Four years after the spectacular gore-fest that was Doom 2016, id Software has graced us with a sequel that presents several changes to its predecessor’s gameplay formula, some good and some not so good.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, Doom Eternal has a new combat system that is more focused and tenser than its predecessor’s. If you want to read more about that, we suggest taking a look at our full review of Doom Eternal here, as the primary subject of this article will be the game’s weapons.
Namely, we’ll be ranking all of Doom Eternal’s main weapons from worst to best, depending on a number of factors, but mainly their overall usefulness, flexibility, and damage output.
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First up, we have none other than Doom’s staple Combat Shotgun. This is the gun you begin the game with, and it is the weakest weapon in the game, as its default firing mode’s damage output is nothing to write home about. As such, it is mainly useful for eliminating lone fodder demons or priming them for a Glory Kill to recover health or charge your Blood Punch.
Its attachments, however, are what makes it relevant throughout the game, and these are the Sticky Bomb and the Full Auto mode.
As the name implies, the Sticky Bomb can stick to surfaces or to demons before detonating, and it makes the Combat Shotgun much more efficient at dispatching groups of low-ranking demons. More importantly, it is a good way to disable weak points on tougher enemies such as Arachnotrons, Mancubi, and Revenants at close range.
Alternatively, Full Auto transforms the weapon from a pump-action shotgun into a fully-automatic one, giving it a tighter spread and allowing it to shred through weaker enemies or deal high damage to a single tough enemy quickly. It really starts to shine once you have the Mastery, as it makes every enemy killed by a Full Auto blast drop shells. This offsets the attachment’s biggest drawback – the speed at which it burns through an already limited shotgun ammo supply (16-24 shells, depending on upgrades).
Ultimately, while it will stay a useful part of your arsenal over the full course of the game, it becomes overshadowed by other more powerful weapons in the mid and late game.
Next, we have the Rocket Launcher, and in Doom Eternal, it does exactly what Rocket Launchers have been doing in FPS games since the 90s.
It fires rockets that deal high damage, but it also has a slow rate of fire and a low ammo supply, plus the rockets themselves move reasonably slowly, too. This makes it viable mainly at medium range, as it’s difficult to hit fast-moving targets, and the hefty splash damage makes close-quarters use a no-go.
Its two attachments are the Lock-On Burst and the Remote Detonation.
The Lock-On Burst is by far the superior attachment for the Rocket Launcher in our book. It allows the weapon to lock onto a single enemy and then fire off three rockets that will automatically seek the targeted enemy out. Obviously, this allows the player to deal a ton of damage, and it makes distant, moving enemies much easier to hit.
Remote-detonated rockets also make it easier to hit moving enemies, as it allows the player to detonate the rocket manually if it has missed its original mark. It is also better for dealing damage to groups or if you intend on targeting weaker enemies that aren’t worth wasting three rockets on with the lock-on burst.
Ultimately, we can’t help but rank the Rocket Launcher low, as we feel that its damage output doesn’t quite make up for the slow projectiles and the limited ammo capacity. Granted, it is still a useful weapon that will be primarily be used for heavy, difficult to hit enemies, as the lock-on burst can make short work of some troublesome demons such as the Pain Elemental and the Doom Hunter.
The Heavy Cannon is acquired early on, and it is one of the weapons that you’ll be using a lot throughout the game. It is the best way to deal with fodder demons at range, as the shots travel fast, deal a good chunk of damage, and the relatively slow rate of fire (for a full-auto weapon) means it won’t burn through ammo too quickly.
The two attachments for the Heavy Cannon are the Precision Bolt and the Micro Missiles.
The precision bolt essentially transforms the Heavy Cannon into a sniper rifle, making it an even better long-range weapon. In this mode, it fires more slowly and consumes six bullets per shot, but the bullets travel faster, deal more damage, and penetrate through targets. It is the best way to disable enemy weak spots at long range, so it is a very useful attachment to have.
Meanwhile, the Micro Missile attachment makes the Heavy Cannon better at medium-range combat, as it allows the weapon to launch a volley of small homing missiles that will embed into demons or surfaces and explode after a short time. This makes it good for when you need to get rid of a swarm of fodder demons quickly, as you can easily pelt a large area with projectiles that use two bullets per shot.
All in all, the Heavy Cannon is a versatile weapon that you’ll be using a lot, though the Chaingun does overshadow it later on. Its default firing mode is good for medium and long-range combat; the Precision Bolt makes it even better at hitting enemies who are far away, all the while the Micro Missiles can eliminate fodder even faster and deal some area damage, too.
The Ballista replaces the Gauss Cannon from the 2016 game, but it works similarly. Essentially, it is a railgun that fires powerful bolts that can hit a target instantly, making it great for nailing fast-moving and flying targets. Its accuracy, high damage per shot, and the fact that there is no projectile travel time to account for, all make it the best long-range weapon in the game that’s also good for disabling weak points on enemies if needed.
However, the Ballista shares its ammo supply with the Plasma Rifle and consumes 25 cells per shot, meaning that it can have a maximum of 10 shots when the ammo capacity is fully upgraded. This gives it the second-lowest ammo capacity in the game, right after the BFG-9000, which can hold only two shots. This means you’ll definitely want to make your shots count and use the attachments to maximize damage whenever possible.
The Ballista’s two attachments are the Arbalest and the Destroyer Blade.
The Arbalest takes a bit of time to charge up, and it fires a shot that will embed in a demon’s flesh and explode after a moment. This deals serious damage to the demon and also deals extra area damage to those around it, but it is slower than a standard shot. The mastery allows it to recharge immediately after a direct hit, which boosts its damage output. Overall, it makes the Ballista more flexible as a medium-range weapon.
Meanwhile, the Destroyer Blade takes a ridiculously long time to charge. Still, when it finally does, it deals some severe damage in a wide horizontal arc in front of you, capable of cutting through most demons with a single shot. Thankfully, it becomes a bit easier to use once you upgrade it and decrease the charge time, plus the mastery allows you to fire the blade before it is fully charged.
All in all, the Ballista is an essential part of the arsenal, but you’ll mainly be saving it for taking down fast-moving enemies and airborne demons at range, as there are other viable alternatives for dealing area damage. Both of its attachments are fun to use, but both need time to charge up, and they limit your movement speed, so using them efficiently is tough, especially on higher difficulties.
Up next, we have the good old Plasma Rifle. Much like the Combat Shotgun, its main purpose is to cut through fodder, but with its high rate of fire and higher ammo capacity, it is often a better fit for that job. The projectiles are fairly slow, which makes it a poor choice for long-range combat, but it can quickly shower a vast area with projectiles at medium range.
While not very good against heavy and superheavy rivals, the Plasma Rifle’s shots can overcharge energy shields, causing them to explode and deal area damage. This makes it indispensable when dealing with Carcasses and Doom Hunters, plus it essentially turns Soldiers with energy shields into walking bombs for you to use.
The two attachments available for the Plasma Rifle are the Heat Blast and the Microwave Beam.
The Heat Blast charges up as you fire the weapon, and it deals high area damage in an area in front of you without consuming ammo. It’s capable of instantly obliterating fodder demons with a single charge and can also take a decent chunk of health out of heavier enemies.
Meanwhile, the Microwave Beam allows you to paralyze a single target and, if you manage to keep microwaving them long enough, they will explode and deal damage to other demons around them. That said, it is also great for dealing damage to groups or for nailing down fast-moving targets, but the main drawbacks to this attachment are its high ammo consumption and the fact that you have to focus on a single enemy while using it.
Ultimately, the Plasma Rifle is a decent weapon that you’ll be using throughout the game, primarily for dealing with tightly-packed clusters of weaker enemies and for taking care of energy shields.
Next up, we have a weapon that’s making a return for the first time since Doom 64 – the Unmaykr. It offers both high damage and a high rate of fire, which makes it one of the deadliest guns in the game.
However, the Unmaykr shares its ammo pool with the BFG-9000, and this ammo type is one of the rarest in the game. However, it is more ammo-efficient than the BFG, as it fires three energy blasts per single unit of Argent ammo, whereas the BFG uses thirty per shot. Of course, the Unmaykr’s damage-per-shot is nowhere near BFG’s level, but if used properly, it can dish out more overall damage with sixty shots than the BFG can with two.
It is worth noting that the Unmaykr can only be unlocked by completing the six optional Slayer Gate challenges that are spread throughout the campaign, so if you want to get the Unmaykr, you’ll need to go off the beaten path and work for it.
All in all, while this is undeniably an extremely powerful weapon that can make short work of even the most powerful demons such as Barons and Tyrants, it doesn’t end up being very useful due to the extremely limited ammo supply that is usually better spent using the BFG-9000, as it can clear out an entire arena with a single shot.
Next, we have Doom’s unique signature weapon – the BFG-9000. Like in Doom 2016, this is your “kill everything” button that is best used when you’re low on health, and ripping and tearing your way through the enemies using your regular-sized guns isn’t a viable option.
The BFG-9000’s shot will travel across the arena and deal serious damage to everything in a wide area with its “tendrils.” However, with only two shots available and with ammo that can only be acquired at specific points in the second half of the campaign, you won’t exactly be using the BFG-9000 very often.
Regardless, few guns are as satisfying to fire like this one, and it is bound to save your skin on multiple occasions during the late game, particularly if you’re playing on a high difficulty setting.
The Chaingun of Doom Eternal is a definite step up from the version seen in Doom 2016, as this one offers comparable damage, is more accurate, doesn’t need to spin up before reaching its maximum rate of fire, plus it just feels more satisfying to use.
Overall, the Chaingun is good against pretty much anything at close and medium range. Still, its main advantage lies in its ability to stagger and deal damage to heavy demons that will charge you in melee such as Hell Knights, Dread Knights, and Barons.
It has two attachments: Energy Shield and Mobile Turret.
The Energy Shield protects the player from the front for a short time, which is quite useful considering that most tougher enemies that you will be targeting with the Chaingun will require some sustained fire to kill, which can leave the Doom Slayer more vulnerable to incoming damage.
On the other hand, the Mobile Turret reduces the amount of time that you’ll have to focus on a single demon, but it does so by transforming the Chaingun into a turret with a higher rate of fire, thus allowing it to deal more damage in a shorter period. However, it burns through ammo even faster, and it can stall if not mastered.
Ultimately, the Chaingun is a very valuable part of your arsenal when it comes to dealing with heavies and superheavies. It can bring an enemy’s charge to a halt, it can dish out a ton of damage quickly, and cut through fodder like tissue paper, but one must always keep an eye on that ammo counter – especially since it shares ammo with the Heavy Cannon.
Finally, we have a weapon that has been an indispensable part of every Doom arsenal since 1994 – the Super Shotgun.
This beast has extremely high damage, which is balanced only by its limited range and extremely low ammo supply. It shares its ammo with the Combat Shotgun, meaning that you can get a maximum of 12 Super Shotgun blasts before you’ll need to find more ammo or use the chainsaw.
The gun has only one attachment, the Meat Hook, which allows the player to latch onto enemies and close in quickly for massive damage. It is also a good way to close in on enemies even if you don’t plan on blasting them with the Super Shotgun itself, so it makes for a great combo with the Blood Punch. Moreover, when mastered, the Hook will set enemies on fire, thus reducing the risk of close combat by allowing you to deal high damage and recover some armor simultaneously.
Needless to say, the Super Shotgun is more powerful than ever. A point-blank blast will either kill or stagger all but the strongest of enemies, and when it comes to such enemies, the Meat Hook allows you to close in quickly and then dash away from the enemy’s close-range attacks. The only real downside to the Super Shotgun is its low ammo supply, so you’ll need to get as close as possible and make sure to land your shots.
And that would be our take on Doom Eternal’s weapons. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as the “best” or “worst” weapon when it comes to this game, as they all have their strengths and weakness that you must learn in order to truly master the game.
As mentioned in the introduction, we took into account a number of factors when ranking these weapons, mainly their flexibility and overall usefulness, as we feel that that is the most reliable way of ranking weapons in a game where all of them are important in their own way.
Also, keep in mind that this list was based on our own experience playing the game, so you might have a different experience depending on your playstyle and the difficulty you’re playing on.