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So many guns, so little room.
A form of Player Inventory.

Some games let the player carry an impossibly huge array of weapons. Not these games. When this trope is in effect, the player character is stuck with just a certain fraction of the total amount of firepower in the game at any one time. If you want another option, you'll have to trade in one of your weapons to get ahold of it. Very popular in modern titles compared to the Hyperspace Arsenal days of Doom. A common modern variant will limit the player to just two main weapons at any time as popularized in Halo: Combat Evolved.

RPG games will sometimes allow the player to queue up a few preset selections of items from their inventory to be swapped through on the fly. For this, see Real-Time Weapon Change. For RPGs where the player can't carry every single weapon in the game, but their bulging pack of death dealing devices still approaches Hyperspace Arsenal levels, see Inventory Management Puzzle. Frequently a cause of Throw-Away Guns. Often a way of mixing up the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness. Compare Mutually Exclusive Power Ups and Limited Move Arsenal.



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  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo, you can have four sets of two guns each and about five or more grenades, then you have to switch something out.

     Action RPGs 
  • In Digimon World 4, each character can set up to three equipped weapons at a time. If you want to use that shiny new sword you picked up from a defeated enemy, you'll have to go back to base and equip it at the Digi Lab. Justified in that this is the Digital World and the Digimon probably have to load the weapon data.

     Adventure Games 
  • Ether One in many ways plays like a point-and-click adventure game of old, albeit with a first-person free-roaming perspective: the player collects inventory items and rubs them against objects in the world to move the plot along. Unlike many of those games of old, however, this one limits the player's inventory to one item. An Inventory Management Puzzle is averted, because the player may at any time teleport to "the case", store excess items on ample shelving space there and then teleport right back to where they were in the game world, but it can still be a bit annoying having to constantly jump back and forth to switch out key items.

     Eastern RPGs 
  • Resonance of Fate allows each character to equip two items. This becomes a problem in parts of the game where characters are own their own, since they're essentially forced to equip an SMG (deals large amounts of non-lethal, regenerating "scratch damage") and a pistol (deals small amount of lethal chip damage for finishing off enemies), leaving no room for healing or utility items.

