Risk of Rain 2 is a revolutionary third-person Rougelike where time and the planet are against you. You must scavenge for strange and unique items to combat the endless hordes of monsters to escape the planet. You will choose between several different Survivors, each with their own respective strengths and weaknesses, slowly unlocking them over the course of several runs.
The game runs off of a restrictive time-based difficulty curve, increasing as you spend more time in each stage. The only way to get stronger is to collect items and brawl with the denizens of Petrichor V. Today, our guide will be going through some vital information for beginners or new Risk of Rain 2 players.
Beginners Should Study their Survivor’s Abilities
Abilities are the bread and butter of your Survivor’s damage or utility; mastering them is vital to your survival. Most abilities are straightforward and simple to utilize in combat. For example, Commando’s primary ability is Double Tap, making him fire six bullets per second for 100% base damage and suffer from falloff penalties. However, glossing over the description also states that the number of bullets fired per second scales with your attack speed.
Newer players often overlook this small detail, but we assure you that almost every character in Risk of Rain 2 has abilities that scale with certain stats. We highly recommend reading over your Survivor’s abilities to form a generalized idea of what stats you want to prioritize. This also includes learning about some mechanics you might have been unaware of, including abilities that have the Agile stat allow you to use them while sprinting.
Risk of Rain 2’s Unique Mechanics
There are numerous mechanics to learn in Risk of Rain 2. However, we will do our best to summarize in this guide what Risk of Rain 2 beginners need to know to improve their survival rate.
Items play a very large role in scaling your character’s power in RoR2. We will discuss a few different important mechanism that Risk of Rain 2 beginners must understand.
One Shot Protection
One Shot Protection is a very important countermeasure to prevent players from instantly dying. A player will always have one One Shot-Protection so long as you are above 90% health. Curse effects or taking damage that lowers your HP under 90% will disable One Shot-Protection.
Shields vs. Barriers
In Risk of Rain 2, Shields work similarly to health and appear as a blue segment at the start of a player’s health bar. They will take damage before your base HP will, but will only recharge if the player avoids damage for seven seconds. Shields also add to your maximum health, thus making them dangerous to obtain (not including Plasma Shrimp) because they contribute to your One Shot Protection. Any modifiers or effects that heal your Survivor will not apply to regenerating shields.
Barriers are displayed as a yellow, transparent bar that coats your health but decays rapidly over time. They do not count toward the One Shot Protection, so stacking Barrier items is preferable since their effects go over your HP bar rather than replacing it. Overall, we guide beginners in Risk of Rain 2 to focus on obtaining Barrier items rather than Shielding since One Shot-Protection is vital for your survival.
Tons of items and abilities in Risk of Rain 2 have a Proc Coefficient, determining the chance of an item activating. For example, Huntress’s Strafe ability has a 1.0 Proc Coefficient, and if you obtained a Tri-Tip Dagger, which has a 10% chance to inflict a bleed, you have a 10% chance to inflict that bleed. Halving the Proc Coefficient would result in halving that bleed chance.
Abilities with a lower Proc Coefficient will lower the chance of items applying their effects. Attack Speed can also somewhat offset low Proc chance since shooting a flurry of 20 bullets every two seconds will have at least one shot cause a status effect.
Item Stacking is Important for Risk of Rain 2 Beginners to Understand
Lastly, we will mention item stacking. All items in Risk of Rain 2 can be stacked multiple times. This is a unique gameplay mechanic that Risk of Rain 2 beginners need to understand. For a list of the best items in Risk of Rain 2 from each rarity, check out our accompanying guide.
Certain items have a reduced scaling when obtaining over 10 or 20. This is referred to as Hyperbolic Stacking, and we will use Tougher Times as an example. Tougher Times gives you a 15% chance to block incoming damage, but after obtaining around 11, it will become increasingly harder to gain more than a 60% block chance.
Not all items have Hyperbolic Stacking, so we recommend looking into some community mods that help with the lack of in-game information or checking elsewhere. Still, more often than not, most items will give you a considerable percentage boost if you stack over 10 or 15.
Difficulty & Time
Time is tied with Risk of Rain 2’s difficulty, and the more time passes, the harder the enemies will scale. This is easily the primary mechanic that puts off newer Risk of Rain 2 players, but the community uses several methods to circumvent this mechanic.
Some prefer to stick to the “Start the Teleporter after 5 mins” this is a good rule of thumb to start learning Risk of Rain 2’s difficulty since staying too long in a stage to obtain every item can make the following area more difficult.
However, others can argue that obtaining a certain amount of items per minute is also an efficient way to play against Risk of Rain 2’s time. Regardless of leaving the stage after five minutes or weighing against the timer with the number of items you obtain, you always need to stay moving and get as many items as possible.
Achievements play a massive part in Risk of Rain 2’s early game. They aren’t only something to collect or show off to your friends. In fact, they also unlock characters, items, and other things in the game. We wanted to mention this in our Risk of Rain 2 Beginners guide because most games have achievements that are only for bragging rights. In RoR2, you should focus on earning achievements and mixing up your gameplay to earn them.
Check the logbook between runs to see what items you are missing. Most achievements will be unlocked through normal gameplay, but there are tons of things to unlock. For example, you can obtain Paul’s Goat Hoof, which is one of the best movement speed items from failing the Shrine of Chance three times in a row.
Additional Unlocks for New Risk of Rain 2 Players
Unlocks aren’t limited to items but also include mastery skins or new survivor skills. Most survivors have additional abilities they can unlock by completing specific challenges while playing them. One of the hardest unlocks to get is the OGM-72 ‘DIABLO’ Strike, which requires killing the final boss with a Supply Beacon.
Ability unlocks can be like night and day. Not all unlockable abilities are better than their default counterparts, but we recommend unlocking as many skills as possible since they can massively impact a survivor’s gameplay.
For example, Commando’s Tactical Slide is better than his default Tactical Dive in every single way. The Tactical Slide scales, with movement speed, can give you a small vertical jump if used in mid-air and can save you from dying of fall damage, while Tactical Dive is a simple roll that does significantly less.
How Beginners Can Unlock More Characters in Risk of Rain 2
Outside of the Commando, Huntress, or Railgunner (requires the Survivors of the Void DLC), all characters must be unlocked from completing challenges or achievements. To unlock all the characters, you must complete the following challenges.
Risk of Rain 2 beginners should not worry about unlocking every character immediately. You can use this guide and our accompanying build guides to help you focus on the few locked characters you really want to play.
You can use the following links to check out the accompanying guides to learn more about each additional unlockable character and how beginners should build them in Risk of Rain 2.
- Verified: Complete the first Teleporter event five times.
- Warrior: Reach and complete the third Teleporter event without dying.
- Washed Away: Beat the Game
- Engineering Perfection: Complete 30 stages.
- Guidance Offline: Defeat the unique boss on Siren’s Call by destroying six vulture nests.
- Pause: Free the Survivor suspended in time by paying ten Lunar Coins at the Bazaar Between Time.
- Power Plant: Repair the Broken Robot in the Abyssal Depths with a Fuel Array from an Escape Pod.
- True Respite: Obliterate yourself at the Obelisk in the Hidden Realm A Moment, Whole by using the Beads of Fealty.
- …To Be Left Alone: Complete the Void Fields, which is accessible through the Bazaar Between Time.
Void Fiend (Requires Survivors of the Void DLC)
- Dragged Below: Escape the Planetarium or complete wave 50 in the Simulacrum.
When deciding which items to obtain, always try to go for items that benefit your character in specific, are generally fantastic, or indefinitely scale based on the length of your run. Items like Weeping Fungus scale with how much health you obtain over the course of a run, making them always scale with your Survivor and whatever items you pick up.
If you are interested in the specifics, we have many tier lists for each rarity, including Common, Uncommon, Legendary, Lunar, and Void items in Risk of Rain 2. We also have a guide for each respective Survivor in the game. Keeping informed on what each item does and how they stack is very important for Risk of Rain 2 beginners to understand to improve at the game.
Warp Up on our Beginners Guide for Risk of Rain 2
We hope you enjoyed our beginner guide for Risk of Rain 2. There are lots of things to learn in this beloved Roguelike, but luckily we have tons of guides to help you. If you enjoyed our guide and want to learn more about finishing your Risk of Rain 2 runs, check out our guide for beating Risk of Rain 2 and obtaining every ending.
Happy Hunting, Survivors!