kind enough to tout the game as such.
  • Online games with crossplay capabilities (the ability to play the game with other players, regardless of the platform they use) is a good idea overall, though it also has its issues. PC gamers need to only connect to the servers that the game is hosting, but console games usually require the player to connect to the console account's server and the game's server. If something happens to the servers that hosts your account on the console, you won't be able to play that game at all, even if the game's servers are perfectly fine.
  • For some, there's automatic updating. Whether it's video games or software programs, everything has to be kept up to date to fix bugs or install new features. There can be occasions where the updates can happen at the most inopportune times and interrupt whatever you were doing. Sometimes you can adjust how updates are handled, but at other times, you'll have no control over it. Even if you don't want to update your stuff at all, the game or program may continue to nag you until you give in and update. Automatic updating is an even worse issue if you're tethering off of a device running on a cellular data plan with limited data transfer; if a game receives an update on the order of a few gigabytes and downloads the update in the background, there goes your data plan!note 
  • Backtracking: God-damned backtracking. Found a key halfway across the world that unlocks a door back at the start of the game you passed by? Great! Now work your way back and spend just as much time getting back as you did getting to the key in the first place. EquestriaBound is particularly notable for adding backtracking to a section that was not in the original game, meaning you have to go from the fourth town to the first one and back just to obtain PSI Teleport (although Fluttershy does apologize for the inconvenience). There's even a song for it.
  • Forum posting limits. Some forums restrict how many characters a post can contain while others may restrict how many posts a day a user can make. Usually, the intention is to reduce the amount of spam trolls could spew, but it also greatly annoys regular users who may post a lot with legitimate discussions.
  • Adding to the above, some forums have a "karma" system where, once you get enough good karma (by making many good posts and few if any reported or troll posts) you become a "privileged" member who can post without limit. However this is also a scrappy mechanic in it's own right since some websites have ridiculous standards to reach that status (some even expect you to pay), and some newcomers are put off by it feeling it's a kind of clique or cabal mentality.
  • Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS:
    • DS and 3DS software that allow inputting of text (e.g. for inputting one's personal Catch Phrase), such as Streetpass Mii Plaza and Tomodachi Life often have a limit of 15 characters. For Japanese and Korean-writing users, this isn't much of a problem, as that's long enough to write a sentence or two. But for those who speak Western languages, 15 characters is barely enough to write more than two or three words, let alone a complete sentence. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and 4 Ultimate are slightly better about it with a 25-character limit. Possibly justified in that longer character limits can cause text to go outside text boxes and cause visual oddities, especially when the aforementioned Eastern script characters are concerned, but it looks silly on North American and European 3DSes, which only allow input in Latin-script languages that use a variable-width font, especially when working with text boxes that can accommodate two lines of text yet can't even have one line filled due to character limits. Then there's the problem of a poorly made text filter that will sometimes block out actual game terms, like Probopass.
    • The original DS and DS Lite do not have support for WPA- and WPA2-encrypted wifi, forcing users to set their wireless routers to WEP just so they could play their Nintendo WFC-enabled DS games online. WEP encryption has been shown to be so weak that a freeware program can be used to crack it. The other option was to buy a Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection USB dongle, but that came with its own problems, such as requiring specific versions of Windows to use it. Of course none of this matters anymore due to Nintendo shutting down Nintendo WFC in 2014.
    • 3DS purchases are not tied to an online account of some sort, despite the eShop using a Nintendo Network ID to log in. If your 3DS gets lost, stolen, or damaged to the point where you can't do a data transfer to another 3DS, you'll have to make your purchases all over again. Because of this, many users refuse to digitally purchase games, instead preferring physical copies that do not prevent play if inserted into another 3DS.
    • The New 3DS and New 3DS XL require you to remove a couple of screws and take off the back flap just to access the microSD card slot, unlike the "classic" 3DS models which simply require removing a little stub with your finger to access the SD card slot.
  • PC games that utilize the Shift key (even moreso if they don't even allow you to remap the controls), since pushing Shift 5 times in rapid succession in Windows triggers the infamous Sticky Keys dialog window unless you explicitly disable Sticky Keys notifications.
  • Games with a heavy emphasis on fashion and dressing up your character but only restrict you to a limited set of clothing based on your character's gender, such as LINE Play. Did you want to wear a cute dress or look handsome in a suit? You can't do the former if your character is male or the latter is a female. Or worse, what if you want to be able to wear clothes from both gender categories (for example, one day you feel like wearing men's clothes, the next day women's clothes)? You'll have to make a separate character, if that's even possible to do, and even then you might not be able to share data (e.g. friends lists, currency) between both characters.
  • Anything that requires the player to rotate a thumb-operated stick repeatedly is the bane of many, many players. Some players use their palm to quickly rotate the stick, but the human palm is particularly sensitive and can easily catch blisters from such stressful motions. Although the original Mario Party is notorious for this, with subsequent games ditching Control Stick rotation altogether in favor of comparatively safe Button Mashing, some other games like Final Fantasy X require rotating the stick for certain contexts too.
  • For players who have hands on otherwise region locked mobile games, the times for events, mission requirements and etc. except countdown timers are stated in time zone of where the game comes from. This means they need to manually calculate what is the in-game time based on time zone differences every single time the game is booted up, which is easy but gets tedious. Even games that have been released worldwide can have this issue - want to get an early lead in one of Ace Combat Infinity's ranking events?
  • Unskippable cutscenes, or at least cutscenes that can't be skipped before seeing them once. That minutes-long cutscene that precedes That One Boss may be awesome or emotionally moving, but it quickly turns into one of the least liked parts of the game if you have to see it again and again even after 20 failed attempts at the boss.
  • Password restrictions. Imposing a minimum character length means that some users will have a hard time remembering the longer passwords that they have to enter. Imposing a maximum character length is a problem too, as it heavily limits the number of possible passwords and therefore giving brute-force hackers a higher chance of breaking into someone's account (it takes far less time to try every possible password if the limit is 16 characters (a common limit) than, say, if the limit is 50 characters), and also causes problems with people who use password-creation methods that result in long passwords, such as stringing several random words together a la xkcd's "correct horse battery staple" password idea.
  • It is very common for the commercial soundtracks of games to be missing some of the tracks found in the game or to have heavily-altered or remixed versions instead. While it is sometimes justified due to copyright reasons, often this causes at best Trukk Not Munky-esque reactions from people who came to like the in-game version and can't develop a taste for the different version, and at worst flat-out encourages piracy due to the pirated versions often having a complete track listing ripped directly from the game. A very notorious offender was the OST for Far Cry 4: most fans bought it looking for the radio music and the amazing Bombay Royale songs played during some of the most epic moments of the game. What they got instead were the in-game battle themes and nothing else.

  • The vegetable picking in Putt-Putt Enters the Race. First off, it's a puzzle designed like a gigantic maze. What makes it annoying is that some foods take ages just to get to, and once you make it to them, you have to retrace your steps, so that needlessly doubles the amount of time it takes. Even worse, you have to be right next to the vegetable in order to get it or get ready to be told you can't pick it over and over again. It doesn't help at all that the movements cannot be skipped at all, unlike the rest of the game.
  • Instead of the classic wrong-choices-mean-death approach, Time Hollow makes Game Overs possible with a health meter. It can only be refilled by wandering the game looking for "chrons" and watching an unskippable cutscene each time you find one. But you're unlikely to even need this, as you only lose health for "digging" in the wrong place, and most of the digging puzzles are very simple — making the whole thing pointless. Unless, of course, you wanted to do anything other than beelining straight to the next Event Flag, which this mechanic discourages quite "nicely".
  • Despite being a point-and-clicker, Harvester has a real-time combat system. It is extremely clunky, hard to aim at a target, and it makes the main character walk in a goofy fashion while wielding a weapon.

  • Streets of Rage 3 gives you a star every 40,000 points, up to 3 stars. Each star powers up your "blitz" attack. However, 40,000 points is a very non-trivial amount of points, and if you die, you lose a star. Expect to never see a single star if you can't last very long on each life. There's an alternative way to perform any level "blitz" attack with a specific input, but it requires a 6-button controller to do.

