Last Updated on October 30, 2020 by Aether
Welcome to the Underrail sniper and AR build guide for beginners. ! I see a lot of beginners to the game asking for a good Assault Rifle or Sniper Rifle build, and also people who’d like to play a build that makes use of two weapons. The general advice is that this kind of build is not great, because you want to focus on one style of play due to feat limitations, but Assault Rifle and Sniper both require minimal feats that make them go well together. I’ll be writing a slightly more in depth guide until Depot A, but after that will just be level check-ins and ideas on what you could be doing at those times. I beat the game very easily on Hard with this build, and it was a breeze going on Normal to Depot A for the guide. The guide assumes you’re playing on Normal Difficulty / Classic XP mode to keep up.
For those who just want the build, you can find the finished (Lv30) build here.
While I’ll detail my gear choices below, for those only interested in the completed build, I use…
8.6mm Hornet + Anatomically Aware Scope + Rapid Reloader (10 AP Shot / 30 AP Burst)
8.6mm Reaper + Anatomically Aware Scope + Rapid Reloader + Smart Module
Seeker Goggles + Night Vision
Infused Rathound Leather Armor + Soft Padding + Black Cloth (For Crit%)
Biohazard Tactical Vest + Laminated Ballistic Plate (For Expedition & Mushroom Forest)
Black Cloth Tabi
For those who want to follow along, here’s the Level 1 Build: https://underrail.info/build/?AQYDBgYKAwYPDwAAAAAPDQsAAA8ADwYPAAAAAAAAAAE5378
We get the feats Aimed Shot & Sprint, which will both be useful in their own ways. Sprint is good for creating distance later for sniper shots, but at the moment it’s mostly good for running away from Rathounds after we plink them a few times. Aimed Shot is obviously great, given the free automatic crit. This build’s weakness is low Dexterity, which will hurt our Throwing and Lockpick skills for about half the game, but the unique weapon Jackknife helps with the latter – and it’s acquired early, thankfully. It’s not as bad as it sounds, and we have the wiggle room we need to invest in Throwing and make the former a non-issue. As you can see, we’ve already started.
Get the first quest from Tanner and buy 10 Lockpicks and ~3 Frag Grenades around SGS. Get a Haxxor and 2 – 3 batteries from Ezra and get the 5mm Hawker from Lucas, then you’re ready to go kill Rathounds. For the moment, we can kill Rathounds in several ways, but the easiest is…
- Wait for them to run up to you (90%+ Hit Chance), then used Aimed Shot.
- Plink twice more, then pop Sprint and run away. OR…
- Plink once and throw a flare, so they run away.
- Plink once, throw a net, and back up one square. It lasts 2 turns.
- If you find Rathounds behind a fence, use Aimed Shot and hit spacebar (end turn).
- Do that twice more, then use Aimed Shot again. Repeat.
- This is a little tedious, but it actually saves a good 10 – 20 ammo overall.
Make sure to use the device you got from Harold to activate the power, then flip all 5 switches. If you did it right, you’ll get 450 Credits and 1000 XP. You can very easily handle M’lan Ratula with a Frag Grenade, and I fully recommend it rather than trying him the ‘normal’ way. Return Jonas’ watch and then pick the SMG (submachine gun) reward – we’ll be using that with Burst from here on. We get two levels over the course of this little quest, and you can find them below.
We got Suppressive Fire, which causes our Bursts to reduce Movement & AP. Now we’ve got to help Big Bret catch 3 Cave Hoppers and also find Newton. Starting right about now, you might find side areas that are either not so difficult (piddly rathounds and extra loot) or maybe a little much for this level (rathound alphas, robots, other human enemies). They don’t go away on a timer or anything – in fact, nothing in this game uses a timer quest wise – so they will always be there to come back to if you can’t handle them right now. To catch Cave Hoppers…
- Wait in stealth outside their caves, then hit Enter to force initiate combat.
- Leave stealth and use Sprint to run up and crate them. Do this three times.
In order to find Newton, we have to deal with Psi Beetles. They’re thankfully very easy because of Suppressive Fire! Run up into melee with them as fast as you can so that they have to open their heads (this lowers their Damage Resistance) and flee to use Neural Overload on you. Then return to melee range and Burst, which lowers their Movement & AP to the point they may not even be able to Neural Overload you on the following turn after running away. Repeat this until they’re dead. Note that Young Azuridae – they’re only there on normal – don’t really have that much DR and you can Burst them while their head is closed without losing much damage. Save the highest Quality Psi Beetle Carapace you loot. Somewhere in here you’ll hit level 4.
Several things going on at this level! We get +1 PER, we get Opportunist, and (more obtusely) we have enough Chemistry to make Mark II Frag Grenades. In order… The PER gives us a better effective Guns skill – that’s the number in parentheses. 30 is our base Guns skill, 47 is our effective at the moment. That means we CAN use an Assault Rifle starting now, but it’d be very inaccurate. Your accuracy (or Precision) is a factor of your Guns skill compared to how much a weapon takes to wield. SMGs only need 25 – 30 while even the weakest Assault Rifles need 40 – 45. We barely meet that criteria, so we’d be quite inaccurate with them at the moment… That goes double because we’re using Burst, which has another accuracy penalty on top. Snipers have an even higher requirement (50+), so we can’t use those just yet anyway.
Opportunist makes Suppressive Fire even better, because it gives us +15% damage against slowed targets. Since Suppressive Fire causes Burst to reduce Movement Points, that’s a slow and takes effect on the very first shot of Burst. The remaining 4 shots (6 later thanks to Full Auto) then benefit from +15% damage. Also, if we net something, that’s “rooted” and gives us +25% instead. Remember this for high HP enemies like Rathound Alphas and some humans. We have just enough AP to use a Net + 7.62mm Jaguar Burst in the same turn, as well.
Then additionally, we can make Frag Grenade Mk II’s now. You can buy the recipe and the items you need (Frag Grenade Cases and TNT) in SGS or in Junkyard which we’ll be visiting soon here. I recommend SGS, as we should spend Credits more than the Stygian Coins or ‘Charons’ that Junkyard uses at this stage. We make a Frag Grenade Mk II with 1 Case + 2 TNT (one in each slot) and they can demolish most anything on Normal at this stage. Later on we’ll be able to make Mk III’s, which use 1 Hexogen instead of using TNT. They’re even better.
Rather than going back to SGS, leave the facility you found Newton in and go north to get to Junkyard. We have to fight 2 Psi Beetles as well as 2 Rathounds + 1 Rathound Alpha to get there, but you can handle the most dangerous enemy – the Alpha – very easily by either hucking a Mk II Frag at it or Net + Bursting it. It should take 2 Bursts to kill with a 7.62mm Jaguar, or maybe 3 if you got unlucky and Jonas gave you a 5mm one. Two screens further north is Junkyard, where you’ll want to sell most everything you got so far and look for some items. I’ve included a shopping list below, but you don’t need all of this now. Just keep it in mind, you’ll be back here more than once before you finish this tutorial / Act 1 “area”.
- 1 Hornet Assault Rifle Frame of any Quality
- This thing is rare, and usually only sold by Gort or Colton. Buy immediately.
- 1 Reaper Sniper Rifle Frame of 50+ Quality
- 2 Scope Weapon Mods
- 1 Barrel Compensator Weapon Mod
- 1 Soft Padding of ~50 Quality
- 1 Black Cloth of ~50 Quality
- 1 Black Cloth of 50+ Quality
Those are in general order of importance, so save your Charons for the top of the list before you go looking for the rest. Sell everything you can here at every vendor you can find, but don’t bother talking to anyone else. There are a few quests we can technically do now, but they’re not the kind of thing a beginner can handle very easy at this level. We’ll be better equipped, both literally and figuratively, a bit later. Head back to SGS either by walking or taking the ferry. Turn in the quest to Big Bret and then speak to Tanner, who’ll tell you to go to GMS Compound and meet with Gorsky. Before that, though…
Talk to Jack Quicksilver in the cantina, ask him what brought him here, then ask him about that business venture and accept his quest. It should be to retrieve a package and walk it out of SGS. Easy, right? It’s not, technically, but it’s also not hard. Remember to buy the Blueprint for Hand Grenade as well as 5 Cases + 10 TNT from Lucas with Credits, then make some nice and shiny Frag Mk II’s. I recommend buying out whatever normal Frags are left too, for the bit coming up. If you have credits left over, get the Incendiary Grenade Blueprint and also the 3 Magnesium that Quinton is selling so you can use those next level. Be aware that Incendiary Grenades also need 1 Bottle + 1 Rag, which are found in many barrels or can be bought in Junkyard from Colton on the cheap.
Go to Level 1 in SGS, using the elevator, and head north 1 screen to find a sort of barracks building as well as a dude throwing purple mind orbs at a bunch of rocks. Go into said barracks, into the back room, close the door and open one of the footlockers here to find that package Jack sent you to get. Then carry on northward, where you’ll be stopped by 3 thugs who are easily handled with a Frag Grenade (Mk I). There are also 5 Rathounds on this same map that are worth killing for the XP, but after that head down one of the three staircases here. You’ll find yourself in some creepy tunnels where there are 4 enemies: 1 solo, 1 solo, and 2 together. You can handle them with Net + Burst (or just Burst) and a Mk I Grenade on the duo. Sneaking means you’ll always get the first attack, so you can just initiate combat with enter and throw a grenade at the two grouped up for some free kills. EZ.
Exit via the southeast, near the door with the intercom you can’t do anything with, and you’ll find yourself in another sort of tunnels area. This one’s more difficult and actually has 3 stealthed enemies, though none are in positions that should completely screw you over. Notably, there’s one enemy in what looks like a tan coat that your SMG will be useless against. Handle him with a Mk II Frag, it’s worth it, and take his Tactical Vest. It has +200% (triple) DT against bullets, which is what made your weapon useless. To know what these numbers mean…
You’ll see something like Mechanical: 17% / 3. That means that all Mechanical Damage you take is reduced by 3 or reduced by 17%, dependent on which method of reduction would result in less damage. If you take 4 Mechanical Damage, it’ll reduce 3 so you only take 1. If you take 100 Mechanical Damage, it’ll reduce 17% (17 Damage) because that’s the higher value. Make sense? Armor Penalty is a direct % reduction to your Movement Points and Stealth, and higher is obviously worse. Take note of the +200% Mechanical damage threshold vs bullets – that means the aforementioned 17% / 3 becomes 17% / 9 when it’s protecting against bullets. That’s pretty crazy, but there are plenty of enemies who don’t use bullets. Later on we’ll be carrying two sets of armor, one leather for bonus sneak and crit chance (due to the leather we use) and then a tactical vest like this one for soaking bullets. For now though, keep this one.
