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Scrappy Weapon

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Guess which weapon nobody ever uses.Credit 

In video games, you're bound to find at least one weapon or offense-oriented piece of equipment that you like to use, and use it regularly. Then there are the weapons that are either difficult to use effectively, useless in most situations or just plain unfun to utilize. Most people try to avoid using these weapons if they can afford to do so, but some games require you to use them at least once, usually to defeat a boss, solve a puzzle, or find an important item, at which point they are either discarded or forgotten. Note that this is not limited to weapons: Magic, offensive items, Mons or fighting moves can also fall into this category.

Compare with Useless Useful Spell, which deals with skills and spells that deal status effects in RPGs, and Tier-Induced Scrappy. Contrast with Joke Item, which is an intentionally weak or useless weapon or item, So Last Season, where a weapon that was good for what it did is replaced by a newer, better one, and With This Herring, which is about deliberately being given poor (albeit usable) equipment by the important NPCs when the fate of the world is at stake. While this list contains weapons that suck, none of them are to be confused with Weapons That Suck.



Games with their own pages:

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    Action Adventure 
  • Castlevania
    • Wanna ruin your day? Grab a Dagger. Particularly sucks in the original NES games, especially if you had the Holy Water or Boomerang. Someone on the dev team apparently noticed, since in later games the Dagger's low damage is usually offset by making it the cheapest subweapon to use, and sometimes giving it a semiautomatic rate of fire.
    • However, they will quickly become your weapon of choice in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon when you are in Shooter mode (but ONLY in Shooter mode). That is because all of your subweapons get a damage boost, making it a strong weapon. The second is that the upgrade, at no cost, is the homing dagger. And it is very useful (ties with the cross as the cross does more damage and hits more targets, but doesn't home in on targets). Played straight with every other mode though where they are virtually useless, outside of item crashes.
    • However, it's quite effective against the Cyclops in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. The dagger deals a lot more damage to him if you can time it right with the lightning. It's also your only hope if you die against the Frankenstein monster in the first game.
    • The pocketwatch stops time... but some enemies are immune to it, and it costs an exorbitant five hearts to use, making it Awesome, but Impractical at best. Haunted Castle fixes it by making it work on most enemies, even Dracula, and lowering its heart cost to two.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin has one for each main character:
      • Charlotte gets the Blank Book. It has worse stats than her starter weapon, even lowering some stats from unarmed. The only thing it's good for is killing a specific enemy with it to complete a quest.
      • Jonathan gets the Jet Black Whip. By the time you find it it's already outclassed by your other weapons, and it's Dark Element, meaning its damage is reduced even further against most enemies in the game. Seemingly, its only purpose is to use against Whip's Memory, but even with its elemental damage it is weaker and less effective than other weapons at your disposal - even if you're ignoring the Lethal Joke Weapon of a mastered Cream Pie.
  • The keyblade in La-Mulana has exactly two uses in the game. 1) Defeating one of the final boss's forms, and 2) Using its range to destroy a pot in one puzzle. It's one of the weakest weapons in the entire game, and the katana, chain whip, and flail can all do what it can do better. On the other hand, the remake turns it into a Lethal Joke Weapon after you've chanted all the mantras, as it does the same damage as the flail whip but has slightly longer horizontal reach.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Slingshot in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was already disliked by a majority of players, but it at least surpassed quickly by the Gale Boomerang in the first dungeon and the Hero's Bow during the second, meaning its use is confined to the game's prologue where it's at its most practical. This isn't the case in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, where the slingshot is obtained before entering the first dungeon, and isn't upstaged by the bow until the fifth. Even worse, not only does this make the slingshot your only means of ranged combat for most of the game, but several puzzles you'll come across revolve around its ability to merely stun enemies as a means of making it past them when you could have just killed them if the game had given you something stronger. In sort, the game takes the qualities of the slingshot that make it a Scrappy Weapon in the first place and exploits them to make things more difficult for the player.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Royal Guard-tier weapons surpass even the Royal weapons in terms of damage, and are unique in that they can only be found within Hyrule Castle. Unfortunately, they have low durability, in a game where durability and limited inventory themselves are already controversial mechanics. This makes them Too Awesome to Use outside Hyrule Castle (and not too efficient even inside), as they only have so many hits they can make before needing to run all the way back to the center of the gigantic map.
  • The first Boktai game had the Gun Del Hell available in a New Game+ if you beat the game a whopping four times. It's the only weapon in the game with S Attack and S Stun as well as far range, but since it's Dark Elemental it has no effect on about 80% of the enemies other than bouncing them around a bit. It also can't be mix and matched with other gun parts like every other gun in the game.
  • Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django has the entire Hammer weapon class. The idea behind them is to be high-damage at the cost of low range and slow recovery time (compared to the faster short-range swords and the slow, high-range but weaker spears), but the increase in damage is simply not worth being made so vulnerable since speedy Hit And Run Attacks are the way to battle enemies. It's likely you will never use hammer-type weapons in the game.
  • The Power Bombs in Super Metroid may look powerful when one explodes, but its use as an offensive item is dubious at best. Weak enemies are easily killed, but stronger enemies can shrug off the damage. Power Bombs also causes the game's framerate to drop, which is the last thing you want to happen if you're doing a Speed Run. The only real use Power Bombs ever get are either breaking multiple blocks, destroying Power Bomb blocks, and opening yellow doors. In Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission they are much more useful as their blast reveals the nature of destructible blocks and these games lack the X-Ray Scope: they are invaluable in "scanning" entire rooms for blocks hidden in walls or to avoid those pesky pit blocks.
  • The harpoon gun found in Tomb Raider II and its sequels. While it gives you a means to attack underwater, Lara's swimming controls are too clunky and limited for this to be of any use as unlike on land you can only really hold your position and fire as enemies either barrel in on you like a bat out of hell and land a hit (and become too close to accurately hit) or are scuba divers with harpoon guns of their own who will be steadily draining your health with attacks while you attempt to attack them. You will never kill an enemy with this thing without losing some health, and probably more health than you'd lose just avoiding them. To make matters worse, ammo is surprisingly scarce for the thing, its projectiles move slowly, it's not much more powerful than your basic pistol, and you have to reload it every four shots unlike pretty much every other weapon in the game. Really, the weapon's only real use is for players going for an all-kills run, as in any normal scenario you're better off either luring aquatic enemies near shore and firing on them from the safety of dry land, or just swimming away and dodging their attacks.

    Action Games 
  • In Evolva:
    • The only reason for the Flame's existence was to light flammable plants, and even then, there are other weapons (like the grenade) that can light them on fire.
    • The Claw, despite being the only unlimited ammo weapon, never really gets used except for breaking rocks once you get better weapons. It too suffers in that its purpose gets taken by future weapons (such as, again, the grenade).
  • The Iron Fan in Dynasty Warriors 7 and its expansions. It has very little crowd control capability in a game where crowd control is everything, meaning it's very easy to get interrupted in the middle of a combo. On higher difficulties this can mean instant death if you're so much as love tapped by one mook, only to have all of his friends follow up.
  • Zelda's Baton weapon in Hyrule Warriors. Its range is pathetic, its damage even more so, and attacking with it forces you to stand still while you strike, unlike every other weapon in the game. It has a special attack that allows you to control a tornado, but it deals negligible damage, renders you immobile until it's finished, and can't be cancelled. However, in "all attacks are dangerous" missions, the tornado carves through enemies like melted butter. Except you're just as immobile and vulnerable as ever and your main attacks still suck.

    Four X Games 
  • The X-Universe has several.
    • The Fragmentation Bomb Launcher sounds like a dangerous weapon. It's loud and produces a pretty explosion. But it burns weapons energy fast, and unless you manage to hit the target before it detonates and produces its Flechette Storm, you're not going to hit anything smaller than an M6 corvette. Even worse, thanks to a programmer's oversight, the flechettes lacks any AoE damage whatsoever. Its only saving grace is its price tag: as Vendor Trash, a recovered (or manufactured) FBL will net you a roughly quarter of a million credits.
    • The Cluster Flak Array is the FBL scaled to frigate size. It does, however, have one further saving grace. Some players like to pair it in gun batteries with the Ion Disruptor, which can chain-lightning between the flak shards to reach further than it could normally.
    • Almost every unguided missile: they are inaccurate and do very little damage. Furthermore, similar to the aforementioned FBL, they lack actual Area of Effect damage due to a programmer's oversight, which could have otherwise turned these duds into niche weapons. The exception is the Tornado, which can be used to rig certain M3 fighters as bombers for anti-capital work.
    • Lasertowers fit this in X3: Terran Conflict because Out-Of-Sector combat mechanics render their chief advantage (range) worthless. Some players have had success using them in large quantities to support blockades, however. In X3: Albion Prelude they're much more useful thanks to a buff in firepower and shielding.
    • Before X3TC brought some sense to the weapon types the previous games had small fighters that could mount small guns, medium fighters that could mount medium guns, and heavy fighters that could mount heavy guns. Each gun type was further divided in three subcategories: alpha, beta and gamma, in increasing order of destructiveness. There was no reason to ever use alpha guns in anything, and betas were only useful in heavy fighters (as gamma heavies were restricted to capital ships).
    • The Concussion Impulse Generator sounds like it can do lots of damage in a hurry on paper. In practice, it's merely a scaled up corvette-sized version of the High Energy Plasma Thrower, with marginally improved range but terribly low RoF and consumes more energy than the HEPT. While it has its uses as a corvette and frigate gun (unless you're flying a Teladi Shrike or Xenon Q, who both have terrible generators to recharge their guns), it's a particularly ineffective weapon for carriers and destroyers. The only reason few players would want to use the CIG is its unique stun effect on fighters and freighters below TL-class just For the Lulz. Other than that, it's Vendor Trash. Albion Prelude buffed the weapon generators on all non-Terran corvettes, making the CIG more useful there.
    • The Mosquito Missile was this in the vanilla version of Terran Conflict. Despite it being the most commonly used [light] missile and having great speed as well as fairly good stats, the damage output generated by the missile is a laughably pathetic 200KJ. To elaborate, 1MJ = 1000KJ or 5 Mosquito missiles. This means even the weakest of scout craft can survive several volleys of Mosquitoes, which renders the missile only particularly effective against fighter drones or as a harassing weapon. However, since the release of the Bonus Pack, the Mosquito has suddenly found itself useful as an anti-missile weapon thanks in part of the Mosquito Defense Script. In addition, by the time of Albion Prelude, the Mosquito has been buffed to be compatible with any ship, even the Terran/AGI Task Force versions, while having a slight boost in its speed.

