This article is about original Doom Games weapon. For the weapon in Doom 3, see BFG9000 (Doom 3). For the weapon in Doom 4, see BFG9000 (Doom 4).

The BFG9000 found in MAP04 of Hell Revealed.


The BFG9000 sprites from Doom (top) and Doom 3 (below).

The BFG9000 appears as a large, solid metal gun which fires large balls of green plasma (40 cells per blast). For general purposes it can be considered the most powerful weapon in the game.

The BFG9000 is similar to the Plasma Gun (also known as the "Plasma Rifle" and uses the same ammo). But the BFG9000 has a bigger and different design and shoots bigger plasma balls than the plasma gun. And the BFG9000's plasma balls are green and white and cause way more damage. The plasma gun's plasma balls are blue and white. But the BFG9000 has to charge before firing. The abbreviation "BFG" stands for "big fucking gun", as explained in section 14 of the Doom Bible (the pick-up sprite is also labeled "BFUG"). Other expansions of the name were attributed to it before that document was made public, notably "big fragging gun". Characters in the Doom novels refer to the BFG as a "big freaking gun". In the Doom movie, BFG officially stands for "Bio Force Gun" [1], although Sarge calls it a "big fucking gun". It is also sometimes called the "Blast Field Generator."

Bfg9000 pickup
The BFG first appears in a secret area of E3M3: Pandemonium. When picked up, the BFG contains 40 energy cell units (80 on the "I'm too young to die" and "Nightmare!" skill levels). It expends 40 energy cell units per shot.

The initials composing the weapon's name stand for "Big Fucking Gun", and in Irish, it is often called the "Big Fecking Gun"; it officially stands for "Bio Force Gun" in the 2005 movie. Alternatively, it also stands for "Big Friggin' Gun".

Combat characteristics


The BFG9000 shooting a plasma ball in MAP32 of Hell Revealed.

When the trigger is pulled, there is a pause of 30 tics (about 0.857 seconds) before a green and white plasma ball is ejected. If the large plasma ball hits a solid object, it explodes and causes 100-800 hit points of damage to the target, in round multiples of 100.

After a further pause of 16 tics (about 0.457 seconds), additional damage is calculated: 40 invisible tracer rays are emitted by the player in a cone-shaped area (about 45° half-angle) in the direction the plasma ball was fired (if the player has turned around, the direction of the rays does not change — they are still traced in the direction of firing of the original plasma ball; on the other hand, if he has moved to another location, their origin moves along with him). Each ray causes 49-87 points of damage if it hits a solid object within 1024 map units. Even cyberdemons and spiderdemons, which are immune to blast damage, are affected by these rays.

Therefore, the minimal damage of the weapon is 49 points (if an object is hit by one ray and not the plasma ball) and, hypothetically, the maximal damage is 800 + (40 × 87) = 4280 points (if the plasma ball hits an object for full damage and all 40 tracers also hit the object for full damage). However, even should all 40 rays and the energy ball hit a single target, that much damage can still never actually be inflicted due to the periodicity of the simplistic pseudorandom number generator used by the Doom engine.

Contrary to section 3H of the BFG FAQ, the tracer code does not include horizontal auto-aiming (although, like any bullet attack, each tracer can auto-aim vertically).

Because the BFG projectile does not cause standard blast damage, it is safe for the player to use at point-blank range. In fact, this is often the preferred method of usage against large monsters, as this allows more of the tracer rays to strike a single target for concentrated damage. Conversely, because each ray can strike a different target, a large group of monsters can be damaged by the tracer rays if the weapon is fired from a moderate distance.

Tactical analysis

Despite its tremendous power, the weapon can be used correctly only with practice, due to its staggered firing sequence and nonstandard blast damage. The BFG FAQ includes an extensive section on deathmatch tactics.

The BFG is particularly useful for killing Arch-viles, due to its ability to quickly dispatch them at close range with no splash damage, as well as Spider Masterminds and Cyberdemons, both of which otherwise require over a dozen rockets to kill. It is also highly useful in tight situations when the player is being assaulted at close range by a swarm of medium-level monsters.



The BFG 2704 in action in the beta.

  • As with the rocket launcher and chaingun, the full BFG sprite (after pickup) is slightly too large for the screen, and can only be viewed with a level or resource editor; the lower edge of the sprite includes a BFG logo.
  • An early version of the BFG9000, known as the "BFG 2704" in the Doom Bible, was originally capable of firing a deadly, rapid-fire spray of green and red plasma projectiles that can bounce off of ceilings and floors (spending 40 cells per shot), as if it were "a Plasma gun that had gotten on steroids". That was changed to the final, possibly more powerful version because the former could greatly slow the game down from the number of projectile sprites on screen. According to John Romero, the idea of the weapon firing the green and red plasma projectiles was scrapped because it "looked like Christmas". A source port of the game, MBF, features a working reenactment of the early-version BFG seen in the beta.
  • The comic book adaptation of Doom appears to depict the BFG 9000 as a heavy machine gun instead of a plasma weapon, since it fires a stream of small projectiles that resemble bullets instead of an expanding energy blast. However, it is possible that this was meant to be based on the original concept of the BFG, which similarly fired a stream of multicolored plasma projectiles, as mentioned above.
  • In the Doom Bible, the section on weapons (14) describes the BFG 2704 as a highly destructive weapon which would damage the wielder a bit, pushing him back. That same entry unveils the meaning of the BFG initials.
  • The SNES port of Doom's BFG suffers from a scaled-down projectile, possibly due to memory constraints; it appears, instead, as a Baron's plasma ball, using the same firing sound effect and bursting sound when it hits an enemy or wall. The shocking effects of the subsequent field of damage to other targets after the projectile detonates is not present (instead of the original tracer rays effect, it appears to use a radius-based damage effect), and any targets within range of the explosion will either simply fall over dead or suffer damage. The projectile's damage output is also higher than its PC counterpart.
  • The BFG does not appear by itself in the 32X port of Doom and only appears by means of a cheat code. However, if this code is used, the game will not end properly; it will cut to a DOS screen rather than the game's real ending. As a result, it does not seem possible for the player to have/use the weapon in this port and get the real ending.
  • The BFG9000 has a "safety catch" similar to the rocket launcher. When selected while the fire key is still pressed, the BFG will not begin firing immediately like other weapons, but only when fire key is released and pressed again. The safety mechanism was likely implemented to prevent the player from wasting 40 cells by accident.
  • To determine the damage of a BFG tracer, a random number beetween 1 and 8 is generated and repeated 16 times. This makes the total damage varies from 16 to 128 (due to the "bell curve" phenomenon, the value is weighted towards the middle of the range). However, due to the Pseudorandom number generator of Doom, this never happens in real gameplay, and the damage is limited to 49-87.
  • A fan created a mod weapon called the "BFG10K," another type of BFG that's a copy of the movie version.


BFG9000 data
Weapon number 7
Damage 100-800 (main projectile)
49-87 (per tracer)
Included ammo 40 (80 on skill 1 & 5)
Max ammo 300 (600 with backpack)
Ammo type Energy cells
Shot type Projectile (direct hit)
Hitscan (tracer)
(plasma ball)
25 map units per tic
(875 map units per second)
Shots per minute 52.5
Sound DSBFG (firing)
DSRXPLOD (impact)
Appears in Registered Doom
The Ultimate Doom
Doom II/Final Doom
Thing type 2006 (decimal), 7D6 (hex)
Radius 20
Sprite BFUG (before pickup)
BFGG (wielded)
BFGF (firing)
BFS1 (plasma ball)
BFE1, BFE2 (impact)
Class Weapon

Damage done by one BFG discharge (direct hit plus 40 traces). For clarity, values are grouped into ranges of 100 hit points


Damage done by one BFG discharge (direct hit plus 20 traces). For clarity, values are grouped into ranges of 100 hit points

Shots needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Barrel 1.00 0.00 1 1
Zombieman 1.00 0.00 1 1
Shotgun guy 1.00 0.00 1 1
Wolfenstein SS 1.00 0.00 1 1
Imp 1.00 0.00 1 1
Heavy weapon dude 1.00 0.00 1 1
Lost soul 1.00 0.00 1 1
Commander Keen 1.00 0.00 1 1
Demon 1.00 0.00 1 1
Spectre 1.00 0.00 1 1
Boss Brain2 1.00 0.00 1 1
Revenant 1.00 0.00 1 1
Cacodemon 1.00 0.00 1 1
Pain elemental 1.00 0.00 1 1
Hell knight 1.00 0.00 1 1
Arachnotron 1.00 0.00 1 1
Mancubus 1.00 0.00 1 1
Arch-vile 1.00 0.00 1 1
Baron of hell 1.00 0.00 1 1
(direct hit plus 40 traces)
1.35 0.48 1 2
(direct hit plus 20 traces)
2.06 0.24 2 3
(direct hit plus 40 traces)
2.00 0.00 2 2
(direct hit plus 20 traces)
2.91 0.29 2 3

