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For the machine gun in BioShock Infinite, see Machine Gun (Columbia).

The Machine Gun is the second ranged weapon obtained in BioShock, and can be first located in Emergency Access in the Medical Pavilion. It fires a rapid spray of Auto Rounds, each doing a moderate amount of damage, and comes with two variants for organic and armored enemies. Its main weaknesses are heavy recoil and low accuracy. Its main advantages are large ammo capacity and higher damage-per-second, ignoring headshot bonuses and better specialty ammo enjoyed by the Pistol and Crossbow. The damage can be increased and the recoil reduced with upgrades at a Power to the People station, increasing the Machine Gun's effectiveness. There is no hit location damage bonus when using this weapon; bullets do the same amount of damage no matter where the target is hit.


Ammunition Types - Machine Gun[]

  • Standard Auto Round - Standard ammunition for the Machine Gun, deals a moderate amount of (piercing) damage.
  • Antipersonnel Auto Round - Uncommon ammunition for the Machine Gun, deals a high amount of (piercing) damage against Splicers.
  • Armor-Piercing Auto Round - Rare and inventable ammunition for the Machine Gun, deals a high amount of (piercing) damage against Security Devices and Big Daddies.


  • Recoil Reduction
  • 25% Damage Increase


  • This weapon is particularly effective for targeting multiple enemies or if the player is not very accurate, since it has the ammo capacity and rate-of-fire to sweep the area at close to mid-range. However, aiming for targets at long range becomes ineffective, as the bullet scatter radius makes shot placement very inaccurate.
  • This weapon can deal slightly less damage than a Pistol, so use the Machine gun against groups of low level enemies. This is less effective late in the game as even the weakest enemies require multiple hits to kill.
  • If the player is willing to deal with repetitive motion, the recoil reduction upgrade can be achieved manually. Repeatedly tapping the trigger, proving it is done slowly enough, can reduce the recoil to zero, it does however increase the amount of time needed to spend one’s ammo clip, by 40% (from approximately 5 to 7 seconds), decreasing damage per second. A middle ground can be achieved by balancing damage per second to the player’s desire by increasing the frequency of trigger pulls.
  • When the player has acquired enough Antipersonnel Auto Rounds, it is recommended to keep it as the main ammunition for the Machine Gun, except if the player wishes to use it against Security Devices or Big Daddies. Later in the game (and particularly on harder difficulty settings), regular machine gun rounds can prove ineffectual against the tougher enemies.

Loadout Suggestions[]

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Target Dummy will distract all nearby enemies, ensuring the player doesn't get attacked while dealing damage.
  • Winter Blast will freeze enemies in place and increase their vulnerability to damage. On the other hand, shooting a frozen enemy will shatter them, leaving no loot.
  • Incinerate! will deal damage over time, costing the player less bullets in exchange for some EVE.
  • Insect Swarm will deal damage over time and temporarily distract enemies, giving the player time to move to cover or land the killing blow.
  • Sonic Boom will knock enemies to the ground, allowing the player to rush forward and unload on them at point blank range while the enemy is slowly trying to get back on their feet. This strategy works best on single targets as opposed to groups, but with a distraction like Target Dummy can be just as effective against crowds of foes.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • Natural Camouflage will help the player stage an ambush against enemies.
  • The Damage Research line of Tonics will significantly increase damage against researched enemies.
  • The Machine Buster line of Tonics will increase damage versus machinery.
  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics will greatly reduce physical damage received by the player.
  • The SportBoost line of Tonics will grant the player more of a chance to dodge enemy shots, as well as maneuver around them.

Help Caption[]

Press _ to fire.

Fires a rapid spray of bullets. Very
effective against groups or at close

Base ammo: Machine Gun Rounds
-- Small amount of piercing

Advanced ammo: Antipersonnel
Auto Rounds -- Small amount of
antipersonnel damage.

