The Righteous Bison is a secondary weapon for the Soldier. It is a handheld retro-futuristic or steampunk styled ray gun.
The weapon fires an unreflectableprojectile beam that is capable of piercing through multiple targets in a straight line but at the cost of dealing heavily reduced damage to buildings. The beam deals damage to any enemies that are touching it every 45 milliseconds and can hit the same target repeatedly. In addition, the beam can be used to ignite Huntsman arrows held by a friendly Sniper. Critical hits fired by the Righteous Bison will suffer damage falloff over distance.
Like the Cow Mangler 5000, the Righteous Bison features a "Bison" bar in the HUD which serves as an indication of its ammunition clip. After the bar is depleted, it can be recharged through a reloading process in which a piston in the back of the weapon is pumped. It does not incorporate the traditional ammo reserve used by other weapons.
Enemies killed by the Bison suffer a distinctive death by vaporization: they turn black, hover in mid-air while performing a specific disintegration animation surrounded by team-colored particles, and then disappear into ashes.
Weta Workshop held a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 and handed out coupon codes to visitors that can be redeemed in Team Fortress 2 for a Genuine quality Righteous Bison.
All previous promotional Righteous Bisons are now Genuine quality.
Fixed Gift Wrapped Righteous Bisons losing Genuine quality.
Made Genuine Righteous Bisons tradable after a period of time. This is based on when the code was redeemed, and works like tools bought in the Mann Co Store. Observations show it takes around 5 days for a Genuine Righteous Bison to become tradable.
There is a set of additional projectile particles, that are not used.
This weapon's projectile can pass through doors and deal damage.
If aimed at the correct angle while pressed up against the pre-round setup gates (it is not known what makes some angles work and other angles fail), the projectile can pass through these gates, but will not do damage to enemy players. This is not a client-side bug, as the other players can see these 'ghost' projectiles, too.
Rarely, after a moment of not firing, the Soldier will automatically reload the weapon's clip, regardless of the player's auto-reload setting.
In the client view, while crouching, the projectile will appear to fire much higher than the weapon model.
When minimizing the game with this weapon equipped, the ammo portion of the HUD may disappear. Looking at the scoreboard may fix this.
The appearance of this weapon is based on that of 'The Righteous Bison - Indivisible Particle Smasher', which can be purchased from the online store at Weta Workshop.
RED first-person view.
BLU first-person view.
The Righteous Bison promotional image in the Weta Store.