New Player Help for Darkest Dungeon 2 covers different tips, tricks, and guides to both new and veteran players of the Darkest Dungeon franchise. This page features the basic and advanced mechanics and guides to better help understand the game. Apart from that, players can also find helpful information such as recommended things to do before starting and diving into the world of Darkest Dungeon 2. Aspects that are covered in the new player help guide are as follows:

Darkest Dungeon 2: Early Access Preview


Darkest Dungeon 2: Early Access Getting Started Guide



Darkest Dungeon 2 New Player Help Guide


Creating a Party

Party Creation

[CLICK and DRAG] hero portraits to assemble your party of four heroes. The hero in the rightmost position of your roster will be first in the combat line.


Roster Arrangement

You can rearrange your party order while driving by [CLICKING and DRAGGING] their portraits. Party order determines what position each hero is in when battle starts. The furthest hero to the right begins at the front line of combat.


The hero status view holds critical information. Open it with [C] or by [RIGHT CLICKING] on any hero portrait.


Hero Sheet

The hero status is where you can view STATS , RELATIONSHIPS , view and equip SKILLS , see the hero's QUIRKS and DISEASES , equip TRINKETS , and more.

Regardless of which tab you're on, you can always see the hero's STATS , QUIRKS , DISEASES , and TRINKETS . [MOUSE OVER] any stat to view a tooltip that shows any active buffs or debuffs .


Stagecoach and Inventory


The Stagecoach is your carriage, your coffin, and your confessional...

to drive the coach forward. (Or double-tap [W] for autodrive.) Use [A] [D] or the [ARROW KEYS] to steer.


Stagecoach View

to bring up the STAGECOACH VIEW. This shows what upgrades are currently installed on the coach. Upgrades can only be changed at the WAINWRIGHT, who is present at each INN .


Your STAGECOACH is limited in how many items it can carry. Press [I] to view what you have.

Your shared inventory is split between all item types. Some items stack well, whereas others take an entire slot. Use the inventory TABS to easily see each item type. Some stagecoach upgrades increase stacking limits.

If the STAGECOACH becomes full, you may wish to discard less important items. [CLICK and DRAG] them off of the inventory window. Items cannot be sold anywhere, so throw away what you don't need. Discarding items earns a small amount of HOPE .




TRINKETS , COMBAT ITEMS , INN ITEMS , and STAGECOACH UPGRADES will all help you on your quest. You will also find RELICS and BAUBLES , which can be used to purchase supplies from vendors.


Each hero may equip up to 2 TRINKETS at a time. Trinkets confer bonuses or special abilities and can drastically improve a hero. Trinkets may be removed or swapped at any time.

Open Inventory with [I] and select the TRINKET filter to see only trinkets. Then [DRAG] a trinket from inventory to an empty hero slot to equip it.

Combat Items

COMBAT ITEMS are equipped into a dedicated SKILL slot on each hero. To equip one, [CLICK] the slot and then [DOUBLE CLICK] or [DRAG] the Combat Item from inventory. Equipping a combat item allows it to be used during combat. Combat Items are FREE ACTIONS . One item may be used each hero turn, right before they use their normal skill.


RELICS are the main currency of the land, used to buy most supplies. You find relics mostly as spoils of battle.


BAUBLES are used only to purchase TRINKETS . Baubles come in different forms for each region. All bauble types are worth the same, but take up different space in your inventory. Your total baubles are shown by the triangle-like symbol in inventory.


Combat and Stats


Combat is turn-based . In most cases, the fight lasts until one side is completely defeated. Once in a battle, there is no retreat .

Turn Order

Each hero or enemy rolls INITIATIVE at the beginning of each round, and this is modified by their SPEED . The turn order is shown by the PORTRAITS in the top right of the screen. Only a partial turn order is shown--you can plan ahead a little, but not completely.


On a hero's turn, you may first use a COMBAT ITEM , if they have one equipped. This is a FREE ACTION . Then you may use a hero SKILL normally. Either way, [CLICK] on the item/skill in the displayed skill bar. You may also use the number key [1-7] corresponding to the skill slot.



Skills can only be used if the hero is in the correct LAUNCH RANK . They also can only be used against valid enemies in the correct TARGET RANK . To see what ranks a skill can target, look at the tooltip of the skill. The circular PIPS tell you this information. A solid pip means the skill is valid in that rank. An empty pip means it is not. Some skills can target multiple enemies at a time, which is shown by pips joined together. These are "area of effect" ( AOE ) skills.

In addition to doing damage, skills can cause a variety of effects. Most of those effects are shown by TOKENS . To see what each token means, [MOUSE OVER] it. You can also [HOLD G] to see the TOKEN GLOSSARY .


Skill Upgrades

Each HERO SKILL has one upgrade level. To upgrade, [CLICK and HOLD] on the skill. This costs a MASTERY POINT . Improved skills can yield dramatic results. Spend your points wisely--they are shared amongst the entire party.


