Bug combat is a fighting sport and minigame practiced in Haven City, featured in Daxter. Players pit combat bugs (specialized insects collected by gathering bug cages) against other bugs to fight. Bugs have a health meter and three possible attacks, each with their own offensive and defensive status level, all of which can be increased by the use of bug juice vials. Players can also use battle tokens to change the battle in their favor in a multitude of ways.
Bug combat is accessible from the start menu, from where you can also select to host two player bug combat or connect to someone who is hosting. These versus matches follow the same rules as against an AI opponent, but instead your enemy will be a human player.
Combat bugs have strength levels ranging from 1 to 10, with higher level bugs being acquired from bug cages available later throughout the game. The strongest bug reaches level 10, and is only available in Kridder Ridder shop after reaching a full 100% in your current playthrough. It has near-full stats, with the remaining parts automatically supplemented by bug juice vials, though none of your inventory will be missing. Bugs of other levels often have highly varying stats, though in general high health and damage is the most useful.
Bugs vary distinctively in looks. Each posses six limbs and some also have wings, though all posses a bright and colorful palette that makes them stand out from their surroundings. Weaker bugs often resemble the beetle archetype, with six legs and a more low and sturdy design. In the mid-levels, flying types appear more often. Bugs with four legs and two large claws appear in the higher level ranges. Despite that, there are quite a number of possible variations for each of the legs, claws, wings, body, tail head and eyes ensuring no bug is truly identical to another.
Lastly, each bug has its own name, though these are not truly unique and bugs with the same name are possible to appear in your inventory. Names typically sound as if they have the Latin scientific convention to them, but are simply made up.
Each bug has access to three attack types: claw, spit, and trap. Claw is a physical smash attack where the bug rushes forward, grabs the opponent and smashes him down. Spit is, as the name says, a ranged spit attack and is trumped by claw. Trap is a short range shield attack that damages any bug that touches it, at first glance it might not seem useful to use, since it does not directly damage the enemy and is trumped by spit attacks. This is however not the case, since trap is the only way to defend against a claw attack and subsequently damage the enemy. This way a rock, paper, scissors system is set up.
Each bug also has an offensive and defensive power level for each type. These dictate how much damage you deal and take and can be important to figuring out what attack a player may use or what might be better to execute to deal extra damage.
If a bug executes the same type as his opponent then both reveal a small amount of damage.
After selecting a bug and any available battle tokens, the player is then pitted against another bug of the same level. The higher the level, the stronger the opponent and the higher quality tokens they will have available. The player then starts by select an attack type, followed by selecting the amount of power you want to use. This is done by stopping a meter that goes along the length of your offensive power level from top to bottom. Failing to select an attack or stopping the meter in time (you have several seconds) will cause the game to forcefully continue.
After stopping the meter, both of you and your opponent's attack and power levels are revealed and you have a short five second window to activate any tokens you may want to use. After this, the tokens activate and the bugs use their chosen attack type to deal damage, after which the first phase begins anew.