Meet the Treadnaught
Consistently referred to as one of the hardest early-level Bosses in Enter the Gungeon, the Treadnaught can feel like an insurmountable foe to novice Gungeoneers. Thankfully, with an understanding of just what the Treadnaught is all about and how he attacks, we can take him down - and move on towards victory.
The Minion Bullet is one of the principle reasons the Treadnaught is so difficult. This attack creates a bullet which, when it explodes, spawns a Tanker, a Bullet Kin variant with higher health and an increase rate of fire.
What makes the Minion Bullet so hard to deal with isn't its abilities, but rather the fact that it functions as a force multiplier. Even with Blanks, the screen can get so crowded between the Treadnaught and his Tankers that the situation becomes almost impossible.
Dealing with the Tankers is a deceptively simple thing to do - kill them as soon as they spawn. This is hugely important - the Tankers need to cleared as soon as they're seen, or else they'll become a much bigger issue.
- The Tankers take an entire clip from a basic gun to kill. Accordingly, a high power or high rate of fire weapon will make clearing the room easy.
- Speaking of clearing the room, beam weapons are very useful in this fight, as you can clear multiple Tankers at once.
The Treadnaught is a simpleton - and so are his attacks. The Exploding Bullet is just that - an exploding bullet. No finesse, so special qualities. The Exploding Bullet is simply a fast bullet that explodes, often destroying pillars.
This pillar destruction is actually the great downfall of this attack, though. As previously mentioned, beam weapons are highly effective in dealing with the Treadnaught. These weapons are cut down somewhat though by obstacles; when these obstacles are cleared, however, those weapons are even more powerful.
Utilize the explosions to clear the room and allow for ranged and beam weapons.
- Guide the Treadnaught towards high-pillar concentrations, and let him destroy the pillars. This will enable ranged and beam weapons to be used more effectively.
- Dodge roll when the bullet is about to explode. This will negate damage while knocking you back and out of direct fire.
The Spreading Bullet is a threat only in that it makes management more difficult. A rectangular bullet that splits into many scattered bullets, it essentially functions as a shotgun.
This is the simplest attack the Treadnaught utilizes outside of its machine gun-like standard fire, and is the easiest to deal with. Simply run sideways, dodge rolling to clear its damaging effects.
- When you see the bullet firing, move behind a pillar to negate the spreading fire.
- Dodge roll when you clear the sides of the spreading bullet for more protection and increased survivability.
The Rocket Bullet is a homing rocket that, when nearing an enemy, bursts into a circle of bullets. This circle of bullets is incredibly damaging, and if not properly managed, could wipe out even the most diligent Gungeoneers. While they can easily be dealt with using a Blank, those items are best reserved for either Tanker spawns or later levels.
The only thing you can do is dodge. That's sorta the theme of this boss, dodging, but once you understand how to dodge, the attack is easily avoidable. As the bullet nears, run diagonally from it - this will allow you to step into the space between the bullets. Once you slip into this bullet-free channel, dodge roll diagonally to reach safety.
- Any pillars or obstacles can be used to block this fire, but be careful not to mistake this for the Exploding Bullet, which would expose you immediately.
- Move diagonally. Because this attack radiates in a circular manner, there are some dead spots in the diagonal directions that can be utilized as a safe channel out.
The Pulse Bomb is a bomb-shaped bullet that releases bullets in small cones around the room, ending with a bullet in all directions. This attack is frustrating, largely because it can't be negated, and follows throughout the room.
Being conscious of where the Pulse Bomb is while moving through the room is incredibly important. Bullets can be dodged somewhat easily as they come in waves, but be careful to time these dodges and sidesteps as coming out of a roll too early or too late can put you directly in the line of fire.
Be careful of the final wave, however, which releases a larger wave. At this point, run towards the wave, then roll through it to avoid any damage.
- It seems wrong, but running towards the bullets and dodging through the final wave is the best way to avoid damage.
- Do not roll away from or move away from the bullets, as this will cause you more often than not to come out of the roll animation too early or too late, causing damage and disrupting your flow.
A Breath of Fresh Air
The Treadnaught can be an extremely hard boss, especially considering how early it appears in the average run, but once you understand its attacks, it becomes somewhat easier. Focus on taking down those Tankers, as they'll be your biggest source of harassment.
Use the walls to provide some downtime, and kite around the entirety of the room, shooting the entire time. Avoid the special attacks, and if it becomes too hairy, utilize a Blank to clear the room. Use this chance to clear out the minions, and you should be able to take the Treadnaught to task!
For more gameplay tips, check out the Official Wiki, packed to the gills with secrets, references, and guides to surviving the bullet hell onslaught. Want to chat up some fellow Gungeoneers? Head over to our forums!