E-tech weapons, or Eridium technology weapons, are a type of experimental weapon featured in Borderlands 2. Non-Unique E-tech weapons are color-rated magenta. They rarely drop from enemies and loot, but can be commonly found in the Sanctuary loot chest. They will always have their manufacturer's highest-quality (purple) skin.
E-tech weapons are currently manufactured by all manufacturers but Jakobs, as their weaponry almost never uses an element. Only one Torgue E-tech weapon exists, the SWORDSPLOSION!!! shotgun, which can only be found in the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC.
Though the E-tech designation is almost exclusively limited to weapons, one E-tech grenade (Breath of Terramorphous) and four Relics (Blood of the Ancients, Bone of the Ancients, Heart of the Ancients, Skin of the Ancients) exist.
The component that determines whether a weapon is E-tech is the barrel. E-tech weapons have special barrels with attached hexagonal stabilizers with glowing interiors, which gradually spread open as they fire. They usually use multiple rounds of ammunition per shot (notable exceptions include Longbow and Topneaa), and usually trade off muzzle velocity for higher damage and elemental effect chance.
E-tech weapons are introduced in Dr. Zed's mission Medical Mystery, where the Vault Hunters are asked to investigate Doc Mercy and the mysterious weapon he's been using (a Bandit BlASSter). The follow-up mission, Medical Mystery: X-Com-municate, has the Vault Hunters test out the weapon on the local bandits. During the mission, Zed gives additional information about how E-tech weapons are manufactured. Following this, Zed takes the weapon, but gives a Spiker or Dart as a reward. In the mission, The Lost Treasure, the reward is an E-tech known as the Dahlminator.
These pistols shoot projectiles that are slow-moving, stick to enemies, and explode after a delay; there is no immediate feedback regarding whether a shot has hit, since the damage number only pops up when the round explodes. An important note is that their high damage statistics are offset by the fact that neither type of weapon is able to cause critical hits. Also of note is that these guns will ignore the shield carried by some nomads.
Due to a bug, Hyperion Darts and Spikers are the only non-unique, non-mission E-tech weapons which can spawn without an elemental capacitor. This same bug makes Hyperion Darts and Spikers more common than other brands.
Dart - Hurls projectiles that ricochet off surfaces but stick to enemies. Projectiles will "home in" on targets, either when aimed at in the crosshairs or failing that if the projectile travels within a certain range of a live enemy.
- Hyperion - Boosted accuracy, capacity of ~20 rounds, firing increases accuracy (standard Hyperion bonus)
- Maliwan - Uses Maliwan revolver frame, inherits high damage but low capacity.
- Tediore - Thrown as a grenade when reloaded (standard Tediore bonus).
- Dahl - Burst fire when zoomed (standard Dahl bonus).
- Vladof - High rate of fire (standard Vladof bonus). Fire rate is still less than half of a standard Vladof pistol, however.
- Bandit - High round capacity (standard Bandit bonus).
Spiker - Shoots projectiles that stick to enemies and surfaces. Fire rate is higher compared to those of Darts and projectiles are not homing. The Spiker's brand-specific weapon bonuses are the same as the Dart's weapon bonuses, as stated above.
E-tech SMGs are called Plasma Casters, or in the Bandit variety "Plassma Caster". They have a special barrel with three muzzles and a flamethrower-like ignition underneath, and fire slow-moving energy balls. Projectile behaviour is highly dependent on the manufacturer.
Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt features the Yellow Jacket after killing Jackenstein. This fires slow moving, shock projectiles that gain speed over a few seconds. Even when the projectiles are in flight, the fire rate allows players to create a wall of bullets. This weapon is only manufactured by Hyperion. Although the bullets may disappear after a certain distance, they still will damage and hit the target.
Furthermore, another unique E-tech Plasma Caster was introduced in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, called the Florentine, a Seraph SMG. The Florentine has all the attributes of a normal Maliwan Plasma Caster, but deals both Slag and Shock elemental damage.
- Hyperion - Firing increases accuracy (as usual with Hyperion).
- Maliwan - Slightly increased projectile speed, good accuracy (as in standard Maliwan SMG).
- Dahl - Burst fire while zoomed (as usual with Dahl).
- Tediore - Thrown as a grenade when reloaded (standard Tediore bonus).
- Bandit - Plassma Caster - Limited range, erratic projectile behaviour, and projectiles ricochet.
E-tech shotguns are called Splatguns or Splasher Blashters. Projectiles are shot by three in an arc that is very steep. Shotguns are not ideal for mid-range or punching-range since the bullets fired out of the guns are rockets rather than explosives.
In Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, an E-tech Seraph shotgun can be found, the Retcher. The Retcher fires arcing corrosives projectiles, much like other Tediore Splatguns. In Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, the final boss is known to drop an E-tech weapon known as the Slow Hand. This weapon is an E-tech unique much like the Yellow Jacket. This Hyperion shotgun has a Moxxi skin and fires healing splatgun projectiles that are not affected by gravity.
In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the SWORDSPLOSION!!! is rewarded for completing the mission The Sword in The Stoner. This unique E-tech weapon fires a single projectile in the shape of a sword which explodes upon impact, spawning three smaller swords, which also explode on impact. Also, the E-tech Seraph shotgun, the Omen, can be dropped by the Ancient Dragons of Destruction, the raid bosses of the Tiny Tina DLC. The Omen fires nine projectiles in a circle with one in the middle, that contract and expand as they travel.
- Bandit - Splasher Blashter - Fires three arcing explosive projectiles at the cost of four ammo.
- Hyperion - Splatgun - Launches a single arcing explosive projectile which bounces across inert surfaces, causing damage with each impact. Detonates on contact with a live target or after several seconds.
- Tediore - Splatgun - Launches a single arcing explosive projectile which detonates on contact. When reloaded, thrown weapon releases two elemental bomblets on detonation in a high vertical arc.
Vladof and Dahl E-tech assault rifles are called Blasters. The magazine reloads are much like the plasma casters. The Bandit version is called BlASSter. The BlASSters have a belt-fed magazine which results in huge magazines and long reloads.
- Dahl - Spread gun, fires laser beams at three angles; alternates when unscoped, when scoped fires all three for every round fired.
- Vladof - Ricochets on surfaces, extremely high fire rate.
- Bandit - Huge magazine size.
The sniper rifle types are Railer, Hybridfication, and Moloko. All E-tech sniper rifles consume two ammo per shot. Shots are typically fired as beams and reflect off surfaces and enemies. Per round, damage on E-tech snipers is fairly low compared to normal snipers. Combined with the reduced critical hit damage inherent to E-tech weaponry, E-tech snipers are out-damaged on critical hits by a large margin compared to their standard counterparts.
In the main game, Badass Creepers, found in Caustic Caverns, have a chance to drop a legendary E-tech sniper rifle called the Longbow, which fires an arcing Minecraft style arrow instead of normal beams, while consuming less ammo per shot. All E-tech sniper rifles ricochet off terrains.
- Maliwan - Railer - High elemental effect chance.
- Dahl - Railer - Burst fire while zoomed.
- Hyperion - Hybridfication - Pierces through enemies, Slow rate of fire.
- Vladof - Moloko - Ricochets off inert surfaces, automatic fire, pierces through enemies, extreme fire rate even for Vladof snipers.
Types include PRAZMA CANON, PBFG, Launcher, and Topneaa. All rocket launchers with the exception of PRAZMA CANONs deal maximum damage at a large affected area. They will only deal self damage when they are actually close to the wielder, even if the wielder is inside the huge splash radius.
In the main campaign, the hidden raid boss, Vermivorous the Invincible, has a chance to drop a legendary E-tech rocket launcher, the Norfleet, which is a general improvement (stats wise) to the Maliwan PBFG as well as firing three erratic projectiles instead of one straight firing projectile.
- Bandit - PRAZMA CANON - Hurls balls of energy that arc and drops more balls of energy as it travels.
- Maliwan - PBFG - Consumes multiple ammo per shot, causes enemies to take more damage after the shot. If the initial shot hits an enemy, it will spread via blue spheres to the surrounding enemies in a large area, making it one of the best launchers for multiple target situations. The cataclysm effect also ignores terrain and cover.
- Tediore - Launcher - Tediore Large Launcher. Slow moving sphere. Explosions cause enemies to be encapsulated by a blue sphere and give this effect off to other nearby enemies (same function as the PBFG). The cataclysm effect also ignores terrain and cover. Note: Sometimes the rocket launchers may spawn with the blue grade Tediore material rather than the purple grade material.
- Vladof - Topneaa - Surrounds enemies in a large radius with damaging energy spheres. Dying enemies encapsulated in a blue sphere of energy will disappear. Consumes only one round (and sometimes even less) per shot. The cataclysm effect also ignores terrain and cover.
Only available in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, E-tech relic types include Blood of the Ancients, Bone of the Ancients, Heart of the Ancients, and Skin of the Ancients. These relics exist as combinations of existing relics, allowing for greater utility and strategic use of the single relic equipment slot. They also seem to be significantly less efficient at increasing their designated attributes than their component relics. For example, the Level 61 Bone of the Ancients pictured below increases Shock Damage by 31% and Cooldown Rate by 37.4%. Level 50 Elemental Relic bonuses are capped at 30% and Level 50 Proficiency Relic bonuses at 35%. An increase in 11 levels only shows for a minuscule increase in bonuses.
- Blood of the Ancients - A combination of Vitality and Stockpile relics. Has the appearance of a Vitality Relic.
- Bone of the Ancients - A combination of Elemental and Proficiency relics. Has the appearance of an Elemental Relic.
- Heart of the Ancients - A combination of Aggression and Tenacity relics. Has the appearance of an Aggression Relic.
- Skin of the Ancients - A combination of Resistance and Protection relics. Has the appearance of a Resistance Relic.
There is only one E-tech grenade mod known as the Breath of Terramorphous. Being a grenade, the grenade lacks any sort of unique E-tech style part on it, such as fins or a unique barrel. This grenade mod, however, has a huge blast radius from the child grenades it spawns. It is manufactured by Vladof, and is a rare drop from Terramorphous the Invincible.
- Vladof - Breath of Terramorphous - Always incendiary. Area of effect grenade; spawns child grenades that shoot geysers of flame into the air, burning anything within the blast radius.
- During the mission Medical Mystery: X-Com-municate, Dr. Zed reveals that E-tech is proprietary to Hyperion and that the technology was licensed to other weapon manufacturers for their experimental weapons. By exploiting the Eridium released after the opening of the Vault, this generated massive profits for Hyperion.
- The stabilizer fins on E-tech barrels are similar to those found on green or higher rarity Hyperion pistols, which itself suggests a relationship between E-tech and Hyperion.
- Concept art for the Plasma Casters may suggest that they have (or had) some relationship with Bandit Manufacture, this is also shown in the finished version of Borderlands 2 through small details on the E-tech barrel, which bears protruding screws (among other details) synonymous with the Bandit's "jury rigged" aesthetic.
- The resources for E-Tech barrels were not removed in the making of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, this is revealed by the barrel that certain versions of the CryBaby assault rifle bear.