It usually has an Antithermic Coat, which reduces Stealth by an absurd amount, so using it may not be ideal. It’s extremely valuable though, especially if we use the Patching Kit from our locker at the start of the game on it. The rest of the enemies here are in leather armor, so are very susceptible to burst. One actually has an Assault Rifle (and will kill the hell out of you with it), but it’s usually not a very good one. As mentioned above, we also don’t reeeaaally have the Guns skill we want to use it yet, either. It should be valuable though, so keep that and repair it to sell as well. Skulking around down here killing dudes will get you to Level 5.
We can make those Magnesium Grenades now (1 Bottle + 1 Magnesium + 1 Rag) with the Incendiary Grenade Blueprint. These are super strong and will light things on fire most of the time, which gives them the Fear status effect that makes them run away screaming. It’s great battlefield control and the damage is actually really high as well. If something catches on fire at this stage, it’s probably going to burn to death before Fear runs out. We’ve now got 55 effective Guns, which’ll let us use an Assault Rifle a little better, but we’re still going to wait. It’s also enough for a Sniper, but the SMG is just fine for GMS Compound. Let’s leave these tunnels back the way we came, up the stairs.
From the map where those thugs and rathounds were, go north and kill the few rathounds here. There’s some loot in a small cubby as well as some frag mines in the eastern area that we can’t disarm, but can perceive very easily due to our high Perception. Just don’t walk on them and you’ll be good. Go west 2 screens from there to find another little area with traps and loot, some of which may actually be on the shopping list from above you get very lucky. Go back east one screen, then south, then west in order to finally actually find the GMS compound. There are some rathounds here as well as a locked door, Jack Quicksilver in a building to finish that quest, and then the GMS Compound proper. We’re not going in yet, though. Handle everything I just mentioned and then return to SGS. Very soon, Credits are going to be useless to us. This is unfortunate, but the rest of Underrail uses Charons with very few exceptions.
That means you should limit your sales here to just trades, and don’t try to amass Credits or anything like that. The only thing I recommend buying here right now is the Blueprint for a Tactical Vest from Lucas, as well as Recycle Item & Repair Kit from Harold. Once you get those, go to Junkyard via the ferry or your legs again.
Here’s the shopping list from before, as a reminder:
- 1 Hornet Assault Rifle Frame of any Quality
- This thing is rare, and usually only sold by Gort or Colton. Buy immediately.
- 1 Reaper Sniper Rifle Frame of 50+ Quality
- 2 Scope Weapon Mods
- 1 Barrel Compensator Weapon Mod
- 1 Soft Padding of ~50 Quality
- 1 Black Cloth of ~50 Quality
- 1 Black Cloth of 50+ Quality
We got some new loot from the human enemies in the tunnels, some of which may be quite valuable, so sell it all here as applicable. On top of that list (and more important than it) however, we have to buy two things:
- 1 Laminated Ballistic Panel of any Quality (Higher is better!)
- 1 Sturdy / Insulated / Biohazard Vest of any Quality (Low is just fine, actually.)
A Reinforced Panel will also do, but will just be slightly less good. It’ll still be more than enough. If you can’t find a Vest here, check SGS! The Quality on it seriously doesn’t matter, you can’t get one that’s very good right now anyway. Remember the Tactical Vest Blueprint we bought? Combine the Panel, Vest, and Psi Beetle Carapace we looted before to make something like the item to the left of this text. That also includes a Black Cloth, though that’s not super necessary at this stage. The ~10 DT this provides (x3 DT vs Bullets) is enough to make you a walking God, even on Hard difficulty. Nothing in the GMS Compound will be a threat to you.
Speaking of, let’s get back there and speak to the guy at the entrance. He’ll let you in and Gorsky will tell you that you need to find a keycard to open the door they’re currently fussing with. You do that by going down, alone, but as mentioned before… This won’t be hard. There are robots that would shred you with their bullets if you didn’t have this armor, and later human enemies, too.
Handle the robots with grenades and any W2C ammo you found on the way here. They’re very resistant to normal bullets, though the few little ones that are there on Normal aren’t so much. They can just be Bursted like normal enemies. The people further down should be comically easy, and will die in 1 – 2 Bursts or 1 Burst + 1 Aimed Shot quite well now. Thanks, Guns Skill! In here, you should get to Level 6 (and maybe 7, depending on those little random dungeons).
We got Ambush here, which takes a bit of explaining. Basically, when you’re standing in a dark square and you attack someone in a lighted square, you get a big bonus to your critical chance. Most of Underrail is ‘dark’, because it’s all underground, so you can pretty much always assume that you’re in a dark square unless you’re near a light source of some kind or inside of a town like SGS. More helpful is that you get a handy-dandy icon next to their name when it’s “on”!
That yellow person man thing means that you are currently benefitting from Ambush if you take the shot. You can activate it yourself in many ways, the easiest of which is to throw either a Flare or an Incendiary Grenade so that they’re standing in the brilliant light of raging flames. At the moment it gives us something like +33% crit chance, which is a lot. Note that it uses your effective Stealth rather than base as well, and you’re going to have a lot of that by endgame.
We crank it up to increase Snipe’s damage, and combined with our crafted gear we will literally get over +100% crit chance with Ambush. That doesn’t actually mean anything, since 100% is the cap, but it does mean we will ALWAYS crit while making use of Ambush. Burst with your Assault Rifle fires 7 bullets once you have the Full-Auto feat, and all 7 of those (assuming they hit) will crit if you are making use of Ambush. This will literally meat grind groups of enemies. Ambush can be kind of finicky, but once you get used to using it you will grind up many foes. I recommend practicing with it during the next few quests, especially the Silent Isle.
For now though, let’s get back to SGS and speak to Tanner. He’ll tell us that we need to go to Junkyard in order to get a circuit board of some kind and give us 250 Charons to work with. Make sure you stop by Vera’s Office on Level 4 as well to pick up her quest to deliver some documents to the Protectorate Embassy in Junkyard. Remember that shopping list from before? Let me re-link it now, because we can actually use the Hornet we make now if we really want.
- 1 Hornet Assault Rifle Frame of any Quality
- This thing is rare, and usually only sold by Gort or Colton. Buy immediately.
- 1 Reaper Sniper Rifle Frame of 50+ Quality
- 2 Scope Weapon Mods
- 1 Barrel Compensator Weapon Mod
- 1 Soft Padding of ~50 Quality
- 1 Black Cloth of ~50 Quality
- 1 Black Cloth of 50+ Quality
If you still can’t find a Hornet Frame, don’t fret too much. It’s not actually necessary to conquer Depot A and we can do just as well by making a much more accessible SMG at that point if we got shafted and didn’t find any Hornet Frames before then. More on that when the time is closer at hand, though! A Hornet also isn’t necessary for anything I’m about to tell you to do, it’ll just make it kind of comically easy rather than vaguely challenging. If you do make it now, make it with a Scope and Barrel Compensator attached in order to bump up your accuracy quite a lot.
Go to the eastern part of Junkyard and talk to Colton, then ask him about the circuit board. He’ll tell you about Old Junkyard, which you should ask him about as well, and he’ll mention that the Black Eels have something called a “wormhole” that’ll get you inside. Go talk to Silas next door about it, and he’ll have a quest for you to collect a debt from a guy named Grover. Grover lives next to Len’s shop in Junkyard’s main market area. Try (and fail) to Intimidate him, which’ll lead to a fight, but don’t kill him. Get him below 50% HP and he’ll stop fighting and tell you about a lady named Treasa that you two can kill together. Do that, or kill them both in the alley, or really whatever you want to do. The world is your oyster! Deliver his head or his debt to Silas and that should be Level 7, or at least very close.
From here, I’m assuming that you’re using the Jackknife you should have picked up in the GMS Compound when Lockpicking. It adds +7 Lockpicking & Traps, only the former of which are very useful to us, and can be kind of a hassle to juggle later when you want to be carrying your AR & Sniper, but… The alternative is to just suck at Lockpicking, which is worse. Our effective Guns is now almost double our base skill, which is because of our high Perception score. Silas’ next quest involves Silent Isle, which we can talk to the ferryman nearby to get to. The gimmick here is that we don’t want to be in the dark! Consider it a good tutorial on what counts as dark vs light, for Ambush. We can use the Mindshrooms on this island for light. Basically, while in the dark, we stack up a “Strange Feeling” debuff. When it hits 5 and tries to stack again, it spawns an evil clone of you that will absolutely kill you – so don’t let that happen.
Hop from Mindshroom to Mindshroom, letting it fall off between them, and kill the group of Rathounds as well as Psi Beetles in any way you can. The Psi Beetles here can group up very easily and start using higher level Psionic powers; if that happens just dump a grenade or you will probably die (or it’ll at least be a huge hassle). The cargo is on the exact opposite side of the island from where you start, and there’s also an Oddity in some rubble here. On the southeast corner of the island is a hidden bridge that leads to a guy with OK loot, too! Get the cargo and head back, then talk to Silas who’ll tell you how to get to the wormhole and that you’re clear to go in. But you’re not, really… There’s still a lot to do around Junkyard. Talk to Silas again afterward about a follow-up job to find a man named Blaine; we’ll do that soon.
Now go west 2 screens to the Scappers’ area, where Gort is, and remember to check him for a Hornet Frame. Vendors restock every 90 min realtime (30 min on max speed)! It’s more like 45min generally though, since time doesn’t pass as far as the game is concerned while you’re in combat. Talk to Gort about the circuit board and he’ll also tell you about Old Junkyard, then tell you to talk to Eddy about getting in. We already have a way in, but we really may as well do any quest we can for XP and money at this point. Make sure not to choose Option 1 on Eddy, which will warn him about the Black Eels – we should side with them because the reward is much better and it’s also generally more rewarding story wise.
Eddy wants you to kill a guy named Elwood, whom you can find in a bar that’s located in an alley near / behind Fixer’s shop. He can also sell Magnesium by the way, generally 3 at a time, if you want to make more Incendiary Grenades. Pay to get into the bar, that’s the easiest way.
