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Examples of characters that are hated because they are incredibly underpowered.


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    Action Adventures 
  • Every character besides yourself in King Arthur & the Knights of Justice on SNES. They were the definition of dead weight and could barely kill a bottom level rat.
  • From Quest for Glory, the Fighter class is this because of The Paladin being introduced as a playable class since Quest for Glory III. Everything the Fighter does, the Paladin can do better. The former has no special abilities while the latter has a Flaming Sword, can heal injuries, can sense danger and has magic protection. To add insult to injury, a Fighter that is too honorable becomes a Paladin later in the game. There's no way to refuse the title, forcing the Fighter to keep his Karma Meter in check. Quest for Glory IV is even worse. The Fighter only gets an exclusive magic battle axe, while every other class meets unique individuals and have quests only they can solve. Quest for Glory V balances things better however. The Fighter gets multiple choices of weapons, can solve quests better to his tastes and his Strength and Offensive skills are superior to all.
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    Card Games 
  • Gali is low-tier in the Monster Rancher Battle Card Game Game Boy game, as his techniques are much more costly than any other Monster's, even his dodging cards. He has more uses in the Playstation version, though he's still a costly Monster to use.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In the Commander/EDH format, Red is infamously terrible. The aggressive damage strategy Red typically uses is useless for a slower format with more survivable opponents, and the color has nothing to compensate. It has little to no card draw, deck searching, or resource production to keep up with Blue, Black, or Green in the late game. Unlike the similarly weak White, Red adds little as a supporting color because it lacks versatility and can't cover other colors' weaknesses. Exacerbating the issue, one of Red's few strengths, consistent land destruction, is much maligned for slowing down the game and will often draw the ire of the group at a person willing to use it. Thankfully, from Theros onwards, sets and supplementary products have boosted Red's power by adding strong Commanders like Purphoros, God of the Forge; Daretti, Scrap Savant; and Feldon of the Third Path, as well as giving Red more tools like board wipes, artifact support, "impulsive draw" cards like Outpost Siege and Commune with Lava, and Discard and Draw spells.
    • A couple blocks got a lot of hate, especially when they were Standard legal:
      • After the comically overpowered Rath and Urza blocks, Mercadian Masques block was deliberately made weaker so the game could be re-balanced. Unfortunately, Wizards went too far, and Masques was so weak as to be unusable, with generally unfun and clunky mechanics. Masques' reputation took a further hit after the following Invasion block released, which had a huge impact on the metagame despite being only moderately powered.
      • Kamigawa block followed in Masques' footsteps: it was meant to be a return to sanity after the broken Mirrodin block, but was generally unfun and did nothing to stop Mirrodin from dominating Standard. The following block, Ravnica, was also considered fun and moderately-powered. However, unlike Masques, Kamigawa would later be Vindicated by History after several of its cards proved powerful in other, older formats.

    Driving Games 
  • The Aero Glider/Jetsetter in Mario Kart Wii. A heavy kart with perfect top speed, it has literally useless stats for everything else, including handling, drift, off road, acceleration and mini turbo. In simpler terms, it can't take corners at all, barely sticks to road, can't get back up to speed quickly and as it's a kart, can't do wheelies. The Torpedo/Spear has the benefit of being a bike and having inward drifting (it's got the same stats as the Aero Glider), but since the Aero Glider drifts outwards, trying to use it will literally end in hitting every single wall in the track. Oh, and it's likely going to be the final kart unlocked for most people, for getting one star on all Mirror Mode cups.
  • Need for Speed:
    • In Carbon, the best cars are American muscle cars for the first stage, tied between muscle and exotics in the second and third stages, and European exotics for the last stage. Notice how Japanese tuners are never mentioned here...
    • Underground 2 was the first game in the series' second era to involve muscle cars, and amidst one of them was the Mustang GT. It boasted powerful acceleration, but steering it was an absolute nightmare, with many players preferring the other muscle, Pontiac GTO. Eventually, the developers listened to players' complaints about the car, and it was fixed into a beast machine in Need for Speed: Most Wanted... to the point of it outbesting the Pontiac GTO, which now proceeded to be the new scrappy.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage:
    • The AE85 Levin, which in the anime and manga is the car of Itsuki. As someone in the anime said, comparing the AE86 Trueno/Levin and the AE85 Trueno/Levin is "like comparing chocolate and shit": as of Initial D 4, the Trueno is at the top of the tier list (not just on Akina, but overall, only being surpassed in 7 AA X and 8 Infinity by the 2 door variant, which yet another AE86), and the 85 around the bottom ever since its first appearance in IDAS.
    • Both of the Roadsters were this in the first 3 games. Whilst not Joke Characters like the AE85, these two cars simply just performed poorly. The only upside to them was that they possessed the two best startup times in the game. Later installments eventually buffed them to the point where they were actually pretty decent vehicles.
  • F-Zero GX offers a lot of freedom in creating custom machines, and many of them are great. Slash Emperor -V2 (Big Tyrant + Windy Shark + Scorpion -V2), however, is not; while its speed is great, acceleration is awful, deceleration is awful, and its turning radius is on par with that of the Earth's orbit. Even the game's best players will absolutely refuse to give it a try.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune's hidden Joke Cars (Corolla, Hiace, R2, Pajero) are all very low-tier, but the Hiace is considered the worst and most depressing vehicle to drive in the game, due to having awful acceleration (it having a 4-speed transmission only makes that worse) and handling. Its one advantage is that it has the highest top speed in the game at 351 km/h, but in a game where the highest and lowest top speeds are separated by only about 3 km/h and said top speed only really matters on a few courses, it means nothing amidst all the weaknesses it has.
  • Motor Storm:
    • The Beelzebuggy Spaceframe II from Pacific Rift is often considered the worst vehicle in entire series. It's notorious for under steer, as well as its high center of gravity. It's also rather long, which just makes the aforementioned problems more glaring.
    • Also from Pacific Rift, the Italia Velocita. A Pikes Peak style racer with excessive wings all around its body, not only giving it low ground clearance (in an off road racing game), but making it harder for it to take shortcuts that involve squeezing though tight openings.
  • Unfortunately, two of the four main stat types in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled have come under this for different reasons:
    • As was the case in the original game, Turning characters are unfortunately considered terrible due to their poor design: their main draw is supposed to be their great handling allowing them to take corners better than the other types, but this is usually more of a hindrance than a benefit due to this ensuring they can't snake effectively on straightways and thus struggle to retain their reserves. In addition, they're the slowest of the four classes, meaning that if they do end up leading, they're likely to be overtaken anyways, with their only niche being on tracks that heavily utilise USF such as Oxide Station and Cortex Castle. It's gotten to the point where Turning characters are not only the least-used class online, but fans are actively dreading the idea of their requested characters being Turning.
    • Balanced characters unfortunately don't fare that much better. This is mostly due to the fact that like in the original game, the stats listed for the Balanced characters are deceptively low: although their speed stat is stated to be one point higher than the Acceleration characters, they're actually slower than them and have worse acceleration than the already-slow Turning characters, resulting in them being heavily outclassed by Acceleration and Turning in everything they can possibly do. Even their comparatively better turning is considered a flaw: due to a technique called u-turning, which allows players to turn incredibly fast without losing much speed by braking while hopping, the turn stat is often regarded as a redundant Dump Stat by experienced players at best, and an active detriment at worst due to the tighter turning ensuring it's much harder to snake on straightways consistently coming to the point that a low turn stat is considered a Game-Breaker online. Balanced characters are considered so terrible that there's active demand to buff them to actually reflect their in-game stats, as they can't even function as the Jack-of-All-Stats they're supposed to.

    Fighting Games 
  • Despite being an obvious Joke Character (and sometimes a lethal one), poor Dan Hibiki still catches a lot of hate from some fans. He is sometimes called a "waste of space" that could be given to another character, especially in crossover games and Street Fighter IV. Poor guy just can't catch a break. Ironically, he's actually a competent fighter in Street Fighter IV despite still being treated as a joke character by the game.
    • DeeJay has taken this place as of Ultra Street Fighter IV, with him now considered to be the worst character in the game.
    • F.A.N.G. in Street Fighter V has suffered the misfortune of being the worst ranked on the tier list. Despite the unique poison gimmick, he suffers from pitiful damage output and bad health.
    • Zangief's also feeling this in V, to the point that several pro players maining him have switched to other characters. His lack of speed, problematic match-ups, and lack of varied tools are cited as why he's attained this status.
  • Capcom vs. Whatever games:
    • Some of the characters in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium got hit with this, but King is probably the most severe example. She's pretty capable in her home series, but CVS2 has her in the same tier as Joke Characters like Dan Hibiki.
    • Pretty much everybody on the Capcom side in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, especially Roll and Servbot. Some of the most beloved characters in video game history... and nobody wants to play as them because the Marvel side has all the most dominant fighters, except for Captain Commando, Tron Bonne, and Strider Hiryu. Fortunately, after learning from her mistakes in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Roll manages to toss aside her original Tier Induced Scrappy status and becomes a Lethal Joke Character in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom!
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has some very strong contenders for Low-Tier Scrappydom.
      • The low end is populated by Thor of all people, who has slow attacks that are difficult to chain, and doesn't move too quickly compared to the amount of damage he dishes out.
      • Hsien-Ko's incredibly slow and struggles to approach as a result, her super armour gimmick can be circumvented by any character strong enough to break it or has a cinematic super that bypasses it altogether (or by simply grabbing her), and she doesn't hit hard enough to compensate for how slow she is.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite:
      • The Mind Stone: Its Storm (which simply refills your Hyper Combo Gauge) is widely seen as underwhelming and almost useless compared to those of the other Infinity Stones. Also, its Surge (a basic, dizzying, telekinetic slam), while better-regarded and seen as actually useful, nevertheless suffers from mediocrity in comparison to what the other Stones can do.
      • Chris: On top of having limited mobility compared to other characters, his projectiles are ineffective and easy-to-reflect via push-blocking.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy:
    • The Onion Knight gets a lot of flack. He has the smallest movepool in the game, having only two Bravery attacks for air and ground, one each melee and ranged, making him very predictable. Said attacks also have a long recovery time so it's easy to counterattack if you dodge them, all of his Bravery attacks can be blocked, and they don't do much damage when they hit forcing you to fight with a Death of a Thousand Cuts strategy.
    • Shantotto has a fighting style entirely reliant on HP attacks. Her Bravery game is virtually non-existent, and they're meant to act as support to set the opponent up for her HP attacks, which are slow to start with long recovery time and poor hitboxes. About all she had going for her was her EX Mode ability Manafont, which let her keep her Bravery after using HP attacks so she could spam them as much as she wanted (normally, Bravery depletes after using HP attacks). Dissidia 012 buffed her HP attacks, increasing their execution speed, decreasing recovery time, and letting them power up at lower Bravery amounts. Unfortunately 012 also changed Manafont's effect, thereby removing Shantotto's greatest strength. In the end, her Bravery game is still horrible, and unless you're good at mind games with Bind and Stun, her HP attacks are still difficult to hit with.
  • BlazBlue gives us the following:
    • Rachel Alucard in Continuum Shift. Her damage was drastically decreased and her tools severely hampered (George XIII in particular now requiring a gauge to be filled before it could be used again), turning her from a top-tier character in the first game to someone who struggled against everyone. Fortunately, she has since been on the road to recovery, and while she's nowhere near her Calamity Trigger glory, she has never since found herself in the low-tier depths.
    • As of Chronophantasma, Bullet is now seeing hate for being badly put together as well. Criticisms range from her Cutting Shear looking like a command grab but not functioning as one, to her situational and mostly useless Rage Aggressor move, her dash-step hindering her mobility heavily despite her being meant to be a rushdown character and even her Drive receiving criticism that it completely holds her back and requires actually hitting to become any bit useful. Its gotten to the point when some are calling for Bullet's playstyle to be completely remade from the ground up so that she can actually stand a chance.
  • In the spinoff crossover fighter BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle:
    • Makoto Nanaya gets bludgeoned with the nerf bat again, reclaiming the dishonour of being one of the worst characters in the game. She has very short reach and a very predictable approach game that can be easily countered by a lot of characters, and her damage isn't exactly stellar compared to a lot of characters who have far superior reach. Her assist moves are lacklustre, she has the worst sweep in the game, and a lot of her moves can't convert into combos at max range.
    • Kanji Tatsumi, who has wonky hitboxes on a lot of his attacks which don't even hit particularly hard: for the supposed big bruiser of the Persona 4 Arena team, his damage potential is actually nothing to write home about. Also he's quite slow in a game where speed and range are fairly dominant.
  • Caster in the Fate/stay night fan game Crucis/Fatal Fake. She has the lowest HP of any Servant in the game, has the slowest frame rate for her melee attacks and as a kiter, she is generally inferior to Gilgamesh, who has more HP and can combo into Enkidu purely through kiting.
  • Guilty Gear has a few examples across the series:
    • Axl Low went from a quirky powerhouse in Guilty Gear: The Missing Link with the ability to chain combo an opponent from half a screen away and had a legitimate (if character-specific) infinite combo consisting of nothing but standing Punch and Kick repeated ad nauseam, to a lackluster Dhalsim clone with an easily punishable gimmick moveset, mediocre keepaway tools and a somewhat unintuitive Gatling Combo setup in Guilty Gear X. The only things going for him at the time were his above-average damage potential and the Difficult, but Awesome Axl Bomber loop, but it didn't keep him from earning the derogatory nickname "Axl Low Tier" due to struggling against most of the cast. Thankfully the sequels have since alleviated his status as a Joke Character, even earning him a High Tier spot in Accent Core +R.
    • In Guilty Gear Xrd we have Potemkin, who's recently become the butt of more than a few jokes because of his standings on the tierlist. He's slow, has a number of terrible match-ups, and has many highly punishable moves. The latter wouldn't be so bad if he didn't also have a huge hitbox rendering him vulnerable to a number of character specific strategies and combos. Even FAB, a professional player who mains him and is considered to be a top player considers him to be the weakest character in the game.
    • Also from Guilty Gear Xrd Baiken was hit heavily with the nerf hammer. Despite her damage output, her low HP and low guts are just the beginning of her problems. Her counters have been changed and are now hard to use and now too risky to use, plus her new parry move is easily countered and thus is very unsafe. Her chain grab has been made easier for opponents to escape from making it unreliable. She's become a shadow of her former self, going from her high tier status from Accent Core +R to a handicapped badass without the badass.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Lobo is considered by many to be one of the worst characters in the game. It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't a popular DLC character that everyone was so excited for before release. The problems with Lobo is the fact that he's very slow but not strong enough to mitigate this, a sore lack of zoning (his Sawed-Off Shotgun has the range of a punch), and that other characters do what he does but does it better (Grundy is slow as him but much stronger, Captain Marvel has a better grab game, etc).
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle
    • "Normal" Kira. The fact that he's a limited-edition DLC character already soured a lot of playersnote , and the fact that he's vastly inferior to the Kosaku version, who anybody can use, will either rub more salt into the wound or leave you feeling validated for not bothering with him.
    • Phantom Blood Dio is this, due to not having a good air or anti-air attack, when both of those are vital for a character due to how this game is played at high level.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 Videl is one due to her lack of anything but rush Supers and Ultimate. Because rushes leave a character wide open to other types of supers and can easily be avoided in various ways it's pretty impractical to use Videl. Worst of all is Giant characters are completely immune to rushes, therefore Videl lacks any real ability to damage or stagger them, in such a situation she's even inferior to her Joke Character of a father Mr. Satan.
  • Mortal Kombat 4 gave us Shinnok, who in spite of having an interesting backstory, that of a fallen Elder God with a revenge on the Elder Gods, his gameplay is pretty much minuscule by having impersonation moves and lacking actual special moves. The fact that he was an Anti-Climax Boss in said game doesn't help. He got better in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and especially Mortal Kombat X.
  • While Skullgirls is actually pretty tightly balanced to the point where most characters can stand on even footing with the right team combination, that doesn't stop Painwheel from attracting some flak because of her schizophrenic playing style centered around a somewhat convoluted armor gimmick.
  • Dragon Ball Fighter Z:
    • Captain Ginyu, mainly due to a combination of having weak combo potential in how his Ginyu Force call in mechanic operates, only having one Super Attack and one Meteor Attack (with the latter being the Body Swap), and having a lower damage output on a whole. While naturally there are many who do good with him, for most players, Ginyu is far too gimmicky to play well and lacks the power many other fighters have.
    • Krillin is a trick play and support style character and very useful when he produces a Senzu Bean off his Assist, especially to defensive characters. However, his moveset tends to get blown out by most of the cast. Combine that with his shorter limbs and lackluster combos, and you have a character who seems like he can do more.
    • In terms of assists, Goku and Vegeta SSGSS (or Blue) are noted as having some of the worst ones in the game. Goku Blue's assist is a dive kick that's too short in length to be useful for anything other than creating sliding knockdowns when a character otherwise wouldn't be able to do one. Vegeta Blue's assist, despite ironically being the same canonical attack as his Super Saiyan version's super, is way too slow to come out and only hits once, making it very hard to use effectively.
    • Android 17 eventually found himself relegated to this. Similar to Krillin, many of his normals are stubby, with some, such as 17's jab, having even less range than Krillin's. His neutral game is weak, due to his special projectile needing to be charged first. His wall jump is largely useless, due to being unable to do anything else until landing. His intended design as a mix-up heavy character with his rekka special attack having high and low options might seem intimidating...until you realize that both the real and fake versions of his overhead can be effortlessly countered with a 2H (Crouching Hard), for which 17's only counter without an assist requires meter and surrendering pressure, turning what was meant to be his strength into a joke. Lastly, his assist is in contention for the worst in the game, starting as a defensive barrier for a bit before doing a blast, on paper providing both offensive and defensive utility, but being mostly useless on both fronts in practice.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Jones from Clive Barker's Clive Barker's Jericho (by Clive Barker). In spite of his fairly decent weaponry, his lack of combat-worthy supernatural abilities (they're mainly used to pass through areas, and as a plot point) means that he tends to get ignored a lot by those who play the game.
  • The missions where you play as Billy in Call of Juarez were rather reviled. The prequel replaces him with his stepfather Thomas, who fulfills a bit of Billy's Fragile Speedster properties with a more Sharpshooter-based gameplay than Ray.
  • Rainbow Six Siege:
    • Tachanka remains the undisputed worst operator in the game, to the point that he has long been memetic for how badass he must really be to be part of Rainbow. His gadget offers him no protection from above or below, is immobile while in use, and does basically nothing his SMG can't do. Also he's a Three Armor making him unable to reposition quickly.
    • Fellow Three Armor Montagne is in similar straights. His full body shield is remarkably effective, but he's too slow to push aggressively with the rest of his team, is useless on his own or when outnumbered, and his ability to lock down doorways does not include preventing enemies from shooting through the tiny gaps at either side of his shield. While he's not worthless, he struggles to fill a slot that could be occupied by another gun.
    • Caviera, a rare One armor example, falls here because her gadget is based around ambushing solo operators. The trouble with that is, at higher levels of play teams rarely split into single, easily ambushed players, and to facilitate the second part of her gadget her pistol cannot kill Operators who aren't downed already.
  • Team Fortress Classic: Think the Team Fortress 2 Pyro had balance problems? The Classic Pyro could barely kill anything. His flamethrower had an incredibly short range, his incendiary launcher was basically a crappier version of the Soldier's rocket launcher, his napalm grenades did less damage than the regular ones, he couldn't share metal with Engineers... oh, and in Team Fortress 2, afterburn does 60 damage over time in a game where most classes have 125-175 health. How much damage does it do in Team Fortress Classic, where classes have 75-100 health? Try eight.
