Bandit is one of the newest survivors in Risk of Rain 2, recently added in the anniversary update. He is a swift and stealthy outlaw who likes to ambush enemies from the flank. In doing so, he deals tons of damage with daggers and his shotgun-rifle.
How to Unlock Bandit in Risk of Rain 2
Bandit – Warrior
Bandit is one of the easiest characters in Risk of Rain 2 to unlock. To get Bandit’s Warrior achievement, you only have to beat Stage 3 in any run. Originally this challenge was for unlocking Huntress but now rewards you with Bandit since Huntress is currently accessible at the start of the game thanks to the release of Survivors of the Void. Before Bandit was released, Mul-T was the first listed unlockable character after Huntress.”
How Do Bandit’s Abilities in Risk of Rain 2 Work?
Bandit’s passive is Backstab, which causes all attacks from behind to become critical strikes. While the angle behind the target is defined as anywhere within a 180-degree radius behind the target. So long as you are within this range, all attacks will be guaranteed crits. This means you can activate on-crit abilities, and any on-hit effects activated with this passive-active will also crit.
Burst – Bandit’s Default Primary Ability
In Risk of Rain 2, Bandit’s first primary ability is Burst. Bandit fires his shotgun which deals a burst for 5×100% base damage and can hold up to four shells. Burst has a proc coefficient of 0.5 x 5, allowing for somewhat consistent item procs. This rolls on-hit effects at half the natural rate, but they have a chance of activating 5 times with one move.
After firing, there is a short delay before requiring a reload, but reload speed scales with attack speed. Reloading cannot be performed while making other attacks but may be reloaded while invisible. This also allows you to unload a full mag of bullets on a target before retreating out of combat.
Bandit’s second primary ability is Blast. Bandit fires a rifle for 300% base damage and holds up to four shells. Blast also has a standard proc coefficient of 1.0. Reloading for Blast works exactly as Burst does. To unlock Blast for your Bandit build in Risk of Rain 2, you need to complete the Classic Man challenge. This ability allows you to be slightly more efficient at range, but since Bandit’s passive encourages him to get close, we still recommend the Burst.
To finish the Classic Man challenge, you must successfully use Lights Out to reset your cooldowns 15 times in a row. Unlike completing the Piercing Wind Challenge to unlock the Huntress in Risk of Rain 2, you can efficiently farm Classic Man just by executing low-health enemies instead of trying to execute them all in rapid succession. You can easily farm this on Drizzle against Wisps, since they die in one hit at the easiest difficulty.
Serrated Dagger – Bandit’s Default Secondary Ability
Bandit’s first secondary skill is Serrated Dagger. With this ability, Bandit performs a lunge forward, slashing for 360% base damage. Serrated Dagger has a proc coefficient of 1.0. If the damage dealt is a crit, Serrated Dagger also causes hemorrhaging. The bleed stack of hemorrhage deals 2000% base damage over 15 seconds and can stack.
Since you will be trying to utilize Serrated Dagger from behind, the hemorrhage bleed will always deal critical damage. It’s important to keep in mind that Bandit scales very well with cooldown-reduction items and Back-Up Magazines in his build due to this indefinite stacking in Risk of Rain 2.
Bandit’s other secondary skill is Serrated Shiv. Bandit throws a dagger for 240% base damage, and critical strikes apply hemorrhage like Serrated Dagger. Both Serrated Shiv and Serrated Dagger can be used while sprinting. This ability is great if you’re going for a midrange speed build, but you’re missing out on 2.4x base damage on crits.
To unlock Serrated Shiv for your Bandit build in Risk of Rain 2, you must complete the Sadist challenge. To finish the Sadist challenge, you must kill a monster with 20 stacks of hemorrhage. Bosses count as monsters, making them the ideal targets for this challenge. Activating the Shrine of the Mountain can help summon stronger bosses to ensure they won’t die while building up bleed stacks.
Related Article: Guide on How to Beat Every Risk of Rain 2 Ending
In Risk of Rain 2, Bandit’s only utility skill for his build is Smoke Bomb. Bandit throws a smoke bomb at his feet and becomes invisible. When the smoke bomb explodes, it deals 200% damage, stuns, then does 200% damage again. Smoke Bomb can be used while sprinting and applies upward momentum at the start and end of the abilities duration in the air.
Bandit also gains a slight speed boost while invisible, and using any ability during the ability instantly ends the invisibility. If you have enough cooldown reduction, you can chain invisibility proc-effects together. Still, there is a small moment where Bandit becomes visible between bursts since using any ability; even Smoke Bomb ends the previous invisibility. Only activating equipment will not end Smoke Bomb prematurely.
Specials in Risk of Rain 2 for Bandit
Bandit’s first special is Lights Out. Bandit fires a shot from his revolver, which deals more damage based on the targets missing HP. Each shot does 600% base damage, and if the shot kills a monster, it resets all of Bandit’s cooldowns. Lights Out also refills all reloaded shots in Bandit’s Primary skills and resets Lights Out’s cooldown.
Bandit’s Unlockable Special Ability – Desperado
Bandit’s other special skill is Desperado. Desperado also deals more damage the lower the target’s HP is and deals the same damage as Lights Out. However, landing a killing blow with Desperado grants stacking tokens which increase Desperado’s damage by 10% per stack.
It’s also worth noting that since kills are tracks with a buff, all bonus damage is lost upon advancing to the next stage. So your extra damage with Desperado grows higher with the more kills you obtain in one stage, which makes it suitable for long stage-clears where you attempt to buy nearly every item in the area.
To unlock Desperado for your Bandit build, you must complete the B&E challenge in Risk of Rain 2. You must kill the final boss with Lights Out to finish this challenge, which can be really hard to pull off efficiently especially since you have to wait so long into a run in order to pull it off.
What Should Your Bandit Build Include in Risk of Rain 2?
Although Bandit has a unique playstyle, he can rely on several different build paths in Risk of Rain 2 without having to entirely dip into and dedicate himself to one specific type of build. Since Bandit has a guaranteed 100% critical hit chance from behind, on-crit effects work best on him over anything else. Items like Predatory Instincts, Harvester’s Scythe, Shatterspleen, and Laser Scope all benefit the gunslinging Outlaw without needing a high crit-chance.
Since every single pellet from Burst counts for Predatory Instincts’ ramping attack speed, we would argue that it is the best item to include in your Bandit build. This is especially true since attack speed makes Burst’s cooldown lower.
In addition to these items, adding mobility items in Risk of Rain 2, like Paul’s Goat Hoof, Mocha, Wax Quail, and others, synergize very well with Bandit’s hit-and-run playstyle and this build. Raw damage buffs and attack speed greatly benefit Outlaw, alongside any cooldown-reduction items or on-kill effects like Will-o’-the-wisps.
In terms of abilities to use with this Bandit build, we prefer all of Risk of Rain 2’s default abilities for him. The multiple critting pellets of Burst, the early wave clear of Serrated dagger, and the safety net resets that Lights Out provides are too good to pass up on. Feel free to experiment, but these abilities synergize better with Bandit’s passive than their variants.
Related Guide: How to Play and Build the Commando in Risk of Rain 2
Tips & Tricks to Playing with Bandit in Risk of Rain 2
- Serrated Dagger and Serrated Shiv reset Bandit’s aerial momentum, allowing you to avoid fall damage.
- While Invisible from Smoke Bomb, enemies will behave as if Bandit is still in the original location where Smoke Bomb is cast.
- Using a skill to exit Smoke Bomb mid-air will make Bandit perform a mid-air jump, which also can be used to avoid fall damage. You can jump, cast Smoke Bomb, and attack to perform effectively 3 separate jumps.
- Burst, Blast, Lights Out, and Desperado are affected by Soldier’s Syringe, increasing attack speed & will cause these attacks to come out faster.
- Attack Speed items added to your Bandit build also increase the reload speed of Burst and Blast.
- The Lysate Cell in Risk of Rain 2 benefits both Desperado and Lights out, allowing you multiple changes to ramp up Desperado’s damage or more charges to reset cooldowns with Lights Out.
- Chaining multiple jumps from Smoke Bomb alongside Lights Out resets earlygame might allow you to get to a Newt Altar that would normally be inaccessible to low-mobility Survivors.
Wrapping Up our Risk of Rain 2 Bandit Build and Playstyle Guide
That’s our guide for everything you need to know to build and play Bandit in Risk of Rain 2. Bandit has a great variety in his playstyle, allowing you to play more up close or at a distance. Also, the choice between constantly resetting your cooldowns or slowly becoming a high stacking powerhouse at the end of each stage makes for tons of replayability.
However, we understand that if you don’t enjoy looking for opportunities to strike at the enemy’s backs, Bandit can become a bit frustrating and difficult to play during the early game or during Risk of Rain 2 solo play. Despite Bandit’s drawbacks, he is still immensely fun to play once runs start to get into the mid/late game, allowing Bandit’s backstab crits to truly shine.
For more great Risk of Rain 2 survivor guides, check out our guide comparing the Shrine of Order in Risk of Rain 2 to the other shrines in the game. Good luck out there! Feel free to leave us a comment or a question below. We love to hear from our readers!