The 10 coolest sci-fi weapons from games, movies and TV

A depiction of a plasma grenade exploding in Halo 4
A depiction of a plasma grenade, one of the coolest sci-fi weapons ever, exploding in Halo 4

Science fiction has some of the most inventive concepts in any genre — and sci-fi weapons are no exception.

Because the rules of reality are so bendable in science fiction, it’s easy to let the imagination run wild, and we all know what happens when brilliant imaginations run wild: magic.

The magic that comes from these wild imaginations inspire, shock and amaze us in ways we never thought imaginable.

While the creatures and technologies of science fiction are really a marvel to behold, it’s often the action that takes place in science fiction that really gets us going.

By being able to bend and create the rules as they go, sci-fi authors and creators can come up with some of the most amazing action scenes imaginable.

They continue to do it each day, finding new ways to shock and amaze us. At the forefront of the action is always the weapons: cleverly designed and masterfully presented.

Let’s take a look at some of the most revolutionary sci-fi weapons ever introduced…

10 The ARC Gun

Protagonist Wikus van der merwe, played by Sharlto Copley, with an ARC gun in District 9
Protagonist Wikus van der Merwe, played by Sharlto Copley, with an ARC gun in District 9

Few can forget the amazing world presented in the memorable film District 9.

The aliens and their technologies were really quite amazing, yet the way they were completely oppressed by a significantly less advanced race — aka humans — seems even more remarkable.

The alien weapons seemed to take center stage in the movie as humanity attempted to unlock their secrets, along with their power.

The ARC gun is not only a devious looking weapon, but also brilliantly designed. By releasing a stream of protonic current, it causes anyone struck to instantly explode.

While that’s definitely super cool, perhaps the coolest part about this weapon is its user lockout system, allowing only the alien species or mutated Wikus to wield them.

9 BFG 9000

The iconic BFG 9000 shooting out its trademark plasma ball
The iconic BFG 9000 shooting out its trademark plasma ball

Everyone remembers good ol’ Doom. It was at the core of many people’s childhoods, and even those who never played the game as a kid have definitely heard of it or even seen it played.

Any Doom fan remembers the iconic BFG 9000. If any weapon in the history of weapons deserves to have an expletive in its formal name, it’s this thing.

Firing immense balls of green plasma, this gun was definitely way ahead of its time in the original Doom game.

It quickly became the gun that defined the franchise, appearing in all future renditions of the game as well as the Doom movie.

8 Plasma Grenade

A plasma grenade in Halo: Combat Evolved
A plasma grenade in Halo: Combat Evolved

When the original Halo game came out with the subtitle “combat evolved”, few people fully realized what that exactly meant.

After about an hour of playing however, the meaning of that became perfectly clear. The amount of creativity put into the weapon and vehicle design in that game is truly astonishing, so much so that the game immediately had a massive cult following that has only seemed to grow to this day.

The plasma grenade was one such creative weapon. Essentially a grenade that exploded into a beautiful cloud of blue plasma, the most inventive part of this weapon was the fact that it stuck to whomever was unfortunate to be struck by it.

This led to some really awesome gameplay tactics that Call of Duty only scratches the surface of emulating with their semtex grenades.

7 Yamato Cannon

Firing the Yamato Cannon from a BattleCruiser in StarCraft
Firing the Yamato Cannon from BattleCruisers in StarCraft

In the StarCraft universe, few things are as intimidating as the mighty Battlecruiser. Perhaps it’s the heavy Russian accent of its pilot, or perhaps it’s just the sheer size of the thing.

Heck, who are we kidding here, clearly the most devastating part of this starship is its iconic Yamato Cannon.

Mounted on the very front of the ship, the Yamato Cannon uses power from the ship’s engines to create a nuclear reaction that it then spews forth in the form of a devastating and iconic looking orange blast.

Essentially a long-range nuclear bomber, the Battlecruiser’s Yamato Cannon certainly inspired some crafty strategies in the game as well as an inherent fear of nuclear devastation for anyone faced against it.

6 Deckard’s Blaster

Harrison Ford's Deckard with his Blaster in Blade Runner
Harrison Ford’s Deckard with his Blaster in Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a movie that will live on with us for the rest of time. It really was a revolutionary film, set in a sci-fi world that was extremely dark and compelling — especially for its time.

