It has appeared in TimeSplitters 2 and TimeSplitters Future Perfect. When it overheats, the autorifle has a plasma overload and must be vented to release excess plasma gases (this happens automatically when the heat gauge is full). In both games, the player cannot switch weapons while this is happening.
The TimeSplitters 2 version fires blue plasma bolts primarily and has an under-mounted plasma Grenade Launcher as its secondary fire. You can carry a maximum of 200 plasma bolts and 20 Plasma Grenades for it. It can shoot 58 bolts before overheating. it's secondary fire, the plasma grenade can adhere to anything it's fired at, ranging from walls to enemies, making this one of the more useful weapons in the game. The weapon when continuously fired tends to speed up the rate of fire until it overheats
AI bots wielding the weapon depending on the Skill level seems to have a fixed rate of fire and the gun never overheats. This is unexplained, the greater the Skill, the faster the Plasma Autorifle is fired by the AI.
The TimeSplitters Future Perfect version fires only red plasma bolts, dropping the grenade launcher entirely. However, it does have a zoom feature (supposedly because of the scope on top), something that the TS2 model lacks. The maximum number of plasma bolts you can carry for it is 400. It overheats after 47 consecutive bolts. Though unable to switch weapons like in both games, the user has the ability to use melee attacks while the weapon is cooling.
Both versions, when fired full-auto, start off with a moderately high rate of fire (600 rounds per minute), with the rate of fire increasing exponentially as the gun heats up, until it overheats entirely. Neither version uses magazines, nor do they require any sort of reloading, it is assumed that picking up an extra rifle or ammo pack simply donates extra "plasma" to the weapon's power core. Because it takes a relatively long time for the weapon to cool down after overheating, the Plasma AutoRifle is most efficient when fired in quick bursts. There is an exception in dire situations, when a player can develop a technique of sustained rapid fire in timed bursts, so the gun maintains a heat level close to critical but does not overheat, this is tricky but pays off when surrounded (NOTE: this technique uses up the gun's supply of ammunition at an astounding rate, so it should only be used when absolutely necessary). It is also quite powerful, cutting down enemies with ease. It is best used against single opponents, or very small groups, as the cool down time leaves the user very vulnerable to larger groups of enemies.
The Autorifle's plasma bolts can also occasionally ricochet off walls.
The TSFP version offers an indirect warning before the gun fully overheats: after the gun has reached the peak fire rate, the fire rate will rapidly slow down, dipping as low as 3 shots/sec, before overheating.
The Plasma Autorifle, if shot long enough at a car, has the potential to move or even roll the car across the map.
The TSFP Plasma Autorifle has the fastest melee attack in the game, striking as fast as fists.
- The Timesplitters 2 Plasma rifle's firing modes bears resemblance to the Plasma Rifle, from the Halo series: both can overheat and the plasma grenades can stick to any target.
- However, the Timesplitters 2 Variant can be restocked by picking up ammunition without a reloading animation while the Halo version must be discarded completely once depleted.
- The Halo plasma grenade can't stick to scenery or walls, unlike its Timesplitters 2 variant.
- The Plasma AutoRifle's design and color in TS2 resembles the M41A Pulse Rifle from the Alien Franchise.
- The Plasma AutoRifle in TimeSplitters Future Perfect seems to have a combat scope on it but it's never used (Though it may be the reason this weapon has a semi-extended zoom compared to normal weapons).
- A label on the side of the Future Perfect iteration of this weapon reads: "Caution: Weapon may explode when hot", giving a clear reason why it is the only weapon to become completely unusable after overheating.