    Fighting Games 
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
    • The Team Healer item is a powerful healing item, but the catch is that unlike other healing items, which reduce your damage after you pick them up, this is a thrown item. You're supposed to pick it up and throw it at a teammate to heal them. It seldom ever shows up in normal play because almost all matches are free-for-all (if not one-on-one like in tournaments). Even during team play, it's bad because it occasionally heals opponents and hurts allies.
    • The Smoke Ball attaches to an opponent when thrown and spews opaque smoke around them. Except that makes your opponent's movements harder to read, which is a bad thing in a fighting game.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • ArmA 3: Fans who enjoyed the NATO faction were generally disappointed when the new "High Tech" group in the Apex expansion, CTRG-15, was saddled with an HK416 that fired 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, a puny comparison to the 6.5mm rounds that the main force employed, especially since the main game already demonstrated that even the weakest armor in the base game was still almost too much for 5.56mm weapons to penetrate. This is exacerbated by the fact that the opposition, CSAT, also gained a special forces unit by the name of Viper that served as rivals the CTRG-15, but gained all of CTRG-15's benefits with none of the downsides of a terrible weapon - their primary new gun dealt the same damage as their basic one from the main game, and their specialist one was a far more versatile gun that not only dealt good damage in its main function, but could also fire .50-caliber rounds with less range but even greater damage, as well as better armor (which made the 416 even more useless) and a VTOL who's only downside to the NATO variant is a smaller carrying capacity (which doesn't even matter outside of the vehicle transport variant, since most players will never see the infantry transport variant of either at max capacity in most servers. Granted, clever NATO players with the vehicle transport variant do benefit from the ability to transport twice as many light vehicles, and the ability to transport some heavy vehicles).
  • Deus Ex:
    • The single-shot plasma pistol, that you could only carry one of at a time, and wasn't powerful enough to one-shot most mooks even with a close-range headshot.
    • The actual plasma rifle itself is also regarded rather unfavorably. Although it can be applied effectively, it's still overwhelmingly the least popular heavy weapon; very few players use it. Even heavy weapon-specialist characters would pass on it, as their size means almost no character will carry more than one heavy weapon (and it's hard to ignore the GEP gun).
    • If the assault rifle didn't have its grenade launcher, it'd be completely worthless. Each shot does anemic damage, requiring a five-round burst to the head to take out enemies. The recoil makes it completely worthless at range unless you're at least Advanced skill with Rifles. And the formula for enemy ammo drops means killing enemies with it will never get you any more 7.62x51mm ammo.
    • The Light Antitank Weapon also combined the "can't have more than one" problem of the plasma pistol with greater space requirements, but it did at least offer more raw power to balance that out.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution:
    • The shotgun is also nigh-useless. It's ineffective at anything beyond close range, can't be silenced, is useless against armor, and its inability to reliably get headshots lessens the amount of experience you get. Not helping is that unarmored enemies are much less common after just 20% of the way through the game. A PEPS is probably a safer bet, being more effective all around.
    • The machine pistol. It's sufficient in the early game for taking out gangbangers, and it has a great rate of fire even when unmodded, but similar to the shotgun, it's nigh on useless against armored enemies.
  • Some of the Missile power-ups in Metroid Prime Trilogy have this problem:
    • Metroid Prime has the Plasma Beam's missile combo, the Flamethrower. While all missile combos except the default Super Missile are situational at best, Flamethrower is the only completely useless one. It shoots a stream of flames that has a short range and eats through your ammo like crazy (and unlike the similar Wavebuster, it does not home in on or stun the target). It's made even more useless when you consider that a charged Plasma Beam shot is the single most powerful weapon in the game - there's only one enemy in the game that can get hurt by it and isn't killed in one charged shot - so you could just be using that instead.
    • To a lesser extent, the Wave Beam. The Power Beam fires as fast as you can press the button and gets the Boring, but Practical Super Missile upgrade, the Ice Beam synergizes with Missiles to one-shot anything that can be frozen, and the Plasma Beam combines the speed of the Power Beam with devastating damage per shot. The Wave Beam fires slowly, and the charged shot's stun effect only lasts for about a second or so. The Wave Beam's missile combo, the Wavebuster, devours missiles too quickly to warrant using it on regular enemies and isn't great on bosses either. Aside from puzzles and opening purple doors, there's no real reason to use the Wave Beam once you get something better.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Light Beam's charge combo, the Sunburst. It fires a large ball of light energy that travels about ten feet in front of you, comes to a slow stop, and explodes. It's useless against mobile enemies because they'll just move out of the way, and it's useless against stationary enemies because the explosion isn't anywhere near as powerful as it appears to be. The only conceivable way to damage something with the Sunburst would be for them to back up so they took damage during the entire animation.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has the Hyper Missile, the game's replacement for the Super Missile and its elemental cousins. While in theory it appears to be a very powerful missile attack powered by Phazon, it's useless against enemies that are already immune to the standard missile shots. It also requires a huge amount of energy from the Energy Tank that is in use during Hypermode. Its only practical utility is to quickly drain Phazon when Samus's Hypermode malfunctions from being active for too long, to prevent her total corruption.
  • Several weapons in your arsenal in Daikatana; part of the reason for its terrible reputation is for the simple fact that it front-loads the vast majority of the terrible weapons into the first episode. The ion blaster's shots bounce off walls and can - and usually will - hit you. The C4 vizatergo launches proximity mines with a blast radius roughly equal to the range at which you can reliably place them near what you're trying to kill; if you don't end up getting caught in the explosion, your AI "helpers" probably will. The Sidewinder eliminates the C4 thrower's range problem, but doubles down on accidentally pasting yourself with every other shot by wasting two rockets per shot out of your max of 50, combined with terrible collision detection meaning those rockets will still inexplicably blow up two inches from your face. The Shockwave launches an erratically bouncing ball that creates shockwaves whenever it hits a surface... which can easily kill you. It's rather telling that the best weapon of the episode is the shotgun that slowly wastes six shots with every trigger pull, throwing you all over the room if you ever leave the ground, simply because it's the only one of the set that can't actively hurt you as much as it hurts your intended target. Later episodes add proper weapons which prioritize damaging the target over the user, but still have their fair share of terrible ones for the same reasons as the terrible weapons from the first episode: The Eye of Zeus from the Greece episode hits every enemy in sight with lightning when the staff's eye opened, but if no enemies are on-screen, it kills you. Nharre's Nightmare in the Norway episode summons a demon that, like the Eye of Zeus, will turn on you and kill you if there aren't any targets. Finally, shots from the San Francisco episode's kineticore rebound off walls and (all together, now) can hit you. Sensing a pattern?
  • In the original Perfect Dark most of the weapons are pretty good, but there were a few that were nearly worthless. Probably the worst weapon in the game is the Reaper, an alien (Skedar) gatling gun with the worst accuracy of just about any weapon you'll ever see in a first person shooter (you have to crouch to have any chance of hitting somebody beyond 5 feet), and even firing it in the first place requires you to bring the motor up to speed first. Its fire rate exceeds that of almost all other weapons in the game (only the Cyclone in its mag-dump secondary mode fires faster), but each shot does very little damage. Its secondary fire, which basically turned it into an enormous blender, was a mostly pointless melee weapon, with its only saving grace being that it can be used to spool up the gun and immediately begin firing.
  • Meanwhile, Perfect Dark's spiritual predecessor GoldenEye (1997) had the Klobb (the CZ Škorpion on the page image), a weak, slow-firing, inaccurate SMG that was outclassed by literally every weapon in the game. A pistol would serve you better. The Klobb takes two shots for a headshot kill! In fact, there was a Max Stats (007 Mode, all enemy stats cranked up to full) run for the Archive level where a shot from any weapon was instant death. Except the Klobb. On that note, the Klobb was pretty cool in License to Kill mode. And its reloading sound is pretty sweet, too.
  • Mines usually fall into this category in single-player games, such as the trip mines from Duke Nukem 3D and Half-Life, due to their being defensive weapons in games where you're usually, if not always, on the offensive. If you plan on using them, your options are either setting up a trap and luring enemies into it (at which point it's usually just easier to shoot them) or putting them in select points to stop ambushes (which by nature only makes them useful if you already know the ambush is coming, which requires either having already beaten it once, thus already knowing which weapons you like and are good with, or an obvious Hold the Line segment, which has its own problems). It's just an extra pack of explosives that never misses if it gets set off normally, but usually is less tactically valuable than a command-detonated pipebomb or satchel. Compounding the issue is that game designers seem to intentionally prevent them from ever being useful: for instance, both Duke Nukem and Half-Life's tripmines can be shot and detonated without the laser being triggered, so it'd make sense for players to be able to toss them at the feet of a bunch of enemies and then expend a single firearm round to blow them up, but the games insist on only letting you use them as intended by deliberately placing them on a wall or floor. If you can toss them from a distance, then there will invariably be an arbitrary arming delay of several seconds, more than long enough for your opponents to get past it unless you either stick so close you end up taking Splash Damage, or see the enemy from so far away that the only reasonable excuse for why you're using that instead of just shooting them is that you're completely out of ammo. About the only kind of game where they're really any good in the player's hands are Stealth-Based Games, and even then only for messing around with a patrolling guard (and probably forcing yourself into a confrontation, since the AI usually cheats and automatically knows where you are once you alert any of them).
  • The grenade launcher from Kingpin: Life of Crime. Most grenade launchers in video games either fire grenades that explode on contact with enemies, hold more than three rounds in a magazine, let you carry more than 18 rounds total (especially if the game's bazooka has a clip of five shots and an ammo cap of one hundred rockets), take less than four seconds to explode, exist in games where enemies aren't smart enough to run like hell before the 'nade goes off, or some combination of the above. Kingpin's grenade launcher is not any of these things. It's so bad that not even the AI can figure out how to kill you with it.
  • Blood II: The Chosen has a few examples, mostly due to lacking or glitched coding.
    • The Insect-A-Cutioner bug spray. While superficially another version of the aerosol can from the first game, it's generally useless due to the short range, low primary fire damage, long secondary fire prep time and the fact that its ammo is also shared with the assault rifle's underslung grenade launcher, a more damaging and altogether more useful weapon.
    • The Singularity Generator, the ultimate word in Awesome, but Impractical. Its primary fire shoots a vortex that sucks in everything around it, but its eye deals absolutely no damage. The secondary fire (at least in older versions) creates the vortex with you as its eye - essentially a damaging tractor shield, as it moves with you. Both use up 50 energy cells, with which you can do more damage by using the Death Ray or the Tesla Cannon, both weapons you get way before the SG. Add to that the fact that the enemies you constantly face by the time you get it both frequently survive long enough to reach the eye of the vortex and deal big time damage at close range, and that you can crush the opposition it's effective against with your older weapons, and the gun's only usefulness is the 100 batteries it comes with.
    • Berettas and Submachine Guns are both worse in damage and/or accuracy than the Assault Rifle they share ammo with. After picking up the rifle, there's no reason to ever pull them out again; the only purpose they serve after that point is to pick up bullets from dead enemies' guns, since they're a fair bit more common but you don't actually get ammo from them if you don't have one on you, and even that's not imperative for long before far more efficient ammo boxes (which give you a hundred bullets at a time, compared to 12 per pistol and 20 per SMG) start dropping everywhere.
    • The Howitzer. It eliminates the need to lead a target like with the other explosive weapons, but this was apparently seen as such an overly-advantageous gimmick that every other aspect was pounded into the dirt to make it useless: ammo is hard to come by, it fires slowly, using it in close quarters still hurts you with splash damage, and its damage is ridiculously low. The only upside is that it makes Shikari flinch with each shot, but even that doesn't save it from being discarded as soon as another weapon comes along.
    • Much like the Howitzer, the Flare Gun also has elements of this. Its fire rate is very slow, the flares cause damage with a second-long tic (enough for most enemies to recover from their pain animations and retaliate) and don't hurt enough. Its secondary fire takes a long wind-up time, has a minimal range, its damage is laughable, and due to a bug it doesn't set enemies on fire. The very plentiful ammo, the engine's lighting mechanics, and its great niche usefulness against Zealots (who teleport, and thus get knocked out of attacking you in return, with each hit) and Death Shrouds (which can become intangible) do guarantee it a permanent slot, but even then, the gun isn't nearly as fun or practical to use as most of the others.
  • The Prankster Bit from TRON 2.0 is the game's BFG and looks pretty cool, but the energy usage is obscene, the damage is overkill against everything you fight, and you get it so late in the game that you're literally unable to fully upgrade it. It's not even worth using against the final boss due to how the game handles damage dealt to it. And if you use it in too close of quarters (read: most of that final level), it stands just as good of a chance of killing you as it does of killing your target. Seriously. Stick to Sequencer and just go Rinzler on your enemies.
  • The Halo series of games have several:
    • Halo: Combat Evolved has two: the Assault Rifle and the Needler. The former has a high fire rate and magazine capacity, offset by puny damage (particularly against shields) and obnoxiously-wide bullet spread. The latter suffers from being over-specialized. It does happen to be one of the best weapons for taking on the Sentinels that show up in a handful of levels, but against anything else its shortcomings become obvious: projectiles which, while homing in on whoever's in or nearest to the crosshairs on firing, are painfully slow and deal anemic damage unless you dump half the mag into one guy. Doing that causes them all to create a rather large explosion that's an instant kill on most enemies, but for the amount of ammo needed to put down a single enemy in that manner, it's far more efficient to take a plasma pistol or riflenote .
    • In Halo 2, the Assault Rifle was replaced by the SMG. It's a downgrade, having all of the prior Assault Rifle's faults on top of now having high kickback forcing your aim off-target. Part of the issue is that it's designed to be dual-wielded - it's not half-bad in close combat when combined with a plasma rifle (blast away with plasma to take out a shield, then spray the SMG at the meaty bits) or a pistol (shred the shields away with a wall of lead, then hit the target directly with pistol bullets to the face), but it's completely useless when used on its own, terribly outclassed by the Battle Rifle in every other way. The Brute Shot suffers from the same sort of issue the Needler did in the first game, being great in melee due to its attached blade, but bouncing its ammo off walls when not making direct hits, making it difficult to use at any further range. The Magnum pistol, which was very useful in the first game, got substantially nerfed, losing its scope feature and just becoming much weaker in most respects. All it gets in return is a faster rate of fire.
    • In Halo 3, the SMG's power is downgraded even further as part of a general nerfing of dual-wielding. The flamethrower is very difficult to use effectively, although it's hellaceous when used properly. Perhaps the scrappiest Halo 3 weapon is the Mauler, a single-handed dual-wieldable shotgun that, when dual-wielded, has less power and ammo than the regular shotgun at the expense of disabling use of grenades and melee... yeah. Its sole saving grace is a Game-Breaking Bug that allows you to shoot and melee at the same time, generally considered cheating and annoying as hell.
    • Halo 3: ODST's scoped and silenced SMG was still not as powerful as the assault rifle. Its main purpose was to deplete enemy shields before switching to the scoped pistol for a fatal headshot—and for swatting drones out of the air. It's also not actually silenced. A single perfect shot to the brain of an unaware enemy produces the exact same reaction as a grenade going off to the hyper-alert Covenant forces.
    • In some circles, the shotguns from Halo 2 onward are considered scrappies due to their wet-cough range, unpredictable damage, and continually decreasing magazine capacity, plus the presence of instant-kill melee weapons. That said, the developers seem to have realized this, having buffed their range and power considerably from Halo: Reach onward.
    • The Suppressor in Halo 4. Meant as the Forerunner equivalent of the Assault Rifle, its spread is so high that it has virtually no range save for point-blank. It's so feeble even enemies using it on Legendary difficulty are unlikely to harm the player.
      • The Pulse Grenade, the Forerunner grenade variant. Very difficult to hit someone with it, and its lack of immediate damage made it easy to escape from if it did connect. At most it was just an annoyance that kept players from advancing through an area for a few seconds. In Halo 5 it was reworked into a more effective form with an EMP effect and post-impact submunitions, making it good for taking out multiple enemies and disabling vehicles.
    • Halo 5: Guardians introduced many new weapons for the Warzone mode, all of which are meant to be upgrades but some of which are really downgrades.
      • The Twin Jewels of Maethrillian, a beam rifle that fires two sniper beams instead of one and has bonus anti-vehicle damage. Problem is, not only is Level 7 REQ cost extremely steep compared to most anti-vehicle weapons, the two parallel beams were at launch too far apart to deal significant damage together. It was not uncommon to completely miss opposing players with both beams despite aiming directly at them. A later patch in the Memories of Reach update moved its beams closer.
      • The Oathsworn, a Mythic shotgun with a built-in Speed Boost. While not a bad weapon, as it's got increased fire rate and range compared to the standard shotgun, it's completely outclassed in power, range, accuracy, and reload speed by the Blaze of Glory, and the Speed Boost doesn't reduce the gap much. Additionally, the Blaze of Glory is a Rare weapon, while the Oathsworn is a Mythic, making the latter more expensive for less advantage.
      • ONI vehicles are supposed to be the strongest vehicle types, but the ONI Gungoose is considered a downgrade from the standard Gungoose. While most Gungoose grenades detonate on impact, the ONI Gungoose's bounce, making it extremely difficult to hit targets.
      • The Pool of Radiance, a Fuel Rod Cannon variant. While its projectiles creating post-explosions after the initial impact can be useful for locking down a choke point or damaging a big vehicle, the slow firing speed makes it not worth it. It's also too common for opponents to survive a direct hit.
      • The Echidna, an Hydra Launcher whose missiles fire vehicle-disabling EMPs. Due to its niche utility, as it's too expensive an EMP weapon compared to the Plasma Pistol and too weak compared to rocket launchers, the Echidna doesn't see much use except in Warzone Turbo where REQ levels don't matter and vehicles are extremely common.
      • The Talon of the Lost, an anti-vehicle Needler variant. Compared to most other anti-vehicle weapons, it has very short range, low power, and takes too long to deal significant damage. The Talon's only good for switching between anti-infantry and anti-vehicle quickly, and targeting bosses too large to dodge its needles.
      • The River of Light, an Incineration Cannon variant that trades its charged shot from a single super projectile to a rapid fire mode. The trade harms its utility, since the super projectile was typically used on vehicles but the rapid fire tends to miss them or not deal as much damage. It's also less effective against multiple enemies due to the reduced area of effect from small rapid fire shots.
      • The Hunter cannons. Both variants reduce your walk speed and have low firing rates. The Wicked Grasp only fires small homing projectiles in bursts, making it basically a Boltshot with a movement penalty. The Berserker's Claw fires a powerful fuel rod, but the shot has to be charged first then has a cooldown, meaning there's no reason to just use a Fuel Rod Cannon without any charge or cooldown.
  • Most shooters (especially older ones) where their Standard FPS Guns ruthlessly fell prey to the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness. In Doom for example, there was no reason to ever touch the pistol once you had the chaingun, or even the shotgun - which in both games you can acquire within a minute at worst. DOOM (2016) tried to compensate by giving the pistol Bottomless Magazines, and Doom Eternal just dropped the pistol entirely, in favor of letting you start with the shotgun and chainsaw.
  • Quake has a similar problem of some guns becoming obsolete once you find better ones. There's basically no reason to use the nailgun once you find the super nailgun, as it both shoots faster and does more damage while using the same ammo. The double-barreled shotgun has a similar problem, although the regular shotgun is at least more accurate. Also, the grenade and rocket launchers use the same ammo, meaning few people bother with the grenade launcher once they have the much more useful rocket launcher, the only real exception being when you're overlooking a ledge with enemies lurking below, as you can toss grenades down without having to look over the ledge and risk getting shot at.
  • The Phoenix from Clive Barker's Undying is the last weapon found in the game, at about 30 minutes before the final boss. Not only is it quite weak compared to your arsenal (which by now include the Celtic Scythe, the Tibetan War Cannon and the Spear Thrower), but each shot must be guided in first person. Except that it's too fast to be properly controlled.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon
    • Similar to the aforementioned Klobb, the Xbox 360 version of F.E.A.R. has the nearly-useless SM-15 machine pistol, which replaces half the spawns of the RPL submachine gun for a weaker, slower and less accurate weapon whose only benefits are A) it's the only other non-pistol weapon in the game that can be used Guns Akimbo (which is negligible since dual pistols are still superior in nearly every way), and B) it holds the most reserve ammo of any weapon in the game at 600 rounds.
    • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin has the Napalm Cannon, one of only two flame-based weapons in the game (the other is a new grenade type), which is prohibitively useless. Only two or three enemies across the entire game carry it, so you only get one reload for it when it's introduced and then have to play through half of the game to get another chance to use it. While just about anyone you can hit with it will burn to death, it also takes forever for even the weakest of enemies to die. Really, its only use is as a sort of slot-warmer for your fourth weapon slot until you can find the much more useful and common assault rifle to take up your fourth slot a level after it shows up - it doesn't even make an appearance in the Reborn DLC, which otherwise went out of its way to give more screen-time to guns that only showed up in one or two levels of the base game.
  • Star Wars games:
    • Dark Forces had the mortar launcher, a large, cumbersome weapon with a slow fire rate that lobbed shells in awkward arcs and looked like a butt. It was found only rarely, and usually thermal detonators were plentiful and much more useful, having greater power, splash radius, and effective range. Its main use was setting off enemy mines, with occasional breaks to take pot shots at whittling down the game's Demonic Spiders, because unlike the other powerful weapons, it had knockback.
    • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II had the bowcaster, which on the surface sounded great. Chewbacca's iconic weapon, with a Charged Attack that fired spreads of plasma bolts, or fired a ricocheting plasma bolt to hit enemies around corners? Sounded useful... until you realized that the rate of fire was painful, the charged attack took a long while to get off and spread the shots out with huge gaps between small projectiles, and that the ricocheting shot could bounce back and hit you in the face. In the end the Imperial repeater ended up being a better use of energy cells.
    • In Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, most people don't recall the stun baton with any fondness. In previous games, Kyle used his fists and was not above punching out Power Armor-clad Mecha-Mooks. The stun baton was clumsy, did very little damage to anything more dangerous than a stormtrooper, and didn't actually knock anyone out so much as slowly shock them to death, only very briefly stunning them before they continued blasting you in the chest, and with no recourse to deal with the three or so other guys that are invariably also still blasting at you. Fortunately, the lightsaber, which kills people in one hit and deflects blaster bolts from all his friends, replaced the stun baton permanently, and the bothersome little shock-prod never resurfaced in the game or its sequel, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
      • It did have one niche use though - in portions of certain early levels where you would find yourself crawling through ventilation ducts, you would often get swarmed by hordes of tiny, bug-like enemies that, while incredibly weak, were near impossible to hit with most of your weapons in such tight quarters. A few prods from the stun baton, however, would deal with them all in seconds.
    • Star Wars: Battlefront II gets the Beam Rifle. Nearly every weapon in the game has some sort of upgraded version that can be unlocked for doing something with it a certain amount of times in one life and which trades one attribute to increase another - an upgraded blaster rifle that trades fire rate (fires in three round bursts) for extra power and accuracy, a precision pistol that trades the infinite ammo for higher power and hitscan beams, etc. The beam rifle is received for nailing a certain number of headshots with the standard sniper rifle, and gives increased power at the cost of literally everything else. It's a one-shot kill with bodyshots now, which is the sole upside - that increased power comes with an inability to deal headshots, shorter range, and wonky detection that generally makes you need two or more shots to kill one person anyway - at that point, you're seriously going to get more consistent results with the precision pistol.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist:
    • The B9-S silenced pistol is usually never used again as soon as the player unlocks better handguns. The pistol in question has low power and requires several headshots to kill someone quickly on higher difficulty levels. The weapon also has a low ammo count and its weak power will barely help you should you go into bleedout mode. The only time the silenced pistol is needed is for Diamond Heist and No Mercy, where stealth is required, since it's the only silenced handgun. Even then, the Mac-11 is a silenced submachine gun and is a suitable replacement for the pistol.
    • The B9-S's primary advantages are low recoil and high ammo per magazine. It's useful for hitting things a long way away if your other weapons are shorter range (if you're using a shotgun, basically) or for taking out cameras and the like. Headshot damage will usually make up for the lack of base damage, but only within a set range of difficulty levels.
    • Trip mines are also rarely used due to being a very situational item. Once placed, the trip mines can't be removed and you can only carry a limited amount of trip mines based on how many upgrades you have for them. While you can't trigger your own mines by mistake, a single cop can trigger them and will be killed instantly, even the Bulldozer. However, even despite the cops' tendency to bunch together, the power of the mines tends to be wasted on single targets unless you have a good guess on where the cops will go during assaults and have a healthy dose of luck on top of it. The explosion can also kill civilians, which adds a delay to your release should you be captured and imposes a penalty to your reward in the end. In short, the usefulness of the mines are limited and most people that are using them usually are doing it for the achievements. They were mildly improved in the sequel by allowing players to switch them between "blow up anyone who breaks the beam" mode and a less-situational "tag any enemy that breaks the beam" mode (thus giving them a purpose in stealth and letting them combo with a skill that lets the team deal increased damage to tagged enemies), and also pairing them up with shaped charges to quickly blow out locked safes and doors instead of having to slowly drill or pick them.
    • The Locomotive is a short ranged secondary shotgun that falls short of its stronger cousin, the Reinbeck. The Locomotive has weaker power and a smaller magazine compared to the Reinbeck, can't hit targets from as far away, and requires more ammo pick ups to refill its reserves compared to other weapons. The phrase "Buff the Loco!" became quite common on the official forums and it wasn't until PAYDAY 2 that the Locomotive got buffed to the point that it became an excellent secondary weapon to use.
    • Sentry guns are far too situational to use. While they can provide good suppression when they are placed correctly, the sentries can't be moved once you place them down, they require you to give up your own ammo to replenish theirs, and they're not powerful enough to take out heavier SWAT and special units. Sentries tend to not last very long when several cops focus fire on the sentry to destroy them. They aren't much better in the sequel, even with the eventual addition of silenced versions that attract less attention and thus don't get shot quite as often.
  • PAYDAY 2:
    • Thanks to a weapon rebalance pushed out during the 2015 Crimefest event, some assault rifles and submachine guns are absolutely awful in accuracy, even with the right skills and gun mods, whereas other similar weapons still retain a good balance between accuracy, stability, and power. This was even worse when another change during that event buffed pistols to the point that they outclassed almost all of the assault rifles and submachine guns, with only the absolutely most powerful of them like the M308 and Cavity 9mm being worth using over even middle-ground pistols like the Crosskill, much less the stronger Deagle and Bronco .44.
    • The two starting weapons are almost entirely outclassed by anything that comes later. The Chimano 88 is the player's first sidearm when they begin the game for the first time and, save for a high capacity and concealment, is near-completely outclassed by every other sidearm available; the Chimano simply doesn't have enough damage output to keep up, especially on higher difficulties where more power is needed to drop tougher enemies. The AMCAR, meanwhile, only really beats later guns with its rather high reserve-ammo count of 220; its damage is among the lowest in the game, the recoil is absurd for something with such a low rate of fire, and its accuracy is even worse than the Chimano's. Both weapons can be mildly improved with attachments, but by the time you have access to a decent supply of those, you're also going to have access to far better weapons that can put those attachments to better use - even ones not restricted by reputation level for if you go Infamous.
    • Melee weapons with high charge times generally have a lot of power behind them, but are generally not worth it when you've got weapons that are only slightly weaker yet can pump out damage that rivals stronger ones in half the time.
  • TimeSplitters:
    • In the second game, the Sci-Fi Handgun is often a bigger threat than the basic mook in Robot Factory. The lasers fired from the pistol always bounce off surfaces if they don't hit a target, and were fired in three-shot bursts, often resulting in your own lasers hitting you. Future Perfect allowed the reflection mode to be turned off (and it is by default), making this weapon far safer to use.
    • The Lasergun fired a slow laser that had to be charged up to do any real damage, quickly eating up its ammo. The shield used by the secondary fire didn't last long and only served to burn ammo faster. It also had an irritating glitch where the Lasergun's "charge up" noise would become really loud and play endlessly at the spot you were standing when you were unlucky enough to trigger it. Its replacement in Future Perfect, the Sci-Fi Sniper, fixes all of these issues.
  • The Unreal series has the GESnote  Bio Rifle, an Awesome, but Impractical sort of grenade launcher that shoots small blobs of sticky explosive sludge, which deal quite a bit more damage than other fast-firing weapons and agile enemies can't dodge like they do straight-firing projectiles, but do require the player to take into account the parabolic trajectory and slow travel speed of the shots. The secondary fire charges up the shot, making it able to One-Hit Kill anything that isn't a boss, but reducing its speed so much that hitting the target is easier said than done, and the range becomes so short due to the glob's weight that the resulting Splash Damage more often than not damages the player as well.

