A versatile energy weapon, it features 3 firing modes (two plus a combination of the two) .
The primary fire mode is a blue photon beam (or a a succession of rings in the first Unreal game
and its Return To Na Pali mission pack
) which does moderate damage and are hitscan
The secondary fire mode is an high-damage, slow-moving anti photon plasma ball which has splash damage.
The combo mode happens when a player launches an alternate-fire ball and then fires a primary-fire beam into the ball, resulting in a large explosion which deals high amounts of damage.
Most of the characteristics such as the damage dealt (primary fire often does less damage than the secondary fire mode), ammo consumption, ammo bonus on weapon pickup or ammo pack collected and weapon designs vary throughout the Unreal franchise
, much like most other Unreal weapons/vehicles/items/etc.
The enhanced ASMD are known as Instagib
rifles. Rather than a blue beam, they fire a narrower red beam with a slower rate of fire and lack the energy ball alt-fire. However, a single Instagib rifle shot will defeat a human opponent, even if they are wearing a Shield Belt and have the Big Keg O' Health. (Enhanced ASMDs do not deliver unlimited damage, however. It takes two Instagib shots to defeat the Titan creature in Unreal 1
and Return To Na Pali
, and even then the beast's corpse will not gib.)
, the Enhanced ASMD would fire a beam indicative of the team's colour. It is also available with a scope.
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 is never featured 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, Atomic Shock Mechanism Device or Amplified Shock Modified Device.