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The Best Weapons in Fallout 76 - Mods, Crafting, Unique Powers Guide

The Best Weapons in Fallout 76 - Mods, Crafting, Unique Powers Guide

In-depth guide about the best weapons in Fallout 76. Tier list, Unique Powers and basic information about Mods included

The Best weapons in Fallout 76
an in-depth Guide

Table of contents:

  1. General information
  2. Types of weapons
  3. Base stats
  4. Weapon Tier List
  5. Unique/Legendary Powers
  6. Mods, Crafting
  7. Best farming locations

General information

In order to survive in the wastelands of Appalachia, you must equip yourself with the best weapons available. For the first time in Fallout's history, you have to defend yourself not only from hordes of Ghouls, Super Mutants, and Raiders but also from other Players. While the arsenal of weapons in Fallout 76 was not yet fully discovered, in this guide we will try to wrap up the core information about Weapons, Mods, Unique Powers, that had been found and confirmed by the vast FO76 community.

Fallout 76 introduced a very similar model to that which you may already be familiar with from Fallout 4. In Fallout 76, you will find most of the weapons from previous Fallout installments. The main difference is related to how a weapon's level can scale as your progress into the story. A lot of weapons in Fallout 76 have wide level ranges, making them available right after you start the game, but also, a formidable force later on. 


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Types of weapons

Super Sledge
Melee Weapons

A broad group of weapons in Fallout 76. Melee weapons are very popular among players as they are very powerful, don't use ammo, and are very convenient to use. Some of the Melee weapons are in the Top Tier and will allow high-level players to take down any enemy in the game including the Scorchbeasts and their Queen. Melee weapons are connected to the Strength SPECIAL Attribute, and on top of allowing players to pick Melee Perks, Strength also increases your Melee damage directly, making it a force to reckon with.

List of all non-exceptional one-handed Melee Weapons:

  1. Assaultron Blade
  2. Bowie Knife
  3. Chinese Officer Sword
  4. Combat Knife
  5. Commie Whacker
  6. Drill
  7. Hatchet
  8. Lead Pipe
  9. Machete
  10. Pipe Wrench
  11. Ripper
  12. Rolling Pin
  13. Security Baton
  14. Ski Sword
  15. Switchblade
  16. Sickle
  17. Tire Iron
  18. Shishkebab
  19. Walking Cane
  20. Cultist Blade
  21. Cultist Dagger
  22. Revolutionary Sword

List of all non-exceptional two-handed Melee Weapons:

  1. Baseball Bat
  2. Board
  3. Guitar Sword
  4. Pickaxe
  5. Multi-Purpose Axe
  6. Pool Cue
  7. Protest Sign
  8. Sledgehammer
  9. Super Sledge
  10. Chainsaw
  11. Spear
  12. War Drum
  13. Mr. Handy Buzz Blade
  14. Pitchfork
  15. Fire Axe

List of all non-exceptional Unarmed Weapons

  1. Boxing Gloves
  2. Deathclaw Gauntlet
  3. Knuckles
  4. Mole Miner Gauntlet
  5. Power Fist
  6. Death Tambo
  7. Meat Hook

Western Revolver
Pistols

Niche, and not a widely popular type of weapons. Pistols have a small size, low weight, mediocre damage, and limited magazines capacity. They are often used either by lower level players, or true roleplayers, which find Pistols to fit their story. Pistols fall under the Agility SPECIAL attribute, and their damage is enhanced primarily by Gunslinger Perks.

List of all non-Exceptional Pistols in Fallout 76:

  1. 10mm Pistol
  2. .44 Pistol
  3. Black Powder Pistol
  4. Black Powder Blunderbuss
  5. Flare Gun
  6. Gamma Gun
  7. Laser Pistol
  8. Pipe Bolt-action Pistol
  9. Pipe Pistol
  10. Pipe Revolver
  11. Plasma Pistol
  12. Single Action Revolver
  13. Western Revolver

Handmade Rifle
Rifles

One of the most popular weapon type in Fallout 76. Apparently, a lot of Rifles are among the best weapons in FO76. Rifles can be divided into two main categories, automatic and non-automatic Rifles. You should be aware that certain weapons can be either type, depending on the modifications installed on them. As a Rifleman, you will mainly focus Perception(damage) and Luck(critical hits) attributes.

