Clothes should not be tied to stats in videogames

I love playing dress up in games. If there is an ounce of customization I will sink hours into making myself the snazziest looking motherfucker in the game. That said, I hate hate hate when outfits are tied to stats. Let me look however I want to look damnit!

This most recently has come up with the new God of War. I wanted to maximize luck which meant that I was pretty much forced to wear Tyr’s armor the whole game (and I don’t actually like how it looks).

Xenoverse 2 was able to solve this problem entirely though the use of QQ Bangs, which negate and replace the stats on your clothes with stats of your choosing. Why doesn’t every game do this!?!?!?

So what do you think? Do stats being tied to outfits bother you? Do you dress for form or function?


Oh now THIS is a >thread< I can get behind… But that being said games need to more widely adopt having a second set of armor just for appearances. Cause a lot of the times the best armor is the ugliest armor, and anyone your same level is going to be wearing the exact same thing!!!

Or if you want to get more creative have armor level up the more you wear it. The more it goes through and gets repaired the better it is. Sure it’s not realistic but realism is for chumps.


every game should be a dressup game!!! if you give me the ability to pick which clothes i’m wearing and then make all the best-looking clothes have garbage stats i’m going to be Very Sad. every game should let you glamour your outfit to look however you want!

i gotta say, i think it’s interesting that so many game designers are so bad at understanding how to present good / evil choices in a compelling way (evil should be easier and more powerful but result in a worse outcome, good should be harder but have better results, in most cases) in every arena except for fashion. when it comes to clothes, the uglier and more boring, the more powerful, apparently.

ps relevant (cw one slur):


This is part of the reason glamour(transmog) works so well in MMOs. The armor is normally ugly af when getting best stats, so letting the player change it to their liking is so perfect.

I heard Guild Wars 2 has a nice way of doing this, but my expertise would be in FFXIV.

I can only speak for the latter but WoW and FFXIV have “transmogrification” and “glamouring” which let you achieve just that - apply the appearance of one set of clothing while retaining the stats of the original. Unfortunately, as many players will tell you, trying to juggle inventory space and retaining Literally Every Possible Outfit Because What If I Want To Wear It Some Day becomes a nightmare of its own.

As I understand it, it’s a nightmare to develop for in MMOs. You’ve got hundreds of thousands of players on at anyone time and any minor adjustment would result in significant changes to the data flow, especially for something regarding inventory space in something where “glamours are the real endgame” is a common adage. Happy to be corrected on the impact of this, however.

But for single player games, I agree! There should absolutely be no tradeoff between looking good as hell and being extremely powerful.


I don’t understand the gear system in both Splatoon games at all. For casual players like me, it’s imperceptible stat wonk that discourages people from choosing the looks they like best. You’re either min-maxing by picking clothes you don’t like, or grinding for absurd amounts of time to be able to pick the stats you want slotted into your preferred gear.

What were they trying to achieve here other than “well we’ve gotta have some kinda progression on gear, I guess”?

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I like that the soulsborne series has de-emphasized the importance of armor/clothing stats in the more recent games, and also made them unable to be upgraded. It helps prevent low level invaders from putting on obscenely impervious upgraded armor and stomping new players in early zones, but it also leaves you more free to Express Yourself in the true meta of the series: Fashion Souls.

I already just aimed for whatever looked the coolest or best fit whatever headcanon I’d created for that character, so I am extremely on board with more games doing this. I wouldn’t get rid of clothing stats altogether, at least in RPGs where build variety is part of the fun, but making them less important is definitely a good thing.


On the one level, I get this completely - hate hate HATE having to put my character in ugly stuff for stats, to the point where I often just say fuck it and take the stat penalty - but on another, finding that perfect combination of ‘item with better attributes that ALSO LOOKS SICK’ is such a great feeling…

It’s not quite the same thing - though it does tie in with the idea, since it provides room for having your character wear both practical attire, and something more overtly fashion-forward (not that you can’t have both, depending!) - but I’d very much like to see more games play with the idea of your character having both battle gear and ‘casual’ clothes.

Even though the options were far more limited than I’d have liked, I loved how, in Mass Effect, Shepard would wear ordinary clothes on the ship, on the Citadel in 3, and when attending special social events–saving her battle armour for, well, battle, or other potentially dangerous situations. I just love being able to define both looks, and actually changing clothes to fit different circumstances and occasions provides a weird verisimilitude that I very much enjoy.


usually, i really don’t like when armor ties stuff to stats – i’m so extremely bad at paying attention to that stuff and so picky about how my character looks that the subtitle for my breath of the wild playthrough might as well be link gets hypothermia.

but it does depend! i’m a little bit torn on how i feel about this mechanic in the world ends with you, specifically. it required an extremely high “Bravery” stat to be able to wear dresses, which was something i did find extremely rewarding to work towards and felt (to me, as someone who wasn’t “brave” enough yet, lol) like a uniquely relatable arc. that’s my only counter-example, though, and even then i might have just preferred the option to jump in and do whatever if i could’ve had it.

Most of the armor in the Witcher 3 is real bad, and the cool looking sets (with good bonuses) take forever to make and are really only available pretty late. It’s honestly my main issue with the game. At least it lets you mix and match pieces. I get less upset about stats being tied to armor and more about some games forcing you wear a full set. Horizon Zero Dawn has some great looking armor but it’ll have like one bad piece of headgear included that I have to just deal with.

Anyone else remember WoW at the time Burning Crusade first launched? That was a fun few months in which every player started putting away their stylish, vanilla epic gear in favor of green quest rewards (culminating into sets that were completely mismatched in terms of aesthetic and color) up until raids became a thing people could actually do. Before the transmog system was implemented, WoW expansions inevitably made everyone look absolutely garish.


I distinctly remember not using the fully upgraded cat armour because I didn’t like the hood Geralt wears with it, and in fact reloading my save after crafting it to revert to the penultimate version.

Honestly the worst (not worst, but it’s pretty annoying) thing is when MMOs have consumable tokens for glamouring. Better make sure you don’t want to change your appearance much or you have to pay up. Ugh.

It’s nice to be able to wear whatever you want without having appearance and stats conflict, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the minigame of trying to min/max stats against fashion in a lot of games.


As a Shadow Priest who, in core, wore a bright pink dress that I got from a giant bug, some of the burning crusade random green drops were a major improvement

My paladin looked rad though. I still kinda miss my Judgement set and my Lieutenant Commander set

I definitely spent the majority of God of War not wearing the “best” armor because I didn’t like the look of anything that wasn’t just a single pauldron on one shoulder, haha. Had to give in during the last Valkyrie fight, though.

But yeah, it’s a tough thing to balance, between just wanting an exact look, and wanting the cool high level gear to look, well, like cool high level gear.

There needs to be a The World Ends With Youification of games where coordinating clothing gives stat bonuses


I’ve been dealing with this a bit lately while playing Injustice 2. The gear for your characters has specific looks and stats for each piece. Until recently, you could only actively change the look of gear by using the currency gained rarely through tutorials or leveling characters/your profile up, and you had to have a piece of gear with the look that you wanted. The price for doing this isn’t insignificant, either. With the “GotY” edition of the game recently released, they added a way to pay $10 for unlimited transformations. I have almost caved multiple times because fashion matters!

This is part of why I love Bloodborne so much. You can mix and match whatever to achieve cool look without ever looking at the stats.

Splatoon’s gear system is pointless trash and I dearly miss gear editing from Splatoon 1. It was the first time I’ve ever cheated in an online multiplayer game, but I felt absolutely no guilt about whatever tiny advantage it might have granted me. Being able to pick from an actual variety of clothes instead of the few pieces I was lucky enough to have suit my weapon made the game so much more fun. Really hoping someone cooks up a similar solution for Splatoon 2. :frowning:

A fun thing I did in Golden Sun was try and give my pals equipment that coordinated despite it not actually changing their look at all and just sat in their inventory

Alternatively, stats in games should be fashion based.

I’d play an RPG where it’s all about bravery, style, co-ordination and finesse.