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| ||For an overview of Gauss rifle models in the Fallout series of games, see Gauss rifle.|
The Gauss Rifle uses magnetic induction to propel a projectile at incredible and devastating speed. Each shot can be "charged" for maximum damage by keeping the trigger held in for a moment before releasing.”
Unlike the earlier iterations of the Gauss rifle from Fallout 3 and New Vegas, this rifle appears to be a crude prototype weapon. Capacitors and exposed copper wiring run alongside the barrel, and a nixie tube display above the stock gives the weapon's charge percentage. The rifle operates on a charging principle: the user holds down the trigger to build up the charge, and releasing the trigger fires a round but even without charging it is still able to inflict a hefty punch (roughly 50% of a fully charged shot). It is fed rounds through a dorsal mounted cylindrical magazine and its projectile produces a momentary blue trail, similar to a lightning bolt.
Although heavy and crude looking, the Gauss rifle is able to deliver massive damage when fully charged, outclassing a hunting rifle chambered in .50 caliber in its base state. Its ability to be modded with more capacitors, a shielded barrel, and a compensator or suppressor make it a lethal tool for the patient marksman. Unfortunately, the weapon is not particularly accurate in its default state; it can be frustratingly inaccurate while attempting to hit a distant humanoid target with its default iron sights (particularly while attempting to use a charged shot to hit a target's head) and it is horrendously inaccurate when attempting to shoot from the hip. The reflex sight is also rather confusing and difficult to use compared to other similarly named sights on other weapons; it is essentially a rear sight aperture for a glowing front sight post so one of the main advantages of most reflex sights are lost when attempting to use one on a gauss rifle, the clear sight picture unobstructed by the weapon's bulk which is not the case on this weapon.
Upgrading the weapon with alternate sights or preferably a scope is highly recommended. However, with the sole exception of the short scope, the Gauss rifle requires a heavy investment in both the Gun Nut and Science! perk to make any modifications to it. Like the M72 Gauss rifle used in 2241, it is chambered for the rare and expensive 2mm EC rounds as opposed to the microfusion cells used by the Anchorage-era variants.
Gauss rifle shots produce a bluish, roughly man-sized explosion on impact. This is not merely a visual effect but actually deals heavy damage to anything in the blast radius. While the affected area is far smaller than those of grenades or missiles, it nevertheless enables the Gauss rifle to hit multiple targets with a single shot, provided they are clustered together in very close proximity to each other.
|Slot||Mod||Description||Weapon prefix||Damage per shot change||Fire rate change||Range change||Accuracy change||Magazine capacity (shots per reload) change||Weight change<||Weapon value change in caps||Perk needed||Components||Base ID|
|Barrel||Standard barrel||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x4|
|Shielded barrel||Better range and damage.||Shielded||+31||–||+24||–||–||–||+37||Gun Nut 3||Adhesive x9|
|Stock||Standard stock||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x5|
|Recoil compensating stock||Exceptional recoil.||Recoil compensated||–||–||–||+7||–||+1.3||+30||Gun Nut 4||Adhesive x8|
|Capacitors||Half capacitors||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x4|
Nuclear material x2
|Full capacitors||Superior ammo capacity. Better damage.||High capacity||+31||–||–||–||+3||+0.4||+37||Gun Nut 3|
Nuclear material x4
|Capacitor boosting coil||Exceptional ammo capacity. Superior damage.||Maximum capacity||+63||–||–||–||+13||+2||+82||Gun Nut 4|
Nuclear material x5
|Sights||Standard sights||Standard.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Adhesive x2|
|Short scope||Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Scoped||–||–||–||+12||–||+1.4||+27||–||Adhesive x2|
|Gauss reflex sight||Better focus and sighted accuracy.||Tactical||–||–||–||+3||–||+1.3||+34||Gun Nut 3|
Nuclear material x2
|Medium scope||Better magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Scoped||–||–||–||+19||–||+1.8||+57||Gun Nut 4|
|Long scope||Superior magnification and sighted accuracy.||Scoped||–||–||–||+32||–||+2.3||+72||Gun Nut 4|
|Short night vision scope||Night vision. Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Night-vision||–||–||–||+12||–||+1.4||+94||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x1
Nuclear material x3
|Medium night vision scope||Night vision. Better magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Night-vision||–||–||–||+19||–||+1.8||+109||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x2
Nuclear material x4
|Long night vision scope||Night vision. Superior magnification and sighted accuracy.||Night-vision||–||–||–||+32||–||+2.3||+124||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x2
Nuclear material x6
|Short recon scope||Tracks targets. Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Recon||–||–||–||+12||–||+2.6||+147||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x4
Nuclear material x7
|Long recon scope||Tracks targets. Improved magnification. Superior sighted accuracy.||Recon||–||–||–||+32||–||+2.6||+147||Gun Nut 4|
Fiber optics x4
Nuclear material x7
|Compensator||Improved per-shot recoil. Improved recoil control. Reduced range.||Compensated||–||–||-12||+10||–||+1.6||+75||Gun Nut 3|
|Suppressor||Suppresses sound from firing. Exceptional per-shot recoil. Improved recoil control. Poor range.||Suppressed||–||–||-30||+11||–||+2||+150||Gun Nut 4|
- Up to five Gauss rifles can be found at Skylanes Flight 1981 and Skylanes Flight 1665. You need master lockpick to get them from a hidden compartment of the far most trunk under the cockpit. Note that this cache contains leveled loot (causing different versions of the corresponding manifest to spawn). Players below level 30 are unlikely to encounter Gauss rifles at this location.
- A Gauss rifle is found on the Brotherhood of Steel's airship the Prydwen. It may be stolen as soon as the player character gets into the ship from the ship's armory. Requires Hacker/Locksmith perk level 3 or a key can be pickpocketed from a Knight-Captain.
- Carried very often by level 35+ Railroad heavy units whether in quests or defending the checkpoint objectives after siding with the Institute or the BoS, and rarely by Brotherhood power armor troops during Institute faction missions.
- The Gauss rifle can be purchased from weapons vendors after reaching level 25.
- A large quantity of Gauss rifles can be found during The Battle of Bunker Hill, as the constantly spawning Railroad and Brotherhood troops will carry them. One must however be quick in picking them up because NPCs will pick them up at the first chance.
- The Gauss rifle, as the name implies, benefits from the Rifleman perk and not from Heavy Gunner, despite its heavy image. It gains no bonus from Demolition Expert either despite the explosive nature of its shots.
- Shots fired in V.A.T.S. seem to skip the pre-charging phase of the rifle, instantaneously dealing fully charged damage. The rifle also has the advantage of low AP cost as an energy weapon. Hence, firing the Gauss rifle under V.A.T.S. while having some AP restoration perks or armors allows the player character to continuously deal a large amount of damage.
- Despite Gauss rifle variants in some previous games being classed as energy weapons, the Fallout 4 Gauss rifle exclusively inflicts "normal"/ballistic damage, barring legendary effects which can add additional damage types. This can be considered lore-consistent, since Gauss or coil guns fire a physical projectile that acts as a ballistic body, rather than the directed energy of laser weapons, or blasts of ionized matter fired by plasma weapons.
- With 5 Points in the Rifleman perk, the Gauss rifle becomes capable of destroying almost any power armor pieces except torso pieces with one shot. It is also able to destroy a fusion core in one shot, but its extremely high damage may instantly kill the enemy, preventing them from exiting their power armor.
- Its raw damage output per shot is outclassed only by the 6-crank laser musket and the Fat Man and its variants during general combat. However when stealth combat is involved, and a silencer is equipped; with the Mister Sandman perk 50% more sneak critical damage is dealt. A fully upgraded Gauss Rifle along with a fully upgraded Ninja perk will boost the sneak critical to 5.25x the base damage (6.3x with Deacon's Cloak and Dagger perk), you combine that with Rifleman 5 and you can do approximately 2000+ ballistic damage.(As of 1.4 the maximum multiplier is 4.8) One of the highest amounts of single shot damage. During a field test with the 6-crank laser musket at its highest, the laser musket does not do as much damage as a fully upgraded and perk supported Gauss Rifle.
- The Two-shot legendary variant of the Gauss rifle is arguably the most powerful rifle in the game. With the right perks and the right circumstances this weapon can kill even the strongest enemies in a single shot.
- Legendary versions can be acquired at level 36.
- AP cost/shot in V.A.T.S. ranges from 36 to 57, depending on sights and capacitors. [Base 42.0 AP, half-capacitors -1.5, gauss reflex sight -4.5, short/medium/long scope +9/+12/+15]
- The projectile fired is wider than other ballistic bullets, and will not be able to pass through some railings and other small spaces.
- This weapon's behavior in relation to the Penetrator perk is inconsistent at best.
- Gauss rifle shots are often capable of penetrating their target and hitting others behind the first one, occasionally killing three or more enemies with one shot. Currently it is unclear if this is a trait inherent to the weapon or owed to the Penetrator perk.
- pc ps4 xboxone When drawing the Gauss rifle, if holding 'attack', the weapon will charge a shot, but upon releasing, no shot will be fired, or ammunition consumed.[verified]
- pc 'Aborting' a reload of a Gauss rifle (by either bringing up the pip-boy or using a weapon-bash) will make the next charge-up a dud that will not expend ammunition or fire as expected [verified]
- pc xboxone Charging the Gauss rifle, then switching to another weapon, will keep the charging sound looping until the Gauss rifle is switched to again.[verified]
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