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Engineer Guide

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August 6, 2012 - 11:56am -- Lewis B
Guild Wars 2 Engineer


The engineer uses various tools and elixirs to overcome their enemies.  They can take control of entire areas with their use of turrets while providing direct support through their use of various  kits. Combined with their use of mines, bombs and grenades they can be formidable in the right hands. As an adventurer profession, similarly to a ranger, engineers wear medium amour and because of that can withstand reasonable amounts of damage.  Their ability to use a shield however, the only adventurer profession able to, significantly improves their survivability.  Engineers are considered a relatively complex and challenging profession, yet once mastered, can be incredibly powerful. 

GW2 Engineer Icon

Engineer Quick Facts

  • One of Guild Wars 2’s three Adventurer professions.
  • Able to wear medium armor.
  • Able to use various weapon kits such as a Flamethrower or Bomb Kit to harm and immobilize foes.
  • Can make effective use of Elixirs to create random, beneficial effects.
  • Uses a Tool belt to obtain extra utility skills based on those you currently have equipped.
  • Can excel in Capture Point defense with their use of turrets.
  • Can be incredibly powerful when specializing in Condition Damage.

Engineer Themes and Combat Roles

The Engineer can make use of both direct and condition damage in order to defeat their foes, while the profession can be broken down into three key areas: weapons/kits, elixirs and turrets.

Engineers are limited to three types of weapon: pistols (both main and offhand), rifle and shield and cannot have a second weapon set equipped like other professions.  They can however make up for this by having access to various weapon kits that they equip on their skill bar: Flamethrower, Elixir Gun, Grenade Kit, Bomb Kit, Tool Kit and Med Kit.  All of these weapon kits (or heal kit in the Med Kits case) provide different functions and skills, but we’ll cover that in a little more detail below.

The Engineer also has access to an array of Elixirs.  Elixirs are skills which when consumed create an effect on you, often with a predetermined or random outcome.  For example, using Elixir S will shrink you to the size of a mouse for several seconds allowing you to evade all incoming attacks.   Elixir C will remove all your conditions and turn them into boons or Elixir U will grant you haste, allowing you to attack at rapid speed for several seconds.  In total there are 6 Elixirs with one of those being an Elite skill.

Engineer Turret

Turrets are stationary objects that the Engineer can place down with all of them serving different functions. There are 5 turrets in total, ranging from a Flame Turret (that sets players on fire) a Net Turret (which immobilizes them) to a Thumper Turret that damages all enemies in an area.   Turrets can also be “overcharged” which allows for additional effects.  For example, if you overcharge a Net Turret it will fire an electrified net at your foe, or if you overcharge a Flame Turret it will blind all those nearby in a cloud of smoke.  Carefully using your overcharge abilities, while placing turrets in the right positions, can make all the difference in Capture Point defence.

If the Engineer has any downsides it is in its limited weapon sets (if you don’t like Kits or Turrets) while Elixirs random effects are not for everyone, especially if you want guarantees from your skills. Engineers also have a high skill ceiling as they are often managing multiple kits or tool belt skills.  

Engineer Weapons and Kits

Unlike other professions the Engineer can only equip one weapon set at a time.  They can’t equip dual pistols and a rifle for example; they can only choose one or the other.  As briefly discussed earlier, they make up for this by being able to equip multiple kits in skill slots 7, 8 and 9.  Although many Engineers wouldn’t, you could for example use Rifle, Flamethrower, Bomb Kit and Grenade Kit which provides a total of 4 active weapon sets.  However, many people don’t do this simply because of the practically of managing all of them and the skills each has.  Utilizing just one kit on top of your standard weapon is often the most common setup, with many people (including myself) avoiding kits all together due to preferring elixirs and turrets.

In the table below are the combinations of weapon sets that the Engineer can use. 

Main Hand







Harpoon Gun






Hip Shot

Benefiting primarily from pure power, the rifle doesn’t by default offer as longer range as the Warriors and tends to be more akin to a shotgun in play style than offering sniping opportunities.  Many of the rifles skills benefit from you being up close and personal to your foe with most of the skills such as Blunderbuss, Overcharged Shot and Jump Shot requiring you to be right next to your foe to really cause serious damage.  

