The Plasma Pistol is a weapon in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

In-Game Description[]

By discharging a lethal shot of ionized gas in an artificially generated magnetic field, this weapon performs far beyond the capabilities of any projectile based sidearm.

– Engineering description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown


The Plasma Pistol becomes available for production in Engineering after completing the Plasma Pistol research. Following the research, soldiers can also use any Plasma Pistols acquired by capturing live Sectoids and Sectoid Commanders.

Production Cost:

Tactical Info[]

▪  The most powerful pistol available to XCOM
▪  Used widely by the invading forces
– Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Foundry Upgrades[]

Upgrade Effect Adjusted Spec.
Improved Pistol I +20 Critical Chance Crit Chance: 20%
Improved Pistol II +10 Aim Applied to wielder
Improved Pistol III +1 Damage Base Damage: 3 - 5
Crit Damage: 5 - 7


  • The Plasma Pistol's Critical Damage is incorrectly listed as 5-7 in XCOM: Enemy Within.
  • In addition to serving as a backup weapon, the Plasma Pistol is useful for weakening aliens for live capture after the Improved Arc Thrower Foundry project is completed (to bring aliens below the required minimum of 6 HP without accidentally killing them).
  • It may be advisable to give XCOM's first Plasma Pistols to Snipers with the Squadsight perk, as they're the only class restricted to using their pistol if they move.
  • Plasma Pistols used by Snipers with the Gunslinger perk deal damage comparable to the Light Plasma Rifle. The total theoretical damage in combination with the Improved Pistol III upgrade is Base 5-7 and Crit 7-9.
  • It is possible to miss out on unlocking the Plasma Pistol if the player fails to capture a live Sectoid or Sectoid Commander before advancing into the late game; this is less likely to happen in Enemy Within, as both of these enemies continue to appear alongside Mechtoids right up to the last mission.


  • All of the weapon's original users (Sectoids and Sectoid Commanders) wear it mounted on their forearms, without the pistol grip and trigger, which are apparently the first thing XCOM adds to captured examples when preparing them for field service. Additionally, both Sectoid variants fire three shots, while XCOM soldiers fire four.