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Dauntless – What To Know Before Playing

Dauntless the co-op monster hunting RPG has just come out on the Nintendo Switch. Similar to Monster Hunter, you and your friends drop into an arena with your weapons to attack a nearby monster. Kill it before it kills you and you’ll be able to harvest some loot to build cool weapons and armour. The game is out now for free so sharpen your blades, pack your health potions, and jump aboard an airship! But before we set off to the Shattered Isles here’s a quick guide to get you ready.


Build Up Your Resources Before Hunting The Behemoth

Before you start fighting the behemoth on every hunt, make sure you go and grab some more plants and resources. You’ll need them as crafting materials later down the line. They’ll come in handy to craft some more Blitz Tonics or Barrage Grenades. Collecting enough crafting materials means you’ll never run out.


Dodge And Stay Alive

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Behemoths, the huge creatures that you fight in Dauntless, have huge health pools, and each fight is a lengthy experience. Don’t expect to be able to string together a few combos and bring the battle to a close; you’re going to have to deal with multiple stages. As such, staying alive and healthy is vital. The dodge in Dauntless is very forgiving, and you can use it to cancel out of most attacks. If you feel like you’re going to get hit, rethink your strategy and dodge. It can be frustrating if you’re using a slow but heavy-hitting weapon like the axe or hammer, but your team will thank you for your restraint.

Failure in Dauntless isn’t common. The danger meter in the upper right corner of the screen ticks up every time a player goes down and needs a revive. If you hit 100% danger, players can’t revive allies, and you can only get back up if you have one of your three self-revives. If all players die with 100% danger, the hunt is over. The only way to lower the danger level is to either kill the Behemoth and complete the hunt. Or deal enough damage that the Behemoth runs away. If you go down early in a hunt, it’s best to save your self-revives — let a friend pick you up. Play safe and try not to go down. You’ll even get better rewards for staying alive.


Try Out All The Weapons

Dauntless has six different weapon types. And while you may have an idea of what your preferred weapon will be, it’s worth giving each of them a go. Different weapons types have different advantages against certain boss types. So it’s worth your while getting comfortable using a few different weapons so you can switch between them when taking on different Behemoths.

Weapons like swords and axes are good for cutting off Behemoth tails (netting you and your team extra loot), while hammers are perfect for stunning monsters and breaking off pieces. If you ever get confused about what your weapon type can do, open the menu and check out the move list — it’ll tell you everything you need to know. You’ll eventually get a quest to try a hunt with each weapon, but it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with all of them early.


Upgrade Your Weapons And Armour With Cells

Cells are items that give you ‘perks’ when socketed into weapons or armour. This will allow you to further customise your gear to suit your needs and playstyle. There are a number of different of Cell types from five different categories—Power, Defence, Mobility, Utility or Technique. They come in uncommon, rare, and epic tiers. 

Your primary source for Cells, early on, is from the Cores that are obtained by completing quests and hunts. Use one of the Core Breakers in Ramsgate to reveal the Cells contained within (perks are random). It’s worth noting that the effects gained from Cells stack, so if you have the same type equipped in two or three pieces of gear, you’ll gain the effect of all three—up to a maximum value of +6. As you progress further into the game, you’ll also be able to purchase Cells. Or combine existing ones to increase their tier and make them more powerful.


Use A Neutral Element First

For the first 10 levels of Dauntless, you’ll encounter five different element types: Shock, Blaze, Frost, Terra, and Neutral. Different elements are better or worse at taking down different Behemoths, and the same is true for armor. But Neutral is neither good or bad at fighting any element type. It’s neutral.

At the start of the game, you’re low on Behemoth parts and currency — making it hard to build a lot of different armour and weapon sets. You’ll eventually get a quest to reach level 10 and equip some high-level weapons and armour. As tempting as it might be to specialize in an element early on, grind out Neutral orbs from Neutral Behemoth patrols first. You won’t have any advantage against Behemoths, but they won’t have any advantage against you either. After you’ve hit level 10 and have a collection of parts, you can start to diversify your loadout. Make sure you really like that weapon though because the grind is real.


Hunt’s Scale So Don’t Be Afraid To Go Solo

The Behemoth’s health will scale, depending on the number of players on the hunt. So if you constantly find yourself grouped with slayers that go AFK or insist on gathering resources while you’re left smacking the Behemoth around, you may want to consider going solo or grouping with just one or two friends. You can do this by selecting ‘Private Hunt’ option at the bottom of the Map screen.


Remember To Use Your Lantern Ability

One of the first few Dauntless quests you receive requires you to kill either a Skarn or a Shrike, then craft one of the relevant lanterns. Your lantern is crucial in Dauntless because it’s an auto-regenerating ability that can provide a much-needed crutch during intense fights. The Skarn lantern grants a 250 hit point shield for six seconds if you press the button once, but if you hold it down, you’ll get an aura ability that deals 900 Terra damage to nearby enemies for 10 seconds. The Shrike lantern, on the other hand, provides a 40% speed buff for six seconds, or if you hold it, you’ll get another aura to buff your teammates with 15% increased move and attack speed for 15 seconds. Remember to use your lantern ability at all times!


Pick Up Deathmarks Everyday

Deathmarks are collectable items that appear around the player base of Ramsgate. There are ten to find every day and they’ll spawn in different locations so you may need to hunt around for them. They’re pretty easy to spot though and are most commonly found on the sides of buildings or in alleyways—though occasionally you’ll find one on a roof. Each Deathmark you pick up will add to the progress of your Hunt Pass for the current season. Most of the Hunt Pass levels you obtain will reward you with items such as cosmetics, gear, consumables, or crafting materials. For the five minutes, it will take you to run around and gather them, collecting Deathmarks is certainly worthwhile.


Use Healing Rifts

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The behemoths you fight may look as if they can wander all over the island arenas. But the locations they make their last stand at all have one common feature: a crack in the earth shining with blue light. The game does nothing to explain that this is actually a healing rift; if you’ve run out of potions, using this ruptured earth will replenish a significant portion of your health. The rifts are not bottomless, however, and can only be used a handful of times. The light from the fissure decreases with each use, so you can easily judge how many heals are left in it. It’s best using these as a last resort, and keep in mind that other players will need them, too. Please don’t be a heal hog.


Dauntless is free to play and is available on the PlayStation 4, PC on the Epic Games Store, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.