Serious Sam Wiki

"Now that's some serious firepower!"
Sam Stone[src]

The XPMl21 Rocket Launcher, or just Rocket Launcher, is a powerful weapon appearing in the Serious Sam franchise. It is a standard-issue weapon used by Earth Defense Force infantry. It fires slow, unguided rockets at a decent rate of fire without having to be reloaded.


The XPML21 is the first of a new generation of portable missile launchers, designed to provide infantry forces with high-ROF anti-armor rockets. While the XPML21 is currently in the early stages of field testing and has only been issued to select Earth Defense Force personnel, it is already surpassing all expectations and is scheduled to go into full production in the near future.

The weapon's advanced loading mechanism is capable of firing up to 85 missiles per minute. These high-speed, unguided 150 mm Inferno missiles are very effective against smaller groups of armored opponents and larger groups of weaker enemies, but it is important for the player to remember to not fire this weapon at close quarters or directly against obstacles due to the large detonation radius of the projectiles.

In Serious Sam Advance, the rocket launcher fires chemically powered rockets. The rockets themselves can deal a lot of damage if they hit a target, and the explosion it makes can harm any enemy near the impact site, even if the rocket hits an enemy. It has a fairly high rate of fire and its projectiles are somewhat fast, which allows the user to quickly bombard a target with multiple rockets.

In Serious Sam 3: BFE, the rocket launcher has a much different design and new firing sounds. The firing and loading mechanism has also changed, but still retains the same fire rate from the previous games.

In Serious Sam 4, the rocket launcher looks very similar to the Serious Sam 3 version in appearance, but has a slightly different loading mechanism.


In its appearances, the rocket launcher is usually acquired during the early to middle portions of the game, though it can be found in secrets and obtained earlier.

In Serious Sam: The First Encounter, the rocket launcher first appears in Valley of the Kings, but can be obtained earlier in Temple of Hatshepsut as a secret, along with rockets. In Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, there are 3 rocket launchers that appear in Sierra de Chiapas, two of which can be found as secrets. In then appears on the first or second levels in the other eras.

In Serious Sam Advance, the rocket launcher is first obtained in Slave Quarters.

In Serious Sam 3: BFE, the rocket launcher is first obtained in No Place to Hide, either normally or via secrets. It is used at this point to take down the pursuing Technopolyp that initially appears in this level. In the Serious Sam Fusion version, the rocket launcher can be found in a room in Summer in Cairo in the same building where the player obtains the sledgehammer. The player needs to find a secret key to unlock the door before they can get the rocket launcher.

In Serious Sam 4, the rocket launcher first appears in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but can be acquired in Death from Above as a secret.


Serious Sam 4[]

Multirocket SS4 icon.png Multirocket

This upgrade can only be obtained if the player completes the optional side quest in Gates of Hell. The upgrade is received automatically when the player loads the next level.



  • The rockets fired by the rocket launcher are slow, which makes it impractical to use the weapon at long range. However, if a target is too far away for a charged MK III Grenade Launcher shot to reach it, a volley of rockets will work, but it will take some time for the rockets to reach their destination.
  • The rocket launcher is not recommended against fast enemies that move left and right often, such as zig-zagging Kleers. The rocket's rather slow speed makes it very possible for the fast enemy to go past the rocket before it hits.
  • This weapon can be dangerous to use against enemies that try to get close to the player, such as Beheaded Kamikazes, if the player isn't careful. If an enemy gets close to the player while the player is firing or just after a rocket has been fired, the player will suffer significant damage because of the splash damage from the rocket. The resulting explosion from the Kamikaze plus the damage from the rocket can severely deplete the player's health and/or armor.
  • One of the best anti-Major Bio-mechanoid weapons.

Serious Sam 1[]

  • The rocket launcher is very useful against strong enemies, such as Major Bio-mechanoids; it usually takes around five or so rockets to kill them (two for juvenile Arachnoids), and because it has a fairly fast rate of fire, getting that amount of rockets into the air quickly is easy.
  • The rocket launcher is also useful against Arachnoids, especially the red variants.
  • Groups of weak enemies, such as the Beheaded Rocketeer, can easily be destroyed with this weapon. A rocket that targets the center of the group usually does the most damage because the splash damage from the rocket hits everybody around the victim, which is usually the rest of the group.

Serious Sam Advance[]

  • The rocket launcher is a great weapon against stronger enemies, such as the Cyclops or the Gunrilla. Two to three shots are needed to take out anything but a boss. This makes it very useful later in the game, where strong enemies make up most of the opposition the player faces.
  • It also works very well against groups of enemies. One rocket can harm multiple enemies thanks to it's explosion. A few rockets can completely clear out a group of enemies. The Rocket Launcher's firing speed allows the player to fire off multiple rockets quickly, which lets them clear out a group of enemies even faster than the minigun if the enemies are right next to each other.
  • The explosion from a rocket can kill enemies even if the player doesn't see them. This is useful for killing enemies around corners or when the player's health is low and they need to avoid direct confrontations with enemies.
  • One downside with the rocket launcher is that, if it hits an enemy projectile, it will explode. Therefore, the player should try to time it so that a rocket is fired between an enemy's attack. This is more useful against groups of enemies because of the amount of projectiles fired by a group.
  • Don't use the launcher if an enemy is close. A rocket's explosion will do a good amount of target to the player if they're close to a rocket explosion if the target.

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

  • The rocket launcher is useful for clearing out groups of weak enemies quickly, such as hordes of Kleer Skeletons and Hatchling Antaresian Spiders. The explosion radius damage can kill multiple weak enemies in one shot. To maximize its effect, a rocket should be aimed at an enemy towards the middle of the group if possible. The explosion from the rocket hitting the enemy will hit all of his buddies around him, doing more damage than a rocket to the first enemy in the group would do.
  • It is also handy against larger enemies, such as the Adult Arachnoid and Scrapjack. It does enough damage that it can kill them after a few hits, and its decent rate of fire and, as these enemies don't usually strafe, (with the exception of Adult Arachnoids) this ensures that it'll consistently hit enemies at any range.
  • The rocket launcher is an ideal weapon against Hatchling Arachnoids; one rocket will instantly destroy it, making it a good choice for clearing out groups of them.
  • It is a good jack-of-all-trades weapon later in the game. It does a high amount of damage per shot (especially if the rocket makes a direct impact), has a good rate of fire, and most importantly, its ammo is common thanks to Ammo Crates. These make it very effective against any enemy the game throws at the player in the last few levels.
  • It is the "weakest" out of all the weapons that can damage certain bosses, such as the Technopolyp or the Khnum. It has a slower projectile speed than the A-24 Devastator and does less damage than the C-4 Demolition Charge. However, it has a consistent rate of fire, which lets the player constantly damage the enemy without needing to be reloaded.

Serious Sam 4[]

  • The rocket launcher works great for destroying groups of weak enemies clustered together, such as beheaded enemies and Processed Anthropolyps, or dealing high damage to tough targets. It becomes even more useful if the player has acquired the homing rocket upgrade for the weapon.
  • The homing upgrade for the rocket launcher can be used to take out both enemies on the ground and flying enemies, especially ones that move around, such as Aludran Reptiloids, Major Bio-mechanoids, Scythian Witch-Harpies and Technopolyps, as these enemies are harder to take down in previous games.
  • Due to the Khnum's increased health this time around, the rocket launcher is less effective on it unless the player fires rockets at its head, which deals extra damage.
  • If the player is being overwhelmed by Aurigan Haemovores, this weapon can destroy groups of them at once with the homing upgrade.

Behind the scenes[]

  • In Test 1 and beta screenshots, the rocket launcher had a completely different model (as seen in the gallery).
  • Early Serious Sam 3 concept art shows a completely different version of the rocket launcher, along with a different loading mechanism.
  • In early footage of Serious Sam 4, the rocket launcher had a slightly different model with the words "XPML26" imprinted on it.

Related achievements[]

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter[]

Achievement Rocket Jumper SSHDTFE.jpg
Rocket Jumper
Perform 100 rocket jumps.

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter[]

Achievement Rocket Jumper SSHDTSE.jpg
Rocket Jumper
Perform 100 rocket jumps.
Achievement Rocket Man.jpg
Rocket Man
Get all 3 Rocket launchers in Palenque - Sierra de Chiapas.

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter[]

Achievement I love my Rocket Launcher SSVRTFE.jpg
I love my Rocket Launcher
Kill 150 Enemies with the Rocket Launcher.

Serious Sam Fusion[]

Achievement I love my Rocket Launcher SSF.jpg
I love my Rocket Launcher
Kill 150 Enemies with the Rocket Launcher.


  • In Serious Sam 3 BFE, the rocket launcher causes knockback at certain angles, even on Tourist difficulty where no damage or knockback is normally expected. This can be exploited to make long-range jumps (for speedruns). This is fixed in Serious Sam Fusion.
  • The rocket upgrade for the rocket launcher in Serious Sam 4 was designed by professor Gottlieb Kiesel.



Serious Sam 1[]



Serious Sam Advance[]

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter[]

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

Serious Sam 4[]

List of appearances[]