This guide aims to give you the basics of my favorite RS2 class. Covers the Arclite, Modules, Systems, Upgrades, and play style.
The Arclite: Fire Gods Demand Fire
Takes 10 mags to reload fully to 200 rounds (Or up to 280 with maxed out Consumption). 41 mags is your base primary ammo capacity without modifiers. 10 second reload time.
Spray a narrow medium-range cone of flame. Ignites, damages, and passes thru friends, enemies and interactive items (but not walls) to the full range of your attack. With more ammo usage it leaves the affected area in flames which apply a damaging, slowing, hp regen reducing debuff “Burning” to enemies and teammates. Many Hellfire flame abilities do not hurt teammates, but the Arclite is merciless and kills all life.
Use a flamethrower. Hellfires have lots of primary weapon slots, and only need one more than base to use an Arclite. You’ll either choose to use Consumption or a Primary Weapon Extender so you can use your blessed flame. You can use any weapon if you really want to, but c’mon. You’re a Hellfire. Fire damage is your game, you have Napalm Systems and Equalizer which buff pretty specifically the Arclite more than any other weapon (and no other classes have either of these).
Other weapons let operators activate overwatch and then just pew-pew-pew their way around. Not the Arclite. Arclites are for bold players willing to manually target and aim the whole match. Friendly fire is ACTIVATED and you will piss off your dead teammates while you become unwelcome in anyone’s matches if you choose to use overwatch with the Arclite. But do not fear my friends, your brain works and you’re going to use manual aiming for great effect.
Angles are important. You need to think about where you are relative to incoming enemies and teammates. The perk of being out in front of your team is that you can easily aim away from teammates toward incoming mutants. Plus, smaller enemies tend to path together around corners as they approach you in many situations, clustering together perfectly to be burned down while leaving a temporary flame to slow down further enemies.
You can effectively aim either by using shift+left clicking or by single targeting higher valued targets by left clicking. The Arclite easily cuts swathes thru small targets when shift+left clicking to mow down as any enemies as you need. You should be burst firing, as a little flame goes a long way toward killing small enemies. Large enemies may sometimes justify the high ammo cost of burning them down, which does not require burst firing. You will slow your large targets as you cook them with flames.
The Arclite, and especially the Equalizer-boosted “Toxic Flame,” are great for cooking biomass. Do not burn it all the way to 0% health, as your flames lingering damage over time will easily finish it off. If you combine this with the Hellfire class’s excellent defensive position and throw in just a touch of mobility, you can effectively solo down biomass around the map in early-mid waves on non-nightmare difficulties.
Damage from the Arclite does not count toward rank up requirements to do damage with a primary weapon.
Hellfire isn’t a secondary weapon class. You’re so damned slow with the Arclite that you don’t really want more heavy weapons. By default you have four slots to work with here, and that’s plenty so don’t waste slots or energy on a secondary extender.Thunder:
An okay weapon, a great speed boost. This is the lightest weight secondary weapon, and as such lets you move a little faster than any other choice. Decent damage and suppression. My favorite choice for Hellfire builds.
Sometimes I take this when the goal of a match is captures. It’s not necessary for captures like the description suggests, but it does decent suppression which is what capturing actually requires. To cap big monsters, they need to be fully suppressed and 25%ish health while on your cap trap. There are better ways to capture than using Frostbite, but it’s not the worst. Second weight tier after Thunder.
Offers armor shred, which is otherwise hard to come by with the Hellfire kit. Hopefully someone else has more potent explosives on your team, but if need be you could take this. Very heavy weapon, leaving you so slow it’s comical. Not recommended on higher difficulties or situations with little access to medics.
Having one or zero modules are definitely options. Don’t feel like you have to find the slots and energy for two abilities if it doesn’t fit well with your build. If your build choices don’t leave you with much mobility, I’d recommend taking at least one of these modules.Power Dash (Offense)/ Sprint (Support):
Picking one of these will probably be best as a Hellfire. Most builds will leave you rather slow, and no one wants to get left in the dust when time comes to run. Additionally, Hellfires are well suited to lead the group into battle, and so the speed boosts offered by these modules will help you to pick your positioning when the group is in motion. Sprint takes fewer slots, but you will probably want your support slots for core abilities. Power Dash takes offense slots which works out well as you will likely have plenty of extra space here when making a build. Power Dash also offers the perk of doing mild damage which can destroy small enemies you run thru.
