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[[quoteright:303:[[ComicBook/{{Doom}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/groovy.jpg]]]]

->'''Sol''': What's that?
->'''Vincent''': Haha! ''This'', is a shotgun, Sol!
->'''Sol''': It's a fucking anti-aircraft gun, Vincent!
-->-- ''Film/{{Snatch}}''

In {{First Person Shooter}}s, no matter how many super-powerful weapons the player has at their disposal, many will always tend to use their shotgun.

There are several different reasons for this, though not all of them are always the case:
* The shotgun is BoringButPractical and/or SimpleYetAwesome -- it kills enemies quickly without the hassle of avoiding splash damage from rockets or other weapons, and depending on the game it can [[BlownAcrossTheRoom send enemies flying]] or just [[LudicrousGibs liquify them outright]].
* Everything better is TooAwesomeToUse -- shotgun ammo is nigh ubiquitous since it's usually one of the first weapons found in the game, and everything afterwards tends to be reserved for bosses. Furthermore, unlike automatic weapons, ammo lasts a lot longer in a gunfight, so burning through your entire supply happens a lot less often.
* The shotgun is just plain better than everything else -- at close range, it can indeed be the best weapon in the game, and in games without BottomlessMagazines it tends to have a decent magazine size as well.
* In fiction, the shotgun is also a very handy weapon for anyone who makes a living [[TheHunter hunting monsters]] due to the smoothbore design of many shotguns allowing for the use of a wide variety of exotic loads that other guns would need very extensive (and expensive) gunsmithing work to be able to fire, or that would be rather ineffective with regular guns (such as {{Silver Bullet}}s).
* There is ''nothing'' like [[DramaticGunCock the sound of a pump-action shotgun being cocked]] for letting the other guy know that you mean business, which is why many cops and crooks alike like to use them.

However, perhaps the simplest explanation of this trope is that shotguns are just {{badass}}, [[SawedOffShotgun especially when shortened]].

RealLife shotguns, despite having a [[ShortRangeShotgun short effective range]] ([[TechnologyMarchesOn which may not be so short]], and comparable to that of a rifle if a modern slug is fired), can be tremendously destructive if loaded with large buckshot, and [[http://www.medniekiem.lv/img/pub/1/1/85/l1247141182.jpg modern]] [[http://www.medniekiem.lv/img/pub/1/1/85/l1247143635.jpg slugs]] developed for hunting large and dangerous game are even worse and also can be fired accurately almost to 100 yards.

Maybe you prefer {{revolvers|AreJustBetter}} or {{katanas|AreJustBetter}}? Or perhaps you would rather try a [[MoreDakka heavy machine gun]], such as a [[GatlingGood gatling]]? Or as long as it fires [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter lead, you're happy?]]

How much of a ShortRangeShotgun it is may affect the gun's overall usefulness, and may disqualify it from being this.

See also OneHandedShotgunPump. CallingShotgun does not necessarily mean the person [[LiteralMetaphor actually has a shotgun]]. Although it helps... Obviously.



[[folder:Anime and manga]]
* [[GoodOldFisticuffs While he's primarily a brawler]], [[CrazyAwesome Ladd Russo]] from ''{{LightNovel/Baccano}}'' also likes to kick ass with his sawed-off shotgun.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Two-Face, in the 1980s ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' comics, often carried a double-barreled shotgun as his weapon of choice. These days, he's more likely to favor [[GunsAkimbo twin Colt 45s]].
* The survivors in ''ComicBook/WildsEnd'' are forced to use their two double-barrelled shotguns very often and to great effect.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In [[https://www.fanfiction.net/community/Cornelius-Anderson/116268/ this series]] of ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' fanfics, the characters make extensive and frequent use of the "widowmaker" shotgun, despite having the [[SwissArmyGun lawgiver]] as a standard sidearm.


* Hale Caesar's [[MoreDakka fully automatic]], drum fed AA-12 shotgun in ''Film/TheExpendables''. At one point, it gets loaded with FRAG-12 explosive rounds, [[StuffBlowingUp introducing all sorts of proverbial shit to the fan]].
** You know the AA-12 is an amazing weapon when ''Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger'' demands to use it, and keeps using it throughout the sequel.
* Basically anything in the ZombieApocalypse genre, shotguns will be incredibly useful against the living dead.
* The weapon of choice for ''Film/TheUntouchables'' and with justification too - one of the gangsters is arrested when his tommy gun jams and the ostensible NonActionGuy is able to club him with his (empty) shotgun.
* ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'': [[MemeticMutation Boomsticks]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx3Bz6cIPiw are just better.]]
* ''Film/{{Outland}}'': Police and criminals alike favour semi-automatic shotguns in this UsedFuture science-fiction film.
* In Film/THeWraith The titular character has a modified Spas-12 that shoots lasers, which he uses to trash Packard Walsh's garage. Packard himself has a regular double barreled one that Skank tried to shoot The Wraith with, only for it to backfire.
* In the ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'' franchise, Dominic is seen brandishing a shotgun in every movie he appears in [[spoiler: with the exception of ''Tokyo Drift''.]]
* as mentioned above in regards to zombies, ''Film/{{Helldriver}}'' is probably the best example, as the zombies are controlled by a horn on their heads, which makes a worse target for other weapons, is a drug and highly volatile. The disembodied body parts of the zombies continue to function until the horn is detonated, so a shotgun, even with birdshot, would be ideal, as is demonstrated when a lawman living in the contaminated zone is introduced to the party, setting off a chain reaction amongst the cut-off-and-catapulted incoming zombie heads. [[TooDumbToLive However, the government's plan is to continue making cyborgs with]] [[ChainsawGood chain]]-katanas, which should only make things worse, assuming any internal consistency in the movie, though that is hard to find.
* ''Terminator'' and ''Terminator 2'' make extensive use of shotguns, presumably because of the dearth of plasma rifles in the 40-watt range.
* ''MadMax''. Max wields [[SawedOffShotgun sawed-off]] shotguns throughout the films, though they [[ConvenientMisfire misfire]] not once, but ''twice'' in the series.

[[folder:Live Action Television]]

* Sam and Dean in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' often uses shotguns loaded with rock salt to fight ghosts.
* The Series/MythBusters have tested firearms of various kinds, and in some cases their 12-gauge shotgun turns out to be the best option for a myth. For example, it's the best option for shooting a grenade out of the air (after all, shotguns are used for skeet shooting), and it's also your best option when shooting into water from land (at a 23-degree angle, the slug travels 8 feet through the water; higher-powered rifle rounds shatter upon impact, while pistol and black-powder rifle rounds tend to stop quicker).
* [[Series/TheBlacklist Raymond Reddington]] seems to be a fan of this trope, as he is most often seen with a shotgun whenever he's not using a handgun.


