The Full Wiki

More info on Plasma Rifles

Plasma Rifles: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010
(Redirected to Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle article)

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

(183 votes)
Were you looking for the Brute-preferred variant of the Plasma Rifle used in Halo 2 and Halo 3: ODST?
Plasma Rifle
Production information



Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle





Technical specifications

Handheld, Single Handed (Dual Wieldable)

  • length (o/a): 66 cm (26 in.)
  • width: 17.7 centimeters
  • height: 37.8 centimeters
  • weight: 5.8 kg (13 lbs)
Damage Per Hit


  • 10 DU (Halo 1)[1]
Magazine Size

100 Battery Units

  • Halo: Combat Evolved: 200 shots
  • Halo 2 and Halo 3: 400 shots
Maximum Ammunition

100 Battery Units

Fire Mode

Semi-Automatic, Automatic

Ammunition Type

Superheated Plasma


All Purpose

Rate of Fire

High, 360~540 shots/min

Muzzle Velocity

126 m/s (413 f/s)




Short to Medium Range

  • 50 meters (155 ft)

See below.


Covenant, later Covenant Loyalist and Covenant Separatist

"You know, it looks delicate and so you feel like you need to hold it kinda gingerly—but then you see an Elite crack a Bravo Kilo's head with one—the things are built tough."
—Anonymous Serviceman

The Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle,[2] more commonly known as the Plasma Rifle, is a Covenant infantry weapon.


Design Details

A Plasma Rifle's schematics.

A Plasma Rifle is a Covenant directed energy weapon that uses superheated ionized gas called Plasma instead of projectile ammunition. The weapon has a power output of 100-150 KV @ 2~3 dA, and can fire 360~540 rounds per minute. Unlike the Plasma Pistol, the plasma rifle is capable of semi-automatic, and full automatic fire, this is thanks in part to its dual plasma collimator design. Placed atop one another, these collimators fire in a "stagger" taking the slow automatic fire of each individual collimator and combining it, this design allows a faster rate of fire and more rounds per second, which adds to the lethality of the weapon. Taking fire from the Type-25 DER can cause severe 2nd, 3rd, and in some cases, 4th degree burns (a 4th degree burn completely burns away all flesh, leaving only bone tissue). The Type-25 DER is the primary weapon of the Covenant’s officer corps, used by Elites and Brutes, although Jackals and Grunts have been seen using this weapon, but not as common. Against UNSC infantry, the Type-25 rifle's lethality is considerably greater than its counterpart the Type-25 pistol, due to the faster rate of fire, injuries inflicted to the victim are severe third-degree burns, with the wound being cauterized instantly upon impact. Even near misses will produce severe burns and heat trauma. Should the plasma impact an object, the impact can create fragments that may come into contact with a victim, with a crippling or lethal effect. Generally two hits from either a plasma pistol or plasma rifle will kill a light, or non armored target. Like its counterpart, over extended periods of firing can overheat the weapon, causing it to become unusable for a short period of time. In the context of the Halo games, all of the plasma weapons' strength and lethality are compensated for both the sake of ESRB rating and gameplay.



The plasma rifle is a close to medium range weapon, and as such can inflict very high damage at range, the plasma rifle can also be used at long range if the user fires slowly and aims carefully by leading the target. The rifle is extremely efficient at killing "soft" targets, while doing lethal amounts of damage to a heavily armored target. Enough infantry equipped with Type-25 rifles can halt enemy infantry advance with its ability to deliver harassing suppressive fire; this tactic is also reflected in the Covenant's combat doctrine: destroy enemy morale with harassing fire from distant or hidden snipers and intimate exposure to the alien-ness of their infantry. SPARTAN-IIs and Elites have the ability to dual-wield plasma rifles doubling their efficiency in close to medium range combat situations. The plasma rifle's high velocity bolt coupled with its kinetic impact to a target can temporarily stun a target like a SPARTAN-II.


The plasma rifle, when fired continuously, overheats very quickly because of the rapid cycling, loading, ignition, and release sequence of energy - to prevent the weapon from being damaged, the Type-25 DER temporarily shuts down and opens heating vents to allow the excess heat to dissipate before the weapon reactivates. This process leaves the weapon inoperable and is useless. Careless infantry who are not aware of the function of the plasma rifle can get themselves killed because of this. Human military experts and scientists do not understand how Covenant plasma weapons work, or how they are recharged; as such when the battery is depleted the rifle must be discarded or replaced. At 10% charge level, the plasma rifle will begin to misfire, this is due to the battery's inability to deliver enough energy to start and complete the ignition and release phase of operation, as such this hampers the operators use of the weapon.

Although the plasma rifle can strike a target at longer ranges it is not suited for long range combat, this is due to two distinct properties of the weapons operation. The first is the rate of thermal expansion which is determined by the rate of the bloom of the bolt. The second factor is speed; the faster the bolt goes, the farther the bolt will travel before the magnetic field begins to weaken, causing the temperature of the bolt to cool before the magnetic field becomes unstable and finally dissipates. The bolt also loses velocity and kinetic impact with longer travel.


Halo: Combat Evolved

The plasma rifle in Halo: Combat Evolved is far more powerful than its Halo 2 and Halo 3 counterparts; also the weapon holds the unique ability to stun opponents that were hit by high amount of plasma rounds: this effect greatly reduces the victim's ability to move and dodge the incoming projectiles and allows the user to easily hold the opponent in the weapon's firing arc. However, the drawback was that this effect is only felt with continuous fire. While stunned, the weapon will often overheat before the opponent is killed, especially if it is an Elite or Hunter. Despite this drawback, the stun ability is a useful and potent feature in the hands of an experienced user. Beware that the Plasma Rifle decreases in accuracy while heating up. However, firing in bursts can counteract this and is much more useful over longer ranges. In the campaign, the Plasma Rifle is best used against the Sentinels and Elites. Fully charged Plasma Rifles can be obtained by killing Elite Combat Forms or killing Elites riding on Ghosts and Banshees.

Changes From Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2

  • The Halo 2 Plasma Rifle is not as powerful as its predecessor and lacks the ability to stun. It is also noticeably less accurate, especially at long range. These drawbacks are compensated by a higher rate of fire and the ability to dual-wield, allowing it to be paired with a wide variety of other weapons. It is best paired with an SMG or M6C Magnum.
  • The changes done to the weapon are directly related to the inclusion of dual-wielding and higher rate of fire. For purposes of balance, the Plasma Rifle, along with many other weapons from Halo: Combat Evolved, has been tweaked to better fit the new game engine. A Plasma Rifle is much more efficient at taking out the shields of an opponent compared to ballistic weaponry, but it is less efficient to secure a kill. This version of the Plasma Rifle behaves more as an SMG rather than a rifle.
  • It has a higher accuracy than the Halo: CE version, and is most notable when dual wielded. However, if both rifles are fired simultaneously, the accuracy will greatly decrease.
  • The sound effects for the Plasma Rifle have been changed, to give each weapon a distinct sound to distinguish it easier.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3

  • The Plasma Rifle in Halo 3 is much more powerful than its Halo 2 counterpart, but is still weaker than the Halo: Combat Evolved Plasma Rifle. Like most of the plasma weapons featured in Halo 3, they have the same overheating rate as their predecessors.
  • The Plasma Rifle now fires as fast as the Brute Plasma Rifles in Halo 2.
  • Plasma bolts fired by the Plasma Rifle and all other plasma weapons in Halo 3 have been graphically redesigned to have a more vivid look. The bolts now seem to travel faster than from previous games, reducing the need to lead the shots at mid-to-long ranges.
  • The weapon is more accurate than from Halo 2, but still not as accurate as its Halo: Combat Evolved incarnation.
  • It takes fewer shots of constant fire for the Plasma Rifle to become very inaccurate.
  • It is considerably harder to come across the Plasma Rifle in Halo 3 campaign, because of the lack of Elites and the introduction of new Brute weapons such as the Spiker.
  • In Halo 3 multiplayer, it takes eighteen plasma bolts when not dual-wielding to kill a fully shielded opponent.

Tips And Strategies

The Plasma Rifle has limited uses in Multiplayer but is still a useful weapon, especially if dual-wielded or if playing on a close-quarters map. In Halo 2 and Halo 3, dual-wielding increases the combined rate of fire and damage. Although its range limits the weapon to close-quarter and medium range firefights, if used properly a player can quickly dispose of a distant enemy. It is also advisable to carry a mid- to long-range weapon such as a Battle Rifle or Sniper Rifle against targets outside of the Plasma Rifle's range. It has the fastest melee attack of any weapon except for the Energy Sword, making it even more efficient at close-quarters. In Halo 3, this weapon can easily overpower an Assault Rifle holder because it takes down shields better than ballistic weaponry, allowing a higher chance for a beat down. However, at medium range, the Assault Rifle is likely to overpower the Plasma Rifle. Overall, dual-wielded Plasma Rifles are superior to an Assault Rifle due to the fact that shots fired are easier to see when fired, and damage inflicted on shields is greater. This weapon is also useful on Overshielded players.

