DOOM 3: BFG Edition

DOOM 3: BFG Edition

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Doom 3 and expansions weapon guide (single player)
Learn how to make the best use of out Doom 3's large arsenal, including the new weapons added in the expansions.
Maximum ammo: Unlimited (duh)

Your Fists are your first melee weapon and you have them as soon as the game starts. However, as you’d expect, they’re extremely weak and not worth using.

Picking up a Berserk powerup will force you to use your Fists while the powerup is active, but as an upside, will make your Fists be able to kill any enemy with one punch. It’s really fun and powerful.

You are either insane or looking for a great challenge if you’re seriously using them in Nightmare difficulty.

There is no reason to use the Fists unless you’ve picked up a Berserk powerup, going for the achievement to kill 25 enemies with the Fists in BFG Edition, or doing a gimmick run of the game for Youtube where you only use the Fists as much as you can.

Maximum ammo: Unlimited

The Chainsaw is the third (second in BFG Edition) melee weapon in the game, and is much, much better than the lousy Fists are.

As you would expect, the Chainsaw deals a consistent stream of damage against targets it hits. It can quickly slice up weak enemies, making it a fun alternative for zombie, Imp, and Maggot slaying that also saves ammo in the process. Defeating stronger foes with it will require that you circle strafe the target at point-blank range or hit and run strategies to avoid damage, depending on how you want to play.

When you want to use the Chainsaw against a group of foes, make sure there’s some distance between you and your enemies because the Chainsaw’s draw animation is longer than other weapons and makes you completely vulnerable while it’s playing.

This weapon isn’t a good choice for Nightmare players, since your low HP means getting right next to enemies is not a good idea. However, with some practice, you can be just as effective with it as a non-Nightmare player can. It depends on if you think the effort is worth it.

For melee lovers or those that want something different, the Chainsaw is a great choice. It’s a fun way to slice up zombie groups and save ammo at the same time, and can be used to take down bigger baddies for those that want a challenging alternative to the usual weapons.
Damage: 14 (28 headshot)
Maximum ammo: 360
Magazine size: 12

The Pistol is the first firearm the player acquires. This Blade Runner-inspired gun does little damage per shot, but is fairly accurate.

In the very early parts of the game, the Pistol is pretty powerful if you shoot enemies in the head, but once you get a Shotgun, there’s little reason to use it since it’s much more powerful than the Pistol, even if you land headshots with the Pistol. Getting the Machine Gun seals the Pistol’s fate, as it does everything the Pistol does, but far better.

The Pistol shines the most in the Hell portions of each game. The player’s unlimited stamina and lack of Machine Gun ammo (or none at all) makes it a great choice for defeating Cherubs and Ticks while dodging their attacks.

Ammo for this weapon is plentiful in Doom 3, but the expansions have a lot less ammo for it.

Nightmare players will get little use out of it, like non-Nightmare players will.

Overall, the Pistol is a pretty crappy gun and is quickly outclassed, but it does have its uses, particularly in Hell.
Damage: 14 (28 headshot), 182 if all pellets connect (364 if all pellets hit the head)
Maximum ammo: 320
Magazine size: 8

The Shotgun is what you’d expect. It’s a gun that fires a spread of 13 pellets when the fire key is hit and is pumped between shots. Unlike other shotguns in video games, the pellet spread from the Shotgun is huge, making it borderline useless at any range past close.

To make the most of this weapon, you’ll have to get used to making swing shots. While holding down the spring key, run up to an enemy, and as soon as you’re close, hit the fire key. While hitting the fire key start moving back and/or to the side to avoid an enemy’s counterattack. It might take some practice if you’re not used to it, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that IMps, Maggots, and Wraiths will quickly fall to this weapon while you get off without a scratch.

For taking down enemies stronger than the average Imp, you’ll need to go for headshots. This can be a little big dangerous, since stronger enemies have attacks that can really hurt you at point blank range. But, with good timing and knowledge, you can even take down Hell Knights within a single magazine. It’ll be more dangerous than using other, more powerful weapons, but it’s there.

The Shotgun is only truly bad against Lost Souls, Forgotten Ones, Ticks, and Trites. With Lost Souls and Forgotten ones, they're too small to effectively hit, while with Ticks and Trites, having to pump in between each shot will give them a massive opening to tear you to shreds.

When reloading the Shotgun, each shell loaded during the reload animation will actually add two shells into the magazine, making reloading much faster than it would appear to be at first.

