How to Play Risk of Rain 2

Recently I’ve been playing a ton of Risk of Rain 2, and I really love this game. At first there’s so much to do that it’s almost overwhelming to new players, but after playing for a bit you’ll realize that the game is pretty easy to get into.

This short guide is aimed at new players and those looking for some beginner tips to help them along the way. I’ll cover basic gameplay mechanics and makes it as simple as possible so you can start playing as soon as possible.

Getting Started

Jumping into the game, the first thing you’ll notice is your character selection screen. If you just started then you’ll only have the Commando unlocked, so choose him and select Rainstorm difficulty.

It’s best that you start on this difficulty rather than Drizzle because it’ll force you to become better at the game.

The Gameplay Loop

The first thing I want to explain to you is the main gameplay loop. I made a little graphic to illustrate how the game’s stages play out. Every game starts out on stage 1, which can be one of 2 different environments. The goal is to find the teleporter, beat the boss, and progress to the next stage. 

The first 4 stages play out similarly, each having the chance to be one of 2 different environments. Teleporters are always on a different place every map, so you need to hunt for it to progress.

Stage 5 is where things get interesting. The teleporter here is called the Primordial Teleporter, and it can bring you to 2 different locations. The default location will bring you to the last stage, where you’ll face the final boss. Defeating the final boss and escaping will let you beat the game and end your run.

If you interact with the Primordial Teleporter prongs, you can set it to loop back to Stage 1, and you can repeat the loop until you die or Obliterate yourself at the Obelisk (more on that later).

Alternatively, on stage 5 you can teleport to an Artifact trial, and completing the trial will automatically loop your game back to stage 1.

It sounds complicated, but I think the image illustrates this pretty well. 

How to play

So with the loop explained, I’ll now give you a rundown of how the basic gameplay works. You start out in an escape pod with no accessories and no money. To get money, you need to open either the small Money Barrels or defeat enemies. Shrines of Blood will also give you money at the expense of a lot of your Health Points.

All around the map you’ll find chests and Multi shops that allow you to buy different items. These items power up your character and increase your survivability, damage output, and abilities. You’ll also notice the difficulty timer at the top right, which slowly increases the longer you play.

The timer forces you to work quickly and find the teleporter as soon as possible. Once you’ve found the teleporter and have enough accessories, you need to activate it and fight the boss.

Defeating the boss and powering up the teleporter will progress you to the next stage, and any leftover money will be converted to XP. 

You won’t have any money on the next level but your level, powerups, and drones will carry over. Speaking of drones, you can repair drones or turrets around the map using gold.

I don’t recommend repairing any stationary turrets because they don’t follow you, unless they happen to be right next to the teleporter. Health drones, gunner drones, and other drone types are insanely helpful though. Just make sure you don’t spend all your money on drones and not have enough for powerups. 

Repeat the same gameplay loop until you reach stage 5, Sky Meadow. Interact with the teleporter prongs to either loop the game or fight the final boss. Underneath Sky Meadow, there is a station that allows you to input artifact codes, which then takes you to a trial-specific to each artifact

What are Artifacts?

Artifacts are gameplay modifiers that change the basic rules of the game. These artifacts can do things such as many all enemies spawn as elites, or remove chests and make enemies drop items instead. Basically, they are simply ways to make the game either harder or more enjoyable. 

If you choose to loop the game, the only way to end the run without dying is to obliterate yourself at the obelisk. To access the Obelisk, you need to loop the game once and then get to stage 3, and a blue portal will appear after beating the boss. Proceed to the bottom of the level and choose the option to Obliterate Yourself.

Other info

Along the way, you’ll pick up Lunar Coins will allow you to open Lunar Pods or give to the Newt Alter. Giving a coin to the alter will cause a portal to appear after the boss that will take you to a hidden shop between levels.

The last thing you need to know is that each character requires a different challenge to unlock. I recommend going onto the Risk of Rain 2 wiki and checking out the unlock requirements for each character.

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