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Tutorial Failure

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"It's not that hard. You just have to use abilities they won't discuss and techniques they haven't entirely taught you via controls they never quite explain."

Video game tutorials are meant to quickly and easily improve the player's comprehension of the game they're playing. Ideally, the tutorial should explain everything the player needs about to know to play the game without hand-holding. The tutorial should be succinct, easy to follow, and have little risk in getting it wrong until the player is ready to move on.

But what happens when a tutorial fails to do its job? Then you've got a Tutorial Failure.

This trope is for those tutorials which do an inadequate job of what they're supposed to do — the kind that leave the player frustrated that they can't perform that seemingly simple move, or wrap their heads around a gameplay system which seems straightforward. Perhaps this tutorial contains misleading or false information, or fails to mention some vital aspect of gameplay. Perhaps it's because of a "Blind Idiot" Translation; perhaps it's because the game swamps the player with mounds of text right out of the gate and expects them to remember everything immediately; or, maybe, the tutorial tries to simplify a complex game mechanic into a "rule of thumb" which ends up being more of a hindrance than a help. Perhaps the tutorial gives advice that is no longer valid after a game patch. Or maybe the tutorial is useful, but a Game-Breaking Bug exclusive to the tutorial itself prevents you from completing it. Whatever the case, this tutorial just doesn't do what it's supposed to do, and ends up making the player needlessly frustrated.

Think of this as a tutorial-induced Guide Dang It!. Related to Manual Misprint. If an important gameplay element ought to be in the tutorial but is not, that might result in a Noob Bridge.

Related to Failed a Spot Check, as some tutorials' big sin is that the gameplay aspect the programmers and playtesters have become so accustomed to that it is second nature they completely forget to add that one simple explanation that everything else is based on. Another common mistake is assuming the player is familiar with a move after they've executed it only once, even if it was by accident.

Note that not every case of not explaining everything is a Tutorial Failure; in many games figuring out what you're supposed to do is part of the gameplay. This is about those cases where the game tried to explain things, but did a poor job of it. As well, the ability to lose the game during a tutorial does not necessarily constitute a Tutorial Failure.


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    Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In the instruction manual for The Legend of Zelda, the Pols Voice enemy is said to "hate loud noise". Naturally, the player would assume that their weakness would be the flute, then, but that's not the case at all. The flute does absolutely nothing to the Pols Voice. What the manual is actually referring to is the built-in microphone found in the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES. There is no way to replicate this functionality in the international releases, but to compensate, they're weak to arrows and a single one can kill multiple Pols.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games fix this by having music instruments damage Pols Voice, in addition to bombs. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass returns to having the real-world microphone being the only way to defeat Pols Voice, however; at least all versions of the Nintendo DS have microphones.
    • In Phantom Hourglass, the game tells you to "draw little circles at the edge of a screen" to perform a roll. This is before the sword tutorial, which explains that a bigger circle anywhere on the screen will make Link spin with his sword out. In reality, the rolling technique is more like making a wiggling motion at the edge of the screen—an average player trying to draw circles will just make Link flail around with his sword.
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Tomb Raider II has a tutorial level in the form of an obstacle course. You are not told how to do certain actions until you screw up said actions.
    • As a result of the game being Christmas Rushed, the tutorial in Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness is an incomplete mess, with a large section only accessible by glitching the game. This means important information, such as how to duck and crawl - a move essential for later parts of the game - go completely unexplained.

    Augmented Reality Game 
  • Ingress's tutorial could not be completed due to a bug that, on some devices, rendered a vital button impossible to register a press on. Although the game can be played without touching the tutorial at all, the game occasionally nags you to finish it when you log in. This was corrected with an update in late 2013.
  • Pokémon GO, by the same developer, is worse. There's no bug here. There's just the issue that about all the game tells you is that you can throw balls to catch Pokémon. You have to look up an online guide to figure out pretty much the entire game.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Double Dragon's manual had a list of all the moves you could do to opponents. Most involved grabbing the hair of the opponent first, and then a button combination. What was missing? How to grab an opponent's hair in the first place.
  • One of the biggest complaints about The Wonderful 101 is that it inadequately teaches you how to play it. To elaborate a bit further, each main action button has multiple important functions and the game rarely tells you more than a brief summary about its main use, which requires a bit of experimentation (ie. in addition to allowing you to move faster, the dash button also works as an universal cancel button for your weapon forms and sets your team into a tighter formation when held, allowing you to avoid attacks easier, and in addition to making your team members latch on to enemies to deal minor damage and eventually stun them, team attacks also function as a way to lock onto that enemy, allowing you to automatically dash to them prior to attacking them with your weapon form and so forth).
    • There's also the fact that a lot of the upgrades are extremely important but hard to get enough money for early in the game outside of an useful feature the game tells you nothing about (using a maximum amount of each crafting item creates a credit card item that makes the next shop purchase free regardless of its price), and that the ability to level up your permanent characters isn't even mentioned anywhere, let alone how to see their current level.
    • When the game was announced for a Remaster in 2020, fans had hoped they would fix this. They did not.

    Driving Game 
  • The Forced Tutorial in Driver is legendary for being complete garbage. The car (or rather, the patience of the people inside) is fragile, and there's a list of varyingly obscure moves that must be completed before a strict time limit is exhausted - in fact, it'd be more accurate to call it a Skill Gate where you have to demonstrate near-superhuman skills to play the rest of the game. At least one gets to learn from a video of a valid performance in the tutorial... if you can find that video from the rather obtuse menu.

    Eastern RPG 
  • You will die in the Tutorial level of Adventure Bar Labyrinth a lot- Since Mushrooms casts Sleep, which doesn't function like other Sleep attacks, and the Mushroom can spam it consecutively, effectively disabling your character. Oh, and if you pass them, there's Hellhounds in which deals you damage in the 10s — which your HP is already low to begin with.
    • You can, technically use Gems to revive yourself, but They cost PSN credits, and you only start out with 50 free gems.
  • Good luck finding your way through the desert in Breath of Fire III following the in-game instructions: the initial instructions to get through it are correct, but the ones given in your camp are wrong, and due to the sheer length of the segment, it's almost guaranteed you'll have to quit the game at some point during it and end up reading the wrong set of instructions when you come back later. Made worse by the penalty for failure; mess around in the desert too much and your party's max HP will be reduced permanently with every step.
    • However, if you follow the wrong directions, you are led to one of the best armor suits in the game. It's not really a case of tutorial failure, but rather someone writing east instead of west, which is entirely legitimate (and he tells you the right directions at the beginning of the segment and whenever you talk to him afterwards). And if you look around a bit, there's actually a way to skip all of it (albeit by aligning yourself with a seemingly pointless star).
  • Dark Souls is far from a hand-holdy sort of game, but the opening stage in the Northern Asylum does do a good job of walking you through the basics of how to play through developer messages left on the floor to read as you pass. However one thing that was inexplicably left out was how to jump.note  which is mentioned nowhere in the game. Admittedly there are no points where jumping is actually essential to complete the game, but there is a lot of optional stuff you need it to get, including a Ring of Sacrifice in the very first area after you leave the Northern Asylum (and a special merchant also moves to the same place later on).
  • The tutorial for Tetra Master in Final Fantasy IX covers the basics: you put your cards on a grid, if an arrow on your freshly-placed card points at an enemy card that doesn't point back, the enemy card flips to your color. If the enemy card does point back, your cards enter a card battle, and loser not only flips to the winner's color, but also flips every friendly card it's pointing at. The one thing not properly explained: the mechanics of the card battle, which can seem random (and, admittedly, partially are random) to someone who doesn't know. The character giving the tutorial even states that he doesn't understand what the numbers and letters on the cards mean (they're related to the card battle mechanic, of course.) After the initial tutorial, small bread crumbs for the card battle mechanics are dropped in random places, but you'll still never quite get the full story without some outside help, and due to the cards' extremely limited use outside of the minigame itself, you have little to no incentive to bother looking for it.
  • Many, many players struggled to perform Sabin's Blitzes from Final Fantasy VI. The in-game tutorial says "Choose Blitz, press the Control Pad left, right, left, then press the A button!" While technically correct, the game fails to mention that you're supposed to input the command while an otherwise innocuous arrow is pointing at Sabin. Most new players will try instead to press A while the arrow's up (since the arrow is usually the means to select the target character of a given action), then hastily input the Blitz, which is already way too late. The game will never try to correct your timing even after dozens of failed attempts, so naturally, many players just think they haven't inputted the button combination fast enough. It doesn't help that the first time you have to use a Blitz is in a boss battle you can only win by using a Blitz...while the boss puts a countdown-to-instant-death condition on your only character and hits you with regular attacks.
  • Final Fantasy VII gives the player some infamously poor advice in its very first boss fight, owing to the game's poor translation: When the boss goes into a defensive stance, the game will tell you to "Attack while it's[sic] tail's up!" "It's going to counterattack with its laser!" This is supposed to be an if-then statement (as in, "if you attack while its tail's up, it will counterattack with its laser"), but thanks to each sentence being in a separate text box, it's very easy to misinterpret it as advice followed by an explanation (as in "start attacking while its tail's up, because it's about to use its laser"), which is the exact opposite thing. This is meant to be the game's tutorial on how the battle system moves in real-time; what you're supposed to do is delay your actions or heal until the boss lowers its tail, then start attacking it again, which will make the fight pretty trivial. Instead, many players rush into the boss and endure its highly powerful counterattacks, making the fight much harder than it's supposed to be.
  • This is something speedrunners often bemoan about Kingdom Hearts II. It has a very deep, complex and well-balanced battle system once you know how everything works... the problem is the game's tutorials are more focused on telling you how to navigate the menus and find new commands, as opposed to teaching you what the game's many combo abilities, spells, summons and transformations actually do. As a result, many first time players and reviewers come out of the game seeing it as "mash X (and occasionally triangle) to win."
  • The in-game instructions for the Fishing Minigame in NieR are flat-out wrong — and even some of the player-written online guides replicate this incorrect instruction. Interestingly, the correct method is actually a lot simpler than the awful tutorial would have you believe.
    The Dark Id: You know how the instructions said to press X (or A on the Xbox 360)? IGNORE THAT CRAP! It's lying to you. Forget there is even the X/A button. You will never EVER need to press X.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue:
    • This game and all of its associated media insist that ghost types are the best choices against psychic types. One trainer in Sabrina's gym even says "Psychics only fear ghosts and bugs!", which is, at best, a Half-Truth in the original Pokémon generation. Not only are the only ghosts in these games weak to psychic attacks due to their secondary poison type, and not only are there no strong ghost attacks, but psychic-types are outright immune to ghost attacks thanks to a programming bug. Furthermore, there are also no strong bug attacks, and many bug Pokémon are also part poison. As such, the ghost and bug types that psychics are supposed to fear end up being the worst choice to use against them.
    • A Lost in Translation example; one NPC in the international Red and Blue offers to trade his Electrode for your Raichu. After the trade, he comments that the Raichu you traded him "went and evolved". Raichu did not evolve at all in Gen 1 (and still doesn't, as of Gen 7) — what happened was that in the Japanese Pokémon Blue, from which international Red and Blue derive their scripts, this man traded a Haunter for a Graveler, both of which do evolve, and as this was intended to hint, they evolve after being traded. However, the trade was edited during localization to match the original Red and Green, just like every other in-game trade, while his dialogue was not.
    • The tutorial for catching Pokémon in Yellow, the Old Man in Viridian City, is next to no help whatsoever. He throws a Poké Ball at a wild Rattata at full health, the catch will always fail, he never even hints at the fact that weakened Pokémon are easier to catch, and then just walks away. The reason for this? To avert the Missingno. glitch. The Missingno. glitch relied on several things to create the conditions for Missingno. to spawn. The reason Missingno. worked as a glitch were because the strip of Cinnabar Island on which it would spawn had no encounter data, so the game engine would load data from the last "complete" encounter. A caught Pokémon counted as a "complete" encounter, whereas a fled battle did not. The Viridian Weedle had zero data, which the Old Man would catch, and then the game would attempt to load that empty data once you surfed on that Cinnabar strip, and then your name would determine what variety of Missingno. would spawn. Thus, rather than patch around the condition that spawned Missingno. (for instance by giving the Weedle encounter data), the developers implemented a bad tutorial to avert it. And despite their work, there were still several other (more difficult) ways to spawn Missingno. in the game. They did all that work for nothing.
  • Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal has a few of these, due to being a massive Translation Train Wreck.
  • In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, Tear suggests you sell items at close to the highest price you can get customers to accept. Doing so is a horrible idea — what you want to do is earn "near pin" and "just combo" bonuses, which means selling at only slightly above the current base price, so you don't have to haggle. This earns you much more Merchant XP, which is more important than the small amount of extra cash.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has tutorials that fail to explain many of the more complicated mechanics (such as Driver Combos multiplying most other sources of damage while they're active, to a significant degree) and give false or misleading information about the simpler ones. (Such as claiming higher levels of Field Skills get you better items from gather spots. They don't, they just get you more items but the types of items and their odds are the same) It's to the point where the tutorials have driven many potential players away from the game.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X is, to put it lightly, not a hand-holding game. The few tutorials you get at the beginning of the game are accurate, but incomplete; they cover maybe 10% of the game's actual mechanics. While some of the stuff they skip over isn't needed to beat the main game (changing Soul Voices, how to control characters other than Rook, etc.), it also skims over things like how to increase survey percentages (each hex has a specific objective that increases the survey percentage; doing other stuff in that hex won't get you any points) and how to switch out your party members (you have to go to their locations in NLA and talk to them to add them to your party). The game also clearly indicates the elemental properties of attacks and armour, but doesn't clearly indicate which elements enemies are weak/resistant to. Unless you read the manual which should make the gameplay easier to understand.

