Atomic Heart isn’t a very combat-heavy game, but the combat that is in the game will push you to your limits (especially at higher difficulty levels). While you will need to rely on the game’s various character and ability upgrades to survive, you’re not going to make it far without the game’s best melee weapons and guns.
Considering that Atomic Heart burdens you with both limited inventory space and limited resources, you’ll likely constantly question which weapons are worth carrying at any time and which ones are worth upgrading over the course of the game. As you probably guessed from the handy headline above, that’s what we’re here to help with.
Atomic Heart: Every Melee Weapon Ranked Worst to Best
On paper, the Snowball is the most powerful melee weapon in Atomic Heart by some distance. Its base power level is astonishing, and it can take out many enemies with one mighty swing.
However, the downsides of using the Snowball are too significant to ignore. Its short-range and long wind-up time make it incredibly difficult to wield this melee weapon in the ways that it was meant to be used. You’ll end up killing enemies quicker with some of the theoretically “weaker” melee weapons in the game simply because you won’t need to charge them before swinging. Furthermore, those charges can often leave you in a pretty vulnerable position.
There’s another slower, more powerful melee weapon in the game that just has so much more to offer than this one. There’s honestly not much point in upgrading it.
I really debated about how to rank to the Fox. On the one hand, this is definitely a niche weapon that suffers from some of the weakest “per-slash” damage in the game. You just can’t rely on the Fox as often as you’d like to.
However, that’s not really what the Fox is for. It’s a light melee weapon designed to be used alongside (rather than in place of) the game’s various guns. Actually, a properly upgraded Fox weapon will actually double the amount of Energy you recover when you hit a certain health threshold, which makes it that much easier to rely on Energy weapons even during prolonged battles.
Ultimately, the Fox is a bit of a niche weapon that doesn’t have much to offer in certain fights and is a little too dependent on your Energy weapons. It’ll be your best friend in some situations and pretty much useless in others.
The Zvezdochka is a unique and ridiculously powerful melee weapon that was clearly intended to be a “nuclear” late-game option.
Much like the Snowball, a fully-charged Zvezdochka will tear through most enemies with relatively little trouble. Unlike the Snowball, the Zvezdochka’s base swings are strong enough to ensure that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time with it just because you weren’t able to invest in a fully-charged hit. Seriously, this thing packs a punch that even some guns can’t match.
So why it ranked so low? Well, the Zvezdochka is incredibly expensive to craft and upgrade. You won’t acquire it until later in the game, and you won’t be able to upgrade it to its full potential even later than that. It’s definitely worth checking out, but those are pretty significant catches given the power of the next two alternatives.
The Swede may be the first melee weapon you find in Atomic Heart, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to replace it. Actually, the Swede is one of those rare starting weapons you can use through pretty much the entire game.
The beauty of the Swede is that the base version of the weapon offers pretty respectable stats in pretty much every area. It doesn’t have any inherent weaknesses, and you compensate for the areas it’s not especially strong in with the right upgrades.
Though it doesn’t top this list due to the power and potential of the next option, you should start upgrading the Swede early and often. You’ll never regret the investment.
The Pashtet is the fastest melee weapon in Atomic Heart by some distance. I can tell you that with confidence, yet it’s hard to express how valuable that speed really is over the course of the game until you’ve tried it out for yourself.
That speed is the key to the Pashtet’s incredible potential. An upgraded version of the Pashtet comes surprisingly close to matching the base power of other initially stronger melee weapons, but no melee weapon can be upgraded to the point of challenging the speed of the Pashtet. An upgraded Pashtet’s charge attacks are also surprisingly strong, though you’ll rarely need to rely on them due to how useful this weapon’s base swings can be.
You’ll acquire the Pashtet relatively early into your Atomic Heart adventure, and it’s absolutely worth upgrading for the rest of the game.
Atomic Heart: Every Energy Weapon Ranked Worst to Best
The Railgun is one of Atomic Heart’s ultimate weapons. You should basically think of it as the game’s BFG. It’s an incredibly powerful Energy gun that has the ability to melt through many targets in a single shot. It’s really a sight to behold.
