In Pikmin, if any color pikmin other than blue wanders into water, they'll flounder about for a bit before drowning. Naturally, this means that only blue pikmin can get items submerged in water. However, certain puzzles involve taking blue pikmin to an island to build a bridge or otherwise clear a path for their other colored brethren. And when pikmin fall into water, you're given a small window that you can use to lead them back to land. With careful timing, it's possible to lead non-blues into water and have them swim across short channels without dying. Throwing them halfway across before starting to lead them can practically double the distance they can swim. Utilizing this trick can help players collect certain ship parts/treasures much earlier in the game than intended and tends to be vital for minimum day runs.
Across the franchise, the Dragoon class has its signature Jump ability where the character leaps off the screen, and comes back down on the next turn to inflict extra damage on the enemy. This is also a good way for the dragoon to avoid lethal damage, and sending them airborne during critical moments is a viable strategy for some tougher bosses. This is especially true in games where you can swap job classes. (Notably, one boss in III basically mandates use of dragoon unless you're overleveled as hell. The spear does bonus damage, but also, at least some of your party will always be absent during his punishing attacks if you follow the game's advice.)
Using the Swap spell to turn you into a statistical Physical God in Final Fantasy II. Its intended use is likely for emergency HP/MP refill purposes. Similarly, attacking your own characters to get an HP gain. Akitoshi Kawazu mentioned that doing that never occurred to him when he designed the game, and the ability to strike the other PCs was only added so that you could wake them up if they got hit with a sleep spell.
In Final Fantasy IV, in the DS version, the Adrenaline augment doubles the damage a character inflicts when he or she is at critical health. Casting Tornado on a character with Adrenaline is an easy way to satisfy this condition. This is particularly useful on Rydia who can barely take hits anyway.
The Excalipoor in Final Fantasy V is a Joke Item that only deals 1 damage per hit. However, it does have a high battle power, which can be abused in two ways: equipping it and using the Blue Magic spell Goblin Punch deals high damage, as does throwing it. It also has perfect accuracy and ignores evasion, making it useful against Skull Eaters or with certain Spellblade abilities.
Vanish makes you immune to physical attacks, at the cost of making you unable to avoid magical attacks. Due to a glitch, bosses which are normally immune to instant kill attacks become vulnerable to them when under the effect of Vanish, making it possible to bypass most bosses easily. Steps were taken to fix this in the PlayStation remake, but it wasn't truly fixed until Final Fantasy VI Advance.
The spell Rippler trades status boosts/ailments with another target. Its intended use is to steal buffs from enemies and give ailments to them, but because of the way certain other abilities are coded, it can also be used to give a character the Magitek menu option, make Shadow's dog Interceptor protect another ally, or make any character use Gau's Rage or Mog's Dance techniques. Unfortunately, this also means an enemy capable of casting Rippler can inadvertently take these from you, causing Interceptor to disappear from the game forever.
The Death Sentence enemy skill in Final Fantasy VII is almost entirely useless when used on enemies, due to the ridiculously long timer before the instant-death actually takes effect. The optimal use for the spell is to give Tifa either the Powersoul or the Master Fist - weapons which drastically power up when the user is "near death" - and cast it on your own ally, making her strong enough to OHKO enemies with a single physical attack.
Any limit break in Final Fantasy VIII can be accessed by keeping your HP low and repeatedly hitting the O button, though this may have been intentional. What's clearly not intentional is abusing this by using Selphie's limit break, then opening up the cover of the PlayStation, which causes the game to go into a pause-like loop where you continue to scroll through her normally random skills until you get one you want. Considering "The End" even works on bosses, including the final and the bonus boss, it makes the entire game pointlessly easy.
Final Fantasy X features an intended, in-universe example. Tidus and Wakka have Blitzball skills that involve kicking and punching sports balls hard enough to move a long distance through water. As it turns out, this translates to doing considerable damage on impact when it's moving through the air (and in Wakka's case, even on airborne enemies hundreds of feet away). Oddly enough, Tidus' Jecht Shot, which involves punching and kicking the ball into several defenders before going for the goal, isn't used as a combat move.
The Ninja class in Final Fantasy XI was originally supposed to be a Stealth ExpertStrategist attacking from the shadows. This is most evident in the effects of its signature armor, which actually lowers enemy focus on the ninja. However, using the Utsusemi special causes the ninja to gain shadows that absorb enemy attacks. Coupled with its superb evasion, the ninja is actually considered one of the best tanks in the game, for a while better than the heavily-armoredPaladin because they took far less damage. Additionally, equipping Ninja as a subjob also allows you to dodge attacks, to the point where Square-Enix has been forced to design encounters under the assumption that everyone has Ninja as a subjob.
The Measure weapons in Final Fantasy XII are absurdly weak weapon types that randomly confer a positive status on hit. The intended use of measures was, one presumes, to be a tool for casters to buff the party without expending MP. The thing they're more useful for? Getting rid of Confusion. A confused character will physically attack their allies and themselves until they are either cured or physically struck; since the item that cures confusion is slow enough that the confused character will still get off an attack or two against their allies or themselves, it's better to just save money and equip confused characters with measures so they can't meaningfully damage the party—very important at high levels—and even buff them, then take it off when they're back to normal.
The Throw Stone/Dash ability in Final Fantasy Tactics lets you build up Job Points. Otherwise, it's just useless damage at long range; this also happens with Accumulate/Build Power. The +1 to physical attack is meaningless unless you do it a lot, and most enemies really won't let you do it a lot. But leave one enemy alive, and send all your units running around the battlefield spamming the ability, and hello job points! In fact, there's a lot of abilities that might be useful, but are much better at building job points.
Throw Stone/Dash also has a very high chance of knockback, leading to a situational use where you can use it to shove your own allies out of harm's way from a distance or outright murder enemies by knocking them off, say, a cliff.
The AI will never attack a confused character if they cannot kill that character in one or two hits. Under normal circumstances, this is a good idea. However, in the Self Imposed Challenges allowing only one character (out of the usual five), this can be a fatal flaw. A single character has no allies to accidentally attack, and if they have enough health, they will never be attacked in retaliation. And most of the hardest bosses in the game can cause confusion.
The AI will also never attack a character that has Death Sentence (a status that kills the victim in three turns). There is equipment that block instant kill abilities without negating the above status. So wear the equipment, get the status, and laugh as the AI proceeds to ignore you and die for their Artificial Stupidity.
There is a certain boss in A Realm Reborn whose normal mechanics can be avoided entirely by using a strategy the playerbase has come to call "Enrage." When the head of the development team found out about it, he stated that the boss was never meant to be killed in that manner, but that he admired the players' ingenuity. Thus, he decided not to do anything about it. When a patch unexpectedly made Enrage harder to use, the devs promptly released a hotfix that allowed it to work again. The strategy works like this: the boss has an intricate series of high damage attacks, but at a certain point it will stop using them to spam an area of effect explosion. This was meant to destroy parties, but instead people found that you can just bring extra healers for the tank and let the DPs sit back and whittle the boss to death, because it won't attack them.
A multi-part FATE in Northern Thanalan known as Dark Devices begins with the objective being to kill a small group of Cultist Lambs after pushing through masses of infinitely respawning enemies. Players quickly discovered that the huge amount of respawning enemies in a small area is ripe for mass amounts of killing for EXP instead of actually advancing the objective. Over the fifteen-minute timer, you an earn several hundred thousand EXP.
The old Cleric Stance, which swapped a healer's Mind (healing power) with Intelligence (magic attack), was intended for use while advancing solo quests. However, its only cost was a 5-second cooldown, which it shared with nothing else, and healers are already encouraged to take potshots at the enemy when their party doesn't actually need healing, so enterprising players would rapidly swap Cleric Stance on and off to make sure these potshots were as damaging as possible. The devs banned it from PVP where it was a Game-Breaker, but otherwise tried to neither discourage it nor make "healer DPS" mandatory, but the playerbase shunned healers who refused to DPS during inevitable downtime, so as of 4.0 healer spell damage is calculated from Mind all the time and Cleric Stance is a simple damage buff that only bleeding-edge players care about.
Two seater mounts were made for nothing more than a fun bonus for players, but people quickly found out that you can easily ferry a player anywhere on the map regardless on whether or not they unlocked the ability to fly. This led to people carrying others to aether currents to help them unlock flying faster whereas the normal method involves navigating the landscape on foot and sometimes making tricky jumps. People also use the two seater mounts to get others to vista locations for their 100% Completion. The Eternity Ring, which is gotten by marrying another player in game, teleports you to your partner and was used for the same reasons as the two seater mount, but the ring can only be used once per 30 minutes.
Several side quests and repeatable quests are designed in a manner that helps new players or waiting players to get into a duty without having to wait a long time for other players to join. Said quests give players rewards in forms of money or randomized loot. Nothing stops players from doing the quests unysnced (meaning they can do the duties without being restricted by item level or character level) to reap the rewards.
In Kingdom Hearts II, the Reflect spell is meant to be your defensive spell used to block enemy attacks and perform a shockwave magical counterattack. However, when cast is midair it will maintain your momentum from your jump, even moreso when used in a Drive Form. This abuse allows a player to spam Reflect to make difficult leaps at much lower levels than were obviously intended.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Sliding Dash ability is a Dash Attack and one of the most basic commands in the game, available in the first world you visit. However, when used in midair it becomes a substitute for Glide. Usage of a Sliding Dash or two allows the characters to reach out-of-reach treasure chests not intended to be reached until they revisit the world with new movement abilities. Further, many of these chests contain end game deck commands, allowing for a Disc-One Nuke by reaching them so early.
Suikoden II: A section of the wall between the Muse and Matilda border was accidentally flagged as movable. By pushing it aside, the Knightdom of Matilda can be accessed early in the game. Inside, a sidequest can be completed, two high level characters can be recruited, and the entire party can be levelled from around level 15 to levels in the 30s.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker: The Sling Post's intended and primary use is as a key component to the Human Slingshot (hence the name). However, the players can also use it in single player mode to knock the enemy senseless. Miller even lampshades the trope by calling the player when doing this and saying "That's not what it's used for!"
The Innervating Locket item restored some of your mana and caused a minor self-targeted AoE heal whenever you used one of your abilities. Originally it was thought of as a powerup for healers. Then people realized you could use it on Udyr (a melee fighter who uses his abilities in quick succession). The Locket/Udyr build was so powerful that it forced Riot to remove the locket from the game.
