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Hub Level
aka: Hub World

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Each one of these doors leads to a stage, and this is just one of the many hub levels in this game.

"This is the Computer Intelligence Training and Enrichment Center Human Test Subject Research Center or SinTech. But why don't we all just agree to call it the hub?"
GLaDOS, Portal 2

In the beginning, levels were their own separate entities, completely disconnected from one another — beat one, and you go straight to the next, no intervening events or backtracking. Later, games added the idea of a "world map" that connected the areas: you could now travel between worlds at will, perhaps unlocking shortcuts or alternate routes — but the map was a bland, uninteresting area in and of itself, existing only to carry you from one location to the next.

This concept was fleshed out and improved with the invention of the Hub Level, in which the space between the levels became a sort of pseudolevel in and of itself, using the same engine as the rest of the game, with geography and secrets of its own. The Hub Level is usually larger than the other levels but lacks the dangers, detail, and unique features that characterize the more specialized areas. It is still essentially a gateway area, but more developed. In many cases, you'll find individual rooms which contain the entrances to each level, with the scenery in the room being similar to that of the level itself, as sort of a preview of what the level will be like.

A common tack when using this trope is that the Hub Level is the area where the plot is really happening — the stages are "side areas" of sorts. The characters only need to go into the levels in order to collect the Plot Coupons necessary to proceed further into the Hub Level, where the Big Bad usually awaits. Events that take place in the stages usually have no effect on the Hub Level.

This is most frequently used in Platformers. RPGs usually stick to the classic Overworld Not to Scale device, or use the Global Airship to fill the same function. Adventure Games usually connect distinct, separate stages through a full size Over World. A common approach in Survival Horror games is to have the hub level become less safe every time you return to it. Since the hub level is usually a safe area, it can be a good way of invading the player's sense of security.

The Trope Maker was Sega's Castle of Illusion (1990), and the Trope Codifier was Nintendo's Super Mario 64 (1996).

If the hub level happens to be where the Final Boss takes place, see Where It All Began.

Playable Menu is this trope taken to the next (ahem) level.

The Hub Level may be presented in-story as a Portal Crossroad World. If the worlds or levels are accessed through portals within the Hub Level that visually foreshadow their theme or setting, you get Portal Endpoint Resemblance.

For hub areas from which not only can the remaining levels or zones be accessed, but also the story missions, optional quests and the like, see Hub City.

Not to be confused with Boston, or the cable channel.


    open/close all folders 

  • The hubs in the Lego Adaptation Games are gradually populated with characters as they are unlocked... and you can even pick fights against them for the hell of it.
    • LEGO Star Wars:
      • In the first game, based on the Prequel Trilogy, Dexter's Diner from Attack of the Clones serves as the hub.
      • The next two installments, The Original Trilogy and The Complete Saga, have the famous Mos Eisley Cantina.
      • The Clone Wars has the Jedi Cruiser Resolute and its opponent the Invisible Hand.
      • The Force Awakens has several, with the Resistance base on D'Qar, Takodana, Jakku and Starkiller Base all serving in this capacity.
      • The Skywalker Saga features a total of twenty-three planets, taken from throughout the 9 movies.
    • In LEGO Indiana Jones, Barnett College, where Indy teaches archaeology, acts as the hub, with various classrooms serving various purposes, such as the Art Class housing the character creator and the Mail Room being where you could purchase cheat parcels acquired in the levels.
    • In LEGO Batman, the Hub is the Batcave, where you can access settings and mini-games from the Bat-Computer, and explore the Trophy Room. Villain Mode comes with its own Hub: Arkham Asylum.
    • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean has the Port as its hub. Extra areas are opened up eventually, but the central area is where all the levels are accessed from.
    • LEGO Harry Potter (both versions) has Hogwarts Castle as a big labyrinthine area with most of the collectibles in it, with the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley as smaller hubs that hide all the bonus content, purchasables, and level replays.
    • And in LEGO The Lord of the Rings, this is taken to the ultimate extreme of having the entirety of Middle-Earth in the form of an open, contiguous landscape as the hub—well, the parts relevant to the movies anyway. The same holds true for LEGO The Hobbit.
    • LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes have massive cities as their hubs (Gotham City and New York City, respectively). They're so full of stuff to do that there's as much, if not more content than the main story! Flying around is mandatory to get everything.
    • The LEGO Movie Videogame has four mini-hubs (Bricksburg, the Old West, Cloud Cuckoo Land, and the Octan Tower), each with a good amount of collectibles and characters in each one.
    • LEGO Batman 3 had several hub worlds, including all the planets in the Green Lantern comics.
    • LEGO Jurassic World has four hubs- one for each Jurassic Park movie.
    • LEGO Marvel's Avengers features New York City, just like the first game, as its large Hub Level, but also features 6 smaller areas. These include the S.H.I.E.L.D. base from the opening of The Avengers, the area around Klaue's ship in South Africa, Sokovia, launched into the sky thanks to Ultron, Washington, DC, Tony Stark's house in Malibu, and Asgard.
    • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has Chronopolis, a Patchwork World created by Kang the Conqueror from various locations from across time and space.
    • LEGO DC Super-Villains has a hub with several parts: An amusement park run by the Joker, Gotham City, a swamp where the Legion of Doom’s lair is, Metropolis, Arkham Asylum, and Smallville. Later on, Apokolips is added as a separate hub accessible via a portal.
  • Despite being by far the largest area of the game, Dracula's Castle in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is a hub of sorts, because the meat of the game is in the worlds of the paintings scattered around the castle.
  • In Cave Story, Mimiga Village becomes a hub of sorts as well as the First Town once you unlock Arthur's House and its teleporter, though there are many plot-significant events which take place far from there.
  • Dynasty Warriors Online has 6 different hubs, one for each faction as well as the peach garden. Since there's not always 5 factions fighting, not all of them are always available, and you're usually not allowed to go to any more than two of them at a time.
  • Frogger's Journey: The Forgotten Relic: Between levels, Frogger can visit Kabohti Village, a safe place with no enemies to get in his way, and various NPCs to talk to. On each visit, he will typically need to see Leona in order to learn what his next objective is, and any Relics he finds should be taken to Dusty so he can add them to OPART.
  • The Devil's castle in Graffiti Kingdom.
  • The castle in Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious. Uncharacteristically for this trope, it's a labyrinthine complex bigger than some of the actual worlds, the entrances to which can be a bit hard to locate.
  • Most The Legend of Zelda games avert this trope because of how the overworld is structured.note  The following games do play it straight:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Hyrule Field is a big, wide, empty field with a few secrets to find while you're running between the other areas (including Lon Lon Ranch, which is located in the Field's center).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Termina Field. All four major regions of the game (Woodfall, Snowhead, Great Bay and Ikana Canyon) are accessed through the field, which in turn has Clock Town in its very center. Romani Ranch can be accessed from Termina Field as well. And these destinations aren't linked to each other at all, except for a river passageway from Ikana Canyon to Woodfall.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: The Sky operates in a similar way to Termina Field. From there, Link can enter not only the three surface provinces of Hyrule (Faron Woods, Eldin Volcano and Lanayru Desert, and by extension all places that relate to them), but also several floating islands (equivalent to the sea islands in The Wind Waker). One of those islands, Skyloft, serves as the main core location of the Sky, doubling as a Hub City.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes: Hytopia Castle Town has Madame Coture's Shop, the StreetPass Shop, and King Tuft's Castle where levels are actually accessed. It is also the First Town because it is where you first wind up.
  • One Piece: Unlimited World Red: Trans Town, a sleepy little port town the Straw Hat pirates arrive in. Much of the game revolves around you creating and upgrading the buildings found in the town.
  • Rayman Revolution, the PS2 port of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, had a set of three large hubworlds as an upgrade from the previous versions.
  • Singular Stone: The Small Town area becomes this after Miku had awakened. It initially has portals that connect to South Coast, East Forest, and Old Relics, but after Miku reaches Level 16 and make the area snowing with her ability, it gained additional portals to the Canyon and North Lake.
  • Star Fox Adventures: Thorntail Hollow serves as the hub of the game world (Sauria), with paths going to many places on the planet's surface, a Warpstone to send you to two other places, and the Arwing to take you to the satellite regions (which were originally part of the planet itself before the Big Bad destabilized them).
  • Taz: Wanted, a GCN game about Taz the Tazmanian Devil destroying wanted signs and trying to rescue the She-Devil from Yosemite Sam, has three hubs. One hub is for the three "zoo" levels, with various tutorial books. The second hub is for the three town levels. Finally, the third is for the three Wild West levels. While there is a 10th level, it doesn't have a hub.

    Action RPG 
  • The main plot of Bastion revolves around rebuilding it using city cores that are picked up from various levels in the world map. The levels are not directly connected to the Bastion; rather, the hero flies to the levels from the titular Hub Level.
  • The village in Arcanus Cella in ClaDun.
  • Dark Devotion has the Filthblood Shelter, where you respawn after every death. It has doors leading to each of the game’s regions, though they do not open until you’ve found those regions through exploration, and there is a magical gateway which takes you to the last teleportation altar you’ve visited.
  • Demon Hunter: The Return of the Wings: The Dubaq base is conveniently placed in the middle of world map and connects to several regions.
  • In Demon's Souls the player's souls is bound by the Nexus after dying, which is the game's hub level that connects the land of Boletaria through archstones.
  • Diablo
    • The original Diablo had the town of Tristram, where you were given quests and sold loot. Also, every four or five dungeon levels, a portal directly to that level would open, making backtracking easier.
    • Diablo II gave us a hub in each of the four (five with the expansion) Acts: Rogue's Camp, Lut Gholein, Kurast Docks, Pandemonium Fortress, and Harrogath. They served the same purpose as Tristram, though the portal mechanic has been enhanced with Waypoints, which allowed you to go anywhere you already visited.
    • Diablo III follows the Diablo II model, with New Tristram being the players' base for Act I, and the Hidden Camp near Caldeum being one for Act II. Bastion's Keep does double duty as the hub for both Acts III and IV, with the latter act having you use waypoints to head to and back from Heaven. Finally, the expansion, Reaper of Souls, has the Survivor's Enclave in Westmarch being used as the hub for Act V.
  • Dishonored has the Hound Pits Pub, where Corvo can discuss things with his allies and acquire upgrades before venturing into the next mission. It doesn't last the whole game, though, as one of the last missions sees the pub overrun with soldiers and Corvo trying to rescue his remaining allies.
  • Folklore uses the town of Doolin as a hub for getting into the various Netherworld realms and forwarding the plot in the world of the living.
  • In The Guardian Legend, Area 0 is the Grand Central of Naju, connecting to all the other labyrinth areas.
  • The sub-games of the Kingdom Hearts series like to use this trope: Castle Oblivion in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and The Castle That Never Was in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days.
  • The Marvel Ultimate Alliance games have many of these.
    • Exemplifying with the first game: after saving the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, the heroes are relocated to Stark Tower, which serves as a hub until the Mandarin's Palace stage. After that, they are relocated to Sanctum Sanctorum, Dr. Strange's home. Then, after beating Mephisto's Realm, everyone heads off to Asgard (which seemingly works more like a hub than the others, since all other levels—except possibly for Niffleheim—ARE in Asgard), and from there to Attilan, when Uatu saves the heroes' bacon from Dr. Doom. After fetching the items necessary to beat him, they go back to Earth, as it is being modified by Doom, and stay at a Doom-themed Stark Tower before heading off to Latveria. In total, five hubs (or four if you count both iterations of Stark Tower as the same).
    • Spiritual Successor X-Men Legends uses the X-mansion in the first game and various temporary bases in the second.
    • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has an interesting twist on the hub levels. Since the game is about the Civil War, at the end of Act I you're forced to choose a side: Pro or Anti-Registration. Whichever side you choose determines the hub you're in for Act II: either Stark Tower, filled with SHIELD agents and Pro-Registration propaganda, or an old HYDRA base, re-purposed by Captain America as a base of operations for the Anti-Registration forces.
  • Rengoku: In the second game the 0th floor has transporters to all other floors.
  • Most of the major areas in WonderBoy III: The Dragon's Trap/Curse are directly connected to the starting town.
  • The town of Redmont in Ys III: Wanderers from Ys and its remake The Oath in Felghana.

  • Broken Reality: Axis Plaza has connections to all the other servers in NATEM, walled off by how many Likes you have collected.
  • Myst uses the titular island as a sort of hub from which the protagonist travels to other odd locations.
    • Riven (the sequel) similarly has a hub area from which any of the other areas can be quickly accessed, but reaching it is one of the main goals of the game.
    • Myst III: Exile also does it with J'nanin, and like Myst, it uses the other ages as Plot Coupon-retrieval levels.
    • Myst IV: Revelation continues the theme with each of the three game worlds being connected only to the first world, Tomahna.
    • In Myst V: End of Ages tvhe various game worlds are connected by interdimensional platform things to the first area, on K'veer.
    • Finally, in Uru, any area the player reaches can be quickly returned to from the hub world Relto, which in turn can be instantly reached from any area.

    Driving Game 
  • Timber's Island in Diddy Kong Racing is possibly a unique example of a free-roaming explorable hub world with hidden bonuses and levels in a racing game.
  • Forza Horizon has the Festigame/val Hub, while the sequddriverel is more decentralized.
  • Oppy's Garage serves of the hub of Pacific Drive whezre the Driver is able to upgrade and repair their car during their trek to escapte the Scavenger World/Eldritch Location that is the Olympic Exclusion Zone.