  • Duolingo: When it comes to smaller courses that lack Tips, a commonly-cited problem is that, while the course does try to explain some things, it often relies on explaining the "how", but rarely the "why" of translations — in other words, it tries to make you learn the grammar of your new language through brute force repetition until you get it. At worst, it may demand one sentence structure in one question before demanding another structure in the next, all without giving any indication it needs to change or why the previous one is now unacceptable. Certain courses are so notorious that users have seen the need to write multi-part guides into the forum because Duo just is that vague about why you got it wrong. A couple of specific examples:
    • The Indonesian course tells you that aku and saya mean I, and kamu and Anda mean you, but does not say which ones are formal or informalnote , and where one should use which.
    • In Welsh, you learn that both bwyta and fwyta mean eat, but it's never explained which one is used in which context, and the course will ding you for using the wrong one.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Many reviews of Coded Arms Contagion criticized the game's upgrade system, stating that the reviewer had accumulated ton of upgrade points and had nothing to spend them on. This is because while the ingame tutorial does explain how to upgrade weapons, it completely obmits to explain you have to "level up" a weapon to upgrade its attributes after the first round of upgrades and how to do so (either by getting A ranks in the trial missions, themselves not mentioned in the tutorial, or pick up a redundant weapon plugin in the later levels).
  • Destiny has a fairly thorough tutorial that oddly includes a section in which you must disarm a hallway full of mines by shooting them without getting too close. These mines do not appear anywhere else in the game except as a grenade thrown by Hunters, which is only a concern in PVP, and even then you'd never find enough to fill a hallway, especially since experienced Hunters tend to simply throw them directly at their opponents.
  • Left 4 Dead has its tutorial done on the fly when playing for the first time. As you play, you'll get pop up tips like learning to crouch so teammates can shoot over you, giving other players healing items if their health is low, avoid shooting alarmed cars, and so on. When it comes to playing as the special infected in versus mode, your only pop up "tips" are "Left click to use main skill" and "Right click to swipe at the survivors." You're left to figure out how to play as the infected on your own, which can cause a ton of grief from other players who know how to play properly since a newbie who doesn't know how to play can easily drag the team down. Players always recommend watching video guides on how to play as the infected properly before jumping into versus.
  • PlanetSide 2 features a tutorial that only teaches the most basic components of an FPS - shooting, moving, driving, et cetera - and how to capture a command console. It fails to explain how to join squads, find good fights bar the suicidal "Instant Action" that often dumps the player right in front of enemy tanks, or how base capture really works beyond capturing a console that is often locked behind shields or cannot be captured period without an adjacent friendly base. The Playstation 4 version of the game (and an upcoming update for the PC) features Koltyr, a basic continent for low level players to learn to play the game without being mauled by the more experienced players on the other continents.
  • Team Fortress 2's oft-forgotten Training Mode is notorious for how useless it is. It doesn't give any bad information per se, but what it does tell you is woefully inadequate for actually playing the game. Only four of the game's nine classes are included, and even then the game makes no attempt to teach you about important mechanics like how to Rocket Jump as Soldier and Demoman, the importance of Engineer's Dispenser and Teleporters, or any of Spy's nuances. It also hasn't been updated to keep up with the decade's worth of new content and mechanics that have since been added, giving the impression that Valve forgot about the tutorial mode just as fast as the players did.

    Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game 
  • The Monster Hunter series is already a big victim of the Guide Dang It! trope, so Capcom tried to rectify this in MH4U with the inclusion of optional tutorials missions. They're... not that helpful actually. While some of them (especially the Greatsword tutorial) actually manage to explain some of the finer tactical elements of the game, most of them are pretty basic, and the Gunner tutorials (Bow and Bowgun) are particularly useless, failing to explain even the most basic mechanics like "criticial distance" (the range at which different ammunition types do the most damage). Which is especially ironic considering that Bowguns are extremely nuanced and demanding weapons and therefore would benefit the most from a complete and thorough tutorial.
  • The MMO World of Tanks features one of the worst gaming tutorials in modern gaming, which features about 2 minutes to explain how to move the tank and make it shoot...and that's about it. Many of the games crucially important game mechanics, such as the vision system and ramming, are simply not covered. In fact, basic information on the game itself, such as a particular tank's camo value, is only located in the wiki. It also provides no information on the different ammo types wor nor how to switch between them. Finally, the console version gives flat-out incorrect information about bushes: it says that you can gain a camouflage bonus for sitting in one, but due to system limitations of the Xbox 360 you only gain the bonus if you're completely behind it instead (something that was retained for the PS4 and Xbox One even though they don't have the 360's limitations). If you ever want to get good at this game, you need to watch numerous player tutorial videos, and look up on their wiki the performance of various tanks.

    Minigame Game 
  • In the Kuukiyomi series, the game only tells the player to control the red object, but not how to control the object/which button controls the object. This is averted in the Consider It Together Mode, however.

