"Burn, bastards, burn!"
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.
Although Firebugs aren't dealing much damage at the game's release, their utility against hordes still reigns supreme. With all of their weapons capable of causing even the mightiest zeds to flail in a panic; the Firebug exchanges raw killing power for the ability to revel in the agony of their enemies.
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Players are too caught up with the downside that Firebugs don't do much damage to realize the potential they still have in a team setting. With diminished damage output, the Firebug is the king of assisting allies and debilitating enemies; mostly by burning them until they panic and setting their groups on fire as they flail around helplessly.
Gaining more starting ammunition, perk weapon damage, reload speed, and gaining eventual fire immunity, the Firebug is most at home in their own blazing infernos; leaving zeds to burn in a fully-realized interpretation of Hell, courtesy of the Firebug.
|Bring the Heat||5||High Capacity Fuel Tank|
|Increase damage with fire weapons 35%.||Increase fuel tank capacity and magazines for all perk weapons 100%.|
|Perk weapons' burn effect lasts 150% longer, increasing damage over time.||Ground fires do massively increased damage and reduce Zed movement speed 20%.|
|Burning Zeds that make contact with other Zeds|
will light them on fire and the burn effect lasts 150% longer.
|Zeds you kill with fire have a 20% chance to explode, damaging and knocking down nearby Zeds.|
|Zeds struck at point blank range with fire will stumble back.||Increase range of perk weapons.|
|ZED TIME – Pyromaniac||25||ZED TIME – Inferno|
|During Zed Time, you attack with perk weapons in close to real-time and never run out of ammo.||During Zed Time, any Zeds hit with fire are slowed 30% and take 50% more burning damage.|
Firebugs that want to try and prove the world wrong about tossing the perk aside for its poor damage output can take Bring the Heat if they feel compelled to do so. There should be no pressure to make this choice, though, as the major differences are only noticed when comparing afterburn damage at higher skill levels, and how much ammo is wasted at lower skill levels.
For Firebugs willing to accept the lower damage output, consider taking the High Capacity Fuel Tank to offset the lower damage with more ammunition to spend on more targets. Keep in mind that this skill does not increase the maximum ammunition for perk weapons, and only increases the clip capacity of all perk weapons instead; meaning Firebugs will not have to reload their weapons as often, allowing them to stay in major fights much longer, usually covering their allies while they reload instead.
These skills depend on the play style of the squad. If the agreed-upon strategy is to kite zeds around the area and never stick to one spot long enough to be surrounded, Firebugs should take Barbecue to accentuate this play style. Being able to spend less ammo to kill zeds over a longer period of time works to the benefit of mobile squads.
However, a lot of randomly assembled squads will hunker down in a choke point or somewhat easy to defend area; making Firebugs with the Ground Fire skill able to draw a literal line in the ground; dealing extra damage and further debilitating zeds that inevitably cross these lines; the only downside to taking this skill means Firebugs might use more of their fuel every wave, running the risk of running empty before the end of the assault.
Napalm, in general, is a much more reliable skill to take for a majority of Firebugs. While the effects of Zed Shrapnel are one of the funniest in the game; its reliance on the Firebug first killing (not assisting) a zed is not very high, especially in large squads, and these kills only have a one-in-five chance of causing the zed to explode. In these cases, the zeds around the one that died are not long for the world either, and the extra explosive damage is unnecessary in the end.
Napalm's ability to further spread fire without consuming ammunition is very useful for any Firebug, though, and panicking zeds are more likely to continue spreading your fire to other hordes.
While Heat Wave sounds like a useful skill, since it more-or-less prevents zeds from getting close enough to set yourself on fire; the Caulk n' Burn has this ability passively if fired directly at zeds. Sure, it's useful when paired with weapons like the Flamethrower or Microwave Gun, but at that point you are spending unnecessary ammunition to create distance when you can simply bash enemies away.
The increased range to perk weapons with the Firestorm skill is a great boon for the Caulk n' Burn; with its very short range overall. This bonus only gets better for weapons with greater range, such as the Flamethrower or Microwave Gun, allowing Firebugs to pick off targets without having to wander ahead of the squad and put themselves at unnecessary risk just to catch a distant Husk or Siren.
