Fallout 4
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About this mod

Overhauls the gun and explosive perks, separating the special effects from the damage bonuses and overlapping some of the effects on weapon types. The goal is to allow you to pick up any gun and have it do viable damage regardless of whether or not you specialized in that weapon's type.

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This mod accomplishes the goal of having more weapon types becoming viable to use by separating the special effects and damage bonuses you get through weapon perks. The idea is that one perk affects the damage your weapons do, while the others allow you to get special effects for specializing in that weapon type, similar to how the Sniper Perk works.

Why did I decide to make this mod? Fallout 4 has lots of cool weapons to play around with in all different categories, heavy, pistol, rifle, automatic, etc. I've always found it frustrating that when you spec into one weapon type, it quickly makes any weapon you don't spec into obsolete as they won’t do nearly the damage your other weapons will do.

Where did the idea for my fix come from? The very first time I played through Fallout 4, I misread and thought that the Commando perk affected all guns, not just automatic ones. I reloaded a previous save when I figured out my mistake because I didn't want to use automatic weapons for that first play-though.

A few notes. This only affects the Gunslinger, Rifleman, Commando, Heavy Gunner, and Demolition Expert perks. I didn't mess with the Melee perks for a few reasons, but my main excuse will be that those weapons are more "technique" based. Unarmed and melee use different techniques, and while actual use may vary, guns when boiled down are all more or less point and shoot.

So here is what actually happens.

Gunslinger, Rifleman, Heavy Gunner, and Demolition Expert all have their weapon specific damage bonuses removed. Commando now increases the damage of all guns and explosives.  The effects of commando are then added to the Gunslinger and Rifleman perks.  Since the first perk for Gunslinger and Rifleman are purely a damage bonus with no special effects, it is essentially removed leaving them as 4 ranked perks instead of 5.  Heavy gunner loses its first and last perk dropping it down to a 3 ranked perk. Note that these all will still have the same requirements as before.  For example, Rifleman 1 is now the same as the old Rifleman 2, both give a 15% armor penetration, and have a level requirement of level 9. This will leave the perk greyed out in the Perk Chart until you hit level 9 and meet the requirements.

Since Commando was combine with Gunslinger and Rifleman, I made some of the effects overlap. After some testing, the chance-based ones will still be separate depending on whether the gun is automatic or not. This is for a few reasons. First, automatics ended up easily disarming or crippling opponents. More bullets mean more chances, and if the percent chance was adjusted for automatics it felt too low for non-automatics. Second, I felt that those chance-based effects actually differentiated the automatic weapon from the non-automatic one. Non-automatic weapons are more about using precision to disable and take down your target, while automatics are more about overwhelming them, hence the stagger. The other effects do overlap. For Gunslinger, all pistols gain the increased range and hip fire (and thus sighted) accuracy effects, regardless of their automatic status. For Rifleman, all rifles will gain the armor penetrating effect and the hip fire effect.  Keep in mind that automatics only get the effects from the weapon type you spec into, it is no longer all automatics- i.e. if you spec into Gunslinger automatic rifles will not gain the stagger effects unless you spec into Rifleman as well.

Another note on rifleman, since lasers are bugged and don't actually get the armor penetration effect, they will instead get a damage bonus that is equivalent to additional damage gained by armor penetration. This is actually smaller than you would think.

Below is a list of the perks and their effects. All the effects, except the laser fix, are vanilla ones from the creation kit. I just changed what perk and condition actually activated the effect.

Commando (% increase depends on esp installed, standard version shown below)
Rank 1 – 20% more damage to Guns and Explosives
Rank 2 – 40% more damage to Guns and Explosives
Rank 3 – 60% more damage to Guns and Explosives
Rank 4 – 80% more damage to Guns and Explosives
Rank 5 – Double damage to Guns and Explosives

Rank 1 – Increased range and accuracy
Rank 2 – Further increased range and accuracy
Rank 3 – Non-automatic pistols attacks can disarm opponents, automatics have a chance to stagger
Rank 4 – Non-automatic pistols attacks have a much better chance to disarm opponents, and may even cripple a limb. Automatics have an increased chance to stagger

Rank 1 – Attacks with rifles gain improved accuracy. Ballistic rifles ignore 15% of a target's armor, while lasers gain extra damage.
Rank 2 – Attacks with rifles gain further improved accuracy. Ballistic rifles ignore 20% of a target's armor, while lasers gain more additional damage.
Rank 3 – Ballistic rifles ignore 25% of a target's armor, lasers gain even more additional damage. Non-automatic rifles gain a slight chance of crippling a limb, while automatic gain a chance to stagger.
Rank 4 – Ballistic rifles ignore 30% of a target's armor, lasers gain further additional damage. Non-automatic rifles have a slightly higher chance of crippling a limb, automatic have a higher chance to stagger.

Heavy Gunner
Rank 1 – Heavy guns have improved hip fire accuracy
Rank 2 – Heavy guns' hip fire accuracy is increased even more
Rank 3 – Heavy guns have a chance to stagger your opponent

Demolition Expert
Rank 1 –You can craft explosives at any Chemistry Station
Rank 2 – Your grenades gain a throwing arc
Rank 3 – Your explosives affect a larger area
Rank 4 – Mines and grenades shot in V.A.T.S. explode for double damage (This means double of whatever grenade/mine you shoot. If you shoot your own grenade/mine with Commando 5 you will do QUADRUPLE damage, 2 * 2 = 4)


For a new character this mod should be a simple plug and play. The installer will walk you through if you use Vortex, Mod Organizer 2, etc. (for NMM Community Edition see comments). Otherwise, drag and drop one of the esp files into your data folder, check the readme for more details if manually installing.

For an existing save, you are going to want to make sure you don’t have any ranks in Gunslinger, Rifleman, Commando, Heavy Gunner, and Demolition Expert. If you do, you are going to have to remove them. The easiest way to do this is by using the G&E Cleaner Holotape provided under optional files. Install the optional file and run the game before installing the main file. Once you have the game up, craft the holotape at a chem station and use it. Select "Remove Gun & Explosive Perks" and it will automatically clean up the perks for you and add any points you spent back to the perk point pool. Then install the main file and re-spend the perk points to get back to your previous ranks. This also allows you to recover points for ranks that no longer exist (Rifleman 5, etc.).  Alternatively, you can use the console to remove them one rank at a time before installing this mod, then add them back once it is installed. Guides on how to do this are easily found online. If you don’t, or if you leave a Rank that no longer exists, the perks won’t function properly.


Since this mod only modifies the 5 previously listed perks and their multiple levels, it’s compatible with anything that doesn’t mess with perks. If you use some other perk overhaul mod and want to use this one as well, put this one lower on your mod list.

There is a Patch for Nuka-World, since it uses combat perks as crafting perks for a few of its weapons. The recipes have been altered to use the previous rank when it applies. The overall character level requirements will still be the same.