Fallout 3 Weapons Guide: Energy Weapons
Small Guns go bang. Big guns go boom. Melee weapons slice and dice. But sometimes what you really need is a little pew-pew, and when that urge strikes a Wastelander, they grab an Energy Weapon. Light, high in damage, and accurate at long ranges, Energy Weapons are contender for best primary weapon.
Armed To The Teeth: Fallout 3 Weapons Guide Part 4
While the Wasteland may have lost most of the technology required to meet basic requirements like water and food, weapons-grade technology is still easy to come across. In fact, guns seem to be nearly as common as canned beans - some sort of weapon can be found on the corpse of nearly every humanoid enemy. Among these, Energy Weapons are among the most advanced, and despite their high-tech nature, both Energy Weapons and their ammo are plentiful. All of them can come in handy in a fight, but some are far more deadly than others.
This article is the fourth in a series covering the weapons of Fallout 3, and as you might have guessed, this section covers Energy Weapons. Despite their advanced technology, Energy Weapons are in many ways similar to Small Guns. Ammo for them isn't hard to come by, they pack a deadly punch, and they're easy to carry around. Unique weapons are not covered because they are rare, and you'd have to perform specific steps to get a hold of them. It is not the intention of this guide to include spoilers. You should also know that the DPS stat shown with each weapon stands for damage-over-time, and indicates how much damage a weapon can do in approximately one second. This is a better indicator of overall firepower than the damage stat show in your Pipboy.
Laser Pistol - DPS: 11 - Likely the first energy weapon you'll come across, the Laser Pistol is nothing fancy. It has low damage per second and low damage per hit. That said, the Laser Pistol, in comparison to most of the other low-end weapons you can get your hands on, isn't bad. It less power than the 10mm Pistol, but ammo is still plentiful. But it doesn't really matter how good the Laser Pistol is, because it is the only low-end Energy Weapon. You don't have any choice but to use it.
Plasma Pistol - DPS: 23 - Not a bad little gun, this one. Its damage is high for a pistol, and doubly so for a pistol which runs off extremely common ammo. Once you get your hands on the Plasma Pistol, you've found your side-arm of choice for the rest of the game. Should you ever run out of ammo for your primary weapon, this should be enough to get by in meantime, as long as you don't get hit by a hoard of Deathclaws.
Laser Rifle - DPS: 21 - The Energy Weapon equivalent to an Assault Rifle, the Laser Rifle will be your main weapon until you get your hands on the Plasma Rifle. Its primary advantage over an Assault rifle is that it fire quick bursts which, as you'd expect, exhibit little lag-time between when you pull the trigger and when your target is hit. This, combined with its remarkable range, means you'll probably always carry a Laser Rifle on you for use in long-range conflict. It pays for these traits with lower than average damage.
Plasma Rifle - DPS: 42 - The Plasma Rifle is the mainstay high-level rifle for Energy Weapon experts. Its damage compares favorably to the primary high-end weapons in the Small Guns line, such as the Sniper Rifle and the Chinese Assault Rifle. In addition to its high damage-per-second, the Plasma Rifle adds a great deal of damage to critical hits, more than even a Sniper Rifle, although the Plasma Rifle's crit chance is far lower. The only downside to the Plasma Rifle is that its projectiles are slow, making it hard to hit targets at long ranges when outside of VATS. It also has a small clip, with only 12 shots available before reloading.
Mesmetron - DPS: 1 - This quest-based weapon does little damage, except for when it makes heads explode. To explain, the Mesmetron is a quest weapon which has a 50% chance to mesmerize a target, allowing the target to be enslaved or robbed. It has a 30% chance to make the person go berserk, and a 20% chance to make their head explode. The enslavement only works on the quest NPCs, but any NPC stunned by the gun can be robbed. Practically, it isn't a very useful weapon, but it is fun to play with occasionally.
This is the fourth article of the series. The first covered Unarmed Weapons and Melee Weapons. The second article covered Big Guns, and the third covered one of the most important main-stream weapon types, Small Guns. Article five will cover Explosives and give a few quick pointers. Even if you don't choose to go through every category, it is a good idea to train both your character and yourself in the details of at least two types of offense. Combining different weapons is useful even if you're not highly skilled in all of them, and it is a good idea to know what weapons are best in each class, in case you find yourself out of ammo for your primary weapon.