  • While Oddjob benefits from a short height in GoldenEye (1997)'s multiplayer mode, Jaws suffers from the opposite, being a big target compared to all other playable characters.
  • Templar in the first Killzone. Where all of the other characters have useful special attributes (Luger is the fastest, has night vision, and a decent SMG with a very useful alternate fire that turns it into a Sniper Pistol with ton of ammo; Rico is the toughest and has a very powerful machinegun exclusive to him; Hakka is more accurate with the very common Helghan assault riffle and can use his Helghan nature to open alternate paths.), Templar has none beside the ability to climb ladders (which Hakka can also do). He does start with the ISA assault riffle which is a good weapon superior to its Helghast equivalent, but it's ammo-starved for most of the game.

    Idle 
  • Armory & Machine: The Inventor Class tree is generally seen as the worst of the three class trees by far. All its attacks are adept at destroying shields but don't do much at all to health, and you need to reduce enemy health to zero to beat them. Furthermore, it's overshadowed by the Hunter Class Skills which outright penetrate the shields, while the Soldier skills deal enough damage to both shields and health. The only worthwhile Inventor Skill is Stun Baton, due to the immediate stun/interrupt without a casting time and relatively short cooldown.
  • Idle Breakout: Scatter balls aren't bad in theory, the idea of one ball splitting into others that deal 50% damage and go away after a hit is good, but the split balls (up to 10 for each ball bounce) cause so much lag slowing down your progress people don't bother buying them, sticking to Plasma and Sniper balls instead.
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    MOBAs 
  • League of Legends
    • Several champions (such as Soraka, Poppy, Heimerdinger, and Olaf) are generally kept at least somewhat weak in order to make sure that frustrating mechanics they utilize stay out of the game (at least until they receive a rework to make their mechanics less frustrating to face.) This has led to hate from the fanbases of those champions—especially when other first-type Tier Induced Scrappy champions are given more careful nerfs and stay in the spotlight longer.
    • There are also champions who simply have outdated/buggy mechanics and have not really seen changes to update their gameplay to make it less clunky. (These include Sivir, Warwick, and Fiora.) They may also receive reworks to update their mechanics.
  • Alchemist in Dota 2 originally was subpar to other playable characters, but he Took a Level in Badass in the 6.75 balance patch which, among other things, made it much more difficult for the enemy to tell how powerful your Unstable Concoction is. The spell is a Stun + Damage bomb that got more powerful as a timer counted down, and would explode on Alchemist himself if cooked for too long. Beforehand the timer that counted down was visible to everyone, not just allies, and one well timed stun screwed Alchemist over every time. And even if they do get a lucky stun or kill Alchemist, the UC will now explode in an area around Alchemist. Terrorblade seems to have replaced Alchemist as the worst hero for 6.84 as he receives brutal nerfs to his illusions (Not only does his illusions become much less tanky but also deals less damage to towers, which is the whole point of picking this hero) along with a couple of other nerfs. It got to the point that mocking him for his weakness has become a meme among the Dota 2 community.
  • Heroes of the Storm has been perennially puzzled by Tyrael, Archangel of Justice. His Trait is to leave a spirit after he dies that explodes a few seconds later. The trouble with this is that it means his Trait does nothing while he's on the field, meaning that he has 3 basic abilities to every other character's 4. He was eventually Rescued from the Scrappy Heap by patches buffing his other abilities and increasing their versatility, making up for his handicap.

    MMORPGs 
  • While mesmers in Guild Wars are quite good in Player Versus Player, where shutting down a single character is very potent, they are generally unpopular in Player Versus Environment where it's much more useful to kill entire groups while the tanks keep them busy. A change to the skill Panic that turned it into an area affect spell that shuts down whole groups by has somewhat fixed this, but they are still much better for harassing healers or single opponents as elementalists and dervishes will always nuke groups faster than a mesmer ever could.
  • In EverQuest II: Which classes are low tier tends to change with expansion packs, as each one usually comes with a whole bunch of new skills that may balance (or unbalance in the opposite direction) the classes.
    • Brawlers in general. They don't tank as well as warriors or crusaders and they can't DPS as well as Shadowknights (evil crusader). Bruisers (evil brawler) are favored over Monks (good brawler) because their DPS is better, and raid battles requiring a brawler are common enough that most raid forces stock exactly one Bruiser, leaving Monks out of luck.
    • Druids in general, due to being frailer than clerics and shaman. Most raid forces stock one Fury (evil druid) for its buffs, but Wardens (good druid) are just out of luck.
    • Defilers (evil shamans) tend to be favored over Mystics (good shamans) because Defilers have stronger base heals, and although Mystics have stronger base DPS their DPS output is still a drop in the bucket in a raid. They're also better at curing detrimental effects and debuffs than Mystics. There was a brief period shortly after the Destiny of Velious expansion was released in which Mystics had far better DPS than Defilers, leading to Mystics becoming the favored shaman subclass - but statflation brought Defiler DPS back in line with Mystic DPS, and their stronger heels and better cures put them back in favor.
    • As shown above, character classes come in "sub-classes" (originally a Good version and an Evil version). Frequently one of the subclasses is highly favored over the other. A relevant example: Berserkers specialize in being able to tank multiple targets. Guardians can get hit by a truck and live through it. The latter is much more useful than the former in most situations, and Guardians are much more likely than Berserkers to find a raiding guild.
  • City of Heroes had Defenders sit in this seat for a while. Their poor damage and ally-focused abilities made them virtually impossible to solo. Their array of supportive and debuffing abilities made them useful in groups, but Controllers had access to the same powers (just as slightly later levels when early level powers tend to be the most often used) and in most cases they were just as effective. Most archetypes had two useful powersets, whereas Defenders damaging powers were considered dead weight. The Vigilance ability made them somewhat more soloable, the secondary disabling effects on their offensive powers were increased above the Blaster's, and the numbers on their powers were tweaked to make some of them better than the Controller's, but in general there's still not a whole lot of reason to pick a Defender over a well-built Controller.
    • Stalkers were generally regarded as low tier due to being mostly focused on ambushes and single target attacks. The problem was that while they did have a strong opening attack their overall damage lagged behind that of Scrappers and Brutes which combined with the fact that single target damage just wasn't that useful compared to Ao E damage.
    • Several individual powersets also held this seat at one time or another. Some notable examples include:
      • Electrical Blast, due to it not really being very good at much of anything and its secondary effect of draining endurance wasn't any good unless you drained an enemy's endurance completely, which you needed enhancements to accomplish most of the time, which in turn took up slots that could have been applied to accuracy or damage.
      • Storm Summoning, because its high number of knockback and scatter effects were unfriendly towards groups, in a power set revolved around supporting teammates. They have one of the best debuffs in the game, Freezing Rain, but it causes enemies to run away from the center of the effect...in a game where AoE damage is king, this is a bad thing. Oh, and the later added Cold Domination took Storm Summoning's debuffs, so Storm Summoning lost its good powers to a vastly easier set.
      • War Mace and Axe for Tankers, until it got a long awaited buff. They lacked a powerful single target attack, instead relying on stunning or throwing their foes around. Other Tanker powersets either had a powerful attack that also stunned their targets, or the powerset used a rarely resisted damage type (Energy Melee was KING with Fiery Melee close behind) compared to smashing and lethal.
  • World of Tanks:
    • The M3 Lee. It's a medium tank that plays like a tank destroyer, meaning it has no turret (gun can only turn a few degrees). While the gun is good and the armor reasonable, it's slow and not very manouverable (combined with the lack of turret it's easy to run rings round) and a big target (with a non-functional turret that sticks up over cover inviting shots). Most people hate playing as it.
      • One of the sources of the Lee's problems was a strange design choice to give it the same stealth rating while it was sitting still as it had moving (making the larger Sherman stealthier than it). So not only did it not have a Tank destroyer's stealth bonus despite sharing most of their weakness, it was less stealthy than any other medium tank its tier. It was forced into a play style it was designed to be awful at, is there any surprise its on this list?
      • Part of the trouble with the Lee is that World of Tanks only models one weapon per vehicle, even if the historical tank (and the in-game model) had more than one. The designers chose to model the 75mm casemated gun in the bow of the tank (which, historically, is the only reason this model of tank existed, as Britain was desperate for a vehicle that could carry their best antitank cannon in Africa, so the US designers modified an existing design to rapidly incorporate it in some form) rather than the 37mm turret gun, which is too weak to be of much use, but would at least provide some way to handle flanking light tanks. Additionally, since the turret is physically present, it can be shot at, and raises the visibility and vulnerability of the tank by a large amount.
    • The French counterpart of the M3 is the B1 heavy tank. Like the M3, it has a large cannon in the bow, and a small one in the turret. Unlike the M3, the small turret gun is modeled, and the large bow gun is not. This gun is so weak that it has trouble penetrating pretty much any equal-tier tank reliably, and can't damage another B1 at all unless hitting a weak spot (sometimes, not even then). It's also so slow that it can take most of the match to drive from one base to the other. Oh, and as for weak spots? The most prominent one is that hull-mounted howitzer which the B1 cannot use. The tank's sole saving grace is that it appears a full tier lower than any other heavy tank, and nothing in it's tier can do all that much damage to one, making it a Mighty Glacier.
    • The Churchill Gun Carrier is considered the least popular tank destroyer (in terms of opinion and numbers encountered in battle), and for good reason. Apart from it's gun (also one of the guns available on the AT 15 tank destroyer), it is a slow poorly-armored (somehow having less armor than it's parent vehicle, the Churchill I) tank destroyer with terrible gun arc and camo values. To add insult to injury, the crew members are all in the front, making them prone to being injured in battle. All in all, this is a Tier 6 tank destroyer that most players think would be subpar even at Tier 5, and it's a contender for worst tank in the game on a tier-for-tier basis.
  • Star Trek Online:
    • The light cruiser is this. Many remember this as the USS Reliant from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, compared to the KDF's B'rel Bird of Prey and the Romulan Republic's T'liss Light Warbird, the Light Cruiser has nothing special to it. Klingons and Klingon-allied Romulans usually fight these things as mooks as well. What makes this worse is that, for five dollars real money, you can either get The TOS Constitution, the NX-01 or an Oberth-class Light Science Vessel. All three net you special items and can get you set up for the class of ships you want to take up.
    • The other is the Exploration Cruiser Retrofit, its Fleet variant and the Dreadnought Cruiser. All three are essentially the U.S.S. Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. All three are amazing tanks... and that's it. They have poor turn numbers (which especially hurts the Dreadnought Cruiser, as it can utilize heavy hitting, but narrow ranged, Dual Cannons) and lack in DPS-granting skills and items. This is even more apparent with the release of ships like the Avenger Battle Cruiser, which does the things the two ships can do, but so much better. It's no wonder players have been trying to get Cryptic to change it.
    • Thanks to power creep, outside of premade PVP teams healboats and tank builds basically have no role because A) even the flimsiest tacscort can usually pack in enough self-heals to last well enough against NPC attackers, and B) Death Is a Slap on the Wrist. Thus, if you aren't meaningfully contributing to DPS you're basically just slowing down the team. This is at the core of the PR problems of the Galaxy-R and Star Cruiser, both of which are engi tanks with limited tac powers.
    • The KDF Bortasqu'-class got dumped in the "fail" column mostly because it's altogether too different from the rest of the KDF lineup. The Klingons tend to build smaller, faster ships that can use dual cannons well, but despite being called a "battle cruiser" like the Vor'cha and its cousins the Bort is basically a Starfleet engineering/tactical Mighty Glacier with the serial numbers filed off. It can mount DCs but on launch couldn't turn well enough to use them properlynote , so the majority of KDF players used to the faction's many zippier options found they often had to reskill to use it competently. The Romulan D'deridex-class has a similar issue, especially since the free one comes right after the much zippier Mogai-class. In the hands of a skilled captain, though, the double-D proves Difficult, but Awesome.
    • If someone is at that point, a player can consider the entire Tier III set of ships this by the reasoning that by the time they reach Level 20, "Temporal Ambassador" is available and you can obtain the ship from those missions there instead. However, they don't mesh with everyone's playstyle: The KDF's Kamarag-class in particular is more of a tank than the DPS boats that make up the rest of the lineup.
    • The Romulan and Reman Prototype space set. Nine times out of ten, if you see any piece of this active, it's only the shields and that's because it's an item you earn for completing a certain mission. Most players use either the four sets from the Omega Task Force set or the two that can be earned by missions (Jem'Hadar and Breen). However, the ship weapons are loved by all, especially the Hyper-Plasma Torpedos mentioned above.
  • The JU-87, aka the Stuka in War Thunder. Also known as a free kill, these planes are slow, have weak armor and can't climb. The dive bomber versions have pitiful guns and at best they get to drop their bombs before the much faster fighters swarm them. The tank hunter variants, while armed with a pair of devastating 37mm cannons carry very limited ammo.
  • Mechanics and changes to balance have rendered nearly all classes and specs in World of Warcraft functionally useless at some point or another. For example, changes to how healing worked and the rate at which players to damage at the beginning of Cataclysm, which tended towards players taking heavy damage in relatively short periods of time and heals being weaker overall rendered restoration druids, who are built around heal-over-time effects, completely unfeasible in PvE until the first patch.
    • Classes and specs whose mechanics have a large luck component, such as fire mages, can be this. Blizzard has made steps in recent expansions and patches to make them more reliable, but the difference between a player performing well or poorly in one of these classes can still easily come down to how generous the random number generator feels during that particular encounter.
    • When the game first came out, most of the specs in the game were this. Each class was typically pigeonholed into one spec or point combination (Druids into Resto, Paladins into Holy, Mages into Frost, etc), simply because many of the specs either didn't work properly or were completely broken and had awful mechanics. It didn't help that the gear available in raids typically wasn't kind for caster classes, and the wonky threat mechanics for bosses meant that only certain classes and specs had a chance to tank and not get everyone instantly killed. Fortunately, most of this was patched out.
  • Final Fantasy XI
    • Dragoons did not fare well on their debut. They had some great ideas, such as specializing in piercing weapons, increased accuracy, and having a Wyvern as an ally that attacks alongside the Dragoon, effectively giving extra attacks. The problem was, the Wyvern could only be summoned once every two hours, and could very easily be killed, leaving just a sub-par spear-user having to wait for its Wyvern to be summonable again, coupled with the fact Dragoons have one of the worst equipment pools in the game for a melee damage dealer. What this ended up doing was caused Dragoons to be the least popular of the melee classes, with them easily being passed over for Samurais and Dark Knights instead. Fortunately, a patch changed the Dragoon's ability so that it had a better 2-hour ability and could summon their Wyvern every 20 minutes, but even so, it took years for the Dragoon to climb out of the scrappy-hole the early game placed it in.
    • Beastmasters were this when first introduced. Their pets, which made up most of their damage output, were classed as party members which meant that the game took them into account when calculating experience gained from defeating enemies, meaning experience parties with one in had much slower experience gain. This was later patched to only apply if their pet is a higher level than the master but the stigma stuck for a long time. However even after the patch players tended to level up in higher level areas meaning there was usually no pets for them to use in the zone anyway. This was later fixed by introducing summonable Jug Pets however by this time they had gained a much more sinister reputation so many players outright refused to invite them to groups out of principle on top of their old stigmas still being present.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • Dragoons, while not bad per se, have a very high skill floor, and are the class most likely to die to AOEs. Around patch 2.45 and later, Dragoons got buffed by having easier skill rotations, shorter animation locks, and much more defense. Before the patches, Dragoons had magic defense that was so crappy that many considered them a liability for end game raiding due to many bosses having magic based attacks. The Dragoon's iconic Jump attack also paved way to the "loldrg" meme due to the attack having a lengthy animation lock and low strength, which meant most people who didn't time the use of the move would get curbstomped by bosses and eat the floor. Compared to other DPS classes, Dragoons were sorely behind in AOE and spiking damage, making the class even less desirable to play or have in a party.
    • Astrologians were introduced in Heavensward as a new healer class and were supposed to have the utility of a Scholar and burst healing of a White Mage. However, the class became a Master of None where the utility moves paled in comparison to Scholars and the raw healing power was awful compared to White Mages. Their utility, focused around card play, also suffered from its unreliability. Astrologians were quickly branded as a useless healer class and they sometimes got kicked out of end game raids because of their shortcomings. A number of much needed buffs and reworks have rescued the class since, to the point that by that expansion's last raid tier, it had broadly replaced White Mage as the expected main healer.
    • Machinists were another class introduced in Heavensward as a new support DPS class focused around gunplay; however for the first two patches it could not keep up in terms of damage or utility with the other ranged class, the Bard, while its frustrating gameplay has long kept it out of favour. Much like Astrologian, though, reworks have rendered the class actually useful.
  • For companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic prior to Knights of the Fallen Empire:
    • Melee tanks for the bulkier classes like Bounty Hunter, trooper, Sith Warrior, or Jedi Knight. They are already bulky and can take hits well -and may even be tanking. Ranged tanks at least can put more damage before dying, so simply put, it may be better to just use a damage or healer companion.
    • For the Imperial Agent, Smuggler, Sith Inquisitor, or Jedi Consular, using the damage companions can fall into this. They are themselves squishy and don't have many good ways to keep you going in a longer fight, meaning you must either babysit them constantly or allow them to die. Given that all of these classes have one prestige class that has abilities requiring you to hit from behind, it's also significantly more practical for a character who can keep the heat off of you, which damage companions are not good at.
    • The steward droids, C2-N2 and 2V-R8 for all Republic and Empire classes respectively, universally are hated all around, and are only useful for sitting in the ship as crafting mules.

    Party Games 
  • 100% Orange Juice! allows the player to, after lots of Money Grinding, buy access to playable versions of the Purposefully Overpowered boss characters. The problem is, the playable versions were nerfed into oblivion for Competitive Balance reasons, and so the amount of effort spent to acquire them isn't remotely worth the reward. The Flying Castle gets this especially bad, as its playable version is nigh-unanimously considered bottom tier; it's a tank that can't take a hit, an offensive character with no offensive options, and it relies entirely on its hyper card to even have a niche...for 2 turns, out of the typical 35 or so that games tend to last. Even in said niche, it's still fairly bad.
    • The bonus characters (awarded for purchasing other games by the same developer) tend to be looked down on, due to them being tiered considerably lower than their non-bonus (that is, only require buying one game) counterpart. The only exception is QP Dangerous, who is considered only slightly worse than regular QP but still usable. The absolute worst bonus character, though, is Aru Scramble, who desperately relies on her hyper card to be able to do anything of interest over regular Aru. Like Flying Castle above, her hyper isn't even good, and because of the nature of the game, it's entirely possible she'll simply never get it - in which case, her role is basically a punching bag for the other players. And like Flying Castle, she's unanimously considered bottom tier.

    Pinball 
  • Whenever Game of Thrones comes up in tournament play, you're not going to see that many people picking House Baratheon or House Lannister. House Baratheon allows the player to more easily reach Wall Multiball—in that it requires lighting both of the rollover switches on the upper-right 5 times instead of the other houses' 6, by far the smallest benefit of any of the houses. House Lannister, however, is a case of Crippling Overspecialization: it gains Gold faster than the other houses, but Gold is used only to redeem for bonuses in the shop, which is only occasionally open and the goodies available are randomly chosen. All of the other houses have substantial benefits that extend over the entire game or multiple smaller benefits.

    Platform Games 
  • Rospark in Mega Man ZX Advent is the least useful of the thirteen boss forms Ashe and Grey can take. In his main "bulb" form, he's slow and has a low jump— two fatal flaws in a game where speed and jump height count the most, and for attacks he a short-range melee attack with his vine arms and one ranged attack...where he fires thorns directly above himself, giving him the absolute worst offensive ability. His "flower" form has much more mobility and a wider range of attacks, but it can only be used while he's on a vine or pole, both of which outside of certain levels can be practically nonexistent. The other Pseudoroid forms have superior movement speed and/or attack options, and the Mega Men forms have versatility down pat, with even the most situational (Model L) having a superior melee option and ranged charge-up attacks. His only use is in traversing certain vines or poles in several stages.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 has three playable characters with all the expansion packs. Jazz had a super jump that would let him reach high areas. The same command for Spaz was a flying kick, so Jazz's helicopter ears were replaced with a double-jump to compensate. Lori had Jazz's helicopter ears and Spaz's flying kick...meaning she had no way to bypass certain areas where a normal jump wasn't quite high enough. Players were not pleased.
  • Oddly, Sonic the Hedgehog himself is sometimes considered the scrappy amongst his woodland friends, if only because he doesn't have any truly unique abilities like the others. This is particularly prominent in the Sonic Advance Trilogy, where the levels are really designed to take advantage of the other characters' abilities, and Sonic's ability to grind rails feels mostly tacked onnote . To give an example, in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, we have Knuckles' ability to glide and climb walls, Tails' ability to fly/swim, and Sonic has the ability to use extra shield abilities. The elec shield's double jump and bubble shield's bounce jump give you more height, but are inferior to Tails' flight, the fire shield's air dash is inferior to Knuckles' glide. And in case you think this might at least make Sonic the jack-of-all-trades of the game (which isn't a bad guess at first, since he jumps higher than Knuckles), the fire and elec shields instantly break on contact with water, or after one hit. Sonic has the ability to become invincible for a few frames in midair, but it's Difficult, but Awesome at best, since the timing is very precise.
  • Wario is the least useful character in Super Mario 64 DS as he has mediocre jumping and running abilities in comparison to the rest of the playable cast, and good speed and jumping ability is a must for a platform game like it. His only real advantage above everyone else is his raw strength that's required for certain stars, though that doesn't really mean much as other characters can take out most enemies just as fine, making him very situational.
  • While all of the playable characters in Freedom Planet are likeable for their own reasons, speedrunners have no shortage of jokes to make at Carol's expense. While she can climb walls and has a good degree of mobility with her bike, that's all she really has going for her. In comparison, Lilac is consistently faster and has invulnerability frames in her Dragon Boosts, which lets her blitz through horizontal obstacles and enemies that give Carol no shortage of trouble; Milla, on the other hand, has a higher barrier of entry, but the recoil for her Super Shield Bursts pushes her to Lilac's level of speed, and her flutter jump allows her to reach places both girls have trouble accessing, on top of her shield being able to reflect enemy projectiles, which has her clock times that surpass both her compatriots. The devs noticed and retuned Carol for the sequel; not only can she attack without losing her momentum, but she can stow her bike as well, keeping her from losing it as easily, and that's not discussing the jump disc that lets her reach walls that are much higher than she can realistically jump on her own. The general verdict is that the loss of her invulnerability-frames Wild Kick is a worthwhile exchange for the new tools at her disposal.
  • Oil Man in Mega Man Powered Up is downright awful as a playable character. His only means of attack is his weapon, Oil Slider... except he can only shoot one out at a time, which has extremely limited range and then lingers there on the ground for a short period, preventing you from attacking further until it disappears. You can jump on the oil slick and ride it like a skateboard, but trying to damage enemies that way is a terrible idea because it does not protect you from Collision Damage. Not that he has any of those problems when he is fought as boss, of course. The fact that he's considered an Ethnic Scrappy certainly doesn't help matters either.
  • While cute, Mouse-Man in Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap can be a painful experience as his hit-detection radius is, appropriately tiny, and this problem is made even worse if you accidentally bring him across the Underground and into the Samurai castle instead of Lion-Man. The enemies, especially green Oni monsters, will make mincemeat out of you.
  • As mentioned in The Angry Video Game Nerd's review, the Tin Man is this in the The Wizard of Oz SNES game. You see, despite having some decent attacks, he has one fatal flaw. He can't jump, at all. In a platformer, aka a game that's almost entirely about jumping. This means with the exception of the battle against the Wicked Witch (where his attack can JUST about reach her), he's pretty much entirely useless for at least 99% of the game.
  • Diddy Kong certainly gets the short end of the stick in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Dixie Kong's abilities outshine Diddy's in every possible way, since Dixie Kong's ponytail hover can actually increase height like a delayed double jump while Diddy's jetpack only maintains height. Meanwhile, while Diddy's jetpack can increase swimming speed underwater in short bursts, Dixie's ponytail spin allows her to push against strong currents. And while Dixie Kong's Kong Pow yields Gold Hearts, and Cranky Kong's Kong Pow yields Banana Coins, Diddy Kong's provides...Red Balloons. Which are usually rendered moot when the former two increase your Life Meter and can be used to purchase items including balloons, respectively.
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    Puzzle Games 
  • In Tetris, the I piece is highly valued and can be used in almost any situation effectively. This, however, is not the case in Tetris: The Grand Master and Tetris: The Grand Master 2, where the I becomes the most hazardous piece to use in the game. When the game reaches maximum gravity (that is, pieces effectively spawn already on the stack), in order to be able to rotate an I in a horizontal orientation, the space underneath the third block from the left must be clear, or else it cannot rotate. This means if you set up a shaft on either side of the playing field to put the I in so you can score a Tetris, but forget to give a horizontally-oriented I some room to rotate, you'll probably end up plugging the shaft up with the piece instead. Many a Master run that surpasses level 500 or T.A. Death run has been ruined by a player who thought they could rotate the I into a vertical position to make Tetrises, but couldn't. You can see some graphical elaboration here.
  • In Pokemon Picross, the Fairy type becomes this, in stark contrast to most other games in the series (where it's a high-tier scrappy instead). Their diamond-shape reveals wind up revealing almost nothing, will never clear rows, are completely outclassed by the abundance of other reveal types, and if the RNG decides to drop a Fairy-type reveal in the corner, it'll lose as much as three quarters of its already low efficiency. Tellingly, the only Fairy-type Olympus Mon (Xerneas) is outclassed by Flygon in Picross, and Flygon isn't even close to the best Ground-type in the game, and Ground isn't even the best reveal type - that honor goes to Fire. In the main games, while it's not a Joke Character by any means, Flygon is nowhere near the Purposefully Overpowered level of the likes of Xerneas.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon: The Warsloop is considered the worst ship in the game, it has less firepower than the Procyon Sloop, less armour than the Pirate Sloop (despite the Pirate Sloop being a modified civilian Sloop), and is more expensive and slower than both. To top it off, the Royal Navy's own Torpedo Boat is faster, much better armed and is less than half the price of the Warsloop. For these reasons, the Warsloop is rarely ever selected in open skirmishes by players.
  • Total War: Warhammer:
    • To a lot of players, the Dwarfs are without a doubt the weakest army in PvP because they suffer from Crippling Overspecialisation. Their entire schtick is heavily armoured, high leadership and good value-for-money heavy infantry (and some decent artillery and gunners to round them out and give them some reach) in a game where taking advantage of Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors is a premium. Nearly every faction has a great armour-piercing anti-infantry unit who will carve through a Dwarf battle line like a chainsaw through tapioca - basically any infantry unit with great weapons, savage orc units for the Greenskins, wraith units for the Vampire Counts, etc. To make things even worse for the Dawi, their only anti-cavalry unit are the Slayers, who are still slower than cavalry and may even die first from being counter-charged because they have no armour at all, meaning your only option is to hope your gunners and artillery can soften up the enemy cavalry enough to repel them. They we're heavily buffed, however, in a Mortal Empires update, which not only gave them truly ridiculous staying power by heavily increasing every one of their unit's mass, a new elite Slayer unit that's far more effective at anti large, and a general increase in stats. They are still not top tier, but there nowhere near the bottom anymore.
    • Empire Pistolliers are almost as notoriously poor as Slayers. Whereas Marauder Horsemen are widely and rightly feared, Pistolliers have laughable range and killing power, and not only that but the AI is seemingly incapable of using them; they rarely even get any shots off.
    • The worst candidates for Legendary Lords are Gelt (Empire) and Kemmler (Vampire Counts). Not only are they both terrible in melee combat (being wizards) but Gelt's unique Lore of Metal is the worst spell list in the game, and with Kemmler costing an extra 200 gold and having an almost identical spell list and statline to a regular Master Necromancer, and at least the Master Necromancer can take a Barded Nightmare mount to help keep his squishy wizard behind out of melee; you really may as well take the Master Necromancer and put the money elsewhere. A later patch alleviated this issue by reworking Lore of Metal to be better and giving Gelt a few powerful campaign bonuses, plus Gelt is still popular with players because of his Awesome Ego: the same cannot be said for Kemmler, who is still waiting for a promised campaign revamp(ire) and has the Old Friend feature to summon Krell as a stop-gap (but then people are much more scared of Krell than they are of Kemmler).

    Roguelikes 
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Eve and Samson get hit with this the most (especially Samson, who's even less popular than ???, the actual Joke Character of the game.) Both are built around powering up by taking damage, in a game where taking damage is something you usually want to avoid at all costs, and Eve's most powerful initial ability, Whore of Babylon, doesn't kick in until you're at half a heart of red health, and the game forces you to use it by giving her an abysmal attack stat otherwise (fortunately, if you amass a ton of Soul Hearts, you can try to find a Blood Donation Machine and drain your red health until Whore of Babylon kicks in, but it's a rather annoying method of safely using it.) Samson, meanwhile, also starts with a terrible attack stat, but it beefs up when he kills an enemy... and then reverts when he leaves the room, making him worthless against most bosses. Even worse, he starts out with only one red heart and one soul heart, pretty much making him a worse Judas. Fortunately, Rebirth buffed the two by making Eve's Whore of Babylon activate at one red heart, and giving Samson more starting health and reworking his attack boost, making it trigger on taking damage instead of when killing an enemy and extending its duration to the entire floor.
    • Invoked with Rebirth's secret unlockable character. The Lost, who can fly but is a One-Hit-Point Wonder that cannot upgrade his health in any way. He was, above all odds, rescued in Afterbirth, which allowed the player to unlock the Holy Mantle as a starting item for him, letting him take one hit per room and making him into a Lethal Joke Character.
    • Lazarus is rarely picked out of preference, due to sharing a fate similar to Eve and Samson, starting off with low stats and his only saving grace being starting with an extra life-granting item. The post-resurrection stat boosts only serve to bring Lazarus' stats actually up to par, and the Devil counterpart of Lazarus' Rags, Judas' Shadow, gives vastly superior boosts upon resurrection and most prefers aim for Devil Rooms instead of Angel rooms.
    • The secret character added to the Afterbirth DLC expansion, Keeper. His gimmick is centered around having "coin hearts" where all forms of normal health are converted to friendly blue flies and he instead heals by coins. The problem with this is that, with the exception of one item (that was not added until the Afterbirth+ expansion), he never has more than two coin hearts. This places him close to death at all times, and due to the way health works in this game, many items are rendered useless or unbuyablenote . He also starts with a really bad firing rate, and unlike most other characters, has no real interesting starting items or abilities aside from a triple-shot to make up for the large number of setbacks.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light:
    • The Slug B ship, The Stormwalker, which is a boarding-oriented ship. The catch? It has no starting medbay, and all three of its starting crew are Slugs, which are average boarders at best. The idea is to use Healing Bursts to recover your Slugs so they can keep fighting, but Healing Bursts use missiles, happen to be your only means of recovery (which means post-battle recovery will consist of wasting another missile), if your Burst misses you will have to beam your boarding team out, and if your missiles run out, you're screwed. Early game tactics involve making a mad dash for the nearest store so you can purchase a Medbay, which costs 60 scrap.
    • The Engi B ship, the Vortex, starts with one Engi crew member, and its weapons consist of a Heavy Ion and a Heavy Laser. You can depressurize every room except the cockpit to stop fires and hold off boarders (especially in conjunction with your Anti-Personnel Drone), but if you get boarded in the cockpit (especially if the boarders happen to be Mantis), you are in a lot of trouble, as Engis have halved combat damage and leaving the cockpit will drop your evasion to 0% unless you have the cockpit upgraded to have an autopilot, and even then your evasion will remain nearly nonexistent unless your engines are maxed out (though the Advanced Edition improved the autopilot). As for the weapons, the Heavy Ion takes a long time to charge, and if it misses, you won't be able to use your Heavy Laser on anything unless you're up against an unshielded Auto-Scout or are in an asteroid field with a one-shield ship. The slow recharge rate of the Heavy Ion also means that if you don't find another gun to help supplement it, you're basically dead when you start facing enemies with 2 shield blocks, since even with maxed out gunnery skill, the ion damage on shield will dissipate before another ion shot hits. It also starts out without sensors and, unlike the other ships in this category, doesn't even have a real late-game advantage in form of a great weapon or special ship-property.
    • The Stealth B ship, DA-SR 12. Like the Stealth A ship, it starts with a cloaking device and the shield system must be purchased separately for 150 scrap. Its main differences are that it has only level 2 engines instead of level 4, has level 2 cloaking, and its only weapon is the Glaive Beam, a beam that does 3 damage per room, but takes 25 seconds to charge (about 23 if you have a zero-level gunner) and uses 4 bars of energy. Even the Federation Cruisers' Artillery Beam fires faster when maxed out. If your weapons and/or your cloaking get hit in the early game, your best choice is simply to restart.
    • The Stealth C ship, Simo-H. Unlike its sister ships, it lacks a cloaking device, instead opting for a special version of the Shield Overcharger that takes less power and charges up slightly more rapidly, an Anti-Drone, and a third slot for drones, being the only non-Engi cruiser with that many slots for drones. However, the Shield Overcharger+ only puts out 1 bar of Super-shielding, the ships that only have one weapon are few and far between, and you can't keep both the Shield Overcharger and the Anti-Drone powered at the same time without spending precious scrap to upgrade the Drone Control and your reactor, and you obviously need that to buy a set of Shields for the ship. It can be powerful later on, but the other Stealth Cruisers can reach that same level of power much more easily.
    • The Federation Cruisers. Their Artillery weapon (beam or flak) takes a long time to charge (making it often useless until fully upgraded) and occupies a valuable system slot, especially when compared to Advanced Edition systems.
    • As far as crew examples go, humans. They trigger no blue events, have no special abilities, and are only effective in combat when against Zoltans or Engi. Slugs have the same stats as humans, but also have telepathy (which was further improved in Advanced Edition) and can trigger blue events. The Advanced Edition mercifully gave them slightly faster skill progression and a new blue option.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • Sten is considered one of the worst gameplay companions because he doesn't start with a specialization like every other companion that can use them. This means he won't get 2 specializations by level 14 like everyone else, which is a real big limitation on his customization and battle effectiveness.
    • Oghren ended up as this due to the deck being stacked against him. You must complete "A Paragon of Her Kind" to unlock him as a companion, which is usually agreed to be the hardest main quest in the game, so most players don't get him early enough in the game to keep his skill and talent points from being spent in unwanted areas. Because he can't be optimized as well as the companions you get far earlier in the game, this leaves Oghren undesirable as a party member come late game. Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening averts this by introducing a purchasable Skill Point Reset tome, allowing every companion to be optimized no matter how late they're acquired.
    • The Shapeshifter specialization is agreed to be the worst mage specialization in the game by many, because the animal forms disable the use of other spells and aren't very good replacements for all of them. Not helping Shapeshifter's case is the stiff competition from Spirit Healer, Blood Mage, and Arcane Warrior.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Necromancer specialization is considered the worst of the specialization because 2 of its Damage Over Time spells were bugged out in ways that made them far less useful than they should have been. The Trespasser DLC rescued the specialization not only by fixing both spells, but by offering them new upgrades like the other talents.
  • Dragon Quest VIII features this with some of the weapon skill points:
    • Fisticuffs: Available with everyone, but aside from Yangus, it's considered an absolute waste of skill points. Fisticuffs is really the only way you can make Morrie, Angelo, and the Hero useless, but:
    • Yangus: Scythes and Clubs. For most of the game, Axes are the only reliable weapon for Yangus, and the abilities lag behind in performance. Humanity as well, which gives him a hilarious attack at the end but in general, he's better off just punching or chopping enemies up.
    • Jessica: Knives. Jessica's the weakest attacker in the game, and Knives gives her access to swords but doesn't give anything with stupid-high multipliers (like Twin Dragon Lash, but only in the PS2 version). Why train her to use swords and stab things when she can deal way more damage casting Kafrizzle or twin-dragon lashing?
    • Red: Whips. Sure, Twin Dragon Lash was super overpowered in the PS2 version, but the 3DS version gave it a significant Nerf. Sure, she may be more equipped to use whips than Jessica, but why would you ever do that when you can give her what is essentially a free Multithrust/shot attack instead? And since Fans let her be able to resurrect someone (Very great as she's the fastest party member), there's really no reason to pick this over Fans or Roguery. (Even though Fire in the 'ole really isn't worth it.)
  • Chu-Chu in Xenogears is weak, weak, WEAK. It's sort of funny, though, given that the sequence that reveals that Chu-Chu can go super sized has her utterly devastating a C-list villain. However, one thing that's interesting about Chu-Chu is that she is the only one that can directly heal the other Gears. Too bad it's for marginal amounts and certainly not worth sacrificing a ton of damage in the process. And then you notice that if you feed it enough Drives, the stat increases carry over to its Gear-sized version...
  • Front Mission III had the character of Linny Barilar. He might count as a joke character, though, since his introduction specifically shows him as pretty weak and even the other characters view him as dead weight.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, the demon AI is pretty good - if they try an attack and it doesn't work, they'll remember that particular attack type does not work on that particular enemy, and they won't do it again. There is one exception: Throne, average stat-wise, will not learn. The final boss is immune to Mind, but Throne will keep casting Mind-based spells until you tell him to stop, yourself. Though, the game might not have enough fans to warrant hatred of the demon.
  • Persona 3 and Persona 4:
    • Characters who generalize in Hama and Mudo spells, both being instant death, tend to get ditched in favor of those who either specialize in more conventional elemental spells or physical specialists, mostly because they have a very low chance to hit, even if an enemy is weak to it. In 3, Ken Amada, already something of The Scrappy, specializes in Hama spells, and though his physical prowess with a spear is decent, whatever other spells he has are single-target. Although he can also heal and revive allies, Yukari can do the same, and she specializes with Garu spells, and is tied with Mitsuru for strongest magic caster at that. Koromaru is the Mudo specialist, and his stats as a whole are very mediocre, save for a high Agility stat, and the rest of his spells are Agi spells and agility buffs.
    • In 4, Naoto specializes in both Hama and Mudo spells, so while she's a good choice for quick random encounters, she's useless for boss fights, as all bosses are immune from both. The Golden re-release fixed this problem by subbing out some of her physical skills for regular elemental skills, and also gave her third tier Persona moves such as Tetrakarn and Makarakarn.
    • Those three have been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, where One Hit Kills are largely useful. This time, Teddie got beaten with the ugly stick due to his overall low stats (his best stat, Luck, is on the same level as Naoto's) and losing his healing spells, which cost him is former position as a durable caster/healer.
      • Likewise, the blanket fix that comes with the new battle system. All persona users can use a sub-persona and skill cards which means that if anyone's flaws become too troublesome, you can cover it with the right setup. If Naoto's Hama/Mudo specialization is too limiting for bosses, you can just give her a sub-persona or skill cards with elemental or status changing attacks.
