In addition to its 100% critical chance and high damage, the Firelance sets its target on fire upon strike, causing 2 points of damage every second for 5 seconds. Both the Pyromaniac and Xenotech Expertperks affect this weapon and it uses the rare alien power cells as ammunition.
There is no guaranteed location and the ammunition scatters across the general area of the event which can make recovering it a difficult task.
The Firelance event produces a brief radiation field which is usually centered on the weapon itself. The weapon may not always be found within the irradiated area but will usually be very nearby.
The Firelance can get stuck on buildings, such as a water tower.
If the Firelance event took place near hostile non-player characters, they may utilize the Firelance. If the Firelance has fallen on top of a building the non-player character will take the Firelance to use, even if it couldn't normally be picked up. It will be retrievable by simply killing them and take it off their corpse.
Normally, this weapon is weaker (but still very hard-hitting) than the alien blaster due to its burning effect. However, with the Pyromaniac perk, its power exceeds that of the blaster. It still wears down significantly faster, though.
The Firelance is a reference to an identically named martian weapon appearing in the Wasteland paragraph book, in the red herring Mars plot.
Both the Firelance and the alien blaster resemble Commander Adams' pistol from the 1956 movie the Forbidden Planet, both in design and firing. The "bullets" disperse in a very similar way when they hit solid objects, such as walls.