The salvaged assaultron head is a unique pistol-type energy weapon that, as the name suggests, consists of little more than the severed head of an assaultron converted into a powerful hand-held laser gun. It lacks a proper grip, having the Sole Survivor hold the weapon by the spine and neck cabling.
Unlike an assaultron's head laser, which fires a continuous laser beam for a few seconds, the severed head only emits a single pulse and deals significantly less damage.
Similar to the laser musket, it must be charged before firing by manually reloading the weapon. This can be done up to five times for each shot, increasing the damage with each extra charge. Firing it in V.A.T.S. will also default to one charge when unloaded, but the head can be manually charged to the desired level prior to V.A.T.S. with no additional action point cost.
Unlike the laser musket, charging the assaultron head involves no visible action by the shooter. However, the faceplates open and the weapon glows a brighter shade of red as it is charged. Unsurprisingly, the animations of the weapon are nearly identical to those of live assaultrons when charging their head laser weapon.
The salvaged assaultron head is unique in that it is the only energy weapon in the game that directly injures the shooter as well as their target. Every time the assaultron head is fired, it inflicts 50 points of radiation damage on its user regardless of the charge level. This irradiation is affected by any Radiation Resistance the user has. If not monitored carefully in battle, using the assaultron head can kill the player character even faster than it does their targets as the radiation adds up rapidly especially in V.A.T.S. When unprotected, it takes 20 shots to reach fatal levels from full health.
The salvaged assaultron head is considered to be a poor choice of weaponry, as the laser musket outperforms the fusion cell-based weapon in nearly every way. The two weapons do nearly identical damage, however, the laser musket has many additional functionalities such as increased possible charge, possible increased damage, and scope compatibility. The laser musket also doesn't heavily irradiate the user, preventing the future necessity of using valuable first aid. Aiming with the laser musket is much easier as well, as the glow emitted by the assaultron head often obstructs the user's view when using iron sights. The few benefits the salvaged assaultron head has over the laser musket is its lighter weight and utilization of the Gunslinger perk benefits as opposed to the Rifleman perk.
The salvaged assaultron head is found with the legendary modification "Charging," which makes the weapon deal radiation damage to the user. The salvaged assaultron head cannot be modified further.
If used in correlation with the Ghoulish perk, this weapon can be an effective way to dish out heavy damage and restore an average amount of health.
- PC Playstation 4 It seems to not take into account radiation resistance. This is a permanent bug, if it happens, it will happen for the rest of the game. On PlayStation 4, this bug will always occur if the player has the Penetrator perk. [verified]
- PC Playstation 4 Xbox One Throwing a grenade when armed with the salvaged assaultron head will sometimes irradiate the user as if they had fired it. [verified]
- PC Sometimes the assaultron head will never hit anything in V.A.T.S. regardless of displayed hit chance. Even criticals will miss completely. So far the only fix seems to be reloading an older save or restarting the game. [verified]
- PC The assaultron head can be glitched in such a way as to deal effectively infinite damage, causing any hit to kill any enemy on a single charge. This may only occur in conjunction with the above bug preventing V.A.T.S. from functioning with the weapon. This is a permanent effect for the save it occurs in. [verified]
- PC The assaultron head can be charged an unlimited number of times, with no noticeable effect on damage dealt. This bug may only occur in conjunction with the above infinite damage glitch. This is a permanent effect for the save it occurs in. [verified]