"No one's getting through here!"
Killing Floor 2 is host to a menagerie of different play-styles and characters. While some of the options available might be oriented towards dishing out as much mayhem and damage as they can, others might be more keen on defending the team, focusing important targets, or maintaining the group's health.
The Support Specialist is the squad's pack-mule, tank, and big brother during those hard times when going up against an onslaught of bloodthirsty zeds.
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Support Specialists are the masters of shotguns; the prime tool for wiping the floor of all sorts of organic threats and leaving a bloody mess in the process.
With a door welder that improves in welding effectiveness as the perk levels up, as well as the unique ability to repair destroyed doors, the Support Specialist is able to control where the zeds come from; most likely directly into the firing squad, making Support Specialists the truest creators of the Killing Floor.
|High Capacity Magazines||5||Tactical Reload|
|Increase magazine capacity of perk weapons 50%.||Increase reload speed with perk weapons.|
|Increase total Health by 50%.||Increase damage of perk weapons 30%.|
|Armor Piercing Shot||15||Tight Choke|
|Greatly increase penetration with perk weapons.||Decrease shot spread of perk weapons by 50%.|
|Resupply Pack||20||Concussion Rounds|
|Your teammates can get 30% ammo and 20%
armor restored by interacting with you once per wave.
You can carry up to 20% more ammo for perk weapons.
|Increase stumble power for perk weapons 150%.|
|ZED TIME – Penetrator||25||ZED TIME – Barrage|
|During Zed time, your perk weapons
penetrate through any targets they hit.
|During Zed time, your perk weapons shoot in near real-time.|
Support specialists will find themselves reloading their shotguns whenever they are not firing them in the first place (and shotguns will be fired a lot). The choice made between these two skills is a combination of playstyle preference and situational utility. The slight increase to magazine capacity granted by High Capacity Magazines is useful for Supports that carry weapons like the AA-12 and M4 Combat Shotgun, where the extra rounds can be the difference between a rampaging Scrake and a dead one.
For the Supports that stick true to the raw power granted by the Double-Barreled Boomstick (which does not benefit from High Capacity Magazines), take the Tactical Reload skill. While you might not have the extra rounds to pump down range at large groups of zeds, the faster reload speed means there will not be long drought periods between moments of action as the Support reloads their weapon faster.
The Support is like a Berserker with guns, they benefit from getting in the enemies' face and filling it full of lead. During early waves in which your squad is put against groups of weaker zeds, it is not a bad call to take the Salvo skill, since there is little worry that you will need the extra health to survive. If your squad is encountering Scrakes and Fleshpounds in the upcoming waves though; it is a wise choice to swap out the damage for the extra health granted by Fortitude. This skill is especially useful for teams that lack a Berserker to stand in front of the Scrake and take hits; as the high amount of damage a Support will be dealing to these specimens will make them likely targets for these enemies once they begin rampaging.
Admittedly, there is not a difficult choice to be made here. While the increased accuracy with shotguns at range granted by the Tight Choke skill sound appealing for Supports that would like to take potshots at the heads of large zeds, but this skills is not complimentary to the Support's playstyle. A Support benefits most from aiming at the center of mass on all zeds, and using the penetrating power of their shotguns to kill multiple enemies, making Armor Piercing Shot a much better choice in nearly every situation, barring solo play.
This choice is tough to make, and almost entirely depends on player preference. All Supports now have access to a resupply pack at level 0, meaning that — once per wave — all allies can receive ammunition (but not grenades) from the squad's support as if picking up an ammo crate from the map. The Resupply Pack skill gives Supports an upgraded version of their pack; allowing players to receive more ammo, an armor resupply, and allows Supports to carry extra ammunition for their shotguns (which is especially useful for the AA-12).
On the flipside, the stumble power granted by Concussion Rounds makes weapons like the M4 Combat Shotgun and AA-12 Auto Shotgun will have you stumbling Scrakes as if they were in a room full of banana peels.
