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"In conclusion, having rare drops on a variable ratio schedule keeps rats pressing the lever longer, keeps people spending money in the Casinos, and keeps World of Warcraft players staying in the game longer. It’s not about being fair, or really what gets you the rewards the fastest — variable ratio reinforcement schedules is what what keeps you playing the longest."

In a game with Random Drops, the one that will refuse to appear. A Random Drop with a very low probability, something that frustrates the player that tries to get it.

The range in which a drop becomes a Rare Random Drop can vary widely. Depending on the game, the common drop may have a 70% chance and the "rare" a 30% chance; in others the rare drop may be a 1 in 1000 chance, or even worse. In any case it usually means that you'll spend hours killing monsters until you get it, which can be bad if you just want the object, but it's worse if you need the object to continue with the game.

Sometimes a Rare Random Drop applies to a boss and you have to endure the same fifteen minute battle (and accompanying cutscenes) over and over again until you get lucky. Bonus if the boss in question is That One Boss, and you barely survived the first time you killed it. Fortunately game designers usually don't make the dropped object an absolute necessity in such cases, so unless you really want the object there will be no need to go through the fight again.

If you're lucky, there'll be an item or special method that increases your chances of getting these drops, but there's the chance, if it is an item, that that item is a Rare Random Drop too. Have fun getting 100% Completion if there is no way to improve your chances.

While it's called this, the trope also applies to objects found in chests, treasure and other random things where the chances are very low, but those cases aren't as prominent as the Random Drop implementation.

Using a Random Drop Booster makes the drop at least a little less rare. Some games implement a Bad Luck Mitigation Mechanic to override an unmerciful Random Number God if you are sufficiently persistent.

Related to Luck-Based Mission. In MMORPGs, if players fight among themselves to get one of these it becomes Loot Drama, with the rare drop serving as an Apple of Discord. If you need lots of dedicated item-hunting to get anything remotely fun, see Earn Your Fun.


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  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, some of the most powerful items are dropped very rarely by certain enemies, such as the Runesword, which is the less common of the two items that may be dropped by the unique Dodo Bird (which at least is very weak and can be respawned).
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, all Silver or higher enemies drop at least one gemstone upon defeat. However, regular Silver enemies qualify because they have a diamond as their rare drop, and Silver Lynels have the curious quality of being able to surrender a Star Piece.
    • In Hyrule Warriors, materials dropped by enemies come in bronze, silver, and gold rarity. Bronze items are common drops from Elite Mooks. Silver items are rare drops from Elite Mooks and common drops from bosses and character enemies. Gold items are rare drops from bosses and character enemies.

    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee: There is a 1 in 151 chance of getting Mew from a Poké Ball, and a 1 in 251 chance of getting Celebi. Disappointingly, they only appear and fly away, but reward you with a lot of points, and an alert after the match is done telling that you met them for the first time.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
      • This happens with severely decreased chances of getting any legendary Pokémon at all. This being the case, however, most legendary Pokémon are much more lethal; Mew drops CDs, Celebi drops trophies, and Jirachi (who wasn't in Melee) drops a ton of stickers.
      • For all those die-hard completionists, Subspace Emissary will be HELL. To get all the trophies in Brawl, you have to play Subspace Emissary, and have a trophy stand randomly drop during all the Boss Battles. When it comes to Meta-Ridley, not only is there a time limit on the battle, but unless you have near-perfect timing, the trophy will most likely drop into a bottomless pit if you're not fast enough. Luckily, trophy stands appear much faster in this battle.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Borderlands is the FPS equivalent of this (its initial pitch: "Halo meets Diablo"). It, too, has a list of super-rare (DLC-exclusive) weapons known as "Pearlescents". These super-strong firearms drop at a rate of 1 for every 60 orange (the previous highest-level category) items. Of course, they're a little more prevalent than you might think, thanks to a multiplayer glitch that allows for easy item duplication.
    • In addition to that, due to the weapon generation system that the game uses, there's always a tiny chance of an enemy coughing up a Disc-One Nuke independently of the rarity system. It's rare, but not impossible, that you could blow up a skag in Fyrestone and get a gun that does twice as much damage as anything else you've seen up to that point.
    • The sequel has a specific example: the Cobra sniper rifle. It only drops from one group of enemies in the game (Burners) in Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, and even with a patch from Gearbox improving the drop rate, still has a very small chance to drop. Data has estimated that the drop chance is less than .1%.
    • Borderlands 3 has a very rare gun that's not even a legendary: the 25-pellet Stagecoach shotgun. Players will go through their entire playthrough, getting absurd amounts of legendaries and never encountering a normal purple shot gun with that number of pellets. The exact drop chance is unknown, but many players have gone through the game (and multiple characters) without seeing one.
  • The folks at Valve have decided to throw the unlockable weapons of Team Fortress 2 into this category with rates based on time played, and made the achievements "useless." The first day had absolutely horrendous drop rates, and most of the time it was weapons you already had, so you can imagine how fun that was before the crafting system came around. On top that, two of the nine classes had just been provided with unlockable weapons, meaning players had six new toys to earn (three each) and zero ways in which to earn them. The system was so hopelessly broken that Valve has since brought back the achievements and increased the drop rate.
    • You also can get purely cosmetic hats for the classes. There are 9 classes. Your odds of getting a hat (any hat) is .5%, or 1/200. Your odds of getting a particular hat of 1/1800. To have a 50% chance of getting a particular hat, statistically you need to log 1250 hours. That's 52 days of play. That's more play time than all but ten of the official maps have. And with each addition to the drop pool those odds get even lower. It's not surprising that the players back lashed by using Steamstats to "simulate idling without actually having the game running." Valve turned around and took away the ill-gotten hats, gave the non-cheaters halos, and then increased the drop rate. You can read all about it here.
    • During the Engineer Update, Valve gifted 100 Golden Wrenches to the community, which could be found by chance for every time you used the crafting system. Given that well over 20,000 people were playing TF2 at any given time, the fact that you need items to craft in order to craft, and that you needed to craft during a secret window of time to have a chance at it, the chances of finding one of these Wrenches was exceptionally low.
    • Similarly, the Australium Weapons-the stock weapons and the Force A Nature, Black Box, Axtinguisher, Eyelander, Tomislav, Frontier Justice, Ambassador and Frying Pan in a beautiful golden skin.note  However, they are very, very rare and only the luckiest of players may get one during Mann Up. You're actually lucky if you get anything nice in Mann Up mode at all now-at the time of typing, drops were so bad that an increasing number of the fanbase are calling Mann Up a scam.
  • Heretic is already unusual with enemies having a random chance of dropping ammunition for your weapons, unlike in Doom where enemies programmed to drop ammunition would always do so), but a handful of creatures would occasionally drop valuable artifacts instead of ammo. Notably, the fairly common Disciples of D'Sparil had a rare chance of dropping a useful Tome of Power.

