The best weapons in Fallout 4: Nuka World and where to find them

There are a lot of wild new weapons in Fallout 4's Nuka World DLC, and although some of them can be unlocked by taking a quick trip to the local traders and handing over a mountain of caps, others require a bit more work to get your hands on. And to unlock their true potential, you'll need to pay careful attention to Nuka World as a whole, complete a few quests, and have a little bit of Raider fun. So let's take a look at some of these fantastic weapons and where to find them.

Game Time: The Acid Soaker and the Paddle Ball

To get your hands on two of Nuka World's wilder weapons, you'll need to take a short trip down the streets of Nuka-Town U.S.A. to the Nuka-Cade, Nuka World's one and only interactive arcade, chock-full of mini-games and valuable prizes that you can use to literally melt the faces off the competition.

Each mini-game performs almost exactly like an arcade or arena in real life. You'll need to find, buy, or exchange either caps or pre-war money for tokens that you can use to play each mini game, and based on how well you score you'll net a certain number of tickets, which can be redeemed at the prize terminal for various goodies, including the Acid Soaker and the Paddle Ball. The cost for each prize can range from extremely affordable to almost ludicrous, but tickets are fairly easy to collect if you're willing to put in the time. You'll find plenty of tokens and small amounts of tickets in the various trashcans around the park, and occasionally you'll even stumble on entire rolls of redeemable tickets, so you'll find a fair amount pretty easily by just exploring the park.

Failing that, the mini-games actually shell out a heck of a decent payout for a fairly small amount of work. A lot of players suggest cheating at the ski-ball mini-game if you're on console by picking up each of the balls and placing them manually in the highest scoring pocket. Or, if you're on PC, you can play the free-throw mini-game and cheat by grabbing a ball and repeatedly swiping your mouse up and down through the basket.

Personally, I found that both of those techniques were boring, slow, and likely to induce tennis elbow if done for long periods of time on a low mouse sensitivity. So I focused instead on the shooting range, which pays out about 750-1200 tickets for every play if you hit most of the targets, and considering the Thirst Zapper has an almost unlimited ammo supply and a slight AoE to its projectiles, it's extremely easy to hit the various targets as they move across the screen. You can even nab a fresh water pistol from one of the other mini-games if you don't have your original one on hand from the start of the DLC.

No matter your preference, play the mini-games for about 15 to 30 minutes and you'll be rolling in tickets in no time, and you'll be able to pick up the Acid Soaker and the Paddle Ball from the prize terminal. The Acid Soaker fires a concentrated form of homemade acidic ammo that you can craft at any chemistry station, dealing both damage over time and stripping away 50 DR from an enemy's total armor. The Paddle Ball is a fairly innocuous melee weapon with a slightly longer range than your average shiv, but it can be upgraded with anything from a spiked ball, to a toxic dosage of weaponized Nuka-Cola that'll leave your enemies feeling refreshed, embarrassed, and irradiated.

Weaponized Nuka Cola and You

Now that you've got your hands on both the Thirst Zapper and the Paddle Ball, you might be wondering how in Atom's name to make them actually useful for more than simply pissing Preston Garvey off on the regular. After all, the trailer's for Nuka World showed both weapons shelling out some massive damage thanks to a variety of Nuka-Cola inspired mods, but installing them requires a pretty hefty amount of something called Weaponized Nuka-Cola, which is both hidden and completely unavailable until you've completed the Raider storyline and restarted Nuka World's power.

That said, once you're squared away with the Raiders and Nuka World is up and running again, take a trip back to The World of Refreshment. You'll want to immediately make your way through each of the exhibits and duck into the Nuka-Cola Quantum production area towards the back of the factory.

Once there, head over to the terminal at the electronically locked door on the right side of the room – if you haven't restored power to the park yet you'll receive a message that due to an emergency lockdown you can't unlock the door, but with the power fully supplied it's only a few clicks away from popping open the hatch. Now, if you didn't side with the Raiders or chose to slaughter them because, well... they aren't exactly good guys, there's absolutely no in-canon way to open this door. It stinks, but it's the truth, and it's part of what we would call extremely poor writing on the part of this DLC as a whole that there aren't multiple ways to achieve each objective. However, if you're on the PC, you can always open the console and type TCL to disable collision and simply walk through the wall, and if you're on console you should be able to use the Power Armor exit trick to glitch through the wall in the same manner, although we weren't able to pull it off while writing this review. If you do manage to make it in without turning on the power, you'll want to make sure you have plenty of anti-rad chems on hand because your only way out at that point is through the river of radioactive material into Kiddie Kingdom.

No matter what method you use to get inside, take out the two defense turrets when they activate and use the elevator to access the lower levels. There are plenty of interesting tidbits spread about this area if you want to learn more about Nuka-Cola's hidden research into Project Cobalt, but your main target is through the door on the right in the main research lab.

Inside, you'll find a pile of goodies on a table beside the weapons workbench, including the Project Cobalt Schematics, a Nuka-Cola Quantum, and a few special grenades that'll bring life to any party. With schematics in hand, you'll be able to craft Weaponized Nuka-Cola in a variety of flavors and you'll also find that the Thirst Zapper has several very special mods available to craft once you get your hands on the required materials. It's expensive, but the damage output from your humble water pistol once loaded with Weaponized Nuka-Cola Quantum is more than worth the trouble.

Going Quantum: The Nuka-Nuke Launcher

Our next weapon is the ultimate result of Project Cobalt, a weaponized nuclear variant of the Fat-Man that makes use of Nuka-Cola Quantum-based Mini-Nukes. The Nuka-Nuke Launcher is a possible reward for the quest, “Cappy in the Haystack,” which involves everyone's favorite Nuka-Cola aficionado Sierra Petrovita and her quest for a secret Nuka-Cola recipe thought to be lost to the ages.

She'll provide you with a series of objectives to find all of the hidden Cappy in the surrounding parks, as well as a holotape with a number of hints to the Cappy's location. The quest is pretty straightforward, and although finding Cappys can be a bit tricky it's not difficult once you get to know the parks. If you're having trouble, it's best to fast travel away from whichever park you're searching in and then check the quest markers on your world map. When you're not actually in the park, the markers will point to the general location of each Cappy, which you can then place a marker on to help narrow down the location once you get back inside the park proper.

Once you've found all ten Cappys, it's time to make your way back to Sierra, who will quickly decipher the code and let you unlock the door to Bradberton's Office as a small reward for all your hard work. Once inside, you'll have a chance to loot around and read/listen to a number of messages from Bradberton, which will shed a bit of light on the man himself and the hidden project going on just under Nuka-World's bright and cheerful exterior. Your main target at this point is the Nuka-Cola vending machine on the second floor of the office in the corner. On the right side you'll find a small button, which will reveal the hidden elevator to Bradberton's private sanctuary.

Go down the elevator and through the vault, and there you'll find Bradberton himself, still alive, mostly, although he's no longer a man of the stature we're used to encountering in the Wasteland. At this point, you'll be given a choice on whether or not to give Bradberton the freedom of death, or to keep him alive in exchange for a Nuka-Cola jumpsuit from Sierra. If you want the Nuka-Nuke Launcher, you're going to need to either kill Bradberton by flipping the switch or otherwise break the game to gain access to the vault.

If you want both rewards, you can take the true Raider path and tell Sierra that you're going to spare Bradberton, at which point the quest will end and she'll pass over that sweet Nuka-Cola jumpsuit, and then walk over to the wall panel and kill Bradberton anyway. This will make Sierra go hostile, but it also gets you both rewards, so it's kind of a win/win, especially if you're not a fan of Nuka-Cola's biggest enthusiast.

Either way, inside the vault you'll find the Nuka-Nuke launcher, some ammo for your new toy, and some schematics to help you on your quest to turn the whole world a delightful shade of Quantum blue.

Nuka World Rifles: The Splatter Cannon or The Problem Solver

The Handmade Rifle is easily one of the cooler, more militant weapon options on the table with the rise of Nuka-World, and is the spitting image of many AK-style assault rifles available in the world today. Like all the weapons in Fallout 4, it can be modded to serve any purpose from short to long range, single fire to full auto, and it definitely feels downright fun to use, but there are two legendary variants of the rifle that are particularly awesome for anyone that misses a good ol' fashioned spray and pray assault rifle that can take down enemies large and small.

Both of these rifles come with the Furious legendary effect, which causes them to deal increasing damage with every hit on an enemy – a small bonus for semi auto rifles, but a massive advantage for a weapons that fire's several hundred rounds per minute. Of course, you'll still blow through ammo like a Raider in a pharmacy full of Jet, but the damage output is superb in the meantime.

You have two options as far as getting your hands on this rifle with the Furious effect. The first nets you the Splatter Cannon but also costs you a mountain of caps. The Splatter Cannon is already modded out the wazoo and is all set for a night on the town spraying down Super Mutants and Gatorclaws alike, but the arms merchant Aaron Corbett in the Market District won't part with it for less than 8,000 caps, and depending on your Charisma level it could easily run you over 10,000 caps. If you've been saving your pennies, you'll probably be able to afford it considering how high a level you need to be at to walk into Nuka-World at all, but it's definitely a barrier for anyone that isn't rolling in the dough.

Which brings us to our second option – the Problem Solver is a nearly identical variant of the Handmade Rifle that still carries the Furious legendary effect, but isn't nearly as heavily modded as the Splatter Cannon. It does come for the low, low price of free, which is always a bonus.

To get the Problem Solver, all you need to do is focus on being a bit of an asshole, and then bring that attitude to your first encounter with the leader of the Pack, Mason. It's worth dropping a quick save before you talk to him, just in case you fail the speech check at the end or otherwise don't get the rifle.

During your conversation just focus on selecting the option on the right as much as possible, the Pack respects strength and apparently being an absolute prick is the best way to achieve that. You'll know you're at the end of the conversation when the right side dialogue option for, “Do as your told,” pops up. If you've been a sufficient level of asshole to Mason and you successfully complete the speech check, Mason will mention something about being cut from the same cloth and will hand over the Problem Solver to smooth things over with the new Overboss. Not a bad reward for unleashing your inner jerk.