Fallout: New Vegas Weapon FAQ v1.00 - jimmythesnowman
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Fallout: New Vegas Weapon FAQ

by jimmythesnowman   Updated to v1.00 on
This walkthrough was originally written for Fallout: New Vegas on the PC, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the XBOX360 version of the game.
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[1] [Introduction]

This is a guide to weapons in Fallout: New Vegas. It's that simple. Although
a weapons guide already exists, if you read through it you'll quickly
discover that it's not a weapons guide per se, but a weapons optomization
guide; it's a great read if you're in the late stages of the game and looking
to maxamize your damage output, but not so much if you're interested in
the basics, how they work, the progression, so on and so forth. While I'll
leave the "find the best setup" to the other guide (and it is very detailed
in that regard), this guide is meant to fill the gap in your knowledge
between Varmint Rifles and Little Tots. All additional DLC weapons will also
be covered. I'll try and be quick about it.

[2] [Version history]

[1.00]  8/25/12 First version, complete. Took much longer then I thought it

[3] [Table of Contents]

[1] Introduction
[2] Version history
[3] Table of Contents

[4] Basics
    [4.1]  Controls
    [4.2]  Weapons categories
    [4.3]  Skills and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats
    [4.4]  Ammunition
    [4.5]  Crafting
    [4.6]  Condition
    [4.7]  VATS and crippling
    [4.8]  Armor and perks
    [4.9]  Weapon mods and special characteristics
    [4.10] Sneak attacks and criticals
    [4.11] Merchants
[5] Guns
    [5.1] Cowboy guns
    [5.2] Semi-automatic rifles
    [5.3] Handguns
    [5.4] SMGs
    [5.5] Shotguns
    [5.6] Automatic weapons
[6] Energy weapons
    [6.1] Laser
    [6.2] Plasma
    [6.3] Self-charging
    [6.4] Flame
    [6.5] Other
[7] Explosives
    [7.1] Grenades
    [7.2] Improvised explosives
    [7.3] Proximity mines
    [7.4] Improvised mines
    [7.5] Arc launchers
    [7.6] Self-propelled launchers
[8] Melee
    [7.1] Bladed
    [7.2] Blunt
[9] Unarmed

[10] Contact info
[11] Copyright

[4] [Basics]
[4.1] [Controls]

Fallout: New Vegas is a first-person shooter, and follows the fairly standard
first-person shooter configuration. A major part of the game is its use of an
inventory screen, your so-christened "Pip Boy"; press Tab at any time to
freeze the game and bring up this screen, which, among other functions,
allows you to select, drop, repair, and mod your weapons on the titular
"Weapons" tab of the "Items" screen, and select your ammo type on the "Ammo"
tab of the same screen. This RPG-like inventory approach differs from the way
other FPS games organize their weapons, which is mostly through hotkeys bound
to specific weapons. On the other hand, Fallout: New Vegas does not limit the
number of weapons you can carry, and the number of different weapons, not to
mention apparel, food, medical supplies, so on and so forth, can and does get
rediculous, especially since many useful items (and especially ammo) have no
weight. Nonetheless we are willing to suspend our disbelief in our
character's mastry of weight compression and hammerspace because it makes the
game more fun.

Past that, controls are fairly simple, and once you have your gun out, follow
the model set by the genre. Move your mouse or control stick around to move
your trigger cursor around. WASD or your other control stick controls
movement. To aim down your sights, hold down the right mouse button; to fire,
press the left mouse button. To fire as fast as the weapon allows, hold down
the mouse or controller button. Press the reload button or key (R by default
on PC) to, well, reload.

Having two-handed weapons on the ready will slow you down. To holster your
weapon and move at maximum speed, (as well as avoid spooking the occassional
nervous NPC) hold down the reload key (R is the default on PC); note that
this action differs from reloading, where you merely press it.

A couple of notes on magazines. Weapons with partial magazines, like the
many single shell reload semi-autos, can all be partially reloaded; to stop
the reload and start firing, hold down the fire button. Once you start
reloading a weapon, you are usually locked into the animation, so have to
sit through it; thankfully none of the weapons in the game have too long of a
reload time, as your character seems to come with COD's Sleigh of Hand by
default. Weapons can be fully reloaded by switching to them on the Pip Boy,
strangly, but bringing up and bringing down the screen, and then the weapon
also takes time - just, usually, less of it.

[4.2] [Weapon categories]

Weapons in New Vegas are divided into a few classes, each of which is
modified by a skill, and, indirectly, a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat (to be explained
in more detail in the next section).

Ranged Weapons - the reliable choice
- Guns
  If it fires lead, it's a gun. It's that simple. This is the class that all
  the pistols, rifles, submachine guns, carbines, machine guns, and miniguns
  fall under.
- Energy Weapons
  These are more exotic weapons that fire either lasers or beams of plasma;
  a few flame-based projectile weapons, namely the Flamers and Incinerators,
  fall under this classification as well. Energy weapons are definetly cooler
  than guns, and have fewer ammunition types, but on the flip side, are
  harder to find and maintain, and don't really sport any clear advantage
  over a conventional Winchester. Definetly keep some Weapon Repair Kits in
  stock - these can be hard to maintain.

Explosives - the wildcard
- Explosives
  This classification consists of thrown explosives like dynamite and pulse
  grenades, proximity mines like satchel charges and plasma mines, and
  anything that launches stuff that goes boom - grenades, missiles, tactical
  nuclear warheads...explosives pack by far the most punch of the three
  ranged classes, but are very prone to self-harm (especially on the higher
  level weapons), and are the most expensive in terms of ammo and upkeep.
  Still, the toughest of battles are made much easier if you can blow them

Melee - for kung fu fighting
- Melee Weapons
  Anything that you bash others with that isn't just an extension of your
  fists. Ranges from pool cues to chainsaws to gladiuses to super sledges. It
  also controls thrown melee weapons, like throwing spears, hatchets, and
  anti-grav throwing axes.
- Unarmed
  Initially your bare fists, later supplemented by various gaunlets. While it
  may seem pointless to get into a fistfight when you can stick a sword in
  them, they're actually quite balanced - unarmed specialists have a number
  of bonuses and a viable weapons closet to rely on in a fight.

It's a good idea (and more fun) to rely on two weapon skills, not just one,
so long as they don't conflict. Guns and Energy Weapons (ranged) and Melee
and Unarmed (melee) can both be relied on in a fight. Explosives are more of
a wild card, but immensely useful in a large number of situations, will save
you a long-winded battle, and tantamount to essential against certain
heavily armored creatures (Deathclaws, anyone?). So you can pair Guns and
Explosives or Energy Weapons and Unarmed, but Guns and Energy Weapons and
Melee Weapons and Unarmed would be very counter-productive: why focus on two
skills that do the same thing? Pick any two that don't conflict and you'll
go far.

[4.3] [Skills and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats]

The strength of your attacks is modified directly by your weapon skill and
indirectly by your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, both of which are initially set up
in the Doc's office at the beggining of the game. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats modify
skills associated with them by immediatly raising it by two points, and you
are given a choice as to how to distribute your skill points at the beginning
of the game. Unless you understand the system very well, you should just put
a few points where you find them appealing and leave it at that.

The stats are:

Strength - Modifies melee weapons skill. A prerequisite strength is required
           for certain weapons; without it, you'll fire much less accuratly
           and swing much more slowly. There are a number of ways to
           permanently raise your strength-strength implants, a few articles
           of clothing, a perk that reduces all weapons requirements by two,
           and a few opportunities to raise a stat for free-but in general,
           you should not go below the default on strength, or it will bite
           you later on.
Perception - Modifies explosives and energy weapons, as well as the radius
           at which you will be able to detect nearby enemies.
Endurance  - Modifies unarmed and hit points.
Charisma - Isn't combat important.
Intelligence - Modifies repair and skill points per level.
Agility  - Modifies reloading and drawing/holstering speed, action points, 
           sneaking and guns.
Luck     - Modifies all skills just a little, as well as critical hit chance.

A prequisite skill is also required (often on top of strength) to use certain
weapons effectively. The combat-important skills are Explosives, Melee,
Unarmed, Guns, and Energy Weapons. In addition there are a few skills that
will prove mighty useful support skills to combat:

- Repair allows you to more easily and effectively repair weapon and armor
condition. It's a massive hassle-saver, as without it you'll have to either
scoure the Majove for certain weapons, make a money racket and spend it all
repairing your arms and armor, or settle for second-grade equipment. Arguably
essential for any character. Repair skill is also used in breaking down
ammunition and crafting your own, which is extremely useful for guns users,
and for crafting special

- Science is similar to Repair in that part of its function is that its
allows you to recycle energy weapon cartriges at a workbench.

- Sneak allows you to more easily avoid detection, making setting traps
easier and allowing for bonus damage sneak attacks more often.

- A high Barter skill is helpful because you're probably going to have to buy
ammo and weapon mods at intervals, and it can be a real pain on the bank.
Besides, it's always good to pay less and earn more.

[4.4] [Ammunition and crafting]

Guns, energy weapons, and explosives all use ammunition. Gun ammo is the most
commonplace of the three, but also the most varied, and thus you'll find a
lot of ammo you can't immediately use on the weapons you have on you.

.22LR        - Used exclusively by the silenced .22 pistol, rare.
.223         - Alternate to the 5.56, rare.
.308         - Mid-high-hunting and sniping gauge round, fairly common.
.357         - Mid-range round, common.
.38          - .357 alternate, rare.
.44          - Higher-guage round, fairly common.
.45 cal      - Higher-guage round, Honest Hearts add-on.
.45-70 Gov't - High-end round, rare.
.50 cal      - Highest-end round, very rare.
20 guage     - Lower-level shotgun shell, common.
12 guage     - Higher-level shotgun shell, rare.
5mm          - Low-high LMG round, rare but in large numbers.
5.56mm       - Low-end round, very common.
9mm          - Low-end SMG/Pistol round, very common.
10mm         - Mid-level SMG/Pistol round, common.
12.7mm       - High-level SMG round, rare.
Nails        - Nail Gun round, Lonesome Road add-on, rare but easily made.
BB           - Not really for fighting, very rare.

Energy ammo is comparitively limited in type, but also less common in number.

Alien ammo   - Absolute limited in number.
ECP          - High-range electic charge ammo, fairly rare.
EC           - Low-range electric charge ammo, very common.
Flamer       - Mid-range flame weapon ammo, fairly rare.
MF           - Found on weapons, recharges over time and cannot be found.
MC           - Mid-to-high-range plasmatic charge ammo, fairly common.

Explosive ammunition is the rarest of all, which is fitting of the weapon
class's high-damage, low-use profile.

25mm grenade - Low-high grenade machinegun round, fairly rare.
40mm grenade - High-end grenade rifle round, rare.
Rocket       - Lonesome Road add-on, fairly weak rapid-fire explosive, rare
               outside of the Divide.
Missile      - High-end single-fire explosive, very rare.
Mini nuke    - Highest damage single-fire nuclear warhead, extremely rare.

In addition there are a number of modified ammunition types. These are
ammunition with special properties differing from the normal rounds used by
the weapon, and can be both positive and negative (but usually positive).
Specialized rounds are rarely found in containers, but are often stocked by
merchants (albiet at lower numbers) and can be made by hand if your repair
skill is high enough and you have the materials (but not all types can be
crafted). They CANNOT be broken down for crafting (more details in the next

To equip a new ammo type, scroll over to ammo and select which type you want.
If the weapon is already out you'll have to reload, so try to avoid switching
ammo types in the middle of a fight. This can be circumvented by selecting
another weapon and then the ammo: the weapon will drawn loaded and ready to
fire regardless of what it was last using.

For now, a list of ammo modifications; not all work for all rounds. For the
complete list see http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Ammunition and
http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_crafting (for craftable

Guns have the lot (again)
- AP: Armor piercing rounds do slightly less damage, but punch through much
  harder armor by ignoring part of the target's damage threshold. Effective
  against heavily armored targets. Can be bought, but not crafted.

- HP: Hollow point rounds do slightly more damage, but as a consequence of
  their lighter construction are more easily blunted by armor. Ideal against
  lightly armored targets. Can be bought, but not crafted.

- Hand load: Hand loaded cartriges deal much more damage, but are costlier to
  produce and put more of a strain on the weapon's condition because of their
  high-powered loads. Can be both crafted (with Hand Loader perk) and bought.

- Special: Special rounds are weaker rounds modified to work in a certain
  weapon, generally differing in case length. For instance, the .357 rifles
  can also fire weaker .38 rounds. They are easier to procure, however. Can
  be purchased, but not crafted.

- +P: Pressurized rounds that work like weaker hand load rounds: more damage,
  higher maintanance. Can be purchased, but not crafted.

- Surplus: Similar to special rounds, these are poorer-quality rounds, but
  actually deal more damage then regular rounds, at the cost of higher
  maintanance on the part of poorer construction. Can be purchased.

- Incendiary: .50 MG only, these rounds set the targets on fire for
  additional damage. Can only be bought.

- Explosive: .50 MG only, these rounds essentially function like
  high-velocity 40mm grenades, exploding upon hitting the target for very
  high damage. Can only be bought, quite rare.

- Match: Higher damage and an even smaller spread. Better version of the hand
  load, does not cause addition wear, can be crafted with the Hand Loader

- JHP: Junior version of the Hp round: weaker DT multiplier and a slightly
  weaker strength. Ideal for medium-armor targets. Can be crafted with Hand

- Magnum: Shotguns only, higher damage and a bit of armor penetration but
  also higher maintanance. Can be bought or crafted.

- Coin Shot: Shotguns only, identical and slightly superior to magnum ammo
  with a twist: instead of using shotgun pellets, this round uses Legion
  coins. Humerously, these can sometimes then be, ah, pulled...out of the
  victim afterwards and made into more coin shot rounds, or used in their
  proper currently value. Can be crafted or bought.

- Bean bag: Shotguns only, cause fatigue damage and stun the target. Stops
  a target in its tracks, to be best by more convetional ammo. Doesn't do
  much damage otherwise. Can be bought.

- Slug: Shotguns only, trades buck shots for slugs, which are single solid
  shots that have much less of a spread. This is a good thing when facing a
  solitary opponent, bad when facing a mob.

- Buck: Shotguns only, higher damage and harder to produce.

- Buck magnum: Shotguns only, higher quality magnum rounds.

- Dragons breath: Shotguns only, incindirery effect.

- Flechette: Shotguns only, higher armor penetration at the cost of damage.

- Pulse slug: Shotguns only, damage bonus versus robots. All the above can be

Energy weapons:

- Bulk: Weaker and causes less weapons degredation. Can only be bought.