    Multiplayer Online Battle Arena 
  • The original League of Legends tutorial left much to be desired. It starts with an exclusive map called the proving ground, where you get to play as Ashe, a squishy archer that derives power from utility. It tells you a good few common sense type of things like kill minions and don't try to solo turrets, and then has you buy a thornmail. There is no reason for Ashe to ever pick up a thornmail, which is a heavy duty armor item that returns auto attack damage, which Ashe is far too squishy to take advantage of. Probably an even bigger flaw is that it pits you against Master Yi, one of the toughest conceivable low level matchups, but without any of the skills that make the matchup so difficult, misleading the player into thinking that this is a perfectly fine matchup. The second half of the tutorial is much better, it just puts you in an AI fight and lets you duke it out, the only real flaw was that it did a poor job at explaining shop mechanics and randomly sends you into the jungle for no apparent reason, even on characters with no conceivable reason for jungling (like once again, Ashe). Over the years Riot completely replaced this shoddy tutorial with a variety of new and much better ones, but "buying Thornmail on Ashe" is still a minor meme.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Antichamber: For the green and yellow guns.
    • You are shown that you can "grow" more blocks in the recess in the wall, but it takes a logical leap to figure out that you can do so by drawing an empty rectangle anywhere you want - not just in the recessed areas provided. This stymied more than a few players.
    • When a connected block structure loses a block from a middle of it, the smaller half of it will disappear. If the amount of blocks on either side of the structure is the same, all such sides will disappear. Sounds simple? Well, the game never actually tells you this, it just puts in two rooms where you're pretty much locked until you've somehow realised the pattern and used it to get enough blocks to solve the puzzle - which is a problem if you don't have any clue of why the blocks are disappearing but still somehow manage to complete the puzzle: you'll now be struggling among lots of puzzles that assume you've fully understood the pattern.
  • Robot Odyssey suggests using the innovation lab to recreate puzzles that are bothering you. Unfortunately all you can do in the innovation lab is draw walls. You can't put in any of the things that will actually have you ripping your hair out, like colored walls only letting certain color robots through, invisible minefields, and buttons that must be pressed in order.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Most Paradox Interactive titles are incredibly complex games with lots of mechanics that aren't really intuitive and user interfaces that hide the information. Their tutorials require you to click through walls of text, every few tutorials interrupted by one or two interactions with the actual game. It's not uncommon to hear people who've played 100s of hours and still call themselves a beginner.
    • There's also the fact that Paradox seldom bothers to update the tutorials to reflect their endless expansion packs, most of which alter gameplay more than enough to make the tutorials useless.
  • Empires of the Undergrowth: While basic actions and concepts are redundantly explained again even after the actual tutorial, there are some features that aren't explained at all and you must go find them on your own. For example, in the formicarium you can order your ants to go outside the nest in a new map, and you can switch between the two by using the now doubled minimap: players discover this by themselves. Similarly, you are initially not told in the formicarium that you have a limit on how many tiles you can dig, so either you discover it the hard way or you move your cursor above the top buttons to see what are those numbers.
  • The first mission of MechCommander is useful for building confidence into the game mechanics, but it doesn't really teach anything other than moving the camera around, selecting mechs and engaging enemies.
    • You're never told that you can capture and use enemy buildings, which is vital even in earlier missions because you can repair mechs, supply ammo on the field and, most important of all, capture command buildings that will turn enemy turrets against them.
    • You will lose at least one pilot in battle before noticing that they have a health bar and can recover health by leaving them at the base.
    • To lay mines with a Minelayer you have to press F on your keyboard and move the vehicle around, as simply clicking with the mouse won't work. The game never tells you this. You might also think that Minesweepers have a special command for disabling mines, but you're just supposed to let them blow up by cheerfully strolling on the minefield.
  • One of the first tutorials in Shogun: Total War pits your Archers against spearmen, on a hill. Due to the game system, most of the time you'll fail against the marching spearmen.
    • Another example happens later on the tutorial, in which is the reverse; You driving off ranged units off the hill. It doesn't matter as, A. The enemy units are Peasants, which are prone to fleeing and are weak otherwise, B. You command a group of Heavy Cavalry, one of Shogun's Elite units. It doesn't help that you can just rush in and rout them by charging at them.

  • Dwarf Fortress's in-game manual, while very detailed and not outright wrong anywhere, somehow manages to be really poorly written and unhelpful. The best information it contains is on its front page, where it tells you the URL to the wiki.
  • Elona. Your mentor is a douche, and if you follow the tutorial to the letter, you'll end up sick (from eating a rotten corpse of a beggar), cursed, and likely to die repeatedly. He also gifts you with a worthless locked chest that's too heavy to move, and too hard to lockpick until much later in the game.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Several DanceDanceRevolution games feature a tutorial mode that shows players how to step on various patterns. This is generally averted with most home console modes' tutorial modes, as they actually teach you that you don't need to keep your feet off the arrows when not stepping on anything. However, the beginner modes of the international PS1 game titled DanceDanceRevolution, Dance Dance Revolution USA, and Dance Dance Revolution Extreme show the on-screen dancer returning their feet back to the center tile after each step, which is a sure-fire way to fail on any chart rated above a 3. Not only is it very hard to balance standing straight with your feet together in the middle of the pad, but you're having to move each foot twice for every step, which will wear you out fast.
  • Rock Band 3 has tutorials for Pro Keys that spend most of their time essentially telling you to just do it when they're not actively sabotaging you with terrible advice.

    Simulation Game 
  • Even the first tutorial mission in Capitalism 2 simply cannot be won by following the directions alone. You will simply not make enough money within the time limit and have no idea what's going wrong.
  • The MechWarrior series usually features a fairly comprehensive and often entertaining tutorial, but typically does not cover the MechLab very well despite how integral it is to the games. Mechwarrior Living Legends ups the ante by having no tutorial at all bar online videos. Online originally had no tutorial either, but one was eventually added that goes over the basic controls, and there is a "Shooting Range" map players can go to to experiment with 'Mechs before trying them out in actual combat.
  • Project Zomboid's first tutorial was almost legendary in how bad it was, actively failing to teach several of the basics while also passive-aggressively mocking the player for even placing their trust in a tutorial. The new tutorial later added to the game was much better at actually teaching the player the basics, but hasn't been updated all that much to keep up with all the new basics added since it was implemented, so the player is completely on their own for things like proper looting and storage or learning how to work with vehicles.
  • The first Rollercoaster Tycoon surprisingly falls into this category despite essentially giving all of the right information. The tutorial involves the computer playing through the first scenario. Clicking the mouse or making any keyboard input aborts the tutorial and dumps you into the game. There's no way to skip ahead or speed up the tutorial, so if you accidentally hit a button five minutes in, prepare to wait through another five minutes restarting the tutorial...
  • War Thunder has a tutorial covering the most basic aspects of the gameplay, but most details are never hinted any way unless you ask the community to explain how to use something or why this happened. For example, do you know how to use radars or that you can switch gun control in ships leaving the main cannons to AI? And let's not talk about air maneuvers or battle tactics, you have to rely on external guides for them (however, there are already plenty on the internet even without War Thunder since air combat videogames exist since decades). It's like the devs assumed that whoever plays the game either is a passionate war-nerd already informed if not about certain things, at least on how to look for them, or is gladly willing to ask to other players.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Dishonored has a heavy emphasis on stealth (including near perfect use being required for the Good Ending), as well as on tutorials, but it's very light on tutorials on how to be stealthy.
  • Hitman: Blood Money is notorious for this. While the game tells you some of the basic mechanics (coin throwing, human shields, hiding things in crates), it doesn't tell you about how detection works, how gun crafting works, and in the tutorial proper, the game asks you to kill multiple non-targets (including Clarence's secretary, who is otherwise innocent), something the later levels actively asks you to avoid, or you have to pay out of pocket.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The tutorial of the Cyanide Blood Bowl video games explains exactly bugger-all about the underlying mechanics of the game, instead just teaching you (in the most bare-bones way possible) how to use the basic interface.
  • A few rule demonstrations and some of the advice given by official Dungeons & Dragons sources contain errors.
    • One noticeable failure is in a web article that purports to explain some of the harder rules. The article (correctly) mentions there is no such thing as being proficient in a splash weapon (any class can use them equally), then gives an example of splash weapon use with a character taking a non-proficiency penalty.
    • In Tome Of Battle the Ruby Knight Vindicator class requires an entrant to worship Wee Jas. The example RKV worships St. Cuthbert instead (there is an official suggestion in the writeup to drop the deity requirement, but it's ultimately a suggestion).
    • Player's Handbook II recommends Duskblades use Twilight armor (which reduces an armor's possibility of causing a spell to fail). Duskblades ignore ASF entirely as long as it's of the right class of armor (Light, medium, heavy).
    • The adventure Red Hand Of Doom advises the DM to play one antagonist as a "masterful liar". This is pretty much impossible, as she has no ranks in bluff—apparently, the expectation was that the players would only encounter her when she had her Glibness spell up, which gives a massive bonus on Bluff checks.
    • There are more than a few cases of pre-built model NPCs for prestige classes that outright cannot qualify for the prestige class in question. For instance, the book Complete Psionic gives an example Anarchic Initiate who apparently qualified for the class through five levels in Wilder. While the Initiate was clearly designed with Wilder in mind, the class requires decent ranks in Knowledge (the planes), which is not a Wilder class skill; a pure-class Wilder with no other tricks can't qualify until after 13th level. (This is, admittedly, mostly poor design on the part of the Initiate.)
    • One notable disaster of a pre-built example character is the sample Malconvoker in Complete Scoundrel. Rather than wearing the heavy armor that clerics are known for, he wears heavily magically-enhanced leather armor that is far less protective and far more expensive. Despite being in a summoning-focused prestige class and having mediocre Strength, bad Constitution, and no strong buff spells prepared, he seems to have spent most of his money on an expensive melee weapon. He maxes out Charisma (the stat used for Turn Undead) enough to memorize Eagle's Splendor, and then enters a class that doesn't advance Turn Undead—in exchange, his Wisdom (the stat he uses to cast his summoning spells) is a paltry 14, meaning he can't even cast his higher-level spells. He also apparently took eight levels in cleric before entering, when the class can be entered with only five, and took the Iron Will feat, which does nothing but provide a small bonus to what's already his best save.
    • The second edition's Splat Book for wizards suggested the use of a Magic Missile spell on a cliff face to bury a pack of wolves rather than plinking a single puppy. Sounds like good advice ... until you remember that Magic Missile must target creatures. And due to the way damage vs inanimate objects was calculated, unless you'd set up a trap beforehand that you were triggering, the amount of damage you'd need to inflict to a stone cliff in order to cause an avalanche was several times more than the HP total of a typically sized pack of wolves.
  • Despite having extensive rules for unarmed fighting, the Firefly RPG forgot to include the most important one: how to actually deal damage with an unarmed attack.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Good luck figuring out anything in Final Fantasy Tactics from the utterly incomprehensible in-game tutorial. A shining example of "Blind Idiot" Translation, full of lines like "This was the darkened items won't appear" and "Items being used are items used in battle". Fixed in the PSP remake, which retranslated all the dialogue.
  • Thanks to causing a big Newbie Boom, Fire Emblem: Awakening was many people's first Fire Emblem game. Since this was largely unexpected by the developers, its tutorial isn't very newcomer-friendly in a few respects.
    • While the game does explain that flying units are weak against bows, it doesn't explain just how deadly that weakness is. Unlike elemental weaknesses in most Eastern RPGs, weakness in Fire Emblem triples the weapon's attack power before calculating Defense, and on a class as fragile as Pegasus Knights this means bows are a One-Hit Kill most of the time. As a result, many new players get Sumia killed in her debut map.
    • While the game does give a recruitment tutorial in Chapter 3, it only covers allied "green units". The tutorial says nothing about enemy units being recruitable, which trips many new players up with Gaius in Chapter 6 and Tharja in Chapter 9. While the game does hint that these characters could join your side (Chapter 6 begins with Gaius having a monologue about how this is Not What I Signed on For), the fact that you have to talk to them with Chrom isn't obvious to a new player, and both Gaius and Tharja will attack like any other enemy and possibly get themselves killed before you can talk to them. Compare this to the recruitment tutorial in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, which not only explained that enemies can be recruited, it outright forces you to talk to Dorcas with Lyn.
    • The game gives a basic tutorial on Support conversations, but fails to explain how important S Supports are. In particular, the marriage and children system is never explained at all despite it being one of the game's core mechanics. Nothing tells you that the last skill in both parents' skill list is passed down to their child, or that male children can inherit normally female-exclusive skills and vice-versa. It also doesn't tell you that Chrom must be married by Chapter 12. If he doesn't have an S Support by then, he will automatically marry the love interest he has the highest support rank with, and if he has no support ranks with any of them by that point, he'll instead marry a faceless NPC, depriving his child out of any potential skills and class change options from her mother.
  • The tutorial messages of Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem are notorious for being overly loaded with information, with one of the first trying to explain every part of the combat window rather than just the most immediately necessary parts. Ironically, some players have judged it as a pretty good tutorial once the messages are turned off; it even tends to show the player things like the importance of enemy ranges and the way the AI works.
  • The Lyn chapters in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade are notoriously handholdy, downright forcing the player to perform certain actions—and some of these actions aren't optimal. This is part of the reason that experienced players consider the "Hard" mode version to actually be easier, since the game isn't forcing you to do suboptimal things.
    • The initial fight with Batta, the tutorial Warm-Up Boss, demands that you attack him, therefore weathering one attack from him on your turn and opening yourself up to his next attack on his turn, when he can kill Lyn in two hits. He has mediocre accuracy, but that's still about a 10% chance of Lyn dying on that turn, and that's not counting the fact that he's nearly guaranteed to survive Lyn's attacks. Needless to say, without the RNG rigged in your favor as in the tutorial (Lyn only beats him due to a forced Critical Hit she'd normally have a very low chance of), this is a good way to start losing units. The smarter strategy would be to wait next to him, let him attack you, and then spend the next turn healing the damage from his attack.
    • The second chapter forces Sain to attack an enemy with the wrong end of Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors who's also standing on a forest, to demonstrate both mechanics. It then justifies it in-character as Honour Before Reason. This might make Sain look like a Joke Character to first-time players, when he's actually one of the strongest you have at that point and still holds up into the main campaign.
    • The tutorial for the chapter that introduces Florina, your first flying unit, repeatedly brings up how Florina should never, ever, ever be put in range of a bow-user. While this certainly isn't the best idea, it seems to be much less accurate in the English version, which lowered the multiplier of effective weapons from x3 to x2—meaning that Florina honestly doesn't take much more damage from most archers than she does from other enemies. In the Japanese version, an archer with an iron bow and 3 Strength could kill a base-level Florina in a single shot; in the English version, she avoids that threshold with room to spare. It's not a great idea to expose her to damage, but it has more to do with her being somewhat frail at base level than archers being her kryptonite. Also, much like Sain, it gives players the impression that Florina is bad, when she's actually one of the strongest characters in the game, especially if she has access to Lyn Mode XP to let her snowball out of control.
    • The game tells you to use the Knight Crest to promote Wallace, a level 12 Knight, into a General. This deprives you of an expensive sellable item that could also be used on two much better units in your army, to pump up the stats of an already overleveled unit who is terribly slow and, under certain circumstances, has a good chance of being unusable in the main campaign.
  • Due to a clumsy and incomplete fan translation, the chapter that introduces the Escape mechanic in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 notoriously ended up giving players the exact opposite impression. Leif claims "When I escape, everyone else does!", which sounds like you only need to have Leif escape the chapter, something that is true for the Player Character or other unit that needs to escape in future Fire Emblem games with escape maps. What he was actually saying (which future translations fixed) was basically "I'll only escape when everyone else has!" This is because in Escape chapters, any unit who hasn't escaped before Leif is treated as having been captured by the enemy, removing them from the army for most of the game. Needless to say, many blind players of that particular translation ended up being surprised when they started the next chapter and discovered that Leif was now the only unit they had left.
  • Fire Emblem Engage: Chapter 7 introduces the player to Dark Emblems, explaining how the boss enemy using it cannot Engage, so logically you'd think this prevents the enemy from using their Engage Skills. This is not the case; the Engage Skills are active constantly with the Engage Attack working on an inconsistent cooldown system, and they will continue to be active until the boss dies. In Chapter 22 when the player is given Dark Emblems, they work as advertised, making it a case of Secret A.I. Moves.

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • The tutorial in XCOM: Enemy Unknown teaches you how to use the interface, but as far as playing the game, it mostly teaches you what not to do. The tactical mission it walks you through ends with three of your four rookies dead on what would be a (relatively) simple mission, and on the strategic level it forces you to build your base in a rather inefficient way, preventing you from getting a particularly useful adjacent room bonus.

    Visual Novel 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has a tutorial failure regarding the Mood Matrix. You are initially told to look for any emotions in a witness' testimony that stands out or one that is being displayed with high intensity. However, one witness testimony has an emotion you're supposed to point out because it's not showing up (meaning he should feel that emotion, but he is not). While Athena does give you hints on what to do during a mood matrix sequence, she doesn't tell you about pointing out missing emotions until after you do a sequence where you have to point it out yourself. Thankfully, there's no penalty for pointing out the wrong emotions during the Matrix segments and you'll eventually find the right one if you go through all of them.

    Western RPG 
  • Darkest Dungeon's tutorial has some bits where they apparently changed the game interface and forgot to update the instructions.
    • The most obvious one is where it tells you to "click the crest" to return to the Hamlet, which has had many first-time players trying to click on either the big crest that appears in the middle of the screen or the crests you acquire as loot; you're actually supposed to click the "Quest Complete" seal in the upper left corner, which is not crest-shaped.
    • Another example is the tutorial's description of Resolve Level - it makes it sound like high Resolve reduces Stress. It doesn't; high level heroes suffer Stress at the same rate as everyone else, faster even because high-level enemies have stronger Stress attacks. (Low level heroes suffer extra Stress in high level quests, but they shouldn't be going into high level quests anyway so that's largely a moot point.)
    • The tutorial also has a bad habit of withholding information that would have been useful earlier - e.g. it won't tell you that you can flee from combats until after one of your heroes gets killed, in a game where you can't just reload a save and try again.
  • In the original release of Dungeon Lords, the tutorial told the player about a great number of features that were not in the game. Later patches added some features and removed references to the ones that never materialized.
  • The tutorial of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall fails primarily by psyching you out. The last three 'lessons' never actually appear, due to a bug. What they tell you isn't that necessary (it's not all that hard to figure out on your own), but the lesson before the bug kicks in explicitly tells you there's another lesson coming up...
  • When the player does enough damage to the first boss enemy in Fable, the boss falls to the ground and starts writhing in agony. At this point, the Guild Master tells the player that the boss "is near death. A few more hits should finish her off!" In fact, the boss is already defeated and this is her death animation. Hitting her while she is writhing on the ground does absolutely nothing.
    • Many pieces of clothing that the player can acquire have item descriptions that say they possess a special effect, when they in fact do not. The Will User's outfits are described as protecting the wearer against magic (they don't) and the Assassin's Outfit is heavily implied to increase the player's sneaking ability (it does not.)
  • Fallout 2 starts off with the infamous Temple of Trials, which was slapped together in a few days after the publishers demanded a tutorial at the eleventh hour of the dev cycle. First of all, if you're not a melee weapon or unarmed character, you're in trouble; the only weapon you get is a spear, and if you aren't built for melee combat, you'll miss most of your strikes. Adding to this, the only healing item you get is Healing Powder, which lowers your perception (and thus accuracy) when you use it. As for the temple itself, you have to fight your way through ants and scorpions, evade traps, pick a lock, blow up a door, and get a key from a local tough guy (either by winning a fistfight, stealing the key, or talking him down). The problem is, the game doesn't tell you how to do any of this, leaving many first-time players fumbling with the interface until they find the solution by blind luck. While the Temple is significantly more bearable if you know what you're doing, it's also unskippable, making it loathed by veterans for being a dull slog.
  • The Firewalker DLC for Mass Effect 2 featured on-screen tool tips that gave the wrong keys for a number of necessary tasks to use with the Hover Tank (jumping and mining, specifically). This was presumably the result of a minor case of Porting Disaster.
    • While the PS3 version doesn't have the incorrect buttons in the tutorial mission, it does have a different issue with the Hammerhead vehicle. The tutorial mission, part of the Firewalker DLC, tells you only once how to boost while moving, in order to pass a jet of flame. This ability isn't required again until a mid-DLC mission in the Overlord DLC, a different DLC pack, which doesn't include the helpful on-screen tip on how to boost. It's very difficult, if not downright impossible, to progress without boosting in that segment. If it's been a while since you did the tutorial mission in Firewalker, you likely won't remember what to press or even that the Hammerhead has a boost ability.
  • A major complaint of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is the fact that the tutorial simply dumps you into a battle with limited explanation of the mechanics involved in combat, thus leading it to be accused of being a Guide Dang It! by others.note  Patch 2.0 improved on this by including a mini-adventure that explains things like alchemy, the quick menu, targeting, signs, and a few combat tactics - though this in itself was an issue for some people, as in a few cases the tutorial would not trigger abilities you needed to continue, locking the player.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto IV had a vastly different driving style than the previous games. The game also had the most tutorial tips of the series at that point, yet no tutorials were given on how to utilize this new style.
  • During its initial beta run, the wildly popular Minecraft featured no tutorial and simply dumped your character into a randomized block world with absolutely no gear. It didn't tell you anything of what to do, how to play, or even how to craft, or what the crafting recipes were. For the months before Notch actually developed enough of a tutorial system to help players survive their first day, player advice for newbies was generally "go read the wiki" or "watch paulsoaresjr's videos".
  • Red Dead Redemption II tells you that all you need to do to disguise yourself and avoid getting a bounty when committing crimes is wear a mask like in the first game. That is a severe oversimplification of a very complex mechanic. Firstly, masks alone are often insufficient, you usually need to change your entire outfit for a disguise. Secondly, disguises help keep witnesses from giving a good positive ID; lawmen can always ID you no matter what, and the time it takes a witness to report to the law is supposed to give you time to either run, hide, or change your appearance before they show up to investigate. Changing your appearance involves swapping outfits and/or getting a haircut and shave. And hanging around an investigation site will make the lawmen suspicious of you, with a good chance of them identifying you and either opening fire or trying to arrest you.