The decision to be made here is how the Support Specialist wants to actually support their team. If you do not have a Berserker or Sharpshooter in your squad, consider taking Concussion Rounds to keep large zeds from being a greater threat to your team. If you have a team with Sharpshooters or Demolition Experts present, consider giving them extra ammo for their heavier-hitting weapons with Resupply Pack.
The final choice for all Support Specialists. The benefits granted by the Penetrator and Barrage skills are more effective in different circumstances. Supports making this choice need to decide what sort of role they want to fill as Support. If their team needs someone to clean up all of the weaker zeds in each wave (almost like filling the role of a Commando); the Support will benefit more from the effects of Penetrator; just aim for center of mass and fire.
However, if a squad needs someone that can deal a lot of damage very quickly to large zeds (as if to fill the role of a Sharpshooter, Gunslinger, or Demolitions), a lot more mileage will be gained by Supports that use the Barrage skill.
The Support Specialist starts out with two unique items. A SG 500 Pump-action shotgun, a reliable shotgun with enough penetrating power to take care of large groups of zeds with relative ease (even if gimped by a necessary pump between shots); and two Fragmentation grenades, with the longest fuse of all the perks in the game currently, they behave similarly to the Commandos HE Grenades, but exchange the large explosive radius for a smaller one that sends fragments in a radial burst, benefiting from the penetrating effects of higher level Supports.
SG 500 PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN
The 'Ol-Reliable' of a Support Specialist's arsenal, the SG 500 is a decent choice of starting weapon on any squad. With good stopping power, moderate penetration (which gets better with higher levels in Support), and the only major downside being the longer time spent between shots to pump a new round in; the SG 500 is not a bad choice.
Let out your inner Ash Harding with this weapon. The Boomstick has, pound-for-pound, the highest damaging shots of any shotgun currently in the game. Coupled with the widest spread of all shotguns, this weapon is the prime example of "In your face, pal!" While it might be discouraging to only be loaded with two rounds at a time against hordes of zeds, the extremely high fire rate between both shots, the wide-spreading pellets, and the fast reload (made even faster by Tactical Reload), this gun is not a bad choice for Supports that make their shots count.
The alternate fire of this weapon fires both barrels at once (and mind the literal kick-back!). This weapon is the king of one-hit-quits among zeds. If there's a Siren, you can take it out with both barrels, if there's a Husk, you can take it out with both barrels, but if there's Scrakes or Fleshpounds coming towards you, exercise a little caution. Although it will deal a massive amount of damage to these guys, it will not kill them. The Boomstick is great at punctuating executions of these behemoths, but should never be used to initiate fights.
M4 COMBAT SHOTGUN
This is the source of all of the 'Reloading Simulator' tags associated with Killing Floor 2. With a moderately sized magazine, and no need to pump new rounds in, the M4 is a direct upgrade to the SG 500, while being great at keeping pressure on the zeds; but it comes at a cost to droughts between periods of sustained fire.
Tactical Reload and High Capacity Magazines are both useful skills to use with the M4, but until there is some way to combine both skills into one for this weapon, Supports should use some tactical awareness before spending a handful of shots on a couple clots before they are forced to reload in front of a Scrake, or worse.
AA-12 FULL-AUTO SHOTGUN
Possibly one of the top-three most powerful guns in Killing Floor 2, the AA-12 boasts a 20-round clip, which can all be reloaded in a much shorter time than having to reload single shells a a time; making it a wonderful tool for keeping pressure on groups of zeds, as well as bringing the hurt on large zeds.
The alternate fire of this weapon switches between single-shot and full-auto firing modes, but there is not much reason to utilize the full-auto firing mode throughout a wave, excluding two scenarios. Scenario one is whenever a large zed arrives on the map, and scenario two is during the boss wave. Excluding these two scenarios, the single-shot firing mode still has a fast fire rate for Supports that pull the trigger fast and often.
This variant of the HE Grenade is the 'standard' grenade in any squad. Toss this grenade out, minding the longer fuse time, and watch the small explosion send out shrapnel in all directions (which can still harm you from quite a distance!), penetrating through multiple targets, and being effective at clearing out hordes of specimens. While the explosion is not as large as those boasted by the HE Grenade, it still deals a good chunk of damage to Fleshpounds.
