E-tech weapons, or Eridium technology weapons, are type of experimental weapon featured in Borderlands 2. Non-unique E-tech weapons are color-rated magenta, similar in hue to purple rarity, befitting their high quality. They rarely drop from enemies and loot, but can be commonly found in the Sanctuary Gold 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 two Torgue E-tech weapons exist, the SWORDSPLOSION!!! shotgun, which can only be found in the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, and the Effervescent Unicornsplosion, found in the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC.
Though the E-tech designation is almost exclusively limited to weapons, there are some exceptions: Breath of Terramorphous, Blood of the Ancients, Bone of the Ancients, Heart of the Ancients, Skin of the Ancients.
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). They have low projectile velocity and cannot score critical hits, but have high 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 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 a unique E-tech Dart pistol 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, making incendiary darts and spikers, as well as Slag ones, more powerful than the others.
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 - Shoots 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. Consumes 3 ammo per shot.
- Tediore - Thrown as a grenade when reloaded (standard Tediore bonus).
- Dahl - Burst fire when zoomed (standard Dahl bonus).
- Vladof - Higher rate of fire compared to other E-tech pistols (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 submachine guns are called Plasma Casters. 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, manufactured by Hyperion. This fires slow moving, shock projectiles that accelerates rapidly over a few seconds and becomes transparent. Even when the projectiles are in flight, the fire rate allows players to create a wall of bullets.
Furthermore, another unique E-tech Plasma Caster was introduced in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: The Florentine, a seraph submachine gun. The Florentine has all the attributes of a normal Maliwan Plasma Caster, but deals both Slag and Shock elemental damage. It is also the only E-Tech weapons that utilizes two elements at once.
- Hyperion - Firing increases accuracy (standard Hyperion bonus).
- Maliwan - Slightly increased projectile speed, good accuracy (standard Maliwan bonus).
- Dahl - Burst fire while zoomed (standard Dahl bonus).
- Tediore - Thrown as a grenade when reloaded (standard Tediore bonus).
- Bandit - Limited range, erratic projectile behaviour, and projectiles ricochet.
In Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, an E-tech Seraph shotgun can be found, the Retcher. The Retcher fires arcing corrosives projectiles and only consumes 1 ammo per shot for an E-tech weapon with slow reload. In Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, the final two bosses can drop the Slow Hand. The Slow Hand has a 3.5% healing effect and fired projectiles are not affected by gravity. Also, the vertical grip accessory projectiles receive full bonus from Amp Shields.
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, launching three smaller swords at an angle, 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. The Omen can also legitimately spawn without an Element, in which case it deals explosive splash damage and non-elemental direct damage.
The Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC adds an effervescent E-tech Torgue shotgun, the Unicornsplosion. The Unicornsplosion functionally similar to the SWORDSPLOSION!!!, but sports the Effervescent skin and shoots miniature Butt Stallions instead of swords.
- 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 bounces.
- 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.
- 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 (Standard Vladof Bonus).
- Bandit - Huge magazine size and longer reloads (standard Bandit bonus).
The sniper rifle types are Railer, Hybridfication, and Moloko. All E-tech sniper rifles consume two ammo per shot. Shots fired carry an large innate damage bonus and act as beams and reflect off surfaces and pierce enemies. The increased ammo consumption 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 that are affected by gravity, will not spawn with a scope, has fixed incendiary element, and consumes only one round per shot. All E-tech sniper rifles ricochet off terrains.
- Maliwan - Railer - High elemental effect chance.
- Dahl - Railer - Burst fire while zoomed (standard Dahl bonus).
- Hyperion - Hybridfication - Slow rate of fire, increased accuracy under sustained fire.
- Vladof - Moloko - Ricochets off inert surfaces, automatic fire, 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. These have a massive blast radius for enemies with a reduced self-damage blast 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 and consumes 3 ammo per shot. As of Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC, the raid boss, Hyperius the Invincible, can also drop the Norfleet.
- Bandit - PRAZMA CANON - Hurls balls of energy that arc and drops more balls of energy as it travels, similar to carpet bombs.
- Maliwan - PBFG - 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 - Fires a 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 rarity Tediore material rather than the purple rarity material.
- Vladof - Topneaa - Surrounds enemies in a large radius with damaging energy spheres. Dying enemies encapsulated in a blue sphere of energy will disappear. Each third shot does not consume ammunition. 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. These are only dropped by loot midgets.
- 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. 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 all other weapon manufacturers (except for Jakobs as most of their products are non elemental) 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 Cry Baby assault rifle bear.