Created By: arbiter099 on May 2, 2013 Last Edited By: arbiter099 on May 23, 2013
Troped

Limited Loadout

The game places a restriction on how many weapons the player can carry at once

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Trope
AKA Two Gun Limit

Some games let the player carry an impossibly huge array of weapons, not these games. When this trope is in effect, the player character is stuck with just a certain fraction of the total amount of firepower in the game at any one time. If you want another option, you'll have to trade in one of your weapons to get ahold of it. Very popular in modern titles compared to the Hyperspace Arsenal days of DOOM. A popular modern variant will limit the player to just two main weapons at any time as popularized in Halo: Combat Evolved.

RPG games will sometimes allow the player to queue up a few preset selections of items from their inventory to be swapped through on the fly, for this, see Real Time Weapon Change. For RPGs where the player can't carry every single weapon in the game, but their bulging pack of death dealing devices still approaches Hyperspace Arsenal levels, see Inventory Management Puzzle. Frequently a cause of Throw-Away Guns.


Examples

Action RPG
  • In Digimon World 4, each character can set up to three equipped weapons at a time. If you want to use that shiny new sword you picked up from a defeated enemy, you'll have to go back to base and equip it at the Digi Lab. Justified in that this is the Digital World and the Digimon probably have to load the weapon data.

First-Person Shooter
  • BioShock handles this a little oddly:
    • In the first two games the player has a Hyperspace Arsenal as far as weapons go, but the player is limited to only a select number of plasmid powers at a time, with additional slots costing precious ADAM.
  • BioShock Infinite, however, decided to give Booker acess to every Vigor at once while guns were limited to just two at a time.
  • The Call of Duty franchise follows this, limiting the player to just any two guns and a few accessories at a time.
  • Duke Nukem Forever implemented this despite Duke Nukem 3D featuring a Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • Fire Warrior has the player able to use two weapons and the bonding knife, but one of those weapons (The standard-issue Pulse Gun) cannot be replaced, forcing the player to drop any good gun they find to get another one.
  • Halo is the Trope Codifier for modern shooters. For all their super strength and other perks of being Super Soldier Space Marines, Master Chief and NOBLE Six can still only carry the same amount of hardware as the Badass Normal ODSTs.
  • Left 4 Dead: You can carry one primary weapon (generally rifles and shotguns) from a selection, one secondary weapon (either a set of unlimited ammo duel pistols or a melee weapon or a Desert Eagle) and one equipment item of each type (only one thrown explosive such as a pipe bomb or a molatov, choosing between a medkit and a defibrillator, etc...)
  • Rise of the Triad: the player can hold at one time any number of the infinite-ammo bullet weapons (of which there are three: single pistol, dual pistols, and machine gun) and only one of the limited-ammo missile/magic weapons.

Stealth-Based Game
  • In Splinter Cell Conviction, Sam and the two co-op characters Archer and Kestrel are only able to carry one main weapon (a rifle or shotgun) and a pistol. Sam can carry every type of gadget at once but the co-op characters get just any two at a time.

Third-Person Shooter
  • In Transformers: Prelude to Energon, you could equip up to four Mini-cons at a time when going into a level, but only two of which (assigned to the R1 and R2 slots) were actual weapons. When you collect a new minicon you have the option to swap it in, but otherwise you have to exit the level and re-enter if you want to change your current set.
  • The first three entries in the Gears of War series give the player access to two primary weapons, a pistol, and grenades on a cross-shaped menu. The fourth game, Judgment, ditches this menu and implements the pistol as a separate weapon slot.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Every one of your troops gets a primary weapon (the type of which is determined by their class), a secondary weapon (a pistol, unless they're a heavy in which case they get a rocket launcher instead) and a slot for extra utility items like medkits or armor. Medics can unlock an extra utility slot once they reach a certain rank.

Survival Horror
  • Dead Space: Isaac can only equip 4 weapons at a time. The rest must be either kept within the safe (accessible from any of the Ishimura's store consoles) or sold to those stores to free up space.
  • In the Commodore 64 game Project Firestart, you can carry two laser rifles at a time, and there's no way to recharge or swap ammo. If you want to pick up a brand new rifle from the armory, you need to empty out one of the ones you're carrying.

Western RPG
  • Done oddly in Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect, being more of an RPG that happened to have guns in it than a shooter, had a standard RPG Hyperspace Arsenal inventory (hard-capped at 150 items.) However characters were limited to one of each weapon class equipped at a time, and were usually only proficient with a couple weapon classes.
    • Mass Effect 2 only allowed most characters to carry one copy of two weapon classes. Shepard got a heavy weapon as well and depending on his/her class might have additional weapons, and during a particular plot mission could either gain an additional slot or get an Infinity+1 Sword version of his/her primary weapon (for example, an Infiltrator could add the M-98 Widow Anti-Materiel Rifle to his/her sniper rifle selection).
    • Mass Effect 3 restricted Shepard's party members to two weapon classes out of five, but Shepard had access to all five slots. Using all five weapons made his/her powers recharge extremely slowly but nobody actively stopped you from doing it.
  • In The Witcher, you can only carry up to four weapons at a time: two Witcher swords (steel and silver), a short weapon (such as a dagger or a small axe), and a heavy weapon (e.g. a large axe or a morningstar). You cannot carry any weapons in your inventory at all.

Wide Open Sandbox
  • In Dead Rising 2, you are limited to carrying only a certain amount of items in your inventory, as well as certain items you can't keep in your inventory while equipping another item (like the chainsaw). Fortunately, as your level increases, so does the amount of items you could carry.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, CJ has twelve item slots, each of which corresponds to a particular category -- from melee weapons to shotguns to thrown weapons to gifts. It's more than one would expect a normal human being to be able to carry, but it does prevent situations like carrying both a rocket launcher and a flamethrower.
  • Red Dead Redemption: John Marston can only carry one of each type of weapon at a time. Weapons include pistols, shotguns, rifles, and thrown weapons such as fire bottles and dynamite.

Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • Rise Of The Triad follows the spirit if not the letter of the trope: the player can hold at one time any number of the infinite-ammo bullet weapons (of which there are three: single pistol, dual pistols, and machine gun) and only one of the limited-ammo missile/magic weapons.
  • May 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Agree with making the trope "specific number of weapon slots" rather than two guns specifically.
  • May 3, 2013
    MrRuano
    Fire Warrior has the player able to use two weapons and the bonding knife, but one of those weapons (The standard-issue Pulse Gun) cannot be replaced, forcing the player to drop any good gun they find to get another one.
  • May 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Western RPG:
    • Done oddly in Mass Effect:
      • Mass Effect 1 allowed all characters to carry one copy of all four weapon classes (there were dozens of variations with different characteristics), though depending on the character they were only proficient with (i.e. received powers applicable to) a minimum of two.
      • Mass Effect 2 only allowed most characters to carry one copy of two weapon classes. Shepard got a heavy weapon as well and depending on his/her class might have additional weapons, and during a particular plot mission could either gain an additional slot or get an Infinity Plus One Sword version of his/her primary weapon (for example, an Infiltrator could add the M-98 Widow Anti-Materiel Rifle to his/her sniper rifle selection).
      • Mass Effect 3 restricted Shepard's party members to two weapon classes out of five, but Shepard had access to all five slots. Using all five weapons made his/her powers recharge extremely slowly but nobody actively stopped you from doing it.
  • Survival Horror
    • In the Commodore 64 game Project Firestart, you can carry two laser rifles at a time, and there's no way to recharge or swap ammo. If you want to pick up a brand new rifle from the armory, you need to empty out one of the ones you're carrying.

    Action RPG
    • In Digimon World 4, each character can set up to three equipped weapons at a time. If you want to use that shiny new sword you picked up from a defeated enemy, you'll have to go back to base and equip it at the Digi Lab. Justified in that this is the Digital World and the Digimon probably have to load the weapon data.
  • May 3, 2013
    DracMonster
    Limited Load Out

    Fire Power Limiter (I know, I know, bad snowclone...)
  • May 3, 2013
    arbiter099
  • May 3, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Yeah, contrasts nicely with Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • May 3, 2013
    Koveras
    In tactical and action RPGs (e.g. Dragon Age Origins and Diablo II, respectively), this is usually done as part of a Real Time Weapon Change: you can carry as many weapons as you want in your inventory, but you can only switch between two sets of them rapidly.
  • May 3, 2013
    StarSword
    ^That one's also in Knights Of The Old Republic II, but not the first game.
  • May 3, 2013
    Stratadrake
    In the PS 2 game based on Transformers Armada, you could equip up to four Mini-cons at a time when going into a level, but only two of which (assigned to the R1 and R2 slots) were actual weapons. When you collect a new minicon you have the option to swap it in, but otherwise you have to exit the level and re-enter if you want to change your current set.
  • May 3, 2013
    MrTerrorFace
    In Dead Rising 2, you are limited to carrying only a certain amount of items in your inventory, as well as certain items you can't keep in your inventory while equiping another item (like the chainsaw). Fortunately, as your level increases, so does the amount of items you could carry.
  • May 3, 2013
    arbiter099
    Should Diablo go under Hack And Slash or Western RPG?

    and I'm a little warry in general about RP Gs that have an inventory screen for managing a huge number of weapons. The original idea here was "if I want a new gun, I have to drop the one I'm carrying."

    Dragon Age and KOTOR certainly don't follow that except for where Real Time Weapon Change is concerned (and I wouldn't know for Diablo). The description could use some work to help make it clear that this isn't quite "you can't carry every weapon in the game at once" because, to me at least, most RPG inventories practically are a Hyperspace Arsenal.

  • May 4, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ I don't think you should add RPG examples that are better covered under Real Time Weapon Change. My point was more that you should link to it from the trope description and explain how it is related to this. :)
  • May 4, 2013
    arbiter099
    How does the description work now?
  • May 4, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ Good.
  • May 4, 2013
    Koveras
    • In The Witcher, you can only carry up to four weapons at a time: two Witcher swords (steel and silver), a short weapon (such as a dagger or a small axe), and a heavy weapon (e.g. a large axe or a morningstar)--though only the Witcher swords are ever useful in combat. You cannot carry any weapons in your inventory at all.
    • A staple in the Assassins Creed series, where you are limited to carrying a wrist-blade, a large weapon (mostly swords), and a small weapon (daggers) at any time. In Assassins Creed II, Ezio can temporarily pick up an additional weapon from the ground but has to discard it when not using it anymore.
  • May 4, 2013
    arbiter099
    Not so sure about Assassins Creed. Isn't Altair just carrying everything at once and handed his stuff from his mentor as he unlocks it? As for the sequels, while technically there is a big variety of items, it's mostly cosmetic and subtle stat differences for a bunch of stuff filling one slot. You do have to go back to the safehouse to swap, but you're getting the same functionality with a different coat of paint. Plus he's carrying: a wrist blade, a gun built into said wristblade, a poison dart system also built into said wristblade, a sword, a dagger, smoke bombs, a crossbow, plus novelty stuff like throwing money or punching. Albeit justified since we can actually see him carrying all of this on his person.

    If it's going in, I think this caveat should be incorporated:

    Although due to the Sorting Algorithm Of Weapon Effectiveness and RPG Elements introduced since the sequel, you're probably just going to use either the latest and greatest or the secret Infinity Plus One Sword if you've unlocked it.
  • May 4, 2013
    Desmodus
    Probably worth noting that Halo pretty much started this in FPS games.
  • May 4, 2013
    arbiter099
    It's already noted in the description.
  • May 4, 2013
    StarSword
    Did a full cleanup of the draft (namespaces, formatting, Example Indentation).
  • May 4, 2013
    StarSword
    Oh, also:

    Turn Based Strategy:
    • XCOM Enemy Unknown limits your troops to two weapons and an inventory slot (Support troopers get an additional inventory slot at rank Major). The primary weapon is always a long arm (rifle, sniper rifle, shotgun, or machine gun) and the secondary is either a pistol or, if the trooper is a Heavy, a rocket launcher.
  • May 11, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, CJ has twelve item slots, each of which corresponds to a particular category -- from melee weapons to shotguns to thrown weapons to gifts. It's more than one would expect a normal human being to be able to carry, but it does prevent situations like carrying both a rocket launcher and a flamethrower.
  • May 14, 2013
    arbiter099
    Anyone know how the Hitman series handled 47's weapon set all the way through? I can only remember that it was the "one of each type" variety in 2 Silent Assassin.
  • May 23, 2013
    arbiter099
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ojn56ztbn9tskt3lz09zni5j&trope=LimitedLoadout