RE4 Remake: Skull Shaker VS W-870 [Comparison]

Is it the W-870 or the Skull Shaker that is crowned the best shotgun in RE4 Remake.

Skull Shaker vs W-870 is a hot topic among shotgun comparisons in RE4 as both of these weapons are obtained as your starting shotguns one way or the other in Resident Evil 4 Remake. There are pros and cons to using both guns, but one is definitely better than the other.

Key Takeaways
  • Resident Evil 4 Remake offers two starting shotguns: W-870 and Skull Shaker.
  • W-870 excels in damage and power with a larger ammo capacity.
  • Skull Shaker boasts a faster reload speed and rate of fire, suitable for dealing with groups of enemies.
  • Personal preference plays a role in choosing between the two shotguns.
  • The W-870 is acquired in the first village area, while the Skull Shaker is part of the deluxe edition.
  • Both shotguns can be upgraded up to level 5 at the merchant, showcasing their full potential when fully upgraded.
  • Why Trust Us: Irfan Ansari has spent 20+ hours on Resident Evil 4 which makes him highly trustable!
Important: Make sure that you have purchased the Deluxe Edition of the Resident Evil 4 Remake if you want to use the Skull Shaker.

Here’s a summarized overview of the comparison between Skull Shaker and W-870:

AttributeLevelsSkull ShakerW-870
Power 15.45.6
Ammo Capacity 12.05.0
Reload Speed 11.01.0
Rate of Fire 10.490.45
Precision-Less precise spreadBetter precision
Inventory Space-Takes less spaceTakes more space
Availability-Deluxe edition onlyFirst village area

Skull Shaker VS W-870

Skull Shaker VS W-870 In RE4 Remake (Image Captured by Us)

Each gun has various different stats in the game, including power, ammo capacity, reload speed, rate of fire, and precision. These stats can also be upgraded up to level 5 in the game, where the weapons shine at their true potential. Additionally, you can also unlock special perks for both of the weapons as well.

You can also compare weapons based on the space that they take up in your inventory since we are playing a survival-horror game, and inventory management is key. All of these stats will be compared for both of the guns to find out which is the better shotgun of the two.


1 5.4 5.6
2 6.32 6.72
3 7.24 7.84
4 8.15 8.96
5 9.07 10.1

The in-game stat comparison already suggests that the W-870 is stronger than the Skull Shaker in terms of power at every upgrade level. You will basically have a better chance of one-shotting Ganados and Plagas early on in Resident Evil 4 Remake if you use the W-870.

  • Although both shotguns are still heavy hitters, that slight advantage of power will make the W-870 much more useful during the early game.
  • And even after the upgrades, you’d want to stick with the W-870 since it excels at pure base damage.

Ammo Capacity

1 2 5
2 3 6
3 4 7
4 5 8
5 6 10

Again, the W-870 has the Skull Shaker beat in yet another stat in the game. Having a magazine size of 5 as compared to 2 in the early game and 10 as compared to 6 after getting maximum upgrades makes a huge difference in Resident Evil 4 Remake.

  • You want to reload a shotgun as less as possible during fights as most of the action in RE4 is fast-paced, and shotguns take a while to fully reload.
  • The W-870 easily wins this battle of ammo capacity and is the better option of the two shotguns so far.

Reload Speed

1 1 1
2 2 2
3 3 3
4 4 4
5 6 5

The above stats show the number of rounds of ammo that Leon can reload in a weapon in a single animation. And this is the first category where the Skull Shaker takes the crown. You can reload the whole upgraded magazine of the Skull Shaker more swiftly.

  • Having a smaller magazine size is compensated with a faster reload speed, and that is exactly what’s happening with the Skull Shaker.
  • It really comes down to personal preference if you want a bigger ammo capacity or faster reload speed in the game.

Rate Of Fire

1 0.49 0.45
2 0.56 0.51
3 0.66 0.56
4 0.79 0.63
5 0.96 0.85

Skull Shaker is better than the W-870 in terms of speed, as is evident from the much better rate of fire at both base level and maximum level after upgrades.

  • The faster rate of fire means that you will be quicker in dealing with enemy attacks, and your shots will be more responsive with the better rate of fire in the Skull Shaker.


The W-870 has much better precision than the Skull Shaker, even though it has a bigger spread than the Riot Gun and Striker Shotgun. The Skull Shaker manages to be more inaccurate than the W-870, which already has a big spread additionally.

  • You will be able to deal more damage on a single target with the better precision of the W-870 as compared with the Skull Shaker, where damage will be more spread out.

Inventory Space

guns in the game
Inventory Space Occupied By W-870 And Skull Shaker (Image Captured by eXputer)

As you can see in the image above, the Skull Shaker takes considerably less space in your inventory as compared with the W-870. That is actually really helpful in the early game when you have a small attache case and want to carry a shotgun with you without having to sacrifice a lot of space.

Which One Should You Go For?

re4 remake skull shaker vs w870
Leon Using The W-870 And Skull Shaker (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

Everything really depends on what you’re looking for in a shotgun, and it mostly comes down to personal preference. However, considering the stats, the W-870 is the clear winner here and is the better shotgun of the two additionally.

However, if you prefer a faster shotgun that takes up less space in your inventory, then you should go for the Skull Shaker. This weapon also has a really unique reload animation that adds style to Leon’s combat in the game.

Lastly, if you’re looking for pure damage in a shotgun, then the W-870 is the obvious choice, and it comes with a bigger ammo capacity to boot additionally.

How To Get W-870

The W-870 is obtained when you arrive in the big village area for the first time, and that happens in the first 10-15 minutes of the game as it is part of the tutorial section. In that village, you will come across the shotgun in one of the houses. The game actually leads you here, so you won’t miss it.

How To Get Skull Shaker

The Skull Shaker is actually a weapon exclusive to the deluxe edition of the game, which is ten dollars more expensive than the standard edition. If you have purchased the deluxe edition, then the weapon will be present in your storage as soon as you boot up the game, and you can actually add it to your inventory at any of the typewriters additionally.


Resident Evil 4 Remake is a fun action game with survival horror elements. You go on an adventure to save the President’s daughter, but the mission leads you to fight ganados with the weapons of your choice. There is a huge catalog of weapons to destroy the ganados, and it includes Broken Butterfly, Blacktail, LE 5, Matilda, Bolt Thrower, and Red9. You can choose between shotguns, pistols, magnums, and sniper rifles!

This concludes our guide on the Skull Shaker vs W-870 Comparison in RE4, where we discussed which shotgun is the best for you in Resident Evil 4 Remake. We have explained the stats of each weapon in complete detail and have compared the stats of both weapons additionally. The method of obtaining these weapons has also been mentioned. We hope that the guide was helpful in learning about the best shotgun. Let us know what you think about Resident Evil 4 Remake in the comments below!


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Irfan Ansari is a Senior Editor and Guides Writer on eXputer. He has seven years of Video Game Journalism experience and has been gaming for more than 22 years. Over his editorial career, he has gained experience at multiple sites, including TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming. Irfan has also earned a degree in Writing and Editing from the University of Michigan. Learn some more about Irfan's gaming journey on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 7+ Years || Worked for TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming

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