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"A standard-issue ballistic firearm for P.C.S.I and CEC security forces, which can be loaded with grenades or proximity mines for riot conditions, or personalized for faster reloading."
—Weapon description.[1]

The SWS Motorized Pulse Rifle is a military-grade, triple-barreled, rapid-fire assault rifle with 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[]

T UI Tutorial Wpn PulseRifle

Pulse Rifle design drawings.

The Pulse Rifle discharges ultra-low caliber rounds, 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 of Brutes. 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 four 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.

T Env Prop Sgn Ch09 SeizeYourGlory 01 E PACKED 0

An EDF propaganda poster featuring a Marine holding a Pulse Rifle.

The first variant of the Pulse Rifle seen in the original Dead Space causes each of the 3 barrels to turn 90° outwards with the user pointing the gun upwards, sending a spray of bullets all around the shooter. This variant of the standard SWS Rifle allows engagement of targets on all sides of the user.

The second variant of the Pulse Rifle seen in Dead Space: Extraction 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. When fully upgraded, after a second-long charge, it fires 14 rounds simultaneously from the barrels in a circular-type shot.

The third variant seen in Dead Space 2 is capable of firing high explosive grenades at the cost of 25 rounds, which is useful against clusters of hostiles. Fully upgraded, it can deal a high amount of damage to nearly every Necromorph variant.

The fourth and final variant seen in Dead Space (2023) has a similar alt-fire to that seen in Dead Space 2; however, instead of just being grenades, the projectiles launched can also act as proximity mines which can be placed on surfaces, exploding when enemies approach it.

SWS Pulse Pistol[]

A miniaturized version of the SWS Pulse Rifle exists, consisting of the same or very similar components as the larger weapon. The Pulse Pistol's gun mechanism, trigger, hammer, grip, and firing mechanism all appear to be components of the Pulse Rifle. The pistol was notably used by Kendra Daniels and P.C.S.I. security.


Dead Space[]

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

Dead Space 2[]

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[]

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.

Dead Space (2023)[]

When entering the Medical Deck's Tram station in Chapter 2, the Pulse Rifle is held by a dying woman by the entrance to Medical. Simply pick up the Pulse Rifle when she drops it after her death.

Upgrade Parts[]

In the Remake, the Pulse Rifle has three Upgrade Parts to improve its capabilities:

  • The Kinetic Autoloader increases the Pulse Rifle's rate of fire. It can be purchased from any Store for 11,000 Credits after activating the Engineering control console in Chapter 3.
  • The P.C.S.I. Custom Magazine increases the weapon's maximum ammo capacity. It can be found in the "Electrical Systems Storage" room down in Floor 3 of the Bridge Deck. The room is locked by a fuse, which can be opened from a broken window behind the room with a body hanging from it; just remove the box covering the fuse using Kinesis, then shoot the fuse to gain access.
  • The High-Yield Grenades increases the blast radius of the weapon's Proximity Mines. This can be found in a locker inside the "Water Purification Storage" room, found to the right immediately after ascending and exiting the elevator to Water Purification from the Bridge Deck. This room requires a Master Security Clearance to open.


Dead Space[]

Dead Space 2[]

  • Agility Pulse Rifle (Supernova Pack [+5% reload speed, +5% firing speed])
  • EarthGov Pulse Rifle (Martial Law Pack [+5% alt-fire damage, +10% reload speed])

Combat Tips[]


  • The Pulse Rifle works well in most situations but is particularly recommended for taking out fast-moving enemies like Twitchers, since it effectively stops them from moving on impact.
  • The Pulse Rifle burns through ammunition as quickly as it fires, especially with alt-fire modes. 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; blindly firing at longer-range targets can result in a lot of wasted ammunition.
    • Any more rounds than 4-6 fired consecutively have a tendency to hit higher than expected because of the bouncing crosshairs; this isn't so much the case in Dead Space 2 as the Pulse Rifle's recoil is easier to control, but it's still important to be restrained with the trigger.
  • 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 shots.
    • It should be noted, however, that you can carry 100 Pulse Rifle rounds per inventory slot. Because of that, the amount of potential damage dealt per inventory slot is relatively high considering other weapons and ammunition types.

Dead Space (2008)[]

  • 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 as 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[]

  • 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.
    • However, its alt-fire does make it useful for taking care of Lurkers, Exploders and Grabbers.
  • 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[]

  • It's highly advised that the grenade alt-fire 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 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 can be potentially far less effective and much more costly compared to primary fire.
  • 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.
    • Additionally, do not use the alt-fire on Pregnants under any circumstances; It will almost certainly cause them to burst and release their payload, which will lead to even more wasted ammunition dealing with it.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • Additionally, it is extra convenient in Dead Space 2 because the player is almost assured to fire at least one more shot than is necessary, which will cause enemies to drop items without being stomped.
  • 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.

Dead Space 3[]

  • 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, having a base of 25 compared to most game's un-upgraded capacity of 50. In combination with its high rate of fire, it is very easy to burn through all of your ammunition and have to reload in potentially dangerous situations.

Dead Space (2023)[]

  • Unlike previous games, the Pulse Rifle cannot stun lock and kill Necromorphs just by shooting them in the chest.
    • The new damage system in the remake also makes it harder to dismember limbs with the Pulse Rifle as you first need to strip the flesh off the limb before placing follow up shots on the exposed bone to dismember it.
  • The Pulse Rifle primary fire is an excellent choice for dealing with Drag Tentacles due to its sheer fast fire rate and relatively high starting magazine size.
  • The Pulse Rifle is great for targeting yellow weak points on enemies like Exploders and Tentacles and bosses like the Leviathan and the Hive Mind due to its high accuracy at long range and fast fire rate.
  • The Pulse Rifle's proximity mine is useful to deal with enemies for the early game where the player isn't fully kitted and may only have one or two damage upgrades at most for their weapons. However, it gets easily outclassed in terms of damage output once the player picks up the Contact Beam.
  • In Zero G environments, the Pulse Rifle alt fire's trajectory travels in a straight line due to the absence of gravity making it very effective when engaging with Leapers and Lurkers in said scenario.
  • The Pulse Rifle's proximity mines, even when the weapon has damage fully upgraded, cannot kill a regular Slasher with one mine. At least two mines are needed, making it very ammo intensive. The Line Gun's alt fire, which creates a laser trap, is much more effective.
    • It is not known if the damage upgrades apply to the proximity mines.


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 archetypal 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.
  • In Dead Space 2, a single press of the primary fire will release a two to three round burst. However, in environments where oxygen is not available, the pulse rifle will fire one bullet at a time.
  • The Pulse Rifle is the only weapon in the Dead Space series to have four different alternate fires: a bullet cyclone in Dead Space, a grenade launcher in Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 (when using the blueprint), a shotgun in Dead Space: Extraction, and a proximity mine in Dead Space (2023).
  • 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, which is the sound of 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 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 useless to the player because of the three-dot laser sight used to aim at targets.
    • This however could serve a purpose for officers during stealth missions as lasers will be extremely noticeable.
    • It is the only weapon aside from the Dead Space 2 Seeker Rifle and (possibly) the S.C.A.F. Bullpup 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, cutting Isaac down in seconds if he fails to take cover. This shows how powerful the Pulse Rifle is when used against humans, even those wearing armor.
      • 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.
    • 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, explaining how he is able to wield it relatively effectively.
  • 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.
    • It may also serve as a "panic button" option 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 either a Conic Dispersal-tipped Telemetry Spike or Military Engine as the Lower Tool.
      • Neither are perfect recreations as the Military Engine config is simply a standard shotgun with no flechettes, and the Telemetry Spike config has considerably larger spikes.
    • The variant seen in the second game follows the same Upper Tool configuration, but with a default-tipped Survey Charge as the Lower Tool.


Concept Art and Posters[]