     First-Person Shooters 
  • Afraid of Monsters: Director's Cut swaps out the Half-Life-style Hyperspace Arsenal for this. You have four weapon slots, one for melee (knife, hammer, or axe), one for small handguns (a P228, Glock or Beretta), one for larger Magnum handguns (revolver or Desert Eagle), and one for two-handed guns (a shotgun, MP5k or Uzi).
  • Apex Legends: Players can only equip two weapons. Ammunition, grenades, and attachments go into an inventory that you can expand by picking up backpacks.
  • The Battlefield series has made use of this as part of its class-based system. Exactly how many slots you have available varies but it generally never goes above six, the maximum being a knife, a primary weapon, a sidearm, two gadgets specific to your class, and grenades. Multiplayer requires swapping out your kit entirely with one on the ground to pick up a different weapon, while the singleplayer campaigns from Battlefield: Bad Company on allow for swapping weapons normally, the first Bad Company and Battlefield 3 forcing you to rely on what the enemy drops or the occasional pickup, while Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 4 add weapon crates to grab any weapon you've used before, even in previous playthroughs.
  • BioShock handles this a little oddly. In the first two games the player has a Hyperspace Arsenal as far as weapons go, but the player is limited to only a select number of plasmid powers at a time, with additional slots costing precious ADAM. BioShock Infinite, however, decided to give Booker access to every Vigor at once while guns were limited to just two at a time. After that, Burial at Sea brought back the hyperspace arsenal (without telling anyone).
  • By default, Blockstorm's inventory system limits you to six items: one primary weapon (rifle, assault rifle, sniper rifle, submachine gun, machine gun, or shotgun), one secondary weapon (pistol, machine pistol or smaller shotgun), one type of explosive (grenades, claymores, C4, or RPG), a shovel for silently digging, a supply of blocks for building, and a melee weapon. Players don't drop weapons when they die, only backpacks full of ammo, so the only way to get a different weapon is finding a pre-placed spawn on the map or dying and picking something different. Custom maps can also be set up to allow different setups, from extremes such as two primary weapons alongside a secondary, or taking away everything but the melee weapon and forcing everyone to rely on pickups.
  • Blood II manages an interesting combination of this and Hyperspace Arsenal. Like most games in the days of the old hyperspace arsenal, weapons are assigned to all ten number keys - but the game includes upwards of twenty weapons, and excluding the knife which can't be dropped from the first slot, each one you pick up is assigned to a number key in the order you find them rather than a predetermined order, and the only way to carry more than one gun in a single slot is if it's able to be dual-wielded. This means spending most of the first chapter of the game gradually grabbing more and more new weapons, then eventually having to drop them to make room for even more guns (the upshot is that you can also have your favorite weapons on keys you find easy to reach). This is also on top of your regular inventory, which includes ten each of three different sets of bombs (remote-detonated, timed, and proximity), a medkit for emergency healing, a Ten-Second Flashlight, an even faster-draining set of Night-Vision Goggles, an "Eye" for throwing around corners to spot ambushes, and the like.
  • Borderlands plays with this somewhat. You can have up to 4 guns and no more set to your hot keys. However, there is limited space in your backpack to carry extra weapons, and the ones in there are probably just Vendor Trash. The limited space disappears as you progress, though, since you can upgrade your backpack to hold more items - 3 per upgrade. The extra guns in your pack aren't feasibly usable as extra firepower, however, since you're still limited to 6 ammo types (7 in the first), and the game doesn't pause in multiplayer while you swap weapons. A rare and well-executed combination of this trope and Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • Brink limits the player to a primary weapon, a backup weapon, some grenades, a few class-specific weapons (such as specialist grenades for a soldier and landmines for an Engineer), and possibly a knife if they use a pistol as one of their weapons.
  • The Call of Duty franchise follows this, limiting the player to any two weapons, with a third slot for a pistol in the original game, and some non-gun odds and ends (later games generally settling on one type of "lethal" grenade and one type of "tactical" grenade, with singleplayer sometimes shunting Claymores and C4 into their own slots rather than replacing your lethal grenade type). Rare occasions allow for the player to carry a third weapon, such as killstreak rewards.
  • The Spiritual Successor to Afraid of Monsters, Cry of Fear, goes for a different system. Your inventory in general is limited to six slots, which you can stick whatever you want in, with three quick-access slots you can set any of the items in your inventory to so they can be quickly equipped by pressing the 1, 2 or 3 keys. You can carry as many guns as you can find, sure, but that would leave less room for keys or other important items. The game even eventually points out that the inventory system is thanks to both the pockets in Simon's clothes and the bag he carries over his shoulder - after finally getting a working train to leave Stockholm in, only for it to derail, Simon loses his bag and is left with only three inventory slots for the last fourth of the game. Note as well that for gameplay purposes, some items don't actually take up inventory space, most notably ammo, which has its own limit of around ten mags per gun.
  • Crysis uses a weird version with four slots, but two of which are dedicated to specific weapon types. The player has a pistol slot that can go Guns Akimbo (there's only one kind of pistol in the first game, though Warhead adds an SMG that can be dual-wielded), an explosives slot for remote-detonated charges or a missile launcher, and two long arms slots that can each hold one assault rifle, submachine gun, sniper rifle, or shotgun.
  • Duke Nukem Forever implemented this despite Duke Nukem 3D featuring a Hyperspace Arsenal; this made things particularly difficult due to the fact that the player can only hold about three or four magazines' worth of ammo for any of the weapons, thus necessitating boxes of infinite ammo to be stashed in every area where the player is expected to stick around for more than a small handful of seconds and kill things. On top of that there was an achievement for keeping Duke's gold-plated pistol with you for the whole game, which required sacrificing one of your two slots. A later patch for the PC version added a toggle option which doubled the limit to four slots, because of fan outcry.
