They can be upgraded to Sticky Bombs by collecting a jar of bomb paste, which makes it easier to stick them to moving enemies and destroy blocks on ceilings and walls without the need of Bomb Cooking. Once the upgrade is applied, it cannot be undone. All Bombs will have the upgrade applied, including ones collected after the Bomb Paste was found.
Bombs are reasonably inexpensive. 12-pack 'Bomb Boxes' are rarer and more expensive than the common 3-pack 'Bomb Bags', but there is no bulk discount for buying Bomb Boxes - They cost four times as much as Bomb Bags for four times as many Bombs.
On the Xbox gamepad, Bombs are thrown using the B button. "B is for Bomb".
When primed, a Bomb begins to flash red and sparks will be seen on the fuse. The faster the flashing, the closer it is to detonation.
Throwing a Bomb will cause it to fly the same distance as any other light object, such as a rock. Provided there is enough fuse time left, you can pick up a Bomb and throw it again if it does not go where you want it.
Bombs will fly further and higher if thrown when looking up, and will be placed at your feet if dropped when crouched.
The range of the Bomb is determined by which way the fuse is facing. When pointing left, the explosion will be more powerful to the right. This works for all directions.
Bomb explosions will deal 10 HP of damage, enough to kill most common Monsters in the game. The total radius of the explosion varies on placement, but is usually two tiles in all four orthogonal directions, and one tile diagonally. It's always a good idea to stand well away from an exploding Bomb, preferably behind cover. The explosion will propel debris in all directions, and this will cause damage if it hits you.
'Cooking' is the technique of allowing a Bomb's timed fuse to run down before throwing it, so that the explodes in mid-air after a shorter delay.
With practice, Bomb cooking essentially allows the player to control exactly where a Bomb explodes, and it becomes possible to cause an explosion anywhere within the range of a thrown Bomb without the need for Bomb Paste.
There are, however, inherent risks in holding primed explosives, so the timing of the throw must be precise.
The cost of failure can be worse than a wasted Bomb.
Furthermore, the technique requires at least a few seconds to complete, and is not easy to do in a hurry. Attacking enemies like the Queen Bee with a cooked Bomb is almost impossible to do if she is chasing you, but with Bomb Paste it's a simple matter.
Cooking a Bomb is done in three stages:
- First, drop a Bomb at your feet by pressing down + B, and then pick it up like any other object.
- Wait for the fuse to run down, keeping in mind that a bomb takes around 2.4 seconds to detonate. You will need to judge the length of the fuse and the travel time for it to be thrown to where you want it to detonate.
- Throw the Bomb. The Bomb will start to pulse violently in the final few moments before it explodes. It's always better to throw a Bomb too early than too late.
Bomb 'Cascading' is a technique used to create quick holes downwards or upwards with the use of several bombs. It's only possible to cascade downwards with the use of sticky bombs.
Downwards cascading requires Paste, and is mainly used for speedrunning, and can be used to achieve really fast Olmec fights, the Spelunker needs to place a certain amount of bombs (depending on how deep they want the hole to be) in the ground with consistent intervals before the first placed bomb explodes.
The interval becomes stricter as more bombs are placed. If the bombs are placed too fast, they will explode in the air all at once after the first explosion. If they are placed too slow, then the player will not have enough time to place as many bombs as they want and the hole might not be deep enough.
The maximum amount of bombs that can be cascaded downwards seems to be 6, which are enough to make a clear hole in Olmec's Lair for Olmec to fall (even though 5 are enough if timed correctly).
Upwards cascading can be used to quickly create a hole in the ceiling. It can be done with Sticky Bombs or with normal Bombs. It can be useful if the Spelunker does want to go up but can't rely on Bomb Cooking to do so.
There's no strict interval for upwards cascading with normal bombs. However, if sticky bombs are used, they need to be placed in quick succession, as otherwise the bombs won't explode as fast and they will start cascading down instead.
Some computers do not seem to process cascading properly. While the original Xbox game is able to consistently cascade on all consoles, this does not seem to be the case for PC users. This inconsistent cascading can lead to the bombs moving to the sides after some explosions, and even entirely disappearing.
Bomb cascading seems to work properly on Windows 10, while other operating systems vary in functionality. To fix cascading, the player needs to set the game's executable file to run in compatibility mode, which will allow the player to properly cascade.