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One Stat to Rule Them All

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"I put all my skill points into 'Knowledge - Game Master.'"

Game Balance is a tricky thing, especially if the game has a plot. The more variety you have, the harder it is to be sure that something isn't broken. Combinations of powers and abilities tend to have an Exponential Potential effect as more powers and equipment are published, making it all the more likely that something game-breaking will slip in. Once players find that game breaker, they will naturally want their characters to take advantage of it, and choose stats accordingly. As a result, almost every game has one stat that winds up being vastly more valuable than all the others, often called a "god-stat" in gaming circles. Expect minmaxers to put as many points into this as they are allowed to.

In many tabletop Role Playing Games, Dexterity or Speed is disproportionately powerful compared to the other attributes. These stats usually allow characters to dodge most attacks, give them extra actions or turns, and many useful skills in the game are governed by Dexterity. The likelihood of Dexterity or its equivalent being the One Stat to Rule Them All seems to increase the more technologically advanced the game's setting is (as guns, whose use and the ability to avoid presumably both depend on it, become more powerful while melee combat becomes conversely less useful): in a medieval fantasy game, at least melee combat requires Strength. In a modern game, as it was once put, "Dexterity determines how easily you sneak into the compound, how quickly you pick the locks, how accurately you shoot at the guards, how many of their shots you dodge in turn, how fast you make it to the escape vehicle, and how well you drive it."

Many video games with an encumbrance system have Strength (or some similar stat) as this, mostly due to the amount of weight you can carry being strictly based on it, Strength being required to use a lot of gear and still increasing combat capability otherwise. Some games don't even bother to split Endurance/Constitution from it and give it the ability to raise your HP, in which case Strength might as well be labelled "How good you are at combat".

Any stat that improves your ability to dodge attacks (often Speed, Agility, or Evasion) has a high chance of being this, simply because if the enemies can never hit you, your other stats technically don't even matter at all. Even if you never raise any of your other stats and have to spend several minutes Cherry Tapping every enemy to death, with bosses taking even longer, all the while everything can kill you in one hit, as long as nothing can get that one hit on you, you'll still win eventually (but you should probably raise your other stats anyway just to keep yourself from being bored to death). In games where dodging is a manual action and not simply a number that grants a higher chance for the Random Number God to make the enemies miss (for example, Soulslikes), the effectiveness of your dodge tends to be tied to the weight of your currently equipped gear. In that case, the god stat will be whatever lets you maintain maximum dodging effectiveness in absurdly heavy armor, if it exists. If it doesn't, expect nobody to bother with armor at all and wear the lightest possible cloth or even go naked. Even in games that don't have "stats" in the traditional sense, the Fragile Speedsters and Glass Cannons tend to dominate Metagames and tier lists.

In some games, increasing your stats has a negligible effect compared to your gear. For example, let's say increasing your Strength by 1 also increases your attack power by 1, but your sword has a base attack power of 100 already, so is that extra 1 point really going to do much? Or let's say increasing your Dexterity also increases your attack speed, but attack speed has a Cap, and you can easily hit the cap even at 1 Dexterity just by wearing a couple pieces of gear that increase it or even having your White Mage cast an attack speed buff on the whole party. In these games, it often turns out that Constitution is the stat of choice. Because even if everything else is overshadowed, one can never have enough HP.

Making speed the most important stat is often the result of a Visual Initiative Queue, since you can tell how manipulating speed will affect the turn order.

A Sub-Trope of Whoring.

See also Minmaxer's Delight, Changing Gameplay Priorities.

Contrast Dump Stat.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Played for Laughs in Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.. The Hero Maple is a newbie to gaming, so she dumps all of her stats points into her VIT stat and leaves all her other stats at zero (for reference, a zero in AGI means that a turtle is faster than she is). Then, by complete accident, she ends up acquiring skills that quadruple her already absurd VIT stat and equipment specifically tuned to pump up her VIT even higher. The result is that no player or NPC can even scratch her and due to the mechanics of the game she gains an Acquired Poison Immunity to poison and paralysis, covering the two most problematic status effects to her build. And her own lack of offensive stats is rendered moot by the use of skills that don't rely on her non-existent stats, such as summons, status effects, pets and transformations, all of which she gains earlier than the developers ever intended due to her unique build letting her challenge content that would be way beyond her level. Maple quickly becomes one of the most infamous players in the game by complete accident.

    Fan Works 
  • In My Huntsman Academia, readers are able to choose what Izuku does to progress the story and increase his stats in a manner akin to a game of GURPS. Due to the way the mechanics were structured, readers quickly realized that IQ is by far the most powerful stat available, as additional points in it provides Izuku with more actions per phase, which leads to more stat grinding, which leads to more points in IQ, and so on. The author realized this and put a cap on IQ to limit abuse.

  • The Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks allows players to usually start off with three stats: SKILL, STAMINA or LUCK. However, players would prefer to roll a high initial SKILL of either 11 or 12 points — having a high skill score makes them near-invincible against most enemies, whose skill are usually between 6 to 8. With a skill high enough, players won't be needing to sacrifice their luck stats to inflict additional damage or heal themselves, since the battle will go directly in their favour most of the time.

