"Yeah, one in each hand!"
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.
Cowboys were always idealized as these gun-toting masters of one-handed firearms. While their interpretation depicted in spaghetti westerns is not accurate to what cowboys were actually; someone forgot to tell the Gunslinger, or they just don't care.
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Almost like a rambunctious little brother to the Sharpshooter, the Gunslinger still excels in headshots against all types of zeds, and has plenty of reason to pick their fights with anything that just so happens to be walking down range.
Gunslingers are masters of the art of kiting. If you are playing with a team that is always on the move, the extra speed you possess at higher levels is a huge boon when trying to move among your allies to either defend or heal them. If the team is holed up though, see if the Berserker could use a murder-buddy while they run around the map!
|Ignore movement speed penalty for iron|
sights and drastically reduce weapon bob with
|Ignore recoil penalty for shooting from the|
hip, increase movement speed 5%, and switch perk weapons 50% faster.
|Rack 'em Up||10||Bone Breaker|
|Consecutive headshots with perk weapons|
increases damage 10%, to a maximum of 50%.
|Increase damage with perk weapons 20% and inflict 30% more damage to arms and legs.|
|Line 'em Up||15||Speedloader|
|Suffer no damage reduction from shooting through Zeds to hit other Zeds with perk weapons.||Increase reload speed with perk weapons.|
|Skullcracker||20||Knock 'em Down|
|Headshots with perk weapons slow Zeds 30%.||Shooting sprinting Zeds in the legs massively|
increases knockdown power. Shooting Zeds in the chest with perk weapons massively
increases stumble power.
|ZED TIME – Whirlwind of Lead||25||ZED TIME – Fan Fire|
|During Zed Time, your perk weapons can't|
run out of ammo.
|During Zed Time, your perk weapons will shoot 3x faster and reload in real-time.|
This is where the Gunslinger makes the first choice that decides their playstyle. More accurate Gunslingers will benefit from the Steady skill, so long as they can make their shots. If you are more often carrying your pistols akimbo, Quick Draw is much more useful, since you will not need to worry about aiming down your arms as often if you can just run around and get used to firing from the hip.
These skills are in a unique conundrum. Rack 'em Up is an extremely useful skill for Gunslingers that are consistent with their accuracy. This damage ramp up, as listed, increases by 10% for each headshot kill made by the Gunslinger. However, this bonus resets as soon as the Gunslinger misses a single headshot. Making continuous headshots without killing targets does not reset the bonus, but it requires Gunslingers to practice more trigger discipline. Experienced Gunslingers should take this skill when they are comfortable with their aim.
Bone Breaker is the opposite of this preference, though; instead encouraging Gunslingers to aim for extremities to deal damage. While this perk is great for Gunslingers that don't always go for headshots, don't intentionally try to aim for arms and legs! Use this perk to deal more damage just in case you are missing headshots; remember that this perk passively increases perk weapon headshot damage as you level up!
For those that prefer firing with one hand instead of akimbo-style, you will get a lot more utility out of Line 'em Up when paired up with the head popping power of Rack 'em Up. As long as the first target struck by your bullet is a headshot, you will not have to worry about losing your streak.
Bearing that in mind, Speedloader does more than just increase the reload speed with all perk weapons; it does it with a new, flashier reload method! Once again, this perk is great for Gunslingers that play akimbo-style over taking more accurate shots.
This tier of skills depends entirely on difficulty. Skullcracker is a great skill to take, since most Gunslingers should be aiming for the head already; so slowing your targets for even easier headshots is a huge bonus. But, on Suicidal difficulty and higher; all zeds will begin sprinting at you at all times; making the circumstances around Knock 'em Down wonderful at keeping zeds from closing distance on your squad quickly.
Knock 'em Down is also useful during the boss waves, since all summoned zeds during that time will be sprinting.
For Gunslingers that think the left-sided skill Whirlwind of Lead is meant for single-handed Gunslingers, you are a bit mistaken. Akimbo-style Gunslingers benefit from this skill more than those carrying only one handgun, but the Fan Fire skill is just as useful for Akimbo-style Gunslingers; being caught while reloading both your weapons during ZED Time really sucks. With this skill, you might not have infinite ammunition to fire, but you will always be able to fire your weapons during ZED Time if you are caught with your chambers empty.
The Gunslinger starts out with three wonderful items. First up are two 1858 Revolvers, akimbo-style; and two Nail Bombs, behaving like a mix between the Support Specialist's Frag Grenade, and the SWAT's Flashbang.
Before getting into this, I should mention that the alternate fire adjusts how you aim your weapons while dual-wielding for all perk weapons. All right, now let's get into this.
DUAL 1858 REVOLVERS
The starting weapons for every Gunslinger. Starting out every match with a serious cowboy vibe, these babies are pretty powerful for starting revolvers; easily able to take down anything as tough as a Siren with a couple well-placed shots, these weapons are not difficult to manage.
The long reload time for both weapons (which can be mitigated by Speedloader) makes it dangerous to be caught reloading if zeds are starting to surround you, but the weapons are cheap to refill ammunition for, and just like all other Gunslinger perk weapons, do not cost much to purchase or sell.
If you'd rather start every match with just one 1858 Revolver, just drop the extra one! All dual-weapons drop one at a time, so if you'd rather be more accurate, just toss one aside for a friend to use instead. You'll miss out on some dosh after the wave if you plan to sell them afterward, but it's all up to player preference.
Sporting some fancy engravings, a less-than-large magazine, and just enough spunk to compete with revolvers, the M1911 is an excellent choice for Gunslingers that would rather start the early waves with a more accurate and just as powerful handgun.
While not as powerful as it's bigger brother, the Handcannon, it still does more damage than the 1858 Revolver, with a slightly higher capacity magazine to boot.
DESERT EAGLE AKA HANDCANNON
"Oh man, the Deag! The Deag!"
If the weapons in this game were to be considered a bit absurd; Killing Floor 2's Gunslinger has this monstrous handgun to credit for the less-than-realistic ability to fire these weapons akimbo-style consistently and not break their wrists (or at least leave them sore).
With nearly as much damage as the Gunslinger's most powerful piece, the Magnum Revolver, the Desert Eagle only loses out on its potency with penetrating power. While the damage this gun deals is still plenty to go up against Scrakes and Fleshpounds (especially akimbo), be sure to mind the high recoil.
.500 MAGNUM REVOLVER
The Magnum Opus of the Gunslinger's Arsenal; a caliber of bullet large enough to warrant being loaded into rifle, still being loaded into a handgun.
The Magnum Revolvers have the power and penetration to compete with a lot of the two-handed weapons available to other perks; yet this gun still has the capacity to be carried akimbo-style, just like all the other Gunslinger perk weapons. While the 5-round chambers are not much to work with before reloading, two of these monsters are a force to be reckoned with against large zeds.
This improvised maiming device is not meant to kill targets, that should be made clear first and foremost. The Gunslinger's Nail Bomb is a utility that bursts with bits of shrapnel about as powerful as the nails fired from the Berserker's Vlad the Impaler Nailgun. The shrapnel might kill a couple Clots, but the most important function of these bombs is their ability to stun zeds for a couple seconds. Using these on larger zeds before they rage allows the team to get up in the zed's face and unleash a torrent of lead straight to the face, making many potentially dangerous fights a lot easier for a coordinated team.
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 Commando functions as a party's tactician, picking their battles with at least some level of awareness. This portion of the guide will cover each of the specimens in the typical order that they arrive.
THE CLOT (CYST/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 Cyst 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.
Gunslingers running with the Rack 'em Up skill should try to build up their damage streaks off of these guys. With a single headshot being enough to kill these guys, ammo conservation is easy in the early waves, when Clots are a majority of the enemies your squad will encounter.
Overall, be sure to clean these guys off the map, the Gunslinger does great damage against these guys, with Handcannons being able to kill these enemies with one shot nearly anywhere on their bodies.
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.
Shoot these buggers as soon as you see them. If you're in a good position to penetrate Magnum bullets through a swarm of these guys, take the opportunity to do so. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a single bullet from your revolvers making these guys explode into pieces when shot.
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.
Gunslingers can just let these girls run right up to them before unleashing Hell at point-blank. Akimbo-style Gunslingers just need to focus on running away in a straight line before turning around to kill the line of Stalkers chasing.
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.
Bloats can be a pain to kill, but more-so because of how many bullets it can take to actually pop their heads. With the Magnum Revolvers sometimes taking as many as three shots to pop the heads of these guys, don't shoot at them unless you are alone or everyone else is distracted with a larger zed.
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.
Shooting these guys in the legs if you're using Knock 'em Down is a great way at preventing groups of these guys from covering ground in a pinch. If you are able to see Gorefasts coming from a distance, just go for headshots and stop them before they can become a threat in the first place.
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 Cysts, 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.
Akimbo-style Gunslingers will have a better time killing Sirens. Aim for her torso and fire your guns there to consistently stun her, eventually killing her after about five shots. Gunslingers are not weak to Sirens, but Sirens aren't weak to the bullet damage of the Gunslinger either, so be sure to know your escape routes
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.
Gunslingers are great at preventing Husks from firing on the squad. Either aim for his head if you feel lucky, and his head should pop after just a couple well-placed shots. If running akimbo-style, though, try aiming for the tank on his back, his inevitable explosion is bound to kill some zeds around him, and the satisfying sound of a ruptured Husk tank is just a bonus.
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.
Gunslingers that aren't using going akimbo by the time a Scrake shows up better have a good rack built up from Rack 'em Up, because you will need the extra damage (and the slowdown of Skullcracker if possible) to do good damage to this guy before he runs towards the squad to start attacking. Akimbo-style Gunslingers can deal great damage as long as they exchange high-damaging headshots for consistent damage to the Scrake's torso.
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.
Gunslingers will never admit it, but the Fleshpound is actually pretty tough for a Gunslinger to take down alone. Obviously, the mobility-oriented skills are great for kiting these guys around while you find more favorable locations to attack from, but the rampaging nature of Fleshpounds will mean that Gunslingers will be fighting these guys with more luck than skill.
That being said, just ensure you can shoot the Fleshpound a lot in the back when he's attacking someone else, and keep shooting that glowing core on his chest if he's looking your way instead.
Gunslingers thrive here, easily being able to afford akimbo Magnum Revolvers by the time the fourth wave hits. The overall low cost of the Gunslinger's arsenal and subsequent ammunition makes him great at making consistent upgrades as well as maintaining his gear.
Just be sure to help a brother out with some dosh every so often.
The medium-length games are not much different from short or long games when playing the Gunslinger. As soon as you get either one or two Magnum Revolvers, you are set so long as you can maintain that gear. During medium-length games, see if you can send your dosh into the hands of perks that can make a lot of use with the extra money, such as Field Medics or Demolitionists. The better their equipment, the better the entire squad does.
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. Gunslingers can pretty much do whatever they want, being a bit of a solo-oriented perk, you can run off and do your own thing, but it benefits the team if you either assist the Berserker by moving with them and clear out threats they can't easily take care of (such as Crawlers), and your damage output is still important; so position yourself where the most zeds are going to go (IE near your squad).
Gunslingers don't need much strategy, just ensure you are hitting your mark and you will do your job just fine. If you are asked by your allies to be positioned somewhere else, or they would rather you stick with the team; heed their advice at the very least. Gunslingers currently have a bit of a stigma for being used by players that are selfish and just get themselves killed by overestimating their skills.
If you really want to help the team, consider pulling away Scrakes so that they walk after you while your squad takes care of their own problems first. As long as you can keep moving without being cornered by Clots or Sirens, you should be fine. Just… be sure to let your team know that is what you plan to do; otherwise you might have an upset Scrake running after you instead.
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.
Gunslingers will be a bit upset by all of the armor that protects Hans' flanks. There are a few critical points that you should aim for when fighting Hans; his head, his core, and the glowing spot on his chest. The first two will deal extra damage when hit, but the glowing chest core makes for a good target to aim at so that you can hit the doctor's exposed torso.
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 Twin 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.
Gunslingers should make use of their mobility to outmaneuver Hans if he gives chase; on that same topic, Gunslingers with the Knock 'em Down skill can aim for the doctor's legs to trip him up. While his legs are resistant to damage, your ability to knock him down allows the squad to focus on the spot where he landed and unload as much damage as they can into his head, or his core if he lands on his face.
Bring two sets of guns into this boss fight; you are bound to run out of ammunition for one of your sets before the doctor is dead… if you're doing your job right. Make your shots connect and keep the pressure up on Hans, even during his shield phase; and you will bring him down quickly.
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 things a bit difficult for Gunslingers relying on accuracy going into this fight. For the best outcome, though, always switch off headshot-stacking skills as you will not be killing many zeds during the boss fight. The Magnum Revolvers are great at dealing damage to all of the Patriarch's fleshy bits, just be sure to avoid hitting his metal arm and leg; the damage resisted is very high against bullet damage.
Throughout most of the fight, you will be considered a damage-dealing perk,unloading rounds wherever and whenever possible. The Patriarch will try to run away and heal up to three times when his health is low. Follow the Patriarch if your squad plans to pursue, since your perk is able to somewhat keep up with the Patriarch as he runs away to heal. If your squad does not wish to pursue him, turn your attention to the incoming zeds instead. He will also summon frenzied zeds to distract your allies during this time, so stay with your squad, and kill off incoming Clots, Crawlers, and Stalkers as they try to chip away your team's health.
Gunslingers need to be wary against the Patriarch; the constant high damage you have the potential to put out makes you a likely candidate to being attacked by the Patriarch. If you are caught in the open against his minigun, your life is as good as over.
Either of these bosses will almost guaranteed result in the death of the Gunslinger if they run off on their own. Stay by your allies to – if anything – increase the chance that they might be attacked instead.
Manifesting the Destiny of zeds everywhere to end by their hands, the Gunslinger is a versatile perk capable of both gunning away and running away from their problems. Although it does less damage than it's older brother, the Sharpshooter, the Gunslinger does not fail to bring the hurt to any zed they come across.
Choosing between accurate play-styles, much like the Sharpshooter, or the run n' gun behavior inspired by the Berserker, any Gunslinger can go down either path and bring a literal wild-card to any squad.
The bonus experience for headshot kills with their perk weapons encourages Gunslingers to, at the very least, improve their accuracy above the shoulders. It is not a requirement to make for a great Gunslinger, and the best out there are able to make accurate plays with akimbo-style load-outs regardless.
Modern-day cowboys, rogues, and flashy gunmen, the Gunslinger embodies the belief that you do not necessarily need a big gun to bring the pain. If you ever wanted to be the quick-drawing combatant on the battlefield, give the Gunslinger perk a shot.
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: