The AER9 was actually not the top laser rifle in service at the time of the Great War. The model line went up to the state-of-the-art AER12, which saw service in a handful of specialty units. The reason that the AER9 is much more commonly found is that it was much sturdier and more reliable than the models that followed.
The AER9 features a titanium housed crystal array which proved to withstand long years of exposure to the elements much better than the gold alloy housing of the later models. As a result, the crystal arrays stayed focused within operating parameters, rather than falling completely out of focus like the newer models. Power is drawn from microfusion cells and processed through a wave/particle diverter manufactured by General Atomics International. The diverters are protected by a carbon-fiber housing, preventing frequent malfunction, but when a diverter fails the weapon becomes unusable.
As with all energy weapons, the AER9 can suffer from poor performance if not properly maintained. The crystal arrays and non-mechanical components are delicate and if not properly serviced can lead to a loss of beam intensity, overheating, and energy regulation failure.
While identical in appearance to the laser rifle, it does 5 more damage and also comes equipped with a larger magazine, with 30 shots instead of the standard 24. It is also 80% more durable than the standard laser rifle with 800 more hit points.
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.
Tri-beam laser rifleBroken Steel- The tri-beam laser rifle is a variant of the AER9 that fires three high-powered beams per shot - similar to the Metal Blaster - though it does require three microfusion cells every time the trigger is pulled. This weapon is not unique, dropped from super mutant overlords and is not repairable with anything but other tri-beam laser rifles. It was first made available in Broken Steel.
The following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Operation: Anchorageadd-on includes an unused DLC-specific version of the laser rifle. It is identical to the normal laser rifle in both statistics and appearance. Its intended purpose in the DLC 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.
Biwwy offers to sell his unique laser rifle to you in Little Lamplight for 500 caps because he has been kicked off the scavenger team and no longer goes out on patrols - he no longer needs a gun, but figures that you might.
With sufficient Barter skill, you can haggle the price down to 250 caps. If you have the Child at Heartperk, you can obtain the Wazer Wifle for free with no option to pay anything for it. Also note that if you have a high enough Barter skill you must buy it for 250 caps, that is if you can't pay the higher price.
ps3xbox360 It is possible to obtain two Wazer Wifle's. The player character must pickpocket the microfusion cells from Biwwy's inventory, then by waiting or leaving the Great Chamber Biwwy will have the Wazer Wifle in his inventory. The Lone Wanderer must have high Sneak or a Stealth Boy as it is quite hard to pickpocket him. The player character can then initiate normal dialog with Biwwy in which he is scripted to offer the Wazer Wifle again whether the Lone Wanderer chooses to buy it or use the Child at Heart perk. [verified]
xbox360The weapon's skin may disappear, other than the handle and front of the weapon where it fires, in both the third and first person view. This can be solved by closing and restarting the game. [verification overdue]