System Shock Wiki
System Shock Wiki
SB-20 Mag-Pulse Rifle
Weapon Data
First Found Level 1 - Hospital
Destructible No
Operation Semi-Automatic
Slow Projectile
Ammunition Mag-Pulse Cartridge
Attack Type Magnetic
Damage 45
Armor Penetration 100
Offense Value 4

The SB-20 Mag-Pulse Rifle is a weapon found in System Shock.


Intense electromagnetic bursts fired from this rifle damage any shielded circuitry. It is the recommended means of deactivating malfunctioning combat robots, but it's also an excellently choice of a weapon against potential invaders wearing Powered Battle Armor.

The average damage makes it inadvisable to use on 'soft' targets like Mutants or the lesser Cyborgs as its true value is in the weapon's massive armor penetration. One notable quirk of the weapon is that the projectiles it fires are not only slow-traveling, but drop due to gravity over a long distance. A Mag-Pulse shot at a foe far away may need to be fired above its intended target.

While you'll get the Mag-Pulse early on, its ammunition will be extremely rare until you get to Level 3, so pick your shots carefully. Once you do have a few cartridges to spare, it will be your best friend for putting down the Exec-Bots and Security-1-Bots. It is also an excellent choice for taking on Diego Cyborg, as he is very well armored - at least until you get your hands on the heavier rifle-class weapons.

Ammunition Types

MagCart Hornets Icon.png MagPulseCartridge.png Mag-Pulse Cartridge (25) - To use against shielded robots.


  • Most of the weapons' names in System Shock are derived from the initials of the game's makers. In this case, SB stands for Sean Barrett.
  • The animation frame of this weapon firing is actually not shown in the game itself, even if present in the files. This applies to all versions except the Source Port update, where it can be enabled using "Show All Weapon Frames" Game Option.
  • This is the only energy weapon in the game which uses cartridge-based ammunition instead of the player's energy supply.