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A weapon upgrade is a permanent change to a weapon that automatically occurs upon gaining enough experience by collecting nanomites from defeated enemies in the Ratchet & Clank series. Collecting enough experience will cause a weapon to 'level up', often gaining more power, a higher fire rate or a higher maximum ammunition count. Eventually with enough levels a weapon will upgrade into an improved version, changing the design and significantly improving the way it acts in combat.


Ratchet & Clank (2002)

Trophy: Ratchet, King Midas
Purchase all gold weapons Gold

The original Ratchet & Clank features only a simplified version of weapon upgrading. It is not possible to earn experience and instead Ratchet can only upgrade his weapons in the gold weapons room. Gold weapons act as a predecessor to the weapon upgrades seen in later games, as they do not truly change the weapon's appearance besides changing their color to gold, though they do affect its functionality. All weapons had a gold version available, with the exception of the Taunter, Walloper, Visibomb Gun, Drone Device, and R.Y.N.O..

Each gold upgrade requires four gold bolts, totaling 40 gold bolts for all upgrades, as well as a varying amount of normal bolts, ranging from ten to sixty thousand.

Typically the gold weapons room is found for the first time you visit Tobruk Crater, Novalis in challenge mode, as a new teleporter can take you there from your ship's landing pad. There is, however, a hidden version available of the room on the Gemlik Base in the first playthrough that sells only five out of the ten available weapons (in particular: Suck Cannon, Bomb Glove, Glove of Doom, Mine Glove, and Decoy Glove). Said hidden room is located inside the tall tower at the end of the area, next to the landing strip Qwark uses to take off for his bossfight. Simply wall-jump to the top of the tower to reach the room. In challenge mode, both rooms sell upgrades to all ten weapons, and if a glitch or hack is used to reach the Novalis gold weapon room when not in challenge mode, it is revealed that it only sells upgrades for five out of the ten weapons.

Purchasing all gold upgrades unlocks the 'Making Of' and Commercials videos in the goodies menu. In the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Ratchet & Clank, this will also unlock the gold trophy Ratchet, King Midas.

Going Commando

Trophy: Destruction Time
Obtain and fully upgrade all weapons. Gold

Going Commando is the first game in which weapons could level up and automatically upgrade into an improved version. Defeated enemies automatically release nanomites, which the weapon that lands the killing blow will absorb.[1][2] Enemies encountered late in the game drop more nanomites than those fought early on, whereas bosses will release the most instead compared to normal enemies. As such, weapons available later in the game will require more nanomites to upgrade as well. Once upgraded a weapon will physically change, gain improved stats and functionality. Each weapon could only level up once, except Gadgetron Corporation weapons, which could not absorb nanomites at all.

In challenge mode it is possible to purchase Mega upgrades for each fully upgraded Megacorp weapon from Megacorp vendors. Despite not being able to absorb nanomites to upgrade, there are also Mega upgrades for the Gadgetron weapons, except the RYNO II, that can be purchased from the vendors. Mega weapons are required to make outdated early-game weapons from normal mode once again available for competitive use in combat. Each mega weapon, except the Mega Gadgetron weapons, can then be upgraded once more through the action of absorbing nanomites, turning it into an Ultra weapon.

Unlike in the original Ratchet & Clank game, platinum bolts (the gold bolt equivalent) are not used to purchase Mega weapons. However, due to the increased amount of bolts obtained during gameplay, the prices of Mega upgrades are far more expensive than upgrades in the previous game, ranging from one thousand bolts for the Mega Bomb Glove, to 1,500,000 bolts for the Mega Mini-Nuke weapon upgrade, the same price as the Zodiac.

Obtaining and fully upgrading all weapons in the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Going Commando will unlock the gold trophy Destruction Time.

Up Your Arsenal

Trophy: Omega Man
Obtain all Omega weapons and the RYNOCIRATOR. Gold

Up Your Arsenal furthers expands on the weapon upgrade system seen in Going Commando. Each weapon now starts at V1 and can be upgraded four times, from V1 through V2, V3, V4, and finally V5. Each weapon increases in damage with each upgrade, and depending on the weapon and level, can also gain larger ammo capacity and added functionality. Some of the added functionality at different levels resemble weapon modifications from Going Commando like the shock mod or acid mod. Weapons sometimes change visually at different levels, though a major visual change occurs at the V5 upgrade. The V5 upgrade, as with Going Commando, will grant the weapon improved functionality, damage, and also change its name.

In challenge mode, a Mega upgrade can be purchased if the weapon's V5 upgrade has been attained, which upgrades the weapon to V6. From there it can further upgrade two more times to a Giga (V7) variation and the final Omega (V8) version. As before, each upgrade further increases the damage and ammo capacity though no longer imparts functionality changes.

Obtaining and fully upgrading all weapons will unlock the Omega Arsenal trophy for the Starship Phoenix trophy room, whereas in the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Up Your Arsenal it also will unlock the gold trophy Omega Man.


In Deadlocked weapons start at V1 and can be upgraded all the way to V10 in a regular playthrough. Each upgrade increase the damage, though nothing else will change until the last one, which changes a weapon's name, design and improves its functionality. New to Deadlocked are alpha mods, stat-enhancing modifiers that can be equipped on alpha mod slots in each weapon. Weapons start out with one slot, and unlock more slots with each upgrade, each slot also comes pre-installed with a free alpha mod which can then be interchanged with other weapon's alpha mods.