The primary problem with the rifle is because of its short range play style you are forced to fight close to your foes, which can leave you vulnerable. The weapon set also requires heavy investment in power and precision attributes to really get the most out of it.


Static Shot

Available as a main hand and offhand weapon, the pistol is all about condition damage. The main hand pistol is incredibly popular as with the right setup it allows you to stack bleeding incredibly quickly from its Explosive Shot, while it also allows you to poison foes to seriously reduce their healing capabilities.  Its third skill, Static Shot, also allows you to blind and confuse enemies.  The offhand pistol has two skills available: Blowtorch and Glue Shot. The former applies burning to your foe and deals more damage to them the closer you are, while Glue Shot immobilises and cripples foes in the target area.  Using both pistols at the same time will allow you to apply a huge amount of conditions to the enemy while dealing a great deal of damage because of it.  The offhand pistol can take some practice as Glue Shot has to be manually targeted and is quite a slow projectile while Blowtorch is a cone effect, so you'll need to be careful with your aiming.


A favourite weapon amongst many Engineers, the off-hand shield plays for a more defensive setup, however, because of its skills it can cause some serious damage back at your foes.  Magnetic Shield allows you to create a bubble around yourself that reflects all incoming projectiles back at the attacker. You can also release it to knock back foes who are next to you.  Its second skill, Static Shield, comes across all Captain America and allows you to electrify your shield to stun your foe if you are struck or throw it at your target to daze all foes hit on the way out and back.  I absolutely love the shield based on the fact it really can be used offensively as well as defensively.  There’s nothing more satisfying than reflecting your enemies spells back at them using Static Shield, before throwing your shield at their face.

Bomb Kit

Bomb Kit

The Bomb Kit will grant you access to various types of stationary bombs that you can place on the ground.  You can place bombs while moving which are great to use while running away from someone or at the feet of players standing on a Capture Point to really cause them problems. With the right setup the Bomb Kit can deal massive damage and with its combination of knockbacks, immobilise and burning it can be formidable in the right hands. 

A common skill combination when using the Bomb Kit is to use Slick Shoes to knock players down, use Glue Bomb to immobilise them followed by Big Old Bomb (the Bomb Kits tool belt skill- see below).  Do be aware however, that when you plant a bomb, your enemy will see a red ring on the floor showing its blast radius. Many experienced players can easily see this and will often leap away to avoid the damage unless immobilised.

Elixir Gun

Arguably the most supportive of all the Engineers kits, the Elixir Gun provides various skills to debilitate opponents and heal allies. Its primary attack bleeds and weakens your foes while its secondary skill, Elixir F, cripples foes and grants swiftness to you and allies.  It also has a brilliant leap-back for when you are in trouble and can apply poison and vulnerability to a large group of enemies with Fumigate, while also removing conditions from allies.  Finally, its fifth weapon skill, Super Elixir, fires an orb at the ground that heals all allies on impact and continues to heal in the area for several seconds afterwards.  Personally the Elixir Gun is one of my favourite weapon sets in the game based on its leap back, its ability to cripple and its tool belt skill (see below) which also heals you.  For anyone that specialises in condition damage it really is a great second weapon set, alongside dual pistols or pistol and shield.


The more offensive variant of the Elixir Gun, the Flamethrower does exactly what it says on the tin. It causes burning to your opponents through its weapon skill 1 but can also be used as a powerful control tool.  Using Napalm, which places a wall of fire on the floor, and Air Blast to knock opponents back, it can be a real nuisance to fight against Engineers using it skillfully. The latest addition to the Flamethrower has seen its fifth skill blind nearby foes which can be incredibly useful if you find someone too close for comfort and have your knock-back on cooldown. The Flame Thrower, like the Elixir Gun, also benefits from you specialising in Condition Damage.  A great trick is to lay Napalm just in front of you, quickly change back to Pistol and then fire through the flames at your opponent, causing your bullets to burn them as they pass through the wall.

Grenade Kit

Grenade Kit

When traited the Grenade Kit has a huge range and is exceptional when used in World versus World during keep defence. It can be a little tricky to use, based on the fact you need to manually target each skill, however, Shrapnel and Poison Grenades are excellent against large groups of players. Freeze Grenade and the fact it reduces player speed and cool downs by 66% also make it invaluable.  In encounters where you need to remain mobile however, the weapon set can be difficult based on the fact you can only throw grenades if you are holding the right mouse button down and press the skill twice (once to get the reticle, once to activate). Practice makes perfect with this one.

Med Kit

The Med Kit (unlike the Elixir Gun) is the Engineers only pure healing kit (which fills slot 6 on your skill bar). The kit grants you access to an array of healing tools and stimulants to aid you and others. When you equip it, you can drop bandages for others to pick up as well as antidotes that remove conditions or stimulants to grant fury and swiftness. In combat situations it is great for supporting others, the fact its main healing skill is linked to your Tool belt (see below) also makes for some interesting possibilities, as you can significantly reduce its cooldown with traits.

Tool Kit

Tool Kit

Last but not least is the Tool Kit. In principal the kit is all about control with a knockback, a pull, and a block.  It can also cripple and bleed enemies with Box of Nails.  Most of its skills benefit from specialising your attributes in power meaning that it compliments the rifle really well.  The fact you can use its block (Gear Shield) while moving also makes it an excellent tool when running away.  Pry Bar also knocks your enemy back a considerable distance while Magnet pulls players to you can be incredibly valuable when attacking a Capture Point, giving you the ability to remove players from the point for quite some time. It should also be noted that the Tool kit repairs turrets for any defensive engineers out there. 

Tool belt

The Tool belt is a little hard to describe on paper, but in simple terms it is four utility slots above your skill bar for keys F1 to F4. Each of the Engineers skills that you use on slots 6 to 9 has a corresponding Tool belt skill.  For example, if you equip Elixir H (one of the Engineers heals) your Tool belt skill will be “Toss Elixir H”.  If you select F1 you can then throw Elixir H to cause an effect.  It must be noted however that all Tool Belt skills are completely independent from your main skills, meaning if you did Toss Elixir H, you could still use your main heal.  Another example would be if you equipped the Flamethrower, you would gain the Tool belt skill Incendiary Ammo which when used causes your next three attacks to cause burning.

Tool belt

Including weapon kits there are a total of 20 Tool belt skills, linked to 20 Engineer skills. Every Tool belt skill is vastly different and offer a tactical approach to many of the choices you might make.  For example, many people equip the Bomb Kit because its Tool belt skill, Big old Bomb, launches foes back large distances.  Even if that individual never equips the Bomb Kit, they can still use its Tool belt skill (though that might be considered a waste).  Or you could equip the Elixir Gun because you know its Tool belt skill provides regeneration to yourself and allies.

Factoring in the Tool belt skill available is a key part of putting together an effective Engineer build.

Engineer Trait Lines


  • +10 Power per point spent
  • +1% Expertise per point spent
  • Improves – General Damage, Bombs and Grenades.


  • +10 Precision per point spent
  • +1% Malice per point spent
  • Improves – General condition damage, rifles and pistols.


  • +10 Toughness per point spent
  • +10 Compassion per point spent
  • Improves – Turrets, healing skills and shield use.


  • +10 Vitality per point spent
  • +1% Concentration per point spent
  • Improves – Elixirs, damage avoidance and some kits (Flamethrower, Elixir Gun)


  • +1% Ingenuity per point spent
  • +10 Prowess per point spent
  • Improves – Toolbelt skills, standard abilities (endurance regain) and some kits (Tool Kit).

Additional Engineer Tips

1. You don't need to equip every engineer kit to be effective.  Choosing a single kit based on your playstyle and setup can be the most effective way of managing your skills.

2. Each weapon kit has a unique focus and leans towards a certain set of attributes. The Tool kit for example works best with power while the Elixir Gun works best with condition damage.

3. The Tool belt provides an additional utility skill (4 in total) based on the current skills you have equipped in slots 6 to 9.  Even if you don't use the kit itself, you can still benefit from its Tool belt skill.

