Chain shotgun

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Chain Shotgun

Chain Shotgun

"A magazine-fed fully automatic shotgun. Short range and very low accuracy, but extraordinarily dangerous due to burst fire.

4.5 kg
Dmg Type
72 ticks (1.2 secs)
81 ticks (1.35 secs)
12.9 tile(s)
57% - 64% - 55% - 45%
Average Acc.
55 (m/s)
Burst Count
3 (per burst)
Burst Ticks
12 ticks (0.2 secs)
18.31 (10.11)
Steel 70 + Component 5
Silver 400

The chain shotgun is a slightly heavier, multi-shot firearm in RimWorld which fires 3-shot bursts of rounds which deal a slightly higher amount of damage each; a moderate delay between each shot; a moderate time between bursts; very low accuracy and very short range.

Combat Performance

It'll take 3 shots to the torso to kill an unarmored human with a chain shotgun, or around 5 shots against a human with a normal armor vest. The chain shotgun can also instantly remove digits, cripple eyeballs and cause lethal brain damage if the victim's skull is unprotected. Limbs can be crippled in 2 shots against an unarmored human. Without factoring in any cover or shooter's accuracy, the chain shotgun has an average time to down of around 8.7 seconds against unarmored people or 12 seconds against a person with an armor vest.

Since the chain shotgun has an extremely short range and fires in bursts - a quicker factoring in of odds with continuous failure - the chain shotgun can be considered a great weapon for inexperienced shooters, but not so good for skilled shooters; even the best shooters will struggle to be accurate with a chain shotgun and you're better off pairing them with longer-ranged weapons. A healthy level 0 traitless shooter, level 0 careful shooter or level 0 trigger-happy can somewhat efficiently use the chain shotgun up to 6 cells. However, a level 3 traitless shooter, level 0 careful shooter or level 6 trigger-happy is advisable to efficiently use the chain shotgun up to its maximum range of 9 cells.

On average, the chain shotgun is best paired with a careful shooter until level 5, then with a trigger-happy shooter beyond that point.

Melee Combat

A chain shotgun has a weapon bulk of 100%, but weapon bulk doesn't seem to have any observable effect on actual gameplay.

All possible melee attacks with a chain shotgun:

Tool Attack Damage Type Power Cooldown Likelihood Base DPS Armored DPS
Overall - - 9.69 1.869s - 5.181 4.767
Stock Smash Blunt 9 1.8s 31% 5 4.6
Barrel Smash Blunt 10 1.9s 34.5% 5.263 4.842
Barrel Poke Blunt 10 1.9s 34.5% 5.263 4.842


Chain shotguns can be purchased from outlander and orbital combat suppliers, or obtained from the following raider kinds:


  • Pirate - 3.9% chance (normal quality on average, 40-150% health)


  • Town Guard - 1.9% chance (poor quality on average, 20-200% health)


  • Mercenary Gunner - 4% chance (normal quality on average, 70-230% health)


  • Space Soldier - 2.6% chance (good quality on average, 100% health)

Chain shotguns can also be crafted at a machining table once the gas operation research is completed; from 70 steel, 5 components and 45,000 ticks (750 secs) of work.

Conclusion & Comparison

The chain shotgun is a weapon that has an incredibly high base DPS, which in turn is offset by its very low base accuracy, meaning that it benefits greatly from high quality levels and being used against large targets. Alternatively, stray shots could also make it useful as a close-quarters crowd control weapon - though the minigun would likely perform better at this and it's unlikely that you'll end up in those situations prior to typically acquiring miniguns.

When it comes to head-on fights, the chain shotgun wins out against the single-shot pump shotgun more often than not, with both of them faring equally well when both shooters are either naked or wearing armor vests and simple helmets of normal quality. However, the chain shotgun gets consistently outperformed by the cheaper and less advanced machine pistol when both shooters are naked, only achieving parity when both shooters wear the aforementioned armor. This naturally means that the chain shotgun doesn't stand a chance against the heavy SMG owing to the latter's superior accuracy, not to forget that the heavy SMG also requires less research and has twice the chain shotgun's range - the gulf doesn't change with armor either.

Due to its abysmal 9 cell range, the chain shotgun naturally isn't a very feasible weapon for field combat since it's likely that people equipped with chain shotguns will get injured or even downed while trying to get in range with their target.

In conclusion, the chain shotgun really should be avoided if you're looking to progress your arsenal in terms of power; go with the budget but still superior machine pistol or the venerable heavy SMG instead. Its best use case is holding doorways against large animals such as grizzly bears or megasloths where its accuracy potential will be mostly realized, or in killboxes where you can get enemies to group together at close range. Other than that, it's worse than the pump shotgun owing to only having a slightly better damage output but that simply can't compensate for such a large range deficit which melee units can easily close after one burst.


The graphs assume a normal quality chain shotgun against an adult human that's out in the open in clear weather. For DPS, projectile speed has also been factored into the equation, with the weighting based on the base amount of attacks that it'll take to put the aforementioned target into pain shock.

Chain Shotgun's accuracy with various shooters without any trait. Chain Shotgun's DPS with various shooters without any trait.

Chain Shotgun's accuracy with various shooters with careful shooter. Chain Shotgun's DPS with various shooters with careful shooter.

Chain Shotgun's accuracy with various shooters with trigger-happy. Chain Shotgun's DPS with various shooters with trigger-happy.

Version history

In 1.0 it received a buff to accuracy and range.