But one of the most loved parts of the film was almost certainly the infamous pistol wielded by Rick Deckard. Part of this weapon’s charm is how straightforward and contemporary it looks while still packing a classic sci-fi punch.

Not much is known about this weapon, as the film came out in a time before the internet, so the masses of fans have only really been able to speculate about how it works.

However, while we may not know much about this gun, what we do know is that it’s definitely one of the coolest weapons in science fiction.

5 The Needler

The Needler from Halo 3 viewed in profile
The Needler, aka the Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher, from Halo 3 viewed in profile

Formally known as the Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher, this weapon is by far the most innovative weapon in all of Halo.

Being fed crystals instead of bullets for ammunition, the needler fires small crystal fragments that are able to seek out targets. Once these fragments find their targets, they stab into them and cling there.

This, however, isn’t even where the damage comes from. After a momentary delay the crystals detonate, maiming the target to a degree that’s only limited by the number of needles stuck inside them.

This impossible-to-escape weapon is known to be one of the most powerful weapons in the game if used properly.

Luckily for humanity, the alien grunts who wield them don’t seem to know what they’re doing.

4 Phaser

A hand-held version of the Star Trek phaser, which had various different forms
A hand-held version of the Star Trek phaser, which had various different forms

Star Trek is definitely the primary frontier for many science fiction lovers, and the phaser is certainly one of the most well known sci-fi weapons of all time.

This directed energy weapon has come in various forms throughout the history of the franchise, however the primary usage has always remained the same.

One of the most interesting parts of this weapon is the fact that it can be used to stun or kill and enemy, with an additional option to heat for certain utility purposes.

This makes them an all-purpose weapon and perhaps the reason why every character in Star Trek seems to have access to one when the need arises.

3 Lightsaber

Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker holding a blue lightsaber
Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker holding a blue lightsaber

There surely isn’t a single person on earth who hasn’t seen a lightsaber. These elegant weapons are the symbol of the Jedi order, and also one of the most symbolic parts of Star Wars as a series.

This weapon operates by emitting energy through a kyber crystal and channeling that energy into a limited range, yet constant beam.

In a galaxy where laser guns are the conventional weapons, one could hardly imagine a close combat weapon such as a laser sword being the deadliest tool around.

However, due to the fact that the energy emitted from the kyber crystal is so much stronger than the energy emitted by a laser blaster, these swords are able to deflect incoming laser projectiles so long as the wielder has the reflexes to keep up with them.

2 The Noisy Cricket

Will Smith's Agent J being handed the Noisy Cricket in Men in Black
Will Smith’s Agent J being handed the Noisy Cricket in Men in Black

Men in Black is fondly remembered by many science fiction fans as a comical yet compelling film that managed to capture the hearts of so many people from so many different age groups.

In terms of weapons, it also had its fair share of extremely cool, and extremely shiny hardware. The most memorable of these weapons is definitely the noisy cricket.

Being given to Will Smith’s character in the first movie, this palm-sized pistol almost seems like a joke at first.

But this tiny little gun has immense power, and that much becomes known when he first fires the weapon and becomes propelled backwards several yards.

1 The Death Star

The Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
The Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Star Wars is known for its vast array of highly innovative weapons, however none come even close to as devastating as the Death Star.

This enormous battle station was constructed by the Galactic Empire during Episode IV: A New Hope, in order to annihilate planets.

Powered by the same crystals as a lightsaber — however, exponentially more of these crystals than would be found in a lightsaber — the Death Star was designed to fire a single laser into the core of a planet and obliterate it in seconds.

The effectiveness of it was displayed in its firing upon the planet of Alderaan, turning the planet into nothing more than space dust right before our eyes.

Sci-fi weapons: A dangerous universe

The most interesting part of science fiction is most certainly the creativity that spawns it. So many brilliant ideas have been invented over the decades, and we’ve all become fascinated by at least a handful during our lifetimes.

Although these weapons will forever remain in our hearts as some of the coolest things we’ve ever seen, the best thing is that there will always be more to come.

Because as long as humanity exists, science fiction will exist, and as long as science fiction exists, we’ll continue to be blown away by the marvelous and ingenious concepts that science fiction writers come up with.

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