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->''"That zombie's got armor! ...'''I''' want armor!"''
-->-- '''Coach''', ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2''

For whatever reason, the player is not allowed to pick up and use the weapons, ammo, and equipment of fallen enemies. Instead, he must either find the same weapons and equipment lying around by themselves, or simply can't pick up weapons at all outside plot events that give them to him. Often this doesn't extend to ammunition; once the player has a gun, enemies with the same gun may well start dropping ammunition for it.

This is a staple of the [[StealthBasedGame stealth genre]], and is often [[HandWave hand waved]]/[[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the items having fingerprint scanners or some other form of user identification. Almost TruthInTelevision, in fact: there has been research done into devising firearm [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Gun security systems]] that utilize biometrics or a chip (mounted on an accessory or even implanted under the skin) to prevent usage of a firearm by anyone but its owner.

In RealLife, a soldier would normally only pick up and use an opponent's weapon as an absolute last resort. This is because of a laundry list of issues that most fictional depictions skirt around. For one, you'd be using an unfamiliar weapon, and learning how to take care of it or make adjustments for optimal use is not something that you can quickly figure out on your own. Moreover, there is a very real risk that a weapon lying around on the ground may be damaged or booby-trapped. In the case of police and security forces, weapons owned by criminals are evidence and tampering with them could destroy a later court case, as well as becoming an easy cop-out point for lawyers.

On the other hand, [[GodzillaThreshold as an absolute last resort when you're out of ammo for your own weapons and surrounded by enemies,]] and if escape or surrender are not options, then no reasonable person would criticize you for using whatever you can find. Similarly, in the context of a game, it ''will'' seem unreasonable if you cannot pick up a gun from the dead Mook next to you.

Within gaming tropes, contrast ExclusiveEnemyEquipment and RandomDrop. Related to GoodGunsBadGuns. Compare StatisticallySpeaking. An inversion is TheEnemyWeaponsAreBetter.

In other media, contrast InWorkingOrder.


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* While the player character in ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' is unable to pick up the enemy equipment, his minions can. And they'll pick up a lot, causing [[HilarityEnsues some laughs]] when you realize some of your minions are wearing pumpkins, beards (yes, beards), and a flower in a patch of dirt as headwear. Could be considered [[JustifiedTrope justified]] as you ARE the EvilOverlord, and no self-respecting one would be using such non-DoomyDoomsOfDoom objects for their personal armament, plus the minions will happily fork over gold and other things that would be valuable and useful to you.
* Partially {{Justified}} in the Batman Arkham games, for the Bat-family characters, but no explanation is given though for why villainous playable characters like Joker and Deathstroke can't use defeated Mooks' firearms. It also wasn't until ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' that the player could pick up thugs' clubs and throw propane tanks and stools for massive damage, and they still can't use their shields or stun sticks.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** This trope is avoided somewhat in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''. Some enemies ''do'' in fact drop weapons that you can pick up and use, ranging from simple clubs to a BFS that's more than ''twice the length'' of Link's body.
** But effectively played straight with Phantom Ganon's sword, which is only dropped in rooms where there are no other enemies anyway. Which is secondary to the fact that you don't ''want'' to pick it up anyway, since watching how it falls is a puzzle hint.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' averts this only when it comes to arrows. Much like the ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' example, you can pick up enemy arrows that get stuck in the ground before they fade or burn away, and recover your own fired arrows from an enemy if you can see them sticking out of it.
** And you get the Gale Boomerang and Ball and Chain from beating the two minibosses that use them.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' plays with this trope a bit. In the fourth dungeon, Ancient Cistern, you obtain a whip which allows you to retrieve items from afar. Unfortunately, it can't temporarily snag weapons from enemies, instead only stealing Monster Horns (for upgrading your equipment) from certain Bokoblins. Later on, the boss of Ancient Cistern ([[spoiler:Koloktos]]) must be defeated by [[spoiler:disabling its limbs, which allows you to pick up one of its [[{{BFS}} swords]] (which are able to ''smash through pillars'') and go buck wild on it. Unfortunately, you can't take the sword with you outside of the boss room.]]
** And then there's a case of a boss reversing this trope ''on the player'', [[WakeUpCallBoss and it's the first boss, no less!]] If the player is unable to break out of a struggle when Ghirahim uses his [[BarehandedBladeBlock finger to parry your attacks]], he'll steal the Goddess Sword from you and use it against you, forcing you to have to use a well-timed ShieldBash to knock it back out of his hands.
** This game plays it straight in the case of [[spoiler:the bow]]. Enemies use them from very early on in the game, but it is the last item that Link acquires.
** Averted completely in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath of the Wild]]''. A combination of BreakableWeapons and an increased focus on survival encourages you to steal various weapons from enemies. It helps that unlike in ''Wind Waker'', you get to store these weapons in your inventory.
* Played straight in all three of the original ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games by Eidos for Playstation. In the first ''VideoGame/TombRaider'', you can't take any of the weapons used against you by your human enemies (Pierre's pistol, The Cowboy's magnums, The Kid's SMG's, Kold's shotgun; they all instead drop your version of the same gun when killed). This trope is epitomized in ''VideoGame/TombRaiderII'', when you fight and kill entire armies of human enemies, and the weapons they use includes silenced pistols, machine pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles, and harpoon guns, which all stay clutched in their cold dead hands when killed, inaccessible to the player. ''VideoGame/TombRaiderIII'' continues the tradition, notably in the level Area 51, where upon jailbreak and getting Lara's signature twin pistols, she can kill a sniper guard wielding a laser sighted automatic rifle and can't take it for her own (Lara has the similar [=MP5=] weapon which she must pick up separately).
** While games from Crystal Dynamics notably avert this trope, [[VideoGame/TombRaiderUnderworld Underworld]] plays it awfully straight. Lara's arsenal is limited to her own weapons. She can't get any ammunition for them (as a more realistic approach than finding mags for modern weapons in ancient, long abandoned sites) nor equip weapons dropped by her human enemies. The latter one is quite annoying, as you burn through her ammo reserve pretty fast while fighting humans, but can't get any of it back.

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* The ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series was notorious for this trope. Even if you were equipped with only a dagger and leather armor, and you just killed dozens of enemies carrying scimitars, spears, maces, scale mail, shields, ball and chains, etc. they would invariably be too 'damaged' or 'worthless' for you to pick up, if the game even acknowledged their existence in the first place.

