Plasma Gun
Plasma Gun
Production information


Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
  • 20 per Plasma ball
  • 1-14 [splash damage]
Maximum Ammunition
Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

Cells (purple)

  • 20 units of splash radius
Rate of Fire

600 rpm (10 plasma beats per second)

Muzzle Velocity
  • 2,000 units per second
  • Plasma cells prestep at the first 20 feet then drop down to their normal speed in Quake Live



Extremely long range of 20,000 units


Rocket Launcher (Q3)


In Quake 3 Arena, the Plasma Gun fires slow bursts of swirling blue iron plasma based on the Doom series. These generate a very small amount of Splash Damage. This feature is generally utilized in defrag/jump maps to Plasma Climb.

The Plasma Gun is Q3A's version of the Hyperblaster, with faster, explosive shots. Its high damage output, tight firing cone and projectile speed make it an excellent medium range gun with suppression fire capabilities.


  • The Plasma Gun's tight firing cone make it excellent at medium range. Any further, and it becomes easy to dodge. Any closer, and it becomes hard to track your opponent effectively. Circle strafing is a very effective tactic to use with the Plasma Gun. If PG is all you have, fire erratically near your target to get some health down.
  • Due to the fact of it being difficult to hit a hectic enemy, players tend to ignore this weapon for something like a Rocket Launcher for better burst damage. The PG is an underdog at the arsenal because of tedious positioning to work effectively when using it, but offers a quickly stacking high dps when you master the tracking with it.
  • Your ammo depletes quickly, due to the short ammo supply and high ammo consuming rate; always make sure you have a backup weapon in case the Plasma Gun runs out. The Plasma Gun should be enough to keep you alive until you lay your hands on some better burst damage weapon like the RL. Combining it with a hitscan weapon like the Machine Gun may help you to deal better damage at range and conserve its low ammunition.
  • For PG to be effective, foes must be effectively seeking you. It can decimate anyone throwing themselves infront you without a plan but when you need to seek them out, either distance or positioning will be problematic. It's actually best to stay low at the open areas to take cover easily. While this indeed makes you vulnerable to splash damage taking cover will allow you to exploit a surprise plasma barrage blinding and deafening anyone looking down on you.
  • Being a defensive weapon, it's mostly used as a recovery point or a surprise factor in a heated up challenge. At these times seeking a recovery, only focus on using it as an area denial tool for pressure firing from behind a solid cover just like Grenade Launcher. Stay behind gates and under catwalks or use ramps as a peek point. If possible lure enemy onto yourself by showing a weak-expandable weapon like Machine Gun then retreating back to a narrow hallway or take a teleporter in a haze.
  • At long distances the Plasma Gun is best when it comes to pinning down an opponent or covering entrance points from far. It can pressure fire a narrow hallways with ease, generally abused to supress new respawns taking you by surprise from such halls. Quick wide array sprays to a tunnel would overwhelm anyone coming through. For pressuring corners and narrow gates, longer direct bursts while crouched can be preferred to cut anyone out.
  • Plasma Gun is also well suited for holding narrow doorways and gates. Any ledges, stairs, bounce pads or catwalks that foes need to leap down can be denied from above or below. Longer the distance, it'll be harder for one to track the target efficiently so try to take cover near ledges or under gates. At long distances just lay short bursts for suppression at evacuation points or corners you identify as possible chokes.
  • In case an opponent run towards you at the open, you can fire the plasma in front of his feet; inflicted splash damage will be enough to force them to change direction or retreat. Follow up direct hits can be easy and lethal to enemy. At close quarters a few shots to the feet can pin the player down for a small while giving you a chance to react. While this helps you to maintain a safe combat distance at the open, in enclosed spaces you'd want to make direct hits instead of splash because how easy it would be to take cover.
  • Plasma beats apply a very slight pushforce upon contact which can be actually handy knowing while leading a target accurately. Consecutive accurate shots deviates the target ever so slightly from their path, requiring you to slowdown your tracking or back off slightly to catch the target at a further point with a follow up shot unless you're giving your projectile an arced path.
  • At the medium range just strafe and aim with the 'round of your crosshair for stalling shots behind your movement. If target is too hectic, give your aim a small yawning twitch to stack up accurate shots before circling them. Upon circling a target, your shots will array before your movement direction instead of stalling behind like a perpendicular strafe.
  • Leading shots is not very necessary at medium range, but a valued tactic when engaged at close combat. When at close quarters shooting barriers of hot plasma requires leading the shots at the path of foes. With a smooth fanning pattern like a yawning steer, give an horizontal arcing path to the beats trajectory. A small chase and a twist on the repetitive beats help you to lead stalling shots to be accurate on the move.
  • Maintain your distance when using PG, if they get away and mirror their direction to track them effectively. If they jump to evade barrages either quickly switch to another weapon or track them with a bobbing motion by pulsing them. Remember, plasma beats will disrupt their air momentum so catch them by knee level after two-three accurate shots as they're in mid-air.
  • When fighting at medium-long range wielding a Plasma Gun, remember the target will still be on the move as you're trying to figure the direction and lead the shots in bursts. Unless you have a wide view of the opponent at long distance, trying to flick and lead plasma beats would be in vain. At medium and further distances you may need to spray quick bursts at foe's path in quick succession for forcing opponent to move in a straight line so you can track down.
  • It's advised to walk diagonal momentarily or stutter-strafe at sides as you lead plasma bursts at very long distances for more control and tighter spray. Keep your aim low at long distance so you can answer in case they advance, jump or retreat hastily by slowly raising it 'till belt level as you fire away to lead the shots. Upon being noticed from far range, if you don't paint the area with twisting fanfire with wide steers, your target will easily slip away between your shots and retaliate by measly changing their direction. When target haven't noticed you yet from far, try to step closer to get a better angle.
  • When fighting against a PG user, try to get in close with a Shotgun or a LG. Alternatively, you can try to back off and retaliate with a Rocket Launcher or a Railgun. Whatever you do, make sure you do not strafe at the same medium distance for long. Take sharp turns and change direction the moment you see puddles of glaring plasma in the air. Try to not get cornered at close combat, nor use narrow gates where you can't take cover. Even a slight exposure to an array of plasma stream in a bad position could shred half of your armor-health stack in a blink.
  • When against the PG, it's advised to advance the range by hit and run tactics. Don't run in a straight line or stand at the same distance for too long. Jump diagonally at close quarters and stick close to walls, cover or ledges at long distance to bait their bursts or force a weapon swap. Upon seeing someone rushing you with PG, as a natural instinct you may wanna pedal back away from your attacker while abusing sidesteps for sharp turns. Also avoid narrow corridors, where your opponent has huge advantage over by laying suppression fire.
  • In Quake Live the Plasma Gun got a small tweak and now its plasma beats prestep for first 20 feet approximately before falling back to standard projectile speed. That makes it a short ranged hitscan weapon, making it easier to do follow up shots against opponents that are close and gives a slight edge for long distances.
  • Lack of a wide splash radius or hitscan capabilities -besides its prestep which was added in Quake Live- make this weapon certainly useless against fast targets at long distances or anyone taking teleporters. Yet its fast stacking damage can finish cornered or slow hovering foes with ease, and glaring projectiles are good for hiding most of your frame at long distances.
  • Plasma Jumps can be used for a boost to reach short ledges, switching between high platforms separated with a rather large gap. Step on the splash by firing it at your own path and hold jump, or shoot a rear wall while airsteering to gain a very slight hovering. While taking a bouncepad with tall solid outer encasing, splash generated from plasma beats can be used to steer and change position mid-air to reach lower platforms across the bouncepad.
  • Plasma Climb technique causes lots of splash damage to oneself, but it can certainly give a slightly higher yet slower lift at the cost of more health-armor loss. Even if you're dealing half of splash damage to self, it can quickly stack up. Look diagonally down to a wall at a low angle, then momentarily jump and fire away at the wall while holding forward. Hitting strafe may kill your vertical momentum in Quake Live.
  • The Plasma Gun coupled with a Quad Damage can blast away stocked enemies' health by a lot, even when they're equipped with a Battle Suit, as the projectiles travels at high velocity will be very likely to hit the enemy without generating splash damage.

Advantages Edit

  • Very common weapon to gather without any serious resistance.
  • Good damage per hit.
  • Highest potential dps after the BFG.
  • High rate of fire creates barrages.
  • Punishes rushing foes strictly, aerial or not.
  • Continuous array can be used to suppress or blind the opponent.
  • Generous ammo supply provided by ammunition packs.
  • Projectiles generate small amounts of splash damage to halt the enemy movement or Plasma Climb.

Disadvantages Edit

  • Have to lead targets due to projectile speed.
  • Consecutive hits must be accurate to deal any sort of reliable damage.
  • Already high potential damage makes weapon combos meaningless beside long range.
  • Direct continuous fire can be easy to evade in the open.
  • Requires good positioning, cover, luring or chasing to be accurate.
  • Hard to catch fast moving targets without stray fire and yawning twitches.
  • Weak against pre-fire at close distance, too position dependent.
  • Smallest splash damage radius, weak against any sort of cover.
  • Low starter ammunition on first pickup.
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