Olympia Vale starts with a Type-54D plasma pistol as her preferred sidearm.
As with the previous Type-25 plasma pistol, the Type-54D plasma pistol is most effective in close-quarters against Elites, by first depleting their shield and then switching to a headshot-capable weapon or a close-range weapon.
The T-54D plasma pistol can now be used with the Smart Link feature to triple its effective range and make overcharged shots exhibit better tracking, allowing for more quick kills from a long distance.
Due to its improved tracking with Smart Link, the T-54 plasma pistol is now more effective against Shade Turrets and all vehicles, especially air vehicles. This can be used to facilitate boarding or hijacking action or deal further damage to a vehicle by switching to a more powerful weapon and using it.
However, it is not wise to overestimate the T-54D's increased homing behavior, as Promethean Soldiers can still easily evade the overcharged shots with their slipspace translocation ability. In addition, Soldiers are very resistant to the T-54D's shots.
The T-54D plasma pistol drains 10% of its battery with overcharged shots in the campaign, 1/3 less than it does in multiplayer.
Unlike other weapons in the game, no commendations exist for the Plasma Pistol, as this weapon is usually not meant to be used for killing, only for disabling enemy shields.
Warzone features two additional variants, each with larger aiming reticles than their preceeding models:
Spitfire: an improved model with a slightly larger reticle, almost-instantaneous charge-ups, slower battery drain when charges are held, and less heat generated per shot. This variant is best used for quicker kills or anti-vehicle engagements. It can also be found in the mission Genesis, making it useful for obtaining the Rolling Thunder achievement on Heroic difficulty. However, it still loses 15% battery charge per overcharged shot, even in the campaign.
Void's Tear: an advanced model whose overcharged shots create an unstable gravimetric vortex that pulls in nearby objects at the point of impact and then explodes. It does not lose battery at all while in the charging state and features improved battery capacity, as well as an even larger reticle. The Void's Tear is ideal for trapping nearby enemies for kills, especially vehicles, although Spartans can escape the vortex without dying or losing too much of their shields.