The Grenade Launcher is a weapon that appears in BioShock and BioShock 2 Multiplayer. In the BioShock 2 single-player campaign, the Launcher serves a similar function.


Main article: BioShock

The Grenade Launcher is the fourth ranged weapon obtained in BioShock and is found in Neptune's Bounty. It is an improvised weapon cobbled together from a pipe, a converted handle, a trigger to fit it, and various other industrial parts and household objects, including even a box of "Home-Grown Asparagus" serving as the magazine. The grenades fired by the launcher are as crude as the weapon itself, consisting of tin cans filled with explosives.

The Grenade Launcher fires grenades that deal very high impact damage and have a wide blast radius as well. The grenades fire in a steep parabolic arc and have a noticeable travel time, forcing the player to aim up when firing at longer ranges and to lead their shots against moving targets. Its main weaknesses are a low ammo capacity, a slow rate of fire, and the danger/potential for collateral damage. The damage can be increased, and immunity to collateral damage can be gained with upgrades at a Power to the People station, further increasing the usefulness of the Grenade Launcher. There is no target hit location damage bonus when using this weapon; the same amount of damage is done.

Power to the People UpgradesEdit

  • Immunity to Splash Damage
  • 25% Damage Increase

Ammunition Types - Grenade LauncherEdit

  • Frag Grenades - standard ammunition for the Grenade Launcher, deals extremely high impact damage, damage pierces targets and the grenade has a wide blast radius
  • Proximity Mines - rare ammunition for the Grenade Launcher, can be attached to surfaces and will explode if an enemy gets within range. Inflicts a very high amount of (piercing) damage within a radius.
  • Heat-Seeking RPG's - inventable ammunition for the Grenade Launcher, inflicts a very high amount of (fire) damage within a radius and ignites the blast area. The Rocket Propelled Grenade homes in on the enemy closest to their trajectory.


  • Switching to another weapon or Plasmid while chambering another grenade will skip the animation, speeding up the process.
  • The upgrades for this weapon can be purchased in any order: If the player wishes to use the Grenade Launcher in close quarters, it is recommended they first immunize themselves against their own splash damage. If this is their main anti-Big Daddy weapon or if the player has advanced substantially through the game, it is recommended they first upgrade their damage output.
  • This weapon is very effective against groups, and also if the player isn't very accurate. Explosives deal extreme amounts of damage over a large area, and most enemies fall to a single unit of ammunition from the Grenade Launcher.
  • Frag Grenades explode on impact if they hit an enemy before they hit floors or walls. If they hit a non-enemy object, however, they bounce and explode about two seconds later. 
  • Frag Grenades can also be fired around corners. This is useful is the player is trying to make an escape or if they are shooting from cover.
  • The Proximity Mine is one of the game's most versatile weapons. It has many possible uses, all of which are detailed here:
    • It can be used as a defensive trap. If the player is trying to kill a Bouncer and wishes to conserve ammo, stacking several barrels together and placing a single Proximity Mine will either seriously injure or even kill the Big Daddy, depending of how many barrels were stacked. Placing a Proximity Mine on the ceiling above a Cyclone Trap can cause heavy damage to opponents. The player can also place Proximity Mines in hotspots. Notable hotspots include Health Stations and water, if the player has ignited any Splicers. Note that laying a Proximity Mine near a Health Station will destroy the station upon detonation, so use sparingly. If the player has hacked the Health Station, do not lay Mines near it, as the station will poison any injured Splicer who goes to heal there, usually killing them in seconds.
    • It can be used offensively, like a Frag Grenade. Attaching several Proximity Mines onto a single object (preferably an explosive), results in a very high damage projectile which the player then can pick up and throw at an enemy with Telekinesis, seriously harming or even killing them, including Big Daddies.
    • It can be attached onto friendly Security Bots, turning them into kamikaze bombers. Security Bots have a tendency to approach the enemy at point-blank range, causing the mines the explode in the process, so while this will cost the player a Bot, it will grant them the ability to easily dispatch one or several tough enemies while keeping one's distance from the fray.
    • It can be attached to enemies that are frozen into blocks of ice, and will explode within a few seconds, dealing massive damage. This is extremely helpful for tough enemies like Big Daddies. This makes the upgraded Winter Blast and Proximity Mine combo one of the most effective means of dealing with tough enemies.
    • If a Proximity Mine is attached to a door it will explode if the door is opened, even if the player opened it. This can be extremely dangerous if one has not yet obtained the Grenade Launcher Damage Immunity upgrade from a Power to the People station.
  • Heat-Seeking RPGs are a useful tool for sniping, and causing mayhem among groups. They home in on targets, so the player doesn't require any aim to hit a faraway enemy. These explosives also ignite everything around them, in addition to the usual blast. When dealing with weaker Splicers, a single RPG is all it takes to dispose of an entire group of them, even if the initial explosion didn't kill them. RPG's also deal more damage than Frag Grenades, so if the player is sure of their resources they may use the former as a replacement for the latter.
  • This weapon isn't particularly useful for ambushing, firstly because the player risks getting injured in close quarters unless they upgrade; and secondly due to the huge amount of chaos caused by the Grenade Launcher. It's not recommended against machinery either, since lesser weapons are already capable of destroying Security Devices in one shot.

