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Tesla Cannon: Misc



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Tesla Cannon
Attack statistics
dmg/attack: 40 + 80 explosion + 20 for 2s effect
DPS: 120 + 20 effect
attacks/sec: 1 (unmodified: 1.5789)
# of projectiles: 1
spread: 0
crit dmg: 30
crit chance: x 2
ammo type: Electron Charge Pack
ammo per shot: 1
ammo capacity: 1
shots/reload: 1
skill: Energy Weapons
AP: 37
item HP: 900
repair: Tesla Cannons
weight: 8
value: 1800
quests: Shock Value
Who Dares Wins
base id: xx006725

The Tesla Cannon is a shoulder-mounted, recoilless energy weapon that fires powerful blasts of electricity. It is powered by Electron Charge Packs. It is likely based on designs confiscated by the US Government after the death of Nikola Tesla.

The quest line of Broken Steel includes having to find a Tesla Coil for this weapon in order to help the Brotherhood of Steel build it.



There are a total of 13 Tesla Cannons, or 14 if you count the Beta Tesla Cannon, but only a maximum of 11 (12 with Beta Tesla Cannon) can be obtained in one play-through.

  • The first Tesla Cannon can be acquired upon your initial arrival at Adams Air Force Base. There will be a resupply crate directly to your left near the wall upon exiting the Presidential Metro.
  • If you blew up the Citadel, you can find 2 Tesla Cannons in the Citadel armory. If you did not blow up the Citadel you can't get into the armory.
  • If you return to Adams Air Force Base after Who Dares Wins, you can acquire 8 more Tesla Cannons (4 in perfect condition, 4 in poor condition).
    • The first pair are before you reach the hangars. Traveling northeast from the Adams Air Force Base Entrance towards the hangars, the 4th open-topped military truck in your path has a resupply crate in the back with a good and poor condition weapon and EC Packs.
    • The second pair of cannons (along with some EC packs) is in a resupply crate between the first and second hangar on the way toward the Mobile Base Crawler by the base of an Enclave barricade. To be clear, these two hangars are to your right once you reach the airfield portion of your base, near 2 parked Vertibirds.
    • The third pair are in a resupply crate by the ramp leading to the covered catwalk between the second and third hangar on the way to the Mobile Base Crawler.
    • The fourth pair are at the base of an Enclave barricade, between the Mobile Base Crawler and the Air Control Tower.
  • There is a another Tesla Cannon that can be found outside of the map during the Death From Above quest. It is similar in appearance to the Missile Launcher and is a beta version of the Tesla Cannon. It is not considered to be a unique weapon because it was originally cut from the game.


  • It is possible to obtain Tesla Cannon from the members of Brotherhood of Steel spawned near Mobile Base Crawler, although it's very rare.
  • The Tesla Cannon has a "shocking effect" much like Jingwei's Shock Sword. After hitting an enemy with a blast from the cannon, they'll be surrounded by an electrical effect for a few seconds which will cause damage.
  • The Tesla Cannon has a splash effect when the projectile strikes any hard surface, damaging all near impact. It is entirely possible and quite common for this weapon to strike multiple enemies. Be aware, though, that this effect will also harm yourself or any companion near the enemy so the Tesla Cannon should be used from a distance and only if your companion is using a ranged weapon.
  • If you look into the barrel, you can clearly see the Tesla Coil, which is its main component.
  • Followers will not equip this weapon when given with ammo, except for Star Paladin Cross and possibly Charon. However, please note that when the Cannon is placed in Star Paladin Cross' inventory along with ammunition, it will degrade as normal.
  • The Tesla Cannon is a physically large, movable and solid object. As such, it can be used as a "step-ladder" to access otherwise inaccessible areas, should the player choose to do so. However, there is seldom any benefit in doing this.
  • When in V.A.T.S., if you use two shots, and the first shot doesn't kill an enemy, but the shocking effect does, you will still fire it again even though the enemy is already dead.
  • If you have the Grim Reaper's Sprint perk, this weapon may not always refill your AP after killing someone in V.A.T.S. This happens due to the aftershock effect.
  • Interestingly enough, this weapon's laser, or rather its aftershock effect, passes through walls and other solid barriers (ie. you can shoot the Citadel Laboratory wall next to the map and Rothchild may be knocked unconscious)
  • With Point Lookout installed, one can easily repair the cannon to full HP using the glitch at Haley's Hardware.
  • Even though the Tesla Cannon looks a Big Gun, it weighs less than many other Big Guns and Small Guns such as the Railway Rifle. In fact it is the same weight and class as the Laser Rifle
  • If you look down the "barrel" of the Tesla Cannon you can see 2 tesla coils, one at the front and one at the back of the section with the electricity in it
  • The Tesla Cannon has a script effect attached to it that allows it to destroy airborne Vertibirds with a single shot, regardless of actual damage done. For some reason, however, it damages grounded Vertibirds normally, without the instant destruction effect.


Tesla Cannon was added to Fallout 3 with the release of the Broken Steel add-on in May 2009.


  • If you kill an enemy with the splash damage effect alone, you may not earn XP for the kill, but you can use this to your advantage. If a good character is killed by the shock damage after effects it will result in no karma loss or hostility from nearby NPC's. You will also not receive any fingers or ears for enemies killed by the Cannon's splash damage. (confirmed Xbox 360, PC)
  • Star Paladin Cross may sometimes automatically equip the Tesla Cannon, even if the player does not set it into her inventory and if the player does not have it in theirs. (confirmed Xbox 360)
  • In the PC version of the game, people may notice that the Tesla Cannon will not take down a VB-02 Vertibird in a single shot, unlike the console versions of the game. (confirmed PC)
  • It is possible to get unlimited numbers of the Tesla Cannons. Directly west of the Enclave Crawler ramp is a hangar with a partially collapsed roof, with a blue force field butting against its southern side. If you stand on the west side of the forcefield, through the forcefield you will see a battle that goes on with 2 respawning Enclave soldiers and 3 Brotherhood of Steel soldiers on the runway. These soldiers constantly respawn with random weapons, one of which is occasionally a Tesla Cannon, although this is not common. When the player sees the distinctive beam fire of this weapon, they need to run through the semi-collapsed hangar, onto the airfield, and wait for the NPC to die. The bodies of dead NPCs vanish after 10 seconds, so the player needs to be quite quick (Confirmed on Xbox 360).
  • In some cases the gun becomes invisible and doesn't deal damage in third person and in V.A.T.S. One case the blast from the Tesla Cannon seemed to hit extremely far to the left. The cannon also uses ammo when this bug happens (confirmed Xbox 360).
  • Also in some cases the gun will dissapear from your hand and reappear on the floor, only in third person. It will not follow the direction of your crosshair but the direction it is facing on the floor.(confirmed Xbox 360)

Behind the scenes

  • The Tesla Cannon was also to be featured in the canceled Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, bearing a striking resemblance to the weapon in Broken Steel. Described as a "high-powered mass-cannon throwing tessellated plasma forward in an orgy of death and destruction" in the FO:BOS2 design document, it was to be the so-called "uber-weapon" of player character Maxus. "Uber-weapons" were to be unique weapons for each PC which had to be assembled from 5 parts over the course of the game. One of the five parts for this weapon was a Tesla Coil.
  • Nicola Tesla really did try to create a directed energy weapon but it would have been a Particle Beam Weapon called a "Teleforce", something that would be immensely complicated to create (laser weapons would be easy by comparison) and is a type of weapon that is not even mentioned in Fallout 3 (possibly the entire series). Simply put a particle weapon accelerates atoms or electrons at extremely high velocity (at relativistic speeds) to damage a target.
Broken Steel (add-on)
Weapons of Fallout 3

This article uses material from the "Tesla Cannon" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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