Fallout 4

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The Iron Rose

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The first Fallout 4 weapon rebalance mod! Adjusts weapon damage for realism and balance.

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The First Weapon Overhaul for Fallout 4!

UPDATED December 21/2016


Update December 21/2016: Now requires AWKCR. Removed compatibility patches for compatibility patches. Choose one or make a merged patch, updating all the possible varieties of mods takes an extraordinary amount of time. Added compatibility patches for The Bolt Sometimes Changes, and Ornamental Weapons. Updated the Loads of Ammo, Weapons of Fate, and Extended Weapon Mods patches. Removed Compatibility patch for Legendary Modification, and CWMR. CWMR has a patch on its page and I no longer have the time to maintain that patch. 
Update May 11/2016: Added DLC support and .38 SMG rechamber. 
Update May 10/2016: Working on adding DLC support!

Works wonderfully in combination with my Create Your Own Difficulty Rebalance mod!
Compatibility patches available for Loads of AmmoFunctional DisplaysBetter Mod DescriptionsExtended Weapon Mods, and Weapons of FateTactical Weapon Mods
Ornamental Weapons (Retex Expansion), and The Bolt Sometimes Changes - Hunting Rifle Right-Hand Animations.
For the most part, Fallout 4 did a pretty okay job at weapon balance. There were, however, some annoyances. Pipe weapons quickly became obsolete, the hunting rifle did pathetic damage in comparison to almost everything else, heavy weapons were underpowered, institute weapons did less damage than their generic counterparts, melee uniques were underwhelming, et cetera et cetera. While other weapons were fun, generally the combat rifle was the best weapon to use in nearly every situation. 

This mod aims to fix that. Primarily, my goals were as follows:

Firstly, to ensure every weapon was a valid and legitimate choice to use. From the lowliest pipe pistol to the most tricked out plasma sniper, no weapon should be completely useless. Primarily, this meant buffing the weakest weapons, like the minigun and the pipe weapons. These simple buffs ensure that otherwise next to useless weapons could compete with their otherwise obvious upgrades. 

Secondly, to differentiate weapons within groups, so that they serve different roles. No one weapon is better than another in every aspect, and they each bring different strengths to the table. Whether it be by editing the rate of fire, magazine size, or range, every weapon now has a unique strength that gives it an edge to its name. 

Thirdly, to reduce the annoyance of damage sponginess on all difficulties, particularly at later levels. This means that most weapons got some degree of damage buff, though this was primarily a factor of trying to balance weapons against one another without nerfing anything too badly.

The changes to weapons are as follows, and apply to both player and enemy:

The Assault Rifle and the Combat Rifle:

Assault Rifle:

Default Damage - 30
Modded Damage - 32

Default Magazine - 30/60
Modded Magazine - 30/60

Assault Rifle Mods:
Automatic receivers now have increased ROF and damage.
Improved hipfire accuracy. 
Reduced action point cost in VATS for advanced, light frame, and hair trigger receivers.
Removed damage penalty for light frame receiver.
Reduced silencer range penalty. 
Slightly reduced recoil.

Combat Rifle
Default Damage Value - 33
Modded Damage Value - 36

Default Magazine - 20/40
Modded Magazine - 14/28

Combat Rifle Mods:
.308 rechamber now has reduced rate of fire, but increased damage to compensate.
.38 rechamber now increases rate of fire. 
Automatic receivers now have a very small rate of fire increase, and slightly reduced damage penalty. 
Reduced hipfire accuracy.
Increased range penalty for using a silencer.

Rationale: The Assault Rifle and Combat Rifle were in a bit of a weird place by default. While the Assault Rifle boasted a larger maximum magazine size, the Combat Rifle was significantly stronger with mods, and far, far easier to obtain. I decided to play to each weapon's strengths. The high damage and limited magazine size for the Combat Rifle promotes its use as a Battle Rifle, excelling in a midrange semi-automatic role. The Assault Rifle retains its vanilla damage, but now boasts an even larger magazine by default. It performs best as an automatic in the close-mid range arena. The biggest and most serious change is likely the magazine nerf to the Combat Rifle. In sum, neither rifle should be obviously better than the other, and they now serve very distinct roles. 

The Small Arms:

Default Damage - 18
Modded Damage - 24

Default Magazine - 12/24
Modded Magazine - 10/20

10mm Mods:
Rate of fire significantly increased for automatic receivers.
Increased AP cost and ROF for advanced receiver.
Eliminated Damage Penalty for Light Frame receiver.

Pipe Pistol/Rifle/Sniper
Default Damage - 13
Modded Damage - 17

Default Magazine - 12
Modded Magazine - 20

Pipe Gun Mods:
Increased rate of fire for automatic receivers. Reduced damage penalty for automatics.
Improved damage for .45 receiver conversion, but reduced ROF and increased AP cost. 
Significantly reduced range penalty for suppressing pipe weapons.
Eliminated Damage Penalty for Light Frame receiver.
Reduced hipfire penalty for long barrels. Improved hipfire accuracy for short barrels.
Reduced weight across the board.

.44 Magnum
Default Damage Value - 48
Modded Damage Value - 50

.44 Mods:
Rate of Fire Slightly increased for all receivers.
Increased range for snub-nose barrel.
Reduced recoil for bull barrel. 

Pipe Revolver
Default Damage Value - 24
Modded Damage Value - 40

Pipe Revolver Mods:
.308 conversion now reduces rate of fire, but has a greater damage bonus. 
.38 conversion now has massively increased rate of fire.
Reduced hipfire penalty for long barrels.
Reduced range penalty for short barrels.
Reduced weight across the board.

Rationale: Here more drastic changes can be seen, and we have our first encounter with the buffed pipe weapons. To start, damage values were increased across the board. Now, at first glance this would do little to resolve the issue of one weapon (the 10mm/the .44) being materially better than another (the pipe weapons). However, these are necessary changes to make combat more deadly, and maintain a given handgun's place as a valid weapon in a given situation. After all, if a submachine gun did as much damage as the 10mm, who would ever use the 10mm?

Accordingly, we have here the biggest division between pipe weapons and conventional ballistic weaponry. Generally speaking, ballistic weapons will be characterized by higher damage values (reflected in their better/more professional make, if you want a lore justification). The jury-rigged pipe weapons by contrast will be higher capacity but lower damage alternatives to ballistic weapons. While magazine sizes eventually get ridiculously large, before you get Gun Nut 3 and 4, this will serve to provide a meaningful choice between the two. The damage increase was necessary both to preserve the .44 and the 10mm's damage lead over the pipe weapons, while still making sure that pipe weapons can do more than scratch enemies.

The revolvers have increased damage (significantly for the pipe revolver) to accommodate for their significantly slower fire rate. While both are excellent guns by default, especially the .44, its long reload means that the pipe revolver, still plenty lethal, should suffice for most encounters. For those that absolutely require high single shot capability in a short-mid range environment beyond the reach of shotguns and too close for snipers, the .44 reigns. Pistols, speaking generally, now do exactly that - thrive in short-mid range environments that require higher damage per shot than the rifles afford, yet at distances too great for shotguns and too short for snipers or rifles. 

Long Ranged Rifles:

Hunting Rifle
Default Damage - 37
Modded Damage - 62

Hunting Rifle Mods:
.50 Caliber now massively increases damage, at the cost of a much slower rate of fire. 
.38 Caliber rechamber now reduces weight, significantly increases rate of fire and ammo capacity.
Added 5.56mm conversion that increases rate of fire and ammo capacity at the cost of damage (to a lesser degree than the .38 conversion).
Slightly increased range penalty for using a silencer.
Reduced Compensator range Penalty.
Light Frame does not reduce damage.
Increased weight.

Pipe Bolt Action
Default Damage Value - 34
Modded Damage Value - 50

Default Magazine - 6
Modded Magazine - 10

Pipe Bolt Action Mods:
.50 Caliber rechamber now massively increases damage, at the cost of a slower rate of fire. 
.38 Caliber rechamber now reduces weight, significantly increases rate of fire and ammo capacity. Damage loss remains the same. 
Increased hipfire accuracy.
Reduced range penalty for stub and short barrels, and bayonets.
Slightly increased range penalty for using a silencer.
Reduced weight across the board.

Rationale: Mostly similar to the above, the Hunting Rifle is significantly more powerful than the Bolt Action Pipe Rifle/Pistol, but at the cost of a much smaller magazine capacity, with a default of 5 rounds per mag. The Pipe Bolt Action rifle is now credible as a high damage weapon, rather than being literally equivalent to the vanilla Combat Rifle. Generally speaking, fast-firing weapons tend to do better in Fallout 4, as it allows for more opportunities to proc legendary effects. The downside comes in the form of an inability to alpha strike enemies, making them poorly suited for stealth. By buffing the hunting rifle and the bolt action pipe rifle, playing as a long range sniper is significantly more practical. The Hunting Rifle will serve you well in dealing with high-health legendaries who you want to down in as few hits as possible, while the high magazine capacity of the Bolt Action Pipe will perform better in target rich environments, where you won't have time to reload between shots. The 5.56mm conversion for the Hunting Rifle was made on request, but provides more opportunity for a slightly harder hitting, slower firing Pipe Rifle.


Double Barrel Shotgun
Default Damage - 45
Modded Damage - 75

Double Barrel Mods:
Spread coefficient reduced to 13% (long barrel) and 35% (short barrel). Reduced Spread Coefficient to 60% for Sawed Off. This results in significantly tighter shot groupings for the long barrel and moderately tighter shot groupings for the short barrel and sawed off.
Increased Weapon Range (needs some more testing but should result in a smaller damage drop off).

Combat Shotgun:
Default Damage Value - 50
Modded Damage Value - 50 (no change)

Combat Shotgun Weapon Mods:
Massively increased rate of fire for automatic barrels. 
Increased Weapon Range (needs some more testing but should result in a smaller damage drop off). Increased Max Range by 30% and Minimum Range by 40% for the Long Barrel Variants. 
Spread coefficient reduced to 20% (long barrel) and 50% (short barrel). This results in moderately tighter shot groupings for the short barrel, and significantly tighter shot groupings for the long barrel. 
Drum Magazine size increase halved.
Reduced AP cost for advance receiver.
Reduced recoil.
Increased silencer range penalty. Reduced bayonet range penalty.

Rationale: A fairly simple rationale here. Vanilla, the Combat Shotgun is better in literally every way compared to the Double Barrel. It's stronger, has a faster reload speed, and a significantly better magazine size. Accordingly, the only real option is to either nerf the Combat Shotgun, which goes against my design principles, or buff the Double Barrel. Accordingly, the Double Barrel does a shitton of damage, especially when it has legendary mods attached, but you are of course constrained by the fact you only have two shells to fire before reloading. The Combat Shotgun, on the other hand, is now more suited to room clearing, with its fast fire right and high magazine capacity, though it suffers from decreased range and damage compared to the Double Barrel. 

The Submachine Gun:

Submachine Gun
Default Damage Value - 13
Modded Damage Value - 17

Default Magazine Size - 50/100
Modded Magazine Size - 30/60

Submachine Mods:
Eliminated Damage Penalty attached to receiver.
Eliminated Compensator Range Penalty. 
Reduced recoil.
Removed range penalty for compensator and muzzle break. 
Reduced range penalty for suppressors.
Improved rate of fire.
Added .38 conversion that reduces damage, but significantly increases firerate and ammo capacity. 

Rationale: Existing in a poor, lonely category all on its lonesome, the submachine gun sits in an unfortunate place. It has a huge magazine capacity, reaching 100 rounds by the end, but its damage is simply so, so bad that it takes forever to kill anything. It's basically a super soaker. Perhaps that's balanced, but it's not much fun. This small change makes the SMG slightly more effective, though it lacks a clearly defined role that is not served by the rifles. If nothing else, it's exceptionally good against ghouls. The rate of fire is now increased even further, but the magazine size is significantly reduced, reducing the SMG's long-range capacities (what little it had to begin with). The .38 conversion will reduce damage by 10%, but the massive ROF and Ammo Capacity should prove valuable, if at the cost of a great deal of ammo consumption.

Energy Weapons:

Laser Pistol/Rifle/Sniper
Default Damage - 24
Modded Damage - 26

Default Magazine Size: 30
Modded Magazine Size: 40

Laser Mods:
Automatic Laser Barrels have greater ammo capacity and rate of fire.
Sniper barrels have reduced charge time, with a correspondingly higher damage modifier. 
Reduced Range Penalty for Beam Splitter (shotgun) conversion, and reduced out of range damage multiplier.
Significantly improved hipfire.
Significantly reduced recoil for all grips and nonautomatic barrels).
Reduced automatic damage penalty.

Institute Laser Guns
Default Damage Value - 21 Energy
Modded Damage Value - 34 Energy

Institute Mods:
Removed across the board damage penalty for institute receivers.
Increased damage on higher end receivers slightly. 
Reduced shotgun conversion range penalty. 
Reduced automatic damage penalty.

Alien Blaster
Default Damage Value - 50 Energy
Modded Damage Value - 100 Energy

Alien Blaster Mods:
Fusion Cell conversion now actually reduces ammo capacity as it should.

Plasma Pistol/Rifle/Sniper/Flamer
Default Damage Value - 32 + 32 Energy
Modded Damage Value - 32 + 32 Energy

Plasma Mods:
Reduced damage penalty for automatic receivers slightly. 
Reduced out of range damage penalty for flamer conversion.
Increased range for shotgun conversion.
Improved automatic rate of fire.

Laser Musket
Default Damage - 30 Energy
Modded Damage - 45 Energy

Rationale: Damage values for energy weapons are, unfortunately, obfuscated slightly, which makes balancing difficult. For now, the Institute Weapons got a much needed buff to reflect their greater technological development, while laser weapons now have greater ammo capacity. The Alien Blaster got a buff because most weapons got a buff because it was kinda pathetic, a joke weapon in any event, and it hardly seems fair to leave the aliens in a comparatively poor situation. The plasma guns got a damage increase as well, but no other changes. They are the most powerful general-use weapons available, but don't lend themselves as well to niches like other weapons do.

The Laser Musket got a small damage increase to compensate for the fact that it no longer outdamages conventional laser weapons. This also further enshrines its niche as the ultimate Alpha-Strike weapon. 6x45= 270 damage, which is more than any other non-explosive weapon in the game. 

Heavy Weapons:

Default Damage - 8
Modded Damage - 12

Minigun Mods:
Rate of fire significantly increased for all barrels. Standard ROF is 2000, 3000 with the Accelerated Barrel, and 1500 with the Tri Barrel. 
Reduced Range Penalty for Shredder.
All barrels now pierce 40 points (not %) of Armour. 
Improved hipfire accuracy.

Gatling Laser
Default Damage Value - 14 Energy
Modded Damage Value - 18 Energy

Gatling Laser rate of fire increased to 2400 RPM standard, and 500 RPM for charged barrel
Lowered damage increase for Charging Barrel. 

Missile Launcher
Default Damage - 15 Direct, 135 explosion
Modded Damage - 50 Direct, 250 Explosion
Default Radius - 150
Default IS Radius - 500
Modded Radius - 200
Modded IS Radius - 600
Default Force - 550
Modded Force - 750

Missile Launcher Mods:
Eliminated range penalty for stabilizer.

Fat Man
Default Damage Value - 18 Direct, 450 Explosion
Modded Damage - 18 Direct, 750 Explosion
Default Radius - 300
Default IS Radius - 850
Modded Radius - 350
Modded IS Radius - 950
Default Force - 1200
Modded Force - 2000

Default Damage Value - 9 Energy
Modded Damage Value - 20 Energy

Junk Jet
Default Damage Value - 40
Modded Damage Value - 80

Rationale: By far the most disappointing weapon category, heavy weapons are incredibly heavy, incredibly ammo inefficient, and worst? Aren't even all that much good at killing your enemy. Very few things should survive a missile or a mini nuke to the face, nor should they be able to withstand literal minutes of fire from a minigun or gatling laser. The flamer is possibly the worst weapon in the game, with rare and expensive fuel, combined with a flabbergasting inability to accomplish anything shotguns cannot. All were in need of fairly heavy damage buffs, though the ammo inefficiency remains. If you really need overkill, and sometimes you really do, packing a heavy weapon is now a legitimate option.

The Junk Jet is still a pain in the ass to use, but at least now it's a pain in the ass that does decent damage. 