    Hack And Slash 
  • The Diablo:
    • The games feature items that aren't just randomly dropped, but randomly generated from thousands of potential combinations of attributes, special abilities and base weapon types. Runes (items you can place into other items to make them better) are particularly glaring, with some high-level runes having such tiny chances to drop (1 in millions, and even that requires finding enemies even capable of dropping the runes in the first place) that most hard-core players have never seen a legitimate one (ones created by hacks, of course, are another matter entirely). In fact, one person apparently estimated that one has a better chance of getting hit by a falling plane that was struck by lightning than one does of finding the rarest rune. Nobody knows if that estimation is true, but you get the idea.
    • The rune example is fairly straightforward, but it can get much more complex: A base sword, for example, might have an inherent range of say 5 +/- damage and 10 +/- quality. So, just getting a "max" sword would take at least 15 rolls of that sword, of which, the top swords are also rare. Then, the top prefix is "Cruel," which varies between 200-300% added damage. The top suffix is "of Eviscration" which also varies by 20 points. It is estimated that maybe 1 sword has ever existed that was truly "perfect." You would need 10's of thousands of rolls to get a perfect roll, but you would probably need somewhere around 100 million of that sword to get 10k with that roll to even have a chance at the perfect stats. And then, there's the "Etheral" version, which is 1/3 as common as the regular version. Only 1 300% Cruel, Etheral, Elite class, 2 Socket sword has ever been found.
    • Diablo II includes many items that, when equipped, increase the odds of an item drop, notably socketing an item with perfect topaz gems. Some players traded for as much of this equipment as they could cram onto themselves, and went hunting; the Barbarian had an edge over any other character in this respect, because the optimum item-finding equipment package requires dual-wielding a pair of enchanted broadswords, which only the barbarian can do, and the barbarian had a skill that basically amounted to "trigger the random drop again".
  • Minecraft Dungeons: There are rarely found unique variants of every weapon that can randomly drop.
  • Ninety-Nine Nights is a terrible offender in this category, with the final boss being almost unbeatable without an item which randomly drops (Or more likely does not drop) from one of the finite number of enemies within the last level, often forcing you to restart the mission hundreds of times over before it finally drops.

    Idle Game 
  • Exponential Idle has a 0.04% chance that tapping the equation will give you a star. Every second also has a 0.04% chance for getting a star.

  • The list here seems obvious in that it's very often an RPG trope, as there could be many other examples to list.
  • Final Fantasy XI is such an offender that between items that drop from bosses that only appear once every blue moon, sub .1% drop rates, and ridiculous requirements, there would be way too many to list here. A special mention does have to go to Excalibur, a rare level 70 sword that had a 1-in-20,000 chance to be fished up from the water. According to sources, the item was never actually obtained by anyone in the game. It would later be used as the name of a Relic Weapon when they were introduced, but as the forum pointed out, the name would have needed to be changed if someone actually had gotten the Excalibur by fishing.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has plenty of examples of its own, but the most notable would be the "Atma" items required to upgrade your relic weapon, which have a very, very small chance of dropping whenever you complete a FATE in a certain area with the relic equipped. The problem is that not only is the drop rate disgustingly low, there are twelve of them, and if you have multiple jobs leveled and want to get the ultimate weapons for all of them you have to gather a full set each and every time.
  • World of Warcraft has a vast amount of items that are too numerous to individually name here, and a lot of the offenders are mounts and mini-pets that either world drop or rarely drop from their boss or mob. However, most players agree that one of the rarest items in the game of all time belongs to the Big Love Rocket, a giant pink rocket flying mount. You can only get it from the Heart-Shaped Box that drops from beating the Apothecary Trio during the Love is in the Air (Valentine's Day) event. You only get one box per day, and the event last for two weeks, meaning that you can only get 14 boxes per year before the event is over. The mount itself has a roughly .03% chance to drop from the box, and if you don't get it? Better luck next year.
  • Played seriously straight in MMORPG MapleStory. Monsters have a very good chance (roughly 50~75%) of dropping some money (Mesos) and an "ETC" drop unique to the monster (or monster type). They have about a 1-in-10 chance of dropping potions or material ores, a very rare chance of dropping equippable items, and an extremely rare chance of dropping scrolls (which are used to upgrade equipment) or throwing stars. A coupon in the game's cash shop doubles the drop rate of monsters killed by the user. It doesn't help that sometimes only one particular enemy drops a particular item. Or that there's no indication that a miscellaneous drop is needed for a quest you don't have. Or quests that ask you to get an item, but don't say what enemy drops it. Then there's the major bosses Zakum and Horntail, who are guaranteed to drop at least one Zakum Helmet or Horntail Pendant each time they're killed, it's how many that drop that's random. All of their other drops are subject to Random Drops.
    • The Malaysia exclusive map (guess what it's called) has somewhat broken drop rates- i.e. something around twice or thrice that of the original maps. This stacks with the event bonuses.
    • This aspect is where some quests become truly, stupidly hard. For instance, there's one quest where you have to find a little fairy's lost glass slipper. The slipper was stolen by the fire boar enemies in the mountains around Perion. No one is quite sure of the drop rate, but you can stand there and kill - quite literally - thousands upon thousands of fire boars and never see the item. Many of these were changed to be far more manageable. But they still exist; a more recent one to collect Lunar Dews can have people spend 5 hours of hunting, with 8x drop rate, to get 5. You need 20.
    • It doesn't help that they randomize the drop rate at least once a week so you can't even figure out what the drop rates are.
  • Phantasy Star Online's most powerful weapons often have drop rates ranging from 1-in-72 to 1-in-22000. Add that to the fact that the 1-in-22000 monsters usually only show up singly, and only in certain map variations...
    • And only for certain characters, as a character gets 1 of 12 possible dropcharts permanently assigned to it upon creation based on the character's names, class, and even gender, with some items having a 1 in 299594 chance from only 1 chart, from 1 monster, that can only be found in 1 area, with the monster being the rare form of an already rare monster.
  • In Anarchy Online the greatest example would be the Sparkling Scimitar of Spetses (a stupidly rare item dropping from a semi-boss from the 2nd hardest area in the known game) is so ridiculously rare that it is counted among the forums. The numbers are kept as to which dimension (of the 3 this game has) has dropped how many... at last count, it was STILL IN THE SINGLE DIGITS for dropping after at least 3-4 (maybe longer) years of play in the game that allowed the zone.
  • Everquest had some mean ones. One otherwise uninteresting newbie zone had a high-level halfling that spawned every few days in a random location, disappeared after two minutes whether anyone killed her or not, and had a one in eight chance of dropping a very expensive item.
  • In Everquest II, in most zones, monsters will drop an "exquisite chest" (a chest containing the best kind of treasure, Fabled) 0.0126% of the time. Of course, which Fabled treasure drops depends on random chance and which monster dropped the chest...
  • A staple of Ragnarok Online. Each enemy has a 1/10,000 chance of dropping a "card" (with rare exceptions like porings at 1/1000) which can be permanently placed into a "slotted" weapon or armor, which also have an extremely rare chance of dropping. The cards give bonuses to you when you wear armors with a card equipped. They range from completely useless in the case of most ordinary monster cards, to boss cards which have downright Game Breaking stats such as immunity to spells and abilities. The catch is, since bosses only respawn once per hour in one location, if you were to kill a boss every hour on the hour for a year you would only have a 58% chance to get their card...
    • Due to the way the RNG works in this game, it's actually 1 in 5000. (The RNG can actually hit 0, giving stuff a .01% higher chance to drop.) There's cash shop items to increase this further.
  • Kingdom of Loathing uses this extensively. Fortunately you'll be able to buy some of them, so you can choose to get a lot of money if you don't want to face the odds.
    • One of the more infamous ones was the Hot Egg, a familiar hatchling that dropped from a certain enemy during the Brushfires event. The drop rate was ridiculously low—about 1 in 1000—and none of the usual mechanisms for increasing drop rates worked on it, so all you could do was kill enemies all day (limited to ~300 per day because of the game's Anti Poop-Socking) and hope you got lucky. This didn't stop people from inventing crazed theories about how to make it drop, though.
    • Another equally or more infamous ones are Warbear Black Boxes during the Crimbo 2013 event. To get even a chance of obtaining once, first you had to find a warbear badge from a warbear officer, which is also a random drop. The badge unlocks access to the third floor, where you can fight warbear high officers, who drops Black Boxes, once per badge. It's very hard and costly to farm officers for drops because not only do the officers get increasingly stronger, you had to equip an item that limited your base stats, which requires you to charge with a limited item for it to work, plus only a limited selection of items improved item drop rates from warbears. The Black Box was assumed to have less than 1% chance of even dropping, didn't even do anything until Crimbo was over, and sold for billions in the market. Players eventually found out what the Black Box did: It allows you to craft warbear items using whosits, and the only exclusive items you can craft from it were fairly average equipment.
  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning averts this to a degree. Although there are still random drops, when you get a quest to get, let's say, 10 wolf eyes, at least the game have the decency to give two eyes to most wolves, and no quest has a <1 drop ratio. You also get fairly good items from influence and even better ones for cheap if you have renown, so the rare-drop ones aren't all that needed.
    • Also, many items will drop as broken versions that can be repaired into an item your class can use. Unfortunately this is not true of some of the higher-level set items.
  • City of Heroes has Purple Recipes. These only drop from enemies around 50 (the cap), getting one your character has any use for is another thing entirely, and getting the one you actually want quite the exercise in patience. Thankfully with so many players and a Market, the one you want is usually for sale, and although it'll likely be pretty expensive, the Purple that was trash to you might be a treasure to another.
  • Ace Online has the Boss Armors. The items needed to craft them come from bosses that spawn only three times a day in places where you can fight the opposing faction (so you'll probably have to fight them too) with insanely low chances to get them. Not only that, but when you try to combine them there's a 50% chance of failure and you lose the items if that happens. There are more examples, but no one is as insane as this one.
    • The Episode 3 Part 1 however, makes it somewhat easier; there're three bosses in Pandea Maps that can drop any one of the unfinished boss armor. The corresponding item has the same quirk. There's only one slight problem; the entire Pandea maps are Scrappy Levels made of aggro, aggro, and... more aggro. And more aggro.
  • Runescape has too much of this to count; the Draconic Visage from almost all dragons, the godswords from the God Wars Dungeon, various high level armor from boss monsters, the sigils... At least it's one of the best moneymakers in the game. It can get frustrating in that many of the bosses are hard to kill solo and you need a team to effectively farm them. This by itself isn't so bad, but you have three options for dividing the loot: Player who deals most damage gets drop, (not very fair) all players get the value in coins divided amongst the group, (which can lead to some small payouts) and 1 player gets the drop, while the other players get an increased chance of getting a drop. (This does not always go as planned.)
    • Although this is sort of justified as every drop affects the economy (slightly) each drop. Considering those bosses are killed thousands of times a day (bar the boss that drops the sigils), one of the items being adjusted to drop a little too much would make them a lot cheaper.
    • Even worse than that are pets, which are untradeable cosmetics that follow you around. Aside from cats and clockwork cats, they’re either an incredibly rare drop from bosses (initially exclusively 1/5000, but more recent pets have gone as low as 1/2000), or even rarer drops whenever training a resource skill. Aside from a select few of them, most of the bosses are also nightmares to grind, either taking forever to get to, or requiring you to be on a Slayer task (which is random, and bosses require a very high Slayer level). This is disregarding the need to restock every several kills for all but the easiest bosses, which makes every pet that aren’t from the easy ones or effortless to reach ones are incredibly rare.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has its fair share of rare item drops, but especially notable among these is the Czerka Crate-o-Matic, an item so rare that the vast majority of players don't even know that it exists. Its drop rate can be estimated at 1 in 1 billion, though at least it has the possibility of dropping from just about any level 50 encounter. It gives its user the ability to disguise themselves as a random inanimate object for 30 seconds.
  • Spiral Knights has an event called the Kataclysm where Black Kats randomly spawn in place of normal Spookats and (usually) drop Ancient Pages, which are required for some neat and powerful Kat Hoods. A player needs fifty tokens for one hood. Black Kats at the most drop three pages and their chances of spawning are incredibly low. Rarer still, on Tier 3 they can drop a book that can be turned in for a special black hood.
    • The worst part: Tier 3 is where knights can pick up three pages per dead Kat and it contains the most powerful enemies. Spookats are notorious for their bite attack, and can fire three shadow projectiles. They're also annoyingly fast and have a short idle time between attacks.
    • And if that wasn't enough, Black Kats in Tier 3 can inflict Curse (where merely swinging your weapon can hurt you) and will summon Carnavons: black skeletons that can also inflict curse. Have fun.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies generally averted this (at least initially), preferring to rely on player-crafted goods as opposed to putting uber loot out in the wild, as was common MMORPG practice at the time. However, a few started to sneak in (primarily holocrons, which were highly valued for their ability to guide the player on their path to unlocking a Jedi character, although the components for RIS armour also qualified), more surfaced when the first expansion hit (notably the Black Sun Helmet and components to Mandalorian Armour and Jetpacks), and when the NGE hit full swing, the game more or less succumbed to the allure of rare loot and started throwing it everywhere.
    • SWG did, however, have lootable components for crafting, like Krayt Tissues for armor. These could drop with a variety of stats (and hence rarities) and you needed many of them with the right stats for "the best" armor. Krayt Pearls and Force Crystals also counted, as they came in rarities (and you didn't know what stats they provided until a Jedi attuned with them, making them useful only for that Jedi).
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, there are a handful of drops that are notoriously rare simply because they only drop from a single miniboss that is ridiculously uncommon to encounter in the first place and/or just has a crap drop rate for said item. The standout examples are Elder Pain (which also happens to be the only weapon in the game tied to a part break), Coat Edge D, Coat Doublis D, and Elder Pain Omega (the much rarer and stronger variant of the aforementioned weapon).
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • Many of the bosses have one item that has a very low chance of dropping, and then an even lower chance of it being a high value Exotic rather than a basic blue item.
    • Precursor Weapons, which are used to create the Legedendary Weapons, are incredibly rare drops in the open world. They can technically drop from any activity at any level, but the most reliable source is the Mystic Forge. By sacrificing four valuable Exotic weapons, there is a less than 2% chance of getting a Precursor. The strain was alleviated somewhat when the first expansion allowed crafting of Precursors.

  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: After completing Tassle Town, there's a mandatory quest involving the gathering of Gator Steaks, a very rare drop from what appear to be Gators. But the quest also highly implies the method of Random Drop Booster for them, along with more dialogue around the quest giver, to send the chances to become what appears to be 100%.

  • In NetHack, this trope is primarily averted: every enemy will drop everything it carries upon death, and maybe something else that it wasn’t carrying too.
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery. Many items that are important for various quests (notably the amulet of life saving) are random drop items. Where the Creator really extracts the urine is when you are required to find a boar skull as part of the Ultra ending quest. Said boar is only encountered infrequently, is in the highly-dangerous overworld and even then rarely leaves a skull. Low-to-mid-level players frequently starve to death or spend 60-320 game days trying. Higher-level players resort to dooming themselves to increase the encounter rate, or hunting for an item that grants one wish (also only available by random drop, and extremely rare).

    Role Playing Game 
  • Final Fantasy II has multiple drops for many high-tier enemies, with one item typically being much rarer to drop than others. Rare drops are the only way to obtain multiple copies of Ribbons, rare spells like Osmose and Confuse, the Infinity-1 Weapons, and Genji armor. Of note are the Rune Axe and the Osmose spell; the monsters they drop from are only found in Palmecia's Colosseum, Castle, and Cyclone, all of which disappear when the final dungeon appears.
  • Final Fantasy IV. Two words: Pink Tails. They are held by one enemy - the Pink Puff or Flan Princess, depending on the translation - found in one room, with approximately a 1-in-64 chance of encountering it. Though they appear in groups of five, each one has a 1-in-20 chance of dropping an item, and if they do drop an item, it has a 1-in-64 chance of being the Pink Tail, which is the only way to get the best armour in the game. Do the requisite arithmetic and you'll see you have a 0.39% chance of getting the Pink Tail in a fight against the Pink Puffs, and a 0.0061% chance of a given random encounter resulting in the Pink Tail being dropped. Alarm clocks trigger an encounter with them 100% of the time though, but you can only carry 99 of them.
    • in relation to pink tails. The only way to find the monsters that drop it in the DS remake is to use an Alarm item. Otherwise the room is completely clear of random encounters. So, at least now you have a 100% chance of encountering the enemy, right? Well, you now have a 1/64 chance of the Princess Flan dropping any item AT ALL, and a 1/64 chance of it being a Pink Tail. So the probability is now 1/4096. And since you can only carry 99 of them you'll have to travel a lot to the shop in order to replenish.
    • In the DS version Rainbow Puddings are quite difficult to get too.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years averts this thanks to an item that changes the rare drop to the next item on the rarity list. Due to how the Random Drop system works you’ll probably get more rare items than normal ones. Played straight in the PSP collection, where the random drops are actually random again, but averted slightly in that it's more likely you get rare items from the Challenge Dungeon boss chests that are randomized. The worst item you can get is an X-Potion: however, you can't get any extra copies of any of the items, including Adamantines that're used to trade them for parts of Armor of Invincibility at the end of the game.
  • Final Fantasy V, like the other Final Fantasy games, has several rare drops. The Tinklebell is the most annoying, and belongs to Twintania. It's technically a 1/16 drop ratio, but Twintania's drops change based on whether it's in Normal form, or if it's in its Gigaflare form. The Normal form is the harder to kill of the two, and is the form that drops the Tinklebell.
  • Final Fantasy VI gave you a consolation prize in the form of common drops being guaranteed if you didn’t get the rare one.
  • Final Fantasy X had Dark Matter, which was not only a very rare drop from bosses you had to pay to fight, but also needed in obscene amounts to craft armour with Ribbon. Amusingly, some of the rarest drops in the game could be guaranteed... through bribery.
  • Final Fantasy XII took things to somewhat ridiculous length: not only does every monster have common, uncommon, rare and ultra-rare random drops (and a fifth class of drop that requires you to purchase a 'monograph' describing that class of monster), but also (different!) lists of random steals and 'poaches'. Crafting Tournesol, the game's Infinity +1 Sword, requires multiples of the rarest loots from the rarest monsters.
    • The vast majority of treasure boxes in Final Fantasy XII were random drops; sometimes, the chest wouldn't be there, and most of the time, all the treasure you'd get from most boxes was a paltry sum of Gil. Worse, there were 4 chests that were fixed to cause the Infinity Plus One Spear to become ONLY a random drop, with a chance of 1-in-1000, instead of a sure get from a chest in a Bonus Dungeon. However, a method has been found to trick the game's "pseudo"-RNG into getting a guaranteed Zodiac Spear from the chest in the Henne Mines, so if you know it you can easily get more.
      • To make treasure chests even worse, there was also an accessory one could wear that would change the loot chests gave to a "rarer" set. This set differed from the normal set and very often resulted in rare Elixirs, but in the cases of rare equipment (especially those found in unique chests) it would preclude the rare equipment making it Permanently Missable Content. XII's entire chest system of one big Guide Dang It!.
    • There is a loot item called Split Armor that is required to get a specific item in the bazaar. It can only be obtained by poaching one specific monster. Not only can poaching only be done when a monster is on critical health, this item is also the monster's rare poach, meaning that you are more likely to get a different item. Worse, this monster is immune to status effects like disable and stop, which would be fine if it didn't have a nasty habit of using suicide attacks at low health.
    • Zodiac versions introduced three invisible items that take this to truly absurd degree. The Great Trango can be stolen from Zodiark with 3% rate (or 6% with Thief's cuffs) - believe or not, this is the easiest one to get. The Seitengrat bow is located in invisible chest on ship deck that is there 1% of the time, nevermind that the chest actually contains it also only 1% of the time. The Gendarme, invisible shield, is a similar case, on top of being located in Pharos Subterra.
  • Final Fantasy XIII adds the notoriously uncommon Trapezohedron to this growing list of epic loot. The Traps are extremely rare items that only drop once in a blue moon from an Adamantoise, which is basically a Optional Boss for all intents and purposes - and one that requires extensive planning, preparation, and Level Grinding to defeat. (Or Death spamming, if you're willing to put up with the antics of the Random Number God.) Many players have killed several dozen of these absurdly tough enemies without getting a single Trap, which is needed to upgrade your Infinity -1 Sword to an Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure:
    • This game at one point wants you to obtain a rare drop and trade it for information on how to discover the next dungeon. It does not tell you which type of enemy drops the MacGuffin in question, and it's one of the relatively few with two possible drops. The really infamous part, though, is how vague the info turns out to be. In fact, you can completely skip the item part if you already know what to do from somewhere.
    • The best pieces of defensive equipment are random drops in the final dungeon, also from enemies with two possible drops. You're still likely to find the armor and helm, though, because the enemies in question are rather common. The type of enemy that might drop the shield however only appears during the relatively short final stretch, so you likely have to do some grinding. (And then you do some testing and find that the penultimate shield performs just as well at the Final Boss.)
  • Lie of Caelum: Refightable bosses like the Drake, GU-12 Fortress, and Apex Pikes have their own set of rare drops. The miniboss enemy, the Gee Nest, has a rather egregious drop rate of 1/22 for its Cocoon Needle.
  • In the Rune Factory game series Item Crafting is a major part of the game. To create the vast majority of powerful equipment and potions requires many battles with the various monsters, to get the Randomly Drops components you need.
  • Persona 3 has Elizabeth's requests, in which she usually asks you to kill a specific enemy and bring back a number of parts from it. The trick is that if you don't kill the enemies with the protagonist, the item drop rate is extremely low. FES corrected this: if you kill at least one monster of the required type in a battle, you'll always get at least one item of the required type, guaranteed, though at the expense of other possible drops.
  • Gemstones in Shin Megami Tensei games, of which Persona is a More Popular Spin-Off. They can be dropped by any enemy and can be used varyingly to acquire some Game-Breaker items, demons, or fusion benefits, but the drop rates are utterly horrendous, to the point that in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, the only game which has a specific DLC intended to help with farming gems, said DLC isn't enough to trivialize their acquisition or use.
  • EarthBound. Its 1-in-128 items have become the focal point of several fan quests.
    • The most infamous example, the Starman Super dropping the Sword of Kings, was parodied in a ROM Hack: the "Starman Super Duper", when defeated, would "laugh, roll a virtual d128, and warp away".note 
    • Mother 3 is a bit nicer, with a 3% to 5% chance of getting good weapons from certain enemies.
  • Pokémon has the unique problem in that the frustration-causing random drop is more often than not the Pokémon themselves. Some appear very rarely in the wild, with 1-in-20 odds or worse. The frustration is compounded by the fact that you have to weaken these monsters without defeating them, as well as hoping they've got the right gender, nature, etc. Chansey (and the Lucky Egg it may carry), Feebas (which only appears in 6 or 4 fishing tiles depending on the game, out of 212 or 50) and Munchlax (0.3% chance of appearing in 4 specific Honey Trees) are the most famous ones. This really comes to a head in Pokémon Sun and Moon, where most of the Pokémon that debut in this game are rare, with a 10% encounter rate or less. A returning favorite, Salamence, can be found in the wild in the first quarter of the game—but you'll have to find Bagon first, which has a 1% encounter rate, then provoke it into an SOS Battle where it calls allies to help (but not always, and the allies don't always appear when called), where Salamence has a 1% summon rate. You may spend less time catching that Bagon and leveling it up until it evolves into Salamence than you would finding that wild Salamence.
    • Shiny Pokémon only have a one in 4096 chance. (8192 prior to Generation VI) Legendary Pokémon and starters can be Shiny as well, so start breaking in (or outright breaking) your soft reset fingers! Luckily, like the item example above, Generation IV and V introduced ways to boost this probability, and Generation VI doubled the basic chance of finding a shiny Pokemon, meaning that under ideal circumstances, you now have around a 1 in 338 chance of getting one, which while still low, is far more reasonable.
    • The Pokérus! Each encounter has a 1 in 21,845 chance of giving it to you (in Gold and Silver). Luckily you don't have to catch it for it to spread, just battle, and it can spread to the rest of your team after getting it. It will double the amount of Effort points you get in each battle.
    • The enigmatic Mirage Island of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald! Every day a number between 0 and 65535 is generated. In order to access the island, you have to have a Pokémon in your party with a personality value that matches the number of the day. Did we mention that the Personality Value of a Pokémon can be anywhere from 0 to 4,294,967,295? The only thing worthwhile about Mirage Island is a particularly rare berry tree.
    • Pickup is an ability that gives you an object 10% of the time after a battle. Its charts can give you tons of different useful objects depending on your level, but their chances range from 50% of the common ones to 1% of the rare ones, which include Rare Candies and TMs.
    • Certain held items (such as the ones that boosts damage for specific-typed moves to damage-reducing berries) can be found rarely (5%) or very rarely (1%) from certain Pokemon. Getting a Pokemon with Frisk as an ability will let you know whether they even have the item to begin with, and having a Pokemon leading with the ability Compound Eyes increased the chances from 5% and 1% to 20% and 5%, respectively. Of course, you still need to either catch said Pokemon or use Covet, a weak Normal-type attack that only a few Pokemon have access to depending on the game.
  • Ruina: Fairy Tale of the Forgotten Ruins:
    • There are random drops from both the regular battle system and the dungeon event system. This means winning a regular battle could cause the player to receive both the normal battle reward and an evented reward, with the latter dependent on the current map rather than the enemy.
    • In the Burial Chamber dungeon, each of the undead emperor minibosses have rarely dropped equipment, with drop rates ranging from 10 to 20 percent. Fortunately, they respawn each day.
  • Sword of Paladin:
    • Players can farm monster ingredients to synthesize Skill Gems, but there's a very low chance for the monsters to just drop the Skill Gems that they're associated with.
    • When traveling via carriage, the player has a chance of picking up rare Skill Gems.
  • In Wizardry 8 enemy drops and chest contents are determined when loading an area. So after a 15-minute fight, if the monster doesn't drop Excalibur, you can't just reload and fight again. You have to reload from before you entered the area, then make it all the way back to the monster, then fight it again.
  • Golden Sun series can either work this way or the opposite, thanks to how easily you can manipulate the RNG. Killing an enemy with the elementally-appropriate Djinni increases the gold and experience you gain from it and multiplies the chance of it dropping something... but for those items with a drop chance of 1/256 the results are less than appreciable.
  • The World Ends with You seems to be initially guilty of this, but one of the things you actually learn about in the game is to manipulate the drop rates (which are shown in the bestiary) to the point that even the rarest ones (there’s one that is only dropped 0,03% of the time) become guaranteed drops. The drawback is that you’ll have to drop down your level and chain multiple battles, sometimes with bosses included, in order to do that. And the only way to get rid of the drawback is… you guessed it: get a lot of those rare drops, so it can be useless after you get 100% Completion.
  • Monster Hunter has tons and tons of drops, but the most rare ones will inevitably be those that the most difficult bosses have. Lao-Shan Ruby and the Large Elder Dragon Jewels are infamous for this.
    • Each monster has its own rare drop depending on their rank and their threat level. Low-tier Bird Wyverns have a small chance of dropping Bird Wyvern Gems in High Rank and Fey Wyvern Gems in G Rank, while most other low-tier monsters can drop Wyvern Gems in High Rank and Large Wyvern Gems in G Rank. The threats higher up on the food chain have their own unique rare drop, usually something along the lines of "[monster] Plate/Marrow" in Low Rank, "[monster] Gem/Ruby" in High Rank and "[monster] Mantle/Pallium" in G Rank, with the occasional outlier to this naming system, such as the Nakarkos Soul Orb. Most Elder Dragons have their own unique drop in High Rank, but they have a slightly higher chance of dropping an Elder Dragon Gem; in G Rank, this item gets replaced with a Large Elder Dragon Gem entirely.
    • Other monsters drop more "normal" rare items. An example would be the Kirin, who has a small chance of rewarding a Lightcrystal, Novacrystal or Purecrystal in Low, High and G Rank respectively. These items can normally be found in mining outcrops with an equally small chance.
    • The game does justify the rarity of certain rare drops ("plate" and "head" type items most notably) - the description explicitly points out these are pristine trophy-quality monster parts, and you had to mess the monster up pretty badly before it stopped moving long enough to try and carve them off.
    • Some monsters usually have a low chance of dropping a certain item, but that chance rises drastically if you complete certain objectives. For example, Fatalis is guaranteed to drop the Fatalis Evil Eye if you can wound its head twice.
    • Carried over for the Crossover in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Rathalos drops plans for the Taneshigama, one of the most useful weapons in the game, and Tigrex and Gear Rex drop parts of the most powerful Co-op weapon in the game. With a 1% chance. Enjoy your grind.
  • In Kingdom Hearts coded this can happen, but you can unlock a special cheat that allows you to multiply the drop rate of the various command chips dropped by enemies in exchange for lowering your maximum HP, up to 16 times its normal rate. The difficulty level of the game also affects enemy drops. A few of the game's strongest enemies will drop stat-boosting chips on Critical mode, the highest difficulty.
  • Suikoden II has this with the upgraded forms of Fire (Rage) and Lightning (Thunder) Runes. If you wanted more than one you could freely attach (and you did, as they were useful in many ways), you had to hope for a drop from specific enemies near the endgame.
  • The Seeker of the Deep Expansion Pack of Lost Odyssey included some ridiculously good, ridiculously hard to get randomly dropped accessories.
  • This happens in Live A Live, with the Cola Bottle, a powerful accessory and attack item. It is a rare drop from a Guide Dang It! Optional Boss, which means that it is quite possible for the player to not realize that the aforementioned boss can even DROP a different item to its normal drop.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon features Ukemochi liver, a useless item that's necessary for exactly one sidequest, which in turn is necessary for 100% Completion. The only way you can get it is by donating money to a shrine, at 300 yen a pop, for a roughly 1/256 chance of getting it. Cue an hour and a half of standing there throwing money at the shrine hoping to get it.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • In all games, you get raw materials from the enemy corpses, which you can then sell back to the local shops both for cash and to help create even better weapons, armor and other supplies. However, monsters don't always leave things behind, and many monsters also have Conditional Drops, which require you to meet certain conditions to trigger, like defeating it in a single turn or finishing it off with a certain element/status effect. Even if you meet the conditions, they still don't always drop, unless it's a boss... and many times, getting a boss to drop their special item also blocks the regular drop. Most horridly, there are a few, select high-level enemies whose rare drop is both random and conditioned - killing the enemy under the required conditions only unlocks the possibility of actually getting the item. Sometimes, the "condition" behind a conditional drop is merely that the item has a very low drop chance, making it entirely up to RNG whether you get it or not, and you have almost no way to influence it.
    • The first game plays this trope straight with the Shinryu Sword. The sword itself is forged and not dropped by enemies, but the materials used to make the sword (the Fire Scale, the Volt Scale, and the Ice Scale) are dropped by the three elemental dragons only when they are killed by an attack of the element they resist the most. In the first and second games' remakes, the Shinryu sword instead requires non-conditional but rare drops from the Dragons, which may force many a player to break out the Formaldehyde to obtain them.
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City:
      • There's an NPC who frequents the local bar called Scavenger Toma. His whole purpose is to tell players how to meet most of these conditions, all for the low-low price of a drink or two. Subsequent games continue this trend with a bar NPC that helps with divulging the requirements for conditional drops.
      • In another hint of kindness, the game also introduced a new item that guarantees all item drops, including rare, conditional, and mutually exclusive drops, if used on the same turn you kill the enemy. Very useful for those difficult conditional drops, but whatever you do, don't waste them on easy drops or screw up while using it: in all games in which they appear, you only receive half a dozen or less given to you in total. If you want to buy your own, you have to... yes, farm other enemies for their drops (specifically, a tough F.O.E. available only in the post-game stratum - good luck).
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, being a spinoff heavily based on Etrian Odyssey games, carries many of the same drop conditions. Thankfully, for the ones that are required for Elizabeth's requests in this game the game will tell you what you need to do, but it can require a surprising amount of strategising sometimes, since often you need to defeat an enemy with an element it resists.
  • Mega Man X: Command Mission wasn't too bad about random drops, but one standout instance was if you were going for X's X Buster Mk-III or Zero's Z-Rapier+, both of which only had a 1% drop rate from one enemy in the final dungeon. You could boost those odds with Good Luck Force Metal, which increased item drops by 3% for each one equipped, but getting more than one of those required finding a specific enemy and beating it for the items to make it.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II:
      • From the NES version: The Dragon Potion, an item which allows you save your game anywhere (even the interior of a dungeon or tower. But it only saves gold and character levels, on reload you appear at the last place you physically saved at). It is a rare drop from Metal Babbles, provided you can find them and kill them. Multiple times.
      • The infamous "Mysterious Hat". The only enemies who can drop it are the Magic Vampirus (a normal late-ish game enemy that's only in a few select areas) and two of the bosses in the final boss rush. It has a notoriously low drop rate well below 1%. This item is so infamous that Pokémon creator Satoshi Taijiri originally got the idea of trading collectibles in video games while grinding countless hours for the thing, only for his friend to somehow get two.
    • Although not an item, recruiting a Metal Slime or its family members in Dragon Quest V is hard. For the first one you recruit, you have a 1/256 chance of recruiting it and a 1/1054 chance of recruiting a second and third. Considering how tough they are once they reach their cap, that's fair. However, keep in mind that they are hard to find. The ordinary Metal Slime isn't too hard to find (they appear commonly in Whealbrook Cavern), but the Liquid Metal Slimes are very rare and typically appear with a bunch of Metal Slimes or other recruitable monsters, meaning if you get a crit on another recruitable monster after you killed the Liquid Metal Slime, you won't be able to recruit a Liquid Metal Slime for that battle. Fortunately, they aren't required, but they are very helpful against the bonus boss.
  • Enemies in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale randomly drop ingredients needed to fuse the best items to sell in your store (or equip on your hired adventurers). Each enemy also has a rare drop, which is needed for better fusions or, in one irritating sidequest, to recruit Caillou as an adventurer.
  • Xenogears has the Trader's Card, an item that greatly increases the chance of getting rare drops. It is very easy to miss forever and there are some items that will only drop if you have the Trader's Card.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has the Advanced Art Books, which are required to fully level up each character's Arts. The drop rates for these books are, at the absolute most, 15%, with the majority at single-digit percentages and a few lower than 1%. Which enemies drop them? You'll have to look it up. Fortunately, every time you defeat an enemy that drops an advanced art book, the contents of the treasure chest dropped by the enemy aren't determined until you open them. Even better, every time you reset the game to try again, there's a chance the enemy might respawn if it was a Unique Monster, giving you more chances. Unique Monsters always drop gold chests, which contain Advanced Art Books, which further helps. It's definitely a grind, especially if the enemy with the highest chance of dropping the art book is very powerful, but you have a lot going for you.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has a mechanic with armor and weapon drops where an enemy has a chance to drop a piece of equipment above the tier they would normally fall into. For example, a level 38 enemy could rarely drop a Worn Forza armor piece (normally dropped by level 40-45 enemies) or a level 62 enemy could rarely drop an Ultra Nebulan ranged weapon (normally dropped by enemies over level 65). This is the only way to obtain certain sets of Ultra Regal and Ultra Infinite-tier armor or tier-6 Skell Weapons, as some enemies do not have any species found in the appropriate level range.
  • In Valhalla Knights 3, after the player has obtained all the "Job Cards" which can be found in several treasure chests within dungeons, on the field or which can be received as a gift from the respective cast for achieving the maximum affection, further "Job Cards" can only be found inside normal or sometimes golden treasure chests after defeating a specific enemy clan and even then do they have a rather low probability to drop. Apart from that, there are certain classes which can only be obtained by an utterly challenging enemy in an 99-Floor post-game dungeon in the same manner. Furthermore, certain "Job Cards" can be bought on the PSN-Store for 150 Yen to allow the player to save some hours of desperate hunting.
  • In The Denpa Men, almost all monsters have a secret piece of clothing they can possibly drop (including the Superboss, who can be thankfully fought as often as the player likes). Some clothing can be purchased in the store, but some of it is monster-exclusive. There is a skill that can force monsters to drop items (and it's fairly easy to abuse in the Playable Epilogue, where AP-resorting items become purchasable), but it only causes their most "common" drop to appear. And collecting all the items in the game is considered part of 100% Completion and even unlocks rare goodies in the second game. Happy hunting!
    • The Denpa Men 2 classifies all enemy drops into either the Normal, Rare, or Very Rare categories. There are equipments (which tend to be rare and rather expensive themselves) which will increase the drop rate for items of the different categories, and a few skills (such as Gimmie Gimmie and Keep It Rare) that increase drop rates for items or rarer items specifically. Like the first game, collecting all the items gives you 100% Completion, but the sequel thankfully keeps track of which monsters drop what items for you, and also whether those drops happen to be normal, rare, or very rare. However, there's a limit on how much a drop rate can be increased, and for most Ultra Rare drops, their maxed-out drop rate is still something like 0.5 percent.
  • Opoona features many rare random drops, including, from the White Monk, the best defensive equipment in the game. Normally, you're only supposed to get one of them, and by completing a fairly lengthy Collection Sidequest too, but if you're willing to fight multiples of one of the strongest non-boss enemies in the game, you can indeed get as many as you have the wherewithal for. Similarly, another fairly strong enemy, the Old Pipes, can drop the Sonic Attack—an extremely powerful equipment that you can buy, but which costs nearly 100,000 matia.
    • Certain enemy types also carry equipment, exclusive to their "species", which grant you powers related to that species. Among the best is the Jet Ring, which is one of exactly three pieces of equipment in the game to increase speed, and by a much larger amount than the one you can purchase. The enemy type the drops it is also notorious for running away, especially when the player is at high levels. On a similar note, the local brand of Metal Slime also has its own extremely rare random drop, the Point Chip. Befitting for a Metal Slime, it grants you free experience.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom has the Might equipment, the strongest gear in the game, most of which can only be obtained through Rare Random Drops.
  • In Fallen London, opening a Surprise Package (obtainable only as gifts from other players or a relatively rare card) has a 1-in-1008 chance of giving you a Blemmigan Secretary. The Blemmigan Secretary isn't the best companion in the game, but it does have higher Persuasive than most other companions and looks cool.
  • In the remake of Nocturne (RPG Maker), enemies have a 0.75% to 2% chance to drop an item. While this doesn't sound too bad at first, the catch is that the drop covers a huge range of items, with varying chances for each item depending on their usefulness. While it's easy to get a few drops, getting specific drops can take a while.
  • In the postgame of the first Yo-Kai Watch, there are four secret Yo-kai you can fight and recruit: Tengu, Dromp, Zerberker, and Kyubi. However, the only way you'll have a chance to fight each is if you bring them a specific rare random drop from an enemy. And the enemies that drop the items have no connection to the items they drop—for example, the Ancient Flower you need to fight the earth spirit Dromp comes from Lamedian, a pun-based Yokai. And if you lose the battle versus the secret Yo-kai? You need to bring them another rare drop! Fans commonly consider the quest to be a Guide Dang It! because of this.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, SSR drops from raids are only found when a golden chest flips with a rainbow effect and harp chime to denote the rare drop. These are only estimated to have a 2% chance of happening and even then, it's not necessarily guaranteed to be the weapon the player wanted.
  • Dark Souls: There are plenty of hard-to-get items, often dependent upon repeatedly killing a specific enemy, but special mention goes to the Old Ironclad and Heide Knight armours in Dark Souls II. The game in standard play contains exactly one Old Ironclad, and it only spawns a certain number of times, so if you can't get it to spit out its gear before it stops spawning, you've missed out until you use a Bonfire Ascetic. The Heide Knight armour (not to be confused with the Old Knight armour) is even worse; there are only a handful of Heide Knights in the game, they're tough minibosses, and only a Bonfire Ascetic will allow them to respawn once killed.
  • Darkest Dungeon:
    • While most trinkets are available as rewards for completing quests, a few unique ones are only available as rare monster drops. For instance, the Tempting Goblet is rarely dropped by Bone Courtiers (and their difficulty variants), and three music boxes are only available from Madmen. You may also find Very Rare or even Ancestral Trinkets after finishing a random battle.
    • In the Colour of Madness DLC, the Thing From The Stars wandering boss has a chance of dropping either Memories (which are used to build the best district in the game) or a few unique trinkets. Not a great chance; just a chance. Also, the Thing doesn't appear consistently and is actually pretty hard to kill.
  • In Ni no Kuni, there's the double-sign familiars, and both single and double Planet sign familiars. While the chances of taming any familiar range from 10% to lower, finding a familiar of an uncommon sign can take several dozens to several hundreds of battles before one finally becomes willing to be serenaded into joining your party.
  • Parameters: Any specific letter of NEKOGAMES for Gotta Catch Them All, takes multiple clicks of the rectangles, and any specific letter is dropped randomly as well, any specific letter is rare.
  • Vagrant Story: The Excalibur is one of the most prized drops in the game, being a great weapon in its own right, as well as being useful for converting other weapons into damascus using the Item Crafting mechanics and always dropping alongside the equally-prized Arturos gem. There is a single enemy that drops it, and that enemy only spawns in one of the deepest chambers of the Bonus Dungeon under a specific set of circumstancesnote . The sword itself will drop about 3 kills out of 255, or 1.17% of the time.

    Simulation Game 
  • Stardew Valley
    • In addition to random drops from defeated enemies, the game also randomizes items within treasure chests acquired from fishing, minerals sourced from within geodes, and resources provided by certain animals you raisenote . Some of these (such as the Prismatic Shard) can have a drop rate of 0.05%.
    • Most ludicrously-rare by far, though, are the strange capsule (implied to contain an alien creature, which escapes a few days afterward) and stone owl (unrelated the one you can buy in the Night Market). Either one can randomly appear somewhere on your farm overnight, but the conditions for this are so improbablenote  that you'll probably have to play for at least 400 ingame years to get one of them. And that's if you have practially nothing on your land; crops, buildings, and so forth decrease your chances of either "drop" even further. Fortunately, neither item does anything important, they're just extremely rare Easter Eggs.

    Survival Horror 
  • Resident Evil 4 has the valuable Blue Eye gemstone that's only dropped from Novistador enemies, and is far less common compared to the Red and Green Eyes that, comparatively speaking, these things practically shower you with. You need two of each gem to fill out both treasures they fit into, and you're only guaranteed to find a single blue one by destroying the Novistadores' nest. Unlike many RPGs, you can't grind for the drop because Novistadores don't infinitely respawn, so it's not just possible, but is in fact probable that you'll pass every segment involving these enemies without ever finding a second Blue Eye.
  • Resident Evil 4 (Remake) does it again with the rectangular cut Red Beryl, Emerald and Alexandrite gems. Even if you loot every possible treasure and gemstone in the game, the number of objects that need these rectangular gems is always much higher than the number of them available to find, with most of what you'll get coming at the mercy of incredibly stingy randomized drops. This leaves you with an excess of half-completed treasures and round gemstones to tote around until you finally say "fuck it" and offload them for a much lower windfall.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden features this, though other games in the series do not. The infamous Sol, Luna and Astra lances are only obtainable from less than 1% drops from specific monsters. Bandits also have a very low (around 0.01%) chance of dropping the highly sought-after Angel Ring.
  • Eternal Eyes has many different items available as drops, but one of the most valuable is Magical Puppets; they're the raw material for your mons, and each one you get equals a new unit. All monsters can drop them, but the chance is very low, and if you don't waste a turn opening the treasure chest it's in (no way to tell until you open it, of course), it stands a good chance of being destroyed by one of its former allies. A few chapter ends will simply give you a new puppet, so you will gain new units if you progress through the story normally, but if you want to expand your army further? Get to grindin'!
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 murders you thanks to this trope. What you can buy is determined by what pieces of loot you bring to the Bazaar, which is determined solely by how much of a lucky bastard you are. This means that it's almost impossible to tune your team to your liking until much, much further into the game, since most classes require that you have enough abilities in others to unlock them... and abilities are granted by these same items you depend on luck for finding. So you end up having to get by with whatever you have available.
  • TearRing Saga, a Spiritual Successor to Fire Emblem, used the same system as Fire Emblem Gaiden.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Terraria:
    • Way too many to list, but the crowners go to the five Dungeon Keys (Corrupt, Hallowed, Crimson, Jungle, and Ice). During, a mould of them dropped in the corresponding biome with a 1 in 2,500 (0.04%) drop rate (previously 1 in 4,000 or 0.025%), which then needs to be used with souls from Hardmode bosses and the key from the jungle's Hardmode boss to craft. In later versions, the key is dropped directly, instead of the mould. Without setting up a serious enemy farm, chances are you'll never see one of the moulds/keys. What the keys unlock though is well worth it.
    • Another crowner is the Rod of Discord, which has a 0.2% (1 in 500) chance of dropping from the uncommon Chaos Elementals found in the underground Hallow. Fortunately, it's worth the time investment because it's a powerful item well into Game-Breaker territory.
    • The Coin Gun, that uses your money as ammo with damage varying on the value of the coin. It has a 0.0125% chance of being dropped by Pirates (except the Parrot, which doesn't drop it, the Captain, who gets a 0.05% chance, and the Flying Dutchman, who gets a 0.25% chance). Other rare drops from pirates include the Lucky Coin, the Discount Card and the Gold Ring, although not to the extreme of the Coin Gun.
    • The Slime Staff has a 0.01% chance of being dropped by almost all types of Slimes, or 1% from the very rare Pinky slime. Fortunately you can build a slime farm for this one.
    • The Bananarang has 3.33% chance of being dropped by Clowns. This doesn't seem too bad, but it's an enemy that only spawns rarely on the randomly occurring hardmode Blood Moon. Chances are you'll only see a couple of them at most during a Blood Moon, you'll need one of them to drop the Bananarang, and then you need 10 of them to have a full stack, which will require several drops...
    • The Amber Mosquito is rarely obtained from Extractinators: 0.02% when using silt or slush or 0.06% when using desert fossils.
    • If you're a completionist, there's the banners for the Nymph, Tim and the Rune Wizard. You have to get 50 kills on a particular enemy to get a banner, and Tim and the Rune Wizard are both rare at a 0.5% chance to spawn (2% if wearing a particular type of robe). The Nymph is rarer at 0.6%, but is ultimately much more likely to appear because she can show up in more places. The problem with her is that she stands completely still and makes no sound until the player comes close or damages her; that means, thanks to the sheer amount of enclosed dark caves that are usually on the player's screen, she is nearly impossible to find even when she spawns.
    • As of 1.3, Expert Mode partially mitigates the rare random drops by somewhat improving the odds of a number of them. Still, not all of those items have their drop improved, and even then, it's usually only doubled (1% to 2% is not much of an improvement).
      • After 1.4, Master Mode makes the rarer drops more common than what Expert Mode does, but grinding is stilll very prominent.
  • Slimes have a random chance to hold an item inside of them. Killing a slime with an item inside will give you said item.
  • After Hardmode activates, any enemy has a 0.04% (1/2500) chance to drop a summon for 1 of the 3 mechanical bosses that become available to the player. Most of the time you get them completely randomly while playing normally or grinding for a different drop due to their rarity.

Non-video game examples:

  • Erebos has Wish Crystals. They are incredibly rare, which is probably a good thing, considering whoever finds them can use them for almost anything, including out of game wishes like having a couple break up.

  • Except for a handful of the earliest machines, all pinball machines with a random award (often called a Mystery Award) have different odds of obtaining different gifts. Though the possible awards vary from machine to machine and are integrated to each machine's rules, nearly all of them have their rarest awards be Multiball (instantly begins a multiball mode), Extra Ball (allows you to play one more ball before the game ends), and Special (depends on the operator's settings but is a free game by default). That being said, some machines, such as The Wizard of Oz, allow the owner to adjust the probabilities of individual random awards occurring, but if left alone, the odds between these three combined has never exceeded 10% (with the Special most commonly being at 1%).


    Web Original 
  • Neopets:
    • Random Events can occur whenever you load a page. However, there exists a wide variety of these Random Events, which have many more effects than just giving you a rare item. For example, one event can turn your active pet invisible, or into a baby version of itself, unless you have a rare unconverted pet.
    • There are certain avatars that can only have a chance of being given when you perform a certain event. Some of these events can only happen once every 24 real-time hours. Coupled that these avatars are infrequent in distribution, it makes avatar-getters frustrated in collecting them all.
    • In addition to Random Events and Avatars, there are also Random Faerie quests that can occur, which ask for a semi-random item, and lock your access to the shop wizard. While most simply raise your active pet's stats, one, the Fountain Faerie, allows you to paint your pet almost any color, including rare, lab ray only colors.

    Real Life 
  • Sweepstakes where prizes are won by collecting a specific set of game pieces—for example, McDonald's Monopoly or Subway's Scrabble games. One of the pieces in each set is rare: the amount of those pieces are equal to the amount of prizes available for that set. The other pieces are common, so you are enticed to keep playing the game to find the rare piece. The rules usually list the odds of winning the prize, which is also the odds of a given game piece being the rare piece for that set. In the case of the Scrabble game, it's easy figuring out which letter is the rare one for a given prize - just look for a letter that occurs ONCE in the prize's name and doesn't occur in any other prize names. If you live in French Canada, where the contest runs in English and French, then the SAME rare letter must fulfill both conditions in TWO languages. Now imagine being the guy who has to figure how to prevent the game from being Unintentionally Unwinnable while simultaneously avoiding having to give out half a million cars.
  • Dropped money. It's not uncommon to find coins like pennies, nickels, or even quarters lying around your home or even in the street, but if you find something like a $5 bill or higher, count yourself lucky. Same for money you left in your pockets or wallet/pocketbook. Vending machines that give change in coins may sometimes give out more money than intended or the tray for said coins may have leftover change from the last user who forgot to pick up their change. Count yourself lucky if this happens to you and consider yourself even luckier if the found change is enough to get you a snack or drink from the machine.
  • U.S dimes and quarters switched from silver to a combination of nickel and copper starting in 1965. Very few coins minted from 1964 and earlier are still in circulation, but they're worth at least a few bucks over face value and something cool for the amateur collector to keep an eye out for.
  • Natural pearls from oysters are likely the closest real-life equivalent to randomized video game creature drops. The odds of an oyster living under natural conditions forming a pearl is on the order of 1 in 10,000, and even then, their size and value varies significantly. Nowadays, most pearls are cultured, in essence rigging the game to avoid all that grinding.
  • Blind bag toys often have the trend of limited edition or harder to find versions in a series, with one to two in being harder to find than others (such as odd of only one in every forty, seventy-two, or even 400 packages). Moose Toys in particular has used this idea in relish, to the point that some figures are only 100 of them produced worldwide. Naturally, these can rack up a hefty price when sold online.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rare Drop


Starman Super & Sword of Kings

The Starman Super is an enemy in Earthbound that appears in the Stonehenge Base. This enemy is notorious for dropping the Sword of Kings, Poo's ultimate weapon. However, there is a 1/128 chance of it dropping. It is recommended that you grind for this item because if you defeat the Starman DX, these enemies will stop appearing and the Sword of Kings will be unobtainable.

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Main / RareRandomDrop

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