[[folder: Beat 'em Up]]
* In ''VideoGame/UndercoverCops'', the playable characters cannot wield knives, bottles, bats, or axes. This is kinda justified considering they can all shoot energy beams and wield weapons 2 or 3 times their size.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* Many, many FirstPersonShooter games. Nowadays it's less prevalent: the player character can pick up and use enemy weapons. In less modern shooters, however, defeated enemy grunts would often lie as corpses on the ground with their weapon in plain view, but you'd be unable to take it unless they spawned the appropriate weapon/ammo item while dying. As noted above, this isn't necessarily unrealistic.
** Averted in the Granddaddy of them all, ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D''. The game starts with the scenario that you take the pistol from a guard you shanked. All enemies in the game either use that same kind of pistol and drop ammo or, in the case of the blue SS guards, drop a different weapon that you can then take and use against them. The exceptions are the bosses, who are all {{Super Soldier}}s wielding weapons you legitimately ''couldn't'' use (i.e. several-hundred-pound [[GatlingGood Gatling guns]], and even then you can get your own version of the same weapon).
** ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' likewise averted this trope for the most part in that enemies that actually use weapons (that aren't grafted to their bodies) drop them, though the standard rifle-using zombies only drop ammo. For your pistol. The apparent reason for this is the player's starting weapon was originally a rifle early in development, but was changed to a pistol without changing the sprites of the enemies wielding the same weapon.
*** The ''VideoGame/BrutalDoom'' and ''Project Brutality'' mods subvert this somewhat. Killing mancubi and revenants with explosive weapons allows the player to steal and use their weapons (though they tend to be AwesomeButImpractical and the only way to get more ammo is to kill more of them).
*** Same goes for ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'', to an extent. Former humans' guns can be picked up for ammo, as they're the same as yours (even the Commando's chaingun). In fact, the way you get the machinegun if you didn't open the locker at the end of the second level is to grab one off a Z-sec enemy. Though you can't pick up wrenches or additional flashlights from civilan zombies that wield them.
** ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997'' and ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' for the N64 avert this trope completely until it comes to dual-wielding. Even if you have one pistol, if you kill a guard also using that pistol, you only get ammo for picking it up - you must find a guard using ''two'' such pistols, kill him, and pick up ''both'' of the dropped weapons in order to dual-wield them.
** Most Tactical Shooters will forbid you from carrying enemy weapons except to take as evidence. The reasons for this are simple: they are either poorly maintained or are different from what your team is carrying, which in RealLife will lead to friendly fire incidents.
* It's zig-zagged a lot in ''VideoGame/BioShock'' series.
** The weapons of Leadhead Splicers are blown away from the corpses when killed, letting you obtain them or refill your own's ammo.
** Nitro Splicers and Rosie's weapons are too cumbersome for Jack to carry, even though they can be partially cannibalized for materials later on, while Subjects Delta and Sigma have their own so there's no need to pick them up. Nitro Splicer bombs ''can'' be used however; using Telekinesis can grab the bombs in the air and toss them at Splicers and the same can be said for Rosie mines and Rumbler rockets and sentries.
** ADAM and plasmids cannot be gotten from any enemy, since only Little Sisters are capable of extracting them.
** You can't get weapons from robots, turrets and cameras, but you can get bullets, rockets and Film.
** Melee weapons are either too heavy for Jack or more crude (and thus weaker) than the wrench and drill you start with.
** Finally, near the end of the [[VideoGame/BioShock1 first game]], you are required to find a Big Daddy's suit: an audio log you find in the facility explains that the suits of the Big Daddies you find around are molded to them and thus cannot be reused, forcing you to look for a new one.
** ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'' lets you pick up the weapons dropped by Columbia's police and military along with the weapons of the Vox Populi but not their Tonics as they are the same as Plasmids in game and in story. Jeremiah Fink used the Lutece Device to create a Tear and saw Dr. Suchong create a Plasmid and decided to make his own to sell.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: World at War'', the player will see many Japanese officers with a Katana, sometimes even using them, but they can not be picked up or used by the player after killing the officer. Otherwise averted throughout the series: if someone can be killed, their weapons can usually be looted.
** MedalOfHonor: RisingSun did the same thing.
** Then again, why would a trained soldier ''want'' to pick up a melee weapon he's unfamiliar with, especially when [[RealityEnsues the enemy will always be using rifles, pistols and grenades ?]] The only situation in which a katana-wielding soldier will ''actually'' use it against you is typically a SuicideAttack after they have used up all of their ammo.
* ''VideoGame/PathwaysIntoDarkness'' was unusual in that [[BagOfSpilling YOUR equipment]] was the unusable stuff at the start of the game: due to making a hard landing thanks to a defective parachute, your M16 gets a bent barrel, the bag with all the spare ammunition is lost in the jungle somewhere, and your Colt .45 sidearm is empty for some reason. Oddly enough, when you reunite with your squad [[spoiler: or rather, the remains of your squad]] all of their M16 rifles have bent barrels, too!
* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' had all but one type of enemy weapon [[HandWave happen to break]] during its wielder's death animation.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' mostly averts this, but there are a few exceptions:
** While the original ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' ignored this trope for the most part, some items and vehicles (fuel rod gun, energy sword, Jackal shield, Wraith) still cannot be used. Most of these became usable in later games.
*** The game actually justified why you can't use those weapons. The fuel rod gun and sword have [[SelfDestructMechanism self-destruct devices]], blowing to pieces as soon as they're dropped. There is no way to snipe the Elites out of the sealed-shut Wraiths, and hijacking hadn't been programmed yet. The guns the Hunters use are grafted into their armor and therefore impossible to take. The Jackals' shields however, are never given any justification, and none of the subsequent games have allowed the player to use them either.
*** It is possible at one point to snipe an Elite before he gets into his Wraith. You still can't drive it though. Unless you hack, which also reveals it to have the same crosshair as the rocket launcher.
** In-story, the Elites will rather fight bare handed rather than used a loaded human weapon right next to them. This doesn't stop you from picking up human weapons when you play as the Arbiter in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', or giving them to your Elite allies.
** The Shadows in ''Halo 2'' and the AA Wraiths in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' are also undrivable by the player (unless you take advantage of a glitch).
** ''Combat Evolved Anniversary'' has the Foreign Skull, which prevents you from using any enemy weapons. Good luck on Legendary.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife'':
** In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', after you're weapon-stripped, your only remaining weapon gains a weapon-destroying effect itself... which means every weapon dropped by dying enemies is disintegrated before you can grab it to rebuild your arsenal. [[EleventhHourSuperpower Not that you really need to]].
*** The same thing happens at the beginning of ''Episode One'', when your gravity gun is supercharged again. Bizarrely, though, enemies killed by Alyx also have their weapons disintegrate, even though she wields an ordinary pistol.
** The original ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' has an interesting example with the [[BeeBeeGun Hivehand]] weapon. Unlike every other weapon the player can't retrieve it from the corpse of an enemy that wields it, because it's literally attached to them. There are two Hivehands that have been previously removed and the player can acquire, but other than that they can't be used.
** The ''Opposing Force'' ExpansionPack takes this a step further, as you eventually get to use ''[[LivingWeapon multiple live aliens]]'' as weapons.
** Gordon has yet to have been able to use a Combine sniper rifle, and must make do with the Resistance's equivalent rebar-launching crossbow or letting Alyx cover him with a commandeered sniper rifle.
* Particularly noticeable in the ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight]]'' games, especially ''Jedi Academy'', in which the ability to DualWield sabers was added. Despite the fact that the player is allowed to pick up any gun dropped by dead enemies, they are for some reason unable to pick up dropped lightsabers. Much like the sissy defaults for dismemberment, this can be overcome by the flipping of a few flags in one's INI file or entering a code in the console before loading a game. For anything aside from lightsabers, your primary method of acquiring weapons is to kill an enemy wielding them. If it's a weapon you already have, you get their ammunition.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}}: Fall of Man'' you can't get the fireball shooters used by Chimeran Titans when they die. Justified twice over, as said guns are as big as you are... and Titans die when their cooling units overload and explode, blowing them apart. It similarly justifies not being able to get the weapon Slipskulls use from their corpses by having it [[ArmCannon mounted onto their arm]] with metal bands. There's no obvious reason the Arc Cannon can't be recovered from Hardfang corpses, though -- it's just not there when you try. If you look closely, they ''literally'' [[EverythingFades vanish in a puff of smoke]]; no, there's no apparent reason why. In the game's NewGamePlus mode, both the Slipskull weapons and the Arc Cannon are available to the player, alongside a couple of other fancy new pieces of kit that you had no way of knowing existed.
* Despite the cops using the same weapons as you in both ''VideoGame/PaydayTheHeist'' and ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'', you can't grab any of the many, many firearms they drop when they die. Justified because your guns are modded with valuable weapon attachments that the cops don't get and which you would not want to just drop, and at the very least you ''can'' take ammo from their guns.
* ''VideoGame/GhostRecon'' lets you choose a set of weapons at mission start, but you can't use the weapons your enemies drop after you kill them. In ''Advanced Warfighter'', you can at least scavenge the ammo out of them if they're the same caliber as one of your weapons, while ''Future Soldier'' lets you grab dropped enemy weapons as much as you want.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' before the Gun Mettle update, weapons dropped by enemies acted like medium-size ammo boxes, giving you 50% ammo, 100 metal (Engineers), and 50% cloak (Spies). You cannot actually obtain the items collected this way, as in have them in your inventory. While the weapon drop system renders this a non-issue, it would break the fandom apart if you could get a hat by simply collecting it off of a corpse. The game does make one exception though: dominating someone currently wearing a Ghastly Gibus or any of its variants would grant you a Gibus of your own through the "[[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Ghastly Gibus Grab]]" achievement.
** After the Gun Mettle update, weapons lying around actually ''can'' be equipped (by someone of the right class, even if they don't have that weapon, until they die), and the ammo is instead provided by players spawning a medium ammo box upon death.
* Generally averted in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''. Not every enemy drops their gun, but it IS a common occurrence. As each gun has many randomly generated elements, and some rare guns have distinct effects, you can get a hint or even know outright what weapon the enemy will drop when you kill them. Characters cannot equip armor (besides [[DeflectorShields a personal energy shield]], which ''does'' drop from shielded human enemies), and therefore you can never take the armor worn by enemies such as the Crimson Lance.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', this is generally played straight. You're not bound to take precisely the weapon, grenade mod or shield that your enemy is using (loot is entirely randomized), unless we're talking about a boss. Not that it's exactly a problem, as guns used by enemies behave all the same no matter the brand's gimmick when you're the one toting them; they're all one "nondescript" kind that doesn't have so much as elemental effect. Same goes for grenades.
* Averted to a degree in ''VideoGame/DeusEx''. The game seems to be inconsistent at times about whether the guy you just stunned/kill will drop ammunition or grenades, for example, but almost everyone and their dog seems to have spare combat knives on hand, whether or not they pulled one on you. Very rarely do you get to actually scavenge a proper firearm, at least early on.
** Treated rather strangely, actually -- the game simply will not allow you to have duplicates of non-stacking weapons. If an enemy carrying a pistol doesn't have it when you search the body, drop your pistol and search him again -- he will often suddenly have a pistol. If you pick yours up again, you will still have only the one you took from the enemy (yours will vanish, which could suck if you've been upgrading it).
** Averted in ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution''. All enemies drop their firearms when killed or incapacitated.
* Played straight in VideoGame/RainbowSix (or at least the earlier games), although justified. In addition to practical reasons listed above, most missions require suppressed weapons, which the bad guys rarely have. No ammo drops either, as enemies rarely use the same ammo, and when they do, it's generally a non-compatible magazine style. Annoyingly, you can't get ammo off from your fallen comrades either, even if they are using the same weapons. Made slightly more annoying since there are no OneBulletClips. As with ''Ghost Recon'' above, this went away with the ''Vegas'' spinoffs, where nearly anything can have a suppressor removed and reattached as it's necessary and you can freely take weapons and scavenge ammo from bad guys.
* The World War II ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor'' games, such as ''Frontline'', prevent the player from picking up weapons from enemies. This is usually for gameplay purposes: the player would either have no need for the weapon (like a K98 bolt-action rifle) because superior ones are available in large numbers, or the enemies all carry the same guns as the player and simply provide ammo. However, almost all enemies will still drop ammunition for American weapons, suggestion that either the M1 Garand is able to chamber both .30-06 and 7.92mm Mauser, or that the K98s are all loaded with .30-06 rounds.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Syndicate}}'' (2012), you can't pick up shields dropped by enemies or the Subverters' Molotov Cocktails. Other weapons are fair game though.
* Played painfully straight in all ''VideoGame/DeltaForce'' games. Your choice of weaponry throughout a mission is the guns you picked or the guns you picked. Friendlies' guns ''or even their ammo'' can't be collected either.
* Averted in the first ''Videogame/PlanetSide'', which let players loot other player's corpses to steal their weapons (which could then be stored in [[BagOfHolding personal storage lockers accessible from any base]]) regardless of empire, allowing a [[TheEmpire Terran Republic]] player to pick up a [[MegaCorp New Conglomerate]] [[ShortRangeShotgun Jackhammer]] and start blasting, for example. Players could also hack and steal enemy vehicles if they had the certification for it. Played straight in the sequel, where players cannot loot enemy (or ally) loadouts for their weapons, or even ammo.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeFromButcherBay'': The Butcher Bay guards' guns are DNA-encoded, so trying to pick them up will only sent a jolt of electricity through Riddick's body. A prisoner in the first level learns this the hard way when it fries him.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/FarCry2''. There is nothing stopping you picking up the weapons dropped from dead mercs but their weapons are so beat up that they are liable to [[BreakableWeapons blow up in your face]] and leave you defenseless. The weapons you guy from the gun shop are much more durable just because they are new, so there is very little reason to use enemy equipment.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 4'' averted this. Zero's new weapon, the Z-Knuckle, is some kind of energized hand attachment which enables him to literally tear weapons off of enemies and use them himself. There's a huge variety of weapons and gadgets he can steal this way, but he can only use one at a time, and most of the projectile weapons have limited ammo (which a certain upgrade part can regenerate).
* In ''VideoGame/PitfallTheLostExpedition'', Harry passes by crates full of TNT throughout the game and is assaulted by enemies that throw it. You cannot use it yourself until a friendly character hands you some during a cutscene late in the game.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', where part of the reason many later enemies explode is to stop enemies taking their weapons. You can also partially avoid this by hacking them so they still leave some/more ammo though.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/LowGMan'', where many of the MechaMooks drop their weapons when destroyed.

[[folder: Real Time Strategy]]
* ''Videogame/BattleZone1998''s normally allows players to hop out of their HoverTank to use a sniper rifle to [[SnipingTheCockpit kill enemy pilots]] and steal their vehicles, which is particularly useful if the player's tank is destroyed behind enemy lines. Part of the DifficultySpike when the [[spoiler: Furies]] show up comes from their ships [[BrainUploading having no pilot]], making them immune to the sniper rifle, and they make a beeline for foot soldiers, turning what was once a minor inconvenience into a death sentence.

* Avoided entirely in ''VideoGame/NetHack'': if an enemy is using an item, you can loot it off their corpse when they die. But they ''don't'' all leave corpses behind--which is far worse, since [[WizardNeedsFoodBadly you'll need food]] a ''lot'' more than you'll need (say) even more rusty pig-iron broadswords.
* ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery'' has moloch armor, occasionally dropped by one of the nastier enemies in the game. Technically wearable, but heavy enough to crush many characters to death, and it slows you to a crawl. Though the PV bonus it gives is admittedly nice.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'' players can always take and use the weapons of defeated enemies (even huge orc-axes), but never their armor. This leads to the best armor from the Old Camp being inaccessible. There are plot reasons why you'd never normally get it, but still...
** It is interesting to note that you can't ''get'' the armor, but you could definitely ''wear'' it, if you got it through other means (by using cheats, for example). Every armor on every human enemy is an actual, wearable item with its own stats -- you just can't take it from them. This applies even to things that look like they should be part of the NPC model instead, like Xardas' black robe.
*** This was changed in the sequel, where this and some other kinds of "armor" don't actually exist as separate objects anymore.
* This is also present in so many video game [[RolePlayingGame RPGs]] that making a list of them would be useless. You can have a random encounter with an enemy who is a knight with sword and shield, wearing armor, but you're never going to get the sword, shield, or armor unless it comes as a [[RandomlyDrops random drop]]. Exceptions include:
** ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games: Since ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', you can access an enemy's inventory and take all of their equipment, including their weapons, armor and ammunition. You can even loot some of the arrows you shot at them! Some enemies, however, show equipment on their models that is not actually in-game equipment and therefore cannot be looted.
** Every single piece of enemy equipment in ''VideoGame/TitanQuest'' is a usable item. If they have a shiny weapon, you will get it. However, most pieces are far below normal quality.
** ''VagrantStory'' shoves this in your face, painfully. You can actually see each individual piece of equipment that each enemy has equipped, but you have only a tiny chance of any piece of that equipment being a RandomDrop and hence obtainable. The game doesn't attempt to explain this.
** ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'' allowed you to loot everything off of your fallen enemies, from weapons and armor to their rations.
** An earlier counterexample is the ''{{Ultima}}'' series, in particular ''Ultima VI'' and ''7'' and their related sub-games, in which every single lowly guard drops his sword, armor, et cetera when killed. The effect is that you quickly stop looting the junk because you simply can't carry two dozen sets of armor around.
** The ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' and ''IcewindDale'' games are also counterexamples since humanoid enemies will drop their equipment on death (except things for which it would not make sense, like ghosts. The final bosses are also exempt). The games even keep track of the amount of arrows in opponents' quivers and the like: The faster you kill an archer the more arrows you can get to use yourself, and enemies can run out of ammunition and be forced to engage you in melee. However, it's also hardly worth the effort to pick every sword and armor up since they weigh a lot and don't sell for much. Normal ammunition can't even be sold at all.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}''. all armor save for the PoweredArmor worn by the Brotherhood of Steel could be looted. In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', armor wasn't lootable; apart from the game-balance issues, presumably the idea of shooting the enemies through their armor and then using it yourself feels a tad unrealistic. The PoweredArmor exception was pointed out in-game too: One of the paladins of the Brotherhood of Steel mentions that you'll never encounter a non-brotherhood soldier in their trademark power armor since with it fully encasing the wearer, the latter dying means the armor has been shot to unwearable bits.
*** Frank Horrigan in particular has a special unique gatling laser and knife that are the most powerful of their weapon types, but can't be pilfered off his corpse. Justified in that he ''is'' the FinalBoss, but then again the player can continue with the game in the PlayableEpilogue anyway.
*** Certain robots also have built-in weapons, like Sentry Bots and their rocket launchers, and turrets and their dual miniguns. Not being able to take the weapons off of them is understandable, but not being able to pry them open after they're destroyed and take their remaining ammo is less so.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', anything that the enemy carries, wears, or uses, can be stolen. Early in the game, it's a good idea to leave your dead enemies rotting in their underpants. This extends all the way up to the Enclave and Brotherhood armors, which you can easily pilfer off the dead. However, no armor you find this way will ever be in 100% top condition. You can even loot the power armor, but you can't ''use'' it until 2/3 of the way through the main story quest. Unless you have the Operation Anchorage DLC, which will not only give you Power Armor training much earlier, but also a [[GoodBadBugs nigh-indestructible]] T-51b. Although played straight during the VR simulation, where enemy weapons disappear [[NoBodyLeftBehind along with their corpses]].
*** Which is justified, as it's an old ''military'' simulation, and for the reasons listed in the intro their soldiers would have been trained not to pick up and use enemy weapons anyway, so why should the simulation let them do so?
** Continuing the tradition is ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', where the ScavengerWorld motif remains in full swing. Notable for actually applying [[AllianceMeter faction reputation]] onto any armor you might pick up off enemies, so early on, where the main human enemies are two-bit thugs with dynamite who also happen to be universally detested by all other major factions in the game, it now becomes a consideration as to whether one should go about using what you loot or [[VideoGameStealing pickpocket]] off most humanoid enemies in the game. The Old World Blues DLC takes this to a rather weird inversion where NPCS will carry weapons the ''player'' can use, but that ''they'' can't. For instance, a robot without the hands or arms to use a melee weapon will somehow have axes in its inventory, and a robot dog can be found with a powerful electrolaser rifle, again, without the necessary appendages to use it.
*** Both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas play this straight with certain unique clothing and weapons used by [=NPCs=], which cannot be looted or stolen and can only be acquired using console commands in the PC version. Also subverted in that some unique NPC armor and weapons ''can'' be looted but the version that the player character picks up is slightly weaker. In other cases, only the standard version of a weapon is available in an NPC's inventory when being pickpocketed or after they are killed, as opposed to the unique variant that they normally use.
** In ''VideoGame/Fallout4'', you can loot power armour components from fallen opponents, but you'll generally have to spend steel to fix them before you can bolt them onto one of your few suits, since [[StuffBlowingUp the process of getting the former user out of it]] isn't good for the pieces.
* This is present to some extent in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', where most weapons and armor (especially blasters) cannot be collected, but ancillary items (medpacks, stims, grenades, etc.) are commonplace drops. Since loot is randomized, this makes sense, but it also leads to the odd situation of an enemy dropping an item he isn't even carrying and wouldn't have any reason to use, such as Dark Jedi dropping a blaster rifle. Boss battles are a major exception to this trend, but this is the case sometimes even then (e.g. the Sith governor of Taris wields a double-[[{{Vibroweapon}} vibroblade]] that can't be scrounged).
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has a notable quest where you need to collect weapons from specific monsters (which you could actually use, if you so wish), but as with all quest drops, the chance to get one is far lower than you'd expect. In fact, the chance of another weapon is higher.
** Related are the [[TwentyBearAsses boars that don't have livers]].
** And humans that don't have skulls. You'd think you could recognize which do by them not having floppy organ-sacs on the top end of their necks...
*** The standard HandWave is that you, in the process of killing the mob, destroyed the body part in question. In classic Blizzard style, this response fits all scenarios, ranging from the [[JustifiedTrope plausible]] to the... [[BlatantLies not]].
*** Hard to imagine destroying a troll's ears or tusks in the course of killing it.
* Flash RPG ''Videogame/{{Mardek}}'' is released intermittently in chapter format, with items and stats impressively being carried over from chapter to chapter. Unfortunately,chapter 2 stacks you with staffs - Unusable ''Friendly'' Equipment because no one in the act can actually use staffs, no matter how good they are.
** In Chapter 3, however, [[NatureHero Gloria]] can wield them, making it more of a ChekhovsGun
*** However, the actual trope is played straight, as a number of enemy characters wield weapons none of your characters can, including knives, walking sticks, and guns.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' games shows names of opponents' weapons, but those are just strings, not really equipped items and as such may or may not be reflected in [[RandomlyDrops loot]]. In ''Wizardry 7'', T'Rangs poke Shock Rod, Stun Rod and Psi Rod into PC. Shock Rod has Drain (stamina) 20% in their hands and Drain 50% in {{PC}}'s. Cool, but as a weapon it's mediocre. Stun Rod is Paralyze 65% Drain 35% for them, but only Paralyze 20% Drain 75% for {{PC}} (same damage as for weakest foe armed). Attacks with "Psi Rod" are even more dangerous, but... oops, no such equippable item in game. The same in ''Wizardry 8'', with some numbers changed.
* ''VideoGame/EveOnline'':
** This is for the most part averted. In the case of player ships, a subset of the gear that the killed player was using will drop, and can be used by anybody with sufficient skills and a capable ship. However, NPC drops are only loosely related to the equipment they may have been observed to use during the fight.
** Played completely straight by Rogue Drones, which only ever drop crafting materials, and [[DemonicSpiders The Sleepers]] who never drop their overpowered armor plating, missiles, or beam cannons.
* Averted very, very well in ''VideoGame/SiegeOfAvalon''. You can strip dead enemies down to their underwear (and sometimes take that too, though this doesn't change the dead enemy model having underwear) if you feel like it, though actually carrying that equipment in your bag can be problematic due to a bag of limited size and only being able to wear so much stuff at once. The same items can be thrown on the ground (and stay there until you come back for them!) if you decide you don't actually want them, but they can't be put back on the corpses. Unfortunately. That could have been funny, dressing up a dead enemy whose people are on a religious rampage against everything your people have touched in your old clothes and a silly hat...
** The engine of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' allows for this as well; any equipment a humanoid enemy possessed can be flagged as droppable, and looting the armor or weapons of a dead enemy will actually remove it from the corpse's model. The official campaigns go back and forth on this; generally, the expansions are more likely to let you loot enemy equipment, but it varies from encounter to encounter. Unofficial modules, of course, can run with it any way the creator likes.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', you can't pick up any enemy weapons, even when your character is using guns rather than shooting lightning out of their eyeballs. Which is a shame, since a lot of those guns look extremely cool. Fortunately, there are various unlockable skins avaliable for those with the Assault Rifle powerset, and for the rest of us one can sometimes get a chance to wield a gun through temporary powers with limited ammo.
** This trope is especially noticeable when you consider how lacking in offense some Archetypes are, particularly in the early game. A low-damage type like an Earth/Empathy Controller, for instance, could certainly find use for that fire axe or sword no matter where they are in the game.
* In designs made with ''VideoGame/UnlimitedAdventures'', by default, goblins and brigands and other humanoid enemies have a lot of items that they drop after death and that can be collected. However, this just means that after making short work of a gang of orcs, you are faced with a giant pile of useless items (some literally useless, like the basic helmet, which does not do anything at all) which, if picked up, will just encumber your [=PCs=] until you find a shop and sell them for tiny amounts of money (unless the design author turned up the prices to GameBreaker levels.)
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': You can't pick up the guns from enemies, you must wait for the weapons to show up lying around on their own somewhere. Once you do find one, however, [[EnoughToGoAround every character capable of using it gets their own copy]].
** In the PC version, you can mod the ini file to make enemy drop their weapon (noticeably the Heavy Machinegun from enemy Guard Mech), but the weapon will disappear after a while, in your hands, even if you are in the middle of using it to blast at enemies. It's also [[GameBreakingBug an incomplete and incredibly buggy feature]], so enable it at your own peril. The YMIR gun is AwesomeButImpractical, and most of the other guns aren't worth picking up.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', many magic items are usable only by characters of a particular alignment (Good, Evil etc.), and generally players are opposed in alignment to their enemies. This prevents the use of some {{NPC}} item by {{player character}}s.
** In 2nd Edition D&D the magic weapons of the Drow (underground evil elves) turn to dust after being exposed to sunlight. Drow equipment based on radiation magic works just like magically enhanced items, but neither needs to be actually enspelled nor can be disenchanted as common variety. This disintegration doesn't bother Drow themselves, as they raid surface rarely and only at night anyway.
** In 3.5ed, [=PC=]s, especially Rogues and Bards can train the "[[http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/useMagicDevice.htm Use Magic Device]]" skill and [[BellisariosMaxim somehow]] use it to fake an alignment... or race... or [[FeigningIntelligence class]]. Making such gear merely difficult to use.
** On the other hand magical equipment in D&D generally tends to grow or shrink to fit the wearer "from halfling to ogre size", effectively eliminating the most realistic reason for a player being unable to use enemy equipment.
** And now, in 4th Edition, holy symbols -- which used to be trinkets that did nothing but allow you to cast many of your divine spells -- are now as scalably powerful as any magic sword, suit of armor, etc. However, this mechanic highlights the edition's GameplayAndStorySegregation: it's not really a moral qualm for any good fighter or even paladin to wield a sword or wear armor with SpikesOfVillainy, but now clerics are left the option of either upgrading to a defeated enemy's evil-deity-specific symbol to get a power boost (even though it wouldn't actually change their religion), keeping their old junk, or going through an hour-long ritual to convert the evil symbol into a sort of "raw magic" that will only go 1/5 of the way towards creating the good version of the same item.
*** Although this seems to be at best a matter of personal taste more than an actual instance of this trope -- 4E holy symbols are by all appearances functionally generic divine-caster implements in terms of game mechanics, and if you can use one by virtue of being the right class, you can use them all (though only one at a time, of course). Or the party can just happened to know about a simple ritual that swaps holy symbol properties.
* In the Tabletop RPG ''Deadlands: Hell On Earth'', the Black Hats use vehicles and weaponry equipped with self-destruct devices that trigger if anyone without an identity chip tries to use them. Said chips are surgically implanted in the Black Hats, and naturally self-destruct if anyone tries to remove them.
* In ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate'', you can't pick up any of the guns from dead human enemies. You'd probably want to -- their handguns do about 100 times more damage than yours and they have shotguns and assault rifles which you can't get at all -- but they all vanish with the enemies when they die. Some large enemies will drop weapons, but they're broken and not human-usable anyway so they can only be used for ItemCrafting (how the Tinkerer manages to make tank-sized weapons into normal gun parts, in such a way that ''you can disassemble the gun parts and get the tank weapons back'' is left unexplained).
* Mostly averted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'', as many beastmen that you fight use weapons and shields that actually have the same texture models as player-usable equipment. On the other hand, some beastmen dropped items, such as the Quadav Helm, explicitly say that playable characters cannot wear them, and are generally either used for TwentyBearAsses quests or for synthesis materials.
* Some ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'' games have unusuable enemy ''monsters.'' In 2'','' there was a series of wild monsters whom you could fight and obtain cards for, but never own. In ''4,'' in addition to your {{rival}}s having monsters you can't, several of the game's bosses are actually ''old monster species from past games''--with proper movesets, even, although you're still not allowed to use them. In ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherEVO,'' this gets downright silly, as some of the enemy monsters are perfectly normal things you ''could'' theoretically get, but aren't allowed to. For example, a Piroro/Gitan crossbreed--it's an opposing monster, and Piroro and Gitan are in the game, but ''you're'' not allowed to fuse them.
* ''VideoGame/JadeCocoon'', similar to VideoGame/MonsterRancher above, had some {{Mons}} that could not be captured under any circumstance, such as the bosses and the [[EvilPoacher Poacher's]] minion.
* ''VideoGame/WhiteKnightChronicles'' and its sequel revolve around a quintet of five [[McGuffin 20 foot-tall suits of living armor]] known as Incorrupti. Each Incorruptus has its own human pactmaker--four of them are full-time members of the player's party, and the fifth is the BigBad ([[BigBadWannabe Wannabe]]). But one of those four is a SixthRangerTraitor, who's hiding the fact that their Inccoruptus is the evil [[TheRival Black Knight]]. Its a poorly kept secret, even in-game, yet gameplay-wise [[StoryAndGameplaySegregation the game treats it like the character in question just doesn't have an Incorruptus at all]].
* For the most part, the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' games avert this. Almost everything you see an enemy use, you can use, and that enemy will most likely drop. Even the impossibly huge weapons and armour carried/worn by impossibly huge enemies, though they will be scaled down somewhat when you use it. However, one particularly infuriating example is in ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'', with the Falconer enemies. They are the same size as you, and are dressed in an armour set that you can either buy from the first shop or ''start with'', and use a shield that can be found as a treasure on a corpse. They can also drop all of that. Their ''swords'', however, are completely unusable by the player.

[[folder: Simulation Game]]
* Browser-based nation simulation game ''Cybernations'' has a variant: when troops engage in ground battles, the winner loots the loser's equipment, which is instantly converted into money.
* Averted with nearly all weapons in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', and the ones your dwarves can't use themselves can be used up to ten at a time in traps. Armour used to play it straighter, as dwarves couldn't wear any other race's armor, but now they can use goblin or elf armor (because all three are the same average size). Kobold and human armor is still unusable.
** One curious example is in the weapons that are too big for dwarves to use. With the update that enabled individuals to vary in physical characteristics, some dwarves can get big enough that they SHOULD be able to use those weapons. But they can't, because the weapon only considers the average size of the creature's species. This is a bug, as individual sizes DO factor into the check for whether a creature is big enough to wield a weapon [[OneHandedZweihander one-handed]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' games, [[KillSat Orbital Weapon Platforms]], [[EliteArmy AGI Task Force]] fighter craft (Until ''X3: Albion Prelude''), and Kha'ak capital ships cannot be acquired normally by the player; [[GoingDownWithTheShip ATF ships never bail]], and Kha'ak ships and weapon platforms cannot be taken by a BoardingParty. Xenon and AGI Task Force capital ships in ''X3: Reunion'' were impossible to capture normally as boarding did not exist at the time.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutShelter:'' You cannot scavenge guns off the corpses of the Raiders who raid your vault.
* In ''[[Videogame/MechWarrior MechWarrior Living Legends]]'''s "Puretech" mode which limits the Clan team to Clan vehicles and the Inner Sphere team to Inner Sphere vehicles, neither side can make use of enemy tanks, helicopters, or aerospace fighters. While enemy HumongousMecha can be stolen by SnipingTheCockpit or hopping in after the pilot uses his EjectionSeat, tanks and aircraft have no 'cockpit' hitbox so one cannot destroy the cockpit (by damage or ejection) to unlock it.


[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* In the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series, the player is unable to use the weapons of fallen enemies.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' HandWave this by explaining that all the guards' weapons use a DNA-based security locking system and therefore won't work for anyone but the original owner. To get the weapons the guards are using, you have to infiltrate their weapons storage areas and grab a fresh weapon that hasn't been registered yet.
** The explanation given in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', which is set in 1964, is that Naked Snake doesn't trust the reliability of weapons that may have been poorly maintained, instead preferring fresh weapons from armories.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', enemy guns are once again ID-locked. Fortunately, one of the [[NonPlayerCharacter NPCs]] this time around is a gun launderer who can unlock them, for a price; you also can still pick up their guns anyway, taking the ammo from it and trading the gun in itself to said gun launderer to gain the currency he uses for unlocking guns.
** At one point during ''[=MGS2=]'', the protagonist must infiltrate the enemy's base by disguising himself as a guard. But he can't just kill one and take his uniform, he must be given one during a plot event - at the very least, this is explained in that the guards in the core area Raiden needs to infiltrate are issued entirely different gear from the guards he's encountered in the surrounding shells.
*** The same thing needs to be done in ''[=MGS3=]'', but you must steal the uniform from a specific officer because you need his security clearance and it just so happens that you have a mask that matches his face. If you wear the mask and talk to Sigint at the beginning of the game, it's heavily hinted at that [[FridgeBrilliance the mask was made to impersonate the exact same officer.]]
* ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick: VideoGame/EscapeFromButcherBay'' also does the DNA-gun thing. Enemy guards actually do drop their assault rifles when killed, but the rifle electrocutes you if you try to pick it up. Guards with pistols and shotguns can be freely liberated of their arms once downed, though.
** In ''Assault on Dark Athena'', the rifles are no longer DNA-encoded, which means when you find a merc you can take his weapon no matter what. However, the most commonly encountered enemy, the Ghost Drones, have their rifles surgically attached to their arms. Semi-averted in that you can use their guns while using their body as a meatshield, but this inhibits your ability to move.
* In the ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' series, Sam Fisher, for whatever reason, can't use the guns of fallen enemies. For ammo and weapons, he must find them laying around by themselves. This becomes ridiculous in the Xbox version of ''Double Agent'', where at one point a choice made earlier in the game can net Sam a pistol carried by a guard... but it is impossible to take the pistols from any other guards!
** This was lampshaded at one point in ''Chaos Theory'', where Sam can find an email yelling at a {{mook}} for ordering the wrong ammunition, that only Sam can use. By extension somewhat [[JustifiedTrope justifying]] the trope, given that all the weapons shown are modeled on real weapons, very few of the enemies would carry ammunition for the weapons Sam uses. Also, no one in their right mind would trade a FN F2000 with suppressor and grenade launcher (specially designed for firing less-lethal rounds) for a terrorist's AK-47... except for Sam in ''Conviction'', where he can now do just that whenever he wants.
** It should be noted that ''Splinter Cell'' is a stealth game, and most of the guards' guns have no silencer. Using a loud machine gun that would attract every guard in the complex to your position wouldn't be very productive.
* In a rather useful aversion, ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' not only allows you to strip and disarm enemy weapons, but the lack of OneBulletClips means that it's advantageous to do so just after an enemy reloads. Likewise, if you see an enemy using a forcefield (the kind that stops bullets, but not punches), you can pick it up after you drop them, with same level of power remaining. Hence, making a punch to the face more effective, as it makes their equipment much more usable.
* Nicely averted in ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter''. Normally, shooting someone in armour will destroy said armour. However, if you [[BoomHeadshot shoot them in the head]], the armour is intact and can be looted.

[[folder: Strategy Game]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: Chaos Gate'' does not let you pick up Chaos Weapons on the grounds that ([[AllThereInTheManual to quote the manual]]) "No self-respecting Space Marine would deign to touch a weapon used by a minion of Chaos". In fairness, canon would insist that the weapon would [[EmpathicWeapon turn against]] the righteous bearer or cause him to [[TheCorruption sprout tentacles or something]] anyway. Chaos-tainted artifacts are the ultimate in non-user-safe.
** Which is odd, because Logan Grimnar, head of the Space Wolves is explicitly stated to use a Daemonic axe he looted from the corpse of a chaos champion, and mastered using only his willpower (although it was also melted down, reforged and reconsecrated). Guess the rules don't apply to Chapter Masters. Then again, the Space Wolves may as well have their motto be "Screw The Rules." Logan was looked upon as out of his damn mind even by his fellow Space Wolves when he decided to do it, before they realized "holy shit it WORKED."
** ''Warhammer 40,000: VideoGame/FireWarrior'' averts it as all weapons can be used indiscriminately. La'Kais doesn't suffer any of the consequences for using Chaos Weapons since the Tau are almost completely unaffected by [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace the Warp]].
** And then there's the Ork weapons, which only work for them because [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve they actually shouldn't work for]] ''[[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve anyone at all.]]'' That's the joke at least. The literature's consensus is that, while crude, ork equipment ''is'' usable by non-orks, but the orks' psychic field makes it work better.
** The Tau also got something for their Battlesuits and Stealthsuits as they have a fail safe system that will fry any human/ork who tries to steal the armor. One guardsman learned it the hard way.
*** And, at least in human case, it would be pointless anyway, as somebody openly using reverse-engineered alien equipment would piss off either Adeptus Mechanicus or Inquisition, or if less lucky, both.
*** And for everything else, it clearly stated attempts in reverse engineering let alone using it has ended in the grisly demise of the user. Case in point are Necron Gauss Weapons which vaporized techpriests dabbling with it.
** ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar 2: Chaos Rising'' features an interesting example: if Techmarine Matrellus is the traitor, he drops his corrupted Servo-Arm on defeat. None of the other playable characters are Techmarines, so none of them can use it. It's only good for [[VendorTrash cashing in]], and doing so gives you back a weapon you ''can'' use.
* ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2'' features an aspect of this trope. Late in the game one will get access to an experimental rifle that fires small explosive rockets. This features a trigger mechanism that reads the fingerprint of the first person to use it and then limits its use to that person. Said mechanism can be reset by a [[PlayerCharacter PC]] or [[NonPlayerCharacter NPC]] with sufficient skill in electronics.
** The beginning of the game was also made artificially harder by the fact that, while your mercs started out with peashooters, the enemy had rifles and body armor that would much more often than not disappear with them. It's only after you finally get access to your own supply of rifles that the enemy would start dropping them regularly. The v1.13 mod includes a game mode setting that allows every item the enemy mooks are carrying to be picked up...
*** ...But even weapons that enemies actually drop aren't immediately useful due to their poor condition. Most weapons you find will be down to 70% or 80% condition and thus very likely to jam, so either [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard poor item condition doesn't effect enemies]] or [[FakeDifficulty just tumbling to the ground causes major damage to items]]. This also applies to armour, though that's somewhat justified by the fact you're pulling it off the dead body of someone you've just pumped full of lead.
** One of the ways to get around this was to literally [[VideoGameStealing STEAL the equipment]] from a desired enemy by using one of your more stealthy mercs to sneak up on the enemy, loot him, and run.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForceII'' has a few bosses that can drop items. These items can't be equipped, but one of them can be used to cast spells.
* In the ''VideoGame/XCom'' series, all equipment used by the aliens will show up as an 'Alien artifact' and will be unusable. It is still possible to interact with these items... usually by accidentally blowing them up, which prevents you from looting them post-battle. After researching the specific weapons/items, you will then be allowed to outfit your squad with those weapons in addition to looting them off the corpses of your enemies. This is basically how you "level up" your weapons as you precede through the game.
** To lesser extent, alien ships aplies as well. You can secure several intact flying saucers trough the game. You can can pillage them for artifacts and raw materials, but you are never allowed to keep one, even if it is superior to your fighters/transports and you have the scientific expertise to make it fly.
** In ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', the weapons of killed enemies will self-destruct, even if the death didn't involve getting shot at or blown up (e.g. [[PsychicPowers Mindfray]]), implying [[SelfDestructMechanism a failsafe mechanism meant to prevent the weapons from being captured]]. The only way to capture intact weapons is to stun the alien. Even then, they'll start out unusable due to strange ergonomics: Plasma pistols are designed to be mounted on the wrist of something with really narrow arms, heavy plasmas are too cumbersome to use without a few new grips, and so on. Once you've research a weapon, all the copies of it brought back to base will be adapted by your engineers for human use (adding grips, stocks, proper sights, etc.) free of charge and off-screen.
** Ditto for ''VideoGame/TheBureauXCOMDeclassified'' (which is a ThirdPersonShooter), where Outsider weapons are destroyed when their wielders are killed. This is even mentioned by the Bureau's resident MadScientist when he gives you a bracelet designed to allow you to map your biometrics to alien weapons. He tells you that you must find un-mapped weapons, though.
** Obtaining enemy equipment intact is completely impossible in ''VideoGame/XCOM2'' because you no longer have any way to take enemies alive. The most you can get is Elerium Cores, which are used in crafting specialized items (ammo, grenades, secondary weapons, etc.) and somehow even those will be destroyed if you don't pick them up after a few turns. Primary weapons are instead created purely through advancing your TechTree.
* There are often weapons which enemies in ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' are seen using, but the player cannot actually obtain.
** ''All'' Axes, plus the Swarm, Meteor and Drain tomes, in Book 2 of the third game, were unusable. You got several axes but you never got an axe user; they were intended as VendorTrash.
** The PoisonedWeapons in the fifth game will turn into basic Iron weapons if the player steals one from an ememy. Later games would avert this.
** Several weapons in the sixth game, like the Spear and Tomahawk, were restructed to certain enemy bosses. They became obtainable and usable weapons in the seventh, which is odd because said game was a ''prequel'' to the sixth.
** A Bishop in the final chapter of the ninth game carried the ultimate Light tome, which initially ''seems'' like an example of this trope... but it ''is'' possible to obtain it through [[GuideDangIt extremely convoluted application of]] VideogameStealing. It's a BraggingRightsReward since it's midway through the final battle by the time you get it and only one character can use it, but it's still something. The Wishblade (the ultimate Lance) plays the trope straight, being used by [[MyMasterRightOrWrong Bryce]] in the final chapter and unobtainable outside of using him as a SecretCharacter in the Trial Maps.
** If you cheat to get them, they will usually still work, the most notable one is the final bosses magic book in ''[=FE7=]'' which would let anyone use magic. Nils could actually do damage!
** This trope is justified with ''FireEmblem'''s beast enemies. In these cases, the "weapons" are fangs, claws, or other parts of the beasts' anatomy.
*** Although in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'', you ''could'' take monster weapons with some glitch abuse. It was pretty much the only way to teach anyone but Knoll or Ewan dark magic, and the only way to let Myrrh attack ''at all'' once her stone broke.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' has Steel/Silver Javelins (upgraded versions of the obtainable javelins), Nageyaris (ranged naginatas), and Hankyu bows (yumis that can attack adjacent foes). None of these weapons can be obtained by any means.
* A common staple in ''Creator/NipponIchi'' games, though considering everyone and their grandmother (sometimes coming up as a storypoint even) is portrayed as having [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu Cthulhu-sacking]] prowess, it's generally accepted they simply annihilated the other person's equipment [[EverythingFades along with the entirety of the enemy]]. Which doesn't explain how it comes back when you get them revived at the hospital, but there you go. If you see something you like, you must either steal it with a special item (it doesn't have to be used by a thief, but it's much harder otherwise) or capture the enemy and take the items away.
** The ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' games in particular have Geo Panels that can clone your characters - the clones are hostile and replicate the original ''exactly'', down to the equipment. It is impossible to steal their equipment even with the specialty items listed above, and only a weapon in the third iteration has the potential to knock only one of those items off the enemy when they do die to it; if you could freely steal equipment from the enemy, it would (much sooner than usual) [[GameBreaker snap the game in half]].
* [[FourX 4X]] game series ''Space Empires'', and possibly other games that use tech trees, allows you to capture enemy ships and study them for new tech. However if they have Ancient Ruins, or Racial, technology you can't use it because only empires with that tech tree have access to it. If you're lucky you might have found those ruins as well or are the same sort of race.
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' got Boarding Pods and the ability to capture enemy ships in an ExpansionPack. But the captured ships will inexplicably vanish after the battle is over so you can't use their (possibly superior) technology.
* ''VideoGame/SniperEliteV2'' is weird about this -- you have access to everything the enemy can use (unless you count vehicles), and a couple of things they can't, but only submachine guns and the Lugers used by German officers can be picked off enemy bodies. That enemy sniper? His rifle disappears when you kill him - you have to wait until you find the same rifle in an abandoned weapon stash somewhere to get your hands on it. And you can't take that guard's grenades, either, or at least not the ones on his model. This is probably to keep you from switching rifles mid-mission or getting too many grenades, but where it gets weird is that he may or may not have ammo on his person that doesn't make any sense for him to have (a guard armed with a Luger and [=MP40=] may have Russian 7.62mmR ammo or, with DLC, even British or Japanese rifle rounds in his pocket, instead of the 9mm rounds his guns actually use). Additional weapons must be found in a level, though you can bring any weapon you've found with you in future missions and replays.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII'' gives the enemy forces a completely separate set of equipment to your own. No matter how many dropped weapons you pick up, you'll have to wait for an [[EliteMook Ace]] to drop the blueprints for an advanced weapon and then reverse-engineer it. Justified in that [[spoiler:the rebels are being supplied by the Federation]] and, being at war, they probably have their home-made weapons chambered for a different round precisely so the enemy can't easily steal them.
* ''VideoGame/WarCraftII'': Averted in one level where (as the Alliance) you grab some Orc catapults.
** In one of the most glaring cases of CutscenePowerToTheMax, one scene has a human footman sneak up on and backstab an orc guarding a catapult, notice a goblin zeppelin flying nearby, and cut the rope on the catapult to take down the zeppelin in a giant fireball (you can't claim units in a normal game, catapults aren't fired by cutting the rope, and, of course, ''catapults can't hit air units''). The credits for ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' had an extended HilariousOuttakes version of this.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' is mostly an aversion. You can [[VideoGameStealing steal]] any piece of equipment that an enemy is carrying, unless they have Maintenance, and if a human enemy dies and turns into a treasure box, you can obtain one (but only one) random piece of their equipment by grabbing the box. (If they turn into a crystal instead, then no dice, though you can gain their abilities.)
* ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' does it three different ways:
** Played straight with some properties, as it's impossible to place any of the Black Hole structures (Black Cannons, Factories, Labs, etc) on created maps or to use the Black Hole's insignia or black coloring (though your units take on the Black Hole "appearance" if you use one of their commanders).
** Subverted with the Black Hole units such as Neotanks, Black Boats, and Oozium223, which can all be obtained for use in Campaign and created maps once they're unlocked.
** Inverted with the Megatank. It's developer, Green Earth, points out now that they've used it on Black Hole it won't be long before it's been reverse-engineered and used against them. Sure enough it happens about [[OhCrap two maps later]].

[[folder: Survival Horror]]
* At one point in ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'', some U.S. Army soldiers you face will be armed with assault rifles - except every one of them just so happens to be in an unreachable location, such as a high balcony. You can still kill them, but you physically can't get to where they drop their gun. Not every soldier has an assault rifle- some are only armed with pistols or revolvers (the same equipment the player will have at the time). It's strange how under-equipped many soldiers are - just being armed with handguns. [[HandWave Well, the military probably has some equipment shortages, since it's 20 years after the Cordyceps outbreak.]] Still, it is odd that these soldiers just so happen to be the only ones you encounter up-close.
** Even more annoying is how rarely firearm-toting enemies drop ammo. Sure, you might hand-wave it in a firefight (oops, guess you killed him right after he shot his last round), but what about the numerous mooks you dispatch before they can even shoot? Are you supposed to pretend they were just carrying guns for show?
* There was oh so much stuff lying in the background of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series. Most notably, you find a squad of dead soldiers in the sewers of ''[=RE2=]'' with [=MP5s=] you cannot claim. Also, doesn't it seem odd that none of the hundreds of zombified police officers are carrying their sidearms or ammunition?
** Justified in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'' when you find a decent cache of assault rifles in the basement of the Training Facility. They are either in disrepair from years of moldering in a damp basement or in pieces, and neither Billy or Rebecca have the knowledge, means, or time to restore even one to a useable condition.
** Done in a seemingly intentional way to tick you off in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'': You find a dying policeman with a ''submachine gun'' who will give it to you if you're Kevin (another cop) or Cindy (who he mistakes for his girlfriend). If you're anyone else, he just dies with the gun in his lap and no reason is given why you can't just help yourself to it.
** How about one of the farm tools that [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 the Ganados]] were using as weapons. They just seem so much more ''effective'' than the knife...
*** Forget the farm tools, go for the chainsaw. [[OneHitKill THE CHAINSAW.]]
** In ''Separate Ways'', Ada ''does'' eventually get the option of buying one of the crossbows that the enemies are always using on you. With some [[MadeOfExplodium slight alterations.]]
** Face it: [[spoiler:Wesker's Samurai Edge]] would've been a nice spoil of war after facing [[spoiler:him]] so many times in ''5'', though you can make it yours with a healthy application of [[GameMod cheating]].
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' contains an even more frustrating example in Jake/Sherry's campaign. Both work their way out of a laboratory with little more than the hospital garb they're wearing and have to avoid the armed J'avo infesting the place. If you do manage to kill any, though, their guns and machetes dissolve along with them, so you're forced to take them on hand-to-hand until you recover your gear. In a truly ''"WTF?!"'' moment atop this, Sherry starts out her scenario with a stun baton-- ''that she took off a dead J'avo!!''

[[folder: Third Person Shooter]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}'' games, you can get ammunition, ordnance, medical supplies, money, and other equipment off of dead enemies... but ''never'' weapons or shields.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSector'', the trope is somewhat averted by being able to pick up the guns, but they blow up in your face after 30 seconds due to 'infection governors'. Why you can't loot the ammo is anybody's guess.
** If you watch the blinking of the sensor, most of them are very close to the weapon's magazine.
* Averted in VideoGame/ShellshockNam67. You actually can pick up and use enemy guns. On the downside though it means you have to leave your current gun behind.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' while you can use enemy equipment, you can't take it off their dead bodies. You have to find blueprints and materials to build them.
* The Octolings from Hero Mode in ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'' use Octoshot blasters that you cannot take from them - you have to unlock and purchase the Octoshot Replica in Sheldon's arms dealership. It can be justified that the original Octoshots have their internals designed to work with Octarian ink and Inklings are unable to make their ink feed properly in them, thus requiring Sheldon to modify them with Splattershot parts.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* In ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' games, neither Altaïr nor Ezio can use the bows archers drop. ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Brotherhood]]'' continues the proud tradition with the new crossbow- and arquesbus-users, though you can loot their ammo for Ezio's use.
** On the other hand, you can snatch enemy melee weapons almost at will. While usually their weapons aren't anything special, spears can be thrown and be used to disable large groups of enemies with a single spin.
* ''VideoGame/ScarfaceTheWorldIsYours''. A 'boss' in the last level can and will spam you with rockets if you have bad luck. Once you neutralize him, only one rocket is available for use despite the territory you must cover from then on. In the majority of the game, weapons can be looted and tossed in the back of special cars. See how many chainsaws you can collect?
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', Zombie Pigmen's gold swords and Skeleton's bows would once never drop upon their deaths. The 1.2 patch made these items Rare Drops, with a chance for these weapons being enchanted.
* Justified in ''Videogame/InFamous'' and ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS 2}}'' where Cole can't use his enemies' guns because, thanks to his PowerIncontinence, they would blow up in his face the second he grabbed them. He actually weaponizes this when dealing with turrets as he can just touch them and disable them.

[[folder: Non Video Game Examples]]
* A non-videogame example is the [[ImpossiblyCoolWeapon Lawgiver]] from ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd''. The gun is encoded to fire only when its registered user pulls the trigger. Any attempts by anyone else results in the [[AnArmAndALeg loss of a limb]] by way of a [[SelfDestructingSecurity small explosive charge]]. Of course, it is possible to override this function in an emergency, as Senior Judges have access to instructions on how to do this.
* ''Film/JamesBond'' examples:
** ''Film/LicenceToKill'' has Bond equipped with a gun disguised as a camera, which has a fingerprint-recognition mechanism built into the pistol grip to prevent anyone else from firing it. This comes into play when a Chinese agent gets his hands on the gun and tries to fire it at Bond, with no success.
** In ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', for most of the film Bond has a PPK with a custom grip that includes a similar palm-recognition mechanism, so when a mook picks up said gun just as a komodo dragon approaches, the result is inevitable.
* ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' features an inverted example, when Drecker steals a huge sword off an enemy mook. Not the sword the mook was wielding, but another, much bigger and better. The mook complains that he would have used that sword (instead of his usual, which appears to be made of wood) if he'd known about it (likely also a LampshadeHanging on the ImpossibleItemDrop).
* In ''Literature/OldMansWar'', the Colonial Union's troops were equipped with multi-purpose assault rifles that would only fire for somebody with a particular wireless cybernetic "signal".
* In the Tabletop Game, Warhammer Quest, the enchanted weapons used by Chaos, Skaven, Greenskins and Dark Elves aren't usable by your heroes. This is justified for the most part by the game stating that these evil races use weapons that are tainted with dark magic that'll kill a hero outright if they pick one up.
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': The Heliorian Ultra armor only works if synchronized with its rightful owner's brain waves. [[spoiler:Will U4 Buu find a way to bypass that security measure?]]
* One of the more interesting RealLife examples was the Russian habit of deliberately building railroads at a different gauge than the rest of Europe. This was to prevent them being used by invaders.
** The British used a similar tactic in Sudan: Sudan was theoretically an Anglo-Egyptian co-dominium, but in reality Egypt was a British protectorate--and not a happy one. Since the Sudanese had a history of revolting and the Egyptians would probably be glad to rise against the British if they could get the chance, the British used a narrower gauge in Sudan than in Egypt (whose rail system was older and built to standard gauge).
** Averted, however, in the USSR's Winter War and Continuation War with Finland. Both sides used variants of the Mosin-Nagant--Finland had been part of the [[TsaristRussia Russian Empire]], after all. While the cartridges used were a little different, they were similar enough that captured Finnish ammunition could be used in the Soviet ones.
** In a similar vein, after the world standardized 81mm mortars, the Soviets designed an 82mm mortar. The Soviet weapon could use captured enemy shells, at reduced efficiency, but the enemy weapon could not safely fire Soviet shells.
** Similar was done in the 50's when the Soviets adopted a new pistol cartridge; since they'd already had their own guns loaded with enemy ammo used against them during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII[[note]]7.62mm Tokarev was dimensionally identical to the German's 7.63mm Mauser, but higher-pressure, so when the Germans were able to capture massive amounts of Soviet materiel early in the war they were able to turn a lot of it on its makers[[/note]], when it looked like they would be adopting a 9mm round, they opted to make it shorter but wider than the existing 9x19mm so that ''nobody'' could use stolen enemy ammo in their own guns in the event of [[WorldWarIII another war]].
* Attempts to make this trope TruthInTelevision with ''Skyfall''-style lockout systems have so far met with failure. Biometrics are very expensive, and military, police and civilian consumers alike are reluctant to trust lower-tech options like magnetic or infrared lockouts because of their dodgy reliability in tests; to paraphrase one firearms journalist: "A gun that doesn't fire 100% of the time that it's supposed to is not a smart gun; it's the dumbest gun in the world."
** Another issue is that the primary purpose of said lockout systems as far as police are concerned is to prevent someone from taking a gun from a cop and immediately turning it back on them. Most workable schemes either rely on the weapon being unlocked until put away or relying on the proximity of some sort of signal - neither of which helps to prevent someone from grappling with a cop and shooting them with their own gun at point-blank range, which is the scenario that the police are trying to avoid.
* In the era of flintlock muskets it was often the case that soldiers of the army with the larger calibre could at a pinch use captured enemy cartridges, but the army with the smaller calibre had to rely only on its own ammunition.
* The Romans made one of the bolts that fixed the long iron point of the ''pilum'' (the legionary's throwing spear) to the wooden shaft of wood so that it would shatter on impact, thus loosening the connection of point and shaft of the ''pilum'' and making it impossible for enemies to pick it up and hurl it back at the Romans in battle. The point was also made of easily malleable iron, thus twisting upon piercing your shield and making the shield unusable, as a large piece of iron and a bit of wood was pointing out of it.
* Medieval arrows and bolts intended for war often had the arrowhead attached to the shaft with bee wax so that the head would separate from the shaft after impact. This had the added "benefit" of leaving the head lodged inside the victims wounds.
* In [[Literature/LogansRun the book of Logan's Run]], Sandman guns used palmprint recognition to make them unusable to anyone else.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': An Imperial raid on a Tau base saw one guy attempt a [[GrandTheftPrototype Gundam Jacking]] into a battlesuit. The suit recognized his DNA as non-Tau and fried him.
** Justified for most Imperial forces, since xenos and Chaotic equipment is [[AgainstMyReligion literally against their religion]]; Chaotic stuff has the additional drawback of regularly causing mutation and corruption.
* {{Invoked}} in ''FanFic/TheLastStar'': an [=EarthForce=] officer warns the soldiers to not pick up and use Minbari guns, as it fires a green beam that works as a "shoot me" call for any nearby Earth soldier ([=EarthForce=] standard issue fires in red pulses).
* {{Invoked}} in ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' by the Evronians, who, [[AllThereInTheManual as explained in an insert of the first issue]], build their guns with a DNA lock that makes them unusable for non-Evronians (generals take it up a notch, as the DNA lock of their sidearms is specific to that one general). Turned up as a plot point in one issue, when Paperinik and some humans tried to take an Evronian general as hostage with his own gun and the general gleefully informed them of the fact.
** {{Averted}} in another issue, in which some Evronian-made guns didn't have the DNA lock. {{Justified}} as the Evronians were supplying them to a BananaRepublic, so for once they skipped that safety only for it to bite them back in the ass when Paperinik grabbed one faster than Zondag.
* {{Enforced}} in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', at least within adventurer's league rules. The aim was to prevent players from grabbing NPC weapons and armor unless the Dungeon Master ruled otherwise for the sake of [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration the story and balance]]. Justified in the case of armor, which has to be custom-fit to the individual wearer.