The Shotgun is the most common ranged weapon in the game. It is highly effective at close range while at longer ranges is relatively inaccurate and deals less damage. It does have reasonably large area of effect though, making massed shotgun fire a threat even at range.
Placing a second shotgun into an empty space in your inventory will cause it to disappear and be replaced with two rounds of ammunition. Alternatively, you can right click the shotgun in the building or corpse and unload the shells.
When looting Hunters, the shotgun may be found broken and is more likely to be found in this state if the Hunter was killed with the Wood Hatchet. Broken shotguns cannot be repaired or unloaded and serve no purpose.
The Shotgun is a standard Side-by-Side Double-Barreled weapon, in that it only holds two rounds. While a devastating weapon at close range, it must be reloaded constantly during and after engagement. Hunters are defenseless while they are reloading. This gives the player just enough time to counter-attack, under fair conditions.
The shotgun is best applied as a surprise weapon. With a shotgun, your firepower and combative necessities are effectively the same as those of your enemies, ergo to place them inside the effective range of your weapon, you must place yourself inside theirs. Therefore, to gain the upper hand, make use of range, cover, timing, and visibility.
In an offensive engagement with the shotgun, it is in your best interests to fire the first shot. Therefore, you can make use of the benefit of range in your attack, and then rob it from your enemy by retreating.
The shotgun is a useful weapon against unaware enemies, enemies who are alerted but have not yet spotted you, or enemies advancing towards you.
Shotgun can be used to excellent effect on enemies travelling around corners. This tactic is best used in villages, where robots have predictable paths of movement.
In a situation involving several robots, the shotgun can be applied not only with deadly force in mind, but also to damage a robot enough to cause it to flee temporarily from the engagement, lessening the amount of enemy firepower that needs to be considered.
The shotgun is best fired either from behind cover, or with a retreat to cover made after firing, as if your first attack does not kill your target robot, said target's own attack has the potential to be as devastating as yours.
A single close-range blast from the Shotgun will usually kill a Hunter. However, range at which the weapon is fired has a drastic effect on damage.