Vehicular Combat is a VideoGame genre in which the action takes place inside motor vehicles (often [[WeaponizedCar armed]]), whether they be cars, boats, or sci-fi craft. These games usually have one requirement; the destruction of all enemies. Some games add racing, [[EscortMission escort]], WideOpenSandbox (within limits; players generally must kill or be killed before time runs out, but other than that, can traverse the level freely) or other gameplay elements, while others are barely above the ShootEmUp level. Generally, these games focus on fast-paced action, as opposed to RolePlayingGame elements.

Generally, Vehicular Combat gameplay works in one of two ways: The player is the same individual throughout a career, and must upgrade and modify his/her vehicle with better weapons, parts and armor to beat back increasingly more difficult challenges, or the player may choose from a variety of different vehicles, each with its own unique skills and abilities. ''VideoGame/{{Interstate 76}}'' is a good example of the first style, while the ''VideoGame/{{Twisted Metal}}'' series is a good example of the second style. Some games use a mix of both aspects, allowing a player to choose a vehicle and then modify it accordingly.

Most of these will be {{Driving Game}}s.

A SuperTrope to MascotRacer.

See also MechaGame (which is often similar, just with HumongousMecha).
!!Tropes common to the Vehicular Combat genre include:

* BonusBoss
* CarFu (basically the playing style, especially for special characters who have their vehicles particularly tuned for ramming or crushing their enemies)
* {{Easter Egg}}s (generally consisting of hidden/unlockable vehicles, tracks or weapons)
* EverythingTryingToKillYou (almost a prerequisite)
* InevitableTournament
* LifeMeter
* MercyInvincibility
* MultipleEndings (especially in the ''Twisted Metal'' series, which combines them with LiteralGenie to comic effect)
* NitroBoost (so common that a lack of it would be surprising)
* NoOSHACompliance (especially in scrapyards and factories)
* OilSlick
* RewardingVandalism (by hiding {{powerup}}s inside destructible level elements)
* StrategyGuide
* WeaponizedCar

