The Zenith ZAP is part of the Zenith line of pistols and is a perma-silenced, non-lethal weapon that serves as the close-ranged counterpart to the TRQ 203-C Longsword. It serves as a trusty weapon for a stealthy player who wishes to avoid performing takedowns to conserve bioenergy, or because getting up close to their target would risk detection.
The ZAP takes down all human enemies in a single hit, except for EXO-suits and the endgame boss. The ZAP is still useful against them, however, by momentarily stunning them, allowing the player to immediately follow up with a takedown during their recovery. The ability to handle all human enemies makes the ZAP a versatile weapon. Note that, unlike its predecessor in Human Revolution, the ZAP cannot disable security devices or 'Bots.
The ZAP has a base maximum range of only 8 meters, something the player should keep in mind. When standing and aiming straight, the maximum range is approximately 8.15-8.20 meters.
Unlike lethal weapons such as the Zenith CA-40 pistol, the ZAP does not require head shots at all, since a single body shot will immediately take down any organic enemy. A single hit takes down even Shadow Operatives with an active Titan Shield, something that cannot be accomplished with any lethal firearm. However, hitting them before they turn on the shield will occasionally (similarly to the TESLA) make them switch on their titan shield. In this situation, unless you fire a second shot at them once it's up, there's a chance that they'll come out unharmed and conscious.
Against EXO-suits, the stun time resulting from the ZAP is shorter than the stun time from a typical EMP round. However, stealthy players who prefer to sneak up on EXO-suits will find the ZAP to be sufficient, without the need for any EMP ammunition, as long as the follow-up takedown is correctly timed.
Due to the ZAP's short range, the laser sight weapon modification is very useful on this weapon, because the laser dot only appears when the target is within the maximum range, and disappears when the target is out of range. The laser sight thus permits the player to easily determine whether a particular target is within range. Additionally, the laser sight significantly increases the normally poor accuracy of the ZAP, especially while moving.
The ZAP has to be cycled after each shot, as it is a bolt-action weapon. As a result, the player is rather vulnerable between shots, and may be unable to retaliate in the event of early detection. The reload branch of the Cybernetic Weapon Handling aug not only speeds up the slow reload speed, but also the bolt motion in-between shots, meaning that the tier three upgrade of the reload speed branch synergizes exceptionally well with the ZAP. Please note that firing the weapon will cause Jensen's cloaking augmentation to deactivate. Open combat can be avoided by stealth tactics such as staying in cover when firing, moving from cover to cover, and throwing props to create distractions, as well as strategic use of smoke bombs and their mine counterpart. Despite being silenced, the ZAP could still attract the attention of enemies if it is fired too close to them, or if it hits their armor plates.
The ZAP is proficient in taking out a couple key targets, or when used with tactics or augmentations that compensate for its slow rate of fire. As mentioned previously, headshots aren't necessary, as a hit anywhere will sink the majority of organic targets. Nonetheless, headshots not only award slightly more experience points, but also eliminate the targets' noises, dropping them to the floor instantly (rather than leave them standing, spasming, and screaming) to help avoid detection.
Drawbacks of the ZAP include its very low range, slow rate of fire (which can be improved upon somewhat), slow reload (which can also be improved upon), expensive and uncommon ammo, and its need for a laser sight to be effective. Overall, however, this is a very useful weapon to have. Its ability to quietly dispose of enemies undetected is rivaled only by Adam's takedowns, without the associated energy costs and constant need for biocells.
Notable locations Edit
- The player begins with this weapon in the first mission of the game (M1: Black Market Buy) if the non-lethal, short range method of engagement is selected in the opening dialogue with Jim Miller.
- During the early mission M3: Getting in Top Shape Again, in which Jensen visits Václav Koller, a stun gun can be found in the Manager's Office of the bookstore. Upon stepping into the office, turn right and find a shelf with a globe and a small horse painting. The stun gun is behind the small horse painting.
- One can be looted from a white van parked outside 33 Hlavni.
- The TF29 armory holds a stun gun. It's protected by a level 5 lock.
- A storage unit in the square outside Tech Noir holds one, as well as some other high-quality loot.
- In the System Rift DLC, the basement of the wine store holds a stun gun with a base reload of 80. It's also fully upgraded, including a laser sight. Note that the abnormal reload speed also applies to the rechambering between shots. It can be found behind some fridges in the basement, alongside a box of stun gun darts.
- Based on its bolt-action operation, the ZAP was probably inspired by the Welrod suppressed pistol.
- Contrary to the inventory description, the ZAP is not a single-shot weapon as each load of ammunition provides several shots worth of Stun Darts before requiring a reload even in its vanilla state.