efficient actions?

In my game the character has a run cycle, but must be able to hold different items while performing the cycle, im wondering if i should create a new run cycle for each item (changing each one to fit the item the character is holding) or to somehow control the top and bottom of the rig separately.

Thanx in advance

Tim

Use multiple actions for arms and one action for legs and mix using layers. Do not add keyframes to arms in legs action and the same - no keyframes on legs in arms actions.

This strongly depends on the quality of your animations. Typically the body performs different motions when holding objects, especially of different sizes and weights.

If you do not care, you can mix animations via weight.
Alternative you can use priorities. In that case the actions should not share a channel (-> bone name).

I think most efficient (in terms of calculation time) is to play a single action at the time.