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Long-Range Fighter

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"Yoga Fi—ARRRGH!"

RED Sniper: Hey! We're trying to enjoy this capture point, you bully!
BLU Spy: HAW HAW! What are you going to do — run five miles away and shoot me?
RED Sniper: Ye– no...
RED Sniper: [thinking] How did he know?
Team Fortress 2, "The Insult"

Someone or something who specializes in ranged combat, but is less effective against close-up threats.

Such characters are likely Glass Cannons, with their range and damage being always feared as long as someone isn't next to them. This kind of Long-Range Fighter tends to be Difficult, but Awesome, as their strengths are useless if the player or their teammates doesn't manage to keep aware of enemy positions and keep them out of close-combat, but their advantages are very blatant when pulled off. As such, the risk of this character type being a Game-Breaker can be rather significant since one of the only things worse to suffer than getting easily killed is getting easily killed when you can barely see your enemy and can't hope to fight back. This will hopefully be mitigated by their opponents' tools (varying in many ways, from speed to close in to Smoke Out to cover them while they're far away), environment (usually by letting opponents Take Cover! and hope to flank the Long-Range Fighter), or themselves (such as their close-range weakness being very, very, very distinct) in some way.

Other examples can overlap with Fragile Speedsters, with their range and speed providing an obvious synergy. This character then usually has the drawback of low offensive power, leaving them only able to inflict Death by a Thousand Cuts; regardless, the Mighty Glaciers will probably wish losing to them was over with faster, and likely consider them Demonic Spiders. The Difficult, but Awesome degree of this character can vary over how easy it is to employ their speed and how generally easy it is to kill them in the game. A game of otherwise mostly close-combat will likely make using their strengths simple enough, while games with more easy-to-use range will cause playing this character to require more deliberation or reflexes lest they fall victim to projectiles (even errant ones).

Yet other examples, often seen in sci-fi settings, are Mighty Glaciers that sit back and try to shell opponents into submission and/or rubble with their greater range and firepower, while using their durability and clever positioning to shrug off return fire, but lacking the agility to bring its guns to bear on nearby, faster-moving targets who can whittle them down while they have no recourse but death on their own, leading to them to either operate in groups, providing each other cover fire, or with a escort of smaller, more agile fighters who chase off threats.

Another common version, more well known in Fantasy settings, doesn't do that much more damage than anyone else, have the ability to take it in turn, nor is particularly agile. What it instead specializes in, is utility and control, summoning allies, and disorienting foes with status effects to wear down enemies from afar while disabling their ability to get in close to begin with, or debilitating foes while they're already in melee with your own frontline, yet if caught up close, have difficulty gathering the energy to cast a spell while an assassin is at their throat or barbarian is bearing down on them.

In fighting games, this is encompassed by the "Zoner" or "Keep-Away" archetypes.

Opposite of Close-Range Combatant. Subtrope of Necessary Drawback and Competitive Balance.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In EDENS ZERO, the villainous Poseidon Shura is this when compared to the protagonist Shiki. Both have power over gravity, but while Shiki manipulates his personal gravity to throw himself around the battlefield and add weight to his attacks, Shura specializes in manipulating the gravity of other people or objects which gives him more of a projectile-based fighting style.
  • Gundam:
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Trowa's "Heavyarms" Gundam was equipped almost exclusively with long-range weapons (with a single pop-out physical knife as an Emergency Weapon), where the other Gundams relied more often on Beam Sabres or other close-range weapons. Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz upped the ante with "Heavyarms Custom" being equipped with even More Dakka. Its appearance in Gundam Battle Assault 2 reflects this, with almost its entire repertoire of attacks being of some manner of projectile or shot. It's worth mentioning that "Heavyarms" did not have Bottomless Magazines. It could, and often did, run out of ammo if an engagement drew out too long - a fact that Oz was keenly aware of.
    • After War Gundam X: Leopard Gundam in a nutshell, as well as its upgraded form of Leopard Destroy.
    • Gundam 00 has this in the form of Virtue Gundam and its successor Seravee Gundam, as does Dynames Gundam and its successor Cherudim Gundam. Reborns Gundam also does this while in the form of Reborns Cannon.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has a few of these as well. Of the first generation Gundams, the Buster Gundam was the only one without some form of beam saber, leaving it entirely reliant on its combinable beam guns and missiles. Of the second generation Calamity Gundam was armed entirely with a variety of guns. Few if any mobile suits in the sequel were quite as specialized carrying at least an Emergency Weapon to cover close combat.
    • The ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam was also designed with an emphasis on long range combat; Even more so it's successor, the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom (which currently serves as the page image for Beam Spam). Mind you, neither unit was a slouch when things had to get up-close-and-personal, but they were intended to work in tandem with the ZGMF-X09A Justice and the ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice respectively, which were geared towards Close-Range Combat.
  • Volkein from GUN×SWORD fits into this easily as all of its weapons are guns and missiles.
  • Stands in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has this in two forms. Most long range Stands have less direct abilities an power, generally rank low in precision, and are less effective if forced in to melee range. There are also automated Stands, which can operate independently at a range far, far away from their users while still being quite powerful, but can only operate on simple, "pre-programmed" instructions, such as focusing exclusively on the biggest heat source in a room.
  • The eponymous lead character of Lyrical Nanoha series specializes in ranged combat (though her melee skills are just as good, by the misfortune of repeatedly having to face close-range fighters in combat). Her favorite student Teana is almost exclusively a ranged fighter from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS onward.
  • Naruto
    • Temari, and to a lesser extent, Tenten. Temari has a giant fan that she uses to blow giant gusts of wind at her opponent. Tenten has a variety of weapons at her disposal and can fight any distance from the opponent, however her jutsu are mostly used from a far distance.
    • Gaara's fighting style is like this after the Time Skip, though unlike most others he has a solid defense with his sand which is strong enough to block attacks that can destroy an entire city with much effort. Mostly he just fights at long range because his attacks aren't any less effective.
    • Both Kidomaru and Tayuya specialize in long-range combat, using arrows and genjutsu against their enemies respectively but are vulnerable against a close-range assault. Tayuya doesn't even carry a knife on her person, while Kidomaru does have the option of forming weapons and armor out of his spider silk, but notes that going close-range with the likes of Neji and his Gentle Fist style is suicide. Likewise, their partners Jirobo as well as Sakon & Ukon specialize in close-ranged combat.
    • Deidara attacks with animated sculptures made of exploding clay. Although explicitly described as a Long-Range Fighter, he subverts the implied Crippling Overspecialization by still being capable enough of getting away from a whole team of close-range specialist while missing both of his arms.
    • Mei Terumi, the Fifth Mizukage, avoids direct combat entirely, instead preferring to devastate enemies with elemental attacks from afar.
  • Ramiel from Neon Genesis Evangelion and to an extent Arael especially since they have no known close range attacks.
  • Usopp in One Piece is an excellent marksman but physically weak in basically any other respect. From all of the weapons he's invented, he has a few different hammers for different occasions for close-range and that's about it.
  • Frederica from Psyren mostly fights using long ranged flame-attacks that can do great damage even over extreme range. She can engulf herself in a big body of fire to also fight in close range but her physical abilities are lackluster, so she lacks the speed to combat melee-experts on short range.
  • Snipers in World Trigger are this. Top snipers are so good at hitting their marks that hiding behind shields, floors or walls will not help much. They are also very good at hiding after each shot. In most fights, they are priority targets for enemies because they can only be killed during the short window after they shoot and before they go hide again.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin: The Rising Sun Archer does have some martial arts training but as Tim says, she's phenomenal with a bow and only decent fighting without. When Tim manages to get in close she's completely outclassed as a close range fighter and they both know it.

