Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

The plasma rifle is an energy weapon found in Fallout 3.


The plasma rifle uses microfusion cells, and can discharge up to twelve green, self-illuminated plasma bolts before requiring a reload.

The plasma rifle fires projectiles that inflict potentially heavy damage at a fairly quick semi-automatic rate of fire. The plasma bolt moves at subsonic speeds, giving enemies the chance to dodge the plasma bolts. Because of this, the plasma rifle is most effective in close to medium range combat. It empties its 12-shot magazine rather quickly, and its reload time is somewhat longer than most other small guns/energy weapons. Maintenance is a combination of perks and drawbacks: Like other energy weapons, it has a high maximum condition compared to small guns but is expensive and/or difficult to repair.

A plasma rifle in poor condition (under 10%) can cost over 1,000 bottle caps to repair. Additionally, the plasma rifle can be hard to come by under normal circumstances. The plasma rifle has twice the chance of inflicting a critical hit than most other weapons and can turn enemies into piles of green goo if the killing blow is a Critical Hit. The plasma rifle's plasma bolt can ignite gas leaks.


The plasma rifle can fire a total of about 500 shots, the equivalent of 42 reloads, from full condition before breaking.


A3-21's plasma rifle - Obtained from Harkness at the end of The Replicated Man. A3-21's plasma rifle is one of the most powerful energy weapons in the game.


Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Attacks in V.A.T.S.- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Action point cost- Action point cost
Damage per attack (damage per projectile)- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per action point- Damage per action point
Damage per second- Damage per secondWeapon spread- Weapon spread
Area of effect damage- Area of effect damageMagazine capacity (shots per reload)- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Effect damage & duration- Effect damage & durationDurability (number of attacks before breaking)- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Bonus effects- Bonus effectsWeight- Weight
Attacks per second- Attacks per secondValue in caps- Value in caps
Critical chance % multiplier- Critical chance % multiplierValue to weight ratio- Value to weight ratio
Critical damage- Critical damageSkill required- Skill required
Critical effect damage & duration- Critical effect damage & durationStrength required- Strength required
With all mods attached- With all mods attached
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per secondAttacks per secondCritical Chance % multiplierCritical damageAction Point costDamage per action pointWeapon spreadMagazine capacity (shots per reload)Durability (number of attacks before breaking)WeightValue in capsValue to weight ratio
Plasma rifle 45
A3-21's plasma rifle 50


Behind the scenes

The model for the plasma rifle was created by Ben Carnow, based on concept art by Adam Adamowicz.[1]


SingleShotVB.png ReloadVB.png



  1. Ben Carnow on Twitter: "Holding a physical copy of a piece of art I created is breaking my brain."