Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One takes place after the events of Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, though is not necessarily a part of the Future subseries. Players may play as Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, or the regular antagonist of the series, Dr. Nefarious.
The story concerns a new unknown enemy, and a situation initially caused by Dr. Nefarious to destroy the other three. Dr. Nefarious isn’t successful, however, except to send all four into a machine called the Creature Collector, which sets in motion a classic tale of the good guys working with the bad guy for a common goal.
Gameplay is typical of the Ratchet & Clank series, part platformer, part sci-fi shooter, with the exception that All 4 One is the first game in the series to feature 4-player drop-in, drop-out co-op gameplay both on and offline. Bolts are still picked up in-game and work as money, but also as a form of competitive score for multiplayer. Nanotech still refills health, although now teammates may revive downed players, similar to other modern multiplayer games like Borderlands or Left 4 Dead. The ever-present wrench is still a mainstay of the series. The multiplayer gameplay takes place on a single game screen, rather than splitscreen which perhaps allows for unprecedented levels of onscreen action and chaos for this series. Colored circles follow beneath each character to make keeping an eye on them during this action more manageable.