Make Dauntless less daunting.
After some time in beta, Dauntless has launched into full release. This free to play Monster Hunter-style action game features ever-more-powerful monsters, called behemoths, to fight, along with loads of gear to craft and a Fortnite-esque progression system for loot and cosmetics. But there’s a lot here to get stuck into. So have a read through our Dauntless beginners guide to discover some helpful tips and tricks that’ll make you a competent slayer in no time.
How to find behemoths on the map
Each level in Dauntless is reasonably large and takes a couple of minutes to get from one end to the other. For every battle, you’ll have to manually hunt for the Behemoth before attacking it – and many will retreat part way through, necessitating that you search for them all over again.
While the beginner lantern shows the direction of the behemoth, even this can be a bit vague, and you’ll want to swap this out for another lantern with better abilities ASAP. Ultimately, your best tools are your eyes and ears. Systematically move through the map to the main edges and the centre, taking care not to waste time walking in circles.
As you go, climb up to the highest points of the map using the boost spots and get a bird’s eye view, so that you’ll hopefully spot one in the distance. What’s surprisingly helpful is the battle music, which kicks in at a fair distance away – if you hear that, you know you’re getting warmer.
Of course, if you’re in a team it’s a lot easier. Communicate heading to a different part of the map each, and send up a flare once you’ve found it so that everyone else can converge on the fight.
Damage guide and how to break parts
When you find a behemoth, it’s time to strike! When attacking, you’ll notice that the damage stats display in different colours. The different types of damage are:
- Basic damage (White): What it says on the tin. This is standard damage with no extra effects.
- Part damage (Yellow): This means you’re directly harming a body part – leg, head, tail etc. This is a crucial damage type to aim for, because damaging a limb to the point that it breaks will yield resources. Resources are important for crafting, so wherever possible you’ll want to try and break all of a behemoth’s limbs in a battle. If you’ve already broken its two left legs, for example, you should switch to attacking the right side in order to break those too.
- Stagger damage (Blue): This is inflicted to a behemoth’s head or limbs and can give you the upper hand in battle by literally staggering the enemy. Blunt damage from hammers is the most effective for causing stagger damage but slash damage from swords, chain blades and axes can also inflict it.
- Wound damage (Red): Wounds are caused to behemoth parts by the piercing damage of war pikes. You can see a wound from the aether that seeps out of it, and this shows that they’re vulnerable to extra damage via slash attacks.
Dauntless element types, strengths and weaknesses
All behemoths and pieces of equipment in Dauntless are either neutral or have a certain element. These make it strong or weak against certain other elements, with each having an opposing type.
These are the element types you’ll face to begin with in Dauntless:
- Neutral: not strong or weak against any element.
- Blaze: Blaze weapons are strong against frost behemoths. Blaze armour is strong against blaze behemoths, weak against frost.
- Frost: Frost weapons are strong against blaze behemoths. Frost armour is strong against frost behemoths, weak against blaze.
- Shock: Use shock weapons against terra behemoths. Shock armour is strong vs shock, weak vs terra.
- Terra: Use terra weapons against shock behemoths. Terra armour is strong vs terra, weak vs shock.
In the very beginning, you should first focus on crafting and upgrading a strong neutral weapon and armour set – using Gnasher parts, for example. Whereas you’ll want at least one powerful weapon and armour set of each element eventually, this can take time. By having a well upgraded neutral set you’ll always have something to fall back on if you don’t have high-level equipment in a certain element – so whereas it won’t give you any bonuses, it won’t have any weaknesses either.
How to get cells and fuse them
Cells add valuable bonuses to your weapons and armour, from increased stamina regeneration to critical hits and buffed stagger attacks. They’re obtained from cores, with their rarity and power determined by whether it’s a bronze, silver or gold core. You can get cores from a variety of sources, including quests and from levelling up the Hunt Pass. You can open the cores up in town at one of several points.
As cores are essentially a form of loot box, the cells you’ll receive are random. This is where The Middleman in town comes in, for helping you get more useful and powerful cells. He has a few different powerful cells every few days, which can be bought with platinum (the premium currency) or aetherdust, obtainable by salvaging any unwanted cells. They’re relatively pricey, though.
