Rocket Launcher

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This article is about the Soldier's stock primary weapon. For other rocket launchers, see Rocket Launcher (disambiguation).
I joined this team just to kill maggots like you.
The Soldier

The Rocket Launcher is the default primary weapon for the Soldier. It is a stylized rocket-launching device with wooden grips, a large front sight, and a wide exhaust port.

The Rocket Launcher holds up to four rockets, firing them as projectiles at a speed of around 1100 Hammer units per second (roughly 76 km/h or 47 mph). Rockets travel in a straight line, unaffected by gravity, exploding on contact with any surface or player. Rocket explosions deal damage in a set radius; damage inflicted decreases the further the distance from the center of the explosion, with a player taking only 50% of the normal damage at the very edge of the blast radius. Rockets also have damage falloff over long distances. Players killed by rockets explode into gibs if they take 10 damage more than their current health.

As the explosion from rockets causes knockback, an experienced player can launch opponents into the air by aiming at their feet, causing them to take fall damage or potentially pushing them into environmental hazards. The player can also use the knockback in order to perform a rocket jump by firing at the ground beneath themselves, catapulting themselves vertically and/or horizontally. Crouching during the explosion increases the height and length of the jump while also decreasing the self-inflicted damage. This technique can be used to reach areas inaccessible to other classes, quickly advance, or escape from a bad situation.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Projectile
Damage type Explosive
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Maximum ramp-up 125% 112
Base damage 100% 90
Maximum fall-off 52.8% 48
Point blank 105-112
Medium range 50-90
Long range 24-48
Critical 270
Mini-crit 122-151
Splash damage
Minimum splash 50% 2.8m
Damage reduction 1% / 2.88
Self-damage 27-89
Self damage (rocket jump) 27-46
Function times
Attack interval 0.8 s
Reload (first) 0.92 s
Reload (consecutive) 0.8 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.


Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Backdraft Dodger
Backdraft Dodger
Kill a Pyro who has airblasted one of your rockets in the last 10 seconds.

Crockets Are Such B.S.
Crockets Are Such B.S.
Shoot two non-boosted crit rockets in a row.

Death from Above
Death from Above
Rocket jump and kill 2 enemies before you land.

Duty Bound
Duty Bound
While rocket jumping kill an enemy with the Equalizer before you land or just after landing.
For Whom the Shell Trolls
For Whom the Shell Trolls
Bounce an opponent into the air with a rocket and then kill them with the shotgun before they land.

Mutually Assured Destruction
Mutually Assured Destruction
Kill an enemy sniper with a rocket after he kills you.

Tri-Splatteral Damage
Tri-Splatteral Damage
Kill 3 enemies with a single critical rocket.

Where Eagles Dare
Where Eagles Dare
Get the highest possible rocket jump using jump and crouch.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Kill a Soldier with a reflected critical rocket.
Pilot Light
Pilot Light
Ignite a rocket-jumping Soldier while he's in midair.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

Crock Block
Crock Block
Survive a direct hit from a critical rocket.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye
While using The Classic, kill a rocket/grenade jumping enemy in midair with a full charge, no-scope, headshot.
Jumper Stumper
Jumper Stumper
Kill a rocket or grenade-jumping enemy in midair with your Sniper Rifle or the Huntsman.

Tf snakewater salesman.png Snakewater achievements

Mutually Air-Sured-Destruction
Mutually Air-Sured-Destruction
While rocket jumping, use a rocket to kill a rocket jumping enemy who also kills you with a rocket.

Update history

October 25, 2007 Patch
  • Fixed rocket explosions being able to impart damage through thin ceilings.

December 20, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed Rocket trail effects sometimes existing permanently in world.

February 28, 2008 Patch

  • Reduced Soldier's maximum rocket reserve ammo from 36 to 16.

March 1, 2008 Patch (Xbox)

  • Fixed exploit with rockets explosions being able to impart damage through thin ceilings.

March 6, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed critical modifier for explosive weapons (rockets, pipe bombs) increasing critical chance more than intended.

February 2, 2009 Patch

  • Increased Soldier's primary ammo count from 16 to 20.

January 7, 2011 Patch

February 22, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Several particle effects, including critical rockets, pipes, and stickies, were altered to appear brighter. These changes do not apply to ATI graphics card users and some others.

June 23, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.

June 28, 2011 Patch

  • Refined all Rocket Launcher recoil forces to feel more true to recoil animation.

December 15, 2011 Patch (Australian Christmas 2011)

December 19, 2011 Patch

  • Festive Rocket Launchers can now be gifted.

August 15, 2012 Patch (Mann vs. Machine Update)

  • [Undocumented] Added Silver and Gold Botkiller variants.

October 9, 2012 Patch

  • Added Rust, Blood, Carbonado, and Diamond Botkiller variants.

December 20, 2012 Patch (Mecha Update)

  • Added Silver and Gold Botkiller Mk. II variants.

May 13, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed the Botkiller Rocket Launcher using incorrect team materials for the arms.

November 21, 2013 Patch (Two Cities Update)

June 18, 2014 Patch (Love & War Update)

  • Converted the Rocket Launcher models to use the c_models system.

September 25, 2014 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Corrected the iron sight for the Rocket Launcher.

January 5, 2023 Patch

  • Fixed entities being considered static props after long server times.
    • Fixed rockets occasionally being solid.

Unused content

  • In the VPK's w_rocketlauncher folder, there exists the worldmodel texture of the old TFC Rocket Launcher. The texture is listed as new_worldrpg_combo.
  • Another alternate Rocket Launcher texture is included in the VPK, being just Ambient Occlusion. It is in a folder listed as W_RPG, with the texture is listed as w_rocketlauncher01. It's also worth noting that there is a rocket on the texture sheet, implying that this could presumably be a texture for an earlier incarnation of Soldier's Rocket Launcher, as the Club and Branding Iron appear with similar textures.
  • There is yet another Rocket Launcher in the game files. It is in a folder listed as v_rocketlauncher; all the files except v_rocket, v_rocketlauncher01.vtf and v_rocketlauncher01_gold.vtf are unused. These textures are from Team Fortress Classic.


  • While reloading, the Rocket Launcher occasionally appears to load an extra rocket.
  • Sometimes, the player stays stuck in the reload position. This can be fixed by switching weapons.
  • Rockets fired underwater that leave the water retain their trail of bubbles instead of using the regular flame particles used on land.


  • Despite the Rocket Launcher's animation indicating high recoil, real rocket launchers have no recoil at all, as the reaction force is released through the exhaust port.
  • The Rocket Launcher was originally single-rocket loaded, much like its Team Fortress Classic counterpart. An animation of this still exists in the game files.
  • The Soldier's Rocket Launcher was usable by Megabeth in Super Monday Night Combat as part of a cross-promotion.
  • The Rocket Launcher, along with the Rainblower and Stock Flame Thrower were obtainable in Saints Row IV by pre-ordering the game on Steam.


See also