Note: Our Scout Guide has been updated recently to keep up with Season 2 changes.
Sprawling caverns teeming with a menagerie of threats, impossible biomes sprawling through infinite cave systems, an unfathomable cache of riches hidden below the surface. All this and more awaits those brave enough to traverse the living hell known as Hoxxes IV.
But who dares descend into the dark to unearth what lies below? The Scout dares. They’re the go-to dwarf if you want to go anywhere and everywhere. Whether you’re helping a teammate back to their feat, flanking an enemy to exploit their weak point, or looting every shiny thing in sight, the Scout is the dwarf for the job.
To make sure you don’t end up lost and isolated from your teammates, we’ve put together this comprehensive Scout guide.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about playing the Scout in Deep Rock Galactic, from your role to the best builds, equipment, and perks to help you pillage Hoxxes IV.
Let’s get started!
Role of the Scout Class
As the namesake implies, the Scout’s role is to scout out valuable loot, potential threats, and pathways through intricate cave systems of Hoxxes IV. Your grappling hook gives you unparalleled mobility compared to the other classes — all those minerals tucked into high ledges and unreachable points are now yours for the taking.
Of course, you need to find the minerals first. Thankfully, your flare gun is perfect for cutting through the darkness of the planet’s depths. Your team will actually be able to see treasures, pathways, and (most importantly) incoming threats. Make sure to always keep one lit when defending a point to help your team deal with enemies early on!
Speaking of your team, your best friend as a Scout is the Engineer (or, at least, his platform gun). Most Engineers know to place a platform when you ping an out-of-reach resource, so stick close to them and ping as needed.
Occasionally the minerals jut out slightly from the wall, allowing you to grapple your way on top of them and mine downwards without the need for a platform. This is most common with that precious ammo-generating Nitra. Make sure your grapple gun has recharged before you completely finish mining your foothold and start falling.
When it comes to combat, the Scout is built for exploiting enemy weak points. While you can do tremendous damage with the right build, you simply don’t have the ammo reserves to keep up with someone like the Gunner.
Instead, focus on priority threats like ranged enemies and elite mobs. You can easily flank them with your grappling hook and devastate their weak points, or chase enemies that try to run away. You’re great at kiting and simply buying time for your teammates to rally.
You can also use your hook to dash around the battlefield and support your teammates — a well-placed grenade may give them the breathing room they need. If you’re feeling particularly confident, try kiting enemies away from a downed teammate, then grappling back immediately to revive them.
Unlike the other classes, the Scout’s toolkit allows for more varied perks. Since you don’t really need mobility perks, you can take more utility and offense-based ones. Here are our recommendations:
- Hover Boots: Since a lot of the minerals you’re going for are high up on walls/ledges, you’re constantly at risk of falling to your death. This is your emergency “Not today, gravity” button. Use it to buy yourself enough time to mine out a small foothold to avoid falling.
- Heightened Senses: The greatest threat to you while scouting is getting grabbed by a Cave Leech with no one around to help you. Besides giving you a warning so you can back off, it’ll also let you break free twice per mission.
- Field Medic: As we mentioned earlier, you’re very good at kiting enemies and grappling back to revive downed allies. This perk makes it a lot easier.
- Berzerker: It’s hard to explain just how powerful this perk is. Being able to clear out a swarm with back-to-back AOE melee attacks is fantastic. Destroying a major threat like an Oppressor is amazing. Using it to mine a cluster of minerals because you’re impatient is priceless.
- Iron Will: This one is more of an emergency “Get out of being downed in an unreachable location” perk. Though you can also use it to try and salvage a mission if your entire team gets downed.
- Born Ready: Depending on which guns you bring, reloading can be problematic while you’re being chased. Thankfully, you can just run away with your grappling hook for a bit to reload.
- Vampire: Combined with Berzerker, this is an amazing way to fully heal. Otherwise, it’s still very good as you’ll often bring enemies low enough that a single melee strike will kill them.
- Deep Pockets: You’re the looter. This just means less return trips.
- Veteran Depositor: Get back to looting faster, or hunker down by Molly to take less damage.
Related Reading: Best Perks Overall for Deep Rock Galactic
Scout Builds and Equipment
Let’s go over the Scout’s weapons and equipment, as well as the best builds for the Scout in Deep Rock Galactic.
Primary Weapons & Builds
The Scout favors fast movement and fast weapons. Use your selection of high-powered rifles to make the most of your limited ammo reserves. Pummel an enemy’s weak points without mercy, grapple out of danger, then rinse and repeat.
