Risk of Rain 2 is one of the most addicting and exciting rouge-like games ever made. With a range of characters to choose from in Risk of Rain 2, most veteran players will say there is at least one character for everyone. Even with the game’s good grip on balancing the power levels of the Survivors in relation to each other, some will always rise above the rest.
Disclaimer for Our Risk of Rain 2 Character Rankings
Before we begin, we must give a disclaimer; if a Survivor is ranked below the rest, it doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to play or impossible to have godlike runs. We are ranking Survivors based on weaknesses and strengths, how consistent they are on the average run, and any additional drawbacks or advantages they have over other characters in the current roster.
This Risk of Rain 2 character list will also focus on how well Survivors are on Monsoon difficulty and how well they are at looping. If you are new to Risk of Rain 2, looping is the option you can choose once reaching the 5th stage to cycle back to the first stage while keeping your items and the current difficulty.
Deciding against looping will be sent to the Commencement stage to fight the final boss and end the run. If you are interested in learning more about the different endings that exist within Risk of Rain 2, we have you covered. We won’t be focusing on Eclipse difficulty or the Simulacrum since both are alternative game modes that function differently from the core gameplay loop.
B-Tier Characters in Risk of Rain 2
It is no surprise to most that we have placed Commando at the bottom of this list. Commando is designed to be the most straightforward character to pick up and play for all players during their first few runs in Risk of Rain 2. This specific design continues to his kit, which mainly stays relatively the same regardless of which unlockable abilities you use.
Commando also suffers from having a repetitive build and playstyle, which revolves around stacking attack speed and high on-hit proc items such as Tri-tip Dagger or crit items like Lens Maker Glasses. Most of Commando’s abilities scale off attack speed, which locks him into this run-and-gun play style.
Aside from Commando’s build, he has some movement options with Tactical Slide but has no self-sustainability and only one crowd control ability, which also scales with attack speed. If you enjoy this type of playstyle, then Commando will appeal to you. If you are unlucky with any attack speed items, your runs as Commando in Risk of Rain 2 will definitely suffer from it.
Mercenary might be a controversial pick to have this low, but the high skill-ceiling Survivor has such a low payoff in exchange for the stressful playstyle. Not only do you have to heavily rely on cooldowns as a melee Survivor, but you have to dodge between dangerous attacks with the least health out of any other melee character. Mercenary has no sustain and barely enough damage to compensate for it. Although they are a good Survivor, they take a lot more effort for practically the exact same results you could get as any other character in Risk of Rain 2.
Mercenary’s AOE abilities are suitable for any enemy that isn’t airborne and are only good when enemies are grouped up. Mercenary’s abilities scale off Attack Speed and no other stat. Mercenary lacks sustain, has low durability, and cannot reliably stack passive without taking a risk. Using Mercenary’s abilities haphazardly will leave you open to getting heavily punished, and you are forced to burn them in order to clear airborne foes.
REX’s inclusion this low on our Risk of Rain 2 characters tier list should surprise nobody. They have a horrible early game to balance out their incredible sustain abilities. REX builds in Risk of Rain 2 require several items to function properly in a run. Attack Speed, Movement Speed, and Healing Items are necessary to get REX the ability to survive beyond the first few stages, making them inconsistent. Once you build these items, REX becomes a powerhouse that can easily survive several loops without needing to get too low health.
A good portion of the Legendary Items in the game synergize incredibly well with REX, but items like Power Elixir and Delicate Watch are downright useless on the corrupted robot. The biggest worry when playing as REX is the chance of being your own downfall since spamming their Secondary and their Primary will quickly whittle your health down. It is highly advised to take the early game slow and be very careful with what you spend your health on.
1. Huntress – The Best of the Worst on Our Risk of Rain 2 Character Tier List
Huntress is the starting alternative to Commando and shares many similarities with him, but she takes it a step further in most cases. She deals less damage than Commando in the early game but makes up for it with more movement options and utility. In Risk of Rain 2, Huntress also shares a similar build to Commando, often preferring high amounts of Crit Chance over Attack Speed.
One of Huntress’s drawbacks is both her primary and secondary abilities require a target to fire, and they only home in on one enemy at a time. This Risk of Rain 2 character will never miss a shot and requires little aiming because of this, but she has so few options for AOE damage outside of items or spamming Laser Glaive.
We rate her as the most consistent and strongest survivor in the B tier mainly due to her high mobility with Phase Blink and both special abilities. Her ability to fire while sprinting makes her significantly faster than most survivors and thus makes her more likely to survive dangerous situations when compared to our previous mentions. She still suffers from a lack of consistent damage and only has a high amount of burst with Ballista or Cleaving with Laser Glave.
A-Tier Characters to Play in RoR2
Artificer in Risk of Rain 2 is the closest character to a mage, and while she is capable of some of the highest damage in the game, it comes with many drawbacks. Artificer’s gameplay mainly revolves around charging very high damaging spells, which can devastate a single target or a large group of enemies.
Artificer’s ability use is strongest in her Secondary because her other abilities usually require different ranges or have long cooldowns to use properly. Her primaries are fine but rely on a charge system that doesn’t refresh all at once but individually. Other Risk of Rain 2 characters like Bandit and Heretic don’t suffer such a long waiting period between using primaries. Artificer’s special abilities are choosing between a high damaging close range ability that puts her in harm’s way or an aerial utility that does little to actually damage enemies.
Artificer does have the unique ability to freeze and execute targets with Snap Freeze or Nano-Spear, but consistently dealing follow-up damage to use the execute is difficult. She has no healing, no movement abilities aside from hovering in the air with the ENV Suit or flying up to the skybox with Ion Surge. Before Railgunner came out, Artificer was the only Survivor capable of this.
She still chunks bosses and any monster’s health bar down in a single Nano-Bomb or Spear, but she requires a lot of items to come online and aid her in staying alive. Still, she’s the closest Risk of Rain 2 has to play a pure spellcaster and still makes a great pick to play.
Acrid is described as a melee-ranged hybrid character in Risk of Rain 2. He excels at dealing tons of DOT damage with Poison or stacking Blight on enemies. While it’s true that Acrid does deal tons of Poison damage, greater difficulties like Monsoon prove that Acrid’s melee abilities aren’t as reliable. This makes taking Visions of Heresy essential for having Acrid able to deal non-poison damage at a range.
Both Acrid’s melee options provide self-sustainability through these Regenerative abilities but don’t deal enough damage to compensate for staying in melee for long. Acrid also has great movement capabilities with his utility skills, which allow you to leap for great distances and prevent fall damage as a bonus.
Spreading his percent health damaging Poison with Epidemic or Neurotoxin can whittle down and weaken groups of enemies and bosses. Still, without other on-hit or chain reaction items, fights can drag on for what feels like years while playing Acrid. This focuses Acrid to follow more or less the same build path every time you play him and is also the primary reason why you should rarely take Blight on him.
Other damage over time items help deal extra damage atop of Acrid’s plague-spreading specialties, but fights will go on forever without the right build. We put Acrid this high up because he is one of the few survivors that no matter how many items they have, it’s easy to spread guaranteed damaging DOTs while keeping a safe distance away. Acrid is still exceptionally strong with his fire and forget playstyle, which allows Acrid in Risk of Rain 2 to excel in all stages of the run, even if fights are dragged out a little too long.
MUL-T is a highly versatile Survivor who only slightly struggles with mobility. MUL-T’s high health and armor allow them to tank through early game damage, synergizing with most items. MUL-T can reliably take on most enemies with the Auto-Nailgun, Rebar Puncher, or Scrap Launcher. Both of MUL-T’s specials are great, but Power Mode makes up for MUL-T’s lackluster Boss Damage early game.
Although they aren’t the best, MUL T is a consistently strong Risk of Rain 2 Survivor within the game’s early and late sections.
Engineer is the only Risk of Rain 2 survivor who embodies the saying, “the best defense is a good offense” as a gameplay style. Engineer’s turrets share nearly all items that he acquires, allowing you to have two, up to three infinitely scaling turrets that deal more damage than a single Commando.
Engineer lacks mobility, and his main defensive option is dropping an impenetrable shield that blocks all incoming damage. Aside from his movement, the main drawback of playing Engineer is that he has the worst primary ability in the game, and his mines don’t deal much damage. The significant upside of an Engineer build in Risk of Rain 2 is his turrets can utilize items that other survivors would avoid, like Bustling Fungus, which gives your turrets a permanent self-sustaining AOE heal.
However, his significant upside is also a downside. Engineer is more item reliant than any other survivor in the game, making his godlike runs so much better, but low RNG hits so much worse. If you can get past the low movement speed and difficult itemization, then Engineer will scale almost like no other survivor.
Captain is a difficult Survivor to compare against the other characters in Risk of Rain 2, especially since they lose their Special after using both beacons. Furthermore, this Risk of Rain 2 character lacks significant mobility but sports incredible damage and utility. They are also the only Survivor who can reliably get expensive items early in the game. We would argue that Captain’s Primary might be the best in the game due to the high damage output and ability to activate several on-hit effects in one burst.
Obtaining two items for your Captain build in Risk of Rain 2 from Shrines of Chance for free and unlocking any grouped chests speeds up the game. Moreover, it allows Captain to get Uncommon and Legendary items consistently. In addition, Captain is always guaranteed to get a Legendary Chest opened on the fourth stage without needing to pay a dollar.
Bandit is the only survivor in the game that is guaranteed to crit with any of their abilities, as Railgunner cannot Crit with her normal primary. The Bandit’s passive and special are incredibly powerful abilities that can be reliably used to kill practically any target. Both Bandit’s Specials can change his playstyle, but Desperado infinitely scales the damage on every level, so it’s more reliable than Lights Out for taking out bosses.
The Bandit sports excellent mobility, but they rely heavily on their cooldowns. Because of their hit-and-run playstyle, we don’t believe that Bandit is the best Survivor for succeeding in Risk of Rain 2, but we definitely think he’s one of the best.
1. Heretic – The Only Secret Character in Risk of Rain 2
Although there is the prerequisite of needing 4 Lunar Items to unlock the Heretic in Risk of Rain 2 and play as her, we’ve included her because she has her own passive and unique stats. If the Heretic didn’t have negative Health Regeneration and a semi-inconsistent burst playstyle, she would definitely be a higher ranking. This is mainly due to her Utility allowing a free range of movement and healing her while making her unable to be damaged.
S-Tier: The Best Characters to Play in Risk of Rain 2
Loader is a devastating melee combatant capable of being one of the game’s most mobile and hard-hitting characters. She has incredible scaling with her Charged or Thunder Gauntlet, encouraging her to stay moving while devastating enemies in a single punch.
She has self sustain by gaining a barrier whenever she strikes an enemy, and she’s immune to fall damage. Her Grapple and Spike Fists allow her to swing around the battlefield at alarming speeds to help her maneuver the map or her enemies. This high mobility again synergizes with Charged or Thunder punch allowing her to chunk bosses HP bar’s in one hit.
Her main downside is she has trouble dealing with multiple flying monsters and only has one ranged ability in her entire kit. However, due to a partial scaling with movement speed, Loader builds in Risk of Rain 2 can include almost any item and not suffer too great of a downside, making her item optimization a lot easier than most survivors.
2. Railgunner – Runner-Up to the Best Character in RoR2
Railgunner is the only Risk of Rain 2 character you unlock by default by owning the Survivors of the Void DLC. Her long-ranged damage weaponry and free critical strikes make her one of the strongest RoR2 characters. Her alternative Secondary and Special are incredibly strong alongside their regular counterparts, and she scales better with Crit items than Bandit.
While Bandit benefits from on-crit effects but has to move to activate them, Railgunner not only increases her damage with Crit chance but is practically guaranteed to activate any Critical Strike abilities as long as she can aim at an enemy’s weak points. The Laser Scope in RoR2 is one of the best Crit items to grab when using her.
Railgunner is definitely one of the strongest characters in the game, but her playstyle makes her feel rewarding and challenging at the same time. Railgunner’s only downside is that she struggles with large hordes of enemies that swarm her since she’s worse at close range. Although she can clear groups with both of her specials, Railgunner needs to be able to take out large groups of enemies to make it far into a run.
1. Void Fiend – The Best Risk or Rain 2 Character
Void Fiend is the only character in the game with no alternative abilities and the only character you can unlock through multiple means. They have everything you’d want in a character, Range, Damage, AOE, Single-Target, Item Synergy, Vertical Mobility, Horizontal Mobility, and Healing.
The only part of Void Fiend’s kit that isn’t good is Corrupted Suppress, which is only active for the short period of time you spend in Corrupted form. While Void Fiend struggles to appeal to both playstyle paths at once, you are guaranteed to have a reliable Survivor with high amounts of range and damage, which you can control as long as you balance their Corruption between fights.
Any reasonable Void Fiend build in Risk of Rain 2 works, and they are the only character that gets an additional free stat from picking up Void Items. Once you pick up a total of 15 or more Void Items, Void Fiend can spam their healing ability with no downside aside from a cast animation, which makes them downright unkillable if you’re careful with how you build them.
Void Fiend can evade effects that would naturally kill any other Survivor with Trespass, the only ability in the game unlocked by default that Cleanses debuffs. Not only does this ability function as a way to get Vertical Momentum, but it also works as a longer Huntress Blink with invincibility frames when in corrupted form.
Void Fiend is an incredibly reliable Risk of Rain 2 character that is also insanely fun to play. Still, the only real downside to playing them is that you might want to avoid picking up a 50th Void Item, lest you be trapped in Corrupted Form for the rest of eternity.
Wrapping Up Our Risk or Rain 2 Characters Tier List
Overall, every Survivor in Risk of Rain 2 has their strengths and weaknesses, but everyone has the capability to have good runs and deal an absolutely insane amount of damage. Our Risk of Rain 2 tier list focuses on showcasing each Survivor’s average consistency during runs.
Do you agree with our tier list? Even if your main character didn’t make it into the S tier doesn’t mean they are any less fun to play! Every Survivor in Risk of Rain 2 is worth dedicating hours to learning and unlocking their skills to utilize their unique strengths and abilities.
For more insights into playing Risk of Rain 2, feel free to check out our guide on how to use Egocentrism in Risk of Rain 2. It’s definitely quite unusual.