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This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.
Gameplay articles
Fallout 2M72 Gauss rifle
Operation: AnchorageGauss rifle
Icon cut Gauss rifle (Beta)
Fallout: New VegasGauss rifle
Fallout 4Gauss rifle
The Last Minute
Fallout 76Gauss rifle
Fallout TacticsM72 Gauss rifle
Fallout ShelterGauss rifle (rusty, enhanced, hardened, accelerated)
Magnetron 4000
Fallout ExtremeGauss rifle
Enhanced Gauss rifle
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Gametitle-FO2Gametitle-FO3 OAGametitle-FNVGametitle-FO4Gametitle-FO76Gametitle-FOTGametitle-FOSGametitle-FOX

Gauss rifles are hand-held weapons utilizing electromagnetic coils to propel metal slugs at extremely high velocities.

While in Fallout 2 the Gauss rifle uses the Small Guns skill, it uses the Energy Weapons skill in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.


The Gauss rifle, also called a "coil gun," is a device used to propel a ferromagnetic projectile by accelerating it through a process of electromagnetic induction. The Gauss rifle (and Gauss gun) are named after German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who formulated mathematical descriptions of the magnetic effect demonstrated by magnetic accelerators.


M72 Gauss rifleEdit

Fo2 M72 Gauss Rifle

The M72 rifle is of German design. It uses an electromagnetic field to propel rounds at tremendous speed... and pierce almost any obstacle. Its range, accuracy, and stopping power are almost unparalleled.[1]

It uses 2mm EC magazines containing both batteries and ammunition. In 2241, it is often used by Enclave soldiers.

Scoped Gauss rifleEdit

FO3 Gauss rifle
Gauss rifle

The scoped Gauss rifle is an advanced sniper rifle used during the invasion of Alaska. Unlike the M72 Gauss rifle, which uses 2mm EC magazines containing both batteries and ammunition, this gun requires the user to load in the microfusion cells needed to energize and magnetize each pre-loaded standard round contained in the magazine that is attached to the side of the weapon.[2] Each round produces a small "explosion" on impact, dealing minor splash damage as well as a knock-back/stun effect on the enemy (or enemies) for a short period of time.


Gauss rifle FNVUnique
Gameplay article: Fallout: New Vegas

The YCS/186 is a unique version of the scoped Gauss rifle. In 2281, it is found in the hands of a group of mercenaries. Its appearance is similar to the scoped Gauss rifle but rustier and with an additional 4 coils around the barrel. It requires fewer microfusion cells per shot, is more accurate, and causes greater damage than the normal variant found in the Mojave Wasteland.

Unnamed Gauss rifleEdit

Gauss rifle (Fallout 4)
Gameplay articles: Fallout 4, Fallout 76

The Gauss rifle has large, external capacitors and exposed copper wiring run alongside the barrel. The rifle operates on a charging principle: the user holds down the trigger to build up the charge which is shown on a nixie tube display above the stock. Releasing the trigger fires the round with a larger charge dealer more damage.

The rifle, like the M72 Gauss rifle, uses 2mm EC rounds as ammunition, which is fed through a dorsal mounted cylindrical magazine. When fired, its projectile produces a momentary blue trail, similar to a lightning bolt. It can also be modded with a shielded barrel, extra capacitors, a compensator or suppressor, and various sights and scopes.

Beta Gauss rifleEdit

Icon cut contentThe following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
AER9 laser rifle
Gameplay article: Fallout 3

The Beta Gauss rifle is a beta version of the Scoped Gauss rifle that uses the model of a laser rifle and features a five round magazine. It only does about 25% of the damage of the final version, but has a 100% knock-down chance. It is only obtainable through console commands.

Enhanced Gauss rifleEdit

Gametitle-FOXThe following is based on Fallout Extreme and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Gameplay article: Fallout Extreme

An enhanced version of the M72 model.



  1. In-game description of the Gauss rifle in Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. [1][2]
  2. Emil Pagliarulo in the Bethesda Game Studios forum [1][2] - "The gun energizes and magnetizes a standard projectile round; those are already pre-loaded into the weapon, and are in that giant clip attached to the side of the weapon. The player loads in the Micro Fusion Cells needed to energize/magnetize each round. We did it this way because we knew we wanted to have an Energy Weapon equivalent of the sniper rifle..."