Darkest Dungeon: Strategy Guide

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Darkest Dungeon is pretty challenging rogue-like RPG which you will fight the darkness with a group of playable characters. In the game, you will face hundreds of enemies, but stress will become your main foe. That’s why we’ve prepared this strategy guide to help you finish the game successfully.

This strategy most likely will take more time, but it will also save your heroes alive. Let’s start with the basics!

Base Stats

There are 7 base stats in Darkest Dungeon. You should improve it to develop your characters. Each stat can be painted gray (means that stat has no effects), yellow (stat is improved) or red (stat is worsened). The thing is that trinkets apply both positive and negative effects. Heroes are also affected by different quirks or diseases. To finish the game successfully you must balance all effects, and this task is quite complicated.

Well, here are 7 base stats:

  • MAX HP – Maximum Hit Points or simply Health. This stat determines how much damage a particular hero can survive. MAX HP is the most important stat. You can improve it by leveling up armor.
  • ACC MOD – Accuracy Modifier. Accuracy – ACC – itself defines the chance of hitting a target. Don’t forget about this stat, because some skills have a very little ACC MOD at leveling up. Boost ACC with trinkets.
  • DODGE – Dodge. This stat defines the hero’s chance of dodging an attack. ACC and DODGE are opposite stats, it means that hero’s DODGE subtracts from opponent’s ACC. This stat isn’t primary, but you also can level it up with armor.
  • CRIT – Critical Chance. It’s just the chance of getting a critical hit when attacking. You know that critical hit deals significantly more damage. CRIT is defined by a weapon. This stat is quite important.
  • PROT – Prediction Points. One of the most crucial stats. Prediction allows heroes to reduce incoming damage. You can get more PROT from Crusader’s trinkets and perks. With 10 Prediction Points all incoming damage is strongly reduced.
  • DMG – Damage. This is a base stat for many games. Damage determines how strong your characters are and how fast they can kill foes. Like CRIT a weapon also defines this stat. Maximize it when possible.
  • SPD – Speed. Maybe, it’s better to call this stat Initiative. It determines the order of moving in the combat. The higher SPD is, the earlier hero will move. Consequently, your characters with high Speed can control or kill enemies before they even start to move.

We suggest increasing PROT, SPD and ACC MOD at first. Sure, you should pay attention to DMG and MAX HP too.


There are 8 types of resistance. Each type can save your heroes from certain damage or negative effect. You can improve each resistance up to 100%, but there are enemies which can pierce even 100% resistance. Review all the types of negative effects and related to them resistance:

  • Stun. Many enemies can stun you, so improve this resistance at first.
  • Bleed. It is a damage-over-time effect or DoT. It damages a hero for 3 or 5 rounds.
  • Blight. This debuff is similar to Bleed but hurts twice as strong.
  • Disease. There are several diseases that remain even after leaving a dungeon.
  • Death’s Door. When a certain character receives a fatal damage he remains alive. A hero also gets huge debuffs to ACC, DMG, SPD and receives more stress until healed.
  • Move. Some abilities can move characters. This resistance allows heroes to remains on their positions after enemy trying to move them.
  • Trap. It’s quite easy-understanding resistance. It affects the chance of trapping.
  • Debuff. This resistance unites all other negative effects, for example, horror.

You probably want to improve the most common resistance. Pay attention to stuns, bleeding and blighting. Try also to increase debuff resistance as it saves from many negative effects.

The best heroes

You can take 4 heroes in each dungeon run. We defined the best party order for every dungeon. Using of this order can help you finish the game without any problems. It’s important to place your characters in defined slots:

  1. First slot – in the head of the formation. Here you can choose between two classes: the Crusader and the Hellion. The first class can heal other members of a squad, deal high damage, attacks fourth enemy slot and replenish torches. The Hellion has powerful hits and 200%-stun which affects first and second enemy slots.
  2. Second slot. Place here the Bounty Hunter. It’s the best control class which has 200%-stun. Equip the Bounty Hunter with trinkets which increase stun chance and he will stun even bosses! Also, the Bounty Hunter is essential when you are moving without torches. Skills of this class decrease a chance of bad surprises in the dark.
  3. Third slot. Place here the Vestal. This is your healer which can save other heroes from death in case of triggering the Death’s Door effect. The Vestal also has a stun, can replenish torches and heal all characters with one skill!
  4. Fourth slot – in the tail of formation. Place here the Jester. This class is the good buffer. The Jester can apply the group buffs on Speed, Accuracy and Critical Chance. He also can reduce the level of stress and have a powerful bleeding attack.

Here you have the healer, the buffer, the controller and the damage dealer. This order of squad is the best for every dungeon. Sure, you can use other classes, but we highly recommend using our set.

The Hamlet

Besides the dungeon cleaning, you will improve the Hamlet. For the best progress, follow our guide to improve different buildings. Remember that the most important building is Stage Coach. It allows you to recruit heroes and have more heroes at once. Here is a guide for the first weeks:

  • At first, improve the Stage Coach to have access to 13-16 heroes at once.
  • Then improve the Guild to the first and second levels to have access to heroes’ skills.
  • Try to get first upgrades in the Tavern and the Abbey to have access to stress treatment.
  • It is highly recommended to improve first upgrades in the third tree in the Sanitarium.
  • After that upgrade the Blacksmith. At first select weapon, then armor.

You can vary these steps, but not the first one. Upgrading of the Stage Coach is the main part of our strategy guide.

Battle tactics

In the battle, you should pay attention to SPD of enemies. Try to stun or kill foes with high Speed or long-range attacks at first. Start your fight with applying all buffs from the Jester. Then try to stun the most dangerous enemy with the Vestal. You can choose to deal damage on an enemy’s fourth slot. Use the Hellion to stun first and second slots. So you will have three stunned foes and almost dead one. Don’t worry if your heroes got damage. The Vestal and the Jester easily can heal other heroes and reduce their stress.

Using of trinkets

There are many trinkets – artifacts – in Darkest Dungeon. Almost every trinket applies both positive and negative effects. We recommend equipping your squad with trinkets which decrease resistance. The idea is that all resistance grows with the level and most of the foes’ negative effects don’t exceed 100%. So you can resist most of debuffs even with decreased resistance stats. There are also trinkets without debuffs and you want to find them all!

So the best strategy is using trinkets only with buffs or with debuffs on resistance. We don’t recommend using trinkets with debuffs on SPD, ACC or DODGE. We also have recommendations for every class from «The best heroes» paragraph:

  • The Crusader: 2 copies of Tough Ring which gives a bonus to PROT and MAX HP.
  • The Hellion: 2 copies of Stun Stone which gives a bonus to Stun Skill Chance.
  • The Bounty Hunter: similar to the Hellion.
  • The Vestal: Book of Rage with a bonus to DMG and Sniper’s Ring with bonus to ACC.
  • The Jester: 2 copies of Feather Crystal which gives a bonus to DODGE and SPD.

Correctly placed and equipped heroes can defeat every foe including the toughest bosses! Good luck in Darkest Dungeon!

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