Video games have lots of powerups. Some make you stronger. Some make you faster. And some make you get stronger faster.
A meta powerup doesn't add to the combat ability of a character. It does make improvements go farther. Maybe it increases the number of skill or ability points that you get. Maybe it makes short-term powerups last longer. Whatever it is, it doesn't power you up, it powers up whatever powers you up.
Some varieties are:
- Experience Booster, for when it increases the Experience Points that you get.
- Money Multiplier, for increasing money gain.
- Random Drop Booster, for when the rate that items are dropped from enemies.
Despite the name, it has little to do with having powers over the Fourth Wall or outright Author Powers. Compare Meta Power, a trope dealing with superpowers that influence or impact other superpowers.
- Paper Mario has Double Dip and Triple Dip, which, like the Glutton Ring, allow Mario to use multiple items at once. Double Dip returned in The Thousand Year Door; wearing two of it had the same effect as wearing Triple Dip.
- In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, there are a lot of examples, such as gear to make attacked enemies drop items when hit.
- Some of the microtransaction items in Battlefield Heroes increase earnable points.
- In Final Fantasy VII, there's equipment that can double or triple AP gain. AP is used to improve Materia, which enhance your characters.
- The Updated Re-release of Final Fantasy V gave abilities that doubled AP gain. AP is used to level up Jobs to gain new abilities.
- Final Fantasy VIII had GF abilities that affected stat gains. You could theoretically wait to gain levels until you had the maximum level in said abilities, causing your character to grow by leaps and bounds.
- Final Fantasy X has weapon properties that double and triple the AP gain of the wielder and one which converts Overdrive gained into APnote . There are also armor properties which increase item strength.
- The really brain-bending meta items are the Sphere Distillers. Using a Sphere Distiller on an enemy forces that enemy to drop spheres (essentially a currency that allows you to buy stat boosts in the game's complicated level-up board game) instead of whatever else it would have dropped. Not only does this make up for some types of spheres absolutely refusing to drop at the right time, abusing Sphere Distillers and farmable Bonus Bosses that drop ludicrous amounts of items is the powergamers' way to raise your Aeons, and can also be necessary when filling in the entire sphere grid.
- Final Fantasy XII has the Golden Amulet, which doubles License Point gains and breaks the power curve in half.
- Samurai Warriors 2 has the Prodigy skill, a Power Copying type, as well as several skills that increased the benefit of leveling.
- There are various items which promote EV gain. EV, Effort Values, before Generation VI, were hidden, and control what stat increases a Pokémon got on level up.
- Also the insanely hard to get "Pokérus" that doubles EV gain, infects multiple Pokémon, and goes away at midnight. The chances of getting it from a wild Pokemon are approximately 1 in 24,000. Thanks to the Global Trade Station, however, it's much easier to obtain, considering that if you have even one Pokémon with the virus, you can infect as many as you want and put them up for trade. Many players consider infecting trade Pokémon a common courtesy due to the virus's usefulness.
- Star Ocean: First Departure: It has a skill that reduces the EXP cost to level, a specialty that increases skill points per level, and even a superspecialty that empowers item creation abilities (to make equipment that powers you up). Many of these elements were carried over into the sequel, Star Ocean Second Evolution.
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope has equipment factors that give permanent boosts, food that gives a boost for a set number of fights, and the bonus board. The bonus board also has elements that give the party bonus skill points, used to both power up skills and invent items.
- Spheres of Chaos has point multiplier and point bonus powerups. While these may not seem spectacular, points earn you lives. It's not like your typical arcade game, though. Enemies are generally worth about 100-300 points each, depending on size and type, most of them are Asteroids Monsters (so there's a ton of them), and extra lives come every 10,000 points at first, only going up by about 5,000 every 300,000-500,000 points or so to accommodate the fact that there are many more enemies. Point-increasing items give 3,000-8,000 points each, and multipliers start at 6x and slowly decrease until returning to 1x.
- In Defense Grid: The Awakening, Command Towers don't attack, nor do they boost the attack power of your towers. Instead, they reveal any stealthed units in their radius, and any enemies defeated in their radius will drop more resources.
- Sonic Adventure had the Crystal Ring, which decreased the time needed to charge for the Light Speed Dash (granted by an earlier item).
- Cave Story has the Arms Barrier, which decreases by half the weapon energy you lose when you get injured.
- Many of the Day Job bonuses in City of Heroes work like this. A few give discount tickets for certain vendor services.
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has the ability "EXP walker" that gives you experience for every step you take.
- There is an item in Tales of Legendia that reduces cast time. Very good, although it does cause the characters' incantations to be interrupted.
Shirley: "Great will of the ocean, verily if thou deemest me thy proxy, then let all hear thy marv-Tidal Wave!"
- Masteries in League of Legends often give small increases to certain stats, but there are others that increase the duration of buffs received from neutral monsters.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy has most of their accessories in the form of "booster accessories" which increase the power of other accessories (regardless of what those power up, as long as they are in the correct category) under certain conditions.
- In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, you get powerups to your hero to increase his combat potential, while controlling certain regions gets you increased population cap, the ability to start with your base already built, etc.
- The Fire Emblem series has a few:
- The Astral Shards (appearing in Mystery of the Emblem and Shadows of Valentia) provide specific bonuses to the stat growths of the units holding them. Halfway through Mystery of the Emblem, they're fused together into the Starsphere, which provides a greater growth rate boost while also preventing its holder's weapons from degrading.
- The Crusader Scrolls from Thracia 776 are similar to the Astral Shards, though they also provide protection against Critical Hits.
- Afa's Drops and Metis' Tome are both one-use items that increase a unit's growth rates by a lesser amount than the Astral Shards or Crusader Scrolls.
- The Blossom skill from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn raises stat growths at the cost of halving experience gained.
- Awakening, Fates, and Three Houses have the Aptitude skill, which raises growth rates by 20%.
- Some of the best buildings and Wonders in Civilization are ones that let you build faster, such as Waterwheel.
- Kingdom of Loathing has equipment and buffs that increase stat gains, and monster level (thereby increasing stat gains).
- Some Shin Megami Tensei series games, including Persona 3 and Persona 4, include the "Growth" line of abilities that allow your demons and personas to earn experience even when they're not used in a fight, effectively multiplying your experience gain across your whole summoning repertoire.
- Similarly, Digital Devil Saga has abilities that increase the Atma Points you gain, share AP across party members, and share partial or full experience with inactive party members.
- Also from Persona 4, some Arcana Chance effects fall under this category (e.g. guaranteed Player Advantage for a limited time). However, there is a risk of the card coming up upside-down instead, which will end up changing the beneficial effect to a negative one.
- The Idle Game Zombidle features the Son of the Lich skill. It doubles the effect of every other active skill, meaning that Blackest of Plagues always causes you to critical hit instead of giving an extra 50% chance, King's Presence triples damage dealt instead of doubling it, and so on and so forth.
- In the RPG-Mechanics Verse Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Bell's "Realis Pharse" Skill allows him to Stat Grind at a faster rate.
- Terra Battle has the Negotiator skill, to increase the chance of a monster being recruited.
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has two passive abilities, both from the Temple Martial Arts skill tree. Virtuous Deed (and its upgrade Most Virtuous Deed) increase the amount of Sen and items that drop from slain enemies, while Devotion instead lengthens the amount of time that consumed Buddhist Candies affect Wolf.
- Divinity: Original Sin II: The Apotheosis skill temporarily negates the Source Point cost of Source skills — a major advantage, since the most powerful Source skills otherwise drain a character's entire reserve.