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Introduction to Engineer

Published Sep 1, 2022 Updated Apr 10, 2024
Farwind meta team
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The Introduction to Engineer will help you understand the basic mechanics of this profession. Additionally, you will learn the specific specialization perks that each Engineer build has.

Engineer Mechanics

Who needs weapon swap when we have a tool belt

Tool Belt

The toolbelt is a set of 5 additional skills available to the Engineer. Every slot skill (heal, utilities, elite) grant you a unique toolbelt skill.

The toolbelt skill associated with the elite skill is replaced with a elite specialization specific skill if you choose Scrapper or Holosmith as your elite specialization. The toolbelt is entirely unavailable if you choose Mechanist as your elite specialization.


Gyros are skills available to the Scrapper elite specialization. When activated, most gyros provide a well which pulses an effect around your character, following you as you move.

The exception to this is your , which spawns a short-lived entity called a Gyro at the target location. This Gyro drops a Lightning Field and attempts to Revive up to 3 targets. Additional effects may occur depending on the Scrapper Traits you choose. The is vulnerable to damage and Defiance Break, which can disrupt its attempt to Revive allies.

Photon Forge

Photon Forge is a weapon kit which becomes available when you select the Holosmith traitline. When the traitline is active, your fifth tool belt skill is replaced with , which replaces your weapon skill with the Photon Forge kit skills.

  • , and is a strong 5-target Auto Attack chain.
  • is a short Cooldown Leap Finisher which leaps you to your target and provides you Swiftness.
  • applies area Burning and pulses Might and Heat.
  • is a rapid fire piercing attack that applies Burning.
  • is an area Launch and a Blast Finisher.

Remaining in Photon Forge and using its skills builds up a resource called Heat. This resource causes you to deal more Strike Damage via , and enhances mainhand sword and Exceed skills when used above certain Heat thresholds.

When you reach maximum Heat you , exiting Photon Forge, taking damage, and preventing you from using until you've lost all Heat. Anytime before you , you can trigger to exit Photon Forge.

Your trait choices in the Holosmith Traits affect the behavior and effects of Photon Forge and its associated skills.


Mechs are pets which accompany Mechanists. Your mech attacks independently from you and has independent stats, though it inherits some stats from its Mechanists. Additionally, some Signet effects occur around the mech.

Your toolbelt is replaced with Mech Commands. Your mech can be deployed with , which deals Defiance Break at a target location. You can dismiss your mech with ; its automatically dismissed if it is defeated. The Cooldown of depends on how much health your mech had when it was dismissed.

While your mech is dismissed, it attacks your enemies with . When underwater, your mech is dismissed and your Mech Commands are replaced by .


Mech Commands

When your mech is deployed, you have three commands based on your Mechanist Traits. These commands can be set to Auto Cast.

  • Mech Arms: F1 skill:
    • moves your mech to your target and applies Bleeding.
    • moves your mech to your target and provides area Might around the mech.
    • causes your mech to rapid-fire at your target.
  • Mech Frame: F2 skill:
    • pulses damaging conditions around your mech.
    • is a Stun Break that applies Protection, Stability, Alacrity, and Aegis in a large area around the mech.
    • Knockbacks enemies around your target.
  • Mech Core: F3 skill:
    • Burns and Dazes enemies around your target.
    • pulses Barrier, Might, and Fury to allies around your mech.
    • Burns and deals Defiance Break.

Utility Skill Types

Engineering Kits

The replacement for weapon swap.

Kits are alternate weapon sets which replace your weapon skills with five new skills. You can exit a kit using Stow Weapon. You can equip a kit in each skill slot: healing, utilities, and elite. Kits themselves have a short Cooldown, allowing you to enter and exit kits rapidly. Kit swapping will also activate sigils and active abilities which trigger on Weapon Swap.

Opening a kit does not interrupt a skill currently being cast (e.g. ).

If you swap out of a kit using Stow Kit, you will not interrupt the skill currently being cast.

If you use Weapon Swap to leave a kit, however, you will interrupt the skill currently being cast.


is your main Healing utility for support Engineer builds. it provides excellent Healing to the party, strong Condition Removal, and several defensive boons.

  • toolbelt skill: is your self-Heal while bringing this kit.


Kit Skills

  • provides moderate Healing in a cone in front of you.
  • shoots 5 projectiles that track and Heal damaged allies on contact.
  • provides a Water Field and pulses Condition Removal.
  • provides burst Healing.
  • provides full uptime of several defensive boons and a Blast Finisher.

The Blast Finisher from can be easily paired with the Water Field from for an additional burst Heal.

Elixir Gun

has strong Condition Removal and Healing, but deals terrible damage. It is often taken on support builds.

  • toolbelt skill: is a personal Stun Break that grants allies Regeneration.


Kit Skills

  • applies Weakness to enemies.
  • applies Cripple.
  • Removes Conditions in a cone.
  • is an Unblockable Blast Finisher that jumps you backwards. The jump backwards can be canceled using Weapon Swap. This skill provides Might with .
  • provides a Light Field, an initial Heal, and pulses Healing and Condition Removal. This skill provides Might with .

Light Fields are a strong source of Condition Removal. Blast Finishers, Projectile Finishers, and Whirl Finishers in a Light Field all provide Condition Removal.

Grenade Kit

provides 900 Range Explosions which deal great Condition Damage and Strike Damage. You can maintain damage even when running away from enemies by throwing grenades behind you.

Almost all damage focused Engineer builds take grenade kit.

  • toolbelt skill: does massive damage. Almost all Strike Damage builds want to use this off cooldown.


Kit Skills

All skills throw three Grenades, inflicting their effects three times in total.

  • is a moderately strong Explosive Auto Attack.
  • is your short-Cooldown, high damage skill with Bleeding. Most Engineer rotations are built around casting this skill off Cooldown.
  • applies Blind.
  • applies Chilled.
  • applies Poison.

Kit skills no longer trigger .

Bomb Kit

drops Explosions at your feet that trigger after a short Fuse Time.

  • toolbelt skill: does a large Launch.


Kit Skills

  • is an Explosive Auto Attack.
  • provides a Fire Field and Burning on a short Cooldown.
  • applies Confusion.
  • pulses Blind.
  • applies Immobilize and pulses Cripple.


is a hybrid strike and Condition damage weapon kit that focuses on Burning.

  • toolbelt skill: applies Burning to your attacks.


Kit Skills

  • applies Burning and Strike Damage in a cone in front of you.
  • is a Ground-Targeted skill that Burns in an area.
  • Knockbacks your enemies and applies Burning.
  • is a Ground-Targeted skill that creates a Fire Field in a line that Burns enemies.
  • Blinds nearby enemies.

Tool Kit

provides some niche utility.

  • toolbelt skill: boomarangs towards your target, striking enemies in the path twice.


Kit Skills

  • , , is an Auto Attack chain that Cripples foes and Heals turrets.
  • applies Immobilize and pulses Cripple.
  • applies Confusion.
  • is a channeled block.
  • is a 1200 Range single target Pull.

Elite Mortar Kit

is a strong utility kit with a massive 1,500 Range. This skill is brought by many Engineer builds.

  • toolbelt skill: does an Unblockable Blast Finisher after a short delay.


Kit Skills

  • is a strong Auto Attack.
  • provides a Poison Field and pulses Poison.
  • provides an Ice Field and pulses Chilled.
  • provides a Light Field and pulses Blind.
  • provides a Water Field and pulses Healing. This skill provides Might with .

, , and skills use Ground-Targeting. These skills can be difficult to use in a timely manner with default settings. You can modify your settings as follows to ease using these skills in a rotation:

  1. Navigate to General Settings Combat/Movement
  2. Set Ground Target to Instant or Fast with Range Indicator
  3. Enable Snap Ground Target to Current Target; Alternatively Key-bind Toggle Snap Ground Target


Drink 'em or Chuck 'em

Elixir skills provide self boons via the slot skill, and area boons via the toolbelt skill. These toolbelt skills are Ground-Targeted skills with 900 Range.

Elixirs are very rarely brought on team-focused engineer builds, but the following skills are sometimes useful.

  • refills Endurance and removes Immobilizing effects, but is primarily brought for its toolbelt skill.
    • toolbelt skill: pulses Revive to Downed players.
  • is a Stun Break that provides a short period of Invulnerablity.
    • toolbelt skill: provides Stealth to allies.
  • provides some self-boons, but is usually brought for the toolbelt skill.
    • toolbelt skill: provides Stability to allies.

The following skills are the less used elixirs.

  • provides you a Heal and some defensive boons.
    • toolbelt skill: provides defensive boons to allies.
  • converts conditions on you into boons.
    • toolbelt skill: converts conditions on allies into boons.
  • provides you Quickness and Stability.
    • toolbelt skill: provides Superspeed to allies.
  • transforms you into one of two forms that both provide a large amount of Defiance Break.
    • toolbelt skill: turns enemies into Moas, dealing significant Defiance Break.


Options for every situation
  • allows you to ignore a hit which would Down you, Healing you instead.
    • toolbelt skill: provides Defiance Break.
  • provides two Knockbacks in quick succession.
    • toolbelt skill: provides an additional ranged Defiance Break.
  • places a mine at the target location. When the flip skill is triggered, the mines explode, dealing Strike Damage and removing enemy boons.
    • toolbelt skill: places mines on the ground which deal Strike Damage and Cripple.
  • launches you horizontally, removing movement-impairing conditions.
    • toolbelt skill: applies Burning.

The following are the less used gadgets.

  • knocks foes down behind you.
    • toolbelt skill: is a Stun Break that provides Superspeed.
  • is a personal Stun Break that provides you Resistance.
    • toolbelt skill: Reveals enemies.

Gadgets can be significantly strengthened when modified by .


Toolbelt skills with utilities attached

Turrets place an entity at your current location, which then proceed to attack independently from you. When placed, turrets activate an overcharge skill, and then proceed to attack normally. Turrets can take damage from enemies and be destroyed. When you are done with your turret, you can either Detonate your turret for extra damage and a Blast Finisher, or pick it up to reduce its Cooldown.

  • Heals you and provides Regeneration to allies.
    • overcharge: provides a Water Field, Condition Removal, and an area Heal.
    • toolbelt skill: provides a Water Field and area Regeneration.
  • does single-target Strike Damage.
    • overcharge: increases your 's rate of fire.
    • toolbelt skill: is an instant cast Strike Damage skill with a short Cooldown.
  • hits enemies with area Explosion.
    • overcharge: deals Defiance Break.
    • toolbelt skill: fires a rocket which does an area Explosion.
  • Cripples enemies.
    • overcharge: Launchs enemies with a Blast Finisher.
    • toolbelt skill: provides you a Stun Break and Stability along side a Blast Finisher.
  • Immobilizes an enemy.
    • overcharge: Stuns and Immobilizes an enemy.
    • toolbelt skill: also Immobilizes an enemy.
  • applies Burning.
    • overcharge: pulses Blind.
    • toolbelt skill: places a Fire Field and applies Burning.
  • drops , , and for 60 seconds.
    • toolbelt skill: drops med kits in an area. Allies can pick these up to Heal themselves.


The ultimate endform of all skills

Gyros spawn mobile wells which follow you as you move. Each provides a Combo Field beneath you. All gyros tend to see use in regular gameplay.

  • provides a Water Field, a large self-Heal, and pulses Healing.
    • toolbelt skill: provides a Water Field and pulses Protection.
  • provides a Lightning Field and pulses Barrier.
    • toolbelt skill: is a Ground-Targeted skill that provides Stability and a projectile block at the target location.
  • provides a Light Field and pulses Condition Removal.
    • toolbelt skill: provides a Poison Field, and pulses Poison.
  • pulses Strike Damage. Instead of providing a Combo Field, it is a Whirl Finisher.
    • toolbelt skill: provides a Lightning Field, Dazes enemies, and pulses Strike Damage.
  • provides a Fire Field, pulses Might, and ends with a Blast Finisher. Blasting the Fire Field provides more Might.
    • toolbelt skill: provies a group Stun Break, and group Superspeed.
  • provides a Smoke Field and pulses Stealth.


Light 'em up

Exceeds are Holosmith utilities which scale with Heat. Each receives a buff at 50 Heat and at 100 Heat.

  • Heals yourself and Chills nearby foes.
    • toolbelt skill: does Condition Removal from yourself. Above 50 and 100 Heat more conditions are removed.
  • summons blades which do Strike Damage in an area around you. They last twice as long if you are above 50 Heat, and do extra damage above 100 Heat.
    • toolbelt skill: deals Strike Damage to five targets. it deals increased damage at 50 Heat and 100 Heat.
  • provides Light Field and pulses Protection and Fury. at 50 Heat the lasts longer and covers a bigger area, and at 100 Heat no longer has reduced boon duration for allies.
    • toolbelt skill: is one of the few area Pulls on Engineer. Its radius significantly increases at 50 Heat, and it deals more damage over 100 Heat.
  • provides a wall which blocks projectiles. at 50 Heat it reflects projectiles. During the channel you can at enemies to hit them with an Explosion. above 50 Heat additional walls are launched. Above 100 Heat the launched walls do 50% increased Strike Damage.
    • toolbelt skill: grants allies Swiftness and enemies Cripple.
  • is a Stun Break that provides damage reduction for a short period of time.
    • toolbelt skill: Blinds enemies. Above 50 Heat it provides yourself with damage reduction.
  • is an Unblockable beam that Launchs enemies. If you are above 50 Heat, it leaves behind a field which pulses Burning.


Interactive gaming

Signets are utility skills available to you when you choose the Mechanist elite specialization traitline. Signets provide a passive effect when they are not on Cooldown, and can be activated to cause an effect. When you activate these skills the effect happens around your mech. If your mech has been defeated or recalled, however, the effect happens around you.

Since the toolbelt is unavailable when you are a mechanist, there are no associated toolbelt skills.

  • passively Heals you for a small amount. When activated, it Heals you for a large amount.
  • passively copies your boons to your mech. When activiated, it teleports you and your mech to the target location, Breaking Stuns and Removing Conditions.
  • passively boosts your Condition Damage. When activated, a Lightning Field and damaging conditions are applied in an area around your mech.
  • passively boosts your Strike Damage. When activated, a Knockback occurs around both you and your mech.
  • passively reduces incoming damage. When activated, a bubble appears around your mech that blocks projectiles and pulses Barrier.
  • passively reduces the Cooldown of your other signets. When activated, your mech either shoots a giant laser at its target, or revives if it were defeated.



The primary core damage traitline

The Firearms traitline is the primary damage traitline for the Engineer. It provides Critical Chance and Strike Damage for Power builds, and increased Condition Damage and Condition Duration for Condition builds.

Strike Damage builds take , , and . When these traits are taken, firearms provides 55% Critical Chance.

Condition Damage builds take , and .

Advanced Usage

Your minor traits grant Bleeding on critical hits, increased Critical Chance against Bleeding targets, and increased Bleeding duration.

For Strike Damage builds, and provides increased Critical Chance and Ferocity respectively while within 450 Range of your target, and provides increased base Strike Damage for every unqiue condition on an enemy. These traits combined with the minor traits give you 30% base Critical Chance, 50% self-Fury uptime, and a signficant Strike Damage bonus. When you take this traitline as a Strike Damage build, 55% percent Critical Chance will be covered when you have full Fury uptime, meaning your gear only needs to provide 45% Critical Chance.

For condition builds, increases your Condition Damage, and increased Condition Duration from pistol skills. gives you increased Expertise and Burning damage, and increases your Burning duration, as well as causing extra Burning when you score a critical hit.

None of the other trait choices matter in instanced PvE content.


The secondary core damage traitline

The Explosives traitline is the secondary damage traitline for the Engineer. This modifies your Explosion damage abilities, and applies Vulnerability to your enemies.

Strike Damage builds take , , and for increased damage.

Condition Damage builds take the same traits as the Strike Damage build, except with instead of .

Advanced Usage

The minor traits for explosions provide Vulnerability when an enemy is hit with an Explosion, and additional Strike Damage (up to 12.5%) against enemies suffering from Vulnerability. Between and other Explosion-causing skills on Engineer, it generally requires no effort to max out Vulnerability on your enemies.

For Strike Damage builds, and increases your damage while your health is high, and causes additional strikes on your targets. can be taken to increase your Ferocity, but is generally outclassed by in most situations.

For condition builds, provides additional Bleeding and Cripple to enemies.


The tertiary core damage traitline

The Tools traitline is the tertiary damage traitline for the Engineer. It enhances your Tool Belt, Gadgets, and Engineering kits skills, and providers modifiers for Endurance and Vigor.

Strike Damage builds take and , and for the improved .

Condition Damage builds take for some additional Condition Damage.

Advanced Usage

Your minor traits on tools provide you self-Vigor on toolbelt skill used, reduced toolbelt recharge time, and a 10% Strike Damage bonus when you have Vigor. Your toolbelt skills will not provide you with full Vigor uptime, however, so you'll want an external source to comfortably have full uptime.

For Strike Damage builds, provides significant damage when you use a toobelt skill, provides increased base Strike Damage when your Endurance isn't full, and significantly buffs your damage from .

and create an interesting dynamic for Strike Damage builds: you want full Vigor uptime for one 10% damage buff, but also need to fit Dodges into your rotation so you maintain your 10% damage buff from .

For condition builds, provides some additional Condition Damage with some extremely difficult timing via triggering . allows you to trigger one of seven skills every 20 seconds. This Cooldown is invisible, except for a buff on your buff bar when is off Cooldown. Which skill gets triggered depends on which kit you enter at this time. is triggered by entering . If you trigger with one of the three other kits you use on core condition builds, you are out of luck.


The primary core healing traitline

The Alchemy traitline is the primary healing traitline for the Engineer. It increases the effectiveness of your Healing, and helps your provide Might to your party. It also increases your Concentration.

and provide a strong boost to your outgoing Healing.

helps you provide Might to your subgroup.


The secondary core healing traitline

The Inventions traitline is the secondary Healing traitline for the Engineer. It helps you provide Protection and additional Healing to your allies.

enables you to upkeep Protection as a healer by using your shield skills.

and boosts your Healing to your allies. The latter converts the self-Healing in the Alchemy Trait Line into group Healing!

Advanced Usage

The main decision point in the Inventions traitline is the choice between the different Master traits.

is generally the default, providing the most base Healing to the group.

is usually brought for one of two reasons: providing Fury if you are playing Heal Scrapper and not using a , or providing a reflect bubble to handle certain mechanics which require projectile reflection rather than projectile block.

can be used on Heal Scrapper to help upkeep Regeneration in the case where you're trading out for another utility, such as for more Defiance Break.


Move fast and break things

The Scrapper traitline gives you access to Function Gyro and Gyro Utilities. As a Scrapper, you play a bruiser that can, via trait choices, provide Superspeed and Quickness to your allies.

The minor trait converts a percentage of your Strike Damage into Barrier.

and are taken by Healing builds.

and are taken by Strike Damage builds.

is taken to provide Quickness by doing Blast Finishers and Leap Finishers in Combo Fields.

Builds are generally free to decide between and to grant allies Superspeed or Stability.


Yes, you get a lightsaber

The Holosmith traitlines gives you access to Photon Forge and Exceeds. As a Holosmith, you focus on dealing big damage to your enemies, dealing more damage the more Heat you have.

Condition builds take , and .

Power builds take and or . They take when using a sword, or otherwise.

Advanced Usage

There's three variants of Holosmith builds, depending on which Grandmaster trait you decide to take. (ECSU) and (PBM) builds are very common in PvE content, with some niche play for (TRV) based builds.

(TRV) requires you to Dodge frequently as part of your gameplay. When you , you use your Dodges to extend the amount of time you remain in Photon Forge, allowing you to execute more high damage skills before you to avoid a . This has been used well with condition Holosmith in PvE in the past. This trait has good synergies with the tools traitline, and traditionally sees more use outside of PvE.

(ECSU) extends your Heat cap to 150, and gives your exceeds and sword skills additional affects while between 100 and 150 Heat. Therefore, you play by juggling your Heat, when you are around 90 Heat and after casting to max yourself out at 150 Heat without triggering .

(PBM) is the most forgiving playstyle, since you just blast through your maximum Heat, triggering regularly. There are both Condition Damage and Strike Damage builds which pair well with this playstyle, as long as you are using weapons other than a mainhand sword.


The best pet class in Tyria

The Mechanist traitline replaces your Tool Belt with Mech Commands, provides you a Mech to command, and gives you access to Signets. As a Mechanist, you command your mech to attack your enemies and optionally provide Barrier and Alacrity to allies.

Your Mechanist traits customize your mech, changing which stats your mech inherits from you, and changing which Mech Commands your mech has available.

For minor traits, punishes you severely if you are not standing next to your mech by significantly reducing the effectiveness of your mech, and preventing you from having your Mech Commands available to handle mechanics.

and , and are taken by Condition Damage builds.

, , and are taken by Alacrity support builds.

Stat conversions and percent modifiers are not inherited by the mech. This includes the common following sources:

  • and other percent-based utilities
  • and other percent-based sigils
  • due to both the percentage modifiers and the stat conversions from Agony Resistance

The loss of percentage modifiers and stat conversions from Agony Resistance in particular puts the Mechanist at a distinct disadvantage compared to other specializations for Fractals.

Advanced Usage

The grandmaster traits and are both used on Condition Damage builds, depending on which other skills you bring. , however, provides a lot of built-in sustain and utility over .

does the worst damage of all the options, and also guarentees you'll have very low uptime. You should avoid this trait like the plague. If you are playing a power mechanist for some reason, you should go with or instead.

Combo Fields

You as an Engineer have access to a large number of Combo Fields, and you'll need to know how to use them when playing support builds.

The most important interactions you'll need to know are the following:

  • Blast Finishers in a Water Field provide burst Healing.
  • Blast Finishers in a Light Field provide area Condition Removal.
  • Blast Finishers in a Fire Field provide area Might.
  • Leap Finishers in a Lightning Field provide Defiance Break.

Additionally, with the scrapper trait you can provide group Quickness when you use a Leap Finisher or a Blast Finisher in a Combo Field.

For a full list of Combo Fields accessable to Engineer, see the table below.

Combo Field Skills
Skill Field Type Elite Specialization Skill Source
() Water Engineer Utility
Water Engineer Tool Belt ()
Water Engineer
Water Engineer
Water Scrapper Utility
Water Scrapper Tool Belt ()
Smoke Engineer
() Smoke Engineer Utility
Smoke Scrapper Utility
Poison Engineer
Poison Scrapper Tool Belt ()
Lightning Engineer Hammer
Lightning Scrapper Utility
Lightning Scrapper Tool Belt
Lightning Scrapper Tool Belt ()
Lightning Mechanist Utility
Light Engineer
Light Engineer
Light Scrapper Utility
Light Holosmith Utility
Light Engineer Tool Belt ()
Ice Engineer
Fire Engineer Short Bow
Fire Engineer
Fire Engineer
Fire Scrapper Utility
Fire Engineer Tool Belt ()
Ethereal Engineer
Dark Engineer Short Bow

Defiance Break

Engineers have access to a large amount of Defiance Break, spread out over many skills, as well as Leap Finishers and Lightning Field.

Defiance Break Skills
Specialization Skill Name Skill Source Defiance Break
Engineer Weapon (Hammer) 100
Engineer in Lightning Field Weapon (Hammer) 200 (100 per Leap Finisher)
Engineer Weapon (Shield) 150
Engineer Weapon (Shield) 100 (per enemy attack)
Engineer Weapon (Shield) 200 (100 per hit)
Engineer in Lightning Field Weapon (Mace) 100
Engineer Weapon (Mace) 100
Engineer Weapon (Rifle) 232
Engineer Weapon (Short Bow) 150 (300 with Chain Reaction)
Engineer Weapon (Harpoon Gun) 150
Engineer Toolbelt () 200
Engineer Toolbelt () 232
Engineer Toolbelt () 100
Engineer Toolbelt () 300
Engineer 150
Engineer 150
Engineer Downed 150
Engineer Utility 232
Engineer Utility 232
Engineer Utility 200
Engineer Utility () 400 (200 per hit)
Engineer 232
Engineer 200
Engineer Shocking Aura () 100 (per enemy attack)
Engineer () 100
Engineer () 150
Engineer () 200
Engineer () 200
Engineer () 232
Engineer () 150
Engineer () 232 (per impact)
Scrapper Utility 300
Scrapper Toolbelt () 200
Holosmith Photon Forge 232
Holosmith Elite 232
Holosmith Toolbelt () 150
Mechanist Mech Command 232
Mechanist Mech Command 100
Mechanist Mech Command 232
Mechanist Mech Command 232
Mechanist Utility 150
Mechanist Mech (Via Weapon Skill 3) 100

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