Particle cannons are a common alternative to traditional mass drivers. They are particularly useful for spacecraft and orbital defenses, who can switch between charged and neutral particles, depending on whether the target is in an atmosphere or in the void of space.
Particle cannons strike like a bolt of lightning, inflicting a mixture of kinetic damage and heat in a swift flash. Particle cannons do not require large ammunition stores, and can “recharge” over time fairly easily. For both of these reasons, particle cannons are often mistaken for “energy” weapons.