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9 essential tips for getting started in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

After a budget-priced reboot of the original game back in 2016 and two of the best Spider-Man games ever made, Insomniac has finally returned to their tried-and-true series Ratchet and Clank. The newest game, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, was the first game Sony showed off from their first party that really showed off what the PlayStation 5 could do that no other console could. Now that the game is finally here, tons of new fans eager to push their expensive consoles to the limit will be jumping in.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart may be the latest game in a series dating back to 2002, but it was designed as a perfect entry point for new fans. Story and lore aside, anyone unfamiliar with what makes these games so unique may not know how to approach it. This is more than just a bright, family-friendly platformer. Even if you’ve played every game in the series, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart has a few new tricks up its sleeve. Here are nine essential tips to help you get started.

Further reading

Use all your guns

ratchet and clank
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart continues the series’ most notable feature in giving you a wide arsenal of unique, often humorous weapons. In a traditional shooter, most players tend to find a weapon or two they like and stick to using them for the entire game. Not only is that not possible in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, but it’s highly discouraged.

Each weapon you get can be leveled up individually by using them in combat. Every time you level them up, they become more useful and expand their skill trees. Each gun has its ideal uses, such as crowd control or sniping, so use them when they make sense. Each weapon maxes out at level 5, where they unlock a unique perk you can add to them, so even a gun you don’t find particularly good right off the bat may end up being amazing once fully leveled.

Finally, ammo isn’t exactly scarce but certainly designed to make you swap to guns you’ve been neglecting. You’re never going to find yourself fully out of ammo for every gun, so take a cue from the game and experiment with everything you’ve got.

Have a plan for leveling your guns

While on the subject of guns, leveling up your guns also opens up the skill trees for you to invest your Raritanium to buff them up. As the ridiculous name spells out, you won’t be finding this upgrade material lying around. There’s a specific amount to get in a single playthrough and not enough in one to fully upgrade your entire arsenal, so this is where picking favorites does come in handy.

Pick out which guns you want to spend your Raritanium on first, and level them up to the max level as soon as you can to unlock access to the Gold Cell in the skill tree. These cells are major improvements to your guns that can change how they function, as opposed to the more traditional buffs the regular nodes give. You’ll still want to invest in some of the smaller nodes as well, but don’t spread your Raritanium too thin between guns or on too many regular nodes, or you might not have enough to max out your favorite gun without starting a second playthrough.

Collect suit pieces

A new feature in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is the collectible suit pieces. Somewhat like an RPG, these pieces of gear can be found by completing certain side quests or rifts and come with tons of handy buffs. They also will change Ratchet’s or Rivet’s appearance when equipped. For some, changing the classic Lombax’s design could be considered heresy, and others may just prefer one type to another or even none. No matter what your fashion sense tells you, collecting a suit piece you would never want to put on is still worth doing.

Unlike RPGs, the armor you get doesn’t have to be worn for you to reap the benefits of it. That means getting a suit piece that provides an extra 5% more bolts when you kill an enemy will be active regardless of whether or not you are actually wearing it. Not only does that mean you never have to pick and choose which buffs you want at any time, but it frees you up to dress up your Ratchet and Rivet without any worry about min-maxing stats.

Quick-swap with the D-pad

Shooters have always featured a wide range of guns to play with to cater to different playstyles and  situations and add variety. However, over the past two decades or so, most games have moved away from allowing you to hold your entire armory in your back pocket and instead limit you to just two weapons at a time. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart does not put such restrictions on you. Every gun you get is always with you and ready to be used, provided it has ammo, of course, via the handy weapon wheel. With so many guns, there had to be a weapon wheel of some sort to let you easily go from one to the other, but there is an even simpler way to get to your favorite gun in a hurry.

With the weapon wheel open, highlight any gun you like, and press any of the four directions on the D-pad to map it to that button. From then on, all you need to do is hit that D-pad direction to quick-swap to that gun without needing to fumble with the weapon wheel. Of course, you can only map four guns this way, one for each direction, but that’s still enough slots to make sure you always have quick access to a gun you like for each situation or encounter.

Don’t stress about death

Ratchet and Clank

This is not a hardcore game that wants to make you suffer for simple mistakes. At the same time, it isn’t a game you can mindlessly breeze through. Combat and platforming can be quite tricky, and one or two mistakes can mean the end for poor old Ratchet, especially when facing tons of enemies or bosses. What happens when you do bite the dust? You will go back to the last checkpoint, naturally, but with no penalty aside from the time it will take you to get back to where you were. No bolts will be taken from you, your health and ammo will all be as it was, and you’re free to continue on like nothing happened.

That being said, checkpoints aren’t always as convenient as you’d hope, so you shouldn’t rely on them too hard. Thankfully, there are great warp points placed around planets you’ve already explored that can get you back to where you were in a flash if need be.

Save bolts for new guns

Considering this is the fourth tip specifically about guns, you probably realize they’re very important by now. Not only is it useful to have as many guns as possible to cover any type of combat scenario, close-range, crowd control, long-range, and such, but they’re also just so fun and creative you’ll want to play with as many as possible. Bolts, the currency used in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, will be constantly sucked up by Ratchet and Rivet as you smash boxes, defeat enemies, and do just about anything in the game, and there’s no better use for them than purchasing a brand new gun.

Ms. Zerkon is your vendor in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and will show up multiple times throughout your adventure. Make sure to browse the shop each time you can because new weapons will be added to the list as the game goes on. You can even get a hint at what’s to come a lot of the time, allowing you to plan out whether you want to buy something right then or save up so you can get the next gun as soon as it’s available. Bolts are not limited like Raritanium, so you don’t have to be too stingy, but you can save some time by not throwing bolts around on things like ammo.

Skip the puzzles (if you want)

If you signed up for a fun, colorful action platforming game with a decent story and a ton of action, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart does deliver on all those points. But, just like with their previous game, Marvel’s Spider-Man, they also felt the need to break up the gameplay loop with some puzzle sections. How much you like puzzles or certain types of puzzles will depend on the player, but if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to waste time on them at all, or you’re running through the game for a second time and would rather just get back to the action, Insomniac made sure you can bypass every puzzle with no penalty.

Whether you’re stumped or just tired of not jumping and shooting, you can skip them all with ease. All you need to do is pause the game and select Skip Puzzle as the second option in the list.

Get the Map-O-Matic

Ratchet and Clank
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While not quite an open-world game, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart’s levels are quite expansive and full of secrets and collectibles. When you first enter a new map, you will need to uncover it by exploring, filling in your map based on what you see. Things like collectibles will pop up on your map once you get close enough, but with the Map-O-Matic item, every single collectible type, with one exception, will be placed on your map to hunt down.

You won’t be able to get this item until later on in the game, so exploring beforehand is still useful, but this item just makes your final cleanup of collectibles that much easier. The rewards you get for these collectibles, without spoiling anything, are well worth the hunt, so get to exploring. Without spoiling anything, to get the Map-O-Matic, make sure you do the side quest found on Ardolis called Treasure Hunt.

Don’t stress about missing things

Finally, between all the guns, upgrades, collectibles, rifts, side missions, and suit pieces, it can feel a little overwhelming. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is almost too full of things to do, but you don’t have to worry about missing anything if you get caught up in the story and want to focus on that. Beating the game and starting a new run on Challenge Mode carries over just about everything. You will still have everything in your inventory, including guns, suits, upgrades, and collectibles, with the two exceptions being Blizon Crystals and Zurpstones.

In fact, you’ll want to save some things for your Challenge Mode run since there are actually two more guns that you can only get in this mode. Even though you can, and should, revisit planets on your first playthrough to collect things you didn’t have access to the first time around, you can also just save that final sweep for Challenge Mode when you’re already fully kitted out.

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Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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