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Rocket Launcher
Production information


Technical specifications
Damage Per Hit
  • 100 [direct impact]
  • 1-100 [splash damage]
  • 1-84 [splash damage] (Quake Live)
Maximum Ammunition
Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

Rockets (red)


120 units splash damage radius

Rate of Fire

75 rpm (1 Rocket every 800 milliseconds)

Muzzle Velocity
  • 900 units per second
  • 1,000 units per second (Quake Live and Challenge ProMode)



Extremely long range of 13,500 units


Railgun (Q3)


In Quake 3 Arena, the Rocket Launcher, or "RL", fires powerful rockets. These generate Splash Damage, which do damage around the rocket's point of impact. Generated splash damage from the point of impact can be utilized in Rocket Jump or air juggling enemies.

The Rocket Launcher is a popular weapon, so expect some resistance when trying to get it. When attacker kills someone with a Rocket Launcher, the game feedback summary will announce something like "Grunt ate Bitterman's rocket." on direct hit kills or "Wrack almost dodged Gorre's rocket." on splash damage kills.


  • Because the Rocket launcher's usefulness, it's often a hotly-contested weapon. Expect some resistance if you are going for it, especially in FFA mode, which everyone you face is hostile. Even at large open areas or cluttered spaces, RL can be a dominant weapon at any arena.
  • Due to Quake 3's fast-paced nature, it can be incredibly difficult to directly hit a target with a direct rocket at long distances. Instead, utilize the rocket's splash damage by hitting your target's feet. While this usually won't kill them in one shot, it can do a lot of damage. It usually takes around two to three rockets near a target to kill him/her. Aim at the ground and walls near to shake your foe's balance off.
  • Strafe aim and movement flow have great effects on rocket's trajectory path. With some close observation and mathcrafting it's months of work to figure out the Rockets' flight path and timing with experience. Don't abuse jumpshots beyond close quarters until you get the hang of RL accuracy at long distances; try to lead shots with twitch aim at long range. As player experience grows, RL shots will be more accurate at greater distances.
  • Standard player speed is a third of the standard rocket flight speed. That means rocket covers the same distance in one second, where it takes player 3 seconds to reach on a flat terrain. That flight time obviously changes within' the angle you shoot, distance and movement pattern differences between you and your foe in real combat.
  • If you're up against somebody that has the Rocket Launcher, get away from them. The RL is ineffective past close quarters because of the rocket's speed. When you're out of range, take out a weapon more suited for medium or long range, such as the Plasma Gun or the Railgun.
  • When fighting against a RL, make sure you're not near a wall or in tight spaces because a rocket that hits a solid surface near you will inflict splash damage, and the RL user may decide to flood the room with blasts.
  • Try not to use the Rocket Launcher at very close range, as you may take splash damage, or even get yourself killed by your own rocket's blast. Switch to the Shotgun, Machine Gun or Lightning Gun at close quarters, and combine them with your RL to avoid this.
  • Rocket blasts can be utilized in air juggling opponents if you anticipate their movement and fire in a motion to hit rear of their direction. Predicting their movement and catching onto them may allow you to disorient or corner them. Landing airshots in a combo after air juggling them would be possible once player practiced enough. For airjuggle to work throughly, player have to circle strafe and disorient foe, then skillfully land a shot at the opposite direction of their movement.
  • Rocket Launchers can be used as an area denial weapon, keep your foe from entering a location and blast it out, you can also use the rockets to cover important items or hold choke points to force opponent to take another path. Alas, this will be a waste of ammunition if your foe keeps faking his/her motions or you're not hearing any audial cues on blind firing.
  • In Quake Live Rocket Launcher's splash damage is nerfed down to 84 from 100 but its projectile speed buffed to 1000ups from 900ups. This alone makes blast infliction from solid surfaces tactic sort of invalidated. Instead of abusing splash damage cheaply, players must use the rocket's new faster projectile speed for hitting direct shots.
  • Only use rocket jump tactic in desperate situations or when you need to get to higher ground quickly for reaching an important power-up. It will only cost the player 50% of splash damage to their health per blast jump. Remember that combining this with Quad Damage or Grenade Launcher will amplify the effect and grant you more pushback force, but the risk is much higher as well. Tier 5 maps are famous about requiring player to put his/her knowledge on rocket-jumps.
  • Grenade blobs of Grenade Launcher can be set off by a RL shot (this doesn't apply at Quake Live). Especially effective in a 1v1 scenario, blocking opponent's access to an important area from narrow gates or corners when used right. Preferred to quickly block access to important gates from close-medium distance, without waiting for fuse time. Simply 2 grenade shells, can be bounced at a corner and set off by a RL shot for a larger blast radius.
  • A single grenade blob followed by a RL shot for detonation can block an important pickup in an active combat as you retreat, or utilized in gaining more height from a rocket jump at the cost of more self-damage. Remember in Quake Live blast force is capped and rockets don't detonate grenade shells, unless shot at a bounce pad it's not possible to do higher blast jumps when possessing Quad Damage or Doubler.
  • Don't try to potshot rockets at opponents sniping with a Railgun from afar. Skilled or not, the opponent will simply sidestep away from your rockets and retaliate with accurate fire. Try to utilize splash damage against them by gaining height advantage first, else try to shoot nearby walls around them to force attacker away from his/her position.
  • If you are low on health and in a situation where you know you're almost definitely about to die, simply pull out the Rocket Launcher and fire randomly. If someone's that close to killing you, then blind fury can often triumph over strategic attacks. Just don't aim too close to the ground or walls as you may kill yourself, something particularly undesirable in FFA mode.
  • If a enemy is using Flight give up and try a different weapons such as machine guns to kill them. The slow rocket speed means unless the enemy is going towards your rocket you will never hit him/her.


Trivia Edit

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