List of all non-Exceptional Rifles in Fallout 76:

  1. 10mm SMG
  2. Assault Rifle
  3. Black Powder Rifle
  4. Combat Rifle
  5. Crossbow
  6. Gauss Rifle
  7. Gamma Gun
  8. Handmade Rifle
  9. Hunting Rifle
  10. Institute Rifle
  11. Laser Rifle
  12. Laser Sniper Rifle
  13. Lever-action Rifle
  14. Pipe Rifle
  15. Pipe Bolt-action Rifle
  16. Pipe Revolver Rifle
  17. Plasma Rifle
  18. Radium Rifle
  19. Railway Rifle
  20. Submachine Gun
  21. Syringer

Pump-action Shotgun
Shotguns

Shotguns are deadly close to mid range weapons. Shotguns deal very high damage, at the cost of reduced range and rate of fire. Shotguns damage is enhanced by Shotgunner Perk under the Strength SPECIAL attribute

List of all non-Exceptional Rifles in Fallout 76:

  1. Combat Shotgun
  2. Double-barreled Shotgun
  3. Pump Action Shotgun
  4. Black powder Blunderbuss

50 cal Machine gun
Heavy Weapons

Heavy Weapons, in most cases, are going to be the most powerful DPS-wise weaponry in Fallout 76. They are characterized by high base Damage and DPS, which comes at a cost of excessive use of ammunition or how hard it is to obtain. You will rarely see players use only Heavy Weapons during their adventure. Killing hordes of weak enemies with them will be a complete waste.

List of all non-exceptional Heavy Weapons in Fallout 76:

  1. 50 cal Machine Gun
  2. Auto Grenade Launcher
  3. Light Machine Gun
  4. Minigun
  5. Junk Jet
  6. M79 Grenade Launcher
  7. Flamer
  8. Missile Launcher
  9. Fat Man
  10. Broadsider
  11. Harpoon Gun
  12. Gatling Gun

Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns, and Heavy Weapons, all count as Ballistic Weapons in Fallout 76.

Gatling Plasma
Energy Weapons

Energy Weapons are not widely popular in Fallout 76. They are the most technologically advanced type of weapons, making them and their ammo harder to craft and loot. If you decide to build a character based on Energy Weapons, you will surely need to allocate a bunch of points in Intelligence attribute to improve your crafting results. Energy Weapons do not have any specific Perks that increase their damage, but are rather divided between different types depending on the specific weapon; e.g. Laser Pistol will benefit from Gunslinger Perks, Laser Rifle - Rifleman Perk, and Gatling Plasma - Heavy Gunner Perk and so on.

List of all non-exceptional Energy Weapons in Fallout 76:

Laser Weapons:

  1. Laser Pistol
  2. Laser Rifle
  3. Ultracite Laser Rifle
  4. Ultracite Laser Pistol
  5. Gatling Laser
  6. Ultracite Gatling Laser

Plasma Weapons:

  1. Plasma Pistol
  2. Plasma Rifle
  3. Plasma Scattergun
  4. Plasma Thrower
  5. Plasma Sniper Rifle
  6. Gatling Plasma
  7. Ultracite Gatling Plasma

Fat Man
Explosive Weapons

Formidable, but very inconvenient to use. They deal very high damage in a wide radius, but they are very expensive to use and completely unreliable when it comes to targetting for most players. With all the downsides to Explosive Weapons, you will find their backers in every Fallout game.

List of all non-exceptional Explosive Weapons in Fallout 76:

Grenades:

  1. Molotov Cocktail
  2. Cryogenic Grenade
  3. Fragmentation Grenade
  4. Nuka Grenade
  5. Plasma Grenade
  6. Pulse Grenade
  7. Baseball Grenade

Mines:

  1. Fragmentation Mine
  2. Plasma Mine
  3. Pulse Mine
  4. Bottlecap Mine
  5. Nuke Mine

Alien Blaster
Exotic, Thrown, and other Weapons

There are also several weapons in Fallout 76 that do not fall in any of the above categories. You may come by some of them while exploring Appalachia, but you will rarely see players actually use them. Exotic Weapons that will be listed below are extremely rare and hard to obtain. Most of them can be treated as Trophies and not like actual weaponry. It's something you brag about to your friends rather than using it to kill the Scorched.

List of Exotic Weapons:

  1. Alien Blaster
  2. Cryolator
  3. Gamma Gun
  4. Tesla Rifle
  5. Salvaged Assaultron Head

List of Thrown Weapons:

  1. Throwing Knife
  2. Tomahawk

List of Other Weapons:

  1. Binoculars
  2. Flare Gun

 

Base stats

Each weapon in Fallout 76 including Pistols, Shotguns, Rifles, Heavy Weapons, Energy Weapons has a set of predefined stats. Those stats determine the weapons overall performance, and how good they are in certain situations. Below we will try to explain how each stat affects your weapons and how to read understand them.

Weapon Level: determines what level your character needs to equip the weapon. In Fallout 76 weapon's level can scale depending on the enemies level you loot it from or your crafting skills. The level also determines the base damage of your weapon, and how big the condition bar is (the higher the level, the higher the chances of finding weapons with wider condition bar)

Condition: condition is a randomly generated attribute of every weapon, which determines how long it can be used without repairing it. Condition bar depends on the weapon level, your Intelligence attribute when crafting a weapon (players with high INT attribute can craft weapons with bigger condition bars) or Luck attribute when looting (the higher your Luck, the higher the chances of finding weapons in good condition)

Damage: your weapon's base damage, in general, is displayed per single Hit (each bullet, or one swing with your sword). Commonly misinterpreted stat, as in order to correctly estimate your firepower, you need to take into consideration the weapon's rate of fire (or attack speed) to calculate your DPS correctly

Rate of Fire: which indicates how many bullets are fired per minute (it's yet unclear if this also accurately applies to weapons in Fallout 76). The higher the Rate of Fire the more rounds are shot in the specified period of time. The vis-a-vis stat for Melee weapon is Attack Speed, which can be either slow, medium, fast, or very fast. Weapons with very high Rate of Fire or Attack Speed are great when combined with "Furious" Legendary Power, Concentrated Fire Perk, and "on Hit" effects like for example inflicting Radiation with attacks from Overly Generous Perk or chance to cripple limbs on hit.

Damage per Second (DPS): which is the product of Damage and your Rate of Fire (or Attack Speed). This is one of the most important stats of every weapon in Fallout 76, however, it's yet unclear how to properly calculate it

Accuracy Rating: determines your chance to hit in V.A.T.S., your chance to hit targets that are further away, and the sway speed and its range when aiming. Weapons Accuracy can be altered by modifications done to your weapon's Receiver, Barrel, Grip, and Scopes.

Range: effective range of the weapon. Your damage and Accuracy Rating will diminish if your target is further away. Modifying the Receiver and Barrel can increase (or decrease) your weapons range.

Other stats, that are rather self-explanatory include Ammo type, Magazine capacity, Weight, and Value. 

 

Fallout 76's Weapon Tier List

When making our Tier List, we have mainly taken our personal experience into consideration and tried not to include any weapon modifications and Legendary powers. This could potentially make the list too complex, or simply impossible to make. Some mods can entirely change a weapon and its performance completely shifting the entire Tier List so what we have taken into account includes:

  1. Weapons' base stats: Damage, DPS, Rate of Fire, Accuracy, and Range
  2. Weapons' efficiency in combat: putting it simply, how likely you are to get the kills in various types of situations
  3. Available modifications and versatility
  4. Ammo type used and how easy it is to find or craft

Please note that a lot of "niche" weapons have been excluded from the list. Some weapons are either so rare to come by or so inconvenient to use that we have decided not to force ourselves to determine to which Tier they could actually belong

S Tier
  1. Gauss RifleGauss Rifle - is one of the most powerful and rare weapons in the game. It counts as ballistic weapon and benefits from the Riflemen Perks but uses 2mm EC cartridges which count as Energy Ammo. Gauss Rifle provides multiple customization options and has a unique firing mechanism, which allows you to charge your shot for greatly increased damage
  2. Handmade RifleHandmade Rifle - another exceptionally powerful firearm. It has an astounding number of available modifications and is presumably the most versatile weapon in the game.
  3. Super SledgeSuper Sledge - the best Melee weapon in the game. It hits like a truck and if you find yourself in a Scorchbeast Queen hunting team, you will find out that a lot of your teammates will carry one
  4. Combat ShotgunCombat Shotgun - the best Shotgun in FO76. It has very high damage and decent Rate of Fire, which makes this one of the highest DPS close to mid-range weapons in the game. Also, getting Shotgun shells shouldn't be a problem even for low-level players
A Tier
  1. Combat RifleCombat Rifle - another extremely versatile weapon with solid damage and usability. In terms of the number of available options, it's second only to the Handmade Rifle
  2. Pump-Action ShotgunPump-Action Shotgun - very powerful firearm. It deals tremendous amounts of damage to close range targets, and if modded correctly it's one of the best weapons in the game
  3. Lever action RifleLever action Rifle - extremely powerful semi-automatic Rifle. Sniper versions of this weapon start spawning at level 45 and it's widely considered one of the best weapons in the game
  4. Deathclaw's GauntletDeathclaw's Gauntlet - the very top tier of unarmed weapons in Fallout 76. Offers one of the highest raw DPS, sadly, like other unarmed weapons it can't be used with Power Armor
B Tier
  1. Ski SwordSki Sword - another powerful Melee weapon. One of the best and well-rounded swords in the game which is available from level 15
  2. Fat ManFat Man - maybe not the most reliable weapon in the game, and ammo isn't the easiest to come by, but we did have a lot of fun with the Fat Man. Shooting around mini nukes is extremely enjoyable
  3. Power fistPower fist - in terms of raw DPS it is the best unarmed weapon in Fallout 76, however, you can't use one if you are wearing a Power Armor, which makes this weapon fall down to the B Tier
  4. Light Machine GunLight Machine Gun - has lower DPS than most of the Heavy Weapons, but uses the .308 ammunition which is very common, making it one of the few cost-effective Heavy Weapons in the game
  5. Mole Miner GauntletMole Miner Gauntlet - very solid unarmed weapon, which is very easy to obtain. It has a maximum level of 50 which makes it a decent end-game weapon for casual farming
  6. Fire AxeFire Axe - another powerful two-handed melee weapon. If not for the fact that it has a max. level of 45, and has no available modifications, it would be a very reasonable pick for Melee juggernauts
  7. Laser RifleLaser Rifle - a very versatile weapon with various customization options. It has decent DPS, Range and very high Accuracy rating. Also, finding Fusion cells shouldn't be a problem for players
  8. Hunting RifleHunting Rifle - a very solid weapon which is available right after you start your adventure. It tends to be extremely powerful even on higher levels if modded properly. It's one of the most reliable sniper weapons in the game, as it uses very common .308 rounds
  9. Gatling PlasmaGatling Plasma - which is apparently one of the most powerful Energy/Heavy weapons in the game. It melts enemies in a matter of seconds, and the only downside to it is how quickly it breaks
C Tier
  1. Radium RifleRadium Rifle - unique Rifle that deals additional radiation damage. It's very weak, but being one of the best weapons for PvP we have decided to put it in the C Tier
  2. Gatling LaserGatling Laser - a deadly Energy Weapon. While the damage output is reasonable it consumes too much Fusion cells to be treated as a reliable end-game weapon
  3. Assault RifleAssault Rifle - a very solid weapon with high Rate of Fire and DPS, however, uses up quite a bit of rare 5.56mm ammo which makes it unreliable in the long term
  4. Laser PistolLaser Pistol - one of the best and most versatile Pistols in Fallout 76. It offers various customization options making it a very reliable weapon
  5. Western RevolverWestern Revolver - one of the most powerful pistols in the game which offers very high damage at the cost of low Rate of Fire and slow reload times
  6. 50 cal Machine Gun50 cal Machine Gun - which has amazing DPS and a good range of fire. However, the ammo consumption makes this weapon unreliable for longer use
D Tier
  1. Combat KnifeCombat Knife - a very fast and deadly one-handed melee weapon. It has very high DPS, but because of the lack of sheer power you may have the feeling it's breaking a bit too quickly
  2. Pipe Bolt-Action RiflePipe Bolt-Action Rifle - while it would seem like a completely redundant weapon, a high-level, modded Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle can be a quite powerful Sniper Rifle and a cheaper alternative to Hunting Rifle
  3. Double-barrel ShotgunDouble-barrel Shotgun - which grants very high damage in close range, but way to slow Rate of Fire and reload times to make this a reliable firearm in the long run
  4. 10mm Pistol10mm Pistol - versatile weapon that's accessible very early in the game. Can be a reliable addition to your arsenal. Can be altered in various ways, with a lot of customization options available
  5. Harpoon GunHarpoon Gun - a single-shot, long range Heavy Weapon, which can be customized to deal various types of damage to enemies
  6. Gatling GunGatling Gun - a proper representative of the Heavy Weapons class. It deals higher damage per round when compared to Minigun, but still, its' ammo consumption is way too high to make this weapon manageable
E Tier
  1. Minigun - mediocre damage per round and vast ammo consumption makes this weapon useful only for showing off or role-playing
  2. Black Powder RifleBlack Powder Rifle - this weapon offers one of the highest damages per round in the game. Sadly, it is also one of the slowest weapons in the game with slow reload time. With no available mods and no scope, it's more of a relic than an actual weapon
  3. Black Powder PistolBlack Powder Pistol - very similar to Black Powder Rifle in terms of raw stats, and sadly, general usability
  4. M79 Grenade LauncherM79 Grenade Launcher - a standard Explosive Weapon which shots 40mm Grenades in an arc. Targeting may feel clunky, and it's best to aim at the ground rather than the target
  5. Missile LauncherMissile Launcher - one of the most powerful weapons in the game, but completely unreliable in actual combat. It has over 4 seconds long reload time
  6. FlamerFlamer - unusual Heavy Weapon which ignites enemies dealing additional damage over time, however, the excessive use of expensive Flamer fuel makes this weapon unreliable for low-level players

 

Unique/Legendary Powers

Every Weapon and Armor in Fallout 76 can have additional Unique/Legendary Powers. These can be between one to three additional mods that provide powerful bonuses. Legendary Weapons can be obtained by slaying Legendary monsters (Monsters with stars displayed right next to their name). The number of additional Legendary mods is determined by the number of Stars the enemy has, and a Legendary enemy is always guaranteed to drop one Legendary items with an equal amount of stars it has. We have also decided to make a simplified Tier List with all the Legendary Powers that apply to weapons. Keep in mind that some Legendary Powers may do better on a certain weapon and render useless on another.
Tier 1

Basically the best Legendary powers in the game. They provide terrific bonuses regardless of the situation or the weapon that you are using

  1. Two-Shot - your weapon shots an additional projectile. In most cases, this Power doubles your damage output. Apparently, it's going to be nerfed eventually or entirely removed from the game, so you should get a Two-Shot Legendary weapon while they still exist
  2. Explosive - which makes the bullets explode for additional area damage
  3. Anti-Armor - makes your weapon ignore 50% of the target's armor
  4. Executioner's - deals 50% more damage to enemies below 40% Health
  5. Instigating - deals double damage to enemies on full Health. One of the best powers for high damage, single-shot guns, that one-shot everything
  6. Furious - deals increased damage with each consecutive hit on the same target. One of the best Perks for automatic and fast melee weapons
  7. Medic's - V.A.T.S. crits will heal you and your group. One of the best team/utility Perks
  8. Suppressor's - reduce your target's damage output by 20%. One of the best defensive/supportive Legendary Powers in the game
  9. Vampire's - grants life regeneration when you hit an enemy. One of the best Powers for melee fighters in the game
Tier 2

Very useful powers, but more situational and only for specific type of characters or builds

  1. Double/Quad - Powers which double or quadruple your weapon's ammo capacity. Most useful on Sniper weapons with a limited magazine capacity
  2. Stalker's - increases your V.A.T.S. accuracy by 100% and AP cost by 50% if you are not in combat. Again, a decent Power, but mainly for Snipers
  3. Bloodied - you deal more damage the lower your Health is. Powerful when used on melee chars that tend to get damaged in combat
  4. Mutant's - your damage is increased by 10% if you are mutated. And as a higher-level player, you will surely try to get a mutation at some point
  5. Assassin's - increased your damage to other players by 10%. Great if you plan to engage in PvP combat regularly
Tier 3

Heavily situational Powers that are useful only in certain situations or against specified enemies 

  1. Junkie's - you deal more damage the more chem withdrawal effect you have
  2. Exterminator's - you deal 30% more damage against Mirelurks and bugs
  3. Ghoul Slayer's - you deal 30% more damage to Ghouls
  4. Mutant Slayer's - you deal 30% more damage to Mutants
  5. Zealot's - you deal 30% more damage to Scorched
  6. Troubleshooter's - you deal 30% more damage to robots
  7. Nocturnal - you deal increased damage during nighttime, and less during the day
Tier 4

Don't bother with those Legendary Powers

  1. Anti-Scorched - you deal 25% more damage to Scorched, but 20% less to everything else. If you plan to hunt Scorched it's okayish, but in general, the downside makes the weapon useless
  2. Berserker's - you deal more damage the lower your Damage Resistance is. While there is no downside to it, your main goal is to increase your Damage Resistance, not the other way around
  3. Hunter's - you deal 30% more damage to animals. Again, it does provide the bonus, but there are very few animals in Fallout 76 and they all tend to be rather weak opponents

 

Mods and crafting

Weapon's Workbench

Crafting and modding weapons is an integral part of Fallout 76. The game offers a vast number of customization options, which allows you to freely modify weapons for specific needs or to simply increase their basic statistics (damage, the rate of fire, accuracy, and so on). First of all, you need to learn new plans and schematics.

You can obtain new plans in the following manners:

  1. The easiest way to obtain new plans is to scrap weapons, and so, it's best to pick up as much loot as you can during your hunt;
  2. The other natural way to obtain new plans is to purchase them from vendors scattered around Appalachia;
  3. Or you can simply find them in various locations. Plans can be often found inside buildings, lying on desks or hiding in locked up safes;
  4. Certain rare and unique plans may also be rewarded for completing Quests or Special Events.

Most of the weapons in Fallout 76 can be modded, and have a set of predetermined customization slots depending on the weapon base, which may include:

  1. Receiver - which can modify weapons accuracy, range, critical damage multiplier, the rate of fire, or change the weapon's type to auto/semi-auto or non-auto;
  2. Barrel - which is mainly related to accuracy, recoil, and range multiplier;
  3. Stock - related to recoil, accuracy, stability, and in some cases even bashing damage;
  4. Magazine - which affects ammo capacity and reload time;
  5. Sights - that alter accuracy rating, some weapons may have scopes attached;
  6. Muzzle - related to recoil, range, and accuracy;
  7. Paint - has a purely cosmetic purpose. Majority of paints can be purchased in the Atom store for real money

Crafting, in general, is related to Intelligence attribute, which determines the quality of crated items. At the same time, Intelligence Perks allow you to craft higher Tier weapons and install better modifications.

 

Legendary weapons - best farming locations

FO76 Maps

Legendary weapons can be found from Legendary monsters. Those commonly spawn in areas with heavy monster density, nuked zones, and higher-level areas. We have already made an article about the best Legendary items farming locations which can be found here.

In general, it's best to complete Special Events or try out "server hopping" when you get a checkpoint in one of the good farming locations. When you clear an area full of monsters, it's much faster to leave your current game, join another server, and enjoy killing respawned monsters.


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