Guild Wars 2 Engineer Guide, Build - Let's Use Some Crazy Machines!
GW2 Engineer Guide
Guild Wars 2 is set 250 years after the events of its predecessor. Among other things, there was a substantial technological development during this time. It’s only fitting, that Engineer is one of the new, playable professions. Engineers usually play the role of a direct DPS with explosives or condition DPS using bleeding and the burning flame, but with some specific setups, they can also play a more supportive part. In this GW2 Engineer Guide, you can read everything that is important.
This class has access to various technological marvels, like firearms, elixirs, explosives, and turrets. The unique profession mechanic of Engineers is their tool belt. This feature grants them extra abilities, predetermined by the healing, utility and elite skills on their skill bar. It’s really important to consider the tool belt additions when choosing between two abilities for a certain slot.
GW2 Engineer Skills
The mechanics behind the Engineer’s skills are actually quite complicated. You not only have to manage the weapons skills and the extra toolbelt skill slots, but there’s plenty more. Engineering kits are special tools that can be placed in the utility slots (and there’s one elite too). They replace the weapon that you’re using with a special one – exclusive to that kit. At the same time, it means switching all of your weapon skills to ones associated with the new weapon. This mechanic lets Engineer players do not worry that much about their skills cooldown. There's always another kit to swap to bring some damage. That's also why Engineers don't auto attack that much, even in a long combat. Of course, the recharge of the elite skill might still be a problem.
This gives Engineers lots of possibilities, but at the same time makes this profession difficult to master. Different builds require using specific kits and learning all of them might be quite overwhelming for a new or casual player. All the available ones are Bomb Kit, Grenade Kit, Med Kit, Tool Kit, Elixir Gun, Flamethrower and Elite Mortar Kit.
Other Engineer skills include various utility abilities called Gadgets and stationary Turrets. The next type is the Elixirs. They can be used in two ways – you can either drink them or toss them at allies or mobs. The Holosmith elite specialization also has access to special Exceed skills for the Photon Forge.
The engineer is one of the adventurer classes, which makes them wear medium armor and makes them slightly tankier than scholars. This class has an extremely small pool of available weapons, but it’s made up for in the various engineering kits. They effectively provide an additional seven unique weapon sets available only to this profession. This is also the reason why Engineers don’t have access to conventional weapon-swapping, they can simply use a kit and get a new set of skills.
Two-handed – Rifle, Hammer (Scrapper elite specialization only)
Main-hand – Pistol, Sword (Holosmith only)
Off-hand – Pistol, Shield
Specializations and Traits
To make your build work, you’re going to have to select the best specializations and traits for the specific playstyle. Each of the five core Engineer specs enhances another part of the technology that they use. They are Explosives, Firearms, Inventions, Alchemy, and Tools. As always, the elite specs introduce some new unique mechanics and skills. Engineer’s choices are Scrapper and Holosmith.
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Explosives – this specialization enhances the usage of bombs, grenades, and mines. It synergizes really well with Bomb Kit and Grenade Kit. It can greatly increase the damage output of your team with vulnerability*. It can work with basically all kinds of aggressive Engineer builds.
Minor traits enhance dodging, make your bombs cause vulnerability and give extra damage to vulnerable targets. As for major ones, in the first slot, Glass Cannon and Blasting Zone are two good options for damage dealing. In the second position, Big Boomer provides extra health and crit chance, while Short Fuse empowers your bombs. As the final trait, you can either go for Orbital Command for more direct damage or Shrapnel for better condition DPS.
*vulnerability – stacking debuff that makes the target take more damage
Firearms – this specialization synergizes with pistols and rifles. It can significantly increase the damage of any condition-based setup. Firearms tree also enhances critical hits and empowers the Flamethrower engineering kit. With applying and amplifying tons of bleeding and burning, it’s a must-have for any condi DPS and condi support build. It’s also often used for power DPS with different traits.
You get guaranteed empowered bleeding and crits with the minor traits of this tree. In the first major slot, you can go for extra condition damage with Chemical Rounds or increased critical hit chance with High Caliber. Similarly in the second position – Thermal Vision for condi builds, No Scope for more crits. In the final slot, you might either get Modified Ammunition for extra direct damage for each condition on your target or Incendiary Powder for more burning duration. This tree might significantly increase a power DPS output if you have other people on your team who can spam conditions.
Inventions – this tree is focused on utility, defensive tools, and zone control. It enhances turrets and shields. It also increases your healing and condition removal capabilities. It works really well in defensive support builds.
Inventions minor traits provide your healing spells with extra condition removal, healing power, and protection. For major traits, Over Shield, Soothing Detonation and Medical Dispersion Field provide even more extra healing and protection. Anticorrosion Plating can be chosen for more condition removal (but it’s usually overkill) and Experimental Turrets are an interesting utility option.
Alchemy – the second supportive option. It has a strong inherent synergy with Inventions because it provides extra boons and other effects when removing conditions. It enhances Med Kit skills and of course the elixir usage. This tree is used almost exclusively in the support builds.
Minor traits give you extra self buffs and survivability through self-healing and turning conditions into boons. Alchemy is basically always used in tandem with Inventions. This makes choosing the right major traits much easier. The best ones are Health Insurance, Comeback Cure and Purity of Purpose. The first one enhances your healing and Med Kit skills. The other two let you turn your allies’ conditions into boons and grant them extra regeneration while doing so.
Tools – the last Engineer core specialization enhances their unique profession mechanic – the tool belt. Some of its traits can also help with endurance* regeneration and empowering gadget skills. This tree can be used in various DPS and versatile builds.
The minor traits empower your tool belt skills, giving you extra damage and endurance regeneration. In the first major slot, most builds use Static Discharge – it strikes nearby enemies with a bolt of lightning, every time you use your tool belt. Takedown Round in the second slot can provide some additional, delayed damage. The other option – Streamlined Kits further empowers tool kit abilities. Kinetic Battery provides a very powerful mobility boost as the final trait.
Scrapper – the Heart of Thorn's elite specialization provides access to hammers and a new category of abilities – wells. It also unlocks Function Gyro. It’s a new class mechanic that allows for finishing downed enemies or reviving allies from a distance. This tree is often a part of supportive builds, due to the great utility of Function Gyro and wells.
Minor traits are focused on Function Gyro and applying barriers. Combine Shocking Speed and Rapid Regeneration to empower your wells, get extra mobility and health regeneration. In the final slot, Kinetic Stabilizer provides stability and even more mobility when disabling enemies or using Function Gyro. It’s a recommended choice since it reduces the possibility that you’ll get interrupted when reviving an ally.
You can also use this tree in a completely different setup. Combine the major traits Perfectly Weighted, Mass Momentum and Applied Force. With this setup, you can actually equip the hammer and deal decent power DPS, while remaining relatively safe and durable and still having access to Function Gyro.
Holosmith – the second Engineer elite spec requires buying Path of Fire expansion. It gives you access to swords and a completely new feature called Photon Forge. It’s a transformation mechanic that gives you access to a new skill set.
There are some new mechanics that come with it – heat and Exceed skills. While Photon Forge is active, your character starts to accumulate heat. Overheating results in deactivating the Photon Forge. The heat is generated both passively and through the replaced weapon skills. At the same time, the Exceed abilities grow more powerful when you are above 50% heat. This tree is often used in various DPS build, often alongside Firearms and/or Explosives.
Your minor traits provide healing when losing heat and extra damage above 50% heat threshold in the Photon Forge. In the first major position, you can go for condition removal with Prismatic Converter or extra burning with Solar Focusing Lens.
Light Strike – Storm can provide extra damage in the second slot, but it also increases your heat generation. On the other hand, Crystal Configuration: Eclipse won’t increase your DPS, but provides a barrier that can soak incoming attacks. For the last position, the Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit increases your heat limit to 150%. Photonic Blasting Module is the second viable option because it deals powerful AoE damage when you overheat.
Every Guild Wars 2 profession has multiple different builds and playstyles. You’re never pigeonholed into playing a single role, every time you want to do something difficult. The same can be said for Engineer. Granted, they excel at dealing and increasing DPS and it’s their most popular job as a part of the Dungeon team, but there are some other options as well. An overview of these meta PvE setups will help you create your personal best GW2 Engineer Build.
We're not going to go in-depth about runes and sigils. In general, for power DPS goes with Superior Rune of the Scholar and Superior Sigil of Force. For condition damage setups select Superior Rune of the Renegade and Superior Sigil of Malice. Remaining sigils come down to personal preference and the location you're going to clear. We're going to skip over WvW and other PvP modes because some of the abilities are balanced differently there. The builds also have different goals to accomplish than in PvE.
Core Elixir Bomber
Let’s start with a casual build, available to every player, even without the expansions. It’s a fun, high direct damage, general-purpose setup for adventures in the open world. It’s good for learning the possibilities of the profession and getting the hang of core Engineer mechanics.
Our example uses Firearms, Explosives, and Alchemy, with a rifle as a weapon, but there’s definitely room to make some changes. You should often experiment with your open world builds. It’s much more forgiving than endgame dungeons or fractal runs and this way you’ll definitely learn a thing or two about the game.
Traits like High Caliber, No Scope, Modified Ammunition, and Orbital Command provide a lot of crits and power DPS, while Short Fuse empowers your bomb skills. Alchemy gives you some more survivability and boons with traits like HGH and Emergency Elixir.
In this build, you only have two kits, Bomb Kit that’s your basic source of damage and Elite Mortar Kit for tougher fights. As far as execution goes, engage with Blunderbuss and Jump Shot, then switch to Bomb Kit and keep using Bomb and Fire Bomb for high DPS. Be careful around using Big Ol’ Bomb, it deals plenty of damage but launches enemies in different directions. If your team comp has a lot of AoE, you might want to forget about this ability. Shrapnel Grenade is a great source of mass condition damage, while Rocket Boots are a great option if you need a stun break. Another interesting possibility is the Elixir S that can provide stealth. You can also consider using the Healing Turret - it's a decent option to pick up in the healing slot, especially with the Water Field effect.
We’re going to discuss both the condition and the direct damage variants here since big parts of the setup are identical or at least very similar. This build utilizes the powerful DPS provided by Photon Forge, in combination with numerous traits that amplify the damage output. Holosmith DPS setups are great for fractal runs and in raid boss fights. Agony Infusion is recommended for this setup, as it brings the agony resistance.
Both versions use the same specialization trees: Firearms, Explosives, and Holosmith. They differ in the used traits though. Condi DPS setup relies on Chemical Rounds, Thermal Vision, Incendiary Powder, and Shrapnel to inflict as much bleeding and burning as possible while making those effects last longer and hurt more.
At the same time, direct damage variant uses traits like High Caliber, No Scope, Modified Ammunition, and Orbital Command. They provide some damage boosts, but most importantly – a lot of extra critical chance.
Weapons and skills provide even more differences. Condi build uses double pistol setup, since it provides a lot of conditions, including poison – one that has a much lower presence in this build. The rifle is the recommended weapon for direct damage setup.
The execution of these builds (like most of the Engineer’s builds) is rather difficult because you should utilize multiple engineering kits in your skill rotation to optimize the damage output. Both versions are packed with different kits, each one uses Bomb Kit, Grenade Kit, and Flamethrower, while the power DPS also takes the Elite Mortar Kit.
To do as much damage as possible, you have to cycle through your subsequent kits, using the strongest skills for the version you’re running. You should prioritize either bleeding and burning abilities, or go for the direct damage. After you get enough heat, you can go into the Photon Forge and start cycling through these skills, starting with Corona Burst. Both versions of these builds provide lots of powerful damage, especially against bosses. However, for the open world content, you might want to look for a more versatile, well-rounded build. The damage combo isn't actually that hard, with the most difficult part being the overheat management, with a little bit of experience you should be ready to raid. You can also use the Air Blast to knockback your enemies if you get focused too hard.
We’ve seen a setup optimized for damage, now let’s take a look at a more supportive build, focused mostly on defense. As most supports, it’s also mostly used in more difficult instances, like the hardest dungeons, fractals, and raids. Less demanding circumstances simply don’t require dedicated support and getting more damage usually makes you go through them faster.
To be honest, there’s not much room to experiment with specializations. Inventions, Alchemy and Scrapper bring the most utility, healing, and protection. Furthermore, they synergize with each other really well. Scrapper Support utilizes wells, turrets, elixir gun, and other kits to provide large amounts of regeneration, condition removal, and protection. The traits of Elixirs and Inventions trees are also focused on assisting your team. Scrapper gives you access to wells and the extra safety of Function Gyro as a cherry on top.
During fights, the most difficult thing is timing and placing your abilities in the right spots. You should always focus on condition removal since it grants extra regeneration, heals and boons to your allies. This setup is most efficient in condition heavy areas. Well used Purge Gyro can do a lot of work in that regard if your team is overwhelmed use Elixir Gun and the Fumigate skill for extra cleansing. You should also use Med Kit and it’s abilities to help your party stay high HP. One of its abilities is Cleansing Field that provides even more condition removal. The whole kit provides a ton of different utilities to the party and can be useful in numerous situations.
If you don’t have Path of Fire and still want to play a supportive Engineer you could replace Scrapper with Tools and get more turret skills instead of wells. This way you’ll get slightly less condition removal, but a better zone control and damage support. Tools tree also empowers your engineering kits.
Guild Wars 2
That should do it for our Engineer guide and builds. If you’re interested in another profession take a look at the Guild Wars 2 Classes Guide. You can also check out our guides for specific GW2 classes. The remaining ones are Warrior, Guardian, Revenant, Ranger, Thief, Elementalist, Mesmer and Necromancer.
Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG developed by ArenaNet. After its release in 2012, GW2 created a loyal and friendly community of players. The living world presents the advancing story of Tyria that keeps a lot of people invested in the game.