PSO2 Gunner Guide Pt.4: Photon Arts and Strategy

Gunner hits hardest at close range because of various Zero Range bonuses. Zero Range bonuses obviously don’t reach very far, but Gunners can pull a few tricks to get into Zero Range. Guns are still guns too, so shooting from afar is still an option.

This section outlines a basic strategy for Twin Machineguns, starting with key Photon Arts, then touching on the more situational attacks.

Main Attacks

SatAim Satellite Aim

SatAim

Two short-ranged, hard-hitting shots. This is the main single target attack for Twin Machineguns. Executes much faster in the air than on the ground.

The bread and butter Chain Finish for Gu/Ra is four Satellite Aims done in the air. With good timing, the third Satellite Aim onwards will benefit from Standing Snipe. Also good for taking out tougher mobs with headshots/weak point shots.

This attack is short enough that Zero Range should be in effect most of the time, but the very tip of the two shots is outside of Zero Range Advance’s active range.

DeadApproach Dead Approach

DeadApproach

A shoulder charge. This is a multi-purpose small gap closer, stun and airdash. Of TMGs’ three ways to move forward while airborne, Dead Approach packs the most base damage.

The caveat is that Dead Approach scales with RATK, but is considered a Striking-based attack. It does not work with Gunner’s Zero Range Advance or Ranger’s Weak Hit Advance. On the plus side, it bypasses the 15% Shooting resistance of Ultimate Quest mobs, and works with Striking-specific damage bonuses like Fighter’s Limit Break.

The raw damage on Dead Approach is so high that Gu/Hu is better off using repeated Dead Approaches for doing damage, rather than Satellite Aim.

BulletSquall Bullet Squall

BulletSquall

Flip into the air and fire a bunch of bullets downwards. Mash right click for more hits. When crafted, hold a movement key to move in that direction.

Don’t use this uncrafted. Craft Bullet Squall by going to your room and choosing “PA Customization”. Aim for a low PP cost first.

Crafting this into Bullet Squall Type-0 makes this a great addition to Gunner’s arsenal by adding a huge damage increase and mobility. Use this on mobs that have been clustered below via Zondeel, Gravity Bomb or Reverse Tap to get headshots from safety. Use this after Aerial Shooting to bring down death from above on tall, mobile bosses.

ShiftPeriod Shift Period

ShiftPeriod

A wide area attack centered around the Gunner. Plants tiny energy balls with Twin Machineguns and sends them flying. The energy balls hit six times for 48% of the power notation, while the wide area finish hits three times for 54% of the notation. Targets take less hits from the finish the further out they get, so at the furthest point, only one hit of the finish will connect, for 18% of the noted damage.

The finish is strong enough to kill most mobs on Super Hard difficulty, making this very useful for soloing dailies and Time Attacks. On Extra Hard and Ultimate, throw a Gravity Bomb and use something else if you can.

ElderReb Elder Rebellion

ElderReb

One of the two actual ranged attacks on Twin Machineguns. Fire a barrage of nine shots. First six are single target, last three hit harder and have a small explosive area of effect. DPS is not too good due at range to the loss of Zero Range bonuses, but still good enough to pick off weak mobs, break fast-moving parts or Chain Finish from afar.

According to JP Swiki, Elder Rebellion at full Gear is competitive with most other options at that range except for fully-charged Satellite Cannon and Sphere Eraser, which are both much slower. Can be used with manual aim mode to get headshots.

GrimBarrage Grim Barrage

Long distance gap closer. Fly towards the target and fire a flurry of short distance shots. Homing capabilities are better than Dead Approach, although flight speed and execution are considerably slower. Has two JA windows, one shortly after the gap close, the other at the end of the shots.

Compared to Dead Approach, this is a much better air dash, but for close quarters, Dead Approach’s speed is an advantage.

Situational Attacks

ReverseTap Reverse Tap

ReverseTap

Spinning Bird Kick! Turn upside down and do a spin kick that probably breaks a copyright law somewhere. Makes the user airborne and sucks in targets.

Like Dead Approach, this scales with RATK, but is considered a Striking Attack. Good for Hu or Fi builds setting up a full hit on Shift Period, although the range is somewhat short.

HeelStab Heel Stab

HeelStab

A series of two gap-closing kicks. When fully charged, follows up with a spray of bullets. The bullet spray has good range, but charge speed and the two kicks are slow. Situationally useful for long-range area of effect.

With TMG Arts S Charge, the charge can be skipped if a different Photon Art was used before. Gu/Fi can use S Charged Heel Stab to great effect, as can Gu/Ra on headshots.

AerialShooting Aerial Shooting

AerialShooting

Cannon Spike! Launch into the air with a kick. Launches even higher when fully charged. Typical use would be to gain height by fully charging this, then jump and release. Once in the air, use Elder Rebellion or Bullet Squall to hit things on the ground from relative safety and Stylish Roll or Dead Approach to move around.

If used for damage, Aerial Shooting is a Striking-based attack with good damage per second when TMG Arts S Charge kicks in. The downside is it launches you into the air, but as the very last part of a Chain Finish, it has potential for excellent damage as Gu/Fi or Gu/Hu.

MessiahTime Messiah Time

MessiahTime

High invincibility frame attack. Dive forward while invincible and fire a bunch of bullets, go vulnerable for a bit while flipping upside down, then go invincible again and fire some more bullets while spinning. Mash right click for more hits. Good for tanking through dangerous situations, but can be difficult to aim. In case it wasn’t obvious, the Messiah in question is Neo from the Matrix.

InfFire Infinite Fire

InfiniteFire

Run and gun. Mash right click for more hits, use the directional buttons to move while shooting. This used to be the only Photon Art that Gunners would ever use in videos, but has since been nerfed three times in a row, making it very weak today. Still, the ability to move while firing can be useful in some situations.

InfFire Infinite Fire Type-0

pso20160608_223943_004

Crafted Infinite Fire is so different from the original that it warrants its own entry. This is a chargeable Photon Art that fires a bunch of moderately strong, long-ranged hits and finishes with a kick while “charging”. If charged, i.e. the attack button is held while the shots were going, this finishes with a wide blast, similar to a giant Satellite Aim.

With TMG Arts S Charge, the shots are skipped, you go straight to the kick and blast which is very good DPS.

For more on IF Type-0, check my blog when it first released.

Other Skills

SRJAB Stylish Roll

SRoll

Number one defensive move of Twin Machineguns. Press Shift to get free invincible frames, Can be used during practically anything Twin Machinegun-related, from normal attacks to all Photon Arts. Cannot be done during a Dive Roll or Technique cast though.

Done three times in a row, the third flip will be performed in slow motion with a ton of invincibility, which can be used to dodge anything from Magatsu’s Energy Tsunamis to Falz Loser’s Time Stop with ease.

Stylish Roll can be used to gain height in very small increments, by Stylish Rolling immediately after the previous action before the Just Attack window. It is possible to reach the height ceiling just by well-timed Stylish Rolls with attacks in between.

Chain Chain Trigger

Main boss-killing skill. When a boss’ weak point is exposed, and preferably when the boss is staggered, use Chain Trigger, then spam normal attacks on the weak point. Certain Shift actions like Stylish Roll attacks and Photon Blade throws will build Chain too, as will uncharged Techniques. Build to 19-Chain or above, and finish with as many Photon Arts as can be squeezed into a 3-second window.

From 1-Chain to 18-Chain, the damage bonus is not too good, but Gunner/Rangers might be able to get away with it due to Weak Bullet and Weak Hit bonuses. From 19-Chain onwards, the damage bonus ranges from 3x to 5x, on top of the 1.35x from Chain Finish Bonus.

Other Notable Attacks

Gunners can natively use other weapons like Gunslash and Rifle. Here are some notable attacks that can complement Twin Machineguns.

Additional Bullet, Strezwei (Gun mode), Kreisenschlag

These Gunslash Photon Arts are faster on the draw than Twin Machinegun AoEs. Consider adding them into the mix for handling mobs.

Impact Slider

Gap closer that does good damage. Use this after a Weak Bullet to break boss parts while getting in range for a Chain Satellite Aim setup

One Point, End Attract, Glory Rain

More or less counterparts to Elder Rebellion and Bullet Squall if you need to hold on to Weak Bullet.

Weapon Palette

Twin Machineguns use the melee weapon Photon Art format, which means when three Photon Arts are bound, they are used in order from first to second to third. There are two methods to set up a weapon palette with this format.

Method 1: Hotkeys

One method is to bind the same Photon Art to all three slots in a row, then set the game options up to switch between these using hotkeys. Using this method, the following Photon Art setup is suggested:

Photon Art 1 Photon Art 2  Photon Art 3 
1 SatAim Satellite Aim SatAim Satellite Aim SatAim Satellite Aim
2 DeadApproach Dead Approach DeadApproach Dead Approach DeadApproach Dead Approach
3 ShiftPeriod Shift Period ShiftPeriod Shift Period ShiftPeriod Shift Period
4 BulletSquall Bullet Squall BulletSquall Bullet Squall BulletSquall Bullet Squall
5 ElderReb Elder Rebellion AerialShooting Aerial Shooting AerialShooting Aerial Shooting
6 Rifle swap

Rows 1-4 should be self-explanatory. Dead Approach can be swapped for Grim Barrage based on personal preference. Use Row 4 after Gravity Bomb or Zondeel.

Row 5 is for doing Elder Rebellion in the air. If further height gain is needed, mash Aerial Shooting to gain more height. If not, Stylish Roll and Elder Rebellion again.

Row 6 is for Weak Bullet.

Some swapping might be necessary depending on situation, like fitting Messiah Time in there when tanking is needed.

Method 2: Purpose-built palette

Another method is to use the melee weapon format to create an automatic rotation based on the most likely Photon Arts needed for a situation. This saves palette space, which can be useful if using a rainbow set or for other reasons, but at the cost of flexibility. Using this method, the following Photon Art setup is suggested:

Photon Art 1 Photon Art 2 Photon Art 3
1 DeadApproach Dead Approach SatAim Satellite Aim SatAim Satellite Aim
2 BulletSquall Bullet Squall AerialShooting Aerial Shooting BulletSquall Bullet Squall
3 ElderReb Elder Rebellion GrimBarrage Grim Barrage GrimBarrage Grim Barrage
4 Other Weapons / Elements
5 Other Weapons / Elements
6 Other Weapons / Elements

Row 1 is for single targets and Chain Finish.

Row 2 is for Area of Effect. Use Zondeel or Gravity Bomb, then jump on their heads and unload.

Row 3 is for Elder Rebellion to pick things off or to maneuver in the air. Aerial Shooting is in the third space in case a launch is needed.

This setup may require some micromanagement, for example, replacing the first Dead Approach in Row 1 with Satellite Aim on bosses that can be staggered easily and need a row of Satellite Aims for Chain Finish. Another would be replacing Elder Rebellion with Aerial Shooting before engaging bosses where being airborne is an advantage.

Other posts in this series:

Last Updated July 24th, 2016

Selphea
Selphea is a crazy MMO player who can never decide what to play and runs weird builds. But hey at least they work!
  • Reiko

    After reading the entire guide, I observed some observations.
    1. Under gears and affixes, you stated Gal TMG pot as 12% crit damage. In reality it is a 12% damage to all attacks, not just crit.
    2. Under Pt4, you listed Reverse Tap as a main attack, yet you did not have any mention of it in the palette section.
    3. Several notable Rifle PA should deserve a mention somewhere, because they are natively Gu usable. Also, GuRa often has to WB for an MPA, so it makes sense to at least mention them, even if it may be obv.

    • Selphea

      Thanks for reading through it! Fixing in progress x.x especially playstyle changes after October’s GU buff.

      • Reiko

        So I noticed today that the guide has been updated quite a bit. A few more comments tho.
        1. Infinity fire should be completely removed from list imo. One point is almost entirely better for the same purpose, especially when it can actually benefit from Standing Snipe.
        2. In Pt1 you mentioned how Chain Finish should be maxed. I think you should explain why its worth it to spend 5 more skill point just to get 26% more burst damage on a 130 sec cooldown. Imo doesn’t make sense max unless CT is maxed first.

  • Naix Kole

    Where has this been all my pso2 life?!? Really helpful guide for someone who has been stucked in between for a nearly a yearr;_;. I will probably be using the affix the most. My current set is RaGu with BlockerBread and 70rattk(shoot,soul,fever) to all units(saiki). Thx for the guide :)))

  • FlintKidd

    Hi, quick suggestion. I understand that this hasn’t been updated in a while, but this may make things infinitely easier for a few of my fellow gunners, and that’s button setup.

    As a third option to your palette setup (which requires using weapon swap keys or the horrible mouse-wheel swap) you could use Three Button mouse mode. This lets you customize an additional key on your mouse (default is pressing the mousewheel) to customize all three buttons. Shift is no longer a dodge key, but is now, like Tech classes, a modifier key to swap to the second row. No more awkward combos, no more swapping to try and keep the gap minimized. This way you can do Sat Aim and D. App. on the same weapon palette and all you need to do is press shift to swap extremely quickly between the two.

    I also use my macros rewritten to /spal1 (2,3,etc) assigned to ctrl+function key to more quickly swap between my pile of palettes (something I’m sure many people know). Just a couple quick tips I felt may be helpful in your already very helpful guide. Thanks for such a comprehensive guide! I also am using your Bouncer Boots guide quite a bit for reference ;-D, which is why I had to learn about /spal macros, again, which I’m sure everyone else already knew about lol.

    • Selphea

      Thanks!

      I actually bind my extra mouse buttons to numpad keys, easier for me :p

      About 3 button… I’m not sure what to say about it other than “just bind your PA there and use it!”. It’s pretty much method 1 with an extra button.

      • FlintKidd

        It would look very different than method 1 as you’d only need 1 copy of a PA on each weapon palette, and not 3 copies since 3 button disables combo attacks and makes everything work like Technique weapons tend to. Way less weapon swapping required since you can now have up to 6 different PA assigned to a single weapon palette (more likely only 4 since you still want to have regular attack and the dodge equipped). Your method 1 requires swapping weapons if the boss moves back in order to stay in the air and get close quickly. This method would let you just tap shift and RMB then go back to spamming Sat Aim ;-D

    • I just tried this for the first time, and man it really is so much easier to play gunner now. My main is a Force, so I think this was my main issue with gunner as well as the melee classes like braver. I’m playing on a controller so I cannot really use hotkeys or numpad keys to switch fast. I think even with mouse/keyboard I couldn’t do the numpad method because it would require me to let go of my mouse lol. It took some rebinding and getting used to (setting a new button which would also be where I set the “Weapon Action”), but once I got used to it, the 3-button mode is really a life-saver and I don’t have to only spam a single PA anymore or pause for like 5 seconds to switch palettes. 😛

      Also I think getting the Front S-roll ring was also essential, since it gives so much more control of movement, especially when you want to be close up to the enemy and not use PP, or to travel more easily over gaps/poison water. It seems that you can keep air time way more easily with the front roll too, almost to the point where you could fly forever.