      • It can be argued that Teddie has become this in Persona Q as opposed to his original game, where he had mixture of supportive and offensive spells. He has the lowest stats sans Luck, and his role as a debuff/enemy sweeper is better performed by Ken or Naoto due to their advantage in speed and magic. While he learns some high-level healing spells naturally, again his slow speed more often than not meant his healing may come too late. Despite the game's recommendations, low vitality means he will take a lot of damage in the front row even though his HP is at a respectable amount. His only saving grace is that he easily takes advantage of the Boost system; his slow speed means that he's very likely to keep a Boosted state (thus a free skill), which can be easily achieved through exploiting weaknesses or better yet, his high critical rate due to his Luck, which would the allow him to spam powerful skills with impunity...but you still have to contend with his abysmally low offensive stats and using an accessory to swap his Luck with the other stats makes the aforementioned strategy useless.
  • Persona 5 is considered to be better than its predecessors in regards to stat and skill distribution, and the ability to swap out characters mid-battle via the Star Confidant helps greatly. That being said...
    • Ann Takamaki's one big offering is her powerful Concentrate-boosted Agi spells, while the rest of her set is considered to be mediocre: Tarunda/Matarunda (lowers enemy attack power), Dekaja (removes enemy buffs), several status ailment spells, and a useless single-target healing spell. To add insult to injury, she can learn a passive that boosts the likelihood of one of her ailment spells landing (one of them being the highly-abusable Tentarafoo), but it only works during days when it rains or there's bad weather. Her firearm, a submachine gun, can also be problematic: white it has very high ammo, it fires at random and you cannot select your target.
    • Yusuke Kitagawa is a powerhouse like Ryuji, but lacks his optimization. While he's extremely powerful, the majority of his attacks are more ideal for targeting a group of enemies instead of one target, and some of his single-target attacks only power up under special circumstances (the Deadly Fury attack gaining a boost of power via a Baton Pass, for one). What's more, none of his passive spells empower him in any way; the one set he has gives him a chance to reflect physical attacks, and it isn't always guaranteed to work.
  • The Final Fantasy series usually has at least one of these in each game, and sometimes many more.
    • The Thief in Final Fantasy I. With no Steal ability and no Magic, with weaker attacks than both Fighter and Black Belt, significantly worse defense than both, and not enough of an evasion boost to compensate, he's the least useful Hero of Light to hold an Orb. He can be upgraded into a Ninja and gain some Black Magic, but even that isn't as useful as the White Magic gained by the Fighter's upgrade into a Knight. His main function is to serve as a means of easy escapes in low-level runs due to the game's bugged and exploitable running calculation.
    • Every Guest-Star Party Member character in Final Fantasy II besides the legitimately useful Minwu, due to the game being designed such that the party members join at low levels, and that the game's EXP gain requires micromanaging of individual battle actions and is complicated and time-consuming. This especially affects the Dragoon Ricard and the Dark Knight Leon, who join the party so late and are with you so briefly that they never get the time to be anything other than a corpse for your by-this-point-total-death-machine permanent party members to drag around.
      • Fixed somewhat in the remakes. There is some added endgame content, which allows you to visit more locations and net each character's ultimate equipment. Thus, you have more time and opportunities to properly build Ricard and Leon. Ricard also appears in the Dawn of Souls spin-off, alongside other deceased characters from the original game, and he shines in comparison with relatively weak Minwu and Josef.
    • The Geomancer class in most appearances. Geomancers can cast decently powerful magic without cost, but their spells are determined by the terrain you're standing in, so half the time they're worthless. A notable exception to this rule is the Geomancer job in Final Fantasy V, which levels easily and provides multiple passive perks, and includes the "Gaia" command, which is much more often than not a powerful attack. The same also also applies to the DS version of Final Fantasy III, but both are quickly Overshadowed by Awesome.
    • Berserkers are about as unlucky as Geomancers. The Berserker's gimmick is usually that they start in permanent Berserk state, increasing their stats but limiting their options to Attack! Attack! Attack! Generally, the damage a Berserker deals isn't that much better than various other combat jobs, and it doesn't make up for the loss of control. In V, for instance, Rapid Fire invariably deals a lot more damage than a Berserker could ever hope to, especially when combined with Spellblade or similar skills.
    • Final Fantasy III has the addictive-but-bad-for-your-health Scholar class, with the lowest Vitality in the game, and therefore the lowest HP growth. The class is pretty effective in battle, with surprisingly good elemental books as weapons and the ability to read enemy weak points, which makes it all the more annoying that using it for anything other than brief periods of time can permanently screw up your characters' HP growth and make your characters useless by late game.
    • Final Fantasy IV:
      • Edward, the Trope Namer for Spoony Bard, fits right in here. He's very underpowered in combat due to his low strength and reliance on Useless Useful Spells. Even in the GBA remake, where he can get a lot more levels and more powerful songs, he is still the least useful character to have along in any given situation. Does not apply to the DS or PSP remakes, however.
      • In the remakes, you can swap out anyone but Cecil with any of the former Guest Star Party Members (excluding the one who actually died). By the time you're delving into the post-game Bonus Dungeon, Cecil himself is a Master of None who lacks the versatility of your spellcasters and has slower speed and/or lower strength than the other non-casters. It isn't helped by how his Infinity +1 Sword can have its damage absorbed by some enemies or have its random Holy spells reflected right back at your party.
      • Rydia's Goblin, Mind Flayer and Bomb summons have a tiny drop rate and virtually no utility.
    • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has quite a few examples. The Eblan Four are all sub-par compared to Edge and have extremely limited Band abilities. Calca and Brina are even weaker and their abilities are entirely random. Harley's abilities are Useless Useful Spells, her stats are abysmal, and most of her limited Bands require poor party combinations.
    • Final Fantasy V:
      • The bonus classes added in the Advance port. They're obtained very late, at the point in the game when you've probably long since switched your characters to Freelancers. Their best abilities are excellent, but take hundreds of AP to learn. The Oracle is particularly useless, with no ability to equip elemental-boosting weapons and his/her Predict ability having the potential to kill your party. The Cannoneer's Combine is excellent, but with three types of ammunition, 400AP of grinding before you unlock it and very little game left to experiment, you'll never get to play with it very much. The Gladiator's ability to equip any type of blade is handy, but your Freelancers can do that happily already.
      • The Dancer can definitely quality. It has the worst stamina and HP, very low strength and agility, has little in the way of weapon selection as they can only equip knives, which is not a very good weapon at that, and they don’t have enough armor selection for justifying their low defense stats. The only upside is they are the only job that can equip ribbons, but few players bother.
    • Final Fantasy VI:
      • Cyan is slow as molasses, has the worst magic stat in the game, and his Bushido techniques require you to sit and wait several seconds while you charge up the meter, during which time the fight is still ongoing and the rest of your party can't enter commands. While some Bushido moves deal decent to strong damage, most are various status effects and a low-power Life Drain, which are only moderately useful in general and worthless against bosses. Psycho Cyan aside, he's mostly useless. He can be made more useful with a few specific strategies (saving his turns until you've selected moves for the other characters in the party, charging Bushido while the animations happen, partnering him with characters who do not require command inputs, play the iOS version where you can give commands while he charges Bushido) but few players bother.
      • Gogo can't equip Espers. In FF6, having an Esper equipped on a character gives an additional bonus stat growth when that character levels up — a bonus that Gogo can't take advantage of. His stat growth will fall further and further behind the rest of the party as their levels increase. In essence, Gogo is a textbook Master of None; the only skill he has to have is "Mimic," and he can be given any other command, even character-specific ones. But because his stats are so low, and there's no reliable way to increase them, no matter what you have him do, he'll do it badly.
      • Umaro, whose only strategy is Attack! Attack! Attack!. As he's in a permanent Berserk status, Umaro randomly selects one of three standard attacks with varying damage output, or uses an ice attack that hits all enemies. He can't learn magic, can't change his equipment except for Relics, and his two better attacks are each unlocked only if he equips a specific relic in one of his two Relic slots, so once you have those he can't change his equipment at all without weakening him.
      • Gau is more well-liked than Umaro - even though he's also an uncontrollable Berserker who uses Rages based on monsters' battle scripts, you do at least get to pick which strategy he will be using for the battle from a menu of monsters to imitate. However, the way he learns new skills is tedious, as it requires you to backtrack repeatedly to a certain area where you fight every random monster you've encountered so far in the game, and have him leave your party with the monster whose skill you want him to learn and then recruit him again several random encounters later. As the game goes on, your mere chance of encountering the monster you want him to learn from becomes miniscule. Most of his Rages are useless, to the point where 'getting all of Gau's Rages' is the stereotypical pointless 100% Completion task. His Rages are also unpredictable in that they bear no resemblance to the behaviour of the monster from which they are learned - for example, the boring squirrel Rhodox causes Gau to start spamming very powerful instant-death spells, the invisible, resistant-to-everything and Meteo-slinging Intangir causes Gau to cast a pointless spell that kills himself, and his most powerful physical attack is learned from lost housecats.
      • Setzer's a Master of None whose Slots ability has the potential for a lot of useful effects, but in practice has odds so skewed as to allow him to summon a useless Lagomorph roughly nine times out of ten. Even if you're cheating by rapidly pausing and unpausing the game until the slot shows exactly what you want, the wheels are generated by RNG and so useful combinations are usually not possible. (Unless you know enough about how to exploit the glitch-riddled RNG to set up the wheels to allow for unblockable instant death spells every battle, after which he becomes more useful... but FFVI provides more convenient glitchy instant death spells that take a lot less trouble to set up. And Setzer would not approve of being made into a cheat, anyway.) You can give Setzer a relic that changes his Slots to an attack based around literally throwing money away, which makes him more useful but at the cost of giving up a slot (and at the cost of, well, your money). He's not as good at magic as the mages, not as strong as the physical fighters, not as fast or as useful as Locke (who shares his ability to equip full-damage-from-back-row weapons), and not as powerful a Jack-of-All-Trades as Terra and Celes. He's useful in some gimmicky situations like using his random-damage Dice weapons to hit evasive enemies (Cactuars, mainly), but that's it.
      • Strago's Lore spells range from good (but not as good as the equivalent spells), to useless, to able to glitch Shadow's helpful and adorable Canine Companion out of existence. Acquiring the skills requires extensive, irritating backtracking, as recruiting him is the last thing you do before the Disc-One Final Dungeon and The End of the World as We Know It. On top of that, his stats are poor across the board.
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Cait Sith has poor stats apart from his good Magic and only learns two Limit Breaks, as opposed to the seven that most other party members can learn, severely limiting his utility compared to them. Both are based on gambling, meaning they're very unpredictable. The first, Dice, is decently powerful when you first recruit Cait Sith, but all it does is attack a single target for a mediocre-to-decent amount of physical damage. The second, Slots, is a lot more powerful, but also has a non-trivial chance of causing unblockable instant death for your entire party, something many players prefer to avoid.
      • Vincent's stats are lousy, even worse than Cait Sith's, although the ability to keep him in the back row compensates for his fragility somewhat, and he has one of the better Magic stats in the game. Unfortunately, his Limit Breaks turn a back row Squishy Wizard into a physical attack-slinging Berserker. He is only capable of learning four Limits as opposed to seven, and all of them transform him into a monster, leaving him uncontrollable and slinging one of two attacks at random. It doesn't help that you have to set up his transformation in advance due to the way the Limit charges, meaning that despite each one being associated with an element, you can't respond organically to Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors in each battle. And now you can't use any of the spells you've loaded him up with - have fun if you were using him as your only healer. A particularly cruel application is that the signature attack of Vincent's first Limit is a Fire-element attack, and that Fire is absorbed by the boss encountered immediately after the point in the game where you recruit Vincent. Many a player decided to test out their cool new character's cool Limit Break for the first time on the Materia Keeper, only to discover Vincent now healing the boss for thousands of points of damage every turn, and it not being possible to make him stop. In spite of this, he still manages to be one of the most popular characters in the FF series.
    • Final Fantasy IX: While the characters themselves are good, some take a lot of work to make useful:
      • Eiko, a Bratty Half-Pint combined with a Squishy Wizard that in the long run isn't very useful. Of the two summoners in the game, Eiko has only half as many potential summons as the other option, Dagger. Worse, Dagger has all the best summons, including the Game-Breaker summon Ark (if you know how to get it), so Eiko doesn't even have quality over quantity. This also means that Eiko absolutely needs the Boost ability, which costs a whopping twelve ability orbs — and she has the lowest orb gain in the game (and, as result, the lowest overall orb total), which means buying Boost leaves her lagging in almost every other area. Even though she's the only character to get the Full-Life spell, there are plenty of easier ways to revive characters, such as Amarant's Revive and Dagger's Concentrated Life (has almost same effect as Full-Life). The sequences where you are forced to use her are basically just so you will eventually use her, instead of ignoring her altogether. The only thing Eiko has over Dagger is that she learns Curaga sooner and Carbuncle can (with the right equipment, not that you'll figure out easily.) put Haste on the entire party. Plus she gets Holy - a pretty effective nuke, but really, Vivi and even Dagger are more consistent nukers than Eiko.
      • Amarant, who is the last character to join you and as a result, will be pretty far behind. His strength lags behind Steiner's and unlike Freya, Zidane, or even Quina, does not gain an ability whose damage you can cheese through other actions. The only real advantage Amarant has is that he'll be higher level than...
      • Freya and Steiner. While you get a good amount of use of them through Disc one and two, they leave for an extended period of time - meaning they will be far behind Zidane, Dagger, and Vivi (who you use the most) in terms of abilities&level. On the other hand, they do pay off when they rejoin permanently in Disc 3.
      • Quina, who might be, depending on what you did in disc one, your penultimate character you recruit. How useful s/he is in the long run depends entirely on two things: How much you take time into obtaining her Blue Magic and catching frogs (which requires you to go out of your way to do so.) S/he is a Master of None who learns mostly utility spells - an ideal fourth party member. However, if you did not recruit Quina on Disc one (Which is surprisingly easy to do without prior knowledge), then s/he will be around on Disc two for only a few dungeons, and on disc three is the last character to join permanently.
    • Final Fantasy X:
      • Kimahri usually falls into this trap. He doesn't have bad stats, but every other party member is highly specialized, and the game's combat system takes this specialization into account in terms of difficulty, which leaves poor Kimahri a Master of None. And since the game allows the player to swap in characters from the bench at will, if you run into a situation where a specific type of ability is needed, the character who specializes in it will always be available (unless the character is actually absent for plot reasons). This makes Kimahri's flexibility completely unnecessary.
      • Once Yuna has traveled to the end of her part of the Sphere Grid and starts going into Lulu's, Lulu ends up being sidelined by many players, since Yuna has the stats necessary to cast the black magic spells that Lulu is supposed to specialize in and is the only character who can cast summons, effectively making Lulu redundant.
  • Mack in Lost Odyssey. He's a hybrid character whose shtick is that he can use Spirit Magic naturally - implied to be a rather rare ability in-universe. Unfortunately, if you ever need spirit magic, you can just equip an accessory that allows it on a character, thus making him entirely useless once you get more than five party members, as a fifth party member will be able to take hits and give hits better. That said, the fact that he outdamages several grown-ups at age five and even takes better hits than some of them is somewhat hilarious - especially during a particularly annoying boss wherein he is the main source of damage.
  • Llewelyn and Badrach in Valkyrie Profile. Badrach is seen as being the worst of all the einherjar for his attacks' lousy accuracy, and Llewelyn isn't far behind. The fact that Badrach is a total Jerkass and Llewelyn is kind of a whiner who keeps reminding you how much he doesn't want to fight doesn't help matters either. Their main martial strength—attacks that hit multiple times—can only really be useful on very large enemies because of the way their projectiles spread out as they attack. Since they spread out in the same set pattern every time regardless of the target, the bulk of their attacks will simply miss all but the largest of enemies. As they're two of the three dedicated archers in the first game (though Lenneth can be used as one as well), they've given the class a bit of a bad rap.
    • Badrach takes it one step further by having the lowest Hero Value in the game, at negative 111 points, which makes it difficult to potentially send him up to Valhalla and win Odin's graces (to add to that, an archer is recommended for sending up in Chapter 5, and you can only get Badrach in either that chapter or Chapter 4). Notably, the only other two characters in the negative-hundreds (Argrim and Gandar) can't be sent up at all!
    • Sorcerers can be utterly devastating in terms of attacks. However, you really only need one, and a large slew of them comes around the second half of the game. At this point, most players either pick Mystina (who's important plot-wise) or just pick someone else. Also, sorcerers partially defy the Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards trope in that no spell is unique to one person; they can all learn the same spells. And again, some don't realize that the order you get them in is in ascending order of their base magical power, with Jelanda being the weakest and Lyseria and Gandar being the strongest.
    • Lyseria and Gandar fall into this primarily due to Can't Catch Up. While Gandar has the strongest base power and Lyseria is second, this is mitigated by the fact that Lyseria is recruited in the penultimate chapter, while Gandar is only in the final chapter. As each chapter has only a limited number of turns, this means that it's very difficult to Level Grind them to the point where they can match the strength of Mystina, who is only a little less powerful but is recruited around the halfway point of the game. This can be avoided by Gandar in Medium difficulty (where he gets recruited at a high level), but Hard stars all recruits at level 1, compounding the problem (particularly for Lyseria, who only appears on that difficulty). They're a little more usable in the Bonus Dungeon (which does allow for level grinding), but they don't get much use there either because Lezard Valeth, the best mage in the game, is recruitable there.
    • Kashell the heavy swordsman has the weakest Purify Weird Soul in the game and few combos, while Grey is weak and can rack up few hits, with his saving grace being high defense. While Kashell's attacks are better with Arngrim (and they can get a Disc-One Nuke weapon), it's much easier to just pair Arngrim with a more capable warrior.
    • The bow weapons themselves are horrible in the original game, with low attack output. The other two archers that are good (Lenneth and Janus) are only helped by their good attack stat and filling up the Soul Purification gauge. There's a grand total of two good bows in the game, and one of those is only available rather late (when Janus has almost certainly been sent to Asgard due to particular requirements that pretty much only he meets).
    • Beating bows are, of all things, katanas. The two samurai you can get are better off equipping western swords.
    • The useful(/less)ness of Archers in the series is lampshaded in Covenant of the Plume - your first additional party member is an archer, who the protagonist tries to ditch. Another character points out she'll make a decent sacrifice if nothing else. She does end up being useful, however, since the Strategy RPG format makes range a more significant factor than in previous games. Of all the game's party members, it's the lancers who end up falling into this as lances just aren't a good weapon due to low attack power.
  • In Chrono Trigger Robo has three main drawbacks - he's slow compared to the other tanky characters (Crono, Frog and Ayla), his magic defense is the worst in the gamenote , and his magic power is weak as well. This is especially glaring late in the game, where bosses spend the majority of the fight using powerful full party magic attacks. If Robo is buffed up with Speed and Magic Tabs, he can be a powerhouse, but his low magic defense is still an issue and some players just don't like to bother with him. Marle can also qualify. As a wizard/healer type, she has a weak physical attack that can't be boosted by Power Tabs. She lacks a 3rd-tier offensive magic spell, and Frog and Magus can cast equivalent water/ice-elemental spells. As a healer, she lacks a multi-target healing spell. While she does have Dual Techs that target the whole party, those require another character to sacrifice a turn, so you're better off with a character like Frog or Robo that does more damage 'and' has access to a Single Tech multi-target healing spell. Even Marle's best status buff, Haste, can be permanently applied with Haste Helms later in the game. Although her magic power and defense stats are decent and her speed isn't abysmal, she just doesn't offer much that can't be done more efficiently by other characters.
