Are guns ever worth it?

I guess this is an extension of “is ranged characters worth it?”, but in my experience, by ultimate, you’re going to get swarmed by incredibly fast enemies, and enemies have so much health that to clear in any reasonable amount of time you’re going to need to just facetank them and spam. Is there any situation where you wouldn’t be better served just throwing on a melee weapon and using the same skills (as most of them crossover between the two).

I’m trying to diversify from my vitality caster than just spams and leeches, and ranger/bow characters are usually my second favorite in games, but in my limited testing at low levels, they seem to have lackluster trash clearing, lackluster boss dps, and limited survivability. Am I missing something?

I’m sure with completely optimized legendaries they can blow up stuff, but are they just weaker for normal play?

They are fine. Some like valdun or dagallon are extremely good.

Early on for leveling caster skills are better than auto attack, ranged or melee. Later on they start to shine. For leveling perhaps the best option is 2H ranged Primal Strike Vindicator. Also dual pistols or 2H Fire Strike Purifier is fine. Others, perhaps will be average/below average builds. Oh and Tactician can be leveled ranged with Cadence but Cadence isn’t that good for leveling.

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for levelling, look for guns that has innate offensive procs in it. and make sure one of your class is either inquisitor, soldier, or demolitionist. they synergyze really well with guns (soldier have harder time with cadence vs mobs though) even if you only got green guns and no good blue guns. constellations that provide aoe offensive procs also helps a lot too. prioritize aoe clearing ability over single target killing power for guns, because levelling is more about aoe power compared to super high single target dps.

that’s for auto attack focused gun builds. if you’re levelling as caster with guns, treat them like wands/staffs statsticks that provides +stats for powering up your spells instead of direct high weapon damage tools.

I disagree with that. There’s an incredible defensive difference between facetanking vs even a short distance. It’s far easier to react, especially if you’re a new player and don’t know special attacks of bosses. And with Rune of Displacement you don’t waste time. Guns are worth it for the “bang bang” and shooting feeling alone for me.


Guns are not particularly noob friendly imo. Fire Strike and Primal Strike are the easiest to make. Guns have lower base weapon damage than other types of weapon, they do not have access to good flat damage components and MI options for 1h guns are pretty terrible. The only attractive 1h MI is the acid one, but that is a niche damage type. Unless you use Fire Strike, Auto-attack dual-wield gun is a bit of a pain to figure out.

Getting significant weapon damage during levelling is the challenge, and devotion powers typically end up doing a lot of the work. Life steal ends up a bit underwhelming, and gunners don’t usually have high armour or other defences.

It can work for sure, and at end-game as well. You just have to get creative for weapon damage, such as Deathchill relic with Gargoyle belt for cold damage, Eye of the storm relic, converting damage etc.

Guns are absolutely worth it, particularly against bosses. As tqFan said, even a short distance goes a long way, and with teleport skill and boss attack telegraphs, you can evade the attacks of a lot of bosses, if not most or even all.

They are good against mobs, if you play carefully. When you see a mob on the edge of screen, don’t go running against them, but shoot them from afar. When they come closer, move away or teleport. Sure, it might not be worth it against thrash mobs, but you can handle hero mobs pretty decently with this method (e.g. Totem spawns).

So yeah, guns are pretty good.

it is a general rule in rpg games, that fast ranged weapon have lower base damage compared to melee weapon. at least in early and middle parts of the games, where player hasn’t got unique BiS ranged weapons fitting their style.

if players feel that their ranged weapons are weak when levelling, then just get some strong aoe spells/procs while still using ranged autoattack skills. sure, it’ll be weaker than melees. but at least you’re fast and can enjoy shoot & run kiting style gameplay with little bit of patience.

also, guns are very stylish. they’re my reason i got attracted to grim dawn. playing dual pistol/rifle mixed with various magics and crafted tools/traps sounds cool, isn’t it?


Guns are worth it, definitely.
Fire Strike is the best option for me, either two pistols or 2H rifle/crossbow later on.
When properly built (check builds), it clears trash easily and you have to fight bosses and kite with every build until you have BIS items and finished build so ranged is not much of a difference, it’s just the matter how you prefer to crush the stuff in the game.
Best class IMO is Purifier (Demolitionist + Inquisitor). You can check Build Compendium for the relevant builds - one is fire based (Desolator + Mythical Justice set), another one is pierce (Full Valdun).

My opinion on this depends on how one defines being “worth it”.

To me, if its fun and/or funny, then its “worth it”.

I have thus found dual-wield with various Nightblade combinations to be worth it, as ranged ABB is rad as hell. Even 2h ranged, say, as a Trickster, with main ABB and secondary Primal Strike. I gave dude the Samurai helmet illusion, and that gunblade illusion. Named him the “Shotgun Shogun”, because that was how it felt blasting the hell out of shit.

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i remember how purifier is one of the most popular builds out there in the old forum when AoM came out. that should have been a big sign that lots of players really like guns in grim dawn.

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Guns are pretty cool. Not only Inquisitor, Soldier and Demolitionist combos are excellent for guns. Also Nightblade has very good synergies. For leveling, Lethal Assault with a gun is an excellent tool, especially when you farm yourself 2 +3 lethal assault rings from the boss in the sewers. You also asked what to do against being swarmed. Nightblade has Blade Trap, which is an extremely underrated but powerful skill. It is an excellent Crowd Control tool and Constellation Skill activator and most people completely overlook the -33% Defensive Ability debuff, which increases your crits dramtically.
All in all, there are tons of possibilities for guns.
I also made a gun build with Necro and Occultist, using Ill Omen and Curse as CC.
Guns are for creative people and are a ton of fun! :smiley:

ABB is have interesting mechanic for ranged builds, but unlike melee for ranged 2H is better actually. There’s interesting option of going Righteous Fervor+ABB Dervish.

One of my favorite builds to leveled was ranged+runes hybrid, it’s definition of fun. You set up a trap with the runes and then shoot the hell out of what survives :smile:

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nowadays, with so many items with proc, and many easy to get items to augment guns, its kinda easy for any class to use guns/crossbow for levelling. player just have to focus more on powerful aoe and reliable cc, with decent single attack power. procs will help a lot.

Is 2H ranged abb better for what reason? Increased mainhand WD for the abb itself or?

Yes but also there are more than one gun with ABB mod. Also in general 2H ranged builds are better than DW. It’s interesting to try DW Dagallon ABB with pass-through, should be interesting gameplay.

There is also DW Haggaradian Enforcer, with Silver Sentinel set, which seems like it would be a lot of fun. The build was made in the anticipation that by the time it hit level id have 2 Haggaradian Enforcers.

I still dont have any lol. And I am okay with that. Without GD stash, lacking key gear choices is another reason the keep playing this game.