Ammo is extremely easy to find throughout the game. There’s enough that you deliberately have to be shooting at walls for a long time to be at serious risk of running out of ammo. The abundance of ammo and its potential power makes the Shotgun a great backup weapon in case you run out of ammo for your preferred weapons.

Those playing in Nightmare difficulty will appreciate it’s power early on, but because of how little HP you’ll usually have, it’s often safer to use other weapons to defeat enemies once other guns start popping up. It’ll still come in handy in early stages of the game, but it’s a lot more dangerous to cruise through the early game with it than in non-Nightmare difficulties.

This is a great weapon for early on because you can OHKO most foes with it, though you’ll need to be good at landing headshots if you want to take down bigger foes.
Machine Gun
Damage: 9 (18 headshot)
Maximum ammo: 600
Magazine size: 60

The Machine Gun is a great multipurpose weapon. It can deal with enemies at nearly any range and has the damage output to defeat anything weaker than a Revenant without any fuss. It’s automatic nature makes it a good choice for clearing out areas that have multiple enemies until you get the Plasma Gun.

Even when the Plasma Gun has been obtained, the Machine Gun still shines for eliminating Cacodemons and cutting down Trite packs. It’s high accuracy lets the player cut down Cacodemons from a distance. Trite packs can be sliced into pieces with this weapon, saving ammo for stronger weapons.

Ammo is very plentiful throughout the game, so the odds of actually running completely out are low. There might be some ammo problems when a Machine Gun is first obtained, but that’s it.

Nightmare players in particular will love the Machine Gun. It lets them engage enemies at distances that let them easily dodge enemy attacks while still easily defeating and stunlock Z-Secs so those little buggers can’t shoot you. For those playing Nightmare, the Machine Gun will be your workhorse throughout the early parts of the game.

The Machine Gun is a great choice if you’re entering an area, but have no idea what to expect. It loses a lot of it’s luster once the Plasma Gun is obtained, but you’ll still find some uses for it throughout Doom 3.
Damage: 20 (40 headshot)
Maximum ammo: 600
Magazine size: 60

The Chaingun is essentially very similar to the Machine Gun, but it has two major differences; it does more damage per hit, but is much less accurate than the Machine Gun. This actually makes it a better close quarters weapon than the Shotgun at later stages of the game, as it’s DPS is high enough that you can tear into multiple enemies with ease and you don’t have to worry about its poor accuracy at very close range. It’s awesome for late-game Trite eliminating, as a single bullet will kill a Trite.

Ammo is somewhat hard to find when you can first obtain a Chaingun, but once you reach the Communications Center, you’ll find that ammo will be easier to find, letting you really rip with the Chaingun.

Nightmare players will get the same usage out of the Chaingun as their non-Nightmare counterparts will.

This weapon’s accuracy has a noticeable increase when crouching, but that makes it harder to dodge, so don’t bother.

The Chaingun is a little misleading at first, but once you understand it’s limitations, you’ll find that it’s a great close quarters gun that’ll shred the little guys into pieces and put the hurt on medium and tough guys too.
Damage: 150
Maximum ammo: 50

The Grenade seems out of place when you first pick it up. Why would you want to toss grenades like you’re playing Call of Duty in a fast-paced shooter? However, the Grenade has a unique function that makes it much more useful than it looks.

When an enemy touches a grenade before it has exploded, the grenade will explode ASAP. If you toss a grenade directly at an enemy, it will explode as soon as it hits the target. Each grenade is a little weaker than rocket from the Rocket Launcher. Combine these two facts and you have yourself a nice improvised Rocket Launcher you can use early in the game. All of the early game enemies except the Pinky will be killed by one grenade, which is very nice for a weapon obtained so early in the game. It may take some practice to make direct impacts with the grenade, but it’s well worth it.

If you want to use a Grenade like it was intended, note that it can be cooked for up to 3 seconds, letting you toss a grenade and have it explode in mid-air or right after it hits the ground. However, if the grenade’s timer hits 3 while its in your hand, it will explode in your hand and do a lot of damage.

The Rocket Launcher makes this weapon mostly obsolete, but don’t underestimate it even after gaining the mighty RL. It can easily defeat enemies as strong as the Mancubus. This is quite handy if you need to converse rockets for more dangerous foes, such as Revenants. A Grenade barrage against the Recycling Mancubi is a great way to save rocket ammo for later, for example.

Ammo is fairly plentiful. It can be hard to find it at the start of the Alpha Labs section, but by the end, you should have enough to blow a lot of enemies into pieces.

Using the Grenade as an improvised Rocket Launcher can be a little bit risky for Nightmare players, as they lack the HP to shrug off detonations at close range. However, its OHKO properties and the fact it gives you some range between you and enemies is not to be underestimated. It’s a great weapon against Z-Secs, as you can lob grenades so that they bounce off of walls and hit the little buggers without them being able to hit you. Direct impacts also work against Z-Secs, but the time between throwing and heading back to cover can give them a chance to hit you.

The Grenade is a handy little weapon that packs a lot more power than it looks. Using it as a mini-Rocket Launcher can make things quite easy, but don’t forget it can also be used as a traditional grenade as well.
Plasma Gun
Damage: 16 (32 headshot)
Maximum ammo: 500
Magazine size: 50

The Plasma Gun is awesome. It’s basically an upgraded Machine Gun; it does more damage and doesn’t have any bullet spread, but has 10 rounds less in it’s magazine compared to the MG and enemies can move out of the way of plasma if it’s fired far enough. The plasma balls shot by this gun are big enough to destroy most enemy projectiles, making some enemies completely harmless, and can reflect projectiles shot by the Mancubus and Bruiser (very handy for the stream of projectiles Brusers shoot). It’s only real weakness is that it’s not a good ranged weapon, as enemies tend to move around a lot at a distance, making the plasma balls you fire miss.

This weapon is a great Revenant killer throughout the entire game. A constant stream of plasma near the Revenant’s body will destroy any missiles he fires as soon as he shoots them, making him completely harmless.

It’s not a good idea to use this weapon against flying enemies at any range past point blank. Flying enemies will start to bounce around when hit with a plasma ball, making followup shots difficult.

Plasma Gun ammo is very common, particularly in the BFG version of the game. There are some points where you can run low if you use it as your only weapon, but those points won’t last for long.

Nightmare players will also love the Plasma Gun, though the Machine Gun might be a better choice against Z-Secs if they’re far away. It’s go the firepower to cut down most foes and shut down their projectiles in the process.

The Plasma Gun is tied with the Rocket Launcher as one of the overall best weapons in the game. Once you get it, have it with you if you’re not sure what weapon you need when you enter a room. It can do almost anything well.
Rocket Launcher
Damage: 170 (320 headshot)
Maximum ammo: 96
Magazine size: 5

What’s an iD Software game without a rocket launcher, right? While a rocket launcher may seem like an odd weapon for a game that consists of corridors, tightly-spaced labs, and cubicle farms, you’ll soon find that the Rocket Launcher is one of the most potent and versatile weapons in the game, rivaling the Plasma Gun in terms of how overall useful it is.

What makes the Rocket Launcher great is its power. A single rocket can blow away anything weaker than a Revenant with one direct hit, and even the hardiest of regular enemies can’t take more than 5 rockets to the body. If a rocket explodes near an enemy, the enemy will take damage as well, letting you indirectly kill foes if you need to. However, it’s high damage is also its curse; if you fire a rocket on something right in front of you, you’ll take heavy damage. This makes the Rocket Launcher a poor weapon against enemies that are right in your face.

Like the Plasma Gun, the Rocket Launcher is also a great Revenant destroyer. A rocket fired by you will not only hit the Revenant, it will also destroy the missiles fired by the Revenant as well, making it harmless. It’s high power means you can destroy one in two hits, letting you focus on other enemies faster.

Ammo is fairly easy to find, though it’s a little rare once the Rocket Launcher is first obtained. After a few levels, you’ll have enough to go on a rampage if you’ve been conserving your rockets.

This weapon is fantastic in Nightmare. A single rocket can annihilate the biggest threat in the game, the Z-Sec, blow away charging Tentacle Commandos with one direct impact, and quickly cut down Chaingun Commandos with two direct impacts or a few rockets exploding near one. It’s ability to destroy weak enemies with one rocket will drastically cut down fight times in your favor, making things much easier.

The Rocket Launcher ties with the Plasma Gun as the best overall weapon in the game. It’s perfect for everything except for enemies that are right in your face. Just make sure to reload it as soon as you’re done with a fight so that you’ll never be caught with your pants down because your magazine is empty in the middle of another battle.
BFG 9000
Damage: 200 minimum, higher when charged up
Maximum ammo: 32
Magazine size: 4

What needs to be said about the BFG 9000? The gun shoots a powerful green ball that creates a large explosion when it hits something ,instantly killing weak enemies and dealing heavy damage to stronger foes. It will also emit energy beams from the center of the ball while in the air, which will damage any enemies in the area. The energy ball does the most damage when it hits an enemy directly. It’s easily the most powerful weapon in the game, but it’s lack of ammo restricts its use a lot.

This version of the BFG 9k has a charging mechanic. The longer you hold down the fire key, the more ammo it will consume. If you let it hold for too long, it will blow up in your face and probably kill you.

Enemies can technically destroy BFG ball while they’re in the air, but it’s such a rare occurrence there’s no need to worry about it.

That said, it’s a good idea to know the appropriate amount of charge to deal with enemies. An uncharged shot can clear out a Chaingun Commando or Revenant with one shot, a charged shot that used two units of ammo can wipe out an Archvile, and a charged shot that used three ammo units can defeat a Hell Knight. A fully-charged shot is only really useful against the Guardian and the Vagary, but there’s enough BFG Cells, especially in the BFG Edition of Doom 3, that going full power once in awhile won’t hurt you.

BFG ammo is fairly rare, so try to conserve it for when strong enemies start appearing instead of wasting it on random weak enemies.

Even though Nightmare players have the Soul Cube to get rid of pain in the ♥♥♥ enemies from the very start of the game, the BFG 9k is quite handy at eliminating two of the biggest threats in Nightmare; the Revenant and Chaingun Commando. Shoot an uncharged blast and watch ‘em get disintegrated (or not, since you’re probably hiding behind something).

Despite it’s limited ammo, the BFG is a great weapon for killing stronger foes and their weaker minions in one blast, along with bring a lot of pain to most of the bosses. If you need to put down an Archvile, Hell Knight, or any annoying medium-strength enemies, this weapon is by far the best choice in most cases.
Soul Cube
Damage: Instant kill against regular enemies, heavy damage against the Vagary and final boss

The Soul Cube is a mysterious artifact that can instantly kill any regular enemy and give it’s HP to you. In order to use it, you need to kill five enemies. Once that’s happened, an icon of the Soul Cube will appear on the HUD, telling you that it you can use it. Swap to it, point at an enemy, and fire. The Soul Cube will home in on the enemy you pointed at, kill it, and start restoring your HP.

A handy little quirk of the Soul Cube is that it can be tossed around corners, letting the player kill an enemy without being able to see it. That can be useful in some situations, such as if you have low HP and are facing a foe that can quickly do a lot of damage to you.

While the Soul Cube’s homing mechanic is good in most cases, there are incidents where it’ll home in on a weaker enemy, such as an Imp, instead of the intended target. You’ll just have to recover from such incidents or reload if you die because it targeted the wrong enemy.

Note that harming an enemy with another weapon before killing it with the Soul Cube means you’ll get less health back from the Soul Cube after using it, so for a maximum heal, use the Soul Cube on an enemy as soon as you see it.

Nightmare players will start out with the Soul Cube in Doom 3 and the BFG version Lost Mission, and they'll need it because of the HP draining mechanic in Nightmare. It’s ability to kill enemies in one hit can be a lifesaver against troublesome enemies in Nightmare, such as the Z-Sec, Chaingun Commando, and Revenant.

The Soul Cube is a very nice little weapon you’ll be glad to have. It’s charging mechanic may seem a little gimmicky, but racking up the kills to use it is very easy, and it’s ability to take down strong or annoying foes with one hit while healing you (likely to 100% health) is always useful.
Maximum ammo: Unlimited

The Grabber is Doom 3’s version of Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun. If the gun is pointed at something the gun can pick up, it will make a sound and the crosshair will change to a rotating circle shape. Hitting the fire key will pick up the item. The item will automatically be dropped after a few seconds, but the player can either toss the item with the fire key or drop it with the R key before the timer expires. No matter the target, you must be fairly close in order to grab something.

This weapon’s obvious purpose is to grab enemy projectiles and toss them back at the thrower. This is a one hit kill against the original tosser in almost any case. Additionally, Revenant missiles grabbed and released by the Grabber will attempt to home in on the Revenant that shot them, though in most cases the missile will explode for various reasons before it hits the Revenant.

It is a fantastic weapon to use against the Forgotten One and Cherub enemies. This weapon can grab them, instantly killing them. With the Grabber, you no longer need to waste ammo on those annoying little ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s; just chuck and throw them like garbage. Ticks and Trites can also be defeated with one grab, but it’s more risky because the downtime between grabs makes you vulnerable to other Ticks in the area.

The various barrels and orange crates found throughout Doom 3’s expansions can also be used as weapons thanks to the Grabber. Just grab one of them, then throw them at a nearby enemy. Make sure there's some distance between you and the target so the object gets enough velocity to kill the enemy. Otherwise, the prop will bounce off of the target while doing some damage. Just don’t grab an explosive barrel; it’ll usually do a lot of damage to you if you hit an enemy close to you with it.

Nightmare players will be very thankful for it’s ability to defeat Forgotten Ones and Cherubs in one hit. It makes dealing with these deadly enemies a lot easier.

The Grabber is a bit of a gimmick weapon, but it’s ability to kill small-fry enemies with a single grab makes it much more useful than it looks at first glance. It’s ability to OHKO enemies with a single projectile or physics item is not to be underestimated.
Super Shotgun
Damage: 14 (28 headshot)
Maximum ammo: 320
Magazine size: 8

The Super Shotgun is a sawed off double barrel shotgun that fires both barrels at once. In terms of game mechanics, it almost completely superior to the Shotgun in terms of damage because it fires a lot more pellets than the regular Shotgun does. It’s only “downsides” ares that it’s pellet spread is that you have to reload after each shot and it’s pellet spread even larger than the Shotgun’s, but since you have to be at point blank range to use even the Shotgun, it’s not much of a problem, is it?

A Super Shotgun blast at point-blank or even close range is instant death to weak enemies such as Imps. If most of the pellets hit a Revenant’s head, it will be able to kill the SOB in one blast. It also has enough power to be comparable to a rocket in the chest against enemies such as the Archvile and Hell Knight. Going for headshots can actually make a single Super Shotgun blast more powerful than a rocket against a Hell Knight if most of the pellets connect. Basically, the moral of the story is that headshots are incredibly powerful with the Super Shotgun, so go for them when facing anything stronger than an Imp or Vulgar.

Because of the sheer amount of pellets this thing fires per shot, it can actually be used up to medium range against weak enemies.

Like the Shotgun, this weapon isn’t good against groups of Ticks, so swap to another weapon when dealing with them.

The Super Shotgun uses the same ammo pool that the Shotgun uses, meaning it will be impossible to run out of ammo for it unless you do something stupid, like fire at a wall 50 times in a row.

Nightmare players will find it a bit more situational than regular players will. While it’s certainly powerful and gives you a major power boost early in the game, the fact you have to get very close to Doom 3’s uglies makes you more vulnerable than using a ranged weapon. It’s awesome for the early parts of the game, where a single blast will destroy everything the game throws at you in one shot and put the pain on early Archviles and Cacodemons, but you’ll probably shelve it for weapons that give you range and comparable firepower, like the Plasma Gun and Rocket Launcher, once you reach the midpoint of the games they’re in.

Overall, the Super Shotgun is what the Shotgun should’ve been. It’s got the power to last throughout most of the games it is in, and has some of the most exciting gameplay in Doom 3 to go with it. It’s a solid choice for most players, though Nightmare players will probably opt for different weapons once they become available.
Maximum ammo: 3

The Artifact is a creepy, heart-like object that gives it’s user various powers when used. It’s “ammo” is obtained by absorbing glowing dead bodies found throughout the game with it.

It is powered up by defeating the various bosses in Resurrection of Evil. The first boss gives it the ability to slow down time for a brief period, the second greatly boosts the amount of damage the player’s weapons do, and the third one makes the player invulnerable. Needless to say, the Artifact is a very powerful support weapon.

Even with one power, the Artifact is a beast of a weapon. Simply being able to zoom around while enemies are in slow motion makes fights a lot easier, and the boosts the other bosses give you will make you completely overpowered, especially after the third one has been defeated and it gives you the ability to become invincible while the Artifact active. Fights that would be quite hard, such as the Revenant and Bruiser attack at the end of Phobos Lab 2, are a joke with this little device.

“Ammo” for the Artifact is easy to find early in RoE, but gets harder to find once the player reaches Phobos Lab. Therefore, you might want to start conserving ammo for it once you reach that area.

This weapon is essential for Nightmare players, since they don’t get the Soulcube in RoE. The Artifact’s abilities are vital for putting down Z-Secs early in the game and making fights that would be extremely difficult, such as the amount of Revenant spam that happens later in the game, very manageable. If you’re in Nightmare, never be afraid to use the Artifact if you need to. Also, Nightmare players get the Artifact fully powered-up as soon as the first boss is defeated.

If you thought the Soul Cube was good, the Artifact blows it out of the water. It is, hands down, the most overpowered thing in the Doom 3 series. It’s a good choice for any sticky situation, which RoE likes to provide more often than Doom 3.
Image credit
Images are from the Doom wiki found at Wikia.