Deep Rock Galactic – Scout Build Guide & Class Tips

Last Updated on March 9, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

Utilise our scout build guide and tips to optimise this fast moving dwarf for solo and co-op play to ensure you can play the scout effectively on even the highest hazard levels. Covering the best choices for scout equipment in detail alongside critical gameplay tips this guide covers every key aspect of playing this dwarf for maximum mobility and firepower.

The scout is a popular speedy explorer in Deep Rock Galactic (DRG) that specialises in locating objectives in both solo and co-operative play. Designed for the beginner to intermediate dwarf this guide provides recommendations for a solid foundation that you can adjust for your own personal scout variation and is based on my hundreds of DRG dives.

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

Scout Overview

The scout is a specialist at exploring the unknown caves ahead of your team to locate and tag resources or objectives. While this makes the scout useful in a co-op setting they can also be surprisingly effective at solo play with the appropriate solo scout build due to their speed and self sufficient playstyle. While you can’t expect to have the consistent destructive punch of the driller the scout specialises in high personal mobility and serves as the eyes of a dwarven team. To assist with this the scout has a balance of long and short range weapons (rifle, shotgun, submachine gun or crossbow) although lacks high damage and area of effect.

Utility wise the scout is equipped with a grappling hook that is the only mobility item in DRG that does not assist the team. This selfish playstyle is somewhat mitigated by his flare gun to light up areas for his allies although it’s clear the scout is definitely designed to explore ahead of his team as a lone dwarf.

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Scout Specific Tips

The scout is a hard character to use at max effectiveness due to their solo orientated play and weaker damage kit that requires game experience to overcome. While your helpful friend Bosco can cover some of this weakness in solo play utilising these scout tips will help you achieve mastery of the class.

  • The scout has dramatically higher movement potential than the other dwarves which makes secondary objective items and hard to reach minerals the top of your priority list. Combining with an engineer in particular can be highly effective as they place platforms underneath you for high locations. At advanced levels of scout play you can use your pickaxe power attack to even dig out your own ledges high in caves but you will need to practice this grappling hook combo. Because of this you should also deprioritise easy to reach resources in multiplayer and let your allies acquire them instead.
  • Never forget that your allies do not have the same level of manoeuvrability as the scout. Players need to stay safe when in these hard to reach locations as you cannot expect help in killing enemies or getting a team revive.
  • The best perks in Deep Rock Galactic for scout include the field medic perk given your ability to reach most locations to revive team mates and Iron Will as it prevents you from dying in a location that is simply unreachable by your allies and gives you extra time to use your grappling hook to return towards your allies.
  • Communication to your team is vita as you are the extended eyes of your team, don’t forget to communicate with your team using the provided laser pointer.
  • The grappling hook is more than just a movement tool and can be used offensively on the scout to move rapidly around an enemy or swarm without taking damage. This tactic can also be useful to effectively stall enemies from your allies giving them additional time to focus on other enemies.
  • The scout has the unique ability to snipe enemies with both of his rifles having the largest effective range of any dwarf weapon in Deep Rock Galactic. Use this to take out high priority targets from a distance before they become a threat to your allies.
  • Your flare gun is critical when entering a new room or needing to defend a location as it’s significantly stronger than the basic flares available to other dwarves.

deep-rock-galactic-scout-equipment

Best Scout Builds Overview

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

  • M1000 & Boomstick: The beginner loadout that provides a balance of long ranged fighting power and shot ranged explosive damage. This blend is ideal for Mining Expedition, Egg Hunt and Salvage Operation.
  • GK2 & Boomstick: Focused on closer ranged weapons this scout build is ideal for mission types where you might not be able to utilise your movement as effectively such as Mining Expedition, Escort Duty, On-Site Refining and Point Extraction.
  • DRAK-25 & Nishanka Boltshark: A combination of the newer scout weapons that gives players a similar setup to the M1000 and Boomstick although this primary offers a faster fire rate while the crossbow adds long range capabilities and can fill many roles depending on the special bolt choice that is ideal for Elimination, Mining Expedition and Salvage Operation.

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 (GK2): 2/1/1/1/3 – Balanced weapon with reliable damage
  • Primary (M1000): 2/1/1/2/3 – Long ranged weapon that maximises charged shot output
  • Primary (DRAK-25): 2/2/2/1/2 – Fast firing rifle with no reload

Secondary Weapon Options:

  • Secondary (Boomstick): 2/1/3/1/1 – Boosts area of effect for swarm management
  • Secondary (NUK17): 1/2/1/2/2 – Mitigates some of the ammo usage for an enemy cleanup tool
  • Secondary (Nishanka Boltshark): 1/1/1/1/1 – Turns enemies against each other with pheromone darts

Other Equipment:

  • Equipment (Grappling Hook): 2/1/1/3 – Optimise ammo and fall damage reduction
  • Equipment (Flare Gun): 2/2/2/1 – Fast to deploy single turret with improved targeting
  • Armour (Fox Rig): 1/2/1/1
  • Throwable: Cryo Grenade or Pheromone Canister

Best Scout Builds Detailed

The Deep Rock Galactic scout builds have plenty of variation available that allows players to be effective across mission types and playstyle preferences. Your primary decisions will be around the weapon choices and the balance of range, area of effect and utility that you want to be available with all of these potential options described in detail below.

Scout Primary Weapons

The scouts primary weapons are medium to long ranged focused which is notably different from other dwarves who lack long range options. Each of them are equally viable when boosted for damage although many in the community favour the M1000 to play as a sniping dwarf as this is a unique option only available to the scout.

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Deepcore GK2: The scout default weapon which is the balanced option that is always reliable as you run, gun and grapple around the map. These playstyles are reflected in the Deepcore GK2 build modifications with multiple decision points on whether you want a deadly ranged weapon or a run and gun option. This is also true for the overclock options with most being viable on this assault rifle provided it matches your playstyle although compact ammo is a good default.

  • Tier 1 – Supercharged Feed Mechanism or Gyro Stabilisation
  • Tier 2 – Increased Calibre Rounds
  • Tier 3 – Floating Barrel
  • Tier 4 – Hollow Point Bullets
  • Tier 5 – Stun or Battle Frenzy
  • Overclock – Compact Ammo or Overclocked Firing Mechanism or AI Stability Engine

deep-rock-galactic-scout-m1000-build

M1000 Classic: The sniper rifle equivalent within Deep Rock Galactic and ideal for those that want to take long ranged shots at the swarm. If you’re in a pinch it can still hold its own in close quarters although you’ll likely be better served by your secondary weapon. To assist with sniping the M1000 Classic has an alternative firing mode that zooms the weapon slightly and gives you a 100% accurate bullet with boosted damage which consumes 2 ammo. Most M1000 builds seek to enhance this charged shot to ridiculous damage numbers as it plays perfectly into the sniper role it is intended.

  • Tier 1 – Increased Calibre Rounds
  • Tier 2 – Fast-Charging Coils
  • Tier 3 – Killer Focus
  • Tier 4 – Hollow-Point Bullets
  • Tier 5 – Killing Machine or Hitting Where It Hurts
  • Overclock – Minimal Clips or Active Stability System

deep-rock-galactic-scout-drak-25-build
Drak-25 Plasma Carbine: A fast firing rifle although not as accurate or hard hitting per shot as your other primary options which means its unlikely to be your default weapon for most mining adventures. Given it’s a plasma based weapon the Drak-25 does have the benefit of not having to reload and instead uses a heat based mechanic. For a Drak-25 build you’ll be looking to focus on boosting the damage of this weapon further and mitigate the heat mechanic while utilising the available overclocks to find something that suits your particular playstyle.

  • Tier 1 – Heat Shield or High-Volume Plasma Field
  • Tier 2 – Increased Calibre Rounds
  • Tier 3 – Gen 2 Cooling System
  • Tier 4 – Overcharged PCF or Destructive Resonance AMP
  • Tier 5 – Thermal Feedback Loop
  • Overclock – Thermal Liquid Coolant or Shield Battery Booster

Scout Secondary Weapons

The scout secondary weapons offer different effective distances with players generally wanting to pick a secondary that covers the weakness of your primary weapon.

deep-rock-galactic-scout-boomstick-build

Jury-Rigged Boomstick: The initial starting secondary for scout players this shotgun is suitable for both single foes or targeting weak points of larger enemies. It’s biggest drawback is the double barrel design which effectively gives you two shots of pellets before needing to reload although this means it is deadly at close range. The Boomstick options are diverse in the later tiers and overclocks to the point where most of these options are viable. With Auto Reload players can flick their shotgun out for a quick burst before letting it reload in their pocket or instead players can use Fear The Boomstick when near swarms to take some heat off yourself and teammates while White Phosphorus Shells gives you some area of effect potential. Personally I prefer the latter two options to add some important utility boosts to dealing with swarming enemies and counter that weakness of the scout.

  • Tier 1 – Double Sized Buckshot
  • Tier 2 – Double Trigger
  • Tier 3 – High Capacity Shells
  • Tier 4 – Super Blow Through
  • Tier 5 – Auto Reload or Fear The Boomstick or White Phosphorus
  • Overclock – Stuffed Shells or Compact Shells

deep-rock-galactic-scout-zhukov-build

Zhukov NUK17: These dual small machine guns offer a mid range secondary that will quickly chew through ammo which we want to try counter with our choice of modifications. This secondary weapon is primarily designed for basic enemy clean up or unleashing some quick burst DPS into a powerful enemy weak point that is exposed.

  • Tier 1 – Expanded Ammo Bags
  • Tier 2 – Quickfire Ejector
  • Tier 3 – Increased Calibre Rounds or Better Weight Balance
  • Tier 4 – Hollow-Point Bullets
  • Tier 5 – Get In, Get Out
  • Overclock – Minimal Magazines or Custom Casing

deep-rock-galactic-scout-crossbow-build

Nishanka Boltshark X-80: Not available to players on launch this crossbow weapon was added later in the Deep Rock Galactic development cycle and designed to be a single shot precision tool full of utility. As a crossbow it is slow to reload and has a number of distinct modifications that can completely alter its role in your arsenal. Careful use of these special bolts is critical to maximising its effectiveness so if you would rather a point and shoot weapon then you are likely better off with a different secondary. Given the potential use of this weapon depends on the bolts you select this should ultimately drive your choice of modifications and overclock. The Fire Bolt overclock for example is ideal to handle swarms by shooting at the ground in front of them while Cryo Bolt provides a freezing tool for the Scout instead.

  • Tier 1 – Pheromone Bolt or Chemical Explosion
  • Tier 2 – Broadhead Bolts or Increased Quiver
  • Tier 3 – Stabilising Arm Brace
  • Tier 4 – Battle Frenzy or Radio Transmitter Module
  • Tier 5 – Potent Special Bolts or Banshee Module
  • Overclock – Quick Fire or Cryo Bolt or Fire Bolt or Trifork Volley

Scout Equipment

Scout equipment like other dwarves is one of the most defining characteristics of the class and focused on scouting the map through speed and vision. While many know the scout for his unique solo grappling hook many players are unaware of the useful flare gun to assist your allies in searching the dark caverns as it often goes underused by new scout players.

deep-rock-galactic-scout-grappling-hook-build

Grappling Hook: Arguably the most fun piece of equipment on any dwarf the grappling hook can quickly cause scout death when first playing but with practice allows the scout to fly circles around enemies. When new to the scout class consider using the Hover Boots perk to save your teammates (or Bosco) from having to revive you after a falling death. Unlike other movement based utility items in Deep Rock Galactic this is not something that other classes benefit from directly. Upgrades focus on giving you more range and uptime as these are your biggest limits to effective use.

  • Tier 1 – Longer Cable
  • Tier 2 – Greater Cable Stretch
  • Tier 3 – High Velocity Ejection System or Overcharged Winch
  • Tier 4 – Bypass Integrity Check

deep-rock-galactic-scout-flare-gun-build

Flare Gun: An often overlooked utility skill of the scout that can separate the good from great scout players. With regular but careful use you’ll be able to easily locate minerals and threats and should be your default option when entering new dark caverns that need illumination. Mixing some ammo and duration modifications provides balance on this utility equipment but players can easily focus on either depending on the mission type. For example increased ammunition is often better on maps with lots of small caves that you quickly move through while longer duration is ideal where there is less movement between locations required.

  • Tier 1 – Thicker Core or Expanded Ammo Bags
  • Tier 2 – High Capacity Magazine
  • Tier 3 – Expanded Ammo Bags or Magnesium Core

deep-rock-galactic-scout-armour-build

“Fox” Armour Rig: The scouts armour comes with Shock Absorbers for damage resistance reflecting all the falls you are likely to make during your grappling hook adventures. Otherwise the upgrades can be catered towards your preferences although as a scout the options below are applicable in the majority of situations.

  • Tier 1 – Improved Generator
  • Tier 2 – Healthy
  • Tier 3 – Shock Absorbers
  • Tier 4 – Static Discharge

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Scout Throwables

The scout throwable items provide additional utility to your kit and offer limited direct damage compared to his counterparts. All are viable options in your mining campaigns as each has their use cases so don’t be afraid to swap regularly based on the hazard level, your team setup and the mission at hand.

Inhibitor-Field Generator: The weakest of your throwable options which is let down primarily by the small effect area although this is offset with the higher carry limit of 6. While it won’t stop a large swarm coming from multiple directions its ability to slow down a narrow passage or particular enemies can be valuable when used well.

Cryo Grenade: Adding a cryo variant to the scout’s arsenal the cryo grenade can completely stop enemies in their tracks and has double the effective radius of the Inhibitor-Field (6m compared to 3m). This gives it improved viability for large swarm control although needs to be carefully positioned and timed. It is capable of fighting larger dreadnoughts but you’ll have to use two grenades to obtain the freeze effect on these enemies.

Pheromone Canister: A favourite throwable of most scout players due to the insane utility this can provide across a range of situations that is also exceedingly satisfying to watch the carnage unfold when used. When thrown this canister creates a pheromone on enemies that encourages nearby enemies to attack them and provide significant breathing room for your team when used while also damaging the swarm numbers. With a total duration of 10 seconds it is also more than capable of allowing you to revive a friend during this time period.

Voltaic Stun Sweeper: One of the most unique grenades in the game which will bounce between enemies while stunning and electrocuting them which was added in the Plaguefall November 2022 update to Deep Rock Galactic. Like your other grenades when playing as a scout it is focused on helping you control your surroundings and ensures that you hit many targets over an area where a grenade might be difficult to use effectively. However, it comes at the cost of being slower to be effective against a group of enemies due to the time it takes to bounce between them.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Your build on the Boomstick says to pick FTB or White Phosphorus on Tier 5, yet your picture shows Auto reload. Thought you should know :)

    Reply
    • Thanks steve!

      Updated to note that Auto Reload is also an option in the build, this tier is very much playstyle dependant :)

      Reply
  2. I notice a distinct lack of Crossbow analysis

    Reply
    • Thanks Grunt, we are currently reviewing all our Deep Rock guides for the secondaries recently released and they should be updated soon to help guide players.

      Regards
      Games Finder Team

      Reply
  3. I’m looking at the deepcore gk2 AR in 2023, the improved propellant is no longer there for tier 3. It’s only Floating Barrel and High Capacity Magazine. Is it possible to update the site or give another suggestion?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment this has now been updated given this was removed. I do recommend Floating Barrel in most situations as you’ll have less recoil to contend with which should mean hitting more overall.

      If your playstyle is very close ranged focus to where you aren’t missing the extra magazine size is an okay alternative for quality of life.

      Regards
      Games Finder Team

      Reply
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