[[folder:Tabletop Games]]

* In third edition ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' shotguns have high power and are exceeded in base damage only by assault cannons and the best sniper rifles. A burst from an automatic shotgun is one of the few attacks that can kill with even a minimal hit.
* In TabletopGame/{{d20Modern}} (a modern day setting RPG using ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''' d20 ruleset) the shotgun is one of the kings of the core rulebook weapon list. The main appeal isn't just the firepower but also the fact that, as a hunting weapon, shotguns only require a common civilian (+1) license to obtain and ammo can be obtained at sporting good stores rather than having to find a dedicated gun shop. Depending on what splatbooks are at hand a shotgun can also blast off doors with heavy slug rounds or even fire a single-shot flamethrower cartridge.
** Many players feel the shotgun forms a third of the 'sacred spread' a trio of weapons considered the ideal CrazyPrepared kit for going into a gunfight. The shotgun forms the close range, the Beretta is the backup, and the hunting rifle with a scope attached is a street-legal poor-man's sniper rifle.
* In ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' shotguns are one of the most powerful and easily accessible guns on the entire planet. The most practical model listed in the core rule book, the 12 gauge Benelli, has a 7 shot capacity, fires twice per round, and does 4D6/2D6/1D6 (10/20/50 yards). That's an average of 14 damage and a standard deviation of 3.4 (it's surprisingly rare to fight a battle beyond 20 yards). In a normal distribution, it will be within one standard deviation of the mean 68% of the time. Since die rolls are discrete, it won't be perfect, but that should give you an idea of how much the damage will vary. To put this into perspective; Most games will have three to eight players, each potentially equipped with a boom stick of their own plus side arms and other weapons, concentrating long range fire power into melee monsters with health barely able to sustain a single two-person shotgun volley. Incredibly massive shoggoth? More like incredibly massive ChunkySalsa! You get two shots per round of combat, and with eight shotgun wielders you'd deal 2*14*8 = 224 damage average and have a standard deviation of 13.7.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' and its spinoff ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' games have the LBX series of autocannons. The tabletop version is a straight upgrade in terms of stats--it is lighter, has longer range, produces less heat, and can fire both standard autocannon shells as well as cluster rounds that have accuracy bonuses (ideal for shooting down aircraft or dealing {{Critical Hit}}s to the interior of a 'Mech). The video game versions are lighter than their standard peers, and depending on the game are either straight upgrades (''3'' and its ExpansionPack) or a HumongousMecha ShortRangeShotgun can reliably knocks down enemy 'Mechs and leaves them defenseless (the ''4'' trilogy onwards). The [[{{MeaningfulName}} Annihilator]] capitalizes on this with ''four'' [=LB-10X AC=]s and four Medium Pulse Lasers to back it up.
* Subverted by the ''TabletopGame/HeavyGear'' video game adaptations. The fragmentation cannon is rather obviously a shotgun in function and appearance, but it is easily one of the worst ranged weapons available in either video game bearing the ''Heavy Gear'' name. Its flaws include slow fire rate, low ammo capacity, short range, and pitiful damage. Most embarrassingly, it is outright surpassed in each of the aformentioned traits by the basic light autocannon given to new players.
* In ''{{GURPS}}'' shotguns have a lot of ammunition choices making them a viable, but not quite ideal, for pretty much any job. Shot-shells make them the most accurate close range weapon while, AP slugs can go through through armored walls, explosive shells can put a grenade through a window, they can even take tiny anti-tank rounds.
* Some sci-fi settings (Eg. Savage Worlds Sci-fi Companion) mention that shotguns are better for combat inside ships or space stations, as the shot has less chance of [[ExplosiveDecompression punching a big hole in the hull]].
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Cyberpunk}} 2020'', with the basic rules at least, shotguns have poor range. However, at point-blank as well at a very short ranges and confined spaces are deadly. For [[MoreDakka dakka]], simply get an automatic shotgun, even if they lack precision.
-->The alleyway becomes Hamburger Heaven.

[[folder:Video Games]]

