"The Q-Beam fires a concentrated beam of unstable particles that eventually cause a target to explode"
- Inventory description
The Q-Beam is a prototype directed energy weapon. A stream of volatile quasiparticles causes rapidly cascading excitation in energetic systems of matter to the point of rupture. Each triad of Q-Beam cells it uses as ammunition contains 100 units of energy by default, though this number can be increased with firing time upgrades.
The weapon can be found in the Hardware Labs' Beams and Waves Lab. It's hooked up to a machine for testing. Use the nearby terminal to access it. Later it can also be found in Cargo Bay B at the Security Command Post where Sarah and the survivors are. A Q-Beam can also be found outside the station in a location marked "human corpse" near the Psychotronics exit past the breach that needs to be sealed for the sidequest Million Dollar Caulk Gun (the corpse is Mariana Arias and is hidden in a small cubbyhole with the Q-Beam floating next to her), but this one is guarded by a Technopath. An additional Q-Beam can be found in the freezer in the kitchen of the cafeteria in Crew Quarters.
The Q-Beam fires a continuous, laser-like beam and does not do damage in the conventional sense. Instead, constant fire will rapidly fill in an entity's health bar in green, starting from the left and moving right. If the whole red or blue part of their health bar is turned green, the enemy will instantly die. This is with done with respect to damage already inflicted (ie, a damaged enemy will not require the empty part of their health bar to be filled up) and stacks with conventional damage: effectively, the green part of the entity's health bar does not exist, and the player will only have to deplete the red or blue part. If an enemy is not killed by Q-Beam fire, the green part of their bar will "heal" after a while, potentially leaving them with just as much health as they started with. If HUD is turned off, the amount of green in the health bar can be estimated by looking at the density or opacity of the shimmering green aura that becomes more visible the more quasiparticles are fired at the entity.
The greatest shortcoming of the Q-Beam is that since it does not inflict damage, it also does not inflict any sort of stun effect and enemies are free to retaliate as they like: worse, while firing Morgan's movement is slowed drastically. Thus, to be effective, it must be combined with a stun ability (e.g. the Disruptor Stun Gun or GLOO Cannon) or other incapacitating ability (such as Psychoshock, which prevents most enemies from using ranged attacks). As a tech weapon, it will also be temporarily disabled by electrical element attacks such as those of a Voltaic Phantom or Technopath.
The beam has high DPS when used effectively, making it ideal for taking out tougher enemies that require you to be far away to be safe such as the Telepath, Technopath, Weaver and Nightmare. It is highly ineffective against Weavers while their "shield" effect is still present, so it is a good idea to use a Nullwave Transmitter on them first.
The effective range is no more than 30 meters. "Firing time" affects the rate at which the Q-beam actually uses ammunition, with the final upgrade effectively halving its base ammo consumption. Q-Beam Power provides an abstract measurement of the damage output (as it is measured in kilowatts instead of damage). "Handling" is the percentage of normal walking speed Morgan can move at when firing the Q-Beam, and can be improved with the "Heavy Gear Optimizer CRU" chipset.
Ammunition for the Q-Beam is rare and it benefits hugely from equipping the chipset CELL REFURB 00Q-X1, which will cause about 100 Q-Beam ammo to be dropped by every destroyed Operator and Turret. The effect is retroactive: any Operator or Turret the player has destroyed before acquiring the chipset can be searched again to find Q-Beam ammo.
The fabrication plan for Q-Beam cells (and for the Q-Beam itself) is the reward for completing the side-mission The Blackbox Project.
Dismantle Results: 3 Spare Parts
* Requires Lab Tech I
** Requires Lab Tech II
|Power||50kW||55kW||60kW *||66kW *||71kW **||75kW **|
|Handling||15%||30%||50% *||75% **|
|Firing Time||5s||5.6s||6.7s *||8s **||10s **|
|Reload speed||100%||120%||145% *|
Variants (Pytheas) Edit
Standard Q-Beam Edit
On Pytheas, standard Q-Beams are more effective than the basic stock ones, and can be found in various locations, as can their fabrication plans. Their background color in the inventory is green, and their built-in upgrades are randomized.
Advanced Q-Beam Edit
On Pytheas, advanced Q-Beams are more effective than the standard ones, and can be found in various locations, as can their fabrication plans. Their background color in the inventory is blue, and their built-in upgrades are randomized.
- Contrary to the game design, Quasiparticles cannot propagate in vacuum because it's an emergent behavior of the surrounding medium (for example, phonons, the quanta of sound, are the vibration modes of the excited atoms) and thus cannot exist without a medium.