The SWS Motorized Pulse Rifle is a military-grade, triple-barreled assault rifle with a rapid rate of fire and large magazine ammunition capacity.

The Pulse Rifle is the standard-issue service rifle of the Earth Defense Force, and is also common among EarthGov security forces, corporate security officers, and sometimes civilians.

Design details[edit | edit source]

The Pulse Rifle discharges ultra low caliber rounds at hypersonic speeds, each carrying tremendous amounts of kinetic energy: these rounds are designed to squash (or "mushroom") on impact, transferring their energy to the target and causing immense localized trauma. This effect is immediate and pronounced in unarmored targets, with impacts liquefying soft tissues and fracturing bones; in the event that targets are not directly killed by fire, they will be rendered incapacitated by grievous wounds and pronounced hydrostatic shock. As well, such low caliber rounds render the Pulse Rifle an ideal weapon for shipboard combat, as they lack the penetrative power necessary to rupture ship hulls. On the other hand, this leaves the Pulse Rifle variants that have been seen so far totally inadequate for the task of piercing tough body armor as the rounds simply bounce off the mining suits still worn by some Necromorph Slashers and the chitinous armor from Brutes in Dead Space 2. Kinetic shock absorbers are speculated to have been implemented into the weapon's stock, as Isaac/Gabe experiences little to no recoil even from protracted firing. When the Pulse Rifle is reloaded, the entire front end hinges forward, ejecting the spent cartridge and a new one is inserted into the magazine well.

There are three major variants of the SWS Motorised Pulse Rifle that have been seen as of yet: although all three possess identical primary modes of fire, they are differentiated by their distinctive modes of alternate fire.

The first variant of the Pulse Rifle is seemingly used extensively in shipboard combat operations, often by corporate security officers and EDF Naval/Marine personnel. The barrels turn 90° outwards, with the user pointing the gun upwards, meaning that all three barrels are facing three different directions. By holding down the trigger, the three barrels spin around the front part of the rifle, sending a spray of bullets all around the shooter. This variant of the standard SWS Rifle, capable of 360°, radial fire, is used to effectively engage targets on all sides of the user.

A second variant of the Pulse Rifle is capable of firing charged "shotgun-like" flechette blasts, changing its barrel configuration into a hexagon gear-like shape with seven laser sights instead of the normal four, potentially indicating that it doubles the number of barrels to six. When fully upgraded, after a second-long charge, it fires 14 rounds simultaneously from the barrels in a circular-type shot in order to increase stopping power and close quarters hit probability.

A third variant, which served as the service weapon of Titan Station Security Enforcement Guardsmen, is capable of firing high explosive grenades, likely for use against clusters of hostiles or lightly armored vehicles.

Dead Space 3[edit | edit source]

The early predecessor of the SWS Pulse Rifle is featured in Dead Space 3 and is a member of the Military Engine weapons family, it functions as a faster firing alternative to the various Assault Rifle models. In this game it only has a 25-round capacity without upgrades, which hampers its effectiveness considerably and its rounds have a dramatically lower muzzle velocity then the SWS Pulse Rifle variants as the tracer rounds can actually be seen traveling down range, thus complicating the process of hitting fast moving targets at long range. Utilizing an under-barrel shotgun or grenade launcher is common with this weapon and doing so mimics the secondary fire modes from Dead Space: Extraction and Dead Space 2. Utilizing a Rivet Shotgun will most closely resemble the second variant listed above. When not aiming it the weapon appears to have its three barrels mounted side by side in a horizontal fashion but they very rapidly reorient themselves in to the familiar SWS pattern when aiming the weapon.

It comes standard with a underslung grenade launcher, though this looks very makeshift, as opposed to later model's integrated weapons or 360 fire.

Location[edit | edit source]

Dead Space[edit | edit source]

The Pulse Rifle is available at the very first Store Isaac encounters and can be purchased for 7000 Credits.

Dead Space 2[edit | edit source]

Unlike the first game, the Pulse Rifle in Dead Space 2 has to be unlocked via Schematic before it can be purchased. The blueprint can be found shortly after the train sequence in Chapter 2, on a shelf at the back of the room opposite of where Isaac is after the train explodes. Once the Schematics is uploaded, the Rifle can be bought for 7000 Credits.

