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 a comparative stat view, see Fallout: New Vegas weapons/Comparison.
Curios and Relics.png
See also
Stats comparison Ammunition Weapon mods

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
.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
5.56mm pistol
5.56mm pistol² Gun Runners' Arsenal
FNVThatGun.png
That Gun
9mm pistol
9mm pistol²
Maria.png
Maria²
10mm pistol
10mm pistol²
Weathered10mmFNV2.png
Weathered 10mm pistol Courier's Stash
FNV 12,7mm Pistol.png
12.7mm pistol
Li'l Devil
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
Bozar
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
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
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
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

Cleaver
Cleaver²
CleaverUniqueFNV.png
Chopper²
Combat knife
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
Fire axe
Fire axe
Knock-Knock.png
Knock-Knock
Hatchet
Hatchet²
Katana
Katana Gun Runners' Arsenal
Knife
Knife¹
KnifeSpear.png
Knife spear Dead Money
KnifeSpear.png
Knife spear clean Dead Money
Machete
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
Ripper² ³
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
Shishkebab
Shishkebab
Gehenna
Gehenna Gun Runners' Arsenal
StraightRazorFNV.png
Straight razor¹
StraightRazorUniqueFNV.png
Figaro¹
Switchblade
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
Baseball bat
Baseball bat
(GRA) Gun Runners' Arsenal
Cattle prod
Cattle prod
Dress Cane.png
Dress cane
Lead pipe
Lead pipe¹
The Humble Cudgel.png
The Humble Cudgel¹
Nail board
Nail board
Pool cue
Pool cue
FONVEagleFlagPole.PNG
Old Glory Lonesome Road (add-on)
Police baton
Police baton¹
RebarClub.png
Rebar club
Nuka Breaker
Nuka Breaker Gun Runners' Arsenal
Rolling pin
Rolling pin
Shovel
Shovel
Sledgehammer
Sledgehammer
Super sledge
Super sledge
SuperSledgeFNVUnique.png
Oh, Baby!
Tire iron
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
Throwing knife
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
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
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!
Embrace of the Mantis King! Gun Runners' Arsenal
Power fist
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
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
Deathclaw gauntlet
Debug Mega Pistol
Debug Mega Pistol
Double-barrel shotgun
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
Mysterious Stranger's .44 Magnum
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
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.