Samus Aran's Power Beam (パワービーム Pawā Bīmu ), also known as the Normal Beam (ノーマルビーム Nōmaru Bīmu ), is her basic default weapon made of Chozo technology. Readily equipped with her Power Suit, the Power Beam does little damage to powerful enemies, although it can easily clear entire rooms filled with weaker foes. It appears in all Metroid games.
The beam's projectiles consist of individual small spheres with yellow and/or orange colors flying in a straight line. Visually, they have the simplest appearance and trajectory out of all existing beam weapons. When using the Charge Beam, the projectile is noticeably larger and brighter.
2D Metroid series
The Power Beam is the starting weapon for each mission. It is notable that the weapon was at its weakest in the very beginning of Metroid for the NES/FDS and its remake Metroid: Zero Mission, due to the weapon's projectiles dissipating within a short distance. However, it can be turned into a long-range weapon by collecting the Long Beam; this upgraded Power Beam becomes the standard and initial state of the weapon in every other title in the series (thus insinuating that both beams merged indefinitely). With the exception of Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus, it has the capacity to stack with other subsequent beams acquired by Samus, gaining additional properties and power. In Super Metroid, she has the liberty of choosing the combination of beams, but as Samus progressed in her mission, there would be very little benefit, if none at all, for her to revert the Power Beam back to its initial state. In fact, every other title simply made it impossible to regain the basic Power Beam.
The beam remains as the starting weapon. For the majority of the series, however, the Power Beam is incapable of combining with other beams and stays as its own separate weapon. When compared to the other beams, it is a semiautomatic weapon and has the highest rate of fire. in the first two Metroid Prime titles, is necessary to use in conjunction with the Charge Beam and Missiles to fire off Super Missiles, the only vital Charge Combo needed to complete the games. As a result, the Power Beam became more useful. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption remains the only game in the series where the Power Beam can stack with other beam weapons, changing the visual appearance and strength of its projectiles but always keeping its initial high rate of fire.
In Metroid Prime Hunters, the beam can fire a burst of three shots in rapid succession every time the trigger is pulled. If the trigger is held to activate the Charge Beam, the Power Beam will fire a fourth projectile after a slight delay before it begins to focus into a charged shot.
Each Bounty Hunter has their own Power Beam. Though it is weak offensively, it makes up for it with endless ammunition and a high rate of fire. A normal shot does around 6 damage. As with many other weapons, the Power Beam does more damage with a headshot.
Interestingly, in the demo Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, the Power Beam used an ammunition system. It remains the only game where it does so. If the player runs out of ammo, they will no longer be able to fire the Power Beam fully automatically and are unable to use Missiles. This may have been a product of the training hologram where the demo is slated to take place in, however.
Samus is not a playable character in Metroid Prime: Federation Force, but the Federation Force's Mechs use a similar beam called the Power Shot. It functions mostly same as the Power Beam, but takes longer to charge. In Blast Ball, the beam has a limited energy supply that prevents players from shooting too much lest the shots gradually become weaker until none can be fired, at which point the player must wait a short time before starting to fire again. The Adrenaline power-up in Blast Ball enhances the projectile travel speed and energy recovery rate of the Power Shot.
The Power Beam, as depicted in the manga, packs considerably less power than ancient Chozo weapons despite being a recently made one. This is seen when Samus first used it on Mother Brain's Zebetite shields, revealing they were immune to it, but when Grey Voice attacked with a century-old weapon, it was able to penetrate the shields.
Official Metroid Prime website
Weapon effect: Highly effective offensive tool
Weapon range: 3-10 m
Weapon potential: High
"The Power Beam is the basic energy unit produced by Samus Aran's standard Arm Cannon. The Power Beam is expelled from Samus' Arm Cannon. Close observation indicates that this is the Bounty Hunter's most frequently used offensive tool. The Power Beam may be charged, dramatically increasing the weapon's effectiveness. Ineffective against advanced shields and engineered enemies."
