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"This prototype fires a threaded variable energy charge. UAC technicians have warned of stability issues at full power."
PDA Description [src]

The BFG 9000 (initials for "Big Fucking Gun") of Doom 3 is the most advanced weapon created by the Union Aerospace Corporation. It is first introduced in UAC Administration, when Campbell opens his suitcase to an unknown green glow (green being associated with the colour of the BFG projectile). It is seen being used in Alpha Labs Sector 4 and Communications by Campbell, however the player only manages to get their hands on it in Sector 2A of the Delta Labs. It is lost during the transit to Hell (where it is available as a pick-up, only to lose it again during the transit back to Delta), but the player manages to retrieve it in the CPU Complex from Sabaoth, who had killed Campbell and taken it from him.

Weapon schematics

A blueprint of the BFG 9000.

The BFG in Doom 3 mostly functions in a different way from its Doom counterpart, as the projectile exists in the form of a computer chip contained within a ball of relatively slow-moving green plasma. The newer version also follows a charge-based system; holding down the trigger causes the weapon to charge up for a more powerful shot (up to 4 levels of charge). The status of the charge is displayed on a small monitor, which also displays the ammo count and dispenses the game HUD, just like newcomer Machine Gun, the Chaingun and Plasma Gun. The chip identifies and shoots rays at opponents that will debilitate them prior to the explosion of the plasma projectile. ).

Unlike in the classic Doom and Doom II, the BFG 9000 in Doom 3 no longer uses the same ammo as the Plasma gun, but its own type of cell instead. The BFG Cell exists as a green cylinder with an actively vibrating sphere inside (similar to an atom), and holds 4 charges. Unlike in Doom II, BFG cells are relatively hard to come by and are placed in relatively obscure locations. Nevertheless, a 4-charge cell is the equivalent of 60 cell in classic Doom, so ammunition is not as scarce as might appear on first glance. It also serves as an excellent complement to the Soul Cube, serving as a fallback in tough situations where the Soul Cube is unavailable.

The BFG9000 from Doom (top) and Doom 3 (bottom)

Based on Michael Abrams' report, this BFG is lighter than "previous prototype models" . The weight saving may be credited to reducing the projectile energy capacitor or containment field. This noticeably reduces weight but also makes the user more vulnerable as excess energy may detonate should the containment fail. The ammo is reloaded from a magazine compartment located on the left side of the weapon. The green plasma orb serving as the weapon's power source may be related to the green glowing chemical dump of the energy production (fusion process in this storyline produce steam and green sludge) process utilized on Mars. This is starkly different from the energy canisters used on the Plasma Gun, which store a glowing bright blue mass of energy, which is presumably a main product of the energy facility (EnPro), explaining the abundant supply of plasma energy bottles in the EnPro facility. The BFG ammunition itself requires specialized chips to control detonation, preventing mass production of the BFG cell. It is possible that the Mars facility was planned to be designated as the BFG's ammunition production plant (one of the reasons why Swann was authorized to have a "hard hand" policy on Betruger).

Tactical analysis

Without a doubt the most powerful weapon in the game, the BFG9000 is capable of causing damage to a single enemy for more than 1700 hit points.

The effects of the weapon are devastating; a single-charged projectile can obliterate any smaller demon. Even if the shots are not directed towards the target, the powerful rays emitted from the projectile will cause continuous damage over 200 (over 10 points per second), making it deadly for even the most agile demon like the Tentacle Commando. A fully-charged shot will kill any monster up to a Vagary. The most powerful monsters with a lot of hit points such as the Hell Knight or the Mancubus generally require a double or triple-charged shot to kill, and this weapon is ideal for taking out Arch-viles quickly, when the Soul Cube is not available.

The weapon's destructive capability is unmatched (minus the Soul Cube), but can also act as a double edged sword; firing at a monster up close will severely damage the player due to the weapon's blast radius. In addition, the weapon is very "fragile" as it can be prone to overheating if charged for too long, killing the user instantly.

As the BFG's charged shots travel very slowly, this will give enemies more opportunity to attack you, even while they take damage from the rays. Therefore do not stay at one place while waiting for the shots to find their mark, especially when fighting against enemies with high HP like the Hell Knight.

The BFG is recommended for medium to long-range combat. As BFG cells are very rare, its usage should be limited to areas where stronger enemies like the Hell Knight and Arch-viles are present. The Caverns in the later levels serve as the best area where the BFG can come into great use, due to high abundance of these kinds of enemies and BFG Cells.

Video Disk - BFG 9000 Briefing

Creator: UAC Advanced Weapons
Date: 10/10/45
Informational video on the BFG 9000
Representing the pinnacle of UAC research and design, the BFG 9000 is the most advanced firearm ever designed. Fully self contained and deployed as a handheld platform, it is capable of an excessive amount of firepower. The BFG 9000 contains sophisticated friend or foe technology that discriminates targets in real time.
Each projectile contains a small but very powerful computer core that actively maintains targeting and delivers a stream charge down each beam to soften targets before detonation. The detonation stage of the projectile is devastating. Targets within 15 meters of the flashpoint are not likely to survive.
While not recommended for small quarter combat, the BFG 9000 is ideal in the field and against multiple targets. The only foreseeable defense is small arms ballistics. If the projectile is destroyed before exploding, the computer core cannot process the final fusion reaction, resulting in a less than optimal detonation.
For more information, contact the UAC's Advanced Weapons Department.


  • Because the player loses all his weapons going to and from Hell, there are three places to pick up the BFG in the game. Firstly, in Delta Labs Sector 2a, but which is easily missed; secondly, in Hell; and thirdly, from killing Sabaoth. Missing the first BFG is not generally a problem, since ammunition for all the other weapons is plentiful in Delta Labs.