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The various shotguns (and Scattergun) of TF2. I always like the stock Shotgun for most cases, although I really like the Widowmaker in MvM. I just wish I am as good with it in regular gameplay.

The shotgun is the best FPS weapon for me.

My aim really sucks, so sniper rifles and assault rifles are right out. I also like getting up close and personal with people, which means I should stay away from explosives if I want to stay alive and in one piece. Anything that hampers mobility irks me, so I will not be using a minigun or a light machine gun. And I really, really dislike having sustained damage when burst damage is an option, so no SMGs for me. Thus, the shotgun is the only option left for me that isn’t a sidearm or a melee weapon. Unless you count the flamethrower, which is just not as common as any of the options mentioned above for some reason.

Painkiller’s Shotgun/Freezer. Secondary fire does zero damage, but it freezes enemies in place for you to run up to them and shoot their faces off.

The shotgun is great for me because I like charging in aggressively and taking people out with one good shot. Its close range effectiveness and high bursts of damage complements the almost reckless way I play. It’s s good for the “Dance of Death” method I use in games where I strafe past enemies and fill the sides of their bodies with lead just as they pass by me. Either that, or I’ll use it while flanking the enemy, silently approaching until I can see the hairs on the back of their neck, and shoot. Then I’ll quickly finish off anyone nearby and run off cackling before backup arrives. It’s kind of like being a cheetah stalking prey, except that instead of claws I have a shotgun.

l4d2 shotgun
My primary firearm of choice in L4D2. To be honest, I choose this over the Tactical Shotgun because I like its look better.

Of course, the shotgun has its downsides. For one, its performance is pathetic at long ranges. I suppose my unending hatred against snipers partially stemmed from them being the perfect counter to my shotgun-wielding self, and also from me just being too poor a marksman to snipe back. Secondly, for some reason games almost always have the player character reload shotguns shell by shell, meaning that there’s a long downtime between each clip. I have no idea why that is necessary, because I refuse to believe that shotgun ammunition magazines don’t exist, and I am right. Why do assault rifle players get to just reload with a single magazine after spraying away at least 30 shots, and I need to reload each and every shell one by one after shooting a measly 6 to 10 times? The general exception to this are double-barreled shotguns, which you reload after every shot (or two) instead with one swift motion.

The 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun and the Double Barrel Coach Gun from Serious Sam 3. My #1 tools for Firearms Bullfighting.

Thus, as conventional firearms in FPS games go, the shotgun is my main weapon of choice. I get that I’m just going to be obliterated against a sniper being armed with this, but he’ll stop laughing when he feels me breathing down his neck.

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