Metroid Prime manual
"This is Samus's standard beam, which you can fire continuously by rapidly tapping the A Button. As with all beam weapons, the Power Beam becomes much stronger once Samus finds the Charge Beam power-up. Once Samus has found the Charge Beam, press and hold the A Button to charge up her shot, then release the A Button to fire a powerful blast."
The Power Beam can be used to open Blue Doors.
If you see your shots ricochet, cease fire. The Power Beam is not working against that target.
Unlike previous versions, this model of the Power Beam has been augmented with a Charge module. Charged shots are more powerful and deal more damage than normal shots.
Charging also has a limited "tractor beam" that will pull small objects to you.*
You can use the Power Beam to quickly clear an area of weak foes.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes manual
"Fire the Power Beam continuously by rapidly tapping the A Button. It becomes much stronger when Samus uses the Charge Beam. Hold the A Button to charge (which also engages a tractor beam effect that draws power-ups toward Samus), then release it. The Power Beam can open blue hatches and has infinite ammo."
Metroid Fusion manual
"This is the standard beam Samus possesses at the beginning of the game."
"Samus's standard Energy Beam is sufficient for defeating weaker enemies encountered early in the mission. Samus will need to upgrade, however, before facing more dangerous creatures."
Metroid: Zero Mission manual
"This is Samus' standard beam weapon."
Metroid Prime Hunters Logbook entry
The standard-issue POWER BEAM has limited defensive capability and unlimited ammunition. As with all charge weapons, press and hold the FIRE button to attract energy and ammo, and to charge up the shot. Release to fire a powerful blast. This weapon overheats quickly and works best when fired in controlled spurts.
"The Power Beam may not pack as much punch as other weapons, but it has an unlimited supply of ammo and can be charged up to fire powerful energy blasts. As Samus finds new weapons, the Arm Cannon can adapt to incorporate their functionality."
Metroid: Other M On-Screen Tutorial
Press  to fire your beam.
Metroid: Other M manual
"Press 1 to fire a beam. Press and hold 1 and release to fire a powerful Charge Beam."
Metroid: Other M Samus Screen data
"Controls: Fire with .
Press and hold  until fully charged and release to shoot a Charge Beam."
Metroid.com for Metroid: Other M
Normal Beam/Charge Beam
Samus' standard hand cannon can wipe out the more common creatures infesting the Bottleship, while an added charge function ups the damage quotient significantly.
Metroid: Samus Returns Samus Screen data
"A basic Power Beam. Press [Y] rapidly to fire consecutive shots."
- The Armory (p. 10)
- "Samus' bread and butter, the Power Beam may be the peashooter of the Metroid universe, but it gets the job done."
* The sentences about the Charge Beam and tractor beam are included in Corruption.
"The default Arm Cannon beam."
Metroid Dread Samus Screen
|Samus's default Arm Cannon beam.|
Press to fire, or press rapidly to fire consecutive shots.
- The default, starting beam weapon was referred to as the Normal Beam throughout the main series up until Metroid: Samus Returns, where it is called the Power Beam, a term that was invented and exclusively used in the Metroid Prime series. The Metroid: Zero Mission manual also referred to it as the Short Beam.
- In the original Metroid, the Normal Beam and the Ice Beam deal the exact same amount of damage. However, due to the Ice Beam's freezing/unfreezing nature, enemies must be hit twice as many times with the frigid projectile.
- Though Samus required the Long Beam upgrade in the original Metroid to fire all the way across the screen, in all subsequent games (save Metroid: Zero Mission) this attribute is a natural ability of the Normal Beam.
- In the Metroid Prime series, the beams affect the Arm Cannon in their own unique way when charging. In the case of the Power Beam, beams of light would appear from the sides of the Arm Cannon. In the New Play Control! and Metroid Prime Trilogy versions of Metroid Prime, this effect is absent. However, this graphical effect is retained in the re-releases of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
- Another, less noticeable effect that is not present in Trilogy version of Metroid Prime is the heat waves which emanate from the Arm Cannon after rapid-firing the Power Beam.
- In Metroid Prime Hunters, small amounts of smoke rise from the Arm Cannon while charging. This effect also occurs when charging Missiles.
- In Metroid: Zero Mission, an uncharged shot from the Power Beam does 1 unit of damage.
- This is also true in the Echoes multiplayer mode.
- In Metroid Prime, the Power Beam was modeled and skinned by Gene Kohler.
- Chozo Ghosts are immune to all natural forms of energy, yet are vulnerable to the Power Beam. The Power Beam is, therefore, an unnatural form of energy.
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Power Beam is presented as being more powerful during cutscenes than it is during gameplay. Samus is seen killing Pirate Troopers in a single shot, while in gameplay it takes 20 shots or two fully charged shots.
- The Power Beam, along with Samus and many of her other abilities, were slated to appear in the Wii version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but were scrapped due to Nintendo withholding consent.
- Based off of previews, the Power Beam appears to be based off of it's Prime iteration.
- ^ Samus Hunter | Nintendo Leak and News Inside (SamusHunter2). "Did you catch the graphical improvements in the latest trailer (Commercial) for #MetroidDread? There are many small improvements, even in Samus model. I have prepared a small video that shows a sequence (no spoiler) with the difference, more comparative images in the comments 😉" 15 September 2021 12:11 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/SamusHunter2/status/1438173647622090761
|Armaments||Arm Cannon • Paralyzer|
|Weapons||Power Beam • Wave Beam • Ice Beam • Plasma Beam • Grapple Beam |
Hyper Beam: (MD/MP3/SM) • Phazon Beam • Dark Beam • Light Beam
Annihilator Beam • Nova Beam • Zero Laser
|Enhancements||Beam Burst • Charge Beam • Diffusion Beam • Long Beam • Phazon bullets • Spazer Beam • Tractor beam • Wide Beam • Omega Cannon (Dread)|
|Affinity Weapons||Volt Driver • Battlehammer • Magmaul • Shock Coil • Judicator • Imperialist • Omega Cannon (Hunters) • Electro Lob|
|Features of Samus's Gunship|
|Personal||Adam's helmet • Chozo biotech computer • Data records • Logbook • Mii Bobblehead • Samus Screen • Ship Bumper Stickers • In the Cockpit • Music player|
|Armaments||Plasma Beam • Power Beam • Ship Grapple Beam • Ship Missile Launcher • Gunship Multiball • Bunker-Busting Annihilator • Gunship|
|Mission features||Auto-repair function • Biohazard scanner • Blast Shield • Bombing Run • Command Visor • Commander Adam Malkovich • Cryostasis • Escape Pod |
Heads-Up Display • Helm controls • Landing Gear Legs • Microfactories
Missile Station • Recharge Station • Save Station • Tetra Galaxy Scan Screen • Transmission console • B-Unit
|Cargo||Theronian Bomb (1st piece • 2nd piece • 3rd piece) • Colossal War Golem|
|Passengers||Baby • Anthony Higgs • Dr. Madeline Bergman • Commander Adam Malkovich (computerized) • Dachoras • Etecoons|
|Metroid Prime and Dark Samus|
|Abilities||Metroid Prime: Particle Wave Projector • Seeker Missile • Snare Beam • Ultrafrigid Beam|
Dark Samus: Bomb • Boost Ball • Charge Beam • Dark Echo • Missile Launcher • Missile • Phazon bullets • Phazon Suit • Screw Attack • Shrapnel Beam • Stealth field generator
|Misc.||VS. Metroid Prime (Spider) • Metroid Prime Battle • Dark Samus Intro • Dark Samus Appears Part 2 • Darkness • Escape • Dark Samus Biography • Dark Samus Gallery |
Dark Samus Rooms • Dark Samus in Super Smash Bros. • 04ε: Dark Samus