Gauss base guide for consistent building

by last updated 3 months ago


Take charge with the Saint of Altra. Gauss is fast, deals high damage, and has strong survivability. Movement charges his powerful battery, so never stop moving.




60 / 60


Damage Reduction
Gauss builds
Builds by Eideca

Gauss base guide for consistent building

[4th September 2023 edit : Thanks to all the upvoters, we finally managed to bring down the former top guide that hasn't been updated during 4 years and was misleading a whole bunch of new [Gauss] enjoyers. I will continue to develop this guide in line with future patches, with your help I hope through your future comments. My gratitude to you, protectors of the Origin System. We are Tenno.]

Greetings tenno,

In this guide I'll try my best to explain [Gauss] ability kit rather than giving you a build without context or few clarifications. Thus, the build submitted here is only an exemple of what I consider a consistent way to use [Gauss], but definitely not the only one. There's many variations depending on your playstyle, the weapons or helminth abilities you can use, even on the content you are interested in!

Here are some more specific builds examples that can be used :


So first of all, let's have a look on the abilities.


[Gauss] has an unique gauge called "Battery" that can be charged or discharged according to your actions. The gauge works in percentage, going from 0 to 100%, but standardly capped to 80% (noticed by a red line) unless you use your Redline ability. This gauge is key in the gameplay as it is directly linked to your survability and offensive buffs. I will explain later how it interacts with your abilities.

Independently, your level of battery impact shield recharge speed and delay, with respectively a maximum of 120% and 80%, meaning that you got a sweet (15 + 0.05 × Maximum shield) x 2.40 recharge and an 0.6s delay instead of 3s (insane free buff).

You also have to know that passively you gain 0.5% of battery per meter while moving, -2% per second if you're not at 100%.


To have a good understanding of [Gauss] base kit, I think it is important to know first what his ultimate ability does. Activating Redline makes Gauss entering in an over-charged mod, enhancing all his abilities, and buffing his fire rate, attack speed, reload speed and holster speed. I will describe the abilities changes directly in their descriptions, but just know they are so important that you basically want to stay under Redline all the time.

Redline is mainly affected by Duration increasing buffs and time under this state. It is also affected by strength as you deal damage around you if your battery is over 80%, but will see later why it is not that worth building strength.

During Redline, once the gauge hits 100% during redline, it becomes unalterable till the end of the effect, meaning nothing can drop the percentage unless you die.


This ability is basically your mobility tool. It's very strong (and fun) due to its instant acceleration, and also allows you to have a great agility in the air. The initial casting charge 10% of the battery, every time you hit an ennemy you gain 1% battery, and crashing into a solid objects generates a shockwave dealing both damage and knockback effect. While under Kinetic Plating (next ability), the shockwave has an 100% chance of Slash status proc on ennemies.

The energy drain is affected by Ability Duration, damage by strength, and the shockwave radius by range.

Under Redline : MachRush cost is divided by two, making it a fairly low energy ability, easily spammed, and becomes your main tool to charge your battery.

Kinetic Plating

This is your main survivabilty tool, giving damage reduction for all physical damage, heat, cold and blast damage. The damage reduction works in percentage, going from 20% to 100% at 100% strength depending on your battery level. The more you are charged, the more you got damage reduction, but capped at 50% without Redline active. While active you are immune to knockdown and stagger, super strong at high level content where 2 seconds on the ground means you're dead.

Each time Kinetic Plating reduces damage, a percentage of your battery is drain (1% to 6.5% per hit), but damage is also converted into energy (2% to 5% per hit), which is very powerful.

You can increase the duration with duration mods (obviously) and the minimum damage reduction with strength mods but again I'll come back on this particular point.

Under Redline : Kinetic Plating can give you immunity to physical damage, heat, cold and blast damage as you can charge your battery at 100%. You also gain an insane 100% melee damage and stagger chance bonus. Furthermore, as you don't loose any more battery percentage at 100% during Redline, it becomes even easier to convert damage into energy.

Thermal Sunder

This is an insanely good ability. You want to use this ability to damage, CC and status ennemies in zone. There is two distinct type of casts :

Cold (key tap) : Apply Cold proc and froze if ennemies are already cold. Charge 10% battery.

Fire (Hold key) : Apply Heat proc, stripping 50% armor. Drain 10% battery.

You can stack up 4 zones of each type, meaning you can have 8 different zones actives at the same time. If a cold zone overlap with an heat zone, you create a Blast zone that deals damage calculated with all the remaining fire procs and ignore armor according to your battery level (from 0 to 100%), and depending the order of casting, ennemies will be either pulled (cold last) or pushed (heat last). The radius of the zone can be extended with range, and damage scales with strength and your battery level.

Under Redline : The cold proc freezes enemies solid instantly, and consecutive casts of the heat mode against enemies with a heat proc each deal twice the damage of the previous cast.

This is currently the best nuke ability in the game. If you build around it, you could easily defeat all steel path chart with two cast of fire and one cold to proc the blast, the only drawback is that this playstyle can quickly become repetitive imo.



Now that we know what are the features of each ability, we can try to figure out what are the strengths and weaknesses of this kit.

Obviously, [Gauss] has a very good mobility due to his initial speed and his first ability, meaning we can easily get to our targets or flee from battle. Furthermore he is a very good tank thanks to his Kinetic Plating and other passives, but does not resist naturally to certain types of damage as electricity, toxin or combined elements. He benefit from energy regeneration but not health regeneration. He can get very good buffs for his primary and secondary weapon through Redline, but also insane melee buff from Kinetic Plating. Finally he got a very good tool for CC, stripping armor or just nuking ennemies, but this ability can be somehow energivorous.

Knowing this, we can already deduce he is fragile against infested as toxin damage go through shields and is not supported by Kinetic Plating.

We can also see that there is possibly two major gameplays we can commit in : build to clear the content with Thermal Sunder which is ATM one of the best nuke ability in the game, or go for a more all around build, arguably more fun.

In any case, we can rank the main stats we can upgrade :

1) Duration

Duration buffs everything in this kit, from MachRush energy drain to Redline bonus, to Thermal Sunder status and area duration, to finally Kinetic Plating and Redline time span. It is impossible to ignore duration as you get to much benefits while commiting in only one stat.

2) Range

Range comes after easily even if it mainly only concern Thermal Sunder. Whether you want to use it as a main damage source or only for stripping armor and CCing, range is very valuable as it allows you to hit more ennemies. At least if you plan keeping Thermal Sunder, you just can't go under 100% range. If you want to have 34% range, just get another ability with the helminth that match duration.

3) Strength

Strength is not very important BUT you can't go under 100% as it is the minimum you need to get also 100% damage reduction from Kinetic Plating. Apart from that, you don't even need much strength for boosting Thermal Sunder damage as it's already broken, and it would not benefit that much for others abilities.

4) Efficiency

Efficiency can be good on [Gauss] don't get me wrong, but it is only very important if you want to use Thermal Sunder as a main damage source and spam it. If not, your other abilities have to be cast once every minute or consume very few energy, so efficiency is not really worth a mod slot.


Build example - Explanation

The build here is pretty much a basic but coherent setup for [Gauss]. Again, it is only an example, and many other builds can be interesting and efficient according to the aimed content or even subsumed abilities.

Here I tried to balance Duration (207%) and Range (175%). Doing so I can have the best of all my abilities, while enhancing at the same time Thermal Sunder range and get a good use of it. If I don't want to use very often Thermal Sunder I could replace [Constitution] by [Narrow Minded] and getting to 278% Duration and still have 109% Range, to tune up my build with my playstyle.

[Adaptation] synergize very well with Kinetic Plating, but also catch up its flaws in terms of damage variety.

Knowing that [Gauss] needs to spam MachRush, [Energy Siphon] as aura mod is a pretty good passive energy income (but doesn't works while channeling), you could replace it according to your playstyle.

[Primed Flow] is very interesting with [Gauss] as we can accumulate many energy with Kinetic Plating, and it allows us to cast without fear our Redline which cost 150 energy, even if it's every 65 seconds. It also represent comfort as I use [Quick Thinking] to prevent a tough situation, in case of nullifier crewman, caught before recasting 2 or even running through Toxin cloud.

Speaking of Toxin, I recommend using Arcane Resistance when going on a Infected mission, as it nullify all the damages over time, and allows to drain less energy from [Quick Thinking]. Otherwise, Arcane Energize is a very good choice, again to multiply your energy incomes, and the other slot mainly depends on your playstyle. Here I choose Arcane [Fury] as it is an insane melee buff, but you could also use Molt Efficiency to increase duration even further for example.

Finally I use [Rush] in the exilus slot only because I want some speed, because after all we are playing [Gauss], but honestly there are far better mods to put there, as [Cunning Drift] for the +15% Range, [Speed Drift] for the casting speed, or anything that suits your playstyle better. I would also recommend for the most advanced players to use Zenurik Path as it is the most consistent way to restore energy.

If we sum up, this build use all the ability synergies at our disposal, leading to a versatile playstyle, allowing you to murder ennemies with your primary weapon, or melee weapon, or even your third ability, while keeping you very safe (as long as you got energy don't forget). You basically want to be constantly with Redline activated, and use your MachRush to get as fast as possible the 100% Battery. Then boom boom as you want.

It is also very easy to adjust this build depending on your needs/playstyle, balancing between Duration and Range, or even putting some Efficiency or Strength to specialize.



At the end of the day, the most important is to understand what you want to do with [Gauss] and how you can manage to do it. It is very easy to follow blindly a build, especially when you're beginning to put interest in modding, but in my opinion it is more satisfying to achieve a good comprehension of what you're doing, and why it works or not. Even more, it makes you independent and allows you then to see other builds with a critical eye, giving you even more opportunities to learn, by questionning and experimentation.

It is possible that this guide contain mistakes or incoherence, and if you see something, I would be very glad if you notify me so I can correct or complete it if needed. I am also available if you have any question of course !

See you tenno !