    Tabletop Games 
  • While in Aberrant, Mega-Charisma was ungodly powerful. Legend has it that in an early con-demo, one player took every combat trait he could find, but lost instantly to a mega-charisma build in a fight after the latter player said, "Go home." The combat monster had to do exactly that. Given a bullhorn, a mega-charismatic nova could sway armies, even nations, with only a single speech. This doesn't even take into account that Charisma, and Mega-Charisma, affect a bunch of non-combat skills, and the astoundingly abusable ability to create things. Given some creative players, armies of miniature guns quickly emerge and demolish the opposition's boss/team/base/city/continent.
  • In Apocalypse World Cool and Sharp both have this reputation. The other three stats apply to fairly specific situations (Hard is for hurting or threatening people, Hot is for persuading people, and Weird is for going on bizarre psychic dream-quests), while Sharp gives you bonuses to any other roll as long as you do as the MC tells you, and Cool is for almost everything else. Given the broad applications that implies, a decent Cool stat can be VERY important.
    • To a lesser extent, one can build one's character to make this the case for whichever stat they prefer, so that they (for example) roll against Weird whenever they would normally roll Cool.
  • Parodied in Bad Attitudes, an Action Movie RPG. The only stat is Attitude, which is initiative, Hit Points, and points to spend on the important skills (shooting, hand-to-hand, driving, not falling, and picking up girls/guys). The only other skill, despite being an all-encompassing knowledge skill, is called Basically Worthless Stuff. There are three 'classes', Regular Folk, Sidekicks, and Action Heroes, with progressively-higher Attitude scores. Action Heroes can only buy the five action skills; Regular Folk can only buy Basically Worthless Stuff. Damage is also class-based. Essentially, everyone should be playing a brainless Action Hero.
  • For the longest time in the BattleTech RPG spinoff Mechwarrior, Intuition, and to a lesser extent Reflexes controlled a lot of skill rolls. It didn't help that players who wanted to play Mechwarriors (and this was most players, naturally) needed both of their INT and REF rating scoring at least 4 or better to qualify as a Mechwarrior, in a game where having a 6 in a stat was considered an exceptionally high rating. This lasted up through 2nd Edition supplemental, and echoes of it still appear in 3rd edition and beyond.
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth operates on Guardians of Order's Tri-Stat System, which uses three base stats: Body, Mind, and Soul. These are used to calculate derived stats like Hit Points (Body and Soul), Energy Points (Mind and Soul), and Combat Value (all three). Soul is by far the most important of the three base stats since it's used to calculate all of these derived values, meaning a high Soul stat is indispensable regardless of character type or game genre. In addition, Soul checks to defend against certain attacks are the most common single-attribute checks in a system where most checks are based on multiple attributes.
  • In Bleak World it depends on your race, but there always is one. For Puny Humans the best stat is funding which evens the odds of any battle with the ability to buy a private army equipped with chainsaws and RPGs. For Vampires the best stat is generally considered to be shapeshifting (for Nosferatu fog builds and Primal dragon builds). Witches have Entropy which gives more HP, Aliens have devastation which can allow the ability to summon the whole martian fleet, the Experiments have disguise so that they can actually accomplish things without an angry mob queuing up to chase them, Hold is the most important for ghosts as it allows them to actually win the game. Mummies require Eternity as it not only increases their HP but also their mana abilities and rewards. Princesses need servants if they have any hope of fighting The Darkness. Finally the Jotun should take a lot of points in Craft in order to build their Giant Mecha.
  • In Bushido — a D&D-like game set in feudal Japan — all skills are determined by adding stats together. For example, leaping and climbing ("Karumijutsu") is Deftness plus Will; strategy ("Senjo-Jutsu") is Wit plus Will; most fighting skills are Strength plus Deftness plus Will; overland speed ("Hayagakejutsu") is Health plus Will; horsemanship ("Bajutsu") is Will plus Will... starting to see a pattern?
  • The Call of Cthulhu RPG inspired a cartoon praising the benefits of movement speed... a stereotypical Two-Fisted Tales burly hero is trying (and failing) to escape from a cloud of tentacles whilst a little old lady on a wheelchair is vanishing into the distance at high speed. There's a lesson to be learned there somewhere.
    • In game, of course, there's POW of which you need an awful lot if you're going to be a hard core wizard. Unfortunately, garnering anything more than the tiniest amounts of POW tends to result in total brain melting insanity, so its a bit tricky to min-max this one, in practice.
      • There's of course another practical reason for high POW - POW is the stat that gives your character their starting Sanity, so a higher POW means a slightly better chance that you won't go shrieking into insanity first thing from seeing a Deep One. It also means that character will last longer mentally speaking, so long as they don't do anything to tempt fate or try to fight the horrors head on.
  • d20 Modern:
    • The game is ruled by Dexterity. Everybody who wants to be at all effective at combat needs it, because it rules ranged attacks. Because D20 Modern is set in the modern world, guns exist and are highly effective. It's pretty hard to be effective in melee combat unless you specialize in it, and even then a good bullet or shotgun blast will be able to bring you down because of the Massive Damage rules making you highly vulnerable even at higher levels. On top of that, armor is rare because of the feat requirements, so Dexterity is vital to increasing your rate of survival, especially if you play a class that does not get armor bonuses. In addition to that, many skills which might be useful in combat in the modern world, such as Drive, Tumble, and many others, use Dex.
    • In the Urban Arcana setting, Knowledge (Arcane Lore) is king. No party without it can dream of doing the ridiculously heavy-duty stuff Incantations make possible. Furthermore, reasonably high Knowledge (Arcane Lore) checks can easily layer on months- or even years-long buffs that allow you to crush any non-buffed opponent into the ground — including, without much interpretation, buffs to Knowledge (Arcane Lore).
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In 3rd Edition, as well as spin-off Pathfinder, Dexterity determines when you act in combat, your reflex defense, several good physical skills, accuracy with ranged weapons, and light-armor-high-dex tends to give better defenses than heavy-armor-low-dex. In addition it can be made to determine your accuracy for melee weapons as well.
    • Notably averted in 4th Edition, because every class applies its own "primary" ability score to accuracy and damage.
    • In 5th Edition, Dexterity is often complained about for being overpowered because it dictates attack accuracy and damage with ranged and finesse weapons as well as initiative, armour class, and a number of useful skills. The result is a character with far more versatility and power than any Strength-based build, as Strength only deals with attack and damage to non-finesse melee and thrown weapons and the (to be fair, very useful) Athletics skill. 5th Edition does attempt to mitigate it a little with some classes and subclasses letting the players substitute a different stat in some situations (such as the Hexblade Warlock or the Battle Smith Artificer using their primary spellcasting stat for weapon attacks) or some other way to compensate for potentially low Dexterity scores (such as the Barbarian's Danger Sense and Feral Instinct giving advantage on Dexterity Saving throws and Initiative rolls respectively).
    • Several builds focus on making Paladins immensely powerful by multiclassing to Warlock and/or Sorcerer, which not only improves their spells but lets them use Charisma-their main stat)-powered attacks in ways a regular Paladin can't.
    • For all editions, Constitution is a downplayed example. While it doesn't help you win fights, it does help you survive them by giving extra Hit Points and better saving throws. Most classes don't strictly need Constitution (except maybe the Barbarian class since that uses the constitution modifier in the unarmored defense stat), but none of them want to dump it.
  • Early editions of Dungeons: The Dragoning had Dexterity as the God Stat — it controlled to-hit, ranged damage, static defense, and move speed. It's still one of the more important stats, but not as much as it used to be.
  • In Exalted:
    • Dexterity is the absolute key to both avoiding getting hit and hitting enemies. You can make up for a low level of strength with a better weapon and augment your poor stamina with better armor, but if your dexterity is low, you're not going to be doing much in combat except bleeding. There is a merit that lets you use Strength for attack rolls, which is a notorious Game-Breaker. The issue is that Exalted as a system is aware of how important Dexterity is, and prices it accordingly. Anything which increases Attributes will charge extra for Dexterity, with lower limits on how much it can be increased. Strength is comparatively trivial to raise, so the Merit which lets you use it for attack rolls is basically a free pass to game-breakingly large attack pools.
    • Socially, appearance has the same issue. The "pretty kitty" effect means that high appearance compensates for low Charisma or Manipulation much better than the other way around.
  • In games based on the Fate system (Spirit of the Century, The Dresden Files et al.), whatever a character's peak skill happens to be can be turned into this to an extent. This is because one available standard function of stunts is to allow a character to use an alternate skill instead of the usual one for some specific task (say, using Deceit instead of Empathy to figure out whether somebody is lying, Intimidation instead of Resolve to resist hostile intimidation attempts, Guns instead of Weapons to throw suitable weapons and projectiles...) and players and GMs are always free to add new stunts at their discretion. So in principle at least it's entirely possible to build a character, player or non-, who uses his or her highest skill rating, if not all the time, then at least for most of the things he or she actually cares about.
    • Fate Accelerated, the system's "lite" equivalent, replaces all skills with six "Approaches" — Carefully, Cleverly, Flashily, Forcefully, Quickly and Sneakily. The idea is that you always use the Approach that best fits the description of the action you're performing, as you're performing it... the problem is that, as many have pointed out, the correct action in almost every situation, basically by definition, could be described as Clever. Someone who's maximized Cleverly, thus, will be able to always use it and thus always roll at their best.
  • Feng Shui's Reflexes stat is the main combat stat, and though the main combat archetypes have a fixed combat skill AV (meaning that you could leave Reflexes at 5 if you wanted with them), the stat also governs Initiative, meaning if you didn't pump it up, you're not going to be doing much during a fight until the other guys, who have high Reflexes, have acted, unless you've got the Tiger fu schticks, which allow you to counterattack those who think they've got a free shot on you no matter what your Reflex score, or the Fast Draw gun shtick, which allows you to jump ahead a number of shots equal to the amount of schticks you've spent on it and get right into the action with a Guns attack.
  • In Genius: The Transgression, Intelligence rules normal application, all of Wonder creation, most Wonder use note  and most Genius-specific rolls. Also, don't treat mental skills as a Dump Stat unless you are Too Dumb to Livenote . It is about Mad Scientists, after all.
  • In GURPS 3e, both Dexterity and Intelligence gave more bang for the buck than Strength and Health. Come 4e, they're both still more useful, but now they cost twice as much as well... and people still think they're overpowered.
  • In the Hero System, Dexterity affects your ability to hit, your ability to avoid being hit, is the base stat for Speed (which is how often you act) and affects a large array of adventure-useful skills. So it costs three Character Points per point, while Intelligence is only one Character Point per point.
    • In Sixth Edition, 'figured' characteristics as such no longer exist (the stats are still there, but are bought up or down separately from fixed base values). Dexterity is still good — it determines initiative, after all, especially in that all-important first phase where everybody who isn't caught flat-footed gets to act once before taking a free recovery, and it still has a number of important skills riding on it. But it's no longer the god stat, and its cost has correspondingly dropped to two character points per +1.
    • In superheroic campaigns at least Strength can also have aspects of this. It gives you the ability to inflict damage in hand-to-hand combat or (via suitable thrown objects) at range, adds to the damage of any actual hand-to-hand attack powers your character may have, has the obvious benefits high strength implies for such purposes as lifting heavy objects or wrestling...all for the same basic five character points per die of damage as the attack-only, no-free-adds (if ranged by default) Blast power. The "brick" archetype is one long-standing favorite in this system for a reason.
  • In Mage: The Ascension, Arete determines how powerful all your magical abilities are.
  • Durability in the Marvel Universe RPG. It's your Hit Points, of course, but it also provides energy, which is the fuel for all your skills and powers. Being a diceless game, having more energy is required to succeed at anything. Characters have the option of using Intelligence for energy instead, which is even better as it serves you as a mental defense and a base stat for any mental powers.
  • Similarly to the above, the Matrix RPG There Is No Spoon has a Matrix stat which is rolled pretty much constantly, and trumps mundane skill. There are other things to spend character points on, but the game admits flat-out that Matrix is the god stat.
  • In Mekton Zeta, players commonly refer to Ref(lexes) as the God Stat. All combat actions — attack, defense, initiative — were determined off this one stat. Since all the stats were assigned an equal value, however, it became stupidly easy to min-max. Min-maxers would put two points in everything (as required by the rulebook) and then dump the remaining points to the following stats in order: Ref(lexes), Int(elligence) [Skill Points, Electronic Warfare skill in Z+, and Awareness/Notice, used in some tracking rolls], Education [Skill points]. This only requires 44 points to have a max-reflex character with 30 skill points to start with, a decent amount of which will, obviously, go into reflex combat skills.
  • Realm and Spirit in the first two editions of Nobilis are usually seen as the poor cousins to Aspect and Domain. Domain is your ability to work miracles, according to what you're god of, so it's the stat that a thunder-god uses to throw lightning bolts or a nightmare-demon uses to manipulate fear. Aspect is basically the stat of being James Bond or Batman; it governs doing anything a mortal can theoretically do, but better. While the other two stats are useful, Spirit is largely defensive and Realm only works in your home locale.
    • Third Edition replaces Realm and Spirit with new stats, Treasure and Persona. Treasure is basically the stat that governs all the cool artifacts, gadgets and servants gods have, things that don't really fit under Domain. Persona governs the definition of the concept you're god of; if, for example, you're a love goddess, and one of your properties is 'Love hurts', you can make anything hurt like love — or make love stop hurting.
  • Several RPGs, usually light or humorous ones, literally have a single stat for everything your character does. These include Strength in TWERPS, Number in TrollBabe, and Power in StickGuy.
  • In RuneQuest, your Power (POW) stat positively influences multiple sets of skills (and negatively affects stealth), makes your magic more effective, helps you resist hostile magic or spirits (in a setting where practically everyone has a little magic), and makes it easier to get Divine Intervention or reach higher rank in your cult, making it a literal God Stat.
  • Scion: While Dexterity is almost always a very useful stat, improving your attack, defense, ability to do damage, and initiative as well as a lot of useful skills, this disparity reaches ridiculous proportions in Scion, as Epic Attributes provide much greater benefits than normal ones.
    • In a sense, every Epic Attribute in Scion was the (aptly named, in this case) God Stat in relation to every none-epic one. This might very well have been intentional, except that the mechanical execution tended to make the in-game effects... wonky, to put lightly. Each dot in an Epic Attribute added a number of automatic successes (which could be thought of as the equivalent of 3 dots in a regular attribute) equal to its level, cumulatively. That means that the number of extra successes one gains from Epic Attributes goes from 1 for the first dot to 2 for the second to 4 for the third, then to 7 for the fourth, 11 for the fifth and quickly building up into utter ridiculousness (at the 10 dot level, a character got 42 automatic successes for every use of the attribute, before even rolling). This was all fine and dandy, especially in the lower rungs, except that in practice what it meant was that past a certain point a character with even 1 dot higher in an Epic Attribute would pretty much always defeat one with a lower rating, no matter what. Since dexterity still governed all combat, that meant that by the time the Band hit Legend 4 everyone without a maxed out Epic Dexterity was just about as good as a liability the moment combat started. Meanwhile, since the only way to make non-combat tasks challenging for a ludicrously capable character was to give them stupendous difficulty ratings, any late-game character who wasn't specifically specialized at doing anything couldn't ever hope to accomplish any task beyond their narrow area of expertise. A subset of the issue was that with guns: since unlike bows and melee weapons guns did not benefit from the wielder having higher stats for the purposes of damage, they became essentially worthless past Legend 4 since any enemy the Band couldn't curbstomp would likely be completely immune to them. All this while the fluff keeps insisting guns are useful and assigning characters legendary guns in lieu of other Relics. This has been significantly toned down for the 2nd edition, which removed all non-physical Epic Attributes and turned them into Purview rather than giving them special mechanical effects - someone with Epic Strength can now use it to pull off a lot more impressive strength based stunts, but not actually get dozens of automatic successes for every damage roll.
  • Likewise in the Serenity RPG the character with more Agility wins in combat, the character with more Willpower wins in social settings.
  • In Shadowrun 3rd Edition, the Quickness attribute directly or indirectly governs how well you sneak around the guards, how well you shoot firearms when they spot you anyway, how fast you run when the enemy turns out to have bulletproof vests, and how well you drive your escape car when they turn out to outnumber you 15 to one. Every character who isn't a Decker (Computer Hacker) usually maxes out quickness. Quickness even adds a big bonus to the all-powerful combat pool. Even many characters in wheelchairs are commonly seen with maxed-out quickness. 4th edition partially toned this down by splitting quickness off from reaction speed, but it's still important there.
  • 4th Edition Shadowrun has Agility. To make it clear, Agility is the base attribute for EVERY combat skill, with one exception (Dodge, which, to be fair, is pretty important). What this means is that having a high Agility makes you equally capable with melee weapons, guns, grenades, heavy weapons, vehicle-mounted weapons, your fists... You get the idea. Since it's much easier to increase your skill ratings than to increase your attributes, a combat character can just start with a high Agility (Augmented by one of the exceedingly cheap Agility-boosting implants) and spend a few skills points and — voila! Instant combat master.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation RPG from The Last Unicorn Games, there are fairly typical base stats: Fitness, Coordination, Intellect, Presence, and Psi. However, because this is Star Trek and technology is such an important part of the setting, Intellect is far and away the most vital stat for most characters. Using Techno Babble to figure out a way out of one's situation is almost encouraged. Presence is the second most important, as characters often find themselves in tricky diplomatic negotiations.
  • Star Wars: Saga Edition is fairly balanced on the stats front, but Dexterity is often viewed as disproportionately important. It determines how accurate you are with ranged weapons (which is most of them, unless you have a melee-specific build) and how good you are at avoiding both melee and ranged attacks. In addition, dexterity is the governing stat for more skills than any other, including some of the most useful ones (namely Initiative, Pilot, and Stealth). It's not impossible to build a character without focusing on dexterity (certain Jedi and Noble builds can get away with it), but a character with a low DEX stat has some significant built-in pitfalls that need to be dealt with or worked around.
  • The Star Wars d6 roleplaying game has six stats: Dexterity, Knowledge, Mechanical, Perception, Strength, and Technical. While you should have at least one character specializing in each stat, all your characters must have an average or better Dexterity, since it is what you use to block any attacks, dodge any attacks and use any weapons!
  • Cinematic Unisystem, the core engine of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Army of Darkness RPGs.
    • Dexterity is king for nonmagic characters. It's used for several useful skills, initiative, attack rolls and defense rolls, as usual, but the real Game-Breaker is that it sets the number of combat actions you get per round.
      • Strength is also hugely beneficial for combat-orientated characters. The default cinematic rules (which are also frequently houseruled) calculate damage using multiples of Strength, with bigger/more lethal weapons having bigger multipliers. In the hands of a character as strong as Buffy or Angel themselves, such weapons would kill most enemies in one standard hit. Strength also dictates jumping and lifting, as well as helping to calculate Hit Points and Speed.
    • Of course, that's only true for non-magical characters. (Which is, admittedly, almost every character in Angel or Army Of Darkness.) In Buffy, magic wielding characters will do better with two points in Intelligence, then dropping as many points into Will as possible. This lets them cast more spells, more easily, with less chance of something going wrong — in the "summoned a demon" sense. If you can cast spells with impunity, then you can simply buff your other stats with weekly spells.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • The Celerity Discipline (which boosts a vampire's speed and lets him take extra actions in a turn) can approach Game-Breaker levels on a combat-oriented character. This isn't as much of a concern in a less combat-oriented campaign, though. The Obvious Rule Patch introduced in Vampire: The Dark Ages has each dot of Celerity cost a blood point to use.
    • The Generation background. Five dots at character creation will put you at 8th Generation, with a higher blood pool and the ability to use more blood points per round, which will help out with healing and almost anything else you can think of. By and large, the game book discourages players from beginning with more than three dots of Generation, and encourages Storytellers to do the same, partially for this reason and partially because Eighth Generation characters are typically old and powerful enough to actually get respect in Camarilla society, where the players aren't supposed to. Not to mention, inexperienced vampires with low Generation are diablerie bait.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader, Willpower (WP) is the stat of choice, as it defends you against fear effects (distressingly common), insanity points (also distressingly common) and other negative mental effects. Almost every stat in the game can be partially compensated for with the right equipment or traits, but while a poor toughness or wounds statistic means you're more likely to die after two hits instead of three, and poor weapon skill will mean it will take you an extra round to kill that goblin, a single bad willpower roll can put your character not only out of the fight but out of the campaign in ways that Fate Points can't save you from.
  • Wild Talents is... different about this trope. Those who win the Super Power Lottery are very mean indeed, but given the flexibility of superpowers, it's very likely someone can develop a counter to even complete invulnerability (the text suggests teleporting such an upstart to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which is more than possible at that power level). The real world-changers, as repeatedly pointed out in the text itself, are Hypermind, Hypercharm, and Hypercommand, as every WT setting so far averts Reed Richards Is Useless with a vengeance. To quote Greg Stolze, the guy with 10 hard dice in Disintegrate is a tough customer, but he's nowhere near as bad as the Hypercommanding politician who can persuade millions to vote for him by speaking three words.
  • Witchcraft had all the good physical skills use Dexterity. And nearly all the supernatural powers run on Willpower.

