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Do Not Run with a Gun

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In most First-Person Shooter and Third-Person Shooter games, as well as certain other genres, the player is the only person in the world who is capable of running/walking and attacking at the same time. Everyone else, friends and allies, need to stop moving if they want to attack.

One specific variant rarely found in newer games also prevents enemies from performing any actions at all while being attacked (because their "flinch" animations interfered with their "firing" animations) or knocked off ledges, which allowed one to run up and whale on them using a melee weapon with impunity.

Another variation is where the enemy will have flinch animations, but continue firing anyway. This is even more jarring than the previous variation, what with soldiers having their guns pointed at the ground and you still taking shot damage.

One area in which this typically applies to the player character to an extent is with scoped sniper weapons, in which one's aim will go all over the place if you move very much.

Also applies to several 2D games, stopping the player in their tracks when they take a shot (or swing a sword, whatever). The most common way around this is to attack while jumping.

Partly Truth in Television, as in real life, firing while on the move does limit the accuracy with which one can fire, particularly if that motion is faster than a slow walk. And it's indeed quite difficult to attack when you're being hit in the face. A well-trained soldier or law enforcement professional can maintain reasonable accuracy while moving at a brisk shuffle, but most people aren't trained like that.

Many newer games will simulate this with accuracy factors for weapons, where the shots travel somewhere within a cone that gets wider as the player moves faster (first popularized in Tom Clancy licensed games like Rainbow Six, but now common). This has created a minor genre split between "tactical" shooters where players will slow down, crouch, or even go prone to increase accuracy, and "classic" shooters that concentrate on high mobility and fast aiming. Not really the same as I Just Shot Marvin in the Face, although without taking care that trope can result from attempting this.

Not related to Run-and-Gun, a game genre where you should be running with a gun.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Taken to an extreme in Mirror's Edge, since you are playing a 1.6m-tall woman on the run from the police and SWAT units that chase you over rooftops and through side alleys. You can pick up and fire even machine guns, but running while just holding them is impossible. With a Glock in hand, you can run and jump, but since you don't have any spare ammunition on you it's usually best to just throw them away to get your hands free to climb up drain pipes and jump fences.
  • This was added in Tomb Raider II with the M16 and the MP5 in 3, with which Lara has to switch between a "standing" (properly shouldering the weapon) and a "running" animation (where it's held at the hip), which makes them much more awkward to use on the move compared to other weapons (one-handed weapons are just pointed and shot without a slow animation and the shotgun requires standing still to aim and fire it).
  • Castlevania heroes can rarely move while attacking. In games with many weapons available, it depends on which one you're using; certain weapons (such as the Blue Knuckles in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) are more valuable than they seem because they can be used on the go. Also handy is the backdash move, which will sometimes cancel attack animations early, returning control to the player (and letting you strike again faster than you're "supposed" to).
    • One factor which makes the Crissaegrim a Game-Breaker in Symphony is the ability to attack without slowing down while using it. Later games in the series keep this ability (and its Japanese name: Valmanwe) but it's balanced by a much lower ATK stat.
    • In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood Maria can throw her birds while walking. Most of her other moves focus on mobility as well.
    • Much of the system can be subverted while jumping: you can move while attacking so long as you're in the air. Especially useful for those slower weapons.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: In the Dueling Club, you and your opponent can't cast spells while moving around. With careful timing, you can exploit the fact that that includes shielding spells, by casting a spell that will reach them while they're sidestepping to aim at you.
  • In most Zelda games swinging your sword freezes you in place, so that you cannot dodge attacks while swinging your sword. In Ocarina of Time the movement is a little more fluid but you still stand in place while you swing your sword. Twilight Princess added the ability to run and slash but Skyward Sword took it out again. Prior to Skyward Sword, it also wasn't possible to move while aiming ranged items like the bow, except by pressing L which let you move forwards, backwards and strafe side to side while limiting your ability to aim.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Fusion: The villain is the SA-X, an alien wearing a copy of Samus's Power Suit at its best (Samus, of course, has picked up the Bag of Spilling in the intro). Its overwhelming power makes you appreciate any little flaw you can find — one of which is that the SA-X can't run and shoot.
    • Metroid Prime Trilogy: In the first two games on the GameCube, you can only aim freely while standing still and holding the R button; otherwise you're limited to aiming straight in-front of Samus. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and the Wii Updated Rereleases of the first two games would change by allowing you to freely aim at all times with the Wii Remote.
    • Metroid Dread: Samus cannot move while using the Omega Stream or Omega Cannon, making it so she has to stand her ground and carefully aim as the E.M.M.I. slowly approach.
  • Mission: Impossible (Konami): Everyone, enemies and players alike, stop moving for a moment when attacking. This can be rather humorous when some enemies will stop moving on a treadmill when shooting at you, but resume being pulled along by it once they've finished.

    Action Game 
  • This strongly affects your tactics in Archero. Moving allows you to dodge enemy shots, but you can't fire your main weapon. On the other hand, your pet spirits can still fight for you while you're dodging, as can various skills (eg blade summoning, circles, or spinning swords) if you have them. On the other other hand, the "Block" talent reduces damage if you're standing still, so if you're caught in Bullet Hell and can't realistically dodge, you might be better off just stopping and taking the hits in order to shoot back.
  • A core mechanic in Bounty of One. Your character is unable to use their regular attacks unless they're standing still, although there are special offensive abilities that can trigger even when you're moving like Onion, Bulletstorm, and especially Thunder Dance, Seismic Dance, and Panic Attack, which requires movement to trigger. The developers mention that this design choice was inspired by Archero. The only characters to avert this are R0B3RT and those who pick up his legendary item Steamtech Turret, which places a turret that fires your basic shots even when you move, and Jody and those who pick up her legendary item Dancing Daggers, which stocks up shots that are fired at a faster rate while you move.
  • In Gungrave, you could walk but not run while shooting, and could shoot faster while standing still, as holding down the fire button while still activates Burst Mode. In the sequel however, Grave, Juji, and Billy can run full tilt and shoot simultaneously.
  • This is optional in Gunstar Heroes. At the start of the game, you can choose either "Free Shot" which lets you keep moving while firing, or "Fixed Shot" which makes you stand still while firing, allowing you to shoot at angles more accurately. Each option also corresponds to a different character: Gunstar Red for Free Shot and Gunstar Blue for Fixed Shot.
    • Gunstar Super Heroes lets you have both flavors at once: B for Free Shot firing and R for Fixed Shot firing. Holding both allows you to move around while keeping your aim direction fixed.
    • Alien Soldier, another game created by Treasure, has the player character able to swap from Free Shot to Fixed Shot at any time.
  • Contra:

    First Person Shooter 
  • Most (older) FPS games, such as Doom, Half-Life, Duke Nukem 3D... it is probably easier to list the exceptions.
    • Doom also featured the part about flinching interrupting firing. This specifically combined with the Arachnotron's high flinch rate (near 50% of bullets fired at it make it stop shooting) to make that enemy almost harmless when on its own if the player attacked it with the chaingun or plasma gun.
    • Similarly, the low firing rates of Marathon's baddies made it possible to take out nearly any enemy by circle-strafing as you knock them to pieces with your fists... at least until you meet Enforcers or Troopers on the higher difficulty levels.
    • Quake II plays this straight for most enemies, but a few can let off a shot while running at you, if the AI decides to run the animation in which they do so.
    • TimeSplitters is a pretty notable case because enemies could and would slide, strafe and roll... but could not shoot while doing so.
      • Averted in its spiritual predecessors, Perfect Dark and GoldenEye: The enemies actually seem to be more accurate when they're walking towards you and spraying bullets, though most attack animations in the latter still have the enemy standing otherwise still.
    • Notably, the original Half-Life managed to disguise this pretty well - lots of people never realized the Marines couldn't move and shoot at the same time without it being pointed out. This is mostly because they're intelligent about covering each other: while some Marines are moving, others are shooting at you to draw your fire away from their comrades. For Half-Life 2, Civil Protection officers, which you fight early in the game, stand still while firing, but the Combine soldiers and especially the Elites later on will quite often shoot while running to and from cover. Mind you, said running is done in a quick "trotting" manner.
    • Averted in Unreal, with the Skaarj. They can shoot accurately while moving and dodging. This is also an example of Artificial Brilliance.
  • In certain games from the Call of Duty series, the player is expected to drive a tank for a mission or two. The player's only advantage against the enemy tanks is this trope. It is even explicitly stated in the playing guide to the first game.
    • Similarly, in Battlefield Vietnam, not only can tanks fire while moving, they can also fire while being airlifted by helicopters, causing the pilot huge frustration as he tries to compensate for the effect of a tank swinging wildly beneath his helicopter.
    • In all Call of Duty games between Call of Duty 4 and Advanced Warfare, you're not allowed to shoot (or reload, either) while you're sprinting, because your character lowers his weapon to do so. You can shoot while moving normally, but your crosshair gets bigger and bigger the faster you go. It also gets bigger the longer you fire without pause. In practical terms, this means your shots have a much looser spread: not very good when you're aiming at an enemy any decent distance away. On the flip side, while aiming down the sights, your gun's accuracy is generally perfect for the ranges it is meant for (aside from shotguns, and even then one or two across the series fire slugs or otherwise have mechanics that let them be as accurate within their range as any other weapon), and while accuracy is technically not hindered if the player moves (at the very slow rate they're able to) while aiming, the gun itself will sway as they move to make pinpoint shots difficult. Some later games include a way to remove the movement speed penalty when aiming a weapon without increasing the movement sway - Modern Warfare 3 and Ghosts via the "Stalker" perk and Black Ops II onward with the "Adjustable Stock" attachment. Advanced Warfare adds the "Gung-Ho" perk, which keeps your weapon up and allows you to fire while sprinting. As of Black Ops III, you can now reload while sprinting or doing any of the other sort of quick movement abilities introduced here or in Advanced Warfare, though shooting while sprinting is still solely in the realm of the Gung-Ho perk.
  • For the same reason, Counter-Strike and America's Army are FPS games that drastically reduce a weapon's accuracy if the player does not stop and brace himself.
    • Many more recent FPS games do this, especially with semi- or full auto weapons. Generally the higher the firerate, the more this effect happens and the longer it takes to "brace".
    • In Counter-Strike, even having one of the heavier weapons in your hands will reduce your movement speed. Runs into Fridge Logic when you realize that it ought to be still weighing you down when it's strapped to your back. This often leads to players running around with their knives most of the time, then quickly switching to their gun when they spot an enemy.
  • Deus Ex has a targeting reticule that widens to indicate you'll shoot less accurately (moving, taking damage) and slowly tightens to indicate drawing a bead (standing still, crouching); your ability to rapidly aim at something increases with weapon proficiency. The same effect is visible in the tactics of NPCs, where common grunts will almost always hold ground while firing at you, and have laughable accuracy when they move and shoot. Humans with 'upgrades' like the player character's may actually strafe while firing heavy weapons, or run circles around you while firing a small assault rifle one handed (e.g. Gunther Hermann/Walton Simons; Anna Navarre/Paul Denton)
  • There are several exceptions in F.E.A.R.; the Replica and ATC security can fire while running if they're holding a light weapon such as the submachine gun, although this makes them very inaccurate - otherwise they tend to kneel or peek out from behind cover and provide covering fire for their moving comrades. The flying robots can keep firing lasers as they move, and the big stompy robot can fire missiles while it clomps around. The other characters, however, must remain stationary to fire.
  • Team Fortress 2 has a few weapons that slow your movement speed down while in use: the minigun, the sniper rifle (when zoomed in), and the Huntsman (with an arrow drawn). Huntsman also cannot be drawn while in midair. Contrasted by the Scout, which is designed to be attacking while running faster than any other class.
  • In ORION: Prelude you can neither shoot nor reload while running, except with the medi-gun.
  • A strange example of the variant in the original Rainbow Six. Running into an enemy prevents him from shooting you because he is busy being pushed. So if you suddenly bump into a terrorist while reloading, don't run away from him, run into him.
    • Accuracy in these games is affected by a number of factors, most of which are controlled by the player - slow movement doesn't affect it much, while sprinting or quickly turning makes the crosshair go wild. Firing for extended periods throws accuracy to hell, as does getting shot, hence why it's in your best interest to plan well enough that your team doesn't get shot.
    • Ghost Recon plays much the same, being essentially a new game built on Rainbow Six mechanics. You're at your most accurate when staying still while crouched or prone, while shifting your view quickly or moving throws your accuracy into chaos until you let it settle, and your weapon type also has a bearing in exactly how accurate it can be and how quickly it settles (e.g. a sniper rifle will be pinpoint accurate even at extreme ranges, but because of that requires a longer time to settle in after moving than a support gunner's much less accurate belt-fed weapon). Interestingly, shooting while moving actually takes into account how a real person would move while in one of the three stances rather than the generic "lower is slower and thus accurate-er" more modern shooters do - moving in a crawl obviously impacts accuracy, but so does crouch-walking (albeit not to the same extent) because it's a more awkward motion than simply walking upright, which is faster and less hindering on accuracy if you need to shoot on the move, but with the obvious tradeoff that crouching or standing presents a progressively larger and more obvious target. The game also has minor RPG Elements to allow you to upgrade stats on soldiers who survive missions, with the Weapon stat determining how fast they can sight back in after undertaking an action that causes the crosshairs to expand - they don't technically get more accurate than their weapon allows, but it does allow for follow-up shots to go where you actually need them at a faster rate.
  • Lampshaded in the Left 4 Dead intro cinematic. Upon seeing a Tank bearing down on them:
    Louis: Run or shoot? Run or shoot!?!
    Bill: Both!
    • Also, subverted during gameplay, where moving will widen the 'target box' crosshairs: This increases the margin of error for the player's shots. Crouching improves your aim, though standing still is almost as good except while firing in long bursts. This effect is negligible when zombies are immediately in front of you, but is much more obvious when attempting to shoot down far-off Infected with an M16, pistols or sniper rifle.
      • And becomes painfully obvious when you have a sniper rifle and are entangled by a smoker. You have a second or so to shoot him before becoming helpless, but he's already dragging you, which counts as moving, which greatly reduces your accuracy. An M16 or shotgun still has a chance of hitting the smoker despite this, the sniper rifle really doesn't.
  • The popular Ballistic Weapons mod for Unreal Tournament 2004 makes you move slowly when you're merely holding out heavier weapons; therefore, it is more preferable to switch to smaller firearms or melee weapons when merely crossing the maps. In addition, moving at all typically causes accuracy to suffer, especially with the aforementioned heavier weapons, even if your gun has a Laser Sight - the only guaranteed way to nail a hit is to stand still and aim down the sights.
  • Most games in the Battlefield series, but most notably Battlefield 2142, reduce weapon accuracy to the degree of pointlessness while running and outright disable the ability to shoot when sprinting. Standing still, ducking and lying down, on the other hand, increase accuracy significantly, as does switching to single-shot fire modes over full auto. Even more spectacularly, the game's selection of "Support" heavy machine guns actually get MORE accurate the longer you fire them without moving, but lose all sense of accuracy as soon as you take a single step and deteriorate greatly when you so much as stand up.
  • In Red Orchestra your avatar will actually uncock the hammer on the Tokarev or Walther when they sprint. The same goes for other weapons which can be similarly disengaged, otherwise, they'll be put down and be unusable.
    • Also, you can run and gun, but it's not advisable because you do not have crosshairs and the only gun that has any other indication of where the bullets are going are the machine guns, because of their tracers.
  • Tripwire's other FPS, Killing Floor, however, inverts this in true Unreal fashion - while, outside of the Siren, Specimens with ranged attacks need to stand still to use them, the player can move and even jump while shooting, and the only detriment to their accuracy is the gun's recoil itself (which, with the perks system, can be severely negated) - the gun's spread never gets worse if you're holding it at or firing it from the hip. That said, there's still no crosshair, so they player will need to stand still and aim down the sights to reliably hit specimens much further than a few meters away. Aiming also makes the player slow down (unless they're crouching, but then the movement sway is even worse), and jumping forces them out of aiming.
    • The above about interrupting attacks by making them flinch also holds true in certain cases - Scrakes in particular, normally a Mighty Glacier that can chew up players it can get close to in no time, can be totally immobilized by a Berserker running in with a fast-swinging melee weapon and continually hitting them in the face with it (so long as another player with a gun doesn't try to help by shooting him and making him mad).
    • Killing Floor 2 adds a dedicated sprint button rather than going for a Counter-Strike-like system where lighter weapons let you move faster, but otherwise plays it about as straight, even allowing the addition of a proper crosshair when not aiming. Accuracy actually does deteriorate slightly when on the move if you don't take the time to aim, but otherwise shots will generally go exactly where you tell them to at all times, barring the rare outlier that is noticeably less accurate even when you're aiming, like the Tommy gun.
  • In Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, you can't move while zoomed in with the sniper rifle, even though the AI can (not that they do it very often, though). There actually is a way to do so, namely, crouching while aiming, but this ability is gone by Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
  • Halo mostly plays this straight, but some enemies, like Drones and high-ranking Elites, are an aversion, being able to run or fly while shooting — although they usually move more slowly and predictably when they do it. Many of the Elites that do it also dual-wield plasma rifles.
  • Subverted in the Medal of Honor series, while some enemies stop to shoot, others will run-n-gun with no decrease in accuracy. Also, they continue firing at you while flinching/knocked back. Precision aiming (ie iron sights) in Frontline originally prevented you from moving, but the HD remake allows you to move while using the iron sights.
    • Enforced in Medal of Honor: Vanguard and Airborne, as aiming down the sights prevents the player from moving, the latter game making you lean instead if you try to sidestep while aiming.
  • Played straight in Borderlands — crosshairs disappear while moving at run speed, and firing a weapon causes a player character to toggle to walk speed. Can be avoided, as firing is entirely possible while jumping, after which you will continue to run if you were running when you jumped. Completely inverted with one of Wilhelm's skills in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, which allows him to shoot while sprinting, even going so far as to giving him a damage boost while doing so.
  • In Receiver, you literally can't run with a gun — at least not while you're aiming it. You have to have it down in order to run.
  • Guns in Fistful of Frags become uselessly inaccurate while running in even the closest of quarters. Coupled with the generally slow fire rates the dated weapons have, gunfights take a unique "shoot 'n' scoot" sort of format as players slow down or come to complete stops before making their shot.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and PAYDAY 2, for as much as they're inspired by Left 4 Dead above, play this closer to Call of Duty. Firing from the hip gives you decent but not spectacular accuracy, while crouching and/or aiming down the weapon's sights improves it and moving, even when aiming, penalizes it. The latter game removes the crosshair to encourage proper aiming, but also has various skills to mix things up. There's one that removes the movement penalty when aiming. There's one that lets you reload while sprinting. There's two different ones that allow you to hipfire weapons when sprinting, one specific to shotguns in one skill tree and the other for all weapons that's higher up in a different tree. There are also various other skills that grant accuracy and stability bonuses to weapons of specific types or that are equipped with certain types of attachments, or remove the penalties on them when moving or hipfiring, to say nothing of skills that just give you a flat bonus to accuracy and/or stability. Also, rather amusingly, a glitch makes one weapon, the Falcon rifle, actually get less accurate if you fire it from the hip while crouching.
  • Outlaws wouldn't let you move if you were using the Gatling Gun unless you cheated.
  • Primal Carnage: The humans are unable to fire their weapons and run at the same time, and can't move faster than a crawl when aiming down a sight, which of course makes it slightly harder to avoid dinosaur attacks while shooting. Strangely, dinosaurs, in most cases, also can't attack while running, despite only having Natural Weapons.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Devil May Cry has weapons that can only be fired while walking (at best) and stopped (at worst). Not that it stops the Mook Chivalry-lacking enemies from running and gunning. The pistols, however, can be fired in midair and used to hover. This makes them probably your best weapons.
  • Diablo is a case with both player and monsters suffering from this. But some special moves are a combination of move and attack.
  • In Victor Vran, the trope is downplayed with standard mêlée attacks (the protagonist stops walking right before performing a blow, but the attack animation makes him walk forward), played totally straight with the firearms. Some special attacks make you move when performing them, too.

    Light Gun Game 
  • In Time Crisis, most of the time when you're able to attack, you're standing still and the only movement you have is to take cover behind an adjacent object or turning to face enemies. If you're moving and firing at the same time, either you're walking slowly or on a moving vehicle of some sort such as a boat, helicopter, or an ATV. Even in Time Crisis 5 where you can move between two different covers, you can only attack once you've moved completely to either position. All of this isn't necessarily because the player is incapable of walking and firing, it's because the game mechanics revolve around having at all times something to take cover behind next to you; walking down a hallway with no objects in it would mean that you could take damage even if you released the pedal. Crisis Zone and Razing Storm get around this by giving the player characters riot shields so that they're never in a situation where they can't evade or block enemy fire.

  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • As a general rule, heroes need to stand still to begin a basic attack. Moving before the animation completes will cancel the attack and deal no damage. For most heroes this means moving between attacks, although for characters like Tychus that can mean a significant drop in damage.
    • A handful of heroes avert this, mostly those from Overwatch as an attempt to simulate their home game's feel. Tracer, Lucio, and D.Va can all attack on the move without restrictions, although D.Va can only do so in Mech Mode. Genji can pseudo do this, since he can move during his lengthy AA animation but needs to be momentarily still to initiate it. Junkrat, Ana, and Hanzo can use their Q abilities while moving (which all happen to be based on their primary fire from Overwatch).
  • Awesomenauts: Most 'nauts can basic attack while moving, but suffer a movement speed penalty while doing so. However, all NPC droids play this straight and must be standing still to attack.

    Platform Game 
  • Some Mega Man examples:
    • In Mega Man & Bass, one difference between the two playable characters is that Mega Man can run-and-gun and Bass can't. He makes up for this with an ability that Mega Man notoriously lacks: pointing his buster in a direction other than straight forward. You can get around this a little though, since Bass is still able to move as normal in mid-air while shooting.
    • Mega Man X can fire his normal weapons while running and even during a dash (an ability classic Mega Man's similar sliding tackle lacked), but Easter Eggs and some other special moves, like the Street Fighter moves he gets in a couple of games or the Z-Saber in X3 and X6, pin him in place.
      • Zero is the one who really takes it on the chin here; in several of the X games, he puts away his Z-Saber after each attack or combo, and you can't move till he does this. You also can't move until his ponytail finishes falling. However, in the PS1 X games, Zero can cancel his basic sword attacks at any moment by using a dash. This removes the recovery time and allows you to keep moving or create a chain combo. More conventionally, when he originally had the Z-Buster in X3 he could move and shoot ala X, but in X5 and X6 not only could he not fire unless he was standing still (and not even charge it), he couldn't even fire it if he was in freefall (in fact, the Z-Buster in X5 was considered a Scrappy Weapon for these reasons and worth sacrificing for X's Fourth/Force Armor, while X6 increasing its firing frequency and raw power actually made it practical despite these limits). The PS2 X games fix this by having him keep the saber out at all times, which looks silly but makes practical sense. In his own series, Zero has a much smoother combat system that never pins him down.
    • This is also done in the Mega Man Battle Network series, as most non-time freezing attacks tend to have an animation-based movement delay when using them. This is perhaps one of the reasons why "Stop Having Fun" Guys rarely ever suggest using attacks with a throwing animation, as they are easy to see, dodge, and make you a sitting duck for a very noticeable period of time when compared to the much shorter animation delays of most other types of attacks.
      • The Battle Network series also makes it possible for attacks to be interrupted due to the flinching animation. However, from the third game onwards, the game rewards you for doing this to your enemies in various ways.
    • Model F in Mega Man ZX balances out its higher firepower, ability to fire straight-up and Buster Edit ability (which allows you to customize the path your bullets travel) by not allowing you to run-and-gun.
  • Averted in Ratchet & Clank, where you sometimes grind a rail and shoot simultaneously. You can also run, jump, and flip while firing most guns.
  • Even though you can fire while running in Iji, it's not averted since you can't fire while jumping or crouching. For enemies, however, the trope is in full effect. There is one thing the player can do that no enemy can, however. Your gun shoots instantly and recharges after. All enemies need to stand still and charge their shots first.
  • The police enemies in Gamer 2 can shoot you, but they never move (except one during a scripted event where she doesn't shoot). Averted with the final boss, who is a Mirror Boss and can shoot while moving just like the player.
  • In the Metal Slug series, you can't move while firing your pistol (unless you're jumping), but you can move and fire any of the other weapons. You can also move and fire the machine guns on any of the various vehicles, but most of them make you stop for a moment if you fire the special weapon.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: Directional Shards need Miriam to stand still while they're being used.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Most Real-Time Strategy games' ranged units can only move or fire, not both. If there's an Attack-Move order, expect them to move until a target is in range and then stop to fire. In general, units that have to stop to attack effectively give melee units a real chance of getting close to their targets before being shot. Most games that avert the trope don't have melee units. Also, even units capable of moving while firing will usually stop as soon as they enter firing range of the target; they're free to move closer but usually have no special inclination to do so.
  • World in Conflict is another notable exception. Almost all units can fire on the move, but their accuracy suffers from it. Infantry can't fire weapons while sprinting, though.
  • EndWar is similar, in that most units can run and gun, but suffer accuracy penalties. Tanks, however, cannot run and gun: when they spot an enemy, they will stop to shoot it.
  • Wargame: European Escalation also does much the same. Tanks with good stabilizer ratings can fire on the move without too much of an accuracy penalty, but these are usually the expensive high-tier vehicles...the rest have to stop to fire effectively. Anti-tank missile launchers are notable in that they need to remain still or else the operator can't guide the missile to its target (like in real life).
    • Certain StarCraft units nearly avert this. Certain units (Terran Siege Tank, Goliaths, Zerg Mutalisks) have such a short firing animation that they can emulate the ability to fire while moving. Mutalisk micro in particular has been raised to a fine art among the professional scene, to the point where a team of Mutalisks can fire as fast as possible while flying in the opposite direction of what they're shooting at.
    • Siege Tanks are deployable, which forces them to be immobile to use their powerful attack.
    • StarCraft II keeps this for the most part, with the ability to "micro" unit that can't normally move and shoot being a very important part of high-level play. An extremely common tactic with a mostly ranged army is to "stutter step" which involves repeatedly ordering your army to move and stop so they fire as much as possible while still moving to minimize damage to themselves. If done particularly quickly, the firing animation persists as the units move, so it appears that they are firing while moving.
    • A special few units, such as the Protoss Phoenix, actually have to ability to move and shoot at once (but their attacks are limited to other air units).
      • The campaign-only Diamondback tank's main feature is that it explicitly averts this, which is one of several reasons it was too much of a Game-Breaker for multiplayer.
  • Dawn of War averts this quite realistically, with some units able to be fired on the move and other, especially heavy weapons, require the units to be standing still and sometimes they even take time to set up their weapon to fire. Even weapons which could fire on the move suffered a penalty which originally reduced their maximum accuracy while firing on the move to 50%. Unfortunately, the Dark Crusade expansion ruined the mechanic by changing the default fire on the move accuracy to 15% for almost all units, making fire on the move almost completely ineffective for most units.
    • Needless to say, there is a strategy called "dancing/kiting" where the objective is to force your opponent to move while shooting, allowing you to gain the advantage.
    • Dawn of War 2 utilizes the distinction even more aggressively, with most normal infantry and vehicles being able to move and shoot at the same time, while squads that use heavy weapons like Plasma Cannons or Shuriken Platforms, which can easily obliterate practically anything in their path in a matter of seconds, can't and require set-up before they can actually get down to business.
  • Total Annihilation was subverts this. Units are divided into the mobile platform (legs, wheels, etc.), and a swivel, allowing units to shoot and move independently.
  • In Supreme Commander the same is true, but the effectiveness of a walking unit depends much on the calculations used for their aiming. Cybran units, for instance, are generally more effective at attack-moving because they generally use fast and accurate ammo, like lasers and guided missiles, while the UEF is usually poor at it, because the units have trouble calculating the ballistics of their weapons when they're moving (and even less when the target is also moving). To compensate, both were balanced, so that the Cybran weapons generally cause less damage for their higher accuracy and mobility.
  • Star Trek: Armada gives a director's cut option, which causes ships to dogfight rather than stand-still and attack. In some cases, it deadlocks battles and causes you to turn it off.
  • The original Command & Conquer: Red Alert subverts this for units that shouldn't move while firing, but only for AI players.
    • The civilians that sometimes appear outside a building run around wildly and make a single frame attack while he's running about.
    • Likewise, some of their artillery spends a single frame firing before continuing to move.
    • Attack Dogs can sort of do this, since their attack consists of lunging at their target.
    • Although the later games within the Command & Conquer series gives units better weapons when they deploy.
    • Red Alert 3:
      • Most vehicles can fire while moving, although not artillery or infantry. Some vehicles lack turrets and thus can only fire in the direction they're facing while moving.
      • Anti-Air aircraft can fire while moving, but it's less efficient as they tend to slow down to do so. Ground-attack aircraft can unleash their payloads while flying over the target.
      • The Javelin soldier is a justified case: while it can't attack while moving, it can switch to lock-on mode where it will stop moving or attacking for a few seconds before unleashing a barrage of missiles at a much faster rate at the target. If the target moves away or the Javelin does (which is more likely), it needs to lock on again.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Non-artillery vehicles can attack while moving. In the Humvee's case, the passengers inside can also shoot, making for nightmarish Hit And Run tactics if the owning players bought Pathfinder snipers which One-Hit Kill infantry.
  • Many infantry units in Company of Heroes can shoot while moving, though hurting accuracy and possibly fire-rate while doing so and many heavier weapons require standing still or setting up to fire. It's also possible for tanks to its main cannon or auxiliary guns while moving. Some noticeable examples within the system include the sub-machine guns of Combat Engineers and Pioneers in the first game, whose accuracy gets multiplied by a factor of 0.15 from moving turning their already inaccurate fire into making the concept of them actually hitting while moving even at point-blank range seem only theoretically possible; Panzer Grenadiers in the second game with their MP44s who uniquely receive no accuracy penalties making them a horrific unit for infantry to be hounded by; and Pioneers' sub-machine guns in the second game who also do not receive accuracy penalties on the move though this is probably more because they already suck at killing anything while standing still anyway.
  • All combat units in Outpost 2 can fire and move at the same time. This actually is used in strategy when units of the same class (and hence, move at the same speed) can outrun the enemy's gun range while laying fire.
  • War Craft III: The Phoenix appears able to do this, sending streams of fire at enemies while moving. It's not actually attacking, the Phoenix Fire spell puts a periodic damage debuff on all non-buffed enemies in range and uses the same projectile as the Phoenix's normal attack, doing so even when the Phoenix is moving or attacking.
  • Iron Marines: Like most RTS games, most units are unable to attack and move at the same time. Four exceptions are the Dropgun with the robotic legs upgrade and the Hero Units Mark X, Roy and Blue Dragon, all of whom can fire on the move.
  • Zero K averts this trope for most of its units. This is despite it having melee units (the Jack and the Scythe). There are only three exceptions: the Fencer, the from the rover factory, the Emissary, the artillery for the tank factory, and the Bulkhead, a support unit for the amphibious bot factory. All three cases require time to unpack in order to fire, preventing a "stutter-fire" technique from working, and the Emissary also has to pack up when it wants to move.
  • MechCommander is an interesting aversion: neither game cares if your Humongous Mechas are running, walking, or standing still. Issue an attack order, and as long as your 'Mechs can torso-twist enough to face the target, they'll take shots. If a 'Mech can't swivel to face the target, it will just ignore enemies and make best speed for its waypoint. This is notably how it works in the native tabletop game, and the ability to rush enemies while your 'Mechs vomiting out a wall of LRM fire and PPC blasts meant that small, sequential groups of enemies, such as patrols, could be crushed in a series of lopsided, highly aggressive engagements.
  • Most units in Krush Kill n' Destroy can fire while moving, with the exceptions being rather realistic (e.g. a giant beetle that has to turn around to fire).

  • Roguelikes, being turn-based, in general suffer from this trope - both the player and the enemies can either move or attack, but not both at once. There are exceptions to this:
    • DRL both averts and plays this trope straight with the Gunrunner master trait, which lets the player fire at the nearest monster when moving in running mode. This mode however carries an accuracy penalty.
    • Inverted in Tales of Maj'Eyal, which contains a sheer number of talents which allow the player or monsters move and attack at the same time, and these attacks are usually more accurate and/or damaging.
    • Mostly played straight in Risk of Rain, with the exceptions of certain monsters by nature of their attacks (usually contact damage, though some bosses also have projectiles they can fire while moving) and the Huntress, who has this as her main shtick over the other survivors. The drawback is that, while she can even fire behind her while running, this removes most of the players' ability to manually aim, making it finnicky to deal with being surrounded.

    Role Playing Game 
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion averts this quite nicely by allowing both player character and NPCs to fire arrows or spells while moving in pretty much any direction. All shots go in the exact direction the crosshair was pointing when fired (effects of gravity on arrows aside), but shots are not instantaneous. As such the accuracy problem is that it is not a matter of shooting at where your target is so much as where they will be when the projectile closes the distance... which is less of a problem than it sounds IF you can compensate for gravity. It's still present in a downplayed form, though: characters move slightly slower with a weapon out than without one.
  • Similar in Mass Effect. There is an armor upgrade that improves accuracy while moving.
    • Mass Effect 2 and 3 take this a bit further by giving players the best accuracy when firing out of cover, which requires them to be fairly immobile. It's also not possible to run and fire weapons at the same time (or any other action for that matter). Finally, characters automatically walk slower while aiming their weapons.
    • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl works the same way, including that enemies can run slowly while shooting, but will probably miss most anything. There are certain heavy weapons which if you have out you can't run at all.
    • This is also the case in Killer7 and P.N.03.
  • In a way this trope shows up in most tabletop RPGs, since they are turn-based. For instance in 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons, a simple round of actions tends to involve one attack plus 30' of movement. You can move 30' and then attack; you can attack and then move; but you cannot move partway, attack, and then keep on moving. Only characters with a particular special ability are allowed to do that.
  • City of Heroes, an MMORPG but more fast paced and action oriented than others of its kind, features this. Pretty much all attacks, regardless of the user, leave them immobile while they animate, and even travel powers (Super Speed, Flight, Super Jump) will be temporarily slowed down after you attack as part of PvP balance.
  • One interesting aspect of the balance between ranged and melee classes in World of Warcraft is that, generally, ranged classes must remain stationary to attack, while melee classes can strike while running. Instant cast spells and Hunter shots can be fired while on the move, but anything with a cast time (And a handful of Hunter shots, such as Multi Shot, have a hidden 0.5s cast time), as well as Shoot (For wands and non-hunter classes) and Auto Shots forces the player to stop still to shoot.
  • Non-shooter example: In Final Fantasy XII, the character you are directly controlling can move around while casting spells or using Technicks. Your allies can't; if they start casting something, they'll be rooted to the spot until the spell is done. Not generally a problem, but it gets annoying when combined with the fact that if a party member is too far away from you, they'll stop casting and run to catch up - until they get to within the range and try it again, only to lag behind again, and so on...
  • Kingdom Hearts: None of the characters can run and attack at the same time. Considering the number of attacks that move the player forward, this is rather downplayed, but it's still there.
  • Averted in GURPS, using a ranged weapon while running is possible but penalizes skill quite a bit without the Gunslinger advantage.
  • In Star Wars: Galaxies, it's possible to fire a ranged weapon while moving, but it drastically reduces your accuracy. Conversely, in addition to standing still, kneeling or going prone increases accuracy and damage, at the cost of defense.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, other characters will usually stand still and shoot. Some can try to run away if you come close, but practically everyone just pulls out a melee weapon. It's not very easy for you either though, unless you have a high Ranged and a stable hand.(Not very easy to run sideways. Backing up and shooting is extremely easy, and is a very good way to kill most stuff if you have the room.)
  • In Mount & Blade, it depends on the unit. While guys struggling with crossbows almost as tall as they are usually tend to stand still(unless an enemy comes too close and they have to pull a sword), horse archers with fast bows NEVER EVER STOP. It makes a lot of sense, as most things do. Those with bows or throwing weapons usually lean towards standing still as well though, whereas they could benefit from a little more mobility. Of course there's the fact that even for you shooting while moving around isn't easy...and shooting atop a horse is FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE unless you have good skills and a good bow...and a good horse. And a good hand.
    • It's worth noting that the player can fire pretty much every ranged weapon, moving or not (there is a major accuracy penalty for trying though) but they cannot reload a crossbow unless they are standing still or on horseback.
  • Boktai: No matter how much you want to, you cannot move while priming a Solar Gun to fire. For any reason at all.
  • In Might and Magic VI-IX, while your party can run around while attacking, casting spells, or firing arrows. All enemies have to pause, go through their attack animations, and then continue moving.
  • Averted in World of Warcraft, while this used to be true for hunters, recent patches and the addition of aspect of the fox allows them to stay entirely mobile while attacking, Shaman also have spirit walk, a fifteen second buff which allows them to cast any spell on the run.
  • Partly played straight in Resonance of Fate, as normally you have to stand still to shoot, but averted with Hero Actions, which allow you to both run and jump through the air, all the while firing away.
    • It's actually partially subverted with Hero Actions. While the whole point is that the characters run and shoot as much as time allows, if you shoot while they're on the ground, they do stop running (especially noticeable with Zephyr who literally walks while he shoots).
  • Fallout: New Vegas features a perk called "Run and Gun" which negates the accuracy penalty for firing one-handed weapons while moving. Human enemies will fire guns while walking (but not running) towards you and make attempts to strafe but robots and bloatflies will always stop moving before firing ranged attack.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Due to engine limitations, Halo Zero features this.
  • Inverted in the shmup Suguri: for most weapons, the titular player character becomes immobile, except when using the relatively weak but high-fire-rate machine gun (or the beefy flamethrower.)
  • DonPachi has two weapons for all aircraft, a standard vulcan and the Wave-Motion Gun used as the Charged Attack, when using the big beam gun, your attacks do more damage and can actually put a dent in bigger warships and slows you to a crawl but the standard rapid fire attack takes care of mook aircraft. It is a matter of knowing when to use which type of attack to use when facing them.

    Simulation Game 
  • Notable aversion in flight simulator games as stopping to fire generally means you're gonna stall out and crash into the ground. In fact, being planes, it's impossible to truly stay in one place (unless the plane has landed, in which case shooting people probably isn't the pilot's first priority); the player is expected to fire both guns and other ordnance accurately while moving and turning at fast speeds. Sims set after World War II generally make this easier by shifting the focus from guns to missiles.
  • Played straight in Vietcong, naturally. Even more so if you're lying down; you cannot fire, let alone aim while crawling, and vice versa.
  • In Operation Flashpoint, it is possible to fire while running, but it's so terribly inaccurate that hitting anything is akin to winning a lottery. Nevertheless, AI soldiers can sometimes be seen doing it. Firing while walking is somewhat more practical, but only at the closest of ranges.
  • World of Tanks zig-zags this trope. On the one hand, all vehicles lose accuracy while moving. Soviet tanks in particular are known for having guns that are extremely inaccurate while on the move. However, various types of upgrades and crew skills can improve accuracy while on the move. A medium tank with a vertical stabilizer, ventilation system, and the correct crew skill can fire on the move with barely any difference in accuracy from being stationary.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Splinter Cell uses this as well, with the added stipulation that sustained fire becomes gradually less accurate. This encouraged players to maintain the 'stealth' aspect of the game by firing in short, controlled bursts if they fire at all.
  • Equipping a rocket launcher or sniper rifle in Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty forces you into first-person view, which disables your movement controls. To adjust position or dodge, you have to un-equip them. Fortunately, you can tap R2 to quickly un-equip and re-equip weapons.
    • In the first Metal Gear Solid, while Snake could move while equipping weapons, once he started aiming or firing he was locked in place unless the player pressed and held the crouch button. It was awkward to do this while trying to fire, which was apparently on purpose, to stress how difficult it really is to run and fire a gun at the same time. Later games made it progressively easier - 2 moved the "run and gun" button to the other side of the controller, before the third game and on removed any requirement to hold a second button.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots completely changed the combat mechanic, allowing Snake to run and gun. It was incredibly useless, as the fire was inaccurate. The only advantage to it was that it would generally (but not always) make the enemy duck behind cover. Of course, since this is a stealth game, it was generally inadvisable to do this.
      • In 4's online component, while you can technically move while aiming, bringing your gun up will slow you down significantly, and if you fire while moving, it still reduces your accuracy. There are several equippable skills within the game that reduce this effect a little, however.
      • Generally, reloading a weapon does not pin the player to their current spot, but there are some exceptions, like the unlockable Solar Gun from Boktai (see above) or the Tanegashima musket.

    Survival Horror 
  • The ability to walk while aiming, and shooting, in Dead Space is considered to be one of the biggest differences between itself and the later games in the Resident Evil series, which are otherwise very similar in both controls and genre. Interestingly, you're not even penalized for doing so: your shots are just as accurate either way. You still can't aim or shoot while sprinting.
  • You can indeed shoot while running in The Evil Within, by holding down the shoot trigger without aiming. It's wildly inaccurate and is only really useful for quick shooting traps and fending off chasing enemies. Actually aiming slows you to a walk, though. You can't shoot while sneaking, either.
  • Fear & Hunger: Termina: You cannot dash while holding a gun, as it would be too easy to shoot enemies otherwise. You can, however, hold and fire a gun while walking.
  • Resident Evil games were known for forcing you to either move or shoot, never both, to the point where the ability to tip-toe while aiming is considered so much of a groundbreaking feature that it's all over Outbreak File #2's case cover. Mercenaries 3D, Revelations and 6 are the only other games in which the extremely well-trained and experienced main characters have half the fighting skill of the Average Joes from the series below.
    • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard finally allows you to not just walk, but also run and shoot at the same time. Of course, since your character is an average civilian with just enough gun training to adequately defend himself, good luck hitting anything while you do it.
  • SCP: Secret Laboratory plays this straight - guns will suffer an accuracy penalty whilst moving or jumping (with heavier weapons having a more severe penalty).
  • It's really rather weird that the entire Silent Hill series' protagonist group, basically, are able to shoot lighter guns and walk at the same time - in the cases of James, Maria, Heather and Henry, with an uncanny degree of accuracy. Seriously, if the target is at less than ten meters and the character is packing a pistol, they will not miss. Keep in mind, none of them has any more experience in fighting or shooting than your everyday American civilian.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Neither you nor your enemies can attack while moving in the Crusader, the exception being the rare mobile turrets.
  • In Cosmic Break, your mech cannot move while alpha-striking (attacking with all your mech's primary weapons simultaneously), unless it has the "Moving Burst" upgrade, which allows some mobility. Also, running or flying reduces weapon accuracy.
  • In Syphon Filter running while shooting significantly reduces your accuracy, especially with automatic weapons.
  • In the PlayStation Spec Ops games, it is entirely impossible to shoot while moving.
  • In SD Gundam Capsule Fighter, units can run with guns, but their accuracy is lowered, even with lock-on. It's also played straight in terms of heavy beam attacks and beam-based Limit Break attacks.
  • Averted in Warframe. Humanoid gun wielding enemies can shoot while walking and running and can even turn to fire backwards with pinpoint accuracy, though they prefer to Take Cover! as much as possible like trained soldiers should.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Advance Wars played this trope straight for artillery units up until Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict, but only the battleship could move and fire on the same turn.
  • Tabletop Warhammer 40,000 has varying levels of this trope depending on weapon types. "Rapid Fire" weapons can be fired on the move, either twice at short range or once at maxmimum range, but firing them prevents the unit from launching an assault that turn. "Assault" weapons and pistols can be fired at full effect while on the move, even leaving the unit able to assault the same turn. Heavy weapons have their accuracy drastically reduced while moving, and "blast" weapons like plasma cannons cannot be fired at all on the move. "Salvo" weapons retain full accuracy on the move, but suffer from a shorter range and reduced rate of fire. Models with the "Relentless" special rule can ignore all of these restrictions due to acting as a stable firing platform.
    • As of 6th edition rules it is possible to fire heavy weapons on the move by making what is called a "snap shot", however your chance of hitting will never be better then 1/6.
    • Vehicles similarly have firepower restrictions based on their speed. A stationary vehicle can fire all of its weapons with normal accuracy, a vehicle that moves at "combat speed" can fire only a single weapon with accuracy while all others can only make highly-inaccurate "snap shots" in a similar manner to infantry as described above, while a vehicle moving at "cruising speed" can only fire snap shots. As with other units, certain types of vehicles have fewer restrictions.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown gives characters two actions per turn. A soldier can use both actions to move, or perform one move and then shoot or perform another action (reload/item/overwatch/etc). The exceptions to this rule are snipers, who can only shoot after moving if they have the Snap Shot skill; Heavies, who cannot use their rocket launcher after moving; and Assaults, who can double-move and shoot with the Run and Gun skill.
  • In Civilization V, the AI opponents never attack with their ranged units on the same turn as moving them, although the player is at liberty to do so.
  • BattleTech has a Humongous Mecha version. Mechs have two actions per turn, and can either move at walking pace and shoot, or move at a full sprint. Moving at full sprint denies an attack afterwards. Justified by the fact that keeping a giant biped war machine upright at a full sprint is a lot more challenging with regards to maintaining balance.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The Grand Theft Auto games, from the third game on, have the convention of letting you run around while firing small or inaccurate weapons, while forcing you to stand still while firing more powerful guns. The tradeoff in the console versions of Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City is that the smaller weapons work entirely off an auto-aim system, meaning even for the same damage they take more bullets to kill enemies, while the heavier weapons can usually be aimed and fired at weak points like people's heads or a car's gas tank.
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, however, ups the ante by letting you move slowly while firing the more powerful weapons, though that's once you reach a certain skill level (and even then, your movement speed when not firing them is still slower if you're holding them out). When crouched, you're forced to stop to shoot no matter what CJ's skill level.
    • Vice City decided what weapons you could and couldn't use while running based on whether they were one- or two-handed. Of course, there was a mod that made all the guns in the game single-handed. This removed the hassle of having to choose weapons based on the situation (a positive or negative feature depending on the point of view), but had the side effect of making the protagonist highly ridiculous as he ran around shooting a freaking minigun single-handed.
    • In Grand Theft Auto IV you can walk quite briskly while aiming and firing. The only exceptions are the sniper rifles.
  • Saints Row adheres to this trope, particularly in Saints Row: The Third: when sprinting, your character will usually holster their weapon for greater maneuverability.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, your accuracy goes down if you move while firing, as shown by the circle around your crosshairs expanding, and you can't run in Free Aim mode. You still can run with your gun out if you don't use Free Aim, though.
  • Enforced in L.A. Noire and Watch_Dogs - the "run" button is actually the same button you use to shoot when you have a weapon equipped, and you can't fire your weapon without aiming, and doing so drops you to walking speed.

    Real Life 
  • A common problem when playing on non-gaming laptops is a hidden function that disables the touchpad while typing. Designed to prevent the cursor from moving while the user is typing a document, it can cause the mouse to ignore commands while the user is pressing WASD to run around. This means you can only fire your gun when you aren't moving (or any other keyboard function). Sometimes this can be fixed by plugging in a mouse, but on older laptops the touchpad driver considers itself a mouse, and you'll have to find the setting and turn it off.