The final choice for all Firebugs. The choice between these skills is tough, since it all comes down to player preference.
Pyromaniac is great for Firebugs that would rather deal as much damage as they can. Once ZED Time is activated, the Firebugs ammunition count locks up, depleting none of their ammunition while they can fire continuously so long as the world is slowed down. Being able to attack in near real-time is just a bonus on top of this already amazing ability.
The slow effect caused by Inferno persists out of ZED Time, though; giving Firebugs a utility that lasts outside of ZED Time, which is a rare occurrence. Sure, you are still firing slowly, and your ammunition is consumed, but you are also dealing an additional 50% damage with your weapons (which stacks with the 35% bonus damage granted by Bring the Heat). If you want to prove to everyone that the Firebug can still be a powerhouse in the damage department, take this skill; but this should be recommended more-so for the slowing ability of their fire damage.
The Firebug starts out with two unique items. the Caulk n' Burn, a little garage project suitable for riots, arson, or immolation of organic material; and two Molotov Cocktails, which burst apart upon colliding with any surface, igniting the whole area and doing large amounts of fire damage.
CAULK N' BURN
Taking a certain fly-killing life hack to an extreme; the Caulk n' Burn is the starting weapon for the Firebug, consisting of two aerosol cans placed before pilot-lights, releasing a burst of fire without much range (only reaching just beyond the range of a Bloat's vomit).
While the damage is about as pesky as the household threats it once was responsible for incinerating, the Caulk n' Burn has the unique ability to stumble small zeds struck by the flames directly.
INCENDIARY TRENCH GUN
Veterans of Killing Floor might remember this weapon being what was essentially a pump-action shotgun that only fired Dragon's Breath rounds when fired by the Firebug. That has been changed this time around, giving this ability to all perks that use it (with Support Specialists getting some extra damage from their level), but the Firebug being most effective with the afterburn of this alternative to the Support Specialist's SG 500.
Now if only we could get the Uzi…
Regardless, this weapon is a good choice for being able to support a team with good damage that isn't resisted by many zeds; all while dealing afterburn damage to survivors of well-placed shots.
A direct upgrade in every aspect from the Caulk n' Burn, the metal-inspired Flamethrower has greater range, damage, and twice the ammo capacity of the Caulk n' Burn. This weapon is great to use when drawing out ground fires for zeds to walk through. Plenty of damage can be done so long as you aim low; and know when to puff bursts of fire.
HORZINE MICROWAVE GUN
Don't assume that this sci-fi inspired weapon is more humane than the incinerating predecessors of the Firebug's arsenal. As opposed to setting zeds aflame, the Microwave Gun expands the fluids and gases within zeds, causing disgusting swelling in serious cases, and eventually popping zeds into fleshy soups.
This weapon takes on all threats that the Firebug previously had to ignore, and instead ignores all previous targets that were once weak to fire-based weapons. This weapons' alternate fire shoots out a short-reaching burst of microwaves, penetrating though and knocking back zeds, dealing more damage than a short burst from the Microwave Gun's beam. Be careful though, this alternate fire consumes 10 battery charge as opposed to 1 charge for continued use of the beam.
When trying to figure out what zeds are weak against this weapon, just remember to focus on enemies with a lot of metal bits attached to them, and they'll be swelling in no time.
The Molotov Cocktail is currently the only utility that is not remotely like your typical grenade. Bursting upon hitting any surface, the Molotov Cocktail is great when tossed in a pinch. While it doesn't deal large amounts of damage like a majority of the other perks; it is guaranteed to panic all but the largest zeds upon being caught in the inferno.
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.
Firebugs should only need to puff these guys once or twice and be done with it. While it rarely kills a Clot outright, the two puffs of fire should be enough to send them into a panic, and whatever health remains can be finished off with another weapon or by a squad-mate.
Once the Firebug is carrying a Microwave Gun, though, avoid firing at these guys, it is a waste of ammo to try and kill Clots, as they are highly resistant to Microwave damage.
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.
