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Hitbox Dissonance

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Touché, or not touché... that is the question.

"There are no hitboxes, there are just ideas."

In video games, a hitbox is the part of an object considered 'solid' for the game's purposes. It would be very mathematically complicated to model all the characters' body parts and check when they've touched, so instead, a circular, rectangular, spherical, cuboidal or capsular region of each character is chosen as the hitbox. When two hitboxes overlap, the game knows that the characters have collided; when an attack lands inside a character's hitbox, it has hit the character. Fighting Game jargon usually differentiates the two boxes by calling the boxes that hit enemies (causing enemies to flinch) as "hitboxes" and the boxes on their body as "hurtboxes."note  In other genres the term "hitbox" gets used for both.

In the early days, it was a box, as a rectangular or circular solid is less math-intensive when doing the collision checks. More modern 3D games have a whole separate model made of hitboxes that closely follows the rendered model in logical space, many including different values for different body parts to enable hits to weak points for massive damage.

Sometimes, whether intentional or not, hitboxes don't match up quite right with the graphics, thus producing Hitbox Dissonance. This can take several different forms:

  • An enemy's hitbox is too small. This makes the enemy harder to hit, and tends to happen with small enemies that are already Goddamned Bats to begin with.
  • An enemy's hitbox is too large. This is especially problematic for enemies that attack via Collision Damage, and in extreme cases can break Willing Suspension of Disbelief when shooting the air two feet away from the big guy makes him bleed anyway. On the other hand, a larger hitbox means you can hit the enemy without your attacks actually touching the enemy.
  • The player's hitbox is too small. Although it makes the game easier against enemies (especially when dodging bullets), it can be more difficult trying to land on a platform when you don't know how much platform you have to work with.
  • The player's hitbox is too large, or extends beyond the visible portion of the sprite. This can be a rather glaring form of Fake Difficulty if your character is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Projectiles' hitboxes are too small. On magic, fire, or energy projectiles, this can be Hand Waved as only the core of the projectile counting, with the aura around it just being gases or debris of some sort.
  • Projectiles' hitboxes are too large. This can prevent the player from shooting through small spaces or around cover, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the game.
  • The hitbox is disjointed: the hitbox and main damaging areas do not follow the physical logic of the attack. For fighting games, disjointed hitbox means the hitbox and hurtbox don't overlap like they usually do, which may mean the attack is invulnerable.
  • The hitbox for world objects is broken, meaning shots will incorrectly shoot through an object or be incorrectly blocked by objects.

Some developers intentionally create this difference in collision size. The most frequent intentional use is a small player hitbox, hopefully displayed clearly so the player knows exactly what they can and can not get away with.

Fighting Game fans tend to explode when they encounter this type of problem. Maybe even the winner will Rage Quit, having unearthed the inherent unfairness. Regardless, it occasionally can be considered a Good Bad Bug. Not to be confused with Model Dissonance (although they could overlap).


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    Action Adventure 
  • MediEvil: Resurrection included sentient, man-eating pumpkins with a headbutting attack that did damage before the animation started.
  • One of the many, many flaws of Darkened Skye. The hitboxes on the enemies are rather smaller than the models (especially, yes, the Goddamned Bats), while your own hitbox is larger but your weapon's hitbox seems to be smaller. Fights are frustrating, to say the least.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda
      • The Magical Rod's hitbox is extremely broken: It can hit enemies further away than its sprite intended.
      • How the game handles Lynel beams (and in the second quest, Stalfos) and Wizzrobes' magic projectiles work is quite inconsistent: Most times, it will graze Link but not count as a hit. If he is positioned in a certain way, it will hit him despite him not being directly in front of said projectile.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: An example that's very noticeable, but not all that harmful. The Achemen (red bats that transform into devils) are always considered to be two blocks high even when in their one block bat form. If you take one out while it's still a bat, it'll explode as if it were a humanoid enemy. As well, down a low stab as you hit the ground from a jump will cause your attack to hit lower than it would if you just ducked and stabbed. While this can be used to kill some ankle-high enemies, you don't run into them often enough before getting the downward stab (which is how you're supposed to deal with them) for it to be any more than a mild convenience provided you run Death Mountain before taking on the second palace.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the Moblins' staff swing attacks seem to have an unusually far range. Link will be standing three feet away from one, and in the blink of an eye, he's been flung onto the ground.
    • This also seems to be the case with the Poes' scythe attacks from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • Neutopia II, the Turbografx-16 answer to The Legend of Zelda, doesn't handle jumping and flying very well. For example, you are at the upper section of the room doing something, and there is a jumping enemy at the bottom part of the same room. The enemy makes a huge jump (his shadow is visible on the bottom of the screen), but doesn't actually move anywhere. If the enemy sprite touch yours during the jump, it will actually damage you. And it works the other way around too, as you can attack the enemy while it is "in the air".
  • In ET The Extraterrestrial, the eponymous character's sprite has pixel-perfect hit detection. The problem with that is the game is in a Three-Quarters View, meaning his head can cause him to fall into a pit. It's not the only problem with the game, but it's one of the most annoying.
  • In Dragon's Dogma, Daimon has an attack where he flies at you & tries to grab you. It works if you're any where near him. Even if you're under his feet which are very far from his hands because he's giant.

    Action Games 
  • The original Ninja Gaiden trilogy nearly falls into the realm of Fake Difficulty because of its poorly sized and placed hitbox areas, both in the player character as well as in the enemies. The Act I boss of the original suffers from this too. You can have your sword be centimeters from hitting him, and you'll still do damage.
  • In Toy Story, the hitbox for Buzz during the gas station fight is noticeably large when he's bounding around the stage, so you get hit unless you're directly below the arc, making this fight unfairly hard.
  • In Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2, both Bugs Bunny and his enemies had tiny hitboxes, which could lead to odd situations where Bugs Bunny could walk right through them without any harm. The weapons Bugs could pick up, on the other hand, had large hitboxes, and in most situations, had no trouble hitting an enemy's small hitbox. It almost completely works in the player's favor, at least, and since Bugs is a One-Hit-Point Wonder, you may need all the help you can get.
  • In Battle City and Tank Force, players and enemies actually "snap" from one half-tile to another even though sprites seem to go smoothly. This was done to ease navigation as the problem was apparent in Tank Battalion.
  • The hitboxes for Chief Scalpem/Wigwam's knives in Sunset Riders don't always seem to be in the same place as the physical knives, meaning that in some cases, the safest place to be is directly in their path.
  • Alien Syndrome for the NES had a severe case of the "bigger" kind. In some cases, you could shoot the air and still kill your foes, and likewise you could die from touching the air near them.
  • Presumably this occurred with things like walls (especially oblique ones) in Superman 64, since a few cases shown in The Angry Video Game Nerd's review had the player get stuck despite being about three feet from the actual wall. See here at about 6:20
  • In Warriors games (such as Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, etc.), horses have their hit boxes located in their torsos so that when when you run into Mooks while on horseback it looks like they're being trampled underhoof; however, this means that you can park your horse against a wall and have their heads disappear into the masonry.
  • Due to a glitch in the HD Final ReMIX version of Kingdom Hearts II, some of Vexen's ice attacks will hit even when they're clearly not near their intended targets.
  • Because Rabi-Ribi was designed with bullet hell elements in mind, Erina's hitbox is actually much smaller than her sprite, different from the usual fare for 2D Platformers and Action games. It can be viewed either through a hidden technique or just shortly after a boss fight starts (in the later versions). To balance it out and make things look fair, the game designs the rest of the game's hitboxes with both sides in mind:
    • The aura/glow around many small bullets are included in the hitbox. Notable example is the pellets that sprout from the swaying stems attack.
    • Most bullets that look larger have their hitboxes smaller than the edge of the sprite would suggest. Notable example is Syaro's falling crystals attack; on certain difficulties, going through the middle of 2 of these perfectly placed beside each other is the only way to clear that pattern without damage.
    • Hitboxes of enemies are usually a bit larger than their sprite suggests. While this makes landing combos easier without sacrificing difficulty, it also balances it out due to Erina's visual sprite actually hitting the enemy visual sprite to trigger Collision Damage.
    • Despite the game's balance, there are still some projectiles that are quite non-intuitive:
      • Lilith has an attack where lightning shoots down from the sides of the screen and thin-but-long bullets form from them and move towards the center. The hitboxes of these thin bullets extend slightly way past its tail.
      • One of the final bosses of the main game is a long, huge flying creature, and it has an attack which swoops down and immediately flies up towards your location. However, the wings have absolutely no hitbox, meaning you can just walk sideways and completely dodge it. The attack is so fast that it would probably be undodgeable otherwise. This does also mean, however, that hitting its wings don't do damage.
      • "Lightning-like" laser attacks' hitboxes immediately form entirely even before the the entire lightning comes down. This means that if you happen to be just in range of where the laser would strike, as soon as the visual forms at the top of the ceiling, Erina can get hit even before it hits the ground. This is most evident when its the fatal attack, as the screen freezes when Erina gets KO'd and you can see the lightning not even anywhere close to the middle of its path.

    Driving Games 
  • Racing series Burnout and Excite Truck\Bots also use this, with "near miss" and "tree run" bonuses. The "small hitbox" is your whole car in these games though, and the "large hitbox" is the area around it.
  • Many early driving games have entirely rectangular Hit Boxes, which is really egregious when it extends all the way to the side-view mirrors.
  • Screamer seemingly has two hitboxes for each car: the front, which massively slows or flips a car when hit, and the back, which goes through other cars but may trigger their front collision. In short, as long as you're even one millimeter ahead of your opponents, sideswiping them causes your car to clip through them and then they wreck.
  • While GRiD 2 has correct hitboxes, all the weight of a car is in the back regardless of its actual shape or the weight distribution of the real car, apparently to combat the rammer problem that existed in the first game. When you hit the back of an opponent, you get knocked off course while they continue on largely unaffected. It took the online community about a day to figure out they can now effortlessly push you off the road as long as they are in front. The track design isn't helping.
  • Mario Kart 8 has some bugs in regards to certain walls, fences, ramp sides, and barriers that previous games didn't have. The effects of this dissonance can vary depending on the surface, but players have found themselves stopped completely just by simply brushing up against the surface's side or when boosting, being thrown 90 degrees away from the surface's side. Items that are shot ahead often bounce off these sides back at the users even if the user fires them at an angle.
  • In Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune, the cars' hitboxes extend infinitely along the Y-axis, so as to prevent one car from getting on top of another (such as on jumps).

    Fighting Games 
  • Soulcalibur: Custom characters suffer from this. Since all custom characters are the same height but use a standard character's weapons, the standard character's hitbox is mapped onto the custom character, which leads to problems when using the style of a particularly tall or short character. V and VI avert this by letting custom characters' heights be chosen from one of five options. A star is above the choice that matches the standard character's height the closest. Choosing an alternate height both resizes all hitboxes and applies a slight damage multiplier to compensate for the altered attack range — e.g. a height-1 character using Astaroth's fighting style will have the highest average damage output for non-combo attacks in the game in exchange for not being able to hit from as far away as the real Astaroth.
  • Tekken:
    • Tekken 5 was pretty notorious for grounded mids, especially in wall combos. Some mid-level attacks do have the property of hitting a character on the ground (downward chops, rising kicks, etc). But there were a lot of straight thrusting attacks that hit a person almost completely lying on the ground or rolling to the side. One big offender was Anna's Tread Water kicks to Judgement Kick (f,f+3,4,3~b, 3), the last of which was a front kick which would hit a grounded opponent or sometimes even an opponent behind Anna.
    • When Tekken Tag Tournament 2 launched on consoles, it was discovered that Kunimitsu (and her alone) could crouch under a small number mid-hitting attacks. Visually, this wasn't a problem since she was the shortest character in the game and her unique crouching animation had her in a physically lower position. It did look stranger when this oversight was fixed in patches. Another noticeable issue with her was that for some reason she would be juggled in the air the same as some of the largest characters like Marduk and Jack despite her short stature.
  • M.U.G.E.N - Disjointed hitboxes are also one of potentially many signs of a badly made character. Remember, the quality of the sprite has nothing to do with how the character gives nor receives damage, as those are programming values.
  • Super Smash Bros. comes across this a lot, partially due to the fact that a single attack can have several different hitboxes with sometimes wildly different strengths.
    • In the original, Kirby's Up-Tilt attack has much larger hitboxes than it should, allowing him to kick upwards behind him and hit an opponent clearly some distance behind or above him.
    • Ganondorf's down special continues for about four seconds, but by the third second it stops doing potential damage. This creates the odd situation where you should be going through someone with your foot but they smack you back. More evident in his recovery (up special) where not only is it unlikely that you will latch onto an opponent, but the punch at the end will most likely never hit.
    • Snake's side and up tilts are absolutely ludicrous in this regard. Both of them have hitboxes which strike at least a foot in front of where his feet/hands end. This is especially noticeable with his up tilt, which makes Snake kick straight upwards into the air and yet can hit an opponent seemingly three feet in front of him. This is thought to be because in development at some point Snake's model was resized, but they forgot to resize his hitboxes, resulting in all of them being twice as large as the model.
    • Infamously in Melee, Marth and Roy's grab hitboxes are twice as long as they really should have been, leading to jokes like this. Their standing grabs are actually able to grab Yoshi from farther out than he can grab them, despite them having seemingly standard grabs and Yoshi having a ranged grab via his tongue.
    • Quite a few characters can hit people standing behind them thanks to attacks with hitboxes that extend behind their back or over their shoulder. It's also common to see larger characters such as Bowser or DK be a victim of grabs, when the person grabbing them was nearby, but facing the opposite direction.
    • King Dedede's has a long grab range, extending quite a distance from his actual hand.
    • Meta Knight's up taunt includes some hurtboxes way above him. If he's on the main platform on Brawl's Yoshi's Island, and someone attacks while on the upper platform, during his up taunt, it's possible to hurt him.
    • Wii U and 3DS onwards addresses this by either adding Sword Lines to most moves that would otherwise suffer from this or enlarging the fists/legs of the character in the middle of the attack. However, there are still a few cases of attacks missing despite all appearances due to the hitbox not actually being active until a certain point. For instance, Little Mac and Wario have forward-smash attacks that consist of a vicious punch in front of them, but it's entirely possible for them to miss if the opponent is too close, even with the fist going straight through them.
    • In for 3DS / Wii U, Meta Knight's attack range was Nerfed to about half of what it was in Brawl. While this was a good thing for balance, the fact that the size of his sword model hasn't changed meant that visually, the upper half of his sword was completely non-functional. The aforementioned Sword Lines even have the same dissonance, suggesting that the range nerf was probably added relatively late in development.
    • Greninja's hurtbox extends above his head, so some attacks that clearly shouldn't hit will register. This was likely done so his ninja stance wouldn't cause him to constantly low-profile everything without effort.
    • Despite the game being played in a 2D plane, the hitboxes still follow the 3D models. It's why sometimes you'll see attacks passing through a character despite seemingly hitting them - because the model is in a (non-dodging) pose that somehow makes the attack not connect with it.
      • An especially notorious example of this is Yoshi's dash-grab in Melee. In the animation, Yoshi tilts his head slightly, making his tongue visually occupy the area behind the usual plane of fighting instead of being straight-on like usual. Rather than altering the hitboxes so that it still occupies the proper area needed to connect, they kept them attached directly to his tongue, meaning the hitboxes show up behind the plane of battle! Only especially thick fighters or those who are performing actions that move them into the background are able to be caught. Later games would repair this by making Yoshi face head-on during the animation rather than leaning to the side.
      • Inverted with stages that have a flattening effect, starting with Flat Zone in Melee. These have caused characters' hitboxes to be inconsistent between stages, as problems are caused by this dissonance not being there. This is because the model containing the hitboxes is also flattened, not just the visual character model. Because of this, attacks that wouldn't normally land if on any other stage do so anyway on one of these. This is one of the primary reasons that the Omega and Battlefield forms of stages were very rarely used in tournaments in for 3DS / Wii U, despite tournament play being the very reason they were created.
    • Bayonetta's spot dodge has her leaning back towards the foreground. The hurtboxes also leaned into the foreground, which means some characters' grabs (like Pikachu) would never hit her. The worst part is the hurtboxes didn't return back to normal, so she was flat-out invincible. This was quickly fixed in a later patch.
    • Jigglypuff is notorious for its Rest attack's hitbox being confined to the area around and between its eyes. Even large characters with disjointed hitboxes might be able to avoid it, particularly in later games, where characters will gently push away from each other if they occupy the same space. This is given a Hand Wave in Brawl (and by extension Ultimate) with Snake's codec conversation about it, in which the Colonel will describe the attack as a surge of energy at Jigglypuff's center of gravity.
    • Pac-Man's grab in the fourth game has a graphic that lasts for several seconds, but the active grab is only about one or two of those. That means it has both a wind-up time before you can grab them and an effective recovery time where an opponent can run through your grab animation and attack you. This was fixed in the next game and actually became one of the best grabs in the game, having much less lag and being able to beat spot-dodges, which is usually the right answer to grabs.
    • Palutena's grab has gained a similar reputation to that of Melee Marth, as it similarly reaches far beyond where her hands reach. Though at least she has godly powers as an excuse.
    • Joker's Arsene counter Tetrakarn in Ultimate looks fairly standard for a counter that covers his body, but actually reaches around him by several feet, making it almost impossible to touch without getting hit by it, even with the almighty sword of Sephiroth. It can even interrupt some recoveries through the stage for this reason.
    • In the first game, the non-playable Giant Donkey Kong has very different hitboxes from the ordinary DK rather than just having DK's hitboxes scaled up, which give many of his attacks very noticeable dead zones if the opponent is too close to him. For instance, with his Down Smash, his legs will harmlessly go right through the opponent if they don't touch his feet.
    • Mythra's hitbox during her Photon Edge attack goes slowly forward and remains on the same horizontal plane as when she activates it, even though the attack has her zipping all over the place. This for the benefit of opponents, as it makes it easier for her to be interrupted during the attack by characters with long-range attacks or projectiles, without having to figure out how to catch the zippy swordswoman during an animation that has her teleporting several times per second.
    • This can be played with using a well-timed snapshot. Should you have a player use an attack that shifts their hurtbox by a long way, then have the other player attack it with a strong move, the victim will quickly snap into their "Hit" pose. Pausing the game will then make it look like the attack they got hit with just has way too much range.
  • Hattori Hanzo's Limit Break in Samurai Shodown III had a hitbox that stuck around nearly a second after the actual explosion. Worse, it did not combo with the rest of the attack, meaning that a person who blocked the attack could let off the block a moment too early, and end up taking the full brunt of it anyway.
  • BlazBlue:
    • The hitbox for Ragna's Carnage Scissors is much taller than the graphics would suggest, and even reaches behind him. It is even more noticeable with Hakumen's Yukikaze. The thing hits the entire horizontal plane and even double jumping will not save you unless you have moves that rocket you farther up screen.
    • A rule of thumb for Arc System Works fighting games is that a weapon's hitbox is also its hurtbox. This can cause problems if you're playing as someone like Amane Nishiki, whose ribbon attacks can cover most of the screen width - and so, with poor timing, can be damaged by attacks that are nowhere near his physical body. For further reference, see Yuzuriha's sword and Waldstein's gauntlets from Under Night In-Birth.
  • The NES version of Yie Ar Kung-Fu suffered for this quite a bit where a hit was registered a miss and vice versa. The fact that the enemy was mostly made out of background instead of sprite contributed to that.
  • Killer Instinct was known for allowing some truly absurd crossups - essentially, kicking your opponent in the face by jumping over their head and grazing the air a metre behind them with your left knee.
  • As you'll find below, Touhou Project is famous for how important your character's hitbox is. This even carries over to the fighting game spinoffs, where sometimes dodging that instant-kill spellcard or that one bullet that would knock you out upon hitting relies solely on your knowledge of hitboxes.
  • There are probably a few instances of this in Street Fighter II, but an especially noticeable one comes in Champion's Edition, when Vega's crouching medium punch meets Zangief's sweep kick. Although visually Gief's foot passes under Vega's arm and doesn't touch either of his legs, this exchange results in Vega being tripped and Zangief not being struck at all.
  • Street Fighter III has a problem with so called "nails"note  where attacks would extend just a little farther that they should, as seen in the quotes page.
  • Super Street Fighter IV: In a shocking Nerf to fan favorite Makoto, who in Street Fighter 3 was able to pull combos like this, her EX Grab didn't extend past half her arm's length; they've since fixed this in Arcade Edition. In Street Fighter IV, the developers wanted to do 3D polygon collision instead of hitboxes. However, negative feedback from fans resulting in the game playing this straight.
  • Street Fighter V: Part of the reason Nash was a High-Tier Scrappy early in the game's life-cycle was the fact that his hurtboxes during his punches and kicks were ludicrously big — in the neighborhood of 150% bigger than his arm/leg — making it trivially easy to stuff his attacks.
    • The rest of the game has the opposite problem, with hurtboxes being way shorter than the actual limbs they were attached to.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has quite a few of these.
    • Most notable is Hulk's standing H, which can hit an opponent directly behind him, even though he's swinging his fist the opposite way.
    • Another example is how Viewtiful Joe's hitbox was updated in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Though Joe is already a small character, his hitbox shrinks whenever he is airborne. This was done to facilitate his evasion of projectiles as he approaches his enemies, as Viewtiful Joe relies heavily on his Double Jump and Air Dash in regards to mobility. With his shrunken hitboxes, Joe can get up close and personal much more easily, at which range his own stubby limbs aren't a both.
  • Dead or Alive: Wake-up kicks can stun an opponent even when they look like they're merely tapping their toenails. Particularly grating when the opponent lands no less than 6 feet away.
  • In Marvel: Contest of Champions Rocket Raccoon has the same size hitbox as all other champions, so as not to give him an unfair advantage due to his relative smallness. This is also why he always floats in combat using his jetpack and only gets down on the ground for one special attack and for his winpose.
  • The King of Fighters XIII: While it's honestly somewhat plausible that Mr. Karate's Ko'ouken punch causes an invisible shockwave, it is nonetheless common to see it send opponents flying back who were visibly not in contact with his hand.
  • Guilty Gear: The Missing Link:
    • Ky's jumping Slash has an additional set of hurtboxes roughly two character lengths behind him. The chance of getting hit on those hurtboxes specifically is somewhat low, but that doesn't make it any less odd.
    • Axl has a number of moves where the developers apparently forgot to fill out the hitbox and hurtbox data, resulting in seemingly random periods of invulnerability.
    • The hitboxes for Justice's Michael Sword start appearing on frame 1. However, they're too small and too deep inside her sprite to actually hit anything — a hitbox capable of hitting the opponent doesn't appear until frame 10, and even then, it takes another 10 frames to actually hit in front of Justice.
  • Faust weaponizes this trope in Guilty Gear -STRIVE-. One of his new special moves is a command grab where he gives his opponent a haircut, creating a giant Funny Afro. The afro has a large hurtbox, so it makes it harder for the opponent to avoid attacks. The result: combos that require the enemy to have an afro. It can also be lit on fire to deal even more damage.