Wait for Elwood to come into this dark connecting hallway and then kill him, which should only take a Burst. Maybe also an Aimed Shot, or if you somehow got a really crappy SMG then a Frag Grenade (Mk I) is enough as well. No one saw you do it, though they will come investigate the noise, and thus you won’t get in trouble. Loot him for 2 Oddities, some gear, and the card that Eddy asked you to find. On the way back, stop at the Protectorate Soldiers near Fixer’s shop and tell him that you’d like to see the Ambassador. You do have business there, and if you say your name he’ll remember those documents Vera needed you to hand in.
As you step inside, a soldier will warn you to empty your hands and belt or they will not hesitate to gun you down. Listen to his advice and make sure both hands as well as every belt slot is empty before you continue inside. Head the only way you can (the one with no red-cursor doors) and deliver those documents to the ambassador. He’ll mention some troubles but you can’t actually help him with them (yet), in fact you will literally be helping the other side in just a little bit here. On your way back to Eddy you’ll be stopped by a guy who says that someone at Kareem’s bar (in the main market area) is looking for you. Neat.
Talk to Abram outside of Kareem’s bar and agree to his friendly chat. Choose the options marked with Perception, because those are correct, and confirm that Yes you were allowed to enter the courtyard as well as Yes you can go back if you want. He’ll tell you to collect some free money from Kareem and mention a follow-up job if you did it right. If he doesn’t, you messed up and will need to try again. The important choices are that there are no dogs, and the two Yes options I mentioned. He’ll ask you to deliver a special bug into the vents, there. Let’s do it. This quest is the gateway to a larger network of them later in the game that will get you into a very secret place with a good vendor and the best Lockpick & Haxxor in the game as well. Don’t fuck over Abram unless you want to be locked out of this area, because you can’t get in otherwise.
Continue to Eddy, who’ll tell you that you need to use Elwood’s keycard to break into his house, but let’s go ahead and do Abram’s quest before we handle this one. Go back to the Protecotrate Embassy and then refer to the picture on the next page (Google Docs formatting is something else). Stand there in Stealth and hack the door, then step inside and close it behind you. Loot the room because why not, then step up next to the vent and use that cybernetic spawn that Abram gave you. Leave the room in Stealth as well, then head back to Abram in order to turn this quest in. You get even more free money from this, which is dope! We’ll continue on the next page, because again Google Docs formatting is super bad.
Head back to that alley that you handled Grover and Treasa’s deal in, then enter the southeast building with Elwood’s keycard. In this area are many traps that we can’t disarm (but can see), and three robot sentries. The armor you have is still crazy strong against them, so just handle them like you did in GMS. The final room here has 3 traps, one of which is directly in the way of the footlocker you need to access and can be exploded by just hucking a grenade at it. Loot the footlocker for the strange disk as well as a very high value energy weapon that we can pawn off to Katherine for a large sum, how nice. Return to Eddy and that should be Level 8.
We get another +1 PER here, though our next two attribute increases will be devoted to other stats in order to hit the requirements for certain feats. 12 PER is more than enough to use an Assault Rifle and just enough to use a Sniper Rifle properly, though in the final leg of the game we’ll stretch to 14 and then 16 (via a Veteran Feat) for even more Guns skill and therefore even more precision and damage. We also got Snipe, which means we should probably actually make a Sniper Rifle now. You don’t need – and we can’t really use – any fancy attachments on it right now, so just make a Reaper Frame + Scope + 7.62mm Barrel at the moment. Any Quality above like 30 should work just fine if you’ve had bad luck; we can upgrade again after Depot A when we have many more vendors at our disposal. You can usually find these frames on Len, Gort, and Colton. Optionally, you might be able to find a high Quality one on Blaine who we’ll be visiting in very short order. So, here’s how you use a Sniper Rifle in this game.
If you haven’t moved on any given turn (and also usually on the first turn of combat, right when you start) you’ll have this sort of eye-looking icon on the bottom left of your portrait. This is called Focused, and it does as the tooltip suggests. More than that however, if you look at your freshly made Reaper, you’re going to see it has a -40% Close Quarters Precision penalty and a -30% Move and Shoot precision penalty on it. Those are reduced AFTER all calculations, so even if you technically have enough skill to get more than a 95% hit chance, it will directly reduce 40% or 30% from that 95% rather than from your technical maximum. That means you never want to move before you shoot your sniper rifle, and you also never want to use it to shoot at anything in melee range. Note that if anything’s in melee range at all, your sniper penalty against all enemies is affected because they’re in your way. That’s when to use your Assault Rifle (or SMG at the moment, if you’re still using one of those).
Finally, you might notice that even if you haven’t moved your hit chance is something like 80% or even as low as 60% for no seeming reason. This is because sniper rifles – assault rifles too, though less so – take a penalty for trying to shoot at enemies who are in the dark. This is why we want to light them up (which also makes Ambush go off), but there’s also another way. By now you may have killed 1 or 2 enemies who had Goggles on them, and if you got lucky one of them had Night Vision. A good way to collect several of them is to kill Vince and his goons, who have 3 pairs between them. One usually has night vision, which you can activate for an energy cost and it will then drain more energy as the fight goes on. Basically, save the first pair of Night Vision goggles you get and use them whenever you need to hit a sniper shot. They remove the penalty for shooting at enemies in the dark. At this point either +Crit% or +1 PER Goggles are ideal, but again all that really matters is that they have Night Vision. Katherine may also be selling a pair, but they’ll be quiiite expensive. Much later, we’ll be making our own pair.
Snipe is best used to initiate combat, using the following flowchart.
- Sneak up to an enemy who is ideally already in a lit area. You can be pretty far away.
- If they aren’t in a lit area, activate your Night Vision goggles.
- If you don’t have those, you can Snipe from closer for better accuracy.
- Wait until you see the Focused icon appear on your portrait, then hit Enter.
- Snipe and very likely kill them instantly, removing them from the fight.
- Activate Sprint and make distance, but make sure you still have vision on the area.
- Other enemies will chase you, lining themselves up for Aimed Shots and plain shots.
- If you had to get close to get a good (90%+) hit chance because no goggles…
- They may catch up more quickly, so skip to the end.
- Continue this way until the enemies get close or you’re forced to move before shooting…
- At which point you should clean up with your Assault Rifle (or SMG, at the moment).
Why don’t we test out Snipe with a quest, here? Find a guy named Kohlmeier near Katherine’s shop and be nice to him. He’ll give you a quest to get his knife back and tell you about a secret cave in the Black Eels’ area near the ferryman. You can find it behind the shack near Silas’ building, but it doesn’t show up when you hold Tab or anything. You have to mouse over some rocks and a door icon will appear. You’ll enter a cave with some Rathounds that you can Burst down or just use a grenade. Past that is the house that the man who stole Kohlmeier’s knife is in, Vilmer. In Stealth, open the door and then back up for a few seconds. Opening a door takes AP, and if you enter combat within the next 7 seconds you will still be on that “Turn” and start with reduced AP. Step into the doorway after waiting, then hit Enter to initiate combat after you’re Focused. Your high Stealth means he won’t be able to find you before then.
Snipe Vilmer, and this should either kill him instantly or bring him so low that an Aimed Shot from your AR or SMG will kill him. Single enemy encounters (including the final boss, which we can kill in literally one hit) are the easiest things for you because of Snipe. That said, you may have also found some Adrenaline Shots by now. We’ll be able to make those starting next level, but for now they give us +20 AP. That brings us from 50 ~> 70, and you might have noticed that our 7.62mm Reaper costs exactly 35 AP to fire. That means if an enemy is particularly sturdy, we can Snipe ~> Adrenaline ~> Aimed Shot and that will decimate anything. Now is the time to tell you that sniper rifles can be slightly frustrating.
A feat we get soon called Shooting Spree causes our kills to refund the AP used to fire (with limitations) and also reduces the CD of itself and Aimed Shot by 1 with every sniper kill we get. This sounds amazing, and it is, but this is Underrail. There will be multiple times – dozens – throughout the game where you will miss a 95% sniper shot and have no choice but to groan, hang your head, and either pop Adrenaline to try a second shot (which may also miss, if Styg really hates you) or find some way to clean up with your Assault Rifle or grenades instead. While the urge to quickload may be severe at these points, I don’t recommend you do it. Fights aren’t meant to go perfect, and the fact we have 6 CON as well as other options like the AR and grenades means that we literally came prepared for the situation in which we miss that shot. It’ll just cost a few more resources to beat, and that’s how life works. Things go wrong sometimes.
Also, enemies will sometimes have ways to hit line of sight on you that randomly don’t let you shoot them back without moving a tiny bit. That’s more frustrating because it’s a terrible game mechanic in which the enemy is literally cheating, but you can “fix” it by just not relying on corners to land sniper shots. Whenever possible, you should be moving (usually Sprinting) directly backward and forcing enemies to move out in the open to catch up with you. Trying to abuse corners so they can’t shoot you back makes sniper rifles a lot more annoying to use and will cause you to rely far more on your AR because you’ll have to move tiny bits and totally kill your sniper accuracy that way. We have 6 CON so that we can take a few hits, so it’s okay if you have to open yourself up to a little bit of enemy fire in order to secure next turn’s shot.
Now that that tirade is over, let’s get back to the game! Loot the house Vilmer is in for ~250 Charons and also his gear, but don’t leave via the front door. We’re trespassing and will get in trouble if we open that, so go back through the secret cave and give the poor bum his stolen knife back. I like to repair it first as well, though you don’t get anything for doing that or anything. It just gives me the warm fuzzies. C:
From there, go east into Katherine’s shop nearby and ask her about the guy named Blaine that Silas told us to find. She knows where he is, but we have to pay 100 Charons in order to get that information. Vilmer just bankrolled this and then some with the footlocker in that house, so we’re all good. She’ll tell you where he is, and that’s at the door with the intercom in the tunnels near SGS from a whiiile ago. Take the ferry back to SGS and head there, then choose Option 2 on the intercom to unlock the door. Blaine’s in there, and he will tell you what you need.
However, he’s also the best vendor we can get access to before Depot A. His inventory is very random, but he can have things like Hornet Frames and even rare weapon components like Rapid Reloaders (that we don’t need right now, but will later). He’s also always got the Tabi Boots Blueprint, which you should either buy and use on a high quality Black Cloth or just buy a pair of Black Cloth Tabi that he’s usually selling if you’re lazy. It should give something like 15 – 20 Sneak, but more importantly it’ll give a bunch of Movement Points as well. I made the pair on the left here. These will let us create even more distance between ourselves and the enemy, which is a fine trade in exchange for the +3% chance to be critically hit.
