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Friendly Fireproof

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Heavy and Sandvich both passed their Spy Check. note 

Dorian: Cole, you should be careful dancing around with those daggers when I'm throwing fire.
Cole: It won't hurt me. It's friendly fire.
Dorian: That doesn't always mean what you think it means.

You're playing a video game, and you get to the epic battle where it's your team against the enemy team that has ten times as many members as yours. But you have a secret attack in store for them: one that engulfs everything on the field in flames for massive damage. Your team is victorious! Hold on... everything? If it was that far-ranging, then why are your team members standing unhurt with only the scars they gained from enemies, and the grass with every blade untouched?

Just call it immunity against friends' attacks. Perhaps The Power of Friendship becomes a tangible force in combat that can be used as a shield against friendly firepower, accidental clicks on them instead of the opponents, and toxic, wind-spreading spells cast a foot away from them. A shield so flexible that it can also protect any surroundings and landscape formations from harm. This makes it easy to focus on the enemies alone, as you know that you can pull out bombs, poison, Dangerous Forbidden Techniques, the like against them; so long as the Evil Minions don't touch you, your friends will be perfectly fine.

This is largely an Acceptable Break From Reality because it'd be cumbersome to hold off your team's strongest attacks for fear of blowing one of your members up if it's not easy for them to take cover. It could also be considered as keeping you in-character; the person you're playing as wouldn't shoot their squadmates, so giving the player that ability would be a matter of Gameplay and Story Segregation. This also overlaps with Story-Driven Invulnerability: being allowed to kill your plot-critical allies, or turn them hostile, would wreak havoc on the storyline. Still, it can get ridiculous at times, as some of the examples below testify; this is especially true if you are allowed to kill civilians or other friendly targets (including yourself), and only your squadmates are immune to your idiocy.

Many players of multiplayer shooters also have friendly fire turned off in a desperate measure to prevent griefers from team-killing, which of course results in unthinking, indiscriminate spamming of machinegun fire and high explosives into mixed groups.

Less common in Real-Time Strategy than in other genres where individuals are less disposable.

Prevents Friend or Foe? becoming an issue, as well as needing an Arbitrary Weapon Range when shooting near allies. Sometimes implemented as Anti-Trolling Features. Subtrope of Damage Discrimination.

See also Invulnerable Civilians. Not to be confused with Insult Friendly Fire.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Mission Impossible (1990): Your agents are immune to their own tools. Max can stand right on top of his bombs when he detonates them with no ill effect. This is useful if you're surrounded by enemies to clear them away. Grant, likewise, isn't affected by his gas bombs.

    Action Game 
  • In Bloodline Champions, you are incapable of harming your team. Throw those axes, boomerangs, fireballs, bullets, arrows and all sorts of magical attacks without fear. This is quite an advantage since you can have ranged attacks hit enemies through your large-sized but durable tank bloodlines while they absorb the enemies' attacks.
  • In Bombergirl, players cannot harm themselves or each other with their own bombs, however, they can be dazed by their own explosions.
  • Cannon Fodder hand waved this in the instruction manual by saying your little cartoon men fired "smart bullets," though you could still inadvertently kill everyone with a misplaced grenade or rocket.
  • This is not the case in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Horizontal swings in a clumped melee is frequently more liable to hit your allies instead, since your enemies can see your swings clearly to block them!
  • The Dynasty Warriors series (and spinoffs) not only have the general meaning of this in spades (you can swing your weapon around freely in a pitched melee and still only hit enemy soldiers, leaving your friendly Red Shirts unscathed), it also applies a particularly literal version: Using a Fire Attack to set an area ablaze will generally only harm enemies. So if you just set a base on fire, it'll burn your enemies to a crisp, while you can freely fight amongst the flames without even SWEATING. Of course, it also works the other way around if the AI decides to set something on fire. Interestingly, with fire being so partisan, the only kind of flames that'll indiscriminately hurt BOTH sides are ACCIDENTAL fires... so really, the best way to avoid getting burned is to set the place on fire before anyone ELSE can.
    • A (partial) aversion comes from Dynasty Warriors 7 onward. When activated, the new 'cinematic' Musou attacks momentarily stagger nearby enemies and allies, though only enemy soldiers will receive damage if it connects. They'll even throw everyone back with equal force if the move has that effect.
  • The Sengoku Basara series follows the same logic, with the exception of Motonari and Mitsuhide, who are both such Bad Bosses that their blows harm their own mooks.
  • Downplayed in Twin Caliber. In two-player mode shooting the other player won't damage their health, but the shooter receives a -1000 points penalty.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Both Dusty Revenge and Dusty Raging Fist allows you assistance from two backup characters, a Friendly Sniper and a grenade-chucking demolitions expert (Rondel and McCoy in the former, Snow and Leo in the latter). Their projectiles can take down enemy mooks and clear paths for you to cross (with you controlling the directions); should you accidentally fire a shot upon yourself you won't suffer any damage.
  • Mother Russia Bleeds offers the option for the players characters (in coop or if playing with an allied bot) to not hurt themselves, but the feature must be manually enabled before starting a level.
  • River City Girls: Friendly Fire can be turned off or on when loading a save.

    Fighting Game 
  • Artdink's Gundam Battle series plays this mostly straight. However, there are settings for versus matches that can determine if allies can be targeted and/or damaged by friendly fire.
  • In Super Smash Bros., you won't harm your partner if you hit him during team battles. You can turn this option off, though. Anything you can harm yourself with, such as Link's bombs, can also harm your teammates.
    • Friendly Fire is almost always on in competitive play to prevent horribly abusive strategies (especially involving firing projectiles through your partner). It can be used as a last second save by skilled players (for example a hit player can do another recovery move), but sometimes it just ends up badly.
    • The blog for Brawl discussed strategies that can be used if the Friendly Fire setting is on, such as having a teammate throw projectiles into Mr. Game & Watch's Oil Panic bucket.
      • An alternate use for this is Ness and Lucas' PSI Magnet, which is the only way to heal with items turned off. Turn the Friendly Fire setting on and have a character with energy attacks shoot them when PSI Magnet is up.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In BioShock Infinite, shooting at the Luteces simply cause them to remark that you missed, even if you hit them at point-blank range. It's justified in that they exist outside of reality due to a Freak Lab Accident and are essentially Physical Gods. Elizabeth can also not be shot, but she does not like having a gun pointed at her.
  • In Borderlands, you are incapable of harming your allies. Hell, one character even has an ability to heal their allies when they hit them. You are not immune to your own explosives, though.
    • Averted in Borderlands 2 with Krieg, who has a skill that actually makes him susceptible to friendly fire in exchange for letting him recharge his skill by getting hurt. This goes with skills that buff him as he takes damage, and more levels in the skill that enables him to take friendly fire reduce the damage taken more and more. Fortunately, it does not cancel out Maya's ability to heal with bullets.
  • Call of Duty World at War plays the trope straight (at least in single player). Especially bad when you can shoot napalm straight through your squad to hit the enemies on the other side... And with one of the Death Cards, you can heal teammates in co-op by shooting them.
    • Hardcore mode in multiplayer averts this — as per its name, it makes things tougher by making your weapons as lethal to allies as to enemies, and removes the names that appear over teammates' heads in normal gameplay.
  • Many online FPS games, such as Counter-Strike and the Battlefield series, have a server-controlled friendly fire switch: if the admin turns it on, better be careful not to get in the line of fire of your partners, or you'll get smoked.
  • Doom is a famous aversion. When two demons' attacks collide, they'll prioritize and attack each other instead of Doomguy. Causing monster infighting is actually encouraged on some levels, especilly one in Doom II with both a Spider Mastermind and Cyberdemon.
  • In Duck Hunt, you cannot shoot the hunting dog, no matter how hard you try. Stop laughing at me, you son of a bitch!
  • The End Times: Vermintide and Vermintide II zig-zag the trope:
    • Among the player characters, melee attacks never strike allies, ranged attacks have friendly fire enabled on higher difficulty settings, and incendiary/explosive barrels (being map elements rather than character features) always cause friendly fire. However, damage from friendly fire is drastically reduced.
    • Enemy ranged attacks can strike other enemy units. Combined with their total disregard for each other's well-being, this leads to situations where a ratling gunner or warpfire thrower chews through its own comrades. The sequel grants awards for some such situations, like getting beastman archers to finish off their own minotaur.
  • In Evolve the hunter's weapons can't damage each other, but certain ones do deal knockback.
  • Played straight in The Finals for the most part, but you can still harm your teammates with poison and fire damage and blind them with flashbangs.
  • Half-Life 2 has Gordon automatically lower his weapon when aiming at friendlies. You can still fire at them, for some reason, but the bullets inexplicably do not harm them. The original Half-Life averts this, which can cause a Nonstandard Game Over if you kill a character necessary to progress.
  • In the Jedi Knight games, friendly NPCs are immune to most of your Force powers (but not your saber or guns.)
  • In Killing Floor this is technically a server option, but it's almost always turned off. Taking advantage of this is almost necessary at times. Your explosives can hurt you, but not your allies. Your weapons will never hurt you or your allies. Teammate being swarmed by Specimens? Eh, toss a grenade in there or just hose him down with a flamethrower. He won't so much as blink, but it'll get him free real fast. At higher levels, the Medic gets healing grenades in addition to his standard Healing Shiv, meaning you can toss a grenade and heal multiple allies at once while still doing damage to any enemies that get caught in it.
  • Used in the Killzone 3 mulitplayer. This comes especially handy with explosives, and is the reason why some players strap proximity mines onto allies, usually without their consent.
  • In the various team modes of, players on a team are immune to each other's shots. This even applies to the explosions from Rocketeers' missiles - even though they can still wound and kill themselves with wrongly fired shots.
  • Left 4 Dead disables friendly fire only on Easy difficulty and it's only for bullets while everything else still causes some damage. The sequel does the same thing. Friendly fire ramps up with difficulty, to the point that a single stray shot on Expert can down an ally.
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne makes players on a team immune to each other's shots, which is a good thing since your Allied allies have a seemingly suicidal tendency to run right in front of your gun while you're blasting at the enemy.
    • The older MOH games mostly play this trope straight.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist has no friendly fire by design and for good reason; with all the crazy shootouts you get into against the cops, the last thing you need to worry about is watching where you aim. You can still hurt yourself and teammates with splash damage from grenades and trip mines, however. AI teammates take it to the next level as they are not only immune to your bullets, but unlike human teammates they actually stop those bullets rather than letting them pass through and still hit who you're actually aiming at. While the sequel retains the same friendly fire mechanics, the addition of more powerful weapons like the rocket launcher, frag grenades, and molotov cocktails gives players more ways to cause friendly fire damage by accident or on purpose. Bullets still cannot harm players for friendly fire damage.
  • Used happily in Resistance 2. In co-op and smaller PvP battles, the levels are small enough that you don't really need to check your aim (and some characters NEED to shoot allies in co-op!). However, you will be thankful for this in the 30 vs. 30 man team matches!
  • Inverted in Soldier of Fortune II, where the allies in Colombia are immune to enemy bullets, but yours can kill them, and if you kill one, it's Game Over.
    • Further inverted in that if you start screwing around, they'll cheerfully kill you as a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • In Starship Troopers, the only thing that can harm your fellow grunts (allies) were Arachnids and scripted events, meaning that you are free to shoot them as target practice without consequence. Not even nukes can harm them.
  • Team Fortress 2 has friendly fire off by default because if you haven't already guessed from its name, this game was designed with teamwork in mind and friendly fire would potentially ruin teamwork-oriented gameplay, especially if there's a Spy in the game. Server admins can turn friendly fire on and off via the Developer Console just for the fun of it though.
    • This trope is exploited as one of the main methods of 'Spychecking'- a disguised Spy will look like a member of your team, but take damage from your team's weapons as normal. So if you shoot at your team members, there's no harm if they're real but you'll reveal (and usually quickly kill) them if they're a spy.
      • This is parodied in the Meet the Spy video, where the BLU Soldier blasts the BLU Spy's head off with a shotgun because he thinks it's actually the RED Spy; unfortunately, this trope does not hold true in the videos. The real RED Spy is the BLU Scout.
    • However, players can hurt themselves with their own weapons, mostly explosives, taking a variable amount of damage: damage is reduced for rockets and Sticky Bombs, full damage for automatic Sentry Gun rockets and bullets, or even increased in the case of the Detonator. Reflected enemy projectiles are treated the same way, so it is possible for a Pyro to kill himself even with a reflected rocket or pipe bomb. This makes explosive-jumping (sort of) balanced, which trades health for mobility.
      • With the Wrangler, the Engineer can take control of his Sentry and fire rockets manually. This allows the Engineer to rocket jump to places that only Demomen and Soldiers could have rocket/sticky-jumped to, and Wrangled Sentry rockets also deal a bit less self-damage.
      • Very briefly averted by the unlockable Wrangler. A glitch existed where Sentry Gun rockets, under the influence of the Wrangler, could actually hit and kill your allies in very specific circumstances (aim your sentry at a teammate, fire your rocket, immediately pull out your Destroy tool, destroy the Sentry before the rocket reaches its target). The reason is that a Sentry Gun's rocket cluster that has no 'affiliated' Sentry Gun due to its destruction used to be treated as a third 'neutral' team (similar to things like environmental kills) and would therefore hit either team. This was very quickly patched out due to its obvious uses in Griefing, like so.
    • A Pyro exploit, similar to the above Wrangler exploit, averted the trope by breaking the built-in code against friendly fire. It is similar in concept—walk up behind someone with the flamethrower going full blast, and quickly switch to spectator. The lingering flame particles join the player who switched to spectator and thus are part of a third 'team' and allowed to damage former allies. As expected, more Griefing and patches soon followed, since these glitches demonstrated why being able to damage teammates would quickly lead to a breakdown in gameplay.
    • There are a few weapons which have different effects for enemies and allies: the Crusader's Crossbow functions as a normal weapon for enemies and a Healing Shiv for allies, while the Jarate, Mad Milk, and compression blast can extinguish burning allies but causes enemies to take extra damage, return damage as a lowered amount health and push away enemies and enemy projectiles respectively.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Area 51 has your members jumping into your fire, and if you accidentally shoot them, your health goes down. However, if you do this at the beginning, you unlock a different mode, where you have to stop the mutant aliens, human or not.
  • The House of the Dead III has occasional "rescue your partner from zombies" scenarios. Shooting your partner has no effect, so feel free to open fire on or extremely close to them if it'll save themnote  from a zombie within critical proximity.

  • City of Heroes labels other people on the field as either friendly, hostile, or null: only friendlies can be hit with healing and Status Buffs, only hostiles can be hit with damage and debuffs, and nulls (some hostages, all civilians on the street) can't be helped or harmed at all by anyone. This allows you to unload indiscriminate explosions (or, for that matter, blanket healing) in a tight battle without fear of hitting the wrong person, hostages included.
    • However, a Confuse effect will randomly scramble your friendly and hostile markers. Not only does this make it briefly impossible to damage some of your opponents, but any attempts to Nuke 'em will likely hit at least one suddenly-"hostile" person you didn't want to hurt. Recently (05/08) patched to make you only able to target people in your current group, along with being unable to target the enemy that placed the effect on you.
  • Fallout 76 is not pvp focused, and thus doesn't allow players to do all but a tiny amount of damage to each other unless both players start shooting at each other, so explosives builds can fire into crowds of friends and enemies alike with nary a concern.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, area-of-effect attacks cannot harm the user's allies. You could be casting fireballs, launching Sword Beams, throwing kunai in all directions or spraying bullets in a wide arc, and none of these will even leave a scratch on your teammates.
  • In League of Legends, no ability or attack in the game can damage anything on the user's side. This is a Justified Trope in the lore, however: any set of Champions could end up on the same side, and there are several pairs (such as Kayle and Morgana, Nasus and Renekton, Rengar and Kha'zix) who would ignore the team's welfare for the chance to kill each other, so the friendly fireproofing has to be completely airtight. (Several champions can doom their teammates using abilities that create impassable terrain or reposition them without warning or consent, but that's not "killing your teammates" so much as "getting your teammates killed".)
  • In Phantasy Star Online, there are many massive techniques that can engulf the room with fire, lightning, or massively damage one target. Though multiplayer cohorts are totally unaffected. However, the player automatically aims at the closest available target and may cast techniques on item-boxes of not positioned properly.
  • In Super Hero Squad Online, heroes cannot hurt heroes and enemies cannot hurt minions, except when Mind Control is applied.
  • World of Tanks.
    • Averted on the main PC version prior to a July 2019 update. Your own shells will quite happily damage or destroy your teammates and poorly aimed or timed friendly artillery fire is also a danger. The occasional mishap is considered part of the game, but deliberate Team Killers are quickly flagged by the automatic system and it's open season on them from then on.
    • Played mostly straight in the console version, however, where the only direct way to deal damage to teammates is with artillery fire. Collisions, nor gun fire from any friendly that's playing something other than a self-propelled gun, will cause friendly fire damage.
  • In World of Warcraft, swinging blades, fire and ice and arrows and holy wrath coming down from the heavens all ignore each other and allies. Even buffs with two-edged effects can be removed in case they would be a disadvantage in that situation. In spite of this, it is remarkably easy to get everyone killed.
  • 'World Of Warships Legends the console version of World of Warships has this including ramming, so don't worry too much if a friendly Yamato slams into you at top speed. Remember, that's "Legends" the console version, not the PC version.

    Platform Game 
  • In Iconoclasts, both allies and civilians are utterly immune to Robin's attacks, including the stun gun's Charged Attack and stun bombs. Equally, the enemies' attacks do not harm each other.
  • In Iji, Tasen-dispensed munitions harm Iji and Komato, Komato-dispensed munitions harm Iji and Tasen, and player-dispensed munitions harm Tasen and Komato. Splash Damage ignores all of this regardless of who pulled the trigger. In stages where both races are present, they will tend to take priority on killing each other over the Anomaly. This is useful if you need to get the hell clear of an Annihilator; let your Tasen "friends" draw its attention away from you.
  • Both averted and inverted in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. When Farah is with you, she supports you by firing a bow and arrow, and will occasionally hit you and do damage. The Prince is appropriately annoyed when this happens, and Farah offers a quick, "Oops, sorry."
  • Completely absent from Shadow the Hedgehog, in which your allies' attacks will not only damage you, but so will merely bumping into them. Since you can switch sides (and, thus, objectives) at any time, this is presumably meant to prevent players switching to whichever side gives them the least resistance on the path to their actual objective.
  • Not only Jak II: Renegade and Jak 3: Wastelander averts this for you, but if you hit someone with weapon, such as Sig or Wastelanders in Spargus, they will shoot back at you.

    Puzzle Game 
  • In Angry Birds, the birds can't hurt each other, either through impacts or special attacks. This can really screw up a shot if you land a fresh bird or Matilda's egg bomb on a stunned bird, so waiting until the bird(s) poof out from where you want to shoot is generally a good idea.

    Racing Game 
  • Most versions of Mario Kart make drivers immune to attacks from fellow team members in team races and team battles.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Frustratingly sporadic in the current version of Bowmaster: Winter Storm; arrows that deal damage directly instead of having some special area effect will go right through friendly deployed units... Except when they don't. The arrow that can go right through targets will only avoid going through your guard most of the time, while the arrows that heal their targets can heal enemy units if fired into close combat.
  • Friendly units in Brütal Legend are immune to any friendly attack, including fire, axe attacks, being run over by an armor-plated hot rod, and flaming zepplin explosions.
  • Ground Control had this on lower difficulty settings. When averted, careful unit placement is important, as they fire at the enemy even if there are friendlies in front of them. Since rear armor is much weaker than frontal armor, this can lead to problems.
  • Archers in King Arthur The Roleplaying Wargame technically fire in an area rather then specific targets. Thus, firing at an enemy unit that is very close to your own may harm your own. Some magic spells also do damage in an area to all in that area, while others may avoid this. However, your cavalry and knights can be at Foe-Tossing Charge speed, but won't hurt your own units if they get in the way (Especially Acceptable Break from Reality since getting to high speeds can be tough, so tying up enemy units in melee with your own is a particularly sure way to get it to happen. Otherwise, you'd probably need magic.)
  • Populous: The Beginning: used and averted this, the shaman is immune to her own spell damage (except swamps) but her followers all take full damage.
  • The original StarCraft is rather weird when it comes to this trope. Some sources of splash damage, like the Siege Tank and Spider Mine, will hurt your units as well as enemies indiscriminately. Others however, like the Firebat and Reaver, will not harm your units if they get caught in the area of effect, but they will damage units belonging to friendly players. The more powerful area of effect attacks, like the nuke and psionic storm, deal damage indiscriminately.
    • Starcraft 2 plays it straight in the co-op mode. Players absolutely cannot hurt each other with their abilities unless they deliberately target them for attack. You can use any special regardless of its AoE, and while it may be able to harm your own units (often it doesn't), it absolutely won't harm your ally.
  • In Star Wars Empire at War and its expansion, it is 100% impossible to hurt your own units with anything. Which is a good thing, considering how often units are packed right up against each other. Especially in Space combat, where fighters often fly around capital ships during battle, as said capital ships attempt (and fail) to shoot down the fighters with their turbolasers. It would be quite annoying if these turbolaser shots then damaged your own capital ships.
    • If you're in a heated ground battle with the enemy, one tactic is to call in a bombing run right on top of you! The end result is that your enemies will be decimated and you'll be completely unscathed.
    • Ditto for artillery, which is why putting cannons behind your infantry in Empire and Napoleon is not the best idea. Unfortunately, the AI will occasionally fire cannons at targets, even if there are friendlies in the line of fire. This may be actually used against the enemy.
  • Inverted in the Warhammer 40,000 RTS Dawn of War: Imperial Guard Commissars can raise the morale of all nearby friendly units by executing one of their own men during battle. In addition, certain artillery units also do damage to nearby friendly units, but grenades target only enemies.
    • Used...randomly in Dawn of War II. Frag grenades harm friendly squads but the grenadier's squad is impervious. Stun grenades do not affect allies at all. Explosives and artillery harm everyone, but rocket launchers are safe, as well as plasma guns (but not plasma cannons) and flamers. All bolter weapons are safe. Area-effect concussion attacks, like a squad of Assault Marines plummeting from the sky, or a slam on the ground by a huge Dreadnought (that levels buildings) are also inexplicably selective.
      • A hidden mechanic makes units that are engaging in melee-attacks take 50% less damage from ranged attacks, presumed to be justifiable by the enemy's ranged-attackers trying to avoid friendly fire.
  • X-COM: X Com Enemy Unknown and its sequel XCOM 2, flashbangs will disorientate aliens and their allies, but will do nothing to your own soldiers.

  • In Angband, you aren't affected by your own area-of-effect spells. As a result, a standard way for mages without the "see invisible" ability to deal with invisible monsters is to repeatedly cast area-of-effect spells centered on yourself.
  • Mostly the case for enemies in The Binding of Isaac, with a couple of noteworthy exceptions: Enemies that hurl green explosive puke are immune to explosive puke... but only from their own kind. So presumably this immunity was more to protect them from their own explosives than to prevent friendly fire. Also, those invincible spiky squares that chase you when you're at the edge of the room? Yeah, they can kill monsters. Quite handily, in fact, compared to your own attacks. Hilarity can ensue when you encounter the Headless Horseman's head in a room full of the things and he just charges full-tilt into a pair of them and dies.
  • In Crying Suns, the Hammer-class battleship's core systems make its squadrons immune to friendly fire. It also gives them a 100% damage boost whenever they get hit by friendly fire, encouraging you to shoot your own units.
  • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series has some attacks like Earthquake and Surf, that hit everyone in the same room, whether they be friend or foe. Ranged attacks can also harm allies if they get in the way, and a confused Pokemon can harm friend and foe alike with any of their moves. There exist IQ/Team skills that your Pokemon can learn in order to prevent the latter two forms of friendly fire, though.
  • Treated variably in Tales of Maj'Eyal. Some skills will explicitly only hit hostiles, while others will harm anyone in the affected area. It also varies as to whether enemies care about possible friendly fire. For example orc mages will not use their area-of-effect spells if they would hit another orc, while skeleton mages will happily shoot through anything between you and them.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Turning Friendly Fire off in Dragon Age utterly breaks the game. The secondary knockdown/flash-freeze effects of spells like Fireball and Cone of Cold still apply, but they deal no damage to your party members or your person, making mages unbeatable. You can even have conversations with party members and NPCs while ON FIRE. And this is without any snarky commentary or anything. However, the moves which paralyze or freeze an opponent that talks to you when defeated won't let the conversation start until it wears off. Also, AI-controlled ally characters that lack Plot Armor are still not immune to the spell Splash Damage, making large-scale magic attacks impractical for mass combat.
    • Otherwise, though, you need to be really careful with the area-based spells. In particular, fireballs become Awesome, but Impractical, since their blast radius is so high that unless you get the first shot off, targeting anyone besides mages/ranged attackers in a secluded area is often too risky, especially since fireball also knocks down everyone affected by it, and sets them on fire.
      • Sadly, friendly mages often do not get this memo. There's a sidequest available in the Mage's Tower after you clear out all the abominations and demons inside, which ends up summoning a Greater Rage Demon. That enemy is not too difficult...except for the three surviving mage apprentices nearby, who try to help you with spells. Including fireballs. Even though the Rage Demon is literally made out of fire and is utterly immune to it, while you are not.
    • In Dragon Age II, friendly fire is only activated on the highest difficulty setting. Normally, having a few melee based characters ganging up on a single powerful foe and unload BFS based super-attack is a good strategy, except that now, every blade attack has a small AoE that hugely (as warriors' damage output is now very high) damage ANYONE, especially the BFS, so essentially, your melee characters are going to slaughter themselves. Ironically, mages don't suffer as much from this change, since comparatively few of their spells can do friendly damages.
  • Divinity: Original Sin: Your arrows and magical missiles will pass through party members without harming them, but grenades and most area of effect spells will hit everyone.
  • In the Dragonborn DLC of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there is a perk obtained through the use of a Black Book that makes it so that followers don't take damage from your attacks, spells, and shouts while in combat.
  • Fable: Zig-zagged by the Hero's attacks.
  • Fallout series:
    • Fallout and Fallout 2 have many NPCs capable of using automatic weapons, from SMGs to automatic shotguns to miniguns. Every last one of them will fire unhesitatingly into the little cluster of Power Fist -wielding maniacs surrounding you. The game tries to help by allowing you to talk to you allies and tell them when burst fire is acceptable. Options range from "don't use burst fire if I'm in the way" to "Use burst fire even if I'm in the way", and everything in between (that option being "only use burst fire if you're sure you won't hit me"). This does absolutely nothing to prolong your life.
    • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both have friendly fire turned on, and the latter has a perk that makes you less likely to hit your allies. Non-essential NPCs, however, can accidentally be hit and will subsequently turn hostile along with their allies.
    • Fallout 4 adds a perk, Inspirational, that gives you immunity to friendly fire from your companion at rank one, and gives them immunity to friendly fire from you at rank two. It's very useful when you're fighting in narrow confines.
  • Final Fantasy plays with this. Generally, using summons causes your party to teleport away to avoid getting hit.
    • Averted in Final Fantasy VI, as the spells Quake, Tornado, Meltdown (or Merton), and the Esper Crusader will harm your own party in addition to the enemies on screen. However, this seems a bit silly at times when similar massively-damaging spells such as Meteor (bombards the area with meteors) and Ultima (concentrated nuclear blast) leave your party members alone, leaving the others Awesome, but Impractical.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, you can call down a gigantic explosion on the entire battlefield without even singeing your allies' hair. The all-time king of the ridiculous, from the same game, is Safer Sephiroth's Super Nova attack, which destroys three planets just getting to Earth, then blows up the sun, taking out Mercury and Venus in the process. And he can do it multiple times in one battle.
    • Final Fantasy IX has two aversions in the Night spell (puts everyone to sleep) and Doomsday spell (does shadow damage to everyone). They're dangerous unless your party is immune to sleep and immune/absorbs shadow damage, respectively.
    • Somewhat unusually for the series, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings has this. No Revive Kills Zombie for you!
  • The flashier Summons in the Golden Sun series call down friggin' gods, who wreak havoc with the surrounding landscape...until their animation is over, at which point everything goes back to normal. Particularly ridiculous with Judgment, who fires an energy blast which is seen scouring most of the planet into nothingness; Catastrophe, who wreathes the world in demonic flame, and Iris, who causes the sun to go nova. Can you spell "overkill"?
    • Then there's the more advanced weapons, which will occasionally "unleash" a more powerful attack with its own cutscene. In The Lost Age, a properly equipped character with the Sol Blade can drop a meteorite every turn with no apparent environmental consequences.
  • Mass Effect abused this trope quite thoroughly.
    • Apparently, your guns, biotics, tech mines, et cetera, could distinguish between friend and foe. If you shot something that exploded, however, you could hurt yourself and your allies. It was sort of handwaved - your shots would bounce off your allies' shields, although this wouldn't have any actual effect on said shields.
    • Fortunately, it works both ways. THEIR shots bounce off YOUR shields as well without doing any damage. As you're the perpetual pointman unless you specifically order them ahead, and they will in fact try to shoot an enemy behind you, this is a good thing. Except, of course, that the shield impacts DO bounce your aim around, making sniping basically impossible while your allies are shooting you.
    • For the PC version, you can turn off friendly fire protection in the configuration file. Whether this makes combat more realistic is up to taste: it's certainly realistic that your teammates' weapons now damage you, but it's not so realistic that your teammates are too stupid to step to the side when you are in their line of fire. Carefully ordering them to positions becomes mandatory.
    • In Mass Effect 2, your squadmates will yell at you if you shoot them. But you still won't do any damage.
    Kasumi: What am I, invisible or something?
    • Mass Effect 3's multiplayer includes this, though it won't stop other players' characters from complaining if you do shoot them.
  • Done in all the Mario RPGs, your own/your allies powerful attacks will only ever do anything to your opponents, not the party. Especially amusing in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, where the Luiginary Typhoon can literally suck up Mario like an enemy but does nothing to his HP.
  • Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 allow you to choose whether you can damage your friends by changing the PvP settings. You can opt to not be able to hurt any friendlies, not to hurt your own party members, or just to damage anyone who gets hit.
    • The chief problem with leaving it on "hurts friendlies" is that if you have a melee-based henchman, they will run into the area of your fireball (or other favoured "kill lots of things" spell), receive a mild injury, and come running back over to beat you up with their weapon.
  • Anyone who's currently travelling with 2B in NieR: Automata (such as Escort Mission characters) are immune to any and all attacks from her, including area-of-effect ones. This trope is also invoked in-universe after the deaths of Adam and Eve, when YoRHa stages a full-scale assault on the machine lifeforms, with 2B and 9S ordered to assist in various skirmishes across the map. During this battle, 2B has in-universe IFF identification turned on, preventing her from hurting her comrades. This eventually backfires massively when every YoRHa unit except for 2B and 9S are infected with a logic virus and go berserk, and all communication with the Bunker is cut off, forcing 9S to fry 2B's IFF identification chip just to allow her to defend herself.
  • Slightly averted in Phantasy Star II, where the best offensive technique in the game hurts your friends too. A lot. What that technique actually does is steal 50% of your friends' hp and add it to the spell's base damage for an added punch, so it's not so much that it fails to differentiate between foes and allies but that it targets your allies specifically before nuking your foes.
  • Pokémon largely averts this, as moves such as Earthquake, Surf, and Discharge will affect all targets in a Double or Triple Battle, including allies. There are moves such as Rock Slide that only target enemies, but they do reduced damage to all targets. You also have the option of targeting your allies with most single-target moves.
    • Of course, the game's complex Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors makes it easy to create Double or Triple Battle combos that take advantage of these moves. Pair a Flying type or one with the Levitate Ability with another that knows Earthquake to hit foes while avoiding allies, or use Surf to damage enemies and restore the HP of an ally with Water Absorb at the same time.
    • The Telepathy Ability specifically makes a Pokémon impervious to its allies' attacks.
    • There are some combinations of wild Pokémon, such as Zangoose and Seviper or Sableye and Carbink, that always attack each other instead of the player if they use single-target moves.
  • Rogue Galaxy gives a send-up to Final Fantasy VII with the 'Supernova' attack - a Combined Energy Attack special-move initiated by the hero, which creates a huge beam of energy that literally blows the planet you're standing on to smithereens, and scatter the lifeless rocks that result to the eight corners of the universe. And yet, somehow, the planet is still there for you to stand on when the move is over...
  • Skies of Arcadia's Combined Energy Attack, Prophecy, crashes a moon into the planet. This doesn't even change the characters' formation, much less knock the planet out of its orbit and cause mass extinctions.
    • Not to mention how often often you fight on airships... yet the moon can crash through them and half-burrow itself into the planet.
  • In one of the Slayers video games, all spells can hurt your own party members, so be very careful. Also, big fireball spells or destructive ones will scorch the ground!
  • Steven Universe:
    • Save the Light, Peridot's allies won't be hurt by her landmines, but they'll still activate them if they run over them. Garnet's Quake also doesn't hurt allies within range.
    • Like in the previous game, your ranged attacks don't hurt allies in Unleash the Light. They can also be upgraded so that they provide benefits when they hit them, like Lapis's Tidal Wave healing any ally in its path.
  • Most games in the Tales Series. As the games in the series are action-RPGs and the antagonists frequently draw from the same pool of spells as the protagonists, this can make dodging a chore if you're not paying attention, since Abyssion's Meteor Storm looks exactly the same as Genis's Meteor Storm.
    • Hand waved in Tales of the Abyss - Fonists (read: "mages") can mark their allies with invisible friend-or-foe markings to prevent friendly fire damage. Mentioned in one cutscene in which Jade says he can't use his magic to defend himself because there are too many civilians around who don't have friend-or-foe markings.
    • To say nothing of Hi-Ougi. You can become a whirling torrent of massive energy blades, fire a gigantic laser across the battlefield, call down comets from space, call out an elemental, and all sorts of other very impressive flashy things. But, like Final Fantasy, your allies disappear beforehand so it's okay! Then again, normal weapon attacks and spells treat allies like they just don't exist.
  • In the Trails Series, you can cast offensive orbal arts or offensive crafts without injuring or even giving your teammates any effect whatsoever despite them being in attack range. Casting tornadoes? only the enemies are lifted upwards. Casting freezing or flood water art that targets the whole field? No problem!
    • S-Craft-wise, two examples belong to Tita's Satellite Beam and Millium's Galactic Cannon. Both can be used without visible property damage around them and no allies are harmed in range. As an added bonus, you can still use Tita's S-Craft in distorted space. Amusingly enough, both examples act as the Token Mini-Moe to the rest of their teams.
    • The battle with Luciola has a Craft in SC which averts this, however. Area-of-Effect Arts are suddenly much less helpful when it hurts your allies more than it hurts your enemies.
  • In Xenogears, Fei's ultimate Ether - Big Bang - simply sends a gigantic blast through the Earth, cutting a hole through the core and causing it to explode. Cut back to the battlefield and everyone's perfectly fine.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • In the original SNES Star Fox as well as Star Fox: Assault, your teammates are immune to your own blasts. This might not seem like a problem, but when they fly into your line of fire and start taking the shots meant for the enemy, chances are you'll want to hurl your controller through the screen. The other games in the series do make it possible to harm your allies.
  • Gauntlet (the original arcade game and most ports of it) starts this way. After so many levels, the game warns you that your shots will now stun your allies, and further in you start dealing full damage.

    Survival Horror 
  • The Dead Space series uses this to great effect, although it's more noticeable in Dead Space: Extraction and the second game. In Extraction, you can fire bullets around your allies, but you can never pull the trigger while the crosshairs are over them. The same also applies to the scenes in Dead Space 2 when you interact directly with Ellie and still retain control over Isaac.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Freedom Fighters (2003) makes soldiers immune to their own side's bullets, but not explosives. The best way to deal with a crowded alley battle can be to whip out a machine gun and unload indiscriminately into the middle of it.
  • Gears of War allows you to shoot your allies without harming them. Mostly, shooting at your allies or vice versa too much might make your character or theirs to tell them to get out of the way, or something to the air of 'you're blocking my shots.' It's not very nice.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game plays the trope straight, hitting any of the other Ghostbusters will provoke nothing worse than a sarcastic remark. Pretty jarring when you remember how powerful the Proton Pack is. Crossing the streams, however, is a bad idea, it does a large amount of damage and knocks both characters on the ground.
  • Splatoon has this present in an unusually justified case. Each team has their own ink color, and all your weaponry is able to coat the ground and walls in said ink. Your team's ink aids you (you can swim through it, and even just submerging speeds up ammo and health recovery) since you're effectively made of it, while the ink of the opposing team greatly restricts your movement and damages you.
    • It's a little less justified in the case of the Killer Wail (the first game) and Killer Wail 5.1 (the third game) specials, which are Wave Motion Guns in the form of a giant megaphone and a small collection of speakers, respectively. As the description implies, these weapons kill the opponent with sound. A suitable explanation probably exists (or at least is easily made), but the justification for it isn't as obvious.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II gives you the option to turn off friendly fire. Do it, and watch as the AI units on your side suddenly become more effective. Additionally, you get to goof around with Violations of Common Sense like playing a heavy unit and pieing the enemy in the face with mines.
  • Zig-Zagged in Warframe, flame weapons and AOE uber attacks cause no damage to Tenno. In the Gravidius Divide event, this extends even to factions the Tenno are temporarily allied with. But the Status Effect Confusion, caused by the Radiation elemental damage types, causes its victims to ignore this (NPC even go to the length of actively attacking each other), for both their attacks toward their allies and those of their allies toward them. Also, the Warframe Mag, specialized in manipulating magnetic forces, can target an enemy with an ability that causes them to attract bullets fired near them by both their allies and enemies.

    Top-Down Shooter 
  • During the team modes of Zombs, your team-mates are completely unaffected by any of your attacks, and vice versa. Even the explosive weapons fired at close quarters may harm and kill you, but would not affect your allies.

    Tower Defense 
  • Played straight for the most part in Arknights — your Operators' AoE attacks that damage enemies won't also hurt their allies. However, one notable aversion is Aak's second and third skills, both of which hit an ally with a stimulant fired from his dart gun. This hurts, but if his target survives, both they and Aak get a potent buff for the next 30 seconds.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Played straight in Project × Zone where you have up to five people attacking the same enemy yet none of them will hit your allies. Ulala summons Sega cameos to the point you have eight people attacking the same enemy!
  • Usually played straight throughout the Shining Series, as big area-of-effect spells only target the opposing party, but there's one aversion in Shining Force which is in the player's favor. In Chapter 3, you're tasked with crossing a natural land bridge which is guarded by a machine called the Laser Eye, which periodically fires a large cannon down the bridge. It hits everything in its path, and the battle starts with several enemy units waiting in its line of fire. That said, you'll have to make use of your flyers if you want to cross unscathed, yourself.

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • Brigandine has this for its "geno" area-of-effect spells (Geno-Frost, Geno-Flame), and the slightly wider but slightly weaker "Holy Word". You don't have to fear harming your allies, and the enemy needs to be a bit more cautious when placing all its troops around you. However, the game also includes several area-of-effect spells that do harm your allies - and, while a few of the stronger tank-type heroes have the a-o-e spells, they're mostly found on weaker heroes who shouldn't be toe-to-toe with the enemy, making the spell's range a little less impressive.
  • Played straight in Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. It is impossible for the Investigators to mutually attack themselves, as using any aid item on a party member is technically the same action as attacking an enemy (right click on the target). Also, they can shoot through their comrades without injured them and can't be hurt by their artillery strikes.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: Averts it and plays it straight depending on the attack and attacker. In general, player characters cannot strike allies with their area of effect attacks, and can safely target mixed groups of allies and enemies. However, allies who are more apathetic toward the group like Blackberry or filled with psychotic bloodlust like Crown and Fool will end up hurting friend and foe alike so long as they're caught in range. Enemy characters will also have zero qualms about hurting their own allies to damage the player.
  • In Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, the Wizard class's Smart Casting passive makes friendly units take no damage, and hostile units receive no healing or buffing, from the Wizard's area-of-effect spells. This trope is otherwise averted, and poorly-aimed spells and attacks will damage your allies or heal your enemies.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, Summon magic and Samurai Draw Out skills discriminate between friend and for but every other kind of magic or ability with an area of effect does not.
  • In the Disgaea series, characters are incapable of damaging themselves with their own area attacks, but anyone else is free game. However, there's an evility in 3 and 4 makes the user friendly fire proof.
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden: Played straight with guns: party members can shoot right through each others' tiles with no problems. Best not to try it with grenades, though.

  • Some of the area-effect "MAP" attacks in the Super Robot Wars series will target everyone in the line of fire, friend or foe, some won't. If you're lucky, the game will have a way to let you know which one it is before you let loose with it.
  • Averted in Vandal Hearts 2: All attacks hurt anyone in range, which if you plan badly or the enemy move can make attacks not only devastating for yourself but the enemies untouched. This made some powerful spells unusable in close combat, and the enemy could also sneak into the range of your healing spells.
    • However, it's in full effect in the first game. Kind of necessary though, given there are a couple spells that hit all enemy targets within either 7 or 9 spaces of the caster.
  • In TelepathRPG, it's played straight for your team, but averted for your enemies, so you can use it at your avantage by forcing enemies to hit each others. It's especially effective with energy golems who hit everyone in a straight line.
  • Justified in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. If anyone on either side tries to shoot through occupied tiles, units in the firing line will notice them taking aim and duck.
  • Triangle Strategy: Area-of-effect attack spells will only harm enemies.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, you cannot harm your allies during the Conquest Battles. Which is convenient, seeing as it's 100v100 soldiers not including mercenaries, and many of your more powerful and useful moves against crowds have very wide reaches that will also strike your tightly packed allies more often than not. Though it still staggers or knocks them down, you won't harm nor kill anyone on your team.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, Aldo can't attack his Corleone brothers-in-crime, while they don't hurt him when shooting at enemies.
  • In Spore, you cannot kill or even harm any members of your own species in the Cell and Creature stages.
  • In Terraria's PvP mode, players on the same team can't hurt each other and players who have PvP turned off can't be harmed by other players. This applies to melee weapons and bullets (both physical and magical), but not to environmental damage, which will damage any players (including the one who triggered it) regardless of their status. Explosives of any kind, rolling boulders, and arrow turrets are treated as environmental damage.

Non-video game examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Fairy Tail, Guild leader Makarov has an attack called "Fairy Law" that only damages people whom he views as his enemies, leaving everyone and everything else unharmed. Later, Jerkass Laxus tries to use this on his own teammates because he claims that their weakness is getting in his way, and therefore they are his enemies. In the end, the attack does no damage, because he doesn't actually believe this is true.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, being that they are spirits, it's possible for a stand to attack through their user without harming the user but still harming their targets.
  • Dominator guns in Psycho-Pass automatically change settings (Executioner or Nonlethal Paralyzer) or lock up depending on the target's Psycho Pass. Most of the plot is set in motion by Makishima creating a way to bypass this.
  • Alices in Sekai Oni cannot hurt one another or even themselves with their Materialization unless particularly willing it in the Self-Harm part, so naturally a couple characters voluntarily use what would be a Taking You with Me and come out no worse for wear. Peró circumvents this in his attempts to kill Azuma by using a knife he brought from the real world, bypassing that limitation.
  • The Majin Hunter in Soul Eater doesn't harm Muggles, so Maka has free reign to rip Medusa's soul right out of the innocent little girl she's occupying.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Legendarily Popular: Lokoko is able to create illusions that affect everyone except Dark-type Pokémon and her trainer. So, her opponent is unaffected, but his trainer is unable to give clear directions. Justified since her illusions are based on Hypnosis, so with enough practice, it makes sense that she can choose not to affect specific people.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Westworld, the guns are fitted with a module that prevents you from using them on other human beings; only the androids can be shot.

  • In the Blood Angels novels, the Spear of Telesto, signature weapon of the Blood Angels' Primarch Sanguinius, has a flamethrower attack that will incinerate anything else that's flammable. Unless it's another Blood Angel, in which case it just gives them the equivalent of a mild sunburn.
  • Codex Alera's Canim carry bloodstones that render them immune to their own side's very nasty, very large-scale battlefield Blood Magic. Things get interesting when Tavi gets his hand on one.
  • Dresden Files does this at least twice:
    • In White Night, Kincaid jerry-rigs a paintball gun to fire holy water balloons and garlic powder on full auto. Handy if the black court vampires they're fighting have human hostages. Or if, as he suspects, the wielder has lousy aim.
    • In Peace Talks we learn that Fidelacchius will no longer harm human beings, though it cleaves monsters and inanimate objects with no difficulty. It might still carve up very evil humans. And, yes, these Swords can make moral judgments like that.
  • Averted in Factory of the Gods, Julian's turrets do not have a friend or foe recognition system, and will fire blindly at any moving heat source in their range.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium, when preparing to storm an Imperial military base, the main character decides to arm his teenage companion with an "intellectual" weapon, which will not fire (or even aim) at an ally (or a child).
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, celestial bronze is a supernatural metal capable of harming monsters, gods, and their descendants; however, it can't harm mortals — they're simply not metaphysically important enough for the metal to register their presence — as Percy finds out when he tries to slash Riptide at Rachel when they first meet. Demigods get the worst of both worlds, being vulnerable to both celestial bronze and mundane metals, and Luke's sword Backbiter (later the blade of Kronos's Sinister Scythe) is made of both steel and celestial bronze, allowing him to harm both mortals and gods.
  • Royal Sorceress, Blazers(a type of inherent gift magician, can't set themselves on fire, however, fire from the things they set on fire(like, oh say, their clothes) can burn them. Many foolish Blazers have accidentally set the whole building on fire, then died in their own inferno.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Sixth Column, written long before DNA testing, had a racially-based version of this. The US was conquered by a "Pan Asian" military force, and was subjugated fully except for a secret research facility in the Rockies. At almost the exact same time, the research facility discovered an energy that killed most people but left some entirely untouched, resulting in a weapon which could kill or do nothing depending upon the race of the target. As the invaders were Asian and had methodically killed all Asian Americans they could find, this resulted in a weapon which could only kill the invaders, which they manufactured in bulk. Slightly subverted when one of the scientists went mad, decided he was a god, and tried to take over the headquarters. Armed with a powerful adjustable projector he had reset to kill only white people, he attempted to capture the leaders, only to have one of the last living Asian Americans take his fire long enough to jump him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Geats: During the last third of the show, Kamen Rider Buffa gets his wish for the power to crush all Kamen Riders, which among other perks results in any attack by a Rider simply bouncing off him. He shortly thereafter does a Heel–Face Turn, with his invincibility now making him immune to friendly fire.
  • Ultraman Cosmos, in his Eclipse Mode, gains the Cosmium Beam, a powerful beam that can destroy evil beings, but beings who are not evil are unharmed. What's more, beings affected by Chaos Header will have its light virus purged from their body, even if it hasn't caused them to go berserk yet.

    Tabletop Games 
  • ZigZagged in BattleTech. Most weapons are generally 'smart' enough that firing against two adjacent units will not cause a missed shot to hit the adjacent hex (as hexes represent a space 30 meters across). However, the handful of weapons that do have the option to hit into multiple hexes don't obey this rule. Notable examples include Swarm missiles and any type of artillery strike or aerial bombardment (which obey shot-fall scattering rules), so better hope you don't have any units adjacent to your opponent's units when the enemy receives the bad news.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Most spells with an areas of effect avert this, hitting anything in their range indiscriminately. There have been plenty of examples that play it straight over the years though:
    • There are several spells which only harm characters of a certain alignment, which works out to "enemies only" or "allies only" in a Good vs. Evil game. Woe betide the evil character in a good party, though. The 3.5th sourcebook Book of Exalted Deeds has a Metamagic feat, "Purify Spell", which can add this property to any damage spell, which then cause no harm to good-aligned creatures (and half damage to neutral-aligned ones).
    • Some special abilities let you do this as well. In 3.5 Edition, the Archmage prestige class offers an ability called "Mastery of Shaping," which essentially lets you carve out spaces for your allies in your AoE spells.
      • 5th Edition makes this even more accessible, as Evocation wizards can similarly protect allies from their spells starting at level 2. Sorcerers also get a lesser version at level 3 with their Careful Spell metamagic option, which makes a number of chosen creatures automatically pass their saving throw. This typically means they'll still take half damage from the spell, but also avoid any secondary effects.
    • The Evasion class feature of Monks, Rangers and Rogues makes it possible to avoid any damage from spells allowing a Reflex save, allowing the Wizard to target their allies at reduced the risk of friendly fire. Of course if they fail the save they still take the full force of the attack.
      • This is actually a bit more reliable in 5th edition, as the Evasion feature both negates damage on a successful dexterity save and halves damage even on a failed save.
    • In 4th Edition, divine magic is distinguished by Area of Effect spells that harm only the caster's enemies, aid only their allies, or do both at the same time. Apparently the gods are looking out for you and your allies, whereas arcane spells almost never have this feature.
    • There are also some spells that allow you to affect any subset of the creatures (chosen by the caster) in a limited area, bringing this trope into full effect. Horrid Wilting is one example.
    • Forgotten Realms has a few spells from Myth Drannor like this. Symkalr's Friendly Fireball doesn't burn the creatures chosen at the time of casting — e.g. elves — and snuffs any fires it created so there's no conflagration. The reversed version, Symkalr's Unfriendly Fireball, burns only whoever it was set to burn — e.g. only orcs (or humans). This also means the loot remains perfectly intact among the smoking ashes, of course.
  • Averted in GURPS unless the attacks says otherwise. The Selective Area enhancement can make guns that seemingly bend bullets around friendly people.
  • Averted in Mutants & Masterminds for their Area powers. They can be made Selective although it is more expensive for actual attacks than for effects that do something like impose concealment. GMs are also encouraged in the manual to be stingy in allowing this modifier because it removes a good deal of the balance involved in area attacks vs. single-player attacks. Also, attacks can only be selective where the attacker is aware of the targets to be excluded. Dependent on descriptors, selective attacks may miss hidden enemies or hit hidden allies.
  • Paranoia looks like an aversion until one remembers that the other team members don't actually count as "friends".
  • The Pathfinder system gave Clerics the ability to channel healing spells either to exclusively restore party members or to invoke Revive Kills Zombie.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse:
    • Averted for the heroes themselves, several of whom have one-shots that must hit heroes, like Haka's Rampage or Nightmist's Oblivion, and any card that does not specify what kind of target can also hit heroes.
    • Played straight with some environment cards that are friendly to the heroes — Rook City, in particular, has two helpful civilian cards that cannot be harmed by hero targets.
    • Averted with particular note to Setback, whose "Friendly Fire" card has him take able to take damage whenever a hero hits a non-hero target. This helps him acquire more tokens, which fuel his luck-based powers. The art for Expatriette's Shock Rounds even has him taking a hit from them in possibly the weirdest Meet Cute ever.
  • Mostly averted in Shadowrun, where bullets and explosions kill indiscriminately, but played straight with smartguns: Not only will the gun avoid firing at friendlies when doing full-auto sweeps, it also conserves ammo by not firing at the scenery.
  • Zig-Zagged in Warhammer 40,000; normal shooting cannot hit your own units (the justification being that the units find the right lines of fire to not shoot their comrades). Template weapons such as frag missiles, certain heavy weapons and grenades, on the other hand, can hurt friendly units if they scatter into their ranks. However 8th edition did away with templates entirely, removing the possibility for friendly fire.
  • Warhammer Fantasy averts this. Your troops won't fire at enemies in melee combat with their allies for fear of hitting them. Skaven are the one exception, being allowed to fire their weapons into melees due to the fact that they don't really care about hitting their allies.

    Web Animation 
  • During Church's time-travel escapades in Red vs. Blue, he attempted to prevent his death by auto-fire tank blast by tinkering with Sheila the tank's friendly fire setting. However, the friendly fire was turned on by default, so Church actually disabled it by accident. Before he could correct it, Caboose took the tank out to attack the Reds and Church's death still happened as before.
    Church: Oh no! I'm the team-killing fucktard!

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Bejeweled Ruby Blaze

Therese demonstrates her Jewel Magic Powers when taking down a group of Karma Penguin Familiars after Naofumi draws their attention to him. The Spell doesn't just stop at not hurting him; but it also removes the lingering Curse he's been under the effects of earlier.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / FriendlyFireproof

Media sources: