Meet shotguy

The first encounter with two Shotgun Guys in E1M1: Hangar (UV mode)

The Shotgun Guy (referred to as a Former Human Sergeant in the game manuals, and by extension Sergeant) is a black-wearing human who has been turned into a zombie during the invasion from hell. The monster appears as a red-eyed bald man wearing bloodstained, gray-black clothes, and wields a shotgun. The Shotgun Guy is very similar to the Former Human, or 'zombieman', but is slightly faster, has more health, and most crucially does much more damage with a shotgun blast than the former human's rifle.

The Doom instruction manual says: Same as the Former Humans, but much meaner, and tougher. These walking shotguns provide you with a few extra holes if you're not careful!

Combat characteristics

Friendly fire

The Shotgun Guys are prone to infighting due to their large blast radius.

When alerted, this type of zombie will produce the same animalistic sounds made by the Former Human. A Shotgun Guy, as his name implies, is armed with a shotgun, which is less powerful than the player's shotgun: one round produces only three pellets instead of seven, and each pellet inflicts slightly less damage on average. When the Shotgun Guy attacks, it aims its shotgun at the player for ten tics, or about 3/10 of a second, and fires off three pellets from their shotgun. Each pellet has the same dispersal as a zombieman's bullet (standard deviation around 9°, to a maximum of ±22°); this is calculated independently for each pellet, so multiple hits are occasionally scored even at very long range, giving the monster a threatening attack even at medium distance. After firing, the monster moves again, though sometimes it may attack almost immediately afterwards. While Shotgun Guys do not have an animation for pumping their shotgun (they do have one in Brutal Doom though), it is assumed that they do so, as they produce a shotgun-cocking noise immediately after shooting.

When killed, a Shotgun Guy lets out the same death cries emitted by a zombieman - assuming it is not gibbed, which is not uncommon, considering its relatively low number of hit points. His death animation is in the same fashion as the zombieman: chest and abdomen bursting open in a bloody mess, lower jaw partially torn down, corpse falling abruptly on his back. The enemy drops his weapon, which contains 4 shells (or 8 on ITYTD and NM). If it subsequently respawns or is resurrected, the shotgun remains, which can produce the strange effect of a repeatedly-resurrected Shotgun Guy dropping a potentially-infinite amount of shotguns.

Tactical analysis

Due to the dispersal of the pellets from its shotgun, the Shotgun Guy is only a marginally greater threat than the Former Human at long range. However, at closer ranges their shotgun blasts can damage the player significantly, and many stock levels create ambushes by placing Shotgun Guys on ledges and around corners. They are notable threats at medium range due to their attack firing three pellets to the zombieman's one.

The player's shotgun generally immediately kills individual Shotgun Guys at medium and long ranges, and can occasionally kill two or more with one shot at close range. All other weapons are effective against Shotgun Guys, although the pistol leaves it ample time to retaliate, and the fist and chainsaw are dangerous to use because the player risks being shot at point-blank range. This can be fatal if the player does not have any form of armor available and has low health. Shotgun Guys are notable for having a very wide potential damage range- they can do anything from 9 to 45 damage if all three pellets connect, though on average they do about 20 to 30 damage.

The Shotgun Guy's contribution to monster-monster battles is average at best. It is more durable than a Former Human, and can damage more than one creature per shot. However, it fires much less frequently than a player would, and circles its target in an irregular pattern which prevents it from attacking at close range every time. Thus it can be defeated by a healthy imp more often than not, and most often by a demon, though the Shotgun Guy can cancel a Demon's attack with their blast, and can sometimes defeat Demons. Their high damage is excellent when one is baiting them into infighting; in many stock Doom maps, Shotgun Guys appear in close drill with Demons and Spectres, and can sometimes finish off wounded Demons by accidentally shooting them in the back.

Very large groups of Shotgun Guys may suffer significant losses from infighting (as with the red key area in the user made URMEAT.WAD) simply because of the sheer number of pellets being fired.

Certain stock maps (especially those of Knee-Deep in the Dead) include a large number of additional Shotgun Guys on UV as compared with the lower skill levels. Their dropped shotguns greatly increase the number of shells available to the player.


  • Despite being called a "sergeant" in the manuals, the Shotgun Guy has the type name MT_SHOTGUY in the Doom source code, and the sprite prefix SPOS, while the analogous MT_SERGEANT and SARG are given to the demon. This is arguably because the demon was initially named "demon sergeant" in the Doom Bible (section 7.2).
  • In a ZDoom-based source port, if the player is killed by a Shotgun Guy (monster is credited with delivering the blow that reduces player's health to 0%), an obituary message is displayed at the top of the screen: "[player name] was shot by a Sergeant".
  • Despite the fact that they share a Speed value of 8 with the zombieman, they actually move slightly faster; this is because of a strange quirk of the zombieman in the code, in which their A_Chase intervals are 4 tics apart instead of the 3 of the Shotgun Guy and Imp, resulting in them moving at 70 map units per second as opposed to 93.3.
  • Shotgun Guys are commonly mistaken to be armored- however, their low health and nearly-identical shirts to the zombieman indicate that they are not wearing any body armor, unlike the Commando or the player. This would explain their low health, as a few pistol shots or a single shotgun blast would realistically kill a human.


ID #9 (decimal), 9 (hex)
Hit points30
Speed8 map units per frame
(93.3 map units per second)
Reaction time8
Pain chance170 (66.41%)
Pain time6 tics
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameSPOS
Alert soundDSPOSIT1,
Action soundDSPOSACT
Pain soundDSPOPAIN
Death soundDSPODTH1,
DSPODTH3 (normal)
DSSLOP (gibs)
Ranged attack
Damage3-15 (per pellet)
9-45 (total)
Sprite namePUFF (impact, miss)
BLUD (impact, hit)

Damage done by a Shotgun Guy's weapon

Shots needed to kill1,2 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
Player (100%
health, security armor)
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
Shotgun guy3.911.0427
Wolfenstein SS6.371.39411
Heavy Weapon Dude8.801.74515
Lost Soul12.292.16919
Commander Keen12.292.16919
Boss Brain329.784.392542
Pain Elemental47.416.884064
Hell Knight58.958.615082
Baron of Hell117.6117.02100159
Spider Mastermind351.5751.06303473

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal 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). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. The target must be close enough to compensate for the monster's inaccurate aim.
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics

In classic Doom, the Shotgun Guy is first encountered on these maps:

Ultimate DoomE1M3: Toxin RefineryE1M3: Toxin RefineryE1M1: Hangar
Doom IIMAP02: UnderhallsMAP02: UnderhallsMAP02: Underhalls
TNT: EvilutionMAP01: System ControlMAP01: System ControlMAP01: System Control
PlutoniaMAP01: CongoMAP01: CongoMAP01: Congo

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Shotgun Guys:

Ultimate Doom271451656
Doom II203382483
TNT: Evilution6388941041

Other games

Doom 3

See Z-Sec

Doom 64

The Shotgun Guy makes an appearance in Doom 64, but interestingly enough, it uses the sprite of the Former Human, but with a different palette applied to change his suit to more like the original Former Human, making both monsters almost impossible to differentiate in the game's darkness. In this game, Former Humans have green pants, while Shotgun Guys have grey ones. They first appear in MAP01: Staging Area. As with Former Humans, they are left-handed.

See also

Monsters from Doom and Doom II
Arachnotron | Arch-Vile | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Commander Keen | Cyberdemon | Demon | Heavy Weapon Dude | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Pain Elemental | Revenant | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Spider Mastermind | Zombieman | Wolfenstein SS | Final Boss
Monsters from the Sony PlayStation version of Doom
Arachnotron | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Heavy Weapon Dude | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Nightmare Spectre | Pain Elemental | Revenant | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Spider Mastermind | Zombieman