Darkest Dungeon Guide: 50 Darkest Dungeon Tips For Beginners

Darkest Dungeon Guide
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Darkest Dungeon is a hard game to get the hang of. One wrong move, and suddenly it will feel like your dungeon party is purposely trying to suck. These 50 tips will next level your dungeoneering and guide you to victory in the blackest reaches of the Darkest Dungeon.

Remember there can be no bravery...without madness.

The Hamlet

No place like home. 

Your home base. A good hamlet makes good heroes. Good heroes come back alive.

  • Upgrade in this order. Stage Coach > Guild > Blacksmith > Sanitarium>Survivalist> The Abbey> Tavern.
  • Portraits are the rarest of the heirlooms. If you see them in a  dungeon, store it.
  • Don’t be afraid to exchange heirlooms. Crests are abundant, and if you need to upgrade a building but are short of an heirloom, exchange it.
  • If you have the money to upgrade heroes, upgrade heroes about to go into an excursion. They need it the most.

The Dungeons

The worst part. You're coming here willingly. 

Victory comes to those who are prepared. These tips will help you prepare the best way you can. Here is a bonus tip. KNOW YOUR CURIOS. Certain interactables require certain items to give you bonus boons. Look them up!

Ruins

  • The ruins are crawling with the undead. They feature tough frontliners with stress attackers in the backline.
  • Plague Doctors are great here because the undead are vulnerable to blighting. Don’t bring bleeders into this dungeon. The dead do not bleed.
  • Crusaders are made for this dungeon. You begin with one and don’t be afraid to pick up another one.
  • You will quickly learn that PROT is a broken stat. High PROT enemies go down to blight attacks and any armor piercing skills.
  • Many of the enemies in the ruins are vulnerable to movement attacks and will resort to weaker attacks in an attempt to go back to their original position.
  • In the champion dungeons, kill the bone bearer first. It buffs the enemy team and revives corpses. Kill. It.
  • Believe or not, the ruins are the easiest dungeon. The backliners are fragile and the frontliners tend to just durdle and deal mediocre damage. Many of your runs should be here.

The Warrens

Oink Oink

  • There be beasts in this dungeon. The houndmaster has a bonus against beast enemies, Bring one or two.
  • Disease runs rampant in the warrens. Disease resist trinkets can be helpful for your heroes, but if you don’t want to use item slots; there is an alternative. The plague doctor and the graverobber have disease healing camping skills.
  • Bring bandages and antivenom. You won’t regret it.
  • Some of the enemies in this dungeon are particularly evasive. Accuracy trinkets will be helpful in hitting those enemies,
  • These beasts don’t blight easily, but they bleed pretty darn well. Hellions, jesters, and houndmasters prey on those that bleed.
  • In veteran and champion dungeons, beware the swinetaurs. They deal heavy damage to all your party members if they attack from the backline.
  • In champion dungeons, kill the swine skivers first. They deal heavy damage to both single targets and your entire party. They have a high dodge as well, so you need to either reduce their dodge or increase your accuracy via trinkets or skills.

The Weald

Not the mushrooms you were hoping for. 

  • Humans and eldritch stalk these parts. The houndmaster and hellion shine in this dungeon. The bounty hunter is very good here as well.
  • This dungeon gets dangerous because it features monsters that deal increased damage to marked heroes. To combat this, you can bring someone that can guard the marked target like the houndmaster or man-at-arms.
  • Alternatively, you can bring an arbalest with her “Rallying Flare” that clears marks on your heroes. Be sure to speed her up with trinkets if you bring her because it is useless to use this skill after the enemies have already struck your marked heroes.
  • Bleed ‘em out. These enemies aren’t easily blighted, but they will bleed.
  • Stock up on antivenom. You won’t regret it.
  • In veteran and champion dungeons, you will face unclean giants. They will either blight your team, mess up your party order, or hit a frontliner really hard. Debuff this guy with minus accuracy or stun him
  • Champion dungeons have hateful viragos. Kill him. He sports tons of debuffs and is bad news. Like the other champion dungeon only creatures, this guy needs to be eradicated.

The Cove

Anyone down for sushi? Anybody?

  • This is the hardest of the four dungeons that aren’t the darkest dungeon. These eldritch fishboys sport high speed and high attack with low health pools. You need to bring good healing along with beefy frontliners or evasive attackers. I highly recommend bringing a man-at-arms and a plague doctor.
  • Plague doctors are good here, because they are fast and deal blight damage to the tougher enemies with high PROT.
  • Bleeds aren’t going to work here. Blights are much more effective. 
  • You need heals. These guys are fast and hit hard. A vestal helps mitigate the damage with her strong healing arsenal. 

The Darkest Dungeon

  • This place is no joke. If you don’t bring a good team comp, you are done. The darkest dungeon takes no mercy on you. When you delve into this hellhole, make sure your heroes are the best of the best. Level Six with max skills, max equipment, and zero stress.
  • Vestal is almost a no brainer here. The enemies of the darkest dungeon hurt a lot. Vestal does work here.
  • Don’t bring an antiquarian here. Just don’t.
  • Being a dedicated stress healer. The jester works best, because of his powerful stress heals. Crusaders and houndmasters can also work.
  • There is no loot from fights here. Stack that inventory with as much food, bandages, holy water, antivenom and herbs. You won’t regret it.
  • Kill the enemies that deal damage first. Don’t worry about the enemy healers. They can’t hurt you. The other things will hurt you.

Heroes

Take your pick...

The heroes are the core of Darkest Dungeon. An effective lineup with good trinkets will not only be reliable, but will quickly rise up in level to take on more challenging dungeons. Challenging dungeons means good rewards. This makes hero selection incredibly important.

  • Does one hero have three diseases, 99 stress, five negative quirks, and only one positive quirk at level 1? Get rid of him! Don’t be afraid to dismiss heroes that are too expensive to fix. You have plenty more that will come and you want to invest in heroes that will perform.
  • Plague Doctors and Houndmasters. These are the best classes in the game. I would have three of each at most. Houndmasters are good in every dungeon and Plague doctors control the backline with a two-position stun. They also wreck in the ruins. Pick them up when you see them.
  • Hellions are another good class in almost every dungeon. They can hit every position given that they are in position 1. Hellions do better against enemies that are vulnerable to bleeds, but feel free to still bring them to the cove or the ruins.
  • Abominations are a dangerous class. Yes, they are powerful in their mutant form, but you pay the price in stress. The transform stress damage on your party stacks.  If you are going to run an abomination, run a jester for stress heals. This will ensure that you won’t sabotage your own dungeon excursions.
  • Antiquarians are a liability in your dungeoneering, but damn, do they make bank. The best way to run an antiquarian is with a highwayman or man-at-arms. Use her protect me! Skill on them while they riposte so that your enemies will damage themselves in trying to hit your precious money maker.
  • Lepers are only good if you have an accuracy trinket on them. If you can’t buff their accuracy, it will be frustrating to see your powerful frontliners miss every time. If you are going to run one, make sure to open with his accuracy buff. His camping accuracy buff is also a must.
  • Bounty Hunters require a lineup with plenty of mark synergies. Occultists, houndmasters, arbalests, and the like. Make him evasive with trinkets and he will avoid plenty of attacks. He is really good at killing bosses that are bigger than a single position.
  • Arbolests are hard to make good. You only want to run one if you have a team with mark synergy, but even then, she needs a lot of good trinkets to be effective. My advice? Keep one and recruit other powerful backliners like plague doctors or occultists.
  • Crusaders are no joke when it comes to the ruins. They are powerful, tanky, and even come with some stress and health heals. Hell, you can have three crusaders take the front line and a healer in the back in the ruins. Make sure they all have holy lance. This enables the crusaders to decimate backliners and the undead won’t stand a chance.
  • Graverobbers like to move around lot. Especially with their lunge skill, you need heroes that are comfortable moving around the party order. Think of heroes like the man-at-arms, jester, and even crusader. You never want a hero to have to pass their turn. Make sure to also make her evasive.
  • The Highwayman’s melee damage output is nothing to scoff at. His riposte has a good crit rate and I recommend always opening with his riposte ability followed by a point blank shot. Make his dodge hight with trinkets and your enemies will cry when they target him.
  • Jester’s also like to move around. Make sure if you equip his finale skill, because the buffs you give it from his skills will ensure that his finishing blow will hurt. He is really good against bosses. He has a low HP pool, so I would increase his high dodge stat to high heaven.
  • Man-At-Arm’s is a really good class. He shines in all dungeons. His riposte is powerful and he can also protect heroes. He sports one of the best team buffs in the game. Unless I was in the ruins (because Triple Crusaders lol), I would always be comfortable with a man-at-arms leading the group. Make sure to have his riposte always. His bellow skill does wonders in the cove, because the cove features monsters that are fast.
  • The Occultist is another good powerful backliner, but maybe not the most reliable healer. If you are running him, make sure to have a backup healer like a crusader, flagellant or even an arbolest. Bring him to the cove to fight the multitude of eldritch monsters there.
  • The Vestal is good in all dungeons, because she is the most consistent healer in the game. Always run trinkets that buff her heals, and you will never have to worry about health in a dungeon.  

These 50 tips will guide you through the harrowing encounters of the Darkest Dungeon. Be cautious. Be prepared. Be ready.

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A native Houstonian, Andrew has been slinging spells and taking names ever since he held a gameboy color. His hobbies are writing, Magic the Gathering, and gaming.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Darkest Dungeon
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOOM, DOTA 2, BioShock
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