The massive arsenal you will unlock during your space-and-dimension-hopping adventure in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is what makes each installment of the series so enjoyable. There are always a few returning guns to play with, but each new game introduces creative and wacky new tools of destruction to learn, level up, and upgrade. As long as you’re smart with your bolts and do a little extra work for one secret gun, you will end up with a total of 20 weapons by the time you max out Ratchet and Rivet’s total weapon wheels.
Because there are so many guns, and each one with plenty of upgrades to unlock, you’ll want to spend your Raritanium wisely. There isn’t enough of the upgrade material in a single run through the game to upgrade all your guns, and until you start investing in one, you won’t be able to tell which will have upgrades you’ll actually find worth the cost. Rather than waste your precious res on lackluster upgrades, check out this list of the best weapon upgrades you can get in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart.
How upgrades work
We already touched on the fact that you need to spend Raritanium on your guns to actually upgrade them, but the system is slightly more complex than just dumping res straight into your guns. Each gun has a grid of upgrade nodes, almost like a skill tree, where you can only unlock buffs depending on whether or not you’ve unlocked the ones nearby. Not only that, but the best upgrades, which are represented with gold nodes, aren’t even visible until you’ve filled in enough of the surrounding nodes.
What this all means is that you will want to decide which upgrades you want to prioritize and then plan out your upgrade path to reach these upgrades in the most efficient way possible. There’s no way to waste Raritanium — every node will still benefit you — but again, since you can’t upgrade everything in just one playthrough, it is highly recommended that you get to these upgrades first.
The first gun you get in the game shouldn’t be overlooked or forgotten once you start picking up some of the new toys. This pistol is a simple but reliable gun to keep at the ready for most normal encounters. It has the normal single-shot mode when you pull the trigger partway but also a rapid-fire mode with a full pull. Once at max level, it also gets a more controlled burst fire. This gun has three gold nodes you can unlock, and each of them is worth getting to make this gun remain viable as long as possible.
The gold node on the left side of the tree is the least valuable, by our estimation anyway, and a simple increase to projectile speeds. The middle gold node makes any headshots you get deal extra damage, and the right one makes the amount of ammo you pick up for the Blast Pistol from crates increase by 50 shots. These two work great for making each shot worth more and keeps your gun loaded longer.
A handy grenade type, the Shatterbomb is pretty powerful for an early weapon, though limited in terms of ammo. You also need to be able to predict enemy movements decently well to make sure they get caught in the blast, which does become easier once you invest in increasing the blast radius. The max level version, the Shatterblast, adds the bonus of giving a 10% chance of any enemy hit with an explosion to explode themselves. It’s a small chance, so don’t rely on it.
The golden node closest to the bottom is another ammo increase, this time giving you two more bombs per crate. The upper two are where you’ll want to go first, with the top-right making the shards of the bomb explode as well, acting like a kind of cluster bomb. The top-left is also worth getting, making any enemy in the bomb’s area of effect take full damage.
There’s no magic in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, but the Lightning Rod is essentially your chain lightning spell from your favorite RPG. This gun blasts enemies with, you guessed it, lightning that can chain between them to deal damage and stun them. The damage is low, but with a continual rate of fire and tons of ammo, it’s perfect for wiping up mobs of enemies. When this gun is fully leveled up, it turns into the Lightning Strike, which can charge up and AOE blast by holding down the trigger halfway. If you charge it up all the way, it will instantly stun any enemy in the blast.
For the first time, all three gold upgrades are worth seeking out. The bottom node increases the total number of enemies that lightning will chain to and stun. The one to the left will increase the gun’s range, and the one on the right increases the lightning’s auto-aim so it will hit enemies more easily.
If you can get a handle on this Ricochet gun, not only will you feel like a master of timing, but you’ll absolutely crush whatever is unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the bouncing pinball. After firing the initial shot and assuming you hit your target, hitting the trigger multiple times within a specific timing window will cause the ball to continue to slam into the target for more and more damage. Not only that, but once that first target is dealt with, if you keep the timing going, the pinball will automatically move on and start harassing a new target. Level this baby up to the Wreckochet, and instead of just dealing a static damage number with each hit, the amount of damage scales upward with each subsequent strike.
Like with any other gun, there are three gold upgrades here, but really only two. The top-right and bottom-left ones both do the same thing, but thankfully, they stack, so it is worth unlocking them both. These will both increase the number of times the pinball can bounce off an enemy. The middle node is nice but not as useful and just makes each hit cause the enemy to drop more bolts.
Taking the place of the Groovitron from the reboot, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart introduces the even more outrageous Topiary Sprinkler weapon. Instead of forcing enemies to dance, though, this sprinkler turret transforms any enemy it sprays into a topiary hedge version of itself, not only locking them in place but also making them more vulnerable to additional damage. This is a massive boon when you’re feeling overwhelmed with enemies and just need to get some of the heat off for a few moments. When you max out the gun’s level, it turns into the Topiary Sprinkler, which adds a damage over time effect to enemies in hedge form.
There’s really only one upgrade for this gun worth going for, but the second isn’t too bad either. First and foremost, go for the upper-left gold node to allow you to throw out two sprinklers at a time instead of just one. If you have Raritanium to spare, the top-right node increases the total ammo you can hold by two, and the bottom-right makes enemies you defeat while hedged have a chance to drop health nanotech.
Nothing beats a good, reliable rocket launcher. The Warmonger is back and just as deadly as ever. This gun is another of the less weird ones — just point at the thing you want to explode and pull the trigger — but that doesn’t mean it is any less valuable. The damage is very high right off the bat, and it can hit multiple enemies with the splash damage. It is great for almost any fight in the game but does suffer from slightly slow rocket speeds, so long-range targets will be very hard to hit. The Warmonger transforms into the Peacemaker upon hitting max level and fires off even more smaller rockets that hit additional enemies.
The first upgrade you need to get with this rocket launcher is the gold node on the bottom of the grid, which allows rockets to lock on and track targets. Secondarily, the other two nodes increase the number of micro rockets by one and bump your max ammo capacity by two. These are fine if you know you want to max this gun out, but homing rockets are by far the most important.
We’ll refrain from making the obvious musical reference when talking about the Blackhole Storm and just say it’s just as deadly as the cosmic body it is named for. In simple terms, it is a machine gun that you need to rev up before unleashing an absolute torrent of bullets. You can spin it up in advance by holding the left trigger all the way before firing. Otherwise, there will be a delay between hitting the right trigger and the bullets flying. Along with the Warmonger and the rest of the guns on this list, the Blackhole Storm is just one of the best guns you can get. Just make sure you don’t fire too long and overheat. Turn this baby into the Blackhole Vortex to make any enemy you kill with it explode.
All three of the gold nodes for this gun are worth getting, so it will all come down to what you prefer to get first. The middle node makes the gun spin up faster, allowing you to start blasting quicker. The node on the right side makes all shots deal an extra 25% more damage when the heat gauge is at or above 50%, and the left node makes killing an enemy drop the heat meter without having to stop shooting.
The Negatron Collider is almost strong enough to be considered a super weapon. One of the highest-damage-dealing guns in the game, this beautiful orange tool of destruction unleashes a massive laser after a short charge-up time. That makes it more valuable against bosses, where you can just melt through chunks of their health, so long as you have the ammo for it. Like the Blackhole Storm, you can charge up your next shot in advance by half by pulling the trigger and letting it rip when the moment is just right. The Large Negatron Collider, which is the very creative name it gets after leveling up, makes the beam pierce enemies and explode for even more damage potential.
Because the Negatron Collider is so strong already, the gold nodes you can unlock are a bit more skill- and situational-based. The upper-right node makes the beam deal more damage when you hit multiple enemies with it, and the left one makes the beam destroy enemy projectiles to give you some extra defense. The bottom-right node gives you two more ammo for it from crates, which is actually fairly useful for a change since the gun has such a limited pool.
Finally, we come to the true super weapon in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, the RYNO 8. As a super weapon in a game all about rifts and dimensions, it only makes sense that this gun would utilize that mechanic. How it works is a laser is shot that opens a dimensional rift above an enemy, and from it, a random object will fall through and unleash a massive shockwave. Somewhat like the rocket launcher, that means you don’t need to be all that accurate with the RYNO since the area of effect is so big. Plus, once you turn it into the RYNO Infinity, even more portals are torn open for a cascade of objects and blasts.
The bottom gold node for the RYNO is our personal favorite, although it is purely for cosmetic and entertainment purposes. Considering this gun is already so strong, you may as well have some fun with it, right? This node adds new objects that can fall through the rifts to include things from other Sony titles, including Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Horizon, Uncharted, and more. Besides that, hit up the top-left node to increase the max ammo the gun can hold by two, and if you really want to, grab the top-right one to make enemies killed with this gun have a chance of dropping health. You probably won’t need it, though.