    First Person Shooter 
  • There's nothing quite like putting bullet holes into empty air in MAG.
  • Doom has a litany of these, and most are kept in vanilla-accurate source ports.
    • Everything is essentially treated as having infinite height, allowing monsters to body-block and melee players even if they are hundreds of meters apart vertically.
    • The Spider Mastermind seems to take up space at least four feet farther on each side than it appears. This often leads to it getting hung up on walls and other monsters when used in custom levels.
    • The plasma rifle has the "projectile's hitbox is too large" variety, while the Mancubus's fireball has the inverse problem of a too-small hitbox, to the point where they can clip straight through walls.
    • Hitscan attacks (bullets, BFG tracers and melee) can completely fail to hit its target depending on where the shooter and the victim are standing in open space, even at point-blank range. This is due to the blockmap bug: hitscan collision is registered when the hitscan attack's trajectory line touches the cross-sections of the target's bounding box, but if the hitscan line and the cross-sections intersect in a blockmap where the center of the bounding box is not, the collision check fails. This also makes melee-ing large enemies extraordinarily difficult. ZDoom and derivative source ports fix this issue by changing the collision check to consider the edges of the bounding box, exactly like projectiles do in vanilla.
    • Projectiles that impact with the "ceiling" of sectors which have an open sky immediately despawn. This is rarely triggered without using freelook, however, and tends to be of little consequence when autoaim sends a projectile into the skybox, as that means it missed the monster it aimed at anyway.
    • Due to the pseudo-3D gameplay and the way in which maps are created, switches can be triggered even if you're not physically on the same level as the actual graphic for that switch. Hac X MAP16 in particular can be completed in one second because the exit switch is in the same area the player starts the level in, just hidden underground until the player finds and uses four other switches throughout — just turn around and use the empty air behind you.
  • In Doom II, the sprite for Revenants is noticeably taller than their hitboxnote . The difference between sprite and hitbox doesn't manifest as aiming difficulties, but it allows them to walk into tunnels that a new player wouldn't expect them to fit into.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has a weird example with the Battlelord Jr: while they aren't immune to the Shrink Ray like some monsters, for some reason you have to shoot them in below the waist for the hit to register (near the left foot works best). As no other monster has this problem, it is presumably a bug due to the Battlelord Jr's sprite being so big.
  • Unreal brings us both monster variants:
    • The Titan, being essentially a twenty-foot reptilian gorilla, isn't very compatible with the simple collision cylinders used in the game, thus ending up with at least a minor form of the "shoot the air next to him" trouble. That said, this is probably a good thing for game balance due to his immense power and durability.
    • The Pupae and Predator enemies are best taken out from afar, since once in melee range, their narrow collision cylinders make them nigh-untouchable.
  • The Spy of Team Fortress 2: Landing a successful backstab (which is instant death) depends on the view angle of the victim, and not the actual pose of the character, causing dissonance when combined with some animations. This is in addition to lag and the game's rather odd way of calculating melee hits (using the player's bounding box) and, well, you end up with a lot of sidestabs and facestabs. Numerous tweaks and updates have gone toward trying to get it right, though you can't please everyone.
    • To the Spy's considerable advantage: a disguise does not change your hitbox. A headshot to your fake head will hit you in the torso if the model is short enough.
    • To add to this: the Spy can disguise as his own team, so the enemy sniper may not even know the player is a Spy.
    • Better still, the Sniper is taller than the Spy. It's very possible that what would have been a headshot on a real Sniper will go straight over your head.
      • If you don't need to get somewhere in a reasonable time framenote  then the best disguise is the Heavy, since the majority of the Heavy's fake head is over the Spy's shoulder, so nearly all attempts at headshots will harmlessly pass through empty air.
    • With the Sniper's bow unlock, the Huntsman, it's quite possible to aim a few inches to the left or right of an enemy's head and still get a perfect headshot, as it uses the character's bounding box (which is the same for every class and just a giant prism) rather than the hitboxes (which vary by class and conform to their model and movement). Upon a succesful shot, the arrow finds the closes hitbox and applies the corresponding damage. Getting Boom Headshotted from someone that certainly looked like they missed has led to derisive nicknames for the weapon, including "Huntspam" or "Lucksman", and the smaller the class, the more susceptible they are to it.
    • Being hit by an enemy with a melee weapon in general is wonky - it will often appear the enemy is several feet from you and hitting you with a really long fist. This is because, rather than using hitboxes, melee attacks use one big map-aligned cube to determine hits. Further compounding the issue is several melee animations, namely all of the Pyro's weapons and the Demoman's two-handed weapons, are disjointed relative to time. What this means is from your perspective, the attack hits while the Pyro/Demoman is still winding up for the strike. The Pyro/Demoman don't see this, however; their first-person animations are synced properly. The Engineer has the opposite problem, which can be demonstrated by aiming at a wall and using melee. It will leave a strike mark in the wall as he's rearing back with his wrench to swing it.
    • Taunt kills are even more silly. It's possible to temporarily dislocate the hitbox from the onscreen model, making it so that, for example, Sniper's arrow stab shanks someone directly behind him. Even without that, the range for several of them extend far enough to where the attack's animation doesn't have to actually touch the victim to do the damage. Most taunt kills even hit above you, so if your enemy is standing on your head they still get shafted. This isn't even touching on Heavy's ability to shoot his Finger Gun a full 90 degrees above/below where his arm is pointing.
    • Speaking of taunts, animations like taunts and post-round humiliation stances (and others like spy crabs) do not have matching hitboxes, meaning you need to shoot where their head would be if they weren't taunting, spycrabbing or being humiliated (thankfully, taunting opponents are immobile and humiliation gives you unlimited critical hits, mitigating the issue). This actually becomes a problem in Mann Vs. Machine as robots that hold the bomb long enough start giving out Status Buffs but taunt to give the playering an opening. It can make killing them as sniper before they move again quite frustrating.
    • The Sentry Buster in Mann Vs. Machine has a model that looks a seamine with legs, but the hitbox of a Demoman with an Ullapool Caber. This actually works in the players' favor, because the hit box covers everything the model does plus invisible arms and legs — Snipers even get critical hits for shooting them in the head they don't have!
    • The Halloween event map Ghost Fort (which is actually played on KOTH Lakeside rather than 2Fort) features the ghost-wizard Merasmus, who can spin the Wheel of Fate to curse the players every time the point is captured. The curses include "Big Head" and "Tiny Head" curses, which gives them comically deep or squeaky voices respectively. To the dismay of Snipers and relief of everyone else, while the models for the heads may balloon up to the size of their body or shrink to the size of a man's fist, hitboxes are unaffected. This actually makes getting a headshot on a Big Headed enemy much more difficult since the definition of where the head hitbox is in the model is no longer clear.
    • Until it was fixed in a patch, the Engineer didn't have a hitbox for his crotch, while the rest of the classes do. Examined in this video (it also mentions other instances of hitbox dissonance, such as the Scout's messenger bag and the Pyro's fuel tank being hitboxes). The absence of this hitbox is a little less noticeable than other dissonance instances due to the crotch being a relatively small portion of the whole model (which may be why it had been left unpatched until almost a decade after the game's release).
    • Lastly, in a dissonance that effects everyone, all hitboxes are disjointed relative to time. That is, your hitbox exists a fraction of a second in front or behind you. This is a side-effect of the hitbox prediction system used by the engine to compensate for minor latency spikes and make the game run smoother. For most weapons, namely projectiles, the difference is only 1/60th of a second, almost imperceptible to the human players. But every now and then you can get your head blown off by a Sniper a quarter-second after you'd ducked behind a wall.
  • In Counter-Strike: Source, players' hitboxes actually lag a step behind their models. This can lead to some frustrating missed shots or WTF deaths. This happens in just about any online shooter to some extent, varying depending on lag and netcode.
    • For the technically-inclined, an excellent article on how Source engine games (Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike etc.) usually handle this can be found here. Making sure that gameplay seems fair (even at the cost of it actually being fair) is an important priority for developers who want the game to be any fun.
  • Call of Duty frequently has seemingly wonky hitbox detection, as seen from killcams in online play. The hitboxes are actually very, very detailed, but even a small amount of lag (as in, normal amounts of lag), can turn a kill into a miss. Headshots are, therefore, best pushed into the realm of luck rather than skill with anything other than a sniper riflenote . Games in the series that try to compensate for lag often end up making this even worse - resulting in, say, a sniper standing right next to a window, aiming down, and killing you along the wall below, when from your perspective all that's even visible is the very tip of his gun's barrel pointing straight forward.
  • Killing Floor had effectively broken hitboxes on a pair of high level monsters: one had his head hitbox buried in his neck in such a way that it was more or less impossible to hit without attacking from above, another had his head hitbox floating in mid air above his left shoulder. This meant that new players attempting to gain head shots by shooting at the head found it impossible. Veterans that had learned about this and knew where to aim or how to exploit AI could hit them, but of course when this bug was finally fixed there were cries that the devs were pandering to the scrubs and had ruined the difficulty.
  • In Left 4 Dead the Hunter's hitbox is actually a ways ahead of him, as various YouTube tutorials have pointed out. One must take this into account when trying to melee them during their pounces. This has also extended to the Jockey and the Spitter in the sequel. The Jockey can leap and latch onto a survivor from at least 2 feet away due to its ranged hitboxes and the Spitter's acid patch has a slightly larger hitbox, leading to players being damaged from the acid even though their character models aren't physically standing in the acid.
    • The sequel as a whole seems to have much less polished collision detection. Melee weapons are always supposed to be a one-hit kill, but can clip through zombies, or even hit them without killing them. The hit sound will still play and in some cases there'll be blood, but the zombie won't die. Stranger still is this is in part dependent on the weapon, so you'll see it more often with the nightstick or crowbar than you will with the bats or katana. When it comes to Special Infected, the new additions are pretty bad as well - Chargers sometimes grab you when you're outside of their immediate range, while sometimes they won't, and the Jockey's hitbox is a fairly large distance from the model itself, which makes shoving Jockeys away very hit-and-miss. The fact that Jockeys have a really bad tendency to pop up out of seemingly nowhere doesn't help, either. On top of that, all these bugs can happen in single-player and local games as well.
    • The survivors generally have the same sized hit boxes, so that no survivor has an advantage over another survivor, but Zoey's hit boxes are slightly smaller than everyone else.
  • In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Emperor Ing's second form takes an absurd amount of damage from the Screw Attack if you land near his feet. Not a direct hit, you must land near him. He'll crumple in under a minute. Also, his chin seems to block many blasts if you shoot him from ground level; try jumping. Data hacking revealed Ing has Dummied Out hitboxes near his knees that block shots but can be Screwed. The Wii rerelease fixed the hitbox.
  • When diving to the ground in Battlefield 2, the animation shows a running character jump forward before landing on the ground. The hitbox, on the other hand, changes to 'prone' instantly, making the diving character very hard to hit, even if you know you shouldn't aim for the airborne body but for the ground below him.
    • The hitbox wasn't the only thing that went straight to prone - the diving player also got the improved accuracy of firing from prone. This is why before it was fixed in a patch Dolphin Diving was the biggest Game-Breaker the series had ever seen.
  • Battlefield 3 has major examples of the physics object hitbox issues. Many of the random items on the floor of the world like boxes or pieces of rubble are only client side, not server side. Which means the rubble, box or crate you are hiding behind on your screen is actually nowhere near you on your opponent, meaning you are standing out in the open from his view.
  • Postal 2 has an egregious example with Gary Coleman, especially noticeable when he gets into a fight with NPCs that always aim for the head and make puffs of blood appear above Gary's head. This is presumably done to maintain balance in multiplayer and avoid the issues that GoldenEye had with everyone trying to pick Oddjob.
  • It's possible to create this with custom skins in some games, including the original Unreal Tournament, if the skin is sufficiently larger than the normal character model. Snipers trying for headshots will have a much harder time hitting the character. Then again, this can backfire as less skilled/experienced players can get accidental headshots while attempting (generally more reliable) body shots.
  • The zombies in Call of Duty: Zombies seem to have hit boxes that are as large the doors they are trying to maneuver through. This has resulted in many a game ended because of one zombie taking up the entirety of what appears to be a double door.
  • Halo:
    • The player models from Halo 3 onward (including Halo: Reach and Halo 4) had this, with a mix between being silly and slightly realistic: Shooting a player's gun will hurt the player, while you can also stick with a gun with a grenade.
    • In the Master Chief Collection Updated Re-release, players can free switch between the original graphics, and updated graphics. Often, the level geometry of the updated graphics is much smoother (45 degree corners replaced with round corners, for example), but the game continues to use the classic graphics for hit detection, leading to frequently missed hits when trying to shoot enemies near a corner with a precision weapon.
  • In Warrock, shooting an Assault's backpack will deal damage as blood spurts out of the pack.
  • In the original PlanetSide, players could cause their hitbox to disconnect from their body by exploiting the game's primitive netcode; by rapidly alternating the left and right strafe keys, players would start warping back and forth with their hitbox lagging behind them. The glitch returns albeit far less potent in the sequel, as players using their weapon's sights move slower, though minor dissonance is noticeable on weapons with less of a speed penalty.
  • Overwatch has extra large hitboxes for projectile weapons. This has led to situations where characters like Hanzo can effectively get headshots around corners.
    • Blizzard's reasoning for this is to allow characters with projectile weapons a fair chance with dealing with some of the more mobile characters in the game, many of which have abilities which make hitting them with projectile weapons pretty hard.
    • This was done deliberately for Ana, whose main fire can either hurt enemies or heal allies. The projectile has a much larger hitbox for allies than it does for enemies, despite being the same darts. This is so she can easily hit mobile allies and keep them healed up.
    • The game's characters in general largely use a variety of capsule and sphere shapes to make up their hitboxes. This can be heavily dissonant with the game's thinnest characters with the silouettes to match, such as Tracer, Symmetra, or Echo.
  • Paladins:
    • The game assigns two hitboxes per champion; one Capsule-style Hitbox to cover the body, and a second one to act as a headshot hitbox that covers, well, the head. These are more befitting of an arena shooter, rather than a competitive first person hero shooter, and comes with the obvious problem of having large blank spaces around the head, torso and legs that players can score damage onto an enemy when they really shouldn't be able to as they're not visibly hitting them, also making spraying bullets a fairly viable tactic.
    • Like Overwatch the game makes projectile hitboxes larger too, to prevent them from being useless, through this does come with the side-effect of abilities such as Dredge's Broadside or Sha Lins' arrows to appear to be more powerful than they really should be.
  • Downplayed with Quake, which used simple cuboid hitboxes for all creatures. While this never caused "shoot the air next to him to damage him" problems, it did lead to some odd situations where a character could walk on a ledge literally one pixel wide and their character model would appear to be planting one foot on thin air as they walked.
  • Deliberately implemented in Destiny and the sequel, where weapons have a range of "target adjustment" or aim assist values, that effectively increases the size of enemy hitboxes, which can turn a near miss into a hit or a neck-shot into a headshot. Some abilities also possess this, which lead to hilarity with the Hunter's throwing knife Roboteching around a corner and nailing people in the head when its aim assist was boosted.

    Maze Games 
  • Pac-Man has a smaller hitbox than it seems. Especially apparent in Championship Edition series. This is an odd case in which his hitbox is based on his position in the maze rather than his actual sprite. It's because of this that you will, very rarely, see Pac-Man pass right through a ghost without dying at times — both Pac-Man and the ghosts have a hitbox consisting of exactly one maze tile, aligned to the grid, and if they happen to swap tiles on the exact same frame...

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • Many games in Action 52 suffer from this as the games are little more than bare bone alphas of actual games.
  • Arkanoid: The last level is the only one where you can lose a life other than by dropping the ball: The Final Boss is loosing projectiles at you. In the Amstrad CPC version, said projectiles have a hitbox much bigger than they appear.
  • Dead by Daylight: All killers have functionally the same hitbox despite their varying sizes and weapons, meaning the Oni's katana will have the same reach as the Clown's pocket knife. Freddy Krueger is notorious among the community for his "crazy lunge" when in fact his moderate stature and short weapon simply give the illusion of a greater lunge.
  • The Robot Ninja Haggleman games from Retro Game Challenge gives enemies a slightly larger hitbox than the size of the enemy. This means that if you approach from the wrong angle, you will get hit without actually touching the enemy. This is particularly bad for Dark Hagglemen, who have an animation where they laugh after deflecting your attack - but which doesn't turn off their hitboxes.
  • In Minecraft, all hitboxes are square regardless of the shape of the creature, leading to some weird situations.
    • Cows, pigs, and sheep all look like they're one block wide and two blocks long, but they have 1x1 hitboxes, allowing them to fall into holes they shouldn't fit through.
    • Horses appear to have about the same dimensions as cows, but they have 2x2 hitboxes, meaning they cannot fit into gates or passages that they should be able to. This becomes a big problem if a horse gets into a boat, as the horse's hitbox is so huge that it is difficult to break the boat without killing the horse first.
    • Ghasts' hitboxes do not include their tentacles, meaning that if you shoot one in the tentacles, nothing will happen.
    • In Bedrock Edition, a villager's hitbox will be reduced to their upper half if they are sleeping in a bed.
  • In Neko Atsume, this can be a problem with the special cats, as their costumes and poses mean that they appear in a different place in relation to the toys than normal cats but their hitboxes are still in the normal place. Sometimes you have to touch the toy instead of the cat in order to take actions.

    Massively Multiplayer 
  • World of Warcraft has some examples of both (though the game indicates each target's hitbox by a circle on the ground). Many bosses have very large hitboxes to make it easier for melee classes to attack them. Kologarn for example has a hitbox that is so large that you can stand near his right arm and use an area-of-effect attack to hit both of his arms and his body (his body and arms have separate hitboxes). Some bosses on the other hand have hitboxes much smaller than their (often huge) model. A persistent problem has been that hunters needed to stay 5 yards from their target to attack effectively, while the melee have to stay in contact with it. This caused problems in fights where everyone has to bunch up. Some bosses were given two different hitboxes for melee and ranged attack, which helped the problem but at the cost of more complex and unintuitive hitboxes. Eventually hunters' minimum range was removed, in part because of this. Specific examples include:
    • Sapphiron is an undead dragon with a hitbox that covers only his feet, with his head and tail extending outside.
    • Thaddius: one of his boss abilities is to charge players up with either positive or negative charges. If the two groups stand too close together, you all die, so his hitbox is unnaturally big, or nobody would ever be able to kill him. At some point a Baby Spicenote  was exploited by some douchebag, causing a lot of wipes.
    • Kel'thuzad can ice block a player, which will chain and ice block anyone else within 10 yards of that player, who will then chain to anyone within range of them. Generally if this happens to more than a couple players at once, it's a wipe. His hitbox is much larger than he is — just big enough that three melee classes (usually offtanks in case the main tank gets blocked) can stand at the points of a triangle around him and still stay 10 yards apart. On the flip side it means that any other melee classes in the group need to stand back and watch, while also not getting too close to anyone else.
    • The proto-drakes in Wrath of the Lich King often hover in combat, and their large wings mask the hitbox on the ground, frustrating for melee players finding a position to attack.
    • This happens in PvP, exacerbated by server lag. You can get Ambushed from twenty feet away, shot by a ranged-only attack between dual-wield melee swings that are supposed to go off simultaneously, be standing on top of an opponent inside their rendered model and find you're too far away, etc. Tauren have the largest hitbox of any playable race, which caused issues at the beginning of arenas. Tauren could have their weapon swings pass through pillars intended to provide cover, resulting in a game of maypole where the unlucky recipient couldn't even defend themselves, though this was fixed pretty quickly.
    • Lag could result in environmental hazards causing player death. If there is any amount of lag, sometimes you might wind up getting burned by fire you aren't standing in (on your side). Additionally, rule of thumb is that you shouldn't try to be next to the fire. Video game physics or not, if there is any lag then you might wind up accidentally getting burned by fire that you are clearly not inside.
    • At release this was notoriously bad for feral druids in cat form, because the character in that form is a long, low-to-the-ground quadraped, the hitbox was still shaped like a humanoid (tall and narrow), so a kitty had to look like it was nearly inside a mob before it counted as being within hit range. This was improved over time with patches.
    • Some attacks home into a certain body part for cosmetic effect, specifically shadow priest spells, being psionic in lore meaning they usually appear at and around the head hitbox. Sometimes on non-humanoid mobs the head hitbox is in some very odd places. Sometimes the hitbox wasn't placed correctly such as in Karazahn where mind flaying skeletal horses before the first boss made you hit the wall about 20 feet away. Similarly, items that attach to your "back" or "chest" actually just attach to the front and back of your character, which is usually your back or chest. For bear druids however, this means you have jetpacks on your rear.
    • Outside of combat, this applies while trying to interact with large sprites - collect items from a monster you killed, or talk to an NPC - when you might have to find a specific (unintuitive) spot to stand in order to be "close enough" to the core of the sprite. Sometimes you have to stand right inside the sprite, or inside its tail, or the like, in order to be close enough to interact with it at all.
    • The stone drake Slabhide is particularly problematic on Heroic difficulty due to this. During the fight he unleashes a crystal spray that people have to hide behind fallen stalactites to avoid. However, if people are inside his enormous hitbox the attack won't register the stalactite as blocking it and the attack will still damage them, even though by looking at the screen there was clearly a giant block of stone between the character and the drake.
    • The Ancient Smoldering Behemoth, one of five bosses from the daily quest chain in the Molten Front, is easily the largest of the monsters, but has an extremely small hitbox, so that you have to stand underneath him in order to melee him. The problem is that he also uses an area of effect attack centered on himself (which you must avoid for an achievement), making it more difficult to run out and back.
    • The fel reaver in the Hellfire Citadel raid has a blitz attack that pushes everyone in front of it against the wall. The problem is, it also considers "Directly behind it", "To the sides of its hitbox" and "underneath it" to be "In front of it", meaning you can get caught even though intuitively it looks like you're nowhere near it.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Players often shout abuse at the Plesioth, ever since in the very first game. Its hitboxes are grossly misaligned, which makes dodging its attacks extremely irritating. Its "hipcheck" — an attack where it slams you with its hip — is infamous for having a hitbox several meters bigger than the creature's body. Most people, even the most dedicated swordmasters, decide to make a bow solely to be able to snipe the Plesioth from beyond its wonky hitboxes' range. As of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Plesioth's hitboxes have remained largely intact and unchanged. Some of the new attacks have better hitboxes but the dreaded tail whip and hipcheck still have horribly large hitboxes that hit the player even if the player is several feet under the actual model of the attack. It became an Ascended Meme in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin with the Plesioth's Hyperspace Tackle move, which has it create a shockwave with (what else?) a hipcheck.
    • The successor to the Hipcheck was Teostra's Super Nova attack in Monster Hunter: World. It would basically be a huge explosion. Unfortunately, it was deceptive in just how far it would go. The particle effects would also only appear after it was too late, and even go into hallways.
    • A similar issue happens whenever a monster attacks by spinning in place to whip its tail around (which just about every wyvern or dragon with a tail does). Even if the monster is so tall that it looks like its tail would just whiff over your head, it'll knock you down. Fortunately, World has largely corrected this so only the business end of whatever appendage is intended for the attack actually does damage - creating the opposite effect of being under a monster and even physically pushed around as it spins, but only taking damage when touching the tail, wings, or head, whichever is the basis of the attack.
    • Diablos has another problem in that it can hit you with its club tail even if said club is lying severed on the ground. In Monster Hunter 2 (dos) and Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (plus, by extension, Freedom Unite), Diablos also can hit the player with its tail whip if they stay in front of its left foot for some strange reason. It would hit before Diablos even turned its body for the tail whip. Again, fixed in World where a severed tail reduces the hitbox to the stub.
    • This has been improved somewhat in Monster Hunter 3 (Tri), where you can avoid some tail swipes at distances that would have surely gotten you thwacked in earlier installments.
    • In terms of your own attacks, the hitboxes are slightly askew. When fighting against a large monster, it can be difficult to Attack Its Weakpoint. If even a slight bit of your swing hits the hardest armor, your attack bounces off, the monster takes little damage, and you stand there like an idiot for a second while the monster has time to attack. This makes the Barroth a Wakeup Call Boss, since it's the first monster to be mostly covered in hard plating.
    • It also works both ways though, as since most of your melee weapons involve swinging them around, if you're under a monster and your weapon just grazes their weakness, the game will register it as a full-fledged hit. There are some stories going around where people have cut off tails just by poking the tail with a weapon.
    • The Greatsword's vertical down-slash attack hitbox was modified for 3rd Generation games so that the hitbox doesn't begin until about 3/5 of the swing down to try and avert the issue of greatsword being unable to destroy weakpoints underneath monsters' bodies but actually caused a much bigger issue... hitting tails on large monsters with high-risen tails. Pink Rathian, Rathalos, Diablos, Brachydios, etc. now have ridiculous trial and error needed to be put into whacking the tail because your blade will go through their tail and hit the foot instead because the Greatsword's hitbox doesn't actually hit at the peak of your swing anymore. In 2nd Gen games and before you hit at the very peak of the swing (approximately 1/2 through the attack animation) allowing tail hitting to be of great use with Greatsword. Have fun hunting tails, Greatsword users.
    • Additionally, this goes both ways with some monsters who fire a massive laser beams across the stage. What you're supposed to do is sprint towards it and hit the dive button, which causes you you to face plant on the ground, causing the beam to go over you. If you're lucky, the game will register you as dodging it when you are either still diving or are getting up. If you are unlucky, the game may decide you didn't dodge even when your hunter is on the ground.
    • Dalamadur in Monster Hunter 4 deserves special mention with the death beams. Think you can dodge them by going to a much lower platform? NOPE! The game will still register you as being hit with the death beam, even when it's a good five meters above you. Bonus points if you are literally behind an object and the beam goes through it.
  • The Hitbox on a Mobile in Gunbound is only one pixel wide. This means that you can unleash all your attacks on an enemy, completely obliterating the ground beneath them, only to have them still be alive, perched on that one pixel your blast did not destroy. This also makes it insanely hard to kill the opponent, as most projectiles don't explode unless they connect with another hitbox, and with the ground gone and the opponent being one pixel wide there's nothing more to hit.
  • The Devs had said this is the reason why Rularuu isn't available to fight in City of Heroes, even though a model of him exists in the game's assets. As it stands right now, a character standing on Rularuu's shoulder would need a snipe-range power to hit him.
  • The now discontinued space MMORPG Jumpgate at one time used a simplistic ovoid shape to determine if ship models were hit by missiles. For many of the designs the difference between hitbox and ship model was minimal, but some ships had their missile vulnerability increased greatly, in particular the Octavian Phoenix. The design's a long and slender fuselage and long downward-angled wings greatly expanded the missile hitbox and increased the ease in hitting it.note 
  • The ship models in EVE Online are there purely for show. The hitbox of every ship is a sphere, the radius of which is detemined by the ship's "signature radius" attribute. This means that many large ships, especially ones that are much longer than they are wide, have hitboxes significantly smaller than the model, while small ships tend to have hitboxes larger than the ship. This doesn't matter for purposes of shooting, since you can't manually aim your weapons anyway, but will affect collision detection. For example, if you're flying a cruiser and collide head-on with an Apocalypse-class battleship (which has the longest model of all battleships), your ships wall actually pass completely inside the battleship's prow before the collision detection kicks in and bounces you away.
  • This happens every so often with World of Tanks. The hitboxes for tanks are generally very forgiving—most tanks have their damage zones fit the model seen while playing the game. There's a few wonky ones where the model doesn't quite line up with the the damage zone, usually by omission—for instance, the Matilda, a British tier 4 medium tank, has a cylindrical piece sticking out of its rear hull that isn't modeled for damage, as well as several boxes on its turret that don't count either. Similarly, some forms of cover will allow tanks to fire through gaps in the models, but not all—most notably, the undersides of train cars are modeled to be hollow between the wheels, to allow players to fire through what is logically open space in the real world, but gaps between adjacent train cars are not.
  • This goes both ways in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sith Assassins/Jedi Shadows and Operatives/Scoundrels have attacks that require them to be behind the target. The hitboxes can be wonky, which results in you being right behind a target yet the game thinks you're outside of the required hitbox, or when you're clearly to the side yet can still Back Stab.
  • Star Trek Online had a bug early on with its pre-order/vendor-specific Tribble items. They were an item that you could pull out of you pocket and pet to heal a little HP, but a bug would cause them to increase in size each time they were used and they would stick to the player's hip as they grew. They counted as an extension of the player's hitbox and could grow to utterly massive scale, resulting in hitboxes that enabled a player to be shot from anywhere in pvp arenas and unable to fit through any passageways. This was quickly fixed.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has the infamous Kugane jumping puzzle where one can climb to the very top of the city's highest tower by using nothing but precise jumps. Most of the jumping involves going from extremely tiny pegs that are barely sticking out of the wall, which isn't too much of an issue since their hitbox is a bit larger than they appear. The real hair puller is trying to jump near a corner of a wall since the hitbox for corner walls are larger than they seem, leading to many jumps coming short because you hit the wall that was empty space.
    • Combat also has some issues, particularly with attacks that require certain positioning to max out their damage, as lag between you and the server can cause an attack to count as hitting the front or the side when you see yourself hitting from behind (although, as long as you know what you're doing, this particular instance will usually only come up when in single combat against an enemy that is invariably turning to face you wherever you go). This is also an inherent part of how to avoid Area of Effect attacks launched by enemies, due to the wind-up to such an attack (where the area that will be hit is generally marked by a glowing circle or cone on the ground) and the actual attack being entirely separate - if you're in the area of effect when the attack starts up, no matter how long the animation takes or how far you get away from it after the fact, you're still going to take that hit; in turn, if you run back in to the area of effect even half a second after it's actually started, unless that attack turns its point of impact into a source of damage, you will No-Sell everything from getting whipped in the face with an enemy's tail and a wide swing of an axe to massive explosions and energy blasts.
  • Second Life is very wonky with its hitboxes on players. An avatar's hitbox remains static regardless on what animations the avatar is using. You can tell with the way a person's name tag stays still, which indicates the hitbox's general location. An avatar could shift several feet in any direction from an animation, but their actual hitbox will stay in the center. In some areas where guns or other projectiles are involved, people who don't know how the hitboxes work will likely try to aim at the avatar model and miss. Items that deform an avatar can also screw with the hitbox.

    Platform Games 
  • Bugdom, a game that came free with the iMac, is another game with box-shaped hitboxes, which becomes rather obvious given the shapes of some enemies. This is most ridiculous when fighting non-flying bees, which both lack collision damage and essentially have invisible platforms hovering a few inches above their heads.
  • Canabalt invokes this on purpose for the player's comfort. Buildings extend a bit past their visible right edges, and crates' hitboxes are a mere two pixels tall.
  • Castlevania:
    • In Castlevania, the crusher traps in the second level have a hitbox offset noticeably to the left of where their graphics appear to be, meaning you can stand in a place that looks like it should be safe, and still die instantly.
    • In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, the castle has some tunnels half the height of Jonathan and Charlotte which must be negotiated with the Frog Morph spell. But the game has several unlockable characters who don't have that spell — so some of them have hitboxes only one block high, allowing them to get through. It's bizarre to watch Old Axe Armor walking through a tunnel with half its body apparently inside the ceiling....
    • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair has a much less helpful problem. Richter and the Skeleton that you turn in to when you die stand slightly lower than everyone else. While this normally would be meaningless, a certain attack formation used by Beelzebub will hit Richter and the Skeleton in what is otherwise a blind spot unless you duck, while it'll completely miss everyone else.
  • The Crash Bandicoot remakes have this issue. Crash is a humanoid with giant feet, and in the original games his hitbox was a big fridge-shaped rectangle. The remakes changed his hitbox to be egg-shaped, but didn't change his design. New players didn't have a problem with this, but veterans used to the rectangle struggled with the fact that Crash's toes and heels now didn't "exist" for jumping purposes - and often jumped too far or not far enough as a result.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!'s GBA version, the collision of the stars in Swanky's Dash are significantly wider than they seem. If you want to have any hope of getting all the stars in a given tube, you're going to have to abuse this as hard as you can, effectively going beside them to get them, or else you'll never be able to reach them all.
  • In Elasto Mania, the rider's body can pass through solid walls so long as his head doesn't collide.
    • In Hammer Brother, the Bladers in this hack are actually Rexes, and retain the 32 x 16 hitbox despite appearing to be 16 x 16.
  • In I Wanna Be the Guy:
    • The Kid's hitbox does not include the Cape Of The Hero or the Very Small Gun. That's extremely little difference, but it's required that you take advantage of it to be able to pass certain spike traps.
    • It also does not change during the vic viper segment, giving the whole thing quite a Bullet Hell feel.
    • In the sequel, I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden, the newly-added bionic arm often latches onto thin air.
  • In Ice Climber, the hitbox doesn't match the player while jumping which can often cause a player to go through floors while or not hitting enemies while being in the air.
  • The hitboxes of In Between’s protagonist are generally very accurate, but within the Depression chapter, the darkness will only kill you if it contacts the centre of his hitbox as an Anti-Frustration Feature.
  • The Lion King has some issues with this, which get especially blatant any time Simba tries to grab onto a piece of scenery he's supposed to swing from, such as rhinoceros tails and tiny ledges. This trope frequently causes him to simply leap past them as though they don't exist.
  • Mega Man 3 has a lot of this, because Mega Man's hitbox is a rectangle. It's actually possible to see it, if briefly, every time the Blue Bomber gets hit. The white "damage field" that blinks through Mega Man is exactly the same size of the hitbox. It's slightly taller than Mega Man, and slightly wider.
    • Where it gets ridiculous is when Mega Man fires his weapon while standing still. He leans forward, extends his arm, and projectiles emerge from the end, but his hitbox remains the same, and thus the entire outstretched arm has no collision detection at all! He can shove his arm into any obstacle and launch bullets from inside it if he pleases. In games where Sniper Joe's shield has its own hitbox rather than simply a shielded state for the whole sprite during certain animations, Mega Man can tiptoe up to Sniper Joe, reach past the shield, and shoot him directly, without having to wait for Joe to lower his shield.
    • The game also has a "wrap-around hitbox" issue, where hitboxes that partially go through the top or bottom of the screen emerge on the other side. This results in strange things like Mega Man being able to collect powerups on the bottom of the screen by jumping at the top, or getting hit by enemies on the bottom by doing the same. It's also possible to trick certain bosses into shooting at the bottom of the screen by jumping close to the top, though this is pretty difficult to pull off.
    • Roahm Mythril mentions hitbox problems in the Yellow Devil fight from his Mega Man 3 Let's Play. Basically, the hitboxes of its bouncing pieces are much taller than they should be, and the Devil's fully-formed hitbox seems to exist before its body reforms.
  • Some clever things have been done with Metroid bosses' hitboxes. A good example is Nightmare in Metroid Fusion. To get past him in a 1% run, Sesshoumaru analysed his hitbox carefully, discovering that his front shoulder wasn't "there" at all, while a considerable area above and below his body was. (There's a rough sketch at the link.)
  • The Apogee platformer Pharaoh's Tomb has rectangular hitboxes around everything, which can result in the player character being killed by something he apparently isn't even touching when the corners of their hitboxes overlap. There are also several places where, in order to jump over a wide gap, he has to walk right out onto the edge of a ledge until only the last pixel-column of his hitbox is still on the ledge — at which point he appears to be standing several pixels out into thin air. Also, you can actually jump to kick the monster into going the opposite direction and even walk on top of a monster's hitbox. It is up to you to stay on top; the monster won't carry you along. The technical reason is they kept with a simple collision system to allow the game to play smoothly on a wide variety of computers, but it's also Hand Waved in the manual: it is stated that you need some room to fire your weapon, so you can't kill enemies if you stand too close; this is actually because your hitbox will already touch the enemy at that point.
  • Pizza Tower: Pizzaface's hitbox when he's chasing you during Pizza Time is a lot smaller than his sprite, being roughly the size of his nose. This can let you graze him and get away with a close call rather than immediately dying.
  • In Star Fox: Assault, Fox's tail has a hitbox that sometimes appears a bit larger than it is graphically, which makes him pretty easy to hit from the side. Also counts for Krystal, Falco and Wolf.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Tails' hitbox in Tails' Skypatrol is only one pixel high, but the enemies have larger hitboxes than they should to make up for it.
    • One specific enemy from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Shellcracker in Metropolis Zone, has an outright counter-intuitive hitbox. When his spiked claw-on-a-chain is extended, hitting him near the base of the chain hurts you. When his claw is retracted, hitting him on exactly the same spot hurts him.
  • The boss Anubis Rex in Pac-Man World is filled with this, as a result of the developers running out of time for proper playtesting.
  • In Super Mario World:
    • The giant Big Bubble enemies have really tiny hitboxes, making it hard to Spin Jump off of them.
    • This actually caused a death glitch (demonstrated in the linked-to video by jumping over a key while riding Yoshi and getting smashed against a ceiling in the process) which could very well be an early version of Super Mario 64's infamous Killer Corner glitch.
  • In Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario's hitbox is normally twice as tall as standard Mario's, which makes sense. Crouching eliminates the top half of the hitbox, rendering it the same size as standard Mario's, which also makes sense. Crouching while underwater and then swimming causes Super Mario's hitbox to remain at half-height, causing enemies to pass through his upper half harmlessly, which makes no sense at all.
    • Many enemies and obstacles have smaller hitboxes compared to their sprites. The Piranha Plants' hitboxes are only on their bottom half, which makes it possible to jump through their top half without being hurt. Likewise, despite Bloopers being as big as Super Mario, their actual hitboxes are only on their eyes. Bowser's fireballs look long, but their actual hitbox is in the center/white portion of the fireball itself.
    • If Mario is rising, he will take damage from hitting an enemy regardless of whether he is on top of the enemy or below it. On the other hand, if he is falling, he will bounce off the enemy regardless of whether the enemy is on top or he is.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3:
    • In the Giant World, the hitboxes for giant clouds are rectangular, but the tile graphics are narrower on top than on the bottom. When standing on the edge of the cloud, it appears that Mario is hovering in midair.
    • Bowser has some serious Hitbox Dissonance going on: the bottom half of his body does no harm whatsoever to Mario or Luigi. You can run to the middle of the screen, then stay still, crouching if Super, for most of the battle.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2. The player characters have life energy, but in order to connect the game to the rest of the series, they shrink when they only have one hit point left. But this does not actually reduce the hitbox, so players thinking that a Beezo enemy or Birdo's eggs/fireballs will simply sail over a small character's head are in for a nasty surprise.
  • Super Mario Maker continues the tradition, at least in the Super Mario World skin. Giant Cheep-Cheeps have roughly circular sprites, but their hitboxes are closer to squares, leading to Mario dying just by swimming in the immediate vicinity of one.
  • Super Mario 64 has some interesting eccentricities with the way collision detection works for especially narrow objects, allowing you, for example, to use the hitbox of the inside wall of a thin fence to push yourself inwards when you land on top of said fence.
  • In Super Mario World hacks, the n00b/newbie boss sprites have a 32 x 32 hitbox. Unfortunately, in many hacks, the graphics used for a boss powered by said sprite, doesn't have a 32 x 32 hitbox, with some examples in games like Drama Mistery 1 having bosses about half the size of the screen. Which means you have to figure out which exact part of the 'screen filling' boss is decoration and which is something you can hit. Another example can be seen here, where the Goomba King's hitbox is the crown, not the rest of the sprite.
  • In Tail Concerto, the already difficult to fight Iron Giant Guardian has this for its sweeping laser attack. How it works is that it fires a laser pin-point to Waffle's location before creating a fast explosion wave that covers where the laser hits... except you don't even need to be caught in the explosion for it to hurt. The hitbox for the attack activates right away, meaning you could escape the line of fire by a hair and still say goodbye to a huge chunk of your health.
  • Transformers: Convoy no Nazo has this in spades... for the player only. If a projectile comes anywhere near the player's sprite it registers as a hit, while you need to hit an enemy dead center for it to count. Combined with One Hit Deaths, enemies and their projectiles passing through walls that you can't shoot through, and enemy projectiles that are difficult to see, you'll struggle to live more than a few seconds.
  • Treasure Master is all about this. First of all, your character's front hitboxes are very good and such, but however, if your back is at the enemy and enemy shoots you for an example, the projectile hits you from space where you could fill another protagonist's sprite. Enemies' hitboxes aren't bad, though.
  • This is why the licensed game for The Wizard of Oz is so horrendous to play. Because somehow, the collision detection for the platforms is so messed up that landing on them anywhere other than dead centre will send your character straight through them. What's more, there are further problems with the enemy and character hitboxes, as the Angry Video Game Nerd shows in his review.

    Puzzle Games 
  • The Talos Principle: The shock balls can interrupt lasers that pass just above them but shouldn't be interrupted according to their visible models.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Allegiance, being a team-based strategy/space combat hybrid, is especially susceptible to such problems, since flying every type of ship needs to be a fair experience for every player. Sometimes, the hitbox for a spacecraft with a complex shape oversimplifies the object's geometry a little too much. At the extreme, there is one ship that looks very small, with several thin wings, but acts as if all the wings were joined by solid surfaces, making what looks like a compact and difficult ship to hit an easy, bulky target in reality. There are also small, but annoying problems with the hit-boxes of a few space stations, which can be a problem since player ships often have to dock at these, and bumping into invisible walls when it looks like you should be flying into a docking bay is never fun. Fortunately, only a very few models suffer from these issues, and only require a little extra care. As the game is being developed by fans, there have been a number of attempts to create new hitbox models and fix these issues; some progress has been made, but the solutions aren't always easy to implement in practice. (Not to mention that in a few cases, some players have gotten used to the hitboxes, and don't want to see them fixed!)
  • In Defense of the Ancients, the Keeper of the Light's Illuminate spell uses an effect similar to the Shockwave spell in Warcraft III. However, the area covered by the spell is a lot wider and somewhat longer than the visual effect, meaning that you can "dodge" the shockwave and still lose an assload of health.
    • The Lich's ultimate, Chain Frost, used bizarre logic in determining how and when it hits. To put it as simple as possible, the projectile deals damage when it reaches where the target was when the projectile flies to the target, then it bounces to another enemy from where you took damage. So what happens with Chain Frost is that if you see the projectile flying towards you and you move about 6 feet away from that spot in half a second, you get hit once the projectile reaches where you were half a second ago even if it didn't directly touch you, then the projectile teleports to your location and bounces to another enemy close to you, using the same logic. Try wrapping your head around that one. (This eventually got changed to act like how bouncing projectiles should actually behave.)
  • In League of Legends, Morgana's Dark Binding hitbox was infamous for being much wider than the projectile, which made it both easier to land in the open and harder to aim through minions. Leona's Zenith Blade didn't reach as far as the animation, which was a problem because missing it left her useless for several seconds. Morgana was fixed, Leona was "fixed".
    • And then there's the iBlitzcrank skin whose game deciding Rocket Grab has a smaller projectile than the regular Blitzcrank or any of his other skins but the same hitbox, making it much more likely to land than if you didn't buy the skin.
    • Hook champions in general have hitbox issues with the box being wider than the hook's visual model, causing dissonance when an attack that visually doesn't hit your character lands anyways.
    • Ashe's ultimate arrow can sometimes stun a player despite the animation showing the arrow missing entirely.
    • Riven's Battle Bunny skin is known for being smaller than her usual model, leading many players to play it specifically to avoid being hurt by attacks that would hit her default skin.
  • In Heroes of Newerth, Monkey King's Heavenly Vault has him leap over a unit and push it behind him, then land with a shockwave, and he can repeat this a second time. Both the shockwave and the enemy lept over take damage. Initially, the way the skill worked is the second activation deals 50% damage, so if you targeted the same unit twice, they'd take 150% damage, but players discovered it deals way more damage than intended because if you do it fast enough, you can push the unit into the first shockwave and deal 250% damage because the shockwave's hitbox lasted too long. This was resolved not by fixing the shockwave's hitbox, but by instead having each subsequent damage application of Heavenly Vault deal half the damage from the previous hit, making it an integral part in Monkey King's burst combo.
  • Heroes of the Storm: Deathwing has the largest model of any hero in the game. However, he doesn't have the largest hitbox - he's beaten by Alexstrasza (in dragon form) and ties with Azmodan. This is because his actual hitbox is only the center of his body, with his wings, tail, and head all outside of it.note  It manages to avoid feeling buggy though, since he's so tall any missed skillshots could feasibly be going under him.
  • Rakion: Noticeable with the Mage and Ninja classes; They are smaller and lithe compared to their bulky and armored brethren and attacks that should have passed on top or beside them still register as hits.

  • Flies and spiders in The Binding of Isaac have rather large hitboxes, making them far easier to aim at and only slightly harder to avoid. The real pain comes from the walls themselves, which have a bug that can sometimes make bits of the wall jut out slightly and trip you up.

    Rhythm Games 
  • Rhythm Games have a variation of this called the "timing window", which refers to how much a player can be off from the exact beat a note falls on when he/she hits that beat (graphically, how much of the note needs to overlap with the "hit zone", assuming a constant speed) for the note to be counted as a "hit". Some games, especially those created by Harmonix (Amplitude, Guitar Hero, Rock Band) only differentiate between "note hit" and "note missed", while other games (most BEMANI games) have several levels of timing windows that award different amounts of points, or differentiate between a "close miss" and a "way off miss" by punishing you more for the latter. The exact width of these timing windows differs widely between games (and sometimes within the games), and you can guarantee that the type and width of these timing windows is a hot topic on forums where these games are compared. The dissonance comes in two forms: firstly, if the game isn't calibrated to the TV, the hitbox will be disjointed. Secondly, in almost all cases, the timing window is, appropriately enough, based on the amount of time you can be off by, not distance, so if the notes are moving really fast, you can afford to be more visually "off" ("too big") than if they're moving really slow ("too small").
    • Rhythm Heaven is a compilation of mini-games that are all hit-or-miss timing windows, but the windows seem to vary for each mini-game. Generally, the simpler the game, the harsher the timing window. Most of the games have either a near-hit or near-miss animation, but few if any have both. Not to mention the Space Shooter endless game that cuts down the timing window as you go.
    • O2Jam's timing windows are out of whack. First, the timing windows get faster as the song's BPM goes up. Second, they loosen when you use speed modifiers. Conclusion? You get punished if you're more comfortable with lower speed mods than higher speed ones.
    • DJ Max Technika also suffers from faster songs having smaller timing windows.
    • The GAMBOL Ascended Glitch in beatmania IIDX deserves a special mention. Originally, it was one of the easiest charts in the game, but a bug caused it to have much tighter timing windows than any other song in the game, making it easy to clear but extremely hard to score well on it. The song has since been "fixed" to use the standard timing windows with the same chart on Normal difficulty, but retains its Hyper difficulty with the bugged timing windows, as well as having an added Another difficulty chart in the PS2 version of IIDX 11: RED, with the exact same chart but with ridiculously small timing windows that make it quite hard to clear. Newer installments in the series now have the "GAMBOL Judge Hyper" and "GAMBOL Judge Another" Easter Egg codes, which allow you to use the tightened timing windows on any song at all.
    • Fortunately, the latter incarnations of Guitar Hero allow you to manually synchronize audio and visuals with controller input. Rock Band 2 (and later) guitars have light and sound sensors that are used to precisely measure the audio and video lag.
    • The hit boxes in Guitar Hero and Rock Band are a point of contention among high-level players. In general, the timing window in Rock Band is pretty moderate, but the window shrinks when notes are placed very close together, which leads to Fake Difficulty on the hardest songs in the game (this is lessened in Rock Band 3, which has a new mechanic for extremely fast and\or imprecise strums and trills). Guitar Hero, on the other hand, is known for timing windows so big that "rhythm" is no longer a necessity. This is generally compensated for by including songs that are, for lack of better words, "walls of skittles".
    • There are a few jarring instances in the Parappa The Rapper games. This is the reason that Stage 6 of Um Jammer Lammy is one of the most hellish in the series; even nailing the notes perfectly will drop you down to a "Bad" rating. You won't get through without freestyling. The first Parappa game was notoriously difficult due to how strict the timing windows were and it made stage 5 That One Level due to absurd amount of buttons needed to be pressed back to back with near precision timing. The sequel made the timing windows much more forgiving.
    • In osu!, beatmaps have OD and AR values, OD determines how small the timing windows are, and AR determines how much time it is between a beat appears and the moment you have to press it (also changing the approach circle speed). Normally, maps with high OD also have a high AR, so timing feels right. But there are some beatmaps (specially older ones) that have a high OD and low AR, leaving you with no precise enough visual cues to have decent accuracy: If you see the approach circle is exactly over the beat circle, you can still receive a 100 (when the max is 300), since the approach circle takes more time to pass over the pixel-width border of the circle than the time window's length. Also, with maps with high AR and very low OD (not commonly ranked) or easy ranked maps, you can get a 300 even if the approach circle is several pixels off from the beat circle.
    • In Love Live! School Idol Festival, some members have skills that loosen the timing windows for a few seconds, which have a chance to activate every x seconds, Perfects, Combo, or notes.
  • Beat Saber uses this for notes and bomb obstacles. On notes, the hitbox for good cuts extends past the note's model to the front and sides, allowing for early and off-center swings to still count for hits, while the bad cut hitbox (for swings in the wrong direction or with the wrong color saber) is somewhat smaller than the note itself. Bombs also have a hitbox that's smaller than their physical model. The "Pro Mode" modifier can be applied to change the note hitbox to precisely match the notes' model.
  • In CROSS×BEATS, the Master chart for the song "魔界村 (平地BGM)" has a series of flick notes which are all in the same direction and are close enough in location that each one has its hitbox overlapping with the next, making it very easy to prematurely hit the next note in the sequence. To add insult to injury, they're spaced just far apart enough in time such that doing so will break your combo.
  • In DanceDanceRevolution, the song "Bag" is 130 BPM but scrolls at half speed. It's also full of triplets, leading to arrows spaced 1/6th of a beat apart in the chart. But at the time the song was introduced, the engine couldn't handle a denominator of 6, so everything got rounded to the nearest 1/16th of a beat. This meant every individual timing window could be off by up to 1/32nd of a beat, which at 65 BPM was 29 milliseconds when the Perfect window is 33 milliseconds. This turned into an Ascended Glitch in newer editions, where Bag has its chart fixed on Expert, but gained a new Challenge chart consisting of the Expert chart with the old, broken triplets.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • This is part of what makes the infamous Cliff Racers of Morrowind so reviled as God Damn Bats. When alive, their hit box is an inexplicably small portion of their body. Fortunately, getting below them and aiming for center of mass is pretty reliable, but they are still hell for archers and spell slingers at a distance. Then when they die, this is reversed. You'll need to dispose of their corpse in order to access any items or other corpses nearby because their dead body "container" selection box is inexplicably massive.
    • In Skyrim, the (airborne) Ice Wraiths can be damaged by hitting the apparently empty space beneath them. There's also some occasional examples of arrow hitboxes and target hurtboxes not meeting up like they should, which are frequently pointed out to the player in long, loving detail as your shot gets a slow-mo special killcam, perfectly articulating the arrow's flight through the air, through the enemy's render, and passing harmlessly out the other side, having completely evaded anything that would have caused the CPU to register a hit.
  • Fallout 3 and New Vegas suffer from this with the surrounding static models and their collision meshes. There are many occasions when one's line of shooting is very close to what is seen as an obstacle, but when one actually fires, they hit an invisible barrier, thus not hitting the target and subsequently alerting them to your presence and location if you were sneaking. The worst offender is the derelict subway car mesh.
  • Fallout 4 has the same issue as the two prior games. Bethesda improved the shooting mechanics by a large amount but didn't update the environments to compensate - your bullets run into invisible walls all too often.
  • Fighting against other hunters in Phantasy Star Online is harrowing, as you need to land a blow directly in the center of their bodies in order for it to register, unless you're using a gun.
  • The hitboxes in Phantasy Star Online 2 range from extremely precise to completely broken. Dagans and Predicahdas are a few glaring examples of "broken", as their seemingly short-ranged claw swipes can connect with you from a few meters away in any direction, and in the case of the latter, can even connect if they're aiming in the opposite direction of you if you're close enough to their backs.
  • Tales of Eternia has downright terrible hitboxes on the enemies, especially compared to the rest of the series. One can be right next to an enemy, slashing away a dozen times, and only hit maybe once or twice while the other attacks go right through them, and if 2 or more enemies end up overlapping, the attacks will hit one enemy and not the others. However, the PC hitboxes don't have the same issues for enemy attacks, meaning that the enemies can easily interrupt your attacks, so keeping enemies in hitstun for long like in the other games is downright impossible.
  • Dark Souls II often has hitboxes for attacks come out while the attack should still be winding up and/or your hurtbox lagging behind your visible model. This is extremely noticeable for any enemy attack that triggers animations involving the player model; you'll appear to dodge it then be teleported to where you'd be if you hadn't. This is partially a game mechanic; the Adaptability stat reduces the chance of an attack clipping you when dodge rolling, with the soft cap giving you the exact same i-frames as the Dark Souls.
    • Additionally, many in-world objects have a bigger silhouette for the purposes of blocking attacks than you'd think, especially ranged attacks, which can lead to multiple arrows hovering, stuck in a surface that is not - technically speaking - there; naturally, computer attacks are more likely to clip through walls and so on than yours. This issue is present in all three games, but is most notable in II due to its generally more cramped areas.
  • The Ceaseless Discharge from Dark Souls has a very wide hitbox for its attacks, especially its flail pound, and often clips you even if you're nowhere near the impact point.
  • The Blood-starved Beast and the Bloodletting Beast from Bloodborne have rather wonky hitboxes on their ground pound attacks - to the point they can sometimes hit you even if you're behind them. Amygdala also has some odd leg hitboxes, which tends to create problems when it uses its leaping attacks and clips you as you're rolling out of the way.
  • Neverwinter Nights uses turn-based mechanics with a realtime user interface, occasionally leading to temporal hitbox dissonance: An attack that hits where you were standing two seconds ago may very well deal damage to you.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II's Gummi Ship minigame, your hitbox is determined from the actual shape of your customizable gummi ship, but the enemies still aim for the center. So if you build a donut-shaped ship, almost anything that isn't an explosion or grapple attack will go straight through you, harmlessly.
  • Divinity: Original Sin:
    • Prior to the enhanced edition, the hitboxes for backstabbing were not indicated, and were quite small. This resulted in many players getting frustrated as they are clearly behind a target yet the game still has them regularly attack. Fortunately the Enhanced Edition fixed this.
    • Sadly, Enhanced Edition didn't fix a few instances of this happening in other cases. Some Area of Effect attacks would give you a full hit when your character was two pixels to the side. Very small enemies are also annoying to fight because their hitboxes are so small the game might mistake an attack click for a move click.
    • Another very common issue with Original sin is when you interact with shopkeepers or non-player characters covered in an area covered with items. Because their hitboxes are limited only to their models, it's very common for the game to assume you wanted to click on an item nearby rather than the shopkeeper themselves. Fortunately, in a shop, instead of your character attempting to stuff the item into their pants, the shopkeeper then opens up a dialogue with you asking if you would like to purchase that item.
  • The same happens in Divinity: Original Sin II. Be careful in towns where the game might think you meant to steal a bowl of water the NPC was standing next to when you meant to talk with them. Also be very careful if you're walking under something like a roof - sometimes you might accidentally click on something and the game assumes you want to stick an empty cup in your pocket. Fortunately, the game has some more generous combat hitboxes than the previous game, and you can fire at the ground.
  • In Titan Quest, this happen a lot when shooting arrows or casting spells like Ice Shards or Volcanic Orb. When standing too close to a wall, your shots will be stopped by the wall even thought you aimed at the monsters.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Some Bullet Hell games (such as Espgaluda) feature a tutorial at the beginning which, among other things, explicitly shows the ship's/character's hitbox. Usually represented by just a small circle in the cockpit/engine/torso and with a flashing arrow labeled "HIT".
  • The 'graze' mechanic in many Bullet Hell games involves two hitboxes- one very small (sometimes just a few pixels), which is fatal if struck, and a slightly larger one that gives extra points if bullets pass through it. This encourages players to take extra risks by getting closer to the bullets as they weave through the patterns.
    • Raiden DX has the graze bonus, despite being a non-Bullet Hell shooter with a ship-sized hitbox released in 1994.
    • Raiden Fighters brings the hitboxes closer to Bullet Hell-size, with the Slave having the smallest. However, if you're using the Judge Spear version of the Slave (which has the Judge Spear's game-breaking bomb), your movement speed becomes so fast that grazing becomes dangerous and impractical.
    • Raiden IV also downsizes the hitbox, to accomodate the denser enemy fire, and also has a grazing bonus.
    • Knights in the Nightmare uses this version, awarding bonus experience for it.
    • Psyvariar actually encourages grazing as a game mechanic, as grazing builds up an experience meter that, when filled, levels up your ship, temporarily making you invincible and powering up your ship at certain level milestones.
  • In Border Down, the hitbox in the middle of the ship is small and enemy shots can pass through like other shmups. However, the ship will blow up if the ship itself, not the hitbox, runs into anything solid. Almost every other shmup these days will allow the player to put almost half of whatever they're playing as in walls and other obstacles as long as it doesn't hit the hitbox.
  • In Ikaruga, knowing the exact position of your hitbox is vital to getting the Dot Eater rank. Since you're not allowed to shoot your weapon for this rank, you have to be very precise in your positioning in order to get past walls, blocks, and enemies you're normally suppose to shoot to safely progress.
  • Radiant Silvergun has a mode you can unlock after playing enough hours where the hit boxes of your ship and the enemies become visible.
  • rRootage and Parsec47, unusually, explicitly show the hitboxes of not only the player's ship, but also the bullets.
    • Genetos has a similar feature, but it's optional, because it can be distracting. It's off by default, but you can hit G to toggle it.
  • In Starward Rogue, your mech's hitbox is only a small portion of the center. This really helps in surviving all the intense bullet hell patterns.
  • Both your ship and some asteroids in the original Asteroids had issues where they could appear to be hit on the side and survive, which makes this Older Than the NES.
  • Transformers: Convoy no Nazo has this in spades. To begin with, enemy hitboxes are far larger than their graphics might suggest. On top of that, your own character is a large robot to begin with, and the game is extremely biased when it comes to hit detection - your own projectiles have to hit enemies dead center to hit them (and they're often very small to begin with) while enemy projectiles only need to barely graze you to score a hit (which is enough to kill you).
  • Bangai-O Spirits has the Bat weapon, which has a hitbox larger than the range it swings through. This means you can swing at enemies a few feet away from your bat.
  • The Touhou Project series does this in a number of ways:
    • The playable characters' hitboxes are quite a bit smaller than their sprites. Focusing will show you it, except even that is a bit larger than it actually is — especially for Reimu, who has a smaller hitbox than everyone else (something that fans joke is a combat application of her power to eat sweets and never get fat).
    • The bullets' hit-boxes themselves also tend to be tinier than their sprites (for example, you can safely fit the characters' entire hit-box into the sprite of the bigger bullets, or go through what seems to be a solid wall of rectangular amulets). This makes learning the hit-box of each type of bullet an important part of the learning process. There are, however, certain exceptions:
      • Patchouli's "Metal Fatigue" bullets are larger than normal for that type of bullet, greatly screwing up hardcore players that memorize exactly how large they normally are.
      • Knives have oddly shaped hitboxes that are larger than the sprite. Well, normally larger than the sprite. For some reason, later games have occasionally messed with the sprite to make it more accurate, while leaving the hitbox alone. They're still quite dangerous to players used to bullets having small hitboxes.
      • Touhou Fuujinroku ~ Mountain of Faith has Kanako's extremely long oblong bullets during her first Spell Card attack, which appear to have rectangular hitboxes that make them absurdly big around the corners.
      • In Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night, Mokou's "Honest Man's Death" features a laser. The model of this laser forms before its hitbox does, meaning that you have to move into the laser in order not to be killed by it.
    • Enemies' collision boxes are quite variable, though finding this out tends to be dangerous. While they're normally the same size as the enemies' hitbox, it's been known to get smaller or disappear entirely during patterns that force you to get close.
    • The fanmade Super Mario World knockoff, Super Marisa World, during the Kaguya battle.
    • Bosses all have the same hitbox regardless of whether this makes sense for the sprite. The sole exception are a few of the bosses early in Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom, who ended up with unusually small hitboxes (which the fandom got backwards and ended up thinking that the one with a normal hitbox was fat).
    • Ichirin is so much smaller than Unzan (a cloud youkai) it's joked that she serves as his hitbox.
  • In Berzerk, the gap between the humanoid's head and body is not part of a hitbox; a horizontal shot that goes through it is harmless.
  • Gradius:
    • The Vic Viper's hitbox is located near the rear of the sprite (where the "engines" of the ship would be, presumably); this means that you can shove the guns of the Vic Viper into parts of bosses hidden behind shields and achieve quick kills that way. With regards to walls, if your basic shots can go through an opening, then your ship can go through, regardless of whether its sprite is clear of the walls.
    • In a lot of the various games in the series, the Force Field abilities usually make the ship's hitbox considerably bigger than the ship, often bigger than it looks like it ought to be, and you can lose your field just by flying through a tight passage. Interestingly, the 3rd one on the SNES actually had a Force Field variation you could choose - no actual field (though you could still take two individual hits before being completely vulnerable again), but your ship and it's hitbox became much smaller, making dodging enemy fire easier.
  • Frantic: Your hitbox is actually a small circle in the center of the ship and not the ship itself. You can turn on an option to see it in the second and third game.
  • Chaos Field: Despite the bulky appearance of your chosen fighter, its hitbox is located around the canopy of the craft.

    Sports Games 
  • Several instances in Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D:
    • Infielders will somehow tag you out if you pass running by them. Behind their back, without turning around. It really challenges the Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
    • While pitching a forkball, you can make the ball go through the dirt or home plate, as the ball icon will disappear.
    • Fielders can merge with each other and with the outfield walls when diving for the ball.

    Simulation Games 
  • Ships in the first two Wing Commander games simulate 3D objects flying freely through space by using a series of sprites drawn at various angles, with the appropriate sprite angle displayed in relation to the player's ship. The hitboxes are rectangular, no matter what the actual sprite looks like. This is especially noticeable when you are firing at a flat-shaped enemy fighter that is aligned diagonally, and you can hit it at the "empty" corners of the hitbox.
  • The MechWarrior series traditionally has this for the sake of game balance on the cockpits of its Humongous Mecha, which were designed for a turn-based tabletop boardgame where hitbox sizes are irrelevant. Typically, a mech's cockpit can only be sniped from the front, on a glass panel directly in front of where the pilot would be sitting, which prevents mechs with large canopies from becoming deathtraps. This presents some particularly silly looking situations like mechs with side windows shrugging off lethal Gauss Rifle slugs because they hit the side window, which counts as a heavily armored torso section.
    • Mechs with particularly odd silhouettes typically suffer from hitbox dissonance as the head-torso-arms-legs Subsystem Damage system was designed for humanoid mechs. The Cauldron Born in Mechwarrior 4 gets a double dosage of it, thanks to its asymmetrical aircraft-like body, where the entire left side of the mech can be shielded by the offset cockpit nose, which counts as either a center or right torso depending on where it is hit.
    • Mechwarrior Living Legends had a number of oddities. The Uziel had its cockpit armor completely buried in the torso armor for a few months, making it immune to any non-explosive weapon. Until version 0.7, small vehicles like the Chevalier tank and Harasser hovercraft took absurd amounts of damage from explosive weaponry thanks to Splash Damage Abuse causing a single rocket to damage every armor section
    • Mechwarrior Online has some particularly terrible hitbox dissonance on its terrain which is especially noticeable on city and industrial areas. On most structures, the hitbox extends at least a meter beyond the physical object, leading to huge amounts of frustration and wasted shots on maps like HPG Manifold, which takes place in a greebled-up industrial area.
  • A weird one in X3: Terran Conflict. The auto-aim targets the center coordinate of a ship's model. This works fine most of the time but the Terran Tokyo carrier and Mobile Mining Base-Ship have long, narrow, asymmetrical hulls, such that if you attack from above or below, the geographical center of the ship is floating in empty space. The hitbox isn't wrong per se, it's just not where the computer thinks it is. A handful of stations have similar issues, making them obnoxiously great at 'tanking' damage from your brain-dead Space Fighter pilots.
  • This was a particular issue in many early flight simulators, such as Air Warrior. For example, Although the P-38 Lightning in Air Warrior had a very slender profile, because of its broad wingspan it had an enormous hit box. This was exacerbated further by its twin-boom design; the hit box covered the entire aircraft, meaning shots that would have missed it between the booms would instead count as hits.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chess has En Passantnote , a move which allows pawns that move two spaces to be captured if the one space they skip is attacked, the same as if they had only moved one space. Because this is the only time in Chess that an empty square can be treated as if a piece is still on it, it tends to catch players who don't already know about it off-guard.
  • Dungeons & Dragons invokes this with the Displacer Beasts, whose signature displacement ability allows them to appear 1-3 feet from their actual positions, making it hard to hit them in combat without special detection abilities.
  • At one point in Heroscape a model's cloak was not considered to be a hitbox. This had to be changed in later sets, as players were abusing the rules by turning their models' cloaked backs to the opponent and claiming they were now immune to fire.
  • In Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, a model's base is treated as its hitbox for purposes of melee combat, area effects, and such. The result is that, for example, a Gretchin (shrimpy little goblin creature) and a hulking Ork have the same hitbox, and a hitboxes may suddenly change (as when Terminators were moved from 25mm-diameter bases to 40mm-diameter bases).
    • Previously in 4th edition of 40k, for the purposes of shooting the Model was considered to be a cylinder, as tall as it needed to be for the purposes of being able to be shot at or not (so as long as you see part of the base, you saw the entire model). This was changed with the 5th edition, where True Line of Sight took place and you had to physically see the model in question. This fixed some abusable problems, at the cost of introducing others. Since many players would model their commanders and characters on massively scenic bases, which would make them tall as hell, those commanders were now easy targets.note  Moreover, the 5th edition introduced fliers, vehicles that are mounted on a massive clear pole on their own bases, which makes getting cover for them incredibly hardnote . It also caused the modelling community much headaches, as a lot of aesthetic choices on the modeler's part are now against the rules, as it made the miniature physically smaller (and thus harder to actually hit) while others are being mothballed because they gave the model such height it was impractical to field them now.
    • A lot of non-imperial vehicles suffer from this issue as well, due to the fact that instead of an all-encompassing "toughness" value for calculating damage, Vehicles have varying Front, Side and Back armor values. This is normally not a problem on boxy Imperial Vehicles (where it's very clear where the rear is) but very hard to pinpoint on something like thisnote .
    • Cross-edition models can have this sort of issue. The most notable ones are the Terminators and Wraithlords, who all went up a base size with the newer models. The older models on older bases are still technically legal, but this provides them with a massive advantage against their modern counterparts (especially Terminators, since they now occupy much less space, meaning they are much more easily used in deep striking without mishaps). This also extends to models released in different times; A bloodthirster released in the early days of 40k only came with a 50mm square base, while a newer one (still the same mold) comes with a 60mm round base. Same goes for the Daemon Prince, which initially came on a 40mm round base but now has been "standardized" to the 60mm base every other small Monstrous Creatures use.
  • The Iron Kingdoms games use a similar mechanic than pre-5th edition 40k did, ie. the height of the model is independent of the actual physical model and is determined purely by base size. Models with a smaller base will not block line of sight to models with larger bases. This can lead to some weirdness if you have a model particularly short or tall for it's base size; for example the enormous Behemoth warjack will be completely hidden from line of sight if it hides behind another heavy warjack, despite being almost 50% taller, as they both are on the same size base.
  • Malifaux uses a similar mechanic to the Iron Kingdoms games (above). Each model has a defined base size (30mm, 40mm, or 50mm in diameter) and a Height stat describing its height in inches. As far as the rules are concerned, every model is thus a cylinder with those dimensions regardless of the actual model's dimensions. While this works from a pure rules perspective, there is often a great discrepancy between a model's stats and its actual physical size. This includes models that can barely fit on their base, but is most commonly seen in models whose height has only the vaguest connection to their Height stat. There are many instances where a model is fully an inch taller than another, but their Height stats are the other way around.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • The N64 Mission: Impossible game suffered from a quite disjointed hitbox, especially compared to GoldenEye. However, besides the common cases of bullets that should hit the enemy not having an effect, the biggest problem seemed to be with the individual hitboxes indicating the damage zone. The very common result of aiming anywhere besides the head was: the shot person would be shown flinching, but it wouldn't seem to have a damage effect, and a whole clip of a heavy pistol could be emptied into what seemed to be the lower half their center mass (or arms, legs, etc.), and then they would shoot back unfazed as you were reloading. This was even more jarring when you used what would otherwise be a One-Hit KO dart gun, and was a major contrast to when you shot them in the head with even small handgun and they do a backflip. According to this author, "embarrassing hitbox and bullet detection problems" were a factor in that game.
  • Orcs Must Die! has a rather unusual case of the hitbox being the size of the enemies' models breaking the Willing Suspension of Disbelief, especially with the "Ball and Chain"s. You can attack their Epic Flail's ball and they'll take as much damage as if you had attacked their other part. The hitbox dissonance also causes such strange things as enemies frozen in the middle of an attack being encased in a tiny ice cube placed between itself and its weapon.
  • Fortnite: The hitboxes for player-built structures are plainly much larger than they ought to be, often blocking what looked like a clean shot. The weird part is that, by contrast, pre-placed scenery has absurdly precise hitboxes, to the point where you can snipe other players through a matchbox-sized hole in the wall.

    Web Games 
  • Neopets:
    • The site released a game that, as part of a plot, was a re-skinned version of an older game. This is notable because the original game sprite was significantly smaller than the re-skinned sprite, but the hitbox remained the same. This was ostensibly a good thing until you realize that the center of the hitbox was located several pixels below the sprite itself, meaning that you had to fly higher than you thought you would to keep from dying. Bear in mind that this game is designed to constantly have your character descend unless you're consciously rising, so there's significantly more danger from scraping the bottom of the screen than the top to begin with.
    • Various areas on the site have occasionally had issues with their links, such as having signs where only the text on the signs functions as links (right down to the individual pixels of each letter!), rather than the signs themselves being clickable.

Non-Video Game Examples:

    Live-Action TV 
  • Came up as a plot point in an episode of CSI: NY. An Xbox used in a Gears of War 3 tournament had been hacked to give one player a much smaller hitbox, and everyone else a much bigger one.

    Web Original 
  • The hitbox dissonance in Dark Souls III is parodied in The Gmod Idiot Box's "Dark Souls III: WTF Are Hitboxes Edition" sketch. A mushroom monster pokes a fist into thin air yards away from the player character, sending them flying into a mountainside.
  • Some of the worst games the Angry Video Game Nerd has reviewed are so bad because they suffer from hitbox dissonance, such as the infamous SNES The Wizard of Oz where the platforms have such massively small hitboxes that you'll fall right through them if you don't land absolute dead-center.
  • When Levels From Hell took on Ninja Gaiden he was killed by a ninja star that didn't come anywhere near touching Ryu himself but counted when it grazed his hitbox:
    Who the fuck fired that throwing star anyway?! Lee Harvey Oswald?!

  • A common issue on websites made during the mid- to late-2000s was hyperlinks that were made to look like buttons by putting them inside a box (often one of several stacked vertically, all the same width, so some would have more empty space inside than others), but only make the text a functional link. Worse, some of these sites would code the entire box to highlight any time it's hovered over, even though clicking there might do absolutely nothing. At the time of writing, our very own Edit Page link does something like this; mouse over the space underneath the text and the pointer changes to the "you can click on this" glove, but you can't.
  • On the flip side, it's common for Wordpress and Blogger powered blogs to have pictures that you can click on to bring up a larger version, but all the empty space to the left and right is also part of the clickable area.


Video Example(s):


Log Sled versus Crane

Mark, Bob, and Wade discover that their improvised drawbridge is useless because Log Sleds cannot cross Cranes due to a hitbox collision error.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HitboxDissonance

Media sources: