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The basic gun, to which all other guns compare favorably.

Quake Manual

The pump-action Shotgun is the starting Weapon in Quake. Players always spawn in with it, 25 Shells and an Axe. Generally weaker than the other weapons, the Shotgun is nonetheless a decent default weapon which can be used to spam or to acquire a more powerful weapon. The Shotgun along with the Double-Barrelled Shotgun, and the Thunderbolt are the only hitscan weapons in the game.


Single Player

  • You'll always spawn with it at the start of every episode, with 25 Shells.
  • The long range accuracy of the Shotgun also comes in handy when conserving ammunition and interacting with the environment. Examples include activating Buttons from afar, blasting off Radioactive Containers, or defiling Unholy Altars.
  • When you TC need to blast jump with the Grenade Launcher, the Shotgun will provide cover fire and help you to time the blast with its stable shooting frequency without needing to count seconds. Once you shoot a grenade under somewhere up high that you need to reach, swap to the Shotgun and keep firing away to count how many shots it will take until the fuse goes off for timing your jump.
  • It can down a Grunt and Rottweiler in two shots and an Enforcer and Knight in four shots, so it's quite effective against them. This weapon is also useful against Scrags.
  • The Shotgun can be used as a medium-to-long range weapon when you're conserving ammo. Having a decent rate of fire and a quite tight spread, spamming it will rack up some damage on faraway enemies and put weak ones like Grunts and Enforcers in a pain recovery state momentarily as you pass them by.
  • The tight spread can be useful to weaken lone, hulking, slow beasts like the Death Knight or Shambler, down airborne targets, or thin out multiple weak Monsters; once you make sure you can keep a safe distance from them. Most damage can be avoided while shooting from afar but due to the Shotgun's low damage output and spread, you would soon find yourself low on shells.
  • Shells are very plentiful in most levels, so don't worry about using them up.


  • In multiplayer, the Shotgun should only be used to take pot-shots at occupied targets while you're running to a better weapon.
  • Once you send a target flying with an accurate Rocket Launcher hit to their feet, a quick swap to the Shotgun can be used to finish the already weak mid-air target on a combo fire.
  • Rushing a target with it is suicide, as they'll almost always have a better weapon. If you only have it and the Double-Barrelled Shotgun, use shotgun as the long-range weapon for harassment fire, as the Double-Barrelled Shotgun is ineffective past medium range.
  • While it's not powerful, it is a hitscan weapon along with the Double-Barrelled Shotgun, meaning that hits register instantly. Getting a Quad Damage can compensate for the Shotgun's lack of power. Enemies swimming in water move slowly and can be reliably hit with the Shotgun to cause more damage than when moving around on land.



  • Starting Weapon
  • Hitscan
  • Good rate of fire for harassment or cover fire
  • Acceptable damage for finishing weak targets
  • Very good accuracy and tight spread, great for sniping Enemies or disorient airborne targets
  • Useful for shooting buttons and Radioactive Containers to conserve more valuable Ammo
  • Can be used to conserve ammo by weakening tougher Enemies to finish them with some other weapon
  • Players may as well be tripping over Shell boxes due to how common they are
  • Can gib Zombies with Quad Damage


  • Takes a while to kill stronger Enemies without Quad Damage
  • Random spread cause it to lose potential damage at distance
  • Lacks burst damage, dependent on fast fire rate instead
  • Can not return fire from distance upon cover and peekshots

Death Messages

  • "Player" chewed on "Attacker"'s boomstick


  • As a default weapon and not a pickup, the Shotgun is one of the only two weapons in Quake that does not possess a world model (the other being the Axe).
  • The Shotgun was meant to be the default Weapon as a statement to other first person shooters, stating that Quake was so hardcore that it skipped the wimpy weapons (i.e. pistol) and went directly to the Shotgun.
  • The Shotgun was intentionally designed to be different to the one found in Doom to avoid being derivative. In particular no pumping animations were included and it was made to fire more rapidly, akin to the pistol in Doom. Quake's Shotgun and Double-Barrelled Shotgun have a faster rate of fire and lower damage against Quake monsters, compared to the Doom shotguns against Doom enemies.
  • It's possible that the Shotgun is lever-action based, or it is fired semi-automatically similiarly to an real life SPAS-12.
  • The "boomstick" death message is a reference to a line spoken by Ash (Evil Dead Series) in the movie Army Of Darkness to describe his Shotgun.




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