A skilled engineer is the backbone of every scout. He also protects the team with his turret and places platforms to flatten rough or destroyed terrain. The engineer is neither tanky nor extremely but has a versatile kit of weapons to make up for that. 

Engineer playstyle and role

As an engineer you have three main tasks in every mission:

Your first task is to actively support the scout class. Whenever a scout points at a resource that is hard to reach you have to shoot a platform right under it. You should also look for resources, mark them and provide a platform when needed. A good tandem of scout and engineer can farm lots of resources in a very short time. 

Your second task is to protect your team from flying enemies and smaller scouting groups of enemies with your turret. Whenever your team is busy mining, make sure to put your turret down and reload it when necessary. In smaller rooms use your turret as an early warning system for unchecked passages. In large caves keep your turret close to you when you mine or close to your team to provide cover from flying enemies

turret firing on flying enemy

Your third task is to “shape” the terrain when needed. If there are holes in the floor close them. If there is a particularly nasty spot of lava on the ground, cover it up. For small to midsize gaps between build a bridge to the other side. This will help you gunner save his zip lines for more important long rang gaps. 

You general playstyle should be more defensive than offensive. The engi is neither a tank, nor is he fast nor has he much fire power. Turret placement and regular reloads of the turret is what makes him strong for the team; and what many times rewards him the most damage dealt after a mission. 

Engineer platform placement

When you want to place a platform below a resource over a large distance keep in mind that platforms shot travel with a downward arc. The further away the target is the higher you need to aim. 

Don’t do too much of the Mario stuff. Meaning that jumping from single platform to single platform should only be your emergency strategy when you try to climb up a steep hole. A driller building a passage or a gunner with zip line makes traveling in rough terrain much easier than platform hopping.

But you should build small bridges for your team. Gaps that can be closed by 1-4 platforms are perfectly suited for bridges. And whenever you see edges your bearded friend could fall off just put a platform there. 

drg engineer bridge builder

The final use of platforms is to close off passages a driller has built on your way back to the escape pod. While the driller has the front of the passage you need to make sure the back is closed off. Just stack a few platforms on top of each other. 

Good turret placement & use the R button

Your turret is your second important utility. The basics are: Press 4 to put a turret base down. Use E to build your turret. Use R to recall the turret into your inventory. That recall will also refill your turret ammo. Having the turret in your inventory means that you can throw down a base immediately and start building your turret. If you only use your 4 after the initial build of a turret it will take its time to fly to your current location. 

Most engis prefer to run a single stronger turret over a double turret set up. Two turrets require more micromanagement for reloads or repositioning and have less damage output than a single one. 

drg engineer turret positioning

Depending on your playstyle you can activate the Turret Whip mod for your shotgun that will add explosive damage to your next turret shot after shooting it with the shotgun. If you prefer a place-turret-and-forget playstyle and an auto-shotgun – like I do – you can ignore this modification. 

Make sure you put your turret in slightly higher spots when you defend a position. You can build a platform and place your turret there. Keep an eye on your turret ammo. High ammo consumption means you picked the right spot, low ammo consumption means you should pick a better spot. 

Engineer turret “sentry gun” build

For almost all content I would advise to use the following build that does as much damage as possible without too micromanagement. There is a lot of ammo for you to use before you have to refill and you will also have enough ammo reserves for multiple refills. 

drg sentry build

B – LMG MKII
A – Expanded Ammo Bags
C – Expanded Ammo Capacity or A – Armor Hardend Rounds
A – Defender System

If you prefer more micromanagement and want your turret to do more damage on big enemies you can swap to Penetrating Rounds (A) instead of using Expanded Ammo Capacity (C)  and Target Priorisation (B) instead of Defender Systems (A). 

Engineer weapon builds and modifications

The shotgun and grenade launcher are the most popular weapons for the engineer. 

Auto shotgun build for “Warthog” Auto 210

While there are a few different build options for the shotgun I prefer the auto shotgun high ammo build. It will be a jack of trades for almost all situations. It is not the biggest damage dealer but this 130 bullets auto shotgun carried me safely through most swarms. 

drg warthog autoshotgun build

B – Overstuffed Magazine
C – Choke or B – Loaded Shells
C– High Capacity Magazine
C– Bigger Pellets or A – Tungsten Coated Buckshot
B– Miner Adjustments

If you want to use overclocks, Compact Shells or Mini Shells work particularly well with this build.

Single target or AoE grenade Launcher build

The most popular choice for a heavy weapon is still the grenade launcher because it deals large amounts of damage and works great in all terrains. I prefer to use it as single target damage spam. That means lots of ammo and a focus on single target damage over AoE damage. 

drg grenade launcher single target build

B – Extra Ammo
A – Expanded Ammo Bags
B – Pressure Wave
B – Homebrew Explosive
B – Spiky Grenade

But you can also focus on more AoE if you want to take care of big enemies with your shotgun. The AoE build synergizes with the L.U.R.E. grenade that will create a cluster of unsuspecting enemies. 

B – Expanded Ammo Bags
B – Larger Payload
A – Incendiary Compound
B – Nails + Tape
A – Proximity Trigger

“Stubby” Voltaic SMG, AoE build

The SMG is less popular due to its bad ammo economy and its recent electrocution modification nerf. The idea behind this build is AoE damage. This build here will be helpful in most missions with groups of enemies but do not expect to outclass the shotgun. 

drg smg build

B – Upgraded Capacitors
A – High Capacity Magazine
A – High Velocity Rounds
B – Larger Capacitors
C – Electric Arc

Breach Cutter high damage build

The alternative heavy weapon for the engineer is the breach cutter. You will rarely see it used because it requires perfectly timed and very accurate shots. It can be very useful in Elimination missions but it has a steep learning curve. If you want to go for the Breach Cutter, this build focuses on high damage output and lots of ammo.

breach cutter build update 29

B – High Capacity Magazine
A – Expanded Ammo Bags
C – Loosened Node Cohesion
A – Armor Breaking
C – Tripple Split Line

Best grenade for Engineer

All three grenade types are useful but they all cater to different playstyles. 

For the above shotgun and grenade launcher builds the Plasma Burster grenade is the best choice. I use it as an AeO cluster grenade against large swarms. It will soften up a large number of enemies. You have to be careful where you throw the Plasma Burster because it tends to fly all over the place and can damage you team mates. 

drg engineer throws plasma burster

Proximity mines are also very popular because enemies traveling over it trigger a large explosion. Therein lies one of its biggest downsides because you easily waste a mine in a small enemy. Throwing it into a swarm does also not always work as expected because triggering takes some time and that can mean only the last enemies of a swarm will be hit.

The L.U.R.E. grenade can be a useful tool to lure enemies to a particular location. That will lessen the pressure on your team and will clump enemies at a single point. Shooting that point with your grenade launcher is a valid strategy. 

Best platform gun build for Engineer

The build is straightforward and concentrates on as much ammo as you can get. The more platforms you can supply the more helpful the engineer will be for the team. 

drg platform gun build

B – Expanded Ammo Bags
A – Plastcrete MKII
A – Expanded Ammo Bags or C – Repellant

Preferred Engineer perks

You can choose up to 2 active and up to 3 passive perks for each class. Depending if you play solo or in a team I would suggest a different set of active perks.

Active perks for Engineers, solo

The first active perk when going solo is Heightened Senses because it will protect from cave leeches and grabbers. 

As a second perk when playing solo I would advise taking Beast Master. You can convert a small enemy and make it fight for you. 

Active perks for Engineers, group

The first choice should be Field Medic to revive your teammates faster. It also allows you insta-revive a teammate once per mission

As personal second choice in groups I would advise See You In Hell because you will be able to do some nice AoE damage upon going down. This will clear out some room for your team mates to revive you. You will also do more pickaxe damage after you are hit by an enemy.

You can also use Beast Master if you prefer to have a pet around that draws aggro. But keep in mind you have 3 teammates that are also useful to confuse the enemies.

Passive perks for Engineers

Passive perks are very subjective. The ones I use fit the more defense playstyle I use. 

drg engineer group perks

Second Wind is a useful perk because it will allow you to gain extra speed after sprinting for 4 seconds. You do not need to press an extra button, it will kick in automatically after a short while. 

Born Ready will reload your unequipped weapon after 5 seconds. This passive perk will allow you to shoot your grenade launcher, switch to your shotgun, empty your shotgun and swap back to your now reloaded grenade launcher. If you have to do a tactical retreat this chaining of spilling out ammo with additional reload increases your overall damage output. 

The third perk I prefer is Resupplier because it allows me to pick up ammo faster and get more health out of supply drops. In hectic defense situations with enemies all around you cutting ammo and health pickup time by 50% is a big difference. The additional 25% health from supply pods sweetens the deal. 

As I said above, perk choices are subjective. There are other passive perks that are also popular. Strong Arm will make you throw your flares further away. Vampire will allow you to gain health from enemies killed with your axe if you prefer a more aggressive playstyle. 

Youtube Engineer guide, Deep Rock Galactic

If you prefer watching a video over reading this guide I got you covered. The video guide is from 2020 and will not get updates. Just keep that in mind in case you find difference between the video and this post.

Summary

The engineer provides important utility for the team and makes or breaks effective mineral mining for the Scout. Clever turret placement will protect the team and soften up even the largest swarms significantly. 

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