Star Power is a game feature that appears in almost every Guitar Hero game.
In all games, the player can receive star power by hitting all notes that appear in the shape of stars, or by using the whammy bar on sustained notes within the star power phases. If all the star power notes are hit in the segment then the star power gauge will be filled up by 25%. If one note is missed, the star power notes will convert to standard notes, however, any star power extracted via the whammy bar will not be lost. To use it, the gauge must be filled to at least 50%, however, the higher the gauge is filled, the longer it will last before depletion. It can be activated by two ways. Either by titling the guitar vertically, or by pressing the select button.
Mechanically, star power can double the current Multiplier (1x - 2x, 2x - 4x, 3x - 6x, 4x - 8x), and can raise the rock meter faster than average. Strategically, it is best to use star power whenever a 4x multiplier is present, or if the player is in a difficult section of a song. In games prior to World Tour, if star power is activated any other star power notes won't appear, while in GHWT, if star power is used and the player hits the sequence, then the star power will be added into the star gauge.
On Stage/Visual Effects
In Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, and Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, activating star power caused player characters to perform crazy motions and actions with their guitars. For example, upon activating star power, Pandora vertically spins her guitar around her outstretched ankle; Johnny Napalm horizontally spins his guitar around his neck; Clive Winston performs windmill motions with his strumming arm; etc. In Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero Aerosmith, and Guitar Hero World Tour, and all Guitar Hero games that follow, activating star power causes lightning and special symbols to shoot from the neck of the characters' guitars, symbols that relate to the genre of music that character represents or the characters themselves. For example, Johnny Napalm's guitar shoots the "anarchy" symbol out of its neck representing the themes of rebellion in his particular genre, Punk Rock; and Midori's guitar shoots butterflies out of its neck representing Midori herself.
In all Guitar Hero games, activating star power causes pale blue flames to emit from the sides of the highway and all the notes turn pale blue.
While active, star power applies a reverb effect on guitar and bass, being much more noticeable on guitar. The reverb became less intense in World Tour and even less intense in Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero. Star power seems to have no audible effect in Warriors of Rock. In all games, star power throws the crowd into a frenzy of cheering.
Guitar Hero: World Tour
In Guitar Hero World Tour star power is used with the new microphone, and drumset. Star power is the same on a drumset as it is on a guitar. For star power to be used on a drumset, both cymbals have to be hit at the same time. Any notes missed while activating star power will be auto-played, and won't cause a multiplier loss. For a vocalist however star power can be obtained in other ways. While singing, a hype may appear. This appears as a group of the crowd's hands with the star power glow. Simply sing while in this section to obtain it. Also the player can hit star sequences that appear as standard notes but with the usual glow, or singing phrases perfectly and obtaining "solid" or "excellent" ratings will grant the player star power. To activate it on a mic either press the square button on the controller, tap the top of the mic, or blow a rush of air into the mic.
Guitar Hero 5
In Guitar Hero 5 star power is different on the microphone. Not all notes grant star power, and hypes aren't available anymore. Star power can only be gained by obtaining an excellent rating on a phrase which glows with energy.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
In Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock the same aspects apply from GH:5. Also in the new Quest Mode, the player can gain powers which affect star power. These powers can allow the player to attain more star power faster than normal, or the multiplier of star power can be increased. Another power can grant a small portion of star power for a ten note streak.
Guitar Hero Live
- Main article: GHTV#Hero Powers
So far, Guitar Hero Live is the only Guitar Hero game without Star Power. In Guitar Hero Live, Star Power is replaced with Hero Power. The standard Hero Power in the offline Live mode acts like Star Power but is accumulated differently than in other Guitar Hero games. In Guitar Hero Live, there is no meter to accumulate Hero Power, but rather, the player collects a Hero Power when he/she successfully clears a Hero Power section without breaking a combo. However, the whammy bar becomes useless as it doesn't accumulate additional Hero Power on long notes. When using Hero Power in the offline Live mode, Hero Power acts like Star Power, where multiplier is doubled, temporarily doubling the score, as well as increasing crowd appeal.
In GHTV mode of Guitar Hero Live, there are different types of Hero Powers that are unlocked at certain levels. However, each Hero Power in GHTV has limited use and can only be bought with in-game coins or Hero Cash. The default Hero Power in GHTV is Clear Highway, which destroys all notes currently on screen, and has infinite uses. Other Hero Powers (that have limited usage and must be purchased) include:
- Dial Up - Temporarily increases difficulty level but has no effect on Expert.
- Dial Down - Temporarily decreases difficulty level but has no effect on Casual.
- Double Multiplier - Temporarily doubles multiplier, just like Star Power.
- Safety Net - Temporarily protects your multiplier and note streak.
- Invincibility - Temporarily hits all notes, and missing notes do not register.
- Score Chaser - Temporarily raises multiplier cap by twice the amount.
Band Star Power
Star power differs slightly while playing in a band. In pre-GH5 games, Star Power is shared equally meaning anyone could trigger Star Power if there is any available. For larger scores, star power can be used simultaneously. This achieves an even greater band multiplier.
Similar to star power, another type of power-up exists in Guitar Hero: 5, and later games. This is the band moment. Band moments appear as fiery notes on the highway. Obtaining a band moment is the same as obtaining star power. Each member of the band must hit all notes in the sequence. Doing so will add a 3x to the band multiplier. If each member has a 4x multiplier, another 4 will be added, and another 4 for each having star power active thus achieving an 8x. All together the multiplier would be comprised of an 11x. In GH5 and Band Hero if any members make a mistake in the sequence a "Band Moment Failed" notification will appear on the screen. In GH6 if any members make a mistake in the sequence a large X appears over their respective highway.
Star Power Overload
Existing only in band play, there is an occurrence called star power overload. With this members of a band can achieve star power from one person. Unlike in earlier games, each person has their own star power meter. If one player has a full meter, and gains more, then the newly gained will be divided between the other members of the band, should they not have a full meter.
- In games newer than Guitar Hero III, Star Power can be obtained even when the user is in the middle of using their previous Star Power. This means that you can stack Star Power in a way that was never possible before on GH3.