Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

“The Type-25 DEP is the bread and butter of Covenant small arms — almost as common as the MA5 is with the UNSC. After the Covenant Carrier jumped there were some areas of Mombasa where plasma pistols covered the ground like leaves—that maneuver killed a bunch of dudes on both sides.”
— Unnamed UNSC Serviceman

The Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol,[2] also known as the Plasma Pistol, is a Covenant infantry firearm commonly wielded by the smaller Covenant member species, such as the Unggoy, Kig-Yar, and the Yanme'e.

Design Details[]


A blueprint of a plasma pistol.

The Plasma Pistol is a Covenant directed energy weapon reverse-engineered from Forerunner technology that uses a weaponized variant of plasma. The weapon is powered by a battery cell and has a power output of 100–150 kV at 0.2–0.3 A (20–45 kW), but when overcharged, the power output is 1.5 MV at 0.2–0.3 A (300–450 kW).[2] The Type-25 DEP is a semi-automatic weapon using a single collimator design that gives the weapon its smooth and aerodynamic, claw-like appearance. The Type-25 DEP's functionality is straight forward; the rear section of the pistol has a holographic display indicating weapon temperature during use—in the centre of the holographic display is a small red pad known as the Type-25 DEP's safety and activation mechanism. Before the plasma pistol can be fired, the user must place his or her thumb on the pad, which activates the weapon and prepares it for use. On the left side of the device is another small red button used to open the top heating vent, used to cool the weapon to prevent overheating and to allow access to the internal components of the weapon. The weapon's convenient size and efficiency makes it a prime choice as a standard-issue weapon for lower-ranking Covenant infantry such as Unggoy, Kig-Yar and Yamne'e,[4] but also is occasionally used by higher ranking species within the Covenant such as Ossoona Sangheili,[5] or vehicle drivers, from time to time. It is the most commonly encountered Covenant weapon.[4]

Against infantry, the T25 DEP is lethal. Injuries inflicted to a victim can include severe third-degree burns. The Plasma shot by the weapon can instantly cauterize wounds upon impact.[6] Adjacent body fluids are subjected to flash vaporization, inducing a strain or a shock on the body after impact,[7] and the trapping of fluids in organs or blood vessels in addition to the rapid expansion of heat can cause ruptures or small explosions within the victim. Near misses can also cause injury to the target, as convection created by the shots can burn the intended target; this can also lead to heat trauma or heat stroke due to the exposure to extreme temperatures.[8][9] Should the bolt impact an object, the impact can also cause splash damage creating various debris that may come into contact with a target, which can burn, cripple, or kill nearby troops.[10] Generally, three-four hits from either a Plasma Pistol or Plasma Rifle will kill a light or unarmored target such as a UNSC Marine. The T25 Pistol also has the ability to charge a single superheated bolt, which can instantly deplete almost any form of energy shielding[11] and temporarily disable mechanics. If the overcharged bolt were to hit an unarmored flesh target, it would result in an instant kill.[12] Armored targets are able to withstand several overcharged bolts before being killed. This high-powered shot makes the Plasma Pistol a formidable strategic weapon; however, like its counterpart, prolonged periods of fire will overheat the weapon.


The Plasma Pistol is a great close-to-medium-range weapon, but at longer ranges, it is all but useless save for a few lucky shots; but some users have also been known to effectively use the weapon at long range if the user fires slowly and aims carefully by leading the target. The Plasma Pistol is very effective at killing "soft" targets, while known to be able to deal large amounts of damage to heavily armoured target(s), only in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: Reach can it help against "soft" targets, otherwise, it is primarily used to disable equipment/energy shielding. Also, because of the extreme temperatures released, a vehicle running on a hydrogen engine, or one that is lightly covered, can be damaged or disabled if the overcharged bolt hits it—in addition to the high temperatures, the electromagnetic bottle containing the plasma can produce an EMP which can disable many various electronic devices within range. When compared to the Plasma Rifle, the Plasma Pistol's non-overcharged firing mode is far more accurate at medium and long ranges, although the pistol's plasma projectiles tend to arc downward at long range. Spartan-IIs, Spartan-IIIs and Sangheili have the ability to dual-wield Plasma Pistols, doubling their efficiency in close- to mid-range combat situations. If fired fast enough, the high velocity of the plasma projectile coupled with the force of the kinetic impact can knock over or stun infantry and home onto targets.


