Fallout 4 sends you off into the Commonwealth wasteland with just a 10-millimeter peashooter, which isn’t going to cut it for protecting yourself against much more than radroaches. The game starts slow as you learn to survive, and it can feel like ages before you find a kick-ass weapon, let alone one with enough ammunition to use for anything more than special occasions. Fortunately, several of the weapons on the list below are not very hard to acquire relatively early in the game, which should give you a leg up in tracking down the harder-to-acquire ones on your constant path to mastering the wasteland. When you walk into a hive of raider scum, you might want to be packing heat.
This pistol packs a powerful punch, and even though it crosses your path pretty early in the main storyline, it remains relevant throughout the game. Featuring staggering stopping power paired with decent range and accuracy, Kellogg’s Pistol fills the classic video game niche of the magnum revolver. The ability to refill your AP on critical hits makes it extra deadly in VATS, too. The catch is that it requires .44 rounds for ammunition, which are far from common. The ammo scavenging perk is helpful in this regard, but for the most part, you’re going to want to save this gun for particularly rough battles or for devastating sneak attacks.
You actually meet Kellogg before you ever leave the vault, but it takes a little while before you can find him again and take his pistol. Head to Diamond City and find Nick Valentine. Eventually you’ll get to a quest called Reunion, where Dogmeat will lead you and Nick to Kellogg by the scent of his cigars. He’s holed up in Fort Hagen along the western edge of the Commonwealth. He has quite a few synth friends and likes to use a stealth boy, so get ready for a pretty serious boss fight. Fortunately for your trouble, his clothes are also a decent set of unique armor that is likely better than anything else you’ve found to that point.
Like Kellogg’s Pistol, this is one of the earlier powerful weapons that people tend to find. Fortunately, unlike Kellogg’s it relies on the far more common fusion cell to work, which are everywhere once you start to fight synths. Critical hits do double damage and are ready more frequently, making this especially effective in VATS. If you have high luck, then this stacks beautifully with the Better Criticals and Critical Banker perks to dish out hot, lasery justice.
As you head south toward Diamond City, you’ll pick up a distress radio beacon from the Cambridge Police Department. Follow it and you’ll find a stranded Brotherhood of Steel platoon holding off an onslaught of feral ghouls. After you help them out, talk to their leader, Paladin Danse. He will ask you to come help him collect some equipment from nearby ArcJet Systems, which is swarming with synths. Thankfully, Paladin Danse comes along to help, and he’s wearing power armor and wielding Righteous Authority, so you’ve got excellent backup. Afterward he generously rewards you with his personal gun and invites you to join the Brotherhood of Steel. Whether you want to stick with them in the long run or simply move on, it’s worth heading to their airship with Danse in order to collect your knight’s power armor.
The types of ammo you rely on can sometimes be in short supply, so even if you’re not going for a strength-based brawler, having a reliable melee weapon with you is always a good idea. This axe does serious damage, too, and the staggering it causes is especially useful if you need it to fight your way out of a rough spot.
The axe is located in a locked case (advanced) behind the counter on the first floor of Hubris comics. It appears empty when you first walk in, but will soon be swarming with feral ghouls. We recommend just coming prepared, and maybe tossing a molotov cocktail or two into the back of the store right when they peek in.
Furious Power Fist
This nasty piece of work does a whopping 57 damage that increases the more you hit the same victim. Sneak attacks with it will also obliterate most average enemies.
Even though this weighs less, it’s a strict upgrade over Grognak’s Axe if you can manage to acquire it. In the middle of Boston Common is a swan pond, with what appears to be a dead swan. Approach and you’ll quickly find out that it’s actually being worn Björk-style by a towering super mutant behemoth named Swan. He’s a nasty piece of work himself, so bring a lot of explosives and keep your distance. Kiting him around a nearby tree while blasting him with rockets is a good way to go. You can loot the Power Fist off of his body once you fell the giant.
Le Fusil Terribles
Most of the game’s shotguns are slow firing, slow to load, have terrible range, and feature small magazines. The one exception — and easily one of the best weapons in the game — is Le Fusil Terribles. It loads 32 shells at a time and showcases impressive damage, especially for its range, with a special ability that just slathers on more damage and makes it especially good for blasting off limbs.
It resides in a raider settlement called Libertalia, on the water to the northeast of the airport. Fight your way across a series of boats strung together with bridges to the top, and you’ll find it on top of a crate in the captain’s quarters. If you cozy up to the Institute you will end up there as part of a quest, but you can get it any time.
10-millimeter ammo is everywhere, and this suppressed pistol is one of the best uses for it. The increased accuracy and more efficient use of AP means it’s great in VATS, especially if you’re orienting your perks toward that. The suppressor is also a nice bonus if you like to be sneaky.
To acquire it, follow the Freedom Trail to hook up with the Railroad. Complete the Tradecraft quest with Deacon, which involves infiltrating an old Railroad hideout, and he’ll give Deliverer to you afterward in gratitude.
If you like rifles, then you want the Overseer’s Guardian. Every shot fired is actually two bullets for the price of one. Since it’s an otherwise normal, fully-moddable short-barreled combat rifle you can trick it out to do an absurd amount of damage. Invest in the Gun Nut and Rifleman perks and this gun can take out nearly anything in the Commonwealth in one shot.
Alexis Combes sells the Overseer’s Guardian for around 3000 caps in vault 81, which is located east of the city, and south from the Beantown Brewery. A rarity among vaults, 81 is still an actually functional society, devoted to medical research. To earn their trust and gain entry you either need to give them three fusion cores or be a smooth talker.
It’s just like a regular Fat Man personal nuclear warhead launcher, but it launches two nukes at once. Best of all, it only spends one precious warhead to do so. Warheads are rare and expensive, so more literal bang for your buck is a great deal. One tip for collecting more is if super mutant suicide bombers are charging at you, aim for their heads, rather than their bombs.
You can simply buy this from Arturo Rodriguez in the Diamond City market, but it’s stupidly expensive. Start saving early if you want it, and maybe invest in a few of the bartering-boosting perks.
Based on the same cryogenics technology that brought you 200 years into the post-apocalypse future, this weapon will freeze many enemies solid with continued fire. It is essentially the opposite of a flame-thrower, casting cold out at a short to medium range. Tougher enemies will take longer to be affected, though, some are also completely immune. It comes with a generous supply of cryo cell ammunition, but finding more is extremely difficult, so use it judiciously.
Because it is a weaponized version of Vault-Tec’s cryogenic technology, it is actually right at the start of the game in the overseer’s office for Vault 111. The case requires master lockpicking to break, but there is a known glitch that you can get it very early with just the help of Dogmeat, which we detailed here.
Lorenzo’s Artifact Gun
Gamma weapons can be hit or miss, since (understandably) a lot of enemies have radiation resistance. This is the best gamma weapon since it also has the added bonus of delivering a telekinetic blast, which will knock your enemies on their butts like you’re Yoda. It’s a fun, powerful, and totally unique effect.
The Artifact Gun is one of the possible rewards at the end of a quest chain for the Cabot family in Cabot House, south of Bunker Hill. The quest The Secret of Cabot House will lead you to the basement of an old insane asylum in the northern part of the Commonwealth, where you will quickly be faced with a choice. Help the son, Lorenzo, and in about a week’s time you can come back and he will have made the Artifact Gun for you.
Alien Blaster Pistol
Every Fallout game has featured an alien blaster, a rare, small, and powerful energy weapon of unearthly origins. It does a ton of damage, but relies on a special round that you likely won’t find any more of than the 400 or so it comes with. If you have a maxed out Science perk, it is possible to mod the gun to work with fusion cells at a slight hit to damage, but until then, you will only want to use the Alien Blaster when you need it most.
There are conflicting rumors about what exactly triggers the alien saucer crash needed for you to get the gun. Many suggest that you need to complete Vault 75 and/or be at least level 20. In any event, at some point there will be a noise and streak of light in the sky that your companion might comment upon. It can be easy to miss, unfortunately. Once that has happened, head to Oberland Station west of Diamond City and go northeast toward the Beantown Brewery. Among some flaming trees in a rocky area you will find a crashed saucer. Follow the trail of green blood into a cave where you will find its wounded pilot, whom you can kill for this weapon.
Few weapons give a more intimidating first impression than a flaming samurai sword. Light flames lick the blade as you carry it around, flaring up dramatically when you swing. Note that the energy damage from the flames does not scale up with more strength or melee damage modifiers. Compared to earlier iterations from previous Fallout games that relied on a backpack-mounted motorcycle fuel tank to keep it lit, this new design is svelte, with a small fuel tank on the back side of the blade. The base appears to have also received an upgrade from a makeshift sword to a Japanese wakizashi (the katana’s smaller sibling).
Unlike many of the weapons on this list, the Shishkebab has a chance of dropping randomly from any legendary enemies. If you don’t happen upon it otherwise, head to Finch Farm, toward the northeast corner of the map. There Abraham Finch will send you to the Saugus Ironworks to reclaim his family sword (and then promptly give it to you, in gratitude).
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
Excuse me. The Fallout series has a long history of allusions to the works of 20th century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos. It’s particularly appropriate for Fallout 4 since so many of Lovecraft’s stories were set in fictional Massachusetts towns like Miskatonic and Dunwich. Kremvh’s Tooth is a cult sacrificial knife that poisons its victims on top of exceptional base damage. This is the perfect implement for wastelanders that prefer the sneaky-stabby approach to Fallout.
The Tooth is located at the very bottom of the caves beneath Dunwich Borers, a quarry in the northeast section of the map near the Salem Witch Museum. Fight your way through raiders and down to a chamber at the bottom, where you will see a brief vision of gathered cultists around a small pool of water. Jump into the pool and you will find an underwater chamber that contains the Tooth on an altar. Be sure to take of your power armor first if you’re wearing any, since it will get stuck at the bottom of the pool.
Spray n’ Pray
This weapon comes with its operating instructions included right in its name. This .45 mm sub-machine gun comes tricked out with all sorts of advanced mods, including a suppressor, and is fully customizable to suite your taste, if so inclined. The special sauce that really sets it apart is that it makes all of its ammo explosive, causing 15 area-of-effect damage with every hit. This can be increased to do more damage with the Demolition Expert perk. Be careful, though, since in close quarters the explosions can do friendly fire to you or your companions.
Spray n’ Pray can be bought from the wandering merchant Cricket. If she has not set up shop in Bunker Hill, you can find her wandering around the Commonwealth, sometimes stopping at Vault 81, the Warwick Homestead, and Diamond City. It also very rarely can be found from other random merchants, or dropped by legendary raiders.
Sergeant Ash (Far Harbor)
In unstable economic times like the post-apocalypse, sometimes you just want to feel the burn. Not only does this nasty flamethrower come with standard mods that boost its damage and ammo capacity, but it has a 20 percent chance to cripple your targets’ legs. That is going to happen a lot given the flamer’s high rate of fire, making it an excellent choicer for crowd control with raiders, super mutants, or anyone else stupid enough to come at you.
You can buy the Sergeant from the merchant Dejen in the free synth colony of Acadia in Far Harbor, which is central to the DLC’s story.
The Harvester (Far Harbor)
You’ll probably want to wear a scary mask to go along with this vicious weapon, which seems straight out of a slasher flick. This pocket chainsaw has high base damage for a ripper, and the combination of its blistering speed and chance to stagger an enemy means that it’s very easy to stun-lock a foe and rip them to shreds.
The Harvester can be found in the ghoul-infested Echo Lake Lumber Mill, south of the cinema. Search the shelves on the first floor of the largest building in the mill.
Atom’s Judgement (Far Harbor)
This formidable super sledge is perhaps the single most powerful melee weapon in the game. The head on this otherwise conventional sledge has been replaced with cracked fusion cores, which do 100 additional radiation damage. Spend points on the nuclear physicist intelligence perk and Atom’s Judgement can do astronomical amounts of damage.
In order to get your hands on Atom’s Judgement, you will have to progress through the expansion’s plot until you meet the Children of Atom sect, who live in an old submarine base. Grand Zealot Richter will send you on a quest called The Heretic to track down a former member of their cult who is causing trouble for them on the island. However you choose to handle the situation with Gywneth once you find her, return to Richter and he will give you Atom’s Judgement as a reward.
The Striker (Far Harbor)
The Fat Man personal nuke launcher is one of the most iconic weapons in the entire Fallout series. The ability to rain nuclear fire wherever you go can bring a swift resolution to nearly any hairy situation, but it has a few key drawbacks. Namely, mini nukes are hard to find, and they don’t you much good in close quarters unless you’re willing to go kamikaze. The Striker is a modified Fat Man that launches bowling balls instead, however, and replaces the former weapon’s explosive power with cheaper rounds and the ability to knock off heads from any range.
Unsurprisingly, the Striker can be found in the Beaver Creek Lanes bowling alley to the southeast of the starting town in Far Harbor. Head through the employee door into the service tunnels, then work your way back, around, and up to the office, where you’ll find it with a few rounds on the desk. Be sure to check the computer for schematics on how to make more modified bowling balls at your chemistry station.
Kiloton Radium Rifle (Far Harbor)
This unique, semi-automatic rifle delivers a one-two-three punch of accurate rounds, radiation damage over time, and an added explosion on hit that does 15 splash damage to nearby enemies — just like one of our other favorites, the Spray n’ Pray. The rifle is also fully moddable, meaning that it can be one of your best ranged weapons with a few investments.
In order to find the Kiloton Radium Rifle, you’ll need to make your way to the Children of Atom in the Nucleus. Once there, you can purchase it from the merchant Brother Kane for the reasonable price of 500 caps.
Admiral’s Friend (Far Harbor)
Harpoon guns are one of the new weapon types introduced in Far Harbor, matching the add-on’s nautical theme. They’re powerful, but slow to load. Admiral’s Friend, the best harpoon gun in the game, compensates for that by doubling damage against unharmed targets, meaning that one shot is often all you’ll need. That makes it a perfect weapon for stealth players who want to maximize their sneak attacks.
You can buy the Admiral’s Friend as soon as you arrive on Far Harbor from Allen Lee’s Gun Store for 1,500 caps.
Nuka-Nuke Launcher (Nuka-World)
The latest version of the devastating Fat Man mini nuke catapult, the Nuka-Nuke Launcher uses an upgraded variation of the standard Mini-nukes calleduses — you guessed it — Nuka-nukes. This modified ammunition deals exceedingly more damage than the mini nukes, making the Nuka-nuke launcher one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
You’ll need to complete the “Cappy in a Haystack” quest to get your hands on this weapon. Afterward, you’ll receive a code from Sierra that will grant you access to John-Caleb Braderton’s office. Once inside, Bradberton will give you directions to a secret vault if you agree to kill him by turning off power to his life support system. The vault contains a Nuka-Nuke Launcher, and schematics for making Nuka-Nuke ammo.
The Splattercannon is one of two new handmade rifles available in Nuka-World. Fortunately, acquiring the Splattercannon doesn’t require successfully completing a specific quest: Simply visit the Nuka-Town market and talk with weapons dealer Aaron Corbett. Unfortunately, Corbett may charge you upward of 10,000 caps, depending on your Charisma level.
The rifle incorporates legendary weapon effects, however, and the damage caused by each round increases with each consecutive hit. Package this rifle with the Bloody Mess and Commando perks to deliver maximum damage. This weapon also uses 7.62 ammunition, so be sure to purchase plenty of ammo at the market before venturing out.
The Problem Solver (Nuka-World)
The Problem Solver is the other new handmade rifle in Nuka-World. Similar to the Splattercannon, aftermarket investment is necessary to reap the full benefits of the weapon. You don’t have to successfully accomplish a specific quest to add the Problem Solver to your inventory, though you will have to pass a charisma check with Mason during the “An Ambitious Plan” quest. The Problem Solver uses 7.62 ammo and offers increased damage after each consecutive hit on the same target.
Cito’s Shiny Slugger (Nuka-World)
Sometimes you don’t need to find the latest quantum, Nuka Cola-powered catapult to complete your quest. No, sometimes a rudimentary weapon will do the trick. This is where Cito’s Shiny Slugger comes into play.
Cito’s Shiny Slugger is a run-of-the-mill, aluminum baseball bat with the spikes and rocket modifications. This choice melee weapon comes with Relentless legendary effects. Cito’s Shiny Slugger also allows you to refill action points on critical damage, and you can acquire this tricked-out death club by completing the “Safari Adventure” quest.