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[[quoteright:300:[[RealLife http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Rail_gun_pre_impact_8076.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Awesome = ½''mv''[[superscript:2]] [[note]]For emphasis, that plume of flame behind the slug is ''not'' an explosive propellant - [[UpToEleven it's plasma being formed from the air being ripped apart in its wake.]] Also, the lensing in front of the slug isn't a camera effect; you are looking through the hypersonic shock cone from behind.[[/note]]]]

->''"Slugthrowers. I hate 'em. But they're easy to maintain. Day or two in the jungle and your blaster'll never fire again. A good slug rifle, keep 'em wiped and oiled, they last forever."''
-->-- '''Phloremirlla Tenk''', ''Franchise/StarWars''

The story is set in some high-tech and/or [[TheFuture futuristic society]]. There are [[EverythingIsOnline massive computer networks]], sentient robots, and [[CasualInterstellarTravel ships that can zip across space with the same amount of effort it takes you to go to the store down the street.]] Despite all this technology, however, combat isn't all that different. [[PoweredArmor Battle armor]] may have some gizmos on it, the guns may have higher muzzle velocities and an ammo count greater than the population of several rural communities, war vehicles may be able to do some fancy new tricks, but combat is the same at heart, bullets and shells still rule the battlefield.

If there are {{energy weapon}}s in the universe, they either are experimental and wracked with issues like overheating and unwanted by-products, or they're horribly disadvantaged with few available shots before a recharge or a new power pack is required. They will often also be the first type of weapon to go wrong; the more complex parts a weapon has the more likely it is to break.

The reason for favouring projectiles in fiction is RuleOfCool -- while subjecting stuff to melting or explosive evaporation is cool, [[ThatSatisfyingCrunch broken pieces of the same stuff flying away with a boom may be even better than the mediocre zap of a laser]]. This does of course have its roots in the fact that RealityIsUnrealistic: serious laser weaponry actually uses short duration pulses with incredibly high energies that would simply explode an object into plasma the same as if it were hit by a high-velocity projectile... but audiences still expect to see {{Laser Cutter}}s, so we're stuck with them.

For a detailed look into why one may or may not use projectiles over energy weapons, visit our [[Analysis/KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter Analysis page.]]

There are also real world scientific reasons for using projectiles instead of energy weapons, especially against shielded ships. In defending against lasers, the in-universe shields may be extremely effective at re-radiating heat back into space. To stop a projectile, the shield has to decelerate it, and any force applied to the projectile is in turn applied to the shield generator. [[http://stardestroyer.net/Empire/Tech/Shields/Impact.html Mike Wong of Stardestroyer.net]] does a good job explaining how the strength of even the strongest shield can come down to how well it's attached to the superstructure of the ship.

Sometimes kinetic weapons themselves don't appear to have advanced, either. Future weapons won't necessarily [[OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture ''look'' more "advanced"]] or really be that different from modern ones: whether rounds are fired from a modern rifle or a [[MagneticWeapons space railgun]], it still functions the same. Precise guides held by a solid external structure are still required to accelerate the projectile.

Compare RockBeatsLaser, BoringButPractical, ModernStasis and BreakOutTheMuseumPiece. Usually goes hand in hand with OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture. Contrast WeWillUseLasersInTheFuture, where energy weapons are more prevalent than kinetic weapons. For cases where certain ''specific'' kinetic weapons are preferred, see RevolversAreJustBetter or ShotgunsAreJustBetter.

%% Try to list only examples and not {{aversion}}s in this trope, since energy weapons tend to be the norm in sci-fi settings.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Kinetic weapons are the big thing in ''Manga/CannonGodExaxxion''. While lasers are common, they cannot penetrate the DeflectorShields used in the series since they are based on ArtificialGravity tech & can thus redirect lasers using the gravitational lensing effect. Notably that's the exact opposite of how things should work: solid projectiles would be ''much'' easier to affect with gravity. They do give a HandWave of sorts for this, in that the shields are not really based on gravity so much as ''inertia''. Anything with less inertia than the shield can generate is deflected away, including lasers, since they're effectively massless, while anything with more inertia, like bullets traveling at a significant fraction of c. plows right on through.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' subverts this. Even though the majority of grunts use bullets for their knightmares the black knights' best mechs instead use some form of laser or energy blast as their method of attack. The Guren even uses it more like how it would work in real life, they explode.
** Specifically it has a microwave claw that cooks enemy pilots alive. Wonder what the Geneva Convention would have to say about that?
* The ''Mazinger'' franchise has a special relationship with this trope:
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Mazinger-Z was the first HumongousMecha -how many times have we repeated that sentence?- used EyeBeams. Photon Beam was the weapon Kouji used more times, and many [[{{Robeast}} Mechanical Beast]] were equipped with laser beams. However, Mazinger-Z used also missiles, and so did most of Mechanical Beasts. And Dr. Hell was more than capable of building beam weapons for his troops, but his minions nearly never used them. His CoDragons and {{mooks}} preferred guns or machine guns shot bullets.
** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'': Great Mazinger reinforced this trope. Unlike Mazinger-Z, Great Mazinger had no EyeBeams (although he got Thunder Break in exchange). However it kept the missile launchers into the midsection. Tetsuya was the one introduced the HeroesPreferSwords trope into HumongousMecha, and most of Great Mazinger weapons were bladed.
** ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'': On the other hand, Grendizer averted the trope. It had few kinetic weapons (its SinisterScythe, its RocketPunch...), and most of its weaponry were different kinds of laser beams. The Vegan troops also used gun rays more often than not.
** ''Manga/NewMazinger'': Reinforced. Energy beams could not pierce through the armor plates of enemy combat machines, but Mazinger's metallic blade could slice them easily. Also, many enemy mechas wielded light sabers. Guess who won every SwordFight.
** ''Manga/MazingerAngels'': Mazinger Angels' mechas' main weapons are missiles. And they are equiped with swords.
* ''Anime/HeavyMetalLGaim'': Although characters relied on energy-powered weapons most of time, this trope was played straight sometimes. In episode 12, Daba shoots his robot's laser rifle at another [[AMechByAnyOtherName heavy metal]], but it did nothing (due to the energy shield of the enemy mecha). Then he picked a -normal- bazooka, left his mecha and shot his weapon at point-blank range, effectively cracking the robot's head.
* The Buff Clan in ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'' uses simple iron rods propelled to an almost-speed of light to bombard human-controlled planets. As you may imagine, [[EarthShatteringKaboom not much is left of said planets]] afterwards.
* In ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', [[TheFederation the TSAB]] places heavy restrictions on the use of mass-based weaponry. It is implied that this is due to the devastation caused by interplanetary warfare with such weapons in the {{backstory}}, as well as because while all magical weapons are set to stun by default, the same can't be done with kinetic ones. It is worth noting that the fear is not of small arms, which even a B-ranker has little to fear from, but WMD. However in the DarkerAndEdgier ''Force'' manga, where [[AntiMagic magic has been proving completely useless against]] [[MageKiller the new antagonists]], we've had gunblades, rocket lanchers, miniguns, explosives and even giant recoilless rifles introduced.
* In ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' combat has switched from aircraft to starships, but most of it is still done with good old-fashioned machine guns and pistols. Energy weapons exist, but are implied to be rare and hard to get. They also seem to be very difficult to control; when the energy weapon on Spikes ship, the ''Swordfish,'' fires, it causes the ship to recoil and waggle slightly from the sheer power.
* When the [[spoiler:Earth-aliens]] infiltrate the protagonists' ship in ''Anime/{{Vandread}},'' it turns out that said invaders could deflect energy weapons, but not a few .50 caliber clips. Having an avid gun collector among the crew with quite a few museum-piece guns onboard ''sure'' was convenient...
* Played straight through most of ''Anime/TheBigO''. The eponymous [[HumongousMecha machine's]] energy weapons can sometimes get the job done, but usually its most reliable weapons are its huge arm pistons.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise beam weaponry is generally much stronger than kinetic (though it's for that exact reason that regular guns are still used; suits often are forced to fight in colonies and a stray beam would destroy the whole thing) but this trope comes into play to a small degree in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', with the presence of anti-beam countermeasures that render all beam weapons affected useless. The only way to combat this is old-fashioned solid ordinance.
** In the meta-series, it is a very notable example of this trope, especially the transition from the First Gundam which aired in the late 70's having mostly beam weaponry starting in mid-to-late of the series(The First Gundam, RX-78 is one of the first Mecha (together with RX-77, which is an older model but saw combat a little later due to circumstances) equipped with a beam rifle, while only large war ships have cannons before that) The Universal Century series sequels in the 80's followed with beam weaponry motif, in late 80's (0080 and Char's Counter Attack) early 90's (0083) kinetic weapons started to increase in number, mainly bazookas, rockets, gatlings; then starting in mid 90's, this trope became quite dominant, first in 08th MS Team(Romeo and Juliet, or better, Romeo Vs Juliet) having both sides showing off tons of kinetic weaponry like wire guided missiles, large cannons, etc. Beam weaponry still remained as the main stay in TV series, but usually MacrossMissileMassacre are also common.
** Also, beam weapons are typically used on Gundams and other Mobile Suits; human-to-human combat is still conducted with projectile weapons.
** Don't forget the 'shot-lancer' rocket spears in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91 Gundam F91]]'' - specifically designed to provide the one-shot-one-kill power of a beam rifle while limiting collateral damage in a colony attack. They're used to devastating effect throughout the movie.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' most anti-infantry weapons are of the projectile variety. All of the Gundams are equipped with Vulcan cannons in their heads for beating off infantry attacks, and many other mobile suits have outsized machineguns or automatic rifles that serve a similar purpose, as automatic fire is much more effective in breaking up mass infantry attacks than a single shot beam weapon. They also don't run out of power just because the mecha has. On the other hand Phase Shift tech makes Gundams immune to kinetics as long as they have power, which was an issue with early battery-powered models but became much less problematic when N-Jammer Cancellers re-enabled nuclear powerplants.
*** Kira's Freedom and Strike Freedom both have a pair of railguns that don't see much use outside of helping shoot down screens of missiles, but he has also used them to counter underwater mobile suits on occasion, since beam weapons don't work very well underwater.
*** Another example in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny'', where the ''Archangel'' and ''Minerva'' duel (again), during the ZAFT invasion of Orb. With both ships equipped with Laminate Armor, they could take several beam shots from each other with no damage. The ''Archangel'' eventually wins by abandoning the duel, going underwater, and sinking ZAFT submarines with it's railguns, forcing the entire army to retreat.
** Played straight in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'', all mobile weapons in-universe uses physical ammunition, there is no beam weaponry in Post-Disaster technology. [[spoiler:As it turns out, though, beam weaponry isn't nonexistent, but forgotten, and the cast discover this in the most nightmarish way possible. Though beam weaponry is useless against Nanolaminate Armor, it's still treated as extremely dangerous]].
*** There's also the Dáinsleif, a type of railcannon capable of firing special kinetic penetrator ammunition that can even pierce Nanolaminate Armor; it's so dangerous that its use is formally banned. [[spoiler:Tekkadan's third Gundam, Flauros, uses this type of railcannon but because they don't use the special ammo so it falls into a legal gray area. A couple of episodes later, Iok Kujan's forces frame Naze Turbine for illegally transporting Dáinsleifs...[[{{Hypocrite}} and then has his forces use them to attack Naze's ship]].]]
* In ''Manga/VenusWars'', the militarized monocycles are armed with [[MagneticWeapons RailGuns.]]
* Due to the fact they appear as glowing shafts of light, the ranged weapons used by the robots in ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'' are often referred to as lasers, but are identified, via AllThereInTheManual, as being material weapons, specifically nanoparticles of the mechs' own armor material accelerated to near-relativistic speeds.
* In ''Anime/{{Macross}}'', the majority of Valkyries in the earlier series rely on {{gatling g|ood}}unpods to deliver MoreDakka, though beam weapons have also become fairly common (at least among more elite units) by the time of ''Anime/MacrossDelta''.
** For a fire-rate comparison in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'': The VF-27 (which uses a beam gunpod) and the VF-25 (which uses a 57mm kinetic shell gunpod) appear to have identical rates of fire, based on their tracers... until one remembers that the standard mixes of tracer to live ammo are 1:5, 1:7, and 1:10.
** Either way, against large numbers of highly maneuverable opponents, MacrossMissileMassacre is more reliable than dakka (kinetic or laser).
* ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato2199'' touches on this. The Yamato's turret guns can fire energy beams or large shells. The shells can do serious damage to lighter enemy craft, but they come into their own later in the series. When traversing a warp gate, normal beam weapons are useless and the WaveMotionGun is not entirely safe to use. Good old fashioned shells work just fine. Dessler was not pleased.
* In ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'', the game ''Gun Gale Online'' has two types of weapons: Energy weapons and physical weapons. Everyone ends up using physical weapons in [[PlayerVersusPlayer PvP]] tournaments, because there's an item that halves the amount of damage energy weapons do on you.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'':
** Dredd's pistol, the Lawgiver, fires a variety of rounds, all which are kinetic based.
** Averted by the Stub Gun, introduced during the Apocalypse War. This weapon is a laser capable of cutting through almost anything.
* ''ComicBook/IronMan'': The reason why Tony Stark created the Variable Threat Response Suit (better known as the original War Machine Armor) is that against the Masters of Silence energy weapons are useless, but the slugs of normal firearms work just fine.
* In ''ComicBook/AlbedoErmaFelnaEDF'' the characters guns fire ordinary bullets. And kinetic weapons are also the usual used for OrbitalBombardment.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Memorably mentioned in Larry Elmore's ''ComicStrip/{{Snarfquest}}'' comic that used to run in DRAGON Magazine back in the 80's, when a group of space-travellers from a medieval fantasy world, posing as a rock band (it makes sense in context, trust me) angered a group of space miners, resulting in a high-speed chase with both parties exchanging gunfire; while the miners weren't too worried about the heroes' lasers, when Snarf pulled out his ''.357 Magnum'' (that he once killed a ''dragon'' with), they started to panic because "lasers'll burn ya, but them slug-throwers will rip yer head off!" The matter became moot, anyway, after the team wizard hit the miners with a Lightning Bolt spell, but still...

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the dwelling of crossover fanfiction writers, a common argument is found raging endlessly. ''Star Wars'' vs. ''Halo''. The main conflict comes from the argument that even though ''Star Wars'' tech is centuries ahead of UNSC and Covenant tech, a MAC round might completely ignore any and all ''Star Wars'' shielding. While ''Star Wars'' has [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Deflector_shield ray shields]] to deal with physical projectiles, it's arguable that they were not designed with [[http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Magnetic_Accelerator_Cannon 3,000-ton slugs moving at 120,000 kilometers a second (four-tenths the speed of light)]] in mind.
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/user/kalash93 Kalash93]] has a number of examples.
** In ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/racer-and-the-geek Racer and the Geek]]'', the mercenaries all use firearms despite their magical talents. The advantages of guns over spells are discussed.
** Shows up again in ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90939/shell-shock Shell Shock]]'', where it is made brutally clear that magic is no match for automatic weapons.
** Implied in ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/88520/1/welcome-to-the-brothel/das-laufhaus Welcome to the Brothel]]'', where there is no mention of magic being used in battle.
* [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]] InUniverse in ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''Franchise/MassEffect''[=/=]''Franchise/StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover. The AppliedPhlebotinum used to make [[EnergyWeapon turbolasers]] and other ''Star Wars'' tech work is more like {{Unobtanium}} in most galaxies. So if you want your ship to have any staying power, you can't really use those technologies, which requires a fallback to physical weaponry whose principles are universal across civilizations.
* ''Fanfic/RedFireRedPlanet'': The "strike package" that Norigom came up with to attack the shipyard, a ten ton block of uranium-238 with a crude chemical thruster and radar guidance (to make minor course corrections), dropped from the cargo bay of a Bird-of-Prey at 25,000 km/s. It apparently obliterates the shipyard control center and part of it keeps going to hit the planet. Norigom apparently did the same thing to the IKS ''[=HoSbegh=]'' during the Klingon-Gorn War, and sums it up quite well:
--> "Basic physics. High mass plus high velocity equals ouch."
* In one ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' fanfic, an assassin manages to smuggle a disassembled shotgun onto the space station, despite its strict anti-weapon laws, and successfully kills his target. Kinetic weapons became so rare in the galaxy that nobody thought to check for them.
* Played with in the ''Series/BabylonFive''/''Series/StarTrek'' crossover ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8514416/1/Shielded-Under-the-Raptor-s-Wings Shielded Under the Raptor's Wings]]: railgun shots are devastating in space combat (with the Minbari having a healthy fear of the railgun-armed variant of the ''Hyperion'' cruisers, nicknamed [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "killcruisers"]] due the effects of scoring a hit), but, being slower and unguided, have reduced range compared to energy weapons and missiles and are easier to [[ShootTheBullet intercept]], making rather difficult to actually score a hit on a target.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'': The weapons used by the humans are just futuristic-looking versions of ours; they still sling ammo exactly like present day Earth. However, in some [[AllThereInTheManual sources]] it is said that weapons on Earth are far more advanced than weapons used on Pandora, but the latter are far easier and cheaper to produce, especially when you are more than a few lightyears away from Earth. They are still kinetic though, just electromagnetic-based rather than using chemical propulsion (another reason they are limited to Earth's much weaker magnetic field).
* In the two ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' films, the protagonist defeats a plasma-toting, power-armored Predator with only guns and bows.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'': The most advanced weapon in the real world is a handheld lightning gun, but almost all of the other weapons the rebels wield are either firearms or rocket-propelled munitions, much like those used within the titular simulation.
* ''Film/TerminatorSalvation'', although to be fair, it is set years before the other future scenes seen in the other movies, so perhaps handheld energy weapons haven't been invented yet. The giant robot though seems to have a energy weapon of some sort.
* ''Film/{{Aliens}}''. The Colonial Marines are armed with caseless assault weapons, which have the distinctly energy-weapon sounding moniker "pulse rifles", though this refers to the electrical triggering system (as opposed to mechanical pin-and-primer in normal guns) for its caseless ammunition (a technique used by modern experimental weapons such as the H&K G11).
* ''Film/{{Outland}}'': Both criminals and police employ shotguns hardly changed from today. The novelization describes them as being a little more sophisticated than today's weapons, with "sleeker lines and some complex instrumentation built in." Apparently the propellant charge can be adjusted: "O'Niel checked the velocity setting, making sure it read INDOORS -- CLOSE QUARTERS..."
* In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'', Picard lures a couple of Borg drones into the Holodeck, and shoots them with a tommy gun (though whether or not a Holodeck tommy gun with the safeties off is a real gun or merely a forcefield simulation of one is up for debate because the evidence is inconsistent and points both ways), while Worf manages to slice the arm off of one drone during the space scene.
* ''Film/MinorityReport'': The weapons used are pretty much just like weapons today. The most advanced weapon is a concussion gun of sorts, that's only used in the car factory sequence. Slightly confusing the issue is that fact that the concussion gun appears to be a non-lethal weapon (designed only to knock the target down); if so, the trope is true only provided that you're trying to kill someone -- if you want to ''avoid'' killing them, the concussion gun is a better bet.
* ''Film/IRobot'' includes conventional firearms, albeit more futuristic versions of them.
* ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' features projectile weapons that, while more beefy looking, still use the good old gunpowder and slug ammo. The Necromongers from the second film, however, have concussion guns as standard infantry armament, although they still prefer to fight up-close-and-personal with blades and axes. It is also not shown how these guns match up against firearms.
* The alien invaders in ''Film/BattleLosAngeles'' use seven-barrelled arm cannons rather than the usual death rays.
* The KillSat from ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'' uses tungsten missiles instead of anything laser-based, and most of the energy comes from simple gravity. It's based on the real-life blueprints for Project: Thor.
* In ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'', everybody wields dodge-able laser weapons. When Detective Lubic gets dragged into the final battle, he blows away several of Skeletor's minions with his shotgun, and they seem bewildered by the attacks they cannot see or dodge.
* The {{Magitek}} ray guns used by the Red Skull's men in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' prove too bulky and slow to handle an assault from Allied troops using conventional military rifles.

* In the expanded universe of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', the novelization of the movie and the Colonial Marines handbook state that man-portable plasma cannons exist. And with good reason, nothing a Marine can hold will rip apart tank armour faster than the PIG plasma weapon. Unfortunately it's also extremely heavy and the rocket launcher of the day is much lighter, guided and more than adequate at killing tanks in one shot. The PIG is the only energy weapon that Marines can carry. Electron lasers and particle beam weapons are so energy-intensive that they can only be mounted on vehicles, and the laser in particular has its range and firepower greatly affected by atmosphere and weather conditions. In outer space, energy weapons are more used for destroying projectiles. They have a massive accuracy and speed advantage over kinetic-kill vehicles and heavy missiles, but they do a lot less damage and space ships have armour and maneuvers that greatly reduce the effect of energy weapons (pilots are trained to move ships so that energy attacks don't concentrate on one spot for long and ship armour has ablative material that explodes out in a cloud of foam and metallic dust that further dissipates the energy).
* Played with in ''Franchise/StarWars'' and the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse''.
** "Slugthrowers" exist and are popular for civilian applications like hunting (for instance, Luke's weapon that he tries and fails to use against a Tusken Raider in ''Film/ANewHope''), but have long been out of favor in military applications because commonplace body armor works beautifully against bullets but not as well against blasters. For example, the [[{{Unobtainium}} plasteel]] armor worn by the clone army and stormtroopers is basically impervious to kinetic penetrators (though not to blunt force, as [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi the troops stationed on Endor]] can attest). On the other hand, slugthrowers are cheaper and easier to manufacture than blasters, so insurgent forces have come up with ways to make them useful, such as an explosive-tipped bullet capable of blowing holes through stormtrooper armor.[[note]]The bit about kinetic energy is TruthInTelevision: no matter how advanced your armor is, the premise of it still relies on soaking up the kinetic energy of the weapon. That's why a headshot can be deadly even if the helmet stops the bullet cold, because it's still got the kinetic energy of a baseball going at 100 miles an hour, and can crunch your brain even if it never touches it.[[/note]]
** Slugthrowers are also a good choice for bounty hunters and mercenaries facing off against Jedi, to prevent the Jedi tactic of deflecting blasterfire back at their opponent. Moreso, attempting to block a lead slug with a LaserBlade would only result in you getting a faceful of molten lead, as it is highly unlikely that the blade would instantly vaporize the slug, and even if it did, the ensuing blast of searing vapor wouldn't be significantly more pleasant than the molten lead. In fact, in the Expanded Universe, more than one Jedi has been on the receiving end of one of the few remaining advantages of slugthrowers.
** [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Protector_revolver The Protector]] Revolver. Yes, RevolversAreJustBetter in the ''Star Wars'' verse, as it is very easy for this revolver in particular to pierce modern armor. Why would it be able to pierce armor? Well, it's often been said of the blaster that it increased the use of the slugthrower by making heavy body armor useless, thus dissuading people from making themselves bulletproof. Slugthrowers in general are also apparently more rugged and reliable, cause according to the wiki's page quote for [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Slugthrowers slugthrowers]]:
--->'''Phloremirlla Tenk:''' Slugthrowers. I hate 'em. But they're easy to maintain. Day or two in the jungle and your blaster'll never fire again. A good slug rifle, keep 'em wiped and oiled, they last forever. The guerrillas have pretty good luck with them, even though they take a lot of practice -- slugs are ballistic, y'know? You have to plot the trajectory in your head. Shee, gimme a blaster anytime.
* Heinlein's ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' mostly averts it: kinetic weapons are widely used for training, but rarely for the actual combat. [[TheFilmOfTheBook The movie]] plays it straight, though. That aversion is certainly justified, however, as the Mobile Infantry don't use many energy weapons either. They instead prefer to use small nukes, conventional explosives, and huge flamethrowers, all of which we see used in the first few pages of the book alone. The [[InsectoidAliens Pseudo-Arachnids]], who ''do'' use beam weaponry, are notably inferior to the Mobile Infantry on a 1v1 basis.
* In ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress'' (also by Heinlein) the Lunar rebels 'throw rocks' (i.e., 100-tonne boulders, jacketed in steel and fired out of a magnetic catapult) down Earth's gravity well. It proves VERY effective. Cheap too.
* ''Literature/BeyondThisHorizon'': the hero uses an "old fashioned" .45 pistol when every other man in his society uses some form of laser or similar pistol because he likes it and the noise is extremely disorienting to his enemies, who expect a silent gun.
* In ''Tomorrow War'' shields work only against beam weapons, so while lasers are used to shoot missiles and fighters, main weapons are missiles and high-caliber (e.g. 610 or 800 mm) guns with guided shells. At least as far as wars between human are concerned -- others use weirder weapons, up to gravity-based.
* In ''Literature/PrinceRoger'', while plasma weapons are available for use by personnel, more common are pistols and rifles that drive glass beads to hypersonic velocities. For space combat, [[MacrossMissileMassacre mass missile salvoes]] are the norm.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'':
** Semi-automatic pistols are traditionally used for duels on Manticore due to the fact that they are less lethal than pulsers. Pulsers themselves are miniature mass accelerators, using gravitic acceleration to fire physical rounds. Honor herself practices frequently with a (reproduction) Colt [=M1911A1=] .45 automatic, simply because she enjoys the challenge of hitting a target with a weapon that doesn't do half the work with advanced sensors, etc. In one case this "saved the day", when she was able to sneak her .45 into a hostage situation because it had no electronics or energy cell that would trigger inboard sensors keyed to look for weapons that had both- like pulsers.
** While most ship-to-ship missiles come armed with some kind of warhead or electronic warfare suite - and the author has [[http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Harrington/127/1 explicitly shot down the use of kinetic antiship attacks]] - countermissiles work by simply smashing their wedges into those of the attacking missiles at ludicrously high fractions of ''c''.
** The Solarian League's Eridani Edict also expressly forbid kinetic strikes on populated planets, unless you hold the orbitals, because the destruction caused by the sheer velocity of the missile is so much greater than any payload it could carry.
** {{Averted|Trope}} in regards to final point-defense systems for Honorverse warships, where laser point defense clusters are vastly superior to autocannon in engaging any incoming missiles the ECM and countermissiles fail to intercept.
* Also from Weber there's the "Rakurai" orbital bombardment platforms from ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' which was used by Langhorne to wipe out the people who disagreed with his [[GodGuise philosophy for running a colony]], Dropping large rocks from orbit is pretty effective for wiping out a town. And a good part of an island.
* Again from Weber, in ''Literature/InFuryBorn'' soldiers tend to use projectile weapons in infantry battles because laser weapons don't very well in atmosphere (Though some people do use them in outer space boarding actions, where much of the fighting would take place in vacuum). Plasma weapons are used in atmosphere and vacuum, but these are heavy weapons that only one person in a squad would be carrying at most.
* Creator/HBeamPiper's assorted science fiction novels, including ''Literature/LittleFuzzy'' and ''UllerUprising'', have faster-than-light travel and antigravity, but modern-style guns are still universally used (they also have huge mainframe-style computers programmed by plugboard, but that's ScienceMarchesOn). His justification for this was that Earth had fought a nuclear war in the early 21st Century, that had destroyed most of the Northern Hemisphere. While civilization was being rebuilt in the Southern Hemisphere, such technologies as hyper-space drive were developed, but weapons technology didn't change much, because what they had was more than adequate for the job at hand. This is why the ''Nemesis'' and the ''Enterprise'' (no, not ''that'' [[Franchise/StarTrek Enterprise]]) in ''Space Viking'' shot it out, in low planetary orbit, with autocannon and guided missiles. Interestingly enough, in spite of hyper-space drives and contragravity normal-space propulsion, both "field drive"- type systems, Piper never assumed the existence of defensive "deflector shields" or "force fields"; the space warships in his stories relied on heavy hull armor to keep enemy fire out. In ''Uller Uprising'' the weapons used by all concerned were automatic pistols, automatic rifles, machine guns, etc, the main difference with present-day warfighting technology being that self-propelled artillery was on contragravity vehicles, tanks had contragrav in addition to tracks, and contragravity airjeeps, air lorries, lighters, etc., substituted for tactical aircraft like fighter-bombers, helicopter gunships, and so on (the plot of ''Uller Uprising'', by the way, was based on the Sepoy Rebellion in India).
* ''Literature/{{Starworld}}'' by Creator/HarryHarrison has the rebel admiral explain to the protagonist why energy weapons don't work in the [[ArbitraryMaximumRange vast distances of space]]. Although missiles are being used by both sides, the rebels use linear accelerators firing unguided ''cannon balls'' to gain the decisive edge, then finish them off with a FlechetteStorm of rocket-propelled bullets.
* In the ''Literature/{{Deathstalker}}'' series, projectile (kinetic) weapons are actually banned throughout TheEmpire due to their ease of use and production making revolts easier to arm. They were replaced by swords and blasters - the latter of which are powered by GreenRocks. The blasters take two minutes to recharge, and force shields will stop most projectile weapons... though that drains the fields' power fast. Ultimately, this trope is even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d during a siege.
* One character in the Niven-Pournelle alien invasion novel ''Literature/{{Footfall}}'' describes the alien invaders' primary weapons as "crowbars dropped from orbit". For that matter, the personal weapons used by the aliens are just scaled up versions of ordinary machine guns.
* In ''Literature/LegendsOfDune'', both the [[RobotWar Thinking Machines]] and the [[TheAlliance League of Nobles]] (and later the [[ChurchMilitant Butlerian Jihad]]) almost exclusively use kinetic weapons, bombs, and missiles for aerial, space, and ground combats. While it is revealed that [[FrickinLaserBeams lasguns]] were popular during the days of the [[TheEmpire Old Empire]], they didn't have the destructive capability of kinetic weapons. Plasma bombs are mentioned to be used occasionally by the [[HumongousMecha cymeks]], but those cases are rare.
** Thousands of years later, both types of weapons were phased out due to the invention and widespread use of [[DeflectorShield Holtzman shields]], which could stop any physical object moving above a certain speed and created a nuclear explosion when hit with a laser beam. However on Arrakis shields have a tendency to attract [[{{Sandworm}} worms]], so the native Fremen use spring-loaded dart guns in addition to their more famous crysknives.
** At one point, the Harkonnens used artillery against survivors of the attack on the Atreides complex who had holed up in caves, without being able to bring the large household shield generators. The attack is noted as extremely demoralizing specifically because in modern combat, the role fulfilled by artillery is obsolete; no artillery does any good against shields.
*** This is why the Baron has the artillery pieces immediately dismantled after their one use, despite his nephew Rabban begging him to let him keep them.
* From the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' novels:
** In ''Fallen Heroes'', the invading Bekkir have body armor that renders them immune to phasers, so O'Brian rigs them into grenades. Dax discovers that their armor isn't ImmuneToBullets, so she replicates a machine gun. A ''[[MoreDakka Klingon machine gun]]''.
** In one novel Worf is with a detachment of Klingons trying to breach a heavily shielded base. They can't get through with their normal weapons, so Worf replicates a ''catapult'' and smashes the outer walls to pieces.
* Both subverted and played straight in Creator/MikhailAkhmanov's ''Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark'' series. In the first novel, an entire human fleet armed with kinetic, plasma, and missile weapons is annihilated (literally) by an alien starship armed with anti-matter cannons and equipped with DeflectorShields. In the third novel, human mercenaries working for a different alien race are given patrol ships armed with kinetic weapons that are somehow able to ignore shields on enemy ships. These are shown to be extremely effective.
* From Creator/DavidDrake's works:
** In the stand-alone novel ''Literature/{{Redliners}}'', the human Strike Force commandos use electromagnetic pellet rifles as their primary personal weapon, while the aliens use laser beams. This is because the pellet guns are massively damaging at the close range Strike Force mission usually take place at.
** In his ''Literature/{{RCN}}'' novels, warships use kinetic missiles as their primary weapon, with plasma being a secondary weapon. Plasma disperses far too quickly to be used at normal combat ranges, while the missiles become much more powerful the further away the target is (because they carry no warhead, their damage is based purely on velocity, and further targets give more time for acceleration). Personal weapons in the RCN vary but most of the ones shown are magnetic pellet guns.
** ZigZagged in ''Literature/HammersSlammers'', some armies use railgun rifles because thy have better armor piercing capabilities than [[PlasmaCannon powerguns]]. However, railguns are no cheaper, since they [[EnforcedTrope require]] [[BlingBlingBang diamond barrels]], and don't [[{{BFG}} scale up]] the way powerguns do. [[FrickinLaserBeams laser guns]] can't be made in man-portable sizes because they require a 400 pound fusion reactor to reach killing power, and explosive bullets are just as likely to vaporize a leaf as kill an enemy.
** In ''Literature/TheCitizenSeries'', laser small arms do exist and are effective in planetside battles, but they result in self-immolation if used in the Continuum since they reflect off the field that protects the traveler. Space combat is mainly a realm of antipersonnel "spring guns", basically crossbows or spearguns (or [[RockBeatsLaser actual spears]] in the case of the Riders). Late in the book an ArmsDealer whom Allenson recruits into the Militia has the idea to bolt them to the front of the frame to make a FixedForwardFacingWeapon that can be aimed much easier, mirroring the development of air-to-air combat in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Allenson also initially equips his Militia with firearms rather than laser weapons simply because they're cheaper and make logistics easier.
* John Ringo's ''Literature/LegacyOfTheAldenata'' has the [[PoweredArmor ACS]] using grav-guns, which fire depleted uranium pellets propelled to just short of the speed of light. [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill The first Posleen they hit explodes.]] [[OneHitPolyKill They go through several more.]]
* From Creator/PeterFHamilton's works:
** In ''Literature/TheNightsDawnTrilogy'', energy weapons of all kinds are not only available, but widespread. They're even available as nanonic implants under the skin. However, against the Possessed, electronics of all forms are horribly glitched at best, and completely shut down at worst. This means that the most effective weapon against them is a good old-fashioned chemical projectile weapon - a.k.a. a gun.
** In the same trilogy, despite the plethora of energy weapons on display, the standard 'kill' weapon is a 'combat wasp'; which is essentially a missile that relies almost strictly on its kinetic force to do damage. Also planet-busting weapons are all old-fashioned bombs, ground strikes from orbit with energy weapons being rarely seen.
** In ''[[Literature/CommonwealthSaga The Commonwealth Saga]]'', a favored weapon in starship combat is the Douvoir missile. Essentially, the idea is that it's possible to control the speed at which the endpoints of a wormhole are moving. It is therefore possible to leave a wormhole at whatever relative speed (compared to whatever else is nearby) you want, without expending time and energy to accelerate to that speed. Douvoir missiles are simple projectiles that are shot out of a wormhole at a significant percentage of light speed, and as such do an enormous amount of damage.
* In Creator/EEDocSmith's works:
** Dick Seaton in the ''Literature/SkylarkSeries'' has invented interstellar travel, a repulsor field of sorts and a mechanism for the generation of unlimited energy, but until he meets SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, his ''Skylark of Space'' is dependent upon .50 calibre machine guns for its armament (albeit with ludicrously potent ammunition). Played straight in that when the ship is attacked by an alien beast he can't use the super-bullets in his handgun for fear of wrecking it, and the situation is saved by the last remaining crewmember loading and firing solids. Hand-to-hand fights on the ground continue to be sorted out by projectile small arms right to the end of the series; even when Seaton's grasp of beam weapon technology has evolved to almost godlike levels of capability (and at the same time as the author was writing stun guns and hand blasters into the ''Family d'Alembert'' universe).
** From the ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series:
*** The Lensmen universe is acrawl with energy weapons, but minimally or non-portable heavy machine guns ("high calibre machine rifles") are still useful weapons against soldiers in personal armour. Kim Kinnison has an unfortunate encounter with one of these and barely gets away with his life. The next time he goes where angels fear to tread he wears a suit of armour so heavy it has to be power-driven, and he first takes pains to demonstrate its immunity to ammo 20% over what he encountered previously. Later in the canon, he actually uses the kinetic energy of a bullet stream to tilt his opponent's armor off balance and expose him, which he couldn't have done with an energy weapon.
*** Conway Costigan uses a combination energy rifle (implied to be more powerful than the standard-issue blaster) and grenade launcher against the unnamed saboteur in ''Triplanetary''. When even the energy rifle takes too long against the saboteur's personal shield, Costigan loses his patience, fires the grenade and blows his opponent into a fine mist. At this stage, the Triplanetary Patrol is still using a mixture of shell-firing guns and energy beams on some of its ships (specifically the armed liner ''Hyperion''). Later in the same book, there is a tractor-beam tug of war between enemy ships, and physics does come into play because the tug of war ends not due to any of the tractor beams failing but because one ship was using a tractor beam to anchor into the ground, but the opposing ship pulled so hard the plug of earth caught in the beam simply got pulled out of the ground. Later still, the trope is played with again: this time combining a shaped energy shield with inertia to penetrate another shield.
*** The reason kinetic weapons maintain prominence is that the energy shields of the ''Lensman'' universe only work against things approaching at or near the speed of light (e.g. energy beams). Thus, kinetic weapons and especially the trusty space ax (that's right, a ''melee weapon'') actually subvert energy shields ''because they're too slow''. Then the whole business gets tossed aside as combat goes increasingly beyond standard physics (ship combat begins using anti-matter bombs while personal combat goes increasingly psionic).
*** This even applies in ship-to-ship and larger scale combat. Energy beams are all well and good, and constantly improving in the trope-naming LensmanArmsRace, but if you really need to squash a heavily-defended target, you hit it with a high-speed planet or two.
* Creator/ArthurCClarke:
** In ''Earthlight'', the lunar observatory's secret weapon fires a bolt of white-hot molten iron at its attackers. Damage is done not from heat, but simply from the force of the impact.
** It's implied in ''Literature/TheSongsOfDistantEarth,'' another of his novels, that firearms remained in use even up to the planet's destruction ''thousands of years in the future.''
* In Tanya Huff's ''[[Literature/ConfederationOfValor Valor's Choice]]'', the main protagonist is asked by a pacifist member of the Confederation ([[HumansAreWarriors humans and two other species were recruited to do the fighting]]) why they use stretchers that need to be carried, rather than the local equivalent of anti-gravity. She responds that both they and "The Others" routinely attempt to disable all electronic devices used by their opponents, and they use hand-carried stretchers for the wounded for the same reason they use "primitive projectile weapons" that have to "be physically smashed to stop working".
* The plot of the Creator/TomClancy novel ''[[Literature/JackRyan The Cardinal of the Kremlin]]'' centers around the US and USSR developing strategic laser weapons and trying to steal the plans of their counterpart's systems from each other, but after that book, laser weapons are forgotten about. Eventually in ''The Bear and the Dragon'', the lead researcher of the US team reappears and mentions that they never succeeded in making a laser large enough to be useful. All militaries in the series use conventional weaponry when fighting each other.
* ''Literature/TheKillingStar'' shows how destructive the liberal application of kinetic energy can be when a barrage of solid matter accelerated to near light speed is used to destroy all advanced life on Earth. They are appropriately called relativistic bombs.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' guns aren't necessarily "better," but when [[BigBad Visser Three]] mocks humans for their "primitive projectile weapons" [[PragmaticVillainy Visser One]] points out that a single bullet can still kill a [[BigDumbBody Hork-Bajir]] quite effectively.
* In ''Literature/TheCourseOfEmpire'', the Jao and the Ekhat are used to laser and plasma weapons, and their armor and force fields are geared for reflecting laser or deflecting plasma. They are thus vulnerable to raw kinetic force, making "primitive" human artillery very effective.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' novel ''[[Literature/BlackFleetCrisis Before the Storm]]'', the New Republic Fifth Battle Group goes on a live-fire military exercise against a moon armed with a [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/HVs-2_hypervelocity_gun hypervelocity gun]], an [[AntiAir anti-orbital]] weapon which is a mass accelerator rather than an energy weapon. More of them turn up in the ''Star Wars'' RTS ''VideoGame/EmpireAtWar''.
** The novel ''Literature/{{Shatterpoint}}'' features the DOKAW (De-Orbiting Kinetic Anti-emplacement Weapon), a hundred-kilo hunk of durasteel that falls from space to hit the ground at ten kilometers per second.
--> "In a word: WHAM."
* In the ''Literature/{{Nameless War}}'' series railguns heavily used by humanity in a number of capacities ranging from point defence guns through to large caliber guns for orbital bombardment and the anti ship role. While they have a short effective range against targets that are able to maneuver, they are massively destructive. During the course of the war the humans also use recoiless rifles to put up walls of shrapnel between their ships and incoming Nameless missiles.
* The ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series uses kinetic weapons heavily, though in conjunction with nuclear warheads and FrickinLaserBeams. In particular two capital ships in the ''America'' battle group are described as using [[MagneticWeapons railguns]] for their primary weapons, and in addition to their other armaments SG-92 Starhawks are armed with [[MoreDakka Gatling railguns]] that fire steel-jacketed[[note]]so the magnetic fields have something to launch it with[[/note]] depleted uranium slugs. ''America'' herself sometimes uses her fighter launch catapults to accelerate slugs instead. And of course there's the non-standard tricks [[AcePilot Lt. Trevor Gray]] has used with AMSO canisters, fighter-scale anti-missile countermeasures filled with "sand" (actually nodules of degenerate matter).
* Literature/{{Discworld}} has this effect as well. A Wizard might be able to lob a fireball with the power level of a small nuclear device, but would probably fall over unconscious from the effort. Meanwhile, Sergeant Detritus of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch would be loading up for his fourth shot with the Piece Maker: A converted siege ballista he handles as easily as a human handles a regular crosssbow. Piece Maker, however, fires a huge bundle of arrows...which usually break apart and ''catch fire'' when fired. It is very effective at removing the front door of a house. And the back door. At the same time. And both door frames. And a large portion of the surrounding walls.
* The ''Literature/DirigentMercenaryCorps'' series does have hand-held energy weapons, which are useful in specific applications because they're basically silent. However the primary weapons used are chemical firearms.
* The ''Literature/ArkRoyal'' is primarily armed with powerful mass drivers that while considered decades obsolete, still pack a major punch. Capable of destroying most alien carriers with a single hit.
* In ''Literature/ThePrideOfParahumans'' the protagonists' ship uses coilguns to deflect meteors because "hitting a stray rock with a fast-moving iron slug tended to get it out of the way a lot faster than melting it with a beam of concentrated light." Also, they're cheaper.
* Oddly enough, this applies to ''spells'' in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' if the target has magic immunity. Take [[spoiler: the Genoskwa]], for example. Throw a freezing spell capable of crystallysing an ogre at it? Grounded. Force magic? NoSell. Stone-hard, watermelon-sized ice cannonballs propelled by force magic? Those ''hurt''. Also, if the wizard's powers are weak, they'd better use a gun in a battle.
* Deliberately invoked by some Catachan Jungle Fighters in the last ''Literature/TheLastChancers'' novel ''Annihilation Squad''. One of the Last Chancers asks why they don't use lasguns against the orks since they are quieter, they could carry more ammo per kilogram and logistics would make it easier to resupply. The leader of the Catachan squad explains that orks have a great deal more respect for weapons which are loud and flashy, and that it is much easier to stop a charging bull ork with a bullet than a laser beam.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' dances around this trope in episodes set in the future. One future setting will have weapons identical to modern day ones, yet another future episode, sometimes even set before a "kinetic" episode will have highly advanced energy weapons. Could be justified with the Human Empire rising and falling repeatedly, which could result in a loss of technology with every fall.
** When it comes to effectiveness though, energy weapons are shown to be only ''slightly'' more effective against certain foes like the Cybermen and the Daleks. When it comes to defeating them, the only kinetic weapon shown to outright destroy them are rocket launchers.
* The new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' series: The show uses real-life guns in the show, or at least slightly dressed up ones. Even the starships slug it out like WWII battleships with heavy cannons and [[MoreDakka walls of small-caliber AA fire]], along with nuclear warheads.
** Commander Adama even tells his XO to "find me some bullets" after all the ammunitions had been removed while prepping the ''Galactica'' to become a museum ship.
** During the briefing prior to the Battle of the Colony, Adama orders the gun crews to keep firing until they run out of ammo, and then to start throwing rocks.
* ''Space Rangers:'' Takes place in 2104, however rifles and other projectile weapons are used in combat.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' is set some 500 years into the future. Projectile weapons are mainly used, since they are cheaper and more reliable than energy weapons. Hand-held energy weapons do show up at a few points:
** The target of the heist in "Trash" is a valuable antique prototype laser. When the time comes, though, Inara tries to shoot her, fails, instead pulling out her own piece. Though logically, a display piece wouldn't be kept loaded in the first place.
** In "Heart of Gold", a rich cowboy got himself an illegally-modified laser pistol, which caused some severe harm, but becomes useless once the battery runs out. The cowboy throws it away as he flees rather than attempt PistolWhipping (though Mal's larger military pistol has it outclassed for that purpose).
** In "Ariel," as Jayne and the Tams flee the Hands of Blue, Jayne fails to blast open a locked door by shooting it with a high-tech sonic stun rifle. A moment later, Mal and Zoe shoot out the lock from the other side with good old kinetic slugthrowers. That said, the sonic weapons seemed to be designed for non-lethal takedowns, so you can't really fault a weapon specifically designed not to cause property damage for failing to cause property damage.
** The sound effects used for the gunshots have caused some to believe that the guns are energy weapons, despite the cartridges being shown in multiple scenes.
** The Word of God explanation is that the reason that energy weapons are rare is that they have a tendency to cut through solid metal, which is an undesirable effect when you live on a spaceship.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Even though the humans of Earth have access to tons of alien technology, modern-day weapons are still used for ground combat. {{Justified|Trope}} since it has been shown that firearms were often more effective than their energy counterparts, particularly when used against the Replicators. Additionally, in the case of the Goa'uld, their weapons were designed for subjugation rather than combat effectiveness, as O'Neill's often-quoted line below shows.
--->'''O'Neil:''' ''[hefts a staff weapon]'' This is a weapon of '''terror.''' It's made to '''intimidate''' the enemy. ''[returns staff to owner and hefts a P90] ''This is a weapon of '''war.''' It's made to '''kill''' your enemy.
** So much so that, in later seasons, even Teal'c largely abandons his own Staff weapon in favor of dual-wielding the standard-issue P90.
** In one episode, Thor specifically uses bullets as an example of the human race's [[HumansAreSpecial outside-the-box thinking]]. Asgard are so intelligent, their first instinct when faced with an unforeseen problem is to build a hyper-complex gadget -- this means they can be caught flat-footed when the best solution is simply to get a hammer and swing it.
--->'''Thor:''' The Asgard would never invent a weapon that propels small weights of iron and carbon alloys, by igniting a powder of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur.
** Averted in ship-to-ship combat. Rail guns are, at best, useful as point-defense and anti-fighter weapons, and Tau'ri ships are seriously outgunned until they got the extremely powerful Asgard plasma beam cannons. The nukes are kept, too, because there's always something that needs to be nuked. The reason railguns seem weak in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' is probably that the targets they are used against '''are freaking humongous'''. Those hives do pack some bulk, after all. Not to mention that they have a great deal of experience fighting the Ancients and their vastly superior kinetic kill weapons.
** Played straight by the Ancients. After going through energy weapons in all sizes, powered by all kinds of things (another dimension, for example...) they still arrived at remotely-controlled drones that simply fly very fast and punch holes in their targets (albeit with the help of their weaponized force fields).
** Partially averted in later seasons once the SGC has presumably gathered a significant stockpile of [[StaticStunGun Zat'nik'tel]]. Though they don't appear to ever become the official SGC sidearm, SG-1 seems to carry Zats in hip holsters frequently rather than waiting to salvage them off Jaffa mooks. They're just that useful. Likewise, Wraith stunner pistols fill the same niche. Also averted by Ronon's Traveler gun. An energy pistol in the shape of a hand cannon, it is easily superior to Tau'ri firearms and several characters express appreciation for just how effective it is.
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Starfleet developed a projectile weapon known as the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/TR-116_rifle TR-116 rifle]], in the event that personnel were in environments where phasers would be undesirable; {{EMP}}-like areas, or simply atmospheres that might be ''ignited'' by phasers. The rifle had some interesting uses; [[spoiler:Chu'lak]] modified it with a mini-transporter, allowing it to beam its bullet to ''other rooms'' only a few centimeters from its target, and a high precision visual sensor, allowing for lethal targeting up to the maximum range of the micro-transporter (plus the effective range of the rifle). The rifle never entered service due to the invention of newer technologies. In some of the ''Deep Space'' novels, however, the rifle is said to be quite useful, especially against the Borg. It is also implied that another reason Starfleet doesn't use the weapon is because it is ''too good'', since one can modify it to transport bullets, allowing potential assassins to do their work with little effort. Whether or not it has a semi or full auto function isn't mentioned... but all things considered, it can be assumed.
** It's been established in the expanded Trek universe that the Borg drones have a distinct, specific weakness to kinetic weaponry, since their personal shield technology does not include particle shielding. It is unknown if their ships suffer the same fault.
** Between the aforementioned newer technologies and the fact that the weapon '''lacks a non-lethal option''', Starfleet would have happily discontinued the TR-116 as soon as possible. Less a case of "too good" and more a case of "This is only good for assassination now, so the [[HumansAreGood United Federation of Planets]] does not need it." Of course, the plans aren't classified enough, and in the only episode featuring the TR-116, [[spoiler:this fact plus crazy person plus replicator equals murder.]]
*** [[spoiler: It also leads to an embarrassing incident of Dax accusing an innocent man of the murders because he'd accessed the plans and replicated one. He collected exotic weapons as a hobby.]]
*** [[spoiler: You just know if some old eccentric kook can access the plans, [[FridgeHorror Section 31 has probably mass produced them and uses them quite liberally.]]]]
*** And, of course, since it uses a transporter signal, once the enemy figured out what sort of weapon you were using, it would be a relatively simple process to pinpoint your location and/or use shielding to block the rifle's transporter. Except that O'Brien specifically noted that the mini-transporter's signal is too faint and too quick to get a workable trace, which is why they couldn't trace the killer that way in the ''Deep Space Nine'' episode.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' plays with it:
** As small arms, kinetic weapons such as firearms are ''too good'', and when used on a starship they could ricochet or penetrate a hull or something important, as explained by Garibaldi when he whips out his grandmother's Smith & Wesson .38 Special. Hence why most everyone uses [=PPGs=] (a particular energy weapon with poor penetration) on spaceships, and [=EarthForce=] and the few others who still use projectile-based small arms confine them to planetbound environments, where overpenetration doesn't carry the same risk.
*** That said, even [=EarthForce=] is moving away from projectile weapons, as while they're powerful they carry too little ammo and weigh more, and the only reason they haven't yet is that they're still figuring out how.
** As vehicle-mounted weapons, the RPG shows that kinetics fare well in planet-bound environments, and the major armies all have some sort of artillery. In space they're also devastating, but suffer from reduced range.
** When it comes to OrbitalBombardment, "mass drivers" -- cannons that [[ColonyDrop drop asteroids on a planet's surface]] -- are the most effective weapons. However, they are banned precisely for that reason: during [[GreatOffscreenWar the Dilgar War]] many planets were devastated (and one made completely uninhabitable) by the use of mass drivers, and over two centuries earlier the [[GreatOffscreenWar Centauri-Orieni War]] saw ''multiple worlds made uninhabitable with their populations wiped out'' by the weapon, that was first deployed during this conflict. Then, in season 2, the Centauri chose to ''[[AppealToForce ignore the treaties]]'' and used them to bomb Narn into submission. Every other member of the League of Nonaligned Worlds lodged an official protest against the Centauri for this; ''even the Vorlons.''
* In ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', most large ships only use energy weapons for point defense; most combat uses relativistic missiles or, at extreme close range, anti-proton cannons. As for hand-held weapons, people typically carry gauss pistols with smart bullets or [[SwissArmyWeapon force lances]] that can fire mini drones or plasma bursts depending on the situation. ''Andromeda'' tries to stretch known physics only as far as necessary. The main sci-fi element in space flight and combat in this series is mass manipulation. Spaceships can fly fast because they can adjust their mass to a tiny fraction of reality, whereas kinetic missile warheads pack a punch by reducing their mass in-flight (to get to 90% speed of light) and then re-amplifying their mass just before impact so they tear through enemy ships (which are thus designed with small parts with lots of open space between so that any kinetic impacts pass clean through and have less chance of impacting a vital area).
* In one of the Franchise/{{Godzilla}} episodes of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', the characters stumble across some human skeletons in a cave:
-->'''Guy #1:''' Aaaah!\\
'''Guy #2:''' Relax. They're dead, they can't hurt you.\\
'''Crow:''' If they were going 90 miles an hour, they could hurt you!
* Largely averted in ''Series/Cleopatra2525'' but played straight in one episode. One of the characters turns out to be a Thaw - someone frozen back in the 20-21st centuries and recently found and revived. The guy still has his [=9mm=], which he cleans and maintains every day. Nobody else uses ballistic weapons in the 26th century. So, when the episode's bad guy turns on an impenetrable shield, Sarge pulls out the gun and shoots him, the shield not being calibrated to stop projectiles.

* ''Pinball/TheGetawayHighSpeed2'' has the Supercharger, which magnetically accelerates pinballs around an elevated loop before throwing them back onto the playfield.
* Also appears as the Jumps Loop in Creator/SteveRitchie's ''[[Pinball/NoFearDangerousSports No Fear: Dangerous Sports]]'', but the player must make well-timed shots with the upper-right flipper to continue the loop and build up speed.
* Creator/SternPinball's ''Pinball/{{NASCAR}}'' features an oval raceway around the playfield that magnetically accelerates pinballs into the game.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'': Energy weapons do more damage than kinetic weapons and have a far greater ammo capacity, but while a laser ''pistol'' does as much damage as a slug thrower ''rifle'' it also weighs the same and costs as much as a rocket launcher (2,000 cr., for comparison a revolver costs 150 cr. and most rifles cost 1,000 cr. or less).
* Played with in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', where due to the SchizoTech setting, FrickinLaserBeams coexist with more conventional firearms. Lasguns are easier to mass-produce, more reliable, and are easier on logistics since their "ammo" is rechargeable and robust power packs. Autoguns are easier to fire on full-auto, don't draw a line to your hidden position, and allow for different ammo types to adapt to different enemies and situations. Lasguns are good assault weapons, and autoguns can make good tactical weapons. But on the tabletop, the two are both interchangeable and among the weakest weapons available.
** ...but when you start to scale them up, [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards Linear Kinetic, Quadratic Energy]] comes into play. Kinetic guns such as Bolt weapons, which fire armor-piercing mass-reactive explosive gyrojet rounds, are much better at shredding infantry than a [[GatlingGood Multilaser]], which packs slightly more punch but is unable to penetrate even a basic flak jacket. But when it comes to annihilating a hard target, laser, [[PlasmaCannon plasma]], or [[KillItWithFire melta]] weapons are preferred, while most big kinetic weapons are still being focused on cutting down hordes of light infantry. That said, a Leman Russ battle tank's main cannon is capable of blowing a hole in a squad of {{Space Marine}}s, while a Basilisk artillery piece has two advantages over a Lascannon: it can fire indirectly over intervening terrain, and at a much greater distance.
*** [[TabletopGame/BattlefleetGothic In space]] things are a bit more muddled. On the one hand, a laser "Lance" weapon is more reliable at dealing damage than a [[SpaceIsAnOcean broadside]] of more conventional guns. But a shell from a Nova Cannon fires a massive, exploding shell at relativistic speeds, and is capable of destroying entire squadrons of kilometre-long spacecraft, thousands of kilometres apart, in a spectacular explosion.
*** [[GaidenGame Spinoff game]] ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'', by virtue of its slum-style setting, makes armour and energy weapons hard-to-get elite gear. Ordinary slug-throwers and shotguns are the predominant weapons in the game.
** In the [[TabletopRPG RPGs]] ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'' and ''TabletopGame/OnlyWar'' the need to worry about logistics makes Lasguns some of the most popular weapons simply because the ammunition for them is much easier to acquire than bullets for other weapons (and empty power packs can be recharged).
** The [[SpaceElves Eldar]] follow the Imperial model for the most part, and their Shuriken-based weapons fire hails of [[SharpenedToASingleAtom molecularly-thin]] crystalline projectiles comparable to Bolt weapons in effectiveness, making up in rate of fire what they may lack in range. Their most potent weapons remain lasers such as the Bright Lance, or the more esoteric [[SphereOfDestruction Distort Cannon]].
** The Tau however play the trope straight. Their Pulse Rifles fire bursts of magnetically-accelerated plasma, making them among the deadliest weapons fielded by any army's basic infantry. But their most dangerous weapons are [[MagneticWeapons Railguns]] capable of punching two neat holes on opposite sides of a battle tank (while leaving a twenty-metre red stain on the ground extending from the exit hole).
** Also played straight by da Orks. A common attitude among Ork boyz is that a shoota isn't "proppa" if it doesn't leave a hefty chunk of something in it's target. This may have something to do with their experiences with the Imperial lasgun coupled with their own SuperToughness. Orks will, however, make some exceptions for beamy guns that are [[{{BFG}} sufficiently "killy"]], like a good Zzap gun or Plazma Deffgun.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Battletech}}'' chemically propelled cannons and lasers coexist. Energy weapons generally have the advantage in firepower-per-weight, and don't run out of ammunition as long as the mech's reactor is still working. However, energy weapons generate large amounts of heat, and an energy-heavy mech needs a lot of gear to deal with that, reducing the overall amount of weapons and armour. Plus, The highest-damaging weapons in the game are all kinetic(or explosive), and they often have the added versatility of using different kinds of ammunition. There are still discussions which is better in-game. It's also worth noting that even in the far future, there is no better weapon for anti-infantry duty than the lowly but battle-tested heavy machine gun and even the lightest mech can carry a large amount of ammo for one.
** Gauss weapons also exist in the setting, and are some of the deadliest pieces of equipment around. At the high end there's starship-mounted mass drivers, which can lob 90-ton projectiles around in combat. On the downside, while the rounds themselves are made of inert metal, the huge electrical capacitors that power the launchers can do some ''serious'' damage to their own users if they get hit and explode.
** The Federated Suns love using Autocannons, many of their mechs such as the [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Jager_Mech Jagermech]] and [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Hammerhands Hammerhands]] have autocannons as their primary weapons.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', laser weapons exist, and can penetrate armor better than their kinetic brethren, but several factors keep them from being used that much. They're expensive as hell, their ammo is expensive as hell, they're very hard to find, let alone get your hands on, and they can be quite unreliable in a pitched firefight. For those reasons, most runners tend to stick with cheaper, more reliable weapons.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' kinetic weapons generally do far more raw damage than energy weapons. Early lasers are also very dangerous to use as the chemical fumes slowly kill the wielder.
** In fact this trope is enshrined within the ''GURPS'' rules. The developers calculate weapon damage based on the square root of energy for kinetic weapons and the cube root of energy for beam weapons.
** The ''TabletopGame/TranshumanSpace'' setting exemplifies the trope even more than the main generic rules. It's a near-ish future setting with fairly realistically plausible power supply/battery technologies. That means that lasers make poor personal weapons (though there are a very few); firearms still work just fine. Less-than-lethal "electrolasers" exist as a useful option, though.
** On the other hand, energy weapons are generally far more accurate than their kinetic counterparts, possess the lowest (and best) Recoil statistics, can hold truly prodigious amounts of shots per battery/energy cell, fare better against machines (Burning damage is not reduced the way Piercing damage is against the unliving) and ultimately output the most damage at the highest Tech Levels.
* In the discontinued ''Series/BabylonFive Wars'' tabletop game, kinetic weapons ignored armor and did standard damage, which means that you could deal the attack's full damage to the component you hit, so if you hit the hull, there was a good chance you could tear a giant chunk out of it. It's main downside was that if you hit a less-than-vital component (like one forward gun out of thirty), then the damage would not transfer to the hull like the other weapon types.
* The classic ''TabletopGame/CarWars'' did have lasers, but as a rather expensive weapon. Most combat was with bullets, shells, and rockets. One {{Splat}} Book calls out lasers as being not used in the military except for things like range finding and detecting.
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' most energy weapons are designed to be "less-than-lethal", so with the exception of the [[{{BFG}} plasma rifle]] they tend to do less damage and are less effective at penetrating armor than kinetics (especially railguns).
** Considering that killing people isn't actually that useful since everyone just wakes up in a new body, debilitating and capturing them is often much much more useful in preventing them doing something. Robots and the like are pretty good at dealing with energy weapons while physically breaking them up works better to hurt them.
* The majority of weapons in ''TabletopGame/MyriadSong'' are kinetic and in fact very similar to modern-day weapons; the book states that even with how far technology has advanced, few weapons can rival the efficiency of a simple bullet. Consider the alternatives: energy weapons don't use ammo and can be used for hundreds of years, but have a problem with overheating. Then there are xenharmonic weapons, which use long-forgotten and poorly-understood technology to attack by ''creating miniature hyperspace warps''... but they're extremely rare and scientists fear that using them could end up destroying the universe.
* In ''TabletopGame/HcSvntDracones'' all personal ranged weapons except the non-lethal "Purge Wave" fire some sort of projectile, whether it be bullets, grenades, arrows, poisoned slivers, burning fuel, explosive bullets, or the 50-credit apiece shells fired by a [[{{BFG}} Mag-Lance]]. Energy weapons only appear in spaceship combat, where lasers are more expensive and have a lower rate of fire than railguns but have longer range and deal more damage per hit, while particle fields deal massive damage to everything in the one hex directly in front of the ship.
* One published campaign for AD&D took the Greyhawk setting centuries into the future where {{Magitek}} made the world look more like the 20th Century instead of quasi-medieval (dragons vs fighter jets!). Combat weapons were projectile-throwers that looked like guns, but instead of using a propellant operated via a combination of magic and science. When the weapon was fired, the gun used a spell that teleported the bullet into the vicinity of the sun and allowed it to fall for an hour or so, gaining very high velocity from gravitational acceleration. An instant after using the teleport spell, the gun used another teleport spell that pulled the bullet backwards in time so it reappeared the instant after it left, but now carrying very high velocity from it's hour-long freefall.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Despite the futuristic setting of ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'', there are only three energy weapons present, two of which are so massive that they have to be used by [[MiniMecha Titans]]. Old-fashioned machine guns and (futuristic) rocket launchers are still used by pilots and Titans alike. Hell, with the exception of the revolver, the sidearms barely look different from what you might find today.
** [[VideoGame/Titanfall2 The sequel]] backs off from this slightly. There are a few more energy weapons in the game(most of them man-portable), and one Titan with an almost all-energy loadout and the CatchAndReturn shield that makes it a tough oppnent for the other Projectile-using Titans in the right hands. Although one of those other Titans is an equally-strong contender for best Titan in the game.
* ''VideoGame/EVEOnline''. Depending on the current patches and balance changes, kinetic weapons may or may not be better than lasers.
** Caldari favor kinetic missiles, which have very low overall damage and suffer against fast-moving targets but [[AlwaysAccurateAttack never miss if they're in range]], and kinetic railguns, which have a very long optimal range but very low damage.
** Gallente favor kinetic blasters that are essentially particle shotguns. They have extremely high damage but require you to be practically sitting on your target to damage them.
** Minmatar have artillery, which has a long range and high damage but a massive reload time, and autocannons, with a short range and fairly high damage. These are the typical gun-type kinetic weapons, and as such have accuracy problems (represented by their short optimal but high falloff) but are capable of dealing varied types of damage and have a lot of versatility.
** Amarr use beam and pulse lasers, which are general-purpose weapons with no particular advantage or disadvantage in combat statistics, having solid damage and medium range. Their main upside is their lack of ammunition use and their ability to quick-change ammunition, but the downside is their high capacitor usage.
* In ''VideoGame/PlanetSide'', New Conglomerate and Terran Republic weapons follow this. The Conglomerate uses a lot of [[MagneticWeapons railguns]] and [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter shotguns]], whereas the Terrans just rely on regular guns [[MoreDakka shooting a ton of bullets everywhere.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' Sooner or later, you will find an Eridian weapon, which shoots energy. But it soon becomes obvious the Eridian weapons are AwesomeButImpractical - and even the "awesome" part is arguable at best. While they do shoot highly damaging bursts of energy, said bursts are slow, often blind the player, and are taxing on the gun's very slow-recharging ammo pool. On top of that, the only thing they work somewhat well against is the Guardians and that's when we're talking about the [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Thunder Storm]], the only reasonably useful gun of the pack. Last but not least, by the time you get these alien weapons, you'll have a fair amount of levels in the proficiency of the basic weapons, an advantage you won't get with the Eridian ones unless you're willing to go LevelGrinding.
** Inverted with E-tech guns in ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}''. E-tech weapons use [[{{Unobtanium}} Eridium]] and Eridian technology to convert regular bullets into "stuff that ain't bullets" like laser beams, exploding balls of energy, plasma, or massive globs of elemental fluid. And E-tech weaponry is with '''very''' few exceptions much more awesome and damaging than regular kinetic weaponry, with the caveats that they are ''extremely'' rare and consume twice the ammo.
** Averted in ''Videogame/{{BorderlandsThePresequel}}''. They're just... other options, and stand on roughly equal footing as the game's mostly-kinetic arsenal.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' is all over the place with this:
** The games are set around 500 years in the future, with all the [=AIs=], faster-than-light spaceships, heavy lasers, MagneticWeapons, artificial gravity systems, and powered armor suits that come with TheFuture; however, the human UNSC military is still mostly fighting with weapons and vehicles not that much dissimilar to those of today: bigass tanks, buggies, warplanes, missiles, etc, to the point that the standard UNSC assault rifle's round is literally a conventional 20th century 7.62x51mm battle-rifle bullet. Nonetheless, these can still hold their own against the Covenant's more advanced energy weapons, and even do some damage to lower-grade [[{{Precursors}} Forerunner]] robots. Even after humanity upgrades its tech substantially after the end of the Covenant War, their military still mostly uses conventional ballistic weapons.
** While most Covenant weapons like the Plasma Pistol/Rifle are energy-based, the Brute weapons from ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' onward tend to be projectile based, mainly because the Brutes enjoy being... [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment brutish]]. In fact, ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' shows that Brutes like human shotguns, for similar reasons. This stands in contrast to the attitude of the Elites, who hold human projectile weapons in contempt. That said, even the regular Covenant military commonly uses projectile weapons like the Needler and Carbine; it's just that those projectiles tend to be things like exploding crystal needles and radioactive compounds.
** Gameplay tends to zig-zag this. For the most part, players generally find human kinetic weapons (pistol, battle rifle, DMR, rocket launcher, etc.) to be superior to Covenant energy ones, in large part because the former's shots generally travel faster and farther; heck, even several of the most useful Covenant weapons to be the projectile-based ones. That said, while UNSC weapons deal out more damage to unshielded opponents, Covenant weapons bring down shields faster; a player who takes advantage of this fact with UNSC/Covenant combos can bring down enemies with ease. On the other hand, Forerunner weapons, which tend to use HardLight and other exotic energies, have been among the most powerful guns in the series since being introduced in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}''.
** As noted earlier, the UNSC ''does'' have laser weaponry, the best known being the Spartan Laser introduced in ''{{VideoGame/Halo 3}}''; it is a lot more powerful than normal human weaponry but it takes a long time to charge, uses up its battery quickly, and is tremendously expensive (costing as much as ''six Warthogs''), making it more of an anti-tank weapon than anything else. Even in the post-war era, human laser weapons are still rare and expensive.
** The defining example of this is the UNSC Super MAC, which is an entire satellite that's just one massive [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coilgun coilgun]]. It is one of the most destructive non-Forerunner weapons in the entire Orion Arm. Upon impact with a fully shielded Covenant ship, said ship promptly either explodes (it's speculated in-universe that a ship beneath a certain tonnage threshold would be outright ''vaporized'') or - more likely - has a humongous hole punched through it, as the hyperspeed shell maintains enough forward momentum to punch through a ''second'' ship, and possibly even keep going after that. That's what happens when you shoot a 3000-ton slug of ferric tungsten and depleted uranium at 12,000 kilometers per second (.04c). Some quick-and-dirty math means it's about 51.56 ''gigatons'', and if fired directly at a planet's surface, it should theoretically cause cataclysmic damage, maybe even a mass extinction; in practice, [[WritersCanNotDoMath the UNSC can use them to support ground troops just fine]]. The UNSC also has plenty of smaller-scale MagneticWeapons, like the vehicle-mounted Gauss Cannon, the infantry-scale Railgun, and the Stanchion anti-material sniper rifle.
** That said, while UNSC ground weapons can hold their own relatively well against their energy-based Covenant counterparts, Covenant ship-to-ship weapons are painfully superior to their UNSC counterparts, capable of ''boiling'' away a human ship's reinforced titanium hulls in seconds; ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach'' describes a gigantic Covenant energy projector that is proven capable of slicing through human ships in one stroke, with ''Literature/HaloEscalation'' featuring a version capable of crippling humanity's most advanced flagship with only one shot. In general lore-wise, while kinetic weapons can hold their own at infantry and, to a lesser degree, terrestrial vehicle scales, the advantage at HumongousMecha scale and above tends to go to energy weapons; this is part of why the UNSC could put up a good fight on the ground, but got their ass kicked by the Covenant in space.
* ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'': You can go into the far future in the base game yearwise, but weapons technology (and technology in general, save for the space-related tech and the ambiguous "Future Tech") will never go past modern era.
** Averted in ''VideoGame/CivilizationCallToPower'' and its sequel since weapon technology development continues past the [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture first half of the 21st century]]. This eventually grants you access plasma and fusion-based weaponry.
*** Similarly, the ''Beyond the Sword'' expansion featured a [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture near-future scenario]], with the option of adding some of this technology into the later end of a normal game.
** ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', the "sequel" to ''Civilization 2'', quickly does away with this trope, as Conventional weapons are too mundane.
** ''V'' also eventually averts this; the Giant Death Robot carries EyeBeams and ''Brave New World'' introduces the plasma-toting VideoGame/{{XCOM| Enemy Unknown}} Squad.
* ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' arguably falls into this; the vast majority of primary weapons ARE energy-based, but most secondary weapons are rockets, and ''Descent II''[='s=] Gauss Cannon is regarded as a GameBreaker for good reason, mostly damage and [[MoreDakka fire]] [[GatlingGood rate]]-partially because the kinetic primary weapons here are HitScan and the [[FrickinLaserBeams "lasers"]] are '''not'''. (Except the Omega Cannon, but its range is ''very'' short.) Same goes for ''Descent 3''[='s=] Mass Driver, which functions much like a ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' railgun in HitScan, damage, and fire rate, with that last point balancing it out compared to the Gauss Cannon, now {{Nerf}}ed into the weaker Vauss Cannon.
** To top it all off, the most feared DemonicSpiders in the series are Class 1 Drillers, which are equipped with Vulcan Cannons just like yours. That means ''they're the only enemy with HitScan weapons.'' OhCrap.
** Also, ''Descent 3'' has breakable glass. Only kinetic weapons can break glass. This is ''required'' to progress in certain levels. See where we're going with this?
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' features the Yasminkov series of weapons. The Yasminkov 9000k is one of the most popular weapons for the ranged class, due to being a Mechgun (which usually barely have ranger greater than melee weapons) with the range of a Rifle (the longest range of any weapon in the game). In addition, all of these hit instantly, while the Photon weapons have a slight delay.
** Even beyond the Yasminkov guns, PSO has an odd fixation on kinetic weapons being leagues better than their energy equivalents. Sword or spear, gun or rocket launcher, one of the signs you've found a really, ''really'' good rare is that it looks like a plain, old, ordinary kinetic weapon from the real world.
* ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' especially 'VideoGame/EnemyTerritoryQuakeWars'', seeing that the Armadillo resembles a Humvee, and Titan resembles a real life M1 Abrams Battle tank, aside from the fact that it has a chain gun on top. The helicopters are little more futuristic though, along with the computer displays inside the Armadillo, the Trojan, and the MCP.
* ''VideoGame/Battlefield2142'' aside from the floating [[AirborneAircraftCarrier Titans]], the other air vehicles, hover tanks, speeders (for the PAC at least) the Goliath, the anti-ground vehicle and anti-aircraft emplacements, and gadgets you could unlock, the guns still slung lead. Hell, the side arm for the EU was a revolver which had a speedloader cylinder. The developers stated in interviews that a gun firing bullets "felt more real to them" than just "pew pew you're dead."
* ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire'' features the TEC faction, the games obligatory "normals". The Advent (Psionic Humans) and the Vasari (Evil Aliens) use a variety of plasma, phase, and laser weaponry, but the main gun of many TEC ships is the autocannon. MoreDakka ensues.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' the only energy weapons in the game are the AwesomeButImpractical Plasma Rifle (all the fire rate of a cannon, poor accuracy unless you are a master in heavy weapons, slows you down and most of the time, its power is off set by the fact that only a handful of enemies have the health to survive most attacks) and the [=PS20=] (like a plasma rifle with instant fire, perfect accuracy... but you can only use it once and in the unmoded game, hold only one at a time). A quick SniperRifle/[[SniperPistol pistol]] shot to the head disposes of most enemies quickly and silently plus their ammo is nowhere near as rare.
* ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'' still followed this trope, although it took the UniversalAmmunition route. This was {{hand wave}}d by saying that the ammo was formed from nanites that formed the type of ammo that was needed for the gun. [[AllThereInTheManual The weapon itself contains the dedicated micro factory needed to configure the programmable matter.]]
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'': Energy weapons exist, but they are obtained too late in the game to be commonly used, and their ammo is so limited, it is advisable to only use them for certain situations. [[spoiler: For one thing, the Laser Rifle can be used to finish the last boss fight in seconds.]] Despite their power, they take up a lot of inventory space, compared to kinetics.
* ''Franchise/RedFaction'' is set in 2158 and on Mars, but weapons are pretty much the same, not including the fusion launcher.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' has flying cars, sentient computers, and flying [[ItMakesSenseInContext sentient computers]], but most of the weapons are just shinier versions of ours. The ''human'' weapons, anyway; [[TheGreys Maian]] energy weapons are pretty much {{Gamebreaker}}s.
* In ''VideoGame/LostPlanet'', energy weapons draw energy from the same reserves your environmental suit uses to keep you from burning to a cinder or freezing solid. In the sequel, you can use abilities that reduces costs from the energy weapons.
* ''VideoGame/KillZone'': The weapons used are very little different from modern day weapons. Concept art detailing the history of the Killzone world has a present-day looking Humvee and a soldier is holding a M16 rifle. The former photo is set in the 22nd century, and the latter the 23rd.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'' the weapons are highly advanced, but are said to function using a mass driver as opposed to firing energy. They are not MagneticWeapons, however - instead, the titular mass effect creates artificial gravity, speeding up small pieces of metal, about the size of sand, up to speeds that make it as lethal as a bullet. This for magazines to hold thousands of rounds, thus negating the need to reload over the course of a single mission. The weapons have virtually unlimited power sources as well. Unfortunately, they overheat rapidly unless special weapon modifications are used. And in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' they don't even cool down on their own - you have to ''reload heat sinks'', which end up being completely analogous to ammo. The starships are explicitly stated to be built around railguns, as large as their frames can support.
** The Phasic and Proton Rounds ammunition mods can convert whatever weapon you slot them in into a partially energy-based weapon which combines mass and charged particles, according to the fluff. Even then, though, the trope is upheld; neither of these mods are all that useful, dealing out LESS overall damage in return for some of that damage being dealt to the target's health through their shields. Specialist solid rounds often do better just through sheer damage output.
** Many non-standard weapons superficially resembling BeamSpam are still considered mass accelerators:
*** The Collector Assault Rifle uses "metallic enamel" as a physical projectile, and the geth weaponry is exactly the same as other guns, except with a phasic envelope.
*** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' explains that the weapons Sovereign uses that ''look'' like energy weapons actually aren't either -- they instead operate somewhat like coilguns, only firing an elongated projectile of superheated metal at the target instead of a solid slug so that not only does the target suffer the impact of the jet, but the jet itself burns through the target like a torch. It took less than a year after the end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' for the normal races to build a prototype of the same type of weapon, and you can upgrade the ''[[CoolStarship Normandy]]'' with one [[WaveMotionGun (two cannons, actually, which fire together to look like one big weapon)]]. And boy, oh boy is it effective! The one time they're actually used, the Normandy [=SR2=] proceeds to utterly vaporize a much heavier and (ostensibly) more advanced warship with a mere two shots. Suddenly, your Frigate hits like a Dreadnought!
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' also features an exposé on kinetic weapons by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpgxry542M an ornery drill sergeant bringing a couple of cadets up to speed on coil guns]]. 20kg of solid metal flung at 1.3% of the speed of light impacts with a force of 38kt, and due to the lack of friction in space, should one happen to miss their target, it's ''certain'' to ruin ''someone's'' day somewhere, sometime. Sir UsefulNotes/IsaacNewton is the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space!
** However, it is mentioned that if a practical and compact infantry-scale energy weapon that is unaffected by atmospheric beam dissipation was ever developed, combat will go through a huge paradigm shift because all current shielding technology is designed to repel kinetic weaponry, hence the term "kinetic barrier".
*** The Collectors apparently have done exactly that with their Collector Particle Beam heavy weapon. This is ignored in game for [[GameplayAndStorySegregation balance purposes]] - the Collector Particle Beam still has to eat through shields before hitting any ceramic armor or fleshy stuff. Partially justified in that it's shooting ''particles'' as opposed to electromagnetic energy, and your kinetic barriers can still protect you from any high energy particles that have mass, such as plasma and even [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief deadly radiation from a dying sun]] (many radiation types are just massive particles: positrons, neutrons, helium nuclei. Ultraviolet, gamma radiation is photonic, so it's a problem).
*** Shipboard laser weapons do exist, and are no less powerful than kinetic weapons (plus they ignore kinetic barriers): their main disadvantage is their range. Light refraction causes lasers to attenuate rapidly, while (as explained above) kinetic weapons can keep going for damn near forever. This means that GARDIAN lasers are very effective against fighters, and in short range "knife fights" between larger ships, but have effective ranges tens of thousands of kilometers shorter than larger kinetic weapons.
** [[{{Precursors}} The Protheans]], apparently used to abide by this trope. They later developed laser like weaponry in order to avoid supply problems; the rifle in question is very useful and practical, provided you can keep it from {{Overheating}}.
** It runs out that [[spoiler:the Derelict Reaper]], the only known [[spoiler:Reaper]] to have been killed in combat by a civilisation before [[spoiler:Sovereign]], was gunned down in a single shot by an ''[[WaveMotionGun enormous]]'' Mass Accelerator. The round proceeded to cut ''through'' the target and sliced a ten-thousand-kilometre long gash in the side of a planet ''in a completely different solar system''.
** In the ''Citadel'' DLC for ''Mass Effect 3'', you can get your hands on an assault rifle from ''Mass Effect 1'' that uses the first game's cooldown mechanic (i.e. no heat sinks) yet has been modified to pack a punch of modern (i.e. ''[=ME3=]'' standards) weapons. Thus, you have a weapon with virtually unlimited ammo but can't fire it in long bursts.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series gives the player access to energy weapons, but kinetics are the weapon of choice. And there's a wide choice, from hand-thrown spears to the electromagnetic [[GatlingGood minigun]] (''VideoGame/{{Fallout Tactics|BrotherhoodOfSteel}}'').
** In the second game the Salvatore gang in New Reno is widely known and feared for its exclusivity of use of the energy weaponry supplied by the Enclave. People in the game even said that a one thug with a simple laser pistol wiped out an entire squad armed with regular weapons. But it's quite an opposite in the game -- early energy weapons do barely any damage, and they do almost nothing to metal armor-wearing opponents. This is evident, for example, if you start a gunfight in the Salvatores' bar -- The supposedly strong thugs with laser pistols do no damage to you, while a bartender with ye olde double-barreled shotgun does 20 times more damage than them.
*** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' (without expansion packs at least) plays this trope much more straight than the previous games. Small arms are better than laser weapons, and even the late-game plasma weapons aren't a big improvement, have much more common ammo, and have a huge selection of weapons from short ranged devastators like combat shotguns to long ranged sniper rifles. The unique alien raygun is good, but so are many unique small arms like the [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln Lincoln's repeater]].
*** However, as the game progresses this trope is averted. Plasma weapons become more available as does their ammunition. If the PC acquires A3-21's Plasma Rifle this weapon is easily a match for the damage and effectiveness of any conventional firearm. Also if expansion packs come into play the Metal Blaster Laser Rifle is a match for the most powerful shotguns while the Gauss Rifle is a devastatingly potent energy weapon that can challenge the best sniper rifles for damage potential. The alien Destabilizer, MPLX Novasurge Plasma Pistol, Microwave Emitter, and Tri-Beam Laser Rifle are also very powerful energy weapons.
*** The Alien Blaster is available in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'' and ''2'' as well. Its ammunition is reasonably common in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', and it is one of the better weapons in the game, being as fast as the Gauss pistol, with a much larger clip and a higher maximum damage (but a larger damage variance). It does adhere to the trope in that it is fairly inaccurate.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' works more to put energy weapons and regular guns on equal footing, as it has perks and several high-tier energy weapons that are among the best guns in the game. Even default energy weapons will often have a Damage Threshold reduction effect, which means that they do more of their full damage to heavily armoured targets such as robots or {{de|monicSpiders}}athclaws. The only serious problem you may encounter when using energy weapons is that both guns and ammunition are uncommon and expensive.[[note]]The ammo problem can be lessened by recycling spent ammo (4:1 for each ammo type) and the "Vigilant Recycler" perk can lighten the ammo strain by giving you twice as much ammo for every drained cell, lowering the cost to recycle (e.g. 3 energy cells for 1), and allowing you to recycle them into "Optimized" ammo which is all around beter. The Laser [=RCW=] also has a recyler mod that ignores the cost of every fourth shot of the rare Electron Charge Pack batteries.[[/note]]
* In ''VideoGame/UFOAfterlight'', Earth technology based projectile weapons have better stats than laser-based weapons and electricity-based weapons. And all other ranged weapon types become unwieldy heavy weapons in human hands. Your main opponents also use primarily projectile weapons, but tend towards AbnormalAmmo. Although, like every other game in the ''[[VideoGame/UFOAfterblank Afterblank]]'' series, the best weapon depends on the enemy. Projectile weapons are either decent or great against most enemies, which is why they are universally favored, but lasers are exceptional against robots and enemies susceptible to fire, and plasma weapons are devastating to most enemies with shields (which are not designed to defend against plasma). More specialized weapons have more specific applications. In all three games, for example, warp weapons are murderous against armored foes and almost completely useless against unarmored foes (since there's not enough mass to warp).
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion''
** In the first game, while energy-based weapons don't have particular weaknesses, in their tech class, particle/ammo-based weapons halve the effectiveness of shields. A side effect of this is that projectile weapons take longer to become ineffective due to the onward march of technology.
** In ''Master of Orion II'' both types have their advantages: artillery have fixed damage and always can get [[MoreDakka Auto Fire]] and Armor Piercing (also gives early {{Critical Hit}}s) modifications while beam weapons have damage decreasing with range, but also special properties like extra destructive effects or Shield Piercing.
* In ''VideoGame/FrontMission'' the only instance of energy weapons are from orbital lasers and in 4 where laser weapons were developed at last. Most of the time however, Wanzers relied on smoothbore guns, grenade launchers, antitank rifles and autocannons. The Siege Rifle is essentially a giant railgun for Wanzer use.
** There was also the secret experimental beam weapons in ''Front Mission 3''. One of which was on an enemy mech, the other could be gotten through a secret code used on the in-game Internet. It did tremendous damage, but the fact is you wouldn't be very skilled with it due to how late in the game you got it and it was difficult to fire due to it's high AP cost. Pretty though.
* ''VideoGame/PlanetAlcatraz'' plays this trope straight with hand-held firearms. Most of them are made with materials and technologies available on the planet, so this is pretty much expected. Even the "Imperial Weapon", state-of-the-art weaponry used by main peace-keeping forces, also uses ammunition. The KillSat, however, uses some sort of thermal/laser beam.
* ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' plays this straight in the first game, where directed-energy weapons are expensive, bulky and slow-firing compared to coilguns and particularly useless against fighters or corvettes. It slips a bit in semi-sequel ''Cataclysm'', [[AllThereInTheManual insofar as a gun that fires 'magnetic bottles' full of superheated gas counts as a directed-energy weapon]], but returns in full force in ''Homeworld 2''.
** It's more accurate to say that energy weapons are useless against small ships. Those ion beams and plasma launchers of bombers, are very effective against frigates and capital ships.
*** However, in ''Cataclysm'', Somtaaw engineers manage to develop an energy weapon system that specializes in destroying fighters and other small craft. Unfortunately, Somtaaw either doesn't share this technology or the Hiigarans promptly forget it since it isn't present in ''Homeworld 2''.
* ''VideoGame/DarkestOfDays'' future weapons are just {{BFG}}s. Interestingly, the sniper rifles from historical wars are more accurate than the future gun, which is affected by wind and gravity, but historical rifles aren't.
* In ''VideoGame/EndWar'' the JSF (America)'s WMD is a Kinetic Strike from the Freedom Star space station. Basically a large metal rod fired from space. The trailer shows 3 rods being fired at Paris to defeat the Russian forces overwhelming an American battle group.
* The ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series simultaneously plays this trope straight and averts it while providing justifications for both. Energy weapons are repeatedly shown to be horrifically powerful (the Tau Cannon and Gluon Gun in ''Half-Life'', the former capable of destroying tanks and helicopters, and Combine Dark Energy weaponry in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' and its Episodes) and also the epitome of AwesomeButImpractical, requiring enormous amounts of ''radioactive'' fuel to function. As a result, while every faction (the player included) uses kinetic weapons almost exclusively, energy weapons are still used in situations that require a BiggerStick and/or when the requisite fuel is readily available.