  • The titular bus in The Magic School Bus video games generally gets you to the various planets/body parts/time periods/whatever in each individual game and lets you access all of the mini-games as well.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • AMID EVIL has the Gateway of the Ancients where you select the difficulty and episodes, like in Quake, but much more extensive.
  • Blood II: The Chosen attempts a rather primitive version of this in its first and third chapters by having three levels each which comprise of basically the same map, blocking off previous exits and opening up new ones as you pass through them subsequent times; it's even possible, at least in the one from the first chapter, to skip from the second level straight to chapter's end by noclipping through a vent which is connected to the path that leads to the exit the last time you come through that level.
  • The Catacomb had a linear progression from level 1 to level 10 (although level 4 also had an exit to level 14, and level 5 had unreachable fake "exits" to nonexistent levels 50, 70 and 90), but level 10 had exits to four other levels. Only one of these was the way forward (via an invisible secret exit), but the other three gave clues as to how to progress.
  • The early Catacomb Apocalypse has one level in the middle of the otherwise linear progression of the game giving access to a few others. However, the game doesn't really have the technology to do it properly, so to speak. It works on the same "access a new level through a special door" basis as the more linear levels, meaning that both the hub and each of the other levels will be reset each time you enter one of them. This also means that you can do the same sub-level more than once to get the keys to progress beyond the hub instead of doing each of the different sub-levels once.
  • Clive Barker's Undying had whatever themed enemies populated the next level begin infesting the Covenant estate as a hint of where to go next.
  • Deep Rock Galactic has Space Rig 17, one of dozens of the titular mining corporation's space stations orbiting the Death World of Hoxxes IV. After you and up to three other dwarves wake up in your bunk(s), you can go to your wardrobe to customize your dwarf's appearance, upgrade and tweak your equipment at various terminals, buy cosmetic items at the company store, forge weapon overclocks, buy or sell at the Mineral Exchange, go to the Memorial Hall to honor the fallen, drive Mission Control crazy by kicking all the barrels in the hangar into the launch bay, or hit the Abyss Bar and drink until you wake up in the nearby infirmary. Once you've selected a mission at the central terminal (or signed up for a Deep Dive at that terminal), you can board the nearby Drop Pod and get launched into the game proper.
  • An interesting variant in Halo 3: ODST: You start the game playing as The Rookie; during the combat-drop at the start of the game, the Rookie gets separated from the rest of the squad, and the landing knocks him unconscious for six hours. When he wakes up, he wanders the nighttime city streets (the hub) trying to find his squad. When you find a clue as to what happened to them, e.g. a helmet embedded into a malfunctioning screen or a broken sniper rifle, the game goes into a playable flashback where you control the squad member related to the clue you just found as the Rookie. When the flashback ends, you return to the Rookie, and go looking for another clue. The city streets don't allow much backtracking after each flashback mission. When the player takes control of the Rookie again, they find the previous area of the city has been locked up and the next is unlocked for them to search, thus allowing them to progress through the hub, exploring new areas after each mission.
  • Hexen introduced support for hub levels to the Doom FPS engine, which some later mods would take advantage of through source ports backporting that into Doom. Their presence both increased the areas players needed to search to find keys and triggers - it's entirely possible to find a key in one level and only need it in an entirely different level in the same hub - and by ensuring the player would keep moving between them, allowed the side levels to be more strongly themed than would be the case if they were standalone levels as with the game's predecessor.
  • Kingpin: Life of Crime has a hub level for every general area the protagonist visits on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Skidrow, Poisonville, Shipyard, Steeltown, Trainyard, Radio City.
  • The Marathon total conversion Erodrome is one of the few mods of this engine to do this; it uses multiple copies of the Erodrome Station level with different entry points. Likewise for the Repository room in Tempus Irae and the Rozinante in the fan-made sequel Marathon Rubicon.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: From the Courtyard, you can reach almost every area of the Castle, and most routes will take you back there eventually.
  • Pathways into Darkness: The Ground Floor.
  • The faction-specific Sanctuary in PlanetSide. The planet doesn't have a name, it's just NC/TR/VS Sanctuary. This is were platoons ready themselves to travel through a warp gate for a vehicle/dropship assault or use the HART Shuttle. Weapons and ramming damaged were disabled to prevent players from fragging each other. Sadly missing in the sequel, which instead has three separate Warpgates per continent that function like a miniature Sanctuary; enemies cannot enter (or even approach) and players cannot hurt each other.
  • Possibly the most surreal example is in Quake, where it even functions as a menu system and can be played as a deathmatch map. This allowed for the hardest difficulty to be hidden within the hub. (The other three difficulties? They are the hub's entrances.)
  • Quake II has a hub level in almost all parts of the game, one exception is the Big Gun which is a map that stands on it's own.
  • Strife, being the last commercial game known to use the Doom engine, also has more refined hub levels with NPCs to talk to and quests to undertake. There's usually only one way to advance the plot and acquire the story quest, and it's infamous that one early sidequest leads to an inescapable trap (that was fixed in the Steam remake).
  • TekWar was one of the first games to feature a Hub, in this case a subway station.
  • The first two Turok games had these. The one in the second game was even named The Hub.
  • Wolfenstein (2009) has this in the form of the town of Isenstadt; all locations in the game are either in or around it, and can be accessed via its streets or sewers.

    Hack and Slash 
  • No More Heroes takes place in the city of Santa Destroy, which may seem like a Wide-Open Sandbox to the untrained eye, but is in practice more of an extremely elaborate hubworld where the player can take menial part-time jobs and low-paying assassination gigs between tackling the game's boss levels. The sequel Desperate Struggle averts this trope, as once Travis exits his apartment room you can select his destination through a menu.
  • No More Heroes III presents an expanded hub world by featuring not only Santa Destroy, but also other playable areas like Call of Battle and Neo Brasil; in all of them, you can access various activities and undertake collection-based sidequests (like hunting scorpions, retrieving Jeane's children and planting magical seeds).
  • Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure has "The Ruins", the island where the Skylanders' base was until Kaos wrecked the place. In Skylanders: Giants, the Hub is now Flynn's airship.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • Empires of the Undergrowth has the Formicarium, where the player's gene-stealer ants live and breed. Here, you can gather food to create new tiles and ants, expend territory to expand your nest, and use royal jelly to unlock new types of ants and upgrades for ones you already have. It is not without danger - to progress through the story, you need to complete Formicarium Challenges, which requires your colony to fend off an attack from a varied set of enemies.
  • Glider PRO, with its great variety of Teleportation, lends itself readily to central hubs, as seen in the CD houses "Teddy World" (where the bears are the transporters) and "Land of Illusion" (where each path eventually leads to a different-themed area).
  • Haunt the House: Terrortown: The Bell Tower, where the main ghost starts his journey, and where you can choose between other ghosts to play as.

    Mario games 
  • Mainline platformers:
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: Uniquely among the 2D games in the Mario franchise, the overworld map acts as a hub connecting the main Zones from the center (as each Zone already has its own map). This map also has a few levels on its own (though some require completing a Zone's level via a secret exit to access it), and it's also there where the final level (Wario's Castle, only available once all main bosses are defeated) awaits.
    • Super Mario 64: Princess Peach's Castle and the surrounding grounds, which is often cited as the Trope Codifier. Not only can you access all 15 main worlds from the castle's interior, but the castle itself also has 15 stars of its own, some of which involve navigating through bonus levels.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Delfino Plaza gives access to all the other levels, most of them via magical M-shaped paintings or red pipes. A grand total of 40 (out of 120) Shine Sprites can be collected here (though 24 of them can only be purchased with the blue coins scattered on all levels in the game).
    • Super Mario Galaxy: The Comet Observatory is rather small with relatively little to explore, but it still houses the astral domes from which the majority of galaxies (including the main 15) can be accessed. 12 stars can be gotten through the miscellaneous galaxies accessible from here, including both Bowser's Galaxy Reactor and the secret Grand Finale Galaxy. It also has five 1-Up Mushrooms, a Bottomless Pit Rescue Service, the room where Rosalina tells her backstory (divided by unlockable chapters), and can be flown around with the Red Star later in the game.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Downplayed with the Faceship Starship Mario, since the game returns to the world map format used in most 2-D games since Super Mario Bros. 3. It's a sandbox where you can practice all your moves and get basic advice on how to play the game—more like the Castle Garden from 64 than the castle itself. However, it has a few 1-Ups out in the open like the Comet Observatory, plus a Cloud Flower, Yoshi, an engine room where you can see all the power-ups you've collected in glass cases, and a place you can you can spend Star Bits and coins to roll dice for 1-Ups.
    • Super Mario 3D World: On first glance, the level select area looks just like the simple maps with branching paths from the New Super Mario Bros. games. But you are able to freely walk around the area like you can in all the pre-Super Mario 3D Land 3D games in the series.
    • Super Mario Maker 2: Story Mode has the outside area where Princess Peach's Castle was located (before being erased from reality by Undodog), and then rebuilt over the course of the campaign. This area is fully playable, and from here Mario can select a level that is available within the list that is curated by Toadette. As Mario completes levels and pays for the rebuild of the castle, other segments within the area can be unlocked to find characters who provide additional tasks and jobs (thus more levels to select from).
    • Super Mario Bros. Wonder: The archipelago Petal Isles, located at the center of Flower Kingdom, functions as both a playable world with its own levels and a hub that connects to the other regions. It also grants eventual access to the final level, once all Royal Seeds are retrieved from the other worlds.
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has Pi'illo Castle and its grounds.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time uses Peach's Castle like in Super Mario 64, with warps to the past, in a (fairly) rare RPG example.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has Beanbean Castle Town as well as the areas surrounding it.
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Like in Super Mario 64, Peach's Castle appears as the hub level. Unlike in Mario 64, however, the inside of the castle cannot be visited and the entrances to the various worlds are in the castle's surrounding area.
  • The Paper Mario games have Toad Town, Rogueport/Rogueport Sewers, Flipside/Flopside, Decalburg, and Port Prisma.
  • Super Mario Party: Once the players select their characters, they are thrown into the Party Plaza, where player 1 can walk around freely with the other three characters in a line behind them. The other playable characters appear around the plaza, and can replace CPU players if the player chooses to talk to them. There are other NPCs that the player can talk to, and they can also approach various places to select the mode they want to play.
  • Princess Peach: Showtime! has the Sparkle Theater's lobby where the upper levels can be accessed from, housing a number of Staff Member Theets including a dressmaker Theet who runs a shop where the player's can purchase various dress patterns and ribbon color options for Stella. Along with another Theet who can give Peach a Heart Container when spoken to.
  • The Wario Land series has a few Hubs. Wario Land 4 has the Golden Pyramid, and Wario Land: Shake It!/The Shake Dimension has his, erm... Garage. Wario World has Treasure Square.

  • Whoopie World in Rocket: Robot on Wheels.
  • The Gallery of Shame in Stretch Panic.
  • Cauldron for the C64, released in 1985, might just be the Ur-Example: as the witch, you must traverse an overworld full of enemies and keys to find. These keys open the doors to the various levels of the game, each containing a treasure needed to complete it. The overworld also connects to your house, which is where you must bring all the treasures. The levels are standard platformers, while the overworld uses the same engine but also lets you fly on your broom and shoot enemies down. Featuring so many different elements despite being such an early game, was probably what helped cement its status as a cult classic, in spite of its enormous difficulty.
  • An early example for platformers is The Addams Family for the SNES. Entering the mansion leads to the Hall of Doors. Each one leads to a different series of rooms which in another game would count as a world. Some of these "worlds" even connect one another.
  • A Hat in Time features Hat Kid's spaceship. After losing its fuel all rooms are sealed off, and collecting said fuel in form of Time Pieces gradually powers up more and more rooms, giving access to new chapters.
  • Isle of Tims in Balan Wonderworld acts as a playable level select where you can also feed the Drops you've collected so far to Tims.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Gruntilda's Lair in the first game. The levels are all closed at first, but each of them can be opened by finding and assembling their associated pictures with Jiggies (jigsaw pieces).
    • Banjo-Tooie has the Isle O' Hags, from which the other levels have to be accessed to formally. The game also has lots of secret connections between levels without needing to pass through the hub, but the provided access is generally limited unless the destination is a previous level.
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge: Spiral Mountain, unlike in the console installments (where it's merely a tutorial area preceding Gruntilda's Lair, Isle O' Hags and Showdown Town respectively), grants access to all main levels in this game.
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts: Showdown Town. Rare claims it is the largest hub level it has ever created. It's only the size of a small city, apparently.
    • Yooka-Laylee, the spiritual successor, has Hivory Towers as the hub world.
  • Bonk's Revenge's final stage, the Moon Pyramid, has a central hub leading to its four sublevels, each ending with a boss rematch. After completing these, you fight the Round 6 boss followed by King Drool.
  • Braid plays this straight with Tim's house, but uses it to shed some insight on the internal nature of his journey.
  • Castle of Illusion, a 1990 game from Sega. It was the Trope Maker, as it was the first game to feature a hub building (castle), predating the Trope Codifier Super Mario 64.
  • Conrad and Sally's house acts as the go-between in all of the levels in The Cat in the Hat.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: The region that encompasses the Windy chapter. All chapters' areas except that of Uga Buga can be accessed from here (Uga Buga requires entering through Sloprano instead).
  • Many Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games have a Hub to connect their different levels.
    • Most Crash game hubs from Crash 2 onwards were small rooms with a bunch of doors, but Crash Team Racing had a bigger hub akin to Diddy Kong Racing. Crash Twinsanity and Tag Team Racing have one hub per world.
    • The GBA and main console Spyro games prior to the Legend reboot tended to play with this trope. The hub levels tended to be levels in their own right as regards collectables like gems, eggs, orbs, dragons, etc., but had no enemies to threaten you. All of them also had multiple hubs that you usually needed to get to by beating all prior levels then killing the boss on the way.
      • All Homes in Spyro the Dragon except the Gnorc Gnexus (the hub of Gnasty's World) slowly became levels in their own right with increasingly deadly enemies and challenging platforming, while the Gnorc Gnexus was a circle with level portals attached and had no enemies whatsoever. The Artisans Home straddled the line in that it had enemies, but those enemies couldn't hurt you and only ran away. It's also the only hubbed Spyro game that doesn't require you to beat a boss to go to the next hub.
      • Ripto's Rage!/Gateway to Glimmer has Summer Forest, Autumn Plains, and Winter Tundra as its hub levels.
      • Year of the Dragon has Sunrise Spring, Midday Gardens, Evening Lake, and Midnight Mountain as its hub levels.
      • The Super Bonus World in Year of the Dragon, while technically a Midnight Mountain level and not a homeworld of its own, returns to the style of the original Spyro the Dragon homeworlds in that the world is a level in its own right, but with portals to the various minigames.
      • Spyro: A Hero's Tail played the trope the way Spyro 1 did: all hubs had dangerous enemies along with the usual collectables. Stormy Beach was the last supposed hub of the game and all the levels that come after it are done in a linear sequence.
  • The Dark Castle games each featured hubs, with the hubs getting more complex as the series progressed:
    • Dark Castle had the Great Hall, which provided a simple point-and-click choice between the 4 other areas.
    • Beyond Dark Castle had the Ante Chamber, a more traditional hub room where you placed the orbs collected from the main levels in order to unlock the final level.
    • Return to Dark Castle has a hub level connecting the hubs from the first two games as well as a hub for the new levels created for the game.
  • Donkey Kong 64: DK Isles. There are eight main worlds, four of which (Jungle Japes, Angry Aztec, Fungi Forest and Crystal Caves) are accessed within Donkey Kong's island and the other four (Frantic Factory, Gloomy Galleon, Creepy Castle and Hideout Helm) are within the large Kremling ship. Also present are the artificial island where K. Lumsy is held captive (freeing him is required to unlock the Final Boss) and the natural island where the Banana Fairy queen lives.
  • Dustforce originally had a single massive hub level with stages scattered around it, clustered according to theme. This tended to confuse players as to where they should go, and as to the relative difficulty of stages, so early May 2012, coinciding with the release of the Mac version and the level editor, it was overhauled. Now, there's a small central hub containing the multiplayer, tutorial, level editor, and custom maps, as well as doors to the four areas or "themes." Within these, doors are arranged so that easier levels are easier to get to and usually closer to the door back to the main hub.
  • Epic Games' first Jill of the Jungle game uses this between levels. At first things are linear and it seems like a gimmick, but soon the same key-collecting and powerup-collecting mechanics from the levels themselves become necessary to progress between levels, and reaching the secret level requires some backtracking in the hub. Mercifully, the hub doesn't provide any enemies or ways for you to die. The second game had a purely linear progression while the third game adopted a top-down overworld.
  • In Flashback, New Washington is laid out like this, in contrast to the other more linear levels.
  • The central hub in FreezeME is called, well, Hubbiton, and in addition to containing the entrances to worlds and sub-challenges, it also provides playground equipment you can practice your platforming on.* All of the 3D Gex games have one of these. The second game has just one: The Media Dimension, the third has several that are also proper levels.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy: There are three hub worlds, each providing access to three different areas. Getting enough Power Cells in a world unlocks a fourth area which connects to the next hub world (or, in the case of the third, to the final level), giving the impression of traversing across one massive world instead of between a few disconnected areas. While the hub worlds themselves have no enemies, each one does have eight Power Cells of its own, though most are of the "bring X Precursor Orbs to Y person" variety.
    • Jak II: Renegade has Haven City, which has several gates scattered throughout that provide access to outlying areas which act more as levels in the traditional sense. However, unlike the first game's hub worlds, the vast majority of the game's plot occurs in Haven City, and the city itself houses quite a few of the game's missions as well.
    • Daxter: While the game also features Haven City as a hub world, in this game it's only a small section of the city, and it's a hub world in a much more traditional sense than the Jak II version.
  • Robocod, also known as Super James Pond, is another early example, with Santa's Castle as the north pole linking all the levels together and providing a few bonus items and secret stages to the more intrepid player.
  • Jett Rocket's ship is a tiny version, with switches that lead to the level maps.
  • In Kao the Kangaroo: Round 2, Dark Docks serves as the hub. There are, thankfully, ducats in them, making raising the bribe money that much easier.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Adventure may be the first game that used the same engine in the "between levels" segments as in the stages themselves.
    • Kirby's Dream Land 2 contains one in each level, which also provides the page image above.
    • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror has a MASSIVE hub level that had more and more accessible areas as you hit switches in the levels.
    • The hub level from Adventure returns in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where it acts like the former minus the minigames and whatnot. The Lor Starcutter is this too, which contains minigames, copy ability rooms and challenge stages.
  • The pod in the first LittleBigPlanet. In the third game, Manglewood, the Ziggurat, and Bunkum Lagoon each have one. They're full of prizes and the currency of the game, Collectabells, and have links to the main levels and some sidequests scattered about.
  • Lode Runner 2 had one, aptly titled World Hub. It was rather nice to look at, partially because one of the coolest of the game's seven tilesets (called Jump Station) was dedicated to it exclusively. You couldn't even use it with the in-game Level Editor unless you hacked your level files.
  • Mail Mole: Peaceful Plaza serves this purpose in the game, being the area where Molty returns to after making deliveries.
  • The Mega Man Zero series has the three incarnations of the La Résistance Base as a hub for missions: one is set in a city deep underground (1st game), the second is more elaborate with a harbor and turrets (2nd and 3rd), while the last is a two-truck trailer, with Area Zero just next door.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Other M have hub areas that serve as the literal hub of the space station you're exploring (BSL Research Station in the former, Bottle Ship in the latter).
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The Luminoth specifically built the Great Temple at the center of their other three dwelling areas on Aether, hence, the hub area (Temple Grounds). Its Dark World equivalent is the Sky Temple Grounds, though it averts the trope as the other Dark Aether areas are not directly connected to it.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Scream Team: Scare Island is the main location of the game. From there, Mike and Sulley can access any of the game's levels, redo the tutorial, watch movie clips and challenge Randall.
  • Pac's school in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures houses both the overworld, a screen tracking your collectibles, several characters to talk to, and finally some minigames to play.
  • Whispering Rocks Camp, in which the actual levels are inside the brains of the residents. The Collective Unconscious serves as a mini-Hub of sorts, allowing you to access people's brains even when they are not present in the actual Hub.
  • River Tails: Stronger Together has the Beaver Resort/HUB is a place where Furple and Finn can go back to previous levels, buy skins, and try out time trials.
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is the only game in its series that plays this trope straight. The second, third, and fourth game actually made the hub location itself the main stage of the missions. There will be some few "mini-areas" in it, but generally a lot of the missions take place in the hub itself.
  • Uberhub Zone in Sonic Erazor is a lot linear than most examples, basically being a straight shot to the ending, with each level accessed by falling down a hole (or, in the case of the two Special Places, giant rings). Progress is limited by doors that only open when their corresponding level is cleared. Finally, two giant rings on either side of the map access the options menu and the ending, respectively.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog games have never been keen on implementing hub stages; perhaps the closest they get are the "adventure fields" in the original Sonic Adventure, which function like a series of interlinked hub stages characters are free to explore between accessing the regular levels. Until Sonic Frontiers came out, where each world is a big island to explore with portals leading to the levels.
  • Spelunky features the hub in which you unlock shortcuts to deeper levels by paying increasingly exorbitant prices which you will have to pay for within at least three playthroughs.
  • Super Kiwi 64: The secluded area where the airplane landed grants access to all levels in the game (which can also be entered in any order).
  • Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan: The Haab Pyramid Sydney falls into at the start of the game. From it, Sydney can access the various temples in the game, talk to other people, and purchase stuff from merchants.
  • Tak's village in Tak and the Power of Juju serves as the game's central hub. Not every level can be accessed through this hub, though- some need to be accessed by finding their entrances in other levels.
  • Rainbow Cliffs in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger and The Outback in Bush Rescue. Regarding the latter, instead of walking around it normally, you drive around it in a four-by-four.
  • Pinewood Heights from Within a Deep Forest.

  • Antichamber:
  • Manifold Garden: The eponymous garden, where you "grow" each new level sequence by planting a tree with a God cube.
  • Pâquerette Down the Bunburrows: The surface has the access to every Bunburrow and Ophéline there provides info on bunnies and upgrades.
  • Patrick's Parabox: Levels are entered via the same kinds of boxes you traverse in the stages themselves.
  • Portal 2's co-op mode features a hub area that connects the mode's five test courses. What you can access is determined by the farthest test chamber you or your partner have made it to, with any test courses/chambers beyond that locked and inaccessible. This effectively means that a first-time co-op player can access every test chamber from the start if their partner has completed them all, but then may find later chambers locked if they later switch to a partner who hasn't progressed as far. It also allows players to skip test chambers or even entire courses if they want. Because of this, a first-time player can literally go from the calibration course to the final test chamber and see the credits in a whopping ten minutes if they have the right partner. In a rare example, you can literally kill your robot off by jumping into the Bottomless Pit below while in the hub, which GLaDOS proceeds to mock you or even be confused at how you died in an area that wasn't a part of the test. Since your robot always respawns after death with no ill repercussions, this example is most likely Played for Laughs.
  • Repton 2. All levels except the last two are accessed via transporters on the first level. In the PC remake, additional scenarios often have more complex structures, but having one or more hub levels is still common.
  • Shirone: The Dragon Girl: After breaking the first memory orb, Shirone finds herself in the Archives, a group of islands floating in the middle of a purple void, furnished with bookshelves and chairs. On some islands, there is a golden magic singularity that teleports Shirone elsewhere in the castle. This hub level is accessed pretty late in the game (around one third), which is unusual for this trope.
  • The Talos Principle: The "stage" maps have three or four puzzles each. These are connected together by three Hub Levels, each with a different theme that extends into the puzzle maps. These hubs in turn are linked by another hub with a fourth theme. You start the game in what is otherwise an ordinary puzzle map.

  • Bloodborne:
    • The game has the Hunter's Dream, where the Hunters rest and prepare their dreams. It doubles as Where It All Began, your journey ends at your last meeting with Gehrman, either he puts you out of your misery or you free him from this nightmare.
    • The game also has a secondary hub in Oedon Chapel, which has paths to every area in Yharnam proper and can be turned into a sanctuary for the locals. Of course, you can use Iosefka's clinic as the NPC hub instead, but it's a little more difficult to talk to people if you send them there.
  • Chrono Trigger has (after a certain point in the plot) the End of Time, where you can access all the gates you've been through, as well as where your extra party members wait for you to use them. It's also home to the Master of Magic, who can unlock four of your party members' magical power. Just stay away from the bucket unless you're prepared.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Firelink Shrine in the first game, with most of the trainers and relatively quick and easy access to most of the rest of Lordran after you unlock the shortcuts.
    • Dark Souls II has the surprisingly sunny coastal village of Majula serving this role. If nothing else, you'll be going back there a lot because you need to talk to a certain NPC to level up.
    • Dark Souls III has its own Firelink Shrine. Unlike in the other two games, the hub is disconnected from the rest of the world. To get anywhere, you'll need to warp through the bonfire.
  • Demon's Souls has the Nexus which houses The Maiden In Black plus a few helpful NPCs. The place slowly gains more NPCs through various sidequests and interactions through the game.
  • Dragon Quest Monsters employs this trope more often than not:
    • The first game had the kingdom of Greattree, which played this trope completely straight with swirling warpgates that would take the player to each level.
    • DQM 2 mixed things up with the kingdom of Greatlog, which allowed the player to use keys to warp to each of the main story levels — or they could use special keys to warp to randomized custom maps.
    • Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker had Domus Isle, a bustling seaside city with jetskis that would take the player to each island.
  • The Final Fantasy Legend has The Tower, which fits this trope in spades. Each floor offers a door to another whole world.
  • The airship in Final Fantasy X. As the game has no Overworld Not to Scale like its predecessors, the airship is the only way to go around the world without travelling through every area in the game (in linear order).
  • Lies of P utilizes Hotel Krat as P's main base of operations and has become a safe haven to a few survivors of the Puppet Frenzy. Here, P can upgrade his stats (through Sophia, at least until the final chapter and location of the game), weapons (through Eugenie) and P-Organ (throguh Gepetto until the final 3rd of the game). P can also test out any of his weapons on a captured puppet in the training area behind Eugenie's counter in the building (which also gives him a free Fable Arts charge) purchase consumable items from Polend.ina, interact with Spring the cat, play the piano in Antonia's room, talk with Antonia and listen to records accquired from various sidequests that allow him to gain humanity. As the player progresses through the game from Chapter III onwards, more survivors are or can be directed to the Hotel such as engineering scion Venigini (who can decode Cryptic Vessels that P can find during his adventures) with his loyal butler Pulchella (who can provide small weapon buffs), Giangio (who gives status buffs for fighting in exchange for Gold Coin Fruit from the Gold Coin Tree next to him), Alidoro the Hound (who sells boss weapons in exchange for their respective Ergo plus amulets that grant status effects), Belle (a soldier who became trapped in Krat during the early days of the Puppet Frenzy) and Rookie Explorer Hugo (a big fan of Alidoro and under certain circumstances, can become the new boss weapons vendor)
  • Master of the Monster Lair: The town.
  • The aptly-named Central Area (3, to be specific) is the proverbial middle of the Cyberworld in Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar, where most of the other major areas in the game can be reached, including the underground prison of the Cybeasts, accessed by the massive crater in the center of Central Area. The only cyber locations that can't be reached directly from Central Area 3 are the Undernet (in this game located in the Sky Area), and the Graveyard.
  • Belles Fleurs Academy acts as the base of operations in Omega Labyrinth Life, much like Amberyl Academy in the previous two titles. Here, players can buy and sell supplies, craft items, and make permanent upgrades to their characters between dungeon runs, among other things.
  • Pokémon
    • To a certain extent, Lumiose City in Pokémon X and Y. It's slap bang in the middle of Kalos, and it marks the start of routes which lead to most places in the game. So before you get Fly, you're going to be there a lot. Doesn't help that it features a Gym and one Team Flare base.
    • Mauville City has expanded into a vast apartment complex in the 3rd generation remakes, Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. Like in the original games, it has a gym, the Bicycle Shop, connects to four routes (one of which serves an Opening the Sandbox moment), and the Day Care Center is just next door. What's added in the remakes that will have players keep coming back to is the Inverse Battle shop and Rotation Frump, Move Tutors for the starter Pokémon's two Secret Arts, Ribbon Shop, Food Court, Pokémileage shop, and groomer.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus has the village of Jubilife. It is home to the pastures where the player can keep Pokémon that aren't a part of your party, Galaxy Hall which is the headquarters of the Galaxy Team and your hub of operations, a trading post, a Craftworks, a general store, a hairdresser, and a clothier.
  • New Los Angeles in Xenoblade Chronicles X. You'll be coming back here after every big story mission because the BLADE Barracks, your base of operations, is located here.

  • AdventureQuest Worlds has one in the town of Battleon, where everyone first spawns upon beginning a game session and where the latest content can be accessed.
  • One of the dungeons in the MMO Asheron's Call became known as the Hub because it contained within it portals to most of the games major towns and cities. As a direct result of this the large chamber at the start of the dungeon became the best place to meet other players and trade items. It ended up being the most populous place in the game.
  • The city of Stormreach in Dungeons & Dragons Online is essentially this, though it was more prevalent in earlier versions of the game.
  • The Jita system in EVE Online.
  • EverQuest originally did not have a Hub Level, and instead let characters wander the entire world on foot to get to the various dungeons and adventure areas. With the release of the Shadows of Luclin expansion a Hub Level called "The Nexus" was created that had portals to and from 4 of the 5 continents in the world and merchants that would sell to any character (and was located on the moon, essentially a sixth continent for gameplay). With the release of the next expansion, Planes of Power a new Hub Level called the "Plane of Knowledge" was created: an extraplanar city with trainers for all classes, shops selling almost everything that Player Characters would ever need to buy at a store, and portals to every single city in the game (which seriously cut down on the game's Nintendo Hard travel element).
  • While rather small in comparison to some of the other examples, the Null Chamber from zOMG serves as both a respawn point, a transportation hub (provided you've attuned yourself to the relevant crystal), and the only place in the game world that allows you to power up and rearrange your rings.
  • Phantasy Star: Later games in the series feature hubs. For example:
    • Phantasy Star Online: Pioneer 2
    • Phantasy Star Universe has four hub levels: The GUARDIAN's Colony, Holtes City on the planet Parum, Ohtoku City on Neudaiz, and Dagora City on Moatoob.
    • Phantasy Star Zero: Dairon City
    • Phantasy Star Online 2 has the ARKS Ship, which is divided into a Gate Area where players select quests to undertake, a Shop Area with a variety of stores, and a Casino Area with minigames. The former two areas have monitors which advertise additions added to the game in patches, media that the game does cross-promotion with, and occasionally shows fan-made videos uploaded to Nico Nico Douga.
  • The Republic and Imperial Fleets in Star Wars: The Old Republic are the Hubs for players instead of the capital planets Coruscant and Dromund Kaas, surprisingly. The fleets contain shops for everything you need in the game, skill trainers for class/crew and also the entrances to dungeon raids (Flashpoints and Operations) via shuttles.
  • Toontown Online has not one, but six hubs: the Playground in each of the six neighborhoods. These areas are Cog-free and slowly restore your HP. The central area of each Cog HQ could also qualify, as they lead to more areas within the HQ, but they are treated more like the streets are: if you lose your HP, you return to the last Playground you set foot in.
  • Vindictus has the town of Colhen and the city of Rocheste, from where you travel to instances that make up the majority of the game's action.
  • This ended up happening inadvertently in World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King. There was already Dalaran, a city with portals to all the other cities. Then that was combined with the ability to enter a queue for nearly any dungeon (within your level range) or PVP area in the entire game from the UI. It led to people never going out into the world for anything once they hit level cap except for the occasional raid (dungeons using a large number of people) or grinding professions. Blizzard has attempted to fix this by adding more daily quests and achievements that require travel, but they've also added a way to queue for raids from anywhere alongside the system for dungeons and PVP, which makes travel even less necessary.

  • Alpha Protocol has safehouses in each city (Moscow, Rome, Taipei) which serve as hubs between missions.
  • BioWare games since Throne of Bhaal often have this:
    • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal gave the protagonist a personal Pocket Dimension where he/she could escape to with their party from almost any location and come right back. Notable for the fact that neither of the original games had anything similar.
    • Knights of the Old Republic gives you the Ebon Hawk, a Cool Starship to which you always return before traveling to another world. The Sith Lords recycles the Ebon Hawk, despite replacing most of the main cast including the protagonist. Additionally, it serves as the residence of the party members who are not on your current strike team.
    • The SSV Normandy plays the same role in Mass Effect and is replaced with Normandy SR-2 in Mass Effect 2.
    • The Warden's Party Camp in Dragon Age: Origins is perhaps the straightest example: it is a (for the most part) perfectly safe location where you can travel to whenever you have access to the global map to heal, sell loot, and talk with your companions. It is implied that the camp is set up anew when you enter a major location (which is why you never have to travel far to reach it) but the layout is always the same. Also, Arl Eamon's Estate becomes your hub in Denerim late in the game (though the Party Camp is still accessible).
    • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, your own castle-fortress Vigil's Keep quite naturally acts as your hub, though the city of Amaranthine is just as frequented. In the endgame, you are forced to defend just one of them against the Darkspawn, though you can save both with enough foresight and investment.
    • Dragon Age II doesn't have a single designated hub, as each companion, as well as Hawke, has their own Home Base across Kirkwall. However, you will likely be visiting the Hanged Man tavern very often, considering how it is a) a mostly safe location, b) the Home Base for two characters at once, and contains c) a merchant (Act II onwards) and d) an item for changing your active party roster.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Haven for the first arc of the game. After a Wham Episode that leads to its destruction, the Inquisition soon runs into an abandoned fortress called Skyhold that fulfills the purpose for the rest of the game.
  • Dungeon Siege has a teleporter system in its Utraen Peninsula multiplayer maps. The actual central location is just a small platform floating in blackness with a fountain and a bunch of teleport pads. It was called the "Helios Utrae Basilicus," or "H.U.B." for short.
  • In the Fallout 3 expansion pack Mothership Zeta, the Engineering Core has this function for the first half of the quest line.
  • The Fallout: New Vegas DLC Dead Money has two hub areas; the Villa, which connects to all of the outdoor quest areas, and the Sierra Madre Casino itself which, after entering it's doors, cuts you off from the Villa. While the Villa is covered in The Cloud and it's toxic fumes, there is still items to be found so it's best to grab them before entering the casino.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has the Sunken Flagon inn for the first two-thirds of the game, then Crossroad Keep for the remainder.
  • In Ultima Underworld II, Britannia acts as something of a hub for the various worlds you must visit.
  • The Frozen Throne expansion to Warcraft III makes a dramatic break from tradition with the Orc campaign. Instead of a long 6-9 chapter linear Real-Time Strategy campaign like the others, this one has three chapters in the form of an RPG, each consisting of multiple areas. The first one has a large main area, with pathways leading to remote valleys and caves that must all be visited at one point (sometimes multiple times too). The second one has a main area with various dungeons and side quests, and several equally large areas where the main quests take place. Some of these aren't seen again after your first visit. The last chapter only consists of two areas: a search and destroy mission and a massive Multiplayer Online Battle Arena-style battle.
  • Depends on the chapter in The Witcher. The Prologue has no clear Hub, the first and fourth chapters are too wide open a sandbox to identify a Hub. The second chapter has an entire city district as a Hub, in the third chapter when the range of exploration expands, the Hub contracts to a single tower. The war-torn battlefield in the fifth chapter appears to be a Hub at first, but it's really the swamplands. The Epilogue is a linear rail of No Return.

  • The guild and the surrounding town in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games are where you rest up and stock on items before embarking on a dungeon run.
  • In Wildfrost, Snowdwell is the village you return to at the end of each run, where you can unlock buildings which give you perks for your next.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Time Bandit has the Timegates, which can take you to 16 different worlds in which everything is trying to kill you.

  • In Roots of Pacha, the Land is the central area of the game, where your farm and the village is. It branches out to the other overworld areas: the Forest, the Beach, the Savannah, and the Jungle, which are unlocked over the course of the game. Once you complete enough achievements to raise the Jungle Pyramid twice, the glyptodons imbue the rock formation near the southern field with their totem powers so that you can teleport to the various overworld areas and cave rooms instantly.

    Stealth-Based Game 

    Survival Horror 
  • Alien: Isolation has multiple hub levels that are connected through a transit system.
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent has multiple hub levels too. As you complete the levels within them, weird bloody growths come out of the walls and fountains fill with blood, but you're always safe from monsters.
  • Eternal Darkness: The Roivas Mansion takes a unique approach. The game's framing device is that protagonist Alex Roivas is exploring the family manor, and after discovering the Tome of Eternal Darkness, she relives events that happened to other characters. After each chapter, Alex gains a clue or unlocks an ability that lets her progress to a new section of the mansion, leading to the next playable flashback. Two of these chapters concern Alex's direct ancestors, allowing her to explore past version of the Roivas Mansion through their eyes.
  • Lakeview Cabin Collection uses its hub as a Framing Device: It's a movie theatre that's holding a late night Horrorfest. Before selecting which episode you want to play, you can fool around with the patrons and employees for a while.
  • The Recovery deck is where you respawn each time you die in The Persistence. From there, you can buy permanent upgrades and non-consumable equipment like armor and Harvester tools before teleporting to one of the levels you have unlocked.
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room: In this game, the titular room is the Hub until the Hub itself begins attacking you.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Jet Force Gemini: Mizar's Palace inverts the trope. Instead of giving access to the other worlds, it must be accessed from them, namely from a different world for each playable character; it's also required to defeat a boss right before unlocking in each case. Juno reaches it after completing Goldwood, S.S. Anubis and Tawfret; Vela reaches it after completing Sekhmet, Cerulean and Ichor; and Lupus reaches it after completing Spawnship, Rith Essa and Eschebone. When all three characters reach here and enter the pyramidal spaceship where Mizar awaits, Lupus challenges the villain in a boss battle and wins (though it's only a Final Boss Preview). This kickstarts the second half of the game, and enables access to all available planets for each character (once The Great Repair is complete, returning to Mizar's Palace one more time will be necessary to unlock the final world).
  • Splatoon:
    • Each game has one of the shopping districts in a major city — Inkopolis in the first two games, Splatsville in the third — serve as game's main hub, from which one can access all the different modes and stores. It is filled with the Inklings and Octolings of other players, and drawings from the game's community appear as graffiti on the walls.
    • Entering a manhole in the corner of these areas will lead you to the hub world of the game's single-player campaign, with the entrances to any DLC single-player campaigns also leading to their own hubs.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Nippon Ichi strategy games frequently use these:
    • The Disgaea games have relatively small hubs with a gate and a "Dimensional Guide" to help you through to each of the levels. In the first game, it's the Overlord's Castle. In the second game, it's Adell's hometown. The third's is the lobby of Maritsu Evil Academy, the fourth's is the lobby of the Hades prison facility (Though it can later be any map that you've cleared/made), and the fifth's is Seraphina's pocket Netherworld.
    • Phantom Brave uses the island Marona lives on.
    • Makai Kingdom uses Zetta's little pad in the void.
    • Zettai Hero Project uses the main character's secret base. You can even customize the facilities.
  • Compared to purely linear levels in prior installments, later Fire Emblem games have featured this trope:
    • Fire Emblem Fates has My Castle, which is an extra-dimensional castle that contains customizable amenities such as weapon shops, a cooking spot that provides temporary stat boosts, and more.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Garreg Mach Monastery. Notably, it has a lot of features that are arguably just as integral as the franchise's core strategy gameplay given that Byleth is a professor and thus spends time training up their students in between story battles. It even retains its status after the five-year Time Skip.
    • Fire Emblem Engage has the Somniel, a floating island that is more along the lines of Fates' My Castle than the Monastery in terms of features.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The cities in Assassin's Creed II and the rest of the Ezio Trilogy serve this role, though it's not an entirely straight example. Since AC revolves less around distinct levels and more around "memories", some of the latter can take place entirely within the hub with minimal differences, some impose major changes onto the hub (e.g. all guards on permanent alarm), while yet others transfer you to entirely separate levels.
  • Your home planet/colonies in the Space phase of Spore. They let you recharge and repair for free where every other planet will charge you but the real problem is getting there. The galaxy is a very big place so it's best if you carry some Batteries and Repair Packs for long distances unless you are a Shaman civ as their "Return Ticket" ability lets them open a wormhole back to their home planet, cutting time off of one-way return trips.
  • The X-Universe games starting with Terran Conflict have the "Gate Hub". It's a large Big Dumb Object that fills the entire sector, which allows you to modify the jump gate network. The Hub has 3 sets of jump gates, which upon your command, will link "between" two sets of gates, allowing you to link the edges of the X-Universe together. You could for example, set the HUB to link a race's homeworld to their distant colonies, so that only one jump is needed instead of say, twenty jumps. A popular location for the Player Headquarters, as the sector rarely has enemies in it (unless you link it to a Xenon or Pirate sector), and is one jump away from the rest of the sectors in the universe.
  • In Yume Nikki, the strange world outside your dream home serves as a Hub Level, called the Nexus. It featured a weird Aztec silhouette floating in a black background, with bizarre doors, all of which were unique, floating the in the abyss as your gateways.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
Fan Works



  • The Chronicles of Narnia book The Magician's Nephew gives us the Wood Between the Worlds, an incredibly peaceful forest filled with large pools of water. Each pool leads to a different world, though they can only be accessed while using the magic rings that Uncle Andrew created from the Woods' dust. When a world is destroyed its pool dries up, as seen with Jadis' original world.
  • The novel Utopia has The Nexus serve as this for the titular theme park, similar to the below-mentioned Central Plaza at Disneyland.

Live-Action TV

  • Hikari Photo Studio in Kamen Rider Decade. However, the way Tsukasa and company go to different worlds relies on pulling some chains, though sometimes other methods are used, for example, the way they entered Den-O's world was that Tsukasa and Yuusuke gave each other a high five. Plus, they can't really select a world it seems, as random chains open different worlds, the same chains used to open some worlds open others (making them inconsistent) and also, the different methods as mentioned above.

Tabletop Games

  • Most Dungeons & Dragons settings have the Astral Plane and sometimes the city of Sigil (or an Expy) work as this. The Astral Plane is filled with portals that—in theory—connect to every other plane in the multiverse, no matter how minor or remote. Sigil is also known as the City of Doors for similar reasons. The Astral Plane also meets the common Hub Level qualities of being the largest plane (as much as something can be larger than "infinite"), and being empty aside from white nebulous sight, the aforementioned portals, and the occasional traveller.

Theme Parks

  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • Central Plaza, located at the end of Main Street, USA in the main "Castle Parks" (such as Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World or the orignal Disneyland), connects directly to the four major themed "Lands"—Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. It even has The Hub as an alternate name.
    • Shanghai Disneyland is the only Castle Park to lack a Central Plaza; instead, the hub there is a Land in it of itself, called the Garden of Imagination.
    • Animal Kingdom at Disney World has Discovery Island (formally Safari Village), which simularly has access to the main Lands of the park—Dino Land U.S.A., Asia, Africa, and Pandora – The World of Avatar.
  • Universal Studios:
    • The Port of Entry at Islands of Adventure (part of Universal Orlando Resort) originally functioned as a Hub of sorts. Seuss Landing and Marvel Superhero Island were easily accessed, while the other islands could be accessed quickly by boat. The boat service is now defunct, however.
    • Citywalk, also at Universal Orlando, is a straight example, connecting all the hotels, parks, and attractions. It even features scenery shifts when someone is approaching one of the theme parks. The area closer to Islands of Adventure begins to resemble the Port of Entry, while the entrance for Universal Studios contains its iconic globe fountain and giant arc entrance.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hub World


Hunter's Dream

The Hunter's Dream is the only safe haven in Bloodborne; an otherworldly location where moon-scented hunters can upgrade themselves and their weapons, as well as move fast between lanterns.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / HubLevel

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