* The New Conglomerate in ''VideoGame/PlanetSide'' takes this approach to everything. Triple barreled shotgun! Arm mounted shotguns! HumongousMecha shotguns! Shotgun pistol!
** They continue the tradition in the sequel, including shotgun canons mounted on fighter aircraft, as well as GunsAkimbo PowerArmor arm mounted full auto shotguns, used to carve through entire rooms' worth of enemies at a time.
** Also from the sequel, pump action shotguns available to the three factions. Powerful enough to kill enemies in one shot from close up, accurate enough and with enough shells[[FrickinLaserBeams /(cells)]] in the magazine to be useful at medium range. Load it with slugs, put on a good scope, and you have a perfectly functional ghetto sniper rifle.
* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'s'' insane short-barreled, double-barreled, dual-wieldable shotguns are more accurate than the player's assault rifle, and do almost as much damage as the anti-material missile launcher. If fired continuously, they make the player functionally invincible by virtue of them one being reloaded while the other shoots. And then there's ThatOneLevel where the player fights a ZergRush but gets infinite shotgun ammo...
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' merges this interestingly with the RevolversAreJustBetter trope with the Masher pistols (they shoot shotgun shells!), some of the most dangerous revolvers in the game.
** Borderlands also has shotguns that can hold 12+ shells at once and tend to be pretty powerful. Especially when said shotgun shoots rockets. Or has an accuracy and crit boost specifically designed to avert the short range part.
* [[VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}} The sequel]] ups the ante as only two of five possible barrels common shotguns can get (Hyperion and Tediore) will be single-shot. The others have two (Jakobs), three (Bandit), or even ''four'' barrels (Torgue). In fact, it is relatively easy to find an acid-shooting triple barreled shotgun that gets more accurate the more you shoot it, on top of that any elemental shotgun receives '''NO''' damage penalty for have an element.
** The rocket shotgun (the one that shoots a single rocket) made a return in the UVHM 2 DLC (the rest of the barrels shoot at least a few pellets), and can even triple it's output per shot with the "Casual" prefix.
** There' also E-tech shotguns, which use weird alien technology to turn bullets into "stuff which ain't bullets." In this case, E-tech shotguns turn shotgun shells into enormous blobs of arcing elemental goo that do tremendous damage on impact and splash to hit nearby foes as well. An E-Tech variant of a Torgue shotgun also shoots ''swords''. Swords that ''explode'', into ''other'', smaller swords. Which ''also'' explode.
*** The Torgue E-Tech shotgun SWORDSPLOSION!!! gets better as the causal variant. It fires 3 swords, each exploding into 3 more swords. Which explode.
*** There's also the Flakker, the legendary Torgue shotgun, which can fire up to ''one hundred explosions'', and is one of the most powerful weapons in the entire series. However, the nature of its spread makes it insanely difficult to use, and a lot of players tend to dismiss it as AwesomeButImpractical.
** The Hyperion [[MakesSenseInContext Pearlescent]] shotgun the Butcher is a [[ShoutOut shoutout]] to it's incarnation from the first Borderlands, and mixes a shotgun with a machine gun, plus randomly refilling your clip, and that's saying nothing about the manufacturer's Legendary and Seraph tier shotguns. Oh baby...
* Shotguns are taken up a notch in ''Videogame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'' with the introduction of the Cryo (or Ice) element, meaning it becomes relatively easy to find a supercooled '''ice'''-throwing triple-barreled shotgun that will freeze the unlucky S.O.B on the receiving end solid.
* ''VideoGame/{{DOOM}}''
** The first game has a simple shotgun as the second weapon you'll get. It does a good amount of damage, especially at short range, and the ammo is extremely plentiful, making it perhaps the most frequently used weapon in the game.
** ''DOOM 2'' adds the super shotgun, which does nearly triple damage for the cost of two shells per shot. It's easily the most used weapon in the game, with plentiful ammunition and huge damage at point-blank. Discounting the BFG, it's only rivaled for single-shot damage by the Rocket Launcher, which is not useful at close range. In fact, the super shotgun's damage range (assuming all pellets hit) is 100-300 damage, while a direct hit from a rocket (including splash damage) is 148-288, meaning that the two weapons are almost equal in terms of damage potential.
** ''DOOM 3'' however, nerfs the shotgun ''badly'', giving it [[ShortRangeShotgun an extremely wide spread over an unrealistically short distance]], meaning it's effective at close range and less useful over longer distances. However, because most engagements in the game are at close range[[note]](it's really easy to mod it for a more realistic spread cone as well)[[/note]], it still gets a lot of use. The ''Resurrection of Evil'' Super Shotgun is this played straight, however; it hits hard enough to one-headshot-kill a [[EliteMooks Revenant]], and is more accurate than the pump-action one to boot.
* All of the ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' games. The [[VideoGame/QuakeI first]] [[VideoGame/QuakeII two]] have both shotgun and super shotgun like ''Doom'' (the first game even has the regular shotgun as your starting weapon). The double-barreled version is actually quite powerful, [[ShortRangeShotgun although only at close ranges.]]
* The [[RareGuns SPAS-12]] in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series counts. Its power is overall on par with the [[RevolversAreJustBetter .357 Magnum]], but with much more plentiful ammunition. Even the automatic weapons in the series struggle to keep up, due to mediocre accuracy and damage-per-shot of the [=SMGs=] and the scarcity of assault rifle ammo. In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' it competes with the Gravity Gun, but unlike the Gravity Gun, it isn't dependent on whatever barrels and crates are strewn around the battlefield. Finally, it has a SecondaryFire where it shoots two shells at once ([[RuleOfCool even though]] [[GunsDoNotWorkThatWay the SPAS-12 only has one barrel.]]).
* The [=M90=] shotgun from the first game of the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' saga is highly infamous among fans for being ''freakishly'' overpowered: it could hold up to 72 shells (12 in the internal magazine, 60 in reserve) and had a scary (and yet rather realistic [[ShortRangeShotgun when compared to other games]]) medium range accuracy. It could even be used to successfully take on light ground vehicles, and when paired with the long-range capabilities of the [=M6D=] pistol, turned the wielder into an almost unstoppable force. Justified in that the shotgun is an 8-gauge Magnum, which is freakishly powerful by early-21st-century shotgun standards.[[note]]Most modern shotguns are 12-gauge/18.75x70mm or x76mm for magnums. These are 21x90mm.[[/note]]
** Halo 4 shows that the Forerunners thought Shotguns Are Just Better too, with the Z-180 Close-Combat Rifle, or Scattershot. And, being a dedicated anti-Flood weapon, when it kills someone the shot makes their body dissolve/disintegrate into red-orange particles.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'', the shotgun is one of, if not ''the'', go-to weapons throughout the game along with the Painkiller melee weapon. With reasonable spread, good fire rate, good damage, plentiful ammo, and a SecondaryFire that freezes enemies in place (after which a single pellet will shatter them), it's no wonder why the shotgun is Daniel's favorite weapon during the cutscenes.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' zig-zags it, with the shotgun being a secondary weapon for the Pyro, Soldier and Heavy. It has good range with reasonable spread, but only decent damage and sharp damage falloff, and is best used in conjunction with your primary weapon. The Engineer uses it as his primary weapon, where it is best used to support his Sentry Gun turret. Then the trope turns right around with the Scout's primary weapons, the Scatter Gun, the Force-a-Nature, and the Soda Popper, which are all exceptionally powerful ([[ShortRangeShotgun at point blank, at least]][[note]]The only difference between the Scattergun and standard Shotgun is that ramp-up can give the Scattergun up to 175% base damage instead of the Shotgun's 150%, as well as different reload times.[[/note]]).
** Though many a player has fallen to a sentryless Engineer's shotgun, mistaking him for an easy target. Likewise, they're not out of the woods yet if a soldier vented all his rockets at them and didn't quite finish the job.
** With the release of the Engineer update, the Engineer has acquired the Frontier Justice, a high-tech shotgun that holds "Revenge Crits": when his sentry gun is destroyed, the Engineer gains a number of guaranteed critical hits equal to double his sentry's kill count. With 18 damage per crit pellet, the FJ can deal 180 per shot, assuming all pellets hit. Even scarier, crits have ''no'' damage falloff due to distance, meaning the shot pattern is the only factor for damage dealt. The three shell magazine makes it less than useful without them however, so it only qualifies for this trope because of its extremely high guaranteed burst damage (exceeded only by various kinds of headshots).
** The Engineer received the Widowmaker from the Manno-Technology update, a shotgun that uses metal instead of shotgun shells and [[BottomlessMagazines regenerates the damage you do as metal.]] It is also a nice [[ShoutOut shoutout]] to the TX Widowmaker of ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' fame
** And like the ''Half-Life 2'' example above, it's easy to mod the shotguns so that they can either shoot specific patterns, or shoot a virtual wall of pellets that lags the server with every shot.
** A shotgun released in the Smissmas 2014 update, the Panic Attack, allows its user (Engineer, Soldier, Pyro, or Heavy) to front-load four shotgun shells, then fire them in a stream of pellets that gets faster and wider the less health the user has. At low health, this means that the Panic Attack will offload a momentary hail of gunfire in a fraction of the time that the normal shotgun would take. Great for panicky emergency moments, as well as doing enough damage to kill all but the two beefiest classes in the game.
* This was definitely the case in the original ''VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic'', and its remake, ''VideoGame/FortressForever''. The pump action Super Shotgun had good range, decent ammo capacity, high damage, and plentiful ammunition. It made an excellent sidearm for the Soldier, and an equally excellent primary weapon for the Engineer, Spy, and Medic. The Heavy got less use out of it, since he already came equipped with a BottomlessMagazines minigun ''that was also a shotgun.''
