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Weapons are a crucial part of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series and, by extension, Anomaly. They are a player's means of defense and the main tool of any stalker when completing a job or exploring the Zone.

General information

Players will come across a variety of weaponry during their escapades. Two large weapons (2 firearms, or 1 firearm and 1 heavy melee, e.g. axe) and a knife can be equipped at the same time. Weapons can be obtained by trading for them with stalkers, purchasing them from traders, looting them from dead stalkers, and as rewards for completing quests. It's possible to find unique varieties of each weapon, typically indicated by a suffix at the end of a weapon's name such as (alternate) or (modern). In some cases, unique versions of weapons also come with modifications built right in to the weapon.

Weapon types

Melee Weapons
Melee weapon
Melee includes knives, bayonets, and axes. Though typically a last-resort weapon in a combat situation, they are a useful tool for opening crates and skinning mutants. Some melee weapons are better suited for combat, others for skinning mutants. Melee weapons cannot be looted from other stalkers but can be purchased from traders.

Melee weapons will begin to wear out and become less effective with repeated use but can be sharpened by a mechanic or by using a sharpening kit.

Go to Melee Weapons

Handguns are compact, low-caliber firearms. Though usually not as powerful as a rifle, they can make for useful early-game weapons and are popular with rookie stalkers.

An advantage of handguns over other classes of weapon is the ability for the player to hold one in one hand while carrying a detector or flashlight in the other.

Their usefulness can persist into mid- or late-game, however some players choose to switch them in favor of a shotgun or another rifle.

Go to Handguns

Submachine Guns
Submachine Gun
Submachine Guns are compact automatic weapons which (usually) fire pistol calibers. Their light weight, available ammunition, and cheaper price make them a good choice for rookie stalkers looking for fully-automatic fire, though many players opt for a rifle later.

In Last Day (the predecessor to Anomaly), players usually started out with an SMG in their inventory.

Go to Submachine Guns

Shotguns are weapons which exclusively use 12-gauge shotgun shells as ammunition. Close- to mid-range weapons, they are particularly effective against mutants and lightly-armored stalkers.

Shotguns come in many varieties, including double-barreled, pump-action, and magazine-fed semi-automatic. Some can even be outfitted with attachments such as

The effective range of shotguns can be improved through the usage of different ammunition types such as slugs or darts.

Go to Shotguns

Assault Rifles
Assault Rifles

Assault rifles (or simply "rifles") are the bread and butter of a veteran stalker's arsenal. With a wide variety of models and calibers, rifles are the most commonly used class of weapon in the Zone.

With a wide variety of attachments available for them, rifles can be pressed into a variety of roles and remain a staple of armed conflicts around the world. Rifles can fit suppressors, various optics, and underbarrel grenade launchers. There are also various types of ammunition available for rifles, improving their effectiveness against armored and flesh targets.

Different rifle models are offered by different factions' traders. For instance, Duty traders may offer the player a selection of Warsaw Pact rifles like AKs whereas Freedom traders may offer the player a selection of weapons used by NATO countries such as the M16 or L85.

In Last Day (the predecessor to Anomaly), there were a wide variety of World War II-era rifles available for the player's use. Chief among them was the StG-44, a German assault rifle and the first weapon in its class to exist. An example still present in Anomaly is the SVT-40, a Soviet semi-automatic rifle.

Go to Assault Rifles

Sniper Rifles
Sniper Rifle
Sniper Rifles

A product of the entrenched stalemate of the Great War and only fully utilised during the following conflict of '39 - '45, the sniper rifle has earned a prestigious place within every armed force the world over. Precise and lethal, sniper rifles are capable of significant damage against stalker and mutant alike.

This class of weapon offers a variety of high calibers and platforms, ranging from bolt-action to semi-automatic. Subsonic options are even available though these options tend to be both rare and expensive.

Last Day (the predecessor to Anomaly) offered a multitude of World War II-era rifles for players to use. German sniper rifles still present in Anomaly include the Karabiner-98 and the Gewehr-43.

