Darkest Dungeon – Starter Guide

Things You Should to Know

In General

If you’re playing the way the game wants you to play, you’re not likely to experience very many deaths either.

That said, the process of learning how to avoid that may indeed involved firing some people and losing some people. But it IS possible to avoid all that.


Sometimes, you’ll have a less used character in your Roster, with incomplete skills, un-upgraded gear, and possibly debilitating quirks. Because of the way the game works, you may be offered a duplicate hero on the Stagecoach, who is of the same, or higher level, and who has more unlocked skills and/or better gear. AND it might be a class you only want one of. That’s the time when you’d be likely to fire a character and replace it with the version on the Stagecoach. That’s the time when it would be financially advantageous to do so.

This is a game of risk vs reward

It is a game that looks at the impacts of cumulative stress on a dungeon party.

You must manage the risks

When the risks grow too high, you should retreat, abandon the specific mission you’re working on. Your Heroes are your most valuable resource, you spend time and money on them, building up their equipment, and their skills. Losing them (either voluntarily through firing, or through injury and death in a dungeon) is to be avoided.

You must deal with Stress

Stress is crippling, it destroys parties, it destroys mission attempts. And the best way to deal with it, is to stop it before it hurts you. That means targeting the enemy Stress damage dealers. Stun them, or kill them (or stun them and THEN kill them). But either way, they have to be top priority. Usually, they’re going to be in the R3 and R4 positions on the enemy team.

Stress should be dealt with inside the dungeon

Your parties should come out of the dungeons with little or no stress. That takes work, and knowledge. You can read some guides if you want, or you can learn by trial and error. Do be aware, trial and error may well be more fun. Camping skills play a very large part in this, making Medium and Long missions more beneficial to you than Short ones.


You need money. That’s what the Antiquarian is for. Bring an Antiquarian along every other, or at least every 3rd mission. Have her selected every time you open something or interact with a Curio and she’ll find extra loot. She’s tactically weaker than the other heroes, but she’s strategically stronger.

Other Tips

Expand your Stagecoach network and expand your Hero Barracks. Build up a roster of heroes to work with. Those are the two things you should focus on first. After that, the Blacksmith, the Guild Hall, and the Sanitarium.

Stun, stun, stun, stun, stun. Stunning is one of the most powerful moves you can make in the game. If I bring a Crusader, I equip him with Stun trinkets and Stunning is almost all he does. (Except for rare occasions when he throws out a Stress Heal). That’s also part of the reason why the Plague Doctor is one of the first characters you’re given. She’s blisteringly fast, and she can stun ANY rank (depending on selected skills). She can stun BOTH back ranks on the enemy team.

All four of the starting characters (Crusader, Highwayman, Plague Doctor and Vestal) are extremely strong characters.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 796 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips and writer on Game Cheat Codes. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game series was and still is the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. And the third part of HOMM is his favorite! He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games / indie games. When not immersed in games, Egor plays guitar, enjoys cooking and fishing.

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