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For similar weapons in other games, see plasma rifle.

The Plasma Rifle is a heavy skill weapon weapon in Deus Ex.


An experimental weapon that is currently being produced as a series of one-off prototypes, the plasma gun superheats slugs of magnetically-doped plastic and accelerates the resulting gas-liquid mix using an array of linear magnets. The resulting plasma stream is deadly when used against slow moving targets.

The plasma rifle is an experimental plasma gun produced by Majestic 12 under the supervision of Aston Greer, the director of security for FEMA and Majestic 12. Majestic 12 deployed the weapon to its special operations teams, and later to its military and security organization. One of the first prototypes of the weapon was sent to the Liberty Island MJ12 laboratory for testing.[1]


The plasma rifle fires three plasma bolts when the fire key is pressed. Each plasma bolt is an explosive projective that inflicts "burned" damage with a blast radius of 300,[2] which is greater than the blast radius of the GEP gun's normal rockets. Each plasma bolt has a base damage of 8. However, because plasma bolts explode on impact, each plasma bolt actually inflicts damage five times over five explosions, with the most potent explosion having a base damage that approaches 40% of the projectile's nominal base damage. As a result, a single plasma bolt typically inflict more than 8 base damage. In ideal situations, a single plasma bolt can inflict up to 14 base damage on a humanoid target.

Due to the explosive nature of plasma bolts, damage is sometimes erratic. Actual damage will depend on the interaction between the plasma bolts and the hitbox of the target, which is made more unpredictable by the fact that plasma bolts have a travel time to reach its target. At the master skill level, a single salvo of 3 plasma bolts will usually take down a common trooper when fired at the body.

At lower accuracies, plasma bolts are fired with a high spread. Standing still for a few seconds will reduce the spread. When 100% accuracy is attained, spread is reduced to zero, even when firing the weapon on the move. 100% accuracy can be obtained by the combination of master skill level and the use of 2 accuracy modifications.

Since the plasma rifle is a projectile weapon rather than an instant-hit weapon, the laser modification has no effect on the accuracy of the plasma rifle's shots. Similarly, the range modification has no actual effect on the plasma rifle's range.

As a heavy skill weapon, the plasma rifle limits the movement of the player unless the heavy skill is advanced or higher. Since skill level affects maneuverability in addition to accuracy and damage, a skill level of advanced or master is generally considered to be important for effective usage of the weapon.

The plasma rifle's "burned" damage type is resisted by certain types of enemies. Specifically, MJ12 Commandos have 50% resistance, robots have 75% resistance, and grays have full immunity against "burned" damage.

Original plasma bolt damage[]

Originally, plasma bolts had a base damage of 40, giving the plasma rifle a total damage of 40x3. When multiplayer mode was first released under patch 1.104fm, plasma bolts were given a damage of 12 for multiplayer mode. However, due to what is generally considered to be a bug or oversight, the damage for multiplayer mode was also used for single player mode.[3] Under patch 1.112fm, which is pre-installed with the Game of the Year Edition, multiplayer damage for plasma bolts was adjusted to 8,[4] but use of the multiplayer damage for single player mode was not corrected.[5]

Therefore, since version 1.112fm, the plasma rifle has had a damage of 8x3, which makes the weapon significantly less powerful than what it used to be prior to the introduction of multiplayer mode. The PS20, which fires a single plasma bolt instead of three, was affected in the same manner. Without modification of game files, the console command "set plasmabolt mpdamage 40" can be used to restore the original damage, although this command must be executed each time the game is run.


  • Ammo for the plasma rifle is fairly rare. Ammo is sometimes carried by Men in Black, who will explode upon death, destroying their inventories in the process. To obtain ammo carried by Men in Black, it is necessary to render them unconscious using a non-lethal weapon.
  • The plasma rifle is capable of mounting a scope to improve ease of use in long range combat. However, compared to the sniper rifle, which is a hitscan (instant-hit) weapon, plasma rifle bolts have a travel time, limiting the weapon's effectiveness at the longest ranges.



  • Although it takes up the same amount of inventory space as the GEP gun and the Flamethrower, it seems to be smaller when compared to the two.
  • The likeness of this weapon resembles the BFG9000 from Doom.



  1. Email on V. Alibek's computer.
  2. The property mpBlastRadius=300.00 for the class PlasmaBolt in DeusEx.u.
  3. See PlasmaBolt class in DeusEx.u for patch version v1.104fm (December 2000).
  4. Patch notes for 1.112fm: "Plasma does 8 base damage instead of 12".
  5. Specifically, the script for the PlasmaBolt class in v1.112fm lacks the condition "if ( Level.NetMode != NM_StandAlone )" that is used in other comparable classes. See also