"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 in main game 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.
- Near Josh Dalton's corpse in the G.U.T.S..
- In the freezer in the kitchen of the cafeteria in Crew Quarters.
- In Cargo Bay B at the Security Command Post where Sarah Elazar and the survivors are.
- 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.
|Stat||Unmodified||Lvl. 1||Lvl. 2||Lvl. 3||Lvl. 4||Lvl. 5|
- Lab Tech I Lab Tech II
- Lab Tech I Lab Tech II
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 stunning effect. Weapons that stun are the Disruptor Stun Gun, the GLOO Cannon, and the Nullwave Transmitter. Psychic abilities also work, such as Psychoshock, which prevents most enemies from using ranged attacks, and Mindjack, which makes enemies not react to the weapon until it is too late. As a tech weapon, it will also be temporarily disabled by electrical element attacks such as those of a Voltaic Phantom or Technopath.
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
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.
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 they cannot exist without a medium.