The Netgun, also known as the Net Launcher, is a Yautja weapon that fires a wire net at great velocity and with great force, typically to trap and ensnare prey. Once fired, the net itself has the ability to tighten around its trapped target with sufficient force to cause the wire mesh to cut into the victim.
The Netgun itself is a small, handheld device. It fires a bundled net that rapidly expands as it leaves the weapon's barrel. The net itself travels at great speed, capable of hurling a target across the room upon contact, ideally pinning them to a nearby surface. Once pinned, the prey is then an easy target for the Predator; one common tactic used by juveniles is to pin their target with their Netgun before using their Speargun to kill them.
The metallic net itself also acts as a weapon — once attached to a surface or wrapped around a target it will automatically tighten, carving into the flesh of anything caught inside, causing grievous if non-fatal wounds. The net is essentially impossible to cut with readily available equipment, although the Yautja Smart Disc is known to be able to slice a net open. They are also not impervious to Xenomorph blood as with many other Yautja weapons, and so are ineffective at trapping the creatures, although they may still be used to temporarily restrain Xenomorphs during heated confrontations.
It is not clear how a Predator reloads his Netgun, although it seems likely that some form of cartridge mechanism is used, as manually reloading a net would be both difficult and time-consuming, and a cartridge reload would also provide a fresh net should one be damaged or destroyed during use. When not in use the Netgun is usually stored on the Yautja's leg armor.
- The Netgun is somewhat similar in principle to the Taser Web rifles used by human personnel to non-fatally restrain Xenomorphs and other targets at Charon Base.
- In Aliens versus Predator 2, unlike in the films, the net launched by the Netgun cannot kill or otherwise harm its target, only trapping it inside. This is likely for gameplay reasons. In multiplayer, the net can be cut by melee weapons and Xenomorph claws.
- In the novelization of Predator, the Jungle Hunter (which is very different in the book to the creatures now known from the films) uses a type of collapsing wire net as a static trap; the net bears some similarities to that fired by the Netgun.
- Aliens versus Predator 2 (2001), Monolith Productions, Sierra Entertainment, Fox Interactive [Microsoft Windows].
- John Rosengrant. The Making of Predator 2: Weapons of Choice — Net Launcher (2005), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), Stephen Hopkins (director). Predator 2 (1990), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Paul W. S. Anderson (writer and director). Alien vs. Predator (2004), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Paul Monette. Predator, p. 192 (1987), Jove Books.