Deep Rock Galactic – Gunner Build Guide & Class Tips

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

This gunner build guide and tips ensures you’ll be able to master this versatile and high damage dealing class of Deep Rock Galactic (DRG). The gunner is a popular class in the community with a number of flexible build options that are explored in detail on this page to give you multiple potential choices in designing your ideal gunner.

With hundreds of gunner dives I’ve collated my recommendations and those of the DRG community for players to find their ideal build for the highest hazard game levels. This gunner guide is targeted at the new to intermediate player of both the class and Deep Rock Galactic (DRG) in general with comprehensive information on the gunners team role, basic gunner tips and how to mix and match your options to create the best gunner build for you.

Table of Contents:
Gunner Overview
Gunner Tips
Best Gunner Builds Overview
Primary Weapon Builds
Secondary Weapon Builds
Gunner Equipment
Gunner Throwables

Gunner Overview

The gunner specialises in gunning down enemies with high damage per second that allows him to protect the team. This is also reflected in name and equipment options granted to with gunner using miniguns, hard hitting revolvers, a deployable shield and powerful area of effect grenades. This combines with a useful zipline movement mechanic that provides a wealth of mobility to yourself and allies.

While the gunner is a capable solo class his equipment shines in the multiplayer environment as a blend of damage and support class.
deep-rock-galactic-gunner

Gunner Specific Tips

Going from beginner to master gunner in high hazard levels requires both an effective build and leveraging your kit with the gunner tips below to increase survivability and complete missions faster.

  • Chokepoints and flat ground are important to the gunners damage output as this is where your primary weapons thrive and allow for high ammo efficiency. Positioning yourself directly in the line of enemies is particularly effective an an aggressive move that no other dwarf can do comfortably.
  • While your shield is a great asset you’ll want to be careful when activating it due to the limited duration it has per cast. Prioritise point defence locations that your team needs to defend for an extended period or using it on a downed ally to secure a revive.
  • Ziplines are one of the most flexible movement tools in Deep Rock Galactic and specialise in passing wide caverns or providing a reusable method to scale up and down a complex cave. The best gunners are constantly considering current and future needs of their allies to traverse the terrain.
  • Given the speed up required for your primary weapons to reach maximum accuracy your focus should always be on large groups of enemies or durable tough enemies. Leaving the weaker enemies to your allies or your secondary weapon.
  • With the high amount of area of effect damage coming from the gunner the friendly perk that reduces friendly fire damage by 50% can be a valuable selection when you are still mastering your weapons.
  • Given the gunner is generally a slower character than others when moving around a cave of high complexity your focus should be on the ground level minerals and particularly Nitra given the ammo hungry nature of your weapons.
  • Firing your weapons while using a zipline can be an effective method to stay out of harms way and give you great oversight of a battlefield area.

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-equipment

Best Gunner Builds Overview

This overview section provides a quick reference for beginners to gunner weapon builds and I recommend players use the following combinations for primary and secondary weapons:

  • Lead Storm & Bulldog: A simple and popular loadout with both of these weapons having fire options to create a thematic high damage option ideal for basically all mission types although is slightly less effective in boss heavy content like Elimination.
  • Thunderhead & Coil Gun: The autocannon is focused towards clearing swarms and the healthy amount of starting ammunition more than offsets the lack of accuracy from this weapon. Adding in the coilgun doubles down on this swarm killing with a weapon that penetrates through both enemy and terrain with ease. This setup is ideal for missions like Mining Expedition, On-Site Refining, Escort Duty, Salvage Operation and Point Extraction.
  • Hurricane & BRT7: For boss focused mission types like Elimination this combination offers high single target damage with the hurricane having single target focused modifications.

These are my recommended default weapon configurations when using each weapon, the numbers referenced are based on the left to right position of the modification in game:

Primary Weapon Options:

  • Primary (Lead Storm): 2/1/3/1/2 – Provides additional ammunition, heat management and damage
  • Primary (Thunderhead): 1/2/3/2/1 – Area of effect powerhouse weapon
  • Primary (Hurricane): 1/2/1/1/1 – Hard hitting rocket launcher for single targets

Secondary Weapon Options:

  • Secondary (Bulldog): 1/1/3/2/1 – High damage and weak point capable
  • Secondary (BRT7): 1/1/2/3/1 – Damage and stun utility weapon with burst fire
  • Secondary (Coil Gun): 2/3/1/1/3 – Terrain blasting weapon with great flexibility

Other Equipment:

  • Equipment (Zipline): 1/1/1 – Optimise zipline angles and safety
  • Equipment (Shield Generator): 1/2/3 – Maximises uptime and recharge
  • Armour (Barracuda Rig): 1/2/1/2
  • Throwable: Sticky Grenade or Cluster Grenade

Best Gunner Builds Guide

As with other mechanics of Deep Rock Galactic there is an element of personal preference and mission type that needs to be considered when building your ultimate gunner with my base recommends below to start with.

Gunner Primary Weapons

The Gunner primary weapons are all hard hitting with a mini gun, explosive shell auto cannon and a guided rocket system that are equally deadly from a damage perspective. All of these options are perfectly viable to take into any hazard level with them having specific mechanics that will change how you utilise them in combat with each having slightly different mixes of accuracy, ammunition reserves and area of effect potential.

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-minigun-build“Lead Storm” Powered Minigun: Has a small wind up time before maximum firing speed and accuracy are reached that makes it not the ideal option for small groups of enemies but there are still options for those wanting a Lead Storm build. The minigun does not need to be reloaded but does have an overheat mechanic that prevents you from firing endlessly. The best minigun build modifications focus on giving you additional ammo, damage boosts and a reliable method to manage the overheat.

  • Tier 1 – Improved Motor
  • Tier 2 – Oversized Drum or High Velocity Rounds
  • Tier 3 – Blowthrough Rounds
  • Tier 4 – Variable Chamber Pressure
  • Tier 5 – Cold As The Grave
  • Overclock – Lead Storm or A Little More Oomph!

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-autocannon-build

“Thunderhead” Heavy Autocannon: This gunner primary weapon alternative does require reloading and uses an explosive round that explodes after hitting terrain or an enemy. Accordingly it provides significantly more area of effect (aoe) damage than the minigun although still has a fire rate wind up. Many of the modification options for an autocannon build either push the weapon towards a direct damage dealing piece of equipment or buff swarm management so players should choose one to focus on with their Thunderhead build.

  • Tier 1 – Increased Calibre Rounds or Expanded Ammo Bags
  • Tier 2 – Improved Gas System
  • Tier 3 – High Velocity Rounds or Loaded Rounds
  • Tier 4 – Shrapnel Rounds
  • Tier 5 – Feedback Loop
  • Overclock – Composite Drums or Splintering Shells or Carpet Bomber

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-hurricane-guided-rocket-build
“Hurricane” Guided Rocket System: Adding more deadly weapons to the gunner’s arsenal with the November 2021 patch this guided rocket system will guide your deadly rockets directly to the enemy. With the ability to fire rapidly it is equally effective on single targets and crowds of swarm enemies that give it few weaknesses. Depending on the hurricane build that you opt for and in particular hurricane overclocks you’ll find the correct usage of this weapon varies greatly so keep that in mind when experimenting with your own builds using the balanced loadout below as a foundation.

  • Tier 1 – Missile Belt or Pressurized Gas Chamber
  • Tier 2 – Anti-Tank Missiles
  • Tier 3 – Nano Missles
  • Tier 4 – Shrapnel Load
  • Tier 5 – Napalm-Infused Rounds
  • Overclock – Plasma Burster Missiles Jet Fuel Homebrew or Salvo Module

Gunner Secondary Weapons

Gunner secondary weapons are designed to deal with small groups of enemies given the fire rate wind up times on the primary weapon choices. They are also viable options for when you are moving through the map given the heavy nature of their larger weapons.

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-revolver-build

“Bulldog” Heavy Revolver: Usually the preferred sidearm of most gunners in the Deep Rock Galactic community due to the hard hitting damage and stun chance although this comes at the cost of a low magazine size. Modifications focus on maximising the already high damage output and making this weapon ideal for weak point shots on the move that your primary weapons simply aren’t designed for.

  • Tier 1 – Quickfire Injector
  • Tier 2 – Increased Calibre Rounds
  • Tier 3 – Hollow-Point Bullets
  • Tier 4 – High Velocity Rounds
  • Tier 5 – Dead-Eye
  • Overclock – Elephant Rounds

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-burst-gun-build

BRT7 Burst Fire Gun: A secondary weapon that fires a burst of 3 when the trigger is pulled that can make it difficult to use without practice. The larger magazine size does make it useful for dealing with medium sized mobs but usually the gunner will be using a primary weapon for these occasions. Modifications for this gun focus on boosting up damage and adding stun utility.

  • Tier 1 – High Velocity Rounds
  • Tier 2 – Recoil Dampener
  • Tier 3 – Increased Calibre Rounds
  • Tier 4 – Hollow-Point Bullets
  • Tier 5 – Burst Stun
  • Overclock – Composite Casing

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-coil-build

Armskore Coil Gun: A unique weapon with some impressive utility given it allows players to shoot through terrain and leaves behind a trail destruction. This gives the Coil Gun an interesting blend of initial burst and subsequent damage which combined with its charge shot mechanic can serve as a long ranged sniper tool with bonus utility for enemies of all sizes. While it can’t reach the damage heights of your other Gunner secondaries it is a viable option given the flexibility against different enemy types and scenarios that it offers.

  • Tier 1 – Extra Coil or Larger Battery
  • Tier 2 – Improved Feeding System or Overcharger
  • Tier 3 – Concussive Shockwave
  • Tier 4 – Defence Enhancement
  • Tier 5 – Electric Trial or Dilated Injector System
  • Overclock – Ultra Magnetic Coils

Gunner Equipment

The gunner equipment provides a zipline launcher for your teammates and yourself to use along with a shield generator to protect key locations. Both of these provide significant support utility on top of your damage focused weapons and make the gunner an invaluable addition to a full team.

Zipline Launcher: Ideal for moving across wide gaps and vertical movement the zipline is a useful team orientated tool. Upgrades are focused on improving usability and protecting yourself or teammates from any mishaps when using the zipline.

  • Tier 1 – Upgraded Connection Joint
  • Tier 2 – Reinforced Cable
  • Tier 3 – Disconnection Protection

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-shield-build

Shield Generator: The ultimate defensive ability in Deep Rock Galactic to keep you and your allies safe in a single location. Modifications are designed to ensure you get more shield generator time through duration and recharge.

  • Tier 1 – Streamlined Integrity Check
  • Tier 2 – Large Capacitors
  • Tier 3 – Improved Efficiency

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-armour-build

“Barracuda” Armour Rig: Like all dwarves the gunner has an upgradable armour rig to improve their survivability. Given the gunner is often diving into the thick of fights we opt for quicker shield regeneration, extra health pool and area of effect stun to help you gain some distance from your attackers if your shield does break.

  • Tier 1 – Improved Generator
  • Tier 2 – Healthy
  • Tier 3 – Reactive Armour
  • Tier 4 – Static Discharge

deep-rock-galactic-gunner-icon

Gunner Throwables

All gunner throwables are powerful damage dealers that complement his already high damage output potential. While each has their own strong points they have some differences to consider in choosing the right variation to complete your personal gunner build.

Sticky Grenade: Useful in setting up a defensive location with the sticky mechanic this option also comes with a fear and lets players carry up to 6 compared to 4 of your other options. It’s a reliable default option that you start with and for the lower hazard levels is perfectly suited to dispatching swarms.

Incendiary Grenade: A good throwable option for narrow passageways as you can lay fire down for any enemies that charge through although as most of the damage is linked to this fire element though it’s not ideal for open spaces.

Cluster Grenade: The best grenade for most gunner builds the cluster grenade adds a nice amount of area of effect coverage but does require some practice to master.

Tactical Leadburster: A throwable grenade that has players summoning a small gun turret for a brief period of time this grenade was added in the Plaguefall update. While absolutely devastating when placed correctly it does generally require a good line of sight of enemies with flat terrain that other grenades aren’t as reliant on to be effective. It can also quickly shred through teammates in friendly fire so while useful in the right circumstances it should be handled with care.

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Since the Early Access days of Deep Rock Galactic Sam has been blasting his way through mining expeditions, relishing the co-operative chaos and forging dwarven camaraderie. Playing solo or with a crew Sam regularly wields the Engineer’s wrench, crafting intricate platform bridges and unleashing turret hellfire on the swarm. With hundreds of game hours and more than 500 dives into randomised caverns under his belt Sam is an experienced dwarf who continues to “Rock and Stone” in between his other video game adventures.

2 Comments

  1. Hello, I very much enjoy your builds. I am unsure if it is the same person publishing each Deep Rock Galactic build, but I very much appreciate the work done. Is there any plans to create build guides for the season 1 weapons? Y’all are awesome and keep up the good work! I hope life is treating you right and you’re living your best life.

    Reply
    • Hi Blake

      Thanks for the feedback it’s mostly all one person for the Deep Rock Galactic builds although we do bounce some ideas around the team! We’re currently playtesting all of the new Season 1 weapons so hope to have some guidance up shortly that we’ll continue to revise for any patches or community discoveries.

      Thanks
      Games Finder Team

      Reply
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