Most of the weapons in Unreal Tournament 2003 are recognizable from the original Unreal Tournament; of the preexisting weapons, only a few minor changes have been made here and there.
The translocator is not strictly a weapon, but can be used in anger. The translocator is a short-range teleportation device that, when enabled on a server, can allow you to move around the arena with greater speed. Note also that if one is carrying the flag, one cannot translocate with it; the translocation will succeed, but the flag will be dropped where you teleported from.
Primary: Launch the translocator receiver; this receiver is where you will teleport. Once launched, clicking the primary fire again will recall the receiver; an additional click will launch another.
Secondary: Teleport to the location of the receiver, if one has been ejected. Note that you arrive at the receiver with the same velocity -- both speed and direction -- you had when you translocated; the velocity of the receiver itself doesn't enter into it at all. If the receiver is in a location such that translocation is not possible, a buzzing sound will occur and the receiver will be recalled. Note: Translocating into the position of an enemy player will result in instant death for that player, resulting in the possibility of using the translocator offensively.
Special: When the receiver has been launched, hitting the key bound to the translocator weapon will allow the the translocator receiver to be used as a remote camera; while remote viewing one can use the mouse to look around in all directions. Hit the weapon key again to return to normal view.
The translocator, when enabled, allows you to move around the arenas more efficiently. The translocator can even be used tactically to get behind an enemy, or catch up with an enemy with a flag or the ball.
- Shield gun
The shield gun can be used as an offensive melee weapon, and also as a somewhat effective shield against enemy fire.
Primary: Charge up the shield gun as a melee weapon. Holding down the key will build up a greater charge. To release the energy as an attack, simply touch an enemy while the shield gun is charged; it will automatically fire into the enemy, doing damage and propelling the enemy away. The melee energy can also be released simply be releasing the primary fire button.
Secondary: In alternate fire mode, the shield gun creates a shield in front of the player. This shield is only somewhat effective in deflecting enemy fire, so one should not rely on it. Once the shield drains of energy it automatically shuts off and will regenerate power automatically.
Special: The shield gun can be used (with some injury) to propel yourself (or a teammate) up in the air; in this respect it is similar to the rocketjump maneuver in other games. Charge up the melee attack, aim at the ground, and release the primary fire button; this will propel you into the air, but will also do significant damage. This maneuver can also be performed against a teammate; simply release a melee charge against a teammate when he is nearby. (Since the teammate is not hostile, the shield gun will not autofire; you have to release it manually.)
The shield gun is really a weapon of last resort -- when you're either out of ammunition for your assault rifle or you're trying to make a hasty retreat with the shield -- but the special uses of the shield gun mean that occasionally you'll want to put it to good use.
- Assault rifle
By default players start with an assault rifle; it plays the same role that Enforcers did in the original Unreal Tournament. In terms of performance and rate of fire, it acts very much like dual Enforcers; it fires at a reasonable rate but does comparatively little damage. It does, however, have a secondary grenade launcher which is useful for peppering an area where enemies are busy with each other or for covering a retreat.
Primary: Fire an automatic rifle with a reasonable rate of fire but very low damage per shot.
Secondary: Lob a grenade. Hold the alternate fire button down for a longer period to lob the grenade with greater speed; the grenade is fired when you release the button.
The primary fire of the assault rifle is useful only as a last resort; nearly all other weapons are superior in doing damage to enemies. The secondary grenade launcher can be useful for "mining" an area or weakening a pursuing enemy.
The bio-rifle fires out green goo that attaches to surfaces and does damage either by direct hit or by touching the green goo. Goo that lands on the ground only lasts for a short period and then dissolves. In objective-oriented games, the bio-rifle is usually found near each team's base, emphasizing its main use as a defensive weapon.
Primary: Fire a rapid stream of glob of goo.
Secondary: Charge up the goo launcher and fire a single, large glob of goo when the secondary fire is released.
The bio-rifle is a good defensive, close-quarters weapon. Pepper your opponent and the area around him with goo and circle strafe in order to keep him at bay.
- Shock rifle
The shock rifle is immediately recognizable and is probably the least changed weapon from the original Unreal Tournament.
Primary: Fire a shock beam. The beam fire straight ahead and travels instantaneously and does a significant amount of damage, but leaves a very distinctive trail meaning that your position will be easily traceable.
Secondary: Fire an energy ball that moves at a relatively slow speed, but does more damage; it can even do splash damage to nearby players.
Special: Firing an energy ball and then shooting it with a shock beam is called a "shock combo" and results in a powerful explosion that does significant splash damage.
Using the shock rifle requires careful aiming and snapshotting. It works at extreme range and so can be used to snipe enemies when the lightning gun is not handy.
- Link gun
The link gun is also very similar to that in the original Unreal Tournament.
Primary: Fires a rapid sequence of small green balls of energy, which do moderate damage.
Secondary: Fire a continuous beam, which serves two purposes: If it touches an enemy, it does continuous moderate damage; if it touches a friendly, it will help provide their link gun alternate fire with extra power.
This is a good fallback weapon; although it does not do large amounts of damage, it can deal that damage out rapidly and consistently. Counterintuitively, if you happen to see a teammate using the link beam, fire at the teammate -- not his target -- to boost that teammate's weapon power.
Both modes require spinning up the barrel briefly before bullets start flying, so there's a penalty for pulling the trigger too late. Each individual bullet does little damage, so bringing down an enemy requires holding the minigun on him for an extended period.
Primary: Fire bullets at a faster rate, but with less accuracy.
Secondary: Fire bullets at a slower rate, but with greater accuracy.
Accuracy is severely impaired at a distance, so the minigun is best used as a close- and medium-range weapon. As such, the alternate fire mode is not all that useful; you want to throw slugs out as fast as possible.
- Flak cannon
The flak cannon is also not much changed from Unreal Tournament, although the standard fire dispersal of shrapnel is slightly tighter than in the original.
Primary: Fire a blast of shrapnel. The shrapnel does significant damage and can even bounce off surfaces.
Secondary: Fire a flak grenade; when the grenade impacts something, it will explode (causing splash damage) and release a blast of shrapnel in all directions; this secondary shrapnel behaves much the same as the shrapnel from primary fire.
The flak cannon is devastating at point blank range, since almost all of the shrapnel rounds will hit. At medium range, try firing it at the ground in front of your target, since the shrapnel will bounce up and hit him. Finally, the flak grenade is outstanding for covering your retreat or for taking someone out at medium range who is busy fighting with someone else.
- Rocket launcher
Rockets travel at a reasonable speed and are a favorite in the arena. They can do damage by direct impact, of course, but they also do splash damage by indirect fire.
Primary: Fire fires a single rocket directly ahead. Rockets do a large amount of damage on a direct hit, and respectable damage via splash damage for a near miss.
Secondary: Charge up the rocket launcher by collecting up to three rockets for simultaneous fire; when the alternate fire is released the charged up rockets are fired in a set pattern ahead of the player. If the button is not released by the time all three rockets are charged up, then they are fired in any event.
Special: In either fire mode, if the crosshair is kept steady on a stationary or very slowly moving target, a lock can be acquired. At this point, a tone is emitted and the crosshair changes, and firing the rockets will result in them homing in on that target.
Rockets are usually the mainstay of the Unreal Tournament 2003 arena; master it and you will have a powerful edge in combat.
- Lightning rifle
The lightning rifle is the primary sniper weapon, but even a near-miss will do some damage due to the electrical discharge.
Primary: The primary fire shoots out a bolt of lightning at the point in the crosshairs. Even though the bolt that actually shoots out may meander on its way, it will always hit the point under the crosshairs. The discharge will also do splash damage to nearby objects, so even a near-miss, or a defensive shot at close range will do some damage. A body hit will do a large amount of damage; a headshot with the lightning rifle is always fatal.
Secondary: Pressing and olding the alternate fire results in a scope which can zoom in on the target; releasing the alternate fire stops the zooming. Quickly tapping the alternate fire will eliminate the scope and return to the normal view.
The lightning rifle makes an excellent sniper weapon, but remember that the electrical discharge from it gives your position away. As with all sniping tactics, don't snipe from the same place for too long.
- Ion painter
The ion painter, one of the two "superweapons" in the game, is a single-shot weapon that does devastating damage with a huge explosion. The ion painter itself does not deal out the explosion; it "paints" the desired target, and after a brief delay a beam from an orbital satellite annihilates the area.
Primary: Paint a target for orbital laser fire. The target must be a horizontal surface with direct exposure to the sky; you cannot use the ion painter to draw fire indoors (you can paint the target but nothing will happen). To draw fire, one must hold perfectly still while painting the target for a period of a few seconds; when this happens, the harmless painting beam will grow brighter and then all hell will break loose. The resulting blinding explosion has a huge blast radius and will annihilate anyone caught within it -- friend or foe.
Secondary: Activate a zooming scope while the alternate fire button is held down, just like the lightning rifle interface.
As a superweapon, the ion painter is really an opportunistic weapon. If you happen to get a hold of it and see a clean shot to take out a bunch of enemies without hurting your own teammates, take it.
The redeemer, not much changed from the original Unreal Tournament, is the other superweapon in the game. It, like the ion painter, is a one-shot weapon, and creates a similar devastating explosion that will annihilate anything caught within its blast radius.
Primary: Fire the redeemer rocket, which is a tactical nuclear device. The rocket travels quite slowly in comparison to the regular rocket launcher, but when it impacts something it results in an enormous explosion; no player will survive if caught within its huge blast radius. Its detonation is accompanied by a level-shaking rumble that will tell every player in the vicinity that one has been fired.
Secondary: Fires the rocket, but a remote camera located in the missle allows the player to guide it with mouselook, for delivering the rocket to a precise location. The player can also manually detonate the rocket by hitting the primary fire while piloting through the remote interface, so in the secondary fire mode, you needn't wait for the rocket to impact something before setting it off.
When opportunity knocks, answer with a redeemer blast.
- Ball launcher (Bombing run)
The ball launcher is automatically selected in bombing run games when one has the ball; like the translocator is not explicitly a weapon but appears as one. When the ball is held, the weapon cannot be changed unless the ball is thrown or carried through the goal. When the ball is thrown, the ball launcher is automatically deselected and the last weapon of choice is selected.
Primary: Throw the ball. If no teammate is targeted, the all is thrown directly ahead of the player; if a teammate is selected, then the ball is thrown toward that teammate. Immediately after throwing the ball, the ball launcher is deselected.
Secondary: Select between teammates as targets to throw the ball to. Repeated pressings of alternate fire cycle through existing teammates; the currently selected teammate is shown with a dotted circle.
Manipulating the ball in bombing run games is essential to scoring points; learn how to toss and pass the ball. Note that to carry the ball through a goal, sometimes a double jump maneuver is required.