RE4 Remake Skull Shaker Vs W-870

Resident Evil 4 Remake features two special shotguns: the W-870 and Skull Shaker. Both are highly powerful with their own perks and drawbacks. In this guide, we go over the differences between each weapon and which one you should choose.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Skull Shaker Vs. W-870
Here's our full Skull Shaker vs. W-870 comparison.

The Skull Shaker and W-870 are both powerful shotguns featured in Resident Evil4 Remake. To help you decide which one to choose, here is our complete Resident Evil 4 Remake Skull Shaker Vs. W-870 comparison.

Key Takeaways

  • Resident Evil 4 Remake features 2 powerful shotguns: the W-870 and Skull Shaker.
  • The W-870 can be acquired in Chapter 1 whereas the Skull Shaker can be bought for $1.99.
  • In terms of precision, power, ammo capacity, and repurchasing price, the W-870 is better.
  • However, for reload speed, firing rate, and space saving, you’ll prefer the Skull Shaker.
  • Additionally, the Skull Shaker has an exclusive Terminator Reload animation.


Resident Evil 4 Remake features a diverse roster of weapons to choose from, including shotguns that deal more damage in lesser rounds. Two of these, the W-870 and Skull Shaker, have caught the attention of professionals and amateurs alike.

The W-870 is one of the earliest shotguns you get in the game, with high precision and a large magazine. It deals incredible amounts of power (at least incredible for an early-game weapon). And if you get the Exclusive Upgrade, you can even double the power. For a shotgun like the W-870, double power means a bad day for the enemies.

On the same note, the Skull Shaker is similar in many aspects but contrasts the W-870 in others. This is a DLC-exclusive gun that can also be bought for $1.99. It features a faster firing rate and reload speed coupled with 70% less space consumption in your attache case. It doesn’t feature the same power output level that the W-870 provides. But it’s a strong contender, especially for an early-game weapon.

Skull Shaker Vs. W-870 Stats

Skull ShakerW-870
Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
Ammo Capacity23456567810
Reload Speed1234612345
Rate of Fire0.490.560.660.790.960.450.510.560.630.85

With all that being said, here is our complete Resident Evil 4 Remake Skull Shaker Vs. W-870 comparison.


Precision is a critical factor in choosing the right weapon, as it affects your accuracy in landing shots within a confined area. While other loadout items can influence precision, a gun with good inherent precision is essential.

In terms of precision:

  • Skull Shaker has 2.30 precision.
  • W-870 has 2.80 precision.

The slight precision advantage of the W-870 may not significantly impact overall performance, especially with loadout support. However, when using the guns without additional loadout items, the difference may become noticeable. You can compensate by predicting shot placement and adjusting your aim accordingly.

Rate of Fire

Resident Evil 4 Remake W-870.
The W-870 is an early-game shotgun in Resident Evil 4 Remake. (Image captured by us)

Rate of fire in Resident Evil 4 Remake determines how quickly your weapon can shoot. Shotguns usually have a lower rate of fire compared to other firearms.

For the W-870:

  • Base rate of fire: 0.45
  • Upgrades to 0.51, 0.56, 0.63, and 0.85.

For the Skull Shaker:

  • Base rate of fire: 0.49
  • Upgrades to 0.56, 0.66, 0.79, and 0.96.

The Skull Shaker has a slightly higher base rate and faster rate of fire upgrades, making it a preferred choice over the W-870.


Power in firearms measures the damage dealt by a single bullet. Upgrades can enhance a gun’s overall strength.

For the W-870:

  • Base power at Level 1: 5.8
  • Level 2: 6.72
  • Level 3: 7.84
  • Level 4: 8.96
  • Level 5: 10.1

For the Skull Shaker:

  • Base power: 5.4
  • Upgrades to: 6.32, 7.24, 8.15, and 9.07 at Level 5.

The power difference between the two is subtle with each upgrade. However, the impact of the Exclusive Upgrade is significant, which we’ll discuss shortly.

Reload Speed

Reload speed indicates how quickly a gun can be reloaded, impacting your combat efficiency, especially for low-capacity guns like the Skull Shaker and W-870.

In Resident Evil 4 Remake:

  • Both start at 1 round reload at Level 1.
  • Progress to 2, 3, and 4 rounds for Levels 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
  • The critical difference emerges at Level 5:
    • W-870 reloads 5 rounds.
    • Skull Shaker reloads 6 rounds.

The Skull Shaker’s superior Level 5 reload speed makes it the better choice. However, it requires full weapon upgrades, altering the gameplay experience.

