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Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader

Heavy Bolter: Tricks, Tips, and Locations

Craig Robinson

The "Heavy Bolter" iconHeavy Bolter is one of many weapon types in Rogue Trader, offering players a choice of a heavy weapon that can dish out some serious firepower. Many players are running it, including our own Argenta build, and is something that players should consider running in their playthrough to unleash plentiful damage against a boss or multiple targets in a funneled location. In this guide, we go over how to get a Heavy Bolter in Rogue Trader, alongside useful tips and tricks on using the weapon.

How to get a Heavy Bolter in Rogue Trader

Heavy Bolters are among the best weapons to create builds in Rogue Trader. Here’s why.

To get your hands on a Heavy Bolter, there are two locations you can find them. One is by purchasing it from the Drussians trader in Chapter 2, while another is to kill the Chaos Space Marine at the end of Chapter 1. It is important to note that the Chaos version requires the player to be a level 2 Heretic, while the one purchased from the Drussians simply requires you to have the Profit Factor and Reputation with the Drussians to use. Both will also need a strength score of 60, or 35 if you are running Heavy Weapon Proficiency.

Once you have the Heavy Bolter, equip it on the target you wish to use it with.

Tips for using the Heavy Bolter in Rogue Trader

Okay, it is important to note that the Heavy Bolter in Rogue Trader is an amazing weapon. Its damage on the weapon sheet says it only deals between 3-8 damage per round, but that couldn’t be any further than the truth, with the weapon scaling from "Ballistic Skill" iconBallistic Skill, effective fire range, damage and gear modifiers, talent modifiers and deflection reduction. It is very easy to dish out several hundred damage per round using a Heavy Bolter.

The first thing to note is that the Heavy Bolter is a weapon that requires two key talents to work. One is the "Rapid Fire" iconRapid Fire skill, and the other is "Bullet Hell" iconBullet Hell. Rapid Fire doubles the number of rounds a weapon can fire using a Burst Fire attack. For the Heavy Bolter, it means its Burst Fire moves from eight to 16 rounds per attack. In addition, Bullet Hell removes the damage penalty for using Rapid Fire, so you can go back to dishing out the dakka on the attacka. You can also combo this with items that increase your Rapid Fire count, such as the "Gloves of Rapid Desolation" iconGloves of Rapid Desolation if you want to use them.


The other major thing you need to know is that the Heavy Bolter is affected by a mechanic known as Recoil. Recoil is an important part of the game, as it affects the accuracy of any other bolt after the first round is fired from a Burst Fire. It means that you’ll likely find many other of your rounds missing after the first few. So, it is important to always have debuffs to an enemy’s dodge chance, improve your recoil, and increase your ballistic skill.

There are a few ways you can do this. One is using tools like "Pasqal" iconPasqal’s "Machine Spirit Communion" iconMachine Spirit Communion ability. Any Pasqal build running "Intelligence" iconIntelligence will greatly assist in predicting a burst fire attack. In addition, there’s also some boots you can get called the "Recoil Warboots" iconRecoil Warboots, which offers a -15% reduction to Recoil if you wish to use them. There’s also the "Recoil Gloves" iconRecoil Gloves for another 50% reduction to Recoil. An Operative on "Expose Weakness" iconExpose Weakness duty can also lower an enemy’s dodge, and thus make it more likely your rounds land. These are all tricks you can use to ensure your burst fire accuracy on your Heavy Bolter lands as often as possible.

Heavy Bolter Damage Tips - Rogue Trader

By setting up a party composition and build to get your Burst Fire and Heavy Bolter combo going, you will need to increase the damage it can deal. Once again, there are a few key Soldier talents here, like the "Fired Up" iconFired Up skill. This talent will increase your crit damage by 1% every time you deal damage. You can get upwards of +24% crit damage in a single turn if you can land all your shots and use "Run and Gun" iconRun and Gun. You can also get another potential eight by receiving "Bring it Down!" iconBring it Down!

In addition, the Arch-Militant Archetype can get a talent called the "Confident Approach" iconConfident Approach. This allows all attacks you do while the skill is active to guarantee critical hits. When you have ramped your Fired Up stacks, your crit damage will ascend to new heights, offering some very strong late combat round damage potential. But, once you get your Ballistic Skill high enough, and gear that improves your crit strike chances through other builds and accessories, you likely won’t need this as every other round will crit and increase your damage ceiling exponentially. You can even get "Bolt Weapon Expert" iconBolt Weapon Expert and get better synergy with the armor penetration for your Bolts so you can deal more damage to armored foes.

You can have your Heavy Bolter user benefit from Exemplar talents like Eager Subordinates for an additional 15% damage. So, get those extra turns to your Heavy Bolter user, and have them fire their burst fire several times within a turn window once all Dodge and Recoil buffs and debuffs have gone out. You’ll find that stacking all of these types of buffs and using this tactic will allow this build and playstyle to carry your fights in all difficulties.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Owlcat Games
  • Platforms,
    PS5, Steam, XB X|S
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    23 November 2023
  • Last Updated
    16 June 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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In the grim dark future of the 41st millennium, there is only war. The Imperium of Man, ruled by God-Emperor of Mankind from atop his Golden Throne, is a vast interstellar empire with countless armies. Despite the Imperium’s apparent strength, however, its enemies are even more numerous and threats to mankind both surround the Imperium and gnaw at it from within. Where the constantly strained military might of the Imperium can’t reach, humanity must find other champions, and blessed with holy Warrants of Trade, Rogue Traders have almost unlimited authority to operate in the unconquered reaches of the galaxy beyond the Imperium’s direct influence. After unexpectedly inheriting the title of Rogue Trader von Valancius, you’ll have to secure your holdings in the Koronus Expanse, establish and develop new colonies, investigate the conspiracy that led to your ascension and fend off threats, internal and externals, humans, xenos and worse…

This guide will provide the following information:

  • Tips and info about various gameplay mechanics, including injuries and trauma, veil degradation, momentum, resolve, heroic acts, weapon types and space exploration.
  • Recruitment guides and builds for every companion in the game.
  • Walkthroughs for main quests, boss battle strategies and the effects your choices have.
  • Complete chapter overviews.
  • Best weapons lists for each chapter.
  • Guides for optional dungeons, side quests, errands and solutions to puzzles.
  • Colony guides, including colony projects and their rewards.
  • A vast database of weapons, armor, accessories, abilities, talents and more!

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