Zombie Hunter University, Fairview

Dr. Raglan's Scientific-Minimalist School of Dead Frontier Weapons, Builds & Boss-Hunting

The Scientific-Minimalist Guide to Dead Frontier Weapons: Grenade Launchers

Grenade Launchers are unique grinding weapons that require neither Strength nor Critical Hit and thus fit into almost any build. They do, however, demand Accuracy in order to aim bombs into the center of crowds, where they will do the most damage.

Grenade Launchers spread damage among the 15 closest zombies; there is no way to focus that damage on a single individual, so these weapons are effective only against crowds. They are mostly useless for Boss Hunting, unless the boss is surrounded by aggro.

Although grenades do stun their targets, the explosions provide no knockback, which makes Grenade Launchers poor defensive weapons.

Firing Speed ranges from Very Slow (once per second) to Slow (1.5 per second) to Average (twice per second). However, since each blast affects up to 15 zombies, the effect approximates that of a rapid-fire weapon: in a sense, a Grenade Launcher with Average Firing Speed is shooting 30 rounds per second (2 X 15 = 30).

Grenade Launchers are a good choice for third weapon, because they offer an effective mid-level option, the 40-proficiency HK69. Because students cannot equip three Elite Level weapons before reaching Level 50, it is a good idea to pick a third weapon that works well at lower proficiency.

Grenade Launchers have Average Accuracy, the same as pistols, but since explosives cannot target individuals, Reliable Aim (with 80 points) is used only to plant bombs near the center of a crowds, so that the concussion will not be wasted on empty air at the fringe of the horde. 

Reload speeds range from Very Slow to Slow to Fast, but Reloading requirements depend more upon ammunition capacity. Most Grenade Launchers hold only a few rounds, so Reloading is important. A few high-end Grenade Launchers hold ten or more rounds, which somewhat lessens the need for a large investment of points in Reloading.


In the following list of recommended Grenade Launchers, the numbers for Damage Per Hit and Damage Per Second mean something slightly different than students have seen elsewhere in this guide. In the case of other weapons, two numbers separate by a virgule (e.g., 7/35) represent the damage inflicted by a non-critical hit (the first number) and a critical hit (the second number). Grenade Launchers, however, are never critical.

In the case of Explosives, it helps to think of each grenade as a fragmentation device that splits into fifteen pieces: the five closest to the blast inflict maximum damage; the next five inflict half the maximum damage; and the final five inflict one-quarter of the maximum damage.

Consequently, a DPH of 36/315 indicates that the maximum damage from a single hit is 36; the total possible damage inflicted by all fifteen fragments of the grenade is 315.

Total possible damage can be reached only if there are fifteen "targets" (i.e., zombies) on screen. If not, the extra damage will be wasted.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2019The Damage Per Second rates listed below are "theoretical" - perhaps achievable in laboratory situations. On the streets of Fairview, actual however, DPS is lower, because weapons do not achieve their advertised firing rate in real-world situations. For example, a grenade launcher that fires "once per second" will actually fire 0.968 times per second. This difference is relatively insignificant; the loss of DPS multiplies with faster firing rates.



  • Proficiency: 40
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 1
  • DPH: 36/315
  • DPS: 36/315
  • DPC: 315

Skip the 20-proficiency M79 and go straight to the HK69. Both Grenade Launchers suffer from single-shot capacity, but the HK69 inflicts more Damage Per Hit than any other explosive device until the 120-proficiency Immolator AD.

The HK69 requires maximum Reloading to be effective; otherwise, the actual DPS falls short of the listed numbers. Students should note that even at maximum Reloading, the HK69 will not quite inflict 315 damage points per second, because the launcher fires not every second but every 1.25 seconds - that is, one second plus the quarter-second reload time. Nevertheless, the damage of the HK69 far exceeds that of any comparable 40-proficiency weapon.

Firing only once every 1.25 seconds will not stun zombies enough to keep students safe from counter attacks. Dodging skills are a necessity. Even better: Grenade Launchers are the only weapons that fire over walls; students are advised to find a safe space from which to lob grenades.

On the upside, pausing to reload allows the zombies to congregate, and to get the full DPH of explosives, it is necessary to have a street full of zombies near each blast. 

The HK69 provides excellent service in any of the areas around the first four outposts: Nastya's Holdout, Dogg's Stockade, Precinct 13, and Fort Pastor. Only in zones densely populated with more powerful zombies does its effectiveness decline.


After the HK69, subsequent Grenade Launchers are not worth the upgrade. All of them feature the same DPH (29/254) and firing rate (1/second) as the M79; their only advantage is larger ammo capacity, which is good for students with poor Reloading stats. Our advice: invest in Reloading, and stick with the HK69.



  • Proficiency: 100
  • Speed: 1.5/second
  • Clip Size: 6
  • DPH: 29/254
  • DPS: 43.5/381
  • DPC: 1522

The XM25 has the same DPH as the M79, but it delivers higher DPS because of its increased firing rate. Its ammo capacity is still low, but with 1522 damage points per clip, students should be able to thin out the herds before each reloading.

The other advantage of the XM25 is that, by firing grenades faster, it keeps zombies stunned, helping to compensate for the lack of knockback. Students with weak dodging skills will note the improvement over the HK 69.


The 110-proficiency PAW-20 (DPH: 26/227.5; DPS: 52/435) increases the stun factor by firing twice per second; however, the additional DPS from the faster firing rate tends to be wasted: unless students are in a maximum aggro situation, grenades will soon begin to fall on empty pavement. We do not recommend this weapon for undergraduate students in Fort Pastor; further east, in the Red, Black, and White Zones, where zombie population density is greater, the Paw-20 may be useful.

Immolator AD

  • Proficiency: 120
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 10
  • DPH: 59/516
  • DPS: 59/516
  • DPC: 516

Surpassing the HK 69 in Damage Per Hit, the Immolator AD is capable of felling most common zombies with a couple of shots. As with the HK69, the slow firing speed provides little stun, so this weapon is best used when firing from behind a fence of wall, waiting for zombies to accumulate so that all fifteen "hits" from each grenade have a target to strike.

With its very slow firing speed and ten rounds in the clip, the Immolator will fire continuously for ten seconds. This should be enough to allow shaving a few points off Reloading, but not too many.

Junker 6

  • Proficiency: 120
  • Speed: 1.5/second
  • Clip Size: 24
  • DPH 48/420
  • DPS: 72/630
  • DPC: 10,080

Its Damage Per Second may be overkill in the earlier stages of Dead Frontier, but in the Black Zones that 420 DPS comes in handy. Also noteworthy: its massive Damage Per Clip eliminates the need of a large investment of stat points in Reloading.


Corpse Erruptor (limited edition)

  • Proficiency: 110
  • Speed: 2/second
  • Clip Size: 20
  • DPH: 28/245
  • DPS: 56/490
  • DPC: 4,900

Requiring the same proficiency as the Paw-20, the limited-edition Corpse Eruptor is a fairly substantial improvement. The Damage Per Second is slightly higher; the larger clip size and the fast reloading speed are great for students with poor Reloading stats.

Is the Corpse Eruptor worth the extra expense? That depends. Students planning to swap out for a 120-proficiency Grenade Launcher as soon as possible should probably stick with the Paw. Those who prefer the stun afforded by the Average Firing Speed (twice per second) will find the Corpse Eruptor worthwhile (all higher proficiency Grenade Launchers have Slow or Very Slow Firing Speed).


Since it was superceded by the Junker 6, the limited-edition Bishop CE9 (120 proficiency) has dropped in price; for approximately the same cost as the Corpse Erruptor, it delivers more Damage Per Hit and More Damage Per Second, making it a good choice for students with 120-proficiency in Explosives but not quite enough money to purchase a Junker 6.

The other special Grenade Launchers are virtually unobtainable for under-graduates, either because the are Unique (the Dusk Launcher and the X-Dusk Launcher) or Limited Edition (the Boomer PX).

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