In video games, you're bound to find at least one weapon or offense-oriented piece of equipment that you like to use, and use it regularly. Then there are the weapons that are either difficult to use effectively, useless in most situations or just plain unfun to utilize. Most people try to avoid using these weapons if they can afford to do so, but some games require you to use them at least once, usually to defeat a boss, solve a puzzle, or find an important item, at which point they are either discarded or forgotten. Note that this is not limited to weapons: Magic, offensive items, Mons or fighting moves can also fall into this category.
Compare with Useless Useful Spell
, which deals with skills and spells that deal status effects in RPGs, and Tier-Induced Scrappy
. Contrast with Joke Item
, which is an intentionally weak or useless weapon or item, So Last Season
, where a weapon that was
good for what it did is replaced by a newer, better one, and With This Herring
, which is about deliberately being given poor (albeit usable) equipment by the important NPCs
when the fate of the world is at stake. While this list contains weapons that suck, none of them are to be confused with Weapons That Suck
open/close all folders
- Wanna ruin your day in a Castlevania game? Grab a Dagger. Particularly sucks in the original NES games, especially if you had the Holy Water or Boomerang. Someone on the dev team apparently noticed, since in later games the Dagger's low damage is usually offset by making it the cheapest subweapon to use, and sometimes giving it semiautomatic rate of fire.
- However, they will quickly become your weapon of choice in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon when you are in archer mode (but ONLY in archer mode). That is because all of your subweapons get a damage boost, making it a strong weapon. The second is that the upgrade at no cost, is the homing dagger. And it is VERY useful. (ties with the cross as the cross does more damage and hits more targets, but the dagger homes). Played straight with every other mode though where they are virtually useless. (outside of item crashes)
- However, it's quite effective against the Cyclops in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. The dagger deals a lot more damage to him if you can time it right with the lightning. It's also your only hope if you die against the Frankenstein monster in the first game.
- A similar offender in the main weapon category is the Blank Book in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. It has worse stats than Charlotte's starter weapon, even lowering some stats from unarmed. The only thing it's good for is completing a quest.
- The keyblade in La-Mulana has exactly two uses in the game. 1) Defeating one of the final boss's forms, and 2) Using its range to destroy a pot in one puzzle. It's one of the weakest weapons in the entire game, and the katana, chain whip, and flail can all do what it can do better.
- On the other hand, the remake turns it into a Lethal Joke Weapon after you've chanted all the mantras, as it does the same damage as the flail whip but has slightly longer horizontal reach.
- The Slingshot in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Some of the other items suffer from an understandable Cardboard Obstacle scenario, but the slingshot is even more irrelevant because of the bow and arrow.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Slingshot returns, with an almost as useless upgrade in the form of the Scattershot. Not only are the pellets too slow to really hit Keese and lack range, the only enemies they really do anything to ARE Keese (the only other enemies it can kill are walltulas, which you can use the beetle on, and that doesn't have an ammo limit, everything else the slingshot just stuns). That said, it's over halfway through the game before you get the Bow and Arrow, and it can be quite creative when you need it to be: Bokoblin + Tightrope + Slingshot = Fun.
- In Evolva, the only reason for the Flame's existence was to light flammable plants, and even then, there are other weapons (like the grenade) that can light them on fire.
- Potentially even more useless is the Claw, which despite being the only unlimited ammo weapon, never really gets used except for breaking rocks once you get better weapons. It too suffers in that its purpose gets taken by future weapons (again, the grenade.)
- Not necessarily. The Flame weapon seems to me the best choice for a short-range combat during the first half of the game, and it's still quite useful during the second one. All other weapons either are designed to a better use in long-range combat (such as the Spike or the Spore AKA grenade, you REALLY don't want to throw a grenade to an enemy in front of you), or run out of ammo very fast (such as Necrocyte or Electricity), what means you'll have to switch to another weapon after a short time if the fight is too long.
- The Iron Fan in Dynasty Warriors 7 and its expansions. It has very little crowd control capability in a game where crowd control is everything, meaning it's very easy to get interrupted in the middle of a combo. On higher difficulties this can mean instant death if you're so much as love tapped by one mook, only to have all of his friends follow up.
Four X Games
- The X-Universe has several.
- The Fragmentation Bomb Launcher sounds like a dangerous weapon. It's loud and produces a pretty explosion. But it burns weapons energy fast, and unless you manage to hit the target before it detonates and produces its Flechette Storm, you're not going to hit anything. Its only saving grace is its price tag: as Vendor Trash a recovered (or manufactured) FBL will net you a roughly quarter of a million credits.
- The Cluster Flak Array is the FBL scaled to frigate size. It does, however, have one further saving grace. Some players like to pair it in gun batteries with the Ion Disruptor, which can chain-lightning between the flak shards to reach further than it could normally.
- Almost every unguided missile: they are inaccurate and do very little damage. The exception is the Tornado, which can be used to rig certain M3 fighters as bombers for anticapital work.
- Lasertowers fit this in X3: Terran Conflict because Out-Of-Sector combat mechanics render their chief advantage (range) worthless. Some players have had success using them in large quantities to support blockades, however. In X3: Albion Prelude they're much more useful thanks to a buff in firepower and shielding.
- Before X3TC brought some sense to the weapon types the previous games had small fighters that could mount small guns, medium fighters that could mount medium guns, and heavy fighters that could mount heavy guns. Each gun type was further divided in three subcategories: alpha, beta and gamma, in increasing order of destructiveness. There was no reason to ever use alpha guns in anything, and betas were only useful in heavy fighters (as gamma heavies were restricted to capital ships).
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl had the Team Healer item, which seldom ever showed up in normal play because almost all matches are one-on-one, and even during team play, was absolutely useless because it occasionally healed opponents and hurt allies.
- Deus Ex: the single-shot plasma pistol, that you could only carry one of at a time, and wasn't powerful enough to one-shot most mooks.
- The actual plasma rifle itself is also regarded rather unfavorably. Although it can be applied effectively, it's still overwhelmingly the least popular heavy weapon; very few players use it.
- The Light Antitank Weapon also combined the "can't have more than one" problem of the plasma pistol with greater space requirements, but it did at least offer more raw power to balance that out.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution brings us the mine templates. Place a grenade in it and it becomes a mine that explodes with that grenade model's effect. Sounds useful until you realize that the arming delay is so ridiculously short that unless you throw it at wall from a healthy distance, you will blow up with it.
- Metroid Prime has the Plasma Beam's missile combo, the Flamethrower. To be honest, all missile combos except Super Missile are situational at best, but Flamethrower is the only completely useless one. It shoots a stream of flames that has a short range and eats through your ammo like crazy (and unlike the similar Wavebuster, it does not home or stun the target). It's made even more useless when you consider that a charged Plasma Beam shot kills 90% of normal enemies with a single hit (there's one enemy in the game that can get hurt by it but doesn't get killed in one shot), so you could just be using that instead.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Light Beam's charge combo, the Sunburst. It fires a large ball of light energy that travels about ten feet in front of you, comes to a slow stop, and explodes. It's useless against mobile enemies because they'll just move out of the way, and it's useless against stationary enemies because the explosion isn't anywhere near as powerful as it appears to be. The only conceivable way to damage something with the Sunburst would be for them to back up so they took damage during the entire animation.
