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If you're looking for the Unreal II: The Awakening equivalent, you might want to check Shock Lance.

Unreal The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali. 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 Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 3. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 4.

The Shock Rifle, also called ASMD or ASMD Shock Rifle is a weapon present across the Unreal series, sans Unreal II: The Awakening.


The Shock Rifle in all games have the same attacks. The primary fire is a beam of plasma, and the alternate fire is a slow-moving orb of plasma. Both shots create a significant amount of kinetic energy, enough to knock targets back. There is also a hidden third option for this weapon. When the alt-fire "shock core" is hit with the primary fire beam of plasma, it creates a massive purple explosion. This is known as a "shock combo".

A variant of this rifle with a red color scheme is used in Instagib. This variant fires red beams which create noticeable explosions on impact with walls, and causes players to explode on impact.

Unreal (video game) and Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali[]

"If the compressed energy in the core of this weapon was released all at once, the resulting force would be enough to bring down a large building. The comparatively small energy bursts released with each squeeze of the ASMD’s trigger are still more than enough to put a world of hurt on most targets.

Primary Fire: Lightning-fast burst of focused energy.
Secondary Fire: Unstable energy projectile, expands radially. Rumors of a combination attack persist…"
Unreal manual

The ASMD fires a bolt or a ball (orb projectile). The ball in Unreal was very small, making it hard to hit with a bolt when moving, but this was rewarded by huge amount damage done by a combo - with Damage Amplifier enabled one could inflict 1200+ damage with one ASMD combo. It can be used as a "scopeless" sniper, due to its superb range, accuracy, and power. However, it cannot "headshot" like the real sniper, and typically is found a good distance from any nearby sniping perches.

The Inuit Corporation, realizing the potential for a directed-energy weapon, developed the ASMD. The weapon was issued to security guards all over the ship, and can be found in the armory. It uses ASMD Cores as ammunition. The ASMD Shock Rifle was tested on Inuit Science Vessels like the Interstellar Science Vehicle Kran, and many of the experiments proved unstable. The ASMD's primary fire is a blue beam that instantly hits a target, and the alternate fire is a slower moving ball of plasma called a "shock core" that, when hit with the primary fire, creates a massive purple explosion. This is called a "shock combo". Either fire mode from the ASMD creates considerable kinetic impact, which can knock a target off a ledge. The Inuit Corporation also tested the ASMD with an Energy Amplifier, and noted that instead of the weaker shots the ASMD then fired orange beams, and the impact of shock cores also created orange rings. It was also noted that the Energy Amplifier seemed to affect the shock combo as well, making the radius of the explosion significantly larger.

Unreal Tournament[]

"Primary Fire: Instant energy beam.
Secondary Fire: Slower energy projectile.
Combo Attack: Hit the secondary fire projectile with the primary fire for a more powerful explosion.

Emitting searing bursts of pure energy, the devastating Shockrifle is an ideal weapon for medium or long range attacks. The primary fire delivers an instant concussion with pinpoint precision; the secondary fire launches a slower energy projectile."
Weapon description

Energy Rifle
Primary Fire
Instant energy beam.
Secondary Fire
Slower energy projectile.
Combo Attack
Hit the secondary fire projectile with the primary fire for a more powerful explosion.

Unreal Championship, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004[]

"The ASMD Shock Rifle has changed little since its incorporation into the Tournaments. The ASMD sports two firing modes capable of acting in concert to neutralize opponents in a devastating shockwave. This combination attack is achieved when the weapon operator utilizes the secondary fire mode to deliver a charge of seeded plasma to the target. Once the slow-moving plasma charge is within range of the target, the weapon operator may fire the photon beam into the plasma core, releasing the explosive energy of the anti-photons contained within the plasma's EM field."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Fires a purple hitscan energy beam that slightly pushes the target away from the enemy. This also works on lightweight vehicles, such as Mantas and Scorpions, protecting the owner of the Shock Rifle and making it very hard for the driver to navigate.
Secondary fire
Fires a slow moving Shock Ball. When it's hit by the Shock Beam, a Shock Combo with a huge blast radius and a vortex-like effect is created.

The Shock Rifle of Unreal Championship is supposed to be identical to the Unreal Tournament 2003 version of the Shock Rifle. Only the mesh and sound of the rifle is different. This version of the Shock Rifle looks more of a machinegun than an energy rifle.

The Shock Rifle in UT2003 sports a pretty rapid-fire primary and shoots a large, slow core on the alt-fire, making it easy to shoot but more difficult to properly place for maximum-damage combos.

Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict[]

"The natural evolution of the ASMD shock rifle adds new damage-causing potential to an old favorite. The primary fire is a rapid firing laser that does medium damage. The alt-fire shoots an unstable shock core, which is an effective attack in and of itself, but is best known as the main ingredient for a shock combo.
To detonate a shock core, simply shoot it with the primary fire. Shock cores can be frozen in mid-air by holding alt-fire after launching the core and then pulling fire. Complex traps can be set up in this fashion. A frozen shock core can also be reinforced with additional shock cores to cause extreme damage with a shock combo."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Primary Fire for the Shock Rifle has remained the same. It fires an instant hit energy beam at a moderate rate of fire that causes moderate damage.
Secondary Fire
The alternate fire has also remained much the same. The Shock rifle shoots smaller cores which fire at the same rate as the Primary fire and do moderate splash damage.
Shock Combo
Shock Combos are no different then they were originally in the Unreal series. When you fire a Shock bolt into a Shock core, It creates a large explosion which heavily damages energy but at the same time drains additional power from your Shock Rifle ammo supply.
UC2 Combo Fire Mode (Core Freezing)
New to the Shock Rifles bag of tricks is the ability to freeze the position of a Shock core in mid air to create traps. Much like the Hellbender Sky Mines of UT2004. Multiple cores within proximity of each other will all chain detonate when comboed. The difference however is that more then one combo at a time can initiate causing 2 to 3 combo explosions to happen at once, Creating one massive explosive radius. Shock cores that are isolated in mid air can also be enlarged by firing additional cores into the frozen core, Up to 5 cores can be added to create a giant core with a devastating damage radius which is guaranteed to absolutely annihilate most of your competitors or severely cripple the few actually far enough to survive the combo. This addition makes the once already deadly shock rifle into the weapon with the most uses within the game.

Unreal Tournament 3[]

"The ASMD Shock Rifle has changed little since its first incorporation into the Liandri Tournament. The ASMD sports two firing modes: a thin photon beam, and a sphere of unstable plasma energy. These modes are each deadly in their own right, but used together they can neutralize opponents in a devastating shockwave. The energy spheres can be detonated with the photon beam, releasing the explosive energy of the anti-photons in the plasma's EM containment field."
Weapon description


Energy Rifle

Primary Fire

Shoots an instant-hit beam. If shot at a shock core, it will create a shock combo.

Secondary Fire

Shoots a shock core out. If shot at by a shock beam, it will create a shock combo. Any bodies near the explosion will be sucked in and gibbed by a negativity vortex.

Unreal Tournament 4[]

Primary fire
Average rate of fire, instant hit beam. Great at any range and pushes enemies.
Alternate fire
Relatively slow moving big projectile. Biggest surface area of any projectile and good for getting enemies out of your face up close.
Tips - Shock Combo
Shooting a shock ball with the beam will ignite it causing a huge combo explosion. This works particularly well for damaging enemies in areas that you can't reach directly. (i.e. around corners).

Tips and tricks[]

"The shock rifle can hit a foe a long distance away almost instantly, and its shock combo trick (see Tip) is lethal. The disadvantages are that its primary and secondary attacks can’t deliver an instant kill, and it doesn’t provide much knockdown power in close quarters.

The shock rifle’s primary fire delivers a straight ray of energy that can travel long distances. It’s not nearly as powerful as the lightning gun, but it can be effective. Use the primary attack when you are being harassed at range. You can outfire weapons such as the rocket launcher from a distance.

The secondary fire releases a glowing ball of energy that not only damages your opponent, but also impacts. On the downside, the secondary fire is slow and easy to dodge. Use the secondary fire to blast enemies close up. It won’t hurt them much, but it disorients them and knocks them out of the way. Or use it to knock foes into lava and other dangers.

Wide-open maps are best for shock rifle’s primary fire. Enemies can’t stay in place and nail you from a distance. Open levels also make it easier to pull off the shock combo.
However, the ability to use the shock combo at corners and junctions allows you to inflict damage on players that you cannot otherwise see. Knowing that an opponent will have to traverse a specific corridor or junction in a small map can make for the perfect combo setup.
The key to using the shock rifle effectively is knowing when to use each type of attack. If you master the shock combo, it can be one of the most deadly weapons in the game."
Unreal Championship Prima's Official Strategy Guide
  • Avoid using the Shock Combo excessively, as extra shots are used with combos.
  • In Unreal and Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali, the kinetic force of the impact of both fire modes is enough to knock some targets back. This can be useful for knocking targets off ledges to their doom.
  • Even though cores can be dodged, they can also be "parried" with another core.
  • Since frags will be credited to the one who launched the core, even if they weren't the one who triggered the combo, if your enemy is also armed with a Shock Rifle and is a crack shot, launching cores is a massive safety hazard since if he/she shoots one of your cores right when you launch it, the resulting combo can kill you, which in Unreal and UT counts as suicide. (UT200x and UT3 count it as kill for the one who set off the combo.)


  • The Artificial Shocker Magnetic Destroyer may refer to the nuclear technology used in the cores this weapon uses for ammunition.
  • As revealed to the public by David Münnich, T. Elliot Cannon (Myscha the Sled dog) stated in a conversation with him that the name "ASMD" is derived from a phrase saying And Suck My Dick, from the movie "Fear of a Black Hat". Although the full phrase never features in any of the games, this can be considered the official meaning. Funnier, less provocative names thought of by fans include: Anyone Seen My Dog, Automatic Spectrum Matching Device, and Atomic Shock Mechanism Device.
  • In Unreal Tournament 3, the Shock Rifle is seen being carried by personnel of all factions in cutscenes.


There are a number of weapons that are based on ASMD technology.

  • The Energy Rifle or Shock Lance is a weapon used by the Izarians in Unreal II: The Awakening. It was created by the Skaarj who based its design on ASMD technology. Unlike the Shock Rifle it fires dual energy bolts which can bounce of surfaces. The alternate mode fires a more powerful bolt which creates an EMP field, a feature not found in regular ASMD technology.
  • The Hellbender and SPMA in UT2004 and UT3 have a turret that can launch sky mines into the air, which are similar to Shock Rifle cores. If the turret operator launches multiple sky mines and fires a beam into any of the cores, the Shock Combo will almost immediately connect to the closest core, causing it to combo and connect to a nearby core as well, and so on, causing a big explosion in a connect-the-dots fashion, similar to how UC2's Shock Rifle functions.
  • The Leviathan in UT3 has a secondary turret which uses ASMD technology.
  • The Shock Turret in UT3 fires shock cores which always blow up combo-style.
  • The weapon used in InstaGib is a modified Shock Rifle without the projectile alt-fire mode.

References in other games[]

Main article: References to the Unreal series in other games
  • Borderlands 3 has the ASMD as a Maliwan-manufactured Sniper Rifle, which works exactly as it did in the games, the only difference being that you need to zoom in order to shoot the bolt. Unlike other weapons of the manufacturer, in addition, it only spawns with the element of Shock, further referencing the original family of weapons. Considering that the game itself was meant to be an Epic Games Store exclusive, it's hardly surprising.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: The Experimental Plasma Charger is inspired by the Shock Rifle, with a charged sphere being shot with the primary fire in order to cause a massive explosion to scorch whole hordes.
  • Gunfire Reborn: The Thunderstrike weapon has an alternate fire that makes it play similarly to the Shock Rifle.
  • Nexuiz/Xonotic: The Electro gun allows you to shoot a ball with the alternate fire and hit it with the weapon's primary fire, basically emulating the Shock Rifle, but with the ball bouncing on objects instead of travelling through the air.
  • Warframe: The Quanta takes after the Shock Rifle, firing slow-moving energy cubes that can be detonated with the primary fire mode. In addition, in collaboration with Epic Games, an Unreal Tournament skin pack was released for a limited time through the platform, adding the "Stahlta Shock Rifle Skin", which altered the Stahlta's appearance to that of the UT4 Shock Rifle model.

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Preview Notes[]

Unreal Tournament 2003[]

"All shock-ho's can sleep a little easier knowing that you can still wreak havoc with the new shock rifle. Yes, the combo is still there, and yes, it is still devastating."
Unreal Playground[1]

External links and references[]

  1. StealthDP (May 26, 2002). "E3 Report". Unreal Playground. Archived from the original on October 11, 2002. Retrieved July 10, 2020.

See also[]

Unreal weapons
Return to Na Pali weapons: 
Unreal v227 weapons: 
Unreal Tournament weapons
Chaos: UT weapons: 
Unreal Championship weapons
Unreal Tournament 2003 weapons
Unreal Tournament 2004 weapons
Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict weapons
Unreal Tournament 3 weapons
Unreal Tournament 4 weapons