Recommended PlasmidsEdit

  • Winter Blast can help the player quickly and painlessly dispose of a Big Daddy when using this weapon. Usually, one freeze and around two to three explosives is enough to kill one of them, although the player would be missing out on the high amount of cash carried by Big Daddies. Avoid freezing if low on Dollars. This strategy also applies to tough Splicers.
  • Telekinesis and Sonic Boom can be used to "boost" Frag Grenades: By firing the grenade, quickly switching to one of the two aforementioned Plasmids and using it on the projectile will send it much farther than it would normally go. This strategy is only useful if the player does not possess any Heat-Seeking RPG's, since those can already travel long distances.
    • Telekinesis can also be used in conjunction with Proximity Mines by attaching multiple mines to an object and then using telekinesis to throw it at an enemy, exploding on impact with highly destructive results.
  • Placing a Cyclone Trap under a Proximity Mine will cause the damage dealt by both traps to stack, allowing it to kill any Splicer on any difficulty.

Recommended TonicsEdit

  • Damage Research will significantly increase damage against enemies researched using the Research Camera. This is particularly useful against Splicers in the later levels of the game.
  • The Human Inferno line of Tonics will increase the amount of damage dealt to enemies ignited by a Heat-Seeking RPG.
  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics will reduce the amount of damage received by the player if they detonate an explosive too close to them. However, once the player upgrades against this, this Gene Tonic type is made redundant for this particular use.

Help CaptionEdit

Press _ to fire.

Launches a variety of grenades.

Base ammo: Fragmentation
Grenade -- Large amount of
piercing damage in a radius.

Advanced ammo: Proximity Mine --
A proximity mine that does a large
amount of piercing damage in a
radius when triggered.

Inventable ammo: Heat-seeking
Rocket-propelled Grenade -- A
guided rocket that does a large
amount of heat damage in a radius.


BioShock 2Edit

Main article: Launcher

The Launcher, similar in function to the Grenade Launcher, is available to players in BioShock 2's single player campaign. Unlike the one from the first game, it seems to be commercially produced rather than cobbled together from spare parts. It uses the same ammo as the Grenade Launcher from the first game. However, the Frag Grenades are now actual manufactured ordinance instead of the explosive-filled soup- and tin cans with fuses seen in the previous game.

BioShock 2 MultiplayerEdit

Icon gl
Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer

The Grenade Launcher returns as a usable weapon in the multiplayer, and is unlocked at Rank 6. Unlike in the orginal BioShock, headshots with the Grenade Launcher will deal 150% normal damage.

Multiplayer UpgradesEdit

  • Faster Firing: Unlocked at Rank 6 with Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack. Upgrades the weapon's clip size to 4 shots and increases its fire rate, but decreases the damage output.
  • Heat-Seeking RPGs: Unlocked at Rank 17. Converts the Grenade Launcher's Frag Grenades into Heat-Seeking RPG's, which zero in on the target closest to the reticule, at the cost of the projectiles' explosion radius.
  • Velocity Boost: Unlocked at Rank 33. Greatly increases the speed of the Grenade Launcher's Frag Grenades.


  • The Grenade Launcher is the best weapon against groups, as it is capable of killing a squad of tight-knit players in three shots.
  • When facing a single target, aim for the feet. Even if the shot doesn't achieve a direct hit, the splash damage will severely weaken them.
  • Headshots are difficult to achieve with this weapon, but if one can master the Grenade Launcher's arc a single headshot will almost completely drain the victim's health.
  • Avoid using the Grenade Launcher at close ranges, as the player is likely to kill themselves with their own splash damage.
  • This weapon is capable of dealing great bursts of damage against Big Daddies, but isn't very useful against them in the long run as the entirety of the weapon's magazine isn't enough to kill a single Rosie.
  • Avoid firing the Grenade Launcher at random, since the weapon holds little ammunition and has the slowest fire rate of all the player's arsenal.
  • Take cover between shots to avoid receiving too much damage.
  • The Grenade Launcher's Heat-Seeking RPG upgrade is recommended only for those with low aiming capabilities. For anyone else, the small blast radius and unpredictable rocket path will severely decrease this weapon's destructive capabilities. One good thing that may come from this upgrade, though, would be that it allows the user to "fire and forget" the Grenade Launcher in the hope of getting kills.
  • The Grenade Launcher's Velocity Boost will allow the player to use this weapon reliably at long ranges. In addition, its decreased arc makes headshots with this weapon slightly easier.
  • The Grenade Launcher's Faster Firing upgrade makes it more potent in single combat, as it decreases the penalty for missing. On the other hand, a Grenade Launcher without this upgrade is capable of killing enemies just as fast, and in less shots.
  • If the "boxspam" glitch is exploited, in which a player cuts down time between shots considerably by reloading immediately after firing, switching their plasmid and firing again, the player can unload all three grenades in one second, killing multiple people with ease.
  • The area effect of the weapon's damage can help compensate for lag/latency aiming problems some players have while playing, as well as add damage from a distance - acting as a support weapon to help kill off opponents first in the typical 50-50 odds of many player-on-player engagements. The weapon's ability to fire in an arc also allows it to fire over obstacles.

Complementary WeaponsEdit

  • The Shotgun will cover the Grenade Launcher's weakness in close combat.
  • The Tommy Gun's ability to lay down a continuous stream of damage, coupled with its large clip size, make it an ideal backup weapon for the Grenade Launcher.
  • The Nail Gun's high ammo count recommends it as a side weapon with the Grenade Launcher. In addition, both weapons are strong against groups and versus Big Daddies.

Recommended PlasmidsEdit

  • Electro Bolt will temporarily lock the enemy in place, making direct hits (and headshots) much easier.
  • A charged blast of Incinerate!, coupled with a single Frag Grenade, will kill any enemy by itself.
  • Geyser Trap can be used to give the player a height advantage, thus increasing the Grenade Launcher's splash damage radius.
  • Insect Swarm will momentarily confuse enemies, preventing them from retaliating as well as making it easier for the player to shoot them.

Recommended TonicsEdit

  • Big Game Hunter will increase the player's potency versus Big Daddies, allowing the player to take away almost a quarter of a Big Daddy's health in one clip.
  • Headhunter will allow the player to kill any enemy in a single headshot with this weapon.
  • Leg Up can be used as an EVE-free replacement for Geyser Trap.
  • Resurrection may come in handy if the player has a tendency to blow themselves up with this weapon.
  • Speedy Recovery will allow the user to quickly heal any self-damage as well as survive better in protracted fights.