    Video Games 
  • In Arcanum the number of attacks (influenced by dex) is more important than damage, part of what makes balanced swords so broken. Dex also affects a very large number of skills (Melee, Dodge, Bows, Throwing, Backstabbing, Lockpicking, Disarming Traps, and Lockpicking), making it even more important.
    • Wizards could somewhat bypass this, since they could stack Dex-boosting magic provided their mental stats were high enough. Because there is a magical dagger that has a special feature of only taking 1 AP per swing, and hitting 20 points in Dex gave you a bonus 5 AP (on top of the 1 AP per 1 Dex you already gained), it allowed you to enter turn-based mode as soon as you got close to an enemy, and proceed to hit the enemy 25+ times in a row before the enemy would have a chance to counter you. This is in comparison to a normal character getting 2-3 hits in a turn (although said hits would probably be 2 or 3 times as powerful). Almost no single enemy would be able to survive that kind of beating.
  • Batting in Backyard Baseball. Even the fastest runners can still easily get out if they have bad batting stats.
  • Games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, utilizing the 2nd edition of AD&D rules, have numerous stats for a character to have, depending on class, but no matter the class you pick, Dexterity is the stat to cap out as much as possible. Dexterity reduces your character's Armor Class, making them harder to hit, which is important for everyone, especially your Squishy Wizard who will begin the game with anywhere from 4-6HP tops. Dexterity also influences effectiveness of ranged attacks, which is also important for keeping your more fragile characters out of melee combat.
  • Damage is widely seen as the best stat in The Binding of Isaac, with Tears (rate of fire, as most characters attack with their tears) coming at a close second. Speed can make going through the game more convenient, especially reaching the Boss Rush and/or Hush on time, but otherwise isn't too necessary when it comes to dodging attacks, and less-experienced players can risk running in to spikes with the stat too high. Range is usually not necessary to increase since at base level tears still travel pretty far, a lack of range only really becomes a problem with specific items that drastically decrease it, making Range Up items nearly useless in most runs. Shot Speed is outright seen as detrimental because more of it can make certain items less effective and it has no synergies by itself. Luck can be useful for certain items (with the Tough Love item, enough Luck can translate to having a permanent 3x damage multiplier) and with Lucky Pennies from Afterbirth onwards it's easier to increase than the other stats, but by itself and without any Luck-influenced items it's nothing too big. Tears/rate of fire is also useful in increasing damage per second, but unlike the Damage stat, it has a soft cap that requires certain items to exceed (one of them, Soy Milk, comes at the cost of being a huge Damage down anyway), and there's only so much rapid-fire can do when the shots in question aren't strong. But with just a few Damage upgrades, enemies that would take four hits to kill could be one-shotted and bosses go down much quicker, which adds up to a much easier and faster game in the long run, since tanky enemies and bosses become common as early as Chapter 2. Even Health becomes a non-issue with enough items that boost Damage, since the player will often be killing every enemy before they have a chance to attack, and most bosses go down in only a few seconds. To put it all in perspective, Chapter 3 or 4 with the other stats at their base levels can be managed with good enough Damage or items that otherwise increase overall DPS, while even entering Chapter 2 at base Damage could very well be a death sentence.
  • Arcane is among the most incredibly useful stats to raise and to base a character build around in Bloodborne. Most stats raise only one thing (Strength raises strength weapon adjustment, skill raises skill weapon adjustment, etc.), but Arcane raises elemental weapon damage (and all enemies have an elemental weakness), increases the attack damage of most attack items (like firebombs), grants access to the use of magical items, and raises item drop rates. Long story short, even if your build is strength or skill based, many advise raising your arcane during your second playthrough so you can make the best use of all of your items, and broaden your arsenal so that you're up for the challenge. The Old Hunters DLC introduces the Kos Parasite, a peculiar weapon that turns you into a Lumenwood Kin and it only scales with Arcane. In other words, if your primary weapon is the Kos Parasite, you don't even need to raise any other stat at all.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: While all stats are important, Luck holds an advantage overal all others for one major reason; it influences the drop rates of items and Shards from enemies. As much of Miriam's power comes from how quickly she can obtain the items necessary to craft new gear, upgrade her Shards (which as noted, the drop rates of which are also guided by Luck), and prepare various foods for permanent stat bonuses, investing in Luck is a necessity to let her quickly snowball her way to full power. It also influences the rate of her critical hits, which can make up for a dearth of offensive buffs.
  • Boktai:
    • Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django has Agility, which increases your running speed. Since Sneak Attacks and Hit-and-Run Tactics are the way to win fights (especially as a vampire, where your attacks flinch enemies) and heavier (read: more effective) armor slows you down, the most effective strategy is to put most of your stat points into Agility and a bit into Strength, completely ignoring Vitality (health) and Spirit (magic power) until Agility is maxed out, and rely on equipping and replenishing to make up the difference.
    • Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack greatly reduced Django's melee abilities and ammunition for his gun, and removed the Agility stat, so this time around putting everything into your Strength stat is the best way to go. Since even with a bolstered Spirit stat you'll still struggle to keep your ammo up without items or skylights, your best bet is to turn Django into a Glass Cannon and go in fast and hard before they can retaliate or you run out of ammo.
  • In the online games Caravaneer and Caravaneer 2 agility is the only stat you really have to look for in new hires, since it determines how many actions they can take in one turn(similar to the first two Fallout games) as well as their move speed on the world map. It even replaces accuracy, since taking twice as many shots at half the hit chance is better than a few super-accurate shots.
  • Crystal Story II has speed as its god stat, as it determines how often you can make a move. It can reach a point where your characters can act two or three times before your enemies can even make their first attack.
  • Dark Souls: Endurance itself works the same as in Demon's Souls, and it's actually even better because the addition of the Poise stat and armor upgrades increased the value of heavy armor, and thus equipment load. Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III have stamina and equip load dictated by different stats (Endurance and Vitality, respectively), but also made spells consume stamina just like physical attacks. While previously, pure mages were the only one who could get by with low Endurance (they could wear only cloth to remain mobile and use all their stamina to dodge), this made Endurance a necessity for any viable build.
    • Dark Souls II has its own stat to rule them all in the form of Adaptability, which raises Agility, which determines how many invincibility frames you get while dodge rolling, as well as the speed of certain animations such as drinking Estus. You need 96 Agility to have the same amount of i-frames as a Dark Souls I medium roll, and 105 for a lightroll. So if you plan on relying mostly on dodging attacks over blocking with a shield, which you probably do, be prepared to pump many levels into Adaptability. It is for this reason that Adaptability/Agility is widely considered a Scrappy Mechanic.
  • Demon's Souls: Endurance gives a boost to stamina for every level put into it up until it reaches forty, after which it only has the secondary effect of raising equipment load. Stamina allows for longer sprints, more attacks in a row and better blocking with less chance of being guard-broken, making putting at least thirty points into Endurance something almost every build does at some point. All other stats can be very helpful too, but depend heavily on build and playstyle, whereas decent Endurance is helpful to everyone.
  • Devil Survivor does the same thing as well: magic attack, magic defense, and MP are all decided by the exact same stat, while all increasing strength affects is physical attacks. To make this even worse, physical attack has far less of a variety of attacks and most of the enemies later in the game have an ability that make them immune to them entirely. Fortunately, physical attacks have a lot more utility in the Updated Re-release and its sequel, although it can take quite some time to accumulate enough skills to where you can have more than one physical bruiser roaming the field.
    • Devil Survivor 2 fixed this problem by meaning damage only falls into one category, meaning that all damage received is governed by Vitality... except Vitality became the one stat and magic-users became useless due to being even squishier than usual, at least until later into the game when you've unlocked their personal demons.
  • This is the fate of Vitality in Diablo II. Nearly every single character build follows this stat format:
    • Strength: as little as possible to meet equipment requirements
    • Dexterity: as above, or exactly enough for maximum block.
    • Energy: never put anything into this. (Even when playing a sorceress!)
    • Strength is outdone by skill- and equipment-based damage boosts. The attack rating (accuracy) from Dexterity can easily be found elsewhere or is simply irrelevant. The same can be said for the mana gained from Energy. Thus, with enemies having high damage, Vitality is the only thing really worth investing in.
    • This is why Diablo III has automatic stat point assignment. Many fans ironically consider this to reduce the importance of player skill because in Diablo II if you are a newbie you will put your stat points in wrong and end up with a useless character.
      • They're probably fixing some Unstable Equilibrium with this. One of Diablo II's newest patches, 1.13c, added in the ability to "respec" and reset attribute and skill points once per difficulty level to encourage non-Min-Maxing.
  • Diablo III does this to an even greater extreme, thanks to automatic stat assignment and the loot system that makes gear with relevant stat bonuses appear more often. Although each stat (other than Vitality) has some effect, their primary purpose is a damage multiplier. Mages and Witch Doctors use Intelligence, Demon Hunters and Monks use Dexterity, and Barbarians (and Crusaders in the Reaper of Souls expansion) use Strength. Usually, the main stat will be in the thousands at level 70, while the secondary ones lag behind in the double digits.
  • In Digimon World 3, speed drastically increases evasion against physical moves — which are the most common type of moves used by enemies — and, if your speed is considerably higher than the enemy's, you get to have two turns for each turn the enemy has.
  • Dislyte: Speed becomes the most important stat of them all as it allows your team to act fast before fobes can do their stuff. Combined with skills that inflict stun or frozen, you can essentially stun-lock foes to decimate them before they can get to do anything. The stat is so important that it may be impossible for you to climb through higher tiers in Point War due to many higher ranked teams relying on high speed with crippling status effects.
  • Out of all the Attributes in The Division, Damage to Elites was by far the most useful stat in the endgame. This is because it affected the damage done by both your skils and your weapons, and in high-level Endgame Content, every single enemy would be an Elite, so it basically functioned as a straight-up damage buff in those situations. Enemy Armor Damage was a close second for the exact same reason.
  • Dokapon Kingdom has Speed (SP) and Hit Points (HP). SP increases hit rate and evasion rate for physical attacks in battle, as well as for field magic. A moderately high HP total can make up for a low, even almost 0 DF stat. These are also both stats that most pieces of equipment will not raise, so it can be especially important to invest in them.
  • Cunning for certain Rogue builds in Dragon Age: Origins. It is one of the slower builds, but by end game you will reach the maximum support and offensive potential of the Rogue class. This is because Cunning can be added multiple times to your weapon damage with the right talents, which Strength and Dexterity can't no matter what weapons you use. In addition, all the support abilities are Cunning based and focusing on the stat will cause you to be able to unlock or disarm anything in the game without getting the matching skills or talents like other Rogue builds would. You still require a minimal amount of Strength and Dexterity due to prerequisites for equipment and talents, but end game, the Cunning score will be about equal to all of your other stats combined.
    • The most durable build is the Arcane Warrior class, which invokes this trope as one of its class features: your Magic score is used to determine what armor you can wear and (indirectly) how much melee damage you deal, instead of your Strength. This effectively renders Strength and Dexterity redundant for your build - leaving only Willpower (for normal spells) or Constitution (as a Blood Mage dual classer). Even if you don't use the melee aspect of the Arcane Warrior class, the Magic score still affects the raw power of your spells, letting you layer on a couple of sustained defensive buffs and become a Stone Wall or Mighty Glacier that can tank attacks that would take out a warrior.
