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The Tesla cannon is a cut content weapon in Fallout 3.


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The Tesla cannon is a pre-War designed shoulder-mounted heavy directed energy weapon, designed to replace conventional anti-tank weapons.[1] Based on Nikola Tesla's designs, the weapon entered limited production before the war and remains a rare sight in the wasteland. However, it remains a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled user, as the focused energy blast will not only deliver massive damage to the target, but the nature of the blast will also deliver a potent electric shock.

Near the end of the war between the Brotherhood and the Enclave in the Capital Wasteland, the Brotherhood's scribes under the Order of the Sword worked to build their own Tesla cannons to more effectively counter the Enclave's Vertibird fleet. To do so, the Lone Wanderer was tasked with retrieving a PPE Tesla coil from Olney Powerworks, an experimental piece of pre-War technology.[2][3]

The modified Tesla cannon employed by Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel is far more powerful than the pre-War Tesla cannon. Discharging a large electrical impulse upon impact with a much larger area of effect. This explosive damage makes the Lyon's model far more suitable for anti-Vertibird use.[4]


This Tesla cannon is a developer test weapon, presumably an early developmental version of the Tesla cannon. It is aesthetically identical to a missile launcher and uses missiles as its ammunition source. It can be obtained via a glitch or console commands.

As already mentioned the weapon is both identical to and uses the same ammunition as ordinary missile launchers, but still fires the same blast of electricity as the normal Tesla cannon. This Tesla cannon (it is just called "Tesla cannon" in the game) delivers less damage than the actual cannon and uses up more A.P. per shot, but it can actually be repaired by ordinary missile launchers (but not vice versa). This means that unlike the regular Tesla cannon, the test version can be repaired to 100% indefinitely (assuming one's Repair skill is high enough).


The Tesla cannon (Beta) can fire a total of about 83 times from full condition before breaking.


One copy of this weapon can be found outside the map boundaries at satellite relay station. It is obtainable via some rather tricky jumping, building an ammunition staircase, using Dogmeat, or console commands.

Getting it Yourself

  1. This glitch can be utilized during, or after the Liberty Prime destruction sequence. After Liberty Prime blows up and his head is propelled southwards use his head as a reference and head southwest towards an outcropping of rocks. You should soon hit an invisible wall, denoting the map boundary, after trying to jump up onto a ledge. After you are in a position where you can see the Wasteland but you are blocked by the invisible wall, SAVE the game here.
  2. Reload that same save, and while the game is loading, start moving forward until the game loads and your character has moved past the invisible wall (you may need to reload and try a number of times).
  3. Now that you have made it past the invisible wall, head slightly south as you are going westwards. You will eventually come across a table with what appears to be a missile launcher levitating above it and 3 ammunition boxes underneath. This weapon is the Beta Tesla cannon, and the ammunition boxes contain some missiles.
  4. Exit the cliffs from the way you got up. If you can't however, don't worry as there are a number of ways to get back inside the map boundary:
    • Skirt round to the north side of the map and jump down from on top of the building that got partially blown up during the Liberty Prime set-piece.
    • Find your way to the concrete support (with a communication transmitter on it) that is on the opposite side of the concrete support next to Liberty Prime's head. Jump onto it and again to ground level.
    • Jump at/onto ground-level trees from the rock ledge above (you should hear a wooden plank noise when you land), then jump again from the tree back onto the ground.
  • Using 5mm ammunition boxes as leverage in order to scale the rocks or the fence at the beginning of the area is also a possible method.

Using Dogmeat

Using Dogmeat's weapon finding command, then waiting a few game hours, this should glitch him to where the weapon is outside of the map, allowing it to be retrieved from him. This process can be sped up by already standing close to where the weapon is outside the map.


  • The Beta Tesla cannon can be found levitating above a table with 3 ammunition boxes of missile ammunition underneath.
  • Like the normal Tesla cannon, the Beta also deals splash damage.
  • The Beta Tesla cannon can kill NPCs without Karma loss using the splash damage. Just fire near them (not too close and not too far) and the splash damage should trail them and drain most of their health.
  • Like the normal missile launcher, the weapon dips when a shot is fired, so the beam actually hits lower than where it is aimed.

Behind the scenes

  • The Tesla cannon was originally to be featured in the canceled Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, bearing no resemblance to the weapon in Broken Steel. Described as a "high-powered mass-cannon throwing tessellated plasma forward in an orgy of death and destruction" in the Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 design document, it was to be the so-called "uber-weapon" of player character Maxus. "Uber-weapons" were to be unique weapons for each player character which had to be assembled from 5 parts over the course of the game, or the player could have an NPC assemble one for them. One of the five parts for this weapon was a Tesla coil.



Obtaining the Tesla cannon (Beta) on Xbox 360 and PS3


  1. Future Weapons Today
  2. Plot of Shock Value.
  3. The Lone Wanderer: "Olney Powerworks? What's there?"
    Tristan: "Hopefully you'll be able to find a Tesla coil, an experimental device from before the war. Our scribes need it to complete a little surprise they've been preparing for the Enclave. Get there, get the coil, and get back as safely and quickly as possible. Any questions?"
  4. Gameplay differences between the Tesla cannon in Broken Steel and the Tesla cannon in Fallout: New Vegas, as well as Tristan's dialogue confirm this as the modification necessitating the Tesla coil.