The Plasma Pistol, when fired continuously, or when an overcharged bolt is fired, will overheat due to the rapid cycling, loading, ignition, and release sequence of energy. To prevent the weapon from being damaged, the Type-25 DEP temporarily shuts down and opens a cooling vent to allow the excess heat to dissipate before the weapon reactivates. This process leaves the weapon temporarily inoperable. Infantry who are not aware of the function of the Plasma Pistol can get killed because of this. Human military experts and scientists do not understand how Covenant plasma weapons work, or how they are recharged; as such when the battery is depleted the Plasma Pistol must be discarded or replaced. At 10% charge level the Plasma Pistol will begin to misfire, this is due to the battery's inability to deliver enough energy to start and complete the ignition and release phase of operation. As such this hampers the operators use of the weapon. Continuously holding down the trigger while in overcharge mode will rapidly deplete the energy source, and if not careful the weapon can be wasted before firing a single round. Another disadvantage is its short range, which is about 10–25 meters depending on the charge level.

Although the Plasma Pistol can strike a target at long ranges, it is not suited for long-range combat, due to two distinct properties of the weapon's operation. The first is the rate of thermal expansion which is determined by the rate of the bloom of the bolt, blooming is the result of plasma breakdown in the air at energy densities of around a megajoule per cubic centimetre. This effect causes the plasma to defocus and disperse energy into the atmosphere. It can be more severe if there is fog, smoke, or dust in the air. As the bolt is accelerated away from the "barrel" of the weapon the plasma begins to decay as a result of the weakening magnetic field. Speed also factors into this, the faster the bolt is accelerated, the farther the bolt will travel before the temperature of plasma begins to decay and the magnetic field becomes unstable and finally dissipates. As the bolt loses velocity it also loses kinetic damage as it travels longer distances.


The Plasma Pistol makes its first appearance in Halo: Combat Evolved, and is far more powerful and accurate than its Halo 2 and Halo 3 counterparts. The weapon holds an ability to stun opponents that are hit by high-velocity plasma projectiles, thus greatly reducing the opponent's mobility and allowing the user to easily hold the opponent in the weapon's firing arc. However, the drawback was that this effect is only felt with continuous fire. While stunned, the weapon will often overheat before the opponent is killed. Despite this drawback, the stun ability is a useful and potent feature in the hands of an experienced user. In Campaign, the Plasma Pistol is best used against Sentinels and Sangheili, as the overcharge feature will quickly deplete the energy shield of a Sangheili or destroy a Sentinel.

The Plasma Pistol in Halo: Combat Evolved is also notable for traits which made it rather overpowered. Although technically semi-automatic, it has no pause between shots, meaning that it fires as fast as the user can pull the trigger. Another advantage of using the Halo: CE Plasma Pistol is its accuracy. Even when fired for a long period of time, there is no kickback; the shots simply continue to go straight to the center of the reticle. The only noticeable accuracy issue is a slight downward arc present in every shot fired.

Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2[]

  • The melee action has changed - instead of the Master Chief holding it in his left hand and punching with his right, he now holds it in his right and punches with his left.
  • Overload shot contrail was removed.
  • Rate of fire of standard shots are slower than the Halo: CE counterpart.
  • Overcharge charges up noticeably slower.
  • Overcharge is slower but tracks much better.
  • Overloads do not kick up as much dirt, dust, sparks and debris as the Halo: CE counterpart.
  • Overcharge bolt does no damage to unshielded targets.
  • The cooldown time from overcharge shots is longer
  • The Plasma Pistol can now be dual-wielded.
  • Standard shots are noticeably weaker, smaller and more dull.
  • Green electricity is present between the "prongs" of the Plasma Pistol.
  • The color of the Plasma Pistol (blue) has darkened from Halo: CE's version.
  • The crosshairs of the reticle move closer together when the overcharge is locked-on to a target.
  • The overcharge now takes 15% off instead of 10-11%.
  • The Plasma Pistol now has only 200-300 shots before it runs out of ammo, instead of 500 it used to have.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST[]

