->''"Heat level critical. Shutdown sequence initiated."''
-->-- '''On-board computer''', ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 2''

Some games give you [[BottomlessMagazines unlimited ammo]], but the designer doesn't want you to fire continuously, so your gun will overheat if you fire continuously for too long, and you have to wait for it to cool down before you can use it again. Alternately, you may have to reload, but have unlimited magazines, which is functionally identical. This doesn't just apply to guns. For example, in Excitebike, the motorcycle will overheat if you go fast for too long.

A particularly bizarre version can occur in games that feature mounted and handheld versions of the same machine gun, which may be governed by totally separate rules; for example, one may require reloading while the other does not but is able to overheat.

This can be partly considered an example of TruthInTelevision, as the dissipation of waste heat from various forms of technology is a major design consideration that is often overlooked; however, in video games the effect is typically exaggerated by a variable margin in terms of speed and grossly understated in terms of severity; overheating a machine gun will typically cause it to steam as if it has a water jacket, without the risk of rounds spontaneously igniting (known as "cooking off") or permanent barrel damage that come with overheating a real gun. May be partially justified by having the overheat meter represent a safety threshold imposed by an automated weapon control system or the shooter himself, and not the absolute maximum temperature at which the weapon is capable of firing. However, keeping firing at the risk of weapon damage is generally not an option. Typically, the quick-change barrels of modern machine guns are not represented either, and there is no way to deal with an overheated barrel but wait for it to cool back down (which, for gameplay reasons, happens surprisingly fast).

Gatling Guns, especially of the modern Minigun variety, often fall victim to this trope, despite the fact that their multiple rotating barrels is a special design meant to avoid overheating.

Essentially an inverted ChargeMeter, and similar in function to a SprintMeter, though the latter will generally go down instead of up. Contrast PentUpPowerPeril when danger comes from the lack of use rather than overuse.

If the weapons are in space, it's an aversion of SpaceIsCold.


* One ''Literature/DearAmerica'' book set during the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar had a US Marine stationed near Khe Sanh as the viewpoint character. Twice in the book, the next Marine company over came under heavy attack and returned fire with mortars. Then the mortars began to overheat, and the main character's company resorted to peeing on them to cool them down.
* Mentioned in the ''Literature/{{Cryptonomicon}}'' when Bobby Shaftoe is accompanying a special forces team in Nazi-occupied Italy. When the team assembles a Vickers machine gun on the back of a truck, Shaftoe describes it as a gun with ''infrastructure''; a gun can fire a bullet, sure, but it'll overheat if you do it too often. But not the Vickers, which the gunner uses to cut a jeep in half, as continuous indirect fire against some Germans behind a hill, and to play chicken with a Wehrmacht fighter.
* In ''Literature/TheDireSaga'', the generator in Dire's power armor heats up as she uses it. Using the [[DeflectorShield personal force field]] especially pushes it, and at several times Dire is forced to choose between being shot and being cooked to death in her armor.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' Classic. In Book 4 ''Mercenary'', several rapid firing weapons (such as machine guns) would overheat and jam if you fired them too often, requiring repair.
* In ''TableTopGame/BattleTech'', heat is an important balancing factor. [=BattleMechs=] are environmentally sealed, powered by fusion engines and artificial muscle-like actuators that aren't exactly 100% efficient, and often bristling with energy, ballistic, and/or missile weapons; virtually everything they do starting with simple movement will cause heat to build up, which needs to be funneled out of the 'Mech via dedicated 'heat sinks'. Build up heat faster than those can handle, and your 'Mech will slow down and the accuracy of its weapons fire will suffer until they have caught up again. At sufficiently high levels it may even automatically shut down and/or see explosive ammo start to cook off.
** There's also the in-universe anecdote (from the original ''Technical Readout 3025'', may or may not have made it into later books) about the overenthusiastic all-''Enforcer'' lance commander who supposedly exhorted his troops to fire "until your [auto]cannon glows. If need be, until it explodes!". No points for guessing what according to that story happened to ''him'' in just that battle...