  • Chrono Cross, having Loads and Loads of Characters, naturally has a few of these. Or rather, it could be said that only a relative few of them aren't these. As a rule of thumb, for every innate color, there's going to be a character with great attack, and a character with great magic, and other than those two, most characters are going to be on permanent bench warming duty. For example, Karsh is a good all around green innate character with an above average attack and adequate magic. Glenn, however, is a Green innate character with the second best attack in the game and above average magic as well, so if Glenn's around Karsh is useless (though Karsh does at least get a third of the game to shine since Glenn is unavailable for the period where you become Lynx physically. Finally, Karsh joins your party as part of the main story while Glenn can only join if you refuse to save Kid.). And some characters, such as NeoFio, Turnip, Mel, Sneff, and Skell are some of the more memorable ones; they're all nigh-useless in combat. And then there's a few characters who seem like they should be much better than they actually are, like Lord Viper and Radius. The amount of energy a character gets when waiting for other actions is a prime factor for who gets sidelined, simply because it means that they need to wait longer to act again. The standard is to get back one action point for each action point someone else spends. If they only get a fraction of that, they're pretty much dead weight unless you can guarantee that the other two characters can do a complete combo after - and that is hardly guaranteed. For some reason, this hits red innates more frequently.
  • Phantasy Star:
    • Hugh from Phantasy Star II. For one thing, he's supposed to be a specialist against biological monsters (as opposed to Kain's Walking Tech Bane), but the sad truth is that biologics just don't have the high defense that mechs do, so any party member can effectively combat them, making Hugh redundant. It gets worse for him, though, because his available equipment is mediocre even compared to Shir, the party's thief. It took the Generation:2 remake on Playstation 2 to finally buff him into a viable combatant, and even that amounts to spamming his Limit Break.
    • Hahn from Phantasy Star IV before he learns Astral and Vol. Gryz is pretty useless and Kyra is a more mediocre version of Rune/Alys if it wasn't for Medice. Also, Demi despite having Medical Pwr and Phonon. All of those characters are temporary guests in your party until they come back for the final battle. Granted, while they're actually in your party, they're entirely well-suited for those fights, but at the end of the game you're just going to pick Raja anyway.
  • Salsa from MOTHER 3 has attacks that are quite weak and he relies on the NPC Party member with him to do most of the damage (and the NPC's attacks are completely random), his special abilities are not really that great,note  and he has the misfortune of being placed in what is essentially a full chapter of grinding since he's so underpowered. He is playable briefly later on, but by that time he is tragically underleveled to the point of being useless. However, Itoi makes him such a tragic character that most players end up rooting for him anyway, making Salsa something of a deconstruction. His weakness is also a deconstruction, he's enslaved by that NPC and being unable to fight off the random encounters of his own area is meant to show that forced servitude not just because the NPC won't let you get away, but because even if you could get away from him you're in no condition to fend for yourself.
  • Rainer Hofstedt's only role in Albion is his ability to provide useful advice during the first part of the game, but he's almost completely useless in combat. He's later replaced by Harriet, who has the same stats, and the ability to cast healing spells, and a spell that can wipe every single opponent off the battlefield
    There are exactly three other things Rainer is good for. The first is that he's good at picking locks, though not as good as Khunag. The second is that he's harder to hit than Tom and wears better armor than Drirr, so until you get Siobhan he's the closest thing you have to a blink tank. The third is that until you get Joe in the final dungeon only he and Tom can use the pistol, which has an attack power of 30 and can be found when you'd have to Money Grind excessively just to afford a spear with a power of 18. Incidentally, have you noticed that all of these traits are redundant?
  • Xigbar in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, despite being a great character in the story mode of the game (both in terms of both usefulness and entertainment value), is considered quite weak in the multiplayer aspect of it. The main problem with Xigbar is that a lot of people solo the mission mode— and Xigbar isn't meant for soloing. He's meant to be standing back providing back-up damage while someone tanks the enemies. Having to reload does hinder him, though.
  • Marvel Future Fight has Hulkling, who is often considered the "worst character in the game" due to generally lackluster attack, speed and skills, as well as a measly one second invincibility frame. His T2 offers a 25% chance to get immunity to all damage when getting hit... and it lasts 2 seconds. But wait, this 25% chance can also allow Hulkling to remove any debuffs from himself... for 5 seconds. And then wait 20 seconds for another 25% chance to get 2 seconds of invincibility and 5 seconds without debuffs. Not exactly efficient, right? As a result, Hulkling even has his own (bottom) tier in the popular Reddit character ranking.
    • Elektra used to have a similar reputation. Her maximum physical damage was less than 10 000, she had no uniforms, no 6-star skill and the skills that she did have were terrible. However, in 2017, she marvelously got completely re-worked, including getting a Netflix show uniform eventually. Now she's a decent average character, arguably better than Daredevil himself.
    • Gamora. For "the most dangerous woman in the galaxy", her damage is abysmal. Over the years, Gamora got two uniforms, one of which gives her 30% defense penetration. This is impressive on paper, since no other character before has gotten a buff like this. But Gamora is just so weak that even this is not enough to make her good.
    • Drax The Destroyer and Blade, two badass bald blade-wielding killers, both suffer from low survivability. They're some of the easiest characters in the game to kill.
    • Generally, a lot of early game days characters have fallen behind due to Power Creep. This is especially prevalent in old villains, like Ultron, Kingpin, MODOK and Red Skull. They have some use, such as Kingpin's summons, but are still relatively weak compared to the majority of the characters and haven't gotten updates for years.
  • Tales Series:
    • Nanaly Fletch from Tales of Destiny 2 is beloved character-wise, but in terms of combat capabilities was not very useful due to her arrows being hard to hit with and only dealing scratch damage (compared to very accurate and fast melee and very hard-hitting magic), as well as for only having one Limit Break without relying on Good Bad Bugs. This was fixed in the Tales of the World games she appeared in as well as in boss cameo appearances, and she is loved everywhere else.
    • Colette Brunel in Tales of Symphonia. Colette, despite being The Chosen One, is largely useless when AI-controlled due to Artificial Stupiditynote 
    • In Tales of Graces, there's Richard, who is generally mediocre compared to everyone else due to his lack of strengths, and no effective way to heal anyone, not even himself. Pascal and Malik also have trouble with groups of enemies, and their strongest spells generally aren't worth the long charge-up times that come with them. Most players prefer to stick with the initial grouping of Asbel, Sophie, Cheria and Hubert due to their skills complimenting each other. Malik and Pascal take another hit from the Nova Barrier mechanic, where an enemy will take scratch damage until it's hit with a nova-element skill, after which it becomes vulnerable for a short time. Malik and Pascal have a single nova skill each, whereas the rest of the party have several, and most of the enemies late in the main story use nova barriers.
    • Tales of Xillia 2 nerfed multiple characters, compared to its previous installment.
      • In Xillia, Jude was a good back-up healer, an absolute Lightning Bruiser and could easily take things on himself. In Xillia 2, his status as a good back-up healer was compromised by giving everyone a healing arte now and was made much slower, turning him into a Mighty Glacier.
      • Leia is a strange case. She originally was a good single-target healer, a perfect Combat Medic and Fragile Speedster, but Xillia 2 generally forces Leia into your party when you would much prefer Elize at those times and her artes were severely nerfed. Contrary, though, her aerial game is incredibly mean and could keep even the toughest of bosses locked in the air for a good while. Except the AI is too stupid to do so and learning to effectively control her that way can take a long time. There's also the fact that her Character Episodes are the least combat-focused ones, which gives her even less time to shine with her skills.
      • Then there is Alternate Milla. She controls basically like Milla herself, but lacks the ability to summon the Four Spirits of the Elements. While this makes her similar to how Milla played in Xillia for majority of the game, this leaves Alternate Milla as the only character in the party, who has no healing arte of her own. She also does not gain natural access to using a Mystic Arte. The only reason to keep her in your party, is to increase your usage of Spirit Shift for the three titles unlocked by using it a specific number of times.
  • X-Men Legends
    • Jubilee: Unlike other energy users, she doesn't have any melee-boosting passive and her powers are pretty lackluster. She disappeared in the sequel.
    • Emma Frost: Her powers are never quite as strong as Jean Grey's and she lacks a team boost. It doesn't help that you're forced to use her in a few levels.
    • Sentinels are fought frequently throughout the game, especially in the last levels. Unfortunately, all of them are either resistant or immune to psionic attacks, making your psychics less than valuable later in the game, even the game-breaking Jean Grey. This isn't as big of an issue in the sequel.
    • Colossus in the sequel as his skills have been nerfed considerably. By the time he finishes his special attack, everyone has already cleared the room.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance has several characters who Can't Catch Up to the other heroes:
    • Elektra: no good attacks before level 22 and a Fragile Speedster
    • Blade in the first game, despite being a badass spike-throwing, katana-wielding, gunslinging, vampire hunter: He suffers from horrible energy management issues and never really gains any worthwhile attacks.
    • Daredevil in the sequel: never gets any good powers and a mediocre fighter
    • Penance pre-Patch: supposed to be a Glass Cannon, but a bug makes his powers stay the same as he takes more damage and he has horrid defense.note 
    • Venom in the sequel: powers deal low damage and has low defense.
  • Cielo in Digital Devil Saga. It's not that he's poor in attack strength and average in everything else. It's that his weakness is "Ailment". This includes attacks that have ailments as a secondary effect, which nearly every end-game enemy will be using. (Ironically, this weakness makes him an ideal character for fighting the Nintendo Hard Bonus Boss.) He was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in Digital Devil Saga 2, where his weakness was restricted to only three specific types of ailment attacks. This- coupled with decent stats, no elemental weaknesses and a period in the game where you have to use him- brings him up to par with the rest of the party... if you can stand his bizarre Jamaican accent, frequent Friendship Speeches and the fact that he was barely involved in the events leading up to the first game.
  • Atsuro and especially Izuna from Devil Survivor due to specializing in physical attacks. Physical is only a single element instead of the usual two or three in a Shin Megami Tensei game, which hampers their effectiveness by quite a bit. But the biggest deal breaker comes later on, when enemies become immune or repel physical attacks, making them mostly worthless. A skill that appears near the end of the story called Pierce lessens it by allowing them to hit enemies for neutral damage even if they're immune, but it doesn't allow them to get past repelled damage. Oh, and since you can only put it on one character at a time, don't expect to get much use out of any other physical attacker.
  • Devil Survivor 2
  • In general, pregen characters in Freedom Force are built around what makes thematic sense rather than what avoids giving characters glaring weaknesses. This doesn't work out too bad for characters like Bullet, who even when nerfed for the sequel just gets a "fast metabolism" that makes him weak to acid and radiation. However, it absolutely screws Liberty Lad, who has both the melee focus you'd expect from a kid with something to prove and the pathetically low HP you'd expect from, well, a kid. The sad thing is that, rather than making him a Glass Cannon or giving him a high dodge rate, the designers decided to let him use grenades as well as punches—and then they gave him a horrible hit rate that usually meant those grenades exploded harmlessly against a wall thirty feet behind the target. It's not surprising that, despite being a fairly interesting character, he went from being plot-important in several missions in the first game to being the first, easiest-to-get, and admitted weakest of the optional characters in the second game.
  • Legend of Dragoon gives us Kongol. He has a huge wall of health and hits for a lot of damage, but the problem is, the role of physical attacker and health tank can be accomplished by Dart (who is locked in the party), while just about everyone else except Shana and Miranda can do a good amount of physical damage anyway. Kongol is slow as molasses. What's more, he has only three additions - other characters have four or six. He also has very poor magic defence and his magic attack stat is junk. The final nail in the coffin for Kongol is that his dragoon spirit is optional - if a player doesn't know how to get it (and when it first becomes available), they'll go the entire game without getting it and he'll get it in the last dungeon - meaning he has no way to build up his dragoon levels.
  • The Disciple in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, who joins your party if you play as a woman. He's a pretty unspectacular fighter, his "special ability" is making medpacs on request (which is more or less guaranteed to be obsolete by the time you get him, because you will already have access to the Heal power), and the reward for gaining influence with him is 500 XP and training him as a Jedi. By contrast, if you had played through the game as a man, you would have gotten the Handmaiden, who is, bar none, the single best hand-to-hand fighter in the game and who can train you to apply your Wisdom bonus to your Armor Class (manna from heaven if you are playing as a Jedi Consular). Oh, and you can also train her as a Jedi, too. Consequently, the Handmaiden has become so popular that later works have established that the game's Player Character traveled with the Handmaiden, even though the PC is canonically female.
    • This is partly a result of the rushed release of the game: the Disciple was going to have a proper counterpart to the Handmaiden's granting of the Wisdom bonus to Armor Class perk, but the accompanying quest ended up being unfinished by the time the game was released (and not fully voiced, either, so very few of the cut content restoration projects brought it back in). Additionally, the Handmaiden was intended to join anyway - and at one point was a counterpart to Visas Marr.
    • Bao-Dur... but only in combat. He is useful as a great utility class though. Even though you can train him as a jedi, he can't actually wear jedi robes (Which give the most benefits to the class).
    • G0-T0 is easily overlooked by players because of his uselessness. G0-T0 is good with skills? T3-M4 has a higher Intelligence score and is far better with skills. G0-T0 has a personal cloak? Atton has stealth and can have Stealth Run, Master Speed, Critical Strike and Sneak Attack. G0-T0 can use two blaster pistols at once? So can Mira and she has ranged combat feats G0-T0 can't get AND she can have Force powers. G0-T0 has the unique Scramble Droid ability? Any Jedis can cast Destroy Droid.
  • The Golden Sun series is known for its Djinn and Class system, which allows the player to toy with the attributes and abilities of the characters by allocating the Djinn set to the character. But the combat system is biased towards warriors due to them getting the best weapons, best weapon unleashesnote  and Psynergies that used the user's attack stat instead of doing set damage. Contrast this to mages who are usually stuck with inferior set damage Psynergy that only deal scratch damage, making them useless in attack most of the time. The same holds true in Dark Dawn, but not everyone freely utilizes it, which makes two characters stand out.
    • Rief is capable of learning Ply and Wish, just like Mia, as well as combat Psynergy to round out your options. Sadly, attack Psynergy loses its effectiveness mid-game, which is a recurring problem since the GBA games, but Rief doesn't last that long before he's benched due to [A] Karis being able to use the Fresh Breeze group from the word go at the time he arrives while can be assigned to do other stuff and [B] physically-oriented Amiti showing up just an hour or two later. Due to most players not having the patience to play with the aforementioned system, Amiti's arrival usually means Rief is permanently benched. Mia did not get it this bad since there are a number of bosses weak to her element (this is lampshaded in the second game). And the sink for those Djinn that don't make it onto the main party, causing him to be a bit of a mongrel if he does have to save the others' tails...
    • Himi does bring things to the table that Matthew doesn't (like an attack buff and some summon abilities), but she's very likely not to get any field time unless she's needed to revive Matthew due to her being much weaker and everything resists her assigned element. And not having enough time to make up the difference. Coupled with her being a Flat Character (due to her latecomer status) even by Golden Sun standards, her falling in this trope is especially tragic.
  • Nina and Garr are often considered the weakest characters in Breath Of Fire 3, mostly because the other four characters are just that much better. The Hero Ryuu has powerful dragon transformations and excellent all-around stats. Rei has simply insane speed and decent attack stats and can turn into a weretiger whose damage output rivals other characters spamming their best attacks with no AP cost and his main weakness in this form (increasing chance to attack party members instead of enemies) can be countered with a Useless Useful Spell. Momo is extremely versatile and can be easily set up as a powerful physical attacker AND support mage. Peco is Nigh Invulnerable due to having the highest HP and defense and an innate HP regeneration, plus he has respectable attack power and an insane counterattack rate, making him the ultimate tank. This leaves the other two characters in the dust. Nina's specialty is attack magic, which is nearly useless against bosses in the second half of the game, due to their high magic defense and elemental resistance as well as the fact that all attack magic has a set damage range and never gets any stronger, and she's also the frailest character in the game. Garr has the highest base attack power in the team, but he also has almost no AP to work with; the other members of the team can more than make up for their lower strength by using powerful skills like Shadowwalk and Aura to hit much harder than Garr can with normal attacks. He's also the slowest character in the game, which translates both to never getting any extra turns and missing annoyingly often, although the former can be remedied to a degree with the Chain formation.
  • From the Mass Effect series:
    • Kaidan Alenko from Mass Effect, due to being a Sentinel, falls head first into the Master of None trap. He can handle crowd-control and tech-based debuffing, but there is nothing he can do that someone else can't do better. Ashley, Garrus, Wrex, and even Tali are better with weapons. Tali is much better with tech-based debuffs and even Garrus has a valuable one that Kaidan is missing. Liara has access to every crowd-control ability and, along with Wrex, has an extremely useful biotic debuff that Kaidan lacks. The end result is Kaidan frequently getting benched after the first mission in favor of the more specialized teammates. He was rescued some as the game aged and some players realized that his wide variety of crowd control abilities were more useful than he was initially given credit for. Sentinel was so terrible in Mass Effect that Bioware boosted it into a near Game-Breaker status in the sequel.
    • Jacob Taylor in Mass Effect 2 has been criticized for this. Pull loses much of its usefulness on higher difficulties, his AI uses Barrier all the time even if there aren't any enemies around, his ammo power is shared with Grunt and Soldier / Vanguard Shepard, and he's generally less good at being a Stone Wall or Magic Knight than Grunt and Samara, respectively.
    • Jack is also given this on the higher difficulties for much of the same reason, although her Warp Ammo is considered extremely useful...to give to Shepard.
    • Some of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer classes fall into this:
      • The starting Human Infiltrator is virtually never seen. This may have something to with the fact that it is Overshadowed by Awesome in more ways than should be physically possible; most players will agree that every other Infiltrator and every other default human character is better than it. Not having powers that synergize particularly well together, sharing two of its powers with the sturdier and Sabotage-toting Quarian Infiltrator, and having Cryo Blast without a power that pairs well with it are particularly damning.
      • The Drell Vanguard has excellent mobility and a passive race power that gives higher damage bonuses than any other race. It's also quite fragile and has powers that don't really work together all that well, and does not have any specialized buildups such as the Krogan Battlemaster, Project Phoenix Ex-Cerberus, and N7 Slayer.
  • Live A Live has Akira, very likely the worst character in the final chapter. Stat-wise, he's a Master of None, but that's just where the problem starts. His attacks cover huge areas and inflict status ailments, but they're also far too weak for the area of effect to matter and status ailments don't matter in an RPG like this. Worse, those area of effect spells are some of the slowest in the game and his melee attacks do barely anything. Almost no one uses him for anything but his personal dungeon and his mind-reading power to find some extra info. In his own chapter, he seems very strong; it's not until you try to use him in the last chapter that you realize that that was because his chapter has overwhelming numbers of enemy formations with a weak leader surrounded by strong flunkies, the one thing Akira's weakish long-range wide-area attacks are good for. Naturally there's almost none of that in the last chapter.
  • The Demon Hunter has become this in recent patches of Diablo III. High-damage weapons are rarer and weaker than they are for other classes and the damage boosts from skills are fairly modestnote , so actual damage per second is artificially low. A lack of synergy between skills, two separate resource pools, and a nerf to Dexteritynote , means the Demon Hunter dies easily and has very few usable builds.
  • The Suikoden series has Loads and Loads of Characters (with 108 recruitable characters, although not all can be used in battle). Naturally, some are worse than others.