    In the first Unreal, the alternate fire wasn't used as much due to the glob being fired prematurely, leading to self-damage and even suicides, while the primary fire wasn't as damaging.

    In the Unreal Tournament series, the weapon becomes mildly more useful because multiplayer gameplay does occasionally require defensive weaponry, and filling a hallway with green goo is a decent way to make sure anyone passing through in the next few seconds is reduced to red salsa. It's still the least used gun in the game, though, especially since the globs just disappear in a handful of seconds.

    The 200X games and Unreal Championship sped up the rate of fire and the speed of the projectiles to give them better range than "hugging distance", but 2004 also introduced the Spider Mine launcher in Onslaught mode, which does the Bio Rifle's job for defensive play far better, and is still decent for actual offensive play against other players since the spider mines automatically track other players when they're close enough; the weapon only appears in the vehicle-based gamemodes, though.

    The weapon was combined with the Grenade Launcher (in what was called the "Canister Gun") for Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, where the alternate glob gained a tracking feature, though it often took a backseat to other energy weapons such as the Shock Rifle and the Sniper Rifle.

    It took until Unreal Tournament III to finally and truly rescue the weapon from the Scrappy heap, due to changes to the weapon's alternate fire, namely that it now can stick to a player, damaging them until the receiver dies or the globs disappear, whichever comes first, helping prevent self-damage in the process, requiring the player to be at either close or mid range to his opponent in exchange for an almost guaranteed frag.
  • PlanetSide 1
    • The Beamer, the standard issue sidearm for the Vanu Sovereignty. It's very accurate, small, uses the same ammo as their assault rifles, and even comes with an armor piercing mode. It also does piss for damage, uses up a valuable hip holster slot (better suited for a medapp, engineer tool, or REK), and the armor piercing mode makes it highly effective at being purple. The weapon was often likened to a flashlight, as it did a better job at making enemies glow than killing them. The Terran Republic's Cycler assault rifle is likewise regarded as nearly useless, as it has a huge magazine and good accuracy, but is so weak that players are better off using the Suppressor submachine gun. The Scorpion weapon system is a siege weapon, a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher which flies into the air, then detonates and sends shrapnel onto whatever is below it. It requires trigonometry to use, as the detonation range must manually be set by right-clicking while looking at terrain - too soon or too late or too high or too low will cause it to deal negligible damage.
    • In Planetside 2s the Fractures, Anti-Armor weapon for Terran Republic MAX Powered Armor, was a bit overpowered against infantry... so the developers nerfed its Anti-Armor capacity, giving it terrible velocity, spread, and dumping its damage, making it the worse anti-vehicle weapon by a significant margin. At release, the TR Pounders were completely useless because of one major flaw: convergence. The weapons were set to converge at 20 meters, making them go around vehicles or infantry that wasn't at exactly 20 meters. When the convergence was fixed, some considered the weapons to be a Game-Breaker owing to their monstrous damage-per-second especially when the MAX is locked down.
  • Call of Duty
    • A franchise-wide example would be the SVD Dragunov sniper rifle in the Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops sub-franchise games. While the Dragunov was acceptable in Call of Duty 4 for its good damage multipliers, the versions seen in Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) (the reboot of Modern Warfare) are generally hated for having high recoil, no one-hit-kill potential outside of headshots, and poor handling. The Dragunov is seen as a Master of None, having neither the quick aiming and recoil control of the assault rifles nor the one-hit-kill potential of other sniper rifles.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops II:
      • In the multiplayer, the SMR is one of the most powerful weapons available, and is very accurate. In the Zombies mode, it make the starting M1911 look amazing. It's a semi-auto in a mode where full-auto or burst-fire is overall better, it has low reserve ammo capacity (it only barely beats the M14, which in turn beats it when Pack-A-Punched; the only upside to the SMR is it isn't recycling four-year-old code to give it a paltry 8-round mag capacity on top of that), it's surprisingly weak even for this type of weapon, it's slow to reload, and worst of all, due to a glitch, it has noticeable bullet spread while you are aiming down its sights!
      • In the multiplayer mode itself, the Executioner pistol. This pistol is unique in that it's a revolver which utilizes shotgun shells, allowing for a quick and easy shotgun as a secondary weapon, but the trade off is the damage from each shot is so weak that it takes extremely close-range shooting just to be able to bring down a target without using the entire five-round cylinder. To add onto the weapon's woes, it has horrible reload speed and ammo capacity. There are attachments and the Secondary Gunfighter wildcard you can use to improve this pistol, but it's still such a small gain that you're probably better off actually using a regular shotgun or even a knife over this pistol and use the spare Pick-10 points for shotgun attachments, any gun that's not the Executioner, perks, and any other wildcards you want.
    • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:
      • The NA-45 sniper rifle, a two-shot weapon (as in, it fires two shots before reloading and both must hit a target one after the other to do any appreciable damage, necessitating double-tapping) that is widely regarded as one of the worst weapons in the entire franchise because of how complicated it is to use, its low magazine and terrible damage if both shots don't connect.
      • The crossbow is considered the worst primary weapon. It only holds one bolt compared to the Black Ops II crossbow that holds 3, is difficult to use effectively on account of the increased mobility, and isn't silent despite being a crossbow. As a result, it is one of the least used weapons in the game.
  • Rocket launchers in Borderlands 1 are a joke: unless you're playing as Brick and/or have the Maliwan Rhino, they deal very underwhelming damage for what you'd expect a weapon of this class to have, made worse by their small ammo pool and inherent sluggishness of operation, especially when they're single-shotnote . You can do far more damage per second or even per shot with a decent revolver or sniper rifle, none of which are harder to come by than a launcher of any quality. Borderlands 2 rescued them from being Vendor Trash by drastically upping their damage output and making them the BFGs that they're supposed to be.
  • Tribes 2's Blaster became a scrappy weapon despite its many bonuses. It has infinite ammo (drawing from your Jump Jet Pack energy), extreme range, perfect accuracy, penetrates shields, and deals silly amounts of damage-per-second at close range. However, in the world's fastest shooter where players are skipping across the map at 200kph, the Blaster was godawful courtesy of its Painfully Slow Projectile and its infinite ammo gimmick becomes a drain because players need the jet pack energy to keep their speed up. Indoors, it is also a Pinball Projectile that stands a good chance of nailing the user. However, the Blaster has a something of a cult following among the "bastards", who stand on top of mountains plinking at enemy flag defenders til they give chase.
  • Doom 3:
  • Left 4 Dead 2:
    • The game has a variety of melee weapons, with each of them having different reach and swing speed to differentiate them (since they all one-hit kill regular zombies). The crowbar is the worst melee weapon in the whole game; it has poor reach, swings very slowly, and has bad hit detection, which makes it possible to hit a zombie and not kill it. Similar weapons like the frying pan and the axe hit zombies more consistently.
    • The Hunting Rifle was already not well-liked in the first game, being that it's slower, with less ammo and overall harder to use than the shotguns and SMGs/assault rifles. Then the sequel introduced a second weapon in its category, the Sniper Rifle, to which the Hunting Rifle is inferior in in every way except moving accuracy (which doesn't matter much for weapons you're not going to be moving and shooting with) and reloading speed (which the Sniper Rifle makes up for with twice the capacity). In addition, using the scope removes all movement recoil anyway.
    • The Counter-Strike weapons were implemented in the German and Australian versions of the game to make up for the censorship the game had to go through and they were eventually made available to everyone with The Last Stand update. The Steyr Scout and Accuracy International AWSM are sniper rifles that high penetration, power, and accuracy, but their rate of fire is so laughably low that most players don't bother using them unless there's nothing else to use. In a game where zombies swarm you and you have Tanks gunning for you, it's preferable to use any other weapon since they have a better rate of fire.
  • Half-Life:
    • Snarks let you toss tiny, fast-moving enemies into combat, which seek out and attack your foes. Sounds useful—but their damage is pitiful and their health is low, so they don't do much more than annoy the opponent for a few seconds unless you toss in three or so. But you can only carry fifteen at a time and they're very scarce, so good luck with that. On top of that, snarks seek out the closest target, which includes you, so tossing them at the opponent to distract them and then moving in to finish them off often results in the snarks chasing and harassing you instead. Oh, and for a nail in the coffin, due to their AI coding, they don't attack alien enemies at all. Hell if they aren't fun to watch, though. And they're great for Sequence Breaking by tossing one underneath yourself and abusing physics to let it slowly push you up walls you aren't supposed to be able to scale.
    • There's also the Hivehand, aka the Hornet Gun. The only good thing about it is that it can regenerate ammo, and that the hornet ammo can home in on targets around walls and such without the enemies ever being alerted to the player. Other than those, it's the most ineffective and useless weapon in the series, to the point where you'll hardly be using it at all. Its Black Mesa incarnation buffed its damage substantially, while also reducing the ammo counts for a bunch of other weapons, making it a reliable fallback option... though this also makes it a fair bit scarier in the hands of aliens.
  • In Half-Life: Opposing Force, the MP5 really gets the shaft. The expansion introduces a wide variety of souped-up enemies, and the MP5 hasn't received any sort of power boost to make up for that. Despite this, 99% of Black Ops grunts using it instead of the occasional shotgun, and the amount of ammo given out for it is in the hundreds thanks to the weapon pickups themselves providing more ammo, which just means that 9mm ammo is by far the most expendable thing in the game - to little avail.
  • Killing Floor has the Light Anti-tank Weapon. When it comes to anti-armor launchers "light" is a relative term: it's the heaviest weapon in the game, taking up 13 blocks of inventory space (leaving you only enough room for your starting handgun and a machete as secondary weapons), and before the introduction of the Demolitionist perk it was surprisingly weak for its heavy size and ridiculous price tag, as even Scrakes and Fleshpounds would be able to shrug off a single rocket. It was improved mildly with Demolitionist, which increases the damage to something worthy of its high price tag and weight, while also reducing the cost down to much more reasonable levels as the perk is leveled.
  • Killing Floor 2 has had its fair share as well, though several were Rescued from the Scrappy Heap with balance updates.
    • Before the "Bullseye" update, the M79 Grenade Launcher was seen as a worthless weapon, dealing less than a third of the damage as the top-tier RPG in return for barely being any cheaper; it was the kind of thing people bought only for the boss wave when they'd absolutely need both an explosive weapon and something else that couldn't be carried alongside the RPG. After the update it was saved, as its damage radius was buffed, and it was reduced down to a tier-2 weapon with an attendant lower price (almost half what it used to cost) and lower weight allowing it to be used alongside the RPG, using the M79 for lower-tier enemies and busting out the RPG for Scrakes and Fleshpounds.
    • The M4 Auto Shotgun was originally a Master of None, bringing a slower rate of fire, a smaller magazine and slower reloading speed, and much less ammo overall than the AA12, while being too heavy to be used off-perk alongside another weapon. It was fixed with the Bullseye update increasing its total ammo capacity, nerfing the AA12's damage slightly, and letting Support gain more inventory slots for every fifth level like in the first game, letting Support players at level 10 or above carry both.
    • The crossbow was this on both ends. At the beginning of the game's life, much as it had been in the first game, it was seen as overpowered, being able to stunlock Scrakes and Fleshpounds with well-aimed shots to the head (or stomach in the latter case). After the "Bullseye" update reduced the rate at which it could stun Scrakes and Fleshpounds with headshots, people started to complain that the slower projectile speed (it's no longer a hitscan weapon like it was in the first game) and the slow reload between individual shots made it worthless, meaning most players skip it for the Mk 14.
    • The Husk Cannon was initially derided for its slow reload speed and not having a niche use in either a Firebug's or Demolitionist's arsenal - it didn't have wide enough splash damage for effective crowd control or high enough damage to deal with stronger individual enemies, on top of the self damage possible from firing it in close range. Eventually, the "Back and Kickin' Brass" update buffed its damage, radius, and ability to stun enemies, as well as a higher magazine capacity (though in return for less ammo in total and a higher cost on that ammo), which has made people see it in a more positive light.
    • The 1858 Revolver isn't terrible, per se - even off-perk it deals twice the damage per-shot of the 9mm pistol - but it's still considered the worst of the starting guns due to its extremely slow reload speed and a low capacity (even starting with two at once gives a Gunslinger less ammo at once than the 9mm) without getting a unique gimmick (the Spitfire's flare shots or HRG Winterbite's nitrogen bullets) or a more appealing boost in damage (the .500 Magnum deals three times its damage per shot). It can still be useful as of the ability to upgrade individual weapons, where a fully-upgraded 1858 deals almost as much damage as the .500 Magnum with less recoil, and its slightly higher capacity gives it slightly higher damage per-second, but even then getting one to that point takes a much heavier investment of time and dosh than just buying a .500, and the M1911 does almost everything it does just as well with a larger magazine and much faster reload.
    • The Pulverizer is a cross-perk weapon for the Berserker and Demolitionist, and is of barely any use for either class - its high cost and low ammo removes the appeal for using it with Berserker, and its design as a melee weapon that can blow up enemies it hits means it's not even the kind of weapon a Demolitionist should be using in the first place.
    • The L85 has been considered a pointless upgrade over the starting AR-15 Varmint Rifle as of updates that came in 2016: it deals the same damage for a noticeably higher price, and while it does have several upsides - more ammo per magazine and in total, a full-auto mode instead of three-round bursts, and a much clearer red-dot sight - the damage alone still makes it just as appealing, if not moreso, for Commandos to stick with the AR-15 for a few waves and save up for the tier-3 AK-12 or M16. It's even worse as of 2018's Christmas event, where a Tommy Gun was introduced as a cross-class Commando/SWAT weapon, which also deals the same damage with an even higher capacity, with its only downside being even worse ironsights.
    • The Stoner 63A has also not been very well-liked for similar reasons. Even after the ability to upgrade weapons was introduced, just using the Tommy Gun is still preferable, as you get a weapon with a faster reload, less recoil, and more damage for less dosh than the Stoner.

    Light Gun Games 

    MOBA Games 
  • League of Legends, like most games the genre, features an ever changing list of items, some of which are considered situational at best, and Scrappy Items at worst. One example is "Snowballing" style stacking items such as Mejai's Soulstealer, along with the removed items Sword of the Occult (removed in Pre-Season 6) and Leviathan armor (removed in Season 3). Each has a stacking mechanic, that gives buff stacks for scoring a Kill/Assists against an enemy champions, that enhances their effectsnote . At their maximal 20 stacks, they gain an additional buff and they are also are/were fairly cheap on gold costs. However, this comes with one massive catch: they provide very low stats with minimal or no stacks, and each time the champion bearing one of these items dies, they lose half of their stacks, causing a huge power loss for the champion using them with even a single death. Because of the risks involved, and that it relies more upon the enemy team making massive mistakes in the early game, most players rather just skip these items snowballing potential, and go with safer, more stable power boosting items which provide better general utility. Because of this risk, only Mejai's Soulstealer remains, and has been reworked to build out of starting item for AP focused champions to begin earning stacks ahead of time, which can be sold off for only a minor gold loss if the snowballing attempt fails.

    Platform Games 
  • The Ratchet & Clank series was the main inspiration for this trope. The first game had a handful of weapons that were quite useful (e.g., the Visibomb Gun, Devastator) and some that were almost useless (Pyrocitor). The second game and onwards introduced leveling up weapons, further polarizing their effectiveness. It was quite easy to level up weapons that were easy to use and fairly powerful (the Negotiator and Constructo Shotgun from A Crack in Time, for instance), and weapons that barely got any use (such as the wimpy Buzz Blades) would never be able to level up except on the weakest ankle-biter enemies.
    • The Meteor Gun, the Lava Gun's upgraded form in Going Commando is another instance. The basic weapon fired a steady stream of molten rock, was one of the best guns to use when you were surrounded (hold down button, spin, watch things burn) and was generally very powerful overall. The upgrade turned it into a burning rock machine gun, which basically did the same thing as another one of your weapons (the Lancer), except it fired more slowly, had less range and shot in a low parabolic arc. And by then, you have other weapons that are much better that you wouldn't need to use the Meteor Gun until they run out of ammo. Fortunately Insomniac realized what they did and changed the final upgrade to the Liquid Nitrogen Gun in Up Your Arsenal, having it keep its pretty, pretty stream of destruction all the way through the game.
    • The same game's New Game + also featured Clank's Zapper. Yeah, it costs as much as the resident Infinity +1 Sword or Armor of Invincibility, so it must be awesome, yeah? Nope, it's the worst weapon in the game due to pathetic damage (more than So Last Season returning weapons, in fact), random rate of fire and zero indication whether the weapon is even turned on barring the attacks themselves. Honestly, buy something else.
    • Also from the game, the Zodiac is a downplayed example of this. On the one hand, it releases a powerful energy blast that disintegrates all the enemies in the area in one shot with the exceptions of bosses and the Arctic Leviathans (and even in the case of the latter, it still does massive damage to the Leviathans). On the other hand, the amount of damage it inflicts on bosses is incredibly inconsistent, ranging from major to almost none at all, it can only hold 4 ammo at once, and the ammo is very expensive, costing 10000 bolts per shot. You can find ammo for it in crates, but it's not very common save for a few specific areas in the game. It would make for a great means to defend yourself in situations where you are surrounded by enemies and desperately need to wipe them all out at once...but by that point in the game, you should have plenty of other weapons capable of taking hordes out if you simply spam them instead of going for a more dramatic effect. It also can't be used while jumping, and unlike every other weapon in the game it has a lengthy animation that Ratchet had to do before it fired. And if Ratchet takes any damage it will stop the firing sequence. It can be useful in certain situations, but because of how costly the ammo is and the fact you have plenty of other weapons to use, it should only be used sparingly for major situations.
    • Ratchet: Deadlocked featured less weapons, at the cost of most of them being useful... with the exception of the B6-Obliterator. After two of the most useful grenade launchers in the series, the Gravity Bomb/Mini-Nuke and Nitro Launcher, this thing shows up and quickly becomes the most useless weapon in the game. It has very low ammo and a slow rate of fire, and the damage it puts out is truly abysmal compared to the other weapons, making it a pain in the ass to upgrade—and even when it's fully upgraded, it's still all but useless in the later levels and/or higher difficulties. The Hunter Mine Launcher and Scorpion Flail, which both start off dealing respectable damage and only get stronger, hold more ammo and have a much higher rate of fire out of the starting gate, quickly superannuate it in every way.
    • The Combuster has become a form of this in the series, due to how much it appears (Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, All 4 One, Full Frontal Assault, and Ratchet & Clank '16). It's not so much that the weapon itself is bad, but that it's worse than other pistols from the series, like the Dual Vipers, Constructo Pistol, and Omniblaster.
    • Some of the newer weapons have become this for another reason: not having the same "oomph" or feeling as cool or strong as weapons from earlier in the series. For example, the Blitz Gun upgrades into the Blitz Cannon, which is so strong that the screen flashes every time you shoot it. The Nitro Reaper doesn't feel nearly as powerful as that.
  • As an attempted Spiritual Successor to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9 has more than its fair share of these. Countershade is a glutton for energy and doesn't deal crazy damage. Aviator's slow falling barely matters outside of a handful of stages in a game where airdashing is much faster and easier. Pyrogen is a close-range explosion that's nowhere near as powerful or wide-ranged as it should be. Dynatron is generally outdamaged by your basic attack. Seismic is basically the Charge Kick from 5, but more sluggish and only effective against an agile boss who uses lots of melee attacks (and both it and Pyrogen are outdone by Brandish, which is also a close-range weapon and infinitely better in every way).
  • 20XX, inspired by Mega Man in a lot of ways, has its own, among both the general equipment and the boss-derived powers.
    • Among the boss weapons, the Shadespur and sometimes the Quint Laser are typically skipped in favour of the cash or augment options. The Quint Laser is very damaging and pierces through multiple targets, but the projectile is slower than molasses, and its out-of-combat use - knocking over vending machines - isn't hugely useful. The Shadespur, however, is the most often skipped. Its gimmick is that it's fired with the direction and speed of the player, meaning it's hard to hit with it and can involve running directly into bullets to ensure a hit, and its effect of locking certain platforms isn't all that useful either.
    • Nina's least liked weapon is the Wave Beam. While its ability to go through walls is useful, the firing pattern is weird, making hitting small and nimble enemies like Flapps rather unreliable.
    • Ace's Rippling Axe is designed for diving attacks. When used in midair, it delivers a charged attack with bonus damage...but it drops your horizontal momentum to zero. This, as you would expect, is a serious liability in a game about jumping between platforms. It's deadly against bosses, but unless you're very good or you have a teammate, you will have a hard time getting there.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins:
    • The torch in the is slow and travels in an arc, while most of the enemies come right for you, so the players try to avoid it as much as possible.
    • The hatchet travels in the same arc, but also penetrates enemies and obstacles. While you can have two on screen at a time, the nature of the weapon ensures that you can't rapidly fire on a single enemy that takes multiple hits, which is often a death sentence in this game.
    • Each game in the series has a "hidden" weapon that is much slower and/or has a shorter reach than the other weapons, such as the cross/shield in the first game and the Goddess Bracelet in other games. What makes this particularly nasty is the fact that you are required to beat the final boss with these weapons.
  • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel have the Spring Mushroom, which transforms Mario into a living spring, jumping at great heights to higher spots. The problem is that it's very difficult to maneuver, as the powerup moves Mario perpetually, so a misaimed or poorly calculated jump can be lethal when chasms and pits are close.
  • Super Princess Peach had an accessory for Perry called the Bowbrella which was usefully for only one thing, changing the direction of the wind by hitting the switch that did so in one area. Other than that, it was useless against enemies. While that one use made purchasing this weapon a necessity, doing so wasn't advisable until you reached the level where you could collect all the coins you needed.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped has the Fruit Bazooka. Unlike other weapons on this page which are hated for being underpowered and/or useless, this one is hated for being overpowered to the point of sucking most of the challenge out of the game. Too many enemies up ahead? No problem, just shoot them from a distance. In its defense, you don't get the launcher until you're 4/5ths through the standard game, and the gems may have been too tedious without it. The fruit bazooka in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is worse than Warped's; it's just as overpowered, but it has some sort of lock-on thing which doesn't even work half the time, and the aiming is absolutely dreadful.
  • Kirby:
    • Light in Kirby's Adventure. It's only useful for two rooms in the whole game where it's needed to light up the rooms, and has no use anywhere else. It can't even hurt enemies, either. Getting this ability from Mix is equivalent to getting nothing.
    • Also from Kirby's Adventure is Ball, which is a nightmare to control. For this ability to be able to damage enemies, the player has to be bouncing around at high speed, which will most likely result in them landing in spikes or a bottomless pit trying to use it.
    • Jet is not a very popular ability among some fans due to how awkward it is to use. To use it, a player has to charge up power and release it to launch into enemies at high speeds, which leads to the player stopping to charge energy a lot, and is not as effective to use against bosses as other abilities like Hammer or Plasma. In the right hands, however, it's a very useful ability for speedrunning.
    • For the number of fun and interesting combinations possible in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, there are a few stinkers:
      • Burning + Ice gives Kirby the ability to...transform into a melting ice cube. It has abysmal range and is not needed for any puzzles in the game, making it useless. It's typically assumed to be an intentional example meant to mess with players for thinking combining fire and ice would yield something useful.
      • Spark + Bomb turns Kirby into a walking lightbulb that eventually explodes, which has poor range. It's only useful for lighting up a dark room for one puzzle.
      • Stone + Bomb lets Kirby use a pack of dynamite to blow up nearby enemies. This is very unreliable as the dynamite takes a long time to blow up, and the resulting explosion will hurt Kirby unless the player presses down to put on a safety helmet.
    • Mini in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. It only appears for the few puzzles it's required, but while using it, Kirby cannot run, fly or call for help, and has no means of defending himself from enemies, which makes it all the more easy for Kirby to lose the ability by getting hit and forcing the player to redo the puzzle.
  • Both Dino Warz and Predator for NES have grenades, hated because of their ineffectiveness and the games concept of carrying one weapon at a time that switches by picking up a power up. The grenade is slow, flies in an awkward arc, and difficult to aim, meaning picking one up is practically a guaranteed loss of a life. Players of either game will consider the grenade power up to be the true Big Bad of the game as it's killing them more often than anything the Predator or Spondylus can throw at them.
  • The video game adaptation of Dennis the Menace has the squirt gun, which does not damage any enemies and only freezes a few of them in place very briefly.

