This question refers to the guns used by stormtroopers as well as clones, battle droids, etc (but not the small hand-held blasters used by the likes of Han Solo or Rey).

Why aren't trooper's guns capable of rapid-fire like the one used by Jiang Wen's character in the Rogue One trailers?

  • Asking why the ones most commonly used don't rapid fire. Or, better, why they don't use rapid-fire blasters as often.
    – Sagierian
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:13
  • Hence why I didn't post as an answer, just a comment to show that repeating blasters exist in the main canon.
    – Valorum
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:15
  • 2
    I don't understand the reasoning for this question: there are both semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the real world, too.
    – user40790
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


Because ammunition is limited/costly

This answer is helpful here: How are Star Wars blasters properly reloaded/charged/etc.?

Tibanna gas is used to create the ammunition for blasters and is mined from gas giants like Bespin. There is a cost associated with equipping every soldier/gun-wielder in the galaxy with fully automatic weapons and it's not difficult to imagine why not everyone would want to pay that much when a more economical blaster would suffice.

Tibanna gas mining

Because rapid-fire weapons tend to be bulky

There are generally drawbacks to automatic weapons. Namely bulk and accuracy. Automatic blaster cannons are difficult to carry and would be poor solutions for folks who plan to carry the gun over a distance. They're a much better fit for stationary defense or short distance operations. They also tend to be less accurate. It would be impossible to use an automatic weapon for long-distance combat where accuracy and precision is more important. An automatic weapon is better in middle-to-short-range situations.

gattling cannonsnowtrooper cannon

Response to question edit:

Even in the Rogue One trailer, it looks like his weapon is a bit larger (rifle-sized) and used in a middle distance scenario with either a mount or a ledge to stabilize the fire (it's tough to tell from a screen cap). All of this further illustrates the points listed above.

rogue one

Skip to the 0:46 mark:

  • 1
    If the ammunition is so expensive why the hell didn't the storm trooper training academy emphasize marksmanship?
    – Peter M
    Dec 13, 2016 at 22:39
  • 2
    Also, have you actually seen the fire discipline of your average Storm Trooper? He'd slaughter half his unit with inaccurate panic-fire...
    – Thomas N
    Dec 13, 2016 at 22:46
  • 1
    @PeterM this related question does a really good job describing how/why Stormtroopers appear to be so poor at soldiering.
    – enderland
    Dec 14, 2016 at 14:03
  • "Less accurate" "storm trooper" riiiight
    – Broklynite
    Dec 15, 2016 at 14:49

As a supplement to @TheIronCheek's good answer:


According to the Legends Wookieepedia article on blasters, firing the blaster imparted a significant amount of heat to the weapon. From the article:

A side effect of firing blasters was the gas conversion enabler heating up as gas was energized by the power pack, which could cause blasters to overheat, sometimes to the point of destruction

While I couldn't find anything specific on blaster heat in the Disney canon, I think it's not an unsafe assumption that heat could still be an issue for weapons in the Star Wars universe.

Therefore, from a design perspective, something that must be addressed by blaster designers is how to handle heat. How well the blaster can handle the heat from firing will determine its maximum firing rate. Take, for example the DC-19 "Stealth" Carbine:

...the invisible tibanna mix had to be reloaded after every ten shots, and there was a required cool down time between each individual shot to protect the blaster's dampeners from overheating

Now, all this is Legends material, so take as a piece of canon evidence for blasters producing heat the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon. One way to get around the heat problem as a weapon designer is by adding more barrels, hence we got (in our galaxy) the Gatling gun:

Gatling's solution was to utilize revolving barrels-four on some early models, six on most Gatling guns, so that each barrel had an opportunity to cool as it revolved. Numerous rounds passed rapidly through a rifled barrel cause a tremendous heat build-up.

Therefore, the existence of the Z-6 in canon suggests heat management reasons for having a rotary barrel on what amounts to a rapid-fire blaster. Or, it's just the Rule of Cool.

  • 2
    I believe the canon Star Wars Battlefront uses a heat mechanic to force players to "reload" or delay continued firing. I haven't played the game, though, so you'll have to look into it.
    – Null
    Dec 14, 2016 at 15:52
  • @Null It did not occur to me that Battlefront would be canon! Thanks, I'll look into it later to see if I can supplement my answer with it.
    – DBPriGuy
    Dec 14, 2016 at 15:57
  • @Null yes that is right aound your crosshairs on your HUD you have a meter that fills up after continued fire eventualy after that meter is full you have to stop and let the weapon cool down. If you try to shoot while the meter is full you get a quick animation that shows him burning his hand on the barrel when he goes to shoot. Something odd and unexplainable to me is when you get a coolant flush by pressing a specified button (depends on what your playing) at the right time and you basically empty the heat meter instantly. Dec 8, 2020 at 13:22

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