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Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Big Guns

by: M.S. Smith ; edited by: Eric Stallsworth ; updated: 4/18/2012 • Leave a comment

Sometimes you just need to blow stuff up. And not just blow it up, but blow it up into very tiny pieces. Then toast it with a flamer, just to make sure. When those times come, you'll find that nothing in Fallout 3 works better than a Big Gun.

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    Armed To The Teeth: Big Guns

    It may be hundreds of years after a global nuclear apocalypse, but the Wasteland of Fallout 3 is still full of weapons. Some are large, some are small, some are strange and some are familiar, but most importantly, some are good and some are bad. Obviously, having the good weapons is a better choice than having the bad ones, but your Pipboy, useful though it may be, doesn't give all the details that you'll need to decide which ones are worth picking up and which ones should be chucked at the head of the nearest Super Mutant. That is where this guide comes in.

    This is the second article of a guide which covers all non-unique weapons. Unique weapons are not covered because they are rare, and you'd have to perform specific steps to get a hold of them. It is not the intention of this guide to include spoilers. You should also know that the DPS stat shown with each weapon stands for damage-over-time, and indicates how much damage a weapon can do in approximately one second. This is a better indicator of overall firepower than the damage stat show in your Pipboy. This portion of the guide covers Big Guns.

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    Direct-Fire Weapons

    These direct-fire weapons do not include splash-damage effects. They may have other damaging effects such as the flamethrower's fire-based damage-over-time.

    Rock-It Launcher - DPS: Variable - The Rock-It Launcher is an outlandish and possibly effective weapon which can fire all sorts of trash at your enemies. To use it, you'll need to load it with ammo - virtually any piece of junk - and that ammo will dictate both how much damage you can do and the way the weapon fires. Generally speaking, common, cheap, bullet-shaped items are the best, as they fly straight and will make hitting your target much easier. They're also lighter, which makes it possible to actually carry a large volume of ammo.

    The Rock-It Launcher can only be obtained by building it. Once you've obtained three of the Rock-It Laucher schematics, you'll be able to build Rock-It Launchers, which always do maximum damage and are easier to repair.

    Minigun - DPS: 50 - The Minigun is what you would expect. It spits out a hail of bullets at your enemies, causing a very high amount of damage in a short period of time. In the early-mid game, this is easily one of the most effective weapons you can have for medium range combat, but the gun does have its drawbacks. The largest of these is that it eats through ammo very quickly. The gun also has a warm-up time, which means you'll have to wait a few seconds before it will begin to fire. The Minigun is good for use in early-game situations where you find yourself attacked by enemies which your puny Laser Pistol can't damage, but by level 10 you'll have access to far better weapons.

    Flamer - DPS: 64 - The Flamer is one nasty piece of work. Although Fallout 3 disappointingly does not feature enemies which run screaming in agony once set ablaze, you'll still find that the Flamer is capable of making short work of almost any foe. Up until your early teens, this gun will be your doomsday weapon of choice whenever you find yourself in close-combat. Just like the Minigun, the ammo for the Flamer runs out fast. Be careful to use it only when you have to.

    For maximum firepower, combine the Flamer with the Pyromaniac perk. With this perk, the Flamer is one of the most powerful weapons in the game.

    Gatling Laser - DPS: 80 - The Gatling Laser to be honest, isn't going to win any points of orginality. It operates very similar to the Minigun, except that it doesn't have a warm-up time and it does more damage. It also appears to be more accurate. These incremental improvements aren't exciting, but they do make the gun a good choice through the game. Ammo shortages will remain a problem, but - unlike when you were limited to the Minigun - you should now have enough cash to buy out the ammo stock of every gun store in the Wasteland.

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    Area-Of-Effect Weapons

    These weapons do damage to an area, rather than just the target they hit. Be careful, because it is possible to hurt yourself and your allies by using them.

    Missile Launcher - DMG: 20 + 150 AOE - The Missile Launcher in Fallout 3 takes its styling queues from the more realistic, single-shot bazookas and RPGs found in many modern first-person shooters. This means that once you've fired a projectile, reloading takes a very long time, and the Missile Launcher is completely useless in close combat. Its damage is significant, making it a very good choice when trying to crack a very tough enemy or take out a closely packed group of opponents. Note that this is truly a Missile Launcher, which means that the projectiles do have a sort of guidance system. They will track body parts which are selected in VATS, and also will guide themselves towards robots, turrets, and and other non-fleshly foes.

    Fat Man - DMG: 10+1600 AOE - Literally a portable nuke launcher, the Fat Man will likely end up being an iconic Fallout weapon. With a base AOE damage rating of 1600, the Fat Man is many times more powerful than any other weapon in the game (except a few uniques) and can easily wipe out an army of very difficult enemies. However, there are some major downsides. At 30 pounds, the weight of the Fat Man makes it difficult to carry constantly. The cost of ammo is also very high, ranging between 250 to 400 caps. Finally, the Fat Man is very difficult to use effectively outside of VATS, due to a heavy projectile and the extreme danger of being caught inside the blast radius.

    All of that said, the Fat Man is indisputably the weapon you should bring whenever you believe you're in for a tough fight. It is probably worthwhile to carry one at all times, simply because it can be used as a get-out-of-jail-free card whenever you find yourself caught off-guard by an unexpectedly tough fight.

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    More Firepower

    This is the second article of the series. The first covered Unarmed Weapons and Melee Weapons. The next article will cover Small Guns. Despite their name, Small Guns are a bread-and-butter weapon that many will use as their primary form of offense through Fallout 3. Ammo for these guns is plentiful, and the guns themselves are accurate and fairly powerful. Article four will cover Energy Weapons, and article five will cover Explosives and give a few quick pointers.

Fallout 3 Weapons Guide

So, you have the best perks, your skills are high, and you think you're ready to take on a thousand Deathclaws at once. But wait - you're missing perhaps the most important part of survival. Your Weapon.
  1. Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Unarmed And Melee
  2. Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Big Guns
  3. Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Small Guns
  4. Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Energy Weapons
  5. Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Explosives And General Tips
  6. Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Find Special, High-Damage Weapons Within the Wasteland
  7. Fallout 3: Power Armor Training Guide

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