  • Maintaining an overcharge without releasing now decreases the battery rapidly (about 3% per second). Overcharges also drain 10% power in addition to the amount decreased when maintaining the charge.
  • Takes slightly longer to cool down after overheating.
  • If an overcharge impacts with a vehicle, the vehicle is temporarily disabled and has the same effect as the Power Drain.
  • It takes a shorter time to charge an overcharge when holding down the trigger.
  • It only homes in effectively at short range, rarely does it seek out enemies as effectively as in Halo 2 or Halo: Combat Evolved. Otherwise it will just narrowly miss its target, completely miss, or not even seek its target in the first place.
  • When wielded, if you look at the shadow of the Plasma Pistol, you can see a little "cap" on the posterior end, which is actually the overheating hologram.
  • The overcharged shot resembles the one from Halo: CE, as it has a longer contrail than the Halo 2 overcharged shot, albeit much more detailed.
  • The Plasma Pistol is marginally weaker than it was in Halo 2, often requiring 1 extra shot to kill most enemies compared to in Halo 2.
  • The plasma pistol does the same amount of damage as the assault rifle against unshielded enemies; on Heroic difficulty, both the plasma pistol and assault rifle take 5 shots to kill a Unggoy Minor, and 9 shots to kill a Major Unggoy or Kig-Yar.
  • The plasma pistol now has 400 shots before it runs out of ammo.
  • The plasma pistol is now green instead of blue, it also appears to be smaller than in Halo 2.
  • The plasma pistol no longer misfires when it is low on battery.

Changes in Halo Wars[]

  • Plasma Pistols do not drain shields instantly, even when overcharged.
  • Unggoy now overcharge Plasma Pistols in-game.
  • Kig-Yar are not capable of using them.
  • Sangheili are not capable of using them.

Changes from Halo 3 to Halo: Reach[]

  • The strength of the Plasma Pistol has been greatly increased, now only taking 7-10 shots to kill a fully-shielded Spartan. An explanation for this could be to make the Plasma Pistol more reminiscent of the one from Halo: Combat Evolved, or to help compensate for the removal of dual-weilding.
  • The Plasma Pistol has received a graphical overhaul with noticeable changes to its design. Also, its texture appears to be more crudely metallic than in any previous game and the green coloration is much smaller and of a darker green.
  • Overcharge bolt tracking has been reduced, however the bolt now travels faster and can damage an unshielded opponent in order to compensate for the poor tracking.
  • It has a small raised section on the top, presumably a Covenant interpretation of an iron sight.
  • It has a much more defined grip on the lower section than in previous games.
  • The overcharged bolt now has a small area-of-effect damage.
  • The Plasma Pistol now has a slightly slower rate of fire to compensate for its higher power.
  • Its battery now loses 1 full energy unit per shot in Multiplayer (five shots in Campaign and Firefight).
  • The overcharged bolt not only disables shields, but will also drain a small amount of health, which will heal if no further damage is received.
  • Unggoy Ultras, and Heavies can now use the overcharge ability like the Kig-Yar. This makes Unggoy much more dangerous, especially with the Thunderstorm skull on in Firefight, or even Campaign, since almost all Unggoy, with the exception of those that are scripted to appear as Spec-ops or Heavy Unggoy, are upgraded to the Ultra rank.
  • The overcharge is much harder to fire, requiring a drastically faster lifting of the trigger finger.
  • There are two green dots on the top of the Plasma Pistol that turn red when the weapon is overcharged.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[]

  • Each regular shot uses 2% of the power, meaning it has only 50 shots at full charge, much fewer shots than in previous games.
  • The sounds have been upgraded; the "Overcharge" now sounds much more powerful than before, and it no longer makes the low-pitched buzzing sound.
  • It now kills in 12 shots.
  • When overcharged it drains the battery faster than previous incarnations of the weapon.
  • Changed reticle: it is now a circle with three lines.
  • When overcharged it may lock on to a target.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer[]

  • If the overcharge is held for roughly ten seconds, the weapon will automatically overheat and not fire, wasting some battery units in the process.



