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This page lists all weapons in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For weapons in other Fallout games, please see "Weapon".
  • For an overview of Fallout: New Vegas content, please refer to "Portal:Fallout: New Vegas."
 
Gametitle-FNV.png
Gametitle-FNV.png
For an overview of unique weapons only, see Fallout: New Vegas unique weapons.
For the weapon stat comparison tables, see Fallout: New Vegas weapons/Comparison.

Curios and Relics.png

See also
Weapon stat comparison tables Ammunition Weapon mods
Combat Aim down sights V.A.T.S

Guns

Guns are the most common ranged weapons of the Mojave Wasteland. They are numerous and varied and ammunition is relatively easy to acquire.Fallout: New Vegas loading screens

Pistols

Pistols
.357 magnum revolver.png

.357 Magnum revolver²
Lucky357Magnum.png

Lucky²
.44 magnum revolver (Fallout New Vegas).png

.44 Magnum revolver²
MysteriousMagnum.png

Mysterious Magnum²
.45 Auto pistol with the improved sights modification.png

.45 Auto pistol² Honest Hearts
A Light Shining in Darkness.png

A Light Shining in Darkness² Honest Hearts
FNV556mmPistol.png

5.56mm pistol² Gun Runners' Arsenal
FNVThatGun.png

That Gun
9mm Pistol.png

9mm pistol²
Maria.png

Maria²
10mm pistol (Gamebryo).png

10mm pistol²
Weathered10mmFNV2.png

Weathered 10mm pistol Courier's Stash
FNV 12,7mm Pistol.png

12.7mm pistol
Lil' Devil.png

Li'l Devil¹ Gun Runners' Arsenal
HuntingRevolver.png

Hunting revolver
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
RangerSequoia.png

Ranger Sequoia
PolicePistol.png

Police pistol¹ Dead Money
Silenced22Pistol.png

Silenced .22 pistol¹

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Normal holdout weapon: May be concealed regardless of Sneak skill.
² Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50

Rifles

Rifles
Anti-materiel rifle.png

Anti-materiel rifle¹
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
FNV assault carbine.png

Assault carbine
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
Automatic rifle.png

Automatic rifle Dead Money
Battle rifle.png

Battle rifle (GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
ThisMachineFNV.png

This Machine
BBGUN.png

BB gun
FNVLEBBGun.png

Abilene Kid LE BB gun
BrushGun.png

Brush gun
Medicine Stick.png

Medicine Stick Gun Runners' Arsenal
Cowboy repeater.png

Cowboy repeater
La Longue Carabine.png

La Longue Carabine¹
HuntingRifleFoNV.png

Hunting rifle
Paciencia.png

Paciencia Gun Runners' Arsenal
LMGRend.png

Light machine gun
BozarFNV.png

Bozar¹ Gun Runners' Arsenal
Marksman carbine.png

Marksman carbine¹
All-American.png

All-American¹
ServiceRifle.png

Service rifle
Survivalist's rifle.png

Survivalist's rifle Honest Hearts
Sniper rifle.png

Sniper rifle¹
FNV sniper rifle Suppressor.png

Christine's CoS silencer rifle¹ Old World Blues (add-on)
FNV Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle.png

Gobi Campaign scout rifle¹
TrailCarbine.png

Trail carbine
Varmintrifle.png

Varmint rifle
Ratslayercropped.png

Ratslayer¹

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Scoped by default.

SMGs

Submachine guns
.45 Auto submachine gun.png

.45 Auto SMG Honest Hearts
9mm SMG (Fallout New Vegas).png

9mm SMG
Vance's 9mm submachine gun.png

Vance's 9mm SMG
10mm SMG.png

10mm SMG
Sleepytyme.png

Sleepytyme¹ Gun Runners' Arsenal
12.7mm SMG.png

12.7mm SMG
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
H&H Tools nail gun.png

H&H Tools nail gun Lonesome Road (add-on)
Silenced22SMG.png

Silenced .22 SMG

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50

Shotguns

Shotguns
Caravan shotgun.png

Caravan shotgun
SturdyCaravanShotgun.png

Sturdy caravan shotgun Courier's Stash
HuntingShotgun.png

Hunting shotgun
DinnerBell.png

Dinner Bell
Lever-action shotgun.png

Lever-action shotgun
RiotShotgun.png

Riot shotgun
Sawed off.png

Sawed-off shotgun¹
BigBoomer.png

Big Boomer
Single shotgun.png

Single shotgun

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50

Heavy weapons

Heavy weapons
K9000CyberdogGun.png

K9000 cyberdog gun¹ Old World Blues (add-on)
FIDO.png

FIDO¹ Old World Blues (add-on)
5MMMINIGUN.png

Minigun
CZ57Avenger.png

CZ57 Avenger
Shoulder mounted machine gun.png

Shoulder mounted machine gun Lonesome Road (add-on)

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Scoped by default

Energy weapons

Energy weapons are less common and varied than guns, but have a small number of ammunition types and can be quite potent.Fallout: New Vegas loading screen

Energy pistols

Energy pistols
F3Firelance.png

Wild Wasteland Alien blaster¹
Euclid's C-Findercropped1.png

Euclid's C-Finder
Flare gun.png

Flare gun² ³ Lonesome Road (add-on)
Laser pistol (Gamebryo).png

Laser pistol²
Laser pistol (Gamebryo).png

Laser pistol (GRA)² Gun Runners' Arsenal
Compliance Regulator.png

Compliance Regulator² Honest Hearts
Laser pistol (Gamebryo).png

Missing laser pistol³
Pew Pew.png

Pew Pew²
PlasmaDefenderFNV.png

Plasma Defender
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
PlasmaPistol.png

Plasma pistol²
PlasmaPistol.png

Plasma pistol (GRA)² Gun Runners' Arsenal
Pulse gun.png

Pulse gun
RechargePistol.png

Recharger pistol
MF Hyperbreeder Alpha.png

MF Hyperbreeder Alpha² Gun Runners' Arsenal
Sonic emitter.png

Sonic emitter - Gabriel's bark² ⁴ Old World Blues (add-on)
Sonic emitter.png

Sonic emitter - opera singer² ⁴ Old World Blues (add-on)
Sonic emitter.png

Sonic emitter - revelation² ⁴ Old World Blues (add-on)
Sonic emitter.png

Sonic emitter - robo-scorpion² ⁴ Old World Blues (add-on)
Sonic emitter.png

Sonic emitter - tarantula² ⁴ Old World Blues (add-on)
Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ May only be acquired if one has chosen the Wild Wasteland trait.
² Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50.
³ Frightens abominations.
⁴ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Energy rifles

Energy rifles
Gauss rifle.png

Gauss rifle²
Gauss rifle FNVUnique.png

YCS/186¹ ²
Holorifle.png

Holorifle² Dead Money
LAER.png

LAER Old World Blues (add-on)
LAER.png

Elijah's advanced LAER Old World Blues (add-on)
RCW.png

Laser RCW
AER9 laser rifle.png

Laser rifle
AER14 prototype.png

AER14 prototype
AER9 laser rifle.png

Van Graff laser rifle
MultiplasRifle.png

Multiplas rifle
PlasmaRifle.png

Plasma rifle
PlasmaRifle.png

Van Graff plasma rifle
Q35mattermod.png

Q-35 matter modulator
FNVRechargerRifle.png

Recharger rifle
Tri-beam laser rifle.png

Tri-beam laser rifle
Tri-beam laser rifle.png

Tri-beam laser rifle

(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ May only be acquired if one has not chosen the Wild Wasteland trait.
² Scoped by default.

Energy heavy weapons

Energy heavy weapons
FNV arc welder.png

Arc welder Lonesome Road (add-on)
FLAMER.png

Flamer
Cleansing Flame.png

Cleansing Flame Gun Runners' Arsenal
GatlingLaser.png

Gatling laser
SprtelWood9700.png

Sprtel-Wood 9700 Gun Runners' Arsenal
Heavy incinerator.png

Heavy incinerator
Incinerator.png

Incinerator
PlasmaCaster.png

Plasma caster
SmittySpecial.png

The Smitty Special Gun Runners' Arsenal
Tesla cannon.png

Tesla cannon
FNVTeslaBeatonPrototype.png

Elijah's jury-rigged Tesla cannon Old World Blues (add-on)
FNVTeslaBeatonPrototype.png

Tesla-Beaton prototype

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Explosives

Explosive weapons are best used when dealing with crowds or in situations where precision is not a high priority."Fallout: New Vegas loading screen

Projectile

Explosive weapons
25mm grenade APW.png

25mm grenade APWGun Runners' Arsenal
Fat Man.png

Fat Man
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
Esther.png

Esther Gun Runners' Arsenal
GrenadeMachinegun.png

Grenade machinegun
FNV Mercy.png

Mercy
Grenade launcher.png

Grenade launcher
GrenadeRifleFNV.png

Grenade rifle
Scorpion rifle.png

Great Bear grenade rifle Lonesome Road (add-on)
Mercenary's grenade rifle.png

Mercenary's grenade rifle Courier's Stash
Spider rifle.png

Red Victory grenade rifle Lonesome Road (add-on)
GrenadeRifleUniqueFNV.png

Thump-Thump
MISSILELAUNCHER.png

Missile launcher
Annabelle.png

Annabelle
RedGlare.png

Red Glare ¹ Lonesome Road (add-on)

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Scoped by default.

Thrown

Thrown weapons
Dynamite (Fallout New Vegas).png

Dynamite²
Fire bomb.png

Fire bomb² Honest Hearts
Flash bang.png

Flash bang² Lonesome Road (add-on)
FRAGGRENADE.png

Frag grenade²
HolyGrenadeFNV.png

Wild Wasteland Holy Frag Grenade³
IncendiaryGrenadeFNV.png

Incendiary grenade
Long-fuse dynamite.png

Long-fuse dynamite²
MFC grenade.png

MFC grenade¹
Gun Runners' Arsenal
Nuka-grenade.png

Nuka-grenade¹
Gun Runners' Arsenal
PlasmaGrenade.png

Plasma grenade²
PulseGrenade.png

Pulse grenade² ⁴
Tin grenade.png

Tin grenade¹
Gun Runners' Arsenal
Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Normal holdout weapon: May be concealed regardless of Sneak skill.
² Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50
³ May only be acquired if one has chosen the Wild Wasteland trait.
⁴ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Placed

Placed weapons
Bottlecap mine.png

Bottlecap mine²
C-4plasticexplosive.png

C-4 plastic explosive¹
Demolition charge.png

Demolition charge Dead Money
Detonatortrans.png

Detonator¹
Fat mine.png

Fat mine Gun Runners' Arsenal
FragMine.png

Frag mine
Gas bomb.png

Gas bomb Dead Money
MFC cluster.png

MFC cluster¹ ²
Gun Runners' Arsenal
Plasma mine.png

Plasma mine
PowderChargeFNV.png

Powder charge²
PulseMine.png

Pulse mine³
Satchel charge.png

Satchel charge Lonesome Road (add-on)
TimeBombFNV.png

Time bomb²
TimeBombFNV.png

Time bomb, high yield² Gun Runners' Arsenal

¹ Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50
² Custom-built weapon
³ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Melee

Most Melee Weapons are completely silent, making them excellent stealth weapons.Fallout: New Vegas loading screen

Bladed

Bladed melee weapons
Bowie knife.png

Bowie knife² Lonesome Road (add-on)
Bowie knife.png

Blood-Nap² Lonesome Road (add-on)
BumperSword.png

Bumper sword
Blade of the East.png

Blade of the East
Blade of the West.png

Blade of the West
FNV Chainsaw.png

Chainsaw³
FNV Chainsaw.png

Chainsaw

(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal

CleaverFNV.png

Cleaver²
CleaverUniqueFNV.png

Chopper²
Combat knife.png

Combat knife²
CombatKnifeUniqueFNV.png

Chance's knife²
CosmicKnife.png

Cosmic knife¹ Dead Money
Cosmic knife clean.png

Cosmic knife clean¹ Dead Money
Cosmic knife super-heated.png

Cosmic knife super-heated¹ Dead Money
FireAxe.png

Fire axe
Knock-Knock.png

Knock-Knock
FNVMeleeHatchet.png

Hatchet²
Katana.png

Katana Gun Runners' Arsenal
Knife FO3.png

Knife¹
KnifeSpear.png

Knife spear Dead Money
KnifeSpear.png

Knife spear clean Dead Money
MacheteGeck.png

Machete
BroadMachete.png

Broad machete Courier's Stash
MacheteGeck.png

Liberator
Machete Gladius.png

Machete gladius
ProtonAxe.png

Proton axeOld World Blues (add-on)
ProtonicInversalAxe.png
Protonic inversal axeOld World Blues (add-on)
Ripper FO3.png

