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This article appeared in Quake II  

Q2 Weapon Rail Gun.png
Production information
Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
  • 150 (SP)
    • 300 (to unalerted monsters)
  • 100 (MP)
Maximum Ammunition

50 rounds

Fire Mode


Ammunition Type



Quake 2

The Rail Gun fires depleted uranium slugs at super high velocities. Take note of the distinctive blue corkscrew trail of smoke caused by the projectile – or better yet, see how many scumbag Stroggs it goes through before it hits concrete.

—The Quake II Manual

The Rail Gun, Railgun, or "RG", fires an extremely powerful slug at its target with sound-barrier breaking speeds. It has immense power, being able to kill an unarmored player in one shot. However, it has a noticeable pause between shots, so you'll be very vulnerable between trigger pulls due its reload sequence after each shot. Nonetheless, the Railgun can inflict serious damage and allow one to keep safe distance from dangerous targets while shaking their metal-clad armor. Thanks to its coil accelerated slugs' high speed and excellent accuracy, is arguably the best long ranged weapon in the game.


Single player[]

  • The Railgun is the second most-powerful and sonorous weapon in the game, delivering 150 damage points per shot. It can destroy a Tank within five shots, and others with less. Because of its power, it's advised to stock up on ammo for larger (and slower) enemies. Ammo is somewhat common, so it shouldn't be a problem unless the player makes it their weapon of choice against all Enemies.
  • Though the Railgun delivers a powerful punch, the user needs to be accurate and tracking the target always or they will find themselves misfiring all the time. Small twitches can be useful at leading the shot at close to medium distances between changing targets, but will greatly miss at long distances. However, this should not be a problem if your enemy's slow and covers your half screen.
  • In single player The Railgun delivers 300 damage if the target is unaware of the player. In this case a single shot will kill Gunners, Parasites, Iron Maidens, Berserkers, Technicians, Mutants, Medics, Brains and Icari. Heavy enemies like the Gladiator will fall in two shots instead of three. Combined with the Quad Damage the railgun will gib the Tank and even kill the Tank Commander in one shot if they have not spotted the player.
  • As stated in the manual, the slugs penetrate an infinite amount of enemies until hitting a wall, so try lining up enemies if possible. After an alert has sounded try to figure out possible chokes where Strogg topple up to ambush you on your way out. This saves ammo as well.
  • Albeit slow, the Railgun is a good pick against bosses. For example; at Medium difficulty 10 shots will take down a Super Tank, the Hornet dies in 14, and lastly, the Jorg and the Makron fall to about 20 slugs each. Packing Quad Damage before these fights will make the required shots count even lower.


  • The Railgun is the most useful weapon in MP. As stated earlier, it can take out an unarmored player in one shot. Being able to predict next move of opponent can turn you into an almost-unstoppable wrecking machine. Newly spawned players will drop in one shot, not even giving them the chance of retaliation.
  • The Railgun is the perfect weapon for returning fire against other campers. Make sure they don't see or hear the humming sound of your Railgun otherwise they may run away and hide. Use height advantage and try to catch a glimpse of sight upon last important items such as Body Armor or Megahealth across hallways.
  • When fighting against somebody that has a RG, you must move in an erratic pattern and be able to mix up your routine with different moves. If you keep repeating one pattern, they'll figure it out and tear you apart. If you let them get far away at the open, they will get the opportunity to shoot you down eventually. Try to crouch behind cover or height differences. A short stutter stepping, preferably doing zigzags then steering may help you at long range, at medium distance you may prefer circling them around and fake your move by a diagonal forward tap at the opposite direction.
  • Upon facing a RG user, don't forget that you have a chance to attack without retaliation between their shots. So remember to shoot them as soon as they've fired. Using a weapon like the Hyperblaster or Chain Gun in short bursts is a good deterrent against a Railgun user. As they'll frequently move to dodge each barrage, in turn disrupting their aim. Yet that doesn't mean they can not take cover from the barrage to peekshot a second later however. Try to move in an erratic pattern while spraying the sightlines at enclosed areas.
  • Against Railgun at enclosed spaces, some peek shot Rocket Launcher pre-fire at long ranges can ruin their movement frequency as well. Deny them from chasing with stray fire or explosives like cooked hand grenades to flush out low profile snipers at the open areas.
  • At large areas or inside water however it's best to switch to a more suitable weapon like Chain Gun to choke them out or take cover yourself. As similar to swimming in the water if you corner jump with a semi-auto weapon like RL, odds are towards to catching a slug mid-air with your teeth unless RG bearer is close. Try a simpler approach like Shotgun if you wanna corner jump.
  • Railgun is not an energy type weapon, that means as long as you have control over armor pickups in the map you always have a chance to retaliate. Doing silent deals with the enemy where you have pressure them at Hyperblaster and Megahealth but can also snatch armor pickups under their nose would be advantageous against a RG abuser. Sending them back to RG spawn will make them predictable.