  • In the entire trilogy, the Plasma Pistol is most effective in close-quarters when facing Sangheili or Jiralhanae, by first depleting their shield and then switching to a headshot-capable weapon. In Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach, this will also award you the EMP Kill medal and even the My Clothes! achievement.
  • Going up against Sangheili in Halo: Combat Evolved, an effective up-close-and-personal strategy is to fire as fast as you can pull the trigger- the shots will stun the Sangheili long enough for you to get up and melee him.
  • In Two Betrayals, the moment you begin switch to the Plasma Pistol and dodge behind the glass, charge up the Plasma Pistol and aim slightly ahead of where the Sentinel is heading, if timed just right you will take down all of them and still have enough ammo left to tackle the Sangheili in the Control Room's hallway.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Plasma Pistol's semi-auto mode is as powerful as the Plasma Rifle and Assault Rifle when used against shields. However it does slightly less damage against flesh. Because it also has the overcharge feature, it's a good idea to drop those two weapons for the Plasma Pistol in most cases. This is, however, not an advisable tip in Halo 3 because of the increased power of the latter two weapons, and the drain on a Plasma Pistol's battery when overcharged.


  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Multiplayer, the same strategy used against Sangheili also applies to your opponent in Multiplayer. Fire as fast as you can until you get in melee range.
  • Using an overcharge can be effective against vehicles particularly if they are jumping or out of control, or headed your direction. This is a useful skill in Halo 3 as an overcharged shot can disable vehicles.
  • The Plasma Pistol is quite useful for taking out Campers in maps such as Rat Race, where there are Covenant Shields, because it is capable of disabling shields temporarily, opening up the camper to shots from your team mates or use your secondary weapon if you are doing this alone.
  • The Plasma Pistol has been synonymous for the Halo 2-coined term "Noob Combo." By equipping the Plasma Pistol with a headshot-capable weapon, using the Plasma Pistol to drain the enemy's shield and then finishing him off with the headshot-capable weapon can take out an opponent in seconds. It is most effective in Halo 2, though overpowered and overused. In Halo 3 it can still be accomplished, if at close range or close-quarters.
  • In Halo 3, the Plasma Pistol is the best weapon to use when disabling vehicles when a Power Drain is not available, followed by a Plasma grenade stick. However, impacting an overcharge with fast-moving vehicles will require a great deal of luck, timing and skill. A direct Plasma grenade stick will be a better alternative. The Banshee will prove the most difficult because of its speed. The best tactic is to hide behind cover, luring the Banshee until it either attempts to splatter you or bomb you. However, note that Banshee pilots would be extra careful when they notice a green glow emitting from your weapon.
  • Another common tactic is to use a charged shot to the head and follow it up with a melee attack.
  • When on a team, have one player fire an overcharge at your enemy then have another finish them off when their shields are depleted and they're at their most vulnerable.

UNSC Remarks[]

  • "The trigger is soft — no feedback — there’s no break that tells you when the overcharge is gonna kick in. First time I did it was by accident and it damn near sprained my wrist."
  • "It’s a damned ray gun — how come we don’t have ray guns?"
  • "It’s great in built-up areas and clearing buildings. Anything over a couple dozen meters though? Not so much."
  • "How the foxtrot does it track anything? Whatever — I guess that’s why I carry an MA5 instead of a TACPAD."
  • "It’s just the right size and it feels good in your hands, but give me a M7 or an MA5 any day of the week."
  • "Plasma pistols weren't the best, but if you charged the shot, you might get lucky and take out a shield in a single shot."[13]


  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, if you remain idle while wielding a Plasma Pistol, John-117 will pull off the top off the Plasma Pistol, showing what seems to be a power cell similar to a round of the Fuel Rod Gun. In Halo 3, the same will happen if you remain idle for a while. Your character will flip a hatch open and you will be able to see the internal mechanisms of the weapon.
  • Dadab and Linglin are the only named Unggoy who utilized the overcharge mechanism of the Plasma Pistol.
  • In Halo: Contact Harvest, Dadab notes that the Plasma Pistol's lowest power setting is an effective source of light whilst he is leading a group of Unggoy in the dark.
  • If you overcharge the Plasma Pistol in Halo 3 and Halo: Reach and slowly release the trigger, it will not fire a shot. The plasma would slowly dissipate and disappear. This can be used as a way to prevent excess battery depletion when an overcharge shot is fired.
  • In Halo: Reach, you can get a Rejection medal from deflecting an overcharge shot with Armor Lock.