Blaine can have Quality all the way up to 100(!!) or so, but we can’t really use anything THAT crazy high right now. If you get a Q80 Hornet Frame or something, you’re about to completely detroy Depot A with that thing. If you haven’t already made these weapons, now is the time to shop around SGS (for the components) and Junkyard (for the components and anything that has Quality) for the last time. Vendors restock every 90 ingame minutes as I mentioned before, or 30 while at max speed. You can also use Cheat Engine to go at like 100x speed and have it happen every 5 minutes or so, if you really can’t get a stupid Hornet Frame.
Once you have the items, you should make or already have…
- Hornet Frame + 7.62mm Barrel + Scope + Barrel Compensator
- Jaguar (SMG) Frame, if you couldn’t find this. Forward Grip instead of Scope.
- Reaper Frame + 7.62mm Barrel + Scope (You should have made this already!)
- Laminated Panel + Psi Beetle Carapace Tac Vest (You made this for GMS!)
- Black Cloth Tabi
We have one more thing we need to do before we head into Depot A, and that’s head to the Siphoner Pools. Go south out of Junkyard, then west, then north once you hit a pool with a mindshroom. There are no visible enemies on this map, but Siphoners will jump out of the water if you walk by them unstealthed here. That means we can’t use Snipe, and in fact our sniper rifle is not the thing to use here. Once a Siphoner jumps out of the water, immediately hit Enter to force initiate combat! Burst with your Hornet, then use Aimed Shot with it, then activate Sprint and create as much distance as you can. Suppressive Fire will reduce its crazy high Movement so that it can’t catch up, and the next turn’s Burst SHOULD kill it.
There are two fights with 2 Siphoners here, I recommend using a Magnesium Grenade to light one or both of them on fire if you can. Siphoners are very evasive, meaning nets aren’t a sure shot, or I’d recommend those instead. If you want to prepare even further, you can lay down some Bear Traps (which you can buy from Kendrick in Junkyard) to Sprint back to and catch them in while they chase you. These can’t be put down during combat, though. If you do use Bear Traps, you’ll have a 95% on anything stuck in them. That includes with your sniper rifle, but these have so much HP that even an Aimed Shot from your Reaper may not be enough to completely kill them. Still, they’re not so hard once you either have them trapped or Suppressed.
One of them should drop a Siphoner Leather, and you ideally want 50+ Quality. If you don’t get that it’s fine and won’t matter much because we have enough CON to deal with a little bit of chip Acid damage. That’s why we need this, by the way! Use the ~Q50 Soft Padding & Black Cloth to make an armor like the one that you can see beside this text. A ‘meh’ Siphoner Leather Armor has 6 Acid DT, a ‘good’ one has 7 Acid DT, and a ‘great’ one has 8 Acid DT. This is dependent on Quality, and the amount of Sneak you’ll get is also dependent on the Quality of the Soft Padding and Black Cloth. It should be around 30, maybe a little less! Note that Ambush’s crit chance goes up with Stealth and so does Snipe’s damage, meaning that boosting our Stealth is actively increasing those on top of our ability to hide.
Siphoners are high-value XP monsters, so you should hit Level 9. If you didn’t, go kill Vince and his goons for some easy and quick XP. I would start by Sniping Vince from the east, then follow up with a grenade and duck around the corner there. Make distance by heading south while throwing a Flare at your feet, and enemies should step right into it for convenient sniping. Be very careful with Burst here, because any unit caught in it will be Suppressed (even if they didn’t get hit) and catching civilians in your Burst cone causes them (and most of Junkyard) to get angry and go hostile on you. That’s, uh… Not what you want to happen.
Now we’re ready for Depot A, for more than one reason. Remember those organs that I told you to stash in your locker? We can make use of them now, particularly Adrenaline Glands. Stop by Fixer to pick up all of his Ampules, Syringes, and the Blueprint for Adrenaline Shot. Additionally, visit Gort and buy all his Hexogen plus the same amount of Frag Grenade Cases. Then, take the ferry to SGS and visit Quinton in the Agronomy & Pens level. Buy the Extract Humor and Process Plant or Fungus Blueprints, then head to the Medical level and buy out Pasquale’s Ampules and Syringes as well. Finally, stop by Lucas in the Armory and buy all of his Hexogen and the same amount of Frag Grenade Cases as well.
Head to your Private Quarters and take all of your Adrenal Glands out of your locker, then use Extract Humor to turn them into 1 Adrenaline each. 1 Adrenaline + 1 Syringe in the Adrenaline Shot Blueprint will make one of those, and I recommend you keep ~20 on you at any given time. You can also use the Hand Grenade Recipe with 1 Hexogen and 1 Case in order to make Frag Grenade Mk III’s now, which are enough to severely weaken everything in Depot A and kill some of it outright. If you did happen to find the Focus Stim Blueprint before now, though it’s rare, you can make that with 1 Adrenaline + 1 Blood (from Hearts) + 1 Taurine (from Intestines) + 1 Syringe. Focus Stims add +15% Crit Chance for 10 Turns, which is amazing.
Start carrying Ampules on you whenever you can, as it’s much more cost and weight effective to Extract organs and Process plants the moment you get them than to lug them around in their larger, more weighty form. You should also try to find or buy a Doctor’s Belt, which Kendrick and Fixer in Junkyard sometimes carry, to reduce the cost of using all medications down to 2 AP. That’ll let you pop a bunch of drugs in every fight at almost no cost, and is preferable to a Bullet Strap Belt because we won’t really be in a fight that requires us to reload… Almost ever.
Let’s talk about AP economy, before we go into Depot A. You have 50 normally, as I mentioned before, or 70 with an Adrenaline Shot. Since we can make Adrenaline Shots for almost free now, we have no reason not to use it whenever we need to, and we will need to in almost every non-trivial fight. That’s fine, believe it or not, and is half the reason this build works. Adrenaline lasts 3 Turns, after which you get -15 AP for 4 Turns. We want to end fights before it runs out for obvious reasons, but it’s okay if there’s like an enemy or two left when it wears off, legitimately.
Our Assault Rifle costs 11 AP to fire and 33 AP to Burst. Our Sniper Rifle costs 35 AP to fire. Adrenaline will let us do one of a few things…
- Snipe + Aimed Shot (70 AP) on the first turn.
- This is an incredible opener, and is how you should start most fights.
- Aimed Shot + Burst (68 AP) with the Hornet on other turns.
- You can also just take a normal sniper shot, especially if you have Ambush.
- This leaves 2 AP, which is just enough to pop a Focus Stim beforehand.
- Burst twice (66 AP) with the Hornet.
- This deals a ton of damage at the cost of 10 (later 14) Ammo…
- But is the best option if we absolutely can’t take any shot without moving.
- This leaves 4 AP, again for a Focus Stim and maybe another drug.
- Throw a Grenade + Burst or Aimed Shot (48 or 50 AP).
- You can do this without Adrenaline, as it’s <50 AP.
- It also leaves room for 1 – 2 plain Assault Rifle shots to clean up with Adrenaline.
These apply for the whole game, although later you’ll be using an Assault Rifle that costs 10 instead of 11 AP and a Sniper Rifle that costs 32 instead of 35 AP. They’ll also have a Rapid Reloader on them, which I mentioned above, that has a decent chance to refund 10 – 20 AP with each shot they take. Burst sadly only counts as one ‘shot’ for that, but they can both activate once per weapon per turn. If you get rather lucky and that happens, you just earned another free Burst. More on that when we get there, however.
As I said before, you’re now ready for Depot A with these new drugs and grenades. There’s also several areas you can explore to eke out another entire level (and then some) of XP before you go in, if you want to head off the beaten path. You’re still very limited at this time by rocks that you can’t pass until you conquer Depot A, and with one or two exceptions you can’t really go anywhere that will completely obliterate you right now. You can choose to explore and get that extra level or head into Depot A, which I won’t be covering outside of the tips I already gave you. Open with Snipe, use Grenades and Incendiaries, Sneak around otherwise, aaand remember to turn off the turrets for a much easier time. You can do that from the Wormhole entrance, on that same map. Additionally, wear your Tac Vest in the underground / “constructed” areas and your Siphoner Leather Armor above ground where there are acid friends.
You’ll hit Level 10 in Depot A, if you didn’t already go exploring, and can pick up Shooting Spree. This gives you a hilariously strong ability that causes your first sniper kill after you activate it to refund the AP you spent on the shot. Activating Shooting Spree does NOT break Stealth, so always use this before you Snipe in order to essentially get that shot for free. At Level 16, we’ll Specialize this so that it’s the first two shots instead, which is even better. Note that any kill with your sniper rifle, whether under the effect of Shooting Spree or otherwise, will reduce both Shooting Spree and Aimed Shot’s cooldown by 1 Turn. You can really mow dudes down if you catch them at a distance, make good use of Ambush, and pop off Aimed Shot whenever it’s off cooldown as well. Extremely high Stealth ensures that nothing outside of turrets and other units with “perfect sight” will see you and you can always start a fight from exactly where you want to, as well. It also means that Snipe’s damage will keep climbing until it’s dealing something like 4,000+ damage at endgame. For reference, most difficult enemies have 400 or 500 Health at maximum on Normal and Hard and the final boss himself only has like 2,000. We literally kill him before he can see us with Snipe.
Once you’ve conquered Depot A, speak to Tanner and you’ll get a timeskip with a cutscene. The world is now open to you, and you can access 3 new cities via the train at Level 1 of SGS. You should visit these immediately, as the train only costs 25 Charons and you should have let’s say a lot more than that by this point. Core City is where you want to go first, and may need to be your only stop if you get quite lucky. I don’t recommend exploring here, as you’ll get mugged and killed pretty easily, but staying in civilized areas will keep you out of trouble.
The merchants here can have stuff with Quality up to 100 if you’re lucky, but usually no higher than 80 or 90 otherwise. Try to secure a Q70 – 80 Hornet & Reaper Frame here or in Foundry. Make the same thing you did before but better Quality, so a Hornet with Scope + Barrel Compensator and a Reaper with a Scope. You can also use a crappy Smart Module from Junkyard if you want, since we have a little bit of Electronics, but it won’t make a huge difference at the moment. Also, buy the Focus Stim Blueprint from Heidi in Core City. Note that Smart Module is useless on the Assault Rifle, as it does not increase the damage of Burst. It’s only good on the Sniper Rifle because it DOES increase the damage of Snipe and Aimed Shot considerably. I’m not going to tell you where to go from here, but I recommend either following the main questline or going out and exploring a bit. Whatever suits your fancy. We can handle most things from the get go with some smart play, though some stuff like Crawlers are always a hassle on any build at any level.
