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The Accelerator Gun consists of two disks, each with a red edge on one side and a mark on the middle, which float parallel to each other. These disks each have an oblong, blue-glowing rectangle sticking out from their sides, and whose movements are synchronized with each other.
In gameplay, the player can jump in between the disks of the Accelerator Gun to suspend Sonic between them while he spins. The player can then shoot Sonic though midair in the direction of the Accelerator Gun's oblong rectangles. Additionally, depending on the player's controls between games, the player can choose between the directions up, down, or forward to shoot Sonic in. However, the player only has a limited time to shoot out Sonic, or he falls out of the Accelerator Gun.
The Accelerator Gun made its first appearance in both versions of Sonic Unleashed under the name "Jump Selector", where they only appear in the daytime Stages. In this game, a green gauge on the Accelerator Gun indicates how much time the player has to shoot out Sonic.
In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of the game, the direction of the Accelerator Gun depends on which button the player presses: pressing / will shoot Sonic upward, / will shoot Sonic forward and / will shoot Sonic downward. Every Accelerator Gun in these versions are marked with a button indicating an optimal direction for the player to shoot Sonic, but the player can as well choose another direction, which may sometimes lead to a shortcut.
In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game, all the Accelerator Guns are marked with a white question mark. When using them in these versions, the button needed to be pressed will appear on the screen.
In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, and the remaster Sonic Colors: Ultimate, the Accelerator Gun appears in both the 2.5D and 3D sections of the Acts. To use the Accelerator Gun in this game, the player has to press the following buttons while using the movement controls to tilt the Accelerator Gun the direction the playable character has to be shot in:
Wii Remote + Nunchunk
Wii Remote Sideways
Wii (Classic Controller)
Wii (GameCube Controller)
A currently-unnamed gimmick found in Sonic the Hedgehog CD's Stardust Speedway acts very similar to the Accelerator Gun: they spin and shoot Sonic out in the direction they are currently facing. Another variant of the the device has its two arms extended by default, and gives Sonic complete control over which direction he will be shot out in.