Dead Space 3[edit | edit source]

Towards the end of chapter 9, there is a ladder to the right of a doorway you have to take for your objective, climb up and it will be on the left.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Dead Space[edit | edit source]

  • Heavy Damage Pulse Rifle (Increased damage)
  • Astronaut Pulse Rifle
  • Elite Pulse Rifle
  • Obsidian Pulse Rifle
  • Hot Rod Pulse Rifle
  • Military Pulse Rifle

Dead Space 2[edit | edit source]

  • Agility Pulse Rifle (5% reload speed, 5% firing speed)
  • EarthGov Pulse Rifle (5% alt-fire damage, 10% reload speed)

Dead Space (mobile)[edit | edit source]

Combat Tips[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

  • The Pulse Rifle works well in most situations, but is particularly recommended for taking out fast-moving enemies such as the Twitcher, since it effectively stops them from moving on impact.
  • The Pulse Rifle burns through ammunition as quickly as it fires. Make sure to keep an eye on the ammo counter.
  • Pulse Rounds hit with enough force to halt the vast majority of enemies even if they are in the middle of a charge (Brutes are a notable exception). When it has been fully upgraded a skilled user can mow down hordes of Necromorphs from a safe distance.
  • It is important to fire the Pulse Rifle in bursts, unless your target is at point-blank range or you are a very good shot. Accuracy will decrease significantly and ammo consumption will increase if the Pulse Rifle is fired on full auto.
  • In long-range engagements, you should utilize bursts of 4-6 rounds. Any more rounds fired consecutively have a tendency to hit higher than expected because of the bouncing crosshairs (due to recoil). However, in Dead Space 2, the Pulse Rifle's recoil is easier to control, making it a more effective weapon.
  • A fully upgraded Pulse Rifle can kill a Slasher with just a few shots to the chest, without the need of dismemberment, therefore, it is advised that you upgrade it when other weapons are not more important, or are not suited to your general playing style.
  • On a shot-for-shot basis, the Pulse Rifle is the weakest weapon in the game, so be prepared to keep hammering away with those short bursts, and remember that distance is your friend. It should be noted, however, that you may carry 100 Pulse Rifle rounds per inventory slot. This means that you have a potential of 500 damage (900 max. damage upgraded) per inventory slot used.
  • The weapon is convenient in Dead Space 2 because the player is almost assured to fire at least one more shot than is necessary. This will cause enemies to drop items without being stomped.

Dead Space[edit | edit source]

  • When adequately upgraded, the secondary fire will shred enemies apart with ease. However, low-lying enemies on the floor such as Leapers, Lurkers and crawling Slashers will barely be affected by the pulse-storm. Most of the rounds will pass over them.
  • The Pulse Rifle has a rather noticeable recoil "ceiling". Shots fired after maximum crosshair elevation has been reached will not deviate from the current impact point. Aim low purposefully when attempting fully-automatic fire to compensate for this and retain shot accuracy.
  • The Pulse Rifle is very effective against the Leviathan and the Hive Mind tentacles because of its rapid rate of fire and large (upgraded) magazine size.

Dead Space: Extraction[edit | edit source]

  • The Pulse Rifle is generally an overall poor choice throughout Dead Space: Extraction's 'normal' gameplay portions, as the weapon is considerably weaker than in Extraction's predecessor, including in areas which it excelled in Dead Space, though its alt-fire does make it useful for taking care of Lurkers, Exploders and Grabbers. Also, against bosses it is very effective for the same reason as in the original Dead Space: instant damage over a long range with a fast rate of fire to boot.

Dead Space 2[edit | edit source]

  • The Pulse Rifle has an alternate fire simulating an under-barrel grenade launcher. It's highly advised that this is used against a large number of Necromorphs such as the Pack, or around corners against Stalkers. Do keep mind that when you do it, it gobbles up 25 Pulse Rounds (half a base magazine), so pick the situation carefully.
  • The alternate fire can be used to quickly mop up a group of already weakened Necromorphs, often with less ammo spent than the primary fire. That said, against large, singular enemies, the pulse grenade is far less effective and costly even compared to primary fire.
  • Do not use the alt-fire on Pregnants. It will usually cause them to burst and release their payload. Be careful with the Pulse Rifle in general when a Pregnant is around - it is all too easy to let the recoil carry the line of fire into the Pregnant's belly and cause it to release its payload. Targeting the arms greatly reduces this risk, assuming they still have both legs.
  • If, however pregnant manages to release its payload, the alt-fire will sweep them off, along with any nearby necromorphs.
  • The Rifle's alt-fire also seems to ricochet for a short distance off nearby hard objects, making it slightly more effective in very tight quarters or backed into a corner, directing the attack ahead of Isaac.
  • In Zero-G environments, the alt-fire is an effective way of dealing with enemies such as Lurkers, Nests, etc. Its effectiveness in these situations relies on the lack of gravity which results in the grenade traveling along a linear trajectory, negating the guesswork involved in utilizing the pulse grenade at medium/long ranges.
  • The primary fire is more powerful than it was in Dead Space. It takes a fewer rounds to stun and dismember enemies, and even on the harder difficulties, it only takes a few rounds to stun a charging Enhanced Slasher.
  • In multiplayer, even if a Necromorph is not killed when in the radius of the Pulse Rifle's alt-fire grenade, it will often knock the smaller enemies (such as The Pack or Lurkers) off their feet. This gives the Human team a brief window of time to dispatch the threats as they are completely vulnerable.
  • The Pulse Rifle is an excellent choice when engaging a Guardian. The alt-fire grenade used immediately after the Guardian expels its tentacles will destroy both the enemy as well as prevent them from expelling any pods.

Dead Space 3[edit | edit source]

  • The Pulse Rifle exists in Dead Space 3 as a blueprint using the "Repeater" modification for the Military Engine and the "Default tip" of the Survey Charge, creating a fundamental reproduction of the Dead Space 2 Pulse Rifle.

Due to the nature of Dead Space 3's Weapon crafting, the grenades do not consume the ammunition used for the primary fire, rather the primary and secondary fire have their own independent ammunition counters. Aside from a drastically altered appearance, the Pulse Rifle configuration holds considerably less ammunition per magazine than the standard Pulse Rifle from previous games.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]


A video displaying the secondary fire for the Pulse Rifle in Dead Space. Note that this was replaced by a grenade launcher in Dead Space 2.
  • The Pulse Rifle is the assault rifle of Dead Space, due to its rapid firing and trigger holding for activation.
  • In Dead Space, there is a whirring noise after each shot. While it might suggest that the noise was the audio report of the weapon firing, it may actually be the sound of the rifle's motor systems powering down.
  • The Pulse Rifle is the first weapon to make an appearance in the entire series, in the hands of the crew of the USG Kellion at the start of Dead Space.
  • In Dead Space when the Pulse Rifle is fully upgraded, the barrels seem to have small muzzle flashes. This maybe because there are no flashhiders, or because the accelerators are more powerful.
  • The Pulse Rifle, Seeker Rifle, Divet, Plasma Pistol and Unknown Rifle are the only weapons besides Military Engine weapons in the series that are not actually "re-appropriated" mining equipment. They are specifically designed as weapons and not tools.
  • P-Sec had several Pulse Rifles in their armory as seen in Chapter 2 of Dead Space: Extraction, possibly used for riot control.
  • The reload animation is slightly different in Dead Space 2.
  • The Pulse Rifle is the only weapon in the Dead Space series to have three different alternate fires: a bullet cyclone in Dead Space 1, a grenade launcher in Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 (when using the blueprint) and a shotgun in Dead Space: Extraction.
  • As with all weapons in Dead Space, the player can win an achievement\trophy when he\she gets 30 kills with the Pulse Rifle. It is called "Autofire".
  • The green advertisement posters in Dead Space showcase the Pulse Rifle which read: "Introduce Your Enemies to Your Friend" is possibly a reference to a line from Scarface, "Say hello to my little friend!".
    • It may also be a reference to the movie Full Metal Jacket, considering that the Pulse Rifle is a known military weapon.
    • It is also possibly a reference to the movie Aliens, wherein Corporal Hicks tells Ripley he would like to "Introduce you to a personal friend of mine.", and then teaches her to use the Pulse Rifle, a weapon of the same name as that in Dead Space, which also has a Grenade Launcher secondary fire.
  • A clicking sound can be heard when Isaac toggles between aiming and idling mode. This sound is the ammo cartridge clicking in and out of place.
  • The Pulse Rifle's alt-fire in Dead Space 2 resembles a 40mm grenade.
  • In Dead Space 2, reloading the weapon ejects a cylinder, which is likely the spent energy core used to power the weapon. It is also probable that the spent cylinder is a helical cartridge, meaning that the ammunition is stored in a circular format. It is also possible that it is both the former and the latter in a single self-contained device (a magazine containing projectiles and a battery to power the weapon)
  • The Pulse Rifle has iron sights, which are composed of a front blade and a rear U-Notch sight, however, they are unusable because of the three-dot laser sight used to aim at targets. It is the only weapon aside from the Dead Space 2 Seeker Rifle to possess aiming sights.
  • The Pulse Rifle is the service weapon for Titan Security Officers on the Sprawl. They also use this weapon to attack Isaac Clarke in Chapters 1 and 13.
  • The Pulse Rifle shots fired by the Security Officers do considerable damage and cause Isaac to flinch visibly with each hit. The barrage will cut him down in seconds if Isaac fails to take cover. This shows how powerful the Pulse Rifle is when used against humans, even those wearing armor, maybe due to a specialized "ammo" in the latter case.
  • Ironically, the Pulse Rifle's diminished effectiveness against hordes of Necromorphs is displayed when Isaac inadvertently lets them in minutes later.
  • The Pulse Rifle appears to utilize some form of ballistic ammunition. This can be most clearly seen when the guards in Chapter 1 of Dead Space 2 shoot at Isaac before a necromorph kills them both and that in both Dead Space: Extraction and Dead Space 2 the rounds can be heard ricocheting when striking a hard surface other than an enemy. Dead Space 3 also shows tracer rounds fired from all Pulse Rifle variants.
  • There is a small glitch in Dead Space 2. In the tram tunnel with Zero-G in the Ishimura, the automatic fire sometimes skips, in which some shots are not fired. However, the glitch has only been experienced at this section, and traversing into the hall which leads to the atrium cancels the effect.
  • There is also a slightly more...problematic glitch in Dead Space 2, where the Pulse Rifle will stop firing altogether. This glitch is very rare, and can be solved by switching to a different weapon, then back to the rifle.
  • Isaac may have some experience using this weapon, due his time in the Merchant Marines.
  • Pulse Rifle rounds in Extraction will ricochet off anything other than an enemy.
  • The Pulse Rifle's firing animations are different in Dead Space and Dead Space 2, as the Pulse Rifle from Dead Space shoots a round from each of the three barrels, one after the other, in rapid succession, while in Dead Space 2, it does not.
  • In a screen shot of Dead Space 3, John Carver appears to be holding a weapon similar to the Pulse Rifle, but with more detail and in a slightly lighter color.
  • The practical application of the secondary fire in Dead Space is most likely extending a single barrel to the side or the top in order to fire around corners or from behind chest high cover without exposing the operator to return fire. Also, the 360 degree "panic button" option may be used in riot control which also suggests that the ammunition of the Pulse Rifle can be retrofitted with rubber bullets or explosive grenades as in the case of Dead Space 2.
  • In Dead Space, Pulse Rifles can be found in Chapter 9, in an armory inside the USM Valor. However, they cannot be picked up, likely because of the cabinets they're in. In the same chapter, Hammond's Pulse Rifle can be picked up using Kinesis after defeating the Enhanced Brute; while it can be launched as a projectile, it cannot be used by the player.
  • The Extraction and 2 variants can be recreated in Dead Space 3.
    • The Extraction variant can be created by placing a Repeater-tipped Military Engine on a Heavy Frame as the Upper Tool, and a Conic Dispersal-tipped Telemetry Spike as the Lower Tool.
    • The variant seen in the second game follows the same configuration, but with a default-tipped Survey Charge as the Lower Tool.
    • In Dead Space, " Autofire " achievement/trophy is earned upon killing 30 enemies with the Pulse Rifle.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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