| ||For an overview of flare gun models, see flare gun.|
The flare gun is a break-action single-shot weapon that is not designed to deal direct damage, but instead to summon nearby Minutemen for assistance using Flares. It can also attract nearby Brotherhood of Steel vertibirds[verification overdue]. Firing a flare directly at an enemy will cause a small amount of damage, but virtually every other weapon will yield better results in the heat of battle.
The flare gun is unmodifiable, as it is likely not intended as a combat weapon, and is intended to be virtually exclusive to the use of signaling the Minutemen for assistance. It is poorly suited for lighting dark areas as the flare doesn't stick to a surface and has a time delay ignition.
- Needs to be within range, 3-4 map tiles, of an "owned" settlement to summon help.
- If the player character is just outside the range, they may be able to successfully summon the NPCs by firing towards the settlement. Conversely, a player character just within range may fail to summon their allies if they fire in the opposite direction. For most reliable results, the gun should be aimed towards the settlement. (Recommend checking the map and placing a marker in-line with the nearest owned settlement to use as a reference point.)
- Summons between three and six Minutemen and possibly a dog. The Minutemen will be only rarely be higher than level 1.
- Can be used to summon help only once every 24 in-game hours.
- The caption "No Minutemen are available to respond" appears if the various conditions are not all met.
- The attempt to summon help may also sometimes fail without any message caption being shown.
- Firing a flare if, in range, will usually result in the squad sending up their own flare in response to let the player character know from which direction they are coming (which is usually from the direction of the nearest settlement).
- Summoned Minutemen will remain in position in the vicinity of the player character, patrolling the immediate area for a short time before departing in a random direction.
- If the flare is fired inside a settlement, the Minutemen may remain in position indefinitely, unless killed, or until the player character leaves the current game cell. Provisioners at the settlement may also appear frozen during this time.
- After completing the main story with the Minutemen, the flare gun is much more useful and can be used in many more locations. It then must be fired within range of a settlement or one of the many Minutemen-occupied checkpoints.
- Unlike the Lonesome Road variant the flare ignites/detonates after a small time delay.
- The flare gun serves little function on the Island, as the Minutemen have no presence there, and cannot be used in that area to summon reinforcements.
- One cannot store a flare gun on a weapon rack.