Fallout 3 Weapons: Big Guns Guide
The big guns skill allows proficiency in some of the most powerful weapons in Fallout 3. Weapons range from the Flamer to the Fat Man tactical Nuke launcher. If you take this type of proficiency, it will be a little while into the game before you find your first Big Gun, but you'll probably not be dissapointed once you've got it. Most of the Big Guns are pretty well complimented with some degree of Small Guns, energy or melee weapons skill to provide a greater variety of options. You see, there just aren't many Big Guns in Fallout 3. The primary stat for big guns is endurance, and having more points in it will increase the damage done by these weapons.
The Weapons (Alphabetical Listing)
Burnmaster: The Burnmaster is a unique Flamer. It deals about 50% more damage than a normal flamer but doesn't receive bonuses from the Pyromaniac Perk. If you like flamers, you might as well get this gun and skip the perk entirely! You can then use all normal flamers to repair it. The gun is found in the Franklin Metro Utility. Bring some Radaway and perhaps a radiation suit with you when you go. The simplest way to get there is to go from Marigold station ( 1 square south, 3 east from megaton) and travel east, through the Falls Church door. From here head east along the tracks and into the Falls Church/Mason District Metro. Go all the way east, until your only option is to take a tunnel that curves to the south. Look along the eastern wall for the Franklin Metro Utility door. You'll have to open this with either 25 science or 25 lockpicking. Inside, head to the east all the way. You'll eventually come to some water. Continue along the path until you reach a turn to the north that leads to the end, with radiated barrels. The Burnmaster is on the ground, along with a lot of ammo crates with plenty of flamer ammo.
Eugene: You get this item as one of two optional rewards for the Reilly's Rangers Quest. It's a substantially upgraded version of the Minigun. Players with high Big Guns skill will love its deadly firepower. It can, of course, be repaired with normal Miniguns which become more common the further along in the game you are.
Experimental MIRV: This is a unique weapon, which can be repaired with the Fat Man launcher. It is, as the most powerful weapon in Fallout 3, essentially a gun that is used almost exclusively for tackling Super Mutant Behemoths, because it fires eight mini nukes in one shot! It can be found in the National Guard Depot, in the Bunker at the end. You'll need all five Keller Family Transcripts in order to access this area, so get hunting!
Fat Man: The Fat man fires Mini Nuke rounds, which are not found very frequently in the wasteland, like the launcher itself. The first time you'll find one on a normal play through the game is outside Galaxy News Radio, when doing the Following in his Footsteps quest. For all intents and purposes, the only time you'll feel compelled to bring out this powerful weapon is when fighting massive creatures like Super Mutant Behemoths. Be careful when firing this gun as it has a massive area of effect that can easily damage you. There is also some radiation left over in its wake.
Flamer: The flamer is a flamethrower, pure and simple. At close range, it can be devastating, especially to weaker enemies. This is one of the first big guns you will find in the game, giving it special prefrence to players who employ this skill. For those who don't use the big guns skill much, the weapon can still be effective at point blank range where it can deal the most damage. It uses Flamer Fuel, which is not very common but found often enough to make the weapon useful.
Gatling Laser: Gatling lasers are not very common, but can be found at certain Enclave respawn points, like the one north-northwest of girdershade. They're very powerful Big guns, and can deliver massive damage like the minigun, but without the spinup. You will only really find these after you have completed the Waters of Life quest and the Enclave starts coming into the Wasteland. If you're high enough level, you may encounter Enclave camps that may hold these weapons. This weapon uses Electron Charge Packs for ammunition, which are easy to find at any Vendor. Long story short, often when you have this weapon you won't have a spare to repair it with. You have to work for them.
Minigun: The Minigun becomes a common find in Fallout 3, especially from tougher Super Mutants. For gamers with high skill in big guns, this weapon will spew bullets in a very tight pack that are great for brutal medium range attacks. For people with low big guns skill Miniguns are horribly inaccurate at long ranges, but can deal decent damage up close as more of the bullets will hit. Big guns skill raise the accuracy and damage so if you think the minigun sucks, your skill is just too low!
Miss Launcher: Miss Launcher is more like a grenade launcher than a missile launcher. In fact, the name of the gun isn't some nickname given to it by a guy like it's a female, but more like you'll miss more often than not. If you get skilled, it does deal damage above and beyond that of a normal missile launcher, but you'll have to really work on your accuracy. The weapon can be found in Fort Independence, two squares south and two squares left of megaton. You'll have to deal with the Brotherhood Outcasts to get in safely. They do have a neat quest for you to do, in which you can make some money off of your scrap metal. Talk to the enclave officer here, then go inside the gate to speak to the other. He'll take scrap metal, energy weapons, and power armor off your hands. Don't worry, as items that are equipped are exempt and he won't take your unique weapons. Once you've given him enough gear, a new dialogue option will appear allowing you to be "in" with the outcasts. Pick the door near the first outcast member you came across, down a stairwall with a terminal near the door. If you can pick this door (high lockpicking required) you can find Miss Launcher behind a locked door in a room full of computers. Look for the room with bunk beds and search one of the footlockers for the key to this very hard door. Naturally, Miss launcher uses missiles and can be repaired with the normal missile launcher.
Missile Launcher: Missiles are great weapons for players skilled in big guns. In VATS they can be devastating. The reload time on missiles can be long, but often one is enough to achieve a purpose, where you can then switch to another weapon. Use it to cripple enemies, nuke a single enemy off the map with a single shot or to damage groups. Missile launchers get more and more common as you gain levels and complete quests. Super Mutants will have them often enough later, and shopkeepers will eventually carry plenty to keep you repaired. Rarely, powerful Raiders can be encountered using this weapon.
Rock-It Launcher: This schematic can be bought from the merchant Crazy Wolfgang, Moira Brown in Megaton and found when you return to Vault 101 for the quest trouble on the home front. In the vault, it's behind the revelation quote in Dad's office. The more versions of this schematic you find, the better shape the weapon will be in when you make it at a workbench. It requires a Conductor, Firehoze nozzle, Leaf Blower and Vacuum cleaner to create. I don't really like this weapon very well. I hate carrying around junk, but some players will find it very handy. It does do very nice damage but it's not very good in VATS, which I dislike. Look to shopkeepers like Moira Brown to find the items you need to make this weapon. More can be found inside ruined towns in the wasteland.
Vengeance: This item is located in the Deathclaw Sanctuary. Vengeance is an upgraded Gatling Laser that deals very high damage. The item can be found in the southeastern section of the Deathclaw Sanctuary. Look for it in a pool of blood a few clicks north of the southeasternmost wall of the Deathclaw Sanctuary. Along the way, watch for Enclave Officers, living or dead. One of them will have Jack, an upgraded version of the melee Ripper. The major downside to Vengeance is that it requires relatively rare gatling lasers to repair. Your only hope is to upgrade the caravans at Canterbury Commons to get the ability to repair it to 80-85% or find more Gatling Lasers.