Great for mobility and making quick retreats. Allows you to reach higher and lower levels of the terrain quickly which can be a life saver. When you launch, nearby enemies briefly stop chasing you and this can help you to escape overwhelming odds. When you land you do a bit of area damage in the circle you selected as your target. If you plan to be alone at risky times, this can be great. If you plan to stay stuck to teammates that can’t jump, pass on this to free up more slots. As with Sprint, your Support slots are pretty important for a hellfire, which makes this only viable if you plan on leaning in toward defensive or offensive abilities.
Systems: “Blue Abilities”
Hellfires have lots of great abilities and they are core to the class gameplay. I’d almost always recommend going with all four filled. There are more systems available than what I plan to describe here, but many of them feel lackluster compared to the ones I list here. The descriptions don’t always make it clear what systems do, so I’m hoping to explain and loosely rate the choices you have to work with.
Defense upgrades are important for a hellfire, so don’t load up on too many systems here.
A strong choice. Explode in a fireball, which gets bigger badder quicker and cheaper as you level it up. The flame doesn’t do much harm to your team unless you set off environmental explosives by triggering it too close to teammates. Good for slowing enemy entry in a bottleneck, good for wiping out small enemies, good for getting a small pack of mutants off weaker teammates. The area of this ability is much larger than phase reaper, and lasts longer (though the main damage is instant when you first trigger it). More energy use and a longer cooldown than phase reaper.
An okay choice when beginning without purchased abilities. If you plan to heal yourself thru the match, it’s probably not going to be a good time. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Offers some healing to yourself and the reload time reduction can be good. But you’re probably better off taking a two slot life support and finding a medic to play with.
An okay choice. Taunts everything near you and briefly beefs up your defense pretty heavy to help with all your new “friends.” Unlike other taunt abilities available, it doesn’t stop your energy regeneration. High activation cost and long cooldown with no damage offered. If you’re playing on nightmare this might be a solid choice, but on any lower difficulty you’re likely better off with a shorter cooldown and more offense.
If your Arclite can’t cook it, it’s probably someone else’s problem. As a hellfire you’ll have ample slots here to use. Offense upgrades are mediocre at best for Hellfire, and you have 8 slots to use here. So take those modules and your build will shine!
The best choice. A 360 degree melee of flames. Press your ability key to display a radius circle around your Hellfire, then left click to activate a whirlwind of death. Short cooldown, low activation cost, great damage. Since the damage is fire based, any survivors of the damage will be slowed down quite a lot. Not a lot to say here, this ability kicks ass and works great, if you’re not using it try it out and fall in love.
A great early choice. One of the strongest of the base abilities to choose from. Jump sorta slowly to your target, landing with a BOOM! When you touch down, you create a small fireball to damage targets and taunt them onto you. Your defenses are briefly buffed quite a lot, but at the cost of stopping your energy regen for the duration. This ability requires you leading your targets, as they’ll keep moving while you slooooowly jump toward them. As a perk, you can use this ability in place of thrusters to go up and down terrain, though with a much slower cooldown. This ability gives both offensive and defensive applications, while using those readily available offense slots!
An okay choice. Throw a handful of grenades at the designated location, after a moment or two they explode in flames. Unlike the assault ability Grenade, these do not explode immediately so you gotta sort of lead your shot. Unlike most Hellfire fire abilities, you can use these to set off gas pipes. So at least there’s that. The damage is pretty decent, and it offers a decent range compared to most of your abilities. I thought I’d be more excited about them, but they feel like an under-performing version of the assault ability and harder to learn how to maximize.
You gotta take either Consumption or a primary extender here to use an Arclite. This is a key decision behind your build. Support choices are very strong for the Hellfire class, and the priorities you make here will guide the way that you build your character.
The choice to use or not use this ability is fundamental to the Hellfire class. Passively adds a primary weapon slot, extending the hellfire bar to fully allow the choice of any weapon (Read: Arclite). Causes the Arclite to consume less ammo. Increases the amount of ammo which loads into the arclite (still at the cost of 10mags per reload)
Arclite Max Rounds- (Rank, Max Rounds)
(0, 200), (1, 240), (2, 250), (3, 260), (4, 270), (5, 280)
You either take this ability or a primary weapon extender. Besides equalizer, this is the Hellfire’s other choice of ability to keep up with the primary ammo consumption of cooking down hordes of mutants. Turns secondary ammo into progressively more primary ammo (so really wanna use it at 5/5 if you can for full effect). This means that you have to find boxes or drops of secondary ammo to create your ammo, but this can be a lifesaver when RNG just gives you secondary ammo from every basic locker you hit. You will however be depriving your team on secondary ammo, which might make it tough when you want your booms to go off on big enemies and you turned all the secondary ammo into fire. Actively makes you fireproof.
An potential choice. All your fire abilities and your Arclite will burn longer, you will do more damage and ability damage. Does not help out with ammo management but offers synergy with other offensive capabilities. Taking this cuts into your ammunition and mobility choices, which are reasonably significant downsides to choosing this.
An good choice for some. This is a main ammunition ability for Hellfires on maps with plenty of barrels. Reload time is shortened, which can make a huge impact on the 10sec base reload time of the Arclite, getting you down to 2.5sec at rank 5. Allows you to consume a barrel (explosive, poison, nitrogen, etc) on the map to generate ammo and adds 1 (at ranks 1-4) or two (at rank 5) magazines of reserve ammo. 66 ammo (1/3 of full) loaded into the Arclite at rank 1, 2, 3. 100 ammo (1/2 full) at rank 4, 200 at rank 5. These amounts further increase when interacting with ranks of Consumption (up to 280 loaded with ranks 5+5). Puts your current weapon ammo back into your reserve ammunition. If your ammunition is maxed, it will not create ammo on the ground or your inventory (so don’t use at 41 mags + full weapon ammo). If you have more than 31 mags, using this ability will discard the extra ammo. If the map doesn’t have many barrels, this ability will not help. But this allows you to fill your ammo using barrels and a cooldown instead of having to hunt for basic lockers to keep up with your ammo consumption. This also helps your team by leaving ammo available for bullet using classes to loot. Unlike using Consumption, the barrels you eat are going to have a relatively minor impact on your team’s ability to survive. As a further added bonus, all the ammo currently loaded in your Arclite using Equalizer becomes a toxic green flame which does more damage than normal. To effectively use this ability, dump points in it for early waves where you don’t need to pump out ability damage. Once you have full ammo or need to fight, drop down to 0 or 1 points in the skill (keep 1 point if you have less than full ammo and can find a barrel every 30sec or so). A major perk of this ability is the ability to move points away from it when you do not need it to help focus on damage and taunts. Ideally you want either 1 point so it’s a choice, or 5 points so you get double mags, but ranks 2-4 help a bit with shorter cooldowns for areas where you find multiple barrels together and gradually more ammo loaded into your Arclite.
A good choice. Taunt an enemy to you and buff your defense like crazy for a little while. Pretty high cooldown, high activation cost, but solid for tanking seriously big or fast targets. A very defensive choice, strongest when you expect to be part of a well organized team. Much of the Hellfire toolkit focuses on small targets, but this is excellent if you expect to be dealing
Upgrades: “White Abilities”
Defense upgrades are the best upgrades you can get for the role as a front lines tank and short range fighter with low speed. Try and leave yourself as much energy and as many slots available in your build for defense upgrades as seems conceivable.
Most builds are going to use too many of the Support slots for Modules to allow for agility, but take it if you can. Speed is always great, but playing a Hellfire you probably don’t expect to be going top speed. You gotta stand and fight, which fortunately you are uniquely prepared for.
