Letter from Silent Heaven

There are a total of eight weapons to find in the main scenario of Silent Hill 2, but just six on your first playthrough. This includes three melee weapons and three firearms, all with differing power and handling, along with one extra melee weapon and one extra hybrid type of weapon.

Refer to the chart below to get a sense of how effective each weapon is on each enemy type. Refer to the legend below to understand all the designations. From a quick glance, you can see that the best firearms are generally the Handgun and Shotgun, while the best melee weapon is the Steel Pipe. View below for a description of each weapon in detail.

Weapon Chart WP HG SP SG HR GK C HS
Lying Figure E VE VE VE E E E E
Mannequin E VE VE VE E E E E
Bubble Head Nurse NE VE E VE E E NE E
Abstract Daddy NE NE NE VE E NE NE NE
Red Pyramid Thing NE E NE E VE E NE NE

WP - Wooden Plank / HG - Handgun / SP - Steel Pipe / SG - Shotgun / HR - Hunting Rifle / GK - Great Knife / C - Chainsaw* / HS - Hyper Spray*

VE - Very Effective
E - Effective
NE - Not Effective

* - Extra Weapon

Melee Weapons

These weapons are meant for hand combat and will never break. To use a melee weapon once equipped, approach your enemy, hold R2 to raise the weapon and press X to deliver a blow. The PS2 controller makes use of pressure-sensitive buttons. A regular X press or light hold will perform a standard attack while a tighter press or hold will deliver a more powerful attack. In other versions without pressure-sensitive buttons, these attacks are initiated by a regular press or a hold, respectively.

Wooden Plank

Description: "Wooden Plank with nails at one end. Not very powerful, but easy to use."

This is the first weapon James acquires and stands as the weakest in the entire game. It is a two-by-four plank of wood about three feet long with nails at one end. It is only usable at extremely close range and only inflicts fairly light damage. Keep a sharp eye for enemy reactions to avoid attacks while you're up close with them. Or better yet, try to approach enemies from behind to prevent any potential attack.

Hold R2 to ready the plank and press X to swing across. To perform a slightly more powerful overhead downward swing, press or hold X tightly instead. James will acquire the Wooden Plank in a brief cutscene inside the small tunnel construction site at the north end of Vachss Road in East South Vale, not far from the beginning of the game.

Steel Pipe

Description: "3-foot long steel pipe. Not very destructive, but good range."

A long shaft of bonded steel with reasonable power and long range for a melee weapon. The Steel Pipe is in every way better than the Wooden Plank, so immediately switch over upon acquiring it. Hold R2 to ready the pipe and press X to forward thrust. Press X tightly to invoke a more powerful overhead downward swing. A third attack is available only on Hard Action Level, which is a very quick over-shoulder swing that James can even do while walking. To perform this swing, hold R2 and Square, then press or hold X while moving or standing still.

James can find the Steep Pipe stuck in the hood of the running car at the Texxon Gas Station on Nathan Avenue in West South Vale, after leaving Rosewater Park.

Great Knife

Description: "Massive weapon wielded by Pyramid Head. Hard to use, but lethal."

During the earlier portion of the game, Pyramid Head will wield this enormous knife and can use it to inflict massive damage upon you. However you have the option to steal this from his lair in the Labyrinth later in the game. The Great Knife is an incredible large and heavy blade that is very slow and cumbersome to use, but delivers devastating power and can knock down and sometimes kill almost anything in one hit. However, due to its weight, James must drag it behind him while moving, making it fairly impractical beyond brief uses.

Ready the Great Knife with R2, then press X to swing it across rather clumsily. Press X tightly to perform an executioner-style overhead downward swing. This is the single most powerful attack that James can deliver (beyond the unlockable Green Hyper Spray), but it takes a fair amount of time to set up. Due to its slow speed, you may find it helpful to use the Hyper Spray (any colour) once it's unlocked to freeze enemies in place before attacking them this way.

The Great Knife can be found on the table in the center of Pyramid Head's lair inside the Labyrinth.


Description: "Gas-powered chainsaw. Extremely high attack power."

This weapon is unlocked upon completing the game the first time, upon which it can be found very early on in a New Game Plus. It's a bit hefty and hard to use, but it can deliver punishing blows and kill enemies in single hits. To start the thing up, hold R2, then press X to saw back and forth at head level. A tighter X press will instead perform a more powerful forward thrust attack. Despite the great power, it can be hard to use this thing cause it must be started up each time and James swings it fairly slowly, so do keep all this in mind when attacking enemies, and consider using the Hyper Spray to freeze enemies before trying, if having difficulty.

An interesting bonus feature of the Chainsaw is James' battle cry. Kill a few enemies with the Chainsaw and stand over an enemy corpse without touching any buttons on the controller and James will scream out soon enough. In a New Game Plus, the Chainsaw is available stabbed into the stacked logs across from the Silent Hill Ranch in East South Vale, shortly after the graveyard. You'll even hear it running before you arrive.

Hyper Spray

Description: "Suspicious spray can. Effect unknown."

James can only find this mysterious can of aerosol spray in a New Game Plus after unlocking it. The Hyper Spray is normally not necessarily a weapon, but rather freezes enemies in place, allowing them to be attacked with other methods. Enemies will be frozen for up to 10 seconds, giving you time to do whatever you want with them. Go ahead and try the Great Knife, or just run on by. You may notice James covers his mouth while using this thing, and that's because it's harmful and even slightly damages him each time it's used.

