Deep Rock Galactic – Driller Guide

An attempt at creating a decent enough guide at my favorite class in DRG.


For my first attempt at writing guides, I’m going to be covering a class that I’m not only incredibly familiar with but is also my favorite.

The Driller may be a bit goofy looking with his bulbous goggles but his manic grin is enough to set the hairs on the back of your neck on end and rightfully so. Beneath those lenses and those pearly whites lies the heart and mind of a psychopathic killer who takes the laws of war and occasionally physics for granted. That is, of course, assuming he even knows that they exist. You know the quiet kid in class who was just a little too interested in dissecting frogs and mixing chemicals? That’s this guy.

He is appropriately named, as his main role while traversing the tunnels of Hoxxes IV is to drill out tunnels and ramps for his team with his Reinforced Power Drills or “Drill Hands” as I lovingly call them. With the pair of these, the Driller can level the ground out to create sight lines for his team, cut a tunnel from on-site refineries to pump stations, or even grind away at enemies if need be. He probably has one of the most useful tools out of all of the classes. The only downside is that it’s a bit tricky to get minerals and items off of ceilings. His drills make holes, not platforms to stand on.

In combat, he’s all about crowd control with weapons that do damage over time and slow enemies, sometimes even freezing them. More on that in a bit.

When people ask me which class is easiest for newbies to play as, especially people who are new to horde shooters, I always recommend Driller just because he requires a little less aiming than the other classes and can clear out Grunts a lot faster, making the number of enemies on screen a bit more manageable.

Primary Weapons

(Quick note: I will not be covering the Overclocks for the weapons in this guide.)

The Driller, like all the other classes, has three primary weapons as of when I’m writing this:

1) CRSPR Flamethrower

This may be the default primary but it’s nothing to sneeze at. It does precisely what it sounds like and shoots a torrent of flames in a straight line up to a certain distance assuming there’s no walls in the way. It’s range is actually pretty decent for video game flamethrowers which is great because its damage output needs a bit of time to do its thing.

When an enemy is hit with the CRSPR’s flames, a small icon will appear next to their healthbar. Once full, that enemy is considered “on fire.” This means that they will then take 6 points of damage every 0.3 – 0.5 seconds and will also generate heat for any enemies in close proximity, making them easier to ignite as well. On top of all that, enemies that are on fire will also take increased damage from flame sources which will help speed up the CRSPR’s time to kill. Or, you could just let them burn for a bit and save some ammo.

The unique upgrades for the flamethrower, the ones that aren’t just generic ammo capacity and range buffs, center around three things: sticky flames, causing fear, and making enemies explode.

Sticky Flames adds to the crowd control element. Instead, this time, you’re not just slowly killing them over time, you’re slowly killing them over time while also making it harder to reach you. Whenever your flames hit a surface, they’ll stick onto it and burn for 2 seconds, doing damage to anything that walks through it and slowing them. Once you reach the appropriate upgrade tier, you can make that sticky effect last longer.

Fear Factor is also pretty straight forward. Whenever you fire your weapon, there’s a small chance that nearby enemies will flee in terror which is completely understandable. This can force certain enemies such as Praetorians to stop their vomit attacks and run away, exposing their vulnerable backsides. They only flee for a short distance so the window of opportunity will be short. Make the most of it!

While having the perk equipped, enemies that are killed by the flamethrower will have a small chance of detonating instead of just turning to ask like the rest do. This turns the occasional enemy into a free grenade doing damage to anything around it, including you.

2) The Cryo Cannon

Sometimes, you just need to remind people to just chill out!

Bad jokes out of the way, this gun is honestly the best primary for this class. It does less damage than the CRSPR but freezes enemies instead of igniting them which is objectively better.

When an enemy is ignited, it can still move and attack. When they’re frozen, they can’t move, they can’t attack, they can’t use special abilities, and, if they’re flying enemies, they’ll crash down onto the ground and instantly shatter. Oh, and they’ll take triple damage regardless of where you’re hitting them from unless they’re dreadnaughts in which case they’ll only take 2.5 damage.

Also like the CRSPR, it will leave behind a trail of ice along the ground that will do cold damage and slow enemies that pass through it.

Unlike the CRSPR, the Cryo Cannon doesn’t need to be reloaded, but does need to recharge its tank from time to time. It also has a larger base capacity for ammo, which will come handy with its lower DPS. Both of these can be upgraded in its tree, as well as making frozen enemies shatter upon death.

3) The Corrosive Sludge Pump

Remember when I said this guy liked ignoring the Geneva Convention? This is the main reason why. (Assuming that the Geneva Convention exists in the DRG universe.) Nothing screams “war crime” like chemical warfare after all. It works similarly to the other two, however.

It does the most damage out of the three primaries but the trade off is that it requires a bit more aim and has significantly less ammo capacity than the other two, with only 121 spare…. ounces of acid? I don’t know what’s in the tanks and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know. It does have a secondary fire mode to counter this, able to be charged up and lobbed to create a large pool of acid that does 4 acid damage and slows enemies that pass through it. This does take more ammo per shot so bear that in mind before spamming it everywhere.

Its upgrade tree is a bit basic, with the usual upgrades being the majority aside from being able to increase the slow effect and the amount of corrosive damage per hit.

Secondary Weapons

1) Subata 120

Semi-automatic, a default magazine size of 12 bullets, and a high rate of fire but little recoil makes this basic b*tch weapon nothing to sneeze at. Dump a mag into the rear end of a Praetorian and watch that health bar disappear.

Its upgrades are pretty basic as well up until you reach tier 4 where you can start modifying it a bit more drastically. You can first choose between either a flat +3 damage per shot or a +60% weak spot damage bonus. The next 3 tiers expand upon specialization even further with options to make it do fire damage, cryo damage, corrosive damage, extra damage to the flying Mactera enemies, the ability to shred armor, increase stun chance, or just have your bullets blow through enemies into whatever’s standing behind them.

All-in-all, one of my favorite secondaries, despite how boring it can be.

2) Experimental Plasma Charger (EPC)

Another semi-auto pistol but this one shoots super heated plasma instead of bullets. Much like the Cryo Cannon, this weapon doesn’t need to be reloaded. Instead, it has an ammo pool and will overheat if it’s fired too fast. It does do a lot of damage, however: 20 per shot. It can be charged up to fire a single, large blast that does 60 points of damage over a range of 2 meters.

Its unique upgrades center around reducing heat generation, expanding the range of the charged blasts, and causing more burning damage.

3) Colette Wave Cooker

Don’t let the name fool you, this is just a microwave that’s been taken apart and then turned into a gun. Like the EPC, it has a single pool of ammo and an overheating mechanic. Unlike the EPC, it doesn’t do a lot of damage: only 7 per tick. It doesn’t do well against armored targets, but it absolutely shreds through the little guys and can even prevent exploders from detonating.

Upgrades-wise, it follows suit with the Subata with the basic upgrades being at the start of the tree and then finally getting interesting in tiers 3 and 4 which add on bonus slows, an alternate firing mode with a wider spread of the beam but more heat generated, and then corrosive damage, a chance for enemies to explode, or bonus damage to enemies that are already on fire or frozen.

Not my favorite but a fun one to use every now and then.


1) Impact Axe

This single use throwable does a ton of damage to a single target, but only if it doesn’t hit armor. Plus, if you miss your target and hit the ground, it can be retrieved. Sadly, once it hits an enemy, it’s lost forever. It stuns any enemy it doesn’t kill in a single hit and you start off with a good number of them so Praetorians might want to think twice before getting within throwing range.

2) High Explosive Grenade

Another basic weapon, the HE Grenade is your standard frag grenade from any shooter you’ve ever played. Hold down the throw button to cook it and try to time it just right to have it explode in the middle of the swarm to rack up those kills.

3) Neurotoxin Grenade

Oh look! More chemical warfare!

This grenade is a smoke grenade that has had its smoke replaced with a gas that’s toxic to the aliens but perfectly safe for dwarves. Just tell the Gunner to put out his cigar before getting too close since it’s highly flammable. Pair this with the CRSPR, and you have an explosive 1-2 punch.

4) Springloaded Ripper

Remember Beyblades? This is them now. Feel old yet? Quite literally three sawblades on a handle that will rip and tear their way along the ground, up walls, and across the ceiling before eventually self-destructing. It deals massive damage to anything it hits, including dwarves, but does have one glaring weakness: it does absolutely nothing against flying enemies on account of not being able to hit them. Oh, and you need to be careful where you throw them because they won’t stop until they’ve said their piece which will last a good while.

Mobility Tool

I touched upon it before, but the Reinforced Power Drills are probably the easiest tool to use. They’re certainly the most fun. Hold down the trigger and watch walls melt away before you. Just be careful not to hold it down for too long otherwise they’ll overheat.

When you have these bad boys out, your HUD will change to a bunch of horizontal lines with a “0,” a “45,” and a “-45” beside them. Those are degree angles and they’re important because anything steeper than 45 degrees won’t be able to be walked up and down easily. When creating ramps or tunnels for pipelines, bear that in mind.

As far as melee weapons go, they’re not super great. Their time to kill is incredibly slow, but can be upgraded to cool off the weapon per kill. Their biggest downside, however, is just how blind they make you whenever you are using them. They throw rocks and dust up into your face which will make seeing the sudden gap in the floor ahead of you difficult to see and you’ll probably fall from great heights multiple times while using them but still love them regardless.

Utility Tool

If you’ve ever browsed the DRG subreddit, I’m sure you know precisely what the Driller’s Utility tool is.

The “Scout Removal Device” or Satchel Charge is a pack of highly explosive material wired up to a remote detonator that can be used to blow chunks out of the terrain, enemy hordes, or anything else you might wanna blow up. Useful for taking out large enemies quickly or simply speed mining that chunk of gold out of the ground, C4 is always fun to use. The game even gives you a large red bubble to show you what’s within range of its explosion and what isn’t. Handy.

There is a downside: you can only use one at a time and you only carry 2 per mission unless you purchase the upgrade that lets you bring 3. Once you throw one down, you have to either detonate it or pick it back up (locked behind an upgrade) before you can place another once.

Legally, I am required to remind everyone that the Satchel Charge is meant to be used on enemies and terrain, not each other.

Written by ACynicalMute

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