|This is an overview article, focusing on background information and cross-game comparisons.|
The Tesla cannon is a shoulder-mounted directed energy weapon using technology pioneered by Nikola Tesla.
The Tesla cannon is a pre-War designed shoulder-mounted heavy directed energy weapon, designed to replace conventional anti-tank weapons. Based on Nikola Tesla's designs, the weapon entered limited production before the war and remains a rare sight in the wasteland. However, it remains a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled user, as the focused energy blast will not only deliver massive damage to the target, but the nature of the blast will also deliver a potent electric shock.
Near the end of the war between the Brotherhood and the Enclave in the Capital Wasteland, the Brotherhood's scribes under the Order of the Sword worked to build their own Tesla cannons to more effectively counter the Enclave's Vertibird fleet. To do so, the Lone Wanderer was tasked with retrieving a PPE Tesla coil from Olney Powerworks, an experimental piece of pre-War technology.
The modified Tesla cannon employed by Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel is far more powerful than the pre-War Tesla cannon. Discharging a large electrical impulse upon impact with a much larger area of effect. This explosive damage makes the Lyon's model far more suitable for anti-Vertibird use.
The basic Tesla cannon is a military-grade directed energy weapon, firing a focused energy beam that delivers excellent damage to the target. It consumes electron charge packs.
A prototype next-generation Tesla cannon, the Tesla-Beaton employs modified internal mechanisms and a different design for the containment rails focusing the energy blast. This Enclave design has been lost when the Vertibird carrying it crashed in the Mojave wasteland. The Tesla-Beaton prototype looks like the Tesla cannon, but with orange glow instead of blue, and a fully encased energy emitter.
Elijah's jury-rigged Tesla cannon
An unique example of convergent design, this Tesla cannon has been modified by Elijah, for use against the inhabitants of the Big MT. It is visually identical to the Enclave Tesla-Beaton prototype, but is much more precise. Elijah's jury-rigged Tesla cannon looks like the Tesla cannon, but with orange glow instead of blue, and a fully encased energy emitter.
Behind the scenes
- The Tesla cannon was originally to be featured in the canceled Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, bearing no resemblance to the weapon in Broken Steel. Described as a "high-powered mass-cannon throwing tessellated plasma forward in an orgy of death and destruction" in the Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 design document, it was to be the so-called "uber-weapon" of player character Maxus. "Uber-weapons" were to be unique weapons for each player character which had to be assembled from 5 parts over the course of the game, or the player could have a NPC assemble one for them. One of the five parts for this weapon was a Tesla coil.
- Nikola Tesla really did try to create a directed energy weapon but it would have been a particle beam weapon called a "Teleforce," something that would be immensely complicated to create.
- Future Weapons Today
- Plot of Shock Value.
- The Lone Wanderer: "Olney Powerworks? What's there?"
Tristan: "Hopefully you'll be able to find a Tesla coil, an experimental device from before the war. Our scribes need it to complete a little surprise they've been preparing for the Enclave. Get there, get the coil, and get back as safely and quickly as possible. Any questions?"
- Gameplay differences between the Tesla cannon in Broken Steel and the Tesla cannon in Fallout: New Vegas, as well as Tristan's dialogue confirm this as the modification necessitating the Tesla coil.
- Found at the crash site.