There are a number of enemies that you will stand against as you massacre your way through central Europe on a mission to exterminate the specimen outbreak. The Support Specialist is there to bottleneck zeds and keep the pressure off of their allies by applying pressure on all other zeds without much difficulty.. This portion of the guide will cover each of the specimens in the typical order that they arrive.
THE CLOT (HIST/ALPHA/SLASHER)
These three variants make up the basic enemy of Killing Floor 2, with each of the three having a unique behavior associated with them.
The Hist is like a child, if the child were still dangerous and thirsty for blood. This enemy moves lethargically, and does not have much agility; only a desire to kill the mercenaries.
The Alpha Clot is pretty much the same clot we all remember from the original Killing Floor. While they don't do much aside from walk (or run) towards the player and seem upset about something, there is not much to worry about from this variant.
The Slasher is the most dangerous of the three, behaving like a mix between the Alpha Clot and the Crawler (shown below). This enemy can come from locations players might not expect, such as vents and sewer holes, much like Crawlers. These enemies will move the fastest of the three, and will begin rolling under gunfire on higher difficulties.
The most important thing to note about these enemies is that all of them can grab the player; holding them in place while their friends surround you and tear you apart.
The Support Specialist can clear out hordes of these enemies with a couple shots from any shotgun. The shotgun penetration combined with the low health these zeds boast make them easier fodder and money bags for Support Specialists during early waves. If you're doing your job well, you will most likely have the highest kill count early on in games.
Arachnid and man, merged into one. What seemed like the everyday Spiderman turned into a nightmare for Horzine with these small, skittering specimens. These enemies can appear in unusual locations like the Slashers, but they do not stand on two legs and walk towards their targets, instead preferring to stay close to the ground before pouncing at their enemies from a close distance. These enemies are not much of a problem alone, but a swarm, if left unchecked, can quickly take down a mercenary before they have a chance to escape. Being one of the fastest common enemies in the game, the only saving grace for players is that they are very frail, only needing a couple shots to take down.
Crawlers are annoying for Supports, but not a serious threat. The biggest problem that comes from shooting at Crawlers is that your pellets will not penetrate much further into a group because of the angle you will be firing at the Crawlers with. The best way to kill groups of Crawlers, and the zeds around them, is the either crouch and try to aim a bit higher, or suck it up and take the extra shots.
Invisible women out to get you; it is not as nice as it sounds. The Stalker is about as agile as the Slasher, but comes equipped with a cloaking field which allows them to get close to a team before striking. While the cloaking field does not make the Stalker completely invisible, it does obscure their form enough to make it difficult for players to spot either how far away or how many are in a group. Moving just a bit faster than the Slasher, and doing a fair amount of damage with their acrobatic kicks and swipes; a small group of these enemies can overrun a lone mercenary very quickly if allowed to get too close.
Stalkers are just as annoying as Crawlers, and their agile movements coupled with their cloaking make them difficult targets to hit, but the spread of a Support's shotguns should give enough slack for a few pellets to hit (and penetrate) a group of stalkers, highlighting them briefly for your team to notice and take down.
They might not be big priorities to a Support Specialist, but the perk is all about keeping crowds in check, so take shots when you know you can peg a few.
The Bloat is a bullet sponge in every sense of the term. The high resistance to nearly all types of damage make it essential to headshot this enemy before he gets close enough to vomit on anyone. Mercenaries who get covered in a Bloat's bile will take damage over time, as well as have their vision blurred by the effects of the bile itself. On higher difficulties, Bloats will run towards players and raise their cleavers in front of their face to defend themselves from incoming fire, as well as occasionally leaving bile-mines for players to unwittingly step upon.
Support Specialists will hate Bloats. Their resistance to shotgun damage and the high amount of penetration required to get through a Bloat makes these enemies a counter to a Support's talents. While it is normally recommended to aim for a Bloat's head, this is a wasteful use of shotgun ammunition; if absolutely necessary, switch to your 9mm and pop the head before switching back to your shotgun.
Lacking skin, a lower jaw, and any form of human sympathy, the psychopathic Gorefasts will rush down their enemies, waving their tied-on machetes and swinging wildly with bloodlust. These enemies are the fastest of the common enemies, and one of the toughest as well, taking a handful of headshots just to pop the skull off. On higher difficulties, this enemy will hold their machete in front of their head to try and deflect bullets.
Support Specialists can stumble these enemies nearly every time they land a good shot on the torsos of Gorefasts; making the perk great at preventing this zed from covering ground quickly, or at all. The damage dealt to Gorefasts is respectable, so be sure to fire upon these groups if they are leading a charge.
The Siren is a specimen that does not charge down players in the same way that all other zeds do. Instead, these enemies move at about the same rate as Hists, using their literally lethal scream to damage players (ignoring body armor and going straight against health). Not only that, but the radial scream that Sirens produce will destroy grenades and rockets mid-flight, making them a considerable threat with their ability to disable a team's utility.
With the bullet-resistant frame attached to the Siren, Support Specialists will not deal a lot of damage with all of the pellets from each shot of their shotguns, as the pellets that hit the frame will deflect off in various directions, negating the penetrating power of those pellets.
Not all is lost, though. The stumble power a Support's shotguns deal will have a Siren stumble after about two shots every time their shotguns land solid hits. If a Support is keen on taking these enemies down, rush them down with a Boomstick and fire both barrels for a quick kill before the scream does any more damage to you.
The zeds' attempt at a Firebug, the Husk is a specimen that utilizes attacks from a distance through the use of a Fireball launcher which can light a team of mercenaries on fire. This enemy is tough, but can still be taken out through focused fire or a lot of damage from a single attack. Essentially immune to fire, it is not recommended that mercenaries use fire-based attacks against this specimen. To make matters worse, Husks at low health will charge at the group before attempting to self-detonate themselves in a flaming kamikaze. At higher difficulties, the Husk will use their Fireball launcher like a flamethrower, doing massive amounts of damage and setting players on fire.
Support Specialists cannot deal too much damage to make a difference against Husks. With the most effective damage to a Husk is to their head, the fact that a Support must aim high to do so will only lead to wasted ammo that could be better spent elsewhere. Unless you are sporting a Boomstick, don't bother getting close to these enemies and point them out to your squad so that they can take the Husk out instead.
Alternatively, if you are playing on lower difficulties, try to line up shots so that they penetrate through the Husk's torso and hit the pack attached to its back. While the tank is 'resistant' to bullet damage, enough hits will cause a Husk to explode.
This chainsaw-for-an-arm maniac is a considerable threat to any squad. Their arrival is made known by a noticeable sound cue of a chainsaw being revved up, followed by the roaring laughter of the Scrake. This enemy will walk towards their target, pointing in their direction, and pantomiming threats. When brought to half their max health, a Scrake will go into a frenzy; running at the mercenaries and swinging their chainsaw in combos and wide arcs. On higher difficulties, a Scrake will raise their chainsaw in front of their face in an attempt to block incoming fire.
Support Specialists are the next best alternative to a Berserker's role against a Scrake. With an AA-12 in hand, a Support Specialist can deal a lot of damage very quickly with a full-auto barrage against the torso of a Scrake. Unless ZED Time is active, Supports should not risk aiming for the head of a Scrake, as the rapid movements and high chance to miss out on vital damage which could still be dealt with torso shots might make the difference between a dead Scrake and a panicked reload.
The distinct, guttural roar of pure hatred that announces the arrival of a Fleshpound is a noise that makes the hearts of entire squads drop into their stomachs. Nothing about this zed is subtle, from the giant frame the specimen boasts, to the glowing adrenaline monitor that functions as life support, or the meat-grinding devices attached to his arms, which glow red-hot from the friction caused by their spinning; the Fleshpound is a harbinger of death.
Support Specialists are a great dealer of damage if a Demolitions Expert is not in your squad. While a majority of your pellets might be resisted by all of the metal framing on the Fleshpound, the meat-shots you can deal at close range with an AA-12 on full-auto will make the Fleshpound respect you for a brief moment, before flying into a rage.
If you have a Boomstick on hand, try to line up both barrels against the Fleshpound's head in ZED Time. The damage is impressive, and might resolve a fight quickly. If not, adjust your AA-12's aim to a Fleshpound's head once ZED Time is active.
The SG 500 is going to be the most commonly used weapon by the Support Specialist during short-length games. Once able, be sure to spend money on the Boomstick, as this will be your solution to large zeds and the eventual boss wave. In rare occasions that a Support might be able to afford the AA-12, do not risk buying the weapon unless you are going into the boss wave.
The medium-length games are where a Support Specialist shines, with the shorter time than long games, but the higher chance to get more powerful equipment, a Support Specialist should consider welding off choke-points so that a squad is more likely to conserve ammo until large groups of zeds are behind the door. Be sure to repair any broken doors between waves, and hope your squad is smart with their spending. If everything goes well, a Support can get their team equipped with their best gear once the boss wave begins.
For all intents and purposes, consider the long-games as the standard length for Killing Floor titles. The balance of time and a team's upgrade rate is the most consistent in 10-round games. Support Specialists should make use of their SG 500 during the first couple waves. As soon as you are able to afford it, purchase the Boomstick, since this will be useful in taking out Husks and Sirens before they can swarm unsuspecting squads. If you are in a team of four or more members, sell your SG 500 for extra dosh to put towards the Boomstick. The trigger discipline you will learn naturally will prove useful when you finally purchase the M4 or AA-12.
The Boomstick should be fired into large groups of zeds (at least groups of five). If your allies are firing enough to keep the zeds down below this point, just conserve ammo. Less money spent between waves means you are more likely to get your equipment faster.
Once larger specimens begin spawning (such as Scrakes and Fleshpounds), assume you have at least picked up the M4 (even selling the Boomstick in the process, if necessary). The M4 will double as your bridge between keeping weaker zed hordes in check, as well as being able to contribute to fights against Scrakes and Fleshpounds.
In an ideal match, a Support Specialist will want to be equipped with an AA-12 as their primary weapon, with a Boomstick to function as a fallback plan if mobility is essential.
Currently, there are two bosses in the game, Dr. Hans Volter, an old German scientist who worked with Horzine before taking part in creating the specimens; and the Patriarch, the head scientist for the entire research project, and self-proclaimed 'father' to all of the zeds. The chance for either of these bosses spawning is random, and teams will not have a chance to change their perks or equipment once the wave has begun and the boss has arrived.
DR. HANS VOLTER
The Nazi scientist who still believes in the Reich, Hans Volter was one of the leading scientists for Horzine's specimen project before being convinced with what the team's head scientist had in mind. Keeping himself alive with an integrated life-support system outfitted with an exosuit to augment his physical capabilities, Hans attacks the squad with Freddy Kruger-inspired syringe gauntlets and a pair of StG-44 assault rifles, referred to as "Twin Fangs" by the doctor.
Support Specialists will need to know the map they fight Hans in so that they know how to best utilize cover from his Twin Fangs. The suit worn by the doctor will deflect a lot of the pellets thrown out by the Support, making shotguns a tough weapon to contribute with during the fight. In an ideal world, a Support should move up with the squad's Berserker and; while the Berserker has Hans occupied, lay into the doctor with your AA-12.
Hans will occasionally throw out gas grenades and fragmentation grenades in bundles to try and disrupt the squad. Commandos have nothing to mitigate this damage, or help their allies. Dodge the grenades as best as you can, and hope the rest of your squad does the same.
Once Hans has lost most of his health, he will activate a shield (shown as a narrow blue bar above his health) and toss a handful of smoke grenades at the squad before trying to rush down an ally, claws extended. If you coordinate an attack with the rest of your squad, keep at a distance and keep firing at Hans' shield to try and resolve the fight quickly, otherwise run away and try to avoid being the one caught and sapped. Regardless of what happens, Hans will move very quickly, making him a harder target to hit; and his shield is resistant to all types of damage.
