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->''"...While this may not be the case of every 3D game out there, the overwhelming majority feel the need to equip you with an axe, a chainsaw, a cleaver, a dagger, a @!#%'n tuba, I don't care. All these games give you a '''something''' when you're out of ammo. I don't know why. Whatever happened to being a p***y and kicking dirt like I do?"''
-->-- Reason #1 as to why 3D games are not like real life, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kp_CkH5AKM 3D Games - Realistic My Ass.]]''

The problem with having BreakableWeapons (or non-BottomlessMagazines) is that, if you run out of weapons, the game becomes practically {{Unwinnable}}. To work around this, many developers are nice enough to give you a weapon with unlimited ammo to use in case of emergencies. It may not be as flashy or powerful as your main arsenal, but it's there when you need to get out of a jam.

Often, this weapon is your bare hands, because if you "run out" of ''bare hands'', you probably have a ''lot'' more trouble on your, um, hands already than your limited weapons.

In FirstPersonShooter games, this weapon might be a melee weapon which, in many cases, is so dangerous to use and/or uselessly weak that it isn't much better than nothing. Other shooting games give you a [[RangedEmergencyWeapon small (equally weak) gun]] with infinite ammo.

Some stock emergency weapons are:

* Tools, such as a [[VideoGame/HalfLife crowbar]] or [[VideoGame/BioShock1 wrench]]. Lead pipes are also popular.
* Sports equipment, particularly [[BatterUp baseball bats]] or {{golf club|bing}}s.
* The GoodOldFisticuffs (occasionally replaced by kicking)
* {{Kni|feNut}}ves, or if you're really lucky, a CoolSword.
* {{Chainsaw|Good}}s, on occasions where they have unlimited fuel, though these often tend to be quite useful beyond just being an Emergency Weapon.
* [[RangedEmergencyWeapon A weak sidearm]], either with infinite ammo or the ability to fire [[VendorTrash random litter]].

Note that many FPS / RPG games have skills devoted to these weapons alongside the other ones, giving as much utility ([[GameBreaker and sometimes more]]) as the ammo-consuming sort.

Normally emergency weapons are the province of a ranged fighter or a melee fighter with breakable weapons. However, a few melee fighters like to keep their options for ranged combat open just in case they find themselves at the wrong range, leading to the RangedEmergencyWeapon.

Some players like using the emergency weapon as their main form of attack because of the added humiliation of CherryTapping opponents with it. Some games even award achievements for it.

This can be averted with BossArenaRecovery, allowing the player to restock their weapons/ammunition midbattle.

Not to be confused with HiddenWeapons, although they may overlap.


[[folder:First-Person Shooter]]
* Many FirstPersonShooter games, at least those before QuickMelee became popular, have a unique melee weapon - often a [[ImprovisedWeapon random object]] that the protagonist uses like a club - which becomes iconic for the series, such as the crowbar from ''VideoGame/HalfLife''
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' actually includes two melee weapons: plain old fists, and a powerful {{chainsaw|Good}}. It also includes [[QuadDamage Berserk Packs]] which make your punches ten times stronger, enough to [[LudicrousGibs instantly gib]] smaller enemies.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}''
** Also has fists, with a similar berserker powerup as the original. In addition to killing enemies instantly, it also slows down time and made you invincible. Of course, it was only available twice in the ''entire game'', and it was accompanied by some rather disturbing screaming.
** ''Doom 3'' also adds the flashlight, which deals twice as much damage as the fists and actually [[WhoForgotTheLights lets you see what you're doing]], but swings twice as slowly (and, in the PC version, has shorter range). ''Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil'' adds the Grabber, which can be used to grab barrels, crates, and even most enemy projectiles and fire them back at the sender, and in addition its Soul Cube analogue gives the same bonuses as the above-mentioned power-up from the base game, depending on how many of the Hunters you've killed.
* The pistol takes this role in ''VideoGame/{{Doom 2016}}''. Unlike the other pistols in the series, it has infinite ammo, and can be charged to do more damage, but it's not very powerful compared to everything else in your arsenal.
* ''VideoGame/ChexQuest'', based on the Doom engine, has the "Boot Spoon", which can do some Zorch damage to enemies when used. Being a game about cereal, it makes sense... kinda.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Marathon}}'', you have your fists (one per mouse button) to rely on. Interestingly, by giving yourself a running start, you can do increased damage and take out weaker enemies with surprising speed; it's kind of funny to repeatedly berserker-charge an alien soldier and punch him in the face, and funnier when it makes pretty short work of the guy.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}}'', each of the classes has a different infinite-ammo starting weapon. The Fighter's fists are actually quite potent (they even have a combo attack), but the Cleric's mace is a joke. The Mage is unique because his Sapphire Wand is [[RangedEmergencyWeapon a ranged weapon]] - it fires extremely fast shots that pierce enemies, quite fast and with deadly precision. Technically it does less damage than any other attack in the game, but it fires quickly and in many cases (mainly crowd control) it is more useful than his spells. All of the starting weapons share one important quality: they can't be bounced back at you. One common mook species and some bosses have shields which can reflect missiles, but the none of the above weapons can be reflected.
* ''VideoGame/RainbowSix: Lockdown'' and the ''Vegas'' games feature pistols with infinite magazines (although limited shots per magazines), but considering the fact that in ''Vegas'' you can carry two 'primary' weapons with upwards of ''ten'' full magazines for each, there's really no excuse for running out of ammo (unless you [[CripplingOverspecialization over-specialize]] one of them). Though it does make you look much more badass.
* ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonorAirborne'' and the 2010 reboot do the same. Warfighter extends this to the entire secondary slot, which now includes shotguns and submachine guns. It also lets you stomp on enemies during your parachute descent, making you lethal before your feet even touch the ground. ''VideoGame/{{Section 8}}'', which has all players drop in from orbit when they spawn, does much the same.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife'':
** The series has the crowbar for every game except for ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' expansion ''Opposing Force'', which gives you a slower but more powerful pipe wrench, and later a combat knife that works just like the crowbar.
** ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' also has the Gravity Gun, which has infinite uses and [[WreakingHavok can turn any loose object in the environment into a lethal projectile]], from boxes, oil drums, old tires, and iron stakes to giant buzzsaw blades, exploding barrels, enemy grenades, and [[AttackDrone Manhacks]]. Quite a fun weapon! Buzzsaw blades are particularly useful for bisecting crowds of zombies with one attack. You still have your trusty crowbar but it will be mostly relegated to just killing pesky headcrabs (especially the Poison and Fast variants) in a single hit.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' has the inventive solution of letting you [[PistolWhipping use your guns as melee weapons]]; a melee attack dealt to a sleeping or unaware enemy is a OneHitKill.
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' introduce weapons that only function in melee (specifically, an [[LaserBlade energy sword]] and a [[DropTheHammer gravity hammer]]), but they have limited energy. Both are still usable as blunt objects once they run out, but the sword is no longer a near-instant kill and the hammer loses both its power and knock-back ability.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Darkwatch}}'', ''every'' weapon had some bladed or spiked component to allow it to be used in melee. For those few situations where a bayonet will not do, [[http://forum.pafoa.org/gun-pictures-24/10037-cz-75-sp-01-tactical.html breech teeth]].
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997'', Bond can deliver a swift karate chop to take down enemies if he ran out of ammo. A karate chop to the back of the neck is more powerful than any other single attack in the game, with the exception of the [[OneHitKill Golden Gun]] of course.
* ''VideoGame/GoldeneyeRogueAgent'', the player is provided with a pistol with infinite ammunition, in addition to a few of the lethal uses for your [[MagicTool golden]] {{e|lectronicEyes}}ye.
* Some newer games are providing very useful backup melee attacks. ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'', the ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' series and later ''Call of Duty'' games feature a knife that is an instant kill, and ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'' not only has pistol whips and rifle butts but also jump and slide kicks that are instant kills.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'', the emergency weapon is the titular Painkiller. It's actually quite useful -- its rapid-fire melee hits can keep an enemy from attacking, and its ranged secondary is powerful enough to kill most weaker enemies in one hit on Normal difficulty... and you can also fire it at a wall to create an unstoppable laser to fry your enemies by keeping the Painkiller pointed at the "hook". Its "combo" attack (launching the blade extended and spinning at low speed) has even higher damage and pierces shields and armor, though it's too slow for anything but sniping. The Painkiller's also the preferred weapon for corpse juggling, which can shake gems out of defeated enemies to give you some extra gold.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has a different melee weapon for every single class - A [[BatterUp baseball bat]] for the Scout, an [[ShovelStrike entrenchment shovel]] for the Soldier, a [[PercussiveMaintenance wrench]] for the Engineer, a ButterflyKnife for the Spy, a {{Kukri|sAreKool}} for the Sniper, a bonesaw for the Medic, a [[GrievousBottleyHarm whiskey bottle]] for the Demoman, a [[AnAxeToGrind fire axe]] for the Pyro, and [[GoodOldFisticuffs bare fists]] for the Heavy. The 'unlockables' added in subsequent patches provide alternative melee weaponry on top of these.
* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' had Duke's Mighty Foot, which was, oddly enough, more powerful than the pistol. In fact, in the original version of the game, it was possible to set your weapon to kick and use both that and the quick-kick button ''at the same time'', [[GoodBadBugs giving the impression of dropkicking the enemy several times in succession or doing]] ThatRussianSquatDance (dealing great damage in the meantime). If you do the same [[LiterallyShatteredLives while auto-kicking a frozen enemy]], you can get ''three legs on screen''!
* ''VideoGame/SeriousSam''
** The original game starts the player off with an [[LethalJokeWeapon incredibly powerful knife]] and a rather less powerful [[BottomlessMagazines infinite-ammo revolver]].
** ''Second Encounter'' adds a chainsaw to the mix - though it has to be acquired first, it's often one of the first three weapons you find in each time period.
** ''2'', in addition to the chainsaw and [[GunsAkimbo dual revolvers]], has the Zap Gun.
** ''BFE'' gives Sam a sledgehammer and a [[CoolGuns Desert Eagle]] that has inherited the old revolvers' infinite ammo.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: {{VideoGame/Dark Forces|Saga}}'' has a fist you can fall back on. At one point you're expected to kill a big angry lizard called a Kell Dragon or two with it. Its sequel, ''Jedi Knight'', starts with your fists as a backup... and then you get the lightsaber, which never needs recharging and is probably the most useful and powerful weapon in the game bar none. Incidentally, in ''Jedi Knight'', the only things that can hurt the lone Kell Dragon you can encounter are explosives and the lightsaber--energy weapon shots ''bounce off'' its skin. In the expansion pack, ''Mysteries of the Sith'', you start with the lightsaber. The sequel to that, ''Jedi Outcast'', has you starting out with a stun baton (cattle prod) as a backup weapon, which is actually useful against certain types of enemies, and then you get the lightsaber and never look back. Finally, the sequel to that, ''Jedi Academy'', once again has you with a lightsaber from the beginning. In one mission, however, it's taken away from you and you have to kill the guy who imprisoned you to get it back.
* The difference between ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' and most first-person perspective shooters is readily apparent in its "backup weapons"--the infinite-ammunition close-combat weapons remain at least marginally useful to the end of the game. This is especially after completing the mission for one of the Triads--you get a melee nanotech light saber.
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' gives you takedowns, with a twist: you have to have at least one full energy cell to use a takedown, meaning there are times when you don't have the energy to take out an opponent. However, your ''last'' energy cell doubles as an emergency energy cell: it takes 40 seconds to reach a full charge after emptying it (upgradable to 20 seconds), meaning that with enough patience, you can punch or stab everyone in the game (except for three of the bosses) without worrying about recharging your batteries.
* In ''VideoGame/UnrealI'', the basic weapon automatically recharges itself over time and can be upgraded over the course of the game into a pretty devastating (though slow) weapon.
* The ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament''
** The Impact Hammer, a pneumatic weapon that can deal devastating close-range damage, be used to RocketJump, and if you're really good, deflect certain projectiles.
** The Translocator, meant for quickly escaping from certain death or getting around to otherwise-unreachable areas, can also be used as an emergency weapon if the need arises, since you can TeleFrag anyone with it. Since you instead kill yourself when attempting to teleport to a disc that's been shot, though, it's more dangerous to try.
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'' replaces the Impact Hammer with a Shield Gun that is basically the same thing, but with alternate fire changed to a shield with 100 health that recharges when not active.
* ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' provides the blaster, which fires fairly slow and weak energy projectiles at a fairly slow pace. At least it has unlimited ammo.
* ''VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena'' had the gauntlet. It was the only melee weapon in the game, but it does deal a fair amount of damage by the standards of emergency weapons and was unlimited use. The game would keep track of how many gauntlet kills you'd racked up in a match, and the announcer would call "Humiliation" every time you pulled one off.
* Unlike most FPS games, ''VideoGame/BioShock1'''s wrench is arguably the most useful weapon in the game. With the proper upgrades, it allows you to effortlessly kill Big Daddies as well. Using the "Wrench Lurker" Gene Tonics with both Electro Bolt and Insect Swarm give Jack a huge boost (150% or 200%) against stunned Splicers[[note]]Insect Swarm becomes slightly more useful in the long run with the "Electric Flesh" Splicers being introduced in later levels[[/note]] along with the boost from "Wrench Jockey" (350% or 550%).
* In ''VideoGame/BioShock2'', your Drill can be ludicrously useful. With the right Gene Tonics and all upgrades, you can drain health, freeze enemies, and even reflect projectiles with your drill... but unlike the melee option in the first game, it requires fuel. Played straight with each weapon's pistol whipping functionality, a quick melee strike that can be performed with any weapon minus the Research Camera.
* The first weapon you find in ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' is a lead pipe which requires no ammo to crush enemies' skulls. In ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'', you can find a wrench which needs no ammo and can be very deadly with proper upgrades. You can also change to laser rapier or alien crystal if you want, which similarly require no ammo but need investing experience points into proper weapon skills.
* ''VideoGame/Prey2006'' gives you both a pipe wrench and an alien hybrid machine gun/sniper rifle that can slowly recharge one clip worth of ammo when you run out.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando'' has melee attacks associated with every weapon via the melee quick-hit button. The default Commando-issue [[SwissArmyWeapon Swiss Army Rifle]] includes a deadly strike with the [[BladeBelowTheShoulder retractable blade in the left glove]], while other weapons resort to [[PistolWhipping beaning your enemies with them]]. The actual emergency weapon slot is the [=DC-15s=] pistol that you fall back on if you manage to run out of ammo for ''all'' your weapons. It has infinite ammo, a recharge time, and about zero usefulness other than saving ammo. Actually PistolWhipping with said pistol is the weakest melee attack in the game (which wouldn't be so bad, except you can't switch to an empty weapon should you want to melee with that one instead); the console versions won't even let you use it if you've picked up something besides the aforementioned rifle until you're totally out of ammo for it.
* The starting weapon in ''VideoGame/FarCry2'' is an enormous machete the BigBad slammed into the wall just above your head. Any attack from stealth with it will either kill or critically wound the target, but they'll usually shout and give away your position before they die.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' definitely goes the route of "iconic weapon" for its machete - it's used for everything from stealthily picking off bad guys to skinning animals for their hides, with a few upgrades making it deadly on par with your actual guns in solo engagements or even against small groups of enemies. Some loading screens even mention that Jason is famous throughout the islands for his use of the machete, encouraging you to live up to the legends as much as you can. Of course, you can also upgrade to [[KatanasAreJustBetter an even better, sixty-year-old Japanese tanto.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'' allows you to use your fists as melee weapons in addition to a PistolWhipping quick-hit button. While this may sound fairly unimpressive, remember that the PlayerCharacter is clad in PoweredArmor and can punch holes in brick walls. As a result, your fists wind up being one of the most lethal weapons in the game; a single punch in Strength Mode is a OneHitKill to everything except bosses. In Strength Mode, you can also throw barrels/crates, debris, and even [[GrievousHarmWithABody enemy Mooks at each other]] as your Emergency Weapon.
* ''Crysis 2'' does away with having fists in a melee weapon slot, but combines more functions into the quick-hit button. Tapping it deals a regular punch, holding it down launches a Strength Mode kick (Strength Mode is no longer a separate suit mode), and pressing it while behind an enemy deals an instant-kill {{Backstab}}.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' had the silenced Falcon pistol. However, its status as an emergency weapon varies across the game; early on if you can consistently nail [[BoomHeadshot headshots]] it's the most useful weapon you could possibly have, but later on when you're up against multiple armored foes at a time (or in multiplayer), it falls purely into this trope.
* ''[[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Tron 2.0]]'' gives you, in addition to the iconic Disc weapon, three other base weapons and a number of modifiers for all four weapons. However, using a modifier or a different weapon consumes energy, which is also used for tasks like recovering files from storage bins, so you'll find yourself using the unmodified Disc through most of the game. (It helps that it's a solid all-around weapon, as well as a defense against other Disc attacks.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}}'' gives you a wooden staff you can poke enemies with and the much more useful ''Gauntlets of the Necromancer'' which can electrocute enemies at close range. The latter is especially useful when combined with a Tome of Power, as the gauntlets will heal you for the damage you deal.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' has a pistol as your backup weapon that has unlimited ammo and it's the only weapon that you can use if you are downed. Grabbing a second pistol gives you GunsAkimbo.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'': You can trade both pistols for a melee weapon or HandCannon, both of which kill regular zombies in one hit. However, if you're downed and you have a melee weapon instead of either pistol type, [[HyperspaceArsenal the default pistol replaces your melee weapon until you're helped up]].
* In ''VideoGame/AlienTrilogy'', when all out of ammo, your pistol will still be able to fire, but you have to reload between each shot. It's like you have an infinite number of one-bullet magazines.
* In ''VideoGame/BlakeStone: Aliens of Gold'' you start off with the Auto Charge Pistol. It's very weak and can only fire one shot at a time, but it automatically recharges (giving effectively infinite ammo) and has stealth capability (firing it does not alert other enemies).
* ''VideoGame/{{Singularity}}'' starts you off with the knife, which is almost useless and truly only for desperation or self-imposed challenge. It's shortly replaced with the Time Manipulation Device, which has the Impulse attack, a burst of force that does a lot more damage than the knife, and can hit multiple enemies. However, the Impulse chews up a not-insignificant chunk of the [=TMD's=] energy bar, especially early on, and you can only carry a limited number of energy charge vials at a time. If you're out, it has to recharge - slowly.
* ''VideoGame/NosferatuTheWrathOfMalachi'': The Cane Sword, the weakest weapon in the game. Once you get enough ammo, you're going to be using guns as much as possible, but the Sword still comes in handy if you're running low, the enemy is too close or weak enough that you don't want to waste bullets on them, or it's taking too long to reload.
* In the original ''Videogame/PlanetSide'', the various empire-flavored knives are emergency weapons carried in every loadout bar the MAX PoweredArmor. The knife is pretty pathetic, dealing very little damage with poor range unless the secondary powered mode (i.e. revving up the [[ChainsawGood Chainblade]]) is activated, which still requires at least two stabs to kill. Pistols were ''intended'' to be this but are never used by anyone other than [[SpyCatsuit infiltrators]], as the HealingShiv and MagicTool are more useful and take up the same sidearm holster.
* In the ''VideoGame/ShadowWarrior2013'' reboot, Lo Wang's WeaponOfChoice is his favourite katana. Rather than simply being something you pull out as a last resort when you run out of ammo, the katana makes for a very potent primary weapon as it can be upgraded to deal more damage and is also capable of powerful KiAttacks as Lo Wang grows in strength. There's a more powerful demon-slaying katana, the [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement Nobitsura Kage]], up for grabs too.
** The sequel has the Eternal Infinitor - infinite ammo uzi, but you can only customize it with the weakest grade of weapon mods. And of all the melee items in the game (and there are a lot), the Arm of Orochi is the only one with free-use Force Slash attacks, making it indispensable for close-quarters combat with enemies that dodged your bullets until you ran out.
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAYTheHeist'' has a melee function that lets you whip enemies with the butt of your gun, though it will do very little damage unless the enemy is not armored. The sequel introduces proper melee weapons and when charged up, can do quite a bit of damage. This makes it quite handy to have until you can get some more ammo again.
* You start ''VideoGame/EightBitKiller'' equipped with a handgun which has quite a piddling rate of fire and deals only 1 point of damage per bullet, but doesn't consume your UniversalAmmunition. It still remains useful for dealing with enemies that fall in a few shots.

