Dishonored Wiki
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A City Watch pistol.

Pistols are one of the main weapons in the Dishonored franchise. The pistol fires by detonating a small whale oil resevoir at the base of each bullet, propelling the bullet forwards and often shattering the cap into a cloud of shrapnel. Pistol is a highly effective weapon at relatively close ranges, but due to its high manufacturing cost, it's often reserved for officers and the wealthy. Unique, custom-made pistols exist as many inventors dabble in new pistol designs as a sideline to their main works.[1]

In Dishonored, Corvo Attano can obtain a City Watch pistol during his escape from Coldridge Prison. Once Corvo purchases a new pistol from Piero Joplin, it can be upgraded with better accuracy, a revolving chamber, and faster reload speed, among other things.

In The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, Daud can collect the pistol from the bodies of dead or unconscious City Watch Officers, but cannot acquire upgrades for it.

In Dishonored 2, the pistol is collected from the Imperial Safe Room in Dunwall Tower. If Corvo is the protagonist, his pistol and mask are located just to the left of the door out of the Tower. His pistol functions the same as it does in Dishonored with no upgrades equipped. If Emily Kaldwin is the protagonist, her pistol and spyglass are located in the same place. Despite being aesthetically different, it functions the same as Corvo's.

The pistol has two ammunition types: Standard and Explosive. Explosive bullets cannot be manufactured until the protagonist brings Piero (in Dishonored) or a black market shop (in Dishonored 2) the Small-Scale Combustion Refinement Blueprint. Meanwhile, upgrades can also be purchased to improve the bullet's performance in different situations.


The pistol is the less subtle of the two ranged weapons, as its loud noise is easily heard by any hostile in the vicinity. In combat, however, its power is substantial, as it is capable of killing a City Watch guard in one shot.

Combining the pistol with Bend Time allows Corvo and Daud to fire multiple rounds, even with few upgrades, and kill several opponents at once. Throwing a whale oil tank and then shooting it with the pistol will cause a massive explosion, which can kill multiple guards and even down a Tallboy. Tossing a grenade and then shooting it will send it flying farther than a normal throw.

Dishonored Upgrades

Corvo's Pistol


Corvo's Pistol, unmodified.

Corvo's Pistol is a redesign of the City Watch Pistol, built by Piero Joplin, and designed to accept a number of modular upgrades. Purchasing Corvo's Pistol will unlock the Pistol Accuracy, Pistol Magazine, and Pistol Reload upgrade tracks. Corvo can buy this pistol without obtaining a standard City Watch Pistol.

In addition to accepting upgrades, Corvo's Pistol has a short-range spread-damage effect, which can wound multiple opponents in close proximity.

Pistol Accuracy


Corvo's Pistol with Accuracy 1.

2 pistol accuracy 2

Corvo's Pistol with Accuracy 2.

  • Cost: 300 Coins (Level 1); 600 Coins (Level 2)

After building Corvo's Pistol, Corvo can pay to improve the pistol's accuracy and shot deviation, with the final upgrade rendering the weapon near-pinpoint accurate. The first upgrade gives the pistol ironsights. The second upgrade attaches a rod with a small sliding weight to the bottom of the pistol.

Pistol Magazine


Corvo's Pistol with Magazine 1.

  • Cost: 300 Coins (Level 1); 450 Coins (Level 2); 600 Coins (level 3)

The Magazine upgrades add additional rounds to Corvo's Pistol that he can fire between reloads. Each upgrade adds another shot to the pistol's magazine, up to a total of four shots between reloads. The upgrade puts a "belt" of bullets on top of the receiver of the gun, adding one more bullet to the chain with each upgrade.

Pistol Reload


Corvo's Pistol with Reload 1.

  • Cost: 300 Coins (Level 1); 600 Coins (Level 2)

Upgrading the Reload of Corvo's Pistol shortens the pause between loads, with the second upgrade adding an auto-loading system similar to the one built for the crossbow. The first upgrade adds a small assembly to the right side of the gun. The second upgrade replaces the assembly with a larger, apparently spring loaded, wheel mechanism. With the second upgrade purchased, Corvo only has to spin the pistol to reload instead of taking the pistol off-screen.

Dishonored 2 Upgrades

Pistol Accuracy

  • Cost: 300 Coins (Level 1); 600 Coins (Level 2)

These upgrades function the same as in Dishonored. Visually, Corvo's upgrades are the same as in Dishonored. With Emily's pistol, the first upgrade adds a prominent rail with ironsights on top of the barrel. The second upgrade replaces the single spinning wheel on the pistol's receiver with a more elaborate clockwork mechanism beneath a glass hemisphere.

Pistol Magazine

  • Cost: 200 Coins (Level 1); 200 Coins (Level 2); 200 Coins (Level 3)

These upgrades function the same as in Dishonored. Visually, Corvo's upgrades are the same as in Dishonored. Emily's pistol, meanwhile, receives a horizontal box magazine that lengthens with every magazine capacity upgrade.

Pistol Reload

  • Cost: 200 Coins (level 1); 400 Coins (Level 2)

These upgrades function the same as in Dishonored. Visually, Corvo's upgrades are the same as in Dishonored. The first upgrade for Emily's pistol adds a round device to the side of the pistol's receiver, and the second upgrade adds propellant gas tubes between the barrel and the aforementioned device.

Masterwork Upgrades

Each pair of pistol Masterwork upgrades are mutually exclusive, as well as unique to that character.

The Determined Traveler (Corvo)

  • Cost: 700 Coins

With this upgrade, Corvo's pistol is perfectly accurate when the zoom function is active and furthermore suffers from no recoil, permitting long-distance rapid-fire. The area of effect damage is reduced, making this pistol less helpful for close-quarters fighting. Visually, Corvo's pistol receives a large telescopic sight on top of the barrel.

The Crimson Painter (Corvo)

  • Cost: 700 Coins

Conversely to the above, this upgrade effectively neutralizes the pistol's long-range capabilities, effectively turning it into a shotgun, with improved area of effect damage, increased bullet fragmentation, and heightened overall damage. This pistol can kill multiple enemies in close proximity with one shot. Visually, Corvo's pistol receives a vented muzzle brake on the front of the barrel.

The Red Siblings (Emily)

  • Cost: 700 Coins

With this upgrade, Emily's pistol fires three bullets in a burst. This kills most enemies instantly, and if Emily quickly moves the aim, it can damage multiple. It is very effective against groups of enemies, doing damage to lots of them in a short time. However, the area of effect damage has a shorter range. With the Magnetized Bullet upgrade, this pistol can safely take down Clockwork Soldiers. Visually, Emily's pistol has its magazine shortened by one bullet, and receives a finned assembly on the muzzle.

The Insistent Gentleman (Emily)

  • Cost: 700 Coins

Emily's pistol becomes rapid-fire, never needing to reload. This is very helpful when facing lots of enemies, as the trigger can be pulled and left, quickly dispatching them all. However, it does tend to use Emily's bullets quite quickly, so care must be taken not to use too many. Visually, Emily's pistol has its magazine replaced with a belt-feeding device and extra components on the reloading device near the front of the receiver.

Related Bone Charms


  • Fleet Fighter - Drawn weapons do not slow movement speed.
  • Scavenger - 50% chance to receive extra ammo from pickups.
  • Unnerving Target I - Enemies have a slight chance to miss with guns.
  • Unnerving Target II - Enemies have a moderate chance to miss with guns.

Dishonored 2

  • Duelist's Luck - Bullet packs have a slight chance of containing +1 pistol bullet.
  • Duelist's Skill - Your bullets inflict slightly more damage.
  • Unsteady Hand - Enemies miss with fired projectiles more often.
  • Shivering Silhouette - Enemies miss more often with ranged attacks, but you are more visible to enemies.
  • Fleet Fighter - Your movement is not slowed when your weapons are unsheathed.
  • Bloodfly Alchemy - An enemy's initial ranged attack is transformed into bloodflies.
  • Lucky Jam - Enemy Pistols have a better chance of misfiring.


  • The City Watch pistol seems to be mainly modeled on a wheel-lock design, but this is only for cosmetic purposes, and has nothing to do with the mechanics of the gun.
  • The ammunition of pistols appears to be multifunctional; although they fire solid bullets, in close quarters they possess a short-range spread effect that leaves a shot pattern on surfaces.
  • After Pistol Accuracy 1, the pistol is shown to have ironsights. However, they cannot be used in the game.
  • With the third upgrade of Pistol Magazine, the pistol appears to turn into a revolver, but the pistol magazine is actually a belt that gets fed into the pistol after each shot.
  • In the prologue of The Knife of Dunwall, the pistol Corvo uses clearly has the Pistol Reload 2 upgrade, even though Corvo only had a normal City Watch pistol at that point. This is explained by the fact that Daud is dreaming.
  • It is possible to reload twice by pressing the reload button while the pistol is already in it's reload animation. This is purely cosmetic, and does not affect gameplay in any way. This only works with auto reload.
  • In the 2021 video game Deathloop, also made by Arkane Studios, "dueling pistols" utilizing "original oil cartridges" are used at the end of the game in a face off between the protagonist, Colt Vahn, and antagonist, Julianna Blake. The pistols are nearly identical to the common pistols in Dishonored franchise.


Corvo's Pistol Upgrades (Dishonored)

Corvo's Pistol Upgrades (Dishonored 2)

Emily's Pistol Upgrades (Dishonored 2)