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Multi-Ranged Master

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Complementing the Multi-Melee Master, the Multi-Ranged Master is a character who wields at least two distinct types of ranged weapons, ones which would require distinctly different techniques.

Wielding a rifle is very different to aiming a pistol, and the techniques for using heavy weapons like bazookas and grenade launchers are even more radically different. And as for those protagonists who use bows... or alien weapons. Basically, if a character carries two distinct types of ranged weapon, both of which would require a lot of practice to use without necessarily giving competence with the other, you have this trope.


May be a Walking Armory if the character doesn't have access to a Hyperspace Arsenal.

Aside from being a signature of the Crazy-Prepared, it marks a character as diligent, as well as well trained.

Sub-trope of Choice of Two Weapons.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Hawkeye of Avengers fame, especially in his Ultimates version, where he can shoot, throw, flick, spit, and otherwise glance at you with deadly results.
    • Bullseye is an equally extreme example, if not moreso. Pretty telling that Bullseye impersonated Hawkeye in the Dark Avengers.
  • Miho in Sin City can use normal shuriken, her bladed manji, throwing knives, or arrows.


  • In Dances With Wolves, Lt. Dunbar arms the bow-and-arrow/tomahawk-using Indians with Winchester rifles; despite having absolutely no training, they succeed in wiping out the enemy tribe in a one-sided victory.

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Usually averted in Paranoia unless your character has taken weapons training with the weapon type. Different kinds of weapons require different skills, and considering what the GM is likely to be like, achieving a level of mastery with two types of weapon is unlikely to happen.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines are trained with both bolters (fully automatic anti-tank rifles) and bolt pistols. Quite useful in gameplay, as they can't charge the enemy in the same turn they fired the bolter in.
    • Many ranged (and melee) units have pistols to fire before charging in an assault. That is generally not a good idea since most ranged units will never go as much damage as any unit made for melee face-to-face, and most standard ranged weapons are rapid-fire meaning they fire two shots instead of one when in range to assault as opposed to firing one shot with their pistols and charging in. Utilizing rapid-fire is generally prefered for most units. It can work for the Space Marines, being jacks-of-all stats, though.
    • Pistols -can- be fired and still allow a unit to charge in the 5th Edition of the game and earlier. Many weapons, including all pistols, are classed "Assault" weapons. This means anyone carrying that weapon can shoot normally and charge later in the turn. Since not every model in a unit must shoot, a unit which plans to close to close combat can choose to fire only its assault weapons, including all pistols. A player usually should try to shoot the enemy first to soften them up, unless the enemy is one who has no chance in close combat and might retreat out of range if shot up. For example, Khorne Berserkers are axe-crazy madmen who can decimate the Red Shirt Army Imperial Guardsmen in hand to hand; they may hold off shooting their pistols. If the Guardsmen fall back from shooting, they may escape the close combat, rally, turn around, and light up the Berserkers. An even more canny player may shoot only a few pistol shots, softening up the target as much as they can without actually risking the enemy retreating out of range. Consequently, units with mixed ranged weapons really fit this trope when considering whether or not they want to be able to fight close combat later in the turn and whether they want to curbstomp their enemies in one turn or draw out the combat (to avoid being shot on their opponent's turn). This really hits home when shooting/assaulting Space Marines; they can choose to fall back from your shooting if it's advantageous to, like, say, if it helps them avoid an assault they want no part of.
    • Upgrades for squads generally allow the squad to have different ranged weapons from one another. Mixing anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons in the same squad is not advised though, since they can only attack one or the other in (standard, mind you) rules.
    • Tau Battlesuits fit this trope very frequently, as most carry at least two weapons, most carry upgrades letting them fire two weapons in a turn, and they have ranges from "terrifying close" to "across the damn table." Whether the competence in one is not competence in the other requirement is met is debatable, as the character is piloting a suit, and who knows whether these different weapon systems require different training.
    • Ork weaponry, being extremely varied and downright nonsensical, is semi-powered by the owner thinking it works and holding down the trigger.
  • Many a character in Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 or later or Pathfinder is automatically proficient with a stunning array of ranged weapons and may carry two or three of them at will. A typical fighter may be roughly as competent with a thrown dagger, thrown hammer, javelin, longbow, crossbow, shortbow, sling, darts, a blowgun, and a chakram at first level. The list of melee weapons such a character knows how to use is far longer. When you realize human first level characters created by the rules are often about 16 years old, one can only wonder when they found time to learn it all. This is generally considered an Acceptable Break from Reality. Earlier D&D characters also could fit this trope, but the player had very limited slots for characters to learn to use weapons and it would be based on player choice.
  • Ranged combat abilities in Exalted function like this. Archery skill governs the use of any ranged "weaponry apparatus," which includes bows & arrows, crossbows, firewands and flame pieces, fuel-bolt launchers, siege weaponry, and First-Age Essence cannons; Thrown skill likewise includes knives, slings, hatchets, throwing batons, javelins, darts, chain daiklaives and boomerangs. Specialty points can increase a character's skill to extremes with a particular weapon of choice, but a flat Archery or Thrown rating implies proficiency or excellence with everything under that umbrella.
  • Expatriette from Sentinels of the Multiverse carries and uses an assault rifle, a shotgun, a submachinegun, a pair of pistols named Pride and Prejudice, and an RPG launcher. And a card allows her to use her entire arsenal save the rocket launcher in a single turn.

    Video Games 
  • Let's get the obvious out of the way first: 90+% of all First-Person Shooter protagonists, ever.
    • Though he's not the first FPS character to use two guns at once, James Bond was likely the first to wield two very different weapons at the same time, wielding an RCP90 in one hand and a grenade launcher in the other in GoldenEye 007.
  • Link (in his various incarnations) from The Legend of Zelda has used a bow, a boomerang, a slingshot, a hookshot/clawshot (a hook or claw on a spring-powered chain), a grappling hook, various magical staves and wands, a whip, a wrecking ball on a chain, a sword that shoots laser beams, bombs that can be thrown or rolled, and a remote-controlled robotic beetle. Oh, and a fishing rod. Although no single game contains all of these, he almost always has at least three of them. (The mechanically different 2D sidescrolling platformer aspect of the second game eliminates almost all ranged capabilities and tools, leaving only a default weak sword beam and its magical fireball counterpart.)
  • Fable allows the protagonist to operate both a longbow and crossbow with equal competence, despite the two weapons being very different in function and requiring a lifetime of practice with the longbow (crossbows are easier to pick up and learn to fire, and don't require the same insane levels of strength). The sequel does away with the longbow but adds rifles, blunderbusses and pistols into the mix, which are different from crossbows again. The third game does away with crossbows altogether
  • The Soldier class in Makai Kingdom excels at using rifle and another ranged weapon. Males favor gatling guns while females are proficient with flamethrowers.
  • In World in Conflict, Rifleman squads have a medic, a rifleman, an AT soldier, an AA soldier and a machinegunner, with the first two having grenade launchers mounted on their rifles. Anti-tank squads have mostly AT soldiers with a medic and some riflemen, lacking grenade launchers.
  • Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed II is both this and a Multi-Melee Master. While his ancestor Altaïr only used throwing knives - the crossbow was Cutscene Power to the Max and doesn't count - Ezio eventually gains a Hidden Gun and, in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, a crossbow.
  • Mordecai from Borderlands is both a skilled sharpshooter and an archetypical gunslinger.
    • Taken a bit further in the sequel with Gunzerker character class, which is capable of dual-wielding any pair of weapons, no matter the type.
    • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has two characters encouraged to use different kinds of guns. Claptrap's "All the Guns" skill gives bonuses to a randomly selected gun type and penalizes other types. Jack's Body Double has the Free Enterprise skill tree, which includes a lot of short-term buffs after switching guns.
  • Laguna in Dissidia Final Fantasy doesn't need swords or sorcery, nor even significant athletic ability. While others are trading barrages of Holy and a lifetime's martial training with each other, Laguna just shoots things. With a machine gun, a sniper rifle, a shotgun, a bazooka, a multi-rocket launcher, grenades, sticky bombs and electro-shield bombs. Oh, and a laser cannon. Also, Vaan, to a lesser extent, as he can use a rifle and crossbow and Firion who can uses a longbow and throwing knives.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, Prompto's weapons of choice are pistols and "Machinery" weapons. In his DLC campaign "Episode Prompto", his arsenal expands to include assault rifles, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers.
  • Billy Lee Black from Xenogears wields pistols, two elemental-bullet firing guns and a shotgun. The game's combat system lets him swap between the weapons seamlessly, but his combos stand out: Launching an enemy into the air with a shotgun, then firing two pistols at them to juggle them in mid-air. And that's just the start!
  • The Ranger job tree in Dragonica uses a different type of firearm (plus multiple types of grenades and a remote drone or two) for nearly every attack skill, with their actual equipped weapon being a crossbow.
  • While Demon's Souls allows you to carry different types of ranged weapons (bows and crossbows), it was superfluous because ranged combat isn't too useful. Its Spiritual Successor Dark Souls however, allows you to become a bona fide pure non-magic user ranged weapon fighter. At least three weapons are viable for this playstyle: The Dragonslayer Greatbow, Composite/Darkmoon Bow, and Avelyn. The first is a spear-firing large bow that does tremendous damage and knockback with sluggish reload time, the second is a fast-firing medium range bow that can be used for harrassing players, and the last is a triple-shot crossbow that can kill other players scarily fast, but has a long vulnerability window and high end ammo costs can really break the Soul Bank. Switching between these three gives the most flexibility and advantage in a battle.
  • This is pretty much a necessity in Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer; the sheer usefulness of sniper rifles means that most any class that isn't Vanguard or Adept is carrying a sniper rifle as a primary weapon, and a short ranged weapon, typically a pistol or SMG, as a backup. As an example, a common loadout is Mantis sniper and Predator pistol, which is actually quite practical as the stock Mantis can dish out one hit kills with ammo mods and headshots, while the Predator, properly leveled and outfitted, is less like a pistol and more like a small semiauto rifle.
    • This is the default for several player classes in the second game in the trilogy (not counting heavy weapons) and all squadmates can carry at most two different weapons.
    • Even in the third game, while Shepard can use all weapon classes, the encumbrance system means that power reliant classes can as a general rule only carry two different weapons. Averted with the Soldier Class who can, with the right weapons and mods potentially carry up to four weapons at once and still have close to maximum cooldown bonus. And Soldiers are less reliant on power cooldowns to start with if you want to add more or use heavier weapons.
  • In Guild Wars 2, Warriors, Engineers, Rangers, and Thieves can all use at least 2 nonmagical ranged weapons. All except the engineer can switch between 2 weapon sets in combat as well, and the engineer gets skills that open up an array of other weapons.
  • In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, The Punisher is depicted with a number of guns on his person, and has a move which switches both his class and his gun.
  • In Fate/stay night, Archer and Shirou can call down a Storm of Blades, or turn functional copies of magical swords into arrows and fire them from bows.
  • The Tenno from Warframe switch effortlessly between assault rifles, bows, kunai, pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, other heavy ordnance... Pretty much every weapon you can think of.
  • Noel Vermillion of Blazblue uses Arcus Diabolus: Bolverk, which can become a pair of long pistols, a minigun, a rocket launcher, and as of Chronophantasma, a shotgun. Bolverk is not a gun in the traditional "as-we-know-it" sense...
  • Erron Black of Mortal Kombat X carries both a lever-action rifle and paired revolvers in his Marksman variation, though he uses them at ranges so short as to almost make the differences academic at best.
  • In MechWarrior, most BattleMechs by default carry a mix of hitscan lasers, Missile Lock-On, and ballistic weaponry, though players often minmax their loadouts in the Mechlab to a specific subtype. In MechWarrior Living Legends, the popular Warhammer "Prime" variant carries a pair of particle projector cannons with travel time, quadruple hitscan pulse lasers, and a short-range dumbfire missile launcher, allowing it to engage at multiple ranges and unleash withering firepower at close range.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Since each of the nine different weapon classes of the game handles their shot types differently in terms of general range and damage in addition to how they handle in melee, Pit and Dark Pit are just as much this trope as they are Multi Melee Masters.
  • Vermilion of Battle Arena Toshinden wields a pistol in his left hand and a Sawed-Off Shotgun in his right. The former is used for quick-firing long-range attacks while the latter is for heavier short-ranged combat.

    Real Life 
  • Officers in the British armed forces will learn to shoot both their standard issue rifle and their signature handguns, though these are falling out of favour nowadays, and all soldiers are expected to know how to use crew-served machine guns and anti-armour weapons in an emergency even if they aren't specialists.
  • It's also pretty common for infantry to have one or two members of a squad carry a light anti-tank weapon just in case they run into enemy armoured vehicles or -more likely these days- a heavily fortified MG nest that they can't silence with grenades.
  • Armoured vehicle or helicopter crews usually have a carbine or sub-machine gun each, but since the only time they'll actually fire their small arms in combat is after getting forced to bail out of their vehicle they also wear sidearms in case they can't retrieve their bail-out bags.
  • Police in America carry a handgun normally, but they do have a shotgun in the car if something heavier is needed. One would think they'd choose a more long-ranged weapon, such as a rifle, but policemen prefer shorter-range weapons because the longer range on rifles means they might go through a house or car or street and kill bystanders even if they don't miss their targets.
    • This is not to say that they don't have rifles as well. But those are usually reserved for SWAT teams and situations where they're dealing with shooters with body armor. In the aftermath of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, it ''has' become more common for patrol cars to have a rifle stored in the trunk just in case, especially in larger cities that can afford to issue so many weapons to each officer.
    • Also, the range limitation of shotguns is vastly exaggerated. They're actually quite effective up to 200-300 feet, far beyond the range that would mostly be called for. Rifles are simply more likely to ricochet or overpenetrate. Additionally, the penetration of shotguns is grotesquely exaggerated. For all a shotgun's ability to tear flesh, they really do a poor job of ripping through cover. This is a benefit for a cop. If a shot misses, a shotgun has a lower chance to punch through a wall or door and hit someone else.
  • Scottish Highlanders often carried both a longbow and a Musket-so they'd have both a fast firing long ranged weapon for lightly armoured troops and a slower firing mid ranged one for heavy infantry.
  • Huns often carried both a set of darts and a composite bow.
  • After lessons learned from Vietnam, modern fighter jets carry an autocannon, short ranged infrared missiles, and long range active radar missiles to remain effective from a few hundred yards to a hundred miles.
  • USAF Security Forces maintain qualifications with the M9 handgun and M4 carbine at all times. They can also become qualified on the M249, M240, M203, MK19, and M2 and in a few rare cases the M24 and Barrett .50 cal.


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