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Powerful, but Inaccurate

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As powerful as 1000 Imperial Stormtroopers.
"The Gauss Rifle can kill an enemy before he even knows he's dead, landing a hit however may prove difficult."
Description of the Gauss Rifle, Raze 3

Sometimes a character has a ranged attack that's really powerful. Maybe it can destroy a planet, One-Hit Kill Physical Gods, or perhaps it can blast apart things Made of Indestructium. If it hits squarely, whatever is on the receiving end is screwed, Healing Factor, Super Toughness, ferrous composition, or Nigh-Invulnerability be darned.

Clearly there has to be some drawback to prevent this attack from breaking Competitive Balance, so often the creator will balance it by making it significantly less accurate than the other options. Whenever someone uses it, they're taking a chance that they will destroy their target if it hits, but also a high risk that it will miss and do little or no damage. Even users with Improbable Aiming Skills won't necessarily be able to make it more precise because it's not the attacker's aiming skills at fault, it's a flaw of the weapon or attack itself that it wants to go in a different direction than the user wants it to.

When an attack or weapon is powerful but inaccurate, it's this trope. Often Awesome, but Impractical if a weaker but more-accurate attack will statistically do more damage in the long run. If it's the fault of the user wielding the weapon/attacker, check out Imperial Storm Trooper Marksmanship Academy, where the bad guys may have accurate weapons but they're just bad shots, or A-Team Firing, which is when everyone and not just the bad guys are graduates of the academy. Short-Range Shotgun is a case where it becomes more accurate at shorter ranges.

See also Critical Failure for chances of an ability failing to work, in general. A Sub-Trope of Necessary Drawback. Compare Death or Glory Attack, where an attack or strategy has a huge payoff on a success but even greater risk than simply missing on a failure, Difficult, but Awesome, with which this may overlap if the inaccuracy can be overcome with sufficient skill, and Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon for weapons whose accuracy is largely dependent on whatever they are mounted on. Contrast Always Accurate Attack, which is often weak to compensate.

Do not confuse with Powerful, but Incompetent.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, the fixed cannons mounted on the walls can either shoot explosive shells which do massive damage to Titans if they land but often miss entirely, or grapeshot which is more likely to hit but can only temporarily maim Titans before they heal themselves. In either case, if the Titan's neck isn't destroyed they will regenerate even if they were blown to bits, which is why soldiers with 3D maneuver gear are ultimately necessary to fight them. The outside world artilleries avert the inaccurate part, however.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Krillin's Destructo Disc can cut through anything, and can't be blocked, but its aim is unwieldy and Krillin can't guide it once he throws it. Frieza is able to create his own that he can control, but only when he can see it...
  • The first wunderwaffen being tested by Zeon in Mobile Suit Gundam MS Igloo is the Jormungand, a powerful, long range cannon that can one-shot capital ships at long ranges. Unfortunately, thanks to Minovsky Physics, it can't reliably hit anything at long ranges without a spotter to help them adjust for sensor interference. The only thing capable of getting close enough to be useful spotters are mobile suits, and it turned out that they were better used to just destroy the targets themselves rather than acting as artillery spotters. As such, the Jormungand was only used in one battle, where it destroyed only one target before getting destroyed itself.
  • In Yaiba, Prof. Kanabo once provided Onimaru with a canon that can destroy planets, but can only shoot 1 ammo before it breaks. Onimaru tries it out, and we see that the bullet was powerful and far-reaching enough to blow up a moon in Saturn. Unfortunately, the target was fast enough to dodge the shot, and the weapon turned out to be useless.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Kim Possible fic "Other Side of the Mirror", the evil versions of Kim and Ron have developed a weapon of mass destruction that includes a teleportation system. When the ‘prime’ Kim and Ron question why their counterparts don’t use the teleport system to break into enemy bases, Doctor Andrew Lipsky- the alternate Drakken- speculates that the teleportation system basically loses accuracy when it’s beaming people out even if the recall system works fine when allowing the user to return to their own headquarters. When using it as part of the weapon, it doesn’t particularly matter if they’re a few feet off-target as the weapon can still destroy cities from the other side of the planet, but if it was being used to teleport a person a few feet of difference could result in someone being teleported into a wall.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Mighty Ducks trilogy, Fulton Reed's slapshots are powerful enough to knock a goalie into the net, but his accuracy in the first film is 20% at best. It gets better as he gains more experience.