Reload Animation

There is another aspect of reloading that we haven’t touched upon: the reload animation. There isn’t anything specifically interesting about the W-870’s reload animation. It’s pretty much your standard shotgun reload animation.

However, the Skull Shaker’s reload animation is what’s got the community overwhelmed. In this, Leon spins the gun around in one hand while holding down the lever. This is what’s known as the classic Terminator Reload. It’s named after the way Arnold Schwarzenegger reloads his shotgun in Terminator 2. It’s an aesthetic touch that makes the upgrade feel rewarding.

Ammo Capacity

Resident Evil 4 Remake Skull Shaker.
The Skull Shaker is a DLC-exclusive shotgun with decent ammo capacity. (Credit: Yoji Plays on YouTube)

Ammo capacity refers to the number of bullets a shotgun can hold before needing to reload, impacting your reloading frequency.

For the W-870:

  • Level 1: 5 rounds
  • Increases to 6, 7, 8, and 10 at subsequent levels.

Comparatively, the Skull Shaker:

  • Level 1: 2 rounds
  • Increases linearly to 3, 4, 5, and 6 at higher levels.

The W-870 boasts a higher and more favorable ammo capacity compared to the Skull Shaker, reducing the need for frequent reloading.

Space Consumption

This is one of the very areas where the Skull Shaker excels. The Skull Shaker takes up less space than the W-870. Specifically, it takes up around 70% less space. In the early game, this feature is crucial since you’ll be having a much smaller attache case. However, once you can upgrade your case, the benefit won’t be as evident.

Exclusive Upgrades

Both the W-870 and Skull Shaker share the same Exclusive Upgrade, which doubles the shotgun’s power. To obtain it, meet these conditions:

  1. Fully upgrade the weapon or acquire an Exclusive Upgrade Ticket from the Merchant.
  2. Spend 80,000 Pesetas to unlock the Exclusive Upgrade.

This perk doubles your shotgun’s existing power. While the Skull Shaker has a slight power difference compared to the W-870, the impact on your decision is minimal due to the doubling effect.

Buying And Selling Prices

Both weapons can be sold for Pesetas, but repurchasing them costs double the selling price.

For the W-870:

  • Sell for 6,000 Pesetas.
  • Buy back for 12,000 Pesetas.

For the Skull Shaker:

  • Sell for 7,500 Pesetas.
  • Buy back for 15,000 Pesetas.

Consider the implications of selling these weapons, as repurchasing them later will be more expensive.

Acquiring The Weapons

To obtain the W-870 and Skull Shaker:

For the W-870:

  • Obtain it at the start of the game during Chapter 1. Enter a house within the village and find it on a wall plaque in one of the rooms.

For the Skull Shaker:

  • It’s a DLC-exclusive weapon available in the Collector’s Edition or Deluxe version of Resident Evil 4 Remake, which need to be purchased.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase the Skull Shaker separately for $1.99, even if you didn’t buy the entire DLC package.

Skull Shaker Vs. W-870: Which Is Better?

The choice between the Skull Shaker and W-870 depends on your preferences and needs:

Skull Shaker:

  • Exclusive and costs real-world money or DLC purchase.
  • Slightly better firing speed, making it suitable for faster combat.
  • Takes up less space in your attache case, freeing up space for other items.
  • Lower ammo capacity, compensated by faster reloading speed.
  • Slightly lower power compared to the W-870.


  • Acquired at the start of the game for free.
  • Slightly lower firing speed compared to the Skull Shaker.
  • Takes up more space in your attache case.
  • Higher ammo capacity, reducing the need for frequent reloading.
  • Slightly higher power compared to the Skull Shaker.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your playstyle and priorities—power and capacity with the W-870 or speed and space efficiency with the Skull Shaker.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it for our Resident Evil 4 Remake Skull Shaker vs. W-870 comparison. To conclude, the Skull Shaker trades power and precision for speed and less space consumption. If those are your priorities and you’re not bothered by the slight power downgrade, then the Skull Shaker is for you.

If, however, you prefer raw power coupled with a decent ammo capacity, then you should opt for the W-870. It’s a strong early-game weapon that can even deal twice the damage if you get the Exclusive Upgrade.

Need a full guide for the W-870 shotgun? Check out our official Resident Evil 4 Remake W-870 shotgun guide.

Want to know more about the ranking system in the game? Take a look at our Resident Evil 4 Remake ranking system guide.

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