- The Sunburst, as stated above is a weapon that sucks. The Darkburst, the Dark Beam's charge-combo, is Awesome but Impractical because it's a weapon that sucks. Literally, as it creates a small black hole which indeed sucks enemies toward it. It's suck-radius is small, but it can be used to handily dispatch Demonic Spiders like Space Pirate Commandos.
- Several weapons in your arsenal in Daikatana. To sum it up: The ion blaster's shots bounced off walls and could hit you. The C4 vizatergo launched proximity mines with blast radii roughly equal to the range you'd be firing it at; if you didn't end up getting caught in the explosion, your AI "helpers" probably would. The Shockwave launched an erratically bouncing ball that created shockwaves whenever it hit a surface...which could easily kill you. The Eye of Zeus hit every enemy in sight with lightning when the staff's eye opened, but if no enemies were on-screen, it would kill you. Nharre's Nightmare summoned a demon that, like the Eye of Zeus, would turn on you and kill you if there weren't any targets. Finally, the kineticore's shots rebound off walls and (all together, now) can hit you. Sensing a pattern?
- In the original Perfect Dark most the weapons were all pretty good, but there were a few that were nearly worthless. Probably the worst weapon in the game was the Reaper, an alien (Skedar) gatling gun with the worst accuracy of just about any weapon you'll ever see in a first person shooter (you have to crouch to have any chance of hitting somebody 5 feet in front of you), and firing it required you to bring up the speed of the motor before any bullet went off. Its fire rate exceeds that of almost all other weapons in the game, but each shot does very little damage. Its secondary fire, which basically turned it into an enormous blender, was a mostly pointless melee weapon.
- Meanwhile, Perfect Dark's spiritual predecessor GoldenEye (1997) had the Klobb, a weak, slow-firing, inaccurate SMG that was outclassed by literally every other automatic weapon in the game.
- Every weapon in the game. A pistol would serve you better. The Klobb takes two shots for a headshot kill! In fact, there was a Max Stats (007 Mode, all enemy stats cranked up to full) run for GoldenEye (1997)'s Archive level where any shot was instant death. Except the Klobb. On that note, the Klobb was pretty cool in License to Kill mode.
- Lamphaded by this◊ book-cover redesign, part of a larger project showing classic games in the style of classic books.
- Mines usually fall into this category in single-player games, such as the trip mines from Duke Nukem 3D and the first Half-Life, due to their being defensive weapons in games where you're usually on the offensive. If you plan on using them your options are either setting up a trap and luring enemies into it (at which point it's usually just easier to shoot them) or putting them in select points to stop ambushes (but you'd only know that the ambushes were coming if you had prior knowledge of the game, making the "ambush" a moot point). It's just an extra pack of explosives that never misses, but usually is less tactically valuable than a pipebomb/satchel.
- The grenade launcher from Kingpin Life Of Crime. Most grenade launchers in video games either fire grenades that explode on contact with enemies, hold more than three rounds in a magazine, let you carry more than 18 rounds total (especially if the game's bazooka has a clip of five shots and an ammo cap of one hundred rockets), take less than four seconds to explode, exist in games where enemies aren't smart enough to run like hell before the 'nade goes off or some combination of the above. Kingpin's grenade launcher is not any of these things. It's so bad that not even the AI can figure out how to kill you with it.
- Blood II: The Chosen has a few examples.
- The Insect-a-cutioner bug spray. While superficially another version of the aerosol can from the first game, it was generally useless due to the short range, low primary fire damage, long secondary fire prep time and the fact that its ammo was also shared with the assault rifle's underslung grenade launcher, a more damaging and altogether more useful weapon.
- The Singularity Generator, the ultimate word in Awesome but Impractical. Its primary fire shoots a vortex that sucks everything around it, but its eye deals absolutely no damage. The secondary fire (at least in older versions) creates the vortex with you as its eye - essentially a damaging tractor shield, as it moves with you. Both use up 50 energy cells, with which you can do more damage by using the Death Ray or the Tesla Cannon, both weapons you get way before the SG. Add to that the fact that the enemies you constantly face by the time you get it both frequently survive long enough to reach the eye of the vortex and deal big time damage at close range, and that you can crush the opposition it's effective against with your older weapons, and the gun's only usefulness is the 100 batteries it comes with.
- Berettas and Submachine Guns are both worse in damage and/or accuracy than the Assault Rifle they share ammo with. Basically useless after you get the latter.
- The Howitzer. Its ammo is hard to come by, it fires slowly, using it in close quarters hurts you with splash damage, and its damage is ridiculously low. The only upside is that it makes Shikari flinch witheach shot, which doesn't save it from being discarded after nine other weapons are found.
- Much like the Howitzer, the Flare Gun also has elements of this. Its fire rate is very slow, the flares cause damage with a second-long tic (enough for most enemies to recover from their pain animations and retaliate) and don' hurt enough. Its secondary fire takes a long wind-up time, has a minimal range, and its damage is laughable. The very plentiful ammo and its great niche usefulness against Zealots, who teleport with each hit, and Death Shrouds, which can become intangible, do guarantee it a permanent slot, but even then, the gun isn't nearly as fun or practical to use as most of the others.
- The Prankster Bit from TRON 2.0 is the game's BFG and looks pretty cool, but the energy usage is obscene, the damage is overkill against everything you fight, and you get it so late in the game that you're literally unable to fully upgrade it. It's not even worth using against the final boss due to how the game handles damage dealt to it. Not to mention the fact that if you use it in too close of quarters (read: most of that final level), it stands just as good of a chance of killing you as it does of killing your target. Seriously. Stick to Sequencer and just go Rinzler on your enemies.
- The Halo series of games have several:
- Halo has two: the Assault Rifle and the Needler. The needler is a devastating weapon against one type of enemy, and one type of enemy only: Sentinels. Against pretty much any other target, it's useless. And Sentinels are very rare, appearing as opponents only a handful of times — not nearly often enough to justify keeping the weapon on hand, given that you can only carry two weapons at any given time. Pretty much any alien weapon (plasma pistol or rifle) works about as well. The Assault Rifle meanwhile just does very low damage in general, low damage against shields in particular, and an obnoxiously wide bullet spread.
- YMMV on the needler, as it is useful against Elites (Demonic Spiders on higher difficulties), killing them with a brief, sustained burst that ended with a lethal explosion.
- In Halo 2, the Assault Rifle was replaced by the SMG. It's an improvement, but not a huge one. And the Needler became more usable, at least when dual-wielded (a new feature in Halo 2), but they're still not exactly top-tier go-to weapons. The Brute Shot bounces its ammo, making it difficult to use outside of melee. Oh, and the Sentinel Beam's not exactly a power-house, easily the single weakest weapon in the series.
- The only point is ever is using a Sentinel beam is against the flood, and even then the shotgun and energy sword do a better job.
- The SMG itself became something of a scrappy weapon itself, due to its very high kickback, and relatively low maximum range. On its own, anyway—it's designed to be dual wielded, which let it strip shields in close combat with incredible speed. Combined with a plasma rifle, it's not half-bad, but terribly outclassed by the Battle Rifle in every other way.
- The Needler has since been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. While it lost its duel wield-ably, its power got boosted and is far better balanced in Halo 3 and Reach.
- Magnum, while useful in the first game, is nerfed in Halo 2, losing its scope feature and is much weaker in all respects.
- In Halo 3, the Sentinel Beam is still fairly terrible, and the SMG's power is downgraded as part of a general nerfing of dual-wielding. The flamethrower is very difficult to use effectively, although it's hellaceous when used properly. Perhaps the scrappiest Halo 3 weapon is the Mauler, a single-handed dual-wieldable shotgun that, when dual-wielded, has less power and ammo than the shotgun at the expense of disabling use of grenades and melee. ...yeah. Its sole saving grace is a Game-Breaking Bug that allows you to shoot at melee at the same time, generally considered cheating and annoying as hell.
- Sentinel beams, if you ever use them in a PvP situation (you'll have to do it with a custom map), it's got the fastest headshot in the game.
- Halo 3: ODST's scoped and silenced SMG was still not as powerful as the assault rifle. Its main purpose was to deplete enemy shields before switching to the scoped pistol for a fatal headshot—and for swatting drones out of the air.
- Its also not actually silenced. A single perfect shot to the brain of an unaware enemy produces the exact same reaction as a grenade going off to the hyper-alert covenant forces.
- In some circles, the Halo shotguns—all the Halo shotguns—are considered scrappies due to their wet-cough range, unpredictable damage, and the presence of instant-kill melee weapons.
- Most shooters (especially older ones) where their Standard FPS Guns ruthlessly fell prey to the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness. In Doom for example, there was no reason to ever touch the pistol once you had the chaingun, or even the shotgun.
- Team Fortress 2 has a fair share of examples:
- The Razorback, a sniper weapon, does nothing except prevent one backstab and handicap the Spy that tried to do it for a few seconds. However, wielding it requires you to give up your secondary weapon, meaning that you have to rely on your rifle and melee weapon for self-defense. Oh, and the only class to use backstabs also has a revolver that can kill you in three hits (or two, if they have the Ambassador), and can see your backstab-preventing shield. Since its release, it has been indirectly buffed by the introduction of new knives that give bonuses for backstabbing people, since it can deny Spies those bonuses and make them much more vulnerable, but still remains largely useless outside of Medieval Mode (where the shields are the only secondary items you can use).
- However, it does, in a roundabout way, protect you from backstabs. Because it's so obvious, the Spy won't backstab you, and it can also help protect a group of people because they can't stab you, and if they try stabbing someone else, they'll end up revealing themselves.
- The Sydney Sleeper, a sniper rifle that can't get headshots (requiring players to resort to bodyshots, already an unpopular tactic) in exchange for covering its target in Jarate if you stay scoped for long enough.
- The Sleeper's primary saving grace is its quicker charge rate while scoped. A fully-scoped bodyshot will still kill five classes outright under normal circumstances (i.e. when they're not overhealed) and is easier to get than a headshot, giving it particular use against scouts (who are small and move fast enough to make headshots trickier than normal), engineers (who can be one-shotted, and whose buildings can't be headshot, making quicker charge handy), and other snipers.
- However, in the Mann vs. Machine mode, the Sydney Sleeper is better received, simply because it can perform explosive headshots. By upgrading your sniper rifle, when you get a headshot on a robot, nearby robots receive damage and slow down, allowing you to destroy many robots with one shot, even tough the Sydney Sleeper doesn't give extra headshot damage on the robot you shot. Shoot the head and it still can perform an explosive headshot, and also coating the robots in Jarate is very useful. The problem is that the Sniper is a very hated class in this mode, even though a skilled MvM Sniper can really help the team.
- The Sun-on-a-Stick deals less damage than its stock equivalent, but deals more damage to enemies that are on fire. Too bad you can only use it when you're playing Scout, who has no way to ignite people.
- The Fire Axe. It's not on this page because it's hated, but because it's objectively underpowered. This melee weapon is one of the stock/vanilla weapons (available since the game release). Like every stock melee weapon, it's basically an Emergency Weapon... but this is a Pyro weapon; since the Pyro uses a flamethrower, he already has to come really close to the enemy players to damage them with his main weapon, so this is the class that least needs a melee weapon. Then, new Pyro melee weapons were released and they have additional effects like extra damage to burning players, more health gained from health kits or ability to remove sappers, since the stock axe just does damage, it was quickly left aside. To make it worse, the Third Degree does exactly what the fire axe does with a bonus quirk against Medics, relegating the Fire Axe to a waste of space and nothing more.
- A similar one is the Sharpened Volcano Fragment, an axe that does less damage than the stock one, but ignites enemy players. The problem is, the Pyro can easily ignite an enemy just using his flamethrower, and enemy Pyros, the class you'll use your melee weapon the most against, can't be ignited, making this weapon almost useless except in Medieval Mode.
- The Backburner used to be this, as it lacked the stock flamethrower's ability to reflect projectiles but dealt more damage, giving it a reputation for being used by W+M1 Pyros, but since then has gained said ability (at a steep ammo cost), making it much more popular.
- That said, it's by no means out of the Scrappy Heap. It costs 50 ammo for one airblast (1/4 of your total supply!), whereas the stock Flamethrower and Degreaser only use 20. The majority of the community still regards it as a noob weapon.
- The Mantreads, a pair of boots that protects the Soldier from knockback and allows him to perform a Goomba Stomp when falling from huge heights on top of enemies. Nothing wrong so far (it's hard to pull off, but it works)... but it occupies one weapon slot, a weapon slot normally reserved for your trusty shotgun, so the Mantreads are rarely used.
- Another Soldier weapon, the Battalion's Backup, was this before its buff. In order to charge it, you needed to take 350 points of damage. The thing is, the Soldier only has 200 health. So you have to almost die and be healed back up by a Medic or medkit twice. And self-damage does not fill up the bar; you have to take enemy damage to fill it. Just to nullify enemy critical hits and reduce incoming damage by 30%. That's very useful, to be sure, but it's an enormous pain to use, especially since you lose all your currently built-up charge if you die (especially if it's a death you don't see coming, like a Spy's backstab). The weapon was later changed so it charges with damage dealt, just like the more popular Buff Banner.
- The Force-a-Nature. On one hand, it can fire off two shots very fast, deals less damage but fires more pellets than the base Scattergun, meaning extra damage at point blank range, and sends enemies flying (as well as allowing you to "triple jump"). On the other, it takes ages to reload, only has two shots, and sends enemies flying out of range with the first shot, meaning that to maximize damage you have to fire one shot, chase your target, then fire the second once you catch up, which neutralizes the fast fire rate. Oh, and its Recoil Boost makes it impossible to do air maneuvers while firing and it has an effective range of about six inches. On most maps, there's really no reason not to pack the normal Scattergun, which deals almost the same damage, is more accurate, and holds six shots instead of two.
- The Neon Annihilator got this reaction as soon as it was introduced. At first, it would always do critical hits on players who were wet, in exchange for less base damage. This severely limited the weapon's use, as it would only serve a decent purpose in maps where water was common (which are very, very rare) or if fellow Scouts/Snipers are carrying Mad Milk/Jarate. Valve's reaction served only to enrage the player base even more: give it the ability to remove sappers, turning the Homewrecker obsolete.
- Speaking of the Homewrecker, it's a melee weapon that deals double damage to buildings in exchange for less damage against players. There is virtually no reason to take advantage of this; your flamethrower kills buildings in almost the exact same amount of time and each flame particle can penetrate through the building to damage the Engineer on the other side, all for less effort and from further away. The Homewrecker was abandoned almost immediately. Two months later it was given the ability to remove sappers on friendly buildings, which slightly redeemed it in the eyes of some players, but it's still one of the least used weapons in the game.
- The Phlogistinator is also a heavily hated weapon. It grants a short period of critical hits, and regains all the user's health after dealing a certain amount of damage. Unfortunately, it completely disables the reflecting compression blast, essentially considered one of the only redeeming factors of the Pyro in the competitive circle. Essentially, it seems to encourage Leeroy Jenkins tactics. There's little consensus on whether it's overpowered or junk, as it seems to swing wildly from those two poles depending on the circumstances.
- The Winger, an unlockable pistol for the Scout, is considered a downgrade from the stock pistol. It deals 15% more damage at the expense of a smaller magazine. Too small, in fact, because the reload time results in less damage per second, especially since both pistols have such a fast firing rate. Eventually, it would be redeemed by giving a increase to the user's maximum jump height when active.
- The Phoenix from Clive Barker's Undying. Is the last weapon found in the game, at about 30 minutes before the final boss. Not only it's quite weak compared to your arsenal (which by now include the Celtic Scythe, the Tibetan War Cannon and the Spear Thrower), but each shot must be guided in first person. Except that it's too fast to be properly controlled.
- Similar to the aforementioned Klobb, the Xbox 360 version of FEAR has the nearly-useless SM-15 machine pistol.
- Dark Forces, the first game in the Dark Forces Saga, had the mortar launcher, a large, cumbersome weapon with a slow fire rate that lobbed underwhelming shells in awkward, limited arcs. It was found only rarely, and usually thermal detonators were plentiful and much more useful, having greater power, splash radius, and effective range. Its main use was setting off enemy mines, with occasional breaks to take pot shots at whittling down the game's Demonic Spiders, the Dark Troopers (mostly the Phase One variety).
- The sequel, Jedi Knight, had the bowcaster, which on the surface sounded great. Chewbacca's iconic weapon, with a Charged Attack that fired spreads of plasma bolts, or fired a ricocheting plasma bolt to hit enemies around corners? Sounded useful...until you realized that the rate of fire was painful, the charged attack took a long while to get off and spread the shots out with huge gaps between small projectiles, and that the ricocheting shot could bounce back and hit you in the face. In the end the Imperial repeater ended up being a better use of energy cells.
- In Jedi Outcast, most people don't recall the stun baton with any fondness. In previous games, Kyle used his fists and was not above punching out Power Armor-clad Mecha-Mooks. The stun baton was clumsy, did very little damage to targets, and didn't actually knock anyone out so much as slowly shock them to death. Fortunately, the Awesome yet Practical lightsaber replaced the stun baton permanently, and the bothersome little shock-prod never resurfaced in the game or its sequel, Jedi Academy.
- The BS-9 silenced pistol in PAYDAY: The Heist is usually never used again as soon as the player unlocks better handguns. The pistol in question has low power and even requires several headshots to kill someone quickly on higher difficulty levels. The weapon also has a low ammo count and its weak power will barely help you should you go into bleedout mode. The only time the silenced pistol is needed is for Diamond Heist and No Mercy where stealth is required. Even then, the Mac-11 is a silenced machine gun and is a suitable replacement for the pistol.
- The BS-9s primary advantages are low recoil and high ammo per clip. It's useful for hitting things a long way away if your other weapons are shorter range (if you're using a shotgun, basically) or for taking out cameras and the like. Headshot damage will usually make up for the lack of base damage.
- Trip mines are also rarely used due to being a very situational item. Once placed, the trip mines can't be removed and you can only carry a limited amount of trip mines based on how many upgrades you have for them. While you can't trigger your own mines by mistake, a single cop can trigger them and will be killed instantly, even the Bulldozer. However, the power of the mines tend to be wasted on single targets unless you happen to get lucky and have the trip mine kill a cluster of cops in one explosion, along with a good guess on where the cops will go during assaults. The explosion can also kill civilians, which adds a delay to your release should you be captured and imposes a penalty to your reward in the end. In short, the usefulness of the mines are limited and most people that are using them usually are doing it for the achievements.
- The first Unreal has the Bio Rifle. It's a sort of grenade launcher that shoots small blobs of sticky explosive sludge, which don't do much more damage than other weapons but do require the player to take into account the parabolic trajectory and slow speed. The secondary fire charges up the shot, making it pretty much able to One-Hit Kill anything but reducing its speed so much that hitting the target is easier said than done, and the range is so short the resulting explosion more often than not damages the player as well.
- The Tournament series Bio rifle is essentially the same, but becomes mildly more useful because multiplayer gameplay does occasionally require defensive weaponry, and filling a hallway with green goo is a decent way to make sure anyone passing through in the next few seconds is reduced to red salsa. It's still the least used gun in the game, though.
- PlanetSide 1 has the Beamer, the standard issue sidearm for the Vanu Sovereignty. It's very accurate, small, uses the same ammo as their assault rifles, and even comes with an armor piercing mode. It also does piss for damage, uses up a valuable hip holster slot (better suited for a medapp, engineer tool, or REK), and the armor piercing mode makes it highly effective at being purple. The weapon was often likened to a flashlight, as it did a better job at making enemies glow than killing them. The Terran Republic's Cycler assault rifle is likewise regarded as nearly useless, as it has a huge magazine and good accuracy, but is so weak that players are better off using the Suppressor submachine gun. The Scorpion weapon system is a siege weapon, a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher which flies into the air, then detonates and sends shrapnel onto whatever is below it. It requires trigonometry to use, as the detonation range must manually be set by right-clicking while looking at terrain - too soon or too late or too high or too low will cause it to deal negligible damage.
- Planetside 2 has the Terran Republics's CARV-S rifle, which is a standard CARV rifle (hardly a measure of goodness to begin with) with worse stats in exchange for a 3-shot burst function. TR MAX Pounder grenade launchers have a tiny magazine, very little splash, terrible range, and do almost no damage to infantry. The Mini Chaingun and G30 Vulcan coaxial vehicle weapon were previous incredibly bad - the MCG had a spinup time which made it terrible for dealing with infantry, and the Vulcan had exact same DPS as the standard issue Basilisk machine gun, but with worse range and a $7.00 or 1000 cert pricetag. Both were later buffed.
- Nazi Zombies: In the multiplayer of Call Of Duty Black Ops 2, the SMR is one of the most powerful weapons available, and is very accurate. In the Zombies mode, it make the M1911 look amazing. Semi-auto is discouraged in this mode, it has bad capacity (Reserve, the FAL beats it,) it's weak, even for this type of weapon, it's slow to reload and worst of all, it has bullet spread, while you are AIMING!!! You'd be better off with the more accurate, but still weak M14.
Light Gun Games
- GHOST Squad has both versions of The Guardian. Compared to the other weapons in the game, they're stupidly useless: 6 or 10 bullets, and no extra features like piercing or permanent dot sight.
- The Ratchet & Clank series was the main inspiration for this trope. The first game had a handful of weapons that were quite useful (e.g., the Visibomb Gun, Devastator) and some that were almost useless (Pyrocitor, Taunter). The second game and onwards introduced leveling up weapons, further polarizing their effectiveness. It was quite easy to level up weapons that were easy to use and fairly powerful (the Negotiator and Constructo Shotgun from A Crack in Time, for instance), and weapons that barely got any use (such as the wimpy Buzz Blades) would never be able to level up except on the weakest ankle-biter enemies.
- The Taunter is more of a situational weapon. It's not going to get used in every level, but in some levels, where the enemies are dumb enough to walk off cliffs, or walk into laser fences, you can use it to save some ammo. A true scrappy weapon is the Gold Morph-O-Ray. It takes away one of the original Morph-O-Ray's uses, creating ammo for the Suck Cannon. But no weapon is truly useless in the first game at least, it's just that some see a lot more use in a lot more levels than others. Same can't be said for the sequels mind. In particular, the formerly useful Visibomb gun becomes so nerfed that it goes from a most used weapon, to near useless, and the rest suffer an even worse fate.
- The Meteor Gun, the Lava Gun's upgraded form in Going Commando is another instance. The basic weapon fired a steady stream of molten rock, was one of the best guns to use when you were surrounded (hold down button, spin, watch things burn) and was generally very powerful overall. The upgrade turned it into a burning rock machine gun, which basically did the same thing as another one of your weapons (the Lancer), except it fired more slowly, had less range and shot in a low parabolic arc. Fortunately Insomniac realized what they did and changed the final upgrade to the Liquid Nitrogen Gun in Up Your Arsenal, having it keep its pretty, pretty stream of destruction all the way through the game.
- Which gun is the scrappy is something of a matter of opinion. The Lava Gun had terrible range and accuracy, low damage in general, and the burning status effect didn't so much burn as sting. It also took a moment after you started firing (and using ammunition) to reach it's full range, which could annoy the more ammo conscious players, and the wrench had about the same range and better damage. The Meteor Gun had better range, excellent damage, and could be equipped with a lock-on mod. While it did end up working like the Lancer, this isn't necessarily a bad thing since the Lancer had ceased to do meaningful damage around halfway through the game, while the Meteor Gun would be a reliable damage dealer through to the end.
- Even platformers are not immune. Mega Man gives us plenty of these, as noted under Power-Up Letdown. The most infamous is the Top Spin, which only notable use is destroying the final boss in one hit, but several more have accumulated over the course of the long-running franchise...
- Interestingly, Top Spin is actually one of the better weapons in Mega Man 3...if you know how to use it (like in a Boss Weapons Only run). You can actually one-shot a large number of enemies with it, and it's got a large amount of ammo. It's primarily considered a scrappy weapon because you need to use it at close range, because it's a horrible weapon against enemies it can't one-hit kill (thus requiring memorization to use properly) and because of a poorly executed mechanic that can cause it to use up the entire ammo bar in a single use. One Top Spin costs one power, but top spin constantly "fires" as long as the player's finger is on the button. Hit an enemy immune to Top Spin, or a vulnerable boss during its brief second of post-attack invulnerability, and the power gauge can be depleted in a second if the player is careless.
- Spark Shock also sees very limited use (in the nes version, that is, it works exactly like Ice Slasher would in the game boy version), as (asides from almost no normal enemies being damaged by it) while it freezes whichever enemy it hits, the player can neither fire another one nor switch to another weapon until its effect wears off on the afflicted enemy.
- Mega Man 10 gives us Thunder Wool, which is nigh impossible to aim, and blows through all its ammo in 6 shots. To quote one Gamefaqs poster "Anything the Thunder Wool does, another weapon does better and for less ammo cost."
- The Rolling Shield in Mega Man X is the worst boss weapon in the game. The boss who is meant to be vulnerable to it, Launch Octopus, is more vulnerable to the Boomerang Cutter, which severs his tentacles, reducing his firepower and preventing him from drawing you in; the Rolling Shield has no special effect on the boss and isn't effective at doing damage. Surprisingly enough, though, the Rolling Shield works well on Sigma's One-Winged Angel form.
- Shield weapons in general get this. You lost the Leaf Shield in Mega Man 2 as soon as you moved, making it only useful in the section in the fourth Wily stage with platforms and Tellies (and beating Air Man, of course). Most other shield weapons did allow you to move, but were ineffective due to vanishing as soon as they took a hit or, in worse cases, being ineffective altogether. Junk Shield from Mega Man 7, Jewel Satellite from Mega Man 9 and Water Shield from Mega Man 10 are notable exceptions.
- The Power Stone from Mega Man 5 may well be the worst special weapon ever created in any game. It creates a trio of boulders that circles outward from Mega Man's position. Unfortunately, they are notoriously hard to aim correctly and move very slowly, to boot. Worst of all, once you fired one, you couldn't fire another until the first one had run its course. It says something when it's generally less of a hassle to kill Charge Man (who is weak to the Power Stone) with the Mega Buster.
- The Bubble Lead in Mega Man 2 also gets a lot of this, although it is strong against a few enemies, and is the only weapon that can harm the final boss.
- Speaking of Mega Man 2, the Atomic Fire also falls under here. It is an incredibly powerful weapon that can destroy most non-boss enemies in one hit and would be very useful if a fully charged blast from the Atomic Fire didn't take up an obscene amount of weapon energy (you only get a maximum of two fully charged shots from a full energy bar). This makes the weapon completely useless in the Wily stages, where your weapon energy doesn't carry over between stages. On top of this, the charge is slow and it's usually much better to defeat enemies with multiple shots of a weaker weapon. Its only real uses are to defeat Wood Man and the first form of the Wily Machine (two fully charged hits in both cases).
- The original Mega Man was not without these, either. The most notorious was the Hyper Bomb, which, while powerful, was far too slow to be of any use (it didn't explode until roughly three seconds after you threw it) against anything other than the mostly immobile Guts Man.
- In Mega Man Battle Network, despite being more RPG than anything else, there is one answer to this trope. Mini-bomb. Short of the platformer spinoff, network transmission, those things were the most useless things ever. They did poor damage compared to other options, any enemy past the starting area would generally be hard to hit because of the slow time from release to impact, getting only harder as the game went on, and they were always, always, in your starting folder. They don't even qualify as a crutch chip because the only enemy they could one hit kill another chip that was much more useful could do as well. the chip had no reason to keep being in your starting inventory.
- Earthworm Jim 2 has the comically underpowered Bubble Gun.
- The torch in the Ghosts 'n Goblins series is slow and travels in an arch, while most of the enemies come right for you, so the players try to avoid it as much as possible.
- The hatchet is even worse, as it travels in the same arch, but also penetrates enemies and obstacles. While you can have two on screen at a time, the nature of the weapon ensures that you can't rapidly fire on a single enemy that takes multiple hits, which is often a death sentence in this game.
- Additionally, each game in the series has a "hidden" weapon that is much slower and/or has a shorter reach than the other weapons, such as the cross/shield in the first game and the Goddess Bracelet in other games. What makes this particularly nasty is the fact that you are required to beat the final boss with these weapons.
- Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel have the Spring Mushroom, which transforms Mario into a living spring, jumping at great heights to higher spots. The problem is, though, that it's very difficult to maneuver, as the powerup moves Mario perpetually, so a misaimed or poorly calculated jump can result lethal when chasms and pits are close.
- Pokémon both subverts this and plays this straight. On the one hand, there are no truly useless Pokémon. On the other hand, in terms of competitive play, there is a tier known as "Never Used (NU)". This is because they often have horrible stats and are not very good in battle. HM Slaves (Such as Bibarel), for example, are very useful when getting around from "Point A" to "Point B" but are terrible in battle.
- As of the White and Black series of games, competitive Pokemon battlers have created a "Never Ever Used (NEU)" tier, which is even lower than NU.
- On the other hand, there are a few truly "useless" moves. The most famous example is Splash, which does absolutely nothing. This is even lampshaded in Pokémon Stadium, where using Splash will cause the announcer to exclaim "What's the point of splashing?!"
- Practice Bows in Mount & Blade if the player character is not built as an archer. You are pretty much doomed in any arena/tournament fight if you spawn with one and you aren't lucky enough to get a new weapon really quick as you can't fight at all in melee with one.
- Fixed in Warband, you will also start with a practice knife if you spawn if a bow. While it can't block, it can at least fight back and if you are strong enough disrupt attacks.
- Fallout and Fallout 2 have the Mauser pistol, a one-of-a-kind weapon in Fallout and one of the rarest guns in the sequel. It's also the only weapon in both games to use 9mm ammunition, which is very rare in and of itself and so must be carefully managed if one intends to use it. Obviously the Mauser must be one of the most powerful small guns, right? Wrong: it's one of the weakest. It's only redeeming factor is special, very high bonus to accuracy. But at the point when it's available, there are much better and more powerful guns on hand. One wonders why the devs even bothered putting it, and its very own ammo type, in the game at all.
- Fallout 3 has the Chinese Pistol. Despite using the same ammunition as the 10mm, it has 2 fewer shots, is no faster or more accurate, does less than half the damage of its American counterpart, and does not come in a silenced version. Its only saving graces are that it sells for a fair deal of cash, and that it has more than twice the durability of the regular 10mm. The latter is just about useless, as the low damage makes degradation approximately equal to that of the 10mm.
- The unique variant is more useful, as it is capable of setting enemies on fire in addition to the base damage. In spite of this, it's still probably one of the least powerful unique weapons out there (even weaker than many regular weapons) and is only good for supplementing another firearm or for lighting up occasional pockets of gas.
- There was also the .32 Pistol, which did tiny damage (less than the 10mm Pistol obtained hours before it) and used ammo that was much more useful when loaded into a Hunting Rifle.
- The Sawed-off Shotgun breaks easily, only holds two shots, is unusually rare (making it hard to repair), doesn't do all that much damage, and has an effective range of about two feet. It's barely even worth carrying back to sell once you loot it off one of the few raiders in the game that carries it.
- Fallout: New Vegas also has a few.
- First of all, there is the .357 Magnum Revolver. It does rather low damage, being the weakest revolver in the game, it's single action, uses the same ammo as the infinitely more useful Cowboy Repeater rifle, and unlike every other revolver it doesn't use a speed loader, forcing you to load all six shots painfully slowly. There's no point to using it over the normal 9mm Pistol, which has the same DPS and doesn't use valuable rifle ammunition.
- The .357 revolver does have a saving grace: getting the long-barrel upgrade makes it more powerful, shot for shot, than the cowboy repeater. Unfortunately, the mod costs a ton of money and the cowboy repeater has much better sights and with the receiver mod, a much better re-fire rate, and it retains the better reload speed as well, so the revolver is still situational at best.
- The Caravan Shotgun. It holds two shots, deals pitiful damage, does not have an iron sight, and is comically inaccurate. Plus, you come across the infinitely superior Lever Action Shotgun only a short while later.
- The Sawed-off Shotgun hasn't gotten much better since Fallout 3. Its only good point is that it's an improved holdout weapon, allowing you to take it into casinos, but there are much better weapons for the role. Against anything tougher than unarmored raiders, its saving grace comes with the "And Stay Back!" perk, which gives each shotgun pellet a 10% chance to knock an opponent to the ground. Since the gun shoots 14 pellets per shot, almost every firing results in your target collapsing in a heap, and the reload time is faster than what it takes to stand back up, nothing will survive as long as your brought enough ammo.
- The Recharger Rifle. Its damage is absolutely pathetic, being 25% weaker than the 9mm pistol, the first gun you get, and it's extremely fragile, inaccurate, just plain ugly on top of that. The point of it is to have a weapon that never runs out of ammo, but since the more-advanced Recharger Pistol is improved in every single aspect, you'd be better off just selling this worthless piece of trash if you happen to pick it up to buy more bullets.
- In the Final Fantasy series, any weapon with randomized damage, i.e. axes, especially once your attack power goes high enough that randomization only hurts your damage potential.
- In Fire Emblem, Devil Axes. More likely to kill you than your enemy, and pretty inaccurate to boot.
- They do, however, gave a huge amount of weapon exp, meaning they're mostly used for grinding a character's axe skill. The risk of killing yourself is still pretty frustrating though.
- All Fire magic in Geneology of the Holy War. In that game, all three types of Anima magic had identical power, the only difference was their weight. Fire was the heaviest (unlike later games where that honour went to Thunder) by FAR, and that is not a good thing. Even the weapon triangle advantage over Wind users did little to compensate for the massive speed loss the Fire user suffered (and Wind users are naturally speedy to begin with, which makes it even worse.), so there was almost no point in using Fire magic when other tomes were available. Probably the only decent Fire spell was the legendary one which, of course, was enemy-exclusive.
- Axes in the fourth game also suffered from the same problem, with only the Hero Axe being considered usable due to its secondary effect. In the sixth game, Axes also fell into this, but this time because of absolutley horrible accuracy, an issue which was fixed in the seventh.
- The Bolt Axe in Path of Radiance. While the other magical weapons (the Wind Sword and Flame Lance) could at least be given to characters with okay Magic, you'd be very hard-pressed to find an axe user with anything even vaguely resembling a Magic stat, making it almost useless.
- Certain skills in Guild Wars are either completely useless or completely outclassed, although this changes from time to time based on buffs and nerfs.
- some are also useless because they're absolute clones of others.
- Specific mods for Knights of the Old Republic, made by a specific modder, would include the 'broken bottle' as a joke. It's clearly tailored to be useless in any way possible, dealing exactly one point of damage, and providing a large array of penalties, making sure that nobody would use it. It's description refers to it as a "crude weapon of an uncivilized age".
- In the basic game, guns. Generally speaking, blasters of all varieties were only useful until you got your hands on a lightsaber. (Of course, being a Star Wars property, the lightsaber's position at the intersection of Awesome and Powerful was pretty much guaranteed.) The sequel made them more powerful and versatile, but even then there were a whole host of weapons you simply did not want. Most often, these were non-upgradeable weapons, which were almost never powerful enough to be worth missing out of upgrade parts.
- The enemy weapons you get off Aces in Valkyria Chronicles, tend to fit this trope early on, as the marginal increase in power compared to regular Gallian weaponry does not make up for the severe drop in both accuracy and range. While the rifles and machine guns improve to the point where they become viable options, captured sniper rifles consistently have less than half the range and accuracy of their counterparts, which eventually become capable of scoring long-range headshots with almost every shot. The exception is enemy flamethrowers, as they are generally more powerful than their Gallian tier equivalents.
- In Morrowind, Polearms. You wouldn't know this by hearing the fanbase, but nobody actually used them in Morrowind because they were worthless. (Didn't help that one-handed swords were much more numerous and stronger...or that you pretty much had to have some skill in them.)
- World of Warcraft: Fist weapons, and pre-Burning crusade, polearms. Both were hampered by the fact that there were just not enough in the game, and the ones that were there were overshadowed by better weapons. It didn't help that Dagger specialization for rogues was much better than fist weapons. Burning Crusade remedied this by adding more polearms to the game, although they were most commonly used by hunters for stats. Mists of Pandaria is hopefully going to tackle Fist Weapons.
- Polearms were at least somewhat useful to Warriors prior to Burning Crusade as they shared Axes 5% bonus crit specialization and Alterac Valley offered a good polearm as a simple quest reward that was a cheaper alternative to the "OP" Arcnaite Reaper 2-handed axe that blacksmiths could craft.
- The Mass Effect series has a fair share of examples.
- Mass Effect 1:
- Due to the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness and Random Drops in the first game, several guns were rendered completely useless five minutes after you picked them up because you'd immediately find another gun of the same type with objectively better stats.
- Sniper rifles for Shepard - you need to put to put a ton of skill points into it to stop the damn thing from shaking. The environments are small enough for a perfect aim with pistols or assault rifles. A Sniper rifle of any power will (almost) overheat from a single shot and take seconds to cool down, making it useless for the Zerg Rush that every fight devolves to. And with the game's infamous "permaheat" bug, every shot with a sniper rifle carries a risk of forcing a saved-game reload.
- On the upside, in the squadmates' hands, sniper rifles equipped with high-explosive ammo turn into a perfect-aim rocket launchers that eject enemies from the level.
- Mass Effect 2
- The Shuriken was the most useless weapon in the game. It's a weak, inaccurate machine pistol that doesn't even have the benefit of a fast firing rate, since it shoots three round bursts. It did less damage and had worse accuracy than the Predator pistol, which you got before it.
- The Katana and Scimitar shotguns had an effective range of about five feet, and even point blank weren't powerful enough to one-shot basic mooks. To get any use of them you had to get in an enemy's face, exposing yourself to automatic fire. Literally the only reason to ever use them in battle is if you're out of other ammo for other weapons and have melee enemies like varren coming up close.
- There's a reason no one uses the Avalanche heavy weapon; it's simply a waste of power cells.
- Mass Effect 3:
- The Shuriken, Katana, and Scimitar are still terrible, with the re-introduction of weapon mods doing little to compensate for their faults. The Avalanche was removed entirely.
- The AT-12 Raider shotgun has the worst accuracy in the game and only holds two shots. It's redeeming quality is supposed to be very high damage, but the Wraith does more damage, so there's no reason at all to pick up the Raider.
- The Geth Pulse Rifle, which was considered a decent weapon in the second game and great in the first, has moved into Scrappy Weapon territory in 3. It's been nicknamed the "Geth Piss Rifle" by the community simply because it does low damage overall.
- The Kishock Harpoon Gun sniper rifle. It has a number of features that sound great on paper: great spare ammo capacity and reload speed for a single-shot sniper rifle, shots that can be charged for extra damage, a higher headshot damage multiplier than normal, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to ignore the "shield gate," a massive damage reduction that occurs when excess damage shatters an enemy's Shields or Barriers and goes on to their Health or Armor. However, the weapon's projectile is slow-moving and requires a lot of aiming compensation, charging shots is extremely inefficient from a DPS perspective without producing enough extra damage to justify it, 40% of the shot's damage is dealt in bleed (meaning it actually deals relatively little damage up front, and even common infantry can potentially survive a headshot), and the scope is of such a low magnification that the weapon handles more like an assault rifle with a scope attached than a sniper rifle. The result is a weapon that is so bizarrely balanced and has such a ridiculous learning curve that even after numerous patches and tweaks, it remains, along with the Shuriken, the only weapon in the game that the Mass Effect Wiki advises against using.
- The Viper sniper rifle got nerfed hard in this game, having its firing rate lowered and the clip size reduced from 12 to 6. Combined with the buffs given to other guns, the Viper just looks pathetic; the Carnifex, for example, not only does more damage, but it also weighs less and can easily be modded to hold more shots. Still in multiplayer, the Viper can be a literal Poor Man's Substitute for the Carnifex, since the former is an uncommon weapon and the latter is a rare, which means that you'll probably max out the Viper first unless you're particularly blessed by the Random Number God.
- Phoenix Adepts and Vanguards use Shock Batons for their melee attack. Said batons are slow and don't do a lot of damage, and leave you exposed the entire time.
Shoot 'Em Ups
- Gradius ReBirth has Type E's Double shot, the V-Shot. It fires up and down, but NOT forward, thereby depriving you of any and all horizontal coverage. Type E's Laser, the Vector Laser, becomes this too on Stage 2 and bonus stages, where it cannot damage destructible walls. Needless to say, if you equip the Vector Laser and then go into Stage 2 on higher loops or difficulties, or into a bonus stage, both of which require destroying walls to advance, you are DEAD.
- Soul Star has the Circle Laser. It fires quickly, but you'll soon notice it does an awfully low amount of damage. After you get the powerful Orange Laser, you'll want to avoid the C "powerup" at all costs.
- The Autocannon/10 and Ultra autocannon/10 in Mech Warrior Living Legends. Heavy, pitiful damage, pitiful ammo capacity, slow projectiles, and the gun overheats almost as soon as it feels like you start doing proper damage to the enemy. The Bear Autocannon, a handheld minigun for the Battlearmor is so thoroughly in the Joke category that it is literally more effective to throw the gun at the enemy than it is to shoot them with it - the gun has terrible range, next to zero damage against armored targets and other battlearmor, overheats, has a wind-up time, and encroaches on the AC/2 handheld bullet hose, which is better in every single way and fits into the same category.
- The final patch, 0.7.0, finally rectified the scrappy weapons. The AC/10 and UAC/10 are now genuinely scary weapons, and the Bear Autocannon now has a range of 600 meters along with greatly improved damage and accuracy - making it an excellent sniper weapon to take out other battlearmor, and an effective way to piss off mech pilots courtesy of Scratch Damage. However, it has a side effect of making the handheld Small Laser pretty much redundant.
- The Arrow IV in Mech Warrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy. In principle it was great - superlong range and huge damage - but its effectiveness was nullified by the anti-missile system, another new weapon included in GBL, which would explode them effortlessly because it was meant to counteract missile salvos made of several dozen of them - and Arrows were just as unarmored as normal missiles. Ammo supply was also pitifully small.
- Just about any melee weapon in the Tenchu games (at least Wrath of Heaven) that you can get from a dead Mook. Especially as they get rid of your one-hit stealth kills. The higher-scoring need-for-powering-up stealth kills. The you're-a-ninja stealth kills. (Well, yeah, the fun-to-do stealth kills.)
- Proximity Mines in Resident Evil 5 might be considered this. Though they have some use in Story mode (usually by leading bosses and strong enemies on them), in Mercenaries they are next to useless, since you need to do melee anyway and you can't even use them to clear the mob in a pinch. No reason to bother with bosses. And in Versus, if you happen to be seen placing them, the enemy player can detonate them by shooting while you are still close. This added to the fact that good players won't be caught stepping on them anyway, since it's easy to tell the set mines from the dropped ones.
- The knife from most of the Resident Evil series was absurdly weak (usually taking several dozen stabs just to knock over the most basic of enemies), had zero range, and took up valuable inventory space, so was typically dumped in the first item box, unless you were just that good and wanted to give yourself a Self-Imposed Challenge. Code Veronica was the first game to give it even limited usefulness, as one swipe counted as several hits, but it wasn't until Resident Evil 4 made it as powerful as the handgun, just trading range for unlimited use, that it stopped being a Scrappy Weapon. A skilled player could save a lot of ammo using it, and some bosses were actually easier with the knife. The fact it no longer counted against your inventory space helped as well.
- The Nintendo Gamecube remake of Resident Evil had the Survival Gun. A two-shot .22 derringer found with a suicide note, can never be reloaded, and has already been used once. In other words it's only slightly stronger than the handgun (But far inferior to the shotgun which you've had for hours by the time you find the Survival Gun), it takes up a slot in your inventory, and can only be fired once.
- Silent Hill 1 has two: the Kitchen Knife and the Hand Axe, the first and last melee weapons you get, respectively. The Kitchen Knife is a mandatory pickup, has zero range and in terms of defense is much worse than simply running from danger, and it's as if the game realizes how worthless it is because you can find the Steel Pipe, one of the game's more useful weapons, less than a minute later. The Hand Axe is a barely-noticeable upgrade to the Kitchen Knife, which is rather unacceptable since by then you're 75% through the game and already have the magnificent and deadly Emergency Hammer. You don't have to get the Axe, though it does have one use: Breaking the lock keeping you from the sewer. Other weapons can break it, but it requires careful positioning and the Axe makes it easier.
- Blunt weapons in Dwarf Fortress spent a long time in the wilderness due to a bug in the damage rules, meaning that your dwarves could pound on some poor goblin or kobold for months in-game without scoring a kill. While that did have a certain amount of appeal to many players, it tended to impair the smooth running of a fortress by making civilian dwarves scared to go near the site of the battle.
- Dungeons & Dragons 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder made the heavy crossbow nearly useless. A user could fire it a bit further than a light crossbow and on average did one more point of damage on a hit compared to a longbow or a light crossbow. However, the weapon took an entire round to reload, leaving the character useless for an entire turn. Characters who knew how to use a bow would always do better to use the bow if they planned to make more than one attack in a round or spend more than one round shooting. Characters above first level could almost always afford a bow that let them add their strength to the damage, negating the heavy crossbow's advantage to damage. Characters who couldn't use a bow would usually rather shoot and move with a light crossbow or were spellcasters whose actions in combat were almost always better used casting a spell. Feats (special tricks characters learn) were priceless, and using one to select "Rapid Reload" for a heavy crossbow was generally a terrible choice. Even the range advantage was usually useless due to the metagame; most GMs who use maps don't set many encounters at distances where the extra range comes into play. If the adventure takes place inside a dungeon of any kind, forget it. Many "subpar" weapons have tons of uses for smart players, but the game's rules render heavy crossbows worthless. Even the siangham (a monk weapon which does less damage than the monk's fist) has its uses.
- The double crossbow in Pathfinder is even more Awesome, yet Impractical. It fires two bolts with one trigger pull, but penalizes both shots by -20% to hit (even if you know how to shoot it) and costs a feat just to learn to use. It takes two standard actions to reload, meaning a normal character using it would fire once every three rounds unless he dedicates even more precious feats to the weapon. Meanwhile, the Manyshot or Rapid Shot feats applied to many weapons and imparted lower/no penalties to hit and allowed for similar effects for dedicated ranged characters. If the character was a spell-caster or melee fighter, spending a feat to learn to use a double crossbow was a very bad choice, especially compared to repeating crossbows, longbows, or other options available to these characters.
- Bastard swords saw little use, as they were two handed weapons which did less damage than two handed swords or great axes, and only by spending a feat could a character use it in one hand. Feats were too precious to spend to gain the minimal damage bonus a bastard sword had over a longsword. Magical longswords were also far more common to find whether the loot was based on GM whimsy or random rolls, making longswords even more attractive compared to the bastard sword.
- Actually the default weapon of almost all oversized weapon builds ever since a splat established that an oversized bastard sword may be wielded as a two-handed "fullblade." Due to the nature of size scaling one point of average damage at medium size becomes significantly larger at huge or more.
- Exotic weapons in general had this problem except for D&D's spiked chain, which could be a Min Maxers Delight. It was severely nerfed in Pathfinder. Any benefit the exotic weapon provided was grossly overshadowed by the thought of "wasting" a feat and the low chance of finding a magical version of the weapon. If an exotic weapon was associated with a certain race, allowing that race to use it more easily, it would see modest use. The rest almost never saw action.
- Also in 3.5 is the Heavy Mace. It would be a simple bludgeoning weapon... but the problem is the Morningstar does the same amount of damage, costs less, weighs less, and does piercing damage in addition to bludgeoning.
- 7thSea, due to an oversight, has the crossbow. The system uses a "keep" roll system, where XkY means you roll X dice but only keep the Y highest dice. Since you get to add your brawn to your roll (but not keep) for melee weapons it was common to find a weapon that had a lower X than Y. The crossbow has 0k2, but since it's a ranged weapon it never gets any bonuses from strength, meaning there's no way to get any rolls to actually keep.
- The .38 Special Jagged Alliance 2. Pistols in general are relegated to Emergency Weapon status early on as it is, and revolvers in particular are considered inferior because they have to be reloaded about three times as often as everything else, so that's two strikes against it before we even get to the fact that it does lousy damage and has poor range and accuracy even by pistol standards. You're almost better off with a knife.
- The "Kozlice" shotgun from Operation Flashpoint. It's more accurate than the average game shotgun, but that's where the good bits end. It's weak, only holds two shots (and you can only carry 10 rounds total, as opposed to 300 for an assault rifle), and takes twice as long to reload as any of the other weapons. It'd almost be more effective if you could use it as a club. Of course since it's there to represent the civilian hunting shotguns which are all most of the Resistance have to start with this is intentional.
- Gears of War. The Scorcher flamethrower has exceedingly short range, which unfortunately forces you into the killzone for everyone's favorite weapon: The Gnasher shotgun. Not only that, but despite being a flamethrower, it lacks any significant Damage Over Time effect which would help justify its existence.
Wide Open Sandbox
- The Saboteur's Terror Flamethrower. "Typical video game flamethrower" sums it up fairly well, with its short range and flames that cover up your field of view. It would be good for close-quarters combat in theory, except that at around the same time you gain access to an automatic shotgun with a ridiculous ammo capacity (150 rounds with a dirt-cheap upgrade) that's surprisingly effective at stopping targets well out of the flamethrower's range.
- Terraria has short swords. Theoretically, they're faster than broadswords, but do less damage and are smaller. However, unlike broadswords, your character doesn't swing it in an arc; rather, he/she jabs it straight forward. It's moderately useful against enemies that walk right into your attacks, but worthless against nearly everything else.