  • One of the Sharpe books featured a unit of rocket artillery. The technological limitations of the era meant that the rockets were extremely inaccurate and field commanders deemed them to be only fit for scaring horses. However, if one of the rockets actually hit a target it could demolish a wall or massacre a unit of infantry. Sharpe worked around the limitation by only using the rockets at point-blank range.
  • British artillery in The War of the Worlds. A cannonball can knock out a Fighting Machine, but cannons have massive recoil, which requires experienced artillerymen to compensate. They quickly learn that Martian Heat-Rays have no such limitations.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • Clan Heavy Lasers deal double the damage of an Inner Sphere laser of the same type, but it has a +1 to hit modifier and much more heat.
    • Medium-range missiles can deal up to 40 damage by firing 40 missiles (the single most powerful 'Mech-scale weapon in the game), but they also have a +1 penalty to-hit and are very large, heavy, and ammo intensive. Also, the largest models require two perfect missile hit rolls to deal their stated maximum damage.
    • The various types of indirect artillery are so inaccurate that it must target the 30 meter wide hexes instead of individual units, and even then they can land up to 120 meters away - plus more inaccuracy against a moving target due to travel time on long shots. However, they make up for it in area of effect damage and range, with the shortest (Arrow IV missiles) capping out at 8 game sheets (or 4 kilometers) and the longest (Cruise missiles/120) at 150 gamesheets, or a whopping 76 kilometers.
    • The Bombast Laser can inflict anywhere from 7 to 12 points of damage per shot, but it gains a penalty on the attack roll equal to how much damage above 7 it's firing for that round. It's noted in-universe as being a dead end as a weapon and is largely restricted to use in Gladiator Games where flashy attacks that look good for the crowd are valued higher than actually being efficient at taking down enemies.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Third Edition includes the Power Attack feat, which allows a player to reduce their to-hit modifier and add a bonus to their damage modifier, making their strikes inaccurate but powerful. Since attack bonuses tend to increase at faster rates than AC and its damage bonus doubles for two-handed weapons, it's a very popular pick for combat characters.
    • Fifth edition has the Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter feats, which work with heavy weapons and ranged weapons respectively. Both feats allow the player to choose to take a reduction to their chance to hit in exchange for a large bonus in damage.
  • In Flash Point: Fire Rescue, the deck gun on the fire engine can potentially remove five fire markers in one go, but the players can only aim at one corner of the house and then have to roll dice to determine where the water actually lands.
  • Pathfinder features a modified version of the Dungeons and Dragons Power Attack feat. The bonus and penalty are fixed values based on the character's attack bonus, rather than being freely chosen by the player, making it less flexible, but in return it gives larger benefits (+2 or +3 damage for one- or two-handed weapons per point of penalty, while the D&D version gives +1 or +2). It's still considered an essential feat for almost all melee builds.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Unlike a lascannon heavy weapon, which is fired at a single soldier or vehicle, an Ordnance weapon like a Basilisk's "Earthshaker" artillery shell uses a six-inch-wide circular template (affectionately called the "pie plate") to resolve which models are affected, potentially letting it remove entire infantry squads or squadrons of light vehicles in a single shot. The downside is that while a lascannon will just hit or miss based on the result of a six-sided dice, giving an Imperial player even odds or better of hitting the target, an Ordnance weapon's template is placed by the shooting player where they'd like the shot to land, then they roll a special Scatter dice and two six-sided dice to see where the shot actually lands. If you're lucky you can roll a "hit" result and land dead on-target, if you're unlucky that Earthshaker shell scatters 12 inches to splat one of your own units.
    • Ork weapon design works like this, tending towards overpowered but laughably inaccurate weapons that depend on enthusiasm rather than expertise. Some weapons spray a crapload of ammunition to compensate.

    Video Games 
Driving Games
  • Twisted Metal 2:
    • Power Missiles have much less homing ability than Homing or Fire missiles, but are correspondingly more powerful. A very common and devastating means of compensating for this was to equip the Power Missile, fire a Freeze Missile with left right up (which homed about as well as a Fire Missile), ram them, then land a Power Missile or two before they thawed which would even One-Punch weaker vehicles.
    • Mr. Grimm's special attack lacks any homing ability whatsoever, but is one of the most powerful in the game.
    • Warthog's special attack is an interesting variation: a cluster of missiles that increase in power the farther they travel before hitting the enemy, making them Powerful But Inaccurate at long range and the inverse at close range.
  • World of Tanks: The KV-2 has a heavy howitzer that has severe trouble hitting anything, but will often One-Hit Kill anything.
  • World of Warships: Taken even further with main battery guns of battleships that have huge damage potential but are often hopelessly inaccurate. Hitting a target can be a lottery and a major source of frustration among battleship players.

First-Person Shooter

  • Borderlands 2 features Gaige the Mechromancer's Ordered Chaos skill tree. The mandatory first-tier skill Anarchy accumulates stacks every time she kills an enemy or empties her magazine, increasing her gun damage by 1.75% per stack at the cost of an equal amount of accuracy. The initial cap is 150 stacks, for a 262.5% modifier, but the skill Preshrunk Cyberpunk can increase the cap to 400 (a 700% modifier) naturally or 600 (a staggering 1050% modifier) with the help of a Slayer of Terramorphous class mod. Needless to say, you won't be hitting your target very often by that point, but when you do, they'll feel it. You can offset the accuracy loss with the skill Close Enough, which gives bullets that hit solid terrain a chance to ricochet and hit an enemy for half damage, and The Nth Degree, which lets every few bullets that actually hit an enemy bounce towards another target.
    Gaige: God help you all if I actually hit something!
  • Left 4 Dead 2: The AK-47 deals more damage per shot than the other assault rifle variants, enough to one-shot Common Infected on Normal difficulty, but has noticeably worse accuracy and will miss a lot of its shots at even medium range. As a result, equipping one with a Laser Sight makes it very powerful by solving its main downside. The M60 machine gun shares most of its stats with the AK-47, including its poor accuracy, but will one-shot Commons on any difficulty.
  • In PlanetSide 2, Terran Republic weapons generally have an unmatched rate of fire and damage-per-second, but are typically matched with utterly appalling amounts of random horizontal recoil. New Conglomerate weapons fire slowly but deal more damage and are more controllable, making their limiting factor putting the enemy's head in your crosshairs for the next round.
  • Primal Carnage: The Commando's primary weapon is an assault rifle which has excellent damage-per-second output and clip size, but its major weakness is its massive recoil and inability to look down the sight. This makes it a pretty terrible weapon to use against small dinosaurs fast and agile enough to dodge the bullets. The rifle also has a grenade launcher attached which also qualifies; the explosion does a catastrophic 500 damage if it hits square, but actually hitting a target is pretty difficult because the projectile is slow, travels in an arc, does not automatically explode when it hits the ground, and it only has a clip size of one. The Commando can swap out this gun for rifles with better accuracy, but at the expense of clip size, damage-per-second output, and no secondary function.
  • Counter-Strike Global Offensive has the Negev machine gun, which has just awful accuracy when shooting its first 15 rounds, making burst firing difficult at range. However after 15 of its 100 shots it becomes ludicrously accurate when on full auto. Just remember to point it at the right guys.
  • The Ball (Virus based) weapons in TRON 2.0 have horrible accuracy, prone to veering sideways upon launch (upgrades can improve the accuracy, but not by much) and a high energy cost. The upside is that they do a high degree of splash damage to hit multiple targets. So, of course they're the weapon of choice for virus-infected Programs who have no further sense of self preservation and seek only to infect as many targets as possible.


  • Armory & Machine 2:
    • The Laser move at maximum level can score a huge 90 untyped damage over 4 seconds if it hits, but it has a rather noticeable miss chance.
    • Several of the Market-bought abilities, all of which have a miss chance compared to your previous abilities but deal powerful damage plus the potential to interrupt enemy attacks if they hit. Some of the costlier ones have a scope attribute (for arrows) or a focal attribute (for Beams) which gives them better accuracy, but they still do miss often.
    • The Mutant Boars encountered in the Wilderness can use Charge to double their attack power followed by Ram which, powered by Charge, will deal a whopping 40-50 damage to your 100 max HP if it connects. Both of these moves are uninterruptible, but Ram fortunately has rather poor accuracy.