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/BloodRayne 2'' gives you the Carpathian Dragons, handguns fueled by blood. If they run out of ammo, Rayne can use her own blood instead.
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' has limited ammunition available for guns (even though there are only two ammo types overall), and some later bosses are resistant to them. This isn't much of a problem, though, as the hand-to-hand fighting is typically the focus of combat, anyway.
* On the two easier modes of the ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}'' games, Mama's Boy and Weekend Warrior, your starting weapon has infinite ammunition. Outside of those difficulty levels...well, don't run out of ammo, is all I'll say.
* The wrench from ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'' not only has unlimited uses but boomerangs when thrown and when properly upgraded is described as the most deadly weapon in the galaxy.
* The ''Franchise/TombRaider'' series has Lara with her default dual Pistols that have unlimited ammo, which is used mainly as a backup weapon halfway through the game once you collect other guns and ammo. It's the weakest weapon.
* In ''VideoGame/PsiOpsTheMindgateConspiracy'', you have your silenced pistol with rare ammunition (since no enemy really carries one) and a larger gun. Since it usually takes about a clip, per enemy thankfully you have {{Telekinesis}} as back-up or your main weapon. If you run out of psi energy, you'll still have GoodOldFisticuffs.
* The first ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter'' had the Air Taser, which uses no ammo, had long range, counted as a silent weapon (unless the enemy starts screaming when they get lit on fire), and is pretty much an instant kill if it latches on any part of the enemy's body. The developers seem to have realized how they've made the Emergency Weapon too damn useful, so they changed it to a combat knife in later games. [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks And killed all the fun.]]
** ...Though they did include it as an [[InfinityPlusOneSword unlockable weapon]] in at least one of the later games. One of the rare cases of a weapon appearing on BOTH ends of the spectrum. Oh, and the by the way: "long range" means technically ''infinite''. The game is also nice enough to tell you when you're aiming at someone's head, so that street with a bunch of snipers just waiting for you to walk down becomes trivial when you realize you can sit far beyond their engagement range and fiddle with your aiming until you ''light them on fire''.
* In ''VideoGame/JetForceGemini'', your basic weapon is the Jet Force pistol. It's weak, can only be fired 5 or so times before needing to pause, and has limited ammo. But if you run out, it can still fire an infinite supply of emergency pellets, which are even weaker.
* ''VideoGame/BinaryDomain'' gives you the infinite-ammo sidearm - a simple semi-auto pistol. It's fairly useful even when other guns are available - if you're only facing a few standard mooks, downing them with a few pistol headshots lets you save up ammo for the big guns. And if you haven't upgraded the assault rifle's precision, and don't have a sniper weapon as your secondary, the pistol is also the most precise weapon at your disposal.
* ''VideoGame/MetalArmsGlitchInTheSystem''. The starting weapon is the recharging "mining laser", and even fully upgraded, it's only slightly better than useless. And even that's better than Glitch's weak Melee.
* In the first ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'', Max starts off with a pipe as his emergency weapon, which quickly gets upgraded to a [[BatterUp baseball bat]]. One level forces you to sneak around with nothing but the bat until you find some weapons. Through the Captain Baseball Bat Boy running theme, the bat is probably the most celebrated weapon in the series's story.
* The Snub Pistol from ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' is rather bad, unless you're skillful enough to fire all shots into an enemy to down them. Because of that, it's rather impractical to use unless you swap it for [[RevolversAreJustBetter Boltok]]. Also, your main gun has a built-in {{chainsaw|Good}} ''{{bayonet|Ya}}'' for anyone who gets too close.
* In ''VideoGame/{{MDK}}'', Kurt's sniper helmet has an infinite supply of basic bullets you can use if you run out of other ammo, which is mostly situational anyway. Max in ''VideoGame/MDK2'' similarly has a single handgun with BottomlessMagazines which he can fall back on if he somehow runs out of all ThrowAwayGuns.

* The ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'' series gave you both options. You start with an infinite-ammo pistol which is temporarily replaced when you gain heavier weapons such as machine guns and [[MemeticMutation rawkit lawnchairs]], and you also have a knife to kill enemies in close quarters without wasting ammo. Well, knives, hatchets, tonfas, kicks, throws, the [[PowerFist Vulcan Punch]], and a spring-loaded boxing glove hidden in your backpack, depending on the game and character. The easy mode for the 6th game make your emergency weapon a Heavy Machine Gun (and if you play as the character that starts with a HMG in normal, you get a {{BFG}}).
* In ''VideoGame/SilhouetteMirage'', all of your attacks require Spirit. IF you run out of Spirit, your equipped parasite will be consumed to regain 100 points. If it was your last parasite, you will be given a Sloth (basic shot) parasite as well - however, this only happens ''once''; run out of spirit with just a Sloth left and you're screwed. This is considerably more annoying in the American version, where Spirit is your ManaMeter, than in the Japanese, where Spirit was only drained by enemy attacks. Although they ''did'' grant a mercy that when you were stuck with the Sloth, you never lost it.
* The arcade game ''Narc'' switched you from automatic fire to semiautomatic if you ran out of ammo, cutting your firing speed in half.
* The ''VideoGame/JazzJackrabbit'' series first ammo is the Blaster, weak bullets that never are used up and are useful until you find better ammo. Although getting some rapid fire Power-ups make them very good weapons on their own.
* Similarly, ''Abuse'''s base weapon, a simple repeating laser rifle, uses ammo to increase its firing rate (up to several hundred units) rather than to shoot at all. If its ammo falls to zero, it just shoots less quickly.
* Later iterations of the ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' series had special cores that allowed up to two back-up weapons to be stored inside, for use when the main weapon ran out of ammo or got destroyed. However, the back up weapons were limited by size, so you could then only really use a small pistol or laser blade. Worked well for players that rely mainly on ammo based weapons during missions with a ton of GoddamnedBats.
* The console ports of ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' offer a "Prototype Mode" in which you have limited shots. If you use up those shots, you switch out for weaker shots that are only effective at point blank.
* ''Punisher'', 2005 game has 'Instant Kills'. Grab an enemy, horribly dispose of them and take their guns. Sometimes with a knife to the face. Oddly, face/knife is possible early on in the Ryker's Prison section. Someone forgot to search Frank.
* You have a kick in ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', but your [[RPGElements strength stat]] must be upgraded enough for it to be useful. Due to this, the [[ShortRangeShotgun shotgun]] (which has infinite ammo) fills the Emergency Weapon role. It's essentially the only weapon you have access to on [[HarderThanHard Ultimortal]] difficulty.

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* ''VideoGame/MediEvil'' featured a skeletal protagonist. If all his weapons were taken, he'd detach his left arm and wield it as a club with his right.
** It can also be used as a boomerang.
* Samus' Power Beam was quickly obsoleted in many a ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' game, especially the ''[[VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy Primes]]'', as you got upgrades. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'', the Luminoth beam weapons required energy sources alien to Samus' Power Suit, thus turning the Power Beam into the Emergency Weapon. Of course, the three Luminoth weapons can still fire without ammo by charging a shot, thus keeping Samus from being locked out of any doors. Ammo is required for those three weapons to regain full functionality, however.
** Samus also had a literal Emergency Pistol in ''[[VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission Zero Mission]]'' that she uses during the UnexpectedGameplayChange stealth sequence during which she's lost her power suit. It's only able to stun enemies, and for exceptionally short periods at that; Samus herself [[LampshadeHanging hangs a giant lampshade]] on its ineffectiveness in a cutscene.
--->"All I had for protection was my rather useless emergency pistol..."
*** You'd think she would be better suited to just [[PistolWhipping bash the Pirates over the head with the silly thing]]. Apparently she came to the same conclusion herself by the time of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl.''
** In the original ''VideoGame/{{Metroid|1}}'', all of the bosses could be harmed with your regular beam in case you ran out of missiles (with the exception of Metroids, but they always gave you missiles when you killed them). In fact, Kraid [[spoiler:is particularly weak against ''morph ball bombs'']]. The later games are able to mix it up thanks to the Charge Beam power-up; bosses take no damage from uncharged beam shots, while charged shots are just as strong as missiles but take a second or two to actually charge up.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' gives Link infinite bombs. They're quite powerful, but you can only use one at a time, and there's a relatively long cooldown after each use.

* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', if your weapons get broken or you get disarmed, you can still punch stuff.
** More keeping in spirit with this trope, there are also wands. As the pure caster classes (mage, priest, warlock) are never supposed to go into melee range, they are instead allowed to wield these StatSticks that are limited to basic ranged attacks but never run out of juice. These wands actually have the highest listed damage of any weapons in the game (often exceeding the damage of big two-handed weapons by significant amounts), but they fail to scale with any stats whatsoever which puts their actual output in the trivial range.
** And then there are [[VendorTrash grey weapons]]. Some classes (like rogues) rely on having a certain kind of weapon. If the raid's having a bad night, or the player is just out of it, their weapon can break, and then they can't use those special "must have an X equipped" abilities. In these times of desperation, a grey dagger can be better than having nothing. Note that you may encounter approximately one or two of these moments in your entire [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft WoW]] career.
** As of ''Mists of Pandaria'', the Priest has Power Word: Solace, which does the same amount of damage as staple damage spell Smite and restores a fraction of your mana bar. However, it doesn't get any of the damage bonuses that Smite normally gets, such as from Talents or Passive Skills, so it's still only worth using when you don't have the mana for real damage spells.
* All ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' characters have the "Brawl" power which costs no endurance to use and deals low damage. It's mostly just used at low levels as a filler attack but some Brutes use it even into the mid-levels to help them generate/maintain Fury before they have an optimized attack chain.

* ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' always starts with his basic Mega Buster, and it never has finite ammo. If you run out of the weapon a boss is [[ElementalRockPaperScissors weak against]], the buster can help you finish the fight. In fact, completing the entire game with only the buster is possible (save for at least one puzzle per game, but those only appear in Dr. Wily's fortresses), and it isn't too much more difficult than the regular NintendoHard game. The UpdatedRerelease, ''Mega Man: Powered Up!'', even ''encourages'' you to kill bosses using only the Mega Buster, allowing you to play though the entire game as that boss.
** Note that the Mega Buster actually becomes ''more'' useful than some boss weapons in later games, once the [[ChargedAttack charge-shot ability]] was introduced in ''VideoGame/MegaMan4''.
* ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' gives you the Vorpal Blade, a kitchen knife that can be used as a melee weapon or thrown, after which it will reappear in your hand several seconds later. It is the only weapon that uses no Willpower for either attack.
* ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim'' has a blaster with lots of types of ammo, all of which are limited. The plain ammo is finite but refills itself slowly when low.

[[folder:Role-Playing Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/DarkCloud'', one of your weapons is blessed to never break no matter how much it is used. Instead of disappearing when its durability runs out, it loses all its upgrades and reverts to the weakest weapon in the game. Which, like losing a full power weapon, is a gut punch.
* ''VideoGame/SummonNight: Swordcraft Story'' lets you use your forging hammer if all of your [[ItemCrafting forged weapons]] break.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' have limited uses for all of their moves. If they run out, they can resort to Struggle, which does little damage and costs HP. Also comes into play when the opponent uses Encore (must repeat the last move several times), Taunt (must use attacking moves), Disable (cannot use a certain move for several turns), Torment (cannot use the same move consecutively), or Imprison (cannot use moves shared by the opponent), and/or if your Mon is holding a Choice item (boosts a certain stat, but locks in your first move) -- if due to any combination of these and depleted PP, your Mon has no usable moves, it will use Struggle.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' has the same Mega Buster as the platforming series, except much less useful. Even the earliest Battle Chips do around 30 or more points of damage, and running out forces you to rely on your buster which starts off doing [[ScratchDamage 1 point of damage per shot]]. In fact, some normal enemies are completely unkillable without the right Battle Chips.
** ''Battle Network 6'', or at least the [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo Greiga version]], threw the Buster lovers a bone with the main-element Crosses, Heat and Elec, both of which have great damage and range (as Busters go), and the SuperMode's insanely fast rapid-fire gun. It's still not quite as effective as using chips.
** And it comes all the way around to awesome once again in ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce 2''. The BusterMax giga card (the most powerful type of card, of which you can only use one at any given time) turns the Buster into the game equivalent of a Gatling gun that can chew anything in your path into little tiny crunchy bits.
* In the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' series, bowgun users have an infinite stock of level 1 Normal shots to utilize. This is meant to be used as a last resort, as they only cause half the damage of the weakest expendable ammo type.
* Ein, the hero of ''VideoGame/RivieraThePromisedLand'' possesses a Diviner, an unbreakable mystical weapon which grows in strength with its user. He can use it as a powerful holy sword if he doesn't want to use one of the BreakableWeapons made by mortals; the other party members can use it as a rather ineffective throwing weapon in emergencies. If you play right, you can gain the Diviners of two other Grim Angels as well; like your own, they are unbreakable and can only be used effectively by Ein.
** The Diviners of the other two Grim Angels are acquirable, however, they are one use items, as according to the game's lore, only the Angel for which a Diviner was made can use it effectively.
** ''VideoGame/KnightsInTheNightmare'' requires weapons to be equipped to do any sort of damage, but the Knights can also perform a very weak attack without a weapon to refill the LimitBreak bar which is, of course, required to Break Out with a weapon.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'''s mage starts with a weak wand that does piddling damage and never runs out. It's ok for the first level or two when you're limited to cantrips, but as soon as you learn proper spells and are able to buy proper wands you might as well dispose of it. The enemies become stronger very soon, but the wand's damage doesn't, so if you ever find yourself with everything but the first wand exhausted you might as well reload, because firing it will do you about as good as spitting.
* On the magic-wielding side of things, the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has the "Osmose" spell, which [[ManaDrain drains an enemy's MP to restore the caster's own]] and is usually cheap, if not free, to cast. Its effectiveness varies, since some enemies have 0 MP and the spell will never restore more than it drains, but it can save an Ether or two in a pinch.
** Osmose, and its counterpart Rasp (damages MP without draining it) become viable offensive spells in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', where some enemies, including a few bosses, die if they run out of MP. A BonusBoss in the GBA remake's BonusDungeon even has to be defeated this way, as it'll continually resurrect itself otherwise.
* ''VideoGame/HarryPotter'' video games have introduced the Flipendo knockback jinx, a basic attack spell which consumes no {{Mana}}.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** Throughout the series, if all else fails, you can still use your fists. The BreakableWeapons present in the series prior to ''Skyrim'' were the most common cause of resorting to this.
** In additional to your fists, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' has a weak {{Fireball}} spell as a default spell. It is successful enough for non-mages to cast, and cost a small enough amount of [[{{Mana}} Magicka]] to be cast repeatedly thanks to the constantly-recharging [[ManaMeter Magicka meter]] added to the series in this game.
** These return for ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', though due to the game no longer having BreakableWeapons, it is rare to be left without a weapon.[[note]]Being hit with the "Disarm" shout is about it.[[/note]] If you lack a weapon, you can still punch people. Barring that, you have a basic Flames spell available. As with ''Oblivion,'' the spell is not particularly great, but it's always available to all races so players are never at a lack for ''some'' kind of offensive capability. Additionally, once you reach a certain point in the main quest, [[LanguageOfMagic Thu'um]] [[MakeMeWannaShout Shouts]] become accessible to the player. You get the initial word of "[[BlownAcrossTheRoom Unrelenting Force]]" as part of the main quest, and the Thu'um cooldown is separate from any of your other meters, so it can be used even if you are out of Magicka or Fatigue. It does extremely minimal damage on its own, but can stagger enemies to allow for escape.
* In ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', the main characters fight by transforming into demons. If they are caught by surprise or are forced to revert to human form, they have guns as emergency weapons.

* ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' has Frank fight off the zombies with his bare hands when you can't get your hands on [[ImprobableWeaponUser a baseball bat, a bench, or anything else for that matter]]. Being a normal reporter, it is about as useful as it sounds. Subverted as you level up, however; eventually, Frank becomes powerful enough to easily hold off enemies unarmed. You know you can stop relying on a handgun when you can start [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower tearing out people's innards with your bare hands.]] [[spoiler:These ludicrously powerful moves also are one-hit-kills on the rifle-wielding special forces that break into the mall near the end.]]
** Frank also has a desperation ranged attack as well - aiming at zombies when you have nothing equipped will cause Frank to spit wherever he's aiming. That said, if he's recently drank a "Spitfire" juice, his expectorations can ''decapitate the undead.''
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' has the crossbowdwarves who can utilize the crossbow as a club when they run out of ammo. It's even more useless than you'd think (unless you cross-train) since club weapons rely on weapon weight for effectiveness as well as hammerdwarf training. Many players have found dwarves armed with adamantine crossbows (the lightest metal) not even slowing down an enemy when used as a club.
** Currently averted, due to a yet-to-be-corrected inventory bug that lets dwarves wield more weapons than they actually have hands. It's being left unfixed until scabbards are implemented.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', all tools for breaking/attacking degrade with use. However, anything that ''isn't'' a breaking tool (or weapon), including your bare hand (i.e. an empty inventory slot) can still be used to break or attack; it just takes longer (or does less damage), and may destroy the target rather than yielding a resource. Since you start with an empty inventory and the first resource you need is wood, most games therefore start with punching trees.
* ''VideoGame/SurvivalCrisisZ'' has the knife. You can also get a chainsaw, which is a slightly better emergency weapon.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'', you have your fists at all times. You can also pick up [[BatterUp a baseball bat]] for when you're out of ammo. Later games added alternatives to the bat, such as [[KnifeNut knives]] and [[ChainsawGood chainsaws]].
* The player characters of ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'' pack kick and stomp attacks that are surprisingly effective. They're mainly used to clear space between you and zombies, but a well-placed stomp to a prone enemy will [[OneHitKill crush the skull]].
* The characters in ''VideoGame/DontStarve'' can all physically punch for a last-resort attack, but it's slow and weak enough to rarely be worth using (the game doesn't even [[ContextSensitiveButton default]] to attacking unarmed, even against enemies, requiring a specific command to do).

* ''[[Videogame/MechWarrior MechWarrior Living Legends]]'' typically gives its long-ranged-missile [[HumongousMecha battlemechs]] a couple of close ranged weapons for emergencies, because the missile launchers often have an ArbitraryMinimumRange due to their arc and arming time. The ''Catapult'' "Charlie" variant, for example, carries a pair of [[DeathFromAbove Arrow IV cruise missiles]] with a pair of pathetic Small Lasers for point defense against enemy [[PoweredArmor BattleArmor]] who wish to [[PersonalSpaceInvader RIP AND TEAR]] the Catapult's [[SnipingTheCockpit cockpit]]

* Archers in ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} IV'' will sometimes pull out knives or use their bows as weapons during combat, usually when they are defending against melee units, but it is only an animation, and not done out of an emergency.
* In the ''Total War'' series, archers and most other ranged units will pull out a knife when out of ammo. Needless to say, they're totally useless at that point. However, some ranged units will pull out swords and are rather well-trained at using them or just so heavily-armored to the point where they can just hold off the enemy with pure defense.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'', Olimar had a very weak punch that could slightly damage and distract enemies. The second game introduced the Rocket Punch for better damage.
** This is carried over into ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' Most of Olimar's moves requires him to use a Pikmin to actually strike the foe, though he does have a (very few) weak melee attacks that don't use Pikmin.
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' has surface-to-orbit missiles. While they might destroy lone scouts or even small groups of starships that are PointDefenseless, they become much less useful once the enemy either has sufficient point defense or [[WeHaveReserves brings enough spares]] to the battle. No substitute for a proper battle fleet, they are.
* Units in most ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' titles may come with a ''useful'' no-energy no-ammo attack (if nothing else, for example, a Grungust can always RocketPunch). If they don't, you can bet they'll come with either the option to perform a generic Attack (basically, bodyslamming the enemy), or head-mounted short-range vulcan cannons with unlimited ammo (one of many, many {{Shout Out}}s to ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', although vulcan ammo was notably limited there). These attacks always hit for piddling damage and are seldom necessary, but can be fun for CherryTapping (or conserving ammo and energy). You could, however, upgrade these weapons. Why? Most Vulcans have 10-15 shots and body-slam has infinite ammo.
** In the first mission in ''Original Generation'', the only character under the player's control is a mech with no weapons (it was a test run that got interrupted), which must kill eight enemies. However, since the pilot is Elzam, this is easier than it sounds.
* Sidearms in ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2'' are relegated to this role by mid-game, particularly in the v1.13 update. They're not very effective against proper body armor or at long range, unless you're packing a HandCannon with all their accuracy issues, but the AP cost to draw and fire one is significantly lower than reloading or unjamming your primary weapon. The various melee weapons are another kind of Emergency Weapon; guns are very nearly useless at point-blank range (which is TruthInTelevision), and a blade or even bare fists is more use if you walk right into an enemy mook whilst clearing a building. v1.13 even includes a special blades-only inventory slot so you can give one to every team member without wasting inventory space.
* Three of the four soldier classes in ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' have pistols as this. Pistols [[BottomlessMagazines never run out of ammo]] and never need to be reloaded. TheHeavy, however, has a single-shot rocket launcher as its secondary weapon and doesn't have an EmergencyWeapon at all. Ditto for [[AttackDrone S.H.I.V.s]] and [[MiniMecha MEC Troopers]] (''Enemy Within'' only).

* Should Jack run out of spears in ''VideoGame/LostInBlue 2'', he can take enemies on with his bare hands. Punches hit for puny damage, but successful dodging can lead to him taking down a ''tiger'' like a man.
* In ''4/fA'', the Hanger ability becomes a set, permanent ability, with a catch: [=NEXTs=] with tank-type legs have no restriction in hangar weapons, meaning that carrying grenade launchers with gatling gun backups is perfectly valid option (obviously, barring weight restrictions).
* In ''Beat Blades Haruka'', the characters have attacks that require no energy to use. However, they're very inaccurate and will only ever inflict 1 damage whenever they do hit, meaning that if you ever run out energy for normal attacks, [[LiteralMetaphor you're pretty]] [[HGame much screwed]].
* ''Driv3r'' - Tanner's 17-bullet-per-mag [[AKA47 9mm Automatic]]. If you run out of ammo for your other guns (including several machineguns, two other pistols, one of which is silent and fires faster, a grenade launcher and an assault rifle) in a later mission, where you're facing an ass load of dudes with ALL of those guns, [[OhCrap bend over and kiss ass goodbye]].
* In fourth edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', powers fall into several types depending on how often they're able to be used and how powerful they are. The At will powers can be used as many times as you want per day, but they are way less damaging than the daily powers.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame''
** Starting from the [[VideoGame/FatalFrameIICrimsonButterfly second game]] onward, there is the Type-07 Film. It's the weakest of the film types, but you have an infinite supply of it; this makes it a good film to use when snapping at the [[GuideDangIt many, many hidden and vanishing ghosts]] in the game and it's still around, even if you have used up all your stronger films.
** The [[VideoGame/FatalFrame1 first game]] had the Type-14 Film, the second-weakest film type in the following games. It isn't infinite like the Type-07 in the other games, but it is the one film you can always restock at a save point.


* While ''Franchise/MetalGear'' does include melee attacks, most bosses can only be harmed by heavy weapons (or, in one case, a [[BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame sniper rifle]]). To help out, infinitely respawning ammo pickups are placed in the boss arenas.
** The final boss fights are notable though in that you only have your bare fists (''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'') or your sword (''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2''). ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' lets you keep your other weapons and even some mid-game bosses can be beaten with melee maneuvers, but if the final boss (named [[spoiler:The Boss]]) manages to grapple you while you're wielding a firearm, she'll actually DISMANTLE the gun and throw away the pieces. You can pick them back up, but do try keeping the gun holstered during close-quarters combat the next time around.
* Notably absent from ''Galerians'' - if you run out of drugs to support your PsychicPowers, you have no means to defend yourself. Not to mention that the number of drugs in the game is limited, and the number of enemies is significantly less limited. Done this way because the game is meant to be ''SurvivalHorror'', and is specifically based on the original ''Resident Evil''.
** Although it's still possible to defend yourself by getting angry enough to have a SuperPowerMeltdown that's instant death to anyone near you. That's also a bad idea unless you have the right drug to stop it.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil''. Survival horror games often give you the almost completely useless knife, since the fear of running out of ammunition is supposed to add to the suspense.
** The big exception is ''Resident Evil 4'', where Leon is equipped with a much more useful knife. For the most part, you use it as an ammo-saver: you can bust open barrels and crates with it, or finish off weakened Ganados. It can also save your ammo when fighting against the Gigante; if you hop on the monster's back, you can slice it with your knife, or stab the eye of the final boss with it as well. It also becomes useful in a few cutscenes, the first time you face Jack Krauser being the best example. Later on when Krauser plants an ambush for you in normal game play, the most efficient way to hurt him is using your knife. You can empty clip after clip into him, but it takes a lot of ammo to get him to back off compared to one slash of your knife.
*** Against Krauser, the knife does about as much damage as a ''magnum bullet''.
*** [=RE4=] went pretty crazy with this type of tactic, actually. Apparently the programmers had forgotten that there are crazy fans who'd consider using the weak knife as opposed to more powerful guns, and kind of forgot to program in proper defense against knife usage in several bosses. FridgeLogic hits in spades when you realize that some bosses are faster to kill with a knife than with a rocket launcher.
*** Two things that make the knife so useful in the fourth and fifth games is that A. it doesn't take up an [[GridInventory inventory slot]], and B. you don't have to go into the menu to equip it. This makes it much more convenient to use, whereas in most games it's ditched because that one useless knife takes up the same amount of inventory space as, say, 50 shotgun shells.
** ''Code Veronica'' was really the first game to make a useful knife. The ammo was VERY scarce, so most of the time Claire/Chris have to take care of zombies with the knife. Ironically, the other game featuring Claire, had probably the worst knife in the series, taking a whopping 50 slashes to kill ONE zombie. However, it's pretty common that "hardcore" fans of the series will perform knife runs, only using the knife and no other weapon unless it's completely necessary, even bosses.
** ''Resident Evil 5'' gives you the option of buying the Stun Rod around level 3. It is a melee weapon that is swung like a bat and delivers an electric charge. Kills the normal enemies and in groups has the potential of killing a lot of them at the same time.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'' contains melee weapons which tend to see more use than the guns, which have very limited ammo. Fortunately, these melee weapons are both strong and unbreakable for the first four games. ''Un''fortunately, Silent Hill fans who were used to invulnerable wooden planks and unbending steel pipes were given a very rude shock when the prequel ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'' came and brought the concept of all melee weapons breaking eventually. If players weren't careful and didn't conserve their best melee weapons, they would be reduced to beating down bosses with toasters, screwdrivers or their ''bare hands''.
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'', which has several survival horror elements while not being a complete example of the genre, provides Aya with a club. You can even find upgrades for the club, but like in most survival horror games, any club is just about useless.
** Unless you spend an obscene amount of time, points, and tools to increase the strength of the club. While the lack of range remains a problem, it can become ridiculously overpowered.
*** Due to its swinging in an arc, and having little recovery time the Tonfa was very spammable, and was probably the most effective weapon vs GoddamnBats.
* In ''Franchise/DeadSpace'', you can club enemies with a gun or stomp on them. Despite the relative weakness of these attacks, the sheer level of MANLINESS in the character's accompanying scream, and subsequent screen shake, makes them more satisfying to use than most of the actual weapons!
** The melee attacks with your "guns" (read: hastily modified power tools with their safeties disabled) are not that useful, but Isaac's ground stomp can SEVER LIMBS from prone enemies! He must work out in high gravity. Plus it's a fantastic stress relief to just stomp those monstrosities into necromorph pulp with those heavy boots. Do it long enough in the sequel and Isaac will launch into a ClusterFBomb.
** On higher difficulties, it's often the ''only'' thing to fight with.
* Prior to ''Mists of Pandaria'', this was what melee weapons were for the Hunter class in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. These were intended for use only when your pet has lost aggro or died, or you've run out of ammo. Over time, patches removed the need for ammo, the minimum range for ranged weapons, and eventually merged the melee and ranged weapon slots into a single slot. [[note]]Makes one wonder if it's because the developers were as sick of the "Hunter Weapon!" meme as everyone else was.[[/note]] But when they were necessary, the primary consideration when choosing one was on stat bonuses rather than melee damage. For example, one of the most common from vanilla WoW was [[http://www.wowhead.com/item=19106 Ice Barbed Spear]].
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek: [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]: Elite Force'', the Phaser was almost certainly ''intended'' as the Emergency Weapon, since it has its own separate ammunition supply that recharges on its own. However, it's powerful enough that many players use it even when all the other weapons have plenty of ammunition, thus conserving the big guns for that ''other'' kind of [[BossBattle emergency]]. Like the other weapons, it has an alternate fire mode that fires a more powerful beam but drains the energy supply much faster. However, unlike a typical Emergency Weapon that is useful almost any time, the phaser is no more useful against the Borg than any other weapon except the I-MOD, as they adapt to it within a few shots.
* In the ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' series, the Emergency Weapon is a set of machine guns with infinite ammo.
* In all ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games, if push comes to shove (literally) you can always switch to fists (and kicks in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout Tactics|BrotherhoodOfSteel}}''). Of course, some characters fight with their fists anyway, and there are plenty of spiked knuckles and other melee weapons available.
** Note that ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' are the only games in the series where items can get damaged. This means that in previous games, melee weapons that don't consume ammo are always usable. And some of them can kill a super-mutant in a few slashes, if your character is built properly for that. This also means that Unarmed Masters avoid much of the hassle of collecting and carrying ammo at all, although some of the [[PowerFist best]] fist-weapons do use electric ammo for that [[IncrediblyLamePun extra punch]].
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' also introduces special unarmed techniques, granted as rewards for a few unmarked quests (except the Khan Trick, which is a reward for a marked quest), and only one of them requires any points invested in the unarmed skill. Some of the more useful ones are those that can buy you time to rearm yourself, such as the Ranger Takedown (knock-down effect), or the aforementioned Khan Trick (stun effect), making your bare fists a more useful emergency weapon.
** In the "Operation Anchorage" DLC quest, you lose all your equipment (since you're in a simulation) and have only a knife and a weak gun to start with - you have to find other weapons if you want to use them. Halfway through you reach your HQ, lose all your weapons and can then requisition a weapons package suited to your skills, most of which contain one main weapon and one weaker emergency weapon. However you rarely need to use them, since there are several bottomless ammo dispensers placed everywhere.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' also gives you the [[http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Recharger_pistol Recharger pistol]] and recharger rifle which don't require ammo (but can still break).
* In the first ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredator'' game for the PC, if you ran out of weapons for all of your guns you ended up using your pulse rifle as a club. The exception is the fact that, given the type of enemy you face in the game, if it comes down to that you're pretty much screwed already.
** The second replaced this with a knife, which was about as useful as you'd expect. The most recent addition to the series gives you an infinite-ammo pistol, which is generally enough to fight off a single Alien, but not much more.
** This is, though, entirely keeping in line with the human marine, who is extremely equipment dependent. Predators fall back on wrist blades and combisticks, which use no ammo, and are effective against xenomorphs to a slight degree, and humans to a much greater degrees. Predators also have the ability to regenerate energy for their discs, electro-pistols, and shoulder cannons. The xenomorphs, however, never use ammunition, and can always fight with claws, teeth, and tail spikes.
* The Vulcan Cannon in the original ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}''. It recieved a [[GameBreaker game-breaking]] upgrade in ''II'' with the Gauss Cannon, but was once again {{Nerf}}ed in ''3'' with the Vauss Cannon, which replaces both.
** To a greater extent, the Flare. Since you can run out of energy for your energy weapons and ammo for the above, launching flares(horribly slow without energy) will always do one point of damage.
* In the ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' games, ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDuty World At War]]'', and ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'', the knife is meant for when you find yourself in melee situations. Since it's an instant kill, however, many people just run around the battlefield using it as their primary weapon. Combine this with the Commando Perk(allows longer melee range), Tactical Knife (faster melee speed), and Lightwight (faster character speed) in [=MW2=] and you have what is arguably a GameBreaker. The earlier ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games have more ''Halo''-esque gun melees.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' gives you a knife and your fists as emergency weapons when you run out of ammo, but since Marston is carrying 30 guns on his person at all times this is unlikely to happen. In fact, the only times the knife is likely to see use is for some of the hunting challenges.
* While ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' has weapons that use ammo, there is only one weapon (two if you count the upgraded version) that has ''limited'' ammo, the missile launcher. The ammo for the Machine Gun recharges quite quickly, even quicker if you find an upgrade for that, and the Bubble Gun recharges very slowly on Lvl 1 and very quickly on Lvl 3.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Receiver}}'', your only weapon is a single handgun, and you can do nothing with it unless you have bullets.
* In 1980s sci-fantasy ShootEmUp, ''Gondomania'' by Nihon Bussan/AV Japan, your hoverbike riding samurai has to earn money to pick up the weapons lying around the battlefield. If you have no money and ran out of weapons to shoot/throw, your samurai has an endless supply of weak throwing knives to hurl at foes.