  • The Binding of Isaac and its remake/expansions:
    • Bob's Brain spawns a giant, floating green brain that flies when the player fires and explodes upon hitting an enemy, dealing poison damage. This would be fine if not for the fact that explosions have a friendly fire effect, and controlling the brain is a bit tricky — a Difficult, but Awesome item that's more "difficult" than "awesome." Meaning that it's not uncommon to be blown up when trying to get close to an enemy. If the player character has an item making them immune to explosions, it becomes genuinely good, but there are only two items that grant explosive immunity in Afterbirth, and just one in Rebirth.
    • Soy Milk in Rebirth makes your character's fire rate greatly exceed the natural cap... at the cost of not only strongly reducing your damage, but also diminishing the effect of any damage ups picked up before or after. There are some good synergies with it, but it's generally considered a DPS-killer. Making matters worse is that prior to Afterbirth, it's counted as a special item, meaning that just by seeing it future special items have a chance of being rerolled in to something else.
    • My Reflection is one of the items that could be cool with the right synergies, but mostly useless on its own. It makes tears fired go a shorter distance than they would at base stats and then boomerang back. Outside of enemies like Knights (which can only be hit from behind), there are very few applications for this, and the end result is that the tears just float around weirdly. It greatly boosts Azazel's range, but at the cost of making his Brimstone a little wonky too.
    • Familiar "babies" like Brother Bobby, Sister Maggy, and so on. In practice, they are entities that tag along Isaac and fire tears with him. Except that their damage per second is horrible even early on in the game, and becomes almost useless later on. They can't even really function as Crutch Characters, since this is a game where items are randomly picked and are based on the room type they're found in rather than how far in the game one goesnote . Combine a lack of that many synergies and how a number of them clutter up the devil and angel room pools and they're generally considered useless. Many players will avoid picking them up altogether, since familiars form a sort of trail behind Isaac with the one at the front being the easiest to aim, so picking them up can actually make the handful of good familiars like Incubus and Lil Brimstone much less powerful.
    • The Locusts are a series of trinkets that give you friendly locusts that crash into enemies and apply special effects. However, most people avoid Locust of War, which explodes on contact. On top of having the same problems as Bob's Brain, it's even worse since you can't aim it and have to pray that the fly AI won't screw you over. It's bad enough that 7 Seals, an otherwise fantastic item that summons friendly Harbingers, is a must-avoid since War summons exploding locusts for you constantly.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Blunt weapons spent a long time in the wilderness due to a bug in the damage rules, meaning that your dwarves could pound on some poor goblin or kobold for months in-game without scoring a kill. While that did have a certain amount of appeal to many players, it tended to impair the smooth running of a fortress by making civilian dwarves scared to go near the site of the battle.
    • Two handed weapons aren't very popular, because they can't be used with a shield.
    • Whips, scourges, and flails. In this case it's because they tend to be absurdly powerful due to how the game handles chain weapons. While a human in adventurer mode can put them to good use, they're Scrappy in fortress mode, as none of them can be manufactured by dwarves, only scavenged off goblins.
    • The above example is caused by small impact surface combined with high velocity, which are calculated oddly and thus lead to the massively powerful strikes chained weapons are known for. This also leads to mauls being a scrappy weapon of themselves due to having the opposite problem (low velocity plus large impact surface making it very hard for mauls to apply their extra weight properly), and thus being so weak even masterful silver mauls are more like wifflebats that have a hard time cracking bones where a smaller silver hammer would explode the struck part into gore in a tenth of the time.
    • Crossbows are a bit of an unusual example. They work perfectly fine, and are deadly as they should be, but in fortress mode something about crossbow-handling seems to destroy dwarven brains, and a mixture of glitches and plain idiocy makes the training and use of marksdwarf squads into a hassle.
  • Enter the Gungeon has the Klobb, which works almost exactly the same as it does in Goldeneye 007.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, the Burst Laser Mark III fires an impressive five-shot barrage, but players generally avoid it due to its high power requirements and long charge time, and the same amount of firepower can be easily achieved by firing several cheaper lasers at once.
  • In Dungeon Crawl, players that have been torn apart by Sigmund's Sinister Scythe are disappointed when they get one of their own, or loot Sigmund's after finally getting the better of him. Sigmund's accuracy and brutal damage with the weapon are unique to him; for anyone else, a scythe is a slow, inaccurate weapon that doesn't do enough damage to justify its weaknesses, and is outclassed by every other polearm in the game.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Mount & Blade
    • Practice Bows in if the player character is not built as an archer. You are doomed in any arena/tournament fight if you spawn with one and you aren't lucky enough to get a new weapon really quick as you can't fight at all in melee with one. Fixed in Warband, you will also start with a practice knife if you spawn if a bow. While it can't block, it can at least fight back and if you are strong enough disrupt attacks.
    • Swords with thrusting attacks for mounted combat - they have neither the range to easily connect like pole arms, nor the simple reliability of slashing attacks.
    • In the Gekokujo mod, naginatas, and especially the practice naginata in tournaments - they're not particularly long (in fact, the practice naginata is no longer than the practice nodachi or kanabo) and slower than the alternatives, and which weapon you get in tournaments is random.
    • At a unit-wide level in Gekokujo, bow-using Ashigaru skirmishers. Even for regions that have them as their Elites, Ashigaru simply don't get enough levels in Power Draw to really be effective with bows like Samurai become, especially when Ashigaru skirmishers from a handful of regions, such as Owari, use flintlock, which are always devastating.
  • Fallout and Fallout 2 have the Mauser pistol, a one-of-a-kind weapon in Fallout and one of the rarest guns in the sequel. It's also the only weapon in both games to use 9mm ammunition, which is so rare its primary source is a glitchnote  and so must be carefully managed if one intends to use it. Obviously the Mauser must be one of the most powerful small guns, right? Wrong: short of the completely-useless-after-the-first-five-minutes pipe rifle, it's the weakest - even the lowly 10mm pistol does more damage. Its only redeeming factor is a special very high bonus to accuracy, but by the time you can get it your own leveling and the presence of various precision rifles make this trait pointless. One wonders why the devs even bothered putting it, and its very own ammo type, in the game at all.
  • Fallout 3
    • The game brings back the Mauser pistol, (or at least a Chinese knockoff of it, based on the real Shanxi Type 17), as the Chinese Pistol. It no longer suffers from having unique and unreasonably-rare ammo, now sharing with the 10mm pistol, but it has 2 fewer shots per magazine, is no faster or more accurate, does less than half the damage of its American counterpart, and does not have a silenced version. Its only saving graces are that it sells for a fair deal of cash (which combines well with its low weight and how common it is in the hands of Raiders in the early game), and that it has more than twice the durability of the regular 10mm. The latter is just about useless, as the low damage makes degradation versus damage dealt approximately equal to that of the 10mm, but with twice the ammo usage, so there's really no reason to keep even one on-hand unless you're going to sell it as soon as you get back to Megaton or find a wandering merchant. The unique variant is slightly more useful, as it is capable of setting enemies on fire in addition to the base damage and even better durability (approximately three times as much as the regular 10mm pistol). In spite of this, it's still probably one of the least powerful unique weapons out there (even weaker than many regular weapons; it only deals more damage than the regular Chinese pistol due to the fire damage) and is only good for supplementing another firearm or for lighting up occasional pockets of gas. Something a laser pistol can do as well as hit three times harder and not waste good 10mm ammo.
    • There's also the .32 Pistol, which does less damage than the starter 10mm pistol which you probably fled Vault 101 with hours prior, has an unusably small ammo capacity (5-shot cylinder) and uses ammo that, while plentiful, is much more useful when loaded into the far stronger and better-ranged Hunting Rifle. Wild Bill's Sidearm in The Pitt DLC is actually pretty decent, doing more damage than other common pistols at 10 points of damage (albeit only one more point of damage than the regular 10mm) and the only pistols that hit harder are energy pistols, the very rare and inexplicably flimsy scoped .44 Magnum, and Colonel Autumn's 10mm pistol.
    • The Big Guns branch as a whole gets this, since not only do a lot of them fall in the Awesome, but Impractical or flat-out useless pile, but it's a separate tree from the common guns that make up most of the game's arsenal, and it's very hard to find a Big Gun in reasonable condition. This means you don't really use things like rocket launchers outside of hairy moments, but you also have to invest a lot of effort to ensure you aren't better off with a shotgun in those moments. It's not for no reason that future games removed Big Guns as a skill and let its weapons be governed by the same bonuses as more practical ones.
    • The Sawed-off Shotgun breaks easily, only holds two shots, is unusually rare (making it hard to repair outside of merchants so it'll never be at 100% for long), doesn't do all that much damage, and has an effective range of about two feet. It's barely even worth carrying back to sell once you loot it off one of the few raiders in the game that carries it.
    • The Combat Shotgun is better at slightly further ranges, is common enough thanks to tripwire traps that it can actually be repaired in the field on occasion, and due to a bug, the total critical damage is applied when any sub-projectile gets a critical hit (through chance or a sneak attack) instead of the same value divided by the number of shots per discharge, resulting in obliterative sneak attack crits (when all the buckshot subprojectiles crit). The named variant called "The Terrible Shotgun" found in Evergreen Mills can kill the nearby Super Mutant Behemoth in a single sneak headshot.How does it all work?  However, this comes at the cost of similarly-terrible durability, and if you don't get critical hits then enemies will still just shrug off the buckshot like it was a passing breeze.
    • Grenades also feel like this most of the time. In theory they should be awesome, but in truth they are very a situational and hard to use weapon. First off, they usually don't deal a whole lot of damage to a single entity. Their charm is theoretically that they can hurt a lot of different people at once; however, in the game it is difficult to find situations where people are huddled together within a grenade's effective radius and will stay that way until it detonates - and usually when they are, it's also within a group of other explosive objects like the abandoned nuclear-powered cars that either would do just as much damage to the enemy with a couple much cheaper bullets, or will cause a chain-reaction that kills the player as well. Most frustratingly, however, is that VATS isn't designed to use them, and even if it does manage to lob a grenade right at an enemy's feet, they will usually run away before it explodes. This is made worse by the fact that manually aiming with them in combat is difficult and takes some practice, which will cost you expensive grenades. They're fortunately common enough that you can just sell them to make some quick and easy cash, but even on that front they fall short of similar weapons: land mines do just as much damage, can easily be thrown in the path of approaching enemies (who will fail to react to seeing you place it in their path, unlike with grenades), and are so common as part of pre-placed traps that you can sell them for a better chunk of caps than grenades and still have plenty left over to actually kill things with. Alternatively, bottlecap mines deal five times the damage and are insanely cheap to make versus their assembled value (ten caps plus a few other odds and ends found basically everywhere to make something that sells for a base of 75), especially with multiple copies of its blueprints allowing you to make two or three mines for the same amount of components.
  • Fallout: New Vegas also has a few.
    • First of all, there is the .357 Magnum Revolver, which is essentially an only-slightly-improved version of the .32 pistol. It does rather low damage, being the weakest revolver in the game, it's single action (especially troubling if you took the Trigger Discipline perk, which increases accuracy at the cost of fire rate for every weapon), uses the same ammo as the infinitely more useful Cowboy Repeater rifle, and unlike every other revolver it can't use a speed loader, forcing you to load all six shots painfully slowly. Its strength is meant to be its higher damage per shot, which lets it punch through higher damage threshold than the 9mm - or it would, if any moderately armoured enemies existed at the stage of the game where using one at all was a good idea. Even with the "Cowboy" perk, there's no point to using it over the normal 9mm Pistol, which has the same DPS and doesn't use valuable rifle ammunition. Averted with its unique variant, Lucky, which is far more useful than its normal variant, with the former's higher DPS and Critical Chance.
    • The Single and Caravan Shotguns fire the low damage 20 gauge rounds, and suffer from the usual weakness... and can only fire one or two shots respectively before reloading. To make things worse, the damage is divided between a large number of low-damage projectiles, each of which have their damage reduced by the target's damage threshold. Fortunately, the Shotgun Surgeon perk helps with the damage threshold problem, and much better 12-gauge shotguns that can be modified and take a wider array of ammo types make an appearance in short order.
    • The Sturdy Caravan Shotgun from the Courier's Stash DLC has its own set of problems. It deals slightly better damage than the regular version, is much more durable, and doesn't have the same Guns skill requirement to use effectively... but, due to shoddy programming, it is not affected by either of the shotgun-centric perks and doesn't count for shotgun-focused challenges. Both versions of the caravan shotgun are also hard to use with slug rounds due to the strange decision to use the raised screw from the release lever as a rear sight rather than screwing it in properly and using an actual sight that doesn't completely block your view of the target at any range where slugs would be worth using over buckshot.
    • The Sawed-off Shotgun hasn't gotten much better since Fallout 3. Its only good point is that it's an improved holdout weapon, allowing you to take it into casinos, but there are much better weapons for the role. Against anything tougher than unarmored raiders, its saving grace comes with the "And Stay Back!" perk added in Dead Money, which gives each shotgun pellet a 10% chance to knock an opponent to the ground. As the gun shoots 14 pellets per shot, almost every firing results in your target collapsing in a heap; since its reload time is faster than how long it takes for the target to stand back up, no individual enemy will survive as long as you have enough ammo.
    • The Laser RCW is this if you don't invest in it. The RCW does less damage per shot and per second than a 9mm submachine gun (15/139 vs 19/171), and its (hard-to-come-by) Electron Charge Pack ammo is better reserved for the Gatling Laser or Tesla Cannon. Electron Charge Packs can be easier to acquire by recycling the cheap energy cells in bulk to make more (especially with the Vigilant Recycler perk), and there exists a weapon mod that recycles 1-in-4 shots (effectively giving you 25% more ammo). The RCW can be maintained with plasma rifles and the dirt-cheap Recharger Rifle (if you have the Jury Rigging perk) essentially making it the poor man's Gatling Laser with lower costs and weight. In addition, the "Laser Commander" perk makes the RCW far more useful in most situations, thereby rendering its issues moot and making it a worthwhile weapon.
    • The Recharger Rifle. Even for a starter weapon its damage is absolutely pathetic, being 25% weaker than the 9mm pistol. On top of that it's extremely fragile, inaccurate, and just plain ugly. Even worse, it does not benefit from the "Laser Commander" perk despite it being a laser weapon, thanks to a programmer's oversight. The point of it is to have a viable early energy rifle when microfusion cells are rare, but you'd be better off selling the gun and just using the caps to buy some extra ammo. With the Jury Rigging perk you can use these to repair the much better Laser RCW as well.
    • The Automatic Rifle was added in the Dead Money add-on. As one of the heaviest guns in the game and requiring a maxed guns skill and very high strength, it offers extremely inefficient use of expensive .308 ammo, a tiny magazine, very high spread, and low DPS compared to the submachine guns that it competes against. Plus, like everything else added in Dead Money, you can't find it anywhere in regular gameplay after you've finished the DLC; for the weight of one, you could free up nearly half the space necessary for one of the far more valuable gold bars.
    • Dead Money also adds demolition charges, supposed to be explosives made for construction purposes rather than killing people, and the only actual weapon you can acquire from the vending machines in the Sierra Madre. While you're stuck there, they're a good weapon - no Explosives skill requirement for very nearly the same damage as a frag mine (one point more, even) with the added bonus that, being explosives, they easily dismember the ghost people to prevent them from getting back up. Once you get back out into the normal game and have access to regular frag mines again, though, the downsides become obvious - it sells for the same price and deals just about the same damage, which does nothing to justify weighing three times as much as a regular mine, or the fact that the only way to get them is through the vending machine in the abandoned bunker that lead to the Sierra Madre - you're just as well off taking advantage of a bug where placing a demo charge then disarming and picking it back up turns it into a regular frag mine so you can carry three times as many for the same weight, then just forgetting about them once you're done with the DLC.
    • New Vegas also introduces "Fatigue Damage", which can knock enemies unconscious for a short amount of time when dealt enough fatigue damage. However, there's only six of such weapons in the game, and are all hard to come by (Boxing Gloves, Boxing Tape, the Cattle Prod, Flashbang grenades, the Compliance Regulator, and Beanbag Shells for shotguns). Unless you're going for a pacifist run, knocking enemies out isn't nearly as beneficial as straight-up killing them.
    • Throwing weapons, such as spears, hatchets, and knives, are a mixed bag - they do a decent amount of damage (moreso with poisons and perks) and are silent weapons. However, for some reason they are hard to find, with throwing knives being nearly impossible to obtain. Combine that with weight and the fact that you cannot retrieve any thrown weapons, even if you miss, and they become more trouble than they're worth.
    • The Silenced .22 Pistol and Silenced .22 SMG are both incredibly disappointing weapons. Both have silencers integrated in them and have increased Sneak Attack damage, but that's undercut by the fact that they are severely underpowered and outclassed by other weapons with Silencer modifications, such as the 10mm Pistol or the .45 Auto Pistol. They also use the .22LR round, which is rather common, but better suited for Vendor Trash, especially since it can be broken down at workbenches (netting you lead and gunpowder to make bigger pistol rounds) but can't be built (since it's a rimfire cartridge).
  • Fallout 4 has several weapons (particularly in the DLC) that are more Joke Items than anything else, but a few meant for serious use instead qualify as this:
    • The Gamma Gun. It is quite effective against human enemies, but radiation damage is either largely or completely ineffective against ghouls, synths, power armor-wearing humans, super mutants, and most wild creatures. You can modify the guns to do extra energy damage that can harm these baddies, but it's far more sensible to just stick with weapons that primarily deal ballistic and/or energy damage, since there are no enemies that have complete immunity to those two damage types.
      • The only good use of the Gamma Gun is lowering the health of Legendary human enemies so that it won't regenerate to full, which can be annoying. It's still incredibly situational.
    • One would think the Broadsider would be an epic overpowered weapon, being a smooth-bore naval cannon modified to be portable and fired by hand. It isn't. It's heavy, short ranged, inaccurate as hell and does less damage than a conventional missile launcher or gauss rifle. Which is basically what regular Cannons are on their own, which is a given, and is supposed to be more of a volley type of weapon than a practical singular one. Still, at least it has novelty value...
    • The Cryolator is also this. On paper it sounds like an awesome weapon; it shows freezing ammunition, can be upgraded to fire ice pellets for enhanced damage and can be acquired early in the game provided enough investment is made in the Lockpicking skill. (Or have Dogmeat fetch it) In practice, ammo for it is nonexistent and it chews through it like crazy (as in, it spawns almost nowhere in the game, not in loot containers, not on dead bodies, nowhere) and only Arturo in Diamond City sells any, usually around 151 shots. Those 151 shots will cost about 2200 caps, making this weapon expensive to fire and pointless to scavenge ammo for.
    • Institute laser rifles/pistols are the weakest weapons that use Fusion Cells, are huge and take up a large portion of the screen, which can obscure your view of your surroundings, and are ugly to boot. They have a higher rate of fire than pre-war laser weapons, but that's it.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Any weapon with randomized damage, e.g. axes, especially once your attack power goes high enough that randomization only hurts your damage potential.
    • In Final Fantasy I, a bug meant that instead of weapons having individualized critical rates, their crit rate was instead linked to their index number. This made a number of weapons meant to compensate for low damage with high crit rates completely worthless. A key example is the Vorpal Sword, which has damage on-par with the common Mythril Sword and shows up pretty late—it's meant to have a 30% crit rate, but at that point, you're well into the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness and pretty much every other weapon has a 30% crit rate.
    • Certain weapon classes in Final Fantasy XI have been hit by this as time and patches went by. In particular, two-handed weapons were looked down on for a long time due to differences in the damage and accuracy calculations for them versus one-handed weapons. This was thankfully adjusted, but other issues have come up from time to time for certain jobs or weapons.
  • The enemy weapons you get off Aces in Valkyria Chronicles, tend to fit this trope early on, as the marginal increase in power compared to regular Gallian weaponry does not make up for the severe drop in both accuracy and range. While the rifles and machine guns improve to the point where they become viable options, captured sniper rifles consistently have less than half the range and accuracy of their counterparts, which eventually become capable of scoring long-range headshots with almost every shot. The exception is enemy flamethrowers, as they are generally more powerful than their Gallian tier equivalents.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Morrowind has Polearms. Though fans have been lamenting about their loss (each game in the series that has followed does not include them), it's rare to find someone who actually uses them. A major factor is that they're two-handed weapons, meaning you cannot use a shield or light source in your off-hand, while doing damage on par with one-handed weapons.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Fist weapons until Mists of Pandaria, and Polearms pre-Burning Crusade. Both were hampered by the fact that there were just not enough in the game, and the ones that were there were overshadowed by better weapons. It didn't help that Dagger specialization for rogues was much better than fist weapons, whereas sword or mace at least gave damage output or a chance to stun. Burning Crusade remedied this by adding more polearms to the game, although they were most commonly used by hunters for stats. They were officially Rescued from the Scrappy Heap later on, especially around Legion when Survival Hunters became a melee class that preferred staves and polearms.
    • The fourth expansion added Pokémon-like pet battles. Many pets have very weak movesets, although none are truly useless. There are, however, instances of very rare pets that are effectively identical to much more easily obtained alternatives.
  • The Mass Effect series has a fair share of examples.
    • Mass Effect:
      • Due to the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness and Random Drops in the first game, several guns were rendered completely useless five minutes after you picked them up because you'd immediately find another gun of the same type with objectively better stats.
      • Sniper rifles for Shepard - unless you're a Soldier or Infiltrator (or take Sniper Rifles as your bonus skill on New Game+), you can't zoom in with the scope (defeating the entire purpose of sniping), and even if you do have training for it, you need to put to put a ton of skill points into it to stop the damn thing from shaking. The environments are small enough for perfect aim with pistols or assault rifles (and the former is available for every class). A Sniper rifle of any power will (almost) overheat from a single shot and take seconds to cool down, making it useless for the Zerg Rush that every fight devolves to. And with the game's infamous "permaheat" bug, every shot with a sniper rifle carries a risk of forcing a saved-game reload.
      • On the upside, in the squadmates' hands, sniper rifles equipped with high-explosive ammo turn into a perfect-aim rocket launchersthat eject enemies from the level.
    • Mass Effect 2
      • The Shuriken was the most useless weapon in the game. It's a weak, inaccurate machine pistol that doesn't even have the benefit of a fast firing rate, since it shoots three round bursts. It did less damage and had worse accuracy than the Predator pistol, which you got before it.
      • The Tempest the submachinegun that replaces the Shuriken wasn't much better. High rate of fire and ammo capacity but horrible recoil. Good luck keeping the thing on track. The only submachine gun worth using in the game is the Locust, which combines good damage with good accuracy and recoil but only available in a paid DLC.
      • The Katana and Scimitar shotguns had an effective range of about five feet, and even point blank weren't powerful enough to one-shot basic mooks. To get any use of them you had to get in an enemy's face, exposing yourself to automatic fire. Literally the only reason to ever use them in battle is if you're out of other ammo for other weapons and have melee enemies like varren coming up close. They were so bad that the game designers created the Eviscerator shotgun as a free DLC to replace both of them.
      • There's a reason no one uses the Avalanche heavy weapon; it's simply a waste of power cells. While the freezing effect is nice, the Cyro bullets for other weapons do the same thing. Most other Heavy weapons have either more ammo or better damage, as the Avalanche has only 50 damage with 30 cells.
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • The Shuriken, Katana, and Scimitar are still terrible, with the re-introduction of weapon mods doing little to compensate for their faults.
      • The AT-12 Raider shotgun has the worst accuracy in the game and only holds two shots. Its redeeming quality is supposed to be very high damage, but the Wraith does more damage, so there's no reason at all to pick up the Raider.
      • The Geth Pulse Rifle, which was considered a decent weapon in the second game and great in the first, has moved into Scrappy Weapon territory in 3. It's been nicknamed the "Geth Piss Rifle" by the community simply because it does low damage overall.
      • The Kishock Harpoon Gun sniper rifle. It has a number of features that sound great on paper: great spare ammo capacity and reload speed for a single-shot sniper rifle, shots that can be charged for extra damage, a higher headshot damage multiplier than normal, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to ignore the "shield gate," a massive damage reduction that occurs when excess damage shatters an enemy's Shields or Barriers and goes on to their Health or Armor. However, the weapon's projectile is slow-moving and requires a lot of aiming compensation, charging shots is extremely inefficient from a DPS perspective without producing enough extra damage to justify it, 40% of the shot's damage is dealt in bleed (meaning it actually deals relatively little damage up front, and even common infantry can potentially survive a headshot), and the scope is of such a low magnification that the weapon handles more like an assault rifle with a scope attached than a sniper rifle. The result is a weapon that is so bizarrely balanced and has such a ridiculous learning curve that even after numerous patches and tweaks, it remains, along with the Shuriken, the only weapon in the game that the Mass Effect Wiki advises against using.
      • The Viper sniper rifle got nerfed hard in this game, having its firing rate lowered and the clip size reduced from 12 to 6. Combined with the buffs given to other guns, the Viper just looks pathetic; the Carnifex, for example, not only does more damage, but it also weighs less and can easily be modded to hold more shots. Still in multiplayer, the Viper can be a literal Poor Man's Substitute for the Carnifex, since the former is an uncommon weapon and the latter is a rare, which means that you'll probably max out the Viper first unless you're particularly blessed by the Random Number God.
      • Phoenix Adepts and Vanguards use Shock Batons for their melee attack. Said batons are slow and don't do a lot of damage, and leave you exposed the entire time.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • Lucca's "ultimate weapon", the Wonder Shot, randomly inflicts 10%, 50%, 100%, 200%, or 300% damage. It does not deal 200%/300% enough to make the gun worthwhile.
    • In the Nintendo DS remake, Marle gets the Venus Bow, which is guaranteed to do 777 damage. The problem is that this means critical hits are impossible, and if she gets confused, that 777 guaranteed damage can be turned on your own teammates (which is bad when they can have at most 999 HP).
  • In Ultima VII, the Firedoom Staff. A fairly potent weapon, it had the problem that you don't control your party members and so they are likely to wander into the blast radius of the fireball. It was manageable, though, if you wanted to. What you should never, ever do is give this weapon to any party member, because they will promptly start blowing up the entire party by not caring one whit about who is going to get caught in any given explosion.
  • Monster Hunter: All weapon classes are useful in some way or another, so how scrappy they are tends to depend on whether you're hunting solo or with a party:
    • Sword & Shield is widely regarded as a poor choice for solo hunts. Although S&S users have generally high elemental or status ratings on their weapons, amazing mobility compared to other melee classes, a shield for blocking attacks (including those ever-annoying flashes and roars), and can use items without sheathing (making them excellent support in multiplayer), the damage-per-second and reach leave much to be desired. And unlike most other classes, the S&S class doesn't have a hard-hitting special attack or Super Mode. Thankfully, Capcom seems to have recognized this last drawback and has given the weapon its own charged heavy slash in 4U, among other improvements.
    • All Gunner classes (the Bowguns and Bow) can be this in solo hunts as well, due to sacrificing attack power in exchange for allowing attacks from a safer distance. It's possible to defeat most monsters as a solo Gunner within the time limit, but unless you have the correct technique and armor skills, it will usually take much longer than just coming up close and whacking away with a good melee weapon. Also, Gunners have to use separate Gunner armor, which means having to farm for more drops. On top of all that, Gunner armor has only a fraction of the raw defense of Blademaster armor despite boasting higher Elemental resistances, which means if a monster reaches you and starts beating you up, your health is going to be ripped apart like toilet paper.
    • In multiplayer, weapons with long sweeping reaches tend to be loathed due to the knockback and tripping when accidentally hitting other players, the usual culprits being the Longsword, Switch Axe, Charge Blade (in axe form) and Hunting Horn (otherwise a stellar support class due to its Area of Effect buffs and healing). Unless the monster is big enough that everyone can spread out to avoid hitting each other, it is hard to avoid interrupting other players' combos with these weapons.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • During the 2.x A Realm Reborn era, any armor or weapons that focused heavily on Skill Speed (and to a lesser extent, Spell Speed) over more useful stats like whatever stat determines your class's damage. This is because Skill Speed only affects the cooldown timers on the already short (2.5 second base) Global Cooldowns applied to all regular weapon skills. It took hundreds upon hundreds of points in Skill Speed to reduce the cooldown by even a tenth of a second. Spell Speed is slightly more useful, since it also affects the casting speed of spells, which generally takes less time than the global cooldown. This was done because XIV's dev team, especially the Realm Reborn team, felt that Haste was too powerful (only a handful of the battle classes/jobs get any Haste-like ability), and so it was intentionally nerfed.note .
    • When the Heavensward expansion released, Skill and Spell Speed got a massive buff, and the devs felt comfortable enough to bring in more Haste-like abilities that buffed Auto-Attack Speed as well. Instead, the new Scrappy Weapons and Armor are anything with a heavy focus on Determination. A generic stat that boosts damage dealt and healing received, which received a nerf at the same time as the buffs to Skill/Spell Speed, a single point in Vitality or your current class's main damage stat provides a much larger boost than several points of Determination.
    • Stormblood and Shadowbringers had further rebalances and reworks of the attributes and stats. The Main Attributesnote  were limited to being boosted purely by class level and gear, with materia for them phased out. This put the focus of materia slots on secondary statsnote  for player customization. Determination got enough of a boost to be considered useful after improving other key stats for the player's class. The role of Scrappy Materia Upgrades became the Tank-Role exclusive stat of Tenacity, which is intended as a general boost to all things useful to a Tank but has to be kept necessarily weak to prevent tanks from become overpowered. Tank Players who hit the level cap instead tend to focus exlcusively on adding Direct Hit materia to their gear for the improved chance of dealing "mini-criticals hits" for higher DPS.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV has the Almighty Rounds, purchasable in the members-only area of Ginza. Hooray, bullets that are Almighty-elemental and thus can't be reduced in damage, reflected by, or nullified by 99% of enemies! Except said members-only area requires investing a costly 165,000 Macca to enter, and the bullets themselves are horribly expensive, moreso on Master difficulty where they cost a whopping 1.3 million Macca. Last but not least, they're not even that good, with only 20 attack power, which is about the strength of most early-game bullets. In short, mostly-unblockable bullets that are expensive and just too weak to be worth it.
  • The Anguis pin in The World Ends with You, despite having the highest raw damage number in the game, fails in practically every other way imaginable and then some. First, it's highly inaccurate - in a game where enemies move constantly, this is a big problem. Second, it never reboots, meaning It Only Works Once per battle chain - if you string 16 battles together, you'll only have a single use of Anguis in one of those battles, and in a game where most battles are either chain battles or long battles, this is a huge problem. Third, the Anguis pin is considered a Reaper-class pin. The player is only allowed to wear one Reaper-class pin into any battle chain, meaning using Anguis takes away from a wide variety of pins that actually have consistent use. What brings Anguis from merely being a bad weapon into the area of players utterly loathing it with a passion, however, is mastering the pin. Anguis takes a ridiculously long time to master. You can have 99% of the pins in the game mastered, and then spend days just mastering that one last Anguis pin. And there's a piece of equipment that requires a fully mastered Anguis pin to buy. If you want the game to acknowledge 100% Completion, you need to have everything in your inventory, which means both a fully mastered Anguis pin and the piece of equipment you use one to buy. This means going through the trouble of mastering the pin TWICE. Small wonder people have been known to (deliberately) misspell it as the "Anguish" pin...
  • Salt and Sanctuary: Bows and Crossbows are absolutely terrible at all tiers, due to somewhat lackluster rate of fire and pitiful damage that gets outclassed by daggers two tiers below in terms of damage per strike. Their range may be better than any other weapon in the game, but it's still lackluster to the point of the projectiles flopping like NERF darts halfway, and since it's a 2D platformer the extra range isn't too much of a benefit, since you can't see past the screen. That, and if you want range most magic spells have you covered, and are much stronger anyways. Literally everything in the game outclasses them because of these facts; even daggers, which are widely acknowledged to be fun but rather underpowered due to their high attack rate and combo capacity allowing some kind of offense.
  • Dragon Quest VIII, unlike most Dragon Quest games, actually tied certain skills to your weapon, on top of certain special attributes (ie, whips hitting groups of enemies, boomerangs hitting all enemies). Unfortunately, due to the skills available as well as the accessibility of certain weapons, it developed:
    • Scythes and clubs. Most of them were available only via alchemy and when you did have some of them, axes had much higher attack power and better skills attached to them such as Hatchet Man and its upgrade Executioner. Thankfully, clubs in the 3DS version were Rescued from the Scrappy Heap with Morrie. His abilities with the clubs function very similar to axes, allowing clubs to become a feasible weapon. Almost too powerful, as Morrie's fist weapons become Overshadowed by Awesome.
    • Knives. In the PS2 version, only Jessica could use them, plus she was a Squishy Wizard who had access to whip abilities, considered very overpowered. Later on, knives vanished because they would allow Jessica to use swords - but her attack power was so low that not even the Falcon Blade or the Über Falcon blade could let her catch up. Much like with clubs and Morrie, Red in the 3DS version enables for knives to become useful. As a fighter, she is much more equipped to use knives than Jessica, and when she learns swords she will be able to deal good physical damage. However, this is only one option - most players actually believe Fans to be Red's Weapon of Choice.
    • Unarmed, for everyone but Yangus. Yangus's strength was high enough that he was able to keep up with everyone else, however they lack the power of axes. For everyone else, they will be lacking as fisticuffs does not give them as much access to the utility that picking and committing to a weapon skill does.
  • The sequel, Dragon Quest IX averted this during the game's main story - one way the game is balanced during the 30+ hour main story is the fact that there is always a weapon available to you. So you decided to use a fan or a bow? Well guess what - you'll find a weapon upgrade available in the next town. Unfortunately, this still happened in the post-game - many of the weapons like attacking staves and fans became useless as they do not have as many possible damage multipliers, such as Falcon Strike, Multishot, or Multithrust. In addition, while upgrades for them post-game do exist, the raw attack power of swords and the regenerative powers of rods outclasses just about all of them.
  • Final Fantasy XII has several weapon types that perform differently from one another. Axes, bombs, and hammers do randomized damage, which can be good for low level characters, but the inconsistent damage can seriously hamper a character's damage output by the halfway point of the game. Bows and crossbows can allow characters to attack at long range, but bows have horrible accuracy in bad weather and crossbows are simply inaccurate altogether. Guns can ignore an enemy's defense and evasion, but they are the slowest weapons to use and the gun's attack power is based on the gun and the bullets loaded and said bullets are not easy to find if you want something more than what the shops offer. It also doesn't help that a lot of late game bosses and side quest enemies have a resistance to gun damage, making the defense piercing aspect moot anyway. Pole weapons do damage based on the enemy's magic defense, which would be handy if you knew which enemies have low magic defense anyway without looking up a guide.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Shield Hammers are almost universally considered the worst Blade type. They are meant to allow their user to serve as meatshield tanks, but of the two designated tanking members of the party, Morag is an agile evasion tank who doesn't suit this role, and Tora can't resonate with any Blades other than Poppi anyway. Aside from this, Shield Hammers almost universally have a low damage output, their attacking animations are very slow, and they're hard to use in a Driver Combo as neither Rex nor Nia have Driver Arts with them. The exception is Finch, who grants her user an Agility bonus, making her useful to equip on Morag.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Gradius ReBirth has Type E's Double shot, the V-Shot. It fires up and down, but not forward, thereby depriving you of any and all horizontal coverage. Type E's Laser, the Vector Laser, becomes this too on Stage 2 and bonus stages, where it cannot damage destructible walls. Needless to say, if you equip the Vector Laser and then go into Stage 2 on higher loops or difficulties, or into a bonus stage, both of which require destroying walls to advance, you are dead.
  • Soul Star has the Circle Laser. It fires quickly, but you'll soon notice it does an awfully low amount of damage. After you get the powerful Orange Laser, you'll want to avoid the C "powerup" at all costs.
  • Most Zanac players know better than to pick up Weapon 2, the frontal shield that lasts for 50 hits. Why? Because while the weapon itself isn't bad, it's the Dynamic Difficulty's Berserk Button, throwing out significantly tougher enemies than what you're already facing if you switch to it.
  • The red weapon type in Raiden and its sequels. In a game with lots of heavy enemies that take significant firepower to bring down, being able to fill the screen with low-power shots is not a good long-term survival technique. This was recitified from Raiden III onwards, where the spread shot now has rapid-fire capability, and can shred armored enemies in a reasonable period of time.
  • Tyrian has a few. The Scatter Wave has such an inefficient field of fire that one online guide jokingly suggested that it was planted by the enemies in order to sabotage your ship. The Charge Cannon also costs way more than it's worth for the minimal damage it does.

  • MechWarrior series:
    • SRM2s in any MechWarrior game ever, due to the piddling damage caused by the tiny two-missile salvo. If you're taking the trouble to fit a missile launcher but your build restricts you so much that you can't mount SRM4s or SRM6s, you're almost certainly better off either compromising on something else in order to install the better launchers or using up the weight with buffs or ammo for other weapons. At best, you can use the small racks to rattle the enemy around with missile spam.
    • The Autocannon/2 is also subjected to this in any MechWarrior game as well. Unlike Machine Guns, the AC/2 itself weighs more per ton (6 tons vs. the former's 0.5 tons) and doesn't have the rapid-firing ability of the former and its Ultra and Rotary variants despite having a very good range bracket, discouraging users from "boating" their custom mechs with this gun. Its piddling damage makes it inferior to other long-range weaponry like Large Lasers, PPCs, and LRMs and so the AC/2 is best treated as Vendor Trash.
    • Mechwarrior: Living Legends:
      • For most of its history, the Autocannon/10 - and to a lesser extent, the Ultra AC/10 dealt - piss for damage, had crap hit registration, and weighed so much that mechs mounting were so gimped in other categories that they became jokes. The AC/10 was reworked six years after the first release with many positive buffs, though it and the newer Hyper Velocity AC/10 still have lingering problems; the gun weighs so much that lighter assets basically have to dedicate themselves to it (such as the Regulator Hover Tank, one variant has only a HVAC/10), leaving their overall firepower crap.
      • The Bear Autocannon (a Powered Armor weapon option) was crap for the game's entire history, dealing negligible damage, with poor accuracy, a tendency to overheat, the barrels had to spin up to fire, and it was competing with much more competent weapons. It was so bad that you were better off throwing the gun at the enemy, because at least then you have a small chance to kill them via Tele-Frag when the weapon spawns inside them. When it was made the default battle armor weapon in version 0.7, it received buffs across the board; with a steady hand, it can pick off dedicated battle armor players from beyond their effective range.
    • The Arrow IV in MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy. In principle, it was great - super long range and huge damage - but its effectiveness was nullified by the anti-missile system, another new weapon included in GBL, which would explode them effortlessly because it was meant to counteract missile salvos made of several dozen of them - and Arrows were just as unarmored as normal missiles. Ammo supply was also pitifully small.
    • Several Examples of Scrappy Weapons are also found in MechWarrior Online:
      • LRM-20 Missile Launchers. As the name implies, they fire off a swarm of 20, one point damage missiles out to a max range of 1000 meters (in a game where the average optimal weapon range is typically around 300 to 500 meters. As the only other weapon that can deal up to 20 points of damage with a single shot (not counting Critical hits triggering Ammo Explosions), is the short-range, and heavier Autocannon/20, this sounds awesome, right? Wrong. LRM-20s It has long reload times, generate significant heat build-up on your mech, have very wide missile spreads, which can cause up to half or more of the missiles to miss even the largest Assault Class mechs, and even if they do hit, that's damage that's scattered on up to 8 hit locations (3 of which, the torso sections, have front and back armor, so technically, 11 total hit locations). They weigh the most of all the missile launchers in-game right now, they take up a lot of critical slots, limiting what else you can place in a section of the mech, and eat through literal tons of ammo. Many players prefer the faster reloads, and more compact spreads of the smaller launchers.
      • Flamers. Another case of Videogame Flamethrowers Suck. They are by all means, "Energy Machine Guns", which is to say, versus any enemy mech with Armor protecting them still, do very little damage, but versus exposed Internal Structure, have increased damage, and bonus Critical Hit Chance. And unlike Machine Guns, they have infinite ammo and can increase the heat of a mech hit with them. However, they also generate heat very quickly on the mech firing them, completely negating the "Overheat your enemy" aspect, are short-ranged, and are nowhere near as good as the regular Machine Guns in terms of ease of aiming (MGs are pinpoint, while it can be hard to hit the section of the enemy mech you want with the Flame Throwers). Latter updates solved the pinpoint damage issue by turning the flames into heat jets, making them far more accurate weapons, and increasing the amount of heat it generates on the target.
  • Ace Combat
    • In most games, the Rocket Launcher qualifies as this: it's wildly inaccurate, can be difficult to aim, and does insignificant damage is outdone by most bombs or missiles. The exception to this is Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, where the rockets are now much easier to aim and have unrivalled damage potential if the rockets hit their targets. After 6, most games took a middle ground: keeping the improved accuracy but nerfing the damage to make it a niche if servicable choice.
    • In some games, Guided Bombs are considered the worst weapons available. They were decent enough in the PS2 games, but from 6 onwards their splash radius was greatly reduced, weakening their potential as anti-ground weapons. They're decent enough as anti-ship weapons, but even in that they're vastly outpaced by dedicated anti-ship missiles.
    • Ace Combat Infinity has the High-Capacity Air-to-Air Missile. It's basically a second set of the standard missiles, with a slower reload time, less ammo, less damage, and no ability to lock onto the more plentiful ground targets. That would be bad enough on its own, but what makes it worse is that it is very, very easy to upgrade every aspect of the standard missiles and completely obsolete the HCAA, while the HCAA - and by extension, every missile-based special weapon - requires most of the tech tree to be completed before one can even begin to upgrade anything other than their capacity. What really makes it scrappy is that damn near every mid- to high-tier and special aircraft gets the HCAA instead of something that actually fills a niche the standard missiles can't already do better - you can count the number of late-game craft that don't have it on both hands.
  • Freespace 2 has the Prometheus-R, a supposed retrofit of the well-liked Prometheus from the first game. Unfortunately for you, this retrofit effectively made the weapon worse in every possible way, with a painfully slow rate of fire, high power consumption, and per-shot damage that is barely higher than the starting Subach HL-7. Even worse, a few missions force you to use it. Thankfully it is supplanted later on in the game by the Prometheus-S, a variant more up to the standards of the first game's Prometheus. The in-game explanation for this is that the GTVA was in the midst of a gas shortage and couldn't provide fuel for the Prometheus, so the Prometheus-R was a watered-down version meant as a stopgap production. The Prometheus-S is introduced about the same time the GTVA gets its gas mines back, allowing them to begin producing the actual weapon again.
  • Heavy Gear has the Fragmentation Cannon. Besides its usual problems as a Short-Range Shotgun, it has one of the worst performance ratings in terms of damage, firing rate, and ammo capacity in the two video games it appears in. This weapon can barely scrape a light-class Gear's hull, let alone a tank, that it might as well do Scratch Damage. Even worse, the first weapon you start off in the game, the Light Autocannon, embarrassingly outclasses the Fragmentation Cannon in every other aspect concerning performance, turning the latter into the shotgun equivalent of Goldeneye's Klobb.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Hitman 2 has the ICA Electrocution Phone, unlocked by completing three story missions in the New York mission. Veteran and professional players hate the weapon for being a boring Game-Breaker that counts for a simple accident kill (in comparison, the ICA Explosive Phone doesn't count as an accident), thus nullifying the challenge of Silent Assassin Suit Only runs, while casual players find its accident gimmick to get stale quickly. The fact that it's a DLC item doesn't help, making seem feel as if its pay-to-win. Tellingly, the weapon ended up being completely cut from Hitman 3, as its the only weapon left behind when transferring progress.
  • Just about any melee weapon in the Tenchu games (at least Wrath of Heaven) that you can get from a dead Mook. Especially as they get rid of your one-hit stealth kills. The higher-scoring need-for-powering-up stealth kills. The you're-a-ninja stealth kills. (Well, yeah, the fun-to-do stealth kills.)
  • The M63 in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater if you decide to use it during the bike chase (which, owing to this being a Action-Based Mission and its high ammo capacity, you most likely will). Yes, the weapon is handy, but Snake's constant Rambo-style yelling (which will occur non-stop since you'll be firing in bursts) is ear poison and tempts many players into using the less effective (but more pleasant to listen to) AK-47, XM16E1 or Skorpion.

