Quake Champions Weapons Guide

Choose which of Quake Champions' starter weapons to take into combat and learn what other weapons are available.


As the fifth entry in id's revolutionary franchise, Quake Champions boasts a time-tested arsenal. Rockets, rail blasts, nails, and more are at your disposal. This guide breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon, and details which weapons you can carry into battle at the start of a match.

Starting Weapons

It's a tradition among first-person-shooter developers to arm players with a single weapon at the outset of a game. Quake Champions lets you take back control by letting you pick one of three. Your starting weapon will be automatically equipped when you begin a match and when you respawn after being fragged.

Selecting a starting weapon isn't as big a commitment as it might sound. If you're unsatisfied with your gun's damage or rate of fire, press Q the next time you die to select another weapon. You can also choose a different champion at this time.

Shotgun: Packs a punch. Slow rate of fire. Replaced by Super Shotgun when picked up during gameplay.

Machinegun: Deals low damage at high speed. Replaced by Heavy Machinegun when picked up during gameplay.

Nailgun: Deals medium damage at a high rate of fire, albeit slower than the Machinegun. Replaced by Super Nailgun when picked up during gameplay.

Gauntlet: A spinning blade only good for close-range combat. You'll receive a Gauntlet no matter which of the previous free weapons you elect to start with. The Gauntlet can be devastating when paired with a Quad Damage power-up, but is too slow and ineffective to use in virtually all other scenarios. Using it should be your last resort. Even then, however, most maps contain large quantities of ammo, so it's better to run away from battles and collect ammo than take a chance on the Gauntlet.

Primary Weapons

If you've played Quake 3: Arena or Quake Live, you've already got a leg up on the competition. Quake Champions inherits the best weapons from its predecessors. Some guns are fast, others are slow. Some weapons take big bites out of your opponents. Others chip away at their life. All are effective in different situations.

By default, your second (right) mouse button zooms in when clicked or held. Zooming in improves your accuracy, but blocks your peripheral vision. Only zoom if you're far away from the heat of battle. The best Quake players are just as adept at sniping opponents out of midair without zooming as they are peering through a scope.

Weapons and their ammunition are color coded, making them easy to recognize from across the map. We've listed each weapon's color along with its advantages and disadvantages below.

Heavy Machinegun (yellow): Deals decent damage at a rapid clip, and at a wider spread than the Super Nail Gun and Lightning Gun, so your aim won't need to be as precise to land hits. It's most effective when used while circle-strafing around opponents. If you come across two or more players shooting it out, wait for a survivor to emerge, then move in and switch to the Heavy Machinegun to finish them off.

Super Shotgun (orange): Double barrels mean double the damage, at the expense of two shells per blast. Opponents who see this weapon clutched in your champion's hands may try to stay out of reach. Bait them by equipping a rapid-fire weapon first, then work your way up to them and switch to the Super Shotgun.

Super Nail Gun (blue): Spits out nails even faster than the regular Nail Gun, and pierces armor to boot. The Super Nail Gun boasts the highest rate of damage in the game. The catch is that players can easily weave in and out of your line of fire. If you grow proficient at predicting when and where they'll dodge, this weapon will be your best friend in any arena.

Lightning Gun (cyan): Unleashes a stream of lightning that drills through players. The Lightning Gun deals less damage per hit than the Machinegun and Heavy Machinegun, but racks up damage faster than those two weapons. Use it from affair to grind away at an opponent's life, backing up while firing to keep them at a distance.

Rocket Launcher (red): The second-most powerful weapon in Quake Champions is also the second slowest. The Rocket Launcher's greatest strength is its splash damage. Rockets are easy to avoid when fired directly at opponents, so fire at the walls or (even better) their feet to deal splash damage. You can reach out-of-the-way platforms by pointing your Rocket Launcher straight down and jumping while firing a rocket. This maneuver, known as rocket jumping, comes at the expense of a good chunk of your life and armor, so make sure to replenish both meters as soon as possible.

Rail Gun (green): Quake Champions' very own sniper rifle, the Rail Gun fires a focused blast of energy that deals massive damage to enemies. It takes a couple of seconds to recharge after each shot, so pick your spots carefully. Find a good vantage point overlooking valuable power-ups such as armor or Quad Damage, then pick off hapless opponents who wander into your field of view.

Now that you're locked and loaded, visit our Quake Champions guide to learn how to unlock additional champions and how to buy and redeem loot boxes.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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