    Fan Works 
  • Between Dreams and Memories Universe: In Between Heroes and Villains Chapter 100, "The Hog Hunt (Part 4)", while analyzing the Butcher Army and thinking of tactics to counter them, Techno notes that Fundy specializes in ranged combat.
    Fundy wasn't good in personal, up-close combat, which Techno remembered back from the revolution. He had a bow strapped to his back — [h]is dominant weapon. He would no doubt switch to it the moment he made some distance between himself and the fight, so keeping him close would be smart.
  • Noel Vermillion is this in BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant (BlazBlue and RWBY). Unlike her teammates, she tends to work best from a distance either as a sniper or gunner. During her battles, she often serves as long-range support for her team. This is in rather stark contrast to the games, where she was, ironically, a Close-Range Combatant.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Wind Breaker the griffon, having previously relied on his beak and talons, becomes one of these after getting his crossbow.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki is a lethal ranged attacker with Improbable Aiming Skills in Thor and The Avengers, where his magical throwing knives and Energy Balls from Gungnir or the Chitauri scepter are his dominant weapons. However, Loki is not a Glass Cannon; he's exceedingly durable, as he can withstand (albeit in agony) a pummeling from the Hulk. Loki also readily defends himself in close quarters: he uses one of his knives against a Frost Giant who grabs his arm, and utilizes Gungnir and the Chitauri scepter as spears — Captain America learns the hard way that Loki "packs a wallop." In the next films he becomes a Close-Range Combatant.
    • Hawkeye with his signature bow is a ranged fighter in all appearances.
    • Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch possesses powerful Telekinetic abilities, but is a Glass Cannon that can be shut down in melee range.

  • Out of the main cast, Lisha and Krulcifer from Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle are oriented towards long-range attacks. Lisha specialises in wide-area destruction and Krulcifer in accurate sniping that freezes the target. Both do have close combat options as well: Lisha can modify her Drag-Ride into one specialised for close combat while Krulcifer can use her Combat Clairvoyance to fight at close range.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: The King Joe Blacks with their large arm cannons and energy blasts while divided into ships. Also applies to Litora to a lesser extent.
  • Ultraman Dyna: Satan Lovemos is pretty much laser guns and cannons on treads.
  • Ultraseven: Dinosaur Tank. Name says all although it does have some close range capabilities.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Games Workshop games:
    • The Wood Elves in Warhammer are masters of skirmish warfare, and this is reflected in their army which is composed almost entirely of archers and fast cavalry (along with a smattering of powerful treemen for muscle). Their unique Asrai Longbows have a fantastic 30" range (exceeding most standard ranged weapons used by other races) plus the "Armour Piercing" and "Volley Fire" rules, and also powerful magical backup and enchanted arrows that confer deadly effects like Hagbane poison or Arcane bodkins. This allows them to pelt down hordes and heavily-armoured elite troops from a considerable distance with relative ease. However they haven't got much in the way of armoured units or big war machines (Athel Loren does not allow for industry as we understand it) so they will quickly lose if they get bogged down.
    • The Kharadron Overlords, from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, make use of a wide variety of ranged weapons from Privateer Pistols through Aethershot Rifles and Aethermatic Volley Guns, to the Great Sky Cannons and Heavy Skyhooks. The Kharadrons are so reliant on firepower that there isn’t a unit in the army that doesn’t have some form of ranged attack. Don't think this leaves them as defenseless as the Tau below when you get to melee, however. The aether-powered saws aren't just for fixing up airship hulls, so don't be surprised if a unit of engineers can still disassemble your troops.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The entire Tau race have this as their hat, to the point where they employ another race entirely as mercenaries to deal with hand-to-hand combat. Only the Imperial Guard and the Orks can put out more shots per turn than the Tau, but the Tau can pump out more powerful shots, and more accurately too, thanks to Markerlights.
      • The Imperial Guard is made up of Puny Earthlings that rely on shooting from afar to stop their usually much more imposing opponents from getting close. Infantry rely on Death by a Thousand Cuts from their weak small arms and vast numbers, and support from Tank Goodness and/or artillery. Even they can expect to beat up Tau in a melee, though.
      • The warrior lifeforms of Hive Fleet Kronos have been noted to wield a disproportionate number of ranged bio-weapons compared to other Tyranid Hive Fleets. This adaption is due to Kronos' specialisation in combating daemons and other Chaotic forces that excel at close assault.
  • Many long-range weapons in BattleTech have minimum ranges, making it harder to hit within that minimum range. Exaggerated by certain Mechs that simply pile more and more of them on top of each other, such as the Catapult which focuses on long-range missiles, and the Plasma-artillery totting Awesome.
    • The Clans favor this as their preferred method of warfare. Their ritual combat style makes it a rule to use only ranged warfare, as they consider melee to be barbaric, and doing so would be considered dishonorable. The Inner Sphere use this to their advantage when they began fielding Mechs armed with melee weapons as most Clan Mechs have few to no short range weaponry.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Rangers and fighters who specialize in archery or any other ranged weapon, even if like Real Life modern soldiers below are rather "Can do any range but prefer long distance attack" since they can use with no penalties a number of melee weapons, especially the latter who also has the advantages of both more hit points and the ability to use heavy armor with no penalties. This is more pronounced in 3.5, where using a ranged weapon in melee combat gives an attack of opportunity to the enemy even if there's a feat out there that prevents that.
    • Wizards and the like are this trope, since most spells are ranged ones and both using them in close quarters combat can be quite tricky, as you must pass a Concentration check even if 3.5 has feats that help with that and they are both low in hit points and defense.
  • Fabula Ultima has the Sharpshooter class. Its skills focus exclusively on ranged combat, doing such things as making the Sharpshooter's ranged attacks more accurate and/or more powerful, giving them the ability to hit multiple targets with every attack, and letting them fire trick shots that can intimidate foes or negate enemy ranged attacks.
  • Similar to the Tau, the Hivers in Traveller have a powerful space fleet and prefer to win battles without ever seeing the enemy. If ground combat is required, they leave it to their allies the Ithklur (who love to mix it up at close quarters with the enemy).

    Video Games 
  • Grit from Advance Wars. His indirect units have increased firepower and range, but his direct units are weaker.
  • Mycale, Anonym, and Perfecti from Akatsuki Blitzkampf all fit here, in one way or another. Mycale is an expert in Summon Magic and has Magical Girl-like abilities, Anonym is a practitioner of Gun Kata who's at her best when she shoots her foes away, and while Perfecti has a bayonet as her weapon her specialty is attacking with her quite nice array of projectiles.
  • The Battle Cats:
    • Among the Normal Cats, Gross Cat and Lizard Cat both specialize in long-ranged attacks. They're slow to attack and less able to fend for themselves compared to the others, but can accumulate high DPS when stacked up. Plenty of other long-ranged units in the game follow suit — even the heavy ones, like Bahamut Cat and most ranged Ubers, tend to be Glass Cannons that need to be protected from melee enemies.
    • Cats and enemies with the Long Distance ability have greatly increased attack range, but can't attack anything that's too close, effectively falling under this trope by default.
  • This is what made Nu-13 so deadly in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. She had a 5-hit meterless projectile combo that hit 3/4 of the screen away, making it impossible for some of the slower characters to approach.
  • Bleeding Sun: Tsuru can equip crossbows or guns, allowing her to hit backrow enemies. However, she gets fewer ninja actions when using a gun.
  • In Crying Suns, Cruisers can attack from 2-3 tiles away but cannot defend themselves against adjacent enemy squadrons. Impaler Cruisers take it to the point of Crippling Overspecialization: they can shoot at the enemy battleship from anywhere on the map, but they can only shoot at the enemy battleship.
  • Dead by Daylight:
    • The Huntress is the only Killer among the base, non-DLC characters who can attack at range. While she has her trusty axe for melee, she can also hurl hatchets at Survivors from a distance. She can only carry so many hatchets at once and, once out, must find a locker to collect more.
    • The Plague can potentially become this. Her power, Vile Purge, allows her to vomit on Survivors and makes them sick, which can render them injured, unhealable, and capable of spreading it if not cleansed at one of the fountains scattered around her map. However, if a Survivor does cleanse their sickness, the Plague can then go to the fountain they cleansed at and use it to upgrade her Vile Purge to Corrupt Purge, which turns her projectile vomit red and damages Survivors rather than infecting them.
  • Lady in Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition has this as her preferred fighting style after being Promoted to Playable. It's also her primary fighting style in the cinemas of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Although this is justified - the other playable characters are half-demon, or fully demonic in the case of Trish, so they can take much more punishment than she can.
  • Diablo: The Rogue character class, and the Amazon character class from Diablo II, along with the Rogues you can hire in Act I. Both specialize in bows, crossbows, and javelins. Diablo III's Demon Hunter specializes in crossbows, though he or she can wield any bow with lethal precision.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Huntsman ability increases the damage bonus for attacking from high ground and unlocks a variety of skills that enhance long-range attacks, including an Armor-Piercing Attack, a Rain of Arrows, and a shot that gains bonus damage proportional to the distance to the target.
  • Drow Ranger from Dota 2 can keep enemies at bay with her Frost Arrows to slow them down and Gust to push away and silence them. Her ultimate gives her a huge damage boost and a chance to fire armor-piercing shots, but it's completely disabled if a single enemy hero gets too close to her, crippling her damage output.
  • In Dune II the missile tank couldn't hit targets that were close to it. If it tried to the missiles would go wild and hit random squares close by.
  • Final Fantasy games frequently feature characters who can use ranged weapons (such as bows), letting them stay in the back row and deal the same damage as in front row or target enemies in the back row with no reduction in damage. From the back row, they take less physical damage, which is important because, fitting this trope, they typically have lower defenses and hit points than the melee weapon party members.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy has a few. Terra's attacks usually launch enemies away and chain into larger attacks, for example. Kefka is an interesting example: he can cast some long range spells, but they usually make erratic movements because of his Confusion Fu. Laguna uses his gun in most of his attacks. The most prominent example from the series, however, is Ultimecia, who can subject her enemy to a Rain of Arrows from the other side of the stage.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The Archer class and one of its promoted forms, the Sniper, can only attack from a distance. Their other promoted forms (Bow Knights and Kinshi Knights) can attack from both as long as they have swords (Bow Knight) or Lances (Kinshis).
    • Mages are not exclusively long range fights as they can strike units next to them, but it's often not worth risking the counter attack as each one is a Squishy Wizard until at least promotion.
    • There are throwable lances (Javelins, Spears) and axes (Hand Axes, Tomahawks) that can hit enemies at 1-2 spaces away.
    • Magical weapons like the Levin Swords, the Bolt Axes and later the Shocksticks/Bolt Naginatas allow any melee weapon wielder to cast magic at range.
  • Published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. in the 1980s, Gemstone Warrior and Gemstone Healer features your protagonist who goes up against demons armed only with a crossbow and limited supply of bolts and even scarcer fireballs. Even though the Warrior can find a dagger, it's not usable at all.
  • Gods: You'd think a warrior from Ancient Greece would know how to stab someone with a spear. Not your hero, if it's a weapon then it must be thrown. Luckily for him, he's got Bottomless Magazines.
  • Ranged units in Heroes of Might and Magic usually have an optimal range - shooting any further reduces the damage dealt, so does attacking in melee. Some shooters, however, are mixed melee fighters with "No melee penalty" - while others are true Long-Range Fighters with "No range penalty", meaning they deal maximum damage no matter where they shoot.
  • Most ranged units in Iron Marines are these. Thanks to the mechanic where (almost) all ranged units taking double damage from melee attacks, they tend to fare badly in close combat. Especially notable are Snipers, who have very long range, but have low HP and lack any armor which means that even the weakest melee units that weren't gibbed by Sniper shots can shred them quickly.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • It's possible, with the right commands, for the main characters in the series to use long-ranged attacks. One party member and villain, Tron/Rinzler, will specialize in this type.
    • There's also villains such as Clayton and Xigbar who are this trope.
    • The Tatsu Steed dream eater along with the various beetle dream eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] possess a variety of extremely long range attacks, but next to nothing for dealing with close range targets effectively. Taking them out first is generally a good idea, as they make going toe to toe with other more melee capable enemies a pain.
  • Kingdom Rush series:
    • Most ranged heroes are relatively squishy in close combat, and are unable to use their more potent abilities.
    • Kingdom Rush: Frontiers has the Saurian Deathcoil enemies. They have an attack range of nearly half the map, and snipe your troops with a ranged attack that hits for a huge 100 armor-piercing damage. If forced into melee by barracks or heroes, they only deal a measly 12-22 physical damage.
    • Kingdom Rush: Origins has the Dark Spitter enemies. They spit dark blood at your troops from a distance, which hits hard, inflicts a painful temporary health-draining status, and if a troop dies while corrupted, they turn into a Shadowspawn. Dark Spitters are however a lot less threatening in melee combat, dealing relatively low damage without infecting your troops.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Lizalfos primarily use ranged weaponry such as bows and arrows, bladed boomerangs, and water bullets spat from their mouths. They try to keep their distance from Link as a result, making a point of keeping several meters between themselves and him instead of rushing for melee combat like other monsters do. When they use melee weapons, these are long-distance ones such as spears and strikes from their long tongues, and here they use Hit-and-Run Tactics to minimize how long their within Link's own melee range.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Horriblins tend to stick to the ceilings of their cave dwellings, attacking by throwing rocks from a distance and with spear-type weapons that a second spear weapon fused to them for extra length.
  • Youko Mizuno (Rosa Chinensis from Maria Watches Over Us) appears in the doujin Fighting Game Maribato! as a playable character. Youko's whip gives her a good range, and she has a lot of options for her projectiles, however, the range of her whip also leaves her vulnerable up close.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance: The two catapults used by dark elves in Niffleheim are exclusively used in long range and upon getting within thirty feet of them will make them defenseless.
  • Ghost Rider at Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, his chain has incredible reach and he's able to punish several ranged characters with more ease. His close range options, on the other hand, is limited (although if you can land a Penance Stare, you can dish out good damage. Problem is, 3 bars and a grab move, good luck landing it well)
  • This is how the Infiltrator class plays like in Mass Effect 2 and 3. Incinerate is a great offensive power usable from a distance, and Tactical Cloak makes you invisible, which allows you to flank your enemies easily and line up the perfect headshot. They'll also get a damage bonus on Sniper Rifles and even slow down time when using them (though only in single-player). There is an alternative, however - people who are really good at hit-and-run combat may favour the widely feared Shotgun Infiltrator, who uses a Short-Range Shotgun from tactical cloak to inflict obscene amounts of damage.
    • Engineers and Adepts, as Squishy Wizards, are strongly encouraged to stay behind something heavy and throw ranged tech or biotic attacks at every opportunity. Sentinels would be this, too, if Tech Armour didn't make them alarmingly tanky.
    • The M-44 Hammerhead is a Glass Cannon with a heavy rocket launcher and no armour, so the pilot is strongly advised to try and handle enemies from a safe distance.
  • Most fire-support assets in MechWarrior Living Legends sacrifice close range usability for withering firepower to pour down-range. Long Ranged Missiles fire massive salvos of accurate, guided missiles, but will simply arc over targets within 150 meters (and assets that carry LRMs often only carry LRMs). Arrow IV launchers fire a single massive high-explosive guided cruise missile, but have a minimum range of 300 meters and will generate an enormous amount of heat when fired; plus, the launcher is so heavy that assets typically can only carry the missile launcher, with nothing for up-close fighting. The Long Tom Artillery Piece is a 30 metric ton cannon which can one-shot any asset lighter than 50 tons with a direct hit, but it almost always requires assistance from allies to find a good firing solution, while the gun is incapable of aiming down to fire at nearby enemies, plus it has tissue paper for armor and no secondary weapons.
  • This is the domain of Bowgun and Bow users, a.k.a. "Gunners" in Monster Hunter. They can attack from further away compared to melee weapon users, but without a good stockpile of ammo or proper distancing they will suffer in the damage-per-second department. Additionally, Gunners can't use the same kind of armor melee users can, and have to use exclusive armor that is higher on elemental resistances but has roughly half the raw defense, meaning that they need the distance and good evasive skills or they're going to get torn into shreds.
  • The Pixies in Monster Rancher have their strongest attacks at long range.
  • In Mordheim: City of the Damned, this is the entire schtick of the Human Mercenaries faction. They have an entire range of various ranged weapons with their own strengths and weaknesses: longbows are low-damage but can shoot multiple times a turn, handguns are great at defeating enemies in heavy armor, long rifles have a better critical hit chance and longer range, blunderbusses can hit multiple enemies (and also allies!) in a cone but only at close range. Even their dedicated melee specialists can pack pistols and crossbows along with their close combat weapons. They're not helpless in close combat but the other factions will outclass them: the Skaven (Ninja rat-people) are faster and can dodge more, the Sisters of Sigmar (effectively a squad of female paladins) have better armour, better melee weapons and support spells, and the Chaos Cultists (demon-worshipping cultists, fairly self-explanatory) have better melee weapons and mutations which also give them an edge. However the Skaven and Cultists have limited ranged ability and the Sisters of Sigmar have none on top of being Mighty Glaciers.
  • Naruto:
    • The Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm series has several, though Part 1 Sakura isn't one of them. (She's a Trap Master instead.) Tenten, Shino, Temari, Deidara and Utakata are all prime examples. The Puppet Master characters (Kankuro, Sasori and Chiyo) are a variation: they control puppets from a distance, which do their fighting for them. The Second Mizukage (a non-playable enemy) is the most powerful example, whose projectile combos are quick, rapid, break guard easily, and can't be easily dodged.
    • In the US-exclusive Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution series, Komachi. She can throw needles at her opponent at a very fast speed, and she is the only one who initiates their special move with a long-range attack.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You has the Deep Rivers Society, whose members specialize in long-range psychs.
  • Persona:
    • While most party members in the first Persona have both a melee weapon and a firearm, both of Maki's weapons (a bow and a handgun) are ranged. There's also Yukino, who throws razorblades when not using her shotgun.
    • Though it doesn't really affect gameplay, several party members in Persona 2 use only ranged weapons; Maya and Katsuya use pistols, Eikichi has a machine gun disguised as a guitar case, Yukino still throws razorblades, Baofu throws coins and other small objects, and Jun throws flowers.
    • Yukari and Aigis from Persona 3 use bows and guns respectively, and your main character can choose to use a bow in the original version and FES. On the field, their attacks have a large reach and can hit most opponents easily compared to short range weapons. In battle, long-range characters have the advantage of not falling when they miss an attack; however, they have a relatively low accuracy.
    • Persona 4 has Yukiko and Naoto, who use throwing fans and pistols respectively. However, Yukiko tends to favor magic attacks over physical combat.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth have party members who specialize in long-distance combat, which allows them to strike from the back row and reach enemies in the opposing party's back row. This includes the aforementioned Yukari, Aigis, Yukiko and Naoto, as well as Morgana in Q2(who uses his slingshot as his primary weapon), and the crossbow-wielding Zen in Q.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time:
    • The Strawburst grows a strawberry that gets increasingly stronger and deals heavy Splash Damage from afar, but if a zombie manages to get into attacking distance when it has grown a berry, it explodes and dies instantly although damaging the zombie in the process.
    • The Shadow Peashooter fires weak shadowy peas if unpowered, and powerful, slowing One-Hit Polykill beams of darkness if powered by a Moonflower. However, it will retreat into the ground if a zombie gets close by on its lane, preventing it from attacking. Dowmplayed in that if it's hidden, it'll drag a zombie that steps on it into the ground for a One-Hit Kill, but it disappears immediately if not powered and can only do this up to three times if powered, making it have a much better role at a long-distance attacker than a close-range trap.
  • The Scaredy-Shroom from Plants vs. Zombies is a cheap cost unit that fires long range spores. However, when a zombie gets close, he retracts into the ground and cowers, becoming completely useless and vulnerable. All other shooting plants in the series can at least still fire at the zombie that's chewing on them.
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare: The Cactus adopts the role of the Plant team's sniper and can plant Tall-Nut barricades and Potato Mines to keep enemies distant. Lastly, she can deploy an Attack Drone, allowing her to do serious damage and call in airstrikes while staying far away from the enemy team.
  • Colonel Mael Radec in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is terrible up close, but very, very effective from a distance. He's been given 8 types of projectiles and bombs, and all of his Supers are ranged, including a Level 3 Super in which he picks off his enemies in a first-person shooting mode.
  • In Shining Force, Archers/Snipers, Rangers/Bow Knights, and Brass Gunners can shoot two or three (depending on the quality of arrow) spaces away, but are helpless up close. Knights if armed with spears can attack up close or afar, but spears tend to be weaker than lances. Thieves and Ninjas in Final Conflict can also attack close or afar, but unlike most examples of this trope, they're lethal from any distance.
  • This is Peacock's specialty fighting style in Skullgirls. Most of Peacock's special attacks are projectiles of some kind, such as cannonballs, bullets, walking bombs, car/plane-riding bombs, and lasers. On the other hand, she's not very good at mixing up the opponent up close...
  • Smash TV and the sequel Total Carnage: The playable characters use only firearms, no melee weapons.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Splatoon:
    • Charger-type weapons have long charging times that prevent them from going up close, but their range and high damage at a full charge make up for that. Taken even further with specific chargers like the E-Liter 3K (as well as the E-Liter 4K, its upgraded model in the sequel), which sacrifices mobility, charge time, and ink efficiency for even greater range, and the chargers equipped with scopes, allowing for easier aiming and a slight increase in range at the expense of being automatically forced into tunnel vision after reaching a certain level of charge.
    • Despite Rollers normally being close range, the Dynamo Roller attacks very slowly, to the point that one getting caught in melee rarely comes out on top. However, their ink flinging attack has an impressively long range and wide spread, allowing it to excel at keeping opponents at arms length.
    • Among Shooter weapons, the Jet Squelcher line has comparable range to Chargers (other than the E-Liter 3K). While it has less damage, slower fire rate and worse turf coverage compared to most lower range shooters, Jet Squelchers have the advantage in combat as long as the user stays out of reach of any rivals.
    • Splatlings sacrifice the ability to fire immediately by having superb range combined with quick fire rate. However, this means that a Splatling user caught by surprise at close range is at a severe disadvantage.
  • Several ships in the Star Control games are this, but none so much as the Earthling Cruiser. The Cruiser has a very weak short range attack, but if an enemy can close, the Cruiser is probably toast. If the Cruiser can stay away, however, it can pretty much kill anything with its MX Peacekeeper missiles, which can cross the bulk of the screen and have excellent (they're called fire-and-forget for a reason) tracking. The Chenjesu Broodhome is also very much one of these. The Mmrnmhrm X-Form could transform from a long-range, fast, fighter -which if caught at close range in such form could become history fast- to a slow, short-range, one, making it one of the deadliest ships in the game. On the Hierarchy side, the Spathi Discriminator could fire a long-range tracking missile from the rear of the ship, meaning it could shoot while running away.
  • StarCraft: Terrans are this. With the exception of the SCV, all terran units are ranged.
  • In Star Wars Battlefront (2015), Boba Fett's gun has incredible accuracy and he can find nearly any target by flying over the map, but he has no melee attack at all. His flamethrower is meant to compensate for this, but once he's forced to let it cooldown, he's completely vulnerable.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Street Fighter II: Dhalsim is pretty much the forefather of this in fighting games. He can attack from a halfscreen away, using his extendable/retractable limbs; though they are punishable. To make up for this, he supplements his arsenal with breath attacks that can strike from anywhere onscreen. And, in later installments, he gains the ability to teleport (originally a glitch); used chiefly to put distance between himself and the opponent.
    • Sagat is played like this. Just look at how many Tiger Shots are thrown in the whole match.
    • Guile is played more effective at playing mind games with his signature Sonic Boom.
    • Street Fighter III has Necro, seen by many as the new and improved model. His limbs are flexible, whereas Dhalsim's are linear, plus his attacks are faster; making them harder to predict or react to. And, while he's primarily a ranged fighter, he's just as lethal in close quarters. A stark contrast to his predecessor.
  • Sundered has Hunters, stationary robots armed with laser cannons. They can shoot the player character from off screen several rooms away, but their only defense against melee attacks is curling up into a ball and raising their shields. Stronger variants can attack the player at close range with a slow, highly-telegraphed energy pulse.
  • Super Smash Bros.
    • Samus Aran, Captain Olimar, Snake, Zelda, Mega Man and Duck Hunt all specialize this way. Good as their projectiles are, however, Olimar and Zelda still need to get in close to deliver a KO effectively, and Samus and Snake, while technically able to KO from afar, still find it difficult to do so.note  Mega Man actually does have good, reliable long-ranged KO moves, but is also relatively weak up close. Duck Hunt, who represents NES Light Zapper games, has a number of moves that work best at long range. Link and Young/Toon Link are debatable examples, as they have at least four different kinds of long-range moves, one of which is a grab, but their uses are limited and the Links generally prefer to get up close anyway.
    • Mii Gunner, a customizable long-range fighter who's both slower and weaker than the other Mii classes in terms of ability and attack, but whose moveset and specials are more versatile and possess many useful properties and traits for tactical warfare and battlefield control, allowing the Gunner to compensate for their weakness.
    • SSB4 DLC grants us Corrin, who is practically to this game what Dhalsim is to Street Fighter. While he does have a sword, most of his damage will come from his Dragon Fang attacks, especially if they hit at the tip.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate introduces Simon and Richter Belmont, whose smash and special moves are all long-range or projectile-based. Their vampire killers manage to be even longer then Corrin's Dragon Fang attacks.
    • Ultimate's second round of DLC fighters starts with Min Min, who can cover the length of a Battlefield stage using her ARMS and doesn't even get damaged by counter type special attacks, but in return suffers in close range since that's not what her home game really specializes in.
  • Chester from Tales of Phantasia uses bows and arrows in combat, letting him deal damage on par with Cress from afar.
  • Although most of the weapons in Team Fortress 2 are guns, the Sniper is uniquely suited to attacking at long-range. His sniper rifle is perfectly accurate and its damage is unaffected by range, whereas pretty much every combat-oriented class is encourage to fight at fairly close range by inaccuracy of hitscan weapons, slow movement speed of projectiles, and/or severe damage penalties for attacking from far away. Sniper is thus favored to attack from a distance because the damage loss to all other classes' attacks makes up for his low health and slow attack speed. His Huntsman bow is the closest he gets to mid range attacks and his Jarate is best used for supporting teammates on fire or finding Spies rather than direct attacks with the Bushwacka (which does a guaranteed Critical Hit every time against piss-soaked foes but causes Sniper to take a 20% damage increase).
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: Velvet was designed as the "zoner" of the original roster. Her moveset and magic meter is specialized at fighting enemies at a distance by firing icicles at different speeds, casting ice attacks from any direction, and can even force opponents away (or closer) by spinning in a cyclone to keep them away.
  • The Vanquisher from Torchlight specialises in ranged weapons and abilities (although she can also use traps and close ranged ambush tactics).
  • Total War: Warhammer:
    • The Empire. Justified because ordinary human State Troopers are woefully outmatched in melee by most of their adversaries, and the generals know it. Missiles and artillery are quite vital to whittling down the enemy from a distance before they close with the frontline, and then using cavalry to wheel around the flanks and finish the enemy off.
    • The Dwarfs use no cavalry or magic, and their infantry are extremely slow on the run which puts them at a great disadvantage in open field battles. So, their way of war can be summed up as handgunners and artillery pieces parked on a strong defensive position behind a row of stout, heavily-armoured dwarf infantry to protect them. Let the enemy come to them, and break themselves against the wall of guns and gromril.
    • The polar opposite of the Dwarfs, the Wood Elves have an army composed largely of archers, missile cavalry and flying units. They're very fast on the move (and able to shoot arrows while moving, averting Do Not Run with a Gun), masters of lightning attacks and guerrilla warfare, but they have nothing resembling heavy infantry and hilariously poor staying power. The few tough units they can field - Treemen, Zoats, Forest Dragons - are all expensive, top-tier monster units.
  • Total War: Warhammer II:
    • The Vampire Coasts are undead pirates with a dizzying variety of zombies armed with pistols, handguns, rifles, grenades, swivel cannons, rusty cannons... Even their monsters have the ability to shoot at their enemies. To top it off, they are the only faction that can resupply their missile units mid-battle and buff them with special gunpowder. But their melee infantry aren't great and their reliance on guns as their only ranged option means they are heavily reliant on having line-of-sight; forests and uneven terrain neuter their ability to lay down the hurt.
  • Total War: Warhammer III: The Daemons of Tzeentch are this on a factional level — while they do have several decent melee options, the vast majority of their units attack by shooting Technicolor Fire at the enemy, with the majority of the melee damage coming from monster units, several of which also have ranged options. Especially notable since the other daemonic factions have few to no ranged units in their rosters.
  • Tough Love Arena has Noodle and Rice, who have Rubber-Hose Limbs that let them hit their opponents from further away than anyone else.
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon:
    • Any ship that is equipped primarily with long ranged weapons, such as Plasma Cannons, Torpedeos and Mortars. In Open Skirmishes it is possible to make most ships into this by refitting them with either Plasma Cannons and/or Mortars, although even outside of Open Skirmishes there are several ships that come with long ranged weapons by default. For example: the Imperial Fast Frigate and all Ironclads come with Plasma Cannons by default, while both the Imperial and Procyon Man of War come with Star Mortars.
    • The Imperial StarHammer and Procyon Ice Fist, as they are equipped with the Nova Mortar, the longest ranged and most powerful weapon in the game.
    • Procyon ships in general, as not only do they have access to all long ranged weapons in the game, their ships often come with Torpedoes, making them well suited to longer range, especially when combined with the other long range weapons they have in their arsenel.
  • Vandal Hearts:
    • Bow users are most effective from a distance. In the original game, Archers took extra damage from sword-wielders.
    • Magic users are fragile and work better from a distance.
  • In the Wonder Boy series, Boy from the first game (plus Tina and her boomerangs in the remake) is the only protagonist without a melee option. If he sees an enemy, then he's got to throw his stone axe at it - with a max of 2 axes at a time. Woe to Boy if he misses with the two axes and the enemies get in close...
  • Hunters started as 'fights exclusively at range' in World of Warcraft; they were able to use melee weapons, but only did Scratch Damage with them.note  With the Mists of Pandaria expansion, they've lost their deadzone and can use their abilities and ranged weapons in melee range.
  • The X-Universe series features the Missile Frigate and the Bomber ship classes, which rely on long-ranged anti-ship missiles rather than projectile weapons for their offensive capacity. The ships are capable of leveling entire sectors and fleets on their own, but god help you if a fighter gets close to the ship and starts shooting your missiles down as soon as they launch, because at best, the ships have only a pair of rear-facing turrets, and some of them don't even get that.
  • X-COM:
    • The sniper class from XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the go-to long distance fighter. They're the only class whose hit chance gets worse at close ranges, and their aim stat growth is by far the best in the roster, which, especially when combined with Squadsightnote , means they can and often will be shooting at enemies from literally the other side of the map. Even with Snap Shotnote , that trades range for mobility, the sniper is still at their best hitting enemies right at the edge of visual range.
    • The old sniper's tradition is maintained in Video Game/XCOM by the Sharphooter, who works essentially the same way. The difference is that Squadsight comes by default, and it has a mounting accuracy penalty at truly extreme ranges.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Sunrider series, Sola di Ryuvia is a Cold Sniper whose ryder's kinetic rifle has the best range of any weapon in the player's arsenal, particularly when her Super Mode is active. It's only in Sunrider 4: The Captain's Return that she truly embraces this trope, as her rifle is given an Arbitrary Weapon Range which prevents her from shooting enemies that are too close to her.

    Web Animation 
  • Coco Adel of RWBY is a svelte fashionista girl who fights with a huge minigun which also folds up into her handbag when she's not using it. With her weapon, Coco can casually shred whole ranks of Grimm and blast giant varieties of Grimm which earlier on gave the eponymous team heroines of the story an arduous fight. However, if someone can get close enough to her, her huge gun turns from a death-dealer into a liability: in her brief battle against the villainous Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai, Mercury made a fool of her and danced around her and her huge Stone Wall teammate, and Emerald was able to isolate Coco and annihilate her with a single backstab.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • This is the default of benders in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Sequel Series The Legend of Korra. Being able to shoot their element of choice at someone from long range (or in the case of earth benders, even controlling the ground under your feet), gives them an enormous advantage against any non-bender, to the point that non-bending fighters and soldiers usually have little chance against even a mediocre bender. However, getting close enough can nullify that advantage, with the most prominent example in the original series being Ty Lee, an acrobat who uses her extreme agility and fast movements to get close to benders and then hit them with pressure point attacks that simultaneously causes paralysis and disrupts their chi, temporarily stopping them from being able to manipulate the element they control. This was further explored in the sequel, especially the first season of Korra, where the bad guys are an anti-bending group known as the Equalists. While Equalists often use advanced technology to their advantage, it's also shown that when they don't have that advantage, they usually only attempt to strike at benders when a bender is close enough that they can use the same chi blocking techniques that Ty Lee used in the original series. And it's shown on multiple occasions that at close range, benders don't have nearly as much of an advantage as they do at longer range.

    Real Life 
  • This was kind of the whole point of archers.
  • Bows were ultimately replaced by firearms, which were so easy to use (and eventually, devastatingly effective) that they rendered melee weapons obsolete. Now, pretty much all soldiers are primarily this trope; however, it should be noted that soldiers are also trained in close-quarters combat as well, so they are actually the "Can do any range but prefer long distance attack" type of long-range fighters. Of course for even farther fighting, we have snipers and designated marksmen, and beyond that, artillery. Artillery batteries usually can't even see their targets, and have to be told "Shoot THIS SPOT" by a forward observer near the spot in question.
  • From the point of view of the animal kingdom, of course, this is humanity's hat. The most refined projectile attacks of other animals are debris flung by monkeys without particular accuracy and fluids squirted by insects, fish, and reptiles. None of those has a range over 10 meters, and in general, can hardly be classified as fatal. Meanwhile, since the invention of the sling and bow and arrow, we are able to consistently deliver death from beyond that range. And when firearms come into the fray, well... Curb-Stomp Battle doesn't even begin to cover it.
    • Even before slings, we had been better at throwing rocks and such than other primates. This is one reason humans invented slings in the first place, as a way of throwing rocks better.
    • The Human Body is basically built to be a living catapult on legs. Shoulders with a greater range of motion, elastic tendons along the body that store and release energy like a catapult's rope, more motion in the waist adds to the power of the throw, all of which allow a human to hurl an object several times harder than any chimp or gorilla.
  • The days of ship-to-ship confrontation are long gone. With the advent of aircraft carriers in World War II, and long range missiles soon after in the Cold War, naval battles are fought in BVR (beyond visual range). In fact, the loss of range from moving from the Intruder to the Super Hornet as the US Navy's primary strike platform has caused quite a bit of hand-wringing among naval observers.
    • Ever since the advent of the cannon, range has been one of the deciding factors in naval warfare, with warships mounting larger and larger cannons to gain the range advantage over their opponents - and then, when cannons outpaced targeting, ever-better targeting systems.

Alternative Title(s): Long Range Combatant