Darkest Dungeon 2_7

Darkest Dungeon 2 Tips & Tricks

Darkest Dungeon 2 is a turn-based RPG that will not pull its punches, especially with the sequel making the move over to the notoriously punishing roguelike format. No matter how golden these Darkest Dungeon 2 tips and tricks are, you will die. A lot.

Darkest Dungeon 2 Tips and Tricks

But, do not be disparaged, fair warrior. While this list might not allow you to avoid certain death, they will make each attempt up the mountain more time- and cost-effective, allowing you to get further and unlock better trinkets and upgrades until that lofty day where you will, once again, bring hope to a blighted land.

Use Party-Positioning To Chain Abilities

Unlike the first game, Darkest Dungeon 2 gives you a fresh set of adventurers for each attempt up the mountain. Choosing what position each character sits within the vertical party order is vital to ensuring each character uses their abilities to their fullest. Of course, the game will give you plenty of advice in party positioning, but it’s not just each individual character’s abilities one should consider, but how they can be used in conjunction with each other.

For example, sitting the Highwayman in second position, directly behind the tankish Man-At-Arms, is not optimal for the Highwayman’s ranged attacks. However, the speed of the Highwayman usually means they go ahead of the Man-At-Arms in initiative order. So, using the Highwayman’s Duelist’s Advance will hit an enemy with an attack, move the Highwayman forward one space and apply a riposte buff. Then you can use the Man-At-Arm’s Hold The Line ability (only available when they are in the second position) to swap back with The Highwayman, hitting an enemy and applying a shield bonus on the tank.

With a little careful planning, two attacks become two buff applications as well. Those buffs can make the difference between life and death.

Pay Attention To Party Member Quirks

Another thing to consider when choosing your party at the beginning of a run are their quirks. Each character will have both a positive and negative quirk that will apply certain buffs and debuffs depending on their particular flavour. These quirks can range from the very obvious, such as a percentage resistance towards a particular effect to the abstract, like a penchant for knitting.

There are also rare quirks, marked with a star, that offer more powerful effects. Consider choosing a party with these rare quirks over comfort picks. I would often drop the Grave Robber or Highwayman to include the tankier Hellion if the quirks were worth it. Whilst you’re there, do not discredit negative quirks as just debuffs. Some, like “Into The Void”, which makes the character invisible when on Death’s Door, can give you the chance to heal that character up before they fully fall into the void.

Manage Stress As Best As You Can

This is good general life advice, but it is a particularly important tip and trick in Darkest Dungeon 2. Character stress plays a major role in how effective a character will be in combat, and therefore how far you will travel within this run. When out on the road, it is very difficult to manage stress levels, just the act of going forwards can be a bit much for some, so making sure your party has as little stress as possible at the beginning of a run is vital. Out on the road, paying attention to which direction characters want to travel might increase or decrease stress, making sure to choose to flee or fight certain encounters and absolutely not allowing your party to get affected by the “horror” condition in combat will all go a long way in ensuring at least some mindfulness for these doomed souls.

Don’t Hoard Your Items

Now, we have all played games before. We have all held onto that minor potion of healing “just in case” for a whole 30 hour RPG. Sometimes, it’s easy to not use items “just in case” you need them in the future. For Darkest Dungeon 2, any combat encounter could mean the end, so being as prepared as possible is far more important than keeping hold of items. Make sure that every character has trinkets and combat items equipped for every combat and use said items as soon as you can. Curing a character’s bleed condition will go a long way in keeping them calm even if they’re at full health. When you’re in the Inn, use all your Inn Items even if your characters have zero stress, as some items can also apply powerful buffs that will last that whole section. When you have the opportunity to spend money on new combat items and better trinkets, do it. What use is money when you’re dead, after all?

Seek Out Shrine’s Of Reflection

When out on the road, there will be tons of different encounter types. Some will allow you to heal, or purchase items. Others will be vicious slogs against the game’s primary enemy: cultists. One encounter that you should aim to do at least once per run is a Shrine Of Reflection, which will appear as a bell emblem on your map. These story driven encounters will narrow in on one particular member of your party and tell you a bit about their past. Not only are these moments a welcome respite amongst the misery of the world around you, completing a Shrine will also level up that character and unlock a new ability for them. These abilities can be buffs and debuffs, like the Man-At-Arms battlecry or powerful attacks like The Plague Doctor’s plague grenade.

With these new abilities, you can kit out your adventurer to match your specific playing style, or make a character more useful in the position you want to play them in. Plus, taking some time to learn about the origins and intentions of your party goes a long way in adding extra layers of intrigue into the overall grim reality that is Darkest Dungeon 2.

Even in its Early Access state, Darkest Dungeon 2 is one of our favourite games on the site. Find out why in our review.