Gunner is a truly unique class & playstyle, using Twin Machineguns to excel at acrobatic close range aerial combat. Ever since a patch in 2019, Gunner's level 85 skill got nerfed but it received a power bonus to most of it's PAs. Even though NA has not started with level 85, these PA damage changes are live in the NA version. The changes have made every Photon Art for TMG very similar in DPS. Now Gunner is one of the only classes that can really make use of every single one of it's 11 PAs! This guide is solely focused on explaining how to use them. The Photon Arts listed at the top what you need the most and what you will use the least will be at the bottom. With all of that said, let's begin!
- Satellite Aim
Gunner's bread-and-butter Photon Art. Two short range blasts with a reliable hitbox that come out quick and can hit multiple targets. Recommended to use in the air, as it is slower on the ground. Gunner should be in the air 99% of the time anyways! Launches target(s) if possible. S-Roll into it or follow up with it from Assault Advance or Grim Barrage.
Commonly used after 2nd S-Roll to avoid the slow 3rd S-Roll, then repeat. For example "S-Roll > S-Roll > Satellite Aim, repeat" is a common attack pattern that allows you to dodge, reposition, and push damage all at the same time while omitting the 3rd bullet time S-Roll. This becomes very prominent when the level 85 skill becomes available.
Satellite Aim is short and sweet, so it combos easily into itself or other PAs. It also cancels into S-Roll as early as the first hit, so you are not locked in a long animation and can comfortably dodge at a moment's notice while not worrying about losing damage from dodging compared to longer PAs. As such, this should be mapped to your most available button(ex: right click if you play with mouse) since this will be one of your most used Photon Arts.
- Grim Barrage
Grim Barrage is a crucial gap closing and movement Photon Art in Gunner's arsenal, so you should have this readily available to use on your weapon palette. Barrel roll in the air a great distance, then deals 3 hits once you reach the target, then another 4 hits while your character moves up vertically. It is widely used to travel long distances while airborne. It is faster than running and goes further than Dead Approach, but does not have guard frames. It is S-Roll cancel-able at any time, so be ready to do so if you get caught in the middle of this.
The movement itself has vertical tracking via. lock-on or TPS as well as being able to turn during the movement, so you can use it reach high targets and curve around things. It's common to TPS upwards or downwards to aim at nothing during the move so that you will fly straight forward to stop the vertical tracking from sending you upwards or downwards if there are targets around.
This move is unique in that there are multiple Perfect Attack rings: one after the 3 hits, and another after the 4 hits. The DPS is the same either way, so feel free to use either Perfect Attack ring. You can activate skills on your sub-palette in-between the shots(like Showtime, Chain Trigger, Stances), so that's pretty useful despite losing the next Perfect Attack ring.
It deals great damage, extremely efficient costing only 10pp, and sets up for Point Blank Boost combos. It's good at hitting certain weak points, but it doesn't hit multiple targets, so you can use this over Satellite Aim for damage in those situations. In-general, Gunner will be using this PA all day every day.
- Assault Advance (Dead Approach)
Another gap closing Photon Art that's faster(but shorter travel distance) than Grim Barrage with guard frames in front. It deals a single hit that stuns targets and can hit multiple enemies. It is used to safely approach your target at lightning speed, put yourself in Point Blank Boost range, and setup for combos. If you see an enemy attack coming, this move will get you through it untouched, but only from the front. This also procs healing guard on the Hunter tree. You can S-Roll cancel it as soon as the movement ends.
This is TMG's fastest PA, so it is commonly used as quick charge filler for Heel Stab and Aerial Fire, but feel free to combo into anything else. The DPS between this, Satellite Aim, and Grim Barrage are pretty much the same, but Grim Barrage is more PP efficient, so save this for when Grim Barrage won't do the job(ex: if Grim Barrage tracking is undesirable for the situation, or setting up a PA combo by initially parrying/going through an attack, or for approaching a group of tightly packed mobs).
Since it's faster than Grim Barrage in terms of move speed, you can push damage out a bit quicker than a Grim Barrage starter if you're at maximum range to land this. In terms of defensive options, it can be safer to use this compared to S-Rolling through an attack, so keep this in mind. As it is one of your only movement and block/parry Photon Arts, you will want to have this Photon Art ready to use on your palette at any moment.
- True Equilibrium (Elder Rebellion)
One of Gunner's truly ranged Photon Arts. Hits 9 times; the first 6 are single target. The last 3 hits are explosions that can hit multiple targets, have more range, damage, and launches enemies. Great for picking off targets you don't really want to chase down or pinpointing a weakpoint that might be difficult to tag otherwise(like Chrome Dragon's head that moves all over the place). Also good for popping Chain Trigger Finish if you cannot setup another PA/combo in time. The DPS matches your other PAs when used at close-range, so it's quite versatile in every situation now.
