Battle Shapers

Battle Shapers

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Weapon Guide - Community Update
By Phoenyx
A comprehensive, if admittedly biased guide to (and review of) every weapon in the game following the Community Update.
Welcome to my little summary of the Battle Shapers arsenal! As stated in the description, this guide will provide a comprehensive look at every obtainable weapon in the game as it is today. Is it going to be highly opinionated?


With that in mind, let's take a look at the format with the handy sidearm that everyone should be familiar with by now.

The Argument

Generally I'll provide a quick spiel about each weapon. I'll cover it's strengths, it's weaknesses, and how useful it actually is with all that in mind. As for The Argument, it's ...fine. It's a solid starting weapon and is arguably better than some other weapons you'll find at the start of a run. It does however get a low grade simply because it only exists as a starting weapon. Don't go holding on to it for too long.

Rank: C

Every weapon will be ranked from S down to C.
S-Rank conveys my belief that said weapon is exceptional at any point in a run.
A-Rank means that said weapon is a solid choice regardless of circumstances.
B-Rank means that said weapon is good in certain builds and circumstances but not all.
C-Rank means that said weapon isn't particularly useful in most situations.

Alright! With the format covered, everything will be covered alphabetically. Let's get to it!
The Accelerator

Starting off strong, we have your typical railgun. Tapping the LMB causes the Accelerator to lob a rather... disappointing projectile in a short, clumsy arc. As a result, you quickly learn not to do that. The Accelerator is the first of many guns with a charge mechanic. Fully charge the gun by holding the LMB, and said projectile becomes a hitscan lance of heavy damage.

Now that's impressive by itself, but what elevates the Accelerator is that it has a critical charge mechanic. By firing at the exact moment the charging cycle completes, the charged shot takes on a red colouration, dealing guaranteed critical damage while piercing enemies. It's rather easy to judge due to the visual cue of the gun's armature sliding back coupled with a distinctive sound when the cycle completes. Learn the rhythm of the Accelerator and it becomes extraordinarily deadly in just about any situation, though it does suffer against swarms.

NOTE: Devs, thank you for making the multishot on this thing A: vertical, and B: parallel. I tried putting Multishot 1 on it during a run and was rather concerned that I had ruined it until I saw the end result.

Rank: A
The Aftershock

A rather wonderful introduction to the world of Vibro weapons, the Aftershock is a portable bullet-hell machine. A submachine gun with ricocheting rounds, the Aftershock is generally designed to be sprayed in the general direction of enemies rather than being used for precise kills. The reason for this is simple: Vibro weapons are fundamentally based around crowd control. The Vibro status spreads damage between all enemies with Vibro stacks on them, meaning that groups can be dealt with rather quickly by simply firing indiscriminately into them. What's more is that successive hits can trigger the Resonance effect, slowing the entire group while dealing even more Vibro damage, possibly causing a chain reaction.

All in all, a very solid weapon, but not exactly one you want to rely on in a boss fight due to lack of single-target damage.

NOTE: If you ever see an Aftershock with Multishot on it, GRAB IT. It's a quick and easy way of making life miserable for everyone in the tower who isn't you.

Rank: A
The Arc Flash

While officially labelled as an SMG, I must protest as you're never going to be using the Arc Flash like an SMG. With each pull of the trigger, the Arc Flash will eject a cluster of Shock projectiles that will spread out and detonate after a set distance, as well as stick to any enemies they make contact with. In other words, it behaves more like a shotgun than anything else, and much like a shotgun it will absolutely devastate anything in close range. While requiring you to get uncomfortably close to heavy targets in order to maximize effect, the Arc Flash requires very little commitment beyond that, allowing you to freely dash away and leave the target to enjoy the several dozen little explosive presents you left them. Wonderfully effective against Centurions, Juggernauts, Pyronauts, and bosses alike.

Rank: A
The Banisher

A rather curious weapon for the style of gameplay encouraged by Battle Shapers, the Banisher is a semi-auto DMR with a substantial bonus to precision hits (headshots, really). While it's hitscan rounds are quite effective the Banisher suffers from partially sharing a niche with the Accelerator, both being long-range precision weapons but the latter largely being more effective. I think it largely comes down to preference. Are you precise enough to consistently land the headshots the Banisher specializes in delivering, or does the Accelerator's rhythm feel much more natural to you? For me it's the latter, and as a result the Banisher has always felt somewhat lackluster by comparison.

Rank: B
The Battering Ram

If you're familiar with this guide, forget everything I said about the Battering Ram before this point. I'd like to thank the devs, as the Community Update has been very kind to our resident shotgun. The new sound effect and tracers make an incredible difference in consideration to how the weapon feels, and the stat buffs have made it considerably more lethal. It's still not as deadly as I would like, and it's held back by having to reload after each shot, but it's certainly in a much better place than it was.

Rank: B
The Crescent Blade

The second (and last) of the railgun-type weapons, the Crescent Blade is a rather technical piece of hardware. Tapping the LMB fires a wide but slow projectile that deals Shock damage. Charging the weapon allows it to fire a much wider projectile that pierces through enemies, allowing you to hit entire groups if positioned correctly. While this sounds great on paper, I find that the time spent trying to cultivate these big hits are generally better spent paying attention to your own position and nearby threats. In short, it's a weapon that can easily cause tunnel-vision on things that aren't actually that important in your current situation, which isn't helped by the fact that it's charge cycle doesn't give nearly as much feedback as that of the Accelerator.

Rank: B
The Crimson Repeater

A rather incredible little handcannon, the Crimson Repeater is best defined by a few things. On one hand it's the first Pyro weapon you're likely to find, with it's standard fire delivering rather accurate incendiary rounds. What really makes the Crimson Repeater special is it's combination of a fast charge time, and a charge shot that throws out a homing round that detonates in a rather spectacular explosion on impact. These traits combine to create a weapon that is extremely efficient at dishing out damage at any range, doubly so when those Pyro stacks build up enough to proc the Meltdown status. In all seriousness, there is no time in a run where this gun is a poor choice.

If you see it, grab it. If it has Multishot, you're set for the rest of the run.

NOTE: As of the Power Transfer update the charge shot doesn't seem to hit quite as hard as it used to, but I think the weapon is still solid enough to maintain it's rank.

Rank: S
The Firehawk

Our third throwing weapon, the Firehawk adds a bit of explosive flair to the rapidly growing family. A throwing axe built to deal Pyro damage; the Firehawk has a nasty habit of exploding immediately after being lodged into whichever bot you aim it at, dealing damage both on impact and when exploding. Much like the Havoc Hammer, the Firehawk can be "charged" (which I assume, again, is just Ada winding up a really good throw) but there is a key difference in how either weapon is affected. While the Hammer simply gains more damage, the Firehawk will release a considerably larger and more powerful detonation when charged. The unfortunate problem here is that it is difficult to judge when the Firehawk reaches maximum charge, as there is no clear visual sign and holding it beyond that will simply cause it to explode in your hands. Thankfully, this won't deal any damage to you and will cause damage to surrounding enemies. Could be worse!

Rank: A
The Firestarter

The first of the grenade launchers (though it took me much longer to get), the Firestarter fires timed sticky grenades in bursts of three. With a bit of a horizontal spread, it can be difficult to hit a target with more than one of the grenades without being at point-blank range, and you can forget about hitting flying targets. In spite of that, the Firestarter has extremely respectable damage output and can dish out Meltdown procs to multiple targets in extremely rapid fashion with it's sizeable blast radius. It's great against ground targets and bosses alike. Quite a solid choice in my opinion.

NOTE: Devs, I am talking directly to you. Please for all that's good in the world change this thing's emissives to orange instead of white. It looks so wrong compared to the other Pyro weapons. They did it! They did it, the absolute madmen!

Rank: A

The Havoc Hammer

Truly unique among the Battle Shapers arsenal is the Havoc Hammer. True to it's name, it is not a gun; It's a throwing hammer and it absolutely hits like you would expect it to. Requiring a charge (which I assume is really just Ada winding up a really good toss), the Hammer does both a solid chunk of damage as well as considerable knockback on hit. It's not ideal against aerial targets due to the wind-up and arcing trajectory of the thrown hammer, but it's more than capable of crushing anything on the ground. Even with all the sophistication of New Elysium, sometimes all you need is to throw something heavy at something (or someone).

NOTE: After having used the Hammer a good deal more, I've realized that it largely suffers from the same issue as the Crescent Blade. Lining up shots requires considerably more attention than other weapons and can distract from more immediate threats. This could just be a skill issue on my part but I'll be decreasing its rank regardless.

Rank: B
The Infernal Stinger

Arriving with the Power Transfer update, I have no qualms with saying that this gun has stolen my heart. The "InSting" is an interesting hybrid of weapon archetypes. It's a burst-fire Pyro rifle that needs to charge before throwing a spray of six superheated energy spikes downrange. The bolts themselves exit the barrel quickly enough that it brings to mind a choked shotgun, which makes the weapon devastating at close and medium range though it has slight difficulty at long range. The magazine capacity limits you to three bursts before needing to reload, but considering the weapon hits like a truck, that should just fine.

Before I rank it, I need to gush for a moment. Everything about this weapon is just pure satisfaction. The animation is great (though it occasionally breaks), the sound effects are fantastic, and the charge-burst mechanic reminds of Destiny's fusion rifles in the best possible way. If this is an indication of what we can expect going forward, I have high hopes for future additions to the arsenal.

Rank: A
The Ion Blaster

A solid all-around choice, the Ion Blaster is more of a precision handgun than it's cousins. Dealing Shock damage on hit with an additional Shock stack from precision hits, the Ion Blaster can easily deal out repeated EMP procs on priority targets, keeping them exactly where you want them.

NOTE: This gun may actually have one of the coolest reload animations ever. Props to whomever at Metric Empire is responsible for that.

Rank: A
The Megaton

The latest addition to the Special Launcher family, the Megaton is the Kinetic member of the clan. While one might expect it to feature a conventional explosive rocket unlike it's siblings, this is not the case. Instead, the Megaton fires an implosion warhead, sucking all enemies in the blast radius towards the point of impact. Despite being a rocket launcher, the damage of the implosion rocket is mediocre at best. While this might seem like a glaring flaw, it belies the Megaton's nature as a technical weapon. It exists primarily to set up opportunities for other weapons or abilities to take advantage of, such as sucking a group of enemies into the range of a Gyrovolt Turret.

Rank: B
The Needleator

A decent all-rounder, the Needleator only really suffers from being a Kinetic weapon. While that doesn't sound so bad, it means that more specialized "elemental" weapons tend to outpace it as they can utilize status effects and procs. It's a decent stop-gap weapon but not something you want to rely on.

Rank: B
The Plasma Carbine

If you haven't noticed it yet, Pyro weapons tend to make things explode, and the Plasma Carbine is no exception. An assault rifle with a slower rate of fire, the Plasma Carbine is very effective at delivering a constant stream of Pyro stacks and Meltdown procs to both single targets and small groups. It's equally effective against all targets, including Juggernauts as it's explosive rounds allow it to deal consistent damage despite their shields. While the recoil per shot is a bit heavy, the slower rate of fire ensures the weapon is always controllable (maybe not so much under the effects of Rapidfire, though). Never a bad choice.

Rank: A
The Quiver

Took us long enough to get to another Vibro weapon. The Quiver is another excellent example of how Vibro weapons focus on crowd control, firing large Vibro "spheres" that pierce through enemies and radiate Vibro pulses as they travel. While very effective at spreading Vibro stacks through groups of enemies, the low magazine capacity means that the Quiver lacks flexibility. While the Community Update was rather kind to it and it does feel considerably better, I don't think it's good enough for A rank just yet.

Rank: B
The Raging Blaze

Simply put, the Raging Blaze is a flamethrower. You'd think a flamethrower would be emblematic of Pyro weapons as a whole but unfortunately, it just isn't very good. It's range can be difficult to judge, the projectile hitboxes feel inconsistent at close range, and despite it's cavernous magazine, it actually does very little damage per "shot", relying purely on weight of Pyro stacks and Meltdown procs. Is it usable? Yes, but it's also dangerous because of how close you need to get and generally there are better options.

Rank: C
The Scourge

Or as I like to call it, the softball launcher. The Scourge is the second genade launcher on the list and unlike the Firestarter, fires a single round at a time. These grenades deal Kinetic damage and have both enormous knockback and a huge blast radius. While that may sound impressive, my nickname for it stands because it actually does rather low damage, specializing more in knocking enemies around than anything else. It's a weapon where it's actual effectiveness is closely tied to the Core you're currently using, with the Wind Core probably getting the most out of it. As such, ranking it will be a bit different.

Rank: B (with Wind Core)
C (with anything else)
The Shock Rifle

An interesting addition to the Shock family of weapons, the Shock rifle fires a stream of accurate projectiles that cause electrical arcs to nearby enemies on hit. Overall, it's a respectable gun without any real downsides but it doesn't exactly stand out much aside from the crowd control provided by it's arcs, potentially causing EMP procs. A solid choice in just about any situation.

Rank: A
The Sonic Lance

The Sonic Lance is a weapon I personally find to be questionable. It fires three-round bursts of wide and slow Vibro waves that pierce through enemies. As you've probably guessed like with all Vibro weapons before it, the Sonic Lance specializes in spreading around as many Vibro stacks as possible. That's all well and good, but my main problems with it are that the waves seem to collide with terrain far too easily, and the burst feels... awful. I can't fully articulate why. Maybe it's just because of how long it takes to get all three shots out, but I can't stand it and this is from someone who likes burst-fire weapons.

Both the Quiver and Aftershock are better. Don't bother with this thing if you have one of them already.

Rank: C
The Splitshot Kunai

The second throwing weapon added to the game, the Splitshot Kunai bears very little in common with the first. The most obvious example of this difference is the damage type, with the Splitshot Kunai dealing Vibro damage rather than the Kinetic damage dealt by the Havoc Hammer. Beyond their damage types, the difference in how they are used is equally as severe. Where the Hammer is based purely around single-target damage, the Kunai are extremely lackluster against single enemies but excel against groups due to the trio of knives thrown, and the fact that said knives split upon contact with enemies, with the resulting "half-blades" bouncing to additional enemies. This effect inevitably results in impressive cascades of Resonance procs in enemy groups, but is largely useless against single targets.

You'll shred large groups of weak enemies with these, but don't pull them out during a boss fight.

Rank: B
The Stormcaller

The first of the "special launchers", the Stormcaller honestly feels like Battle Shaper's version of the Mega Buster, and I mean that in the best possible way. True to my claim, it has a charge mechanic. Uncharged shots are small but fast energy blasts that explode on impact, dealing a solid chunk of damage. Fully charging the weapon discharges a large energy orb that will slowly travel in a straight line, piercing through all enemies and bouncing off walls. You may be tempted to rely entirely on charged shots but trust me, the uncharged shot is good enough that you don't need to.

Rank: A
The Tectonic Launcher

Alright, the time has come.

This is the Tectonic Launcher.

This is the worst weapon in the game... It used to be the worst weapon in the game, but it's gone through one hell of a redemption arc, and I'm incredibly glad that it has.

In function, the Tectonic Launcher is a fully automatic rocket launcher that projects a constant stream of airbursting Vibro warheads. While the rockets are range-fused, they will reliably detonate on surfaces and enemies. With each pull of the trigger, you can reliably expect this thing to generate an absolute cascade of Resonance procs as every enemy bot in front of you gets shaken to pieces. Not only is it not the worst anymore, it might outdo the Stormcaller as the best of the Special Launchers. Thank you, Metric Empire.

Rank: A
The Wildfire

The last of the "special launchers", the Wildfire is probably the closest to being a conventional rocket launcher, but it has a very special trick up it's sleeve. As the rocket travels, it drops a constant stream of explosive plasma orbs that detonate on contact with enemies or the ground. In the latter case a burning puddle is spawned that will deal Pyro damage to any enemy that touches it. This makes the Wildfire a surprisingly technical weapon compared to the rest of the Pyro family. It gives you the choice of delivering direct damage with the rocket, or carpet-bombing entire sections of the room by firing it overhead. It's a cool trick but one I generally don't find to be particularly useful outside of certain circumstances.

Rank: B
Well, that's everything for now. I'll try to keep this updated as new versions of the game come out. Leave your comments below and make sure to let me know how wrong I am about your favourite gun.