| ||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.
Initially, the weapon was a bulky, industrial plasma caster, manufactured by Winchester Arms; while it performed admirably, it was expensive and required specialized training to use. However, later developments for the US Army would lead to a more compact design 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.
This plasma rifle is a lightweight urban warfare weapon created by REPCONN Aerospace for the US Army based on engine parts from the failed Z43-521P - "Green Bean" plasma-powered rocket. Like the AER9 laser rifle, it uses a microfusion cell as its power supply. It taps into the cell, essentially a small fusion reactor, to produce a toroid of plasma that is ejected down a superconducting barrel. In contrast to the Winchester P94, it does not have the electromagnetic claws.
The plasma rifle fires projectiles that inflict potentially heavy damage at a fairly quick semi-automatic rate of fire. The plasma bolt moves at sub-sonic speeds, giving enemies the chance to dodge the plasma bolts. Because of this, the plasma rifle is most effective in close to medium range combat, as opposed to the laser rifle, which is better suited to long range. Due to its fast semi-automatic rate of fire, it empties its 12-shot magazine rather quickly, and its reload time is somewhat longer than most other small guns/energy weapons. Maintenance is a combination of perks and drawbacks: Like other energy weapons, it has a high maximum condition compared to small guns, but is expensive and/or difficult to repair. A plasma rifle in poor condition (under 10%) can cost over 1,000 bottle caps to repair. The plasma rifle has twice the chance of inflicting a critical hit than most other weapons, and can turn enemies into piles of green goo if the killing blow is a critical hit. Like all energy weapons, the plasma rifle's plasma bolt can ignite gas leaks.
The plasma rifle can fire a total of about 500 shots, the equivalent of 42 reloads, from full condition before breaking.
- A3-21's plasma rifle - Obtained from Harkness at the end of The Replicated Man, A3-21's plasma rifle is one of the most powerful energy weapons, rivaling Lincoln's repeater in damage per shot.
|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||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|
|A3-21's plasma rifle||50||100||2||x2.5||50||25||2||0.2||12||600||8||2200||275|
- Within Taft Tunnel, held by a Tesla armored soldier in the room where Doctor Li opens the locked door (you need to hop on top of a barrel and onto the lamp and onto the beams to reach the soldiers).
- Fort Independence, inside a weapons armory (the key to the armory door is inside one of the footlockers in the quarters).
- The Citadel laboratory, on the table (note there a possible chance that power armor can be there instead of plasma rifle), sometimes you can purchase this weapon in Armory.
- Standard issue for Enclave soldiers wearing Tesla armor.
- Broken Steel Used by Enclave soldiers wearing Enclave Hellfire armor.
- Broken Steel Brotherhood soldiers may frequently be armed with plasma rifles, presumably captured by the Brotherhood and re-issued amongst the ranks. Officer Lepelletier is also armed with one. It is possible to obtain it passing a speech check.
- Mothership Zeta (add-on) One can be found in the weapons lab and another in the cargo hold.
- There is a very small chance that raiders may spawn with this weapon at trashed Enclave camps.
- Broken Steel Paladin Tristan carries one.
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- ↑ In-game description for the plasma rifle in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. 
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Research Note - Plasma rifle, Fort Independence terminal entries. 
- ↑ Chris Taylor interview for Vault13.net. 
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Cover of Future Weapons Today.