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Jupiter Hell is a real place where you will be sent at the first sign of IP violations

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Heeeeey! How many of you like roguelikes? And by roguelikes I mean the CLASSIC stuff? NetHack, ADOM, I guess DCSS counts. Anything you can run in a terminal. Yes? Cool.

How about Doom? Y'know, space marine vs. demons, absolutely banging metal tracks, has one of the best bad 90's comics of all time? Yeah. All right.

Now, imagine if you combined the two. You'd think, hey, that doesn't really seem like they mesh. Well, I'd really like to agree, but unfortunately, Zenimax disagrees!

So here's a thread about the next best thing: Jupiter Hell! Jupiter Hell is a turn-based classic roguelike, with random level and gear generation, permadeath on runs, you get the idea. It has a premise very much like Doom, but legally distinct from Doom. Fight your way through a bunch of the moons of Jupiter, each overrun with demonic forces, arming yourself to the teeth with heavy weaponry!

Here is a list of ways in which Jupiter Hell might be different from a very similar game you might have played, as of update 0.9.6:
  • No diagonal movement. Diagonal movement is gone. It is not possible for you or any other thing in the game to move diagonally.
  • Cover plays a much larger role in the game than before. Your odds of hitting and being hit factors in whether you or your enemy is up against cover of some kind. Dodge bonuses for moving are still in, and waiting in place both gives you an aiming bonus to your next shot and a hunker bonus that magnifies cover for that turn.
  • You can feel pain. This messes up your aim, and goes up as you take damage. Some abilities can fuel themselves off of your pain, though, so it's possible to build around it, not that I'd recommend it. Avoiding getting shot is still generally better.
  • There's still the three classes of Marine, Scout, and Technician, but they now have a LOT more setting each other apart. Entirely different perk trees between the three, from basic traits to masters, plus unique active and passive skills, ensure that they'll suit different playstyles entirely.
  • Speaking of master traits, they now have three levels apiece, gated by character level! This helps them feel like more of a specialization in playstyle than just grabbing it as soon as you can and never looking back. For example: Entrenchment still provides damage reduction (in somewhat different scenarios, but basically handles the same), but it also provides a reduction to ammo spent, and both things improve as Entrenchment increases in level!
  • WAY more guns. In particular, there's a few new families of weapons, including SMGs (short-range and eats ammo like crazy, but their burst power is terrifying), non-chainfire rifles (great for picking off long-range threats), and probably some other things too!
  • Entirely reworked mod system. Rather than boosting stats, mods allow you to add perks from a list to your weapon or armor of choice. For example, you can use a bulk mod to add either the Durable or the Bot Scanner trait to a helmet. Additionally, you can find ADV gear that comes preloaded with as many as 3 traits of their own. The Whizkid trait allows you to stack more than one mod of the same type (power, accuracy, or bulk) on a piece of gear, as well as expanding the list of perks you can choose from.
  • Terminals! As of the newest update, there's a large variety of terminal types in the game, each of which comes with a number of charges you can spend on doing cool stuff. There's medical stations to give you healing or even increase max HP, technical stations to repair armor or create mods, gear manufacturing stations to create rare items... they're kinda like the treasure rooms of Brogue, honestly.
  • In addition to demons and zombies, you can fight robots! Robots do not share the weaknesses of meatbags, like needing blood to live, or having non-armor health. However, they are mercenary in their allegiance, and will cease hostilities or even join you for the price of a few multitools (either delivered at melee range or applied to the nearest security terminal).
  • Mark Meer will cuss for you as much as you want.
There's other changes, but go find them yourselves, how about? It's a good game that gets better as it gets updates, usually about once every month or two. Come on down to Jupiter Hell!
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
I see several reviews complaining about the main character chatter. Is that something you can disable?
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Sure is! You can also customize it for frequency, level of profanity, or even turning off idle quips.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Removing diagonal movement seems like it would be a big nerf to dodge builds? Like, zig-zagging constantly is how I usually played DoomRL. Seems like an odd deicision.

Anyway, I backed this Kickstarter, so it's in my Steam library, but I'm waiting until it's finished before I fire it up. DoomRL is one of my favourite roguelikes, though, so I'm looking forward to it!
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
I got an AoCo win recently! Waow!

Code:
Kalir, level 15 Technician, defeated
The Summoner against all odds.
He survived for 9622 turns.
The run time was 1h 47m 45s.
He scored 3884 points.
He took MEDIUM risks.
He was an Angel of Confidence!

EUROPA L2 -> Conamara Chaos Biolabs L1
Conamara Chaos Biolabs L1 - Infestation
Conamara Chaos Biolabs L2 -> Containment Area
Containment Area - cleared
IO L2 -> Io Black Site L1
Io Black Site L2 - Secure Vault
Io Black Site L2 -> Black Site Vaults
Black Site Vaults - cleared
IO L5 - Secure Vault
BEYOND L2 - The Hunt
BEYOND L2 -> Limbo
Limbo - cleared

Awards
  Medal of Prejudice (+200)
   * Won with 100% kills
  Confident Silver Badge
   * Complete Angel of Confidence (AoCo)

He killed 284 out of 284 enemies.

  1 Summoner
  18 fire fiends
  4 corrupted sergeants
  6 corrupted grunts
  5 former CRI soldiers
  16 turrets
  12 rocket turrets
  2 corrupted heavys
  13 toxic reavers
  11 exalted kerbeross
  14 cryoreavers
  8 siege ravagers
  6 CRI marines
  2 former CRI commandos
  20 reavers
  2 corrupted guards
  2 plasma ravagers
  1 former CRI grunt
  8 ice fiends
  1 former CRI heavy
  6 combat drones
  3 corrupted commandos
  14 fiends
  3 toxibeross
  2 cryobeross
  2 security sentrys
  24 archreavers
  4 CRI guards
  9 exalted fiends
  30 ravagers
  1 security bot
  9 CRI bots
  6 exalted reavers
  2 former CRI sergeants
  2 cybeross
  4 hellish commandos
  14 armored ravagers
  6 corrupted soldiers
  5 kerbeross

Traits
  Sustained fire L2
  Son of a Gun L1
  Whizkid L2
  Hacker L2
  Hunker down
  Remote Hack
  Tinkerer
  Incoming!
  ENTRENCHMENT L3

Trait order
  HDw->Inc->SF->Hak->Hak->MEN->RHa->SF->
  MEN->Whk->Whk->MEN->Tin->SoG

Equipment
  Slot #1 : AV3 hyperblaster PAE
   * Critical 25
   * Hunter 1
   * Disruptive 3
   * Molten 2
   * Deadly 2
   * Barbed 1
   * Spin-up

  Slot #2 : 12ga dual shotgun PB
   * Cleaner 8
   * Swap Harness

  Slot #3 : AV2 7.62 assault SMG PBA
   * Stabilized 1
   * Swap Harness
   * Molten 1
   * Point Blank 2
   * Cleaner 3

  Body    : ENV armor PBA
   * Plated
   * Painkiller
   * Durable
   * Sealed
   * Fireproof
   * Heated

  Head    : AV3 combat helmet B2
   * Bot scanner
   * Tech Monitor
   * Durable
   * Auto long-range tracking
   * Plated

  Utility : AV3 auto AMP
   * Auto speed-loader
   * Auto target tracking
   * Auto accelerator


Inventory
  energy cell (x85)
  12ga shell (x50)
  12ga shell (x48)
  7.62 ammo (x100)
  7.62 ammo (x98)
  plasma grenade (x1)
  krak grenade (x1)
  frag grenade (x1)
  multitool (x1)
  large medkit
  large medkit
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
I am still waiting for the Expanse update, which has an ETA of [che cks notes] last week, but my interest in the game remains strong, and what do I do when I display heavy interest in a game?

That's right, big-ass writeups that people could theoretically read!

Class Breakdown: Marine

Those of you familiar with this game's predecessor will no doubt recall the three classes available: Marine, Scout, and Technician. All three are in Jupiter Hell, but there's a lot to differentiate them this time around, with different traits available even at basic rank! Furthermore, there's unique mechanics and gear available to start out for each class.

For example: the Marine begins play with a medkit, and has a passive ability that restores some of their health whenever they go down a floor. This gives you a good idea of what to expect right out of the gate: the Marine is the class best suited to taking hits and keeping on. Each class also has a personal resource they can use to fuel activated skills. The Marine has Fury, which is restored on kills, and can be used to activate the Adrenaline ability, which heals them, turns whatever pain they had at the time into a little extra healing on top, and renders them immune to pain for a short time. The play there is obvious: use it right after taking a big hit to keep yourself standing and hit them back hard!

Skilled
Healing on new floor increased, pain-based healing from Adrenaline increased


Every class gets Skilled as their first choice, but what it does varies a bit for each class. In all cases, though, Skilled is primarily used to increase your innate class features, both passive and active. For the Marine, that mostly means just giving you better means of healing, and hey, who doesn't like that? Remember, in Jupiter Hell, there is NO passive regen: you either get gear that can heal you or hope they don't scratch the paint at 3 HP!

Ironman
Increases max health


While it's not the only way in the game to increase max HP, Ironman is still as safe a bet as ever for "eh, may as well throw that trait on there". It's especially nice for Marine as a way to stretch your healthbar out a little further to make use of some of your other abilities, as well as to really make use of the potential healing from Adrenaline or large medkits (or even just your per-level healing).

Furious
Fury cap increased, gibbing enemies awards extra Fury


Oh right, gibbing. So, if you overkill an enemy in one action, you won't even leave a body behind, just blood and chunks. Most of the time, this is just for funsies, but there's a few instances where it's useful (particularly on Nightmare! difficulty, where enemies revive offscreen after a while if not gibbed). In any event, this just lets the Marine use Adrenaline more often, which works out to more healing. And even if you don't get hit THAT often, Adrenaline can still do baby heals if you aren't in pain at all.

Hellrunner
Increases dodge bonus for moving, dodge cap, and movement speed


The classic. Hellrunner returns and is as strong as ever, especially for characters that depend on close-range attacks like shotguns, SMGs, or, naturally, melee weapons. The secret best part of this trait is boosting the cap; ordinarily, you can only hope for 30% dodge at a time, and usually you get less due to your heavy armor (if you're playing RIGHT). Two ranks of Hellrunner on deck, and suddenly you're feeling safe even with no cover and a whole slew of enemies aiming at you.

Son of a Gun
Increases accuracy and crit chance with pistols or SMGs


Since accuracy works differently in Jupiter Hell, the accuracy boost means a lot more than it did in the previous game. Losing the fire rate bonus is... well, honestly I'm fine with the game not letting you take actions at 0.1t, but I can see how that'd be upsetting for others. Look on the bright side, though: crit chance! Pretty solid crit chance, too. There's also considerably more variety for what weapons are compatible with Son of a Gun, so you don't just have to stick to standard pistols.

Reloader
First rank doubles reload speed on empty weapons, second rank reduces damage while reloading, third rank doubles all reload speed


Now THIS one is different. Boosting the reload speed on empty weapons only means this trait becomes more useful for weapons with low clips (excluding the single-shot reloads like on revolvers). What's more, this trait is actually three different effects baked into the same trait, not that I mind. Damage reduction on reload is just a nice little thing to have if you're reloading under fire (say, because you're using a shotgun).

Sustained Fire
Increases damage on consecutive volleys with SMGs or rifles


Sorry, there is no trait for adding flat damage to all of your attacks anymore. Instead, you get Sustained Fire, which only works with the rapid-fire weapons (and I guess single-shot rifles, but they won't notice a difference). Obviously, the more bullets you output, the more you'll appreciate this damage bonus, so expect to see your output skyrocket with a spin-up weapon like a chaingun.

Tough as Nails
Adds passive armor


What's the difference between this and Ironman? Easy: armor effects reduce damage on a per-hit basis, so Tough as Nails works best against enemies that deal lots of hits at once. Plus, Ironman increasing your total health means that most sources of healing just won't be felt as easily, being for the fixed values that they are. Tough as Nails doesn't indirectly mess with your healing capability like that.

Rip and Tear
Increases melee damage based on Fury, extra Fury on melee kills


Hell yes there's a perk with this name now. Rip and Tear is immensely powerful for boosting the already-significant damage on melee attacks, and the extra Fury generation lets you keep up even with deadly close-range foes. Any Marine seriously considering going for a melee build goes for this trait first, second and probably third.

Army Surplus
Lootboxes always hold ammo for your current weapon, third rank grants extra items from every fourth box


Ammo concerns are always in the back of my mind when playing, even though I'm an ammo goblin and hoard far too much of it. Army Surplus is a nice way of ensuring that no matter your weapon of choice, you'll never be screwed out of ammo for it based on the foes you're facing. Great if you're taking a 9mm weapon into endgame for some weird reason (maybe you got a storm SMG, I won't judge).

Cover Master
Requires: Tough as Nails 1
Reduces splash damage, hunker bonus persists while you stay still, second rank lets aim persist while you stay still


If you're really getting into the cover mechanics of the game, Cover Master is about as great a trait as you could ask for. Persistent hunker does wonders for your survivability, especially with the splash damage resistance baked in. The aiming persistence is nice, but not especially important to hang onto in my opinion, although there are weapon perks that let you really leverage aim bonuses offensively.

Gunslinger
Requires: Son of a Gun 2
Wield two pistols or SMGs at the same time


Dualgunner is back! As usual, in exchange for being able to fire off two weapons at once, there's a few penalties in play (fewer with the second rank): they take slightly longer to fire, there's an optimal range penalty baked in (like you care with two ranks of Son of a Gun) and you have to reload both at once. All of that is completely worth it for being able to bring twice the firepower: either pinpoint accuracy with pistols, hammerblows with revolvers, or pure spam with SMGs!

Bloodhound
Requires: Skilled 1
Tracks enemies within a certain range or that you have already seen once


A handy utility skill if you need to maneuver to cover, and it's great for ensuring positioning goes your way before you crack open a vault. I can't exactly recommend going out of your way to pick this one up, but it's certainly not a bad choice if you've already got the core pieces of your kit in place.

Field Medic
Requires: Ironman 2
Increases healing from medkits, stimpacks, and medical stations


As I mentioned above, the big issue with Ironman increasing your max health is that you then need more healing potential to keep up with your embiggened health bar. Field Medic to the rescue: suddenly all those formerly-weaksauce medkits become a lot more powerful for sustaining you even under pressure! As with Whizkid, I'd only consider this if you're either carrying a lot of medkits already, or banking on hitting a medical station soon.

Whizkid
Requires: Army Surplus 1
Increases cap for similar mods on gear, expands mod perk list, later levels increase total mod cap for any item


Modding works a little bit differently in Jupiter Hell compared to its predecessor (I'll go over it in a later post), but suffice it to say that Whizkid is and remains a very powerful choice for getting your gear completely ridiculous in short order. I'd probably wait on picking it up until you have a few mods saved up to work with, though. Or you can bank that you'll find a technical station soon where you can make your own mods, up to you.

Angry Motherfucker
Requires: Hellrunner 1
Increases damage based on missing health, third rank grants damage resistance at low health


Remember all that stuff above about playing chicken with your healthbar? This, right here, is THE trait for making that really pay out for you. The exact bonus is a percentage modifier equal to half of your missing health, which means that if you're on death's door scrambling to the next floor for that passive healing? Yeah you're at about 45% bonus damage. Granted, you can do actually-sane things and still get an okay amount of bonus damage from this trait. But where's the fun in that?

Running
Requires: Furious 1
Spend Fury for a large boost to move speed and dodge


If healing forever isn't your game, you probably shouldn't be playing Marine. But there's a lot to be said for versatility, and Running is a good way to make use of your Fury if you're already high on health. As with Hellrunner (which does stack with this move), this works best if you're going for close-range combat styles, especially against deadly big guys at range: just Running at them and make them regret it!

Onslaught
Requires: Hellrunner 2, Sustained fire 1
Level 8: Rotary, auto, and SMG weapons keep firing if you move after the first shot, major dodge penalty
Level 11: Halved ammo consumption on move, minor dodge penalty
Level 14: No dodge penalty


Chainfire weapons are always a favorite of mine, but you have to admit that standing perfectly still while firing them can be frustrating. Onslaught offers a solution to this problem, allowing you to maneuver to or around cover while still letting a hail of bullets fly! Sure, accuracy can be even more of an issue, and you don't have the option not to fire once this is going save for losing line of sight, but once you get this trait online, the game practically plays itself for you.

Bulletstorm
Requires: Army Surplus 1, Son of a Gun 2
Level 8: Pistols and SMGs fire 1 extra shot, pistols take longer to fire
Level 11: Halved ammo consumption for pistols and SMGs
Level 14: Ammo consumption capped at 1 per shot, pistols no longer take extra time to fire


I regret to inform you that Ammochain is no longer in the game. The good news: that's because Bulletstorm ate it whole. Getting this trait online requires a lot of patience before going for the Gunslinger perk, ESPECIALLY if using weapons with expensive ammo tastes like revolvers. Once you get past that, though? This trait can let you oneshot damn near anything in the game. I'm talking running face-first into a plasma ravager and going "nah, die" with one press of the shootgun button.

