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''I knew setting out that I would never curb Henderson's madness. I could never hope to match it either. I therefore built Henderson's exact opposite: Competent, sane, cunning.

His karmic balance.

The Yin to his Yang.

His fucking soulmate in plot annihilation.

The perfect support character. When utilized properly, a well made/played support character is a fucking force multiplier for team effectiveness.''
A Self Called 'Nowhere' on the creation of Simon Breckenridge: British Spy, Old Man Henderson

In a group of people with various superpowers, this is the one teammate with no offensive powers. Teamed with An Ice Person, a Flying Brick, and someone with Heat Vision, they'll be the one with telepathy or Healing Hands. Their power, if usable at all in combat, are purely defensive. Their purpose is supporting their allies instead of fighting the enemy.

Unlike What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?, these powers are definitely not useless. They may be the only one capable of advancing the plot and their powers may have the most Mundane Utility. After all, beating the bad guy is good and all, but you need to know who the bad guy is, as well as finding and reaching him first. Then there are some creative ways of using their power such as Revive Kills Zombie.

Very often The Chick or The Smart Guy is likely to have this in a Five-Man Band. See also Utility Party Member, White Mage, The Medic, and Combat Medic. In Videogames, the White Magician Girl is often this. Will obviously fall on the support side of Combat and Support.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Lyrical Nanoha series revels in this trope:
    • The original series had Yuuno supporting Nanoha's firepower with shields, healing, and binding spells. Fate's Arf would be this but she also packed quite a bit of a punch.
    • In A's, Shamal (and, to a lesser degree, Zafira with his defensive spells) handled healing, recovery and transportation for the Wolkenritter, while Yuuno reprized his role for Team Nanoha.
    • In StrikerS, this was the official duty of Caro for Lightning Team, thanks to her specialization in augmentation and summoning magic. Ditto Teana for the StarS team, though she was mainly "shoot anyone who tries to flank the fighters" kind of support. Also, at least one third of the Numbers were supporting types (especially Otto with her stealth, anti-materiel, and restraining powers).
  • Multiple members of the main Ala Alba group in Negima! Magister Negi Magi don't actually have any combat powers and a few who do aren't actually part of the group for that reason. For example, Nodoka and Asakura have two different forms of spying artifacts while Yue is a mage, but mostly valuable because of how methodical and prepared her personality is on top of having an artifact that can teach her anything about magic or magical society, even classified information, so long as she knows what she's looking for.
  • Darker Than Black: Mao and Yin can count as that in Hei's team, as they both provide survey. In November 11's team July provides survey; April, while her power has good offensive purposes, she supports November by summoning rain he can freeze, since it's much more effective that way.
  • Borderline example: Sailor Mercury in the first season of Sailor Moon. Her "bubble spray" attack was used to stun and disorient enemies, and her only other power was an Everything Sensor visor. She finally got some offensive attacks in the later seasons. She has attacks, but they are entirely non lethal, compared to her teammates'.
  • Lampshaded in Puni Puni Poemi: When the Aasu sisters try to defeat the Humongous Mecha that's destroying the city, they quickly realize that all seven of them are Support Party Members with no offensive powers.
  • Pretty Cure franchise:
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart has the new heroine, Shiny Luminous, whose powers revolve entirely around hampering enemies and enhancing Cure Black and Cure White's attacks. Despite having Super Strength like all other main characters in the whole franchise, the amount of fights where Luminous throws punches or kicks can be counted on one hand.
    • Doki Doki Pretty Cure has Alice Yotsuba, an Ojou who initially offered to use her family's obscene wealth and influence to support her friends' superhero team as a "manager". When she ends up joining the team herself as Cure Rosetta, her "Finishing Move" instead takes the form of a shield, but she makes up for her low magical firepower with great martial arts skills. Later in the series, Alice's butler Sebastian mostly takes over her "do things with money" role while also helping out by transporting the team around or evacuating civilians. Still later, Joe begins to assist the team as a secondary combatant - while much slower than the Precures, and lacking any way to inflict significant damage to monsters, his magic sword and armor make him sturdy enough to help out by harassing and delaying enemies.
  • Digimon:
    • In general, with a few exceptions, the main role of the Digidestined is empower and buff their Digimon partners, mostly using their emotions. You'd be surprised how useful having an ally who can give you powerful buffs at will can be.
    • In Digimon Tamers, the above point is taken Up to Eleven with the Tamers who in addition to powering up Digievolutions, wield actual Game Cards that can give their Digimon extra power and in the Final Arc gain the ability to do a Fusion Dance.
    • In Digimon Frontier, Takuya and Koji's final power-up is created by borrowing the powers of the others, and is soon needed in any serious fight, so the rest of the gang goes from actually fighting to simply powering up the two who have enough power to matter. This doesn't mean they're not just as active as before outside of combat, though.
  • In World Trigger, operators, trappers and spotters have no combat ability, but their support is critical in winning battles. Operators act as Mission Control, trappers provide teleport ability among others to the team, while spotters allow snipers to shoot targets outside their line of sight.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Anzu's Happy Lover has no attacks, but is able to heal its teammates.
  • In Killing Bites, rabbit therianthrope Ui is as harmless as her species suggests, but she helps her team by luring enemies into traps and distracting them at critical moments.
    • The therianthrope transformation is usually given to soldiers or criminals, whose courage it boosts to dangerous levels. The resulting therianthropes are strong and easily manipulated- but loyal or strategic? Not so much. That's why Seira transforms Nomoto, a doormat college student. He can be trusted to direct her fighters wisely. The transformation itself is only valuable because it gave him wings to scout with and prevents him from being One-Hit Killed on the battlefield.

    Comic Books 
  • Fantastic Four, especially before Sue Storm Took a Level in Badass. All of the males on the team have powers with direct offensive use. Originally all Sue had was the ability to turn invisible. Later she gain forcefield projection (still an example of this trope), and even later she learned to use those offensively, making her in a certain irony the strongest and most versatile member of the team.
  • Several members of the X-Men. Forge, for example, is a technopath. Shadowcat can phase through solid matter. Cipher (not to be confused with Cypher, who is Back from the Dead now) can turn invisible. Gateway can open portals for the team.
    • Subverted with Professor Xavier of course, who is a telepath AND in a wheelchair. So you'd expect him to be spectacularly useless in a fight. Except he can mind control you, screw with your brain and perceptions, and do all sorts of things to your mind. In fact, many early issues basically had the X-Men holding back the enemy long enough for Xavier to arrive. Once he was there, he could simply order the enemy to forget whatever he was doing.
  • Several members of the Justice League of America, Like The Atom (who can shrink).
  • The Guardian Project's heroes are all based on NHL teams. The Montreal Canadien's power is... magnifying the powers of the other Guardians.
  • The Blue Lantern Corps is an interesting version. On their own, the Blue Lanterns have extremely limited powers (for a Lantern member, anyway). By pairing themselves with a Green Lantern, they actually accumulate more power than the Green is capable of, while simultaneously enhancing the Green's own power set.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld fics of A.A. Pessimal, Matron Igorina is the noncombatant medical support for the Assassins' Guild School. She gets lots of job satisfaction by working for certifiably sane (if professionally sociopathic) employers who sustain lots of professionally interesting injuries. She is often to be seen inobtrusively accompanying Licenced Assassins on missions where collateral damage to people (other than the client) can be repaired.
  • Megumi Yamato in Juxtapose has Touch Telepathy as her Quirk. While decently useful, it really shines when she makes contact with multiple people and forms a Hive Mind, such as letting Ragdoll and Mandalay coordinate dozens of heroes during an attack on Hosu.
  • Shall We Make a Deal?
    • Izuku's Quirk is called "Pact" and lets him empower or heal others in exchange for an agreed upon favor or item. For actual combat, he has to rely on his martial arts, knife skills, or marksmanship, but he's also proven capable of empowering Ochako enough to launch the Zero Pointer and making Jiro capable of shattering glass and physically knocking people back with her soundwaves. Lastly, Izuku makes Iida so fast that he appears to be teleporting to everyone else's eyes, only the gales of wind he kicks up revealing that he's running rather than simply appearing.
    • Ibara's canon Quirk: Vines is changed to Healing Vines which still has it's canonical usage of binding targets but can also heal others at the cost of exhausting Ibara.
  • Inverted with Sasuke in Son of the Sannin who was assigned to a medical squad after graduating from the academy despite his skillset being almost entirely combat focused with no medical training to speak of. Shizune explains that his role is that of an escort, protecting his teammates so they aren't targeted by enemy combatants while performing their duties.
  • This is Hurdy's role in The Tainted Grimoire. He would like to be more than this though so he is taking steps in that direction.
  • Tales of Blaze and Artemis: Blaze's Heal Flame recharges another hero's special power, making him potentially very useful as support.

    Films — Animated 
  • Violet of The Incredibles who has the same powers as the Invisible Woman.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Most of the future Hero support of Sky High (2005) fall either in this, or in What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?.
  • TRON: Yori falls here. She has no combat ability (her mate handles that), nor is she a Physical God like Flynn. But she's the one who handled a lot of the planning, the diplomacy (convincing Dumont to assist), building and piloting the Cool Ship to get everyone to the BigBad's domain.
  • Bhodi of Rogue One has basic (at best) Imperial military training and is a long-range cargo pilot (his actor explicitly calls him a "long haul trucker"), but it's his codes, shuttle, and piloting skills that get the Rogues in range of the Imperial archive.
  • In the Star Wars universe, Astromech droids like the lovable R2-D2 and BB-8 have no offensive abilities at all (save for a particularly pragmatic move from R2 in Revenge of the Sith), lacking even the ability to speak outside of beeps and bloops and requiring an interpreter. However they're invaluable for their ability to interface with machines and computers, store data, repairing machinery, and even serving as the brain of a ship to do things like calculating hyperspace jumps and even fly the ship, thus making them invaluable assets for civilians, rebels, and Imperials alike.
  • Mythica: Teela the White Magician Girl is a healer and supports the other main characters, who are Fighter, Mage, Thief.

  • Subverted by Finne in Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte. Artur (himself a very powerful mage of this class) mentions Fiene, having strong healing and Status Buff spells but little when it comes to Elemental Powers, probably belongs to the Priest class, this universe's equivalent to this trope. However, Fiene is more used to using the buffs on herself to aid her in manual fighting. And the healing? Good way to keep herself going if someone, say, chops off her armnote .
  • A rather sad example: Jadrek in Vows and Honor wanted to be this, and studied hard to be a good enough loremaster to be useful, but was crippled by rheumatism at a young age and wound up as Rethwellan's librarian. Once the plot shows up, he ends up being a supporting loremaster anyway.
  • In Log Horizon, protagonist Shiroe's Enchanter class is unpopular because it's a Squishy Wizard with almost no offensive abilities, focusing instead on buffs, debuffs and party MP management (in a game where every other support class is a potential Combat Medic or Magic Knight). In other words Enchanters cannot accomplish anything by themselves, but act as a significant force multiplier for any party they join - something which strongly reflects both Shiroe's personality and the overall themes of the story.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Power Rangers RPM, All 5 core rangers have a special power given by their suits. Red can cause energy bursts, Blue can manipulate time, Yellow can also shoot energy (and read energy patterns), Green can teleport. Black, however, can give himself a few seconds of invulnerability, a purely defensive power. In breaking the mold, he's also The Big Guy.
  • Charmed:
    • Phoebe, in earlier seasons, could only receive premonitions, so she learned martial arts to defend herself. Her sister Prue had telekinesis and astral projection. Her other sister Piper could freeze things and make things spontaneously combust.
    • Leo's main role during a lot of the initial seasons was to heal his charges and feed them bit-sized pieces of information about magical society.
  • Heroes
  • Ando's power is the ability to significantly increase the power of another person.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Clerics in all editions are primarily a support class. Although they are usually a well-rounded class, with decent hitpoints, good armor class, and moderate damage output in melee combat, they lack the damage output of fighters, sneak-attacking rogues and nuking arcane casters. Their primary abilities are divine magic, which focuses on protection and healing, making them vital to any well-rounded party. This went straight out the window in 5th edition, where Clerics are the single most versatile and arguably most powerful class in the game.
    • The Healer is an additional class in 3.5 that focuses even more than Clerics on healing, at the further expense of their offense.
    • The Bard lacks high-level arcane magic, and what spells he does have generally don't have a big offensive punch. He focuses on buffing his comrades through his magic and performance.
    • The Artificer can make and modify magical items out of combat, but during a fight almost entirely depends on his sub-par combat skills unless he's really good at preparing for fights.
  • D20 Modern:
    • A Smart or Charismatic Hero takes this role. The former is an expert in all technical tasks, and can also make a plan prior to a dramatic encounter, granting a bonus up to +3 to attack rolls and skill checks for 3 rounds. The latter is the party negotiator, and can inspire his allies, granting them a +3 Morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves for up to 6 rounds. These abilities stack.
    • In an Urban Arcana setting, the smart hero can become a techno mage, but when it comes to damage, Muggles Do It Better. So a smart techno mage will take a lots of buffs.
    • In an Agents of PSI settings (and even in Urban Arcana, depending on the GM), Charismatic heroes can become Telepaths, who are psionicists with lots of buffs and debuffs.
  • In Shadowrun this can be the fate of many Hackers and Facemen, as their skills are best used for the mission outside of combat, where they are amongst the most useful party members. In a fight, they will pale compared to Street Samurais, Adepts and Mages.
  • Normally, having a gun that shoots rocket propelled exploding cartridges would send one straight into Combat Medic, but in the Crapsack World of Warhammer 40,000, the Apothecary of Space Marine armies is taken for his ability to help comrades resist wounds. Likewise, the Imperial Guard army features special support personnel who can direct artillery from support units far away (IE: not actually in the game), coordinating "off-screen" fleet defenses, or even serve as psychic telephones. Inquisitional retinues include quite a few characters whose combat ability is a joke, but whose support ability varies from completely useless to almost useful. The Tau Empire features a priest class leader who in theory buffs the army's morale, but in practice is a high liability as his death causes most of the army to consider fleeing.
  • A few of the characters in Arkham Horror are support characters: Minh, who gives boosts to all skill checks if she's with another investigator; Mandie, who lets anyone re-roll a skill check; and Patrice, who lets others spend her Clue Tokens.
  • In X-Wing Miniatures, the HWK-290 has an embarrassingly low attack of 1 in a game where a twelve point Academy Pilot in a TIE Fighter is rolling three dice to defend (although a turret can improve this), but all of its named pilots have some kind of buff effect for friendly ships: Kyle Katarn can throw Focus tokens at people, Jan Ors can hand out bonus attack dice, and Roark Garnet spikes a friendly ship's Pilot Skill up to an absurd 12 (for comparison, Ace Pilots like Soontir Fel, Darth Vader, Poe Dameron, Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett tend to have Pilot Skills in the 8-9 range), meaning that the buffed ship will be virtually guaranteed to shoot first.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has a few.
    • Foremost is the Argent Adept, a magical bard whose powers and songs are usually best applied to other heroes, letting them play or draw cards out of turn or use powers. He has other songs to selectively heal, increase damage dealt and confer damage reduction on his party. When he's fully set up, he can amplify the number of actions the rest of the party can make.
    • The Visionary specializes not in damage, but in predicting or otherwise controlling the villain by picking which cards come up next. She can also help her teammates draw, boost one's damage and mind-control an enemy unit to attack someone of her choosing.
    • Despite having most of the powers of Superman, Legacy's deck is built around support, with his main power boosting everyone's damage by 1. His other cards stall the enemy, make the rest of the party invulnerable for a turn, or buff his defenses and let him draw fire away from his team. His one consistently damaging power has a side-effect of healing the group. One of his alternates, Greatest Legacy, has a power to heal one character and let them use a power out of turn, while his Freedom Five variant can provide free plays or take out environment cards. About the only one with a destructively-oriented power is his daughter, Young Legacy, with her eye-beams.
    • Dr Medico's Void Guard deck directs most of its damage inward, but as his name suggests, has an obscene number of cards that restore health to the party in various quantities. Some of his stuff allows them to use powers or reduces/prevents damage to other people as well.
    • La Comadora can go for a damaging playstyle with things like Future-Tech Deck Gun, but most of her stuff is about buffing: Paradoja Figureheads provide damage bonuses to a party member, Brig Teleporters shut down Glass Cannon opponents, Harnessed Anomaly can provide both a teammate and her with free plays, Timeless Treasure is a reliable draw engine, and Chronological Sweetspot can potentially provide a full hero team with free plays if they all have One-Shots on top of their decks.
    • Akash'Thriya, once she gets going, can provide a surprising amount of healing, damage mitigation, and ongoing/environment suppression with her Primordial Seeds.
  • Infinity, due to the action system, is notable for being heavily focused on careful use of support. Common features of army lists include hackers to buff Remotes and provide defence and debuffing without actively shooting if they can avoid it, "cheerleader" light infantry to generate more actions and cut off enemy avenues of approach with reactive fire, field medics (especially in Haqqislam lists, where the doctors are very skilled), forward observers, and repair technicians, working to buff the handful of heavy hitters (heavy infantry, heavy weapons troops, TAGs) that are proactively flinging bullets at the enemy.
  • Dead of Winter has a few of them:
    • Eric Parker's unique special ability (do not roll a potential One-Hit Kill die if he's in a location) is powerful, but he can't take advantage of it himself, only other characters can. He still has great stats, so he's an effective character on his own, but he's more useful in a group.
    • Huang Fen is a much straighter example. She's nigh-useless in a battle or for searching, and requires spending cards to move her. But if she shares a location with a character, they may draw an extra card per action.
  • Pandemic: The Dispatcher's ability is using his action points to move other players.
  • The Friend playbook in Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined acts as this, with most of their moves giving other party members advantages, or themselves advantages when helping their allies.

    Video Games 
  • Because of how the Guild Wars skill and attribute system works, party members often specialize into specific roles, including support roles. The most common is probably monks or ritualists taking only healing and protection related skills.
    • Most MMO's force players to specialize like that for harder content. Even tanks can be very ineffective fighters, though they don't fare nearly as badly as dedicated healers or or buffers can.
  • Final Fantasy makes regular use of this trope: The white mage class in general is this. They only ever get Holy (their only attack spell) at very high level. Same for the bard, when present, who only provides buffs for the party members. As such, characters of these classes are examples of this.
    • Minwu of Final Fantasy II
    • Edward, Porom and Rosa of Final Fantasy IV
    • Garnet (Before she got her summons) of Final Fantasy IX
    • Yuna of Final Fantasy Xnote .
    • Some other classes of Final Fantasy Tactics count too, like the Chemist, Bard, Time Mage and Orator.
    • The Final Fantasy X-2 version of the White Mage class deserves mention because it has virtually no offensive options beyond the high-level Holy Hand Grenade — it doesn't even have a "Fight" command.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has the Medic and Synergist paradigm roles.
      • The Medic, true to its name, is basically XIII's version of the White Mage, focusing on healing and removing status ailments. It doesn't even get Holy, which is absent from the game.
      • Synergists buff the party, with the role initially being split between Sazh and Hope. Sazh starts off with the offensive buffs such as Bravery and the En-(element) spells while Hope starts off learning the defensive spells like Protect, Vigilance, and the Bar-(element) spells. All six characters, with the other four being able to access the role later, learn most of the Synergist's offensive and defensive spells but never all of them.
    • Final Fantasy Record Keeper has the literally named Support as one of its ability categories, and most parties are built using 3 DPS 1 Healer and 1 Support character. The Support character uses abilities which lower the boss's stats and generally have Soul Breaks which provide the party with buffs such as Haste, Regen, Attack/Magic increase, "Blinks" which negate a single attack, or Protect/Shell.
  • Get in the Car, Loser!: Sam gets Support actions for healing, buffing, and debuffing. She also gets Ravage actions, which increase the enemy's Ravage gauge but does little actual damage.
  • The Cleric classes from Ogre Battle act as this, only healing the party. This in turn makes them some of the most valuable troops to have.
    • They do have one other notable ability, though: they can instantly nuke almost any undead opponent, presumably because Revive Kills Zombie.
  • Ninten from Mother 1 is unique to the series as a whole, as he is the only character with PSI abilities that has no offensive PSI moves at all. Both Ness and Lucas from later games in the series have most of the same moves as Ninten, but they are coupled with a powerful offensive PSI move PK Rockin' and PK Love, respectively. He has a powerful physical attack and good defense to compensate.
  • Radiant Arc: Richard is a bard that focuses on buff and debuff skills. His offensive stats aren't that strong and his higher end offensive skills exist for the same of weakening the enemies' defenses rather than dealing high damage.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the "Support" Classes, Medic, Sniper, and Spy, which consist of classes with unique and useful abilities, but who cannot effectively fight on their own- Sniper and Spy can't effectively defend themselves in a straight fight despite being able to One-Hit Kill anyone when acting within their specialty (Sniper's headshot and Spy's backstab), and while the Medic is a bit tougher, most of his powers are focused on doing things for his teammates, and he's a prime target for the enemy team.
    • In practice, most players also consider the classes Pyro, and Engineer as "support" classes, the Engineer's buildings act as a forward base, with quick resupplies as well as bringing people straight to the front lines with his teleporter, and the Pyro acting as both a Spy deterent, and knocking the enemy around (even when they're invincible).
  • Accordion Thieves from Kingdom of Loathing were initially this, being bards with a slightly different flavor. They had no combat skills, only buffs, and they can only have three of their buffs running at a time. Being a primarily single-player game, this made the class somewhat unpopular until later class revamps gave them a few offensive skills.
    • Also, this applied to people choosing to permanently stay an Accordion Thief. Due to the Metagame, practically everybody still spent a good portion of their time as one in order to learn the songs (which could then be used as another class, albeit less efficiently). And the class naturally tends to become more relevant in the less single-player portions of the game, as in situations where the playerbase is already coordinating, it's more practical to depend on an Accordion Thief to provide the buffs.
  • Support characters are an important part of the League of Legends Metagame. The typical setup is that the bottom lane will hold two characters: the Attack Damage Carry/ADC, a Glass Cannon with Magikarp Power whose job is to "carry" the team in the late game with high attack stats, and their support, whose job is to protect the ADC, set up minion and champion kills for them, and generally allow them to make it past the Early Game Hell and get the gold and experience they need to raise hell. Supports vary from tanky barriers like Braum whose job is to physically interpose themselves between your ADC and the enemy, to debuff engines like Lux whose job is to stun enemies and leave them helpless, to pull factories like Blitzcrank whose job is to pull the enemy ADC away from their support so you can gang up on them and either kill them or force them to retreatnote , to initiators like Leona who specialise in an aggressive support style about charging an enemy, stunning them, and opening a can of melee whoop-ass on them while the ADC opens up. There are even some hybrids between support and other roles - for example, Support/Mage Lux can produce a lot of stuns and slowing area blasts but is also good at finishing off wounded champions and occasionally stealing dragons from the enemy team with her giant laser ultimate, while Pyke is a Support/Assassin who gives nearby allies a cut of the gold from the enemy champions he stabs to death with his ultimate.
  • The entire Support class in XCOM: Enemy Unknown: with lower defenses and damage output than the other three classes, they are nonetheless critical to victory thanks to their abilities to heal other squad members and deploy smoke screens.
  • In XCOM 2, the Specialist class fills in similarly to the Support class. With a few exceptions, the Specialist has almost no direct damage-dealing capabilities. Instead, the Specialist has a number of defensive and healing abilities, as well as options that let him or her more effectively hack security and disrupt (and even take control of) mechanized enemies.
  • A codified element of modern Persona games:
    • In Persona 3, you have Fuuka Yamagishi, who has a more efficient Enemy Scan and several passive support skills that could help improve HP regeneration and dungeon exploration. Persona 4 has Rise Kujikawa, who initially functioned identically to Fuuka, but in Persona 4 Golden was upgraded to have more active (albeit randomized) combat skills, including the ability to No-Sell attacks on the entire party. By Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, both Fuuka and Rise were upgraded to have skills you could select mid-combat, with Fuuka focusing mostly on healing and status relief, and Rise focusing on more efficient combat and tactics.
    • Persona 3 and Persona 4 also play with this a bit; each game begins with a different party member who starts off as strictly Mission Control (Mitsuru Kirijo in 3 and Teddie in 4), but is upgraded to combatant status after Fuuka/Rise takes their place. Persona 5 also plays with it by having three party members who act as Mission Control while also being front-line party members in Morgana, Makoto, and Akechi. In Makoto's case, though, she only really keeps track of enemy data for you (which she'll continue to do even after Futaba joins) and her Confidant Bonus is all about strengthening data collecting, while Morgana acts more as your primary healer but will bow out of the fight to focus on navigating should he be knocked out. At the beginning of the third semester of the Updated Re-release, Persona 5 Royal, your usual navigators are temporarily incapacitated due to the storyline, so Akechi steps up to handle navigation.
    • Persona 5 has Futaba Sakura, who is your third and only dedicated Support Party Member, as unlike Morgana and Makoto, she does not join in fighting Shadows. She has a wide range of support abilities to make up for her lack of combat prowess, including buffing the party's stats and mapping out a floor of Mementos, more of which unlock as you progress the protagonist's friendship with her.
  • Pillars of Dust: Bobby has low offensive stats, but has three debuff skills and one buff skill.
  • In Pokémon, Shuckle is all over this. It has amazing Defense and Special Defense, but absolutely crap Hitpoints, Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. However, several moves it can learn remedy this, though some are only effective in a double battle. They include Guard Splitnote , Power Splitnote , Helping Hand note , Safeguard note , Sticky Webnote , and Infestationnote . Unfortunately, Shuckle's ridiculously low speed and offensive power limit its effectiveness in this role.
    • There are also some Pokemon who, simply put, are not meant to inflict huge damage on your opponents, but rather, make sure your other Pokémon can do the job that much better. The most obvious case is Alomomola, who has the Abilities Regenerator, Healer, and Hydration and the moves Helping Hand, Wide Guard, Wish, Healing Wish, and Heal Pulse. However, there are also Carbink, who can put up defensive screens and the game-changing Trick Room; Florges, who greatly boosts Grass-type partners' effectiveness and can give other Pokémon its Hold Item; and Beheeyem, who learns a lot of moves that restrict opposing Pokemon's options and, through Telepathy, is immune to its own partners' Splash Damage. That being said, these are best applied in double and triple battles.
    • Male Meowstic and Klefki can come with the Prankster ability (Action Initiative for non-attacking moves) and a good amount of said non-attacking moves to support the team (Light Screen/Reflect, Rain Dance/Sunny Day, Quick Guard for Meowstic and Spikes for Klefki, etc).
    • This is the job of the so-called "Baton Passer". These 'mons aren't even supposed to attack, but their job is to buff themselves up and then use the Baton Pass move to pass those moves to your big, mean sweepers. For example, Gorebyss can set up Aqua Ring (regenerates health), Agility (2-step Speed increase), Amnesia (2-step Special Defence increase), or Iron Defence (2-step Defence upgrade), possibly multiple uses of several, then disappear and pass them to a heavy hitter that is now virtually indestructible, while Ninjask can use Substitute, chain together a use or two of Swords Dance (2-step Attack increase) while its passive ability increases speed every round, and then vanish in favour of a pseudo-legendary that now has quite a large attack score and moves like lightning.
  • The Engi and Zoltan crew in FTL: Faster Than Light. Engi deal lower damage and Zoltan have reduced health, making both a bad choice for direct fights. However, the former repairs ships faster due to their mechanical expertise while the latter provides extra bar of energy to the room they're in thanks to being Energy Beings, making both great at ship support during a battle.
  • In Heroes of the Storm has Support class heroes that fill this role. Lili and Uther in particular are Combat Medic's. Lili focuses on healing allies and summoning minions to aid in combat. Uther is a bit more offensive, his abilities can both heal allies and damage enemies, with some being able to stun enemies for a second.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, Light-based monsters, such as Happy Lover, tend to be frail but have unique abilities.
  • Overwatch has Mercy, who has powerful single-target healing that can be swapped for a damage booster and can resurrect dead teammates, but has the lowest damage output out of all the support heroes. Her only offensive weapon is an energy pistol.
  • In Steven Universe: Attack The Light, Steven doesn't have any attacks (and is never attacked by enemies either, though Bandit Mooks can still rob him), leaving the fighting to Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl. However, he can use his abilities and items to buff, heal and defend the Gems. The sequel, Save The Light, makes him a full party member.
  • The Boomer from Left 4 Dead and its sequel is the only Special Infected that can't instantly disable survivors or deal a great amount of direct damage, but it does have the ability to cause Interface Screw and attract a horde to attack the survivors, very useful in helping the other Special Infected.
  • Hope from Xenoblade Chronicles X, befitting her kind-to-a-fault nature, learns only a few direct attack Arts, and instead specializes in buffs and debuffs.
  • The Fire Emblem series has the Dancer and Bard classes; in the GBA and Tellius titles, they are incapable of attacking enemies; instead, they can refresh units that have already acted, allowing them a second action in the same player phase. Clerics are at first limited to healing, buffing other units or debuffing the enemy, but upon their promotion to Bishops, they gain the ability to wield light magic.
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2: Moira supports Claire, Natalia supports Barry.
    • Moira can dazzle enemies with her flashlight, making it easier for Claire to shoot them. She can also use the flashlight to find treasure, and her crowbar to break obstacles and even hit enemies.
    • Natalia is a young child, but she can find treasure, and her Detect Evil sense is very handy.
  • The player can choose to become this in South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Once they unlock enough classes, it's possible to pick only healing, cleansing, shield-granting, and/or aggro-drawing abilities. As far as party members go, Human Kite (Kyle) can buff allies with a shield as well as pulling them back with a heal while DLC character Henrietta has a buff and a heal that causes an explosion around the target that causes Life Drain. The second DLC character Mintberry Crunch can use the power of Mint to cleanse allies and soften enemy damage while covering enemies with Berry to nullify any enemy attacks on Minted allies.
  • Despite being a fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ has a few characters that, while relatively weaker than the rest, make it up for it in other ways:
    • Captain Ginyu's moveset is less than average (although he can summon the Ginyu Force to cover a decent area of the screen), but his Body Change, while difficult to land, allows you to steal the opponent's character and health, while said opponent is left with a nerfed Ginyu who cannot use the rest Ginyu Force nor Body Change itself. Due to the health bar's swapping, the deal is skewed even more in your favor if you happen to have much less health than your opponent (and Ginyu can voluntarily wound himself before attempting the switch).
    • Krilin can throw Senzu Beans (which allows whoever catches them to instantly regenerate all the recoverable health) or rocks (which, while very weak, are quite fast and precise and can stun the opponent for an instant). He also has various tricks to trip up the opponent.
    • Tien has two powerful and hard-to-avoid techniques that come at a great cost, and are usually reserved for dealing with the opponent's last (and usually strongest) character. "Neo Tri-Beam" is a giant beam that can be repeatedly spammed for massive damage if you have enough Ki and health to burn, while "Farewell, Tien..." has Chiaotzu grab the opponent from behind (which is unblockable, unlike the Neo Tri-Beam) and self-destructing.
    • Yamcha's playstyle revolves around hitting the opponent with lots of fast attacks that don't do much damage, but build up lots of Ki that other characters can spend to use much more damaging moves. Additionally, he has one of (if not the) most reliable assist attacks in the entire game.
  • Christo from Disgaea 5 only learns debuff and healing spells and doesn't learn any damage dealing skills until about halfway through the game. While he doesn't have the raw healing output of generic Cleric units, his Evility gives nearby allies perfect accuracy and bonus evasion, making him an MVP against any highly evasive enemies. His Overload gives the entire party even more accuracy and evasion.
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden: There are a few on the enemy side.
    • Shamans can summon reinforcements. Kill them first.
    • Medbots can resurrect dead enemies. Kill them first.
  • Some cats In The Battle Cats are bad at dealing damage when compared to cats with an attacking role, but their ability to Stop/Slow/Knockback/Weaken enemies is where their true value shines since most stages would be made insanely hard or outright impossible without them and helps keep your offence cats alive for a lot longer and sometimes, they even reach Game-Breaker status. A prominent example of this would be the Nekoluga Family, with 4 out of 7 of their members focusing on support through abilities that affect most (or all depending on the unit) enemy types
  • In Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, the Alchemystic class’s skillset consists mainly of buffs, though they unlock a single, powerful offensive spell as one of their final skills.
  • Jill in Girls' Frontline is unique in that she has no damage-dealing capabilities whatsoever, but her support skills are extremely powerful to make up for it.
  • Three of Chongara's summons in Arc the Lad fall under this — Mofly is used to create walking area in the battlefields (a very situational skill); Kelack has a Heal spell which grows fairly powerful as it levels up; and Hemo-ji can turn enemies into others of its kind, reducing their strength and halting their spellcasting. Arc the Lad II did some mild rebalancing to make them a bit more well-rounded.
  • Infinitode 2:
    • On the player side, Modifiers, which don't attack but boost stats of up to 8 towers surrounding them.
    • On the enemy side, Armored enemies, who block 50% of damage taken by other enemies when in close proximity.
    • Also on the enemy side, Healer enemies, who heal 5% of damaged enemies' max health per second if they're close enough.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's has multiple animatronics who can't kill you themselves, but can be major annoyances.
    • Balloon Boy from Five Nights at Freddy's 2 has no jumpscare (given that he's smaller than you and has no real hands), but if he gets into your office, you're as doomed as with any of the other animatronics, because he disables your flashlight, which is your only defense against Withered Foxy.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is largely based around this. There's only one animatronic in the entire building who is an active threat- Springtrap. All the others are 'phantoms' who will appear after certain triggers, startle you, and crash some of your systems (giving Springtrap openings to get to you). While some can be avoided (i.e. click another camera after you see Phantom Balloon Boy's face, and you won't be jumpscared), it's expected that you're going to get at least some Phantom jumpscares during gameplay and need to recover quick.
    • The Freddles in 4 are a borderline case, as while they're the size of plush toys and don't attack you, they're part of Nightmare Freddy's mechanic- leave them alone too long, and the big bear himself will show up.
    • In Ultimate Custom Night, a fair chunk of the animatronics fall into this category. Including all the aforementioned ones (which keep their mechanics), you have animatronics that exist to cause an Interface Screw (Funtime Chica, El Chip, the Trash Animatronics), mess with your defenses (BB, JJ, Old Man Consequences), and make noise (Phone Guy, Trash Animatronics, El Chip)-more dangerous than it seems, because other animatronics respond to excess noise. Bonnie is a support character for Foxy specifically, forcing you to be careful when you check Foxy's camera, and Dee Dee isn't technically part of the roster, but she can occasionally show up to make your night harder by activating a random animatronic.
  • A villainous example appears in Castlevania: Bloodlines as the boss to Stage 2-2. He has the ability to create torrents of water to flood the stage, turning the stage into a frantic race for survival to get to the top before you drown. Since this is all he can do, however, he also manages to be the most anemic boss in the entire game when you get to the top and corner him. Having no direct means of attack and no means to defend himself from you, all he can do is float away from you like an asshole, desperately trying to raise the water above your head and drown you before you kill him.
  • Psychonauts 2 introduces Enablers as a new type of creature found in mental worlds. They're blue gremlin-like creature dressed like members of a marching band who will cheer on other enemies, making them invulnerable and increasing their speed and damage until Raz can cake the Enabler out.
  • Red Alert:
    • Engineers have no attack (except for RA 3's Soviet Engineer, but it's very weak), but they can take over enemy buildings to turn the enemy's own units against them or fully heal allied structures.
    • The Gap Generator creates a patch of Fog of War on the enemy's radar. Naturally, it's useless against the AI.
  • Red Alert 3:
    • The Allied engineer is also The Medic, deploying a tent that gradually heals allied infantry, while the Soviet engineer can create a bunker infantry units can attack from.
    • Cryocopters and Cryo Legionnaires' attacks deal no damage, only slowing the target. However, a fully-frozen target becomes a One-Hit-Point Wonder that dies to a single attack, even from an infantry unit. The Legionnaire can even kill frozen enemies by jumping on them.
      • The Cryocopter's Strong Homogenous Residual-Interactive Neutron Kinetic beam shrinks a target, making it weaker but faster.
    • The Multigunner IFV/Turret normally has a Macross Missile Massacre attack, but putting an infantry unit inside will change its weapon. In some cases, this removes the IFV's attack but gives them a different ability.
      • Putting a dog or bear in gives the IFV an anti-infantry stun.
      • Putting a Cryo Legionnaire gives the IFV a non-damaging freezing attack, but targeting an air unit will one-shot an air unit if they stay in range long enough.
      • Putting an Engineer in makes it The Medic for vehicles.
    • The Assault Destroyer's alternate weapon disables its main gun but gives it an energy shield that lets it draw enemy attacks towards itself while increasing its armor. It can still run over infantry and vehicles, however.
    • Spies have no attack (until put in an IFV, at which point they one-shot any infantry they attack), but by putting them in an enemy building they can steal money, turn off power, scramble radar, and disable production, although this kills the spy. They can also disguise themselves as enemy infantry and bribe enemies into switching sides for a relatively small amount of money.
    • Prospectors and Sputniks can't attack except by running over infantry, and are used to set up control areas where buildings can be placed.
    • Burst Drones are flying scouts and detectors that can attach to vehicles to slow them, and detonate themselves to cause damage to said vehicles.
    • Sudden Transports are the only Defenseless Transports in the game, but can disguise themselves as enemy vehicles to be ignored by base defenses.
    • Every faction has two superweapons, one offensive and the other defensive. The Chronosphere can teleport allies and enemies away (and can send land units on water and vice-versa), the Iron Curtain prevents ground vehicles from taking damage, and the Nanoswarm Hive prevents anything in an area from moving and blocks chokepoints.
  • Asahi, Navarre, and Hallelujah in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse are the dedicated support partners; Asahi heals, Navarre buffs, and Hallelujah has a handful of highly specific but handy skills. These party members can still attack; Asahi and Hallelujah have a weak sword and punch attack respectively, and Navarre can use attack items. Isabeau has effective but less versatile buffs and heals, but her attacks are too strong to count as a pure supporter. After a plot development, Hallelujah will start using offensive magic, but can still use his support skills.

  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Tuuri, the team's mechanic, scholar and translator. She's surrounded by three actual trained combatants, a medic who can make a half-decent Crowbar Combatant in a pinch and a Little Stowaway whose emerging mage powers advance to "can do exactly one thing that is useful in battle" in later chapters.
  • The Order of the Stick has Elan, the party's bard. He mostly focuses on buffs for the party based on his singing and some minor illusion and healing spells. Later, he takes levels in Dashing Swordsman, which lets him substitute his Charisma (base 18) for strength when attacking if he makes a pun, but still also takes levels in Bard sometimes for better healing abilities after someone dies because he didn't know a strong enough spell to cure poisoning. This comes in handy during the Empire of Blood arc, where his father's insistence on seeing Elan as the main hero is best thwarted by Elan maintaining a support role, and his healing skills become necessary later, since Durkon is compromised due to being possessed by a vampiric spirit, leaving Elan as the primary healer.

    Western Animation 
  • Miraculous Ladybug: This is the intended purpose of the Butterfly and Peacock Miraculouses, whose special abilities are to grant other people superpowers and create powerful constructs to serve as backup, respectively. Unfortunately, both are in the hands of the villainous Hawk Moth, who uses the Butterfly's power to brainwash random civilians into supervillains while his Dragon Mayura assists him with the monsters she summons with the Peacock. The hands-off nature of these powers makes it impossible for the heroes to track him down through them.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Spike typically fulfills this role for the rest of the Mane Seven by being the Straight Man, offering advice and emotional support, communicating with Princess Celestia, and offering support for the pony's schemes, while they play the direct role in fighting or saving the day. This is explored in The Power Ponies when he assumes the role of Humdrum, the useless Butt-Monkey Comic Relief powerless sidekick to the rest of the heroes, but proves himself to be invaluable thanks to his knowledge of the comic's setting, its villain, and the heroes' powers. Ironically, as a baby dragon, he's probably the most powerful of the Mane Six next to Twilight herself as he's Made of Iron and has a fire breath capable of melting stadium-sized blocks of ice, shattering King Sombra's dark crystals, and even deflecting magic attacks from a powered-up Queen Chrysalis, but he only fights on a couple of occasions.


Video Example(s):


Sombero Guy

These Shy Guys play their guitars to boost other enemies' attack power and to heal them.

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Example of:

Main / SupportPartyMember

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