Inventable ammo: Armor-piercing
Auto Rounds -- Small amount of
armor-piercing damage.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • This version of the Machine Gun seems to be based on the early Blish lock versions (M1921, M1928 overstamp & M1928A1) of the Thompson Submachine Gun rather than the later blowback versions (M1 & M1A1) used in World War II.
  • Destroyed Machine Gun Turrets can be searched for Auto Rounds, although the weapon their mounted gun is based on is a .30 caliber machine gun.
  • This Machine Gun model is seen BioShock 2 in the hands of Leadhead Splicers. However, despite the fact that they use .45 caliber rounds, they can be searched for .50 caliber rounds for the Machine Gun used by Subject Delta.
  • The Recoil Reduction modification adds a jury-rigged device to the end of the gun that reduces it's kickback. The real world equivalent actually had an accessory that did exactly this; the Cutts Compensator.

BioShock 2[]

Gatling Gun Icon
Delta concept 21

Early promotional art of Subject Delta welding a Machine Gun.

The Machine Gun is the fourth weapon acquired by Subject Delta in BioShock 2, and is first picked up in Ryan Amusements. It appears to be based on a Gatling Gun instead of a Thompson submachine gun, and fires .50 Caliber rounds with anti-personnel and armor-piercing variants. It is best used to sweep an area of Splicers but has increasing recoil with continuous bursts. It can also be used as a melee weapon to be swung at enemies, doing moderate damage.


Ammunition Types[]

50 Caliber Rounds
*.50 Caliber Rounds - Base ammunition for the Machine Gun. Deals a moderate amount of piercing damage.
Anti Personnel Rounds
  • Anti-Personnel Rounds - Alternate ammunition for the Machine Gun. Deals a high amount of piercing damage against Splicers.
Armor Piercing Rounds
  • Armor-Piercing Rounds - Alternate ammunition for the Machine Gun. Deals a high amount of piercing damage against Security Devices, Big Daddies, and Big Sisters. Capable of piercing through multiple Splicers.


Basic Upgrades[]

  • Increased Damage

Reinforced barrels allow for increased muzzle pressure and a higher damage output.

This upgrade adds tempered, heavy-gauge steel barrels and a re-enforcing pin to the Machine Gun, which increases the damage of the ammunition fired.
  • Recoil Reduction

A stabilization cylinder reduces the kickback of the Machine Gun, resulting in more accurate fire.

A flash suppression vent is added to the end of the Machine Gun, directing propellant gas upwards which counteracts the gun's kickback.

Final Upgrade[]

  • Ricochet Enhancement

A high density electrical field prevents shots from breaking up on first impact, causing them to ricochet.

This upgrade adds a magnetic coil assembly to the Machine Gun, causing the bullets fired to ricochet once off of any solid surface they hit. Note that enemies do not cause bullets to ricochet.


  • Continuous, sustained firing will cause the Machine Gun to have increased recoil and decreased accuracy until paused manually or for reloading. When facing lone Splicers, burst-firing the Machine Gun results in more efficient way to kill as it saves ammo. Continuous, automatic firing is better suited for larger opponents such as Big Daddies and Brute Splicers, or for groups of enemies.
  • Even if the player favors the Machine Gun, it is advised to avoid the Ricochet Upgrade. Its usefulness extends to very few situations, and would likely be a regrettable use of the limited number of Power to the People stations.
  • In the event that the player has purchased the Ricochet Upgrade, it can be used to ambush enemies from around corners and will help if the player isn't accurate.
  • Intentionally calling in and destroying Security Bots will allow the player to stock up on Machine Gun ammunition without having to buy any.

Why Specialize?[]

Unlike the original game, it is impossible to fully upgrade every weapon through the course of the campaign. Each upgrade choice will affect the player's experience, and may or may not be suited to their combat style. The following is a brief guide to the strategic advantages and disadvantages associated with this weapon:


  • The Machine Gun is the best anti-group weapon, capable of killing individual Splicers rapidly and firing for a prolonged span of time without having to reload.
  • .50 Caliber Rounds are somewhat common throughout the game, and can be looted off of Leadhead Splicers, their Machine Guns and Security Bots.
  • Upgrading this weapon allows the player to tackle groups with even greater ease, as well as save up on ammunition.
  • Alternate ammo types are specifically geared towards a particular type of enemy, allowing the player to take them down more easily.
  • The Machine Gun is the easiest weapon to use, with a wide spray and enough range to cover most of the rooms in the game.
  • High damage output allows the player to dispose of tougher enemies relatively quickly.