Death's Door

When a hero is reduced to 0 HP, they are on DEATH'S DOOR . Any further damage has a chance to kill the hero depending on their DEATHBLOW RESISTANCE ! Use a helpful COMBAT ITEM or a HEALING SKILL to restore some of the hero's HP before they can be slain!


Hero Conditions

This tab shows any CONDITIONS present on the hero. Conditions are usually long term buffs or debuffs that result from INN ITEM use at the INN .


Hero Death

Dead heroes remain dead for this entire expedition but will be available for use again on your next try.

  • Hero Replacement

If a hero has died but you have unlocked additional hero classes on your profile , a reinforcement hero will await you at the next INN . This replacement hero will be randomly chosen from classes not selected at the start of this expedition. New heroes have no upgraded skills.

Expedition End

When the journey ends (via victory or defeat), you are awarded HOPE based upon how well you did. Hope is used to increase your PROFILE LEVEL . Even when an expedition is surely lost, it's often worth pressing on to get more hope.


The Flame

The stagecoach carries the FLAME , which is the last hope for the world. It will gradually diminish as you drive, but various actions can refill it. The lower it gets, the harder things will be for the party. Do not let the Flame expire.

  • Low Flame

When the FLAME gets below 40, things start to get significantly more dangerous for the heroes. Monsters get combat bonuses, and there are increased chances that BATTLE MODIFIERS will further increase the monsters' power. The waning flame also increases the chance that heroes will develop negative affinities with each other. Visit ASSIST ENCOUNTERS to raise the Flame.

  • Flame Extinguished

When the FLAME reaches 0, the heroes are ambushed by fiendish Cultists. If the heroes survive the fight, then the expedition will continue with a tiny flicker of Flame still alive.


In addition to HP , heroes also have STRESS . Heroes begin the expedition at zero stress, but gain stress through a wide variety of game events. Stress can be lowered with various items and treatments at the INN .

As STRESS mounts, a hero will become more irate and this increases the chances of NEGATIVE AFFINITY changes with other heroes. Try to keep stress low in order to promote a harmonious party.



If a hero's STRESS bar fills up completely, that hero will suffer a MELTDOWN . Meltdowns have several undesirable effects: the hero suffers immediate AFFINITY loss with all other heroes, and then the hero also drops to low HP. 



Token View

To see more info about tokens on a hero, [MOUSE OVER] the hero during combat and [HOLD ALT] .


Damage over Time

Some attacks inflict a DOT (damage over time). BLEED, BLIGHT  and BURN  are all DOTs. DOTs cause damage at the beginning of the combatant's turn until they expire or are cured. Many SKILLS or COMBAT ITEMS can cure DOTs.


Monster Death Blows

Some monsters have DEATHBLOW RESISTANCE just like heroes. When a monster is on DEATH'S DOOR , each further blow has a chance to slay it. Some skills and trinkets can increase the chance of EXECUTING the enemy outright. Repeated blows to the monster while it's on Death's Door will also reduce its deathblow resistance.



Evil is overtaking the world, as shown by the LOATHING METER . Higher loathing results in tougher conditions for the party.

  • LOATHING increases upon reaching every INN .
  • Loathing is reduced by winning fights at LOCATIONS . (Road battles don't count.) Choose RESIST , LAIR , or CULTIST locations to keep your Loathing in check.



QUIRKS are positive or negative personality traits. Quirks with the symbol are rare. Negative quirks can be treated ( REMOVED ) at the HOSPITAL . Positive quirks can be reinforced ( LOCKED ) there as well.


Combat Skills

This tab shows the hero's COMBAT SKILLS . You may equip 5 skills at a time, plus there is a dedicated 6th slot for COMBAT ITEMS . Each hero has 11 skills that may eventually be unlocked.

Mastery Points

MASTERY POINTS are earned mostly through combat victories. Each point will upgrade one hero skill .



Routes and Locations


Outside of the Valley, the road becomes more complex. To see what lies ahead, open the MINIMAP with [M] or by CLICKING the WAGON WHEEL icon.

The MINIMAP shows you the road ahead, as best you know it. LOCATIONS that you can visit are shown by icons. If the location is SCOUTED (known), the icon will tell you exactly what is there. UNSCOUTED locations are shown by '?'


Road Objects

Even road detritus can sometimes yield useful SUPPLIES . CRASH through debris to find it. Fear not--the STAGECOACH is built of strong stuff.



Your party has a base chance to SCOUT each location when you enter a new region. Different STAGECOACH UPGRADES can help you scout more reliably. Also look out for WATCHTOWERS which will reveal all remaining unscouted locations in that region.

Route Choices

Forks in the road will give two or three potential destinations as shown by icons above the road. If the way ahead is SCOUTED , these icons will be revealed. Heroes may voice their own preferences for the route, shown by corresponding icons above their portrait heads. Beware: choosing a destination different than what a hero wants will cause them STRESS .

Route Danger

Locations on the map are connected by colored lines showing the roads. GREEN lines indicate low danger, which means there will most likely not be a road battle. BLUE lines indicate a likely road battle.


