Plasma Gun
Plasma Gun
Production information


Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
  • 20 per Plasma ball
  • 1-14 [splash damage]
Maximum Ammunition
Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

Cells (purple)

  • 20 units of splash radius
Rate of Fire

600 rpm (10 plasma beats per second)

Muzzle Velocity
  • 2,000 units per second
  • Plasma cells prestep at the first 20 feet then drop down to their normal speed in Quake Live



Extremely long range of 20,000 units


In Quake 3 Arena, the Plasma Gun fires slow bursts of swirling blue iron plasma based on the Doom series. These generate a very small amount of Splash Damage. This feature is generally utilized in defrag/jump maps to Plasma Climb.

The Plasma Gun is Q3A's version of the Hyperblaster, with faster, explosive shots. Its high damage output, tight firing cone and projectile speed make it an excellent medium range gun with suppression fire capabilities.


  • The Plasma Gun's tight firing cone make it excellent at medium range. Any further, and it becomes easy to dodge. Any closer, and it becomes hard to track your opponent effectively. Circle strafing is a very effective tactic to use with the Plasma Gun. If PG is all you have, fire erratically near your target to get some health down.
  • Due to the fact of it being difficult to hit a hectic enemy, players tend to ignore this weapon for something like a Rocket Launcher for better burst damage. The PG is an underdog at the arsenal because of tedious positioning to work effectively when using it, but offers a quickly stacking high dps when you master the tracking with it.
  • Leading shots is not very necessary at medium range, but a valued tactic when engaged at close combat. When at close quarters shooting barriers of hot plasma requires leading the shots at the path of foes. Give a curve to the shots to lead them at the path of your opponent.
  • In case an opponent run towards you, you can fire the plasma in front of his feet; inflicted splash damage will be enough to force player to change his direction or retreat. Follow up direct hits can be easy and lethal to enemy player. At close quarters a few shots to the feet can pin the player down for a small while giving you a chance to react. If your foe hasn't noticed you yet and you're at the even ground or positioned higher, try to nail their ankles to throw their aim and balance off regardless of distance.
  • At long distances the Plasma Gun is best when it comes to pinning down an opponent or covering entrance points like the Grenade Launcher at close-medium quarters. It can pressure fire a narrow hallway with ease. Quick wide array sprays to a tunnel or narrow gate would overwhelm anyone coming through. For corners longer direct bursts while crouched can be preferred to cut anyone out.
  • When fighting at long range wielding a Plasma Gun, remember the target will still be on the move as you're trying to figure the direction and lead the shots in bursts. Unless you have a wide view of the opponent at long distance, trying to flick shots and leading plasma beats would be in vain. It's advised to walk momentarily or stutter-strafe as you lead plasma bursts at long distances for more control and tighter spray. Upon being noticed from far range, if you don't paint the area with large sprays your target will easily slip away between your shots and retaliate.
  • In Quake Live the Plasma Gun got a small tweak and now its plasma beats prestep for first 20 feet approximately before falling back to standard projectile speed. That makes it a short ranged hitscan weapon, making it easier to do follow up shots against opponents that are close and gives a slight edge for long distances.
  • Lack of a wide splash radius or hitscan capabilities -besides its prestep which was added in Quake Live- make this weapon certainly useless against fast targets at long distances or anyone taking teleporters. Yet its fast stacking damage can finish cornered or slow hovering foes with ease, and glaring projectiles are good for hiding most of your frame at long distances.
  • Plasma Jumps can be used for a boost to reach short ledges, switching between high platforms separated with a rather large gap. Step on the splash by firing it at your own path and hold jump, or shoot a rear wall while airsteering to gain a very slight hovering. Plasma Climb technique causes lots of splash damage to oneself, but it can certainly give a slightly higher yet slower lift at the cost of more health-armor loss. Even if you're dealing half of splash damage to self, it can quickly stack up. Look diagonally down, momentarily jump and fire away at the wall while holding forward. Hitting strafe may kill your vertical momentum in QL.
  • Your ammo depletes quickly, due to the short ammo supply and high ammo consuming rate; always make sure you have a backup weapon in case the Plasma Gun runs out. The Plasma Gun should be enough to keep you alive until you lay your hands on some better burst damage weapon like the RL. Combining it with a hitscan weapon like the Machine Gun may help you to deal better damage at range and conserve its low ammunition.
  • When fighting against a PG user, try to get in close with a Shotgun or a LG. Alternatively, you can try to back off and retaliate with a Rocket Launcher or a Railgun. Whatever you do, make sure you do not stay in between long and close range. Try to not get cornered at close combat, nor use narrow gates where you can't take cover. Even a slight exposure to an array of plasma stream in a bad position could shred half of your armor-health stock in a blink.
  • When against the PG, it's advised to advance the range by hit and run tactics. Don't strafe too much or stand at the same distance for too long. Jump erratically at close quarters and stick close to walls, cover or ledges at long distance to bait their bursts. Also avoid narrow corridors, where your opponent has huge advantage over by laying suppression fire.
  • The Plasma Gun coupled with a Quad Damage can shed away stocked enemies' health by a lot, even when they're equipped with a Battle Suit, as the projectiles travels at high velocity will be very likely to hit the enemy without generating splash damage.

Advantages Edit

  • Very common weapon to gather without any serious resistance.
  • Good damage per hit.
  • Highest potential dps after the BFG.
  • High rate of fire.
  • Continuous array can be used to suppress or blind the opponent.
  • Generous ammo supply.
  • Projectiles generate small amounts of splash damage to halt the enemy movement or Plasma Climb.

Disadvantages Edit

  • Have to lead targets due to projectile speed.
  • Direct continuous fire can be easy to evade in the open.
  • Requires good positioning and chasing to be accurate.
  • Hard to catch fast moving targets without stray fire.

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