Weapon Stats
First Obtained MedSci Deck
Attack Type Standard Attack
Power Attack (w/ Smasher)
Damage 1-7 (Standard Attack)
9 (Power Attack)
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 is one of the three melee weapons in the game. It is found on the body of a deceased maintenance worker near the first room, and can also be found to the left of the first Energy Recharging Station in the game.

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. Like every melee weapon, the Wrench does not require ammunition to use and does not have any firing mode. Moreover, it cannot decay and cannot be modified.


The Wrench does not require any Combat Skill or any research to use.

Damage Table

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


General Melee Strategies

  • Strength can greatly increases the damage of a melee weapon, and thus should be on a high priority.
  • Both the Lethal Weapon and the Smasher O/S Upgrades can greatly increase the damage output of a melee weapon, and should come in handy throughout the whole game.
  • Observe the attack patterns of enemies and always try to evade when they are about to strike. Agility can make the job easier for an obvious reason.
  • Shotgun Hybrids are one of the tougher opponents on early stages, as they have hitscan weapons, and is hard to defeat without taking any damages if one approaches them. However, the player can exploit their AI behaviors, hide behind a corner and lure them into close range.
  • Enemies with no melee attack at all, including most droids, always prioritize getting some distance before attacking. That means as long as one stay very close to the enemy, it will keep walking back instead of attacking the player, and gives the player enough time to defeat it. This strategy stops working when an enemy does not have enough space to flee.
    • This also applies to Cyborg Assassins, however they can fall back at a very high speed, and may put the player in a worse situation.
  • Protocol Droids are very hard, if not impossible, to defeat with melee weapons safely, therefore keeping a ranged weapon in one's inventory is advised.
  • 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 disciplines at the beginning:
    • Psychogenic Agility which can be used to catch up the speed with Cyborg Assassins on early levels.
    • Adrenaline Overproduction which can increase melee damage by 13%-830% once being activated, according to one's Psionic level, and the player can literally smash any foe in one hit;
    • Localized Pyrokinesis which makes the player immune to the explosion of Protocol Droids or any droids, and eliminates the greatest threat of any melee weapon user.

Wrench Specific

  • This weapon has no requirements to use at all, therefore should be a beginning weapon for most character builds.
    • Although having no requirements, the damage of this weapon increases along with the Standard Weapon skill, and hence it is important to upgrade the skill if planning to use the Wrench frequently. When one's Standard Weapon skill level reaches 6, the Wrench will receive a bonus damage of 75%.
  • With the Smasher upgrade, the Wrench does more base damage than the Shotgun, while costing no ammunition.
  • If the player focuses on ranged weapons, it is recommended to keep the Wrench as a backup weapon, since it is too wasteful to consume ammo on Grubs or Security Cameras.
  • On the other hand, if one mainly uses melee weapons, he should replace the Wrench with either the Mark VI Laser Rapier or the Crystal Shard as soon as possible. The Wrench is generally weak and has a short hitting range, making it ineffective on later levels.
  • It deals half damage to fully mechanical enemies, so it is advised to obtain a Pistol and several Armor-Piercing Bullets.
  • It deals no damage to the final boss. Normally, a player who specializes in the Wrench needs at least a Pistol to complete the game.


  • It is possible to finish the game using only the Wrench, though it is required to use Speed Booster to reach some nerve clusters in The Body of the Many and trick SHODAN Avatars into attacking SHODAN 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.