Refer to the chart and its legend below for a quick overview on what's most effective versus each enemies. As you can see, the Submachine Gun and Shotgun are the most effective weapons available. Refer to detailed descriptions of each below.

Weapon Chart K HG SP SG M KA STG SMG
Numb Body E VE VE VE E VE N/A N/A
Double Head NE VE E VE NE VE VE VE
Insane Cancer NE NE NE VE E E E VE
Nurse Demon NE E NE VE E E NE VE

K - Knife / HG - Handgun / SP - Steel Pipe / SG - Shotgun / M - Maul / KA - Katana / STG - Stun Gun / SMG - Submachine Gun

VE - Very Effective
E - Effective
NE - Not Effective
N/A - Not Applicable

Melee Weapons

These weapons do not require ammunition (with the exception of the Stun Gun) and will never break. Since ammo is scarce, it's important to master your melee arsenal. Most melee weapons consist of a standard overshoulder swing (R2 + X press), an overhead downward swing (R2 + X hold), and sometimes a thrust (R2 + forward movement + X hold). Note that unlike Silent Hill 2, how tightly you press X does not dictate your attack, but rather if you're pressing or holding it. Refer to each weapon below for its specific attacks.


Description: "It's a switchblade for self-defense. Better with than without it against those monsters."

The Knife easily earns the worst weapon of the game award and is truly a disaster to use unless you're highly skilled, but even then it requires a lot of work. Since it's so small it can only be used at extremely close range, and it's very weak so you'll need to regularly avoid enemy attacks while fighting with it. To do this, sidestep around enemies with L1 and R1 while attacking them. This can actually work fairly well on Numb Bodies, and somewhat on Double Heads but that's about it. Honestly, if your only weapon choice is the Knife, it's probably better just to run.

To use the Knife, hold R2 and press X to deliver a regular swing, or hold X to perform a quick thrust attack. Don't expect to kill many enemies with this pathetic weapon; you should be happy if you manage even a single kill with it. This weapon is held by Heather from the start of the game, both in her nightmare and in the mall.

Steel Pipe

Description: "A steel pipe, about 3 feet long. Not very powerful, but not hard to use."

A very familiar weapon if you've played any other Silent Hill game, the Steel Pipe is very effective early weapon with decent power, range and a versatile move set. It is best used against Double Heads, Numb Bodies, and can even take down Closers as long as you stay on the move and circle around them.

Hold R2 and hit X to perform an overshoulder swing, or press it a few times for a series of swings. Hold X for a more powerful overhead downward swing and hold forward while holding X for a thrust attack. You'll find the Steel Pipe in the Café Turn Mill Restaurant on 2F of the Nightmare Mall, very hard to miss while attached to a steaming pipe that you have to pass by. It should immediately become your primary weapon upon acquiring since the Knife is near useless and you'll want to save Handgun ammo.


Description: "Like a big round pointy hammer. It's super heavy, but at least it's got some oomph."

A very powerful weapon but awkward to use. The Maul can be great on Closers as long as you avoid their slow attacks, but it's generally too slow for smaller, faster enemies and will regularly bounce off walls in narrow corridors.

Hold R2 and press X to swing it across, or hold X to perform a powerful overhead downward swing, although quite slow. The Maul is found on the tipped over locker in the first actual room in the Underpass beside the map, on the upper level. Despite being found here, it's not a great place to use it since there's so many narrow hallways that it can collide with.


Description: "This is a short katana, about 2 ft. long. Pretty powerful and easy to handle."

Easily the best melee weapon in the game, delivering solid power, range and a quality move set. It essentially makes every other melee weapon obsolete upon acquiring midway through the game and is very effective against most standard enemies and the final two bosses, although firearms are still safer for the bigger and faster enemies like Slurpers, Insane Cancers and so on.

Hold R2 and press X to do an overshoulder swing, or multiple presses for a series of swings. Hold X for a more powerful overhead downward slice, or hold forward while holding X to deliver a thrust. The Katana is a super important weapon you can pick up from the shelf in the Gallery of Fine Arts storage room in the northeast corridor of 5F inside the Hilltop Center. Do not miss it.

Stun Gun

Description: "High voltage to zap the bad guys. It has to touch 'em, though, so it's very short-range."

Given to Heather by her father for self-defense, the Stun Gun packs a fair bit of power but it can only be used from extremely close range and requires batteries for ammunition. A battery holds enough charge for just four shocks so use them wisely.

Hold R2 to raise the Stun Gun and press X to unleash the high-voltage current into a nearby enemy. Since it requires batteries, you must reload it when empty. Despite it technically shooting an electric projectile, this is considered a melee weapon due to its short range and it isn't really a firearm either. The Stun Gun isn't found until around halfway through the game where it is available in the open top drawer of Heather's bedroom dresser in Daisy Villa Apartments.


