The Hand Welder is an offhand item available to all classes at level 1. The Hand Welder allows the welding and unwelding of doors: welded doors are locked to both players and the Swarm. A Tech's Engineering skill speeds up welding for all nearby characters.
This IAF-issue handheld welder uses high temperature ionized plasma to create an effective cutting or welding arc, depending on the user specified setting. Generally used in the field to cut through or seal doors, offering the IAF marines a tactical advantage.
- Can weld doors to prevent oncoming swarm from reaching the squad
- Can unweld doors to create shortcuts or enable progress
- Deals no damage
- The Hand Welder is only useful when there are doors to seal and unseal. The first five missions (Landing Bay, Cargo Elevator, Deima Surface Bridge, Rydberg Reactor and SynTek Residential) provide plenty such opportunities, but the last two (Sewer Junction and Timor Station) are noticeably lacking in them. Consider switching your offhand item when you reach the latter.
- Sealing doors can be a good tactic, especially when the squad must hold a position against an alien onslaught. For example, the Deima Surface Bridge computer is in a room with five entrances, two of which can be sealed; doing this can make defending the room much easier, with one marine defending each remaining entrance while the Tech performs the hack.
- Sealing doors as you progress through a level can also prevent the Swarm from sneaking up on the squad from behind. This does necessitate frequent breaks, so make sure the squad pauses and protects the welder, lest they become separated.
- There is no time when it is required to use the Hand Welder, since doors can be destroyed if they take enough damage. The Chainsaw is perfect for this since it deals high damage and consumes no ammo.
- To seal a door, you don't need to weld it until the progress bar reaches 100%. Weld it just to 1%, after the battle you can un-weld it real quick.