|For an overview of laser rifle models, see Laser rifle.|
The laser musket is a homemade, nonstandard version of a laser rifle. It is the signature weapon of the Minutemen faction and several can be obtained from them. It appears to be meshed together from various mechanical and electronic parts strapped to a wooden rifle stock. The "barrel" consists of a standard laser rifle housing with two metal-ringed lenses atop a metal rod extending from the stock, through which the laser beam is presumably focused (although it can be fitted with a focusing array that looks the same as either the laser pistol or laser rifle). The beam itself is created inside a makeshift capacitor, which the player character charges via a hand-crank on the back. Every odd crank (one, three and five) causes the beam to visibly intensify, with the final charge creating a decent sized red luminescence. Like most laser weapons, it uses fusion cells as ammunition. However, its beam is very similar to that of the Gauss rifle, albeit red in color. Also, like the Gauss rifle, it sounds like thunder when fired, with an intensity that is amplified with every charge level. The effect of three or more cranks often results in reducing the victim to ashes with red smoke.
What makes the laser musket unique from other laser weapons in the game is that even with ammo in the player character's inventory, it starts off "unloaded," and does not automatically reload after firing. The player character must manually load up each shot by pressing the "reload" key, causing the Sole Survivor to turn the hand-crank and charge the capacitor with one fusion cell. Each subsequent crank charges the capacitor even further with another fusion cell; in an unmodded state to a maximum of two, but mods can expand capacity up to six cranks of charge. Once loaded, the laser musket can be fired, consuming all the cells stored in one powerful shot. This ability to manually "charge up" each shot makes the laser musket a powerful first-tier weapon and especially versatile when taking on enemies of varying levels, using weaker shots on weaker targets and more powerful shots on more powerful targets.
Once fully upgraded, the laser musket becomes one of the best sniping weapons in the game, capable of taking out Legendary foes with one shot to the head when coupled with the sneak attack bonus.
The musket's major drawback is its potentially high ammo consumption and a slow reload speed, given that the player character has to manually reload each and every shot (although the Sole Survivor does reload between shots in V.A.T.S., albeit with only one-crank shots regardless of how powerful the first initial shot was). On top of this, the weapon is not automatically loaded when using the quick select menu. While it can be modified with a splitter to play a "shotgun" role as a type of laser-blunderbuss to use in close quarters, it is highly impractical to use in this way due to the characteristics described above. Due to being single fire and having a slow fire rate, the laser musket does not excel at close quarters combat. The laser musket is heavy for a handheld weapon, having a base weight of eight, and reaching a weight comparable to heavy weapons when fully modified.
Preston's laser musket
A non-playable laser musket used by Preston Garvey as his default weapon. It has a beam focuser and a scope installed. The base damage is 18 rather than the normal 30. Otherwise, the weapon's stats are identical to the regular laser musket, with the exception that it uses the non-player version of fusion cells.
Automatic laser musket
A player-only laser musket with the Automatic legendary effect, turning it into a continuous-firing weapon, operated by cranking the capacitor. It has a 20-round magazine capacity, which requires cranking the weapon five times to fully reload (regardless of whether loading one round or twenty). There is a spin-up delay before firing (similar to a Gatling laser or minigun). The base damage per projectile is 32.5 and the rate of fire is 28.
The automatic variant cannot be fired by any character other than the player character. It is rarely (if ever) dropped as random loot. One is awarded by Sturges after finishing the Nuclear Option quest for the Minutemen faction, and another can be obtained as part of the Creation Club quest, War Paint. It cannot be modded by the usual method, and so will normally only be able to have attachments that were randomly selected when it was spawned.
When firing, there is a delay as the user spools the weapon first while pointing upwards. Switching to V.A.T.S. while already shooting or winding will reset the winding animation and thereby suffer the wind-up time to shoot. Firing in V.A.T.S. shows periodic cranking intervals, similar to using a regular laser musket in V.A.T.S., or reloading a normal weapon in V.A.T.S. This cranking occurs once per two bursts (six rounds) fired.
This weapon is not as effective as most other automatic weapons. It does not engage targets quickly due to the wind-up time, and the low rate of fire makes it harder to hit targets. These drawbacks can be mitigated by V.A.T.S. or by sustained shooting. A beam splitter mod makes it easier to hit targets at a close range, should one find a variant which spawned with this mod. The multiple beams compensate for the low rate of fire by saturating an area, albeit at the cost of weaker individual projectiles.
- One in Concord, just outside the Museum of Freedom. Collecting this weapon is an optional quest objective of When Freedom Calls.
- Three next to the minuteman corpses in the Super Duper Mart in Lexington. These respawn, although the corpses do not. These muskets are bugged and cannot have muzzle slot items fitted (see bugs section below).
- Often carried by the Minutemen, such as Preston Garvey.
- One in the Castle tunnels on a shelf. Near the security doors, the body of General McGann has as an additional musket with level-dependent modifications.
- Up to four inside the Castle armory. The muskets are equipped with level-dependent modifications up to the best possible ones. There is always one on the table and up to three more on the shelf.
- Sold by Ronnie Shaw at the Castle after completing Old Guns. Ronnie has an initial stock of muskets with above-base level modifications, but this does not renew. Once this initial stock is exhausted, Ronnie only sells base-level muskets with single-crank capacitors, in four basic configurations: scattered laser musket, focused laser musket (with scope), short laser musket and standard laser musket. No other vendor stocks laser muskets.
- One can be found south of Gunners plaza in a small Minutemen outpost, on the roof next to a dead minuteman.
- One carried by the Preston Garvey impersonator who can be found during a random encounter.
- One automatic variant is given to the Sole Survivor by Sturges upon finishing the Minutemen quest line.
- Hyde Park next to the corpse of Nunez during War Paint. This one is always a legendary weapon with the "Automatic" prefix. One can be found in an unmarked church west of
- There is a finite and very limited supply of multi-crank capacitors and other higher tier mods. Once these are exhausted the only source of those mods is via crafting by the player.
- Both the long barrel and bracketed short barrel cannot be sold by vendors or found in random loot. Nor are capacitor upgrades, the gyro compensating lens, or sights other than standard iron sights and long scopes. These mods will need to be crafted by the player.
- If an extended barrel is equipped, the option to equip muzzle mods will not appear; the muzzle slot is not shown at all. To equip muzzle mods, use a regular barrel (short or long) or any bracketed barrel.
- When changing from a barrel type that supports muzzle mods to one that does not, any existing muzzle mod equipped on the weapon will be removed from the weapon and deposited into the player character's inventory.
- The standard laser muskets called "Short Laser Musket" do not in fact have the short barrel, despite this barrel being described as "standard"; they have the extended short barrel and also a short stock.
- None of the musket modifications enables the Gunslinger perk.
- Multi-crank shots can be prepared in advance by loading multiple rounds (using the reload key) and then lowering the weapon. When raised, it has the multi-crank shot still ready. However, if another weapon is selected at any point, the round counter of the musket returns to zero.
- Multi-crank shots can be prepared outside of V.A.T.S. and then fired in it. However, any successive shots queued up will be single-crank.
- A quick way to reduce a prepared multi-crank shot is to deselect and reselect the musket, which resets the count to zero, and then crank up to the desired number of rounds.
- The laser musket functions differently in the game than it did in concept art. According to concept art and the art book, the laser musket would not have used ammo at all, with the hand crank generator powering the weapon.
- The automatic variant can be modded by using an exploit: while having another laser musket in the inventory, the Sole Survivor enters a weapons workbench after dropping the automatic variant on the ground, exits the weapons workbench, picks up the automatic laser musket off the ground, and then enters the weapons workbench again.
- Despite being chambered in fusion cells, the laser musket does not have a "reload" animation.
- Equipping the "Automatic Laser Musket" will stop certain weapons from showing up in the weapons workbench menu. Unequipping it for any other kind of laser musket fixes this, and allows it to be modded. [verified]
- When a companion is cranking this weapon, and they are knocked down when their health is low, and the player fast travels, the cranking sound will continue to play incessantly as if the companion was still cranking the gun, even after the weapon has been removed from their inventory. [verified]
When using the exploit to modify the automatic laser musket, if you replace the automatic mod for any of the other crank capacitors, you will lose the automatic modification permanently, and the laser musket will become a normal laser musket. [verified]
- To fix this, reload a previous save.
- The wind up animation for the automatic variant can be skipped while in third person resulting in the weapon to be fired like any other automatic rifle. [verified]
- [verification overdue] Followers equipped with the automatic version won't use it and will instead switch to either a random weapon in their inventory that they have ammo for or their default gun instead.
- Certain laser muskets will spawn with the beam focuser mod for the laser gun, making it unable to be transferred to another musket. Nor can the mod be re-attached to the original laser musket, once it is removed. These hybrid spawns can be identified by checking the mod name which is 'Laser Beam Focuser' rather than the correct name 'Laser Musket Beam Focuser'. The incorrectly attached mod can be removed and attached to a laser gun. [verified]
- Super Duper Mart in Lexington will not display a muzzle slot even when one of the correct barrel types is fitted. [verification overdue] The three pre-placed laser muskets at the
- [verification overdue] Sometimes after firing a multi-crank shot in V.A.T.S. and exiting it, the musket shows the same number of rounds loaded.