The Predator Launcher is a weapon in Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, Before the Nexus and Ratchet & Clank (2016 game). Manufactured by Grummel Net Industries, it locks onto multiple targets as the trigger is being held down, and fires Predator missiles at them when released. Larger targets can be locked onto by multiple missiles, if the missiles lock onto multiple spots on the same enemy. If an enemy locked onto with a missile dies, or Ratchet changes weapon, the missiles self-destruct before firing.
The Predator Launcher can be upgraded to the Raptor Launcher with use in Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, and Ratchet & Clank, whose missiles release sticky napalm after exploding. In challenge mode, the weapon can upgrade to the Omega Raptor Launcher.
Ratchet & Clank re-imagined
In Qwark's retelling, the Predator Launcher was a top secret blargian weapon manufactured by Drek Industries located in the blarg warship outside the Blarg Tactical Research Station. Ratchet found the weapon by taking a shuttle to the warship from the Research Station, and retrieving it from within the warship. Once retrieved, a self-destruct sequence begun, and Ratchet had to flee the warship to return alive.
Ratchet upgraded the weapon to the Raptor Launcher with use. Raritanium upgrades could also be purchased. Basic upgrades included upgrades to its ammo capacity, the lock speed improving how quickly its missiles locked on to enemies, and the width of the targeting cone allowing it to lock on to more enemies. Four mystery upgrades were available: Overlooked Sensors allowing more missiles to be deployed in one go, Ammo Loyalty Card increasing the amount of ammo found in crates, Critical Cores increasing the width of the missiles' explosion radius, and Recursion Depth allowing more missiles to lock onto a single target.
Tools of Destruction
The Predator Launcher was available upon reaching Cobalia for 25,000 bolts. It could be upgraded with Raritanium upgrades, including more damage, more ammo, more missiles and faster shooting. It special Raritanium upgrade was the Dual Target Detectors, which allow two missiles to lock onto a single target (the same enemy or the same spot on a larger enemy). With use, it could be upgraded to the Raptor Launcher, causing its missiles to release napalm after exploding.
In the Imperial Fight Festival, the weapon could be a liability if not used properly. As it uses up ammo when a missile locks onto a target, and weapons switch once ammo is used, the weapon could change before the missiles were fired, self-destructing the missiles and rendering them useless.
In challenge mode, the Omega Raptor Launcher could be purchased for 7,000,000 bolts.
Quest for Booty
Ratchet possessed the Predator Launcher at level 3 at the beginning, but lost it at the Azorean Sea after fired from a cannon by Rusty Pete. It was recovered from the sea by the Smuggler, and returned to Ratchet upon reaching Darkwater Cove. It could still be upgraded to the Raptor Launcher with use.
The Dual Target Detectors upgrade had to be found, and was located in Darkwater Cove before the bolt crank leading up to the battle with Sprocket. To acquire it, Ratchet had to look for a pirate gate to the left, break it open with a Fusion Grenade as well as the wall of metal crates behind it, revealing a spring pad which led up to the upgrade.
Before the Nexus
The Predator Launcher could be purchased in the game, functioning very similarly to its previous appearances, though its upgrades had to be purchased and it could not be upgraded to the Raptor Launcher.
The Predator Launcher is a small, dark-red carbine held with a left-hand grip and a trigger. It contains a missile-shaped red node on the end from which it targets missiles to release at enemies.
The Raptor Launcher is a bulkier, brown and blue carbine with yellow highlights.
The Predator Launcher locks onto enemies and then releases missiles at them, dealing moderate damage and having a low blast radius. Initially, the weapon can be useful against a lot of enemies, particularly against bosses. However, as its damage can only be spread out amongst a certain number of enemies, its damage is underwhelming and becomes quickly outclassed.
The upgrades to the weapon address a few of the issues with it. The player should prioritize upgrading its damage and speed, though improving its ammo does not address its shortcoming of having a low damage output per second. The Dual Target Detectors mod in Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty, and the equivalent Overlooked Sensors upgrade in Ratchet & Clank, are much-needed upgrade that allows it to stay relevant later, but if it accidentally locks onto weaker enemies twice, it can waste ammo. The Raptor Launcher upgrade releases napalm from missiles when launched, transitioning it more to a weapon that should be used to spread damage across a wider area. While the upgrades improve the weapon and address some of its shortcomings, it still becomes outclassed heavily later on.
In Before the Nexus, the Predator Launcher can be useful as it is precise. It requires upgrading at least once to defeat the boss.