Super shotgun


Super shotgun weapon and pickup in MAP05: UAC Executive Areas, Sub-Basement Entry from Perdition's Gate.
The super shotgun being fired into a crowd in MAP06: Hillside Siege from Alien Vendetta.
This article is about the weapon in the classic Doom series. For other versions of this weapon, see:

The super shotgun, also called the combat shotgun in the manuals (not to be confused with the combat shotgun in Doom (2016) or in Doom Eternal), or simply called the double-barreled shotgun, is often abbreviated to SSG, and is a sawed-off, break-open, double-barrel shotgun, in contrast to the original shotgun which is pump-action and single-barreled.

Not featured in Doom, the super shotgun was the only new weapon introduced in Doom II, appearing first on MAP02: Underhalls in single player mode, and in two locations on MAP01: Entryway during multiplayer games. A super shotgun contains 8 shells when picked up (or 16 on the "I'm Too Young To Die" and "Nightmare!" skill levels).

The super shotgun is described as such in the instruction manual:

"Combat Shotguns are double-barreled, sawed-off killing sticks. These gats are the ultimate in pellet warfare. Beware, two barrels not only deliver more fire power, but takes more time to reload."

Combat characteristics[edit]

The super shotgun takes the same ammunition as the shotgun, but uses two shells per shot. However, whereas the shotgun fires 7 pellets in each shot, a super shotgun blast has 20 pellets. Each pellet still does 5-15 points of damage (for a total of 175-245 points of damage per shot with vanilla RNG, provided that all pellets hit the target). The super shotgun is about three times as damaging as the standard shotgun per shot, a good bargain since it only uses twice as much ammo each time.

Tactical analysis[edit]

The Doom 64 super shotgun weapon and pickup as they appear in MAP15: Dark Entries.

One well-aimed blast from a super shotgun almost always kills two imps, one demon, or one spectre, and often inflicts additional damage to nearby monsters. By contrast, a single shotgun burst is less reliable at dispatching an imp in one shot or a demon in two unless it is dead on target. The devastating firepower afforded by the super shotgun can enable the player to hold his own against crowds of humanoids or tough monsters (Hell knights, arachnotrons, mancubi). It is often sensible to prefer the super shotgun over the rocket launcher in such situations; the super shotgun is similarly powerful, shells are more plentiful than rockets, and a short-range rocket blast can harm the player.

The SSG is even slower to reload than the shotgun (approximately twice the time), meaning that any enemy not killed by the first shot will have plenty of time to retaliate. Some speedrunners, however, take advantage of the reload time by quickly circlestrafing to line up multiple monsters within the "damage cone". The blast-and-dodge and circle strafing tactics described for the shotgun are even more useful for the super shotgun.

The wide spread of the pellets makes the super shotgun ineffective and wasteful at longer ranges. If shells are the only plentiful ammo, or if sniping at a distance is required, it is advisable to switch back to the shotgun; unlike other hitscan attacks which only spread horizontally, the SSG's pellets also spread vertically. The super shotgun is also a bad choice for dealing with lone humanoids scattered in mazes. This is usually a problem when starting a level and the super shotgun is picked up before the regular shotgun.

Regardless, the SSG is a very potent and powerful weapon in the right hands, and it serves as a great alternative for the bigger weapons when facing lone stronger enemies such as barons of hell or bigger groups of weaker monsters.


Misplaced super shotgun frames
Redrawn version of SSG in the Final Doom for the Sony PlayStation
  • While the super shotgun in Doom unloads both barrels in one shot, the main purpose of a double-barreled shotgun in real life is to allow the second barrel to be fired in rapid succession to the first without reloading the weapon. Firing both barrels simultaneously is possible on double trigger models, as a tactic by large game hunters for sheer stopping power, however this doubles the recoil and is hard on both the shooter and the weapon.[1]
  • The super shotgun layer that contains the firing sprites has been set with an incorrect timing, making it appear briefly over the reloading sprite.
  • Unlike the other weapon firing/loading animations which were created from digitizing models, the super shotgun's sequences lack light reflections. This suggests that the weapon may have been photographed in a different setting, or that its animations were drawn instead.
  • When a player has both the shotgun and the super shotgun, the 3 key will toggle between the two weapons. However, the number "3" in the ARMS section of the status bar responds only to the original shotgun, and will not light if the player has only the super shotgun. This behavior is exclusive to Doom II. If the super shotgun is somehow introduced in a level for the first Doom, the weapon may be picked up, appearing on the marine's hands, but cannot be selected afterward once the user chooses another available weapon, or the player runs out of shells.
  • The reloading sounds for the super shotgun, unlike all other sounds in the game, are sampled at 22KHz. Some ports of the game (including Doom95) play these sounds back at the wrong rate, making them sound slow and low-pitched.
  • In Doom 64 the super shotgun reloads faster, completing in 1.53s versus 1.77s in Doom II. It does not have the reloading animation that is present in the PC versions of Doom either, which is also the case with the normal shotgun. In addition, the gun knocks the player back a bit when fired.
  • In the PlayStation and Sega Saturn ports of Doom the super shotgun takes up a number "4" slot in the ARMS section, making a total of 8 numbers present instead of 7. In that regard the super shotgun appears next when cycling through the weapons in those ports, as well as Doom 64. However, while weapons have to be cyclically accessed in the Xbox version of Doom II (from the Xbox port of Doom 3), the super shotgun instead sits between the chainsaw and the fist (the list from start to finish goes: fist, pistol, shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, plasma gun, BFG9000, chainsaw, super shotgun, and back to fist). It is also uniquely possible to find the super shotgun in the Ultimate Doom portion of these ports, in the level The Marshes.
  • It has a different appearance in the European and American versions of Final Doom for PlayStation.
  • In Doom RPG, it is found in a secret room in Ore Processing, supposedly a gift from one staff-member to another because said gifter could not get a gaming console. He describes the shotgun as "something less 'virtual'."
  • In the Saturn port, the super shotgun fires much faster than in other ports.
  • In Doom Classic the super shotgun appears on the weapons list as "dblshotgun", but it is not possible to get the super shotgun in the original Doom.


Damage done by an SSG attack
Shots needed to kill1,2 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
Romero's head3 2.00 0.00 2 2
Revenant 2.00 0.00 2 2
Cacodemon 2.22 0.41 2 3
Pain elemental 2.22 0.41 2 3
Hell knight 3.00 0.00 3 3
Arachnotron 3.00 0.00 3 3
Mancubus 3.19 0.39 3 4
Arch-vile 4.00 0.00 4 4
Baron of Hell 5.18 0.38 5 6
Spiderdemon 14.96 0.39 14 16
Cyberdemon 19.55 0.59 19 21

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and pellet 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. Assumes that target is close enough to be hit by every pellet. (This is extremely rare in real play, however, especially during speedruns.)
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics[edit]

In the IWADs the super shotgun is first encountered on these maps per skill level:

The IWADs contain the following numbers of super shotguns per skill level:

Other games[edit]

Quake Champions[edit]

In Quake Champions, a legendary skin for the game's double-barreled shotgun is available called "Boomstick," which gives the weapon a Doom II themed appearance. The icon for the weapon is a screenshot of Doom II MAP20: Gotcha!, and a picture of Doomguy is featured in the background.

See also[edit]


  1. Double-barreled shotgun at Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
Weapons from Doom and Doom II
Slot: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Fist Pistol Shotgun Chaingun Rocket launcher Plasma gun BFG9000
Chainsaw Super shotgun