    Survival Horror 
  • The knife from most of the Resident Evil series was absurdly weak (usually taking several dozen stabs just to knock over the most basic of enemies), had zero range, and took up valuable inventory space, so was typically dumped in the first item box, unless you were just that good and wanted to give yourself a Self-Imposed Challenge. Code Veronica was the first game to give it even limited usefulness, as one swipe counted as several hits, but it wasn't until Resident Evil 4 made it as powerful as the handgun, just trading range for unlimited use and no inventory space used, that it became worthwhile. A skilled player could save a lot of ammo using it, and some bosses (particularly Krauser) were actually easier with the knife as it dealt majorly-increased damage against them.
  • The Flamethrower as found in various Resident Evil games are almost always useless, as it tends to be unreloadable, short-ranged, with zero stopping power, and one character tends to get it in lieu of superior weapons given to the other playable character. It's at i's most useful in Resident Evil 2, as it's very effective against the Ivys, but even then the flame rounds from Claire's grenade launcher are more effective, so Leon ends up shafted. It's at its absolute worst in Resident Evil, where Chris gets it late in the game, as opposed to the Grenade Launcher given to Jill very early on, and the flamethrower can only be used in the underground area, limiting its usefulness to fighting one boss that goes down fairly easy anyway. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard continues the tradition with the Burner, which is extremely useful for exactly one area of the game and its boss, then is worthless for the rest of the game. This wouldn't be so bad except even after that area, the game keeps giving you more ammunition for it.
  • The Spark Shot in Resident Evil 2, exclusive to Claire Redfield, has exactly one use — fighting William Birkin, something you can also effectively do with her Grenade Launcher. Beyond that, it is borderline worthless, taking three shots just to put down a normal zombie, plus it takes two inventory slots and only comes with twenty non-replenishable shots anyway. It was buffed into a much more useful weapon in the game's remake
  • The Bow Gun in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica is weaker than the handgun, has absolutely no knockback, can't hit fast targets like dogs at all, and the powerful gunpowder arrows are Too Awesome to Use. But the real kicker is that Chris has a lot of difficulty using it because of his size.
  • Proximity Mines in Resident Evil 5 might be considered this. Though they have some use in Story mode (usually by leading bosses and strong enemies on them), in Mercenaries they are next to useless, since you need to do melee anyway and you can't even use them to clear the mob in a pinch. No reason to bother with bosses. And in Versus, if you happen to be seen placing them, the enemy player can detonate them by shooting while you are still close. This added to the fact that good players won't be caught stepping on them anyway, since it's easy to tell the set mines from the dropped ones.
  • Silent Hill has two: the Kitchen Knife and the Hand Axe, the first and last melee weapons you get, respectively. The Kitchen Knife is a mandatory pickup, has zero range and in terms of defense is much worse than simply running from danger, and it's as if the game realizes how worthless it is because you can find the Steel Pipe, one of the game's more useful weapons, less than a minute later. The Hand Axe is a barely-noticeable upgrade to the Kitchen Knife, which is rather unacceptable since by then you're 75% through the game and already have the magnificent and deadly Emergency Hammer. You don't have to get the Axe, though it does have one use: Breaking the lock keeping you from the sewer. Other weapons can break it, but it requires careful positioning and the Axe makes it easier.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder made the heavy crossbow nearly useless. A user could fire it a bit further than a light crossbow and on average did one more point of damage on a hit compared to a longbow or a light crossbow. However, the weapon took an entire round to reload, leaving the character useless for an entire turn. Characters who knew how to use a bow would always do better to use the bow if they planned to make more than one attack in a round or spend more than one round shooting. Characters above the first level could almost always afford a bow that lets them add their strength to the damage, negating the heavy crossbow's advantage to damage. Characters who couldn't use a bow would usually rather shoot and move with a light crossbow or were spellcasters whose actions in combat were almost always better used casting a spell. Feats (special tricks characters learn) were priceless, and using one to select "Rapid Reload" for a heavy crossbow was generally a terrible choice. Even the range advantage was usually useless due to the metagame; most GMs who use maps don't set many encounters at distances where the extra range comes into play. If the adventure takes place inside a dungeon of any kind, forget it. Many "subpar" weapons have tons of uses for smart players, but the game's rules render heavy crossbows worthless. Even the siangham (a monk weapon which does less damage than the monk's fist) has its uses.
      • Pathfinder managed to (somewhat) salvage the heavy crossbow as more options become available. The Crossbow Mastery feat allows the user to reload their crossbow fast enough that they can perform multiple attacks per round, and while it is a bit heavy on requirements (requiring 3 feats and a minimum of 15 Dexterity) it can be obtained by level 5 in most builds that would consider using a heavy crossbow. Later on, the Bolt Ace archetype for Gunslingers added the benefit of adding the character's Dexterity to damage, helping them catch up to bow-wielding characters.
    • The double crossbow in Pathfinder is even more Awesome, yet Impractical. It fires two bolts with one trigger pull but penalizes both shots by -20% to hit (even if you know how to shoot it) and costs a feat just to learn to use. It takes two standard actions to reload, meaning a normal character using it would fire once every three rounds unless he dedicates even more precious feats to the weapon. Meanwhile, the Manyshot or Rapid Shot feats applied to many weapons and imparted lower/no penalties to hit and allowed for similar effects for dedicated ranged characters. If the character was a spell-caster or melee fighter, spending a feat to learn to use a double crossbow was a very bad choice, especially compared to repeating crossbows, longbows, or other options available to these characters.
    • Bastard swords saw little use, as they were two-handed weapons which did less damage than two-handed swords or great axes, and only by spending a feat could a character use it in one hand. Feats were too precious to spend to gain the minimal damage bonus a bastard sword had over a longsword. Magical longswords were also far more common to find whether the loot was based on GM whimsy or random rolls, making longswords even more attractive compared to the bastard sword.
    • Exotic weapons, in general, had this problem except for D&D's spiked chain, which could be a Min Maxers Delight. It was severely nerfed in Pathfinder, to the point of being useless. Any benefit the exotic weapon provided was grossly overshadowed by the thought of "wasting" a feat and the low chance of finding a magical version of the weapon. If an exotic weapon was associated with a certain race, allowing that race to use it more easily, it would see modest use. The rest almost never saw action.
    • Also in 3.5 is the Heavy Mace. It would be a simple bludgeoning weapon... but the problem is the Morningstar does the same amount of damage, costs less, weighs less, and does piercing damage in addition to bludgeoning. The only advantage the Mace has is being harder to sunder.
    • In 1st edition AD&D, only the longsword and two-handed sword out of all the melee weapons were really worth using for fighters most of the time unless you used the complicated "Weapon Type vs Armour Type" to hit modifier table which hardly anyone did making any other choice a scrappy weapon. They had the best damage dice for the number of hands required to wield them compared to all other weapons unless you were unlucky enough to come across an enemy resistant or immune to slashing damage. Once weapon specialization was added, every single 1st level fighter selected the longsword as you could double specialize in it (resulting in a very useful +3 to hit and damage while two-handed weapons were restricted to single specialization at +1 to hit and +2 damage) and used their remaining proficiency slot for a missile weapon. This problem remained until 3rd edition rolled around.
    • In 5th Edition, the trident gets hit with this. Its stats are exactly the same as the spear, but the spear is a Simple weapon and the trident is a Martial weapon, which means that its damage dice are one tier lower than every other one-handed melee weapon in the game. Spears are much cheaper if you want a piercing weapon that can be thrown, while a longsword, warhammer, or morningstar gives you better damage for a one-handed weapon. On top of the issues with the weapon itself, the trident doesn't work with the Polearm Master feat (considered one of if not the best feat for melee characters in the game), while the spear does.
  • 7thSea, due to an oversight, has the crossbow. The system uses a "keep" roll system, where XkY means you roll X dice but only keep the Y highest dice. Since you get to add your brawn to your roll (but not keep) for melee weapons it was common to find a weapon that had a lower X than Y. The crossbow has 0k2, but since it's a ranged weapon it never gets any bonuses from strength, meaning there's no way to get any rolls to actually keep.
  • Middle-earth Role Playing and Rolemaster had the morning star and flail. While they both offered a modest +10 attack bonus and the chance to do a secondary critical hit, both weapons had an 8% chance to fumble on every attack and if you did fumble, you automatically critically hit yourself with them before you even rolled on the fumble table. The bola was even worse, with a -5 attack penalty though again with a chance to do a secondary critical, 7% fumble chance and again you automatically critically hit yourself with it if you did fumble.
  • BattleTech has numerous weapons that are Awesome, but Impractical or even Cool, but Inefficient, but it's got a few true stinkers.
    • Hyper-Velocity Autocannons. They've got greater range than normal autocannons but get less ammo per ton, weigh dramatically more, generate more heat, and if you roll a 2 (on 2D6) when you attack the gun explodes.
    • Bombast Lasers. They have a special ability to dial how much damage they inflict per shot, but for each point you choose above 7 (the laser's base damage), you take an equal penalty to the attack roll and generate that much more heat. It's really not useful for anything other than fine-tuning your mech's heat for Triple-Strength Myomer (which gives bonuses if you're exactly at 9 on the heat scale), but there are ways to do that without using such a worthless weapon.
    • Flails and wrecking balls. Melee weapons are suspect but flails can't use Triple-Strength Myomer, do fixed damage rather than scaling with the mech's mass, and if you roll poorly on the attack you hit yourself with it. Even in-universe they're considered Awesome, but Impractical, and usually show up in the famous battlemech gladiator matches on Solaris 7 rather than in serious combat.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • For decades, the butt of all jokes regarding weapon balance was the Imperial Guard (or Astrum Militarum in latter editions) lasgun. The infamous "Strength 3, No Armor Penetration", wielded by infantry that typically had a 50% chance of hitting the target. In lore, a decently effective and reliable weapon with Easy Logistics being one of the features of the weapon. But when the Guard in-game were often facing tougher opponents and struggled to score any wounds due to how weapon attacks were resolved, the only good thing players could say about it that one can certainly bring plenty of quantity, if certainly not quality. Jokes about Lasguns doubling as "Flashlights" and "Laser Sights for Bolters" abound and even became an Ascended Meme to Games Workshop. The preferred strategy for years favored vehicle-heavy Guard armies instead, such as the Leman Russ tank and the good old bad days of taking nine Basilisk Self-Propelled Guns, while shuffling troops around in Chimera armored transports.
    • And then 8th edition rolled around and simplified how Strength vs Toughness was calculated when rolling "To-Wound" and made rolling a 6 on the dice always a success, while also changing vehicle rules to also be damaged in a way similar to infantry and meant two things to Guard players. First, lasguns were now capable of damaging everything, including Super-Heavy Tanks, Titan Walkers, Monstrous Creatures, and even beings that could count as Physical Gods. The second change, the meta massively shifted towards horde tactics as the quantity of dice a player could roll provided quite a boost of quality to their army. Cue the mass horrified realization of players' who had built their armies around heavy, expensive, elite "Death Star" units could be wrecked by dozens upon dozens of laser lights.
    • Weapons with the "Gets Hot!" rule were considered an edge case up until 8th edition, the standard for the debate being Imperial/Chaos forces Plasma weaponry. Expensive in point cost, and rolling a 1 on the To-Hit resulted in a Critical Failure that inflicts wounds on firing model. But the strength and armor penetration they had always kept it a tempting option, especially if your army had means of reducing the risks. Notable also because Plasma weaponry worked pretty well against a wide range of targets, be it infantry, heavy infantry, and light vehicles or weaker armor facings of heavy vehicles. 8th edition, however, made them fully viable by reworking all "Gets Hot!" weapons to have a "Standard" firing mode that keeps the power of the classic versions with no overheat risk, and "Overcharge" mode that brings back the risks, but offers higher strength and damage, allowing one shot to deal multiple "wounds" to the target.
    • The same can not be said for the T'au Empire's Plasma Rifle with 8th edition, which went from the "gold standard" of T'au Battlesuit weapons to this trope thanks to the very same reasons that made lasguns better. Namely the rework of the To-Wound and damage systems. Pre-8th, T'au sacrificed a point of strength from their Plasma rifle compared to a Plasma gun in exchange for not having to deal with the "Gets Hot!" rule. But even with the lost point of strength, it was still more than enough to only have to roll on a six-sided dice either a 2+ or 3+ against most infantry, while also applying a former Instant Death Rule to Toughness 3 or lower units that it wounded and had the armor penetration to prevent armor saves from anything short of Space Marine in Terminator armor. As for vehicles, most T'au battlesuits are equipped with a Jet Pack that gives them deployment and mobility options, which made it easier to get behind vehicles to hit their weaker rear armor. 8th Edition, however, removed the "Instant Death" rule for a weapon's strength being double of the target's toughness, the To-Wound chart was simplified so that attacks with strength higher than the target's toughness, 'but not double a 3+ to wound, and double strength to toughness for a 2+. This made Toughness 4 models more resistant and reduced the number of opposing commander units for armies with only Toughness 3 being removed from the table by Turn 2. Vehicles also replaced Armor facings to simply use the same stat lines as infantry models, which removed the reward for outflanking vehicles and made some more resistant to the Plasma Rifle and all of them having multiple "wounds". The final nails in the coffin for the Plasma Rifle's former reign was that the weapon did not receive an "overcharge" setting unlike Imperial or Chaos plasma weaponsnote  and could only ever inflict 1 damage per successful hit.

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • The .38 Special in Jagged Alliance 2. Pistols, in general, are relegated to Emergency Weapon status early on as it is, and revolvers in particular are considered inferior because they have to be reloaded about three times as often as everything else, so that's two strikes against it before we even get to the fact that it does lousy damage and has poor range and accuracy even by pistol standards. You're almost better off with a knife.
  • Disgaea:
    • Bow weapons in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness were largely overshadowed by gun weapons for players that wanted range damage. Bows had access to Area of Effect attacks, but guns had greater range, and more importantly, damage for them was determined by a combination of the wielder's ATK and HIT stats, while every other weapon in the game relied on only one stat for damage, making level stats for a good bow user was more trouble than it was worth. Developers noticed this and the weapons were Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in later games where they were given better attacks, classes with abilities that can take advantage of bows, and nerfing the range on the guns (guns in later games can still hit farther, but only in a straight line).
    • Spears in the series tend to either fall into this or at the very least, the weapon version of the Crutch Character. Early on, the weapon's extra range on the attack in exchange for lesser damage has its perk. However, as you reach further into the game and become more reliant on specials, the weakness of spears really begins to show. Many of its specials require extra space to be open, making them unwieldy in some situations. Said specials usually allows its user to jump to said extra space, which again, is not always very useful in most situations and while other specials have some good Area of Effect specials, those special are hampered by the spear's lower attack strength compared to the stronger and more versatile swords and axes.
    • While not a significant example, the Baal Sword in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice has the curiosity of statistically being the worst Rank 40 weapon in the game due to having 0 HP and 0 RES, meaning it has noticeable holes in its stats compared to the others. The only other Rank 40 weapon to have a 0 in any stat is the Invincible with a 0 in ATK, but in its case that's to be expected since Guns don't use ATK for anything (using HIT and SPD for damage instead) and no other Gun in the game has any ATK either. With the Baal Sword, it's especially odd since the Yoshitsuna before it does have both HP and RES (missing SP, INT, and HIT instead), but the difference in ATK is so steep that there's no contest between them if they're both fully powered up. The Vita version sidesteps the issue by adding Rank 41 weapons, with the Stardust Sword having the HP and RES that the Baal Sword is missing (and the Psychic Rail Gun having the ATK the Invincible is missing for that matter).
  • Advance Wars:
    • Missiles are this in the first game on pre-deploy maps, since the game likes to give them to you on maps that don't have enemy air units. Missiles cannot target ground units at all meaning its only purpose on such maps is to block enemy units and take attacks, and since it's wheeled give it poor mobility and it is lacking in armor, it's not even all that useful for that purpose. Later games don't hand these units out on pre-deploy maps unless the enemy has either aircraft or an airport.
      • Even then, most players still don't use Missiles much even when they aren't forced to. The above-mentioned poor movement combined with their range (they can only hit up to five squares away) means that air units can generally either avoid them or fly right up to them and destroy the Missile before it can even do anything. Then add in their cost, and Anti-Air tanksnote  are most players' preferred ground unit for fighting enemy air forces.
    • Dusters from Days of Ruin are effectively cheaper Fighters that can also attack ground units, but their attack power against ground units, especially tanks, is pitiful. Their Master of None trait is so pronounced that you'd rather just build a copter or save up for a fighter or bomber.
    • Dual Strike has the Stealth plane, an aerial version of the Submarine in that it can become invisible to the enemy (unless adjacent to an enemy unit). They're peerlessly versatile, able to attack any unit in the game for solid damage. And even after being discovered, hidden Stealths can only be targeted by Fighters and other Stealths. However, they have just under 2/3rds the fuel capacity of other air units and burn through that meager fuel reserve blisteringly fast just by staying hidden, much less actually moving while hidden. This means Stealth units require constant resupply to get anywhere, making them much more trouble than they're worth, especially in light of how much they cost to deploy.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Devil Axes. In its debut game, it was by far the most powerful axe, but it had a sizeable chance to just straight-up hit you instead. Later games (barring the DS remake of the first game) reduced its accuracy to the point that it was now more likely to hit you than the opponent, and added better axes that rendered it almost totally obsolete. In the GBA games, they gave a huge amount of weapon experience, meaning they were mostly used for grinding a character's axe skill. The risk of killing yourself is still pretty frustrating, though.
    • Bows tend to suffer from this in "enemy phase"-focused games (that being, games where the enemies are sufficiently weak and numerous that the majority of kills are the result of enemies attacking the player and dying on the counter). This is because bows cannot counter enemies fighting at melee range, which is most of them, meaning a bow-user is a sitting duck on enemy phase. No matter how good their stats are, a character who can only ever kill one enemy per turn is going to come up short when others can kill three or four. This is especially the case in games that bite into the bow niche of being able to shoot down flying units, whether by reducing their effective damage boost or simply making fliers too weak or uncommon to warrant a bow-user, and it isn't helped by the Archer class being notoriously undertuned statwise. In "player phase" games where individual enemies are strong, though, bows tend to be seen as a good pick, being the most reliable way to chip down enemy health without taking a highly damaging counterattack.
    • The first game and its sequels and remakes also had the Devil Sword, which did the same thing as the Axe and was arguably even more useless because it wasn't the most powerful sword in the original games.
    • All Fire magic in Genealogy of the Holy War. In that game, all three types of Anima magic had identical power, the only difference was their weight. Fire was the heaviest (unlike later games where that honor went to Thunder) by FAR, and that is not a good thing. Even the weapon triangle advantage over Wind users did little to compensate for the massive speed loss the Fire user suffered (and Wind users are naturally speedy to begin with, which makes it even worse), so there was almost no point in using Fire magic when other tomes were available. Probably the only decent Fire spell was the legendary one which, of course, was enemy-exclusive.
    • Axes in the early games border on Unusable Enemy Equipment because of how rare good axes are and how rarer good users are—some games, like Fire Emblem Gaiden and the second book of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, simply don't let you recruit any axe-users. The player isn't missing much; axes boast the highest weight of all weapon types, meaning that many axes drag the user's Speed to the negatives (letting them be doubled by anything that isn't another axe-user), and have the worst accuracy in an RNG system that isn't fudging the results. You could usually mark the point where the game is no longer throwing axe enemies at you as a "taking the training wheels off" moment. After Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 introduced Constitution, they became significantly better due to weight becoming a nonissue, and by Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, they were the best weapon type by far. (Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade was the main stumble in that path, due to axes having the worst hit rates in a game where accuracy is a going concern.)
    • Lances in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 fell into this due to the Dismount mechanic, which meant that mounted classes were unable to use their lance weapons whenever taking the fight indoors, when indoor maps take up a significant chunk of the endgame. This means the only possible lance-users at that point are Knights, which are otherwise considered one of the worst classes and have a paucity of good units in both games, and even fewer who can use lances effectively.
    • Rounding out the trio, swords in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Sure, they're accurate... but most weapons have good base accuracy anyway, and enemies have crappy Avoid because they weigh themselves down most of the time. And to compensate for their accuracy, their damage is worse than comparable weapons. They're the lightest weapon type, but, again, the vast majority of enemies are slow and therefore you don't need a sword to double them. Lances are very common in enemy hands, which turns the weapon triangle into a real problem. And to cap it all off, while lances and axes have a cheap and common option for attacking and countering at melee and range (the javelin and hand axe), swords... don't, with the closest thing being the Light Brand, a rare and expensive item of which you only obtain two at most in the whole game. These problems persisted through many later games, until Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem made swords a strong weapon type again.
    • In Blazing Blade, you have Lyn's final weapon, the Sol Katti. The Mani Katti was the main thing making Lyn useful for the majority of the story, being essentially a Rapier crossbred with a Wo Dao. Then the Sol Katti comes along in the same pack as the genuinely Purposefully Overpowered Armads and Durandal, and you're expecting amazing power... when in reality, it has less Might than a Silver Sword. It has a high crit rate and is effective against dragons, but there's exactly one dragon enemy left in the game at that point, and said dragon barely gets scratched by the Sol Katti and has extremely good odds of killing Lyn in one shot. On top of that, the Sol Katti has a weight of 14, which is greater than most axes and far above a Silver Sword or Killing Edge, and Lyn has a Constitution of only 6 when promoted, meaning the damn thing cuts into her high speed and moves her from doubling every enemy to actively fearing getting doubled herself.
    • Light magic in the post-GBA games has a tendency to be this (unlike in the Jugdral games, where it was easily the best magic type). Its main shtick is that it's a lightweight magic that generally doubles... but most wielders of anima magic can double anyway, which means light magic is just a weaker version. Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade has one of the most pronounced cases, likely owing to it being the first game to turn light magic-users into a dedicated branch. Not only are light magic tomes worse than anima ones, but the only class that can use it is Bishop... a promoted class. Only one prepromoted bishop shows up, and he does so very late and isn't much of a fighter, so if you want to use a light magic character before then, you have to grind up the characters who can become Bishops—and they're both healers. Healing staves are a very slow way to grind XP, so unless you arena-abuse, burn out barrier staves, or promote very early, you're probably never going to have a light magic-user with a high enough rank to use Aureola.
    • Dark magic in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (ironic, given that this is one of the games where light magic users are considered extremely good). Not only are the available tomes incredibly heavy, inaccurate, or lacking in solid bonus effects, but you have only two characters in the main campaign who can use dark magic, both join late, and both do the magic type no favors: Knoll has poor growths and risks crit from nearly everything, meaning he's best off away from the frontlines as a Summoner, and Ewan is a Pupil who starts off with absolute bottom-grade stats and requires leveling and a specific class path to use dark magic at all.
    • Path of Radiance:
      • The Bolt Axe. While the other magical weapons (the Wind Sword and Flame Lance) could at least be given to characters with okay Magic, you'd be very hard-pressed to find an axe user with anything even vaguely resembling a Magic stat, making it almost useless. Thankfully, in Awakening, most of those who can use the War Monk/cleric class do have a usably high Magic stat, making this weapon a more viable choice.
      • Pretty much all the effective weapon varieties fall into this, due to the game changing the effective weapon formula from x3 to x2, and also making most of them have either bad base damage or ridiculously high weight. Consequently, they go from "highly effective against their designated targets, subpar against anything else" to "barely passable against their designated targets, you may as well be using a cardboard tube against anything else." The Armorslayer gets the worst of it, due to weighing so damned much that basically nobody can use it effectively. This also has the side effect of making bows almost useless.
    • In Awakening, Fire, Lightning and Wind magic are crunched into one weapon type, "Tomes", similar to their treatment in the GBA titles. However, instead of being its own branch and part of a Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors, Dark Magic is instead a subset of tomes. Only Dark Mages can use it, but they can use normal Tomes at the same time, making Dark Magic little more than an incremental upgrade that only certain magic-wielding classes can use. There's also the fact that despite all being one weapon group, each weapon element still has multiple tiers of weapons, so you get Wind, Elwind, Arcwind, Thunder, Elthunder...etc. This reduces magic from the strategic element it was in the past games and turns it into just another type of attack that happens to hit resistance instead of strength, and the lack of Weapon Triangle superiority between normal and Dark magic makes them redundant (outside of health-recovering spells like Nosferatu).
    • All the dark tomes in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for one simple reason: only two characters that can ever be recruited for your team can use them, and both of them can only be recruited on the second-and-above playthroughs. This means all the dark tomes are only good as not-so-valuable Vendor Trash in the first playthrough, and even then only if you're aware that keeping them is useless. Besides that, most of the dark tomes are merely comparable to other tomes, except they have an advantage over "anima" tomes (fire, wind, and lightning) and a disadvantage to light. Unfortunately, a lot of bosses use light magic, which makes things even more of an uphill battle for those two characters.
    • Fire Emblem Fates is the second game in the series where all weapons are unbreakable. To make up for it, the higher-ranked weapons have various negative effects attached to them. But it ends up making a lot of them so crippling that you'd rather stick to iron or steel weapons for the whole game. The silver weapons got hit especially bad, lowering your crit evasion, strength, and skill after each battle with it.
      • Many of the S-Rank weapons have it even worse, with a lot of them halving the unit's Strength/Magic stat with every other attack.
      • Many of the ranged physical weapons either cannot double attack (Javelins, Hand Axes, Throwing Clubs) or can only hit from two spaces away instead of having 1-2 range (Spears, Tomahawks). This made them extremely annoying to use, and many players preferred the magic weapons (such as the Levin Sword) since they could still double and hit at 1-2 range.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses's poison weapons inflict Damage Over Time, which doesn't really harm enemies that much. Sure, you could use them on rather bulky enemies, but they usually have so much health all poison damage amounts to Scratch Damage or Cherry Tapping.
  • Most acquired Enemy Ace weapons in Valkyria Chronicles take a massive hit to accuracy and range in exchange for raw power, making them unpopular among players because all the power in the world doesn't mean a damn thing if you can't hit anything (and endgame and Royal weapons approach their power with much better range and accuracy, anyway.) The Ace weapons found in the Challenge of the Edy Detachment DLC, however, are more well-liked, with the rifle, in particular, being seen as a Game-Breaker.
  • Axes in Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis. They generally look quite powerful, and they can back up with damage... but only one playable character can use them with an advantage. And he's optional - and mutually exclusive with Lobelia. By the time you get him, you'll more or less have his ultimate weapon.
  • Being made by the same people, Final Fantasy Tactics has axes - the only classes who use them as a weapon of choice are Geomancers and squires. The main problem with them is the fact that their weapon damage is somewhat randomized - meaning they are very unreliable. You'll sometimes have an axe user smack an enemy for almost 75% of their health in one fell swoop.... and then go back and hit a Squishy Wizard for only 5% of their health.

    Third-Person Shooters 
  • The "Kozlice" shotgun from Operation Flashpoint. It's more accurate than the average game shotgun, but that's where the good bits end. It's weak, only holds two shots (and you can only carry 10 rounds total, as opposed to 300 for an assault rifle, due to each individual shell taking up the same inventory space as a 30-round rifle magazine), and takes twice as long to reload as any of the other weapons. It'd almost be more effective if you could use it as a club. Of course, since it's there to represent the civilian hunting shotguns which are all most of the Resistance have to start with this is intentional.
  • Gears of War's Scorcher flamethrower gets Video-Game Flamethrowers Suck down to a T. It has an exceedingly short-range, which unfortunately forces you into the Killzone for everyone's favorite weapon, the Gnasher shotgun; not only that but despite being a flamethrower, it lacks any significant damage over time effect which would help justify its existence.
  • Warframe has a fair number of Tier-Induced Scrappy weapons, but the Akjagara falls under this trope for a different reason. The weapon's stats are fairly unremarkable, which wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for the cost to build it in the first place, requiring an Akbolto and a Dual Skana. While the Dual Skana's build costs aren't too bad, the Akbolto requires two Boltos to craft, each of which requires a Lato (which fortunately is available to purchase for credits). The total cost comes out to 210,000 credits, 7 Orokin Cells, 4 Neurodes, and some other more common resources, in a game where most weapons don't even cost 100,000 credits to build. Add in the fact that you'll need multiple weapon slots for the intermediate steps and that the whole process will take a minimum of 48 hours, and it's not hard to see why players were disgruntled.
  • Splatoon does a good job averting this for the most part. Most of the weapons are fun to use and are intuitive, though some are almost useless in some modes but are incredibly powerful in other modes to compensate, like the chargers and blasters. However, the Rapid Blasters stand as one of the few weapons that are almost universally considered bad. While they have more range and higher rates of fire than the normal Blaster, they have much less power. It lacks the one-hit kill that the other Blaster types are used for while other weapons like .52 and .96 Gals are more reliable for kills due to having a higher range and fire rate. It's not helped by the fact that the Damage Up ability can't reduce the number of hits needed to splat someone means that it can't be used as a regular blaster, and even having the decent sub-weapon and special sets of Ink Mine and Bubbler or Suction Bomb and Bomb Rush does little to redeem it.
  • In Splatoon 2
    • In multiplayer, the Stingray was easily the least effective special weapon in the vanilla game. All it had going for it were its long-range and ability to see through walls, both of which were rendered useless by the fact that it's incredibly slow to aim, making it very difficult to hit anyone with it unless they're busy trying to dodge someone else's special. And to add insult to injury, it took multiple hits to down an opponent, meaning there's a good chance that they'll get away even if you manage to hit them, making it more distraction than actual hindrance. It's slightly more useful in Salmon Run mode due to the Salmonids generally not bothering to dodge and being the only weapon that can kill Flyfish without using a bomb, but even then it's situational at best. Later updates fixed it for competitive multiplayer by increasing the laser's radius after firing it for 1.5 seconds, making it harder to dodge.
    • In Salmon Run, there are a number of weapons that are notably ill-suited to taking on mobs of enemies at once:
      • The Inkbrush and Octobrush are the worst weapons in the mode, bar none. Their multiple hits are each individually weak, which while able to splat an Inkling quickly is merely a nuisance against larger and more dense Salmonids, and the lack of range only makes things worse since they cannot flatten anything bigger than a Smallfry. On top of that, the Salmonids' sense of smell can pick out hiding Inklings, making this weapon's "assassin" style of gameplay dead weight.
      • Blasters are some of the most difficult-to-use weapons in the mode due to their limited range (which makes them anyway from not very effective to completely useless when dealing with bosses) and a slow fire rate (which makes them bad at clearing out the Mooks that try to mob you). Their secondary selling point (being able to do damage around corners) is almost completely useless. That said, they are the only single-shot weapon capable of blowing multiple Stinger segments off at once, and the Grizzco Blaster's fire rate makes the lack of range a moot point.
      • The Goo Tuber has a shorter range compared to other chargers as well as longer charge time. It does have the ability to hold a full charge for much longer, but this isn't really useful in Salmon Run.
      • The Bamboozler has a quick charge time but lacks the damage and range of other chargers, which works against it more often than not.
      • The H-3 Nozzlenose only fires in a three-shot burst with each press of ZR and has a longer cooldown between bursts; this can cause plenty of damage to a single target, but Salmonids are never single targets for long.
      • The Hydra Splatling takes way too long to charge, and the user slows to a crawl during spin-up, making it easier for them to get mobbed before their belt is ready. The ink consumption leaves much to be desired, too.
      • The Dynamo Roller destroys any mook caught under it, Cohocks included, but takes too long to fling, making it unwieldy as a boss buster. Aside from what it does to Cohocks, it mostly just ends up doing exactly what other Roller types do, but slower.
  • The grenades and, fittingly enough, the grenade launcher in Army Men: Sarge's Heroes. They're slow to use and have a tiny blast radius. The former's explosion must be timed perfectly to hit anything, while the latter's shot travels in a very tight arc that forces you to aim almost straight up for anything beyond close-range. It's infinitely easier to just shoot your enemies, and none of the soldiers take more than a handful of shots anyway. They are halfway decent against tanks, which can only be destroyed with explosives and are obviously much easier to hit; however, they're still made completely worthless by the bazooka in this regard - it's much easier to aim (point and shoot!), has an effective range of anywhere (only the random aim deviation gives it a sort-of maximum range - but anything you should be shooting with the bazooka is big enough that it simply can't screw you over enough to miss on its own), and has a much bigger, more powerful explosion (on the easiest difficulty, the bazooka kills a tank in three shots - the grenade launcher takes six). Plus you'll usually find one if there's a tank nearby anyway. There's also the mortar, which is like the grenade but with much more power and range, detonates on contact with the targeted area and can be easily used behind cover without the projectile bouncing back toward your feet...

    Vehicular Combat 
  • A lot of the weapons in Twisted Metal 3 and Twisted Metal 4 introduced by 989 Studios are lackluster at absolute best. Examples include the Mortar which rarely hits and is just as likely to hit you, the Rain Missile that rarely hits and only inflicts Scratch Damage with flames when it does, the Speed Missile which does Scratch Damage and doesn't even home in, the Auto Lob that rarely hits unless the target is very close range, and the Freeze Remote because why on Earth would you use this to freeze a foe instead of a homing freeze missile? Note the recurring theme of "never hits its mark" and "does barely any damage." There's a very good reason why no other studios have ever bothered to use these weapons, as you're better off avoiding their pick-ups as to not clutter your inventory.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The Saboteur's Terror Flamethrower. "Typical video game flamethrower" sums it up fairly well, with its short-range and flames that cover up your field of view. It would be good for close-quarters combat in theory, except that at around the same time you gain access to an automatic shotgun with a ridiculous ammo capacity (150 rounds with a dirt-cheap upgrade) that's surprisingly effective at stopping targets well out of the flamethrower's range.
  • Terraria:
    • Short swords. Theoretically, they're faster than broadswords, but do less damage and are smaller. However, unlike broadswords, your character doesn't swing it in an arc; rather, they jab it straight forward. It's moderately useful against enemies that walk right into your attacks but worthless against nearly everything else.
    • The Wand of Sparking is generally considered useless even at the beginning of a run, being the weakest magic weapon and having no knockback. As it can only be found as random chest-loot and not crafted, it's likely to not even find one until it is already obsolete (unlike short swords, which the player even starts with).
    • In Expert mode, the Brain of Cthulhu drops the Brain of Confusion, which theoretically induces the Confused debuff on enemies that switches their controls. The biggest issue with this is that Confused is the one debuff that almost every enemy or boss is immune to, making it almost pointless.
  • Minecraft has Golden Swords, which are only as strong as a Wooden Sword and breaks down twice as fast. While Golden Swords compensate their weaknesses by having higher chances of getting stronger enhancements, wasting rare gold resources for a weapon that won't last is a dumb move.

Alternative Title(s): Incredibly Lame Gun


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