Definitely have this Photon Art always available on your palette. It's easy to use and the damage is great, so I recommend spamming this when first starting out with Gunner. It's S-Roll cancel-able at any time so it's really safe as well. You can easily calculate the total damage by multiplying the first hit times 10.
- Chronolapse (Messiah Time)
This is Gunner's highest damage Chain Trigger option, so learn to setup your Chain Finishes with this. A Matrix-style attack where the user slows down and spins while firing many slow-moving bullets around themselves. The goal is to use this move point-blank on your target(s) so that every bullet hits close up. It will look like the bullets go in all directions, but as long as your character is literally on top of the target, all 31 hits(5 initial shots, then 26 while spinning) will connect. Also useful for hitting multiple targets close to you as the hitbox for the bullets is quite generous and can hit many enemies.
There is an invulnerable period for your character while they are slowed down and are firing the bullets(but not before the bullets come out both times), so you can be confident about using it close up to dodge attacks and deal damage simultaneously if you time it well. The animation is long at a whopping 4.5 seconds, so you'll have to be smart about using this or else you'll miss a lot of hits and waste opportunities. There is a ton of recovery after the shots come out, so S-Roll out of it to avoid the recovery frames.
Outside of Chain Trigger and abusing close range multi-target situations, you don't want to spam this unless you can find a good time to land all the hits(ex: while an enemy changes phase, you start a Chronolapse before they come back, then the enemy moves or appears into the last part of the Chronolapse you set up, or if they're just standing still, or against an enemy that attacks a lot). Certainly have this mapped to your palette as learning to set up this attack is crucial to excelling with Gunner.
- Aerial Fire (Aerial Shooting)
Rush toward the enemy on the ground and kick them up. When charged or combo'd into, rise high into the air with your kick, dealing 3 hits. When used uncharged in the air, you will simply kick upward and gain some height. This move has guard frames in front, so it can be used to block attacks.
The damage is good, but the move lifts you up into the air, so it is quite situational to be used for damage. If you do manage to find a situation to land all of the hits and be fine with the aerial position it puts you in, then by all means go for it. But this is not something you should aim to do all the time. You can influence the aerial drift of the move while holding a direction during the animation in the air.
Aerial Fire is mainly used to build or maintain height as an extra jump. For this reason, you should always have this on your palette as it is invaluable in keeping you in the air or building extra height after you've used your jumps in order to position yourself vertically for your other attacks. You can gain a lot of height by charging an Aerial Fire > double jumping > then releasing the charge at the peak of your double jump. If you really want, you can spam it uncharged or combo it with another PA like Assault Advance back-to-back to reach the ceiling of the map.
- Gunslinger Spin (Reverse Tap)
A Photon Art that excels at mobbing with its ability to suction enemies to you while stunning them at the same time. Hits 4 times and the user can move during the attack. Combos well with Desperado Dance. The last hit raises you in the air a little bit and you can S-Roll cancel the move at any time. Also has a small window of guard frames around your character when each hit occurs. The guard frames aren't exactly reliable, but you can be somewhat confident about using it haphazardly because the guard frames exist in the first place.
Due to the nature of the move in which it will bring enemies to you, it may leave you in a dangerous spot in the middle of everything, so it's not uncommon to S-Roll out once you have gathered all the enemies together. Not much else to say here but to keep this ready for AoE situations, as the utility and damage are good enough.
- Desperado Dance (Shift Period)
AoE Photon Art that deals 6 initial hits to nearby enemies, then explodes in all directions around you with increased range, dealing up to 3 hits depending on the range that the enemies get hit at. Less hits will incur the further the enemies get hit(down to 2 to 1 hits). The first 6 hits deal around the same amount of damage as the last 3 hits.
It is great at hitting many enemies if you stand in the middle of a group, but the animation is long and has no guard frames or i-frames, so you are quite vulnerable. Because of this, it is recommended to position yourself above the enemies when using this. You will get headshots more easily in the air as well.
In most mobbing situations, I would recommend Gunslinger Spin instead, but this can be more useful if you need more AoE range and the suction effects of Gunslinger Spin don't work in your current scenario.
- Heel Stab
A high damage charge-able gap-closing Photon Art where the user does an AoE stomp on the ground twice which knocks enemies up, then fires off 6 AoE ranged shots if you charged or combo'd into the move. Can control the movement of the kicks and can slightly turn during the shots. If used from the air, the user flies downward diagonally until they reach the floor, then the kick animation begins. Using from the skies can be quite useful to ground yourself for positioning. Commonly combo'd from Assault Advance or Grim Barrage to push out the Stylish/Quick Charge as fast as possible.
This move gets you close to the target but has no guard/i-frames, and the damage doesn't come out until the end of the animation, so it can be dangerous if used haphazardly. You won't aim to use this all the time unless you know you can do it without getting hit and it is an optimal weakpoint target for the enemy/situation. A good example is if there is an enemy weak point is safely exposed on the floor, or against the many falspawn mobs whom have exposed weakpoint cores.
None-the-less, it is one of Gunner's highest damage Photon Arts in single and multi-target close-range situations, so learning when you can use this safely is crucial to topping out Gunner's damage. If you really want to maximize the frames and DPS, it comes out faster if you do it from the air as low as possible.
- Bullet Hail (Bullet Squall)
Kick downward knocking enemies down and fire bullets at a downward angle. An attack that looks very similar from a game Featuring Dante From The Devil May Cry Series. Mashing the button for the Photon Art will get you up to 25 shots; otherwise it will end prematurely. The range is quite generous, so you can hit multiple targets in a cone below you. Because of the nature of the move in which it comes from above, it will most likely score headshots on targets. If you jump high and use this, you can be safe from attacks in many situations.
Bullet Hail is the other key Photon Art as a Chain Finisher, so I recommend this if you cannot setup for Chronolapse. Outside of Chain Trigger, it is highly PP efficient and easy-to-use, but the DPS is the same as most of the other TMG PAs.
This move is heavily affected by TMG Focus(the meter above your weapon palette) compared to the other PAs, so the damage won't be good and I can't recommend using it unless the Focus meter is maxed out. The animation is quite long and you can't move, so aim to use this against stationary enemies with a lot of health.
- Infinite Storm (Infinity Fire)
Customized PAs aren't available in NA right now, so you can ignore this move until we get crafting. Non-crafted Infinite Storm is very weak, so there's no point in using it because True Equilibrium exists. If you're into random history lessons: this move used to be so broken and easy-to-use that everyone played Gunner and spammed only this PA when it first came out. There was no other moment in PSO2 history where so many people were using Gunner.
- Other Notes:
• PAs can be S-Roll cancelled during their animations. Learning what PAs you can dish out while dodging with S-Roll i-frames is essential to smooth gunner gameplay.
• Charge times for Aerial Fire and Heel Stab are 0.5 seconds.
• It can be difficult to fit all of the Photon Arts that Gunner needs on one weapon palette, so most Gunners will map some Photon Arts to the subpalette. At the end of the day, you will want to have access to all of them and use them per situation. The Photon Arts listed above are in order from what you need the most and what you will use the least. With that said, in the NA version without crafting/custom PAs, you can skip using Infinite Storm for now.
• Chronolapse and Bullet Hail are your main Chain Trigger Finishers, as they deal the highest damage in the amount of time you have for Chain Finish (which is roughly 3 seconds). Other powerful Chain Trigger combos include:
- "Grim Barrage(3-hit OR 7-hit) > True Equilibrium" - This is easy-to-use and good against a target that you think might move around during the Chain Finish.
- "Grim Barrage(7-hit) > Heel Stab" - Grounded option. Start Grim Barrage from the air but as low as possible.
- "Satellite Aim x 4" - Old combo. It works but almost anything is better than this now.
• All of the Gunner rings from Franka's Cafe are mandatory. However, since we can only equip one Left Ring at the moment, do not leave home without the "Forward Stylish Roll" ring. The other ones simply provide extra damage. Get the "S-Roll + High Time" hybrid ring when you can.
• As mentioned in the intro, all Gunner PAs have very similar damage output, so you should aim to use what's best for the situation or whatever hits weakpoints consistently in the given situation. The only PAs that really come out on top right now are Stylish/Quick Charge Heel Stab and a pre-setup Chronolapse.
• Here's the Skill Tree that can be used for Gu/Hu and Gu/Fi on the NA version as of 4/22: https://tinyurl.com/yavs2778
• Enemies die when they are killed.
I can only explain so much in text, but if you still don't fully understand, it will come all together with video reference. I have been streaming PSO2 and playing Gunner ever since the class was released, so you can see this stuff in action on my stream @ www.twitch.tv/gmcustom.
If you have any questions about TMG PAs, feel free to ask away whether it's here or on stream.
Thanks to @neek_pso2, @Xyr_ship2, and @ZenKronos for helping out with some tips, text and formatting
Thanks to all Gunner players
Thanks to all the PSO2 fans
Thanks to you for reading
Editor's Note: I wish I could make it a little more funny but I didn't want it to be any longer than it already is. There's probably still things I need to add in any case. Also, the help I had from others made me think about this a lot in order to make it as good as possible. When we get crafting and PA/Tech customization, I'll add in the write ups about Infinite Storm and Bullet Hail(they're already done, just in my pocket) as well as additional info related to those PAs. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the Gunner class and PSO2!
- 4/9: Swapped Grim Barrage & Assault Advance on the list, and added more explanation behind using one or the other. Other changes and additions to most PAs.
- 4/23: Added Skill Tree to "Other Notes" section (https://tinyurl.com/yavs2778)
- 4/24: Changed the topic name and introduction