Fallout 4 is a weird game in general and feels "not quite at home" in the long-running franchise. There’s plenty to like about the title and there are plenty of fun and interesting moments, but the game isn’t quite as cohesive as the previous Fallout games. Moreover, the cracks in Fallout 4 are the same that destroyed the foundation of Fallout 76 and made it a fundamentally broken experience. Fallout 4 might have the series’ classic look and is far more approachable to newcomers to the series, but its story and themes just don’t have the same punch as the original titles or Fallout: New Vegas.
A big part of this disconnect is the game’s increased focus on combat, rather than the role-playing game elements that defined much of the series. You can still role-play in this title but the protagonist is more defined than in any other Fallout games, and minimizing combat in a playthrough really weakens the experience. However, one benefit of this focus on fighting is that Fallout 4 gives a player loads of fun weapons to battle the scourges of the wasteland.
Some of these weapons make you a monster-destroying machine, others are fun for a while and then become quickly outclassed, and a few are downright useless. With such an emphasis on battling enemies, using these inferior weapons for too long can really sour a playthrough of Fallout 4. With that in mind, these are the 15 best and 15 worst items the Soul Survivor can use as they explore the nuclear wasteland.
30 Useless: Western Revolver
The Western Revolver is exclusive to a quest in the Nuka World DLC. The player will have to use the Western Revolver to beat a robot in a quick draw contest so that they can get part of a code to unlock a safe. The Western Revolver isn’t a great item, because at this point in the game most, players will have handguns that far outclass this weapon. It is pretty fun that this quest limits what weapons a player can use, though, and Fallout 4 might be a better game overall if there were more of that.
29 Best: Ashmaker
Miniguns are one of the most powerful weapons in the Fallout series. The unique Ashmaker takes the already ridiculous power of the minigun and adds an incendiary effect. This means that a player isn’t just ripping enemies to shreds with bullets, the sole survivor is also setting them on fire! This effect plus the minigun's high rate of fire gives the Ashmaker one of the highest damage per second stats in the game and a player can use it to take out even the tankiest of enemies with ease.
28 Useless: Syringer
The Syringer is an odd item in Fallout 4 that applies various effects to enemies depending on the ammunition it fires. For instance, the Syringer can cause an enemy to forget about a player temporarily or spawn a Bloatfly after they are defeated, if the player crafts the appropriate ammunition at a chemistry station beforehand. While the Syringer can create some hectic situations and distract enemies in tougher battles, the ease at which a player can just brute force their way through most situations makes it rather useless.
27 Best: Railway Rifle
The Railway Rifle is a unique and brutal item in Fallout 4 that lets a player battle countless enemies without worrying much about ammunition. Rather than fire traditional bullets, the Railway Rifle shoots railway spikes, which sometimes pin enemies or their limbs to walls. Best of all, a player can usually recover these spikes from an enemy's corpse, and reuse them. This vicious weapon lets a player fight countless enemies and recycle their ammunition after, making it one of the best items in the entire game.
26 Useless: Cappy Glasses
The Cappy Glasses are a unique clothing item that is used to complete the Cappy in a Haystack sidequest in the Nuka World DLC. They allow a player to see hidden mascots and get a code to meet the living head of the creator of Nuka Cola. After a player completes this quest, the Cappy Glasses become functionally worthless and don’t even provide a stat buff like most other glasses in the game. These glasses are purposeless outside of one sidequest, and therefore one of the most useless items in Fallout 4.
25 Best: Gauss Rifle
The Gauss Rifle is an incredibly powerful weapon in Fallout 4 that forces a player to fight strategically and carefully. To deal max damage, the Gauss Rifle needs to charge for a few seconds and can only hit a target accurately when aimed down the sight. It lets a player deal tremendous damage to a single large enemy or a cluster of enemies, but leaves them defenseless while preparing to fire. It adds a risk-and-reward element held by few other items in the game, and most players should definitely make room for it in their inventory.
24 Useless: Robot Repair Kit
The Robot Repair Kit only appears in Fallout 4 following the installation of the Automatron DLC. It’s basically a stimpak, but for robot companions and will revive them if they are downed in battle. However, it only works on robot companions and is completely useless if a player is not traveling with a bot. Additionally, companions will heal themselves over time, making the Robot Repair Kit even more unnecessary. Basically, it’s an unnecessary healing item that can’t even heal the player and should never take up an inventory slot.
23 Best: Reba II
Reba II is a unique sniper rifle in Fallout 4 that inflicts increased damage against Mirelurk and insect enemies. Considering how often a player will fight Mirelurks, and how they usually just meander in an area before they notice the sole survivor, this makes Reba II one of the best sniper rifles in the game. A player can obtain this item by completing the Gun Run quest, or by stealing it from the Rook family house. Either way, with so much utility it definitely deserves a spot in a player’s main rotation of weapons.
22 Useless: Pipe Bolt-Action
The Pipe Bolt-Action gun is probably one of the first weapons a player will pick up after they leave Vault 111, and also one of the worst weapons in the game. The Pipe Bolt-Action does very little damage to enemies, takes forever to reload, and is literally cobbled together from discarded pieces of wood and metal. Sure, they might use some of the most common ammunition in the game and bost a high rate of fire when modified, but before too long pipe weapons of any variety become entirely obsolete. This is doubly true for the Pipe Bolt-Action weapon.
21 Best: Freefall Legs
The Freefall Legs are a unique set of leg armor that entirely negate fall damage. A player can only find the Freefall Legs by exploring the Mass Fusion building in a set of Power Armor with a jetpack, but the hassle is well worth it as wearing this armor makes traversing the game much easier. Wearing this armor lets a player ignore the damage from otherwise lethal falls and adventure through the world in ways that would almost be impossible otherwise. Every player should go out of their way to acquire theses liberating legs.
20 Useless: Raider Power Armor
Raider Power Armor is kind of a waste in Fallout 4. It might be easy to repair and easy to find, but it’s incredibly weak compared to every other full armor variation. Considering how early in the game a player finds a more developed set of Power Armor, there’s little reason for anyone to use this scrap metal suit of armor. At best, this armor adds a bit more challenge to taking down Raider type enemies, but should never appear on a player unless they are playing the game in a very specific fashion.
19 Best: Deathclaw Steak
The Deathclaw Steak is a consumable item that a player can make when they bring Deathclaw Meat to a cooking station. This item will heal a player by 185 HP and boosts their agility state for an hour worth of real-world time. This boost to agility increases the number of action points a player can use for special moves and sprinting, as well as makes them harder to detect while sneaking. So not only does this item heal a player, but it also makes them better at stealthily taking down enemies.
18 Useless: Flamer
The Flamer is an odd weapon in Fallout 4 that focuses largely on damaging enemies over time by spraying them with flames. While this weapon is definitely a cool concept, in practice it’s less than effective. Other heavy weapons like the Fat Man are better at taking out groups of enemies than The Flamer, and The Flamer is almost useless against single enemies unless they have a weakness to fire. Even if there are a handful of situations where it will come in handy, The Flamer is a mostly useless item in Fallout 4.
17 Best: Mirelurk Queen Steak
The Mirelurk Queen Steak is far and away one of the best consumables in all of Fallout 4. After cooking meat from a Mirelurk Queen, this item will restore 200 HP to a player and increase their endurance by 2 for an hour of play. This endurance not only raises a player’s overall HP, but it also lowers the rate at which a player consumes AP when sprinting. Mirelurk Queen Steaks are nothing short of one of the best healing items in the game and a reward well worth the lengthy fight needed to get them.
16 Useless: Junk Jet
The Junk Jet could fire itself at enemies because it’s a piece of junk. Rather than fire ammunition, this weapon launches miscellaneous items at opponents. These materials need to be loaded into the Junk Jet manually, which can take quite a bit of time and can be picked up after they're used as ammunition most of the time. However, with strict carry weight limits in place for the entirety of Fallout 4, it just isn’t practical to carry around loads of scrap to make use of a rather ineffective weapon.
15 Best: Wazer Wifle
The Wazer Wifle is a unique laser rifle that’s essentially an enhanced version of the UP77 Prototype laser rifle. The Wazer Wifle has the Never Ending bonus effect, which means a player will never need to reload the weapon. This eliminates the vulnerable period where a player needs to replace a laser weapon’s fuel cell and instead lets them attack enemies continuously. Even if this weapon does sometimes lead to players using up more ammo than intended, it’s still a terrific item that can effectively take down large groups of enemies or bulkier opponents.
14 Useless: Laser Musket
The Laser Musket is not a good weapon and it’s fitting that one of the game’s most annoying companions, Preston Garvey, uses it as his primary means of attack. Even if it has the potential to become the strongest sniper rifle in the game, it’s weaknesses make it far too annoying to use. This gun needs to be reloaded after every shot, and it has one of the lengthiest reload times of any weapon in the game. Moreover, a player needs to load it before use when they equip it, unlike every other weapon.
13 Best: Aeternus
Similar to the Wazer Wifle, a player never needs to reload the Aeternus. However, this weapon possesses true unlimited ammo. To earn this infinite Gatling Gun, a player will need to fight several challenging enemies over several in-game days until the Rogue Knight appears and challenges the player in the Amoral Combat Nuka World side quest.
To call this weapon overpowered is an understatement, and it might be one of the single most useful items in the entire game. It’s a pain to earn, but well worth the time and battles needed to obtain it.
12 Useless: Cryolator
The Cryolator is a weapon that the sole survivor will see in the process of leaving Vault 111, but cannot take with them because it’s hidden behind a master level lock. It’s supposed to be a be a reward for players who return to the Vault after spending hours leveling up so they can get to the weapon. However, it’s not actually all that useful. The Cryolator is basically a Flamer that freezes enemies instead, but it takes so long and the ammo for it is so rare, that it’s not ever worth using.
11 Best: Bobby Pin
The Bobby Pin is a common but incredibly useful item in Fallout 4. It allows a player to pick locks that are at or below their proficiency in the field and lets them enter otherwise inaccessible areas. Since most of the best weapons and items are hidden behind locks, this makes Bobby Pins vital in improving the sole- survivor’s inventory. Since you can’t always count on companions having the skill to pick locks, it’s a good idea for the player to have a few Bobby Pins on them at all times.
10 Useless: Salvaged Assaultron Head
The Salvaged Assaultron Head is the only energy weapon that damages a player every time they fire it. This weapon will inflict radiation damage on the player every time they fire off a blast, that also isn’t much stronger than other energy weapons. Even if the radiation damage can be minimized with the appropriate perks, it’s still mind-boggling why an average weapon that hurts the player is in the game, or why anyone would ever use it.
9 Best: Thirst Zapper
The Thirst Zapper is an item that goes from gimmicky to lethal in the Nuka World DLC. At first, it only shoots water, which allows a player to damage the raider leader when they arrive at Nuka World for the first time. However, once a player uncovers the Project Cobalt schematics, they can upgrade the squirt gun to a weapon capable of generating small nuclear explosions. Proof that great things can come in small packages, the Thirst Zapper is a great weapon if a player is willing to put the time into improving it.
8 Useless: Gamma Gun
The Gamma Gun is terrifically useful in certain circumstances and functionally worthless in others. This weapon shoots of blasts of irradiation that quickly damage enemies as time passes. However, the majority of non-human enemies that a player encounters have very high radiation resistance or outright immunity to this kind of damage. This means that the Gamma Gun is worthless against most enemies in Fallout 4 and a player should only consider using it if they know they’ll fight a powerful human opponent.
7 Best: Tesla Rifle
The Tesla Rifle is a unique weapon that premiered in the Automatron DLC. This weapon fires blasts of electricity that can arc between enemies that are close to each other. This makes the Tesla Rifle the best weapon in the game when it comes to dealing with multiple enemies in confined spaces, weapons that create large explosions risk damaging the player. It might not be the strongest weapon in the game, but the Tesla Rifle is really useful during indoor battles and deserves a slot in any player’s inventory.
6 Useless: HalluciGen Gas Grenade
The HaluciGen Gas Grenade is a rare type of grenade in Fallout 4 that inflicts very little damage on enemies but also puts them into a frenzied state for a minute of real-world time. This makes NPCs attack anything within their range and even turn against their own allies. While it seems useful on paper, it really just makes chaotic situations even more hectic. These grenades also run the risk of making friendly NPCs damage each other and just don’t have much use outside of trying to escape from a group of enemies.
5 Best: Kremvh’s Tooth
Kremvh’s Tooth is the only arcane weapon in Fallout 4, and one of the best melee weapons. This legendary machete inflicts additional bleeding and poison damage to enemies after landing a hit, making it lethal to all foes except for robots. This melee weapon is hidden away at the bottom of a quarry-turned-Raider-compound, but these stellar effects make it worth the trek and ghastly visions the sole survivor endures along the way. Now if only we knew what exactly was going on with the Dunwich company and Ug-Qualtoth.
4 Useless: Bear Trap
The Bear Trap is a special kind of stationary weapon that inflicts damage on the enemy that steps on it and has a decent chance of severely limiting their mobility. While this all seems good, with the context of the other stationary weapons in the game it just doesn’t measure up. Most mines inflict greater damage over a wider area than the bear trap, and the Cryomine is guaranteed to freeze enemies. Even if the bear trap is reusable, by the time a player encounters them they will have a large cache of better mines stored up.
3 Best: Big Boy
The Big Boy is one of the most powerful weapons in Fallout 4, as it has the special ability to shoot two mini-nukes at once. Moreover, it only uses one round of ammunition for each shot, effectively doubling the damage without any additional cost to the player. Moreover, it can be modified to fire up to twelve rounds at the cost of one and even launch the much more powerful Nuka-Nukes. It is a powerful weapon and useful item in the entirety of Fallout 4, letting a player defeat any enemy with ease.
2 Useless: 2076 World Series Baseball Bat
The 2076 World Series Baseball Bat is a disappointing item earned after a needlessly difficult quest. This legendary baseball bat has a chance to launch enemies into the air and is found after the Treasure of Jamaica Plains’ sidequest. Fallout 4 hypes the treasure up as being something incredible or game-changing, but instead, players just get a bat after navigating through loads of traps. It’s a disappointing reward for a frustrating mission and easily one of the most useless items in all of Fallout 4.
1 Best: Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV
The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV is by far one of the best and most useful items a player will come across in their time with Fallout 4. A player will use it so often in their adventure, that it’s easy to forget that they didn’t always have it, and that it was an item the sole survivor found as they left Vault 111. The Pip-Boy lets a player manage their inventory, boost their stats, keep track of quests, and so much more. It is nothing short of vital in exploring Fallout 4’s enticing open world.