Army of Darkness
Requires: Ironman 1, Reloader 2
Level 8: Shotguns and launchers deal pierce damage instead of slash damage
Level 11: Shotgun and launcher optimal range increased by 2
Level 14: Shotgun and launcher optimal range set to maximum range


Okay, so turning the worst weapons at handling armor into the best is obviously really, really good. That alone justifies Army of Darkness for anyone hoping to use a shotgun (or rocket launcher) as a primary weapon. But those later levels giving you even better range?! Those are WILD! At max level, you deal exactly as much damage to an enemy at the very tip of your shotgun cone as you would if they were right in melee range. Use Army of Darkness if you felt like putting a tactical scope on a shotgun was actually a really smart move.

Vampyre
Requires: Ironman 1, Rip and Tear 2
Level 8: Killing a non-mechanical foe in melee heals you based on their health
Level 11: Increased healing
Level 14: Further increased healing


Another classic. This one is honestly the least changed master trait compared to the previous game: you want self-heal when you kill a guy? Sure, go for it. The healing gets really nice once you're able to comfortably go toe-to-toe with the biggest, baddest enemies in the game. In fact, it's good enough that you could make a case for grabbing Running and using your Fury solely on that. Just speed right up to dudes and mulch them in one hit (especially with a Momentum weapon), heal up whatever weakling shots they hit you with, and keep right on moving.

Survivor
Requires: Angry Motherfucker 1, Tough as Nails 1
Level 8: Prevents death anytime above 25 health, regenerates health below 25 health
Level 11: Prevents death anytime above 20 health, increased health regen
Level 14: Regenerate health in combat


Losing a run to unavoidable damage overload is never fun, am I right? But if you grab Survivor, you're basically ensuring that you will never lose the game due to a death of a thousand cuts. There's a few things that really synergize well with this; although no specific weapon style stands out to me, Field Medic and Angry Motherfucker (obviously) both stand out as excellent choices to complement Survivor, to either keep you above that death threshold or make you even more scary while you're at it.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Class Breakdown: Scout

Okay, so that class breakdown didn't look THAT different from what you're used to, right? Well, you'll be surprised when we take a look at the Scout: some elements that seem obvious will be completely missing, while other just-as-obvious elements will only appear here.

The Scout begins play with a .44 revolver rather than the expected 9mm pistol; broadly speaking, this trades range and ammo frequency for a lot more firepower. There's a second catch here: unlike the three weapon slots available to both the Marine and Technician, the Scout only gets two, so you'll have to make your choices count and work well together. The Scout also passively has the exits to every floor revealed, albeit only the normal exits: branches and special levels don't get displayed be default. You also get a supply of Energy, which you can use to activate a Stealth mode! Works exactly how it sounds: turn yourself invisible to enemies, with a nice guaranteed crit if you attack out of stealth! Energy is restored by opening lootboxes, and can overflow past your cap for the remainder of the floor you're on.

Skilled
First rank reveals branch elevators and increases stealth time, second rank reveals special level elevators and allows one free attack in stealth, third rank further increases stealth time

For Scout, Skilled improves both your passive mapping and your Stealth ability, both very handy features. It's well-known among classical roguelike players that the more info you have, the better, but I would really only claim that knowing elevator location for special stuff is good if you're speedrunning; most players would prefer to clear the level for XP and loot. The stealth bonuses are easily worth it, though, so you can consider the intel a side reward.

Eagle Eye
Increases ranges for all weapons


Yeah Marine doesn't get to do this! Since accuracy is now dependent on the range of each individual weapon, Eagle Eye broadly means that your attacks will all be a little more accurate. You also, naturally, get the benefit of being able to hit enemies from further away, but you usually won't be able to see further than you're able to hit anyway, so max range boosts tend to just become general accuracy boosts anyway. It's nice!

Dash
Every move past the first in the same direction is faster, third rank adds damage resistance while dashing


If the Marine wants to get in melee range of an enemy, they either use Running or just barrel through. If the Scout doesn't want to use Stealth (or wants to prolong its active period), Dash makes for a VERY nice alternative, allowing you to get right up in an enemy's grill before they see you coming. Sure, the straight-line thing can be tricky to work with, but only barely so.

Hellrunner
Increases dodge bonus for moving, dodge cap, and movement speed


It's good for Marine, sure, but Hellrunner is virtually never a bad idea for any Scout to take. Three of your five master traits really want it, and even the ones that don't can put it to good use, less for the dodge bonuses and more for the movement speed. If you don't have this at two ranks before hitting level 8, you're either doing something wrong or getting a REALLY funky build going.

Son of a Gun
Increases accuracy and crit chance with pistols or SMGs


Every class has some good way of making pistols and SMGs work as a main weapon, usually capstoned with a master trait, and Scout is no exception. One secret advantage of those smaller weapons is their reduced swap time, which is part of why I like having an SMG as a complement to a heavier weapon like a chaingun: once they get too close for the chaingun to be reliable, whip out the SMG and burn them down before they land a hit!

Juggler
Vastly speeds up weapon swapping and item usage


It's not THAT strong on Scout, what with the fewer weapon slots, but it can help if you're not using an easy-to-handle sidearm for when an enemy falls outside of your primary weapon's reach. It's less important for melee builds to take if you're using a ranged weapon, and you'll see why in a bit.

Executioner
Increase crit chance on nearby enemies


While this trait is obviously strong on melee builds, it's not solely usable by them. Executioner actually can reach as far as range 4 on max level, allowing for things like shotguns and sidearms to make free use of the bonus, even if you're not quite able to touch them. And let me tell you: critical damage on a shotgun attack is delicious.

Hacker
Decreases multitool costs for hacking


I could (and likely will) write an entire post about hacking in Jupiter Hell. Long story short, there's four ways to use multitools: you can fix up your armor, charge the assorted stations, or use them to hack enemies, either at melee range or from terminals! With Hacker, you can decrease those multitool costs, potentially down to 0, letting you get lots of tasty allies and intel while saving your multitools for what really matters. Or you can make hijacking a big killer robot a reality, if you want, that's fine.

Swashbuckler
Performing a melee attack with a gun switched to a melee weapon if available, killing with one of those weapon types boosts crit chance when swapping to the other


And here's why Juggler is less valuable to melee characters. Swashbuckler, for them, means you can walk around with your chaingun or whatever all the time, and as soon as anything gets in melee range, you whip out the machete and instantly attack. The crit bonus also helps keep your ranged attacks competitive while doing this! One caveat to the "diagonals don't exist" thing I mentioned above: it IS possible to attack enemies diagonally with melee moves, and if you kill an enemy in melee, you move into their space.

Hoarder
First rank adds an extra weapon slot, further ranks add extra inventory slots


For the true loot goblins among you who HATE that Scout gets fewer weapon slots than other classes. I'd consider this one pretty carefully though: do you REALLY want to burn an entire trait just to get up to parity with other classes on a field that isn't actually that important? Answer: if you're running Dualgunner, uhhhhh maybe? At least Hoarder unlocks some nice advanced traits.

Dodgemaster
Requires: Hellrunner 2
Non-move actions now halve dodge bonus instead of removing it completely, later ranks apply minimum always-active dodge


You might remember Dodgemaster being completely ridiculous in the previous game, being a guaranteed dodge of the first attack you'd be targeted by in a turn. Couple that with the splash damage immunity of Fireangel, and it was no wonder it was a fan favorite. Dodgemaster might've been reworked, but honestly I like this iteration better. Fun fact: melee attacks already have Dodgemaster by default, so this trait lets them just maintain the full dodge bonus anyway!

Gunslinger
Requires: Son of a Gun 2
Wield two pistols or SMGs at the same time


The calculus for Gunslinger changes a lot for Scout compared to Marine, even though both characters that are rolling sidearms will want it eventually. With this, you'll basically be dedicating both of your weapon slots solely to dual-wielding shenanigans, unless you take Hoarder. I mean, you'll probably take Hoarder ANYWAY, but be aware that you won't be able to swap weapons out to conserve ammo until you do!

Infiltrator
Requires: Hacker 2
First rank refunds Stealth cost upon hacking an enemy or accessing a terminal/station, second rank reveals lootbox locations, third rank reveals terminal/station locations


The biggest weakness of hacking enemies is that it's hard to actually get in melee range to do it. Scout and Technician both have their active abilities to do it, but those cost Energy (or Power) and can't be relied on. Infiltrator not only makes this easier and safer to do in a fight, it also allows a crafty Scout to use this to extend Stealth time by fiddling with a nearby station! Later ranks are also super handy to have; remember how you get Energy by opening lootboxes and it can overcharge for a floor? What if you know where they all are?

Scavenger
Requires: Hoarder 1
Converts ammo picked up to match the currently wielded weapon, with different ammo types gated by level


Scavenger is a really nice way of ensuring that your weapon of choice will last well into endgame, even if it uses a rare kind of ammo in lategame like .44 ammo (or 9mm if you're ridiculous). You'll want to level this one up dependent mostly on how far in the game you are; there's not much use in converting energy cells before they even appear, y'know?

Whizkid
Requires: Eagle Eye 1
Increases cap for similar mods on gear, expands mod perk list, later levels increase mod cap for any item


Fun fact: prior to the Expanse update, you had to take Hoarder (which had only 1 rank to it) to unlock Whizkid for Scout. I HATED that, and that was the main reason I had so few Scout runs under my belt. Changing that out to Eagle Eye not only makes that far more palatable for me; it also makes it possible for Scouts running under Angel of Light Travel (which blocks Hoarder) to actually get Whizkid! Everyone wins!

Energy Leech
Requires: Skilled 1
Gains Energy on melee kill, and more Energy from lootboxes


Both of the ideal melee masteries for Scout rely heavily on the ability to use Energy, and both of them want Energy Leech to get nice tasty returns out of abusing their ridiculous powers. If you're running melee Scout, you're getting Energy Leech eventually. If you're not, it can still be useful to get more uses out of Stealth anyway, and hey, Swashbuckler is literally right there, calling out to you enticingly!

Deadly Precision
Requires: Eagle Eye 1
Consecutive shots add to crit chance for pistols, SMGs, and rifles, Aim bonus persists until you move or change target, third level applies Aim bonus to crit chance


Now, you might be thinking, if you're using Deadly Precision on a pistol, with the crit bonus from Son of a Gun, not to mention Stealth, aren't you going to wrap past 100% sooner or later? Good news: the devs thought of that, and doing that will give you a chance for even more crit damage! So if you're at 120% crit chance, you're getting a guaranteed bonus, with a 20% chance for twice as good of a bonus. In short: Deadly Precision is VERY GOOD.

Sniper
Requires: Deadly Precision 2, Eagle Eye 1
Level 8: Increases maximum and optimal range for all weapons, distance-dependent crit bonus on non-chainfire rifles
Level 11: Distance-dependent crit damage boost on non-chainfire rifles
Level 14: Increased crit damage boost


While there's still the ever-classic chaingun as the poster child for rifle weaponry, there's more than a few single-shot alternatives to round out the rifle family. These weapons pack incredible power and accuracy over long ranges, but have a punishing minimum range to compensate. Sniper, as a trait, just makes these weapons even more scary: as soon as something is in eyeshot, you can realistically kill it in one shot. This assumes wide terrain and single enemies, so be careful you don't get ambushed!

Gun Kata
Requires: Hellrunner 1, Gunslinger 1
Level 8: Automatically shoot pistols or SMGs at the two nearest enemies while moving, with accuracy and dodge penalties
Level 11: Reduced accuracy and dodge penalties
Level 14: Fires both weapons even if only one target is visible


Of course Gun Kata would make a triumphant return, was there any doubt? Naturally, it plays a LITTLE differently in Jupiter Hell, but mostly by environment: instead of diagonally dashdancing around in open space, you'll more likely use this to do strafing runs from one point of cover to the next. You don't get the classic reload-on-kill effect anymore, but there's nothing stopping you from doing that if you've safely Dashed or Stealthed away, right?

Gunrunner
Requires: Dash 1, Eagle Eye 1
Level 8: Reload weapon while moving, reduced fire time after moving
Level 11: Further reduced fire time after moving, increased optimal range for all weapons
Level 14: Damage bonus after moving


Gun Kata is preferable if you're using sidearms, sure, but Gunrunner works with anything else if you really want to do classic Scout gameplay: move, shoot, move, shoot, and never get hit during it. It goes without saying, but you'll want some Dodgemaster to really tie this set together: just constantly outspeed literally anything else in the game.

Assassinate
Requires: Executioner 2, Dash 1
Level 8: Spend Energy to teleport behind an enemy, maximize dodge, and melee attack, refunding the Energy on kill
Level 11: Removes cooldown
Level 14: Greater Energy refund if used in Stealth


Obviously, I have my favorites for playstyle, and Assassinate is very much NOT my style, but I am okay with it, because this one just gets to be silly and cool and audacious and edgy and I have to love it for that. Get yourself a high-end melee weapon and some Energy Leech and you can literally bounce around the map instakilling dudes left and right. Just be careful not to warp right into a pack of enemies you heard but didn't see!

Ghost
Requires: Skilled 2, Eagle Eye 1
Level 8: Reduced Stealth cost, detect all enemies within a moderate range
Level 11: Further reduced Stealth cost
Level 14: Detect all enemies on the map


And finally: the trait of choice for players who want to have full information and really put that Stealth skill through its paces. You could make a very strong argument for Ghost being on par with Assassinate for a melee-focused Scout, especially with Energy Leech and Infiltrator to keep you basically permanently Stealthed. Because honestly: if you know where the enemies, treasure, and exits are, do you really need anything else?
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Oh, wait, the Expanse update got released overnight, completely overhauling the trait lists for everyone and giving each trait 3 total ranks!

So, uh, expardon me while I completely overhaul the above posts! And also play a ton of Jupiter Hell.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
What, you mean I'll have to re-read all of these analyses all over again?

Well, sure I will! I have been enjoying these, and they make me wanna dig out DoomRL for a few more games.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Class Breakdown: Technician

The last of the three classes is Technician. Where the Marine focused on raw survivability and power, and the Scout focused on speed and intel, the Technician has the best gear-management options in the game, allowing you to get the most out of whatever pieces of kit you find. They also get to use consumable items twice as quickly as anyone else!

The Technician starts out with three multitools, which if you recall the Hacker skill that Scout has (and which Technician obviously has too) allows you to mess with terminals or hack mechanical enemies. Also relating to mechanical enemies is the Power class resource: every mechanical foe you kill drops a power orb that charges Power for you, which can overflow past your max for one floor. The Technician can use a difficulty-dependent amount of Power to deploy a Smoke Screen, obscuring vision in and out of an area around them, which is great for breaking up line of sight if you're caught out of position. They start with a second active ability, too! Dismantle doesn't cost Power, it just breaks down a modded item to return one of the mods on that item at random to you. This lets Technician play a lot more freely with mods!

Skilled
Increases Power capacity, number of mods returned from Dismantle, and Smoke Screen effectiveness

Nothing we haven't seen before here, honestly. The second ability looks to be the most attractive at first, but don't forget that technical stations allow you to dismantle items at them for 2 charges. That's the only way Marine or Scout can do it, but it's still an option for Technician if they don't want to jack up their Skilled trait. Aside from that, Skilled is good for just more opportunities for Smoke Screen, so if you like that, invest here!

Whizkid
Increases cap for similar mods on gear, expands mod perk list, later levels increase total mod cap for any item


In keeping with their specialization in gear, Technician gets to take ranks in Whizkid right out of the gate, no other traits required! I probably wouldn't go for this as your first trait unless you find both really solid gear AND mods or a technical station to go with it, but your starting multitools and lack of prerequisites make this a safe choice if you're feeling confident you'll run into mods eventually (you will).

Powerjack
Gains Power from terminals and stations, second rank extends benefit to lootboxes


Getting Power from mechanical enemies, assuming you stick to the main route, is usually enough to keep you fueled up throughout the game. If you're planning on exploring some of the side branches for extra resources, or would rather hack mechanical enemies than destroy them, Powerjack is a very strong alternate method of gaining Power.

Cover Master
Reduces splash damage, hunker bonus persists while you stay still, second rank lets aim persist while you stay still


Whizkid as a basic trait for Technician makes sense, but why Cover Master? There's some subtlety to this one that's not apparent. First: persistent aim and persistent hunker were originally different traits, the latter of which was only available to Technician. And second and much more painful: the Technician is not a fast class, and does not get Hellrunner or any trait to boost mobility. Every class has a weakness: Marine is the weakest at technical stuff, Scout has the worst survivability, and Technician can't go zoom.

Son of a Gun
Increases accuracy and crit chance with pistols or SMGs


I like how every class gets Son of a Gun. Sure, you could argue for a lot more traits being strong options for universal choices, but none of them are consistent basic traits that every class would want and could realistically have while maintaining balance... except for Son of a Gun. Pistols and SMGs for everyone!!!!!

Juggler
Vastly speeds up weapon swapping and item usage


Juggler is good for Scout, but not super good, since they only have the two weapon slots anyway, and both sidearms and Swashbuckler make it feel a bit weaker. On Technician, though, Juggler becomes a very powerful option, since the entire thing is that you win by having the right tool for the job on hand. And speeding up those consumables even more quickly gets REALLY nice when you're under fire.

