Dark and Darker is a brutal fantasy dungeon crawler that mixes might and magic for an additive experience similar to Escape from Tarkov or Hunt: Showdown. Players must learn several niche mechanics to improve their chances of survival. One of the most important skills in Dark and Darker is learning how to block. This skill is most important if you play as a Fighter or a Cleric.
While contouring your body and angling yourself to evade enemy attacks can sometimes be the easiest way to avoid incoming damage, there will be a time when you run out of space to maneuver out of your foe’s reach, and you must then raise your shield to defend yourself.
How to Block in Dark and Darker
When most games are described or have the tagline of “hardcore,” it is usually over-exaggerated. However, Dark and Darker lives up to its hardcore title with many unforgiving elements in combat, such as its blocking mechanics.
In most other games, one can raise their shield and block almost any attack coming from the front. But in Dark and Darker, it is not that simple; one must angle their shield and body against the oncoming attack.
If your enemy is attacking you with an overhead strike, you should face your shield upwards and aim your camera or crosshair at the blade, or even higher, depending on the shield.
Another example would be if a Rogue dual-wielding daggers is attacking you; you should push your shield towards where the small jabs are aimed. If you are being stabbed in the face, hold your shield up or crouch down to make yourself less exposed.
Related Article: How to Get Started in Dark and Darker for Beginners
All Shields in Dark and Darker
Throughout the recent playtests, there are currently four shields that you can use to block with in Dark and Darker:
- Buckler (Cleric & Fighter)
- Round Shield (Cleric & Fighter)
- Heater Shield (Cleric & Fighter)
- Pavise (Fighter & Ranger)
Between the buckler, round shield, and heater shield, the heater shield is easily the best choice. It offers the most protection, covers more of the body than the other two options, and makes it significantly easier to block attacks.
The Pavise is an interesting choice, serving as a gigantic tower shield that requires both hands to use and which allows you to block any attack. It is good for pushing through doorways or countering enemy Rangers, but unfortunately, it is too big for us to recommend.
When it comes to blocking arrows, it is a bit simpler than trying to match the swing of an axe or sword. Skeleton archers will always aim for your head, so raising your shield over your face while you approach the undead is one of the easiest attacks to block in Dark and Darker.
When facing enemy Rangers, you can apply a similar rule; however, if you have a smaller shield, such as a Buckler, your chest and lower body will be exposed. Therefore, stay on the move or duck into cover.
Can you Block Magic in Dark and Darker?
In fact, yes, you can block magic in Dark and Darker. This is a pretty cool change from many fantasy games. It really helps keep mage casters’ power in check without nerfing them overall.
Not all magic is blockable in Dark and Darker, but there are moments when it can be helpful. A shield can fully negate some spells, such as a Wizard’s Magic Missile. Other spells like Lightning Strike, Chain Lightning, and Judgement cannot be blocked, so if you are up against a magic caster, staying on the move is better to avoid their spells rather than relying on your shield to absorb the force of a Wizard’s Fireball.
That’s our short guide for blocking in Dark Souls and Dark Souls II. Blocking shouldn’t be your primary way of defending yourself, as players won’t let up on their attacks. Use your shield to block and back away from enemy players until you find a favorable position to counterattack, or wait for your teammates to come to your aid.
If you enjoyed our quick guide and want to learn more about the game, check out our other guides for tips and tricks to boost your survival rate and chance to extract from the dungeons in Dark and Darker.
For now, good hunting!