Your other option is fusing your existing cells to make more powerful ones. This takes 24 hours at a time, unfortunately, and you can only do one at once – though using platinum, you can buy two more slots. The following is an explanation of how fusing cells works:
- Combine two +1 cells of different abilities and types to receive a +2 cell of a random ability and type.
- Combine two +1 cells of a different ability but the same type (Power, Defence etc.) to receive a +2 cell of a random ability within that type.
- Combine two identical +1 cells to receive a +2 cell of the same variety.
- Combine two +2 cells in the ways above to receive a +3 cell.
Can cells be used more than once?
Earlier in the beta, cells were single-use only or cost a fee to remove from items, but as of this time of writing as Dauntless enters full release, you can seemingly swap out cells between gear without penalty. So go wild!
What are orbs and how do you get them?
Orbs are resources available in all of the different element types – neutral, blaze, terra, shock etc. They’re important because they’re a key component in upgrading many weapons and armour pieces to make them stronger. Maxing out a weapon and armour set can require quite a few orbs.
Behemoths sometimes drop orbs of their element type and you can also receive some from quests; however, the fastest and most reliable way to collect orbs by far is patrols. These pit you against a random behemoth of a certain element, and the reward is 10 orbs. What’s better is that twice a day you get a daily bonus of an extra 10 orbs for the first two patrols you carry out.
Just ensure to be prepared for the level of behemoth you may have to face on a patrol – you won’t know the exact power level until just before you begin the battle, and by then it may be too late if you don’t have appropriately upgraded weapons and armour.
How to interrupt and stun behemoths
A valuable skill to learn in battle is what’s been affectionately coined the ‘boop.’ By interrupting behemoths during certain attacks with a well-timed counter, you’ll protect yourself and open them up to a few free attacks.
Behemoths are generally vulnerable to booping when performing an attack that charges at you. Here are a few examples of different behemoths and when they can be interrupted:
- Shrike and Skaev: When they swoop down at you.
- Embermane: When they charge towards you.
- Pangar: When they roll attack.
- Skarn: When they stand on their hind legs and expose their belly. It’s also possible to interrupt them when they spin attack.
Boops can be carried out with swords, axes, hammers and warpikes but not the chain blades as standard – it’s possible to do so but you need certain cells equipped and good timing.
General Dauntless combat tips
Pay close attention to each behemoth’s attack patterns. They’ll typically telegraph what they’re about to do next, whether it’s by roaring, bracing to pounce or charging up aether. Learn these patterns and you’ll be able to run or invincibility roll to safety.
Solo players: it’s tougher out there with the behemoth focused solely on you and no-one to revive you when downed, but you’re at least equipped with three stims for self-revives. These refill between each battle so you don’t have to worry about running out; however, by getting downed you’ll miss out on a bonus loot drop at the end of the battle – so still try and avoid getting to that stage, yeah? And if you’re in a group, try and resuscitate each other and only use stims as a last resort.
Try attacking behemoths at angles that hit multiple limbs at once – for example, hitting their head and a leg simultaneously. And on the topic of behemoth parts, some of them are used to attack – a Charnogg’s fire pipes and a Drask’s tail, for example. Prioritise breaking these first and you’ll nerf their abilities for the remainder of the battle.
Familiarise yourself with the move list for each type of weapon. Some are relatively straightforward, like the sword, whereas a weapon like the hammer has more specific combos, intricacies around its ammo reloading and the ability to perform evasive jumps.
Here are the move lists for each type of weapon, for reference (note that the controls shown are for PC with an Xbox controller):
Sword move list
Axe move list
Hammer move list
Chain Blades move list
War Pike move list
Ostian Repeaters move list
James, our deputy editor, loves a deep action-adventure game, RPG or metroidvania. In addition to making sure everything on the site is as good as it can be – scouring for typos, tweaking headlines, finding the fanciest images – he’s also in charge of the reviews section.