- Overcharged: Stronger with some armor piercing, but causes weapon to
  deteriorate quicker. (1.5 times normal wear) Can be bought or made.

- Max charge: Even stronger, significant armor piercing, but causes weapon
  to deteriorate very quickly. (2.5 times normal wear) Can be bought or made.

- Optomized: Requires Viligant Recycler; a slightly stronger version of the
  overcharged cell that does normal wear and tear on the weapon, but is more
  expensive to make.

Finally, explosives; only rocket rounds can be crafted:

- HE: High explosive rounds that do more impact damage and have a larger
  blast radius. Also twice as expensive.

- HV: Round travels 3.33 times as fast.

- Hive: Splits into nine small MIRV-type warheads in flight.

- Incendiary: Less damage and a smaller blast radius, but the target bursts
  into flames, dealing more damage over the next few seconds.

- Pulse: Deals very little damage to regular targets, but more than double
  against robots, and a slight bonus against power armor.

- Plasma: More damage over a smaller blast radius, making for better rounds
  when targeting single enemies.

- Timed: Five second fuse allows richocheting and complex trajectories.

- Mini-nuke, low yield: Less damage, but longer ballistic trajectory.

- Mini-nuke, big kid: More damage, lessened ballistic trajectory. Nearly
  impossible to avoid damaging self.

- Mini-nuke, tiny tot: Splits into nine MIRV-like subnukes.

- Mini-nuke, timed: Can be richochetted off of walls and such.

[4.5] [Crafting]

Some of these ammunition types can be crafted at an ammunition bench (using
Repair to make Explosives and Gun ammo) or workbench (using Science to make
Energy Weapons ammo). These are special objects scattered across the
wasteland; if you ever need one quickly, Goodsprings, or, even better, The
Sink in Big Mountain both have them in a quickly accessible location.

Crafting gun ammunition requires a certain minimum Repair skill, exactly how
much varies based on the ammunition involved; generally, lower-grade rounds
take less skill to craft, while upper-grade ones like the .50 MG require 75
or more point investments. Each piece of brass consists of four ingredients:
a Case or Hull (specific to that round), Pistol or Rifle powder, one of a
variety of primer types, and the all-important lead.

For a complete list of recipes, see

All of the components can be retrieved by breaking down rounds at the
ammunition bench, but because the powder and primer change between rounds,
direct conversion can be difficult. In addition, note that breaking down a
round does not retrieve 100% of its contents, so converting ammo is not
absolutely efficient.

Cases and hulls can be recovered from fired ammunition; with the Hand Loader
perk, the rate these can be recovered doubles (as well as giving you access
to Hand Loader recipes), so if you plan on making your own rounds you'll
want that perk. They can also be obtained when breaking the round down.

Powder can be retrieved from broken down rounds, and since there are only two
types (Pistol for low-powered rounds, Rifle for high) and it comes out at a
1:1 rate, it's not that difficult to get powder.

Lead is the reason that ammunition can't be converted 1:1, because breaking
down a round doesn't give you all of its lead. Higher rounds and better
rounds require more lead. Lead can be easily broken down from scrap metal at
a 1:100 rate, so if you do a little bit of exploring, the Majove will provide
you plenty.

Finally, there's the primer. Primer is by far the most varied ammunition
component, and it's a pain in the ass to get the right primer.. However,
you'll find it at intervals, it can be sold by merchants, and it can
sometimes be found on enemy corpses.

Rounds that can be directly converted are the following:
.308 <--> 45-70 Gov't
.357 <--> 5mm (hand load only) <--> 9mm
44 magnum <--> .45 <--> 10mm <--> 12.7mm
5.56 <--> 5mm
12 ga. <--> 20 ga.

[Energy weapons]

Energy weapons have a simpler repertoire. At workbenches you can recycle
spent rounds to recover their residual energy, which means that as long as
you have the Science for it, you gain a fifth shot out of every four energy
pack you find. With the Vigilant Recycler perk you are even more efficient.

Every ammunition type has three special types: overcharged, max, and
optomized (the last requires Viligant Recycler, so get it!), which convert
several energy packs into a smaller number of more powerful ones. The
different ammunition types can also be converted to and from one another if
you have the skill and are planning to rely on a single ammunition category,
or have a lot of spares of a type.


You can craft rockets, regular, high explosive, and incindiary, using cherry
bombs, conductors, and .50 MG primer; these recipes require high Science
knowledge. With the Mad Bomber perk, you also gain access to a small number
of unique thrown explosive and mine recipes, all of which require otherwise
junk components, and all of which require Science skill. The most useful of
the Mad Bomber weapons is the MFC grenade, which only requires a number of
MFC cells; if you're not using Energy weapons and haven't sold them all
already, you can use the recipe to create a large number of what is
effectively plasma grenades at no real cost to you. There are also a few
proximity mine recipes available without the Mad Bomber perk, such as the
Bottlecap Mine.

[Melee and unarmed]

Certain melee and unarmed weapons can be crafted from junk components using
the Repair skill. The selection is somewhat limited, but if you keep your
eye out for the weapon components and have a high enough repair skill, you
can use this to either convert junk into valuable weapons, or help maintain
your own if you don't go for Jury Rigging.

If you're high in Survival skill, you can turn collected plants into posions
at campfires. These can be used to ramp up weapons damage on melee weapons,
but is honestly neither reliable nor particularly useful in the long run.

[4.6] [Condition]

The Fallout series has a unique indicator to match its post-apocalyptic feel:
weapons condition. Also applying to armor, condition is the state of your
weapon, and mirrors maintanace requirements in real life. As you ratchet away
hot lead, blow up bridges, or bloody your machette, your barrel will degrade,
your tube deform, and your blade grind away.

Every time you use a weapon, it takes a bit of a condition hit. Every weapon
has a certain amount of HP, which controls how much abuse it can take along
the way. Very reliable weapons will require less repairs than very fragile
ones, and vice versa. A weapon is basically fine up to 75%, at which point
the damage it deals begins to deteriorate. In addition, the gun will
occassionally jam when firing or reloading, necessitating a trigger reset or
a magazine adjustment, which eats up time in the heat of battle. Weapons that
hit zero hp break completely, and cannot be used at all until they are

You can actually target enemy weapons in combat, and enemies will
occassionally hit yours. This will deteriorate their condition. If a weapon
is at low enough condition and you have a strong enough weapon and a good
enough shot, you can target the enemy's weapon and break it, forcing them to
draw their secondary or, failing that, fight unarmed. This is very useful
against brutes wielding low condition heavy weapons.

You can buffer the condition of your weapons by repairing it with spare parts
from another copy of it. For instance, if you have a 10mm submachine gun and
pick up another one off an enemy corpse, you can use the second copy to
repair your own. There are also a few NPCs that can repair weapons for you,
but doing so will cost you caps. The amount of benefit you gain from
repairing a weapon with another weapon depends on the broken-apart weapon's
condition, and you'll only get 100% return once you cap out your Repair

This works fine for common weapons, but what if you want to use something a
bit more exotic? You won't find many copies to conduct repairs with, and
because of their exotic nature they'll cost too much to regulary repair by
pay. That's where arguably the most useful perk in the game steps in: Jury
Rigging. Jury Rigging allows you to repair any weapon with a roughly similar
weapon. You can now fix up your Nail Gun with 9mm strewn across the
wasteland, or patch up your Multiplas rifle with much more common Plasma
Rifles. For unarmed and melee weapons the benefit is even larger: ALL unarmed
and melee weapons can repair others of their type, leading to such ludicrous
solutions as repairing a chainsaw with spare parts from a Pool Cue; never
mind that they have nothing at all in common, it somehow works nonetheless!
You can see the repair categories here: fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Jury_Rigging.
Details on repairing will be listed in the individual weapon list.

Note that the value of a weapon is dependant upon its condition. With Jury
Rigging and melee/unarmed weapons, a quick way to make money is to find
expensive high-end weapons and repair them with stuff you find along the way,
generating cash out of super sledges and...pool cues...

There are also Weapon Repair Kits, which can be found in small numbers,
bought, or crafted. These can repair any weapon 25% a punch, making them
useful for weapons that are difficult to repair: those in their own
categories mainly, the high-rollers like the Holorifle, the Grenade
Machinegun, or the Minigun.

[4.7] [VATS and crippling]

VATS is a Fallout signature and takes a bit of getting used to. Basically
it's a high accuracy mode where you have a certain chance to strike a
specific part of an enemy body, dependant on distance, the weapon, and a ton
of multipliers. The number of times you can hit an enemy is dependant upon
the number of Action Points you currently have (based on your Agility) and
the AP cost of the weapon itself.

VATS is terrifically useful once you get the hang of it. First, a bit of a
discussion on crippling: each time you hit a body sector, that body sector
takes damage. Deal enough damage to a body sector and the creature will be
temporarily stunned, as well as weaker in that limb (you can be crippled
too). Cripple the legs and they will move slower, and aim for the head to
do bonus damage. Aim for their weapon to destroy it and knock it out of their

What VATS basically allows you to do is to reliably open engagements by
aiming for specific parts of their body. This makes it much easier to, for
instance, cripple a Deathclaw so that it can't run at you at 20 miles an
hour. In addition VATS conserves ammo by making sure every possible shot
hits. Note that you can still be hit while firing in VATS, but time does move
slower. Also note that at extended range you're better off aiming manually;
VATS targets each body sector seperately, so you'll have a lower chance to
hit than normal.

Close-range weapons deal double damage in VATS, and not only that but they
can (one you hit 50 in their skill) perform special strikes that deal even
more damage; this offsets the fact that you're close enough to get hit
yourself during the manuveer. Note: these strikes can be performed out of
VATS as well.

[4.8] [Armor and perks]

Armor in Fallout: New Vegas is a technically detailed subject; if you want to
see the math behind it, see fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Armor. Basically, every
time damage is dealt it is checked against the creature's DT and the armor
rating of whatever it's wearing. If their DT is high enough and the round's
damage low enough, armor can almost completely negate damage; even if it
isn't enough, it will at least reduce the amount of damage taken (at the cost
of condition, or not if it's innate DT). Heavily-armored enemies will require
heavier rounds, or armor-piercing rounds, to be dealt with effectively.

As for perks. There's a lot of them, most are combat-related, and they can
allow you to adapt a character of any sort: a sneaky striker, a VATS master,
an all-around tough guy, so on and so forth. To see the full list, see the
wiki article: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_perks.

[4.9] [Weapon mods and special characteristics]

Weapon mods are just that, weapons modifications. They make the weapon better
by adding certain nuts and bolts and glossy pieces to it. Not all weapons
have mods - in fact, most don't - but those that do benefit from them quite
highly. Modded weapons gain a + after their name; for instance, Sniper Rifle
becomes Sniper Rifle+.

The list: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_weapon_mods. They
will be discussed in detail in the weapons list section.

In addition certain weapons have special characteristics. They might deal
more damage to certain limbs, light the target on fire, scare abominations,
have a higher crit chance, a higher crit bonus, so on and so forth.

[4.10] [Sneak attacks and criticals]

When you crouch you will get an indicator telling opponents' state. If it
says Hidden, then either no one's nearby, or they don't know you're there;
Caution means at least one knows something's up (but not necessarily all of
them); and Danger means they're all actively targeting you.

Sneak attacks can be performed while you are hidden. A successful strike will
deal a garunteed critical against the target. The exact multiplier varies,
but with sneaky weapons like Christine's COS Sniper Rifle, you will more
often then not kill enemies in a single shot, or leave them so weakened the
follow-up will kill them. Note that firing unsilenced weapons will almost
always reveal your position (except at long range), but silenced weapons are
fine. Having a high Sneak skill helps a lot towards getting close enough for
a sneak critical, but it's next to impossible with melee weapons.

Criticals are the basis of sneak attacks, but can also occur on their own in
regular combat. Critical hits do much more damage, the amount dependant on
the weapon, and the chance of their occuring is based on your character's
Luck stat, the weapon itself, and any modifiers (1st Recon Beret, Finesse,
True Police Stories, etc.). Criticals can be a real life savers in certain

[4.11] [Merchants]

General Stores, travelling merchants, and the occassional location NPC are
all merchants that sell goods. The biggest part of their goods are weapons
and ammunition, and although buying weapons from the them is prohibitively
expensive, they are an important source of ammunition. They can supplement
the ammo you find along the way, or start you off.

In addition merchants are the only place to get weapon modifications.
Different merchants stock different mods, and they don't always have them,
so if you have your eye on one in particular you should check with those
that stock it every once in the while and hopefully it'll appear.

A few merchants in particular are worth mentioning:

The Van Graafs in Freeside are the only merchant that regularly stocks a
large number of energy weapons, being an energy weapon specialist.

The Gun Runners outside of Las Vegas have a large, varied stock, always
carry a large number of weapons mods, stock a number of unique weapons,
and are the most reliable vendor for Gun Runner's Arsenal goods.

The Quartermaster in the depths of the Hoover Dam carries ammunition in the
hundreds or even thousands, up to a quarter of a million caps worth, so visit
him if you need to stock up on ammo.

Alternatively, there is a weapons dealer in the supply shed at the very back
of Camp MacCarren. Note that both these venders are NCR-aligned, and both are
a pain to get to, located at the back of sprawling army bases.

There are a number of good guns merchants hanging around Highway Post 188.

[4.12] Unique weapons

Most of the weapons in the game also have a unique named variant, sometimes
two. These are one-off weapons that can only be found once, generally as the
prized loot at the end of a difficult area. They are always better versions
of their base weapons, usually have more damage, a better sight, a different
look, and so forth. Unique weapons will be listed after their generic
counterparts on the listing. Note that unique weapons cannot equip weapon
mods, so in cases where a gun has a number of good weapons mods, it may
actually be debatable which is better.

[5] [Guns]

The following section details the guns available in the game, arranged
by type. I'm not going to include the exact numbers because they're better
catalouged elsewhere: see
http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_weapons for nice tables
showing exactly how everything stacks up.

[5.1] [Cowboy Rifles]

This is an ad-hoc classification for a clear lineation of durable bolt or
lever action two-handed rifles with small tubular magazines - the kind of
faux-Winchesters a cowboy would use. These guns are very reliable, don't
weigh much, work well in V.A.T.S., and deal good damage. They can repair one
another with Jury Rigging.

These guns are all affected by the Cowboy perk, giving them a further 25%
damage bonus, but requiring that your character be a Guns+Melee specialist
(or otherwise are willing to invest points in Melee).

