Making a return in Doom Eternal, the Plasma Rifle has undergone a redesign. It is now very similar in appearance to the Plasma Gun from Doom 1 and 2 and looks much bulkier when compared to the sleek and futuristic design found in Doom (2016).
The primary fire is essentially the same as before, a machine gun with slightly slower-moving projectiles that need to be led on distant targets, but is much stronger than it was before: one of its mods is an altered version of one from the previous game, while the other is entirely new.
The basic fire has a small amount of splash damage on impact like before. There is a new "supercritical" effect associated with the weapon's shots where if a number of shots hit close together they will explode for additional damage: this can cause problems when trying to get Glory Kills, however.
The first mod is the Heat Blast: this overall functions in a similar way, with repeated shots building up a powerful blast that can be unleashed as the player desires. The heat level does not decrease over time: the only way to lose built-up charge is to switch weapon mods. However, the blast is now focused in a cone shape ahead of the gun rather than in a circle around the player character, and there are a number of new mechanics. The blast is now a three-step charge with the entire coolant shroud changing color to indicate the charge level: it cannot be fired if it does not have at least one bar filled. The Mastery "Heated Core" is replaced with a new ability called "Power Surge." With this ability, after firing off a level three (red) charge, the Plasma Rifle will have a brief period of firing high-powered red bolts instead of its normal shots.
The second mod replaces the Stun Bomb with a Ghostbusters-style beam cannon. This locks on to a single enemy (within a fairly short range) and fires a continuous beam of energy at them after a short spin-up time: enemies killed by this fire mode explode on death, with the size of the explosion governed by how large the enemy was. While firing the weapon, most enemies will be stunlocked and unable to move or attack, and a bar will appear below them: this gradually fills and the enemy explodes when it fills completely. The bar represents the demon's remaining HP and any damage will cause it to start part-filled: similarly, filling the bar deals damage to the enemy, it is not just filling a gauge. Any other enemies hit by the beam will also take damage, and though bars will not appear for enemies hit in this way, they too will explode if they take enough damage. This means that, with good positioning, the player can pin down a large enemy and move around it to hit smaller ones nearby.
New for Doom Eternal are additional effects against shields: as well as dealing more damage than it normally would, if a blue shield (from a Carcass or Shotgun Zombie), or the conformal shield of a Doom Hunter) is completely depleted by Plasma Gun fire, it will overload, resulting in a explosion that deals damage to everything around it. The damage is sufficient to instantly kill a Shotgun Zombie. It does not have this effect against magical shields such as those used by Marauders or Arch-viles.
Pro Tips Deals bonus damage to Energy Shields. Maximize damage potential by using at medium to close range. Upgrades Mastery
|Heat Blast||Quick Fire|
Super Heated Rounds
Faster Beam Charge
Firing the Plasma Rifle builds up excess heat that can be released as a powerful blast.
Fire a concentrated beam of plasma energy that will lock down an enemy and cause them to explode on death.
As with most other weapons in Doom Eternal, the Plasma Rifle has several weapon skins available.