Plasma Rifle

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For the XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) version, see Plasma Rifle (EU2012)

The next generation of plasma weapon, the plasma rifle is an effective rapid fire rifle.

Plasma Rifle
(h x w)
3 x 1
Plasma Rifle
Weight 5
D. Threshold 50
Grip 2 Handed
TU Cost Accuracy
Auto 36% 55%
Snapshot 30% 86%
Aimed 60% 100%
Sale Price $126,600
Research Plasma Rifle
Cost $88,000
Technician Hours 820
Workspace 4
Materials Alien Alloys 1

The plasma rifle has considerably better performance than the Plasma Pistol in terms of damage and accuracy; indeed, it offers the best Snap and Auto accuracy of any weapon in the game. While not the highest, it also has 100% aimed accuracy.

The aliens have apparently bought the argument that the Heavy Plasma Gun is superior, and will eventually phase out the Plasma Rifle in its favour (although the game may be over by then). Once the supply of dropped clips is depleted, X-Com will need to manufacture new ammunition itself at a cost of 2 Elerium per clip.

Researching the Plasma Rifle and Plasma Rifle Clip is one way to unlock the Plasma Cannon project, which allows production of Plasma Beams and Hovertanks/Plasma. (The other is to research the Heavy Plasma and Heavy Plasma Clip.)

Plasma Rifle

This is a devastatingly powerful weapon based on accelerating particles from within a minute anti-gravity field.

Source: X-COM UFO Defense/Enemy Unknown Ufopaedia

This weapon appears in UFO: Enemy Unknown. For the Terror from the Deep equivalent, refer to the Sonic-Blasta Rifle.

Key Features
  • Plasma Damage
  • Auto Fire
Pros Cons
  • High power
  • Moderate auto accuracy
  • High snap and aimed accuracy
  • Recoverable
  • Limited availability
  • Elerium for ammo manufacture

Plasma Rifle Clip

Plasma Rifle Clip

This small object is used as a power source for a Plasma Rifle - a medium powered alien weapon. Contains a small quantity of Elerium.

Source: X-COM UFO Defense/Enemy Unknown Ufopaedia
Plasma Rifle Clip
(h x w)
1 × 1
Plasma Rifle Clip
Weight 3
D. Threshold 20
Damage 80 Plasma Beam
Capacity 28
Sale Price $6,290
Research Plasma Rifle Clip
Cost $3,000
Technician Hours 80
Workspace 4
Materials 2 Elerium

The plasma rifle clip requires Elerium for manufacture, and the supply of recoverable clips will eventually dry up. As such, it is recommended not to sell clips if you intend to make any use of the Plasma Rifle.


Although this weapon straddles the middle ground for performance in the plasma weapon family, its increased snapshot accuracy make it a very good rapid-fire rifle for training snipers in actual battle as well as a superior weapon for long-range reaction fire (which only uses snapshots).

A kneeled snapshot allows the shooter to make use of 98.9% of his or her base accuracy level while enjoying the speed of a snapshot, allowing for more attempts that equals to more accumulated experience and improved accuracy for the next mission.

A master marksman will eventually be able to consistently make 100% accurate snapshots with the plasma rifle. Once accuracy reaches or goes beyond 116, the sniper no longer needs to kneel. The sniper can even migrate to the Heavy Plasma and achieve the same level of performance by kneeling.

Usage notes

The following lists how many times a soldier can fire the gun by shot type continuously in any given round and the remaining percentage of any left over TUs that cannot be spent as a shot.

  • Aimed: 1 Shot, 40% Remaining TUs (enough for 1 Snap shot or 1 Auto burst)
  • Snap: 3 Shots, 10% Remaining TUs
  • Auto: 2 Bursts (6 Shots), 28% Remaining TUs


  • When loaded, weighs as much as a loaded standard Pistol. If a unit for some reason can't move around with a Heavy Plasma, this is an excellent secondary weapon.
  • Unless you can achieve 100% accuracy, aimed shot takes too long for too little of an accuracy boost. Snapshot use is recommended, as it will gives you more attempts.

See also

UFO Badge X-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense: Equipment
Armour: CoverallsPersonal ArmourPower SuitFlying Suit
Weapons: PistolRifleHeavy CannonAuto-CannonRocket LauncherStun Rod
GrenadeProximity GrenadeHigh ExplosiveLaser PistolLaser RifleHeavy Laser
Plasma PistolPlasma RifleHeavy PlasmaAlien GrenadeSmall LauncherBlaster Launcher
Equipment: Smoke GrenadeMotion ScannerMedi-KitElectro-flarePsi-AmpMind ProbeElerium-115
HWPs: Tank/CannonTank/Rocket LauncherTank/Laser CannonHovertank/PlasmaHovertank/Launcher
Data Item WeightsAlien Weapon Loadouts • Armour Damage Modifiers