The Plasma Gun is an explosive weapon used by the Raider class in Tribes: Ascend. It was released with the Raid & Pillage update and can be unlocked for 500 Gold or 44,000 XP. This weapon is currently banned in competitive play.
"A flexible weapon, the Plasma Gun fires massive balls of energy that explode on contact, with excellent rate of fire compared to Spinfusors." In-Game Description.
The Plasma Gun is a straight firing explosive weapon similar in operation to a Spinfusor but with a lower damage and higher rate of fire. It fires spheres of plasma that explode on impact and cause splash damage. It's damage radius is also smaller that a typical Spinfusor. It deals 500 damage on a direct hit.
The Plasma Gun dates back to the original Starsiege: Tribes and like the Spinfusor is an iconic weapon of the series. It was one of the last weapons from the original game to be added to Tribes: Ascend. Developers stated that they wanted to add this weapon because it would be immediately recognized by Tribes veterans as well as being "really cool" for new players.
The Plasma Gun gives the Raider expanded ability to deal with light classes and fight in the open. It has a large projectile that makes mid-air hits relatively easy. Currently the plasma gun's projectiles are exceptionally forgiving, often giving direct hits where any other weapon's projectile would miss, due to a weapon-specific larger hitbox (UPDATE: This has been nerfed, weapon's hitbox is now 40% smaller). It can be generally used in the same way as a Spinfusor, but its higher rate of fire (about 0,7 per sec, over twice as fast as any spinfusor) makes misses far less punishing. It is a valid weapon indoors or outdoors, but gives up some of the Raider's anti-armor firepower, dealing only 400 (500 upgraded) damage to vehicles and base assets. It can not be used for mobility, as its tiny knockback is not worth the damage. On the other hand, the lack of significant impact can make it easier to make follow-up shots.