For NA Players
Level 100 cap is here! NA matches JP’s skill builds so you should look at Updated Class Combinations for write-ups and their sample skill builds.
If you want a build reference for 100 cap, here’s an idea.
Level 90+ Skill Choices
Ranger doesn’t have newer options with the additional 5 SP from Level 90 (and beyond), but there are a few considerations with their own pros and cons:
- [First Hit] is more effective when soloing, and has applications in multi-play/mobbing situations where the additional +20% damage would help one-shot enemies, but effectiveness lies on whether the player can land the first hit.
- [Weak Hit Blast Bonus] synergizes well in mobbing situations, and especially with weapons that grant PB bonuses such as Ares and/or Austere. But, against raid bosses WHBB isn’t as effective.
- [x Bullets] can activate PP Save Bullet on Launcher for 20% PP reduction; however procc’ing status with the bullets isn’t useful outside of extremely specific cases, and it may be difficult to activate Standing Snipe often while loaded with Launcher bullets.
- [Jellen Bullet] has some synergy with Phrase Decay (+5% damage against enemies afflicted with Jellen), but you’d be juggling bullets constantly (as loading Launcher bullets will drop Weak Bullet|Blight Rounds), and most Phantoms and Hunters will apply Jellen regardless.
All credit goes to an anonymous reader for providing this suggestion:
For JP players:
Dexterity Up 1 LV3 -> Dive Roll Shoot > Weak Hit Advance 1 LV5 > Moving Snipe MAX > Standing Snipe 1 LV5 > Standing Snipe 2 LV1 > Stun Grenade & Gravity Grenade > Upper Trap (Optional) > Max Tactics Trap (get Tool Mastery LV1 as pre-req) > Weak Bullet LV6 > Bullet Keep > Keep Roll Shoot
For NA players:
Dexterity Up LV3 -> Dive Roll Shot > Advanced Precision Hit 1 LV5 > Mobile Fire MAX > Stationary Fire 1 LV5 > Stationary Fire 2 LV1 > Stun Grenade & Gravity Bomb > Upper Trap (Optional) > Max Tactical Trap (get Tool Mastery LV1 as pre-req) > Blight Rounds LV6 > Ammo Maintenance > Keep Roll Shoot
Then proceed to max core skills in the following order:
- Weak Hit Advance 2 | Advanced Precision Hit 2
- Standing Snipe 2 | Stationary Fire 2
- Standing Snipe 1 | Stationary Fire 1
- Weak Bullet | Blight Rounds
- Sharp Shooter
The links provided shows core skills that every Ranger should have. Remember to switch regions to get the correct skill names!
For a detailed breakdown on skills, read below:
(Note: Names in blue indicate their NA counterpart)
Main class only
Improves all trap’s range, speed and effectiveness, and provides certain effects for Poison Trap and Upper Trap.
EX Trap effects:
- All trap’s AoE range increases.
- Stun & Gravity Grenade’s animation sped up, throwing range & effectiveness improved.
- Upper Trap’s damage boosted by ~2.47x (~2.058x without 1 SP into Tool Mastery).
- Poison Trap applies a DoT which is ~1500 power notation; not affected by Tool Mastery. The DoT ticks every 1.5s~
A free skill learned upon reaching level 85, and one that helps Rangers regen PP much better.
Rare Mastery Ranger | Arms Enthusiast: Ranger
Main class only
This skill is now a passive and grants a 10% damage bonus for wearing 10★+ weapons. The skill is automatically learned and maxed at level 1. Great skill overall.
Allows Rangers (main and subclass) to view hidden traps.
This skill is automatically learned at level 1.
Dive Roll Advance
Increases invincibility frames during the start of Dive Roll.
0, 1 or 2 SP suggested.
With the rise of Parallel Slider t-0 Dive Roll Advance isn’t necessary, but having points gives you room for avoiding attacks in a pinch.
Note that Dive Roll Advance is more preferred if not using Hunter subclass.
Dive Roll, Dive Roll Shoot & Just Reversal
Performs an evasive maneuver via a dive roll, which has a noticeable delay at the end.
Dive Roll is automatically learned at level 1, and is invaluable for avoiding attacks as a Ranger. Invincibility frames start at the beginning of the Dive Roll, so you must carefully time your roll as an attack is about to hit you.
Dive Roll also provides short mobility as it allows you to cancel animations that have a lengthy animation to them.
Dive Roll Shoot
Allows you to attack after Dive Rolling.
Dive Roll Shoot is highly recommended to get, as it allows you to:
- Shoot after a Dive Roll.
- Skip the annoying delay by cancelling it with an attack or PA.
- Combine 2 Dive Rolls via cancelling the first Dive Roll.
Some tips regarding Dive Roll can be found in the Tips & Tricks section.
After being knocked away, allows a fast recovery when pressing Jump as you land.
This skill is automatically learned at level 1.
Keep Roll Shoot
If loaded with bullets, you do a normal attack instead when shooting after a Dive Roll.
Take this skill.
Quoting Selena Artemis’ insight on Keep Roll Shoot:
Dive Roll Keep has uses when you want to trigger the JA on moments where:
- You don’t have enough PP to use a PA, or
- You need to get damage out without sacrificing Weak Bullet
Sometimes you won’t use this often and that’s okay, but this skill is great for getting PP back without wasting Weak Bullet, as you’ll recover ~20 PP per Dive Roll shoot.
Step Jump | Sidestep Jump
Jumping after dodging immediately puts you in sprinting state.
Obtainable for free when reaching level 10.
Greatly improves Ranger’s mobility in all situations.
Air Reversal & Just Reversal JA Combo | Perf. Recovery & ATK Combo
Allows immediate recovery when knocked into the air, and allows Just Attacks after recovering.
Obtainable for free when reaching level 30.
Greatly improves Ranger’s survivability.
High Class Boost
Grants 1% damage boost per SP spent.
Obtainable at Level 80.
Ranger doesn’t have much skills to invest after the essentials, so this is great to take.
First Arts JA Addition
Your first attack automatically applies a Just Attack effect. Has a 0.25 cooldown.
Obtainable for free when reaching level 20.
Greatly improves Ranger’s capabilities in combat.
Do note that Fury Combo doesn’t apply until the next Just Attack that comes after.
Allows you to double jump.
Obtainable for free when reaching level 40.
Helps to improves Ranger’s mobility and survivability.
Main class only
Gain a damage increase for attacking from a long distance.
The distance required for Sharp Shooter activation is estimated to be 1 dive roll.
Sharp Shooter has been dropped to 1.10x, making Ranger less reliant on distance for maximum damage. You should still max this skill however.
Weak Bullet | Blight Rounds
Assault Rifles only
Loads 6 bullets that can reduce the enemy’s defenses.
This is a must max skill for any Ranger main.
Weak Bullet applies on a targeted region, indicated by a giant red target, which boosts damage on that spot by 20% for a duration of 18 seconds. The skill “Weak Hit Advance (see below)” only activates if the target has either a ranged or natural damage modifier of 115% or higher. Weak Bullet plays a big role in making body part modifiers fall into that 1.15x weakness, thus giving you the 132.25% damage bonus from WHA.
However, careful placement of Weak Bullet is crucial, as you want to place Weak Bullet where everyone can access it, and not on some inaccessible spot. Only 1 marker can exist on the enemy, so avoid overwriting other Ranger’s Weak Bullet unless they misfire it. It is also best to wait for Weak Bullet’s 18s duration to end before placing another to maximize uptime, though this is not always possible.
For information on how to best use Weak Bullet, refer to the Tips & Tricks section.
Weak Hit Advance | Advanced Precision Hit 1 & 2
Gain a damage increase for hitting weakspots with shooting based attacks.
Max both skills.
Weak Hit Advance 1&2 has been adjusted to make Rangers slightly less reliant on weak points for damage. It’s now a 1.15x * 1.15x for a 1.3225x (or 132.25%)
Standing Snipe | Stationary Fire 1 & 2
Gain a damage increase for standing still with shooting based attacks.
Mandatory max for both skills.
Being stationary as much as possible is an optimal situation when it comes to Ranger gameplay, as you want to maximize the +43.75% boost on your attacks!
Standing Snipe 1 now provides a 1.25x modifier (Standing Snipe 2 left unchanged outside of SP costs), so this is now a total of 1.25x * 1.15 = 1.4375x modifier (143.75% damage multiplier).
Standing Snipe takes approximately 1 second to trigger, and is easily achievable for both Assault Rifles and Launchers:
- For Assault Rifles, do a filler PA to link into your most damaging PA
(Ex: Piercing Shell, Parallel Slider Type-0, Grenade Shell into End Attract).
- For Launchers, any normal attack is sufficient, as the animation is long enough for Standing Snipe to apply.
Note: Standing & Moving Snipe bonuses are checked on activation, and carries throughout the animation.
Additional note: Being stationary in the air triggers the bonuses too, but falling and jumping will disable the effect.
Moving Snipe | Mobile Fire
Gain a damage increase for shooting-based attacks while moving.
This is now a 1.25x modifier (125% damage multiplier) compared to the old version, which was 1.05x. It’s now a great skill to have, but remember that only Standing Snipe or Moving Shot can be on at all times.
Note: Standing & Moving Snipe bonuses are checked on activation, and carries throughout the animation. Watch the video below to see how they work:
Bullet Keep | Ammo Maintenance
Allows you to keep special bullets when changing between weapons.
Get this skill. Losing bullets when swapping sucks, and Assault Rifles do not offer strong PAs for mobbing, unlike Launchers.
The 10/02/2019 update buffs Bullet Keep to allow swapping to any weapon, so this skill is a lot better now.
Increases the power of traps & tool skills.
Only 1 point for prerequisites.
Tool Mastery is left at 1 point so we can access Tactics Trap. The damage increase is noticeable with Upper & Poison Trap when maxed, but it’s lackluster when comparing to regular Rifle/Launcher Photon Art usage. Do note that Poison Trap EX’s DoT is not affected by Tool Mastery.
A comparison between 1 SP vs 10 SP shown below, courtesy of Spin Cycle:
Tactics Trap | Tactical Trap
Regens PP when you damage enemies with traps.
Max this. At max, you regen 20% of your max PP per enemy hit with floor traps & grenades.
This is insane and will greatly help you with upkeeping PP for attacks.
Stun Grenade & Gravity Grenade
Throws a Stun Grenade (which stuns), or a Gravity Grenade (which pulls in enemies)
Get these grenades.
With Tactics Trap, these grenades will be your main traps to regen PP from, just remember to equip them on your subpalette.
Stun Grenade’s damage is based off your current R-ATK, multiplied by 280%.
If you come this far and want to just read up on class combinations, you can do so now:
Otherwise, read on.
Now you have a choice for skills after getting the essentials:
PP Save Bullet | PP Preservation Bullet
While special bullets are loaded, PP costs for PAs are reduced.
At max, it provides a 20% PP discount to all PAs that you use (This includes draining PAs such as Parallel Slider Type-0).
Note that the PP reduction only applies to the weapon type that has the bullets loaded, meaning that you must have the appropriate bullets loaded for it to apply.
(E.g. Assault Rifle bullets for PP save to apply for Rifle PAs, Launcher bullets for PP save to apply for Launcher PAs).
A rough comparison of Parallel Slider T-0 with PP Save Bullet can be seen below:
Top: With PP Save Bullet
Bottom: Without PP Save Bullet
While loading special bullets, you are immune to attacks that would knock you back.
Massive Bullet provides a safeguard from being interrupted by attacks, but the animation is fairly quick enough to warrant not taking this skill.
However, it doesn’t prevent from being stunned by attacks, which will interrupt bullet loading.
While special bullets are loaded, grants a R-ATK boost.
Optional to max or leave at level 3 if taking PP Save Bullet.
This skill works even if you swap between weapons, and works with any bullet loaded. The effect now lasts for 120 seconds.
Upper Trap & Upper Trap Custom | Spring Trap
Places a trap that knocks enemies into the air.
Upper Trap is a nice trap to invest in, but the custom isn’t worth investing into.
Good use of this skill requires that you plan ahead for bosses, as you can place this trap and detonate it whenever you need PP.
The damage is based off your current R-ATK, multiplied by 500%.
Note that placing Upper Trap takes 2 seconds before it can be activated for detonation, and automatically explodes after 20 seconds. Manual detonation places the trap into a 20 second cooldown.
Poison Trap & Poison Trap Custom
Places a trap that scatters poison tacks after detonation.
EX Trap grants this trap a DoT that lasts for 60 seconds.
With Upper Trap and smart management, you’ll be sitting with full PP on demand.
Note that placing Poison Trap takes 2 seconds before it can be activated for detonation, and automatically explodes after 20 seconds. Manual detonation places the trap into a 20 second cooldown.
If you NOW want to read up on class combinations, you can do so now:
Otherwise, read up on why the other skills are trash.
Dexterity Up 1-3
Dexterity increases the minimum damage range you deal (Say you do 90-100% damage, dexterity increases it to 95-100%), which is pretty nice.
However, investing into Dexterity is complete garbage; high grade weapons set your damage variance to the highest possible, making the investment worthless.
Invest only 3 points into Dexterity Up 1 for prerequisites and move on.
Shooting Defense Up 1
Increases defenses against ranged/shooting-based damage.
Also complete garbage, you gain enough defense from units, and points are much better spent somewhere else.
Shooting Up 1 & 2
Increases R-ATK by a flat value. Shooting Up 2 is more effective than 1.
This skill adds onto your base attack, meaning that Shifta can further improve your current base attack by 19.7% (at level 17 Shifta)
There are better skills to invest into on Ranger, so this is more for advanced players looking to min-max their stats. With Shifta drink effects, maxing both skills pertains to around a 4% boost in damage.
Gain a damage boost against enemies with full HP.
Not recommended to take.
On paper, maxed First Hit gives a 1.20x (or 20%) damage bonus to any enemy that hasn’t been hit yet.
However, here are some issues with that:
- Applying Weak Bullet to anything counts as a hit, disabling First Hit.
- Against bosses in a MPA, the skill will immediately turn off as someone will be bound to hit it first.
- Against mobs in a MPA, the other players will hit the mobs faster than you unless you plan ahead.
This skill is more preferred for soloing and/or mobbing quests.
Weak Hit Blast Bonus | Precision Hit Blast Bonus
When shooting weakpoints, your Photon Blast gauge charges up faster.
Not recommended to max.
If you have 2 skill trees for Ranger, you can max this alongside with First Hit for fast Photon Blast utility.
Otherwise, if you have only 1 tree, 1 point is enough if you have leftover points. Ranger doesn’t focus on building Photon Blasts quickly, and you normally build Photon Blast gauge fast enough.
Killing Bonus | Eradication Bonus
Restore PP back if enemies die within your vicinity.
For best benefits, you should max this if you decide to take it.
You gain PP back proportionate to the amount of SP you invested into this skill. At max (which is 10), you gain 10 PP back per enemy killed near you.
Killing Bonus requires hugging range, and considering that it takes 10 SP for max benefits, it’s a very situational skill I wouldn’t recommend investing.
Bind Bullet, Mirage | Blinding Shot, Panic Shot & Jellen Shot
Inflicts status effect shots based on bullets loaded.
For Bind Bullet, it’s a complete waste of points.
For Mirage, Panic and Jellen Shot, it’s very situational.
Bind Bullet doesn’t work on bosses as they’re immune to status effects (and the ones that are affected die too fast for it to be useful), and mobs die too fast for status effects to mean anything.
Mirage/Panic/Jellen Shot has two purposes:
- Activating PP Save on your Launcher, and
- Activating the relevant Phase affixes (Phrase Chase for +5% damage against status afflicted enemies, Phase Decay for +5% damage against Jellened enemies)
But this means discarding Weak Bullet | Blight Rounds from your Assault Rifle if loaded.
We’ve covered all of Ranger’s skills, now we must consider viable class combinations: