Follow TV Tropes


Improbable Aiming Skills / Video Games

Go To

Improbable Aiming Skills in video games.

  • Aimee from Bravely Second takes this trope and shoots it into orbit by shooting Yew literally halfway across the world, only missing a killing shot by an inch or so. And then when she's killed she fires something in the air. Fast forward to a bit later in the game, when you beat Angelo and he's about to suicide by cupcake, the ring she fired finally lands right on his finger.
  • Advertisement:
  • The game mechanic of "Hitscan" weapons in shooting games revolves about this. Instead of rendering every bullet as a moving entity (which would make the game lag a lot, expecially when lots of characters are on the screen), the program simply draws a straight line out of the character's gun, and assumes the bullet hit the first target the line encounters, disregarding distance, gravity and such.
  • The entire point of behind an aim-bot is to replicate this. An aim-bot is a program that lets an AI with lighting-fast perfect marksmanship take control of your aiming duties in a first-person shooter, and an extremely obvious telltale sign that someone is using one is when he pulls off absolutely mind-blowing feats of speed and accuracy. Players using one will constantly pull off impossible feats like a complete 180 turn to instantly headshot a target behind him with speeds far beyond human reflexes, then turning back around to headshot another two other guys in the blink of an eye, and capping that off with shooting someone without him disabling his cloaking device. The only limitations to how fast this can be done is how fast the weapon can fire. It should go without saying that using an aim-bot is universally considered cheating.
    • The hallmark gestures of an aim-bot is a constantly erratic jittering as the program tries to find players to lock on to, following by an inhumanly-quick jerk to a different area than he was originally looking at.
    • As you can imagine, fantastic players (or even mundane ones) can be expected to be accused of using one by the more butthurt members of any given FPS community.
    • Adding your own aim-bot is universally considered cheating. In Overwatch, the game provides Soldier 76 an aim-bot for a few seconds when he activates his ultimate; that's no more cheating than Bastion's tank mode or Reaper's Death Blossom.
  • Advertisement:
  • In City of Heroes, all attacks are determined whether they hit as soon as the animation starts. Basically, the animation just determines how long the attack takes to carry out. But it can take a few seconds to get to the part where you appear to attack. Which can lead to a melee attack hitting an opponent 30 feet and around a corner by the time your character actually swings, and the same goes for the computer hitting you. Cue Homing Boulders that fly through walls to hit targets who teleported around the map.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, the eponymous player character will automatically aim at enemies within a certain radius from the crosshair as long as he is not looking up or down. This means even the pistol has near-perfect accuracy at extreme range.
  • Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption. It ain't called "Dead Eye" for nothin'.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Dante is a pretty damn good shot even in the games proper, but only demonstrates truly ridiculous levels of skill in the cutscenes, such as the intro of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, where he — among other things — kills several Mooks with a single bullet by sending a bunch of billiard-balls into the air, and then shooting one of them in such a way that it starts a chain-reaction, sending the balls flying in all directions like gigantic, colorful buckshot. This is due to the fact that he's a human/demon hybrid using magical, demonic handguns.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, Dante puts a round through the Mad Scientist Agnus' papers. When Agnus picks one up to examine the damage, Dante puts another round through the exact same hole to kill him.
      • In the same game, in the boss encounters with Dante, he rarely uses his guns, unless of course Nero tries to shoot him, at which point Dante will begin to shoot the bullets out of the air.
      • Also in the same game, Dante manages to pull off "stacking" five bullets on the end of the handle of his sword (a la Robin Hood, just with bullets), stuck inside the Big Bad, each landing perfectly behind the other, with the final one thrusting it into its core.
  • Given Bayonetta's similarity to the aforementioned Dante, she has her moments. Among her more mundane examples is shooting an angel's crotch (It Makes Sense in Context) while facing the other way, resting her gun over her shoulder.
  • Final Fantasy XIII deserves some mention. While free-falling from a jet, Lightning manages to fire one bullet and perfectly hit Fang's Eidolith (which is also moving and is about the size of a large pebble). Did we mention that Lightning's weapon of choice, the Gunblade, has no ironsights or aiming method to speak of?
  • The player can invoke this in Deus Ex. Weapons in which you are untrained or only slightly trained have very bad aim. Although the player can start off with very good aim in one type of weapon or decent aim in several, they'll still have a few really inaccurate crappy ones for most of the game until enough skill points are gathered to push them to Advanced or Master training level.
