Special Bar or Special Meter is a gameplay parameter which defines the ability of player to perform signature moves better known as Special Tricks.
By default current bar value is constantly decreasing. Every trick performed adds a small value to the meter. The more tricks were performed in combo, the higher value is added to the meter. Player is only able to perform special tricks when special bar reaches the top and starting to glow in gold. Classic Tony Hawk games only allowed to increase special bar on the end of combo, which allowed a limited amount of time to perform special tricks until special bar will fall to zero. Since THPS3 every trick performed in combo adds to special bar instantly, which means player can keep their combo full having constant chance to perform special tricks.
- The majority of Tony Hawk's games allows player can unlock cheat mode called "unlimited special". If it is turned on, special bar will always be full. Also, above the special bar would read "YOWZA!" in blue text.
- Early builds of the initial Tony Hawk's title also featured glow effect around the skater when special bar was full. This effect was popular in mid-90's video industry.
- Some sport games that borrowed THPS game mechanics use some type of special bar.