• Positioning dictates whether or not characters can use certain abilities
  • Stress and Loathing play an important part in a team's overall effectiveness
  • Investigate as many encounters in the road to maintain the party's flame value 

Like it’s predecessor, “Darkest Dungeon 2” can be brutally difficult. This game doubles-down on the grimdark fantasy setting by making the players experience the world’s misery themselves through challenging encounters and decisions that can make or break a run.

Darkest Dungeon 2” won’t hold anybody’s hand, and players who are just starting this series out for the first time will need all the help they can possibly get if they want to finish their first journey to the ominous mountains. Here’s a short collection of tips and tricks to help make the long and grueling carriage ride to the end of the world slightly more bearable.

Positioning Matters

Character positioning plays a key role in “Darkest Dungeon 2’s” combat system. Many abilities require characters to be within certain positions in the team’s lineup. Generally speaking, tanky melee fighters will always want to be in the front, while damage dealers should be at the back.

The Highwayman in Darkest Dungeon specializes in close and mid-ranged combat The Highwayman in Darkest Dungeon specializes in close and mid-ranged combat Photo: Red Hook Studios

Enemy attacks and ambushes can throw a team’s lineup out of whack, so it’s best to keep a few abilities that can help characters like the Plague Doctor or Highwayman within their preferred positions.

Target The Backline First

Enemy groups tend to form similar to how players do. Usually, the enemies that can deal the most damage reside in the backline, while bruisers fill up the first two slots of their composition. With this in mind, it’s almost always ideal to go for the backline damage dealers first to prevent them from attacking as soon as possible.

Players can either eliminate these enemies or drag them to the frontline using abilities to negate their damage.

Flame, Stress and Loathing Management

Ideally, the party’s flame value should always be at 41 or above to maintain a positive buff on the party. Going below 41 will make the party less effective in combat and make encounters more difficult. Finish Assistance Encounters to keep the party’s flame alive.

“Darkest Dungeon 2” introduced an Affinity system that includes the Loathing mechanic, which essentially simulates how party members view each other. The more one member loathes another, the less effective they will be in combat.

Stress also plays an important part in this new Affinity system. If a character’s Stress reaches its limit, they will suffer a Meltdown that will drastically reduce their HP and negatively affect their affinity with other party members.

Players should gather as many stress-reducing items along their journey and try not to aggravate their party members too much, as the systems can easily end a run regardless of how good it’s going.