  • Ershin's Risky Shot in Breath of Fire IV guarantees a Critical Hit if it connects, but only has 40% accuracy.
  • Final Fantasy has a black magic spell called Poison which has the effect of instant death, but doesn't hit its target very often.
  • Final Fantasy V has Meteor, which hits multiple times per cast for wildly varying amounts of damage(which can be 0 damage), but attacks random targets.
  • Deathblow Materia in Final Fantasy VII will cause your character's attacks to either score a Critical Hit, or miss completely. Fortunately, Vincent can obtain a weapon called the Sniper CR with a maxed-out hit rate, and as such he can spam Deathblow without worry.
  • Pokémon:
    • A great number of Pokémon moves have low accuracy for balancing reasons; moves with 110 base power or more, in particular, rarely have perfect accuracy unless they come with other drawbacks. Most prominent among them are the One-Hit KO moves, which down the target instantly if they hit their mark, but only do so 30% of the time (plus 1% for each level the user has over the target, but if you're at a big enough level advantage that your OHKO moves reliably hit, you'd probably OHKO with any move that does damage). There are some ways to increase moves' accuracy such as weather conditions and stat-boosting moves, neither of which affect OHKO moves.
    • A Pokémon with the Hustle ability gets a significant damage bonus on its physical attacks, at the expense of an equally significant accuracy drop on those attacks. Thank goodness for Always Accurate Attacks like Aerial Ace.
    • The Rock-type in general has attacks with high damage and super-effectiveness against several types, but most of those attacks have less-than-stellar accuracy.
    • Zap Cannon, Dynamic Punch, and Inferno have 100 (The former was bumped up to 120 in the 4th generation) base power and, barring immunity, guarantee a status ailment (Paralysis for Zap Cannon, Confusion for Dynamic Punch, burn for Inferno) if they connect...which is only about half of the time.
    • Focus Blast is usually the best Fighting-type coverage for special attackers, bearing a powerful 120 BP. It also has an accuracy of just 70%, and the move has gained the Fan Nickname "Focus Miss" as a result, only seeing use because the other options are either weak (Hidden Power Fighting, Vacuum Wave) or nowhere near as widely distributed (Aura Spherenote ). Pokémon the Series: Black & White even makes it a Running Gag for Ash's Scraggy to fail using the move:
      Betty: That's a focus blast? Wanna tell me where the focus went?
  • The Shin Megami Tensei games enjoy giving even low-level enemies instant death spells, which thankfully have a high miss rate, and some can be blocked later on with elemental resistances. Higher-tier instant death spells have a greater cost but a greater chance to kill the target.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV has several weapons and attacks that are classified as inflicting high damage and/or having a high Critical Hit rate, but with a low hit rate. Due to the turn penalty for missing an attack, these are best avoided unless the user has the Smirk status, which, among other things, buffs up their accuracy.
    • Shin Megami Tensei V has some skills such as Crusher Onslaught that are rather powerful for the level at which you get them and their SP cost, but come with lower accuracy. Other skills are guaranteed to make criticals if they hit, at the cost of lower accuracy.
  • Dragon Quest VIII has the Hero's Spear skills Thunder/Lightning Thrust and Yangus' Axe skills Hatchet Man and Executioner, which have a higher miss rate, but also a higher Critical Hit rate, than their standard attacks. These are very useful when fighting Metal Slimes, since Critical Hits ignore Defense and will always One-Hit Kill them. Angelo also has the Bow skills Needle Shot/Rain, which either deal 1 damage (functionally equivalent to a miss) or a One-Hit Kill (if he "hits a vital area"), but their low hit rate plus Contractual Boss Immunity to instant death makes them Useless Useful Spells. These skills returned in Dragon Quest IX under the respective weapon mastery skill lines.
  • The Casey Bat from EarthBound (1994) had the maximum possible attack power, but also the lowest hit rate, actually giving it lower average damage than other bats available at the same stage of the game (unless you take the extra accuracy from a behind attack). This is also a joke on the poem "Casey at the Bat" where Casey, the heavy hitter of the team, strikes out.
    • PK Thunder, from the same game, is much more powerful than PK Fire, and quite a bit more powerful than an equivalent PK Freeze, if it hits. Which is the problem: PK Thunder hits random targets, and has a chance to hit no target. If all the strikes from PK Thunder Gamma hit the same target, it can be more powerful than PK Freeze Omega, but it will never hit the same target with every strike, and some strikes won't hit at all. It's almost always better to stick with PK Freeze for individual targets and PK Fire for rows.note 
  • Skies of Arcadia has Drachma's mace hand, which has high damage but a base accuracy of 0. The only way to hit is by boosting your accuracy with other pieces of equipment. Fortunately, super moves like his Tackle have a 100% success rate; use another weapon while your SP builds up, switch to the mace, tackle, switch back, repeat.
  • The Monk class in Bravely Default has the Strong Strike ability, which deals double the damage of a normal attack but only has a 50% chance of hitting an opponent.
  • The Six Stars arms manufacturer in Xenoblade Chronicles X produces weapons with high offensive stats but poor accuracy, operating under the principle that the user should be able to compensate with their own skill.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard: The third major boss, Scylla, has Cry Soul, an attack that deals several blows that are powerful enough to one-shot all but the tankiest party members but so terribly inaccurate that usually none of them will actually hit. Unfortunately, she also possesses skills that inflict sleep and paralysis, and summons flunkies that attempt to bind your characters' legs — all of which prevent dodging attacks...
    • Two classes throughout the series have access to Helm Splitter, a katana attack that does powerful defense-ignoring damage but has poor accuracy as a drawback. Fortunately, as mentioned above, you can make use of evasion-disabling status effects and leg binds to counteract this problem.
  • Persona 5: The Lucky Punch skill has a very high chance to land a Critical Hit, which knocks down the target and gets a One More! extra turn, but it has relatively low accuracy. The upgraded version, Miracle Punch, has an even higher chance of landing a critical hit (almost guaranteeing a One More!), and has a much smaller accuracy penalty. It quickly becomes the best way to get One More! turns when fighting enemies with resistance to all elements and guns.


  • In Monster Sanctuary, Worm can learn the Ballistics passive, which makes its attacks 25% more powerful, but 10% more likely to miss.


  • The MMORPG Star Trek Online: The phaser spinal lance on the Galaxy Dreadnought Cruiser. It's a Wave-Motion Gun that can do a lot of damage if it actually hits, but it's a Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon on a ship with a horrendous turn rate so even bringing it to bear is a chore unless the target is standing still. And that's before you get to where the thing has a massive accuracy penalty.
  • Wizard101:
    • The Storm school of magic has the highest damage output by far. However, to compensate, their attacks are also the least accurate, missing a good 30% of the time (assuming the player isn't wearing any accuracy-boosting gear).
    • Exaggerated with the original version of the Wild Bolt spell, which Storm wizards got after completing Marleybone. It had a very meaty 1,000 damage for two pips, far more than any other spell that can be obtained at that point. However, it had the lowest accuracy of any spell, with just 10%.


  • Heroes of the Storm: Junkrat, even more so than his Overwatch incarnation. Concussion Mine would be the single most powerful displacement skill in the game if it wasn't so easy to dodge and finicky about where it threw people.
  • One of the prime examples in League of Legends is Veigar's W skill, "Dark Matter". It hits REALLY hard and often (each 50 points of AP he gets with his passive will also reduce its cooldown). The problem lies in the rest of Veigar's kit, which doesn't offer crowd control outside his E, "Event Horizon".


  • In Nitrome Must Die, there is a power-up called "Mini Gun" that allows your Swiss-Army Weapon to fire at a faster rate than the "Machine Gun" power-up, but this comes with apocalyptic recoil and inaccuracy even at short ranges. No two shots fired when the Mini Gun power up is active follow exactly the same path.
  • The Hoverbomb Gun in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is the strongest weapon not named R.Y.N.O.II or Zodiac and in fact you can steer the mine remotely while it is floating and technically has infinite range. However, unlike for Visibomb Gun or Spiderbomb Glove, you stay in Ratchet's third-person view, so good luck actually hitting anything when Depth Deception is a serious problem unless you're using it at point-blank range.
  • The Powered Buster from Mega Man Legends is this. It's essentially a bazooka. It has excellent range and power but can only fire in straight lines and you have to stop completely in order to fire it, also it's rate of fire is fairly slow making it easily outclassed by other, more rapid firing weapons later on.

Real-Time Strategy

  • Age of Empires II:
    • Trebuchets can hurl projectiles at incredible ranges and deal huge damage, but their projectiles fly very slowly and have a wide margin of error on where they land, making them very hard to use against anything that isn't a building. Cannons are downplayed in comparison, as their smaller range also means their shots travel to their destination faster.
    • The Burmese Arambai's attacks are powerful in a "fast and high damage" way, but they have horrible accuracy. Any shots further than point-blank will fly towards their target only about 20% of the time. This makes them horrible at focus-firing and only effective against grouped up enemies.
  • Dawn of War
    • The Squiggoth's melee and ranged attacks do damage in the thousands, but have anywhere from 75 to 50% accuracy.
    • Artillery in general (except the Eldar and Sisters of Battle) can only hit something if they can see the target and it's not moving. In earlier games, this could be compensated for by spamming them.
  • Dune II: The Harkonnen Death Hand missile can destroy nearly anything it hits, but its accuracy is so bad that whatever target you actually click on will usually remain unscathed — Save Scumming is pretty much the only way to make any practical use of it.
  • Supreme Commander has the 500 meter high, six barreled Cybran Experimental Mobile Rapidfire Artillery, the Scathis. It cannot reliably hit an enemy base but it packs a huge punch and when it does and takes the "rapid" part of it's name seriously.
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon: Carronades are more powerful than Laser Cannons of the equivalent weight class, but are less accurate and shorter ranged.


  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has the appropriately named Bolt of Inaccuracy. As expected, it is both very powerful and very inaccurate. Most players use it on slow Demonic Spiders, as it won't hit anything else.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light has the Flak weapons, a shotgun-like weapon that fires a burst of inaccurate projectiles at the target. The Flak II fires 7 shots at once, making it an excellent shield-piercing weapon, but don't count on doing 7 points of damage even on a ship with all of its shields disabled.
  • The Leper in Darkest Dungeon has enormous base damage but low accuracy, meaning that against a high-dodge enemy the battle will generally go "whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, MURDER".
  • The Binding of Isaac: The Wiz gives you a double shot at no damage or speed penalty, but makes them fire diagonally outwards.


  • Monster Rancher has techs that have high Force ratings that your monster can learn when sending it in a special training quest, depending on the game. These techs, obviously, are very powerful and, if your monster is trained well enough, can one-hit KO an opponent. However, these techs are counter-balanced by their low Hit Percentage ratings (i.e. low accuracy), meaning that unless your monster is trained to have high numbers in its Skill stats, you will find your monster not being able to land a good hit with these big moves; more so if that opponent has high Speed stats which means a much better chance at dodging your monster's techs.
  • In MechWarrior Living Legends, Heavy Lasers aren't inherently accurate, being a hitscan pinpoint-precise death ray. However, they have such a long burn time that the slightest bit of cockpit shake or the enemy simply turning away can cause the laser to splatter their damage across multiple components. Medium Range Missiles fit it to a tee, however; launching no less than 10 barely guided rockets that deal massive damage through massive salvos where its uncommon for more than half to actually hit a moving target.
  • Mortars in RimWorld are powerful enough to down, if not outright kill, most anything they hit and can fire several types of shell including EMP and incendiary. Unfortunately they scatter a random number of degrees on firing, which means that the further away the target the more likely they are to miss entirely and there is no way to increase their accuracy. About the only way they are considered useful is in large numbers (much like real artillery) or loaded with the aforementioned incendiary shells to set fire to vegetation to distract attackers. Annoyingly, enemy NPCs can bring them when they attack your base, although thankfully they arn't any more accurate then your own.

Third-Person Shooter

  • Jet Force Gemini: The Machine Gun is described by the game as being rapid and powerful, but inaccurate. This is because the stream of bullets gradually diverges from the intended aim, so it's recommended to use it only when the enemies are close enough or the enemies themselves are big (since all bosses are very large and their weak points are telegraphed, the shortcomings of the weapon are a non-issue for them).
  • Splatoon: Several examples, depending on the weapon in question.
    • This is the main gimmick of the .52 Gal and .96 Gal series. They each have a decent rate of fire and are capable of splatting an opponent in two hits, less than any other Shooter-class weapon. However, their main downside is their poor accuracy, especially when compared to other weapons with similar range.
    • Downplayed with the Stringer weapon class. Uncharged, Stringers will fire three (or nine, in the case of the Grizzco Stringer) projectiles with a high spread, making hitting with all of them almost impossible. However, charging the weapon will reduce the spread, giving close to perfect accuracy at maximum charge.

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Advance Wars. Flak and Jugger's power makes their units hit harder but less accurately, though it can go both ways: sometimes the dispersion means more hits than normal resulting in a much more powerful attack.
  • In The Battle For Wesnoth, units attack a certain number of times during each combat phase (for example, a Poacher attacks 4 times for 4 damage each time). Dwarvish Thunderers and their promotions only take one shot per ranged combat engagement, meaning they either hit very hard or whiff.
  • In Disgaea, Axes have the highest ATK stat of any weapon type, even moreso than Swords, and also debuff the target's DEF on hit. However, Axes also have HIT penalties that scale with ATK (as well as SPD penalties). Lower accuracy in this game not only means less chance to hit, but even if the attack hits, it is more likely to suffer a "Nick" penalty (the opposite of a Critical Hit).
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Most of the time, stronger tiers of weapons are less accurate than the weaker ones. In the same tier, it still applies for different weapon types - swords are weakest, but most accurate; axes are strongest, but least likely to hit, and lances are in the middle for both. Several games also include Gamble skill, which increases your character's crit chance at the cost of accuracy.
    • Dark magic has the highest raw might of all of the magic types (Fire, Wind, Light, Thunder and Dark), but it's also the least accurate. Within the Elemental triangle itself, Thunder is the strongest, but also the least accurate.
    • Fire Emblem Fates introduces a Great Club, a type of Hoshidan club that serves as the distaff counterpart to the Nohrian Killer Axe. It has a positively insane 55% base critical hit chance, turning every unit who uses it into a Critical Hit Class. This weapon especially works well for the Berserker class, who already has incredible critical hit ratings. The catch is that the Great Club is one of the most inaccurate weapons in the game, if not the most inaccurate, with a measly 45% base hit chance, which makes killing anybody with the weapon a Luck-Based Mission at best, or an impossible task at worst depending on your Skill stat. However, access to the skill Certain Blow averts this problem, and can turn Berserkers like Arthur and Charlotte into map-clearing threats.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Diamond Axe, a Combat Art that adds 14 to the weapon's might, which is a significantly greater bonus than most other Combat Arts, but also comes with a -20 penalty to the weapon's accuracy.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2 have the Heavy and Grenadier classes respectively, who carry squad support weapons that can deal a heinous amount of damage (light machine guns/laser repeaters/plasma cannons in the first game, portable chainguns/magstorm cannons/beam artillery in the second game), but who also have the worst Aim progression among soldiers that are already memetically famous for their A-Team Firing. As such, they benefit from combined arms tactics like having a squadmate use a grenade to destroy an enemy's cover, or you can just use the classes' secondary weapons, a rocket launcher and grenade launcher, respectively. At higher ranks and with special equipment, however, the trope is averted.
  • Super Robot Wars: By default, Super Robot-style units such as Mazinger Z and Getter Robo are characterized with having powerful attacks and mighty defense, and yet their attacks are not the most accurate in addition of being slower, meant to tanking damage while dishing out great damage. Inversely, Real Robot-style units such as Gundam dodges more often and can hit more often, but with smaller damage output and weaker defense. There are some exceptions to the rule, however.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the Beatdown skill is a physical attack with greatly increased damage, with a significantly lower chance to hit.

Western RPG

  • In an aversion of Arbitrary Gun Power, automatic weapons in Fallout: New Vegas do near the same damage per shot as slower-firing weapons using the same ammunition. Instead, the downside is that they are wildly inaccurate: submachine guns have about three times the fire rate as pistols but a third the accuracy, and it's an even worse comparison for automatic rifles. Since the game doesn't have recoil, firing in short bursts won't help that.
  • Lightning Crossbow from Might and Magic VIII. It has rather strong hit for a ranged weapon and has reduced recovery time, allowing it to deal a lot of damage in short span of time. However, it incurs penalty of 50 points to Accuracy, which means, as the game puts it, that only most skilled can actually put it to good use.


    Real Life 
  • Early firearms weren't accurate at all, but had too much range and power for armies to not use. The accuracy problem on the battlefield-scale was compensated with More Dakka (thus soldiers lining up and firing at the same time), although individual guns would remain unable to hit much for several hundred years.
  • The bombard was a medieval cannon often used in naval warfare. In comparison to catapults, it was smaller and still had a much more devastating effect on ships—if it happened to hit one at typical ship-to-ship combat ranges. The bombard's major flaw arose from it being invented before the discovery of ballistics. The barrel was mounted on the undercarriage horizontally because people believed that the projectile would simply travel in a straight line until it became too slow, at which point it'd just stop in mid-air and fall down vertically. So these weapons tended to be rather short-ranged.
    What made matters even worse was that they shot rocks and not cannonballs. These rocks weren't spherical either, so there was a lot of space between them and the barrel. Just how much of the pressure wave from the explosion propelled the rock and how much of it simply blew past it was subject to mere chance, as was the projectile energy and therefore the range again.
  • BFGs like the Desert Eagle .50AE. Even if shot two-handed, the recoil will yank the entire gun upward before the bullet has left the barrel. Even if the bullet carries a lot of force, it's still a sub-caliber round that can't even punch through kevlar.
    • Averted by the huge Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express. It shoots an even bigger caliber, a rifle caliber for big game hunting even, but it's fairly accurate for one reason: The gun is so heavy that the recoil doesn't have any significant effect on it.
    • Anti-Material Rifles subvert this. Sure, they may be accurate to some degree, but most are not to the sub-MoA level of proper Sniper Rifles that Hollywood and game developers would have you believe. Then again, the intended role is not anti-personnel but rather Anti-Armor such as light armor vehicles along with being able to fill out an Explosive Ordinance Disposal role as well.
    • Averted with .30 caliber and 7.62mm rifles (from World War 1 to the start of the Vietnam War): these weapons fired very powerful rounds, and were accurate to such a long distance that the standard iron sights were not nearly good enough to allow a typical infantry soldier to see as far as the gun could shoot. The effective range of the M1 Garand (World War 2) and the M14 (Korean War) was more than 1000 yards. Once military planners realized that no one was actually bothering to engage their targets at that range, they realized they could save a lot of weight by designing lighter caliber weapons, resulting in the M16 (and the AK-74 on the Soviet side), which fired less powerful 5.56mm/5.45mm rounds and were only accurate to about 300 yards, but were much lighter and had more utility in a typical infantry action.
  • The V-1 was probably the first cruise missile used in warfare, and it was generally used by the Nazis to bomb cities because it was unable to hit anything smaller. The circle around its designated target in which it actually landed, in case it wasn't shot down by interceptors or anti-aircraft guns first, was reduced from 19 to seven miles in diameter by the end of the war. The V-2 was even more powerful and much harder to shoot down back then. But its seven-mile target circle didn't qualify as "accurate" either.
  • Heavy artillery is lucky to average most shots being within a few hundred feet of the target.
  • Naval artillery: a single battleship shell could destroy any type of opponent, but naval artillery was notoriously inaccurate because both the shooting vessel and the target are moving, and it may take up to one minute for the shell to fly from the gun to the target. In WWII it was estimated that only 3% of all main battery shells hit the target. However, this trope was somewhat negated later in the war, and afterward, by advances in radar-controlled targeting systems.
  • Aerial bombing. Gather enough bombers, and you could flatten just about anything with impunity - if you could hit it. WWII bombing was sufficiently inaccurate to miss cities, and as late as Vietnam it took an entire carrier air wing (80+ aircraft lugging bombs and rockets) just to take out a bridge... maybe. Guided bombs have now thoroughly averted this. An old joke is, "Airforce bombs are very accurate: they are absolutely guaranteed to hit the ground."
  • That's one problem in what could be called "space defense" both against man-made objects (e.g. ICBMs or a Kill Sat) and against natural space objects falling on earth. Nearly everything we have that we can navigate accurately enough is too weak and/or slow and nearly everything that we have that is strong and/or fast enough is too inaccurate. And unlike atmosphere-based artillery, we can't just hope to hit the general area, we have to land a precise hit dead-bullseye at speeds faster than bullets.