** Even in the meta-game of 'mech design, heat control is a critical factor. Ten heat sinks come free of mass costs with a fusion engine (its integrated thermal control system), and any beyond that take up mass in the chassis. Sometimes those extra sinks can be bundled inside the reactor's volume so they don't take up critical space, though only if the engine is rated high enough to begin with (and if it's rated too low-power, sometimes even those ten mass-free integral sinks can't all fit inside the engine's volume). Double Heat Sinks, systems that cool twice as much for the same mass, are ''supposed'' to be counterbalanced by being much bulkier, but the engine integration factor significantly mitigates that (even the free-of-mass/space sinks are double). They are a point of contention with many old players, as it's posited that it disrupts gameplay balance and makes heat much less of an issue. Proponents argue that double heat sinks de-nerf the entire energy weapons lineup, giving them potential they didn't have before. Most on both sides agree that the meta-game would be screwed up even more if their rules were altered or they were removed outright.
* Many, many R&D megaweapons in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. They also tend to explode regularly.
* Some weapons in ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' have a special rule called "Gets Hot!"; each time they're fired they have a 1 in 6 chance of "overheating" and injuring the operator. Most weapons with this rule are handheld plasma weapons, which harness energy equivalent to that of a star with technology [[VestigialEmpire the engineers have lost the blueprints to]].
** Eighth Edition changed the "Gets Hot!" rule in that Plasma weapons now have two profiles, one that can be fired without the chance of overheating, and one that boosts the weapon's Damage and Strength... but now Gets Hot has a 1 in 6 chance of ''outright killing the model'' instead of just wounding them.
** They're [[http://www.dakkadakka.com/s/i/at/2008/3/Plasma-23124627.jpg totally worth it]], [[MemeticMutation though]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} High Tech'' naturally has [[DevelopersForesight detailed rules for overheating of automatic weapons, including barrel swaps, heating management by burst firing, and the possibility of spectacular malfunctions]]. ''GURPS Ultra Tech'' has optional overheating rules for energy weapons.
* In ''TabletopGame/MyriadSong'' pretty much all EnergyWeapons other than LostTechnology Xenharmonics get hotter as they are used, fortunately they have a "Cooldown" dice that has a chance of reducing the heat level at the end of the turn.

* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Happens with Covenant weapons that don't have to be reloaded. Those weapons also need to be replaced after they run out of ammo. (Same thing in the fan game ''VideoGame/HaloZero''.)
** Mounted machine guns function this way from ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' onward. When mounted, they overheat, but when torn free, they can be fired nonstop until their ammo runs out.
* The beam laser in ''VideoGame/{{Forsaken}}'' breaks if it overheats.
* In the shooter minigame in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' the laser becomes less and less powerful if used continuously and you must wait for it to recharge.
* Many of the guns in ''StarWars: [[VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront Battlefront]]'' follow this trope. Your backup pistol has unlimited ammo, but overheats quite quickly (and has less power than any other weapon in the game, so using it is ill-advised); vehicle-based weapons all have some sort of heat meter, and the Clone Commander's chaingun in ''Battlefront II'' uses the overheating mechanic to avoid becoming a GameBreaker.
** The V-Wing's cannons in ''VideoGame/RogueSquadron'' overheat rather quickly in rapid-fire mode.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', all guns use 'mass-accelerator' technology to shear off a piece from a block of metal inside the gun and accelerate it when fired. As the technology only needs a small piece to have a lethal amount of force, this allows guns' blocks of metal to be sufficient to fire thousands of shots and culminates in ammunition being a non-issue in-game - guns still generate heat though, and thusly creating the overheating system inside the game. Certain upgrades and ammunition will increase the rate at which the guns overheat, others will lower it.
** Though it should be noted that with adequate equipment, you can easily make it so the guns will ''never'' overheat. Alternately, make it take a very long time to overheat and add some firepower. The Infiltrator class has the ability to lower the heat output on firing weapons which when combined with damage upgrades makes the class output the most damage over time in the game.
** It is, however, thoroughly impossible to do so with any weapon using High Explosive Rounds, as they generate +500% heat.
** Alternatively, go the other way and cram on extra-heat, extra-damage mods onto your SniperRifle and accept the fact it'll overheat after every shot, essentially making the equivalent of a cannon. Which makes one wonder, why aren't any parts being damaged by being subjected to +550% over standard heat on a regular basis?
** In the background, it's also a major concern for the player's ship, the stealth frigate ''Normandy''. Not so much from weapons (they do generate a lot of heat, but it's easily dealt with), but from its [[StealthInSpace thermal cloaking]], which prevents enemy ships from getting a reading on its heat signature by, essentially, trapping all of the ship's heat in massive heat sinks. As the ''Normandy'' continues to remain cloaked, the heat builds up to noticeable levels, and eventually it has to decloak before the crew begins to suffer from the higher temperatures.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' went for a system that works like a typical shooter with limited shots before reloading. They attempt to reduce the degree of {{retcon}} by explaining it as ejecting the heat sink of your gun and inserting a new one, allowing the shooter to fire more bullets in a shorter time without waiting for the gun to cool down. This should prevent you from [[OneBulletClips reloading single shots into a gun that fires multiple shots per heatsink]]... but it doesn't. The heat sinks are filled with a lithium compound that chemically changes when absorbing heat, so they have to be discarded after use. Of course, all this only applies to ''you''. [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Computer-controlled]] characters still have BottomlessMagazines. GameplayAndStorySegregation is in full effect here.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' brings back several overheating weapons while retaining reloadable ones for the most part. Somewhat lampshaded with a case of in-universe DamnYouMuscleMemory, where Shepard instinctively goes to swap the heat sink on an overheating weapon, and instead jerks his/her hand away as the heat vents off to the side. It's also explained that the built-in cooling mechanisms in the guns from the first game had to be removed to make room for the removable heat-sink system, with another character (echoing many fan complaints) complaining that it was a step backwards and that they might as well have returned to using limited ammunition.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Mechwarrior}}'' games, much like its parent ''TableTopGame/BattleTech'' franchise, this is an inherent gameplay trait. All weapons create heat that must be dissipated by your 'Mech, but energy and missile weapons cause the most heat. Heat sinks can help dissipate the heat generated, but there's still a danger of overheating, and once you pass a certain threshold the 'Mech engages an automatic shutdown. If you override this automatic shutdown[[note]]or if your 'Mech is forced into critical overheat too quickly for it to trigger[[/note]], you run the risk of [[MadeOfExplodium ammunition explosions and reactor meltdowns]]. In ''Living Legends'', going past the shutdown heat while overriding will cause your armor to literally melt off, generally starting with both arms. If you mount a Gauss rifle in either arm, [[MadeOfExplodium it'll explode when destroyed]].
** However, that really applies only to energy[[note]]lasers, particle cannon, flamethrowers[[/note]] and missile[[note]]rockets, guided missiles[[/note]] weapons: ballistic weapons[[note]]cannon, machine guns, gauss rifles[[/note]] generate (almost) no heat at all, the only exception being the gatling-style Rotary [=AutoCannon=], which overheats distressingly quickly.
** This is an important part of the CompetitiveBalance of the various weapons, usually weighed against its ammo stock: laser weapons have BottomlessMagazines but build up heat quickly, making them ideal for a long but low-intensity fight, whereas ballistic weapons have little heat buildup and can be fired rapidly, dealing much more damage in the short run, but become useless as the fight goes on and their ammo is depleted. A middle ground of sorts can be reached by equipping an energy-based mech with more and better heat sinks; this has significant weight costs and doesn't let it carry quite as many weapons, but the tradeoff is the ability to fire a continuous stream of medium damage or large energy blasts without the necessity to shut down after every couple shots.
* The Sten and [[GatlingGood Venom]] of ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' are rare examples of overheating weapons that still have limited ammo. Firing them in short bursts (particularly the Sten, which overheats after about ten shots) is a must. They're also both rare examples of enemies also being subjected to the same rules as the player (at least for the Sten, since waiting for a Venom-armed Nazi to overheat his weapon instead of getting to cover will usually get you killed).
** This was also TruthInTelevision for the suppressed version of the Sten, the barrel of which got hot enough to take the skin off your fingers if you dumped a whole magazine in one go.
* ''VideoGame/YoshisSafari'' had the, uhm, Super Scope overheat.
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', both the mounted guns overheat in about seven seconds of continuous use, and take about 20 to cool down enough to be fired again.
* ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters'' and its sequels use this with the chain gun and plasma rifle, among others. The former even allows you to keep the barrel constantly rotating without firing (which keeps the heat gauge on about 1/3) so you can start shooting more quickly at the cost of overheating faster.
* The vehicles in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' have their machinegun/miniguns do this (they have infinite ammo in missions where you need to use the vehicles or lose).
* In ''VideoGame/AlienVsPredatorCapcom'', each character's built-in guns could overheat, but recharged over time. Except for Linn Kurosawa's, which didn't have any cooldown, but when it ran out of ammo it reloaded very fast (though Linn was helpless during the reload).
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' series, mounted weapons generally use an overheat system, while weapons carried by the players have anywhere from 30 to 200 rounds, that can be fired off in one long burst before reloading. The anti-air rotary cannons will overheat and have unlimited ammo, while light machine guns mounted on a tank will overheat, one upgrade for tanks is a 50 cal heavy machine gun which does not overheat, but instead fires much more slowly.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'', there are rusty weapons and normal weapons: the former overheat if you fire them too often and after you fire enough times, the latter only do the last part. Once a weapon overheats, however, it's no longer usable.
** Sometimes it overheats, sometimes it just catastrophically fails, like the barrel rupturing or the cylinder exploding. Also, any normal gun will become rusty and eventually fail the more you fire it.
** The horse-riding SprintMeter in also inverted to function this way: in one (awesome) chase scene, it can be helpful to switch horses because the one you start with will tire.
* In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', the mounted and man-portable machine guns will overheat and require you to "vent" it by using the Reload button. [[GuideDangIt The game doesn't bother telling you that you can do this.]]
* In ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves'', you drive a machine-gun-mounted gondola in a few missions. Using the machine gun too much will stop you from using it.
* Mounted guns in ''VideoGame/FarCry2'' will overheat if fired for too long; however, the portable version of the SAW light machine gun will ''never'' overheat, instead requiring reloads and having ridiculous muzzle climb.
** Ditto in ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' and ''VideoGame/FarCry4''; Mounted guns still have infinite ammo and will overheat if fired continuously and you can carry a man-portable version that won't overheat like last time. [[GunsDoNotWorkThatWay This time around, the player character gives the weapon's charging handle a good yank, as if that would cool the weapon down.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon 2'' the player is at one point given control of an automatic mounted grenade launcher, which will overheat if fired for too long. Oddly, though, if the player taps the fire button instead of holding it, the heat gauge will never increase.
** The power armor machine guns also overheat after continuous firing and can be seen glowing in thermal vision.
* This is how Dwarven Technologist Janos' {{Mana}} Meter is explained in ''TabletopGame/MageKnight: Apocalypse''. He starts with zero heat, gains heat whenever he uses a skill, and when heat reaches 100, he must wait or use a 'coolant' potion.
* In ''VideoGame/FreedroidRPG'', Tux heats up from "casting spells" (computer programs) and will fry if he gets too hot. Hence, single-use coolants and items with "Cooling" (heat capacity) and "Cooling per second" attributes.
* Mounted guns in ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}} 2'' overheat, with the meter being the visible top surface of the barrel, which goes from dull silver to bright red.
* Machine guns in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'' can overheat, and the ice-shard firing MOAC gun also works this way.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' when you continuously firing the Humvee machine gun for too long.
* Your entire mech can have this problem in ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 3''. It was quite the ScrappyMechanic.
* In ''VideoGame/RobotechBattlecry'', your Veritech's machine gun has infinite ammunition, but overheats after a few seconds. The Battloid's sniper mode lets you fire a ChargedAttack that does more damage but instantly overheats the gun.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Walker}}'', your HumongousMecha is armed with twin guns that overheat if you fire them for too long, then they shut down until cool enough again. You don't really want this to happen when a wave of enemies is bearing down on you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warhawk}}'': Warhawks have unlimited machine gun ammo, but their guns will overheat and temporarily jam after only a few seconds of continuous fire.
* ''VideoGame/TheSuffering: Ties that Bind'' featured sections with vehicle mounted guns that would overheat. These weren't used for regular fights, only when the game was throwing wave after wave of enemies at you.
* The first ''VideoGame/SoldnerX'' game discourages constant fire by having your weapons overheat after prolonged firing.
* ''VideoGame/GrandChase'' does this with Mari's GunSlinger job. The "heat gauge" fills up each round fired and will start to drain out if you stop shooting. If the gauge fills up all they full, the gun doesn't fire at all for a short time, leaving you with an attack that does nothing. However, it does not disable your [[SpecialAttack MP Attacks]] at all, but only one of those uses the gun anyhow.
* ''VideoGame/{{Brink}}'' has the 'ordinary guns need reloading, wall-mounted machineguns overheat' variant.
* In ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear XX #Reload'', Robo-Ky's tension meter is replaced with a unique power gauge and heat gauge. Specific moves increase his heat gauge, and if it maxes out he explodes, causing damage and knockdown to himself. However, his forward+hard slash command vents the heat in a cloud of steam, and it becomes more damaging the closer the heat gauge is to maximum. It's possible to chain together multiple vents before the gauge empties and the attack becomes ineffective again, though typically only one vent is necessary to bring Robo-Ky's heat back to safe levels.
* In the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series, if you fire your Power Beam rapidly for an extended period it overheats and steam flows out of your gun. It doesn't affect your ability to fire and is purely cosmetic, however.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/Persona3'' to Aigis herself after being in Orgia Mode for a full three turns.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' series, your Gun Del Sol will overheat if you stay in intense sunlight for too long, causing it to jam temporarily, and take a short while in the shade (in-game or in real life) to cool down and allow it to fire again. Doing it this way prevents the player from regenerating their solar gun's energy near-instantly, and dissuades them from staying outside in intense sunlight for long periods, since the games use an UV sensor.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' has the variant where mounted M249's, miniguns, and the Mk 19 have infinite ammo but can overheat, while the man-portable version of the former does not overheat but has limited ammo. Other games in the series, like ''World at War'', have a variant where you can actually carry around mounted machine guns like the [=MG42=] and mount them on their bipod yourself, but they still have limited ammo when mounted, and in some games in the series will overheat when fired like that anyway.
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'': the Heavy rifle (which would be more accurately called a light machine gun) overheats if you fire it for too long. A mod specific to that weapon is an enhanced cooling system that slows this down.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Evolva}}'', you have unlimited ammo for your attacks once you get them, but you must wait for them to charge again if you use them for too much time.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': the [[{{Zeerust}} Dr. Grordbort]] weapons are overheating-type weapons in all but name. They have unlimited ammo, but must still be "reloaded" after four shots.
* VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends has one champion, Rumble (a dude in a Mech-Warrior type suit), whose [[ManaPoints mana]] mechanic is an Overheat bar. Each ability use adds to it, and when it reaches 100% he overheats and cannot use abilities, but does some increased damage. There is skill in balancing the bar, keeping it full but not overheating until the opportune moment.
* ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine'' has plasma weapons that overheat after several shots in quick succession or after firing a charged shot and have to be vented. Several heavy weapons available in multiplayer also overheat after extended firing.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostRecon: Advanced Warfighter'', vehicle-mounted miniguns and stationary machine guns both overheat if fired constantly for too long.
* ''7.62 High Caliber'', among many other bits of realism, allows any fully automatic weapon to overheat from continuous firing. An overheated weapon wears out faster if you continue to fire it, resulting in a higher risk of jams that need to be cleared. Spare barrels are available, but only for specific weapons (and rarely showing up at all even at levels where such machine guns start appearing), and they take up weight and inventory space for the merc carrying them.
* While overheating is not an actual gameplay mechanic, firing the minigun for long enough in ''VideoGame/SeriousSam'' will cause smoke to rise from the open end of the barrels once you let go of the trigger. NETRICSA's description for the laser gun also mentions that avoiding this is why it's made out of titanium and has four barrels that fire in succession.
* Sharna, your {{BFG}}-wielding medic in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', uses heat as a reverse ManaMeter. Using combat arts fills her heat meter, which only empties when it fills up or when manually vented. While the venting process does leave her immobile and vulnerable, she has the sense to duck while doing it, reducing monster aggro, and the ether effluence actually heals her as long as the heat is draining.
* ''Videogame/RedOrchestra'' has overheating machine guns, but handles it realistically with barrel switching, although not all LMGs have a spare barrel. In Red Orchestra 2 ambient temperature is taken into effect, barrels overheat faster on summer maps. The tank barrels supposedly also heat up, affecting shell velocity.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hellsinker}}'' discourages "fire forever" tactics commonly seen amongst shmup players by using the Luna system. As you fire your main weapon, your Luna gauge decreases, causing your firepower to decrease until it's reduced to minimum level; you can reload the Luna gauge by collecting purple Luna chips or letting your main weapon rest. Kagura's Xanthez equipment in particular is limited to 240 shots, and has full functionality until it runs out of ammo, at which point [[EmergencyWeapon it's reduced to two weak streams of bullets until it reloads all the way back to 240]].
* ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey IV'' provides an example with its final class, the [[spoiler:Imperials]]. Their [[{{Magitek}} drive]] [[{{BFS}} blades]] can be used to dish out truly phenomenal amounts of damage, but must cool off for a number of turns after their most powerful attacks. Initially, the cooldown period is as long as 9 turns, but this can be mitigated with the right set of abilities.
* ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'' has overheating of ship modules via the Thermodynamics skill; however, this is more ExplosiveOverclocking as it is intentionally activated by pilots for a boost in module performance. All modules, including weapons, can be activated indefinitely so long as the ship has sufficient [[ManaMeter capacitor reserves]].
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', the Bounty Hunter class uses heat as a mechanic; using most abilities generates heat, which dissipates over time according to your current heat level. (The higher your heat is, the slower it dissipates, which encourages players to be frugal in normal gameplay while having a reserve for "burst" situations.) However, the actual mechanics of which abilities generated heat [[CompetitiveBalance can be a little odd]]; throwing a sticky grenade generates heat, for instance, as does ''punching someone'' (admittedly, it is a jet-pack-assisted punch), but firing your blasters in a basic attack does not.
* Every gun in ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront2015'' overheats after overuse, though depending on the gun when this happens can vary from after a single powerful shot to after two dozen shots in succession. Additionally, the Disruptor Star Card releases a burst of heat which causes any nearby guns to jam for a time. This also doubles as an ability for Lando and R2-D2.
* Sega's 1981 arcade game ''VideoGame/AstroBlaster'' gives your ship a laser that is capable of overheating. Fire too many shots for too long, and your laser will be temporarily deactivated. This feature was carried over into the home computer adaptation ''Threshold''.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Vanquish}}'', melee attacks, boosting, and BulletTime cause Sam's PoweredArmor to overheat if used too long, leaving you defenseless while it cools down. Some enemies also have weapons that induce overheating.
* In ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' during the helicopter level after firing a few too many rounds without stopping the mini-gun overheats.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideoGame'' heat is the main limitation on the use of the proton pack, since it's powered by a nuclear reactor. If used too much continuously, the pack shuts down for a few seconds to prevent meltdown, but can be vented at any time to prevent this.
* ''VideoGame/RingRunnerFlightOfTheSages'' plays with overheating. For most ships, overheating is a bad thing. [[FragileSpeedster Fighters]], however, want to build up heat because it can be used for Fighter-specific abilities such as increasing weapon damage or having heat absorb damage instead of shields. A ship that does overheat stops to vent heat, leaving it a sitting duck for a few seconds.
* ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' has this trope as one of [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Zant's]] mechanics in the form of the Twilight Meter. Whenever Zant uses his combo attacks, the gauge will build up, and if it fills, the attack backfires and stuns him for a few seconds. The only way to reduce the meter is to use the strong attack, which will allow him to shoot energy balls from his hands or spin around with blades whirling until the meter depletes. Managing the meter is part of the difficulty in using Zant.
* The Minigun and Gatling Laser in ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' overheat and glow red when fired extensively, despite the cyclic barrels being designed to prevent this.
* The various parts of your spaceship in ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram'' are susceptible to overheating if pushed too hard. Not only is FrictionBurn fully in effect, making atmospheric reentry an affair not to be taken lightly, but engines can and ''will'' overheat themselves - especially the massive clusters needed to push heavy payloads through the thicker atmosphere, which convects exhaust heat right back to the engines. The game models convection, conduction, and radiation effectively, meaning parts in space cool down more slowly than ones in an atmosphere that can convect and conduct heat away. Vessels that get too close to the Sun need radiators in order to counter being blasted by the solar radiation. Parts will even transfer heat to neighboring parts, risking ''them'' overheating as well as the problematic part itself. And if a part does overheat completely, it explodes, and possibly takes the rest of your craft with it. All of this models real-life spacecraft design considerations, as in the RealLife section below.
* In ''VideoGame/FromTheDepths'', engines produce more heat the higher they rev. Rev and engine for too long and it will start overheating, causing a dramatic drop in power until it shuts down outright. Engines should therefore [[DesignItYourselfEquipment be designed]] to operate at low RPM or feature additional cooling components such as exhaust vents or radiators. Advanced Cannons can be overclocked to fire while still cooling off from previous shots, but with a drop in accuracy until the barrel cools.
* In the "My Blaster Runs Hot" mini-game in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureACrackInTime'', the players' blasters will overheat with continuous use, but attacking again while overheated will fire a multiple enemy-clearing beam.
* In ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonorVanguard'', the [=MG42=] can overheat if it is fired for too long without waiting for it to cool down.

* In the ''WesternAnimation/PrivateSnafu'' short "Fighting Tools", which advises proper care of weapons, Snafu tries to fire a machine gun at a German soldier, but since it wasn't connected to water, the gun overheats and melts.

* Averted with the [[TonkaTough Nokia-reliable]] Vickers machine gun. It was so well cooled that the barrels could last around an hour of continuous fire, as long as there's a continuous supply of liquid for the water-cooled weapon. "Continuous fire" as in: belt feed the weapon for a full hour. One famous barrage at the Battle of the Somme involved multiple machine guns firing a cumulative total of not quite one million rounds over 24 hours, which soaked up all the water set aside for cooling, much of what had been set aside for drinking, and all the local urine tubs, and involved a hundred (carefully planned) barrel changes to various guns at various times. The actual reciprocating mechanisms were still ticking over nicely at the end.
* Vietnam-era M-60 machine guns could keep firing even as the barrels got hot enough to start glowing. Anecdotes from the time say that machine gunners would occasionally shoot until the barrels actually became translucent and bullets could actually be seen travelling down them before swapping in a fresh barrel.
* The G36 may be an [[CoolGuns/AssaultRifles awesome gun]] in ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'', ''VideoGame/FarCry'' and ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'', but in reality, [[https://medium.com/war-is-boring/german-soldiers-dont-trust-their-battle-rifle-e1070a9a67dc it has serious problems with overheating]], and German soldiers consistently [[OlderIsBetter prefer the G3 instead]].
** The rumor goes that in a serious enough firefight (that is, as little as a ''couple'' of mags fired back-to-back) the overheating gets so severe that the rifle's polymer frame warps from the heat, throwing the sights hopelessly out of alignment and requiring a complete rebuild. A dozen mags reportedly can cause the rifle to literally ''melt''.
