The Vault - Fallout Wiki

We've Moved! Just as Gamepedia has joined forces with Fandom, this wiki had joined forces with our Fandom equivalent. The wiki has been archived and we ask that readers and editors move to the now combined wiki on Fandom. Click to go to the new wiki.


The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Icon disambig.svg
For an overview of Tesla cannon models in the Fallout series of games, see Tesla cannon.
Tesla cannon
Tesla cannon.png
Tesla cannon icon.png
SkillEnergy Weapons
Attack statistics
40 (47) + 80 ExplosionIcon explosion.png + 20 (21) for 2s EffectIcon effect.png
189.5 (200.5) + 20 (21) EffectIcon effect.png
DPS (reload)
31.6 (33.4) + 20 (21) EffectIcon effect.png
Crit Dmg
Crit % Mult
Ammo & reloading
Ammo TypeElectron charge pack
Ammo Cap.1
Reload Time
Item HP900
Tesla cannons
QuestsShock Value
Who Dares Wins
Editor ID?
Base IDxx006725
Perk Effects
Perks (dam.)
Bloody Mess
(+2 +1 EffectIcon effect.png)
Gametitle-FO3 BS.png
Gametitle-FO3 BS.png

The Tesla cannon is a weapon in the Fallout 3 - Broken Steel add-on.


The following section is transcluded from Tesla cannon. To modify, please edit the source page.

The Tesla cannon is a pre-War designed shoulder-mounted heavy directed energy weapon, designed to replace conventional anti-tank weapons.[1] Based on Nikola Tesla's designs, the weapon entered limited production before the war and remains a rare sight in the wasteland. However, it remains a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled user, as the focused energy blast will not only deliver massive damage to the target, but the nature of the blast will also deliver a potent electric shock.

Near the end of the war between the Brotherhood and the Enclave in the Capital Wasteland, the Brotherhood's scribes under the Order of the Sword worked to build their own Tesla Canons to more effectively counter the enclave's VB-02 Vertibird fleet. To do so, the Lone Wanderer was tasked with retrieving a PPE Tesla Coil from Olney Powerworks, an experimental piece of pre-war technology.[2][3]

The modified Tesla canon employed by Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel is far more powerful than the pre-war Tesla canon. Discharging a large electrical impulse upon impact with a much larger area of effect. This explosive damage makes the Lyon's model far more suitable for anti-Vertibird use.[4]


The Tesla cannon is a shoulder-mounted energy weapon that fires powerful blasts of focused blue electricity, powered by electron charge packs. The blast is powerful enough to short the electrical circuitry in Vertibirds and destroy them instantly. When fired at enemies, a cloud of residual electricity that damages them for a few seconds.

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.


Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 3 cut content.


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.
  • Once you leave Adams Air Force Base, if you did not blow up the Citadel and return there, 2 Tesla cannons can be found in the Citadel Lab after finishing the quest Who Dares Wins, on a table in front of Liberty Prime's docking bay.
  • 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 pick the lock to get into the armory but there are no Tesla cannons there.
  • 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 electron charge packs.
    • The second pair of cannons (along with some electron charge 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. The Crate is inside the ring of Sandbags underneath a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin.

Related quests


  • It is also possible to obtain an unlimited amount of Tesla cannons from Adams Air Force Base. This can only be done before you destroy the Mobile Base Crawler. Simply observe the battle between the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave and at some point a paladin will bring out a Tesla cannon. Go around the force field and loot his body when he dies, then go back and wait for another. Note that the other Brotherhood of Steel soldiers may loot him before you get there leaving you to only get armor or ammunition.
  • The Tesla cannon has a "shocking effect" much like Jingwei's Shocksword. 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.
  • If you look into the barrel, you can clearly see the Tesla coil, which is its main component.
  • Star Paladin Cross and Clover will equip the Tesla cannon when given with ammunition, however, please note that when the cannon is placed in their inventory along with ammunition, it will degrade as normal. By stunning her with Paralyzing Palm, Sydney will equip the Tesla cannon when given with ammunition and it will not degrade.
  • 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 (i.e. you can shoot the Citadel Laboratory wall next to the map and Rothchild may be knocked unconscious).
  • Even though the Tesla cannon looks like a big gun, it is actually an energy weapon, and rather light; in fact, it is the same weight as the laser rifle.
  • 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.
  • The Tesla cannon tends to kill a stronger enemy (Enclave Hellfire trooper for instance) in 1-2 shots (1 with aftershock). Also note that the after shock can harm the player and followers in close ranges. Try to aim for the enemy in the middle as the after shock will soften up the enemies around it, then a more practical firearm can be used if desired.

Behind the scenes

The following section is transcluded from Tesla cannon. To modify, please edit the source page.


  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PCIcon pc.png 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 non-player character's. You will also not receive any fingers or ears for enemies killed by the cannon's splash damage.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Occasionally while in third person the Tesla cannon will float off of your back and stay suspended in mid air. This makes it impossible to use in third person and V.A.T.S., however the Tesla cannon will still work in first person. (This will fix itself after a while however there is nothing that you can do to fix it)
  • PCIcon pc.png The Tesla cannon will not destroy a VB-02 Vertibird in a single shot, unlike the console versions of the game.


SingleShotVB.png ReloadVB.png JamVB.png


  1. Future Weapons Today
  2. Plot of Shock Value.
  3. Tristan's dialogue
  4. Gameplay differences between the Tesla cannon in Broken Steel and the Tesla cannon in Fallout: New Vegas, as well as Tristan's dialogue confirm this as the modification necessitating the Tesla Coil.