Shotguns may be relatively bulky and clumsy weapons in Starfield when compared to the sleeker and more refined pistol and rifle weapon categories, but it is in their unapologetic raw nature that many players find comfort. An instant burst of heavy lead that shaves big chunks of an enemy’s health bar, shotguns in Starfield are the ideal weapon of choice to punish an enemy that gets too comfy walking up to you, or for a mad dash in, close-quarters assault.
If you wish to design your loadout for close-quarters fighting, below are my suggestions of some of Starfield’s best shotguns to consider adding to your arsenal.
A rare shotgun, the Rapidshot deals 120 base damage and decent accuracy at almost 57%, it also comes with a nice perk and weapon mod bonuses.
The Rapid perk grants a +25% increase in attack speed. Meanwhile, the 5 weapon mods already installed boost utility in other ways. The fully automatic weapon mod adds to the speedy shooting nature of the gun and though the low magazine size can be semi-polarizing, you still have a few empty weapon mod slots to potentially slot in an extended magazine mod.
You can get the Rapidshot shotgun from the vendor in the UC distribution center in New Atlantis on planet Jemison.
Though its fire rate is low, Breach packs quite a solid punch owing to a high base Physical damage stat of 99, as well as a relatively decent accuracy at 55%, making this weapon decent for hit-and-run tactics in close quarters and patient, careful single shot exchanges during mid ranged engagement with enemies.
In addition, it comes with 8 empty weapon mod slots so you can mix and match to improve the intensity of each shot by adding a variety of status ailments, as well as other supporting weapon mods.
You can obtain Breach from a variety of vendors.
3. Boom Boom
Boom Boom is a rare shotgun rocking a respectable 65 Physical Damage and 8 total weapon mod slots, 3 of which are occupied. The slots occupied are Laser Sight, High Velocity and most importantly, Large Magazine. The former weapon mod raises the magazine capacity to 20, which synergizes with its high rate of fire, boosting the shotgun’s burst damage capabilities before you must commit to reloading.
The most eye-catching quirk of this shotgun lies in its unique perk ‘Explosive’. This perk will randomly switch the weapon’s regular ammo with explosive shells which deal, you guessed it, explosive damage. Considering the radius the explosive shots cover, as well as the damage increase, it is a perk that is nothing but a positive.
To get the Boom Boom shotgun, you must travel to Volii Alpha in the Volii System and make your way into Neon City. Here, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the ‘Neon Tactical’ store, where the shopkeeper will sell you the Boom Boom shotgun.
4. Big Bang
A rare shotgun, Big Bang deals a mixed 32 Physical and 94 Energy type damage. It also comes with 7 empty weapon mod slots and great range, coupled with decent accuracy. This makes it a very solid weapon in terms of effectiveness vs. different enemy types. It is highly effective for mid-range engagements instead of having to commit exclusively to point-blank engagement for any notable mileage.
You can obtain this weapon randomly within certain weapon vendor stores in Neon City.
5. Experiment A-7
Experiment A-7 is a rare shotgun which is found quite late in the game. It has a base Physical damage score of 162, a +30% damage bonus against Alien specimen via the ‘Exterminator’ perk, as well as 6/8 slotted weapon mods.
The fully automatic and Flechette rounds weapon mods are especially noteworthy here as the former allows for continuous fire during enemy engagements while the latter adds a bleeding proc chance to each shot from the weapon.
Though the low accuracy can be a slight turn-off, considering you’ll be using this against hostile alien life-forms, who tend to run straight towards you instead of gaining distance, you won’t really have to aim too hard with this weapon so that’s alright.
To obtain the Experiment A-7 shotgun in Starfield, you must proceed with the main story quest ‘Final Glimpses’. As you progress that quest, you will find yourself scanning various planets. One of these planets, Freya III in the Freya System, will have a distress call on the surface, originating from the Nishina Research Station.
Going to that spot will begin the ‘Entangled’ quest. As you progress through it, you will eventually be in the same room as an NPC by the name of Ethan Hughes, who will open a door for you. After he does this, speak to him again, and pick the dialogue option “Are there any scorpions native to this planet?”. This will lead to further dialogue choices, as well as a persuasion option. Pick that and succeed in persuasion to obtain the Experiment A-7 shotgun