Beyond the common weapon types like pistols, rifles etc. the weapons in Starfield have an additional layer of subdivisions to them based on ‘damage type’. This determines the effectiveness of weapons based on the type of enemy they are used against. One of those types are the Starfield ballistic weapons.
‘Ballistic weapons’ is just a fancier name given to weapons that deal ‘Physical Damage’. Any weapon that’s reminiscent to present day firearms in that they use standard bullets or create smokey explosions fall under the category of ballistic weapons in Starfield.
Ballistic weapons tend to be most effective against organic enemies, with some weapon mods improving their armor piercing capabilities for more heavily armored variants.
Keeping the prior information in mind, and the fact that Ballistic weapons also tend to be the most common weapon type you’ll have, it stands to reason you’d want only the best weapons from the category for the job. Below is a list of some of the best Starfield Ballistic weapons you can find:
Considered one of the best pistols in Starfield, the Keelhauler legendary pistol is one of the strongest Ballistic weapons in the game. It sits at an impressive Base 86 physical damage, as well as 4 pre-slotted weapon mods and 3 perks.
To obtain this weapon you must complete the ‘Echoes of the Past’ quest, part of the quest chain to join the Crimson Fleet.
The semi-automatic weapon mod makes this quite an effective burst damage ballistic weapon, while the Staggering, Berserker and Frenzy perks are added bonuses.
2. Calibrated Grendel
Though it may seem rather unremarkable at first glance, the Calibrated Grendel is a weapon that shines when invested into. With the right mods applied, this weapon will remain relevant well into the endgame. Also considering it uses a different ammo type compared to most common weapon picks, this Ballistic Weapon can act as a fair back-up weapon in many cases.
Also considering most hostile enemy troopers drop the ammo for this weapon in bulk, the Grendel is a weapon that will always be high on spare ammo so you’ll never have to fear going empty in an extended fight.
You can buy this weapon from ‘Rowland Arms’ in Akila City and it also drops commonly from enemies.
3. Marksman’s AA-99
The Marksman’s AA-99 rare rifle acts as an effective long-distance single shot sniper, as well as an okay mid-range return fire tool. With a base 37 physical damage, as well as the hitman perk which grants an extra 15% damage while aiming,
You can obtain this weapon relatively early. Simply make your way to the New Atlantis Centaurian Arsenal shop in the commercial district and the vendor will usually have this weapon stocked.
It comes with a great number of weapon mods as well. The Suppressor in particular stands out as it adds to the stealth capacity of this weapon for ranged, covert sniping.
The Legendary rifle Revenant sitting at a 14 base Physical damage, sports a very high fire rate and accuracy, coupled with a very large magazine capacity owing to one of its perks, making it essentially a pseudo-minigun without many of the associated limitations.
To acquire this rifle, you must join Crimson Fleet and progress their questline until you reach the ‘Eye of the Storm’ quest. During the quest you will be instructed to search for a specific computer in a lab. When in this specific lab, you will find the Revenant rifle placed right next to the terminal.
Revenant comes equipped with 3 weapon mods i.e., Short Barrel, Muzzle Brake and High Velocity. Other than that, it also sports 3 noteworthy perks.
The titanium build perk significantly reduces the weight of the weapon to a mere 0.15. That’s almost 8x as less as a standard pistol you’ll find, which leaves more room in your inventory to carry additional weapons and beef up your arsenal with almost no worries of being over encumbered.
The Lacerate perk has a chance to proc the bleeding status on opponents while the Extended Magazine perk alluded to previously gives the weapon its large magazine capacity.
All these bonuses in tandem make this one of the best Ballistic Weapons in Starfield.
5. N-67 Smartgun
A rare heavy gun, the N-67 Smartgun is an effective tool to plow through hordes of enemies, especially those cramped in tight corridors / narrow halls.
With a damage of 10 Physical points per bullet, the true impressiveness comes from the unique perk associated with the weapon. The ‘Shattering’ perk improves the minigun’s damage against armored foes and with a 4 spare slots at your disposal, you can mix in different weapon mods, such as those which proc bleeding, to get even more mileage out of the weapon.
You can obtain this weapon from the vendor in UC Distributions in the commercial district of New Atlantis City.