Customization screen from Gradius IV.

The Power Meter (also known as Weapon Status Gauge[1] or Power-Up Gauge[2]) is an iconic gameplay mechanic present in all games that conform the Gradius series and many of its spinoffs.


It is a menu bar that usually appears at the bottom of the screen during gameplay from which the player can activate any of the available power-ups displayed on it. This can be done by collecting the proper amount of Power Capsules required to highlight the desired enhancement and then pressing a dedicated button to start using it.


Some games allow the customization of the Power Meter to fit the player's personal offensive and defensive preferences.

In games where there are diverse playable fighters to choose from, generally each one has its own Power Meter with that ship's own set of weaponry.

Layouts and variations

See also


  1. Gradius III (SNES) instruction booklet, page 9.
  2. Gradius: The Interstellar Assault instruction booklet, page 12.
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