  • Very high ammo consumption.
  • Alternate ammunition is both scarce in the environment and expensive.
  • Ineffective at long ranges due to its inaccuracy.
  • The Ricochet Enhancement upgrade is the most useless in the game, as the bullets' bounce angle means almost none of them will hit a target after ricocheting.
  • It's impossible to directly enhance the weapon's power through Plasmids or Gene Tonics.
  • Its low skill ceiling means that, unlike most other weapons, advanced tactics won't greatly enhance the Machine Gun's effectiveness.


The Machine Gun is a powerful and easy-to-use weapon, effective both against small groups and single tough enemies. On the other hand, the player has to be careful not to run out of ammunition, and the weapon's final upgrade is next to useless. Although recommended for less experienced players and those willing to have a strong anti-group tool, it is strongly advised to not pick the Ricochet Enhancement upgrade, and instead use the Power to the People station to craft a more useful enhancement.

Loadout Suggestions[]

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Decoy will distract enemies, allowing the player to concentrate fire on them with impunity.
  • Winter Blast will freeze the target in place, allowing the player to kill them in seconds. When upgraded, it can be used against entire groups at a time.
  • Incinerate! will deal damage over time, saving ammo. If upgraded, it'll allow the player to finish off multiple Splicers simultaneously.
  • Insect Swarm will stun enemies as well as deal damage over time. At higher levels, it can also target several enemies at once.

Recommended Gene Tonics[]

  • Damage Research increases the effect of damage bonuses earned through research.
  • Arms Race will help the player recover more ammunition after a fight.
  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics will reduce physical damage taken by the player when in combat.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • Originally the designers intended for the player to find the Machine Gun by breaking it off of a makeshift machine gun turret. The circle of broken glass on top of the Machine Gun was from the turret's alarm lights, and the handle that the player uses to hold it is actually the metal rod that the turret was mounted on. The metal bars that the player character braces against his arm while holding the gun would have been hand holds used to aim the turret while it was mounted. The method of finding the Machine Gun was eventually changed, but the model design remained the same.
  • On the original promotional art, it appears that Subject Delta is holding the Machine Gun from the inside, similar to holding the Drill. This appears to be altered since the Alpha Series wields the Machine Gun by the handle attachment below.
  • Despite the fact that the Machine Gun model from BioShock uses .45 ACP, they can be searched in BioShock 2 for .50 caliber ammunitions.
  • The Machine Gun model appears to be based on the M2 Browning that has been converted into a Gatling gun using 4 barrels.

BioShock 2 Multiplayer[]

Icon mg
A truly automatic weapon. Good damage, fire rate, and accuracy. Good for MID RANGE fighting.
― In-game description.

The Machine Gun in BioShock 2 Multiplayer is a fast-firing long-range weapon unlocked at Rank 2. This weapon is better used against multiple enemies or at close range, and increases recoil with continuous bursts.



  • Machine Gun Rounds: ".45 caliber rounds for the machine gun. These bullets will do the job you want, if the job is spraying death at your opponents." Deals a moderate amount of damage.



*Firing Boost: Unlocked at Rank 2 with the Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack. Increases the Machine Gun's fire rate, but decreases its accuracy.

  • Magazine Size: Unlocked at Rank 13. Increases the magazine size from 30 rounds to 40. Does not affect the amount of maximum reserve ammo.

*Kickback Reduction: Unlocked at Rank 31. Decreases the Machine Gun's recoil at the cost of its fire rate.


  • To counter the weapon's high amount of recoil, simply aim downwards when firing, while trying to maintain one's aim on the target's torso.
  • Although not as potent as the Nail Gun, the Machine Gun is capable of dealing large amounts of damage versus Big Daddies. Their large size also makes the weapon's kickback irrelevant.
  • If the player is good enough with this weapon, it can also be used against groups. To do so, try to align the targets so that the gun will immediately start shooting the second target after killing the first.
  • When aiming at long-range targets, the best way to attack them is to fire the weapon in bursts of four or five.
  • The Machine Gun's Magazine Size upgrade is recommended for players who spray most of their shots, as well as those able to master the weapon's recoil. In addition, it presents no disadvantages and allows the player to deal more damage versus Big Daddies in one clip.
  • The Machine Gun's Kickback Reduction upgrade is only recommended for those who have a hard time controlling the weapon's kickback. For anyone else, this weapon will only decrease combat effectiveness overall. Its only application would be towards long-range combat, where the player would be able to lay down sustained fire without too much trouble.
  • The Machine Gun's Firing Boost upgrade will drastically increase combat effectiveness at close ranges. On the other hand, the weapon's decreased accuracy and increased recoil due to the higher rate of fire make it impractical even at mid-range combat.

Loadout Suggestions[]

Complementary Weapons[]

  • The Grenade Launcher's ability to lay down bursts of damage will offer an alternative to the Machine Gun's continuous stream of bullets. In addition, the versatility of both weapons makes this a safe combination for pretty much any map.
  • The Crossbow is effective both at long-range and at short-range combat, while the Machine Gun patches up its ineffectiveness at medium ranges.
  • The Elephant Gun is extremely effective at mid- to long-range combat, thus complementing the Machine Gun's potency in medium to close ranges.
  • The Shotgun is also a good choice in close combat; One can start off with the Shotgun and finishing the enemy off with the Machine Gun.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Winter Blast will decrease the amount of bullets needed to kill the target from ten to six, saving both time and ammunition.
  • Incinerate! will decrease the amount of bullets needed to kill the target in a similar fashion. A fully charged blast of this Plasmid will allow the player to kill the target in four shots.
  • Houdini will give the player the chance to escape from difficult situations as well as reappear behind enemies.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • Big Game Hunter will increase this weapon's effectiveness versus Big Daddies. If the player has the Clip Increase upgrade, one will be able to kill a Big Daddy while only having to reload once.
  • Headhunter might come in handy, as the Machine Gun's recoil means that some shots will invariably hit the target's head.
  • Speedy Recovery is heartily recommended, as most fights involving the Machine Gun will come at a cost to the player's health.

Related Weapon Trials[]

Main article: Trials


Trial Name Trial Description Advanced Requirements Trial ADAM Reward
3 Heavy Gunner Get 30 kills over time with the Machine Gun! Over time. 75
3 Boosted Body Count Kill 30 Splicers while using the Machine Gun Firing Boost Upgrade! Over time. Unlocked with Sinclair solutions Tester Pack. 75
3 Two for One Kill 2 Splicers in one continuous burst with the Machine Gun Firing Boost Upgrade! N/A Unlocked with Sinclair solutions Tester Pack. 75
13 Riddled Riveter Land 20 Machine Gun bullets into a Big Daddy without reloading! N/A 150
13 Two Birds, One Clip Kill 2 enemies with a single Machine Gun clip! N/A 150


Behind The Scenes[]

  • Understandably, the Machine Gun model featured in BioShock 2 Multiplayer appears much cleaner in terms of grime and rust than the original one in BioShock.
  • The Machine Gun's recoil decrease upgrade thumbnail image is identical to that of the pistol's damage upgrade in BioShock, and manifests the same on the weapon.

Burial at Sea - Episode 1[]

Tommy Gun Icon

In BioShock Infinite's downloadable content, Burial at Sea - Episode 1, the Tommy Gun can be found as a replacement of the main game's Machine Gun. However, as with the rest of the weapons featured in this DLC, the ammo capacity and availability is limited. It has a maximum of 2 spare clips, 35 bullets each, so the gun must be used sparingly whenever possible to conserve ammo. It is first found at The Daily Bread restaurant in Fontaine's Department Store.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • The Tommy Gun behaves the same way as the Machine Gun in BioShock Infinite, with the exception of a lower ammo capacity (one less extra magazine of ammo). Moreover the box of ammunition for this weapon is the same as for the Triple R Machine Gun ammo box, with only the icon changed.
  • Despite the wieldable model being a Tommy Gun, the Machine Gun Tears that Elizabeth brings in contain Triple R Machine Guns from Columbia—a completely different weapon. This would however indicate that the Triple R and Tommy Gun use the same .45 ACP (.45 Auto) ammunition.
  • Unlike the Machine Gun found in BioShock and the Tommy Gun from BioShock 2 Multiplayer, this model appears have be based on the M1928A1 version Thompson Machine Gun rather than the earlier Model 1921 in BioShock.
  • While the various Tommy Guns in BioShock, BioShock 2 and Burial at Sea are based on the Thompson Machine Gun, they are not exact copies and are clearly mechanically different than the real weapons.*