1. Deepcore GK2
The Deepcore GK2 is the Scout’s default primary weapon — a reliable automatic assault rifle with nothing fancy about it. With steady accuracy and decent damage, it’s best suited as a defensive weapon to deal with whatever is cornering you.
That being said, it packs enough of a punch to kill anything, as long as you can hit their squishy weak points. Just don’t expect to hold off the swarm on your own with this, as you’ll quickly find yourself out of ammo.
Build A: AI Assisted Murder
This build is all about the overclock. It doubles down on the Scout’s preference for targeting weak points, and drastically improves the weapon’s accuracy and weak point damage at the cost of dealing next to no damage on the rest of the body.
-  Supercharged Feed Mechanism — The overclock handles accuracy, this offsets the downside.
-  Expanded Ammo Bags
-  Improved Propellant
-  Hollow-Point Bullets
-  Stun
- Overclock: AI Stability Engine — Removes all recoil and drastically reduces bullet spread. Deals 40% more damage to weak points, which more than offsets the -2 base damage.
Build B: Rapid Rounds
While not too different from our other build, this one is more geared towards pumping out bullets faster with less regard to accuracy. If you want to make the most of this, make sure your aim isn’t too bad and that you’re close enough to handle the bullet spread.
-  Supercharged Feed Mechanism
-  Expanded Ammo Bags
-  Floating Barrel — Critical for some accuracy stability.
-  Hollow-Point Bullets
-  Stun
- Overclock: Overclocked Firing Mechanism / Gas Rerouting — Both overclocks are geared toward improving your firing rate. If you’re fine with more recoil, go with the first one.
2. M1000 Classic
The M1000 Classic is a lovely semi-automatic rifle with powerful armor-piercing rounds and an alternate firing mode that basically turns it into a sniper. By holding the firing button, you’ll enter a zoomed in Focus Mode that charges up to deal double damage with perfect accuracy at the cost of two bullets per shot.
Unfortunately, due to the fast-paced nature of Deep Rock and the somewhat lackluster damage modifiers for Focus Mode, most players prefer using the weapon’s normal mode. Thankfully, it’s still a really good weapon that greatly rewards hitting enemy weak points.
Build A: Hip Fire
Think you’re fit to be a cowboy? This build turns you into a hip-firing, weak point-destroying menace to the wild west of Hoxxes. Thanks to the overclock, you gain enough ammo to make this a feasible weapon and drastically improve your accuracy. As long as you can hit weak points, you’ll feel like you’re doing just as much as damage as you would in Focus Mode.
-  Increased Caliber Rounds — Unlike most damage boosts, this one is a whopping +10 damage.
-  Hardened Rounds
-  Extended Clip
-  Hollow-Point Bullets
-  Killing Machine
- Overclock: Hipster — The lynchpin of this build. Makes the bullet spread small enough to feasibly rapid fire and basically doubles your ammo reserves.
Build B: Focus Shot Control
If you’re still interested in the Focus Mode gameplay but want to be useful, this is the build for you. Instead of prioritizing damage, you’re providing crowd control via the Electrocution overclock and Fear modification working in tandem.
-  Expanded Ammo Bags
-  Hardened Rounds
-  Killer Focus
-  Super Blowthrough Rounds — You can actually kill multiple grouped grunts with one shot.
-  Precision Terror — The core of this build. Fear is a fantastic way to crowd control elites.
- Overclock: Electrocuting Focus Shots / Active Stability System — The first option allows you to slow enemies even further with Electrocution, and you should still have enough damage despite the drawback. The second one is for if you feel too slow/limited while focusing.
3. DRAK-25 Plasma Carbine
The DRAK-25 Plasma Carbine is the last of the Scout’s primary weapons, and honestly our personal favorite. Weaponizing pure plasma, the DRAK spews molten death at an incredibly fast rate, limited only by its heat system. With the potential to be the Scout’s most ammo-efficient and impactful weapon, it’s many players’ go-to for Deep Dives and high-difficulty missions.
On its own, the DRAK is rather similar to the Deepcore GK2, but with a greater reliance on hitting weak points to do damage. However, certain overclock and mod combinations drastically alter its role and performance.
Build A: Infinite Plasma
While the name isn’t literal, this build does immensely reduce your ammo consumption while still allowing you to dump massive amounts of plasma into your enemies. Instead of firing in bursts to keep your heat low, wait until you can justify firing the weapon non-stop until you’re about 90% overheating. At that point, manually dump the heat to regenerate the most ammo. If done correctly every time, your starting amount of 480 ammo is extended to about 1800.
-  High-Volume Plasma Feed — Faster overheating is good.
-  Increased Particle Density
-  Hot Feet /  Custom Coil Alignment — Personal preference between easy kiting or accuracy.
-  Overcharged PCF
-  Manual Heat Dump — Essential for efficient ammo regeneration. Only usable at 50% heat or higher. Always manually dump heat instead of letting the weapon cooldown naturally.
- Overclock: Rewiring Mod — The core of this build. While overheated, your gun will regenerate ammo, giving back about 70% of the current heat.
Build B: Plasma Punching
For those who don’t mind getting up close and personal with enemies, this build enables you to deal ridiculous damage at the cost of all accuracy and some max ammo. It’s very straightforward.
-  Improved Thermals — Offsets overclock’s heat generation.
-  Battery Capacity — Increases your max ammo to offset the overclock’s downside.
-  Custom Coil Alignment
-  Overcharged PCF
-  Thermal Feedback Loop — This build is about killing faster.
- Overclock: Overtuned Particle Accelerator — Grants a whooping extra 8 damage per shot.
Side Arms & Builds
Now onto the Scout’s side arms.
1. Jury-Rigged Boomstick
The Jury-Rigged Boomstick is a classic double-barreled shotgun and a fitting default secondary. It does exactly what you expect it to — it destroys anything in close range. It’s incredibly useful for dealing with major threats, and its only real drawback is the reload time.
As a side note, there’s no damage falloff from distance. Damage is dependent only on the number of pellets that connect with an enemy.
Build A: THIS is my Boomstick!
It’s natural for gamers to see a shotgun and think it’s capable of killing anything in one shot at close range. This build aims to live up to that by trading ammo for much higher damage. Remember, the damage boost applies to each pellet, and this build fires 11–12 pellets per shot. That’s a lot of damage.
-  Doubled-Sized Buckshot
-  Double Trigger — We prefer ensuring something is dead before reloading.
-  High Capacity Shells
-  Improved Blast Wave
-  White Phosphorous Shells — You do not lose damage, it’s just converted. Situational, not recommended when going into the Molten biome.
- Overclock: Jumbo Shells / Stuffed Shells — Comes down to just how much damage you want per shot. If you want high-priority threats to die immediately, go with the first one.
Build B: Send Them Packing
This build focuses more on improving the economy of your shotgun shells by taking out multiple common enemies with each shot. It’s fantastic for clearing out crowds and getting some breathing space.
-  Doubled-Sized Buckshot
-  Quickfire Ejector
-  High Capacity Shells
-  Super Blowthrough Rounds /  Improved Blast Wave — Comes down to personal choice on how close you want to get to enemies and how clustered together they are.
-  Fear the Boomstick — Takes about two shots to send most enemies fleeing.
2. Zhukov NUK17
The Zhukov NUK17 is the Scout’s other secondary weapon. These twin machine pistols spew out bullets faster than anything else in the game. Be prepared to burn through an entire clip every time you pull the trigger.
To no one’s surprise, there’s a lot of recoil when firing these. Their damage also really falls off if you’re not hitting a weak point. While they can outperform the Boomstick in terms of damage, you’ll definitely have to put more work in on aiming.
Thankfully, there are overclocks that radically transform these guns’ playstyle and make them much more forgiving and fun.
Build A: Bomb Spray
This is our personal favorite build for the Zhukov, as you basically embed tiny bombs into your enemies with each bullet. Upon reloading, they all detonate at once. The game also helpfully places a small red exclamation point next to an enemy’s health bar when there are enough bombs in it to kill it. Just make sure you’re still aiming for weak points to increase your initial firing damage.
-  Expanded Ammo Bags — To offset the overclock’s downside.
-  Quickfire Ejector /  Supercharged Feed Mechanism — Depends if you want better swarm control or to kill elites faster.
-  Better Weight Balance — You can’t afford to miss. Direct damage also isn’t the point.
-  Expanded Ammo Bags
-  Get In, Get Out
- Overclock: Embedded Detonators — The lynchpin of this build. Despite the reduced ammo and direct damage, the explosions are far more efficient at killing. Unfortunately, their damage isn’t amplified on frozen enemies, so heads up on that.
Build B: Frost Field
This build turns the Zhukov into a fantastic crowd-controlling support weapon. Each shot that connects with terrain becomes a mine that arms itself after a brief second. While you usually won’t be freezing your first target, any subsequent enemy will find itself quickly frozen, making this fantastic for swarms. Just make sure you’re aiming downwards so your bullets embed themselves in the terrain after piercing an enemy.
-  Expanded Ammo Bags
-  High Capacity Magazine — Offsets the overclock’s downside.
-  Increased Caliber Rounds
-  Blowthrough Rounds — Absolutely critical to this build. Otherwise you can’t shoot enemies and embed the cryo mines in the ground.
-  Conductive Bullets — Mainly if you’re pairing it with the DRAK primary.
- Overclock: Cryo Minelets — The core of this build. Besides helping to freeze enemies (causing them to take more damage for all other sources), they also do 10 cold damage per mine.
3. Nishanka Boltshark X-80
The latest weapon to be added with Season 2 is going back to medieval times when dwarves weren’t in space yet. That’s right, you’re using a crossbow. Of course, this crossbow has a few futuristic modifications and special bolts designed to tackle the threats of Hoxxes.
Much like the Zhukovs, the crossbow is very much reliant on its overclocks to be an effective weapon. The crossbow is more about bringing utility to the field, as opposed to dealing devastating damage per shot like the Boomstick.
Depending on which modification you take in the first row, you’ll have a set of special bolts in addition to your normal ones. These range from turning your enemies into explosives on death, applying pheromones to them, or embedding electric relays in them that arc between one another.
You can swap between your normal and special bolts by simply hitting the reload button. Mind your ammo, as your supply of special bolts is considerably lower than your normal ones. Resupplying at an ammo pod will separately restore 50% of both bolts.
Additionally, your normal bolts are retrievable from the ground, but only if you miss (just approach and interact with one). This enables an interesting strategy with the Banshee Module modification (on the 5th row). The mod turns each normal bolt into a fear totem, steadily scaring away nearby enemies. As the bolts are retrievable, you can effectively provide safe havens for your team as long as your ammo reserves hold out.
While you can build the crossbow to do large bursts of damage, we find the Boomstick to be better suited for that due to the crossbow’s limited ammo capacity and greater need for careful aiming. Much like the rest of the weapons in the Scout’s kit, it shines the most when you target weak points. Note that enemies like Praetorians and Oppressors have resistance to its damage type (Piercing – brand new).
Build A: Scent of Frost
Tag a large meaty enemy with a pheromone bolt to lure everything in the surrounding area to it, then shoot a normal cryo bolt into it to freeze everything around it. This sets it up a nice ring of frozen enemies for you to execute with your primary weapon.
-  Pheromone Dart – helps lure enemies together to mass freeze them.
-  Increased Quiver Capacity – gives more chances to freeze enemies
-  Stabilizing Arm Brace – switching bolts quickly is necessary to capitalize on this build.
-  Battle Frenzy – the other option is useless because the overclock prevents bolt retrieval
-  Potent Special Bolts
- Overclock: Cryo Bolt – The lynchpin of this build. Grants all your normal bolts an aura of frost. While the freeze won’t be instant, it’ll take only a few seconds to freeze everything in the area. Just note that it prevents bolt retrieval and reduces the base damage of the bolt itself.
Build B: Banshee Bane
This one turns your crossbow into pure utility, providing as much fear coverage and easy bolt retrieval as possible. Simply fire at the ground near enemies that you want to scare away from a point and retrieve them afterwards.
-  Pheromone Dart – Best choice without any special bolt modifiers.
-  Increased Quiver Capacity
-  Reinforced Sting – Helps ensure your bolt reaches the correct destination
-  Radio Transmitter Module – Lets you retrieve your bolts at any distance by looking at them. Just don’t let your gaze linger after firing a bolt, or you’ll immediately retract it.
-  Banshee Module – the core of this build. Quickly increases the fear meter or nearby enemies.
- Overclock: Quick Fire – mostly for the sake of throwing bolts out quickly in case you really need to secure an area with the fear effect.
Grappling Hook & Build
The grappling hook is the Scout’s calling card. This baby attaches to virtually any surface known to dwarf and reels you in at breakneck speeds. Use it to get around to any location that it can possibly reach. Loot treasure, get to your friends, fling yourself into hordes of angry bugs and panic!
Note: you cannot mine and grapple at the same time. However, if you’re lucky and fast enough (or if you have the Hover Boots perk), you can mine out a foothold before you start plummeting.
