Weapon Data
First Found on MedSci Deck
Requirements -
Researchable No
Attack Types Normal
Overhand [with Smasher]
Damage 6 (Normal)
9 (Overhand) [with Smasher]
Summon Code wrench

When you hit someone over the head with 22 pounds of steel, they tend not to appreciate it.
~ Taz Amanpour, Von Braun Maintenance Crew

The Wrench is the first weapon to be found in System Shock 2 and one of the four melee weapons in the game (counting in the Psi-Sword). It is first found on the body of a deceased maintenance worker near the starting point of the game and, soon afterwards, near the first encountered Energy Recharging Station.

It is a standard maintenance wrench, with blood (or rust) stained on the silver pegs on the top. This points out that whoever was using this wrench, was using it as a weapon/tool.

Being a melee weapon, it requires no ammunition, cannot decay, and cannot be modified.


The Wrench does not have any requirements.

Damage Table

Annelid Half-Annelid Mech Half-Mech Final Boss
Weapon Bash x1 x1 x0.5 x1 x0


General Melee Strategies

  • Strength increases the final bonus added to the melee damage, and thus should be a high priority.
  • Both Lethal Weapon and Smasher O/S Upgrades (acquired preferably in that order) substantially increase the damage output of a melee weapon, and should come in handy throughout the whole game.
  • Contrary to popular belief, O.S.A. Agent is arguably the best class to specialize in any melee weapon, as one can unlock the following Psionic Powers at the (very) beginning:
  • Observe the attack patterns of enemies and always try to evade when they are about to strike. Agility can make the job easier for obvious reasons.
  • Shotgun Hybrids are one of the tougher opponents on early stages, as they have hitscan weapons. It is hard to defeat them without taking any damage being already in their range. However, the player can hide, attack them from behind and circle-strafe, buying enough time to finish them before they turn and start shooting.
  • Protocol Droids are very hard (close to impossible, actually) to defeat with melee weapons safely, therefore keeping a ranged weapon in one's inventory is advised.
    • The other approach is to run away at just the right moment when they go into self-destruct to avoid the explosion. Going around corners is very useful. Lots of practice and high Agility are recommended.
  • Enemies with no melee attack at all, including most droids, always prioritize getting some distance before attacking. That means as long as one stays very close to the enemy, it will keep walking back instead of attacking the player, giving enough time to defeat the foe. This strategy stops working efficiently when an enemy does not have enough space to flee.
    • This strategy also applies to Cyborg Assassins, but they can fall back at a very high speed, putting the player in a tough situation.
    • All Robots have their only weapon mounted on their right side, the other one being harmless. Approach them preferably from their left side using the above strategy to avoid their attacks.
      • If they follow you, make sure to go clockwise. They can shoot at you even if only a part of their weapon protrudes around the corner.
  • Turrets are best attacked at close quarters - that is, if they can be reached. Cutting the distance and circle-strafing around them doesn't give them a chance to fire at you.

Wrench Specific

  • Wrench has no requirements, therefore should be the first main weapon for all character builds.
  • Despite not having any requirements, the Wrench belongs to Standard Weapons. As such, its damage increases as they are upgraded. Each upgrade gives 15% damage bonus, up to a maximum of 90%.
  • With the Smasher O/S Upgrade, an overhand hit does more base damage than the Shotgun, costing no ammo.
  • If the player focuses on ranged weapons, it is recommended to keep the Wrench as a backup, since it is too wasteful to consume ammo on Grubs, hatched Eggs or even Security Cameras.
  • On the other hand, if one mainly uses melee weapons, one should eventually replace the Wrench with either Laser Rapier, Psi Sword or Crystal Shard. The Wrench is generally weak (and has a shorter hitting range than the Rapier and the Shard), making it ineffective on later levels.
  • It deals half damage to fully mechanical foes, so it's advised to obtain a Pistol and use Armor-Piercing Bullets.
  • It deals no damage to the final boss. Normally, a Wrench-only game requires at least a Pistol to complete it.
    • However, it is possible to finish the game using only the Wrench. One needs to use Speed Boosters to reach some Nerve Clusters and Brain Defense Nodes in The Body of the Many, and trick SHODAN Avatars into attacking SHODAN's Core in the final confrontation.


  • BioShock, which is described as the spiritual successor of System Shock 2, also features a wrench as the first weapon, although it's a Pipe Wrench, as opposed to the open-ended Wrench in System Shock 2.

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