- "This is a weapon of terror. It's made to intimidate the enemy."
- —Jack O'Neill
The Ma'Tok staff is a high-power, anti-personnel energy weapon. It is a two-meter staff shaped vaguely like a Goa'uld symbiote. The front end is oval-shaped, which opens to reveal the barrel of the weapon. The back end has a club, allowing the staff to double as a melee weapon at close range, as well as a small blue patch that may be illuminated to act as a light. It is activated by a small control spot near the midsection and is powered by a small Liquid Naquadah power cell which will furnish the weapon for a seemingly indefinite amount of time. (SG1: "The Fifth Race", "Maternal Instinct")
The Ma'Tok staff fires a powerful plasma blast which can kill most humans with a single shot if it strikes near the center mass of the body (or other vital areas). Glancing blows will cause severe pain, but the victim may survive if the wound is treated. The high heat of the plasma blast will cauterize the wound instantly. At close range, the blast can go completely through a victim, and even blow off limbs. In addition to being lethal to humans, the blast can cause significant damage to solid objects. Staff blasts have been shown to be capable of leaving holes in a wall the size of a man's head, blow apart trees, and even damage blast doors. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "2010", "Full Circle", "The Broca Divide", "Chain Reaction", "Maternal Instinct")
The Ma'Tok staff is noted for its short range of approximately 50 to 60 meters and low rate of fire (although Bra'tac was seen capable of firing a succession of low powered shots at a higher rate than usual). It is also rather unwieldy, given its large size and weight. Colonel Jack O'Neill describes it as a weapon of terror, made to intimidate (contrasted with the FN P90 used by SG-1, described by O'Neill as a weapon of war made to kill).
Due to these shortcomings, the Jaffa usually utilize tactics including firing lines reminiscent to old colonial firing lines for mass volleys and human waves, where they rely on overwhelming numbers.(SG1: "Bloodlines", "The Warrior")
Like most projectile and energy weapons, the Ma'Tok staff is ineffective against Kull armor. The weapon is also ineffective against Priors of the Ori and Replicators. The Tau'ri have developed a type of ceramic polymer Vest insert that is capable of blocking a staff blast, though it is not infallible. (SG1: "Enemies", "The Warrior", "Evolution, Part 1", "Heroes, Part 1", "Beachhead")
The Ma'Tok staff is used almost exclusively by the Jaffa, who use it as their primary weapon, occasionally complimented with Zat'nik'tels and Shock grenades. Even after gaining their freedom from the Goa'uld, the Jaffa continue to make use of them. They are also used by humans serving the Goa'uld, such as those in the armies of Ra and Apophis. The Tok'ra also utilize staffs. Jack O'Neill is capable of using this weapon and he seems to be quite skilled with them, shooting with accuracy and effectiveness rivaling that of Teal'c. The Sodan use a modified version that is smaller and easier to carry, being about half the length of a normal staff. (Stargate, SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "Rules of Engagement", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Babylon")
- Initial reports on Gateworld stated that Adria would reveal that the Staff weapon is based on Ancient design and how the Goa'uld stole much of their knowledge from the Ancients. 
- In the original film, the Ma'Tok staff is much more powerful than in the series and was capable of not only severely injuring the enemy, but also hurling him several meters backwards.
- The term "Ma'Tok staff" comes from the Stargate Resistance website.