For multiplayer strategies, see Railgun (Q3).

Production information
Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit

125 (Single player)

  • 100 (Multiplayer)
Magazine Size


Maximum Ammunition


Fire Mode


Ammunition Type


Rate of Fire

37.5 rpm


Quake 4


In Quake IV, the Railgun fires a depleted uranium Slug that can kill weak enemies in one shot, and inflict major damage on medium enemies. Unfortunately, it also has a delay of about 1.6 seconds between each shot for the Weapons to cool down from firing. It has a low power optic for long-range sniping. Its the most common obtainable Strogg weapon in the game.

The Railgun is first obtained in Dispersal Facility and later on carried by some Tactical Stroggs. While used by the Tacticals, the Railgun can be an anti-vehicle weapon.

In Quake 4, the Railgun is very likely to gib enemies, both in Single and Multiplayer due to its very high damage model.


  • Over-penetration - At the start of Data Storage Security, a tech marine will upgrade your Railgun so that it can pierce multiple enemies. A metal attachment is placed on the left side of the gun just below the barrel.


  • The Railgun's 3-round magazine really hurts it. That, combined with the cooldown time between shots, makes it a very slow weapon. In many cases, enemies will be able to attack you while the railgun is cooling down or reloading, making the Railgun a very risky weapon. Make sure there's some space between you and the enemy before you use it.
  • Precision is key to using this weapon. Missing shots means enemies will come to you and blow your cover while you're either reloading or the Railgun is cooling down. This wastes ammo as well.
  • The upgrade sounds neat on paper, but in reality it will very rarely be useful. Enemies are usually smart enough not to get behind another enemy.
  • No scoping is not advisable because it is hard to get a headshot at short range, only use scope while your targets are faraway. The crosshair is good enough for using it effectively. Even if you score a body shot, there is a good chance that the enemy will be close to death. While scoping is required for long range sniping, it increases tunnel vision, making it harder to hit close range enemies.
  • The ammunition for this weapon is somewhat uncommon, so don't bother wasting it on cannon-fodder type enemies.


  • The Railgun kills Tactical Strogg in one shot, and can kill medium enemies such as Gunners, Berserkers , or Iron Maidens in 3 shots or 2 headshots.
  • Although it does 125 damage, it can gib Tacticals while they have exactly 125 health.
  • Due to the delay between shots, it's best fired from behind cover, allowing you to duck and hide during the cooldown phase or while reloading. Be sure to make your shots count, as if you miss, the enemy will have plenty of time to beat you silly.
  • The low rate of fire makes the Railgun ineffective at medium range, where the Grenade Launcher or Rocket Launcher are much more preferable for colateral damage against crowds.

    Railgun in Quake 4.

  • Avoid using this weapon on group of enemies, unless all the enemies are tough and you have space to maneuver or you are in good cover.
  • Also don't attempt to use the Railgun on small or agile stroggs, unless you are really good with it.
  • In tight and long corridors, the Railgun is dangerous because of its respectable stopping power and accuracy, and there is little place for the enemy to dodge or hide from your rail. If you're lucky, your shot may pierce through multiple enemies, meaning it'll take less ammo than expected. 
  • Despite having many disadvantages, the Railgun is still a good choice for dealing slower, larger and stronger enemies like Gladiator or Light Tank, or boss type Stroggs.
  • Engage any enemy wielding this weapon first, their rail is yellow instead of blue-green.
  • If faced multiple Railgun users, say multiple Tactical Stroggs armed with the Railgun, engage one at a time, also, remember to find adequate cover.
  • If you can, go for the headshots when fighting big opponents. Headshots deal double damage, as in Doom 3.


  • For skilled players, the railgun is a strong sniper weapon. A shot does approximately 100 damage in Multiplayer, so in most cases, it is instant kill. But it does not work well against someone who recently spawned or someone who has stacked armor, stimpacks or recently had Regen. But regardless of enemies condition, Railgun can always deliver a devastating punch as long as the rail hits.
  • The railgun can be effective without scope, use crosshair and target the torso area can increase your chance of hitting your opponent, the railgun can do very heavy damage without headshot, but if you miss, seek cover ASAP because you will be vulnerable to enemy fire for 1.6 seconds. Veteran players can do a lot of damage even in this short amount of time.
  • If the enemy has the Railgun, keep moving and don't be a predicable target that let your enemy line up and hit you with rails. Momentarily crouching at height differences, or stutter stepping before a side steer generally works at the open. Jumping at the open as a knee-jerk reaction however makes you a slower and predictable target in case gunner is given a safe combat distance. Instead, try circling a while them dash forward slightly or slide at long distances to evade railshots.
  • Railgun is a hitscan weapon and requires little to none leading. Leading the shot is a reliable way of tracking the target if they're too close, or they're far away and you're on the move. For minimalizing the compensation when leading the shot, it's advised to mirror the opponent's movement. Flick shots or wide twitches will come with experience.
  • If you are against evasive target with the Railgun, aim for choke points, teleporter exits, important items like  Megahealth and Large Armor by abusing height differences or cover when positioning. Position behind pillars, knee-high walls or under catwalks and high gates, use large areas as a focus to peek at narrow sightlines through common path the enemy must take after evacuating an area. Stay mobile and keep strafing left and right if the enemy focus on you. 
  • Complex movement and smoother map layout with less dead-ends also allowed an avid gameplay where hitscan weapons shine. Railgun is not only for counter-playing defensively but for defending an important item as well if you can position rightfully. Even after a miss, player can easily evacuate the area if their positioning can handle the situation.
  • The railgun in multiplayer doesn't need to reload, but still need to cooldown just like Quake 3.
  • In Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the railgun is used by the Infiltrator, the Strogg version of the Covert Ops. The railgun is to the Strogg what a sniper riffle is to the GDF.


  • Railgun reload time appears to be slightly longer than the previous incarnations of the weapon.
  • Railgun doesn't deal double damage when shot at the unaware monsters from the back like in Quake II, while also doesn't score headshots for increased damage in Multiplayer as well.
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