BioShock 2 Weapon Icon Launcher

The Launcher is the eighth weapon in BioShock 2. It is the last weapon acquired by Subject Delta, given to him as a present from Eleanor Lamb in Dionysus Park. Unlike the Grenade Launcher from the first game, the Launcher appears to be professionally manufactured rather than built from found parts and scrap metal.

Power to the People Upgrades Edit

Basic Upgrades Edit

  • Extended Clip Size

A larger ammo box means more bang for your buck. Also allows you to carry more of each ammo type.

This upgrade increases the number of grenades loaded into the Launcher, and also extends the amount of unloaded ammunition the player can carry.
  • Splash Damage Immunity

A shaped deflector prevents splash damage from your own explosives.

Renders the players immune to splash damage as a result of close proximity to their own explosives.

Final Upgrade Edit

  • Cluster Bomb Upgrade

Additional munitions are screwed into each shot, triggering secondary explosions in a wide radius. Perfect for clearing a room!

Turns all types of explosives fired into cluster bombs. Multiple explosives (of the same type) are released upon detonation of the one originally fired. This upgrade will also increase damage of this weapon.

Ammo Types - Launcher Edit

  • Frag Grenade - Base ammunition for the Launcher, Frag Grenades do a high amount of piercing damage in a large radius.
  • Proximity Mine - Uncommon ammunition for the Launcher, Proximity Mines do a high amount of piercing damage in a large radius. Can be deployed on objects where it will stick, and will explode once an enemy enters its blast radius.
  • Heat-Seeking Rocket - Rare ammunition for the Launcher, Heat-Seeking Rockets do a high amount of fire damage in a large radius. Will home in on the target closest to the reticule, even around corners.

Launcher Ammo CapacityEdit

Ammo Type Magazine Capacity  Carry Capacity   
Frag Grenade 3/5 12/15/18
Proximity Mine 3/5 6/10/13
Heat-Seeking Rockets 3/5 6/10/13

Strategy Edit

  • The Launcher is very effective against groups, and is a great weapon for inaccurate players. 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 can also be fired around corners. This is useful if 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 different possible uses, all of which will be detailed here:
    • It can be used as a defensive trap (obviously). 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.
    • It can be used offensively, like a Frag Grenade. However, it has more uses than that. By attaching several Proximity Mines onto a single object (preferably an explosive), one will have created a huge bomb. Throwing the bomb with Telekinesis at one of the aforementioned Big Daddies will deplete most, if not all, of their health in a single shot. Even if the Big Daddy is not dead afterward, they will be severely weakened, making it easier for the player to finish them off. This is even effective against Big Sisters.
    • It can be attached onto friendly Security Bots, turning them into kamikazes. Security Bots have a tendency to approach the enemy at point-blank range, so while it 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.
    • 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 it 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, which usually kills them in seconds.
  • Heat-seeking RPGs are useful tools 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. This means that when dealing with tough Splicers a single rocket is all it takes to dispose of an entire group of them, even if the initial explosion didn't kill them.
  • This weapon isn't particularly useful for ambushing, first of all because the player risks getting injured in close quarters, lest 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.
  • Heat-seeking RPGs with the Cluster Bomb upgrade are much better at clearing rooms than Frag Grenades, as whatever doesn't die form the initial blast will most likely do so after getting hit by one of the rockets that burst out of the Cluster Bomb.

Why Specialize? Edit

Unlike the original game, it is impossible to fully upgrade every weapon through the course of the campaign. Each upgrade choice will affect the player's experience, and may or may not be suited to their combat style. The following is a brief guide to the strategic advantages and disadvantages associated with this weapon:

Advantages Edit

  • The Launcher is a great anti-group weapon, capable of felling multiple enemies in a couple of shots.
  • In addition, each shot deals a high amount of damage on its own, making it a powerful anti-boss weapon.
  • The Cluster Bomb upgrade allows the user to clear an entire room using only a couple of shots.
  • The Launcher is fairly easy to use, especially when upgraded. Even if the player doesn't land a direct hit, the enemy will get caught by the splash damage.
  • Both basic upgrades can potentially save the player's life: the Splash Damage Immunity upgrade will prevent the player from accidentally hurting themselves, while the Extended Clip Size upgrade will somewhat reduce the risk for the player to run out of munitions.
  • The Launcher is a versatile weapon, able to work both defensively and offensively, and at all ranges.

Disadvantages Edit

  • Launcher ammunition is by far the most expensive in the game. Using the Launcher as a primary weapon will thus severely drain the player's wallet.
  • Even with the Extended Clip upgrade, continuous use of the Launcher will quickly deplete its ammo reserves.
  • Using the Launcher puts the player at risk of accidentally setting off an environmental hazard or, in the worst possible case, attracting the ire of a Big Daddy.
  • When not faced with a tough enemy or a group of Splicers, almost any weapon will be able to kill the target just as quickly, and at a lesser cost in resources.
  • Save for Heat-Seeking RPGs, it's impossible to boost this weapon's damage output through Gene Tonics or even Plasmids.
  • No tactic exists which can dramatically increase the Launcher's effectiveness in the middle of combat.

Summary Edit

The Launcher is, without a doubt, the most powerful weapon in the game. All of its ammo types deal huge amounts of damage, fit a variety of roles, and are easy to use. It can work at any range, and is the only weapon capable of decimating entire groups of enemies in a couple of shots. However, this power comes at a cost: not only is combat with the Launcher extremely expensive, but in some cases it's simply too powerful: using it against a lone Splicer is a waste of ammo, and a misplaced explosion may end up making life much harder for the player. To top it off, the Launcher's small ammo capacity prevents it from serving as a proper primary weapon. Although it is strongly recommended to upgrade the Launcher, it is equally strongly recommended to avoid relying too much on it.

Recommended Plasmids Edit

  • 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 if they are using Winter Blast 1.
  • Telekinesis can be used to "boost" Frag Grenades: By firing the grenade, quickly switching to the Plasmid 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 rockets, since those can already travel long distances. Telekinesis can also be used to throw an object rigged with multiple Proximity Mines (also called an "Anti-Big Daddy Bomb"), exploding on impact.
  • Placing a Cyclone Trap under a Proximity Mine will allow it to kill any Splicer on any difficulty and on any level.

Recommended Tonics Edit

  • Damage Research increases the effect of research damage bonuses.
  • Walking Inferno increases the damage done by Heat-Seeking Rockets, as well as decreasing fire damage taken.
  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics decreases all physical damage taken, including any splash damage from Launchers. However, this is made redundant by the Damage Immunity upgrade to the Launcher.