The tri-beam laser rifle has the appearance of a shortened laser rifle. It lacks the tube on the bottom length of the barrel, but has a new emitter aperture, wire assembly, and a darker color. The new emitter fires three laser beams with each shot. Unlike the Metal Blaster, and Protectron's Gaze, it expends three microfusion cells per shot. Since each pull of the trigger consumes three microfusion cells, it has an effective magazine size of eight shots.
This weapon is smaller than a normal AER9 laser rifle, yet it's one pound heavier.
This weapon has an object effect that allows it do 40 additional HP of damage when the target is the player. The +40 damage is for EACH beam, thereby increasing its damage potential by 120 per shot, and this value is not mitigated by your damage resistance, nor the condition of the gun itself. Therefore, even a high level player can be decimated by an opponent wielding this weapon within 4-5 hits.
Unlike other energy weapons, tri-beam laser rifles do not ignite trapped gas.
The tri-beam laser rifle can fire a total of about 333 shots, the equivalent of 42 reloads, from full condition before breaking.
Metal BlasterThe Pitt (add-on)- This unique variant of the AER9 fires nine beams at once, using one microfusion cell similar to the Protectron's Gaze laser pistol. This feature, coupled with its remarkably high damage-per-shot makes it a devastating short to close-range weapon, though its effectiveness greatly diminishes at a range with the "shotgun effect". It can be obtained by bringing fifty steel ingots to Everett in The Pitt.
The following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Operation: Anchorageadd-on includes an unused add-on-specific version of the laser rifle. It is identical to the normal laser rifle in both statistics and appearance. Its intended purpose in the add-on is unknown and it was cut from the final release, rendering it accessible only through the use of console commands.
A "demo" version of the laser rifle is included in Fallout 3, presumably left from the game's E3 demo. It does one point less damage per shot and less than half the critical damage than the standard variant, but has a much higher critical chance percentage. It is not used anywhere in the game and is only accessible through the use of console commands.
End of information based on Fallout 3 cut content.
The tri-beam laser rifle degrades three times as fast as the Metal Blaster (since it fires three shots at a time)
Super mutant overlords often carry a tri-beam laser rifle. Although they are incredibly powerful against the player, the weapon itself is usually only in mid- to low condition, the weapon will be more common in the later stage of the game, since the overlords are more likely to be encountered.
Talon Company Mercs and Enclave soldiers sometimes carry them.
The Tri-Beam Laser, as seen in the gameplay videos.
Reloading the Tri-Beam Laser, from here we can see the weapon's approximate length.
The Tri-Beam Laser as seen in V.A.T.S. (From G4 gameplay video).