Toxic crabs are enemies in Ratchet & Clank the 2016 re-imagined game, and Rift Apart. They are mutated crabs with giant claws and strong shells, often found amongst darters and woken by screamers. After taking a hit, they will immediately retaliate by striking with their claws.
Ratchet & Clank (2002)
In the original release, toxic crabs were encountered in the Kogor Refinery on Orxon. They were initially encountered by Clank during "Search the laboratories" and "Traverse the wilderness", in which he would find stationary crabs that he had to send Gadge-Bots after to attack. They were later encountered by Ratchet during "Explore as Ratchet" and "Catch the Infobot", in which Ratchet had to get past them either by defeating them or defeating the screamers to prevent them from waking the crabs up.
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
In the re-imagining, toxic crabs were encountered in different locations. First, they were encountered in the Blarg Research Outpost on Gaspar, during the mission "Trade 10 brains for a jetpack" and throughout the rest of the Telepathopus Fields while gathering telepathopus brains from many of the other islands in the lava. Later, they were encountered in the Jowai Resort on Pokitaru, dwelling on top of the Torgoff Waterfall during "Find a way to the top of the waterfall".
In Rift Apart, they appear in a variety of environments on various planets, from the lava caves of Blizar Prime to the cold, ocean floor depths of Cordelion. They can also be found living in the arid conditions of Torren IV, inside scrap piles and canyon caves. On Ardolis, the crabs can be encountered inside damp caves and on the beaches. They are proven to be incredibly resilient and able to survive in very inhospitable conditions. Some are also seen inside cages at Zordoom Prison.
Toxic crabs are large, dark red crabs, with very strong shells, small legs, and two giant claws from long arms. They have blue eyes with sharp teeth in their relatively small mouths. They are often found in packs. Their shell makes them very durable, and after taking damage, they will immediately retaliate by thrusting their arm forward to hit Ratchet. Their four legs allow them to walk as fast as Ratchet and also walk sideways somewhat, making them difficult to evade.
In the original release, toxic crabs normally sleep until they are woken by a screamer or by Ratchet, and they are not woken by darters. They will follow and attack Ratchet as long as he is within their reach and line of sight, though after he is out of their reach, they will return to their sleep.
In the original release, when fought as Clank, toxic crabs remain in a single position. Rather than attack these creatures himself, Clank should command Gadge-Bots to kill them.
When fought as Ratchet, toxic crabs are a huge threat due to their durability and speed, which allow them to catch up to Ratchet, and their immediate melee range counter-attacks. Their claw, while countering, can also block small projectile weapons. Attacking them at close or medium range is not recommended, as not only will their counter-attacks and speed allow them to reach Ratchet quickly, but their numbers can overwhelm him. Therefore, the most viable tactic against them is either to kill nearby screamers and bypass them without ever waking them up in the first place, or to use the Devastator from a distance, as they cannot block it, and being safe from harm is crucial. When it is impossible to shoot from a distance, it can be viable to use the Bomb Glove, or the Decoy Glove as a distraction. The Taunter can also be extremely useful when luring them into forcefields or mines from the Mine Glove.
In the re-imagined release, toxic crabs are still durable enemies but are less of a threat, due to the greater abundance of ranged weapons. The Pixelizer or Proton Drum can knock them back while dealing decent damage, and either the Fusion Grenade, Plasma Striker, or later the Warmonger, can be effective against them from a relative range. When fought on Gaspar, using the Jetpack is often the easiest way to evade them when they begin to overwhelm Ratchet, though the Groovitron can also provide much-needed breathing room.
- Ratchet & Clank (2002 game), Ratchet & Clank Prima's Official Strategy Guide, p. 78