How I Rate Characters in Detail, and What the Tiers Mean
The characters are rated by what they bring to the table. They are evaluated by looking over what each character's starting kit, as well as their Early-Game, Mid-Game, and most importantly, End-Game potential, each with varying amounts of worth. Their viability, Unique Attributes, Strengths, and Weaknessess are all taken into account on how strong/bad each are.
I value RNG somewhat seperatly of the character's actual potential worth, and use Signs as how Consistant characters are depending on RNGsus:
- + (Plus Sign) = Extremely consistant, little need of good RNG.
- No sign = Normal, fluctuating consistancy, sometimes in need of some good RNG.
- - (Minus Sign) = Bad, Unstable Consistancy, in Heavy need of Good/Great RNG.
Lastly, the Letter Tiers are catagorized from best to worst. Some letters might not be used as there might not be any character whom would belong in the specified catagory with said traits:
- S = The Best-of-the-Best Characters w/ Outstanding Performance whom accels in generally any situation, having very little weakness if played to their fullest potential.
- A = Great overall Performance with great potential, with weaknesses that can be often covered for with some items and/or the presence of a good gun selection.
- B = Good overall Performance with decent potential, with some weaknesses that can often be covered for with some items and/or the presence of a good gun selection.
- C = Alright overall Performance with a limited potenial, with glaring weaknesses that would potentially require a decent set of items/weapons to determine their potential.
- D = Mediocre overall performance with not much potential, with large weaknessess that will require a good set of items/weapons to determine their potential.
- F = Bad overall Performance with little to no potential, with huge, crippling weaknessess; some that that cannot be covered with any kind of items/weapons.
S+: The Bullet
Unsurprisingly, The Bullet basically would be the Overall best character in generally any situation. His starting weapon is, in my opinion, the best in the game; starting with Blasphamy makes the Bullet very strong on its own, allowing to you completely decimate the first few floors so long as you have full health. adding in how it can destory incoming projectiles makes Blasphamy one of the best defensive weapons in the game. These traits instantly gives this weapon end-game potential without the need of many passive items, all the way through Bullet Hell, just for the defensive capabilities, giving the weapon a kind of Solid long-term viability most weapons only dream of having. Effective use of Blasphamy gives the Bullet the Highest amount of Early-game independance from the need of different weapons/items out of any other character in this game.
Live Ammo is one of the best passive items in the game as well (sadly exclusive to Bullet & cannot be unlocked for other character use). The extra roll damage is a great fallback when you get hit w/ Blasphamy still being your only weapon, but the negation of contact damage greatly increases your kill rate when using Blasphamy, as well as being immune to Jammed Contact Damage, making him the Second best pick for Cursed Runs, and #1 best for Challange Runs.
The Bullet's biggest weakness lies in Blasphamy as well; It requires you to be at full health in order to effectivly use Blasphamy offensively. If you take health damage once, you're no longer able to shoot sword beams, serverly harming your damage output and forcing you to fight Point-Blank range w/ Blasphamy. This, however, generally only comes into play when you take accidental damage during the first floor or two, as he most likaly won't have decent back-up weapons to mitigate this early-game. This generally does not become an issue end-game, as you'll be using Blasphamy for its projectile-destroying effect more than its offensive abilities, unless you have good passive items to bolster its damage output to keep up with damage other weapons will be doing.
The Bullet is generally considered by many to be the best, and it clearly shows; He is a force to be reckoned with.
S: The Robot
The Robot is my personal Favorite next to the Bullet, but that's for a damn good reason; his Untapped Potential.
His unmentioned passive is that he gets 5% increase damage for every Junk he has. While this passive seems abit lackluster, it does come in handy considering this is The Robot we're talking about. This lessens the harm of a lack of key drops & weapon shortages, and indirectly and makes him the best partner for Ser Junken.
His Robot Right Hand is the best Non-Special Projectile-based starter weapon in the game, being able to kill Floor 1 Gun Nuts in one clip, good RoF & range, as well as starting with Battery Bullets, innately increasing overall accuracy. Its even possible to ace the first couple of floor bosses in a decent pace using the Robot Right Hand, giving him some good early-game independance from the need of other weapons.
His Coolant Leak is highly underappreciated as well; While the general strategy to use it for is to wet the floor and electrify it via Battery Bullets for good AoE damage, it has many other applications. For some reason, people seem to forget it's usefulness as a great Utility. The Coolant Leak has the ability to extinguish fires, including the fireplace in the 1st floor, giving instant access to the Sewer Entrance (assuming you have the keys for unlocking said entrance), and can douse out Fuses on Trapped Chests.
His big weakness is the fact that he is entierly reliant on Armor for health, causing some Health-Based items/weapons in the game to be useless for him, with armor being the rarest random drop from room clears & often expensive to buy from shops mid-game and end-game. This is generally why most people consider him to be the hardest character to play, some saying he is very bad because of this, having him seem like the Blue Baby of Gungeon. There is no doubt that he is hard to master because of this, but the Armor-as-Health gimmick, along with his Coolant Leak & Junk Passive actually gives Robot two Unique kinds of Viable Stratagies/Synergies no other character could ever dream of having.
Let's start with the lesser of the two advantages the Robot's Armor-Health Gimmick has. Ammolets normally are not too useful or gamechanging, as you're exclusivly limited to use Blanks in order to give off the Ammolet effects, or specialized items such as the Elder Blank or the Owl to give off the Ammolet Effect's consistantly, which are not that often to run into. With the Robot however, the usefulness of Ammolets skyrocket, as Armor Hits give off Blank Effects, also utilizing any Ammolet effect you have w/ the Robot to the entire room, as though you actually did use a Blank (this is also probably the only time Enraging Photo would ever be remotely useful). This can technichally apply to any character who has obtained some armor, but the Robot is the only character who starts with a Surplus of it, effectvly triggering Ammolet effects much more frequently, as though it's a revenge effect for when the Robot's armor takes a hit, and since the Robot literally lives on Armor, Ammolets have the best home with him.
2: Cursed Runs
This is by far the Robot's Biggest Advantage. For people who does not know, If you kill the past of at least one character, the Hero Shrine becomes available as a usable, functionable shrine. Using the shrine then will give you the option of being able to instantly obtain a Curse Value of 9; One point away from having the Lord of the Jammed spawn. Most people who does know this write this off as a simple handicap method to give more challange. However, there are legitimate advantages doing Cursed Runs, as you gain a ♥♥♥♥♥in' load of money from enemy kills, sometimes more than what you might know what to do with mid-end game, often making up for Key, Armor, and Health drops being much more rare the higher curse gets (though b/c this is Robot, Health drops are negligible to begin with), and giving you more options to be able to buy more expensive items from the shop, sometimes S-Rank ones.
While the limit of items & weapons may be harmful due to the curse value, alot of the risk in dealing with a Cursed Run as the Robot is heavily mitigated. The Robot's Armor-Health and starting kit plays a huge role in his Cursed Runs, giving you the edge in three ways no other character can give you.
Firstly is Jammed Enemies; Due to how Armor works in nature, even if Jammed enemies hit any character w/ Armor, the damage will still be limited to One Armor, not Two armor or one armor & a Half-Heart. The Robot having Armor-Exclusive Health grants him a huge loss of risk when facing Jammed enemies, as the danger of losing more health than what was bargined for is permamently gone. And because of how Jammed enemies drop much more money, you will basically be swimming in money under most cases without much added risk.
Secondly is how Curse also serverly increases odds of a chest being trapped with a Fuse. As stated before, The Robot's Coolant Leak effectivly negates the issue of losing potentially necessary items/weapons early in a run due to this Curse side-effect.
Lastly is how Curse works in nature; While it increases odds of Ammo Box drops and Highly increases Money Drops, it highly decreases odds of Keys to drop, potentially forcing you to bust open chests and losing items. Because of how the Robot has the innate damage boost passive from Junk, having to destroy chests as a last resort when you don't have keys are not as crippling, assuming you do get Junk to drop.
Even if you don't plan on doing a Cursed run, the risk of gaining Cursed Weapons/Items will still be heavily mitigated due to all of the advantages stated above.
B-: The Pilot
I have a huge love-hate relationship with the Pilot. On one hand he has very good item presence and the potential to be an amazing character, while on the other, he can sometimes have some of the worst runs I've ever had.
His Starting weapon is his Laser Pistol, and it's garbage for a starting weapon. Okay damage and RoF, decent Clip Size, but Terrible accuracy & range makes this weapon arguably the worst starting weapon in the game. anything not basic bullet kin enemies past the 1st floor will generally take either the entire clip, or 1 1/2 clips to kill with this gun, making the Pilot the most reliant on the need of guns out of any other character, especially Early-Game.
Bad starting weapon aside, he has some of the best starting items out of every character in the game, making him much more well-rounded and places him as high on the tier as he is. His least-best one is Disarming Personality, which slightly reduces shop prices. As an item drop or buyable mid game, it's a very bad passive, however starting with the item gives the Pilot the advantage of buying good items earlier in the floor, or saving money until the end of a floor to spend on an extra item you might need, such as a Key. It doesn't come in handy often enough to notice, but it does indeed help in giving you the very needed key purchase for that one Shadow chest you have no key for after the floor was swept clean.
His second starting item exclusive to the Pilot, Hidden Compartment, allows him to innatly have 10% max ammo increase and a second Usable Item slot. While the Ammo increase won't come in handy too often, the real advantage is being able to hold onto two different usables at a time, something only the Backpack can do, one of the few good D-Rank items in the game (and yes, they do stack). This can give the pilot an edge in versitility to be able to house two powerful usables, such as two invulnurability items, a heal item and a offensive item, ect.
His best trait is that he starts with Trusty Lockpicks, giving a potential safety net from when floors have a lack of keys. it can either open a chest/door for free, or permamently lock said chest/door even when you do have a key at a 50/50 chance. This gives the Pilot the ability to open things you normally couldn't, or things you wanted to avoid opening due to needing a key to unlock, such as locked gates leading to a lackluster chest and a Blank, or regular brown chests as one of the two guarenteed chest spawns. When used properly & with care, you could gain more items than you potentially could with other characters Early-Mid game, theoretically giving you a great item/weapon presence.
Of course, the keyword here is "theoretical." This man is extremely reliant on the items and weapons you find in the first and second floor, to the point that unless you get a great/godly item/weapon mid-game, your not going to perform well. The early-game will really determine the run you are going to get. If you get a good start with decent weapons/items, you're generally going to have a good run, but if the items/weapons you find are mediocre/lacking, You're not going to have a good time trying to get past the mid-game. The amount of RNG this character relies on is the most out of any other character in the game, and is the only character where RNG plays a major reason why he is in a B-rank instead of an A-Rank position.
C+: The Marine
Generally considered the best starting character is the Marine, and this holds true. I consider the Marine as a Lesser Robot for varous reasons, but being a knock-off Robot isn't anything to scoff at.
His passive is that he starts out with One Armor. This gives him a slightly better Early-Game innatly by being able to absorb an extra hit. It's an alright safety net bonus for the Early-Game, but it's definetly not going to be anything noteworthy outside of that
His starting Pistol is his Marine Sidearm, and is arguably the best starter weapon out of the 4 starting characters. It has Okay damage, alright RoF, but Good Clip Size and range. It's very comparible to the Robot Right Hand, with the only two notable differences stat-wise is the difference of damage and the notable difference of Clip Size, Both where the Robot's Right Hand are superior. The Marine's Sidearm is able to effectivly deal with the early game well enough that he won't necessarily need a weapon for the 1st floor, giving him some Early-Game weapon Independance, but he would need a weapon before fighting the 2nd floor boss, otherwise it'll be a long fight, increasing odds of getting hit.
His Usable Item is the Supply Drop. It's a decent emergency usable that gives you a free ammo pack when used, giving him a decent amount of weapon independance for one floor depending on how good the weapon on-hand is, and how ammo efficient it is. Similar to the free armor piece passive, it's a decent Early-Mid Game tool, but because of how it's a One-Use, it won't really get the Marine far, and can be very replacable for something as simple and lackluster as an Ice Bomb.
His best Starting trait is his Military Training. It gives him an overall boost to his Accuracy and Reload Speed. I compare this to the Robot's Battery Bullets as they are similar in function, only except one gives electric rounds while another increases reload. This makes the Marine a well-rounded character for whenever he gains the items and weapons to hold his own in direct combat over some other characters.
He can hold his own in generally most situations due to his Military training, but outside of that one item he doesn't have much more going for him, making him only a C-ranking character unlike the Pilot, whom has great Item presence throughout a run. Granted, he could do worse.
D: The Hunter
This is the point where some people might begin to question my placement choices, and thats fine. They may view characters differently than me, which is normal to have opinions of characters. That being said, The Hunter is not that great of a character outside of Early-Game, which is a shame because I like her Alt-Costume the most next to the Pilot's.
Her starting pistol is her Rusty Sidearm. It has okay-to-good damage, alright RoF & range, but a below-average clip size. The pistol isn't that bad, it definetly gets the job done, but it's not a weapon you generally use unless you want to conserve ammo for your second weapon, which will depend on if you don't find a different weapon to use alongside your second weapon before the 1st boss fight. It lacks early-game potential unlike the Marine Sidearm, so you will often have to rely on your second weapon for the majority of it.
Your second weapon is your Crossbow, and it's a pretty good weapon to start with. You can often one-shot fodder enemies while 2 - 3 shot shotgun kin with it. It has great Early-Game presence but unlike something like the Bullet's Blasplamy, it will not get you far in Mid-Game, and it requires ammo to use, which will sometimes break you if you find a lack of ammo or weapons to work with, which happens more often than you'd think. it's a good weapon to rely on at first, but you should try to replace it quickly, as it will show its age really fast.
The Hunter's "best" trait to play for in my opinion is that she starts with Good Boy, The Dog. At a 5% chance, the dog can dig up a heart, ammo, a key, a blank or a Glass Guon Stone whenever you clear a room. Statistically the dog would trigger at least once or twice per floor, which seems nice, but that's RNG at work; there can be runs where you might get the Dog to trigger at the statistical amount, but then there will be runs where he will only trigger twice out of an entire run. If you get the Dog from the chest as another character, he can be nice if you're wanting to try to get a luck boost in item drops, especially in Bullet Hell, but he's not worth it as a starting item. The potential extra drops are nice, but they're not often enough to warrent playing Hunter for.
Outside of her Early-Game presence, she has almost nothing going for her outside of a potential extra key or a Half-Heart in the run. Had her starting item have been Best Boy, The Wolf, she would have been more interesting to play and would give her a unique edge in offensive capabilities, but since we're stuck with a docile doggo, I personally don't like the Hunter.
D-: The Convict
Whenever I show my friends Gungeon & they play Convict, and even some of my friends whose been playing for about as long as me, the majority of them did not think the Convict was that great, and my newer Gungeon friends preferred either the Hunter or Marine (the former was more popular). Some people would call it a noob thing to say that something sucks when, in reality, it wouldn't be that bad. Personally however, I think the Convict deserves every bit of crap people say about her.
Her starting pistol is the Budget Reolver. It has good damage and RoF, alright range, but bad clip size. It's a fairly good weapon to start with, as it can technichally kill fodder enemies faster than the other basic characters' starter pistols due to its good RoF, but it needs to constantly reload due to its bad clip size, lowering its potential DPS, but not by too much. Honestly it's not a bad gun, in fact it could be argued that it's almost as servicable as the Marine Sidearm as far as non-tanky enemies goes, but you're not going to be using the pistol for Boss fights; it's too lacking to be an independant weapon early-game. Get a weapon asap to replace it...
...and no, not even the Sawed-Off Shotgun can save you early-game. Some people even consider the Sawed-Off Shotgun to be worse than the Budget Revolver due to you having to be touching the enemies butt to effectivly outdamage the revolver. I'd be generous to say that being Point-Blank range using the Sawed-Off is not too big of an issue in the 1st floor, due to most of the enemies not being dangerous enough to forcibly maintain a fair distance away from them. However, it's not a good enough weapon to effectivly deal with the 1st floor bosses, forcing you to activly search for a weapon of any quality that's better than the Sawed-Off. The lack of starting weapons good enough to take on a 1st floor boss makes the Convict have the poorest Early-Game presence, outdone only by the Pilot.
Her Enraging Photo is not good either, not even as a item you can find in a chest or a store item (except for I guess an Ammolet Robot Run), unlike Huntress' Doggo. The photo gives you double damage for a few seconds whenever you take damage. It's probably the best way you can do early-game damage as the Convict, but that's not something you want to activly do, considering you need to damage yourself to activate the effect. This is hands-down the worst starting item in the game because of the "take-damage-to-activate" effect. The effect doesn't even work as an emergency item, as the buff doesn't last long enough to properly utilize. It's a silly item for silly people, don't be a silly people.
Her (unfortunate) best trait is that she starts with a Molitov Use item, and is the only reason She is not in F-Tier. It can be thrown to catch an area on fire for a short time, giving her some decent AoE damage. The big issue with the Molitov is that its a use item that will not get too far Mid-Game, and can be easily replaced by a much better use item such as Decoy, and there are even some guns that causes fires or does something similar,. Hell, theres even a Molitov Launcher, a gun that's a Straight-Upgrade only because it's a Molitov in a Gun slot instead of a Use item, even though it's still not that great unless you have Fire-immunity. While it's not bad, it's effectivly worse than the Robot's Coolant Leak due to him starting w/ Battery Bullets, and if you're going to be playing the Convict to use the Molitov...I mean...at least you could set yourself on fire to kill yourself on if you ever have the audacity to play her.
The Convict is by far the worst character in this game. She has no redeeming qualities about her, and the only one alright part about her is easily replacable. If you ever have the willpower to attempt a Convict run, I pray for you, and if you actually like the Convict, then more power to you, i'll just be sitting on my money-mountain with my Robot watching and cheering you on.