For multiplayer strategies, see Machine Gun (Q3).

Machine Gun
Production information


Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
  • 15 [standard]
  • 20 [Scoped]
Magazine Size
  • 40
  • 80 [upgraded]
Maximum Ammunition


Fire Mode


Ammunition Type


Rate of Fire

600 rpm


Quake 4


Combining fully automatic fire and a single-shot scoped mode, the machinegun is truly a versatile weapon. It holds 40 rounds in the clip, and, like the blaster, it includes an under-barrel flashlight. If there’s a machinegun in your inventory and ammo is available, pressing the Flashlight button brings up the machinegun’s flashlight rather than the pistol’s. To use the scoped mode, pull and hold the Zoom/Weapon Special trigger.

—Xbox 360 manual

The Machine Gun is a compact, select-fire automatic assault rifle operated by the Space Marine Corps as their primary service rifle. Small, accurate and all-purpose, the rifle is the most common Human Weapons on Stroggos and commonly used by Tactical Stroggs.

The Machine Gun is obtained in the Air Defense Bunker, you will find it again in Strogg Medical Facility.

The Machine gun also appears in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars as a GDF weapon which can be operated by the Soldier (labeled "GPMG") or as a fixed turret on a vehicle or in a guard tower (also labeled as GPMG). There is also the GDF assault riffle, which looks more like the Q4 machine gun and which handles like a compact GPMG.


Damato firing a Machine Gun


Despite its namesake the Machine Gun is quite a compact weapon, ranging about twenty to twenty-five inches long but is also quite angular and cumbersome in appearance. It has an extendable shoulder stock which is always retracted, an ambidextrous ejection port (for off-handed shooters or use inside vehicles etc), a muzzle brake at the end of the exposed barrel, a rounded foregrip and a small switch on the top of the grip which is likely a fire selector or safety switch.

The Machine Gun operates in semi-automatic and fully-automatic modes of fire - in-game, firing from the hip produces fully-automatic fire while aiming with the gun's scope allows for more precise semi-automatic fire. It can be equipped with forty and eighty-round magazines which have rubberized buttplates. Outside of the immediate design, the machine gun boasts a few extra capabilities; an integrated flashlight mounted under the barrel and a 2x scope, giving it limited sniping qualities - although the scope is not needed very often as long-range gunfights in Quake 4 are not common. The scope itself has a small digital ammo counter, which is hard to see on lower graphical settings.

Notably, Corporal Cortez seems to use a sharpshooter variant that, while unchanged from the outside, operates in semi-automatic only and fire a different kind of ammunition that is highly damaging. During the player's first encounter with Cortez, this version proves to be powerful enough to kill a Berserker or Grunt in one single headshot. However, it cannot be obtained by the player and is not encountered again during the rest of the game. It is also notable that this version produces so little recoil that when Cortez fires it one-handed and with a folded stock, it still barely moves.


  • Extended Clip - Before you depart the USS Hannibal for the first time, Sergeant Swekel will give you a Machine Gun with an 80-round magazine - unlike the Nailgun, its reload speed will stay the same, and the gun will have no visual changes.


  • In-game, the Machine Gun does 20% extra damage if the bullets hit Strogg flesh rather than their metal or armor. It is the only weapon in the game that appears affected by the type of material it impacts. Its flashlight is operable with the F key (the Y button in the Xbox 360 version).
  • The Machine Gun is good for taking out weak enemies like Guards and Grunts, but is less effective on mid-level or heavy enemies, especially on the higher difficulty settings (it takes 20-30 rounds to kill a Gunner or Berserker on Normal, and nearly twice as much on Very Hard). Despite the Machine Gun's low stopping power, its hitscan capabilities are useful at long ranges to weaken toughner enemies or picking weak targets right out regardless of distance.
  • Headshots are helpful, especially in zoomed mode, as the Machine Gun does little damage per shot. In addition, its good accuracy means that you can take on targets from up to medium range and be able to kill them with little difficulty. While it is not obvious due to the lack of tracer rounds or a dynamic crosshair, the Machine Gun does have some modest bullet drift, so while it is still effective at long range it will takes more bullets to kill an enemy as not all bullets will hit the target.
  • When looking down the scope, try to hit the enemy's head. Just remember that, no matter how well you're hidden, the enemies will find and begin firing at you, so don't get too comfortable in one spot. While using scope, Kane will fire semi-automatically only. Also, try not to stay in-scope often, as you are more likely to get flanked by your enemies, making you an easier target.
  • The Machine Gun can be a decent anti-missile weapon - when the boss-type enemies fire a guided missile at you you can attempt to shoot them down without wasting more valuable ammunition types. But don't rely on this tactic too much since other missiles will keep flying to your direction and you may get flanked by lesser enemies until the said boss enemy is killed.
  • The 80-round magazine makes the Machine Gun much more useful, as many higher-level enemies require more than 40 rounds to kill, especially on the higher difficulties. The Machine Gun also eats up ammo very quickly, so you should alternate between it and other weapons such as the Shotgun to avoid running out of bullets.
  • Overall, the Machine Gun is a good all-purpose weapon throughout the game, although it is outperformed by the Hyperblaster and Nailgun, especially against tougher foes. Because ammo for it is quite common, and because it is one of only two weapons equipped with a flashlight (the other being the weak Blaster), it will probably see a lot of use, especially in dark areas.
  • The projectile fired by the Machine gun is one of the fastest, so your enemies generally cannot dodge them, this make it suitable against agile foes.  
  • Along with the Nailgun and Lightning Gun, the Machine Gun is a reasonable choice for sidestep shooting, as its low spread and recoil keeps accuracy up while avoiding enemy fire. 
  • Aim for the head or the flesh area to conserve ammunition.
  • Try to balance the use between the automatic weapons, as you will always need at least one due to their versatility.


  • In all the in-game cinematics (excluding the one in which Anderon gets killed by a Scientist and Kane wields a Shotgun instead), Matthew Kane is holding a Machine Gun regardless of what weapon he is holding previously.
  • Despite being there, Marines never actually use the stock. This is possibly due to the range that combat happens in Quake 4, being rarely longer than fifty meters.
  • Along with Blaster , this is the one of two weapons that have flashlight attached, it will replace the former as your primary flashlight after you obtain it.
  • In multiplayer, it can fire 300 rounds without reloading, and it's the starting weapon for the player.
  • The GPMG stands for General-Purpose Machine Gun. An automatic weapon can be used as light, medium and heavy machine gun and can be used on multiple platforms. Notable real life examples includes M60, PKM, FN MAG and HK 21.
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