You also don’t have to fully commit to a grapple. Simply let go of the trigger at any time to end the grapple early and use the momentum to slingshot yourself. You can even grapple something a second before hitting the ground and let go immediately to break your fall.
Just make sure the hook actually connects with something before letting go, or you’ll be left on recharge and probably falling to your doom. If you’re grappling towards the ground, wait until you come to a full stop or you’ll experience inertia first hand. There’s a decent chance you’ll use this more than your actual weapons on a mission, so get plenty of practice in to avoid looking like a green-beard to your team.
Build A: Spider-Scout
While you can build the grappling hook to whatever playstyle you prefer, we personally recommend focusing on reducing its recharge time. Few things feel as bad as misjudging your foothold, falling, and hitting the ground a second before it’s available again.
-  Improved Recharger
-  Greater Cable Stretch
-  Overcharged Winch — Makes it a lot easier to slingshot yourself.
-  Bypassed Integrity Check
Flare Gun & Build
In the dark depths of Hoxxes, any light source is appreciated. While each team member has their personal rechargeable flares, those can only light up a small area and take an annoying amount of time to regenerate. That’s what makes your Flare Gun so valuable.
Launch a single flare and bring fire (light) to your team like Prometheus! Just be aware the flare doesn’t last forever. Try to be tactical with your positioning to cover as much area as possible. Since the flare will stick to nearly every surface (including enemies, amusingly), we recommend aiming for the ceiling or upper walls in most cases.
It’s especially important to keep the area lit when you’re holding a point so your team can see the enemy and start killing them before they’re all within melee range of you. As soon as your current flare burns out, swap back and launch another one. Your team will love you for it.
Build A: The Dawn Has Arrived
This build focuses on keeping your flare burning as long as possible so you don’t have to constantly worry about tossing out another one. If you’re more interested in lighting up areas more often, then swap to the higher ammo modifications.
-  Thicker Core
-  High Capacity Magazine — No time to reload in the middle of a swarm!
-  Magnesium Core
The Scout has some interesting grenades that mess with enemies in unique and debilitating ways. They all enable you to get some breathing room before counterattacking.
1. Inhibitor-Field Grenade
The Inhibitor-Field Grenade is the Scout’s default and most iconic grenade. It’s all about control over damage — specifically, it slows everything hostile within its radius to an absolute crawl (75% slow) for 15s.
Even better, all enemies affected by the grenade take an additional 30% damage and are considered electrified. You have six of these to start with, so use them often to cripple and devastate any major threats. Just make sure to aim well, as they stick to any surface and deploy immediately. Alternatively, you can use them to buy your team time to escape a hairy situation.
2. Cryo Grenade
As you might expect from the name, the Cryo Grenade is all about freezing your enemies. Upon coming in contact with an enemy, it’ll detonate in an icy mist, freezing any nearby enemy instantly. As frozen enemies take triple damage, you can use this to devastate any foe.
These are especially effective when a swarm of flying enemies spawn. If your aim is good, you can hit one of the fliers near the center to freeze the entire pack. Then watch them instantly plummet to their deaths.
Just note that you’re limited to carrying four at a time, and that the grenade can bounce off surfaces without detonating. Also note that fire will pretty much instantly un-thaw any frozen enemy.
3. Pheromone Canister
Ever wanted to watch bugs fight each other to the death and take bets on which one will win? What do you mean, that’s illegal? This is Hoxxes! There are no planetary laws out here! Bah.
Anyway, anything hit by this grenade will be coated with pheromones that make the natives of Hoxxes attack each other. Toss this in a crowd and enjoy the mass in-fighting. It’s especially hilarious when you apply this to a major enemy like a Bulk Detonator.
As of Season 2, the Pheromone Canisters have been massively buffed. Previously, pheromone afflicted creatures would draw the ire of only a couple enemies around them and wouldn’t fight back. Now more enemies will now attack affected targets, affected creatures will attack all enemies around them, and the duration of the effect has been increased.
Sometimes enemies will even stop attacking your team to go fight each other, but don’t rely too heavily on this happening. Especially since you only have four of these on hand at a time.
Join the High Ground
And that’s it for our Deep Rock Engineering Scout Guide — thanks for reading! This guide was recently updated to reflect the changes in Season 2. If there are any other tips/tricks that you think we should include in our guide, then subscribe and leave a comment below.
Rock and stone forever!