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Plasma Launcher

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Movement Block
Special Block
Cosmetic Block

A high explosive Plasma Grenade Launcher.
~ In-game description

The Plasma Launcher is a type of hardware cube that fires explosive plasma shots that detonate on impact. They are, along with Lasers, the first weapon available to use for all Robocraft players, and higher level variants can be used later.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The plasma bolts are affected by gravity and will travel in a ballistic arc toward the ground as they travel. Upon impact with any solid matter (such as rocks, dirt, the walls of the sky box, or other robots) the bolts detonate, dealing damage to any enemy robots within a certain radius. When the plasma bolts reach their maximum range they fizzle out mid-flight, and not deal damage.

As Plasma Launchers become progressively higher in levels, so do their damage, explosive radius, gun size, mass, price, armor, and CPU requirement.

When a Plasma Launcher fires, it generates significant recoil. Low mass robots are particularly sensitive to recoil effects and can be uncontrollable for several seconds after a plasma volley. Although wheels, thrusters and hover blades can compensate for recoil, the best method of mitigating its effect is to make a massive robot. It is possible to limp a crippled robot short distances when it has no remaining movement cubes with the recoil from plasma launchers. This recoil effect can help if a robot has crashed or tipped over and has lost the ability to reverse out to jiggle them free, a very useful trick if an aircraft has lost its reverse thrusters and is jammed into terrain.

Pros and cons[edit | edit source]

Pros[edit | edit source]

  • Great damage at medium/close range
  • Projectile arc allows for slight indirect fire
  • Indirect damage for when shot misses but is close to target
  • Good for slow airborne robots
  • Good for ambush tactics
  • Good against non-electroplated enemies
  • Accuracy unaffected when moving

Cons[edit | edit source]

  • Long-range combat requires impressive ballistic intuition
  • Projectile travel time needs to be judged carefully
  • For aircraft, height needs to be calculated
  • Slow projectile speed
  • Fast bots dodge it easily and hovers can hover over the AOE of a plasma
  • It is hard to hit fast airborne targets due to slow projectile speed and because the plane could possibly take evasive maneuvers making your shots miss (try to include Rails, Flak, Protoseekers, or Missile to counter flyers)
  • Because of high splash damage, good opponents tend not to cluster when confronted with a plasma
  • The more powerful the plasma (Plasma Goliathon especially) the more energy it consumes per shot

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Splash Radius Increases with Time[edit | edit source]

Plasma splash damage radius expands over the first 0.8 seconds of its flight, going from very small, to the maximum available. Long-range volleys that have at least one second of flight time will have maximum splash radius compared to shots fired at shorter range.

Damage Transfer[edit | edit source]

Plasma damage transfers according to the health points of the cube it hits. Because of this, Caterillar Tracks and Rotor Blades are the most effective functional cubes for blocking plasma blast damage.

Placement[edit | edit source]

Top Guns[edit | edit source]

Top guns are good for mid to long range exchanges, but require the robot to be short or hover close to the ground to strike nearby targets. They may even be unable to hit targets that are in contact, usually because they're being blocked by the robot they're mounted on. Top guns are completely unable to fire on targets below the robot, which makes them unsuitable for air-to-ground combat without very high pilot skill as it requires flying upside down to fire on targets.

Belly Guns[edit | edit source]

Belly guns are good for mid to close range exchanges, but require a robot to have a height advantage to strike at targets at long range. This height advantage can be achieved by using high terrain features, hovering high above the ground, or by being airborne. Belly guns are unable to fire on targets above a robot and are ineffective as anti-air weapons, unless a robot is above the target or the guns are maneuvered to face the target.

Suggested placement is a combination of both, even with 1 gun facing in a direction, the other guns will boost the fire rate of the gun. For example, if there are 7 plasmas under the robot and one above, the one above will still fire 5 shots a second.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

Using Plasma Launchers[edit | edit source]

Highly mobile plasma robots such as plasma hovers and speeders are very good for ambush tactics, even without the support of their teammates. Combining with high speed, high turning rates, and multiple jammers can make them unexpectedly agile in close quarters, and very effective at swarming or harassment tactics. Highly mobile robots can turn the whole robot to bring guns to bear, rather than wait for them to turn, which can significantly improve aiming time. Plasmas can be devastating against non-electroplated bots, shredding them apart.

Well armored flying bots that use plasma are usually able to take a few shots at the enemy reactor in Battle Mode even while under heavy fire. Many fast or flying plasma bots opt to do little other than repeatedly head straight into the enemy shield and take a few shots at the reactor, chipping away at its health over time.

Counter-Strategies[edit | edit source]

While plasma robots are not unable to fight at long ranges, forcing them to do so puts them at a disadvantage. The plasma bolt's arc and travel time become increasingly large issues at long distances, not to mention that targets become harder to spot and may have an opportunity to move out of the way. Highly mobile robots can dodge, hovercraft and aircraft can duck under or pop over incoming volleys, while walker robots can (try to) jump clear.

When assaulting plasma robots it is recommended to aim for the connection points connecting the plasmas to the hull. If the connectors are not exposed, aim for the guns itself. In most cases, you would want to stay somewhat away from the plasma bots.

When in close and medium range with a plasma robot, keep moving, and move quickly. The relatively slow traverse time of a bot and slow projectile speed means that rapid movement may exceed the ability of a plasma launcher to track a target. Though this strategy may not prevent a robot from being hit, it can reduce the damage taken.

Designs that include electroplates covering the hull greatly increases survivability.

Statistics[edit | edit source]

Image Name Price Robit.png Health
CPU Load
Damage Per Hit Energy Consumption Per Shot Single Gun Fire Rate Per Second Max Fire Rate Max Fire Rate Count Blast Radius (m)
Pulser 560 10,638 14 11.8 18,617 559 0.25 5 4 25
Disruptor 720 13,678 18 15.1 21,539 647 0.25 5 4 25
Bombarder 2,200 16,717 22 18.5 25,923 779 0.25 5 4 25
Ravager 2,600 19,757 26 21.8 33,233 998 0.25 5 4 25
Devastator 7,500 22,796 30 25.2 47,861 1,437 0.25 5 4 25
Goliathon 150,000 67,046 300 1,200 95,722 2,754 2.5 5 2 25
Image Name Firing Sound Impact Sound
T1Plasma.png Pulser
T3Plasma.png Disruptor
T5Plasma.png Bombarder
T7Plasma.png Ravager
T9Plasma.png Devastator
MegaPlasma.png Goliathon Sound Unavaliable Sound Unavaliable
  • The Carbon 6 variant of the Plasma Goliathon costs 233,100 Robit.png instead of 150,000 Robit.png
  • The Carbon 6 variant of the Plasma Devastator costs 8,250 Robit.png instead of 7,500 Robit.png

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Plasma cannons were added March 11th, 2014.
  • Prior to the patch DotM3 the area effect damage from plasma volleys do not stack on a single cube, striking a target with multiple bolts only dealt more damage if each bolt hit a different block on the robot. This was largely unknown to players.
  • The Plasma Launcher is referred in the code as KUBE_Plasma_cannon
  • On the Custom Games Mk1.5 update, the projectiles were made bigger, to be as big as the Goliathon's blast radius.
  • Plasma Launchers lost their simultaneous volley feature in the Maximum Loadout Update on the 2nd March 2016, and was buffed as alpha strikes by plasma was reduced.