Varmint Rifle (5.56mm bolt-action rifle)
The very first weapon that you get your hands on is a low-condition Varmint
Rifle fit for nothing but shooting Sasperilla  Bottles on a fence. The
Varmint Rifle is pretty much the weakest weapon in the game, period, shooting
a low-powered round at a low velocity and a low rate of fire. You should
exchange it up sooner rather than later.

Weapon mods:
Night scope - Adds a 2.86x magnification night scope.
Silencer - Silenced the weapon.
Extended mags - +3 rounds to a mag.

Ratslayer (Unique Varmint Rifle)
As you may notice, the three weapons mods on the Varmint Rifle basically
turns the weapon into a poor man's sniper rifle. The Ratslayer takes this
approach to its logical conclusion. Found amongst rats (what else) in Broc
Flower Cave, this weapon sports a black matte finish, a lighter weight,
higher damage, a much higher (and much more sniper-like) critical multiplier,
and all three weapon mods pre-installed. If you want to build a sneaky
character early on and are willing to contest with a swarm of giant rats,
this is the perfect weapon to get you started.

Cowboy Repeater (.357 lever-action rifle)
The second step-up from the Varmint Rifle (the first is the semi-auto Battle
Rifle, described in the next section), this is a solid weapon that can be
relied on for dealing damage well into the meat of the game. The peep sight
is very obstructive, however.

Weapon mods:
Maple stock - decreases weight by 1.5.
Long tube - +4 ammunition capacity.
Custom action - increases rate of fire by 20%. 

La Longue Carabine (unique Cowboy Repeater)
This is the unique, sniper-like version of the weapon that is carried by
Corporal Sterling, and is not directly available to the player (you'll
probably have to kill him for it if you really want it). It's the personal
weapon of one of the troops in the NCR's "finest sniper platoon", and as such
it comes with a scope, the extended mags modification, and a tighter shot

Hunting Rifle (.308 bolt-action rifle)
Don't be fooled by the smaller round size: it compensates in velocity. This
weapon is basically a weaker, scopeless sniper rifle, and fires the standard
.308 sniper round. It has a bonus critical chance and bonus critical damage
(also like the sniper rifles). Although it might look like you should pass
on this as soon as you get a real sniper rifle, it does comparable damage and
has some unique weapon mods that make it an interesting sniper rifle
alternative once fully upgraded; namely, it trades in a silencer for
generally higher stats, and tacks on a scope.

Weapon mods:
Custom action - increases rate of fire by 33.3%.
Extended mag - +5 rounds per magazine.
Scope - adds long-range optic scope with 3.5x magnification. 

Paciencia (unique Hunting Rifle)
Added by the Gun Runner's Arsenal pack, this weapon has a tiny three-round
magazine and can't equip any mods, but compensates in two ways. First, the
iron sight has 3.5x magnification by default (somehow). Second, it's got a
truly rediculous crit multiplier that does 110 damage on a successful
critical, which is the same amount of damage as a .50 ANTI-MATERIAL rifle. If
you want a really, really powerful sniper rifle to open engagements with and
don't care for a silencer, then this is the weapon for you.

Trail Carbine (.44 magnum lever-action rifle)
The Trail Carbine is the next step up the ladder. Not much else to say: solid
weapon, great damage, good V.A.T.S. potential. Basically a straight upgrade
over the cowboy repeater, and it does more damage than the Hunting Rifle
outside of criticals.

Weapon mods:
Scope - adds a 20x40 medium-range scope with 2.6x magnification.

Brush Gun (.45-70 Gov't lever-action rifle)
This is the best rifle of this lineation, being the highest level and doing
the most damage, but it also uses the rarest round, the sparse .45-70 Gov't.
However the round can be straight converted from far more common .308 rounds
at a workbench, and by the time you get access to this weapon you likely
already have access to Quartermaster Bardon (or Coreales) and their
rediculous ammunition numbers, as well as the caps to buy the rounds. The
sight is terrible however; this is improved upon by its unique version.

Weapon mods:
Forged receiver: increases weapon condition by 50%. 

Medicine Stick (unique Brush Gun)
The unique version of the Brush Gun is only sold by the Vendertron at Gun
Runners HQ, provided you have the Gun Runners pack installed. It's basically
an upgraded Brush Gun with a cleaner appearance and a dreamcatcher attached
to the butt, featuing a slightly higher rate of fire, damage, and magazine
size. It's very expensive however, requiring about 12k caps to purchase, even
with maximum Barter skill, but is well worth the investment if you like these
types of guns. If you are particularly ravenous, you can murder the Gun
Runners guards stationed outside the nearby factory: doing so will not stop
you from buying anything after the fighting is done, and the weapons and
armor you can loot off of them can help offset the price if you're low on

[5.2] [Semi-auto rifles]

Semi-automatic rifles come in two flavors. They either fire weaker rounds
than the Winchester-style weapons above, but at a faster rate and a much
larger magazine, or they are scoped and fire comparable rounds in sniper
rifle capacities. Some of the weapons blur this line. Note: the anti-material
rifle is tacked onto this group because it's a very modern weapon and has a
similar purpose, even if it is bolt-action. It's also in the same repair

Service Rifle (5.56mm semi-auto rifle)
This is the weapon carried by most NCR footmen, even on higher levels. It's
basically an improved Varmint Rifle, doing slightly more damage with a 20
round magazine and semi-automatic fire rate. Very common and fairly durable,
but also very weak.

Weapon mods:
Upgraded springs - +30% rate of fire.
Forged receiver - +50% condition. 

Survivalist's Rifle (unique Service Rifle)
This is a pretty unique weapon and the best loot you get from the Honest
Hearts DLC. The Survivalist's Rifle is an upscaled Service Rifle with a very
long history, one you can read up on from its former wielder's terminal
entries. It's heavily beat up, with a weathered, name-engraved stock and a
front sight that's bent off-center, requiring that you aim off the tip of the
right stock. Despite its shortcomings, the Survivalist's Rifle is a very
versatile weapon. It fires 12.7mm rounds instead of the 5.56mm rounds of the
Service Rifle, so the damage upgrade is huge; when combined with its rapid
rate of fire and quite tight bullet spread, the Survivalist's Rifle sports
the highest DPS of any rifle in this category while also serving reasonably
well in a longer range capacity. Its greatest drawback is its use of 12.7mm
ammo, but that can be circumvented by stocking up off of the Hoover Dam or
Camp McClarren merchants. Easily a contender for best general-purpose weapon,
and it has a great fire sound to boot.

Sniper Rifle (.308 scoped semi-auto rifle)
Exactly what it reads on the tin. This weapon is great for long-range
encounters, boasting a very tight bullet spread that is extremely helpful
when performing the titular sniping, and a default 3.5x scope that allows you
to take accurate shots are extreme ranges. In addition, one of its mods
silences the weapon, further adding to its stealthiness. Although it only
deals moderate damage, its high critical multiplier will make sneak attacks
lethal, or at least crippling, against all but the toughest of opponents.
It is not, however, very durable.

Weapon mods:
Suppressor - reduces weapon noise.
Carbon fiber parts - reduces weight by 5. 

Gobi Campaign scout rifle (unique Sniper Rifle)
This unique rifle can be found at the Sniper's Lookout, behind a Very Hard
lock. It has a lower weight, lower action point cost, larger magazine,
buffered damage, and because of a self-contained repair kits degrades MUCH
slower. Its primary drawback over the regular sniper rifle is that it lacks
a suppressor; nonetheless it is a very powerful weapon, and if you don't care
for a silencer, it was a great engagement-opener in the vanilla game. With
the additions from the expansion packs, however, it's recieved some stiff
competition, particularly the next weapon on this list...

Christine's COS silencer rifle (unique Sniper Rifle)
This weapon, found outside a ghoul-infested camp in Big Mountain as part of
the Old World Blues Expansion, is a straight improvement over the regular
sniper rifle and usually superior to the Gobi. This weapon features the
highest damage per-shot of any weapon using the .308 round, as well as
slightly increased durability, decreased weight, a higher critical bonus,
and, critically, a suppressor pre-installed. Altogethor this makes the Gobi
look very shaky, as it is not a good idea to carry around two sniper rifles,
and why take an unsilenced one when you can have a silenced one that does
more damage to boot?

Marksman Carbine (5.56mm scoped semi-auto rifle)
It's the return of the 5.56mm! The round is still pretty terrible, but when
placed in a high-powered and well-maintained carbine instead of a scrapped-
togethor service rifle, it understandably does much, much more damage. This
is one of the most versatile weapons in the game. Need to lay down a lot of
damage quickly? Open up. Need to take down an enemy from range? Take
advantage of this weapon's scope and low spread to pick them off in a few
practiced shots. The one situation where this medium-powered weapon stumbles
is against heavy armor, in which case you should either swap to armor-
piercing rounds, or, even better, grab a cowboy rifle and load up V.A.T.S.
A large part of its versatility is actually in its round, of which you can
easily buy hundreds of specialized calibers - armor piercing, hallow point,
whatever is needed for the situation.

All-American (unique Marksman Carbine)
Found in Vault 34, this is a straight upgrade of the carbine, sporting a
higher damage, rate of fire, magazine size, and optic zoom, as well as a camo
varnish finish. One of the, if not the, most versatile weapons in the game,
it is in direct competition with the Survivalist's Rifle in terms of best-in-
class; while the Survalist features higher damage, the American benefits from
an actually usuable, magnified sight.

Battle Rifle (.308 semi-auto rifle)
Evocative of the M1 Garand, and performing like a higher-spread, lower-
multiplier, semi-auto version of the hunting rifle, the battle rifle is
another one of the guns added by the Gun Runners pack. It's better as a
weapon, just not as a sniper varient. Compared to the Hunting Rifle, it has
a much higher ROF and DPS, but doesn't have the gun's unique attachment

This Machine (unique Battle Rifle varient)
Interestingly enough this weapon predates the Battle Rifle, appearing in the
vanilla game where the base gun was added in an add-on. It's another stat
booster type upgrade.

Anti-material Rifle (.50 MG scoped semi-auto rifle)
The anti-material rifle puts the POW in KA-POW. It's a large, slow-firing,
bolt action monster that fires a unique, extremely high-powered .50 MG round.
It helps that the .50 MG has special rounds that can either light the target
on fire (effectively turning it into a high-velocity incindiary grenade) or
explode (effectively turning it into a high-velocity 40mm grenade). It has
a x3.5 scope and acts like a (if you haven't noticed yet) extremely powerful
sniper rifle, dealing 110 damage on a critical hit - enough to smush all but
the toughest of beasts. On the other hand it and the rounds it fires are
extremely rare, it's not that durable, it's heavy, and it actually pushes
you backwards when fired from the hip.

Weapon mods (GRA version only):
Custom bolt - Increases rate of fire by 20%.
Suppressor - Reduces noise made by the weapon, but does not silence it.
Carbon fiber parts - Reduces weight by 7.

[5.3] [Handguns]

Handguns are generally the weakest weapons to fire a round of their caliber,
but do not slow you down while drawn, so can strafe backwards in combat more
effectively. Revolvers are higher power, lower fire-speed pistols.

Silenced .22 Pistol
Terrifically weak, and pretty much pock-shots in regular combat, but it does
have a silencer for your troubles, as well as a high critical hit multiplier.

9mm Pistol
The weakest one-handed weapon in the game. You're shot in the head by one at
the very beginning of Fallout: New Vegas. It's entirely unremarkable except
for being extremely plentiful and cheap (and its ammo being just as
plentiful, and cheap).

Weapon mods:
Extended mags - +7 rounds per magazine.
Scope - adds a 2x20mm short range scope with 1.6x magnification. 

Maria (unique 9mm pistol)
And this is the pistol that does the shooting. It's still very weak, but does
boast increased stats, as well as a very intricate ivory and floral finish.

10mm Pistol
Exactly what it says on the tin: a more powerful version of the 9mm pistol
that gets a stat kick from firing slightly stronger (and somewhat rarer)
ammunition. It has some interesting mods, however, if you feel like one-
handed sniping...

Weapon mods:
Extended mags - increases ammunition capacity (+4).
Laser sight - decreases spread by 0.4, adds laser sight effect.
Silencer - silences weapon. 

Weathered 10mm pistol (unique 10mm pistol)
Just a stronger 10mm pistol. Loses the weapon mods, but you start with it if
you have the Classic Pack installed.

5.56mm Pistol
Added by the Gun Runner's Pack. Unremarkable.

That Gun (unique 5.56mm Pistol)
Decent sidearm and the only one-handed weapon capable of firing dedicated
armor-piercing rounds outside of the Hand Loader sets and a couple of weak

12.7mm Pistol
Deals twice the damage of the 10mm! But still worse than, say, the 12.7mm

Weapon mods:
Silencer- silenced weapon.

Li'l Devil (unique 12.7mm Pistol)
General increases.

.357 Magnum Revolver
Just a hold-on until you can get your hands on a true Cowboy Repeater.

Weapon mods:
Long barrel - increases the weapon's damage by 3.
Heavy duty cylinder - increases the weapon's durability by 50%. 

Lucky (unique .357 Magnum Revolver)
Found locked in a cabinet in the Bison Steve Hotel near the beginning of the
game, it has some general increases but is far too hard to get to use

Police Pistol (unique .357 Magnum Revolver varient)
Added by the Dead Money pack, the Police Pistol is a shorter .357 that
reloads faster thanks to a swing-out magazine, and features higher ROF and
a better critical hit multipler. It's DLC-only and a staple of the Sierra.

.44 Magnum Revolver
Stronger then the .357 Magnum, and it comes with a Speed Loader. You're
better off with a Trail Carbine, though.

Heavy frame - +50% condition, and adds a matted stainless steel finish with a
darker wooden grip.
Scope - adds a close-to-mid range scope with 1.86x magnification. 

Mysterious Magnum (unique .44 Magnum Revolver)
Sports a faster firing rate and an interesting backstory, as well as a very
unique feature: when drawn or holstered, it plays bits of guitar cowboy
music. It's obsoleted by A Light Shining in Darkness, however.

.45 Auto Pistol
Added by the Honest Hearts add-on. Fairly generic.

A Light Shining in Darkness (unique .45 Auto Pistol)
This is the best handgun in the game, if not the coolest-looking one, and is
given to you as Joshua Graham's unique weapon after completing the Honest
Hearts DLC. It's the most powerful non-scoped (aka, not gimmicky) pistol, and
has a higher fire-rate, larger magazine, faster reload, and (I think)
slightly better spread than the Hunting Revolver on account of being a semi-
auto. This is the best holdout weapon in the game for the casinos, and can
clean off a guard in two shots, but will require a Sneak skill of 50 to carry

Hunting Revolver (.45-70 Gov't Revolver)
It fires .45-70 Gov't rounds, so it's very high powered, plus it has a scope!
Of course that doesn't matter when there's a stronger and more accurate two-
handed version called the Brush Gun. Still, the scope is interesting.

Weapon mods (GRA version only):
Match barrel - decreases the weapon's spread by 15%.
6-shot cylinder - increases the gun's capacity by 1. 

Ranger Sequoia (rare Hunting Revolver varient)
Scopeless and more lavish Hunting Revolver issued to high-ranking Rangers.
Does more damage and doesn't have the slightly rediculous scope, as well as
looking cooler. Still outclassed, though.

BB Gun
Didn't know where to stick this, so I'll stick it here. Yes it's a gimmick,
no, for the love of god, don't ever use it.

Abilene Kid LE BB gun (unique BB Gun)
Gimmicks ahoy!

[5.4] [Submachine guns]

These are small, portable weapons firing small-caliber ammunition that spit
out hot lead. They eat ammo and suck againt anything with any real DT,
however. Keeping SMGs stocked is next to impossible, but they have great
damage potential for such an early weapon. SMGs are in direct competition
with shotguns.

9mm SMG
The weakest SMG, this weapon benefits from using a very common ammunition
grade but is still only useful at the beginning of the game. After you've
started to get better weapons, you should probably empty its magazines on
your next encounter and discard it.

Vance's 9mm SMG (unique 9mm SMG)
Vance's weapon is first mentioned by a nameplate in the Vikki & Vance Museum
in Primm, but the actual weapon is notably gone from its display case. You
find it much, much later in the hands of some wannabee crime dou up north of
New Vegas, by which point you have much bigger fish to fry than a 9mm SMG.
Which is sad, because if there was some way to get the gun earlier in the
game it would be very useful, as it sports more damage, higher durability,
better V.A.T.S. firing, and, critically, double the magazine size of a
typical 9 millimeter.

10mm SMG
A step up from the 9mm: just as the 10mm pistol is to the 9, the 10mm SMG is
to the 9mm. It's a damage grade higher but will mostly be used concurrently,
until you get your hands on better arms. The 10mm rounds have the advantage
of being easy to convert to .308 ones, though.

Sleepytyme (unique 10mm SMG)
Sold by the Gun Runners, this gun should probably be sold by the Holdout guy
on the strip itself instead. It's a more powerful, silenced 10mm varient,
mostly useful for one thing by the time you get to it, and that is quietly
cleaning off guards in the casino, a role in which it accels, being the only
automatic and only silenced holdout weapon in the game. Otherwise, it's very

12.7mm SMG
A high-level SMG firing larger caliber bullets. 12.7mm ammo is fairly rare,
though, so it's not much more appealing then its weaker cousins were before.
Only the GRA version takes mods; this is the only SMG that can be voluntarily
silenced. It features an unusual top-stacked magazine.

Weapon mods:
Laser sight - decreases spread by 0.4 from 2 to 1.6.
Stacked magazine - increases ammunition capacity by 6 rounds from 21 to 27.
Suppressor - silences the weapon. 

Silenced .22mm SMG
A terrifically weak and also very rare weapon, appearing only in a handful of
places. If you really want a silenced SMG, get a 12.7mm SMG+ or Sleepytyme,
this gun is not what you want.

Weapon mods:
Expanded drums - +60 ammunition capacity.

.45 Auto SMG
If you like SMGs, this is one of the two that is actually worth carrying. The
.45 Auto is added to the game by the Honest Hearts DLC, and is clearly an old
pre-war design, looted from the armies of old, much like its copatriot the
.45 Pistol (which is just a M1911 in disguise). It's basically a Thompson
submachine gun, and a good competitor with the Riot Shotgun, with the
advantage of doing 26 damage per shot (and thus being decent at piercing
armor) and having a bit of range to it. Ammo is a problem, however, unless
you buy it by the pound.

.45 Auto submachine gun drums - increases ammunition capacity from 30 to 50.
.45 Auto submachine gun compensator - reduces weapons spread from 2.3 to 1.8.

H&H Tools Nail Gun
This is the other, ah, "SMG" worth keeping, and the easier to maintain of the
two. It also comes from a DLC, this time from Lonesome Road. This weapon is
completely silent, has an enormous magazine, and deals double damage to limbs
(you know, because it's a nail gun). It empties its magazine very quickly,
but lacks significant armor penetration, as each shot does just 9 damage.
Still, it's a worthy competitor for best close-range weapon, as it has one
further advantage: the scrap metal commonly found across the wastes can be
quickly and easily converted into nails for further firing. It's not at all
durable, however, so if you want to use this gun you need Jury Rigging, which
allows it to repair with all the cheap, throwaway 9s and 10s tossed around
the Majove.

[5.5] [Shotguns]

These weapons rip apart anything that doesn't have the DT to resist at close
range. They suck against armored targets, however. Compared to SMGs, they
generally do more damage up front, but are more easily nullified by any armor
at all. You should probably pick one or other and stick to it: you don't
really need two close-range weapons. The two shotgun gauges, 20 and 12 Guage,
can directly be converted from and to one another, with 12 Gauge being the
superior round.

Caravan Shotgun
The first shotgun you encounter, and also the weakest. This is a common, 20
Guage, two-shot over-under weapon, and not remarkable in any way.

Sturdy Caravan Shotgun (unique Caravan Shotgun)
You get this as part of the Caravan Pack. It does slightly more damage and
has no Guns skill requirement (the Caravan requires 25 skill), but is still
pretty unremarkable.

Single Shotgun
A single-shot shotgun. The reload is quick, but that doesn't change the fact
that you have to, well, reload, after every shot. It compensates by having
the tightest spread and highest damage of the 20 gauge weapons, but is
otherwise not recommended.

Lever-action Shotgun
This is the best 20 guage shotgun, doing only slightly less damage at a
slightly worse spread than the single shotgun, but doing so out of an
actual magazine. Not much else to say.

Sawed-off Shotgun
This weapon does the most up-front damage of any shotgun by firing two
barrels at once, and it has a fairly fast reload to boot. Its big
disadvantage is its range - it doesn't have one. If it's not point-blank,
don't expect anything to happen. It also has the highest pellet damage (and
thus armor penetration) of the shotties, defeated only by the Riot Shotgun.

Big Boomer (unique Sawed-off Shotgun)
This weapon is carried by Old Laby Gibson at the Gibson Scrap Yard. It has
slightly better stats then the Sawed-off and is available fairly early in the
game. You can get it off of her with no bloodshed through a glitch: punch
her, draw your weapon, and then holster it. She will draw her weapon, maybe
fire at you a couple of times, then drop it on the floor so she can sit down
again, and you can make off with the gun.

Hunting Shotgun
This is a heavy duty pump-action 12 guage shotgun meant for hunting wild
game, now repurposed to mutated insects, failed genetic experiments, and the
occassional marauder. Although outclassed by the Riot Shotgun, the Hunting
Rifle is a great mid-late game weapon that is terrifically accurate; with the
choke attachment, it becomes the only shotgun you can bother firing at ranges
greater than five meters.

Weapon mods:
Long tube - +3 magazine size (5 shells to 8).
Choke: - reduces spread by 40% (from 1.5 to 0.9). 

Dinner Bell (unique Hunting Shotgun)
This shotgun is given as a reward by Red Lucy at The Thorn for collecting a
variety of mutated insect and abomination eggs. It's an absolute pain in the
ass to get however, since the quests are extremely long and requires you to
(probably) fight Deathclaw Mothers for her eggs by the end of it. Still, if
you're willing to tackle it, this gun has buffed damage over the Hunting
Shotgun as well as even further decreased spread, making it the most accurate
shotgun in the game, and well worth firing at range. This is one of the two
best shotguns in the game, the other being the Riot Shotgun, below. It also
has a nice camo pattern.

Riot Shotgun
While being very accurate is all fine and dandy, no other shotgun can lay
claim to the Riot Shotgun's rate of fire, damage per second, large magazines,
and quick reloads. This is the only combat shotgun in the game, and features
a twelve round rotating drum, a high rate of fire and damage, and the most
damage per pellet of all the guns. It's the strongest shotgun overall, but
not the most accurate, so if you like pockshots over a distance, you should
take the Dinner Bell instead.

[5.6] [Automatic weapons]

The badest of the bad weapons don't follow the semi-automatic quota: they can
spit out hot lead just fine with the trigger all the way down. Note: this is
a bit of a mothball category, and includes what I would also call "Big Guns".

Automatic Rifle
This is the most damaging gun available during Dead Money. It's not that
great, really. It uses .308 rounds, so it shared with your sniper rifles; it
has a fairly low rate of fire and a terrible spread; and, finally, it has a
low durability. I don't recommend it.

Weapon mods:
Automatic rifle upgraded internals - increases rate of fire by 10%. 

Light Machine Gun
This weapon is not bad, not bad at all. The LMG fires 5.56 rounds with pretty
good damage at a brisk pace, and comes with a large 80 round magazine. It has
a moderate spread and can chamber all of the 5.56 ammo varieties, giving it
good armor piercing ability on a dime as well. The one bad thing about the
LMG is that it weighs 15 pounds, and gets in the way of the Marksman Carbine,
which is more useful: it weighs less, does more damage, has a scope, and
reloads quick, and the times when you actually need full-auto fire are not
that common. For that reason I recommend the K9000 instead.

Drum magazine - increases the magazine size to 110 rounds.

Bozar (unique Light Machine Gun)
It's interesting that "the ultimate refinement of the sniper's art" is a
light machine gun, but hey, if that's what it is, that's what it is.
Apparently this weapon is the result of a communication error between the
development team (who wanted a sniper rifle) and the art team (who heard
"scoped automatic rifle"), and the mistake was kept for all to see. That
being said, the Bozar is basically a smaller-magazine, more accurate LMG with
a scope, a sort of mishmash of sniper and heavy support weapon. To be honest
I perfer FIDO, which is all the same things but does much more damage per
bullet, if not per second, and which you don't have to buy off a vendor.

K9000 Cyberdog Gun
Added by Old World Blues, this gun is without a doubt the wierdest one in the
game. It's a gun, and a dog, in one! No, seriously. It has flapping ears, a
dog-esque design, a brain case, ruffs and whines when drawn and holstered,
and when pointed in the general direction of enemies will sniff out and mark
them for you to see, even if you don't have the Perception to notice them
otherwise; it even sniffs out Stealth Boy users! As a gun, this is a great
mid-game weapon, dealing death at a brisk clip with .357 ammo and a
reciprocating barrel. It also has a fairly large 50 round magazine. Note that
you can only acquire two of these guns in the game, and that in the late game
it's outclassed by the minigun (being more comparable to an LMG). It also
features a powerful scope!

Weapon mods:
K9000 mod - Mentat chow - Increases rate of fire by 40%
K9000 mod - Resla Roil - Increases weapon DAM by 2. 

FIDO (unique K9000 Cyberdog Gun)
FIDO is the upgraded version of the K9000, using .44 ammunition instead of
.357 and thus experiencing a damage boost, as well as having a bulldog
styling instead of the K9000's Golden Retriever. Wether you perfer FIDO or a
K9000 Cyberdog Gun+ is up to you; while the K9000 is statistically slightly
superior, it also costs a lot of caps to buy the upgrades, while the FIDO
upgrade is free. And, truthfully, I perfer FIDO's visual design over the
K9000. You get two anyway (one at the beginning of the add-on, another on a
Master Trauma Harness later in the DLC), so you can have one of both anyway.

Shoulder-mounted Machine Gun
The best 10mm gun in the game, and to be frank the only good 10mm gun in the
game (Sleepytyme has its uses, but they're limited). It's a slower-firing
minigun fired from the shoulder (for some reason) and is a good, if oddball,
weapon, performing similarly to the K9000 and FIDO. It is very difficult to
maintain, however, being in its own little category; you're going to want
either ED-E, or Weapon Repair Kits, or both for regular use.

Mechanical upgrade - Increases weapon condition by 25%.
Recoil compensator - Reduces spread by 0.2.
Extended magazine - increases maximum ammunition capacity by 15. 

Ah yes, the minigun. Can't have a post-apocalyptic shooter game without one!
The minigun fires the commonplace 5mm rounds at a frightening pace, doing
terrific carnage to anything in the way of its bullets. The 5mm rounds
actually have an armor-piercing effect, standard, increasing this gun's
utility, and this ability can be exponentiated further by using armor
piercing rounds. It is fragile and difficult to repair, however, so you're
going to want ED-E, Raul, or Weapon Repair Kits on this one.

CZ57 Avenger (unique Minigun)
The unique next-gen minigun (or at least, next-gen when the world ended),
this weapon is a step up from the default minigun. Found at the far eastern
edge of the map in the Devil's Throat, the gun is actually fairly easy to
retrieve, lying besides a dead prospector in an irradiated crater; just bring
a few grenades or explosives to deal with the Evolved Centaurs crawling about
inside, and you should be fine. The Avenger combines greater durability, more
damage, and a higher rate of fire into the greatest Damage Per Second of any
gun in the game, period, and it just about halves the weapon spread as well,
making the gun useful at longer ranges. Its one drawback is that it has half
the magazine size, but by the time you've emptied four seconds of rounds,
whatever you were firing at is most likely dead. This is pretty much the only
way to deal with Deathclaws in a guns-only manner.

[6] [Energy weapons]
[6.1] [Laser]

Laser weapons are generally weaker then the other weapon classes, but make up
for it by being more accurate, as fast as a bullet, and generally firing at
a faster rate of fire, making them most useful against enemies that are
numerous but don't have a particularly high DT.

Laser Pistol
The weakest energy weapon, the laser pistol does very little damage but has a
large magazine and fires it off quite rapidly. It's comparable to the 9mm
SMG, and should be swiftly replaced once you get past the beginning stages of
the game. It does not have iron sights. Only the GRA version can accept
weapons mods, so you probably won't ever mod it, unless you're shooting for
the weapon mods achievement.

Weapon mods:
Combat sights - adds iron sights to the weapon.
Focus optics - increases damage +3.
Pistol recycler - replenishes ammunition (1/4 shots). 

Missing Laser Pistol (unique Laser Pistol)
This is a unique Laser Pistol that you have to find as part of an unmarked
Brotherhood of Steel quest. Its only differenciation from a normal Laser
Pistol is that it does slightly lower damage, has iron sights, and can't use
anything but base ammunition, so change this in in a jiffy, as it's not a
useful weapon.

Compliance Regulator (unique Laser Pistol)
Found in the trap-filled hole that is Fallen Rock Cave in the Honest Hearts
add-on, the Compliance Regulator is a unique Laser Pistol that fires blue
lasers instead of the typical red, and has a more detailed decal. It's a
useful weapon even in the end stages of the game because of its critical hit
effect, which paralyzes the target for ten seconds. This makes it far and
away the best way to deal with high-end enemies like Deathclaws with energy
weapons: hit them with the Regulator, and then let loose with a high-damage
weapon using your ten-second window.

Pew-Pew (unique Laser Pistol)
The Pew-Pew is a slapped-togethor laser pistol that you recieve from the
mannequin in the Sunset Saspirilla factory upon collecting fifty bottle caps.
It fires orange lasers and has a dramaticly increased muzzle flare, but this
comes with the biggest damage bonus of any weapon in the game. The Pew-Pew is
hands-down the strongest energy weapon in the game, and the reason you would
bother collecting the caps for Festus in the first place. On the other hand
each shot uses up a whole five energy shots, so you won't be using it long:
it goes through ammo like nothing else.

Laser RCW
A sort of Thompson submachine gun: with lasers! The RCW is a big improvement
over the bullet submachine guns becuase of the properties of a laser: it's
much more accurate, has no recoil, and still deals a lot of damage. However,
it still goes through ammunition quickly, and firing the weapon obscures the
sights and makes it more difficult to aim. This is a great energy weapon to
keep on hand for medium to close range encounters, and can chip at longer-
range enemies; just don't ask it to penetrate armor.

Weapon mods:
Laser RCW Recycler - recycles and replenishes 1 in 4 shots. 

Laser Rifle
The laser rifle is a rifle: with lasers! The weapon is a mid-game staple,
being strong, accurate and not an ammo hog. It gains a lot from its weapon
mods, so it's highly recommended you mod this weapon as much as possible if
you plan on relying on it.

Weapon mods:
Focus optics - Adds +3 damage
Scope - Adds a long range scope with 3.5x magnification
Beam splitter - Causes to fire two grouped beams per shot, with greater total
power than a single beam.

Van Graff Laser Rifle (unique Laser Rifle)
You get this weapon while assigned to guard duty at the Van Graff front gate.
It's a weaker laser rifle in every way, but requires no skill to use, which
is its real purpose. By the time you get to Vegas you'll probably have a real
Laser Rifle on you (if not, you can buy or steal one inside), and you can
just use that during the quest. So this weapon is kind of useless.

AER14 Prototype (unique Laser Rifle)
This weapon has an across-the-board stat increase over the Laser Rifle, but
uses double the ammunition. It's an advanced version that fires green lasers.
If you can field the extra ammuntion, it's a straight upgrade over the laser
rifle, even the modded version.

Tri-Beam Laser Rifle
The Tri-Beam Laser Rifle is just that: a sawed-off laser rifle that fires
three beams instead of one (or two modded). The damage bonus is offset by the
beams' inaccuracy and by its greater use of ammunition. This is basically an
energy weapon shotgun, and should be treated accordingly. Only the GRA
version supports attachments, but with all mods attached is an enormous
improvement that can be fielded right up to the end of the game, solving its
ammunition and condition problems and buffing its damage.

Weapon mods:
Focus optics - increases damage by 3 per beam.
Heavy duty capacitor - increases weapon condition by 200%.
Hi-capacity terminal - increases ammunition capacity by 24. 

Gatling Laser
The Energy Weapon answer to the minigun, the Gatling Laser fires off low-
power lasers at an incredible rate, emptying 240 canisters in just 8 seconds.
When loaded down with max charge ammunition, this is the best energy weapon
there is, and can be effectively combined with the Compliance Regulator to
easily kill of even Deathclaws.

Sprtel-Wood 9700 (unique Gatling Laser)
Just as the Gatling Laser is the energy Minigun, the Sprtel-Wood is the
Gatling Laser CZ Avenger. Much like the minigun it features a smaller
magazine, but benefits from higher damage, a lower weight, and a tighter

[6.2] [Plasma]
Plasma weapons are generally more damaging then lasers, but their projectiles
require movement prediction at range (in most cases), and their ammunition is
somewhat rarer (to offset the higher damage).

Plasma Pistol
The Plasma Pistol does double the damage of a Laser Pistol, but also uses up
double its ammunition type (two per shot) and requires you to lead the
target. Still, it's a good sidearm, as far as that goes. Never been a fan of
one-handed weapons. If you like it, you should get the GRA version and
upgrade it, because the mods add a lot to this gun.

Weapon mods:
Hi-energy ionizer - Increases damage by 7.
Magnetic accelerator - Increases projectile speed x2.
Recycler - Replenishes ammunition (1/4 shots). 

Plasma Defender
The Plasma Defender is comparable to the Plasma Pistol. It does twice the
damage because of a slightly higher damage and a significantly higher rate of
fire, but is less accurate and less durable. Only the GRA version can accept

Weapon mods:
Scope - adds a scope for increased zoom.
Sheath stabilizer - decreases spread by 0.2.
High-capacity terminal - increases ammunition capacity by 32 rounds. 

Plasma Rifle
Gah! This weapon is a huge step down from where it was in Fallout 3. It uses
twice as much ammunition and does much less damage per second thanks to a
slower rate of fire. No good, no good at all! NOnetheless it is the weapon
you will come to rely on for the middle part of the game, until you can get
your hands on better equipment.

Weapon mods:
Mag. accelerator - increase the speed of the plasma bolt by 200%. 

Van Graff Plasma Rifle (unique Plasma Rifle)
This is the second choice of arms given to you by the Van Graffs for guarding
their entrance. Like the Laser Rifle, it's a weaker version that won't take
attachments, and like the Laser Rifle, will be taken from you afterwards.

Q-35 Matter Accelerator (unique Plasma Rifle)
MUCH better version of the Plasma Rifle, if you like energy weapons you
should gun for the REPCONN headquarters just so you can pick this great
weapon up early on. It uses half the ammunition, fires twice as fast, deals
more critical damage, and despite a slightly reduced damage, has a higher DPS
thanks to its fire rate. It is also extremely durable, a rarity for these
kinds of weapons, in addition to being easy to repair, making it a worthwhile
rush target once you can buy a few pulse grenades to deal with the robots.

Multiplas Rifle
Ugh. A great weapon for sure, shooting a triple plasma spray with very little
spread, but ruined by its atrociosly low weapons health. You'll get all of
seven magazines or so out of it before it starts to lose damage. It may do
more than twice as much damage as the Plasma Rifle, but this is one weapon I
can't recommend: the upkeep is just too damn high.

Introduced by the Old World Blues add on, the LAER is a mish-mash of other
energy weapon parts that comes togethor into a great weapon. It's on par with
the Plasma Caster and deals good damage, but has fairly low item HP, a low
critical hit multiplier, and a bad spread, so if you're sneaking about turn
elsewhere. The mods make it even more useful however, and a LAER+ should be
one of your end-game weapons.

Weapon mods:
Auxiliary recharger chip -Recycles one round per four shot.
Prismatic lens -Splits the beam into three beams increasing total damage by

Elijah's Advanced LAER (unique LAER)
First of all, there are actually two of these weapons that can be acquirred
at different locations. Second, I would actually advise against relying on
this weapon, the reason being that, despite its higher DPS, this weapon
suffers from extremely low item HP, half that of the already fairly fragile
LAER. Thus the LAER is a more stable and dependable choice. Note that this is
the only unique weapon that can accept weapon mods, taking the same ones as
the standard LAER.

Weapon mods:
Auxiliary recharger chip -Recycles one round per four shot.
Prismatic lens -Splits the beam into three beams increasing total damage by

Plasma Caster
Basically a big, heavy duty plasma rifle, this is the end-game general energy
weapon of choice. Especially with the mod attached, this weapon acts like a
Plasma Rifle on Turbo. It is not at all durable, however, so if you want to
use this weapon extensively, bring lots of weapon repair kits.

The Smithy Special (unique Plasma Caster)
Introduced by the Gun Runners Arsenal pack, this unique Plasma Caster solves
some of the weapon's problems but introduces new ones. It's almost three
times as durable as its base weapon, so is easier to maintain, and spits
out shots more than twice as fast for increased DPS. However, this comes at
the cost of a lower critical hit multiplier and nearly double the weapons
spread, necessitating that this weapon be used close close range encounters
whenever possible. It's a better V.A.T.S. weapon, but if you want a reliable
combat plasma main you're better off with a Plasma Caster+ and/or LAER. It's
sold by the Van Graffs.

Telsa Cannon
The Telsa Cannon is the Energy Weapon answer to the Missile Launcher...sort
of. It's comparable to a cross between the Red Glare and the Missile
Launcher, firing four shots of heavy-duty plasma from a shoulder-mounted
platform that does additional electrical damage after it hits the target.
The Telsa Cannon is difficult to repair however, being as rare as it is,
unless you have Honest Hearts installed and have finished the add-on; if you
have, then one will respawn in the Abandoned BoS Bunker every once in a
while, necessitating a trek but making repairing much easier.

Telsa-Beaton Prototype (unique Telsa Cannon)
This unique weapon can be found at the Crashed Vertibird, making it quite
difficult to acquire as the site is guarded by a number of high-level
security robots. The weapon is the prototype version of the Telsa Cannon and
fires orange shots instead of blue, as well as being more makeshift in
appearance. It has significantly higher damage and DPS, as well as a boosted
post-hit electrical damage effect, more critical damage, and an even better
weapons spread, but is half as durable - making it difficult to use
practically unless you use the Honest Hearts trick I pointed out above.

Elijah's jury-rigged Tesla cannon (unique Telsa Cannon)
An intermediate version that lies between the Telsa Cannon and the Beaton
Prototype, this Old World Blues weapon (found at Elijah's Watch) deals more
damage than the Telsa Cannon and less than the Prototype, has a higher rate
of fire and larger magazine, and lies between the two in terms of durability
whist also being the priciest version. Which of the three you perfer is up to
you, but in my opinion this one staddles the line between damage and
durability the best. It also helps that it's absolutely pinpoint accurate (no
weapons spread at all).

Gauss Rifle
The Gauss Rifle is the energy weapon equivalent of the anti-material rifle,
and, although more fragile, is actually superior: it has less spread, higher
damage, more critical damage, a lower weight, and uses common ammunition
(albiet in multiples of five). This is the energy weapon category's best
sniper rifle.

YCS/186 (unique Gauss Rifle)
This weapon can be found east of Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, on a high-end
hostile mercenary. It can do upwards of 200 critical damage with the right
perks, and features four more coils on its barrel and a slightly heavier
weight. Thankfully, it's also less of an ammo hog, using four cells to a shot
instead of five. This weapon CANNOT be acquirred if you pick the Wild
Wasteland perk, as it is replaced with the weapon below.

Alien Blaster
An Easter Egg weapon that can only be acquirred of an alien captain while
Wild Wasteland is on, this is the strongest weapon in the game, be all and
end all, because it is always garunteed a critical hit. On the other hand,
only 140 to 250 shots can be recovered onsite, and none can be made or found
elsewhere, so this is a limited-opportunity weapon. You will probably want to
snipe the alien captain or otherwise blow him up with a launcher because this
weapon will melt you down into spare parts real quick if you engage him in
direct combat. This and the Holy Frag Grenades are the best thing you get out
of the Wild Wasteland, and if you get this you cannot acquire the YCS/186
mentioned above, so there IS a trade-off.

[6.3] [Self-charging]
These weapons are unique in that they recharge themselves over time, a
function given to them by the MF Breeder cells that power them. They are most
useful for conserving ammo when engaging weak enemies; you wouldn't want to
waste Multiplas shots on a common Bark Scorpion, would you? They have long
recharge times however, so you should fire your shots then swap to something
else if you need to finish the job.

Recharger Rifle
The first iteration of the design, the recharger rifle deals terrible damage
at a terrible rate of fire and is prohibitively heavy, like a laser pistol
that can only shoot once a second and weights twice as much. Not at all
recommended: if you're that desperate, run the merchant curcuit and buy the
ammo you need.

Recharger Pistol
The Recharger pistol is an upgraded version of the rifle, doing more damage
more rapidly and weighing less to boot. It's still only useful for dealing
with weak enemies you don't want to waste ammo on, but it's definetly a major
step up from the recharger rifle, and useful as a utility to the very end.

Weapon mods:
Laser RCW Recycler - recycles and replenishes 1 in 4 shots. 

MF Hyperbreeder Alpha (unique Recharger Pistol)
Added on by the Gun Runner's Pack, this is a major boost over the Recharger
Pistol, featuring more damage, less weight, automatic fire, and half the
recharge time. It's sold by Cliff Boscoe in Novac, so can be acquirred quite
early if you have the caps, and can be a staple of your energy armament.

[6.4] [Flame]
These are flame-based weapons that fall under the purview of Energy Weapons.
If you like these weapons, you definetly want to get Pyromaniac, as it gives
them an enormous damage boost, but requires you significantly level
Explosives, which makes sense, as this category straddles the boundary
between the two. Long story short: if you want to use these weapons
effectively, follow a Energy Weapons+Explosives combat tree.

Mid-range weapon that is basically a flamethrower, making it extremely
effective against numerous low-DT enemies. Point, shoot, and move backwards,
and they will go down. Its only competition in the close-range energy weapon
category is the Laser RCW, and this weapon outclasses the laser if you get
your hands on the Pyromaniac perk.

Weapon mods:
Expanded tank - increases fuel capacity by 60.

Cleansing Flame (unique Flamer)
Sold by the Van Graffs, this unique Gun Runners weapon is an improved Flamer
that deals more damage per shot (but not per pellet) over a longer range.
The burn effect actually scales with the player's level, which is an
interesting feature that keeps the weapon useful until the end of the game
when you take Pyromaniac.

Flare Gun
Added by Lonesome Road, this is a unique weapon that does a little bit of
burn damage, but is more significant in that it frightens abominations,
causing them to flee. This characteristic makes it immensely useful against
Deathclaws; when they get too close, fire off a shot, and they will run the
other direction, leaving you free to peck at their health as you wish. This
is even better then the best pre-DLC way to deal with Deathclaws with Energy
Weapons, which relied on sneak stunning them with the Compliance Regulator.
It is difficult to keep multiple Deathclaws back, however, as it does have
some reload time to it.

An early heavy weapon that fires "bolts" of fire in an arc over a distance,
the Incinerator is the longer-range cousin of the Flamer, with a not-point-
blank range but decreased damage. It's outclassed by the Heavy Incinerator
later on (obviously).

Heavy Incinerator
Exactly what is says on the tin, a heavier Incinerator. Aimed right, this
weapon can be used to lob artillery at enemies at extended ranges. It is
essentially the energy weapon answer to the grenade machinegun, with a longer
reach and a 24 round magazine, making it shockingly useful against foes like

[6.5] Other
This is the mothball category for weapons that don't fit into any of the
above classifications, including pulse, sonic, and lightning weapons.

