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I've seen many first person shooter games both single and multiplayer using a set of floating arms and a gun instead of using the whole body model.

What is the advantage of floating arms? You are technically doubling the work making two meshes and two animations for each action.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You know that two arms could easily be one mesh and animation right? Meaning less work to just include the arms, without the risk of occluding the camera inside a body mesh. \$\endgroup\$ – MichaelHouse May 10 '16 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've removed your speculative answer from the question itself because discussion of that speculation wouldn't be on-topic here. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 10 '16 at 18:46
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Because it's more simple.

Player's avatar arms are one thing to tweak and make look right in a 3d world. If you add the full body, it takes more resource to accomplish, and does not always add much to the gameplay.

If you use only the arms, you can have the arms and the gun in the frame of the camera; while if you use a 3d body as well, you'll have to tie it to the world frame. You then have to take a lot of things into consideration: what if there is an explosion and the player's avatar gets launched in the air? Would the motion of the camera AND the motion of the body of the avatar match and be adequate in their look and feel?

Also, consider mouselook. If you use only the arms, you'll have less limitations that if you use the full body. If using full body, the designer might want to restrict the player from being able to target their own feet ("Dude! I'm shooting my own feet and I'm not even losing health!!"). Simply making an animation that looks and feel right when the player looks all around is, again, more expensive than just using the arms.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, to get the arms to look right in the camera frame sometimes they have to do things that make no sense in the context of a coherent human body \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory May 10 '16 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory Fascinating! I heard that one had to cheat real 3d representation to get it right, but I had never seen it like that! \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 11 '16 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think in modern world its just because most games are not willing to do that as its a technique that is less used and less tried. possibly a custom coming from older times when system resources were very limited \$\endgroup\$ – Allahjane Oct 5 '16 at 14:02

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