The arclite does great damage, you’re not overwatching, and spread isn’t really a thing. If you have extra offense slots just put power cores on them. Offense slots are for bullet users, you don’t need bullets. You need flames. The fire gods demand it.Defense:
Armor vs Health:
Health is usually king. Defense can potentially be better if you’re supported by multiple or high caliber Medics. Without a top tier team this will not reliably be the case. Using multiple armor upgrades offers less and less for your Hellfire. Health upgrades suffer no such downside. Ideally you want the 3-slot Nanoplate which offers a whopping 15% Kinetic (melee) resistance. This takes a lot of slots, but very little suit energy, a reduction in energy regeneration, to offer a huge boost in damage reduction. The low suit energy cost helps it to pair well with maximizing your Life Support to boost your health as much as you can fit. If this isn’t a choice, take the single largest armor upgrade you can and then stack your health. Depending how much suit energy and space you have after selecting modules, pump you health as hard as you can. Health gives you more time to take damage, more time to regenerate, more time to jump, dash or fight over to your healer.
Medals: Oh, You’re Fancy Huh?
Health bonuses are great, health regen can be good, weapon/ammo/energy medals can be useful for some play styles.Starting Out
Cadet Graduation Medal:
The first medal you will probably receive. Note that you can only win one medal per match, so get this one before trying for more challenging ones. Reduces max ammo reserves in exchange for larger capacity in your primary weapon. Not a bad choice for a Hellfire, especially if you expect to easily keep up with your ammunition needs. Reloading the arclite takes 9sec, so reloading less often (because you have more ammo in the gun) helps a decent bit.
Class Combat Medals
Recon Combat Medal:
Very obtainable, just spend a match as recon looting boxes and running. Reduces skill activation cost in exchange for 3% of your max health. Health is very important, so you don’t want to give up much of it, but if you’re leaning into lots of abilities which cost energy (especially high energy cost abilities) this can be a help. Since Hellfire don’t overwatch and our skills don’t reserve energy, you’ll often have plenty of energy and not need this. Judgement call based on how your play style is feeling.
Medic Combat Medal:
Very obtainable, heal as a medic and just keep healing. 10k healing in a match isn’t a very difficult bar to reach. This medal can be quite a help for Hellfires, increasing your resilience a significant amount (+30%). Resilience is a rarer stat which reduces your chance to be fractured, poisoned, bled etc. and reduces the duration of these effects. When a wild Lyganesh tries to break your legs and your team is fleeing, you’ll want some resilience. The boost offered by this medal is significant.
Hellfire Combat Medal:
Obtainable easily enough as you’ll be playing Hellfire. You need a medic that’s able to focus on you, and a long game. Easily done in conjunction with a friend getting the Medic Combat Medal. 10k damage in a round is a lot of hits, about 13 full health bars with my usual build. This medal gives +50 health which is great, at the cost of 5% skill activation cost. Health is great, and this is the easiest choice for a plus health medal.
Heavy Combat Medal:
I hear this one’s easy to get. I’m not great with the heavy class, so not quite there myself. Obtained with a solid team which can play high infestation settings and gearing your Heavy toward suppression (minigun, thunder, suppressive fire etc.). Improves weapon RPM and reserve ammo capacity, at the cost of health. A pretty solid choice if you want to do a bit more damage.
Assault Combat Medal:
If you’re good at assault you’ll get this one. Same stats as the Hellfire Combat Medal, not a bad choice if you have access to it.
Other Class Combat Medals:
Depending what you have access to, some of these may be appealing to work with. Some of them are very obtainable but don’t offer great synergy for Hellfire class, others are difficult to obtain but offer decent synergy.
Medal of Survival:
Requires the intent of the team and cooperative players, difficult to obtain. Probably the best Hellfire stats of any medal, a straight 100 health bonus. If you got it, you’re probably using it.
A more difficult version of the Hellfire Combat Medal. Gives +0.5 Health Regen in exchange for 2% of max health. A reasonably good choice for a Hellfire that expects the medic’s attention to be divided or elsewhere.
Similar to Purple Heart challenge but with slightly different requirements. Increases armor stats in exchange for some max health. Good for situations where you expect to have good medics, similarly to choices elsewhere in your build for armor vs health.
A difficult challenge which requires a dedicated team or incredible luck. Big boost to energy in exchange for 5% max health. The health hit here is pretty big, but if you’re building to use a ton of energy for some reason it’s worth considering.