With regards to the explosives, I always found both rather underwhelming. The missile launcher has a tiny radius and pathetic damage - a combat rifle should not outdamage a literal missile that weighs a ton. The tiny radius just contributes to wasteful ammo use, and makes AOE damage essentially nonexistant. By boosting radius and damage, the missile launcher actually has a purpose - it will outdamage just about every other weapon in the game - at least until you need to reload. It's heavy as shit and ammo is pretty rare as well. Very good against bosses or clumps of enemies, poor against everyone else. 

The Fat Man, then, can be plausibly seen as the missile launcher writ large. Frankly, very very little should survive a mini nuke to the face, and increasing damage and radius significantly helps resolve it. The even more limited ammo and higher weight serve to reign this weapon in. The bigger radius makes aiming a bit easier, and the fact that the mini nuke doesn't have a fuckoff big radius to begin with just breaks your suspension of disbelief. 

Other Guns:

Gauss Rifle
Default Damage Value - 110
Modded Damage Value - 110

Default Magazine Size: 5
Modded Magazine Size: 2

Gauss Rifle Mods:
Significantly increased range penalty for silencer. 

Let's face it. If you have the ammo, the gauss rifle is the best weapon for any situation. It outdamages the assault rifles, outfires the sniper rifles, and it comes with a suppressor to boot. It's still ridiculously powerful, but now you have to count your shots and deal with the slow reload. 

Railway Rifle
Default Damage Value - 100
Modded Damage Value - 120

Weapon mod changes:
Increased automatic rate of fire.
Reduced weight.

The railway rifle is the best worst gun. It's great! It's just that its damage is so shit you never get to see the fun bits. Accordingly, damage has been significantly raised, and rate of fire increased. It's a fun gun with very little ammo, that unfortunately pales in comparison to a properly modded combat rifle (as most weapons do, admittedly).

Gamma Gun (no change)
Default Radiation Exposure Value - 10
Modded Radiation Exposure Value - 10

Unique Guns:

Default Damage Value - 33
Modded Damage Value - 60

Default Damage Value - 20
Modded Damage Value - 40


Default Damage Value - 25
Modded Damage Value - 35

Default Magazine Size - 8
Modded Magazine Size - 10

Weapon Mods:
Eliminated range penalty for short barrel.
Reduced range penalty for suppressor. 
Reduced extra ammo capacity with the quick eject magazine.
Eliminated damage penalty with the light frame.

Rationale: Just as the pistols were buffed, so too must be the deliverer. Now boasting an equal magazine size to the 10mm, the Deliverer's sleek look and exceptional power do provide a straight upgrade, which is probably fairly appropriate for such a unique item. Similarly, the Broadsider literally shoots cannon balls at people and should probably do slightly more physical damage than a 7.62 NATO round. 

Melee Weapons:

All basic melee weapons have had their damage multiplied by 2, to compensate for ridiculously slow swing speed. Unique or rare melee weapons have their damage values specified below.

Power Fist:
Default Damage Value - 20
Modded Damage Value - 60

Chinese Officer Sword:
Default Damage Value - 16
Modded Damage Value - 40

Default Damage Value - 4
Modded Damage Value - 14

Default Damage Value - 13 + 13 Energy
Modded Damage Value - 35 + 35 Energy

Grognak's Axe:
Default Damage Value - 25
Modded Damave Value - 75

Rationale: Unique weapons and the power fist were buffed significantly, so as to make them a more credible alternative to guns and firearms. While most junk melee weapons remain ineffectual in comparison, these standouts actually offer some nice advantages, when you consider the fact that they will now generally outdamage their ranged counterparts. Fair enough, considering you have to get shot a bunch to get close enough. Unique weapons will now do between 40-50 DPS depending on what their extra effects are. The power fist remains around 30 or so, considering it's not technically unique.

DLC Changes:

Tesla Rifle:
Default Damage Value - 32
Modded Damage Value - 45

Assaultron Blade
Default Damage Value - 17
Modded Damage Value - 42

Salvaged Assaultron Head
Default Damage Value - 35
Modded Damage Value - 60
Radiation damage incurred reduced to 10 from 25 per tick. 

Install with Nexus Mod Manager. Created with FO4Edit. Set plugins.txt to read only, even with NMM!

Compatibility Patch for Immersive Weapon Names - Lore Weapons and Ammo available here.