The Precursor Legacy
In The Precursor Legacy, Precursor orbs are used as currency. There are a total of 2000 that can be collected, however only a total of 1530 orbs is required to gain each of the 101 Power cells. There is no other use for the other 470 Precursor orbs other than that they are needed to reach 100% completion. They are usually found in large groups or in a trail. They are usually easy to find without much effort, but some of them can take a little more searching to find. Large batches of orbs could be found in locked underground orb caches, these precursor artifacts needed someone channeling blue eco to unlock them and take the orbs inside.
In Daxter, there are 1001 orbs to be collected, and they are used to unlock secrets. They also unlock dream levels in Osmo's shop, which in turn increase life count and grant new combat moves. These are usually easy to find if the player searches the area with intent. But some are hidden in tiny spaces and areas that are tricky to reach. Note: 1 precursor orb is gained after completing the "Indiana Jones" dream level on gold medal making a total of 1001/1000.
In Jak II, there are 286 Precursor orbs, and they are used to unlock secrets. Only 200 of these are required to unlock all of the secrets. These orbs are found very sparingly. There is usually one in every large portion of an area. Some can be close together, but this is rare. Unlike The Precursor Legacy and Daxter, there is no indication which orbs are collected in which area. This applies to the third game as well.
In Jak 3, there are 600 Precursor orbs in total, and they are again used to purchase secrets. They are mostly the same as the second game, but they are usually a little easier to obtain and it is not uncommon to find multiple orbs in groups. They do glow slightly more than the Jak II orbs, and also make a different sound when collected. There are only 169 orbs collectible in the mission areas. Once all 600 (in total) are found, Jak will sport a new outfit with a green scarf and a blue kilt. A message will appear on the screen reading: "Congratulations, you found all the Precursor orbs! Enjoy Jak's stylish new duds."
Jak X: Combat Racing
In Jak X: Combat Racing, they are used to buy secrets and tune the performance of your race cars, such as improving the engine, gearbox, armor and turbo. Individual upgrades can lead up to 22,000 near the last few. Races in the Kras City Grand Championship will award a number of orbs to those who place third, second or first but will also award extra orbs for kills and subtract them for deaths. The amount of orbs earned increases with the difficulty of the eco cup one is racing in.
The Lost Frontier
In The Lost Frontier, they are used to buy secrets as with Jak II and Jak 3. In contrast those two games however, they were easier and more common to find in more various places, with some also offered as rewards for completing certain optional missions.
The Precursor orb is a floating egg-shaped artifact made out of Precursor metal. It has an orange-red sheen to it, uncommon to most of the gold-colored Precursor metal artifacts. Along the pentacle of the orb is a curvy line wrapping around the entire surface, with "Naughty Dog" written in Precursor writing. There is then a thin separator with "mad man" written below it. In The Precursor Legacy and Jak II, the orb is a flat-red color, where it appears to glow in Jak 3, and going back to its flat color in The Lost Frontier.
Precursor orbs were used by the Precursors for an unknown purpose, but were left behind and found later in the future and used as currency. In the past (prior to the events of the Metal Head Wars), Precursor orbs were valuable, but not uncommon; ninety orbs being equivalent in value to one power cell. In the future—starting with the events of Daxter and Jak II—Precursor orbs seemingly have become a scarce object thus have increased in value, no longer found in groups, and scattered in discreet places around the world. In Jak 3, Precursor orbs slightly increased in value, sometimes found in groups, and generally found more frequent then in the second game. Precursor orbs drastically increased in abundance in Jak X: Combat Racing, where racers were able to accumulate them by the hundreds of thousands. In The Lost Frontier, during the eco shortage, Precursor orbs dropped in popularity, similar to the third game.
Aforementioned, Precursor orbs were usually scattered around the worlds environments, however special types of Precursor orbs (which had the tendency to carry a green-yellow sheen) could be awarded by doing side missions.
- The Precursor orb appears in all four games of the Uncharted series as well as in The Last of Us Part II. The orb is used as a treasure, called the Strange Relic. When the Strange Relic is collected, the player will receive a trophy.
- Four Precursor orbs appear in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale serving as background easter eggs on the Sandover Village stage.
- Precursor orbs serve as collectibles in PlayStation Move Heroes.
- The Precursor orb alongside Jak and Daxter have a possible chance to appear in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart while using the RYNO 8.
- Naughty Dog (2012). Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Naughty Dog (2012). Jak II. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Naughty Dog (2005). Jak X: Combat Racing. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Naughty Dog (2012). Jak 3. PlayStation 3. Sony Interactive Entertainment.