  • Fallout 3 has a system where nearly everything has weight, and how much you can carry is determined by your Strength stat (base carry weight of 100 pounds, with each point in Strength adding another 10, plus other things like Powered Armor that buffs Strength and perks to add to your base carry weight or let you carry weapons over a certain weight for half their normal weight value), and if you go even a tenth of a pound over that limit you can no longer run or fast-travel (though the latter limitation can be removed with another perk). Within that limit, you can carry as many weapons, sets of armor, and assorted other junk as you want, though to quickly switch between anything without having to go into the Pip-Boy menu you have to set them to slots, of which you are limited to eight (the 1 through 8 keys on a keyboard, or the eight individual directions on the D-pad). Fallout: New Vegas uses basically the same system, though reducing the number of slots to seven, with up on the pad/the number 2 key rebound to switching ammo types.
  • The Far Cry series:
    • The original Far Cry had a four-slot system, all of which (even the series' now-iconic machete) could be switched out for a new weapon on the ground at the player's whim. The player also had four throwables in a cycled slot on top of that: limited frag, smoke, and flashbang grenades, and an unlimited supply of rocks to distract enemies as well as separate buttons set to binoculars for tagging enemies and, later, a set of "CryVision" thermal goggles.
    • Far Cry 2 used a similar four-slot system, but with the caveat that each slot was dedicated to a specific weapon type: slot 1 carries a melee weapon (invariably a machete of some kind, only able to change the look through free DLC), slot 2 a secondary weapon (handguns, machine pistols, a flare gun, a grenade launcher, a Sawed-Off Shotgun with DLC, or remote-detonated IEDs), slot 3 a primary weapon (assault rifles, full-size shotguns, sniper rifles, submachine guns or a bigger grenade launcher), and slot 4 a special weapon (machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, a flamethrower, a portable mortar, a crossbow with DLC, or a dart rifle), alongside two grenade types (frags and Molotovs), a map with a GPS locator and a monocular for scouting purposes, a set of morphine syrettes for healing, and a bottle of malaria medication.
    • Far Cry 3 uses what is essentially an evolution of the original game's system, with the machete given a dedicated slot that is used as Quick Melee rather than a standalone weapon (and can only be traded out for other melee weapons, an unlockable tanto or a DLC tribal knife), and otherwise letting you put whatever you want in the regular four slots; however, the player has to unlock the second through fourth slots by hunting and skinning animals to make holsters and bandoliers out of their pelts. There are also other slots for grenades (again, frags and Molotovs), larger explosives (C4 packs and proximity mines), a camera for scouting and tagging enemies, a set of various syringes for healing and other bonuses (with regular healing syringes and two others of your choice getting quick-use slots), and rocks for distracting bad guys in stealth. The Classic Updated Re-release of the first Far Cry reuses this system, minus any of the things that weren't in the original game like the craftable syringes.
    • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon uses the same system as 3, though with some changes: there's no requirement to unlock slots (you instead have to unlock the attachments for your guns by way of side jobs), you're given a full set of fully-upgraded weapons for the prologue before being dumped into the game proper and having you work your way back up, and there's an extra throwable slot for "cyber hearts", acquired from looting the dead bodies of Omega Force soldiers, to lure around the eponymous and highly-dangerous Blood Dragons.
    • Far Cry 4 more or less uses the same system as Blood Dragon with a few more changes, such as bringing back the need to craft holsters for more slots, putting bait in the same slot as the other throwables (including the also-new throwing knives) rather than a separate button, dedicating the second slot to weapons the game classifies as sidearms like in Far Cry 2, and putting the repair tool in another separate slot (splitting the difference between the wrench in 2 that was just pulled out of the ether when you needed to repair a vehicle and the repair tool in 3 that had to be put in a weapon slot but could be used for things other than repairing vehicles).
    • Far Cry 5 evolves on 4's system as far as unlocking your full potential goes - you start with two slots, one regular and one "sidearm", and unlock the other two via perks - but most of the changes regard the non-weapon options. C4 and mines are dumped in together with the other throwables (which also adds in dynamite and smoke grenades), which now have to be set into three "quick-select" slots so you can just use what you like instead of having to cycle through eight different options. Melee options are expanded into a fifth slot, which allows carrying multiples of any one type of melee weapon (since they're breakable and you can also throw them), and the slot for the repair tool is similarly expanded into an entire separate "utility" bar which holds multiple types of tools like fishing rods, medkits (which replace the craftable healing syringes of the prior two games), and still-craftable "homeopathic" boosts (i.e. the types of drugs from 3 and 4 that didn't heal you).
  • F.E.A.R. gives you three slots for weapons, including the option to holster them and use Good Old Fisticuffs, and a grenade slot that could be cycled between frag grenades, proximity mines, remote bombs and, with the expansions, automated turrets. F.E.A.R. 2 expanded onto a fourth weapon slot in place of the ability to holster everything, with the throwables now including the old frags and proxy mines alongside incendiary and shock grenades. F.3.A.R. dialed it back to just two weapons plus the grenade caches (frags, shock grenades, and flashbangs).
  • Fire Warrior has the player able to use two weapons and the bonding knife, but one of those weapons (the standard-issue Pulse Gun) cannot be replaced, forcing the player to drop any good gun they find to get another one.
  • In GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, the eponymous agent only permanently keeps his custom "Spec-9" handgun and a handful of grenades on his person; he can add to that with two other one-handed guns or a single long gun, but must drop them to pick up a different gun or go back to his Spec-9/grenades.
  • Halo is the Trope Codifier for modern shooters. For all their super strength and other perks of being Super Soldier Space Marines, the Master Chief, Noble Six, Fireteam Crimson, Blue Team, and Fireteam Osiris can still only carry the same amount of hardware as the Badass Normal ODSTs: two guns and a few grenades. In fact, depending on the game, the ODSTs can carry more of the aforementioned grenades, and throw them farther as well.
    • Halo was the Trope Codifier for this trope, but many other games on this list failed to catch on to a trope that went hand-and-hand with it: Throw-Away Guns. In Halo, you not only are limited to two guns, you are also constantly switching up which guns they are because of a lack of Universal Ammunition and that any one gun, even if ammo for it was abundant, had an obvious weakness (human weapons shred meaty bits quickly and hit instantly, but for the most part are noticeably less accurate and require a lot of bullets to punch through Deflector Shields; plasma overloads shields quickly and are almost all perfectly accurate, but don't hurt the living things underneath them as much and typically require extensive leading of targets, etc.). This forced varied gameplay, and the development of both skill with every weapon, rather than just what you like the most, and foresight to know when you should drop something you like for something that's more immediately useful. In most other games outside the Halo franchise, once you find the weapons that suit you, you can stick with them basically throughout the entire game because there are always ways to keep them firing, and things that your normal weapons can't do anything against like tanks are typically extremely rare and signposted with exactly what you need for it like a McDonald's billboard along a highway. This provides a different type of fun, allowing you to be Weak, but Skilled instead of Unskilled, but Strong. If there's an Aesop to be picked up, it's probably that tropes don't always work correctly when out of context, but they don't need to work correctly to still be fun either.
  • Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy offers a variant where you start each mission with a limited loadout - your lightsaber, a blaster pistol, and your choice of two bigger weapons (with more options available as you progress) and one thrown explosive - but otherwise keeps the traditional hyperspace arsenal the rest of the series has, allowing you to end a mission (or start the second/third part of a multi-part level) carrying two to three times as many weapons as you came in with.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death allows the player to carry two guns, but you are unable to drop the Lawgiver in the single player game.
  • Years before Halo implemented this trope, Jurassic Park: Trespasser gave the player the ability to carry only two items: one in hand, and one stowed.
  • Killing Floor has a variation based around weight. Each player has a base carrying weight of 15 blocks, each block equivalent to one kilogram and your unsellable starting kit of a pistol, knife and grenades taking up the first one. You can't carry more than that, but you can carry as much as you please if it fits within that limit, even if by all rights it should take more room than your character could conceivably store on their person, including three or four pairs of pistols. The Support Specialist perk also has a passive bonus that gradually increases its carrying capacity up to 24 blocks. Killing Floor 2 uses the same system, though with more perks like the Survivalist getting passive bonuses or active skills that increase their carrying capacity.
  • Left 4 Dead: You can carry one primary weapon from a selection (submachine guns, pump-action and semi-auto shotguns, assault rifles and sniper rifles, with the sequel adding a limited-ammo Grenade Launcher and M60 machine gun), one secondary weapon (an unlimited-ammo pistol or two, the sequel adding options of a single bigger pistol or a melee weapon) and one equipment item of each type (a molotov, pipe bomb, or jar of Boomer bile; a medkit, defibrillator, or box of incendiary or explosive bullets for the primary weapon; and a bottle of pills or an adrenaline injector).
  • Medal of Honor series:
    • Earlier games in the series only limited you to one weapon per type depending on the game, with the only real limitation being that Nazi weapons (or even other Allied ones, on the several occasions the player gets to work with the British) were for the most part simply not usable except as an ammo source. Frontline and Allied Assault, at least, dropped this stigma, though what weapon went into each slot was still decided on a per-mission basis, so for the most part, excluding the mounted MG 42s every few dozen feet and stolen Stielhandgranates (Allied Assault particularly giving you separate caches of pineapples if you started with them and stolen potato mashers, even though for the purposes of gameplay they're identical in use and function), you could only use a Nazi weapon if you didn't start the mission with any of its Allied equivalents.
    • Medal of Honor: Vanguard started to have an actual limit on the player's equipment, letting them only carry two guns and ten grenades. Medal of Honor: Airborne uses the same system with only the addition of a third slot dedicated to a sidearm (which is invariably an M1911 until you finally pick up an alternative in the penultimate level).
    • Medal of Honor (2010) plays this differently depending on single- or multiplayer. Singleplayer has a variant on the traditional two-weapon limit, where the player's secondary weapon (a pistol which is given Bottomless Magazines) cannot be swapped out, while still keeping two slots for primary weapons that the player can switch out whenever they find a new gun. Multiplayer instead goes for the same system as in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, giving you a primary and a secondary weapon that can only be swapped out by replacing your entire kit with someone else's.
    • Medal of Honor: Warfighter also has separate methods depending on which mode, but plays it noticeably differently. Singleplayer extends the secondary slot to include shotguns and submachine guns, and also disallows you from dropping your primary weapon either, leaving you with only a temporary third slot that requires you to drop the weapon in question to go back to one of your regular weapons. Multiplayer instead disallows taking enemy weapons at all - you're stuck with what you spawned with until you die and respawn.
  • The Metro 2033 series:
    • Metro 2033: You can carry a primary weapon (one of a selection of assault rifles or an SMG), secondary (shotguns/pneumo guns), a revolver, an Emergency Weapon knife, a medkit containing five syrettes, five pipe-bombs of each kind and five throwing knives.
    • Metro: Last Light allows Artyom to wield any three guns (which are customizable) and up to 5 each of three types of explosives and the same amount of throwing knives. The Emergency Weapon knife from the first game has been swapped to a Call of Duty style Quick Melee stab. It's still used in Press X to Not Die situations.
  • Perfect Dark Zero has a variant incorporating a basic form of Grid Inventory: Joanna is allotted four slots for weapons, each kind of weapon taking up one (pistols, grenades, and melee weapons), two (submachine guns, assault rifles and the ballistic shield), or three (sniper rifle, rocket launcher or machine gun) slots. Gadgets, meanwhile, are limited to two (they technically use their own four-slot system, but each option takes two slots), one a required, mission-specific gadget like the audioscope or CamSpy, and the other your choice of the optional but still helpful Locktopus, Demo Kit or Data Thief.
  • The first PlanetSide 1 limits players to a certain number of ready-to-fire weapons based on their armor's holster slots; a Reinforced Exosuit can carry two long guns and two one-handed pistols or tools, while an Infiltrator can only carry a single one-handed weapon. Each armor also had a different sized backpack to carry ammo, extra tools, grenades, and sometimes even entire weapons, though they must be put in a holster before use. Planetside 2 uses a more rigid class-based system, where players can have one primary weapon, one pistol, a tool, one class ability, and so on.
  • The Rainbow Six series has traditionally had a four-slot system - two for weapons, a primary and a secondary, and two for other gadgets and equipment, which in the original trilogy could be eschewed in favor of carrying more ammo for one of your guns. The Vegas subseries tacks on a third slot and allows you to pick up guns from dead enemies, with the only caveat being that the pistol slot is still dedicated to pistols. Siege goes back on this with only two weapon slots, and two slots for other things, one of which being your selected operator's unique Gadget (anything from a simple hammer or underbarrel shotgun for breaking down walls at close range, EMP grenades and bear traps, to more unique things like a miniature active-defense system to intercept grenades, shields that can be mounted on the user's rifle for extra head protection, a deployable machine-gun turret, a Healing Shiv, the old heartbeat sensor, and several varieties of unmanned drones for seeking out enemies) and one other piece of gear depending on whether the operator is an Attacker (where they get various kinds of grenades, laser-tripwire Claymore mines, or breaching charges) or a Defender (where they get deployable barbed wire, remote-detonated C4 charges, or deployable shields to protect themselves).
  • Rise of the Triad: The player can hold at one time any number of the infinite-ammo bullet weapons (of which there are three: single pistol, dual pistols, and machine gun) and only one of the limited-ammo missile/magic weapons.
  • Resistance 2 dispensed with the weapon wheel from Fall of Man and imposed a two-weapon limit just like Call of Duty. Fans of the first game reacted with dismay, so the weapon wheel was brought back for Resistance 3. The portable Gaiden Games Resistance: Retribution and Resistance: Burning Skies also averted this trope in favor of the weapon wheel, making Resistance 2 the odd game out in the series.
  • Soldier of Fortune 1 and Payback only allowed the player to carry a max of three guns (depending on their size) and a knife, but the second game had a significantly higher loadout limit, e.g. Mullins may lug around a sidearm, shotgun, assault rifle w/grenade launcher, light machine gun, and sniper rifle at once.
  • In the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. trilogy, you can carry as many guns as you want, but only have slots to equip two guns at any given timenote , alongside four other slots for a knife, grenades, binoculars, and screws for testing anomalies. The game also has a weight system where everything has a weight value, and your limit is around 50kgnote . Go a hair beyond that and your Sprint Meter will deplete way faster than usual; go 10kg beyond the limit, and you'll be completely unable to move around.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront, as the Star Wars equivalent to Battlefield, uses a similar system, limiting you to a weapon slot cycled between your class's primary and secondary weapons, and an item slot cycled between whatever grenades and/or gadgets your class uses. The games even follow the Battlefield mould, where in the first game your weapon was determined solely by your class and your faction and the sequel only allowed you to upgrade your weapon by doing well enough with it, before the 2015 game and its sequel (interestingly now by the same devs as Battlefield) went for allowing you to switch out weapons as you want.
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando gives you a maximum of three guns - your weak recharging blaster pistol, your primary blaster carbine, and a second primary weapon of some variety once you picked one up off an enemy or from a weapon cache - as well as separate caches of four different grenade types that can be cycled and thrown with a button press. In practice, it's closer to five different weapons at maximum, since the primary blaster carbine is a Swiss Army Weapon that also gets attachments to switch it into a long-ranged Sniper Rifle and an anti-armor Grenade Launcher - conversely, your pistol is so worthless that the console versions don't even give you the ability to switch to it if you've picked up a secondary weapon.
  • Team Fortress 2 has this as part and parcel of its class system. Every class has (usually) three slots — primary, secondary, and melee — and each slot is (usually) taken up by the same type of weapon — the Soldier's primary will always be a type of rocket launcher, for example. Weapons can only be swapped out without dying and respawning by either revisiting the ammo cabinet in your team's spawn point after changing your loadout in the menu, or, as of the Gun Mettle update, grabbing one from another dead player of the same class as you.
  • In Titanfall, your pilot has three weapon slots, one each for their primary weapon, anti-Titan weapon, and sidearm. However, you can drop your sidearm to pick up another primary weapon.


     Isometric Shooter 
  • Hatred: The Antagonist can only carry three weapons at a time.
  • Hotline Miami: The player character can only use either a single weapon or their fists. Guns are not reloadable, and tossing the Throw-Away Guns and melee weapons at enemies is a viable and encouraged tactic.

     Real-Time Strategy 
  • Warcraft III: Each hero has six inventory spaces, but units can be upgraded to carry two items (but not use them). There is no limit to the type of item carried, so your character can can six swords around and the damage will stack (custom maps have evolved a wide variety of inventory systems to limit the items used while increasing the items carried).

     Stealth-Based Games 
  • In Splinter Cell: Conviction, Sam and the two co-op characters Archer and Kestrel are only able to carry a pistol and one primary weapon of any other variety. Sam can carry every type of gadget at once but the co-op characters get just any two at a time.
  • Death To Spies: You can only carry one long gun and one pistol at a time. You have a slot for one knife, and if you take more knives they go into the 18 slots used for most other items. You need a backpack to carry mines, wirecutters or dynamite, but you can carry more small items in the backpack if you run out of slots on your personal inventory.
  • The Metal Gear series has gradually moved from the Hyperspace Arsenal trope (from the original Metal Gear to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty) to this.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, you carried your entire arsenal in your backpack... but you could only actually select from eight guns or items in your active inventory. Everything else had to be swapped out with an active item in the pause menu to use it in-game.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots uses the same system as Snake Eater, although the active weapons allowed are reduced to 5 at a time. Also, the game's tendency to actively remove weapons from your active inventory for the M4 Custom or Operator whenever a cutscene where he's holding one of the two transitions into gameplay makes it closer in practice to three active slots with another two dedicated to the Operator and M4 to avoid the annoyance of having them remove what you actually want to use every fifteen minutes.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops allowed soldiers to carry four items and four items only.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker uses a similar system to 4, restricting the player to five weapons and eight items that have to be selected before setting out on a mission, with anything you pick up in the field, save ammo for any of your current weapons if you're not already carrying the maximum, being shipped back to Mother Base for later use. The game also makes a distinction between primary weapons (actual firearms) and secondary ones (grenades or other tossed/deployed items), and the ratio of each that you're allowed to carry depends on the outfit your soldier is wearing; going shirtless or just wearing a T-shirt restricts you to one primary weapon and four secondaries, while heavy armor lets you carry three primaries and two secondaries.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gives Punished Snake access to one sidearm (pistol or SMG), one primary weapon (rifle, shotgun or grenade launcher) and one optional heavy weapon (Sniper Rifle, rocket launcher or machine gun). He also has eight slots for ordnance (explosives, grenades, booby traps, etc) and eight slots for other items.
  • Hitman has varied over the years, but the general rule is Agent 47 can deploy with a limited number of small arms and concealable items, and carry as many as he can get his hands on, but can only carry or use one large item (long arms, rifle case, briefcase, ect.) at a time.

     Survival Horror 
  • Alone in the Dark (2008): Carnby's inventory consists of what he can hold in his hands and the very limiting confines of his jacket, although you can also keep caches of things scattered about whatever stage you're playing in.
  • Dead Space: Isaac can only equip 4 weapons at a time. The rest must be either kept within the safe (accessible from any of the Ishimura's store consoles) or sold to those stores to free up space. Most other items, save for cash and power nodes for upgrading or opening certain doors, are kept in a separate inventory with a number of slots limited by what your current suit can carry, starting at around 10 items with the basic suit and maxing out at 25 with the level 5 suit and New Game+ or DLC upgrades.
  • In the Commodore 64 game Project Firestart, you can carry two laser rifles at a time, and there's no way to recharge or swap ammo. If you want to pick up a brand new rifle from the armory, you need to empty out one of the ones you're carrying.
  • Alan Wake ultimately gives the protagonist four slots to hold weapons in. Two of the four are dedicated to one-handed guns, one a six-shot revolver and the other a single-shot, more ammo-limited but much more powerful flare gun. The third slot is for long arms, with options of a double-barreled shotgun, a pump-action shotgun, or a lever-action hunting rifle. The fourth is dedicated to throwable weapons, able to be cycled between flares and flashbangs.

     Third-Person Shooters 
  • In Transformers: Prelude to Energon, you could equip up to four Mini-cons at a time when going into a level, but only two of which (assigned to the R1 and R2 slots) were actual weapons. When you collect a new minicon you have the option to swap it in, but otherwise you have to exit the level and re-enter if you want to change your current set.
  • The first three entries in the Gears of War series give the player access to two primary weapons, a pistol, and grenades on a cross-shaped menu. The fourth game, Judgment, ditches this menu, making pistols just another weapon you carry in your two slots, and grenades throwable at any time with a press of a button. It also sped up weapon switch times and melee speed considerably, and its multiplayer ditched the firepower boost from a perfect active reload, forcing players to utilise their limited arsenal to its fullest effect rather than simply relying on the Gnasher Shotgun to carry them through battles.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has two "special" weapon slots (that can't be used when wielding a thunder hammer or wearing a jump pack) in addition to the chainsword + bolt pistol and the bolter. Special weapons include a storm bolter, plasma gun, remote grenade launcher, sniper, bigger sniper, meltagun... You can also replace your melee weapon from the standard Astartes pattern chainsword to anything from a combat knife to a power hammer.
  • Spec Ops: The Line: Walker can carry any two guns, most of which have a unique alternate fire mode.
  • The first three Syphon Filter games had hyperspace arsenals, but in the second trilogy, they switched to a limit of one of each weapon type (melee, grenade, shoulder arm, sidearm, and auxiliary arm).
  • Max Payne 3 limits the player to carrying one rifle-sized gun and two pistols. The pistols get shoulder holsters so you can keep them with you while relying on the primary weapon as much as you want, but that primary gun is held in the off-hand by its foregrip while using a pistol rather than getting a sling, so you have to drop it to use the two pistols at the same time.
  • S4 League allows each player to carry up to three weapons and one special skill into a given match. Players are not allowed to swap weapons or skills in mid-match.

     Turn-Based Tactics 
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown:
    • Every one of your troops gets a primary weapon (the type of which is determined by their class), a secondary weapon (a pistol, unless they're a Heavy in which case they get a rocket launcher instead) and a slot for extra utility items like medkits, grenades, or armor. Support troopers unlock an extra utility slot once they reach a certain rank.
    • Enemy Within DLC:
      • The MEC Troopers have a primary ranged weapon and a secondary, limited use weapon that can be either medium-range (flamethrower) or close-range (Kinetic Strike).
      • A facility called "The Foundry" allows you to upgrade your entire force in some way. One of these upgrades is pure Boring, but Practical: giving every one of your soldier an extra item slot. Support troopers have their class granted extra slot replaced by an extra use for any limited use items.
  • XCOM 2: Similar to its predecessor in that every soldier gets one weapon based on their class, and one side equipment also based on class (Gremlin, pistol, grenade launcher, sword...).
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden: Characters can carry two weapons and three grenades. The party can access a Hyperspace Arsenal when out of combat, but when the bullets start flying the arsenal closes, and you have to make do with what the party have on their persons.

     Western RPGs 
  • Done various ways in Mass Effect, which also makes a point of averting Informed Equipment as your weapons appear in a collapsed form on your character model.
    • Mass Effect, being more of an RPG that happened to have guns in it than a shooter, had a standard RPG Hyperspace Arsenal inventory (hard-capped at 150 items). However characters were limited to one of each weapon class equipped at a time, were usually only proficient with a couple weapon classes, and couldn't change which weapon went where during combat.
    • Mass Effect 2 only allowed most characters to carry one copy of two weapon classes. Shepard got a heavy weapon as well and depending on his/her class might have additional weapons, and during a particular plot mission could either gain an additional slot or get an infinity+1 gun version of his/her primary weapon (for example, an Infiltrator could add the M-98 Widow Anti-Materiel Rifle to his/her sniper rifle selection). Soldier classes could choose any of the three infinity+1 guns, due to being able to carry all weapons except sub-machine guns from the start, and the game engine only being able to handle Shepard knowing how to hold up to five guns at a time.
    • Mass Effect 3 restricted Shepard's party members to two weapon classes out of five, (and can not deviate from the default encumbrance level) but, as seen in the page picture, Shepard had access to all five slots. Using all five weapons made his/her powers recharge extremely slowly but nobody actively stopped you from doing it. Soldier Shepard can level up to carry a hell of a lot to compensate - Infiltrator, Sentinel, and Vanguard Shepard can also carry more than Shepard's other non-Soldier classes/the multiplayer crew. Also, Shepard's class-specific perks only affect certain weapon types. Heavy weapons change to Throw-Away Guns that are placed on the map, replace the equipped weapon when picked up, then tossed when they run out of ammo. Multiplayer characters also had access to all 5 slots, but are limited to a choice of one or two weapons plus a weightless Cobra rocket launcher (classed as a missile launcher despite not locking on) that they always carry, even when empty, and are also under the same weight limitations as Shepard, with carry capacity roughly equal to that of his/her Engineer/Adept classes.
      • ME3 is an interesting case, in that the game expects you to be over-encumbered at any given time, and averts Critical Encumbrance Failure while doing so. The base cooldown for any given power is actually the cooldown time you get if you're exactly 200 weight points over your base capacity (including passives), and that time is added to or deducted from by up to 200% either way, with the minimum times being gained from not being over-encumbered at all, and the worst times coming from being a whopping 400 points or more over-encumbered. Justified by the use of element zero-powered mass effect fields compensating for a fighter's inability to carry their load without slowing down or harming their muscle or skeletal structures, at the cost of taxing their tech generators/biotic abilities.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda allows the player character to carry two firearms plus one melee weapon. Ryder from the singleplayer may buy increases to carry up to four guns, while multiplayer characters only have two guns max. However, they can carry any class of weapon. Furthermore, Critical Encumbrance Failure is sort of in effect. Ryder or the multiplayer character keeps a 100% recharge speed bonus until they hit a weight limit, at which point there is a sliding scale of penalty to power recharge based on the amount of weight carried over the limit.
  • In The Witcher, you can only carry up to four weapons at a time: two Witcher swords (steel and silver), a short weapon (such as a dagger or a small axe), and a heavy weapon (e.g. a large axe, a Morningstar or a second steel sword). One of the game's armours gives an extra slot for a second small weapon. You cannot carry any weapons in your inventory at all, at least in theory: your Fantastic Fighting Styles only actually apply to your Witcher swords, so any other weapon you pick up tends to be Vendor Trash that you're storing in your extra weapon slots until you can sell it.
  • Automated Simulations' Temple of Apshai. Your character could only carry one weapon (a sword) at a time. If you wanted to pick up a sword you found in the Temple, you had to drop (and lose) the one you were holding.

     Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Dead Rising 2, you are limited to carrying only a certain amount of items in your inventory, as well as certain items you can't keep in your inventory while equipping another item (like the chainsaw). Fortunately, as your level increases, so does the amount of items you could carry.
  • A new mechanic introduced in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and carried on from there is weapon categories, from melee weapons to shotguns to thrown weapons to gifts. It's still more than one would expect a normal human being to be able to carry (by San Andreas, the second game in the series to use this system, there's already enough categories that CJ can carry just as many weapons as Claude could in III), but it does prevent situations like carrying both a rocket launcher and a flamethrower as was possible in the third game. This was dropped in Grand Theft Auto V, but even there, you're still better off carrying no more than one weapon of each class of firearm.
    • Saints Row uses a similar system. You have inventory slots for every weapon category (melee, pistol, shotgun, submachine gun, assault rifle, heavy weapon, and explosives, plus an eighth slot for just your fists) but can only carry one of said category in the slot, maybe two if you pair them up in Saints Row 2 onwards.
  • Just bought some shiny new Pursuit Tech in Need for Speed Rivals? Surprise, your car can only have two. This is especially egregious as a Cop, as apparently an officer with two weapons on his car suddenly loses the authority to radio for helicopters or roadblocks.
  • Red Dead Redemption II, in contrast to its predecessor, only lets you carry two handguns and two long guns on your person. Switching which weapons you're carrying requires either going into a town with a gunsmith and switching them out there if you're somehow without your main horse, or switching them out from your main horse's saddlebags.
  • The Just Cause series has used this after the first game, which just let you carry everything.
    • Just Cause 2 has three slots for firearms. Two are dedicated to one-handed weapons (the pistol, revolver, submachine gun, Sawed-Off Shotgun and grenade launcher), any of which can be used on their own or mixed and matched. A third is dedicated to two-handed weapons (the assault rifle, machine gun, sniper rifle and rocket launcher). Explosives are likewise in a separate slot, toggled between the standard frag grenades or remote-detonated explosives that are thrown with the same button for firing the left-hand gun when pairing them up.
    • Just Cause 3 reduces one-handed guns to a single slot (pistols or submachine guns) that are always used in pairs, while expanding two-handed weapons into two separate slots, one for an assault rifle, shotgun or machine gun and another which takes a special weapon like a sniper rifle, launcher, or one of the "FOW" superweapons. Thrown explosives are now on separate buttons, one button quickly tossing grenades and another switching to C4, which you now carry unlimited quantities of but can only place a certain amount of at once.
    • Just Cause 4 brings it down to two weapon slots, period, though both slots can contain any weapon and the environment is lousy with new ones. Grenade types are now associate with specific weapons as an alt-fire, and planting explosives is achieved via Super Wrist-Gadget.

Alternative Title(s): Two Gun Rule, Two Gun Limit


Example of: