A berserk pack can be found a short distance from the start of Doom E2M2: Containment Area.


A view of E2M2: Containment Area, just after picking up the berserk powerup, with the player's vision turned red.

The berserk powerup (called berserk pack in the manuals) is an item that looks like a dark gray medikit. Picking one up boosts the player's health to 100 percent (unless it was already 100 or more), fills the screen with a gradually decreasing red haze for over 20 seconds and temporarily increases the damage inflicted by the fist.

Of the available items, it is the only one that affects the player's ability to attack in a direct way, by increasing damage, and is thus sometimes considered as an additional attack mode, akin to a weapon.

Unlike weapons, when it is picked up the sound for powerups being obtained is played, only a short name-only HUD message confirming the acquisition is shown, and it is counted in the items percentage displayed at the end of each level.

Combat characteristics

The berserk pack increases the strength of the player's punch attack tenfold until the level ends, making it powerful enough to often smash humanoids to a pulp, or even sometimes kill a demon with a single blow. When a berserk pack is collected, the player's current weapon will switch to the fist.

Tactical analysis

A berserk punch is somewhat more damaging than the chainsaw, since it kills quicker and does not "latch" on an enemy. The berserk fist does have the disadvantage of not doing continuous damage, which leaves the player open to counterattacks, and requires relatively careful aim. This makes the berserk fist less efficient than the chainsaw against some monsters; for instance it is not very safe to use against cacodemons.

Due to its power, the berserk punch is best used for hit-and-run situations, running up to the foe to throw a punch and then quickly retreating or dodging. Since punching requires good movement skills to avoid attacks from enemies that are very close, newer or slower players tend to save this powerup for healing purposes, while more proficient ones often pick it up earlier to save weapon ammo.


  • A berserk-powered player that has obtained or obtains the chainsaw is able to switch to the fist by pressing 1 on the keyboard. That is, instead of allowing only the chainsaw, as with respect to the normal fist attack, the key press will toggle between the two types of attack as long as the berserk powerup is operating. When switching from another weapon slot (2 or more) the chainsaw is raised, while the berserk fist is produced with a second key press.
Berserk data
Thing type2023 (decimal), 7E7 (hex)
Appears inRegistered Doom
Ultimate Doom
Doom II/Final Doom

Appearance statistics

The IWADs contain the following numbers of berserks per skill level:

The Ultimate Doom192020
Doom II: Hell on Earth333332
TNT: Evilution171919
The Plutonia Experiment161616

Doom RPG

In Doom RPG, the berserk powerup is called a berserker and looks like a red supercharge. Unlike the original, it increases the damage done by all weapons by a factor of 3, and does not heal the player. The increased damage lasts for 30 turns.

See also

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