    Card Battle Game 

  • Ringouts (knocking your opponent out of the arena and into an auto-DQ zone), or any other means of winning a round without actually zeroing out your opponent's health bar are pretty universally reviled. The Virtua Fighter and Soul Calibur series generally include ringouts on most if not all stages. Soul Calibur also heavily features juggling and several notably claustrophobic stages where accidental self-ringout is an actual possibility. Dead or Alive, on the other hand, put a more enjoyable spin on this, transforming most ringouts into events more to the order of 'you knocked him off the building and down through the flashy neon sign and into the pavement, but then you jump down after him and keep fighting down there.'
  • For a lot of people who would otherwise play Tekken, juggling is exactly this. A large section of the fandom who thought 2 or 3 was the best in the series often find any game past 4 bordering on unplayable. One word - walls. Getting trapped by Eddy or Christie in the corner of the map has been known to break controllers.
  • Super Smash Bros..:
    • Tripping in Brawl. Whenever a player breaks into a run, they may, by completely random chance, trip over and leave themselves vulnerable. The mechanic doesn't go away in Sudden Death. Even though tripping gives you invincibility frames, you could pretty much do the same thing but better with sidestepping. It's supposed to be to limit overuse of dashing, but casual and competitive players alike agree that this mechanic has no good reason to exist. Fortunately, random tripping has been removed in the next installment.
    • For the Pokémon Trainer, the stamina mechanic which punishes you for trying to rely on one of the Mons by reducing your stats when you use one specific one for too long (and to a lesser degree how the current mon automatically switches when you get KOed). You can tell when this happens when your Pokemon starts to act tired in their idle animation and move around more sluggishly. This despite the fact that Sheik/Zelda never needed any handicap on multiple forms besides lacking a Down-B move.
    • The Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon are also affected by Type Effectiveness, meaning certain types of attacks do a bit more damage and knock a particular Pokemon further away than usual. This ends up making the Trainer's Ivysaur, a Grass-Type, susceptible to attacks from over half of Brawl's roster due to the abundance of characters that innately use fire-based attacks, making Ivysaur less durable than it should be. Squirtle and especially Charizard had an easier time with this. Both this and the stamina mechanic mentioned above were introduced to emulate the mechanics of the main Pokemon gamesnote , which only sounded good on paper in the end. It should be noted that only the Pokemon Trainer's team are affected by these mechanics, so the standalone Pokemon such as Pikachu play like the other characters in Brawl's roster.
    • For a large group of players (read: those who don't play in tournaments), this applies to every kind of "dashing" (except running) and "canceling" technique in Melee, the previous game. The fact that they were nearly completely removed in Brawl was seen as a breath of fresh air for some of those who didn't base their playstyles on physics exploits nor intentional advanced techniques. On the other hand, their removal was a huge cause to the very Broken Base, especially since many already-nerfed characters were nerfed even more as a result.
    • Brawl's random multiplayer. You're pitted against 1-3 anonymous opponents, and when someone quits, they're taken over by a CPU. Without notifying you. Most annoyingly, this feature was even touted on the official website. Unless you know the AI well enough, you'll never know whether your match was spent entirely with living, breathing humans or that awesome finish you pulled off in the final moments of the match was against the CPU.
    • Brawl's Final Smashes have also contributed heavily to its Broken Base. If items are in play, there's a chance of a Smash Ball appearing, and if you break it, you can unleash a super attack that will pretty much knock out enemies instantly. The main problem is that while you can dodge the super moves in some way, most of the time, you won't be able to (especially if the level is tiny and hard to maneuver around) and thus the user practically gets a free kill or two. What's also worse are "Pity" Final Smashes that occur when a player is severely lagging behind in points and respawns with a Final Smash already in standby.
    • In the games where you can play with a Nintendo GameCube controller, mashing the C-stick is a very useful way to easily perform smash or aerial attacks, unless you're playing Melee's single-player modes, where the C-stick zooms the camera in and out. Since the default camera placement already gives you the best view of everything, this feature serves no purpose but to restrict your view and to make many techniques much harder.
    • The Multi-Man modes in Melee and Brawl have items. While items like Poké Balls are helpful, many players view the biggest challenge of the modes is not trying to defeat all of the enemies (100-Man) or trying to survive (15-Minute), but hoping that a rogue Bob-omb or explosive doesn't spawn next to you and ruin that glorious victory. Alleviated in the fourth game, where items in the mode spawn on top of a floating platform that appears every couple seconds.
    • Collecting custom attacks in the fourth game. It's a Luck-Based Mission, only available through single player modes or the rare chance of having a bag spawn in a Smash match. The problem lied in how custom moves are lumped in with general equipment like stat buffers or even Mii costumes, so even after getting a garuntee five custom parts after a Classic Mode match you have no idea if any of them are going to be full moves for your main or new hats for the Mii fighters until the match is over. Even worse is that it's possible to get repeats of both custom moves and other equipment, meaning that the item pool to draw from does not lower over time.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, when someone ragequits in an online match, it counts as a loss for the person who was still online, who likely would have been winning. And this even happens if the final hit was registered.
  • SmackDown vs. Raw:
    • Since the 2006 edition, gender restrictions have been placed (no more intergender matches). In SvR2K10, the Mixed Tag match was introduced, which pits two teams of one male and one female against each other. The problem with the match is that if a man and woman are legal in the ring, the ref starts a five count and the illegal partner has to make a tag or automatically gets disqualified. Worse still- and not just in this match but in any match- the men get disqualified for hitting the women, even if it's by accident while the women, on the other hand, are allowed to attack them as much as they please (If countered, they'll win automatically by DQ). Unfortunate indeed, but this is a reflection of the current "rules" in the WWE, which is sort of the point of Smackdown vs Raw. Thanks to PG and other things, men cannot hit women, and the five count is an accurate reflection of tag rules, as it has to be girl on girl and thus if the others tag it means that you also tagged.
    • The grappling system in SVR2011, which removed the modifier for strong and weak grapples. Weak grapples could only be performed on non-groggy opponents, while heavy grapples were restricted to groggy opponents.
  • The older GameCube title Day of Reckoning 2 introduced a new "stamina" system that left your wrestler completely helpless and at the mercy of an opponent if they ran too much or used too many moves in succession. You could also run out of stamina if you got beat up too badly, and while that normally only happens to characters with low stats, it makes comebacks difficult if it does. In one way, it added more strategy to matches, but it also made it harder to beat opponents with higher stats.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
    • X-Factor is this for some. It's a power-up that can be activated by any character in the game once per fight that increases in power as more characters of your team die off. The reason some say it is this trope is that the strength and speed boost it gives your character is so big that it breaks the game. Every character gets access to easy 100% combos upon using it and can easily decimate entire teams after one mistake, completely overturning the momentum of a match. And that's not even getting into the fact that activating it cancels instantly from ANY move.
    • Even better; Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 now allows you to activate X-Factor midair.
    • The inclusion of ground/wallbounces and really common OTGs in order to make combos as long as inhumanely possible is detrimental to the overall fun level for whoever isn't the winner. MvC3 is decidedly not a game that's fun at all if you're losing, if only because you have to watch completely helplessly for upwards of 20–30 seconds of pummeling that you have absolutely no control during if you make a mistake.
    • The match-search system for online has become notorious for being utterly broken. In theory, setting "Player Rank" to "Same" should pair you against players similar in skill to you. In practice, nobody has any clue what formula the game uses, but it likes to pit Amateur (the second-lowest rank) against Lord (one of the highest) and other such blatantly-lopsided fights. Expect to get into a lot of fights you just can't win.
  • Counters (or holds as they're properly known as) in the Dead or Alive series, especially in 4 where they're believed to have degenerated the game into pure guessing.
  • Deadliest Warrior:
    • The stamina bar embodied this trope to the max; even heavily armored warriors like Knights and Spartans could have their blocking ability momentarily disabled or their arm broken due to their shield being punched but not to being shot by a Blunderbuss.
    • Most characters have ranged weapons. Only some characters, however, have ranged weapons that aim for the head by default, and it's a One-Hit Kill if they connect. Worse still, there's no restrictions on when you can and can't use them, which means a round can end in a single solitary second just from someone chucking a spear into your skull at the very start of the match.
  • The tests of strength in the Fire Pro Wrestling series, which become impossible for a player to win above level 5, and occur with increasing frequency in the higher difficulty levels. Generally agreed by fans to be the worst aspect of the game.

     Party/Casual Game 
  • Arkanoid. Golden bricks. In a game that's all about destroying every last brick, the game suddenly throws indestructible ones at you... usually in the most inconvenient place possible. Almost every level which has them consists of walls of the things caging in all of the breakable bricks, making it so that you have to get the ball into a tiny little opening and hope it doesn't just bounce back out. Sure is fun bouncing the ball around for five whole minutes accomplishing nothing. Playing 2-player? Watch your friend fall asleep from boredom.
  • The entirely random terrain generation and explosive death-causing trap placements (and sometimes player positions) in any Worms game can screw players both skilled and unskilled. But mostly just the skilled players.
  • In newer Tetris games (for example, Tetris DS) it is possible in single player for a player to keep a piece from locking in place by hammering at a rotation button, or nowadays, shortly delaying the lock. Yes, even the square. Tetris Worlds was the first to be criticized for it. The rationale is that it helps beginners, but doesn't affect more competitive players.
  • One of the main reasons the sequel to Fuzion Frenzy failed was because it tried to implement a card system that translated to points that could be randomly acquired at any time. Needless to say, it failed horribly.

  • Pinball outlanes can be this especially for new players; it's not uncommon on some tables to pull the plunger and then watch the ball helplessly make a beeline for either of the outlines without ever touching a flipper, or for a player to make a successful shot only for it to make for the outlanes afterwards, again beyond flipper control, resulting in what beginners perceive as a form of Fake Difficulty. While a nudge can save a ball from an outlane at the last split-second, it requires being able to anticipate when the ball is about to be lost to an outline, and nudging can easily lead to a "TILT" if it's not done delicately enough.
  • Skill Shots involving flashing lanes at the back of the table are often dismissed for being Luck Shots in practice; even Roger Sharpe admitted that his pinball-saving skill shot was a stroke of luck, i.e. he proved pinball wasn't about luck through sheer luck (pinball tables had been banned in some jurisdictions on accusations of being gambling machines). Even other kinds of plunger-based skill shots can still fall under this trope depending on how well-maintained the plunger is. Perhaps because of this, some tables use flipper-based skill shots instead, where the player has to hit the ball into a designated target with the flippers immediately after launch.
  • Video Modes are seen by some as interrupting the flow of a pinball game and being fairly out-of-place; after all, why play pinball and end up playing a video game? Pat Lawlor, among a few other pinball creators, is known for refusing to put video modes in tables as a result.

     Racing Game 
  • Wipeout:
    • Eliminator mode in the various games is almost universally imbalanced, requiring mostly luck to get the right weapons and not so much player skill. The weapons were balanced for regular racing, so many didn't even do damage or very little, and some were grossly overpowered in a game mode where you didn't have to bother with speed. Wip3out was the worst offender since almost nothing did any noticable damage except for Energy Drain and Plasma Bolt, both a one-hit kill. It got better in later titles, but then participating in this mode became required to beat the game.
    • Shooting a competing ship in the first Wipeout game would cause it to stall and you to crash into it. This was changed in the sequel so that shooting a ship would flip it up, enabling you to pass underneath. The frustration factor was cranked up again in the degraded sequel Wip3out which reduced the flip duration so you would probably collide with the target anyway unless you fired at point blank range. And on a killing blow the disintegrating ship would stay at ground level and grind to a halt, bringing you to a very frustrating stop if you were unable to move out of the way quickly. And there was the Force Wall weapon which covered half of the track ahead of you and bounced opponents backwards... in your face, catapulting you back at high speed. Add to this the chance to blow yourself up if the target deployed a last second Reflector and it becomes clear that using weapons on opponents you don't particularly care about (ie. everyone but the opponent in first place) was more likely to hurt you than to help you.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage 4 sets arbitrary "speed limits" on turns. If you go over this speed limit, depending on whether you're playing version 1.2 or 1.5, then either your steering will lock up, causing you to crash into the outer wall unless you execute a "brake cancel" technique, or you will oversteer like hell. And if you hit a wall or suffer said understeer, your acceleration is permanently gimped and can only be fixed with brake cancelling. Which is done on a straightaway. But that's not where the problems end. To get to the tuning shop, you have to eject your card three times. Not continue three times, you have to pick "NO" at the continue screen for it to count. This means that if you're playing several rounds in a row, then you'll be wasting chances to tune up your car if you continue each time—you have to spend about 2-3 minutes between sessions ejecting your card, putting it back in, and going through all the menus. These sorts of mechanics are contributing to the downfall of the IDAS scene.
  • Burnout Revenge gave us "Traffic Checking". The idea being that your car can shunt small vehicles that are stationary/going the same way you are, out of the way. The problem however was that this also gave you boost. Normally boost was rewarded for risky driving, but Traffic Checking had no risk attached to it, unless you couldn't tell the back of a car from the back of a bus. Then some of that traffic would happen to bump into your rivals, whether you were trying to do that or not, rewarding you with even more boost. Naturally, smart players would change their strategy from trying to stay in oncoming where possible, to driving going the right way and shunting cars about in the process.
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing allows the race leader to get Missiles, which act like the Red Shell in the Mario Kart Series (homing attack against the racer ahead). However, not only are the missiles far more precise, when the leader gets one, he can shoot it backwards and it will lock on the second racer! That means if you are trying to reach the leader, you'll have to focus on the hazards of the track, avoid the mines dropped by the leader and pray that, if he gets a missile, the next item box gives you a shield, a KO Glove, or another missile. Oh, the leader will also get Speed Shoes every now and then.
  • R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 gives you new cars during GP Mode, the cars you get depending on your performance in the last few races. If you place first in every race, you'll get the best cars for your team/sponsor combo, but winning every race in 1st only unlocks a fraction of the cars. To unlock the rest, you have to Do Well, but Not Perfect and place 2nd or 3rd to unlock the lower-tier cars, which is annoying because it means sandbagging races as well as getting some pretty disparaging remarks from your team for not finishing in first.
  • The Rollcage Leader Missile would sometimes lock on to buildings (instead of opponents) and bring them down on your own head.

     Real Time Strategy 
  • MOBA games like League of Legends and Defense Of The Ancients are full of mechanics that may or may not have originated as a bug or engine limitation. For one, a number of spells go through spell immunity for no reason other than the limited Warcraft 3 engine on which the original Dota is built. This flaw was faithfully ported to the standalone sequel and is frustrating to be on the receiving end of.
    • Runes in League of Legends. Runes are stat bonuses for your ingame champion, which you can buy in the cash shop. Luckily, you can only buy them for Influence Points which are gained by playing matches, not for real money. Unluckily, you will spend about 150 matches worth of IP on runes before you are anywhere near competitive, and they are neither weak enough to not be mandatory in ranked games nor strong enough to make you feel good when you finally max out your runepages (which themselves also cost tons of IP or real money beyond the first two while there are five roles in the game). In short, expect to dedicate the next couple of months grinding IP for runepages instead of buying actual champions with that IP. Hope you enjoy the free champions or have a fat wallet to buy them for real money. To add some salt to the wound, Runes come in three tiers depending on your Summoner (account) level. Tiers one and two are worthless, and any experienced player will tell a newcomer to ignore them until Tier 3 runes become usable. And if you wasted some precious IP on some anyway? Well, you can convert them to a higher tier... at a horrifyingly inefficient 5-to-1 ratio, and you don't even pick what you get.
    • Flash in League of Legends, which is basically a free short distance instant teleport on a long cooldown. The problem is that this ability can be used to foil ganks. To ensure the success of ganks. To escape from certain death. To chase enemies. To seize objectives. To dodge skillshots. To position for abilities. In fact, it's good for pretty much everything. Out of over a hundred champions, there's a scant handful who don't take Flash almost every match, and no one would blink if you took it on them too. The devs noticed this and toned Flash back a bit as of season 3. While still a staple (being a safe pick if one doesn't have a strategy for the other spells), it's not quite so universal anymore.
    • In Dota 2, there are runes that spawn randomly in two spots every 2 minutes. This includes right at the start of the match. Guessing correctly and getting a free double damage or illusion rune before the game even starts is somewhat annoying for the enemy. On the other hand, proper teams tend to ward and prepare for the rune spawns, so acquiring the rune is less 'guessing' and more 'preparation'.
    • A mechanic held over from the first Dota is gold loss upon death. This is either a fair reward for someone for taking out the opponent, or an unfair punishment that's Adding Insult to Injury, and lengthens the gap in what may already be an uneven match.
  • Pikmin:
    • In the first game, the crush glitch was this: whenever an enemy of considerable bulk was defeated, it could sometimes kill Pikmin by falling on top of them.
    • In Pikmin 2, the crush glitch was fixed. But a Scrappy Mechanic from the original game that was not fixed was the nectar drops: it made as many Pikmin who drank it instantly mature into flowers (increased agility and strength), but it was possible for one Pikmin to drink up the entire drop.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire:
    • The Open Rebellion event for Stellar Phenomena. If allegiance drops to less than 30% on planets, a sizable fleet of rebels, complete with their own Capital Ships, will attack the planet, destroy everything they can, and automatically destroy the colony regardless of health upgrades. Since planets more than 5 phase lanes away have a maximum of 35% loyalty, and Deliverance Engine signals guarantee at least a 10% drop, playing against an Advent player is an exercise in futility as the colonies are overthrown faster than you can restore them. Not even TEC Rebels, who are "assaulted" by fleets of non-combative forces, are immune to this.
    • Culture can be this. You may be doing well militarily only to have your planets slip from your control. Especially bad if you're doing a military research only run for the Achievements or don't have enough slots to spare for Broadcast Centres.
  • For a series which has been around as long as it has, the Total War series has largely managed to avoid these.
    • One particularly notable case, however, is the "Realm Divide" mechanic in Total War: Shogun 2. Basically, once your clan controls about 15 provinces (out of 65,) every other clan will ally against you. You're given a severe diplomatic penalty, meaning your former allies will abandon you and you'll be unable to establish trade relations, killing your economy. Then, every clan that is against you will be given large stacks of veteran units every turn.
    • Medieval II: Total War had the Pope as this. He gives you missions for little to no reward and excommunicates you if you dont do them. He also excommunicates you if you go to war with another christian faction even if they attack you. You also cannot permanently satisfy him at all.
  • Warcraft III had upkeep. If your forces got big enough, 30% of any gold you gain from that point is lost. If it gets bigger, you lose a whopping 60% of gold that is brought in. Considering that gold is limited...

  • In general, combo-based scoring systems, due to how a single mistake can completely ruin one's score and force a restart if one is trying to get a high score. Specifically, combo bonuses heavily bias against a few evenly-distributed mistakes, while the penalty for an Epic Fail at the very beginning or ending of the song (Life Meter in games that have it notwithstanding) is comparatively minimal. This is in contrast to a real-life music performance, where audiences tend to notice mistakes more during the beginnings and ends of songs and sets than mistakes in the middle. Ironically, combo-based scoring is found in rhythm games that tend to cater more towards "casual" players, while more challenging games like beatmania IIDX use more "flat" scoring systems that are based purely on accuracy and won't completely cripple a player's score over one miss.
    • There could actually be a reason for this. When a newer player makes a mistake, they're much more likely to get their timing thrown off, and make multiple mistakes in a row. In a flat scoring system, all those mistakes would be penalized the same, while in a combo based system, only the first mistake would really matter.
  • Guitar Hero III:
    • A Boss Battle mode, where periodically through the main career mode, the player will have to guitar-duel famous guitarists such as Tom Morello, Slash and the Devil. It's exactly what you'd expect to happen when incorporating Mario Kart-esque powerups into a Rhythm Game: The AI opponents play flawlessly, and depending on the player, the difficulty of the matches ranges from trivial to absolutely impossible, thanks to being almost completely dependent on getting the right powerups and using them at the right time, and if the AI can do the same to you. It should already be telling that the first guitar duel is said to be the hardest, simply because your opponent's notechart simply doesn't have enough consecutive notes for you to reliably defeat him with anything but a specific powerup. Later installments in the franchise have eased this mechanic by making the guitar duels less dependent on random chance, but the damage was already done in Guitar Hero III.
    • The Whammy Bar is annoying to players and observers alike. Not only is it required to max out points on some songs (darn that Star Power meter), but it ruins notes that were never meant to be whammied. That, and you have to take your hand off the strum bar to use it, so on shorter notes or staggered chords, it can be a nightmare.
  • The PS1 port of Dance Dance Revolution 1st Mix brings us Arrange Mode, which is essentially the same as normal mode, with one key difference: if you step on a panel when you aren't supposed to, instead of nothing happening, you instead get an "OUCH!!" judgment, which drains your Life Meter even moreso than a Miss. So if you have a crappy pad, or you like freestyling, or you step on panels when nothing's happening to keep the beat...
    • DDR X introduces shock arrows; if your foot is down when they reach the target zone, your combo breaks, your health takes a hit, and the whole chart goes invisible for about a second. Even worse is how they're placed: while mines in In the Groove / Pump It Up Pro // StepMania can be placed in one or two columns at a time if one wishes, shock arows ALWAYS fill all of the columns. This means you'll have to jump completely off the pad every time they come. And you'll be doing a LOT of said jumping, especially in "Horatio". They come back in X2, where every Challenge chart to contain them is EXACTLY THE SAME as Expert, only with the shock arrows replacing certain steps.
    • Even as of the current game, you're still required to pay double price just to play Double Play, a mode in which one player uses both sets of panels, unless the "joint premium" setting is switched on. In contrast, beatmania IIDX and Pump It Up not only allow double modes on a single credit, but will even let you switch between single and double between songs.
  • DDR is pretty merciful with its doubles charts, never requiring the player to make jumps with the arrows more than ~2.2 cells apart. No such mercy in Pump It Up, where at its highest levels, the game expects you to be able to do "stretch" jumps, some of which involve the 1P leftmost panels and 2P rightmost panels on harder charts. Risking intense muscle pain just to make these jumps is not fun.
  • Minigames in the Patapon series. The main gameplay uses player-entered rhythm based musical sequences that call for a variety of attacks, and then every single minigame is a call-repeat rhythm game that uses a single button (or TWO for a minigame in Patapon 2). These minigames are sometimes the only way to get top level weapons.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents:
    • Spinners are what set the dedicated players apart. Partway or at the very end of a song, you're meant to stop tapping beats and instead draw really fast circles on your DS screen while a timer counts down. Do well and you'll gain tons of bonus points - do poorly and you'll lose a sizable portion of your health meter. Towards the end of the harder difficulties, the spinners get so demanding that no matter how flawless a player's rhythm is, they'll live or die based solely on the dexterity of their wrist. Naturally, those who fail to meet the expectations of the later spinners will quickly grow to hate them since they alone make the final songs near-unbeatable or at least impossible to score a Perfect on, putting the higher ranks out of reach.
    • The scoring system is pretty frustrating. Each note has a base value of up to 300 points, depending on how well you time the note. Seems pretty standard for a rhythm game. Then comes the combo multiplier; by the end of the song, a single note can be worth tens of thousands of points. In other rhythm games, missing a note simply means you lose a few points. Here, missing just one note will completely botch your score, especially if said miss is in the middle of the song.
    • And if you're playing the popular OTO/EBA clone osu!, you get all of the above, plus multipliers for using modifiers as well. One particular modifier doubles the speed of the song. This means to obtain a top-tier score on a song, you not only need to not miss a single note ever, you also need to double the song speed, which makes the chart much more difficult and will probably make the song sound terrible.
    • The Life Meter continuously drains, making the Ouendan series some of the few rhythm games where you can fail a song in the middle of a combo.
  • DJMAX Technika's unlock system. On completing certain missions in Platinum Crew mode, you'll unlock a song (or in the case of one mission, a course)...but you can only use that unlocked song or course 3 times before you have to unlock it again. Thankfully, this is being revised for Technika 2 where you gain unlocks by simply going onto the Platinum Crew website and purchasing the unlocks once using your in-game currency. The one flipside to this is that unlocks are fairly expensive, especially for the more difficult songs.
  • BeatmaniaIIDX 17 Sirius:
    • Backspin Scratches, in which you continously spin the turntable in one direction until the end of the note, then spin it the other way at the very end. It's awkward to keep spinning the turntable, and even moreso to spin it back at the end, especially if there are key notes between the start and the end of the scratching.
    • DJ Hero fans share your pain. Scratch up-up-up—up-up-up-up—up-up-up—up-up-up-up-up
  • Rock Band:
    • A bug in drumming called "squeezing", which is a scrappy for those anal about the scoring. If you hit the crash on a fill a little early, and then in the next split-second hit what would have been there if the fill wasn't in the way, you get the points for the hitting those notes. This means you have to memorize what to hit and finish fills a little awkwardly for extra points. Usually not enough to make a difference unless both players are doing perfect, but can cause a rift between Scrubs and “Stop Having Fun” Guys. Singing has a different version of squeezing; in some cases, for the absolute maximum points, you need to hit overdrive exactly as the overdrive zone ends, as opposed to doing so in the middle of the zone. If you're too late though, you'll fall out of the zone and not trigger overdrive at all, and the optimal point isn't on rhythm. This also encourages using the select button instead of shouting for overdrive, since it's more precise. Similarly, arrhythmic overdrive timing also applies to guitar\bass\keyboards, same as Guitar Hero.
    • Drum fills in general are slightly controversial among Rock Band players, in that choosing not to trigger Overdrive can allow drummers to coast through parts of songs that might otherwise prove deviously hard. It does hurt your score to do this though, and it's basically a useless strategy in Rock Band 3, where no-fail mode does not disqualify.
    • The two DS Rock Band games and the only on PSP share an annoyance that is sure to ruin your gameplay experience: You are required to switch tracks to play as different instruments at the end of every chain. Thankfully the games are more generous in difficulty, but the game often forgets to signal you to PREPARE for a solo. Expect failing a Full Combo only because a surprise Guitar Solo brought you from drum to guitar track INSTANTLY.
  • Hatsune Miku Project Diva:
    • In the first game, scoring is greatly increased during a single section of each song called Chance time. A single perfect hit normally awards 500 points, with up to 250 points of combo bonus. In Chance Time, the combo bonus raises 20 times faster and caps 5000 points higher, meaning a single Chance Time commonly awards more points than the entire rest of the song, despite being less than twenty seconds long. This meant that unless you are gunning for a perfect score, 90% of the game is almost completely irrelevant. Perhaps the sheer weight of Chance Time sections are why they're absent from the Project DIVA Arcade and Project Mirai games.
    • It works in reverse, too. There are some songs that are scored so harshly that missing even one note in chance time pretty much guarantees a rank of STANDARD. Frustrating if you're trying to unlock the extra models.
    • The timing windows in both games in general are fairly harsh by typical Rhythm Game standards. This is compounded by any judgment below FINE (the second highest out of 5 possible note judgments) being a combo break; compare to IIDX where a GOOD (the 3rd highest out of 5 judgments) will maintain a combo, or Dance Dance Revolution where a GOOD (again, 3rd highest) will break a combo but the timing windows are looser. This wouldn't be much of a problem for those just wanting to beat songs, but you are required to hit a certain percentage of notes with combo-maintaining judgments to clear the song (80% in Diva 2nd, varying depending on difficulty level in Diva Arcade) on top of keeping your Life Meter above 0 during the song.
    • Project Mirai DX has comments for song animations, aka Nico Nico Douga For Dummies. What's wrong with them? To start, the max character length for a comment is 16 like in many other 3DS game contexts; fine for Japanese, not so much for Western languages, not helped by the fact that Western-region 3DSes don't allow Japanese script input. Additionally, you can only send one comment at a time via the above methods, which means if you have any multi-comment gimmicks set up in any songs, those are going to get ruined when sent to other players.
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
    • The game kicks the difficulty of the already stylus-burning Dark Notes up a notch on the higher levels. Remember the slide triggers with arrows on them? On the higher levels, they rotate. Many Bads will ensue.
    • In the sequel's battle mode, the HP Swap attack is often hated because it can activate even if you have more HP than your opponent.
  • jubeat saucer was infamous for its "song swap" system; every month through updates carried out via Konami's e-Amusement network, some songs were cut out while other songs are introduced or revived; this mechanic made many players unhappy, and was a source of memes for some players. This made it the first BEMANI game to delete songs through online updates. However, as of February 1, 2014, almost all previously-removed songsnote  have been revived, and song swap DID NOT come back in jubeat saucer fulfill.
  • In O2Jam:
    • The same speed mod is applied to all players in a multiplayer room. This is a huge problem for players who have different preferences in speed modifiers for the same song.
    • Several level up missions require the usage of modifiers such as Hidden and Sudden to complete. However—and this is where the game's Freemium aspect rears its ugly head—modifiers come in the form of "rings" that each only last for one song and must be purchased with in-game currency that is bought with real money, which is unfair to players who don't have a way to purchase rings. The problem can be mitigated somewhat in that the player does not need the ring themselves; if they are in a room hosted by another player, one who has the necessary ring, they can still complete the mission without having to pony up cash.
  • Love Live School Idol Festival:
    • The game is infamous among Rhythm Game players for the way scoring is handled: Instead of being based strictly on what goes on within the current song, the player's score is also based on their team's Attributes, which influence points per note, and Skills, which can do things like randomly add points or loosen the timing windows every x seconds, combo, notes, or Perfects. Many new players get frustrated getting all Perfects on the first few songs yet still getting C ranks because their starting teams are complete garbage compared to what they can eventually assemble; to have a non-zero chance at getting the coveted S rank, one will need to scout out SR- and UR-rarity members and then level them up through Practice, a mechanic usually reserved for RPGs that don't try to pass themselves off as competition-viable games. While some players argue that the player still needs to hit notes accurately and string combos to gain points, there is also the counterargument that the Attribute system still caps the player's maximum score and by extension rank. As a result, many players who want to truly play competitively instead go off judgement counts and ignore everything else.
    • Songs in the Hits folder require you to clear the Easy chart to unlock the Normal chart and the Normal Chart to unlock the Hard chart. For rhythm game beginners, this is not a problem, but those who "immigrate" from other rhythm games may find this as an example of video game "hand-holding". Fortunately, songs in the B-Sides folder don't have this requirement; all you need is the necessary LP. Which in turn leads to another Scrappy Mechanic...
    • The harder a chart is, the more LP you need to play it. The idea is to prevent players from recklessly taking risks; on the other hand, you'll most likely need far more practice on an Expert chart than an Easy chart. Because of this, failing something like "Soldier Game" on Expert can be incredibly frustrating, because it takes a lot of grinding to have the LP capacity to try it more than once in a row.To elaborate on that specific example... 
    • For some players, Events are this. Score Matches have you competing against other players in hopes of not getting last place and therefore getting Event point bonuses. School Idol Diary events have you farming tokens for Event songs, which you then play for Event points. Every few hundred or thousand Event points, you get rewards such as Love Gems and Coins, with an SR card as one of the highest rewards. However, this SR card comes non-Idolized. To get a second SR card so you can Idolize it, you need to finish the event with a high enough ranking percentile, which means grinding more points than a large percentage of other players. And considering that this is a "free-to-play" mobile game, this means that to stay competitive, one needs to play constantly, practically every waking hour, and maybe even sink Love Gems to refill Stamina and keep grinding. As a result, many players who want to get their Idolized SR rewards end up burning away large chunks of time from their daily lives and money just to stay in the top percentiles to get two of that particular card, often burning out on the game in the process.
  • Combine the issue with timing judgements and combo breaking in Hatsune Miku Project Diva and scoring dependence of characters in Love Live School Idol Festival and you'll get Tokyo 7th Sisters. This is mitigated by the fact that charisma restores more quickly than most rhythm games note and all difficulties are accessible right from the start.
  • Most, if not all mobile rhythm games with playable human characters will have the issue of the characters' attributes and levels influencing grading and scoring more heavily than the player's skill, which is handled differently from game to game. Love Live School Idol Festival, despite what has been stated above, is not the worst example of this. For example, in the defunct mobile game IDOL-RISM, playing songs in difficulties above normal require high ranked and leveled characters to even pass them as having too low of a score results in failure regardless of your actual performance.

  • Grand Theft Auto IV:
    • The friendship system is best described with the following words: "HEY NIKO, IT'S ROMAN! LET'S GO BOWLING!" Rockstar North must have realized how annoying this system was too, as they made it optional in the first DLC pack, The Lost and Damned, and removed it altogether in The Ballad of Gay Tony.
    • PC users have an extra thorn in their sides with the lousy helicopter controls. It's very difficult to fly them well, and it gets even worse if the scenario requires you to enter aerial combat with them. On top of this, it is still possible (as always) for your friends to call you while flying.
  • Saints Row: The Third seemed to believe that the friendship mechanic could be salvaged entirely if it dealt with side-missions rather than friends. As such, every single time you are trying to go to one specific store or activity, just before you can get to it, you are going to be called to go kill waves of police or gang members on the opposite side of the city. Thankfully, there's a limited amount of these side-missions, they're actually pretty fun if you're in the mood to do them, and once you've done them all you will never be bothered about them while trying to do something else ever again. They're also entirely optional, as refusing to accept them doesn't penalize you, but the ringtone can get quite aggravating in the meantime, and you can't manually decline them - it's even possible to accidentally accept them, because answering these calls is put on the same button as entering a vehicle.
  • The hunger system in Minecraft when it was introduced in beta 1.8. Before this, food instantly restored your health. Once hunger was introduced, food no longer were instant heals (Potions of Healing covered that), but instead, food takes about 3 seconds to fully consume and they restore hunger points instead. Keeping your hunger full gives slow health regeneration but letting the meter fall too low prevents you from sprinting and letting it go fully empty will damage you and even outright kill you if playing on Hard difficulty. What makes it worse is doing too much physical stuff (running, mining, etc) will make you hungry more quickly and every piece of food has different amount of saturation, which determines how full you stay until the hunger meter starts to drop again. Naturally, you aren't told of this.
  • Easily the most widely loathed missions in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag were those requiring the player to tail NPCs on a journey, with special vitriol reserved for "eavesdropping" missions, which required the player to remain within a (very narrow) circumference from the target.
  • In most rhythm games, getting a "perfect" rating simply requires you to clear the stage with a perfect score. In Rhythm Heaven, however, you can't just pick a minigame and flawlessly perform it; instead, you have to wait for the game to offer a "Go for a Perfect!" challenge on a randomly-selected minigame, and then attempt that minigame and perfect it. And you only get three chances; not only can you lose a chance by missing (which by the way results in a Jump Scare screech sound), but you also lose one if you quit out of the minigame in mid-attempt or play another minigame altogether. If you lose all of your chances, the next time the game will offer a Perfect challenge, it will be another minigame that you haven't gotten a Perfect on yet. The pain comes not just from trying to play perfectly, but also doing so under the intense pressure of having limited opportunities.

     Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Raiden Fighters has the Micluses, little blue critters that spit out medals and then explode to give you a point bonus. Not too bad at first, if it weren't for the fact that nearly all Micli are hidden in nondescript locations or require obscure conditions.
  • In Mushihime Sama Futari, bombing takes 1,500-2,000 from your counter/multiplier, and dying takes off 1/3 of your current total, so it's in your best interest to bomb if you're in danger. But in Futari Black Label, it's roughly the other way around; dying takes off 1,500-2,000 and bombing takes off about 6,000-8,000. So if you wanna cash that huge 30,000 multiplier in God mode, but dying appears to be inevitable (which for inexperienced players is most of the time)...
  • Want to score high in Ikaruga? Prepare to spend endless hours practicing and memorizing chains, giving yourself absolutely no freedom as to how to play.
    • Its Spiritual Predecessor Radiant Silvergun is worse. Not only can a chain consist of only one color, forcing you to leave roughly 2/3 of enemies intact and allowed to attack you, but while scoring in Ikaruga is completely optional, in Radiant Silvergun it's mandatory. Why? Because your points are used to level up your weapons, and if you can't score well, your weapons will be underpowered and you'll be unable to rapidly damage later bosses, which can lead to a very quick Game Over.
  • Parodius features a powerup roulette (called Blizzard in Europe),which is triggered by a random power capsule in the game.The mechanic wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the existence of the !?/OH (MY GOD)! "powerup" on the power meter, which nullifies every powerup you have. Woe the players who raged when they hit that so-called "powerup".
  • Touhou:
    • Embodiment of Scarlet Devil's rank system, in which the longer you go without dying, the faster and denser the bullets get. Max-rank Patchouli is harder than the final boss.
    • Perfect Cherry Blossom and Imperishable Night have non-spellcard patterns highly resistant to bombing. Less bad in IN, since relatively few of these patterns are difficult, and a Last Spellnote  will still deal significant damage, but PCB has a number of very long, very difficult nonspells, and no way to deal with them other than toughing them out.
    • Scoring systems in early Touhou games are generally a pain to figure out, but Imperishable Night in particular is pretty bad. To put it simply: Main body of stage? Don't focus, ever. Bosses? Don't un-focus, ever.
    • The Faith system in Mountain of Faith, where scoring high means no deaths, and exclusively deathbombing (and even then, only at certain points). This wouldn't be too annoying, but extra lives are only given upon reaching high scores, essentially forcing players into a scorerun (in a fandom where the number of players who play for score can be counted on one hand) if they want more lives.
    • The continue system introduced in this game in which continuing snaps you back to the beginning of the stage with a mere two lives, beside being incredibly frustrating to redo 4-5 minutes of gameplay, you also can only practice levels you've beaten making every difficult moment in the game a solid wall, and most Touhou players would be aiming for a continue-less run anyway without the momentum-killing snap-back. Thankfully, Ten Desires has fixed this particular mechanic, returning to the old continue system.
    • The weather system in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is generally okay, but Typhoon Weather eliminates hitstun and blocking for about 45 seconds. Spring Haze Weather prevents both players from using physical attacks. River Mist Weather moves the characters back and forth, screwing up tons of combos and attacks that require certain spacing. Amusingly enough, River Mist is representative of Komachi, the character who requires the most precise spacing to fight well, and whose in-canon power is defined as "manipulation of distance." Spring Haze was nerfed to near pointlessness in Hisoutensoku, thoughnote .
    • Undefined Fantastic Object's UFO system is actually quite nice, but most of the UFOs change color periodically. It's not uncommon to need one more UFO in a sequence, then have it change color right before you get it, screwing up your whole plan. Trying to collect a quickly-moving token randomly floating around the screen in the short time frame that it's the correct color doesn't exactly mix well with Bullet Hell. To make things worse, it's the only way to gain lives or bombs.
    • Ten Desires spirit system for gaining lives and bombs is moderately irritating on it's own, since they don't fall down the screen like regular items. The real scrappy mechanic, though, is the trance system. You build up a meter by collecting spirits (most of which don't act as bomb/life fragments), and when full can activate it for a Super Mode. Two problems: First, it also doubles the effect of bomb and life spirits, and, second, you automatically use it if you die. This essentially means that you're denied from using a powerful attack as an actual attack, you need to memorize the best places to use it, and dying generally throws off your rhythm for around a stage.
    • Double Dealing Character and its system for gaining additional lives and bombs. Basically, you go to the Point of Collection to auto-grab every item on screen, and the game gives you a multiplier for the score from these items and drops a live/bomb fragment depending on how many of those items you grabbed. On one hand, it makes collecting lives simple and quick, on the other, trying to do so in Bullet Hell-heavy sections is almost impossible, and every time you do get to the top of the screen there is a chance of getting slammed into by surprise by something that just entered the screen.
    • Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom with its Pointdevice mode, which removes lives and instead has checkpoints. Remember what Fujiwara no Mokou said about dying repeatedly without actually dying being painful? Now you get to learn the daily life of Mokou. Have fun raging at spellcards that you cannot seem to clear, have no bombs left in stock, while your capture records states "0/99+". There's Legacy mode, which does have lives, but getting the good ending requires no deaths in Legacy.
  • Battle Garegga's rank system. Want to keep the last two stages possible? Don't power up and don't trigger special option formations! The rank scale for enemy aggressiveness is capped in the last two stages to playable levels, in a rare show of mercy by the developers. However, if you raise the rank to extremely high levels beforehand, there is no such cap, and you are treated to literally undodgeable patterns, especially on the Stage 4 boss and Stage 5 midbosses.
    • This is a trait seen in games programed by Shinobu Yagawa, resulting in a Broken Base (some love this, some don't). The association has rendered CAVE games with these traits black sheep.
  • Darius Gaiden's rank doesn't get as retarded as Garegga's, but its implementation is worse. Each of the 7 tiers of stages has a "default rank", which the game sets to when you collect a powerup on that tier. And once you raise the rank, there is no way to decrease it. Ideally, you want to stop powering up after the 4th stage. Wait, what's that? You lost a couple lives on the last stage and took a big hit in shot power? Too bad! Either deal with it or face a Difficulty Spike!
  • Dangun Feveron never shows your total score during gameplay; it's only shown at the end of each stage, as well as after getting a high score and ending your game, which wouldn't be as big of a problem if the lowest default high score of 1.2 million wasn't difficult to obtain for new players. This caused a huge problem at a shmup tournament where many players who couldn't get on the in-game high score table either manually calculated their scores by hand or simply didn't bother to submit scores.
  • Guwange has you collect coins to raise your score, while shooting enemies to keep the coin collection timer from running out (at which point your coin count drops to 0). And the chain timer is more lenient than DoDonPachi's, so chaining in this game shouldn't be as big of a pain in the ass, right? Well, here's where the game kicks you in the face: your coin count carries over between stages, meaning that in order to obtain a very good score, you need to keep your coin timer from resetting at all throughout the entire game. Have it reset halfway through the game? Time to Rage Quit!
  • Heavy Weapon for the PC. Your tank aims using the mouse cursor, that's fine. The problem is that it also moves towards the mouse cursor, making it annoying to dodge attacks while aiming. This makes facing enemies like Bulldozers (which move towards you and One-Hit Kill you if you brush against them) a complete pain. Thankfully, Pop Cap realized this mistake and made aiming and moving separate in the PS3 and Xbox360 releases.
  • In RefleX, using a continue will let you keep your score, but it will be nullified afterwards. Now penalizing a player for using a continue is fine, but this means if you set a record score on your first credit, and you decide to continue (e.g. to practice or unlock later stages), then the game will invalidate your score. The worst part is, the developer knows this, as there is a line of text stating that your score will not be saved in such cases. This is in contrast to the other two games in The Tale Of ALLTYNEX series, where using a continue will still allow you to save the score you got on your first credit.
    • In RefleX and ALLTYNEX Second, the stage select will only let you practice up to the highest stage you cleared. So that stage you're struggling to clear? To be allowed to practice it, you have to clear it in a full run in the first place!
  • Like with RefleX above, using a continue in Ether Vapor also renders your score null and void.
  • Sine Mora gives you a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a special Time Capsule skill that will do things such as activate Bullet Time, reverse time (even after you die, thereby allowing you to negate death), or reflect bullets, a feature well-touted by the game. However, if you are playing for score, your character (which determines your secondary weapon) and your choice of Time Capsule don't mean anything, because using either of these resets your multiplier, in a game that touts time manipulation as one of its primary gimmicks.
  • Eschatos can be extremely annoying to play for score:
    • In Original mode, your multiplier builds up as you destroy enemy waves. However, for each enemy that escapes, your multiplier decreases by one. If you die, you also suffer the same penalty...but during the time it takes for your ship to respawn, a whole wave of enemies may leave the screen, and depending on how high your multiplier is that means five to ten past minutes of hard work thrown completely out the window.
    • In Advanced mode, the penalties for enemies escapting is more lenient, but there's a new Scrappy Mechanic in town: Collecting a bomb item immediately clears all enemies and turns bullets into purple tetrahedrons that boost your score...but it also reduces your multiplier and reduces your shot power by one level. Collecting multiple bombs in succession is a good way to damage your multiplier and severely weaken yourself. Therefore, Advanced turns into a game of avoiding not only bullets, but also items.
  • In the Raiden spinoff Viper Phase 1, you get a multiplier applied to your end-of-stage bonuses dependent on what percentage of enemies you killed. If you destroy every single enemy, the muliplier is x100. But if you so much as miss a single enemy, that multiplier drops to a x50. It won't matter much in a survival-oriented run, but in a score-based run, missing one enemy can make a massive difference.

    Simulation Game 
  • Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, the first game in the series, forced the player to travel to the edge of the map after completing mission objectives. While this rarely takes more than a few minutes, that can be a very long time when damaged and under fire.
  • Dwarf Fortress is very much a work in progress, so most of these examples are temporary. It's just that the development cycle is so long that they really don't feel temporary:
    • The Dwarven Economy, not to put to fine a point on it, didn't work. It was generally accepted that it's best to turn it off, and failing that never mint any coins. If nothing else, keeping track of all those little objects will slow your computer to a crawl. It was Dummied Out completely with the update to v0.31 and will not be returning until all its issues have been resolved.
    • Hospitals. Don't bother putting together a trauma team: your medical staff will take their sweet-ass time even if you assign no other duties and keep them strictly limited to their hospital area. This can be gotten around somewhat by making all dwarves capable of taking medical treatment jobs, as a dwarf will never fail to complete a job due to a lack of skill. All dwarves will plunder thread and cloth many times over the inventory maximum you set for the zone, and will even go far from the stockpiles sitting ready in the area, to grab the most expensive dyed silks. Meanwhile the gypsum powder, splints and crutches, of which there may be plenty, still aren't getting filled to the maximum because thread and cloth have a stranglehold on the inventory space of the numerous planted containers. If surgery and crutches aren't broken enough, many beast sicknesses will break the rest of the procedure. And without that, only one doctor can work on one patient at a time, and each stage of a multi-part procedure still takes way too long for having the necessary equipment within 20 tiles.
    • The new military system in and after 0.31 is a considerable improvement in many ways but its interface is virtually impenetrable without reference to the wiki.
    • Come to think of it, the user-interface in general is not especially consistent or accessible. A complete top-to-bottom overhaul is promised shortly after the game enters beta-testing... in another five years or so.
    • Strange moods. They are often beneficial to the player, but that all depends on the whim of the Random Number God: the dwarf may be possessed, in which case he will not receive any experience. They may request some material that isn't available at the site, which results in certain death unless a trader happens to bring said material. And of course, more often than not, the resulting artifact has no practical use. There's an option to turn them off in the config files, and it's a testament to the personality of the playerbase that most people leave them on entirely because they're "dwarfy".
    • Vampires. They are a cool concept, showing off how the game system and proliferate curses and the like and how a vampire can move from settlement to settlement to preserve themselves, and how dwarven justice now involves and investigation and accusation element on the part of the player. All interesting concepts, except the player is almost guaranteed to have a vampire join their fortress at some point, and attempts to prevent them from feeding unobserved (such as shared sleeping space and windows so that passers by might notice) rarely work. There are even instances of vampire's feeding in the middle of a crowded hall without anyone else noticing.
  • The Commodore 64 game The America's Cup, included a game mechanic that was supposed to duplicate the real-life experience of rigging a sailboat. In practice, this meant wiggling the joystick from left and right until your hand was tired. Not only was this annoying, but a very good way of ruining your joystick. Some cynics suggest this might have been why the game came bundled with many C64s sold in the mid 80s.
  • Blazing Angels includes the infamous "Desert reconnaissance" level, which consists of flying around in a sandstorm looking at an all-yellow screen and listening to Morse code beeps to find the enemy. Maybe the idea was to provide a break from just flying around and shooting at things — but if you don't like flying around and shooting at things why are you playing this game?
  • Some of the disasters in SimCity can get this way, but even more so is when "Residents demand a stadium."
    • Traffic congestion. There is no way around it. You can put in boulevards three spaces across everywhere, put in mass transit systems, and you will still have huge traffic issues. The game computes traffic according to how much road there is. They keep releasing SimCity games as if sorting out traffic issues was the most interesting and enjoyable part of the game. Then they make it more complicated by only letting you put in one-way streets and highway onramps with specific conditions.
    • Bridges. In 3000 and SimCity 4 sometimes the game refused to put a bridge in unless the land surrounding the spot was perfect, and the game refused to auto-terraform the land around it, requiring you to micromanage the land around it.
    • Water structure placement in general in SimCity 4. Some, like beaches, have lenient enough parameters that they're not so bad. Others, like marinas, require you to waste thousands on pinpoint terraforming, and even if you somehow get it right a minor glitch may cause the structure to appear submerged.
    • SimTower has a requirement for reaching a 4 star rating: A VIP can randomly show up at any time, and in order for them to approve of your tower, they have to first be able to park in an open VIP parking space in the parking garage, then they had to stay in a clean hotel suite. To keep them cleaned, you have to put in a hotel service room, and the maids will do their job. The problem is: it's IMPOSSIBLE to remove these rooms after they've been placed (even the subway station, which takes up an entire level, can be destroyed and removed.) They serve no other purpose than to clean the rooms. You can increase your hotel's population and revenue far more with other room types you already have access to, rather than sticking with hotel rooms. At least the security guard stations (which also can't be removed) serve a purpose of protecting the tower against bomb attacks, which can destroy sections of multiple floors.
  • The Sims 3 patch around Generations brought back the Memories feature. Unfortunately, these memories were not as simplistic as they were in the previous game, only stating bigger events, but also giving a memory for every small thing, including buying groceries or having cooked a meal, every single time. This was so annoying that the first mods to come out at the time involved removing Memories. An eventual patch was released, giving the players an option to turn off the gaining of Memories completely.
  • Each of the Nintendo DS editions of the Harvest Moon series have had at least one of these:
    • DS and DS Cute had the draconian penalties in friendship points for littering. You couldn't even throw stuff away on your own farm, with no one else around, without incurring a large loss of friendship points across the board. Even with villagers that technically weren't even in town at the time. There's also the frequently recurring animal care touch-screen mini-games that are virtually required to raise your livestock's love points and produce higher quality products in any sort of timely matter. The more animals you possessed, the more of a grind the mini-games became. DS Cute actually eased up on the frequency of the mini-games.
    • Island of Happiness had both the Weather/Crop system (where too much rain or sun could kill crops with no recourse from you) and the cooking system, where every recipe had to be bartered for from the town diner or cafe (or gained from the Harvest Goddess at the bottom of the mine). The experimentation and enhancement aspects of previous games' cooking mechanics were gone. The sequel, Sunshine Islands, retained both mechanics, but eased up on the harshness (there was more leeway in what conditions would kill crops and the diner and cafe were there from the game's start).
    • Grand Bazaar altered the series' tried and true storage system (One unit for tools & seeds, one for food, one for everything else, along with separate bins for building materials and animal feed) for an all-in-one unit that would quickly run short of space — especially if you were storing items to sell at the Bazaar. Also, if two of the same type items (say, gold ore) had a different quality ranking, each ranking got a separate storage slot, eating up the precious storage slots even faster. The game also got rid of the shipping bins, so you have to hold on items to sell them at the bazaar (again, eating up storage slots) or tediously sell them to Raul (usually at a loss for what you'd get for them at the bazaar).
    • The Tale of Two Towns restored the shipping bins and the more experimental cooking system, as well as expanding the all-in-one storage system. But then it went and altered the farm expansion/upgrade system: You could only order one farm expansion and one tool upgrade per month. (In Grand Bazaar, it was once a week, and in earlier games, you could order every available upgrade, one after the other as long as you had the required resources). And the tunnel expansion request would override them, so that you couldn't get any more farm expansion until that particular tunnel expansion was completed. You also couldn't simply jump between the farms to complete the requests two at a time: you can only move at the end of the month and the new requests wouldn't appear until the beginning of the next. Getting 100% upgrades on both farms, plus opening the mines and the mountain hot springs takes at least twelve in-game years.
    • A Wonderful Life had the animal barn. There was only one, and you couldn't buy any more. It had 8 slots for animals. In order to get milk from cows, they had to have given birth, requiring a free barn slot present at pregnancy to put the calf into. This meant you had to sell and rotate animals carefully to ensure you always had something producing something, but typically there'd always be some wasted slots that were either empty (awaiting future calves) or taken up by animals not producing anything (the calves). But the worst part was the goat. It produced milk for one year... and then nothing ever again. And you couldn't sell it. Essentially, you either had to let it waste one of your precious 8 barn slots, or... kill it.
    • Harvest Moon: A New Beginning had certain Seeds being unlocked, depending on how far along in the game you were. Some included a not-mentioned-alternative-way to unlock them earlier, while some lacked it. The worst offender of this mechanic are the infamous Yam Seeds. These seeds are required to be planted and a certain number harvested, in order to fulfill a condition for one of the in-game goals in the Town Restorations. The problem came that Yam Seeds didn't unlock until Autumn Year 2; and most players, who reached the Town Restoration that required them to be planted, did so in Autumn Year 1. This meant that players were stuck waiting for one in-game year for the seeds to unlock, so they could proceed in planting and harvesting them. Fortunately, the game's Multiplayer function allowed players to ask and trade for Yam Seeds early, by-passing this issue.
    • Story of Seasons has various items, recipes, animals and all sorts of other fun stuff unlocked, the further the player was in the game. The last things would unlock by Year 4. Contrary to the previous game, the option of unlocking certain items early - like the more expensive and productive Suffolk Sheep or Jersey Cows by having 3 normal Sheep and Cow births on your farm - was entirely removed. If a player wanted to have these animals, they needed to wait until the later years. The game also altered the Multiplayer function to be region-locked. Players are incapable of trading items with other players from any region that was not their own.
    • Spin off game Rune Factory allows you to cook food items that restore HP and RP (stamina) in addition to temporarily buffing your stats. The problem is that as long as you have a buff from eating, you cannot eat anymore until the buff ends. This makes restoring your RP (which is consumed whenever you attack, and starts draining your HP instead if empty) during battles annoying, as you must focus on dodging attacks for a long time until the buff ends. Fortunately, later games in the series allow you to eat multiple food items in a row, with only the buff from the latest item eaten applying.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon
    • The rather infamous (station) brake failure. Now, ride failures are nothing rare at all in the game, and for almost every case it's usually nothing horrible and if you have a decent number of mechanics, you just let them take care of it and everyone is happy again. Not so much with the brake failures — it happens on the roller coasters and is a failure where the brakes that slow down incoming coaster cars stop functioning. If your cars were coming in at high speeds and you didn't anticipate this failure, your cars are going to crash and kill whoever was in them, and nobody will want to ride your coaster anymore because it's now "unsafe." Even though there are ways around this, it's very frustrating to see a coaster you tested multiple times and were very sure was working blow up out of complete nowhere. Even worse, some of the game's prebuilt coasters were built without this in mind, most famously Agoraphobia. The second game added failproof block brakes at least, but all in all it's very easy to see why this mechanic was axed from the third game altogether.
    • The Artificial Stupidity of the park guests, period. They are too stupid to get through the simplest of mazes, get lost easily and can't even swim. But the stupidity is worst, when it comes to their stay in the park, after they have spent majority/all of their money. They wander around, trying to get into attractions or getting hungry and thirsty, but incapable of doing anything about it, because they have no more money. This causes their happiness to drop until they are so mad that they leave the park in a bad mood, which influences the amount of incoming guests. Fortunately, the money issue was resolved in the second game, by adding in an ATM, where guests can get some more money.
  • In the first Zoo Tycoon game, the excessive amount of time given to complete some scenarios. In some cases, it's so bad you will spend more time waiting for the time to pass than actually doing the stuff required to complete the scenario! Fortunately, you can make the game play in windowed mode so you can leave it running while you do other stuff, but it's still annoying and ridiculous.
  • In Zoo Tycoon 2: The adoption system in Challenge Mode.
  • In the Xbox One and Xbox 360 Zoo Tycoon reboot, the zoo limit. It's ridiculously low. They give you huge maps, and you can't even fill up 40 percent of them.
  • The Animal Crossing games are for the most part, enjoyable, but there are a few things that take away from that enjoyment.
    • In most the games, if you turned the game off without saving, or reset it without saving, a mole named Mr.Resetti will come to remind you to save your game. However, he would do it in the most abrasive manner possible and each time you do it, his rants get longer and longer and he'll make you do all sorts of things before you can resume your game. Mr.Resetti became so despised by Animal Crossing fans that he was made optional in New Leaf.
    • Grass deterioration. When walking on grass enough, it'll wear away to a dirt path. While intended to add character to your town, in City Folk, the grass can wear away so quickly that the town becomes a desert. While the grass can grow back, this takes a very long time to do so. In a game that takes pride in aesthetics, grass deterioration is seen as a hideous addition. Not only does it affect aesthetics, but it also can prevent certain things like snowballs and dung beetles from appearing. It returns in New Leaf, but the grass wears away slower and grows back at a quicker pace.
    • Villagers who move into town are determined at random and they'll set their houses wherever they want. This can be problematic when you aren't expecting a new villager to move in and he or she moves onto a spot where you didn't want, such as the middle of a path, on top of your perfect fruit orchard or somewhere where you wanted to place a public works project. Lord help you if the villager him/herself is one you don't like.
  • In Princess Maker 2 the only reliable way to raise the Conversation skill is by having the daughter work in a Bar. The problem is that the Bar also inflicts a heavy penalty on her Intelligence and by the time Conversation reaches a decent level she'll have lost most of her points.

    Sports Game 
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater:
    • The on-foot mechanics were widely reviled by fans and critics alike for giving players an extremely easy way to avoid bailing. Many will note that the first four games (no on-foot anything) happen to be the best reviewed of the series; games 5 to 9 on the other hand (which all feature the on-foot mechanics) have gotten middling to poor reviews.
    • On foot was made worse for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, with the addition of Parkour. In theory a good idea, in practice a bailproof way to add another 500 points and at least another three numbers to your multiplier.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground allows you to drive cars. These vehicles had all the handling of a pinball in a table made of ice. Aside from the goals, use of them is redundant, as they reset back where they started in a level when you're done, meaning you can't even create a new combo line with them.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground 2 then gave us more vehicles—not cars, vehicles you can do tricks with, such as a motorized skateboard, a tricycle, a go-kart, and a bucking bull on wheels. They all had about four tricks, and most of them were so very anti-intuitive to use due to not being able to stop. The last three examples were implemented so poorly they were removed from the sequels.
    • Tony Hawk's Project 8 then gave us Nail the Trick, where the analogue sticks control your feet. It was an entirely alien control scheme that stuck around into Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, where it's only useful for the specific goals, and is otherwise unusable in a regular combo.
    • Grinding in the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was incredibly difficult due to the hypersensitive controls that required you to mash left and right on the d-pad to balance yourself. It was quite a feat to be able to grind for more than a couple of seconds without falling on your ass.
    • Lip tricks are by far the worst type of tricks on the first era of Tony Hawk's game (and the HD remake). They give little points, only works when you're straight as an arrow, and can ruin combos when they're accidentally performed. Until THPS3, it also had no way to balance it out and the skater would always bail if you kept holding for more than 4 seconds. It's less terrible in the modern games, but there's still some problems. For example, there's a goal on American Wasteland when you have to lip trick through an entire rotation of Santa Monica's Giant Wheel (thankfully only on Sick difficulty).
  • NCAA Football has a despised system for making phone calls to recruits which basically spins a roulette wheel of topics, allowing you the option of pitching your school's merits on that topic or discrediting your rivals on that topic. It's obnoxious enough that you, the head coach, can't choose to pitch whatever you want. This can lead to the bizarre result that the coach of Stanford might never get to sell his school's academics or the coach of Miami can never sell the school's gorgeous campus. However the roulette wheel sometimes stops on topics that you know the player doesn't care about leaving you forced to try and pitch him anyway. This has been removed for NCAA 13.
  • NHL Hockey has the goaltender controls which tend to not allow the free range of motion necessary to replicate real life goalie positioning. The worst offender being the hug post command which can frequently make you hug the wrong post and get stuck to it until you release the trigger, which will give the opposing player plenty of time to score on a wide open net.
  • Besides the play mentioned above, Madden NFL has had a few:
    • The mobile version of Madden 12 has a mechanic that makes an open receiver on a go route virtually impossible to tackle if you're playing man coverage. It can be especially annoying if your opponent keeps throwing 80 touchdown passes.
    • Madden 06 had the infamous "QB cone". Basically, your quarterback had a vision cone extending outwards from their bodies, and they could only throw accurately to receivers in that cone. The size of the cone was determined by the QB's awareness stat: top-tier quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady had huge cones, whereas backups had tiny slivers. It was frustrating to use and in some ways counterproductive, since a smaller vision cone could be used to fake defenders off of a receiver you actually wanted to pass to. The feature was gone by Madden 08.
    • The QB cone made the game damn near unplayable on the PC version. Previous installments had the player aim with the mouse and throw by left clicking while using standard WSAD keys (and those directly around them) for moving the QB. However, once the vision cone was implemented, you still aimed with the mouse but needed to press a separate key on the keyboard in order to actually throw the pass to that receiver. Trying to do that while moving your QB away from pressure seemingly required a 3rd hand. It's little wonder that the PC version of the game stopped being made shortly thereafter...
  • ESPN MLB 2K5 had a gimmick mechanic called Slam Zone; if a pitcher screwed up badly in delivering a pitch or a batter guessed location and pitch correctly, the game would break into a mini-game in which the pitcher and batter tapped the buttons as fast as possible, while the pitch was zoomed in on in slow motion. If the batter won the duel, he would uncork a home run. Not only did it break the immersive TV-like presentation, but was also very much un-sim for a baseball simulation. It wasn't brought back after the one-year experiment.
  • NBA 2K14: The game giving you a technical foul for swearing when your X-Box One's Kinect or your Playstation 4's Camera recognizes the word or words said. That's when it recognizes the word or words said, it can be a little spotty about it. This means that the game gives a free throw to the opponent for the player swearing in the comfort of their own home. Thankfully, it can be turned off by disabling voice commands. Youtube user randomfrankp does not take it well.
    The Kinect or Eyetoy can be used in 2K15 to scan your face. At least it would, except it does not work period, full stop, that's it, finish, the end. You are supposed to have plenty of lighting but this causes the scan to go haywire, being too far away results in a poor scan, moving closer has it lose track, on the off chance the scan goes well the game will apparently decide it's not fair for everyone else struggling and say it cannot be used, if you do get to where the scan uploads the game will Rage Quit and crash, ect, ect, in short it's much easier to use the in game sliders and build a face from scratch than use the camera scan.

    Survival Horror 
  • Mostly at the beginning of Resident Evil 6 (But still found throughout) the game will decide to disable certain actions of your character. For example, during a tense scene you'll lose the ability to open your inventory or make your character run, instead forcing you to walk ever so slowly across the wide sprawling room.
    • The "Health Tablets" as well. When you pick up a herb you can't just use it, you have to convert it into a health tablet first then use a separate button to eat the tablet and restore health. Figuring this out is a major Guide Dang It for a lot of players, and many players never figure out how to use the First Aid sprays at all.
    • Having to move around as a squad for the first few chapters of Chris' campaign amounts to one massive scrappy mechanic due to some very poorly coded AI. Your squad tends to just sort of clump around you most of the time and not only can you not push them out of the way at all, but they can push you around just by walking into you. Be prepared to take lots of otherwise easily avoidable hits from enemies thanks to a squad member awkwardly standing beside you.
  • Towards the latter half of Fatal Frame 3, a door is opened that releases miasma into the rest of the house. In order to dispel it (and be able to see things more clearly), you must light purifying candles. So now, you not only have to worry about random ghost encounters while you're running around this mansion of horrors and trying to progress the storyline, but you've also got to keep an eye on your candle level, because once that candle runs out, the entire setting will change to a grainy black-and-white and Reika Kuze will show up to relentlessly chase you down until you find another candle and top up your light. Those candles are: a) rare (there are only three or four of them in the game, though they respawn during each new Night), b) spread out from each other, and c) finish very quickly. Oh, and that house you're wandering around in? Is enormous (easily the largest of any single one of the Fatal Frame houses) and very easy to get lost in.
  • The item system in Parasite Eve 2. Parasite Eve 2 made it where only items attached to your armor is what you can access during a battle. So if you attached 4 healing items, used them all up in a fight and need to get more, you're out of luck. Attaching items to your armor didn't free up any space in your main inventory.
    • Compounding this is two problems. One, you're going to stumble across a lot of healing items, which take some stress off of your magic, but space is again limited; and Two, if you find the rare Medical Wheel item (or any of the four special items for that matter), they'll take up slots on your armor as well, significantly reducing how much you're going to carry unless you really don't mind running back and forth to item boxes repeatedly.
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room has the apartment hauntings. For the first half of the game the apartment is a safe zone where your health replenishes. Roughly halfway through the game the fan stops working which somehow not only negates the healing factor (meaning your only means of replenishing health are curative items), but ghosts begin invading the apartment which can block access to your item box and sap your health. The only way to rid yourself of them are the medallions and candles, which are not only limited in number but also given to you much earlier on as a means to defend yourself against the otherwise invincible victim ghosts that attack you in the otherworld. Keep in mind the game never tells you you'll need these items for your apartment, and you can render the game Unwinnable by Design if you use them too readily.
  • Silent Hill: Downpour has several moments where you nearly fall to your death and lose all your items. All your items. Yes this includes the guns you got from the green lockers and from doing That One Sidequest, your ammo, and even your flashlight. You even lose the first-aid kits you were saving for that upcoming Void chase.
  • The map system in Siren, since it doesn't show you where you or your follower are on it. Instead you have to match landmarks on the map (which are named), to your surroundings to locate yourself. Adding to the frustration of this is that every level is either dark or foggy, that the game borders on being a Stealth-Based Game where you can die in only a couple of hits, and that most levels are Escort Missions, meaning not only is getting your bearings difficult but also puts you and your very stupid AI partner in constant danger.

    Third Person Shooters 
  • Gears of War has had a few in each game, typically remedied in the following title.
    • The first had general Artificial Stupidity on the part of AI squadmates, the inability to move while downed (meaning that your teammates had to rush into whatever location was dangerous enough for you to be downed in the first place), and the fact that going down while playing solo meant instant death. Thankfully remedied in the sequel, which improved the AI pathing and gave them the ability to revive other squadmates, including you. However, it had its own set of problems, not the least of which being...
    • ...Shotgun charges, which became an epidemic in multiplayer due to the weapon's absurd reach. A "stopping power" mechanic was added that meant the game would resist the attempt to run straight into enemy fire, but it did little to weaken the sheer destructiveness of the Gnasher. Gears of War 3, thankfully, buffed the standard rifles so they did more damage.
    • In both games, co-op campaign had several portions where Dom and Marcus separated, meaning that if either dropped, there was no one to revive him and it was a game over. This was fixed in the third installment by the introduction of Arcade Mode, where dead players respawn after 25 seconds as long as at l
  • Splatoon.
    • The Splatfest Tee is considered by many to be a source of unnecessary grinding. You are given the shirt up to 1 week beforehand, but it is a three-star shirt with three empty slots—so it takes the most experience to max out—and you are expected to level it up from scratch. Granted, the extra abilities are weaker and affected by Diminishing Returns, but if you wanna be in top form in Splatfest, or even in Ranked Battle, which is the fastest way to level up the shirt (...if you win), then you might want the extra skills. Also, you are forced to use it in Splatfest, and you might not appreciate the Special Saver ability over the other abilities on your other clothes. And finally, the shirt is taken away at the end of Splatfest, making all the effort seem wasted.
    • Splatfests region and team-locking you for the duration, meaning that the matchmaking pool is much smaller, and it can't shuffle teams if there is a significant imbalance.
    • Getting disconnected counts as a loss. Meaning you could be winning and suddenly, because of an unstable connection, lose the match and lose the rank you just acquired. It's supposed to discourage people from Rage Quitting, but the game can't tell if someone intentionally disconnected, or just suffered a bad connection.
    • Matchmaking in Squad Battles is set up in such a way that if you have even a single S-rank player on your squad, you'll regularly be put up against squads that are all S-ranks, even if your own team has only one S-rank player and the rest are B or C rank.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine multiplayer disables the text chat when one is dead and waiting for respawn. This despite the game being one of fast-paced action, when those moments are the only ones when you have, you know, time to type anything.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising is generally considered a solid multi-player game, but some features are considered these to different parts of the player base, while others are fine with it due to the fact that it simply makes the game different from other shooting games.
    • An example would be the fact that unlike other shooters, the shots you fire aren't instant and actually travel through the air, and home in on the opponent. Some weapons have more homing than others, and you can use powers to make the shots invisible and pass through walls.
    • Others hate the weapon value system, forcing people to spend hours fusing weapons to do exactly what they want and nothing more, lest their weapon becomes more valuable and makes them a greater burden to their team when they lose. Others feel that the game is based much more on skill so a person with a higher value weapon is fine as long as they have the skill to match.
    • The game just isn't designed for left-handed players. You can map the four face buttons to movement, but this causes problems as the game differentiates between "flick" directional movements and slower tilt movements. You can use a Circle Pad Pro or a New Nintendo 3DS so that you have a Circle Pad on the right, but the former is an additional $20 investment and the latter's right pad isn't as precise as the left pad.

    Web Tournaments 
  • The SaiMoe tournament has not one but two Scrappy Mechanics, and they make each other more Scrappy to boot. To sum it up:
    • First, the seeding is completely random. So you can end with 3 very popular girls in the first match while an entire divison may be full of jobbers and C-List Fodder. Or worse, a division with Jobbers, C List Fodder and some popular girl, who then gets a free pass to quarters. The thing, there's a nomination process and a classification round before the final bracket, so they could use proper seeding if they wanted to.
    • Second and worse, it's the rule to determine if a series is eligible to enter the contest or not. To summarize, at least 50% of your running time must have been between last year's July and the current year's June. In theory, it's to avoid having the same girls every year. However, in practice means girls from Twelve-Episode Anime with closed endings get only one shot, while Long Runners with several seasons or seasons placed in the middle of the year can get many, many chances (Hayate the Combat Butler and Higurashi: When They Cry in particular have been in FOUR years in a row), making the rule worthless. Worse, with the Random rule from above, the girls from said 12 ep anime might end paired off against a bunch of strong girls and lose in the first or second round, while the one who has been doing well for 2-3 years already gets some easy fights and lands on the final rounds again. Of course, this could be avoided by simply not letting girls who got to the Top 8 or have been in for 2 years in a row enter the next year, just for the sake of having some variety. But that would be too hard.
      • However, characters from Long Runners or shows with multiple seasons tend to fare worse than newcomers. Characters whose popularity doesn't significatly degrade with each year are rare, and the number of series they originate from is in the single digits.

     Game Shows 
  • The Price Is Right has "$X+1" and "$1" bids, where you bet $1 (hence the name) or $1 over another bid. If you're not last, Laser-Guided Karma would dictate that the next person bid $X+2 or $2.