* '' VideoGame/FlatOut'' is this in spades.
* The ''VideoGame/NeedForMadness'' series gives the player the option to either finish a race first or waste other cars by [[RammingAlwaysWorks ramming them]].
* The ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' series and its clones: ''VideoGame/{{Vigilante8}}'', ''Star Wars Demolition'', etc.
** ''VideoGame/BloodDrive'' adds [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies zombies]] to this formula.
* ''VideoGame/SpyHunter'' and ''[=RoadBlasters=]'' arcade games as limited, ShootEmUp-type ancestors.
* ''VideoGame/{{Interstate76}}'' and its sequel, ''Interstate '82''. Notable for using a SimulationGame approach involving locational damage, realistic physics and salvaging equipment between missions.
* Most ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' games also include Battle Modes. And even the conventional kart racing comes loaded with various (cartoonish) weapons to use against your opponents.
* ''VideoGame/CrashTeamRacing'' includes real Vehicular Combat arenas.
* ''VideoGame/JakXCombatRacing''
--> '''G.T. Blitz''': So stay tuned for all the death and destruction!
* ''VideoGame/ExtremeG''
* The later games in the ''VideoGame/{{Burnout}}'' series are like the FightingGame version of this genre, mixed with traditional racing. The battling is all done through physical ramming and grinding than with guns.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rollcage}}'' is a racing game with rocket-powered buggies that can drive on ceilings, upside-down and shoot all sorts of weapons, but are in fact immune to damage. Weapon hits only serve to slow down the other racers and [[StuffBlowingUp blow up the scenery.]]
* ''Dethkarz'' is another futuristic racing game with weapons, but in this case the application of sufficient firepower will cause the target car to veer out of control and explode in a blue energy ball, eliminating it for the rest of the race.
* ''VideoGame/{{Redline}}'' is a hybrid VehicularCombat / FirstPersonShooter. The player can go around on foot shooting a handheld gun, or he can get into various cars armed to the teeth with the usual futuristic weaponry.
* ''VideoGame/{{Carmageddon}}'' is a racing game in which you're actually required to smash up the opposition and/or mow down pedestrians for bonus time to complete the course. The player can pick up a variety of power-ups to make either of these tasks easier.
* ''VideoGame/CelDamage'' is one of these, but completely cel-shaded and full of cartoony physics and character designs. Weapons include dynamite crossbows and giant hammers.
* The biker game ''VideoGame/RoadRash'' has bats, crowbars, cattle prods, and oil cans, not to mention the best move ever: kicking them into oncoming traffic!
* ''VideoGame/RoadRedemption'' is a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Road Rash'', taking the base gameplay and adding {{Roguelike}} elements, in addition to several new weapons, including firearms!
* ''VideoGame/FZero'' and its sequels. ''F-Zero X'' has a "survival" mode where you have to kill all 29 opponents with your bare [[strike:hands]], err, vehicle.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rage}}'', while primarily a FirstPersonShooter, also has a fair amount of vehicle-based combat.
* ''Streets of VideoGame/SimCity'' had the added bonus of being able to play in cities created in VideoGame/SimCity 2000, using the "Urban Renewal Kit" included.
* ''VideoGame/PursuitForce'' is a hybrid of this and ActionGame, where you play a cop who has to chase down numerous street gangs by jumping between moving vehicles.
* Strategic Simulations' ''[[ Roadwar 2000]]''
* The controversial 1976 arcade game ''Death Race'' (inspired, but not directly based on the movie ''Death Race 2000'') by Exidy is often considered to be the "granddaddy" of the genre. Even though there were no weapons, the gameplay involved running over human-sounding "gremlins" to score points (much like the aforementioned ''Carmageddon'', which came decades later). There have been various unconfirmed reports as to how significant the controversy was, including rumors that several ''Death Race'' machines were destroyed, etc.
* ''Dead in the Water'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation is an aquatic version of the concept.
** ''Critical Depth'', also on the UsefulNotes/PlayStation, is a submarine version. For extra points it's made by [=SingleTrac=], the team behind ''Twisted Metal''.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' and its successors get an honourable mention. They might not be pure VehicularCombat games, but they feature this style of gameplay heavily, both in missions and when speeding around wreaking havoc.
* ''VideoGame/RockNRollRacing'': Since you and your opponents' cars are armed (with [[FrickinLaserBeams lasers]], [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]], mines and such) and you get bonus cash for each enemy destroyed during the race, VehicularCombat is thus strongly encouraged.
* ''Destruction Derby'': Two variants of VehicularCombat here : the regular races, where the main goal is to arrive first, but you get points by making your opponents spin or outright destroy them ; and the Destruction Derby mode, where you and your opponents are all gathered in an arena, and the goal is to be the last one standing.
* The DOS and 3DO game ''VideoGame/{{Quarantine}}'' and it's sequel, ''Road Warrior''. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with either films of the same name.]]
* DOS game ''Deathtrack''. Machine guns, lasers, missiles, "terminators" (little destuctive robots)... Sometimes mafiosos would appear before a race and tell you to kill a specific driver for some cash.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blur}}'' is a recent example, featuring licensed {{Cool Car}}s, but very cartoony weapons, and WackyRacing abounds.
* ''[[VideoGame/SplitSecond Split/Second]]'' is an unusual variation; the damage comes from booby traps set up around the course, which a player can trigger when they've built up the power meter far enough. Traps range from the simple (spring-loaded dump truck, collapsing overpass) to the ludicrous (dropping an airport control tower onto the track, knocking a cruise ship loose of its drydock mooring to scrape the track clean).
* ''VideoGame/RocketJockey'' has a weird concept of combat: you're on a rocket cycle, and your task is to snag other riders with [[GrapplingHookPistol grapple cables]] and [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential do nasty things to them]] in order to increase your score or end up the last man standing.
* ''VideoGame/DeathRally'' had top-down combat racing where the players would earn cash from races to buy new cars and upgrade them, eventually facing off against [[FinalBoss The Adversary]]. Featured VideoGame/DukeNukem as a [[GuestFighter Guest Driver]]. The original came out in 1996 for DOS, and received an iOS remake in 2011.
* ''VideoGame/PostApocalypticMayhem'' keeps the action going in one direction like a race but nonetheless awards wins to the most prolific destroyer. Each of its six cars has distinct weaponry, lending each a different play experience.
* ''VideoGame/{{Crasher}}'' mixes in elements of the MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena genre.
* ''VideoGame/AutoAssault'' expanded this into an {{MMORPG}}.
* ''VideoGame/BattleTanx'' and its little-known spinoff, ''VideoGame/ThunderTanks''.
* ''VideoGame/ModNationRacers''. High speed kart racing with upgradable weapons and lethal tracks.
* The many vehicle sequences in ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Wipeout}}'' series of futuristic racing games. Initially the weapons were just used to slow down opponents to get ahead of them; in the second game (2097/XL depending on where you are), ships can be destroyed, and by Wip3out there's a mode devoted entirely to shooting down your rivals.
** By the time if Wipeout HD, the more chaotic races (lovingly referred to by fans as "Cambodia") become frenzies of colours flying everywhere ([[UpToEleven even more so than the game already was!]]) and the announcer listing every weapon in the game in quick succession, doubly so in the expansion pack's version of Eliminator, which ups the rate racers receive weapons and respawns defeated ones.
* ''VideoGame/NightStriker'' is a rail ShootEmUp where you use a FlyingCar to shoot down enemy flying cars, helicopters, jets, trucks, and robots.
* ''VideoGame/BanditsPhoenixRising'' is a linear action story with differing objectives in each level, in contrast to most games of the genre.
* ''VideoGame/RoadKill'' is like a free roaming ''Twisted Metal''
* ''WWE Crush Hour''
* ''VideoGame/BattleCars''
* ''VideoGame/WheelsOfDestruction'' is essentially an arena shooter a la VideoGame/{{Quake}} or VideoGame/UnrealTournament injected with this trope.
* ''VideoGame/MegaRace''
* ''VideoGame/RogueTrip: Vacation 2012''
* ''VideoGame/FullAuto'': The first game is an hybrid of car combat and the RacingGame genre, being ostensibly a racing game with an heavy emphasis on gunning down opponents with mounted weapons. The sequel adds more traditional "arena" levels.
* ''VideoGame/BattleZone1998'' and its sequel combine vehicular combat ({{Hover tank}}s, tanks, and [[HumongousMecha walkers]]) with base management and RealTimeStrategy [[PlayerMooks unit management]].
* ''Chase H.Q.''. Combat here is limited to catching up with one enemy car and ramming it into submission, but its sequel, ''Special Criminal Investigation'', adds more weapons.
* ''Videogame/TreadMarks'' features [[MultiTrackDrifting powersliding]] tank-on-tank (and HoverTank) combat in addition to [[WackyRacing racing with live ammunition strew about the track]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Robocraft}}'' basically amounts to this, with the main gimmick being that you design the vehicles yourself.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfTanks'' is basically this, despite being marketed as a [=MMORPG=]. The vehicles involved are based on those used in the wars, including some prototypes and paper concepts (upgradeable via modules, and with decals and camouflage that can be applied to the tank itself).
* ''VideoGame/StreetsOfSimCity'' is built on this trope and WeaponisedCar.
* ''VideoGame/MachRider'' has you shoot up enemy 4X4's with guns mounted on you motorbike
* The climax of episode one of ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'' involves Rhys, Fiona, and their friends getting caught up in a bandit demolition derby known as "Murder Rally 12000".
* ''VideoGame/RingRunnerFlightOfTheSages'' features races you can participate in for money. Most of the races let you take your guns with you onto the racetrack.
-->'''Warden Wilma''': The only thing this crowd likes better than fast winners is explosive losers.
* Creator/OriginSystems' ''Autoduel'', a computer-based role-playing game based on ''TabletopGame/CarWars''.
* ''VideoGame/KnightRider'' for the NES is similar to Mach Rider above, but instead of shooting 4x4's, you're shooting vehicles driven by an unnamed criminal ring.
* ''VideoGame/{{Batman 2013}}'' arcade game focused on this in which you drive around in the Batmobie and race through Gotham while doing various objectives.
* ''Videogame/FromTheDepths'' has realistic DesignItYourselfEquipment for boat, submarine, aircraft, and spacecraft combat. Players are also free to walk around their craft while in motion to repair it or engage in a BoardingParty against enemy craft.
* ''Gas Guzzlers Extreme'', a spiritual successor to the ''Full Auto'' games.
* ''VideoGame/BumperWars'' is basically a futuristic, deadly version of bumper cars.

* The titular race in ''Anime/{{Redline}}'' embraces this trope from the first green flag...

* The 1975 Creator/RogerCorman flick ''Film/DeathRace2000'' and its 2008 remake, called simply ''Film/DeathRace''. The latter may as well have been called ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal: The Movie'' -- it even had the cars' weapons activated by driving over platforms on the track.
* Then there's ''Film/DeathRacers,'' TheMockbuster of ''Death Race'' that ends up as a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Death Race 2000''. Stars the Music/InsaneClownPosse and loaded with scads of BlackComedy.
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' features "Sugar Rush", an arcade racing game {{Expy}} of ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' whose weapons include Cherry Bombs and Sweet Seekers.
* While Franchise/JamesBond has gotten some [[CoolCar cool cars]] over the years, ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' finally lets him do some vehicular battle with a villain in an equally souped-up car. [[InterestingSituationDuel On ice.]]
* Shows up in ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'' when Joe, after [[spoiler:his plan to start watering plants with water again instead of Brawndo kills Brawndo's stock price and plunges the economy into recession]], is punished via "Rehabilitation". This turns out to be a [[GladiatorGames gladiatorial vehicular deathmatch]] where Joe is sent out to die against the "Dildozer" and "Ass Blaster", two monster trucks equipped with [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything blatantly phallic weapons]], while he drives a [[TheAllegedCar jalopy hatchback]] with a floppy pink dildo taped to the hood.

* As with the video game, ''Pinball/SpyHunter'' has Agent GK use his WeaponizedCar against enemy spies.
* Subverted by Creator/{{Gottlieb}}'s ''Pinball/{{Victory}}'' -- the playfield art and advertisements suggest a BloodSport with [[WeaponizedCar cars covered in spikes and weapons]], but there are no combat elements actually found in the game.

* The tabletop combat game ''TabletopGame/CarWars'' and its RPG spinoff, ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Autoduel'', can be considered a predecessor.
** ''[[TabletopGame/DiscworldRolePlayingGame GURPS Discworld Also]]'' has "Ecksian Cart Wars", a parody of the ''Autoduel'' setting, a reference to the ''Film/MadMax''-like environment of ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', and an exercise in just how far you can push the ''GURPS'' vehicle rules.
* For a while, Games Workshop put out a game set ostensibly in the 40k universe but in the 21st century called "Dark Future". It was specifically scaled to 20mm instead of 28mm so that Hot Wheels and Matchbox sized cars could be modified with sprues of weapons and used in the game.
* In addition, Games Workshop had ''TabletopGame/{{Gorkamorka}}'', a vehicular combat game focusing on ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'''s Orks beating each other up for scrap, ''Film/MadMax'' style.
* ''The Tooniversal Tour Guide'', a sourcebook for the ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}'' RPG, includes rules for "Car-Toon Wars", a parody of ''TabletopGame/CarWars''. Weapons include toon-seeking pies, instant brick walls, and devices that drop bottomless pits behind your car.

* Perhaps the closest RealLife example would be demolition derbies, often seen at state fairs and monster truck rallies. Not surprisingly, there have been video games based around this.
* Likewise with monster truck rallies, though that's more a case of "one gigantic truck crushing a bunch of helpless jalopies beneath its treads". The personalization of the trucks, however, is very much in the vein of games like ''Twisted Metal'' with their casts of larger-than-life cars and drivers, with some monster trucks, such as Bigfoot, Grave Digger, and the [=McGruff=] the Crime Dog truck, being celebrities in their own right.