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10 Best Video Game Power-Ups Of All Time – TheGamer

Throughout the history of video games, countless innovative and difficult challenges have been presented to gamers everywhere. It could be a confusing puzzle in the original Legend of Zelda game where no guidance was provided, or maybe it’s just a difficult fight in Halo that needs a plan with the right execution and a bit of luck.




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Thankfully, early developers saw fit to make certain sections of games easier with the invention of buffs, also known as power-ups. The addition of power-ups in gaming makes some of these challenges much more manageable, and some are impossible without these additional boons. That being said, let’s look at some of the most iconic and best throughout gaming history.

10 Morph Ball – Metroid

Metroid Morph Ball

  • Obtained via various methods depending on which game you’re playing
  • Used in boss fights and level traversal

Samus Aran and her exploits are legendary among gamers, being that it’s one of the longest-running series in gaming. Metroid‘s protagonist has one of the more unique power-ups available to her, which enables her to turn into a small sphere.

While sounding odd, it’s a necessary upgrade to progress through many areas of the games. It’s so integral and iconic that it’s been featured in every Metroid game to date. In a few of the games, the Morph Ball has been required to complete boss fights.

9 Aku-Aku – Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot 4: Aku Aku Looking At The Sky

  • Obtained by breaking open a crate with Aku-Aku’s face on it
  • Used to avoid damage

Aku-Aku is both a power-up and a major supporting character in the later Crash Bandicoot games that make up the N. Sane Trilogy. In appearance, he resembles a wooden mask with multicolored feathers protruding from the top.

In addition to acting like Crash’s babysitter, Aku-Aku functions as a means of temporary invulnerability when picked up from one of the various crates bearing the mask on the front. Upon obtaining him, he will hover near Crash and absorb any form of damage aside from falling before disappearing.

8 Bullet Bill – Mario Kart

Bullet Bill against the Mario Kart 8 loading screen.

  • Received from item boxes when near last place
  • Can easily turn the tide of a race

Mario Kart has reigned supreme for years when it comes to racing games. The game has a plethora of power-ups that can make it pure chaos when playing. The Bullet Bill power-up is one of the more chaos-inducing items in the game. It only has a chance to spawn in an item box when you’re in 6th, 7th, or 8th place.

For eight seconds after activating, you assume the form of a Bullet Bill and speed past the competition in record time. At the end of the eight seconds, you’ll revert to your normal kart and character and resume racing at your standard speed. It’s great for clutching an intense race or evening the odds when you’re off to a rough start.

7 Nephalem Glory – Diablo 3

Diablo III Caldeum Palace Fight

  • Drops from enemies after rapidly getting ten kills
  • Can be strengthened by picking up more globes

Diablo is an Action RPG that is extremely easy to get into. Fans of Diablo will no doubt expect to see Nephalem Glory on this list, since it’s such a useful power-up in Diablo 3. When the Nephalem Glory globe is picked up, it grants 60 seconds of double damage.

Picking up more of the orbs from fallen enemies increases the duration by 20 seconds, which is great for going on a massacre against the demons of Hell. The power has three levels, each level increasing the power of the energy bursts you’ll experience upon utilizing the power-up. Picking up a health globe will also increase the duration by five seconds.

6 Smash Ball – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Duplicate Smash Balls

  • The Smash Ball appears randomly throughout the match
  • It gives you a Smash Attack, a powerful move capable of one-shotting enemies

Widely considered to be one of Nintendo’s best games, Super Smash Bros. is an absolute classic in the eyes of many. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the greatest power-up is the Smash Ball. It appears as a multicolored sphere floating through the air that grants a Final Smash attack to whoever breaks it. The ball randomly spawns and can take up to a max of 43 percent damage.


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It can easily change the match in favor of whoever manages to acquire the Final Smash due to its immense power. If enough time passes while the Ball is floating around, it will fly away and spawn again later.

5 Fire Flower – Super Mario World

Mario riding Yoshi in Super Mario World

  • Randomly found in Item Boxes
  • Allows Mario to shoot fireballs from his hands

Super Mario World is a classic Mario title that captured the hearts of thousands. Through nostalgic moments and solid gameplay that stood the test of time, many fans of the series will look back on this SNES title fondly. Along with its awesome gameplay comes a slew of neat power-ups that make the game even more fun.

One of the more iconic powers made a return in the form of the Fire Flower. This floral power-up enables you to turn enemies into piles of ash after throwing a fireball at them. It’s extremely useful for many situations and is as iconic as the console it was made for.

4 Overshield – Halo

Spartan Jumping With An Overshield Halo Infinite

  • Available as a pickup on certain maps
  • Grants 200 percent shielding

The Overshield is the source of many fearful moments in a Halo match. The power-up grants an extra layer of shielding to your Spartan that slowly diminishes passively or while taking damage. It originated in the first of the series, Halo: Combat Evolved, and took on the form of a red sphere encased in a transparent cube.


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It originally boosted the shield by 300 percent versus the standard 200 percent we know of today. The extra shielding does not recharge over time like a regular shield would.

3 Invincibility – Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic and Tails running in the Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

  • Grants Sonic invulnerability to most forms of damage
  • It first appeared in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game in 1996

In the Sonic series, there are many power-ups found in item boxes that will help you reach the end of the levels easily. The Invincibility power-up is one of the best ones to grace the classic series. It first appeared in Sonic The Hedgehog (1996) and was an absolute game changer.

The function of the power is simple: become impervious to most forms of damage for a short time. Falling into a chasm, being crushed, or running out of time are some ways that you can still perish while being invulnerable. The effect can be lengthened by picking up a duplicate power-up to push it past its normal 15-second duration.

2 Armor Lock – Halo: Reach

Halo Reach Multiplayer Elites Fighting Spartans

  • Available as a part of a loadout
  • Can act as an EMP, disabling vehicles and shielding

Armor Lock was one of the most used power-ups available in Halo: Reach due to how powerful it was. When activating the power, you begin kneeling and are encased in white energy that renders you impervious to essentially any form of damage. Gunfire, melee hits, rockets, and even being hit by a warthog were all useless efforts.

Thankfully, the ability was only active for around 5 seconds, and you wouldn’t be able to move or shoot while using it. What you could do was disable shields around your character when deactivating the ability. Thankfully, this severely overpowered ability was removed from future Halo titles, but it lives on in the minds of many series veterans.

1 Super Star – Super Mario

Mario collecting a Power Star in Super Mario 64

  • Available from random Item Boxes
  • Increases Mario’s movement speed while also enabling the defeat of enemies just by touching them

The Super Star is as iconic as Mario and is extremely useful in any title. It first appeared in the original Super Mario Bros. and was an instant hit with fans. When picked up, the Star grants invincibility and enhances Mario’s movement speed and jump height. It also has a very well-known soundtrack that plays while active.

The look of the Star has changed drastically throughout the years, going from a 2d sprite to a fully-fledged 3d model. In future titles, Mario would become enveloped in a rainbow to signify the ability being active.


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