4. To be effective with an engineer you don't have to use any kits.  Using turrets, elixirs or both is just as effective but will offer a different play style.

5. Equipping a shield and several turrets will see you excel in Capture Point structured PvP maps. Placing your turrets in the right positions will cause serious trouble for people trying to attack you. 

I'll be producing more engineer guides in the coming weeks, providing much more detail in relation to builds and greater skill analysis so do make sure you stick around! 

You can contact the author of this post by email at [email protected] or follow them on Twitter @PersistentWorld


Ayelet's picture
Submitted by Ayelet on

Great guide, thanks.  

Noobie question:  Will shooting through the Napalm with the #1 pistol skill cause both burning and bleeding?

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

Yes it absolutely will! It's one of the engineers best tricks as it becomes a huge condition heavy build :) If you use Superior Signet of Earth as well, you really will stack the bleeding then.  I will however cover that in more depth in another guide :) 

sylvinstar's picture
Submitted by sylvinstar on

The beauty of napalm in PvE is that you lay it down and mobs run the other way - it's like instant insect repellent.  Even if they never hit the napalm it's a great way to get distance from multiple mobs that rush you.  Of course as they run away you shoot them in the back for bonus fire damagedevil

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

That's a really great trick.  It's also good to lay it behind your enemies and push them back through it with Air Blast before following up with some pistol shots to the back :)

MokiCzech's picture
Submitted by MokiCzech on

Yay, waited a long time for this. Only thing that is a bit weird is how little dependancy Engi seems to have on turrets, since they were promoted as his core mechanic. I have not seen so many turret-Engies yet.

I'm a master baiter!

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

I love turrets but surprisingly many don't.  If you're a fan of PvP, they are amazing in point capture. The fact they now have proper Tool belt skills makes them very powerful (especially the Net and Thumper Turret).  I love using Turrets over Kits, simply because I can put them down and (for the most part) forget about them. 

Long live turret engineers! 

oneeyered's picture
Submitted by oneeyered on

Awesome guide Lewis. I didn't get to far into my Eng in last beta but man was he fun to play (Charr).

Its a simple world for complicated people



ArcherAvatar's picture
Submitted by ArcherAvatar on

One correction:

You CAN throw grenades while continuously holding down the right mouse button to control the camera.  With the right mouse button depressed, you can press #4 once (for the Freeze grenade as an example) which will cause the "green circular target reticle" to appear even with the right mouse button depressed.  Pressing #4 a second time will throw the grenade at the current target reticle location.

I have used that technique for both the engineer's ground targeted skills, as well as the "marks" on the necromancer's staff.  It may require a bit of practice for some folks, but it is not impossible.

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

Oh really? I didn't know that.  I never thought to press the skill button again.  Not really an elegant solution but certainly one that makes it more appealing :)  I'll add that in Archer! Thank you.

NemisisZer0's picture
Submitted by NemisisZer0 on

Very nice guide.  Kinda funny that I'm our guild leader and the ONLY engineer in our guild of 30 people.  I love this class, and I use everything.  I've found uses for every elixir, turret, kit, and gadget.  A ton of people in the chat complain about some engineer skills, I just laugh and say "you haven't used it right yet."

cheapgamer's picture
Submitted by cheapgamer on

Turrets are great, if you use the Tool belt skills then place the turrets while the Tool belt skills recharge you can do a lot more damage. Also blow up the turrets just before they are destroyed will damage the enemy and have a shorter recharge time than if they are destroyed by the enemy. Plus use the overcharge abilities as much as possible. I currently use Healing Turret, Riffle Turret, Flame Turret and Rocket Turret along with the Supply Crate to drop more than enough turrets to distract large groups of mobs in PvE so I only have one or two to kite and kill with plenty of heals to take on a veteran or two at the same time. Makes the Killstreak Experience Booster very useful.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on


GRIMSVOLT's picture
Submitted by GRIMSVOLT (not verified) on

Noob trying out Engineer class. I'm wondering if you use Toss Elixir H on yourself, will it heal you?