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The Missile Launcher has appeared in every single game yet in the Metroid series. It is an upgrade to her Arm Cannon that reconfigures it to fire Missiles.



Samus Render (Spaceworld 2000)

In most games, Samus Aran is already equipped with the Missile Launcher, but needs to find a Missile Expansion (or Missile Ammo in Metroid Prime Hunters) before she can use it, though she begins certain games already with Missiles ready to be used. In Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, she loses her Missile Launcher near the beginning but reacquires it later on; in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, she begins without the Missile Launcher for unexplained reasons. In Metroid Fusion, the data for Missiles (and presumably, the Missile Launcher) is downloaded to her new Fusion Suit through a Data Room. When the Missile Launcher is acquired as an upgrade, it automatically provides a capacity of up to five Missiles, acting much like a Missile Expansion.

In Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus, Samus's Missile Launcher can only fire one on-screen Missile at a time. Therefore, it can rapidly fire when close to a target, but otherwise has a much slower rate of fire than her standard Beam weapons. Starting in Super Metroid, the Missile Launcher in 2D side-scrolling Metroid titles can rapid-fire missiles from any distance. In comparison, the rate of fire in the Metroid Prime games is considerably slower.

It is revealed in Corruption by use of the X-Ray Visor that the reloading mechanism for the Missile Launcher is actually operated manually by Samus turning her hand inside the arm cannon, performing the turning motion of the open barrel seen every time Samus fires a missile. However, this action is not performed in Metroid Prime. In Metroid: Other M, Samus pumps her Arm Cannon after each Missile, similar to a shotgun.

Samus can increase her Missile Launcher's capacity with Missile Expansions, and replenish ammo with Missile Ammo dropped from destroyed objects and enemies. Other M is the first Metroid game to introduce a missile supply that can be reloaded and replenished if Samus is low on missiles by holding the Wii Remote vertically, and pressing and holding the A button until her stock is replenished. This technique is known as Concentration, and can also be used to restore energy at dangerously low levels.

In Fusion, it is heavily implied that the Missile Launcher is not closely integrated to Samus's body in comparison to her Beam weapons; this is apparent when the cold attributes of the Ice Beam are initially incompatible with Samus's new genetic make-up, while her Ice Missiles, outfitted with subzero properties, seem to have no repercussions against her.


Samus fires a Missile at a damaged wall in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

It should also be noted that there have been a total of four different ways the Arm Cannon morphs when using the Missile Launcher:

  • In Metroid, the Power Suit's green visor and highlights turn a turquoise color. The Varia Suit has the suit change colors to a reddish-violet as well when Missiles are armed. The Justin Bailey outfit, when Samus has not yet acquired the Varia Suit, has her hair turn blonde.
  • The second version is shown in most games, in which the barrel of the Arm Cannon splits open. This was first introduced due to the monochromatic Return of Samus introducing a new way to visually distinguish the Missile Launcher from Samus's normal Arm Cannon. It is revealed in Metroid Prime 2 that the arm cannon nozzle rotates when doing this.
  • The third version is depicted in Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Hunters, in which the nozzle splits into four pieces around the barrel in the form of an X.
  • The fourth version is the formation unique to the arm cannon in Fusion, where the two outer pieces separate and the interior piece expands slightly.

Beginning in Metroid Prime, the Missile Launcher can be used in tandem with the Charge Beam to unleash a powerful Charge Combo.

In Metroid Prime Hunters, the Missile Launcher is considered Samus's Affinity Weapon. When Samus fires a charged missile, it deals more damage and gains a slight homing effect. In comparison, other Bounty Hunters' missiles have no tracking effect.

Other usersEdit


The Dark Missile Trooper

In the non-canonical Captain N: The Game Master, Kraid carries a Missile Gun. It is stolen by Kevin Keene in the episode Metroid Sweet Metroid, and then Kevin uses it to fire Missiles at a frozen Protoplasm.

The Galactic Federation Missile Troopers are known to carry Missile Launchers. In Echoes, a possessed Dark Missile Trooper gives the Ing access to this weapon.

Dark Samus has her own Missile Launcher in Echoes, which can fire standard Missiles and Super Missiles. This is also demonstrated in her appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series; the Missiles' organic design in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate suggests that she may be biologically producing these projectiles through her Missile Launcher.

In Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Missiles are used by the Federation Force, revealing that their Mechs are equipped with Missile Launchers. They can also equip MODs to enhance their Missiles.

