Risk of Rain Returns: Best Engineer Build and Loadout

Amass an army of death-dealing self-sustaining Turrets and Drones. Here's the best Engineer build in Risk of Rain Returns.

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Do you like the idea of running around with nigh immortal turrets and drones rocket-blasting elites into oblivion? Then this Engineer build might be for you. It just takes some specific items to pop off. Here’s the best Engineer build and loadout in Risk of Rain Returns.

The Best Engineer Build and Loadout in Risk of Rain Returns

The Engineer is one of those survivors who has the potential to be incredibly powerful but takes a bit of time to get there. He doesn’t have any mobility skills and his turrets can get downed easily without proper items. That’s why the success of his runs is largely related to proper item building, movement, and placing turrets at the right time.

Furthermore, picking up as many drones as possible is key for this build since we’ll be utilizing Arms Race and Drone Repair Kit. With this build, it’s usually worth saving up for a fallen drone instead of picking up an item. There are exceptions that we’ll talk about in the items section.

Below, I discuss the best abilities to take for your Engineer, as well as strategies for each one. Additionally, we’ll also talk about those crucial items to help his mobility and make his turrets extremely hard to kill. For the cherry on top, we’ll finish up with the best equipment for the Engineer.

The engineer repairing a drone on a cliff.
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Best Engineer Abilities in Risk of Rain Returns

The neat part about the Engineer is that you don’t need any special alternate skills for this build to work. His basic skills are his bread and butter. I recommend the following abilities for the best Engineer build:

  • Tri-nade: Since getting into melee range is highly dangerous in Returns, especially with overloading elites running around, I prefer the Tri-nade over the Mortar. You can kite much more effectively from a safe distance, as your turrets and drones take down your enemies.
  • Bounding Mine: Since most enemies in later stages can fly, teleport, or dash (Lemurian Knights), Shockwave Mines can be frustrating to use. These enemies will just ignore the knockback effect and drop on top of you regardless. That’s why I usually opt for a bit of extra damage from the Bounding Mines.
  • Thermal Harpoon: Your only utility option. Since it keeps you stationary, I always recommend either jumping or dropping from a ledge while firing the skill to get a bit of movement and avoid danger. Standing still is death in this game.
  • Auto Turret: Our goal is to pick up as many turret damage and sustain boosting items as we can. That’s why the quantity of Auto Turrets is better in this build than the quality of the Laser Turret. That said, there’s an argument for the Laser Turret in the items section below.

Note that turrets only benefit from items that you have at the time you deploy them. This means that once you pick up a new important item and you want your turrets to benefit from it, you have to place new ones. Let’s dive into the meat of this build: the items.

Related: How to Get From All Angles Gold Rank with Engineer

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Best Engineer Items in Risk of Rain Returns

Since your turrets inherit your items, the most important items for this build are those that exploit this feature. Here are some crucial ones to pick up that work superbly with your turrets:

  • Time Keeper’s Secret
  • Dead Man’s Foot
  • Leeching Seed
  • Spikestrip
  • Medkit
  • The Toxin (Turrets weaken enemies)
  • Panic Mines
  • Bustling Fungus

The synergy between these items is marvelous. The hourglass stops time when your turrets drop to low HP. Then, items like Dead Man’s Foot, Spikestrip, and Panic Mines drop down damage to repel enemies. Finally, your Leeching Seed will heal turrets on hit and the Bustling Fungus always works on them since they stand still naturally. As for damage items, pick these up:

  • AtG Missile Mk. 1
  • Energy Cell
  • Soldier’s Syringe
  • Arms Race (For Drones)
  • Tesla Coil
  • Gasoline
  • Ritual Daggers
  • Lens Maker
  • Brilliant Behemoth

These will boost the damage output of your turrets drastically. Energy Cells will increase your turret’s attack speed while AtG Missile Mk. 1 will keep shooting out rockets. Furthermore, since the Engi doesn’t have much mobility, he’ll also need:

  • Hopoo’s Feather
  • Rusty Jetpack
  • Red Whip
  • Infusion
  • Monster Tooth
  • Meat Nugget

The first three are there to increase your non-existent movement and the latter three are for some much-needed sustain. Lastly, if you really want to use the Laser Turret, pick these defensive items up:

  • Prophet’s Cape
  • Hermit Scarf
  • Umbrella (Long-term invulnerability)

The reason they’re useful is because the Laser Turrent damages itself. All three of these work with the turret to make it invulnerable to its self-damage for a short time. The less damage it’s taking, the higher the value.

Related: Best Items Tier List in RoR Returns

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Best Engineer Equipment in Risk of Rain Returns

There’s not much to talk about here as your drone build will require only one equipment item. This is the Drone Repair Kit, which will keep your army of drones alive and even add an additional drone. I’ve found that the Beating Embryo is incredibly helpful with the Drone Repair Kit reducing that cooldown and making your drones almost unkillable.

If you find yourself struggling, then the Unstable Watch might be better in certain situations if the Timekeeper’s Secret isn’t enough. Furthermore, the Crudely-Drawn Buddy and the Safeguard Lantern can help take the aggro off of you and your turrets while they heal up with the Bustling Fungus or Leeching Seed.

With the combination of immortal drones and self-sustaining turrets, Providence will melt before your eyes. Looping on the other hand will require some efficient turret placement but you’ll be incredibly strong in this aspect as well. Just remember to not spam your turrets and mines and place them around the teleporter.

That’s my best Engineer build and loadout in Risk of Rain Returns. With the proper item pick-ups, the Engi can create a self-sustaining drone and turret army that shreds bosses and elites. In case you’re not getting lucky with drops, the Artifact of Command can help you guarantee crucial items. Feel free to browse around our RoR Returns guides for more helpful tips, survivor builds, and best characters list.

About the author

Gordan Perisic

From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.