Graphical depictions of a statistical quantity, most often the player-character's current status. Most often takes the form of a straight or circular line that empties and fills as the stat's value changes.
A graphical representation is often prefered to a numerical point-count display, as it reduces the feeling that the game is entirely numbers-driven, despite the fact that all computerized games must be so. RPGs are the perennial exception, as long-time players really seem to like numbers. A graphical display is also easier to understand at a quick glance, which is all you can find time for in a non-turn-based setting.
Ammo counts are usually depicted as just a set of numbers, often rounds in weapon/rounds in reserve; however, a graphic to accompany this quantity is becoming more common.
The main types are:
- Alliance Meter
Shows how well-liked and trusted your in-game avatar is by the game's competing factions.
- Armor Meter/Points
Shows the amount of armor/shields left.
- Awesomeness Meter
Shows the greatness of the spectacle, kills and/or stunts you make.
- Break Meter
Shows how close the enemy is to entering "broken" state, where it takes more damage than usual.
- Charge Meter
Shows how powerful your in-game avatar's "charged" attack will be when you launch it.
- Completion Meter
Shows how much of the game's content you haven't uncovered yet.
- Experience Meter
Shows how close your in-game avatar is to the next Level Up.
- Karma Meter
Shows your in-game avatar's moral standing on the scale from the Absolute Evil to the Paragon of Good.
- Life Meter
Shows how close your in-game avatar is to death.
- Mana Meter
Shows how much magical resource your in-game avatar has left to cast spells.
- Oxygen Meter
Shows how much longer your in-game avatar can stay underwater.
- Sanity Meter
Shows how close your in-game avatar is to a complete mental breakdown.
- Sprint Meter
Shows how far your in-game avatar can sprint.
- Visibility Meter
Shows how likely the enemy is to spot you while you're trying to hide.
- Wanted Meter
Shows how much your in-game avatar is wanted by the setting's authorities.