From the dependable Machine Gun to the surprisingly effective Nail Gun, Quake 4’s arsenal contains no shortage of unique weaponry. Using the right weapon for the situation at hand makes the difference between victory and brutal defeat in your fight against the Strogg — and other players.
While there are moments where every firearm in Quake 4 shines, they were not created equal. Whether they’re suited for clearing rooms full of weaker enemies, blowing away bosses, or controlling space in multiplayer, the best Quake weapons aren’t just good – when used the right way, they’re outstanding.
12 Napalm Launcher
Only available in multiplayer (unless the “give all” cheat is used), the Napalm Launcher shoots a fireball that ignites anything it hits, for a brief duration. The fireball itself doesn’t do very much damage, and the flame it leaves behind only takes out a small amount of health when players make contact with it.
The Napalm Launcher works decently well as an option to keep the opposing team away from certain choke-points. But it simply doesn’t have enough power to justify using it over other weapons that occupy a similar role.
The Blaster isn’t too bad of a sidearm. Your starting weapon in the single-player campaign, the Blaster is capable of both semi-automatic firing and more effective charged shots.
While it’s not a good choice to use against medium or strong enemy types, the Blaster is great for helping you conserve ammo when going up against weaker foes. With a few well-placed headshots, the Blaster can make short work of the Strogg’s lesser forces.
The default weapon in multiplayer, the Gauntlet is the sole melee weapon in Quake 4’s armory. The Gauntlet is capable of taking out a player without health or armor powerups in just two hits. By ambushing opponents on their way to an objective, you can use the Gauntlet to quickly dispatch your target.
Of course, the Gauntlet suffers from an abysmally limited range. In a game dominated by rocket launchers and machine gun fire, a lack of reach is a serious shortcoming.
In single player, the Railgun serves as an alternative to more effective explosive weapons. While it’s not as good for crowd control as the Grenade or Rocket Launchers, it packs enough punch to quickly take out enemies with medium health.
The Railgun is a bit more dangerous in multiplayer, since it doesn’t need to be reloaded. A single shot from the Railgun will instantly kill any player without health or armor powerups. All that said, the cooldown between shots still gives your opponents plenty of time to react.
8 Dark Matter Gun
In terms of damage alone, the Dark Matter Gun is the most devastating of all the weapons in single player. Firing a miniature black hole that sucks in weaker enemies, the Dark Matter Gun is extremely effective if you need to quickly eliminate a group of Strogg.
The main downsides of the Dark Matter Gun are its limited ammo and slow rate of fire. Since the Dark Matter Cores needed to power the weapon are the rarest in the game, you’ll want to save ammo for difficult areas and boss fights.
7 Machine Gun
A starting weapon in multiplayer and one of the first weapons you obtain in the campaign, the Machine Gun is a reliable choice for dealing with weaker enemies. With a fast rate of fire and a unique damage bonus for hitting the flesh of Stroggs, the Machine Gun is best used to pick off weaker targets before you go after heavier foes with your more powerful weapons.
In multiplayer battles, the Machine Gun doesn’t deal massive damage, but it does help you chip away at the opposing team’s health while you try to acquire powerups and map weapons.
In areas of the campaign where you have to fight the Strogg forces in tight corridors, the Shotgun is your best friend. When it hits a target at extremely close range, a Shotgun blast can deal nearly as much damage as a rocket.
As you can expect from a shooter like Quake, the Shotgun becomes virtually useless outside close quarters. Likewise, it’s best used in multiplayer as an ambush weapon since it can obliterate an opponent that unknowingly crosses your path.
5 Nail Gun
Although it doesn’t fire quite as fast as the Machine Gun, the Nail Gun’s superior damage and bouncing projectiles more than make up the difference. The Nail Gun works well against both weak and medium Strogg enemies, thanks to some of the best single player upgrades — a greatly improved fire rate and homing nails.
The Nail Gun isn’t particularly good in Multiplayer. A lower rate of fire than its single-player counterpart means the weapon simply can’t compete with the amount of damage the Rocket Launcher and Railgun can dish out in the time it takes to get the barrels rotating.
4 Grenade Launcher
The Grenade Launcher is both one of the better crowd control weapons in single player and a decent substitute for the Rocket Launcher during boss encounters. Grenades normally explode a few seconds after being fired but will detonate instantly if they make contact with an enemy target.
Since the Grenade Launcher can be used in cover by bouncing projectiles off of bumpers, it’s useful in multiplayer matches as a way to block access to key parts of the map. As in the campaign, the Grenade Launcher is an excellent choice for going up against crowds. Its splash damage can easily weaken a group of players that are clustered together.
3 Lightning Gun
The ultimate defense against groups of weaker Stroggs, the Lightning Gun fires a continuous stream of electricity. This weapon can even hit multiple enemies at once after the Chain Lightning upgrade is acquired, stunning targets in addition to dealing damage to them.
Since it doesn’t need to reload, the Lightning Gun is also one of the safest weapons to use against the Strogg. It’s not quite as strong in multiplayer, but its ability to damage two or more players at the same time is great in chaotic, close-ranged matches.
2 Rocket Launcher
You won’t always have Rocket Launcher ammo on hand during your single-player playthrough, so this mighty weapon is best saved for large groups of enemies and intense boss battles. Speaking of single player, an increased magazine size and homing rocket upgrade is unlocked for the Rocket Launcher in the Waste Disposal Facility. When fully upgraded, this explosive weapon can take down even the most durable Stroggs.
With its direct hits and splash damage both dealing enough damage to take out an unarmored player with one shot, the Rocket Launcher in Quake 4’s multiplayer is a game-winning weapon. Due to its overwhelming power, securing the Rocket Launcher should be a priority in most matches.
Like the Machine Gun and Nail Gun, the Hyperblaster is a rapid-fire weapon that can take out weaker Stroggs with ease. But unlike these other rifle-like weapons, the Hyperblaster deals damage at a fast enough rate to handle some of the strongest Strogg adversaries as well.
With excellent range, a quick fire rate, and a bouncing projectile upgrade, the Hyperblaster can hold its own in nearly any situation the Quake 4 campaign throws at you. If you find yourself facing overwhelming odds, the Hyperblaster is your best bet for creating an opening.