Dark and Darker Beginner's Guide - Dark and Darker Guide - IGN (2024)


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Dark and Darker is a brutal dungeon-crawler, and it’s quite normal to be defeated on your first run. That said, understanding the game’s objective and combat system will significantly increase your chances of success. This Dark and Darker beginner’s guide will explain every essential bit of information to get started.

Pick a Class

First things first, you need to pick one of the six Dark and Darker classes. The game uses a classic RPG class system with both melee and ranged characters, dealing either physical or magical damage. In short, the Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue are melee characters, the Cleric combines melee with magical abilities, the Wizard is a magical damage dealer, and the Ranger uses a bow.


For new players, it’s recommended to start with the Fighter class, a straightforward and well-balanced swordsman.

Equip Perks and Skills

You don’t have to worry about armor and weapons yet, but you can already choose a perk (passive ability) and two skills (active abilities). The skills are triggered using the Q and E buttons.

While in the lobby, choose the Class tab to find the Perk and Skill menu. Every class has different abilities, but it’s usually a good idea to start with a healing ability (if available) and one that can temporarily increase damage. For the Fighter class, Second Wind is a very useful beginner skill.

Choose the Right Map

At the moment of writing, Dark and Darker has the following maps: The Forgotten Castle, which allows groups of one to three players and has normal loot drops, The Goblin Caves, which is similar to the Forgotten Castle but only allows solo players, and the ‘High-Roller’ version of The Forgotten Castle, which has better loot but comes with an entrance fee.

For now, you should start on the free Forgotten Castle map, even if you’re playing solo. If you wish to know why, have a look at our Dark and Darker solo player tips.

The Objective: How to Escape a Dungeon

Before entering your first game, it’s important to understand Dark and Darker’s concept. Basically, the game drops you inside a creepy dungeon swarming with enemies, and your goal is to gather valuable loot and escape the dungeon through a portal before the timer runs out. If your character gets killed, you lose all your loot.

The timer can be found in the lower right corner of the screen, above the minimap. As time goes on, the safe zone (white circle) gets smaller, while the area infected by the Death Swarm (red area) becomes larger. If you find yourself in the Death Swarm area, you will gradually lose HP.


As you move to the middle of the map, start looking for portal stones. Before you open a portal, know that the blue portals teleport you to safety, but the red ones drop you on an even more dangerous dungeon floor. As a beginner, go for the blue portal!

Find New Gear

As soon as you start a new dungeon run, look around for chests. With a bit of luck, they contain weapons or armor pieces suitable for your class. Don’t just place them in your inventory; equip them immediately! This will boost your chances of survival.

Once you’ve managed to escape with some loot, you can equip that for your next run. If you have Gold, it’s a good idea to buy some healing items, especially if your team doesn’t have a Cleric. While there’s a risk of losing your equipment, you will always begin a new game with your class’ starter gear, so you'll never be completely vulnerable.

Beware of PvP Encounters

This dungeon-crawler features both player-versus-environment (PvE) and player-versus-player (PvP) combat, which means you’ll be facing computer-driven monsters as well as other players.

The big difference between the two is that PvE monsters tend to be predictable, as their attacks and general behavior is always the same. Once you’ve gained some experience, you’ll know exactly what you’re up against. Of course, this isn’t the case for PvP combat, which tends to be far more challenging. As a beginner, it’s best to avoid PvP encounters during your first few games.

Played your first few matches and want to improve? Take a look at our Dark and Darker Tips and Tricks!

Up Next: Dark and Darker Solo Player Guide

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Top Guide Sections

  • Dark and Darker Maps
  • Dark and Darker Classes
  • Dark and Darker Tips and Tricks
  • Dark and Darker Update and Next Wipe Schedule

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Dark and Darker Beginner's Guide - Dark and Darker Guide - IGN (1)

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Dark and Darker Beginner's Guide - Dark and Darker Guide - IGN (2024)
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