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Pods in NieR: Automata are small robots that follow your main Character and provide supportive assistance. Pods are extremely useful in combat as they can be used for hanging, to allow the player to jump higher, or glide across large distances. You can also attack while gliding to attack larger enemies.

Pods can be used for ranged attacking (shooting bullets at enemies). Whilst effective against most smaller enemies, the larger enemies, especially those with shields can deflect these bullets without any problem. So it is advised to use your melee weapons first against those enemies to break their shields before attacking them with bullets. Some shileded enemy types may have glowing spikes on their shields that damage you if you attack them. Break the spikes first via POD fire, and then attack with melee to break the shield. The Pods lock onto enemies for easy targetting.

There are two special moves that can only be used while in the air. Attacking while gliding will make the player spin around, dealing minor damage three extending their flight time. Jumping while simultaniously pressing the POD fire button will make the player grab onto the POD, spin around mid air, and launch themselves forward, or towards the nearest enemy dealing minor damage as well as increasing mobility. Using POD fire after performing a perfect dodge will fire out a small orb that deals minor damage and causes extreme knockback.

As you progress your Pods can receive POD Programs that enable them to perform special situational abililties, like a unique attack during a Boss fight. You can also upgrade them at Maintenance Shops, increasing their attack damage if you have the required Materials and Gold.

You can show your POD your appreciation by petting it. To do so, simply swipe on the touchpad of the DualShock 4 controller left and right a few times. Your POD will fly in front of you and you'll give it a pat.

Upgrading & Customizing PODs

To upgrade your POD, speak to the merchant at the Bunker or Resistance Camp and select the upgrade option. Every POD can be upgraded individually for money and resources. PODs gain a bonus to their regular attack on the first upgrade, an ability that charges while firing on their second, and a second stage of charging on their final upgrade. You can change the skin of your POD by acquiring and equipping new Key Items.

The following are the different PODs you can obtain. Some key notes on the pods:

  • Your choice of available PODs also determines the choice of available weapons while you are fighting in a Flight Unit, with the Laser and Gatling ones having double weapons while the Missile one having a couple of extra missiles per salvo
  • Each POD's Program (i.e. special attack) has an independent cooldown, so if you equip one you like such as the Laser on two of them you can fire one, switch to the other POD and fire it again.
  • The Gatling POD is the initial one you have and is a solid mainstay. When using Lock On it does have a bit of spread and will have great difficulty hitting small targets at more than half of max Lock On range, but if manually aimed it can even hit targets past lock on range. If every bullet can hit the target it is actually debatable if this one or the Missile POD has more damage output. This has the best raw damage output in a Flight Unit against one target.
  • The Missile POD is the second one you acquire (in the Desert) and is likely the one you will use most often in wider areas as it can accurately hit targets without needing to use Lock On (which it is worth noting is disabled at higher difficulties), making it easier to keep it firing while going into full melee combat. The missiles do arc sideways/upwards before turning towards their target which can have them hit walls or the floor in narrow passageways or the 2D side-scrolling combat sections, and very fast or ultra-close small enemies may be missed.
  • The Laser POD is an instant piercing beam with perfect aim, however it has a limited range and has the lowest raw DPS output of the three PODs. However, because of its Piercing aspect it can be an excellent choice for enemies whose main vulnerable spot is protected behind multiple armored sections such as Medium Flyers and Linked-Sphere types, and the laser can just go right through the protection to hit the vulnerable point.

Pods

Name & Image

Attack Value at Level 1

Attack Value at Max Level

Location

Charge

Pod A (Machine Gun)

150

180

Default

Level 2: First shot deals double damage.

Level 3: Launch an explosive projectile.

Level Max: Launch a cluster of explosives that scatter after the intial blast.

Pod B (Laser)

150

180

 Fished in Flooded City

Level 2: Laser width increases momentary after firing, causing more damage.

Level 3: Fires 15 pellets that will ricochet off the surrounding enviorment up to 3 times.

Level Max: Pellets now ricochet up to 6 times and seek out targets after subsequent bounces

Pod C (Homing Missiles)

 150

 180

 Found in the Desert Zone

Grenade Bombarment:

Level 3: Launch a set of explosives into the air upward, then they fall down around the player.

Level Max: Explosives now turn into mines after exploding, and then explode again after 4 seconds, or when an enemy touches them




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