The weapons in Duke Nukem 64 are different from those found in the original Duke Nukem 3D. Some weapons have been replaced with new ones, and three weapons now support multiple ammo types. All the weapons have been graphically redrawn.
List of Weapons
- Capacity: N/A
- Capacity: 192 rounds (changed from 200 in Duke Nukem 3D)
The Pistol has been redrawn to resemble a Colt M1911.
- Capacity: 50 rounds
The Shotgun has been redrawn to resemble a Franchi SPAS-12.
- Capacity: 400 rounds
The SMGs resemble two mini-SMGs with dual magazines, possibly based on MP5Ks. They are very inaccurate at long ranges; their hitscan is not aligned with the player, resulting in large horizontal offsets at greater distances.
- Capacity: 48 grenades
The Grenade Launcher fires grenades that explode after a three-second delay. The grenades bounce and roll during those three seconds, allowing for stealth-attacks on enemies around corners. However, the grenades automatically explode upon contact with enemies and with certain destructible objects, such as cracks in walls. The launcher itself resembles the Hawk MM-1 Grenade Launcher.
- Capacity: 50 pipe bombs
The Pipe Bombs are now emblazoned with the Duke Nukem logo.
- Capacity: 66 rounds (changed from 50 in Duke Nukem 3D)
Although the Shrinker was supposed to be an experimental weapon designed by the government in Duke Nukem 3D, game lore in the Duke Nukem 64 game manual states that the Shrinker is supposed to be an advanced alien weapon.
- Capacity: 99 rounds (changed from 50 in Duke Nukem 3D)
Although the Expander was supposed to be an experimental weapon designed by the government in Duke Nukem 3D, game lore in the Duke Nukem 64 game manual states that the Expander is supposed to be an advanced alien weapon. In contrast with the PC version of the game, there are now specially dedicated Expander sprites strewn throughout the levels. However, the Expander may still be used once the Shrinker has been acquired and vice-versa.
- Capacity: 50 missiles
- Capacity: 10 tripbombs
- Capacity: 99 energy units
The Plasma Cannon fires plasma projectiles that deal moderate-to-high damage, depending on how long the cannon is charged before firing. It costs 33 energy units when fully charged and 1 energy unit when uncharged.
Whether charged or not, all plasma projectiles explode upon impact. The resulting blue explosions are similar to other explosions in the game and can even blast through cracks in walls. Fully charged projectiles have a blast radius that is several times larger than typical explosions. Any enemy killed by plasma explosions will visibly disintegrate.Without charging the cannon, the projectiles deal roughly 25 damage, short of the Assault Trooper's 30 hit points. When fully charged, the projectiles deal approximately 900 damage, short of the Battlelord Sentry's 1000 hit points. Although it does not deal the most damage per second, the Plasma Cannon deals vastly more damage shot-for-shot than any other weapon in the game.
Secondary Ammo Types
Three weapons now support multiple ammo types, a feature that didn't exist in Duke Nukem 3D.
After acquiring multiple ammo types for a given weapon, the player is able to cycle through ammo types by re-selecting the associated weapon. When re-selected, the weapon's ammo in the bottom left-hand corner of the HUD will change to the sprite associated with the current ammo type. The maximum ammo capacities of secondary ammo types are less than those of regular ammo types.
For weapons that support multiple ammo types, all secondary ammo types have red sprites, while all regular ammo types have blue sprites. The ammo sprites are otherwise identical.
- Weapon: Pistol
- Capacity: 36
Dum Dums deal considerably more damage per second than any other weapon in the game. When directly tested, Dum Dums can reliably defeat the Battlelord at least twice as quickly as any other weapon or secondary ammo type. On a shot-by-shot basis, Dum Dums deal approximately twelve times as much damage as regular Pistol rounds. For perspective, this is roughly twice as much damage as a single rocket from the Devastator in Duke Nukem 3D. However, Dum Dums are relatively rare, usually appearing no more than once per level.
Explosive Shotgun Shells
- Weapon: Shotgun
- Capacity: 20
The explosive shotgun shells will render visible explosions upon impact, similar to the Devastator ammo from Duke Nukem 3D. The resulting explosions have a surprising blast radius and can kill several Pig Cops in a single blast. They do not appear very often in the game.
- Weapon: Missile Launcher
- Capacity: 25
As soon as they are fired, the heat-seeking missiles will automatically (i.e., without requiring the player to do anything) adjust their course in order to target the nearest enemy. They do not actually "lock-on" to enemies. Instead, they update their angle of movement every frame such that they are pointed slightly closer to the nearest enemy, which may change. For this reason, their line of movement can appear chaotic and turbulent if there are many mobile enemies within the vicinity. They have no time limit before exploding, so they will travel indefinitely until exploding upon impact. They are arguably most effective against Sentry Drones, which are normally able to dodge missiles. Heat-seeking missiles are particularly rare and do not appear on more than a handful of levels.
- Replacement: SMGs (Sub-Machine Guns)
- Replacement: Grenade Launcher
The RPG has been replaced by the Grenade Launcher. In contrast with the RPG, grenades from the Grenade Launcher will bounce and roll for three seconds before exploding, or the grenades will automatically detonate upon impact with enemies and with certain destructible objects.
- Replacement: Missile Launcher
- Replacement: Plasma Cannon
Unused Secondary Ammo Types
There are remnants of code left in the game from secondary ammo types that were initially planned for inclusion in the game, but these were ultimately abandoned.
- Weapon: SMGs (Sub-Machine Guns)
There is some data in the game's memory that has the text "Rubber Bullets!" left over from an unused secondary ammo type associated with the SMGs. There also appears to be an unused sound clip in the game's memory that corresponds to rubber bullets being fired from a gun or bouncing off of walls. It is not known how the rubber bullets would have behaved, but they might have been able to bounce off of surfaces, similar to the Freezethrower from Duke Nukem 3D.
- Weapon: Grenade Launcher
There is some data in the game's memory that has the text "Gas Grenades!" left over from an unused secondary ammo type associated with the Grenade Launcher. The gas grenades possibly could have imitated those from Shadow Warrior, from which the Grenade Launcher concept was borrowed (see Gas Bomb).