Sustained Fire
Increases damage on consecutive volleys with SMGs or rifles


Good for bulletspam on Marine, and just as good for bulletspam on Technician. You can read a lot about the class identities from which classes get left out of the basic traits for any given choice. Scouts can't use Sustained Fire, so they're generally going to be weaker with stuff like chainguns, for example.

Hacker
Decreases multitool costs for hacking


Scout makes for a fine hacking class, don't get me wrong. But if you really want to get right into controlling the electronic defenses of Jupiter's moons, you go Technician, ram yourself facefirst into Hacker, and never look back. Remember, you start out with extra multitools! You can start going after even larger robot foes with this if you start early!

Juggernaut
Gains damage resistance from targeted enemy when moving towards them


Here's how Technician starts off their melee build without any way to increase movement speed (outside of armor mods, anyway). The damage resistance is very good, enough so that this could be considered for lots of Technician builds even if you're not using outright melee weapons, but Jupiter Hell being what it is, I think most players would prefer the dodge chance from Hellrunner. Which, y'know, Technician can't get.

Hoarder
First rank adds an extra weapon slot, further ranks add extra inventory slots


Hoarder serves a very different purpose for Technician than it does for Scout. That first rank only pulls Scout up to parity with other classes for weapons held. But if you've got all your ammo issues worked out for your other three weapons, or feel confident that you can handle it and just want more cool gear, Hoarder is a very nice option. Four types of gun gives you an option for basically any situation you can imagine, and lets you really play around with the more gimmicky things (such as the CRI bio launcher).

Toxicologist
Requires: Powerjack 1
Grants immunity to poison, converts Smoke Screen into toxic gas clouds, third rank converts smoke grenades to gas grenades


Smoke Screen is a very good ability, but it feels somewhat underwhelming compared to Stealth or Adrenaline on the surface. Toxicologist not only grants you a very handy immunity for the low-mobility Technician, but also lets you punish enemies that get close with deadly toxic gas! Don't underestimate the power of that gas, especially since enemies will chase you through the smoke if they think they can get away with it (they can't).

Headshot
Requires: Son of a Gun 2
Vastly increases crit chance for pistols and SMGs every few turns


Technician doesn't get Gunslinger, but honestly, Headshot is nice enough that they don't need it. It's definitely more ammo-efficient, and while it's not immediately apparent, crit chance does overflow if stacked high enough. It used to be an active skill, but due to wanting Jupiter Hell to be compatible with controllers (which is how I play) doing so blocked the Wizard trait. Now, though, Headshot's cooldown activates automatically when you fire, so you can be assumed to have it whenever you start off a fight!

Remote Hack
Requires: Hacker 2
Allows you to hack targeted enemies at range, or use the Broadcast menu to command friendly mechanicals


Remember how hacking enemies is dangerous because you have to get close to them, and Scout has Infiltrator to make Stealth a more reliable method of doing that themselves? Ordinarily, Technician has to use Smoke Screen to bait them close, which is expensive and risky. Remote Hack is in a league of its own, though, especially with all three ranks of Hacker under your belt. For extra fun, later levels of Remote Hack can automatically hack free enemies just by existing!

Scavenger
Requires: Hoarder 1
Converts ammo picked up to match the currently wielded weapon, with different ammo types gated by level


Scavenger is just as handy for Technician to have as it is for Scout. Sure, you're going to have access to four weapons, but you'll need to keep them all fed, and if the ammo drops don't play nice, you might have to sacrifice a really cool toy without this, simply because you can't keep up with ammo. I'd definitely recommend Juggler as a counterpart, so you don't find yourself grabbing the wrong ammo type and wasting time swapping weapons around to compensate.

Sysop
Requires: Whizkid 1
Increases charges on stations, first rank reveals stations, second rank reveals terminals, third rank reveals lootboxes


Never ever EVER underestimate the power of Sysop. If you're running Whizkid like a good Technician, and have Sysop maxed out, and find a technical station, that's 6 charges to spend on creating mod packs to your heart's content. If you're set on mods, that's 6 multitools to use on hacking robots. And there's loads of other stations out there: medical, ammo and gear manufacturing...

Bladedancer
Requires: Juggernaut 1
Wield two bladed melee weapons at once


Congrats, Malicious Knives, you've been downgraded to an intermediate trait. Like Gunslinger, Bladedancer applies some penalties to attack speed while dual-wielding, but it comes with an amplification of your melee guard at higher levels (although only the guard from your first weapon applies, and there's a guard+dodge cap of 90%). This allows for some truly monstrous melee damage while also letting you survive most melee foes with ease.

Grenadier
Requires: Hoarder 1
Certain lootboxes hold extra grenades, second and third ranks improve grenade potency


Oh yeah, Jupiter Hell has grenades. Grenades rock. You can stack three of a kind in your inventory, and they're a great way to even the odds if you find a giant crowd of enemies bearing down on you. I'd recommend really filling out your inventory with more ranks of Hoarder if you want to play Grenadier, since carrying ammo, health supplies, AND multitools can really make it hard to keep all those cool extra grenades.

Entrenchment
Requires: Sustained Fire 1, Cover Master 2
Level 8: Grants damage reduction and spins up chainfire weapons while hunkering, reloading automatically hunkers, reduces ammo consumption
Level 11: Increases damage reduction and further reduces ammo consumption
Level 14: Further increases damage reduction


My old favorite master trait makes a glorious return, now built into the cover system of Jupiter Hell and sporting some excellent ammo saving just for fun. Entrenchment both makes you virtually unkillable once you plant yourself behind cover, and lets you withstand being caught in the open by fearsome enemies. Naturally, it works best with chainfire weapons, but this functions with any kind of weapon! You ever reduced ammo consumption on a 12ga jackhammer?

Sharpshooter
Requires: Whizkid 1, Son of a Gun 2
Level 8: Increases maximum range for pistols and SMGs, distance-dependent damage bonus for pistols and SMGs
Level 11: Increases damage bonus
Level 14: Further increases damage bonus


Most of the sidearms in the game have okay, but not especially great, ranges. Sharpshooter lets you really stretch the range available for each of them (especially when you factor in the range bonuses from Son of a Gun) and seriously amps up the damage output the further away your target is. Compared to Sniper, you trade away reliable long-range killpower for the ability to function with excellent damage at any range. Oh, and if you're used to the previous game: ALL damage values in Jupiter Hell are fixed, not rolled on attack.

Fireangel
Requires: Whizkid 2, Cover Master 1
Level 8: Grants immunity to burning, reduces splash damage
Level 11: Grants immunity to splash damage, applies burning to all of your attacks
Level 14: Increases burning damage


So, the core benefit of Fireangel is still there, but the circumstances surrounding it have all changed significantly. You don't get Dodgemaster, or even Hellrunner, to synergize with it, and the Cover Master requirement actually emphasizes remaining in place. In exchange, you also get an immunity to a common damage-over-time effect AND the ability to leverage it yourself on all of your attacks. It's still a solid master trait, but you can't approach it the same way you might be used to.

Blademaster
Requires: Bladedancer 2, Juggernaut 1
Level 8: Attack with one melee weapon after move
Level 11: Increased melee guard range, move attack works on melee kill
Level 14: Move attack uses both dual-wielded blades


Melee Technicians still have the issue of being slowpokes in general, but Blademaster helps you even the odds by letting you get free melee attacks just by moving! Not only does this let you swat away the pesky enemies you pass on your way to your target, it also lets you seize the initiative on approach. I heavily recommend investing in accuracy mod packs for your armor to boost your Dodge if you do this, but your melee guard ought to help a lot there.

Wizard
Requires: Skilled 1, Hacker 2
Level 8: Smoke Screen becomes available on cooldown, uses Power to summon a mechanical ally, hacked allies have overhealth
Level 11: Summons a stronger ally, reduces Power cost
Level 14: Summons an even stronger ally


Yeah! Jupiter Hell has a summoner build! By far the biggest problem with most Hacker-focused characters is that they become a lot weaker once you run into robot-light environments. Wizard doesn't solve that completely (at least not without Powerjack support, which you WILL pick up) but it does let them dive into those places and still come out strong. Do note that there is a cap to how many robot minions you can bring to each floor, so don't be shy to let them get into trouble!
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Mechanic Breakdown: Range and Accuracy

There's still a lot to talk about with Jupiter Hell, and I think it's best to start with one of the simplest underlying mechanics of the game, specifically how differently it functions compared to the previous game. As a game about ranged combat, learning about the various ranges your weapons function at, as well as the ways you can improve or screw up your aim, is a fundamental element to focus on. The game covers all of this in the Help menu, but I want to talk about it here and now, so myehhh.

Weapon Ranges
Fundamentally, each weapon in the game has a base accuracy value of 100%. (Older versions had this vary across weapons if memory serves, which was one reason why SMGs have only recently become a viable pick.) However, this value only holds assuming everything is going right. That said, it's a lot more transparent about your odds to hit than in the previous title, which I really like. Each weapon has a range, either listed with two or three numbers. We'll start with a two-number example: your starting 9mm pistol, sporting a range of 4/6.

The first number is your optimal range: assuming there are no penalties to your accuracy, and the enemy is at least that close, you'll keep that 100% chance to hit. Distance is counted Pythagoras-style, so an enemy diagonally adjacent to you is considered to be at distance 1.4. The second number is your maximum range: as your target gets out of the optimal range and closer to the maximum range, your accuracy starts to fall off, scaling relative to how close they are to the maximum. If the target is outside of your maximum range, your accuracy drops to o% and you can never hit them with that weapon. (Launchers are an exception, however; the projectile still fires and hits something eventually, and the resulting explosion can still do damage.)

Some weapon types, primarily rifles and launchers, have three numbers instead. Let's take the chaingun here: it has the range 3/4/7. With this notation, the optimal and maximum distances are the second and third numbers respectively. The first one is your minimum distance: any enemy that reaches that range applies a 50% penalty to your shots. It's possible to compensate for the accuracy loss with certain builds or mods, but generally speaking, if they're that close, you should switch off to a better close-range firearm.

One last note: shotguns have two ranges like most other weapons, but they don't use accuracy and can't benefit from the Aim action (more on that in a bit). Instead, they always hit, but their damage is scaled depending on their range. The standard 12ga shotgun has a range of 2/7, so it will rarely be at full damage unless right up against a target.

Cover, Pain, Aiming, and Hunker
In a departure not only from the previous game, but its legally-distinct inspiration, Jupiter Hell implements cover mechanics into its game. I don't know the exact numbers, but solid walls and destructible obstacles both can either protect you from enemies or obscure your chances of hitting them. The benefits of cover are always displayed relative to whatever foe you're currently targeting, with red lines around objects indicating a cover benefit for them, and green ones indicating cover for you.

It's tempting to dismiss the whole gimmick entirely and simply rush the enemy, but you should at least attempt to implement cover in your strategies, primarily due to pain. If you take a significant whuppin' in a short amount of time, your Pain will start to apply a penalty to your accuracy. It wears off over time fairly quickly, but less so if you're in a lot of pain. While some builds can mitigate or even make use of this, especially on Marine, it's still the game's way of telling you to back up and get yourself to cover. If you're getting beaten down in melee and can't realistically run away, you better hope you have a stimpack or CRI phase kit on hand.

There's benefits to staying still behind cover, too. Waiting in place will always apply an Aim bonus if you follow it up with an attack on the target, and you can do it twice in a row for +50% to your chances to hit each time. Similarly, waiting while right next to some cover will apply a Hunker bonus, increasing the effectiveness of the cover so as to ensure your next action goes off relatively safely. The Cover Master trait can even permit these buffs to last until you move out from where you're hiding (or until you change weapons or targets in the case of Aim).

Dodge and Melee
While all of that is fine and dandy, certain builds, particularly shotgun and melee builds, don't get a whole lot of benefit out of staying in place taking potshots at distant foes. Fortunately, dodging is still a thing in this game. While you're moving, you apply a debuff to enemy accuracy, basically. The chance you see listed below is applied to their odds of hitting you wherever you are. The value ticks up briefly while you actually activate a move, and then wears off over the space of your next turn if you don't move again, allowing you to keep some slight amount of dodge when you do stop to shoot. Hellrunner not only boosts your movement speed, but increases both your chances of dodging AND the cap on how high that value can get!

This plays nicely into how melee characters handle in Jupiter Hell, too. You get to maintain half of your dodge value when you make a melee attack, same effect as the Scout's Dodgemaster trait. It's also possible to attack enemies that are diagonally adjacent with a melee attack. Furthermore, if your melee attack actually kills, you move into that enemy's space for free, which counts as a full move for the sake of your dodge bonus AND allows you to move diagonally if you kill in that direction! I'll go over this more in the breakdown for how melee weapons play later, but rest assured that sacrificing the comfort of cover in favor of getting right up in their face can be VERY rewarding.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
If you're referring to enemies aiming their attacks at where you were, I think so. The only thing that really alters where you're targeting is cover, which is easiest to test with a rocket launcher (find something with about four layers of destructible cover and see where your shot actually impacts). That said, losing sidestepping is kind of a necessity for melee builds, since orthogonal approaches are all you can do, you can't abuse zigzagging to throw off their aim.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Mechanic Breakdown: Modding

While the mod mechanic returns from the previous game, and it has the same basic roadmap for how it works (find mods, glue them to your gear, now gear is gooder), modding in Jupiter Hell plays a lot differently from how you might expect. We'll start with the basics: there are three mod types that you can commonly find throughout the game: accuracy, bulk, and power. (Technical mods were not invited.) In the earliest iterations of the game, they worked as they always did, by boosting the numerical values of your weapon.

In today's day and age, however, what mods actually do is grant gear new perks! Whenever you apply a mod to an item, you get a choice that corresponds both to the gear in question and the mod you're using (excepting some rare mod types that carry very specific perks, like Vampiric). By default, you only get two options for a given mod type (the first two in each list), and each piece of gear can only hold one mod of a given type. Every level of Whizkid increases both of these values by one, allowing you to get the further and stronger mod effects and to stack similar benefits on the same piece of gear. And since all of these perks tend to play nice with one another in implementation, it's entirely viable to stack, say, three bulk mods on a rocket launcher and still have a competitive weapon for a more logical mod array.

Because each weapon type has its own perk lists, I'll save those for when I go in-depth about the strategical value of each weapon type. I'll list the effects you can expect to find when applying them to armor and helmets for now. Note that you might encounter ADV gear that already has some mod perks on it, or even some unique benefits you can't get from mods. If you apply a mod that would offer that choice from its perk list, it skips to the next available one, assuming there are any left. Also worth noting: ADV gear and exotic gear come with fewer mod slots than their normal counterparts. The baseline for mod slots is 4, with ADV gear having 3 to 2 depending on the perks they have, and exotic gear having only one.

Swift
Reduces dodge penalties from armor


Everyone wants a big comfy suit of armor to protect themselves, but the heavier the armor, the greater the penalty to your dodge, which can be very uncomfortable for the more fleet-footed builds. Swift makes for a very natural first choice to offset that penalty, although the more stationary characters could do without it, no problem.

Painkiller
Increases the rate of pain recovery


For those characters who do find themselves sitting in one place for a long time, Painkiller is the more attractive option, letting them stand and fight when under fire rather than wasting time running from a target that may very well still be able to hit them. Marines should be careful about this one if they're using Adrenaline often, since it shortens the time window for that to be useful!

Target Tracking
Increases optimal range for all weapons


You can usually get this benefit simply by applying an accuracy mod directly to a weapon that needs the benefit, and you won't need to invest in Whizkid to do so. Putting this in your armor instead favors a heavy-offense build with multiple weapon types at your disposal... or you just want to save slots on your weapon of choice.

Pockets
Halves use time for consumable items


This is a trait that Technician has by default, but the time for items can go up even further. Anyone expecting to throw a medkit while under fire can make use of Pockets. After all, it's not great to use a medkit to heal yourself from a hammer blow if you just sit there and let another one happen, right? And maybe you don't have time to run away, right?

Metabolic Boost
Increases move speed


Okay, FINE, you can use the accuracy boost for a move speed boost. Are you happy now? Answer: on my last run, I played an Onslaught Marine, with this perk, Hellrunner 3, and Running. Normally, the final boss warps away every so often, with a damage gate for good measure to ensure you don't skip phases. I had so much move speed on Onslaught that I kind of skipped that second damage gate outright. I'm sure the devs will patch that one out sooner or later, but somehow I'm not in a hurry to tell them.

Durable
Increases gear durability


This always finds its way onto the nicest pieces of armor sooner or later. Every piece of armor or headwear has durability, which determines both the effectiveness of their defensive values (if present) and how much of a beating it takes before it gets completely trashed. Once you find the armor that really ties your kit together, go get yourself a bulk mod and throw this perk on there.

Fireproof
Grants immunity to burning


Bulk mods also tend to be an ideal way to grant resistances to common status effects. Burning is at its most dangerous on Callisto, where fire fiends make for common and dangerous enemies. After that point, though, you'll see more cold and poison (with a hint of acid) moves to deal with, so Fireproof falls off in usefulness quickly.

Heated
Grants immunity to freezing


Freezing, on the other hand, happens most on the midgame moon of Europa. It's also a little bit more common after that point than burning is, and having your actions slowed down suuucks, so if you have a bulk mod and no better place to put it, Heated is a fine way to ensure you don't get yourself stuck in a lethal trap.

Loading Feed
Partially reloads automatics on moving


I'm fine with this one being so situational with how late it is, but let's be honest: with most automatics, your usual plan isn't to move-and-shoot (excluding Onslaught and maybe some Scout masteries, which LOVE this perk), but to park yourself behind cover, especially if you're using a spin-up weapon. So, broadly speaking, you can ignore this one.

Auto-Repair
Restores the armor's durability up to 30%


Nano mods are not in the game, and I'm sad about this. The good news is that you can use Auto-Repair to approximate the usefulness of nano mods anyway! That said, on its own, restoring up to 30% won't do a whole lot, even if that value is boosted with Durable. Remember, armor effectiveness goes down with durability, too! This is mostly a safeguard against getting your perfect set of armor entirely destroyed lategame, which can be a run ender and will be tragic even if it isn't.

Carrier
Adds an extra inventory slot


Now that's neat. Generally speaking, despite being an ammo goblin of the highest order, I don't usually have major issues with inventory space. I just dump a stack of ammo I'm not ever going to realistically use if I have to make room. If that doesn't sound comfortable to you, or if you are okay with spending a mod now to haul a bunch of mods for later, Carrier is there!

Meshed
Grants immunity to bleeding


Bleeding is a pretty common status effect if you're up against melee foes, but it's not nearly as deadly as the other damage-over-time effects. In exchange for the lower damage, it comes with a larger pain penalty when it ticks down. If you're expecting to be caught in melee combat more often than not (whether you're building for melee or not), Meshed is a pretty safe bet.

Plated
Increases armor


You're wearing armor. You want it to have an armor value. Plated gives you a bigger armor value. Sure, you have to take Whizkid (or find armor with Carrier or Meshed on it), but there really is no reason not to put this perk on a piece of armor if you plan on using a power mod. Armor.

Auto-med
Automatically heals you slightly upon entering a new floor


Marines can already do this for free, but it's something everyone appreciates at least slightly, and it stacks with the Marine ability! It's especially valuable if you find yourself using medkits simply for raw upkeep against unforgiving barrages of enemies, or if you already have solid defensive measures and just need small amounts of healing behind them.

Kinetic Shield
Dodge also applies damage reduction


This one's a finicky one, but it's very good. Compared to Plated, which reduces the damage from each hit, Kinetic Shield does a lot more against bigger hits that you don't succeed in dodging. Obviously, you'll want to have a dodge-focused build to make the most of it, but if you have that, you will definitely want Kinetic Shield on your armor.

Aim Assist
Aiming maximizes your bonus rather than scaling it up


While armor mods tend to focus heavily on raw defense or gear longevity, headgear tends to be more about info or aiming. Aim Assist is VERY nice to have on any character who wants to get the most out of an aim effect, but who doesn't have the leeway to wait two turns with an angry foe staring at them (for example, a Cover Master with a heavy weapon, or a Scout with only so much time left in Stealth).

Long-Range Tracking
Increases maximum range for all weapons


Sure, it's good, but honestly, maximum range usually isn't worth the trouble to invest in. In practice, without other accuracy bonuses, your optimal range will still mean you'll have trouble hitting targets that your new range opened up. Plus, most weapons already have a maximum range that includes or exceeds your character's visual range (excluding the well-lit open caverns). Still, this does improve the accuracy scaling for things outside your optimal range.

Target Tracking
Increases optimal range for all weapons


I guess the question here, aside from "do I want to invest in Whizkid", is "do I want to give myself slightly better chances to hit further-away targets, or guarantee that I can hit not-exactly-close-but-closer-than-before targets?" Personally, I will never turn down optimal range boosts... unless I'm running Army of Darkness. Army of Darkness LOVES maximum range boosts.

Critical 10
Increases crit chance


Lots of gear has the same kind of perks available to it, but in different values to reflect how useful it is in this-or-that situation. So while you can mod weapons to have specifically high crit chance, putting the Critical perk on some headgear lets you crit with anything you wield, but for less than if you were to dedicates the accuracy mod to a specific weapon.

Network Scanner
Reveals all terminals and stations on the map


Sure, Infiltrator and Sysop can procure this benefit naturally, but what about the poor Marine? Are they to be left out of the fun? Well, I guess Marines don't especially care about hacking enemies with terminals, but there's also the fact to consider that you're perhaps not invested properly to take Infiltrator, or don't want to level it up to 3. (If you can access this trait on Technician and don't have Sysop, you're doing it wrong.)

Durable
Increases gear durability


There's two main types of headgear. Helmets protect against critical hits (primarily lunge attacks from melee enemies) and can have innate armor values on higher ones, while visors come built in with some unique visual benefits that even modding can't always get you. Visors also tend to be much more fragile, so I like to use this perk on them just in case.

Bot Scanner
Reveals all mechanical enemies on the map


Any hacker worth their salt gets this as quickly as they can. Knowing where your future robot buddies are hiding out lets you get to them and commandeer them more quickly. It's also handy for the less hackerly sorts of characters in a pinch, allowing them to scout out and avoid turrets that could potentially do some rude unavoidable damage.

Tech Monitor
Improves the value of all repairs


The main thing to consider with Tech Monitor vs. Durable is this: how often are you going to encounter technical stations, or have multitools to spare on fixing your gear? Magnifying repair values don't mean a thing if you can't get those repair values in the first place. It's strongest on Sysop Technician, who frequently has more multitools than they know what to do with.

Health Monitor
Increases all healing received


This one, though, this one is a favorite of Marines. Literally all of their starting kit is healing, and a bunch of their traits revolve around survivability. Other classes can use it, sure, and it's good for them, but Health Monitor is worth investing in Whizkid to get for a Marine, even if they ordinarily wouldn't. Don't know if it stacks with Field Medic, but my heart says yes.

Auto-Repair
Restores the armor's durability up to 30%


This one's a lot more attractive for headgear than it is for armor, for one simple reason: there's few, if any, defensive values to degrade with lower durability. And the perks don't drop in quality as your headgear gets banged up, either! You can still scan the entire level or pinpoint an enemy's weak spot just fine with a damaged visor.

Exit Scanner
Reveals normal elevators and exits on the map


Yaaaawn. Don't care about this trait as Scout's passive, and definitely don't care about extending it to other classes. Sure, it's good for speedrunning, but when I play this game, the exit is the last thing on my mind, ESPECIALLY if there's a branch entrance that would fit my run perfectly. And let's be real, why would you ever need to speedrun as a Technician?

Danger Monitor
Increases dodge


Headgear doesn't apply a dodge penalty, but it can totally provide a dodge bonus! The value from this is somewhat weaker than the value from Swift, I guess to compensate for getting a dodge bonus out of a power mod as opposed to an accuracy mod. Still, it's not bad, and it's a damn sight better than Exit Scanner.

Plated
Increases armor


Still here, still a good idea. Wear a helmet and give it good plating.

Crit Enhancer 25
Increases crit damage


While there's lots of ways to increase your crit chance, the actual value of stacking crit chance forever tends to vary depending on the damage bonus from your weapon. Crit Enhancer greatly rewards anyone who has been stacking crit chance, in obvious ways. Bigger crit damage, when you're guaranteed at least one +25% increase on top of whatever modifier your weapon has? Yes please and thank you.

Supply Scanner
Reveals all lootboxes on the map


Probably the best scanner perk you can put on your headgear. Everyone likes lootboxes, especially Scouts (and to a lesser degree, Powerjack Technicians). If there is any one thing you need to know the locations of when you first enter a floor, it's the enemies, but the lootboxes are the next best thing, and you can't use mod perks to detect the enemies. (But some headgear does have Heatvision built in...)
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Mechanic Breakdown: Multitools, Hacking, Terminals, and Stations

Now we're getting into a mechanic that barely existed in the previous game (levers and certain powerups and that's about it). There's a lot of ground to cover here, but all of it centers around a single item type in the game: the humble multitool.

Multitools are consumable items that you can stack up to 5 of a kind in your inventory. Individually, you can use a multitool out of your inventory for a nice simple repair of 25% of your armor and headgear. Certainly nice, but not exactly a gamechanger, and I'd completely understand if you didn't want to haul multitools around just for that. But there's much better reasons to haul around multitools!

The first thing you can do with multitools is hack mechanical enemies. To do this, simply walk into the robot of your choice at melee range to bring up a terminal menu. You can immediately see the robot's exact remaining health, protocol, and the multitool costs to either disable it, which instantly and safely kills it (handy for the big guys that explode when killed), or to hack it, which not only gives XP for defeating the enemy, but also converts them into an ally for as long as they're still standing! You can also walk into hacked allies to change their protocol from the default: either having them WAIT in place, FOLLOW you around and even to later floors, or HUNT down the nearest enemy on the floor. It's also possible to repair hacked allies for 1 multitool. The Hacker skill decreases the costs for all of these abilities except for repairs, which is always a flat 1 multitool.

The second thing you can do is spend those multitools on terminals and stations! Because each of these serves such a different purpose, they each get a spoilerpop of their own, but one thing to note is that almost all of them can get extra charges by spending multitools on them, and quite a few of them allow you to extract a multitool in turn if you have no need of their services. Course, stations all come with some charges of their own, especially if you've got the Sysop trait.

These are among the most common things to find, usually with one at least every two floors. They aren't technically stations, which mostly just means that you need 2 ranks of Sysop to detect them on the map. They also don't have charges, but any effects you could spend multitools on here get discounted with more levels of Hacker, so it works out anyway. Also worth noting: terminals have unique commands that you can access on certain level feelings: you can use it to deactivate the Lockdown before the robots appear, or to restore Low Power levels and light the floor up again. In both instances, you get a large chunk of XP to take home.

Access Security
Remotely hacks or disables drones and/or turrets, or activates purge mode on all machines


Earlygame hacking is almost always done via the security terminal, with costs scaling to how many susceptible machines you'd be hacking at once. The small fry enemies aren't worth manually approaching, even if you've got a high Hacker level, but the tradeoff is that you can only hack the smallfries from here. Larger enemies like sentries and bots have to be handled in-person. You can also activate purge mode to force all robots to kill anything that isn't a robot, but this is usually a desperate maneuver despite the low price. If a robot in PURGE protocol kills something or vice versa, you don't get that XP!

Unlock Vault
Opens the secure vault on the floor


If you find a room that has locked purple doors, you can rest assured that a terminal is waiting somewhere on the map, eager for you to unlock that vault and unleash the enemies packed inside. Strictly speaking, you don't NEED to unlock it this way: it's possible for you (or an enemy that catches your scent) to destroy a vault door with enough of a beating, but the vast majority of the time, you'll just use the terminal to do it. And hey, vaults tend to have lootboxes or stations that make the risk well worth it!

Access Recon
Reveals branches for the moon, the map for the floor, or all enemy positions on the map


The first part is always free, and can help you plot out a route for your run that fits the skillset you want to develop (for example, a Toxicologist would find the Callisto Rift a significantly safer bet). Revealing the map costs a mere single multitool as a base cost, and displays not only the level layout, but also lootboxes, elevators, and stations. Finally, tracking data, which ordinarily costs 3 multitools, is invaluable on levels with dangerous modifiers, like The Hunt or Infestation.

Access Messages
Review terminal messages, archive messages with key information


The 0.9.8 update added messages to terminals, which are mostly lore that you can peruse, but they also contain some handy tips for later areas. It'll indicate which upcoming branch has a cost to enter (and what it is), forecast certain level feelings, and give clues as to valuable gear later on! Any messages which lose relevance (likely because you miss the level branch it pertains to) are automatically archived, so there's no harm in just archiving everything and referencing it as you go!

Exactly what it says on the box. The medical station is here to keep that nice red bar as topped off as it can be. It has a base of 3 charges, as most stations do.

Healing
Cost: 1 charge


Classic. A single charge from a medical station is equivalent for all intents and purposes to using a medkit on yourself then and there. My usual playstyle when I know one of these is on the level is to use it to get myself up to above 60 health, and come back whenever my health dips below that throughout the course of the level.

Create medkit
Cost: 2 charges


In the event that you don't need healing outright, getting a medkit to-go is almost always the play. It's more efficient to just do normal healing if you're wounded NOW, but if the level's cleaned out? Get a medkit or two.

Create stimpack
Cost: 3 charges


Emptying the entire medical stations for a medkit that also restores class resource and applies a short-lived buff isn't really a trade I'd take, but there are instances where it could come in handy. If your inventory has no room for another medkit but you have an incomplete stimpack stack, for example. Or for builds that rely heavily on the class resource (such as Wizard or Ghost). Honestly, though, it's usually not worth the trouble.

Increase health
Cost: 3 charges


If you already have an inventory full of medkits and are certain you don't need healing on the floor, you can just jack up your max health by 5 points. There is a cap of 160 points, which a Marine can naturally reach with Ironman 3, so there is a limit to how much you can do it, and it does apply a chunk of pain when you do this. But if you're in a situation where that pain can matter, why are you trying to increase your max health at a medical station.

A big problem with Whizkid is that it loses a lot of usefulness as an investment if the game just doesn't feel like giving you mods. Never fear, that's what the technical station is for! Although it serves a lot of handy purposes, the main reason to use the technical station is to get just the mod you need to really make your gear shine.

Repair armor
Cost: 1 charge


Repairing your armor at a technical station is twice as effective as doing it yourself with a multitool. It's also easy to just plug a multitool into the station if you were planning on using it for repairs anyway. Always nice, especially if you don't want to use your multitools for regular maintenance, although obviously this can't be 100% relied on: multitools aren't fixed to a single floor you can't backtrack to.

Create mod pack
Cost: 2 charges


Right here, this is THE reason you want to seek out technical stations, especially if you've been going for Whizkid (or if you're a Technician and have been going for Sysop). Consider your mod choices here carefully, and don't be afraid to dump multitools into this station if you've found the perfect gear for your build and want to treat it right!

Dismantle item
Cost: 2 charges


For Scout or Marine, this is the only way to get mods back from an item that has outlived its usefulness (and therefore most often sees use on Io 1, where a guaranteed technical station spawns and where most builds will trade out old gear). For a Technician, this is still useful, since dismantling this way returns all mods, which their own Dismantle skill might not manage if they aren't Skilled enough.

Auto-calibrate weapon
Cost: 1 charges


This is a new feature that uses a mod slot on your weapon to automatically generate a perk for that weapon over time. While this is cheaper than using the station to give you a mod outright, and the perk itself is pretty solid (+10% damage and +1 optimal range on the chaingun I tried it with, unsure about other weapons) you still have to earn that perk by killing things with that weapon specifically. Unless you plan on carrying that specific weapon for an extended period of time, give this a miss.

Extract multitool
Cost: 1 charge


What's that? You're all set for mods? Well, that's fine, just take some multitools with you to use on another station, or fixing your armor later, or hacking robots. What's that? You're not taking Whizkid? I'm sorry but I have to ask you to leave.

Being at the mercy of lootboxes and enemy drops for your weapon of choice can be a real headache sometimes, let me tell you. Fortunately, many vaults and special levels give you a way to make your own gear! All gear you can make at these stations is at least ADV2, and for the really fancy ones, I think it can even reach ADV3! That's right, gear manufacturing stations come in 3 tiers, almost always sorted by how far in the game you are.

Manufacture ADV weapon
Cost: 2 charges


The menu for what you can make varies with the tier of the station, and I don't care to post it here, especially without the context for what each option means. Suffice it to say that this is the best way to get advanced versions of weapons unlikely to drop from your enemies, such as melee weapons or uncommon firearms like revolvers.

Manufacture ADV armor
Cost: 3 charges


This is usually what I go for when I find one of these things, mainly because good ADV armor/headgear is hard to find, but finding a weapon that suits my playstyle (and that I can't manufacture here) is easy. You can create armor, helmets, or visors as you please with this option, all appropriately tiered according to the station. Thi might be a bummer to lategame dodge specialists, what with heavier armor impeding your dodge chances more. But let's be real: you'll suck it up and take it anyway, good armor can be modded to fix that anyway.

Manufacture base weapon
Cost: 1 charge


Don't overlook this cheap option! Sure, an ADV weapon can usually get some silly shenanigans going on, but the menu for base weapons tends to be considerably diverse! You can get some weapon types even before their particular ammo type begins appearing, which doesn't sound great unless you've been speccing Scavenger, which then goes "haha im going to delete all of Europa with plasma weapons for kicks".

Dismantle item
Cost: 2 charges


It's nice that this feature is available on gear manufacturing stations now, especially since certain level branches guarantee gear manufacturing stations but not necessarily technical stations. This is a newer feature, but a very convenient one!

Extract multitool
Cost: 1 charge


It's extremely likely that you won't need to make anything here if your gear is already doing fine. So, naturally, you can just turn the charges into some multitools and move right along, no harm done.

Being more common in lategame and only having 2 charges, the ammo stations can feel somewhat underwhelming if you've been keeping your weapons well-fed. For more ammo-hungry builds, or those that use ammo types that are rarer lategame, these can be manna from heaven. Lead manna.

Create ammo
Cost: 1 charge


Does what it says on the box. I believe the kind of ammo types you can generate might be gated by moon, but in any case, you ought to be able to feed whatever firearm needs it the most here, no problem.

Create grenade
Cost: 1 charge


You can also get yourself some grenades here if you'd rather do that, and the selection is very nice here, with the biggest and obvious omission being the plasma grenade, aka "Overkill in a Can". Frustratingly, you can NOT extract multitools from this station, which breaks my fragile hacker heart. Still, grenades are nice, I suppose.
 
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Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Hey, are mod recipes still a thing? I remember playing DRL with a wiki page open so I could craft cool things.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
As of the present update, they are not. The good news is that all weapons are moddable, even exotics like the 9mm storm SMG, and most exotics come with a unique perk of their own as well.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Hey, are mod recipes still a thing? I remember playing DRL with a wiki page open so I could craft cool things.
I liked the mod recipe stuff, as someone who scrupulously avoids spoilers, since it meant that over many runs, sometimes I'd stumble across a cool new thing that I wasn't expecting to. It also meant that I'd bias towards the class that was better at it, IIRC.
 

Trar

Grilling
(I am a man)
So wait can you adjust your character's swearing to the maximum where every other word out of his mouth is "FUCK"? Because I just started reinstalling the game and I haven't played in a while.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
The profanity filter has three settings: Heavy, Normal, and Clean. Haven't tried Heavy yet, but presumably it does exactly what you asked for.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Weapon Breakdown: Pistols

There's lots of gun's you can brast in this game, all with various strengths and weaknesses and exotic versions and it's just a grand old time looking for the right piece for your kit. But unless you're playing on one of the moon-skipping challenge runs, everyone starts out with a simple sidearm. Pistols serve as the most basic of weapons in the game, for better or worse, but there's a lot you can do with these trusty standbys.

Let's get the weaknesses out of the way first. And by that, I mean weakness, singular: pistols just don't do much damage. In a game where the secret is to kill them all and don't die, not being able to get step 1 done quickly is HUGE. Sure, each individual shot of a pistol does okay damage, but compared to basically any other weapon type, when you make it go bang, it will outdamage a pistol any time.

The advantages to pistols? Literally everything else you could ask for. Low swap time means you can whip one out and poke an enemy that's at low health while saving ammo for your bigger guns, and the only thing more ammo-efficient than pistols are melee weapons. They tend to have respectable ranges, enough to ensure reliable odds on hitting foes out of cover with ease, and even some behind cover with Aiming. What's more, they're one of the only weapon types that can benefit from the basic trait Son of a Gun, which every class can access and which tends to lead into very powerful masteries (Bulletstorm, Gun Kata, or Sharpshooter). They can also hold more mods than basically anything else, allowing you to carry your starting weapon well into endgame with the right combination of perks.

Virtually every weapon type in Jupiter Hell has a few alternatives, which largely function like the normal variety, down to having the same trait compatibility, but which differ just enough in mechanics and playstyle to be worth calling out. In the case of pistols, you'll find yourself finding revolvers as an alternative. The most distinct change a revolver offers is individual reload, which shotgun users from the previous game might be familiar with: reload speed is drastically increased, but only puts a single bullet in the chamber each time. This means that if you're about to run empty but your last foe is nearly dead, you can swiftly put a shot in there and finish them off, but reloading the entire thing takes much longer. Aside from that, revolvers also have weaker ranges and ask for rarer ammo types, but tend to have a base critical chance and higher damage on them.

9mm pistol
Damage: 16 impact
Range: 4/6
Ammo: 9mm, 8 per clip
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%


Starting weapon for Marines and Technicians. The range is excellent for starting out, although the wider caverns will make it harder to engage foes at a distance. And, of course, the damage is very low, such that you'll find yourself unable to even oneshot formers without some extra help. It's useful to hold onto as a way to conserve ammo, but unless you plan to spec hard into pistols and modding this particular model, don't hold onto it for long.

9mm combat pistol
Damage: 9 impact
Range: 4/7
Ammo: 9mm, 10 per clip
Shots: 2
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%
Crit damage: +50%


A slightly rarer variant of the basic pistol, generally considered a straight upgrade to the basic pistol. Sure, you're spending twice the ammo for only slightly better base damage, but the better range helps the combat pistol exceed at the job you needed the basic pistol for: reliably finishing off weakened enemies. Firing two shots also helps with Bulletstorm, with any mods that boost damage, and with rolling crits, especially backed by Son of a Gun.

7.62 sidearm
Damage: 12 impact
Range: 4/7
Ammo: 7.62, 12 per clip
Shots: 2
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%
Crit damage: +50%


Mostly found at lategame manufacturing stations, the 7.62 sidearm is a fairly situational weapon for most builds. As far as ammo efficiency goes, you'll tend to have more easy access to 7.62 bullets instead of 9mm by the time the sidearm comes around... but you'll also find more things that hunger for that ammo type too, and I don't feel like the pistol firing two shots at a time helps its case. Still, it's not bad, and it has a special place in the heart of any Bulletstorm Marine.

CRI plasma pistol
Damage: 22 plasma
Range: 4/8
Ammo: energy cell, 4 per clip
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%


Jupiter Hell has lots of weapons that make use of energy cells lategame, and doesn't actually drop that ammo type OR weapons that use it prior to Io. Combine that with the guaranteed technical station at Io 1, and you'll see lots of pistol builds dismantle their old favorites there if ammo hasn't been kind, just to get one of these up and running. I shouldn't have to explain why this one's so nice, but take care that the low clip size doesn't blindside you.

9mm calibrated
Damage: 16 pierce
Range: 5/8
Ammo: 9mm, 6 per clip
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 50%
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Master Calibration (+50% crit chance while in optimal range)


Our first exotic weapon! Exotics in Jupiter Hell come preloaded with a unique perk for each weapon, and sometimes even a normal perk, just to sweeten the deal. Not that the 9mm calibrated needs it: this is one of the rare few weapons capable of dishing out pierce damage, which is just as mean in this game as in the original. It's especially handy for dismantling mechanical enemies in a scant few shots, and it comes with some handy crit stuff as well. An absolute dream weapon for anyone seriously considering a pistol-based run, and good enough that even those who don't might reconsider their plans. Shame about the mod cap though, exotic weapons are very hard to mod.

.44 deagle
Damage: 30 impact
Range: 3/6
Ammo: .44, 8 per clip
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 50%
Crit chance: +20%
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Unflinching Aim (ignore pain penalty)


The next exotic pistol is basically just a revolver in terms of every stat except the reloading mechanic. Not saying that's a bad thing at all, mind you. The .44 deagle packs a serious kick, and is especially fun for Marines abusing the self-heal of Adrenaline. You'll still have to contend with both the weak range and the ammo scarcity of .44 rounds, but that's nothing a dedicated gunslinger can't handle.

CRI blaster
Damage: 25 plasma
Range: 4/8
Ammo: unknown, 20 per clip
Shot cost: 5
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 50%
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Arc-powered (regenerates ammo but cannot be manually reloaded)


A funky alternative to the CRI plasma pistol that is the most ammo-efficient option in the game that isn't a melee weapon. The CRI blaster recharges a single shot each turn, even when not equipped, making it almost exclusively a sidearm. The damage is solid, don't get me wrong, but without a way to offset the ammo cost, you literally cannot use this thing when it's empty, and must switch off to another weapon afterwards. On the plus side: this is a sidearm you literally never have to worry about ammo for! No matter what, you can always switch to the CRI blaster to wrap an encounter up!

.44 revolver
Damage: 24 impact
Range: 3/6
Ammo: .44, 6 per clip
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 40%
Reload time: 25%, single-shot
Crit chance: +20%
Crit damage: +50%


The starting weapon for scouts, and the standard by which every other revolver is measured. Unlike the 9mm pistol, this CAN oneshot formers from the word go, so that definitely give it an edge there. I really do have to reiterate on how much rarer .44 ammo is than 9mm ammo, especially early game, though. Callisto floors end up carpeted with so much 9mm that you can't even hold it all, while you'll find yourself running out of .44 ammo real quick even with the Scout starting with a decent chunk of it. Use sparingly, and you won't be disappointed.

.44 long revolver
Damage: 22 impact
Range: 4/7
Ammo: .44, 6 per clip
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%
Reload time: 25%, single-shot
Crit damage: +50%


A common alternative to the normal revolver. The range is better, true, and the damage isn't so low that you'll struggle to bring down formers with this, but you give up just enough ancillary small benefits (faster swap speed, crit chance) that I can entirely understand someone not wanting to make that trade. I tend to find this used when I'm NOT running a pistol build, but want a nice reliable delete button for enemies at -low health regardless of range.

JS .44 revolver
Damage: 32 impact
Range: 4/6
Ammo: .44, 3 per clip
Mod capacity: 3
Swap time: 50%
Reload time: 25%, single-shot
Crit chance: +30%
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Firefly (gibbed enemies explode)


Speaking of, here is the most reliable delete button for such an occasion in the game. The JoviSec revolver gives up half the clip size of a conventional revolver, but most of the time you'll hardly miss that, because A: have you SEEN the per-shot damage this thing can do, and B: an Extended Mag perk is just a single bulk mod away. The undisputed king of revolvers, and a worthy rival to both the 9mm calibrated and the .44 deagle.

Calibrated 1
Increases optimal range

This one's fairly wasted on most pistols, which tend to have a reliable optimal range by default and which only enjoy more boosts by Son of a Gun practicers. And if optimal range is your thing, why not install this on your headgear? But hey, I'll never turn down optimal range if I have nothing better to do.

Stabilized 1
Increases maximum range


Maximum range is a LITTLE nicer for some pistols, seeing as range 6 isn't that far away (usually just on the edge of your visual radius). But, again, Son of a Gun's innate range boosts make that extra little bit of stretch easy to come by, so this one's honestly even harder to recommend unless you're not taking Son of a Gun. And if you're not, I expect you to have a good reason to throw a mod on your sidearm just for maximum range, because I won't give you one.

Precise
Applies half the Aim modifier to damage


VERY nice on pistols, especially for characters that rely on cover. Pistols have solid per-shot damage and crit potential, and Precise can help both of those out very easily. Ideally, you pair this with something that has Aim Assist, but if you don't have that, I understand. That said, if you're a move-and-shoot sort, you can give this a miss.

Critical 25
Increases crit chance


NOW we're talking. Pistols love crit chance, and every character has ways to start stacking it due to Son of a Gun. You really can't go wrong throwing this on your pistol if you're specialized for pistols in any way whatsoever, and it's not a bad play even if you aren't. Lots of weapons love crit chance, but pistols are among the best.

Exalted Bane
Increases damage to exalted enemies


Okay, so sometimes when you're exploring a level, you'll run into a pack of above-average enemies sporting some pesky and unusual extra traits. These are exalted enemies, and if you succeed in bringing a pack of 'em down, you'll find yourself with some shiny new gear as a reward, plus a possible health orb or two. Getting better at killing these things is always a good time... although some branches don't have any exalted enemies in them. Extra strong on Nightmare!, where enemies respawn as exalted variants!

Swap Harness
Greatly increases weapon swap speed

I mean, if you really want to, you can. At this speed, the swap is virtually instant. Personally, though, I like the swap speed of pistols well enough where they are, and tend to have other things I'd like to spend bulk mods on.

Speed-loader
Greatly increases reload speed when empty


Virtually useless on revolvers due to their single-shot reloading mechanic. For pistols, though? Yeah, you could do a lot worse than Speed-loader. Nothing worse than emptying your main weapon, swapping to your secondary, only for that to run empty too, am I right? Speed-loader is a great way to ensure you're never caught that flat-footed.

Extended Mag 4
Increases clip size


Amazing on the JS .44 revolver, really nice on the 7.62 sidearm, and more or less okay on any others. Like, you can put it on them if you run out of ammo too fast, and it'll do the job just fine, but those two guns are where this perk truly shines. I'd still personally take Speed-loader on a pistol, but for a revolver this is a good alternative.

Barbed 3
Shots apply bleeding


Hell yeah, damage over time. Great for speedsters who can keep dangerous targets at bay, and any pistol-user worth their salt should have no problem getting this one to stick. That said, it doesn't quite measure up to rapid-fire weapons, since multiple instances of the same status effect do stack.

Sustain
Returns the round to the clip on kill


Absolute peak ammo efficiency, right here. This is what you want to shoot for if taking a weapon with a scarce endgame ammo type all the way to the bottom. No fussing around with reloading either, if you've built up enough power to down your target in a single shot: just point, click, and move on. For best results, combine it with Fresh Mag.

Fresh Mag 3
Increases damage from the first shot in a clip

Not a bad first choice, honestly. If you're using pistols to finish off weakened enemies, this is one of the better ways to go about it. Swap in to a fresh pistol for that spike damage! Naturally, this one suffers for more dedicated pistol users, but it can still find some use if you've got lots of power mods and nothing better to do with them.

Longshot 3
Increases damage to enemies at range 5 or more


Longshot is juuuust far enough outside of the pistol's usual operating parameters to make it uncomfortable for most casual users, but for a dedicated pistol main with Son of a Gun available? Go for it. You'll probably have enough accuracy that you won't even need the 100% hit guarantee, you'll still be able to just take down enemies easily without it.

Frenzy 3
Gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill


Likewise, Frenzy shouldn't be put to use by dilettantes either. If you aren't using pistols as a main weapon, they're there to end encounters that are at their conclusion. No sense getting a damage boost after that, right? Unlike most other damage boosts, Frenzy can stack, though, so this one works great to build up a katamari-style killing spree: take down the small fries first, then leverage that Frenzy modifier to burst down the big dogs.

Molten 3
Shots apply burning


While this is functionally the same as Barbed in most cases, there's some distinctions to be had, most notably in the fact that fire can spread. Obviously, this lets you turn your humble pistol into a semi-reliable crowd-clearer for small-fries, but be warned that fire has no allegiance, and can spread to you or to hazmat around you, with tragic and/or hilarious results.

Deadly 3
Increases damage


Congrats on reaching Whizkid 2! Here is how you will use your next power mod pack on every single weapon type you can get this perk on. I could see some players preferring to prioritize the stacking benefits of Frenzy or Molten first, but not me. Give me that big stupid no-finesse damage please and thank you.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Weapon Breakdown: Shotguns

Right, now that we got the default out of the way, let's talk about the REAL starter weapon. A classic of the genre, the shotgun is your go-to choice for blasting through a horde of puny undead with a single click, followed by that ever-so-satisfying "cha-click" of the follow-up reload. Jupiter Hell has plenty of shotgun-flavored goodness for you, rest assured.

The first thing to talk about with shotguns is their unique interactions with range. First and most importantly: shotguns can't miss. As long as you have higher than 0% against them, you are going to deal at least a little damage. That's because shotguns use their ranges not to determine hit chance, but damage falloff! So you'll get the max damage of a shotgun if you're in the optimal range, falling off to no damage as you head out. Moreover, shotguns across the board tend to have excellent damage potential AND a wide cone for their shot trajectory, letting you clean out entire crowds of small fries while still doing chunky damage to the bigger ones.

Of course, the weakness of shotguns is [checks notes] literally every other stat they have. Most shotguns are single-seaters, and must be reloaded manually after one shot, two if you're lucky. Their damage is good, but it's also slash damage, rendering it weaker against armor and virtually useless against robotic foes. And their speed stats for reloading or swapping are strictly average, which isn't good when you may need to pull it out or reload it at a moment's notice. And their ammo efficiency isn't really bad, but they almost all use 12ga shells, which are a fairly uncommon ammo type at every stage of the game. Not as rare as .44 ammo, but enough to make the bigger versions a little dicey.

12ga shotgun
Damage: 34 slash
Range: 2/7, spread 3
Ammo: 12ga, 1 per clip
Mod capacity: 5


The weapon of choice for early Callisto. As long as you're close enough, this thing can reliably handle basically anything except for a robot, and even the security drones are low health enough to fall victim to it. As long as you're behind cover, the reload isn't too bad, and the damage can make for a reliable way to wear foes down even at midrange. This is also the shotgun with the most mod slots, worth considering if you're rolling Whizkid.

12ga auto-shotgun
Damage: 30 slash
Range: 3/6, spread 2
Ammo: 12ga, 4 per clip
Mod capacity: 3
Reload time: 50%, single-shot


If having to reload after every shot is too much for you, you shouldn't have trouble finding an auto-shotgun as a handy alternative. In exchange for lower damage and a narrower spread, the auto-shotgun can hold four shells at once, and the range allows it to function better at midrange, too. A trusty companion, either as a main weapon for a shotgun build, or a sidearm that can output major burst damage when the going gets tough. It also uses revolver reloading mechanics, fair warning.

12ga dual shotgun
Damage: 50 slash
Range: 2/5, spread 3
Ammo: 12ga, 2 per clip
Shot cost: 2
Mod capacity: 3


Now THIS is a shotgun. If you don't want to be shooting at any range further than you can spit, and have shells to spare, the dual shotgun is for you. Absolutely ruinous damage, capable of putting anything smaller than a reaver in the grave in one shot, but it suffers from all the problems of the other shotguns, and the extra ammo cost can get troublesome if used too widely.

CRI plasma shotgun
Damage: 50 plasma
Range: 2/6, spread 2
Ammo: energy cell, 4 per clip
Shot cost: 4
Mod capacity: 3


It's easy to look at this and go "okay, lategame alternative to the dual shotgun, okay". Do NOT dismiss this weapon so easily. Remember how shotguns all deal slash damage, which is half of why Army of Darkness is such a busted trait? Yeah this thing does plasma damage. Armor stops being an issue for shotgun players as soon as they get their hands on one of these. This one's a pretty ammo-hungry guy, though, outpacing even the CRI plasma rifle for per-shot cell consumption.

9mm frag shotgun
Damage: 60 slash
Range: 2/6, spread 3
Ammo: 9mm, 4 per clip
Shot cost: 4
Mod capacity: 2
Reload time: 200%
Guaranteed perk: Barbed (applies bleeding)


The first exotic shotgun is a very silly one, apparently just chewing up 9mm rounds to fire out cones of shrapnel. The earlier you find this one, the better it is to incorporate it into your build. Remember, 9mm ammo sharply increases in rarity the further in you go, and while the frag shotgun doesn't use a LOT of it, it still eats enough of it that you will need to find a way to handle it. For that high of damage though? Honestly worth it.

12ga elephant gun
Damage: 66 slash
Range: 2/6, spread 3
Ammo: 12ga, 2 per clip
Shot cost: 2
Mod capacity: 2
Reload time: 200%
Guaranteed perk: Concussion (applies a damage penalty to biological enemies)


A shared weakness of all the exotic shotguns is the much longer reload time. That's not something you want to have to deal with when you're facing down a pack of demons with an empty shotgun. The elephant gun's base damage is so damn high that it's unlikely most things will survive even a single shot from it, especially once your build is up and running. If you do plan to use them, STRONGLY consider finding either things to speed up reload time, or alternate means of reloading (for more on this, check the bulk mods below).

12ga jackhammer
Damage: 28 slash
Range: 2/6, spread 2
Ammo: 12ga, 6 per clip
Shots: 3
Mod capacity: 1
Reload time: 150%, 3 shots
Guaranteed perk: Jackhammer (fires three blasts per shot)


So, the elephant gun is a very "standard" exotic weapon, if that makes sense. The 9mm frag shotgun plays silly games with ammo choice for shotguns, while the jackhammer makes a return to demonstrate "what if shotgun, but rapid-fire?" to devastating effect. This one gets especially dangerous with mods boosting its power, since shotgun mod damage tends to be balanced around them being single-shot weapons. You will not find a more ammo-hungry shotgun in the game, though, so watch your reserves VERY carefully.

12ga super shotgun
Damage: 60 slash
Range: 3/6, spread 2
Ammo: 12ga, 2 per clip
Shot cost: 2
Mod capacity: 1
Guaranteed perk: Rinse, Repeat (increases gibbing chance, auto-reloads on kill)


And finally, you have the extreme endpoint of natural shotgun play with the super shotgun, built to kill small fries and big dogs alike. This is by far the most no-frills shotgun on the market, and a perfect option for anyone seriously pursuing shotguns as a main weapon. That said, the spread means that the standard dual shotgun is technically better for crowd-clearing in one shot... and yet, if you get a free reload if you get even a single kill, do you care?

Calibrated 1
Increases optimal range


Shotguns can't miss, but again, their damage falls off depending on range and cover. Higher optimal range means a larger radius of max damage from it, which is always good. You can't really go wrong with this, UNLESS you're rolling Army of Darkness.

Stabilized 1
Increases maximum range


If you ARE rolling Army of Darkness, you go for Stabilized, every time, without question. At the max level, your shotgun optimal ranges become their maximums, which means shotguns have no damage falloff. For everyone else, uhhhhhh probably avoid this honestly.

Retaliate
Applies half the Pain modifier to damage


This one sounds scary, and it definitely is, but again: shotguns can't miss. Pain can be a very handy thing here if you really need to apply some retribution literally right now. Then again, if you're in that much pain, is firing off your shotgun really the right answer compared to, y'know, healing or fleeing?

Critical 25
Increases crit chance


Shotguns aren't great shakes at abusing crit damage, but it certainly doesn't hurt, am I right? I couldn't tell you if it rolls the crit chance for each enemy in the cone or not, I don't really do crit shotgun stuff enough to notice it. Feel free to try it out if you're specializing in crits already (like as a Scout or something).

Exalted Bane
Increases damage to exalted enemies


VERY welcome on shotguns. Exalted enemies tend to come in packs of three, and hitting all of them at once with an exalted bane shotgun can often turn a lethal encounter into a clean one. Make sure you can handle the reload, but if you can? Shotguns are probably the best exalted bane candidates in the game.

Swap Harness
Greatly increases weapon swap speed


Very good to have for shotguns, since you'll likely be using another, longer range weapon like a rifle long before the shotgun needs to come out. Being able to near instantly go from your weak range to your strong one is a very nice panic button that can work as a brutal combo on anything you encounter.

Loading Holster
Reloads the weapon automatically when swapping to it


Okay, there's some definite synergies to be had here. Combining this with the above Swap Harness, or the Juggler trait, allows you to cycle between more than one shotgun and fire them off much faster than you would by simply reloading the one shotgun on the spot. It also helps you avoid the classic mistake of switching to an empty shotgun you forgot to reload post-fight, which has happened to me more times than I care to admit.

Autoloader
Automatically reloads while moving


Shottyman isn't a trait you can get while leveling anymore, not after the Expanse patch. Instead, it's a perk you can apply to your weapons! This is the key to really getting move-and-shoot builds up and running, especially on a Dodgemaster. You can still use cover for mitigation, of course, but shotguns need to close the distance for maximum effectiveness, and Autoloader lets you keep up the pain while keeping yourself moving.

Barbed 3
Shots apply bleeding


Mostly handy for being able to apply the status effect to multiple targets at once, and with the reload time on shotguns, a little bit of damage over time is good for you. Against single targets, it's not going to do a whole lot, especially not compared to some of the other options you could ask for.

Second Chamber
Doubles clip size


Yeah they just let you do this now! Obviously, this is very nice on the single-shot style of shotguns, allowing you to put out twice the damage before reloading, but don't discount this on the ones that fire more than once already! Put this on an auto-shotgun and you get to fire 8 times before reloading! That's like pistol level clip size!

Point Blank 8
Increases damage to adjacent enemies


Note how the number next to the perk is so much higher for shotguns compared to pistols? Yeah that's a feature. For how infrequently these fire, you want to be damn sure you're getting your money's worth out of a power mod, right? And let's be real: being point blank with a shotgun is the dream.

Cleaner 8
Increases damage against weak enemies


Do you enjoy the crowd-clearing aspect of the shotgun more than anything? Great, take Cleaner! Despite the likely first impression, this trait does scale somewhat reasonably in endgame, where high-level formers maintain low overall health totals, still within range of Cleaner. Not bad on a shotgun at all, especially a wide spread one.

Frenzy 8
Gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill


Also very good on shotguns, which tend to get lots of kills in one go, quickly maxing your frenzy. That said, I'd make sure your reloading issues are well and proper resolved before going for Frenzy, or you'll waste more time reloading than you will making the most of this damage boost!

Molten 3
Shots apply burning


Yeah Molten and Barbed don't scale. Trust me, they'd be BUSTED if they did. When a damage over time effect ticks, it deals damage equal to the value, and then decreases by 1. A Molten 8 shotgun could kill virtually anything in the game if you were dedicated enough to running away and letting the fire tick down.

Deadly 8
Increases damage


Yes.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Weapon Breakdown: Rifles

Most of you haven't heard of this kind of gun, if you came from the previous game. The closest analogy you'd have is the classic chaingun, which don't fret; still in the game. However, that's just one of many examples of the most diverse weapon type in the game: rifles! There's plenty of options for your build here, but one thing is clear: these are very good at shooting the bullets, fatally.

Let's first discuss the common ground to all rifles: the minimum range. Unlike many other weapons in the game, rifles have three ranges, with the first number indicating a minimum range. Anything closer than that is harder to hit, so you'll suffer an accuracy hit against close-range enemies. As such, you should always be prepared with a revolver, SMG, or fast-swapped shotgun, on the off-chance that the enemies DO get right up in your grits.

Now, there's three main types of rifles, although two of them are very similar. First, you have the basic assault/auto rifles. As the name implies, these weapons shoot multiple bullets each time you fire. While the individual shots don't do much, this does mean you get to roll multiple times, allowing even chip damage on targets hiding behind cover, or more opportunities for critical damage. Naturally, this also means you're dealing with more consumption of your ammo than any other weapon type out there (almost). Auto rifles tend to have their best accuracy at midrange, although their maximum range is up there. That said, weapons as large as these are cumbersome to reload.

The second variant is rotary, or chainfiring weapons, of which the chaingun is the most common. Chainfiring weapons all bear the unique spin-up trait, which adds +2 shots to the next volley after firing once, and +4 to all subsequent shots as long as you continue to shoot. Assuming you have the ammo to support them, these things can put down even the biggest enemies in short order. That's the kicker, though: are you really going to be okay with spending 8 or more bullets with each shot, especially on low health enemies? Also be mindful: chainfiring rifles tend to take longer to swap in, and only do partial reloads!

Finally, you have single-shot semi-auto rifles. Unlike their cousins, they pack all of their power into a single shot. They also boast incredible accuracy, with optimal ranges hovering comfortably above where most weapons leave their max range, and well outside the visual range of your average JoviSec officer. While their damage output doesn't keep up with chainfiring weapons, the sheer power and accuracy is definitely worth the trouble. That said, these weapons have the meanest minimum ranges in the game and just as difficult a time reloading as the auto rifles.

9mm auto rifle
Damage: 7 impact
Range: 2/3/8
Ammo: 9mm, 24 per clip
Shots: 3
Mod capacity: 4
Reload time: 150%


The basic auto rifle you'll find most often early on. The ranges aren't great, but they'll serve you well early on where 9mm ammo is plentiful. The damage is pretty solid if all the shots land, too, so it's especially handy for players that prefer to take aim before shooting, but you'll have some trouble against enemies behind cover, or with enough health that they can weather the shots that hit.

7.62 assault rifle
Damage: 10 impact
Range: 2/4/8
Ammo: 7.62, 18 per clip
Shots: 3
Mod capacity: 4
Reload time: 150%


It's the 9mm auto rifle except bigger. Switching to 7.62 ammo is honestly fine by the time you're likely to find one of these, and the damage and range is notably better. That said, the lower clip size hurts a lot more than you'd expect. You do NOT want to run out of ammo on your assault rifle while enemies are still around, that there is grounds to immediately switch off to another weapon. Oh, and the standard lower mod cap is in effect too, naturally, but that's just the curve of the game, later stuff is harder to mod.

CRI plasma rifle
Damage: 12 plasma
Range: 2/5/10
Ammo: energy cell, 12 per clip
Shots: 3
Mod capacity: 3
Reload time: 200%
Crit damage: +50%


The plasma rifle remains one of the kings of damage in Jupiter Hell, with both plasma damage and excellent range making it a great way to quickly down almost anything you care to name. As fun as it is, it's not a straight upgrade; like the 7.62 assault rifle compared to the 9mm auto rifle, the lower clip size hurts, and the further increased reload time hurts even more. Never reload a plasma rifle in line of sight of enemies unless you've got at least one way to speed up the reload.

7.62 pierce rifle
Damage: 12 pierce
Range: 2/4/8
Ammo: 7.62, 12 per clip
Shots: 3
Mod capacity: 1
Reload time: 150%
Crit damage: +100%
Guaranteed perk: Anti-armor (triple damage to armor, +100% crit chance against mechanical foes)


How badly do you want pierce damage? Compare the stats on this exotic rifle to the plasma rifle above, bearing in mind that plasma damage is nearly as good as pierce damage when it comes to trashing armor. Pierce damage is good, and nothing scares robots like this thing does, but honestly, this is just a plasma rifle that uses 7.62 ammo. You can't fool me, Jupiter Hell!

Chaingun
Damage: 7 impact
Range: 3/4/7
Ammo: 7.62, 30 per clip
Shots: 4, spin-up
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 150%
Reload time: 100%, 15 shots


If you're here for the chainfire, this is the weapon you'll probably stick with from start to finish. The chaingun eats up ammo like nobody's business, but the damage is FIERCE, especially once you start piling on damage boosts. That said, this is a big awkward weapon you want to have out and active before the fight begins, rather than needing to swap it in to handle big problems. Also worth noting: the reload on the chaingun does exactly 15 bullets, even if you get Expanded Mag.

CRI hyperblaster
Damage: 10 plasma
Range: 3/4/8
Ammo: energy cell, 30 per clip
Shots: 4, spin-up
Mod capacity: 3
Swap time: 150%
Reload time: 100%, 10 shots


The plasma chainfire weapon is a bit on the rare side, and has the same expanded reload issue that its non-chain companion has. If you're lucky enough to get one of these, though, it's almost always worth it, because nothing in the game likes being on the receiving end of a spun-up hyperblaster. NOTHING. The only thing that doesn't fear this gun is the boss of the melee-only branch.

7.62 gatling
Damage: 9 impact
Range: 3/4/8
Ammo: 7.62, 48 per clip
Shots: 6, spin-up
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 150%
Reload time: 100%, 24 shots
Guaranteed perk: Peacekeeper (Gain stacking damage bonus on kill, ends on reload)


Would you believe this is not the highest amount of base shots you can get on a weapon? True story! Anyway, the 7.62 gatling is the best way to waste its ammo type at top speed, but if you have a good way to mitigate the heavy ammo expenditure (maybe a master trait, maybe just Hoarder, whatever works) you really couldn't ask for better than this. This goes triple when you factor in the Peacekeeper perk, making this the ammo goblin's best friend.

.44 hunter rifle
Damage: 24 impact
Range: 3/8/11
Ammo: .44, 5 per clip
Mod capacity: 3
Reload time: 25%, single shot


Probably the main thing that you'll actually use the uncommon .44 type ammo on, the hunter rifle is your early game sniping tool. Extremely reliable range and excellent stopping power means you can comfortably oneshot most formers and fiends from a very safe range. I really do have to reiterate how uncommon .44 ammo is, however, so you'll want to make sure your shot counts when you fire this: get yourself in position so that your enemy can't rely on cover and rob you of your best advantage.

7.62 sniper rifle
Damage: 26 impact
Range: 3/7/10
Ammo: 7.62, 6 per clip
Mod capacity: 2
Reload time: 150%
Crit damage: +50%


By the time you find one of these, you will never have ammo issues with it. That alone makes the 7.62 sniper rifle a solid upgrade over the hunter rifle. That said, the range is slightly decreased, but in all honesty, you'll likely never notice it. About the only reason not to go for this in a vacuum is if you're already using another weapon that's going whole hog on 7.62 ammo.

AWP 7.62 long rifle
Damage: 30 pierce
Range: 4/8/11
Ammo: 7.62, 5 per clip
Mod capacity: 1
Fire time: 150%
Reload time: 200%
Crit chance: +100%
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Git gud (+1% permanent crit chance per kill)


The most hyperspecialized sniper rifle in the game. Absolutely absurd pierce damage, not to mention guaranteed crits, coupled with the phenomenal range means that this weapon can safely put down even the biggest of threats in only a few shots. But you really need to make those shots count: the punishing minimum range, not to mention slowed-down fire time, means that anything you don't kill before it gets close HAS to be handled with another weapon. Definitely worth it, though.

CRI EMP rifle
Damage: 50 EMP
Range: 3/8/11
Ammo: energy cell, 40 per clip
Shot cost: 10
Mod capacity: 1
Accuracy: +10%
Reload time: 200%
Guaranteed perk: no idea mate, im not even sure this gun is still in the game


Okay, so I've never personally seen this weapon and the wiki info on it is outdated, but frankly, everything you need to know about it can be summed up by the damage type. This machine kills machines, and it cannot harm any other enemy you ever encounter. No, not even that one. You should only pick this one up if you need a way to kill robots badly enough to dedicate an entire weapon slot to it, and you're willing to burn 10 energy cells each time.

Calibrated 1
Increases optimal range

Always good to have on rifles. Well, not single-shot rifles, their optimal range is basically your entire field of vision. But the ones that cough out multiple shots per bang? Yeah, they could use a bit of calibration.

Stabilized 1
Increases maximum range


Honestly, if you need to use this on a rifle, you're doing it wrong.

Balanced 1
Reduces minimum range


Now this isn't a bad idea at all. Works best on auto rifles, to basically eliminate the minimum range penalty outright, but there's a definite case to be made for shoring up the blind spot on heavier armaments, allowing them to stay effective even against faster enemies, or in low-light scenarios where you still need the firepower but have less room to work with.

Critical 25
Increases crit chance


One of the best uses of an accuracy mod pack on a chainfire weapon. Each individual shot gets to roll for a crit, after all. A fully revved-up 7.62 gatling gets 10 rolls. Hell, the damn, yes. Naturally, it's good on any rifle, but the chainfire ones get the most mileage out of it.

Exalted Bane
Increases damage to exalted enemies


You'll always want your biggest, baddest gun to handle exalted enemies, and you can't go wrong with rifles if that's your game... unless you're talking a fast melee enemy. Putting Exalted Bane on your sniper rifle is basically betting that you'll notice and delete them before they get in your minimum range.

Swap Harness
Greatly increases weapon swap speed

VERY handy on a chainfire weapon, since their massive firepower for handling tough foes is balanced out by their longer swap time (and ammo expenditure but shhhh). Stick to your more reasonable guns for most enemies, then instantly pull out the big guns when the time is right!

Speed-loader
Greatly increases reload speed when empty


Useless on a hunter rifle, of course. Okay on chainfiring weapons, but not super vital since they tend to go halfsies. Pretty good on the auto rifles, since they have a real risk of emptying out early. On sniper rifles, it's not bad, but I kinda think if you have to reload a sniper rifle under fire, you maybe should just switch weapons, y'know?

Extended Mag 6
Increases clip size


Honestly better than Speed-loader for almost any rifle. Your reload time is bad no matter what, so make the most of your clip by giving it even more to work with, y'know? Also lets you abuse chainfiring for a longer period of time, and that's always fun.

Barbed 1
Shots apply bleeding


Should go without saying, but the more shots you're firing, the better this one is. Unless bleeding doesn't stack the way burning and poison do? Hm, don't actually know that one. Anyway, it's damage over time, and it's a damage boost that doesn't use a power mod pack! That has meaning, right?

Efficient
Rotary rifles only
Doubles ammo reload efficiency


Oh, right. So, the different kinds of rifles have different possible perks they can get from mods, and like hell I'm going to make entirely separate spoilerpops discussing each and every one. Instead, I'll go over differences here. Efficient honestly strikes me as more of a convenience perk than anything, although it does stack nicely with Reloader if you're running your weapon empty all the time. If you're not, though, then what even are you doing with your chaingun? Come on, bud.

Sustain
Single shot rifles only
Returns the round to the clip on kill


If you literally never want to have to worry about ammo or reloading ever again, Sustain is as good as it gets, especially given the raw power single-shot rifles get up to. Honestly, if you get a sniper rifle with this, you won't ever have to switch weapons unless something ambushes you.

Longshot 1/4
Increases damage to enemies at range 5 or more

For reference: the first number in the perk is for multi-shot rifles, the other for single-shot. Should be easy to see why: multi-shot rifles apply that damage boost to every single hit they score. That said, this one's really nice no matter what sort of rifle you're taking. Range 5 is like the sweetspot for these weapons, after all.

Hunter 1/4
Increases damage to high-level enemies


Generally speaking, rifles are the weapons you go for when you need loads of damage at the expense of all else. If that's the case, you'll already be fighting something that gives you the damage bonus for Hunter. I'd give it a miss early on, though, simply because most enemies prior to Europa or so can't actually break the threshold needed to proc Hunter.

Frenzy 1/4
Gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill


Kinda torn on this one. On the one hand, yeah, you'll use auto rifles on basically anything, sure, and there it's great. But on a chaingun or single-shot rifle, are you sure you're being efficient with that ammo? If you're getting small-fry kills to get Frenzy, that's a major waste. And if you're not getting small-fry kills, is Frenzy really worth it compared to Hunter?

Molten 1/3
Shots apply burning


Now this one, this gets VERY mean on multi-shot weapons. There's a reason even shotguns capped this one out at 3. Being able to apply like 10 stacks of this with a single shot, well... that right there just about wins encounters before they even know you're there to shoot at all. Molten is VERY good if you have lots of shots.

Deadly 1/4
Increases damage


This is just comforting at this point. Hello again, friend.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Weapon Breakdown: Launchers

The big guns. While there aren't many builds that really specialize in launchers (even Army of Darkness considers them a sometimes food compared to shotguns) there's no denying the appeal of just being able to apply some vehicle-level heavy ordnance to whatever howling problem you are facing. Anyone who wants a good reliable "screw this entire chunk of enemies in particular" button makes room for a launcher in their loadout.

Launchers are the only non-shotgun weapons (not counting grenades, which are functionally consumable launchers) that deal damage in an area. Also unlike shotguns, they do play by the normal rules for range and determining accuracy. However, if a shot misses, it doesn't just go off into the ether. You still fired a heavy explosive, and something is going to explode. This makes launchers one of the more reliable weapons for hitting targets outside of your visual range, provided there's a wall or something for it to hit. And it should go without saying, but launchers deal a ton of damage. Big targets don't like getting hit by one, and small targets don't get a choice in the matter. Best of all: built-in accuracy bonuses! Hell the damn yes.

That said, there's a lot going against launchers, enough to make adding one to your arsenal a consideration. Launchers almost universally use rockets as ammo, and rockets are both uncommon and take up a lot of space in your inventory. They also deal slash damage, so armored targets and robots will shrug them off. And with how bulky they are, it takes a lot longer to swap one in or reload one than it does your average weapon. You should also never use a rocket launcher at close range, not just for the obvious problem of "this will hit you too, genius" but for the minimum range. Like rifles, rocket launchers are harder to aim at close targets, so plan accordingly.

Rocket launcher
Damage: 60 slash
Range: 2/5/11
Area: 2
Ammo: rockets, 1 per clip
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 150%
Reload time: 150%


On most runs, you won't see any launchers except for these ones, frequently held by former heavies. The area stat there indicates the range from the point of impact that will be affected, rounding up in the case of partial answers. So this one will hit a fat plus sign kind of area: two tiles out from the impact in orthogonal directions, and any space adjacent to those on their way out. Walls will block this, so you can use this in your favor by hiding behind cover near close targets, but it might also protect some enemies near the blast.

CRI plasma launcher
Damage: 50 plasma
Range: 3/5/9
Area: 1
Ammo: energy cell, 40 per clip
Shot cost: 10
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 150%
Reload time: 150%
Crit damage: +50%


This lategame launcher is the only one that doesn't use rockets. There's a lot of small quibbles you can make about this one compared to the ol' standard model, but getting plasma damage AND four shots before needing to reload makes this a godsend when you're up against a big horde of... honestly, anything. You get ambushed by a pack of archreavers while holding one of these, you'll make THEM panic instead of you.

Micro launcher
Damage: 60 slash
Range: 5/10
Area: 1
Ammo: rockets, 5 per clip
Mod capacity: 1
Reload time: 50%, single-shot


Generally speaking, if you're lucky enough to run into this exotic rocket launcher, you throw away your old one and never look back. Sure, the mod cap is lower and there's a smaller blast radius, but this one has so many convenient features to it! No penalty to swap time is perfect for an emergency weapon like this, the range is frankly amazing, and you can even use it at close-ish ranges in a pinch! Respect the micro launcher.

CRI bio launcher
Damage: 20 slash
Range: 2/5/10
Area: 2
Ammo: rockets, 1 per clip
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 150%
Reload time: 150%
Guaranteed perk: Epidemic (Poisoned enemies explode into a toxic cloud on death)


This one's a fancy one, it creates a cloud of poison gas in the blast radius of the projectile, and the victims chain the effect! The damage is overall weaker, but creating a toxic gas cloud is MAJOR. Sure, most larger foes will survive, but it also breaks line of sight with enemies further away, and the poison cloud damage will ramp up quickly enough that the damage penalty barely matters. Goes without saying that this is even worse against mechanical foes... but if you're a Toxicologist Wizard, that's honestly a feature.

Calibrated 1
Increases optimal range

This one's pretty situational. The standard model can make good use of it, but given the built-in accuracy bonus of most of them, plus the better range defaults, it's not super essential that you get this for them. But hey, better range is never really a bad thing, right? This is a " eh, may as well" for most launchers... but with how little modding they can take, are you SURE you want to go for that?

Stabilized 1
Increases maximum range


This is somewhat useful for the micro launcher, since 7 range is juuust low enough that you might not be able to hit enemies that are at the edge of your visual range. I still think you can do better than this, though.

Precise
Applies half the Aim modifier to damage


NOW WE'RE TALKING. A percentage modifier to rocket damage is terrifying! Sure, you have to take the time to aim it, but if you've caught your foe at long range and already have the launcher out, you absolutely have time to aim. Nothing likes taking a Precise rocket to the face, let me tell you.

Critical 25
Increases crit chance


I don't know if the crit chance is rolled for each target hit by the rocket. I do know that if you really want to improve your crit chances on a rocket, you're trying to hunt some BIG game with it, and I for one applaud your huge guts. Go get 'em.

Tracking Module
Vastly increases accuracy


What's that? Your target is a mile away behind several layers of cover? Tracking module doesn't care. If you shoot at something, you are going to hit it, end of story. You'll need more accuracy penalties than you can imagine to miss with this sucker on, and honestly, if you're shooting a rocket at something? Don't miss.

Swap Harness
Greatly increases weapon swap speed

Yes, I would like to put this on a launcher. Launchers are not universal weapons you can just have out and spam at everything you see, so being able to swap to one in a reasonable timeframe is very nice. You could make a case for this being the only mod a micro launcher needs to become the perfect sidearm.

Speed-loader
Greatly increases reload speed when empty


Very, VERY good. Most launchers only fire the one shot before they're empty, after all, and they take forever to reload even if they don't. If you're expecting yourself in situations where a single rocket won't cover it, this is a great way to handle that problem.

Autoloader
Automatically reloads while moving


But not as great as this! Well, no, there is some nuance here. If you're behind cover, Speed-loader keeps you there, but if you're kiting enemies at a distance and abusing your dodge, Autoloader is the way to go. Honestly, mod it to your build. I believe in you.

Barbed 3
Shots apply bleeding


The damage over time is nice, sure, but at the level of damage your average launcher is doing? Kinda like spitting into the ocean, y'know? It's an extra layer on top of what the CRI bio launcher already does, at least. I'd disregard it unless your rockets do juuust low enough damage to leave enemies standing at barely-alive levels.

Second Chamber
Doubles clip size


Bulk mods are really where it's at for launchers, huh? Fitting. Anyway yeah, if you want to be able to fire two rockets on most models, or a whopping EIGHT shots on the micro or plasma launchers, Second Chamber will keep you shooting in style. Just had a terrifying thought actually: what if Second Chamber CRI plasma launcher... on an Entrenchment run? Oooooh.

Longshot 8
Increases damage to enemies at range 5 or more

I understand that if you're shooting a launcher, you aren't always in control of the situation, and so can't necessarily guarantee optimal range. But honestly, Longshot range is about one space closer than the space where you're deciding that an encounter necessitates this kind of lethal force. In short: yeah, Longshot's good on launchers.

Focused
Increases damage by 10, lowers blast radius


Consider this the launcher's answer to Hunter. In exchange for not being able to blast the entire crowd of foes, you give your rockets a HELL of a lot more kick on the enemies they do hit. Yes, this means a micro or plasma launcher no longer has a blast radius. But maybe that's not what you wanted a giant gun on hand for, anyway. You do you.

Frenzy 8
Gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill


This one honestly makes more sense as a damage bonus for whatever you switch off to after firing the launcher. I don't know exactly how Frenzy works, but I do know that you shouldn't have trouble capping your Frenzy stacks in a single shot if aimed right. Why not leverage that power by clearing out the survivors with your other weapons?

Molten 3
Shots apply burning


If you really want to apply widescale pain, Molten is the way to go. Don't forget, fire spreads to nearby targets, including cover and barrels! Nothing clears out a crowd quite like a Molten launcher. That said, my notes on Barbed above apply. Damage over time works best when you just need a little bit of extra edge, and launchers aren't quite that, most of the time.

Toxic
Shots create a toxic cloud in the area


Please scroll up to my notes on the CRI bio launcher for my actual opinion on this perk. Spoilers: it's really good.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Weapon Breakdown: SMGs

The newest weapon type in the game, representing a family of firearms distinct enough that they can't easily fit into one of the pre-existing weapon styles, is the SMG. Sure, they benefit from Son of a Gun the same way pistols do, but SMGs are an entirely different breed of sidearm that really doesn't handle anything like a pistol. They're not even that fancy statwise compared to other weapons, with no major gimmicks to their name, but they manage to be unique nonetheless.

Like pistols, SMGs are small arms, meaning they can be swapped to especially quickly, they can be dualwielded by Gunslinger, and they benefit from Son of a Gun and its associated perks. Unlike pistols, SMGs fire multiple shots, and often more than your average auto-rifle does! While the niche of pistols is to conserve ammo by landing one decisive finishing blow on a weakened target, SMGs are more like the emergency close-range option, comparable to shotguns. When something gets right up next to you and you need it to die before it painlocks you to death, the SMG is the perfect tool for the job.

Of course, SMGs have their weaknesses too. They use a LOT of ammo with each shot, yet their base damage loses out to rifles, so they're actually the least ammo-efficient weapons in the game. They are also renowned for their poor ranges, so hitting enemies further than right next to you gets even more expensive, with bullet after bullet being wasted to no effect. And while they can sustain their fire for a little while, better than shotguns can, they still can't hit an area like a shotgun, and their magazines aren't the best, so you might blast down one reaver only to find their buddies turn the corner before you have time to reload, and these ones don't reload fast. Oh, and it goes without saying that melee weapons do the SMG's job better if you can handle the swap time issue.

9mm SMG
Damage: 6 impact
Range: 2/6
Ammo: 9mm, 20 per clip
Shots: 5
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%
Reload time: 150%


As you can see, provided all the shots hit, the 9mm SMG outdamages its rifle companion by a sizable amount, at least before you factor in armor. The range is bad, but nothing in the early game can take an SMG point blank. And even if the range is bad, you can usually land at least one hit per volley, so if you're early enough that you're effortlessly capping 9mm ammo, you can totally use this even against well-covered enemies. Either invest in ammo conservation perks or ditch this after Europa, though. Far too hungry.

7.62 assault SMG
Damage: 7 impact
Range: 3/6
Ammo: 7.62, 20 per clip
Shots: 4
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: 50%
Reload time: 150%


If you can't meet the ammo demands of the 9mm SMG, the 7.62 assault model is a straight upgrade. Sure, the damage is overall weaker, but you'll have no issue with keeping this one fed, and the range is even a little bit better. The real downside is the relative rarity of this weapon. SMG fans might not get the chance to swap to this one.

CRI 7.62 riot SMG
Damage: 10 impact
Range: 3/7
Ammo: 7.62, 20 per clip
Shots: 4
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 50%
Guaranteed perk: Antiriot (increases damage with more visible enemies)


Whoa, a CRI weapon that doesn't use energy cells? Wacky! Anyway, if you're lucky enough to find a CRI SMG, this is the best straightforward SMG on the market, handily beating the standard 7.62 assault model. Course, it IS an exotic weapon, built specifically to help you in overwhelming odds, so you probably won't find one that often. And, of course, the mod capacity is weaker, but with 10 damage per shot and Anti-riot built in, that's a trade you're willing to make.

JAC .44 SMG
Damage: 14 impact
Range: 3/6
Ammo: .44, 16 per clip
Shots: 4
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 50%
Reload time: 150%
Crit chance: +20%
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Splatter (applies bleeding to nearby enemies on kill)


This one runs on .44 ammo, which is already a rare ammo type typically reserved for single-shot weapons. If you're capable of handling that, though, the JAC .44 SMG packs enough power to put it on par with the big dogs of heavy weaponry, giving even the chaingun a run for its money, and being the best SMG for capitalizing on crit shenanigans. It also takes longer to reload, though, so be cautious on that front.

9mm storm SMG
Damage: 6 impact
Range: 2/6
Ammo: 9mm, 22 per clip
Shots: 11
Mod capacity: 1
Swap time: 50%
Reload time: 150%
Guaranteed perk: The Emperor Protects (ignore pain penalty, converting it to crit chance)


And now for one of the silliest weapons in the game. Nothing, but nothing, beats the raw bullet output of the 9mm storm SMG. This one is not for the faint of heart, but if you can find a way to compensate for its obscene ammo consumption, you will have the best way to instantly delete whatever you feel like in a pinch, no questions asked. Being able to turn pain into crit chance is huge, too: with this, you'll never be caught off-guard by a sudden melee ambush again.

Calibrated 1
Increases optimal range


Mostly depends on what you're doing with your SMG. If it's your main weapon, you will take this as soon as you get a chance. If it's your emergency sidearm, it's not bad, but you probably have better mods you can work with.

Stabilized 1
Increases maximum range


No one will ever put this on their SMG and if you claim you have I will need proof.

Precise
Applies half the Aim modifier to damage


Calibrated, but more so. Aiming is something you'll be doing all the time with an SMG as a main weapon, to ensure all of those shots hit. But if you're pulling it out against something rushing you up close, you don't have time to aim, only time to shoot.

Critical 25
Increases crit chance


Very, very good on SMGs, especially the heavier ones like the JAC .44 SMG. You get a lot of rolls per shot, and those rolls only get better with Son of a Gun backing it up. Even without Son of a Gun, this one's worth going for, easy.

Exalted Bane
Increases damage to exalted enemies


Honestly, I'd probably prefer Exalted Bane on my main weapon, but if you have fifty billion accuracy packs and a low-ammo main weapon you have to switch away from often, sure, this could work.

Swap Harness
Greatly increases weapon swap speed


SMGs already have great swap speed, enough that I don't find it terribly vital that they get even faster. If you want an instant answer to anything near you, though, this is certainly an option you can take.

Speed-loader
Greatly increases reload speed when empty


Yes. Speed-loader is THE perk to add to your SMG as a rule. Their clips don't hold many shots, their reload speed is painful, and if you're using one you're likely in a tough spot already and can't afford to waste time reloading. There is nothing fun about emptying your main weapon, switching to SMG, and then emptying that while you still have enemies bearing down on you.

Extended Mag 5
Increases clip size


Also a good option, but less so than Speed-loader, I think. That said, Extended Mag does serve as a weird form of ammo conservation. If your 9mm storm SMG can MOSTLY kill an enemy with 22 shots, why waste time reloading it to fire 11 more, when you can just use the last 5 or so in the clip instead? I'd still take Speed-loader, but it's up to your personal preference, really.

Barbed 1
Shots apply bleeding


Remember how rifles love damage over time effects for how much each shot can stack it? Same deal with SMGs. They're even better at it due to the raw number of shots, but damage over time isn't exactly what you want when your enemy is up close, y'know? This is another one that's better if this is your main weapon, rather than your sidearm.

Triggerhappy
Fires an additional shot per volley


Do not touch this button until your ammo issues are all sorted out. Once they are, hell yes, go Triggerhappy and go big. Until that happy day comes, though, you will only make things worse for yourself, adding an extra shot onto a weapon that's already eating you out of house and home.

Cleaner 1
Increases damage against weak enemies


This one's a decent way to stretch ammo supplies, I suppose, but you shouldn't have trouble killing weak enemies with an SMG whether you have Cleaner or not. It's an option for sure, but one I'd just as soon as not pass up, given other choices.

Point Blank 1
Increases damage to adjacent enemies


NOW we're talking. As a sidearm, point blank is the exact range you're going to be getting your SMG out anyway, so why not make it better at that range? And as a main weapon, honestly, this is still worth doing. Best early use of a power mod on an SMG, easy.

Frenzy 1
Gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill


Kinda torn on this one. SMGs can get kills for sure, and the damage bonus is definitely welcome for where you're using it, but you don't usually open with an SMG, you know? Unless it's your main weapon, in which case yeah, get Frenzy, sure.

Molten 1
Shots apply burning


A little more dangerous than Barbed at close ranges, i.e. the most effective range of SMGs. But it's also damage over time on the spammiest gun in the game. Tempting, very very tempting. Maybe you should get yourself some fireproof armor, eh?

Deadly 1
Increases damage


Pew pew pew pew pew.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Weapon Breakdown: Melee

Gun'sbrasting is clearly the name of the game down here in Jupiter Hell, but there's a certain appeal to going toe-to-toe with a snarling demon armed only with a sharp and/or heavy stick. There's also a lot of risk, especially in this new exciting era of cover and pain. Running up to an enemy and beating them up leaves a lot of opportunity for them to be alive and attack you while you close in. As such, melee weapons are either intended to be a sidearm or for challenge runs, but it is definitely possible to build your character for melee specialization if you want to.

Let's hit the obvious problem first. Every melee weapon in the game has a range of 1. It is not possible to increase this range by any means. As such, most melee attacks can be considered a guaranteed hit. The same goes for enemies, of course, and generally speaking, most enemies will default to a melee attack if caught in melee range, even if they're not built for it (this is very good against former humans). To solve the obvious problem of "your optimal range will be hit trades even after you've taken hits to get there", melee weapons are divided into two categories. Bladed weapons come with a feature called melee guard, which stacks with your dodge to increase your odds of avoiding hits in melee range. If you prefer to just go for brute force and plan to kill things in one blow, non-bladed weapons trade that guard away for extra power.

There are a lot of advantages to melee weapons if you're willing to take the risk. First off, of course, is the damage, with even the weakest one being able to out-DPS a shotgun. They also use no ammo, which can free up inventory space or take the strain out of an expensive main offense. Melee weapons also enjoy the base effect of the Dodgemaster perk, where you don't lose your dodge bonus in full after you act. In fact, if you score a kill, you don't lose dodge bonus at all, and move into your victim's space as part of the attack action! And finally: the further in you get, the more direct of upgrades melee weapons get, with larger versions simply having higher base damage and no significant drawbacks, not even a lowered mod cap!

Combat knife
Damage: 20 pierce
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Swap time: +50%
Melee guard: +20%
Crit damage: +100%


The humble combat knife is the first melee weapon you'll get in a conventional run, and a fairly reliable option for much of the early game. It's also the most reliable source of pierce damage you can get, making it one of the rare bladed melee weapons viable for taking down robots. As you might expect, most of them deal slash damage, which doesn't work very well against armor. As such, the combat knife could be a weapon you take all the way to lategame, although the relatively low base damage does mean you'll probably want another alternative for most things.

Machete
Damage: 35 slash
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Melee guard: +20%
Crit damage: +100%


A weaker damage type than the combat knife, but much better damage in general. Unlike the other weapon families, I'm really not going to have a lot to say about the different melee weapons here. The machete's only disadvantage to the combat knife is the damage type, and in most cases, the machete is still better.

Katana
Damage: 60 slash
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Melee guard: +20%
Crit damage: +100%


For example. Katanas appear starting on Io, and Io 1 has a tech station, so you can just break down your machete, get its mods back, and put them on the first katana you find, and no one would stop you.

Demonic sword
Damage: 100 slash
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 0
Melee guard: +30%
Crit damage: +100%
Guaranteed perks: Vampiric 5 (heals on non-machine kill), Frenzy 10 (gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill)


Currently the only exotic melee weapon in the game, the demonic sword is only available from the game's obligatory melee-only special level. It goes without saying, but if you can handle a stage where you can only use melee weapons, you'll probably love having the demonic sword (although it can't be dual-wielded with Blademaster, sorry to say). Sure, you can't mod it, but by the time you get access to this, you won't have time or inclination to mod it anyway.

Pipe wrench
Damage: 30 impact
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Mechabane (+50% damage against mechanical foes)


If you're playing Angel of Berserk, the pipe wrench is your starting weapon regardless of class. You can already see the difference here to the combat knife. On later stages, melee weapons tend to default to slash damage no matter what, but early on, the combat knife is pretty much always better, especially given how low enemy health totals tend to be.

Crowbar
Damage: 30 impact
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Crit damage: +50%
Guaranteed perk: Zombiebane (+50% damage against former humans)


Literally the only difference between the crowbar and the pipe wrench is the guaranteed perk and that all voicelines are disabled while wielding the crowbar. They even spawn in the same general places. It's a charming reference, I suppose.

Axe
Damage: 60 slash
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Crit damage: +50%


Same damage as the katana, but found at the same time as the machete. Doesn't count as a bladed weapon for the sake of Bladedancer, because axes just aren't as cool as swords, or something, I don't know.

Large axe
Damage: 90 slash
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Crit damage: +50%


Meanwhile, once you do get a katana, the large axe is the heavier alternative you can find. And honestly, just look at that ridiculous damage value. A single hit from a large axe will drop almost anything in the game, assuming it's not a giant robot. I don't have to say anything else, this is just the biggest chunkiest damage ever.

Chainsaw
Damage: 80 pierce
Range: 1
Mod capacity: 4
Crit damage: +50%


Only found in Beyond, i.e. the final "moon". Again, not technically a bladed weapon for the sake of Bladedancer (but they have two katanas already and don't mind). For everyone else, the chainsaw is the pinnacle of melee combat, having damage comparable to the demonic sword, a much better mod cap, and tasty, tasty pierce damage. Whether you take this or the demonic sword largely falls to whether you've invested in Whizkid or not, and whether you think you can handle a melee-only level. Either way, this kills things that are next to you, fatally, in the face.

Retaliate
Adds half your pain modifier to damage

Not a bad first choice, honestly. By the time you're in melee range, you're probably going to be eating some pain anyway, and the accuracy hit is virtually irrelevant at this range anyway. Might as well turn that into extra hammage against your opponent, y'know?

Resilient
Halves the effect of pain


Ehhhh not as attractive. Sure, it's a good combo with the above perk, and it makes you a lot better at fighting off otherwise-lethal melee contenders like reavers, but I'd give this one a miss unless you're going exclusively melee.

Poisoned 3
Strikes apply poison


Really don't know about this one, boss. Damage over time with ranged weapons is one thing, since you can then run to cover while the damage does its thing. On a melee weapon, you either will never outrun your foe, or you prefer them in melee range where they can't use their deadlier weapons on you.

Critical 25
Increases crit chance


Not a bad idea. All melee weapons enjoy solid damage boosts on a crit, and this can turn even a humble combat knife into a powerfully lethal weapon against larger targets, to say nothing of something like a katana. Might want to find other ways of stacking that crit bonus though, like Executioner.

Exalted Bane
Increases damage to exalted enemies


There's a large number of exalted enemies that are melee-only, and exalted soldiers are great to catch up close with one of these. You could do a lot worse than Exalted Bane on a melee weapon.

Swap Harness
Greatly increases weapon swap speed

Very, VERY good for melee weapons as a sidearm. If something gets in melee range that poses a threat, you need your response to it more or less instantly, before they painlock you to death. The less time you spend fumbling to get your katana out, the better.

Guarded 10
Increases melee guard


In comparison, Guarded is the way to go if you're using the melee weapon as a primary mode of combat. Guard only works against other melee characters, but trust me, anything you can do to keep yourself ahead of the game in those situations is what will make or break the run.

Surrounded
Reduces damage when at least 3 enemies are visible


Virtually a necessity when approaching a large group of enemies, each of which will happily open fire on you as you run up with your weapon. It also helps keep you standing when you're caught out as reinforcements approach the tail end of a fight, or if you get ambushed by a pack of fiends or whatever.

Barbed 3
Strikes apply bleeding


Again: damage over time on a melee weapon is a questionable decision. Bleeding doesn't serve a noticeably different niche from poison, save for that some enemies might resist one or the other, but honestly, if you're going melee, I say just hit them a second time and be done with it.

Disruptive 3
Strikes disable mechanical enemies


Have you not found an alternate weapon for handling robots and need some way to take them down? Here, have a way to stunlock them. Now your low damage doesn't matter! Caveat emptor: this miiiiight not work on the bigger, badder bots, but if you're using Disruptive as your anti-machine tool, you probably will learn whether it works or not the hard way. Still: good perk, consider it.

Vampiric 1
Heals on non-machine kill

Wait you just get the benefit of Vampyre for a single power mod? No no no, it's not that good. Vampyre scales the healing you get depending on how much meat the enemy has, while this perk only gives you a flat +1 no matter what you kill. Still very good, especially since anyone using a melee weapon is bound to take hits here and there.

Hunter 5
Increases damage to high-level enemies


Honestly just call this a flat damage buff in my book. Anything weak enough to not warrant the damage boost from Hunter is weak enough that you can one or two-shot it with whatever melee weapon you have on hand, no problem.

Frenzy 5
Gains temporary stacking damage bonus on kill


Remember, when you get a melee kill, you move into the target's space for free, getting a dodge bonus! The longer you can maintain a chain of kills, the better, especially if that leads to you doing a sick ninja flip over a ravager's head and oneshotting it. As such, I can heartily recommend Frenzy as a viable perk to add to your melee weapon.

Molten 3
Strikes apply burning


Damage over time on a melee weapon and also the damage can leap back to you if you don't have anything fireproof. I know flaming swords are cool and edgy and all, but this may just be one of the worst mod ideas in the game.

Momentum
Applies half your dodge modifier to damage


Remember how I said Hunter was basically a flat damage buff? Obviously in those circumstances, Deadly as the final power mod perk would be kind of disappointing. So here, you get Momentum instead, which is amazing on non-Technician characters. Once your dodge gets high enough, you can turn any weapon into a titan-slaying tool of ruthless efficiency.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
No more breakdowns for now, just me victory-posting this 100% kills Ultraviolence difficulty win
Code:
Kalir, level 16 Technician, defeated
The Summoner against all odds.
He survived for 11020 turns.
The run time was 2h 6m 36s.
He scored 7125 points.
He was ULTRAVIOLENT!

CALLISTO L2 - Lockdown
CALLISTO L3 -> Callisto Rift L1
Callisto Rift L2 - The Hunt
Callisto Rift L3 -> The Rift
The Rift - cleared
EUROPA L2 - Lockdown
EUROPA L2 -> Europa Dig Zone L1
Europa Dig Zone L2 - Exalted Summons
Europa Dig Zone L3 -> Tyre Outpost
Tyre Outpost - cleared
IO L2 - Secure Vault
IO L2 -> Io Black Site L1
Io Black Site L3 - Low Power
Io Black Site L3 -> Black Site Vaults
Black Site Vaults - cleared
BEYOND L2 - The Hunt
BEYOND L2 -> Limbo
Limbo - cleared

Awards
  Medal of Prejudice (+200)
   * Won with 100% kills
  Explorer Ribbon (+50)
   * Visited all encountered special levels
  Conqueror Ribbon (+100)
   * Completed all encountered special levels
  CRI Gold Badge
   * Win a UV or higher game with 100% kills

He killed 600 out of 600 enemies.

  36 archreavers
  14 plasma ravagers
  50 fiends
  27 exalted fiends
  3 military bots
  9 turrets
  5 rocket turrets
  11 military sentrys
  1 former CRI grunt
  5 security sentrys
  7 exalted reavers
  7 CalSec bots
  5 former CRI soldiers
  1 Summoner
  6 corrupted sergeants
  6 exalted kerbeross
  19 ravagers
  8 hellish sergeants
  14 former soldiers
  4 combat drones
  10 former guards
  6 siege ravagers
  22 fire fiends
  2 former heavys
  4 exalted soldiers
  8 former sergeants
  12 CRI marines
  4 corrupted heavys
  9 cryobeross
  1 guardian bot
  21 hellish soldiers
  2 former CRI commandos
  3 hellish heavys
  2 military drones
  18 corrupted soldiers
  33 ice fiends
  31 toxic reavers
  49 former grunts
  18 hellish commandos
  22 armored ravagers
  1 former CRI sergeant
  4 CRI bots
  15 reavers
  17 toxic fiends
  8 corrupted commandos
  8 security drones
  7 cybeross
  30 cryoreavers
  4 kerbeross
  8 CalSec sentrys
  7 former commandos
  11 toxibeross

Traits
  Whizkid L1
  Cover Master L2
  Sustained fire L1
  Hacker L3
  Remote Hack L2
  Sysop L3
  ENTRENCHMENT L3

Trait order
  Hun->Hak->Hak->RHa->SF->Hun->MEN->Whk->
  Sys->MEN->RHa->Hak->MEN->Sys->Sys

Equipment
  Slot #1 : CRI plasma rifle P2
   * Longshot 1
   * Hunter 1

  Slot #2 : AV2 9mm SMG P2AC
   * Freezing 2
   * Precise
   * Deadly 1
   * Point Blank 1
   * Frenzy 1
   * Critical 20

  Slot #3 : AV1 chaingun P2B
   * Extended Mag 6
   * Molten 1
   * Hunter 1
   * Precise
   * Spin-up

  Body    : AV3 combat armor BA2
   * Critical 10
   * Durable
   * Painkiller
   * Sealed
   * Powered
   * Fireproof

  Head    : AV3 combat helmet P2A
   * Critical 10
   * Crit Enhancer 25
   * Plated
   * Auto long-range tracking
   * Pistol long-range tracking
   * Nightvision

  Utility : AV3 utility AMP
   * Powerful
   * Improved smoke screen
   * Aim assist


Inventory
  energy cell (x100)
  energy cell (x100)
  7.62 ammo (x40)
  9mm ammo (x100)
  9mm ammo (x100)
  plasma grenade (x1)
  gas grenade (x2)
  krak grenade (x3)
  CRI phase kit (x2)
  multitool (x1)
  large medkit
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
0.9.8, "Message" update is out now! Now there is lore to be found on the assorted terminals, some of which can even point you in the general direction of goodies!

They also properly codified the various families of rifle into semi-auto, automatic, and rotary, as well as updated the list of perks that exotic weapons can get. I'm not changing my posts though. Just not feeling it today.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Update 0.9.9 hit today, ominously called "More". And by ominously, I mean tautologically. It adds a bunch of new stuff, but specifically more of the same kinds of stuff you've already seen. Most notably to me, at least, are a few master trait rebalances and some exotic armor/headgear choices! I haven't updated my old posts much because I don't have all the info about the new gear and I don't think the wiki does either, but we'll see what I get out there.
 
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