The Pilot

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The Pilot is one of the Gungeoneers in the games Enter the Gungeon and Exit the Gungeon.


The Pilot was a space smuggler who was found holding cargo owned by the Imperial Hegemony of Man. When confronted by the HM Absolution, he was ordered to power down all systems other than life support. Rather than surrendering, he jumped away, leaving his friend, Z, to be captured. Wracked with guilt and regret, he travelled to the Gungeon, hoping to change the past and save Z from imprisonment.

Past Kill

If the Bullet That Can Kill The Past is used on The Pilot, he will be brought to when he and Z were collecting resources from a destroyed spacecraft. The Pilot urges Z to hurry up with the collection so they can leave. Z responds by saying that there's no way the Imperial Hegemony of Man will find them out here. Suddenly, the HM Absolution arrives and demands for The Pilot to power down all systems other than life support. Z tells The Pilot to use his Jump Drive to escape, but The Pilot refuses as he knows that Z doesn't have a jump drive of his own. Z again urges the Pilot to leave. The player is then given the option to "Divert all power to forward weapons" or "Escape to the Warp". If the first option is selected, The Pilot will begin a bullet hell-style battle with the HM Absolution in his spaceship. If the second option is selected, The Pilot will think to himself "Not this time, Z" and return the player to the initial options. Should The Pilot defeat the HM Absolution, Z will compliment The Pilot's skills and ask where he learned them. The Pilot will say, "Another time," and then leave with Z.

When entering The Past, The Pilot will not be holding any weapons due to the spaceship and its built-in weapons. He will have an active item that shoots rockets upon use.



The Pilot probably has the largest variance in performance when compared to the other Gungeoneers. His starting weapon, the Rogue Special, is the weakest among the main 4 due to its low damage, high reload times, large spread, and pitiful range. Furthermore, none of The Pilot's starting items provide direct in-combat buffs. This, combined with the lack of a secondary weapon, can make the beginning of runs quite difficult if The Pilot is unable to come across decent items. However, where The Pilot lacks in immediate power he makes up for in his ability to quickly amass resources.

Trusty Lockpicks can be used on any locked object except for NPC cells and allow The Pilot access to rewards that other Gungeoneers would usually be denied. If you ever find yourself with no available keys and about to leave a floor with unopened chests or doors still on the map, there is no negative to using the Trusty Lockpicks in an attempt to unlock one of them. Though the Lockpicks can be used multiple times throughout a floor, it is quite dangerous to do so as it is always possible for a key to appear upon the completion of a later room or boss. Because of this, if the lock is destroyed, the chest that you could have now opened is cut off from you. If you find yourself in a position with 2 locked chests and 1 key, you should use the key on the more valuable chest and save the Lockpick for the other. If you have to choose between 2 locked chests but only have the Lockpick, use it on the more valuable one.

The Pilot is the Gungeoneer of choice for runs aimed towards completing the Tinker's Key.png and Money.png quests as the Trusty Lockpicks can potentially alleviate the handicap of being unable to buy items or open chests. Disarming Personality allows The Pilot to purchase items from any shop at a reduced cost which makes buying pickups much more forgiving. The Pilot's items also make retrieving the Prime Primer easier, as Trusty Lockpicks can make up for the inability to buy keys, and Disarming Personality lowers shop prices if you do need to buy something. Hidden Compartment provides 10% extra ammo with all guns, and can be incredibly powerful if The Pilot can get his hands on 2 active items. Hidden Compartment also makes the retrieval of the Arcane Gunpowder and Busted Television easier as the items are considered actives and can be put in the second active slot if it isn't already occupied.

Overall, The Pilot is more luck based than the other Gungeoneers simply due to the inconsistency of the Trusty Lockpicks. While he does start out quite weak, The Pilot can quickly become a powerful force due to Disarming Personality giving him more control over shop purchases and Hidden Compartment allowing for 2 Active Items. The Pilot is one of the most useful Gungeoneers for quests involving stockpiling Keys and Shells or transporting Active Items across floors.

Escape Route

For a more detailed breakdown of each elevator, see; Routes#The Pilot's Route

Like all characters in Exit the Gungeon, The Pilot's escape route up through the Gungeon features a series of unique elevators.

Pilot Forge Elevator.png Pilot Hollow Elevator.png Pilot Mines Elevator.png Super Space Turtle Jetpack.png Keep Elevator.png
The Forge The Hollow Black Powder Mine Gungeon Proper Keep of the Lead Lord
Standard two-level elevator with no way to fall. Completely open elevator shaft with a free-moving platform. The platform can be moved left and right with two buttons to dodge descending Mountain Cubes. Six individual two-layer platforms each carried by a balloon. Falling Arrowkin will periodically pop these balloons and cause the platform to fall until the balloon respawns. Empty shaft with no elevator. The player is carried by Super Space Turtle with a jetpack and has free movement. Same for all characters. A free-moving rocket powered platform which bounces around the elevator shaft.


  • Due to the Pilot's spaceship in his past being a different character from the Pilot the player used throughout the run beforehand, all of the player's heart containers, armor, blanks, keys and casings are reset upon accessing Pilot's past, unlike most other pasts.
    • This would also imply that items that would typically carry to pasts, like Galactic Medal of Valor, will not be carried to Pilot's past.
  • The Pilot appears to be carrying a Void Marshal on his boss fight opening screen.
  • The Pilots alternate skin appears to use the item Scouter, however this skin predates the introduction of the Scouter item.
  • If the Pilot's past is beaten in co-op, Z will say “I can't believe you did that! Where did you learn those moves? And who is that?”
  • In Pilot's past, the Cultist gets put in a purple version of the 'Sword' ship.
  • In The Breach, a miniature toy version of The Pilot's ship can be seen next to him.
  • The Pilot's past references the opening scene from the first episode of Firefly.
  • The Pilot appears to be an amalgam of "Lovable Rogue" characters from science fiction. This includes Han Solo from the Star Wars franchise (where his A-skin seems to be derived from) and Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly.
  • Z's appearance could be a reference to the character Falco from the Star Fox series.
  • The Pilot could also be a reference to the main protagonist of the anime, Space Dandy, sharing similar pompadour hairstyles and similar unreliable weapons.
  • The option to "Escape to the warp" and the appearance of HM Absolution may both be references to Warhammer 40k.
  • The unique active item used in The Pilot's past shares a sprite with Rocket-Powered Bullets.

Cut Content

  • In an unused line of dialogue, upon defeating his past, The Pilot says, "For now, let's get all this highly addictive and illegal spice to our child buyers."