M79 grenade launcher
“A classic Vietnam era grenade launcher. Launches single high explosive grenades.” —Trader description
The M79 Grenade launcher, colloquially the M79, is a single-shot grenade launcher. Its firepower is the exact same as the M32 but it lacks in fire rate and reload speed. Furthermore, when using the M32, you carry more ammo. Therefore, keeping a back-up weapon is a good idea as it can be used to defend yourself at close range. The M79 is simply a cheaper and lighter option of the M32. Low level Demos should buy this first before saving for the M32 to stay efficient throughout the waves rather than using a weaker weapon like the pistol for earlier waves.
As with any explosive, anyone or anything that takes damage but lives through the explosion will burn with a small fire for a few seconds. This deals no damage, but can be useful for tracking invisible zeds such as the Patriarch and Stalkers without relying on a Commando.
There is also a "Golden M79" available in the "Golden Weapons" DLC. Its statistics are identical to the normal M79.
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- Use the M79 to thin out the oncoming horde; have pipe bombs scattered around so if too many specimens get close, none will get through. Also, use a melee weapon or a sidearm for those awkward times when specimens are too close for you to fire your launcher safely.
- If the player is carrying an M32 as well, rely on the M79 for groups of weaker enemies, or for softening groups up - save the M32's raw destructive power for the larger specimens such as the Fleshpound, and stick close and rely on your team for taking care of small threats up close.
- To kill bigger enemies, you can throw hand grenades on the ground near a target (known as stacking), and then hit it with an M79 or M32 to cause all of the grenades to explode simultaneously. M79 can kill a Fleshpound at high difficulty levels but it takes up to 4 grenades due to slow firing delay between reloads. It's possible to double stack grenades and detonate twice to kill a Fleshpound with well aimed M79 shots to its center mass from a distance but that also means waste of limited grenades when you could have use 2-3 with M32 shots.
- The M79 may be too weak to kill a Siren in one shot, but the explosive force does throw them around quite a bit. Keep this in mind, as a grenade that detonates behind the Siren means she's going to fly in your or teammate's face. Conversely, a detonation in front of the Siren will push her back but since she shuffles her feet always and has a spread on movement speed results may vary on your accuracy. A blunt shot into her face is also enough to decapitate her, since it does damage to the head. She can tank a direct bodyshot from any grenade launcher as early as Hard difficulty 5-player, Suicidal difficulty with 4-player and Hell on Earth difficulty with 2-player.
- M79 at the hands of a level 4+ Demolition has the capability of stunning a Husk or Gorefast from a direct bodyshot. While Husk can tank one direct bodyshot from any grenade launcher unless it's Beginner difficulty, any hard blunt impact is capable of stunning him. Gorefasts can tank a direct shot from any grenade launcher as early as Hard difficulty 6-player, Suicidal difficulty with 4-player and Hell on Earth difficulty with 3-player.
- Try not to use grenades on the Scrake, and instead signal your team and let them deal with it. While the M79 can kill the Scrake almost outright at lower difficulty levels, it can't do enough damage and taking 10 or more grenades on higher difficulties with high player counts. In theory, a level 3+ Demolition, can induce slow rage on Scrake with well placed headshot(s) from M79 to induce heavy flinch as they're about to enrage if they're quick enough but this comes with practice.
- Pairing the M79 with a Shotgun is a common and viable tactic for mid level Support Specialist. As Support Specialist have higher grenade capacity and blast damage just like Demolition Experts, M79 can serve as a device to set off stacked grenades. While it's slower than the usual melee or rifle flinches, close up shots can be used to induce mini flinch Scrakes for a finishing shot from a devastating Hunting shotgun blast as well.
- Respawning as a high level Demolition has its merits to ease access to the weapon.
- The M79's grenade is nearly impervious to the Siren's scream - very rarely will it detonate in mid-air. If one can get a clear shot, take it. The explosion may toss them around but a carefully landed shot to their upperbody at least will deny their scream for a brief moment.
- If a single or multiple weak targets are too close, aim at the floor/wall behind them. This will let you avoid most of the explosion's impact and shrapnels will be pillowed by weak targets.
- As an off-perk weapon Berserker can carry it easily without having to worry about blast damage as Berserkers can resist blasts like everything else pretty well without any repercussions as well. Berserker always can use a weapon to blast away fast targets such as Crawlers or slow down Gorefasts but one has to be mindful about where they aim to not enrage any big targets and spawn rates from scores kills in chunks.
- When reloading the M79 grenade launcher remember to switch weapons. This can be done after half of the actual time, allowing you to act during reload.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Excellent for crowd-control;
- Does not need to hit the target to detonate; this allows you to shoot at the actual centre of a group;
- High damage and large blast radius;
- Will not detonate on impact at extremely short range, for the operator's safety, but will still do some blunt damage on target;
- Light compared to other high damage weapons such as the Hunting shotgun or Crossbow;
- Sets off big stacks of grenades;
- Capable of flinching Scrakes offperk and heavy flinch onperk;
- Can stun Husks with bodyshots onperk;
- Fleshpounds have weakness against explosives;
- Whiffing blast damage silences Sirens momentarily.
- Needs to be shot from a safe distance;
- Explosions create smoke clouds;
- Ineffective to kill any big target alone;
- At high difficulties with high player count, damage is not enough to dispatch a Fleshpound;
- Single shot weapon with uninterruptible reload;
- Slow reload nullifying its high burst when spread on damage per second;
- Allies can block the grenade, usually either wasting the grenade or causing damage to the operator; (Fixed in update)
- Blind shot explosives can easily enrage a big target right around the corner or behind the thick smoke;
- Blasts can catapult Sirens at unintended positions;
- Slower reload for individual shells than the M32;
- Shooting it at Husk fire or friendly Firebug's flame trajectory damages the user.
Bugs and exploits
- The achievement Blooper Reel may not accumulate scores when playing online. This can be remedied by playing the Solo mode to get the kills to acquire this achievement.
- Blooper Reel also can be done with M32.
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