Best Thunder Cage build in The First Descendant and how to unlock it

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✓ At a glance
  • Unlock the Thunder Cage submachine gun by acquiring materials in the Sterile Land zone and researching it at Magister Anais.
  • Its Overcharge special ability can trigger an AoE electric attack on an enemy kill.
  • Pair the ultimate weapon with Bunny, Lepic, or Viessa.
  • Opt for modules to enhance Firearm ATK, elemental damage, critical hit rate, and accuracy.

Ultimate weapons can take a couple of hours to unlock in The First Descendant. The first weapon you’ll get your hands on is the lethal Thunder Cage submachine gun. Its Overcharge ability lets you wipe out hordes of enemies. With the right modules and stat rerolls, you’ll be a close-range menace on the battlefield, even against late-game bosses. I rock this weapon as a Viessa main and get to speed past missions and bosses. Here’s our best Thunder Cage build and how you can unlock it in-game. 

A map that highlights all the Thunder Cage part locations in The First Descendant.
Here’s where you can find all the necessary parts. Image captured by VideoGamer.

How to unlock the Ultimate Thunder Cage

Here’s what you need to unlock the Thunder Cage weapon as a part of the Thunder Cage Research Request Sub Quest in the main story:

  • Thunder Cage Polymer Synctium: Obtain this from the External Reactor, Sterile Land Rockfall.
  • Thunder Cage Synthetic Fiber: Get it from Kuiper Mine, Sterile Land Repository.
  • Thunder Cage Nano Tube: Find it in High-powered Jammer, Sterile Land Restricted Zone.
  • Thunder Cage Blueprint: Take it from tasks at the Logistics Facility, Sterile Land Ironworks.
  • Save up 100,000 Gold to get this weapon at Magister Anais after a research time of 4 hours.

The quest won’t be available right away but progress in the main story and it will pop up eventually. While it can take a while to get the above materials, it’s worth the effort as you’ll have a lethal early game SMG. By levelling it up, you can even take it to the endgame if you wish.

A player checks the stats of the Thunder Cage in The First Descendant.
The Thunder Cage excels in close-range combat. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best Thunder Cage build

The Thunder Cage is a solid pick against mobs and bosses thanks to its Overcharge ability and high rate of fire. Here’s our build to harness the key strengths of the weapon:

  • Descendant: Bunny, Lepic, Viessa.
  • Upgraded Modules: Rifling Reinforcement, Action and Reaction, Bullet Rain, Fire Enhancements, Electric Gunbarrel, Better Insight, Hawk-Eye.
  • Enhanced Overcharge: When defeating any enemy, that enemy has a 40% chance to discharge an Electric Shockwave that deals additional damage to nearby enemies. Enhance it by sacrificing a duplicate Thunder Cage at the workbench.
  • Faster reload speed passive: Lowers reload speed by 25% by default.

Best Descendant to use with Thunder Cage

While most Descendants can use this gun effectively, Bunny, Viessa, and Lepic synergise well with it. That’s because Bunny’s Electric focus will have you boosting her Electric attacks anyway, making it a good combination with the Thunder Cage’s special ability. As for Lepic, his Traction Grenade pulls foes together, making them easy pickings for the special ability that hits nearby enemies. Viessa’s slows and chill attacks are also great for keeping enemies close to each other before wiping them out.

A player checks the modules on the Thunder Cage weapon in The First Descendant.
Upgrade your modules to boost the effectiveness of your weapon. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best modules for Thunder Cage

Here are the modules we recommend for your build:

Rifling ReinforcementFirearm ATK +12%
Action and ReactionFirearm ATK +15%, Recoil +5%
Bullet RainFire Rate +8%, Firearm ATK +1%
Fire Enhancement+x% Firearm ATK as Fire damage
Electric GunbarrelElectric ATK +23%, Fire Rate -6%
Better InsightFirearm Critical Hit Rate +8%
Hawk-EyeAccuracy +11%

Mods can make a meaningful difference in how your weapon functions in-game. Upgrade them with Kuiper Shards to enhance their effects. We’ve focused on firearm attack bonuses and elemental damage buffs as well as stats like critical hit rate and accuracy. If you want to lean into critical hits, consider Better Concentration as well. Keep an eye on the symbols on mods and mod slots as matching them will lower their capacity costs by 50%. You can increase the weapon’s mod capacity later with an Energy Activator. 

✓ Antony’s tip

Save the Energy Activator for the endgame. There’s a good chance that you might find another weapon you like so don’t waste resources on upgrading weapons that won’t be a permanent part of your loadout.

Best stats to increase for Thunder Cage

Here are the stats of the weapon at level 1:

Firearm ATK24
Fire Rate666
Rounds per Magazine26
Reload Time1.4s
Crit Rate20%
Crit Damage2x
Status Chance4%
Weakpoint Damage1.2x

Remember that stats scale with weapon level so raise them via Weapon Level Transmission. Use a Precision Phase Exchanger (250 Liquid Metal, 50K Gold at Anais) to level up the gun and take it to the endgame. You can also reroll four bonuses in Weapon Readjustment: Firearm ATK, Critical Hit Damage, Element Damage, and Weakpoint Damage. Use 2x Fine Adjustment Control Axis (200 Liquid Metal, 30K Gold at Anais) at a workbench to reroll these values. Adjust these based on which Void Intercept bosses or missions you want to tackle. 

A player looks at an enemy aircraft while wielding the Thunder Cage in The First Descendant.
Use the Thunder Cage against packs of enemies. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Tips for using Thunder Cage effectively

Here’s how you can unleash the full potential of the Thunder Cage SMG in-game:

  • Keep an eye out for enemies low on health: Since your Overcharge AoE attack is dealt when an enemy is knocked out, focus on weaker enemies to maximise how often you can trigger this special ability for extra damage. This will help you wipe mobs quickly.
  • Remember its damage fall-off ranges: The Thunder Cage is a medium-range weapon whose damage will be reduced at a distance of 23 meters. It will fall off further beyond 43 meters. So focus on close-range combat with this gun unless you’re up against a Void Intercept boss.
  • Pair it with long-range weapons of a different ammo type: A Scout Rifle, Hand Cannon, or Sniper Rifle will let you fire off bursts of damage from a distance. The first two choices rely on Impact Rounds while a Sniper Rifle or Launcher will consume High-Power Rounds. This will ensure that you don’t quickly run out of ammo in a firefight.
  • Swap weapons often: You can swap your SMG out whenever an enemy is out of range or if you need to target a Void Intercept boss weak spot. For instance, while you can weaken the Stunning Beauty’s knee pads from up close, her shoulders are easy targets for a long-range gun.

About the Author

Antony Terence

Antony Terence is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. While he is particularly fond of city-builders, shooters, and strategy titles, he won’t turn down a good JRPG or a turn-based roguelike.

The First Descendant

  • Release Date: 2nd July 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, RPG