I’ve recently talked about how at level 93, I’m so strong now that nothing in the game can stand up to me or my ship, and New Game+ wouldn’t change anything since you keep all your skills. But part of that strength is due to my weapons, and what I’ve learned after sifting through hundreds of them is that this game is realllllly not balanced when it comes to various weapon types.
Some really underperform (the high mag shotguns are pretty terrible), while others are god-tier, even at base white rarity. The bonuses you get from higher level modifiers can be good, but there’s one class of weapons that essentially outclass literally every other type in the game.
And they’re made by our good friends, the Va’ruun.
The Va’ruun class of particle beam weapons, and their melee counterpart are easily some of the best weapons in the game, even without any modifiers, even with zero points sunk into increasing particle weapon damage. Far as I can tell, there are only two of these:
The Va’ruun Starshard – A hard-hitting pistol, with as much damage as a revolver most of the time but with a much bigger magazine and higher fire rate.
The Va’ruun Inflictor – The rifle that looks like a submachine gun (but isn’t) that also packs a huge punch with its semi-automatic fire.
The Va’ruun Painblade – This is the melee weapon that joins them, I’d argue it’s the best in the game where you can one-shot lower level enemies, and with things like stealth upgrade, one-shot higher ones. This is the only one of the three I’ve found in a higher tier rarity.
The most important thing for these is finding them from high-level Va’ruun enemies (which are more scarce than Spacers, Ecliptic and Crimson Fleet pirates). The goal is the highest damage total. I believe these hit so hard because they do so much damage across two types of damage, energy and ballistic. My pistol, for instance, has 306 damage between those. The rifle has 440. I also believe it helps that you’re splitting damage, because if an enemy has resistance against one type, you still have the other type.
In all my time playing the game, only a couple other weapons have stood up to the quality and damage of these. My other best weapon is a purple Orion laser rifle with two barrels that lights people on fire. But you need a lot of mods and perks for that to be that strong.
So yeah, grab these, even if they’re white rarity, even if you don’t have particle beam upgrades. Just find the highest damage ones you can. You will not regret it, and they can carry you through loads of content.