Ode to the Constitution

I wanted to type out this ode to the constitution as one of the most well rounded, fun guns to use in the game. I’ll start by describing it a bit and then running through each race and describing why the gun is so damn good.

What is the Constitution?
The Constitution is a DLC (but everyone gets it) gun that has a single upgrade, the bayonet. I know certain folks like to run it without the bayonet so I’ll touch on that a bit down below. The gun itself is a single shot, bolt action rifle which in gameplay terms means that it is 1 of 2 guns to institute the per round reload mechanic. The magazine size is 5 rounds, so if you have zero spare rounds left, you’ll be able to shoot the gun 5 times.

What is special about this gun?
If you think about various attributes a gun can have (look up my arc thrower post), this gun emphasizes range, per shot power, accuracy and sustainability over intensity of firepower, ease of use, or special attributes (stun, poison, et cetera). In the areas it emphasizes, each category would be rated 9 or 10 out of 10 and in the areas it doesn’t emphasize it would rank either 0 or 1.

  • Range - this gun can shoot to the edge of the camera and beyond with its rounds. This is really useful when taking out scout units.
  • Per shot power - You have to look it up on the wiki for the actual number, but it’s high enough to qualify as a high caliber weapon which automatically places near the top of all guns on a per round basis
  • Accuracy - The gun shoots exactly where you point it, with the exception being if you fire while reloading. This will cause the gun to fire to the left at an angle that varies with the reloading animation.
  • Sustainability - This encompasses the ability for you to sustain fire output without exhausting ammunition and also the time between having to reload your magazine. Since this gun can be reloaded per round if you do so (the gun actually reloads faster when it’s not empty vs when it is), you can essentially keep firing until all 99 + 5 has been fired. This gives you nearly unparallelled (for an ammunition based gun) ability to both lay down fire during an engagement and to sustain fighting during any pre- or post-engagement skirmishing.

Obviously since it’s bolt action it suffers in intensity of fire compared to every other gun aside from the arc thrower and the punisher. Even if you forgo reloading the rate of fire does not increase that much so you will need to play differently when engaging either high hp enemies (Butchers) or numerous medium hp enemies (tripod). The ease of use knock isn’t so much about the reload mechanic, as it is the rate of fire, size of the bullet, and the small eccentricities around reloading/firing (reload speed varies with rounds in the magazine, reload animation can be cancelled by melee). For sure the reload mechanic doesn’t help but it is but one thing thing among many that complicates the gun. And obviously it doesn’t have any special attributes to help out the gun.

Really? So what is the really bad news?
There, that’s it. Just like the arc thrower this gun is dependent on your placement more than anything else to help mitigate its slower rate of fire and you’ll need melee dodge to make up for that. And here is where we’ll discuss the decision to use the bayonet or not. If you don’t use the bayonet, when you melee dodge you have finer control over where you end up because the melee attack animation isn’t as long. You also can melee dodge in tight quarters with teammates or downed pilots and not worry about killing them. You also can kill the bug scouts much faster since your melee animation is faster. However you’ll use more ammunition because the only way you can deal damage is by shooting.
If you use the bayonet you get the ability to use it during your melee dodge to inflict serious damage as your are pirouetting away from the enemy. You’re worse against bug scouts, but deadly against dogs and pretty good against outcasts and apprentices. Since you can use your melee attack you can choose to reduce your ammo consumption which is a major plus when playing with ammo hungry teammates.
It’s up to you what you prefer, but I like the bayonet. I’ll detail specific strategies for each race below but I like to fight against the cyborgs and illuminates so the bayonet works for me.
p.s. if you’re wondering what melee dodge is go look up korlune, lein, or mikasa, they all have excellent melee dodge videos.

The assumption for each race is that you’re playing at lvl 9 or above, 12 being baseline but i’ll make notes for 13+ as needed.
How do I use the Constitution to exterminate Bugs?
Spinning melee dodge is your best bet. If you need to kill them ranged a fully upgraded pistol is a much better choice but in a pinch 1 shot will kill them. On difficulties 13+ the Stalkers go down in 3 or 4 shots. You can use melee to force them off of you but beware the slow from the poison.Try evading if they jump in on you and then engaging after the poison melee attack whiffs. I’ve found it hard to borderline impossible to dodge the poison and land the melee attack. Also don’t worry about not killing the scouts before they start an alert, this ain’t that kind of gun lol
Just gun them down and don’t miss. It doesn’t matter too much where you shoot them, your rounds will hurt them even if you don’t hit center mass unlike the lower caliber guns. Use melee attack to take them down in berzerk state.
Use melee dodge to stay away and take them down by firing. You can use a melee attack + 1 or 2 shots to take them down when they go into their near death berzerk state.
You can alternate melee attack and shot against vulnerable impalers, but otherwise rely on melee dodge to avoid tank and behemoth attacks and charges

How do I use the Constitution to bench press the Cyborgs?
Stay at distance to eliminate scout packs without raising alert. If they’ve already raised the alarm a spinning melee dodge attack will hit multiple scouts and when you shoot point blank it will finish them off. You can sometimes kill a scout trooper with 1 shot but more often it takes 2 shots or a melee attack plus a shot or 2 melee attacks. Rhythm is run forward, spinning melee attack, choose target, fire, reload while moving away. Repeat. It’s okay to cancel reload animation as long as you have rounds. If you need to reload, you’ll need to wait a smidge longer for the reload to finish. Keep moving.
Lvl 13+: Charge them to get them to turn around. Melee dodge spin attack and fire your gun at their backs. The shield makes them impossible to shoot from the front.
Grotesques you’ll want to keep your distance and do retreating melee dodge attacks followed by a shot. If you’re doing it right you’ll evade their melee attacks and kill 1 in each pass. Rhythm is run forward, melee dodge forwards just a bit and them backwards, fire at target, reload and repeat. You don’t want to do the spinning attack because you if you get caught up in their midsts they’ll take you down very quickly. Slow and steady one at a time.
Same as the grotesque but if you need one dead today, switch to the fully upgraded pistol and dump the mag, reload, and repeat. Takes about 3 -4 mags. You’ll take one down faster than the alternating melee attack/shot method.
1 shot can actually kill 2 dogs with the penetration of the bullet. Watch the lag, you can think you got a clean melee kill but still get hit. Use the spinning melee dodge attack when possible to reduce the chance of a “clash” type hit where it does kill the dog but you get knocked down and lose health. Not a big deal if you have the perk that lets you get up fast but on ice planet if you’re using boots it can mean difference between life or death.
The Hulk shoots with a bias to the right, so wait for it to start firing, position yourself to it’s left and do advancing melee dodge attack into retreating movement followed up by a shot. Don’t do this to a hulk that’s taken alot of damage already because you could make it blow up while you’re close and kill yourself. Repeat until it’s on fire and then get the hell out of dodge. If you do need to shoot it don’t be afraid to shoot it in the back, Constitution rounds can damage hulks from the rear unlike lower caliber shots
Warlords take FOREVER to down with the constitution and you need to hit the “meaty” part of the armor otherwise it bounces off. So not a good look. But it’s GREAT for finishing one off. The typical scenario is it got hit by an EAT, RR-112, or Detonator grenade and didn’t die. You can hit it a couple of times to finish it off. Also a really underrated strat is that if the Warlord is making the beeline to kill a downed helldiver, shooting it makes it flinch and slows it down. Same goes for hulks so don’t forget.

How do I use the Constitution to dominate the Illuminates?
This right here is the worst match up in the game. The scouts are tiny and cloaked so aim true because 1 shot will take them down…if they don’t have their shield up. If they have their shield up it takes 2 shots! So forget stealth. Your best bet is using the fully upgraded pistol. If you catch one up close melee attacks make short work of them though - first shot strips the shield and them melee attack to finish them off.
Lvl 13+: Melee is especially good when one of these enemies has reversed your controls. Save your ammo and melee attack them to death.

The gun is fairly potent against tripods and striders, and the melee attack is great at finishing them off but it’s almost(is???) impossible to melee attack without taking a retaliatory melee attack in return. You’ve got a couple options here:

  1. Take strafing run. Take at least 1 but 2 will wreak these guys so fast and you can mop up the rest once the shields are down. Nice bonus is that that strafing run will kill a tank unit if both rows of gun fire hit, and if 1 hits you only need 1 shot to finish it off. Heavy strafing run works but I find the little delay to increase my Team kill count so I prefer the faster strafing run
  2. Carry a supplementary gun. Most people take the MG-42 or the new disposable gun (MGX-94??) but I prefer either the dum dum or the flamethrower. The flamethrower bar none is waaaay better against a big group but is kind of crappy against the illusionists or council members whereas the dum dum is ok against tripods and striders but pretty good against illusionists and council members. The reason I prefer these 2 is that the reload is waaaay shorter for both (and you can move and reload the flamethrower) and you’re asking for a hunter beam to the face reloading the MG-42 or any of the 5 second reload weapons.
  3. Take the SH-32. Take the SH-32 and melee to your heart’s content against tripods and striders. You can’t stay there indefinitely but you can melee attack as much as you need to strip the shields and then gun them down. Solid solid option but this doesn’t prevent any control reversal so be careful when going up against illusionists and council members

Outcasts and apprentices are why you came to dance with the Constitution. Most other guns require you to run from these guys but a melee attack and then a single shot will take them down.
Lvl 13+: when the waves of outcasts come try to hit them while they are warping in. For some reason during this time a single shot will kill them. This is really important because you don’t want 3-4 of these enemies chasing you around. They are relentless and even with melee dodge you’ll have trouble evading them.
Just to the melee dodge/shoot dance, takes about 3 iterations to take one down.
Stay far away and plink away with you gun. The damage is massive and you’ll be surprised how fast you can take 1 down while avoiding the 360 blast. If there is only 1 find a good spot and hold your ground. Your first shot will blow up their orb and them the next shot hit. You need to be optimal on the timing of your reload to your next shot because if you take too long reloading or aiming their shield will recover. If performing optimally you’ll keep hitting them before the shield regenerates. If there are multiple you need to dance around until you get 1 to teleport away from the others. Use your melee dodge to avoid and/or take out orbs and then get a few shots in. Repeat and rinse until you’ve gotten them down to a manageable number. Because multiple elites are SOOOOO dangerous it’s strongly recommend taking a perk or 1 red stragem that you can use to help take these guys out. If all your anti-elite stuff can be lost/dropped you’re in for a TERRIBLE time against multiple elites.

So yeah, I might add to this but I wanted to write this after taking the constitution against every race and having a blast. Especially lvl 13+ illuminates which I NEVER see anyone taking this gun, it’s actually REALLY good against all the hardest enemies in those difficulties and I was shocked. Let me know if you found this helpful or if anyone else wants to rave about this gun.


This is a pretty amazing guide, thanks!

I’ve run the Constitution a few times before, but this has opened my eyes to its true capabilities as a killing machine (with proper support of course)

This is overall a great guide, but I don’t quite understand the +1 round in the chamber.

The Constitution is always 5 shots. Am I missing something here? Because I can not get it to shoot 6 times under any circumstance.

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Dude you’re totally right. Thanks so much for finding my mistake! For some reason I thought you got a round in the chamber like you do for other magazined weapons but, as you noted, you do not! I tested it too. My only defense is that I was desperately trying to write this before my son woke up lol. I’ll update it along with a bunch of typos that I found.