To use the Hyper Spray, hold R2 to ready it, then press or hold X to spray ahead. Most commonly coming in a white colour, the Hyper Spray can also be unlocked in three more colours, with green serving as the most lethal. With this colour, the Hyper Spray will immediately kill whatever it hits. To unlock the other sprays, you'll need to focus on improving (or worsening) your score in the Ranking screen at the end of the game. Visit the Unlockables and Secrets section to learn more about these colours and the 10-Star Ranking Guide on how to improve your ranking, including a more in-depth analysis of the spray and its colours at the very end.

The Hyper Spray can be unlocked after as few as one playthrough or as many as three. This includes beating the game once on Hard Action Level, beating it twice while at least once on Normal, or beating it three times on any difficulty. Once unlocked, in a New Game Plus it is found on the table inside the camper trailer on the south side of the Saul and Harris Street intersection in East South Vale. It can be obtained during daytime or nighttime.


Firearms are the meat and potatoes of Silent Hill 2 and more effective than melee weapons, but ammo is limited. Each firearm comes loaded with one full clip, and you'll need to collect ammo at a steady rate to keep using them. To use a firearm, hold R2 to aim it and press X to shoot. Holding X will fire continuously if the weapon allows it. If near an enemy, simply holding X will auto-target and shoot, but it's good to get in the habit of regularly using R2.

Additionally, firearms will be reloaded by James once the clip becomes empty, or you can pre-empt this by entering your inventory and reloading manually, saving game time. Each firearm is different in speed, power, and versatility, as described below in detail.


Description: "Full clip holds 10 bullets. Light handgun. Not much stopping power, but easy to use."

An M92F Beretta pistol that holds 10 bullets in each clip. Handgun Bullet pickups normally contain ten bullets and are found near everywhere so you'll be able to use this thing a lot, however I recommend building up a decent stock before you officially start using it. Hold R2 to aim and press X to fire a single shot. Hold X to fire continuously at your enemy.

In all honesty, the Handgun is the best overall weapon in the game, with great consistency, reliability and decent power. Therefore you should be using it more than anything else. The Handgun will be found in the shopping cart in room 301 of Wood Side Apartments. First, the Flashlight must be acquired so James can see and pick it up.


Description: "Maximum capacity 6 shots. Tough to use, but can attack opponents in a group."

A pump-action Shotgun with a wide blast radius. The Shotgun has a maximum capacity of six shells and must be pumped after each shot. Shell pickups normal contain six shells and are found at a fairly frequent rate, allowing to you use the Shotgun a moderate amount. Hold R2 to aim the Shotgun and press X to deliver a blast. Due to its power and manual pump, it has a fairly slow firing rate, but it'll knock down most enemies in one blast if close enough.

Touching on that, always get in close to deliver the most power, since the Shotgun has a wide blast radius that narrows the closer you are to your target. Be sure to stockpile Shotgun ammo for boss fights and tougher enemies, saving the Handgun for easier threats. James can find the Shotgun in the open locker inside the Women's Locker Room on the second floor of of Brookhaven Hospital.

Hunting Rifle

Description: "Maximum capacity 4 shots. Takes a long time between shots, but each shot is very powerful."

The Hunting Rifle is very precise and more suited for long range encounters. Further, it is very slow for James to lift, take aim and fire, so consider other options like the Shotgun or Handgun at closer range. The Rifle holds four bullets per clip while Rifle Shell pickups also contain just four bullets, plus they're quite scarce, so do use your Rifle ammo wisely. Consider saving the Rifle for boss encounters only, especially the final two at the end, since it's not very effective on regular enemies anyway despite its great power.

Hold R2 to aim the weapon and press X to shoot, with long gaps between shots for James to set his aim. The Hunting Rifle can be found sitting on the gun rack in the armoury room of the warden's office in Toluca Prison.

Born from a Wish

There are only two new weapons in this scenario but both are new to the game. Maria's journey is very much short enough that those two weapons will do you just fine, and you will leave Heaven's Night with both in-hand. Refer to the chart below for the effectiveness of each weapon on the three enemies in the scenario.

Weapon Chart Revolver Chinese Cleaver
Lying Figure VE E
Creeper VE NE
Mannequin VE E

VE - Very Effective
E - Effective
NE - Not Effective


Description: "Max load is 10 bullets. Easy to use but not much power."

The one and only firearm in the scenario but quite powerful and efficient, slightly more so than the Handgun in the main scenario. It also has the same capacity despite being a Revolver probably unlikely to hold more than six bullets, but we'll let it slide. Hold R2 to aim and press X to fire. Although you'll only start with one bullet in the chamber, you'll find quite a lot of ammo pickups so don't feel you have to conserve it. The Revolver is carried by Maria from the beginning of the scenario.

Chinese Cleaver

Description: "Square-bladed knife. Ugly, but powerful and easy to use."

The only melee weapon for Maria, this one is quite fun to use. It does have limited range due to its size, but it's still quite powerful for a melee weapon and has two attacks. Hold R2 to raise the Cleaver and press X for a sideways swipe, or press X tightly for a downward slice. Since you can run and swing at the same time, an incredible strategy with the Cleaver is to hold R2 to target an enemy and smack it as you continuously run around it, leaving it unprepared to deal with the drive-by smacking. The Chinese Cleaver can be found stabbed into the Heaven's Night bar at the beginning of the game and you won't be able to leave without it.