Twin Plasma Cannon

From Elite Wiki
Twin plasma cannon failing to have much impact on an asteroid! (Oolite v.1.77)


Some say this is an outdated technology as plasma travels at sub-light speed, and current laser systems are more powerful.
Plasma projectors are compact and easily cooled, but suffer from slow cycle rates and are resistent to upscaling in size.
Plasma projector technology is still used extensively by the Navy in turretted anti-fighter defence systems.

Sparkler is a Slang term for a plasma cannon.


Cost: 200.0 ₢
Techlevel: 2


From Cim's post in 2014 (see link below):

Virtually nothing has twin plasma cannon, because they don't have "available_to_all" set in Equipment.plist, and they're not in the "optional_equipment" list of any core ship either, so most player ships can't equip them except those that went looking for them.

NPCs don't generally have them because they're pretty bad weapons at the best of times, and as a relatively slow projectile, need shots to be led to stand any chance of hitting ... which the NPCs aren't yet programmed to be able to do.

If you want to try them out, the Porcupine from the Z-ships OXP is cheap and available in most systems, and does allow fitting them. They have several major disadvantages:

  • you have to lead your shots and they're relatively slow projectiles
  • they're really short ranged (not that you'd hit anything moving at longer range anyway)
  • they overheat fairly quickly (much faster than a pulse laser)
  • they use a ridiculous amount of energy per shot: getting them to the overheated state will go through most of three energy banks
  • they do about 40% of the damage per hit of a pulse laser (though the rate of fire is a bit better)

From Aegidian's Vanilla game code ("ShipEntity.m" 2004)

forward_weapon_type = WEAPON_PLASMA_CANNON;
weapon_energy = 8.0;
weapon_recharge_rate = 1.0/3.0;
weapon_offset_x = 10.0;
shot_time = 0.0;
if (range > 3750)
	return NO;
[self firePlasmaShot:weapon_offset_x:1500.0:[NSColor yellowColor]];
[self firePlasmaShot:weapon_offset_x:1500.0:[NSColor yellowColor]];
return YES;


I have always thought that the (as of now widely unused due to their crapulosity) twin plasma cannons could become a nice "beyond the military laser" piece-of-equipment - make them double or even triple as powerful as the ML, accessible only at TL 14+ and for 70000Cr - but leave the disadvantage of it firing not-instant-hit plasma and only having a firing range of 5 or 6 kms in.

Voila, a new, powerful and unique weapon that doesn't unbalance the game the way laser coolers or one-shot-superweapons would do. (Lestradae (2010))

Plasma Turrets

The plasma turret weapons fitted to capital ships and sometimes smaller OXP ships are quite different (only in OXP's):

  • automatic shot leading makes them reasonably accurate
  • they're turrets, so you don't also have to point the ship more than vaguely in the right direction
  • no overheating
  • no energy use
  • still low damage per hit, though
  • still short range

1) you must target another ship; plasma turrets only fire on targets which are targeted by you;

2) your target must be hostile to you; plasma turrets don't fire on friendly or neutral targets;

3) your target must be inside the actual firing range and angle of the cannons; plasma turrets have a range of 5000 meters and a firing angle of approximately 150 degrees. Therefore your starboard cannon will never send a shot to a target on your port side, even not to a target right in front of you.


Plasma Turrets

Oolite Equipment
Standard Equipment
Astrogation ConsoleCargo HoldCompassEnergy banksEngine/Main Drive • HUDIFF ScannerLife Support SystemsMissilePulse LaserShieldsShip's HullTorus Jump DriveView Screen • Witchspace/Hyperspace Drive
Optional Equipment
Advanced Navigational ArrayAdvanced Space CompassCargo Bay ExpansionDocking ComputersE.C.M. SystemEscape PodExtra Energy UnitExternal Heat ShieldingFuel ScoopsGalactic HyperdriveIntegrated Targeting SystemMilitary Shield EnhancementMulti-Targeting SystemNaval Energy UnitPassenger BerthScanner Targeting EnhancementShield BoostersTarget System Memory ExpansionWitchdrive Fuel InjectorsWormhole Scanner
Beam LaserECM Hardened MissileEnergy BombMilitary LaserMining LaserMissilePulse LaserQuirium Cascade MineTwin Plasma Cannon