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Darkest Dungeons 2 character guide

darkest dungeon 2
(Image credit: Red Hook Studios)

There are several characters in Darkest Dungeon 2, and they all break the mould of typical RPG knights, clerics, and rogues. You won't be able to unlock every character on your first playthrough—trust me, I tried—and you'll need to balance your characters' mental health against the urge to build an unstoppable team because, shockingly, not everyone gets along.

With all that in mind, here's each character currently available in Darkest Dungeon 2 and a breakdown of their special abilities.

Darkest Dungeon 2 character guide 

At this point in Early Access there are nine characters to recruit in Darkest Dungeon 2, called Heroes. You can only field four Heroes at a time, but if one dies, another character can join your party at the next Inn (if you make it there alive). 

Darkest Dungeon 2 doesn't allow you to stack characters of the same class, forcing characters with different personality quirks to make nice. Fostering positive relationships between teammates is the obvious goal here, though it's not easily attainable. Still, it's nothing a bottle of laudanum or a quick game of cards can't solve.

More items, afflictions, and quirks will be added to Darkest Dungeon 2's randomly sorted mix as you earn Hope on each playthrough, too, which is all the more reason to push that carriage as far as you can on each run. Just keep an eye on stress levels, as they can cause Heroes to develop negative quirks which can make things all the more difficult. Map path and encounter choices you make along the way will affect them, so you'll need to weigh the negative and positive consequences.

Now that you understand the basics, here are all the characters you can choose and what they bring to the table.

Grave Robber - Audrey

(Image credit: Red Hook Studios)

Audrey can play in any rank and many of her moves have high crit damage, so she has the potential to deal a lot of damage. She's quite an agile character, so if you want someone with a lot of movement and flexibility in battles then she's your gal.

Strengths:

  •  Can play in any rank 
  •  Stealth 
  •  Dodge 
  •  High crit damage 

Abilities:

  •  Pick to the face 
  •  Thrown dagger 
  •  Flashing daggers 
  •  Poison dart 
  •  Absinthe 
  •  Dead of night 
  •  Glint in the dark 
  •  Lunge 
  •  Pirouette 
  •  Repartee 
  •  Shadow fade 

Runaway - Bonnie

(Image credit: Red Hook Games)

Bonnie's attacks are mostly stealth and fire-orientated, with a good mix of offensive and defensive moves. Cauterize is a healing move that you can use three times, and many of her moves will remove certain buffs from enemies. She deals pretty decent damage, so having her front and centre works well.

Strengths:

  •  Front rank 
  •  Burn 
  •  Stealth 
  •  Support 

Abilities: 

  •  Searing strike 
  •  Firefly 
  •  Smokescreen 
  •  Run and hide 
  •  Hearthlight 
  •  Ransack 
  •  Cauterize 
  •  Controlled burn 
  •  Dragonfly 
  •  Firestarter 
  •  Backdraft 

Hellion - Boudica

(Image credit: Red Hook Studios)

Boudica has mostly strong melee attacks in her arsenal, as well as Adrenaline Rush and Raucous Revelry as healing moves. The vast majority of her attacks deal a lot of damage and ignore armour, making her a deadly addition to your team. 

Strengths:

  •  Front rank 
  •  High damage 
  •  Bleed 
  •  Bloodlust 

Abilities:

  •  Wicked hack 
  •  Iron Swan 
  •  Barbaric YAWP! 
  •  If it bleeds 
  •  Toe to toe 
  •  Bleed out 
  •  Bloodlust 
  •  Adrenaline rush 
  •  Breakthrough 
  •  Raucous revelry 
  •  Howling end 

Plague Doctor - Paracelsus

(Image credit: Red Hook Games)

Paracelsus is the obvious healer choice if, like me, your heroes keep mysteriously dying. Many of his moves require a target having less than 50% of their HP left, but that shouldn't be an issue if you've built a damage-heavy team. Magnesium rain will burn and clear corpses, which is also pretty useful if a bit gory.

Strengths:

  •  Back rank 
  •  Blight 
  •  Blinds 
  •  Healer 

Abilities:

  •  Noxious blast 
  •  Blinding gas 
  •  Incision 
  •  Battlefield medicine 
  •  Ounce of prevention 
  •  Emboldening vapours 
  •  Plague grenade 
  •  Disorientating blast 
  •  Indiscriminate science 
  •  Cause of death 
  •  Magnesium rain 

Man-at-Arms - Barristan

(Image credit: Red Hook Games)

Barristan is an absolute powerhouse who will surely last the length of your run. He deals an impressive amount of damage and can withstand even the deadliest of attacks. He can withdraw if things get too hot and has a tonne of armour. He's a stalwart member of the team and honestly one of the best to carry you through multiplay playthroughs. He also hates Audrey.

Strengths:

  •  Front rank 
  •  Guard 
  •  Durable 
  •  Riposte 

Abilities:

  •  Crush 
  •  Rampart 
  •  Defender 
  •  Bolster 
  •  Hold the line 
  •  Bellow 
  •  Retribution 
  •  Command 
  •  Stand fast 
  •  Courageous abandon 
  •  Strategic withdrawal 

Highwayman - Dismas

(Image credit: Red Hook Games)

Dismas comes with a pistol and melee weapon, allowing him to wield two different attack styles. Pistol attacks often knock enemies back and either weapon can cause a target to bleed, allowing you to use other party members to take them out faster. He can also destroy positive tokens with Highway Robbery, which will help in later battles.

Strengths:

  •  Can be any rank 
  •  High damage 
  •  Versatile 
  •  Riposte 

Abilities:

  •  Wicked slice 
  •  Pistol shot 
  •  Duelist's advance 
  •  Tracking shot 
  •  Take aim 
  •  Point blank shot 
  •  Grapeshot blast 
  •  Open vein 
  •  Double tap 
  •  Highway robbery 
  •  Double cross 

(Image credit: Red Hook Studios)

As it stands, we haven't unlocked the last three Heroes yet, but we do know their strengths so you can plan ahead and decide whether you're interested in recruiting them. 

Occultist

Strengths:

  •  Back rank 
  •  Ranged damage 
  •  Healer 
  •  Offensive support 

Leper

Strengths:

  •  Front rank 
  •  High damage 
  •  Self-sufficient 
  •  Durable  

Jester

Strengths:

  •  Any rank 
  •  Bleed 
  •  Stress heal 
  •  Support 

The first three games Lauren played on PC were Star Wars: X-Wing, Zoo Tycoon and Barbie Fashion Designer, which explains her love of all things space, strategy and aesthetically pleasing. Lauren recently joined PC Gamer as the deputy guides editor after three years of writing many dozens of Destiny 2 guides at VG247, as well as casually trying to shoehorn in The Witcher 3 articles wherever possible. When she's not trying to force everyone to play as a Warlock in Destiny 2, Lauren is either mastering her SEO abilities to help smash the competition, or patting one of her red sons.