    • Suikoden has a few useless characters with poor stats, but the most notable are Gremio (who is required for the first half of the game until he dies) and Krin, who has to be taken to rescue Viktor and Warren from Kasim. Both are incredibly weak and fairly annoying to boot, only useful to hold Holy Runes to make the trip shorter.
    • Suikoden II has Freed Yanamoto, Lord Granmeyer's assistant from South Window. His stat growth is just utterly pathetic, and he has no great rune slots or unite attacks to help with it.
    • Suikoden III has the joke characters of the dogs, but Alanis, although an endearing character, is almost never used since she's a wizard with a lower magic stat than most fighters.
    • Suikoden V has Sorensen, the physically frail assistant of Professor Babbage, as well as Gunde, the only character without any combination skills at all.
  • Paper Mario series:
    • Lakilester and Sushie are probably two of the most underused party members in the first game due to their rather middle-of-the-road skillsets, particularly for the point that they're acquired in the story, being the last two party members earned. Sushie sees some use in Chapter 5 due to her water skills being effective against the Fire enemies there, and Water Block is a decent defense buff, but she falls out of favor later on due to the difficult action commands her higher-powered attacks require. Lakilester has the unfortunate fate of being badly Overshadowed by Awesome, lacking the attack power to make himself an offensive asset while also having a mediocre defensive skill. Parakarry and Watt both have moves with the same effect as either of his attacks, and Cloud Nine is much less reliable compared to defense boosts, since it relies on the Random Number God being on your side (though stacked with the other evasion boosts on a Danger Mario build...).
    • This is one of the reasons why Flurrie from The Thousand-Year Door is considered a Scrappy in general. She starts off with the sole advantage of being able to attack ceiling-bound enemies, but that is later taken by Vivian. Coupled with her lower attack power compared to other partners, many players don't see any point in using her for anything besides a Stone Wall due to having high HP and her Lip Lock attack to keep her alive, even overlooking the potential that Gale Force has in some situations like dealing with Cortez's weapons.
  • Josette in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky suffers from crappy stats, being a physical fighter in a game that favors magic/arts (her orbal slot has two branches just like Estelle's), relatively useless crafts and S-crafts unobtainable until players clear a minigame along with its upgrade which requires her to be present in a specific location in storyline.
  • Elise from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel also becomes this. While she can be useful with her relatively high arts damage, she has limited usabilitynote  once every other playable characters becomes accessible late-game since she only has to crafts; one for healing (which Eliott can do) and one for small line damage (which lots of characters can do). People only use her as Phantasmal Mirror holder, an artifact to chance playable character into one of five secret characters.
  • Miitopia:
    • The Tank is seen by some as the worst class in the game, or even a Joke class. Although it has powerful attacks, and the highest base offense and defense stats in the game, the Tank is held back for several things that were done for "balance", but end up hindering it much more than needed. First off, Tanks don't get any Speed stat gains by level up. The only way to get a Tank's Speed past 0 is by feeding it grub. Also, the Tank has awfully low MP as is, but for lord knows whatever reason, the developers decided to make each of its regular attacks consume 2 MP (although this stops meaning much when they level up). Attempting to attack without MP results in the game saying they're out of ammo. This makes it less practical for attacking than the other two physically strong jobs, the Cat and especially the Warrior, whose attack stats aren't that much weaker. To elaborate, at level 50, the Tank's max possible attack stat is 453. The Warrior's is only slightly weaker at 451, and the Cat's is just a little weaker than that at 445. Those few points don't make much of a difference in damage output. If you want to go further with stats, despite the Tank having the highest base defense, the Chef actually ends up with the highest thanks to their frying pans also boosting defense, at 421 and 432 respectively at level 50. Basically, the Tank isn't actually the best at neither of its supposed party roles. The worst part of a Tank however is that it has two moves that can cause allies to become angry with them, Human Cannonball and Wild Shot. The Tank learns both of these skills early-on, learned at levels 3 and 5 respectively, and don't get any other attacking skills until later. If an AI-controlled party member is a Tank, expect them to rashly spam these moves and get your party mad at them. Using Hyper Sprinkles can get around that, but the player won't have them until a late point in the game. Having a Pop Star in the party is basically required should an AI Tank be in the party, since they can alleviate this with their Love & Peace skill, but even then, it is very limited, as the skill can only be used on allies. There is no helping a Pop Star angry at a Tank outside of another Pop Star in the party and the Pop Star has better skills they should be using. The Tank fares a bit better when controlled by the player, but without a Pop Star and/or Hyper Sprinkles, you're still stuck without any powerful moves you can use if you don't want to risk the party getting angry until they learn Laser at level 10, a Pop Star learns Love & Peace at Level 6 or you face off against Cerberus, where you first get the Hyper Sprinkles.
    • Despite the many negative flaws of the Tank, the Flower job is either the second-worst or outright worse than the Tank. To explain about this job: Its stats lean more towards Stone Wall, as the Flower has beefy HP and Defense but it's certainly on the slower side (though not as bad as a Tank), which makes it better in tanking attacks. Its role in combat is mostly support with two magic skills slipped in (one single-target, one AoE). Now here's the problem: its stats are way too mediocre and can be easily outclassed by other jobsnote . Its skills? Also mediocre. Aside from several HP recovery skills (which can be relied more on the Cleric or the Chef, the former having the most skills for basic HP recovery (both single-target and all allies, each tiered by power) and the only non-Life Sprinkles method of 100% success revival, while the latter is a rather defensive Combat Medic), its other skills are rather plain: Life Dew is its only revival skill (which can fail), Flower Powernote  can break player strategy if the AI happens to use it on the player-controlled Mii, and its magic attacks, Bluster (single-target) and Hurricane (hits all enemies), run on its mediocre Magic stat (other jobs that heavily use magic tend to have max Magic at the 100's without grub and equipment bonus). The Tank, while considered low-tier due to the MP costs and high chance of angering other party members, at least has the benefit of having very high defense and damage output. The Flower is just a Master of None.
    • The Kind personality is near-universally considered to be the worst personality overall. Its quirk set consists of mostly actions that can be replicated by relationship skills if you grind their Relationship Values (Donate quirk = Charity skill (at relationship level 8), Cover quirk = Sacrifice skill (at relationship level 10)). The latter is especially redundant on the Warrior and Elf, as the former has Proud Protectornote , and the latter has Counter Arrownote . The worst quirk of the entire set is the Spare quirk, which when triggered, will cause the Kind Mii to feel bad for their target and try to spare it. If it succeeds, the affected monster will leave the battlefield, costing you the EXP, Gold and possible grub from actually defeating it. If it fails, the Kind Mii will take damage instead and cause a random ally to berate them, possibly causing quarrels. Basically, triggering this quirk means a waste of either battle loot (if succeeded) or turn (if failed). Thankfully, if the only thing that stands before you is a boss monster, the Spare quirk will never trigger. Many players absolutely loathe this personality, especially when combined with a job that can easily start quarrels (Chef/Tank).
    • The Laid-back personality set can be just as bad as the Kind personality set if not worse. Two out of five of the quirks will start quarrels and are guaranteed to happen at some point during a fight. Those quirks? Stealing other Miis' healing items when the Laid-back Mii has run out of them to use them themselves, without fail (provided their allies still have some items left), which also robs other Miis of their healing items which they NEEDnote . The other is to randomly cower behind other Miis using them as a Human Shield, causing them to take damage. Combine the two and the Mii with the Laid-back personality will typically be the last one standing. The Nah... quirk may become immune to non-damaging attacks that cause status ailments, but functionally, the Cool personality has a quirk that does exactly that. The Get Serious quirk also boosts the effects of their skills, something similar to a quirk the Cautious personality has, with the only difference being that it doesn't make the user move last in the round. Finally, the Slack Off quirk can conserve their MP in exchange for making their attacks weaker, which can allow for more skills to be used. These three quirks are good, but they don't really do much to make up for the other two. Like the Kind personality above, giving a Chef or a Tank a Laid-back personality will hurt a lot. The only job that can use this the best is the Pop Star/Idol, which can use Love & Peace to resolve any quarrel directed at him/her, but that would have to wait until Level 6.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
    • Tora is something of a Crutch Character. His usability up until Chapter 4 is based in being the only tank in your party in a game that heavily recommends a party made up of a fighter, healer and tank. At the end of chapter 4 you get your second tank who can resonate with more BLADES (the primary method of upgrading stats) when Tora is limited to Poppi. Poppi also needs the Tiger Tiger minigame to get stronger which can be annoying and the full range of ways to upgrade Poppi can take a while to get.
    • Zeke is not exactly bad, he is just outclassed by Rex. Rex has Pyra and her upgraded form Mythra who is a Game-Breaker while Zeke has a group of attacks that are based around dealing a lot of damage in a short space of time. This is a curse more than a help as this means he is likely to draw aggro away from the tank (whose primary job is taking hits) and he does not have the bulk to survive most of the time. He is also the last party member to join meaning he will probably severely lag behind your other characters.
    • In terms of Blades, there is Godfrey. Despite been a Tank, his moves and special abilities are designed around having low HP, which is counterproductive a lot of the time. His field moves are also really specialist, only really getting used in his special quest and Merc Missions.
    • Perun is another Blade that struggles. Her abilities work when allies are incapacitated and the first thing you want to do in this situation will be get them back on their feet as you probably will not survive long otherwise. Unlocking the second tier of her Affinity Chart is also a Guide Dang It! that will mean she can't reach past this level until the end of Chapter 5 at the earliest leaving you with a fairly weak Blade for most of the time.
    • Shield Hammer Blades (like the aforementioned Godfrey) zigzag this a bit. They are not terrible, it's just that they raise HP. Of your two tanks, Tora can't equip Blades and Morag works better with Blades that increase Agility. The others can get a good boost from the HP gains but it often works better if three Blades of the same type are equipped to one character. Having said that it can still be beneficial to mix the Blades up (and since getting them is a Luck-Based Mission having some Blades on a character that doesn't correlate to their given class is going to happen). Electra and Finch are Shield Hammer Blades that work well simply because the former has good skills and the latter actually does raise agility.
  • Bravely Default has the Conjurer job. It is supposed to be the most powerful job and it's underwhelming. Despite having Obliterate, it costs too much MP to buff, in a game where magic is too weak at that point of the game. Not so surprisingly, it was a job cut in Bravely Second.
  • Gepetto in Shadow Hearts Covenant has the highest magic attack in the game, can boost his elemental power with Cordelia's dresses , and has access to some unique offensive spells. The problem is, nuking and healing is just about all he's good at - buffs are not affected by magic attack. The competition for the magic role is also in Anastasia and Lucia... who may have lower magic than Gepetto, but they also have higher speed and their unique abilities bring a lot of utility to the table. Lucia can buff the other three characters (Which stacks on top of the standard buffs) and increase the strike area of everyone's rings. Anastasia can Enemy Scan, and some of the enemies she photographs give her spells that can increase the money obtained from battle, steal items or money, escape from battle, or flat out attack spells. The Powers as Programs system in Covenant also means that you can make just about anyone sans Yuri and Kurando have access to the buffs like Entrance, Gale, Rage, or Heal.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Reco-Abnormal in Mushihime Sama Futari. Her shots have a difficult learning curve, and in a defiance of usual Bullet Hell conventions, her speed when using her focus shot is faster than her normal speed (it's also the weakest if you haven't locked-on with any of the beetles which requires going in close-range, 2nd strongest if you have). Palm Normal also suffers from this to a lesser extent; his rapid shot's fairly reliable, but his focused shot is quite weak in version 1.5, especially compared to Reco Normal or Palm Abnormal.

    Simulation Games 
  • Hawk in Pilotwings 64 is sluggish and had crappy maneuverability with the only "benefit" being that he is largely unaffected by the wind.
  • X-Universe series:
    • The Teladi Vulture freighter. It's slow, weakly shielded, and has average cargo space. About the only thing it has going for it is that it's dirt cheap. To a lesser extent the Boron Dolphin freighter, because it's slow - making it pretty useless for anything besides shuffling crap between your factories. Unlike the Vulture, it at least has good shields and a big cargo bay.
    • The Boron Manta and Paranid Hermes passenger transports fall under this category as well, being dreadfully slow by their standards (even the Teladi Toucan beats these two craft by being roughly 15-20 m/s faster). Time and speed are of the essence when performing Marine/Passenger Transport missions and these two craft are not capable enough to perform their tasks in time, even with a Jumpdrive installed.
    • The Teladi Kea (save the Enhanced variant, which is slightly better than the standard version in every way) has crappy speed for an M3+ heavy fighter, running at a lumbering 104 m/s. Every other ship, including the M5 scouts, will have a leisurely time making potshots at this flying brick and turning it into mere Cannon Fodder. Its only use is as a niche mini cargo freighter for player goods.
    • The Pirate version of the Argon Nova fares even worse than the Teladi Kea, with a feeble 97 m/s and an equally flaccid gun generator, thus making it a real Master of None and easy target practice for other ships.
    • Every variant of the Teladi Buzzard, save for their Pirate equivalents. Their slow top speeds render them ineffective for their role as M4 interceptors in a game where speed is fairly important in combat. The Pirate versions subvert this by remedying the speed issue and make them far more effective in their intended role.
    • In general, most of the Teladi vessels count thanks to their poor top speeds and weak energy gun generators, only subverting their Scrappy status by having much bigger-than-normal cargo spaces than the other races' vessels (which makes them really good candidates for Macross Missile Massacre) and having surprisingly improved performance in a few variants of their certain fighters on a mild scale. The Kestrel is the exception to this rule, being the only Teladi vessel with unusually high top speed and earning the distinction of being the fastest armed craft in the games (whose speeds top out around 600 m/s), though it is an M5 scout vessel.
    • Boron combat vessels below M6-class qualify due to their status as being Masters of None in combat and unable to mount the Energy Bolt Chaingun to make up for their pathetic energy reserves (with the exception of the M3+ Skate heavy fighter).
  • The Bushwacker Prime in MechWarrior Living Legends was, for most of its life, a hilariously underpowered and overpriced medium mech. It carried a useless Ultra Autocannon/10, a pair of laughable LRM-5 launchers, a pair of machine guns, and a single medium laser - meaning that most light mechs could outgun it. It carried very little spare ammo, so it had no endurance on the field. None of its weapons had matching max ranges or projectile arcs, so it could never put out its maximum DPS. It was also in the price bracket of far superior variants like the Bushwacker Bravo. In a 10 versus 10 scrim where everyone ran with a Bushy Prime, the mission timer ran out before they could kill each other. It was finally Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in the last version of the mod, which buffed its weaponry and armor.
  • The Flea from MechWarrior 4 Mercenaries is incredibly weak and has only 5 weapon slots, none of which can carry missiles. This leaves it with only two loadout options: a mixture of weak lasers and machine guns, or a lone tiny (and still weak) autocannon. It is fast, but there are other, better 'Mechs that are just as fast and still stronger, such as the Osiris. Each weight class has its respective scrappies: the Flea and the Owens for light 'Mechs, the Chimera for mediums, the Argus for the heavies, and the Mauler for assaults. Most of these designs in their stock form have glaring targetable weaknesses, poor loadout options, some kind of maneuverability problem, or relatively low armor (or for the Mauler, all four.)
  • Dwarf Fortress: With regard to the player's available trading partners, the elves. Your fellow dwarves are obviously essential trading partners due to your exports to The Mountainhomes affecting how often migrants arrive (at last until your population is high enough that this stops being useful), and humans offer decent supplies despite not thinking to bring armor/clothing in your size, elves mostly just bring wood and cloth, plus wooden weapons/armor that are only good if you're really short on metal. On top of that, they don't like being offered wooden goods that aren't made the elf-friendly way. Elf traders do have the saving grace of pre-domesticated exotic animals, but unless you specifically want to play around with some of them, it's not much to make up for their other shortcomings.
  • Yakuza 0 features an extensive hostess club management side-mission, and within this side mission Chizu is widely regarded to be the worst hostess in the game. Despite having boatloads of HP for her level and ranking, this is "balanced" out by her abysmal stats in every other category, meaning that even though she can work for far longer than any other bronze hostess, no customers will ever want her anyway.

    Sports Games 
  • RBI Baseball has the Houston Astros. Besides the fact it has one of the game's best pitchers in Nolan Ryan, and a serviceable cleanup hitter in Glenn Davis, the same cannot be said about the rest of the starting lineup. Denny Walling is by far the worst three-hole hitter in the game, next to Tom Herr of the St. Louis Cardinals. His power rating ranks in at 750, trailing behind everyone else. The bench is better than the starting lineup, but they can't carry the team for long, in a fast-paced video game.
  • Tecmo Bowl:
    • Minnesota. While they have a couple good players like Chris Doleman and Joey Browner on defense and Anthony Carter on offense, they're bogged down with the game's most awkward attacking schemes. Their blocking game is not much better at all, allowing big runs if even one play is called wrong. Their kicking game is also not that great. Don't be surprised if Tommy Kramer has a bad game because of the offense schemes.
    • The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots are this in the sequel. Indy was pretty brutal in the first game, and even worse without Eric Dickerson. The Patriots have to deal with Steve Grogan's wounded goose throws (and Marc Wilson is not much better), no running game, one good receiver, and a terrible defense.
  • Captain Tsubasa 2 is where Yuuzo Morisaki is considered one of the worst goalkeepers in the series. His catch stat is inferior to the already mediocre Sao Paolo FC's Renato. Due to the Nintendo Hard of the Nankatsu FC arc, Morisaki is rarely reliable at saving anything and he's easily blown away by special shoots. Worse off, he never gets better because you soon go back to Renato then get Ken Wakashimatsu for your troubles. In the end, mocking Morisaki became a Japanese Internet meme which is referenced in Touhou Soccer (Where Hong Meiling is forced as Morisaki's stand-in.)
  • FIFA has the India National Football team. Year in and year out, India is included in the FIFA games despite not being a footballing power...and has taken a lot of heat for being the single worst national team in the game. note  Fans of Croatia, Iran, and Japan note  are understandably upset that their world-class national teams are not included in FIFA while India's National team is in it. As of FIFA 16 and 17, we have China and Bolivia joining India as the other low-tier National Teams. Fans are up in arms about their inclusion, especially since fan favorites Korea (who are actually an Asian footballing power) were removed and the star-studded Chinese Super League remains unplayable despite the Chinese National Team's inclusion.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Monk Class in 3.5E is widely considered to be the weakest of the Core Classes. They have low hit points, restricted skill points, rely heavily on multiple stats, nearly all of their abilities can be replicated by a caster of a much lower level, their abilities have terrible synergy (eg. increased movement speed combined with special attacks which can only be used while standing still), and an unarmed Swordsage (Tome of Battle) can pull off Wuxia-style martial arts while still being effective.
    • Outside of the core classes, the biggest scrappy class is the Truenamer from Tome of Magic. The Truenamer is great in concept: Someone who uses the language of creation itself to rewrite reality, with the added bonus of backwards enunciation of said language to obtain inverse effects. That is until you realize that not only are their powers rather limited, they also become less effective as they level up: the DC of a Truenaming effect equals 15 + double the target's level. This includes allies. Unfortunately, they can only spend one skill point per level to increase their Truespeech check. Yes, it's really that bad. A Truenamer in combat spends most of his time shouting in Truespeech only for it to not do anything. A guide here named "In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck" notes that even if you can overcome this horrible drawback to be able to actually use your abilities on a fairly consistent basis (which is possible, though the effort involved could be better spent doing basically anything else), the class is still full of unclear rules and crippling restrictions on abilities that were not very powerful in the first place. To cap it off, the class simply isn't playable as intended: the intended playstyle is for the character to start the day being able to always use his utterances before the Law of Resistance makes it too hard to continue, but an optimized Truenamer has pushed his skill checks to the point where he always succeeds no matter how much he uses them (in which case he basically plays on-par with a warlock), while an unoptimized beer-and-pretzels Truenamer starts out with his utterances failing a good percentage of the time and only goes downhill from there.
