The uncharged shot is useful for indirect fire and single-target engagement at close range. However, it is not as efficient as the Incineration Cannon, as it requires 3 bolts to kill an enemy instead of 2 uncharged projectiles. In addition, the plasma bolts do not detonate immediately upon impact; instead, they bounce off and then explode, so planning the target and timing the shots are critical.
The charged shot is useful for engaging targets at range, groups of enemies, vehicles, and clearing out tight corridors. Like the Plasma Grenade, the Plasma Caster's charged projectiles stick to armor, but can adhere to any surface as well.
Once the initial projectile explodes, it leaves behind 6 explosive bolts that deal massive damage to surrounding targets, in a similar manner to the Halo 4 version of the Incineration Cannon.
All variants of the Plasma Caster carry a maximum total of 20 rounds.
The Plasma Caster's charged shots exhibit good homing behavior against vehicles.
When aiming at Shade Turrets from afar with the Plasma Caster, aim a little higher and then fire charged shots at the Shade Turrets. It takes 3~6 charged shots to destroy one, depending on the difficulty.
It is best to adjust your aim so that the charged projectiles touch the base of the Shade Turret for maximum damage.
Should a campaign playable character be stuck with a charged projectile from a Plasma Caster, he/she will complain as though he/she was stuck with an actual Plasma Grenade, but he/she will not instantly die from the resulting explosions from the charged projectile, unlike the Plasma Grenade.
The final mission Guardians features the White Scar, an advanced variant which fires modified Needler-like shards that proximity detonate if hipfired.
If the player picks up the White Scar, it is ideal to use it against Hunters, Promethean Knights, or Focus Turrets, as the shards pierce through their armor and can detonate to deal further damage to them.
It is highly advisable to avoid using the Plasma Caster near the presence of a Promethean Watcher, as it will fling any shots back at the player.
In this case, the player should be equipped with a precision weapon (e.g. DMR) or a powerful automatic weapon (e.g. SAW) to kill the Watcher as quickly as possible.
Using the Cowbell skull will cause the explosive submunitions of the Plasma Caster's charged shots to travel even further distances, making it harder to deal damage effectively. This also applies to the White Scar.
The Plasma Caster is a rather uncommon weapon on Arena maps, but is commonly found in the Super Fiesta game modes.
Warzone and Arena feature two variants:
Scourge of Fire: an improved variant with two plasma bolts per shot, a faster charging time, and no overheating. This variant is more useful for aggressive engagements on foot and is also proficient at destroying ground vehicles.
White Scar: an advanced variant with modified bolts carrying Needler-like shards that proximity detonate if hipfired. This variant can be used as a booby trap on unsuspecting enemies (its charged shots have a very long detonation timer), as well as a piercing weapon that works well against armored enemies.