Should you buy the Bolt Thrower in Resident Evil 4 Remake?

Resident Evil 4 bolt thrower rifle remake
(Image credit: Capcom)

Buying the Resident Evil 4 Bolt Thrower or Rifle is a choice you make in the Remake when the Bolt Thrower and SR M1903 are both sold by the Merchant's shop, but probably don't have the money for both. They're very different Resident Evil 4 weapons for very different purposes and it won't be long before you have the Pesetas to buy both of them, but to start off with, we definitely recommend buying the rifle first, as it's the superior weapon and descriptions of the Bolt Thrower can be a little misleading. We'll explain why in our guide on whether you should buy the RE4 Remake Rifle or Bolt Thrower first.

Should you buy the Bolt Thrower in Resident Evil 4 or the rifle?

Resident Evil 4 bolt thrower at the merchant

(Image credit: Capcom)

The Bolt Thrower's big advantage in Resident Evil 4 is ammo retrieval, where the bolts you fire can be picked up afterwards and reused, but the problem is it's just not very good, so you have theoretically infinite use… of one of the game's worst weapons. Woo.

The bolts also drop off sharply, making aiming difficult (especially in the heat of combat), they do low damage when they do hit, and being "quiet" doesn't really matter when stealth is rarely an option. Or even if it is, the bolt then sticks in the zombies head, fails to kill it, and you get spotted anyway. Later on you can shoot mines that do a lot more damage, but these are costly to craft and destroy the bolts they're attached to, getting rid of pretty much the only advantage.

The Resident Evil 4 rifle is better than the boil thrower

(Image credit: Capcom)

For that reason we suggest buying the SR M1903 Sniper Rifle first in the  Resident Evil 4 Remake, as well as the associated scope if you can afford it. Both guns have their advantages but in the Bolt Thrower's case, there aren't very many. The rifle is deadly at long range and does high damage that escalates to triple damage when you hit an enemy weak point, such as a headshot or exposed parasite, making it great for distant enemies and certain boss fights. It can also be equipped with various scopes you find across the game, altering its functionality, and while it can eventually be supplanted by the superior Stingray rifle, that's not for a long time.

You can buy the Bolt Thrower later if you want to test it out when money is more plentiful, but when you first encounter it, we definitely suggest going for the Rifle first. Especially considering the next area past the merchant allows for some easy headshots.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.