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, impact animations, backfire checks, and muzzle lighting are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). It is also assumed that all projectiles are launched at nearly the same range, so that the various procedures call P_Random in the same sequence each time. Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map, unless using the idclip cheat code.

Appearance statistics

The IWADs contain the following numbers of BFG9000s:

The Ultimate Doom9910
Doom II202019
TNT: Evilution999

The BFG in other id Software games


The BFG in Doom 64.


Doom 64's BFG pickup sprite.

  • Doom 64 includes a slightly revamped version of the BFG. Upon being fired, it will make a computerized whirring sound increasing in pitch until the projectile is shot out. When the projectile hits an enemy or wall, it will create a cone-shaped field of damage from its detonation point back to the player, killing or hurting any monsters in its path.
  • Quake II features the BFG 10K. In addition to the direct impact damage, its slow moving plasma projectile shoots green beams which lash out at any enemies near it. The projectile sprites are exactly the same as Doom's. Unlike Doom's BFG, however, a point-blank blast will kill the player as well as his intended target.
  • Quake 3 Arena included a new version of the BFG 10K that works considerably different then its previous incarnations. It fires explosive plasma projectiles at a high rate of fire and has a more streamlined shape.
  • Doom 3 includes a redesigned version, see BFG 9000 (Doom 3). It can be charged up for a more powerful shot and the plasma projectile shoots rays at nearby opponents (similar to the Quake II BFG 10K).
  • The BFG also appears in Doom RPG, where it is named BFG-9000.
  • Rage includes a weapon called the Authority Pulse Cannon, which normally acts as a sort of energy-based minigun, but also features the ability to fire an alternate ammo type called "BFG Rounds", which do devastating damage to targets within range.

Other appearances and homages

Many subsequent first-person shooters implemented similar weapons, but few were quite as notorious as the BFG9000. In addition, due to its reputation, the BFG has been referenced or parodied in many other places:

  • In the cyberpunk action-RPG, Deus Ex (2000), the Plasma Rifle looks very much like the BFG.
  • The Doom movie features the weapon under the moniker "Bio Force Gun v3.14".
    • Additionally, the sprites for Skulltag's BFG 10K are modelled after the BFG v3.14 from the Doom Movie.
  • In the hack-and-slash RPG Sacred, one character, the Seraphim, has a combat art called "BeeEffGee".
  • Magic: the Gathering (Unglued expansion) includes The "BFM" (Big Furry Monster).
  • A character in the movie Jason X mentions using a BFG.
  • In the 1994 computer game Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz's gun is called the "LFG-2000". LFG may stand for 'Large Fucking Gun'.
  • In the RPG Adventure Quest, the "BFG" weapon is an obvious clone of Doom's BFG.
  • The character Bob in ReBoot plays a guitar called a BFG (Big Fancy Guitar).
  • In the game Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, the Archer and Tigress characters have a turbo attack called "BFG", which fires a huge green burst shot forward.
  • In the flash game Defense of Portal 2, there is a weapon called the "BFG-OVER9000".
  • There was originally a quest in the second EverQuest expansion, The Scars of Velious, which resulted in an item called "Breezeboot's Frigid Gnasher", using the image of the BFG9000. The item lore calls it "Model 9000".
  • In the 1999 space simulator FreeSpace 2, the largest red- and green-colored beams in the game are referred to internally as BFRed and BFGreen.
  • In the platform shooter Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, there is a level called "The Nefarious BFG" (a reference to both the weapon and to The Notorious B.I.G.).
  • It appears in the PSP game Infected as the BMFG (Big Mother Fucking Gun).
  • In the television series Eureka, the episode "Alienated" referred to a high-tech gun called the "BMFG."
  • The M249 SAW is an unlockable weapon in the FPS game Black, where it is called the "BFG".
  • Version 3 of the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk introduced a new class of lightweight, large-bore, man-portable gyrojet weapons known as Ballistic Flechette Guns (BFGs).
  • Magnum Research, Inc. produces a line of powerful revolvers called the Magnum Research BFR. Officially, this stands for 'Biggest, Finest/Big Frame Revolver'.
  • Duke Nukem: Zero Hour contains a weapon called the BMF Thunderstrike.
  • In the movie Soldier, a computer screen is briefly displayed which shows that Kurt Russell's character is qualified on the BFG 9000.
  • In the Inspection training mission of MechWarrior 2, one of the boxes has an inspection reading of BFG 9000.
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force featured a nearly identical weapon called the Displacer, which even shared the same explosion sprite. It also allowed the player to teleport themselves to a hidden bonus area (provided they had sufficient ammunition).
  • In Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire, a technology called String Resonance is referenced internally as "BFG9000".
  • Facebook's "Pets" application, in which you control battling rabbits, includes a weapon named the "BFG2000".
  • A weapon called the C.B.F.G. became available in Kingdom of Loathing during Crimbo 2007. This stands for "Crimborg Biomechanical Fragging Gun."
  • The most powerful missile weapon in the game Fury3 is called the BFM (Bion Fury Missile).
  • In Halo 3, the description for part 2 of the mission "The Storm" reads: "Scarab. BFG. End of World," with BFG referring to a large Covenant anti-air cannon.
  • In Halo 2, the easter egg Scarab gun fires a blast similar to the BFG.
  • In Halo Reach, the Multiplayer map "Spire" has an area named BFG.
  • In the flash game Onslaught 2 there exist combos which are called "BFG", which shoot a blast simillar to that of the BFG.
  • The largest size can of Monster Energy Drink, a 32oz-large can, is referred as the "BFC": presumably meaning "Big Fucking Can".
  • In the 1999 video game Recoil, the player's vehicle is known as the BFT or Battle Force (or Big Friggin') Tank.
  • In League of Legends, there is an item called "B.F. Sword". Additionally, its description reads: "When big is just not quite big enough."
  • In the browser-based game Plazma Burst 2, there is a gun named CS-BNG (also known as gun_bfg in the Map Editor ID's in the game).
  • In Heroes of the Storm, an ultimate ability of the character Sgt. Hammer is the "Blunt Force Gun". Its initials (BFG) and effect (firing a giant devastating missile) is most likely a reference to Doom's BFG9000.
  • In Starbound, one of the Tier 6 weapons that can be found in the game, called "Doomcannon", is a Grenade Launcher and Shotgun hybrid. The weapon uses the original BFG sprite from Doom 1. The description of the gun reads "'...because in the end, Doom is all that counts."
  • In Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, there is a weapon named "Ubergewehr". Developed by the Nazis in 1961, the Ubergewehr can obliterate a lot of enemies in a huge explosion of electricity and diesel, in a similar manner to BFG9000.
  • In the FPS Killing Floor, a weapon similar to the BFG called "Husk Fireball Launcher" works in a similar fashion of charged energy balls resulting in an explosion on contact.
  • In the bullet hell game Enter the Gungeon there is a weapon known as the "BSG" or "Big Shooty Gun" which looks and acts like the BFG9000.


  • It is designed off of the RoarGun, a battery operated toy gun manufactured by Creatoy. It is also the same toy used to model some of the Tekwall textures.
  • Roald Dahl's novel The BFG predates Doom by over a decade and is completely unrelated. Roald Dahl's "BFG" stood for "Big Friendly Giant" Many people refer it to as "Big Fucking gun".
  • The Games Workshop tabletop wargame Battlefleet Gothic is sometimes also referred to as "BFG".
  • BFG in the United States Department of Defense aerospace vehicle designation refers to BFG as:
    • "B" is Multiple. The missile can be launched from various environments.
    • "F" is Individual. The missile is launched by an individual soldier in the field, otherwise referred to as man-portable.
    • "G" is Ground. The missile is launched directly from the ground surface.

See also

External links

Weapons from classic Doom games

Fist | ChainsawPistolShotgun | Super ShotgunChaingunRocket LauncherPlasma GunBFG9000

Italics = Introduced in Doom II
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