The Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle/Jiralhanae Variant, more commonly known as the Brute Plasma Rifle, and known to the Jiralhanae as the blood-hand, is a Covenant infantry firearm, and is a modified version of the original Plasma Rifle used almost exclusively by Jiralhanae.
The Brute Plasma Rifle is a Covenant directed energy weapon that uses a superheated ionized gas called plasma instead of projectile ammunition. The weapon has a power output of 100−150 kV at 0.2–0.3 A (20–45 kW), and can fire 360–540 rounds per minute. Unlike the Plasma Pistol, the plasma rifle is capable of fully-automatic fire, thanks in part to its dual plasma collimator design. Placed atop one another, these collimators fire in a staggered pattern, taking the slow automatic fire of each individual collimator and combining them to allow a faster rate of fire. The Type-25 DER/J is considerably different than its Sangheili-issued counterpart. Unlike standard plasma rifles, the Jiralhanae variant fires a weaker bolt, identified by the bolts' red hue. The weapon compensates for this weakness with a higher rate of fire, as well as achieving better penetration and stronger kinetic impact than its Sangheili-issued counterpart. The only visual differences between the two weapons is that the Jiralhanae variant has a red casing. The top half of the Brute Plasma Rifle is also longer towards the back end than its Sangheili counterpart, which allows for a more comfortable grip by Brutes. So far, this variant has only been found in the hands of the Brutes and a small number of other Covenant species (such as the Drones) who work directly with them. Even now the weapon has only been sighted since the Brutes have begun a return to front-line combat.
Against infantry, the lethality of the Jiralhanae Variant of the Type-25 DER is considerably increased over the standard model due to its higher rate of fire at close range. Injuries inflicted to a victim are severe third-degree burns, though this type of injury causes the wound to be cauterized instantly. Body fluids would be subjected to flash vaporization, inducing a strain or a shock on the body, and fluids trapped in organs or arteries subjected to rapid expansion from the heat could cause ruptures and additional damage to the target. Near misses can also cause injury, as they produce severe burns to nearby areas. This can also cause trauma or heat stroke due to the extreme temperatures of the plasma bolt. Should the plasma impact an object, the impact can cause splash damage creating debris that may come into contact with a target, with a crippling or lethal effect. Generally, two hits from either a Plasma Pistol or Plasma Rifle will kill a light or non-armored target. Like its counterpart, over-extended periods of firing can overheat the weapon, causing it to become unusable for a short period of time.
The Type-25 DER/J is a close to medium range weapon, and as such can inflict very high damage at short range. The Jiralhanae variant benefits from a higher rate of fire, doubling the rifle's efficiency - this higher discharge rate allows for higher velocity, increasing the kinetic impact. The Type-25 DER/J can easily kill lightly- or unarmored targets with two strikes, while against heavily armored targets the Type-25 Jiralhanae Variant can inflict double the damage of the standard Type-25 DER. Sufficient numbers of infantry equipped with Type-25 Rifles can halt an enemy advance with its ability to deliver suppressive fire. This tactic is also reflected in the Covenant's combat doctrine: destroy enemy morale with harassing fire and exposure to the alien-ness of their infantry. SPARTAN-IIs can dual-wield plasma rifles, doubling their efficiency in close quarter combat situations. The plasma rifle's high-velocity bolt coupled with its kinetic impact can temporarily stun even a SPARTAN-II.
The Type-25 DER/J is even more prone to overheating than its standard counterpart after expending four percent of its battery because of the rapid cycling, loading, ignition, and release phases; to prevent the weapon from being damaged, the Type-25 DER temporarily shuts down and opens heating vents to allow the excess heat to dissipate before the weapon reactivates. When compared, a single bolt from the Jiralhanae variant of the Type-25 DER is considerably weaker than a bolt from the Sangheili version, this is because in order to achieve a higher rate of fire the temperature of the plasma must be reduced in order to achieve a higher discharge rate without overheating the weapon after a few shots. At 10% charge level, the plasma rifle will begin to misfire, perhaps this is due to the battery's inability to deliver enough energy to start and complete the ignition and release phase of operation, hampering the operator's use of the weapon. 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 rifle must be discarded or replaced.