The Tear of the Goddess. This item gives you a very large mana pool over time. It was originally thought of as a caster item. Then people started to use it on other characters, such as Corki and Ezreal, both high physical damage characters who nonetheless have abilities worth spamming. Riot took note of this and made the Manamune, which is an item for DPS characters that builds from Tear of the Goddess.
While radically different uses for champions are occasionally found, the champion Gragas stands out for the alternate having massively surpassed the original. He was intended as a tanky melee fighter, using his abilities mostly for utility to debuff, disrupt, and initiate. He is basically never used this way, instead functioning as a burst damage mage who relies on his tank origins to make him tougher than most mages. For a long time the Riot Games recommended items focused on completely different attributes than most player-recommended builds, until they eventually gave in and completely overhauled them. It went to the point that Riot Games decided to rework his kit to return him back to his root as a tanky melee fighter.
Sion, a giant berserker zombie with a massive axe, was obviously intended to function as a beefy melee DPS, using his Death's Caress (an exploding shield) for protection in fights and his Cryptic Gaze (a guaranteed hitting ranged damage spell with a lengthy stun) to catch enemies for him to whale on. While he is often used like this, people noticed that both of those skills had high base damage numbers and perfect 1-1 ability power scaling ratios and he became one of the most powerful burst mages in the game. The scaling was later decreased to make this less prominent, and Sion has since been reworked as a high-health tanky fighter.
Pre-Rework Poppy's ultimate, Diplomatic Immunity, was essentially meant to force Poppy and her target into a one-on-one fight. That's okay; there are several other characters with similar ults. It did this by having Poppy ignore every form of damage or crowd control from anyone but her chosen target. Problem is, nowhere in the rules for the ability did it say Poppy actually had to fight her target. She could target someone who was basically no threat to her, and then merrily lay in to the team's Glass Cannon without fear, since that person had no way of retaliating. Poppy, like Sion, was completely reworked and her current ult is still good, but less game-breakingly ridiculous.
Evelynn was originally a stealthy assassin midlaner. Then people realized you could compensate for her terrible, just-too-squishy early game by playing her in the jungle, where she was unlikely to be interrupted as she farmed creeps, and could easily use her invisibility to sneak up on the other jungler and kill-steal. She turned out to be an utter Game-Breaker there, and for a while was riding an unstable nerf-buff cycle that left her intermittently unplayable before her complete rework.
The Ability Power builds for melee DPS champions Master Yi and Tryndamere are considered some of the worst abuses of an alternate build by the developers themselves. Yi has a multi-targeting dash that makes him completely unhittable for a second, Tryndamere has a spin attack that scales with AP, and both have powerful heals that can bring them from almost no health back to fully healed in just a few seconds. Ability Power Tryndamere has been nerfed, Ability Power Yi was done away with entirely when Riot removed his AP ratios in his rework.
Quinn was intended to be a bottom lane Attack Damage Carry, but she gets more play as a top lane bruiser due to her mobility and harassment, as well as her ultimate swapping her with Valor, making her a melee bruiser herself for a bit.
Champions classified as supports are generally the ones with teammate-helping abilities, like aura buffs, shields, and heals, that could help the team's carry get lots of gold for their items. However, players eventually realized that there was another way to get their carry gold: get them kills. This is the basis of 'Catcher' and 'Vanguard' champions as supports. For example, a Morgana or Lux support can use their Dark/Light Binding to root champions (leaving them easy kills), and are thus sometimes played as supports despite being designed for mid-lanes.
Players are intended to start a match by buying some basic items. Instead, many players simply bought around thirteen healing potions and/or a flask and/or several wards. Flasks were made more expensive, and healing potions limited to 5.
Using placeable vision wards as targets for teleport skills (Katarina, Lee Sin, the teleport spell) or to draw turret fire is a perennial fan-favorite example of emergent utility and depth for these characters. Riot Games briefly flirted with the idea of removing this, but were swiftly met with enough backlash that they settled for simply temporarily unstealthing and revealing wards when they were used for such a purpose.
In general, champions are often used in different roles than intended. Sometimes the developers say "eh, close enough" (Diana was intended as a roaming jungler but is played in mid lane as something of an anti-mage), sometimes a nerf follows (supports Janna and Soraka mid, note often referred to as battlemage Soraka or Janna or the support Lulu as a DPSnote referred to exclusively as "Machinegun Lulu).
Several mage-type champions with good autoattacks end up being used as hybrid attack speed characters (Kennen, Lulu) or straight ADCs (Twisted Fate). They don't strictly deal as much damage as their intended ADC counterparts, but the utility they bring from their spells(most notably stunning) makes for a safer playstyle.
It used to be possible to block off an entire lane with Heimerdinger's turrets, meaning that minions built up behind it until the turrets were destroyed and a giant tidal wave of minions poured into the enemy base. This was swiftly patched.
Aniva's Crystallize ability generates an impassable wall of ice. In URF mode (where cooldowns are 20% their normal value), the wall cooldown is less than the time it lasts for, and so the minion tidal wave trick can be pulled off to whatever extent your patience can stand.
Syndra possesses an ability called Force Of Will, where she picks up a unit with her mind and can throw it at the enemy to damage and stun them. Until the Obvious Rule Patch preventing it, it was also used to simply carry important units like the buff-giving monsters Brambleback and Sentinel out of the enemy jungle so that their jungler couldn't get the XP and gold that they needed in sequence.
Placement of Teemo's NoxiousTrap shrooms is almost as much about the vision they give you at important map locations as it is about tricking people into stepping on them.
Speaking of Teemo, he's intended to be a squishy ambusher, but it's fairly common to build him tanky (Tankmo), and take advantage of his Global Taunt (A memetic version of the taunt ability that acts on players- Teemo is so frustrating to play against that people will drop everything just to kill him) to draw enemies away from your teammates and onto the aforementioned noxious traps.
Believe it or not, Blitzcrank was supposed to be a solo top-lane bruiser. Then people realized that his Rocket Grab ability worked best when other team members were around to completely melt the poor sod he caught with it. Now he's most commonly played as a tank support.
The new Runes Reforged system introduced at the end of 2017 was based heavily around discovering these, to the end that one category was named Inspiration and described as 'Creative tools and rule-bending'.
Denying: Killing your own soldiers before the enemy can kill them so they miss out on gold and experience.
Pulling: Luring neutral creeps far enough out of their camp to trigger the respawn on them and create duplicates which can then easily be farmed with area effect damage.
Orb walking: Using attack modifiers such as burning arrows, not by toggling them on but by manually casting each individual arrow. This counts as a spell and therefore ignores Ghost Scepter and does not draw enemy aggro.
Killing the fountain turret that normally prevents fountain camping. This is completely unnecessary during normal gameplay, but you can.
There is a spell that indicates the spot where a target currently is and yanks them back to that point after a short delay. Intended as an offensive spell, it is seeing use as a means of giving your teammates a quick ride to the base shop and back. There has been at least one clear exception to the above rule: Bottle Crowing (using a courier to ferry one or more Bottles between their owners and the Fountain that refills them) has been severely nerfed by imposing a speed reduction per empty bottle carried - which is a bit backwards in terms of logic. Some exploits go beyond being features...
The Alchemy system. The intended use is to craft potions that would improve your skills in combat and dialogue.. However, it was discovered that by making and drinking an Intelligence potion, you can make better Intelligence potions which you can then drink. After a few iterations, you can easily make incredble Game-Breaker potions that increase all of your attributes to insane levels and allow you to regenerate thousands of health per second for many real world hours.
Creating a custom Levitate "on other" spell. The AI for characters and creatures isn't programmed to handle levitation, so it leaves them completely motionless and vulnerable to attack for the duration (like a high-level Burden spell). Works especially well on flying creatures, as it causes them to fall to the ground and take fall damage in addition.
The game tries to fix the positive feedback loop of making potions that made you better at making potions from previous games by making you unable to craft potions that help with Alchemy or enchant gear with effects that boost Enchanting... but you can still enchant gear to help you make better potions, and also brew potions that boosts enchanting. Along with Smithing, the road to epic level is thus paved by crafting blank equipment, enchanting it with alchemy-increasing stats, crafting potions that boost Smithing and Enchanting... rinse and repeat. The bug that makes Fortify Restoration (improve healing magic) potions raise all your stats even more quickly is just icing, really. And after just a few loops, the numbers go off the side of the screen. Later versions of the game create a cap to avoid this.
Necromage is a perk in the Restoration tree that increases the effects of all spells on the undead. Situational, but not too bad on its face, given that a great fraction of the toughest enemies in the game are the various draugr lords, dragon priests and vampires. However, it turns out that the word "spells" can actually encompass a wide variety of effects, including Shouts, potions, gear enchantments, some perks, standing stones... And since there Ain't No Rule saying that only Non Player Characters are affected by the perk, a vampire Dovahkiin (technically undead) can merrily proceed to abuse the perk to become godlike.
Anything trapped under a falling drawbridge is removed from existence. Forget the obvious utility in fortress defense — 'atom smashers' are best used to delete the tons of waste rock that excavating your fortress produces.
The "intended use" of vampires is to kill them before they drain your fortress dry. However, since they still count as members of the fort and can't die of starvation, thirst, or age, a common strategy is to wall them up somewhere to ensure you can't ever get a Game Over. At least, as long as you provide Due to the Dead so no murderous ghosts show up to get them.
In the online game Bearbarians, starring feuding tribes of furries, Capture the Flag probably isn't supposed to be any more time-consuming than Team Survival, Team Deathmatch or Capture and Control. However, the usual effect that limits shenanigans - your teammates completing the objectives - is bugged so that they keep walking nearly to the drop-off and then turning around, meaning that they only actually score a point when knocked into it by an opponent attacking them. Given that everyone in CTF has infinite lives, and having a time limit is optional, you can thus spend any time period you like Level Grinding in a way that missions that are actually about murdering people simply do not offer, so long as you remember to prioritise the guy who just picked up your flag. This will also make you a fat pot of money, since killing 180 opponents in a game where 50 kills is an impressive streak tends to lead to quite large payouts in addition to the level-up that will unlock new things for you to spend it on. It seems very unlikely that any of this was part of the original mission layout.
