Wish I... still had that damn holorifle. Spent forever making it... need to find it when this is all done.”— Elijah, musing on leaving the weapon to the player
The holorifle, along with other model types, was constructed by Father Elijah, utilizing technology that he had obtained from the Big Empty and fashioned from the holograms in the Sierra Madre. He used a standard grenade launcher as the template, modifying it with a hologram emitter and drawing power from microfusion cells loaded into the grenade tube.
The construction of the holorifle enabled him to circumvent the security of the Sierra Madre, which normally confiscates items with even trace amounts of contamination and returns them to the owner's home.
The holorifle is a scoped, pump-action energy based weapon. The weapon's main body is similar in appearance to that of a grenade launcher. The scope of the weapon also appears similar to that of a laser rifle scope, but with the advantage that the holorifle's scope features integrated night vision. However, the magnification level of the holorifle scope is only 2.86x, compared to the 3.5x magnification of the laser rifle scope.
The weapon is unique in that its projectile is not a bullet, plasma, laser, flame, electromagnetic pulse, or electrical charge. Since the holorifle is based on hologram technology, it most likely fires a solid light-based energy projectile, and so is most similar to particle-based energy weapons (e.g., lasers). On impact, the projectile applies a "holorifle damage" effect, dealing an additional 15 damage over three seconds (similar to the "flame damage" done by a flamer or incinerator) and knocking the target back. As with most other energy weapons, the holorifle's projectile will ignite any gas traps and other flammable hazards that it comes in contact with.
The holorifle uses microfusion cells for ammunition, loading up to four cells in a tubular under-barrel magazine. As the magazine is internal, the weapon must be reloaded by hand, one cell at a time, resulting in longer reload times compared to other energy weapons. However, the reloading process can be interrupted for immediate firing. The holorifle thus has the singular advantage of being able to immediately fire again if less than a full magazine is needed.
Due to the unique nature of the holorifle, it cannot be repaired by any other weapon, even with the Jury Rigging perk, this is because there are no other pump action energy weapons like the holorifle available. It can be repaired only by weapon repair kits, merchants, or through ED-E with at least one rank of the Camarader-E perk.
- Holorifle focus optics, increase the holorifle's damage by 25.
- Holorifle advanced calibration, reduces the holorifle's spread by 0.25.
- Holorifle reinforced components, improves the maximum condition of the holorifle by 1.5%, rather than the intended x1.5.
The player is given the holorifle at the beginning of Dead Money. It is not possible to subsequently obtain any additional holorifles without the use of console commands.
- There are no other holorifle variants in Dead Money, or Old World Blues, despite Elijah's dialogue referencing them. However, given his later comment about wishing he still had the Holorifle, it is likely this was a lie he made up to belittle the Courier.
- A fully modified holorifle used with a high Energy Weapons skill is, in terms of damage, better than the anti-materiel rifle, and on par with the Gauss rifle, although the holorifle's increased spread limits its long range capabilities.
- The holorifle makes efficient use of ammunition, using only one microfusion cell per shot, in comparison to the five used by the Gauss rifle. This, along with higher damage than any energy weapons that use a single microfusion cell, means it is the most powerful weapon in terms of damage per cell.
- When viewed in V.A.T.S. or through the scope, the projectiles fired by the holorifle appear to be small clusters of glowing holographic cubes, suggesting the weapon fires holographic projections.
 Behind the scenes
It was initially (always) designed to actually be a grenade launcher that Elijah adapted for his own wacky purposes, loading in MFCs and ejecting them like spent shells. Something I wish we could have done to make it stand out more (but could not do for technical reasons) is make the ejected MFCs look like smoking, burned out batteries.”— J.E. Sawyer
- Raul as an active companion applying the Full Maintenance companion perk, the holorifle will not take any damage even while firing over charged, max charge or optimized cells, and even with the Built to Destroy perk. With the reinforced components modification and 100% condition, the holorifle will not take damage while firing regular microfusion cells. With
- When using Weapon repair kit on a fully repaired holorifle, it is possible to raise the weapon's value to high amounts, thus increasing it's total hit points. In other words, the more repair kits you use, the higher its value and total HP becomes.
- When cycling through ammunition types from microfusion cell, max charge to microfusion cell, over charge, the player will never stop inserting a new cell into the tubular magazine. This can be interrupted, however, if the player tries to fire the holorifle.
- Beam Me Up challenge. It does, however, count towards the Condition Critical and The Rifleman challenges, meaning that it is considered a rifle-grip (in general) instead of a rifle-grip energy weapon for the purpose of these challenges. However, the holorifle does count as an energy weapon for the (More) Energetic challenge. Unlike laser, plasma or Gauss rifles, the holorifle doesn't count towards the
- The holorifle will sometimes be affected by the same scope bug as many other weapons: while aiming with the scope, brightly colored shapes will appear instead of the standard scope image, obscuring much of the screen.
- Commando perk. Despite being a rifle, the holorifle is not affected by the
- Sometimes, if you use V.A.T.S. mode while reloading, or a little after, the player will sit still and not fire. Additionally, after reloading, the player will hold the gun with one hand. This can be fixed by firing the weapon.
- While in Old World Blues content and bulk microfusion cells have been loaded, the holorifle may be unable to load any other microfusion cell type (i.e., normal, over charge, max charge). When the player returns to the Mojave, the bug seems to fix itself and other ammunition types can be loaded as normal.
- While firing in V.A.T.S the rifle may become stuck above the players head.
- Sometimes, the night vision effect will not work, even late at night.
- From Elijah's radio signal - "Wish I... still had that damn holorifle. Spent forever making it..."
- From Elijah's dialogue files - "It is a holorifle, a weapon I constructed when I arrived... I have since made superior models - and modifications."
- From Elijah's dialogue files - "Big Empty's a treasure box, a scientific graveyard of Old World misery. Like the Sierra Madre... there's treasures there, sleeping. Some, awake. The holorifle, the Saturnite alloy... the hologram technology, hibernation chambers, Securitrons, the collars...even the suits attached to those things stalking the Villa... that's only the surface of what's there.
- From Elijah's dialogue files - " I fashioned it from the holograms of the Villa and used it against the Villa's... living inhabitants."