Region Choice

Before EMBARKING from the INN , you must select which REGION to enter next. Each region has different enemies and challenges and your party may be better equipped to deal with one over another.

REGIONS have a CONDITION and a GOAL which change each time you encounter them. The condition tells what special game effects are in place for that time only. The goal gives you an optional accomplishment to aim for. If you successfully complete the goal, then you will be given the REWARD shown once you arrive at the next INN .



The Inn

The INN is where heroes can rest and recover between regions.

  • INN ITEMS can only be used at the INN . They can heal, de-stress, bestow buffs, and perhaps most importantly: change the affinity between heroes . Use inn items to build positive relationships .
  • To view INN ITEMS in your party's posession, open the inventory [I] and then select the inn items filter. To use an inn item, [CLICK] the item in the inventory, then [CLICK] on the target hero. Items may affect 1, 2, or even all 4 heroes at once.



The PROVISIONER offers a limited amount of supplies that can be purchased for RELICS. [CLICK] to purchase an item. The Provisioner's selection varies each time you reach an Inn.



The WAINWRIGHT is the only place where you can install or remove STAGECOACH UPGRADES . [CLICK and DRAG] from inventory to install. Select the stagecoach upgrades filter in the inventory window to easily see which upgrades are available to you.



SHRINES are where heroes can revisit their memories. By confronting their past, they unlock new skills. At each shrine, choose a single hero to advance their story



The HOARDER carries a wide variety of goods--always a better selection than the average INN .


Watch Tower

The WATCHTOWER scouts (reveals) every future location in this REGION . It's usually well worth the detour, especially early in a region.



The FIELD HOSPITAL is the only place where you may CURE diseases, REMOVE negative quirks, or REINFORCE (lock) positive quirks. The hospital also sells some common curative items.



LAIRS are where the REGION BOSSES dwell. To reach the boss, you must first win your way through two sentry battles. You may retreat from the lair after each battle, but the further you delve the more loot you'll retrieve. Bosses have rare treasures that cannot be found elsewhere.

Academic's Study

THE ACADEMIC'S STUDY is a foray into the abandoned towers of these cosmic-obsessed learners. The wyrd items you'll find within can yield great rewards, but not without commensurate dangers.


Mastery Trainer

The MASTERY TRAINER is the only spot where you can upgrade hero SKILLS . You earn MASTERY POINTS as loot, mostly from fights.






Heroes will voice opinions on a course of action. You must choose one of their wishes. [CLICK and HOLD] on a choice to select it. The results will be previewed at the bottom of the screen.


Resistance Encounters

Each REGION is overwhelmed with local evil. RESISTANCE ENCOUNTERS are battles with these monsters. Winning resistance encounters is the primary way in which you can gain MASTERY POINTS and earn treasures that will make the heroes more powerful. It also reduces LOATHING . Battling evil is not without risk, but if you avoid all resistance encounters, you will find your party ill-prepared to tackle the MOUNTAIN .

Cultist Encounters

CULTISTS emanate from the MOUNTAIN and the great evil contained therein. Cultist encounters are always a tough fight, but the rewards are equally valuable. Stave off the evil, reduce your LOATHING , and use the spoils to equip yourself for the final assault on the MOUNTAIN .


Assistance Encounters

ASSISTANCE ENCOUNTERS bring the heroes face to face with the downtrodden local populace. These forlorn creatures are in need of help, and often have valuable supplies to offer to the heroes in return. Helping the locals is the best way to restore FLAME .


Affinity and Relationships


Each hero pair has an AFFINITY value which describes how positive or negative they feel towards one another. If the affinity bar fills, the two heroes will enter a RELATIONSHIP .

RELATIONSHIPS between heroes will make or break your expedition. When the journey begins, all heroes have a neutral AFFINITY with one another. As the rigors of the road mount, heroes will gain or lose affinity. To view AFFINITIES , open any hero's HERO SHEET [C] and look at the relationships tab. You'll see an AFFINITY BAR for each other hero in the party, which shows how this hero feels about them.

When the AFFINITY bar between two heroes becomes fully positive or fully negative, this will immediately trigger a new RELATIONSHIP between them. Relationships dramatically affect hero stats and actions that the heroes may perform. VIRTUOUS RELATIONSHIPS make heroes fight and work together better, whereas AFFLICTED RELATIONSHIPS can cause no end of problems to a party.

Affinity Changes

Heroes often have vastly different opinions about how a given ENCOUNTER should be resolved. When you choose a hero's response, any heroes that agree with the acting hero will have their mutual affinity increased. (GOLD glow) Any heroes that disagree strongly with the acting hero will have their mutual affinity decreased. 


Relationships Tab

This tab shows you the hero's current AFFINITY or RELATIONSHIP with each other hero. GOLD pips indicate positive affinity. BLUE pips are negative.



Tired of anon posting? Register!
Load more
⇈ ⇈