Chainsaw (Doom 3)


The chainsaw being carried by the player.
This article is about the weapon in Doom 3. For other versions of this weapon, see:

The chainsaw is an extremely powerful close-quarters combat weapon, based on the classic weapon. The chainsaws in the game were sent to the Mars Base by the Mixom Corporation by mistake; the original order was for jackhammers. Humorously and ironically, in PDAs, many coworkers discuss how useless chainsaws are on Mars; this and the story behind their delivery are perhaps in answer to the inconsistency (from the original Doom) of having a chainsaw in a place where there are no trees. It is the game's most powerful melee weapon first found in Service Room 2A of Communications Transfer. This same area also shows the zombies first making use of them against the player.

"Self powered chain-blade cutting tool. Part of a shipment incorrectly routed to the Mars dropship distribution center."
PDA description

Weapon schematics[edit]

The chainsaw is of course a melee weapon so is limited by its range, although its range is longer than the fists. It does not require any ammunition to function, and never needs to interrupt itself to reload as other weapons do. Its damage output is formidable, capable of delivering 500 damage per second - for comparison, the chaingun can deliver 180 damage per second, the plasma gun 128 damage per second, assuming all shots hit the target's body rather than its head. Finally, it takes a noticeable amount of time to rev up the chainsaw for usage.

It is only found in the main campaign of Doom 3. It is not present in either of the two expansions, Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission, being essentially replaced by the Ionized Plasma Levitator. The weapon is not available in PC deathmatch, and in Xbox deathmatch it replaces the plasma gun.

Tactical analysis[edit]

There are certain enemies against which the chainsaw shines - zombies and wraiths are easy prey, especially while the wraiths are teleporting. Imps and cacodemons can be killed easily if the player is willing to dodge their fireballs as you approach melee range. Maggots, cherubs, trites and ticks can suddenly leap at the player from a distance, making an approach into melee range over open ground rather unwise, but the player can kill them more safely by waiting around a corner with the chainsaw revving, allowing the enemy to blunder directly into its path. It is particularly effective against monsters teleporting into battle, since the telltale fiery cloud gives the player time to approach melee range and then the monster is generally defenceless for a moment once it appears. Even arch-viles can be killed if the player can catch them as they are vulnerable while summoning monsters, given that the chainsaw can deliver enough damage to kill one in less than one second. With practice the chainsaw can also deal with a charging tentacle commando by ducking and allowing them to leap onto the revving chainsaw.

It is far less suitable for engaging Z-Secs and especially the chaingun commando due to the likelihood of suffering damage from their guns while approaching melee range. However, it should be noted that the chainsaw is effective against the riot shield Z-Secs, since the chainsaw bypasses the shield altogether. If using this weapon, the player should use the "wait around a corner" tactic mentioned above to minimise the amount of time the player is vulnerable to return fire.

The chainsaw is not recommended against mancubi, Hell knights and revenants, or against arch-viles if the player cannot catch them in their vulnerable summoning state. It is possible to defeat them without being harmed by provoking them into performing their melee swing, darting back out of its range, dealing some damage and then repeating the process, but it is unnecessarily risky and can result in severe damage if a single mis-step is made. Finally, the demon should not be engaged with the chainsaw - its bite can easily outrange the chainsaw, and it is extremely difficult to defeat with this weapon - even though the chainsaw was particularly effective against the classic Demon in the original Doom.

While one of the advantages of the chainsaw is that it does not expend ammunition, it should be noted that ammo is quite plentiful in Doom 3 and a savvy player is not likely to run out if they play somewhat cautiously.

In the original game, the chainsaw can be selected by the "0" key. In the BFG Edition, the "1" key is bound to both the fists and the chainsaw, choosing whichever of the two was selected last - and this default is reset to the fists at the beginning of each new level. Therefore, if the player has a mind to use the chainsaw at any point, it is wise to take a moment at the start of each level to select the chainsaw and then revert to whichever gun is preferred - this means that a single tap of the "1" key will select the chainsaw rather than the fists for the remainder of that level.


The HUD icon.
Damage 50
Rate of fire (RPS) 10
First seen in Communications Transfer