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Close-Range Combatant

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Never bring a gun to a claw fight.

A fighter who specializes in close range combat. Is generally ineffective in long-range battles, or just plain lacks the ability to fight at long range.

In video games, especially fighting games, characters who are Close Range Combatants tend to have strong "physical" attacks but ineffective projectiles, or absolutely none at all. These characters tend to be Mighty Glaciers or Lightning Bruisers, their obvious strengths being highlighted by their complete inability to harm anything they aren't currently close to. Fragile Speedsters who have no projectiles can qualify as this, capable of quickly invalidating their short-range weakness, but their close-range requirement also adds an amount of predictability to their playstyle and corresponding risk — if the Mighty Glaciers ever get wise to the direction they're headed and manage to intercept beforehand or the Long-Range Fighter manages to plink them (such as along a thin and low corridor where pretty much no one can effectively dodge regardless of their speed), they expectedly die fast. Even Glass Cannons can fall into this category if they can quickly overpower any adversary within a limited range.

This only applies where long-range combat with projectiles or longer melee weapons like swords are a notable part of a work. It's not interesting in settings where close-quarters combat is the only kind of combat.

The opposite is Long-Range Fighter. Subtrope of Necessary Drawback and Competitive Balance.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • While the main method of combat is with swords, many of the characters are capable of fighting hand-to-hand. The Onmitsukido, in particular, specializes in hakuda; making this Yoruichi and Sui-Feng's preferred style of combat. They're so proficient at it, that they each developed Shunko, which is an advanced hakuda form that greatly enhances the user's body with kido.
    • Mashiro also chooses to forgo using her zanpakuto, in favor of fighting unarmed. She even one-shotted Fura with her signature "Mashiro Kick!!"
    • Grimmjow is the only member of the Espada who fights hand-to-hand. During his first battle with Ichigo, where he literally beat him from one side of Karakura Town, to the other.... even though the latter was using Bankai! Even more so after his Resurrección, which partially transforms Grimmjow into a panther-hybrid.
    • Nnoitra, while not as bad as Grimmjow, prefers melee far more than almost any other Espada. The only ranged techniques he uses, aside from throwing his weapon, are the standard Kamehame Hadokens all Hollows can use and even then only in a pinch. Even more so after his Resurrección, upon which the only thing he does during the battle with Kenpachi is attack up close and personal with his scythes.
  • While most exorcists in D.Gray-Man have at least some type of long-range attack, Krory's fighting style revolves entirely around melee attacks with this arms, his legs or his teeth.
    • Chaozi Han's innocence too only allows him to land devastating punches but has no long-ranged attacks.
    • Among the Noah, Mercym has not displayed his power yet, preferring to fight with his mere fists and kicks.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stands that the user directly controls tend to have power inverse to their range. Ones like Star Platinum or Crazy Diamond are Lightning Bruisers that cannot manifest more than 2 meters away from their users, though they can still throws things with great power and accuracy.
  • Belkan Knights in the Lyrical Nanoha franchise. While they may have a few projectile attacks when they need to strike from afar, they specialize in overpowering opponents through magically enhanced melee combat, either armed or unarmed, depending on the practitioner. In particular, Schach Nouera and Micaiah Chevelle have no known ranged attacks.
  • Maken-ki!:
  • Several mobile suits in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing are of this type: Deathscythe, Sandrock, and Epyon. Deathscythe often launches a kind of spinning claw/shield thing at opponents, but it's a once-per-battle weapon, and the Vulcans and machine cannons are worthless against any MS with decent armour. Sandrock has no ranged attacks beyond occasional sword-throwing, two weak Vulcans (again, worthless against mobile suits) and two missiles, but compensates by bringing along a couple dozen backup suits with big guns (it also gains a beam machine gun of its own in its Mid-Season Upgrade... which it only uses for 5 or so episodes). Epyon is limited to its sword and whip (one brief scene implies that it fires Vulcans at the Wing Zero, but this is generally attributed to an animation error rather than a canon weapon).
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has Exia and 00 Gundam/Raiser as the prime examples, along with the Throne Zwei and its successor the Arche. The movie brings back the Raiser and introduces the 00 Q[ant], which is both this trope plus Attack Drones.
  • Naruto:
    • It's pointed out in at least two instances (by Shikamaru and Kakashi), that Naruto is pretty much worthless for an enemy specializing in ranged combat.
    • This is the weakness of Neji, Hinata, and Rock Lee in Part I. All three were Taijutsu Specialists without any other options besides kunai and shuriken for ranged combat. Neji was especially hit hard by this weakness while fighting the Long-Range Fighter of the Sound Four, Kidomaru, who could comfortably find his weakness from long distance and nearly killed him despite the defensive power of his Kaiten. Neji and Hinata learned ranged Jyuken techniques over the timeskip called Air Palms which can kill a whole bunch of White Zetsu at once, stun Kisame of all people, or even deflect enemy projectiles. Rock Lee however, since Taijutsu is his only option, doesn't have any method of long ranged combat unless he can master the Sixth and Seven Gates which turns punches into long range fireballs (Morning Peacock) or an explosive, long range punch in the shape of a tiger (Daytime Tiger).
    • Tsunade and Sakura's fighting style revolves around them using their Super Strength to smash their enemies. Even Madara was nervous about taking a hit from Tsunade.
    • A, the Fourth Raikage, uses a fighting style that uses electricity to boost his already immense strength and speed (stated to be just below Tsunade's) and overwhelm his opponents. He was able to smash through Sasuke's Susanoo.
  • One Piece: Sanji and Tony Tony Chopper tend to have the most physical fights in the series thanks to not having weapons or abilities that greatly extend their reach like the other members of the crew.
  • Sailor Moon has some of the Sailor Senshi who, in spite of having ranged attacks, have also a penchant for engaging enemies in melee combat:
    • The typical example is Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter, who, when alone, routinely engages the enemy in hand-to-hand, and is explicitly shown to be the physically strongest (even having Super Strength when not transformed). She rarely wins.
    • The manga version of Minako Aino/Sailor Venus, has beaten half to death multiple youma with punches and (most importantly) kicks, when untransformed defeated a Brainwashed and Crazy Makoto with one kick, and even killed a youma and Queen Beryl with sword strikes. The anime downplays this, but she still engages youmas with a chain at short distance from time to time and has been shown killing a youma with a kick.
    • Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus (it helps she has a sword). She too defeated Sailor Jupiter.
    • The anime downplays Sailor Venus' penchant for beating up enemies, but Sailor Jupiter would be this too
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle:
    • Philuffy can only fight in melee. Her Drag-Ride, Typhon, is unique in lacking any real ranged weapons (the closest equivalent, Pile Anchor, is essentially a set of grappling hooks that pull enemies closer). Combined with its inability to fly, it leaves her at a disadvantage against flying and/or ranged fighters. On the other hand, she's an absolute monster at melee range. However, Typhon's <Missing Faith> Divine Raiment can disable other Divine Raiments and weaken Drag-Rides within a decent range, which makes up for the Drag-Ride's lack of ranged attacks.
    • Bahamut, the Drag-Ride used by Lux and Fugil, is capable of flight and is a terror in close-range combat due to its <Reload on Fire> Divine Raiment, which can slow down nearby objects including itself before speeding them up severalfold. By itself, Bahamut has very limited long-range applications, since its Linker Burst armament can only generate a weak force field. However, it can use <Reload on Fire> to boost other long-range attacks.
  • Attacker class in World Trigger are melee fighters. Their choices of weapons generally define their fighting styles. Short blade Scorpion users focus on agility and trickery. Long blade Kougetsu users focus on attack power. Heavy blade Raygust users focus on defense. Meanwhile, all rounders combine melee weapons with guns to fight close range. They generally deal damage with melee weapons, while using their guns for support or tricks.

    Comic Books 
  • Fantastic Four:
    • Ben Grimm is the only member of the team who lacks any long-range capabilities, relying solely on his brute strength in close quarters.
    • She-Hulk served this role on the team when she took Ben's place due to their similar powersets.
  • Stormwatch:
    • Jukko Hämäläinen of Stormwatch Team Achilles specializes in CQC with superhumans. Doesn't stop him from using guns as and when necessary.
    • Liam Mendoza, callsign Paris, of Stormwatch PHD has a phenomenal talent for Flaw Exploitation that lets him go toe-to-toe with SPBs and come out victorious.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have two, the sai-wielding Raphael and the nunchaku-wielding Michelangelo (though both have a trend of throwing to hit faraway enemies, Mike in particular).

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Two of Godzilla and Mothra's allies, Methuselah and Scylla, are apparently this. They're fierce and powerful fighters who lack any kind of long-range attack respectively. Methuselah fights and maims using his horns and immense physical strength, Scylla using her sharp spider-like legs and her tentacles with Hit-and-Run Tactics.
  • Blood and Honor: Sanguis relies almost entirely on her lightsabers in combat, which requires getting close enough to the enemy to use them. Darth Vengean is able to raise a Force barrier which renders her ineffective until he's weakened enough for her to get through. If ranged attacks are needed, Vette and Quinn provide them.
  • In the Facing the Future Series, due to her developing a different set of ghost powers than Danny that included limited long range attacks, Sam mostly fights like this.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla: While most kaiju are brawlers, some are particularly attached to close-up fights.
    • Anguirus doesn't even have a breath weapon, relying entirely on raw physical power.
    • Orga from Godzilla 2000, despite having an energy blast from his shoulder, instead relies on up-close brute force attacks.
    • Gigan doesn't even really use much of the ranged attacks he does have - he vastly prefers to be up close and personal where he can feel the blood.
    • Something setting the MonsterVerse incarnation of Mechagodzilla apart from its previous incarnations: rather than being a Walking Armory, he only displays two ranged weapons (his shoulder missile batteries and his Proton Scream), which while powerful he uses sparingly rather than spamming them. Instead, this Mechagodzilla incarnation is likely the best melee fighter in any continuity so far.
  • Immortan Joe's War Boys rely on these kinds of tactics combined with suicidal Zerg Rushes in Mad Max: Fury Road; they wear no armor, use grenade-tipped spears as weapons, and travel in fast, maneuverable, buggies that, in a pinch, can be turned into flaming car bombs.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: From Thor: The Dark World onwards, Loki almost exclusively depends on daggers (and on one occasion, the sharp ends of his horned helmet) in battle — the lone exception is a Sakaaran laser rifle in Thor: Ragnarok. Since TTDW marks the beginning of his redemption arc, it's part of his Character Development to vastly improve his prowess in hand-to-hand combat because melee warriors are deemed to be more "brave" and "forthright" in Asgard than "cowardly," "evasive" Long Range Fighters, which was previously Loki's specialty. He slays Dark Elves and Hela's undead soldiers with rapid stabbing motions, and he frequently blocks and dodges their attacks.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate: The Rev-7s They have blades for arms and seem to focus exclusively on melee combat with their arm blades and Combat Tentacles, relying on backup from explosive kamikaze drones to soften up opponents equipped with ranged weaponry.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Ace Lightning: Random Virus is the only one of the three Lightning Knights who relies entirely on melee combat. Ace can shoot lightning from his hands and Sparx has a sword that shoots lightning. All Random has are his claw and brute strength.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Elnor is a martial arts expert, so he's primarily a hand-to-hand fighter, although "Nepenthe" demonstrates that he can throw knives with lethal accuracy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech features a few BattleMechs which are geared specifically for close-ranged combat, typically carrying ultra-autocannons, short-ranged missiles, and sometimes a giant metal sword or axe. The King Crab is a notable murder machine, because it carries two class-20 Autocannons, weapons which on their own can give a mech an "Instant Death" Radius. Newer melee mechs often feature experimental tech, such as the triple-strength myomer which lets them instantly decapitate a mech, once their artificial muscles have heated up to operational temperature. However, it's worth noting that "pure" (or nearly pure) melee designs are relatively rare and unpopular. A classic example is the original Charger, which at 80 tons is equipped only with a handful of "popgun" small lasers — it's fast for its weight class and has powerful physical attacks if it does get that close, but it basically can't hit anything outside ninety meters and even up to that distance its ranged damage output is essentially pitiful. (Its original intended use was as a superheavy scout, not a frontline combat machine... and it says something about it that it fails in even that role.)
  • In Nomine: The Archangel David and his followers make it a point of honor to only ever fight with melee weapons or their own two fists, and never use ranged weapons of any sort — David believes that using them detaches you from the reality of what you're doing.
  • Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader. Infantry units have very short range, usually only 1 hex (adjacent), compared to the much longer ranges of tanks and artillery.
  • Star Fleet Battles. Some Hydran ships (such as fighters) are armed with fusion beams. While deadly at close range, they're ineffective at long range, which means that the ships have to get in close to the enemy to be effective. This allows opponents with longer range weapons to stay at a distance and pick off the Hydrans while they can't hit back.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Every faction has some form of a close-combat specialist as a unit. Even armies like the Imperial Guard and Tau, who are focused more on mechanized warfare and ranged firepower:
    • Space Marines use Assault Marines and Terminator Assault Marines. From a more strategic perspective, Space Marines are the close quarters specialists to the Imperial Guard's Long-Range Fighter: they lack the armour and artillery support the guard possess, but they excel at melee actions and tight firefights, gritty assaults on critical objectives and ship boarding actions.
      • As far as specific Chapters go, this is the Blood Angels' specialty, along with high-speed assaults. They get access to the Furioso Dreadnought, a close-assault variant of the standard Castraferrum-pattern Dreadnought, and that's before you get to the fact that they can be piloted by a Librarian. They also have access to the Sanguinary Guard and the Death Company, both of which are specialized for close-combat.
    • The Imperial Guard use Ogyrns.
    • Eldar use Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions, who each specialize on heavily-armoured infantry and lightly-armoured infantry respectively.
    • Dark Eldar use Wyches and Incubi.
    • Chaos Space Marines...well, as the resident evil, crazy faction, virtually every Chaos unit is pretty good at hand-to-hand. However, their close range combatants are the famous Khorne Berserkers, as well as Raptors, Mutilators, Maulerfiends and Chaos Terminators. Chaos Daemons, meanwhile, have Plaguebearers, Daemonettes, and the ridiculously effective Bloodletter... And that's just the little stuff, you don't want to see the bigger things Chaos Daemons can bring to the table.
      • That said, it's practically mandatory that virtually everything aligned to Khorne will have to fit this trope. Even the recently introduced Khorne Lord of Skulls, while sporting no fewer than two guns, is optimized to use it's massive chainaxe.
    • Orks have... Many examples, but Ork Slugga Boyz, Nobz, Meganobz, even Gretchin count. Although you shouldn't expect too much from the last one.
    • Tyranids have Hormagaunts, Genestealers, Tyrant Guards, Warriors... And lots of each.
    • The T'au use Kroot auxiliaries. They're quite pathetic compared to some of the other examples listed here, and not just for game balance reasons. They're used just as meat-shields, and quite a few players forgo them entirely in favour of more vehicles and big guns.
      • The Tau actually have another close combat specialist: Commander Farsight, who pilots a custom XV 8 battle suit wielding a large alien blade that is implied to be either Necron or Eldar in origin, which would explain his long lifespan. In his personal moment of awesome, he duelled the infamously powerful Tyranid Swarmlord to a stand-stillnote . Many of his loyal troops train in close combat as well, and this approach has been enforced over the years by their conflicts against the Orks on the frontier and by being cut off from the T'au's advanced technology; Farsight's personal favourite tactic is a close assault by a squad of elite battlesuits wrecking the center of the enemy line, often by air.
      • Later editions have added Breacher Teams to the T'au arsenal, who are equipped with ranged weapons, but said weapons get a lot more effective as they close with the target. For maximum effect, the gun needs to be practically up the target's nose. That being said, "maximum effect" is a LOT of effect.
    • Sisters of Battle have the Sisters Repentia.
    • Necrons have Lychguard (replacing the older Pariahs), Flayed Ones, and most Triarch Praetorians.
  • In X-Wing Miniatures, while all ships can fire their primary weapons at range 3, there are some who really want to be at point blank for more reasons than just the bonus die everyone gets, most of them either Imperial or Scum. For example, the TIE pilot Mauler Mithel gets an additional bonus die, meaning he's rolling 4 dice at short range. The grand prize, however, goes to the Protectorate Starfighter, a Mandalorian-themed Scum ship that comes with a Title upgrade, an Elite upgrade, and two named pilots, all focused around point-blank nose-to-nose knife-fighting.

    Video Games 
  • In 8Bit Killer, thornies, brutes and flies (from stage 3-2) are the only enemies without ranged attacks. This doesn't do them any favour as the player can easily pick them apart with even a humble pistol.
  • Max from Advance Wars. His direct units have increased firepower, but his indirect units have decreased firepower and range.
  • In Borderlands 2:
    • Zero, the Assassin: Can be built as either this or a sniper, depending on the skills the player puts points into. His close-combat tree uses stealth to get in close and go for the kill.
    • Gaige, the Mechromancer: Her "Ordered Chaos" skill tree allows her to accumulate anarchy every time she kills an enemy or empties a clipnote , which gives her boosted damage and close-range options at the cost of accuracy (making her an example of this trope who uses guns), as well as melee options. Her Death Trap is also one of these, as he fights with his claws initially.
    • As an NPC, Brick from the first game fights solely via running up to someone and punching them to death even though he could use guns in the previous game (though he was primarily proficient with shotguns and rocket launchers).
    • Krieg the Psycho is primarily a mid-close range fighter whose skills focus on getting into the fight itself and sustaining damage to the point that certain stacking-based skills do not benefit sniping.
  • Bounty of One: Natoko the ninja elf (as well as anyone who picks his unique item, the Dark Revenge) becomes one. Even though all characters have ranged attacks including Nakoto, the Dark Revenge makes a character attack up to 3x as fast the closer they are to an enemy, but down to 3x as slow if they're far from enemies, thus enforcing this trope in order for a character to deal good damage.
  • Cuphead : Goopy Le Grande is the only boss in the game that lacks any projectile attacks or helper minions, and attacks by trying to smash or punch the players. He's fittingly enough one of two Warm Up Bosses. Even the other warm-up boss The Root Pack has all three members use projectile attacks.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: The Driller's main weapon, be it the Flamethrower, the Cryo-Cannon or the Corrosive Sludge Launcher, are all fairly short-ranged, his Satchel Charge can't be tossed too far, and his side-arms, while long-ranged, are weaker than usual. As such, the Driller has few options for taking out anything at a distance but can easily devastate entire hordes if they swarm in close, which they will.
  • The first area of the arcade game, Desert Breaker contains a Chicken Walker you can hijack, but that machine's only weapon is a weak battering ram that covers five steps forward. It's one of the most useless enemy vehicle you can pilot and a massive Power Up Letdown.
  • Ursa from Dota 2 is an absolute Lightning Bruiser in close-range combat, with three out of four of his abilities enhancing his melee autoattacks. Fury Swipes makes his attacks deal more damage with consecutive hits, Overwhelm gives him maximum attack speed for a few attacks, and Enrage gives him a large damage boost and stun/debuff resistance. Despite being an Agility hero, he has an unusually high Strength growth, so late game he has both massive attack speed and good durability. The downside is that he's very dependent his autoattacks and his only gap closer, Earthshock, is a short distance leap that applies a very average movespeed slow. In a one-on-one fight against a Long-Range Fighter who can kite him effectively, Ursa will straight-up lose.
  • Dragon Ball Fighter Z:
    • The young SSJ2 Son Gohan has little and poor long range options and his reach is of the bottom side of the spectrum, thus he has get up close to have a chance. However, he's pretty fast and his attack power is one of the highest in the game. The only good/decent range attack he has is his Level 3 Super.
    • A good portion of Android #16's moveset consists of command grabs, and both of his Level 3 Supers require him to connect with a grab to initiate. While his Level 1 Super is ostentatiously a Kamehame Hadoken, it is fired at such an extreme downwards angle that it only covers a small area in front of him. The only real long range option #16 has is his Rocket Punch, which is fairly slow in comparison to other projectiles and doesn't cross the entire screen.
    • Yamcha's Kamehameha is slower than the others and cannot be used while airborne. His Ki blast cannot be rapid fired and propels him backward. This is to compensate for how dangerous he can be when he is on top of the opponent.
  • Evolve:
    • Hyde. Not only is his flamethrower short-ranged, but his minigun becomes more inaccurate the further you use it from, meaning you need to get close to the monster for maximum effectiveness.
    • Lennox. The Plasma Lance is a melee weapon and Thunderstrike is meant to close with the monster. Her autocannon is a ranged option but is not meant to be the focus.
    • Wraith. Even moreso than the other monsters, Wraith has no true ranged attacks, with everything either letting her close with the hunters or forcing the hunters into close range. Combined with her fragility, this makes her hard to use.
  • Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 3 have Melee and Unarmed characters. The former only uses various daggers, bats, swords, and the like, but does also have things like throwing knives/spears or tomahawks as a viable ranged option. Unarmed characters have nothing of the sort. While there is no shortage of Melee enemies, a large portions of your opponents use guns, making this a tricky build.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy Jecht is made of this trope — the closest thing he has to a long range attack is Ultimate Jecht Shot which is very telegraphed and situational. Other characters have elements of this trope (in fact, most of the cast is better in close quarters though not strictly helpless at range), but Jecht is by far the most pronounced, especially compared to the rest of the villains, most of which are slow, methodical and magic-focused (About half of them float instead of walking).
  • For Honor: Every single character, and justified as the game's primary focus is on visceral medieval melee combat. The only "ranged" weapons in a sense are the perk specials, which for example let you call down a Rain of Arrows. The Berserker for the Vikings faction wields twin axes that have an incredibly short reach, though he is something of a Lightning Bruiser, with excellent mobility and combo potential.
  • The Mantis from FTL: Faster Than Light make up for their lackluster repair skills with an attack power 50% stronger than average, making them good for taking out hostile boarders instead. Also, all but their weakest ships —including the player-available Mantis cruisers— come equipped with a teleporter which lets them send a Boarding Party to clear a ship from inside.
  • Gundam Evolution: The Gundam Barbatos and Exia are the main close range fighters in a first person shooter. The Exia has throwing daggers but the Barbatos is completely melee. Despite the name Zaku II (melee) is actually a mid range unit, swinging Sword Beam projectiles with every strike and only going full melee with its ultimate.
  • The Darknut Legion in Hyrule: Total War are a race of canine Proud Warrior Race Guy humanoids bound by honour to only wield swords in battle. Their entire army is made up of BFS-wielding heavy infantry, with no archers or cavalry of any kind, and to top it off, only two of their units can even run. They'll trash just about anyone if they manage to get into close combat though, and they're practically immune to anything short of siege weaponry.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Magnus, an ally in Chapter 2, is this since he lacks the ability to shoot projectiles with his weapon. This is especially noticeable in Chapter 18, where Pit uses Magnus' body (long story) to fight off enemies.
  • Numerous characters of League of Legends' very many are melee-based. The extremeness of the degree of this trope applied varies — some can have abilities that are usable at range to let the character affect enemies without being right next to them making them a less rigid version of the trope, and/or have abilities that let them get next to enemies nearly instantly and quickly invalidate that lack of range issue, but a few can only attack enemies when they've pretty much managed to get right next to them or slightly beyond that. They tend to hurt a lot when they do and be difficult to kill before getting that close.
  • Rean Schwarzer from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is very much an up close and personal fighter, preferring to use close range attacks over everybody else in his team. The game even makes sure to set his range of attack to 1 range so that he has to be close to an enemy if he attacks them with a regular attack.
  • The Vanguard in Mass Effect 2 and 3 is built around close range combat. Biotic Charge and Nova damage enemies around you while you get a damage bonus on shotguns. The heavy melee of a Vanguard is also quicker than the ones from other classes, increasing their close range capabilities even more.
  • Brawler mechs in the MechWarrior series typically drop most if not all of their long ranged weapon in exchange for high-powered ballistics capable of punching holes through armor at close range. The Fafnir in MechWarrior Living Legends has a variant which packs quad LB-X/20 shotguns, which allows it to kill anything under 30 tons in a single salvo at close range. Battlearmor in Living Legends is best suited for close ranged (as in, weaving between the legs of the Humongous Mechas) combat, as then it can bring its most potent firepower to bear — the Heavy Micro Laser, high-explosive sticky grenades, and the handheld Autocannon/2 bullet hose.
  • Starting around Mega Man X4, Zero gains a far greater focus on swordplay to differentiate him from X. This requires him to be in close proximity to the target to do damage; he has some ranged attacks, but they generally pale, damage-wise, in comparison to his various sword moves. His own series, however, gives Zero a gun very much like X's for him to use instead of the sword, if the player chooses to.
  • In Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes, this is usually just a special effect - archers and swordsmen deal damage in the same way, reduced by the opponents they kill on the way to the enemy - but Gremlins, a unit for the Mages, are different. Instead of having constant damage at any range, their power starts out very high but drops off sharply as it progresses; a max-level gremlin unit firing at a charging unit directly in front of it will do 18 damage, enough to punch through anything except an elite, champion or fused unit, but the same max-level gremlin trio will do something like 3 damage, at most, when given a clear shot at the enemy's face down an empty lane.
  • In Mordheim: City of the Damned, the Sisters of Sigmar cannot equip any kind of ranged weapons. As a faction of basically female paladins, they're restricted to maces, flails and hammers of various sizes only. They do kick ass in close combat though, doubly as they can all (except the Augur) equip heavy armour and shields and also cast magic to make their hits even harder than they already are. Unfortunately they're also slow as molasses and something of a Crutch Character as their poor mobility makes more complex tactics like flanking and ambushing quite difficult.
  • In Naruto: Clash of Ninja, Rock Lee and Might Guy are powerful in close combat, but lack the ability to throw shurikens or otherwise attack at range. Likewise for Naruto in his Nine-Tailed form.
  • Overwatch has Reinhardt, who is a Mighty Glacier that uses a giant hammer as his main weapon, with his only ranged ability being to fire off a blast from his weapon. He makes up for this with incredible health, a deployable shield and the ability to charge forward and ram into enemies.
  • Paladins:
    • Flank champions are fast and do a lot of damage, but have poor range and are fragile, meaning they have to risk getting up close to fight. Frontlines are a downplayed twist on this trope, generally trading the speed for durability and tending to have other applicable abilities to pressure and affect a larger area than flanks (such as shields - and failing that, being inherently tougher means a bit of damage fall-off is a more alleviable position to them than squishier champions.
    • Mal'Damba is a Support champion who does decent damage and can stun enemies with his reload, but he can't hit very far. However, he has great ranged healing, practically being able to snipe allies with his healing beams.
    • Terminus is the only champion who is primarily a melee fighter, swinging around his massive axe. His only ranged attack is shooting a blast of dark magic. While he is slow, he makes up for it with his high damage attacks, high health, Attack Reflector power, and the Ultimate ability to explosively resurrect upon death.
  • Operation: Matriarchy have the Velian-class enemies, most of them having ranged weapons like organic cannons. And then there's the ninja-like Velians (simply called "Ninja" in-game) who has blades for arms and legs, and her sole attack is to leap and slash at you. Be warned that she's a lot faster than the regular Velian enemies though.
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has Parappa The Rapper, known for his small stature, and for having a style mostly based around the karate lessons he got in his game, and Heihachi Mishima, whose game rarely uses projectiles.
  • Akihiko in Persona 4: Arena qualifies, with normal and persona attacks, to the point that using his persona Caesar is not a good idea.
  • The Fighter class of Phantasy Star Online 2 is just as strong as its predecessor, the Mighty Glacier Hunter, but far more agile and fast-hitting. This trope is the downside; their attacks have short range and they lack crowd control options.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has a few plants that have a close-to-mid range. They make up for their shortened range with high attacking power.
    • The Bonk Choy, who literally punches the zombies when they get close enough from either side. It's so good that a regular zombie won't be able to advance a single block without getting its limbs torn off, and even the mighty Pharaoh Zombie and its solid sarcophagus won't be able to fully eat a Wall-Nut if the Choy is behind it. It gets even more painful once it levels up.
    • There are also the Snapdragon (breathes fire 3x2 squares wide) and the Spring Bean (flings away any zombie who steps on it).
    • The Endurian takes it to the extreme, being a Wall-nut like defensive plant that damages zombies close enough to attack it.
    • Also, there's Phat Beet. It only attacks in a 3x3 radius around him, but he can take out a Basic Zombie before he gets eaten.
    • Celery Stalker attacks zombies that get behind it with a Back Stab, at a very rapid rate for very heavy damage. At level one, it's strong enough to take out a Conehead by itself!
    • The Jack O'Lantern produces a very powerful stream of flame that hits the three squares in front. At full charge, it can even take out Knights and Blockheads. It stops being this when it levels up a few times, however, since its range increases as it does so.
    • The Wasabi Whip attacks zombies up to 2 tiles in front or behind it, but attacks very rapidly and for heavy damage too.
    • Parsnip snips zombies with its Power Pincers, up to 2 tiles in front of it for very heavy damage, enough to destroy a normal zombie in just two hits at level 2. Furthermore, if it is attacked enough it'll rush forwards and deal heavy damage to all zombies in front.
    • In the first game, Gloom-shroom releases fumes in a 3x3 area around it.
    • Chomper is also this, as he can only eat zombies which are two squares in front of him or closer.
    • Pokra jabs at zombies that are 2 squares ahead of her at an increasing rate, plus causes a slowing effect on zombies hit. Every few jabs, however, she'll fire out a spike that hits and pierces all zombies in front, resetting her attack speed.
    • Headbutter Lettuce not only hits rapidly and hard at a range of 1.5 squares in front or behind him, he also has the ability to randomly butter (stun) zombies whenever he attacks, and also has more health to increase his survivability should the zombies manage to get to him.
    • Downplayed by Tiger Grass, which spawns a tiger that claws at all zombies in a short range in front of it. However, the tiger can be sicced up to 4 squares ahead of the plant, giving it longer range than most melee plants.
    • The Rhubarbarian can only attack zombies on the square he's on, but he gives them a Megaton Punch so hard they fly off the lawn, and displays an ability that no other melee plant has — the ability to leap forwards to the next square that has a zombie on it, allowing him to continue his assault down the lane.
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare: Like in his appearances in the main games, Chomper is only effective at close range, attacking by biting or swallowing his target. This time around, he can close the gap by moving around and burrowing underground to catch opponents by surprise. He's a Mighty Glacier in his base form, so stealth is the best way to get close, unless you're Hot Rod Chomper.
  • Pokémon has Close Combat, which is described as the user getting in close to the opponent, but causing defense to fall due to being very close.
    • For that matter any mon whose moveset solely consists of contact moves. This playstyle can be stopped by moves and abilities that damage and disable strategies like that.
  • Pokkén Tournament:
    • Machamp has very few ranged attacks, and is mainly based around getting close to his opponents and inflicting a heavy barrage of punches.
    • Garchomp's primary focus is charging at foes to catch them in a relentless assault of slashes and ground-shaking strikes (as a matter of fact, Garchomp's unique stance is running straight towards the enemy). He has a few ranged attacks, but they're mainly used to punish foes who try to keep their distance.
  • In Shadowrun Returns Physical Adepts are encouraged to be built for this, with almost all their Chi Casting skills meant to either deal damage at melee range or help them get close. It's not impossible to give an Adept a gun and some ranged combat skills, but given the shortage of Karma you've far better off specialising.
  • Luke Skywalker is one of the few characters in Star Wars Battlefront (2015) whose main weapon is not a long range blaster, but a lightsaber, so he has to rush for his enemies to get kills. At range he mainly has to rely on his Force push, which only goes a few feet in front of him, and his ability to deflect shots right back at their originator.
  • Kae of SUGURI does have projectiles of her own, but they're not really her main draw. It's especially more pronounced in the Acceleration of Suguri games, where it serves as her main gimmick as opposed to everyone else who use projectile attacks of varying traits. There's also Suguri-SP, a different form of Suguri who dual wields a pair of laser swords.
  • In Super Smash Bros.:
    • Wario, who has no projectile attacks, needs to get up-close-and-personal to put on the hurt.
    • Sonic, as a Fragile Speedster with no projectiles and short reach, uses Hit-and-Run Tactics to get in, do some damage, and get out.
    • Donkey Kong, the veteran Mighty Glacier character. Downplayed, as many of his strikes do have a bit of reach to them, but he still has no natural projectile attacks.
    • Jigglypuff, whose range is so short that one of her specials is a simple slap with her little flaps for arms. She is Difficult, but Awesome as her playing style revolves entirely around getting close enough to the opponents to attack them and she specializes in aerial attacks.
    • Captain Falcon is a hand-to-hand specialist with an arsenal of punches, kick-dashes, and grabs. Ganondorf ends up being the same due to being a semi-clone.
    • Marth, Roy, Ike, Lucina and Chrom are swordsmen from the Fire Emblem series who fight like...well....swordsmen. Ike stands out here, because the sword he wields has a ranged attack, just not in the Smash Bros. games.
    • Little Mac, the boxer from the Punch-Out!! series, as should be expected from a boxer, can't touch anyone beyond arm's length.
    • The Mii Brawler. A customizable close-range fighter who's faster and stronger and more straightforward than the other classes, but lacks versatility in their moveset.
    • Incineroar is slow, has no long-ranged attacks, and its gap closers are slow and short-ranged, but it does have a variety of hard-hitting blows and throws.
  • In Tales of Phantasia, most of your party can attack enemies from a distance, but Cress mostly runs up to enemies to slice them into bits with swords and axes or turn them to Swiss cheese with spears.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The Pyro class is built around this trope. Their flamethrowers' flame dissipates after a short distance but deals a lot of damage. Their shotgun works at a greater distance, but the pellets spread out to the point where they do little damage at long range. The only long range weapon they have is the unlockable Flare Guns, but they have a slow fire rate and deals little damage except against enemies that are already on fire.
    • Players who want to really envision this trope can set up loadouts for either Soldiernote  or Demomannote  that can only deal melee damage.
  • Total War: Warhammer: Just like in the tabletop game, the Vampire Counts field absolutely no ranged units at all, not even artillery. What they have is a selection of undead Mooks of varying quality (from boggo-standard and statistically pathetic Cannon Fodder zombies and skeletons, all the way up to the rather respectable elite Grave Guard) to serve as the army's backbone, with some similarly not-quite-dead cavalry, ethereal infantry and flying units to act as swift-strike and harassment forces, some colossal Lightning Bruiser combat monsters to provide the heavy muscle, and being guaranteed to have magic at the disposal of any army's vampire lord (the necromancer lords are closer to Squishy Wizard).
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon:
    • Any ship that is equipped primarily with close ranged weapons, such as Carronades or Lancers. In Open Skirmishes it is possible to make most ships into this by refitting them with these weapons, although even outside of Open Skirmishes, some ships come with mainly close ranged weapons by default, such as the Pirate Assault Cutter and Fast Attack, as well as the Imperial Assault Cutter to a lesser extent.
    • Pirate ships in general, as Pirates do not have access to several long ranged weapons (Plasma Cannons, Torpedoes and Nova Mortars) and often have a larger number of lighter guns (which have less range than heavier guns) compared to heavier guns than Imperial and Procyon ships. This means Pirates often tend to fight at closer ranges, this also encourages boarding, which the Pirates specialise in.
  • Ace in 20XX, as an Expy of Zero, specialises in melee weapons - his longest-range primary weapon is a spear, while his strongest is a point-blank plasma blender thing. His main ranged attacks need to be taken off the corpses of bosses - things like the Splinterfrost and Vera. Among the bosses, Eternal Star has a short-ranged special weapon, relying on contact damage, size, and a bottomless-pit-encrusted arena to kill.
  • Vermintide II: As a Slayer, Bardin cannot use any ranged weapons and gains a second slot for a melee weapon instead. His special Skill, a lunge, recharges extremely quickly to allow him to deal with hard-to-reach enemies. With the Winds of Magic expansion, he gains throwing hatchets.
  • Valkyr from Warframe has a skillset focused on melee combat. "Ripline" allows her to get in enemies' range, either by yanking them over to her or pulling herself close to them; "Warcry" buffs the melee attack speed of her and any ally in range while also slowing nearby enemies down; "Paralysis" briefly stuns enemies in range, opening them up to finishers; and "Hysteria" turns her invincible, letting her charge into hostile masses to effortlessly turn them into mincemeat with her talons, regaining health in the process.
  • Barring a few units, Orks and Tyranids are factions entirely composed of these in Warhammer 40,000: Gladius. They're so stuck on close combat, that the only difference between melee units and many of their guys carrying guns is that the close-range gunners can shoot targets that are flying - otherwise both only attack enemies in an adjacent hex.
  • In the Wonder Boy series, Asha is the only main character who has no ability to attack at a distance. This puts her at a disadvantage against flying enemies or bosses that can stay out of her sword range.
  • The Assault class from XCOM: Enemy Unknown wields a Short-Range Shotgun and is specialized in dealing massive amounts of damage in close quarter combat, and their skill tree is geared toward this, such as (in the Enemy Within expansion) the ability to take one extra shot a turn if they fire at an enemy located within four squares of them, or the ability to make a reaction shot at the first enemy who comes within four tiles of them, in addition to possible overwatch shots.
  • XCOM 2:
    • The Ranger is the successor to the previous game's Assault. They keep the Short-Range Shotgun, but add on a sword as a secondary weapon.
    • The Sharpshooter can be built as this by going down the Gunslinger side of their skill tree, which focuses on using the pistol, contrasting with the Long-Range Fighter Sniper side. The pistol is short-ranged and gets aim penalties for being far from foes, but a high-ranked Gunslinger-spec Sharpshooter can put out a lot of fire in one turn.
  • Terran/AGI Task Force fighters in the X-Universe series frankly qualify as this in gameplay. Specifically, the Electro-Magnetic Plasma Cannon is the only gun mountable on them and their fastest missile, the Poltergeist, is only really effective against interceptors and light fighters since the speed of the missile is too slow to catch the ever vexatious scout craft and it has horribly short range. Meanwhile, the EMPC has a slow firing rate and equally slow velocity of its projectiles which makes them particularly ineffective in engaging the aforementioned scout craft; unless they come head-on straight towards Terran/ATF fighters, scout craft can easily fly rings around them and slowly chip them to death, rendering the fighters helpless for several seconds until the scout craft flies straight at them again, presenting a brief and important opportunity for these fighters.
    • Ships made by Aldrin also qualify due to their prototypical but rather inferior versions of Terran guns.
    • The Flavor Text for Paranid ships states that their race-based weaponry tends them towards this trope. Subverted in gameplay in which they don't always follow this trope as they can mount any weaponry like all other ships from other races.

    Visual Novels 
  • Suzushiro of Princess Waltz. Whereas the other princesses all have either long reaching or projectile weapons, she relies entirely on the overwhelming power of her fists, with no ranged attacks whatsoever.
  • In Sunrider, the Phoenix is a Fragile Speedster of a Ryder that is fast enough to get in an enemy Ryder’s face, slice them to ribbons with its pair of katanas, and get out before the rest of the enemy force can retaliate. It suffers from Crippling Overspecialization since its swords can only be used on Ryders, and its submachineguns, while able to chew through lightly-armoured Ryders and ships, are almost worthless against heavily-armoured capital ships unless they’ve been softened up first.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In a world where most melee weapons are also a gun, giving their wielders versatility as they switch from melee mode to ranged mode and back, there are a few noteworthy exceptions.
    • Jaune Arc's sword, Crocea Mors, is just a sword. It's a very good sword, capable of beheading an Ursa Major in a single strike, but that's all it is. However, between the sword and its accompanying shield, along with Jaune's naturally large surplus of aura, he ultimately carves out a niche as a very strong short-range Stone Wall and Team JNPR's primary defensive fighter.
    • Oscar Pine wields the cane The Long Memory as his primary weapon, typically fighting with it like it's a dueling rapier but sometimes swinging it more like a club for a harder strike. He lacks any ranged options until he unlocks Ozma's magic to survive what would be a fatal thousand-foot fall at the end of Volume 7.
    • On the villains' side, Hazel Rainart usually eschews using weapons altogether, instead pummeling his foes with his bare hands and ignoring all damage with his pain-numbing Semblance, making him The Juggernaut.

  • Roy Greenhilt in The Order of the Stick is a high-level Master Swordsman — which bites him in the rear when the vampire possessing Durkon throws up an Antilife Shell that blocks him from entering melee range.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Mikkel has shown to be prone to A-Team Firing as Crowbar Combatant. Later in the story he turns out to have a really lousy aim with rifles as well, and to be sufficently aware of it to not even consider handling one to be an option for him in an actual combat situation.
  • Unsounded: In a world full of combatants with projectiles, pymary, war constructs, and pymaric weapons capable of spitting out projectiles Emil weilds a sword—with anti pymary properties—and is one of the most effective fighters around. He also kills someone with an axe after grabbing it mid-fight. He does not however try to go up against war constructs without being in one.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Most non-bending fighters are this. Ty Lee and Suki are the standouts as the former fights strictly using hand-to-hand alone, while the latter combines martial prowess with swordfighting and her fans.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • While Korra is proficient at any range, she prefers facing her opponents in close quarters; making her the most physical combatant between both series.
    • While other waterbenders generally attack at range with water and ice, Ming-Hua prefers to close in and use her water to bind, or physically assault her enemies.
    • Asami Sato is another non-bender who uses martial arts, along with a stun gauntlet, to taze her opponents into submission.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go: While most of the team can fight in close quarters, Nova relies on battling up close the most. This is justified due to Nova's ability to generate and unleash intense heat energy being very unstable.