In most shooting games; whether they be first person, third person or otherwise, grenades would be one of the weapons available for use. Now grenades are designed to hurt
and kill, and prove to be very effective methods against the enemy. As one of the characters in the Australian TV series Fire
put it, lobbing a grenade is the best and quickest way to split up a platoon.
Now not every game that has grenades would see the enemy use them, though many of them do. They are usually a One-Hit Kill
for the player, and most games that use them would also remember that the AI also has guns, and make use of them accordingly.
However that is not this trope
. Grenade Spam
is when it all goes wrong, when more grenades are used than a soldier can conceivably carry
, to the point that there are more grenades than bullets used. This can and does result in incredible frustration in multiplayer and single player alike, as it is seen as a cheap tactic especially when the computer infinitely spawns grenades out of thin air.
- The Call of Duty games are notorious for this. Beginning with the first Modern Warfare game grenades would be spawned onto the map at a not even remotely fair rate. It got so bad that advertising for the game included a Public Service Announcement about grenade spam. This PSA purported to be funded by the fictional organisation Fight Against Grenade Spam. This use of a homophobic slur (seemingly a deliberate nod to the term's widespread usage in the games' multiplayer matches) garnered some controversy, and the ad was eventually pulled. Naturally, Battlefield took the mickey out of the PSA.
- The trope is not so bad in games outside the Modern Warfare series or in multiplayer, but it can feel like there's a helicopter with an infinite grenade launcher constantly targeting you.
- Among the series, World At War is notorious for being the grenade spammiest game. It's not uncommon to have a minimum of three grenades around you at a given moment. Oh, and injured enemies close to dying will often pull out a grenade when you get close, just for good measure.
- Critical Miss parodies this in Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer with "The Stoning of Saint Bluntninja".
- Mass Effect 3 has grenades used to a ludicrous degree on multiplayer gold maps. This with the high level of Nintendo Hard enemies makes playing an exercise in pleasure and pain. The single-player enemies' usage of grenades can seem pretty spammy as well, especially on higher difficulties.
- This is even worse with the introduction of Geth Bombers. A typical attack results in about 6 bombs being dispensed in a small area. In later waves, when more than one spawn, you could be busy trying to not be killed by a prime, only to suddenly have dozens of grenades at your feet with nowhere to run.
- Luchadore specialists in Saints Row The Third carry grenade launchers, which shoot out about twenty at a time. Even though these grenades aren't that powerful, being near them when they detonate causes the player character to stagger about for a moment.
- Star Wars Battlefront has mooks that are infamous for their reliance on grenade spam. The Vanguard and Soldier classes take it to an almost-trollish level, chucking grenades left and right 'till the character finally eats it.
- Resident Evil 5 is a borderline case when grenades come into play. For a game that only has a few enemies that shoot, the grenade exclusive mercenaries that make constant use of grenades becomes a little jarring on Professional Mode.
- Team Fortress had problems with this due to every class being given grenades and the incentive to spam them whenever death seemed inevitable. Grenades were restricted to one class (and then only from a Grenade Launcher) in the sequel to prevent this. Some would say it failed, or even further encouraged it until the single class it was given to had been further nerfed.
- Fallout New Vegas has dynamite spam. When the player is at an extremely low level. The Powder Gangers, likely the first human enemies a player will encounter, are armed with about 3 sticks of good ol' TNT apiece. And will throw them en masse. Now, while dynamite is actually the weakest of the game's explosive weapons, it's still plenty strong enough to cripple and severely damage a low-level player, and has the largest blast radius of the thrown explosives, so good luck dodging. If you abuse V.A.T.S. (or are just an extremely good shot), you can shoot the dynamite in their hands or hanging from their belt and cause the explosion to kill them, but you void the experience for killing them normally if you do so.
- Not to mention the existence of a Grenade Machinegun. Take on the Boomers with one if you need to see your screen filled with as many explosions as possible.
- While the weakest explosive, dynamites are still tremendously useful, even on late game. With good stealth, you can drop it in the enemies pocket (reverse pickpocketing them) and it should kill the enemy without fail. Dynamites are preferable for this purpose since while any explosive will kill in 1 hit if you do this, dynamites are the cheapest explosive you can get and it also has small blast radius so you are less likely to get hurt while trying to do this.
- A certain breed of Elite Mooks in TRON: Evolution will repeatedly throw out groups of grenades that make getting close impossible without taking too much damage. Since most of your attacks are ranged this isn't as bad as it sounds, but it's still annoying.
- Ogres in Quake do this on Nightmare difficulty. Ditto for Gunners in Quake II, with their auto-fire grenade launchers.
- The SuperDragon from Perfect Dark is really bad for this, being a repeating grenade launcher with a large magazine and a fast reload. In addition, enemies tend to drop five rounds when they die, meaning you end up with more grenades than you can plausibly use in a single level.
- Halo: CE Anniversary offers a rare opportunity for the player character, with an infinite ammo skull. There is also another skull that gives those explosions a much bigger blast radius. Caution is advised.
- The original version for the original Xbox also had an option for turning on unlimited grenades in multiplayer (but only when played Split Screen on a single console for processing and network communication reasons.) The description on the setting screen noted that it tends to lead to chaotic and messy matches.
- The True Lies video game for the Super Nintendo was as bad, or even worse, than Call of Duty. You begin to notice this on the second level in a mall, where there are scores of civilians you cannot shoot. The Crimson Jihad have no such issues however and will happily gun down and bomb everything in sight. Common enemies can throw a grenade a second, and drop one when they die. Advanced enemies are suicide bombers, use grenade launchers and mines, adding to the fun.
- Mooks in Soldier of Fortune II do this liberally starting with the Colombia mission. They apparently have learned to cook off their nades, making it more difficult to avoid being gibbed. Too bad there's no Grenade Hot Potato here. One reviewer even joked that by the end of the game, the player would know the word for "grenade" in several different languages.
- Any mook armed with hand grenades or a grenade launcher in the Syphon Filter series, including the Final Boss of the first game, will do this. Being anywhere in the blast radius is an One-Hit Kill
- Battle Field 2 was infamous for grenade spam - especially on Strike At Karkand. Players would spawn with 5 grenades which they could chuck one after another, then refill instantly from an ammo pack on the ground, which lead to entire squads of players standing on opposite sides of a fence throwing as many grenades onto the other side as they could. Some later games took measures to avoid this, such as giving a more significant cooldown on ammo packs to stop grenade refreshing, or reducing the amount of grenades carried - Videogame/Battlefield 3 limits players to two grenades on-hand as a maximum from a specializion, it's otherwise just one.
- In the Co-op mode of Uncharted 3 some enemy bosses have a perk that allows them to lob about ten grenades with a single throw, or have a cluster grenade perk. Oh... And they are CPU enemies and thus have unlimited ammo.
Non-video game examples:
- In Die Hard II, Captain Stuart and his men have John trapped in the plane that was used to transport the general they were to rescue. They toss about twenty grenades into the cockpit to blow it up, forcing McClane to scramble for the ejector seat.
- In a multiplayer online shooter shown in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a player opposing the epileptic Body of the Week started spamming flashbangs to try and give him a seizure.
- In an episode of Strike Back the team is pursuing a courier who has a satchel of grenades with him. He keeps tossing them behind him which causes the team members chasing him to constantly dive behind cover. It is a very effective tactic and he gets away.