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| ||For an overview of plasma rifle models, see Plasma rifle.|
Plasma rifles or plasma casters are high-tech weapons which find numerous applications in military and industrial fields. They fire superheated bolts of plasma powered by either microfusion cells, heavy energy cells or plasma cartridges. The bolt forms in a special chamber, which is then sent down a superconducting barrel, propelled by, and in some models stabilized by electromagnetic claws upon exiting it.
The plasma bolt is a toroid of superheated hydrogen gas that delivers high levels of both thermal and kinetic energy damage to the target, melting through most types of armors and causing massive 3rd-degree and 4th-degree burns.
Initially, these weapons were bulky, industrial plasma casters designed to be an industrial welding tool rather than a weapon, manufactured by Winchester Arms; while it performed admirably as a welding tool, it was expensive and required specialized training to use. However, later developments for the US Army would lead to a more compact and smaller designs, such as the plasma pistol and plasma rifle, that was cheaper to produce and easier to train for, perfectly suited for urban warfare.
Regardless, all types of plasma weapons have a common feature: when a Critical Hit is delivered, they can literally melt down enemies. While most industrial casters aren't powerful enough to dissolve bones too, subsequent models have no problem converting the target into a puddle of goo.
The plasma caster is a powerful energy weapon, having a rather low AP cost and high rate of fire. Compared to its rifle-based counterpart, it outclasses it in both damage and fire rate as well as ammunition consumption, using only one Microfusion cell instead of two per shot. Finally, it is slightly more durable. It pays for these advantages however in weight and accuracy: its far larger base spread is compounded by the insane skill and strength requirements to handle this weapon, and at 20 pounds it is the heaviest energy weapon in the game save for the GRA Cleansing Flame. Finally, it is rare and not very durable so the Jury Rigging perk or weapon repair kits may be necessary for continuous use of this weapon.
The plasma caster can fire a total of about 395 times using standard packs, the equivalent of 40 reloads, from full condition before breaking.
- Plasma caster high-speed electrode - Increase the rate of fire of the plasma caster by 25%.
- The Smitty Special fnvgra: a unique version of the plasma caster.
|Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)||- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)||Attacks in V.A.T.S.||- Attacks in V.A.T.S.|
|Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)||- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)||Action point cost||- Action point cost|
|Damage per attack (damage per projectile)||- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)||Damage per action point||- Damage per action point|
|Damage per second||- Damage per second||Weapon spread||- Weapon spread|
|Area of effect damage||- Area of effect damage||Magazine capacity (shots per reload)||- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)|
|Effect damage & duration||- Effect damage & duration||Durability (number of attacks before breaking)||- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)|
|Bonus effects||- Bonus effects||Weight||- Weight|
|Attacks per second||- Attacks per second||Value in caps||- Value in caps|
|Critical chance % multiplier||- Critical chance % multiplier||Value to weight ratio||- Value to weight ratio|
|Critical damage||- Critical damage||Skill required||- Skill required|
|Critical effect damage & duration||- Critical effect damage & duration||Strength required||- Strength required|
|With all mods attached||- With all mods attached|
|Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)||Damage per attack (damage per projectile)||Damage per second||Attacks per second||Critical Chance % multiplier||Critical damage||Attacks in V.A.T.S.||Action Point cost||Damage per action point||Weapon spread||Magazine capacity (shots per reload)||Durability (number of attacks before breaking)||Weight||Value in caps||Value to weight ratio||Skill required||Strength required|
|Plasma caster With all weapon mods attached||65||243.8||3.75||x1||65||1||25||2.6||0.7||10||395||20||9500||475||100||8|
|The Smitty Special fnvgra||35||245||7||x0.1||35||3||30||3.5||1.3||20||1095||20||20000||1000||100||8|
- Silver Rush - one can be bought in very poor condition, or stolen for very poor/perfect condition (See: Silver Rush bugs for more information on how to get the perfect condition one).
- Orion Moreno sometimes uses it in the Second Battle of Hoover Dam if having completed the side quest For Auld Lang Syne without killing him.
- Old World Blues (add-on) Y-17 trauma override harness may carry them at higher levels, becoming the most apparent around 40-50, but it is still rare to see them carry one.
- Lonesome Road (add-on) Sometimes carried by marked men in the Divide.
- Lonesome Road (add-on) Carried by Colonel Royez and sometimes by his Irradiated NCR heavy troopers in the Long 15.
- Lonesome Road (add-on) Sometimes carried by irradiated legion explorers in Dry Wells.
- The plasma caster, like the plasma rifle found in Fallout and Fallout 2, is a Winchester P94 energy caster, not to be confused with the urban plasma rifle found in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. When outfitted with the Plasma caster HS electrode, it effectively becomes the turbo plasma rifle from the earlier games.
- When viewed in third-person, depending on what armor is worn, the plasma caster may not be visible on the player character when holstered. Half-way through the holstering animation, the weapon model simply disappears, similar to the incinerator and heavy incinerator. If visible, the player character holds it in one hand with the pronged tip clipping through the ground.
- In the G.E.C.K. there is a plasma caster critical effect explosion that was cut out from the game. In the projectiles window, the explosion is already set but is unchecked.
- Without any DLCs, there is only one fixed plasma caster in Fallout: New Vegas.
- In Fallout 3, Elder Lyons refers to this weapon when talking about the Brotherhood Outcasts.
Behind the scenesEdit
- While the original idea to include the Winchester P94 in Fallout: New Vegas came from J.E. Sawyer, Paul Fish was responsible for modelling and texturing it.
- The naming of this weapon "Plasma Caster" instead of "Plasma Rifle" like in the original games was both because Fallout 3 had already introduced a plasma rifle, and that the weapon does not look like a rifle 
- pc ps3 xbox360 The weapon fails to fire a projectile properly when used in third-person view. After equipping it when in third-person view it may not work even when switching to first-person view. Re-equipping it while in first-person view may solve this. [verified]
- pc Sometimes after quick loading the weapon is held in one hand by the handle and moves with the players arm movement when holstered, or appears next to the players arm. This can be fixed by un-equipping and then re-equipping the plasma caster. [verified]
- xbox360 When using the weapon in V.A.T.S. the projectile will often not fire unless very close to the target, and if standing under a roof the projectile may collide with the structure. [verified]
- xbox360 While equipped, weapon may become stuck to player's hand when changing outfits. To fix this, simply un-equip, then re-equip. [verified]
- ↑ In-game description for the plasma rifle in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. 
- ↑ Research Note - Plasma rifle, Fort Independence terminal entries. 
- ↑ Chris Taylor interview for Vault13.net. 
- ↑ Cover of Future Weapons Today. 
- ↑ Elder Lyons' dialogue: "After all," they say, "everyone knows how to make another human, but the secrets to making a P94 Plasma Rifle are all but lost."
- ↑ J.E. Sawyer on Formspring
- ↑ J.E. Sawyer when asked on Formspring