Killing Floor 2 Gunslinger Guide – Best Build, Perks & Weapons Loadout

Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by Samuel Franklin

Killing Floor 2 Gunslinger Guide – Best Build, Perks & Weapons Loadout

This Killing Floor 2 Gunslinger build guide serves as a reference point for how to craft the ideal combination of perks and weapons to create the best build possible for this class perk. Whether you want to play alone, with your friends or the random game lobbies of Killing Floor 2 you’ll have a Gunslinger that is up for the challenges across difficulty settings. The Gunslinger is a class that uses traditional gun mechanics and falls somewhere between the Commando and Sharpshooter which results in a class that is capable of outputting reasonable damage while also having plenty of movement and ammunition to perform this intended role. Enabling this style of play is your single and dual pistol weapon choices that are effective at damage when paired with headshots.

Swapping between single or dual pistols allows players to tweak their focus towards either accurate headshots or wild dual wielding to unleash a hail of bullets towards the Killing Floor 2 ZED Specimens. This weapon type is focused on shorter range engagements with the Gunslinger having the appropriate tools to move quickly around the battlefield and get right into the face of their target to maximise effectiveness. Combined with the focus on headshots for damage and experience gain the Gunslinger playstyle is one of fast paced action with periods of focus to land your shots before moving onto the next ZED battle.

This guide to playing as the Gunslinger in KF2 will set you up for success and serves as an initial point of reference for how to build your class when using this perk. It includes tips, strategies, perk skills and weapon loadout that all combine into a build pathway. As Killing Floor 2 has a range of maps, difficulties and party dynamics your own needs or preferences may differ slightly from that within this guide so players should consider adjusting as they see fit. If you’re still trying to find the best Killing Floor 2 class for your playstyle or goals visit our perk tier list guide for a summary and rating of each perk.

Table of Contents:
Gunslinger Strategy and Tips
Gunslinger Perks Build
Gunslinger Weapons Loadout

Killing Floor 2 Gunslinger Strategy and Tips

To play the Gunslinger at a high level players should use the following strategy and tips:

  • The Gunslinger is capable of fulfilling a jack of all trades role in Killing Floor 2 which makes you able to pivot your build and style to your team needs (or tackle solo successfully). The Gunslinger can easily adjust their build between a large ZED killer, generalist or small ZED killer although the latter is your weakest role and there are other classes that simply do it better due to ammo economy issues on even your basic pistols.
  • With your core pistol archetypes having weak reload times (especially when dual wielding pistols) learning how to effectively reload cancel as the Gunslinger is even more important than other classes and given how regularly you will need to perform reloads this contributes to the high skill cap of the Gunslinger.
  • As a Gunslinger you are a squishy class that also needs to be in relatively close distance to be effective with your weapon of choice. For this reason you’ll need to ensure careful focus on your positioning while you utilise your additional movement speed and slow through perk skills to stay safe amongst the chaos.
  • Rack ’em Up is a key perk to your overall damage output and players should consider the surrounding ZEDs to maximise the effectiveness. The most common situation is using some easy to hit ZEDs often of a lower tier to build up your stacks before utilising the damage boost on a different durable ZED opponent.
  • With your lower ammo magazine size and capacities of the pistol weapon archetype players need to be careful with every shot when playing as the Gunslinger. Often a steady and patient trigger finger that waits for the ability to land a headshot will be more effective than spamming your pistols which will quickly leave you with no ammo.


Killing Floor 2 Gunslinger Perks Build

The Gunslinger has the following perk bonuses at maximum level:

  • 25% perk weapon damage (1% per level)
  • 30% bullet resistance (5% base and 1% per level)
  • 20% movement speed (0.8% per level)
  • 25% recoil reduction (1% per level)
  • 75% ZED time reload speed (3% per level)

The Gunslinger has the following active perk skills to select from:

Perk Category Left (L) Option Right (R) Option
Techniques Steady: Ignore movement speed penalty and increase perk weapons damage 7.5% when using iron sights. Drastically reduce weapon bob with perk weapons. Quick Draw: Reduce recoil penalty for shooting from the hip, increase movement speed 5%, and switch perk weapons 50% faster.
Skill Rack ’em Up: Consecutive headshots with perk weapons increases damage 10%, to a maximum of 50%. Bone Breaker: Increase damage with perk weapons 20% and inflict 30% more damage to arms and legs.
Advanced Techniques Line ’em Up:
Suffer no damage reduction from shooting through ZEDs to hit other ZEDs and increase penetration with perk weapons.
Speedloader: Increase reload speed with perk weapons.
Critical Hits Skullcracker: Headshots with perk weapons slow ZEDs 30%. Knock ’em Down: Shooting sprinting ZEDs in the legs massively increases knockdown power. Shooting ZEDs in the chest with perk weapons massively increases stumble power.
Master Techniques ZED TIME – Whirlwind of Load: During ZED Time, your perk weapons can’t run out of ammo. ZED Time – Fan Fire: During ZED Time, your perk weapons will shoot faster and reload in real-time.

Notable active perk skills when playing as the Gunslinger are:

  • Techniques: This tier offers players two different Gunslinger playstyles with many in the community favouring the right hand side Quick Draw. This side enables you to confidently fire from the hip with your weapons, boost your movement speed to kite away from enemies and switch between your weapons faster which given your long reload speeds will get more use than most Killing Floor 2 class perks. Meanwhile on the left hand side you can aim down sights without being slowed down along with a small damage buff when doing so.
  • Skill: An easy decision at this tier with Rack ’em Up central to our damage in a similar way to the Sharpshooter perk of the same name. This is a place where you’ll gain significant damage and further lean into your class design of damaging headshots. If you are struggling to keep up headshot streaks while learning this class you can temporarily run the Bone Breaker side as its a flat 20% but you’ll want to work towards maintaining the 50% of Rack ’em Up as you practice. Bone Breaker can also be a decent option to swap on for boss waves given you are unlikely to be able to keep up stacks of headshots against most bosses as they run between you and your teammates. Like the Sharpshooter you’ll have a visual indication in the middle of your screen for the current number of stacks and players can build up these stacks on any ZED which makes gaining stacks on lower tier ZEDs before using your 50% boost on larger ZEDs a common tactic.
  • Advanced Techniques: While Line ’em Up is a unique Killing Floor 2 perk and has some fantastic potential to assist with our ammo economy issues as the Gunslinger it is simply not consistent enough to warrant giving up the right hand side that covers a similar weakness of this class. This is a buff to reload speed that we desperately need given our small magazine sizes across weapon options that have us constantly reloading. While you will eventually want to learn how to reload cancel consistently with this class this choice still assists in reducing overall reload time.
  • Critical Hits: Combining the left hand side Skullcracker with Rack ’em Up gives us additional breathing room when up to close to enemies to land our shots which makes it the preferred option and combines perfectly with our other sources of improved movement speed. While Knock ’em Down on the right side isn’t terrible on paper it just doesn’t suit our class theme as the Gunslinger compared to the left hand side option.
  • Master Techniques: While both options at this tier have potential to support your character damage output the choice here will dramatically impact your ZED time goals. On the left you have Whirlwind of Load that give you endless ammunition which removes your need to reload and as a result makes it effective against clearing waves or hitting headshot after headshot. The right hand side is also perfectly designed for the Gunslinger though with faster shooting and instant reloading turning us into a damage machine that few classes can compete with and makes a Commando ally one of our best friends with the ZED Time reset potential. While the faster shooting speed does impact our ability to land accurate headshots the raw damage output is significant and as a result something players should not pass up on for this pinnacle perk skill tier.

Given the above the Gunslinger best perks setup is RLRLR as your default option. For the Gunslinger there are only a small number of niche (often temporary) reasons to change this setup which are noted above.


Killing Floor 2 Gunslinger Weapons Loadout Guide

As the Gunslinger your weapon choices are pistol focused with single and dual wield options that are all fairly strong compared to other classes that have only a few standout options. For this reason players can generally mix and match their desired loadout from the Killing Floor 2 best gunslinger weapons which include the single and dual .500 Magnum Revolvers, .50 Desert Eagles, M1911 Pistols, AF2011-A1s, HMTech-101 Pistol and SPX 464 Centerfire. While pistols deal high headshot damage and allow the Gunslinger to be a nimble class this weapon archetype does suffer from low ammo capacity that results in constant reloading. This does result in a balancing act as you progress through your build while keeping in mind your ammunition needs with your end game weapon loadouts being one of the following:

  • Dual .50 Desert Eagles, Dual M1911 Pistols (or .500 Magnums) and a Single AF-2011: The standard choice for the Gunslinger that gives you plenty of ammunition and damage to handle all the ZED waves in front of you. The hard hitting penetration power of the Desert Eagles (Deagles) with a nice balance of ammo economy and fire rate is unmatched for medium and large ZED killing and a staple of many Gunslinger loadouts as a result. The dual M1911s perform a similar role with their hard hitting damage output ideal for large and medium ZEDs and depending on preferences can be easily swapped out for .500 Magnums instead. The Magnums have higher damage and penetration with a small magazine capacity and slower fire rate compared to the M1911 that makes them more suited to teams where you need a reliable large ZED counter. If going the Magnums they also replace your Deagles as your primary large ZED killer as they hit extremely hard and are highly effective as a result. Meanwhile the M1911s are suited to when you need to be able to clear some lower tier ZEDs for the team. Lastly the single AF-2011 pistol fits into our remaining loadout weight to provide a reliable weapon for weak ZEDs without wasting the ammo of our harder hitting pistols in this loadout.
  • Dual .50 Desert Eagles, Dual M1911 Pistols, Dual Magnums and HM-TECH 101 Pistol: A loadout with a massive 7 pistols this makes you capable to handle any lane by yourself and also adds some utility for your team through the healing darts of the Field Medic pistol. While this number of guns does limit your upgrade choices due to weight limits players can still complete some upgrades as there are several one level upgrades for these weapons that don’t add weight to your kit. If the fantasy of having deep pockets of pistols and having a weapon for every situation appeals to you then this is a build to try for your Gunslinger.
  • Dual .50 Desert Eagles, Dual Magnums and SPX 464 Centerfire: While similar to the first Gunslinger build on this page players will be using a weapon beyond pistols to enhance your large ZED killing to the next level. If intending to follow this specialisation you’ll want an appropriate experienced team around you to handle the lower and even medium tier ZEDs that are encountered with you filling the role of sole large ZED attacker. The SPX is also effective at giving you some additional range in your kit that can be a welcome addition in some larger maps with long sight lines.

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.

Sam’s played Killing Floor with his friends since the original game in the franchise was released and enjoys the simple core gameplay loop that offers endless challenging variety. He prefers to play traditional firearm or supporting classes to help his team successfully navigate the various waves of ZEDs.

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