| ||For an overview of Gauss rifle models in the Fallout series of games, see Gauss rifle.|
The Gauss rifle is able to deliver very high damage after being fired when fully charged. It can be modded with more capacitors, a shielded barrel, and a compensator or suppressor.
Capacitors and exposed copper wiring run alongside the barrel, and a Nixie tube display above the stock gives the weapon's charge percentage. The rifle operates on a charging principle: the user holds down the trigger to build up the charge, and releasing the trigger fires a round (roughly 50% of a fully charged shot). It is fed rounds through a dorsal mounted cylindrical magazine and its projectile produces a momentary blue trail, similar to a lightning bolt.
The Gauss rifle is rather inaccurate when attempting to shoot from the hip. The reflex sight is essentially a "rear sight" aperture for a glowing front sight post. Most of the main advantages of most reflex sights (clear sight picture unobstructed by the weapon's bulk) are lost when attempting to use one on a Gauss rifle.
The Gauss rifle is inaccurate with its standard sights. The scopes needed to offset this deficiency require a heavy investment in the Gun Nut perk to craft, with night-vision and recon versions also requiring investment in the Science! perk.
The Gauss rifle is chambered for the rare and expensive 2mm EC rounds as opposed to the microfusion cells used by the Anchorage-era variants. Gauss rifle shots produce a bluish explosion upon impact. This enables the Gauss rifle to hit multiple targets with a single shot, provided they are clustered together in very close proximity to each other.
|Slot||Mod||Description||Weapon prefix||Range change||<||Perk needed||Components||Base ID|
|Barrel||Standard barrel||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x4|
|Shielded barrel||Better range and damage.||Shielded||+31||–||+24||–||–||–||+37||Gun Nut 3||Adhesive x9|
|Stock||Standard stock||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x5|
|Recoil compensating stock||Exceptional recoil.||Recoil compensated||–||–||–||+7||–||+1.3||+30||Gun Nut 4||Adhesive x8|
|Capacitors||Half capacitors||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x4|
Nuclear material x2
|Full capacitors||Superior ammo capacity. Better damage.||High capacity||+31||–||–||–||+3||+0.4||+37||Gun Nut 3|
Nuclear material x4
|Capacitor boosting coil||Exceptional ammo capacity. Superior damage.||Maximum capacity||+63||–||–||–||+13||+2||+82||Gun Nut 4|
Nuclear material x5
|Sights||Standard sights||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x2|
|Short scope||Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Scoped||–||–||–||+12||–||+1.4||+27||–||Adhesive x2|
|Gauss reflex sight||Better focus and sighted accuracy.||Tactical||–||–||–||+3||–||+1.3||+34||Gun Nut 3|
Nuclear material x2
|Medium scope||Better magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Scoped||–||–||–||+19||–||+1.8||+57||Gun Nut 4|
|Long scope||Superior magnification and sighted accuracy.||Scoped||–||–||–||+32||–||+2.3||+72||Gun Nut 4|
|Short night vision scope||Night vision. Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Night-vision||–||–||–||+12||–||+1.4||+94||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x1
Nuclear material x3
|Medium night vision scope||Night vision. Better magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Night-vision||–||–||–||+19||–||+1.8||+109||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x2
Nuclear material x4
|Long night vision scope||Night vision. Superior magnification and sighted accuracy.||Night-vision||–||–||–||+32||–||+2.3||+124||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x2
Nuclear material x6
|Short recon scope||Tracks targets. Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Recon||–||–||–||+12||–||+2.6||+147||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x4
Nuclear material x7
|Long recon scope||Tracks targets. Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Recon||–||–||–||+32||–||+2.6||+147||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x4
Nuclear material x7
|Compensator||Improved per-shot recoil. Improved recoil control. Reduced range.||Compensated||–||–||-12||+10||–||+1.6||+75||Gun Nut 3|
|Suppressor||Suppresses sound from firing. Exceptional per-shot recoil. Improved recoil control. Poor range.||Suppressed||–||–||-30||+11||–||+2||+150||Gun Nut 4|
- Up to five Gauss rifles can be found at Skylanes Flight 1981 and Skylanes Flight 1665. One needs rank 3 of the Locksmith perk to get them from a hidden compartment of the far most trunk under the cockpit. This cache contains leveled loot (causing different versions of the corresponding manifest to spawn). Player characters below level 32 will not encounter Gauss rifles at this location.
- A Gauss rifle is found on the Prydwen in Teagan's shop. This will always spawn regardless of player character level and can only be stolen.
- Carried very often by level 35+ Railroad heavy units.
- Rarely carried by super mutant warlords at higher levels.
- The Gauss rifle can be purchased from weapons vendors after reaching level 25.
- A large quantity of Gauss rifles can be found during The Battle of Bunker Hill, as the constantly spawning Railroad and Brotherhood troops will carry them. One must be quick in picking them up because NPCs will pick them up at the first chance.
- With Nuka-World installed, if the Sole Survivor somehow manages to enter Nuka-World before reaching level 25, Aaron Corbett can sell this weapon much earlier than any other weapon merchant in the game, since the recommended level to start Nuka-World is at least level 30.
- The Gauss rifle, as the name implies, benefits from the Rifleman perk and not from Heavy Gunner, despite its heavy image. It gains no bonus from Demolition Expert either despite the explosive nature of its shots.
- Shots fired in V.A.T.S. seem to skip the pre-charging phase of the rifle, instantaneously dealing fully charged damage. The rifle also has the advantage of low AP cost as a ballistic weapon. Hence, firing the Gauss rifle in V.A.T.S. while having some AP restoration perks or armors allows the player character to continuously deal a large amount of damage.
- Despite Gauss rifle variants in some previous games being classed as energy weapons, the Fallout 4 Gauss rifle exclusively inflicts ballistic damage, barring legendary effects that can add additional damage types. This can be considered lore-consistent since Gauss or coil guns fire a physical projectile that acts as a ballistic body, rather than the directed energy of laser weapons, or blasts of ionized matter fired by plasma weapons.
- With 5 ranks in the Rifleman perk, the Gauss rifle becomes capable of destroying almost any power armor pieces except torso pieces with one shot. It is also able to destroy a fusion core in one shot.
- Its raw damage output per shot is outclassed only by the 6-crank laser musket and the Fat Man and its variants during general combat. However, when stealth combat is involved and a silencer is equipped, with the Mister Sandman perk 50% more sneak critical damage is dealt. A fully upgraded Gauss rifle along with a fully upgraded Ninja perk will boost the sneak critical to 5.25x the base damage (6.3x with Deacon's Cloak & Dagger perk). One can combine that with Rifleman 5 and can do approximately 2,000+ ballistic damage. (As of patch 1.4 the maximum multiplier is 4.8) One of the highest amounts of single-shot damage. During a field test with the 6-crank laser musket at its highest, the laser musket does not do as much damage as a fully upgraded and perk supported Gauss rifle.
- The two-shot legendary variant of the Gauss rifle is one of the most powerful rifles in the game. With the right perks and the right circumstances, this weapon can kill even the strongest enemies in a single shot.
- Legendary versions can be acquired at level 36.
- AP cost/shot in V.A.T.S. ranges from 36 to 57, depending on sights and capacitors. (Base 42.0 AP, half-capacitors -1.5, gauss reflex sight -4.5, short/medium/long scope +9/+12/+15)
- The projectile fired is wider than other ballistic bullets and will not be able to pass through some railings and other small spaces.
- This weapon's behavior in relation to the Penetrator perk is inconsistent at best.
- Gauss rifle shots are often capable of penetrating their target and hitting others behind the first one, occasionally killing three or more enemies with one shot. Currently, it is unclear if this is a trait inherent to the weapon or owed to the Penetrator perk.
- If given to companions, settlers or any other NPCs they take much longer to aim and fire, this may be due to them charging their shots, this can result in cases of them failing to fire at the right moment either resulting with the player character or said NPC to be killed.
- The scope attachment does not behave like other scopes and instead uses two different components. One component at the end of the barrel and one above the charge meter.
- When using a gamepad, the right trigger can be depressed slightly to charge the rifle but not fire when released.
- PC Playstation 4 Xbox One When drawing the Gauss rifle, if holding "attack," the weapon will charge a shot, but upon release, no shot will be fired, or ammunition consumed.[verified]
- PC "Aborting" a reload of a Gauss rifle (by either bringing up the Pip-Boy or using a weapon-bash) will make the next charge-up a dud that will not expend ammunition or fire as expected [verified]
- PC Playstation 4 Xbox One Charging the Gauss rifle, then switching to another weapon, will keep the charging sound looping until the Gauss rifle is switched to again.[verified]
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