Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Samuel Franklin
With a solid engineer build and tips from our Deep Rock Galactic (DRG) guide you’ll be able to use your turrets for deadly impact with friends, strangers or alone with Bosco. In this engineer build guide I’ll cover how I play my favourite class of the available dwarves including the best equipment, modifications, overclocks and some helpful engineer tips that might not be obvious the first time you pick up this character.
Focused on defensive support the engineer’s playstyle in Deep Rock does lend itself to setting up at a single location although sentry gun build time is not significant enough that you can’t move your setup from point to point with your allies if you want to be a mobile engineer. His utility platforms can also be invaluable to a team and can be decent in solo play although slower than other movement abilities that dwarves have. This guide to the engineer is ideal for the beginner or intermediate player to the class who is looking for a solid foundation build that they can tweak to their liking and playstyle preferences.
The playstyle of the engineer is one of a reliable teammate with his ability to defend himself and more importantly key map locations while out on a mining adventure. This means he thrives in the co-operative environment of Deep Rock Galactic giving you a position to fall back to when the swarm attacks with his ability to summon a turret that automatically fires at foes. On the movement utility side the engineer can setup platforms to create useful pathways for areas regularly travelled when completing a level and provides both vertical and horizontal movement that stays in place unless destroyed. The engineer is also a favourite partner of the scout as they can provide high up platforms to help scout’s with their grappling hook movement.
That isn’t to say the best engineer build can’t hold his own ground with hard hitting weapons and area of effect potential that means he can stand alone when he has too. Using the right Bosco build the engineer can even complete most solo content although generally not as swiftly as other dwarven class options. Maximising high damage output and utility also requires a little more forethought than other classes as you’ll always need your turret close in order to reach your maximum DPS output.
Engineer Specific Tips
Like every dwarf in Deep Rock Galactic there are a number of engineer tips that can take you from average to unstoppable once you understand how to best utilise your weapons and abilities. Making smart choices of when to engage and when to hold back while thinking ahead is central to the engineer playstyle which is empowered further with the best Deep Rock Galactic perks.
- Utilising platforms underneath minerals is important for scouts as noted above but equally useful for the gunner zip line. It’s rare that you’ll want to solely use platforms to reach these locations so either get Bosco to mine them in single player or combine your utility equipment with an ally. While there are some advanced tactics with platform jumping where you jump off a platform and quickly place another in front of you this technique should be practiced heavily before used regularly.
- Always have your turret online doing something be it defending a flank, retreat path or location to maximise your damage output. With a short time to build and summon to your location it can even be used aggressively with some experience of typical combat situations. It’s also a great friend to watch your back when digging as any attacks will alert you to the presence of an enemy.
- The engineer has great flexibility compared to the narrow strengths of other classes, if you are playing with friends be sure to co-ordinate your kits so that you are bringing the right engineer build and weapon for your team and mission challenge.
- Avoid fighting enemies at range when playing as the engineer as this is one of your greatest weaknesses. Either call in a friend or retreat to a safe location where you can setup an ambush with your turret to conserve your ammo reserves and health.
- You can make platform bridges over small caverns with the engineer that provide a permanent viable alternative to other movement options. While these bridges aren’t an obvious use of your platforms initially they do eat into platform ammo quickly so use them sparingly. Equally you can use platforms to plug holes in the roof or floor to stop swarm attacks or the risk of falling through to the cavern below. Platforms are also a viable way to stop fall damage for yourself and allies in a pinch.
- When reviving allies don’t forget to setup your safety net which depending on your engineer build will include a turret, L.U.R.E, anti-bug platforms or proximity mine to ensure a successful revive.
Best Engineer Builds Guide
In order to reach that goal of Deep Rock Galactic character promotion you’ll need the most effective engineer build to gain experience through mission completion. The engineer has multiple build options to take although some only shine once you get sufficient modification to deal sufficient damage to bugs. Like most other dwarves these builds revolve around maximising your damage output on primary and secondary weapons along with the utility of your other equipment slots with a balance that suits your preferred playstyle and selected mission challenges.
Engineer Primary Weapons
Your primary weapon options all come with reasonable damage output although don’t really shine until you reach some key damage milestones through gear modification. The weapons have vastly different designs and in turn playstyles with the shotgun focused on enemy weak point stuns while the SMG specialises in electric shock chance and lastly your smart rifle provides enhanced AI targeting.
“Warthog” Auto 210: Your base engineer weapon that is easy to use at close range and can make quick work of most foes at this range. It’s damage really starts to ramp up and be capable of dealing with tough mobs after some upgrades are obtained and is more modification reliant than most weapons in Deep Rock Galactic. Those that push through these early pains though will be rewarded with a straight forward and trustworthy firearm for most occasions the engineer will find themselves in. There are many ways to spec this weapon although focusing your Warthog build on direct DPS with damage, rate of fire and reduced reload time are preferred. While you can design this weapon with reduced spread for longer range fights this is really not the intended use of this weapon so not the recommended engineer build path in this guide.
- Tier 1 – Supercharged Feed Mechanism
- Tier 2 – Loaded Shells
- Tier 3 – High Capacity Magazine or Quickfire Ejector
- Tier 4 – Bigger Pellets
- Tier 5 – Miner Adjustments
- Overclock – Mini Shells or Magnetic Pellet Alignment or Light-Weight Magazines
“Stubby” Voltaic SMG: A fast firing alternative that comes at level 10 to the engineer class that gives you an extension to your range along with electrocution potential for some minor damage overtime and slowing effect on the target. This SMG allows the engineer to play a run and gun style with the correct Stubby build although generally isn’t more useful than your shotgun option as it lacks magazine capacity, damage and handling that simply can’t all be improved with the limited modification slots leaving it in an average overall state. At lower hazard levels and some mission types though you can still run this for a simple hold down the trigger and spray option. I recommend you either invest heavily in damage and magazine size or play into the electrocution theme of this weapon entirely, don’t mix and match these two options.
- Tier 1 – Increased Calibre Rounds or Upgraded Capacitors
- Tier 2 – High Capacity Magazine
- Tier 3 – High Veclotiy Rounds
- Tier 4 – Hollow-Point Bullets or Conductive Bullets
- Tier 5 – Magazine Capacity Tweak or Electric Arc
- Overclock – Well Oiled Machine or Super-Slim Rounds or Light-Weight Rounds
Lok-1 Smart Rifle: Continuing the theme of the engineer with a rifle that has an AI core within it to assist with aiming at swarm enemies. Like your other weapons it’s a closed ranged focus weapon though but does bring some area of effect potential to your primary weapon slot as you quickly lock and fire on multiple enemies. While you can aim and fire this weapon by yourself the strength of the Lok-1 is a smart rifle build that utilises this lock mechanic to attack small groups of enemies and capitalise on the associated damage boosts for achieving this full lock status by keeping the max locks low. Supporting this buff to the targeting system with some expanded ammo is thus often your best path forward for a Lok-1 build and leaves little build diversity options.
- Tier 1 – Expanded Ammo Bags
- Tier 2 – CCD Array Add-On
- Tier 3 – Smrt Targeting Software
- Tier 4 – Shutter Speed Sensor
- Tier 5 – Unstable Lock Mechanism
- Overclock – Executioner or Seeker Rounds
Engineer Secondary Weapons
Both of your weapons in this slot specialise in dealing with groups of enemies efficiently although they do it in dramatically different fashions. When a swarm approaches you or your team the swarm simply won’t survive long with one of these options equipped and offer the best ranged area of effect damage outside of throwables in the entire Deep Rock Galactic game.
Deepcore 40mm PGL: Perfect for obliterating the swarm at range the PGL is deadly to all enemies although offset by the limited maximum ammo capacity and single shot design that take some practice to use effectively. Be careful when using this at close range or narrow corridors especially with other dwarves around as it can quickly result in friendly fire accidents. Generally I find a balanced approach to a 40mm PGL build is best as it ensures that it remains relevant in a wider range of situations then specifically focusing down one path, you also need a minimum amount of damage for it to unlock its intended area of effect killing power. Accordingly, you’ll balance modifications to get a combination of extra ammo, damage and explosion radius in the below 40mm build.
- Tier 1 – HE Compound
- Tier 2 – Expanded Ammo Bags
- Tier 3 – Pressure Wave
- Tier 4 – Nails + Tape
- Tier 5 – Spiky Grenade
- Overclock – Clean Sweep or Pack Rat
Breach Cutter: An interesting Deep Rock Galactic weapon that is still capable of dealing damage to groups in the right situations although is generally selected for its damage against powerful single targets like dreadnoughts. This is primarily driven by the requirement of having clear and flat pathways to shoot at your enemies with high cave complexity quickly hurting your potential damage output. The Breach Cutter also requires a bit more active thinking when using and closer range to be effective that often isn’t worth the effort compared to the easier PGL. In creating your ideal Breach Cutter build you’ll generally want to maximise it’s utility with projectile beam improvements where possible to make the weapon more forgiving to use. If you want higher burst damage options for tough monsters that is an equally viable option.
- Tier 1 – Prolonged Power Generation
- Tier 2 – Loosened Node Cohesion or Condensed Plasma
- Tier 3 – Quick Deploy or Improved Case Ejector
- Tier 4 – Disruptive Frequency Training
- Tier 5 – Triple Split Line
- Overclock – Stronger Plasma Current or Return to Sender or Inferno
Shard Diffractor: Moving away from the area of effect themes of other secondary weapons the Shard Diffractor is your choice if you want to refocus into single target damage although is still capable of some area of effect damage output. This combines with the endless range and some added utility through your upgrade choices to allow the Shard Diffractor to fill various niche roles in your arsenal. This weapon can be awkward to use at first though due to the way the battery based magazine operates and the initial spin up time before activating. Modification options for the Shard Diffractor should focus on enhancing the single target strengths of this weapon and boosting the utility it does provide rather than buffing the area of effect as you’ll be better served by a different secondary if that is your goal.
- Tier 1 – Increased Energy Density or Larger Battery
- Tier 2 – Soft Tissue Disruption
- Tier 3 – Aluminium Foil DIY
- Tier 4 – Nitrogen Vaporizer or High-Intensity Heating
- Tier 5 – Dazzler Module or Bio-Mass Converter
- Overclock – Efficiency Tweaks
With the engineer equipment in Deep Rock Galactic you can create rock platforms for friends and summon a turret partner to help you defend locations. With gear modifications these can also offer additional utility beyond their base configuration which gives high level engineers a significant reward for their time investment.
Platform Gun: other than the driller this is the only permanent terrain forming support tool available and makes it particularly attractive on maps where you might have to traverse back and forth between the same area. In its basic form the platform gun is well loved by scout classes but advanced tactics can make this a welcome sight for all your friends and even give the engineer some solid parkour abilities in his own right. For some missions Repellent Additive is worth taking as you can create defensive funnels for enemies that are highly effective, outside of these mission types though it’s usability is scarce so taking expanded ammo in tier 3 is a better default.
- Tier 1 – Supercharged Feed Mechanism or Expanded Ammo Bags
- Tier 2 – Plastcrete MKII
- Tier 3 – Expanded Ammo Bags or Repellent Additive
LMG Gun Platform: The defining weapon of the engineer class in Deep Rock Galactic that will fire at enemies within range automatically until empty before needing the engineer to refill it. Building for a strong hard hitting single turret that is quick to deploy will serve you well in the majority of game situations and this is the focus of the engineer turret build below.
- Tier 1 – LMG MKII
- Tier 2 – Quick Deploy
- Tier 3 – Stun or Penetrating Rounds
- Tier 4 – Defender System
“Owl” Armour Rig: The engineer armour specialises in poison resistance which is then paired with similar upgrades to other dwarves for a survivability boost and can be tailored to your own preferences and playstyle while using this engineer guide as a base. Engineer is one of the few classes I recommended breathing room in tier 4 as it can be surprisingly effective at higher hazard levels at preventing a death snowball as it gives you enough time to get a defensive turret down straight away. Outside of challenges where you expect a few deaths though you should opt for the more general purpose shockwave to help take out small critters around you and keep your turret focused on bigger threats.
- Tier 1 – Improved Generator
- Tier 2 – Healthy
- Tier 3 – Hazmat System
- Tier 4 – Shockwave or Breathing Room
The engineer comes with a mix of utility throwables and damage orientated ones to select from. Generally you’ll be opting for your damage option of choice which gives you extra area of effect (aoe) damage for weak to medium toughness enemy swarms you encounter.
L.U.R.E: The starting option for the budding engineer is your utility option that pulls enemy towards it with a dancing dwarf distraction. While sometimes useful to take the heat off you and your allies it’s simply not as effective as dealing direct damage and is also hindered by the fact that it has a cap on the amount of damage it can take before it deals a low amount of electrical damage with applicable stun chance. In practice it can be tough to use as enemies will need to be fairly close and not already locked onto something more interesting to be fooled. They can be a decent choice to protect an ally revive though and your only initial option.
Plasma Burster: Your first damage variant in the throwable category for the engineer this is designed with having an expanded inventory of throwable items in mind with a total of 6 compared with your other options that cap at 4. The trade off is the lower damage that this brings to the table but is still more than capable for the basic bug enemies. The damage is split between bursts which can make it somewhat difficult to use effectively although has a potent fear alongside this damage that means every bug is impacted one way or another.
Proximity Mine: The likely default for most players that requires some forethought and planning to use effectively due to the arming time of 3 seconds. Once armed though it will trigger when an enemy is in range and can actually explode up to four times along with a fear factor on top. Only mines that have not had any detonation can be picked up and returned to your inventory though.
Shredder Swarm: Added in the season 3 update in November 2022 this grenade builds further on the design of the class by summoning a literal robotic swarm to attack enemies which like your other grenade options gives you the ability to control an area of the map. While not as strong as the Proximity Mine the number of them and the fact players don’t have to think as far ahead make them one of your better choices for throwables.
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.
Sam enjoys the cooperative variety that Deep Rock Galactic has to offer and has played the game since it started the early access period. Enjoying both solo and missions with friends you can regularly find him playing as the Engineer class setting up his turret and making platform bridges.