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Lightning Gun
Production information


Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
Maximum Ammunition
Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

Lightning (white)

Rate of Fire

1,200 rpm (20 bolts per second)


Extremely accurate on the move, depends on the Player


Medium range of 768 units then bolt discharges


In Quake 3 Arena and Quake Live, the Lightning Gun (or LG) fires a powerful stream of lightning at a target. The LG has limited range and eats up ammo with lightning-speed, but can quickly do damage to a target.

In player slang its other name known as "shaft".


  • Lightning Gun is a unique beam type weapon, it looks a lot like its hitscan predecessors but Lightning Gun is different. LG requires player to be on the move and mobile to be accurate, if the player doesn't move at all, the beam will follow behind the crosshair which makes it pretty hard to aim.
  • Lightning Gun is a precision weapon like Railgun, setting a sensitivity that is too high will make recovery much harder after heavy hits or cause you to twitch and miss moving targets. However high sensitivity can be utilized if you to stand still just to abuse stalling beam after twitchy mouse movement, but that is not desired.
  • Against one foe, the LG is very effective, especially if you have good predicting skills. Try to predict where you target will go, then move the crosshair where you think they'll be going. At long narrow halls and bare reaches that beam licks the foe, try to shoot in bursts to conserve ammo and measure distance.
  • The Lightning Gun is effective against a group of enemies. Switch between targets by shooting short bursts so that everybody in the room get hurt by it. Just remember that the LG easily gives away your position, so get ready to move away before someone finds you.
  • Remember as it's devastating at low-medium distance, it's also as ineffective at very long distances. The LG can be effective at close range, but it is better to switch to a weapon more suitable for close-quarters yet still have a hefty reach, such as the Rocket Launcher or Shotgun.
  • Lightning Gun emits a low buzzing hum, which is audible to other players. When any foe stands still or slowly walks around it's easy to listen about. Don't wield it if you're awaiting an ambush around the corner or sure that your opponent camping a pickup. Else people will tend to keep distance from you as they hear the buzzing sound or see the LG bearer from afar.
  • While it won't do as much damage as the Railgun or Rocket Launcher in terms of bursts, it can cause major damage at medium range by the means of dps. Which is very handy for conserving Slugs and Rockets along your restock route. Don't forget to have a backup plan in case you run out of ammo before your target dies. Try not to use LG as your main weapon and use it to conserve other ammunition like RL, until you resupply.
  • LG has massive knockback power in Quake Live; that might cause hazardous deaths by pushing the players off of the edge to the abyss. Because of that it's capable of keeping players in the air helplessly until they're electrocuted by the beam. Best way to evade that sort of combo is air-steering to the sides the moment you are juggled to be airborne by a Rocket Launcher before LG bearer catches you at a peak point, or simply not jumping around the corners where you can be easily pinned.
  • Grasp of Lighting Gun is easy to avoid if the user has poor predicting skills. Strafe and zigzag away from the LG beam in open areas, and tap step to the sides slightly while backpedalling. Else crouch tapping then backward jumps by slightly looking away from the opponent would work too. Don't fall into using a predictable dodging pattern; if you do, the enemy will figure it out.
  • However, if the enemy is good at predicting movements, then fighting against him will be much harder. If you can, try to get out of the range of his Lightning Gun by running backwards. If not, attack him with a rapid-fire weapon like Plasma Gun or Machine Gun to throw off their aim, else send him airborne with Rocket Launcher and hope that he'll go down in a few shots from whatever weapon you're using.
  • If you cannot see the Lightning Gun user, stay mobile and make your movement less predictable, this way the LG user has a harder time to hit you. When you have no room to maneuver and stuck, then best choice is staying and fighting the foe.
  • Because of its limited beam range, Grenade Launcher can be a good counter weapon if you want to put a distance between you and the LG bearer. Bounce a few grenades off from walls and retreat, then retaliate with PG or RL.


  • Unlike the Quake 1 Lightning Gun, this weapon will not discharge all of its ammo at once when you fire it in water. It can be theorized the weapon actually fires a concentrated laser beam.
  • Strangely the ammunitions you get are white lightning bolts but when you fire it, beam has a blue hue within'. (Occurs when patched to Point Release 1.32)
  • Like Railgun it emits a low hum of electricity when wielded.
  • In Quake Live, LG had a damage falloff within' range by a patch in 2009 since it was a bit puzzling for team to balance an instant hitscan weapon. As of now LG suffers no damage falloff and its range is still the same.

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