Why don't the Borg use some sort of projectile/beam weapon on their drones? When in a ranged battle the Borg drones can't do much more than walk to their enemy, it seems like a stun beam would be more effective.

  • 2
    In the game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Forces the Borg adapted to a new threat and employed partical projectile weaponry on drones. Don't think this would be labelled as canon though.
    – Jared
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 23:27
  • 1
    This is speculation. Chances are the Borg will eventually adapt and employ some kind of ranged delivery system for nanites. In the short time between their introduction in TNG to Voyager/First Contact the Borg adapted and employed the nanite injection tubules. Low power particle beam weapon/delivery systems, grenades that release a cloud of nanites, or a city sized nanite bomb all seem within the realm of possibility. But really, @theRayDog has the answer in their second paragraph. If a few hundred drones die in the assimilation of a planet then it would be worth it in their opinion.
    – Xantec
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 14:51

3 Answers 3


Every time we see the Borg in combat in the show, their greatest strength is of course their adaptability. Even phasers set to modular frequencies are only effective for a few shots. Borg drones simply don't need ranged weaponry, since they are protected by nearly impenetrable shields which immediately adapt to any weapon that makes it through.

Given the number of Borg drones that exist even on just one Borg cube, losing one drone in order to make every single other drone immune to that weapon seems a trivial loss.

Finally, the Borg don't have much use for ground fighting. We only ever see the Federation going toe to toe with Drones when either A) The drones are coming onto a federation ship for a SPECIFIC MISSION or B) The Federation beams over to a Borg cube. In either of these situations, even without weapons, the Borg are such a physical threat + near invulnerable shields that they simply have no need for a ranged weapon.

EDIT: Upon conferring with a fellow Trekkie, it's also important to remember that the Borg's entire focus is assimilation of other civilizations rather than the destruction of them. A phaser rifle has no use for the Borg, because it does not further those goals. Hard to assimilate something that's been disintegrated.

  • 1
    Well you don't have to set the phaser to disintegrate you could just set it to stun? its like saying the borg cube should not use phasers, they should just ram their enemies..
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 10:00
  • Your second paragraph is, in my estimation, the most reasonable answer. If a couple of hundred or thousand drones die in the assimilation of a planet then the net gain would be in the millions~billions. This would be an acceptable trade off in their mind.
    – Xantec
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 14:53
  • @Petoj At a certain point you do need some sort of weapons, it makes more sense that they would have them on their ships vs. foot soldiers. It's still true that when the Borg encounter the Enterprise they lock it in a very powerful tractor beam, rather than destroying them. The phasers seem like a last resort for when the species they are trying to assimilate force them to fight back.
    – theRayDog
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 18:09
  • 1) I think you could label this "Return of investment": why spend material and energy on outfitting many drones with weapons and maintaining them if they will almost never need them? 2) Apparently, Borg are vulnerable to projectile weapons (see "First Contact"). Does the whole galaxy use only particle/energy weapons? So I guess for assimilating civilisations which use projectile weapons, it would be meaningful to outfit drones with ranged weapons.
    – Raphael
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 7:03

If you mean 'The Borg' as in the Collective itself, as far as I know, you're correct. But there was one instance where a group of liberated Borg (led by Hugh from TNG 5x23 "I, Borg") had disruptor modules (citing TNG 6x26, TNG 7x01: "Descent" (Parts I and II)).


The Borg shoot energy beams out of their eyepieces this is a last resort given that they want to assimilate not kill. They only kill if who they are trying to assimilate fights back. Although they can easily render the attacker's weapons ineffective. They can adapt. The drones have Borg shields that stop anything. Although Bat'leths and projectile weapons seem to easily kill drones. The klingons are shown fighting the Borg with Bat'leths and winning and in First Contact the movie not the episode Picard shoots some Borg drones with a holographic tommy gun with the safety protocols off and they die.

  • The only time I can recall a Borg using any sort of eye-beam was to scan a hologram rather aggressively.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 6 at 19:54
  • @Valorum weird I can recall them using a sort of eyes beam to kill Commented Jul 8 at 4:08

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