An explanation of the Machine Spirit power up for each weapon. Does not include MS locations.
Note: This guide is not a “secrets” guide and will not discuss Spirit locations. In addition, spoilers for the weapons of Boltgun lie ahead, along with some of the enemies – so stop reading if you want to be surprised by what is in the game! Finally, these upgrades were tested on Hard difficulty, so any personal opinions I give are based on that difficulty.
What is the Machine Spirit?
The Machine Spirit is a collectible that can be found in Boltgun, upgrading your currently equipped weapon on pickup. The upgrades differ depending on the weapon, and range from immediately obvious to “did that even change anything?” These upgrades last for a single level, and there is generally only one per level. Make sure you have the right weapon equipped when you walk over it!
- Strength increases from 4 to 5.
- Magazine capacity increases from 25 to 45. Note that while the amount of ammo you can carry doesn’t increase, it does technically increase by 20 if you have full ammo, due to the magazine holding more.
These upgrades make the boltgun even more useful, able to become a real threat to toughness 4 enemies (such as Chaos Marines) and absolutely shredding toughness 3 enemies. The increased magazine capacity is just icing on the cake, and I personally find that blessing the boltgun is never a bad idea and is generally my go-to choice.
- Dramatic increase in the number of pellets fired
- Pellets bounce once upon hitting a surface, but not on hitting enemies – the bouncing pellets can hit and damage you
The shotgun’s Spirit really increases its usefulness, but it still struggles against tougher enemies and now has the added drawback of potentially hurting yourself. It’s a fun one to use, especially if you want to turn the room into a bullet hell, but not one I would suggest over the boltgun.
- Fuel canister capacity increases from 12 to 18. Note that, like the boltgun, the amount of ammo you can carry doesn’t increase, though it does technically increase by 6 if you have full ammo, due to the canister holding more.
- The weapon no longer overheats.
- Fire rate is slightly increased.
Yep, pretty much every disadvantage the gun has is removed and it can easily become a mainstay of your arsenal. With plasma ammo being fairly common (and dropped by a couple of enemies!), upgrading the plasma gun is a good idea. It is still held back a bit by its low maximum ammo, but it can’t be perfect.
Nice and cool.
- Speed penalty while firing is removed.
This is very useful for some of the more frenetic later stage “purge” fights, as you can keep full mobility while tearing into enemies. The only downside is that it takes a while to build heavy bolter ammo back up, so it isn’t the best weapon to use for general fights. It also still has its “spin-up” time and frankly has so much muzzle blast and so many ejecting shells that it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on when you’re also zipping around at full speed! That said, weigh carefully if the increase in mobility is better than the increase in damage that many other weapons get.
Fun fact: firing the heavy bolter pushes you back very slowly.
- Larger explosion radius.
Honestly, I may not even be correct. I can’t quite put my finger on what it does. It doesn’t explode faster. It doesn’t gain strength or ammo. It doesn’t fire faster. If anyone has any idea, let me know in the comments!
This explosion looks bigger, right?
- One more beam is added to the burst. (Or, in shotgun terms, it gains a pellet.)
This simple modification makes the gun even more powerful… but does it need to be? Unless you KNOW you’re heading into a boss fight, it may be a bit overkill and you are probably better served upgrading a more general purpose gun.
Fun fact, the meltagun also shoots a blast BEHIND you. I didn’t realize this until testing for this guide, and it happens whether or not the gun is upgraded. Very random, and possibly a bug? I have not tested whether or not these backshots do damage.
I was standing in the middle of that little room and ran out to grab this screenshot.
Pointless note: The meltagun in 40k has traditionally been strength 8, not 7. I figure they reduced it to not make it gain extra bonus damage on bosses/not have to make bosses T8, which would wreck the balance.
- The gun “pulses” roughly every second, doing a burst of damage to its target.
The pulse damage is not insignificant, and is a great way to deal with enemies faster than keeping the beam on them normally would allow you. I personally quite like the volkite caliver, and the extra damage saves time and ammunition. I just wish there were some outward change in the gun’s animations or art to let you know that something is happening.
- The radius of damage gets larger. I think.
Please let me know in the comments if you actually know what this does!
- Warhammer 40000: Boltgun – Great Unclean One Attacks/Strategies (Exterminatus Difficulty)
- Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun – 100% Achievement Guide
- Warhammer 40000: Boltgun – Lord of Change Attacks/Strategies Guide