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Level-Map Display

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An in-game display of a miniature version of the entire level. The game has to be one where your normal field of view is limited to the area around a player character. Therefore, Real-Time Strategy games and such don't count.

Examples generally fit into one of two types:

  • The map is always available (at least in certain levels), either on the main screen or through a menu system or such. A Fog of War-like effect may limit the map view only to already explored areas.
  • The map must be obtained, as a special power (which might even cost something to use) and/or collectible item (these are often not tracked for 100% Completion because only the map for the area the player is currently in can be brought up).

Systems that display a map of where the player has already traveled are often said to be utilizing "automap". The term descending from early role-playing games where the player was often expected to create their own map, typically on graph paper.

The map display would also rotate to indicate the direction the player is facing, either by rotating the 'you are here' cursor arrow, or by rotating the entire map so that up is the direction they are going. Generally the former method is more commonly used in older games as it was much easier with limited processing power to rotate an arrow than it is to rotate the entire map.

May also be a Enemy-Detecting Radar, if it shows enemies.


  • This applies to at least half of all Racing Games. Every (non-sidescrolling) racer has a heads-up display that at least displays the positions of the other racers compared to the player(s), and nearly all have maps of every course somewhere in the games, if not as an onscreen overlay during the actual races. In the case of Mario Kart 64, there's a unique case with one of the courses, whose labyrinthic layout disables the game's capacity to identify where each character is placed until the player has completed the race.
  • The Ace Combat series typically has a map, accessible either in the pause menu or by pressing a button to zoom out the regular radar in gameplay, with mission-critical targets and allies marked on it.
  • ANNO: Mutationem has a mini-map of the area on the top-right of the screen. Selecting the full map shows the entire area, along with key marks showing which locations are accessible, locked, where the shops and Warp Whistles are, and a red pointer towards the main objective.
  • BioShock and BioShock 2 have those, which also indicate the objectives, also show where vending machines are located.
  • Cave Story has a map item that can be acquired early. It's very handy as it shows all hidden passages.
  • Chantelise: Every level has one, that also shows where the enemies are.
  • Dark Cloud allowed you to toggle between a small and large map overlay while crawling through its Randomly Generated Levels.
  • Deep Rock Galactic has the Terrain Scanner which can only be seen while holding the button to bring it up. The scanner shows your immediate surroundings in a 3D view and automaps more of it as you go. It also shows various things such as player location and location of loose mission based objects.
  • The Descent series, owing to its zero-gravity nature, shows its map screen in full (wireframe) 3D - the player can freely scroll and rotate the map in any direction, just the same as they can spin and move their ship in any direction within the level.
  • Diablo games. Especially useful given that the maps are randomized. You need that map.
  • In Doom, you can always look at a map of what you have explored so far. If you find a computer map you can see the entire level. Heretic and Hexen, which use the same engine, also have automapping, complete with a tan-and-sepia color scheme to fit with the high fantasy setting. Heretic also has map scrolls that reveal the entire map.
  • Level maps in the Dragon Age games have to be uncovered manually by visiting every spot on them, and the current small portion of them is usually shown on the Enemy-Detecting Radar. The fact that the Player Character has access to what essentially amounts to Photographic Memory, ideal spatial awareness, and a perfect sense of direction is lampshaded hilariously in the Mark of the Assassin DLC for Dragon Age II, where two party members get separated from Hawke and get hopelessly lost within a rather confined dungeon because they are so used to Hawke always leading the way.
  • Dragon Slayer has the MAP spell to display a zoomed-out view of the level. Being a spell, it's not available from the start of the game. It also consumes magic power, like most other spells.
  • Both Drakengard games displayed a map of the level when pausing the game; the second also allowed you to switch between your Enemy-Detecting Radar and level-map overlay at any time (once you collected the area's actual map).
  • The Etrian Odyssey series utilizes the map as a dominant aspect of gameplay. Unlike in most modern games, the player's progress is not automatically mapped; instead, a full complement of mapping tools are provided for the player to make their own maps in the style of older role-playing games. One map can be drawn for every floor in a stratum.
  • Euro Truck Simulator, in addition to the standard road map that is part of the HUD, also has a diegetic world map on the GPS screen present in the trucks' more luxurious trim levels. If you feel like experiencing a little more inmersive interface, you can disable your standard HUD map and instead rely on your truck's GPS screen. If you don't feel like paying a fortune of in-game money for upgrading your truck's cabin, a DLC will also allow you to install separate GPS screens into your truck's dashboard or windshield.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II, pressing a combination of buttons on the Overworld Not to Scale would display its zoomed-out version.
    • Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV had a Sight spell to display a map instead. The latter games replaced the both methods with a map that is always available instead.
    • In Final Fantasy V the map is a special item you need to find on the Ship Graveyard. However, once obtained it can be accessed anywhere on the world map, and even on the other world, the fusionaded world, and even underground on the center of the earth.
  • Formula Racer 2012 has a minimap in the top-right corner which displays the position of you and other racers.
  • In Guild Wars, there are actually three map displays; a radar-like map of your immediate area which shows the location of friends, neutrals and enemies; a "mini-map" which shows the larger mission or explorable area with objectives and paths; and a map of the entire continent which is obscured at the beginning by "fog of war" and which becomes more detailed and reveals various places as you explore more of the map.
  • Iji has a map for completed levels, as well as a specific computer terminal in level 6 that reveals the map before you complete it.
  • Into Space: A purchasable radar displays the location of some/all items present in the level not far from the rocket (fuel, speed gates, thunderclouds, other vehicles, and in the third game, gifts and UFOs).
  • The first entry in The Journeyman Project series has the Mapping Biochip, which displays a 2D top-down map, showing where you've walked, including the direction you're facing. The remake Pegasus Prime only allows this map for the Mars Maze, though.
  • La-Mulana has a Map item to be found in each area of the dungeon (there is no overworld map). Viewing a map requires equipping either or both of the Ruins RAM cartridges.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails series has a mini-map on the corner of the screen while traveling. Pressing to bring up the entire map layouts the full area.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In several games of the series, the world map can be viewed at any time via the menu screen. From Ocarina of Time onwards, a mini map display—complete with arrows marking your point of entry (represented in blue) and your current heading (the yellow one)—usually occupies the lower left corner of the screen for faster, easier navigation. There are two games in which, even after reaching a new place, its map has to be obtained from a character: Tingle in Majora's Mask and the Fishman in The Wind Waker.
    • In most Zelda games, the player can acquire a Map item inside each dungeon which reveals the layout of the entire dungeon. The dungeon maps are acquired from chests, except in one of the Twilight Princess dungeons (where Link gets it from a resident character). In the first game, the map shown on the subscreen fills itself in as you explore the dungeon, while the map item shows you the general shape of the dungeon as an overlay on the main game screen, including a flashing room to mark your present location. This holds true for the other games except for the latter aspect, because the full dungeon layouts are only displayed via a particular Map Subscreen. In most games, the compass must also be found, which helps you keep your bearings and reveals the location of all unopened chests on the map, as well as the boss's whereabouts.
    • Both Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks have the map displayed on the top of the DS screen.
    • Breath of the Wild:
      • At the start of the game, the world map on Sheikah slate is blank. Each region on the map contains a Sheikah tower where Link can gain the regional map by climbing to the top and activating the terminal there.
      • The Divine Beast maps gained from their map terminals not only reveal the entire layouts of those dungeons, they also let you physically manipulate certain mechanical sections of the Divine Beasts to solve puzzles.
  • Loch Ness: An interesting variant on this trope. The map item, when you use it, displays a real-world map of Loch Ness, as well as where your character(s) is/are in real time as they move. It also displays areas on the loch where you're most likely to gather evidence of Nessie's existence.
  • Inverted in Maptroid. The game takes place solely on the level map, while there's a graphical display of the area in the top-right corner.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect lets you see a map of your current area at any time, marked with points of interest such as plot destinations, merchants or area transitons. Maps for main areas are made of outlines filled with blue while maps for uncharted worlds are displayed as heightmaps.
    • Mass Effect 2 limited maps to hub areas only. For missions you had to make do with an arrow on your compass pointing you to the destination instead.
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man X3, the head upgrade gives X access to a (very rudimentary) map of the level, dividing it into small sectors and showcasing the special items of the level.
    • Pressing the Select button in Mega Man Legends will show you a map of Kattelox Island, and your current position. Pressing Select while in ruins shows you the squares you've explored in the current ruin. In Legends 2, aside from the automap, there is a Map menu which shows the whole area you're currently in. While in ruins, you can even switch between floors.
  • Meritous: As the official game page says about the map artifact:
    The map reveals the general layout of the dungeon to you, however you will still need to explore the individual rooms to find enemies, items and tiles. Because certain types of rooms have a distinctive shape this item is nonetheless quite useful.
  • The Metal Gear series has a level map, which comes in handy for The End's boss fight in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater since it shows you where he's sniping from. In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it also shows paths blocked by convenient rubble.
  • Frequent in the Metroid series (aside from the first two games, helping players get lost), where there are also rooms where Samus can download the map of the place she's currently exploring, or navigate everywhere to get the whole map layout. In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, there's a special method to show the location of all collectible items, which is helpful for the intent of 100% Completion. However, it is only available after doing enough progress in Elysia and reaching one of the areas guarding an atomic bomb's component (even then, showcasing the location of items from Elysia itself and the Pirate Homeworld requires getting later powerups to prevent spoilers; this also means that the GFS Valhalla is the only location whose items cannot be displayed, so you'll have to rely on old-school exploration and observation there).
  • Minecraft has a Map item which you can craft to keep track of the world you explore. Interestingly, it's the "automap" type but it will only cover the quadrant around the area it was crafted in. If you go past the border, you'll need to craft another. For this reason, it's more useful in mapping the points of interest surrounding your house than as a tool for long distance trips. There is also a craftable compass that points to the world's default spawn point.
  • Minecraft Dungeons pulls a Diablo II by allowing you to have a transparent map of the area displayed over the screen, centered on your character's current position. Holding down the button to bring the map up displays the number of both normal and secret chests in a level.
  • In the Naval Ops series, the player has a minimap that doubles as Enemy-Detecting Radar.
  • Nitemare 3D had a map in the HUD that could be toggled on and off and drained a particular meter while it was on, and another meter (faster) when you chose to also see nearby enemies.
  • Ōkami makes use of a detailed map display that is placed by default at a part of the screen, but by holding a specific button you can display the map in the screen's center with a larger scale; this is useful to see how to reach a desired exact spot (often one marked as the next story destination). Inside a dungeon, it is necessary to collect a map first.
  • In Peasant's Quest, you fill in semi-crude drawings for each location visited.
  • Persona: The series has an auto-filling map as you progress through each dungeon, labeling Treasure Chest and stairways leading to the next floor.
  • Project I.G.I. justified it as a satellite view from above, which marked locations of enemies. However, it won't show anything under a roof.
  • Ratchet & Clank games have a map that you can pause the game and look at. Each game also has a Mapper gadget you can find, which makes said map also show secret areas.
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale's dungeons have a minimap that completes itself as you go through each randomly generated level. Two of the random effects that can happen on each level play with this; one reveals the entire map from the start, the other disables it.
  • Roundabout displays a road-map style map of the entire area on the pause screen. It only covers the region of the map you're currently in (Suburbs, Roundabout City, or the Mountain), however.
  • Shaw's Nightmare: There are two map modes which you can use to explore areas, a wireframe mode and a 2D textured mode. You can also see where the enemies are.
  • Spider-Man 2 has a zoomable, interactive map of New York. It displays information on challenges, help tokens (also whether or not you've completed them — useful, that), citizens in distress, Spidey Stores, crimes in progress, objective points, and key locations such as the Daily Bugle and Mary Jane's apartment. There was also a GPS-like minimap.
  • Star Fox Adventures requires all maps pertaining the game's locations (including dungeons) to be purchased in the shop of ThornTail Hollow before they can be shown on-screen. The map can be zoomed in and out in a gradual manner.
  • Tales of Symphonia: The overworld has a map in the bottom right corner, showing the location of the player party, and what section of the world the camera is displaying.
  • The arcade version of Tutankham displayed a miniature view of the entire level at the top of the screen. It wasn't really useful for navigation or finding items, so most ports simply omitted it.
  • Unreal:
  • In Warframe, you have an automap which shows outline of the terrain and points to the locations of your goals and other points of interests, such as merchants.
  • World of Tanks has a minimap where enemies are marked once an ally has spotted them. Particularly clueless players are often accused of not paying attention to it.

Alternative Title(s): Map Screen, Mini Map