A (hopefully) humorous, probably far too long-winded, and quite likely incomplete guide, on how to succeed as an Engineer.
Other Risk of Rain 2 Guides:
- How to Unlock All Characters.
- Beginner's Guide (Tips and Tricks).
- Altar of Gold, Gilded Coast and the Aurelionite.
- How to Restore Your Unlocks.
- Shrine / Environment Guide.
- How to Find Teleporters.
- Newt Alter locations.
- All Items Tier List.
- Mercenary Guide.
- Artificer Guide.
The Good, The Bad and The Oof
- Turrets aim and shoot so you don't have to, because aiming is hard.
- Turrets also distract enemies and absorb damage for you, because they love you.
- Completely negate dangerous attacks from bosses.
- Hugely benefit from a couple of niche items that most other characters aren't too concerned with.
- Puny nerd biceps; relies on turrets for protection and damage.
- So much cooldown to worry about you could be mistaken for a refrigerator.
- No movement ability (get some speed somewhere or cry).
How to Do the Thing (Engi's Abilities and How to Use Them)
Click and Hold, Nerd
Engi's basic attack (M1) shoots bouncy bombs. I'm gonna call them BBs. Now that I've given them a cute nickname, let me be honest with you: they kinda suck to use. In a game full of characters that point, click, and receive instant gratification, Engineer has to charge up a volley of his cute little bouncy balls and account for the effect of gravity in order to damage targets. That's not to say that the BBs are bad for damage; on the contrary, they're quite powerful in full volleys, and can quickly shave down a boss's HP. The main issue is they're a bit sluggish to use on the smaller baddies, which is why you're going to want to rely on something else, one option being...
Mine, All Mine
Your secondary attack (M2) places mines. You can hold up to, and place up to, ten of them (note that even if you get upgrades letting you hold more, you can only ever have ten active!). They do lots of damage per, so if you're in a tight spot don't hesitate to huck them straight into an enemy's face at point blank. The explosion will not hurt you or your allies. You could place them where you think an enemy is going to be, but honestly, they're better saved for other purposes, which I'll get to later. The main thing to remember is use them. Having ten mines sitting in your fun purple backpack is a waste considering just how much damage they can do.
Side note: It's worth noting that your mines stick to any surface. And I do mean any surface. The ground, the walls, the enemies... and your friends. If you can manage to keep any of your buddies still for a second, it can be fun to slap a bunch of mines onto their ♥♥♥ and tell them to charge something (please note that I do not endorse slapping people in the ♥♥♥ (without consent)).
I Feel Safer Inside the Bubble
Replacing the slot normally reserved for a movement skill, your tertiary ability (Shift) places a shield generator. The shield it creates is dome-shaped, and wide enough to fit about 10 MUL-Ts standing shoulder to shoulder. This bubble is no joke. It negates every ranged attack in the game, including massive shockwaves from the Wandering Vagrant (giant jellyfish), death lasers from the Stone Titan, and any flavor of fireball you can imagine. Use this. Often. The cooldown is long, but there's only about a 9-second downtime between active shields, so place them whenever you have projectiles that need to be negated. Which is probably all the time.
The most important thing to remember is that, like the Gungan shield in The Phantom Menace, your big blue bubble does not stop anything that walks through it, so you'll still be vulnerable to melee attackers. Stay on your toes, and don't be afraid to abandon your shield and whatever's inside it if running is a safer bet.
This is it. The alpha, the omega, the best of times, the worst of times, and probably the only reason the Engineer bothers to get out of bed in the morning: turrets. Pressing R will bring forth a little holographic overlay which is basically a yes/no prompt asking you if you're sure you want to summon the life-saving power of a faithful mechanical wingman forth to your side. The answer is typically yes. Left click and a joyous little robo-bugger will spring forth, ready and willing to shoot the everloving heck out of anything that so much as twitches within its attack radius.
You can place two turrets at once, but despite the fact that more is generally better, you may want to hold off if a single turret will do the job. At the same time, don't hesitate to use these bad boys; if you're sitting pretty at two stocked turrets, there's basically no reason not to let one loose to rain hell upon enemies chasing you while you're searching the map for the teleporter and other goodies. He'll stand his ground, valiantly blasting away to earn you exp and money without you ever having to lift a finger. What a good boy.
Turret encampments are where your other abilities really start to shine. Lay down both turrets, place your shield, and spread some mines around the protected area. Voilà; you now have a fortified defense that will output consistent damage, as well as a safe place to calmly lob BBs from. This is your go-to tactic when there's a boss that needs slaying, or you're feeling threatened by swarms of projectile-spewing enemies. As an added bonus, your allies can camp out in the shield as well, giving you all an opportunity to sit down, relax, and have a positive team-building experience before you're all inevitably swallowed by a Magma Worm.
What to Pack For Lunch (Which Items Should an Engi Use?)
The short answer? Mushrooms. The long answer? As many mushrooms as you can eat, a belt to hang them on, and a flag to announce your love for mushrooms. Let me explain:
Do the Bustle
One of the best-kept secrets of the Engineer (a secret which so happens to be noted in the character select screen, so... not much of a secret, really) is that your turret-pals are treated like tiny versions of you with less HP and more... guns. What this means is that Bustling Fungus, an item which heals you (and nearby allies) rapidly when you're standing still, will be activated by your turrets. And since they can't actually be moved whatsoever, they become rapidly-regenerating, area-healing damage dealers. I'm not kidding when I say a few stacks of Bustling Fungus will make your turrets (and possibly you) nearly immortal throughout most of a run. This item is, without doubt, a huge priority, if not your top priority, and if someone who's not an Engi steals this item from you, you have every right to be salty.
Everyone knows cooldowns are the worst, and Engineer has more cooling down to deal with than an integrated graphics card running this game at Ultra settings. As such, it goes without saying that an item that instantly recharges abilities is basically Engi's holy grail. With just a single stack of Bandolier, you can be enjoying ammo pack drops that allow you to perpetually upkeep your shield bubble, and replace any turrets that bite the dust while fighting the good fight. This item is absurdly good, but be wary in multiplayer; the Bandolier benefits you a lot more than some other characters, but other characters will probably still want it.
Walk Softly and Carry a Soft Drink
You have no movement abilities. You're slow. An Energy Drink or two will make your sprint speed feel less like dragging a corpse through a lush undergrowth and more like the jetpack-glide it appears to be. Is simple.
One Small Level for a Man, One Giant Buff For All of His Bros
Warbanner is a great item. You don't need me to tell you. However, it's a tad less beneficial to characters who prefer to be running around dodging everything. Handy, then, that the Engineer has a shield and immobile emplacements that encourage more of a "stand your ground" kind of playstyle. With a banner at your back, your little encampments will become an even greater force to be reckoned with.
The Fast and The Hurtiest
Now, I know what you're going to say: "Ignitehawk, everyone in the game benefits from Soldier's Syringe! Putting this in your guide is like saying I ought to put ketchup on my fries!" Well, first of all, did you just assume my preferred condiment, you animal? And second, Engi isn't the only one who benefits when he picks up the syringe. His turrets also benefit. How many other characters can claim that three individuals get boosted from a single Soldier's Syringe, huh? Nobody else.
"But Ignitehawk, a turret isn't a p-"
Don't you dare finish that sentence. My turrets are my peers, my best friends, my guardians and my children. And despite the fact that I build them knowing they will probably die for my cause I still treasure every moment spent in their presence.
Moral quandaries aside, a single Soldier's Syringe will elevate Engi's BBs from annoyingly sluggish to actually usable while simultaneously boosting his turrets' output considerably. I recommend taking a single syringe when you get the chance and leaving the rest for your teammates, because yes, they're obviously going to want them, too.