<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-power-ups.html>Power-Ups</a>


Power-Ups are game elements that give time-limited advantages to the player that picks them up.

Example: The power pill in Pac-Man allows Pac-Man to hunt ghosts for a limited amount of time.

Example: Quad damage Power-Up in Quake quadruples the damage caused by the player's weapons for a limited amount of time.

Using the pattern

The possibilities regarding where the Producers of the Power-Ups are and when Power-Ups appear are similar to those of Pick-Ups. The main differences are that Power-Ups often give the player New Abilities or Privileged Abilities, and one has to determine how long the effect of the Power-Up lasts and if players can Trading them. However, Power-Ups can also provide Improved Abilities such as temporarily raising Skills.

Since the Power-Up typically gives the player an advantage without a matching disadvantage, the use of Power-Ups may cause problems with Player Balance more easily than using plain Pick-Ups.


Power-Ups share many of the consequences of Pick-Ups but typically have a more transient effect. Since the effect has a Time Limit, picking up a Power-Up can actually increase Tension if the usefulness of the Power-Up depends on the success of other goals, for example, using the quad damage Power-Up properly in Quake games efficiently depends on locating and hitting enemies first. Power-Ups can be used as target objects for Gain Competence goals.

Power-Ups give players Ephemeral Goals of Collecting when they appear; knowing their location and when they are produced allows players to locate Strategic Locations and have Strategic Knowledge.


Instantiates: Gain Competence, Time Limits, Strategic Knowledge, Ephemeral Goals, Improved Abilities, New Abilities, Strategic Locations, Privileged Abilities, Collecting

Modulates: Skills

Instantiated by:

Modulated by: Producers, Trading

Potentially conflicting with: Player Balance