Short Circuit

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That wasn't even close.
The Engineer destroying projectiles

The Short Circuit is a promotional secondary weapon for the Engineer. It is a futuristic electrical device consisting of two probes and rubber sealing, with two large, thick yellow cables extending from a black base piece, connected to a clamp bolted shut over one of the probes. Two orange and grey shell-like pieces extended out over the base and part of the rubber sealing, appearing to be parts of the Engineer's rubber glove. The weapon replaces the Engineer's right arm.

The Short Circuit does not require reloading and instead draws ammunition directly from the Engineer's metal supply. Primary fire unleashes a short-ranged burst of electrical energy at the same rate as the Pistol, which deals 10 damage to enemies at the expense of 5 metal. Despite its looks, the burst only deals damage at point blank and becomes harmless at range.

Secondary fire fires an arc of electricity that automatically targets all enemies in front of the Engineer for 20 damage, and destroys all enemy projectiles within a 75 degree radius at the expense of 10 metal and 0.5 seconds delay between each fire. Each projectile vaporized by the Short Circuit costs an additional 5 metal each (with 15 being the lowest amount for destroying one projectile). If the player has less than 15 metal, secondary fire will not work. The arc effect created will also target disguised and cloaked Spies, enabling an Engineer to track down a fleeing Spy while dealing a maximum of 19 damage per hit to them.

When the Short Circuit is the active weapon, the Engineer cannot move buildings. It is also unable to damage enemy buildings, operate underwater, or deal full critical hits through any means other than against stunned Merasmus.

Enemies killed by the Short Circuit's primary fire suffer a distinctive death by vaporization: they turn black, hover in mid-air while surrounded by team-colored particles, and then disappear into ashes while a loud, distinct vaporization sound plays. Like backstabs and headshots, there is a 25% chance that opponents will perform a specific disintegration animation if killed in this way. Enemies killed by its secondary fire, however, will simply become ragdolls.

This item was awarded in Genuine quality to players who pre-ordered Deus Ex: Human Revolution before August 26, 2011.

The kill icon for the Short Circuit was contributed by Ani.

Damage and function times

Primary Fire

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Area of Effect
Damage type Bullet
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Base damage 100% 10
Critical 21
Mini-crit 14
Function times
Attack interval 0.15 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Secondary Fire

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Area of Effect
Damage type Bullet
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Base damage 100% 20
Critical 60
Mini-crit 26-27
Function times
Attack interval 0.5 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.



See also: Crafting


Reclaimed Metal Scrap Metal Gunslinger Short Circuit
Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png + Item icon Gunslinger.png = Item icon Short Circuit.png
Class Token - Engineer Slot Token - Secondary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Engineer.png + Item icon Slot Token - Secondary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Wrangler.png Item icon Short Circuit.png

As a crafting ingredient

Reclaimed Metal Righteous Bison Short Circuit Pomson 6000
Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png + Item icon Righteous Bison.png + Item icon Short Circuit.png = Item icon Pomson 6000.png

Related achievements

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

How the Pests Was Gunned
How the Pests Was Gunned
Destroy 50 enemy stickybombs lying in range of friendly buildings.

Update history

August 18, 2011 Patch (Manno-Technology Bundle)
  • The Short Circuit was added to the game.

August 23, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed the Short Circuit attacking friendly projectiles.
  • Fixed the Short Circuit being hidden when the Engineer taunts.

January 11, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Short Circuit was added to the crafting blueprint for the Pomson 6000.

February 9, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Short Circuit now makes robotic noises when moved around in the backpack.

April 17, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed projectiles not being cleared if they were blocked by buildings or other projectiles.
  • Fixed not incrementing the "How the Pests Was Gunned" achievement for destroyed stickies.

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • Ammo cost reduced when an attack destroys a projectile.
    • Ammo cost of firing reduced to -18 metal.
    • [Undocumented] Ammo cost increased to -36 metal when an attack does not destroy a projectile or hit a player.
    • [Undocumented] Increased firing speed by +25%.
  • [Undocumented] The Short Circuit's muzzle now emits a spark effect when fired.
  • [Undocumented] Fixed attack arcing to nearby teammates as if they were enemies.

July 12, 2013 Patch

  • Updated the Short Circuit description to match the updated gameplay.

November 12, 2013 Patch

December 20, 2013 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • Attack speed up greatly.
    • Ammunition cost has been lowered to 5 metal per attack.
    • Players and Buildings are only targeted if in range and in front of attacking player.
  • Improved visual effects.

January 9, 2014 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • Damage lowered.
    • Consumes 15 metal per projectile destroyed.
    • Can no longer fire underwater.
    • Fixed a bug with orphaned particles.

January 23, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed the Short Circuit particles not always being removed on player death.
  • Updated the Short Circuit to use the Engineer's melee taunt.

February 7, 2014 Patch

  • Changed attribute:
    • Added No longer gain metal from Dispensers when active.

September 10, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed the Short Circuit creating its firing effects when being deployed.

July 2, 2015 Patch #1 (Gun Mettle Update)

  • Changed attributes:
    • Projectile destruction has been moved to alt-fire at the cost of -15 per shot. There is a 0.5s cool down between attempts and refire.
    • Cannot pick up buildings when the Short Circuit is deployed.

July 23, 2015 Patch #1

  • Fixed missing secondary attack animations for the Short Circuit.

July 7, 2016 Patch (Meet Your Match Update)

  • Changed attribute:
    • Base projectile attack is -10 metal (hit or miss) and then add -5 metal for each projectile destroyed (sometimes a buff, sometimes a nerf).

August 29, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed the Short Circuit causing lag compensation problems on the server.

April 20, 2017 Patch

  • Updated the description for the Short Circuit to match the current behavior.


  • The alt-fire will Haul for approximately 2/3 of a second after weapon switch, instead of destroying projectiles.
  • If the player picks up another dropped secondary weapon with the Short Circuit equipped, the Engineer's right hand will always remain invisible regardless of what weapon that player is using until the player re-equip the Short Circuit.


  • During development, the Short Circuit was going to be a minigun that opened up from Engineer's glove. Valve, however, told the creator they wanted a less-powerful electric based weapon, so it was changed to the current design.[1]
  • A short circuit is a malfunction in a circuit that allows a current to travel on an unintended path.
  • The filenames for this weapon's sounds within the VPK files reference Lawrence Barrett, a character from the Deus Ex: Human Revolution title known for his gun-arm.




See also