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Basic Information and Stats

The Automatic Rifleman is the main source of DPS in the first 2 Chapters of a game. Its ability to lay down a huge amount of damage in a short period of time makes him the ideal person to cover reviving Medics or help people do Missions.

Vision and Position are two important things to consider when playing an AR. Try to keep a distance from enemies so that you can focus on killing priority targets(such as yetis,hunters, scorpion, thresher maw, licker) without having to move and possibly deactivate Suppressive fire.

Abilities

-Soldier Skills: Each level increases Fitness, Dexterity, and Mechanical skills by 2 points(Increases MG damage by 1.68-2 per level), and reduces Reload and Unjam time by 15%.

  1. Unlocks Self-Aid
  2. Reduces energy cost of firing incendiary rounds
  3. Improves prone, increases movement speed by 0.1
  4. Unlocks Rifle Butt, reduces duration of burst fire penalty(less time with .4 attack speed)

-Marksmanship: Unlocks a 12.5% chance to deal multiplied damage. Each level increases dexterity by 4(Increases MG damage by 3.36-4 per level), range by 1, and critical damage multiplier by (2x ,3x ,4x ,5x).

-Supressive Fire: Increases attack speed and critical damage multiplier while reducing movement speed when activated. Each level reduces energy cost and cool-down time.

  1. 1.125x attack speed, +1 critical damage multiplier
  2. 1.25x attack speed, +2 critical damage multiplier
  3. 1.375x attack speed, +3 critical damage multiplier
  4. 1.5x attack speed, +4 critical damage multiplier

-Belt Linking: Increases ammo capacity by 100 per level, and allows the Automatic Rifleman to use the Belt Linking ability to load 1 magazine/100 rounds into his ammo at the cost of energy. Reloading will use (2,3,4) magazines, which can be inefficient if ammo is not low enough. Each level also reduces cast time, energy cost, and cool-down time of Belt Linking.

-Incendiary Rounds: Allows the Automatic Rifleman to toggle incendiary rounds on and off, which provide a on-hit damage and slowing effect, as well as increasing bullet splash damage and slowing nearby light units. Each level increases slow duration and on-hit damage bonus.

Strategies and builds

Standard:

1x Incendiary, 4x Marksman Skills, 4x Suppressive Fire

this is the baseline. feel free to mix in 2x /3x Soldier Skills whenever necessary.

SI:

  • QT, CL, HT - less jams/reload means more time to shoot
  • HE - the earlier you can engage an enemy, the longer you can shoot it
  • MA, VT, LY, BT - more Damage

Items:

VT Variant-

Primary Si: VT

Secondary SI: HT, CL, MA, VT, BT

This build is designed to compensate for life reduction associated with the Veteran skill identifier by getting 2 points in soldier skills early game. The order in which skills are picked are: 1x Suppressive Fire, 2x Marksman Skills, 2x Soldier Skills, 1x Incendiary Rounds, Max Marksman skills.

Having VT can get you killed by pesky leapers and yetis, so having extra health before maxing marksmanship can be useful. The extra energy and reduced incendiary round cost at level 2 soldier skills will also improve the rate at which you can use supressive fire with incendiary rounds active, which can be very useful for the bunker mission, thresher maws, and defending base during fungal cores.

Once you have completed the stated build, consider your item selection before proceeding to max soldier skills, supressive fire, or get points in belt linking.Soldier skills and supressive fire should be chosen if you have access to an MMG, but soldier skills 4 will not be as useful as supressive fire or belt linking if a Minigun is found. Belt linking is very useful for the minigun because your ammunition will be depleted very quickly when firing it.

While the standard build still works with VT, this build helps compensate for the HP reduction from VT and leaves room for deciding which skill you want to max after marksmanship depending on items.