      • To add to this, Magic was already the one stat even if magi theoretically lacked multiclassing and the other two classes did. Everything other classes can do, a mage can do better, from a distance, and possibly even with an effect that is exclusive to them.
    • In the sequel, dual-weapon rogues are just as dependent on Cunning, at least until it reaches 40, since that's the point at which your critical damage is fairly hefty and you can pick any lock and disarm any trap in the game, and it'll increase your Defence stat. With certain talents, you can add massive quantities to your raw and critical damage based on your Cunning, meaning that the only reason you'll be investing in Dexterity is to keep your hit-rate up, and there's really no incentive at all to invest in anything else unless you drastically need a few more HP.
  • In Dragon Nest, the much-coveted Final Damage stat is an additional modifier used for your overall damage. Its power increases exponentially the more of it you stack, making it extremely powerful when amassed. Naturally, it is very difficult to come across. Entire fortunes can be made if you're lucky enough to obtain Final Damage plates and other items to sell.
    • For elemental classes, or non-elemental classes using an elemental conversion gem, fire/ice/light/dark % (depending on the class) functions as a secondary OSTRTA, like a poor man's FD.
  • The first console RPG, a sort of Spiritual Successor to Adventure on the Atari 2600 called Dragonstomper, has literally one stat called dexterity which is a massive catch-all Luck Stat. Attack strength is determined by the Life Meter, so it probably doesn't qualify as a true stat (although if it did qualify it would handily be the dominant stat, for obvious reasons).
  • In Elden Ring, Vigor is by far the most important stat to raise. Especially once you beat the Climax Boss and access the last third or so of the game, where everything does so much damage that having less than 40 Vigor is just asking to be one-shot by even regular enemies, and it's strongly recommended that you take it all the way to the softcap of 60. For reference, the generally agreed-upon stopping point for levelling Vigor in previous Souls games was somewhere in the 20-30 range. Also of note is that Elden Ring brought Endurance back to its former glory of raising both stamina and equip load, which caused it to be this trope in previous games, and yet it still loses out to Vigor in importance.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In the games with attributes, Endurance is the ruling attribute. Considering that it determines your starting health, as well as your health gain per level, it is a critically important attribute for all character builds. Making Endurance one of your favored attributes during character creation is highly encouraged, even for magic-oriented characters, in order to avert becoming a Squishy Wizard. Further, this makes The Lady a favored birthsign in Morrowind, as it gives a sizeable boost to Endurance right at the start of the game. The Warrior birthsign gets the same benefit in Oblivion, as it boosts Endurance along with Strength, mentioned below.
    • In Morrowind, for skills, it is Alchemy. With 100 Alchemy, you can churn out healing and magicka potions like no one's business, making you nigh-invincible and able to kill anything through sheer attrition. (Not that you'd need to, because you can buff all your other stats easily with more potions.) If you're willing to exploit a loophole, you can even create potions of boosted intelligence, quaff them, create greater quality potions of boosted intelligence because of the intelligence boost, and continue recursively until you have such an insane INT score you can craft universe-warping weapons and items. You essentially become The Singularity.
      • In Skyrim, this same trick can be used using Fortify Restoration potions to boost enchants of Fortify Alchemy, making the same buffs preformed with obscene precentage boosts.
    • Oblivion also has Strength, even for pure magic or stealth builds, because of all the great-selling but insanely heavy loot you'd start to find. Custom Feather potions can be use as an alternative however. Also, you can drop the heaviest item on the ground and abuse the physics engine by simply dragging it to the door, picking it up to rezone, then dropping the other side if necessary. But then, that would be cheating!
  • Attack in the flash game The Enchanted Cave. Since you want to survive as long as possible, you need to take as little damage as possible — and if your Attack stat is high enough, you can kill the enemies before they ever hit you. While Defense is helpful for this reason, the best defense is a good offense — you don't need Defense if you're never hit. Speed is helpful early on, but it's fairly easy later to make up for any deficit in Speed with equipment and there's no point in boosting Speed faster than the fastest enemies. Magic is just useless, since the healing spells — which are the only spells actually worth spending MP on — don't scale with it.
    • In the sequel the enchantment to rule them all is MP regen. With heal it can function as a better version of HP regen while also allowing you to spam elemental attacks to kill foes faster.
  • In the original Exile games, Strength was dominant because it heavily affected physical damage and Hit Points — and, in later games, carrying capacity to boot.
  • Fallout:
    • In the 1, 2, and Fallout Tactics, Agility is one of the most useful stats because it gives you more action points, which let you attack more often, and helps with small guns, the weapons you will use for most of the game. Agility also allows you to move farther distances in combat, which is useful in the Navarro Run as it gives you a better chance to escape the various random encounters that the player will face along with escaping the Enclave patrolmen that roam around Navarro and will kill you in a few turns at most. Intelligence is of lesser but still significant importance, governing how many skill points you get per level up and giving you more conversation options. Skill points would remain important throughout the series, but 3 and New Vegas significantly curtail Intelligence's effect on themnumbers .
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, Endurance is an extremely useful stat, though not for its primary purpose of determining base hit points, poison, and radiation resistance (you get far more hit points from leveling up, while the latter two can be maxed out with clothing, perks, or chems). Endurance determines how many implants your character can receive at the New Vegas Medical Clinic. Each point of Endurance allows for one implant, which include SPECIAL-raising implants. An Endurance stat of 7 lets you get +1 to every SPECIAL attribute, while 9 Endurance gives you all of the SPECIAL implants, +4 Damage Threshold, and minor health regeneration. In short, more Endurance means more of everything else in the long term because the implants come at no significant cost.
    • In Fallout 4, Luck is incredibly powerful, not so much for its inherent effect (increasing Critical Hit charge rate) as because a lot of the perks unlocked by Luck are the most ridiculously overpowered, especially when used together: Idiot Savant gives so much extra EXP to low Intelligence characters that they'll average more than high-Intelligence characters without (when boosting EXP is Intelligence's primary function). Better Criticals, Critical Banker, Grim Reaper's Sprint, and Four Leaf Clover combined with mods and/or Legendary weapons that boost crit damage will make a Critical Hit Class that will deal out One Hit Kills with absurd frequency.
  • The Final Fantasy series:
    • In Final Fantasy II Agility/Evasion (Agility goes point-for-point into Evasion-%) are basically the godstat duo. Your Evasion-% determines your chances of avoiding attacks (especially important for instant-death/petrification attacks), turn order in battle, odds of getting preemptive strikes or being ambushed, and chances of running from battle. Incidentally, your chance of gaining Agility after battle is entirely based on Evasion-%, meaning the more Agility you get, the more Agility you will get.
    • Final Fantasy III has a minor version. Each job has fixed stats per level for everything except HP, which is determined by your Vitality at the time you level up, making Vit a god stat until you hit max HP.
    • Final Fantasy VI has a bug that means evade is useless and Magic block (essentially magic evasion) worked as both stats. Which means that if you load a character with magic block boosting items they become borderline-invincible. This was fixed in the GBA version of the game.
      • With a magic block of 128, all attacks that can miss, will miss, period. 128 is actually fairly easy to pull off, at least on one character.
      • On the offensive side, Magic Power is far more important than Vigor/Strength. Not just spells, but most of the worthwhile special attacks, such as Sabin's most powerful Blitzes, use Magic Power.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, Spirit is by far the most useful stat, as it affects many different aspects of combat — including speeding up both your Trance gauge and the rate of Auto-Regen.
    • In Final Fantasy X there are separate stats for Evasion and Accuracy, both of which are increased in the same manner as all the other stats (by filling in nodes on the Sphere Grid), and both max out at 255 - but the separate Luck stat grants a bonus to both Evasion and Accuracy, with Luck effectively maxing both stats out separately, as well as being the determining stat for critical hit rates. However, Luck is mostly relegated to post-endgame Min-Maxing due to how tedious it is to increase.
    • In Final Fantasy XI, capping Haste has become trivial — and, correspondingly, it's no longer the God-stat it used to be.
      • For meleeing and melee Weapon skills, the all-important stat is Accuracy. It doesn't matter how much Attack, Double Attack, Triple Attack, or Store TP you have if you can't land a hit—and most bosses these days are Lightning Bruisers
      • Likewise, for ranged attacks and Weapon Skills, the most important stat is Ranged Accuracy — although Store TP is a much closer second for ranged attacks than for melee.
      • For nukes and elemental Weapon Skills, however, Magic Attack Bonus is God. It doesn't matter how slow your cast time, recast time, or magic accuracy are if you can burst Meteor or Death for 64k+ damage. By the same token, Leaden Salute, the signature move of Corsairs, is one of the most powerful W Ss in the game, right next to Savage Blade and Rudra's Storm — as long as the player takes the time to stack enough MAB.
    • Final Fantasy XIII gives your characters only THREE stats: Hit Points, strength, and magic power. Low strength and magic can be made up for with special abilities, staggering, and customizing weapons and equipment, but low HP means everything can kill you in two hits because you take full damage from every attack in the game. This essentially means that until near the end of the game, you'll want to keep a few HP boosters on your characters, or something that makes them take X% less HP damage per attack. The developers also locked the best HP boosts at the end of the Crystarium so they weren't available until the very end of the game.
    • Final Fantasy XIV exemplifies the trope in several ways. Your base stats (strength, vitality, dexterity, mind, intelligence, and piety) grow as you level up, and each role has one stat that determines what's most important to them, which the game will automatically prioritize; tanks will go for vitality, melee DPS will go for strength, ranged, non-magical DPS will go for dexterity, healers will go for mind and piety, while DPS casters will pour points into intelligence. Gear also encourages this type of behavior since they're made specifically for classes who can take advantage of their most used stats. As the game evolved, it came to exemplify this trope even more, as now one stat literally rules what a class is supposed to be doing; tanks now scale their damage mainly to Vitality, while Healers' attacking spells scale to Mind instead of Intelligence (only magical DPS classes that happen to have healing spells still have attacking and healing run off separate stats, meaning they're not nearly as good at it as a dedicated healer). Most accessories are role locked now, so a Tank can't equip DPS accessories over Tank intended accessories in order to increase their DPS at the cost of survivability.
      • Additionally, Accuracy was once an extremely important stat and the main priority to invest in over anything else because end-game raids required a certain level of accuracy in order to never miss your attacks. Simply put, whiffing means lowered DPS. It was eventually removed and replaced with Direct Hit, which serves as a secondary stat that can allow a player to score direct hits (essentially mini-crits, which can combine with critical hits). As of the current state of the game, there are no accuracy checks against enemies of the same level, so you never miss.
      • That being said, a new stat emerged as the most important one after class-specific ones - Critical Hit. Unlike other stats, which scale linearly, Critical Hit affects both frequency and potency of crits, and it works even on heals. While exact specifics vary from class to class, a general strategy of "get enough Skill/Spell Speed to feel comfortable, then as much Crit as you can" works for basically every character all the way up to Savage raids.
    • In almost every Final Fantasy Tactics game, speed is the go to stat to raise since more speed means your turns come up a lot sooner.
  • In Tactical RPGs that rely on clockticks rather than alternating between teams (Final Fantasy Tactics in the former, Fire Emblem in the latter), speed is the most important stat in the game, because more speed = more turns. By the same measure, mobility related stats can be tremendously important; if you combine speed, move, and jump, the other stats don't matter: You've got someone who can strike and then retreat safely out of range before the enemy can attack.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Speed was not merely the best stat, it was the ONLY stat that mattered for most character builds. Thanks to entirely useful Useless Useful Spell being so dominant, all that really mattered was getting off your Game-Breaker mass debilitator/instant kill attack before the enemy could launch their attacks.
    • The original version of Tactics Ogre is almost certainly the poster boy for this version of the trope. Through abuse of a certain ability, you can create characters with 1 WT. If you're unfamiliar with the WT (Wait Turn) system: there's 1,000 ticks per turn and you get a number of turns = 1,000/your WT. Note that without abusing the aforementioned ability, even a super-well-made Ninja (Which demands Save Scumming at best, as the original version of Tactics Ogre doesn't have a stat-raising item for Agility) ends up with WT in the 300s or so, or even less if you're feeling like letting the guy walk around naked (Every item in the game has a weight value that adds to WT when equipped) in combat. Meaning a character with 1 WT gets about 300 turns before a *Ninja* acts. So yeah...
    • In Phantom Brave, the discrepancy between high-speed and low-speed units is very noticeable. The high-speed units may even clear the board before the low-speed units get a turn. And did we mention there are some attacks that use the speed stat to calculate damage?
    • In Nethack, like pretty much all Roguelikes with highly deterministic turn orders, speed is extremely important. Sure, Nethack's speed isn't as important as the Roguelikes with just three speeds [half speed, normal speed, double speed], but an advantage in speed means that you can run away while occasionally using ranged attacks, and equal speed enables circling round areas recovering while monsters chase you with no hope of ever landing a blow.
    • Much later in the game, the only things that universally matter on individual characters are HP, Damage Cap Up, and Charge Attack Up. Everything else is either character-specific (Stamina and, to a lesser extent, Enmity are universally beloved, but very rare) or role-specific. This is because Weapon Skills should end up pulling enough weight to have them hit the cap with the characters' skills and filler EMPs giving any extra boost they need. HP is often not a concern outside of very specific circumstances, as big hits are typically either heavily mitigated or negated outright.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Despite the purely turn-based nature of the series, most players agree Speed is the most important stat. It determines evasion (Luck does too, but to a much smaller degree) which, in a game where characters can be Killed Off for Real, is VERY important. It also determines double attacks (a unit hits twice if their speed is greater than a certain amount above their opponent's) which can be the difference between finishing the enemy in one move or having to waste a second character's move to deal the final blow, which sometimes is neither possible nor practical. Furthermore, doubling works for the enemy too, meaning slow characters tend to get hit twice, which is especially bad if the unit also has low defense, like most magic users, and even worse if the enemy has a non-zero Critical Hit chance, as now they have two chances to get a critical instead of one (and one is usually bad enough). It gets so bad that on the higher difficulty levels of the latest games, Mighty Glacier characters with high Defense are actually less durable than someone with worse Defense, but enough speed to avoid being doubled. (Getting hit twice for 15 damage each is worse than getting hit once for 25.) This can be zigzagged, though, as characters tend to quickly outpace the enemies, resulting in characters with high Speed having their Speed become overkill unless they're wielding the heaviest weapons.
    • Though it (almost) never increases with stat growth, Move is the other main stat, due to the simple sheer versatility of being able to move around quicker. Units with high Move consistently outperform units with low Move on the tier lists, and the Boots (which increase Move) are universally seen as one of the game's strongest items, to the point that you rarely get more than one pair per playthrough. In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, both of which have freely buyable Boots, tend to have players sinking as much of their funds as possible into purchasing Boots by the cartload.
    • Defense is much more important in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, where speed is much more averaged-out between classes.
    • In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, weapon level is the game's god stat. Most of the enemy forces are weak to some sort of effective weaponry, so being able to use the effective damage weapons right off the bat is critical to your success. For example, Cain (whose stats make him a Lightning Bruiser on paper) will fall off very early on due to specializing in the worst weapon type and having to build up a solid weapon rank from nothing, while Jagen (a Crutch Character with miserable stats on paper) can last well into the midgame with nothing but his B in lances and a cheaply forged Ridersbane.
    • While Normal and Hard modes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses still have Speed as the most important stat, Maddening mode devalues it by a lot, thanks to enemies having Speed stats so inflated that most of your units will never be able to double them. While it's still an important stat for not being doubled, the most important stat in Maddening is instead Strength (or Magic for mages), which directly increases the damage a unit deals with all attacks. This is incredibly valuable in a mode where your most reliable option is frequently to kill enemies in a single blow with combat arts. Speed may double a unit's damage if they're actually able to double, but since so few units can even hope to double, having any amount of increased damage is better. STR and MAG are also highly coveted in Maddening due to the gameplay focus on whittling away enemy healthbars using attacks and arts that outrange their counterattacks before moving in for the kill, as Maddening difficulty enemies simply hit too hard to approach the usual way. This is especially true in the early game where most of your units are fragile enough that they can only soak two or three hits at most.
  • In Fly FF, most 1v1 classes work best with full STR, if you have enough funds. You can get DEX (for attack speed, crit rate & hit rate) from awakenings or gear bonuses, more hit rate from upgrading your gear, and you don't need much STA to take a hit. It's easier to get crit rate from awakenings (1% crit rate is 10 DEX), and you can get ICDnote /ADoCHnote  (crit damage, the OSTRTA awakening for 1v1) from sets, weapons, and of course awakenings. For Area of Effect classes, it's either STA (for tanking) or DEX (for block rate) depending on the class (or INT for a specific elementor build); most put about 100 or so points in their AoE's damage stat then pump their STA (or vice versa), but rangersnote  & blades get their Area of Effect damage from their DEX, so they use high block rate to compensate for low STA builds.
  • Gacha World: Initially, this game makes it look like DODGE is the best stat but in reality killing enemies faster does the job better than staying alive due to Death Is Cheap. The real game breaker stat is SUM which increases summon by a percentage when coupled with Penelope Coconut as leader since her leader skill guarantees summoning from the start of turn one and can easily keep the summon chain going on with proper setup. CRIT comes in a close second as it increases the percentage of chance for every individual attack to be at 2x its normal damage.
  • In Gearhead, a Roguelike mecha-RPG, the Reflexes ability determines almost all your mecha piloting capabilities. This is, let's reiterate, in a game based around being a mecha pilot. Oh, and it helps with most of your hand-to-hand combat abilities when you're forced to fight on foot, too. Among skills, the — what else — Mecha Piloting skill also qualifies.
  • The second Geneforge game has Parry, and it acts as an additional dodge chance coming before the standard one. Boost it to 20 (the max being 30), and against most monsters you are almost unhittable.
    • For anyone who Shapes, Intelligence is a god stat, because it allows you to keep more and stronger creations in your party. In the first game, it costs the same to increase a stat no matter how many times you do, so there's almost no reason to put any points in anything other than this (and Mechanics and Leadership). In the sequels, it costs more to increase a stat the more you do, so once you get up into the range of being able to increase Intelligence by one every three levels, it's not so worth it anymore.
  • Granblue Fantasy: Characters have two raw numerical stats, ATK and HP which represent their health and attack power respectively. There are also secondary stats (known as EMPs) represented by percentages such as Defense, Critical Hit Rate / Damage, Dodge Rate, Hostility Rate, Skill Damage, Charge Attack Damage, Stamina, Enmity, Damage Caps, Healing Caps, Debuff Success, and Debuff Resistance. While almost all of them can be boosted by Extended Mastery Points, Rings, and Weapon Skills, the Attack stat (though not the Attack EMP, which is considered absurdly wasteful outside of the main character's) is considered as the best stat to invest towards. Granblue is ideally about being able to defeat opponents and enemies in the fastest way possible (Justified, as multi-player raids have a time limit, and the best way to contribute to raids is to deal as much damage as possible within a few turns.
  • In the online portion of Grand Theft Auto V, strength is king. While the other stats aren't useless, strength plays a bigger role since it not only boosts your melee damage, it also increases your overall defense and makes you climb ladders faster. Since Armor Is Useless online and getting into a gunfight is pretty much a guarantee, it pays to be able to survive a few more bullets before dying.
  • Playing Hearts of Iron 2 as the Russians makes infantry and artillery techs into this. You'll never need a navy unless you're going for a full world conquest, and an air force has nothing on a pure human-wave strategy. The stronger the grunts, the more decisive the victory as a general rule.
  • For goalkeepers in Inazuma Eleven, the Guard stat (or in Inazuma Eleven GO and Inazuma Eleven Strikers, the Catch stat) and max TP are essentially all that matters. This one actually makes perfect sense (and was likely intentional) since goalkeeper is by far the most specialized position in soccer.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II (and, to a lesser extent, the original) your stats can be whatever you want... except for your AP. By the end game, it doesn't matter how high your strength or magic are. What matters is if you can equip all of your devastating finishing blows and boost the duration of your godlike alternate forms.
    • In the Final Mix of Kingdom Hearts II, the godstat changes, as by the time you're grinding to get ready for Organization Data and Terra, given how that game throws AP Up at you, you have the potential to have more AP than you will ever need. The new godstat of your three — Attack, Defense, Magic — depends slightly on your strategy but tends to be magic because of Reflect, which creates a Beehive Barrier around Sora that reflects pretty much every move onto the attacker — damage based on the strength of the original move and Sora's magic stat.
    • In Kingdom Hearts, AP wasn't quite so important, as there were no godlike alternate forms and only one devastating finishing blow. The real god stat in the game is MP, because more MP = more magical healing, and more special power moves such as Sonic Blade and Ars Arcanum. Even better, the strength of your spells was determined by your maximum MP, so you have better spells in addition to being able to cast them more often.
    • For Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, exploiting critical hits (the final blow in a combo) are the key to soloing the mission mode. Take a character with high critical stats like Saïx, equip him with the Zero Gear and the Critical Sun ring, and you'll be taking off entire bars of HP per combo.
  • The Dex equivalent in Kingdom of Loathing, Moxie, is pretty similar. The majority of monsters have a preset level of stat ranges, and barring critical hits from foes that will always hit, having more Moxie than the enemy in question means that it can't hit you.
    • However, enemies that scale to your stats can 1-hit you if your Muscle(determines your HP) is too low. In practice, this rarely happens, as many foes will link their attack to your Moxie (defensive), whereas their defense will match your Muscle (attack) stat, give or take a few points. Alternatively, on scaling monsters, more Muscle gives them more defense, more Moxie gives them more attack and HP, but they don't scale with Mysticality. With using spells that don't have a damage cap, you can outperform scaling monsters with little trouble.
    • As of 2013, it's started to depend more on player goals, as both challenge paths and the noncombat portions of quests shake it up a bit. There are more cases where you'll want to soak up physical or elemental damage or fight monsters which scale beyond your physical stats (by default or your own preference), and more reasons why you might be without your normal skills.
  • Strength in Knights of the Old Republic affects damage and accuracy. Contrast the others. Dex is very easy to build with items. Con affects Hit Points and save DCs, the first is useless because you should be dodging most attacks, and the second is useless because the The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. Int affects skill points and skill use (aside from persuade skills) are mostly useless and the little use they have can be given to party members note . Wisdom affects save DCs, again, the enemy cheats and wins anyway. Charisma affects persuade, but all the checks of it are low enough to make with a maxed skill alone.
    • Dex moves up to God Stat in the sequel, which gives you access to Finesse feats letting you use whichever is higher out of Dexterity and Strength to affect accuracy, or better, lets you make good use of blasters, a Game-Breaker when crafted well.

      An alternative build in the sequel involves playing a male character to get the Handmaiden to join you, and learning Battle Precognition — which adds your Wisdom to your AC. At this point, start spamming Force powers — Wisdom is now governing save DCs, difficulty to hit you and your stock of Force points, meaning you're unlikely to ever need to do anything as crass as fire a blaster.
  • For La Tale, give gloves critical damage, shoes movement speed (unless you're stacking evasion, then you get both), and your weapon min/max damage. Then put stamina and/or luck on everything else. The first three are the only places you can put those enchantments on, while the extra criticals you'll deal with luck will deal far more damage than the extra damage you'll deal with strength/magic, and stamina is the only base stat to increase your survivability.
  • Appropriately enough, The Lord of the Rings Online features One Stat To Rule Them All, with the twist that the one stat is different depending on character class. Broadly speaking, Might is important to melee fighters, Agility to ranged fighters, and Will to support classes. Remarkably, a class's ruling stat isn't set in stone; during the last major update the Warden (a light Tank class) was switched from Might to Agility with (relatively) little outcry from the players.
  • In Lufia: the Legend Returns , each character has a Spiritual Force stat of a specific color which flows into other members in their row and column, providing stat boosts and affecting IP attack usage. While all S.F. colors are necessary to unlock IP attacks, only Yellow S.F. is worth raising any higher than needed. Yellow S.F. boosts Speed (as well as max MP), which determines battle order and scales much more slowly than other stats (especially Attack Power or Defense Power). It's invaluable to outspeeding enemy encounters, or turning Randolph into a viable Lightning Bruiser.
  • In Madden NFL, Speed has long been the most important stat. In the game, speedy but otherwise mediocre players in real life would become game breakers thanks to this attribute. The reason for this is a combination of Muscles Are Meaningless, meaning these players do not suffer drawbacks to their blocking, tackling, and tackle-breaking abilities as much as their real life counterparts, and because the design of the game makes it difficult to pull of some common real life tactics involving bigger, slower players. (For example, passes are programmed to be aimed at the receivers chest, making it extremely difficult to throw jump balls to possession receivers.) A few particular examples come to mind:
    • Michael Bennett, a extremely fast but otherwise rather limited running back who played most notably for the Minnesota Vikings in the early 2000s, was the epitome of this trope in the game. In real life, he'd struggle to shed tackles or pick up blocks, and his small stature meant that he was injured frequently. In the game, however, it wasn't unheard of for players abusing this trope to rack up game and season rushing records using Bennett.
    • Michael Vick, particularly in Madden 04 where he was the cover athlete. When not throwing unerringly accurate deep passes. he could run the ball exceptionally well, usually blowing past much slower linemen and linebackers for huge gains. A committed player could usually end up leading the league in both passing and rushing with Vick in that game.
  • In MapleStory, every job has use for only two stats, one being more important than the other. For example, Warriors only use STR and DEX, and STR is really all they need. It raises pretty much everything, EXCEPT accuracy and requirements to use some equipments. This is why the other stat is important. Some people however choose to forgo the second stat and raise the primary one, while using scrolls to give equipment the secondary stat, therefore allowing them to wield higher-leveled equipment. Eventually, the secondary stat requirement for most classes was removed entirely; the one exception to the rule is Xenon, which actually requires putting points into three different stats (STR, DEX, and LUK).
  • In the Mario Golf series, characters with long drives tend to win out over everyone else simply because they hit the ball farther. Characters with a long drive tend to have lousy control, meaning your ball will go way off course if your timing for your swings are even slightly off, but after some practice, the weakness becomes trivial.
  • While Mario Kart has varying examples through its history, one remaining stat is acceleration for Grand Prix, considering you have to recover from enemies' attacks before everything else. On the other hand, top speed is the best stat for Time Trials once you know the races perfectly.
    • Super Mario Kart encouraged skilled players to take Bowser and Donkey Kong Jr. for their maximum top speed at higher difficulties, as they could easily overtake you on the finish line otherwise.
    • On the other hand, Mario Kart 64 seemed to favor acceleration, as only light characters could reach maximum top speed.
    • Super Circuit tried to restore a balance, but players discovered that all characters could reach maximum top speed, making heavyweights almost pointless. This also held true for Double Dash!!
    • In Mario Kart DS, acceleration was the sole defining stat for the snaking technique: the higher it was, the longer your mini-turbos lasted, which made snaking easiernote .
    • Mario Kart Wii and 7 had swung the stat the other way by making speed the most vital stat, (alongside drift and mini-turbo for heavier combinations). Wii actually makes acceleration pointless because of the stationary drift, making power vehicles true Lightning Bruisers.
    • Mario Kart 8 has two interesting variations:
      • At first, it seemed to follow Wii and 7 by insisting on top speed for time trials and competitive gameplay in 150cc thanks to fire hopping. However, Deluxe corrects it, making acceleration as important as top speed.
      • The 200cc difficulty makes every kart indecently fast and slippy, transforming top speed into an actual handicap. Handling became the most important stat since, may it be with a light or heavy character, along with acceleration and mini-turbo.
  • In Mazes of Fate for the Game Boy Advance Strength was far more useful than the other stats. By maxing Strength and 2-handed weapon skill you could easily clear the first half of the game even without your party members. By the second half of the game, you would have plenty of skill points to spend on magic skills to buff yourself and completely dominate with your high Strength and BFS.
  • Similarly in Monster Rancher, there were six stats: Life, Power, Speed, Skill, Defense, and Intelligence. Of those, Speed referred to a monster's ability to dodge, while Skill referred to its ability to land a blow. In Monster Rancher 3, Speed and Skill were merged into a single Speed, making it vital to both dodging and hitting — breaking the balance the prior games had and making it overly important.
  • Mount & Blade has this to an extent when it comes to the player character. Since you can get several companions with various specialties, and there is no magic, and there are 3 skills which only matter for your leader (2 of which are charisma linked), Charisma becomes the most vital attribute, and the only one that needs to be above 15 late game, since its the only attribute that affects your maximum party size. Not the case for your companions, since they do not need any CHA skills at all.
  • All Nippon Ichi games so far have suffered from this on the higher levels. Early in the game (The first couple of hundred levels), all stats are important. But at the end of the game, all that matters is whatever stat you attack with. Playing defense becomes futile, since any attack that hits you WILL kill you, and unless you're using specific abilities to boost dodge, no amount of Speed will give you any kind of decent chance to dodge. ATK, SPD, HIT, INT, and RES are the stats that matter depending on your weapon/class, and it is rare for more than one to matter for a given character.
    • Disgaea 3 revels in this trope — your attack stats, and maybe your dodge stats are the only things that matter. At the high levels, every attack is a one-hit kill, unless it is dodged. This is thanks to the fact that you can stack massive bonuses to your damage (all of your special attacks having something like +1200% damage just from their base effects, not counting additional bonuses) which apply before defense rendering defense completely pointless.
    • Hell, Gun users will ever only need but one stat: Hit. That lets them do insane, critical damage that always hits on any enemy, bar ones with huge Speed or Defense, from a distance.
    • Phantom Brave also heavily rewards high Speed. The movement stats are also very important, but can be difficult to increase. The Speed stat determines turn order: a unit with a hundred Speed is going to get a dozen more turns than a character with only ten Speed.
      • In Phantom Brave, Speed is a damage stat, although only for a limited number of relatively unusual abilities, which mostly revolve around the "trolly" and "weed" (the plant, not the drug) weapons. The same goes for every stat: INT and ATK (which are only for attack) certainly have the most attacks that use them, but every stat has some attacks whose damage is based on it. Including HP, which can be slightly problematic without the right skills on the character (mainly because the damage is calculated on current HP rather than max HP, making skills that use it almost useless if you're getting battered).
      • Speed was so important that some weapons were actively unusable (e.g. crystals, signs, and rocks) because they gave huge speed penalties. In the early game, you can get by thanks to the defense bonuses, but by higher levels, the penalties become crippling.
    • Disgaea weapon damage is based off a given stat based on the form of attack, and each weapon is based in one of a given number of setups. Character base stats don't do too much compared to equipment stats and aptitudes, however.
      • Swords, Spears, and Axes are pure ATK. It's not uncommon to see a character stack Gladiators in one of these and cap off attributes for a Yoshitsuna, Baal Sword, or whatev' and then apply an augmenting dual-stat specialist to optimize the performance once it's mastered. The same applies to Monster weapons with a physical lean.
      • Fists were pure ATK in Hour of Darkness, but changed to ATK/SPD hybrid in Cursed Memories. So not only are fist users hitting for profane amounts of damage even by Disgaea standards, they are insanely difficult to kill due to SPD serving as the evade stat. As if Adell and Champloo weren't Game Breakers on their own...
      • Bows are ATK/HIT hybrids, but tend to be treated as inferior to guns, which were pure HIT until Absence of Justice made them HIT/SPD hybrids. Further explanation is unnecessary; just look above.
      • Staves and magic Monster weapons use ATK to determine damage when you swing them; the typical player will not max ATK, and instead pour everything into INT, which determines damage from spells and the magic abilities the monsters using these weapons utilize anyway. Clerics will focus on RES development, but that is for using their Heal spells on Reverse Damage panels; as stated before, everything end- and post-game is dodge or die.
    • Weapons that use two stats are considered inferior to weapons that use one stat because of the system for using specialists to maximize an item. 8 specialists boosting one stat or 8 specialists getting averaged (halved) between two stats and coming out equivalent to 4 specialists? You decide.
    • Disgaea 5 averts this by making some welcome changes to the formula by adding armor mastery and changing how skill level works. The Carnage Dimension even punishes min maxing.
  • Long Live the Queen: While the game is prone to suddenly requiring a so-far useless skills to be at a high level, there are a few skills that are consistently an obvious good investment:
    • The entire Conversation skillset, as lacking it can make Elodie be unintentionally rude to the wrong people, get into compromising situations without realizing it (and getting out of some of them gracefully requires even higher Conversation skills) or look incompetent enough to have to face a rebellion.
    • The Military skillset, especially in no-magic runs. There are three different major events that can be dealt with if Elodie's Military skills are good enough, with the last one being inevitable. Military skills not quite good enough to win may still be enough to limit losses or Know When to Fold 'Em.
    • Composure, as it's often used for keeping Elodie from acting on impulse in situations where doing just that is the worse thing she can do.
    • Reflexes is often checked when it comes to physically doging things that might be otherwise lethal. Even in runs not relying on it, getting it at 30 by Week 3 will accomplish the triple duty of keeping the milk viper from biting anyone in Julianna's absence, not bumping into Alice on a later week and unlocking the only means of making Elodie angry all while leaving the hidden cruelty stat alone that isn't reliant on story events.
  • BP (badge points) is by far the most useful statistic in the Paper Mario series, and due to certain combos of badges being nearly certain Game Breakers (The Danger and Peril Mario badge set ups for example), you could have it set up so it pretty much took the place of the other stats, or made them completely redundant as all your basic attacks, due to the certain badge combos massively boosting attack power would do like 90 odd damage per hit and one hit pretty much everything. So yeah, BP was probably this kind of stat in that series.
    • Adding to this, you gain 3 BP per level up. If you wanted 5 HP instead, there are badges that will give you the same amount of HP for... 3 BP. So long as you had a spare HP or FP badge, you could NEVER go wrong picking BP.
      • If you wanted to break the game even further, you could visit an NPC that lets you raise a stat while lowering another. Naturally, by lowering your HP to be at only 5 points while raising your BP, Mario would be in the Danger status in the start of every battle and get super powered up from every badge that gives him a boost while his HP is low (including some that reduce or randomly negate damage). The aforementioned Danger/Peril Mario builds rely on this trick.
  • Planescape: Torment 's Wisdom stat is pretty much god, due to it providing the most dialogue along with experience boosts. Amusing considering that the Cleric class (the only one that can actually benefit from high wisdom) is not available to your character. Contrary to popular belief, wizards do not benefit from a high wisdom, only from intelligence.
    • The higher your wisdom, the more experience you'll get. Investing in Wisdom early on can net you enough bonus experience through this and extra dialogue options to be stronger and tougher by the end of the game than if you had invested in them from the start. Planescape: Torment is one of the more balanced games though — there are noticeable differences, but no stat is a designated Dump Stat unless the player chooses it to be.
  • The first generation of Pokémon games had the Special stat affecting both the attack power of AND defense from Special moves. In that generation, the Special stat affected some of the most powerful attacks, including all of the Psychic moves, which was particularly important given that in Gen 1, the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors was poorly balanced against Psychic, giving it no meaningful weaknesses either offensively or defensively (Ghost was bugged and did no damage to them instead, plus only had Night Shade as its only decent move and was a physical type when its only would-be abusers had awful Attack, Bug had no moves good enough for the weakness to matter, Dark and Steel did not exist yet). This is why Mewtwo was so ludicrously broken in its heyday - Psychic type combined with the highest Special stat in the game. The second generation of games split this into Special Attack and Defense, and, in fourth generation, Physical and Special moves are no longer determined along rigid type lines (Hyper Beam is now a special move, for instance).
    • And for non-Special types, Speed covered this, as it didn't only influence turn order, but also Critical hit rate. Meaning that moves such as Slash used by a high-Speed Pokémon would always score a powerful, defenses-ignoring critical hit.
    • In competitive Pokémon, Speed is considered the most important stat, as it's advantageous to be able to KO the opposing Pokémon before it can make a move. Generally, the only thing players don't make as fast as possible are walls; in only a couple generations was Speed really end-all, but players tend to max it out more than other stats anyway. A few craftier veteran players will defy this. In Generation IV, a move called "Trick Room" was introduced that inverts turn order — this means that on some Pokémon, it is more advantageous to have a low speed stat. Any Pokémon on the slow side needs a reliable healing move, no matter how much of a wall they are—fast Pokémon can defeat multiple opponents without taking damage, but slow Pokémon don't have that kind of benefit and need some way to erase the damage they'll inevitably sustain.
    • Possibly even more than Speed, in competitive battles, evasion can be seen as such a Game-Breaker, or something that increases the luck factor, that moves specifically raising that stat, such as Double Team and Minimize, are generally banned in unofficial matches.
    • In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Speed is once again the most important stat. The change to the damage formulae&stats meant that just about every Pokémon is a Glass Cannon if they don't resist an incoming attack. As a result? It's better to just strike first so that you can strike hard.
  • Progress Quest has strength, which affects your carrying capacity, and thus how often your character has to go back to town. As progress quest is a 'zero player RPG,' this is the only effect any stat has on the so-called 'gameplay.'
  • In Puzzle Quest, a high Battle stat will allow you to mow through most enemies with ease. The game itself tries to offset this by giving the magic user classes (Wizard and Druid) much higher point costs to raise their Battle levels. (3pts per level, and you only get 4pts per level up). THAT is offset by a point-buy system that allows you to purchase permanent stat boosts.
    • A specific mana color counts as a class's One Stat, such as red mana for a warrior riding a spider-dragon.
  • Dexterity (again) in Ragnarok Online. Melee fighters need Dex to hit enemies. Ranged fighters need Dex to hit enemies and do damage. Casters need high Dex to reduce the game's long, interruptable cast times.
    • Vitality arguably is a more important stat in "War of Emperium", the game's version of Guild vs Guild PvP. Since the majority of damage dealt by players is "healable" with the liberal use of health pots of some form, the only danger to well-equipped (serious) WOE PvP players are one hit KO skills, which are naturally easier to survive with more health (governed by Vitality). Dexterity isn't quite so useful in WOE, as the ability for players to dodge attacks is highly nerfed in that mode, and casting classes can generally team up with Bards/Clowns who have a buff that reduces cast time.
  • Rainbow Skies: The Speed stat is very important. The game has Turn-Based Combat, and higher Speed means an earlier turn, and more turns if the difference is big enough. Having a high Strength means more powerful attacks, but that won't help very much if the enemy can get a few solid hits in before you can even assume a defensive stance.
  • In Runescape, Magic and Defense. The vast majority of enemies are weak to Magic, and Defense increases your chances of completely avoiding an attack. Constitution is also important for any combat build, but it's actually very difficult to have a low Constitution. You should also be dodging most attacks in the first place. To Melee-oriented builds, Prayer is also very useful. The only downside is that Magic costs a lot more because the runes needed to use it are consumables.
    • In PvP, the only stat that matters at lower levels is Strength, to the point where it's beneficial to use non-combat methods so your Constitution stays at the base 10 until you're ready to fight other players. Sure, you can have a hard time hitting and go down in two or three hits, but that doesn't matter when you take them down in one hit off a normally mid-game weapon that only requires 60 Strength to equip. Other stats start to matter more once you get to higher combat brackets, but Strength is the only melee skill that doesn't harm you for leveling it beyond a gear's requirements. Ranged also ends up becoming more valuable, as its attacks come out the fastest and leveling it doesn't harm your combat level like the other non-Magic combat stats do. In fact, Constitution is so heavily disliked that some players even make their accounts Ironmennote  and instead just bring a second account to pick up the loot once it's available to everyone (which doesn't guarantee they even get it) simply so they don't ruin their base 10 HP.
  • In Shadowrun Returns Quickness is king for the "Dead Man's Switch" campaign that comes with the game, at least for the player character. Quickness determines your physical agility which in turn determines how often you get hit and how fast you reload whereas Willpower determines spell accuracy and magic evasion. Seeing how nearly everyone tries to shoot you and your crew, a Street Samurai with high quickness skill will avoid a lot of shots and dish out a world of hurt and be even better with augments that improve stats but reduces your Willpower. That being said, a mage with a lot of crowd control spells is a godsend, just not as much as a player character.
    • DLC campaign Dragonfall makes Intelligence, specifically for Decking, your main stat. It isn't so much an improvement to combat as it is the sheer number of Decking and Intelligence checks in the game. Your character practically needs to be a Decker to get the most out of the game.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Depending on the game, your preferred character build (magic vs. strength), and to what degree you can control stat distribution, which stat is the stat is a your mileage may vary issue. To prevent flame wars, Shin Megami Tensei IV players created a guide calculating exactly how many points of damage would be added for each point spent in the relevant stats.
    • In Persona, by far the most useful stats in the game are Agility and Dexterity. Luck is your final point dump stat, but Strength and Vitality are borderline useless. Maxing out Agility early on allows the main character to move first nearly every time as well as raising his evasion and hit rate. Dexterity raises his attack defense and his hit rate as well. Luck raises those stats too but it mainly is useful for the critical hits. Strength and Vitality on the other hand only raise Attack and Defense respectively and they don't do it at regular intervals either. Nothing a good persona can't fix.
    • In most games that use the Press Turn system (Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, both volumes of Digital Devil Saga, Shin Megami Tensei IV, and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse), Agility is a very important stat, but for another reason: If a character's attack misses and it's not a status or One-Hit Kill spell, their side will lose an additional turn. Increasing Agility means the player can minimize their turn losses while maximizing the enemy's. Shin Megami Tensei V revamps aspects of the battle system in a way that completely reverses this, robbing Agility of nearly all its functions and turning it into the game's Dump Stat instead.
    • Even before Press Turn, Agility is regarded as the best stat in the classic trilogy of Shin Megami Tensei I, Shin Megami Tensei II, and Shin Megami Tensei if.... Agility determining turn order is a massive deal in these games' battle system, it increases the chance of multi hit attacks hitting more in the latter two games (a massive deal when the protagonist with a multi hitting sword tends to end up with the highest damage output in the party), and it increases dodge chance. Strength/Magic and Vitality are still important, but the benefits of Agility far outweigh them.
    • In the game Shin Megami Tensei IV, Dexterity is the best offensive stat. While spells can be used to hit elemental weaknesses, they also can't critical, and it takes up several skill slots to be able to cover a lot of weaknesses. And between Strength and Dexterity, Strength increases melee weapon attacks, Dexterity increases base gun attacks, and both increase Physical and Gun skills, however Dexterity increases BOTH more than Strength does. Very few foes resist both Physical and Gun skills at the same time, one attack stat can increase both well, it will only be 2 skill slots, and increasing luck alongside it makes a 2 Dex, 2 luck, 1 Agility build extremely powerful, being able to deal massive, mostly unresisted damage while having several skill slots open for healing or buffs/debuffs, which are extremely useful.
    • Similar to the above as well as Devil Survivor, Persona 2 has Dexterity, which increases Maximum MP, Magic Attack and Magic Defense. Agility would come in a close second due to handling both accuracy and evasion, but the fact that most Personae give a +1 Agility boost upon level up means that you'll never have to increase it manually, it'll be monstrously high by the end of the game regardless, especially for Lisa and Maya. Subverted with the Luck stat, which often results in both good and bad rolls (for example, a skill you can get at the end of the game kills the character with the highest Luck in battle. Usually Jun.)
    • In the SNES and Playstation games, Speed and Stamina/Vitality are both equally important and trump all other stats. Each point of Speed directly goes into your Evade, as well as increasing the chances of ambushing enemies and preventing the same for your own party. It also increases Defense. Stamina is arguably less important as it only increases Defense, but is much more useful in its higher levels due to increasing maximum HP.
  • Solatorobo: the truly important ones are Attack (how much damage an enemy takes when thrown/gets something thrown at them) and Hydraulics (how fast you can lift and toss an enemy). And even then Hydraulics is slightly better, since thrown enemies are helpless for long periods of time.
  • Spellforce III falls into this. All classes need mana to use skills, which means they all need willpower (increases mana pool) and intelligence (for regeneration). On top of this, while dexterity and strength increase damage of auto-attacks, most damage skills only scale with base weapon damage and so stat influence is limited, while all classes have plenty of skills that scale with intelligence or willpower (things like taunts and group buffs).
  • The Mind stat, and its substats, in Pre-Combat Upgrade Star Wars: Galaxies. These were the only stats that could not be healed by medics or buffed by doctors and, as a result, were the target of choice in PvP. As a result, most minmaxers dropped their other stats down to their bare minimums (which made the character completely worthless if unbuffed — although, at that point in the game, no one ever willingly entered combat unbuffed) and threw every point they could into their mental stats.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • For the pilots, it's Dodge. After all, it doesn't matter if you can take a hit or not if nothing ever hits you. If a mecha has an "Automatic Dodge" skill (like ECS or Open Get), then Maneuverability, which determines how often it comes out, will share time with it. Later games limit the effectiveness of this by adding the "Evasion Decay" mechanic where every successful dodge makes the next less likely, resetting only once you take a hit.
    • For the Mecha, it's Mobility, which also determines not only dodging but hitting as well, for the same reasons.
    • Hit is also extremely important. However, there's not much you can do outside of Strike/Focus spirit and Hit increasing parts, in most games. Recently however Hit has been upgradable in a mech. In games with the pilot point system on the other hand you can ramp up your pilot's Hit and Evade to make them much more powerful. (Or if you're talking about a tanking mecha, Defense)
    • Skill in the Z Series. Skill not only determines critical hit chance but also governs the activation many other abilities such as Counter note , Attack Again note , Sword Cutnote , and Shield Defense.
  • In the Super Smash Bros. series, the speedier, quick-attacking characters rule the competitive scene, as they have the ability to output damage more efficiently than every other character does. Meta Knight, in Brawl, has the distinction of being the only character who can combo with the minimal hitstun, making him formally banned at many tournaments.
  • In the entire Trails Series, Speed is the most important stat as it allows players to take more turns before the enemies do, or at least catch up to them. Strength and Arts are also important as well. Meanwhile, Defense is usually the dump stat especially on Nightmare Mode because of how insane damages get.
  • Trickster Online gives us the four types. Each of the four types has one stat that you're expected to put all your points into for non-PvP play.
    • Power types: AP (Attack Power). Straight up damage dealing. Mostly because this is the only way to get past most monster's Damage Reduction.
    • Magic types: MA (Magic Attack). Damage dealt from Spell skills. Seriously, this is the only stat that makes a difference in a Magic Type's lethality.
    • Sense types: Okay, there's a bit of a split here:
      • Pure Lions: AC (Accuracy, which is a Power-type stat) really boosts the damage from Guns.
      • All other Sense Type players: DA (Detect Ability) not only improves the chances of a guaranteed Hit/Miss from Drilling (A guaranteed Miss means that's one more use of your drill), but also improves the damage dealt from Thrown Items.
    • Charm Types: HV (Dodging Ability, or Nimbleness or Flexibility or whatever). Increases chances of avoiding damage altogether, and improves damage dealt by skills.
  • In Wakfu, either Lock or Dodge depending on whether you are a melee or ranged character respectively.
  • It didn't show in normal gameplay, but Agility was by far the best stat in Warcraft III. It raised attack speed and armor (plus attack power as the primary stat) while strength only affected health and intellect only affected mana and mana regeneration... which was pretty useless since spells still had cooldowns and didn't scale with anything.
    • This was so significant that not only did no Agility Hero have a particularly high Agility growth (most would end up in the low 30s while other class heroes never got lower than low 40s in their main stat, and some Strength Heroes could hit as high as mid-50s before factoring in bonuses), but that in fact only one Agility Hero had Agility as his highest attribute at the end of his natural progression.
    • Whoring onto Agility generally happened in Warcraft III inside custom maps where it was possible to raise any of a hero's stats significantly.
    • Some custom maps tried to balance this by making agility boosts much more expensive and intelligence cheaper. The very complex ones use spells that actually scale with stats instead of fixed damage.
  • Warframe: Before Update 11 brought Damage 2.0's revamps, Armor Piercing was the damage type you had to boost if you wanted to be relevant against higher-level enemies.
    • Efficiency was one of these stats; however, as the game's expanded, more and more methods of restoring energy at a moment's notice have entered the game, to the point where the only reason to bother with it is to make sure that ability costs aren't too expensive to make use of at a moment's notice.
    • For weapons, the king stat is (unsurprisingly) damage. While the physical damage mods are pretty underwhelming across the board, the raw damage mods and elemental damage mods scale very well, and the two categories boost each other multiplicatively. Multishot is a very close second for non-melee weapons, since it lets you fire multiple copies of the weapon's projectiles at once for no extra ammo, and it scales multiplicatively with both raw damage mods and elemental damage mods, but there are still a few weapons that don't necessarily use it or outright avoid it: explosive weapons can become more hazardous to the wielder, while the (Synoid) Simulor's unique mechanics end up doing better without multishot thanks to some odd interactions.
      • Thanks to the way Critical Hits work and the increasing number of ways to boost Critial Chance, Critical Chance and Critical Multiplier have outpaced Damage as the most important stat for weapons (although Damage and Multishot are still good). This is because it is possible to go over 100% Critical Chance and get double (or in some cases, triple or even quadruple) crits which allows the bonus damage from the Critical Multiplier to stack. Status has also gained promenence as various status effects can boost this damage further depending on which damage types a gun has. As of Update 27.2, Viral makes enemies more vulnerable to damage and can stack with itself, while Slash causes the damage that triggers it to be dealt again as "bleed" damage that ignores Armor. This means that even in high level areas where enemy HP and Armor can spiral out of control, a weapon with high crit stats that deals Viral and Slash damage can instantly kill weaker enemies like Lancers and inflict a brutal Time-Delayed Death on tougher enemies like Corrupted Bombards.
  • In Wasteland 2, high Intelligence gives you extra Skill points at every level, and you will need high Skill Scores to accomplish most things that aren't combat in this game. In combat, Awareness and Speed have the biggest effect because they decide Combat Initiative and therefore the number of turns you get and how early you'll get them.
  • Wildstar simplified things to the point where there were only two main stats - Assault, used by all DPS, and Support, used by all Tanks/Healers.
  • World of Warcraft goes through iterations of stat balance with each major patch, resulting in a very active metagame as players use complex spreadsheets and simulators to determine optimal stats even before the changes hit live realms. An effect of this is that most classes and specs have one or two absolutely optimal stats, with others needed only enough to balance things out. Examples: In 3.3.3, Assassination Rogues valued Attack Power over everything else, while Combat Rogues used Armor Penetration and Subtlety Rogues used Agility. One of Blizzard's objectives in Cataclysm was to once again rebalance stat desirability, but even they admit that achieving a perfect balance is likely impossible.
    • Patch 4.0.1, a.k.a. Cataclysm, came with a more sweeping revision of the stat system that arguably averts this trope. Every class now has One Stat to Rule Them All, and regardless of spec it is their primary stat that matches their damage type (strength for some physical damage-dealers, agility for others, intellect for casters). However, the amount of those stats on items is (nearly) constant at a given item level, so maximizing your primary stat is now a no-brainer. The challenge, and customization option, comes from secondary stats: critical strike, dodge, expertise, haste, hit, mastery, parry and spirit. Everyone needs some of several of those and don't care about others. While most classes and specs have one or two secondary stats that are technically optimal, no one can completely ignore the rest due to caps, diminishing returns and similar effects.
    • Slightly interesting as many classes and specs deal with limitations that change the metagame when reached. For instance, hit rating is far and away the best secondary stat for spellcasters until they reach 17% hit chance increase (up to 8% are covered by talents and debuffs), at which point it becomes worthless to increase further.
    • The notable aversions to this trend are healers and tanks, where it's much less clear what the best stat is. Tanks have to balance stacking Stamina (to improve their maximum health and thus their resistance to spike damage) with avoidance/mitigation (to decrease the average amount of damage they take) and threat (to help keep enemies from running off and killing the damage-dealers). Healers, on the other hand, have to balance throughput (given by Intelligence and most secondary stats) with regeneration (given by Spirit, and a bit by Int as well, which increases how long they can last in a fight). However, the notable exception to these aversions is the druid class. Druid tanks are advised to simply stack Agility on any fight that doesn't specifically call for a big health pool (Agility gives all of avoidance, mitigation, and threat, making it a no-brainer). And due to a quirk of their mechanics, druid healers care about Intelligence more than anything, as not only is it far and away the best throughput stat, but it also increases their longevity better than anything else.
  • Durability in WWE Day Of Reckoning 2. Did not apply in the first game and while no stats are useless in 2, durability needs the most investment before it stops being a visible weakness. Injury resistance, resistance to tapping out and stamina loss are tied to durability.
  • In X-COM: UFO Defense, psionic attacks are a Game-Breaker. The Psi Strength stat determines how good a particular soldier is at psionic attacks and how well he resists them. It is also the only stat that cannot be trained and almost all trainable stats (Throwing and Shooting accuracy and Bravery being the major exceptions) can be trained by attempting psionic attacks. I think you can see where I'm going with this.
    • Terror from the Deep was similar, although the enemies were so much nastier it slightly ameliorated this. In both cases, there was a lot of work involved in getting a squad of soldiers with high Psi Strength and good combat skills. Getting a squadful of Psionic commandos generally required hiring and firing dozens of soldiers every month, and was critical to victory at higher difficulty levels.
    • The 2012 Remake continues the trend, with Will being key to psionic troopers. A soldier's likelihood of being psionic is dependent on their Will stat, which also determines the chance of psionic attacks (such as Mindfray and Mind Control) actually working whilst also rendering the soldier more resistant to said attacks. Will is increased by ranking up but can be boosted with items, and can be permanently reduced if a soldier is critically wounded during a mission. With sufficiently high Will, a soldier can reliably Mind Control Muton Berzerkers and Ethereals.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown has the option to have random soldier stats on recruitment. In this case, no matter your class, Aim is king, with Mobility a close second. After all, if you can hit the ayys and get in the best position to hit the ayys, you won't take damage (where HP comes in) or be subjected to psionic abilities (where Will matters), and an unharmed soldier doesn't panic because of low Will. Even after psionic enemies start showing up, only the squad leader needs to have high Will once you get Lead By Example.
  • The X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance series made by Raven have the focus stat. Particularly the first, focus increases the special gauge and the rate it regenerates. This means more damage reducing buffs and specials that already do more damage than punching enemies.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater parodies this here when Red Mage suggests turning "Pick Pockets" into a Semantic Superpower. Given Thief's later feats, he may have taken Red Mage's advice.
  • Parodied in a pair of comics in Kawaiikochan!! Gaming No Korner. Majide's idea of a victory or death strategy is spending all her points into being kawaii, so nobody will want to hurt her. This is followed by Masaka wondering what would it be like to put everything into HP instead. She is told that "The number of your HP is so great that nobody can imagine it. You're like a dekai tree".
    Masaka: Gao. I'll crush everything.
    Majide: Unfortunately I'm much too kawaii!!
    Masaka: She is...! Though it doesn't make sense, I'm surely defeated...
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Shown by Elan, of all people. His 18 Charisma is the best for his Bardic abilities, even more after getting a level in the Prestige Class Dashing Swordsman, which allows him to use Charisma for his rolls in combat. Ironically, this means that he has the best build of the entire Order.
    • Similarly, Thog argues he's smarter than Roy because his build is better optimized, not wasting his stats in things like Intelligence which has virtually no mechanical benefit for Fighters. Roy proves him wrong.
  • Yamara explores this concept in the context of Dungeons & Dragons:
    Blag: Cause ya see, girlie, nobody cares if ya got an 18 Intelligence. Nobody'd care if you were one o' th' lucky broads with a 18 Wisdom! All that counts is a nice, round 18—
    (see the right answer)

    Web Original 
  • In the later levels of Forum Warz, Offense is all that really matters. This is not to say that you can't get through the game without putting a single point into Offense, even with a naturally Offense-poor class. But late-game forums come in two types. The kind that can be very annoying if you can't take down their threads quickly, and the Marathon Boss kind. In those, enough consumables will replace the need to avoid getting hurt, and the faster you can do damage, the less time the fight will take.

    Web Videos 
  • In TierZoo (a video series that treats nature and wildlife like an MMO known as "Outside" and puts animals into in-universe Character Tiers), the video maker states that the most powerful stat is Intelligence. This allows for both group tactics (which by itself is an extremely powerful ability) and wisdom accumulation. Humans, who have high Intelligence and average speed but rather low stats everywhere else, have come to utterly dominate the game by abusing their maxed-out intelligence to simply craft items that give them extremely high stats in everything except Health. The show does make some caveats, as it notes that a few required support features are needed to get the most out of intelligence, mainly a long enough lifespan to accumulate wisdom, and the ability to use tools, because while intelligence is still extremely powerful without them, it's not absolutely broken the way it is with them. Octopuses, for example, have extremely high intelligence and and remarkable problem solving skills, and together with their camouflage abilities this gives them very lethal hunting and fighting skills, but since they only live for a few years, they don't get to do all that much with it in the end. Dolphins and Orca do have a high intelligence and long lifespan, so they can do things like cooperate for more efficient hunting and group protection strategy, but without the ability to make and use tools, even if humans were to completely disappear from the game, dolphins would have no chance of completely dominating the game the way that humans have.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • GamePro Magazine used four ratings for their game reviews: "Graphics", "Sound", "Controls", and "Fun Factor". While not equivalent to an "Overall" rating (which was elaborated in an editorial section), "Fun Factor" was treated as the ultimate factor in determining whether a game is worth playing, followed by "Controls" for directly impacting the player's ability to have fun with the game.note 

Alternative Title(s): God Stat