Fallout 4 sends you off into the Commonwealth wasteland with just a 10-millimeter peashooter, which isn’t going to cut it for protecting yourself against much more than radroaches. The game starts slow as you learn to survive, and it can feel like ages before you find a kick-ass weapon, let alone one with enough ammunition to use for anything more than special occasions. Fortunately, several of the weapons on the list below are not very hard to acquire relatively early in the game, which should give you a leg up in tracking down the harder-to-acquire ones on your constant path to mastering the wasteland.
This pistol packs a powerful punch, and even though it crosses your path pretty early in the main storyline, it remains relevant throughout the game. Featuring staggering stopping power paired with decent range and accuracy, Kellogg’s Pistol fills the classic video game niche of the magnum revolver. The ability to refill your AP on critical hits makes it extra deadly in VATS, too. The catch is that it requires .44 rounds for ammunition, which are far from common. The ammo scavenging perk is helpful in this regard, but for the most part, you’re going to want to save this gun for particularly rough battles or for devastating sneak attacks.
You actually meet Kellogg before you ever leave the vault, but it takes a little while before you can find him again and take his pistol. Head to Diamond City and find Nick Valentine. Eventually you’ll get to a quest called Reunion, where Dogmeat will lead you and Nick to Kellogg by the scent of his cigars. He’s holed up in Fort Hagen along the western edge of the Commonwealth. He has quite a few synth friends and likes to use a stealth boy, so get ready for a pretty serious boss fight. Fortunately for your trouble, his clothes are also a decent set of unique armor that is likely better than anything else you’ve found to that point.
Like Kellogg’s Pistol, this is one of the earlier powerful weapons that people tend to find. Fortunately, unlike Kellogg’s it relies on the far more common fusion cell to work, which are everywhere once you start to fight synths. Critical hits do double damage and are ready more frequently, making this especially effective in VATS. If you have high luck, then this stacks beautifully with the Better Criticals and Critical Banker perks to dish out hot, lasery justice.
As you head south toward Diamond City, you’ll pick up a distress radio beacon from the Cambridge Police Department. Follow it and you’ll find a stranded Brotherhood of Steel platoon holding off an onslaught of feral ghouls. After you help them out, talk to their leader, Paladin Danse. He will ask you to come help him collect some equipment from nearby ArcJet Systems, which is swarming with synths. Thankfully, Paladin Danse comes along to help, and he’s wearing power armor and wielding Righteous Authority, so you’ve got excellent backup. Afterward he generously rewards you with his personal gun and invites you to join the Brotherhood of Steel. Whether you want to stick with them in the long run or simply move on, it’s worth heading to their airship with Danse in order to collect your knight’s power armor.
The types of ammo you rely on can sometimes be in short supply, so even if you’re not going for a strength-based brawler, having a reliable melee weapon with you is always a good idea. This axe does serious damage, too, and the staggering it causes is especially useful if you need it to fight your way out of a rough spot.
The axe is located in a locked case (advanced) behind the counter on the first floor of Hubris comics. It appears empty when you first walk in, but will soon be swarming with feral ghouls. We recommend just coming prepared, and maybe tossing a molotov cocktail or two into the back of the store right when they peek in.
Furious Power Fist
This nasty piece of work does a whopping 57 damage that increases the more you hit the same victim. Sneak attacks with it will also obliterate most average enemies.
Even though this weighs less, it’s a strict upgrade over Grognak’s Axe if you can manage to acquire it. In the middle of Boston Common is a swan pond, with what appears to be a dead swan. Approach and you’ll quickly find out that it’s actually being worn Björk-style by a towering super mutant behemoth named Swan. He’s a nasty piece of work himself, so bring a lot of explosives and keep your distance. Kiting him around a nearby tree while blasting him with rockets is a good way to go. You can loot the Power Fist off of his body once you fell the giant.
Le Fusil Terribles
Most of the game’s shotguns are slow firing, slow to load, have terrible range, and feature small magazines. The one exception — and easily one of the best weapons in the game — is Le Fusil Terribles. It loads 32 shells at a time and showcases impressive damage, especially for its range, with a special ability that just slathers on more damage and makes it especially good for blasting off limbs.
It resides in a raider settlement called Libertalia, on the water to the northeast of the airport. Fight your way across a series of boats strung together with bridges to the top, and you’ll find it on top of a crate in the captain’s quarters. If you cozy up to the Institute you will end up there as part of a quest, but you can get it any time.