In challenge mode a weapon's Mega (V11) version can be purchased (given the V10 version is available) and then upgraded all the way to V99, increasing damage gradually to nearly double its original V10 power but without imparting new slots for alpha mods. Weapons at V99 will also shoot their ammunition in rainbow colors.

This is the first game in the series to have the weapon upgrade cutscene to not play immediately as a weapon upgrades, and instead it appears slightly after the weapon upgrades.

Going Mobile

In Going Mobile each weapon starts at V1 and can be upgraded to V2 and lastly V3. Weapons started at V1 and could be upgraded twice to V3 through the use of nanomites. Each version increased the weapons ammo capacity and damage. They did not get any new functionalities and they did not change their names when they reached V3.

Size Matters

In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters weapons could only be upgraded from v1 to v4 whereupon they upgraded to their more powerful version. In challenge mode, the Titan version could be bought, which reset the upgrade count to V1, allowing the weapon to be upgraded to V4 once more, though no new upgrade or notable change is acquired upon doing so.

Secret Agent Clank

Secret Agent Clank features an identical system to Size Matters. For Clank, Proto weapons could be bought, while for Ratchet, Titan weapons (returning from Size Matters) could be bought.

Tools of Destruction

Tools of Destruction retains a simple upgrade system, reminiscent of Up Your Arsenal, though unlike in Up Your Arsenal, weapons do not gain new functionality until V5, nor do they obtain any increases in ammo capacity because of any upgrades. Such improvements were reserved for Raritanium upgrades which were first introduced in this game. Weapons can be upgraded from V1 to V5, at which point they change into a more powerful version. Challenge mode allows the purchase of Omega (V6) versions of fully upgraded weapons, which then upgrade to V7, V8, V9 and finally VX (V10).

Due to the drastically increased amount of bolts obtained while in challenge mode, Omega weapon upgrades all cost tens of millions of bolts, the most of any such upgrades in the series.

Quest for Booty

Quest for Booty copies part of the Tools of Destruction system. Weapons all start at V3 and end at V5 at which point they upgrade as in Tools of Destruction. There is no Omega version, as there is no challenge mode. The Alpha Disruptor is the only weapon that already comes fully upgraded upon being acquired.

A Crack in Time

A Crack in Time features a nearly identical system to Tools of Destruction. Weapons can now again increase in ammo capacity as well as related abilities such as range and area of effect. Only the constructo weapons and the RYNO V do not change appearance or gain any notable new functionalities upon reaching V5.

All 4 One

Weapons don't upgrade from usage. Instead, upgrades for weapons could be purchased. There are three types of upgrades. Ammo, Power, and Elite. After purchasing a weapon, only the Ammo and Power upgrades could be purchased for it. After both upgrades are purchased, the Elite upgrade becomes available.

Full Frontal Assault

The Combuster upgrading from V2 to V3 in Full Frontal Assault

Weapons started at V1 and could be upgraded four times to V5 through the use of nanomites. Each time a weapon upgraded, its damage increased along with one other statistic, including, but not limited to rate of fire, range, or ammo capacity. At V3, the weapon would have a change in name and appearance.

Before the Nexus

Weapons are upgraded to later versions by purchasing upgrades with bolts.

Into the Nexus

Weapons started at V1 and could be upgraded two more times to V3 through the use of nanomites. Each time a weapon upgrades, its damage increases along with unlocking additional Raritanium upgrades for the weapon. At V3, the weapon would have a change in name and appearance and have additional functionality. In Challenge Mode, Omega versions of weapons (V4) could be purchased if the weapon was upgraded to V3. Omega weapons could be upgraded two more times to V6.

For the first time since the original Ratchet & Clank game, Omega upgrades require Gold bolts as well as regular bolts to be upgraded.

Ratchet & Clank (2016)

Weapons upgrade in nearly identical fashion to Into the Nexus. Weapons can be upgraded from V1 to V5, at which point they change into a more powerful version with additional functionality. Each time a weapon upgrades, its damage increases along with unlocking additional Raritanium upgrades for the weapon. Challenge mode allows the purchase of Omega (V6) versions of fully upgraded weapons, which then upgrade to V7, V8, V9 and finally V10.

Behind the scenes

Prior to conceptualizing Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac had an idea for a game titled Monster Knight, featuring a knight named Madi who would catch, grow and wield intelligent monsters with unique personalities as weapons, armor, gear and vehicles. These monsters would grow throughout the game, and formed the basis of the role playing game-like progression system in weapons in Ratchet & Clank.[3]

In Going Commando, experience was awarded to whichever weapon landed the killing blow, meaning that killing an enemy with a non-upgraded weapon would effectively waste experience. This was changed in Up Your Arsenal and onwards due to feedback.[2]


  1. Going Commando script § "Excitement"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Developer Commentary: RC2 - Ep 17 (@7:39) published by uselesspodcasts on July 24, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  3. {{{author}}} ({{{year}}}). The Art of Ratchet & Clank. {{{publisher}}}.
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