Ripper² ³
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
Shishkebab.png

Shishkebab
Gehenna.png

Gehenna Gun Runners' Arsenal
StraightRazorFNV.png

Straight razor¹
StraightRazorUniqueFNV.png

Figaro¹
Switchblade.png

Switchblade¹
ThermicLance.png

Thermic lance³

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Normal holdout weapon: May be concealed regardless of Sneak skill.
² Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50.
³ Ignores DR/DT.
⁴ Includes double normal weapon damage in V.A.T.S.
⁵ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Blunt

Blunt melee weapons
9 iron.png

9 iron
Nephi's golf driver.png

Nephi's golf driver
BASEBALLBAT.png

Baseball bat
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
CattleProd.png

Cattle prod
Dress Cane.png

Dress cane
Lead pipe.png

Lead pipe¹
The Humble Cudgel.png

The Humble Cudgel¹
Nail board.png

Nail board
Pool cue.png

Pool cue
FONVEagleFlagPole.PNG

Old Glory Lonesome Road (add-on)
Police baton.png

Police baton¹
RebarClub.png

Rebar club
Nuka Breaker.png

Nuka Breaker Gun Runners' Arsenal
Rolling pin.png

Rolling pin
Shovel.png

Shovel
Sledgehammer.png

Sledgehammer
SUPERSLEDGE.png

Super sledge
SuperSledgeFNVUnique.png

Oh, Baby!
TIREIRON.png

Tire iron¹
War club.png

War club¹ Honest Hearts
X-2 Antenna.png

X-2 antenna³ Old World Blues (add-on)

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50
² Includes double normal weapon damage in V.A.T.S.
³ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Thrown

Thrown melee weapons
Proton throwing axe.png

Proton throwing axe² Old World Blues (add-on)
Protonic inversal throwing axe.png

Protonic inversal throwing axe² Old World Blues (add-on)
FNVThrowingHatchet.png

Throwing hatchet
ThrowingKnifeFNV.png

Throwing knife¹
Throwing knife spear.png

Throwing knife spear Dead Money
SpearFNV.png

Throwing spear
Tomahawk.png

Tomahawk Honest Hearts

¹ Normal holdout weapon: May be concealed regardless of Sneak skill.
² Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.

Unarmed

Unarmed melee weapons
BallisticFist.png

Ballistic fist
Two-Step Goodbye.png

Two-Step Goodbye²
Gun Runners' Arsenal
BearTrapFist.png

Bear trap fist Dead Money
Bladed gauntlet.png

Bladed gauntlet
Cramopener.png

Cram Opener

Boxing gloves


Boxing gloves
Golden Gloves.png

Golden Gloves
Boxing tape.png

Boxing tape
Brass knuckles.png

Brass knuckles¹
Displacer glove.png

Displacer glove
Pushy.png

Pushy
Dog tag fist.png

Dog tag fist³
Dog tag fist.png

Recompense of the Fallen
Deathclaw gauntlet.png

Fist of Rawr Lonesome Road (add-on)
Wild Wasteland Fist of the North Rawr
Industrial hand.png

Industrial hand² ⁵ Lonesome Road (add-on)
Mantis gauntlet.png

Mantis gauntlet
Embrace of the Mantis King!.png

Embrace of the Mantis King! Gun Runners' Arsenal
POWERFIST.png

Power fist²
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
Saturnite fist.png

Saturnite fist² Old World Blues (add-on)
Saturnite fist super-heated.png

Saturnite fist super-heated² Old World Blues (add-on)
GreasedLightning.png

Greased Lightning² Gun Runners' Arsenal
Salt-Upon-Wounds' power fist.png

Salt-Upon-Wounds' power fist² Honest Hearts
Scientistglove.png

Scientist glove² Old World Blues (add-on)
Corrosive glove.png

Corrosive glove² Old World Blues (add-on)
RedSterilizerGlove.png

Sterilizer glove² Old World Blues (add-on)
SterilizerGlove.png

Dr. Klein's glove² Old World Blues (add-on)
Dr. Mobius' glove.png

Dr. Mobius' glove² Old World Blues (add-on)
Spiked knuckles.png

Spiked knuckles¹
Love and Hate.png

Love and Hate¹
Yao guai gauntlet.png

Yao guai gauntlet² ⁵ Honest Hearts
Yao guai gauntlet.png

She's Embrace² ⁵ Honest Hearts
Zap glove.png

Zap glove
Paladin Toaster.png

Paladin Toaster

Unique weapons are highlighted with a darker background
¹ Normal holdout weapon: May be concealed regardless of Sneak skill.
² Improved holdout weapon: May be concealed if Sneak ≥ 50.
³ Includes double normal weapon damage in V.A.T.S.
⁴ Does bonus damage to robots and power armored foes.
⁵ Ignores DR/DT.

Other

Despite being in the weapons category on the Pip-Boy 3000, these items are not used offensively.

Other weapons
BigMountainTransportalponder!.png

Big Mountain Transportalponder! Old World Blues (add-on)
Binoculars.png

Binoculars
FNV Codac R9000.png

Codac R9000
Laser detonator.png

Laser detonator Lonesome Road (add-on)

Quest items are highlighted with a darker background

Unused weapons

Cut content

Cut weapons
Deathclaw gauntlet.png

Deathclaw gauntlet
9mm Pistol.png

Debug Mega Pistol
DoubleBarrelShotgun.png

Double-barrel shotgun
FRAGGRENADE.png

Gas grenade
Anti-materiel rifle.png

Oliver anti-materiel rifle
PlasmaRifle.png

Plasma rifle always crit
PlasmaRifle.png

Plasma rifle weak
FNVMeleeHatchet.png

Poisoned hatchet Honest Hearts
Mantis gauntlet.png

Poisoned mantis gauntlet Honest Hearts
Slaves Burden.png

Slave's Burden
Boxing tape.png

Starlet's hand wraps Dead Money
No icon.png

Stun baton
FNV Stun grenade.png

Stun grenade
AER9 laser rifle.png

The Disintegrator
Gauss rifle.png

The Faderator¹
¹ Available in all add-ons except Courier's Stash.

Non-player character weapons

NPC weapons
Ripper FO3.png

Arcade Gannon's Ripper
HuntingRifle Scope.png

Boone's scoped hunting rifle
.45 Auto pistol.png

Follows-Chalk's .45 Auto pistol Honest Hearts
Follows-Chalk's war club.png

Follows-Chalk's war club Honest Hearts
Weap joshua pistol whippin 45.png

Joshua's Pistol Whippin' .45 Honest Hearts
LilysAC.png

Lily's assault carbine
Lily's gauntlet.png

Lily's gauntlet
LilyVertibirdSword.png

Lily's Vertibird blade
MysteriousMagnum.png

Mysterious Stranger's .44 Magnum
MysteriousMagnum.png

Miss Fortune's Bad Luck Bringer
SUPERSLEDGE.png

Mean super sledge
Bladed gauntlet.png

Poisoned bladed gauntlet Honest Hearts
CleaverFNV.png

Poisoned cleaver Honest Hearts
FireAxe.png

Poisoned fire axe Honest Hearts
MacheteGeck.png

Poisoned machete Honest Hearts
SpearFNV.png

Poisoned throwing spear Honest Hearts
Yao guai gauntlet.png

Waking Cloud's yao guai gauntlet Honest Hearts

Behind the scenes

Specific rifles

Even the "max" ranges of sight in F:NV are actually very short for firearms in the real world. Take one of the longest shots in the game: hitting Aurelius of Phoenix at Cottonwood Cove from the Sniper's Nest (where the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle is found). We calculated it out and that's under 200 yards, I think. Apparent distances are skewed in the engine because the field of view is 70 degrees by default.Joshua Sawyer
In general, I prefer to give weapons functional names and avoid getting wrapped up in specific designations used by manufacturers or the military. Because our weapons must, for technical reasons, occasionally differ functionally from the weapons upon which they are based (different caliber, charging handle placement, receiver height, stock shape/length, etc.) giving them a more utilitarian name helps negate some of the potential pedantry over those deviations.

There are no AR-15s, Colt Commandos, Browning Hi-Powers, BFRs, M1 Garands, Winchester 1886s, 1887s, or 1892s in Fallout: New Vegas -- just Service Rifles, Assault Carbines, 9mm Pistols, Hunting Revolvers, This Machine, Brush Guns, Lever-Action Shotguns, and Cowboy Repeaters.

That's also why there are no M1911s or Thompsons in Honest Hearts, but you'll find plenty of .45 Auto Pistols and .45 Auto Submachine Guns.
One of Obsidian's programmers was a tank driver in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany and later deployed to Iraq in the early 90s. His issued sidearm was a beat-to-hell Ithaca M1911. If you know your M1911 history, that should give you an idea of how old it was.Joshua Sawyer, responding to a question whether weapons in New Vegas would really work due to age
Nah, I’m satisfied with them. Fallout 1 and 2 delved into 90s weapons designs (e.g. the P90c) and the mid-90s is when the M4/Picatinny rails entered the scene. There are a lot of rifles in F:NV and I think the more modern appearance of the marksman carbine and assault carbine help visually distinguish them from the rest of the lineup in a good way.Joshua Sawyer, responding to a question on if he would change the Assault Carbine or Marksman Rifle.

General implementation

The process was iterative and went through a lot of revisions. There were a few questions I asked for deciding what would get included and what would not:
  • What are iconic Fallout weapons that should return?

In my mind, the 10mm pistol and SMG had to return, as did the minigun, sawed-off shotgun, flamer, and a few other choice weapon.

  • What are players’ role-playing expectations within this setting and what weapons will help the expression of those roles?

We can’t account for every type of character a player might imagine, but we knew a lot of people would want to be a) Mad Max b) post-apocalyptic cowboy/cowgirl c) wacky bazinga science person d) agro military operator e) sneakthief stealth murderer.

Supporting those concepts throughout the game necessitated an array of thematically appropriate equipment options that was available from the beginning and allowed for power growth through the end game. That’s why you can use revolvers and lever action rifles from the first two hours (.357 Revolver and Cowboy Repeater) through the Battle of Hoover Dam (Hunting Revolver and Brush Gun).

  • What weapons share common ammunition types to avoid resource/loot problems?

There are only a few weapons that use an ammo type that isn’t used elsewhere. Western-style weapons make some of that easy since a lot of revolvers and lever-action rifles used the same rimmed ammo types. Ammo types like .22 and .308, were also easy to use in multiple weapons.

  • What are weapons with distinctive/iconic looks that can stand out from each other?

Service and battle rifles are based on distinctive historical weapons, the slim 9mm pistol is easy to distinguish from the bulky 10mm, and even the lever-actions are relatively easy to distinguish from the bolt-action and sniper rifles.

  • What are weapons that can be modified in distinctively different ways from each other to allow for orthogonal growth within a subtype of weapons (e.g. lever-action rifles).

If all weapons of a certain type can be modified in the same way, upgrading those weapons becomes less interesting, especially since we expect players to stick with thematically consistent weapons (not always, of course, but…). This is why the cowboy repeater and brush gun feature top eject: it prohibits the use top-mounted scopes, allowing the trail carbine to be modified in a way that the other two lever-actions cannot. The unique cowboy repeater does have a scope, but it’s a side-mounted scope, like the one used by Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

  • What are different ammo subtypes that can be used that offer distinctly different properties from each other to allow for another axis of differentiation.
Different ammo types have different variants. This is not only true within a category (e.g. revolver/lever-action rimmed rounds) but of course between categories. In F:NV, you can’t get armor-piercing rounds in a lever-action or a revolver – except for That Gun/the 5.56mm pistol. Weapons that fire .44 magnum can also fire .44 special. Similarly, .357 magnum weapons can fire .38 special, but .44 magnum also has a semi-wadcutter variant, while .357 magnum has a jacketed flat point variant. The differences are minor, but significant enough to make a difference to players who want to fiddle around with ammo subtypes.
— Joshua Sawyer, Tumblr
I didn’t think of making the F:NV guns differ from F3 as much as I tried to return to what I believed was the spirit of Fallout 1 & 2 guns: a mix of common real-world guns, some real-world niche guns, and some completely fictional guns.

I also felt like Fallout 1 (especially) had great gun progression. I really liked how even though the Desert Eagle .44 did more damage than the 10mm pistol, it had a lower ammo cap. Also, because the .44 Magnum ammo is relatively rare (IIRC) when you get the first DE from Garl, it promotes more deliberate, considered use of the weapon and suggests keeping the 10mm pistol around as backup. That sort of overlapping/orthogonal progression is great and I tried to achieve it in F:NV. I always tried to make the “upgrade” of a weapon have one thing that was obviously inferior to / different from the previous version. With the .357 Magnum Revolver and .44 Magnum Revolver, the .357 is slightly more accurate and can never suffer a malfunction/jam.

F3 did some things with ammo types that I understand and appreciate from a game design perspective but I felt contrasted too much from real-world weapon/ammo design. The fact that a handgun and a rifle shared an ammo type is nice for gameplay, but .32 is an odd caliber to use for a number of reasons. One of the things that bothered me most was the use of a similar ammo type in a revolver (typically using rimmed cartridges) and a bolt-action rifle (typically using rimless cartridges and headspacing at the front of the cartridge). Because I liked a more (American) western aesthetic for F:NV, I decided to use rimmed “cowboy cartridges” for revolvers and lever-action rifles. This was extremely common back in the day and can still be done with modern revolvers and lever-actions in the same caliber. The hunting rifle (.32 in F3) went to .308, which we reserved for high-powered rifles and didn’t use in handguns.

In general, when we used real-world weapons and ammo types, I tried to go with ones ordinary people (well, Americans, anyway) were familiar with: .22 LR 9mm, 10mm, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, 5.56mm, .308, .50 MG. The ones that were made up (12.7mm) or less familiar (.45-70 Gov’t) were generally reserved for later weapons.

The real-world weapons were also sort of a “greatest hits” list: the 9mm based on the Browning Hi-Power, the .357 based on the Colt SAA, etc. - classic designs for people familiar with them that looked great for players who weren’t familiar with them. At times we had to adjust the design for animation/gameplay purposes, e.g. the Automatic Rifle in Dead Money is recognizable as some kind of BAR knockoff, but it differs in some significant ways.

I based the anti-materiel rifle on the Hécate II because honestly I was/am sick of seeing Barretts in games and I think the Hécate II looks better.
— Joshua Sawyer, Tumblr
Can I ask why you don't use the original weapons' actual names? Like why do you call the M16 a "Service Rifle"? Is it due to liscencing issues?
Joshua Sawyer: It's partially for that and also because they aren't "really" those weapons. We take liberties for animation and aesthetic reasons. Rather than provoke players into debating how "legit" a weapon is, I'd rather just give weapons a functional name that gets the basic idea across and leave it at that.
— Joshua Sawyer, Formspring answers, archived at RPGCodex
200 years old rifles? I know nothing of guns, but is this like, something that happens, or just stretching reality for the sake of the setting?
Joshua Sawyer: Is this honestly the first time you've considered that many of the firearms in Fallout were made Pre-War? Come on.

EDIT: Re-reading my response, it sounds rude. Apologies. I'm not sure if this is a genuine or disingenuous question, partially because the majority of questions are anonymous.

The majority of firearms in use in the Fallout setting are likely Pre-War in manufacture. Things that would make conventional firearms stop working: rust (seizing), dry rot (anything wood or rubber), alkaline corrosion/buildup (anything with batteries).

A lot of firearms (and other things, but especially firearms) put in long-term storage are coated in a substance called cosmoline that can prevent rust (and other processes) for a long time. It's unlikely that all of the weapons in Fallout were coated for storage, so it's just a hand-wave of the setting.
— Joshua Sawyer, Formspring answers, archived at RPGCodex
Who made up all of the energy weapons?
Joshua Sawyer: I tuned all of the EW stats (too low for a lot of them, unfortunately), but the EWs were modeled and textured mostly by Mitch Ahlswede, Paul Fish, and Aaron Brown.
— Joshua Sawyer, Formspring answers, archived at RPGCodex
Why do the energy weapons in the Fallout series tend to fire like conventional automatic weapons rather than ever using a continuous beam? I'm thinking specifically of guns like the gatling laser, that fires a series of beams rather than one unbroken one.
Joshua Sawyer: I think continuous beam weapons are cool. We actually tried implementing a continuous beam weapon in F:NV and it was a colossal mess. We put a fair amount of time into it, but it was causing tremendous problems, so we pulled it out.
— Joshua Sawyer, Formspring answers, archived at RPGCodex
why don't laser wepons in NV use iron sights?
Joshua Sawyer: There were a variety of animation and model issues with the laser weapons that delayed any attempts to add iron sights prior to implementing "true" iron sights. Once that system was in place, we realized that we would need to do a certain amount of work well into beta to make true iron sights work for laser weapons. Because the weapon artists were already heavily tasked and the QA staff had a huge amount of content to go through, I decided that it was too late to implement the required content. On their own, the weapons don't actually require that much work to modify for iron sights. The timing was just really bad.
— Joshua Sawyer, Formspring answers, archived at RPGCodex
'Why do energy weapons not have iron sights?' Part of it is that we were adapting a lot of the Fallout 3 energy weapons, which... are just very bulky, and when we went to try to put iron sights on them, it was actually kinda hard. That's the real reason. Y'know, we could've put in the effort to redesign the weapons, but we didn't. Just didn't seem like there was enough time to do that. So, apologies for that. But that's why.— Joshua Sawyer

Unique weapons

I decided very early on that unique weapons should at least have unique textures and sometimes have unique models. By accounting for this early in development, production was able to incorporate it into the schedule. Most unique variants were textured/modeled around the same time as the base weapon, IIRC.

Deciding what weapons would get unique variants was a little more difficult. The first consideration was to make sure the uniques weren’t all bunched up in one type of weapon, so there should be unique weapons more or less equally spread across different categories.

After that, it was more arbitrary and based on feeling/inspiration than anything practical. I always figured people would want to see the return of the .223 pistol, a unique 9mm pistol and sniper rifle seemed obvious, and when we made Honest Hearts, not including a unique .45 would have been a high crime.

Over time, there were also gaps I saw that became opportunities for new uniques. The Survivalist’s Rifle was created to fill a gap between the sniper rifle and the service rifle and to get more use out of the 12.7mm round.

When I started as a game designer at Black Isle, I worked on the original Icewind Dale. We used (a lot of) words to tell the story of a unique item. Fallout: New Vegas didn’t have text descriptions for items, so the story had to be told through the appearance of the weapon or armor itself. Details like the writing on A Light Shining in Darkness and the Survivalist’s Rifle or the bits and pieces of info that can be gleaned from the Desert Ranger Armor are all part of that. Many players never notice them, or if they do notice them, it’s just part of the aesthetic of the item, but for some players, those details tell the story of the item and fill in details about the world and its history.
— Joshua Sawyer, Tumblr

Bugs

  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png Scoped guns will occasionally display a blank "computer terminal" screen instead of the scope. This bug completely blocks the weapon's view when using the "scope". Fix for this bug for the Xbox360 is clearing your systems cache and reloading the game. It eventually "goes away" on its own, or by restarting the console, but the cause for start/end is not yet determined. This also makes it hard to use a terminal since no screen or text appears unless you have the weapon out. This can also be similar when Lockpicking as the tumbler may disappear, although it is not impossible to still attempt to pick the lock, depending on the difficulty.[verified]
    • Icon xbox360.png Can be fixed by making a new save and restarting the console.
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png Occasionally weapons dropped by the player will have the red "Press A to steal x" marking as if the weapon was previously owned, regardless of whether or not it ever was owned by an NPC. This can be fixed by opening the console, clicking the weapon, and typing the "setownership" command.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png With heavy energy weapons that use a backpack as an ammunition supply as well as the katana with a sheath, removing a weapon that has one will cause it to remain on your back. This happens with multiple backpacks, so they clip through each other. This can be corrected by equipping the weapon that caused this, then unequipping it.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png Sometimes when using melee weapons, you get blood splatter on the weapon and the blood refuses to come off of the weapon. You can fix this by leaving the game and coming back.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png Rarely the weapon models can become small.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Sometimes, when you fire until you have no ammo left, the gun will still shake like it is shooting. It won't make a sound or inflict any damage.[verified]

See also

Weapons in Fallout: New Vegas
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