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The laser RCW is a weapon in Fallout: New Vegas.


The weapon only uses the ECP ammunition type, has no recoil, and features a unique reload animation. A laser RCW recycler modification can be added, recycling every fourth discharge. It has the second-lowest critical chance of any energy weapon in the entire game.

The maximum attainable critical hit chance with this weapon (in V.A.T.S.) is 26%. When in the third person, the stock of the weapon will not be pressed against the player character's shoulder when firing.


The laser RCW can fire a total of about 1995 times using standard packs, the equivalent of 34 reloads, or 25 reloads when modified with the recycler, from full condition before breaking.

Ammunition typeUnmodifiedW/ Recycler
Over charge132923132917
Max charge7951479510



Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Attacks in V.A.T.S.- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Action point cost- Action point cost
Damage per attack (damage per projectile)- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per action point- Damage per action point
Damage per second- Damage per secondWeapon spread- Weapon spread
Area of effect damage- Area of effect damageMagazine capacity (shots per reload)- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Effect damage & duration- Effect damage & durationDurability (number of attacks before breaking)- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Bonus effects- Bonus effectsWeight- Weight
Attacks per second- Attacks per secondValue in caps- Value in caps
Critical chance % multiplier- Critical chance % multiplierValue to weight ratio- Value to weight ratio
Critical damage- Critical damageSkill required- Skill required
Critical effect damage & duration- Critical effect damage & durationStrength required- Strength required
With all mods attached- With all mods attached
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per secondAttacks per secondCritical Chance % multiplierCritical damageAttacks in V.A.T.S.Action Point costDamage per action pointWeapon spreadMagazine capacity (shots per reload)Durability (number of attacks before breaking)WeightValue in capsValue to weight ratioSkill requiredStrength required
Laser RCW 15
Laser RCW With all weapon mods attached 15


Behind the scenes

Joshua Sawyer referred to the weapon as "rapid capacitor weapon."[1] He commented that during development, they attempted to implement a continuous beam weapon but they were "catastrophically buggy."[2][3] He stated that he was worried players would be dissatisfied that the weapon is not "a 'real' Thompson" but that feedback was overall positive.[4]





  1. J.E. Sawyer at the Bethesda forums
  2. 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.
    Josh Sawyer Formspring answers
  3. In New Vegas, why were laser weapons semi automatic or automatic but never a sustained beam?
    Joshua Sawyer: We tried implementing continuous beam weapons and they were catastrophically buggy. There were only two "wacky" things we tried doing for weapons, neither of which seemed like they would be difficult to implement. Continuous beams were cut relatively early. Looping reloads (for weapons like the lever-action guns) turned out to be long-term problem. Early on, the system just manifested a few edge case bugs, so we kept squashing those bugs... but others would spring up. It was very odd, because it did not initially seem like a system that would be particularly problematic. - Nukapedia News Digest - 5 Jan 2013 by Agent C
  4. Who thought up and/or designed the Laser RCW? That was a great way of including the Thompson without having .45 ACP in the game.
    Joshua Sawyer: I did. I thought there should be an automatic laser weapon available earlier than the Gatling laser and figured a Thompson-based SMG using ECPs could be cool. I was worried people would be mad about it since they didn't get a "real" Thompson, but it seems most people like it. It probably helps that it's a pretty good weapon.
    Josh Sawyer Formspring answers