Mana Meter

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Green: Life Meter Blue: Mana Meter

The partner to the Life Meter, the Mana Meter describes the amount of power, often called Mana, a character has remaining for his special abilities. It is commonly associated with spell-casting characters in action RPGs and Real Time Strategy titles.

In colour-coded games, this meter is most often blue, as a handy contrast to the Life Meter, which is most often red or green. Whether the Mana Meter recovers on its own, or needs to be replenished by items, is much more variable than it is for the Life Meter or the Sprint Meter.

This does not necessarily need to be magical in nature. It can represent an auxiliary power reserve, or other quantity that must be recovered between uses of a special ability. Sometimes it's a catchall, and Ki Attacks, Psychic Powers, and Functional Magic all drain the same "stuff".

Examples of Mana Meter include:

Web Animation

  • Actually present in-world in RWBY: every student at Beacon Academy can check their Aura level with their "scroll" (a handheld computer/phone/PDA), and are exhorted to do so when fighting, so they know when to shift to defensive tactics if it gets too low. The aura display appears as a classic colored bar, starting out green, growing shorter as Aura is used, and turning red when too much Aura has been expended.

Video Games

  • Units in StarCraft have "energy meters" that can indicate either the unit's remaining energy reserve (Terrans), psionic power (the Protoss) or bioweapons (the Zerg). They are depleted as that unit's special abilities are used and recover with time (with the exception of several zerg units that can restore their energy by consuming another friendly unit).
  • Bloodline Champions averts this - despite using archetype common to MMORPGs, Cooldowns are used to limit abilities. An energy meter charges from hitting with abilities, to be consumed to use other ones.
  • Terraria requires you to gather 10 fallen stars to craft into a mana crystal which expands it by 20 points. A player can also expand it by equipping accessories and armor which can expand it until taken off, such as bands of star power, accessories with the "Arcane" prefix, jungle armor, or the helmets made from hard mode ores such as the cobalt hat (increases by 40), mythril hood (by 60) or adamantite headgear (by 80).
  • Supers in the MMORPG City of Heroes have a blue endurance bar.
    • Some archetypes have an extra bar. Brutes have Fury, which increases their damage output as the bar fills while they attack enemies and are attacked in return. Dominators have Domination, a bar that fills from dealing attacks and when full allows them to activate the Domination Mode that increases the strength and duration of their status effect powers and renders them heavily resistant to status effect powers from enemies..
  • Most classes in World of Warcraft use a blue mana bar, which refills very slowly unless the player has abilites to increase regeneration. Rogues have a yellow energy bar which has a base maximum of 100 units and refills quickly. Warriors have a red rage bar, which fills up as they give or take damage. Druids usually use a mana bar, but have a rage bar in Bear mode, and an energy bar in Cat mode. As of Cataclysm hunters have lost their mana bars and it's been replaced with a focus bar, similar to an energy bar, except that it refills more slowly but there are abilities to replenish it faster.
    • Not to be outdone, the Death Knight class added with the latest addition has two variants on this. The main bar shows six discrete "runes" of three different colors; each rune recharges in ten seconds and abilities cost between one and three runes of specific colors. Using runes fills up a light blue "Runic Power" bar which can then be used to power secondary abilities.
    • Rage and runic power both slowly drain out of combat.
    • The classes that do possess mana meters see them behave in very different ways. Physical classes (tanks and melee damage dealers) have a small mana bar that depletes and fills fairly rapidly via passive abilities. Caster damage dealers have a very large mana bar that depletes slowly and can be filled in fairly short order by a cooldown ability. Healers have an equally large mana bar that undergoes very rapid down and up cycles, due to their more expensive spells and strong regeneration abilities (both passive and via cooldown).
  • Diablo uses round glassy "vessels", whose level of fullness varies. In Diablo II, the mana orb is blue and held by a statue of an angel.
  • In Star Control II, spaceships in combat have battery meters, in red; many races have a special way of filling them, from the Pkunk's psychic insults to the Druuge's sacrifice of crew members.
  • Both Rune Factory and its sequel fulfill this trope with a Rune Point meter. The RP meter is blue and the HP meter is green.
  • Eternal Fighter Zero has a rare example of a magic meter used for a 2D fighting game, albeit only for one character. Kano Kirishima, whose character is based off of RPG magic users, possesses a magic gauge that must be manually charged in order to cast her tiered elemental spells. Different tiers of spells consume different amounts of the bar.
  • Most Star Wars games have Force meters.
    • The X-Wing games don't have mana, obviously, but every single laser has a meter which slowly recharges, or slowly drains if you're trying to run away really fast. The shields also recharge or drain if you're trying to run away really fast. There's also a beam weapon, which is essentially Sprint Shoes. Finally, missiles have a finite number; an X-wing, for instance, has 6 proton torpedos.
  • The blue EVE gauge in BioShock (series).
  • The Final Fantasy games have MP, which stands for Magic Points (Or Mist Points in XII). Aside from certain actions (such as regular attacks, stealing, and items to name a few) most attacks drain MP.
    • Kingdom Hearts makes use of a similar system, but uses it in a very different way.
  • Various The Legend of Zelda games have green meters for Link's spells and magical items.
  • The Tales (series) games and Star Ocean games generally have one meter (Technical Points for the former, Magic Points for the latter) which are used in both techniques and spells.
    • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time introduced the unusual mechanic of being able to die from losing MP. Physical attacks used HP, Magic attack used MP, and different attacks caused differing amounts of damage to one of them or both. In essence, you had two separate meters that both were a hybrid of Hit Points and Mana Meter.
    • Although it's still technically a Mana Meter, later Tales (series) games by Team Destiny get rid of Technical Points in favor of some other mechanic that usually regenerates whatever it is you need to do special attacks quickly.
  • System Shock has PSI meter.
  • RuneScape is one of the few MMORPGs to avert Mana Meter. Instead of mana, runes are used to cast spells.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has MP, which can be restored by resting, items, or certain familiars. If you're a caster, the game will call them "mana points", if you're a fighter-type, they'll be called "muscularity points", and if you're a rogue-type, they'll be "mojo points". Of course, everything that drains, restores or otherwise affects MP, does so in exactly the same way regardless of class.
  • Arcanum borrows Diablo's liquid-filled vessels, with a unique twist on the local type of mana: It's called Fatigue and represents exactly that. In addition to being used for casting spells, it can be drained by carrying too much gear or getting hit with blunt weapons.
  • zOMG! has a blue, battery-shaped Stamina meter next to your Health. Stamina is consumed when you use rings. Like Health, you restore a certain amount of Stamina per tick, though you can increase the rate by kneeling (at the cost of tripling all damage received) or by using certain buffs. Certain power-ups also instantly restore a portion of your Health and Stamina. Unlike Health, your maximum Stamina never increases, nor can you reduce the Stamina cost of a ring. Like Health, having low Stamina causes a rather irritating sound effect to play constantly.
  • Lost Magic has a yellow bar that appears below Isaac's blue Health bar on his status screen. The rate at which it refills and the delay before it starts refilling are determined by the number of Mana Crystals on the map that are "pure" (captured by you).
  • Fable plays this straight with its Will Gauge, but the sequel doesn't even bother with it, resulting in magic, gunplay and swordplay being equally spammable.
  • The Paper Mario games have Flower Points which act as this, in keeping with the mushroom\flower\star theme of some Mario games.
  • Freelancer has the power meter, which is consumed by firing your weapons. Usually, you consume power only slightly faster that it regenerates, which keeps you from just holding the button down forever. The stolen Nomad weapons are awesome because they consume no power, which means that having a few can free up infinitely regenerating power for your other guns.
  • The Elder Scrolls has the Magicka meter, which is a Mana Meter in all but name. There's also a Fatigue meter which is drained by various physical activities, such as running, jumping, and attacking.
  • BloodRayne and its sequel have a 'rage' meter which fills by attacking enemies using Raynes wrist blades. It is used to power 'bloodrage' and other attacks.
  • Jade Empire features the Chi meter, used for magic attacks and transformations, as well as powering up your Martial and Weapon styles.
  • The Dungeon Siege series, being heavily influenced by the Diablo series, also features a mana bar in the first two installments, but changes up the name and function in III, splitting it into the Focus bar and Power Orbs. Both are used for special attacks/abilities, but refilling them is no longer a matter of simply waiting or drinking a potion; to restore focus attacking and defeating enemies is required and power is restored by using focus abilities, with certain talents and other abilities affecting the refill as well.
  • Pokémon uses Power Points, or P Ps, which indicate how many times a certain move can be used. When depleted, they can be filled with an item, or by fully healing the Pokemon at a Pokemon Center.
  • Most champions in League of Legends use mana as a casting resource, with a few variations. Some use Energy, which has a fixed cap and regeneration rate, some are Cast from Hit Points, some use Fury which builds when they attack, one uses Heat which builds when he uses an ability, and some use no resources at all and are completely cooldown reliant.
  • Eternal Darkness uses a magick meter for spells and it regenerates as you walk around or use items.
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal has a lot of different resources spread over the different types of classes. Mages, and a couple of hybrid classes, have Mana, which regenerates over time. Warriors, Rogues, and most of the Magic Knights have Stamina, which also regenerates more slowly over time but is harder to restore otherwise. Psionic classes have Psi, which regenerates very slowly over time but can be gained quickly by using abilities that suck energy out of enemies. Corrupters have Vim, which does not regenerate over time but can be regained by killing creatures or from a few specific talents that all rely on enemies. Afflicted have Hate, which decreases over time, and can be gained by killing enemies or by being in a high-damage battle. Celestials have Positive and Negative, which both decrease over time but have talents whose cost to use is negative. Wilders have Equilibrium, which starts at 0 and increases with talent cost, and gives a chance of failure to associated talents once it gets high enough. Chronomancers have Paradox, which works similarly, but high Paradox increases the power of your abilities and also has a chance of causing random unintended effects or just backfiring on the caster.
  • Trails In The Sky has one, named EP Bar (Energy Points) which is used in Arts (read: spells). It also has a separate meter for Limit Break and character-specific skills.
  • Most characters in Kinnikuman: Muscle Fight have a super meter. However, there are two characters who do something unique with it.
    • Bikeman's super meter functions like a stamina meter. If it's empty, Bikeman can't do much and becomes vulnerable. Bikeman even starts panting. As a result, he has to use Motorman's remains in order to charge up.
    • Prisman's super meter controls his access to his Rainbow Shower techniques. If he has 0 super meters, Prisman will say that he'll need energy. He can charge himself up by soaking in the sun's rays.