Explosive Bullets

Explosive bullets are a special type of ammunition for the pistol that explode upon impact, dealing considerably more damage than normal bullets.

Similar to regular bullets, explosive bullets are propelled via the controlled detonation of a miniature reservoir of whale oil in the base of the round, launching the head towards the target.

Utilizing a chemical process that can be used to stagger combustibility rates, these bullets are engineered to keep the first explosion from triggering the larger reservoir, allowing it to impact with the target and cause extreme damage. These bullets are the most powerful type of ammunition available to Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin.

One drawback of the explosive bullets is that the maximum clip size is one, despite any upgrades. Also, due to it being categorized as special ammunition, Corvo can only carry ten at a time, or nine in Dishonored 2. In Dishonored, these rounds can only be used if the Corvo's Pistol upgrade has been purchased from Piero Joplin.

The only way to acquire explosive bullets is by purchasing them directly from Piero or black market shops, except for one case of explosive bullets that can be found in the Dishonored mission The Light at the End.

In both games, they can only be purchased once the protagonist has found the Small-Scale Combustion Refinement blueprint. In Dishonored 2, explosive bullets can be upgraded to fragment when they explode, increasing their damage.



Upgrade Name Cost Requirement Effect
Explosive Shot 600 Coins Small-Scale Combustion Refinement Blueprint Unlocks the ability to purchase Explosive Bullets.

Dishonored 2

Upgrade Name Cost Requirement Availability Effect
Explosive Bullet 450 Coins N/A Small-Scale Combustion Refinement Blueprint Enables Black Market shops to sell bullets that explode on contact.
Explosive Cluster Bullet 450 Coins Explosive Bullet Small-Scale Combustion Refinement Blueprint Enables Black Market shops to sell bullets that explode, fragmenting on contact.

Related Bone Charms


  • Scavenger - 50% chance to receive an additional bullet from ammo cases.

Dishonored 2

  • Duelist's Skill - Your bullets inflict slightly more damage.


  • Explosive bullets are capable of killing a tallboy in a single, well-placed shot.


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