In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, one of your more basic psychic skills is levitating something you're standing on and using it to fly around. The developers originally didn't intend for this to be possible, but once they learned of it, they restructured their levels to accommodate for it.
Parodied in 3D Dot Game Heroes' Spelunker mode. Dashing into a wall results in a fake death... and deliberately exploitable invincibility frames.
Secret missions in the Devil May Cry series are usually crafted for testing a certain skill, like jumping, precise aiming or avoiding damage. However, many of them can be easily passed by using some legitimate ability that was not intended to be used in that mission. Examples include:
DMC3 and DMC4 have the infamous "jump-cancelling" technique which involves pulling off air and ground combos, jumping off of the enemy (therefore resetting the combo), and repeating the technique, allowing you to keep the Style Counter and combo going without immediately dropping.
A trick learned early-on by many players is that shooting Ebony & Ivory while airborne will slow down Dante's descent considerably. Often this is used as an evasive technique and works very well against attacks similar to Nevan's "electrify the floor" move.
"Spawn Trapping" in competitive shooters. By exploiting bad level design, one team can win by preventing the other from ever advancing out of their spawn area. This is very noticeable in places like Call of Duty: Black Ops's Demolition mode (where both teams have two fixed spawn points and is the source of the infamous 500+ kills video) and Battlfield: Bad Company 2 (which makes the area around the other team's spawn point a soft-kill zone, but there are often terrain features that allow restricted lines of fire and blind corners ripe for camping). Team Fortress 2 implemented counters to this strategy, such as Spies (who can leave the spawn unnoticed and take down the campers, unless the campers are Pyros which they usually are), Bonk! (A secondary for Scout that makes him invulnerable but unable to attack for 8 seconds) and Ubercharges (which let the "besieged" take the enemy down while invulnerable). The Splatoongames have countermeasures too, namely a force field around the team's spawn point that enemies cannot penetrate by any means, allowing you to freely shoot at spawn-trappers while they can't lay a finger on you. Some stages also have the spawn point on a raised platform, providing a terrain advantage against any would-be attackers.
When a monster is killed by attacks from several players in Ragnarok Online, the EXP is split between the intervening players, then boosted according to the number of them. This was intended to make group play more rewarding and enjoyable. However, this boosting always occurs, even if the players were never in the same party to begin with. The next logical step is, of course, travelling with your character to popular leveling spots and beating the resident monsters within an inch of their lives, never killing them. When another unsuspecting player finished them off, you will easily receive between 2 to 6 times the normal amount of EXP the monster was worth.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Hoo, boy. Combining Jump Physics, Good Bad Bugs, and a little Dungeon Bypass know-how, the Razor Claws allow a player to not only climb walls, but essentially FLY IN MIDAIR by boost jumping with the heli-pak. The details are a bit much to explain, but the tricks are easy enough to pull off to keep this out of the Alternative Skill range, as all a player needs to do is know how a level is shaped/designed (which you probably do know, unless you plan on doing this the first time you ever play through the game), climb over a wall, and glide to the end, or walk over the entire level's ceiling.
Jet Set Willy has a sequence break available with a trip to the game's version of Minus World; if you travel out of a room in a way the game hadn't anticipated (e.g. right through an impassable wall, or up through an unreachable ceiling, etc), it warps you straight to Room 0 in the room table, "The Off Licence". Given the difficulty of traversing "The Bridge", "The Drive" and "At the Foot of the MegaTree", compared with the ease of reaching the ceilings in "The Watch Tower" and "Rescue Esmerelda", this is by far the easiest way to get there.
DJMax Technika: The game's way of handling chain notes and tap notes is very loose:
Each point of a chain note is counted as a separate note, and you're only scored for how well you time each segment. As such, you can actually tap individual points of chain notes instead of dragging them. This normally qualifies as an Alternative Skill, although there are some segments where tapping can be easier (and less blister-inducing) than dragging the notes, such the zigzag chain notes in charts like Fury (Hard) and A.I. (Hard).
In the opposite direction, the game does not distinguish between tapping a note to trigger it and dragging your finger from some other lane onto the note to do so. As such, you can drag individual tap notes as long as they are not on the same lane, which makes charts like Voyage (Normal), Airwave (Hard), and Thor (Hard) easier.
Marisa B's Illusion Laser Glitch on Mountain of Faith. The only thing you have to do to pull it off is to have Marisa's Illusion Laser formation in a power level between 3 and 3.95 and play unfocused. In exchange, you can practically skip all spell cards that are not survival-oriented. Then again, Imperishable Night granted us Malice Cannon, which consists of just tapping the focus button to alternate between Alice and Marisa, yet it deals devastating damage to anything it touches.
Several patterns have safe spots where you can sit without fear of getting hit. These safe spots are generally barely larger than your hitbox and entirely unmarked (Cirno's memetic "baka" image comes in part from having a glaringly huge one in the Easy Mode version of her Icicle Fall spellcard).
Exploiting the Wreaking Havok physics in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts to fly. To do this, find one vehicle parts crate note (or anything flat and grabbable, really, but the parts crates are ubiquitous), put it on your trolley, then pick up the trolley with your wrench. The player can lift himself up by his bootstraps and get a lot of rare parts early.
Using the 2 Player B mode trick in Double Dragon 2, though only to an extent. It only gives you a few extra lives and you get attacked by more enemies throughout as a result of having picked one of the two-player modes.
There are a number of examples in the Metroid games (some covered under Sequence Breaking). One of the best is the dash-jump in Metroid Prime; intended for dodging, it turned out to be incredibly useful for platforming. Its most dramatic use is in getting the Space Jump immediately after landing on Tallon IV, which breaks the game wide open. The rereleases make this trick harder (though not quite impossible), and the dash is Nerfed somewhat in the sequels.
Snaking in Mario Kart DS. It does give you an advantage, but most of the time, it's easier to memorize the circuit than learn to snake. Most people snaked in the game when online was still running, so you had to do it as well if you wanted to have a shot at winning.
Mario Kart Wii: Popping a wheelie with bikes. The wheelie gives you more speed, but as a trade-off, getting hit slows you down immensely. This mechanic was intended to be used on long and straight roads, but people started to pop wheelies anywhere as long as they weren't turning a corner. This resulted in everyone flocking towards bikes and abusing the wheelie mechanic, which puts karts in the dust since their mini-turbos aren't powerful enough to keep up with bikers that pop wheelies everywhere. Bikes aren't included in Mario Kart 7, and while they return in Mario Kart 8, they can no longer do wheelies on command.
There's a sort of meta-strategy that's used online to avoid the dreaded Blue Shells by abusing how the mechanics of the item works. It always targets the player in first place, so in games where you can check what items other players are carrying (DS, 7, and the Wii U version of 8), players in first who see someone that has it will deliberately hit the brakes and let the player behind them pass and take the hit. If there's no one else nearby, then people will often choose to jump into a nearby pit instead, since you can at least get a quick speed boost after getting placed back on a track, but getting hit by a shell takes much longer to recover from. It's unlikely that the developers intended for the item to cause players to go to such lengths to avoid it. People who get the Spiny Shell also began to use another trick with it by never using it at all: since the aforementioned games let you see what item everyone is carrying, people will try to do everything they can to make sure they aren't the target. However, a player that holds onto the shell instead will have control over the race, since he can use it at any time he wants and the others know it, turning the entire pack into a game of cat-and-mouse.
Using the infamous Prehistoric "Tower/Prophet" turtle in Empire Earth. For the most part, the strategy is perfectly legit, except for the fact that it exploits the limited quantity of food in the prehistoric epoch and the fact that prophets start off already at full power in the prehistoric epoch, versus other units that start off weak.
In Mass Effect, the Mako's usefulness in combat decreases sharply the more levels you gain. Eventually, players will inevitably handle outdoor firefights by getting out of the heavily-armored armed vehicle and instead using it as cover. Conveniently, the Mako can't be destroyed if you're not in it. The Mako can also be used to Goomba Stomp large enemies like geth armatures, leaving them pinned to the floor and mostly unable to fight back when you get out of the Mako to shoot them to death on foot.
Mass Effect 2: A technique known as "checkpoint dashing" can be used to circumvent difficult sections of an area. Many checkpoints exist physically in the game, and trigger as soon as the player reaches them. As such, the player can simply rush through a section to trigger the checkpoint, die, and continue from the next scene without any enemies hounding them. In a few places, you don't even need to physically be at the checkpoint; if you manage to spawn a combat drone close enough to the checkpoint, the cutscene will still trigger. Similarly, a Vanguard can charge to the end with the same results.
Mass Effect 3 frees up weapon restrictions that were implemented in 2, meaning any class can take any weapon they want, such as Adepts wielding Sniper Rifles, or Vanguards with assault rifles. One of the most notorious combinations is an Infiltrator armed with a shotgun. Using their Tactical Cloak, Infiltrators can get close to enemies without being detected and decimate entire squads without suffering from the obvious drawbacks of the Short-Range Shotgun. It became something of an Ascended Meme when one of the Multiplayer characters gained a variation of the ability, wherein the user can potentially gain a boost to shotgun damage when uncloaking via attack.
The Infinity feature in some official Tetris games, which allows you to move or rotate a piece as many times as you want while it's on the stack or floor before locking it in place. Careful planning is still needed to be able to, for instance, max out the score, but Infinity gives you as much time as needed.
Tetris Friends uses the SRS rotation system, which allows the player to pull off T-Spins, which in turn are ways of filling a row with a T block that could not be slid in under normal circumstances. Friends also implements a back-to-back bonus system (which rewards the player for pulling off Tetrises or T-Spins twice in a row), as well as a combo system for clearing several lines one after the other with each tetromino that falls down. By planning out all their moves carefully, one can reach ludicrous high scores in Marathon mode by manipulating these bonuses. As a result, the top twenty or so of the All Time Top 100 are playthroughs that use very few doubles/triples... and 0 Tetrises. In a game named Tetris. (A Tetris does score more points than a 4 line clear combo, but it deducts 12 lines from the maximum you can score before clearing a Marathon. 4 lines in quick succession do not deduct bonus lines, and T-Spin Triples have a better score/line deduction ratio)
Having trouble getting the right times in Left 4 Dead's Survival mode? As most of the survival maps are just portions of a campaign, it is entirely possible to get OUT of the survival area and hole up in a place where the zombies aren't coded to look for you. This can take many tries to get right, and frequently involves an understanding of how the physics engine works.
Mortal Kombat 9 has the teleport-spam and projectile spam methods of beating Shao Kahn. However, they aren't 100% effective and one needs to watch for his super armor to activate, at which point one needs to evade him at a moment's notice.
In Halo: Reach, it is possible to use the exit animation on the forklift to clip through certain walls, skipping difficult segments of the game.
In the Starcraft Protoss Campaign mission 5, it's possible to win in under 5 minutes by using Hallucinate to make illusion clones of a transport ship, load Tassadar and the two zealots into the real one, and then fly them straight to the Zerg base-defended beacon they're supposed to be unloaded at to win the mission. To say nothing of mission 7 in the Terran Campaign, which can be beaten in less than 30 seconds just by casting Defensive Matrix on the SCV carrying the beacon and rushing to the objective. Similarly, in Starcraft: Brood War, in mission 6 of the Terran campaign, it's possible to win even without landing your buildings, by simply loading the siege tanks you're provided with at the beginning, flying them up to the corner of the map, and letting them rain destruction on the command center you're supposed to go through a base to destroy.
Starcraft II has an in-universe example in "The Dig", in which a ginormous laser drill used to cut through several very resistant doors turns out to be remarkably effective at quickly destroying otherwise hard-to-kill units and structures.
Goblin Landmines are defensive items a player can obtain during several defense missions in the campaign, including the final mission. Logically, these mines deal massive Area Of Effect damage whenever an enemy unit goes near them. Players can also use Goblin Landmines offensively, by placing them near enemy buildings and lure enemy units to them. This will easily destroy enemy buildings. Since these items are in unlimited supply during the final mission, skilled players can easily level Archimonde's base when used in combination with potions of invulnerability, Sequence Breaking the final mission.
This walkthrough for details a very advanced strategy to win the final mission of the base game's campaign. Normally, you have to survive the onslaught of the relatively overpowered enemy for 45 minutes while they attack and destroy your base and those of your allies in succession. This is completely feasible, as you have plenty of resources available, some free mercenaries, and can of course construct your own defences inside their bases to turtle the 45 minutes out. The walkthrough's strategy, however, involves exploiting the fact that when the enemy razes one of the bases, it destroys its old one completely and replaces the razed base with a new one. This is done by knocking down the trees around the first base, hiding lots of siege weaponry and some flying units there, taking out the human main building (thus triggering the base raze and replace), followed by knocking down the new buildings with the hidden units while using Crowd Control units to keep the overpowered enemy heroes from interfering. Once you've kept them from getting their new base up, the only way to lose is to destroy one of the remaining bases yourself.
In Diddy Kong Racing, the characters are balanced with high acceleration/maneuverability and low top speed on one extreme, and the polar opposite on the other. However, it turns out that tapping the accelerate button rapidly lets one ignore the top speed limitation, effectively turning the former types into masters of all three. It's a common strategy for beating the more difficult races without switching to an innately faster but harder to control character.
By timing repeated jumps perfectly in Half-Life games, Gordon can accelerate to ridiculous speeds and leap hundreds of feet through the air. This physics-engine oddity is, of course, constantly exploited in Speed Runs. It is also possible to use Snarks (tiny throwable bugs that chase creatures) as ladders. This extends to games that use the same engine, such as Team Fortress Classic. The TFC Medic and Scout also have a concussion grenade which was intended to be thrown at enemies to mess up their aim, but instead evolved into a powerful mobility tool that the player can use to launch themselves across the map.
Being released from police custody puts you back in the game with full health and ammo (sometimes you come back with half of your max ammo instead). On Overkill 145+ difficulty, players who are low on health and/or ammo may deliberately go down and be captured in order to be exchanged later on and get a free health and ammo refill, which saves the use of the limited ammo and doctor bags. A similar phenomenon happens in the sequel regarding Cloakers and Tasers. Normally, every time you go down, it counts as going into bleedout mode, and if you go down fournote plus one with Nine Lives aced, or twice without it on One Down mode times without healing in-between, you're sent into custody. Getting downed by a Cloaker's kick attack or a Taser's shock does not count towards one of your downs and your health is cut down to half when you're revived. However, if your health is below half, your health is then restored back to half after you get revived, which means you might be better off getting downed by either two to save the use of a doctor bag.
The ARG event that went on for a short time forced players to play on Overkill 145+ and wait two hours to gain access to a secret vault. Rather than fight the cops normally, players chose to hide inside small alcoves within the walls, which caused the enemy AI to get confused and/or stuck, but still allowed a few cops to trickle in and attack. Since players had to send video footage of their attempt at the vault to the developers, the developers did take notice of the exploit and stated it was fair game since the players were still at risk of being attacked by the cops.
In [PROTOTYPE], the various Events, save the timed race ones, require you to kill a certain amount of enemies in a specific time period in order to achieve a better medal. The game advertises that you should target the ones marked on your minimap, but any member of the targeted faction (military or infected) is a valid target. As it is quite impossible to achieve gold and platinum without exploiting this, the claim is likely intentionally misleading to force the player to think outside the box. However, they probably didn't take into account that any tanks you've stolen still count as valid military targets even if no one is driving them, allowing you to park several in a row for military missions and artificially inflate your score a good fifty points, making the medals trivial to earn.
Jumping in water before getting the Zora's Flippers drops Link back where he was before he jumped in the water and gives him Mercy Invincibility without actually damaging him. This makes wandering around in areas near water a lot easier; just jump right on in before you get hurt. Getting through Zora's River is made much easier with this exploit, though admittedly it's the last possible place you can use it (Zora's River is the very place you get the Flippers that cancel the exploit, which are themselves necessary to complete the game). Later Zelda games that require Flippers to swim either damage Link when he falls into water or drop him off at the beginning of the room (or both).
Due to a programming quirk the bug catching net was able to reflect Agahnim's magic attacks and, owing to the net's slower and wider swinging arc, was an easier alternative to the Master Sword. Later games in the series have bottles and the fishing rod intentionally capable of combating Ganon in direct response to this.
The Deku Stick in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was intended to be used as a makeshift torch to light other torches or burn webs. While you could attack with the stick, it would break upon impact. Players would later discover that the stick's attack power matched the Master Sword and even more so if it was used as a jump attack since jump strikes do more damage. This makes nearly all the bosses fought as child Link a complete joke.
You can't move something with Magnesis while you're standing on it, presumably to prevent players from lifting themselves by their bootstraps. But you can stack two metal objects on top of each other and stand on the top one, then lift the bottom one with Magnesis. Link isn't touching the object he's lifting, so Magnesis doesn't cancel.
One of Stasis's main uses is to send an object flying. Many playersspeedrunners in particularuse this to travel across great distances very quickly by having the object smack into Link and send him flying.
Many shrines' puzzles can be skipped by clever exploitations of the game's physics, whether it be Stasis-launching, using bombs to Rocket Jump, or generally abusing Link's Ragdoll Physics. The game designers seemed to recognize this: all shrines praise the player's resourcefulness in clearing them, rather than whatever trait the shrine was intended to test.
The Camera Rune lets players know when something that they can take a picture of is in it's sight. Players can use this to counter Maz Koshia's cloning technique, as only the real one will register.
Before the introduction of tractor beams in Terran Conflict, the only accepted way of moving an asteroid from one place to another was to get a huge ship and very patiently nudge it in position by repeated small collisions. A more risky alternative was to get a very fast ship and piledrive it into the asteroid; the wacky physics sometimes caused the ship to survive and the bigger object to be propelled a fair distance away. Plenty of Save Scumming was usually required before the desired effect took place.
The "Flee" ability in Warhammer Online is most of the time used to get from point A to point B faster.
In Guild Wars, the "Charge" ability — and other similar ones — are often used to get around quicker.
In Guild Wars 2, skills that include long forward jumps or teleports can be used to circumvent the more frustrating parts of jumping puzzles provided a character has enough resources to pull it off.
Perfect World: The Cube of Fate, a bonus level, can be entered via any major city, but when you exit it, you end up in Archosaur, no matter which city you entered from. As such, it is most often used as a free teleport to Archosaur.
Ouroboros is an Alternate Dimension zone that lets you use Time Travel to play lower-level content you may have missed. Ouroboros can be entered from anywhere, and has exits to some of the major zones, so it's used mainly as a method for rapid travel. The portal itself could be created in mission areas, allowing characters a quick exit in missions that otherwise would require them to manually exit.
The invention system allowed players to turn their characters into Game Breakers, albeit taking considerable amounts of money or luck to get them there. One particularly effective path involved boosting your recharge to insane levels on a melee character with click-based defensive powers such as Regeneration, allowing them to spam high level offensive and defensive abilities that would normally take considerable time to recharge. Especially notable was Domination, the Dominator archetype's inherent power. In normal play, you would charge your Domination bar with attacks, and once full, you could activate it to enjoy certain useful bonuses, and then the bar would be emptied... unless you stacked enough recharge reduction so that Domination recharged before it expired, at which point you could use it again, since the bar was still full. End result, the bar never emptied, as long as you exploded into a colorful burst every minute and a half.
Ultima Online has the gate travel spell, which opens a blue portal from where the caster is standing to wherever the caster chooses via a previously marked rune. So far so standard... except players figured out that since the gate didn't appear directly where the player was standing but in a random spot next to the player, they could open a gate that intersected the door of a player house, allowing people from the other end of the gate to come through into the house, looting all its contents.
MapleStory introduced characters with specific skills that let them warp to a special map. Presumably this was intended to make job advancement and storyline quests easier. However these special maps are always in either Victoria Island or Pantheon, and Victoria Island has a warp to Pantheon smack-dab in the middle. Pantheon has a warp to nearly every town in the game, so it's ridiculously easy for any player with one of these skills to never have need of a ship. Ever.
DoDonPachi Saidaioujou has the Hyper recharge technique. Normally, defeating a midboss, boss phase, or certain types of enemies turns all on-screen bullets into small star items. But during a Hyper, cancelled bullets turn into large star items, which are worth 10 times the usual small ones. However, items picked up during a Hyper don't charge up your Hyper gauge. This can be exploited by triggering a bullet cancel just as your Hyper times out, spawning a screenful of large items which do charge up your next Hyper because your previous one ended before you actually pick them up. Since this is much easier said than done (you only have a brief window to pick up a spawned star item before it falls off the screen), it became a high-level technique and turned into an Ascended Glitch: The Xbox 360 port actually includes a demonstration video teaching you how to do it, and in Ver 1.5, a Level 6 or higher Hyper turns all star items spawned into large ones plus higher levels above 6 increase the number of large star items spawned, making this exploit possible in more places than before.
The mine-laying corvette in the first Homeworld. Intended to simply defend an area of space, it becomes a devastating fleet-killer when you know the direction the enemy is coming from. A squadron of these makes the final two Nintendo Hard levels very easy, easily destroying the asteroid with an engine shot at your mothership in the second-to-last level while the fleet takes on the asteroid's escort and blunting the simultaneous attacks of enemy squadrons in the final battle.
Both Trine games have as a playable character the Mage, who can summon platforms out of thin air and levitate objects. Summoned platforms can of course be levitated, but if the player is standing on one the levitation effect stops as soon as the game detects significant movement. Emphasis on significant: if the player spawns a cube or platform, jumps on it and proceeds to ever-so-gently levitate it around, the game won't register the movement as such. As a result, the only thing stopping a player from completing the entirety of the game by very slowly floating through the levels is lack of patience — but this still allows for cheating your way out of particularly tough puzzles.
Microsoft probably did not intend for the Kinect to be used to dock satellites in space. The Kinect is more notable for its uses outside of gaming that in gaming, being used in everything from robot navigation to scanning dig sites.
As a platforming fighting game where you have to avoid falling off the edge of the screen, being able to get back to the stage if you fall or get knocked off is important. Every character has a double jump, and an upwards special move that is used for attacks but mostly as a makeshift third jump. This is intended. The drawback to using the third jump is that afterwards the character is unable to perform any action besides moving until they either A: hit the ground/grab a ledge or B: get hit. Naturally, people have found ways to abuse the fact that taking damage essentially gives you a fourth or higher jump. Examples include:
Purposely getting hit by an attack or projectile that was close enough.
If in a team-based mode, have a teammate throw an explosive item since they can still hurt teammates (though this is very risky and has a high chance of team KO), or if Friendly Fire is turned on, simply have the teammate attack you.
More character specific examples include:
Link, Young Link and Toon Link can pull out a bomb for their down special. They count as items and thus any normal attack will cause them to throw it instead, but the game allows you to perform special moves with an item, thus allowing them to pull the bomb out and then perform their upwards spin attack. The bomb detonates after a while even if you're holding it, and does negligible knockback and damage, so once it explodes and you take damage, you're free to perform another spin attack (or pull out another bomb, though it might take too much damage and you probably already made it back to the stage, and if you didn't it might take too long resulting in you falling).
Snake, to make up for the fact that his upwards special deals absolutely no damage and can't even be considered an attack, CAN perform actions after using it, just not another upwards special. Until he gets hit. At which point he can do it again. He also has a C4 charge as his downwards special, and it can very well hurt him. The trick here is to use his upwards special, wait 'til it finishes, drop a C4 charge, fast fall to catch up with it if need be, detonate it and then use another upwards special. It helps that the C4 charge may also propel you upwards. This is very powerful, and also leads to an alternate game mode using the Level Editor to create a stage that Snake can go under and infinitely use this tactic, and have two Snakes dogfight while using this.
Fox and Falco's Reflector's intended use is, as the name implies, to reflect projectiles. The Reflector damages enemies who make contact with it, however, and it comes out in one frame making it one of the fastest attacks in the game. Nicknamed the "Shine" by competitive players, it's used as an offensive tool for Combos far more than it is for reflecting.
Mega Man's Down Special, Leaf Shield, creates a shield that absorbs projectiles, damages nearby enemies, and can be thrown as a projectile, but Mega Man can't use almost any other attacks while the Leaf Shield is active. Just by looking at this move, you'd think it's best used defensively, and while players dismissed it as a situational and mediocre move initially, people then discovered that it can be used with a grab to deal a good amount of damage with it, and is even better for edge guarding by hitstunning them and screwing up many characters' recovery. Footstool jumping with the Leaf Shield gives Mega Man an easy way to KO opponents, which covers for Mega Man's low damage output.
The hitboxes in the game are tied to the character model. So an animation that has a character lean back or crouch slightly may cause them to just barely dodge an attack, or just barely get hit by it. This is extremely unreliable, however.
Lucario has a special mechanic that makes him become stronger the higher his damage percentage is. Thus, many players purposely take damage in order to have insanely powerful attacks.
Multi-Man mode has you take on a horde of CPU-controlled mooks with only normal moves and the inability to grab ledges so as to make KOing waves of them easier. You can try to ledgehog to try to bait some of them into falling off, but they'll catch on quickly and use downwards hitting moves to get you. Brawl introduces tether recoveries for certain characters, which previously existed as a way to hang onto walls for Link and Samus, but starting in this game home directly towards ledges and let you hang on without much effort. If this is used in Multi-Man Brawl, the mooks will just stand at the ledge waiting for you to go up before attacking. However, there's a lot of them, so you can just hang there and watch as they try to be the one closest to you and subsequently get pushed off, and then take advantage of the split-second invincibility offered by hoisting yourself up followed by the general invincibility of ledge attacks to knock a couple more mooks off, then return to your previous position as they scramble to get back to the stage. Rinse, repeat.
When you have no lives and have the match on a time limit, a way to defeat enemies while playing as Kirby is to suck them up, then jump off the edge of the stage, committing suicide and taking the enemy with you. This trick is referred to as Kirbycide. Bowser's side special can be used for something similar if you manage to grab an enemy near a ledge. This is no longer possible for most characters as of Super Smash Bros. 4; trying this will result in Bowser losing, but Ganondorf is guaranteed to win.
Air dodging and wavedashing in Melee. By air dodging diagonally downward into the ground, the character slides forward very quickly, and rapidly alternating between jump and diagonal downwards air dodging is vital in competitive play. In fact, this is seen as the only real use for Melee's air dodge, as it's not very reliable for its intended use (a half-second of invincibility) as it puts the character in a helpless state after it's executed. It was for this reason that the air dodge was revamped in Brawl to be much more useful for its intended use (probably too useful).
In all games, stale-move negation acts as an anti-spamming feature, reducing the damage of spammed moves encouraging players to use a variety of moves to attack. Brawl strengthens this mechanic by having it reduce the knockback with progressive use (which isn't present in previous or later installments). However, since moves with less knockback are easier to combo with, Brawl's stale-move negation is instead used to create even deadlier combos, especially when the spammed attack is a Smash Attack.
The Rescue staff. As the name implies, it can be used to rescue characters in trouble. The way it does this, however, is by teleporting the unit the staff was used on to a space next to the unit. You can also use this as a simple teleportation staff by moving the staff user somewhere you want the teleporter to be and then "rescue" them from that position. This can be used with the Warp staff, which is actually used for teleportation, usually by warping a staff user somewhere and then having them rescue the next person you want in that location, thus giving you two units in that position.
The rescue mechanic from the GBA and Tellius games allows a unit to carry another as long as its Aid is higher than their Con, at the cost of halving the carrier's Skill and Speed. The intended use was, as the name implies, to rescue units in danger. Low turn count players and speedrunners instead use it as a movement tool, allowing units to cross vast distances of the map in a very short time, by combining mounted classes' ability to move again after rescuing with the fact that a second unit can take a carried unit from their first carrier and drop them in the same turn.
Fire Emblem Awakening introduced the Pair-Up mechanic, which replaces the Rescue mechanic, and allows two units to occupy one spot. The intended use is to help more mobile units ferry less mobile units, have weaker or in-danger units take refuge with a safer unit as they won't count as an active unit anymore, or to just plain get higher stat bonuses from teaming up. It can also be used to be able to move one extra space if you need to get somewhere real fast. This can be done with two units of the same mobility; have the one farther from where you need to go pair up with the one closer, have that one move, then drop the first unit off in front of them. On the next turn, have them pair up with the first unit, have the first unit move and then drop the second guy off. Since you can switch which character is in the lead before drop-off, you can also do this to help a less mobile unit travel with a more mobile unit. It's the same strategy, only you switch so the less mobile unit is in the lead and have them drop the more mobile unit off so that it's the more mobile unit carrying the less mobile unit each turn.
Abusing the Pair-Up mechanic can also be used to have two characters traverse most of the map in a single turn. Both units must have the Galeforce skill, which is a Game-Breaker as it is as it lets a character move again in the same turn after killing an enemy. If two units with Galeforce pair up, the character in the lead can move and kill an enemy. Once dead, Galeforce activates, letting the unit move again. But it's a paired unit, meaning there are two carriers of Galeforce, so once you move to the next enemy, you simply switch the lead character and have them kill the enemy, causing a second Galeforce to activate and thus, a third turn, letting you move even further. This is done to great effect if at least one of the characters is a flying unit, or has any of the movement enhancing skills. Fates fixes this by making Galeforce only trigger if the killing unit is not paired up with an ally, Attack or Defensive stance.
And, of course, these can be used in conjunction with the Rescue staff to make moving even easier, though Awakening doesn't have the Warp Staff.
The Blossom skill in the Tellius games increases a character's stat growth rates at the cost of halving their experience gain. Its intended use was to help weaker characters gain stats more quickly, but speedrunners use it for the experience-halving effect, since watching the experience bar fill up wastes time.
In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, levelling up with Bonus Exp is guaranteed to give 3 stat increases (unless you've capped all but 1 or 2 stats). This was intended to prevent you from Save Scumming for better level ups like you could in Path of Radiance, but it can also be used to raise stats a character would normally be weak in. For example, Aran is supposed to be a Mighty Glacier with high growths in HP, Strength, Skill and Defense but low Speed. By using Bonus Experience on him after he's capped his good stats, you can ensure he gains Speed on his remaining levels, turning him into a Lightning Bruiser. This works on all characters, letting everyone easily cap all their stats by the end of the game.
The Danger Mario set-up in Paper Mario. Combine badges that give you attack boosts when you have low HP, and badges that lower your HP to the point of being in Danger mode (5 HP or less) and not leveling up the HP stat, you get a Mario who's always powerful. Every attack in the game can be avoided, so low HP isn't a problem.
There's one datacron on Tatooine that is supposed to require a suicide run through enemy territory. The best way to get it is to sneak through the little-used free-for-all PvP area and avoid the enemy base.
Doing a particularly nasty Heroic (party mission) that is set in an open area? Well, the Arbitrary Headcount Limit is 4 people, but it doesn't mean that two four person parties (or several two person parties with companion bots) can't team up and kill the boss twice. Say Party A is fighting a Champion-level boss solo. Party B waits a couple seconds and joins in. Party B will get no actual credit for the fight, but they can damage or tank the boss along with Party A. Boss respawns, and it's Party B's turn to start the fight while Party A helps. It doesn't matter if there's a vast level difference between parties or even if the parties are in the same faction.
Doing the Bounty Contracts and you need the target dead while your pal needs the target alive or you're after the same target, but different levels (the bounty target spawns at the level of the highest party member)? Break party, trigger the fight twice so you both get the outcome you need (especially useful for healers, as they won't get credit for the kill, but they won't get attacked, either, leaving them to keep allies alive without being bothered).
The Return of the Gree event was a first-rate case of it, though; hoping to trigger more interest in open world, free for all PvP, they set up an area just for that, and placed obstacles needed for the event's daily PvE quests in there to entice people. However, the obstacles in the PvP area were half-difficulty. Cue server-wide "truces", Imperial and Republic players cooperating on the obstacles, orderly lines for a drop-off puzzle, and veteran MMO players scratching their heads, saying they had never seen anything like it.
Jedi Shadows and Sith Assassins get an ability to throw down a teleport puddle around level 55. It's intended use is for healers to stand in (it boosts healing output for those standing near it) or evade a boss's area attacks. But it can also come in handy when hunting hard to get datacrons or treasure chests as you can teleport back to safety and save yourself from a fatal fall (and having to do it all over again from the beginning) if you're quick on the draw.
Falling off a cliff or other high spot kills the character and gives a quick transport to the nearest medcenter, but if they aren't in combat, the damage to gear is negligible. Players can complete a quest, then jump off a cliff (or in one case, into a sarlacc) to get a quick transport back to base for turning it in.
The "/stuck" command is designed for teleporting a character to a safe spot if they hit a bug in the environment. If you are in combat (say you got stuck in a rock wall running away from a boss), it kills you and sends you to the nearest base with a reduced cost to your armor repair. Endgame operations players figured out about the reduced cost and use the "/stuck" command if the boss battle is going to be a wipe, which ends the fight and saves cash on repairs.
Stealth classes (Shadows, Assassins, Scoundrels, and Operatives) could flagrantly abuse the ability by sneaking right into an enemy camp or base and just having a look around. If you got too close to an enemy player, you could get discovered and dogpiled by them and every NPC in the place, but most NPC characters were fairly oblivious if you kept enough distance.
Moonbase Alpha was published by NASA as a realistic simulation of maintenance of a lunar outpost. But people ended up playing it just to hear the chat system's text-to-speech option say silly things like "aeiou" and "John Madden", and even sing.
Leveling up increases both max HP and current HP. Result: Rare Candies, which automatically level up a Pokemon, can revive fainted Pokemon, albeit at only a few HP. This also works when evolving Pokemon using an evolution stone. However, since Rare Candies are rarer than Revives, some players prefer saving their Rare Candies for a different unintended use: leveling up with Rare Candies is one of the easiest ways to get sufficient data to determine a Pokémon's hidden stats (called IVs). Use the candies to level a freshly-caught or -hatched Pokémon a few times, plug its new stats into an online IV calculator, then reset the game afterward so you still have Rare Candies to use on the next Pokémon whose IVs you want to figure out.
The Global Trade System (GTS) is supposed to be used to trade Pokémon with other players around the world. However for a player with two copies of compatible games it can also be used to "trade" with yourself to easily transfer items and perform trade based evolutions without needing a trustworthy person or a second game system. In one game simply put up for trade something so common that no one will pick it up (any Com Mon works just fine) and request for something specific you know is in the second game. Load up the second game, attach an item if needed, initiate the trade and pick up your new item/evolved Pokémon in the first game.
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, you can buy Casteliacones once per day with the option of either just one for $100 or a dozen $1,200. After purchasing, go to the maid in the trailer on Route 5 and sell each Casteliacone to her for $2000 apiece. $2000 times the dozen option is $24,000; minus the $1,200 paid for a dozen is a $22,800 profit. If you want some leftover, buying 12 and selling only one still nets an $800 profit, along with 11 leftover Casteliacones for your own needs. Even if you only buy and then sell one, you still make a profit of $1,900, which is plenty to buy twelve more the next day. Seeing as you can amass on Full Heals using other practical means (Pokémarts, lottery stands in Join Avenue, etc.), it's a rather zero-cost daily cash generator.
Two metagame gimmicks revolve around unintended usage of mechanics that give you a Last Chance Hit Point. F.E.A.R. has you give a Focus Sash to a Rattata, and let the Sash save you with one last hit point. For your attack that turn, use Endeavour - which makes the opponent's health equal to yours. Quick Attack will then give you attack priority for enough Scratch Damage to finish them off. S.A.B.E.R. has you give a Shell Bell to an Aron that has Sturdy, an ability that gives you the Last Chance Hit Point if you would otherwise have been knocked out in one hit. Use Endeavour for your attack that turn, and the Shell Bell will heal you based off the damage dealt. In this case, that's likely to be all your health - while they lose practically all of theirs.
The Burn status condition deals damage over time, but also cuts your physical Attack stat in half. This means that you do less damage to yourself if affected by confusion, as well as any moves like Foul Play that get stronger with the target's own stats. Combine this with Pokemon whose abilities nullify damage dealt by status conditions and Burn is actually a positive thing.
You can only have one status condition at a time, so something troublesome-but-not-crucial like Burn or Poison is preferable to something like Sleep or Freeze that basically makes your Pokemon useless for five turns.
Choice items give a x1.5 boost to a particular stat but restricts the Pokémon that holds it to the first move chosen when switched in. However, there are some moves, such as Volt Switch and U-Turn, where the user attacks and switches out. Since they don't return to play until switched back in again, switch-out moves allow these Pokémon to attack without having to commit themselves to one move.
The cooking system in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel can be abused for free money. Every character has dishes they're best at making, which have a high chance of producing a "great" or "unique" version of that dish. Some of these sell for more than the cost of their ingredients. Elliot's Simple Omelette gets the most use this way, as both him and the recipe are available very early.
In Battlefield 2, it's possible (though often impractically difficult) for a team's Commander to crush enemy soldier with supply crates. When a patch added airdropped cars intended for getting stranded teammates back into the fight, it didn't take long for Commanders to instead use the cars as "cartillery" to much more easily crush soldiers — or worse, dropping them on enemy planes or runways to make the planes crash. An Obvious Rule Patch made airdropped cars impossible to place on runways and randomly deviate a few meters from the target, making cartillery all but impossible.
The Rocket Jumper and Sticky Jumper are ostensibly training items—they are painted bright orange and deal no damage whatsoever to the player or their foes. In theory they are used to allow novice Soldiers or Demomen how to explosive-jump without killing themselves. In practice, people have used them to turn two somewhat slow but powerful classes into high-speed terrors, usually armed with Situational Swords like the Market Gardener (deals critical damage when rocket jumping) or the Ullapool Caber (a stick-type hand grenade used as a melee weapon, itself an example of this trope) to brutalize one or two opponents, then rocket away out of danger. They were also abused so much in Capture the Flag style game modes that they eventually had to remove the ability to carry the briefcase from players using these items. When these weapons first came out, they were also indistinguishable from their stock counterparts, meaning that in addition to the improved mobility, they could be used to fake out enemies into a retreat.
Cloaking and disguising are the common tools of the trade for the Spy, and are usually used to get behind enemy lines relatively undetected. Used in the Mann Vs. Machine mode, however, it can be used to directly stop the progress of the robot hordes...by standing in front of the bomb carrier. It's possible to block an entire chokepoint with disguised spies and watch the bots futilely stand and jump in place.
The original Equalizer. In theory, the weapon was an emergency tool to pull out when wounded that would increase the Soldier's speed and striking power as he was injured, allowing him to fight his way out of a pinch and escape. In practice, it was an all-purpose tool for any situation. Offensive players would damage themselves with rockets, then go racing to the enemy spawn and start breaking faces, since the weapon's original damage values were enough to kill 5 out of 9 classes in a single non-critical blow (and any class in a critical swing). Even nerfing the damage did nothing to limit the tactic. Defensive players could use it to run away from a losing battle with impunity; the second-slowest class in the game could suddenly retreat from almost anyone for free. Valve finally split the weapon attributes into two separate weapons, and even then they had to add a debuff to the speed-based item to prevent people from employing that same tactics.
Wrangler jumping. Usually, the Engineer's Wrangler item allows him to selectively pick more dangerous targets as needed while making his sentry gun more durable. Some Engineers have taken to using it to rocket jump using their sentry gun's rockets, while also grabbing one of their buildings and flying to an unusual but often remote perch to set up shop there.
Bonk! Atomic Punch provides some six to eight seconds of invincibility for the usually fragile Scout and was made mostly to get past chokepoints full of enemy fire. Nowadays people use it to abuse the Scout's long but somewhat glitchy taunt kill, baiting people into coming up to them waiting for the temporary invincibility to wear off, only to get an instant-kill bat swing to the face.
Pyro rocket jumps. The compression blast ability for the Pyro allows them to reflect enemy projectiles such as rockets and grenades back at the enemy to deal increased damage. However, some highly skilled Pyros have taken to using enemy rockets to give themselves a rocket jump, flying across maps and often much, much closer to less than thrilled enemies.
The Short Circuit is an item that fires electrical pulses that destroy incoming projectiles but does very low damage. It's supposed to be used for protecting a nest from incoming fire. When a patch greatly increased the fire rate in addition to lowering the metal consumed per blast, Engineers were suddenly running into battle, sometimes in packs, zapping the enemy team to death. Subsequent patches nerfed the item's unintended offensive power.
The Spy's Dead Ringer allows him to fake his own death, and gave him massive (90%) damage resistance upon doing so in order to allow him to escape danger. This resistance was often used not for getaways, but to become a Stone Wall and tank damage and/or block an enemy's progress by standing in their way. The resistance was eventually nerfed and a speed boost effect was added to bring the item back in line with its original purpose.
The Spy's Taunt, the Box Trot is a cosmetic that makes the Spy imitate Metal Gear's infamous cardboard box creeping. The problem is that the Spy's impersonation of the box is too good, as he's completely unmoving with a low hitbox. The box blends into the scenery of most maps, allowing canny Spies to block capture points undetected by hiding just close enough.
The Boston Basher is a bat replacement - its advantage is a bleed effect, while its disadvantage is that when you miss with it, you take damage. The idea is obviously high risk/high reward, but Scouts rarely use their melee anyway. Instead, it's used to take damage when around a Medic, since Medics build ubercharge faster when they're healing an injured player.
In the Resident Evil series if you are grabbed by a prone zombie it will deal some damage before your character ultimately kicks off or crushes its head for an instant kill. Normally, as health is more scarce than ammunition, you're much better off avoiding this and taking down zombies with your guns. That is, until you encounter the zombified Brad Vickers in Resident Evil 2, an optional enemy who takes tons of abuse to put down and yields hidden costumes and new weapons when defeated. You could pump a ton of ammo into him, or you could knock him down, let him grab your leg, and kill him instantly at the cost of a bit of health.
The remake of Resident Evil gives you more ammo, but has zombies come back as the much more powerful Crimson Heads if you don't properly dispose of their bodies by either incineration or beheading them. There isn't enough kerosene in the game to burn them all, which normally would force you to either dodge some or deal with a more powerful zombie later, but if you purposely kill zombies so their corpses are touching, you can burn all of them with one dose of kerosene thanks to a bug in the game's flame mechanics. Since most zombies appear in at least pairs, it is actually possible to kill and burn every zombie in the game and only deal with the two mandatory crimson heads that appear. The HD remaster even adds an achievement for doing this.
Nippon Ichi games are all about exploiting the game mechanics to make incredibly powerful characters. It's necessary for taking on the optional content.
Phantom Brave allows you to boost an item's stats by fusing another item to it, gaining a permanent increase measured by the difference between the items' stats. It also allows you to exchange Titles on items and characters, which increase or decrease stats by certain percentages, the worst being the -80% Title "Failure". Put the Title on an item to reduce the stats, fuse it to some other stuff to bring the stats up to a reasonable level... then put the original Title back, multiplying the stats by fivefold or more.
In Kerbal Space Program, due to some quirks of the physics engine, several rocket parts are frequently used for purposes other than designed. Sometimes cheats or mods amplify this.
The Hitchhiker storage compartment is simply meant to ferry passengers into space, but often serves as the habitation module for a space station or planetary base.
Plantable flags are meant to mark your landing sites on other celestial bodies, but also make a great way to mark the location of the space center, and by using a pair of them help you line up on the runway for for landing spaceplanes.
Due to issues with the aerodynamics system, various control surfaces (flaps, elevators, elevons, etc) can be used to propel an atmospheric craft infinitely without any source of fuel. This is known as an "Infiniglider". In early versions of the game before the introduction of landing legs, winglets and fins were often used for this purpose.
Cargo bays were introduced in version .25. Because they have axial symmetry, they were immediately flipped over and converted to bomb bays by just about everyone.
The EVA packs the Kerbals wear have limited fuel, but are automatically refilled whenever a Kerbal boards a spacecraft. This doesn't draw from the craft's store of monopropellant, oxidizer, or liquid fuel, so for those with a lot of patience, it can be used as a low-thrust engine with infinite range.
Even Platform Hell hacks can be subject to this trope. Here's a tool-assisted playthrough of the hack Glitch Abuse 2 in under three minutes (a playthrough of the intended route takes at least ten, and that's still with a few unintended skips in there) thanks to a glitch that turns a Pokey into a goal object, and here's a playthrough of the hack Super Mario World Intrigue that subverts the hack's intention for Mario to be a One-Hit-Point Wonder for most of the stages, thereby allowing large chunks of several stages to be skipped. And here's a run of Kaizo Mario World 3, which takes Yoshi into situations he isn't meant to be taken into and uses other glitches to bypass some of the hardest platforming in the game.
The mother of this trope comes in with "total control" tool-assisted Speed Runs, which take control of the game and literally program in new code. Here's one for Super Mario World, which won TAS of the year for 2014 at tasvideos.org by a pretty wide margin, being run at AGDQ. It ends up literally programming Snake and Pong into the game code.
The humble Machine Gun in MechWarrior: Living Legends is built in mind for Anti-Infantry and light Anti-Air usage, as it deals a truly pathetic amount of damage against Battlemechs and tanks. However, they actually became a favored auxiliary weapon in battlemech fights, especially if the enemy mech has an "aircraft" torso rather than a "man-walker" design; by spraying the machine guns wildly across the battlemech's nose ahead of the cockpit, you can effectively blind the pilot through the sheer amount of Bullet Sparks thrown up; the obstructed view not terribly effective against moving targets, but a stationary sniper is completely incapable of seeing what he's shooting.
Mechwarrior 4 is not immune to this either. Until it was removed in later iterations of the multiplayer, some mad people would take light 'Mechs stuffed to the gills with flare launchers, then go around firing their massed flare launchers at enemies. This had a threefold purpose: One, flare launchers can blind pilots when fired en masse (the official guidebook even acknowledges this). Two, any 'Mech with flares stuck on it is visible to other 'Mechs out to almost a kilometer. Three, with enough flares, one could lag your opponent's game to a complete standstill because many graphics cards and RAM sticks of the time couldn't handle being drowned in over a dozen particle-emitting light sources at point blank range simultaneously.
In PlanetSide 2, tanks are designed largely to murder other ground vehicles and infantry, with Anti-Air being relegated to dedicated vehicles as tank cannons can only aim about 30 degrees up. Immediately after release, players started to prop their tanks nose-up on rocks and use the main cannon to One-Hit Kill aircraft who could laugh off the pathetic Anti-Air flak weaponry. The Prowler took this to its logical conclusion, with its Anchored Mode ramping up the rate of fire, reload speed, and projectile speed up to ridiculous levels, allowing it to nuke Galaxy transports and Liberator Gunships from a kilometer away; it was silly enough that anchored mode's projectile speed bonus was later nerfed.
In Hard Man's stage in Mega Man 3: scrolling the bees offscreen to make them disappear is such a time-honored trick that the hint mode in later releasesnote Rockman Complete Works (Japan-only) and the Anniversary Collection actually suggests it to you.
Below the Root is an old example of a perfectly good loophole. Certain hostile Non Player Characters wander the map, and if your character runs into them, they'll be instantly transported to a prison house of the hostile character's faction. Seeing as you lose no time by being captured, it's fairly easy to escape the prison houses if you have the right tool (the Nekom house actually contains the best tool to escape, so if you have the key or have learned telekinesis, it's yours for the taking), and the houses themselves are not that far from important locations in the game, the kidnapping mechanic can easily be turned into rapid transit.
The Yorick soul is meant to be a weak projectile that can be hit into enemies; however, most players use the Yorick soul to act as a double-jump of sorts, by launching the projectile upwards and then jump-kicking off the projectile (considering that this was how most players ended up using the Yorick soul in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, it's probably an Ascended Glitch). The Puppeteer soul is also often used to trigger glitches that can send Soma (the only character who can use the Souls) great distances quickly.
Besides online multiplayer, the game also features local multiplayer, which in addition to its intended use is also played solo (on a large enough HD screen so you can still see the stage while at max distance zoom) in order to more quickly farm drops.
Grand Theft Auto fans are sneaky bastiches by nature, so one example shall suffice. One self-imposed challenge to get "special cars" involves killing an unkillable person. Fireproof, bulletproof, run-over-with-car-proof... No one succeeded until one genius found out they weren't repeatedly-landing-with-a-parachute-on-them-proof.
In Command & Conquer: Generals, one of the major weaknesses of the Chinese faction is that they lack a Fragile Speedster unit. This is especially problematic against the GLA, whose Rocket Buggies can pound Chinese units from afar and speed off with nothing able to catch them except MiGs. The Zero Hour expansion pack adds the Listening Outpost, a van with two Tank Hunters in it that is stealthed while stationary and also capable of detecting enemy stealth. Ostensibly, the Listening Outpost was meant to be used as an early-warning alert system, but most China players use the Outpost as their scouting unit because it's the fastest ground vehicle available.
In the first game the enemy will always attack an APC first with absolutely no exceptions. They will march past the infantry halfway through capturing their HQ (instant loss if it succeeds) to blow away the APC who dropped him off. This makes them more useful for luring the enemy into traps or away from valuable units than their intended purpose of transporting infantry or resupplying units. Later games corrected this, but it's still a valid tactic since the APC remains high on the AI's attack priority.
Anti-air guns are cheap, highly mobile, and extremely effective at dispatching enemy infantry, since their only means of attack is their primary vulcan cannon which can do upwards of 180% damage, unlike the tank whose secondary machine gun will do about 80% damage. They're also rather effective against recons and other such vehicles. They get more usage defending properties from advancing infantry than they do taking down aircraft, and later games actually point out their effectiveness at this.
In Dragon Quest IX, Sterling's whistle is used to summon the Global Airship. However, as your main character is technically the only one supposed to be onboard, using it will revive them at 1 HP if they're dead.
In Borderlands, Brick's Berserker Rage ability was supposed to be a close-up damage enhancer that had health regeneration to keep you alive. In practice, it's used mainly as a way to restore health between battles (with the right upgrades, Athena's shield can do the same thing). To discourage this for fellow berserker Krieg in Borderlands 2, the devs carefully wrote his entire Skill tree to avoid anything ever encouraging him to stall, hide or otherwise do something other than running around hurting people (for example, his Buzz Axe Rampage restores health, like Berserker Rage - but only when he kills people, not when it's activated).
Torches can be used not only to light dark places, but also to quickly remove a pile of gravel/sand by placing it underneath while it's falling (thus preventing your shovel from wearing down), and to get an oxygen boost when you're underwater by placing it on a wall up close. The gravel/sand thing is a bug that was solved but reintroduced due to popular request, while the oxygen boost was removed in an update that made the meter regenerate over time rather than instantaneously.
Minecarts are good for transportation, but also for storing villagers in a convenient place to make sure they don't go away. This way you can make a villager market with no need to go find them as they're randomly walking about town.
