Video games have a long, storied history of hiding the most interesting, or at least idiocentric, weapons, loot and areas behind fiendish challenges.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night hid half of the game behind a secret ending, Ridge Racer let you to race around the tracks backwards only after you beat the Galaga loading game, and Borderlands 2 had secreted a whole hidden area in homage to Minecraft.
When it comes to unlocking the best weapons, developers will make you jump through a lot of virtual hoops to get your hands on them.
Some of these weapons are only available after you beat a game on its hardest difficulty setting, rendering their acquisition somewhat moot.
Others become available through convoluted quests over several stages, while some demand that the player be some kind of psychic to decipher puzzles without any clues.
However, the extra effort is often worth it and will reward the hardy player with a weapon that will not only lay waste to the competition but also bestow on them bragging rights.
In a world of cookie-cutter video game experiences, seeking out rare loot is a throwback to when games were genuinely hard and demanded more from a player than following a series of checkpoints – and that’s a good thing.
Yet, finding these hidden weapons is, and always has been, a daunting task without a guide to show you the way.
That’s why we’ve gathered 20 hidden weapons that are truly worth seeking you out and clued you in on how to get them.
Don’t believe us? Then check out these 20 Rare Hidden Weapons (And How to Find Them) and see for yourself.
20 Master Sword (Zelda: Breath of the wild)
This iconic sword is found by the Great Deku tree in the Korok Forest. Like Excalibur, the Master Sword is lodged in stone.
At first, it looks like you can just reach and pull it out, but once you do your health counters will begin to deplete.
In a short cut-scene the Great Deku tree advises you that you’ll need plenty of strength if you’re to stand any chance of getting the sword.
Translated, this means that to get the sword you need at least 13 heart containers.
That means you need to have completed 40 shrines or beaten four divine beasts and completed 24 shrines. Either way you cut it, that’s a tall order.
However, the sword is worth seeking out. Not only does it never break, but it is incredibly strong and is even more powerful against enemies affected by the great calamity.
19 Whisper of the Worm (Destiny 2)
One of the most useful sniper rifles in the game, the Whisper of the Worm is similar to the Black Spindle from the original Destiny.
The weapon is unlocked by completing the time limited "Whisper" bonus mission, which appears every Friday to Monday.
To get the Whisper of the Worm, go to Io’s Lost Oasis area and start the “Taken Bright” public event.
Defeat enemies with yellow bars and then jump into the portal that appears.
You’ll now be in “The Whisper” secret mission. Complete this within 20 minutes to get your hands around the coveted sniper rifle.
It’s a tough mission so make sure that your power level is at least 380 before starting. A full walkthrough can be found on Eurogamer.
18 Windshear sword (Skyrim)
Windshear is undoubtedly one of the best swords in the epic RPG Skyrim.
This behemoth of a sword will cause any foe to stagger upon being hit, including dragons. That means if you time things right, you can expect minimal resistance.
This mighty sword is available during the Dark Brotherhood quest “Hail Sithis!” on a ship called The Katariah.
Head to the main deck of the boat, then take the stairs at the bow of the ship (otherwise known as the front of the ship to the land lovers out there).
You’ll come across a long wooden beam which you’ll need to walk up to find Windshear, which has been lodged, Excalibur like, in the ship’s prow.
Once you have this one-handed sword in your gauntlet, you’re near enough unstoppable.
17 Encore Schematic Staff (Dragon Age: Inquisition)
Only available for mages, the Encore Schematic Staff is available in Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC.
The powerful weapon is well worth seeking out. Not only can it increase your attack speed, but can also be used to add bonus damage to your party’s attacks and regenerate their health.
When you first enter The Crossroads area of the game, you’ll encounter a skeleton holding a treasure map immediately to your left after passing the first Eluvian.
The treasure map reveals the location of four Halla statues in the Winter Palace. Collect all these statues and you’ll be rewarded with the schematic.
During the quest you’ll get a top hat. Put the dapper hat on the skeleton that you first encountered for +6 cunning points.
16 Aerondight (Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
Available in Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine expansion pack, the Aerondight is probably the best silver sword in the game.
Each mighty hit with the sword increases the weapon’s damage by 10%, and at full charge your guaranteed a critical hit with each attack.
To get this fine blade, you need to complete the Highlander-esque "There Can Only Be One" quest, which is activated from the notice boards in Troussaint or by speaking with a hermit who resides at a lake west of Corvo Bianco.
To complete the quest you need to display five chivalric virtues: generosity, compassion, honor, valor and wisdom.
Once you have displayed these virtues, return to the hermit. He’ll challenge you to a duel and when he is defeated the Lady of the Lake will appear to bestow the Aerondight upon you.
Hopefully we'll see Henry Cavill wield the Aerondlight in the upcoming Netflix's adaptation.
15 Hand Cannon (Dead Space 2)
Taking the shape of a red foam sports hand typically seen at major sporting events, and not on overrun space stations, the Hand Cannon is easily the most powerful weapon in Dead Space 2.
Primary fire is called “Bang, Bang!”, secondary fire “pew, pew, pew”, and whatever players are pointing at will explode. Ammo is infinite, and the rate of fire is as fast as players can pull the trigger.
To unlock this foam-based weapon of infinite destruction players have to first beat the game on its standard difficulty setting to unlock an even harder difficulty which then must also be beaten.
Some fans have complained that the weapon takes away from the game's overall atmosphere of dread but, seriously, after beating the game twice over, players are owed a little fun.
14 Hadokan (Mega Man X)
Ryu’s Hadoken ability lets Mega Man unleash blue fire balls just like his street fighting friend. Makes sense as both the Mega Man and Streetfighter series are published by Capcom.
However, Ryu’s Hadoken is well-hidden and insanely difficult to find.
First collect every armor upgrade, boss weapon, heart tank, and energy tank (seriously).
Second, in the Armored Armadillo level, ride the mine cart to the end of the stage. At the last jump, wall jump the last wall to the top.
Here you will discover an energy power up. Collect this power up and then drop into the pit. Repeat this step five times (again, seriously).
When the level next loads up you’ll now find a Dr. Light capsule at the end of the level which will give you the hadoken ability.
13 Magnopulser (Far Cry 5)
Far Cry 5’s Magnopulser is an alien weapon bestowed on you by mad scientist Larry Parker.
The slick looking weapon has two modes of attack: 1) it can be used to throw objects and people about, and 2) a close-range mode which vaporizes your prey.
We’ll leave it to you to decide which is the more fun mode. However, vaporized opponents only leave weapons and ammo, no loot.
To get the Magnopulser you first need to find Larry. You’ll probably hear about him on your radio, but don’t worry if you don’t – Mad Scientist Larry can be found at Parker Laboratories, which is just west of Fall’s End.
Once you’ve found Larry, simply complete his side quest missions to get the Magnopulsar. Oh, and Larry’s shoes…
12 Hidden Weapon (Dark Souls 3)
Now this isn’t strictly a hidden weapon in the traditional sense, rather it is a spell that turns your currently equipped weapon invisible (ie hidden) for a whole 45 seconds.
The spell can be purchased from Orbeck of Vinheim for a mere 1,500 souls once you give him the Golden Scroll.
You’ll also need a staff or special weapon that can cast spells.
While in the single player game, having an invisible weapon isn’t exactly intuitive or helpful and will, more than likely, result in an early demise, it does have an advantage in multiplayer.
By hiding your weapon, human foes are less likely to be able to predict your attack. Although you still can’t actually see what you are doing, so there is that.
11 Prophets’ Bane (Halo 5: Guardians)
This special energy sword deals a heavy dose of damage to those unlucky enough to get in its way, while also giving the bearer unlimited active camouflage and increased speed.
Typically, this weapon is available in the multiplayer map Warzone. However, you can also wield the Prophets’ Bane in single-player mode by completing the Flaming Knives on Osiris Easter egg.
To do this start first mission of Halo 5: Guardians, Osiris, on the legendary difficulty setting.
From here you’ll need to locate and light seven knives that are littered throughout the level.
Once the final one is lit, the room you’ll in will begin to rumble and your weapons will be replaced with a plasma pistol and, more impressively, the Prophets’ Bane.
Good job too, as a Promethean Knight and an oversized Warden Eternal with increased health come at you.
10 Excalibur 2 (Final Fantasy IX)
Steiner’s strongest weapon is also the most difficult to get – and you definitely shouldn’t expect to get it on your first play through of the game.
Excalibur 2 is rewarded to the speedy player who manages to get to the end of Memoria, that’s the very last dungeon in the game, in under 12 hours – tall order seeing as the average player takes around 50 hours to get through this epic RPG.
However, there are a few things you can do reduce the dawdling and make it to Memoria on time.
First, have a few practise runs to plan your route through the game – what shops are you going to, how are you going to get through and area. Things like that.
Second, skip all the FMVs – yes, even these count as time in game, which is a bit cheeky.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reset the game if you make a mistake or get besieged by too many random encounters with monsters. You don’t want to get to Memoria a second too late because you were busy slaying some low-level monster.
9 Weapons from other CoD games (Modern Warfare Remastered)
Inquisitive players got more than they bargained for when they discovered 10 hidden weapons deep in the game's files.
These turned out to be weapons from previous Call of Duty games: there was a melee shovel, shotguns, Modern Warfare 2’s PP2000 machine pistol and Black Ops’ Galil assault rifle.
There was even something totally new to the series – the Kamchatka-12 auto shotgun.
Some players have resorted to editing the game files to get their hands on these weapons, however that's definitely not something we recommend.
It’s still unclear why the weapons were there in the first place. Perhaps they were meant for a DLC pack that never came to fruition, perhaps they were scrapped during the game's production as some players on Reddit have speculated.
8 Colt Peacemaker revolver (Battlefield 1)
The Colt Peacemaker revolver deals plenty of damage to foes and has some funky animations for you to show off your skills at acquiring this weapon.
However, you’ll have to weigh that up with its slow rate of fire and punishing reload, which can’t be cancelled, to decide if you really want to pursue getting the weapon.
If you decide that it’s the weapon for you, then you’ll need to complete the multi-part easter-egg “Masterman.”
A full walkthrough to this lengthy quest can be found on Kotaku, but you should be aware that it involves seven stages, including decoding morse code messages, solving puzzles in chateaus and locating hidden areas across several maps.
So be prepared to dig in deep if you want to get this weapon
7 Electrified Little Evie (Borderlands 2)
The electrified little evie gun is found when you defeat Mr Bubbles in the Borderlands 2 expansion pack "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty."
Mr Bubbles can be found in the Magnys Lighthouse area of the game. He's a formidable foe, especially as he can launch a self-healing attack.
When you get down to business, do not take out Lil' Sis, who appears with Mr Bubbles. Instead, once you've dealt with Mr Bubbles go over and talk with Lil' Sis and she'll give you the gun as a reward.
Evie? Lil' Sis? Mr Bubbles’ drill for an arm? As you may have gathered, these are references to Bioshock.
In that classic game Eve was a substance used to recharge plasmids and Big Daddies protected their "little sisters."
6 Golden Gun (Goldeneye)
Made famous in the Roger Moore-era Bond flick The Man with the Golden Gun, this one-shot wonder is found in the unlockable el-Saghira temple level (also known as the Egyptian level).
Players can only get to the Egyptian level once they’ve beat the game on the 00 Agent difficulty.
To get the gun, player’s must solve a puzzle in a tiled room, although it’s a miracle anyone completes the puzzle seeing as there’s no clues.
While the golden gun was Francisco Scaramanga’s weapon of choice in the films, it’s actually Live and Let Die’s Baron Samedi who you’ll be taking on with the golden gun as the level’s boss.
To finish off Baron Samedi for good, lay plenty of proximately mines during your duel and activate them during the mission’s final cut scene.
5 Lancer Battle Rifle (Deus Ex: Mankind Divided)
This souped up rifle has increased damage over the standard option, maxed out accuracy and can also be silenced for those clandestine takedowns.
Normally you’re not able to get your augmented hands on the weapon until Main Mission 12, when it becomes available from Mikael’s shop in northeast Prague.
However, there are a couple of opportunities to grab the weapon before then.
When you reach “The Throat” in Golem City, drop into the trench and head left. Before long you’ll see a house on its side. Climb into the house, then climb on top to find a ladder. Hop onto the lift and head up.
When the lift stops, go across the yellow beam and follow the ledge. You’ll see a ladder but ignore this and instead drop down and follow another yellow beam. Eventually, you’ll come to a weapons case containing your new best friend.
4 Chain Chomp (Bayonetta 2)
The carnivorous ball-and-chain from Nintendo’s Mario series is also available as a weapon for bespectacled Bayonetta to wield.
With a chain chomp strapped to her arm, Bayonetta is able to string together powerful combos and even lock the weapon onto targets to chase down. As an added bonus, it will also independently burst open any chests in the vicinity.
To get the Chain Chomp you need to beat the game on 3rd Climax difficulty (Hard).
This will give you the Angelic Hymns Gold LP with the Super Mario 64 theme. Take this to Rodin who will create the chain chomp for you.
In the Nintendo Switch version, you can also obtain the weapon by scanning Bowser, Bowser Jr or Koopa Trooper.
3 Secret Weapon Vending Machine (Fortnite)
Fortnite is filled with plenty of secrets, loot and out-there costumes.
One secret that an unsuspecting player discovered back in March is a secret vending machine that spouts a mini-gun for 250 pieces of wood – a currency that players have plenty of.
The location of the vending machine? Slap bang in the center of the map just under Loot Lake.
The only thing is that it was discovered by a player who fell through the Battle Royale map due to a glitch, so if you wanted to be the first person to ever use the vending machine successfully, you’d need to find the location and somehow reenact the glitch.
Perhaps there are better things to do with your time playing Fortnite than actively recreating technical glitches.
2 Le Fusil Terribles (Fallout 4)
When you are wondering around the mutant infested wastelands of an alternative world, you need a trusty shotgun, especially one that deals an impressive +25% damage points.
One such weapon is the Le Fusil Terrible (or The Terrible Rifle, for those who didn’t pay attention in French classes).
Located in the floating raider encampment Libertalia, you’ll find this overpowered weapon in a lootable crate in the captain’s cabin.
Just head for the large ship at the center of town and away you go.
Oh, watch out for those pesky raiders as some have mini-nukes. While it may seem tempting to use the water as cover, it is, in fact, heavily irradiated so instead use VATS to take out the raiders.
1 Unlabored Flawlessness (Ninja Gaiden)
In a game considered to be one of the hardest ever to grace a console, the quest to get hold of the Unlabored Flawlessness is a typically punishing endeavor.
While the weapon might have unlabored in the title, Ninja Gaiden’s makers have cruelly ensured that you will definitely labor to get hold of this weapon.
You'll need to keep investing your resources to upgrade the unpromising wooden sword weapon.
However, every time you upgrade the wooden sword nothing much seems to happen: the sword doesn’t get any stronger and just clogs up your inventory.
But stick with it and the sword will eventually turn into Unlabored Flawlessness upon its seventh upgrade.
This awesome weapon deals more power the lower your health gets, topping out at an incredible +200% when you’re about to tap out.
Are there any other rare weapons that are difficult to find? Let us know in the comments!