Euclid's C-Finder
This is a unique weapon is that it's not truly a weapon, but like the
Detonator is used to trigger a weapon. Only usable once a day, outdoors, the
Euclid's C-Finder allows you to call down a shot from ARCHIMEDES II, provided
you locked in that option when you were busy fixing up the Helios I power
station. ARCHIMEDES II calls in a giant laser beam from the sky that takes
a few seconds to calibrate but, once it does, fries anything in the target
area to a crisp, doing damage comparable to a Fat Man explosion. You don't
*really* need it, but since reputation can always be won in other ways, it's
a shame you don't find this gun, in the hands of a kid using it as a toy,
until you get to the outskirts of Vegas, by which time Helios I will have
long passed.

Pulse Gun
Only a single Pulse Gun can be found in the game, so it's a fairly unique
weapon. It can only be found in a security chest in Vault 34, with a bit of a
backstory  as to how it got there. The Pulse Gun fires EMP burst that do
catastrophic damage against robots, 250 per pulse. It takes a little bit of
time to build up the shot, but that doesn't matter in the face of its
immense damage. It retains its usefulness against Power Armor, dealing an
additional 110 points of damage. Vault 34 is the toughest vault in the game,
but if you're prepared to face a challenge in retrieving it, this weapon is
immensely useful for the Old World Blues. Note: extensive use requires Jury
Rigging, because the weapon is only compatible with the Euclid C-Finder

Sonic Emitter
The Sonic Emitter is a unique weapon given to you at the beginning of Old
World Blues. It does decent damage against robots in addition to its
practical use disabling force fields, just not nearly as much as the
monstrous Pulse Gun, as well as applying a secondary effect that depends on
the weapon's calibration. All in all this is a great weapon for the DLC, but
can be safely put aside once you've left Big Mountain - robots simply aren't
that common, and the Pulse Gun is better the few times you do encounter them

Arc Welder
The Arc Welder, added by Lonesome Road, is a Flamer - with electricity! It
does less damage than the Flamer and doesn't have a unique level-scaling
varient, so it's not as good as what it's based on for conventional fighting;
nor is it given any benefit by Pyromaniac. However, it deals double damage
against robots, so it's a worthwhile weapon to carry when dealing with lots
of them, primarily in Old World Blues. Overall though it's mostly useless -
you've probably finished Old World Blues by the time you enter The Divide,
as the leveling is easier in the former than the latter. It does look cool

The Holorifle is a unique weapon given to you by Elijah at the beginning of
Dead Money. Although it's in poor condition (like, well, pretty much
everything in the DLC), it becomes your best possible armanent once you get
your hands on the MFC cell, Weapon Kit, and Holorifle Upgrade vendor
holodisks. The holorifle fires a unique hologram-based projectile that dodges
the Sierra Madre's classification of "weapon" through sheer
unconventionality. The holorifle is one of the best energy weapons in the
game once you get it upgraded: it's powerful and acccurate, uses up
ammunition in sane quantities, is extremely durable for an energy weapon, and
causes both knockback and light-based burn damage upon impact. Its one
drawback is that it's impossible to repair, as it is in its own category and
you only ever get one; you're going to want to keep a few Weapon Repair kits
around for maintaince. Still, overall this is one of the best weapons in the
game, and the best thing you get out of Dead Money.

[7] [Explosives]
[7.1] [Grenades]

Thrown explosives are the first you have access to, and the most common; the
trick is getting close enough to throw them, since they're not that useful
when enemies are barelling right at you. If you like these weapons, get the
Heave Ho! perk, and Mad Bomber later on. Nuka Chemist is also useful.

You first get the opportunity to chuck dynamite during your fight to defend
GoodspringS, but you must have invested some points in Explosives first to
convince Easy Pete that you're good for it. You will most differently get
your hands on a lot when you get to Primm. This is the first explosive weapon
and also the weakest, but very helpful when dealing with Powder Gangers,
considering that they're better equipped than you are at the start. You
actually have to light it instead of pulling a pin, so it has a long arming

Long-Fuse Dynamite
This is just Dynamite with a longer fuse. It does the same amount of damage,
so it's not really that remarkable, and pretty much inferior since that just
gives your targets more time to move away.

Frag Grenade
The staple. Extremely powerful at the beginning and a major step up from
Dynamite, and still useful by the time you get to the end - just less so.

Plasma Grenade
A step up from Frag Grenades, these grenades have a more interesting plasma
burst effect upon explosion, and a are a grade up in damage.

Pulse Grenade
These grenades are next-to-useless against regular foes, but deal an extra
200 damage to robots (and an extra 100 or so to Power Armor users). If you're
not wearing power armor yourself, this makes them the only grenades that are
safe to toss near you, as they will do minimal damage to you - just a lot to
the robot. Most useful against missile-toting security bots, especially in
parts of The Divide and much of Big Mountain. Outside of these two DLCs, not
so much.

Incindiary Grenade
Incindiary Grenades don't deal much damage, but fireball and set their target
alight. They'll do a lot of damage over time to a target, but are less useful
when you want something dead NOW.

Flash Bang
Flashbangs are a Lonesome Road add-on and fairly unique in that they deal
little direct damage. They actually have three effects: reducing the target's
Gun skill by 50 (and making them much less effective in combat, provided they
have a gun); doing a large amount of Fatigue damage (thus slowing the target
down); and causing mutated creatures to Frenzy about 25% of the time. They
are useful to open an engagement and make sure a target stays in place for
the oncoming barrage, but have a very large blast radius, and are easy to
get caught in yourself if not careful.

Holy Frag Grenade
A reference to the all-mighty Monty Python skit, the Holy Frag Grenades are
a Wild Wasteland stand-in that is basically a frag grenade with a cross spray
painted on the side. Funny. What's not funny is their damage, which can put
deathclaws to sleep in a single blow; although your number is limited, each
nuke-like explosion will deal a staggering 800 damage, enough to clean off
all but a very small number of enemies in the game with a single blow.

[7.2] [Improvised explosives]

These grenades usually cannot be found "in the wild", but can be crafted,
provided you have the skill, or are unique to DLCs. They are as the title
says - impovisized - and generally deal lessened damage, but can be crafted.

Fire Bomb
Basically a Moltov cocktail: if you don't know what that is, it's a fuel-
soaked towel set into an explosive-filled bottle that is lit and thrown when
you want to make a problem go away. It's weak and has a small blast radius,
so it's not that useful; basically a junior Incindiary Grenade.

MFC Grenade
The MFC grenade is a microfusion cell strapped to a trigger. It's the main
reason the Mad Bomber perk is so useful; if you're not an Energy Weapon user
you will have tons and tons of microfusion cells on you, and since that's the
only crafting recipe ingredient, you can in turn churn out tons and tons of
what are effectively weak plasma grenades. If you like chucking explosives at
problems until they go away, this is the weapon that makes it worthwhile.

Tin Grenade
Requires Mad Bomber and Gun Runner's Arsenal. This is some pistol powder in
a tin can strapped togethor by...duct tape. It outperforms the MFC grenade in
terms of damage by a sizable margin.

Nuke Cola Quartz in a tin can with some wiring attached to it. Because it
uses Quartz, which is very rare, there is a finite number of nuka-grenades
that can be crafted. Nonetheless, if you like thrown explosives, you should
invest in Nuka Chemist as well as Mad Bomber, as the two togethor will allow
you to craft a much larger number of these enhanced explosives, which, upon
detonation, deal additional radiation damage. Require Gun Runner's Arsenal.

[7.3] [Proximity mines]

Extremely useful for preparing an area to deal with a very large number of
enemies, or a single (or better yet a number of) very powerful one. Proximity
mines are the best defense against the hated Deathclaws; if they don't kill
them outright, they cripple their legs and greatly decrease their speed,
allowing you to fill their face with lead far more easily. Some notes:

1. Proximity mines cannot be triggered by the player.
2. There is a delay between detection and detonation.
3. They are armed as soon as they hit the ground.
4. They can hit the player if an enemy triggers on near them.
5. They can be defused and picked up if not triggered.
6. They have a very high chance to cripple enemy legs.
7. Things that fly - ae. Mister Gutsy, Cazadores, etc. - will never trigger
8. They will explode or shot or caught in explosions.
9. They will explode in your hands if shot by an enemy. Obviously very

Frag Mine
The first mine you get is the frag mine. Although it's the least damaging of
the mines, stacking them with other mines, or in larger numbers in general,
keeps them useful to the very end. A couple is usually enough to cripple any
enemy's limbs.

Plasma Mine
The next step up from frag mines, plasma mines do more damage and usually
cripple enemy legs: although it's still better to set two when dealing with
Deathclaws, just to be sure.

Pulse Mine
If you're setting a trap meant for a robot, this is the best bet. Since
robots are fairly rare however, and many are Mister Gutsies that fly right
over mines, these are not terrifically useful, nor valuable to boot.

Satchel Charge
Terrifically powerful and an enourmous pain in the ass in The Divide. Satchel
Charges not only deal very high damage but also have a rediculously short
fuse time, exploding within milliseconds of detection; they're so quick, they
often go off before you can defuse even if you run right at them. ED-E can
make a set of them for you daily if you find the right disk and pass a high
level Explosives check.

Demolition Charge
Sierra Madre only. Frag mines in both look and feel, they're meant for
construction but deal only a single point of additional damage over frag
mines. This is at the cost of three times the weight: each charge weighs in
at a hefty 1.5 pounds. Still, you gotta use what you got...

C-4 Plastic Explosive
C-4 is unique in that it's not proximity-triggered, instead requiring a
separate Detonator, a unique weapon weighing in at .5 pounds whose only
purpose is to blow C-4. These charges are incredibly destructive and have
the largest blast radius of all of the mines, as well as having a habit of
flinging enemies far, far, FAR away. I made the mistake of blowing up the
irradiated Legion marked man boss after finishing Lonesome Road with a couple
of blocks of C4, his body flew clear over the crater in a most spectacular
fashion, preventing me from looting his unique armor. It's also the most
expensive: each block, which weights but .5 pounds, is worth 1000 caps! This
gives it the highest weight to value ratio of any weapon, and possibly of any
thing, in the game. You do NOT have to be in direct visual contact to

[7.4] [Improvised mines]

As with grenades, there are crafty mines available to the player.

Bottlecap Mine
A combination of a lunchbox, some explosive components, and bottlecaps.
Despite a longer drop and trigger time, this mine lies between the plasma
mine and the satchel charge in terms of damage, making it very worthwhile to
keep an eye out for its components. A more efficient recipe is available once
you take Mad Bomber.

Gas Mine
A gas tank attached to a trigger that explodes and lights a fire when
triggered. This is the only parallel in the game to the incindiary grenade,
but is fairly lackluster. Dead Money only. A staple of those damnable Ghost

MFC Cluster
An interesting grenade, basically six MFC grenades (thus, easy to manufacture
with Mad Bomber, and another reason to get that perk) tied togethor. They're
thrown independantly and go quite far, and when recovered become six seperate
MFC grenades. This weapon has a much longer throw distance then typical mines
so it can be considered a low-distance proximity...grenade...thing. Very
useful on slopes, for instance. It does require some duct tape and
electronics in its construction, though. Does a poor job against DT, however,
given the seperate nature of the explosions.

Time Bomb
Unorthodox bit of work, this weapon automatically detonates 15 seconds after
placement. Most useful for...well...not really that useful, to be terribly
honest. If you want a delayed explosion, why not just use C-4? It's stronger
and more FUN! anyway.

Fat Mine
The most powerful placed explosive of all, the Fat Man is a Mini Nuke jury
rigged into a mine. Though the number you can make is finite (GRA variants
are not accepted), its explosive damage and radius is unparalleled. Just
don't stand near it when it goes, or you'll turn into atomic dust too.

[7.5] [Arc launchers]

These weapons fire their explosives in an arc. Be they grenades or tactical
nuclear warheads, they deal the most damage at close range. Consequentially
they are the most dangerous to the player, and almost necessitate Hit the
Deck for the damage reduction.

Grenade Rifle
Launches 40mm grenades in a somewhat respectable arc. The Grenade Rifle is
a break-action gun and a fairly light one at that, but difficult to acquire
in the early game, when it is useful. Later supplanted by more powerful
weapons. One can be found in a house in Nipton, but it's in terrible

Weapon mods:
Grenade rifle long barrel - Doubles effective range by doubling shot

Mercenary's Grenade Rifle (unique Grenade Rifle)
Far and away the most useful of the pre-order bonuses, you'll find yourself
relying on this weapon whenever you get into tight spots early in the game.
It's especially useful when attempting a level 10 or thereabouts clearing of
the Deathclaw breeding ground that is the Sloan Quarry; cripple their legs,
and then you can chip away at their health from range until they die.

Thump-Thump (unique Grenade Rifle)
Found in the Nellis Air Force Base, hidden away in a hanger on a dead Boomer.
Pretty much useless because if you're high enough level to not only get to
the far northeast corner of the map and survive their artillery barrage,
you're high enough level to have access to better weaponry.

Great Bear Grenade Rifle (unique Grenade Rifle)
Found on the Long 15 if you nuke the NCR at the end of Lonesome Road. Given
what kind of a level you have to be at to finish Lonesome Road, this is
little more than a novelty.

Red Victory Grenade Rifle (unique Grenade Rifle)
The Legion counterpart to the Great Bear. Boy they sure like giving us
useless Grenade Rifle varients huh?

Grenade Launcher
A step up from the Grenade Rifle, although the names should be reversed in my
opinion. Pump-action breach-loading grenade cannon that has a four-shot
magazine and good damage potential, but is very heavy and has a long reload.

25mm Grenade Rifle APW
This guns fires lower-caliber grenade rounds, but has a larger magazine,
weighs less, and supports a number of enhancements. Can only be bought off of
merchants if you have Gun Runners installed.

Weapon mods:
Expanded drum - Increases ammunition capacity by 2.
Long barrel - Increases projectile velocity by 100%.
Upgraded internals - Increases rate of fire by 25%. 

Grenade Machinegun
Now THIS is where the action is at. The Grenade Machinegun is a large, heavy
weapon with a large magazine that rapid-fires 25mm grenades a short distance
aways. It also has an attached computer screen with some BASH scripts on it.
But the weapon that takes the cake is...

Weapon mods:
High-speed kit - +50% rate of fire. 

