Dark and Darker is a brutal and hardcore PvPvE dungeon-crawler inspired by classic 90’s Fantasy worlds and storytelling. Gather your friends or venture alone into dark dungeons in search of loot, treasures, and much more, all while battling hordes of undead or other mythical creatures.
Dark and Darker is a difficult game, especially if you are new to extraction looter games such as Escape from Tarkov or Hunt: Showdown, so it’s natural to come out of your first run bloodied and defeated.
Understanding the game’s objective, combat, and overall gameplay loop is a bit complex because Dark and Darker don’t have a proper tutorial. This Dark and Darker beginner’s guide will help explain all the vital details and information to get started on your adventure.
Choosing a Class
Before you set off into the dungeon, you must pick a class. Choosing a class is important, not only for the type of loot you want to acquire and their differences in combat and other abilities. This game uses a classic RPG system similar to D&D, with both melee and ranged characters either using physical or magical damage.
Your options for classes are the following:
The Fighter is a great versatile melee class since they can use almost any armor or weapon in the game. They have the most variety for their builds, making them agile or tanky opponents. They make for a great all-around class, but master of none. If this sounds like a great fit for you, especially starting out, we recommend you check out our versatile Dark and Darker Fighter build.
The Rogue is an agile melee class who wears light armor but uses poisons and stealth to their advantage. They have an extremely high interaction speed, allowing them to open doors and chests faster. They also have unlimited lockpicks for any chest you come across and poisons to whittle down foes.
Running an assassin rogue build in Dark and Darker is a great way to deal massive single-target damage to bosses and special enemies.
The Barbarian is slow but a powerful bruiser. They are one of the slowest melee classes, but they can one-shot light-armored classes with one headshot. The best Barbarian builds in Dark and Darker have a lot of destructive power, allowing them to break doors or chests with a single strike.
The Cleric is the heart of the party, bringing heals and buffs for their team. The Cleric does wear plate armor but doesn’t have an amazing arsenal to defend themself. Their healing magic is almost essential for fighting bosses.
The Ranger is an elusive ranged class that specializes in using a bow and arrow. Rangers are the best sniping class and can set up traps for when opponents push them. They also bring a campfire to help restore health and spells for Clerics and Wizards.
The Wizard is Dark and Darker’s glass cannon. The best Dark and Darker wizard build will have lots of area of effect magic and some buffing spells. They are one of the most challenging classes to learn, with high-risk, high-reward gameplay.
Whether you are playing solo or in a party, your decision makes an impactful difference. Aside from team compositions, if you are playing in a group, we recommend having a Fighter, Cleric, and a Ranger for a well-balanced team. If you are playing solo, we recommend Fighter since they are a straightforward and wonderful all-around class.
Equipping Perks and Skills
After choosing their class, Dark and Dark beginners must choose their perks and passive ability before they begin to worry about armor and weapons.
Skills are naturally bound to Q and E and change your class’s playstyle. Your skills typically have no limit aside from a few skills like a Fighter’s Second Wind. Most skills, like a Clerics Judgement, have no cost, and a 40-second cooldown only limits it.
As for your passives, you will obtain more as you level up, but you are restricted to one when you first make your character. Your passives can also shift your gameplay style, like a Rogue’s ability to lockpick or a Barbarian’s unique ability to smash through doors.
Guide to Choosing the Right Map/Gamemode for Beginners in Dark and Darker
From recent playtests and at the moment of writing, Dark and Darker only has three modes. The Forgotten Castle is the game’s standard mode, offering regular loot drops and allowing groups of one to three players to play.
The second is a more challenging version of the Forgotten Castle mode called High-Roller, which requires gold to enter but offers better rewards and valuables.
Lastly, the newest mode is The Goblin Caves, which offers a different map and enemies exclusive to solo players. Overall, we recommend the Forgotten Castle map to Dark and Darker beginners reading this guide. Yet, if you exclusively don’t want to run into bigger teams, stick with The Goblin Caves.
Finding Gear and Treasures
The main reason why everyone’s delving down into the dungeon is to find better gear, weapons, and other valuables. As soon as you start a dungeon run, look for chests and coffins and keep your eyes peeled for small trinkets occasionally scattered on the ground of shelves.
If you are lucky, you will find some upgrades, and we recommend immediately equipping whatever you can wear and toss your only gray equipment on the floor.
Dark and Darker follows the standard RPG color item rarity format that hundreds of games have used for years.
Your character will always start with gray items, but you can find the following:
- Common(White) No Enchantment
- Uncommon(Green) +1 Enchantment
- Rare(Blue) +2 Enchantments
- Epic(Purple) +3 Enchantments
- Legendary(Orange) +4 Enchantments
- Unique(Yellow) +5 Enchantments
Along with dozens of weapons and gear, you can find plenty of trinkets and gold in the back pocket of the dungeon’s army of undead. Scrolls, golden bracelets, and much more can all be exchanged for gold back at the tavern, so grab what you can.
It’s normal not to know how valuable every time will sell for, so take note of how much specific items are exchanged for so you can prioritize or avoid specific trinkets.
The higher the rarity typically makes the item stronger, but this is only sometimes the case. The enchantments on gear and weapons are randomized, and some of its base stats are also randomized. For example, two weapons of the same rarity can have different base stats and enchantments.
This makes some weapons more valuable and keeps the game’s loot system a bit deeper. Once your inventory or stash starts filling up and you’re looking to sell some of your gear to other players, note your items’ stats because that might increase the price.
Weapons with +1 all attributes or higher will sell for a lot for other players. However, the market’s value will become more solid once Dark and Darker fully releases, so don’t worry about learning about all the best items to sell during the early playtests.
How to Escape the Dungeon
After filling your backpack with loot and slaughtering a dozen undead, you must extract to guarantee all that loot makes it out. Since this is a hardcore game, all your loot stays on your body if your character dies during a run. Finding a portal and extracting is the only way to guarantee your loot.
Unlike Escape from Tarkov, Dark and Darker has a ring that slowly encloses the dungeon like the storm in Fortnite. Once the circle gets smaller at the end of a run, blue and red portals will spawn around the map. Blue Portals spawn individually, and opening one will take you back to the tavern.
If you take a Red Portal, you will go deeper into the dungeon, increasing the enemies’ difficulty and the chance of rare rewards. If you take the Red Portal, you can also fight extremely challenging bosses, but Blue Portals spawn at the center of the ring if you survive.
Dark and Darker Beginners Must Overcome PvP Encounters
Lastly, Dark and Darker is a PvPvE game, and other players are also wandering around this dark dungeon in search of the same treasure you’re after. Sometimes you may persuade other adventurers with the in-game voice chat, but most are looking for a fight.
The big difference between PvP and PvE is the monsters tend to be predictable, and you can tell the difference between a monster and an enemy player because of their movements and the sound of their footsteps.
PvP can be challenging, but it’s also the focal point of the Dark and Darker experience, so choose to engage in as many or as few fights as possible. You can charge headlong into combat or avoid other players to the best of your ability. However, once you become familiar with Dark and Darker’s classes, you’ll know exactly what you’re up against.
Wrap Up on Our Beginners Guide for Dark and Darker
That’s our short beginners guide for Dark and Darker. Overall, this brutal dungeon crawler is one of the most hyped-up games in the past year, and we can’t wait for its full release so we can roam the depths without time restrictions.
If you enjoyed our look into the game and want to learn more, check out our other guide on how to cast spells in Dark and Darker.
For now, Good Hunting!