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This article appeared in Quake III Arena  

Bfg3 g.png
Production information


Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
  • 100 (direct impact)
  • 1-100 (splash damage)
Maximum Ammunition
Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

BFG Ammo (blue)


120 units splash damage radius

Rate of Fire
  • 300 rpm (5 BFG shots per second)
  • 180 rpm (3 BFG shot per second in Quake Live)
Muzzle Velocity

2,000 units per second




Extremely long range of 20,000 units


In Quake 3 Arena, the BFG10K is a weapon that quickly fires deadly globs of plasma of an indescribed irradiated material -like uranium. These globs can kill an unarmored and healthy target in one hit, and inflict a large splash damage around the point of impact. Only a few maps have it.

The BFG10K is one of the few weapons that the players can blast themselves away with by being utterly careless and getting caught in already small splash radius. Instead of game feedback reading as he/she/it killed oneself with BFG, message comes up as "(Player/NPC) should have used a smaller gun.".

BFG stands for "Big Fucking Gun". Some even refer to it as "Big Fragging Gun". The BFG10K in Quake 3 is sometimes viewed as an overpowered weapon. However, once you've got the BFG10K, you're essentially a higher priority target to other players among many others.

It is rare to deplete all ammunition from the BFG10K before getting fragged (unless you rapidly spend ammo). The BFG gets its name from the incredibly powerful BFG 9000 from the Doom series, a game also developed by id Software.


  • The BFG10K is a very versatile weapon that can take out multiple foes quickly. It's essentially a fast-firing Rocket Launcher with firepower of a glorified Plasma Gun (so it is very different from the Quake2 variation), which makes it a great room clearer. Make sure to keep on moving so that it'll be harder for them to figure out where you are.
  • Areas that have the BFG are usually hotly-contested areas. If you can, try to take control of the area the BFG is in at the start of the match. If not, try to slip in and take out the possessor behind his back, then finish off anybody that's left with it. If there are too many people, just ignore it. It's not worth constantly getting killed just for one weapon.
  • Along with the other splash damage weapons, BFG can harm its user if he/she is too close to the impact point. The BFG can be used to Rocket Jump, a bit higher than a Rocket Launcher can carry you. BFG has a slight edge over RL with its higher fire rate allowing possessor to pounce from walls with a follow up shot once mid air.
  • Against one person, the BFG can wipe the target out with ease: it can wipe out an unarmored and healthy target in one blast. If a target gets near a point of impact, splash damage will take off most of, if not all of his health.
  • When using the BFG, try to fire one-two shot at a time. Its high rate of fire, combined with its low ammo reserve, can quickly eat up your ammo. Look for BFG Ammo packs deliberately, each pack replenishes 15 which is a pretty nice ratio compared to its starter ammo of 25 shots.
  • Always pick up BFG ammunition packs laying on the ground to reduce the BFG users' effectiveness in the map, whether you have the weapon or not. Add this small pickup to the list of important items when you see greenish "shooting stars" flying around.
  • Compensate your shots after a missed shot. When you're facing one target that are far away, spamming the area would be a waste anyway. Try to take it slower by sending one blast only then aim again by taking your first shot as an indicator for your target's movement pattern. If your shot fall short on the target as it crossed before the projectile, chase it and depend of flickshots to catch. If your foe completely avoided the projectile's path, try to maintain distance and strafe aim to lead the projectile.
  • In Quake Live, BFG's fire rate is nerfed down to 3 shots per second (333ms reload time) from 5 shots per second (200ms reload time), and its splash radius is nerfed. With this change it's almost impossible to spam it without aiming at players directly. It now have almost no meaning of choking down points unless you have direct sights with your opponent.
  • If you do get control of the area near the BFG, remember that extra BFGs only give out one extra unit of ammo (this does not apply in Quake Live, where each extra BFG will give you 10 more BFG cells), so be cautious, because the other players will also have this advantage, since it is multiplayer.
  • BFG is always placed on some tricky platform that may serve as a death trap. In-example: a Rocket Jump is required in Q3DM15; a bunny hop required over a chasm in Q3DM14; a meticulous timing required to grab it under a crushing platform in Q3TOURNEY6. Else, the entrances and exits from the BFG-area makes an obvious target outta yourself for a cautious player. In another example: a jump to a teleporter platform required or risking getting drowned required in Q3DM12.
  • While it sounds like a devious plan, it's not really smart to hold exactly where the BFG spawn is. Either you'll put yourself in great danger by risking getting shoved into an environmental hazard, or no one will visit that area at all as a result of it being at a choke. Most of the time, BFG rusher may get electrocuted by Lightning Gun that disrupts their motion or shutdown in mid-air by a Railgun while hurdling over hazards.
  • BFG is the ultimate counter of beating off the enemy sniper porches in team oriented games. It's the ultimate cover blower overwhelming anyone behind pillars, corners or forcing them to escape. Also it's wildly effective in vast open areas as well by the help of bouncepads thanks to its projectile speed. Space themed maps filled with bouncepads will surely favor the use of BFG.
  • Newly respawned players surely will have a hard time evading this beast of a firepower. Try reading the kill feedback often and momentarily position yourself away from hotspots. Catch your breathe at the wide halls, crosspaths or corners where you can hear respawn noise from many different rooms to respawn kill and keep other players down. Remember you might miss onto important items if you keep at it for long.
  • BFG becomes a frag machine, if possessor manages to stack ammunition or gets ahold of a power-up like Quad Damage, Battle Suit or Regeneration. When a BFG possessor is nearby even the highest stacked players can not come close to timing power-ups, especially if BFG bearer can hold high ground.
  • The BFG can be a good luring weapon. Pulling out a different, weaker weapon, like a Machine Gun, Gauntlet or a Plasma Gun, retreating, turning a corner and pulling out the BFG is a good way to catch people off guard. Make sure you do it quick, though, or you might have taken too much damage to effectively make use of the strategy.
  • Try to lure a target into a closed area, so that it'll be harder for him to avoid splash damage. If your target is jumping, it should be shot on the floor near them so they will land on the blast area instead of evading it. Even with full Megahealth and Armor, 3-4 direct hits (2 with Quad Damage) is all it takes to take down an enemy.
  • Even without a power up, BFG always have that "shock trooper" effect. Any teleporter, a low-level bounce pad, a narrow pit or if available a Personal Teleporter will give possessor a great advantage at dominating the area with less effort.
  • If you're fighting somebody that has the BFG, try to get into an open area so that it's harder for them to make a direct impact. Always be on the move and jump, even though the BFG's splash damage hurts, you'll be able to survive the blast.
  • BFG has the one of smallest splash radius between missile based weapons. A simple BFG splash will deal relatively low damage compared to a rocket or grenade blast; due to damage could rapidly fall down depending on the target's distance from the center of the blast.
  • If you see a BFG user in confined area, leave as soon as possible to a bigger room. Strafe jumping practice may come handy at this point. While you are avoiding projectiles fired from BFG, use more conventional weapons to choke him away or the Railgun if you are far enough to counter BFG user.


  • Strongest weapon in the game, considered a super-weapon.
  • Decent rate of fire, overwhelms any target who's pre-firing or at a choke.
  • Decent splash radius, just enough to blow cover when raining it from above.
  • Fast projectiles.
  • Might suppress an entire team for a few seconds with a barrage.
  • Pre-fire won't get punished besides ammo consumption.
  • Generous ammunition supply at packs.
  • Obliterates target in one-two shots.
  • Can be used to Rocket Jump in rapid succession (proceed with caution).
  • A force to be reckoned with if possessor gets ahold of any power-up.


  • EXTREMELY hazardous to use at close range due to splash damage and high fire rate.
  • Can eat through ammo quickly upon a single attempt of suppression fire or panic pre-fire.
  • Ammo can be hard to come by, its ammo packs are as valuable as other important goodies.
  • Opponents will make you their priority target if they see you using it.
  • Weak against high ledges and open areas without a height advantage.
  • Extremely loud, a suppression fire can be intimidating but also open to flanks.
  • Most of the times difficult to acquire in maps; risks player getting shoved into hazards.
  • Not only bots but human controlled players will insult you for using it.
  • Smaller splash radius compared to other weapons in Quake Live.
  • Slower fire rate in Quake Live.
  • Slower projectile speed in Quake Live.