Ratchet & Clank: Before the Nexus is an endless runner and the companion game to the PS3 title Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. It also uses characters from the game. In the introduction the news announcer Stone Stonefield reports that the Terachnoid scientist Fleebar Snuttleblast has gone missing. It turns out he is abducted by the twin crime team Vendra and Neftin Prog, who are the lead suspects in a theft at Pollyx Industries. Ratchet, the protagonist in this game, spots their ship and starts chasing them.
Using typical runner mechanics, the player swipes to move Ratchet between lanes or to jump over obstacles. Tapping and holding can be used to float in the air a little longer with certain gadgets. There are various environments with grindrails, but also sections on land where tapping is required to shoot enemies. Along the way he can rescue Terachnoids and bolts can be collected as the primary currency in the game. They are used to purchase weapons, ammo (also immediately in-game), weapon upgrades, gagdets, armour and the separate Raritanium currency. Raritanium can be transferred to the main Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus game by syncing the PSN account. By completing objectives, hero bolts are earned, used for revives. The game is free-to-play and additional bolts can be bought as in-app purchases.
Weapons include Buzz Blades, the Constructo Pistol, Constructo Shotgun, Predator Launcher and R.Y.N.O.m. The R.Y.N.O.m weapon is unlocked by freeing all Terachnoids in the game. Weapons are purchased with bolts and can be upgraded multiple times. Gadgets include Armor Magnetizer, Bolt Multiplier, Grind Boots, Groovitron, Heli-Pack, Hoverboots, Jetpack, Reflector, Rift Inducer, and Tornado Launcher. Once purchased they appear during regular gameplay from then on.