The Type-25 DER/J is not suited for long range combat, due to several distinct properties of the weapons 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 centimeter. 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 in to 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.
Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3: ODST
- Rate of fire decreased.
Changes from Halo 3: ODST to Halo 5: Guardians
- Rate of fire increased.
- Capacity decreased; now drains 1% of the battery every 2 shots compared to 4 shots for 1% in previous games.
- In Halo 2, when facing multiple foes, Dual-Wielding two Brute Plasma Rifles can be a key tactic to winning, especially on Legendary difficulty. Pulling one trigger and then pulling the other one a split second later will result in a storm of plasma bolts that can cut down enemy formations quickly. This can also help when facing the Flood. The downside to this is that the rifles will overheat fairly quickly, leaving you vulnerable to open fire.
- A way to overcome the fast overheating issue is to fire one rifle until it overheats and then the other. Firing both in bursts can also prevent overheating and maintain accuracy.
- Dual-wielding the Brute Plasma Rifle with a standard Plasma Rifle is another good tactic. The Brute Plasma Rifle will overheat faster and by the time the Elite Plasma Rifle has overheated, the Brute Plasma Rifle will be ready to fire again. This can be useful when facing large quantities of Flood. Note however, that this tactic will drain a lot of power.
- In Halo 3: ODST, Brute Plasma Rifles are an excellent way of draining a Brute's shield quickly and when coupled with a Magnum or Covenant Carbine, make way for an easy headshot and quick kill. They are also useful at draining the shields of a Jackal or Drone.
Multiplayer and Firefight
- Both Plasma Rifles strip shields better than damaging flesh and armor (and thus, are not as good at eliminating the Halo 2 Brutes as, say, the Battle Rifle), their true value lies in their rate of fire and their ability to stun opponents. In ODST, this ability to take down shields is even more effective, as they can remove a Brute's Energy Shields in a matter of seconds. The Brute Plasma Rifle is also effective against swarms of Drones.
- A third tactic is the infamous "noob combo." Instead of using the Plasma Pistol and a human weapon, dual wield a Brute Plasma Rifle and a human SMG. This is one of the most powerful combos and can defeat even an Energy Sword wielder. The only disadvantage is that only works at mid-range, and you need some very good aim because if you fail to aim properly, you may be left with an overheated Plasma Rifle and an empty SMG. In order to combat the lack of SMG's in levels with the Brute Plasma Rifle, try Dual Wielding a Needler with it as well, as these weapons are normally in huge supply on such levels. Also with this way a good aim isn't a necessity as the needles home in on enemies and damage or kill them with the least amount of ammo needed
In the warzone games there are different variations on the Plasma Rifle which are the Brute Plasma Rifle, Sorrow of Teash, and the Scale of Soirapt
- The normal plasma rifle is similar to the older games noting a few changes which are an increased fire rate and less capacity then previous games and is a very good weapon at overloading shields and is not great at killing unsheilded targets as bullets but will do the job should it come to it. It would be a better tactic to quickly overload the shields then either melee the target or swap to a weapon capible of headshots or draining health quickly such as a battle rifle or magnum
- The Sorrow of Teash is a warzone elite variant of the traditional plasma rifle that require 3 req points to call in. It was created by Brute warlords who had modified by expert weapon smiths. It has better heat dissipation and accuracy so it is more viable to use at medium range and can shoot sooner if overheated. The best tactic how ever is most likely to still overload the shields and then use a ballistics weapon or UNSC weapons to kill a spartan
- The Scale of Soirapt is another warzone variant that is ultra-rare and requires 4 req points to call into the battle. It was built in the image of a lifeless moon called Doisac and is built using only the most secret methods that only a few Brutes can unlock. It is pretty much the same as the normal plasma rifle but it has more damage and can be used like a bayonet to instantly kill a spartan in the war games
- The Brute Plasma Rifle and the Sentinel Beam are the only weapons in Halo 2 not shown in its instruction manual.
- The Brute Plasma Rifle is the only known Brute weapon without blades for close-quarters combat.
- In Halo 5: Guardians's Anvil's Legacy update, there is an unusual texture glitch for the Brute Plasma Rifle by doing the Weapon Pad REQ Glitch with a "Mythic" REQ. The texture is blue and doesn't apply to the model correctly.