- If you’re looking for PVE pure DPS, 4 piece Striker is the best choice. Nothing else comes close.
- I’ve found the highest concentration of high-quality gear from Incursions, Contamination events in the DZ, open World named bosses and believe it or not, High-Value Targets, especially the high-risk ones.There is no set loot table, although it does seem to be weighted in certain ways.
- If you want quality balance and utility in a DPS build, the MC Skulls High End build is your best bet. I find that to be my go to for the most difficult content. It provides amazing damage with solid survivability and utility.
- Investing into stamina in 1.6 is almost totally useless. The only time you should invest into stamina is to unlock weapon talents or to run Clear Sky (which has turned into a complete shitshow in 1.6 so I’d avoid it altogether.)
Tacticians are as strong as ever, but keep in mind that Skill Haste is a must for a good skill build. The inventive backpack is a critical part of a pure skill build as well, and Vigorous chest helps with survivability, but you can toy around with the other two slots and find what works for you and your play style. In the end, the Tactician build works better for a Healer build (than reclaimer) with the 15% skill haste and 10% skill power bonuses from the 2 and 3 piece bonuses.
Reclaimer is now a dedicated Healer build, as it no longer ties to consumables in any way. My primary criticism of the Reclaimer build is that it’s entirely reliant upon the Support Station skill. In PVE this ain’t a huge problem, but in PVP it sucks. The 2 and 3 piece bonuses are fairly meager, however.
Sentry is more of a support build these days after the repeated nerfs, but still viable.
D3- FNC was my go to for 1.5, but it’s about to get some significant changes. It will still be strong, and a great choice for a true DPS tank build. I know when I see a D3 build in a PuG, I know it will help draw the agro away from me, making life easier.
Predator’s Mark took a pretty hard nerf when they reduced the effects of the bleed status. Bleed now reduces movement speed by 20%. Having said that, the 2 piece reload bonus is nice, and the 3 piece bonus is 8% dmg for ARs and SMGs. It’s still a good DPS build, but more PVP focused.
Final Measure and Hunter’s Faith are still largely useless, though some die-hards still cling to them and swear by their usefulness.
Alpha Bridge is still strong, it’s just that it pales in comparison to the 1.5 strength of the Alpha set. It was the meta, so of course, it had to be crushed into oblivion. It’s still. A useful set with 100% health regen speed, 5% base weapon damage to all weapon types, and the four piece unlocks all weapon talents on your primary, and the free talent on your secondary if they are both the same weapon type. Alpha seems to have shifted to a more PvE based roll in the game, away from the must have PVP set in 1.5.
Nomad is popular among the solo player base. 15% health on kill is decent, the slow trickle of health regen keeps you alive more than you’d imagine. The four piece is basically a baby recovery link every four minutes. It’s not the strongest set in the game, but it has come a long way from 1.1 to be sure.
Firecrest is the go to build for Crowd Control. It excels in both PVP and PvE content. The 3 piece bonus might be the strongest of any in the game, which is good because of the 2 piece bonus maybe the weakest. 30% bonus damage and 50% bonus range to your flame turret is huge. The big knock I have on Firecrest is, like Reclaimer, it’s strength is tied to one particular skill. (See Disclaimer in builds section)
For PvP focus: There are a few good choices out there. The most popular thing among the streamer/YouTube players right now is the Hybrid build, which just means a balance of Firearms and Electronics.
The principle behind the hybrid build is to amass a solid amount of base firearms (usually 5500 or so.) Ignore Stamina, but roll Health in all your major attribute slots possible on your gear (Vest, Knees, Backpack and maybe Holster) and invest in Skill Haste everywhere (Vest, Gloves and in my opinion Holster, the 7% skill haste is stronger than the 8300 health you can get on a holster.)
Furthering this principle is the investment into electronics, making your skills powerful enough to compensate for your lack of base stamina and overt DPS. The key here is having a really strong Booster Shot heal, and pairing that with a strong pulse or other damage focused skill. Vigorous Chest is essential to this build, and a 2 or 3 piece Tactician compliments the build very well for the bonus skill haste and skill power. You want to max your skill haste at 50% giving you a Booster Shot every 12 seconds or so.
The Vigorous chest effectively increases your toughness by 50%, added to the 7.5% all damage resilience from the Booster Shot. That makes you very difficult to kill, but only in cycles (The more your heal is available, the stronger you’ll be.) The other bonus is the obvious 10% bonus to base weapon damage from Booster. If you run this build with a weapon that has the Competent talent, you’re getting a 20% boost to weapon damage every time you pop your Booster, which is huge. Pair that with a Tactical Scanner Pulse and you’re getting another 5% base weapon damage buff. I’d say Savage gloves are pretty much a requirement on this build too.
Gear mods should be rolled with 3% skill haste in the minor slot, but with 15% for the 2 piece Tac, average 8% on Vest, average 8% on gloves, and 7% on Holster, you should be around 38% before mods. So make sure you roll health on that fifth gear mod, as you’ll be at the 50% skill haste cap with 12% from the other four gear mods.
One of my favorite and most effective Frankenstein builds is 3 Firecrest, 2 Tactician, and Inventive Backpack all stacked into electronics, skill power, and skill haste. Against NPCs and players alike, with a well-placed turret, and Airburst (PVP) or Cluster (PvE) Seeker Mine, nobody can even get close to you. Crazy good time build.
Another solid and less complicated choice for PVP and my personal favorite at the moment is 3 Banshee and 3 Predator’s Mark. Banshee is a newer gearset designed specifically for the DZ. the 3 piece bonus gets you 10% bonus damage to targets out of cover, combined with the 8% damage buff to ARs and SMGs for the 3 piece Predator’s and you’re dealing some serious raw damage. If you build into crit chance and crit damage, this build will melt everything in its path.
In the interest of fairness and being all inclusive I thought I should include Lone Star and Deadeye.
Lone star, well the 2 piece bonus is 100% ammo capacity, which is good because you’re going to need it. The 3 piece bonus gives you 8% LMG and Shotgun damage bonuses which sadly isn’t enough. LMGs are currently the weakest of all weapon types, even with the buff.
I have seen Agent Exile put a nice PVP build together with 3 Lone Star and 3 Banshee specced for crit damage and crit chance. He’s a PC player which allows him to use weapon mods to maximize his damage output and disregard stability altogether. This works well enough on PC, and his build is great, but for console players, it’s just not going to compete with other top tier PVP builds.
Marco Style put a really fun PVP build together with 4 piece Lone Star running a double Cassidy weapon combo. The 4 piece bonus makes this build go by automatically reloading your weapons once holstering them. He would run around unloading the double barrel exotic shotgun, swapping to the second Cassidy, and unloading again. Very effective at close range, but only situationally useful in the Last Stand and against scrubby DZ teams.
Deadeye is one of the more controversial builds in the game right now, because of its strength in PVP. As a PvE gearset, it’s ok. It chews through your ammo stash in a hurry, so having ammo capacity in the minor slots on your Vest and Backpack is a must.
The best way to optimize a Deadeye build is to stack as much crit hit damage as possible and avoid crit chance everywhere as the 4 piece bonus guarantees 100% crit chance while aiming down sights, at the cost of the headshot damage multiplier. You want to stack as many firearms as possible while rolling health onto your Vest, Holster and gear mods. You could roll Skill Haste on the Holster, as the more frequent your pulse and Booster Shot are up, the more damage you’ll put out.
Your performance gear mods should all be 2% Pulse crit damage. Your Knees and Backpack should have 9% crit damage rolled onto the major attributes. Gloves should be rolled with MMR damage, crit damage, and skill haste. You’d probably want Skill Power on your Mask, and possibly on your gear mods too if you’re going full Glass Cannon. A Reckless chest would help in that type of Glass Cannon build as well.
Specialized Backpack will help boost your skill power to make your pulse as strong as possible. Skills for the build are Tactical Scanner Pulse and Booster Shot heal. The most popular sniper choices for the build would be either an SVD or Scar-H rolled with Deadly, Prepared and Competent in the free slot.
A lot of players run a strong bolt action MMR like the M700 Carbon or Custom M44, with the same roll. The bolt action rifles give you a chance to one shot players under optimal conditions, often bolstered by the Tactical Advance talent. Weapon mods should be a C-79 scope, rolled for max crit damage (the max roll is 20.5%, but realistically you’d be lucky to find 20% crit damage). The scope has to be a full zoom scope for the 4 piece bonus to activate, so Pro red dot scopes will not work. Muzzle mod should be a Large Suppressor, Loud Vent Brake or SR-7 suppressor, again rolled with at least 19% crit damage.
The Under-barrel mod should be a small grip or small red grip, again rolled to around 19-20% crit damage. Your extended magazine should have the max 4% crit damage as well. I’m sure you’re noticing a pattern here, crit hit damage everywhere, Knees, Backpack, Gloves, performance mods and weapon mods.
The stronger your Pulse, the more min/maxed your damage output will be. The set is controversial because it promotes a very stagnant camper style of play. In capable hands, this build is very frustrating to counter as you’ll have a hard time getting inside to snuff them out. But if you get inside, a Deadeye player will probably be so squishy, you should have no trouble taking them out. That should be everything gearset wise.
Skulls MC gloves High End build: This is also a great PVP build. It’s the one size fits all build with all 5 pieces aside from the gloves being interchangeable, allowing you to spec into your play style. The only short fall of this build is the knee pads. Shortbows knee pads are really your only choice in this slot, and finding a well-rolled pair of them is a challenge. I’ve got four pairs now and they’ve all been shit. Hit me up if you need any specific advice, always happy to help. Good luck agent.