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Rage 2 guide: The best Nanotrite abilities and weapons

And the Arks where you can find them

id Software, Avalanche Studios/Bethesda Softworks

There is no shortage of ways to kill mutants in Rage 2. Some ways are more effective than others. Others are just, frankly, more fun.

It’s hard to say that any ability or weapon is better than any other overall. They all have their uses and fun aspects. Some are utilitarian and some are, honestly, silly. These are our four favorite Nanotrite abilities and weapons — two of each — along with where to find the Arks that contain them. We’ll also include a couple honorable mentions to cover the fun side.

Nanotrite Abilities

In a game that plays like a shooter a lot of the time, it’s easy to forget that you have magic Jedi powers. This is a mistake that we made too often. Using your Nanotrite abilities makes fighting easier — and more fun (gorier).

Shatter

Shatter is one of the first Id-Accessions you’ll pick up, but it’s also one of the most useful.

This Nanotrite ability is found in the Junkers Pass Ark in the Twisting Canyons region. It’s a bit north-northeast of Vineland. It has a very low enemy difficulty, so it’s easy to fight your way into.

Shatter is a kind of Force push that will toss enemies around or blow off armor. This makes it great for dealing with armored and shielded enemies. But it’s also useful for anyone that gets too close.

As you upgrade Shatter, it’ll increase the range and add in a shockwave. More importantly, you’ll decrease the cooldown time and get a second use.

Slam

A bit further north, you’ll find another easy-to-get ability called Slam.

Slam is in the Earthscar Ark in the Torn Plains region. It’s close to the northern border, right in the middle. It’s a level 3 enemy difficulty, so you can take it on pretty early.

Slam basically turns you into a living grenade. You’ll leap into the air and explosively slam down, killing or shoving away any nearby enemies. Like Shatter, Slam will also blow off enemies’ armor.

An upgraded Slam reduces the cooldown and increases the blast radius. It also adds in a Vortex-like feature that draws in nearby enemies. (This ability gets even stronger as you upgrade your Grav-Jump.)

Weapons

When it comes to putting bullets into bad guys, it’s hard to beat your Ranger Assault Rifle (especially when it’s upgraded), but there are seven other weapons available. These are our two favorite alternatives.

Combat Shotgun

The Combat Shotgun is part of John Marshall’s first mission in Gunbarrel, so it’s hard to miss.

It works like a shotgun in any video game, for the most part. It’s especially good against muties, since you don’t have to be super accurate while they’re jumping around you. It’s a good crowd control weapon, and it’ll blow armor off of enemies.

What makes the Combat Shotgun even more useful and versatile (and fun) is when you aim down the barrel. This turns the slug into a single shot that will send your enemies flying backward into their friends — or off of a catwalk.

Charged Pulse Cannon

Our other favorite weapon is less fun but extremely useful in certain situations.

The Charged Pulse Cannon is in the Shrouded Vault Ark in the Dune Sea. It’s down in the southwest of the map, on the eastern edge of the region. It’s easy to miss, since you probably won’t explore down there on your own. Worse, it has a level 6 enemy difficulty — and they’re all Shrouded (those heavily armored guys who are immune to headshots).

The Charged Pulse Cannon is a weird weapon to recommend. It’s prone to overheating, but its bullets also do more damage the closer it gets to overheating — it’s a delicate and frustrating balance to maintain. But there’s a hint to the Charged Pulse Cannon’s usefulness in where you find it — It works well against the Shrouded enemies and any enemy that is robotic or pulses with electricity.

More importantly, though — and why we like it so much — is how powerful it is against Authority Sentries. Taking down a Sentry is often a long-drawn-out encounter that will drain both your health and ammo. With the Charged Pulse Cannon, you’ll be able to nearly drain one full segment of a Sentry’s health bar before it overheats. It makes the encounters quick and (almost) easy — in the video above, you can see us finish a level 7 Sentry in 30 seconds.

Fun recommendations

Not every ability and weapon is terribly useful, though. Some of them are just good fun.

Vortex

The Vortex Nanotrite Ability lets you toss a miniature black hole at your enemies. They’ll get stuck together and tossed into the air.

You’ll find this ability in the Quake Hill Ark, east-northeast of Vineland in the Twisting Canyon region. It has level 2 enemies, so it’s one of the easiest to collect.

When you upgrade Vortex, you can add a few seconds after the attack that leaves your enemies floating around like defenseless balloons. The range of the attack isn’t great, and it’s hard to aim, but — when it works — it’s kind of delightful.

Grav-Dart Launcher

The Grav-Dart Launcher works a lot like the Vortex ability — and we recommend it for similar reasons.

The Grav-Dart Launcher is in the Needle Falls Ark in the southwest corner of The Wilds. It has level 7 enemy difficulty, so you should wait a while before you tackle it.

It takes a lot of patience, but what makes the Grav-Dart launcher so much fun is priming several enemies with darts, then triggering the gun’s effect and watching them all smash into each other. It’s not the most efficient way to deal with enemies, but it’s a lot of fun to watch.