The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Championship. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 2003. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 2004. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 3. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 4.

The Link Gun is a projectile/hitscan weapon appearing in Unreal Championship, Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Tournament 2004, Unreal Tournament 3, and Unreal Tournament 4.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Link Gun is a weapon that fires green plasma bolts in rapid succession. Although the bolts themselves travel slowly compared to most of the other guns, this weapon has a fast rate of fire.

The weapon appears in Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 replacing the Pulse Gun. The Link Gun's primary fire launches plasma projectiles at a rapid rate, similar to the Pulse Gun, and the secondary beam can be used to "link" with another player also using a link gun, that player gaining a damage bonus. The secondary fire also repairs nodes and vehicles as well as reducing an opponent to a skeleton, if the beam deals the final blow. It reappears in UT3 and again in UT4, with the same role.

Unreal Championship[edit | edit source]

"The Link looks like a high-tech laser and is similar to a Shock Rifle in its functionality, but delivers less damage. This is more of a team weapon and its real power comes when used in a team. If this weapon is fired at a teammate, it creates a link between the two players for as long as the firing player presses their fire button and as long as a direct line of sight is maintained between the players. This link will allow the linked player’s weapon to do extra damage, with a faster rate of fire. If another player is added to the link, the firing rate will increase again, and the beam will deliver a devastating blow."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Rapid-fire charged plasma.
Secondary Fire
Charged plasma beam.

The Link, as it is called in Unreal Championship, is virtually the same as the Link Gun of Unreal Tournament 2003. Only the weapon appearance and sound differs, although the ammo used is the same.

Unreal Tournament 2003[edit | edit source]

Primary Fire
The Link Gun's primary fire projectiles are normally green, and while their initial speed is slower than that of a rocket, they speed up to four times that in under a second. The usefulness of the primary fire is generally limited to close-to-medium range, since their slow initial speed makes them easy to react to at longer range. However, with a fire rate of 5.5 shots per second with 30 damage per shot, at close range and especially against stationary targets the Link Gun primary fire is one of the deadliest weapons considering its raw damage rate (165 damage per second).
Secondary Fire
The secondary fire tends to be more used than the primary fire. Though the green wiggly beam is of limited length, since the beam is hitscan it is far more reliable within its range. 5.5 times a second the beam checks for a hit, and will do 15 damage to a target, which comes out to be 82.5 damage per second. While it can be hard to master, in the right hands the beam is more deadly than the primary fire, especially considering its lockdown effect: whenever the beam hits, it pushes the target slightly, making it difficult for the target to dodge out of the way, effectively locking the player down.
If a teammate is linked up to you, the teammate's link beam assumes the color of the team, and both the primary and secondary fire of your Link Gun become yellow and do extra damage. If there are n people linked up to you, the damage on the primary fire is multiplied by 1 + n, and the damage on the secondary fire is multiplied by 1 + (0.5 × n). For example, if two people are linked up to you, primary fire will do 90 damage per shot, and secondary fire will do 30 damage per hit for 165 damage per second. The primary projectile speed also increases with the number of links.

Unreal Tournament 2004[edit | edit source]

"Riordan Dynamic Weapon Systems combines the best of weapon design in the Advanced Plasma Rifle v23, commonly known as the Link Gun, or simply the Link. While the primary firing mode of the Link remains the same as its plasma-firing predecessor, the secondary cutting torch has been replaced with an active-scanning, switchable energy matrix. This matrix enables the weapon to register friend or foe upon contact with the swirling green beam and change properties accordingly. When the beam comes into contact with an opponent it can inflict serious injury and death within seconds. Upon contacting a teammate, it reverts to a harmless carrier stream. The carrier stream offloads energy from the onboard cells, boosting the output of any targeted player who is also using the Link. Two players may Link to one another at any time, boosting the power output of the weapon significantly, but it should be noted that while players are boosting a teammate, they are unable to defend themselves from attack."
Weapon description

As with most UT2003 weapons, the UT2004 version of the Link Gun has remained largely the same, though it has received several subtle changes. The Link Gun's appearance has been altered. The primary fire now consumes 2 ammo per shot, and the secondary fire has a greater fire rate of over 9 hits per second, although the damage per hit has been decreased to 9 such that its rate of damage has been unchanged. In compensation for the increased ammo consumption rate, the ammo capacity of the UT2004 Link Gun has been increased.

In UT2004, players can also repair vehicles and Power Nodes with the alternate fire, greatly increasing the utility of this weapon in Onslaught, Vehicle CTF, and certain Assault maps. The heal amount and speed of most vehicles and turrets can be configured by Level Designers, but due to the default settings, generally, the speed is quite low for the automatic floor and ceiling sentinel turrets in Assault maps.

Note that linking up is much more efficient than in UT2003. With n links your primary fire still has a damage multiplier of 1 + n, but the beam damage or healing scales up by 1 + (1.5 × n). This basically means you can build/heal nodes much faster if you link together instead of separately aiming directly at the node. An example: Two players separately aiming at the node heal it by 2 × 82.5 = 165 points per second. If one of the players linked to the other instead, the combined healing would be (1 + 1.5) × 82.5 = 206.25 points per second. The same example applies to healing vehicles or firing the beam at enemies.

Unreal Tournament 3[edit | edit source]

"Riordan Dynamic Weapon Systems is best known for their all-purpose combat engineering weapon system, the Advanced Plasma Rifle v24. Its primary mode is a standard rapid-fire plasma weapon. But the alternate mode beam also serves a multitude of engineering uses on the battlefield, from repairing friendly vehicles to constructing power Nodes. The beam lens incorporates IFF detection, so that its dynamic energy matrix automatically switches to a deadly plasma stream when contacting an enemy vehicle or soldier. Contact with a friendly target switches to a harmless carrier stream, offloading energy from the onboard cells to the target. This boosts the output of any teammate who is linked to the rifle -- hence its nickname, the "Link Gun"."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Fires white, hot plasma projectiles. The rate of fire appears to have been significantly increased, however, it does a little less than half the damage to compensate.
Secondary Fire
Fires a beam. This beam is team-colored when healing vehicles or power nodes. When attempting to heal a fully intact vehicle or node, no ammo is consumed. Note that the vehicle healing rate in the infobox is a theoretical value. Due to rounding errors after down-scaling individual "health chunks", the actual healing rate probably is much slower, maybe around 5-10/s.

Players wanting to combine the power of their Link Guns simply move closer together to create a kind of "power grid". Power boosts are received automatically from any nearby equipped Link Gun and any of its own links. A simple power grid with only one other Link gun boosts beam and projectile damage by 50%. If the grid contains at least two other Link Guns, beam damage output is doubled. Link Gun power grids with more participants only make the grid more reliable, but do not provide further damage boosting. The maximum distance between two players for establishing a link is 160 UU, but Link Guns "route" their linked power to all other Link Guns, so not all players have to stay within that small space.

Unreal Tournament 4[edit | edit source]

"The Link Gun is a very powerful close range weapon with both hitscan and projectile firing modes. The Link Gun has had a few new improvements in this tournament making it more deadly than ever, providing you can get close enough to use it. The Link Gun can be connected to multiple link guns giving you and your teammates a significant damage increase."
Weapon description

Primary fire
Rapid fire projectile with a moderate travel time. Good for locking down narrow spaces. Will overheat with continuous fire.
Alternate fire
Limited range beam that can pull enemies and team mates. Good for tracking moving targets.

Tips and tricks[edit | edit source]

Unreal Championship[edit | edit source]

"The link gun works well in multilevel environments and the lock-in ability of its secondary fire is also very good for pursuing enemies in tight places. It doesn’t have the stopping power of the heavier weapons, but it’s still deadly when used correctly.
On the downside, its primary fire is slow compared to those of other weapons, and its glowing green signature makes you a visible target for a distant enemy.

The primary attack fires glowing green light pulses. These are more effective than bullets, and retain their lethal punch over distance. Use the primary attack when your target is either far away or so close that you know you can’t miss. The primary attack is more deadly than the secondary fire, but not as accurate at close range.

The secondary fire releases a deadly and unpredictable stream of energy at an enemy. The closer you are to an opponent, the more effective this gun is. The real power of the link gun comes when you fire it at a teammate. The secondary fire creates a link between the two players for as long as the connection is maintained. This link allows the connected players to do triple damage with a faster rate of fire. As more players are added to the link, the benefit becomes more pronounced.

The link gun is best in maps that include multiple levels and tight corridors. It’s downright deadly in the right situations, and can be much more effective (and safer for you) than heavy weapons in really tight areas.
It’s least useful in flat, open maps. Enemies with lightning guns, shock rifles and rocket launchers will eat you for lunch.
Use the link gun where it’s best, and nowhere else. If you try to pick off people at a distance, they stop you quickly. If you use it for surprise attacks, your enemy doesn’t stand a chance, however armed."
Unreal Championship Prima's Official Strategy Guide

The Link Gun is not a weapon of abuse for multiple reasons. The maximum ammo capacity is pretty low for a weapon with high rate of fire. In any team game, if you want to take down an enemy while a teammate is around- be it another enemy or an ally with a Link Gun, the Alt-Fire might connect with wrong bot. Those wasted milliseconds could be a game changer, for the worse.

Unreal Tournament 2004[edit | edit source]

This weapon becomes the focus of vehicle-based modes such as Onslaught.

  • Use the link gun's alt-fire to transfer power quickly. You can speed the charging of a power node by firing at the node's platform or at the spinning ring above the platform.[1]
  • Boost ("Link") beams for even more power. When your teammate is charging a node, fire your link alt-fire at him/her to increase power/speed of charging. Linked guns are more effective than the same number of guns firing independently.[1]
  • Vehicles can also be repaired or "recharged" in this manner.[1]
  • The link alt-fire is also a fast way to destroy an enemy power node, though not as fast as certain vehicle weapons or the Redeemer.[1]
  • Remember you can boost the link gun for other uses, such as taking down nodes, attacking vehicles, etc.[1]
  • You can move around while you're linking or being linked by other players. As long as you don't move too much or too quickly, you can do so without breaking the link(s). This can help you avoid incoming vehicles or sniper fire.[1]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Preview Notes[edit | edit source]

Unreal Tournament 2003[edit | edit source]

"The pulse rifle still fires pretty much the same for the primary weapon, but the secondary can be fired at a teammate, which will "link" you up with them. This will make that person's weapon more powerful. Up to four players can link up, and the effect is quite deadly for the unfortunate opponent. This weapon should help to promote more team play."
Unreal Playground[2]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

External links and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Blitz (February 13, 2004). "Onslaught tips and tricks". Unreal Playground. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  2. StealthDP (May 26, 2002). "E3 Report". Unreal Playground. Archived from the original on October 11, 2002. Retrieved July 10, 2020.

See also[edit | edit source]

Unreal Championship weapons
Unreal Tournament 2003 weapons
Unreal Tournament 2004 weapons
Unreal Tournament 3 weapons
Unreal Tournament 4 weapons
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