** The Gravity Gun manages to count as both -- on one hand, it's plainly an energy weapon (a ''[[PerpetualMotionMachine zero point energy]]''-powered weapon in fact); on the other hand, its "ammo" is decidedly material. It also averts the drawback energy weapons had in the first game by requiring no external power whatsoever, due to an extradimensional [[PowerCrystal crystal]].
* ''Half-Life'''s sister franchise, ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' loves bullets so much, [[CartridgesInFlight they fire the WHOLE Bullet]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xR26S9mNgU That's 65% More Bullet, Per Bullet]]
* The Alt Eisen of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsCompact2''. In a setting where most HumongousMecha are powered by AppliedPhlebotinum, tinkered with by aliens, shoot FrickinLaserBeams and {{Sphere of Destruction}}s and other unworldly powers, this RealRobot uses solely solid-based weapons. Unfortunately, it's an AwesomeButImpractical unit, due to its specifications and difficulty in handling in-story. However, it functions on RuleOfCool, due to its pilot having been BornLucky and in his hands, is able to take it to a point where it rivals {{Super Robot|Genre}}s in damage capabilities. Demonstrated [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDZ9jBfbBso here]] in ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration 2nd Super Robot Wars Original Generation]]''. OUCH!
* Kinetic weapons makes up a substantial minority of the weapon options found in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'', where they are favored by the Hivers, Zuul and Tarka. Kinetic weapons deal more damage and generally have longer ranges than energy weapons (though less so than missiles and torpedoes) and cause their targets to veer of course from the force of the impact. The game's premier anti-planet weapon, [[ColonyDrop Siege Drivers]], are also kinetic. Kinetic weapons are, however, wildly inaccurate without targeting tech and deflectable by armor technology, fire more slowly than energy weapons, and up until Argos Naval Yard lacked the late-level exotic weapon variants that you could get up the energy weapons tree.
** The latest expansion, however, did introduce the Rail Cannons, two or three of which are mounted on Impactor cruisers and six (or seven... or ten for [[BewareTheNiceOnes Liir]]) on Impactor dreadnoughts. Their decent enough reload rate makes them deadly against most ships. The only way to avoid being destroyed by these is to use {{deflector|Shields}}s (type of shield that blocks all kinetic weapons) or shield projectors.
*** Even with the shields, the target ship still gets pushed by the impact. This can either cause the ship to collide with another object (such as a planet) or be pushed in such a way that the shield no longer protects it (deflectors only protect from frontal assaults).
** The sequel adds another nuance to shipbuilding and gameplay that further murks up the waters - power requirements. Ship's systems and weapons must now share a power source, which means BeamSpam may no longer be an option for some designs as exceeding power availability causes reduction in rate of fire. This means that kinetic weapons, which require significantly less power, are once again an attractive option, although the new damage spread system shows that lasers offer better penetration than mass drivers. Also, kinetics have their own rate limiting factor, Supply. In the end the best way is still to make a balance of both.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', you have access to a ridiculous number of ranged damage sets. Most of these are elemental or energy based, but three (Archery, Assault Rifle, and Dual Pistols) rely solely on kinetic weaponry. While firing a bow and Arrow isn't as cool as PlayingWithFire, the Weapon Sets certainly aren't starving for damage. They also have a unique advantage in the fact that their "Nuke" powers don't leave their users exhausted.
* In ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'', mass drivers are one of three choices you have for weapon tech paths, along with missiles and energy weapons. Which one was better depends on what form of defenses your enemies are using - shields defend against energy weapons, point defence protects ships from missiles, and plain old armour plating stops mass drivers. Mass drivers' advantage is being the cheapest option, if the second bulkiest after missiles.
* In the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series, the Mass Driver {{gatling g|ood}}un allows you to destroy hulls of enemy ships by [[ArmorPiercingAttack bypassing shields]] (and non-capital ships usually have weak hull ratings, relying almost completely on shields). They use almost no energy, and their projectiles travel at very decent speed. To finish it off, let's remember that any hull damage inflicted on a ship may [[SubsystemDamage result in loss of equipment (including weapons and cargo)]] and can inflict penalties on their speed. Its main downsides are that you need to buy ammo for it (whereas energy weapons are powered by your ship's reactor), and that it is strictly a fighter-size weapon; furthermore, fighter vessels usually do not have large enough cargo spaces to justify carrying the corresponding ammunition for the gun and the gun itself is only compatible with a few specific fighter craft (only Argon and Split fighter vessels can carry the gun, unfortunately). You ''can'' kill a capital ship with it through the shields, [[DeathOfAThousandCuts but it takes]] ''[[DeathOfAThousandCuts FOREVER]]''.
** On the other end of the weapon spectrum is the Gauss Cannon, an anticapital weapon that is described in fluff as a coilgun. While it doesn't bypass shields like the aforementioned Mass Driver, it does more hull damage than any other weapon in the game. It's also popular among players for the fact that it can be mounted on the flank turrets of the [[MightyGlacier Teladi Shrike frigate]], which lets it take on full-sized capital ships. Made even more awesome in ''X3: Albion Prelude'', which buffed all hull strength values by an order of magnitude, making the Gauss Cannon's high hull damage even more useful.
** In general, ammo-using weapons are liked by some players because they allow ships to maintain a high rate of fire for longer since they don't draw on the ship's energy reserves (when they run out, ROF for energy weapons drops to about half, depending on the ship and weapon). On the flip side, other players prefer energy weapons because you don't have to stock ammunition, which in fleet-scale applications involves constructing an entire supply chain including factories; no EasyLogistics here. And when a kinetic weapon runs out of ammo, it stops firing entirely, whereas an energy weapon-armed ship with depleted energy reserves will keep firing at a reduced rate. Thus, ammo-based weapons are entirely not recommended for [=OOS=] combat.
* Standard Weapons in ''[[VideoGame/SystemShock System Shock 2]]'' are superior in most respects to weapons falling under other categories such as Energy, Heavy, or Exotic. Whichever character class you start off with, you will almost certainly be using a Wrench, which counts as a Standard Weapon in terms of damage but does not have any skill requirements. Unlike other weapon categories, every single Standard Weapon is highly useful: the Pistol, Shotgun, and Assault Rifle are all powerful and versatile weapons that are capable of handling a wide variety of opponents, especially with specialized anti-armour or anti-personnel bullets. All of them use ammunition that is widely available and, with the exception of the Assault Rifle, have comparatively low requirements for their use. Two of the three classes start off with level 1 Standard Weapons by default (which they can then raise to level 3 with one of the prologue assignments). Unless following a specific play style by choice, it's pretty hard to justify not choosing one of the Standard Weapons as your primary weapon
** Actually player can find ammunition quite scarce and without restrictions [[YouHaveResearchedBreathing character development system]] the energy weapons using energy restored by power stations could be really life-saving. In the first game the energy weapons were very important alternative to bashing enemies with lead pipe in the first half of the game... Nevertheless the "boring" Scorpion submachine gun was arguably the most effective weapon.
* In ''VideoGame/VegaStrike'' MagneticWeapons are the most power-efficient weapons, have decent rate of fire and do some [[DeflectorShields shield]]-bypassing damage, so they are good choice, though mostly in close combat. Same for [[MacrossMissileMassacre rockets]], and they don't even use ship's energy. Lasers usually pierce shields better, don't need ammo, and hit at a greater range, but eat lots of power and can be installed only on heavy fighters and larger combat vessels. Their shield-bypassing properties also make them very annoying when going up against [[EvilLuddite Luddites]]: their low-caliber mass drivers aren't very deadly, but almost guaranteed to make the player pay for armor repair.
* ''{{VideoGame/Contra}}'' for the NES invokes this on accident. The Laser Gun powerup is almost useless because firing a second shot will instantly erase the first shot from the screen. Thus, firing rapidly will reduce your gun to little more than a laseriffic chainsaw.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'' contains a general balance between energy weapons and kinetics (although energy weapons make up a disproportionately larger portion of the very high end attacks). The Protoss rely pretty much entirely on energy weapons (including energy melee weapons), but they are pretty balanced against the bullet and missile wielding Terrans and the claw and acid-spit-or-something wielding Zerg.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', this is a major component of early space combat. Use your energy weapons to knock down shields then use kinetic weapons (photon torpedoes) to deliver the deathblows. Phasers will do around 100 damage to the hull of an enemy ship, a torpedo can easily go over 2000 damage.
* In ''[[http://ogame.org/ OGame]]'', a browser game where you basically control a space empire, there is a Gauss Cannon. It apparently fires high-density metal bullets that weigh several tons in a railgun fashion, creating so much concussion that the ground nearby shakes and a huge sonic boom is created. And it is stronger than any other planet-mounted cannon sans the Plasma Turret, beating lasers.
** In addition, the only ships that are [[AllThereInTheManual described]] as having kinetic weapons are Bombers (plasma bombs) and Destroyers (has gauss cannons and plasma turrets). Death Stars however just use a [[WaveMotionGun graviton beam]].
* In ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'', missiles, quantum torpedoes and the rail cannon, linear cannon and mass drivers of Escondido all bypass the deflector module, which blocks lasers and plasma.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spectre 1991}}'', though set in an explicitly virtual environment, uses projectile weapons on all characters (including the player) that shoot.
* ''VideoGame/Nitemare3D''. The pistol is the only weapon in the game that can hit a target instantaneously instead of waiting for a slow projectile to cross the room. In fact, what exactly ''is'' the advantage of the first two weapons, again? It's ''intended'' to be ammo efficiency - your wand should drop magic-based enemies or your blaster tech-based ones using fewer shots than the equivalent in silver bullets. There are just enough bullets around that it doesn't matter much.
* In ''VideoGame/TheConduit'', although the Drudge and Trust weapons are extremely powerful, they tend to suffer from CripplingOverspecialization, as well as limited ammo supplies or other features often rendering them AwesomeButImpractical. Very often, you'll find yourself using plain old normal-tech human weapons, simply because they're much more versatile and more practical in most situations. [[VideoGame/{{Conduit 2}} The sequel]] has some upgrade blurbs which make reference to this trope. However, it's obvious that they're told from a completely biased perspective and PlayedForLaughs.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/StarRuler''. At the start you only have kinetics, and early game energy weapons are power hogs that don't do much damage in return. As you research further, however, energy weapons become steadily more efficient, travelling at lightspeed means that they're near impossible to dodge, and you have BottomlessMagazines with them but not with kinetics, so a parity is eventually achieved.
** Once matter generators are discovered, kinetic weapons become infinite ammo as well. Ultimately, it is left up to the player as to whether or not kinetic weapons are just better. Likely, at this point it will be a tie between the Muon Cannon, which ignores armor, and due to the high level of particle sciences required for a matter generator, very high damage, or the Plasma Cannon, which is higher damage due to the similar level of energy dynamics research required, but shorter range, and NOT armor piercing.
* ''VideoGame/{{Syndicate}}'' (2012) subverts this: Kinetic weapons are still very effective, with such gems as the [[{{BFG}} 30mm]] {{Gatling| Good}} and HandCannon. However, this has led to the creation of ImmuneToBullets PoweredArmor used by EliteMooks. In turn, energy weapons like the laser gun and [[LightningGun Electron Mace]] that ignore the defence of aforementioned EliteMooks have been invented.
* ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'' is an interesting case. Missiles are able to pass through shields and attack the innards of ships. However, you only have a very limited supply of missiles, so most of the time missiles will be used to take out shields so your BeamSpam can carve apart the enemies ship. Advanced Edition adds Flak Cannons--guns that fire multiple chunks of metal shrapnel. They don't take ammo like missiles do, and a single shot can do multiple hits (making them good at clearing multiple layers of shielding). The trade off is that they are inaccurate; both the amount of hits they do and where they hit is up to luck.
** Then there's the crystal weapons. They have low shield penetration, but make up for it by not costing anything to fire unlike missiles.
* ''Space Empires'', having both types, has this in a way. Most energy weapons have the advantage of not requiring ordnance to be built into the ship, only supply (which is essential for any ship). However, the damage potential for energy weapons falls away as the target is more distant. Projectiles and missiles, however, do not, always dealing the same range of damage when they hit, no matter how far away the target is (provided they're not beyond the weapon's ArbitraryMaximumRange.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Oddworld}}''. Yes, [[MindRape taking over a Slig's mind]] and [[SuicideAsComedy then making him run into a meat grinder]] is pretty awesome, but the Sligs themselves make a good case for this, seeing as how in a straight up engagement, they will pretty much always shoot you dead before you can do anything.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' plays this straight on an infantry level. For infantry, kinetic weapons are better because they're available! The only man-portable energy weapons are the electricity weapons on the Tesla Troopers (slow rate of fire and rather short-ranged, but devastating against vehicles and infantry) and the Tank-Busters who can easily carve up tanks with their plasma-cutters but do pretty poor damage against infantry. It also plays this straight for ant-air weapons, as missiles and auto-cannons are the best for shooting down aircraft. The Archer Maiden's arrows look like energy bolts but they're really ordinary arrows with a explosive shell for a tip and the Cryo Legionaire only get their anti-aircraft freeze ray if they are garrisoned in a Multi-gun Turret or IFV. For vehicles, this is trope is largely averted, all 3 factions use energy weapons for high-end units because in a world where mad science reigns supreme, energy weapons hit a lot harder. Nothing can match the firepower of the Giga-Fortress, Harbinger Gunship and the Shogun Battleship. And unlike other games, most artillery is energy-based (the Pacifier is kind of a hybrid, it fires bomblets that deliver protonic energy blasts) for reasons of heavier firepower or in the case of the Athen Cannon, better accuracy. Even for the tier 3 tanks, the Apocalypse Tanks dominates because of its "magnetic harpoon" tractor beam, in a pure gun to gun battle it'll barely survive against King Oni and only because it has a lot more health and regeneration. The Apocalypse Tank's twin 125mm cannons can't match the King Oni's particle beam for damage. And, for once, there isn't a conventional Nuclear Missile. The Soviets use what's essentially a short-lived Black Hole, the Allies have an Antimatter cannon, and the Empire uses large-scale telekinesis PoweredByAForsakenChild.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'', as the kinetic weapons are stronger than the lasers, but the lasers are much more accurate and have better range.
* Remains true, somewhat humorously, for the various attachments for your SwissArmyWeapon in ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando''. Of the three common attachments available, the only explicitly energy based one, the SMG equivalent, is the weakest. The sniper attachment fires metal bolts via an electromagnetic/plasma sheath system (similar to how Wookiee bowcasters work), and the anti-armor attachment simply spits a big armor-piercing grenade at a target. While they have less ammo overall, these attachments, along with a variety of [[TrickBomb specialty grenades]], are substantially more useful than the SMG, which will often take an entire magazine just to put a dent in a [[EliteMook Super]] [[MechaMooks Battle Droid]]. The other energy weapon that you will usually have is your [[RangedEmergencyWeapon blaster pistol]], but that's hardly worth the effort.
* ''Videogame/MechWarrior'', like its ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'' source material, has lasers, missiles, and kinetic projectile weapons all co-existing and being fairly balanced with respect to each other. Lasers are easier to use as they're lightweigh, HitScan, and have infinite ammo, but cannot hope to match ballistic weapons in pure damage. Kinetic weapons in ''Mechwarrior Living Legends'' are particularly horrifying to fight at both close and long range; while lasers require the gunner to keep the beam on target, Gauss Rifle slugs smash through armor with no warning and can deal catastrophic damage. Autocannons and Ultra Autocannons cleave through torso armor at alarming speed. LB-X shotguns swat {{Space Plane}}s and [[PoweredArmor Battle Armor]] out of the sky. The most powerful "gun" is kinetic - the Long Tom Artillery Piece, a [[{{BFG}} 30+ ton high explosive cannon]] carried by only a single tank, which is so massive that it requires the tank to [[DualModeUnit deploy anchors]] in order to fire, and has a range long enough [[OneHitKill gib battlemech]] from close to two kilometers away, requiring a TargetSpotter.
* Zigzagged all over the place in the VideoGame/XCom franchise.
** ''UFO Defense'' had a linear progression in which Ballistic Weapons are outclassed by absolutely everything else in the game.
** ''Terror From The deep'' takes place underwater, so most weapons are based around energy, however, most of them also don't work above the surface, meaning you'll have to keep ballistics handy.
** ''Apocalypse'' gives you a less linear tech tree due to the involvement of other corporations and security firms developping their own technology, and while alien weapons and more gimmicky X-COM made weapons are useful and even {{Game Breaker}}s, simply blowing up a building with demolition charges or chucking enough explosives at aliens will mostly always do the trick.
** ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' has a linear progression of weapons where ballistics are weaker than lasers, which is weaker than plasma. However, the arguably best weapon in the game is the Alloy Launcher, a shotgun that launches shards of alien alloys (the stuff your endgame armor is made of) as pellets out of what's essentially a portable railgun. ''[[ExpansionPack Enemy Within]]'' adds the [[MiniMecha MEC Troopers]], whose Kinetic Punch ability will kill everything short of EliteMooks at full health, and even those only need to be softened up a little before it can OneHitKill them. Especially notorious when running up and punching the end-game psychic enemies that are nearly immune to everything and have the strongest psychic attacks is the best course of action in some cases.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenonauts}}'', weapon tier progression first goes from ballistic to energy weapons (laser then plasma), but then back to kinetic weapons for the ultimate weapon tier: Magnetic weapons.
* Essentially the name of the game for the ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'' modification ''VideoGame/BallisticWeapons''. The backstory is that humanity got into a war with an alien race known as the Skrith, who utilized powerful shields that completely nullified humanity's energy-based weaponry. In desperation they took their old kinetic-based weapons out of storage and tried those - and found that the Skrith's shields had next to no effect on them. In gameplay this is represented by having energy weapons generally fire powerful but [[PainfullySlowProjectile slow-moving projectiles]], along with some other useful attributes, but having the eponymous ballistic weapons be much more plentiful and far easier to use properly.
* Defied in ''VideoGame/GreyGoo'', where the humans play the role of SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, with all the energy weaponry that implies. One character has this to say about the relative primitiveness of the Beta:
-->"They still use ''bullets'' in their guns."
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'': The COG have access to energy weapons, evidenced by the Hammer of Dawn KillSat, however in terms of infantry firepower, it's all projectiles. The Locust weapons are also projectile-based.

[[folder:Web Comic]]
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''
** [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20001029.html This strip]] has an explanation for why, in addition to energy weapons like Schlock's plasma cannons, ammo based pistols are so common.
** [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-11-05 A few days later]], it also addresses the damage potential of "cee-sabot" weapons, large kinetic weapons traveling at relativistic speeds. [=RKVs=] (Relativistic Kill Vehicles) also turn up later in the story.
* By WordOfGod (in the comments section of one page) the main weapons used in ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' are chemical-propellant firearms, despite the boxy, futuristic look and the fact that some of them produce unusual colors when fired.
* In ''Webcomic/QuantumVibe'' Nicole buys an ordinary gun after her "zringer" is disrupted by muggers. It also proves useful for maneuvering in space.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The five star nations in ''Literature/ThePentagonWar'', particularly Sol, rely heavily on kinetic weapons, primarily electromagnetically-launched slugs and high-speed ramming missiles.
* ''Literature/VoidDogs'' uses the abbreviation KEG for firearms, short for [[FunWithAcronyms Kinetic Energy Gun]].
* Zig-zagged in ''Literature/TheJenkinsverse'' in that energy weapons are recoil-less, ammoless, highly configurable, lightweight enough for an alien to carry, and powerful enough against most spacefaring races. Kinetic weapons are FAR more potent and can be equipped with specialist ammunition, but most are too heavy for an alien to lift and recoil alone is powerful enough to injure an alien wielder.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Speculatively, small-arms laser weapons like those found in science fiction media are likely to remain quite inefficient compared to conventional (or unconventional) projectile weapons for some time. The power requirements are high, the ranges are short, the risks of blinding bystanders is high, the hardware is more vulnerable than a firearm's action, the list goes on. Kinetic weapons are also likely to remain useful into the future due to one very simple rule of the universe: ''anything'' will break if you hit it hard enough.
* The most basic, ubiquitous kinetic weapon currently in use? Plain old firearms. A bullet fired from a handgun or rifle does damage to its target not by exploding, but simply by going really really fast. Every army on the planet uses them; arguably, there are more small arms and small-arms-ammunition deployed by the world's militaries than all other types of weapons combined.
** The most popular rifle in the world? The Kalashnikov model 47, designed during the early days of the Cold War. Additionally, the Colt 1911 is one of the world's most popular handguns, and was designed in the 1910s for use during UsefulNotes/{{W|orldWarI}}W1 and UsefulNotes/{{W|orldWarII}}W2. We haven't even developed firearms that are better than these and still worth the price, despite the advent of a lot of new military tech. It is probable that firearms will never truly disappear from the battlefield; they do their job far too well to ever be replaced. The aesthetics may change, and the size and power of the bullet may evolve, but the basic principle of propelling a solid projectile down a metal tube towards a target will remain the same.
* Most explosive weapons actually have this trope to thank for their stopping power rather than the fiery blast of the explosion itself. This is normally done by way of explosive fragmentation: either the casing itself or a dedicated layer of small metal objects are blasted out to do their thing. From the simple hand grenade to the Claymore anti-personnel mine to anti-aircraft shells fitted with the first practical proximity fuse to missiles like the [=AIM-9=] Sidewinder, it's kinetics that do the real killing.
** Conversely, this is actually a very common and reliable way to disarm bombs. Most modern explosives are extremely stable, i.e. they won't explode unless acted upon by a detonation mechanism. So when EOD doesn't want to take the chance of getting close to a bomb, they will often shoot the mechanism. Usually, it's done with a shotgun, PAN disrupter (an electrically fired shotgun that is basically just the barrel), or a large caliber sniper rifle.
* The Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilizing Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) round, the standard anti-armor ammunition of the M1 Abrams tank and most other modern [[CoolTank main battle tanks]], is referred to by [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]] as a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_energy_penetrator Kinetic Energy Penetrator]]. It uses no explosives, and is merely a long arrow-shaped super-dense dart made of a tungsten or depleted uranium alloy which travels between 1,400 and 1,900 m/s (around Mach 4 to 5). It is specifically designed to penetrate the armor of the target vehicle: the resulting heat, spalling (breaking off of bits that make up the vehicle) and pressure wave generated by the projectile after it punches through vehicle armour is strong enough to kill or incapacitate crew members, or set off explosions in the tank's ammunition and fuel stores. It therefore requires a very high degree of accuracy, more so than other tank shells, and is considered a highly specialized round, more-so than older armour-piercing ammunition (which usually had an explosive component). HEAT rounds are still the preferred round of choice for killing anything lighter than a tank, though.
** APFSDS rounds will go all the way through a lightly armored vehicle, sometimes without doing any structural damage. On the other hand, the people inside the vehicle won't tend to take well to a supersonic dart blowing by them -- assuming it doesn't [[LudicrousGibs hit one]] [[NauseaFuel straight on]].
** Although HEAT rounds are generally preferred for use against lighter vehicles, canister shot is just as effective against unarmoured vehicles or low-flying aircraft as it is against infantry, as it basically turns the cannon into a giant shotgun. It's also particularly useful for knocking open holes in buildings, clearing barbed wire, or shredding vegetation. Also, [[LikeCannotCutLike it can't damage other tanks if used to blast infantry off of them]].
** Actually, HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) or shaped charge munitions are also, in a way, kinetic weapon. The explosion propels the liner with a velocity of Mach 25-30. At such velocities, metal acts as a quasi-liquid - both the jet created by the shaped charge and the armour of the luckless target, which offers little resistance, which explains penetration values approaching one METER of [[HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure rolled homogenous steel armour]]. The only materials that can resist the effects of shaped charge munitions are jet-eroding hull materials such as ceramics and polymers; all other methods either prevent the warhead from detonating on the main hull (slat armour and hard-kill active protection systems), redirect it so that it doesn't hit the tank (ECM and various soft-kill active protection systems), or provide an additional layer of protection that substantially reduces the power of the warhead (spaced armour and reactive armour).
* There's some interest in creating ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rods_from_God#Project_Thor Rods From God]]'', telephone pole-sized flechettes composed of ultradense material (probably tungsten) dropped from orbit. There is the issue that numerous treaties are in place to prevent the weaponization of space, including orbital weapon platforms. However, the treaties only ban weapons of mass destruction, and the Rods from God are not defined as such under the treaty or international law. However, if the system were ever to become a reality, there is a chance that an update to the treaties would ban its deployment.
* The picture above is a round from the US Navy's prototype railgun, a [[MagneticWeapons weapon that uses electromagnetic fields]] instead of exploding gases, to propel projectiles to incredible speeds. It fired a shell at 10.64 MJ with a muzzle velocity of 2,520 m/s (over Mach 7), a good bit faster than even the above-mentioned state-of-the-art APFSDS tank rounds. The flare behind the projectile is not propellant -- it is air that has been turned to plasma by the sheer amount of friction heat the slug creates. The expected performance for future railguns entering military service is a muzzle velocity over 5,800 m/s (Mach 17), accuracy enough to hit a 5 meter target over 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) away, and a fire rate of 10 shots per minute. Its damage per shot is expected to be roughly equivalent to a Tomahawk Cruise Missile, but each shot would be cheaper, not needing an engine, warhead or guidance system, and be much harder to intercept. The primary problem the Navy is facing is that the amount of energy rapidly wears out the "barrel" of the gun, with immense electromagnetic forces -- the "recoil" of the railgun -- trying to push the rails apart, and friction and resistance generating a huge amount of heat. Also, while nuclear-powered warships shouldn't have much trouble generating the energy for the railgun, smaller vehicles like tanks would need to spend a lot of effort charging them up. So, for the immediate term railguns are AwesomeButImpractical. Navy fired BAE systems prototype railgun in late Febuary 2012. Unlike previous models, this railgun is the first model that looks like something that might get mounted on a ship. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uV1SbEuzFU]]
* The only weapons deployed on spacecraft to date were 23mm rapid-fire cannons mounted on the Soviet [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almaz#Defense_measures Almaz space stations]] (the military versions of their Salyuts).
* Laser-guided concrete bombs are an example of purely kinetic weapons being just better than kinetic weapons that go BOOM. Need a target in an urban area destroyed while minimizing the collateral damage using shrapnel-and-blast-force-inducing high explosives? Just drop a slab of good old-fashioned concrete right on top of your pesky target. Who needs fancy high-explosive mixtures when you have the simple blunt force of a solid chunk of concrete dropped from the sky?
** On top of the advantages for avoiding collateral damage, concrete is both cheaper and far safer to handle than high explosives are, making this a wonderful alliance of [[RockBeatsLaser Rock and Laser.]]
** These actually started out in the mid-20th century as cheap unguided training bombs until someone had the inspired idea of weaponizing them with the addition of a guidance system.
* Modern missile interceptors like the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_Energy_Interceptor Kinetic Energy Interceptor]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense THAAD]] rely on physically striking their targets to destroy them, rather than exploding. The reasoning is that proximity fuse detonations can't reliably knock out a missile, and the explosion risks scattering debris (like the warhead payload) over a wider area, and that's something you '''REALLY''' want to avoid when dealing with nuclear weapons.
* This is how dual-stage anti-tank weapons such as the NATO Javelin work. Although they appear to destroy their targets through high-explosives this is not actually the case. They are composed of two warheads. The first warhead defeats the target's explosive reactive armour. The second warhead is a shaped charge that propels a kinetic energy penetrator through the hull and out the other side. Aside from the catastrophic impact damage, the pressure wave created effectively turns the crew to pulp.
* Speaking of anti-tank weapons, the military has an on-again/off-again interest in developing a tube launched version of the APFSDS. One of the more reset versions is the [[http://www.wsmr-history.org/LOSAT2.mpeg LOSAT]], simply a dense steel rod that gets accelerated up to Mach 6+, and then slammed into a tank.
* Another advantage of kinetic weapons is the ballistic trajectory, which allows you to arc projectiles over obstacles (which is how mortars and artillery are used). Beam weapons fire straight, meaning you can't target things behind obstructions or at extreme long distances due to the curvature of the Earth itself. This has also been used to great effect by snipers who have, using bullet drop and the environment's wind speed, actually ''curved'' bullets into targets behind obstacles. Long before that, slings, arrows, and early siege weaponry used the same arc to function as an early indirect weapon. They would also force warriors to consider the threat of death raining down on them, which can be devastating for maneuver.
* When you take ballistic weapons UpToEleven, it turns out that an inert metal slug striking a sufficiently dense target at even a small fraction of lightspeed releases a phenomenal amount of energy. At a mere 3 km/s -- one thousandth of a percent of light speed -- any object contains as much energy as an equivalent mass of TNT. Firing anything at even one percent light speed turns it into a nuclear-scale destructive device. Of course, accelerating it to that speed involves its own brand of speculative technology, but at least they're not firing FrickinLaserBeams.