    • Rivaling the Truenamer in sheer player hatred is the Complete Warrior Samurai, essentially a Nerfed and more restricted version of the already below-average Fighter. While the Truenamer is mechanically unplayable, the Samurai is just useless. He has weak features, a poor skill list, bonus feats which mainly border on detrimental, and very little versatility. His only real feature is his Intimidate-focused abilities, and even those come quite late and can be outdone by other classes. His 11th-Hour Superpower, Frightful Presence, is virtually useless from the start and only gets weaker from there. On top of that, he's a pretty poor and shallow translation of the idea of a samurai, with a fighting style that samurai didn't use and that he really sucks at, and the massively important concept of iaijutsu duels being reduced to two feats. Just about the only good thing about him is he helped bring about the much more well-liked Ronin prestige class, which he's not really needed for. One of the most well-known tier lists places him on the same level as the Warrior, Aristocrat and commoner, noncombatant classes not meant for actual player use. Ouch.
    • The Ninja is considered scarcely better. Basically, take a Rogue, remove or arbitrarily limit half his abilities (including armor proficiency), give him fewer skill points, make him Wisdom-dependent, and make his Sneak Attack strictly worse. In exchange, he gets "ki abilities," which look good on paper (turning invisible), but in practice tend to run out fast and can be easily duplicated by cheap magic items. To cap it off, like the Monk, he's hilariously outdone by the Swordsage in nearly every respect - to the point that on some forums, a joke is to use "Swordsage'd!" instead of the traditional "Ninja'd!"
    • Another class that's looked down upon for lack of power is the Healer from Miniatures Handbook. It heals better than a Clericnote ... but that's all it can do. No offensive abilities whatsoever (unless fighting The Undead, because Revive Kills Zombie). Just slinging healing spells to patch up allies (in a game where in-battle healing is nearly completely uselessWhy? ). To add insult to injury, the game contained several much loved "focused casters" (who know their entire spell list, and can cast any of them as long as they have the spell slots), which would have been the perfect system for a support class (limited, single purpose spell list), but it casts exactly like a Cleric instead, except it can't convert other spells to raw healing if needed. They do get a Unicorn, though, which provides permanent immunity to Mind Control for the entire party.
    • The Soulknife occupies the position of being one of the most well-liked and most-hated classes in 3.5e. The idea of creating a weapon out of psychic energy and going to town on your foes earned fans for its cool factor, but mechanically the Soulknife's main class feature was owning a magic weapon that upgraded later than weapons you craft yourself and didn't even have the decency to be a Laser Blade. The class was a worse combatant than an ordinary fighter and didn't have much else going for it, dooming it to be an ineffective novelty combatant. But its sheer coolness meant that players would continually try to come up with House Rules to fix the class and make it more like the awesome warrior they envisioned. Later, Pathfinder's version (via third party publisher Dreamscarred Press) would fix the problems with the class.
    • Of course, they pale in comparison to the Divine Mind: weak auras that start with a five-foot range, a mediocre Base Attack, MAD, and crappy psionic powers (this is a class that will finish the game knowing NINE POWERS). It's a casting class that's considered utterly inferior to the Adept, Healer, and Warmage. To make matters worse, unlike the monk or truenamer, a mix of nonsensical fluff (it claims to be a psionic cleric, when psionics had always been a basically secular system) and rushed design (as typical for a Complete Psionic class) mean that there isn't really a divine mind fix out there. Most psionic players consider the class to be an insult.
    • The Ranger and Bard in 3rd Edition both landed headfirst into this. 3.5 players recognize the Bard as a Difficult, but Awesome skillmonkey and supportive caster, while the Ranger is a capable Jack-of-All-Stats leaning slightly toward Glass Cannon. This wasn't so much the case in 3rd Edition. Both classes received only four skill points, which made it hard to do their jobs. The Bard spell list had few to no unique spells and couldn't be cast in armor, while the Bard's signature Inspire Courage gave an absolutely piddly bonus that didn't even scale. The Ranger was limited to Dual Wielding, which was even more subpar in 3rd Edition, their Animal Companion was a walking liability, their Favored Enemy maxed out at a +5 bonus, and outside of a weak selection of spells, they received nothing else. Giving these two a buff was a big motivator behind creating 3.5 in the first place (well, that and Haste).
    • Talking of the Bard, it was often seen as this early in 3.5 as well - people saw them as a poor-man's mixture of a Fighter, Rogue, and Sorcerer with gimmicky abilities and not much to offer next to a pure caster. As people improved, though, it became apparent that the Bard's skills actually have exceptional synergy, even in core, and it offers a role all its own - that of The Face and the Support Party Member, capable of absolutely trivializing social encounters through a mix of silver tongue and magic while using its combat spells and songs to help the party smash through most encounters. It wasn't as good as a pure caster, but then, what was? By the time the Character Tiers rolled around, the Bard was seen as Tier 3 - about as good as a class can be without being a Game-Breaker, and the only core class to rank there. That said, those inexperienced with the class can still frequently dismiss it as this.
    • Complete Warrior's Swashbuckler is widely considered one of the game's most poorly-made combat classes, with an excess of Empty Levels and too many abilities based on giving too-small static bonuses, as well as its rapier-focused fighting style being very poor in 3.x. Its few good abilities either come too late, get stonewalled by crit-immune enemies, or both. The only times it's ever used is as a three-level dip to get Insightful Strike, or with the Daring Outlaw feat to essentially turn it into a tougher Rogue.
    • For Incarnum fans, the Soulborn is this. It's meant to be the combat-focused Incarnum class... but there's already a combat-focused Incarnum class in the form of the Totemist, who is both much more powerful and much more unique, not to mention able to fulfill non-combat roles. To make matters worse, the standard Incarnate, intended as a Jack-of-All-Stats, can easily outdo the Soulborn in combat with the proper soulmelds. And on top of this, the Soulborn's actual Incarnum-using abilities suck; it doesn't get its first soulmeld until 4th level, its first native essentia points to do anything with that soulmeld until 6th, and its first chakra bind until 8th - all things its counterparts achieve at 2nd-level. Until then, the Soulborn is essentially just a worse version of the Paladin, and even when it's gotten its binds, it has so little essentia that it'll have a hard time doing anything with them. The Soulborn is intended to use its superior combat skills to compensate for its awful Incarnum abilities, but this just adds up for it being worse in combat than a combat-focused Incarnate or Totemist, far less versatile, and far less fun - most Soulborn guides amount to "play an Incarnate instead."
    • Though not quite as bad as the monk, the paladin gets a fair amount of heat, mostly for requiring Strength, Wisdom, Constitution, and Charisma, being heavily front-loaded in design, and many of its class features being worse than they sound (a Smite that you can't use often and doesn't do very good damage, a magic horse for those cavalry charges you'll be making in claustrophobic dungeon labyrinths). You also have to deal with a rather strict code of conduct that turns you into a crappy fighter if the DM decides you did something bad, and is often an invitation for jerk Killer Game Masters to "test your morals" by setting up Morton's Fork scenarios. Many players opt for a crusader or a melee-focused cleric instead. That said, a paladin does get some pretty good spells, a number of alternate class features, and the very useful Divine Grace.
    • The fighter is a class that consists entirely of bonus feats relating to combat. Feats are certainly good, but anyone can take them, and even though the fighter gets more of them, most of the time a class can pick up the feats it needs if it's willing to wait or play a human, and they'll have their own class features to make those feats better. A fighter can try to mix together combat styles for the sake of flexibility (taking archery and melee feats), but by the time they've completed two feat trees, both will have long since stopped being useful. The fighter also notoriously doesn't get feats at odd-numbered levels, which means most people don't go past level 2. Capping it off is the fighter's poor skill points and skill list, which makes them Dumb Muscle outside of combat - a fighter can be perfectly satisfactory at their fighting style, but that's about it, and many classes can have that fighting style and either do it better (barbarians, psychic warriors, warblades) or do other things (rangers, duskblades, warblades again). Many fighter players use the otherwise obscure or setting-specific dungeoncrasher or Zhentarim alternate class features, just so they can have something unique.
    • 5th Edition kicked Rangers back down to this level. As demi-casters, their spell selection in combat is very limited. In melee, Paladins and Fighters generally do far better. When it comes to using bows, Fighters with the right build are better in combat while Rogues and Valor Bards are more versatile and in the latter case have better spells. The mechanics behind their animal companion are truly atrocious; the minions summoned by Druid and Wizard spells are often easier to use and more powerful, while Moon Druids are a lot harder to kill and Wizards are their usual Game-Breaker selves. Really, there's not much a Ranger can do that another class can't do much better, so much so that Unearthed Arcana has focused a fair bit of effort on fixing it.
    • Older than all of the above and going back to 1st Edition, you have the Thief-Acrobat, a Thief subclass intended to focus on mobility and... well, acrobatics. Unfortunately, the tradeoff for this was losing pickpocketing, trapfinding, and lockpicking, which are the best reasons to keep a Thief in the party (and possibly more, the book suggests). In exchange, you got acrobatic tricks - and not even Charles Atlas Superpower acrobatic tricks, we're talking pole-vaulting, tightrope walking, and long jumping - that would probably be somewhat impressive in the Olympics, not so much in the dungeon where everyone has grappling hooks or flying carpets or winged horses or a magic-user with Fly. Their only particularly useful ability was a flat percentage chance to dodge attacks when they had the initiative, and considering they still had a Thief's hit dice, they'd better hope the rolls were in their favor.
    • Really, the Thief in general in 1e and 2e fell into this pretty hard. Its hit dice were godawful, its armor wasn't much better, and in combat, barring a Back Stab that it could use maybe once, it was about on par with a Squishy Wizard. Its actual thieving abilities were certainly useful, if a bit situational, but they were based on rolls that could easily fail at the worst time, and if that happened, the Thief would almost certainly die in one hit. By 2e, Bards could do most of the same tricks while also having better fighting skills and access to magic, Mages could use spells like Knock, Find Traps, Invisibility, and Teleport to just skip challenges the Thief was designed for, and Fighters were infinitely superior in combat. At most, some people might multiclass into Thief very briefly to pick up the relevant skills, then abandon it forever. Thankfully, upon becoming the Rogue in 3.x onward, the class became significantly better, with its combat skills improving to the point of being a Glass Cannon and it gaining many other useful tricks.
    • The Sorcerer went from a Both "low level High tier/high level Low tier" class in 3e to just a general Low Tier class in 5e. Although the class still clings to its 3e identity of trading versatility for quantity of spellcasting, having the smallest "spells known" allotment of any full-casternote , it's poorly designed to do so; all spellcasters in 5th edition now use the spontaneous casting style originally unique to the sorcerer, and the sorcerer's unique mana system is poorly implemented, with too few points to spend and no way of recharging points other than taking a long rest, especially considering that the sorcerer has to divvy up its spell points between recharging spell-slots on the fly and using its class-defining unique trick of metamagic. For added insult to injury, the wizard has a feature that lets it replenish some spell slots every short rest, so it not only has a larger pool of spells it can cast, but will be able to cast more spells per day than the sorcerer anyway! The result is that sorcerer has mostly been relegated to the caster equivalent of a 3e fighter; something optimizing players "dip into" for some added spells for their paladin or warlock rther than something they bother to focus on exclusively. To twist the knife further, every spell on the sorcerer spell list also appears on the wizard spell list, but wizards also get a bunch of spells they can learn that sorcerers can't.
    • While the Warlock is generally regarded as powerful, the Undying Warlock from Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide is a joke. While other Patrons grant Warlocks hard-hitting abilities, the Undying warlock just gets mild resistance to disease, is slightly harder for undead to attack as long as the warlock doesn't attack them first, and gets a couple of weak self-healing abilities and a dramatically increased lifespan. Cool from a flavor point of view, but quite underwhelming in their actual effect on gameplay.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Gunslinger class is notoriously poorly balanced, with complaints focusing on the awful firearms rules, taking too long to gain the abilities most bow-using classes get for free, lacking out-of-combat options, and the central mechanic of the class (Grit) running out too quickly and being too hard to replenish. It's also overly dependent on whether or not the DM will let you have a revolver.
    • The Pathfinder Rogue is one of the most commonly-lamented classes in the game, being hit it with a variety of "stealth" Nerfs that many players found unneeded (Sneak Attack no longer working with many prior tricks, ranged and thrower builds patched out of existence for arbitrary reasons, Trapfinding losing its uniqueness due to Search being rolled into Perception, many other classes doing the rogue's job better), leaving their once-unique tricks now commonplace and their remaining tricks now hopelessly inadequate. This criticism led to Paizo releasing an variant of the class called the Unchained Rogue. This Rogue is designed as a striker who applies debilitating injuries to enemies they sneak attack, can use Dexterity for melee damage. They retain all of their old role and also get better Rogue tricks. This has rescued the Rogue from the Scrappy heap.
    • The Cavalier class is less iconic than the rogue and is thus less complained about and mostly just ignored. Its focus on being mounted is inconvenient and its other focus is granting teamwork feats, which usually work best when everyone with them is trying to do similar things. It's most at home leading a group of soldiers into open battle, not trying to stuff their horse into a dungeon corridor with a diverse group of adventurers, and so has trouble finding space as a PC.
    • The Swashbuckler was supposed to be a cross between the Fighter and the Gunslinger but it mostly just apes Gunslinger's already weak abilities with a poor action economy to boot. To make matters worse, it's pigeonholed in to using a rapier one handed and with no shield in a game that heavily favors using two handed weapons and gives non-casters no incentive to go without a shield with a one handed weapon. At least the Gunslinger had the benefit of range and potentially getting more modern firearms down the line. The only saving grace Swashbuckler has is that Opportune Parry and Riposte is a huge Game-Breaker for melee classes and can be used with any melee weapon at first level... which also means that any melee class can poach it by dipping a single level in Swashbuckler.
    • Bad archetypes (when a standard class trades some of its class features for other abilities, usually more thematically specific ones) are resented for either taking up space where a decent archetype could have been, or creating an archetype for a concept incompetently, making it less likely that a functional version of the idea will appear.
      • The Fearmonger (Antipaladin) simply doesn't function. It only does two things: it trades the Touch of Corruption feature for the ability to gain a small number of temporary hit points when it frightens people magically, and focuses their Cruelties entirely on scaring people. The problem is that Cruelties can only be applied through Touch of Corruption, rendering one ability unusable for no benefit and making the other much harder to activate, and resulting in someone not only less dangerous than the standard antipaladin, but also worse at scaring people.
      • The Totem Warrior (Barbarian) does literally nothing; so not technically bad, just remarkably pointless.
      • The Ragechemist (Alchemist) grants slightly more strength and durability than a regular alchemist's mutagen at the price of having to make a will save against taking a stacking intelligence and will penalty every turn they take damage - every time they fail the save they're more likely to fail the next one, resulting in the nickname "Comatose Chemist" as their intelligence is inevitably reduced to 0 and they fall unconscious. And the stacking penalty gets worse as they level up. They also trade away the poisoning abilities that might be useful in melee, while retaining the ranged bombs that gain no benefit from high strength and are weakened by the intelligence penalty.
      • The Scrollmaster (Wizard) is based around the idea of using magical scrolls as swords and shields. Unfortunately the weapons they create are terrible: a normal magical weapon or shield can have a bonus of up to 10, while their scrolls max out at 4, and are almost as fragile as paper - a maximum of 9 hitpoints and no hardness, meaning any sunder will destroy them, and they lose health just by being used. A wizard is also about the worst class to hang this concept on due to their inherently poor melee skills, which the archetype does nothing to help. Eventually they do gain a powerful bonus when unrolling their scrolls and casting the spells written on them, emphasizing how stupid it was to try and smack people with them in the first place.
      • The Brute (Vigilante) is designed as an Expy of The Hulk, but retains his weakness without gaining his strength. Every time danger threatens he must make a difficult Will save or transform into his brute form, which he remains in until he makes that Will save to leave it. If he runs out of enemies during this time he'll keep attacking allies or innocent bystanders. Transforming takes a full round (meaning in an unexpected combat he'll use the crucial first round doing nothing) and reveals his Secret Identity to anyone watching. Making it even worse is that the vigilante normally has good Will and Reflex saves and bad Fortitude, but the archetype inverts these. So for all that his transformed form must be pretty formidable right? Well it's a size bigger than his normal form and gains a minor attack and damage bonus, and an armor penalty. Also it can't use armor or weapons properly without a talent that still leaves both with a minor penalty. And it has good base attack, but only in brute form and can't use it to qualify for feats, unlike the standard Avenger vigilante that has none of these drawbacks.
      • The Warden (Ranger) gives up favored enemy, combat style, and hunter's bond (in other words, the class features the ranger uses to hurt enemies) in exchange for lackluster skill improvements. Time to get excited about hiding in the woods.
      • Universalist wizards, or wizards that choose not to specialize. In 3.x, this was at most an arguable choice, since losing two schools might potentially be a big deal, but some schools were still powerful enough to make up for it. In Pathfinder? It went from "lose the unchosen schools completely" to "they're a bit trickier to use." This miniscule tradeoff in versatility does not match the massive boost in power that comes from specializing.
      • The "drake companion" archetypes are all quite disappointing. Due to poor starting stats, lack of feats, and weak progression, the drake is mostly inferior to a regular animal companion, but the archetypes lose a huge chunk of class features in exchange for getting it - as though one person designed the archetypes assuming the drake would be powerful, another designed the drake to be in line with animal companions, and they never talked. It also fails on the "I have a dragon!" front in several ways. Notably, the ability to ride the drake isn't available until 11th or 13th level (depending if the character is small or medium), and the ability to ride a flying drake costs four of the drake's total six powers.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Sisters of Battle have received a White Dwarf codex as of late 2011. They are simply terrible, with almost no useful options. Faith, their signature power, has been nerfed to useless and fails to scale with the game's point size. The Sisters have also been Worf in a Worf Barrage for many factions and been massacred to be used as holy oil in an infamous section of the 5th Edition Grey Knight codex. However, if and when they get a new codex, the Sisters could quickly find themselves pulled out of this status. Their codex is so bad now it's unlikely any metagame changes are likely to save them.
    • In fall of 2013, the Sisters got their new codex, which was barely changed from the last one and would have left the Sisters near the bottom of the list in Fifth Edition. Unfortunately, this is Sixth Edition, and the metagame has simply crippled the hobbled Sisters. Sixth Edition is swarming with flying units, whether big monsters or aircraft, and the Sisters have neither fliers of their own nor anti-air abilities within their Codex. Faith scales with the game size, and it's more likely to go off in any given turn, but the Sisters get even fewer Acts of Faith to try. At best, fluffy Imperial Guard armies might splash some Sisters in for flavor. At worst, you have to really love the Adeptus Sororitas and be willing to get stomped in most games even if you play brilliantly to pick the Sisters as your army. As the year 2014 rolled on, the metagame for Imperial forces and Sororitas specifically began to shift. Since most players were aware that Sororitas were underwhelming on their own, most players stopped trying to field them that way, and treated them as a modular reinforcement to be taken with the digital-release Inquisition codex, the updated Grey Knights codex, and Assassins supplemental rules.
    • The poor Tyranids got a late codex for Fifth edition (2011) that looked pretty mediocre. The Dark Eldar codex followed quickly on its heels. This shut down the Tyranid's viable but still only average 'Nidzilla strategy for metagame reasons and left the 'Nids without a viable plan. There were armies that did everything the 'Nids did, but better. Then Sixth Edition (Summer 2012) introduced a metagame dominated by fliers - something the Tyranids have almost no counter for. And the 'Nids can't ally with anyone else, so they cannot shore up their own weaknesses by bringing a few friends in. In short, 'Nid hordes are no match for Ork hordes, 'Nid shooting is no match for Dark Eldar, Tau, or Imperial Guard shooting, and 'Nidzilla armies are eclipsed by every other army of super-elite characters and creatures. But then, the metagame and tier system of Warhammer can change within the space of one Codex or expansion.
      • And then their 6th edition codex... Which not only nerfed already weak more so, raising the point cost on units for no clear reason but removed many of their best abilities and units, which many players were using to still be competitive.
      • The 6th Edition codex was also an instance of the Tyranids being Screwed by the Lawyers. It turned out that Games Workshop hadn't actually bothered to make models for a lot of the better Tyranid choices, including Mycetic Spores and the Doom of Malan'tai. In the absence of any options, third-party company ChapterHouse made a number of Bland-Name Product models based on these characters, which became rather popular among the fandom. Games Workshop recognized the demand for models and got to work creating their own versions... no, actually they sued ChapterHouse for everything they were worth. As it turned out, however, GW had neglected these elements of Tyranid canon so badly that they didn't actually own the rights to most of the things they were suing for. Clearly, then, the only option was to completely remove these elements from the Tyranid codex so that fans couldn't use the knockoff models, and replace them with... nothing, really. It wasn't until 7th Edition that the Tyranids finally got substitutes.
      • The Tyranids also have the dubious honor of bearing what is widely considered to be the single worst unit in the entire game: the Pyrovore. It's slow, it's fragile, it's expensive, it takes up an Elites slot (which is where most of the Tyranid's redeeming units come from), its flame attack is only usable when compared to its near-Guardsman level melee capabilities, and it explodes (with friendly fire allowed) when killed with instant death weapons but goes down in a couple hits to plain ol' bolters. To this day, their only fictional appearance was in a Ciaphas Cain book, where one was dispatched easily and accidentally blew up its own hive tyrant in the process.
  • Dead of Winter and its expansion has a few characters most players dislike getting on the draw:
    • Fatima Maktabi has only average die rolls and two fairly useless special abilities note . Her Crossroads card can either put a difficult-to-cure wound on her, or require her to move every turn or get that wound anyway, and restricts her to only performing certain actions.
    • Hugo Valentine has only one special ability that's inferior to another survivor's, has a low influence, and the Crossroads card requires either wasting an action die or putting a despair wound on Hugo.
  • Land-Air 'Mechs as an entire unit category are this in BattleTech, thanks to a number of factors. While they are often surprisingly fast and theoretically flexible, they are fragile, expensive, underpowered, and barred from accessing much of the higher-tech equipment needed to keep them relevant. They are not able to employ any of the weight-saving technologies or advanced armors, so Land-Air 'Mechs are at a notable weight and protection disadvantage. Furthermore, taking a single critical hit to any motive system instantly robs the machine of its central ability, the ability to shift from aircraft to robot and back. This leaves them as inefficient relics of a bygone age and notably inferior to both normal 'Mech and aircraft without the benefits of either. Some suspect that this is purposefully done in order to keep the notoriously litigious Harmony Gold from squawking out another lawsuit whenever a Land-Air 'Mech appears, though it seems more likely it was done just to explain why they were in-universe rare and not used.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • The Ike amiibo in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is atrociously underpowered, being unable to upgrade his boiler or replace his awful weapons (a Sword Beam that does barely any damage and an axe that inflicts knockback making it extremely difficult to hit an enemy twice with it, and that's ignoring the fact that he's swinging a melee weapon when most of the enemies can shoot you and doesn't have a skill like Marth's to protect him from getting attacked and stunned by enemies he approaches), and, as an amiibo, being impossible to revive mid-battle on top of it all. The other amiibos, especially Robin and Lucina, have weapons and abilities good enough to justify the disadvantages of being an amiibo unit.
  • Rafa and Malak in Final Fantasy Tactics (or "Rapha and Marach" in the Video Game Remake for the PSP) have unique class skills that hit 4 squares out of 5 at random (possibly including doubles) and normally do pretty lousy damage even when they hit: Rafa's multiply with the target's "Faith" stat (which is essentially Magic Vulnerability) but not enough to be impressive; Malak does increased damage to atheists with low FA, but are aren't a whole lot of those in the game. Rafa is also infamous for an Escort Mission in which she can get herself killed before you've been allowed to take a turn. Their redeeming qualities come in their natural Brave and Faith stats: Rafa has low BR, making her good at being a white mage or using Move: Find Item; and Marach's low FA means he takes almost no damage from magical attacks, making it that much easier to turn him into an invincible steamroller. That said, it's a lot of work for marginal reward, compared to other characters (even Player Mooks). And their unique class skills are still the absolute worst in the game.
    • The power of their attacks is quadratic in their magic power, instead of linear like everyone else. It only gets to be impressive when you optimize the build totally for this, using their class ability out-of-class as a black mage, equipped for raw +magic power.
    • One thing that severely reduces the usefulness of their attacks is the fact that their attacks have the same vertical tolerance as most other magic spells, meaning that you can't restrict the possible target area of their randomized spells to isolated enemies standing on high tiles: however, the Hydra/Tiamat line of monsters have attacks that not only work in the same way as Rafa's and Malak's, but they also have less vertical tolerance which allows you to restrict the target area better, have a larger minimum number of attacks than either of them for all of their attacks, and the best skill of this type they have also inflicts status effects on top of doing damage.
  • The Shining Force games:
    • Archers, while sometimes being the only characters capable of long range attacks, are usually shunned for their low defense, poor movement, and mediocre damage. May in 2 is exempt.
    • Kiwi. His HP growth is horrible, which doesn't matter much if you only have him engage in melee battles since he has high defense, but in a game where magic attacks bypass defense, you'll expect to see him die often. His promotion adds the ability to fly over water tiles as well as a random chance of a flame breath attack (an obvious homage to Gamera), but what's the point if he'll rarely get to use them.
  • Sister Miriam's faction in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. There are four ways to win the game: control enough money to buy every other faction, gain enough votes from each faction to be elected the Supreme Ruler, advance so far in technology that you ascend to another plane of existence, or you can just conquer the entire world. While some factions are more tuned to attempt one victory condition over another (CEO Morgan has the best chance of buying the world, Commissioner Pravin Lal has a bonus to being elected world leader, etc.) Sister Miriam's faction only has one viable strategy: devote all resources to conquering everyone else as fast as you can. This is because Sister Miriam's faction has a technology research penalty that means all other factions will eventually out-pace you in weapons technology, and achieving the "ascend to another plane of existence" victory condition is very hard if not completely unattainable. Their only hope for winning is to conquer everyone else while the playing-field is still relatively even, and hope they get enough technologies from conquering to make up any deficit. Most human players make it a goal to destroy her faction as quickly as possible, especially if another human is playing as her. Compounding the scrappy-factor is that two other factions (the Spartan Federation and the Human Hive) already fulfill the role of being 'warlike' while still being varied in their possible strategy options.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance:
    • Montblanc in is considered a low tier because he starts off as a Black Mage and his magic power pales in comparison to the Nu Mou who are a race of people that excel greatly in magic and have better magic stats than everyone else. Since Montblanc is level 5 when you first get him, several of his levels are wasted in the Black Mage job and even trying to raise him purely as a mage won't get the same damage output as the other races who use magic. Because of this and how he is considered useless in the story, many players choose to kill him off so that they can replace him with a better fighter since the game doesn't allow you to boot him out of the clan.
    • Several basic job classes in the game are quickly discarded once the player has access to higher tier classes:
      • Soldiers can only lower the stats of the enemy, which quickly gets useless once you learn abilities that can do high damage or other effects. Soldiers can use some of the best swords in the game, but by the time you get them, you won't even be using the Soldier class. The Warrior class is basically the Bangaa version of the Soldier; stronger but equally useless in abilities.
      • The Animist class used by Moogles have below average stat growth and the majority of their abilities cause status effects, which are more likely to miss than hit if the computer decides it doesn't want you to win.
      • Archers are useful in the start of the game, but they mostly focus in abilities that cause status effects and are quickly outclassed by the more useful and powerful Hunter and Sniper classes. The Archer's saving grace is learning the Concentrate passive ability, which boosts your accuracy.
      • Beastmasters for the Nu Mou tend to be useless when there are no monsters around and many predetermined battles will have no monsters. The Beastmaster class is useful if you are using a Blue Mage to learn monster skills since you can control the monster and use the ability on the mage, but outside of that, any Nu Mou in this class will only gain better physical stats, despite the fact that 99% of the job classes for the Nu Mou race are purely based on magic. The class gets even lower in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 due to being nerfed; the Beastmaster can only force the monster to execute an attack on that unit's turn rather than when the monster's turn comes up.
    • Bishops are the only magic based job that Bangaas can use, but the job itself only has mediocre magic growth and Bangaas are terrible with magic to begin with. They are also a Master of None; Bishops can use Cura to heal, Water, Areo, and Holy to attack, Barrier to give one ally Protect and Shell, Dispel to remove buffs from enemies, and Break to instantly turn the target into stone, but many other jobs can do the same thing with better power and more. The sequel does not change the Bishop at all, thus it's still extremely low tier for an advanced class.
    • Templars in both Advance and A2 have decent attack and defense growths, but they are one of the slowest units in battle, making them a Mighty Glacier. Their abilities are designed to be a counter against magic users (damage MP, inflict Silence, lower speed, and grant allies one time protection against debuffs), but they fall completely flat when you are fighting a group of enemies that don't use magic to begin with. Templars can learn Haste and Weapon Attack + to give their allies more turns and make their own strength better, but they are better used as secondary abilities for a job that is much more rounded out.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has the Chocobo Knight class for Moogles, which have the worst stat growths out of all classes, but the class's speed stat is one of the best in the game. Chocobo Knights rely on a Chocobo's abilities and you have to mount a Chocobo to do so, which means any secondary abilities you have set up cannot be used. If your knight gets knocked out or turned to stone, that Chocobo is lost and you'll have to capture a new one. A Chocobo's abilities and its move and jump stats are also determined by its color, but they are nothing special. On top of everything else, the knight will also gain the Chocobo's weakness to water, lightning, and holy when riding the bird unless they are wearing gear that nullifies the weaknesses. Even with their ability to wield any non ranged weapon in the game, Chocobo Knights are simply too gimmicky to rely on and their poor stat growths make them worthless to level up in.
  • The AM Gunner in Super Robot Wars Original Generation is a unit no player wants to use as its arsenal needs a pilot who has the pilot skill "Hit & Away" note  and two weak attacks that can't be used post-movement. However, it does function as a Mecha Expansion Pack for another pilot using the Huckebein MK III, allowing it to form into the Huckebein Gunner, a more effective unit than the AM Gunner alone. The problem arises when the latest installment Second Original Generation has no Huckebein MK III for the AM Gunner to dock with to form the Huckebein Gunner since the MK III is removed in the game due to mandatory story reasons.
  • Miu and the Painkiller in Super Robot Wars UX. Compared to other Linebarrels of Iron characters and Machinas, Miu has a nonsensical Spirit Command pool (she has "Strike" note , "Alert" note , "Accelerate" note , "Justice" note , and "Love" note ; the latter has the effects of the first three) and the Painkiller has a pitiful "Full Upgrade Bonus" of EN+, even though "Justice" can render EN costs moot. Furthermore, achieve "Ace"/"Super Ace" status with Miu and she unlocks the "Super Full Upgrade Bonus" of Mobility +5 for the Painkiller, which is just as useless since she has "Alert."
  • Terra Battle.
    • Jaguna is often cited as the worst Adventurer in the game. She's meant to be a defensive character in a game where killing everything first is often more effective. Even then, being a B-rank, she's not even that tanky. What makes her really bad is her abysmal Attack stat, on par with healers. She also learns some support skills, but the only notable one is a weak heal. She got Rescued from the Scrappy Heap later though, since you can recode her into Jaguna Λ, who has much better stats and skills that strike a large area.
    • Half of Palpa's skillset is centered around curing status ailments. Then for her final skill, she learns Panacea, a skill that cures all ailments, making all those previous skills redundant. Her recoded version, Palpa Λ is more of a Magikarp Power however. She learns nothing but useless passive skills, except at level 80, where she learns the game-breaking Augment skill, which only a handful other characters have. Combine that with Palpa's other decent buffs, and Palpa Λ is a surprisingly decent support unit.
    • Burbaba is a counter-oriented character. Counter skills are borderline useless in this game, since getting the enemy to attack a specific unit is next to impossible. Also, counters don't activate on enemy skills, and most enemies except easily killable mobs prefer using skills. Without his counters, Burbaba is left only with pitiable attack skills. He also has a recode, but even with the stronger skills, Burbaba Λ is only about average.
  • Mordheim: City of the Damned: The Chaos Cult faction is considered to be the weakest warband of the playable six due to its schizophrenic, counter-intuitive design. Their Magister is a Squishy Wizard with one damage buff spell and a unique skill that requires him to be in melee combat, and until he levels up and gets his better spells every other leader unit will kick his teeth in — which is bad because at the start the leader is supposed to be the best unit your warband has. The Mutant is the only viable ranged hero of the warband but can potentially get a random mutation which will forever prevent him from holding a bow, leaving him a gimped melee fighter with ranged skills he can't use. The Marauder is a melee hero with amazing charge bonuses but he's somewhat fragile and can't disengage which means if his initial charge attack is dodged or parried or misses then he's in trouble. By far the worst offender though is the Possessed, considered widely to be the worst hero in the entire game; his complete lack of any kind of effective damage mitigation — he can't wear armour, his agility and dodge skills are poor and he can't carry a shield or parry - make him extremely easy to kill, and his melee damage is also lackluster until he gets arm mutations to give him weapons, and what's worse his armbands count as dual-wielding so he gets the tiring effect with each attack. In short, he can't hit particularly hard, he can't hit often and he'll often die before he'll get a chance to hit anything. The Cult's saving grace is the Darksoul, possibly the best melee henchman in the game — immune to psychology and potentially quite durable, they can hold out round after round.
  • Total War: Shogun 2: The Takeda clan are considered to be the worst clan in the game because they are cavalry specialists in a game where the cheapest unit and the backbone of most armies (especially for their close neighbours, the Oda) is a humble peasant spearman with a whopping +25 attack bonus against cavalry. Cavalry are highly expensive elite units, and Takeda cavalry are even better than normal, but if they hit yari ashigaru, they'll crumble quickly.
  • Civilization V:
    • The Iroquois tend to bottom out on tier lists. It stems from the fact that their abilities are based on making use of forest tiles to increase their production and movement, and to make use of this, they always start out in a forest. The problem is, other civs make use of forests, too - by cutting them down, providing large one-time production boosts. Meanwhile, the Iroquois special building is the Longhouse, which heavily boosts production in the presence of worked forests, but the Longhouse only comes online in the Medieval era, at which point they'll have lost a lot of production just by virtue of leaving those forests around. They can cut down forests themselves, but this nullifies all their own advantages, meaning that to play them to their fullest means spending the first third of the game in half-shift. And on top of that, the Longhouse also loses the 10% boost of the Workshop it replaces. Their other abilities, including the Mohawk Warrior and the ability to treat friendly forest and jungle tile as road, are situational at best; consensus is that the Iroquois can only excel on Arboreal maps. Curiously, though, they seem to have one of the better AIs in the game, with Hiawatha often dominating matchesnote .
    • Poor Polynesia. Their ability to sail across ocean before anyone else is really interesting, but it also happens to be an ability that essentially obsoletes once everyone else has Astronomy. This gives Polynesia a limited window of being able to take advantage of this ability, but once you've met everyone, you really can't do much except realize how much more advanced they are than you. The Moai improvement gives some extra Culture and defensive advantages, but this means missing out on the farms and mines you could have built on those tiles. The Maori Warrior is a decent unit, but comes so early it can't really do much aside from fight off barbarians. The most Polynesia can do is usually be the founder of the World Congress and maybe get an early start on a Cultural Victory, and even that requires some tricky play. This is even worse on a Continental map, where Polynesia's advantages basically vanish.
    • The Brave New World expansion heavily reworked the mechanics of Cultural Victory, something that was mostly acclaimed - but only mostly, because India hated it. Their ability halves the Happiness penalty for large cities and doubles it for number of cities, meaning that India is one of the only nations where their ability includes a penalty. The old Cultural Victory favored a small number of highly-populated cities (since it penalized the large number of social policies needed), but the new one favors a large number of cities (since it gives you more places to build temples, churn out Great People, and store Great Works). Therefore, India is considered to be not only suffering a penalty, but a penalty to its intended victory condition - and the Tourism boost from the Mughal Fort can only do so much.
    • Though America is considered mid-tier, they get a fair bit of ribbing from the playerbase over being Magikarp Power. Their main advantages are increased vision and halved cost on buying tiles, reflecting the American habit of exploration, landgrabbing, and imperialism. But the Shoshone simply start with a pile of extra tiles, and get an enhanced scout in the Pathfinder, meaning they're better at exploration and better at landgrabbing. To add insult to injury, though America's unique units are highly useful, they don't show up until long after exploring has become basically irrelevant.
    • The Ottomans were considered laughable in vanilla, as their chance to convert Barbarian ships didn't look all that impressive when Germany could do the same thing for their landbound counterparts. Even when it was buffed in expansions to apply to all enemy ships, it still wasn't held in high regard, as the large-scale naval war of attrition needed for such an ability to come in handy almost never happens. On top of that, both their unique units are land units.
    • Carthage gets a powerful sea unit in an era where nobody is on the water, a cavalry unit that is slower and more expensive than normal cavalry, and the ability to cross mountains, which would be situational even if it didn't cripple the units in the process. Its only genuinely useful ability is free Harbors, and even then, Harbors aren't that expensive or valuable.
    • In the vanilla game, France's Ancien Regime was something of a joke, as it was the only unique ability to flat-out obsolete due to a Historical In-Joke - but at least it had the serviceable Foreign Legion unit, and free Culture was nice while it lasted. In Brave New World, though, they were reworked from a militaristic civ to a culture-based one, changing their ability and switching the Foreign Legion for the Chateau improvement. Unfortunately, City of Light (doubled theming bonuses in the capital) requires heavy manipulation of Great Works, archaeological efforts, and building very specific buildings, some of which are Wonders - and all you get out of it is a moderate boost to Tourism. Essentially, to get France's advantages, you have to already be most of the way to a cultural victory, and neither the Chateau nor the Musketeer are anywhere near good enough to get you there.
    • Byzantium suffers from having one of the most intriguing abilities, and almost no way to actually use those abilities. It has the trick of being able to found a religion with an extra ability, which is a big deal when religion is very customizable, and opens up a ton of possibilities (choose multiple enhancer beliefs and watch the religion spread itself! pick up Pagodas, Cathedrals, and Mosques simultaneously! combine high faith and Holy Warriors for a free army!). Except you can't pick beliefs for a religion if someone else has already taken them, and only a certain number of religions can be created over the course of the game, so religion is very much about who's first rather than who's best - and Byzantium has no abilities to actually make themselves first. So just build a lot of shrines and temples in the early game, then, right? Yeah, sure, except Byzantium is one of the civs where both their uniques are units, and really early-game units that don't keep their abilities on upgrade, at that, meaning actually trying to use them for anything will tie up a lot of production. Pretty much no matter what you do with Byzantium, you're going to end up wasting about half their strengths.

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