how to play dark and darker guide
by Samuel James in

Dark and Darker is a demanding dungeon-crawler, and it’s common to get obliterated on your initial attempt. However, familiarizing yourself with the game’s objectives and combat mechanics can significantly enhance your chances of success. This comprehensive beginner’s guide will give insight into how to play Dark and Darker and cover all the crucial information needed to get started.

Pick your class

To begin, players must choose one of the six available classes in Dark and Darker. The game features a traditional RPG class system, with characters specializing in either melee or ranged combat and dealing physical or magical damage. The Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue are melee characters; the Cleric combines melee with magical abilities, the Wizard deals magic damage, and the Ranger utilizes a bow (go figure).

For new players, it is advisable to start with the Fighter class, a balanced and straightforward swordsman, which allows you to learn the ropes easier than some of the other options.

Choosing your Skills and Perks

Don’t worry about armor and weapons just yet, but you should select your perk/passive ability and two skills (active abilities). The skills are activated using the Q and E buttons on your keyboard.

Whilst in a lobby, you can access the Class tab to find the Perk and Skill menu. Each class has unique abilities, but starting with a healing ability (if available) and one that temporarily boosts damage is advisable at the start. For the Fighter class, the beginner skill “Second Wind” is an advantageous option to start out with.

Select the Appropriate Map 

Currently, Dark and Darker offer the following maps: The Forgotten Castle, which accommodates groups of 1 to 3 players and features standard loot drops. The Goblin Caves, similar to the Forgotten Castle but only allows solo players, and the pay-to-enter version of The Forgotten Castle, which boasts improved loot but requires an entrance fee.

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It’s generally recommended to start on the free Forgotten Castle map, even if playing solo. 

How to play Dark and Darker? All questions answered

How to Escape a Dungeon/map

Before embarking on your first game in “Dark and Darker,” it’s crucial to understand the game’s concept. The game drops you in a creepy dungeon filled with enemies, and your objective is to collect valuable loot and escape the dungeon through a portal before the timer runs out. If your character dies, all your loot will be lost forever.

The timer is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen, above the minimap. As the timer progresses, the safe zone (represented by a white circle) shrinks, while the Death Swarm infected area (represented by a red area) expands. If you enter the Death Swarm area, you will gradually lose HP. It’s the same concept as a battle royale game. 

As you move towards the center of the map, start searching for portal stones. Before opening a portal, be aware that blue portals teleport you to safety, while red portals drop you to an even more dangerous dungeon floor. As a beginner, we’d recommend that you choose the blue portal.

Gear up

Upon starting a new dungeon run in Dark and Darker, keep an eye out for chests. They may contain weapons or armor pieces that are suitable for your class. Don’t just store them in your inventory; equip them immediately for improved survival chances. You never know what’s around the corner. 

Once you’ve successfully escaped with some loot, you can use it for your next run. If you have Gold, purchasing some healing items is advisable, especially if your team does not have a Cleric. Although there is a risk of losing your equipment, you will always start a new game with your class’s starting gear, ensuring that you are never entirely vulnerable.

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PvP & PvE

In Dark and Darker, players encounter player versus environment (PvE) and player versus player (PvP) combat. This means that both computer-controlled monsters and other players will challenge you throughout your adventures.

PvE monsters tend to have predictable behavior and attacks, which becomes easier to understand the more you play the game. On the other hand, PvP combat is more unpredictable and challenging. As a beginner, avoiding PvP encounters during the early stages of gameplay is recommended. Nothing can be more frustrating when learning a new game than being ‘ganked’ by others consistently. 

dark and darker pvp 1

Beginner Tips and Tricks

Follows some of the tips and tricks we have outlined below to stay ahead of the pack and learn the game’s nuances as fast as possible.

Familiarize Yourself with Weapon Attacks 

The weapons in Dark and Darker have distinct attack animations and reach. Take some time to get comfortable with the way your equipped weapon moves and swings when executing attacks. Some weapons also have an alternate swing when right-clicking.

Depending on the weapon you’re using, you may experience difficulty hitting targets in close quarters or hitting mobs that are low to the ground or in the air. With experience, these challenges will become easier to overcome, but it can also be helpful to carry alternative weapons in your secondary weapon slot.

Combat Positioning 

If playing as part of a team, it’s crucial to pay attention to your positioning relative to other team members during combat. Spellcasters and Rangers are particularly at risk of hitting allies with their attacks instead of the intended target. As a ranged player, it’s important to ensure that you avoid hitting your melee teammates by accident.

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When possible, avoid positioning yourself directly behind melee teammates and instead move to the side. Instead of both fighting in a narrow passageway with one player behind the other, move into a larger room and allow the melee player to attract enemy attention while you maneuver to the side.

If you’re a melee player, try to move in a predictable manner if possible, especially if a Cleric is trying to buff you. Avoid fighting the same target as another melee player, especially if you’re using a weapon with a wide arc. If necessary, position yourself on the opposite side of the target.

The Wizard’s “Chain Lightning” spell has the potential to jump to and damage allies. Use this spell with caution.

Effective communication is key when playing with others. Let your teammates know when you need them to move in a specific way.

Selling Loot and Trading with Players 

After successfully extracting from a dungeon, visit the merchants and exchange any unwanted items for gold.

If you come across an item that is particularly valuable, but not usable by your class, consider trading with other players. Alternatively, if you’re feeling generous, bring the item into a game and drop it for a friend who can use it. Please note that items cannot be traded between characters.

BOOM, Headshot

Hitting an enemy is a good start, but hitting them where it counts the most is even better. As a general rule, headshots inflict the highest damage to your opponent. To practice this technique and see the difference, utilize the dummies in the waiting area before you’re thrust into a map.

Samuel James is a passionate writer with a love for MMO and ARPG games. When he's not busy exploring virtual worlds, he enjoys taking his dog for long walks and writing detailed gaming guides for XPGoblin. He also loves watching sci-fi films, with a particular fondness for the works of Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.
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