** The humble 'normal' shotgun was also quite useful. While its damage was pitiful compared to the Super Shotgun, it still had good capacity, a semi-automatic firing rate (the pump animation is basically for show), and near perfect accuracy, making it ideal for long range shooting and harassment, where the medium range Super Shotgun would be ineffective.
* In the ''VideoGame/DarkestOfDays'' weapons trailer, while the others talk about the weapons and where it's from (with funny footnotes), what do they say about the shotgun? "It's a Shotgun!"
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' has a shotgun that some have likened to ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'''s [[GameBreaker pistol]], so naturally it falls victim to this trope. When it was nerfed in the second game, the fan outcry was enormous.
* The shotguns in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' are generally the most useful weapons in the series, boasting reasonable range, heavy firepower and a reasonable fire rate. In the first game, the most common ComplacentGamingSyndrome was to get the Tier 2 Auto Shotgun and forget about everything else. Though they were {{nerf}}ed somewhat in the sequel, they're still extremely solid choices when used in conjunction with automatic, longer-ranged weapons[[note]]especially since the [[OneBulletClips "cock if empty" mechanic was scrapped]][[/note]].
* The shotgun is one of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series' iconic weapons, as the ammo is generally prevalent, the pellets spread to hit several enemies at once, and they pack a hell of a punch, so that anything the first shot doesn't kill outright is going to be at least knocked clear on its ass. In most of the games, there comes a point after which the shotgun becomes your primary weapon.
** In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', the turn-over point was about a third of the way through the game, if you were lucky. Pistol ammo was sparse, and zombies took in the upwards of seven shots to put down. Contrast with the shotgun, which could down up to a pack of five zombies with two to three shells.
** In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'', the turn-over point was about halfway through Leon's scenario. The pistol was a little more powerful now, and ammo was almost disgustingly common due to the game taking place in an urban area[[note]]If you search everything, you can have over 100 pistol rounds stocked up before you even get to the police station[[/note]]. The shotgun was just as powerful as the one in the first game, and could be upgraded to be even ''stronger'' to boot.
** In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'', the turn-over point was practically the instant you first found a shotgun due to the game's use of gunpowder mixing and the reloading tool. If you didn't pay attention to the mixing manual the game gives you at the start, however, the turn-over point is about the same as Resident Evil 2.
** In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', you find a standard pump-action shotgun, which you can upgrade its fire power, reload speed, and capacity. Later on, you can purchase the Riot gun, a slightly more powerful shotgun with higher capacity, and then the Striker, which uses a drum round and when fully upgraded can hold up to ''100'' shells.
*** The shotgun Ada gets in "Separate Ways" is an unfortunate aversion, given that it can't be upgraded and its firepower is locked in at a measly 5.0, making it a situational weapon (good for knocking down a big group of enemies, not-so good at actually killing them) compared to the more versatile shotguns Leon can use.
** The Hydra in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' deserves special mention as a [[SawedOffShotgun sawed off]], ''[[UpToEleven three-barreled]]'' shotgun that Chris holds [[FiringOneHanded in one hand]]. It has weaker individual shots and a wider spread compared to a fully upgraded Benelli M3, but this is more than compensated for by its very fast firing speed.
* In close-range combat in ''VideoGame/TheConduit'', the shotgun is either a one-hit kill or part of a two-hit combo (shotgun + melee).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', a world with energy weapons, Dakkatastic machine guns, personal rocket launchers, etc., the Combat Shotgun will quickly dispose of any enemy at short range, even heavily armored troops or big bad beasties like Deathclaws.
** Due to the critical damage calculation, shotgun-type weapons are very much this trope. With stealth attack and a unique shotgun, one can kill the non-respawning boss-type Super Mutant Behemoth with a Sneak Attack Critical hit to the head in one shot. Granted, it's hard to pull off, but very much possible.
*** This is likely a bug; basically, when a pellet in the shot scores a critical hit, it applies the full crit damage value of the weapon, instead of dividing it by the number of pellets. So essentially, when you get a sneak attack crit, you are getting crit bonus multiplied by how many pellets hit.
** And let's not get to the fact that aside from shotguns, you can also have laser shotguns, laser shot pistols, and spreading .44 Magnums. Much asskicking will ensue.
** A similar thing happens in the first two games as well. Shotgun shells are readily available and the Combat Shotgun (or maybe the Pancor Jackhammer) remains a very viable alternative in the endgame.
** This is also because ''Fallout 3'' scaled the health and damage resistance of enemies to your level. ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' avoids this by 1) removing the scaling and making levels actually mean something and 2) making semi-auto shotguns really, really rare.
*** And in ''New Vegas'' though, since there are a large variety of shotguns, and making them behave rather realistically (rather than the ShortRangeShotgun they usually are). With proper perks and crafted ammo, the humble Hunting Shotgun can easily drop human enemies in 1-2 shots at medium range, and, with slug shells, lets you down deathclaws. For the Riot Shotgun, it is very rare and expensive because it is nearly a gamebreaker (think of the Fallout 3 Combat Shotgun, with vastly superior range, more damage, and shoots almost as fast as you can click).
*** The Lever-Action Shotgun of ''New Vegas'' is [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment lever-action]], meaning it is affected by the damage-boosting Cowboy perk as well as all shotgun perks, making Cowboy a very popular perk to take just for this weapon alone.
*** The Holorifle in ''Dead Money'', despite its name, is actually more like a laser shotgun. It has to be pumped after each shot, but it packs a real punch with additional damage over time. It also has a longer range than [[ShortRangeShotgun most video game shotguns]], although its relatively high spread, long time between shots, small magazine and slow projectile make it a poor weapon at long range, though, so you'll probably still use it as a ShortRangeShotgun.
* Totally averted in ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'', which takes ShortRangeShotgun to its logical limits.
** Except for the ''Alien'' reference in Crew Expendable:
--> Gaz: (pulling out a shotgun) "I like to keep this for close encounters."
** Also somewhat played straight as the AA-12, being the only AUTOMATIC shotgun in the whole game, is practically guaranteed to render everything within its effective (read: pitiful) range dead.
** Played straight in ''[=MW2=]'', albeit due to a bug: The Ranger (a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun) could be ''dual-wielded'' and with certain perks firing both of them at the same time killed nearly everyone on your screen.
** The Model 1887 in ''[=MW2=]'' was infamous for being a huge GameBreaker when used with Akimbo, due to the fact that it had the longest range of all shotguns. Later patches {{nerf}}ed it.
* Double Subverted in ''VideoGame/TheGodfather: The Game''. At first, the shotgun, while powerful and averting ShortRangeShotgun, has an awful ammo count of 2 per magazine and 12 in reserve and does not reload or fire fast. This makes the [[RevolversAreJustBetter Mag]][[HandCannon num]], with its comparable power but superior ammo load of 6-36 and speed, preferable. The same goes at the second level, where the shotgun has 2-24 compared to 6-60 of the Magnum. At the third level, though, the shotgun's ammo load [[MagikarpPower rises drastically]] to 10-100, compared to the Magnum's 8-80, as well as gaining a considerable fire-rate boost. Furthermore, the level three shotgun has an automatic action, compared to the semi-automatic level three Magnum. As a result, the shotgun does become Better after all. The sequel nerfed it by severely cutting its ammo capacity, though, giving the crown back to the Magnum once again.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' had a shotgun, [[FakeBalance but it had a few built-in flaws]]: One, the gun isn't actually significantly more powerful than the other weapons that can be obtained in the three levels in which it is present; Two, it takes ShortRangeShotgun to a new extreme (you have to essentially run right into the face of enemies to kill them); And three, the reload time is atrocious, and that is exacerbated if you use its secondary mode, which causes the gun to fire twice. It can be deadly in multiplayer, but otherwise it's not very useful.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{STALKER}} S.T.A.L.K.E.R.]]'' the shotgun is the second weapon the player gets. It is quite useful against anything that doesn't shoot back (that is, a major part of the enemies) because of its good damage, and useful against armed enemies when the fight is in close quarters (that also happens a lot). And there is no shortage of ammo, since the shotgun is ammo-efficient. The shotgun gets a lot of use due to the game's InventoryManagementPuzzle not allowing the player to carry a gun for every occasion, and shotgun being useful in most of them.
** That's not the full story, though. The starting shotgun (and the hunting [[BlindIdiotTranslation "rifle"]], which is basically a long-barrel shotgun), can be very useful in the early game. One of the best weapons in the starting areas of Clear Sky expansion is a hunting rifle converted to using dart slugs, and has been accuracy modded. It's basically a cheap sniper rifle that can take down the unarmored bandits in one headshot from long range. However, once you move into the middle areas of the game, armored enemies make all but the better automatic shotguns useless, and even those generally take a backseat to the various assault rifles.
** The sawn-off TOZ-66 you can get early on in all games is decent enough, but once you come across the second shotgun type in the game and pair it with an assault rifle, you're equipped for virtually any situation the game can throw at you. The "Chaser 13" Maverick 88 is lightweight, and when loaded with slug or dart ammo is absolutely merciless at close to medium range. Load it with buck and you're set for the many mutants you'll be encountering.
** Shotguns became buffed in ''Call of Pripyat'', where by upgrades from the respective map's mechanic, they can easily kill all but the toughest mutants in the game. One shotgun, for example, looks like a street sweeper weapon and when upgraded to full auto, becomes an InfinityMinusOneSword when used properly. [[DiscOneNuke It can even be obtained from the bandit leader in the second map, if you choose the violent option with him]].
* The shotgun is one of your main weapons through ''VideoGame/MaxPayne''. It packs a wallop up close and can kill many of the bad guys you fight early on with one hit (though you'll need a [[BoomHeadshot headshot]] on the higher levels, making it a mainstay for close-up combat until you get your hands on the Commando in the second act. Unfortunately, the shotgun begins to lose its effectiveness in the third act, which has you fighting heavily armed mercenaries with body armor (which shotguns are notoriously ineffective against). But near the end of the game, you pick up the extremely deadly Jackhammer, a fully-automatic shotgun that will rip through anyone foolish enough to be in your way, especially in BulletTime.
* The ''Film/MenInBlack'' game lets you start off with any of the shiny, cool weapons from the film, but the shotgun that you can find and use (only) in the first mission is, hands down, the best weapon in the game.
* ''VideoGame/KillingFloor''. While there are plenty of other good weapons, shotgun can kill several Specimens with one shot due to high damage per pellet, freakishly exacerbated by Support Specialists, whose buckshot can go straight through several targets. Then there's the double-barreled Hunting Shotgun that inexplicably shoots out more pellets if the player fires both barrels at once (the reload time was murder, though), again with increased damage and overpenetration in the hands of Support, largely considered to be the first GameBreaker before a patch enabled enemies to attack on the run. There's also the [[MoreDakka M1014 and the drum-fed AA-12]]. Finally is the Trench Gun [[IncendiaryExponent loaded with incendiary rounds]]. On the whole, a good day for shotgun fans.
* ''[[Franchise/{{Alien}} Alien Trilogy]]'': The Shotgun quickly becomes the player's best friend early game, being ''much'' better than the starting handgun, and while it's severely outclassed late game by the Pulse Rifle and the Smart Gun, ammo for it is much more common than for the other two weapons, making the Shotgun a reasonable weapon to use in casual moments, in order to conserve ammo of your better weapons for tight situations.
* Two of the four playable bounty hunters in ''VideoGame/SunsetRiders'', Cormano and Bob, use shotguns. Since all normal enemies are {{One Hit Point Wonder}}s, the wide shots they do make those characters significantly more useful than the sixgun-toting Billy and Steve (until boss encounters, where their individual bullets do more damage).
* ''Franchise/BioShock''
** In ''VideoGame/BioShock1'', the shotgun has special ammunition that allows the player to shoot sprays of bullets that either explode after hitting their target, or electrifies them, stunning them and making them easy targets for emptying the entire magazine into them. It does wonders to finish of the mini bosses, the Big Daddies. The only thing keeping you from coasting through the entire game on it is the shotgun's relatively low ammunition reserve pool.
** ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'' gives us two: The China Broom and the Vox Heater. The latter offers a bigger boom but is hampered by its single-shot capability (which can be increased up to 3 with specific gear), while the former packs a slightly-less massive punch but has a 4-round magazine that can potentially be increased to '''7''' with the right gear, making it far more useful overall. So long as you have a decent backup weapon to handle ranged enemies, the China Broom is a fine companion from the time you first get it at Battleship Bay all the way to the final battle.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', every character can use shotguns, although only [[ActionGirl Ashley]], [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Wrex]], and [[WrenchWench Tali]] have training in them (the others ''[[EpicFail miss at point-blank range)]]''. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', however, only Tali, [[MilitaryMaverick Jacob]], [[AxCrazy Jack]], and [[SuperSoldier Grunt]] can use shotguns ''at all''. In both games, the [[AnAdventurerIsYou Soldier and Vanguard classes]] are the only ones with built-in shotgun training, although both games allow you to choose shotgun training as a bonus skill (through an achievement in the first game and part of the plot in the second). The third game further restricts them to Tali and James Vega.
** Special mention must be made of the M-300 Claymore, one of the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Infinity Plus One Guns]] that Soldier or Vanguard Shepard can pick up halfway through the second game (and that Grunt can use with an upgrade). It's an insanely high-powered shotgun designed for use by Krogan, and it's by far the best [[ShortRangeShotgun short-range weapon]] in the game.
** And the Geth Plasma Shotgun, part of the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Firepower Pack]] {{DLC}}, which has a longer range than the other shotguns and whose shots can be charged up for optimal damage.
** With the Smart Choke upgrade in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', every shotgun becomes a solid mid-ranged weapon.
*** 3 also adds, among others, the Graal Spike Thrower (a Krogan weapon designed to kill [[SandWorm Thresher Maws]]) and the Disciple (an extremely pretty Asari shotgun designed for longer-ranged engagements than normal shotguns).
** The N7 Crusader (present in the Deluxe version of the game or multiplayer Commendation Packs) is different from every other shotgun in that it fires a single slug with perfect accuracy, making it tantamount to a powerful, semi-auto sniper rifle. It may lack a zoom and be pretty heavy but can be used at any range, and its perfect accuracy frees up a mod slot for extra punch.
** The reason why many players favour Shotgun Infiltrators in the multiplayer, being capable of cloaking so they can flank enemies, allowing them to open fire at point blank range. Combined with the damage from stealth bonus, most enemies get blown away in one hit.
** The Krogan are nearly always seen wielding shotguns. It's commonly theorised by the fans that this is because they have problems seeing long-distance, since their wide-set eyes would preclude binocular vision. Understandable since they evolved as ''prey'' on the DeathWorld of Tuchanka.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' has two versions, the [[ShortRangeShotgun sawn-off]] and Assault Shotgun. Both can fire either standard buckshot, which rains hell on organic targets, and sabot rounds, which are armour-piercing. The former is slightly more powerful, but extremely slow and has little ammo. The latter trades a small amount of power for being essentially a buckshot ''machine gun'', being heavily based on the game's assault rifle (they have the same 2x2 allocation in the inventory screen, and a generally similar look and feel). Both are worth having, though the latter more-so by the end of the game. Adding on the laser sight somehow makes it 100% accurate; wherever the dot is, the pellets will hit, ''even if it is across the map.''
** ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' has two shotguns: a regular one and a double-barrel one exclusive to the DLC. Neither is very good later in the game however, as they're not very good against armored opponents, which is most of what you face later on, and unlike the first ''Deus Ex'' each gun only has one ammo type.
* In ''VideoGame/RainbowSix Vegas 2'', where they made a "[[http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/video-games/4255750 shotgun firing buckshot]], for example, ha[ve] significantly more penetration in [=RSV2=] [[RealityIsUnrealistic than it should]]", because "people associate shotguns with powerful, close-range weapons".
* In ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon'', the Vollmer VK-12 shotgun is one of the most potent weapons in the game ''and'' has a very tight spread cone, capable of downing nearly any enemy in one shot at close range and doing good damage against mechanical/heavy armor enemies at short-to medium range as well (though damage falloff severely hampers it at any distance farther than some 10 meters even if all pellets hit, which due to the small spread isn't unlikely). In addition to that, ammo is very plentiful, and for an added bonus to the fun, the shotgun will typically [[LudicrousGibs decapitate, bisect, or simply blow opponents into a cloud of bloody vapor and chunks of flesh]]. And if that wasn't enough, the shorry holds a monstrous TWELVE shells and reloads in a snap of the fingers, no matter how many you've spent. This makes it one of the mainstay weapons in the game.
** In the sequel, there are actually two shotguns. The first is your pedestrian pump action shotgun with piss poor range, fed from a tubular magazine. The second is introduced later on, is semiautomatic and fed by detachable magazines, and has a much tighter spread. It has fantastic advantages in rate of fire, range, magazine size, and reloads. However, it is less damaging than the pump shotgun at close range, and its ammunition is initially much less common. However, seeing as ''FEAR 2'' has a habit of making some weapons become increasingly scarce as you progress through the game before making them disappear entirely, you'll be forced to use it anyway. It's still damn good, but just not as good.
* In ''VideoGame/WillRock'', the Shotgun is the first serious weapon to be found, excellent range, good damage and many shots. With some good luck, you could complete the game using nothing but the Shotgun and, sometimes, the explosive weaponry. Also, it's one of the few weapons that works underwater.
* The underslung shotgun attachment in ''VideoGame/SplinterCellChaosTheory'' is a one-hit-kill up to a decent range. However, more to the point in a StealthBasedGame, it [[BangBangBang made a noise like a tactical nuke going off]].
* The ''VideoGame/DukeNukem'' series has a history with this:
** In ''VideoGame/DukeNukemForever'', the shotgun is basically the most useful weapon in the game.
** It also remained quite useful for long stretches in ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'', thanks to its surprisingly-realistic shot spread offering it a lot of punch at longer distances than most game shotguns offer.
** Speaking of ''3D'', the ''[=DukePlus=]'' GameMod for it has a plethora of shotgun-related options. The regular shotgun can be altered to a similar version that fires slightly faster but holds only eight shells and has to be reloaded, as the mod averts BottomlessMagazines. The same option makes Pig Cops sometimes equipped with a double-barreled SawedOffShotgun that is the spitting image of the ''Doom'' Super Shotgun, which can be found laying around in custom maps made with ''[=DukePlus=]'' in mind. Finally, the Devastator gains a SecondaryFire that switches its two-volley of mini-rockets to semi-automatic shotgun fire, which is surprisingly useful and economical of its ammo.
* Almost every other ''Unreal'' game has a particularly mean variant in the Flak Cannon. The primary firing mode shoots a [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal shotgun-like spread of superheated shrapnel]], which is insanely powerful at closer ranges. Just be mindful of the fact that [[HyperDestructiveBouncingBall the shrapnel will bounce off nearby walls]]. For added fun, the secondary fire [[GrenadeLauncher lobs a grenade]] that throws shrapnel in all directions -- in the original ''Unreal'', a direct hit with this will kill nearly anything in the game instantly.
** ''VideoGame/{{Unreal II|The Awakening}}'' Has a heavy shotgun with incendiary SecondaryFire, good for giant spiders.
* In the ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'' reboot from 2009, the Hiker shotgun is one of the first special weapons available, an ''anti-armor'' shotgun that ends up being predominantly used on squishy human opponents. The range is fairly decent and given the fact that it fires eight armor-penetrating slugs followed by a high explosive round in each shell, it's quite effective on human enemies. It does have the usual ShortRangeShotgun problems, but this is due to its wide spread, which is actually helpful. Swinging at high speed makes it a bit tough to aim accurately at times, but the Hiker simplifies matters somewhat. It was also highly popular in the multiplayer mode for the same reasons noted above.
* There are two different shotguns in ''VideoGame/AlanWake'', a double-barreled one and a pump-action one. Both are better than Alan's handgun, a revolver, but not quite as good as the hunting rifle. Interestingly, they both have their strengths and weaknesses: the double-barreled shotgun can only hold two rounds but can fire them off in quicker succession and reload faster than the pump-action, while the pump-action has a longer time period in between each shot but holds eight shells.
* In ''VideoGame/TheBreach'', the Spread upgrade turns your machine gun into a fully automatic shotgun. Completely averts the short-range part, it fires three machine gun rounds in a 90 degree angle (one down the middle, one up, one down), which continue until they hit a wall, the edge of the screen, or a monster. Due to the RPGElements, it gets [[MoreDakka more damage and more ROF with each level up]].
* The shotgun in ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' has two shots where almost every other weapon has just one. This means you can shoot, move, and shoot again. It deals 25 damage per shot, which means two hits can deal as much as a bazooka hit. Additionally, ShortRangeShotgun is utterly averted; you can snipe someone from across the map with one. Add the fact that in the standard settings you have an infinite number of uses and you get one of the cornerstones of the Worms arsenal.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' offers 4 shotguns for the gun-toting cowboys. The Double-barrel and sawed-off shotguns are nearly identical, trading range for power, and are great for a quick double burst of buckshot. The pump-action shotgun holds 6 rounds and has the best range of the 4, as well as great power. The semi-auto shotgun holds 1 less shell, but is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin semi-automatic]], allowing you to throw a [[MoreDakka rapid 5-shot burst of pellets]] at anything coming your way. From cowboys to grizzly bears, anything coming at you ''will'' be stopped once you empty a semi-auto shotgun towards it.
** The [[RedDeadRedemptionUndeadNightmare zombie-themed expansion]] of the game zig-zags this trope. While buckshot is preferred at close to medium range for popping the heads of the undead, an odd auto-targeting mechanism will sometimes shaft you. When manually aiming from afar, with the dot-crosshair aimed at a zed's head, sometimes a shot will center all pellets into its chest for no explicable reason, perhaps, ''at best'', only knocking it over, but otherwise keeping it alive.
* Peacekeepers in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' are the Allies' basic infantry unit and are equipped with shotguns. They are the most expensive of the three sides' basic infantry units but can kill regular enemy infantry in two shots.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando'': The Trandoshan "[[TheCoconutEffect shotgun]]" (actually a charged particle weapon) has an 8 shot ammo tube, a pretty fast rate of fire, and kills most enemies encountered with one mid-ranged shot. Ammo is plentiful since almost all Trandoshans carry it. However, it's near-useless against big droids and anything mechanical.
** It's actually more useful against the ''player'' than against the enemies, since it's an anti-shield weapon, and enemies don't have DeflectorShields... or rather, this ''would'' be the case if you weren't a OneManArmy... times four.
* ''VideoGame/{{Syndicate}}'' (2012) has two shotguns. The first, the CQC-11, has a buckshot primary fire and a SecondaryFire that uses explosive shells instead. This secondary fire is always available in single player but has to be unlocked in co-op. The second is the Mjolnir HOG, which is an automatic shotgun only available in co-op.
* ''VideoGame/{{Savage}}'': Bill Savage uses a variety of shotguns as his WeaponOfChoice (though, he is not above a pistol or assault rifle). In fact, in his first story, he takes out an ''armoured vehicle'' with only a [[BoringYetPractical simple doubled barreled shotgun]].
* In ''VideoGame/RiskOfRain'' The Commando's "Full Metal Jacket" ability deals heavy damage to all enemies in front of you as well as causing severe knockback.
** The Enforcer's riot shotgun has kind of a crappy range, but every single thing inside it is hit. We remind you that shotguns aren't known for their penetration unless you're using slugs, or [[LudicrousGibs a seriously]] [[{{BFG}} big shotgun]].
* A notable example is in the ''VideoGame/NaziZombies'' map, Mob of the Dead, where one of the weapons is a {{Civil| War}} [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar War]] era blunderbuss-gatling gun hybrid, aptly named, the [[{{Portmanteau}} Blundergat]]. It's is one of the most powerful weapons in the box, and of course, it's a wonder weapon. The only problem, it was a single shot weapon. Said shotgun can be upgraded to fire [[StuffBlowingUp acid shells]] instead. It is as awesome as you read it.
* While the basic SG-A1 ''Conformer'' shotgun in ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}'' games has low fire rate (and you have to reload it manually with the fire button), the automatic AC-88 ''Reaper'' is even more devastating than a rocket launcher or energy weapons (and allows you to loot bodies, too).
* In ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'', like most of the manic weapons in the series, shotguns are just one of the most useful tools. Though it can be somewhat subverted as if you buy them late into the game at [=LV=] 1, they are ineffective. But, they kick ass because:
*** They usually gain a additional bonus to their widespread damage, such as electricity or freezing, to stop enemies in their tracks and deall more damage with less risk. Notable examples include:
**** Shock blaster, and Defragmenter from UYA/SM, which uses electricity.
**** Cryoshot, Shard Reaper, Shard Gun all use cryogenics, and are probably one of the best shotguns in the series.
**** And to top it off, the Constructo Shotgun allows for different customisation, such as a ranged shot, type of barrels and also, causing the enemy to spasm like retards, or rain detonator bombs down.
* The SawedOffShotgun from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' was a borderline GameBreaker. A single shot could send multiple {{Mook}}s [[BlownAcrossTheRoom flying]]. Even [[{{Badass}} The Boss]] was not immune. Indeed, a viable tactic is to go barehanded against her, wait for her to CQC you, counter it, whip out the shotgun and blast her with it.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez Gunslinger'', there are double barreled shotguns of the long and [[SawnOffShotgun sawed off]] variety. The former is introduced (literally--it gets its own comic-book style cutscene boasting about its stats and everything) in the second story level as "Deputy Bob Ollinger's Mean-Ass Shotgun." The latter can be [[GunsAkimbo dual-wielded]] if you unlock the required skill. These weapons are, as might be expected, absurdly effective in close combat. In fact, Deputy Bob's Mean-Ass Shotgun is declared to be "loud as thunder" and "can cut a man clean in half," which isn't too far off the mark [[ShortRangeShotgun at point-blank range]].
** With the right perks the shotguns become the deadliest weapons in the whole game, capable of [[BottomlessMagazines firing non-stop]] in Concentration Mode, auto-locking onto perfect one hit kill headshots, combined with the Concentration Double Combo [[hottip:*:kills in concentration award a x2 combo instead of just x1]] and x6 Combo Concentration refiller [[hottip:*:every multiple-of-six combo completely refills your concentration meter, even when in concentration]] you can effectively twitch the stick in the direction of your next enemy, lock onto their head, pull the trigger for an instant kill, refilling your Concentration every three kills, rinse and repeat until your shotgun ammo reserves are empty.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/{{Vietcong}}'', gameplay-wise. They are powerful (even more so in short range), but their low rate of fire, not to mention slow reloading speed can be problematic at times.
* The ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' series grants a shotgun-esque blunderbuss to the protagonist of AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag's DLC: Freedom Cry. Though it only carries a single shot per reload, and can spare some lives [[ShortRangeShotgun after a certain range]], ''quite a few'' men will be slain with a single blast if they get within its cone of death. In fact one of the achievements is killing 5 people with one shot.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura''. Shotguns may be cheap, light and compact, but they are still some of the worst firearms in the game, with terrible range, poor damage, next to no armour penetration, and slow firing rates. Do note that in this game, [[GunsAreWorthless guns may not be entirely worthless]], but they are generally considered to be underpowered.
* A shotgun is the one of the best weapons available in ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}''. The downside being that every shopkeeper in the game comes equipped with one they keep [[ShopliftAndDie on a hair-trigger]].
* Shotgun upgrade in ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'' series has an extremely close range, but its radius is rather wide because of its bomb-like effect upon firing. Anything within range of a shotgun attack is easily blown away because of the bullets' explosive impact.
* In the online flash game ''Madness: Project Nexus'', based on the ''WebAnimation/MadnessCombat'' series of animations, shotguns are SimpleYetAwesome and one of the best weapons in game (the other being the assault rifles and some submachine guns). They seem to be Boring, but Practical at first, like the assault rifles-plentiful, good rate of fire and common, with the exception of having a slightly smaller magazine capacity-until you discover that they can make heads explode. They also have a fast reload time, and you can sail through whole levels with one, as long as you pick up another shotgun when you run out of ammo. They are also very useful in Episode 1.5, capable to defeating the Abominations and Sleepwalkers with ease. The most practical model is actually the most plentiful one: the magazine-fed Norinco 97k. It's got a faster reload time than the SPAS-12, easier to control than the USAS-12, is the cheapest of the bunch and the fact that it's a Sawed-Off Shotgun makes it easy to handle in CQB, which is surprisingly good as you'll be fighting in close-quarters for most, if not all the time. Even better, ShortRangeShotgun is averted, so they can still inflict decent damage at medium range and even long range!
* ''Star Wars: VideoGame/JediKnightIIJediOutcast'' has the Golan Arms FC-1 Flechette Weapon which is essentially the ''Star Wars'' equivalent of ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'''s Flak Cannon. Its primary mode consists of multiple metal shards in a spread fired from the weapon and its secondary mode launches what appear to be ''explosive grenades'' to deal massive damage to an opponent, effectively doubling as a grenade launcher. The weapon isn't encountered until midway into the game and by then, you already have your lightsaber which you can use against most opponents and can deflect projectiles from almost any weapon (only the [[SniperRifle Disruptor Rifle]] and the [[StuffBlowingUp Merr-Sonn missile launcher]] are the weapons that you cannot deflect their shots from).
* Averted in ''VideoGame/SleepingDogs'', where the shotgun is one of the worst weapons available. It's not because of it's spread ands short range (which is to be expected), but it's mainly because of most of the game's fire fights take place in the wide open streets of Hong Kong, where the pistols and the automatic weapons outclass it. It's really only effective at close range, where it instant kills almost any regular mook... and to be honest, even then, it's just better to get a headshot with any of the other weapons. The Anti-Riot shotgun available in certain missions, however, is quite useful due to being semi-automatic giving it a higher rate of fire, high clip size, and the fact that most of the time when it's used, the fights are at close ranges.
* In ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', shotguns are indeed better... [[ZigZaggedTrope In the hands of the Assault Class.]] Their perk tree allows them to inflict massive damage close and personal, sprint and shoot after ending their sprint, shoot at close quarter combat ranges, dodge reaction fire (basically someone waiting for movement and shooting on reflex), dodge better the more enemies in sight there are, and an immunity to CriticalHit, making Assaults the go to CloseRangeCombatant, and shotguns are better than assault rifles for them. Assault rifles are versatile enough to be the [[SupportPartyMember Support Class]]'s weapon and performing decently in their hands despite lacking a shotgun's stopping power, SniperRifle are the opposite of shotguns (excellent at range, bad at close combat, making Sniper Class the LongRangeFighter), and the machine gun wielded by the Heavy Class has limited ammo, but can lay down heavy fire at about any range, and use a rocket launcher. Sniper rifles, shotguns and machineguns have the same damage rating, but perform better in specific situations.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowWarrior'' has the Riot Gun, a weapon that looks like a cross between a rotary chaingun and a shotgun, but behaves just like your average shotty in primary mode, with the four barrels rotating every shot but not actually granting a much higher rate of fire than a normal semi-automatic shotgun. And then there's the alternate firing mode, which allows all four barrels to be fired in succession for a big burst of [[MoreDakka dakka]]. And despite the barrels being rather short, the gun is very accurate.
* ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'' and ''VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron'' both feature the Scatter Blaster, a fully automatic magazine-fed ArmCannon shotgun. The latter game features upgrades that give it the ability to carry more ammo, reload faster, remove all recoil, ''and'' set people on fire. The first game featured a double-barreled SawnOffShotgun in the EMP Shotgun, but even its slightly higher damage was no match for the Scatter Blaster's ability to carry four times as many shells and offload a wall of lead in seconds. In the close confines of tunnel fights or clearing rooms, the Scatter Blaster can bring down most opponents faster than almost any other weapon, short of the [[InfinityPlusOneSword superlative]] [[{{BFG}} Riot Cannon]]. Due to the game allowing the player to carry two weapons and its relative ubiquity, the Scatter Blaster is one of the most commonly appearing backup weapons.
* Zigzagged in ''VideoGame/FistfulOfFrags''. The basic sawn-off shotgun is [[SoOkayItsAverage nothing special]]; it's extremely powerful at short range but suffers from high damage fall-off and only holds two shells. The next tier after that is a double-barrelled coach gun which is basically TheSameButMore; it's an okay medium-range weapon and the SecondaryFire of both barrels at once can net you a OneHitPolyKill with good timing and a bit of luck, but it's a bit situational thanks to the long reload time. But the top-tier shotgun, the mildly anachronistic Winchester Model 1897 "trench gun"? That's moving into GameBreaker territory.
* Rufus Shrina uses a double-barrel shotgun during his battle with Cloud in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
* In ''[[Videogame/MechWarrior MechWarrior Living Legends]]'', the buckshot LB-X series of autocannons is a favored weapon by many due to its versatility. It comes in many flavors; LB-X/2 and /5 for long-range plinking, /10 for medium range, and /20 for [[ShortRangeShotgun point blank devastation]]. LB-X cannons have a massive damage multiplier [[AntiAir against aircraft]], can handily turn enemy [[PoweredArmor battlearmor]] into a thin red mist, and the /10 and /20 deal monstrous alpha damage to battlemechs and tanks, whereas their standard Autocannon and Ultra Autocannon cousins (loaded with slugs) require sustained fire. In the rest of the series, the LB-X is generally not as powerful but usually has some other benefit such as an enhanced CriticalHit chance when loaded with canister rounds.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' features a few shotguns that qualify:
** The Hek has good damage, a large number of pellets per shot, and a ''very'' tight spread, making it viable at long ranges as well as short. Some players have taken to calling it "king of the snipers".
** The Kohm (and its handheld variant, the Kohmak) is an automatic plasma shotgun that increases its pellet count with each shot for a devastating crowd-clearer. The one major downside is that it guzzles ammo like crazy, since each pellet consumes ammo.
** The Brakk features high damage and fire rate, and its status as a sidearm allows it to take advantage of a better selection of mods to improve its stats, plus an ammo pool with more common drops.
* Played with in the Android/IOS/Facebook game ''Under Fire: Invasion'', the Guards of the Machine Cult guard shotguns that are worse than anything that the standard Space Infantry have. Sure those shotguns have equal range, but their damage is low, the rate of fire is really poor and the shots aren't area-effect. On the other hand the mid-level unit, the Knights have shotguns with firepower that is just below the Space Infantry's mightiest unit, the Peacemaker.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* These show up so often in horror films its a running gag for Webvideo/{{Phelous}} to use a clip from Resident Evil declaring "I got a shotgun!". In the [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara's]] Previously On segment for Secret Defenders 10 he turns around holding one dramatically and was probably about to say it. [[spoiler:He is interupted by Linkara, who says he can't go through with the sequence due to this episode being too important due to the integration of Gunslinger Theme. Also that Phelous was the only one he could afford.]]


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* While [[ShowAccuracyToyAccuracy the toy version]] [[MerchandiseDriven he's based on]] had a vertically-oriented two-tube missile launcher, in the acclaimed AllCGICartoon version of ''BeastWars'', Optimus Primal carries a retractable double-barreled shotgun [[ArmCannon inside his left arm]].
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheIntruder''. TOM 1 attempts to use a laser shotgun against the title villain, which proves useless.

[[folder:Real Life]]

* A common misconception about shotguns is that they rival or exceed rifles in the "power" department. Considering their gargantuan calibers, this seems obvious (for example, the most common shotgun ''gauge'', 12, is almost a cannon caliber by legal classification and exceeds that of the most powerful heavy machine guns). On the other hand, these mega-blasters are widely available, mechanically simple and quite cheap, being the go-to firearm for a hunter on a budget for more than a century. The answer to this riddle is simple: shotguns have very low chamber/barrel pressures, ''even lower than pistols'' (this means there's less powder in their shells and it is of a less potent variety). This means that their [[ThrowAwayGuns action can be extremely simple, barrels can be made much thinner and of cheaper materials]], and the ammunition is also very simple to manufacture, low-tolerance and cheap. (The shotgun barrel is surprisingly thin-walled, generally around 0.040"-0.080" (1.0 to 2.0 mm).) The huge diameter of the barrel - i. e. thrown projectile mass - compensates somewhat for low pressure, hence a 12 ga. shotgun outputs approx. the same energy as a good rifle cartridge. But even a solid shotgun slug is much wider, quickly losing energy over distance and distributing energy over larger surface on a hit. Shotguns enjoy significant advantages in wound-trauma over many other firearms even when gross muzzle-energy is similar. 15 pellets of #1 Buckshot if all shot hits will inflict 15 wounds on a target, similar to shooting it 15 times with a pistol. Most agencies (at least in the US) use 00 Buckshot due to greater availability, which will still inflict 9 wounds if all shot hits the target. Shot for shot this gives shotguns unrivaled wounding potential, allowing them to do with one trigger pull what a burst-firing assault rifle might need several to match.
** Ultimately however shotguns have very short effective ranges compared to rifles. While their range is similar to submachine guns, the sheer bulk of a shotgun's ammunition greatly limits how many rounds an operator can carry. Additionally shotgun cartridges due to their rimmed design and plastic hulls are known for not playing nice with box magazines. This results in a weapon that both allows less ammo to be carried, and requires more time to reload when compared to alternatives. Finally be it shot, or slugs, shotguns are more easily stopped by body armor which is becoming more common for military forces around the world. (Granted just because a projectile is stopped by armor does not mean no injury is incurred, but that's for another trope.) This is why many military forces only employ shotguns to fulfill certain niche roles.
** While a specialist tool for military purposes, for civilians and police officers a shotgun is often the most powerful, most effective defense weapon available. Not only are they very common and relatively easy to purchase but non-military non-SWAT individuals are more likely to fight at shorter range, less likely to encounter armored targets, and less likely to have weapons training. These all play into the natural advantages of the shotgun - Close range, high damage, simple operation - rendering them superior to any other type of weapon. Versatile ammunition types also make them appealing to law enforcement since they can choose to use taser rounds, beanbag rounds, or other nonlethal options, while homeowners are likely to appreciate specialized home defense shells that are less likely to penetrate walls. And finally, [[LifeImitatesArt largely thanks to Hollywood]], a shotgun is simply more intimidating than a handgun or submachine gun and is more likely to make a suspect or intruder flee or surrender.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchi_SPAS-12 Franchi SPAS-12]] is pretty much the TropeCodifier for this trope. Also a subversion as the actual gun is very heavy and unwieldy compared to other designs intended for the same purpose. Ironically, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfM1H3qW9WE it may arguably be one of the worst tactical shotguns ever designed]], suffering from extremely convoluted controls, poor ergonomics, serious reliability and quality issues, and useless "tacticool" features.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_1897 Winchester 1897]] [[http://www.imfdb.org/images/0/09/Winchester1897TrenchTakedown.jpg trench gun]] fits this trope to a T. In WWI, it was used to devastating effect by American soldiers to clear out trenches, particularly because of its ability to "slamfire," meaning the soldier holds the trigger down and simply pumps the handle, causing the shotgun to fire with each pump. German troops learned to fear the sight and sound of a charging American soldier armed with a trench gun, and the German government actually issued a formal protest against America, demanding they discontinue use of the weapon because of the ghastly wounds and physiological trauma it created.
** American soldiers who were skilled at trap shooting were armed with these guns and stationed where they could fire at enemy hand grenades in midair
* Meet the [[http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/rus/ks-23-e.html KS-23]], a Russian shotgun [[{{BFG}} made from recycled 23mm AA gun barrels(equivalent to 4 gauge!)]]. Nowadays they are issued to the OMON special police unit & available for local civilians.
* The [[http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/usa/atchisson-aa-12-e.html AA-12]] [[MoreDakka can pump lots of shells rapidly]] with a mild recoil.
* Averted by some countries' hunting laws; certain types of game, eg. waterfowl, is usually still hunted with shotguns, but if deer, pigs etc. are being hunted, the legal requirements for ammunition, barrel length and chokes, to ensure humane takedown and that you don't end up with [[TakingYouWithMe 500kg of wounded razorback determined to take you with it]], can be somewhat complex and difficult to remember, especially in action when you were actually hunting for something else. In these places, it is best to hunt large game with a heavier rifle such as a .243 or .308, for both practicality and the law.
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBVYC9xq07I DP-12]]. A ''double-barreled pump-action'' shotgun. LifeImitatesArt from ''VideoGame/QuakeII''?
* For larger weapons such as tank cannons and artillery, there is Canister Shot, which turns the cannon into a very large shotgun, primarily for use against enemy infantry (a must-have for artillery units deployed in contested territory). [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs If enemy forces appear near the perimeter]], drop the [[NoRangeLikePointBlankRange gun to zero elevation]] and start [[MoreDakka firing canister as fast as you can load it.]] For groups of tanks being overrun by enemy infantry, perhaps armed with satchel charges, the gunners can load canister and fire near [[TrialByFriendlyFire or at]] each other without fear of the canister shot harming friendly armor (don't try this near friendly infantry).