If your squad is able to destroy Hans' shield before he can heal, he will no longer attempt to heal himself, making for an easier fight to finish. If allowed to heal, though, he will regain up to 80% of his max health, doing this up to three times before going into his final phase.
Hans will become more aggressive as he gets to later stages of his life (indicated by the lights in his suit). His attacks will change up to include attacking with the bayonets of his Twing Fangs (eventually becoming unblockable attacks in the final two stages), making large, leaping attacks with his claws (once again, unblockable), and throwing out more grenades more often, causing a lot of confusion and having the possibility to deal a lot of damage near the end.
Although the core on Hans' back is a weak point to focus down, the Support can settle for aiming at the doctor's torso. Firing into Hans' chest will allow the pellets to penetrate through the flesh and into the core behind him. If a Support is being chased by Hans, back-peddle and keep firing; you will only deal more and more damage as the doctor closes in. If you are currently using the Fortitude skill, ensure that your squad's medic will know who to prioritize healing for, and be prepared to take a few hits.
Support Specialists will not have a walk in the park when facing off against Hans, due to the high chance of the pellet penetration being negated by the bullet-deflecting suit the doctor has. The most effective use of a Support is towards his team, letting them know to resupply ammo for their more powerful weapons, and then trying to deal damage to the doctor whenever good opportunities present themselves.
This is a mean individual who has decided that genetic engineering is the key to a successful, elevated human future. Unfortunately for humanity, this involves cloning a bunch of mutants with no interest in anything other than the elimination of all humans. The Patriarch, is the head of this entire problem, and he exemplifies this logic to a terrifyingly simple solution; a rocket launcher/mini-gun combo for and arm.
The Patriarch utilizes a cloaking system much like the Stalker, making him hard to spot for casual observers. Support Specialists can utilize the spread of their shotguns to keep doing damage, even if unaware of where exactly the Patriarch is.
Thanks to the Patriarch's butt-ugly deformities brought about by his genetic engineering, his head has nearly merged with his chest, making headshots an encouraged target for Supports (especially those using the Tight Choke skill).
Throughout most of the fight, you will be considered a damage-dealing perk, taking shots wherever and whenever possible, and being sure to reload when none of your squadmates are doing so.. The Patriarch will try to run away and heal up to two times when his health is low. Do not follow the Patriarch at this time, since he will also summon zeds to distract your allies during this time. Stay with your squad, and kill off incoming Clots, Crawlers, and Stalkers as they try to chip away your team's health.
The stumble power of your shotguns will be most effective if you are firing the AA-12 on full-auto. While this might require a Support to get close in order to begin dealing this sort of damage, the stumbling you will force upon the Patriarch should mitigate the chances this boss has to attack your squad in the first place.
Support Specialists are most effective against the Patriarch, but are still valuable contributors to either fight with their consistent damage and ability to replenish ammunition for their allies.
Relying on the classic tool of the apocalypse; the Support Specialist is a shotgun-toting looter with a heart of gold for his squad. New players to Killing Floor 2 that would rather use something with a bit less finesse than the Commando will find the Support Specialist perk accommodating.
With the ability to weld doors faster than all other perks, as well as the ability to repair destroyed doors at any point with their upgraded welder; the Support Specialist orchestrates a squad's killing floor. Couple this with the ability to resupply their allies with ammunition to keep them in the fight, a competent team can sit back and relax while they enjoy the shooting gallery.
The bonus experience granted by welding doors might compel one to weld as many doors as they can and reduce choke points for the zeds to get through, keep in mind what your squad would rather fight with, especially since you're ability to weld off choke points also means you are welding off escape routes for your team if things begin taking a turn for the worse.
A lack of imagination isn't much to shake a finger at when someone can still get the job done. With the shotgun's spread, the welder's efficiency at creating safe havens, and the ability to keep your team working at 110% with ammo replenishment; the Support proves that just because your job title says 'Support,' you can still be in the fight, and do a damn good job at it too.
Guides will be made available regularly for each of the perks in sequential order, if you would like to check out our other perk guides, click on any that interest you below: