Darkest Dungeon: Beginners Guide

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Darkest Dungeon is absolutely brutal game for newcomers. You will not find here shining heroes and epic battles with hordes of demons. Here are just darkness and dungeons. This game doesn’t forgive mistakes. Your adventurers will die and you cannot even reload the game, as there is only one save. But this «roguelike Dark Souls» is unexpectedly charming and addicting. And we will tell you how to deal with Darkest Dungeon!

The basics

We highly recommend completing the tutorial in the game. It can help you with basic elements of Darkest Dungeon. In this guide, we will describe how to organize your first successful expedition and how to deal with all in-game obstacles. If you have not completed the tutorial, here is all that you need to know:

  • You have to defeat all monsters including final boss in the Darkest Dungeon itself.
  • To finish the game you should hire heroes and explore dungeons with them.
  • Each hero has base stats, quirks, diseases and other parameters which influence him.
  • Each hero also belongs to a certain class that defines his role in combats.
  • Teams of four heroes will fight with monsters in different locations.
  • Heroes will die from damage and stress. Try to heal and reduce stress to save them.
  • Heroes will die anyway so you should hire new ones and train them.

That’s all! Just hire heroes, explore dungeons, buy upgrades and kill bosses. We have described some basics, features of every class and bosses in other guides. So here we will focus on your first dungeon run with preparing to this memorable event.

Managing the Hamlet

After the tutorial mission, you will get into the Hamlet, your main base. Here you will find several buildings which help to form and upgrade your team. New buildings will be unlocked with time. For beginning just remember that the main building here is the Stage Coach. In this section, you can hire new heroes. As your veterans die you will need new adventurers. So upgrade the Stage Coach to the maximum at the start!

Explore other buildings, because all of them are helpful:

  1. The Abbey. Reduce stress for gold. Opens at week 2.
  2. The Blacksmith. Upgrade armor and weapon of heroes. Opens at week 3.
  3. The Guild. Upgrade skills of heroes. Opens at week 3.
  4. The Nomad Wagon. But trinkets – artifacts for heroes. Opens at week 4.
  5. The Sanitarium. Remove quirks and diseases. Open at week 4.
  6. The Survivalist. Upgrade camping abilities. Open at week 4.
  7. The Tavern. Reduce stress for gold. Open at week 2.

Stress, quirks, and diseases your heroes can acquire during battles and exploring. You have to reduce stress because at the mark of 200 a hero will die. You also should remove negative quirks and diseases as they limit heroes and decrease their effectiveness. For newcomers, we recommend not to focus on certain heroes. Don’t waste your resources on reducing stress or training low-level heroes. It only makes sense when you have LVL3 or higher character. In other cases just let problem hero die and hire a new adventurer.

Preparing for expedition

Before you start an expedition make sure you have all needful. For first dungeon run, you have to know about two aspects of preparing: team formation and provision buying.

Team formation stage provides for managing all heroes and choosing four of them. The certain team consists of four heroes located at four slots. The rightmost we call first slot and the leftmost respectively fourth slot. There are many classes and you can choose any hero, but we recommend using our schemes for each slot. These formations are almost universal:

  • First slot. Use the Crusader, the Hellion or the Man-ar-Arms;
  • Second slot. Use the Bounty Hunter or the Highwayman;
  • Third slot. Use the Vestal or the Plague Doctor;
  • Fourth slot. Use the Arbalest or the Houndmaster.

We also love to place the Jester at fourth slot, but he is pretty complicated hero. Try to build a simple team for your first expedition. Take the Crusader for tanking, the Highwayman for damaging, the Vestal for healing and the Houndmaster or the Plague Doctor to controlling enemies and applying buffs on allies.

The second aspect is provision replenish. You should spend your money wisely as all gold spent on provisions will not return. This is also fair for cases when you didn’t use all of the purchased provisions. Buy food and torches as well as secondary items. You need 8 food for short runs, 16 food for medium and 24 food for large. Food can heal your heroes.

Here are other helpful supplies you may want to buy. Numbers show the recommended quantity of supply for short-medium-large dungeon:

  • Torch supports a level of light so heroes don’t receive stress from the darkness. 6-10-16.
  • Shovel can destroy obstacle without damaging heroes. 1-2-4.
  • Bandages can save heroes from bleeding. 1-3-5.
  • Antivenom can save heroes from blighting. 1-2-4.
  • Holy water purifies curios so you don’t receive stress upon touching them. 1-2-3.

It’s better to buy fewer provisions and lose the entire party because you always can hire new heroes for free.

Exploring dungeons

Basically, you will face five types of dungeon quests:

  • Cleanse. Defeat every monster inside.
  • Explore. Discover at least 90% of the area.
  • Gather. Find quest items and bring them back at the Hamlet.
  • Activate. Activate specific curio or curious inside.
  • Boss. Slay a certain monster with special abilities.

There are also three types of dungeon runs: short medium and large. The first type consists of 6-8 rooms, the second – 10 and more rooms, the third – 15 and more rooms. You can set up camp during medium and large expeditions. During the camping, heroes will restore health and reduce stress. Don’t forget about the light level which protects heroes from stress and unpleasant surprises with monsters.

To complete certain dungeon run you should kill enemies anyway. During turn-based battles, you will select skills of each hero and activate them. It’s very important to watch out for positions of heroes. You can cast certain skills only at certain slots. We suggest a universal tactic: stun all or at least the most dangerous enemies, then damage them or apply debuff. Try to keep all foes in stun, so they even cannot attack you. Otherwise, heal your damaged heroes and remove debuffs.

In conclusion, brush up your beginner’s strategy:

  1. Hire all available heroes at the Stage Coach;
  2. Form a squad of four heroes and buy supplies;
  3. Complete new mission in dungeons;
  4. Train and cure your high-level heroes;
  5. Hire new heroes instead of damaged or stressed low-level ones;
  6. Repeat points 2-5 until you reach the final boss.

Have a good game!

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