System Shock Wiki
System Shock Wiki
Weapon Data
First Found MedSci Deck
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

Mech Half-Mech Half-Annelid Annelid Final Boss
Weapon Bash x0.5 x1 x1 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, OSA 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. This is especially important in case of Pipe Hybrids and Cyborg Midwives.
  • 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 to avoid the explosion at just the right moment when they go into self-destruct. Going around corners is very useful. Lots of practice and high Agility are recommended.
  • Enemies with no melee attack at all, including all types of big Robots, 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 all types of Assassins, but they can fall back at a very high speed, easily putting the player in a tough situation.
  • All big 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, so going anticlockwise is discouraged.
  • 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. Moving fast in front of their line of sight makes them unable to lock the aim and shoot.
    • With enough skill the player can jump over the Turret to stand on top of it, thus being safe from its attacks.
    • Rickenbacker Turrets cannot hit if the player standing too close to them.
  • Rumblers are essentially fast walking tanks and are to be treated as such - with extreme caution. Learning their movement helps, but not entirely, as they can surprise the player with an almost instant attack.
  • Grubs, both types of Monkeys and Infant (to some extent also both types of the bigger) Arachnids are most effectively attacked when crouching. It is best to retreat when attacking Grubs and Arachnids. On the contrary, it is recommended to charge while dealing with the Monkeys.
  • Attacking the Eggs can be tricky because of their contents. Depending on their type, a different strategy has to be chosen:
    • Black Eggs can be called sitting ducks, as they trigger no effects... yet.
    • Grub Eggs are the least harmless. After the Grub hatches, the player should fall back to attack it.
    • Swarm Eggs have a simple strategy: trigger and run. Afterwards they don't cause any problems.
    • Toxic Eggs are the toughest to deal with. While the flying spores can be easily dodged when crouching, the gas cloud will affect the player most of the time. Sometimes it can be avoided by approaching from above or from around a corner, but generally it is not possible to evade it. Melee-only players have to either stack Anti-Toxin Hypos, use Psi Toxin Shield, or be prepared for frequent visits at Resurrection Stations.
  • Standing below Security Cameras (if possible) eliminates their threat entirely.
  • Moving (ideally circle-strafing) directly below Psi Reavers makes them unable to aim and shoot at the player.
  • Swarms cannot be harmed using any melee weapon.

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 Crescent Wrench in System Shock 2.