While using a fishing rod to snag a mob uses up three durability (versus one for fishing), it is generally considered worth it to wrangle mobs and to prevent pesky Ghasts from flying away.
Beds are coded to explode when used in the End, but those explosions can deal large chunks of damage to the Ender Dragon, a trick often exploited by Speedrunners.
The main function of the armor stands is to hold your armor when you're not using it, but clever redstone engineers have used it to make perpetual clocks for their circuits: create a water current that loops itself, throw in an armor stand, put a detection plate somewhere nearby that transforms the stand's weight into redstone signal, and done!
Prior to 1.11.1, bows with the Punch II enchantment could be used to begin and prolong flight when you were wearing the elytra (wings): every time you hit yourself with an arrow by shooting at a certain angle during flight, you got lifted, allowing to perpetuate your glide until you ran out of arrows or your bow broke, and even this could be prevented by applying the Infinity and Mending enchantments to the bow (the former provides infinite arrows, the latter allows for endless bow durability). 1.11.1 removed the ability to apply both Infinity and Mending to a bow, but those players who already have such a bow can still use it. In response to what the fanbase was doing, Mojang gave fireworks an additional use: propel the player to tremendous height upon releasing, which achieves the same goal but in a much easier (and safer) way.
The Wither, the most powerful mob in the game, may be used to farm gigantic amounts of wood automatically.
Smart players have found a way to use Iron Golems (whose main purpose is to protect villagers from aggresive mobs and players) to attract Slimes to their doom in a cacti trap, netting infinite slime balls. Iron Golems can also be summoned and killed in iron farms by systematically creating and uncreating dozens of villages in just about the area of one by exploiting the game's village-creating rules with massive redstone circuits.
Morrigan's Astral Illusion Hyper creates a clone of herself on the opposite side of the screen, duplicating all her movements and attacks for a brief period. This effectively means all her attacks hit twice - or, as famously demonstrated by Chris G, you can use it to utterly fill the screen with projectiles coming from both directions and leave the opponent unable to get a move in. It helps that Morrigan's projectiles are large, slow-moving and can be fired in mid-air as well.
Frank West's Prestige Points system means that whenever you use his Snapshot move, the number of hits in your current combo are converted into points. Above certain thresholds Frank levels up, gaining power boosts and access to new moves. If you don't have the technical ability/know-how to create extremely long, many-attack combos, it also works if you take an assist with a standard damage but multi-hitting attack (Dormammu's Dark Hole, Dante's Jam Session, Amaterasu's Cold Star, Dr. Strange's Eye of Agamotto etc.) - many of which are considered extremely good assists in their own right. After a couple of successful uses, Frank can hit Lv. 3 (his main power spike) and start doing a lot of damage without any long comboing required.
Pump It Up: The latest machine, Pump It Up Prime 2's LX Cabinets added a webcam feature. The latest patches allow registered machines online to take photos, if players choose to snap a picture or not. Needless to say, certain players have took inappropriate pictures, which can be seen in piugame's website in the photo gallery section.
In Fall from Heaven, civilizations that follow the Ashen Veil get access to Plague Zombies, which counterbalance an incredibly good base-stats-to-cost ratio with starting with the Diseased promotion, which cuts their stats down to the level they ought to be at. Since the Diseased promotion gets passed to any living unit that kills them, the idea is that they spread disease to your enemies. Only "Cure Disease" is an easy-to-get and spammable spell that works on them. Most Ashen Veil players that use them, just use them as mooks.
The software Opening Night and American Girls Premiere (which both used the same engines and wonky text to speech systems) was intended to introduce kids to the concept of theatre by allowing them to create their own stage productions. Unfortunately, the games text to speech lacked a word blacklist, the actions were incredibly melodramatic (and hilarious), and the characters could walk through walls. So you can imagine what sorts of plays people created with it. The comments on LGR's reviews state that they did things like have the characters fall down the stairs, enact murder mysteries, attack each other, parody programs, and Toilet Humor.
In Splatoon and Splatoon 2, there is one Special Weapon in each game that has a direct benefit—Echolocator in the first game reveals the locations of all opponents to the entire team for several seconds, and Bomb Launcher in the second game grants the player an unlimited number of bombs until the Special Weapon meter runs out—but also provide you with an instant ink refill, overriding absolutely everything that could delay it, including cooldown time when deploying things like Splash Walls or Squid Beakons during which you're ordinarily prohibited from refilling your ink. This secondary benefit can be a lifesaver for players running critically low on ink and don't have time to replenish their ink under normal circumstances, such as if they're under attack at the moment. This is especially true for Bomb Launcher in the Salmon Run mode: As large numbers of Salmonid come at the players at once, waiting for the bombs to detonate is much too slow, and being able to shoot and shoot, then immediately refill and keep shooting is more useful.
Bioshock Infinite has the In-Universe example of the Skylines: originally they were solely used to carry freight from place to place until kids got the idea of making hooks and dangling from them to get around. It caught on to the point where eventually "skyhooks" were manufactured to allow people to get on them more conveniently and these even became standard issue in Columbia's police and military.
The flamethrower in Alien: Isolation, in addition to by and large averting Video Game Flame Throwers Suck, makes for a handy replacement for the flashlight. While it's not as bright, the fire at the tip of the weapon's muzzle sufficiently illuminates dark areas, doesn't run on batteries, and won't attract attention from enemies.
Monster Hunter Generations has the Arisen Phoenix hunter art, which clears all buffs and debuffs affecting the player and converts them into health. Its intended use appears to be getting yourself out of a bind when a monster has managed to hurt you with multiple negative blights. Hunting Horn players, who stack buff upon buff on themselves as their shtick, consume their own easily-renewed buffs for a free near-full heal.
Greeters from Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus are an in-universe example, originally being "self-promoting" vending machine droids that, due to a programming quirk, were so obsessive about making a sale they would chase down customers and electrocute them if they refused to buy anything. Rather than scrap them or try to fix their homicidal tendencies, they were re-purposed into security droids that eerily still excitedly greet Abe as they chase him.
Siege Towers can garrison a number of units inside them, drive up to the enemy's walls and unload the troops straight onto the other side as a bypass. You can also, however, do this to your own walls as well, so if your city is under siege you can get troops out without risking opening the gates. Siege Towers also become faster the more troops you have garrisoned inside them, so they can be used as a quick way to get slow units to the battle even if there are no walls to pass.
Certain civilisations have a range bonus on the arrows fired by a Town Centre containing garrisoned villagers. This means you can delete your starting Town Centre, build a new one near your enemy's Town Centre and plink arrows at them with your extended range while they sit there helplessly.
Relatedly, the Persians have a double HP bonus for the town center, which is meant to ease the economy, minimize the necessity of rushing and make repairs highly cost-effective. However, there is a strategy called the "Persian Douche", which involves a Dark Age boom before deleting the town center and building a new one precisely in range of the enemy's. A properly executed douche can be disruptive to the enemy's economy.
In Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune, there are perks for clearing a loop of Story Mode without losing any stages. Obviously, if the opponent crosses the finish line before you, it's a loss. However, being challenged by another player to a VS race cancels the current stage without counting it as a loss. As such, if you have a friend with you, and you think you are going to lose, you can have that friend start a game and challenge you to a race so you can try that stage again while maintaining story-undefeated status (even if you lose in VS and have to insert another credit, it's a negligible issue in comparison). This tactic stopped being used in Maximum Tune 4 onwards, where you can retire in Story Mode without losing undefeated status, although it does require the opponent to be at least one kilometer away from the goal as retiring requires a significant amount of time to perform (you have to turn around and drive the wrong way for 3 seconds).
Super Paper Mario: The Pixl Assist Character Carrie is designed for carrying your character over dangerous surfaces safely (spike traps etc.). However, Carrie movement has a flat speed value - so it makes Bowser move at the same speed as everyone else. Given that Bowser has twice the health and attack power of all other characters, this turns him into a very effective Lightning Bruiser. Even worse, Bowser's breath attack can only be activated on the ground - but Carrie counts as a platform under your feet at all times, even in midair, so Bowser can now hit enemies for lots of damage from a range even while jumping.
In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the best way to get the box gem and win the time trials of the various motorcycle races is to not try to race. Instead, sit back for a solid minute or two and let the cars get so far ahead that you have no hope in hell of ever catching up. You don't have to win the race to get the box gem and the time trial doesn't start until you move forward and touch the clock icon, so letting these cars get ahead of you and coming in last place allows you to gather the boxes at your leisure and focus on swiftly navigating the roads without having to dodge the other cars.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Added character skills to the popular card game and players quickly found ways to break them.
Cyber Style, exclusive to Zane Truesdale allows the player to summon 1-3 Proto-Cyber Dragons to the field depending on how much damage you've taken. The skill was supposed to make fusion summoning Zane's boss monster Cyber End Dragon easier, but players found it far more useful as an easy source of tribute fodder. It got to the point that the skill was nerfed so that the monsters it summons can only be tributed for fusion summons now.
A Trick Up the Sleeve, exclusive to Arkana allows the player to start with a level 7 or higher Dark Spellcaster type monster provided that you have one in your deck. A fitting skill for a character focusing on Dark Magician and one he actually used in the anime. But with the release of Cosmo Brain, it instead lead to Arkana becoming the undisputed master of Blue-Eyes White Dragon (an archetype more associated with Seto Kaiba) instead since guaranteeing that card in the opening hand became a massive boost to the archetype. It too reached the point of being nerfed, by preventing you from summoning effect monsters during your first turn.
Masked Tribute, exclusive to Lumis & Umbra allows the player to return a card from the hand to the deck in order to summon a normal monster with 1500 attack. It was intended to help summon their boss monster Masked Beast Des Guardius and prevented the summoning of any further monsters during that turn to prevent abuse but players quickly found that it didn't prevent tributing to set monsters in face down position or tributing during the opponent's turn which gave it massive synergy to the Subterror archetype and the dinosaur staple card Survival's End, to the point that many decks ran both. It's no surprise that it got nerfed, forcing the normal monster to be summoned in defense position and limiting tributes until the end of the opponent's turn.
Three Lord Pillars, exclusive to Sartorius Kumar puts The Material Lord on your field and all copies of The Sky Lord and The Spiritual Lord at the bottom of your deck. People quickly realized that that basically meant the same as playing with a 14 card deck so the skill set a new record for quickest emergency nerf yet in the game eliminating the whole sorting thing.