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Dump Stat

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Who needs Charisma for smashing orcs?

A Dump Stat is a phenomenon that occurs in games which involve multiple attributes for your characters and allow you to customize those attributes in some fashion. This is the stat that you put your lowest score in, or else don't spend any points on at all.

This can occur for multiple reasons:

  • The stat is an ill-defined "flavor" stat that doesn't help your character survive the frozen wasteland or kill the evil troll king. After all, how much sense does it make to pump your Orc barbarian's hairdressing skill? note 
  • The effect of the stat is overshadowed by, or even made redundant by, the effects of a different stat. If the only purpose of wisdom is to affect your defense, and dexterity affects your defense while also improving your accuracy, why waste points on the less efficient stat? (Even having wisdom exert a greater influence on your defense than dexterity can't always alleviate this.)
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  • The stat affects absolutely useless aspects of the game. Why put points in stun resistance when a character with the minimum stun resistance never noticeably gets stunned anyway?
  • The stat would be useful if it wasn't nerfed into oblivion at some point in the testing process. Luck increases your chance to instantly kill weaker enemies! ... by .01% per point, and it maxes out at 10. Pass.
  • The stat is glitched so it doesn't do what it's supposed to. Final Fantasy VI's Physical Evasion or Final Fantasy VII's Armor Magic Defense are two notorious examples.
  • The stat actually is useful, but made redundant by other party members who are potentially more capable with it. Therefore, it's illogical for your character to waste resources in this area. Why bother teaching your Knight Lock-Picking for Dummies when you have a master thief working for you? Or when your Wizard has a spell to automatically pick locks?
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  • The particular game requires you to have a dump stat, either implicitly (e.g., a game where a score of 2 in a stat is "average" and you have 3 stats but only 5 points to buy them with) or explicitly (e.g., the same game, but instead of having points to spend, you are simply told to assign one stat a value of 1, one a value of 2, and one a value of 3).
  • The stat is useful in theory, but in practice its applications don't come up often. If the DM prefers to resolve social interactions based on how well the players can talk it out instead of dice rolls based on modified by character stats, there's very little initiative for them to invest points in charisma and social skills. Conversely, a game where social skills are paramount and fights happen rarely might leave the stuff meant for physical combat collecting dust.
  • The stat does have its uses, but it's possible to get by without it even if you plan on using it - for instance, Strength might boost your damage with melee weapons, but it's still possible to max out your melee damage if you haven't put any points in it.
  • The stat can be patched up even if you don't put many points into it to start with. If there's a sidequest or a common buff that gives you a +5 to the stat and the maximum is 10, then there's no real need in putting a 6 or more in it even if you are a character that uses it.
  • The stat only provides any benefits past a certain level of investment. If a Luck of 6 or higher boosts your crit chance, then anything below 6 might as well be a 1.
  • It's just a stat you don't need for this character or playthrough. If Min-Maxing is involved, playing twice with different styles will pay better than playing it with average in all stats, so one has to be sacrificed.

Sometimes, this is deliberate; the game has a class system or a limited number points to put into your character, forcing a degree of specialization. In this case, the dump stat isn't necessarily a bad stat, but is overshadowed by more suitable ones for a particular build. A warrior wielding a greataxe may find little use in a Dexterity stat, but an archer will rely on it.

Sometimes this is due to poor game design. Ideally, all of your customization options should have some use beyond "flavor". Another common cause is that a game system is designed to handle multiple facets of gameplay, but the game itself only encompasses a few of those facets. If your party ever went into town to barter instead of trawling the depths of this dark dungeon, maybe your Barter stat would see some use.

Another common reason for this is that a game engine has been copied over from a tabletop game to a digital game verbatim. In games where Charisma only affects conversations, it's really damn hard to make it translate well when your interaction with NPCs is suddenly governed by cold, unfeeling dialogue trees instead of a reactive and creative game master.

Another common cause of dump stats is tweaks to the game system during testing. Initially, maybe Diplomacy was wicked awesome; however, it let a savvy player win the game in ten minutes without lifting a finger. Unfortunately, when they scaled the skill back enough to prevent that contingency, they also scaled back the completely reasonable uses of the skill to the point where it's not worth using in any situation. This occurs frequently in game testing because some powers don't scale well; putting a few points into the skill works as intended, but putting all of your points into the skill breaks the game. Diminishing returns are really hard to balance and, honestly, how many bored players are going to choose to go through your high-octane first person shooter with maximized Basket Weaving anyway?

Not to be confused with "the stat you dump all your points into": that's One Stat to Rule Them All (also often referred to as the God Stat).

Depending on the game system, Useless Useful Non-Combat Abilities can fit under this trope as well, if you're expected to distribute points among various character skills which aren't all equally useful.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Near the end of B-Daman Fireblast/season 2 of B-Daman Crossfire, Kamon and Riki receive Ultimate upgrades of Drive Garuburn and Rising Dracyan. While Kamon's Garuburn's stats and abilities make them a Master of All, Ultimate Rising Dracyan's specialty is attack, and only attack. This becomes a problem for Riki when he has to face Bakuga in the semi finals of the Phoenix Grand Prix.
  • In Beyblade Burst, Xander's bey, Xeno Xcalius's design maximizes attack by specializing in One Hit Kills, but has critically low stamina.
  • The Good Point Choice Board in Doraemon can control the IQ, strength, and look of anyone assigned by the user, however as one stat is heightened, the other two will drop. Nobita at first uses this on himself, sacrificing his strength and IQ for a better look. But after he accidentally enrages Gian, Nobita realizes he's now too clumsy to run away from him, so he first lowers Gian's strength then pushes his own strength to the maximum regardless of how low his IQ and look will become. This makes Gian suddenly become handsome and Nobita successfully beats the crap out of him with no effort, but then Nobita becomes so ugly that Doraemon cannot recognize him at all, while Nobita's IQ becomes so low that he cannot recognize Doraemon either.

    Fan Fiction 
  • For quite some time in Game and Bleach, Ichigo put no points into Charisma and only a few points into Luck, seeing them both as fairly pointless. It's only when he finds himself with hundreds of allocated stat points that he bothers to raise either of them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 7th Sea specifically sought to avoid this by making sure every single stat had some sort of critical effect on combat: Brawn affected your damage rolls (both ability to withstand Flesh Wounds and how much you caused when you hit), Finesse affected your chance to hit in the first place, Wits determined how hard it was to hit you, Resolve how many Dramatic Wounds you could take before being taken out, and Panache how many actions you got to make per turn. The game's 2nd edition is seen by many to have taken this even further, as the new, narrative system means there's now essentially no mechanical difference whatsoever between the stats — every stat can be used to perform any action or paired with every skill, so much as the system is concerned. The only caveat is that you get increasing penalties each time per scene you use the same one, so people can't just apply their strongest stat to everything. One should note, for many, rather than solving the problem of Dump Stats, the decision to make all stats equally important in the first edition rather hurt the game's atmosphere, since it's supposed to be about larger-than-life swashbuckling heroes, yet the rule incentivized creating characters with rather unimpressive, "solid all around" stat arrays rather than anything cool, because dumping even one would've been too disadvantageous.
  • Appearance (APP) in Call of Cthulhu can end up being this depending on the GM's play style, especially in the 1st through 6th Editions of the game. It's just not all that necessary for anything meaningful from a mechanical standpoint, except perhaps bonuses or penalties to Interpersonal Skill checks. The 7th Edition rules rectify this by using APP as a measure of both appearance and personal charisma, as well as by making certain career choices depend on APP for the character's Personal Interest skill points. Even then, it's still a dump stat for the majority of players in the majority of games, because Yog-Sothoth really doesn't care how good you are at holding a conversation with it.
  • "Comeliness" in Champions does little to nothing with the base rules (its effect on social skills is a recommended houserule), and actually gives bonuses to Presence Attacks if it's low enough. Since it's also the cheapest stat in the game (1/2 point per increase), most people either sell it back to get an extra skill, or buy it up when they can't think of anything else during character creation.
    • In Sixth Edition Hero System (which is based on Champions), the Comeliness stat has been dropped — if you want looks that have an in-game effect, you buy Striking Appearance. If you don't care if your looks have any in-game effect, you can define them however you want.
    • Also in Sixth Edition, the OMCV stat (Offensive Mental Combat Value) has essentially no use whatsoever for non-mentalist characters. They still get it at its starting value of 3 for free, though, which can mean some easy free points by the simple expedient of buying it back...
  • Every build in Dungeons & Dragons has at least one Dump Stat. One of the keys to good Min-Maxing is to identify your dump stats — what don't you need/want to care about? The D&D 3.5 community developed the term MAD (Multiple ability Dependency) as a criticism of classes that couldn't effectively dump several stats, and had to spread their resources too thin to be effective at anything — a classic case of Master of None. Some notable cases of and references to Dump Stats are listed below,
    • Strength for most Arcane casters. At lower levels, anything not worth using a spell on isn't worth the damage bonuses that Strength provides to physical attacks, while at higher levels, using Polymorph to turn into a creature with high Strength is the best option if you can't use your offensive spells. The only disadvantage comes from the encumbrance rules, but spells, magic items, and pack animals provide easy ways around a low carrying capacity. Beyond that, in 3.5, if you have a good Dexterity score and a 'light weapon', you can take a feat to use your Dex modifier instead of your Strength modifier for attack rolls.
    • The one golden rule for any successful build is to never ever dump Constitution. Ever. You don't need it sky high, but you should never under any circumstances give it a value below 10, even if you are a purely ranged combatant. Better aim for a 12-13, a bit more for melees if you can spare the points. But dumping Constitution is the fastest way to ensure an early grave for your character, as Constitution determines how many Hit Points you have, which you need to stay alive.
    • Charisma
      • In 3rd Edition and 3.5, Charisma was the only ability score that did not improve a secondary statistic or saving throw (such as Strength improving your melee accuracy, or Intelligence giving you more skill points per level). This makes Charisma mechanically of less use unless you have a spellcasting or class ability whose effectiveness is tied to it. The only real universal use for Charisma is for social skills, but since the Diplomacy rules in 3.5 are so ill-defined and dependant on your DM's interpretation (what exactly is the difference between "Friendly" and "Helpful"? Is your campaign entirely dungeon-crawling or do social challenges play an important role?), it can swing between a complete Dump Stat and the One Stat to Rule Them All.
      • In earlier editions, Charisma was needed to hire and keep the henchmen that were helpful for survival at lower levels — not much use after that except improving NPC relations. Usually the party needs only one charismatic negotiator. Forgotten Realms paid attention to non-hack and slash play, so there's a classic character (AD&D 1 campaign set and Gold and Glory) apparently existing just to give a decisive answer on two questions: "who needs topped out Charisma?" and "What Kind Of Lame Power Is Mindlink Anyway?". Not many adventurers get one treant, mimic, or beholder hireling...
    • 4th Edition avoids having a universal Dump Stat. The three defenses (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will) are each based on the higher of two stats; Str/Con, Dex/Int, and Wis/Cha, respectively, so every stat has some intrinsic value while still allowing for each build to have its own Dump Stats. Some stats still consistently show up as Dump Stats for builds not based around them:
      • Strength. The builds that can take advantage of a good Strength bonus (pretty much any melee class that isn't based on one of the other attributes) generally need it, leaving the survivability-boosting Constitution a better choice for those that don't.
      • Intelligence. Dexterity grants an initiative bonus and Dex-based skills are necessary for survival in a dungeon, while Arcana is the only major skill that gets bonuses from Intelligence, making Dex a much better choice for classes not based on Int. (Note that Int and Dex both apply to AC, whichever is higher, but if you're wearing heavy armor, neither apply. Sometimes you can dump both if you don't mind a low Reflex defense or are using a shield, since shields also boost your reflex defense.)
      • Charisma and Wisdom. Aside from the bonus to Will defense and class-specific abilities, these stats are mainly useful for skills that someone in the party needs to have, but not everyone. As such, builds that aren't based around Cha or Wis can afford to dump one of them. If the class you've chosen needs neither, it's usually a better choice to dump Charisma, as the important Perception skill keys off Wisdom.
      • Each individual character is bound to have at least two Dump Stats. Since the rules allow for all of your useful abilities to be powered by One Stat to Rule Them All, pretty much everything else becomes one of these (except Con, because everyone needs hit points).
      • Most 4th edition characters need two good stats to work properly. Their main stat, which covers attack and damage rolls, and a secondary one depending on their powers (like Rangers and Paladins needing at least a little bit of Wisdom, and the Fighter either Wis, Dex, or Con depending on the weapon for secondary effects). Anything else can be dropped in case of extremely bad dice rolls.
    • 5th Edition attempts to avert this by changing the way skills are conceptualised, giving every ability score its own skill modifier and saving throw. A variant rule in the Player's Handbook even encourages players to use their skill proficiency on non-standard ability scores, such as a Dexterity-based Performance check for an acrobatic display. Some ability scores are far more likely to come into play than others, such as Intelligence. With skill points replaced with a flat proficiency bonus, Intelligence no longer influences any skills by default except Investigation and knowledge skills. Only the Wizard and two specific subclasses get any use out of Intelligence beyond those 5 skills.
  • R. Talsorian's Mekton and Cyberpunk games effectively made every stat except Reflexes (and possibly Body) a Dump Stat. The Reflexes stat was the One Stat to Rule Them All: all-important to every aspect of combat and if your character did happen to get hit, Body determined how hurt he was. Several of the others — Empathy, Cool, and Technical Ability — were worthless. The most egregious of these was Attractiveness, which has no use at all. House-rules can save other stats — something so simple as a "Luck Save" will convince Player Characters not to skimp on anything. Except Attractiveness.
    • Cyberpunk 2020 also has two dump skills. The Brawling skill is added to a character's Reflex score when they make an unarmed attack. The Dodge & Escape skill is added to a character's Reflex when they try to avoid an attack or escape when grabbed. But the Martial Arts skill is added to a characters Reflex score when making an unarmed attack and when avoiding an attack or escaping when grabbed, and is added to the damage of unarmed attacks, and gives the character an additional bonus with "key" attacks (e.g., kicking for Muay Thai, throws for Judo, holds for Wrestling). This was supposed to be offset by the fact that each Martial Art had a difficulty factor, by which you multiplied the cost to improve the skill during play ... but some Martial Arts (like Wrestling and Boxing) have difficulty factors of 1. This makes Dodge & Escape useless unless your Game Master doesn't let you use Martial Arts for dodging non-melee attacks, and makes Brawling completely useless for anything other than role-playing a character who had no formal combat training.
    • Empathy was actually ridiculously useful in Cyberpunk, as it determined your starting Humanity score, which determined how many cybernetic enhancements you could cram in your body before flipping out and killing everyone. This had the ironic effect of guaranteeing that anyone who wanted to end up as a weapons platform with (most of) a human brain somewhere inside it had to start out as one of the most empathic people on the planet. Conversely, Attractiveness and Movement Allowance (MA) were not only of little use, but could be replaced wholesale with biosculpting or cybernetic legs respectively. With most stats you were either stuck with your starting score or could only modify it to your starting score plus a few points, but Attractiveness could be raised to a maximum of 12 whether it started at 1 or 10 (you paid by the point, so it did cost a litte more if you started ugly) and anyone could buy a pair of cyberlegs that set their MA at 16 (out of a human maximum of 10) regardless of how fast they were with their organic legs. So, yes, it was a game of lightning fast sharpshooter supermodels with personalities like The Terminator who started life as glacial sharpshooter trolls with the compassion of Mother Theresa.
  • Enforced for the Tech-Priests in Dark Heresy, who quite simply cannot improve their Fellowship stat (unless they take a certain career choice on creation), and who have upgrades available that automatically reduce it.
  • The Witcher: Game of Imagination has Movement. The only thing it's used for is measuring how long a distance a character can travel during a single round of a fight (which is irrevelant, as sooner or later you will end up in melee distance or you can just sprint to get close fast), and while travelling the world (which is irrevelant, as when riding or traveling by any other means than on foot you use the Movement of your mount or vehicle). And it doesn't even make that much of a difference regardless of how high Movement is. There are dozens of House Rules to derive it from different Stats to save precious Stat Points.
  • In Eon, the attribute Bildning, roughly translated to Education, is often treated as a Dump Stat. Education shows how much general knowledge a character has about the world and things in it, and players make a check in case they want to see if their character knows something about the town they're in, what races are common in the country, and other miscellaneous stuff. The thing is, pretty much everything you get to know by making a check against Education, can also be revealed by making a check against an appropriate skill, like History or Cultural Knowledge. These skills are often more specialized, granted, but at the same time they provide more in-depth information than Education. Besides, most classes that are expected to have a high score in Education also have most of these additional skills. Also, if there's anything worth knowing about a town, odds are a NPC is willing to share some knowledge, or one of the PC's have already been there before.
  • GURPS carefully avoids a universal dump stat, mainly by using optional traits for things that are mandatory in other games. However, many character designs benefit from picking a dump stat, e.g. A brilliant telekinetic can afford to drop his ST down pretty low in order to get points to enhance his powers instead. Additionally, although the game lacks an official Charisma stat, many players tend to saddle themselves with social problems for more points, turning social skills into a Dump "Stat". This pattern can get players in a lot of trouble, however, if they are in situation where they ever need to pump NPCs for info: just because you can kill some one with your brain doesn't mean you can scare people to get the info you need.
    • In GURPS 4ed games where the party have access to firearms, strength is only useful up to the minimum needed to effectively use your weapon. 11 is enough to use nearly anything. Light machine-guns or very heavy magnum handguns may require as much as 13, but any more than that is a waste if it's a point short of 20, where things like heavy machine-guns become possible. (While HP is also based off of strength, almost any firearm is capable of dealing enough damage to kill you instantly, and so HT, used to save against death, becomes a far bigger deal.)
    • Also, HP can be bought independently of strength, or sold back for points to below what the character's strength would imply, and so is really only based on strength in name only. However, the core rules do recommend allowing HP to only be bought up +30% of its default ST-based value for "normal" human(oid) characters.
  • In Ironclaw and Myriad Song the usual dump stat is Species/Legacy. Body is needed for melee combat and resisting damage, Speed is needed for ranged combat and dodging, Mind is used for most skills and spells, Will is the most commonly used resistance dice after Body, while Career and Species/Legacy both apply a bonus to three skills depending on Splat, and the latter is also used for Natural Weapons (usually not as good as artificial ones). However, many players, especially in Ironclaw, choose their race for aesthetics and base their build around their Career, with the exception of Atavists who need a minimum Species dice of d8 and have many Gifts that enhance their natural weapons, they tend to dump their Career.
  • Space Munchkin parodies this trope with "Stat X" a mystery stat in addition to the 6 core D20 stats. The Game Master is, however, advised to make Stat X count for something awesome if someone actually bothers to put a high score in it.
  • Mutants & Masterminds and DC Adventures (the 3rd edition of the game) feature this for Presence, which only has the effect of adding bonuses to three solitary Skills, all of which can be bought up for cheaper than spending points in Presence. It was already a weaker option in the 2nd Edition, and the changes in the 3rd Edition made it even worse. The Dexterity stat can also become a Dump Stat at times, as anyone who isn't a long-range fighter can just take a "0".
  • Star Wars: Saga Edition runs off an adapted version of the d20 system seen in Dungeons & Dragons. However, unusually for d20, the dump stat in Star Wars is generally seen to be Strength. It affects only three skills (jump, climb, and swim), none of which are common in the setting, and the only other thing it affects are carrying capacity (which can be easily offset by buying a cheap hoversled) and melee attacks (a rarity in a setting generally focused on range combat). Even dedicated melee builds can use strength as a dump stat, thanks to an array of feats and talents that allow you to use a different stat in its stead.
  • The World of Darkness games make players decide on a Dump Stat Category due to being a Point Build System - you choose one category to get the most points for, one for the middle amount and one for the least. Mental Attributes are the most common choice; while you want to be able to put up a fight and be smooth, you can get by with one dot for each stat in Mental (you start with one automatically and two dots are the human average).
    • Or, if you're playing the Old World of Darkness, put most of your mental attributes in Perception (being able to spot what's trying to kill you can come in handy) or Wits so that you can attack sooner rather than later and make others suffer due to wound penalties for their rolls, and don't bother with Intelligence unless you're playing a character specialized in knowledge/occult skills.
    • Many campaigns make physical stats Dump Stats. Sure, the buffed out PC can bash an opponent or two into the ground, but the master of Social Fu can determine the course of whole cities, mind control the Big Bad, call in higher powers from their faction, or buy their way out of problems. Much like in Real Life, being able to beat others up comes in handy every once in a while, but being well-connected and clever can come in handy daily. As a general rule in both Old World of Darkness and New, Werewolf and Hunter value physical stats more, Mage and Vampire value mental and social more, and the other games can go either way.
  • Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG, 1001-1500:
    1047. If my troll is the smartest character in the party, the entire party is vetoed.
    1097. Even if he used INT as a dump stat, I don't have to carve 'this end towards enemy' on the barbarian's axe blade.
  • No Werebeast in Bleak World needs poison, not even Werecockroaches.
  • In BattleTech, players will often dump ammo capacity, since many players play one-off matches rather than campaigns. For its RPG spinoff Mechwarrior, many power-players will dump the Social Standing or Charisma stats, preferring to sink their points into attributes that improve their direct combat abilities, leaving the more nuanced politics of the setting to others.
  • First edition Scion takes it a step further by explicitly giving you a dump category in addition to dump stats within each category. Its nine attributes are divided into Physical, Mental, and Social, and upon character creation you get to put eight points into one category of your choice, six points into another, and only four points into the third. Those points then have to be divided among the three stats within each category (and you can't divide eight or four evenly by three, so something's gotta go). When you upgrade to Demigod and then again to God, you get another set of points (four, three, and two) to divide among the three categories, though you can choose different priorities than you did at character creation.

    Video Games 
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, charisma and appearance are dump stats. Outside of shop prices, they have very minor effects on gameplay. Shop prices, after the mid-game, are irrelevant because there is a way of generating an endless supply of money (the Casino).
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has Beauty. It affects people's initial reactions to you, which in most cases either won't affect their dialogue in any meaningful way or, with a couple extra points in Charisma, can be made positive just by asking them to tolerate you for the duration of the conversation. As long as you don't have any other effects that lower the reaction modifier (like a barbarian-style armor), you can get every single quest in the game no matter how ugly you are. Possibly the only way it impacts upon the game is by altering how much merchants will charge during trade dialogue.
    • Due to the game's Absurdly Low Level Cap, any character build is bound to pick more of those. Non-ranged fighters or mages can safely dump Perception, Constitution is only useful for spellcasters (and can be bypassed by stealing a necklace that artificially increases mana regeneration). Beauty is notable for being universal.
    • Arcanum also has dump skills, particularly Gambling and Haggle. The reason is because money isn't hard to earn to begin with, and the one advantage those skills give - access to the items equipped by merchants - can be achieved with Fate Points or exploiting the AI quirks.
    • The game also allows using character points to directly boost Health and Fatigue. While this raises them faster (4 points per CP instead of 1-2 points via Strength, Constitution or Willpower), you get 2 extra points of both automatically with every level, so neglecting your stats in favor of durability in not a very good idea.
  • The Charisma and Wisdom scores are typically dump stats in Baldur's Gate II. Unless you're playing as a Cleric, Wisdom is only useful for the Wish spell, and even then you can just get a character with high wisdom to cast it. As for Charisma, you get a ring after completing one of the first quests in the city which boosts your Charisma score to 18 when wearing it.
  • Badass Ranks in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! are special tokens that confer small percentage increases to certain traits such as reload speed or accuracy. Some aren't considered very useful:
  • Crash Fever has two characters, Longinus and Aegis. Longinus has decent HP and REC, but a laughable 1 ATK. However, he's meant to buff it up with his skill, which changes everything on the board to CP. Not so with Aegis' measly five REC though, but she does have tons of health to make up for it.
  • Dark Souls:
    • In Dark Souls I, Resistance increases physical and flame defense and resistance to poison. This first two are almost useless because they both go up nearly as much when you raise any stat (because this raises your level, which increases all of your defense stats) and you can gain much more defense against every type of damage (including lightning and magical, which Resistance does nothing against) by wearing heavier armor and putting points into Endurance (which decides carrying capacity) to compensate for the extra weight. Poison resistance is only especially valuable in specific areas, so it's better to get it from equipment. To make it even worse, Diminishing Returns for Balance kicks in once your armor-less defense reaches a certain point from putting points in resistance or level up—so you're just getting a headstart up a slope that gets pretty close to being flat at higher levels. Neither of the next games have a Resistance stat: Dark Souls II effectively spread its effect across Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Endurance. Dark Souls III has Resistance's effect as a secondary effect of Vitality (which is now what decides equip load, but not stamina).
    • For anyone who decides to use elemental infused weaponry, Strength and Dexterity essentially become dump stats, especially in the first game, where elemental weapons did increased base damage but eliminated stat scaling entirely. This meant that the weapon would perform exactly the same for someone with the minimum required Str/Dex to use the weapon as it would for a character who had maxed out both stats. This frees you up to put all those points that would have gone to Strength or Dexterity into boosting Vitality and Endurance to obscene levels. Most players take this a step further and only give themselves enough Strength to use the weapon two-handed — which is much lower than the requirement to use it one-handed — and combine this with the ever-popular Stat Stick the Grass Crest Shield. The sequels lessened this somewhat by making elemental weapons scale off other stats like Intelligence or Faith, and not completely removing the Strength and Dexterity scaling. Of course, Raw weapons now function like the first game's elemental weapons, as do Fire and Deep weapons in III, but generally aren't nearly as powerful as the standard versions with its scaling stats at the softcap.
  • In Daikatana, leveling up Speed results in a nigh-uncontrollable sprinting speed, which is especially useless given how fast you can sprint around with base stats anyway.
  • The campaigns of Dawn of War II both require and encourage this trope, as Attribute Points are severely limited and certain stats provide incredibly powerful traits at higher levels. For example, it is just as useless increasing the melee damage of Avitus (a ranged specialist) as it is increasing the ranged damage of Thaddeus (a melee specialist) or the health of Cyrus (a Glass Cannon). The only uncertain character is Thule however, who gains useful traits from all his stats and which one a player decides to be the Dump Stat (or whether he will be a Master of None) is entirely a personal preference.
    • It is somewhat averted with Tarkus and Thaddeus since putting points into their "dump stat" actually allows them to change specializations to a limited degree by allowing them to equip new weapon types (Tarkus get the ability to equip melee weapons while Thaddeus becomes able to use ranged weapons), it's debatable how useful this is though.
    • The Chaos Rising expansion plays with this, however, by putting several powerful traits (we're looking at you, Cluster Mines) in progression tracks of attributes you'd normally not consider putting points in (in the case of the aforementioned Cluster Mines, Cyrus' melee attack. Cyrus is one of two characters who can't even equip a melee weapon).
  • Destiny 2 has Mobility and Resilience. The former only affects strafing and running speed, but when a player isn't fighting, they'll most likely be sprinting anyway. As for the latter, high-resilience builds only allow you to take a few extra shots before dying, so it's widely regarded as useless. Recovery, on the other hand, not only shortens the delay before Health starts regenerating, but also makes it regenerate faster.
  • Deus Ex has Swimming. It increases your swim speed and your ability to hold your breath, but rebreathers are cheap, your starting swim speed is fine for finishing the game, there are plenty of swimming-related augs, and if you pick up Regeneration, then your Regenerating Health actually heals back more damage than you take while drowning. And Deus Ex is not one of those games where you have a ton of points to spare.
  • The Diablo series has quite a number of examples throughout each generation.
    • Diablo:
      • In the first Diablo, healing potions were both plentiful and easy to spam, so any damage you took could be undone right away. The main danger on higher difficulty levels was inescapable stunlock from multiple enemies attacking at the same time. To counter stunlock, you needed miss chance which was provided by armor. In short, the size of one's health pool was largely irrelevant and Vitality was mostly useless beyond the early game. Luckily you could purchase stat points and max out everything anyway.
      • For Sorcerers, Vitality was actually worse than useless. The Mana Shield spell enabled you to use your mana pool as hit points. Due to a bug, taking lethal damage did not stun you, even if the damage was then absorbed by Mana Shield. Basically if you kept your health as low as possible, you were immune to stun from Hell difficulty monsters, giving you a slight advantage in combat. Players even intentionally allowed themselves to get hit by Black Death zombies (which permanently drain hit points) to further reduce their maximum health.
      • Dexterity for Sorcerers was a noob trap. Yes, the only thing that could kill triple immune enemies was a weapon. But what the game didn't tell you was that the Stone Curse spell sets enemy armor to zero, and your attack speed was so slow that you pretty much had to stone your targets anyway just to win the fight. Also, there was a rollover bug that made high level opponents trivial to hit.
    • Diablo II:
      • Diablo II has Energy, which controls mana. No one, not even Sorceresses, puts a single point into it for several reasons. Your mana pool increases with character level, and high level items add a lot of mana as well. Mana steal scales with weapon damage, making it more effective too. There is also a runeword for hirelings that gives the entire party a large mana regen bonus. Also, mana potions are readily buyable and dropped in massive quantities by every mini-boss if those are still not enough for you. Meanwhile, very few skills go up in mana cost per skill level. This means if you just wait for a few more character levels, your lack of mana will solve itself.
      • Strength. The damage bonus provided by the stat is negligible, so the only reason to invest into Strength is to meet gear requirements and you can make do with zero strength if you have some + strength items. Therefore 95% of the viable builds in the game require the same stat point distribution: the minimum Strength to wear end-game gear, just enough into Dexterity to attain max block and everything else into vitality.
      • There is one build that benefits from a lot of Energy, but that build only uses the extra Mana to sponge damage, not to fuel attacks: the Sorceress skill Energy Shield transfers some damage from Health to Mana, so it's possible to crank it up to the point where you take very little actual damage, but it puts a huge stress on your Mana pool. Instead, Vitality and/or Dexterity becomes the dump stat, depending on your focus.
    • While Diablo III does away with assigning stat points altogether outside of Paragon levels and even removes stat requirements for wearing gear, the items nonetheless get affected by this phenomenon. Some of the primary magic properties on items that are generally regarded as less valuable include +Life on Hit, +Life on Kill, +Armor, +Resistance, +Life from resource use and occasionally Vitality. Once the Mystic NPC was introduced in Reaper of Souls, it was very common for players to re-enchant these affixes to things like Cooldown Reduction, +% Damage, Gem Sockets, % Critical Chance, Vitalitynote  and/or +Critical Damage, which are considered among the highest priority stats.
  • INT in Dragon Quest. Yes, it's useful in the early levels, but it suffers serious decay since it does not determine magic damage. (Magic damage is fixed and then multiplied by elemental resistance.) INT and its cousin, VIT, are still useful, mind: They do raise HP and MP. But after a while, that's irrelevant.
  • Kingdom Hearts I makes you choose a dump stat. It's odd, in that its effects on your stats is minimal, but its effect on when you learn which abilities is massive, making the choice very much a Guide Dang It!.
  • In the Might and Magic games, intelligence has no effect on classes lacking elemental spellcasting abilities, while personality is useless for classes that can't cast self magic. Very few classes make actual use of both.
  • Defensive stats in Nippon Ichi games can be viewed as dump stats (unless using a class whose attacks are based on them), especially at moderately high levels (say, when you first top 1000). This is because the games are turn-based and damage is calculated in such a way that the absolute value of an attack stat matters quite a lot (i.e., 17K attack against 17K defense can still do several thousand damage while 100 attack against 100 defense will barely scratch). Depending on the game, it may be best to view Bonus Dungeon maps as one-turn blitzes. SPD, especially in the later Disgaea games is useful though; since almost everything in the post-game is a one-hit KO even with maxed defensive stats, simply being hard to hit is a good way to be defensive. Not only that, but for fists (which are one of the better weapon types due to the Big Bang ability), the SPD stat is half of the damage calculation, making it quite the opposite of this trope for fist users, acting as both offense and defense.
  • Memory in Divinity: Original Sin II can be this for more attack-oriented characters. Thanks to the use of a talent called Mnemonic, you can pretty much ignore Memory for awhile and only increase it once you've made your primary stats go through the roof, and get enough wits to increase initiative.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons Online, every class will have to pick a dump stat just like the P&P version if they want to be the best at what they do. However there is a number one rule of character builds that all veteran players agree upon: "Con(stitution) is NOT a dump stat" for any class, due to hitpoints being extremely important for fighting (and sometimes the only defense against) high level monsters.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Throughout the series, save for Skyrim which did away with Attributes, Personality is a major Dump Stat. Both it and the skills it governs (particularly Speechcraft) can be increased temporarily by numerous means (spells, potions, enchantments, racial powers, etc.) when needed. Since the game time freezes when you enter into a conversation, you can easily create something to increase Personality considerably for 1 second. Use it, then immediately enter the conversation. The effect will persist until you leave the conversation.
    • Monster language skills in Daggerfall. They only allow you to speak with a particular class of monster to have a chance to avoid combat. Even more useless as you also needed to sheathe your weapon, which is not a good idea in a monster-filled dungeon.
    • In Oblivion and Skyrim, the Security/Lockpicking Skill is this. It governs your ability to pick locks, but in these two games, picking a lock is a mini-game based more on player skill. A high Security skill makes it somewhat easier (and saves you from breaking as many lockpicks), but a skilled player can easily pick even the highest leveled locks with a minimum Security Skill. Notably, this is not the case in Morrowind, where the success of picking a lock is up to the Random Number God. A higher Security skill increases your odds of picking it, while having too low of a security skill will make it impossible to pick higher leveled locks. (The game does mitigate this by offering an "Unlock" spell, which can be used instead. However, a max level Unlock spell costs an immense amount Magicka to cast as a spell and cost an exorbitant amount to create as an enchantment.)
    • The Willpower Attribute in Oblivion. One of the only things it affects is your maximum Fatigue, which is also affected by other stats. It also controls your rate of Magicka regeneration, but it's more effective to increase your Intelligence so you have more Magicka in the first place. In addition, mages often take Atronach birthsign which give you additional max Magicka and a chance of absorbing enemy spells, at the cost of your Magicka regeneration.
    • In Skyrim, they've gotten rid of Attributes all together. Everything boils down to Health, Magicka, and Stamina. There are, however, dump-skills that would be inefficient to waste perk points on; for example, Lockpicking (as noted above) works just fine without putting any perk points into them or artificially trying to raise them.
  • In EVE Online, only characters training to be traders, corporation executives and fleet commanders benefit from high Charisma, and even they need the other stats to train to fly the right ships as well. The developers attempt to make charisma more useful by making a high Charisma stat grant a boost to learning the skills that boost stats, so having a higher charisma means you spend less time boosting the skills that boost your stats, but the effect is minor enough that it takes at least a year to recoup the time you invested in boosting your charisma.
  • E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy has Mental Balance, which reduces the likelihood of the player freezing up or going insane when casting psychic abilities or taking huge amounts of damage. However, insanity can be cured by using the Maintenance ability, which only takes a few second at the cost of locking up your weapons and screwing with your vision. Not like it particularly matters if you die while using it, because you have multiple resurrectors in each mission. Mental Balance is made further redundant by researched items which increases your resistance to insanity, and later can make you outright immune to it.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 2: The resistances Endurance provides are rarely relevant (and reloading the game is always an option) and items exist to erase any effect that Endurance resist. It influences Hit Points, but so does Strength (albeit to a lesser degree) and there's enough good armor laying around that you're rarely going to take damage that isn't a freak One-Hit Kill critical, anyway.
    • Fallout Tactics's emphasis on combat over story was heavy enough during single player, but the game also allowed players to create teams of soldiers to face one another in an arena-style PvP battle. Charisma was a worthless stat since neither it nor any of its associated skills did anything in combat, so it was common for every single soldier created for multiplayer squads to have a charisma score of 1.
    • Poor little Charisma in Fallout 3. While the other SPECIAL values control things like damage, criticals, enemy spotting, health, skill points per level and action points, Charisma controls very little. It is rarely if ever used for speech checks, usually defaulting to its respective Speech or Barter skills, and has little other practical use. It's just easier to rely on alcohol and items to boost your Charisma the few times you need it.
    • New Vegas:
      • The main things Charisma gained since 3 are increasing companion damage and DT by as much as 50% as well as one more perk—which makes your companions better when you're at low health. If you play solo, it's exactly as useless.
      • Luck increases Critical Hit chance and makes it easier to win at gambling. However, unless you're specifically going for a Critical Hit Class build and using specific weapons that have a higher-than-average chance to crit, you won't see many critical hits even with 10 Luck, and certain weapon types (shotguns, flamers, or explosive) get little to no extra damage even when they do. Gambling also doesn't start getting profitable until you have at least 7 Luck. Anything less than that and you might as well keep it at 1.
      • Perception affects the distance that your radar can detect enemies, but you can recruit ED-E quickly in Primm (all of the parts needed to fix him can be found in either Primm or Goodsprings), and his companion perk boosts your radar to that of 10 Perception, so there's no point in raising that above 1 either. The only other things it's good for are the "Better Criticals" perk, which requires 6 Perception and will only benefit the aforementioned Critical Hit Class or stealthy characters, and its vanishingly rare score checks.
    • In Fallout 4, Endurance becomes the Dump Stat again, after having the opposite position in New Vegas. Although it now has a much higher impact of Hit Points (giving you a bonus per level instead of just per point), even low Endurance rarely die before they can heal themselves. All of the perks the Endurance stat unlocks provide some sort of healing or defensive bonus, which are redundant for any build due to the prevalence of healing items and armors (damage/rad resistance from armor and perks don't stack together very well). However, if you play on Survival Difficulty, the healing effects are more useful due to standard healing items gaining negative side effects, while damage values are so high the greater hit points help you avoid suddenly dying before you can even heal.
  • The intelligence stat in the original Final Fantasy is bugged; it does absolutely nothing.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, you can boost your Strength, Magic, Speed, Stamina, HP, or MP when you level up with the correct Espers, but you only get so many levels. For those players who want to max their stats, boosting your HP or MP for more than a few select levels turns out to be a waste — not because of the stats being useless, but because HP and MP increase with levels anyway, and come pretty close to the max without Espers. The true Dump Stat is Stamina. All it does is improve your resistance to instant death attacks (which can be blocked entirely anyway), and increase the power of Poison or Regen when afflicted to the character. That's right, boosting your Stamina increases the damage you take from Poison. The Regen boost isn't worth the bonuses you could be getting in Strength, Magic, or Speed, so a savvy player won't bother deliberately boosting Stamina. Additionally, Physical Evasion does literally nothing in the SNES version; Magic Evasion covers both physical and magical effects.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Luck is a dump stat, but not for the reason you'd expect. In terms of what it does for your characters, Luck is absolutely godly, combining the effects of two other stats (in a game that generally averts this trope) and increasing your critical hit rate to cap it all. The problem is that the developers realized this, and made the Luck stat ridiculously hard to actually put points in - while you'll have more of the spheres increasing every other stat than you know what to do with, you'll get a grand total of four spheres for Luck boosts over the course of the main game, and if you want more you'll have to kill one of the game's Bonus Bosses at the Monster Arena, for one each time. Most players just invest in the two other stats (Accuracy and Evade), since it's just so much easier to do. However, those wanting to challenge Dark Aeons and Penance in International/PAL/HD releases or Min-Maxers will make it other way around, since being able to hit some of them requires high Luck and Accuracy won't help much with that, and because raising Luck takes less space in Sphere grid than raising both Accuracy and Evasion.
    • For your spellcasters, MP will also become irrelevant because of the One MP Cost ability, especially when both characters' Infinity +1 Sword has it as an innate ability at full power. While Yuna's Nirvana can be upgraded even long before the endgame, Lulu's Onion Knight will take some patience (it involves dodging 200 lightning bolts in a row). And for few select battles where you'll need MP for others because of Quick Attack, you can just use Three Stars, which negate the need for MP altogether.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, MP is by far the least useful stat in the game to invest in. This is because the game uses a system where all characters start at 0 MP and accumulate it over time during each battle, at a rate of 10 per turn. There are ways to gain MP faster within battle, but almost invariably your characters will never need more than 50 or so, and certainly no more than 100 - and both numbers are trivially easy to reach without any investment whatsoever in the MP stat. The only reason your MP cap would even slightly matter is if you were using the MP Shield reaction ability - and given that you would need to actually reach the cap every time you used that unit, even that is absurdly impractical.
  • The Avatar creation system in Fire Emblem Awakening goes out of its way to avert this. Whichever stat you pick as 'worst' will actually lower other stats too, though not as much. Picking Luck or Resistance (generally considered Dump Stats) for worst will also lower Strength and Magic or Magic and Speed respectively, all of which are considered very important stats.
    • In practice, Luck still ends up as this more often than not. the deficit in Strength or Magic can be easily worked around, and the Avatar's initial Luck growth (which the Asset/Flaw system also influences) will be quite high anyways. Averted however with Resistance, due to Speed being as important for offense as it always is, and Magic being an important stat for those who go with magic classes as well (and, to a lesser extend, hybrid classes). Also averted with Skill (the third consideration for a Dump Stat) because a high Skill growth helps to ensure that you're able to Dual Strike more easily, and Skill itself factors into the proc rate of many useful (offense or defense) skills in the game. In addition, taking Skill as a Dump Stat also results in a deficit in Defense and Strength, both useful stats (with Defense being the most useful of the two for any character).
    • The Luck Stat, even if chosen as your flaw, will usually eventually reach near the cap, mostly due to how much you'll probably use the main character and put him/her through reclasses which basically amounts to infinite levels, meaning that even with flawed luck you can still reliable or assuredly pull off the skill that uses it the most, which most people want because it lets you use a weapon without expending the uses.
  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade also averts this trope for a different reason. In most other games in the series, Skill and Luck are considered as the dump stat. The former (and the latter to an extent) boost accuracy, which you already have enough of in most cases. The latter lowers critical activation rate, which the enemy generally has little of in the first place. Here, however:
    • Accuracy is actually an ongoing issue due to a number of factors.note  You would need every bit of help you can get to raise your own unit's accuracy, and this includes raising your Skillnote . This is the reason why Warriors, promoted Generals, and Bandits/Pirates/Berserkers note  are ignored as axe-users in this game, with the preference given to Paladins and Heroes.
    • Luck also becomes somewhat important both for the above reason note , and also to reduce the critical hit rate of Swordmasters and especially Berserkers, which get a massive 30% boost, that is unheard of in most other FE games. note  Luck is also beneficial for evading enemy attacks in this game, as it gives a bigger evasion bonus than in most other games.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors plays with this, as all the stats are quite important. All the Units in the game have structured stat gains for everyone, but the general consensus is that Magic users don't need Strength and Physical units don't need Magic, with the unit's defenses matching as well. The two forms of dump stats in the game are either a stat having poor numbers or a stat that's barely existing.
  • In the first four Inazuma Eleven games, Stamina only affects how fast a character uses up GP, representing physical fatigue. Characters will eventually hit a point where they'll seldom if ever become fatigued, making Stamina only useful early in the game. Usually, you can stop caring about your team's Stamina entirely around halfway to 2/3rds through the story. Inazuma Eleven GO 2 fixed this with the introduction of the Mixi-Trans Super Mode, which drains the user's GP very quickly. With the revamped stat system in Inazuma Eleven GO, adding 4 points to a character's Technique stat had the exact same effect as adding 1 point each to Kick, Dribble, Block, and Catch, making Technique a dump stat. This was also fixed in GO 2 with the addition of Critical Failures, the odds of which decrease as user's Technique stat increases.
  • For a long time, moxie became a bit of a dump stat in Kingdom of Loathing, to the degree that having a high level of it would make the final boss battle exponentially harder, with the main attractiveness of the moxie classes (the special Moxious Maneuver) being less than useless. This disparity has since been modified. A bit.
  • Certain types of equipment in La Tale such as gloves can be enchanted with unique enchantments that tend to be prioritized, but all equipment that can be enchanted can have the base four, strength, stamina, magic, and luck. Strength and magic boost damage for physical and magical classes respectively, but by such a small amount that almost everyone prefers luck (boosts the odds of a critical hit) and stamina (only base stat to boost survivability) over them.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals allows you to boost your four stats through the Mystic Stone board. The GUT stat affects IP regeneration, but the Mystic Stone board already has spaces that give boosts to IP regen or max IP when activated. Most characters don't need the boost, and you can just switch out IP-reliant party members to let their IP regenerate. The other stats let characters hit much harder with all of their attacks, IP or non-IP, with STR and INT also boosting defense stats.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Paper Mario's Copy Block ability allows him to create a minimum of six copies (and can be increased up to ten) of himself that stack together. This lets him deal higher damage per turn than Mario and Luigi, but, more importantly, renders him nigh-invincible, since, whenever he takes damage, his copies take it in his stead. Furthermore, a late game rank bonus can allow the use of the Copy Block a free turn, so Paper Mario doesn't have to waste a turn when he needs to replenish his copies. This renders Paper Mario's HP and defense stats obsolete.
  • The four spellcasters that join your party in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis use magic for everything, even standard attacks. This gives them no way to use their attack stats. Pamela's immunity to physical attacks also renders her defense stat useless once unlocked.
  • Mario Kart:
    • In general:
      • Top Speed tends to be a dump stat whenever AI drivers are involved, since the game's Rubber Band A.I. will simply speed up all the other racers to compensate if you decide to focus on it. This is doubly true if items are involved, since the AI will be throwing them at you so often that you'll almost never be able to maintain your top speed for very long, making acceleration (i.e. the ability to recover when you do get hit) much more important. On the flip side, everything but Top Speed tends to be a dump stat in Time Trials, since poor acceleration can be compensated for by boosting at the start of the race and avoiding obstacles, and poor handling can be compensated by turning earlier and/or power-sliding.
      • Handling is a dump stat in pretty much every game in the series simply because courses are designed to be forgiving enough that even with the lowest possible handling there's no turn that can't be taken with practice and by simply drifting earlier than usual. However, this seems to have changed a bit since Mario Kart 8 introduced the 200cc class. You move so much faster than in 150cc, and many courses weren't designed with that in mind, so many sharp turns are much harder to take. Handling builds started seeing an uptick since it came out.
    • In Mario Kart DS, drift and weight. Due to the exploit of snaking, it was actually beneficial to have LESS drift since if you had more, you'd be turning too sharply while power sliding on straightaways. The same is said for weight since it's combined with the "offroad" stat. The less weight you had, the faster you could go off road such as in grass or dirt. Plus, bumping into other players had no effect online. The item stat was also pretty useless, especially online where you couldn't get triple items. It was good for some courses during time trials though, as you got more mushrooms to take shortcuts.
  • Trade in Mount & Blade basically lets you see market prices. And then it tells you what to buy and where to sell. That's it.
    • Shield: Each point reduces the damage your shield takes when blocking a hit by 8% and improves how quickly you can block with a shield. Not a whole lot useful when your shield rarely gets destroyed anyway and even if it does you can grab one from the battlefield.
    • Athletics: Increases your base running speed and nothing else and even then unarmored Looters can still outrun a heavily armed and armored man or woman on foot even if he or she has 10 points in this skill.
  • Charisma in Murkon's Refuge just reduces the rates you pay at inns and clinics. And the inn in the first town is always free, so if you keep that as your home base, it only affects clinic prices. (In the pre-web version, it instead affected how often monsters were friendly, a feature which the creator decided to dump for the web port.)
  • In Nicole, there are five main stats: Amity, Wit, Diligence, Zeal, and Clues. The last tracks the progress you're making on the mystery; the first four pertain to the love interests. Each guy has a single stat that appeals to them, and you can only end up with one guy, so the best way to win the game is to focus on Clues and the chosen guy's stat. The three remaining stats have no effect on gameplay and putting points into them is a waste of time.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 has two versions of this.
    • For characters, it's Dexterity. Damage is calculated by rolling a number between your minimum and maximum damage thresholds when you hit with an attack; Dexterity increases the odds that you'll roll higher numbers. The thing is, the effect on your DPS is minimal at best, and when you have rarer weapons, the range of values the RNG can roll is restricted between 90% and 100%, so Dexterity is literally useless except for equipping weapons that require it.
    • For gear, it's Defense/Resist. Adding Defense or Resist on equipment eats up valuable Special Ability slots that can go towards increasing other, more useful base stats like HP, PP, ATK. Most players rely on the Defense and Resistance stats granted by their Units.
  • Planescape: Torment averts this with the main character. The Nameless One can be a fighter, thief, or mage, which means Wisdom and Charisma should be unimportant stats. However, combat is not a major focus, so Wisdom and Charisma are both extremely valuable, while Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are fine at fairly mediocre values.
  • In Planet Alcatraz, Charisma can be safely lowered to 1 for little to no penalty. A higher charisma gives you better "Attitude" and thus makes it easier to persuade or intimidate people, however, a variety of clothing items and weapons can boost your Attitude, making this stat useless. A lesser example is Perception, which determines deviation when shooting firearms, is irrelevant when the character in question uses a melee weapon or always engage at near point-blank range.
  • Pokémon
    • Attacks are divided into physical and special; usually a Pokémon naturally has one attack stat higher than the other. By teaching a Pokémon inclined towards Special attacks only Special moves, the Attack stat becomes completely useless. The opposite is also true; similarly, it's not usually worth it to boost either defensive stat for Glass Cannon Pokémon who have really bad HP, since they're not going to survive much of anything anyway, or the speed stat for a slow Pokémon, because once you're slower than any likely opponent, the stat doesn't matter anymore (and some attacks/sets benefit from a low Speed stat, like Gyro Ball, which gets more powerful the higher the targets speed is compared to yours, and Metal Burst, which doesn't even work unless you go last). There are, however, some movesets that take advantage of upping what would normally be a Dump Stat in order to barely survive what would normally be a lethal blow, or to better-utilize attacks that work well against an otherwise difficult opponent.
    • Each Pokémon Nature gives a bonus to one non-HP stat and a penalty to another (except for a five that increase and decrease the same stat, effectively canceling each other out.), thus it's generally advised to select a Nature where the penalized stat is the Dump Stat. For example, a pure physical sweeper would want Adamant to maximize their Attack and lower their Special Attack, which they do not need. A speedy special sweeper would want a Timid nature to maximize their Speed and lower their Attack. A physical wall would want a Bold or Impish nature to maximize its Defense, and lower Attack or Special Attack. So on and so forth.
    • Some Elite Tweak builds that emphasize this to the extreme. The most ridiculous example is for Shuckle, which naturally has four dump stats: its Speed, Physical attack, Special attack, and HP are all, to be charitable, quite abysmal. Due to its absurdly high Defense and Special Defense, as well as the Sturdy ability (which allows it to resist One-Hit Kill attacks), it can afford to use only Standard Status Ailments to deal damage — a strategy used by the Pike Queen in Emerald. Using this strategy, everything except HP becomes a Dump Stat when leveling up: the two defenses are already high enough that they don't need the help (though Defense will end up getting points anyway because they have to go somewhere), the attack stats are irrelevant, and Shuckle is going to be going last so often (i.e. pretty much always) that there isn't much point to increasing its Speed.
    • Pokémon actually encourages the dump stat mentality for Special Sweepers; it's more advantageous to have a special sweeper with a low attack than a high one. Why? Confusion damage is calculated based on the attack stat, so a Pokemon with a higher attack will take more damage hurting itself in confusion. That's the whole point of Swagger. There is also a move called Foul Play which uses your attack stat against you instead of the user's, and several special attackers are already weak to the move from Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors.
    • The Pokémon Shedinja essentially has three dump stats; since its HP is always set to 1, putting effort values in HP, Defense, or Special Defensenote  is altogether meaningless, not to mention its pitiful Special Attack.
    • There was a Suicune build in the second generation that actually used Speed as a dump stat — even though it's normally the God Stat! You see, the vast majority of people dealt with powered up Pokemon by using Roar or Whirlwind, which normally goes last... but a bug made them fail if it went first, and if both pokemon used Roar or Whirlwind, only the slower one succeeded.
    • A snag that can occur with some Pokémon is that their movepools (a list of moves that a Pokemon is able to learn) don't work well with the base stats that the species have. This could change if the Pokemon can evolve into another more powerful form (For example, Larvesta has a higher attack stat, but it evolves into Volcarona, who has a really strong special attack stat), but some aren't as lucky as they're forced to fight left-handed while letting their higher stat go to waste.
    • Mega Beedrill actually invokes this. Its weak special attack stat is shot down even further so that the removed stats are transferred to an even bigger boost to attack and speednote .
  • In Progress Quest, Strength is the only stat that affects gameplay at all (increases your carrying capacity, which means fewer trips to the store for faster leveling). The rest are completely useless.
  • In the doujin game Touhou Labyrinth, points put into stat and skill advancement, equipment enhancements to them, and points from gaining experience levels all act as a percentage multiplier to the base score. Thus it's hard to avoid emphasizing a character's initial strengths and weaknesses. Beyond that, every character (and monster) has one common dump stat: due to an unfixable bug in the game engine, it is impossible to avoid attacks, making Evasion completely useless (This is quite bizarre, as basic Touhou gameplay is built on dodging). This makes the Fragile Speedster-type characters significantly more squishy (as they would have relied on high EVA to dodge often lethal attacks), but on the plus side, your super-powerful Master Spark will never miss.
  • Kaguya Table parodies this trope. You can dump Experience Points into Bossiness, which does...absolutely nothing. Like a boss.
  • The LCK stat in Ragnarok Tactics. It raises magic attack and criticals, but 1. Criticals almost never trigger and 2. It's easier and more efficient to raise magic with the MAT stat, which raises magic attack, magic defense and MP at the same time.
  • Thanks to bugs, the Agility stat is worthless for every character not named Hawk in Seiken Densetsu 3; the only things it affects are Hit Rate and Evasion Rate, which don't work, the speed the trapped chests' roulettes spin, which is insignificant, the rate at which Hawk learns skills, and the damage of some of Hawk's skills. And for this reason, the spells Speed Up and Speed Down do nothing of value, either (they don't even work on Hawk!).
  • Altough Torchlight II is a legitimately good game, Dexterity is by very far the worst stat in the whole game, even for the Outlander class that is supposed to improve this stat above all else : it gives a very weak increase in critical hit chance, that gets weaker with each point invested and doesn't give any noticeable increase in damage unless you have a lot (and really, a LOT) of Strength to get an increse in critical hit damage, an increase in dodge rate, also with diminishing returns but justified in this case, that hits a hard cap quickly and is helpless against area attacks that are everywhere at high level, and a decrease in damage penalties of "fumbled" attacks, that happen for 20% of basic attacks and never happen for special skills that all classes spam continuously rather than using basic attacks. The Outlander class was as a result very inefficient with its main weapons since dumping Dexterity meant only using the crappiest ranged weapons and increasing it meant lacking in other stats, and Outlander builds using anything else were more powerful.
    • Vitality provides boosts to health, armor and chance to block but these bonuses are negligible compared to the boosts available from equipment. Vitality is generally only useful for helping to reach the block cap (Typically via the shield Parma's Coal-Burner, the Blocking VI tome and sufficient Vitality boosts from enchantments), or for cannon wielding Engineers as most cannons require it.
  • Trillion: God of Destruction: Almost every stat besides Attack, Speed and Affection, especially defensive stats (Hp and Mp), and, to a lesser extent, Magic and Capacity. Defensive stats are worthless because Trillion does massive damage no matter how high those stats are, and because only heavily investing in them, to the detriment of other stats, yields even noticeable results. Hp and Mp are useless thanks to the unique mechanic of Affection (a third gauge that doubles as both Hp and Mp), and thanks to how the battles with Trillion work, you are practically dead if it runs out anyway. Magic becomes less and less viable as the game goes on, and Capacity is reliant on friendly AI, which is pretty bad.
  • PAYDAY 2 has Health, Armor, Dodge, Stamina, Steadiness, and Speed for character stats. Each stat is determined by whatever skills you unlocked in each skill tree, what perk deck you have equipped, and the type of armor you are wearing. Heavy armor will give more armor at the cost of not being able to dodge bullets and moving slower and tiring out faster when sprinting while light armor or even wearing no armor makes you be able to dodge bullets via random chance and be able to run really fast for a while before tiring out at the risk of going down quickly due to your lack of armor. A lot of players gravitate towards dodge builds where they focus on having a high dodge stat and dump the armor stat since moving quickly means they can zip from cover to cover and move loot quickly whereas heavy armor users can't run across the street without getting mowed down by the police. While it is possible to play in a setup where you have a ton of armor and shoot from cover, it won't protect you if A) cops focus their fire on you and B) Cloakers can instantly incapacitate you, regardless of your health or armor.
  • In the game Punch Club, you have three skill trees to work with with one of them being the dump stat. Way of the Bear is all about hard hitting strikes while sacrificing agility, meaning you'll whiff a lot of attacks which suck up energy. Way of the Tiger is all about hitting people hard and often, though you sacrifice stamina in your fights. Way of the Turtle is all about being a tank, making people wear themselves out trying to take you down, though you'll also have to sacrifice agility.
    • In the original version of the game, Strength and Stamina were a dump stats: Agility was the One Stat to Rule Them All, as consistently hitting your opponent was more important than hitting them harder but less often, and Way of the Tiger ignored Strength entirely by doing damage based on Agility instead. Given that Agility also influenced your ability to dodge attacks entirely (and therefore negate damage), making a build with anything other than Agility was essentially taking the much more difficult road. Later updates to the game balanced things out a bit more by making Strength more consistently useful, but Stamina is now the dump stat, better in a secondary role (to increase HP and Endurance) instead of a primary role (focusing on letter opponents wear themselves down by punching you in the face).
  • In RuneScape, though players may wish to level up their firemaking skill for the purpose of increasing their total level or rank on the highscores (or to obtain a firemaking cape which signifies that they have leveled the skill to the maximum level), the skill itself provides very little use ingame. The primary use of the skill is to make fires which can be used to cook food. However, as permanent fires and ranges are readily available throughout the game, in addition to the fact that a fire made by a player with level 1 firemaking will cook food just as well as a fire made by a player with 99 firemaking, renders this ability redundant.
    • Prior to the evolution of combat, for players wishing to engage in player killing, the defense skill could also be considered a dump stat. Because of the way combat levels are calculated, players that ignore defense in favor of offensive skills will often be stronger than players of the same combat level that choose to train both offensive skills and defense.
  • Subverted with early Shin Megami Tensei games. The Player Character is usually unable to use magic, but is still able to increase Intelligence (normally a universal Dump Stat) and Magic. Despite this, they are still both important as Intelligence increases the success of demon negotiation regardless of the game it appears in, and without a decent Magic or Intelligence stat most end-game spells can rip a character to pieces. The second game goes a bit further by requiring the main character to have at least ten Magic points at one point in order to win a dance contest.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV the strength stat can be considered one because elemental resistances and weaknesses matter more than raw power, because of the "press turn" system which gives you additional turns by hitting the enemies weaknesses, and very few enemies are weak to physical attacks. The dexterity stat suffers less from it since it defines the amount of damage of a basic gun attack, along with the damage of physical and gun skills, and guns can hit elemental weaknesses. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse addresses this by having Physical skills go off of Strength, meaning that a Strength build becomes viable. Luck is this trope across both games because they have too little of an impact compared to the other stats.
    • In Devil Survivor if you make your Player Character a magic user (you should), increasing strength serves no purpose except when you run out of MP (which you shouldn't if you increase magic properly), don't have any other physical attackers on your team, and need it to use certain spells/passive abilities.
    • In Digital Devil Saga, Luck is a complete waste. The rare times you'll be using ailments (the main skills that rely on luck), you'll be using them against weakness which means always-accurate. Hitting and dodging? You're better off with Agility. In fact, Luck being your dump stat is practically essential to beating the infamous Bonus Boss, as you need to goad his flunkies into putting you to sleep if you want to survive his attacks.
  • In System Shock 2:
    • Endurance becomes a dump stat on the Hard and Impossible difficulty settings. On Easy you gain ten HP per point of endurance, on Normal it's five (not a whole lot, but still useful to a point), and on Hard and Impossible it's a paltry three, which doesn't justify the hefty cyber module cost. It also adds resistance to radiation and toxins, but you find a Rad Suit in the early stages that gives you 75% resistance to both anyway, and the damage from both hazards are generally easy to deal with anyway.
    • The Exotic weapons tree also qualifies. Not only are they situational weapons with very sparse and limited ammunition, you also need to sink a ton of modules into the Research skill before you can even begin to use them. Meanwhile, the basic pistol and shotgun (and grenade launcher) have plenty of ammo to scavenge and cost far fewer modules to access. The one exception is that you need one point (the bare minimum) in Exotic skill to use the Crystal melee weapon, which is vastly superior to the basic wrench melee weapon, and makes for a better investment for non-energy weapon users (energy weapon users get the Laser Rapier, which is not as good as the Crystal, but doesn't require investing in off-build skills).
    • Repair is arguably even less useful than the previous two. Since it's only good for fixing items that are broken, you're better off spending your modules on Maintenance to make sure that your equipment never breaks in the first place. While it does allow you to use some extra Replicators and to access certain weapons earlier on, they are still not enough to make it worth your precious cyber-modulesnote .
  • Tales of the Abyss's ENH stat, in subsequent playthroughs. The game gives characters special skills in combat that are based on the buffs they've received to their stats; for example, buffing AGL can increase speed in combat, or allow for a Double Jump, while buffing P. Atk can increase your number of basic attack hits. ENH can give some of the best abilities in the game when invested in, but it doesn't do anything other than give these abilities. The skills you get from these stat boosts carry over to a New Game+, but the boosts themselves don't. So ENH has the odd position of being very well-balanced and important on your first playthrough or two, but once you've gotten all the skills to start carrying over and start playing Unknown, ENH may as well not even exist.
  • This War of Mine has combat ability, backpack size, movement speed, and empathy as primary character stats. Needless to say, empathy is often seen as the Dump Stat, since it doesn't take much to improve survivors' morale, or it's more prudent to steal with a lower empathy stat. While these individual stats cannot be modified, it does set a number of characters focused on the One Stat to Rule Them All (such as Marko and Roman) to be at the top of the tier list while the only one survivor with a high empathy stat, Boris, being immensely useful (while Zlata is average and Cveta is a Tier-Induced Scrappy).
  • To this day, no one has figured out what Combat Shooting does in the PC port of Wasteland. It's one of the most attractive point sinks to first-time players, and yet it might well be good for absolutely nothing. (On other platforms, it simply doesn't exist.) During the production of Wasteland 2, Brian Fargo affirmed that it indeed did nothing. In reference to this, Wasteland 2 has Combat Shooting as a secret, ridiculously powerful skill teachable to one player that makes every attack a Critical Hit.
  • Luck in Wasteland 2 affects Chance to Evade, Critical Chance, chance of an extra AP point each turn, and chance of getting extra Constitution at level up (it does not affect item drops). The extra AP point chance is unlikely even with max Luck and pathetically negligible even if you get it. The other affects are useful, but Luck's effect on them are far too minor compared to Skills and other attributes: Chance to Evade is increased twice as much by Awareness, which would be the One Stat to Rule Them All even without that. How much weapon skill increases crit chance varies by weapon, but on average each level increases it as much as four points of Luck (where 3 is considered average and 10 is the max). Only the Constitution bonus comes close to matching Strength's potency, and even that's only after level 16.
  • HP in The World Ends with You. Not because it isn't useful, but because the only thing that has much effect on it is your effective level. Equipment can have a huge effect on your other stats, but will never do much, positive or negative, to HP, even if the item is dedicated to it. The gains from food are so minimal that it's only really worth bothering if the character has maxed everything else.
  • World of Warcraft has been through a lot of this.
    • Initially, the game had 5 core stats: Strength, Agility, Intellect, Stamina, and Spirit. Would you believe Intellect was the dump stat for pure spellcasters, of all things? The reason was because Intellect only expanded the mana pool and increased critical strike chance by a miniscule amount, and the secondary stat spell power (which in and of itself was separated into damage/healing and healing only) had a much greater impact on the oomph of spells. The game did nothing to indicate this to the player as dynamic tooltips were a while off.
      • Intellect would remain in the dumps until finally fixed in Wrath of the Lich King (the second expansion) to give a 1-to-1 increase to spell power.
    • Also, the "tier sets" (armor sets specific to a class) had a not-insignificant amount of their "stat budget" (the amount of points allocable to the item's stats, based on the item's internal level) devoted to magic resistance stats, which all put together was a piffling amount at worst and basically held down the effectiveness of those sets. To be straight, the sets dump-statted themselves. In addition, some classes (notably mage) had lousy enough set bonuses for wearing a certain number of pieces that it was just as effective to just wear the highest spell power piece of gear available in each slot. This finally went away for the tier sets for the Naxxramas raid, but that area was such a ball-buster that few ever collected them when it was current.
      • Eventually, magic resistance stats were purged out of the game altogether, though they still exist on legacy gear.
    • Certain secondary stats such as Hit and Expertise were essentially dump stats if you went over whatever made it impossible to miss / impossible to be dodged/parried because they did nothing past those numbers. To partially solve this problem, it became possible in Cataclysm to reallocate part a secondary stat on gear into a more desirable secondary, but it eventually got out of control by the end of the next expansion to the point where it was done away with altogether in Warlords of Draenor by removing stats such as hit and expertise altogether from the game and just making it so that you couldn't miss unless 1) you were fighting something more than 3 levels above you 2) you were affected by a temporary malus that dropped your chance to hit 3) you were dual-wielding (and even then only your automatic attacks could miss; special attacks, pursuant to the previous two rules, could not).
    • However, Warlords itself introduced a highly reviled secondary stat into the game: Versatility. Its effect is simple: each point increases damage and healing by a flat percentage and also reduces damage taken by half that. The main reason it is hated is fourfold: 1) there is no visceral impact to the stat (Critical Strike makes you hit harder more often, Haste makes your actions quicker, and Mastery mostly has a definite impact depending on one's class and specialization); 2) it often requires more of it than other stats to have the same impact, given scalars; 3) due to that damage reduction effects are multiplicative to each other in WoW and not additive, and due to 2, the impact of its damage reduction effect is very small; and 4) another secondary stat was introduced in the same expansion (Multistrike, which gave a % chance for any attack to immediately fire off up to two more time at 30% effectiveness, with corresponding visuals) that was far more impactful. Though Blizzard eventually decided that Multistrike was infringing into the elemental shaman Mastery (which was basically Multistrike already but on an order of magnitude higher) and removed it from the game with Legion, replacing all instances of Multistrike everywhere with... Versatility.
    • Also, due to the nuances in mechanics between classes and specializations, and the extremely dedicated math-optimizing community that plays the game, at least one stat per class and specialization is considered undesirable. A lot of the time, this is Versatility. Many tier sets from this era had just enough Versatility sprinkled around them that if even if you were fully optimized, you inevitably were going to have to have a tiny amount of it. However Battle for Azeroth is doing away with tier sets going forward, so the game may be entering an era of perfect optimization to where any gear with the dump stat on it would be considered unusable garbage. Whether this will end up being so remains to be seen.
      • Leech is considered only somewhat less useless than Versatility for a couple reasons. It heals players by a given percentage of damage they do but this number is very small, and the stat itself suffers from diminishing returns. Tanks don't deal enough damage to get any noticeable returns from the stat, damage-dealers shouldn't be taking more than incidental damage if they play well, and healers can simply heal themselves anyway. Furthermore, most classes already have a method to heal themselves. However, this is ultimately subverted because Leech does not occur naturally on gear (with the exception of 3-4 unique items throughout the entire game); it only occasionally pops up as a bonus stat.
  • As alluded to by this ProJared review for Quest 64, anything that isn't Earth or Water magic. Earth contains a magical repulsion spell and since everything in the game uses magic to attack, you can't be hurt if you use it so you definitely want that (and the Avalanche ability has the potential massive damage so that doesn't hurt either). Meanwhile Water elemental enables healing and you'll need that before you get your repulsion spell and by the time it's earned, you might as well just grind it all the way up. The character's innate abilities (like Agility) also operate like this due to the "you-get-more-by-doing-that-thing" experience system (which, as also mentioned in the review, works against itself and creates Dump Stats of counter-productive abilities, such as physical vs. magical attacks).
  • There are quite a few stats in World of Tanks, and often the differentiating factor for nations and vehicle lines is what stat they dumped to favor their preferred tactic. For instance, higher tier French vehicles tend to dump armor and ammo capacity in exchange for speed and burst damage, while many iconic German vehicles tend to dump agility and alpha damage in favor of accuracy and damage-per-minute.
    • On reaching 100% in their primary qualification, tank crews can train new skills and perks. The skills start taking effect as they start training, while perks only come into effect at 100%. Three skills — Repairs, Firefighting and Concealment — and one perk — Brothers in Arms (Sisterhood of Steel for female crews) — are shared and the rest are specific to the position. Some are pretty useless for certain vehicles, require too much specific circumstances to be of any use or have little effect to begin with.
  • In World of Warships, the way a player allocates skill points to a captain usually depends on what nation that captain belongs to. As examples, allocating points to gun-based skills is considered a waste for most Japanese destroyers as their guns are mediocre to horrible and their primary attack is the stealth torpedo launch. On the other hand, American and Russian destroyers tend to be gunboats first and foremost while their torpedoes are mediocre and very much a secondary weapon, so skills in gunnery are preferred to those involving torpedoes.
  • In Matches And Matrimony, Propriety is the one stat that isn't required to get any of the good endings and will even lock you out of some of these good endings if it's too high. Since several activities that raise other stats increase Propriety too, it can become something of a challenge to keep it low.
  • While not a video game itself, ask anyone familiar with RPG Maker games what the Luck stat does. Most players might not have ever even thought of it, and the developers themselves are split between those who don't know what it's even supposed to do and those who know what it's for, and never use it seriously. The Luck stat actually judges how effective inflicting status effects on enemies is, as well as how effective being inflicted with a status effect, but the player has to have their Luck stat in the hundreds (if not thousands) to even notice a difference. And that means "compared to the enemy," a stat ratio of 6,600:6,100 is as effective as 600:100.
  • In Stellaris, you can pick Traits to customize your race to make them smarter, stronger, weaker, shorter-lived, etc using the Point Build System. The Sedentary trait is almost always considered a Dump Stat, as it affects population resettlement and migration, the former you will use only sparingly (on account of Influence cost) and the latter happens automatically in the background randomly all the time anyway. Taking this disadvantageous trait is always good for a free Trait pointnote .
    • In general, which Trait becomes Dump Stat will depend on your Ethos. Choosing Fleeting means you will get to build more of the unique once-per-ruler structures and units exclusive to dictatorships. And if you are playing as genocidal Xenophobes, who cares what your neighbors think of your Repugnant appearance and customs?
    • For Hive Minds, which get an automatic +25% to pop growth speed, the -20% pop growth speed of Slow Breeders is an easy choice, as you'll still have 5% faster growth than normal empires. Especially considering Hive Minds are locked out of 2/3 ascension paths, only able to take the Biological Engineering, ensuring they can remove the trait later anyway.
  • In Guild Wars 2, Vitality isn't a very popular attribute, unless Toughness comes with it : in a game where every class has healing abilities (for themselves at least), reducing incoming direct damage is better than having more HP to heal - healing abilities scale with a different attribute called, well, Healing Power. The Necromancer is the only class that gets a substantial benefit from Vitality with the Death Shroud that scales with maximum health and is generated in percentage amounts rather than flat amounts. In the Fractals of the Mists, Vitality even becomes detrimental to any character due to the Agony that deals percent health damage and reduces all healings received by 70%, making high health characters take more damage from it and have less chances of survival than one with less health for the same amount of healing received.
  • In Cataclysm, intelligence is usually considered the least useful stat. Strength lets you move furniture around to create barricades, carry heavy loads, resist disease and injury, and hit enemies harder. Dexterity lets you hit enemies more often and throw stuff better. Perception lets you detect traps, aim ranged weapons, and see farther in darkness. Intelligence increases the rate at which you level up your skills and makes reading books faster (some advanced books have a large penalty to reading speed if your intelligence is below a threshold), but these disadvantages can be circumvented by simply having a lot of time. Unlike other stats, there is nothing that a character with low intelligence will never be able to do. The only unique use for intelligence is an unarmed build with Dragon style kung-fu, which gains added power from intelligence, seemingly as an Obvious Rule Patch to make the stat less useless.
  • The HP Boost in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is this to all but first-time or novice players. Since you will get far more mileage out of having a surplus of FP and equipping a buttload of badges, and can block almost every attack in the game, the HP Boost is a superficial bonus at best. The developers foresaw this and describe the HP Boost as "great if you lack confidence", and offer a late-game opportunity to switch level up bonuses, and the "Danger Mario" setup capitalizes off of this by reducing the HP stat below its starting point of 10 to abuse badges that savagely boost Mario's attack and dodge rates when at 5 HP or less.
  • Grand Theft Auto V gave us the Stealth stat, which...doesn't really do anything. Stealth outside of missions is minimum to zero as all it does is remedy the amount of noise the player makes when moving, which doesn't really matter much at all since rarely, if ever, the player will be in a tight spot with cops nearby who can hear them.
    • It is, however, more useful in GTA Online, but only in PvP modes, as stealth makes the character quieter and not appear in the minimap for nearby players. Outside of that however, in free mode, stealth is useless once more.
  • Lords of the Fallen: During the first playthrough, Luck increases the odds of finding crafting materials and consumable items. Crafting materials just means add-on gems. That's it. It becomes much more useful during New Game+, as a high luck stat means 3/4ths of all treasure chests have Rare Candy in them.
  • Warframe has "dump stats" in the form of Ability modifiers for each frame- Duration, Efficiency, Range, and Strength- which increase or decrease based on which mods a frame has equipped and can drastically impact the effectiveness or tweak individual traits of every ability in the game. Exceptionally powerful Corrupted Mods can allow one modifier to be dramatically improved at the expense of taking a significant penalty to another, which is sometimes counterproductive but becomes incredibly beneficial to specific frames which either don't care about certain modifier penalties or in rare cases actually benefit from having these stats reduced. Examples of frames which typically use these modifiers as dump stats are described below:
    • Duration is rarely lowered below the default 100% as doing so tends to be severely detrimental to the vast majority of frames. A notable exception is Trinity, who's Energy Vampire skill creates four energy-restoring pulses which are generated in intervals evenly divided over the length of the ability. Clever players quickly figured out that Trinity could generate these energy pulses incredibly quickly by lowering her Duration (and thus the length of the ability) as much as possible. This minimum Duration build continues to be one of the most popular setups for Trinity to this day.
    • Low Efficiency can utterly cripple most frames, but a few frames are so energy efficient that they simply don't care about spending significantly more energy on abilities and would rather use those percentage modifiers elsewhere. Saryn is a good example of this as even a single cast of her low cost Spore ability is so devastating to hordes of enemies that any reduced efficiency is generally insignificant. Nidus is a unique case of a frame actually benefiting from low Efficiency if played carefully, as his bread-and-butter Virulence skill refunds energy proportional to the energy used to cast it for each enemy hit. As long as Virulence always hits at least 3 enemies, you can effectively use the ability for free while maintaining a much larger energy pool than you would be able to with a standard Efficiency.
    • Range is a natural dump stat on frames which simply want to buff themselves rather than teammates and primarily use weapons instead of abilities to dish out damage at a distance. Chroma and to a lesser extent Rhino tend to be very popular candidates, as they can buff their durability and weapon damage to extreme levels and proceed to clean house with whatever primary weapon they have equipped. Strangely, Mesa builds also tend to use Range as a dump stat as for some reason the only effect it has on her Peacemaker ability (which her entire kit is based around) is the size of the targeting reticule, and does not impact the distance at which her Regulator pistols can hit enemies at.
    • Strength as a dump stat is a popular choice on crowd control frames such as Loki or Limbo who are primarily interested in crippling or disabling enemies and don't really care about the damage output of any of their abilities. Another notorious example is Nova, who's Molecular Prime ability normally slows down the fire rate and movement of enemies by an amount proportional to Ability Strength but instead speeds enemies up when her Strength is dropped below 100%. This is actually considered extremely useful by many Nova players, due to faster moving enemies naturally being encountered and killed (and thus farmed for resources) far more quickly than they would be otherwise.

  • Pitchers in baseball tend to have hitting as their dump stat as they spend virtually no time working to improve it. The American League overcomes this problem by use of the Designated Hitter, a man who bats instead of the pitcher but doesn't field (the National League isn't allowed to do this, and even the American League team can't if they're playing against a National League team).
  • Similar to baseball, in professional cricket, the very best bowlers tend to be the very worst batsmen. Australia's Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, the West Indies' Courtney Walsh, and Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan are four of the only five bowlers to take over 500 Test wickets in their international careers, and are also four of the only five batsmen to have been out for a duck (zero runs) more than 30 times.note 
  • In professional basketball the Quadruple-double is one of the rarest feats of the game because it forces a player to be dominant on both offense and defense. Most elite players focus on the offensive feats of points, rebounds and assists while using defensive skills like blocks and steals as their dump stat. Likewise this is why a Quintuple-double has never been accomplished above the high school level.
  • Goaltenders in hockey generally are poor puckhandlers and spend little time trying to improve it. This is because goaltenders generally shouldn't be handling the puck if there's an opposing player anywhere near it. There are exceptions, of course, the most famous being Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was so skilled at handling the puck, it basically made the dump-and-chase tactic worthless when he was in net, since any time the puck was anywhere near him, he would quickly play it out of the zone. Brodeur was sometimes called a "third defencemen", and he was a significant factor in the NHL changing the rules to limit where goaltenders could play the puck.
  • Another hockey example is enforcers and, to a lesser extent, pests. Both types of players have things like "scoring", "stickhandling", and "skating" as dump stats, skills you would probably consider fairly critical to being a hockey player. However, they make up for this in secondary talents - for enforcers, they are generally kept on the roster to deliver big hits, fight when called upon, and protect star players from being targeted; for pests, they are there to annoy the other team's star players with Trash Talk and borderline dirty plays to goad them into taking penalties, which not only removes the star player from the ice for a few minutes, it also gives the pest's team a power play. Both types of players were common in the 80s, but modern rules and the NHL's salary cap have largely discouraged teams from wasting salary on these types of players, unless they're decent at actually playing the game as well. However, modern-day pests and enforcers have one other dump stat that team owners appreciate: their salary is often amongst the lowest in the league.

    Web Comics 
  • Alt-text in Rusty and Co. suggests Madeline the Paladin's choice of dump stat has made her... a little gullible.
  • As the characters in The Order of the Stick are in a RPG-Mechanics Verse, they sometimes go as far as explicitly referring to Dump Stats. A running theme in the comic is that most characters would be considered poorly optimized in a real D&D campaign, and thus more often than not have bad choices of dump stats.
    • V is a very fascinating example in that they are the strongest member of their team despite sometimes being called "the master of the dump stat." They are Strength (can only carry one Bag of Holding), Constitution (elf; plus a backstory that involves studying, but little exercise), and Charisma (genuinely worried about being capable of apologizing to Elan), fitting for a Squishy Wizard Insufferable Genius. Heck, based on the large amount of very poor decisions, Wisdom also appears to be this (at least initially) and Dexterity seems to be mediocre (they're pretty poor with a bow, despite the racial bonus of an elf.) Despite this, V being a Wizard means they can still change entire battlefields. However, V is also impeded by their school of choice, or rather the two schools they disbarred (namely Conjuration, which has some of the most useful spells in the game and would've saved the team a lot of trouble.)
    • Haley's is Constitution and Wisdom. She doesn't get hit often, but when she does, doesn't take much to make her fall. Fits her Rogue nature. Wisdom meanwhile shows through her poor Will saves and her questionable choices (from humorous ones such as going dungeoneering in a leather tanktop to more serious ones such as dealing with her feelings.) It's implied it's the result of being raised by her dad, a well-meaning, but paranoid rogue who taught her as such to protect her (but also left her an emotional mess until she confessed to Elan.)
    • Elan's is Intelligence (and to a lesser extent Wisdom), best shown in his various ditzy decisions, moments and choices (though he is still Genre Savvy due to his bardic training and has shown growing amounts of Simple-Minded Wisdom.) Ironically, much like Thog, he is actually the most optimized among his peers as his base Bard class and his new Prestige Class Dashing Swordsman allows him to use his monstrous Charisma to full effect.
    • Belkar's is Wisdom, which is so low that he can't even cast the most basic of the spells associated with his ranger training. (He apparently took the training just so he could learn Dual Wielding.) And while he's not that dumb (meaning he didn't really dump intelligence), he's horribly impulsive and prone to awful decisions, forcing the other party members to rein him in at all times. He's suggested to be none too great in the Charisma department, either. Really, given his Square Race, Round Class nature, he needs all the points in physical stats he can afford.
    • Durkon's is implied to be Charisma. While he also The Heart (well, behind Elan), he's a dwarf, he's blunt, introverted, and not particularly personable, and his Turn Undead has a consistently poor success rate.
    • Roy plays with this trope. On the one hand, he doesn't seem to have a dump stat; all his traits and stats seem to be above average and thus making him a very well-rounded individual. On the other hand, most of those stats aren't made full use of because he plays a straight Fighter class rather than a class that would take advantage of his Lightning Bruiser stats (such as a Paladin), or even a caster class which would be stronger in the long run and take use of his impressive Intelligence. The latter is even lampshaded by his father. Roy noted he chose not to be a Paladin or Cleric because of his secular worldview and he refused become a spellcaster as a way to spite his Jerkass dad and because to follow in his father's (Roy's grandfather) footsteps of being a fighter, even using the family sword.
    • Charisma is O-Chul's. It's not that low, but for his badassery he not only needs high Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution (especially the last), but also high Intelligence and Wisdom as well. According to O-Chul, he chose Charisma as his dump stat back when he was a Fighter. It has come to bite him in the butt since it means he sucks at lying.
    • Intelligence is Thog's dump stat. Despite this, he ironically is better optimized than most others and thus has made the smarter choices for himself compared to the Linear Guild or Order of the Stick (outside perhaps V and Elan). note 
    • Crystal is either another Intelligence dumper or a minmaxer — she seems to have emphasized Dexterity the way Thog emphasized Strength, but it's uncertain how high her Strength and Constitution are, and her Charisma seems to be at least moderate. Her Wisdom also seems to be low. Ironically, she's an Assassin, a class that actually does make use of Intelligence a fair bit (for both spellcasting and the saves of its One-Hit Kill).
    • Celia seems to have dumped Wisdom, being a Stupid Good Genius Ditz. She's a good lawyer, but very unfamiliar to how things work on the mortal planes as supposed to the Plane of Air (though she does point out humans don't even have an entry in the Monster Manual she could look up, despite other beings like elves and dwarves do.)
    • Eugene Greenhilt is also lacking in the Charisma Department, and since he's already dickish enough to begin with he's horribly unpleasant to be around; he was a Grumpy Old Man even when he was young, as his wife put it.
    • Xykon's seems to be Wisdom, given his impulsiveness and lack of planning, and his Berserk Button is that he's always being treated like an idiot by wizards despite showcasing average intelligence. Or — on several occasionsabove average intelligence. Rather than striving to fix this, he's simply convinced himself he doesn't need planning when has overwhelming power and knows when to start fighting seriously.
  • Referenced by name in Darths & Droids #102. The Rant explains the idea even earlier and calls out Charisma as the useless one. Much later, Jim is preparing to debut his new character. When Chewbacca shows himself incredibly dignified, refined, and well-spoken, Jim comments that he gave his sidekick high points in all his character's dump stats. Then Jim brings out the new character, "Greedo" (a renamed version of Han Solo), and he's a horrible Italian stereotype who speaks in broken English.
  • Stat Dump haunts protagonist in Crawlers on the page titled Skills You'll Never Use.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary is shocked that Bill focused on charisma for his character.
  • Secret from Keychain of Creation has only 2 in Stamina.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-896: There are players whose avatars' stats reflect on them, and testing has five characters focus on five different stats, to the initial exclusion of all others, as the page says:
    D-896-a: Knight - character focus on stamina.
    D-896-b: Berserker – character focus on strength.
    D-896-c: Cleric – character focus on wisdom.
    D-896-d: Warlock – character focus on intelligence.
    D-896-e: Bard – character focus on charisma.

    Real Life 
  • High performance vehicles typically use driver comfort, ride quality, interior luxury and cargo space as their dump stats. Sometimes justified in the pursuit of higher performance and saving weight, but sometimes not where the modifications are a form of performance theatre to make the driver feel that they are going faster. The Bugatti Veyron goes the opposite way; it's an extremely luxurious vehicle, with all the creature comforts you'd expect from a less sporty vehicle, good insulation, ride stability, etc, while retaining a massively powerful engine. It sacrifices weight and handling instead : the car weights about 2 tons. As a result, the Veyron was soundly beaten by lighter vehicles like the Porsche 911 GT3 and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, despite its positively ludicrous acceleration and record-setting top speed.
  • Aesthetics, aka Fit and Finish, tend to be the dump stat for military weapons built during time of war. Sometimes the low stat only affects appearance, other times it results in poor ergonomics or low mean time between failure. This was lampshaded by the Webley company during World War II with their Mk IV revolvers, which were stamped with "WAR FINISH" to make sure that no one would think the painted-on finish and visible tool marks were the norm for a Webley product.
  • Fuel Efficiency was the dump stat for American vehicles up through the early 2000's. Cars could be made cheap and powerful (or cheap and "luxurious") as long as one didn't care how much fuel they used to reach those speeds or move that bulk. Initially justified because oil was never something that was going to run out. Fuel efficiency mattered for a brief period in the 1970's, but that was followed by another two decades of low oil prices that put an emphasis on vehicle size and off road capability.
  • Your classic battleship was a compromise between Armor, Firepower and Speed. Being warships, firepower as a dump stat was never a consideration. Speed was invariably the dump stat, ensuring battleships could take as much as they could dish out. Battlecruisers were an offshoot of battleships designed to have armor as a dump stat relying on their speed to stay away from what their guns couldn't outrange. As cruiser-killers and scouts, this was an effective (though very expensive) solution, but it didn't go so well when they were shoved into the line of battle and expected to stay there. Which sadly proved an almost irresistible temptation to admirals due to their battleship-like firepower.
  • Tanks are similarly designed with a compromise between Armor, Firepower and Mobility. (Which encompasses ability to handle rough terrain as well as just straight-line speed.) While not all tanks have a dump stat (depending on the particular tank's role, being merely decent in all areas might be considered acceptable), heavy tanks invariably have speed as their dump stat while light tanks inevitably dump armor and often firepower as well. Dump stats tend to be even more exaggerated with tank destroyers (which specialize solely in taking out other tanks); firepower is always emphasized, and either mobility or armor gets dumped almost to nonexistence.
    • Since WWII the vast majority of armies have opted for the Jack-of-All-Stats approach and settled for a fairly homogenous definition of "main battle tank": Something with as much armor as possible on a roughly 50-ton vehicle, a 120-125 mm gun, and an all-terrain speed of 40-60 kph. The new dump stat has become the general category of "crew comfort", since the only way to make a vehicle both heavily armoured AND light weight, is to reduce overall vehicle size. The Soviet Union embraced this approach, first reducing interior space with sloped and rounded armour and then reducing interior space further with even thicker sloped and rounded armour and low profile designs. Western tanks, that included crew comfort in their Jack-of-All-Stats approach, are almost hotels by comparison.
      • The Soviet T-64 was described as "a great tank for robotic dwarfs, but a poor tank for humans."
    • When a standard American main battle tank was exported to the new post-war Japanese Army, crew space that was at most adequate for the averagely built American soldier became absurdly spacious for a typical Japanese adult male, with a massive increment in the "crew comfort" stat.
      • Another way to dump stat crew efficiency is to simply eliminate members of the crew. The first to go was the bow machine gunner/radio operator/assistant driver. Some armies then went further and replaced the human loader with an auto-loader that took up less space. However this move has not been universal as auto-loaders have a reputation as Reliably Unreliable Guns, and fewer crew members mean fewer people on hand to do maintenance in the field.
  • Ship armour became a quintessential example of the dump stat following World War 1. Previously, cruiser and battleship armoring had assigned at least a few points of protection to all parts of the ship. The most vital areas (engines, magazines, primary weapons, steering and fire control), would get the majority of armour "points", but less-critical areas would still get something. After careful analysis in the years prior to World War 1, the United States Navy determined that less-critical areas outside a ship's central citadel were basically expendable and since any shell penetrating the citadel might result in the immediate loss of the ship, all the armour points should be applied to its protection. This resulted in the All or Nothing armouring scheme that was Exactly What It Says on the Tin with critical components getting the maximum possible armour protection and non-critical components (crew areas, the superstructure, etc) getting virtually none. Instead of being Crippling Overspecialization, this design was borne out in several World War 1 naval engagements where a number of Royal Navy ships were lost due to magazine explosions while sister ships with comparatively more damage in less critical areas were able to keep fighting.


Example of: