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Low-Tier Letdown

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As is common to most games with any degree of gameplay, some characters are bound to do other characters' jobs better than others. As the metagame of any competitively-minded game is formed, some characters are bound to be either too good at their jobs and get similarly hated on as High-Tier Scrappy characters, for either being too good for the health of the game's balance, or simply being unfun to fight against. Single player games with large casts — such as Role-Playing Games — will also often have that one dude who carries the entire party on their back.

And then there are these.

Relatively more common to single-player games as a whole, a Low-Tier Letdown is a character who may not be widely-hated, but they're oftentimes infamous within their own fandoms for just straight-up especially sucking in gameplay terms. They might be the nicest person in the world, but if they're solely known within even the confines of the gameplay as The Load, their fate is decided.

It's worth noting that in RPGs and other sub-genres, characters that start off weak but can get good and become powerhouses should not qualify for this trope, as Low-Tier Letdowns by their definition boast no Magikarp Power to speak of; they're bad from the start of when you get to use them, and they will never get to a point where they can be of equal use. Even in cases where they can in theory get better stat-wise, they have to be designed in a way that makes them borderline unplayable to work with even on the most casual level of play, and they have to be a case infamously known within the fandom of those games. Only then do you have a case of a Low-Tier Letdown.

In fighting games and MOBAs, they are frequently Skill Gate Characters who are easy to pick up and do well with and are dominant in lower-level play, but do exceptionally poorly in higher-level play; the Letdown part often comes from bad players who insist on using them with the same suboptimal strategies and builds and refuse to get better, get destroyed by competent players, and proceed to ragequit, lagswitch (if possible), abuse report functions, send abusive private messages, rage on message boards demanding nerfs, and generally act like incorrigible Scrubs.

Metagames can evolve; as a result, characters that were deemed weak or useless can prove to be more useful than they were initially.

For characters hated for being too strong, see High-Tier Scrappy. Contrast Game-Breaker, something revered for being overpowered in a game. Super-Trope of Scrappy Weapon, offensive equipment or items seen as lacking in effective offense.

Note: Not every low tier character qualifies for this trope, especially if they're not quite bottom tier. This trope applies specifically to characters who are notoriously bad and have accrued significant backlash for being that bad. On the flip side, even if a character isn't totally useless, they can still qualify if they're infamous among the fandom for how weak they are.


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  • Most characters in LEGO Star Wars are either completely worthless (i.e. the Pit Droid or Boss Nass, which can't even attack) or completely outclassed by other characters (Jango and Boba have two additional abilities compared to average blaster characters like Padme and Han), but fans don't usually mind that much due to the massive size of the roster and the fact that plot-mandatory characters tend to be at least competent.
  • From Quest for Glory, the Fighter class is this because of The Paladin being introduced as a playable class since Quest for Glory III. Everything the Fighter does, the Paladin can do better. The former has no special abilities while the latter has a Flaming Sword, can heal injuries, can sense danger and has magic protection. To add insult to injury, a Fighter that is too honorable becomes a Paladin later in the game. There's no way to refuse the title, forcing the Fighter to keep his Karma Meter in check. Quest for Glory IV is even worse. The Fighter only gets an exclusive magic battle axe, while every other class meets unique individuals and have quests only they can solve. Quest for Glory V balances things better however. The Fighter gets multiple choices of weapons, can solve quests better to his tastes and his Strength and Offensive skills are superior to all.

    Beat 'em Ups 
  • Gohan in Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury after getting his plot-based powerup from the Elder Kai late in the game. In theory, this makes him much stronger by giving him a lot of stat points in exchange for losing his Super Saiyan transformation. In practice, the stat points don't matter much, whereas Super Saiyan greatly increases speed and effectively doubles your ki (though the latter is admittedly only a bonus to the speed). Even worse, Gohan had permanent Super Saiyan speed when he wore the Great Saiyaman costume early in the game, meaning the entire problem could've been averted by adding something they already used to his powerup.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In the Commander/EDH format, Red and White are infamously terrible:
      • The aggressive damage strategy Red typically uses is useless for a slower format with more survivable opponents, and the color has nothing to compensate. It has little to no card draw, deck searching, or resource production to keep up with Blue, Black, or Green in the late game. Unlike the similarly weak White, Red adds little as a supporting color because it lacks versatility and can't cover other colors' weaknesses. Exacerbating the issue, one of Red's few strengths, consistent land destruction, is much maligned for slowing down the game and will often draw the ire of the group at a person willing to use it. Thankfully, from Theros onwards, sets and supplementary products have boosted Red's power by adding strong Commanders like Purphoros, God of the Forge; Daretti, Scrap Savant; and Feldon of the Third Path, as well as giving Red more tools like board wipes, artifact support, "impulsive draw" cards like Outpost Siege and Commune with Lava, and Discard and Draw spells.
      • White isn't much better than Red. Though White is more suited to being paired with stronger colors, it suffers from many of the same problems Red does on its own. Like Red, White's typical focus on aggression and combat is not very effective for a format with multiple opponents and higher life totals. White has few options for resource production and has less card draw than even Red, and the few options it does have are very conditional. White also has the worst selection of single-color commanders; outside of cards like Sram, Senior Edificer, very few White commanders can compensate for the color's weaknesses. New cards like Smothering Tithe and God-Eternal Oketra have shown a targeted effort in strengthening White.
    • A couple blocks are well known as really weak, especially when they were Standard legal:
      • After the comically overpowered Rath and Urza blocks, Mercadian Masques block was deliberately made weaker so the game could be re-balanced. Unfortunately, Wizards went too far, and Masques was so weak as to be unusable, with generally unfun and clunky mechanics. Masques' reputation took a further hit after the following Invasion block released, which had a huge impact on the metagame despite being only moderately powered.
      • Kamigawa block followed in Masques' footsteps: it was meant to be a return to sanity after the broken Mirrodin block, but was generally unfun and did nothing to stop Mirrodin from dominating Standard. The following block, Ravnica, was also considered fun and moderately-powered. However, unlike Masques, Kamigawa would later be Vindicated by History after several of its cards proved powerful in other, older formats.
      • Early in the game's history, the first base set, Alpha/Beta/Unlimited (which were all the same, aside from Alpha accidentally excluding Volcanic Island) and the first expansion, Arabian Nights, saw some extremely powerful cards as a result of the newness of the game. The next several sets consciously powered the game down. The problem was that too many low powered sets came out in a row, threatening to kill interest in the game overall. Homelands is known for being the last of these, to the point that it's absurd weakness is basically all it's known for. The Standard (Type 2) format even added a rule that all decks must contain at least 5 cards from each legal set in order to force players to buy Homelands packs. This rule was infamously known as the, "Home-di-cap."
    • Individual cards that got backlash:
      • Divine Gambit is a removal spell with the downside of letting the removed permanent's controller play something else for free. The card is infamous for how badly it can blow up in your face, as they may slap down something even worse than what you wanted to remove.note  However, it's passable in limited formats, where getting rid of your opponent's best card in the late game (when they probably have nothing good to replace it with anyway) can be worth it, and the card would probably have been remembered for that if it weren't for two factors. 1: It was yet another an underwhelming White card that came out at a time many players felt the colour was too weak. 2: It somehow made it into the Strixhaven Mystical Archive collection alongside a lot of iconic spells.
      • Odric, Blood-Cursed was the return of Odric, a character who had had several neat cards before, after he was turned into a vampire. A lot of players expected a cool card, and were underwhelmed when what they got was... a creature that can make some Blood tokens when it enters the battlefield (and even that requires setup; it makes nothing on its own), and is otherwise a vanilla 3/3. The first impressions of the card were so bad that Mark Rosewater acknowledged the situation on his blog.
  • Gali is low-tier in the Monster Rancher Battle Card Game Game Boy game, as his techniques are much more costly than any other Monster's, even his dodging cards. He has more uses in the Playstation version, though he's still a costly Monster to use.

    Driving Games 
  • Two of the five stat types in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled have fallen under this for different reasons. Both are actually inherited from the original game, but is a more important factor in the remake because of the presence of online play. This has become such a problem that the developers eventually added a Driving Style option, which lets players to select stat types independently of characters, so the online matches won't be dominated by characters from the other two types.
    • Turning Class is considered terrible due to the poor design: the main draw is supposed to be great handling allowing for better cornering than the other classes, but this is usually more of a hindrance than a benefit as this ensures they can't snake effectively on straightaways*, and thus struggle to retain their turbo reserves. In addition, they're the slowest of the four classes, meaning that if they do end up leading, they're likely to be overtaken anyways, with their only niche being on tight tracks that heavily utilize Ultra Sacred Fire* such as Oxide Station, Cortex Castle and Drive-Thru Danger. It got to the point where Turning characters are not only the least-used class online, but fans were actively dreading the idea of their requested characters being Turning (luckily, this last concern no longer exists thanks to the introduction of the aforementioned Driving Styles).
    • Balanced Class doesn't fare that much better. This is mostly due to the fact that the stats listed for Balanced Class is deceptively low: although the speed stat is stated to be one point higher than Acceleration Class, they're actually slower than them and have worse acceleration than the already-slow Turning Class, resulting in them being heavily outclassed by them in everything they can possibly do. Even their comparatively better turning is considered a flaw: due to a technique called u-turning, which allows players to turn incredibly fast without losing much speed by braking while hopping, the turn stat is often regarded as a redundant Dump Stat by experienced players because u-turning compensates for it, and an active detriment at worst due to tighter turning making snaking more difficult (as explained above), so that a low turn stat is considered a Game-Breaker online. Balanced characters are considered so terrible that there's active demand to buff them to actually reflect their in-game stats, as they can't even function as the Jack of All Stats they're supposed to be.
  • F-Zero 99: The Blue Falcon is often seen as a sign that someone is completely new to the game or just likes Captain Falcon and/or the Blue Falcon and doesn't care about machine stats, as the general consensus is that it's too average of a machine to fully compete with the strengths and weaknesses of the other three. It is still very possible to win with the Falcon, but doing so requires more skill than one would expect due to having to compete with machines that have distinct specialties to work with.
  • F-Zero GX offers a lot of freedom in creating custom machines, and many of them are great. Slash Emperor -V2 (Big Tyrant + Windy Shark + Scorpion -V2), however, is not; while its speed is great, acceleration is awful, deceleration is awful, and its turning radius is on par with that of the Earth's orbit. Even the game's best players will absolutely refuse to give it a try.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage:
    • The AE85 Levin, which in the anime and manga is the car of Itsuki. As someone in the anime said, comparing the AE86 Trueno/Levin and the AE85 Trueno/Levin is "like comparing chocolate and shit": as of Initial D 4, the Trueno is at the top of the tier list (not just on Akina, but overall, only being surpassed in 7 AA X and 8 Infinity by the 2 door variant, which yet another AE86), and the 85 around the bottom ever since its first appearance in IDAS.
    • Both of the Roadsters were this in the first 3 games. Whilst not Joke Characters like the AE85, these two cars simply just performed poorly. The only upside to them was that they possessed the two best startup times in the game. Later installments eventually buffed them to the point where they were actually pretty decent vehicles.
  • Mario Kart Wii:
    • The Aero Glider/Jetsetter is a heavy kart with perfect top speed, but has literally useless stats for everything else, including handling, drift, off-road, acceleration and mini turbo. In simpler terms, it can't take corners at all, barely sticks to the road, can't get back up to speed quickly and as it's a kart, can't do wheelies. Even the Sprinter, its middleweight equivalent, is a good vehicle when used in automatic mode. The Jetsetter's bike counterpart, the Torpedo/Spear, at least has the benefit of being a bike (which lets it do the wheelie, making it faster than its kart counterpart in practice) and having inward drifting (they have similar stats, though Spear's are less extreme), but since the Aero Glider drifts outwards, trying to use it will literally end in hitting every single wall in the track. Oh, and it's likely going to be the final kart unlocked for most people, for getting at least one star on all 150cc Retro cups.
    • The heavyweight bike Phantom, while it has the best off-road for its size, is an outside drift vehicle with the worst drift stat in the game. Like the Jetsetter, it's likely going to be the final vehicle unlocked, for winning Mirror Special Cup.
  • MotorStorm:
    • The Beelzebuggy Spaceframe II from Pacific Rift is often considered the worst vehicle in entire series. It's notorious for under steer, as well as its high center of gravity. It's also rather long, which just makes the aforementioned problems more glaring.
    • Also from Pacific Rift, the Italia Velocita. A Pikes Peak style racer with excessive wings all around its body, not only giving it low ground clearance (in an off road racing game), but making it harder for it to take shortcuts that involve squeezing though tight openings.
  • In Sonic R, Amy, Eggman, and Eggrobo are generally considered by most players to be the worst characters in the game due to having overall poor stats, mostly-useless special abilities and being unable to jump. Their only redeeming factor is being able to drive on the surface of water... which becomes a moot point when all of the other Secret Characters can do that anyway while still retaining the ability to jump and use their other mobility options. Many have commented that Amy in particular would have worked far better simply racing on foot, instead of chugging around in her slow, clunky jalopy.
    • However, Amy's Turbo Boost comes with the mere advantage in speedrunning for clipping out of bounds to lap around a small area to complete laps in mere seconds.
  • The Gambler in Sonic Riders is hands down the worst Gear in the game. It's defined by its gimmick, which is that if you finish a race in first place while using it your Rings are doubled, and if you finish poorly they're halved instead, with a crappy statline to show for its performance. That's not the problem, though. The problem is what the game doesn't tell you, that being that on top of having an awful rate of air consumption, the board also disables your character's Type ability, meaning that you can't grind, use air rings, or break through obstacles, thereby rendering the Gambler from a terrible board to a completely unusable pile of garbage not even befitting of being hung on a wall, much less being used for a race.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune's hidden Joke Cars (Corolla, Hiace, R2, Pajero) are all very low-tier, but the Hiace is considered the worst and most depressing vehicle to drive in the game, due to having awful acceleration (it having a 4-speed transmission only makes that worse) and handling. Its one advantage is that it has the highest top speed in the game at 351 km/h, but in a game where the highest and lowest top speeds are separated by only about 3 km/h and said top speed only really matters on a few courses, it means nothing amidst all the weaknesses it has.

    Fighting Games 
  • BlazBlue gives us the following:
    • Rachel Alucard in Continuum Shift. Her damage was drastically decreased and her tools severely hampered (George XIII in particular now requiring a gauge to be filled before it could be used again), turning her from a top-tier character in the first game to someone who struggled against everyone. Fortunately, she has since been on the road to recovery, and while she's nowhere near her Calamity Trigger glory, she has never since found herself in the low-tier depths.
  • In the spinoff crossover fighter BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle:
    • Makoto Nanaya gets bludgeoned with the nerf bat again, reclaiming the dishonor of being one of the worst characters in the game. She has very short reach and a very predictable approach game that can be easily countered by a lot of characters, and her damage isn't exactly stellar compared to a lot of characters who have far superior reach. Her assist moves are lackluster, she has the worst sweep in the game, and a lot of her moves can't convert into combos at max range.
    • Kanji Tatsumi, who has wonky hitboxes on a lot of his attacks which don't even hit particularly hard: for the supposed big bruiser of the Persona 4 Arena team, his damage potential is actually nothing to write home about. Also he's quite slow in a game where speed and range are fairly dominant.
  • Capcom vs. games:
    • Some of the characters in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium got hit with this, but King is probably the most severe example. She's pretty capable in her home series, but CVS2 has her in the same tier as Joke Characters like Dan Hibiki. Kyosuke also gets this due to his low damage output and input, as well as having underwhelming buttons and frame data.
      • S-groove is seen as the worst groove in the game. The only way to charge it is to manually charge it, meaning you have to sacrifice pressure/mixup potential in order to charge up. The side-step ability isn't useful in a game where roll-cancelling is very powerful and useful. The main gimmick of having unlimited level-1 super moves at low health isn't particularly threatening when other grooves allow you do more damage for less effort.
    • Pretty much everybody on the Capcom side in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, especially Roll and Servbot. Some of the most beloved characters in video game history... and nobody wants to play as them because the Marvel side has all the most dominant fighters, except for Captain Commando, Tron Bonne, and Strider Hiryu. Fortunately, after learning from her mistakes in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Roll manages to toss aside her original Low-Tier Letdown status and becomes a Lethal Joke Character in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom!
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has a few other let-downs as well.
      • The low end is populated by Thor of all people, who has slow attacks that are difficult to chain, and doesn't move too quickly compared to the amount of damage he dishes out.
      • Hsien-Ko's incredibly slow and struggles to approach as a result, her super armour gimmick can be circumvented by any character strong enough to break it or has a cinematic super that bypasses it altogether (or by simply grabbing her), and she doesn't hit hard enough to compensate for how slow she is. She's widely considered to be the worst character in the game, below Awesome, but Impractical Phoenix Wright and Cripplingly Overspecialized Ghost Rider, bringing nothing worthwhile to the table.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has the Mind Stone: Its Storm (which simply refills your Hyper Combo Gauge) is widely seen as underwhelming and almost useless compared to those of the other Infinity Stones. Also, its Surge (a basic, dizzying, telekinetic slam), while better-regarded and seen as actually useful, nevertheless suffers from mediocrity in comparison to what the other Stones can do.
  • In the third Darkstalkers game, Vampire Savior, Anakaris is infamous for being incredibly handicapped and having no winning (and arguably no even) matchups. He intentionally lacks (or is extremely gimped in) many game systems universal to the rest of the cast: he has no normal throw, can't "Tech-Hit" (aka advancing guard / push block), his Guard Cancel is meter-only and infamously is punishable on hit, and he has all that combined with being very big and slow. This all comes together to him being much easier than any other character in the game to bully and pressure non-stop with him legitimately having no way out. Though he has more than enough tools of his own to win against even competent players (his own pressure game is exceptionally strong, and his normal attacks can do a decent job in ensuring the opponent can't get started on him) and is considered playable at a high level, he has possibly the smallest playerbase of the whole cast due to how high-risk and hard to learn he is to learn relative to the reward.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy has Shantotto, who has a fighting style entirely reliant on HP attacks. Her Bravery game is virtually non-existent, and they're meant to act as support to set the opponent up for her HP attacks, which are slow to start with long recovery time and poor hitboxes. About all she had going for her was her EX Mode ability Manafont, which let her keep her Bravery after using HP attacks so she could spam them as much as she wanted (normally, Bravery depletes after using HP attacks). Dissidia 012 buffed her HP attacks, increasing their execution speed, decreasing recovery time, and letting them power up at lower Bravery amounts. Unfortunately 012 also changed Manafont's effect, thereby removing Shantotto's greatest strength. In the end, her Bravery game is still horrible, and unless you're good at mind games with Bind and Stun, her HP attacks are still difficult to hit with.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Lobo is considered by many to be one of the worst characters in the game. It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't a popular DLC character that everyone was so excited for before release. The problems with Lobo is the fact that he's very slow but not strong enough to mitigate this, a sore lack of zoning (his Sawed-Off Shotgun has the range of a punch), and that other characters do what he does but does it better (Grundy is slow as him but much stronger, Captain Marvel has a better grab game, etc).
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle:
    • "Normal" Kira. The fact that he was a limited edition DLC character in the original game already soured a lot of playersnote , and the fact that he's vastly inferior to the Kosaku version, who anybody can use, will either rub more salt into the wound or leave you feeling validated for not bothering with him.
    • Phantom Blood Dio is this, due to not having a good air or anti-air attack, when both of those are vital for a character due to how this game is played at high level.
  • Kirby Fighters:
    • Hammer Kirby, shockingly. Normally one of the most broken abilities in the main series, it suffers heavily in transition to a fighting game. This is because his best moves are either nerfed (his hammer swing has its invicibility gutted) or just not useful in a fighting game environment (his famed Hammer Flip that decimates bosses proves about as useful as a Falcon Punch when fighting less predictable opponents). As a result, Hammer Kirby's aggressive rushdown playstyle just falls apart, especially against the many projectile-based or otherwise ranged movesets in the game. Furthermore, in Kirby Fighters 2, the addition of King Dedede, who can do most of what Hammer Kirby can and then some but still suffers from many of the same drawbacks, further reduces reasons to play him.
    • An even worse case of "suffers in transition to a fighting game" is Beetle Kirby. The biggest problem is the signature move, Rocket Horn Dive that is crazy strong in the main series, had its invincibility removed and was made to be much slower and punishable. All of Beetle Kirby's other moves are either short range, or highly punishable, while having very few combos to go with it. As a result, it's rare to see him used.
    • Bell Kirby. All his attacks are slow, often have poor range, and have extremely poor combo-ability that even applies to his seemingly potent jab combo which is easily invalidated through directional influence. But his most glaring weakness is that he literally cannot dodge in exchange for his unique "Bell Block" mechanic, leaving him extremely vulnerable to gobbles/grabs.
  • Mortal Kombat 4 gave us Shinnok, who in spite of having an interesting backstory, that of a fallen Elder God who wanted revenge on the other Elder Gods, his gameplay is pretty much minuscule by having impersonation moves and lacking actual special moves — In other words playing as him can basically be summed up as "Diet Shang Tsung." The fact that he was an Anti-Climax Boss in said game doesn't help. He got better in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and especially Mortal Kombat X.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Twelve in Third Strike is not just bad, he's dysfunctionally bad. His combos are pathetically weak and don't put his opponent at a disadvantaged state, he can't convert any of his decent normals into a combo, his specials have so much end lag that they're punishable on hit, two of his supers are gimmicky as hell and the one that isn't doesn't even connect properly, and his damage output is so low that even if you make as little mistakes as possible, he will get bodied as soon as he guesses wrong once. He does possess a somewhat decent neutral game due to his high mobility and great reach on a lot of his normal moves, but the problem is that while he may not struggle with getting in hits, he has no ability to actually capitalize on those hits, meaning his only real gameplan is to slowly poke the opponent to death and hope they never get a chance to punish him.
    • Sean was a bit of a monster in Second Impact, and was, consequently, given a smack with the nerf bat in Third Strike... which, unfortunately, turned out to be more of a hammer-blow. He's a Shotoclone, which means sharing a lot of properties and even most of his animations with Ryu and Ken, but that results in him essentially having all the worst attributes of both and the strong points of neither. His hitboxes are bad, to the point that he has few ways to combo his Tackle, and Dragon Smash, his Shoryuken equivalent, exclusively hits above his head. The Tornado, his Hurricane Kick equivalent, looks flashy and strong, but its recovery is so bad when used meterless that it leaves him wide open even if he hits. The result puts him in pretty close competition with Twelve for the game's worst character, and even relatively good appraisals of him will admit there's almost nothing he does that Ryu and Ken can't do better. Notably, this was intended on the part of the developers, who believed that Sean being superior to Ken would be Gameplay and Story Segregation—and not expecting the game to have the longevity it did, they paid little heed to balance.
    • Vega was off to a very poor start in vanilla Street Fighter IV, with dismal normals and not much better specials that lack invincibility. But what really held him back was some of the worst meter usage in the game, due to terrible EX specials, an all-or-nothing super without any reliable confirms, and an almost completely useless Ultra that often wasn’t even guaranteed from the otherwise universal focus attack crumple. He fortunately got most of his worst traits buffed along with a much more useful Ultra II in the SSFIV re-release, putting him in a more solid mid tier position for the rest of the series.
    • DeeJay fell to this place as of USFIV, with him now considered to be the worst character in the game. This is due to his very limited hit confirms, having precious few ways to combo into a red-focus attack, and generally poor reversal options.
    • Hugo in USFIV is an extreme Mighty Glacier of a grappler, with his punches and throws having exactly the insane damage output you'd expect of an eight-foot-tall wrestler. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of basically everything else. He has no projectiles, terrible mobility, needs to burn meter just to have a hope of approaching, and his hitbox is so gargantuan that he can be hit by anti-air projectiles while on the other side of the screen. Notably, his matchup against Gouken is considered one of the worst in the game, as even Hugo's limited approach options get countered easily.
    • F.A.N.G. in Street Fighter V has suffered the misfortune of being the worst ranked on the tier list. Despite the unique poison gimmick, he suffers from pitiful damage output and bad health.
    • Zangief's also feeling this in V, to the point that several pro players maining him have switched to other characters. His lack of speed, problematic match-ups, and lack of varied tools are cited as why he's attained this status
    • Alex in V was good for exactly one patch cycle, on his debut. After that, he's was stuck in the bottom of the barrel until much, much later in Season 5.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Rainbow Six Siege:
    • Tachanka remains the undisputed worst operator in the game, to the point that he has long been memetic for how badass he must really be to be part of Rainbow. His gadget offers him no protection from above or below, is immobile while in use, and does basically nothing his SMG can't do. Also he's a Three Armor making him unable to reposition quickly. In Operation Shadow Legacy, he received a rework that swapped his stationary LMG to a primary weapon and his gadget to an incendiary grenade launcher, but his place in the meta has yet to be fully determined.
    • Fellow Three Armor Montagne is in similar straits. His full body shield is remarkably effective and allows him to aggresively seize territory, but he is useless on his own or when outnumbered, and his ability to lock down doorways does not include preventing enemies from shooting through the tiny gaps at either side of his shield. While he's not worthless, he struggles to fill a slot that could be occupied by another gun.
    • Fellow shield Operator Blitz suffers many of the same problems as Montagne. His flash shield and ability to sprint with his shield up allows him to be even more aggressive than Montagne, but with the trade-off of protecting him even less. The long cooldown on his flash and close-ranged nature of his weapons make him a struggle to use against more than one defender. Latency issues also allow frontal shots to glitch through his shield and into his head.
    • Caveira, a rare One armor example, falls here because her gadget is based around ambushing solo operators. The trouble with that is at higher levels of play, teams rarely split into single, easily ambushed players, and to facilitate the second part of her gadget, she has to perform a lengthy animation while her subject's teammates are rushing over to shoot her off.
  • In Team Fortress Classic, the Pyro is based on flame usage, unsurprisingly, with a lot of weapons capable of igniting the opponent and exclusive access to the game's flamethrower. The trouble is, fire damage in Classic is completely pitiful, with even full afterburn dealing only 8 damage to characters with around 100 HP before accounting for armor, meaning that the most fire can do is annoy players by blocking their screen. The flamethrower, as a result, ends up playing Video Game Flamethrowers Suck as straight as an arrow—it's a short-ranged weapon with damage that is at best unremarkable—and the rest of the Pyro's kit is just a strictly worse version of the Soldier's. Though its TF2 counterpart is often mocked as an unfocused Skill Gate Character, it's at least a functional and usable class; the Classic Pyro, meanwhile, is considered useless for anything barring a Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • The Spy in Team Fortress 2 has been regarded as the weakest of the nine classes for a long time. Design-wise, Spy is a "pick" class: with the ability to turn invisible or disguise himself, building-disabling sappers, and a One-Hit Kill Back Stab, he can get an almost guaranteed kill in the hands of a good player, but due to his low health and weak weaponry, he crumples quickly in a straight firefight, meaning he's meant for hunting down priority targets and opening holes in the enemy defense. However, he isn't the only class to fill his intended niches, and in some cases isn't even the best at it. Scouts can also act to pick off priority targets due to high speed and the power of the Scattergun, Snipers can charge their sniper rifles to also get almost-guaranteed kills with a headshot at any range, and Soldiers and especially Demomen can also proficiently smash through buildings with their explosives. And unlike his teammates, who have varying degrees of usefulness besides their primary gimmick, Spy has very little to offer outside of picking off targets, being too frail and weak to aid in a push and lacking any real team-support abilities. Spy also suffers from the two-pronged difficulty of being both a Skill Gate Character and Difficult, but Awesome, but in the worst way. He is regarded as the hardest class in the game to play proficiently, which means that there are many people who pick the class due to being attracted by its cool factor and go on to contribute nothing but failed backstab attempts—not helped by the fact that Spy's aforementioned specialization makes him highly undesirable in large numbers. But he is also regarded as the hardest class to play in a skilled environment, because even a modicum of team communication makes his means of stealth far less effective, since simply telling other players where a Spy is will usually lead to their demise. In competitive settings, it's often said that a Spy managing a single kill and then dying immediately afterward is an excellent showing.

  • Alchemist in Dota 2 originally was subpar to other playable characters, but he Took a Level in Badass in the 6.75 balance patch which, among other things, made it much more difficult for the enemy to tell how powerful your Unstable Concoction is. The spell is a Stun + Damage bomb that got more powerful as a timer counted down, and would explode on Alchemist himself if cooked for too long. Beforehand the timer that counted down was visible to everyone, not just allies, and one well timed stun screwed Alchemist over every time. And even if they do get a lucky stun or kill Alchemist, the UC will now explode in an area around Alchemist. Terrorblade seems to have replaced Alchemist as the worst hero for 6.84 as he receives brutal nerfs to his illusions (Not only does his illusions become much less tanky but also deals less damage to towers, which is the whole point of picking this hero) along with a couple of other nerfs. It got to the point that mocking him for his weakness has become a meme among the Dota 2 community.
  • Heroes of the Storm has been perennially puzzled by Tyrael, Archangel of Justice. His Trait is to leave a spirit after he dies that explodes a few seconds later. The trouble with this is that it means his Trait does nothing while he's on the field, meaning that he has 3 basic abilities to every other character's 4. He was eventually Rescued from the Scrappy Heap by patches buffing his other abilities and increasing their versatility, making up for his handicap.
  • League of Legends
    • Several champions (such as Soraka, Poppy, Heimerdinger, and Olaf) are generally kept at least somewhat weak in order to make sure that frustrating mechanics they utilize stay out of the game (at least until they receive a rework to make their mechanics less frustrating to face.).
    • There are also champions who simply have outdated/buggy mechanics and have not really seen changes to update their gameplay to make it less clunky. (These include Sivir, Warwick, and Fiora.) They may also receive reworks to update their mechanics.

  • Goober in is generally considered terrible, not only due to having a 4x weakness, but that weakness being the very common water attack type. This combined with its poor defenses means that anything with a water-type attack is likely to deliver a One-Hit Kill to it.
  • For companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic prior to Knights of the Fallen Empire:
    • Melee tanks for the bulkier classes like Bounty Hunter, trooper, Sith Warrior, or Jedi Knight. They are already bulky and can take hits well - and may even be tanking. Ranged tanks at least can put more damage before dying, so simply put, it may be better to just use a damage or healer companion.
    • For the Imperial Agent, Smuggler, Sith Inquisitor, or Jedi Consular, using the damage companions can fall into this. They are themselves squishy and don't have many good ways to keep you going in a longer fight, meaning you must either babysit them constantly or allow them to die. Given that all of these classes have one prestige class that has abilities requiring you to hit from behind, it's also significantly more practical for a character who can keep the heat off of you, which damage companions are not good at.
  • World of Tanks:
    • The M3 Lee. It's a medium tank that plays like a tank destroyer, meaning it has no turret (gun can only turn a few degrees). While the gun is good and the armor reasonable, it's slow and not very manouverable (combined with the lack of turret it's easy to run rings round) and a big target (with a non-functional turret that sticks up over cover inviting shots). Most people hate playing as it.
      • One of the sources of the Lee's problems was a strange design choice to give it the same stealth rating while it was sitting still as it had moving (making the larger Sherman stealthier than it). So not only did it not have a Tank destroyer's stealth bonus despite sharing most of their weakness, it was less stealthy than any other medium tank its tier. It was forced into a play style it was designed to be awful at, is there any surprise its on this list?
      • Part of the trouble with the Lee is that World of Tanks only models one weapon per vehicle, even if the historical tank (and the in-game model) had more than one. The designers chose to model the 75mm casemated gun in the bow of the tank (which, historically, is the only reason this model of tank existed, as Britain was desperate for a vehicle that could carry their best antitank cannon in Africa, so the US designers modified an existing design to rapidly incorporate it in some form) rather than the 37mm turret gun, which is too weak to be of much use, but would at least provide some way to handle flanking light tanks. Additionally, since the turret is physically present, it can be shot at, and raises the visibility and vulnerability of the tank by a large amount.
    • The French counterpart of the M3 is the B1 heavy tank. Like the M3, it has a large cannon in the bow, and a small one in the turret. Unlike the M3, the small turret gun is modeled, and the large bow gun is not. This gun is so weak that it has trouble penetrating pretty much any equal-tier tank reliably, and can't damage another B1 at all unless hitting a weak spot (sometimes, not even then). It's also so slow that it can take most of the match to drive from one base to the other. Oh, and as for weak spots? The most prominent one is that hull-mounted howitzer which the B1 cannot use. The tank's sole saving grace is that it appears a full tier lower than any other heavy tank, and nothing in its tier can do all that much damage to one, making it a Mighty Glacier.
    • The Churchill Gun Carrier is considered the least popular tank destroyer (in terms of opinion and numbers encountered in battle), and for good reason. Apart from its gun (also one of the guns available on the AT 15 tank destroyer), it is a slow poorly-armored (somehow having less armor than its parent vehicle, the Churchill I) tank destroyer with terrible gun arc and camo values. To add insult to injury, the crew members are all in the front, making them prone to being injured in battle. All in all, this is a Tier 6 tank destroyer that most players think would be subpar even at Tier 5, and it's a contender for worst tank in the game on a tier-for-tier basis.

    Party Games 
  • 100% Orange Juice! allows the player to, after lots of Money Grinding, buy access to playable versions of the Purposefully Overpowered boss characters. The problem is, the playable versions were nerfed into oblivion for Competitive Balance reasons, and so the amount of effort spent to acquire them isn't remotely worth the reward. The Flying Castle gets this especially bad, as its playable version is nigh-unanimously considered bottom tier; it's a tank that can't take a hit, an offensive character with no offensive options, and it relies entirely on its hyper card to even have a niche...for 2 turns, out of the typical 35 or so that games tend to last. Even in said niche, it's still fairly bad.
    • At one point in the game's life, Haruo was considered something of a niche counterpick; while admittedly held back due to his only stat bonuses being in the game's Dump Stats while his other stats all had stat penalties, he had the unique niche of only losing a quarter of his stars when KOed, instead of half. While he had trouble getting a lead, once Haruo had a lead, you could expect him to keep said lead almost indefinitely. Unfortunately, when a balance patch hit that aimed to drastically buff a bunch of low-tier characters, Robo Ball and Jonathan got Haruo's once-exclusive perk, meaning there was essentially no reason to use him anymore when you could use one of two other characters that not only had better statlines, but also drastically better hyper cards (Jonathan's hyper in particular is one of the best in the game full-stop.) Ironically, the same patch actually buffed Haruo slightly, but it wasn't anywhere near enough to make up for the loss of exclusivity in his niche, and he hasn't been buffed since.
  • Dingodile and Rilla Roo in Crash Bash are widely considered to be the worst characters in the game due to their poorly designed selection of abilities: their charge in Polar Push doesn't go far enough for the amount of energy it takes up, their duel-shot ability in Tank Wars means their shots deal less damage than the other characters, and it doesn't work like it should since the first shot grants opponents Mercy Invincibility upon being hit (thus protecting them from the second shot) and they aren't particularly fast, are big targets and only have a slightly farther throw distance in Crate Crush, with their biggest strength - their spin attack, which can send crates further than any other "kick" attack - hindered by rendering them completely immobile. When compared to the well-rounded Crash, Coco, Cortex and Brio, or the Mighty Glaciers Tiny and Koala Kong, Dingodile and Rilla Roo are Masters of None in comparison.
  • Most people who have played Warioware Get It Together can agree that 9-Volt is easily the worst character in the game, mainly because he’s the only character who cannot be moved manually. Instead, he rides around on a skateboard that dashes across the field, and the only thing you can do is use his yo-yo attack. The problem is, that 9-Volt moves incredibly fast, which means that you need to have incredibly precise timing with mere seconds to react, or else you’re almost guaranteed to fail the micro-game. Although there are a few micro-games that he excels at, they are few and far between when compared to the other micro-games where he’s nigh-unusable.

    Platform Games 
  • While all of the playable characters in Freedom Planet are likeable for their own reasons, speedrunners have no shortage of jokes to make at Carol's expense. While she can climb walls and has a good degree of mobility with her bike, that's all she really has going for her. In comparison, Lilac is consistently faster and has invulnerability frames in her Dragon Boosts, which lets her blitz through horizontal obstacles and enemies that give Carol no shortage of trouble; Milla, on the other hand, has a higher barrier of entry, but the recoil for her Super Shield Bursts pushes her to Lilac's level of speed, and her flutter jump allows her to reach places both girls have trouble accessing, on top of her shield being able to reflect enemy projectiles, which has her clock times that surpass both her compatriots. The devs noticed and retuned Carol for the sequel; not only can she attack without losing her momentum, but she can stow her bike as well, keeping her from losing it as easily, and that's not discussing the jump disc that lets her reach walls that are much higher than she can realistically jump on her own. The general verdict is that the loss of her invulnerability-frames Wild Kick is a worthwhile exchange for the new tools at her disposal.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 has three playable characters with all the expansion packs. Jazz has a super jump that lets him reach high areas. The same command for Spaz is a flying kick, so Jazz's helicopter ears were replaced with a double-jump to compensate. Lori has Jazz's helicopter ears and Spaz's flying kick... meaning she has no way to bypass certain areas where a normal jump isn't quite high enough. Players were not pleased.
  • Oil Man in Mega Man Powered Up is downright awful as a playable character. His only means of attack is his weapon, Oil Slider... except he can only shoot one out at a time, which has extremely limited range and then lingers there on the ground for a short period, preventing you from attacking further until it disappears. You can jump on the oil slick and ride it like a skateboard, but trying to damage enemies that way is a terrible idea because it does not protect you from Collision Damage. Not that he has any of those problems when he is fought as boss, of course. The fact that he's considered an Ethnic Scrappy certainly doesn't help matters either.
  • Rospark in Mega Man ZX Advent is the least useful of the thirteen boss forms Ashe and Grey can take. In his main "bulb" form, he's slow and has a low jump— two fatal flaws in a game where speed and jump height count the most, and for attacks he a short-range melee attack with his vine arms and one ranged attack...where he fires thorns directly above himself, giving him the absolute worst offensive ability. His "flower" form has much more mobility and a wider range of attacks, but it can only be used while he's on a vine or pole, both of which outside of certain levels can be practically nonexistent. The other Pseudoroid forms have superior movement speed and/or attack options, and the Mega Men forms have versatility down pat, with even the most situational (Model L) having a superior melee option and ranged charge-up attacks. His only use is in traversing certain vines or poles in several stages.
  • Wario is the least useful character in Super Mario 64 DS as he has mediocre jumping and running abilities in comparison to the rest of the playable cast, and good speed and jumping ability is a must for a platform game like it. His only real advantage above everyone else is his raw strength that's required for certain stars, though that doesn't really mean much as other characters can take out most enemies just as fine, making him very situational.

    Puzzle Games 
  • The Angry Birds franchise has a few birds that players would rather fling out of the game entirely.
    • Hal, the boomerang bird, to the point that a cutscene from Seasons lampshades how awkward he is to use. His ability is to turn around in midair and hit a structure from behind, but the physics on it are extremely unintuitive and difficult to use, and he doesn't cause extreme amounts of damage compared to other, easier-to-use birds, like Bomb. It doesn't help that many of the levels he's in make you perform tricky shots with him — if you're not going for 3 stars, it may be best to just throw him straight and completely ignore his ability. Angry Birds 2 gives Hal a nice Balance Buff by making him very destructive if he can build up momentum, while Rovio Classics: Angry Birds makes his physics easier to predict and use.
    • Silver from Angry Birds 2 can break through stone more easily, and comes with the ability to loop around in midair to hit pigs below her. The issue here is that both of these niches are covered by other birds, but much more effectively — Bomb also blasts through stone, can destroy other materials better than Silver, and can knock down other structures with his explosion, while Matilda's egg bomb hits harder than Silver does, and there's much less risk of Matilda colliding with an obstacle before getting to use her ability. Without using her ability, Silver has unremarkable destructive power, even against stone structures. As a result, Silver is widely considered the worst bird in the game, and players will tend to swap her out for a stronger extra bird, like Bubbles or Melody, as soon as they can.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • In The Battle for Middle-earth, Mordor, despite being the Big Bad faction, feels downright incomplete. Mordor has one big advantage: it can make base orc infantry for free. Aside from that, it has no healing, no cavalry, awful static defense, can't upgrade its troops, and has only one summon at the end of its tech tree. Its hero roster is also strikingly barren: it has Gollum, who is so weak as to border on being a Joke Character, a winged Nazgul, which is incredibly expensive and has only one ability, and the Witch-King, who is a clone of the winged Nazgul with nearly double the price and only one additional ability. On top of that, nearly the entire Mordor roster is weak to bows. They're meant to specialize in Zerg Rush tactics thanks to cheap infantry and strong siege engines, but the problem is that the aforementioned bad static defense and lack of viable early heroes means that Mordor is itself vulnerable to getting rushed. Gratefully, the sequel would improve Mordor quite a bit by simply giving it the units it was missing.

  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Eve and Samson get hit with this the most (especially Samson, who's even less popular than ???, the actual Joke Character of the game.) Both are built around powering up by taking damage, in a game where taking damage is something you usually want to avoid at all costs, and Eve's most powerful initial ability, Whore of Babylon, doesn't kick in until you're at half a heart of red health, and the game forces you to use it by giving her an abysmal attack stat otherwise (fortunately, if you amass a ton of Soul Hearts, you can try to find a Blood Donation Machine and drain your red health until Whore of Babylon kicks in, but it's a rather annoying method of safely using it.) Samson, meanwhile, also starts with a terrible attack stat, but it beefs up when he kills an enemy... and then reverts when he leaves the room, making him worthless against most bosses. Even worse, he starts out with only one red heart and one soul heart, pretty much making him a worse Judas. Fortunately, Rebirth buffed the two by making Eve's Whore of Babylon activate at one red heart, and giving Samson more starting health and reworking his attack boost, making it trigger on taking damage instead of when killing an enemy and extending its duration to the entire floor.
    • Invoked with Rebirth's secret unlockable character. The Lost, who can fly but is a One-Hit-Point Wonder that cannot upgrade his health in any way. He was, above all odds, rescued in Afterbirth, which allowed the player to unlock the Holy Mantle as a starting item for him, letting him take one hit per room and making him into a Lethal Joke Character.
    • Lazarus is rarely picked out of preference, due to sharing a fate similar to pre-Rebirth Eve and Samson, starting off with low stats and his only saving grace being starting with an Extra Life. The post-resurrection stat boosts only serve to bring Lazarus' stats actually only up to par with Cain, and the Devil counterpart of Lazarus' Rags, Judas' Shadow, gives vastly superior boosts upon resurrection and most players aim for Devil Rooms instead of Angel Rooms. While his revive doesn't kick you out of the current room, he revived with one heart container, which means making a comeback is hard anyway if you saved it for later, so many people would just kill themselves as fast as possible while they had little heart containers to lose. He finally received a major buff in a Repentance patch, now letting him revive once every floor while only losing one heart container each time, and giving his risen form a higher damage multiplier than Judas.
    • The secret character added to the Afterbirth DLC expansion, Keeper. His gimmick is centered around having "coin hearts" where all forms of normal health are converted to friendly blue flies and he instead heals by coins. The problem with this is that, with the exception of one item (that was not added until the Afterbirth+ expansion), he never has more than two coin hearts. This places him close to death at all times, and due to the way health works in this game, many items are rendered useless or unbuyablenote . He also starts with a really bad firing rate, and unlike most other characters, has no real interesting starting items or abilities aside from a triple-shot to make up for the large number of setbacks. Repentance buffed him significantly: his max HP has been increased to three, taking damage no longer lowers his chances of devil deals, and devil deals in question are bought with money rather than taking away his heart containers.
    • Lilith's main mechanic is that she is supposed to be a "summoner"-type character. She's blindfolded, which is normally only in Challenges and shuts off tears, and she relies on familiars to do damage, which she can duplicate with her starting active item Box of Friends. She starts with the familiar Incubus, which fires what would be a character's regular tears and can be duplicated along with other familiars. Unfortunately, for every good synergy Incubus has, there are plenty of bad ones — Mom's Knife is a boss-shredder as everybody else but with Lilith it's much harder to aim, Maw of the Void loses its black ring attack and instead just becomes a damage up, some items flat-out do not work, etc. And most of the familiars in the game just aren't very good, to the point where one is better off ignoring them, as they would make breaks in the Incubus chain and make it harder to hit enemies with multiple Incubi. Box of Friends can also only be used on average once every four rooms, meaning that outside of those rooms — and if the player swaps out Box of Friends for another active item — she's effectively left as a regular character who just fires tears from an awkward set back location and can't make use of certain items, making hitting enemies annoying. She's wonderful in Boss Rush and in Greed Mode because the waves there fill the active meter, meaning that she can flood the room with familiars, but outside of those situations and certain rare synergies she is at absolute best divisive.
  • At launch, Hamir was quickly decided to be the worst character in Dungeons of Aether. His gimmick is that he gets a free STA die (which gives its full value to any stat) with a value equal to half his current Stamina rounded down at the start of each turn. In exchange, he's unable to spend Stamina to buff his stats, and he loses 2 Stamina each time he damages an enemy. This is meant to be balanced out by having him regain 2 Stamina each time he blocks an attack, but the AI is smart enough to just use a self-buff if you get his defense high enough, so actually blocking requires some trickery - outspeed the enemy, keep your DEF just under your enemy's ATK so they'll try to attack, and use Roll or Pivot to increase your DEF just before the attack hits. But wait! At launch, Hamir had a base Accuracy of 1, and Roll requires at least 2 Accuracy to use, so Hamir depends on 3 different stats just to slowly work towards making his gimmick usable. He was quickly patched to have 2 Accuracy (so he can always use Roll, unless an enemy uses a debuff), not lose Stamina on killing blows, and so it's easier to make enemies attack him.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Rainer Hofstedt's only role in Albion is his ability to provide useful advice during the first part of the game, but he's almost completely useless in combat. He's later replaced by Harriet, who has the same stats, and the ability to cast healing spells, and a spell that can wipe every single opponent off the battlefield.
    There are exactly three other things Rainer is good for. The first is that he's good at picking locks, though not as good as Khunag. The second is that he's harder to hit than Tom and wears better armor than Drirr, so until you get Siobhan he's the closest thing you have to a blink tank. The third is that until you get Joe in the final dungeon only he and Tom can use the pistol, which has an attack power of 30 and can be found when you'd have to Money Grind excessively just to afford a spear with a power of 18. Incidentally, have you noticed that all of these traits are redundant?
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Baldur's Gate:
      • Eldoth and particularly Garrick, being bards that have weak stats for everything. Even charisma is not maxed. Downplayed, since this was meant to counterbalance their bard song ability: because bards cannot do anything else while playing the song, then it makes sense not to worry about the stats; but the player can create a bard character who has that and good stats at least for combat (if possible for spellcasting too), getting more flexibility in general.
      • A bard's singing ability also isn't that useful at low levels, unless they are a skald (and neither Garrick nor Eldoth are skalds), as it basically just provides a resist fear effect. Any cleric and most mages as well can achieve the same effect with a low-level party-buffing spell to cast before combat starts and proceed to assist the party in other ways once combat has started. In fact, the most common recommendation is to simply use them as backup mages that can use a longbow on the side, but most of the time you'd lose nothing by replacing them with an actual mage (of which there is no shortage).
      • The three thieves that become available once you can actually enter Baldur's Gate — Alora, Skie Silvershield, and Tiax — suffer badly from Late Character Syndrome. A thief in the party is all but necessary if you aren't going for a Self-Imposed Challenge, but having more than one is almost always redundant. As a result, most players pick up their thief near the start of the game and never let go of them, which basically means Imoen for most good-aligned parties, Montaron for evil-aligned ones, and Safana if you somehow dislike either one. This also has the benefit that you can maximize their HP rolls and prevent them from spending their thief abilities in unwanted areas (which basically means maxing out Find Traps and Open Locks as quickly as possible, and the rest is nice-to-have). Alora, Skie and Tiax thus can only fill niches that are either probably already occupied by another better party member or not that useful to begin with, and have no real reason to be used, unless your party's thief coincidentally died at the right time.
      • Rasaad, introduced in the Enhanced Edition, is generally considered the worst companion in the game. As a monk in a Dungeons & Dragons game with an Absurdly Low Level Cap he is a horrid fighter with his poor weapon skills, a terrible tank with his poor HP and inability to wear armor, and he can't even be molded into a decent ranged fighter, because he starts with no ranged weapon skills and can't learn to use bows, the game's best ranged weapon. His character-specific side-quest and roleplay reasons are literally the only reason to pick him up.
    • Baldur's Gate II:
      • Cernd. First of all he has terrible stats, with mediocre strength and constitution, and below than mediocre dexterity, making him basically useless in normal melee fighting. He's only really good in wisdom, but he doesn't benefit from it like clerics. He is a shapeshifter, possibly the weakest kit in the game. Basically it's a druid (a class that already takes a long time before becoming powerful) that is nerfed in many aspects for the ability to turn into a werewolf, the most relevant one being the lack of armor. You must rely on the special ability to have chances of survival. The problem is that the werewolf form is already nerfed compared to npc werewolves, the supposed gains are rendered obsolete by items or magic, and spells (the most important feature of druids) are disabled. Last but not least, he has less banters and his dialogues are less interesting. The Enhanced Editions tried to buff the shapeshifter and solve some related bugs, but Cernd continues to score low.

        Cernd has actually been partially Rescued from the Scrappy Heap due to changing gameplay priorities over the years. Because combat is very short in this game (limiting the amount of spells you can cast during fights), and there is nothing stopping a player from resting in-between as much as they want, a spellcaster who can cast two very powerful spells and 18 useless ones is now generally considered stronger than one who can cast 20 generally powerful ones. As a result, Cernd is now considered one of the best crowd-control characters in the game with his powerful Insect Plague (especially against mages). He is still generally considered one of the worst character in the game though, because while this development had him evaluated to be more powerful, it hasn't made him any more versatile: Because druids get essentially no spells that either do damage to enemies or buff the caster into a decent fighter, he can contribute very little in fights against physical enemies with high HP. His werewolf form was meant to be used in such situations, but because, as mentioned above, it is so weak and impractical to use, it fails to do the job.
      • The secret character added in the Enhanced Edition, Wilson the Bear, is widely considered to be the worst warrior type companion in the game. While he is decent enough on the offensive side, he is a horrible tank in spite of his high HP due to his total inability to wear armor or any other gear to reduce his armor class or saves, or give him some amount of elemental resistance. As a result, he requires almost as much micromanagement during combat and support by the rest of the party as a mage or a gimmick character like Haer'Dalis, despite playing out like a standard fighter. His niche is also the easiest to fill, since the game gives you access to a whopping 9 characters with warrior levels (plus Haer'Dalis and Rasaad) he has to compete for a party slot with, all of whom are generally considered easier to use.
  • Bravely Default has the Conjurer job. It is supposed to be the most powerful job, and has Obliterate, a passive ability which automatically kills all non-boss enemies 30 levels lower than the user at the beginning of the battle, thus greatly speeding up grinding and ensuring you'll automatically hit the maximum chain bonuses. Unfortunately, its main gimmick consists entirely of buffs, in a game where magic is too weak to bother with at the point of the game you can unlock the job in question, making it extremely underwhelming. In Bravely Second it suffers the ignoble fate of not only being one of the only jobs cut from the first game, but having its entire suite of buffs made a single feature of the Summoner job.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Necromancer specialization is considered the worst because several of its Damage Over Time spells were bugged out, making them far less useful than they should have been. The Trespasser DLC not only fixed both spells, but offered them new upgrades like the other talents.
  • Dragon Quest VIII features this with some of the weapon skill points:
    • Fisticuffs: Available with everyone, but aside from Yangus and Jessica, it's considered an absolute waste of skill points. Fisticuffs is really the only way you can make Morrie, Angelo, and the Hero useless, but:
    • Yangus: Scythes and Clubs. For most of the game, Axes are the only reliable weapon for Yangus, and the abilities lag behind in performance. Humanity as well, which gives him a hilarious attack at the end but in general, he's better off just punching or chopping enemies up.
    • Jessica: Knives. Jessica's the weakest attacker in the game, and Knives gives her access to swords but doesn't give anything with stupid-high multipliers (like Twin Dragon Lash, but only in the PS2 version). Why train her to use swords and stab things when she can deal way more damage casting Kafrizzle or twin-dragon lashing?
    • Red: Whips. Sure, Twin Dragon Lash was super overpowered in the PS2 version, but the 3DS version gave it a significant Nerf. She may be more equipped to use whips than Jessica, but why would you ever do that when you can give her what is essentially a free Multithrust/shot attack instead? And since Fans let her be able to resurrect someone (Very great as she's the fastest party member), there's really no reason to pick this over Fans or Roguery. (Even though Fire in the 'ole really isn't worth it.)
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In original versions of Final Fantasy IV, Edward the Spoony Bard! His stats are terrible, he goes into hiding when his HP is critical, and has no useful offensive and support abilities. Remakes avert this by giving him Magikarp Power in stats as well as some very useful Bardsongs such as Hastemarch (puts all allies to Haste), and Salve ability for 3D version.
    • Final Fantasy VI has Umaro the Yeti, who is The Berserker. Since he's in a permanent Berserk status, Umaro randomly selects one of three standard attacks with varying damage output, or uses an ice attack that hits all enemies. He can't learn magic, can't change his equipment except for Relics, and his two better attacks are each unlocked only if he equips a specific relic in one of his two Relic slots. However, even Umaro has his uses - he can still be useful in the Cultists' Tower as the only character who can physically attack, and some players like to use him in the Phoenix Cave, since a lot of enemies are weak to Ice in there. Many players also like using Umaro in the Colosseum since the A.I. Roulette that can be negative against all the other characters doesn't apply to him. The Pixel Remaster version makes his relics absorb a few elements and greatly increase his stats, but it's really not worth the trouble. By the time you even get Umaro, other characters can be just as powerful but far more predictable. While there's consistent arguments about which characters belong where on the tier list, Umaro is all but universally-agreed to be not worth the effort to build him up.
    • Selphie in Final Fantasy VIII, mainly because of her Limit Break. While Squall, Zell or Irvine (Zell especially) can dish out hundreds of thousands of damage with their Limit Breaks and Rinoa as well as Quistis have useful support abilities, Selphie's Limits are hard to execute (you have a list with spells/effects that will be executed and their number, you can use the current one or pass it without chance of return, you can pass a spell/effect as many times as you want, but in the meantime enemies are punching/nuking Selphie and her teammates) and while she has one move that kills absolutely everything including bosses, good luck getting it (without passing it over) during fights where it matters.
    • Kimahri in Final Fantasy X, again because of his Overdrives and the fact he has barely any Sphere Grid section of his own to speak of. He's meant to be a Wild Card, taking any role, but in the end he's more like a Master of None, and while he can perform some roles you have no access to yet (for example he can learn Stealing before you get Rikku), he still lags behind the original. His Overdrives can hit at most once and lack the versatility of Rikku's Mix. For these reasons, most people just ignore him.
    • Fran from Final Fantasy XII is not very liked, surprisingly for a Cute Monster Girl and Statuesque Stunner. However, her stats in general have a Master of None nature, being below average. On top of this, she has a longer animation using her default weapon type (bows).
  • The Golden Sun series is known for its Djinn and Class system, which allows the player to toy with the attributes and abilities of the characters by allocating the Djinn set to the character. But the combat system is biased towards warriors due to them getting the best weapons, best weapon unleashesnote  and Psynergies that used the user's attack stat instead of doing set damage. Contrast this to mages who are usually stuck with inferior set damage Psynergy that only deal scratch damage, making them useless in attack most of the time. The same holds true in Dark Dawn, but not everyone freely utilizes it, which makes two characters stand out.
    • Rief is capable of learning Ply and Wish, just like Mia, as well as combat Psynergy to round out your options. Sadly, attack Psynergy loses its effectiveness mid-game, which is a recurring problem since the GBA games, but Rief doesn't last that long before he's benched due to [A] Karis being able to use the Fresh Breeze group from the word go at the time he arrives while can be assigned to do other stuff and [B] physically-oriented Amiti showing up just an hour or two later. Due to most players not having the patience to play with the aforementioned system, Amiti's arrival usually means Rief is permanently benched. Mia did not get it this bad since there are a number of bosses weak to her element (this is lampshaded in the second game). And the sink for those Djinn that don't make it onto the main party, causing him to be a bit of a mongrel if he does have to save the others' tails...
    • Himi does bring things to the table that Matthew doesn't (like an attack buff and some summon abilities), but she's very likely not to get any field time unless she's needed to revive Matthew due to her being much weaker and everything resists her assigned element *. And not having enough time to make up the difference. Coupled with her being a Flat Character (due to her latecomer status) even by Golden Sun standards, her falling in this trope is especially tragic.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, games with multiple playable characters often find themselves with a few stinkers.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days:
      • Xigbar, despite being a great character in the story mode of the game (both in terms of both usefulness and entertainment value), is considered quite weak in the multiplayer aspect of it. The main problem with Xigbar is that a lot of people solo the mission mode— and Xigbar isn't meant for soloing. He's meant to be standing back providing back-up damage while someone tanks the enemies. Having to reload does hinder him, though.
      • Donald faces a similar problem to Xigbar's, where he does well in multiplayer where he can use his powerful magic while other characters do the close-range fighting, but since that strategy is difficult-to-impossible when playing solo, his utterly terrible non-Magic stats become increasingly obvious. Magic does run out, so in longer Missions he'll be forced to get up close, where he dies quickly and deals pathetic physical damage. He can shine in shorter Missions, though.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
      • Terra. In the early- to mid-game, his high Strength and HP work in his favor, making good use of Critical Impact's powerful AOE finisher and the abundance of physical commands in the early game while shrugging off weaker enemies. However, at around the midgame point, an Aqua or Ventus who knows what they're doing can reach or exceed his power while they aren't stuck with the poor mobility Terra has. Lategame bosses attack so swiftly and powerfully that Terra's HP becomes irrelevant while his terrible dodge and bog-standard frontal Guard do him no favors in avoiding attacks either, making the bonus bosses into outright Luck-Based Missions for him. His Crutch Character status is most apparent in Crit Level 1 runs, where everyone is a Glass Cannon, Strength is irrelevant due to the hidden damage mechanics, and multi-hits are the optimal strategy - and Terra has the least effective multihits.
    • Kingdom Hearts III:
      • While Riku gives A Taste of Power early on in the game, the Re:Mind DLC makes him playable against a Dual Boss in the Keyblade Graveyard, and it's almost telling that he's the one falling behind by then. With only two magic spells, a relatively short combo in both ground and air, and nothing to really differentiate himself aside from a Dark Firaga command that comes nowhere near the utility of the Formchanges it replaces, he's widely seen as underwhelming, especially compared to the other characters made playable during the same segment.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has the Disciple, who joins your party if you play as a woman. He's a pretty unspectacular fighter, his "special ability" is making medpacs on request (which is more or less guaranteed to be obsolete by the time you get him, because you will already have access to the Heal power), and the reward for gaining influence with him is 500 XP and training him as a Jedi. By contrast, if you had played through the game as a man, you would have gotten the Handmaiden, who is, bar none, the single best hand-to-hand fighter in the game and who can train you to apply your Wisdom bonus to your Armor Class (manna from heaven if you are playing as a Jedi Consular). Oh, and you can also train her as a Jedi, too. The only thing the Disciple can do is that you can make him a Jedi much much quicker, giving him some more flexibility in combat (Very useful when you only have a party of three) Consequently, the Handmaiden has become so popular that later works have established that the game's Player Character traveled with the Handmaiden, even though the PC is canonically female. This is partly a result of the rushed release of the game: the Disciple was going to have a proper counterpart to the Handmaiden's granting of the Wisdom bonus to Armor Class perk, but the accompanying quest ended up being unfinished by the time the game was released (and not fully voiced, either, so very few of the cut content restoration projects brought it back in). Additionally, the Handmaiden was intended to join anyway - and at one point was a counterpart to Visas Marr.
  • Legend of Dragoon:
    • Shana and Miranda are, on paper, they're the ultimate healers and can lay waste to enemies with magic items & the psych bomb X. Unfortunately, you only have a party size of three - one of which is taken up by Dart who you can't ever drop. While their dragon summon is, hands down, the best in the game, it's not worth the effort to obtain.
    • Kongol is a Mighty Glacier who can deal insane amounts of damage with just his basic attack. Unfortunately, he's way way too slow to take over Albert or Haschel. He also has the lowest magic attack and defence stat in the game - meaning that having him use magic is a waste of time. What doesn't help is that the few enemies that are weak to earth are better cleaved with his axe.
  • Live A Live has Hong Hakka and Akira Tadokoro, who are considered to be the worst among the game's protagonists combat wise. Hong, while starting out as the best of the 3 Earthen Heart disciples due to his higher level, quickly gets outclassed by the other two, being much harder than Lei to make properly effective while also lacking the great payoff of Yun. Akira, meanwhile, is designed as a support and healing character, but gets easily outclassed by Cube in those departments, while his offensive capabilities, while useful in standard enemy battles, are overall useless in boss fights. However, he is able to find a niche as a very potent debuffer, which is especially pronounced in the remake due to the effects of secondary effects being easier to figure out.
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest has one in every character rank:
    • 1 star: Yelena Belova, whose abilities are too expensive to justify her a roster space of her own. Players were relieved when she got limited availability (Yelena cannot be recruited with tokens, only received at random after PVP battles), alongside...
    • 2 star: Bagman Spider-Man, the textbook Joke Character, whose abilities are expensive and reliant on countdowns, making him only see use against NPCs whose abilities are solely countdowns, and even then he's mediocre at best. One of the PVE campaigns has Deadpool point out upon Bagman showing up that nobody likes him.
    • 3 star: After reworks to Iron Man (who once his abilities were reworked to be less detrimental to the team became a useful 'battery' that generates AP) and Spider-Man (whose healing of other characters became outclassed, but then he got a high-damaging attack instead), it came down to Sentry, who damages himself and his teammates whenever he uses his own abilities, and after a Nerf to the damage he caused to enemies, the costs outweigh the benefits. Time will tell if a 2022 rework to make Sentry less of a hassle will save him in players' eyes.
    • 4 star: Talos, given his moveset has a useful but expensive stun and two useless moves that don't even deal direct damage.
    • 5 star: After the rescue of Silver Surfer (at most there's the fact that early 5 stars lag behind the constant Power Creep of new characters) and Bruce Banner (who only truly dealt damage after Hulking Out, and that requires much green AP and isn't immediate, but a 2022 rebalance made him stronger and easier to play with), the shortest straw went to the gimmicky Wasp, whose best power is expensive and only properly works if there are enough of the Swarm tiles the other two deploy.
  • Mass Effect 2 has Jacob, one of your starting party members, with his two skills being Pull (which A: isn’t exclusive to him and B: is Overshadowed by Awesome by other biotic abilities) and Incendiary Ammo with other characters like Zaeed and Grunt also possessing this ability with the armaments to make better use of it. His bonus power, Barrier, is also a clone of Grunt’s Fortification and Legion’s Geth ShieldBoost. Jacob’s weapons training also involves the two weakest weapon types in the game, pistols and shotguns. Jacob is this usually swapped out with Zaeed or Kasumi, Garrus, or Mordin at the first possible chance thanks to these traits.
    • That being said, he is far from completely worthless on a gameplay front. Jacob has access to an armor upgrade for the Normandy that prevents Jack from getting blasted by a laser after passing through the Omega-4 Relay, and is a correct choice to lead the fireteams during the Suicide Mission.
  • Might and Magic:
    • In VII Ranger is by far the worst class in the game that can even Master only some not much relevant skills, has abysmal magic abilities which can't go past Expert level, and lacks physical abilities that make Knight a killer machine and a tank. Its first promotion quest is by far the easiest one, but that's the only mercy given here.
    • In VIII the Minotaurs. They are also supposedly hybrid class, and can achieve Grandmastery in Axe, but they can learn only magic school of self and at Expert at most and in general there are only very few skills Minotaurs can at least mMter. On top of that, while some classes have access to special magic proper to their race, Minotaurs have no such thing.
  • The Khergits are widely considered to be the worst faction in Mount & Blade. As a nation of horse archers they are textbook fragile speedsters in a game that heavily favors Mighty Glacier type units. A Khergit horse archer can easily outrun anything else, even other cavalry, on an open battlefield, but when he needs to hit over a dozen arrows to kill an opposing knight, whereas the knight only needs two hits to put down the horse archer, the odds are still heavily in the knight's favor. Horse archers also have rather poor AI that causes them to occasionally charge opposing infantry head on despite their poor melee skills and their horses' lack of armor. Things are even worse during sieges, where nobody is mounted and the ability to gain or hold ground are paramount, and the horse archers' poor armor and ability to fight in melee often sees them devolve into cannon fodder.
  • Persona 5:
    • Ichiko Ohya is considered the worst Confidant in the game for this reason. Her abilities let you reduce the Alert level faster, but that's already easy enough to do, since ambushing a Shadow and defeating it reduces the Alert meter, and ambushing isn't that hard to do. Unless you're really bad with the stealth mechanics, want to fuse Beelzebub and/or are going for 100% Completion, you're better off spending your time with another Confidant.
    • Despite having to jump through hoops to unlock it, many fans are in agreement that Akechi's Tier 3 Persona, Hereward, isn't worth the effort. It's limited to being an 11th-Hour Superpower, as Hereward can only be used against the Final Boss. The problem is, unlike Yoshizawa's Tier 3 Persona, whose Skills are strong against the final boss, Hereward is weak to the final boss' Skills, meaning that without proper equipment, Akechi and Hereward end up being a hindrance during the final fight. As such, the only conceivable use that Hereward has is as a New Game Plus Persona, which is still limited due to Akechi being mostly a Guest-Star Party Member.
  • Eric Cartman/The Coon is widely considered the worst party member in South Park: The Fractured but Whole. His skillset is entirely built around single-target damage, but he's horribly outclassed in every possible way: only one of his skills (Coon Claws) inflicts a status effect (Bleed) and only hits a single target directly in front of him while the other two are only good for repositioning himself and have no additional effects. Mysterion hits much harder and has more utility because of his Stance System, Super Craig and Captain Diabetes (both of which are unlocked before Coon) both hit harder, can take more damage and have more utility, and Call Girl has better status effects, longer range and a taunt/block move that makes her more durable. Though "Prime Time Coon" is a useful Limit Break due to hitting every enemy, even that gets outstaged by Call Girl's "Flash Mob", Henrietta's "Black Mass" and especially Mintberry Crunch's "Bringing the Crunch". The fact he leaves the party on Day 4 doesn't help.
  • The Suikoden series has a lot of characters (with 108 recruitable characters, although not all can be used in battle). Naturally, some are worse than others.
    • Suikoden has a few useless characters with poor stats, but the most notable are Gremio (who is required for the first half of the game until he dies) and Krin, who has to be taken to rescue Viktor and Warren from Kasim. Both are incredibly weak and fairly annoying to boot, only useful to hold Holy Runes to make the trip shorter.
    • Suikoden II has Freed Yanamoto, Lord Granmeyer's assistant from South Window. His stat growth is just utterly pathetic, and he has no great rune slots to help with it. He does have an unite attack with his wife, who is a much more interesting unit thanks to her fantastic rune affinities.
    • Suikoden III has the joke characters of the dogs, but Alanis, although an endearing character, is almost never used since she's a wizard with a lower magic stat than most fighters.
    • Suikoden V has Sorensen, the physically frail assistant of Professor Babbage, as well as Gunde, the only character without any combination skills at all.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Phantasia: Chester, Cress' friend who does not join him and Mint in time-traveling. Like Woodrow below, he doesn't gain any levels when the party returns to the present, making putting him in your party detrimental at best and suicidal at worst. The PSX and PSP Vita remakes of the game add cutscenes where he trains at night to catch up to the rest of the party, encouraging players to try him out.
    • Tales of Destiny: Woodrow in the PSX version due to joining your party woefully underlevelednote , requiring you waste time to grind him to a proper level if you wanted to ever use him. To make matters worse, he had a unique mechanic where he could equip either swords or bows, but this mechanic meant he was locked out of half of his abilities at any given time due to those abilities being either exclusive to swords or exclusive to bows. He also replaced Mary, a beloved character who'd only return to the party if specific conditions were fulfilled very late on. The remake addressed this by having him level up offscreen to be at a comparable level to the rest of your party and removing his arte exclusivity, as well as making Mary easier to re-recruit to mitigate her feeling replaced.
    • Tales of Destiny 2: Nanaly. She only has one Mystic Arte compared to the several that other characters do, and her very fragile playstyle doesn't mesh well with the game's emphasis on defending the spellcasters so they can nuke the field, as Nanaly doesn't output enough damage to justify removing a mage to field her and she can do nothing to defend said mages. People tend to ditch her when Harold comes along. A rather unfortunate example, since Nanaly is beloved character-wise.
    • Tales of Eternia: Chat is a Lethal Joke Character in a human player's hands, and only if they do a great deal of sidequesting to learn all her abilities. The AI cannot manage her her hammer abilities at all even with said sidequesting done and quickly becomes The Load, wasting a party slot on any other character that can vastly outperform her utility.
    • Tales of Symphonia:
      • Presea, while hitting hard, attacks very slowly and lacks versatility in her artes compared to the rest of the playable cast. Furthermore, her Mystic Arte is by far the hardest to activate in the game, with the insane requirements of needing all the other party members dead and her to be at less than a quarter HP and needing to trigger overlimit to execute. Very few people choose to play her due to these issues.
      • Like Chat, the AI fails to use Colette's abilities properly and will run into range to melee attack rather than keeping her distance and using her hammers, making her a hindrance in the AI's hands rather than an asset due to her squishiness.
    • Tales of Rebirth: Annie is notoriously awful unless she is controlled by a competent player. She's a standard green mage with healing and buffing abilities while providing no offensive power at all, and the AI is terrible at doing anything useful with her, running in to melee instead of casting her buffing fields. People very rarely bother adding her to their teams, instead relying on the other party members.
    • Tales of Legendia: Any Crystal Eren simply because the attackers will outdamage them. This sadly makes it hard to incorporate Grune into the party at all, since she doesn't have any buffs, debuffs, or healing that would make up for her lack of usefulness.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has Shield Hammer Blades, one of the two tank classes, regarded universally as some of the worst Blades in the game due to Shield Hammers having low damage, little access to Driver Combos, and very slow attack animations. The unique Shield Hammers are also given poor skills across the board, with Godfrey not even having useful field skills since all of his field skill slots are taken by his unique skills. Notably, DLC character Shulk uses the animations of a Shield Hammer but at twice the speed, and is one of the strongest Blades in the game.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Some of the hero classes leave a bit to be desired:
    • Juniper's Stalker class is generally considered the worst attacker class in the game due to its "damage over time" gimmick relying on a status effect that can be resisted by most enemies, and having such slow attack animations that any other attacker class (and some non-attacker classes) can out-damage it easily.
    • Segiri's Machine Assassin class has the bad luck of being a debuff-focused class... that isn't introduced until so late in the game that most enemies are heavily resistant against, if not outright immune to, said debuffs. As a result, nearly every skill the class has is a Useless Useful Spell.
    • While Triton's Soulhacker class can become incredibly strong if you take the time to develop it, Triton himself is considered one of the worst, if not the worst, hero characters in the game from a gameplay perspective. Unlike the class, which can collect enemy abilities and is heavily customizable, Triton cannot, and remains stuck with the thoroughly mediocre abilities he starts out with. As a "bonus", he's also easily the worse hero to use in Chain Attacks, as he has the lowest Tactical Point total in the game, and his Heroic Chain ability is the only one in the game that can cause a negative effect.
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana:
    • Sahad - the Mighty Glacier of the party, he's able to deliver slow, but hard-hitting attacks and his beefier Hit Point count makes up for his lack of attack speed, but in a game that puts a lot of focus on fast-paced combat, this unfortunately makes him stick out like a sore thumb in regards to game-play. Sahad mostly sees real use during the first-third to first-half of the game when there are only three party members, making him essential at dealing strike damage against enemies weak to that type. Aside from Giant Enemy Crabs, most enemies with that weakness don't put up much of a challenge early on, making him effective, but limited. Once Ricotta joins the party during Chapter 3 she trivializes Sahad's usefulness by being a faster version of his damage type. Not only are Ricotta's attacks quicker to pull off, they're just as hard-hitting and she's able to consistently maintain the offensive momentum, whereas Sahad struggles in that field because of his slower attack animations. The only caveat with Ricotta is that she's a Glass Cannon who can't afford to take many hits, but she can easily block and evade attacks from her more generous timing windows for Flash Guard and Flash Move, respectively, giving her another advantage. Considering how many late-game enemies (especially Primordials) are Lightning Bruisers with attacks that require fast reaction times, there isn't much incentive to play as Sahad once Ricotta tags along, not helped also by his general movement speed being the slowest out of the party.
    • For the Fishing Minigame, Laxia - unlike the rest of the party, her throwing arcs when casting the fishing line are a lot more unpredictable and have a higher chance of missing the fishing targets entirely, requiring some restarts. While this is justified because of Laxia's inexperience with fishing, it doesn't change the fact that fishing with her becomes a Luck-Based Mission.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • In Battle Garegga, Chitta (a Guest Fighter from Mahou Daisakusen) is widely regarded as the worst character/ship in the game. First off, there's her Smart Bomb, which takes about a second before it actually activates, heavily hampering its defensive capabilities. Then, there's her Options, which fire homing shots. While this might seem like a boon, it can cause problems by destroying the wrong targets which can lead to sitatuations like setting the player up to miss medals (which can make up a very significant portion of the player's score) on the other side of the screen, earning less bonuses from destroying certain enemies/parts as some of those award extra if destroyed with a specific type of attack, and causing enemies to release deadly spread patterns if certain parts of theirs are destroyed. Battle Garegga is a game that often requires precise shots, and homing attacks are the exact opposite of precise. A common strategy is to have her Options in the back formation for most of the game so that they don't unnecessarily hit targets, making her firepower more controllable at the expensve of dampening her damage outout greatly. Unlike Gain (another Mahou transplant), who is also regarded as being difficult to use, she doesn't even have anything in her kit that would make her useful for experts.

    Simulation Games 
  • The Bushwacker Prime in MechWarrior Living Legends was, for most of its life, a hilariously underpowered and overpriced medium mech. It carried a useless Ultra Autocannon/10, a pair of laughable LRM-5 launchers, a pair of machine guns, and a single medium laser - meaning that most light mechs could outgun it. It carried very little spare ammo, so it had no endurance on the field. None of its weapons had matching max ranges or projectile arcs, so it could never put out its maximum DPS. It was also in the price bracket of far superior variants like the Bushwacker Bravo. In a 10 versus 10 scrim where everyone ran with a Bushy Prime, the mission timer ran out before they could kill each other. It was finally Rescued from the Scrappy Heap after several years of being a complete joke, though as a generalist it still often pales against the more focused variants o the mech.
    • The Flea from MechWarrior 4 Mercenaries is incredibly weak and has only 5 weapon slots, none of which can carry missiles. This leaves it with only two loadout options: a mixture of weak lasers and machine guns, or a lone tiny (and still weak) autocannon. It is fast, but there are other, better 'Mechs that are just as fast and still stronger, such as the Osiris. Each weight class has its respective scrappies: the Flea and the Owens for light 'Mechs, the Chimera for mediums, the Argus for the heavies, and the Mauler for assaults. Most of these designs in their stock form have glaring targetable weaknesses, poor loadout options, some kind of maneuverability problem, or relatively low armor (or for the Mauler, all four.)
  • Hawk in Pilotwings 64 is sluggish and had crappy maneuverability with the only "benefit" being that he is largely unaffected by the wind.
  • Wing Commander: Privateer has the Orion gunship. Despite it being called that, it unfortunately does not live up to its moniker in gameplay. The major reason why is because it mounts only two guns at once as well as a rear turret and can carry a grand total of only one missile launcher. It is rather puzzling since the other three ships you can pilot have better weapon mountings than the Orion; even the Tarsus freighter, your starting ship, is able to mount two launchers at once! The only saving grace for the Orion is that it is the only ship to mount the highest levels of engine and shield mountings (the best engine upgrade has it slightly outpacing the Galaxy multi-role freighter by a few knots of speed, especially in the sequel Righteous Fire), and even that is rendered inconsequential by the ship's sub-par maneuverability and rather obstructive cockpit. One wonders why the developers of Origin Systems chose to design the Orion in this manner as it remains a mystery that only they can answer.
  • X-Universe series:
    • The Teladi Vulture freighter. It's slow, weakly shielded, and has average cargo space. About the only thing it has going for it is that it's dirt cheap. To a lesser extent the Boron Dolphin freighter, because it's slow - making it pretty useless for anything besides shuffling crap between your factories. Unlike the Vulture, it at least has good shields and a big cargo bay.
    • The Boron Manta and Paranid Hermes passenger transports fall under this category as well, being dreadfully slow by their standards (even the Teladi Toucan beats these two craft by being roughly 15-20 m/s faster). Time and speed are of the essence when performing Marine/Passenger Transport missions and these two craft are not capable enough to perform their tasks in time, even with a Jumpdrive installed.
    • The Teladi Kea (save the Enhanced variant, which is slightly better than the standard version in every way) has crappy speed for an M3+ heavy fighter, running at a lumbering 104 m/s. Every other ship, including the M5 scouts, will have a leisurely time making potshots at this flying brick and turning it into mere Cannon Fodder. Its only use is as a niche mini cargo freighter for player goods.
    • The Pirate version of the Argon Nova fares even worse than the Teladi Kea, with a feeble 97 m/s and an equally flaccid gun generator, thus making it a real Master of None and easy target practice for other ships.
    • Every variant of the Teladi Buzzard, save for their Pirate equivalents. Their slow top speeds render them ineffective for their role as M4 interceptors in a game where speed is fairly important in combat. The Pirate versions subvert this by remedying the speed issue and make them far more effective in their intended role.
    • In general, most of the Teladi vessels count thanks to their poor top speeds and weak energy gun generators, only subverting their status as this by having much bigger-than-normal cargo spaces than the other races' vessels (which makes them really good candidates for Macross Missile Massacre) and having surprisingly improved performance in a few variants of their certain fighters on a mild scale. The Kestrel is the exception to this rule, being the only Teladi vessel with unusually high top speed and earning the distinction of being the fastest armed craft in the games (whose speeds top out around 600 m/s), though it is an M5 scout vessel.
    • Boron combat vessels below M6-class qualify due to their status as being Masters of None in combat and unable to mount the Energy Bolt Chaingun to make up for their pathetic energy reserves (with the exception of the M3+ Skate heavy fighter).

    Sports Games 
  • FIFA has the India National Football team. Year in and year out, India is included in the FIFA games despite not being a footballing power...and has taken a lot of heat for being the single worst national team in the game. note  Fans of Croatia, Iran, and Japannote  are understandably upset that their world-class national teams are not included in FIFA while India's National team is in it. As of FIFA 16 and 17, we have China and Bolivia joining India as the other low-tier National Teams. Fans are up in arms about their inclusion, especially since fan favorites Korea (who are actually an Asian footballing power) were removed and the star-studded Chinese Super League remains unplayable despite the Chinese National Team's inclusion.
  • RBI Baseball has the Houston Astros. Besides the fact it has one of the game's best pitchers in Nolan Ryan, and a serviceable cleanup hitter in Glenn Davis, the same cannot be said about the rest of the starting lineup. Denny Walling is by far the worst three-hole hitter in the game, next to Tom Herr of the St. Louis Cardinals. His power rating ranks in at 750, trailing behind everyone else. The bench is better than the starting lineup, but they can't carry the team for long, in a fast-paced video game.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead by Daylight:
    • For much of the game's development cycle, the Nightmare was considered the weakest killer in the game. Freddy had a unique playstyle that meant he was completely invisible to awake survivors, but couldn't interact with them until he pulled them into his dream world, a process which took several seconds and alerted the survivors. He had no abilities to help defend generators or defeat loops, harm multiple targets, and was even unable to pick up a downed survivor if a non-sleeping survivor was healing them. Freddy was so underwhelming for a long time that a July 2019 patch had to completely rework his toolbox. Despite this, he's still considered one of the worst choices possible.
    • The Wraith is still considered to be one of the worst killers in the game. His ability, which is to turn himself invisible, does not help him out in chases like Nurse's blink, Trapper and Hag's traps or Hillbilly's chainsaw. Even when he does use his ability, it's super easy to spot him due to the Predator-like cloak effect he has, along with his loud growling. However, a few updates removed some of his weaknesses from his add-ons, turning him into one of the potentially nastiest killers in the game.
    • Since Freddy's rework, Legion has assumed the mantle of the worst killer in the game; in fact, they are considered worse than pre-rework Freddy. While their Frenzy ability and rapid vaulting speed seems fun, ultimately Legion excels at wounding survivors but sucks at actually downing and finishing them - which is the killer's main goal. With a mid-chapter patch that reworked Frenzy to make it less useful, this has only cemented their status.
    • Another contender is the Clown. While his bottles of noxious gas slow survivors, making him decent in a chase, he has absolutely no ability to affect the rest of the map, leaving the remaining survivors free to repair generators. There's also not any room for interesting counterplay, as the only tactic available to survivors being chased is to pre-emptively throw down every pallet they come across. Neither survivors nor killer like the Clown.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Land-Air 'Mechs as an entire unit category are this in BattleTech, thanks to a number of factors. While they are often surprisingly fast and theoretically flexible, they are fragile, expensive, underpowered, and barred from accessing much of the higher-tech equipment needed to keep them relevant. They are not able to employ any of the weight-saving technologies or advanced armors, so Land-Air 'Mechs are at a notable weight and protection disadvantage. Furthermore, taking a single critical hit to any motive system instantly robs the machine of its central ability, the ability to shift from aircraft to robot and back. This leaves them as inefficient relics of a bygone age and notably inferior to both normal 'Mech and aircraft without the benefits of either. Some suspect that this is purposefully done in order to keep the notoriously litigious Harmony Gold from squawking out another lawsuit whenever a Land-Air 'Mech appears, though it seems more likely it was done just to explain why they were in-universe rare and not used.
    • Quite a few regular mechs fall under this category too. Just to name a few: The Charger carries poor armor for its size and only carries 5 small lasers for armament, all so it can run faster than your average Assault mech. The Jaegermech also features light armor and carries so much ammo it's likely to explode if your opponent so much as glares at it. And the Cicada carries the exact same armaments, armor plating and speed rating as the much lighter locust... all for a massively increased cost in both BV and C-Bills.
    • 40 ton mechs in general end up being this. Due to a quirk in the mathematics calculating engine size, they end up caught in the middle between two much more efficient weight classes. 35 ton mechs are much faster and more maneuverable, while 45 ton mechs can carry more armor and weapons. This has given rise to the fandom meme "The 40 ton curse".
  • Dead of Winter and its expansion has a few characters most players dislike getting on the draw:
    • Fatima Maktabi has only average die rolls and two fairly useless special abilities note . Her Crossroads card can either put a difficult-to-cure wound on her, or require her to move every turn or get that wound anyway, and restricts her to only performing certain actions.
    • Hugo Valentine has only one special ability that's inferior to another survivor's, has a low influence, and the Crossroads card requires either wasting an action die or putting a despair wound on Hugo.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • First Edition:
      • The Thief in 1e and 2e is the weakest of the major classes. Its hit dice are godawful, its armor isn't much better, and in combat, barring a Back Stab that it can use maybe once, it's about on par with a Squishy Wizard. Its actual thieving abilities are certainly useful, if a bit situational, but they're based on rolls that can easily fail at the worst time, and if that happens, the Thief will almost certainly die in one hit. In short, though the class is intended to be a Utility Party Member, it is so limited outside of those utilities that it ends up simply being dead weight outside of them. By 2e, Bards could do most of the same tricks while also having better fighting skills and access to magic, Mages could use spells like Knock, Find Traps, Invisibility, and Teleport to just skip challenges the Thief was designed for, and Fighters were infinitely superior in combat. At most, some people multiclass into Thief very briefly to pick up the relevant skills, then abandon it forever. The historical uselessness of the class even ended up leaking into some semi-official material like Nodwick where, instead of having a thief, the party uses the titular Butt-Monkey henchman as a trap disarmer "in the same way a stick disarms a bear trap." Thankfully, upon becoming the Rogue in 3.x onward, the class became significantly better, with its combat skills improving to the point of being a Glass Cannon and it gaining many other useful tricks.
      • Taken further with the Thief-Acrobat, a Thief subclass intended to focus on mobility and... well, acrobatics. Unfortunately, the tradeoff for this was losing pickpocketing, trapfinding, and lockpicking, which are the best reasons to keep a Thief in the party (and possibly more, the book suggests). In exchange, you got acrobatic tricks—and not even Charles Atlas Superpower acrobatic tricks, we're talking pole-vaulting, tightrope walking, and long jumping—that would probably be somewhat impressive in the Olympics, not so much in the dungeon where everyone has grappling hooks or flying carpets or winged horses or a magic-user with Fly. Their only particularly useful ability is a flat percentage chance to dodge attacks when they have the initiative, and considering they still had a Thief's hit dice, they'd better hope the rolls were in their favor.
      • While the Thief is generally held as the weakest class, the Cavalier, introduced in Unearthed Arcana, is infamously regarded as the most difficult class to play. A Cavalier is a class focused on Mounted Combat, and though they do genuinely excel in that field, this also means that in any situation where they can't use their mount due to the mount dying or not having room for it (which, in a game with "dungeon" in the title, is quite frequent), they basically lose half their class abilities. However, what pushes them into this category is a roleplay requirement: the Cavalier, when in combat, has to charge the most dangerous-looking enemy they can see, regardless of circumstance. This means that a Cavalier cannot be controlled in battle situations (the rulebook's words, not ours), and in a game as lethal as 1st Edition D&D, where trying to take enemies head-on even with a tanky character is risky and much of skilled play is knowing to pick your battles, Suicidal Overconfidence is not a good thing. Cavaliers were notorious for rarely making it past their first few levels before charging something they shouldn't have and getting beaten into paste.
    • Third Edition:
      • The Monk class in 3.5E is widely considered to be the weakest of the core classes. They have low hit points, restricted skill points, rely heavily on multiple stats, nearly all of their abilities can be replicated by a caster of a much lower level, their abilities have terrible synergy (e.g. increased movement speed combined with special attacks which can only be used while standing still), and an unarmed Swordsage (from Tome of Battle) can pull off Wuxia-style martial arts while still being effective.
      • Outside of the core classes, the biggest letdown class is the Truenamer from Tome of Magic. The Truenamer is great in concept: Someone who uses the language of creation itself to rewrite reality, with the added bonus of backwards enunciation of said language to obtain inverse effects. That is until you realize that not only are their powers rather limited, they also become less effective as they level up: the DC of a Truenaming effect equals 15 + double the target's level. This includes allies. Unfortunately, they can only spend one skill point per level to increase their Truespeech check. Yes, it's really that bad. A Truenamer in combat spends most of his time shouting in Truespeech only for it to not do anything. A guide here named "In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck" notes that even if you can overcome this horrible drawback to be able to actually use your abilities on a fairly consistent basis (which is possible, though the effort involved could be better spent doing basically anything else), the class is still full of unclear rules and crippling restrictions on abilities that were not very powerful in the first place. To cap it off, the class simply isn't playable as intended: the intended playstyle is for the character to start the day being able to always use his utterances before the Law of Resistance makes it too hard to continue, but an optimized Truenamer has pushed his skill checks to the point where he always succeeds no matter how much he uses them (in which case he basically plays on-par with a warlock), while an unoptimized beer-and-pretzels Truenamer starts out with his utterances failing a good percentage of the time and only goes downhill from there.
      • Rivaling the Truenamer in sheer disappointment is the Complete Warrior Samurai, essentially a Nerfed and more restricted version of the already below-average Fighter. While the Truenamer is mechanically unplayable, the Samurai is just useless. He has weak features, a poor skill list, bonus feats which mainly border on detrimental, and very little versatility. His only real feature is his Intimidate-focused abilities, and even those come quite late and can be outdone by other classes. His 11th-Hour Superpower, Frightful Presence, is virtually useless from the start and only gets weaker from there. On top of that, he's a pretty poor and shallow translation of the idea of a samurai, with a fighting style that samurai didn't use and that he really sucks at, and the massively important concept of iaijutsu duels being reduced to two feats. Just about the only good thing about him is he helped bring about the much more well-liked Ronin prestige class, which he's not really needed for. One of the most well-known tier lists places him on the same level as the Warrior, Aristocrat and commoner, noncombatant classes not meant for actual player use. Ouch.
      • The Ninja is considered scarcely better. Basically, take a Rogue, remove or arbitrarily limit half his abilities (including armor proficiency), give him fewer skill points, make him Wisdom-dependent, and make his Sneak Attack strictly worse. In exchange, he gets "ki abilities," which look good on paper (turning invisible), but in practice tend to run out fast and can be easily duplicated by cheap magic items. To cap it off, like the Monk, he's hilariously outdone by the Swordsage in nearly every respect - to the point that on some forums, a joke is to use "Swordsage'd!" instead of the traditional "Ninja'd!"
      • The Ranger and Bard in 3rd Edition both landed headfirst into this. 3.5 players recognize the Bard as a Difficult, but Awesome skillmonkey and supportive caster, while the Ranger is a capable Jack of All Stats leaning slightly toward Glass Cannon. This wasn't so much the case in 3rd Edition. Both classes received only four skill points, which made it hard to do their jobs. The Bard spell list had few to no unique spells and couldn't be cast in armor, while the Bard's signature Inspire Courage gave an absolutely piddly bonus that didn't even scalenote . The Ranger was limited to Dual Wielding, which was even more subpar in 3rd Edition, their Animal Companion was a walking liability, their Favored Enemy maxed out at a +5 bonus, and outside of a weak selection of spells, they received nothing else. Giving these two a buff was a big motivator behind creating 3.5 in the first place (well, that and Haste).
      • Talking of the Bard, it was often seen as this early in 3.5 as well - people saw them as a poor-man's mixture of a Fighter, Rogue, and Sorcerer with gimmicky abilities and not much to offer next to a pure caster. As people improved, though, it became apparent that the Bard's skills actually have exceptional synergy, even in core, and it offers a role all its own - that of The Face and the Support Party Member, capable of absolutely trivializing social encounters through a mix of silver tongue and magic while using its combat spells and songs to help the party smash through most encounters. It wasn't as good as a pure caster, but then, what was? By the time the Character Tiers rolled around, the Bard was seen as Tier 3 - about as good as a class can be without being a Game-Breaker, and the only core class to rank there. That said, those inexperienced with the class can still frequently dismiss it as this.
      • Complete Warrior's Swashbuckler is widely considered one of the game's most poorly-made combat classes, with an excess of Empty Levels and too many abilities based on giving too-small static bonuses, as well as its rapier-focused fighting style being very poor in 3.x. Its few good abilities either come too late, get stonewalled by crit-immune enemies, or both. The only times it's ever used is as a three-level dip to get Insightful Strike, or with the Daring Outlaw feat to essentially turn it into a tougher Rogue.
      • Rounding out the Complete Warrior trio is the Hexblade, the best of the three and a textbook Master of None. It's meant to be a Magic Knight, backing up melee prowess with curses to cripple enemies and versatile spellcasting. In practice, though, all its abilities are so badly undertuned that it just sucks at everything—its melee prowess basically consists of a good base attack and HP, with severe armor restrictions and poor Fortitude limiting any ability to tank, its curses have limited uses per day and don't so much cripple the opponent as mildly inconvenience them, and its spellcasting is stuck to a handful of spells known that mostly don't synergize with melee and cap out at 4th-level. Even its utility as a single-class Magic Knight was outdone by the later Duskblade, which beat out the Hexblade in almost every parameter and whose Full-Contact Magic enabled actual synergy between casting and melee. It boasts a few handy features, like the Mettle ability to resist certain effects, the Dark Companion ability to debuff enemy saves, and an unusually useful familiar, but it's so mediocre all-around that even its designers claimed they'd screwed up with it and recommended a few buffs.
      • For Incarnum fans, the Soulborn is this. It's meant to be the combat-focused Incarnum class... but there's already a combat-focused Incarnum class in the form of the Totemist, who is both much more powerful and much more unique, not to mention able to fulfill non-combat roles. To make matters worse, the standard Incarnate, intended as a Jack of All Stats, can easily outdo the Soulborn in combat with the proper soulmelds. And on top of this, the Soulborn's actual Incarnum-using abilities suck; it doesn't get its first soulmeld until 4th level, its first native essentia points to do anything with that soulmeld until 6th, and its first chakra bind until 8th - all things its counterparts achieve at 2nd-level. Until then, the Soulborn is essentially just a worse version of the Paladin, and even when it's gotten its binds, it has so little essentia that it'll have a hard time doing anything with them. The Soulborn is intended to use its superior combat skills to compensate for its awful Incarnum abilities, but this just adds up for it being worse in combat than a combat-focused Incarnate or Totemist, far less versatile, and far less fun - most Soulborn guides amount to "play an Incarnate instead."
      • The Divine Mind is just considered downright bad. Aside from dubious at best fluff, it has a hellish early game due to the auras it generates being incredibly undertuned and having nonexistent range, and while it does learn Psychic Powers, it has them shackled to the clunkiness of mantles, takes a hit to its manifester level, and learns a total of nine over its entire advancement. It's telling when the class's sole useful ability is from a web enhancement, and even that's just being able to use an actual good power in Astral Construct.
      • Though not quite as bad as the monk, the paladin gets a fair amount of heat, mostly for requiring Strength, Wisdom, Constitution, and Charisma, being heavily front-loaded in design, and many of its class features being worse than they sound (a Smite that you can't use often and doesn't do very good damage, a magic horse for those cavalry charges you'll be making in claustrophobic dungeon labyrinths). You also have to deal with a rather strict code of conduct that turns you into a crappy fighter if the DM decides you did something bad, and is often an invitation for jerk Killer Game Masters to "test your morals" by setting up Morton's Fork scenarios. Many players opt for a crusader or a melee-focused cleric instead. That said, a paladin does get some pretty good spells, a number of alternate class features, and the very useful Divine Grace.
      • The fighter is a class that consists entirely of bonus feats relating to combat. Feats are certainly good, but anyone can take them, and even though the fighter gets more of them, most of the time a class can pick up the feats it needs if it's willing to wait or play a human, and they'll have their own class features to make those feats better. A fighter can try to mix together combat styles for the sake of flexibility (taking archery and melee feats), but by the time they've completed two feat trees, both will have long since stopped being useful. The fighter also notoriously doesn't get feats at odd-numbered levels, which means most people don't go past level 2. Capping it off is the fighter's poor skill points and skill list, which makes them Dumb Muscle outside of combat - a fighter can be perfectly satisfactory at their fighting style, but that's about it, and many classes can have that fighting style and either do it better (barbarians, psychic warriors, warblades) or do other things (rangers, duskblades, warblades again). Many fighter players use the otherwise obscure or setting-specific dungeoncrasher or Zhentarim alternate class features, just so they can have something unique.
    • Fifth Edition:
      • 5th Edition kicked Rangers back down to this level. As demi-casters, their spell selection in combat is very limited. In melee, Paladins and Fighters generally do far better. When it comes to using bows, Fighters with the right build are better in combat while Rogues and Valor Bards are more versatile and in the latter case have better spells. The mechanics behind their animal companion are truly atrocious; the minions summoned by Druid and Wizard spells are often easier to use and more powerful, while Moon Druids are a lot harder to kill and Wizards are their usual Game-Breaker selves. Really, there's not much a Ranger can do that another class can't do much better, so much so that Unearthed Arcana has focused a fair bit of effort on fixing it. Special mention goes to the Beast Master. In order to get your animal companion to attack, you have to use one of your own attacks (which will almost always be superior to the animal companions unless you intentionally tanked your own character). Most of its other abilities are similarly underwhelming. And if your animal companion ever dies (which it will, because it's squishy and has a low AC and poor saves), you need to conduct an 8 hour ritual to get a replacement. It's telling that when Wizards of the Coast designed a second class with a "control a companion" gimmick (the Battle Smith Artificer), it was better in basically every concievable way than the Beast Master. Fortunately, the Ranger and Beast Master got a bunch of buffs in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, so this isn't as bad of an issue anymore.
      • While the Warlock is generally regarded as powerful, the Undying Warlock from Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide is a joke. While other Patrons grant Warlocks hard-hitting abilities, the Undying warlock just gets mild resistance to disease, is slightly harder for undead to attack as long as the warlock doesn't attack them first, and gets a couple of weak self-healing abilities and a dramatically increased lifespan. Cool from a flavor point of view, but quite underwhelming in their actual effect on gameplay.
      • Despite the buffs they received, opinions on 5e Monks have largely soured as the game has gone on. While consolodating their unarmed damage to their DEX stat certainly helped their MAD problem, Monks still require high values in 3 stats (Dex for AC, accuracy and damage. Con for saving throws and HP. And Wis for AC and the saving throw D Cs) which can make them difficult to build with a point buy system 5e's balanced around. Even putting that aside, they still largely have the problem of "Forsaking weapons and armor for abilities that exist only to compensate for the lack of gear" which can put them behind all the other martials who get the same effects just by virtue of being able to use said gear: Unarmed damage starts at 1d4+Dex, which is outright worse than using a simple short sword, and only ever gets as high as 1d10 at the level range where spellcasters can toss level 9 spells around. While this can be offset by the use of "Monk Weapons" (Melee weapons that Monks have proficiency with) , this largely defeats the purpose of playing a Monk as you need to use weapons in order to compensate for the Monk's anemic unarmed damage capabilities... which the class is supposed to be built around. Unarmored defence is likely only going to be a +2 to +3 bonus to your AC, which can easily be matched with the right armor and outclassed by carrying a shield on top of it. Even the Barbarian gets a better version of this ability, as theirs uses CON rather than WIS, which synergizes better for a melee focused class, and again; They can use shields. While Monks do gain additional abilities that aren't just there to compensate for their lack of gear, a great number of them consume ki points (as do a significant number of subclass features) making them far more limited than what many other martials get at the same level, and a number of them are given well past the point where they'd be at their most useful. For one final nail in their coffin, Monks even have an ability that doesn't actually do anything most of the time: Stillness of Mind lets you take an action on your turn to end any Charmed or Frightened effects currently afflicting you. While it would be underwhelming enough as you've effectively used up your turn to end an effect you get a saving throw against at the end of your turn anyways, most of the methods of applying Charmed or Frightened don't actually let you take an action anyways. Put simply, while Monks are better off than they were in 3.5, they're still far from "fixed" from a balance perspective.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Many classes that were seen as weak in 3.5 maintained their level of quality. The Paladin got the buffs to pull it to the level of "average", but the Fighter and Monk languished in the doldrums for a very long time despite being buffed superficially. Though the Fighter no longer had an Empty Levels problem, it still lacked any standout tricks, while its two most reliable builds (Improved Trip and Power Attack) got smacked with the nerf bat. The Monk, meanwhile, suffered similar woes to its few useful tricks, kept most of its old problems, became reliant on a "ki pool" that ran dry constantly, and generally kept having rulings made against it that suggested the designers bore a grudge. They saw at least marked improvements with time, due to Unchained buffing the Monk up considerably and adding a host of useful feats for Fighters to pick up.
    • The Gunslinger class is notoriously poorly balanced, with complaints focusing on the awful firearms rules, taking too long to gain the abilities most bow-using classes get for free, lacking out-of-combat options, and the central mechanic of the class (Grit) running out too quickly and being too hard to replenish. It's also overly dependent on whether or not the DM will let you have a revolver.
    • The Pathfinder Rogue is one of the most commonly-lamented classes in the game, being hit it with a variety of "stealth" Nerfs that many players found unneeded (Sneak Attack no longer working with many prior tricks, ranged and thrower builds patched out of existence for arbitrary reasons, Trapfinding losing its uniqueness due to Search being rolled into Perception, many other classes doing the rogue's job better), leaving their once-unique tricks now commonplace and their remaining tricks now hopelessly inadequate. This criticism led to Paizo releasing an variant of the class called the Unchained Rogue, which redesigned the class to play up its Glass Cannon side, retaining all of its old role and also getting better Rogue tricks. This has rescued the Rogue from the Scrappy heap.
    • The Cavalier class is less iconic than the rogue and is thus less complained about and mostly just ignored. Its focus on being mounted is inconvenient and its other focus is granting teamwork feats, which usually work best when everyone with them is trying to do similar things. It's most at home leading a group of soldiers into open battle, not trying to stuff their horse into a dungeon corridor with a diverse group of adventurers, and so has trouble finding space as a PC.
  • Res Arcana: Windup Man is an expensive card with two abilities: The first is that you can tap it to put an essence on it. The second is that, at the start of each round, you put two additional essences of each colour left on it. You can also "cash out" the essences at the start of the round, but then the second ability does not add more stuff for that round. It would probably be an okay or even good investment if games went on for 5-6 rounds, but most games between experienced players end on round 4, at which point you're barely breaking even when you cash out, and in the meantime the thing does nothing but tie up a lot of essences you almost certainly had better ways to spend. Luckily, the Expansion Packs introduce elements that synergize with it and make it more usable.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The poor Tyranids got a late codex for Fifth edition (2011) that looked pretty mediocre. The Dark Eldar codex followed quickly on its heels. This shut down the Tyranid's viable but still only average 'Nidzilla strategy for metagame reasons and left the 'Nids without a viable plan. There were armies that did everything the 'Nids did, but better. Then Sixth Edition (Summer 2012) introduced a metagame dominated by fliers - something the Tyranids have almost no counter for. And the 'Nids can't ally with anyone else, so they cannot shore up their own weaknesses by bringing a few friends in. In short, 'Nid hordes are no match for Ork hordes, 'Nid shooting is no match for Dark Eldar, Tau, or Imperial Guard shooting, and 'Nidzilla armies are eclipsed by every other army of super-elite characters and creatures. But then, the metagame and tier system of Warhammer can change within the space of one Codex or expansion.
      • And then their 6th edition codex... Which not only nerfed already weak more so, raising the point cost on units for no clear reason but removed many of their best abilities and units, which many players were using to still be competitive.
      • The Tyranids also have the dubious honor of bearing what is widely considered to be the single worst unit in the entire game: the Pyrovore. It's slow, it's fragile, it's expensive, it takes up an Elites slot (which is where most of the Tyranid's redeeming units come from), its flame attack is only usable when compared to its near-Guardsman level melee capabilities, and it explodes (with friendly fire allowed) when killed with instant death weapons but goes down in a couple hits to plain ol' bolters. To this day, their only fictional appearance was in a Ciaphas Cain book, where one was dispatched easily and accidentally blew up its own hive tyrant in the process.

    Tower Defence 
  • The Battle Cats:
    • There are several Ubers that are disappointing pulls, but some stand out more than others.
      • The Dragon Emperors set in general has several mediocre-to-bad units in it, making it a risky pull, but Sodom and Dioramos take the cake. Both of them share the same problems: they're extremely slow units with subpar range for a backliner, are highly expensive, have deceptively poor survivability due to a low knockback count, and their special abilities are rarely useful. Sodom's ability to knock back and resist Floating enemies means little when Rares can usually handle them fine, and even on stages where you'd want an anti-Floating tanker, his HP can be depleted surprisingly quickly. Dioramos is considered slightly better, as his knockback and slow against Angels can be useful against Winged Pigge and St. Dober, but he's still not a great deal of use generally. To rub salt in the wound, both of them have pretty mediocre Talents.
      • Tales of the Nekoluga is another very risky set — aside from the powerful Tecoluga and Togeluga, many of the Ubers would qualify for this, as nearly all of them share the same weaknesses of nonexistent survivability and taking forever to recharge. Some of the most notorious ones from the set are Nobiluga, Papaluga, and Furiluga. Nobiluga is supposedly the ultimate sniper unit, with long range and massive piercing range, but its damage is weak even considering its range, and it has a huge minimum range that many enemies can hide in and destroy it from — and one of its selling points, its immunity to almost all status effects, can hurt it by preventing it from using enemy knockback or Warp to reposition away from danger. Papaluga, meanwhile, specializes in Curse — a Useless Useful Spell in the player's hands, as most enemies are threatening because of the damage they inflict and not their special abilities. Even discounting that, Papaluga has poor stats all around, his range is shorter than the other Lugas', and his Curse doesn't last for his whole attack cycle, giving afflicted enemies time to use their abilities anyway. Furiluga may have huge range and a 100% chance to break Aku shields, but those are its only strengths — it takes nearly 18 seconds between attacks, is prone to missing due to its quick attack animation and lack of piercing range, and has such pathetically weak attack power that it's unable to accomplish anything outside of breaking shields.
    • Outside of Ubers, one of the most notoriously underwhelming cats in the game is Filibuster Cat X. For how difficult it is to obtain (requiring the player to clear all Cats of the Cosmos chapters), it is NOT worth it. Filibuster comes with the ability to freeze traitless enemies — theoretically, an extremely rare and valuable ability, especially from its huge 575 range. Unfortunately, to make up for it, everything else about Filibuster is terrible: it has glass HP and no ability to reposition, deals mediocre damage, has a 12-second-long attack animation that leaves it vulnerable to missing its attack or being interrupted, and has a 19-second attack rate with only a 4-second-long freeze. Filibuster is overshadowed by Boring, but Practical Rare Cats like Lone Cat and Kitten or Glass Cat — these cats don't have the flashy attack animation, but in exchange, they land their attacks much more often, are more disposable, and will do a much better job of stalling traitless enemies over the course of the battle. The real nail in Filibuster's coffin is that, since it's obtained so late in the game, you'll probably have beaten most of the stages where it could've been useful by the time you unlock it.
    • Many of the Normal Cats fall off considerably past the early-game, but they can be useful in certain stages should you choose to grind levels for them. However, three of the Normals are borderline unusable even on the easiest late-game stages. Dark Cat is the true form of Axe Cat, a Crutch Character with unfocused stats, and does nothing to compensate for that — it's too expensive to be a useful meatshield and too weak, frail, and short-ranged to do much damage even to the Red enemies it's strong against. Lion Cat gets juggled easily with its 5 knockbacks and unremarkable HP, and compared to other rushers, its DPS is poor and it relies on landing many hits instead of one strong one, so it'll just cause weaker enemies to rebound to safety instead of killing them. The Flying Cat, finally, is a Glass Cannon with extremely short range and a very high cost for what it is, its ability to weaken Angel enemies is almost never useful, and its high DPS isn't enough to save it from being utterly overshadowed by other area attackers. These three units only get to play a role in CatCombos, and duplicates of them are safe to exchange for NP.
  • The Kingdom Rush series has a few towers that are generally considered subpar to other towers:
    • The Templars in Frontiers are pretty universally agreed to be outclassed by the Assassins for most situations. Assassins have similar survivability (due to their dodge rate), way better damage, and their upgrades cost a lot less. Additionally, the Assassins go into stealth when not moving or in combat, so they can't be targeted by ranged attacks. The Templars' only real saving grace is using them against enemies with area-of-effect attacks, which the Assassins can't dodge.
    • The Druid towers in Origins are considered rather useless due to having nothing to circumvent the Artificial Stupidity of the Artillery towers not to mention being unable to hit air units at allnote  with the Arcane Archers' Burst Arrows being considered to be far more reliable splash damage than the Druids. This unfortunately has the side effect of making swarms that much more difficult compared to other games but particularly the spiders who are both fast and easily shrug off the splash damage from the Burst Arrows.
    • The Goblin Rocket Riders in Vengeance are seen as one of the most useless towers in the series. Like the Druid towers in Origins, they share similar weaknesses as Artillery but are even less reliable. Nitro Boosters are a nerfed version of the Dragonbreath or Wasp missiles, having a much shorter range and the inability to target air units. Minefield is unreliable due to random placement on the track and can outright miss enemies that don't go close to them. Finally, unlike Origins' Druid towers that at least had abilities to stall or stun (Runed Bears and Clobber), Rocket Riders don't even have a way to do either. The other artillery towers in the Melting Furnace, Rotten Forest, Goblin War Zeppelin and Ignis Altar are seen to be more useful thanks to having wider, more reliable Area of Effects and stuns, or dealing more damage while being more versatile.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Civilization V:
    • The Iroquois tend to bottom out on tier lists. It stems from the fact that their abilities are based on making use of forest tiles to increase their production and movement, and to make use of this, they always start out in a forest. The problem is, other civs make use of forests, too - by cutting them down, providing large one-time production boosts. Meanwhile, the Iroquois special building is the Longhouse, which heavily boosts production in the presence of worked forests, but the Longhouse only comes online in the Medieval era, at which point they'll have lost a lot of production just by virtue of leaving those forests around. They can cut down forests themselves, but this nullifies all their own advantages, meaning that to play them to their fullest means spending the first third of the game in half-shift. And on top of that, the Longhouse also loses the 10% boost of the Workshop it replaces. Their other abilities, including the Mohawk Warrior and the ability to treat friendly forest and jungle tile as road, are situational at best; consensus is that the Iroquois can only excel on Arboreal maps. Curiously, though, they seem to have one of the better A.I.s in the game, with Hiawatha often dominating matchesnote .
    • Poor Polynesia. Their ability to sail across ocean before anyone else is really interesting, but it also happens to be an ability that essentially obsoletes once everyone else has Astronomy. This gives Polynesia a limited window of being able to take advantage of this ability, but once you've met everyone, you really can't do much except realize how much more advanced they are than you. The Moai improvement gives some extra Culture and defensive advantages, but this means missing out on the farms and mines you could have built on those tiles. The Maori Warrior is a decent unit, but comes so early it can't really do much aside from fight off barbarians. The most Polynesia can do is usually be the founder of the World Congress and maybe get an early start on a Cultural Victory, and even that requires some tricky play. This is even worse on a Continental map, where Polynesia's advantages basically vanish.
    • The Brave New World expansion heavily reworked the mechanics of Cultural Victory, something that was mostly acclaimed - but only mostly, because India hated it. Their ability halves the Happiness penalty for large cities and doubles it for number of cities, meaning that India is one of the only nations where their ability includes a penalty. The old Cultural Victory favored a small number of highly-populated cities (since it penalized the large number of social policies needed), but the new one favors a large number of cities (since it gives you more places to build temples, churn out Great People, and store Great Works). Therefore, India is considered to be not only suffering a penalty, but a penalty to its intended victory condition - and the Tourism boost from the Mughal Fort can only do so much.
    • Though America is considered mid-tier, they get a fair bit of ribbing from the playerbase over being Magikarp Power. Their main advantages are increased vision and halved cost on buying tiles, reflecting the American habit of exploration, landgrabbing, and imperialism. But the Shoshone simply start with a pile of extra tiles, and get an enhanced scout in the Pathfinder, meaning they're better at exploration and better at landgrabbing. To add insult to injury, though America's unique units are highly useful, they don't show up until long after exploring has become basically irrelevant.
    • The Ottomans were considered laughable in vanilla, as their chance to convert Barbarian ships didn't look all that impressive when Germany could do the same thing for their landbound counterparts. Even when it was buffed in expansions to apply to all enemy ships, it still wasn't held in high regard, as the large-scale naval war of attrition needed for such an ability to come in handy almost never happens. On top of that, both their unique units are land units.
    • Carthage gets a powerful sea unit in an era where nobody is on the water, a cavalry unit that is slower and more expensive than normal cavalry, and the ability to cross mountains, which would be situational even if it didn't cripple the units in the process. Its only genuinely useful ability is free Harbors, and even then, Harbors aren't that expensive or valuable.
    • In the vanilla game, France's Ancien Regime was something of a joke, as it was the only unique ability to flat-out obsolete due to a Historical In-Joke - but at least it had the serviceable Foreign Legion unit, and free Culture was nice while it lasted. In Brave New World, though, they were reworked from a militaristic civ to a culture-based one, changing their ability and switching the Foreign Legion for the Chateau improvement. Unfortunately, City of Light (doubled theming bonuses in the capital) requires heavy manipulation of Great Works, archaeological efforts, and building very specific buildings, some of which are Wonders - and all you get out of it is a moderate boost to Tourism. Essentially, to get France's advantages, you have to already be most of the way to a cultural victory, and neither the Chateau nor the Musketeer are anywhere near good enough to get you there.
    • Byzantium suffers from having one of the most intriguing abilities, and almost no way to actually use those abilities. It has the trick of being able to found a religion with an extra ability, which is a big deal when religion is very customizable, and opens up a ton of possibilities (choose multiple enhancer beliefs and watch the religion spread itself! pick up Pagodas, Cathedrals, and Mosques simultaneously! combine high faith and Holy Warriors for a free army!). Except you can't pick beliefs for a religion if someone else has already taken them, and only a certain number of religions can be created over the course of the game, so religion is very much about who's first rather than who's best - and Byzantium has no abilities to actually make themselves first. So just build a lot of shrines and temples in the early game, then, right? Yeah, sure, except Byzantium is one of the civs where both their uniques are units, and really early-game units that don't keep their abilities on upgrade, at that, meaning actually trying to use them for anything will tie up a lot of production. Pretty much no matter what you do with Byzantium, you're going to end up wasting about half their strengths.
  • The Ike amiibo in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M is atrociously underpowered, being unable to upgrade his boiler or replace his awful weapons (a Sword Beam that does barely any damage and an axe that inflicts knockback making it extremely difficult to hit an enemy twice with it, and that's ignoring the fact that he's swinging a melee weapon when most of the enemies can shoot you and doesn't have a skill like Marth's to protect him from getting attacked and stunned by enemies he approaches), and, as an amiibo, being impossible to revive mid-battle on top of it all. The other amiibos, especially Robin and Lucina, have weapons and abilities good enough to justify the disadvantages of being an amiibo unit.
  • Master of Orion II:
    • The Klackons, a Hive Mind of industrious ant people. They suffer for the inverse reason that the research-minded Psilons are at the other end of the scale: Klackons are terrible at science. While they don't take any penalties to performing research, being a single mind means that they are inherently terrible at coming up with new ideas, as represented by their signature drawback, Uncreative. Normally, a player is given one to three choices per research tier, learning one and forsaking the other two. The reason the Psilons are so powerful is that they get all the options instead of just one. Uncreative makes the computer choose randomly for the Klackons player which of the options they'll be allowed to research this game. Meaning that, as the game progresses, most players will become more specialized, with a good balance of generic technologies. Meanwhile, the Klackons will advance randomly, lacking a strategic plan for their progression. This is especially dangerous when it comes to fuel cell technology, which determines how far a player can expand their empire; it's entirely possible for a Klackon player to find themselves walled off into one corner of the galaxy because they weren't offered any of the early fuel cell technologies and thus can't escape their cradle. Ironically, conquered aliens maintain their species-wide traits, meaning that captured Klackons (with their maxed out bonus to Industry) are extremely powerful in the absence of Klackon leadership.
    • The Elerians are this when controlled by the AI. A species of Blue Skinned Space Babes, the Elerians are psychic sirens. Their kit predisposes them toward exploration and a Guile Hero mix of diplomacy and force. The trouble is that their AI is written to be extremely aggressive. Unlike other aggressive A.I.s, the Elerian kit doesn't have bonuses to production, science, or population growth. This results in a species that isn't smarter, faster, stronger, or particularly able to shrug off casualties going on suicidal Attack! Attack! Attack! runs, often straight into the human player's defenses.
  • Mordheim: City of the Damned: The Chaos Cult faction is considered to be the weakest warband of the playable six due to its schizophrenic, counter-intuitive design. Their Magister is a Squishy Wizard with one damage buff spell and a unique skill that requires him to be in melee combat, and until he levels up and gets his better spells every other leader unit will kick his teeth in — which is bad because at the start the leader is supposed to be the best unit your warband has. The Mutant is the only viable ranged hero of the warband but can potentially get a random mutation which will forever prevent him from holding a bow, leaving him a gimped melee fighter with ranged skills he can't use. The Marauder is a melee hero with amazing charge bonuses but he's somewhat fragile and can't disengage which means if his initial charge attack is dodged or parried or misses then he's in trouble. By far the worst offender though is the Possessed, considered widely to be the worst hero in the entire game; his complete lack of any kind of effective damage mitigation — he can't wear armour, his agility and dodge skills are poor and he can't carry a shield or parry - make him extremely easy to kill, and his melee damage is also lackluster until he gets arm mutations to give him weapons, and what's worse his armbands count as dual-wielding so he gets the tiring effect with each attack. In short, he can't hit particularly hard, he can't hit often and he'll often die before he'll get a chance to hit anything. The Cult's saving grace is the Darksoul, possibly the best melee henchman in the game — immune to psychology and potentially quite durable, they can hold out round after round.
  • Nintendo Wars:
    • Sonja in the first Advance Wars. Her only strengths are increased vision in fog of war, hiding her unit's current HP from the enemy, and the ability to see through concealment with her CO power. Her weakness is a huge amount of potential bad luck - no one else has bad luck, and it's twice as high as the potential good luck that almost everyone has. It can randomly take a big bite out of her damage output and make her feel very unreliable to play. She's by far the worst CO outside of fog of war matches, and even in fog of war, she's only decent. The sequels would give her extra strengths to make her more viable, such as greatly increased counterattack damage in 2 or reducing the enemy's terrain stars in Dual Strike, along with reducing the severity of her bad luck more and more.
    • Flak from Black Hole Rising is a borderline joke character whose abilities revolve entirely around luck affecting the damage he deals - and it's often not in his favor, making him a strictly worse version of Nell. He was purposely made bad to serve as the first opponent, so much so that he's almost unplayable, though the next game did buff his luck to the point where it might accomplish something. Regardless, due to his complete lack of consistency, he doesn't have that many fans even among those who enjoy playing bottom tiers. And despite his standing, the luck aspect makes him highly controversial in competitive play, so he's often banned regardless.
    • Jugger and Koal/Zak in Dual Strike double as replacement scrappies, functioning as near identical clones of Flak and Addernote  from the last game, respectively, and taking over their roles in the story, with Flak and Adder relegated to hidden characters. The old duo was already ranked low, and the new guys are either on par or worse than them in pretty much every situation. They're often considered a waste in terms of both gameplay and character.
    • Grimm in Dual Strike is a Glass Cannon with +30% attack and -20% defense, which sounds like a good tradeoff on paper but makes him one of the worst characters in the game owing to how most game mechanics intermingle. Firstly defense has a much bigger effect than attack powernote  which ends up snowballing the higher or lower it gets — an opponent taking advantage of terrain bonuses or other abilities can sharply reduce the damage he does, while he gets next to nothing out of terrain himself. Secondly units do less damage, get less luck bonuses, and get less out of terrain stars the lower their health gets — since it's so easy to damage Grimm's units his bonus is quickly nullified and even counter-attack damage he takes on the offense will quickly rob him of his advantage. Thirdly his capture game is non-existent since it's so easy to weaken and kill capturing infantry, which quickly robs him of resources and makes it harder to produce fresh units with his full attack bonus or even repair existing ones. Finally, Grimm will lose units left and right and, as proven by Colin, a lot of weaker units is always better than a few strong ones — what exactly is Grimm's +30/-20 Neotank going to do against two attacking enemy Medium Tanks, except die violently after giving a nasty bite to one of them? Not to mention, there are a lot of other COs with attack bonuses almost as high as his but without the crippling downsides.
  • Sister Miriam's faction in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. There are four ways to win the game: control enough money to buy every other faction, gain enough votes from each faction to be elected the Supreme Ruler, advance so far in technology that you ascend to another plane of existence, or you can just conquer the entire world. While some factions are more tuned to attempt one victory condition over another (CEO Morgan has the best chance of buying the world, Commissioner Pravin Lal has a bonus to being elected world leader, etc.) Sister Miriam's faction only has one viable strategy: devote all resources to conquering everyone else as fast as you can. This is because Sister Miriam's faction has a technology research penalty that means all other factions will eventually out-pace you in weapons technology, and achieving the "ascend to another plane of existence" victory condition is very hard if not completely unattainable. Their only hope for winning is to conquer everyone else while the playing-field is still relatively even, and hope they get enough technologies from conquering to make up any deficit. Most human players make it a goal to destroy her faction as quickly as possible, especially if another human is playing as her. Compounding the issues is that two other factions (the Spartan Federation and the Human Hive) already fulfill the role of being 'warlike' while still being varied in their possible strategy options.
  • TearRing Saga, being a Spiritual Licensee of Fire Emblem, has plenty of units that inevitably fall into this:
    • The Wood Shooter combines the 3 movement and vulnerability to armor-slaying weapons as the Armor Knight, but with the additional detriment of being locked to bows like the Archer/Bow Fighter, meaning they can't counterattack at melee range, they also lack the advantages that the other armors have.note  That said, the class's massive defense and ability to use special, albeit somewhat rare, long-range ballista weapons that only they can use, make the first character in the class, Thomas, Not Completely Useless despite his bad stats and skills. The other Wood shooter, Hagaru, despite having great stat growths and skills, does not even have this. Not only does Hagar join very late in the game with terrible base stats, but he first appears as an enemy reinforcement on Turn 10 of Map 34, meaning you have to waste time on an already very difficult map to get him. Hagar also comes on the route with Anti-Grinding, meaning you can't stop the campaign and put him in optional Random Encounters to give him levels close to the rest of the party, and whilst he does have a good support, it is with a high movement cavalry unit that Hagar is unlikely to reach most of the time. Even Hagar's Magikarp Power style growths have no chance of increasing movement, meaning you'll really have to slow down just to use him.
    • Of the four units who can join at Verge before Map 2, Luca is by far the worst. He suffers from being bow-locked as an Archer, with awful base stats aside from Skill and Speed, iffy at best growths, and having 4 movement on this game's large maps. Even getting a unique Wooden Bow with +30 crit on Map 4 does little for him, as critical hits in TearRing Saga only double the unit's Attack before Defence is applied, and his damage output is so low anyway that it won't help him out much. Recruiting him also means missing out on two of Narron, Lee and Lionel, all of whom are considered excellent units. He can do one additional thing later in the game, however: if you allow him to die at the end of Map 26, Raquel's inability to kill human enemies will be removed.
    • Krishna joins in Map 13 at level 1 with pathetic base stats, by which time three far superior Myrmidons in the form of Julia, Vega and Shigen have had plenty of time to establish themselves. She doesn't get any better through levelling up either, as her growths are low compared to them, the only skill she learns is Rising Dragon at level 17, and competition for Hero Proofs is quite fierce. Her only notable aspect compared to the game's other Myrmidons is that she has the Steal skill, but given that this activates randomly (specifically, at a percentage chance of the user's Skill plus their Speed), relying on this is ill-advised.
    • Shirou is a Horseman with a base Mastery of 2, which means he can't even wield an Iron Bow at base. His other base stats are similarly bad (though he does have half-decent growths), he suffers from being locked to bows until promotion, and his promotion gains are low compared to other units as well. To make matters worse, it's not too long before you get Lionheart, a prepromoted unit of the same class who not only has immediately usable bases, but also starts with Adept, Canto and Sol - there's no point levelling Shirou when he'll never catch up to Lionheart.
    • Lina joins in Map 26 at level 1, with base stats are comparable to those of Esther, who joined at level 2 in Map 2, and she doesn't have good enough growths to work as a Magikarp Power unit either. Most notably, she has 10% growths in both Strength and Defence, and a base Mastery of 2, meaning she won't be able to wield any useful weapons. She does have 9 base movement, and a Magic growth which means she could do well with magic swords if her Mastery gets high enough, but it's not nearly enough to make up for her bad start statistically.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles 4, Lancers get the short end of the stick out of all classes. They suffer from Crippling Overspecialization in their role as anti-tank units, as their lousy accuracy, limited ammo and lack of interception fire makes them very poor against infantry. Due to their low AP, getting Lancers into position to even hit a tank's weak point can be difficult, though Direct Command and the Cactus can help with this. They can equip mortar lances to take out infantry behind sandbags, but their very short range makes them almost worthless. To make matters worse, Grenadiers can also equip anti-armour grenades, which have a longer range, are more accurate, and don't need line of sight to hit their target, and Snipers can get access to anti-armour rifles. In the end, Lancers have one job, and they're not even the best at it.

Alternative Title(s): Underpowered And Unenjoyable, Low Tier Scrappy