Something went wrong. Try again later

    Improvised Weapon

    Concept »

    The use of everyday objects as weapons of destruction, often combination.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Improvised Weapon last edited by PlamzDooM on 07/06/23 02:02AM View full history


    Improvised weapons are made by utilizing an object that originally serves no purpose of being a weapon but is used in such a way that it becomes a weapon. Nearly any object has the potential of being a weapon such as household objects and power tools. Depending on the object, an improvised weapon can deal various methods of dealing damage by stabbing, slicing, pummeling, or throwing them.

    How objects are turned into Weapons

    In video games, the player might find themselves in a situation where there are no conveniently placed guns or ammo for a gun. If the player cannot engage the enemy from a certain distance, usually the player attempts to escape the situation or until they found ammunition. However, this will usually lead them to be unable to find ammo or they are cornered in a position to where they cannot run. As a result, the player searches his surroundings and finds an object that can be used in order to fend off any enemies regardless of object’s size and shape.

    If it’s solid and has mass then most likely it will deal some kind of damage. Most improvised weapons are used as melee weapons but are not limited to being used as a projectile as well. In certain cases the weapon can actually break and so the player would either have to find a new weapon or repair it. If the player is resourceful, he/she can use different objects and combine them in a way to make a more effective weapon resulting in a makeshift weapon.

    Improvised Weapons in Video Games

    Improvised weapons are commonly associated with Survival horror games because most of these games encourage the player to conserve ammunition for proper weapons, making improvised, disposable weapons more . As a result this adds more tension because it would require the player to get close to the monster and attack. Some Sandbox-style games, such as Saints Row 2, can allow the player to pick up any object in the city and use it as a melee weapon or a projectile depending on what the character picks up. Dead Rising is also another game that uses nearly every object in the game that ranges from Shopping Carts to Toy Laser Swords.

    Improvised Weapons, Locations, and You

    A major factor in what kind of objects can be used as a weapon depends on the location and what kind of environment the player is in. For example, if the player is in the sewers then he would most likely find a lead pipe to as a melee weapon. in offices you may able to find a chair or a staple gun, in kitchen you may find knives, forks, and even frying pans, in gardens you may find rakes, shovels, and even a chainsaw, in the streets trash can lids, baseball bats, wrenches can be found.

    Makeshift weapons

    Makeshift weapons are objects combined or altered to better approximate the functionality of a proper weapon. For example, as all good radical protesters know, alcohol or gasoline in a glass bottle with some cloth makes a Molotov Cocktail. A lighter applied to the spray from an aerosol can creates a fiery flamethrower. In games these weapons can be found already made, or the player may have to craft them.

    Improvised firearms

    A zip gun made from a staple gun
    A zip gun made from a staple gun

    A rare sight in games, improvised firearms or "zip guns" are cobbled together from available materials and are most often meant for one-time use. In real life, extended firing of a zip gun will typically result in the weapon falling apart, if not exploding in the user's face.


    IEDs in Far Cry 2 - a mortar round and a land mine
    IEDs in Far Cry 2 - a mortar round and a land mine

    IEDs are Improvised Explosive Devices. In modern, asymmetric warfare such as in Iraq and Afghanistan the IED has become the primary weapon of insurgents and the biggest source of casualties among domestic and foreign security forces (such as ISAF). Without conventional weapons that can match the effectiveness of a professional military, insurgents are forced to use unconventional means of destroying materiel and personnel as it is moved from area to area around the country. IEDs are responsible for hundreds of deaths, and thousands of injuries, among foreign security forces in the near-decade since security operations have begun in contested areas.

    And IED consists of three parts; a detonator, a power source, and a main charge. The IED may be operator-detonated, often remotely with a command wire or wireless through radio or cell signals. Many are victim-operated relying on a triggering mechanism (in many cases, a mine or pressure plate) that the victim must unwittingly trigger themselves in order to detonate the device. The detonator is a small charge, electrical or mechanically operated with the power source, that sets off the main charge. The main charge is generally the largest part of the IED, sometimes consisting of old military ordnance or, more recently, home-made explosive material (HME). The main charge can vary greatly in size; the largest IEDs can weigh hundreds of kilograms and are capable of flipping a 70 ton main battle tank.

    Cellphone activated IED in 2010's Medal of Honor
    Cellphone activated IED in 2010's Medal of Honor

    IEDs are usually hidden in the ground; culverts, bridges, and old craters are popular sites to conceal IEDs because of their hollowed out shapes and relative fragility. They are frequently placed at night, or over extended periods of time to avoid detection. Some IEDs are built into vehicles, referred to as Vehicle-Borne (VBIED) or Suicide Vehicle-Borne (SVBIED). Security forces must dismount and slowly search vulnerable points in their route for these devices; these searches take valuable time to conduct, and expose dismounted troops to small arms attack once they are on the ground. These give insurgents key tactical advantages in operational areas.

    If an IED is located, it's up to dedicated military units - Combat Engineers - to dispose of them. Specialized vehicles, robots, and even more exotic (classified) technologies are utilized in order to remove these often unstable, and extremely hazardous, devices. Mine rollers are sometimes used on heavy vehicles in order to prematurely detonate IEDs in the ground, and Electronic Counter Measures are sometimes utilized to stop wireless signals from detonating remote devices.

    Because many IEDs are victim-operated, devices intended for military targets are often triggered by civilians instead.


    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.