Aside from the ways listed below, are there any other ways to improve shotgun damage? For instance, maybe some foods, legendaries, etc.

Currently known ways

  • Shotgunner, Expert Shotgunner, and Master Shotgunner (up to +20% each)
  • Higher level shotguns or mods (e.g. Hardened Receiver)

Known General Damage

  • Tenderizer - Target recieves 5-7% more damage when shot by you recently.
  • Glow Sight - +60% damage to "glowing" monsters.
  • Mister Sandman - +50% sneak damage with suppressed guns at night.

Some ways to increase damage overall, which will also increase your damage with shotguns:

  • Bloody Mess Perk (Luck):

    • Rank 1: Do 5% more damage overall with all weapons
    • Rank 2: Do 10% more damage overall with all weapons
    • Rank 3: Do 15% more damage overall with all weapons
  • Adrenaline Perk (Agility):

    • Rank 1: Gain 6% more damage per kill for 30 seconds up to 36%
    • Rank 2: Gain 7% more damage per kill for 30 seconds up to 42%
    • Rank 3: Gain 8% more damage per kill for 30 seconds up to 48%
    • Rank 4: Gain 9% more damage per kill for 30 seconds up to 54%
    • Rank 5: Gain 10% more damage per kill for 30 seconds up to 60%

(Note that for every kill, the 30 second timer restarts)

  • Small Guns Bobblehead:

    • Increase damage by 20% with all ballistic weapons for one hour.
  • Sneak Attacks:

    • This varies depending on certain perk cards you might have and what level they may be (most notably the perk Covert Operative under Agility). By default, you do 200% damage when sneaking, and can increase that to 250% with a Level 3 Covert Operative perk card. Note that you must be either [Hidden] or the enemies must be in a [Caution] state for this to apply.
  • Chems:

    • Psycho: Grants 15% more damage for all weapons
    • Overdrive: Grants 15% more damage for all weapons
    • Psychobuff: Grants 25% more damage for all weapons
  • Instigating Legendary Weapons:

    • This will probably be the hardest to get, since it relies solely on getting a legendary weapon drop with the Instigating modifier. This modifier makes whatever weapon that has this effect do double damage on enemies that currently have full health. Combining this on top of sneaking, and other perks makes for some incredibly deadly weapons.

There are also other legendary modifiers, but the list is quite lengthy and a lot of them are only applicable against certain creatures. Take a look at the Wiki for some more.

  • Smarter Perk Allocation:

You already stated you know about the shotgun perk cards, but you may have thought to yourself, why are there three different shotgun perk cards that all do the same thing (Shotgunner, Expert Shotgunner, and Master Shotgunner)? I think the main reason is that you can get a higher damage percentage for less SPECIAL points if you use three Rank 1 cards instead of one Rank 3 card and one Rank 1 card. For example:

  • Master Shotgunner Rank 3 + Shotgunner Rank 1 = 30% more damage for 4 Strength points
  • Rank 1 Shotgunner, Expert Shotgunner, and Master Shotgunner = 30% more damage for 3 Strength points.

You are only allowed a total of 50 SPECIAL points, and up to a maximum of 15 in each attribute. So by allocating your perk cards in this manner, you can cut down on the amount of SPECIAL points you need, thus allowing you to allocate points to different perks. The same thing goes for the other perks cards like this, such as rifleman, and the melee weapon ones. Of course to get maximum damage output, you would need Rank 3 in all three of these cards, but that would require a hefty 9 Strength points, leaving you with at most 6 more Strength points to allocate to something else, and that's only if you have 15 Strength.

  • On sneak attacks - I believe you do 200% damage - not 200% more damage...
    – Shadow
    Nov 27 '18 at 4:39
  • @Shadow I think you're right, and that is probably what I meant but I can see how my wording would indicate that. I'll modify it.
    – Timmy Jim
    Nov 27 '18 at 11:59

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