The 9 Best Trans Characters In Gaming

Video games are a creative and bold medium, often featuring colorful worlds and characters in long, exciting adventures that draw people in. The active, participatory nature of games allows us to play through experiences created and portrayed by many different perspectives.


Related: Games with non-binary character options

You can use marginalized characters in video games to help teach about often-overlooked aspects of others’ lives in an engaging way, while patching up misconceptions with relatable actions and stories. This list includes games with interesting and unique characters that portray trans perspectives in a positive light.

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9 Borderlands 3

A Borderlands collage showing trans mask hunter Lora wearing spiked armor and a green gradient mohawk, next to a non-binary FL4K robot wearing a puffer jacket and a large ammo canister.

The anarchic heist-shooter series has always had a diverse cast of colorful characters, but Borderlands 3 pushed the boundaries by introducing a playable non-binary robot seeking self-discovery and an NPC struggling with their gender identity.

Both characters were expertly handled in the game. FL4K was designed by a non-binary developer, and outside of dialogue, it has a non-binary representation in its design, showing a badge with computer binary crossed out. Lor first appears in the third game to reveal their closeted dysphoria. But in an unprecedented move for the medium, the Tales of The Borderlands sequel shows the payoff of queer character development across multiple titles by introducing a new trans type to the series.

8 Celeste

Promotional image from Celeta's soundtrack, showing the protagonist Madaline floating in a colorful night sky with shades of blue, pink and purple.

This personal journey about the uncertainty of acceptance and achievement touched the hearts of platform game fans in 2018. This seminal title won several awards and helped the game’s director, Maddy Thorson, come to terms with her own gender identity.

Trans confirmation comes in the form of the Farewell DLC, where a bottle of pills, an early photo of protagonist Madeline, and a trans flag can be seen in the final moments of the game. There was a lot of speculation when this content was originally released, as there are no definitive lines of dialogue to confirm the identity of the character. But the profound effect that Celeste’s ludonarrative journey had on the players would only have been possible with the inclusion of Madeline.

7 Tell me why

Tell me why the main character, Tyler, is looking at a peaceful background with a large lake, trees and a mountain, which shows the calm nature of the character.

Tell Me Why, created by Don’t Nod, developers of the Life is Strange series, was the first big-budget video game to feature a playable, openly trans protagonist. There’s a lot involved in this title, with advisors from LGBTQ+ charity GLAAD and trans voice actors working on this iconic title.

Related: Games To Play If You Like Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why focuses on the small details of life as a trans man. It’s pretty enlightening to watch Tyler use a binder and take testosterone as part of his daily routine. It’s interesting to see a realistically portrayed trans character who doesn’t face a constant uphill battle to achieve self-worth.

6 Guilty Gear: Strife

Happy Bridget from Guilty Gear, wearing a puffy blue hoodie, against the background of her home, Verdant, a forest with light and dark elements and a large tree house in the middle.

Fighting games host a surprising number of trans characters in their rosters; Street Fighter has Poison, Tekken has Leo, and King of Fighters has a lot of female players. But Guilty Gear’s Bridget has become a trans icon in the gaming world.

First introduced in 2002, Bridget was a stereotypical transdresser whose identity was often confused due to her comfortable and overprotective childhood. She insisted on correcting the other characters because she wanted to be seen as a strong, manly protector of her village. Bridget hasn’t appeared in the series for 20 years, but for the big return of this fan-favorite character in 2022, Arc System Works decided to explore the character’s self-identity issues with the help of the Master and close friends in a surprisingly sweet and wholesome story for the fighting game.

5 Monster Prom series

A collage of three Monsters' Prom characters, the dancing non-binary dark-skinned demon Oz, the fan-writing trans-purple squid girl Zoe, and the non-binary succubus-like monster, Sawyer, chilling with some music and books.

Among the three social role-playing games, Monster Prom introduced three playable trans characters, all of whom perfectly portray gender exploration and relationships at important turning points in life.

Both Oz from Prom (1) and Sawyer from Camp (2) and Road Trip (3) identify as non-binary. Oz tends to mask and uses multiple pronouns. They have a calming nature that helps others explore their insecurities. While Sawyer is a bit more of a loner, but also self-motivated and caring for others, their demeanor is that of someone who is confident in their decisions.Zoe from Prom and Camp goes through an arc of self-discovery, coming out the other side as a trans protagonist who overcomes insecurities aptly personified by a basement-dwelling kappa.

4 Apex Legends

Two Apex Legends characters standing next to each other with the logo in the background.  These characters are Catalyst, a transgender witch who performs magic with black goo, and Bloodhound, a non-binary hunter who uses his arm as a raven perch.

For a game that publisher EA had little faith in at first, Apex Legends has managed to overcome all odds and blossom into one of the most popular battle royale games on the market.

When this low-key title launched in 2020, players were introduced to non-binary hunter Bloodhound, whose tragic story revolves around a hard-to-impress father determined to raise his child with traditional values. In one last honest moment, after Bloodhound used outlandish thinking to save the lives of others, they finally felt validated and could take their own path in life.

Related: Apex Legends: The Complete Catalyst Guide

In season 15, the trans character Catalyst joined the roster. It was designed from the ground up with a proud identity in mind. Her story does not focus on the events leading up to the transition, which can often be multi-layered, personal and difficult to explain. Instead, it shows how a wayward, rebellious character can rise as his true self from the ashes of war.

3 2064: Read-only memories

A promo image from a read-only flashback featuring the non-binary blue robot Turing, the Furry Hybrid human rights lawyer Jess, the non-binary undercover agent TOMCAT, and one of the only heterosexual characters in the game, Lexi Rivers.

While the importance of nuanced trans characters cannot be understated, the inclusion of the entire trans community shows the social impact that embracing self-exploration can have on the world.

Read Only Memories has its cake and eats it too, with several developed non-binary and trans characters, including an adorable robot turned mascot for a queer gaming conference. But the entire premise of this point-and-click adventure revolves around the issue of transhumanism and how it managed to make the residents of Neo-San Francisco feel safe and comfortable. Somehow on top of all that, there’s the ability to input custom pronouns when characters refer to the player’s non-verbal input.

2 Undertale

Three non-binary Undertale characters are presented next to each other, with the player character in color on the far left and right sides of the screen, with the energetic Monster Kid and sad ghost Napstablook sandwiched in between.

One of Undertale’s most interesting qualities is its dedication to defying convention. From jokes that break the fourth wall and deconstruct the mechanics of the game, to the strikingly odd dialogue, Undertale seems to embrace a wide range of personalities with different identities.

The most obvious of these is the mute player-character Frisk (or Chara), who acts as a non-binary blank slate that allows everyone to experience the adventure from a fresh perspective. Other non-binary characters include Napstablooka, a cold spirit who takes the player on a psychedelic musical adventure, and Monster Kid, a clumsy but good-hearted superfan of the warrior Undyne. Mad Mew Mew is a Switch-exclusive trans character that the shapeshifting Mad Dummy transforms into after finding their perfect body.

1 Paper Mario: Millennium Gate

Trans ghost girl Vivian brings her drag-like aesthetic to an audience of toads, goombs and koops on stage.

Eastern-developed games were noticeably missing from this list, as many attempts to introduce transgender people from across the pond end up being weird. But it’s important to note when they hit the mark too, and ghost girl Vivian is a very interesting case study.

The unique thing about this case is that regional differences dictate the amount of trans content shown in Vivian’s story where she resists the transphobia of her siblings. This ranges from the Italian language version, which uses pride to dispel the argument, to the American edition, where all references to the passage are cut out. However, most copies sold in Japanese and English-speaking European regions present this scene as a sad backstory where she once felt rejected by her peers, but finds herself happier and more comfortable during the adventure.

Next: League of Legends: Best LGBTQIA+ Champions and Relationships

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