Tripwire Interactive dropped the ball with the interaction between Crawlers and Firebugs. You'd think that the additional experience gained for killing Crawlers as the Firebug means they are weak to fire or microwave damage. However, the Crawler is the tied as the second-most resistant enemy for fire-based damage (with the Fleshpound), and it is not worth spending ammunition to kill these guys unless you are confident you can afford to use that much ammo to kill them.
Thankfully, bonus experience is still gained for assists against this enemy, but the only thing a Firebug can really do against this enemy is lay down ground fires in front of the swarms and hope they panic before moving in to attack the squad.
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 not particularly weak against fire, but Firebugs should set Stalkers on fire every chance they get. The constant damage makes their invisibility essentially negated, and the high chance to cause panic leads for easy kills and a role that can replace a Commando if one is not present.
Never fire your Microwave Gun at Stalkers, however; this zed is very resistant to microwave damage.
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.
Firebugs are actually a decent counter to Bloats. Being weak to fire, and only a little more resistant to microwave damage, a Firebug can kill or panic a Bloat rather easily if struck with direct flames. Most likely a Firebug will be getting assists against this enemy (since every squad loves to pop Bloat heads), but your role is great for stopping the vomit showers.
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.
Firebugs can't do much against Gorefasts with their flame-based weapons; however, the Trench Gun and Microwave gun are great at killing and panicking this zed when being charged. Simply fire upon this enemy with either of the two weapons and negate a majority of the threat they once posed.
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.
Firebugs can't do much with their fire weapons against Sirens, but that is the only downside the Firebug has against this zed.
The Microwave Gun is the ultimate counter to a Siren. The huge vulnerability to microwave damage causes this enemy to swell almost immediately, stopping her from screaming until she cools back down or dies. While the body-horror you create with the marshmallow Sirens is morbid, it's nice to finally be able to shut this zed up.
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.
Firebugs and Husks can only glare at eachother in the early game. With both participants essentially immune to fire damage, Firebugs should leave this enemy alone while they focus their attention elsewhere.
Once the Firebug gets the Microwave Gun, though; the tables turn. Husks are incredibly vulnerable to microwave damage, going into a full run once panicked, and taking only a few hits from the Microwave gun before exploding.
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.
Firebugs had better have a Microwave Gun by the time these guys show up. This enemy has a fair vulnerability to microwave damage, and if a Firebug is the only contributor to this damage, Scrakes begin panicking rather quickly. Every Scrake encountered should be dead by the time you've expended two batteries in your weapon (or one if you have the High Capacity Fuel Tank). Although, this might mean you run out of ammunition rather quickly after encountering three-to-five of these guys.
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.
Microwaves Guns are the only choice a Firebug has against this enemy. While the damage they deal is probably not worth the cost of ammunition dumped into this hulk; Firebugs can contribute a lot of damage if the squad is focusing one of these guys at a time.
Be sure to use the Microwave Gun's alternate fire on this zed if he's not rampaging, the knock-back is usually enough to knock him out of his reach, but this will eventually cause him to rage, either due to damage or because he cannot attack something yet.
Firebugs can make due with short games rather well, but will never make enough dosh to afford a Microwave Gun and its expensive ammunition by the final waves; unless the entire squad is willing to invest in the player. Firebugs that play short-length games must learn to make due with the Trench Gun as their primary tool, as it is an affordable and reliable weapon for generalized damage to targets.
Medium-length games might allow Firebugs to afford Microwave Guns before the boss wave; but it will require a lot of saving, and Firebugs will need to get as much mileage out of their Caulk n' Burn if they wish to go down this route.
The other waves are going to be tough once large zeds show up, sure; but the most important point when a Microwave Gun can be acquired is just before the boss wave.
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. Firebugs should start the first wave by running off alone, trying to get a personal horde of Clots to chase, and then deal your damage and earn your dosh while you can.
Communication is key to be an effective Firebug for your team. Most players will not want to supply a Firebug, thinking that all of their ammunition is rather cheap (which is the case for all but their Microwave Gun). Inform your team about the usefulness of the Microwave Gun, as the damage this gun deals is not as easy to visualize as the burning caused by fire-based weapons.
Once larger specimens begin spawning (such as Scrakes and Fleshpounds), Firebugs equipped with Microwave Guns should do their best to contribute to Scrake fights by pushing them back with the alternate fire, and aiming for the heads of Scrakes and Fleshpounds as soon as they can, trying to swell them up and cause panic (yes, even Fleshpounds can panic).
In an ideal loadout, Firebugs should have a Microwave gun on hand to deal with big threats, and carry a Trench Gun to shoot at fodder zeds when nothing dangerous is nearby.
Support Specialists are a boon to Firebugs, especially those carrying High Capacity Fuel Tanks. Gaining an entire clip's worth of ammunition once per round is just enough to get you through a wave before running empty.
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.
Guess what this guy is attached to? Lots of metal? You bet! The Microwave Gun is an excellent choice against this boss, dealing a noticeable amount of damage as you keep catching the doctor in the beam. Unfortunately, the knock back is not enough to keep Hans away from your squad-mates without consuming a lot of your batteries quickly.
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.
This sounds odd, but don't bother aiming for Hans' core when deciding whether or not to shoot. Just aim for the doctor's body/frame, and you will still deal a good amount of damage for the ammunition spent. The damage is increased slightly when it connects with Hans' core, but it is still only slight damage being added on. Consistency will trump quality this time around; so keep firing your laser beams at the doctor!
This boss helps encourage Firebugs to stick the perk through to the end, since either boss carries a decent amount of metal on their frame. While Hans' shield more or less negates all of the damage dealt by your weapons, you make for a valuable asset and damage dealer throughout this fight, and even though your Microwave Gun is not very effective against the zeds summoned during the fight; a Firebug equipped with a Trench Gun is still able to do a lot for himself and the squad.
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. Firebugs; if you have any weapon that deals fire damage, use it while the Patriarch is cloaked! The burning effect you give him will make him easier to spot by your allies, allowing other perks to add on some damage if they are otherwise unsure of where the behemoth is. If you only have a Microwave Gun available during this fight; the constant laser effect you create when it connects with a cloaked Patriarch also helps pin down where exactly he is, if at the cost of expending a lot of battery charge.
Guess what, you're a damage-dealing perk in this fight! Not only that, but any time you are able to set fire the Patriarch, do so. The burning effect allows more aggressive squads to track the Patriarch when he tries to run away to heal, and your contribution can greatly assist in ending the boss fight prematurely in your squad's favor.
Regardless of what happens, the Patriarch will try to run away and heal up to two times when his health is low. Do not follow the Patriarch if the squad is not committing to it, and instead focus on the summoned zeds in combat, cleaning up any distractions with your Trench Gun before the Patriarch returns to attack the group. Stay with your squad, focusing on the Patriarch during the entire fight, only facing incoming zeds when you know it is safe.
Even though you might go up against perks that deal a lot of burst damage, your constant damage over time makes you a likely candidate for an assault by the Patriarch, and you must be prepared for this at all times. Know where your escape routes are, and where you can hide from his ranged attacks if he tries to turn on you.
Sure, you might not be doing a lot of damage to the Patriarch very quickly, but your consistent damage output ensures that the Patriarch sometimes gets a bit confused and decides to heal himself right in front of your squad.
Deciding on a bit more chaotic tool of the apocalypse to the Support Specialist's portfolio, the Firebug utilizes slow-burning weaponry to disturb the ravenous zed onslaught through some sense of morbid curiosity of possibly by some perceived holy act of God. Eventually, though, these maniacs will upgrade to much higher technology with the Microwave Gun, exchanging burning flesh for swollen and tender flesh to be popped by a couple of bullets.
Gaining improved starting ammunition, reload speed, damage output, and eventual immunity to fire, the Firebug becomes a master of their own domain of immolation; ensuring that none but their allies may pass without merciless flames licking at their flesh.
As the OG 'King of Assists,' the Firebug will not be topping scoreboards for kills, but you can expect them to have at least 100 more assists than the next highest competitor.
Controlling areas much like the Support Specialist, the Firebug exchanges team-focused support for additional wrath to be invoked upon the zed hordes; leaving them no solace as they are burned alive and gunned down by the squad. For those that think the world still has plenty left to burn after the zed outbreak, the Firebug perk is for you.
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: