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The Turret Master

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Designed by me. Built by me. And you best hope... not pointed at you.

"Turret, what would I do without ya?"
Axton, Borderlands 2

In the realm of Video Games, most know of The Beastmaster and The Minion Master. Their major strength comes from their summoned companions. The Turret Master takes similar cues, but places his defense more in line with technology and traps.

In a nutshell, the Turret Master is a character with the ability to summon a stationary defense in the form of an automated Turret. Bear in mind this needn't be a literal turret: it can be anything that fulfills the general role of a stationary defense, even if it's just Torchlight's stick that shoots fire.

What exactly this ability entails varies a bit: Some suffer from Weak Turret Guns, while others are invulnerable but on a restricting timer. Oddly enough, it's more common for a character like this to be fairly powerful even without this ability than to be a Squishy Wizard as The Minion Master commonly is. Sometimes they might be able to pick their turrets up and wield them like a normal hand weapon. This ability is more common in Rogue- or Archer-styled classes. Classes like this can also usually form other traps, as well.

You play one of these in most Tower Defence games.

See also The Engineer, The Minion Master, The Drone Deployer and The Beastmaster.


  • AI War 2: Battlestations are a sort of capturable vessel whose main appeal is having a whole slew of turrets they can build, which can be placed absolutely anywhere (unlike command stations, which are limited to that planet). There's still caps, but you can easily remove and replace elsewhere. They're mostly useful to reinforce particularly besieged or strategically important planets, but if you get one with Raid-tech turrets, which build much quicker and are easily replaceable (with some even having particular bonuses to this), you can bring a Mobile Factory along and easily plant a massive beachhead for invasion in an important AI planet in a matter of seconds.
  • In Battleborn, all characters have the opportunity to collect Shards, some form of credit that they can use to build various items in nodes. Turrets are one of them, and they can be used as defensive buildables, and can be upgraded two times in multiplayer with more shards. There are shock turrets, stinger turrets, and thumper turrets. Shock turrets fire electricity, stinger turrets fire lasers, and thumper turrets fire rockets
  • BioShock 2 has a new breed of Big Daddies called "Rumblers", which have shoulder-mounted RPGs for crowd control, as well as portable miniature-turrets for scattered enemies. While the player character can also deploy any mini-turrets he comes across, he can only hold as many as four on him. The Rumbler, however, can throw as many as he'd like while within combat.
    • The Security Command plasmid can turn the player into a temporary Turret Master, directing both stationary and mini-turrets towards whatever he wished. Thrown at a Rumbler, it will make his own turrets fire on himself as soon as they land.
  • Gameloft´s Blitz Brigade introduced a new class called "The Engineer" which has the ability to deploy turrets as a unique skill for the class.
  • In the Bloons Tower Defense series, the Engineer Monkey can deploy turrets. They make the Engineer one of the best starting towers of the game, and can be upgraded for a variety of purposes, including shooting plasma. The Paragon Engineer tower in the sixth game can summon mega-turrets that summon more turrets.
  • Roland of Borderlands has a Scorpio turret that features Deployable Cover and can heal allies and/or dispense ammo depending on how the player specs.
    • Borderlands also has the Crimson Engineer and Combat Medic enemies (which drop turrets and healing tower...things, respectively), as well as the badass versions of the shock/pyro/chemical troopers (which drop elementally specific turrets). The reason Roland has the same abilities is because he was a former Crimson Engineer.
    • Borderlands 2 has Axton, whose turret is purely combat-focused and packs much heavier firepower than Roland's. However, it lacks many of the Scorpio's support abilities. It does have much more versatility in deployment; with the right skills, the turret can be teleported to any point in line of sight, attach to walls or ceilings, deploy shields, or even deploy multiple turrets.
  • Bounty of One: R0B3RT starts off with the Steamtech Turret legendary item, which places a stationary turret that auto-fires standard attacks at 1.3x his fire rate, at the cost of halving his overall fire rates. This is much more useful than one might think, as the game employs Do Not Run with a Gun as a core mechanic — but the turret allows R0B3RT to bypass this limitation. Any character who picks up Steamtech Turret can also get this ability.
  • Brink! has an engineer class who can do this.
  • In Caves of Qud, you can make turrets out of any gun. Yes, you can even make a musket turret.
  • Champions Online has, as one of the available powers in the Gadgeteer set, a combat drone. By clicking one of the buttons on the pet command bar, you can transform it into a surprisingly effective stationary turret.
  • The Combat Engineers of the Malta Group and anyone with the Devices powerset in City of Heroes were capable of summoning a hovering Gun Drone turret. Later on, the Devices version of the Gun Drone was given the ability to move.
    • Traps users could lay down an Acid Mortar turret. While a poor damage dealer, it was a very good debuffing tool. Since Traps was also a possible power set for Masterminds, it was possible to make a character that was both The Minion Master (or The Beastmaster) and a Turret Master.
  • Dawn of War:
    • One Imperial Guard hero unit in Retribution, the Lord General, has several turrets at his disposal, as do the Astartes Techmarine and Ork Mekboy.
    • The second mission of Retribution's campaign has your forces pursued by a Baneblade, which you lack the weaponry to defeat. As you progress, you destroy several targeting cogitators, which causes turrets to shoot their own men, and ends by causing enormous Plasma Cannon-equipped turrets to shoot the Baneblade.
    • Tau Broadside Battlesuits are an interesting variation: the Tau don't have turrets in the traditional sense, but Broadsides can "Entrench", making them immobile but activating the BFGs on their backs, essentially turning themselves into very strong turrets (severely limiting their usefulness is the fact that they cost large amounts of population cap while everyone else can build six turrets per HQ building, and their rate of fire is glacial).
    • The Dark Eldar don't have turrets except those on Listening Posts. Instead, their Torture Pits can be upgraded to deal damage and knockback to nearby troops.
  • The Engineer class Dwarf from Deep Rock Galactic comes equipped with a single deployble sentry gun by default. It can be upgraded in several ways. Depending on your play style, you may opt for being able to deploy two turrets at once for better area coverage and higher overall DPS between the two, or a single, slightly more powerful turret for ease of deployment, maintenance, and greater ammo efficiency. The Engineer also comes with other deployable trap options such as a holographic decoy and proximity mines.
  • The Assassin from Diablo II is one of the earlier forms of this, having a line of Trap abilities that worked to summon turrets. A similar idea existed in a spell, called Guardian in the first game, and Hydra in the next two, which would summon a three-headed beast that would shoot firebolts.
  • In Diablo III, the Demon Hunter has an ability to drop a sentry turret. Heavily customizable. Also, the Wizard can summon a Hydra, a standby from the original game that lobs fireballs at nearby enemies.
  • The Division players can learn a Tech skill in the game, giving them the opportunity to use a turret as a method of defense, capable of throwing fire or electrical darts.
  • The Foggernaut class in Dofus is this, with an attack turret (the Harpooner), a defensive turret (the Lifesaver), and a turret that attracts or pushes away characters in line with it (the Tacturret). The class's big disadvantage is that the turrets don't distinguish between ally or enemy (though the Foggernaut has spells that help rectify that to some extent).
  • Venomancer from Dota 2 has the ability to deploy Plague wards that can attack enemy units and structures, while being immune to magic. While they start out weak and are used more for their utility, one of his max level Talent ability makes them hit as hard as towers.
  • The turrets dropped by the Ranger class tree in Dragonica are by far their most damaging attacks and can make bosses evaporate. However, they're laughably easy to avoid in PVP (one has a slow firing rate and slow projectiles while the other only shoots straight ahead), robbing the class tree of much needed attack power.
  • The Engineer class in Dragon Nest specializes in summoned robots, many of which are stationary turrets.
  • The Tactical class in Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon can choose three deployables to use prior to starting a mission. There are five turrets types; Machinegun, Plasma Grenade, Missile, Autocannon and Rocket, along with a Sensor Post to track enemies, and also two types of Land Mine.
  • Evolve has Bucket, a support character who can deploy multiple sentry guns. They don't do much individually, but get caught in the crossfire and you'll start hurting.
  • The player in Factorio has an assortment of powerful weaponry, but they are (for the most part) ineffective at stopping Zerg Rush bug attacks. Factories must be guarded with turrets to prevent the bugs from destroying them. Laser turrets have Easy Logistics but require a power grid, while Gun turrets need no power but require an extensive ammo production and distribution system. Turrets will be needed by the dozens or hundreds to stop the bugs as you pollute the environment and agitate their evolution and growth rate.
  • Fallout 4 has an interesting, unintended example of this trope. The game's settlement system allows players to construct their own wasteland communities, which can be defended by automated sentry guns, ranging from simple minigun turrets to laser, shotgun, or missile-spraying variants. Since they can be built instantly so long as the settlement has the required resources, it's possible, should the player be in a settlement that comes under attack, to quickly slap down sentry turrets directly front of the invaders. Game Mods exist to let the player build turrets outside of settlement boundaries, of course.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has the Machinist class which, aside from its focus on guns, allows the player to drop an Rook Autoturret onto the battlefield to provide supporting fire on enemies. At level 80, it gets replaced with the Automaton Queen, which punches enemies instead.
  • Ghost Recon Some of the entries of this saga have classes like the Engineer class in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which can deploy a little turret to attack the players of the enemy team.
  • The Robotics class in Global Agenda has a variety of turrets among his repertoire, but can also be The Minion Master via the use of the robotic drones that give the class its name. It's a matter of the player's preference as to which one they prefer, if it isn't both.
  • Jack and Angie Shirly from Granado Espada: Jack can use a spear, but Angie has this as her only line of defense.
  • Guild Wars 2 has the Engineer profession who can place turrets around the battlefield, compared to the spirits of the original Guild Wars.
  • In Hellsinker, if Kagura is equipped with Epileptic Chariot, she can be played like this.
  • In the olden days of Heroes of Newerth, there once was a hero so overpowered, it is widely recognized as the best hard carry to ever exist the game: The Engineer's Steam Turret. The first version of the Steam Turret gained a copy of Engineer's items, which meant it scales and can proc attack modifiers. What made it insanely overpowered was that even if it was immobile, it attacked extremely fast, was immune to every ability since it was a non-organic gadget and could only be destroyed with autoattacks, and Engineer himself supports it with his good disabling abilities. Eventually it was completely reworked to have a suppressive fire without any autoattacks or scaling, but even then it remains useful as a strong crowd control ability. Years later the turret would return to its old format, but the combination of it being nerfed to not inherit attack modifiers, scaling only with Agility, and Power Creep overall toned it down.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Gazlowe has the ability Rock-It! Turret, which can be used to deploy miniature turrets that fire at nearby enemies and structures. One upgrade allows the turrets to also fire Deth Lazors whenever Gaz fires one.
    • Probius creates a powerful Photon Cannon, but the cannon only lasts eleven seconds and must be near a Pylon (also created by Probius) to operate at full efficiency. Normally the cooldown is too high to have multiple cannons at once, however one talent reduces the cooldown whenever Probius hits a hero with a different ability, allowing him to build up quite the turret force in a large teamfight.
  • Krotera from Iji: You could actually damage him by kicking the turrets at him.
  • Killzone 2, 3, and Shadow Fall have the Engineer class, who has the ability to place turrets around the map to assist to their team.
  • League of Legends:
    • Heimerdinger builds turrets as his main method of offense. They fire standard bullets plus a piercing laser periodically. He can also create a super-powered version of his turrets.
    • Zyra's abilities are somewhat similar. Her normal spells summon thorns and vines, but she can also plant buds that will attack on their own if Zyra casts her damaging spells on them.
    • Downplayed with Aphelios, who can summon his current offhand weapon as a turret while he has Crescendum equipped. That's only one of the five different guns he has as part of his Stance System however, so it's hardly the main focus of his kit.
  • The titular character from Lock's Quest often uses turrets as his main form of offense, it being an action/tower defense hybrid. He also has traps, walls, and minions at his disposal, making him a Trap Master and a Minion Master.
  • Mass Effect 3 has several examples.
    • The Geth Engineer in multiplayer can deploy a turret that shoots at enemies and restores friendly shields.
    • The Human Engineer has a similar ability in the Combat Drone, but the Drone is mobile where the turret is stationary.
    • The Cerberus Combat Engineer can also deploy a turret, which will cut down anyone out of cover in seconds if it gets the chance to.
    • An Engineer Shepard, in addition to their own mobile Combat Drone and stationary Sentry Turret, can hack enemy turrets and synthetics, causing them to attack their allies for a short while.
    • Tali, in addition to her combat drone, also has a "Defense Drone", that sticks closer to her than the combat drone does. It acts like a point defense weapon. Shepard can also acquire one via unlocking it via dialog with Tali and select it as a bonus power.
  • Weavel from Metroid Prime: Hunters can turn the lower half of his body into a sentry turret.
  • Monday Night Combat is sort of weird about this; any class can set up a turret in one of the designated areas as long as they can pay for it. However, the Support uses his Firebase ability to deploy a smaller turret anywhere he likes that can buff teammates at the highest level.
    • Super Monday Night Combat adds the Combatgirl, who can plant up to four small "Combat Kitties" at a time and can use one of her abilities to Fortify them, increasing their defense and rate of fire for a brief period. Leo is the odd man out, having a turret that fires guided rockets with substantially lower DPS than the Firebase or Combat Kitties, but it also features an aura that gives allies armor and can be used to teleport back to spawn in emergencies. The Gunner class can also use his Deploy skill to lock himself in place and effectively become a turret — also with an armor-granting aura.
  • One Step From Eden has this as the speciality of the Hexawan archetype of cards, which is all about building and placing structures such as walls to block enemy attacks, Turrets to attack the enemy, and Shield Generators, to grant you and your structures shields. Even though anybody can use these cards, the undoubtedly best character for this type of playstyle is Hazel. Both of her loadouts revolve around building structures. Her default loadout, Build, focuses on building turrets and buffing them with her basic weapon, while her alternate loadout, Teardown, focuses on building structures then destroying them to buff herself and attack the enemy.
  • Overwatch:
    • Torbjörn is a fairly traditional FPS example, with the ability to deploy a single stationary turret and upgrade or heal it by whacking it with his repair hammer. The turret deals decent damage and automatically fires at anything within its fairly generous range, making it a pain for flankers whose usual defense is remaining unnoticed and/or moving too fast to be reliably focused down. Torb's ultimate ability, Molten Core, vastly upgrades the turret's firepower and survivability to the point that it requires a coordinated team effort to take it down, and it's usually easier just to wait for the duration to expire if possible.
    • Symmetra can deploy up to sixnote  small sentry turrets that attack with a homing laser that deals a small amount of damage and slows the target down. The most common strategy is to deploy them around a chokepoint where they can focus their fire on an intruder, nicknamed a "carwash" because it resembles an automatic carwash shooting jets of water at a car. She earns an achievement for hitting an enemy with all of her deployed turrets plus her own handheld homing laser at once.
  • Paladins has Barik, a frontliner who deploys turrets and shields to control the area. While his turrets are not that powerful, enemies that they mark are damaged more by Barik's blunderbuss. His ultimate creates a flamethrower turret in a dome shield that burns any enemy who dares enter the dome.
    • As a Shout-Out to Team Fortress 2, Barik has a special skin based off of the Engineer. The skin is even voiced by the Engineer's voice actor.
  • Paragon (2016) Iggy and Scorch, two characters that are used altogether can deploy little turrets that deal fire damage to the enemies of the opposing team.
  • In Path of Exile, Totems are immobile objects that can use various skills. Totems can do a variety of things such as cast an aura, cast spells, fire arrows, and even summon an ancestral spirit that attacks with a copy of your weapon. Any magic, ranged, and slam-type melee skills can be modified be used by a totem with the right support gem as well. Normally you can only have one Totem summoned at a time, but there are a few ways to get more, the most easily obtainable one being a Keystone passive that prevents you from dealing damage directly.
  • In the original PlanetSide, players specializing in Combat Engineering can deploy multiple Spitfire turrets, trashcan sized motion-sensitive turrets mounting twin 12mm guns. Further specialization allows them to deploy an Anti-Air variant or Spitfires that are invisible until they detect an enemy. Specialized engineers could also upgrade the static base turrets with additional weaponry, and deploy a powerful manned turret in the field. Planetside 2 however, limits Engineers to a single active turret; a manned Anti-Infantry or laser-guided Anti-Armor turret, or an automated Weak Turret Gun.
  • Smite Vulcan is a Character capable of constructing his Inferno Cannons, a turret that shoots fireballs in a cone that deal damage to the target every second, it lasts until destroyed or another is placed.
  • The title character in Soulcaster is a wizard who summons ally warriors to fight for him. But unlike a typical Minon Master, they're stationary, and the end result plays like a fantasy version of this trope.
  • The Raven from StarCraft II is a flying robot drone that has no attacks of its own at all, but is able to summon a temporary turret that can act defensively or offensively. At full charge you can drop a couple of them into an enemy supply chain to really mess them up. It can also summon point defense drones to protect against projectile weapons.
    • Hero Rory Swann is an engineer who can quickly create a powerful flame turret.
    • StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops gives an option to make the turrets deal line damage.
    • James "Sirius" Sykes, one of Tychus' outlaws in Co-Op, has a very weak main attack, but can deploy up to five turrets with various special abilities: they can fire anti-air missiles, frighten enemies or violently blow-up when destroyed.
  • Player-characters and NPC's with engineering expertise in Star Trek Online can do this during ground missions; setting up phaser and disruptor turrets as well as mortar & mini photon torpedo launchers. The Fabrication Specialist kit has the most turret options.
  • The Monty Moles in Super Mario Sunshine.
  • The Team Fortress series of class-based, team multiplayer shooters has always had a turret-constructing Engineer class, from the original Quake mod to Team Fortress Classic to Team Fortress 2. It may not be the only gadget an Engie can build, but it's their primary way of dealing damage, and one of the best ways for a team to lock down control of an area.
    • The TF2 Engineer can build one turret at a time, which can be upgraded, with the help of metal and whacks from a wrench, from a simple one-barrel turret to one with twin miniguns to the bullet-spraying, rocket-shooting monstrosity depicted on this page. The bigger the turret the slower it tracks targets, but even a Level 3 Sentry can keep a bead on a Scout outside of point blank range. The sentry's main weaknesses are its Arbitrary Weapon Range, immobility in the face of danger (unless the Engineer packs it up and carries it, which prevents it from firing until fully redeployed), and the fact that it needs to be regularly reloaded (with whacks from the Engineer's wrench, of course). Counters for turrets include Demomen bouncing grenades around corners or popping out of cover just long enough to plant stickybombs, Spies who are able to slap a sapper on the sentry while disguised as a friendly, and of course the temporary invincibility granted by a Medic's Ubercharge ability.
    • Some of the Engineer's alternate weapons tweak their sentry gun. The Gunslinger allows the Engineer to quickly toss down a weaker Mini-Sentry, which cannot be upgraded but is cheaper and quicker to build, and can be constantly placed in unexpected locations to whittle away at enemies' health. The Wrangler is a laser pointer that allows an Engineer to take direct control of their sentry's shooting, allowing them to fire at distant targets or prioritize certain enemies, as well as activating a shield that reduces damage taken by the sentry, with the caveat that it takes a few seconds of inactivity for the sentry to switch back from manual to automated fire. The Wrangler can also be used to perform a bullet or Rocket Jump with the sentry gun, and you can even pick up and take the sentry with you if you're fast enough.
  • Terraria has a few "sentry"-style summons, which stay in one place and shoot at nearby enemies, and don't count against a character's maximum number of more conventional summoned minions. The Dungeon Defenders II Crossover Update introduced several armor sets based on that game that specifically increase a player's maximum number of sentries, as well as new sentry summons and a Tower Defense-inspired event where players will rely on sentry minions to defeat a horde of enemies.
  • The Arbiter skills for Torchlight's vanquisher class is based on this.
  • Dwarven Engineers in Warhammer Online can build several different types of steampunk turret, up to and including flamethrower and grenade launcher turrets. The Chaos Magus class can summon demons, but all the do is stand their and shoot people with magic, so they're basically turrets.
  • The Assassin from Warrior Epic, an obscure Diablo-inspired MMO.
  • Weapons Factory is a mod of Quake II based heavily on the original Team Fortress mod of Quake. It features an Engineer who can create a sentry gun that automatically attacks enemies as well as an ammo depot that provides ammo to characters standing on it. Engineers can help their sentry guns out by throwing magnetic grenades that pull enemies into the center of their blast radius to draw them into the line of fire of the sentry gun.
  • The Shaman class in World of Warcraft. Their Totems function as a fantastic equivalent to most sci-fi turrets, offering variously restorative effects, offensive and defensive status enhancements, and direct damage (both burst and DPS).

Non-Video Game examples

  • Percival King of Epithet Erased, funnily enough, can use her epithet to fight this way using architectural turrets. "Parapet" allows her to summon miniature buildings with various powers, such as apothecaries with a healing aura and wizard towers that act as lightning-shooting sentries.
  • Julian of Factory of the Gods relies heavily on this trope to help him manage his battles and defend the titular factory.

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Meet the Engineer

Dell Conagher, or simply "the Engineer", is a soft-spoken, amiable Texan with an interest in all mechanical things. He specializes in constructing and maintaining buildings that provide support to his team, rather than fighting at the front lines, making him the most suitable class for defense.

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