Focus: Support & Survival
Gunners are a specialized role focused on supporting a team with overwhelming firepower. Gunners use firepower to simply overwhelm the opposing team during gunfights and can often pin down entire teams. Gear setups are often focused on firepower and sustained engagements at medium to long range and often focus on heavy armor to stay in the fight. Gunners are known for their stream of bullets going down range and can normally be found asking for more ammo.
Class Equipment - Weapons
Bullet spraying guns like light machine guns are generally the go-to weapons for gunners as other choices often lack the massive ammo capacity and reserve to fulfill the role’s needs. Gunners do have to keep in mind that they will eventually have to move and sometimes map and objective needs can require them to be quite mobile and assault rifles may end up a usage weapon with some modifications.
Light Machine Guns: Few weapons can even compete with LMGs when it comes to the task of sustained fire and most will require significant modifications to even be useable. So, this makes using the dedicated weapon for the role a smart choice. It is often best to simply select the LMG that you feel most comfortable with, but some games often highly modified versions that may be more suitable for certain maps or objectives. Be careful not to modify them too much into assault rifles, as it can often be more effective to modify an assault rifle into an LMG thanks to many games favoring those guns.
Assault Rifles: As stated above, these can often be modified to fit the role of a basic LMG and might be more suited for close-range maps and tactics that require higher mobility. There is almost always a cut-off point to when it is better to simply choose an LMG over an AR, but this will vary greatly by game and should be determined as trying to force an LMG into a role that it does not fit is often a lost effort and vise versa.
Mounted/Deployable Machine Guns: Turrets, heavy machine guns, mounted cannons, and so many more options are often available to players within a game. These can be very minor and ineffective items that should be used only when appropriate or they can be a major role in a setup class and overcome many of the problems that come with carrying around a massive LMG all game. After all, it is much easier to avoid the shortcomings with many LMGs when moving around and in CQB, if you can just put it in your pocket and use a different primary.
Self-Defense Weapons: Close-range anti-personnel weapons are often a great choice for Gunners as they complement the shortcomings of the LMGs very well. Shotguns and pistols are a great way to counter getting overrun in a close-quarters scenario due to your primary weapon having awful hip fire and delayed movements.
Assault Rifles: Many team tactics will have a Gunner acting as a Gunner only when appropriate and being able to fill in as an Infantry or Heavy Infantry role during the downtime is a great asset to your team. There will be many times, such as clearing rooms or rapid advancements, that carrying a weapon designed to be used in place will not be practical. These shortfalls can be overcome by using a primary weapon able to run in multiple roles, but they can also be overcome by simply having a backup primary weapon to pull out when needed.
Class Equipment - Other
Gunners should be geared for sustained gunfights and prolonged supportive fire. However, they always need to ensure that they can win defensive gunfights and stay alive to keep supporting their team.
Grenades/Explosives: Placed traps and tripwires can be a huge advantage to a Gunner who can’t easily defend themselves in CQB and is a massive target on the frontline. Using explosive equipment to trap and deny entry to your location can not only warn you when a threat is coming but can also weaken or eliminate the player that should have an advantage over you otherwise.
Armor: In games that allow editing armor, it is recommended to start with a heavyweight armor or 80/20 (armor/speed) set up and adjust for your playstyle. Generally, a Gunner will be a fixed or low mobility player that needs to be able to soak up at least some damage but should still be able to move and work with the rest of the team as needed. It is not impractical to be a highly mobile Gunner, but it is often a struggle simply due to game mechanics and might make following the Heavy Infantry class guides a bit more practical.
Class Use - Communication
Gunners are often found at that magical medium to long-range distance during a firefight that is shared with Heavy Infantry and is perfect to provide information to your teammates about the overall situation. However, even more, important is the ability to listen to what is going on and work with your team on where to provide fire support and when you might be getting outflanked. You carry one of the most devastating weapons in the game and while it is terrible at fast reactions when a Gunner is surprised, it is almost unbeatable when already facing the opponent who thinks they got the upper hand on you. Gunners also find themselves holding a weapon that can often penetrate walls and other barriers which makes using teamwork to find groups of opponents very helpful.
Class Use - Close Quarters
Close range is not a great place for any Gunner to be as not only is your primary weapon often lacking at this range but your armor and other game mechanics often slow you down in an area where speed is dominant. Survival and getting out of the situation are best as winning gunfights against Recon and Light Infantry at this range is not a common practice. However, with the use of improvised explosives and some always loved camping, a Gunner can still get the upper hand due to their sheer firepower. You can not be the second person to fire and you are also unlikely to sneak up on anyone, so bunker down and get ready for a battle of survival until you can either get out or your team pushes your way.
Class Use - Medium Range
Medium range is a great place for a Gunner to be and it is even better with a few teammates in front of you to prevent the opponents from getting to your flanks. This range can be devastating to the opposing team as your overwhelming firepower is at its best and everything is easy to see and suppress. However, stay alert to changing situations and ensure that your medium-ranged engagement is not becoming a close-ranged survival match as you lay down support for your teammates. Take advantage of cover to the best of your ability and try to stay in the fight as long as possible as a Gunner, not gunning isn’t much of a supportive class to those around them. Height can be an advantage, but just be aware that Snipers love Gunners sitting in windows, so keep yourself shielded from those long-ranged one-shots.
Class Use - Long Range
Long-range is both great and terrifying for Gunners as it allows safe use of sustained fire in team fights since your armor and firepower will keep pop shots and flanks at bay, but Snipers are always on the lookout for a player sitting still at this range. The further you get away from the gunfight the more you need to worry about what angles other players can see you at and prevent those long-distance headshots by sitting back in cover or moving to a more concealed area. Being able to find a long-ranged position that also prevents the opposing team’s long-ranged support from seeing you is a great tactic for staying alive.