A quick and dirty guide to the Technician class.
Overview: What is a Technician?
Specializing in zone control and defense, the Technician’s role is to help manage incoming waves of enemies via their turret and charged coils. The Technician is also capable of buffing up their allies and debuffing enemies via perk selection, and is only capable of using handguns and CQWs because of how hefty their turret and coils can be.
While the Doc and Recon can both also debuff and slow enemies, the Technician has a few tricks up their sleeve, and the additional firepower from an automated turret is always a welcome addition to any team.
The Guns: Handguns
Only able to use a handgun and CQW, your weapon options as a Technician are somewhat limited. This doesn’t mean you’re totally helpless, of course, but you will miss out on weapons able to handle enemies at longer ranges. Long-range fights like this are rare in the game, and you’ll be more than capable of handling enemies at closer ranges, but it’s still worth mentioning.
As you’re only capable of using handguns and CQWs, and CQWs are already oriented towards close-quarters firefights, picking a close-quarters handgun like the Kramer or Rapid Responder is strongly discouraged. You’ll instead want to opt for something that you can use at mid-to-long ranges, and fortunately, there’s plenty of these. Note that attachments will not be covered, as those will largely boil down to personal preference.
Kramer .50 Magnum: Boasting the highest damage-per-shot, the highest weakpoint damage modifier, the highest stumble chance, and the highest range of all available handguns, the Kramer is not something to ignore just because it’s your starter pistol. It’s vicious in the right hands, but can be cumbersome to anyone not used to it, and also something of a detriment when you’re first starting out. Limited to a maximum magazine size of 10 shots, a rather lengthy reload timer, and a maximum ammo pool of 135 rounds, you can quickly run out of ammo for it. Definitely a handgun to give another look once you’ve got some hours under your belt, though.
Kramer Short Barrel: A surprisingly solid shotgun, which is also the problem for the Technician, as it’s a shotgun and you really don’t need two of those. Give it a try if you’d like, but you’re gonna very quickly regret having only short-ranged damage options for your weapons.
M10 Auto Pistol: More akin to a SMG without taking up the CQW slot, the M10 has a blistering rate of fire and can melt through xenomorphs if you can land your weakpoint hits. It also has a very fast reload speed, though this can lead to ammo problems further down the line if you’re not careful. Additionally, to compensate for the incredibly high rate of fire, it also has an incredibly low stumble chance.
Rapid Responder: A fully automatic pocket shotgun. Like the Kramer Short Barrel above, it’s certainly not a bad weapon, but you’ll likely want something with longer ranges since you’re already packing a dedicated CQW.
Twinhammer: A somewhat quirky handgun that fires two shots in a burst, the Twinhammer is a bit of an all-rounder. It has solid damage, range, weakpoint damage mods, stumble chance, and reload speed. It doesn’t necessarily have the best in each category, but it doesn’t have the worst either.
Type 78 Burst Pistol: Adding in one extra round per burst relative to the Twinhammer, the Type 78 fires 3 rounds in one burst, and is somewhat comparable to it in the damage, range, and weakpoint damage departments, though it has a lower stumble chance. The Type 78 suffers less damage dropoff in the mid ranges compared to the Twinhammer.
Type 95 Combat Pistol: A popular pick across multiple classes, the Type 95 can be thought of as a more forgiving Kramer .50 Magnum. Though it doesn’t have the damage, weakpoint mods, or stumble chance that the Kramer does, it still remains very respectable in these categories whilst also having a larger magazine, a faster reload, and a larger overall ammo pool.
N79 EVA Laser: Just released, to be evaluated at a later date.
The Guns: CQWs
The CQWs (short for close-quarters weapons) of the game can be broken down into two general categories: shotguns and SMGs. There’s one particular special mention we can get into later on, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Shotguns do one thing, and one thing very well: high damage at close ranges with minimal aiming. They also typically boast high stumble chances, making them excellent choices for crowd control, as well as a few other interactions with the Technician’s kit. If you’re so-so on aiming, stick to these. Of particular note is that some shotguns will show incredibly low reload values, which is to say incredibly fast reload speeds. This is because these shotguns are loaded per shell (which you can cancel early by aiming down sights, shooting, or generally performing any other action).
M37A3 Pump Shotgun: Your starting shotgun, the M37A3 is no slouch, easily able to hold its own in later stages. With the highest base damage of all shotguns, as well as one of the largest magazine sizes and ammo pools, it’s an extremely forgiving weapon to use, and with some surprisingly long range as well.
DT-57 Medved: A double-barreled shotgun, which you’d think would be a liability in a horde shooter. The Medved has an incredibly fast reload speed though, as well as the highest weakpoint damage of all shotguns, and the highest base stumble chance of all shotguns. If you can line up your shots well with it, it’ll take you far. Patience is a virtue with this one.
Heirloom Standoff: Something of a special mention, as this one is DLC-only. The Heirloom can reach the highest stumble chance of all shotguns, with enough levels and the right mods, and is also a bit quirky in that it takes different attachments relative to the other shotguns. If you’re purely looking for crowd control and you’ve already coughed up the cash for it, it’s a very solid option.
Type 21 Tactical Shotgun: Differing from the other shotguns in that it reloads by magazine and not by the shell, the Type 21 has the lowest base damage of all the shotguns but also the longest range, as well as the highest magazine capacity and fire rate. If you’re wanting to try out one of the close-range handguns but still want to keep the shotgun CQW, give this one a go.
Somewhat similar to shotguns in that they’re capable of high damage at close ranges, SMGs differ in one crucial aspect: you need to actually aim. They may be bullet hoses, and for general use, they can sometimes disappoint. However, if you stack up the weakpoint damage and aim appropriately, they’re downright disgusting for wiping out special xenomorphs like Drones and Warriors, with some absolutely absurd damage output. If you consider your aim to be good, and you know where enemy weakpoints are at, you should likely be opting for these over the shotguns.
M39 Submachine Gun: Tied with the Medved (a shotgun, mind you) for base damage, and exceeding the Heirloom Standoff, the M39 can and will melt tougher enemies if you can land your weakpoint hits. It’ll put Gunners and Demolishers to shame, unless the Gunner is also using this and landing weakpoint hits, which is another story entirely. It really is THAT good… if you can land the weakpoint hits. Did I mention you need to land weakpoint hits?
X43 Barrage Flechette SMG: With a lower base damage than the M39, but a higher weakpoint damage mod and a better stability value, the X43 is certainly the more manageable of the two SMGs. Just as capable of putting in work as the M39 and also stuck under the same stipulations, the X43 requires going for weakpoint hits as much as possible if you want to be keeping up with (or keeping ahead of) shotguns for raw damage output.
There’s one more CQW that doesn’t really fit into either of the above categories, and that’s because it’s a flamethrower. “That sounds great!” you say, because it’s a flamethrower. Normally that’d be true, but flamethrowers in this game are… well.
Type 99 Incinerator: With the highest base damage of all CQWs, at 1125 damage, the Incinerator can certainly dish out the pain, assuming you even have the ammo for it. Though it has incredibly high damage, it also has incredibly short range and incredibly poor ammo economy, meaning you can and will be reloading often. It also does a very good job of obscuring your vision, as well as any friendlies nearby, which makes your situational awareness worse in a game all about dealing with hordes of enemies who can come from almost any direction. On the higher difficulties, the Incinerator and other flamethrowers are a source of ire for many players, as their incredibly high base damage values mean they will VERY quickly result in teamkills if someone is unfortunate enough to get in the way. You’re welcome to play around with it on the lower difficulties, but it’s difficult to recommend over the shotguns and SMGs, and is an outright hindrance on higher difficulties.
The Skills: Basics
The Technician’s skill set is a bit on the simple side, with not much needed to truly explain what each part does or how it functions. There’s a few nuances to it, but nothing quite on the same level as the Doc’s med station and its interaction with med kits.
The Core: Cross-Platform Synergy
The Technician’s main kit perk, Cross-Platform Synergy gives allies 10% damage reduction for standing near it, and will also heal the turret for 5% of its health per second if the Technician who placed it is near it. If you need to heal your turret in a pinch, it’s much faster and often better to simply retrieve it yourself and then place it again, which will put it right back at full health. Make sure you’re RETRIEVING the turret and not CANCELING the turret. Retrieving the turret will reduce the cooldown to roughly 1.5-2 seconds. Canceling the turret sticks you with the full cooldown as if it were destroyed, which is closer to 15 seconds.
It’s a turret. It shoots things. Once placed, the turret is fully automated, will find and shoot at enemies on its own, and never runs out of ammo. Also like all other offensive skills, the turret is completely incapable of causing friendly fire. It cannot hurt you, nor can it hurt friendly players. Pressing the skill once will show a green hologram showing the deployment location of the turret, and pressing the skill a second time will place the turret in this location. In regards to the turret:
- Higher is better. Your turret is almost always better off sitting on a railing rather than on the floor, as you’re giving it better firing angles and also making it harder for xenomorphs to take it out.
- As noted above, if you need to heal your turret in a pinch, retrieve it and then place it again. Do not rely on the heal from you being near it if it’s taking steady and sustained damage.
- Your turret can certainly help out with thinning the hordes, but it’s not a replacement for another player, and it WILL get overwhelmed by enemies if you leave it on its own.
- Enemies will very often prioritize destroying deployables (like your turret) over attacking players. You can often use this to your advantage, if you’re willing to sacrifice your turret like that. You monster.
- Your turret being automated also means that it can be quite dumb, and it has no real sense of priority. It will not target bursters over xenomorph runners. Don’t rely on it for boss damage or anything of the sort.
- Your turret is also capable of firing in every direction. It will turn to face any direction it needs to in order to shoot, though it’ll certainly be faster to shoot if it’s facing the right direction.
The Charged Coils:
It’s a shocky stick. It slows things. The turret isn’t how you prove your worth to your team, it’s this thing. Pressing the skill once will show you a targeting arc, and pressing the skill a second time will throw it at the location you aimed at.
- Though the Doc and Recon are both able to slow enemies down or debuff them, the Technician’s ability to do so is MUCH more flexible. You have three charges to throw wherever and however you want, and their cooldown timers are independent of one another. Given the tendency of xenomorphs to come from any direction imaginable, you’ll be throwing these into walls and ceilings more times than you’d care for. They’re also stellar for chokepoints.
- Charged coils can also be embedded in enemies, if your aim is careful. Doing so will continually slow the affected enemy, any enemies near them, as well as continually debuff the enemies in question if you selected the perks to do so. Killing an enemy stuck with a charged coil will drop the coil to the ground at the spot they died at. Sticking a coil to a boss enemy like a Warrior or Praetorian is incredibly useful, as they’ll constantly be slowed down and potentially debuffed.
The Skills: Perks
This section will be limited to JUST the Technician-only perks, with no mention of universals. You should at least use some universals, however. In order to keep things simple, we’ll be breaking this down into three categories: Hot, Maybe, and Not. Hot perks are ones you’ll almost always be using or should be using. Maybe perks are ones you should at least consider using now and then, or they have situational use. Not perks are ones to avoid like the plague because of how awful they are (and there’s definitely at least one to talk about).
What’s pictured below is my build, which doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be your build. Just know that your combat rating within the game is derived not just from your weapons but also your perks, and leaving empty space on the perk grid is wasted combat rating. It’s power you could have had and missed out on. Empty space is the enemy. Fill that whole grid in if you can.
- Resonating Impact: Whenever you OR your turret stumble an enemy, they take 10% more damage from all sources for a few seconds, and your turret now also has a stumble chance. This perk is huge for teamplay, as it’s a free damage amp but also a form of crowd control. Stumbled enemies are enemies that are not attacking you or your buddies. Very good in all difficulties.
- Scalable Machine Learning: Your turret getting kills gives you bonus reload speed and stability. This stacks up to a potential +50%, which is an enormous value to get off of a single thing, and is absolutely something to take to beef up your own damage output in the long run.
- Dynamic Delivery Systems: Your turret shoots faster and does more damage to armor. It’s literally free damage, and you WILL want this if you want your turret to do anything at all against special xenos.
- Deep Leverage: Playing off of Resonating Impact, if you OR your turret shoot an enemy affected by Resonating Impact, they’re knocked down. Knockdowns are an incredibly powerful form of crowd control, as that enemy is totally incapacitated for a few seconds and unable to do anything at all until they recover. If you run Resonating Impact, you need to run this with it.
- Real-Time Resource Reclamation: When your turret is destroyed, it explodes and deals damage to nearby enemies, as well as reducing its base cooldown timer by 5 seconds. On higher difficulties, it’s only a matter of time until your turret is destroyed. This perk turns that death into free damage, and also means you get your turret back faster.
- Hyperlocal Logistics: Your turret gets more health regen and shoots faster while you’re near it. Simple enough to manage, and also means your turret is hardier and dishes out more damage per second from the increased fire rate.
- Disruptive Technology: Enemies affected by your charged coils deal 25% less damage. This can be a pretty significant number, and if you stick the coil to a special xenomorph like a Warrior or Praetorian, it can drastically reduce the hurt they put on your team. Likewise if you kill off Bursters while they’re in the field of one.
- Incinerator Turret: Converts your turret into a close-range flamethrower with more health. This is absurdly good on lower difficulties (essentially Standard and lower), turning your turret into a nigh-unkillable fiery apocalypse. So why is it down here in the ‘Maybe’ category? Because on higher difficulties when enemies start turning into bullet sponges, your turret won’t be able to kill them before they can kill it, at which point you’re better off with the base turret form.
- Compatibility Matrix: While the ability is active, gain a 10% damage bonus, up to a 30% max. It’s 10% if you stick it on your turret, up to 30% if you stick it on your coils. Certainly not a bad perk, but you only have a finite amount of perk grid space, so you’re usually better off with other ones.
- Collaborative Analytics: Cross-Platform Synergy increases recharge and accuracy for your and your buddies by 10%. Certainly not bad, but as it’s contingent upon staying near your turret, it can be difficult to keep this up, and there’s no guarantee the friendlies in your squad will even be aware of it in the first place.
- Modular Integration: Playing off of Scalable Machine Learning, you’ll also pick up accuracy and fire rate from your turret’s kills. Definitely not bad at all, but again, you only have so much perk grid space.
- Agile Practices: Using your charged coil increases your move speed and reload speed by 10% for a few seconds. Does not stack. Reload speed bonuses aren’t all that hard to come by, and though move speed can be nice, the fact that the effect doesn’t stack at all is a bit of a killer. You absolutely need that grid space for other things, and you can’t really be wasting it on such a small bonus, especially if it can’t stack.
- Heavy Turret: Some of you knew it’d be down here. Considered by many to be one of the absolute worst perks in the game, it converts your turret into a heavy gun that does huge damage but shoots slower. Sounds great, right? The problem is that your turret is shooting slower, in a game about dealing with hordes of enemies. Targets can and will move fast, and this means that the heavy turret is actually capable of MISSING shots entirely. The base turret will easily outperform it, and the incinerator turret puts it to complete and utter shame against large groups of enemies. Unless it gets heavily buffed in the future, do not use this perk. It’s not worth your time or the perk grid space, and you’re only going to end up severely disappointed if you do.
- Training/Expertise/Mastery: The perks dedicated to your weapons are not worth it, or at least not on the Technician. If you’re still in the process of leveling the class and can’t slot in anything else, then by all means use them. But by the time you’re hitting those higher ranks and get most or all of the perk grid slots opened up, it’s time to ditch them. Your weapons already get beefed up from their own levels as it is.
Conclusion: Wrapping Up
If you’ve read this far, you’re hopefully now at the point of being the tech support everyone spends too much money on for the most basic of issues, and not the tech support that gets asked for help whenever the router acts up. By which I mean hopefully you’re now good and know what you’re doing, and aren’t just placing your turret behind a wall because you panicked. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
And seriously, don’t use the heavy turret. I mean it.
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