So you're playing an {{RPG}}. You've just leveled up, and you think to yourself, "Hey! Now I can use the Super Ultra Mega Death [[AwesomeButImpractical Not Actually Useful]] Sword Spin Attack!" But when you look at the newly-leveled character's skill set, you find the move is still locked. All right, it seems that you're not at the right level yet. So you fight a battle or two, then a message pops up that you've unlocked a new skill. "But wait," you might think, "I didn't level up, so how could I have unlocked the skill?"

Well, my friend, you didn't need ExperiencePoints to unlock that skill, you needed '''Tech Points'''. Tech Points are similar to Experience Points, but instead of pushing your character towards the overall boost of a level-up, they contribute only to specialized skills.

In some cases, you may have to spend the Tech Points to level up a skill, to make it more powerful, cost less Mana, recharge faster, etc.

See also PointBuildSystem.

* In ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}: [[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company 2]]'' and ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 3}}'', there are standard ExperiencePoints which goes to increasing your level which gives you weapons and specializations all classes can use. Every class and vehicles in general have their own separate TechPoints bar needed to unlock new gadgets, specializations and weapons for to be used for that class of TechPoints.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games with the Create-a-Class system do similar: experience points go towards increasing rank and unlocking weapons, perks, and whatnot. The weapons and perks themselves have their own points systems that go towards unlocking more attachments or upgrading a perk to its Pro version (except in ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'', which instead has the player spend [=CODPoints=] gained alongside the normal experience points to unlock attachments).
* The first two ''VideoGame/BioShock'' games have ADAM, the [[AppliedPhlebotinum sea slug extract]] Rapture revolves around. Its main use to the player is as currency to buy new plasmids, tonics and health/EVE upgrades.
* ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}} 2'' has separate bars for the main level and the three Nanosuit modes, with their own unlocks.

* This is a common MMORPG mechanic, with skills arranged in 'trees' and the player allocating points.
* ''VideoGame/BillyVsSNAKEMAN'' has Jutsu XP, which are primarily used to learn jutsu techniques. [=BvS=] also has ZP in the Zombja side area, to learn Z-Skills; and MJXP in the Mahjong minigame to learn new ways to cheat the NPC opponents.
* In ''VideoGame/LostSoulsMUD'', skill advancement is determined by experience gained with that skill through practice and training.
* ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'' has both normal XP (which, on level up, gives you alternately a Power or Skill point) and Feat Points, which award a free Skill point every 100 you get. While levels are capped normally, Feats Points are only limited by how many of the (non-repeatable) Feats you can achieve.
* ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' separates experience into 'Base' and 'Job' experience and monsters will give both separately. Job experience governs the skills while base experience governs stats of the character. Also while quests often give base experience virtually none of them give job experience making it a bit harder to acquire.

* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'', you need both "skill slots" (gained through Experience Points) and a certain number of successful uses of the item/spell in question to advance a skill.

* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' is the TropeNamer. In this case, while characters outside your party would get XP, they wouldn't get Tech Points.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' has the spend tech points to level up version. In fact, it separates them into Experience, Skill Points (for passive skills), Ether Points (for magic), and Tech Points.
** ''[=XS2=]'' had an annoying variation where you needed both Skill Points AND Class Points to unlock new skills.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' has a nested Tech Point system of sorts: Gaining levels unlocks each of the characters' Additions (timed-button-press attack sequences) except the final one, which must be earned by mastering all of the character's previous skills. Meanwhile, extending the duration of Dragoon transformations is linked not to ''this'' process, but rather to the amount of [[ChargeMeter Spirit Points]] generated with each attack (or special equipment, or used items, and so on). Additions are generally split between "high damage yield" and "high SP yield," except for characters who flounder with both because [[MagikarpPower their Level 5 Dragoon Magic is so insanely powerful]].
* The ''VideoGame/XMenLegends'' games and ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance'' use the 'Distribute points at level-up' variant for skills (''Legends'' also does it for stats). It can be quite intimidating trying to distribute points for characters you haven't used in a long time. ''Ultimate Alliance'' also allows you to redistribute skill points at will.
** ''MUA'' doesn't give them out at every level, but has a few that can be accessed without needing to level up (such as mastering someone's training CD mission, or putting Iron Man in your team and activating the console in his lab).
* Appears in many ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games with a job system. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' gave each job a fixed progression of abilities that are learned with AP. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' let the player decide which abilities to learn for each job.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' had class levels and character levels separate.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' has License Points that make more spells and gear usable, which all characters receive from battle (only active characters receive XP).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' has Ability Points (ABP) that unlock skills particular to that job class, including the skill that's already permanently equipped[[note]]except for a Monk's Kick, for some reason[[/note]]. Once a skill is unlocked, it can be equipped to ''any'' job.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' gives you magic based on which [[GreenRocks Magicite]] a character has, but as they also affected stat growth, it was best to level up as little as possible while gaining AP.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' allows you to "level up" your [[PowersAsPrograms Materia]]; when a materia gets to max level, it spawns a duplicate so you can share it out around your party. This takes a [[LevelGrinding long damn time]], though. Also, a few materia do not level up, and so will never copy themselves.
*** The only ones are Underwater (useless for the most part), Enemy Skill (you get more than you can use at a time anyway), and the Master materias (which, after a '''ton''' of LevelGrinding, can be obtained in bulk by trading mastered materia of the corresponding type, and those materia ''do'' replicate.)
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' had a minor version; your [[SummonMagic Guardian Forces]] gained AP after every battle and would gain new skills for it. [[GuideDangIt If you know what you're doing]], this can give you the ability to [[GameBreaker destroy the game's difficulty curve]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' combines Job Points with a PointBuildSystem; the sequels changed things so that you only earn AP after a battle and the techniques are learned from your equipment when in a certain character class.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' use Tech Points ''in place of'' ExperiencePoints; they're used for increasing stats in addition to learning new abilities in both games, while your characters don't have true "levels" in either.
*** The literal "tech points" in XIII function more like {{Mana}} for powerful spells (where as regular magic doesn't cost any)
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' lets you select a specific ability to gain, each of which has its own Ability Points requirement. You get one point for using any technique (that's not Attack or Item) in battle. Gaining new abilities unlocks more abilities for you to learn as well (for example, a Songstress cannot learn Sleepy Shuffle until she's learned Samba of Silence).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' deployed perhaps the most complicated twist of any of them. Each character has various passive skills that can only be equipped permanently once mastered via TP accrual. Of course, once learned, they still have to ''be'' equipped, using a third set of points that provides a {{Cap}} on the number of skills you can use at one time. ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' used a similar system; in ''IX'', you gained new skills by wearing new equipment (providing, of all things, an ''incentive'' for LevelGrinding), but in ''D:FF'' you pick them up naturally via level progression and they cost more "inventory points" to deploy when non-mastered.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' uses a similar skill learning system, but instead of using an additional pool of points to equip them, they are tied to a specific grouping of skills (such as Fighter Tech or Black Magic), two of which can be assigned to any character.
* Appears in the ''Franchise/{{Grandia}}'' series, with separate experience for character levels, magic, and skills.
* Shows up in DS RPG ''{{Nostalgia}}'', which had a sphere-grid like system.
* The two ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' games have Atma Points, which are used to unlock skills.
* Link points accumulated by your dream eater allies in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'', which are used to unlock new commands and abilities on their link grids.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' has this in that you get 'PP' pin points to level up your pins to get higher attack power, and sometimes they evolve into better more powerful pins.
** There are three different types of Pin Points, depending on how the tech points were obtained (that is, battling, having the DS closed, or using Mingle/playing Tin Pin) and they do affect how the pins evolve.
* Using a type of gun in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' (SMG, Shotgun, Pistol etc.) gives you points towards proficiency with that gun type. When you gain a proficiency level, it boosts either reload time, accuracy or power for all guns of that type, as opposed to the generic level which lets you choose new skills.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Throughout much of the series, you gain skill points toward increasing your skills by successfully using them. (For example, if you sneak around a lot, your Sneak skill will increase. Cast Destruction class spells and your Destruction skill will increase. Hit things with a sword and your Blade/Long Blade/One-Handed skill will increase. Etc.) After 10 increases of your major/minor skills (set during character creation at the beginning of the game), you will gain a CharacterLevel. This allows you to increase a few of your Attributes (Strength, Intelligence, etc.), with multipliers based on the Attributes which govern the skills you leveled up. (For example, if you increased your Heavy Armor skill 5 times, you'll have a 5x multiplier for the Endurance skill which governs it.) Unfortunately, if you aren't careful to max out your multipliers and level inefficiently, you may end up experiencing EmptyLevels (which, in games with extreme LevelScaling like ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', can be ''deadly'').
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' makes some radical changes to the series' standard system for the first time. Leveling up by increasing skills remains the same, however, Attributes are removed. Instead, when you level up, you choose to give a 10 point increase to your Health, Magicka, or Fatigue. Further, ''Skyrim'' borrows the idea of "Perks" from its {{Creator/Bethesda}} sister series, VideoGame/{{Fallout}}. For every level, you may choose one Perk in any of the skill trees which will further increase your proficiency in that skill. The higher your skill score in that skill tree, the more perks you have access to select.
* In ''Deadly Sin 2'', you gain one Skill Point each time you level up, but you also gain them by using Magic Node Shards and completing quests.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', and the two ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters: Joker'' games have "skill points", which are earned every few levels and can be spent on a variety of skill categories, with skills unlocking at certain thresholds of skill point expenditures.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' implements the PointBuildSystem of its [[TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade tabletop source material]] by rewarding the player with character points for quests and miscellaneous objectives instead of XP. These points can then be spent to learn or level up the PC's skills and attributes.

* ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'''s skill system works this way, with the possibility of nigh-infinitely leveling up individual skills.
* Some ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' titles (including the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' titles that are the only ones to be released outside Japan) have a Pilot Point system where shooting down enemies earns PP that can be spent on skills and improved performance in various terrains.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemHeroes'': Characters obtain new weapons and learn new skills by spending Skill Points. Each character has their own SP, which is increased by defeating enemies, leveling up, merging with duplicates, or for healers, healing allies.