Dark and Darker is another gritty and challenging extract looter shooter that follows in the footsteps of Escape from Tarkov, Hunt: Showdown, and Marauders. Dark and Darker is inspired and thrives on classic fantasy games and media themes and successfully captures that style popularized from the 90s.
Like classic DND, you must gather your party or delve into the depths of monster-filled dungeons alone in search of untold riches and glory. Like many extraction shooter games, the only way to make it big is to survive while grabbing as much gear and treasure as your backpack can carry.
There is a lot to learn down in the dungeons, and by playing several public playtests, we have found a few helpful tips to make your trips down into the dark a little easier when the next playtest rolls around.
1. Pick a Class that Matches Your Playstyle
Your journey starts with choosing a Class. For those who haven’t played Dark and Darker before, there are six different classes: Fighter, Ranger, Barbarian, Rogue, Cleric, and Wizard. Your class will decide your playstyle or role and the type of gear you are after.
Each class obtains different gear and has a play style which has its advantages and drawbacks. For example, the Fighter is the best all-around class, capable of using almost any weapon or armor in the game, including heavy plates and shields. They make great front liners but lack utility for anything outside of fighting.
On the other hand, the Wizard is very fragile, but if left alone, their magic can severely damage your team, especially in tight corridors. However, since Wizard is one of the hardest classes to play, this class will wipe out your entire team if they are good or sometimes blow themselves up with their magic. There is almost no in-between.
Give your class selection some careful thought before diving in. It will have a large impact on how fast you can get better at Dark and Darker.
2. The Gameplay Loop and Map Ring Keep the Pace Fast
For those who haven’t played an extraction shooter before, the gameplay loop boils down to the following:
- Enter the dungeon.
- Find gear and treasures from defeating enemies.
- Fight against other players who are doing the same.
- Find an extraction portal.
Dark and Darker does not have permadeath like Hunt: Showdown does, so any talents or progression you have made on your character will remain even if they die. However, you do lose all of your loot, gear, and everything else on your character if you die.
On top of this, Dark and Darker has a ring that slowly encloses the dungeon, like Fortnite or Apex Legends. So you must stay on the move to avoid the ring, but unlike other games, you must extract before the circle closes. If you are caught in the storm after this occurs, your character instantly dies, regardless of your current HP.
3. Melee Combat is Very Fluid and Skill-Based. You Need to Master it to Get Better at Dark and Darker
For most Dark and Darker classes, you will be focused on melee combat and need to know some vital facts.
Each melee weapon has a different ark. Your crosshair will change whenever you swing your weapon, corresponding to the direction your character will swing their weapon. The crosshair will constantly change if you chain attacks together or reset once you stop attacking.
4. Headshots Drastically Increase Your Damage
Headshots are obviously the most vital part to aim for in most video games, and Dark and Darker is no exception to this rule. Whether you’re using magic, arrows, or cold steel, headshots will always deal the most damage.
In Dark and Darker, headshots essentially deal almost double damage. This is why Barbarian builds in Dark and Darker can one-shot most light-armored classes with one chop to the head.
5. Blocking Requires Skill and Aiming
Blocking isn’t as simple as holding up your shield and automatically blocking any attack. To efficiently block, you must not only hold out your shield but contort or move your body toward the incoming attack. This is an important skill to master while trying to get better at Dark and Darker.
If a Barbarian is preparing to use an overhead slam, you must raise your shield and look upward to block the blade or crouch and aim up to block. Larger shields will offer more protection and make it easier to block attacks but will slow your character down as a result of carrying heavier equipment.
6. You can Block Magic & Arrows with a Shield
Not all magic can be blocked efficiently, but some spells can be blocked or have their damage reduced by having a shield. Most notably, the Wizards Magic Missile can be entirely blocked, but guarding against the Fireball will still damage your character.
Arrows can also be blocked from the Ranger class and skeleton archers. Both classes will want to aim for your head, so raise your shield slightly above the center of your screen to fully protect your skull. However, players will aim at your body if your shield can’t cover a large area, so stay on the move.
7. Movement & Sheathing Weapons
Movement plays a big part in Dark and Darker’s combat. Skill in this area is the difference between your character living and dying. The heavier the armor, the slower your character will move.
This makes Fighters, Clerics, and even Barbarians who wear plate armor very slow but tanky targets.
This weight can be temporarily countered by a Wizard’s Haste spell or using the Shrine of Speed.
Some games like CS:GO allow your character to move faster when they sheath your weapon. Darker and Darker is a bit like that. If you unequip your weapon, your character will move marginally faster. However, it’s often risky to put your weapon away when combat can be moments away.
Sheathing your weapon lets you close the distance on a Ranger or Wizard or assist in retreating from a fight. However, it’s risky because you cannot defend yourself, so use this Dark and Darker tip cautiously.
8. Listen to Every Sound in Dark and Darker to Get Better
Listening is one, if not the most vital, element for your survival. Everything makes noise down in the dungeon, and understanding how important sound is in Dark and Darker will help you get better and win in numerous situations.
Everything from player footsteps, what type of noise armor makes, NPC noises, or the sounds of magic being cast can be identified from several rooms away in Dark and Darker. Keeping a keen ear out for your surroundings can give you so much information, such as:
- How many players are there?
- Can you hear magic being cast, and if so, is it a Wizard or a Cleric?
- How loud are the enemy’s footsteps? Are they running barefoot or have heavy armor?
Doors, chests, and all interactive objects have a noise they emit when a player interacts with them. Listening to when players begin to loot or enter/ exit a room is critical for planning your next move.
All magic makes noise, from casting to preparing a spell. There are two spell casters: the Wizard and the Cleric. The Cleric’s spells are easy to identify because they have a sharp ring whenever they cast or prepare a spell.
Wizard spells can range from crackling electricity to swirling arcane or scorching fire. Listen closely for magic, because a Cleric might be buffing up their team before they storm into the room, or a Wizard has a Fireball ready for when you push them.
Footsteps have a considerable range, from light or heavy. Suppose you hear someone moving very quickly, but they’re barefoot; it’s likely a Rogue. Or the heavy clanking of armor could indicate a Fighter or Cleric. Enemy footsteps can take a bit longer to learn, but for most skeleton enemies you can listen for the cracking of their brittle bones moving in rooms enemies have previously inhabited.
9. Interaction Speed is a Critical Character Attribute to Maximize in Order to Get Better at Dark and Darker
Interaction Speed impacts your gameplay, especially when many chests and doors are involved. Having a high Interaction Speed allows your character to open chests, doors, portals, and much more, faster.
For instance, a Rogue build in Dark and Darker naturally starts with the highest interaction speed, letting their slippery fingers get into more chests and go through doors faster than other classes can. Meanwhile, Barbarian and Cleric builds have the lowest interaction speed, so if enemy players are chasing your team, let the Rogue unlock the door instead of the Cleric.
This stat affects the player’s ability to interact with:
- Looting chests/players
- Igniting/snuffing torches.
- Opening doors.
- Placing campfires
- Opening blue/red portals
- Reviving allies at an altar of sacrifice.
It’s a small note, but in the heat of the moment, your interaction speed can save a lot of precious time or even your character’s life. Especially since the dungeon is under constant threat of being shrouded in darkness, so stay on the move.
10. Inventory Management is Very Important
Lastly, the main reason why we are down in the depths is to get as much treasure and valuables as possible. Yet, you can only fit so much in your inventory.
Learning proper inventory management will come with time and knowing what items are more valuable. We are certain that more items will be added in future playtests, but here are a few ways to manage inventory space for now.
Some Items can Stack to Save Space
Healing items will stack if they are the same rarity. Potions, bandages, and all other healing items will stack if they are the same rarity. This can save you a lot of inventory space when you have three separate slots being taken up by unstacked green healing potions.
Item Size in Your Inventory isn’t Always Predictable
Some items will take up more slots when put into your backpack. This isn’t fully apparent, but several items shrink when you put them on your belt. Most noticeable are Pickaxes.
Pickaxes will take up one large section of your inventory, but when moved to your belt, they only take one square. This also goes for other times, such as Oil Lamps, which sell for a lot.
Items On Your Belt are Visible to Other Players
Finally, the items you have on your belt become visible. It’s a small note, but your items can give you away when you are playing stealthy. Blue, red, and white potions are extremely visible when moved onto your hotbar and are down on your character’s belt.
If you plan on sitting in a dark room, waiting for enemies to walk by, make sure there aren’t any bright red potions hanging from your belt loop to give you away in the darkness.
Pay attention to what spots out your enemies. This will help you get better at Dark and Darker even faster.
Wrap Up on our Tips and Tricks for Dark and Darker
That’s our list of tips and tricks you should know to get better at Dark and Darker. This old-school fantasy dungeon crawler has taken the world by storm. Employ some of our tips to best prepare for what’s to come. For newbies, you may also want to check out our in-depth Dark and Darker beginners guide.
That’s all for now. Good Hunting!