|Manufactured:||2001 (First appears in Halo Combat Evolved)|
|Cartridges:||100 Battery Power|
|Type:||Direct Energy based Pistol|
The Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol, 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, and is the most commonly used for Xbox Live Players on Matchmaking events in order to break shields or disable vehicles.
The Plasma Pistol is a Covenant Directed Energy Weapon reverse engineered from Forerunner technology that uses a weaponized variant of the fourth stage of matter Plasma to serve as a worthy weapon on the battlefield. The weapon is powered by a battery cell. The weapon 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).
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 DEPs functionality is straight forward; the rear section of the pistol has a holographic display indicating weapon temperature during use—in the center of the holographic display is a small red pad known as the Type-25 DEPs 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 Unggoy, Kig-Yar and Yamne'e, but also is occasionally used by higher ranking species within the Covenant such as Ossoona Elites, or vehicle drivers, from time to time. It is the most commonly encountered Covenant weapon.
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.
Adjacent body fluids are subjected to flash vaporization, inducing a strain or a shock on the body after impact, 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.
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. Generally, two 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 and temporarily disable mechanics, against infantry if overcharged bolt were to hit an unarmored flesh target, it will result in an instant kill.
Armored targets are able to withstand several overcharge 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 armored 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 Elites 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 because of 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 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.