Killing Floor 2 - Brief Guide to All Perks
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Killing Floor 2 - Brief Guide to All Perks

By Vulcan   /   Jul 24, 2018     Guides
Killing Floor 2 - Brief Guide to All Perks

I have nearly 700 hours of experience in Killing Floor 2, and have gotten every perk to at least level 25 legitimately. This guide, based on my experience, will briefly cover all 10 perks. I will go over what role each perk plays in a cooperative setting, a recommended loadout or two, and some actually helpful tips. While this will most likely be most useful to newer players, if you've played for awhile but ignored a couple of perks or just never got a good enough feel for one, maybe this can help you as well.

This guide will not go into extreme detail of any one perk, because there are other guides for that. This guide will also not cover most gameplay basics or terminology (i.e. zed names), as those are best learned by playing the game anyway.

Also as a general pointer, if you have room for a medic pistol, carry one. It's only 1KG and £200, and always useful. I won't list it in any recommended loadout, as you should always have one if you can.

The Berserker



The Berserker's Role

The Berserker plays the role of a traditional tank. His skills will make him extremely durable, and being melee oriented will generally make him the center of the zeds' attention. The Berserker should soak as much damage and aggro as safely possible, especially for big zeds. While there are a couple of ranged options available, the Berserker is best played with a melee style.

Berserker Priorities

  • Take aggro from fleshpounds
  • Take aggro from scrakes
  • Block a doorway if the team is staying in a room/area
  • Kill trash

Recommended Loadout

  • Pulverizer or Eviscerator
  • Zweihander or Katana

The Pulverizer/Eviscerator is the main tool for dealing with big zeds. The Pulverizer has great knockdown power, explosive damage with the alt-fire (great for fleshpounds and sirens), and the bludgeoning type damage is particularly useful against scrakes. The Eviscerator's primary fire deals a ridulous amount of damage, but you have to hit headshots to get much use out of it. You can get more damage out of it, but you lose the knockdown and stun potential of the Pulverizer. Which of these two you use is preference, both can work.

The Katana/Zweihander is for dealing with smaller zeds. It's going to be based on which weapon you chose for big zeds, because of the weight. The slashing damage is useful against almost all trash zeds, no downtime for ammo or reloads.

General Tips and Advice

  • The Berserker is much more limited by his level that other perks. To actually do his job, the Berserker NEEDS the survivability that his skills provide. Doing suicidal and up under level 10 is theoretically possible with excellent game knowledge, but seriously not recommended.
  • It's best if you work with your team to focus one big zed at a time. If multiple big zeds become enraged, the team will typically scatter and people will die.
  • For the boss, use the Eviscerator/Katana loadout. As long as you can get used to the sawblades' travel time (assisted by the targeting laser), the Berserker has some of the highest damage output possible. Never get distracted by trash zeds unless your life is in danger.

The Commando



The Commando's Role

The Commando is a good trash zed killer, but with a couple of unique abilities that differ from the similar SWAT. The Commando's unique traits are the abilities to reveal stalkers passively and make them glow red, to personally see the health of any damaged zed, and to extend zed time multiple times over. While best at killing trash zeds, the Commando is actually very flexible, able to contribute to almost any scenario the team might be in. If the Commando tries to bite off more than he can chew, though, he can get punished hard for it.

Commando Priorities

  • Call out big zeds at low health
  • Kill trash zeds
  • Contribute damage to big zeds
  • Support healing with med pistol

Recommended Loadout

  • SCAR-H or AK12
  • M16

The SCAR-H vs. AK12 is a matter of perference, though the SCAR-H is objectively better. The SCAR-H has high recoil and a smaller magazine, which means it's best used like a DMR, set to single fire. It can kill any trash zed with 1-2 shots to the head, and when used in single fire, consumes ammo much more efficiently. The AK12 can only be fired in burst/full auto, but may be more comfortable to use for some people. It has a larger 30 round magazine and less recoil, allowing a larger margin or error, as well as the weapon's cheaper cost.

The M16 is an all-round superb second assault rifle. It lacks the damage of the AK12 or SCAR-H, but the ammo is cheap and more importantly, it has an underbarrel grenade launcher. The grenades are also cheap and incredibly useful for killing sirens and gorefiends in a pinch, as well as contributing damage to fleshpounds. It still leaves you some leftover inventory space for a med pistol and a more powerful sidearm, if you want.

General Tips and Advice

  • The zed time extension only applies when you kill a zed. Extending zed time becomes extremely powerful when you have people on your team at level 25, with skills that are applied during zed time. This is best done by landing headshots on weak zeds, and not too soon after one another.
  • Only you can see zeds' health. This can be really useful if a big zed is near death, as you can tell your team to focus it and quickly remove a serious threat. The Commando makes a great shot caller.
  • During the boss wave, focus on the little zeds when they appear. It's your job to keep them off the backs of your teammates, particularly sharpshooters and demolitionists. Your damage output against a boss is generally not great, so only shoot at them if there's nothing else to kill or if the team has almost killed them.

The Support



The Support's Role

The Support's most useful trait is the ability to give out ammo mid-wave. He can also weld doors more quickly, and after a door breaks, can repair it (this is a slower process, best done beween waves.) Aside from the utility that the support brings, shotguns are solid weapons that can kill groups of trash, and the AA12/Doomstick are excellent for killing big zeds. He also has the unique trait (minus the survivalist) of gaining carrying capacity every 5 levels, up to 20KG total.

Support Priorities

  • Killing Scrakes
  • Killing Fleshpounds
  • Welding doors if needed
  • Resupplying teammates
  • Killing trash zeds

Recommended Loadouts

  • AA12 or Doomstick
  • HZ12 or Double Barrel

The AA12 is one of the best weapons there are for killing big zeds, especially scrakes. The ammo is expensive, so it's best used only on big zeds if possible. Running only an AA12 before buying a secondary shotgun is possible, just mind the ammo. The Doomstick offers a different approach to the same role, best used by firing all four barrels at a big zed's head. In general, the AA12 is more reliable, but both can work.

The HZ12 vs Double Barrel is a matter of preference as well. The double barrel has better damage and a larger spread, more useful with a bunch of trash zeds in your face. However, you have to reload more often, and be closer to deal lethal damage. The HZ12 has a longer effective range and large magazine, with a tighter spread and less damage per shot. Both are usable secondary weapons, and at higher levels you might want to run an M4 shotgun if you like it.

General Tips and Advice

  • Welding doors when your team isn't aware of it is extremely risky. Unwelding takes time, and if your team is forced out of their area by multiple big zeds, a welded door can get them killed. It can also create a large wave of smaller zeds, which can overwhelm a team that isn't ready for them. If in doubt, DON'T WELD IT.
  • Shotguns are unique in that they always fire projectiles, unlike almost all other firearms in the game which are hitscan (i.e. the bullet instantly hits where you're aiming, except in zed time.) You'll need to get a feel for the travel time before they're comfortable to use. However, the penetration and damage of shotguns are great, and they can be used at a longer range than most games.
  • If the team doesn't need ammo from you during the wave, they might want to save some money between waves and look to get ammo then. When at the trader, stand a bit further back so people can get ammo from you while you're buying.

The Field Medic



The Field Medic's Role

The main role of the Field Medic is straightforward. All of his perk weapons fire healing darts with their alt-fire, his job is to keep teammates alive. However, the Field Medic also gains high movement speed and additional armor fairly quickly, and in combat can play similarly to a Commando or SWAT. He is capable of tanking if he needs to, though generally shouldn't, and is arguably the hardest to kill.

Field Medic Priorities

  • Heal teammates in immediate danger (i.e. a Berserker fighting a fleshpound, or a near death Commando running for their life)
  • Debuff big zeds with the Hemogoblin
  • Top off hurt, but otherwise safe teammates
  • Kill trash zeds

Recommended Loadout

  • Medic Assault RIfle
  • Hemogoblin or Medic Shotgun

The Field Medic doesn't specialize with any type of weapon, so your have a choice of different types of medic weapons, starting with a pistol. Most importantly, higher tier medic weapons heal more and recharge their darts faster. The assault rifle has solid damage and the highest healing output by far, and is also the most flexible perk weapon available. You can reliably defend yourself from trash zeds and save teammates from death with it. If you really don't like it, the shotgun can also work, though it works against your role with less healing output and generally less damage.

The Hemogoblin is used to debuff zeds. Debuffing trash zeds is generally unnecessary and at times difficult to do, so it's best used when the team is focusing on big zeds. Hitting big zeds with a few darts (it takes more than one, I think three but I honestly can't tell) will do the following: reduce their movement speed, reduce their damage, drain some health, and make the effects very visible to teammates with an icon and other changes to the zed (very pale skin and shrunken limbs). I used to prefer the shotgun as a secondary weapon, but the fire rate was reduced and I stopped using it as a secondary weapon. It's still usable, just not as useful as before.

General Tips and Advice

  • While anyone during a wave is liable to need healing, Berserkers are probably going to need it the most. Keep an eye on them in particular.
  • Any of the skills that apply buffs to healing teammates (including movement speed, damage, and damage resistance) will apply to you as well with one of your first skills, Symbiotic Health.
  • After getting your assault rifle, be generous with your money after getting armor. The Hemogoblin is useful, but not crucial.

The Demolitionist



The Demolitionist's Role

The Demolitionist is a supporting role, capable of awesome damage output, but his weapons can be difficult to use and he generally requires some protection from teammates. He is suited for killing big zeds, especially fleshpounds because of their explosive vulnerability, as well as concentrated groups of trash zeds. Additional abilities are the ability to set door traps by welding a door about halfway; this will create an explosion when the weld is broken, killing most trash zeds instantly and destroying the door. He also has reactive armor, which will create an explosion around him once per wave if a hit would kill him, leaving him with 1-5 health instead. He also can supply teammates with one grenade per wave.

Demolitionist Priorities

  • Killing fleshpounds
  • Killing scrakes
  • Killing groups of trash zeds
  • Setting door traps/resupplying grenades

Recommended Loadouts

  • RPG-7
  • M79 or M16

I'll preface by saying C4 and the Seeker Six aren't useless, but I never figured out how to use them comfortably. Both can kill stuff just fine, and maybe you'll prefer them.

The RPG-7 is your tool for killing fleshpounds. The rocket will generally travel in a straight line, possibly diverting slightly in another direction, though at mid range this won't matter. It will take 2-3 rockets to kill a fleshpound from full health, depending on player count and difficulty. Also, be aware that explosive weapons CAN headshot, and doing so actually does a lot of extra damage. Aim for the head when it makes sense. Must travel a minimum distance to explode, but if it doesn't, the rocket hitting a big zed in the head will still do a lot of damage. Don't use the RPG to kill trash zeds unless you absolutely have to, because you simply don't carry enough ammo.

The M79 or M16 will be your tool for killing trash zeds, and the backup plan if you run out of RPG ammo. The M79 will sacrifice the ability to defend yourself easily for more explosive power. You can carry a large stockpile of grenades, and it has a larger lethal radius than the M16's grenades. You can still defend yourself by jumping, and shooting the ground near you (bear in mind it must travel the minimum distance), and this will kill most trash zeds or at least knock them down. You'll hurt yourself a little bit doing this. Headshots with a grenade are usually still lethal, even if it doesn't explode.

The M16 will be more useful for defending yourself, best in solo play or if your team is otherwise ignoring you. The fully automatic assault rifle makes it easier to kill small zeds that come your way, but keep in mind most of your skills won't apply to the rifle, only the grenade launcher. You carry fewer grenades than the M79, and their radius is much smaller. I prefer using the M79, but this won't really work without a medic or at least a coordinated team.

General Tips and Advice

  • Similar to the Support, make sure the team is ok with you welding doors shut. If the team needs to leave and the only exit is welded, most of the team will likely die.
  • Your grenades, partial sticks of dynamite, don't do a large amount of damage but have a large radius with knockdown power. If it collides with an enemy, it will explode instantly.
  • If you don't have an RPG-7 yet, don't aggro a fleshpound. One rocket is roughly equivalent to 2-3 grenades in terms of damage, it will take you much longer to kill it.
  • If the M16 and M79 don't feel comfortable as a secondary weapon, try other off perk weapons for self-defense. Good options include the AK12, P90, Vector, and dual Desert Eagles.

The Firebug



The Firebug's Role

The Firebug uses flamethrower-style weaponry to deal high amounts of damage over time and provide crowd control. By covering an area in fire, zeds that pass through will be damaged and possibly panic, moving around randomly and not attacking. The Microwave gun can also be very useful against specific zeds, including fleshpounds and sirens, though support of the team is still needed. The Firebug is, unlike most perks, at odds with another: the Sharpshooter. While this won't necessarily always be a concern, all the fire and random movement may make it much more difficult for a Sharpshooter to do their job properly. Just be mindful if you have one on your team, and make sure you're not making their life difficult.

Firebug priorities

  • Killing trash zeds
  • Setting ground fires in choke points
  • Attacking big zeds with the microwave gun

Recommended Loadout

  • Microwave Gun
  • Caulk N' Burn

The Microwave gun is going to be your tool to help the team with big zeds. The damage over time is high, but it lacks outright killing power. You'll want to be sure your team is ready to follow up or are already focusing the big zed down, or it'll likely hit you a couple of times before you kill it. It has an area of effect, which might aggro other nearby big zeds. It's specifically effective against zeds carrying metal, which include: scrakes, fleshpounds, sirens, gorefasts, gorefiends, and EDAR robots.

The Caulk N' Burn is your starting flamethrower. While it has a smaller fuel tank and less damage than the Flamethrower, it ends up being almost functionally identical, while being incredibly cheap to use. This however heavily relies on you using the skill which boosts your ground fire, which will become the main source of your damage. Otherwise, any of the ballistic perk weapons (M1897, spitfires, and Mac 10) should work well enough instead. Use it as described above, to set ground fires in choke points and kill trash with the burning damage over time.

General Tips and Advice

  • If you use the Microwave Gun/Caulk N' Burn loadout, and you use all of your Caulk N' Burn ammo, simply sell and rebuy the weapon. It's cheaper than buying the ammo outright.
  • You'll generally want to align your skills with either the Caulk N' Burn ground fire playstyle, or the ballistic Firebug playstyle. Either way, the Microwave gun should be in your loadout.
  • Be mindful of your ground fires around groups of large zeds. Aggroing several at once can be detrimental to a team.
  • The Caulk N' Burn will never damage you. The Flamethrower will do a small amount of damage if you fire it at something too close, until you're level 25.
  • There is a specific method to using flamethrower style weapons effectively. Fire in "bursts" instead of holding the button down, you'll conserve ammo and not actually shoot any less. Always fire at the enemy's feet, you'll do direct damage by hitting their legs and also set ground fires.

The Gunslinger



The Gunslinger's Role

The Gunslinger is a very versatile class, but also one of the least team oriented. He specializes with powerful handguns, and an increased movement speed. At higher levels, the Gunslinger can outrun enraged big zeds indefinitely. The Gunslinger has incredibly high damage potential, but requires accuracy and solid map knowledge. The Gunslinger is best when left alone, to kite large amounts of zeds and wear them down with headshots. While most of the team is holding ground somewhere, the Gunslinger can kill a large portion of the wave by themselves elsewhere. He can kill big zeds with relative ease with his more powerful weapons. Playing with the team is possible, but generally works against the perk a bit.

Gunslinger Priorities

  • Kite zeds around the map and survive
  • Kill fleshpounds
  • Kill trash zeds
  • Kill scrakes

Recommended Loadouts

  • Dual Desert Eagles
  • Dual M1911s
  • Single SW500 or RPG-7 (details below)

For this loadout, the dual Desert Eagles and 1911s are the core weapons. The M1911s should be used first, as they have the largest magazine size and enough stopping power to kill trash zeds in 1-2 headshots. The Desert Eagles are for either killing big zeds, or as a backup pair of pistols when the 1911s run out of ammo. The single SW500 is another backup, in case both pairs of handguns run empy. You can aim precisely with the ironsight, and kill almost anything with a single headshot. It also goes through ammo slowly, which means if you end up being the last one alive, you can use it for much longer and stand a better chance.

As a solid alternative, you can choose to run a pair of SW500s or Desert Eagles with an RPG-7, specifically for fleshpounds. Running a pair of 1911s likely won't provide enough power, but it is still possible. Glunslinger loadouts are extremely flexible, due to pistols having low weight in general, and the perk's passive benefits apply when using off-perk weapons.

General Tips and Advice

  • If you choose to to use the lone wolf kind of playstyle as a Gunslinger, good map knowledge and kiting ability are required. You generally lack the ability to stand your ground, and will have to constantly be on the move, picking off targets when you can. Also, don't forget you still have a team, if you can help them, do it.
  • Headshots play an important role in your ammo consumption. The more powerful handguns are capable of killing by shooting center mass, but doing this too much will go through your ammo quickly. Not as much of an issue if using several weapons.
  • Aiming style with dual pistols is ultimately preference, but I personally don't use the ironsight. The reasons why: pistol ironsights have poor visibility, and not using the ironsight helps you get a feel for where the center of your screen is. Useful skill if you play other shooters.

The Sharpshooter



The Sharpshooter's Role

The Sharpshooter seeks to eliminate key threats to the team quickly and efficiently, at the cost of poor general damage output. The sharpshooter uses the strongest damage-per-shot weapons in the game to precisely kill big zeds, and other important targets in a crowd. Some protection and cooperation from the team is required to make life easier, but arguably, if you can land every shot, it's the most powerful perk in the game.

Sharpshooter Priorities

  • Killing fleshpounds
  • Killing scrakes
  • Killing husks
  • Killing sirens
  • Kiling trash zeds

Recommended Loadouts

  • Rail Gun or M99 AMR
  • Winchester 1894 or SPX 464 Centerfire or SW500

Both of these loadouts conform to a "One shot, one kill" style of play. A more versatile playstyle is possible, but I find it walks an uncomfortable line between Commando and Gunslinger. Maybe it's just not for me. For that playstyle, I think an MK14 EBR paired with an AK12 or SMG would be best.

The Rail Gun or M99 AMR is your big zed killing tool. This will require a certain level, and appropriate skills depending on the difficulty. Scrakes are easier to kill than fleshpounds, given their slow pace before they're enraged, and bullet vulnerability. At level 25 and with all appropriate skills, the Rail Gun can kill a scrake with one headshot at any difficulty or player count. Fleshpounds will usually take two headshots to kill; the easiest way to hit both is to shoot him once when he's calm, wait for him to pound the floor, and then shoot the same spot again when he stands back up. You just need to get the timing down. The M99 AMR is another single shot weapon, functionally identical, but with higher damage and more weight. You can use it to compensate for the lack of skills and kill even fleshpounds with one headshot, at the cost of higher price, and higher weight. I generally stick to the Rail Gun/Winchester 94 myself, but if you have a solid team at your back, go all in with the M99.

As far as the secondary weapon goes, the SPX 464 Centerfire is an upgrade to your starting Winchester. I use the Winchester anyway because with the correct skills, it can kill anything up to a siren with one headshot, and is much cheaper to run. If you need some more damage or hate the ironsight, use the Centerfire. If you want to save money, use the Winchester. The SW500 is best used with an M99, but if you like the gun anyway, it's a solid secondary and leaves room for a medic pistol.

General Tips and Advice

  • If you use the Winchester 1894, and use all your ammo, just sell and rebuy the weapon. It's cheaper than buying ammo outright.
  • Your cryo grenades are extremely useful for the whole team. It can freeze big zeds if they aren't enraged. They can freeze the boss too, but it takes three or four, not very practical.
  • If you intend to use the one shot style of play, get into the habit of stopping and crouching when you take a shot. Making it second nature will make things easier as you get appropriate skills.
  • The skill that is supposed to grant damage for consecutive headshots is, at the time of writing, seemingly bugged. Avoid it and get reload speed instead.

The SWAT



The SWAT's Role

The SWAT is the definitive trash killing perk, with a couple of other useful abilities as well. The SWAT specializes in using submachine guns, low damage high volume firepower. With a higher level, he becomes much more capable of sustained firepower with ridiculous magazine sizes, and becomes pretty tough to kill as well, through a couple of armor skills. He can also start with a little extra gear, which grants some more breathing room in early waves. While not great at killing big zeds himself, he can set them up for the rest of the team to kill with ease, and take care of a couple per wave if he has to.

SWAT Priorities

  • Stun big zeds for the team
  • Kill trash zeds

Recommended Loadout

  • KRISS Vector
  • FN P90 or UMP45
  • Dual 9mm pistols

The Vector is, despite being more powerful, best used as a backup weapon because of how quickly it goes through ammo. If you have to kill a big zed yourself, stun it with a flashbang, and hose its head down with the Vector. If you run out of ammo for your other SMG, then it's devastatingly effective against trash zeds.

The P90 or UMP45 is what you'll want to be using most of the time. For these two, it's a matter of magazine size vs. damage per bullet. Given the P90 is slightly cheaper and has a far larger magazine, it's my pick of the two. The UMP45 has a higher damage per shot, and will kill a couple of zeds with one headshot instead of two. Try them both, use whichever is more comfortable.

The dual 9mm pistols are just because of the skill that increases the damage of your knife and sidearm. You should still have room for a medic pistol.

General Tips and Advice

  • Your flashbang grenades will only stun big zeds if they aren't enraged.
  • You can reasonably kill a scrake on your own with a flashbang and a Vector. Fleshpounds are going to be much harder for you to kill, try to have some help when you do.
  • You have two very good skills that one, keep you from taking damage through armor (except from sirens) and two, give you more armor. If you use these, avoid sirens and bloats in particular. Siren attacks ignore armor, and bloat bile wrecks armor.
  • During the boss wave, you'll want all of the right side skills. The result will be the ability to move very quickly while crouching and aiming down the sight, both of which reduce recoil and increase accuracy. The armor skills won't help you much anyway.

The Survivalist



The Survivalist's Role

The Survivalist doesn't commit to any one perk, but is the jack of all trades. He borrows most of his skills from other perks, and can use any weapon without penalty, but also without benefits as strong as the appropriate perk. In general, the Survivalist is, true to his name, very hard to kill. He has a global damage resistance, AND the equivalent of the SWAT's armor skills passively. He only has access to one unique weapon, the Freezethrower, which can be useful for crowd control in a multiplayer setting but not much else. The Survivalist can fill any gap in a team.

Survivalist Priorities

  • Fill whatever crucial role is missing from the team (Big zed killer, trash clearer, medic, and so on)
  • Perform that role, see other perk sections for more detail.

Recommended Loadouts

Note that the effectiveness of these loadouts depends on the skills you choose.

Commando/Demolitionist/Sharpshooter

  • SCAR-H or M16
  • RPG-7 or Rail Gun

The SCAR-H is capable of efficiently dispatching most trash in a single shot to the head, while the M16 is a perfect alternative for someone who wants to use automatic fire. Both can do serious damage to a scrake with headshots, the SCAR-H capable of killing one outright if every shot hits the head.

The RPG-7 or Railgun is just for Fleshpounds. The RPG is likely a better choice without the specific benefits of being a Sharpshooter, but the weapon is still usable if you prefer it.

Crowd Control

  • Freezethrower
  • M79

The Freezethrower is, of course, used to freeze enemies. It can kill trash, but not as effectively as other weapons. It's best used to freeze enraged big zeds to give your team some breathing room. The M79 also has plenty of knockdown power, and can kill groups of trash zeds. This loadout is best used in a more coordinated team, as you'll have a bit less ability to fend for yourself.

Sharpshooter/Medic

  • Medic Shotgun
  • MK14 EBR

The MK14 provides great stopping power, even without Sharpshooter specific bonuses, and can be used up close in a pinch. The medic shotgun can provide solid healing as well as a good close range option to back up your rifle. You won't be as useful against big zeds with this loadout, I'd advise using it if you're missing a medic. You could also run a Medic Assault Rifle and Centerfire if you need more healing.

General Tips and Advice

  • Remember that a jack of all trades is a master of none. The Survivalist is not better at anything that another perk specializes in. It's generally good enough, but recognize if filling the gap isn't good enough.
  • Using a freeze and swap method with the Freezethrower is too slow to work with any zed dangerous enough for it to be useful. Save it for online. Also, like the Firebug, try not to make a Sharpshooter's life difficult.
Written by Vulcan.