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For an overview of plasma rifle models, see Plasma rifle.

The A3-21's plasma rifle is a unique weapon in Fallout 3.


This section is transcluded from Plasma rifle. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

Plasma rifles or plasma casters are high-tech weapons which find numerous applications in military and industrial fields. They fire superheated bolts of plasma powered by either microfusion cells, heavy energy cells or plasma cartridges. The bolt forms in a special chamber, which is then sent down a superconducting barrel,[1][2] propelled by, and in some models stabilized by electromagnetic claws upon exiting it.[3]

The plasma bolt is a toroid of superheated hydrogen gas that delivers high levels of both thermal and kinetic energy damage to the target, melting through most types of armors and causing massive 3rd-degree and 4th-degree burns.

Initially, these weapons were bulky, industrial plasma casters designed to be an industrial welding tool rather than a weapon, manufactured by Winchester Arms; while it performed admirably as a welding tool, it was expensive and required specialized training to use. However, later developments for the US Army would lead to a more compact and smaller designs, such as the plasma pistol and plasma rifle, that was cheaper to produce and easier to train for, perfectly suited for urban warfare.[4]

Regardless, all types of plasma weapons have a common feature: when a Critical Hit is delivered, they can literally melt down enemies. While most industrial casters aren't powerful enough to dissolve bones too, subsequent models have no problem converting the target into a puddle of goo.

This plasma rifle is a lightweight urban warfare weapon[4] created by REPCONN Aerospace for the US Army based on engine parts from the failed Z43-521P - "Green Bean" plasma-powered rocket. Like the AER9 laser rifle, it uses a microfusion cell as its power supply. It taps into the cell, essentially a small fusion reactor, to produce a toroid of plasma that is ejected down a superconducting barrel.[2] In contrast to the Winchester P94, it does not have the electromagnetic claws.

As of 2277, these plasma rifles can usually be found in use by Enclave soldiers on the East Coast. By 2281, they can be found less commonly throughout the Mojave Wasteland.


The A3-21's plasma rifle is an upgraded version of the normal plasma rifle.

  • It does 5 more damage at max Energy Weapons and condition.
  • This weapon has a critical % multiplier of 2.5, compared to the standard version's 2.
  • It can be repaired with normal plasma rifles, although it is more durable and will not need to be repaired as often.
  • It has a 33% higher max condition value.


A3-21's plasma rifle can fire a total of 600 bolts, or about 50 full reloads from full condition, before breaking.



Icon melee- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Icon sequence- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Icon gun- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Icon action- Action point cost
Icon damage- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Icon dap- Damage per action point
Icon dps- Damage per secondIcon spread- Weapon spread
Icon explosion- Area of effect damageAssault carbine extended magazines- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Icon effect- Effect damage & durationIcon repair- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Icon bonus effect- Bonus effectsIcon weight- Weight
Icon attack- Attacks per secondIcon merchant- Value in caps
Icon chance- Critical chance % multiplierIcon ratio- Value to weight ratio
Icon critical damage- Critical damageIcon ability- Skill required
Icon crit effect- Critical effect damage & durationIcon fist- Strength required
Icon plus- With all mods attached
Icon gunIcon damageIcon dpsIcon attackIcon chanceIcon critical damageIcon actionIcon dapIcon spreadAssault carbine extended magazinesIcon repairIcon weightIcon merchantIcon ratio
Plasma rifle 45
A3-21's plasma rifle 50


A3-21's plasma rifle is carried by Harkness, and can be received by the player character through two of the endings of The Replicated Man quest.

Related questsEdit


  • Any regular plasma rifle will set Harold on fire, but like all unique weapons, Harkness' does not. It will, however, still detonate gas leaks like most other energy weapons.
  • This plasma rifle is unavailable after completing "The Replicated Man" by giving Dr. Zimmer the android component. It is still possible to receive the rifle and complete the quest this way, but it must be obtained before giving Zimmer the component.
  • It can be obtained very early into the game by traveling straight to Rivet City and starting the quest there, because it only requires talking to a few doctors in Megaton and Rivet City and then Pinkerton. One major drawback is the availability of microfusion cells and plasma rifles at this stage of the game.
  • At full condition, it is one of the most valuable weapons in Fallout 3.


  • Playstation 3Icon ps3 The name of the rifle may change to just "Plasma Rifle" in the Pip-Boy menu, but none of the weapon's stats will change.[verified]




  1. In-game description for the plasma rifle in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. [1][2][3]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Research Note - Plasma rifle, Fort Independence terminal entries. [1]
  3. Chris Taylor interview for [1]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cover of Future Weapons Today. [1]