Metro 2033 icon v1 by kamizanon-d48tkwjMetro last light icon by robertocrespo-d4790ssMLLFacPacNovelIconTransMLLTwrPacNovelIconTransMLLDevPacNovelIconTrans

The railgun shoots bearing balls at incredible speeds, but takes time to charge its capacitor. Deals lower damage if fired before charging fully.

— Last Light in-game description

The Hellbreath (Russian: Рельса, literally "Rail"), or Volt Driver in Metro 2033, is a metro-made, man-portable electromagnetic accelerator which uses the Lorentz effect to fire metal projectiles at extremely high velocities - in the real world, it would be a kind of Railgun. The Hellbreath is considered the electrical counterpart to the Tihar.

Miller is the only NPC that uses the Hellbreath, starting in the chapter D6, and is made available to Artyom in the Ranger Pack DLC, available for Metro 2033 free on Steam. The Hellbreath was a cut weapon in Metro: Last Light itself, but it returned in the DLCs. In the Redux version, the Hellbreath is included as an obtainable but rare weapon.


The Hellbreath fires metallic ball bearings - the same kind of sniper rounds fired by the Tihar - using electromagnetism; the gun's magnetic rails are powered by the charge from a built-in battery, and magnetic coil. Unlike the Tihar, which is pneumatic (it uses air pressure), the Hellbreath has to be charged using a built-in charger. The charger is separate from the one that is used to power Artyom's flashlight and Night Vision Goggles, as with Tihar and Helsing, you need to charge this weapon when found.

The Tihar and Hellbreath have rather similar performance statistics, and are quite similar in utility. The key differences are that the Hellbreath does more damage when fully-charged (it is one of the strongest weapons overall, frequently bringing down watchers in a single body shot), fires slower, and has better sustainability (lesser-charged rounds from the Hellbreath still do fairly good damage, as opposed to the Tihar, which tends to do poor damage unless pumped up). However, the Tihar has considerably better accuracy (especially over a distance), is silent (the Hellbreath has an extremely loud and distinctive report), and access to a zoom scope (which makes it a very effective sniping tool). In contrast, the Hellbreath lacks any sighting in general except for a laser sight. In general, the Hellbreath is better at closer ranges, whereas the Tihar is significantly better from afar, though both weapons can work just fine at close range (if the Tihar is pumped and uses its fast fire rate) or long range (if the player has the time to aim the Hellbreath) in trained hands. Unlike the Tihar, the Hellbreath is not a suppressed weapon, avoid using it in stealth situations if you want to remain undetected.

Volt Driver M2033 hud2

In addition to its high firepower, the Hellbreath can make melee attacks by shocking enemies with the electrified rails at the front of the weapon's barrel. While this consumes energy (and becomes notably less effective the lower the Hellbreath's battery is), it makes for an effective deterrent up-close and is quite good at forcing close-combat enemies back, such as nosalises. At full charge the Hellbreath allows up to five melee attacks before it requires to be charged. It can fire a total of 17 ball bearings from full charge (including super charge) before a recharge is necessary.

The Hellbreath is one of four guns (others being the Tihar,Revolver and Helsing) highly recommended for Ranger Hardcore players.

The laser sight makes up for the loss of the cross-hair, and the Hellbreath uses the same extremely inexpensive ammo the Tihar uses. All in all, it is a toss-up which gun is better; both offer considerable advantages and are worthy guns in every respect.


The Hellbreath has 2 distinctive, boxy prongs on the front of the gun - each of these contains a full set of magnetic strips, tentatively called "rails".

A negative electrical current is run down one rail, which goes through the projectile, and back down the other rail. This current sets up a net magnetic field oriented "up", relative to the rails. The projectile's current is "sideways" relative to the rails, and this current interacts with the net magnetic field to produce a "forward" force.

Variants and CustomizationEdit

Metro Last LightEdit

The Hellbreath has three attachment slots: Optics, Base and Misc. 5 different attachments are available for the Valve: two Optics, two Base upgrades and one Misc (a laser sight).

Available attachments
Slot Icon Name Effect Description
LL Optics Upgrade Slot
LL Reflex Sight Upgrade Reflex sight Range +25%
Accuracy +25%
This pre-war sight makes aiming the gun at close and medium range easier, without sacrificing much of the field of view.
LL x4 Sight Upgrade 4x sight Range +100%
Accuracy +50%
This sniper sight allows for easy target acquisition and weapon aiming at extremely long range, but limits the field of view considerably
LL Base Upgrade Slot
LL Extended Battery Upgrade Extended battery Battery capacity +50% Increases the railgun's energy reserves greatly, allowing for the weapon to be fired for much longer without the need to recharge.
LL Capacitor Upgrade Heavy duty capacitor Charge time
Makes the weapon accumulate charge faster, allowing for more rapid succession of full-power shots.
LL Extra Upgrade Slot
LL Laser Upgrade Laser sight Accuracy +25% A pre-war laser sight facilitates aiming the weapon at close range, making precise snapshots easy to achieve.


Metro 2033Edit

Volt driver sideview M2033
  • Lost Tunnels – appears in the area with the bandits first encountered by Artyom and Bourbon near the campfire at the centre of the room(Removed in Redux)
  • Armory – appears on the bed with the Heavy Automatic Shotgun, shortly after Andrew rescues Artyom(Removed in Redux and instead this is up for purchase in the same station)
  • Sparta Base – appears on a the pile of boxes to the left of the weapon rack(Both in Original and Redux)

Metro Last LightEdit

  • In the Faction Pack DLC, a Hellbreath with 4x Scope can be obtained at the start of the Heavy Squad mission, sitting in a box next to the ammunition supply. Diesel will tell you to get it before the snipers show up.
  • In the Tower Pack DLC, it can be obtained for use after completing the third test.
  • In the Developer Pack DLC, it is unlocked and can be used in the Shooting Gallery and AI Arena.

Metro ExodusEdit

In Metro Exodus, the Hellbreath isn't a unique weapon, but a heavily modified Tihar. It is only available during the Dead City level. After Kirill informs Artyom and Miller about the SatCom center, Miller will let Artyom take his Volt Driver.


This gun can effectively be used in any situation except situations that require stealth or where there are many weak enemies (like amoebas). This gun is also highly suggested in Ranger Easy and Ranger Hardcore difficulties as the damage increase makes body shots an instant kill on everything except librarians. Its laser sight and easily visible magazine capacity negates the HUD removal disadvantage of hardcore mode. Its firepower does decrease after each shot, so recharge the battery after each fight or if you are in a stealth situation and you have time, charge after killing an enemy. In hot situations, retreat to charge the weapon if it loses power to kill your opponents in singular shots. Like the Tihar, the Hellbreath will make sound while fully charged but it will be sparks instead of air leaking out

In the Last Light DLCs, it proves extremely useful in killing heavily armoured troops found in many of the levels, and its the player's only mean to counter snipers.

Related Achievements/TrophiesEdit

Metro 2033Edit

Shocking Shocking 20 Game points
Get 50 kills with Volt Driver.

Stunning Stunning 20 Game points
Get 25 kills with alternative fire of Volt Driver.

Weaponsmith Weaponsmith (Metro 2033) 40 Game points
Kill at least 1 enemy with each weapon available in the game.

Metro Last LightEdit

LL Achievement Homo Homini Lupus Est Icon Homo Homini Lupus Est Bronze Trophy Icon / 15 Game points
Kill 100 enemies with heavy weapons.

Metro 2033 ReduxEdit

2033R Achievement Shocking Icon Shocking Bronze Trophy Icon / 15 Game points
Get 30 kills with Hellbreath.


  • You can see a working railgun - one that hasn't been miniaturized here.
    • Realistically speaking, a railgun the size and effectiveness of the Hellbreath is decades beyond both current and in-game time periods (especially since the metro does not have the type of supplies required to make a proper railgun to start with, with a railgun matching the power of an anti-materiel rifle requiring a power density of about 40 watts/cm3). Modern "handheld railguns" are the size of Anti-Materiel rifles but only offer performance on par to an air gun, with most of that mass being the batteries. However, we can assume that solid state, Graphene augmented super-capacitors have been invented/perfected several decades ahead of the real world timeline in Metro's universe, and those have the required theoretical power output to match or even exceed the said thresholds in a practical size for a handheld weapon.
  • If Miller is killed while carrying the gun, it will be dropped. The gun then is highlighted, signaling the player that he is able to pick it up, however, you cannot pick the weapon up, since his death always means game over.
  • A Railgun such as the Hellbreath is not to be confused with a Gauss gun; both types of weapons use electricity to generate electromagnetic fields to accelerate a projectile at extreme velocities but each are designed very differently; a Gauss weapon (otherwise known as "Coilguns") would use Electromagnetic Coils to accelerate a ferromagnetic round while a railgun uses two parallel rails and a projectile that is a good conductor of electricity to complete an electric circuit (see the Wikipedia links above for a more complete explanations of the differences between the two principles and more detailed methods of operation).
  • Interestingly, in Metro 2033 the Hellbreath is mostly used as short-range defense, in Last Light it got a longer effective range, allowing the user to snipe distant targets, therefore it's even more versatile than Tihar.
  • If left idle long enough, Artyom will poke a wire on the weapon, then look at his finger, showing a metal splinter.
    • Oddly enough, the same animation is used in the Developer Pack, which causes the player's hand to clip through the now-flipped prongs of the weapon. 
  • While the Hellbreath has muzzle flash while fired in Metro 2033, in Last Light it doesn't.
  • Hellbreath's power meter is identical to the one found on the universal charger, but they need to be manually charged individually. 
  • There is a Hellbreath on the top of one of the bookcases with the equipment in the ammo exchange kiosk in Riga.
  • While you cannot buy one in-game (all are found), it would sell for roughly 241 MGR if it were available in a shop.
    • An interesting tip for those 'strapped-for-cash'. You can acquire the first Hellbreath in Lost Tunnels, which can be used to great effect for a large part of the game. Once you reach Armory Station, and the second one appears, you can sell one of the Weapons in exchange for a Duplet and you will receive a lot MGR . You still have the other Hellbreath, as well as the Heavy Automatic Shotgun, if you wish to sell or use that instead. This helps greatly with the Scrooge Achievement.
  • In Heavy Squad, Diesel mentions that the Hellbreath Hans uses was stolen from Armory Station during a Nazi raid and also mentions the name "smithy", likely referring to Andrew the Blacksmith.
  • This weapon can be seen strapped to Miller's back during the Dead City level. An interesting detail in this level is that Miller can be seen removing the Railgun from his back, and raising it above his head whilst traversing the flooded drainage area. It is likely he does this to avoid getting the electrical components wet, which could lead to the weapon malfunctioning, or even harming Miller himself.
  • The Hellbreath may be a reference to the Gauss Rifle from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series, with both being a gun that uses electricity to fire the weapon and having an effective range from mid to long range however the Hellbreath is less powerful than the Gauss Rifle, not being able to kill most enemy in one shot due to less effective production.
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