Dead Space 2: Gear Optimization Guide

       ´╗┐DEAD SPACE 2 UPGRADE OPTIMIZATION GUIDE
-by Locke Quinn Seavello (aka BakusaiTenketsu of GameFAQs)

Contents:
-Plasma Cutter	[PCX]
-Pulse Rifle	[PRX]
-Line Gun	[LGX]
-Flamethrower	[FTX]
-Ripper		[RPX]
-Javelin Gun	[JGX]
-Detonator	[DTX]
-Force Gun	[FGX]
-Seeker Rifle	[SRX]
-Contact Beam	[CBX]
-Stasis Module	[SMX]
-Rig		[RGX]
	


General Upgrading Tips:
Whenever possible, try to upgrade Capacity for your weapons when they are out 
of ammo.  Doing so will give you a full clip of ammo, plus the upgraded 
amount.  Same with upgrading Health on the Rig.  When you upgrade an HP node 
on the Rig, you will fully regenerate all lost health including the health 
you just upgraded.


Legend:
DMG = Weapon Damage
REL = Reload Time
SPD = Firing Speed
CAP = Ammo Capacity
ALT = Alternate Fire Damage
SPC = Special Bonus
DUR = Effect Duration
ENG = Energy Increase
CHR = Charge Time
AIR = Air Time
HP  = Hitpoints
XXX = Empty Node

[ ] = Nodes you must aquire
{ } = Nodes you can skip




With out further ado... the meat of the guide!


===================
PLASMA CUTTER [PCX]
===================


			    [SPD]-----------{xxx}
			      |	   	      |
			      |		      |
			      |		      |
	    [DMG]---[CAP]---[XXX]           [CAP]---[SPC]
		      |			      |
		      |			      |
		      |			      |
==> [DMG]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[DMG]---[REL]---[XXX]
	      |	      |	      |	      |	      |
	      |	      |	      |	      |	      |
	      |	      |	      |	      |	      |
	    [REL]---[SPD]     |	    {xxx}---[CAP]
	      |	      |	      |	      |
	      |	      |	      |	      |
	      |	      |	      |	      |
==> [CAP]---{xxx}---{xxx}---[CAP]---[DMG]



Nodes needed = 18
Nodes skipped = 4

Notes: 
The Upper Right Empty Node or the Middle Empty Node on the Second Line are 
interchangeably skippable (You need one but not the other, depending on how 
you want to upgrade).  Optimally, you should skip 4 total nodes.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 10, with 4 upgrades of 2 damage each.
CAP = Base 10, with 5 upgrades of 2 more shots each.
REL = Base 1 second reload, with 2 upgrades of -0.25 seconds each.
SPD = Base 1 second fire time, with 2 upgrades of -0.2 seconds each.
SPC = Unlocking this adds fire damage to the Plasma Cutter with each shot.

Upgrade Tips:
Focus on getting the Damage upgrades.  Speed and Reload are less crucial to 
the Plasma Cutter than Damage is.  Several Capacity upgrades can be picked up 
when you are out of ammo for a full reload plus two more shots.  The Special 
is nice, but not worth rushing to get.




=================
PULSE RIFLE [PRX]
=================


				    [XXX]---[ALT]---[ALT]
				      |	    	      
				      |	    	      
				      |	    	      
		    [ALT]---[ALT]---[XXX]
		      |
		      |
		      |
	    [DMG]---[XXX]---[DMG]---[XXX]---[CAP]---[XXX]
	      |			      |	      |	      |
	      |			      |	      |       |
	      |			      |	      |	      |
==> [CAP]---[XXX]---[REL]-----------[CAP]     |     [CAP]---[DMG]
	      |	      |			      |	      |
	      |	      |			      |	      |
	      |	      |			      |	      |
	    [CAP]---[XXX]---[DMG]---{xxx}---[REL]---{xxx}



Nodes needed = 22
Nodes skipped = 2

Notes:
Either empty space on either side of the bottom damage upgrade can be skipped 
and either empty space above and below the far right capacity upgrade can be 
skipped.  The maximum skippable nodes for this weapon is two.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 5, with 4 upgrades of 1 damage each.
CAP = Base 50, with 5 upgrades of 25 ammo each.
REL = Base 1.4 seconds, with 2 upgrades of -0.2 seconds each.
ALT = Base 3, with 4 upgrades of 1 point each.

Upgrade Tips:
Upgrade the capacity of this the first time, trying to get the first three 
damage nodes.  The power of the Pulse Rifle comes from a large clip, so 
continually focus on getting Capacity upgrades when you run out of ammo for a 
large boost in ammunition each upgrade.  Save the Alt Fire upgrades for last 
unless you heavily rely on grenades instead of bullets.




==============
LINE GUN [LGX]
==============


			    [ALT]
			      |
			      |
			      |
    [REL]---{xxx}---[DMG]---[XXX]---[DMG]
      |		      |		      |
      |		      |		      |
      |		      |		      |
==> [DMG]-----------{xxx}	    [ALT]
      |				      |
      |				      |
      |				      |
    {xxx}		    [CAP]---[WID]---[XXX]---[DMG]---[DUR]
      |				      |
      |				      |
      |				      |
==> [CAP]-----------[ALT]	    [CAP]   [ALT]   [XXX]---[ALT]
      |		      |  	      |       |	      |
      |		      |		      |	      |	      |
      |		      |		      |	      |	      |
    [CAP]---{xxx}---[WID]---[REL]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[ALT]



Nodes needed = 24
Nodes skipped = 4

Notes:
4 Nodes are skippable on this gun, requiring a long path starting from the
CAP upgrade on the bottom branch.  Thanks to skafan2987 for pointing out
the 4th skippable node.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 15, with 4 upgrades of 3 points each.
CAP = Base 5, with 4 upgrades of 1 more ammo each.
REL = Base 1, with 2 upgrades of -0.15 seconds each.
WID = Base 1, with 2 upgrades of +50% width each.
ALT = Base 20, with 6 upgrades of +5 damage each.
DUR = Shortens the timer for the Alt Fire Mine detonation.

Upgrade Tips:
The Line gun shines mostly in it's wide pattern and ability to "knee-cap" 
enemies in a preferably a single shot.  In order to best accomplish this, it 
is best to upgrade Width and damage as soon as possible.  The Alt Fire mine 
is quite devastating once fully upgraded and the timer shortened, though I 
feel as if this mode of fire isn't what the gun is best intended for.




==================
FLAMETHROWER [FTX]
==================


		==> [ALT]---[XXX]
			      |
			      |
			      |
			    [ALT]---[ALT]---[XXX]---[ALT]
						      |
						      |
						      |
	    [REL]---{xxx}	    [REL]---[XXX]   {xxx}   {xxx}---[CAP]
	      |	      |		      |	      |	      |	      |	      |
	      |	      |		      |	      |	      |	      |	      |
	      |	      |		      |	      |	      |	      |	      |
==> [CAP]---[XXX]   [CAP]---[DUR]---[XXX]   [REL]---[XXX]---[CAP]   [DMG]
	      |	      |		      |	      |		      |	      |
	      |	      |               |       |               |       |
	      |       |               |       |               |       |
	    [XXX]---[DAM]	    [CAP]---{xxx}	    [DUR]---[XXX]



Nodes needed = 24
Nodes skipped = 4

Notes:
There are a variety of ways to get the optimal build out of the Flamethrower, 
but the way I have above is probably the most friendly as it separates the 
Alternate Fire branch and the Main branch, as well as hits Damage nodes and 
saves spaces on Capacity nodes for when you need to refill an empty tank.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 4, with 2 upgrades of 4 points each.
CAP = Base 50, with 5 upgrades of 25 ammo each.
REL = Base 1, with 3 upgrades at -0.15 seconds each.
DUR = Base 5, with 2 upgrades of 5 additional seconds each.
ALT = Base 1, with 4 upgrades of 1 each.

Upgrade Tips:
The Flamethrower is very similar to the Pulse Rifle, except it scales in 
damage much faster.  It burns through ammo quickly however, unlike being able 
to properly do spurt damage in key locations.  So you will probably have to 
upgrade capacity quite frequently, which thankfully happens as along the 
natural upgrade path.  Upgrade Alternate Fire separately if you prefer that 
weapon mode.




============
RIPPER [RPX]
============


==> [ALT]---[ALT]---{xxx}---[DMG]---[XXX]---[ALT]---[ALT]
			      |
			      |
			      |
		    [XXX]---[CAP]---{xxx}---[REL]
		      |			      |
		      |			      |
		      |			      |
==> [CAP]---{xxx}---[REL]-----------[DUR]---[XXX]---[DMG]
		      |		      |       |
		      |               |       |
	 	      |               |       |
==> [DMG]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[CAP]     |     [XXX]---[CAP]
		      |		      |       |
		      |               |       |
		      |               |       |
		    [DUR]-----------{xxx}---[DMG]



Nodes needed = 22
Nodes skipped = 4

Notes:
The Ripper is highly customizable based on user preference.  There are many 
ways to get the optimal path depending on whether you like the Alternate 
Fire or the Primary Fire more.  The Empty node after the middle start branch 
and the Empty Node on the bottom line MUST be skipped for the best routes.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 8, with 4 upgrades of 2 damage each.
CAP = Base 8, with 4 upgrades of 2 more ammo each.
REL = Base 1, with 2 upgrades of -0.2 seconds each.
DUR = Base 5 seconds, with 2 upgrades of 2 seconds each.
ALT = Base 20 damage, with 4 upgrades of 2.5 damage each.

Upgrade Tips:
The Ripper is a comperable weapon to the Plasma Cutter.  I would not focus 
upgrading both weapons together.  Damage and Duration are the more important 
nodes to focus on with the Ripper as that is where the bulk of it's power 
comes from.  Alternate Fire route can be maxed early if you prefer shooting 
blades.




=================
JAVELIN GUN [JGX]
=================



			    [DMG]           [ALT]
                              |               |
                              |               |
                              |               |
==> [ALT]---[SPD]---[XXX]---[ALT]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[CAP]
					      |       |
                                              |       |
                                              |       |
		    [CAP]	    [SPC]   [SPD]     |
		      |               |               |
                      |               |               |
                      |               |               |
	    [CAP]     |     [DMG]   [XXX]---[ALT]---[XXX]
	      |       |       |                       |
              |       |       |                       |
              |       |       |                       |
==> [DMG]---[REL]---[XXX]---[REL]---[CAP]---{xxx}     |
					      |       |
                                              |       |
                                              |       |
				    [DMG]---[XXX]---[CAP]



Nodes needed = 25
Nodes skipped = 1

Notes:
The skipped node can be in one of 3 different places, but choosing the Empty 
node furthest right on the bottom starting branch allows you to get the most 
direct path to the Special Node for the deadly one-two punch combo.  If you 
want to focus more on damage balance, you could skip the middle Empty on 
the second line.

Upgrades:
ALT = Base 10, with 4 upgrades of 1.5 damage each.
SPD = Base 1, with 2 upgrades of -0.2 seconds each.
DMG = Bawse 50, 4 upgrades of 12.5 damage each.
CAP = Base 5, with 5 upgrades of 1 more ammo each.
SPC = Causes the Alternate Fire do explosive damage as well as shock.
REL = Base 1.5, with 2 upgrades of -0.25 seconds each.

Upgrade Tips:
Capacity for this weapon is worth jumping ahead of instead of waiting for no 
ammo moments.  The gun's primary and alternate fire modes offer a one-two 
punch which consumes ammo in even amounts fairly quickly.  At the very least, 
attempt to have an even number of shots in your gun to avoid firing and 
losing an alternate fire shot.  If you are rushing the Special node, you will 
get your one Capacity for 6 total shots early on in the gun's build.




===============
DETONATOR [DTX]
===============


                    [CAP]---[XXX]---[DMG]
                      |
		      |
                      |
==> [REL]           [XXX]-----------[XXX]---[DMG]
      |               |                       |
      |               |                       |
      |               |                       |
    [XXX]---[XXX]---[DMG]   [REL]           [XXX]---[DMG]
      |               |       |               |       |
      |               |       |               |       |
      |               |       |               |       |
==> [CAP]           [XXX]---[XXX]---[CAP]   [CAP]   [SPC]
		      |
                      |
                      |
                    [REL]



Nodes needed = 20
Nodes skipped = 0

Notes:
The only weapon that you can't skip any nodes on, but thankfully, it requires 
very few nodes to fully upgrade (second lowest behind Plasma Cutter).

Upgrades:
REL = Base 1, with 3 upgrades of -0.15 seconds each.
CAP = Base 3, with 4 upgrades of 1 ammo each.
DMG = Base 20, with 4 upgrades of +2.5 damage each.
SPC = Increases the damage radius of the mines.

Upgrade Tips:
Damage is the only thing that matters besides the special bonus.  These are 
weapons you try to plant when you know you are about to be attacked and have 
some preparation time.  You can fire off your mines, recollect them without 
reloading, and then upgrade your Capacity and increase your Mine count.




===============
FORCE GUN [FGX]
===============


==> [ALT]---{xxx}-----------[XXX]---[ALT]
	      |               |
	      |               |
	      |               |
	    [ALT]	    [ALT]
	      |	              |
	      |		      |
	      |	              |
==> [DMG]---[REL]---[XXX]---[REL]---[XXX]---[DMG]   [DMG]
      |               |               |               |
      |               |               |               |
      |               |               |               |
    [CAP]---[DMG]   [CAP]   [CAP]---[XXX]   [CAP]   [XXX]
      |               |       |       |       |       |
      |               |       |       |       |       |
      |               |       |       |       |       |
==> [SPD]---{xxx}---[DMG]   {xxx}---[SPD]---[XXX]---[CAP]



Nodes needed = 24
Nodes skipped = 3

Notes:
The three skippable nodes are not negotiable for the optimal path.  Thanks to 
MrEngineer1 of GameFAQs for finding the third skippable node for this gun.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 20, with 5 upgrades of 3 each.
CAP = Base 5, with 5 upgrades of 1 ammo each.
REL = Base 2, with 2 upgrades of -0.25 seconds each.
SPD = Base 1, with 2 upgrades of -0.2 seconds each.
ALT = Base 10, with 4 upgrades of 5 damage each.

Upgrade Tips:
The gun serves best as a pushing weapon for those moments that you feel 
claustrophobic, however the Alt Fire is a good weapon to take down Necros in 
one or two shots if you have good aim.  Upgrading, you can pick up the Alt 
Fire Nodes relatively early and then finish off the rest of the branches 
separately.




==================
SEEKER RIFLE [SRX]
==================


            [XXX]---[XXX]---[ALT]---[XXX]---[XXX]
	      |				      |
	      |				      |
	      |				      |
==> [XXX]---[ALT]	    [CAP]---{xxx}   [ALT]
			      |       |       |
			      |       |       |
			      |       |       |
	    [DMG]-----------[XXX]---[XXX]   [XXX]---[ALT]
	      |			      |
	      |                       |
              |                       |
==> [REL]---[XXX]---[CAP]	    [DMG]---[XXX]---[CAP]
		      |
		      |
		      |
		    [XXX]---[REL]
		      |
		      |
		      |
	    [DMG]---[XXX]-----------[DMG]---[XXX]---[REL]



Nodes needed = 27
Nodes skipped = 1

Notes:
There is no choice on which node you can skip on the Seeker Rifle.  This 
weapon is a pain to upgrade due to it's limited use through the game for the 
amount of nodes required to fully upgrade it.

Upgrades:
DMG = Base 50, with 4 upgrades of 5 each.
REL = Base 1, with 3 upgrades of -0.15 seconds each.
CAP = Base 4 rounds, with 3 upgrades of 1 more ammo each.
ALT = Base 50, with 4 upgrades of 12.5 increased scoping damage.

Upgrade Tips:
The Scoped damage accelerates faster than the standard damage does.  If you 
are good at scoping and firing quickly, you may want to upgrade the Alternate 
Fire mode first.  Enemies die quickly to this weapon even with limited damage 
upgrading, so it may be worthwhile to upgrade Capacity and Reload speed over
Damage first.




==================
CONTACT BEAM [CBX]
==================


                        ==> [ALT]---[XXX]---[ALT]   [ALT]---[SPC]
			      |               |       |
                              |               |       |
                              |               |       |
            [XXX]---[REL]   {xxx}   [CAP]   [ALT]---[XXX]   [REL]
              |               |       |                       |
              |               |       |                       |
              |               |       |                       |
==> [REL]---[XXX]---[CAP]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]
		      |                       |       |       |
                      |                       |       |       |
                      |                       |       |       |
	    [CHR]---[XXX]		    [XXX]---[CHR]   [CAP]
		      |			      |
		      |                       |
		      |                       |
		    {xxx}---{xxx}-----------[REL]



Nodes needed = 25
Nodes skipped = 3

Notes:
The bottom two Capacities, and the empty between the top and bottom branches 
are the only skippable nodes to get the most optimal path.

Upgrades:
REL = Base 1, with 4 upgrades of -0.25 seconds each.
CAP = Base 4, with 3 upgrades of 1 ammo each.
CHR = Base 0.8, with 2 upgrades of -0.2 seconds.
SPC = Alternate Fire adds Stasis effect to enemies hit.
ALT = Base 1, with 4 upgrades of 1 each.

Upgrade Tips:
Reload speed is an absolute must for this weapon.  The Alternate Fire, 
especially after the Stasis upgrade, is extremely useful.  If you use 
this weapon for it's control purposes, consider focusing most your early 
nodes to that part of the branch.




===================
STASIS MODULE [SMX]
===================


                    [DUR]
		      |
		      |
		      |
		    [XXX]
		      |
		      |
		      |
==> [DUR]---[XXX]---[ENG]---[XXX]---[DUR]
	      |       |
	      |       |
	      |       |
	    [DUR]---[XXX]---[CHR]---[CHR]
		      |
		      |
                      |
		    [ENG]



Nodes needed = 12
Nodes skipped = 0

Notes:
Nothing to skip here, but only 12 nodes to fill.

Upgrades:
DUR = Base 8, with 4 upgrades of 2 each.
ENG = Base 40, with 2 upgrades of 20 each (essentailly 2 uses, with 2 more).
CHR = Base 100 seconds, with 2 upgrades of -10 seconds each.

Upgrade Tips:
Stasis is the most important tool in Isaac's repertoire.  Upgrading the uses 
is the most important effect to focus first, so grab the Energy upgrades as 
soon as possible.  Charge time reduction is the least important attribute.




=========
RIG [RGX]
=========


    [AIR]	    [AIR]	    [AIR]	    [DMG]
      |		      |		      |		      |
      |		      |		      |		      |
      |		      |		      |		      |
==> [HP ]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]---[XXX]
	      |		      |		      |		      |
	      |		      |		      |		      |
	      |		      |		      |		      |
	    [HP ]	    [DMG]	    [XXX]	    [XXX]
					      |		      |
					      |		      |
					      |		      |
					    [HP ]	    [HP ]



Nodes needed = 18
Nodes skipped = 0

Notes:
Nothing to skip here, unfortunately.

Upgrades:
HP  = Base 100 health, with 4 upgrades of 25 health each.
DMG = Base 1 of Telekinesis, with 2 upgrades of +50% strength each.
AIR = Base 120 seconds of oxygen time, with 3 upgrades of +20 seconds each.

Upgrade Tips:
Air is worthless and should be your last upgrade.  You can never have too 
much health, so upgrade that first, unless you like to use Telekinesis alot 
in which case, spread the nodes between damage and hp.




==================
CONTACT INFO [CIX]
==================
This guide was written solely by Locke Quinn Seavello and may not be copied, 
duplicated, or used as an original without permission of the author.

If you wish to leave comments, suggestions, complaints, or queries regarding 
this guide, I can be reached at:

Toogeloo@yahoo.com (email)
BakusaiTenketsu (GameFAQs ID)

If I find suggestions acceptable to be added into the guide, I will credit 
the users who have made the suggestion.

     
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