  • In Multiplayer, always dual-wield a Plasma Rifle with any weapon whenever you have the chance to do so- it isn't very effective in its own right.
  • In close-quarters, like all other weapons, it is preferable to just take out your opponent's energy shield with a few rounds, followed by a melee attack.
  • Like all plasma-based weaponry, it is great against shields, but it takes a slightly longer time to take down an unshielded opponent compared to ballistic weapons like the Assault Rifle.
  • In Halo 2 and Halo 3, dual-wielding in conjunction with a weapon that does high flesh damage (i.e. SMG or Mauler) can be very effective if the Plasma Rifle is first used to deplete the target's shields, followed by the next weapon used to secure the kill.
  • In maps with the Plasma Rifle, it is good to camp in corners. The people walking by most likely won't see you; you can take out their shields easily with the Plasma Rifle and then smash them to death.
  • In Halo 2, if you pull the trigger fast enough repeatedly, or 'Button Mash', you would fire faster than the default fire rate by holding the trigger down.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, it is good to carry the M6D pistol as a secondary weapon. Use the Plasma Rifle to take down Elite or Jackal shields, and use the pistol to secure headshots on unshielded opponents, and Grunts and Hunters. However, an Assault Rifle works better on Flood-based levels.
  • On Flood-based levels in Halo 3 Campaign, dual-wielded Plasma Rifles work as well as the Brute Shot over longer ranges and pick off more distant Forms, especially Ranged Forms and Combat Forms. By zooming in, and looking at the bottom of the HUD, you will see red numbers indicating their distance of up to 50 meters. Opening short bursts of fire will immobilize them easily, as they flinch and cease fire when being shot.
  • In Halo 3, it is recommended you fire in short bursts at medium range to increase your accuracy and conserve battery.
  • When facing Flood Combat Forms, aim for the chest. Arms and heads would just be knocked off if you spray randomly.

UNSC Remarks

  • “The Type-25 DER has no recoil to speak of; it tears up shields and you can shoot the thing all day long—it's on the heavy side though.”
  • “I realize that it uses a battery instead of a magazine, but nobody has figured out how to swap it or recharge it yet? Don’t we have scientists working for us or something?”
  • “It’s got no sight-line, it’s awkward to hold, and if it overheats it’ll cook the hair right off of your wrists.”
  • “You know, it looks delicate and so you feel like you need to hold it kind of gingerly—but then you see an Elite crack a Bravo Kilo's head with one—the things are built tough.”
  • “Yeah, and I’ve seen some Elites swinging two of them around like it was nothing—scary shit.”
  • "These things are huge—but I guess the Elites are, too—so it sorta makes sense."


  • The Plasma Rifle is a rifle in name only; Being directed energy and having no barrel, it does not have riflings due to the fact that it has no solid projectile to spin-stabilize.
  • In Halo 2, the Brutes normally wield the Brute Plasma Rifle, except in "The Great Journey", where you can find vehicles driven by Brutes. Also in the level "Sacred Icon" you can see that a few dead Brutes have Plasma Rifles beside their corpses.
  • If your character remains idle for a minute in Halo: Combat Evolved, he'll inspect the weapon on both sides; in Halo 2 he'll open the cooling vents; in Halo 3, he'll pull on the top.
  • Like most Covenant weapons the Plasma Rifle has no sights. It appears to rely entirely on the user's HUD reticule for aim assistance.
  • In Halo 3 Multiplayer and Custom Games with no damage modifiers on, this weapon has the third-lowest shot damage difference between single- and dual-wield. The Plasma Pistol has no difference in shot damage when single- or dual-wielded. The Mauler, when dual-wielded, takes 1 more shot to kill a 2x Overshielded enemy than when single-wielded. At normal shields, the shot difference for the Plasma Rifle is 2 shots (18 single-wield, 20 dual-wield), and at 4x Overshield the difference is only 3 shots (32 single, 35 dual).
  • In Halo 3 the Plasma Rifle has a detailed style pattern on its frame; this is best seen in well lit areas.
  • Laser Tag maker Jasman Toys produced a Plasma Rifle Laser Tag model. There is also a Plasma Pistol model, both of which use the same targeting frequency and are compatible. The Plasma Rifle has full automatic fire, but "overheats" after 20 rounds and the player must open the thermal vent and wait for it to "cool off".
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Plasma Rifle has 2 shots per 1% charge, totaling 200 shots. In Halo 2 and 3, it has 4, totaling 400 shots. Tapping the trigger once will release 2 shots at a time.
  • Modified Plasma Rifles appeared in Halo: Cole Protocol. They featured ammo readouts with Arabic numerals and pop-up sights, and were sold to Humans from Kig-yar black markets in The Rubble. This was discovered by the rest of the Covenant and seen as heresy.
  • Plasma Rifles are much rarer in Halo 3 than previous games. It could be because the Plasma Rifle is a Sangheili weapon, and the Jiralhanae prefer to use their own weapons like the Spiker and Mauler instead of the Plasma Rifle or Energy Sword.
  • In Halo 2, when you play as the Arbiter, if you look carefully at the Plasma Rifles your allies carry, they are in "overheat" mode.
  • In the Halo: Combat Evolved instruction booklet there is a Plasma Rifle picture over a picture of the Needler.
  • Grunts only need one hand to hold this weapon, compared to two hands required for a Marine to hold the Plasma Rifle. However, in The Package, Grunts are seen holding Plasma Rifles with two hands.







This article uses material from the "Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address