Mercy (unique Grenade Machinegun)
A unique Grenade Machinegun that has the highest damage potential (if not
DPS) in the game. Mercy can be found in Dead Wind Cavern, a Deathclaw
infested cave with a combination of tight enclosed spaces and high-level
deathclaws (including a Mother and a unique Legendary Deathclaw in the final
room) that makes it THE most dangerous location in the game, sans Courier's
Mile; if that doesn't tell you loads about this weapon's power, then nothing
will. Mercy fires 40mm grenades instead of 25mm ones, and gets a large step-
up in damage because of it. It's a pain in the ass to repair and maintain
though, since it and the grenade machinegun are in their own little category;
this is one weapon you definetly want to keep Weapon Repair Kits around for.
Note: as a demonstration of its pure power, this is the only weapon that can
clear out the Hoover Dam Visitor Center, including three NCR Heavy Troopers,
with a single magazine. Even the mightly CZ Avenger loaded with armor-
piercing rounds, which has the highest DPS of any weapon, has to reload
before it can finish the job. I highly recommend you get this weapon before
you attempt the Courier's Mile, as it makes dealing with multiples of
Deathclaws a cinch.

Fat Man
A little catapult that launches a little nuke that causes a BIG explosion.
The Fat Man has the greatest damage per shot of any weapon in New Vegas,
period, and is the king of explosive weapons. It's incredibly rare, and the
only reliable place to find one is either Highway 188 or the Gun Runners,
and it can pretty much OHKO anything in the game. The problem is not blowing
up alongside the target. It's also terrifically heavy. Note that there is a
very limited pool of Mini Nukes in the base game, and that only the unique
version and the GRA version can equip the Mini Nuke varients introduced by
Gun Runner's Arsenal, which can be bought ad infinitum from merchants.

Weapon mods:
Fat Man Little Boy kit - Decreases weight by half (from 30 lbs. to 15 lbs.). 

Esther (unique Fat Man)
A unique Fat Man introduced by the Gun Runner's Arsenal that deals far more
contact damage while looking cooler, being more durable, and protecting the
user more readily from the effects of their munitions (+10 DT and +25 Rad
resist). It does weigh more, though, and cannot be cut down with the mod, so
carrying this weapon requires you to dedicate a LOT of space, and possibly
even a perk (Strong Back adds +50 carry weight, for instance), given you'll
be getting this later in the game. Speaking of which, it's suprisingly easy
to acquire relatively early, as it's sold by a vendor and not in some well-
protected hellhole like Mercy is.

[7.6] [Self-propelled launchers]

These weapons feature self-propelling explosives and are thus the most
accurate weapons in the game; if you can work out the time delay, not hard
with weapons of explosive radii, then they can be used to decimate foes from
much farther than even sniper rifles dare try. Note: past a certain radius
from the player enemies will not spawn or not be visible, but that radius is
about five seconds of missile fly time from the player, so yeah, range.

Red Glare
A unique rocket launcher with an American red-white-blue themed decal and
thirteen shots to a magazine (get the reference?), introduced by Lonesome
Road. It looks cool, does decent damage, is fully automatic, has a scope, and
has some great upgrades which give it not only the highest zoom rate in the
game but a rediculous rate of fire and rocket speed. Although cool and
everything, it straddles a position between the Grenade Machinegun and the
Missile Launcher and is frankly outclassed for both. While its high rocket
speed and long-distance sight allow it to strike enemies from afar, you're
better off shooting a slower-moving but much more damaging missile instead of
a rocket barrage; on the inverse, when you're in close with an enemy, the
higher damage output of a Grenade Machinegun defeats the Red Glare's smaller
magazine and weaker damage regardless of the fire rate mod. It can actually
get pretty frustrating when you shoot at a heavily-armored foe with a Red
Glare and it fails to even pierce their DT, let alone substantially damage
them; just shoot a missile at that point and be done with it. I treat it like
a particularly fancy rifle.

Weapon mods:
Aalpha strike - +200% rocket speed
Auto launcher - +25% fire rate
Far sighting - Increase zoom to x4.35. 

Missile Launcher
The Missile Launcher is the long-range counterpart to the Grenade Machinegun.
It deals the most damage possible at extended range, and since missiles don't
significantly deviate from where the crosshairs are, will do so at ranges the
sniper rifle (lacking an explosive radius) can't even hope to reach, provided
you do a bit of movement prediction. It does great damage, more then enough
to blast common enemies aside, and will cripple just about anything no matter
how strong, finding particular usefulness and blasting apart Deathclaws and
Legion hit squads. With the weapon mod attached, it's pinpoint accurate.

Guidance system - reduces weapons spread to just 0.05.

Annabelle (unique Missile Launcher)
Annabelle is to the Missile Launcher what Mercy is to the Grenade Machinegun.
Found on a Super Mutant up on Black Mountain, it comes with the guidance
system pre-attached, as well as a bit of history, a lower AP cost, a lighter
weight, and a lower Strength requirement. Togethor these are the most
versatile explosive weapons in the game, and can tear anything to shreads.
It's not the most powerful of the explosives - that's Esther - but if you
don't want to pay the 40 pound usage cost, this 15 pound lightweight  (well,
relatively) beauty is the best there is.

[8] Melee Weapons
[8.1] Bladed

Cut, cut, cut! Gehenna, the Protonic Inversal Axe, the Thermic Lance, and the
Katana are the most useful weapons in this category.

Awarded the dubious honor of "weakest bladed weapon", the Cleaver does a
measly seven damage. Think of it this way: each strike is a less than a
bullet in a 9 mm! It does do bonus damage to limbs.

Chopper (unique Cleaver)
A rusted old cleaver found at Wolfhorn Ranch. Sports litterally double the
damage of the Cleaver. Still sucks like a child on a lolipop, though. This
weapon is most relevant for having once belonged to Ulysses, as it can be
found on what was once his property.

Straight Razor
I lied, this is even weaker. They're hard to tell apart! Sorry guys!

Figaro (unique Straight Razor)
A unique Straight Razor held by Sergio, the King's obviously gay hair

Found all over the place, to the point of being weak clutter.

A small knife. You know what that means.

Common melee weapon of the Legion, carried by their line soldiers and the
counterpart to the combat knife. Basically a rotor blade - on a stick! Bonus
versus limbs.

Broad Machette (unique Machette)
Unique Machette given to you if you have the Courier's Stash. It does more
damage is halfway decent to start you off, or at the very least, better than
the weak-as-kittens razor the Doc hands you.

Liberator (unique Machette)
Does triple the damage per second and is the next step up the Machette line,
this is a very decent early weapon you gain access to if you join the Legion
and assist Dead Sea at Camp Nelson.

Machette Gladius
The final weapon the Machette tree, it's carried by higher levels (including
assassins) and is a great medium range weapon, helped along by the fact that
it's on the hands of the assassination squads Ceaser sends after you.

Combat Knife
A rusted combat knife, and the NCR's answer to the Machette.

Chance's Knife (unique Combat Knife)
This knife features prominently in All Roads, a graphic novel based on the
Fallout series. It's actually deceptively weak; it does double the damage of
the Combat Knife, and with all speed modifiers, can reach the damage output
of Oh Baby!, making it a very interesting choice. It's also very easy to
acquire, being located in a grave near the Goodsprings Cemetary, though you
will have to fight Cazadores to get to it.

Still fairly weak, but now we're moving up in bottom-level damage.

Fire Axe
A heavier hatchet that does a very respectable 87 points of damage a second.

Knock-Knock (unique Fire Axe)
Knock-Knock is a great weapon and one of the best weapons that can be
acquirred early. It's located in the basement of the fire station in Camp
Searchlight. You need to either kill Logan or complete his quest to get the
key to the fire station, and it's heavily irradiated, but if you know where
to look and have a few RadAways, you can grab it and be out in a jiffy. It
deals very respectable damage and has a fairly unique special attack to boot,
so it's well worth the effort. However, you're going too have to invest in
Melee significantly if you want to use it early, as it requires 75 melee

Cosmic Knife
Weak Dead Money weapon, supposedly ludicrously sharp though.

Cosmic Knife, Clean
A bit stronger, but still very weak.

Cosmic Knife, Superheated
A bit stronger, but still fairly weak.

Knife Spear
Carried by most ghost people in Dead Money. Only thing in the DLC that
doesn't need ammo, but it's not that good a weapon.

Knife Spear, Clean
An improved Knife Spear, but it's still weak.

Bowie Knife
Found in The Divide, this is a heavily improved combat knife. It does
excellent damage, but is overruled by its even better unique version

Blood-Nap (unique Bowie Knife)
A unique weapon found in the Courier's Mile, arguably the most difficult area
in the game, this weapon doesn't do much damage per swing, giving it
difficulties piercing armor, and also has half the weapons reach. On the
other hand, it swings extremely quickly, giving it a great overall DPS, and
provides multiple bonuses for a stealthy character: bonus critical chance,
bonus critical damage, and +10 to the Sneak skill while drawn. It's obviously
geared towards close-range assassinations, and should be used as such; it
suffers against high DT enemies, however.

The Katana is a Gun Runner weapon. While it does not have the highest damage
of weapons, it's an end-class weapon because it can swing three times a
second, making it the best melee weapon in the game for clearing out weak to
moderately powerful opponents. With all mods attached, it lies just under
Knock-Knock on the damage scale, but has additional critical hit multipliers
on top of that.

Weapon mods:
Authentic blade - Increases damage by 5.
Protective sheath - Increases condition by 50%.
Balanced grip - Increases attack speed by 20%.

Bumper Sword
A moderately powerful weapon fashioned from scrapped vehicle parts, it serves
as the template for two of the most powerful melee weapons in the game, but
is otherwise unremarkable.

Blade of the East (unique Bumper Sword)
This is a modified, high-powered Bumper Sword that deals not only outright
damage but 2 points of bleed damage a second as well, for when an enemy runs
away from you. However you only get one at the very end of the game, at the
Second Battle of Hoover Dam, so alas you will get next to no use out of it.
It's not the strongest of weapons, regardless.

Blade of the West (unique Bumper Sword)
A cleaner Bumper Sword held by former legionaries, now Marked Men, in The
Divide, as part of the Lonesome Road DLC. It has the highest damage per
second of any bladed weapon, at 128 damage per second, making it undisputably
best-of-class. of the bladed melee weapons.

Proton Axe
Added by the Old World Blues DLC, the Proton Axe is a very useful weapon. It
does high damage, just over 95 DPS, and has an unusually low skill
requirement of only 55, making it usable by players who might not be able to
use its only slightly stronger cousins. Additionally it does almost 100 more
points of damage a second to robots, allowing it to rip through the DLC's
resident robots and redoubling its usefulness.

Protonic Inversal Axe
The Protonic Inversal Axe is a better version of the Proton Axe, dealing
eight more damage per strike in base damage, which translates into a meteoric
(for the paltry 55 melee skill required) 110 DPS. It is edged out later on,
but remains useful as a backup for fighting robots, against which it does
just under 200 damage per second!

The Ripper is the weakest of the three weapons in the game that ignore DT,
and can be found on thugs fairly commonly once you reach a high enough level.
It's a sort of one-handed chainsaw-based weapon that makes a great mid-range
anti-armor melee weapon. Only the GRA version accepts mods.

Weapon mods:
Heavy duty chain - Increases weapon condition by 50%.
Carbide teeth - Increases damage by 10. 

The Chainsaw is one of three weapons in the game that ignore DT, and the
middle of the three. It has a DPS of 80, nothing to sneeze at but not exactly
the strongest of all, but cuts through armor like butter - literally. With
the damage weapon mod it can very nearly approximate the Thermic Lance in
damage whilst being significantly lighter, but between the caps investment
necessary and the chainsaw's slightly inferior stats, its nonetheless second-

Chainsaw alloy frame - Decreases weight by 8.
Chainsaw carbide teeth - Increases damage by 15.
Chainsaw heavy duty chain - Increases condition by 50%.

Thermic Lance
The Thermic Lance is the strongest of the three armor-piercing weapons, and
arguably the best melee weapon in the game, because not only does it do a
butt-load of damage (100 DPS) and ignore armor, but it's very durable, takes
half as much durability damage when hit by an enemy, and has a chance to
perform a critical hit five times a second, which can lead to some very
heavy critical stacking with a high Luck stat. An excellent general purpose
melee weapon and one of the best in the game, a worthy armanent and easy to
maintain if you have Jury Rigging (and you should).

The Shishkebab is a flaming sword that appears to run off a fuel cell on the
player's back (but doesn't actually use any fuel). It has the highest DPS of
any melee weapon in the game with the right perks; it does a base damage of
92 per second, plus it does burn damage, and because it's flame-based it's
affected by the Pyromaniac perk, which further buffs the damage by 50%.
Although it doesn't pierce armor the way the Thermic Lance does and isn't as
durable, it makes up for it with its pure damage, and should be one of your
end-game melee weapons for sure (note: Jury Rigging pretty much required).

Gehenna (unique Shishkebab)
This is a unique Shishkebab added by the Gun Runners Pack, sold by
Vendortron. It looks more weathered, does even more damage (116 + 5 burn DPS,
well past the Thermic Lance), and is still effected by Pyromaniac, which
brings the damage to up to truly earth shattering amounts, in an easy to
maintain package.

Side note: whenever I think of this weapon I think of the crazy demoness from
the manhwa Aflame Inferno. Which makes using it all the more fun.

[8.2] Blunt

Bash, bash, bash! The best weapon here is Oh Baby! To be honest none of the
others are even that interesting.

Rolling Pin
On come on a Rolling Pin? I'd rather have a knife then.

It's a useful tool for digging out graves, for combat, not so much.

Police Baton
Meant as a non-lethal alternative to shooting people. Still pretty non-lethal
I'll tell you that.

Pool Cue
If I hadn't played Fallout I would have never thought a pool cue would find
use as a something to bash people with. But it is, and does it terribly. Most
common amongst the thugs living in Freeside.

Cattle Prod
An interesting weapon that does next to no damage, but does do significant
(50 points) of fatigue damage. This means you can poke people a couple of
times with this, move a ways away, and then hit them with a real weapon until
their sluggish souls depart. Still little more then a novelty, however. It
also has an obscenely high melee skill requirement of 75.

Tire Iron
Tightening bolts on peoples heads since 2027! This is the best of the
terrible melee weapons, but that's not much of a distinction.

War Club
Despite appearances, this weapon actually does decent mid-range damage.

9 Iron
Fore! No really, the most impressive thing about this weak golf club is its
special attack's ability to knock people down, so you can prolong your
bashing uninterupted.

Nephi's Golf Driver (unique 9 Iron)
This unique weapon is much more serious than the silly golf club. It does
about double as much damage, just over 67 DPS, which a lot for a weapon with
a skill requirement of just 25, as well as still allowing you to use the golf
club's unique and wonderful special attack. However, the conditions you find
it in are less than ideal; by the time you both reach Nephi and have the
resources to kill him, you'll have moved past this weapon's caliber, so the
only real reason to keep it is to use it in the A Slave Obeys challenge,
which requires a golf club anyway.

Nail Board
A 2x4 with some nails through it. Response? "Meh."

Baseball Bat
The Baseball Bat is, to be frank, entirely unremarkable. The most interesting
thing about it is that it accepts multiple weapon mods, but only if you get
the Gun Runners Arsenal version, by which point you will have access to
better weaponry. While it's not flat-out terrible, it just isn't impressive

Weapon mods:
Baseball bat nails - Increases damage by 6.
Baseball bat cork core - Increases attack speed by 20%.
Baseball bat maple body- Increases condition by 50%. 

Dress Cane
A cane whose primary use is by White Glove Society guards. How a cane edges
out a bat in damage, I'll never know, but it does. It still sucks, and the
White Glove security is easy to neutralize for it.

Lead Pipe
We all enjoy killing people with pieces of piping. It's a decent mid-low
range weapon, but you should be setting your sights above bashing people in
with a...lead...pipe.

Humble Cudgel (Lead Pipe)
The Humble Cudgel is, indeed, humble. Still, it does decent damage and if you
arrived at Vegas early, you can seek this weapon out in the sewers under The
Thorn to boost your damage output.

Nuka Breaker
Actually, screw that, this is better. This, a weathered Nuke Cola sign, has
the same DPS but a higher damage, which translates into better armor
penetration. It can be bought at Mick and Ralph's, so you don't have to crawl
through a dusty old sewer, unless...well, you're poor, and you have to crawl
through a dusty old sewer. It does bonus critical damage.

Slow swinging and weak, which is strange, considering it's, well, a
sledgehammer. Oh well, when the game tells you a lead pipe is better, a lead
pipe is better.

Old World Glory
This is the best of weapons requiring only 50 melee skill, by a long mile,
and if you somehow made it through The Divide without high enough equipment,
this weapon may even be an upgrade. For most of us, however, it's little more
than an aesthetic "also got" piece to be retrieved at the end of the DLC,
because the stuff in it is far too mean to be impressed by an eagle on a

X-2 Antenna
As you might have noticed, the game doesn't really oblige us with too many
mid-high range blunt melee weapons; those can all be found in the bladed
category. Indeed, the only occupant of the category is this beauty. It does
halfway decent damage in large chunks, and a heck of a lot more of it against
robots. However, the Protonic Axe and Protonic Inversal Axes both do the
same thing, have lower weapon skill requirements, higher base damage,
higher damage against robots, and are easier to repair (this one REQUIRES
Jury Rigging), so the most worthwhile thing about it is the novelty of
swinging at people with a bit of metal and wiring you pulled off of the top
of a satellite dish in a DLC.

Super Sledge
And so we jump right to the blunt trauma king, the "high tech" Super Sledge,
aka the "real" Sledgehammer. It's an oversized hammer that kind of reminds
me of the one in Skyrim. It deals mean damage in big chunks, but still
can't match some of the higher-end bladed weapons in terms of pure damage,
though it comes close.

Oh, Baby! (unique Super Sledge)
The Oh...ahem...is a unique Super Sledge found in a Nightstalker infested
cave north of Johanasburg (or however it's spelled), where Marcus and the
Super Mutant Colony resides. It is the be-all and end-all strongest blunt
melee weapon in the game, and the second strongest melee weapon overall,
after Pyromaniac Gehenna.

[8.3] Thrown

Throw, throw, throw! Very gimmicky, really, but having a few throwing spears
early on can get you out of a sticky situation. Although the Protonic
Inversal Throwing Axe is the best, it's also the rarest, and Throwing Spear,
though common, is the staple.

Throwing Knife
Weak as kittens.

Throwing Hatchet
Barely better.

Move along. Honest Hearts only.

Throwing Spear
The one throwing weapon of real note. It does 50 damage a spear and is
extremely common, being carried by almost all Legionaries. The pack you get
at the beginning of the game can really help out in a tough situation, but
past the early game they turn into nothing more than another gimmick.

Throwing Knife Spear
A cosmic knife attached to a spear, Dead MOney only. It does significantly
less damage than the Throwing Spear (42 vs. 50), but when you don't got much,
you gotta use what you got.

Protonic Throwing Axe
Old World Blues only, this weapon does less damage than a throwing spear
(still) but deals an addition 50 damage to robots. However, it's rare and
fairly valuable, and more useful as a compact form of currency than as a
serious weapon. Use bullets and turn this in for caps.

Protonic Inversal Throwing Axe
Even rarer than he Protonic Throwing Axe, this weapon does 20 more damage,
puting it a grade ahead of the Throwing Spear (60 vs. 50), as well as doing
the usual electrical damage against robots. Even rarer and even more
expensive than the usual axe, making it even more lucrative to keep and sell.

[9] Unarmed

Although fairly gimmicky, unarmed is a fairly viable skill and weapons set if
you find the right equipment and take the right perks.

Boxing Gloves
One damage a shot, but if you punch them enough they'll become unconcious
from fatigue damage. Not recommended.

Golden Gloves (unique Boxing Gloves)
Found in a display case in the VIP Lounge of the Lucky 38. It does even more
fatigue damage than the BOxing Gloves, but is still useless.

Boxing Tape
Oh come on, more? It does four times as much damage (a whole four per shot!)
but less fatigue damage than the regular gloves.

Brass Knuckles
The weakest real unarmed weapon is the brass knuckles. As such it's entirely

Bladed Gaunlet
The next step up from Brass Knuckles. A bunch of crude blades strapped around
a leather gaunlet; what's not to like?

Cram Opener (unique Bladed Gaunlet)
A unique weapon carried by Little Buster, a retiring bounty hunter in Camp
MacCarren. By the time you get to him it's completely outclassed, so there's
little to say.

Scientist Glove
A very weak glove worn by Big Mountain scientists before the Great War. It's
not at all notable.

Sterelizer Glove
A semi-unique red version that does heat damage on a crit in addition to its
weak normal damage.

Corrosive Glove
A semi-unique Scientist Glove that does acid damage in addition its weak
normal damage on a crit.

Dr. Mobius's Glove (unique Scientist Glove)
A wacky weapon causes a heavy energy weapon and perception penalty to be
applied to target on a hit. Critical hits deal both knockback and actually
frenzy creatures and abominations; togethor this makes it semi-useful for
crowd control and dealing with energy weapon-wielding foes, but...not really.

Dr. Klein's Glove (unique Scientist Glove)
The weaker counterpart to Dr. Mobius's Glove, this weapon has the same normal
effect and a weaker crit effect, which reduces enemy Strength and DT by one.

Saturnite Fist
Now this is an interesting weapon. Added by the Old world Blues DLC, this
weapon, actually the weakest Power Fist, has high damage relative to its low
unarmed skill requirement of 45, and a decent, mid-range DPS. If you arrived
at Big Mountain with some secondhard unarmed weapon, you'll find yourself
replacing it with this in a heartbeat.

Saturnite First Super-heated
This is an improved golden-glow version of the Saturnite Fist that can be
made with a regular Saturnite First through a process known only to the
Toaster in the Sink, and only once you recover the right holotape. Recover
that holotape and be quick about it, because this weapon, a straight upgrade
over the regular fist, should serve you well up to the end, with a DPS over
90 and additional heat damage on a critical hit. Combined with a low Unarmed
cost of just 55, this makes for a great weapon staple that will power you
through much of the game. None of the other weapons match it for a long time.

Spiked Knuckles
Brass Knuckles made of steel and with spikes on the guards, this weapon deals
decent damage but isn't particularly impressive overall.

Love and Hate (unique Spiked Knuckles)
An amusing unique weapon that consists of painted spiked knuckles with the
credos "love" and "hate" on the front, stained in blood. It's found on a
Viper Gang leader in Bonnie Springs; although it's not a bad weapon, doing
75 DPS, if you have the Old World Blues add-on the Saturnine First Super-
heated just outclasses it.

Yaoi Guai Gauntlet
Honest Hearts only, this one has me scratching my head. It looks cool and
takes a relatively high skill to use, yet does damage comparable Brass
Knuckles. Regardless, avoid it.

She's Embrace (unique Yaoi Guai Gaunlet)
The reward for completing The Rite of Passage sidequest, this is a unique
Yaoi Guai Gaunlet that has the stats that that weapon should have, at the
minimum. It has a DPS of just 44, still less then the skill required to use

Bear Trap First
The Dead Money version of Honest Hearts's Yaoi Guai Gauntlet, although a bit
more justified in the limited pool of stuff that you actually have. Getting
through the DLC using unarmed attacks is extremely tough indeed.

Weapon mods:
Heavy duty springs - (+3 damage). 

Power First
The damage is pretty mediocre compared to the Saturnine Superheated, but if
you get the Gun Runner's Arsenal version and slap on the attachments it does
fairly decent damage. Still outclassed, however. Only the GRA version accepts

Weapon mods:
Chromed tubes - Increases condition by 100%.
High capacity valves - Increases damage by 8.
Ported chambers - Increases attack speed by 20%. 

Greased Lightning (unique Power Fist)
Now this is a worthy weapon. The Greased Lightning is what the Power Fist
isn't - a good unarmed weapon. It's sold by Torres in Hidden Valley (and is
thus readily accessible early on), and like the Superheated Saturnine Glove,
deals enormous damage compared to its peers, clocking in at 96 DPS with an
unarmed skill requirement of just 50. That's a 33% damage increase over a
fully upgraded Power Fist+, for instance! It does this by increasing the
swing rate by a large amount through the use of what is hinted to be a
nuclear fission battery. The Saturnine First, Super-heated is still a
slightly superior weapon in most cases, however, as Greased Lightning's
higher damage is offset by the larger number of swings, which translates into
a greater amount of damage negated by DT. Against unarmored enemies, however,
it has a clear advantage.

Salt-Upon-Wounds' Power First (unique Power Fist)
The unique Power Fist wielded by Salt-Upon-Wounds and given to you upon
completion of the Honest Hearts DLC. It does souped-up damage and deals
additional posion damage after successful hits, but still simply can't match
Greased Lightning's output, not by a mile.

Mantis Gaunlet
A unique-looking weapon fashioned from the forearm of a dead Giant Mantis,
this weapon once again has a lower damage than Unarmed skill requirement,
confusingly. It looks pretty badass, though.

Embrace of the Mantis King!
Added by the Gun Runner's Arsenal, this weapon is an improved Mantis Guanlet,
dealing more damage over a greater range with a DPS of 65.7. It is sold at
Mick and Ralph's and has a bonus critical multiplier on top of the regular
gaunlet's bonus critical chance. Although the damage is fairly good, it's
still not as good as the Saturnine Super-heated or Greased Lightning.

Zap Glove
The Zap Glove is a modified, electrified Ballistic Fist, and Unarmed Weapons'
answer to Energy Weapons' Pulse Guns, Melees' Protonic Inversal Axes, and 
Explosives' Pulse Grenades. In addition to dealing decent damage (but, again,
not as much as the two mid-range kings), it does an addition 50 damage
against robots, bringing the DPS to very nearly 110. It's also effective
against Power Armor. This weapon is worth hanging on to for crippling any
robots that cross your path. It is carried by the Brotherhood of Steel and
sold by various merchants, but never found in the wild.

Paladin Toaser (unique Zap Glove)
Found near Black Mountain in Black Rock Cave, the Palidin Toaster is a unique
version of the Zap Glove, guarded by Nightkin (pain in the ass to fight,
unless you fixed Rhonda, in which case they will be friendly), that has its
base damage souped up and its decor darkened. The Paladin Toaster is
extremely powerful against robots and will deal nearly 120 DPS when punching

Displacer Glove
The Displacer Glove has the unique ability to push a target backwards,
forcing them to come at you anew as you take another swing. The effectiveness
of this differs: it works great against enemies like Ghouls or Spore
Carriers, but is less useful for lunging enemies like Deathclaws or
Cazadores, and frankly counter-productive against anything wielding a gun. It
has a great DPS and should definetly be in your end-game arsenal.

A unique Displacer Glove found on a dead Jackel member in Ruby Hill Mine,
this powerful Displacer Glove has a boosted DPS that beats out even Greased
Lightning and the Saturnine Fist Super-heated, as well as boasting the
trademark knockback effect. This should be at the front of your end-game

Ballistic Fist
The Ballistic Fist is the offensive alternative to Pushy. Instead of pushing
enemies away, the Ballistic Fist supplements damage with a wrist-mounted
contact-triggered dougle-barrel shotgun. It has a slightly lower DPS, but
does more damage per blow, so is better at negating heavy armor.

Two-Step Goodbye (unique Ballistic Fist)
The Two-Step Goodbye is a unique Ballistic Fist that actually deals lesser
damage and has a reduced critical damage, but with a tradeoff: it has a high
chance of scoring a critical hit, and if it does, the target will
subsequently explode within two seconds of death, dealing great damage to
any hostile nearby. It's a worthy offensive counterpart to Pushy when dealing
with larger numbers, where the Fist of Rawr's slighly higher base damage is
less important than the Two-Step Goodbye's splash damage.

Fist of Rawr/Fist of North Rawr
These two weapons are identical; which one you get depends on whether or not
you enabled Wild Wasteland at the beginning of the game. The First of Rawr,
a unique craftable weapon that can be made from a hand ripped off of the
mini-boss Rawr in Lonesome Road, has an extremely high DPS of just under 98.
This weapon benefits from an increased critical chance and critical damage
boost, as well as dealing double damage to limbs, allowing it to cripple
enemy arms and legs very easily.

Industrial Hand
This is an absolutely unique weapon found in four instances in The Divide
that is the most damaging Unarmed weapon in the game, by a rather wide
margin. The Industrial Hand works by circular sawing anyone that you're
fighting, dealing continuous damage in a unique manner. Not only does it do
a jaw-dropping 160 DPS, but it has the most item HP of any Unarmed weapon,
taking almost 8000 uses before breaking, and to add frosting to the cake,
it completely ignores DT! When you're not looking to cripple limbs and aren't
invested in luck (and are thus using Rawr), this weapon matches Gehenna's
damage output (best melee weapon), whilst also being more durable and
ignoring all armor. Plus it only requires 75 Unarmed skill! For some reason.

[10] [Contact info]
You can e-mail me at a [underscore] bilogur [at] yahoo [dot] com. No spam,
hate mail, yada yada. You know how it goes.

[11] [Copyright]
I was briefly tempted to copyleft it, but alas.

This guide is (C) 2012 jimmythesnowman.  This may be not be reproduced under
any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on
any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written