Due to recent experience with games like Destiny and how significantly things have changed since Fallout 3 and New Vegas..I've been wondering if there are any implicit effects induced by higher/lower weapon weight. For instance: would a 10mm pistol that's heavier than a stock version of itself have reduced recoil but slower handling (draw/stow speed)? Perhaps slower reload speed?

6 Answers 6


Weapon weight increases the amount of time it takes for you to ADS (aim down sights) or "scope". This is explained in a loading screen tool-tip.

For example having a lighter scoped weapon will allow you to ADS quicker and reduces the fade-out time of the black overlay.


All of the weapon modifications will highlight what they're changing. Having a "lighter" weapon in itself will not directly change anything, but the modification may impact another statistic. For example;

  • An advanced receiver increases damage and gives you a better rate of fire
  • A full stock gives you better recoil
  • A quick eject drum magazine gives you better ammo capacity and improved reload speeds

Additionally, "heavy" weapons will effect your movement speed while they're equipped.

  • I have noticed that some modifications to explicitly state that they change recoil and reload speed but I was wondering if there were instances where this wasn't necessarily explicit. Also, no modifications mention handling at all which is, more or less, where my question arose from.
    – Chase
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:34
  • Well handling is accuracy, no?
    – kalina
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:37
  • Not necessarily. What I'm referring to is the draw/stow speed. I will change my question to clarify this.
    – Chase
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:38
  • All weapons appear to draw/holster at the same speed. At least my two completely opposite examples did (Laser rifle vs 10mm pistol). I expect this to be different for the heavy weapons (minigun, fat man, etc)
    – kalina
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:43
  • Right, I believe that the difference between handling of a small gun/energy weapon and a heavy weapon is implied but a proper testing environment would be the exact same weapon but with one loaded up with as many weight-adding modifications as possible (I'd do this myself but I'm currently at work - will do later).
    – Chase
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:51

A loading screen tip for the PC version specifically says that weapon weight inversely affects draw speed. I'll screenshot it if I see it again for support, but I can safely say that yes, weapon weight matters (though it might not matter much).

  • 1
    I believe the tip refers to ADS speed. ADS is different than drawing. Drawing is pulling the weapon out of its holster. ADS is looking down the sight.
    – DCShannon
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:50

Most of the mods that increase weapon weight also increase VATS cost. This includes the heavy receiver (light reduces cost, but anything with "sensitive trigger is better) longer barrels (stub is cheapest), scopes (Reflex is best, focus seems to be keyword there), and stocks as opposed to pistol grips. Muzzles don't matter though.

Someone also said that weapon weight also affects bash damage. I haven't really tested this but I have read that Minigun + Shredder + basher perk brutalizes enemies.

  • This makes sense, and I think weapon weight affected AP cost in previous games, at least for melee weapons. Have you tested this or corroborated it somewhere?
    – DCShannon
    Dec 10, 2015 at 1:29
  • Weapon weight has a larger effect than fire rate on AP cost. This is the #1 consideration what to mod a weapon with or not, if you use vats. Max out damage then accuracy, and then add or remove mods until it's as light as possible.
    – Mazura
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:30

I asked this question myself recently, and found this posting. After performing my own experiment, I have determined that although heavier types of weapons (gauss rifle v pipe rifle) have slower drawing and aiming speeds, there is no discernable difference between a heavier version of the same type of weapon (fully upgraded pipe rifle v light pipe rifle). I also determined that there is similarly no difference between a pistol and a rifle version of the same weapon type.

In conclusion, the drawing and aiming speed of a weapon appears to only be tied to the type of weapon, and not it's actual weight.

  • 1
    Was your experiment primarily through "feel" or did you, say, open up modified weapons in the creation kit and examine the stats to prove the lack of difference? If you could do some creation kit research and post some screenshots, that would surely be worth a lot in helping your case.
    – Chase
    Sep 14, 2016 at 16:21

There's a loading screen (PS4) that says longer weapons have more accuracy when scoped, but less when fired from the hip. This doesn't directly mention weight, but longer weapons tend to be heavier, so weight usually indirectly plays a part in a weapon's accuracy.

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