Magic (gaming)

A light blue bar, 39% of which is filled with a darker shade of blue
A mana bar or magic bar, used to keep track of a character's magic points (MP) in a video game.

Magic or mana is an attribute assigned to characters within a role-playing or video game that indicates their power to use special abilities or "spells". Magic is usually measured in magic points or mana points, shortened as MP. Different abilities will use up different amounts of MP.[1] When the MP of a character reaches zero, the character won't be able to use special abilities until some of their MP is recovered.[2]

Much like health, magic might be displayed as a numeric value, such as "50/100". Here, the first number indicates the current amount of MP a character has whereas the second number indicates the character's maximum MP. In video games, magic can also be displayed visually, such as with a gauge that empties itself as a character uses their abilities.[3]


The magic system in pen-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons is largely based on patterns established in the novels of author Jack Vance. In this system, the player character can only memorize a fixed number of spells from a list of spells. Once this spell is used once, the character forgets it and becomes unable to use it again.[1][4][5][6]

"Mana" is a word that comes from Polynesian languages meaning something along the lines of "supernatural power". The concept of mana was introduced in Europe by missionary Robert Henry Codrington in 1891 and was popularized by Mircea Eliade in the 1950s. It was first introduced as a magical fuel used to cast spells in the 1969 short story, "Not Long Before the End", by Larry Niven. It has since become a common staple in both role-playing and video games.[1]

Other Languages
Deutsch: Mana (Spiele)
español: Maná (juegos)
Bahasa Melayu: Magic point
Nederlands: Magiepunt
português: Pontos de magia
русский: Очки магии
粵語: 魔法值
中文: 魔法值