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Plasma weapons are a subtype of energy weapons that uses ionized, superheated hydrogen as ammunition. While the layman may confuse plasma with pherza, their military applications are different. Plasma is vastly more powerful, but comes with a variety of disadvantages in return. While pherza can be used to create small arms, plasma weapons come almost solely in the form of vehicle-mounted weapons or, more commonly, spaceship weaponry.

Ardak Nairof

An ardak nairof, one of few handheld plasma weapons

They come in many different designs, but always follow the same basic concept: compressed hydrogen gas is fed from ammo cells into the charging chamber. The charging chamber draws from a powerful energy source to energize the hydrogen particles, ionizing and superheating them. When the plasma is ready to be fired, the charging chamber releases it into the barrel and a linear magnetic accelerator is activated to eject the plasma in the form of a projectile.

Because of their volatility, these plasma bolts can only travel a certain distance before dispersing. If a solid object is hit before that point, the bolts will violently explode. Due to their extreme temperature, they are exceptionally destructive, capable of melting through steel at a touch and instantly incinerating almost any life form. Because of this, the weapon must be made entirely of incredibly heat-resistant materials, thus why they’re so expensive to make.

While plasma is one of the most effective anti-armour and anti-shield weapons in the galaxy, it lacks utility and is very inefficient at anti-personnel. It suffers from low fire rate, limited range, relatively low projectile speed and is prone to overheating upon firing successive shots. The weapons are also bulky and expensive, thus impossible to use in great quantities. The explosive nature gives it some anti-personnel value, but using it is usually overkill. Thus, it’s mostly used to counter especially powerful tanks/spaceships.

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