Ammo is a lot scarcer in Silent Hill 3 so you'll likely find yourself relying on firearms a bit less, but each gun is very effective as long as you have ammo for it. All behaving quite differently, hold R2 to ready and use X to fire. Always reload in your inventory during combat, or use the new in-game reload function by equipping the right ammo and pressing R3, but only away from enemies.


Description: "Holds 10 rounds of ammunition. Small and not powerful, but easy to use."

Likely to be your most commonly-used weapon, the Handgun doesn't offer too much stopping power but it can be used from medium range safely away from enemies, holds 10 bullets and there's a fair bit of ammo for it. It'll usually drop enemies in around 5-10 bullets and can additionally be equipped with the Silencer to be hide the muzzle flash and dramatically reduce its volume, although it will also slightly weaken your bullets.

Hold R2 and press X to fire the Handgun, holding X to continuously fire bullets until your enemy drops. A very wise strategy is to back up while firing if an enemy is approaching you, or to sidestep while firing or even approach certain enemies to be in a good position to quickly kick when they drop. The Handgun is an unmissable weapon found very early in the game in a cutscene inside the women's clothing store on the first floor of Central Square Shopping Center.


Description: "Holds 6 rounds of ammunition. It's hard to handle, but has great range."

Another series mainstay, the Shotgun offers the most powerful punch you can offer in one go. Although it's a little slow to use, it holds six shells and has a wide blast radius (although narrower than SH2) with a lot of power, best used on bigger, tougher enemies. Using the Shotgun is as simple as holding R2 and blasting with X. Be careful not to position yourself in a bad spot to get hit after your shot due to its slow handling speed, although most standard enemies may drop in a single shot.

The Shotgun is found inside a gift box in the abandoned open subway car at the south of Platform 2 in Hazel Street Subway Station.

Submachine Gun

Description: "Holds 32 rounds of ammunition. Great for its continuous firing."

The first ever fully-automatic weapon to appear in the Silent Hill series, the Submachine Gun doesn't pack a ton of power in each bullet but its rapid fire makes it a deadly threat. Sadly, you won't get much ammo at all for the thing, otherwise it might make the game a bit too easy. Therefore I'd recommend saving all its ammo for bosses where it'll be most useful, but if you wish to use it wherever that's fine too cause you'll only get a few clips for it anyway.

To use the SMG, hold R2 and X to continuously fire, or wisely use your ammo in shorter bursts to stay on top of it and not waste anything. Use the left analog stick to aim up, down, left and right as needed. Because of this aim control you cannot walk while aiming. Additionally you can equip the Silencer to attach it to the gun and be more discreet but at a small cost of power. The Submachine Gun is located by the elevator in the basement hallway of Brookhaven Hospital.

Extra Weapons

A total of five extra weapons can be unlocked, plus an additional special extra weapon, all only in an Extra New Game. Refer to the Unlockables and Secrets section for more details.

Other Combat Items

In addition to weapons there are a few more items that will help you during combat.

Bulletproof Vest

Description: "It's heavy under a jacket, but it should protect against a monster's attacks."
Examine: "The only problem is it's heavy and harder to move, so I'll run slower."

Not only providing protection against bullets, the Bulletproof Vest will reduce damage taken from standard attacks by about 15%. Blocking attacks with the vest will prevent all damage entirely, except for heavy and unblockable attacks. The tradeoff however, is that the vest is heavy and will really slow Heather down, limiting her to a slow jog and removing the ability to strafe (leaving sidestepping as the only side option). So it's more effective in tighter hallways during combat rather than when you expect to be moving around a lot.

Either way, it's entirely the call of the player to decide to use it since there are pros and cons. But it'll likely be very helpful when engaging in melee combat, general close-quarters fighting, and even more effective when combined with blocking. The Bulletproof Vest is found on the far clothing rack in the clothing store in the north 1F hall of the Nightmare Mall.


Description: "Put it on a handgun or submachine gun to muffle the blasts."
Examine: "Less noise means it's harder for the enemy to find me. It seems to be a little weaker though."

A first in the series, the Silencer can be attached to the Handgun or Submachine Gun to reduce its noise volume and hide the muzzle flash. This will allow you to be more discreet in hallways with multiple enemies, or prevent the Missionary or Scrapers from blocking your bullets. To use the Silencer, equip it while using the Handgun or Submachine Gun and it'll automatically attach. When you switch back and forth between these two guns, the Silencer will remain attached as long as it's equipped.

The Silencer is found on the fifth floor of the Construction Site, hidden in the newly-plastered wall across from the hole in the floor. Use a melee weapon to break it open and grab it.


Description: "This stuff smells a little strange."

An odd item that when equipped will spawn and attract more enemies to your location. Therefore it should normally never be used, but it can prove helpful when trying to kill lots of enemies, such as going for the Possessed ending (where even damage helps as well) or even a 10-star ranking. The Perfume is found in the open locker of the Women's Locker Room in Brookhaven Hospital.