The Plasma Beam is available after research is completed on either the Heavy Plasma squad weapon and the Heavy Plasma Clip, or on the standard Plasma Rifle and Plasma Rifle Clip. As a research topic it is called the "Plasma Cannon".
This weapon is widely regarded as the best craft weapon available to Commanders. With a fantastic range that allows interception craft to engage all UFOs (with the exception of Battleships) without fear of being fired upon, a huge number of shots per charge and a superb reload time, the Plasma Beam should be fitted to all interception craft as soon as possible.
It is worth noting however that an interception craft armed with dual Plasma Beams is capable of completely destroying the smaller UFOs. If you wish to salvage artefacts and resources from these smaller UFOs it may be worthwhile keeping at least one Interceptor available with weaker weaponry such as Stingray missiles.
Note that unlike the Fusion Ball Launcher, using Plasma Beams does not require your engineers to manufacture ammunition - the Plasma units recharge automatically upon return to base.
|Cost per Unit:||226,000|
|Workshop Space required:||8|
|Raw Materials:||15x Elerium-115|
|Reload Time:||12 game seconds (gs) nominal/minimum; 18gs average, 24gs maximum|
|Ammunition Used:||Not Applicable|
Note that the Accuracy given in the in-game UFOPaedia is incorrect; two independent code digs have confirmed these are the correct accuracies for the craft weaponry. Similarly the UFOPaedia reload times are incorrect; the values stated here are based on empirical tests.
|X-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense|
|Craft:||Skyranger • Lightning • Avenger • Interceptor • Firestorm|
|Craft Armaments:||Cannon • Stingray • Avalanche • Laser Cannon • Plasma Beam • Fusion Ball Launcher|