Methods of acquisitionEdit

Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Website Missile Launcher

Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Website.

Official dataEdit

Super Metroid Players' Guide (Terminals, page 8)Edit

"To use missiles, highlight the icon screen top with SELECT and press [X] to fire."

Official Metroid Prime websiteEdit

Weapon effect: Devastating potential

Weapon range: 3–10 m
Weapon potential: Lethal
"Chozo technology. The Missile Launcher adds ballistic weapon capabilities to Samus Aran's standard Arm Cannon. Its ammunition is limited. Charge Combo enhancements scattered throughout Tallon IV allow the Missile Launcher to be used in tandem with the Charge Beam, creating devastating effects."

Metroid Prime flashEdit

"Switch to Missiles to destroy more powerful enemies and remove blockages. Lock on to an enemy in your target display to launch a guided Missile. Unlike Beams, Missiles have a limited supply. Increase stock by locating Missile Expansions."

Metroid Prime scansEdit

Hive Totem
"It appears this item can only be reached by using the elevated bridge."
Gravity Chamber
"This item rests on a ledge that appears to be too high to access by jumping."
Metroid Prime series Inventory data

Missile Launcher

Metroid Prime

Inventory entry

The Missile Launcher adds ballistic weapon capability to the Arm Cannon.
Press GC Y button/Wii D-pad down to fire the Missile Launcher. Press GC A button/Wii A button to return to Beam mode. Target and lock on with GC L trigger/Wii Z button to fire a Homing Missile.[1]

Samus's Notes

Missiles fired with a lock-on will seek their targets.
Missiles can destroy objects made from Radion or Brinstone.
There are Charge Combo enhancements scattered throughout the environment. They use the Missile Launcher and the Charge Beam in tandem to fire more effective blasts.
Each Missile Expansion you find will increase the number of Missiles you can carry by 5.

Metroid EX: Samus & Joey Chapter 1Edit

Warning: Fan Translation(s) Ahead

This article, section, or file contains text that is unofficially translated by Metroid fans. Some information (such as proper English names of characters or items) may not be accurate. If an official translation becomes available, the fan translation(s) may be replaced.

"Has the ability to create a Missile by gathering chemicals and elements from the area surrounding the user."

Metroid Prime Hunters Logbook entryEdit

"Launches explosive-tipped MISSILES that detonate in a percussive blast. This standard-issue weapon is extremely effective in dealing with biological threats. Hold the FIRE button to charge the weapon and cause the MISSILE to seek heat signatures. Charging will attract energy and ammo."

Metroid: Other M manualEdit

"Press and release A while locked on to release a missile. If you press and release A when the Charge Gauge is fully charged, five missiles will be used and you'll shoot a powerful Super Missile."

Metroid: Other M Samus Screen dataEdit

"Controls: Press A while locked on."

Metroid: Samus Returns on-screen tutorialEdit

"While holding [R], press [Y] to fire missiles."

Metroid: Samus Returns Samus Screen dataEdit

"A standard Missile sub-weapon that fires a powerful projectile. Hold [R] and then press [Y] to fire."

Metroid: Samus Returns Official GuideEdit

"Samus starts her mission on SR388 with a Missile Launcher and a decent-sized missile count. Missiles—along with the Ice Beam—are your primary means of damaging Metroids, but they’re also excellent for dealing with most of the planet’s other hostile types. You find a metric ton of Missile Tank Upgrades on this planet, so don’t be afraid to utilize these projectiles with reckless abandon."


  • In the Metroid Prime games, Missiles have a slower rate of fire than their variants in the 2-D Metroid games. However, this can be remedied by rapidly pressing and alternating constantly between the buttons that shoot the Missiles and Beams, respectively. This technique is called the Rapid Fire Missiles. An example of this can be seen here.
  • Although the Missile Launcher is said to be Samus's Affinity Weapon in Hunters, the Missile Launchers in Echoes and Corruption seem to be of Galactic Federation origin.
  • Throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, one of Samus's alternate costumes is a pink suit with a blue visor and highlights. Although Masahiro Sakurai has stated that this costume is officially based on the Gravity Suit from Super Metroid (which does not have a blue visor or highlights), it more closely resembles the Varia Suit's Missile Launcher mode from Metroid.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Samus's visor and highlights turn blue when she uses the Missile Launcher. This is a clear reference to the Missile Launcher's original appearance in Metroid.



  1. ^ The Homing Missile sentence is used in Corruption.

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