What is the most powerful single shot non explosive and non legendary weapon in the Fallout 4 vanilla game with these requirements:

  1. You have all the perks (including the companion perks).
  2. You have all the best mods.
  3. You have all the best armors (+stat - perception armors).
  4. No companions with you.
  5. No drugs.
  6. Hidden and stealth active.
  7. Rifle is preferable but a pistol will also do.

I am asking this question due to me being over level 100 already and just want a 1 shot weapon although at this level some super mutants wont go down even if you critical shot them in the head with an instigating .50 cal weapon.

  • @TimmyJim I do have some Gauss Rifle lying around somewhere. Let me try that then. Irradiated, Instigating, Penetrating... Going to test these out.
    – fja3omega
    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:38
  • 1
    I've converted my comment into an answer. From my experience, gauss rifles have always been one of the best weapons, and given the right perks, mods, and everything else, I think it's easily the strongest. However, I realized you said non legendary, but if you have an Instigating one, you might as well try it out!
    – Timmy Jim
    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:40
  • related: What Is The Best Weapon (Base Damage Stat)?
    – DCShannon
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


I would say a Gauss Rifle with either the Two Shot perk or the Instigating perk on the gun, the best mods, and the correct perks would be the most powerful semiautomatic weapon in the game. The Wiki seems to back this claim:

The Two-shot legendary variant of the Gauss rifle is arguably the most powerful rifle in the game. With the right perks and the right circumstances this weapon can kill even the strongest enemies in a single shot.

The 6 crank laser musket is the only thing that beats it, but under proper circumstances, it's still more powerful. According to the Wiki:

However when stealth combat is involved, and a silencer is equipped; with the Mister Sandman perk 50% more sneak critical damage is dealt. A fully upgraded Gauss rifle along with a fully upgraded Ninja perk will boost the sneak critical to 5.25x the base damage (6.3x with Deacon's Cloak and Dagger perk). One can combine that with Rifleman 5 and can do approximately 2000+ ballistic damage. (As of patch 1.4 the maximum multiplier is 4.8) One of the highest amounts of single shot damage. During a field test with the 6-crank laser musket at its highest, the laser musket does not do as much damage as a fully upgraded and perk supported Gauss rifle.

Given all this, I would argue that this is the most powerful semiautomatic rifle you can use with the appropriate perks. Even without the legendary perks, they are still a viable option. Although you need to charge up each shot to get maximum damage, if you use VATS, the shot is automatically charged and skips having to wait to charge it up (according to the Wiki).


You said no legendaries, so Timmy Tim's answer is probably correct, but if you dropped the legendary requirement then you could get enough damage to kill anything in one shot, assuming you don't mind standing around and getting ready for a while.

A Neverending Laser Musket can do an arbitrarily large amount of damage if you crank it long enough.

Per Nukapedia:

as the musket uses its "clip" to store the crank charge, and this mod sets the clip size to the amount of ammo in your inventory, the mod effectively removes the crank limit. Since the damage of the weapon is based on how many cranks you can give it, this gives that single shot a devastating amount of damage. For example, at 200 cranks, a single shot can do about 30,000 damage.

  • that would still be a legendary. And hunting that down would take a long time. I haven't even finished any of the brotherhood of steel quest yet. On the other hand 30k of damage is a lot. Is there even any character in game that can tank that?
    – fja3omega
    Mar 17, 2017 at 0:16
  • +1 But having to crank 200 times would take a long time, and would be costly on ammo. This is a big downside to these crank rifles in my opinion. I never used them primarily because of the cranking. Still, a valid point. However, I don't think this gun can be considered semiautomatic either since it needs to be reloaded after each shot. By definition, a semiautomatic weapon is self-loading.
    – Timmy Jim
    Mar 17, 2017 at 13:05
  • @fja3omega You did say non-legendary, didn't you, missed that. Well, here's what you're missing by sticking to non-legendaries, I guess.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 17, 2017 at 16:39
  • @TimmyJim It's semi-automatic for the purposes of Fallout 4. The Semi-automatic perk improves the damage. You're correct that it's not technically semi-auto by real-world definitions, though.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 17, 2017 at 16:40

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