In this FAQ, we'll detail the different frame, tool, tip, and attachment types that combine to form your arsenal in Dead Space 3. At the bottom, you'll find a few of our favorite combinations.
Compact Standard Frame
Heavy Standard Frame
Compact Elite Frame
Heavy Elite Frame
Compact EarthGov Frame: A compact frame with built-in upgrades.
Heavy SCAF Frame: A heavy frame with built-in upgrades.
Weller's Compact Frame: A compact, upper tool-only frame with built in upgrades.
Hammond's Heavy Frame: A heavy, upper tool-only frame with built in upgrades.
Military Engine: fires bullets
Tesla Core: Engine built for high-current electric welding
Plasma Core: A cutting tool that fires ionized plasma fuel
Survey Charge: A seismic tool that fires explosive canisters
Pneumatic Torch: An incendiary device fueled by compressed gas.
Rip Core: A short range suspended blade tool.
Telemetry Spike: A mining tool that fires tempered alloy bolts
Hydraulic Engine: A melee tool that amplifies the user's physical force.
Compressor: This creates a more condensed and powerful projectile with the given engine. (a military engine on a compact frames turns into a high-powered revolver.
Repeater: This tip combines with an engine to create a rapid fire weapon
Precision Tip: This creates a high-powered, accurate weapon when combined with certain engines
Rail Accelerator: This tip combines with engines to form a rapid-fire spray weapon with high damage.
Directed Suspension Field: This combines with an engine to create a weapon with high distance and damage
Conic Dispersal: this combines with an engine to create a spread-shot. When used with the military engine, this forms a shotgun
Diffraction Torus: This turns the weapon engine into an area-of-effect weapon. When combined with a Plasma weapon for example, this can be applied to the ground to knock enemies back.
Directed Ejection Field: you'll use this tip if you want to recreate Dead Space 2's seeker rifle, as this tip slows a weapon, but produces high accuracy and extreme damage.
Scope: for long-range aiming
Flame Glaze: projectiles inflict minor fire damage
Ammo Box: automatically reloads your weapon after an empty clip
Ammo Sweeper: automatically collects ammo from around the environment
Stasis Amplifier: stasis has a larger radius of effect
Explosion Amplifier: explosions have a larger radius of effect
Acid Bath: projectiles are coated with acid that does damage over time
Stasis Coat: shots that land on an enemy also inflict a minor amount of stasis
Safety Guard: prevents splash damage on the user from explosive weaponry
full zoom scope: allows advanced, long-range aiming
Electric Charge: Adds charge to projectiles so that they do a minor amount of electric damage
Medic Support: health packs consumed by self also heal your co-op partner
Ammo Support: Increased clip size for both you and your partner
Damage Support: both you and your co-op partner do more weapon damage
Stasis Support: stasis packs recharge both you and your co-op partner's stasis module
These can only be found by replaying and completing objectives again. The rewards are well worth it though as they boost certain aspects of your weaponry.
Note: these are just suggestions and your own play style will likely determine your favorite guns. Also note that heavy and compact frames can produce different types of weapons. Finally, remember that accessory attachments affect the entire weapon, not just the upper or lower tools they may be attached to. These recipes follow this structure:
Frame > Upper Tool > Upper Tool Tip > Lower Tool > Lower Tool Tip > Accessory 1 > Accessory 2
Hammond's Heavy Frame > Telemetry Spike > Diffraction Torus > None > None > Acid Bath > Stasis Amplifier
This acid-damage enhanced minigun also boosts your Stasis ability, meaning you can halt enemies in mid-gate, neatly perforate their limbs and walk past them before their body falls to the ground in pieces.
Compact Elite Frame > Military Engine > Default Tip > Hydraulic Engine > Default Tip > Ammo Box > Medic Support
This gun is great as a secondary weapon, and also allows for a lot of power early in your campaign playthrough. The default-tip military engine can easily dismember monsters, but any that get too close will feel the fury as you slice and dice them with the Hydraulic Engine secondary fire. Using a Compact Frame means that you have increased mobility with your bayonet-equipped uzi. The Ammo Box means you can keep slicing and dicing, even after you've used up a clip. Medic Support is in this recipe just so you get along with your co-op partner.
Heavy Standard Frame > Tesla Core > Direct Suspension Field > Plasma Core > Diffraction Torus > Stasis Amplifier > Ammo Box
This weapon is all about knocking enemies down once and never having to worry that they'll get back up. The Directed Suspension Field means that the electrified bolo stick to the surface you shoot at. Laying one on the ground is already a huge threat for pursuing Necromorphs, but using the plasma core's diffraction torus gives you a weapon that's extremely effective at knocking down groups of necromorphs at a time. Once they're on the ground, stick a bolo next to them and watch the limbs fall off.
If you're still looking for inspiration, check out the blueprints in-game as those recipes come straight from the source: the developers at Visceral Games.