  • Enter the Matrix has numerous examples, but one instance in particular is quite noteworthy; in the airport level, Ghost is tasked with shooting out the nose wheel of a Gulfstream jet to prevent it from taking off; Ghost being in a control tower and the plane being about a hundred yards away or so and beginning its takeoff roll. Granted Ghost is armed with a Barrett sniper rifle, but even the best snipers would be hard-pressed to make that shot.
    • It's explicitly mentioned within the game that using Focus (i.e. the bullet-time thing) dramatically enhances one's aim and reduces recoil: When using a sniper or shooting in first person mode, the player can zoom in a great deal farther when Focused.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid is another rare villainous example. Though wielding a revolver (and never, ever using his other hand to steady it), he's got unerring accuracy, on-par with even Sniper Wolf. He can even ricochet bullets off of walls. When Cyborg Ninja cuts off his right hand, he just starts shooting with his left instead, without any perceptible drop in accuracy.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater subverts this; the future Big Boss, then known as Naked Snake, gave Ocelot the idea of using a revolver as his weapon of choice, after noticing that with his previous gun (a Makarov PM handgun), he twisted his elbow to absorb the recoil, which actually worsened his aim with it.
      • Later in the same game, Ocelot adds a stock to the revolver to steady his aim for a long-range shot. And misses. Does he, though?
      • In MGS3, the first time we see Ocelot, he displays Aiming Skills, managing to fire a bullet that ricochets multiple times before killing a Mook. When Snake later gets one of the revolvers, the bullets still ricochet, so he could conceivably do the same if the player was good enough.
    • Also subverted in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, where, during the torture scene, Ocelot is spinning his gun on his left hand and drops it by accident — lending a bit of credibility that his left hand isn't quite as accurate as his right. He later goes on to shoot the PAL key out of Snake's hand near the end of the game.
    • Ironically, in Twin Snakes, the legendary sniper villain character Sniper Wolf also subverts this trope by submitting to certain real-world sniping necessities of behavior: her accuracy suffers unless she's lying down, she takes an elevated position and plans ahead to hold that superior position throughout her battles. The irony comes from nearly every other villain in the game embodying a trope in order to make themselves unique, while Wolf's more conventional sniping ability is soundly trumped by Solid Snake's employment of two tropes multiplied together. In the cutscene in which Wolf is defeated (following a player-controlled sniper-fight boss battle in an outdoor snowfield in Alaska, against an enemy wearing all white, in the midst of a blizzard), Snake is suddenly disarmed by Wolf shooting the PSG-1 sniper rifle from his grip and taking a bead on his forehead. She is undone, however, when Snake suddenly performs a perfect backflip, lands with his heel against the rifle's stock to propel it into the air, executes a full 360 turn to grab it, aims, and fires the killing shot straight into Wolf's lungs from more than a hundred yards distant. In Wolf's defense, she does recover from surprise in time to return fire simultaneously, but without the power of being the primary focus of the cutscene, her shot harmlessly misses. The combined power of Improbable Aiming Skills and Cutscene Power to the Max has a resonance, it seems, rendering the protagonist briefly perfect.
    • One last Twin Snakes example. (Noticing a trend yet?) After defeating Vulcan Raven's tank, Snake takes a grenade, regardless of whether or not you still have one, unpins it, waits a few seconds, and throws it into the barrel of the tank's cannon, all the way to the other end, where it waits for the gunner when he opens the hatch to load the next round. He has enough time for an "Oh, Crap!" before it blows, explaining the explosion in the original game that launched him out of the tank.
    • Quiet, from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, takes it Up to Eleven; one her most noteworthy moments as a sharpshooter comes when she successfully shoots the pilot of a fast-moving fighter jet through the canopy and in the head from a helicopter that is taking evasive maneuvers!
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Altaïr, the main character of Assassin's Creed I, also displays an unbelievable level of accuracy with his throwing-knives. His knives always hit, even on a moving target that changes direction unexpectedly, and ALWAYS kills instantly, without even giving the victim a chance to cry out. Well, unless it's one of your 'Targets', in which case they just basically ignore the throwing-knives for no apparent reason.
    • Ezio is the same with throwing knives in Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. He also has a small pistol, which is extremely accurate for those days. In Brotherhood, Ezio gets a crossbow, which will hit (and instantly kill) anyone he aims at. In fact, Stealth Based Missions become really easy once the crossbow is introduced.
    • In the trailer for Assassin's Creed III, Connor is able to hit his mark in the chest with an arrow while in mid-jump. Granted, he wasn't very far from the target to begin with, but still.
  • Gordon Freeman in Half-Life. He's not shown to be supernaturally accurate, at least compared to other First Person Shooter heroes. However, unlike almost all other FPS heroes (who at least have some form of military background), he's a theoretical physicist who's never picked up a gun in his life prior to the events of the game. This makes incredibly impressive his ability to rapidly learn to use an assault rifle well enough to fight off both an alien invasion and a battalion of highly trained special forces soldiers.
    • Lampshaded in the sequel, in which Breen, through his "Breencast" system, berates his mook army for being completely unable to impede Gordon's progress: "This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D at the time of the Black Mesa Incident... The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that, an ordinary man."
    • The Female Assassins in Half-Life count as well. It's unknown who they're working, they're never mentioned by any characters in Half-Life, and the only game that puts focus on them is of debatable canon. Of all we don't know, one thing is for certain: an Assassin with a 9mm pistol will never miss a shot. Despite their weak weaponry, Assassins are a higher threat than the Special Forces you spend half the game fighting, largely in part because of their pin-point accuracy and quick trigger fingers.
  • The Lone Wanderer in Fallout 3 takes this trope to ridiculous extremes, being able to shoot a switchblade out of someone's hand and follow it up with a perfect headshot. From 50 yards away. With a sightless hunting rifle. They can still miss with a shotgun at point-blank range, oddly enough.
    • And that headshot doesn't even appear to be a true headshot. Instead the target is decapitated with a Clean Cut, the seemingly undamaged head lying next to the corpse. This is particularly hilarious when considering that the ammo used by Sniper rifles and the 'Infinity plus one rifle', Lincoln's Repeater (.308 and .44 Magnum, respectively) would have caused a lot of Pink Mist to spurt from the headless body. Compare a point blank hit with a shotgun which blows the enemy into many bloody chunks.
      • The head does explode if it is crippled.
      • Sniper rifles and repeaters are nice, but they just don't provide the satisfaction that decapitating someone with a BB gun does.
    • The mechanics behind weapon spread can be somewhat interesting, being a sum of the weapon's minimum spread, spread caused by injury (0 if uninjured), and spread based on skill, stance, and ironsight use. Because level 100 skill with a weapon changes the last value from .005 to 0 and the effects from ironsights and crouching are multiplicative on the skill value, that single skill point makes both of them completely irrelevant.
      • Related to this is the fan-made web series Fallout: Nuka Break, where Twig, the only Vault Dweller in the main party and thus the only one with a Pip-Boy, openly admits to being an absolutely terrible shot unless he's using V.A.T.S.
  • Fallout: New Vegas retains the ridiculous extremes mentioned above for the player. Also notable is Craig Boone, one of the companions in the game. He's a retired NCR 1st Recon sniper and his "Guns" stat is maxed out. In-game, if one finds the Sniper's Nest overlooking Cottonwood Cove, (where it is implied that Boone gave his pregnant wife a Mercy Kill after she was captured by Legion slavers, you'll note that it's too far away from the Cove for the NPCs within to load, much less be visible to the player, even through a gun scope. It's not only improbable, but impossible for the player to make a similar shot.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance makes use of arc trajectory algorithms for Archers/Hunters/Snipers/Assassins with bows and line-of-sight algorithms for Gunners to see if a projectile would be obstructed by an obstacle or the terrain itself due to tiles with varying heights to make it seem more realistic... but this all goes out the window when you order your bowmen/gunslingers to use specials, which ignore those algorithms and just check to see if the target is within weapon range. This leads to cases where you can have an archer shoot at something that's pretty much 2 tiles away and 10 storeys above, or have a gunner SHOOT THROUGH A MOUNTAIN FACE AT POINT BLANK RANGE and hit the target on the other side, 7 panels away.
    • It's amusing to think that a bullet backed up by Ultima Charge would behave this way.
  • Compared to other AI allies throughout the series, Captain MacMillan from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a deadshot. Within a second of killing your first mook (as Lieutenant Price), his partner is killed by MacMillan, regardless of who you choose. Despite his skills, he's only there to supervise your preemptive assassination attempt on The Man Behind the Man. During the hectic escape from the operation, you're hard pressed for cover and ammo while MacMillan patiently urges you on, and turns his side of the field into a graveyard.
  • Sometimes a common occurrence in FPSes, especially if The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, but played straight in TimeSplitters, as the Phlebitonium for much of the game, and in fact the concept itself, is plain and simply Rule of Cool. Of special note is that the computer tends to completely suck with normal shotguns at long ranges, but does quite a few headshots with the BLUNDERBUSS. Speculation has it that this is due to a couple of the set patterns of blunderbuss firing arcs, and the height at which the computer naturally aims. If you require evidence, use all zombie characters, while playing one yourself, and take note of the amount of headless people running around in some all blundie games.
    • Also see: any oldschool 2d sprite FPS, where so long as you can see the creature in the distance, if he has a bullet-type attack which deals instantaneous damage, he can hit you very easily, even if he's a few pixels high. Averted with the Spider Mastermind in Doom due to the chaingun's naturally random 'spray'.
  • The assault rifle in Left 4 Dead has laser-like accuracy that gives it essentially infinite range. This can be a bit annoying when playing as the infected on versus, as Survivors will be able to spray bullets at you from halfway across the map and still get a headshot.
  • Arcade Light Gun shooters take this to a ridiculous extreme, for both you and your opponents. Not while using their guns, though, oh no. This trope is only invoked when your enemies throw something at you. Whenever anything is thrown at you, from a knife to a 55-gallon drum, it will hit you with 100% accuracy. Yes, for some reason a thrown baseball is more likely to kill you than an assault rifle in these sorts of games. For your part, however, you're quick enough on the draw to shoot whatever's coming at you out of the air with a single shot. Here are a few highlights of the genre:
    • Area 51: You can shoot grenades, oil drums, and RPGs out of the air with one shot from a pistol.
    • Target Terror: You can shoot groups of dynamite (complete with timer) out of the air with a single pistol shot. Apparently they must have set said timers for 4 seconds, as they will explode the instant they hit you. Not only that, but one of the bonus levels involves you doing this while terrorists throw a non-stop string of dynamite bombs attached to frozen turkeys at you!
      • To neutralize the hijacker, you must shoot out his rather small Dead Man's Switch remote, otherwise he blows up the plane.
    • House of the Dead: Zombies will throw axes at you. This in itself is amazing, but they will always hit unless you shoot them out of the air with a single shot. Always. Even when the zombie throwing it is fifty feet away, TEN FEET BELOW YOU, AND DECAPITATED!
    • Silent Scope: Sniping from a moving vehicle? Check. Shooting out the rotor of a helicopter from said vehicle? Check. Sniping a boss with a meat shield in another erratically-moving vehicle? Check. Sniping searchlights while parachuting? Check. Shooting knives and grenades in midair? Check. Destroying a tank by sniping down its barrel? Check. Shooting the handcuffs (or bomb detonators) off a hostage? Check. Sniping underwater? Check. The player himself needs to have extraordinary sniping skills and dexterity to beat the game.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Batman: Arkham Asylum. In melee combat Batman always hits — often with multiple batarangs — his targets if he's facing towards them. But then, hey, he's Batman.
    • Batman: Arkham City has a side-quest featuring Deadshot, who manages to kill one of his targets by ricocheting the bullet of a metal shutter first. Batman also comes to the conclusion in his investigations that he killed a target by firing THROUGH a water tower. The boss fight against him results in an instant kill if he so much as glances at you. You have to wait 'til he faces the other direction entirely to sneak up on him.
    • In Batman: Arkham Origins this is Taken Up to Eleven by Deadshot again. In the trailer, he shatters the sword in Deathstroke's hand several times in rapid succession from several miles away, right before shooting a single chain-link holding up a large crate. In his introduction, he is seen killing three enemies in one shot while said enemies were spaced out! In the actual gameplay, he is able to shoot a SWAT sniper, then ricochet the bullet off of his head and into the tail of a GCPD helicopter, causing it to spiral out of control and crash. When you actually face him, he can literally ricochet his bullets off of three different surfaces (even plywood) and still hit you...while you're swinging between gargoyles!
  • The archer units in Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity can shoot anywhere as long as the target is in weapon range. This includes around corners, up hills, and through obstacles.
  • Borderlands in Playthrough 2 and 2.5, BadMuthas and Superbads gain HUGE advance in terms of accuracy. For example: You're 40-50 meters away from BadMutha enemy; said enemy has a shotgun with 20 accuracy. However... It still manages to get most of the projectiles to hit you, when you couldn't hit them with same shotgun from that range.
    • Surprisingly for enemies that are Demonic Kamikaze Spiders in close combat, Psychos have perfect accuracy whether they're twenty or two hundred yards away. It wouldn't be nearly as absurd if not for the fact that they're throwing axes at you.
    • Also used in Mordecai's backstory. He apparently won a sharp shooting contest while he was 17 against several professional snipers with much more experience. The kicker? They all used sniper rifles; he used a revolver. The snipers then chased him off and called him a cheater.
    • Inverted with Gaige the Mechromancer's Anarchy build in Borderlands 2. By killing enemies and emptying magazines, Gaige can build stacks of Anarchy to increase her raw damage at the expense of accuracy (in both cases, the modifier is 1.75% per stack). If she has the Slayer of Terramorphous class mod, letting her rack up 600 anarchy stacks, and a gun with a low base accuracy, her aim becomes impossibly bad - bullets will go sideways or land behind you, zigzag in midair, and otherwise strive to avoid actually hitting anything, even at point-blank range...and then Close Enough 5 gives you a 50/50 chance of them rebounding into the soft squishy bits of something with half damage, not that you'll care at 600 stacks (that's more than a thousand percent damage bonus, meaning that half of your misses will still be hitting with ridiculous amounts of power).
  • Enemies in Rainbow Six can headshot you with almost any weapon from beyond visual range while aiming the wrong way, and can shoot at impossible angles that you can't.
  • The Mark & Execute ability from Splinter Cell Conviction allows Sam to One-Hit Kill, depending on the equipped weapon, up to four enemies in rapid succession even when they're in rather different locations. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Real Life marksman who can do so with his speed and accuracy, nevermind as consistently.
  • Sync shots in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier are the successor to Mark & Execute - while it takes a little time to line up a shot, once you're on target your shot is guaranteed to kill him in one hit. On top of that, AI teammates can shoot through anything to get them once they're lined up, while human players can take advantage of the Bullet Time after a successful sync shot to kill any extra targets before they notice what's happening; and in either case (though it's easier for humans) the bullets will also kill anyone else lined up with your target.
  • Mooks in inFamous will not miss you if you're standing still. This includes the Bagmen, which is an army made up of homeless men who armed themselves with automatic weapons who will hit you if you so much as peek your head out of cover from 100 meters. It's theorized that the protagonist's Shock and Awe powers make him a literal bullet magnet.
  • [PROTOTYPE] allows you to pick up any shouldered weapon and start leaping tens of meters into the air while always maintaining an accurate aim on any target, moving or still, that you've locked on to.
    • Locking on to a specific target isn't actually required to demonstrate this trope in its full glory. Pick up a gun with high-velocity projectiles(in this case, either the rifle or machinegun). With significant upgrades to the jump ability, leap across the street with plenty of human class targets with substantial threat ratings like normal soldiers near a hive or base. While still in air, tap the fire button rapidly. Voila, dead soldiers lying flat, all taken one bullet each in the span of about what, 2 to 3 seconds?
    • Subverted somewhat in that automatic firing will cause a decrease in accuracy the longer the trigger is held no matter the player's stance.
    • Even more spectacular, is the throwing of objects (even while moving in the air). Should the moving target change velocity or direction slightly, the thrown object can mildly compensate mid-flight, making it look like the ambulance you've just hurled is homing onto the Apache chopper trying to dodge your attack. Improbable aiming taken to the absurd degree.
  • The AI in Worms is an incredible shot. Infact they seem to feel the need to rub it in, ignoring targets directly next to them to shoot at things a long distance away that they wouldn't be able to physically see or know exist if it wasn't for the side view.
    • Let's see - using a bazooka to shoot an enemy on the other side of the map. If that's not badass enough, the AI always relies on wind, so even if a straightforward shot at maximum power will still hit, they'll settle for firing in the opposite direction with somewhere between 10 and 50% of power and the shot will still do max damage. That's to say that the AI frequently does shots that could be classified as improbable at best, then there are the shots that go through a gap that by all accounts should not fit a bazooka and that's while the said bazooka is doing a turn under the influence of a very strong wind. Not badass enough? The AI using a bazooka is the preferred option for you; if the enemy pulls out a grenade, you can only pray it doesn't target the worm that will actually die by taking maximum grenade damage. Their favourite tactic is to make the grenade ricochet a bit (say, at least 3-5 times) and land on the head of your worm at the same time the fuse time runs out.
    • And this is on all difficulty levels; the only real difference is that lower AI levels will either sometimes miss (on purpose) or just be really bad at picking targets.
    • The "Cocky" AI in Worms Reloaded does this on purpose. It chooses to do the most difficult (but still viable) shots possible in order to show off.
  • Kevin Ryman and Alyssa Ashcroft in Resident Evil Outbreak can both take a little longer to aim a handgun to receive a much higher chance of a critical hit.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, all the guns used by the player's squad start off mediocre and are gradually improved, and all start off with low accuracy, indicated by a huge possible firing space, even sniper rifles. Later in the game, the line of fire on the sniper rifle is small enough to target soldiers on the other side of the map, especially if using Marina Wulfstan, who thanks to a particularly useful Potential, is given a cross-hair the size of a small dot, meaning she'll hit dead-center any target at any distance ten times out of ten.
    • Anybody who has fought Selvaria on the ramparts of Selvaria's Last Stand can attest to her improbable aiming skills, sniping your troops with deadly accuracy with a heavy machine gun, no less. From the other side of the map.
  • Displayed by your enemies in Will Rock: They can hit you from every possible distance with: Fire Ball shots, arrows, javelins, axes, knives, morning stars, acid, tridents, fiery stones/pebbles, fiery bullets and lightning bolts.
  • In the Medal of Honor series, Nazis have near-perfect accuracy when blind-firing behind cover (i.e. what is supposed to be suppressing fire).
  • Enemies with automatic weapons in Soldier of Fortune II are implausibly accurate at long range, while the player suffers from A-Team Firing with the same guns.
  • A nameless, fameless Mook proves his serious chops in Final Fantasy XII's opening movie. The Imperial Trooper who kills Rassler does so by shooting him with an arrow. Through the one unarmored spot on his body (a one-inch gap between his breastplate and his neck/shoulderguard armor right over his collarbone.) While Rassler is mounted on a chocobo and jostling about erratically. In the din and chaos of a pitched battle. Across the span of a bridge. At night. If it wasn't for the fast Basch kills him with an equally improbable shot (albeit with an armor-piercing arrowhead, so he didn't need to aim at a weak spot,) the man would probably be deserving of a promotion.
  • The Zelda games—and any games that have auto-targeting—use this when you can lock onto an enemy and let loose with arrows or whatever weapon you have. It only gets really absurd when, in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a mini-game requires you to shoot an arrow at a post on a guard tower a hundred yards away, but the arrows don't drop at all and there is a targeting sight. The mini-game wins you the Hawkeye, an item that functions like binoculars, or a sniper scope when combined with the bow, giving you even more improbable aiming powers!
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Several of the series' many in-universe books contain examples of this. If a book actually increases the player's Archery skill upon reading it, it's pretty much guaranteed to feature an archer of superhuman (or superelf, or superbeastman) skill pulling some ridiculous bullshit.
      • One such story describes a revenge-driven archer firing an arrow from up on a hill, across a castle moat, through the keyhole in the castle's front door, and into a portrait of the owner. Repeatedly. Without missing. The notion that he could even see what he was aiming at takes this trope to a ridiculous new level.
      • In another, two guys are out practising archery and one keeps bragging about the archery trophy he won, criticizing the other guy's technique, and acting like an insufferable know-it-all. The other guy fires a wild shot that goes way off-target, which is again criticized by the "expert" before the two went their separate ways. When the "expert" returned home, he found his window broken and an arrow stuck directly into his beloved archery trophy that he wouldn't shut up about before.
      • Another excellent short story from Morrowind features a slave from the archer race who coaches his owner's son on how to hit his target by firing ridiculous wild shots, on the basis that one should get a feel for how arrows fly before bothering to try to hit anything in particular. The father is furious that the slave is not training his son the way he asked, so begins beating the slave. The slave, while being beaten, continues to coach the pupil on taking wild shots straight into the air. The son ultimately scores a perfect hit on the slave's intended target... which, to the pupil's dismay, is the father. In other words, this archer is so good he can line up a perfect shot, with someone else's bow, while being beaten with a stick. "Bullseye!"
      • Another one features an archer who was famous for never missing a shot fire an arrow at a daedra, who teleports back to Oblivion before it hits, causing the arrow to miss and stick into a tree. Because he missed a shot, the archer loses his fame and dies alone and forgotten, never firing a shot again out of shame; while the daedra becomes somewhat of a celebrity for dodging the arrow, gains worshippers, and has shrines built for him. One year later, he goes inside one of these shrines and the door ends up slamming shut on him, striking him in the back. He feels a sharp pain and looks back to see a rusty arrowhead sticking out of the door. The door was made with wood from the same tree from before. Looks like the archer's shot didn't miss after all!
    • In the series' backstory, Topal the Pilot, the legendary Aldmeri Bold Explorer who is the first to discover and explore Tamriel, was said to be a "master of archery", and was skilled enough archer to strike the head of a "bat lizard" (believed to be an ancestor of the Cliff Racers) in the head from a distance.
    • Skyrim:
      • Falmer archers are neither better nor worse at archery than the other races, which is damned impressive, considering that they're all completely blind.
      • In the Dawnguard DLC, you can read the opus of series' recurring character St. Jiub the Eradicator, who rose to prominence after eradicating the much reviled Cliff Racers in Vvardenfell. While certainly not an impossible shot, his opus tells of one hunt where he hit a Cliff Racer at a great distance with his bow while being rocked back and forth atop his Silt Strider during an Ash Storm.
  • On Hard difficulty in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 1, enemy infantry aims inhumanly fast and always scores headshots when they hit, essentially reducing the player character to a One Hitpoint Wonder.
  • In Dark Souls, because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and the game hates you, you can actually see enemy projectiles curve in midair to hit you, while you'll never be able to do the same, there's also significantly less arrow drag when they shoot, which means their homing arrows will follow you for absurd distances if you don't dodge them.
    • Hawkeye Gough used to be a master archer that lived up to his nickname, but he has since gone completely blind. He's still able to hit a moving target from miles away, like it's no big deal. Granted, he is a literal giant with a greatbow as big as he is, but still. Shooting an oak tree at a dragon is about the same scale as shooting a normal arrow at a person, right?
    • The Giant Archer in Dark Souls III , a Call-Back to Gough, takes this to the next level by raining down arrows on anyone near a white birch tree (including the player if they're not holding a specific item) from dozens of miles away with pinpoint accuracy, even when the target is hidden inside a dense forest!
  • 007: From Russia with Love has the Bond Focus mechanic, which allows James Bond to set up a variety of trick shots from behind cover. He can shoot rappelling lines to make the Mook using it fall to his death, shoot hand grenades off peoples' web gear, shoot walkie-talkies out of radiomens' hands, and dis-armor Heavily Armored Mooks by shooting the straps off their armor.
  • Snipers in XCOM: Enemy Unknown actually get more accurate as the range increases. A sniper with Squadsight (in other words, capable of shooting not just targets she herself can see, but targets that other troopers can see) has effectively unlimited range.
    • The addition of the 'Opportunist' ability completely removes the aim penalty for Overwatch shots, the penalty designed to simulate the difficulty of shooting a moving target compared to a stationary one. The end result is that a Sniper can potentially hit an enemy from the other end of the map through a ridiculously tiny gap while the target is traveling at full speed via jetpack.
  • Max Payne 3: Both Max (Single-Player) and the gangs (multiplayer) have deadshot accuracy when using anything but automatic/burst guns or melee attacks. And even then, gang members can level-up their guns and gain attachments that give the first shot pinpoint accuracy. There are basically four kinds of cursors: A white dot means the ranged attacks will always shoot towards the target when it turns red, a crosshair/circle means that the weapon is somewhat accurate but loses accuracy with each shot, four quarter-circles means you are using an automatic gun and should probably get in close before firing, and a dot with two quarter-circles means that you are using a shotgun and should level them up to 10 and then forget about them (they are weak in multiplayer). On default, max has only a white dot, but gun-accuracy rules still apply.
    • At the end of Chapter 2's helicopter sequence, Max has to shoot down enemy RPG's while hanging upside down from the chopper.
  • The Targeting System implant in E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy allows its users to temporarily fire any weapon with perfect accuracy - such as firing the HS010 submachine gun at 3000 rounds per minute at someone's skull from 100 meters while soaring through the air, hitting them with every shot.
  • In Terraria, there are a number of enemies that have very accurate ranged attacks. As just a pre-hardmode example, Spiked Jungle Slimes and Hornets fire spikes and stingers with incredible accuracy, making a player's journey through the jungle difficult. Gastropods from the Hallow are also infamous for being able to shoot laser beams from outside the visible screen with perfect accuracy.
  • Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist: The way Freddy takes out the Card Sharp.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has this, along with being capable of pulling offhand backshots.
  • Excellen Browning of Super Robot Wars fame is all sorts of this. As exemplified by the anime, she's generally comfortable sitting on the horizon (the distance where she appears as no more than a twinkling star), casually shooting anything that remotely enters her range with deadly accuracy while playfully chatting with her boyfriend Kyousuke ("Oh, somewhere over there..."). Then there was the time she shot down a nuke without detonating it. With a BFG. When she gets her Mid-Season Upgrade her accuracy remains as sharp as ever... while she and her mech move at speeds surpassing her own projectiles!
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic III, the Sharpshooters trained by Gelu are so good with their compound bows that their ranged attacks deal full damage to enemies no matter what. Long range and siege walls cause no damage penalty, meaning the Sharpshooters are able to either shoot over or through castle walls with perfect accuracy. Normally a hero would need to carry an artifact like the Golden Bow or (appropriately enough) the set artifact, the Sharpshooter's Bow, to grant their ranged units the same advantages.
  • A Player Character that has unlocked the Machinist class in Final Fantasy XIV can display truly absurd amounts of skill on a regular, 2-second Global Cooldown basis, courtesy of the game's overly complex animations. Such feats include shooting straight up in the air and having the bullet strike the target regardless of its position (Lead Shot), shooting accurately after a jumping spin (Clean Shot), lobbing a grenade and shooting it in midair (Grenado Shot) and throwing a bunch of electrically charged panels at an enemy, which then expand in a circle around them and catch one of your shots, ricocheting it a few times and hitting all the enemies in the area (Ricochet). Admittedly, there is some magic involved, since a Machinist's special Hammer Space is explicitly said to be powered by a person's innate thunder-aspected magic abilities.
  • In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Talion can go into "Focus" mode with his bow, where the enemies' movement slows almost to a halt (although arrows still fly at normal speed). This makes it ridiculously easy to headshot half a dozen Uruks while they barely have time to react, even in the middle of a melee.
  • Shepard exhibits this in cutscenes in Mass Effect, and occasionally in play. This is especially likely as an Infiltrator in the second and third games, where a mixture of class passives and sniper upgrades can slow time down to a crawl for the first few seconds after you zoom in with your sniper rifle's scope, allowing you to reliably put bullets through the vision slit in a Cerberus Guardian's otherwise bulletproof riot shield. Shepard with the Javelin sniper rifle can be even sillier; the Javelin fires cover-penetrating ferrofluid shots and has a thermal scope for free, meaning that with Armour-Piercing Ammo and the DLC High-Velocity Barrel, Shepard can land a perfect headshot through a wall. Garrus Vakarian, the original source of armour-piercing ammo, has pulled off similar; at one point Liara asks him if it's true he once killed three men with one shot, and Garrus says no, he only killed two and the third guy was so shocked he had a heart attack.
  • One of the main features of SUPERHOT. As time moves only when you do (or at least, moves reeeeeaally sloooowly when you don't) you are able to see the location and trajectory of any bullets fired at you. This, combined with Implausible Fencing Powers, results in being able to stop projectiles by shooting the bullet, slicing the bullet, or throwing a teacup at the bullet.
  • SteamWorld Heist allows you to do that with some of your characters and weapons. The game is turn-based, so you can take as much time to line up your shots as you want, and weapons with a laser sight even show reflected angles. It can be especially useful, since headshots and flanking shots deal critical damage, and some enemies carry metal shields, so a frontal attack with anything short of an RPG or a grenade launcher won't work (and even those can sometimes bounce off). Enemies can do that too, although they usually won't try. However, one boss, aptly named Ace, takes this Up to Eleven. He won't even try to hit you with a straight shot, even if he's standing two spaces away. No, he'll bounce his shot half a dozen times before hitting one of your characters in the legs, crippling them for one turn.
  • In Rise of the Tomb Raider, after reaching a high enough level, Lara can unlock the ability to lock onto enemies with her bow, ensuring that her shot will not miss. This ability can be improved twice, allowing her to lock onto three enemies at once and making it so that the lock-on targets the head instead of the body. Meaning she will be able to fire three arrows at once, at three different people, and have all three hit their target in the head. Every time.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: