Video game mechanics often allow stealing in ways that are obviously unrealistic, deriving from the premise that stealing from a live body is just a little different from looting the corpse. Loot for players from a given monster may be generated at the same time as the monster's appearance and it may be possible to steal everything that the player would have looted if it was killed first.

Generally one of the AcceptableBreaksFromReality, despite the FridgeLogic issues with OrganDrops where the character has stolen something that the enemy ''needs'' to live, but they're attacking you anyway. While the theft is usually fast, this isn't ImpossibleTheft because the enemy knows exactly how you did it; GameplayAndStorySegregation. When the character is able to steal for the plot or to advance an objective, it may count as ImpossibleTheft or a subtrope.

BanditMook and MooksAteMyEquipment are two things that can happen when the enemies get fed up and decide to turn the tables on you.
Not to be confused with Stealing Video Games; for that see USefulNotes/ReadOnlyMemory and DigitalPiracyIsEvil. For mundane looting of [=NPCs'=] homes, see KleptomaniacHero.



[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', it's possible to steal collection items from the monsters that drop them if you use the grappling hook in combat. In the case of Moblin Skull Necklaces and Darknut Knight Crests, they actually disappear from the monster, and he's actually surprised. You can also steal Chu Jelly from [=ChuChus=] before they die. It's also the best way to get those Golden Feathers off the Kagorocs, given that they tend to die in the air over cliffs, and therefore don't leave drops in convenient places.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' it's possible to steal horns from Bokoblins with the whip which is presented much more realistically.
* The Thief's Glove in ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' allows [[ExpositionFairy Issun]] to become a kleptomaniacal projectile, attacking enemies for damage ''and'' stealing from them. The damage is low at first but increases with every use.

[[folder:Driving Game]]
* This becomes a mechanic in the battle mode of later ''Franchise/MarioKart'' titles - if a player rams into another player with the boost from a [[NitroBoost mushroom]], rather than just spin out their opponent, the player who used the mushroom would take one of their opponent's balloons. With [[RandomDrops luck]]/skill, it would be possible to extend beyond the usual three hit points given in the mode.

[[folder:Eastern RPG]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': At one point, you had to use the "steal" command to grab the uniform off of a guard -- leaving him in his underwear in mid-battle and [[DefeatByModesty causing him to flee]] and doubling as a theft [[ImpossibleTheft other characters would talk about.]]
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'':
*** Stealing from a robot would destroy the robot, and gain you a grenade. [[HandWave Presumably it was the machine's power source.]] Other robots could be frisked for Al Bhed Potions.
*** An interesting play on this occurs in the first battle against [[spoiler:Seymour]]. His subordinates have the Auto-(Hi-)Potion skill, which means every time you deal damage to them or the boss, a {{Mook}} will counter with a Hi-Potion, restoring 1000 HP to the target. The only ways to get around this are to use status effects, use attacks that will deal over 1000 damage...or just steal their Hi-Potions so they can't use them.
*** The bribing system, oddly enough, falls into this trope by providing a different set of rare items that may not necessarily be stealable or won through spoils. Enemies now become hidden shops.
** The Thief class in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' could steal a whole bunch of stuff; HP, MP, ''time'', ''sanity'' & ''will''. Granted, it cost MP to do it, implying that this was somehow magical.
** It really gets ludicrous in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. You don't get money from most monsters, instead getting loot to sell. While you can get the same loot either by killing or stealing (in most cases), the things you steal suggest that your party is made up of the world's fastest dentists, skinners, and butchers. Stealing a wolf's pelt mid-battle? Priceless. Do it without hurting the wolf? Absolutely unreal. Also, stealing is the only way to get [[spoiler:the Genji items from Gilgamesh]].
** Stealing is the only way to get [[spoiler:the Darkness augment back]] from Odin in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV DS''.
** ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games also have an upgrade to stealing: mugging. Instead of covertly stealing, you attack and get some money or an item out of it. Or in the case of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' where the main character is a thief, more like stealing and getting in a sucker punch[[note]]Zidane actually got stronger the more you stole this way: every successful theft powers up the damage done by a certain cheap ability. Zidane can become capable of dishing out far more magic damage then the dedicated BlackMage, and while he can't cast [[ManaDrain Osmosis]] to fuel his casting, the extremely cheap cost of this ability will still allow him to spam it in boss battles, making him as good a BlackMage as [=ViVi=] while still having higher health, good damage, and of course the awesome Steal ability[[/note]].
** The best thief in ''Final Fantasy'' history is actually a ninja, Edge of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''. In earlier versions of the game, using the "Sneak" command would just do a check to see if Edge succeeds, without any sort of check as to whether or not he had already succeeded. Consequently, there's literally no limit to how many times Edge can steal an item from an enemy other than the player's patience and ability to keep the battle going. And given that ''Final Fantasy IV'' was one of the games that [[AvertedTrope averted]] UselessUsefulSpell, proper use of Stop could keep a battle going for a very long time, indeed. And that's even before you get into the fact that, during the final battle, Edge [[ImpossibleThief can steal a theoretical concept]].
* The ''VideoGame/AtelierIris'' series and the subsequent ''VideoGame/{{Mana|Khemia Alchemists of Al Revis}} [[VideoGame/ManaKhemia2FallOfAlchemy Khemia]]'' series allow you to steal the bones and eyes off dragons, or the underwear off of demons and angels!
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' series:
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' employs a nice variation of the stealing mechanic. Steal-able items are actually visible on the enemy; badges give the enemy their full benefit, and they can and will use other items if given the chance. If you try to steal from "empty-handed" enemies, you often just get some pocket change; it actually ''is'' possible to get an item from empty-handed enemies, although it is quite unlikely.
** Also possible in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario''. When fighting against Mr. L, or [[spoiler: Dark Luigi]], one of his attacks is to heal with a Shroom Shake. By using Thoreau, you can steal the shakes before he uses them.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'' has some odd subversions. In some cases (one monster's favorite doll), stealing an item from an enemy will enrage it and make it stronger. In others (notably, batteries and generators for mechanical enemies), it weakens the monster. But stealable items are never found on the body, and you can steal enemy skills.
* In the ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' games, you can steal things off townspeople and even ''party members'' with a steady enough hand. They apparently weren't aware they had it before you took it. (Dias, you jerkass. Why, exactly, didn't you know you had that InfinityPlusOneSword in your pocket until ''after'' I yanked it out?)
** In that the original ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', which introduced pickpocketing, you could only make a single attempt on any given ally or NPC in the entire game. If you failed, you couldn't try again. This resulted in a whole lot of SaveScumming.
** In the PSP remake of the first ''[[VideoGame/StarOcean1 Star Ocean]]'', you could pickpocket over and over again until you succeeded. On the other hand, unlike the original ''Star Ocean 2'', overuse of pickpocketing would reduce your party's "friendship meter" towards your main character, regardless of whether you were in a "Private Action" at the time.
** In addition to the original Pickpocket skill, ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope'' allows Meracle to steal from enemies at a low chance by hitting them from the front with regular attacks. This is required for quite a few of her battle trophies.
* In ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', the attacks Thief and Covet are notable when used on a Trainer's Pokemon. For one, the Trainer will block Poke Balls, yet not ask for the item back? Also, it leads to the question of ''why'' they would give their Pokemon some of the items they do (Rich Boy Winston in RSE is notable…who puts a Gold [[VendorTrash Nugget]] on their Pokemon unless their inventory is full or they are trading it to another game?). Also, Colosseum and XD have the Snag Balls. You would think that somebody who wasn't part of [[spoiler:Cipher]] would complain to the police and get you arrested for stealing their Pokemon…
** Part of this trope is overall averted in Pokemon, however, since Pokemon ''do'' use the items they hold (wild Zigzagoon use their Oran Berries, Ditto are aided by their held Silverpowder, etc.), and if you steal those items, the Pokemon no longer have them. However, if you catch them before they use it, they will still have the item when they're in your party or a PC.
** You actually do this in-game in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and the sneak into the back room of the lab in Celadon City and swipe the Eevee off the table.
** ''Pokemon Sun and Moon'' introduced Marshadow. Its SecretArt allows you to steal opponent's ''buffs'' then oHKO it with them right afterwards.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' had Colette's "Item Thief" and "Item Rover" skills (the latter also stole [[strike:gold]] Gald), which could get you rare items...sometimes. Unless you had the EX Gems to make it work all the time. There was one item that could only be obtained by stealing it from a boss that appeared early enough that you wouldn't have the EX Gems needed unless you were on a NewGamePlus.
** Colette's animation for stealing is tripping near the enemy, complete with a "Whoops!", while still managing to rip the bear's pelt from his [[NightmareFuel still living body]]. Since she [[DualWielding uses two huge chakrams]], fans like to joke about how she's just pretending to be a klutz. Considering her constant tripping on things is a RunningGag, one has to wonder how terrifying she must be in a fight to foes ''and friends'' alike...
* Repede from ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' can steal items with his Thievery arte. In the [=PS3=] version he gets a variant that causes damage in the process and new character Patty Fleur can steal money with her Steal Gald arte.
* Leia from ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' can steal from enemies by simply knocking them down while she's linked to another character. It also has the side effect of permanently disabling the enemy's item usage (Which is ''really'' useful for the few enemies and bosses that abuse them for healing).
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'' you can get titles for every character that upgrades certain artes into having a stealing effect. Since artes are the only attacks in this game, you can probably just forget about the stealing effects and fight normally and then notice an item stolen during combat, if you notice you stole an item at all.
* Several of the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games have a Steal ability. Oddly, in most of them, it's essentially treated as a chance to get another item after battle -- instead of stealing something mid-combat, you get a message along the lines of "<Character> stole <Item> from the enemy!" during the post-battle text.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', the ability is available to Yangus if you put points into his Scythe skill. It first becomes usable as "Steal Sickle", then with more skill points upgrades to "[[{{Pun}} Stainless Steal Sickle]]".
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarII'' has resident thief Shir Gold, who has a random chance of stealing a given item from any arms or item shop the party visits, travelling all the way back to Rolf's house in Paseo to rejoin the group. This includes on ''whole other planet'' Dezoris. However, this ability is useful for snagging the Visiphone, a global SavePoint, from Paseo's Central Tower.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', three characters (Kid, Fargo, and Mel) are capable of stealing items. To avoid abuse from the "can always run from enemy" system, running will cause you to drop the item. A bit annoyingly, you can only use steal once per battle (like all other techs), even if you can simply run from battle to reset your chances if you miss.
* Riki of ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'' is capable of stealing items, as well as various intangible possessions from enemies such as strength, agility, or with the help of an skill upgrade even experience points.
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' provides a subversion to one of the usual rules: Jeff can steal items from enemies with his "Spy" ability, but he will only get an item if the enemy would have dropped it on defeat anyway.
* Stealing can be done in ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' by using a Tonfa that has the ability to steal items. Tonfas have an extremely short range, forcing you to get closer to enemies, and you are not always guaranteed to steal items on your first or later attempts. Luckily, all Tonfas have an extremely short recharge, allowing you to keep trying in quick succession and it's amplified when you cast Haste on yourself. Stealing, especially in the BonusDungeon, is the only way to get duplicates of [[TooAwesomeToUse Revive, Medicine 4, and Full Cure]].
* ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' plays this completely straight with the Thief job, which can Steal from an enemy. They can also steal life (though the game calls it Life drain which implies it's a standard draining effect than simply stealing life) or Mug an enemy, dealing the same damage as a normal attack but also stealing. Eventually they can learn to steal from every enemy in battle in one turn.
* In ''VideoGame/EvilIslands'' animal/monster corpses can be looted for valuable body parts. The same parts can be ''stolen'' from their owners if you manage to sneak up to them from behind.

[[folder:Hack And Slash]]
* While not stealing, the "Find Potion" and "Find Item" barbarian skills in ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' allow you to find additional items on corpses that are not there when you simply loot the killed enemy. Both of these were [[AllThereInTheManual explained in the manual]]. The potions aren't really bottles of potion, but the enemy's internal organs with the same properties as healing or mana potions, concocted into a drinkable form. Ewwww. The Find Item skill was explained as barbarians used to living a hardscrabble life and willing to look a little harder through the carnage to find the good stuff. Considering that, at higher skill levels and on stronger monsters, this can get you hundreds of gold or rare magic items, they must be looking ''really hard''.

[[folder:Massively Multiplayer Online Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' had items you can steal that the enemy could logically have, such as enemy currency from the humanoid and sentient Beastmen, but not from giant pots or worms. Everything else this trope stands for, however, is followed dutifully.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' has an odd take with stealing. Ninjas have the Mug skill whose effects change depending on which poison you use. One of them gives Mug a slight chance of having additional loot drop from the target if the attack was the finishing blow, even though you aren't actually stealing anything. Using the other poison changes Mug to absorb the target's HP instead.
* ''VideoGame/EverQuest'' lets you steal such things as bat wings from a bat (and you could get three), bone chips from a skeleton, serpent fangs, heads, etc.
* This is a part of Karteira's skill set in ''VideoGame/GranblueFantasy''. Her SR version's second skill applies a unique debuff, which when combo'd with her first skill, will allow her to steal up to 13,500 rupies from an enemy. Interestingly, this mechanic applies the condition of this trope where the enemy needs to be kept alive in order for her to successfully steal the coins.
** This particular example ran to the absurd often because the skill would use the creature's loot table. Well-known examples include pickpocketing a goblin and stealing its brain (after which it kept fighting), stealing a watermelon from a Dwarf miner (where did he have THAT?!?) and stealing a magical claymore (big, two-hand sword) from an eagle.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' lets rogues steal locked boxes from humanoids, insignia, etc., which are not present if you kill the enemy. Of course, this was probably done so Rogues weren't essentially stealing loot from their party members. However, every enemy can only be pickpocketed once. If you can't find anything on a monster, another rogue probably pickpocketed it before you and didn't kill it.
** A rogue of the appropriate level can pick the pocket of almost any hostile humanoid, with exceptions governed more by game mechanics than what they're wearing. An oblivious priest NPC in flowing robes might have nothing a rogue can find, but a nine-foot-tall ogre poses no challenge. Even if he's only in a loincloth. Same for a fur-covered bear-man.
** At least through late ''Burning Crusade'', rogues ''could'' technically pickpocket a given enemy more than once ''if'' said rogue pickpocketed enough enemies in between the two attempts without any of them being killed. A pacifist rogue could endlessly pickpocket kobolds in the human starting area (counting the mine) even in the absence of other players killing them.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has some items, like Frigid Mote, only available by [[ stealing]]. You could even steal a gold ring off a Gold Ring and body parts off monsters. The game's creators jokingly claimed that since you are pickpocketing, the monster's skin counts as a pocket and thus you could steal body parts. Considering the atmosphere of the game, this isn't too out of place.
** Also considering how non-Moxie classes can now do pickpocketing: you're holding a miniature ''black hole''. (This is why you shouldn't put the lime in the coconut...)
** The community of the game at one point held a competition to find a screenshot for the most ludicrous thing pickpocketed. The winners were the fellows who stole Yeti Skin off of a yeti, Bat Guano from a bat (it was in Nature's Pocket), and worst of all, a "Mind Flayer's Corpse" off of a mind flayer. This led to a running joke in the game that mind flayers carry around the bodies of other mind flayers in case they run into adventurers.
** The [[IncrediblyLamePun four-shadowed mimes]] introduce a new one: you can pickpocket their ''souls'', apparently without harming them. Considering how [[NightmareFuel friggin' creepy]] the mimes are, this may be intentional.
** The white chocolate golem carries around a recipe for white chocolate chip brownies. Kinda logical, maybe. Less logical is that it's ''your mother's'' secret recipe. [[YouShouldntKnowThisAlready And you can't make your own mother's brownies until you read the recipe]], which can ''only'' be obtained by pickpocketing it from the golem.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' has an entire Thieving Skill, with chest looting, pickpocketing, stealing from street stalls, looting tombs and even knocking out thugs and rummaging through their pockets. Not all {{NPC}}s can be stolen from, but the ones that can be generally fall into this trope.
** However, contrary to the trope, thieving does ''not'' work during combat
** There's one pvp minigame in particular that lets you pickpocket other players for the first time. Granted, it takes place in an arena where you have temporary items and you can't really steal anything valuable from other players, just whatever they make in the arena. Such as daggers, runes, summoning pouches... entire sets of platemail...
** You can however steal an entire stack of runes from someone in Stealing Creation with pickpocketing. This would normally not be much of a problem as a spell needs multiple kinds of runes, allowing for some redundancy, but there are only two kinds of runes in SC. This means you can cackle maniacally as they chase you, punching you for no damage as you just took away a mage's only ability to cast.
* ''VideoGame/{{Achaea}}'' handles this by having no 'steal' skill as such, meaning players cannot steal from {{NPC}}s but instead use tricks like hypnosis to make other players ''give'' items away. Drama erupted when a powerful one-off item sold by the developers to help protect from theft -- essentially a magic box -- was bought ''by a thief'', and used in a way they hadn't expected to make theft much harder to avoid. It was swiftly confiscated, and replaced with a different item.
** Similar mechanics were at play in ''VideoGame/{{Lusternia}}''. However, a prolific and imaginative thief in the first year or so of the game led to the ''playerbase'', rather than the admin, cracking down on theft. These days, stealing from people is a good way to make yourself a pariah, and fair-game for griefing tactics (including retaliatory theft) in return.
* A {{MUD}} based on Terry Pratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' [[ exists]], with its own Thieves' Guild and the fun 'steal' command for things that are carried, like coins or miscellaneous items. Anyone else can learn to 'steal' too. But thieves also learn how to 'filch', which takes things that are worn or held. Ever experience the joy of stealing a sword out of the hands of an unsuspecting victim? How about his armour? Or somebody else's underwear?
* ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline'': used to let you steal from anyone, player or humanoid NPC alike. Players often had rather elaborate counter measures against such actions. Locked boxes, poisons, explosives, nested containers full of decoys. To walk up to a bank and see someone suddenly explode wasn't uncommon.
** After a patch allowed characters with high Wrestling to have a chance at disarming their opponents with a special attack, a change made to help mages who weren't allowed to hold weapons in combat, 'disarm thieves' began to appear who could literally steal the weapon out of your hand and beat you to death with it.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' has the thief, who apparently can steal items from an opponent and use it against them.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline'' plays it a ''little'' more realistically than some. BagOfHolding aside, many of the items you can steal are actually small, easily concealed treasures that one would expect a real thief to prioritize. These are the usual find when stealing from chests and the like, are the only items that will appear when pickpocketing [[NonPlayerCharacter NPCs]], and grant the most money when fenced. It IS still possible to steal whole suits of armor and five foot long swords laying around in shops and stalls though.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/EarthTaken 2'' the player can commit theft [[ without even realizing that they are actually stealing.]]
* ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'' allowed pickpocketing valuables from guards -- but valuables included such things as gold watches and diamonds (which most people don't carry in their back pockets) and you couldn't find them by killing the guards. Of course, being a ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' game, it provided a [[JustifiedTrope reason]] for why this happened in ''some'' missions (the keys you're after are fragile and will break if the guards are defeated) but not all.

* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'':
** Your pets can pick up an item in a store, carry it outside, and drop it, thus stealing it for you; presumably [[ShopliftAndDie the shop-keeper is keeping such an eagle-eye on you]] that he completely ignores your pets. Can still get pretty ridiculous if your pets steal item after item from the same shop without the shop-keeper noticing, or if you sell back a stolen item without the shop-keeper realizing it.
** There are also monsters with special item-stealing attacks. Any monster that is covetous will attempt to steal one or any of your plot coupons or your class's special item from you. Leprechauns steal gold and nymphs steal anything they can get their hands on. [[HornyDevil Foocubus]] are a lot classier as they'll try to undress you and only seldom steal some gold for their troubles if they succeed (players consider it etiquette to have some gold on hand for the foocubus).
* In ''[[VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery ADOM]]'' pickpocketing generates a random new item rather than taking an item the monster already has, so pickpocketing the monsters and then killing them nets you more loot than just killing them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Elona}}'' you can only pickpocket items a monster already has, and the heavier the item is the longer it takes to steal, giving the victim and bystanders more time to notice your attempted theft. However, an item being worn makes no difference, so it's easier to steal a ring the monster is wearing than the plate-mail armor the monster is simply carrying.\\\
The pickpocket skill can also be used to pick up non-random items which are normally off-limits to the player, like a fishing pole lying on the floor of a fishing shop, making the skill double as a sort of "shoplifting" skill. But this also lets you do things like steal a blackjack table from a casino, or even uproot entire ''trees'' and carry them off. In fact, the fastest way to train the pickpocket skill is to wander around in the wilderness uprooting trees.
* In the ''VideoGame/CryptOfTheNecrodancer'', wearing a [[BlackoutBasement Ring of Shadows]] allows you to steal items from the shops.


[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' series, of course, has this to a degree. Often, you will be able to steal some loot that a character seems to be observing, and they will say or do nothing as it disappears before their eyes unless they see the perpetrator. In ''Deadly Shadows'', Garrett can instantly pinch an unsuspecting passerby's shiny purse, bracelets and collar, and it'll still take them about ten seconds to notice. The "only stealable in battle" bit is averted, though, as pickpocketing an enemy who's already noticed you is often impossible.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' allows you to take items from guards, crusaders, plague-infested victims, pirates, the mafia, [[spoiler: witches]], and a master assassin by pressing one button while their backs are turned. You can even steal in plain view of the guards in the Boyle mansion (justified; everyone does it there because they have so much and it's treated like a game). Usually, it's easier to just knock them unconscious; you can even take their money as you're picking up their heavy unconscious/dead bodies!
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' soldiers in later games have dog tags that the player can only receive by holding soldiers at gunpoint and shaking them down. For some reason you couldn't collect them by stunning them, sneaking up on them while asleep, or killing them. This for an item that was designed to be removed from soldiers when they died!
* ''VideoGame/CastleWolfenstein''. In the original Apple II version by Muse Software your character could steal [[DressingAsTheEnemy the uniform of a guard]] or the bulletproof vest of an SS trooper and then put it on and use it, all while holding the guard/trooper at gunpoint. This was the best way to kill an SS Trooper, actually, since it usually took a full clip or more to take one down. Sneaking up on them, telling them to give you their bulletproof vest and then shooting them? One.
* In ''VideoGame/DigimonWorld3'', some monsters carry items. These are sometimes collected as spoils after the battle, or can be stolen by using one of two attacks that have the bonus effect of maybe (yes, ''maybe'') stealing the enemy's object, "Picking Claw" or "Snapping Claw". Of course, enemies never think of using these items, some of which have [[GameBreaker game breakingly]] good effects, like being able to attack two to three times in a single round or counter an opponent's attack with one that causes more damage ''for free'', even when the monsters themselves use techniques with similar effects (For instance, the Etemon line has a chance of carrying healing items, and yet they prefer to waste MP on healing techniques [[WhatAnIdiot instead of using the item that heals more HP than they can possibly have]]). Worse, some monsters have items with a constant effect (accessories that add a highly visible elemental effect to your physical attack) ''and still don't use them'', so the game essentially handicaps itself for no reason.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' Adventure Mode: stealing something requires you physically grab the item off the person and pull it off, always works on unconscious enemies, and anything you steal will still be there if you kill the enemy.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'':
** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' (and by extension ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'') Ezio could steal small amounts of money from people just by bumping into them. Quite fun just to way through a crowded street stealing from everybody leaving tens of confused people - although they'll rapidly figure things out and start shouting for the watch. Also paying a herald and then stealing the money back is an Achievement in the Da Vinci Disappearance DLC.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'' adds the 'Counter Steal' move as one of the defensive options; if timed correctly Ezio both dodges a guards attack and uses his hookblade to grab ''all'' the money, ammunition and bomb supplies the guard is carrying, which would otherwise require looting the guard's corpse. This also stuns the target for a second as he tries to figure out what on earth just happened.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' many of the most powerful items in the game can only be acquired by stealing them from enemies mid-battle. Furthermore, you're allowed to steal helmets off people's heads, weapons out of their hands (which they can't use anymore), and armor and clothes right off of people's backs. They also have the ability "[[CharmPerson Steal Heart]]," which can charm the opposite gender and monsters.
** In one special case, a GuestStarPartyMember pulls a FaceHeelTurn and you have to fight him while he's wearing the equipment you put on him. At the end of the battle the game gives you the equipment back as a reward to prevent SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear; unfortunately (or [[GoodBadBugs fortunately]]), it doesn't check to see if you stole the equipment during the battle first. Those who know what's coming can easily duplicate the best equipment they have.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' lets you steal just about anything related to your enemy, including stats, experience and skills. That's one good thief. The one and only thing you can't steal? ''Boots'', probably to prevent characters from losing the ability to stand on terrain that cannot be traversed without special equipment. Stealing plate mail off someone is trivial, and you can't steal someone's armor if they're unconscious -- but you ''can'' still steal it if they've been ''turned into a [[StandardStatusEffects frog]]''. And in some cases, stealing the weapons will not disarm the enemy - they will immediately pull out a spare. And they have a ''lot'' of spares. It is made even more interesting when, after a dozen or so spares, they pull out a ''different, better'' weapon... which you immediately can steal, and in most cases is what you are actually after in the first place. In addition to Thieves, the Soldier class has the "Mug" ability, a blow to the head that makes money fall out of enemies' pockets.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' tones this down. You can only steal Gil, [[ItemCrafting Loot]], Accessories, Limelight (a stat that determines if a [[LimitBreak Scion]] can be summoned and how powerful they would be), and Armor (the last one can only be done by a Viking using Pillage, and for some reason both he and the Thief can never steal Ribbons).
** The ''Tactics'' games do subvert at least one part of the standard - afflicting an enemy with Sleep, Stop, or Stone gives you a 100% chance to steal. Paralysis and Don't Move do ''not'', however - they can apparently wiggle just enough to potentially fend off thieves.
* In ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'', enemies never drop their equipment when killed, but what you steal is taken from the equipment: Steal an enemy's weapon, he's now reduced to his fists. Some very valuable and useful items can only be gotten by stealing them from enemies in combat. Including a [[ImprobableAccessoryEffect Legendary Equippable Horse Wiener]].
** The standard Thief units in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}'' count to some degree, since they can steal ''stats'' from enemies (in the form of "[[IntangibleTheft vigor]]" for attack and so on). Their StandardStatusEffect abilities claim to be stealing things like "consciousness" and "movement" but the animations show them simply cracking their target over the head and such. It does avert one facet of this as it's ''possible'' for anyone on your team to steal items (but not stats), it's just Thief's are much better at it (one thing it's based on when calculating your chance of successfully stealing is level, and when a Thief does it he's treated as having a level twice as high as it actually is).
* In the ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' series, most, if not all, of your enemy forces are humans. Thus, it makes sense for an enemy to carry an extra weapon or healing item. More importantly, you can't steal a weapon the enemy target is currently wielding, or any weapon at all in 6, 7, or 8. It gets a little ridiculous in 5, where a thief could steal anything that weighed less than him or her, and the user of a Thief Staff could steal anything... including a ''freaking ballistae''. In ''Fire Emblem 4'', thieves automatically stole an enemy's money (and ''only'' their money) when they hit one in combat (most enemies carried small amounts of money) and were the only units able to give money to any ally at will.

[[folder:Real-time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/BattleBugs'' has a unit called a "Robber fly", which steals one of the enemies' bombs/eggs/cheeses/whatever as soon as they engage in combat, and is the only unit that can disengage a unit during fighting.

[[folder:Western RPG]]
* Spiderweb Software's ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' avert this. Characters can only steal from [=NPCs=] (and not suffer the consequences) when they are out of those [=NPCs=]' line of sight. Similarly, items can not be stolen in combat and will need to be looted off of corpses: whatever items the characters take, it was likely that their original owners actually had a probable use for them.
* In ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' it was possible to steal a monster's ''head'' while leaving it alive, since you were supposed to kill the monster and take the head from its corpse, but the head was implemented as an inventory item.
** One side quest involves bringing in bandit scalps for gold. A bug means a Thief is able to ''pickpocket their scalps''.
*** This bug carried on in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' where you can ''pickpocket people's heads''.
** Stealing from stores was an exception in that the items ''were'' created when you steal. The storekeeper must keep his stock in HammerSpace.
** In ''Baldur's Gate 2'', stealing the [[GameBreaker Ring of Gaxx]] in the moment before Kangaxx talks to you will net you a ring and another copy of the ring when he finally kicks the bucket. The mechanics behind it stem from the fact that he goes OneWingedAngel in battle - and you loot his final form, while stealing from the starting one.
*** Similarly, the first game included a wizard wearing the game's only +2 Ring of Protection. You meet him once outside his tower and once inside (where you fight him). Both times you meet him you can pickpocket the ring, and when you kill him he drops another one.
** It's possible to pickpocket a ''heavy crossbow'' from one particular Athkatlan nobleman - while in full view of his wife and two guards.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series usually avoided this trope completely, but still gave opportunities to steal.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaI'' allows you to steal from shops until you get caught, in which case the guards chase you out of town. When you re-enter, the guards are passive. Starting with [[VideoGame/UltimaIII III]], you could steal from some chests. However, stealing in ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'' causes you to fall back in progress to completing the game.
** And let's not forget the Pickpocket spell from ''VideoGame/UltimaVI'', which allows you to steal meat from inside a cow.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVII: Serpent Isle'' introduced the "vibrate" spell, which lets you steal objects from an enemy. However, enemy spellcasters' spells were sometimes implemented as objects, letting you "steal" the spell and gain infinite uses.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline'' lets thieves steal anything a monster or player is carrying but not equipped. This made going to banks during the early part of the game very risky, as thieves would often rob you blind -- including stealing house/boat keys, and thus, everything in them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}} 8'' has two theft options, Pickpocket and Shoplift. However, these can only be performed on a very small number of {{NPC}}s (and only those who already trust you), or in stores, and are typically hard to do. However, storekeepers apparently don't keep money on their person, because even if you rob them blind, [[WeBuyAnything they'll still buy stuff from you]].
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games were interesting in this regard. They were generally very reasonable, even taking into account such things as the facing of characters to determine if someone noticed -- obviously, if you were in front of someone, they were more likely to notice you stealing something than if you were behind them -- but you could steal truly ridiculous things, such as thousands of coins and heavy machine guns.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', it was possible to short-circuit a very long quest to get an old junk car running again by pickpocketing the needed part from a junk dealer, until the patch [[GoodBadBugs screwed that up]].
** There is no explicit way of freely getting items from party members, since the ''Fallout'' engine was not initially designed to support companions, a late addition. As a result, the game allows you to "steal" items from an {{NPC}}, unless you want to barter with them for equivalent cost. The best part about that is in the original game, bartering would check both parties' weight limit - but stealing wouldn't. Thus, each companion became a pack mule with an [[HyperspaceArsenal unlimited carrying capacity]]. The only downside is that when they died, you'd have to leave some of the five-hundred pounds of junk they were carrying behind...
** In all the games you could use the "Steal" skill to plant items on any person not engaged in combat. The first and second games allowed you to plant ticking time bombs on them, while in the third it's possible to give {{NPC}}s live grenades and watch them casually walk away before exploding.
*** Leaving a bomb was usually the easiest way to pull off an assassination on otherwise well guarded targets. Also, early in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', you could pull a fun variant with the thieving kids. Carrying a bomb in your inventory and setting the timer while strolling near the kids would result in them pickpocketing the bomb off you, then (if they have enough time) running off to hand the loot to their boss. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Which would then blow up and take him with it,]] while leaving his store inventory unharmed and available for looting.
*** In the same vein, ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' allowed you to plant a bomb on the "Shitty Comedian" who is protected by a screen from a hostile crowd. If you casually walked back into the audience to watch the comedian literally bomb, the game may crash being unable to determine how all the NPC's should react to the death. (Starting a fight in the area was a long, drawn-out process because of the game's turn-based mechanic, meaning all the patrons get a turn to run, panic, or pick up weapons from the fallen and try to fight back, often hitting others due to their lack of skill, which would... well, you get the picture)
*** Louis Salvatore can be assassinated by stealing his oxygen tank. Cue him gasping for breath before keeling over.
** Deathclaws were an interesting case in the early ''Fallout'' games because their hand-to-hand damage was actually accompanied by an inventory weapon. On death, this weapon usually deallocated but, if the Deathclaw died in a way that didn't wipe its inventory[[note]]Zero damage criticals, look it up[[/note]], they would drop ''their claws'', an awesome equippable hand-to-hand weapon with a glitched visual.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' the introduced the ability to steal the bullets [[ImpossibleThief out of an enemy's loaded gun]]. On the other hand, you can't steal the gun itself or their armor--not directly that is. What you ''can'' do is give them an item the AI considers "better", which is mostly decided by DPS or DT/DR (depending on if you're playing ''3'' or ''New Vegas''), then steal the original item once they switch to the one you gave them.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', a sneaky character can take the ammo from enemies' guns, their weapons, and most spectacularly you can [[AreTheseWiresImportant steal the power source]] for their power armor, forcing them to leave it. There's something satisfying about knowing that, at any point, you can completely ruin an enemy's sense of protection by ruining both his weapon and armor.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', you can pickpocket from [=NPCs=] and from monsters, but you can only ever get five coins at a time. This includes from [[MoneySpider bats and rats]]. Additionally, you can repeatedly pickpocket five coins from said rat or bat until it is killed ''and'' it can be hostile to you while you steal those five coins.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', you can pickpocket non-equipped items from a target NPC's inventory by sneaking up to them undetected. Successfully doing so opens the NPC's inventory and allows you to remove items from it. The game uses a skill roll to determine the success of you pickpocket attempt. A higher Sneak skill will increase your chances of success. Additionally, smaller/lighter items are easier to steal than larger/heavier ones. Due to the way this works, an awesome pickpocket can stand ''in front of'' the target while quite literally emptying their pockets without being caught.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' works much the same as ''Morrowind''. In addition, you can actually kill [=NPCs=] by ''reverse pickpocketing'' poisoned apples into their inventory and waiting for them to eat. You can do the same with [[GameBreaker lightweight hoods enchanted with continual health damage spells]]. It's also possible that some items won't appear on an enemy until they're killed--usually this is to prevent breaking quests. Finally, some weapons and items are just not meant for player use -- you can't normally find them on corpses OR steal them, even if similar items can be stolen from other characters.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
*** ''Skyrim'' ups the ante by introducing the Pickpocket skill tree perks. A player who's fully invested in the Pickpocket skill can harm enemies just by putting poison in their pockets (Poisoned), or even ''steal their equipped clothes and weapons right off their backs.'' (Misdirection, Perfect Touch.) You have to wonder where they draw the line on the term "pick''pocket''"
*** If you sneak up on a Forsworn Briarheart, you can pickpocket the briarheart he carries. Said heart is his ''actual heart'' and he keels over dead, with a hole in his chest where you pulled his heart from.
*** A fun thing to do if you take the time to fully level up pickpocket (and for the best effect, alchemy) is to steal the clothes of people, give them a high powered weapon and put a (preferably long lasting) poison of frenzy on them. So as an end result you have a naked priest running around and killing people with a war-hammer. VideogameCrueltyPotential at it's finest
* In ''Lord of the Rings: The Third Age'', the "rogue" Morwen could use her Thief Craft skills to steal unique items, Strength and Dexterity points, and '''even XP'''.
* In ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VII'' you could steal from creatures, good or bad. However if good creatures caught you, they would immediately become hostile and attack you. This could also be done in stores, but you run the risk of being caught, kicked out, and not being allowed back inside. Kinda sucks, right? Well don't get caught next time.
** This becomes hilariously broken once your party's Thief has enough skill that he succeeds automatically. In which case you can casually walk into a store, take absolutely everything on the shelves and sell it right back. Of course, by this point in the game gold has long since stopped mattering, but...
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkstone}}'' lets you pickpocket eggs from chickens.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has Stealing as a skill that can be learned by anyone (except Dog and Shale). Steal ranks 1 through 3 can only be used outside of battle and rank 4 can be used in battle. Ideally you can get some top-tier loot this way, but a lot of it is programmed incorrectly and cannot be obtained without mucking around with the Toolset. One other odd element is that what you can steal scales by level, not by who you're stealing from, meaning that a Rogue who starts as a Dwarf Noble can find more to steal on dirt-poor city elves than on the cream of Dwarf nobility.
* ''VideoGame/CitizensOfEarth'' has The Homeless Guy, who can take money or items from enemies, with bigger success rate the less HP the enemy has. Subverted tough: while the abilities serve the same function as stealing in other games, the Homeless Guy is actually begging for the enemy to spare some change.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Arcanum}}'', a skilled thief can strip people off their ''plate armor'' without them noticing. Moreover, using a [[LuckManipulationMechanic Fate Point]] allows even the clumsiest PC to do this.

!!Non-Video Game Examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Due to the series being set in an RPGMechanicsVerse, ''LightNovel/KonoSubarashiiSekaiNiShukufukuO'' has "Steal" as one of the many Skills adventurers can learn. The skill works by concentrating, reaching in the direction of the target, and holding the user's hand out until it glows and the item is at hand. The item stolen is not controlled by the user, rather it is based on the user's LuckStat. Good thing the main character [[BornLucky has a very high luck stat]].

[[folder:Game Shows]]
* You could argue that the "Take One Gift"/"TAKE!" cards from ''Series/{{Concentration}}'' could be this- a pair of cards on the board that when matched, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin allowed a player to take a prize from their opponent]]. It could be subverted or averted in a variety of ways, however- the other player might find the other pair of take cards and get their own prize back, they might not be able to use the card because the opponent doesn't have anything to take, or they just don't find it on the board (sometimes, it wasn't there at all- the 1970s Jack Narz run removed it after a while, and it only started appearing on the Creator/AlexTrebek version a few months into the run).

* ''Pinball/PoliceForce'' has a "Take Highest Score" feature, where a player who uses his last ball to [[{{Combos}} shoot the right ramp twice in a row]] gets the highest score ''of all players'' added to his own (on a single-player game, the player's score doubles).

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', Sidereal Exalts -- fate-ninjas extraordinaire -- can perform the following: stealing dice and armor from foes, stealing names, and pickpocketing the ability to ''dream''.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 5E'', a level 3 rogue with the Thief archetype can use their Cunning Action on every turn of combat to attempt a Sleight of Hand check. This means that, while the specifics are left up to the DM's discretion, there is nothing in the basic rules to prevent or even deter a rogue from pickpocketing the enemy's potions off their person in the middle of combat.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The use of this in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' was [[ parodied]] in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'': Drecker, the resident thief, destroys a robot by stealing a grenade, and notes that all robots are built around one. When Ardam asks if that's dangerous, Drecker replies "Only if you pull the pin".
** And [[ earlier than that]], when he steals a sword from someone threatening them with a knife.
--->'''Bandit''': Wait... I had a '''sword'''!? Why was I using '''this''' thing, then?\\
'''Drecker''': Yeah, well, it's '''ours''' now.
* In ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'', Thief soundly defeated a zombie dragon by doing what he did best: Stealing. [[spoiler:A few vertebrae.]] He also stole the lich's soul from his SoulJar, and then ''stole it back into him''. He can also do it with memories. And, allegedly, [[ParanoiaFuel souls and secrets.]]
** He also stole his class change 'from the future.' In a later strip his past self is shown stealing the change from his future self.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied, like many other tropes, in ''WebVideo/CollegeSaga''. Here, the hero steals several items from his roommate, but he notices and attacks the party... only to be put asleep, pickpocketed and then left alone as the party flees from combat. At least they had the decency not to slaughter him.
* Parodied in the ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Umineko]]'' fan novel [[RPGEpisode "Witches and Woodlands."]] Jessica, having spent the entirety of the dungeon crawl segment trying and failing to use her "Steal" command to actually steal anything, finally succeeds during the BossBattle with Satan, acquiring... [[KleptomaniacHeroFoundUnderwear Satan's panties]]. Jessica is disgusted, George is amazed [[InfinityPlusOneSword at the stat bonuses they bestow]], [[ChivalrousPervert Battler]] wants to equip them on his head, and Satan is understandably ''pissed off''.