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A video game playable character has quite a few sprites (2D) / skins and models (3D) to deal with, which makes it hard to justify changing that valuable art for something as fickle as equipment. Drawing a 2D hero in the starting armor and the most powerful armor alone would double the sprite count for every frame of the hero doing everything in almost every direction; this only gets worse with combinations of different types of equipment. Some 2D titles ameliorate this by superimposing sprites on top of each other, or relying on {{Palette Swap}}ping. Three-dimensional models make this far easier to avoid, since you can simply change textures/skins, or bolt extra models onto the same skeleton, while reusing animations.

As a result, the hero you see on the game screen usually doesn't represent the hero you see on the equipment screen. It's become so ridiculous that some games will just skip giving the heroes any body armor at all, which is okay because they're heroes and heroes are MadeOfIron. Still, by the end of the game, it can be hard to excuse your hero bumbling around in civilian clothes while going up against the 10-story BonusBoss.

This trope seems to be fading as 3D graphics become more common, space becomes cheaper, and game engine-rendered realtime {{cutscene}}s become more prevalent. 3D models are completely free of the exponential increase in artwork that plagued games with single-sprite 2D models, as each additional piece of equipment can be simply added rather than having to re-create every permutation of animation; on the other hand, weaponry and equipment not currently in use are often ignored in third-person games so player characters doesn't look ridiculous having four full-size rifles dangling off various parts of their body. In addition, armor is often intentionally left Informed Equipment to maintain a [[IconicOutfit recognizable image associated with a character]] and avoid hiding their face.

Compare NoCutsceneInventoryInertia, where occurrences of this trope are limited to cutscenes, and the more general LimitedWardrobe.

Contrast VirtualPaperDoll, RainbowPimpGear (all gear is visible, and the game lets you mix and match as you like).

!!Straight Examples:

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* ''VideoGame/DustAnElysianTail'' limited passive items to things that logically wouldn't show up on the player character's sprite (pendants worn under his cloak, rings worn under his gloves, and sharpening items for his one and only sword) for exactly this reason; the sprite is hand-drawn and uses frame-by-frame animation.

[[folder:Adventure Games]]
* The first four games in the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series did this: your character's sprite was always shown wearing a leather jerkin, despite the fact that the Fighter class was supposed to sell the jerkin in the very first game in exchange for a chainmail vest. In the fifth and final game, which was the only one to use 3D models, the hero's in-game appearance changes every time he puts on a new piece of armor.

[[folder:Fighting Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' has an even more exaggerated version. The characters can equip completely different weapon types (the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Warrior of Light]], for example, can equip axes as well as swords), but no matter what they'll always use their default weapon in combat, bar alternate costumes that still don't reflect their equipment.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros for 3DS/[=WiiU=]'' has equipment that fighters can equip. They match up with what the fighter wears (for example, overalls can be worn by Mario, Luigi, and Wario), but it doesn't change their appearance.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* Infamously present in many early shooters: The marine in ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' netgames was always shown carrying the same rifle normal zombies used, making it impossible for other players to tell what they were up against.
** There are some people working on combating this, for some ''Doom'' source-ports, and some mods (like ''VideoGame/BrutalDoom'') have gone out of their way to give the player unique sprites for each individual weapon.
** A variation on this is the inability to tell what items a multiplayer opponent is carrying in reserve, allowing someone to romp around seemingly helpless with a pistol only to whip out a three foot long {{BFG}} at the last moment. A lot of games starting from when ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' came out have fixed this to an extent by showing carried weapons (although not grenades and reserve ammo), and the latter also has the odd issue of ''pistols'' being stowed on a character's back rather than in a holster. Attachments on the weapons are still a frequent victim of this, where at best you can expect the dropped model of a weapon to show that it has a GrenadeLauncher; otherwise your only recourse to see what a gun's previous owner had on it is walking over it to get the "press <button> to take" prompt (and hope that the game you're playing actually tells you what attachments are on it rather than just showing the gun's icon).
** In ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'', the sprites did not update to show you what gun the player was holding. However, there was a toggle key which would make an icon appear over their head to show you, making it appear as if Duke was having a very violent IdeaBulb.
** This was pretty much endemic to Build engine games that [[FollowTheLeader came after]] ''Duke 3D''. The original ''VideoGame/{{Shadow Warrior|1997}}'', however, at least had separate sprites for when Lo Wang was using his {{katana|sAreJustBetter}}.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' series only make distinctions when the character is powered up (or has shielding in ''Unreal''). Otherwise, their poly model appears the same regardless of their armor state or health. Toss in a few custom skins, and the trope is in literal, sexy effect.
** ''Unreal'', and ''Quake'' from [[VideoGame/QuakeII the second installment]] onward, had proper weapon models in the hands of the player(s). ''VideoGame/QuakeI'', on the other hand, showed the player always with the same gun, though at least there was a separate model for when the player was wielding the axe.
* This is also usually the case for the first-person view itself; games like ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}: Shadow of Chernobyl'' and ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'' assume your character is always wearing fingerless gloves, no matter what armor in the former or model in the latter you're using. Later games have managed to avert this in various ways - some (''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'') don't show any hands on your gun at all, while others (''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', the ''S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'' sequels, and the above ''Call of Duty'' post-''Modern Warfare'') change the appearance of the arms holding the gun depending on what character you play as.
* Even with the ''VideoGame/{{ARMA}}'' series' focus on realism, this can happen on occasion - ''Operation Arrowhead'' adds a few guns that can load different types of magazines, from normal 30-round boxes to 100-round dual drums. However, the game doesn't make a physical distinction between the two and will have weapons appear to load the standard magazine at all times.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' tried to avert this, wherein while holding one weapon, the next one in sequence would appear on your character's back. Of course, that ignores that you're still lugging around [[HyperspaceArsenal upwards of ten weapons at any one time]] (and, similar to the later ''Call of Duty'' example above, the pistol is also slung across the back rather than near either hip). Averted further for enemies in singleplayer, however, who typically only have their one weapon, and will wear it on their back while at ease if you manage to catch them when they're not armed and ready.
* ''VideoGame/RainbowSix: Vegas'' and its sequel do a form of this - while weapons in a player's hand will reflect any attachments whether you're seeing the weapon in first- or third-person, when it gets dropped on the ground all that flies out the window and you just get a lower-poly, completely unmodified version of the weapon. Weapons dropped by terrorists in singleplayer in particular seem to always spontaneously sprout a 6x scope if you loot one from its previous owner.

* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' follows the trope by making the player's appearance almost completely independent from their superpowers. While you may be wreathed in flames or partial covered with stone when certain powers are active, you never have to compromise between wearing a cool outfit or effective armor. Most players of the game love that they can look how they want no matter what level they are and what powers they took.
** And now the game allows you do even chose the colors of most powers, select from different weapon models, and in some cases different attack animations.
** This of course leads to some rather interesting events in game, such as "Task Force: Fabulous", in which the entire party runs a Task/Strike Force in Cowboy Boots, Swimsuits, and Glitter.
* ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'' follows the example ''City of Heroes'' does and expands it by allowing you to keep the armor you're wearing, but be able to swap it out for a previous look. Your cape gives you better defense, yet you want to keep your ''ComicBook/GreenLantern''-inspired look? Just make the cape invisible!
* ''VideoGame/DragonNest'' has some kinds of armor show on the character while others are invisible. There are also many armor pieces that show on the wearer's model but look completely different from their icons.
* ''VideoGame/EdenEternal'' has entire sets of cosmetic armor unlocked as a character reaches certain job levels. The character's appearance is determined by said armor rather than what he or she has equipped. Cash shop items do show, however.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' semi averts this. Most of the time, your character image is the default for your class and gender. However, if you assemble and wear an entire outfit, it will change to that one. This is used in game to disguise yourself to infiltrate places.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' plays it straight... for the Klingons and Romulans - they've yet to get models for the in-game armor, so they're still wearing their usual clothing. Federation players avert this as their armor and gear will appear on them, but you can set it so that it goes back to their normal outfits.
** That has changed in recent updates. Armor and Kit pieces have been added to the Tailor options for all player characters, allowing you to have an armored / geared up look as one of your switchable outfits. This replaces the former "Show / Hide Armor Visuals" toggle as described above, and it allows full customization of armor. On the other hand, it unfortunately removed a convenient way for players to have a "standard uniform/combat ready" switch for the player's NPC landing party. You can save an armored costume for your landing party characters, but those saved outfits can only be accessed at a Tailor making it impossible to switch on the fly when going from casual scenes where regular uniforms are appropriate to a more geared and ready look when going into combat.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vindictus}}'' both averts this and plays it straight. Major equips such as armour and weapons are fully present and modelled; not only in-game, but also in cut scenes and the character loading screen. Minor equips such as earrings and belts, by contrast, are never visible. This despite the fact that armour and weapons are often covered in all sorts of little dangly bits that fully utilize the capabilities of the physics engine, as do nearly all hair and fur (but not water) effects for both [=PCs=] and monsters.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' plays with this for certain races, where boots are concerned. Tauren and draenei both have digitigrade hooves (on which traditional footwear would look odd); [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent worgen]] in wolf form also exhibit a digitigrade stance (which would again make traditional footwear look odd; the boots appear normally when the worgen are in human form). Trolls simply [[DoesNotLikeShoes prefer to go barefoot]]. Unlike other examples of this trope, however, equipping boots for these races actually ''does'' result in a graphical change; the footwear covers the ankles and part of the shin, but stops before the part of the foot that actually touches the ground.
** The tendency for trolls to go barefoot is referenced by a special transmogrification which turns a player's footwear invisible--"troll style", as the item's flavor text states. This item literally makes your boots Informed Equipment.
** Played straight with options to hide your character's helmet and cape which, if used, make those Informed Equipment. Also, smaller items (rings, trinkets, and amulet) are not rendered.

[[folder:Platform Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap'', Wonder Boy's sprites show the same sword, armor, and shield no matter what he has equipped... except in his [[LizardFolk Lizard-Man]] form, when he had no visible equipment and his inability to use or sword or shield was relevant to gameplay, but he could still equip them normally and still got stat boosts from them.
* The player in ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}'' can equip many pieces of equipment, including gloves, shoes, spectacles and a ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedjet Hedjet]]'', yet the only thing they are actually shown wearing are their default clothes and either a jet-pack or a cape.
* In ''VideoGame/ThetaVsPi7'' when youíre carrying a shield, itís shown in a box at the top of the screen but you donít actually have it on you at all. This is averted however with the wizard hat which you do in fact wear on your head.
* None of the equipment collected by Hailey in ''VideoGame/Gamer2'' is represented on her sprite.

[[folder:Role Playing Games]]
* Goes all the way back to ''VideoGame/DragonQuestI''. The first armor in the game? "Clothing". You can go into battle without it, yet the sprite nonetheless showed the hero wearing a full suit of armor. It's also averted as the sprite isn't holding a weapon or a shield unless you have purchased one. The sprite's even altered to showing him carrying the rescued princess.
* Taken to an extreme in ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom'' and ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals''. While even the most basic games in the NES era made at least slight changes to weapons so that someone with an axe would attack with an axe, the characters in ''Lufia II'' would be still be holding a sword as they attack with a bow, or a whip as they attack with a sword.
** Improved - ''slightly'' - in ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'': Dekar is now the only person who can wield multiple weapon types, and it does show him equipping different types, but all weapons of a type still look the same during combat. [[spoiler:Except [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement Dual Blade]], of course.]]
* The ''[[Franchise/SaGaRPG Final Fantasy Legend]]'' games let your party members wear up to eight pieces of heavy equipment, but no matter what you wear, your humans look heavily armored and your mutants look bare.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' has shown different appearances for weapons in battle since [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI the first game]]. But not armor, at least until ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. And even then only shields get displayed in the non-[=MMO=] games. This means characters could be wearing Diamond equipment over their whole bodies and still be shown wearing their street clothes. The 8- and 16-bit games are the worst offenders, naturally, since various characters' sprites could show them wearing full plate armor yet having nothing actually equipped.
** In ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'' Zack's outfit doesn't change with his materia and equipment loadouts either. Though he does change his uniform appearance partway through the game, as well as his weapon later.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' doesn't even have different armor, as the characters use junctions to boost defense and everything else. In the only cases where changing clothes was important (the formal [=SeeD=] attire and the Galbadian uniforms) visibly different models were used.
** While ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' allows you to change weapons as much as you please, without even restricting which characters can use which weapons, and even allows you to equip armor and hats, the characters keep their default clothing models through the entire game. This is taken to absurd levels when your characters, who start off in rather minimal clothing in the middle of a desert, use same clothing ''in the middle of snow storms''. It's also unfortunate, in that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' had selectable models for your weapons AND hat, body armor, pants, shoes, and ''gloves''.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' and ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI VI]]'' the shields (and Elf Capes) actually do get shown... but only when the character is actually blocking an attack with them. Surprisingly, they don't all look the same, given the small 16-bit sprites, but the variation is mostly just color.
* Played painfully straight in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', where fashion is one of the key themes in the game. You could have Neku clad head to toe in punk clothing, bargain bin quality threads or even wearing a pink frilly dress, but he'll still be wearing his normal garb ingame and in cutscenes.\\
Oddly enough, there's a point in the game where your objective is to talk to a support Reaper while fully dressed in clothes from one specific brand. The dialogue you get when talking to said Reaper has him comment on how the outfit you put together suits you well. Even though that brand has nothing to do with Neku's cutscene outfit.\\
Also, the clothes actually shown on Neku's sprite are purchasable, but only relatively late in the game, when you can access the Jupiter of the Monkey shop. So you need to buy a second set of these clothes to benefit from them, even though Neku is clearly wearing one already.
* In ''VideoGame/EternalSonata'', neither weapons nor outfits make any visible changes on the characters, despite the fact that said weapons and outfits are often specifically described in terms of their colour and general appearance.
* This occurs in ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate'' due to its DesignItYourselfEquipment system. Not only is it possible to attach various GunAccessories to your characters pistol at several extension points, higher level mods have extension points of their own that further accessories can be added. At the end of the game, the gun is a ridiculous monstrosity with several scopes that are often stacked on top of one another, additional barrels pointing in every directions, handles attached to super long clips that themselves have barrels attached to them, and other insanity.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'':
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVIII'', one of the last games released on disks rather than [=CD=]s, had only room for one isometric sprite set for the hero - which came with a pot helmet all the time.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'', on the other hand, didn't have separate sprites for the various kinds of armor and cloaks one could wear, but did have an actual nude sprite for characters.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVIIPartII: Serpent Isle'' did have a potent paperdoll system that depicted every piece of armor and almost every other item equipped, but the sprite showed no differences other than the weapon equipped. The Exult engine allowed this function for the previous The Black Gate too, which had one humorous side effect; if you recruited thirteen-year old Spark, his paperdoll was still the default "huge muscular guy", with the head of a small boy.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' most armors or certain clothes won't change the characters appearance. [[FanService Besides the bikini.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', the characters supposedly don heavy armor to fight in the TV World, but you never see it. [[HandWave Handwaved]] by Chie suggesting they wear them ''under'' their school uniforms.
* The ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' usually displays weapons and, if the character wears any, shields. The original SNES ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' would show only the ''type'' of weapon Cless was wielding (sword, axe, spear or halberd) and just the presence of a shield, but the remakes changed that.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' the character's equipped weapons would be displayed in battle, but cutscenes [[NoCutsceneInventoryInertia would show the same ones they'd started with]]. TheHero gets his cutscene-weapon upgraded from his initial wooden swords to metal ones and later the [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement Swords of Plot Advancement]], but it's still not affected by what he's got equipped.
** Then, in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', the weapons would change in the cutscenes to the ones that are equipped.
** Back to straight in ''VideoGame/TalesOfHearts''. Each character just has one evolving EmpathicWeapon, but despite the shape of the weapon changing as it goes up in tiers, the battle sprite remains the same until you reach one of the final postgame forms.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' displays the character's weapon and special equipment (Rita's spellbook, Karol's bag, etc) but still no armor, headgear or accessories.
*** The [=PS3=] port of Vesperia featured DLC that changed the characters' costumes, so they would look like they were wearing their most powerful armors. This is still only cosmetic, however; you can still have crappy armor equipped with this costume on.
* While you can equip armor and equipment in ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles: The Dark Brotherhood'', none of it actually shows up on the model. This gets somewhat ridiculous when you equip a hammer, but it still doesn't show up. Only equipped Chao can be seen in battle, where they float behind the characters in your party.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' falls into this trope as well. While weapons change and the characters actually draw them when they start a fight, armor is still non-existent. I'll be damned if the game can show you Crono and Frog equip the same Nova Armor... And Crono's [[JokeItem mop]] still shows up as a {{katana|sAreJustBetter}} when he uses it.
* The main characters from the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' series will still be in their artwork clothes, even though they change their job classes.
* In early versions of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'', the only equipment that appeared on the character's model was the weaponry and armor. They later released a patch to make the cloaks appear too.
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' shows everything except jewelry (and a backpack for your inventory).
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'': Until the third generation of games, all Pokemon on the Party menu were represented with rather generic sprites (with the exception of Pikachu in ''Yellow'', and Gyarados in ''Gold'' and ''Silver''). Starting with Ruby and Sapphire, each Pokemon had two sprites of their own for the party menu.
** The use of held items and special abilities. If the battles were perfectly realistic, it would be incredibly easy to determine whether your opposing Pokemon had a special pair of glasses which boosted Special Attack or was holding a berry which constantly restored health; in the games, there's no way of knowing without the use of a special ability or a move. Similarly, while it should be easy to tell if a Bronzong has the ability to levitate (which makes it immune to Ground-type attacks), there is no indication of its ability.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dubloon}}'' is rather egregious with this. Not only are any helms or armour equipped invisible, so are the weapons.
* In the ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' series, multiclass fighter/mages use the fighter model, but can still equip mage robes because of their experience as a mage. However, while any piece of armor (that isn't a robe) is shown on their character sprite, robes aren't, so they end up standing around casting spells in their underclothes. Same thing happens when you equip a thief with the [[GameBreaker use any item ability]] with armour heavier than studded leather. Aside from these two exceptions (which are probably due to technical limitations of some kind), the series completely averts this trope.
* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'', by virtue of being able to [[TakenForGranite sit safely on cockatrice corpses]], players have deduced that heroes wear pants which are not indicated in the inventory. (We think it's the circle around the 'a' in the @.) Oddly, [[FridgeLogic this is also true of all other monsters in the dungeon as well]]. There's also the Backpack and the Purse, neither of which exist independently, but the former of which can be "stolen." Possibly several times in a row if you made a point of it.
* ''VideoGame/ExitFate''. Whether it's fighter types depicted with heavy armour (including females in a rare aversion of ChainmailBikini) [[TwentyFourHourArmor regardless of daytime and occasion]], mages wearing robes, a dancer turned mage wearing a skirt and bikini top, and plenty of people wearing casual clothes or fine dresses, they'll always wear that on their portrait and sprite regardless of what they have actually equipped in gameplay terms.
* This appears in ''VideoGame/DungeonsOfDredmor'', too: During the animations, regardless of what they look like in the inventory, all swords look like normal iron long swords, all potions and drinks are in the same red bottle and the hero is always wearing a leather cuirass over a white shirt. The last point is a bit odd, because you can't equip more than one torso armor piece, and you might not even start with either of those things.
* All over the VideoGame/RealmsOfArkania trilogy. Especially noticable in the third game when the whole party is dropped stark naked into the final dungeon due to a shrinking spell but you still see them wearing robes and armor during the fights.
* Played straight in all ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' [=RPGs=] ever made (''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'', ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG''). You can equip them with a ton of gear, badges and other things, but with the exception of the L and W emblems in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', you never see any of this stuff equipped on the character models/sprites. Then again, given how you never see what said gear even looks like outside an identical icon in the menu (based on gear type), it could be that every possible piece of clothing in the kingdom looks 100% identical to Mario and Luigi's normal clothing. Which raises even more questions.
** Though in all honesty, could you imagine Mario walking about in Iron Pants and Luigi in School Slacks or whatever? Or in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'' where you can equip overalls, socks and gloves and say, you don't have any on?
* ''VideoGame/MachineKnight'' plays it quite straight. Of note, Frain's portrait shows him carrying a sword on his back at all times, even at the start of the game when he's just an unarmed scientist, making the trope work both ways: it informs you he's ''going to get'' a sword before you ever see battle.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone''. No matter what you equip your characters with, or how high they rank up, they will have the same 2D sprites throughout the game: equipment only affects stats. What's more, you can equip against type: characters who canonically don't use weapons ([[VideoGame/VirtuaFighter Akira/Pai]]), dislike weapons ([[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi]]), or are more powerful than most weapons barehanded (Heihachi again, [[Franchise/StreetFighter Ryu/Ken]]), can be equipped with any manner of guns and swords, and said equip will often improve their stats, sometimes more than it will for the character it was "meant" for.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', many weapons and lots of different armour can be found throughout the game, and characters sometimes mention what the protagonist is wearing. However, the protagonist's sprite never changes no matter what they're wearing.

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', unlike the previous two games, where [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Raiden]] or [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Naked Snake]] would at the very least hold a different type of pistol in cutscenes if you entered it with that one equipped, here Old Snake always ignores your choice of weapon and instead brandishes the Operator he gets after the first ten minutes. Where this gets taken further, however, is that when gameplay resumes he'll have put away whatever weapon you were using and still have the Operator in his hands. If you removed the gun from your inventory completely, it will be back in slot one having kicked whatever weapon was there out to make space. The M4 Custom is a rare accomplice to this as well, being the only long-arm (that actually belongs to him, at least) he'll equip in cutscenes where he does so; this essentially forces you to dedicate two of your five weapon slots to the Operator and M4 at all times and make do with three for the other weapons you actually want to use.

[[folder:Simulation Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series, ''[[VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception Skies of Deception]]'', ''[[VideoGame/AceCombatJointAssault Joint Assault]]'', ''[[VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizonLegacy Assault Horizon Legacy]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/AceCombatInfinity Infinity]]'' allow you to customize planes by adding parts to them, but the changes are not reflected; the only physical change you can make is [[NoseArt the paint scheme (and in Infinity the emblem)]].
** Maybe because you were attempting to [[IncrediblyLamePun deceive]] your enemies about your plane's equipment.
* ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' series averts this with [[AndYourRewardIsClothes clothes]] but plays it straight with tools: carried but unequipped tools are invisible.
* ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'': When you fit a gun to a slot on a ship, a cannon appears in a corresponding spot on the ship's model. It looks exactly the same no matter what gun you put there. Other equipment doesn't even do that much.
* Due to the game using sprite-based graphics, nothing you fit to a ship in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity'' ever appears on it.
* In the first four ''VideoGame/{{MechWarrior}}'' games, the in-game models of your 'Mechs did not reflect what weapons you had loaded on to it, ''Mechwarrior 3'' being a particularly infamous example with mechs vomiting up guided missiles from their cockpit canopy and shooting lasers from missile racks. ''Living Legends'' and ''Online'' have since fixed that, with missile racks changing in size depending on what is fitted, weapon barrels changing to indicate the type of laser or cannon, and so on.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* While ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' allows your characters to wield a variety of weapons and outfits, only their outfits will change in cutscenes. Throughout the game, Chris and Sheva are shown wielding only their default handguns.
** Which sometimes leads to unintentionally funny scenes, such as Sheva holstering her pistol on [[ChainMailBikini her bare thigh]].
* Done in a unique way in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' where you can carry numerous weapons, but only two at most will be shown at a time. If you swap from a long gun to a hand gun, the long gun you used to have equipped will be slung on the character's back. The other five guns are in his side pocket or something.
* Isaac Clarke of ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' has a suit of RIG servo-armour that changes as you upgrade it, but his weapons are apparently stored in his groin, meaning that a pulse rifle just pops out of nowhere when you decide you're running low on plasma cutter ammunition.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' figures rarely look much like the player characters they represent.
** In fact, this is largely a given if you're using miniatures for any RPG. Players strapped for cash might even resort to using whatever's on hand in place of minis.
** It's also not unknown to just not use miniatures at all; some players prefer to have the entire game play out solely in their collective imaginations, so a character may end up never being visually depicted at all or get at best a character portrait if their record sheet provides room for that and the player feels artistically inclined. This is of course [[RuleOfPerception one of the reasons]] many tabletop player characters end up carrying around implausible amounts of equipment -- since nobody ever quite ''sees'' it except as a line of text with maybe an encumbrance value somewhere, it doesn't really "count".
** Actually partly averted for the ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' Iconic characters; [[https://warosu.org/data/tg/img/0296/34/1390174520478.jpg Their portraits]] show them carrying quite a lot of gear, including multiple backup weapons.
* Any table top game using miniatures, like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' or TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} has this unless you customize the miniatures. A pack of clanrats holding swords can be upgraded to have spears but will still be holding swords, obviously.
** Though at least in Warhammer (Fantasy and 40k) the tournament often has rules that says that the models must have the equipment that you have upgraded them with (the rule is most often called WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get), you can get away with some exceptions to the rule but not a whole lot. The most notorious being the rule that [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority red Ork vehicles go faster]] - there's a point cost to it, but the real cost is that, in order to invoke this rule, your models must ''actually'' be red.
* In ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'', the artwork and miniatures for the HumongousMecha are often commissioned when the actual loadout is still on the table, leading to informed equipment (which is explained away via FlavorText), though it has gradually become less common. For example, the art and miniatures for the [=AS7-D=] "Atlas" shows it having a cannon on ''both'' hips; the right one is the actual [[{{BFG}} Autocannon/20]], while the flavor text describes the left as a power and coolant hookup. The informed equipment goes through the roof when the game's DesignItYourselfEquipment is in play, which was particularly noticeable in the ''Videogame/MechWarrior'' PC adaptations (see Simulation Games, above)

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* {{Lampshaded}} in [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0126.html this]] ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' comic.
* ''[[{{Webcomic/morphe}} morphE]]'' is styled like a visual novel and many times the text will describe a character holding something which is not on their sprite. Exceptions are made for equipment which is always on a certain character such as cellphones, notebooks or in one case a gun.


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''. Not only the 3D games, but even the 2D ones had different sprites for most equipment.
** However, all items other than swords, shields, and clothing items are still hidden until you take them out. Link has a quiver for his arrows, but you can't see it - you only see the bow itself, and the arrow currently in use. This trope is particularly obvious when using the Skull Hammer in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', as the hammer is not only invisible when not in use, it is as big as Link and cannot possibly be carried on his person unless he has {{Hammerspace}} pockets.
*** Similarly, in games that feature the Iron Boots, he is only weighed down by them when actually wearing them. Carrying them on his person does nothing to affect his mass.
** Though ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda'' cartoon show actually showed in one episode that they DO have {{Hammerspace}} pockets, with the items shrinking in appearance to fit inside, then growing when they were taken back out.
* Title character of ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain: Blood Omen'' - the first game in the series, made by Silicon Knights for UsefulNotes/PlayStation and PC - had a rather extensive collection of visually distinctive weapons and armor suits each of which altered the way Kain looked, despite the game being completely 2D.
** Played straight in the pre-rendered cutscenes, though(obviously), Kain would always be wearing his starting equipment, the iron armor and sword. Kind of justified in certain instances; walking into the court of the king wearing a suit of armor made out of bones would probably look suspicious.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' about half the time and played straight the other half, bizarrely. In some cutscenes, Amaterasu will have whatever weapon she has equipped, and in others, she'll have her default weapon. The cutscenes are all in-engine, so this doesn't make very much sense.
* Sometimes averted, sometimes not in ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''.
** In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'', almost everything Alucard can equip will show changed art on his model. However, even if you completely unequip his cloak, he's still visibly wearing one. Since it's much harder to avert this trope with Game Boy hardware than [=PlayStation=], the GBA games tend to only show changes to characters' weaponry.
** Present in even the DS games such as ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia.'' Even though the best armor for female protagonists is typically a wedding dress (in fact, several fancy dresses tend to be superior to plate armor once you start getting the high-end gear) Shanoa and Charlotte remain in the same outfits they start out in, perhaps because the fetish material would not overwhelm the {{Narm}} of someone kicking vampire ass in bridal gear.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'' averts it for weapons (though different weapons of the same type[[note]]barring the [[BadWithTheBone femur]][[/note]] just show up as {{Palette Swap}}s, looking nothing like their icon) but doesn't show armor.
* In ''VideoGame/HandOfFate'', Xanthia goes through roughly a dozen outfits as she goes to new places (as the prior ones are either damaged in the transition or unsuitable for the new climate), but she doesn't have an unlimited supply, as she mentions at one point that she's running out of clothes. In the previous game she tells Brandon that she's "not giving up [her] wardrobe spell", implying that they're just stashed in an extradimensional space or something.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Faxanadu}}'' your character's sprite would display the armor he equipped, which was a pretty cool feature when the game debuted in 1987.

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* ''[[Videogame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur IV]]'' averts this, modify a character and take the armor away, and they'll be fighting in [[ArtisticLicenseHistory historically questionable undergarments.]] As you gain major bonuses from armour and clothing, this makes things a hell of a lot harder. Try it combined with the joke items on hard mode and you'll be seeing the [[GameOver "Stage Failed"]] screen a lot.
* ''VideoGame/TheWarriors'' plays the trope in both ways. If your character is holding a weapon, it won't show in a cut scene. However, any hats that they happened to pick up and wear will always show up in a cut scene.
* Also inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 6'', where only certain clothing and accessories found in Scenario Campaign actually give you a stat boost. {{Narm}} frequently ensues, as the current best combination of stat-boosting items often makes your character look completely ridiculous.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' other players can see your character's gun in your hand, your previous gun on your back, and your shield, grenade mods and relics on your back.
** Though in a strange twist on this trope, other players ''can't'' see the unique reloading animation each gun uses, instead seeing a generic sequence of movements regardless of the weapon being used (except for [[ThrowAwayGuns Tediore]] guns).
* The sprite-based ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' games featured a peculiar solution to the problem in the form of split sprites: there was one set of sprites for the legs and lower body, and another for the torso (including the weapons carried thereon).
* In ''VideoGame/{{XIII}}'', many enemies wear body armor of various styles, which [[EverythingBreaks magically vanish when they soak up too much damage]]. This makes it imperative to sneak up behind and take them down silently, so as to loot their unblemished armor.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' (PSP): The currently selected weapons for each Tachikoma also appear in cutscenes throughout the game.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', a Spy disguised as you will reflect your loadout, including accessories and/or {{Nice Hat}}s. Unfortunately due to body group incompatibility, the disguise can glitch out and leave the Spy holding a weapon the disguise's class can't equip, or missing textures or even body parts altogether.
* Averted in some cutscenes in ''VideoGame/{{Goldeneye 1997}}'' for the N64. The end of the trainyard level has Bond (James Bond) killing two guards on the train itself. It's a bit of a different action for whatever gun you are wielding. In other cut scenes, the game keeps track of grenades.
* Also averted in the ''ARMA'' series - one of the above-mentioned guns that can load different types of magazines is the G36 series, which normally use transparent magazines. One can clearly see the number of rounds within decrease as it's fired, though after about 15 shots they're obscured from view by the gun itself.
** As gaming technology gets better, more and more developers of shooters are realizing that it is indeed possible to model translucent magazines with bullets in them that actually disappear as the player fires them - ''VideoGame/RainbowSix: Vegas'' and ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.3.A.R.]]'' are other examples.
* ''VideoGame/{{RAGE}}'' alters your guns' and cars' models accordingly depending on what upgrades you pick up. It also alters your character model twice: once when you get the armor for your Ark suit, and again when you ditch the Ark suit for wastelander clothes.

[[folder:Hack And Slash]]
* In ''Videogame/{{Diablo}}'', there were very few models, though there were ''some'' different ones for different kinds of armor: specifically light leathery armor, medium chain-y armor, and heavy plate armor. ''Diablo II'' made a branch between early games with no or few extra models and later ones with piles of them, where each class had its own style of armor, and different types of armor each had a different look on each class. Items with abilities that associated with a particular - such as deep green for poison - reflected those colors on the character's model, as well.
** Handled ingeniously by splitting the models into different sections and sprites to have more combinations of equipment.
*** Which ends up causing different parts of the character's body to be dyed in accordance with the item. Masks specifically end up dying your Necromancer's normally white hair various colors, and certain one-of-a-kind items will turn a Sorceresses hair into something that looks like a giant bleach-stained towel taped to her head.
* Totally averted in the ''VideoGame/DiabloII''-inspired ''VideoGame/TitanQuest''. Every individual piece of equipment appears on your in-game character. In fact, ''Titan Quest'' takes it one step further, if a particular monster has a unique item in its inventory to be dropped upon its death, the monster will be shown using that piece of equipment, with the item's model appropriately placed.

* ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan: Hyborian Adventures.'' Also you can literally fight in the nude, being able to strip male or female characters down to skimpy (and anachronistic) thongs. Yes, you can [[NippleAndDimed see nipples]].
** [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] had quite a bit of fun with this feature: Determined to see how long he could go without ever putting any armor on at all, he picked the necromancer class, set all the character sliders to their minimum possible values and dubbed his character Thinderella the Necromantic Naturist.
* ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline'' plays with this. Armor and certain gear do appear on your character. Shoulderpads are toggled, and only one of the two sleeve slots will be visable. Invoked with the option to show a character's social gear instead of their armor ([[HilarityEnsues in some cases, hilarity may ensue]]), and there's also the polymorph programs...
* ''VideoGame/DreamOfMirrorOnline (DOMO)'', allows to see your character weapon, shield and armor any moment, cutscenes included. When naked, characters still wears underwear (very skimpy for the Shura/Felin race). anyway, the exact look of an armor changes due to race or gender. Most notably the "newbie clothing", that change from a bathing suit to a formal robe, based on your character creation.
* ''Videogame/{{Mabinogi}}''. Player characters are fully modeled with all their gear (except accessories, which are effectively too small to see at game resolution), even in cutscenes.
* ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' almost completely averts this. Despite your character only being a inch or three tall, 90% of all equippable items are represented on your character, up to and including earrings and shoes, which might only be a few pixels large!
* ''[[{{Website/Neopets}} NeoQuest II]]'' updates your characters' appearance (clothes and weapons), on the field and in battle, to reflect what armor they're wearing.
* ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''. Subverted for the most part. Virtually all clothing changes will be reflected upon both you and your companion with only one exception (Khem Val who is to oddly shaped seeing he's an alien, so it's somewhat justified.)
* ''Videogame/WorldOfWarcraft'' (and many other {{MMORPG}}s): Every weapon, piece of armor, and article of clothing is rendered fully on each character in the game, excluding jewelery. Because of the overwhelming importance of having the ideal stat combinations from gear, however, this often resulted in RainbowPimpGear for characters at all levels of the game. The Transmogrification feature introduced in patch 4.3 helped to resolve this by allowing players to customize their gear by replacing models and skins with those of other pieces of gear in their possession, with certain restrictions such as requiring both items to be of Uncommon or higher quality. Before transmogrification, [[TheRoleplayer roleplayers]] often kept separate sets of gear worn only for their appearance rather than their combat effectiveness, and many continue to maintain such sets due to incompatibilities with transmogrification's restrictions.
** Behind the scenes, this creates a great deal of additional work for the art team, as all new character models and changes to existing models must be compatible with every existing item model in the game, and new item models must be compatible with thirteen races times two genders (not to mention non-player races that make use of player armor, such as pre-Cataclysm goblins).
** Played straight by shapeshift forms, such as druids' animal forms and many gag items. Most shiftshifts have singular appearances (although druid forms have multiple color palettes) that use the same armor models (or lack thereof) regardless of what the player has equipped. Weapons typically still avert the trope, save for the case of druid forms (except for moonkin), which hide equipped weapons entirely.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'', suit upgrades are visible on the model in all games. In the 3D games, the model even changes for weapon upgrades, and in ''Metroid Prime 3: Corruption'', the suit also reflects Samus's Phazon corruption.
* The ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series utilized sprite overlays for each of X's armor upgrades, in addition to the traditional palette swaps for his alternate weapons.
* The two ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' games show any bits of equipment collected on the character's models. Since the gear cannot be removed, it's completely impossible, for eg, to get Knuckles to take off his sunglasses once he's picked them up.
* ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand'' had separate palette maps for armor, weapon, shield, and footwear (but they all behaved exactly the same in relation to the frames of animation).
** In the Genesis version of ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterWorld'', most weapons and shields have unique sprites. (In the Master System version, swords have different sprites from spears, but that's it.)
* All games in the ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'' series will show Arthur running around in his boxer shorts if he's not wearing any armor (i.e. got hit).
** Their SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/MaximoGhostsToGlory'' does the same thing.
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' shows your character with whatever armor they have on, and there are also social slots now. If armor is put in these slots, that's what you see your character in, but gameplay-wise you are still wearing the non-social armour.
* Shovel Knight from ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight'' gets a PaletteSwap to indicate what armour he's wearing.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'', where the 3D model was updated depending on upgrades. A missile upgrade for a jeep resulted in that missile showing up on the side of the jeep, etc.
* In ''Warhammer 40000: VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', any equipment added to your troops is reflected on their models, including weapon and miscellaneous wargear additions. These changes are also visible on their persistent corpses (that can lay there forever, with the appropriate config menu setting).
** This makes a lot of sense since some of the tournament rules for the tabletop game require that any wargear be shown on the plastic/white metal/resin models.
* Units in ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'' would be shown holding different pieces of equipment depending on the armory upgrades purchased and units with line upgrades would look different in each age the upgrade was purchased.
* Units in ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'' are shown in better armor and carry the better weapons that are researched for them in their cities of origin. Also, the individual units are semi-unique, averting the usual "clone army" look of the typical RTS.
* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'': Zigzagged: while some upgrades result in changes to the unit models (the zergling speed upgrade gives them insectoid wings, marine combat shields show up, etc.), most need to be moused over to be verified.
** In VideoGame/HeartOfTheSwarm's campaign, several units have a permanent upgrade that gets a different model (the zergling Raptor strain has wings, as mentioned above, while the Swarmling grows a great big dorsal fin) with a general green or purple color scheme.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'': It's not seen in the basic game, but the game engine does allow you to avert this trope by attaching special effects to various parts of a unit (head, weapon, offhand...). Many RPG custom maps use this, though it eats up a lot of space (requiring a specially made weaponless, armorless model, not to mention the weapons themselves).

* Averted in ''Videogame/DoomTheRoguelike'', at least as much as possible for a game with ASCII graphics, as the the color of the @ which represents you changes to match the color of your equipped armor.
** However, played straight with the enemies that can equip armor they come across. Since [[EliteMook hell knights and barons of hell]] can also equip armor, this can cause a nasty surprise or two.
* ''Actually'' averted in the {{roguelike}} ''VideoGame/{{Powder}}'', which bolts images of whatever you're wearing to the image of your character. It helps that there isn't any animation to speak of.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Elona}}'', individual pieces of armor show up on your character's sprite when equipped, but you can choose to make them invisible and customize the clothing underneath.
* And averted again in the [=PS2=] roguelike ''VideoGame/{{Baroque}}''. A full set of equipment consists of a coat, a pair of artificial wings, and a sword (or the Angelic Rifle), all of which show up over the [[NoNameGiven nameless protagonist's]] normal clothing and are carried over into cutscenes.
* In ''VideoGame/RogueLegacy'', the player character's sprite consists of several pieces of armour that are coloured differently depending on what they wear.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Neptunia}}'' won't show your armor (as they're just bracelets and other rings), but any changes to your weapon, accessories, outfits or processor parts for the [=CPUs=] will appear in battle.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' had most of its {{cutscene}}s rendered via the in-game engine, and thus changes to weaponry were acknowledged; armor, meanwhile, was handled entirely via shields and other small items. Weapons rarely ever appeared in the prerendered sequences.
** Similarly, in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'', the cutscenes show changes to Noel's and Serah's equipped weapons.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime'' this trope is averted, as any armor, helmet or weapon you equip on any character actually shows, although you can't ''remove'' any of these, so no running in the nude or fighting barehanded. However no matter what a character is wearing, the icon of their face (next to their HP and MP on the top screen) remains the same.
* Seen in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series:
** ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'': in the in-game {{cutscene}}s, Sora will be holding whatever Keyblade he has currently equipped (occasionally causing problems with clipping if it's one of the larger or oddly-shaped ones).
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', it'll also show whatever combination mode he's in.
** Played straight in the scene before the Thousand Heartless battle and the pictures in Jiminy's Journal, where he's shown with the original Kingdom Key, and in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'', where Roxas always has the Kingdom Key in {{cutscene}}s despite the Gear you may have equipped on him.
** Also played straight in [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI the first game's]] ending; Sora is shown to be using the Kingdom Key regardless of which Keychain you have equipped.
** In terms of actual equipable clothing (which consists of bangles, rings, ribbons and other similar objects that are more akin to jewelry/bling than anything else) don't show up on either Sora nor any of his companions.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonSiege'', by giving every item its own 3D model.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' changes characters' models for armor and weapons, though the game isn't detailed enough to do anything more.
** In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' most, if not all, equipment appears on the characters, and magical weapons will usually have a relevant magical effect. Certain pieces of head equipment, such as circlets, also appear on the character portrait.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'' is notable, being fully sprite-based. Every armor in the game has its rendering for each of the available the player models, and each weapon is represented by the class model (small arms, spear, big arms, etc.) visibly wielded by characters. {{NPC}}s in the game are generally rendered according to the armor they wear.
** And averted in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' where every armor used, even on [=NPCs=] will be shown and the same thing with the currently used weapon.
* Seems indeed to have faded with regards to ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'': clothes, weapons, armor, and ''jewelry'' are fully visible and changeable.
** Also prevalent in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', where, like ''Oblivion'', it stopped short of Nudity with a loincloth. [=NPCs=] didn't seem to notice this. In ''Morrowind'', people would tell you to put some clothes on if you were naked, and in ''Oblivion'' they were oblivious (pardon the pun) to you running around starkers.
** Add in the fact that some creatures are actually modeled ''with'' something under the loincloth...
** And the same with ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''. But you won't see a backpack or any of the potions, food, non equipped gear you're carrying. Also if you're dual wielding, you'll only see both weapons when drawn. When sheathed, only one weapon is visible.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfXentar'' takes the aversion to the logical extreme. Not only do the various types of armor, shield and weaponry you can equip show up on your character in battle (and, for that matter, when wandering around the map) - but if you de-equip everything, your characters do, indeed, FightInTheNude. Including that cute sorceress. It's little quirks like these that help to make the game a perfectly valid RPG, if you can get past the fact that every five minutes you'll be staring at a pair of badly drawn breasts.
** On the other hand, ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' (and part two, and the expansion, and part two the expansion) have nude sprites available for the protagonist, which are shown at certain points as required by the plot, but cannot be accessed by simply removing all of your gear.
* The game series ''VideoGame/KouryuuDensetsuVillgust'' - when a character gets a full set of next-level equipment, their battle sprite changes (usually just colors, but in some cases a headband or extra armor gets added) to reflect it. However, only in the equipment screen is each piece of equipment rendered (in a PaperDoll style) - in battle, if you have all the members of the "blue" set and a "green" helmet, for instance, you usually still appear green.
* ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' - not only does equipping no armor or clothing leave your character running around in his or her underwear, but most people you meet refuse to talk to you until you are decently dressed.
* ''VideoGame/DarkCloud 2'' avoids this by not having armor; the characters clothing can be changed, but it bears no stat advantages. Similar to the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' example above, the clothing differences are worked into the cutscenes.
** Continues into ''VideoGame/RogueGalaxy''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}''. Your character will always appear to be wearing whatever clothing or armor he currently has equipped. If you unequip everything, he will be forced to run around the game world clad only in his underpants. Almost every quest has a bonus if you do it without any equipment, in fact.
** Likewise in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateDarkAlliance'', since [[ArmorIsUseless Armor is pretty much useless]] in both. You'll often find players doing "naked runs" (''especially'' with the [[AllMenArePerverts ladies]]).
* Despite being an NES game, ''VideoGame/{{Crystalis}}'' altered your character's look depending on whether he had shields or armor equipped.
** However, there was no difference based on what armor you wore, or what shield you had, so other than the beginning of the game, you were almost always wearing fur armor. Similarly, all four swords look the same in combat, even though the item screen implies them looking rather different (especially the water sword)
* ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia''. Every weapon and armor was represented. In fact, you had numerous different types of armor along with those weapons, so as you progressed through the game, you got to see the characters in constantly changing outfits, though these outfits would mostly match the base clothes in style. You didn't get anyone in the nude, as the default armor was what they wore outside of combat, but considering how old the game is, it was a refreshing change to see all the different armors and weapons shown in battle. Not to mention that the equipment could look genuinely intimidating. Yes, even [[RealMenWearPink Gala's battle earrings]].
** The sequel, ''Duel Saga'', only has different models for the characters' weapons. Characters who don't use weapons have no changes whatsoever.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'', where the player character's changes of clothing show up in-game and in cutscenes, and the {{Mentor|s}} putting on his old armor is a {{FanService}}y nostalgia moment in ''Gothic II''. Unfortunately, if the player for some reason decided not to wear the [[InfinityPlusOneSword magic armor]] during the final boss fight in ''Gothic'', this created a plot hole at the start of ''Gothic II'' where it's revealed that the armor saved his life when [[CollapsingLair the cave collapsed]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles'' has a semi-aversion with its weapons, but much like the above the clothing does not change. However, this was changed in the sequel ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesRingOfFates Ring Of Fates]]'', the first DS entry. Every piece of equipment you equip changes how the on-screen characters look.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', every piece of equipment has a unique look to it. This can lead to some [[RainbowPimpGear rather strange looks]] as you mix and match the things with the best stat gains.
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' has unique weapons for each character, but mostly plays the trope straight as far as armor is concerned. A few armors or armor combinations do change the character sprites, though (though most of these are for the one female character, [[{{Fanservice}} for some reason]].)
* This is ''mostly'' the case in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' during mission sequences (outside of missions they wear whatever is appropriate), but every character has a couple of outfits that change the character model's clothes as well. For instance, females can wear the [[BreastPlate High-Cut Armor]], and each also has a separate [[{{Meido}} maid outfit]]. When you assign these armors to the characters, they tend to get a bit flustered. Some of the unique male armor also gets a less dramatic reaction (since none of it is anywhere near as FanService friendly). Note that this only happened in the ''FES'' version - while the outfits do exist in the vanilla game, you can only get the reactions from the characters while their clothes stay the same.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' is only a little better; while the characters in ''Persona 3'' have seasonal school uniforms and summer vs winter day clothes, they ''always'' go adventuring in their winter uniforms. However their weapons are all unique, with the [[InfinityPlusOneSword ultimate weapons]] being extra cool-looking. The cast of ''Persona 4'' actually do go adventuring in their summer uniforms if they're wearing them in the game (though you still can't go adventuring in their holiday clothes).
*** 4 is pretty good about this: [[FanNickname The Inaba Scoobies]] use their school uniforms to smuggle equipment into Junes (The big department store that the gang likes to use as a base because it houses the safest entry to the TV world) because Youske and the protagonist once got ''arrested'' for waving around weapons in there. This is actually a fairly conceivable {{Handwave}}, as all the armor is usually magical or wearable under clothing, and most of the party members carry weapons that can be easily concealed. Nevertheless the Protagonist somehow sneaks enormous swords/baseball bats/golf clubs into Junes and Kanji is even worse. [[ImprobableWeaponUser His first buyable weapon is a DESK.]]
*** In the remake, ''Persona 4 Golden,'' "Outfit" became a seperate equipment slot and each character could wear different outfits that they had previously purchased or received, including swimsuits, holiday wear, and more.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheWorld: Radiant Mythology'' averts this to such a degree that equipping a piece of armor that would theoretically cause major overlap issues on your character automatically de-equips the offending piece(s) upon equipping the new one - with each change shown on your character's model, remembering how large each piece actually is comes in handy.
* ''VideoGame/{{Sudeki}}'' averts this completely, partially by virtue of each character only having 3 sets of armor (that are awarded at fixed points in the plot, no less), but each weapon has its own unique model, appearance, and in the case of ranged weapons, projectile. Some, like the [[ChainsawGood Chainsword]], even have their own noises.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight'' boasts an aversion of this: weapons and armor equipped will change the character's model to match.
* In ''VideoGame/RadiataStories'', every armor changes PlayerCharacter Jack Russell's appearance, including in cutscenes. This can be anything from ordinary street clothes to giant suits of armor.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' shows different types of weapons and armor as different models, though some are just [[PaletteSwap different-colored]] versions of similar armor or weapons. You can, in fact, strip your character to their undies, and it happens at least once in each game whether you want it to or not. You even start both games in your undergarments.
* ''VideoGame/SiegeOfAvalon'' shows every piece of equipment you put on your character except for the Hand equipment slots, which are presumably either worn under the Gloves slot (and too small to see when not wearing gloves) for rings, or just not shown for books and scrolls. There are a couple dozen different garments and pieces of armor for each armor slot, and at least twice that for the weapon slot, even ignoring the ones that look the same but have different stats.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 5}}'' has pieces of armor which will change the character's model.
* In ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' and the CRPG mod, all the different types of weapons and armour are clearly or somewhat distinguishable, considering there are hundreds of each this starts to matter very little, as most of armours or weapons of the same class tend to be pretty much the same with only slight differences. Its again not as helpful in multiplayer and even worse in CRPG as anyone wearing armour which has a metallic colour on it is probably too armoured for you to have hope of beating with your handful of rocks and pitchfork. All the horses have different appearances but are all the same to a player on foot as they attempt to dodge the instant kill lances.
* Zig-zagged in the ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'' series. Each character has a 3D model for close-ups and a separate miniature (2D sprites in the first three games, replaced by 3D models in ''Inazuma Eleven GO'') for more distant camera angles. The miniatures play the trope straight, but the close-up models avert it; shoes and goalkeepers' gloves are all texture swaps, and accessories are added to the model.
* ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsTheThirdAge'' reflects every change you make to your party's equipment, no matter how mismatched.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', every armor suit and gun is individually rendered. However, your squadmates do still show up in their starting armor in a few cutscenes when they are not currently selected as active party members. Some of the alien squadmates will also show up in default armor while on your ship, the others wear either civilian clothes or crew uniforms. [[RedShirt Private Jenkins']] model, however, doesn't change based on his equipment. Given that the only ways you can have different items to give him are a NewGamePlus (where you know not to bother) or using cheats, this is definitely reasonable.
* All equipped gear in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'' is visible on your character model, in both the gameplay and cutscenes. It's also accurately reflected in the flashbacks. Understandably though, any flashes of prophecy in the future will use the character's current models as opposed to the impossible task of attempting to predict what equipment the characters will be wearing several hours of gameplay down the line when that scene in question actually comes into play.
** ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'' CAN play this straight at the player's discretion, thanks to fashion gear. Got some gear that has awesome game breaker skills but makes your characters have one out of place arm? No worries, just attach the equipment you wish displayed under the fashion gear tab and that's the equipment that will show up on the character model. There's also fashion gear (things like hoodies, trousers, ''Manga/DragonBall'' scouters, business suits and skimpy bikinis to name a few) which is intentionally made for this tab, as most of them have terrible stats and hardly useful skills. This can result in some {{Narm}} when an intense cutscene plays and you've got the party members or your character wearing a bunny girl bikini suit for example

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', wherein Snake keeps his currently selected camouflage for any given cutscene, including his "shirtless" outfit and the Raikov mask. Your VoiceWithAnInternetConnection will even tell you to remove the mask before meeting certain people [[DevelopersForesight if it would freak them out]].
** Reportedly, Hideo Kojima included the "shirtless" costume in the game [[SelfImposedChallenge to get players to play through the whole game topless]].
** Also happens in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' with the [=OctoCamo=] and various outfits, leading to various amusing situations where Snake is covered in polka dots or smoking through his mask.
*** A perfect and hilarious example is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg9cx_EOcdY this]].

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* ''[[{{VideoGame/XCOM}} X-COM]]'':
** In ''[[VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense UFO Defense]]'': character sprites show the armor you equip on them and the weapon they've used most recently.
** In ''[[VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown Enemy Unknown]]'', both the main weapon and the sidearm are shown in the soldier's model. Swapping weapons shows them being exchanged faithfully, although [[GoodBadBugs sometimes the main weapon's model will "stick" to the sidearm]], [[CrowningMomentOfFunny with rather hilarious results]].
* ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance'' games altered the characters' appearances based on the weapon types they were equipped with although pistols and SMG's looked identical, same as shotguns and rifles. The armor equipped, however, had absolutely no effect on appearance, which became rather ridiculous when the mercenaries were technically wearing full Spectra outfit, complete with a helmet and a gas mask, yet still appeared to wear the same t-shirt they had at the beginning of the game
* Weapons-only aversion in the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series. Armor isn't shown, but every single weapon (except the Fist-type and monster-type weapons) has a unique sprite. Also, each weapon can be either legendary, rare or normal, and the sprites are recolored to show this.
* Played Straight and Averted depending on which ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' game you're playing. Some of the ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' games use one or two sprites/models for all weapons (Fire Emblem doesn't have "armor" as an item, basing defense purely on a character's stats) of each type in-battle, while others have unique sprites for each weapon. The first two games and portables generally fall in the former, while the SNES and later(non-portable) games fall in the latter. Interestingly, in the games where a single design is used regardless of the particular weapon a character has, the design itself tends to be different according to the class of the character using it, leading to two characters using the same weapon having it appear completely differently in-battle.
** In addition, the portraits of the characters do not reflect when the characters are promoted into an advanced class. Only few characters has different portraits when promoted like [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Ike from Ranger to Lord]].

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* Excellently avoided in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', in which you can change the main character's clothes and hairstyle, give him tattoos, and even alter his basic body shape (though this last is a long process, involving overeating to get fat or exercise to get muscular). Any changes to the character's appearance are worked seamlessly into all of the game's cutscenes. Body armour, on the other hand, is invisible, even if you are naked from the waist up.
** Oddly averted in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV''. When Niko [[spoiler: confronts Dimitri in the Revenge ending, the weapon he holds in the pre-execution cutscene is the same one you used to get the last hit. What makes this weird is that many players used the rocket launcher for its area-effecting ability to get around cover, so in the cutscene, Niko walks up to ''point blank range'' and waves the launcher in Dimitri's face like it's a pistol.]] Aside from that, the game works the same as its predecessor.
*** Similarly, when facing [[spoiler: Pegerino 2 missions later (in the Revenge ending), no matter what weapon you were using in the preceeding firefight Niko will have an AK-47 in the scene (even if you had the Carbine Rifle, which takes up the same weapon slot as the AK)]].
** In the end of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheLostAndDamned'' [[spoiler: no matter what pistol you have when you reach Billy, Johnny will be holding the automatic pistol in the scene]].
** In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'', body armor is invisible. In ''Grand Theft Auto Online'', however, any character that's supposed to have armor on will be seen having the appropriate type of armor over their shirt. Wearing a jacket can cover it up.
* Similar to the ''San Andreas'' aversion above, ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' incorporates ridiculous levels of character customization, including four separate layers on the chest alone, all of these changes will be visible in cutscenes along with six different voice sets for the player character. But, it does play this trope straight in one very bizarre way. Throughout the game you can obtain alternate handguns, shotguns, assault rifles and the like, but, while every cutscene will accurately depict your character in almost every way, their weapons are prescripted. This can (and does) result in the player character using pistols they aren't carrying on a fairly regular basis.
* ''VideoGame/ScarfaceTheWorldIsYours''. At one point you chase down and confront the evil [[spoiler: Sheffieldm your lawyer]]. The death scene plays out differently depending on what you use but oddly, only three ways are available at this point. Using your opponent's clearly seen weapon is not possible, sadly.
* ''VideoGame/TheGodfather 2'' averts this. Upgrades you get from owning certain business types, such as body armour and knuckledusters, are clearly visible on your character.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', every piece of armour you wear is shown on your character's model. A full set almost completely covers it, kinda making all that painstaking skin design [[ConcealedCustomization a waste of time]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'', not only is equipment shown in the later stages, ''but you have to put it on yourself''.