So why is it so low on this list? Well, you won’t get the Railgun until very late in the game, and you can’t upgrade it. Furthermore, the Railgun uses a ton of energy with every shot. The Railgun is definitely functioning as intended, but I found it to be more of a novelty weapon that is fun to occasionally bust out in the late game rather than something that you’ll consistently rely on.
The Dominator’s name leaves this gun with a lot to live up to. To be fair, this Energy weapon often does live up to that name.
The Dominator’s unique projectiles (which deal both AoE damage and powerful point-of-attack damage), mean that nearly every shot you fire with it is going to hurt something. The considerable downside of that same feature is the fact that the Dominator uses a ton of Energy with every shot. You can compensate for that requirement with a few key upgrades and liberal use of the Fox, but it’s difficult to ever entirely compensate for this gun’s super weapon structure.
I found that the Dominator tends to work best for boss fights against robotic enemies and instances where you want to take out a group of smaller robots in a pinch. While it works well in those fights, you don’t need to go out of your way to upgrade it if you’re low on resources.
The Electro is the first Energy Weapon you get in Atomic Heart, and I can honestly see why the developers didn’t feel the need to give you too many more Energy weapons after that. The Electro really does offer just about everything you need in that department.
The Electro serves its purpose in its base form, but it’s when you start upgrading this gun that you realize its true potential. No gun in Atomic Heart “scales” with upgrades quite as well as the Electro. The Electro’s accuracy and low-resource requirements already make it a great weapon, but it’s this gun’s special attacks and eventual per-shot power that make it something special.
If you’re going to prioritize upgrading any gun in Atomic Heart, make it the Electro. There’s nothing in the game that offers quite what it offers.
Atomic Heart: Every Gun Ranked Worst to Best
The MP is a pretty basic pistol. Like the Electro (and most other pistols in gaming), the MP is dependable, simple, and is the gun you’ll occasionally find yourself relying on when your other guns are low on ammo.
Unfortunately, that’s about all the MP has to offer. Even with upgrades, the MP never really rises above the level of “backup plan.” While you can usually justify keeping the MP around due to its minimal impact on your inventory space, it’s hard to imagine relying on this gun over other ranged weapons or even the best melee options.
3. Fat Boy
The Fat Boy is your basic video game rocket launcher in all of the best and worst ways.
As you might imagine, it’s kind of hard to find/craft ammo for the Fat Boy. That drawback, combined with the gun’s relatively slow firing speed, means that you won’t be able to rely on the Fat Boy as often as you’d like. It can certainly be used in a pinch during basic battles, but you’ll struggle to justify turning to it during most encounters.
However, the Fat Boy shines during boss fights. Once you acquire this weapon, you’re going to use it in some way during most boss battles and other encounters against larger single targets. You may not choose to upgrade this gun that often unless you’re blessed with extra resources, but you will definitely throw it in your inventory from time to time.
The KS-23 is the first gun you acquire in Atomic Heart, and it’s absolutely one of the best weapons in the game.
Like the very best video game shotguns, the KS-23 offers incredible stopping power, a bit of spread, and some pretty reasonable resource requirements. Best of all, you can easily upgrade this gun fairly early on to make up for its biggest drawbacks (namely its slow reload speed and massive recoil).
Yes, the KS-23 is a short-range weapon, but many Atomic Heart fights end up putting you in close quarters anyway. The KS-23 is absolutely worth upgrading as you make your way through the game, as you will turn to it from time to time throughout the campaign.
I won’t go so far as to call the Kalash overpowered, but it is the gun you’ll turn to most often.
The Kalash is a pretty standard assault rifle with great range, low resource requirements, and impressive accuracy. It pretty much does exactly what you want it to do at all times. It allows you to keep your distance from enemies while peppering them and dealing a steady amount of damage. With the right upgrades, it will even shred through those enemies before they can close the distance.
The Kalash and the Electro are the two guns that every Atomic Heart player should work to upgrade as soon as possible. They will carry you through the game from there.