Risk of Rain 2 Artificer: Best Items, Unlock Guide, and Build

Here Is Everything You Need To Know About Artificer

Risk of Rain 2’s Artificer is often regarded as one of the weakest characters in Risk of Rain 2. She is immensely popular within Squads, and although the developers acknowledged and tried to raise awareness about her by giving it a slight buff. She is still tough to use. The primary reason being that Artificer lacks all the good primary qualities that someone like MUL-T, Mercenary or Engineer has.

artificer risk of rain 2
Update on Artificer.

Moreover, Artificer is also very hard to scale – this gets problematic when you are playing Squads, and making the best use of Artificer to contribute to the team. Besides, these all things might be correct – her sustained damage is good, there is also the benefit of High Burst, and she has good AoE. Many people forget the correct and most adequate use of Artificer. Our Risk of Rain 2 Tier List Guide ranked Artificer at Solid B because she is still relatively useful.

Having said, a Risk of Rain 2 – Artificer-specific guide would be enjoyable. This way, we can highlight the best items, abilities, playstyles, and important things to be aware of. Before we proceed with that, it’s imperative first to know how Artificer is unlocked in Risk of Rain 2 – let’s proceed with that.

More From Risk of Rain 2: The Complete Risk of Rain 2 Aqueduct Secret Guide

How To Unlock Artificer

Suppose you are a beginner and just started playing Risk of Rain 2 – the first question in your mind would be how to unlock Artificer. Well, this isn’t surprising, but just to let you know, it’s pretty safe. All you have to do is collect a bunch of items, go through the flow – kill some bosses, and enter a portal. Once you are inside the portal, there will be a giant, who will give you the option to free Artificer. Afterward, she will be readily available in your character options. This all might sound a bit trick, so here is the step-by-step process.

Step 1: Collect 11 Lunar Coins

artificer risk of rain 2
Photo via Jawless Paul.

Have you ever come across some beautiful Blue Coins right after you kill an enemy? Well, luckily, If you have, then it must be that you must have many Lunar Coins. These Coins are usually dropped after you kill an enemy. They are a bit rare, so If you ever come across one, do not miss it out. As per various users, finding 11 coins can take roughly 15 hours of gameplay time. Keep in mind that the amount of Lunar Coins you have is represented by the dollar sign on the bottom. In the picture above, there are already 11 Lunar Coins.

Step 2: Donate Coin to the Newt Altar

artificer risk of rain 2

After you are done either farming or finding the Lunar Coins, now you have to come across a Newt Alter – this is a portal creator and is scattered around the map. The locations of Newt Altras aren’t challenging and having said that. You have to donate one lunar coin to the Newt Altar.

After that is done, It’ll spawn a tiny Blue Portal – this can take time depending on when the Teleported has reached its charging capacity. All things considered, kill all the nearby enemies, and save 10 Lunar Coins for the rest of the Journey.

Step 3: Travel Inside the Blue Portal

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Finally Unlocking Artificer.

It’s reasonable to presume that at this point, you will be inside the Blue Portal – which essentially takes you to a cave. Afterward, travel one way, and at the end, there will be a huge crystal creature. This creature will give you the option to unlock Artificer after you come a little close to it. The cost to unlock her is 10 Lunar, so make sure you haven’t wasted them elsewhere. Notwithstanding, If you have, you can come back later and unlock Artificer.

These were the three-step process to unlock Artificer in Risk of Rain 2. Now, we shall move to her Abilities and Best Items.

Artificer Abilities

Just like many other survivors in the game, Artificer is also equipped with some talented abilities. These are divided into three different portions, Passive, Primary, Secondary, Utility, and Special. We will analyze them separately.

ENV Suit

artificer risk of rain 2
ENV Suit

Artificer is equipped with ENV Suit – this is her Passive, and all it does is add a bit of mobility to her character. In other words, the ENV Suit, allow’s Artificer to hover in the air — this is very useful when she gets knocked out in mid-air and can avoid fall damage. Moreover, the Passive is also helpful when trying to escape enemies; this gets further better with her already decent jumping ability. All in all, the Passive isn’t good as the other characters, but it can indeed simulate a fast-playing style

Flame Bolt

artificer risk of rain 2
Flame Bolt

This is where the majority of people sideline and completely throw everything they have against Artificer. The two Primary abilities are entirely similar, the only difference being that Flame Bolt Ignite Enemies while a Plasma Bolt does a high radius damage, making it better for long-range shots. All in all, their Damage is entirely same, 220% for Firebolt — Igniting the enemies while Plasma Bolt does the same but rather explodes in an area. Both have the same amount of cooldown — 1.3s.

To sum things up, Artificer’s primary isn’t any unique or really out of the world. It still does the job as the Flame Bolt is very effective against enemies in close range, while Plasma Bolt does its job in long-range fights. The only problem here is that Artificer’s primary does not match up with the much user demanded – hold-down Primary Attack Style. The cool-down isn’t liked by many out there.

Artificer’s most debatable and efficient skills come under Secondary. She has the Charged Nano-Bomb alongside Cast Nano-Spear. These both Secondary Abilities have somewhat similar characteristics, so let’s break them down.

Charged Nano-Bomb

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Charged Nano-Bomb

The Charged Nano Bomb is a stun typo attack, which charges itself as you walk around. The charge represents the entire damage; If you can charge more, the damage will be higher. Usually, the typical range of damage is between 400% and 2000%. The Proc Coefficient for Explosion is 1, while Sparks is restored to 0.3. It is considered to be a decent Secondary, but many players go with Cast Nano-Spear due to its multi-purposes. All things considered, the Charged Nano-Bomb does come with 14m Black Radius, and it takes a total of two seconds to fully charge, when Attack Speed is of 1.

Cast Nano-Spear

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Cast Nano-Spear

Cast Nano-Spear is the ACE when it comes to Artificer’s Secondary. This is a freeze power, you aim at a target, and it’s frozen for a while. This is because any enemies with less than 31% health get an infinite death, while others remain frozen. Moreover, the Cool Down is a bit high; it’s five seconds, Proc Coefficient remains at 1, while a charged up Piercing Nano Speak can deal up to 400% to 1200% damage. Keep in mind that although all these elements are pretty fantastic – this does not mean that you can freeze bosses or maybe while frozen. The best part about is about pricing; you can shoot through multiple targets, ultimately making it highly efficient.

Snapfreeze – Utility

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Here comes the best part about Artificer – the Snapfreeze. I honestly believe this is one of the most incredible Utility in the game. It is instrumental when it comes to Team Survivor games. The reason being that Snapfreeze does an insane amount of damage – this gets even better when you realize it has a barrier alongside the execute compound. If the enemies are high on health and you are unable to kill them, the freeze will automatically stun and damage them so you can take your time and hit shots on the right spot.

Moreover, the drawback is that it has a massive cooldown of 12 seconds, which I think gets compensated through its wonderful abilities. Moreover, the meta remains same; 30% or less health enemies are killed within seconds. Likewise, It cant freeze bosses, but keep in mind you can still damage them. The AoE Per Pillar is set to 2.5m, and 5m in Height. To put it in perspective, the Snapfreeze is handy when it comes to blocking narrow corridors or maybe block Golem Lasers.

All in all, the SnapFreeze is very useful, especially when you think that the entire Risk of Rain 2 gameplay is circled around this and Cast Nano-Spear. The enemies are easily frozen, and those who have higher health can be killed through time advantage. The most incredible recommendation about Snapfreeze would be to utilize it everywhere but not against bosses. It does not belong there.


artificer risk of rain 2

We all know how good and highly praised is the  Preon Accumulator. But did you know, the Artificer’s Flamethrower is the closest you can get to it? Well, to put it in perspective. The Flamethrower deals more than 4000% Damage. This is taken up from its default damage and the one done after an enemy is set to fire. To describe it in easier words, the Flamethrower can smoke any enemy in front of you. The best thing about it is that it’s not a solo target-dependent; you can kill multiple enemies in a flash.

Besides, the ability can pierce through enemies, and every tick has a relative chance of 50% to ignite further any enemy it hits. The Proc Coefficient is 1, and therefore, If the crit procs, you are looking at an insane amount of damage because all hits are going to crit. Other than these core characteristics, the Item also has five seconds cool down. Further, the fire bam can reach not far than 21 meters, and Tick-rate cannot be scaled with attack speed.

The Flamethrower might be technical, considering it has total maths involved. However, to give assurances, this is the best of Artificer. She can do wonders if the ability is rotated correctly. In other words, If you pile up through Flame Bolt, Nano-Bomb, and Flame Bolt again along with Flamethrower, at last, you are going to do an incredible amount of damage.

Ion Surge

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Ion Surge

Perhaps one of the weakest abilities in Risk of Rain 2 – this is where Artificer really lacks anything more destructive. The Ion Surge is an highly average ability; all it does is throw you in mid-air and Stun the nearby enemy dealing whole damage of 800% only. This sometimes gets a bit handy, as If you are rotating, it could be useful, given you already can fly in the air and become extremely versatile. Notwithstanding, If you don’t know how its unlocked, simply refer to the Artificer Orbital Bombardment Mission.

Now that we have illustrated, what are these major abilities, and which ones are better. It’s reasonable to presume that you will pick Flamethrower over Ion Surge. Likewise, it is time that we now look at the best Items and Gameplay Tips regarding Artificer in Risk of Rain 2.

Artificer Tips and Build

Although, there are a list of gameplay styles that vary according to user preferences. However, the best that I have come across is the mix between High Cool Down Skills and Low Cool Down SKills. This essentially means that you have to follow a set of patterns and become so good at it that you can take anyone down. Keep in mind that Artificer is not like Huntress; you can’t just spam things. She has a very balanced set of skills, which can be very destructive if used correctly.

Whenever you come across larger enemies, first Nano Spear or Snapfreeze them. Ensure that you are freezing many enemies at once, so after the Flame-Thrower is out, they are all killed instantaneously. The key is rotation, and making the best use to substantiate accurate abilities which can get a hold of multiple enemies in a single cycle. The Rotation number one cycle for Artificer could be like the following.

  • Nano Spear or Snapfreeze > Flame Thrower

There is also another combination for Artificer that you can try. This one goes like this.

  • Flame Bolt -> Charged Nano Bomb -> Flame Bolt -> Flamethrower

The effectiveness of these rotations completely boil down to how fast and efficient you can be. In other words, become a sharpshooter and keep in mind. Artificer has one of the Highest DPS’s in the game; with such a lethal combination, you are only likely to kill all bosses.

This was a quick combination for smaller enemies. The real problem begins when Artificer comes across Larger Enemies. It is a known fact that Artificer is good in the early game, but her scaling is extremely poor since the Items aren’t as impactful. All things considered, If you come across a Boss while using Artificer, do the following.

  1. Use Snapfreeze close to the Boss.
  2. Become extremely aggressive and try to land Ice Bubes against crucial parts.
  3. Afterward, Bring on the Flame Bolt > Deal Maximum Damage.
  4. Simultaneously Bring on the Flame Thrower and Use It Along with Cast Nano Spear.
  5. If the Flame-Thrower did not end him, go back and forth > Repeat The Cycle > Use Snap Freeze > Then Flame Bolt > Nano Spear > Flame Thrower.

During all these rotations, there are few more important Artificer Tips you must know. The number one is to avoid staying close to Larger Enemies. They can absolutely trap you, and regardless, the Pummels Attacks will end the game. Similarly, try to get hold of Mobility Items so you can become twice powerful in the later stages of the game. Notwithstanding, these were the Rotations for Artificer; you should now redirect to her Best Items in Risk of Rain 2.

Best Items For Artificer In Risk of Rain 2

artificer risk of rain 2
Best Items for Artificer.

As we all know, Artificer lacks Mobility, and getting the right items to make her valuable in the late game is the key. Usually, most players chose Artificer because of her early game benefit; however, as the game progresses. Many regret, because scaling her is immensely hard. The game has a plethora of items, and choosing the best Mobility Items for Artificer could be hard. Subsequently, we have compiled a list of best items for Artificer – these are very decisive and can completely turn around games. Keep in mind that with Artificer, you have two problems. One, long cooldowns, second, the speed.

Wax Quail

artificer risk of rain 2
Wax Quail

The Wax Quail by all means is the best Item for Artificer. Her Movement is one of the core aspect why most players do not select her. Luckily, this can be fixed through Wax Quail, which gives her a higher jump ability as well as more speed. This can be highly beneficial in dodging attacks and retreating from a fight to let the abilities cool down.

AtG Missle Mk. 1

The AtG Missle, which is immensely popular in the game also suits well with Artificer. She can benefit from the rocket, as its damage is enormous. To illustrate what I said, the AtG Missle allows a player to have a 10% chance to launch a homing missile, which deals 300% Damage on top of your current abilities. This gets even better when you consider it’s 300% per stack. Other than this, it has a Proc Coefficient of 1, and two AtG’s are can easily correspond to Kjaro’s Band and Runald’s Band, allowing it to Proc.


As stated earlier, Cool Down is one of the most significant drawbacks of Artificer. This does not allow her to utilize all her high damaging abilities properly. Therefore, an item that could guarantee to reduce the cooldown could be crucial. This is where Bandolier steps in, resetting all skills cooldowns. The bigger picture of this cooldown would be that you can now deal more damage, thus kill more enemies.

Backup Magazine

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Backup Magazine.

The Backup Magazine is perhaps the most critical and destructive item for Artificer. This can completely change the dynamics of the game. That is to say, with Bandolier, you can do more damage through resetting cool down. However, with a backup magazine, you are simply multiplying whatever ability you have. This means that Nano Spears, which is hugely destructive, will now deal twice the damage it used to do. The Item is trendy, especially among Mercenary and Huntress fans, but don’t get it wrong. It’s more than useful on Artificer.

Paul’s Goat Hoof

After we are done tackling the problem of Cool Down, we now also have to address speed issues. The problem with Artificer Speed is that although she is versatile, she can jump here and there. This does not mean that she can use a Flamethrower while sprinting.

Ultimately, whenever you equip Flamethrower, you are very exposed to the enemies. In order to get rid of this, we will use Paul’s Goat Hoof. This item increases the base speed by around 14-15%. Keep in mind, it’s 14-15% per stack, so the potential is vast. All things considered, this can make Artificer faster and allow her to become more versatile.

Alien Head

artificer risk of rain 2
Alien Head.

The Alien Head, as always, remains a precious Item in Risk of Rain 2. It can further fix the Cool Down Problem, by giving it a reduction of 25%. The Alien Head is categorized under Legendary so finding it could be hard. Nevertheless, Equipping Alien Head on Artificer can make you extremely destructive. Also keep in mind that it is 25% per stack.


artificer risk of rain 2

The Brainstalks is the final piece of the puzzle. This Item is easily the best one for Artificer. That is to say, the Brainstalks will altogether remove cool down from Skills after you kill an elite. This is usually described as entering a frenzy for 4s, and its per stack. Keep in mind that as you progress in Risk of Rain 2 and come across the later stages. You are most likely to continually fight against elites, so Brainstalks will mostly be activated. Also, suppose you don’t know, the screen goes tinted pink whenever Brainstalks is activated. The Item is categorized under the Legendary tier.

These were all the best Items for Artificer. Obviously, you can find a ton, but regardless their effect isn’t as good as these. In other words, the ones listed above are easily the best items for Artificer that can help you ease her mobility and scaling problems. Alongside, also help you destroy enemies and let go of her biggest weakness – the cooldown. Keep in mind Soldier’s Syringe wasn’t listed because it does not have any noticeable impact on Artificer and Bandit, because of the recharging primary.

Final Analysis

The most usual complaint about Artificer is regarding the cooldowns being extremely weak. The game needs to have a list of different characters; otherwise, it wouldn’t be fun with all being identical and having different powers.

The key with Artificer is different, and this is where the game expertise truly lies. The game allows you to progress from a beginner to an advanced level. The Artificer has the most damaging abilities, and the only problem is mobility and scaling. These are relatively easy to tackle, and they honestly aren’t a big hurdle.

The items suggested above can truly transform her, and besides, if you come across Purity Item, it would be game over. Just keep in mind that she isn’t a spammy character. Instead, you will have to switch between different abilities and get the best out of enemies. Also, the last thing, learn to prioritize your enemies, Wisps, and then Lemurians.

More Risk of Rain 2 Character Guides: Risk of Rain 2 Acrid: A Complete Guide

Moiz Banoori.

Having worked at various Video Game sites, coupled with 7 years of Content Writing Experience. I presently monitor teams, create strategies, and publish qualified pieces through my aptitude.
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