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The Outer Worlds weapons - the best weapons revealed, damage types and special effects explained

Handguns, Long Guns, and Heavy Weapons explained

The Outer Worlds weapons are pretty darn complex. They may give you a tonne of scope for choice and customisation, but each weapon has many more associated stats than we're used to seeing in games such as this - and that's not even taking into account weapon type buffs, damage types, special effects, mods, and each of the many other elements that may affect your time with a particular gun.

The Outer Worlds weapons guide

Our The Outer Worlds weapons guide will walk you through all of these things, along with useful tips for getting your hands on the very best weapons the game has to offer.

The Outer Worlds weapons guide contents

The Outer Worlds weapons guide - weapon types and stats

The Outer Worlds weapons - weapon types & stats explained

The Outer Worlds weapons roster can be a little tricky to wrap your head around at first, simply because there are so many associated sub-systems in play, from damage types and special effects to mods and buffs relating to skills, Perks, and more besides. But essentially, here's how the weapons all work:

  • The Outer Worlds splits its weapons into six categories: 1-Handed Melee, 2-Handed Melee, Handguns, Long Guns, Heavy Weapons, and Science Weapons. We talk about Science Weapons in more detail in our The Outer Worlds science weapons guide.
  • Long Guns can be Assault Rifles, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, or anything in between. Heavy Weapons are generally great big LMGs, Grenade Launchers, or Flamethrowers.
  • Regardless of weapon type, you must carefully check the type of ammo a weapon requires. There are three ammo types: Light, Heavy, and Energy. Melee weapons require no ammo.
  • Some quick inventory management tips: you can hit the Compare key while hovering over a weapon in your inventory, then hover over a different weapon to compare them both. You can also right-click any weapon to bring up a screen with much more detailed stats (and the comparison mechanic works on this screen too!).
  • Weapons, just like Armor, have durability. The more you use them, the more you deplete this durability meter. Lower durability means lower damage - but don't worry, your gun will never break. To repair it, you'll need Weapon Parts - along with either a Workbench or an Engineering skill of at least 20 to repair from your Inventory. You can also tinker with weapons or add mods to upgrade them at workbenches. You can find out more about how this works by heading to our The Outer Worlds Mods & Workbench guide.
  • Along with the various different types of weapon, there are also a number of different damage types, each of which are better against certain enemy types than others. We'll go over these in a moment.
  • There are also special effects associated with each weapon, which provide a debuff to the targeted enemy. We'll also go over these below.
  • As well as this, you can find the same weapon at a superior rarity level. A Hunting Rifle Ultra is always going to be more powerful than a regular Hunting Rifle, and an Assault Rifle Mk2 will be stronger than a regular Assault Rifle.

The Outer Worlds weapons - best weapons

Best weapons in The Outer Worlds

Ah, you thought we'd be able to just let you know that such-and-such is definitively the best weapon in The Outer Worlds, and this-and-that is the exact location you can find it waiting for you? Well, unfortunately, it's not quite that simple.

The best weapon in The Outer Worlds depends on a great many things, as you should know by now if you've read everything above. There's your character level (and the gun's level); you must account for the enemy you're facing, and the damage type and special effect your weapon uses; not to mention the mods you've attached, and above all the playstyle that you've opted for with your character.

However, here are a few extra pointers to help you find and fashion the very best weapons for you in The Outer Worlds:

  • Consider a weapon's ammo efficiency. While fast-firing weapons such as a good LMG are extremely powerful, they'll eat through your ammo reserves no matter how much you buy. For this reason, ammo efficiency is just as important as your DPS. If you carry around a bolt-action sniper rifle and a powerful shotgun, you'll be able to keep firing for days without worrying about your ammo reserves at all.
  • Use the right weapons with the right Perks. If you're using a powerful bolt-action sniper rifle, then that'd go great with Perks such as "Scanner", "Confidence", and "Boom, Headshot!". Alternatively, if you're using a fast-firing Assault Rifle or LMG, then pick up the "Penetrating Shots" Perk. If you're a melee-oriented character, then you'll want the "Tit for Tat" Perk. For tonnes more info on the different Perks on offer, look no further than our The Outer Worlds perks & flaws guide.
  • Use the highest rarity weapons that you can find. Weapons with the "Mk 2" suffix tend to have significantly higher damage stats than those without; weapons with the "Ultra" suffix are best of all. No matter how much you've put into your old Assault Rifle, you should ditch it if you find a higher rarity variant if you truly want to get your hands on the best weapon possible.
  • Keep on top of your durability! Routinely check the durability of your equipped items (weapons and armor) and repair them. Past a certain threshold, the items will begin to deteriorate in quality, which is a big no-no if you want to be constantly toting around the biggest, baddest weapons in The Outer Worlds.
  • Be aware of your weapon's effective range. The Outer Worlds gives you an enormous amount of information on tiny, usually hidden stats such as Recoil, Spread, and Sway - but two extremely important stats to look at are your Max Range and your Effective Range. Particularly the latter. If you want to be inflicted maximum damage at all times, then you don't want to be going beyond that Effective Range value, or your bullets will start to lose their oomph - or they'll just not hit at all.
  • Don't forget to upgrade your weapons. You can do this by attaching mods, or by tinkering with them at a Workbench (for further details on this make sure you visit our The Outer Worlds Mods & Workbench guide).

The Outer Worlds weapons - damage types

The Outer Worlds weapons - damage types

There are five different damage types in The Outer Worlds, and each weapon will always inflict a certain type on its victim. Each damage type has certain effects against particular enemy types, so it's important (especially at higher difficulty levels) to equip yourself with the right damage type before a battle:

  • Physical damage is the basic damage type. It is weak against armor.
  • Plasma damage is good against unarmored opponents (flesh) and can apply the Burn effect (damage over time). Most creatures are weak to Plasma, but Mantisaurs are very resistant to it.
  • Corrosion damage is good against anything armoured - Mantisaurs and auto-mechanicals included. It can apply the Acid effect (damage over time).
  • Shock damage is specifically good against auto-mechanicals.
  • N-ray damage bypasses most armor, but is weak against non-organics (read: auto-mechanicals). It causes its victims to passively damage other enemies nearby.

The Outer Worlds weapons - special effects

The Outer Worlds weapons - special effects

Special effects are another large part of choosing the weapons you'd like to take forward in The Outer Worlds. Each of these effects adds a debuff or negative effect to the target, giving you the upper hand in a fight. Some require the use of TTD (or Tactical Time Dilation) so you can find out more about those in our The Outer Worlds TTD Debuffs guide. The following are the effects that you'll come across with almost all of the weapons on offer:

  • Stagger - Pushes the target back a short distance, reducing Melee, Ranged, and Defence Skills, and increases the amount of Physical Damage received.
  • Weaken - Lowers all Skills a moderate amount and target takes increased Plasma, Shock, Corrosion, and N-ray damage.
  • Knockdown - Knocks the target to the ground, making them unable to take any action for a short time.
  • Stun - Unable to attack for a short time.
  • Burn - Deals damage over time.
  • Bleed - Deals damage over time and reduces Body attributes. Does not apply to Automechanicals.
  • Knockout - Knocks the target to the ground, rendering them unconscious for a few seconds.
  • Execute - Has a small chance of eliminating the target upon targeting their weak spot.

Hopefully, all this is enough to give you a bit of a headstart in the wonderful world of The Outer Worlds weapons. Whatever your choice of weapon, whether you want to be a melee grandmaster or a long-ranged sharpshooter or a flamethrower-toting behemoth, there are all sorts of ways to maximise your damage potential and turn you into a true force to be reckoned with.

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