Hey! You! Yeah, you! Important stuff!
I wouldn’t usually do this, but you need a few warnings.
I’m going to make this as vague as possible. The final part of the game, known as the Deep Caverns, is intensely difficult and very tedious. It can’t be made any less difficult or tedious, but it can be made MORE of those things if you do a few things wrong over the course of the game. These are things you wouldn’t think are wrong, or you might think they’re morally wrong, but you definitely wouldn’t think that they affect the final part of the game so severely. With that in mind, I’m going to give exactly three pieces of advice that will make sense when you get there.
Someone in Foundry is going to ask you to investigate some Faceless nearby. Resolve this peacefully by speaking with them, following a lead you get at the bar, and then telling them that the object they desire is not in Foundry. They will leave without a fuss. If you already finished the main quest at Rail Crossing, they can just be told the result of that and will also leave.
Speaking of Rail Crossing, solve that as stealthily as possible and do not shoot at or engage any Faceless in the process. The one in the final room will speak to you rather than attack you outright. Allow it to do its thing and then either Persuade it (60 skill, you’ll have that at Lv15) to let Buzzer live or you might not need to if you’ve done some other quests and learned some things about a dude named Cornell. Either way, do not kill any Faceless here. Stealth, stealth, stealth. Doing the side quest to shut down all the robots they have is borderline necessary, here.
In Core City, you will find a Faceless in a cage near a very large tunneling drill. Immediately give him a Health Hypo and respectfully part ways. These three chance meetings are all triggers that will affect your time at the final leg of the game. As I said, they won’t make it easier, but they will remove one incredibly annoying and difficult thing that you’d otherwise have to deal with if you handled these situations violently or at least not peacefully. Also, make sure you like actually handle or encounter these three situations before you get to the end of the game. Of course.
That’s all, I think! A nice foreboding warning, and stuff. Let’s carry on.
From here, I’ll go level by level with maybe a suggestion or two as to what to do at these points.
25 Electronics here allows us to use an Anatomically Aware Scope on our Assault & Sniper Rifles for bonus Critical Damage, but I wouldn’t recommend that until Lv14 when we get Critical Power. Accuracy is more important at this stage than damage, anyway. We’ve started boosting Persuasion here, but not to the level where we can really do anything with it. I recommend taking Big Bret’s quest to check on Camp Hathor and also Harold’s quest to find some battery schematics, because they both take place in the same area and it’s rather forgiving to a new player. If you didn’t get Night Vision goggles before now, buy some at the Electronics Vendor in Core City, Foundry, or Rail Crossing. Again, it doesn’t matter what the goggles actually do, just that they have Night Vision. +1 PER is just fine and will be inexpensive compared to the marginally more useful +Crit%.
We can now use TNT, which you can buy at Lucas 3 at a time, to break the Rocks that caged us in during the tutorial. You can also just head to Foundry on the train and pick up a Jackhammer from the mine for free, which will be able to remove Rocks one at a time at the cost of batteries and also 20 lbs of weight that you have to carry around. Even with that cost, the Jackhammer is much more convenient than constantly buying TNT, so I recommend it. You still need 1 TNT in order to finish Camp Hathor’s first quest, that said!
I mentioned it above, but just in case, make sure you go to Core City and buy the Focus Stim Blueprint from Heidi at the pharmacy. It’s an incredible +15% Crit Chance for 2 AP (thanks to our Doctor’s Belt), and its materials are relatively low cost. You’ll find the items you need – Adrenal Glands, Large Intestines, and Hearts – on all animals for free. You can also buy these parts from Quinton at SGS in small amounts, and I recommend it!
We get +1 STR here and that allows us to pick up the Full-Auto feat. This causes Burst to fire 7 shots instead of 5, which is amazing! We could make it 9 if we used a Muzzle Brake on our Hornet, but there’s no room for that later and I value Precision much higher than I do extra bullets at this stage of the game. The Barrel Compensator is the better choice. You should be getting good use out of both weapons at the moment, depending on where you are.
Wide open areas like caves or corridors where you can safely retreat to lure enemies back are easy sniper rifle killzones. Anything indoors or in tighter quarters is probably best left to the assault rifle, though you do still want to try and set up a Snipe ~> Aimed Shot opening almost no matter where you are. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t have to move before you shoot, and nothing’s in melee with you, the sniper rifle is the obvious go-to. If you do have to move, or enemies are in such large numbers that killing 1 – 2 of them won’t mean anything, suppress them while killing what you can with Burst and ideally duck around a nearby corner. They’ll come closer, at which point you can pop back out and clean up with Burst or a grenade.
Even more Persuade here, and enough to do something at least. Go to Foundry and speak to Dan, then ask him to tell you something about Foundry. He’ll tell you to buzz off, but if you talk to him again he’ll mention that a man named Kevin near the entrance illegally sells firearms. 30 Persuade is all we need to gain access to that when we speak to Kevin, and he has good quality Frames as well as ammo. A fantastic early game vendor, though he falls off.
If you want to plan your crafting and the like, by the way, you may want to skip ahead to my Faction Choices section. Some actions you take may move you along toward a certain faction, especially when it comes to Protectorate and Free Drones, without you realizing. After you handle the Faceless at Rail Crossing problem, you have to find a missing train – that’s what triggers the choice between these two factions. Secure the train if you want to join the Protectorate and allow it to be stolen if you want to help the Free Drones. The former gives you better access to weapon parts while the latter gives you other important things like Black Cloth and Soft Padding.
I highly recommend planning ahead here, because you don’t want to screw yourself out of an important resource. Locking in one of these will affect which Oligarch you support, but note that the Oligarch has a much more minor effect on the story than this one. Obviously the choice between a militarized group and a group of anarchists is a big roleplaying one, but just be aware that it may also affect how you look at which Oligarch you’ll choose. If you don’t want to choose based on rewards, you can go for roleplay, but know that buying a high Quality Hornet and Reaper Frame is very difficult outside of the Protectorate or Praetorian Security!
We now have the Persuasion we need to convince SGS to help the Black Eels against the Scrappers, if you completed Blaine’s quest and have reached that point. Simply talk to Tanner about it and call a meeting, then choose option 2 or 3 (both should work). We got Critical Power here, which is a very strong feat that increases our damage by a lot. Now, or soon, may be the time to make new weapons. I recommend checking around, particularly Blaine and Oskar in Core City, to try and buy 2 Rapid Reloaders. Once you have them, you can make…
- Hornet Frame + 8.6mm Barrel + Anatomically Aware Scope + Rapid Reloader
- This is 10 AP Shot / 30 AP Burst, and uses high caliber (stronger) ammo!
- Reaper Frame + 8.6mm Barrel + Anatomically Aware Scope + Rapid Reloader
- This is 32 AP Shot and uses high caliber (stronger) ammo!
- Add a crappy Smart Module if you want, but it’s not necessary.
At this point, I recommend buying the Incendiary Ammunition Blueprint from Kevin in Foundry. He’s usually carrying it. 8.6mm has this unique ammo type which you can make with 30 8.6mm Casings + 1 Magnesium + 1 TNT + 1 Steel / Tungsten / Tichrome Plates. This isn’t useful for your Sniper Rifle, which wants to be using normal or W2C ammo, but is absolutely amazing for your Assault Rifle. It gives you an incredible way to activate Ambush by setting stuff in your Burst cone on fire. That removes the need to spend AP on grenades, though it can be time consuming to mass produce this stuff due to the variety of items required. I didn’t find it that bad, but I can understand that some people might. C:
This level should be a pretty big damage jump due to both Critical Power and the Anatomically Aware Scopes, and it’ll only continue to spike upward from here.
We now have the Persuasion that we need to finish Rail Crossing’s Faceless issue without having Fixer killed and also to handle Camp Hathor’s Rathound King quest in in the most peaceful and least bloody way. We’re starting to boost Chemistry and Biology again in preparation for next level, where both will get a jump thanks to the fact we’re adding +1 INT. These are good quests to be handling right about now, and you might want to consider gaining access to the upgradable vendors in your next few levels as well. That’s…
Blaine and Kevin, who we already have access to, thankfully. There’s Fraser (if you went with Protectorate) or Becket (if you went with Free Drones). There’s also the Oligarch vendors, but those don’t actually become vendors until you pass a point in the main story that’s after Rail Crossing. If you need a hint, join up with one of them and then compete in the Arena for a little while to gain some fame. I recommend sipping a Root Soda from the bar next door for +5 Initiative, as going first in Arena is kind of how you win. Then there’s Constantine, who you might want to look up how to access. It involves Abram and Jack Quicksilver’s Core City quests and doing them in a specific (kind of ‘perfect’) way. In just 5 Levels we’ll be able to access their upgraded inventories (3 for Blaine and 4 for Kevin) which will let us begin collecting high Quality goods for our endgame crafts.
Another rather big level; but that’s pretty much all of them until about 24. We get +1 INT which boosts our crafting skills a bit and gives us access to several new drugs as well as a new grenade. We can now make Napalm Grenades with the Incendiary Grenade Blueprint and, you guessed it, Napalm C. This is a rare find at weapon shops as well as Kevin and Fraser or Becket (so our faction choice doesn’t matter too much there). It can also sometimes be found on Constantine, but you can get by with Magnesium for the whole game to be completely honest. Napalm’s still pretty scary, that said.
We also grab the Commando feat, which means that every time we kill something with Burst we get another free Burst to use on that turn. This gives us even more actions per turn, just in case Shooting Spree’s refunding wasn’t enough. Oh, by the way, we finally get Specialization and also make Shooting Spree that much better. Investing in “Shooting Spree: Shots” causes it to refund an additional shot so long as it’s a killing blow. Since both Snipe and Aimed Shot are pretty much guaranteed kills, that means we always get them at no AP cost unless we miss. In just our first Turn with Adrenaline, we can…
- Activate Shooting Spree, then Snipe (which is refunded).
- -1 Turn to Shooting Spree’s Cooldown for this kill.
- Aimed Shot (which is refunded).
- -1 Turn to Shooting Spree AND Aimed Shot’s Cooldown for this kill.
- Burst with Incendiary Ammo to activate Ambush (if we kill a thing, we get a free Burst).
- Two Regular Sniper Shots w/ Ambush (which will almost always crit).
- -1 Turn to Shooting Spree AND Aimed Shot’s Cooldown for each kill.
- Use our free Burst to clean up.
That’s one Turn, and you don’t even need a lot of luck to make that happen. Missing any of those sniper shots will suck, but we still have two Bursts (one that costs AP, one free) to lean back on if we do miss and Shooting Spree goes awry. Our power continues to spike, this time through action economy, and it will again at Lv18, 20, and 22 if you can believe that.
We’re now starting to raise Mercantile, though we can’t access anything special just yet. We will get slightly better prices on stuff now, with hilariously good prices starting in just three levels. You can amass tens of thousands of Charons very easily on Normal, sometimes clearing out a vendor’s stock of them with a single weapon, though it takes a bit more work on Hard. Definitely start working toward those vendors I mentioned now, because we’re going to have enough Mercantile to use them to their fullest potential very soon.
I hope you like making weapons, because we just picked up Gun Nut. If you don’t care and are already doing great, please feel free to keep going with your Q80 – 90 Hornet and Reaper. You can wait until we have access to Kevin next level or even Fraser or Lieutenant Statford’s Tier 2 inventories in 1 – 2 levels before you make new stuff. Gun Nut increases the upper damage range of our crafted firearms by 15%. This is pretty funny on sniper rifles, because you can Aimed Shot for like 8,000 in endgame if you land high on the range, but is actually most useful for your assault rifles. Burst fires 7 shots, which means we’re going to hit the upper damage range at some point in there unless we get very unlucky. A single Burst crit is enough to kill if not nearly kill most enemies even on Hard by the end of the game, so yeah.
If you hadn’t noticed, our Specialization points are now going toward reducing the cooldown of Shooting Spree. It’ll be done at Lv20, which will make it a 6 but actually more like a 1.5 – 2 Turn cooldown if we effectively reduce it via sniper kills and don’t get unlucky. I was able to use it twice in many fights (more than that in the native invasions in the DLC) and it felt fantastic.
I really recommend advancing the main story here, and choosing an Oligarch. Do their quests and then the arena until they have more quests, then handle the Acid Hunters so that you get the house in Core City. You can pay to clear out the basement, then buy work benches that will increase your crafting skills by 15% while you’re in the basement of your house. The build’s planned to assume you’re using those, and you’re gaining access to literal endgame materials in just 2 levels. Speaking of, you can upgrade Blaine’s inventory now, but he’s so random that he’s not really worth waiting for restocks on.
We’re stopping investing in Stealth here, because 100 is enough to make Snipe ‘very good’ and we have better stuff to spend those points on. We do get back to Stealth eventually, mostly to beef up Snipe’s damage and Ambush’s crit chance a little more, but what we have now is more than serviceable. You can talk to Kevin and use Mercantile to get to his Tier 2 goods now, which include Q120 or so weapon parts that you may find desirable. You don’t need the house work bench to craft with those, but it’s not super worth restocking him when we get access to either Fraser or Lieutenant Stratford’s (depending on faction choice) Tier 2 in one level.
If you do find a Q100+ Hornet or Reaper Frame on him, that said, definitely buy and make that. There’s no real reason not to, you should have a fair amount of Charons stocked up at this stage. Again, try to work toward getting the house and also joining the factions you want. We’re coming up on Crafting Time for our endgame everything in these next five levels, here.
Another “lots of stuff” level. We’re back to investing in +1 PER, which’ll get our Guns up again, although at this point it’s not super necessary for anything more than damage. There are some plenty evasive enemies, that said, especially in the Expedition DLC. Speaking of, you can probably do that now, but I wouldn’t go without making your endgame guns at the very least. You can now access the Tier 2 inventories of all the Oligarch vendors, Constantine, and also Fraser or Becket depending on if you went Protectorate or Free Drones. Shop around and try to find / buy the shopping list below… But you don’t need it all now, or anything. The electronics and tailoring stuff in particular can wait, while the weapons are a little more urgent. Especially if you want to move on to the DLC, which will more or less require you have good weapons.
- 1 Hornet Frame of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Protectorate or Praetorian)
- 1 Reaper Frame of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Protectorate or Praetorian)
- 2 Rapid Reloaders (Protectorate, Blaine, Kevin, or Oskar)
- 2 Anatomically Aware Scopes (Any Weapon or Electronics Vendor)
- 1 Rathound Leather of Quality 50+ (Rathounds or Camp Hathor)
- 1 Laminated Ballistic Panel of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Protectorate or Free Drones)
- 1 Biohazard Vest of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Protectorate or Free Drones)
- 1 Smart Module of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Coretech or Constantine)
- 1 High Efficiency Energy Converter of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Coretech or Constantine)
- 2 Low Frequency Shield Modulators of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Coretech or Constantine)
- 1 Seeker Lens of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Coretech or Constantine)
- 2 Plasma Cores of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Coretech or Constantine)
- 2 or 3 Black Cloth of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Free Drones or JKK)
- 1 is for Ninja Tabi, but you can just buy a pair (35+ Stealth) easy at Constantine.
- If you didn’t go Free Drones, you may have to settle with 100 ~ 120 on this.
- Use Marty or Derica, but you need to have handled the Acid Hunters first.
- 1 Soft Padding of Quality 130 ~ 150 (Free Drones or JKK)
- If you didn’t go Free Drones, you may have to settle with 100 ~ 120 on this.
- Use Marty or Derica, but you need to have handled the Acid Hunters first.
All of these goods go up to 160 Quality, and you can’t craft anything higher than 140 or so unless you have that house workbench. You CAN work with Q160 goods, but you will need to use both the workbench and pop a Hypercerebrix Pill (which you can learn to make in the DLC, and it’s very easy) for +2 INT as well. You may also need to eat an Under Pie for +3 to All Skills, which you can find at most food vendors. If you really want to go that crazy, including the act of restocking to get Q160+ stuff, you can. Just know that it will take a good while, or… Cheating.
At the moment all you can make from these goods is your endgame weapons (Q130+). Note that if you do make a sniper rifle now, you’ll want to make another one when we have enough Electronics to attach the Smart Module that’s on our shopping list. That adds up to 60%(!!) to special attack damage, which is Snipe and Aimed Shot. It’s how we get to the many thousand damage mark. You can also get Smart Goggles, but I much preferred Seeker Goggles for situations where I either couldn’t or was too lazy to activate Ambush. We can get 55 – 60% base critical chance with those, the armor, and Focus Stims in the endgame. Okay, that was long! You can make weapons now, though only your AR won’t be remade from here!
I forgot to mention, but we got Concentrated Fire at the last level. It increases Burst’s damage overall and takes it from ‘pretty strong’ to ‘okay wow’ real quick. We’re now upgrading Critical Power via Specialization points as well, which will continue to spike our power level all the way to 30 when we finish it. Our main investment at the moment is Electronics, which is going to let us make our endgame Goggles, Energy Shield & Sniper Rifle in 2 levels. We also got enough Persuade to handle the Protectorate Deserters quest in the best way (75) last level, just in case you went Protectorate and couldn’t find a way to fix that one via Persuasion. Speaking of, now is a good time to start exploring Upper Underrail (where the Protectorate base is). Stuff here is kinda strong, but so are we now. It’s actually a pretty small area, all told.
Have you spoken with Dude in Rail Crossing yet? His questline leads to a very convenient form of fast travel that I do recommend taking the time to do. It helps a lot with merchant restocks, and is a good chunk of XP (like a full level) for the whole thing. Way more XP, like a kind of broken amount, if you choose a more violent route than sneaky at a certain point.
We got Sharpshooter now, which further increases our critical damage bonus when we have Focused. That’s only with the sniper rifle, it doesn’t affect our assault rifle at all, but it basically just makes the sniper stronger in… Any situation where you’d use the sniper. A no-brainer. If you want, you can gather up some Q80 ~ 100 electronic parts (from the list above) and make ‘baby’ versions of the stuff you need now. I did and didn’t regret it, it just took like one trip between all the electronics vendors in the game. That’s…
- Goggles Frame + Seeker Lens + Image Intensifier Tube + Plasma Core
- Shield Emitter + 2x Low Frequency Modulator + High Efficiency Converter
Also, if you have the electronics workbench in your house, you can now make that endgame sniper rifle with a proper Smart Module. It’ll increase the damage of special attacks by 50% ~ 60%, which is hilarious and deadly. Next level, we’ll be able to make our endgame electronics. Keep on shoppin’, that’s half of the endgame.
Electronics is now where it needs to be for several things. We can make our endgame Goggles and Energy Shield using the ingredients above at Q130 ~ 150. If you went Coretech, you can have those easily by now. If you’ve been checking Constantine, you may still be missing one or two pieces… Especially the Seeker Lens, which is kind of annoying from anyone but Coretech. Additionally, whether you went Coretech and can buy the Blueprint or have to explore in the Expedition DLC, you can make Mk III Plasma Grenades now. These things are toasty, but not suuuper necessary against anything when we have our crazy Bursts. Just a good backup.
This is the last attribute point we get to allocate, and it’s +1 PER. We will get more PER later via Veteran Feat, two more in fact, but this is it for personal investment. Our Guns’ effective value is now almost exactly double its base skill, which is why we’re doing so much damage. We also get Nimble, which has numerous effects on us. It removes our Armor Penalty (we never wear more than 15% in endgame) which gives us a bit more Movement to work with and also stops penalizing our Stealth at all. That buffs Ambush and more importantly Snipe, which is the real reason we take it. It’s a damage upgrade, technically, in a roundabout way.
Speaking of Tailoring, if you have some of the stuff up above, you can now make your endgame Tactical Vest. Now is when I’d recommend doing the Expedition DLC for sure on that note, since the vest will have very good Bio protection. There is an inordinate amount of Bio Damage in the DLC, enough that you’ll pretty much want to wear this your entire time there. That’s also because you can’t Stealth on a jetski, for obvious reasons, and a Tac Vest is more helpful against damage than Leather Armor. You want to make…
- Laminated Ballistic Panel + Biohazard Vest + Black Cloth
- Leave the other slot empty; it just increases Armor Penalty too much.
Mine had 26% / 12 Mechanical and 47% / 19 Bio, which is the part that really matters. We do still want to wear this if we’re going to get shot at, but its real strength lies in the fact that there is so damn much Bio damage in the Expedition DLC. While on a jetski you’re either being shot at (which this helps), hit by Bio damage (which this helps), or hit by grenades (which nothing helps). You can’t use your Energy Shield on a jetski for some insane reason, so we’re stuck relying on armor and that means we need something a little more durable than leather. Did you get that Rathound Leather, by the way? Now is the time, for next level. If you haven’t handled The Beast in Foundry, go do that right now as well. W2C ammo in your sniper rifle makes it hilariously easy, and Kevin’s Tier 2 inventory usually has something like 50 8.6mm W2C ammo in it. There’s nothing stopping you from beating the hell out of this quest, and we need to soon.
We now have enough Tailoring to make Infused Rathound Leather Armor, which needs The Beast quest to be done. Speak to Bernard in Foundry, who’s at the large furnace (Gloria) and ask him about making Super Steel. He’ll tell you that you can make it from melted down Charons, and each of them costs 3,000. That’s a pretty paltry sum at the moment, though the 9k you need to make three plates at a time (which is recommended) may actually be a large hit. You basically want one that’s at least Q130, but the plates you get every time are random.
We can game it, though. If you quicksave before you head in to the map with Gloria on it, then either wait 2 hours (45min or so at max speed) or use Cheat Engine to speed things up. Get the plates and check their Quality, and if they’re not up to your standards just quickload and try again. Their Quality is generated when you first enter that map rather than when you talk to him, so that’s why we saved at that specific point. Once you have that, speak to Leonie at the entrance of Foundry about turning them into Fibers. They retain their Quality when you do.
Buy the Infused Leather Blueprint from her, then combine it with your Rathound Leather to make one of probably 110 ~ 130 Quality or so. Then…
- Infused Rathound Leather + Soft Padding + Black Cloth
Make that armor, which should give something like +10% crit. Maybe 11%, if you got quite lucky. It should also increase Stealth by a lot, obviously! More than the Tactical Vest, because it has two pieces that increase Stealth rather than just the cloth. This is what you should wear when you’re not going to be shot at, aren’t in the Expedition DLC, aren’t in a certain part of Deep Caverns, and… Basically just all the time, except when it’s obvious that you might want some kind of bullet or Bio protection. You’ll notice both of our armors have 10% Armor Penalty, which means Nimble is completely removing it. Nice!
Welcome to Veteran Feats! We grab Increased Perception, which adds +2 PER and brings us to 16. We’ve also filled out Persuasion enough to pass every check in the game and we have enough Mercantile to access the Tier 2 Inventory of Efreitor Hanna in the Institute if we want. We don’t actually have… Much use for it… Because the factions we likely joined give us everything we need. Still, if you made roleplay choices or have some things left on your list, you may as well gain access to it and shop around. She’s also another good ammo vendor, so hey.
Everything from here is essentially gravy, so I don’t have much to say on our levels from here. We have everything we need, it’s just Stealth for Snipe / Ambush and some Throwing.
We got Scrutinous here, which is +7% Crit for free. This is for when we can’t get Ambush, and also lets us be a little lazy if we don’t want to set that up for any given fight. I got very lazy…
We cap off with Blindsiding, which you can probably tell isn’t super necessary given we made it this far without. Still, +15% damage is +15% damage. Whether you’re in the middle of the Expedition DLC or the Deep Caverns at this point, it’ll help. Our throws are now mostly capped at 90% as well, which helps a lot at this point near the end of the game where we’d really like to not have our Ambush messed up by a shoddy throw.
Below you can find my advice for those two places, the DLC and Deep Caverns that is, in case you’re interested. This build had a rather easy time with both, though I will say that the assault rifle is far preferable to the sniper rifle while on a jetski. I didn’t actually use the sniper almost at all in naval combat because the whole stability thing totally chunked my hit% at most times. That was even after joining the Pirates and getting the better version of the naval combat feat, too!
You can take this at Lv20, but Lv24 will be smoother.
This is the second hardest place in the game, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not so bad. Jetski combat is wonky, enemies come at you in crazy amounts, there’s a lot of weirdly hazardous exploration that you have to do, and the quests aren’t super straightforward. Prepare to be here for a good while, and by prepare I mean bring along this list of goods:
- 600+ 8.6mm Ammo
- 200+ 8.6mm W2C Ammo
- 200+ 8.6mm Incendiary Ammo
- 10 – 20 Magnesium or Napalm Grenades
- 10 – 20 Mk III Plasma Grenades (if you can make them)
- A Jackhammer or a bunch of TNT
- The willingness to put up with some Underrail-ass Bullshit
So, here’s the deal. You come there with Aegis via the Core City docks, and you have the choice of staying with them or aligning with the pirates in the area. This isn’t a choice that’s really presented to you very well, given you have to seek out the pirates yourself, and also you came with Aegis so in terms of roleplay it’s kind of weird to just immediately betray them. That said, it may be the best option depending on what you want.
If you want to get more lore via datapads, build up a base by repairing certain functionalities of it, and fend off increasingly difficult tribal attacks while hoping your friends don’t die, ally with Aegis. This makes the DLC kind of a ‘race against time’, as they have limited resources which you can check at any time and see how fast they’re dwindling. They actually dwindle mostly at key story points, but will absolutely run out if you dawdle and explore every nook and cranny of the place. I DO NOT recommend this route for a first playthrough, even if it has a little more lore behind it. What you get is mostly inconsequential and unnecessary to understand the plot, here.
If you want a faction that will actually stick around after the DLC and continue to offer you vital services like “having vendors” and “some more quests that send you back to Underrail”, go with the pirates. I recommend them for this reason alone, because it super sucks having to rush through Aegis’ questline only to realize that they’re pulling out and you no longer have a means to restock there. So if you want to finish exploring, you need to gather all that stuff I put up there over again a second time and finish charting the whole new area with no one to sell loot to.
You can’t side with the pirates without making Aegis aggressive at you, because the quest to join them (which you receive from some dudes on jetskis southeast of Aegis’ island) is to steal one of their jetskis. There is no physical way to do this without being seen and also shot at, but Aegis’ actual presence in the Expedition is pretty much just “their island” and some patrols like 1 tile around it. They won’t get in your way while you’re exploring or ruin your time otherwise. If you wait long enough, they will run out of supplies (it still counts down even if you’re not helping them) and then bugger off anyway. You have time to wait since you can actually explore at your own pace, too. This is the most stress-free option and ironically has more content than Aegis. You also have enough Persuasion to join the pirates after a certain kidnapping, starting at Lv26, if that’s more your style. It means waiting a bit longer to go here, though.
So, why do we need all this stuff? There’s only one vendor we can use for ammo in the Black Sea, and that’s true whether you stay with Aegis or you join the pirates. That makes restocking kind of difficult, so we need to bring enough to last us the entire trip if we can. Everything here is usually very dark, which works to our advantage, because we can activate Ambush super easily with the incendiaries or just flares if that’s your bag. The grenades are nice for tribal raids and automatons, though the latter we can also handle with W2C sniper shots.
Some areas of Expedition plain suck, as well. The Fetid Marsh and Horticulture Centre are kind of ridiculous with the hives and serpents and such, but still more than possible. Hives can’t be crit, meaning our best method for killing them is to take them out one by one with Snipe. That said, our best method for handling them is just to completely ignore them. We can sneak by them pretty easy, and even if a Hive sees you all it does is spawn 4 Locusts that also have to see you before any kind of combat happens. I was able to sneak through the entire Fetid Marsh and get the unique combat shotgun there. I had to fight a total of 3 Hives near a diggable wall.
Despite these sore spots, this DLC is overall pretty good. It has some very incredible moments, especially a certain Station Zero, and a hell of a hidden quest as well. Check out ‘The Shard’ on the wiki if you want to do that questline, because chances are you’re going to miss it if you just hope and pray that you notice the clues. It’s required to get the ‘best ending’ for the area, if that has any effect on your psyche as well. It can destroy a certain large object in the Station Zero that I mentioned before, but I’ll leave it at that. If you go with the pirates, take your time and enjoy your stay to the fullest. If you go with Aegis, work quickly and at least semi-efficiently and you’ll do just fine. There’ll be time to explore afterward, though it’s a bit of a lonely experience that way. That’s kind of a positive in Underrail, since most of the rest of the journey is that way.
If you’ve heard of this, it’s with a frustrated groan.
Maybe you’ve seen this name in reference to Underrail, or maybe you haven’t. If you have, as I said in the subtitle, it’s probably with some amount of distaste. I have done the Deep Caverns four (4) times exactly. I have ‘completed’ the game (gotten to the Deep Caverns, went ‘nah’, and started a new character) probably 20 – 30 times at this point. It really is that bad, but I still think it’s worth doing at least once. With a guide. Please, look up a guide. Oh, god. You will go down there without a choice at the end of the Institute’s questline. If things start to shake, STOP. DO NOT PROCEED. UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO HERE. SERIOUSLY. Leave, ‘cause there’s no timer, and close up any questlines or DLC that you left unfinished. Enjoy your time.
Before you go down, buy these Blueprints if you haven’t already:
- W2C Bullets
- Frag Grenade Case
- Thin Grenade Case
- Bear Trap
To be as vague as possible, this is because you can no longer rely on vendors when you get down there. Everything you do will involve supplies that you bring down and things you craft from whatever you can scrounge in this thankfully and also un-thankfully large area. Did I tell you to use a walkthrough? I did, but I’ll tell you again. Use a walkthrough. There are things you can do out of order here that will make stuff infinitely more difficult. There are puzzles that are absolutely insane and require knowledge of the sciences to solve without a calculator. All of this is the cherry on top of the fact that you are now living off scrounged (and limited) goods. With that in mind, literally fill your weight to 170 (or like, 150 – 160 if you want) with stuff.
- So Much 8.6mm Ammo
- A Lot Of 8.6mm W2C Ammo
- A Lot Of 8.6mm Incendiary Ammo
- 20+ Mark III Plasma Grenades
- 40+ Adrenaline Shots
- 30+ Focus Stims
- 15+ Bullhead
- Some Irongut (if you want)
- Some Jumping Bean (if you want)
- The willingness to put up with some SERIOUS UNDERRAIL-ASS BULLSHIT
If you tried a build before this one and hated Depot A, or you even hated Depot A literally with this build, prepare for a whole new level of insane bullshit. I do not blame anyone who tries this part, sighs heavily, and then decides (like me, usually) that this isn’t worth it and they’re just going to roll a new character to do everything up to this point. Or that they don’t like that kind of thing and will just tell everyone they beat Underrail and that’s that. In a way, you did, because the final boss is nowhere near as awful as this area is. If you can beat everything up to this point, you can absolutely smoke the final boss in like one or two turns. It’s the part where you have to get there that’s a tortuous, tedious slog.
I did have a much easier time than usual here, but I think that’s more because I have been through the Deep Caverns a few times now than “this build is great for it”. That ends my ‘advice’, sans a reminder to use a walkthrough again. Pleeeaaase.
Who should I help, to help myself?
There are two choices you have to make regarding factions in the game, and there are two viable ways to go in that regard. The first is between the Protectorate and Free Drones while the second is between three Oligarchs in Core City.
The Protectorate will give you easy access to high Quality gun parts and frames, which we obviously have use for given we will need to make endgame weapons at some point. They also have a unique gun lube consumable that’s nice but not required for sniper rifles. Note that you can also gain access to these parts by choosing the Praetorian Security Oligarch in Core City, that said, if you do want to join the Free Drones instead.
The Free Drones carry things we need like Black Cloth, Soft Padding, and a decent unique grenade that’ll lower enemies’ mechanical damage resistance. If you do join up with them, however, you will basically need to choose Praetorian Security to make sure that you have access to good weapon parts. Without high Quality guns, we’ll be much weaker in endgame. This is a very tough choice because no other vendor carries good quality Black Cloth or Soft Padding outside of Marty (who is SUPER random) and Donnie… Who you won’t get access to until AFTER the DLC, which is pretty difficult without good weapons and before ~Lv20. There’s also the JKK Oligarch for it, but the rest of their inventory is baaad. Bad. Terrible.
Coretech has a wide selection of electronic parts that we’ll need when we’re making our endgame Goggles and Energy Shield(s), at Lv22 – 23. We can easily have access to another vendor called Constantine by then, however, who also has these parts (albeit in much smaller supply). I like to go with Coretech because they just make it a lot easier than sitting there refreshing Constantine forever, and they also sell the Plasma Grenade Blueprint which you otherwise have to wait until the Expedition DLC to find.
In short, you have a few options:
- Protectorate (Weapon Parts) + Coretech (Electronic Parts)
- You’ll use Marty, Donnie, or Derica (post-Oligarch quests) for Stealth Stuff here.
- You also gain access to Weapon Oil and the Plasma Grenade Blueprint early.
- Protectorate (Weapon Parts) + JKK (Stealth Stuff)
- You’ll use Constantine for Electronic Parts here.
- You also gain access to Weapon Oil and JKK’s unique item is at least interesting.
- Free Drones (Stealth Stuff) + Praetorian Security (Weapon Parts)
- You’ll use Constantine for Electronic parts here.
- You also gain access to Nail Grenades and Chemhaze Grenades, which are OK.
At the start, you’ll be using 7.62mm ammunition. Later, you use 8.6mm ammunition, so maybe save all of the 8.6mm you find in your locker at SGS rather than selling it. That’ll save you some ammo shopping later, possibly even the entire game (it did for me, almost). So, basically…
No matter which you’re using, you have a few turn combos that work very well. Your first turn should involve sneaking to a good location, waiting for the Focused ‘eye’ icon to appear on your portrait, then hitting Enter to initiate combat. Activate your Night Vision Goggles and Shooting Spree, then Snipe the highest-health enemy you can see. If this kills, it’s refunded and you’re back to full AP. Inject Adrenaline now if you think you’ll need it, then use Aimed Shot for another almost definite sniper kill. That will also refund AP if you’ve Lv16+.
Now you have 70 AP to work with, which is 2 Sniper Shots or 2 Bursts. Remember that sniper kills reduce your Aimed Shot & Shooting Spree cooldowns, so those are relatively important. I wouldn’t take those unless you can benefit from Ambush though, because non-crits are very unlikely to kill something. Burst, however, doesn’t necessarily need to crit in order to kill stuff. If you’re using incendiary ammo in your assault rifle, you can also literally use it to set up Ambush. Remember that a kill with Burst also gives a free Burst thanks to Commando at Lv16+, too.
In total, a ‘dream turn’ has… Snipe ~> Aimed Shot ~> Burst ~> Free Burst ~> 1 Attack of your choice. Obviously if you plan to throw a grenade this upsets things a bit, but I would still try to get your free Burst each turn and also use Aimed Shot at some point if it’s up. Don’t think that single AR shots are bad either, especially if you can benefit from Ambush. An endgame Hornet critical shot is something like 250 ~ 300 damage, which is not small. I wouldn’t take them if I had plenty of AP work with (and wasn’t just like finishing something off), but as filler they’re great.
The assault rifle is also best to handle enemies who get up in your grill like Siphoners, Spawn, and Crawlers. The very best way to handle Crawlers is to pop Bullhead BEFORE you get stung (at least by a Death Stalker, which makes taking drugs hurt you) and then know how to look for them. Crawlers and Death Stalkers will sting you and then stealth away, always taking position around the corner or in the nearest (close-ish) area that’s out of your line of sight. Knowing this, you can Sprint to one such area. If you bump into them they’re revealed, and then you can Burst them down easily. If you don’t, throw a Flare at another area that fits that description. If that still didn’t find them, try an Incendiary Grenade or Flashbang elsewhere. If you didn’t find them even then, you got very unlucky… But do still have a full turn to do that again.
You can also funnel them with incendiaries very easily. They CAN walk through incendiaries without revealing themselves (very stupid), but if you leave a path to yourself that’s 1 tile wide they will circle around and walk through that narrow passage to avoid taking burn damage. That way you can absolutely know where they’re going to come at you from, provided you either pop an Antidote or Bullhead (and eat the damage) or have used Bullhead already ahead of time. Sadly, you can’t really sneak by Crawlers because they have very high Detection and you’re extremely likely to sneak close to one since… You can’t really… See them. You could make a pair of Detection Goggles to wear when you fight them, but there are seriously less than 10 Crawler encounters in the game so that’s kind of a waste. There are like 6 or 7, if you only count ones that are mandatory for quests and aren’t in optional exploratory areas.
There are also many good drugs in the game that you can use. Focus Stim is the most obvious with its +15% Crit Chance, but others like Jumping Bean (+10 Movement) and Aegis (-15% incoming damage) are also quite useful. I used Focus Stim, Jumping Bean, Aegis, Irongut, Bullhead, and Adrenaline in many or most fights. The fact they cost 2 AP with the Doctor’s Belt and are usually cheaply made means we have no reason to not get them. Here are recipes:
Adrenaline Shot :: Adrenaline + Syringe
Aegis :: Adrenaline + Morphine + Gizzard Enzymes + Ampule
Bullhead :: Morphine + Nidamental Gel + Gizzard Enzymes + Capsule x 2
Focus Stim :: Adrenaline + 3x Blood + Taurine + Syringe
Irongut :: Taurine + Gizzard Enzymes + Capsule x 3
Jumping Bean :: Gel Eel Electrolyte + Insectoid Saliva + Capsule x 3
Where do you get these? Some are thankfully very easy. Adrenaline is from Adrenal Glands, which drop from all animals. Blood is from Hearts, same deal, and Taurine from Intestines as well. Morphine comes from Lake Poppies, and the rest is a little more obtuse. Eel Electrolyte and Nidamental Gel come from fish, Blue Eels and Demon Squid respectively, but fishing is kind of annoying with 3 DEX. You can find fish for sale in Junkyard at Kareem and in Camp Hathor from one of the Freds. Katya in the Expedition DLC, if you join the Pirates, also has these chemicals for sale pre-extracted on a regular basis. Gizzard Enzymes are annoying to get and only come from the Borers in Foundry or Katya until Deep Caverns.
There are other drugs we can make, but they’re either for Psi users or just less useful for us. Morphine Shots are just a worse version of Aegis and Coagulation Shots aren’t super useful outside of a specific area of the Deep Caverns. We can make use of both Crawler and Creeper (Blinding) Poison, however. While we don’t really have the chance to drop Bear Traps in combat via Quick Tinkering, we can make Caltrops with these venoms on them (5 at a time) that are very useful. Crawler Venom stuns for 2 Turns after 2 Turns, and if we’re retreating for sniper shots there’s nothing better than both slowing enemies down and then stunning them.
Blinding Poison Caltrops reduce PER and make gun enemies deal a lot less damage, which is pretty cool. I preferred Crawler Caltrops myself, but hey. There’s also Black Dragon Poison, which makes Psionics useless, but that can’t be put on Caltrops and we have no good way to dose enemies with it. The best way to handle a Psionic is to choose it as your Snipe target.
As your hotbar goes, for the beginning of the game it should be Frag + Incendiary + Flashbang. Later on you want to use Plasma + Incendiary + Crawler Caltrops or Vanishing Powders. You can buy those from Constantine, though they kind of break the game so I feel a little cheap using them. They let you essentially reset a fight, and I mainly used them if my initial Snipe missed (basically just quickloading without the shame of quickloading, lmao). They are more reliable than Flashbangs that said, because enemies can resist Flashbangs but can’t resist you suddenly re-entering Stealth like a Crawler. The Ethereal Torch from the DLC is OK, but we don’t really have the Will to make it do a ton of damage or anything.
Finally, let’s talk about Night Vision. Underrail takes place underground, meaning any area that isn’t very obviously lit will be considered dark if not pitch black. Shooting a sniper rifle into the darkness should obviously come with a penalty, even if it’s not super obvious the area is ‘dark’, and that’s why we need Night Vision. Your sniper hit chance is capped at something like 80% when shooting into the dark, which is absolutely not enough to guarantee we proc vital things like Shooting Spree. Assault Rifles also take a smaller penalty, so basically we should always have a pair of Night Vision goggles turned on in combat unless we’re shooting into a lit area.
That said, getting hit with a Flashbang while those are on gives you -15 AP for a few turns. That’s generally regarded as a “pretty bad thing”, so if you’re fighting human enemies be aware of this and either make use of your assault rifle without the goggles turned on or keep a greater amount of distance between you and your targets if possible. Optionally, just kill all of them before they can fight back. Especially after Lv16 when you get 2 Shooting Spree refunds and a free Burst via Commando, this is more often a probable outcome than you might think.
In short, and as a final note: Assault rifle is for enemies in melee range or who are closely grouped up to be mowed down. It can activate Ambush via Incendiary ammo with Burst as well. Sniper rifle is for basically everything else. It’s an amazing single target weapon that can almost guarantee two kills on your opening turn via Snipe + Aimed Shot, then more of them if you can proc Ambush and guarantee crits in the later levels. Just make sure you pretty much always have your Night Vision goggles on while sniping, or you’ll be capped at 80% hit chance. Try to get kills with your sniper when possible to reduce the cooldown of Aimed Shot and Shooting Spree, in prolonged fights especially. That said, it’s more cost effective to get a killing blow with the assault rifle on a low HP enemy and still have the AP to fire your sniper rifle or Burst again than to obsess over getting those sniper kills.