Go to Sniper Rifles

Machine Guns
Light Machine Gun
Machine Guns are a niche class of weaponry differentiated from rifles by their high-capacity box magazines and generally cumbersome size. In real life, the machine gun's main advantage is its ability to be mounted on a bipod, allowing for continuous, precise automatic fire. However due to the nature of the game engine, such a feature is not possible in Anomaly.

While the heavy weight and general rarity might repel potential users at first, machine guns are worth considering for long excursions to the more dangerous parts of the Zone, especially when paired with a set of heavy armor or an exoskeleton.

Machine guns are very effective when used for crowd control and fighting large numbers of enemies. The variety in Anomaly, while not large, is still a vast improvement over vanilla S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Keep in mind that the mounted guns present at checkpoints and military outposts are not capable of being removed or used by the player.

Go to Machine Guns

Explosives is a self-explanatory class of weapon which include various grenades (both launchable and throwable) as well as mines, IEDs, and the heavy-hitting RPG-7 rocket launcher.

Their application ranges from ambushes, to dispersing large groups of enemies, to injuring some of the tougher mutants and more heavily-armored stalkers. Due to the nature of explosives, it is recommended to keep a safe distance when using them to avoid injuring one's self.

Some explosives such as the OG-7V warhead can be used in a launcher as a targeted explosive or in the creation of IEDs.

Go to Explosives

Experimental Weapons
* Experimental weapons are weapons which can only be found and/or produced in the Zone. The product of secretive and furtive research, these weapons are as powerful as they are rare. The most prominent and iconic example of this is the Gauss rifle, currently in use with Monolith elites.

Go to Experimental Weapons

Tips for choosing the best arsenal

Players will need to take various factors into consideration when choosing the best tools for the job. Factors you may want to consider include...

  • Weapon availability. You cannot use a tool you don't have access to. Some weapons are rarer than others and some may only be found in the hands of the top members of a faction, thus making them more dangerous to obtain. It is as important to plan for a short-term solution as it is to plan the ideal kit in the long run. Planning meticulously will save your life in the Zone.
  • Weapon quality. When scavenging weapons early-game, taking the quality of the weapon into consideration will be very important. Bandits and rookie stalkers tend to be easier foes to defeat, but their inexperience means their weapons are unlikely to be properly maintained. Military stalkers tend to have more discipline and combat experience; this makes them harder to defeat in combat but more likely to be carrying higher quality gear. The lower quality a weapon is, the more frequently it will jam. When a weapon reaches 0%, it will explode in the player's hands, damaging them slightly. The minimum quality that a weapon can reach and still be repairable by the player is 25%. Below this, the player can only repair the weapon with a visit to a technician.
  • Ammo availability and price. Certain calibers are more common in the Zone and are more likely to be scavenged from dead stalkers. It is entirely possible to collect this ammunition exclusively and become self-sustaining. Effective variant ammo types can be found in common calibers and should not be discounted. If one prefers to use exclusively exotic calibers or ammo types, one must accept the necessity of regular trips to a trader or exclusively hunting veteran stalkers.
  • Available attachments. Attachments and modifications are what a stalker uses to personalize their weapons. Some weapons can accept attachments such as optics and suppressors immediately, while some can only do so after being modified by a technician. Some older weapons cannot accepet modifications at all and some unique weapons require their own unique attachments, some of which are hard (but not impossible) to find.
  • Weight. Weapons such as light machine guns and sniper rifles tend to weigh more, thus taking up more of a player's carrying capacity. However, these weapons pack a considerable punch and can more than make up for the increased requirements of carrying them. A player should not, however, discount the usage of lighter, lower-caliber firearms. A fully modified MP5 can be just as effective as an SVU in the right hands and with the right application.
  • Stats. Though it is ultimately the caliber fired that matters most in defeating threats, some weapons have the potential to be more effective than others in certain regards such as rate of fire, handling, and magazine capacity. Weapons can also be made more efficient with the addition of modifications. Once again, a good stalker will plan ahead and see what modifications are available for their firearm of choice before investing.
  • Personal preference. In the end, Anomaly is a game. The purpose of a game is to have fun. Player choice is the cornerstone of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and Anomaly is no different. Don't let your choice be influenced too heavily by the opinions of your fellow stalkers and weapon enthusiasts. Play your way!