* For reference, tests show that even comparatively thin-barreled assault rifles really start overheating after several hundred rounds fired non-stop (about a dozen magazines). This means second-degree burns if the barrel is touched, and the handguard around the barrel smoldering, warping or even straight bursting into flames. Surprisingly, a rifle can still go on - although this coincides with a VERY marked drop in accuracy on account of a slighty deformed barrel. If the shooter pushes forth, two things inevitably happen. First, rounds begin to cook-off in the chamber (going off on their own from heat alone), causing a runaway automatic fire and potential blown-up action if the bolt didn't have the time to fully close. Second - an overheated barrel might rupture in a weak spot, also catastrophically destroying the weapon with a pressure spike. These two phenomena work together very nicely - and if this happens with a machine gun (that has a large ammo capacity and powerful powder loads) the result is definitely not pretty: "catastrophic destruction" frequently means that pieces of gun's action fly straight into the shooter's face. Luckily, well-designed air-cooled machine guns can fire up to thousands of rounds under acceptable heat levels. Nevertheless, if the surviving shooter keeps abusing his weapon to the point of even a "smoldering" overheat, he can expect a very strong-worded reproach by his quartermaster - because heat warping and increased stress wears out the gun extremely quickly.
* On the other hand, some firearms (especially those not expected to hose an enemy for hours) have a very pronounced tendency to overheat. For example, the AKS-74U (the PDW version of the AK-74 that filled the SMG niche in the Soviet/Russian arsenal for some time) begins literally "spitting" bullets after so much as several magazines fired back to back: in other words, accuracy and velocity both go to Hell.
* There is a story about an army band who (in keeping with regulations) had to do target practice including with machine guns, but due to inexperience they tended to keep firing for too long which would overheat the barrels and damage the guns. Finally, the range master realised that they were better musicians than they were machine gunners, so he mounted a piece of sheet music on the guns consisting of two bars of music showing one whole note followed by one whole rest. Result: No more damaged machine gun barrels and a trope averted.
* This trope shows up, played ''perfectly'' straight, in a very unsuspecting device: the flashlight. More specifically, the small-size high-power, tactical or tactical-ish LED light. LED's may be more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs of old, but they still generate a ''godawful'' amount of heat if driven hard enough, and that heat can burn up the diode. Heat sinks mostly solve the issue in larger appliances, but when you have to keep it compact for portability's sake, even an entire aluminium body with the user's hand sucking up some of the heat an uncomfortable practice even in the cold, as depending on its size and power[[labelnote:*]]such as the Thrunite [=TN36=], a light the size of a soda can that can put out over 6500 lumens, more than ''double'' of a regular car's headlight[[/labelnote]], the light gets '''HOT''' isn't enough. As such, these lights for the most part have a step-down feature in their circuits that either drops the output to a lower level or turns the torch off altogether before the heat buildup can become damaging.[[note]]Now [[AluminiumChristmasTrees good luck finding that]] as a justification for the TenSecondFlashlight trope so common even in futuristic fiction.[[/note]]
* [[FrictionBurn Atmospheric reentry]] is not the only way a spacecraft can overheat - without an atmosphere around it to conduct and convect heat away and to protect it from the bulk of the Sun's radiation, spacecraft cooling systems must rely on radiating massive amounts of electronics-killing heat away.
* Although modern weapons have put a lot of clever thought into averting or at least mitigating this trope, it was a huge concern for early gunpowder weapons, and cannon in particular. A cannon that fired too many times in succession or with too big a charge of gunpowder risked ''[[ReliablyUnreliableGuns exploding]]'', usually with catastrophic results for the crew. The so-called "leather cannon" were particularly hurt by it because of their construction; they had a typical thin metal barrel, but whereas other cannon had outer layers of metal banded around the bore for strength, leather cannon used much smaller metal straps and, yes, leather wraps. These were strong enough for the light shot used, but caused the barrel to retain heat, limiting the gun to no more than [[ReliablyUnreliableGuns two or three shots per battle]].
* This trope is why [[GatlingGood rotary cannons]] are the mechanism of choice for when you ''really'' want an extreme rate of fire in one weapon. Single-barrel weapons can't go much past 1000 rounds per minute before the accumulated heat starts melting the barrels way too fast for comfort. Spreading the rate of fire around multiple barrels means each barrel can have a sane rate of fire while the overall weapon has the rate of fire you need - most ones in use with the US military, for instance, fire at about six-thousand rounds per minute, usually distributed at about a thousand per barrel. This is particularly ironic for video games trying to balance such weapons, however, as they not only overheat much faster than in reality, but they are also the ''only'' weapons that do so in the vast majority of games.