Quake Lightning Gun

QuakeLive Lightning Gun

Learn how to own with the shaft

Lightning Gun

Ah, the lightning gun.  I can smell the sizzling pixels from here.

The QuakeLive lightning gun (aka shaft or LG) is one of the most used guns in the upper echelon of Quake play, and for good reason, too.  This gun does 7 damage per cell and shoots 20 cells per second, totaling 140 damage per second if hit with 100% accuracy.  This hitscan weapon is absolutely devastating when used properly.


There are two ways you can aim with the lightning gun.

1.  Strafe Movement Aiming

This method involves following the opponents left and right movement with your own left and right movements while keeping your mouse still.  This works because both you and your opponent move at the same speed, and if you can lock your mouse on them then you can more reliably follow them by movement alone.

2.  Mouse Aiming

If the opponent is moving at a weird angle or you are in a One on One lightning gun duel, you will not want to aim by strafing.  Instead you should aim with your mouse in this scenario.  You have much more control using your mouse to aim, but you also suffer from a lowered accuracy as it can be difficult to track a quickly moving opponent.

Situational Usage

Generally there are 3 scenarios that you will be using the lightning gun.

1.  Opponent In Air - Medium Distance

When an opponent is bounced into the air or uses a jumppad, it is possible to trace their movement in an arcing motion.  This is the simplest and easiest way to use the LG as the opponent is defenseless in this scenario.

2.  LG vs LG

When facing off directly with an opponent who is also using the lightning gun, the key is dodging.  The more you can dodge the opponents shaft the longer you can stay alive, allowing you to get more hits in.  While doing your best to keep your crosshairs on the enemy, strafe in the opposite direction that they are tracking you.  By doing this, you force your opponent to quickly and frequently switch the direction they are aiming thus lowering their accuracy.  To aim in this situation, pay attention to when and how your opponent is strafing and do your best to anticipate their movements.

3.  Opponent In Air - Above Your Head

This is the most fun scenario.  If an opponent is jumping down at you and is directly over your head, you can shoot them from beneath and "carry" them in the air.  This happens because the push back effect of your lightning gun counteracts the gravity pulling them down, thus balancing them in the air.  To aim in this scenario, you want to keep your crosshairs fixed and duplicate the opponents trajectory with your movement keys.

Using these simple aiming and situational tips, you can quickly decimate your opponents with your lightning gun.  Most importantly though, don't forget to practice!