What are the best Dark and Darker classes? As with many fantasy RPGs, you can choose between a wide selection of diverse character types. They range from mighty warriors and sneaky thieves to helpful healers and magical mages. Each one plays their role in the party to ensure that they survive monster attacks, sneaky minions, and hidden traps while looting dungeons for valuable treasure or upgraded gear.
With Dark and Darker now entering its early access period, we’ve broken down all the Dark and Darker classes to see if they rise above the rest as the best pick. A decent party composition is essential for a multiplayer game where partnerships between classes can bring out the best of their abilities. Here’s what you need to know about the best overall Dark and Darker class, as well as the best perks and skills to equip for the entire roster.
What is the best Dark and Darker class?
The best Dark and Darker class is the Cleric as they’re the most versatile. The Cleric’s high health pool allows them to act as a tank, while also providing healing support, and they’re capable of dealing bonus damage to undead enemies. They’re the total package for assisting the party in spelunking.
As most of the dungeon’s enemies are zombies, skeletons, and other undead creatures, the extra smiting damage can help clear the way. You can use the Cleric to support parties with a Wizard and a Barbarian to keep them healthy, or as a more offensive attacker with a Ranger placing campfires to help them replenish spells.
If the Cleric isn’t for you, you can create one of every Dark and Darker class and level them up individually. When you find a class that suits your play style, you should find fellow players who use other classes to diversify your party.
Every Dark and Darker class
There are eight Dark and Darker classes to choose from:
Of all the Dark and Darker classes, the Barbarian is the toughest on the roster. They’re beefy melee experts who aren’t afraid to get up close and personal. While a Barbarian is competent with many weapon types, we recommend using a battle axe as their primary weapon, alongside the throwable Francisca axes you start the game with.
Barbarians are slow, and there’s no real way to improve their base speed. However, there are ways to buff the rest of the Barbarian’s key stats, focusing on strength, health recovery, and the impact power of your axe strikes.
Best Barbarian perks
- Axe Specialization – gives +5 weapon damage to axe attacks.
- Crush – grants the ability to destroy unreinforced doors and sturdy containers. It also increases the impact power of your attacks by +1.
- Executioner – increase headshot damage with axes by 10%.
- Robust – increases max health by 10%.
Best Barbarian skills
- Rage – strength is increased by +15, movement speed is increased by 15%, while defense is reduced by 20% for six seconds.
- Savage Roar – frightens all enemies within a 7.5m range radius for six seconds, reducing their physical damage bonuses by 25%.
A Bard uses music to confuse or entertain crowds of enemies, making them a strong support type character that excels at distract enemies. They can also heal their friends and give them temporary buffs, making them an excellent addition to any band of adventurers.
However, their noisy profession makes them one of the least stealthy classes. Bards are pretty tricky to master their core gameplay mechanics. Songs require them to pluck the correct notes by timing right mouse button presses. If you can overcome these challenges, you may find them a highly effective alternative to other support-based classes.
Best Bard perks
- Melodic Protection – the caster’s physical damage reduction bonuses increase by 15% while playing music.
- Wanderer’s Luck – increases the chances of finding high-quality items when opening treasure chests.
- War Song – if a performance is successful, increase nearby allies’ weapon attack power by three for six seconds.
- Lore Mastery – increase all types of interaction speed by 25%.
Best Bard skills
- Encore – the next song is automatically played to the end without any input and will succeed.
- Music Memory – the Bard can store up to four sheet music as space permits.
The Cleric is the main healing class, requiring those who take on the role to monitor how their teammates are doing closely and if they need medical assistance. The Cleric also wears many other hats, as they heal and revive teammates and can also deal tons of damage to undead enemies with the right perks.
You will need to equip a Spell Memory skill in one of your slots to cast your healing, reviving, or buffing incantations, but this is just a small sacrifice to get the very best out of the Cleric. Initially, you can use up to five spells, but you can add five more by equipping Spell Memory. However, better magic has a higher equip cost, so you should consider which ones are essential for your party’s needs.
Best Cleric perks
- Requiem – resurrecting an ally revives them with 50% health instead of a sliver of life. When reviving an ally at the Altar of Sacrifice, you don’t need to sacrifice any of your own health.
- Advanced Healer – increase your base magical heal by five points.
- Undead Slaying – increases physical damage bonus by 20% when attacking undead monsters.
- Kindness – heal yourself for 15% of the spell’s total heal amount when healing another target.
Best Cleric skills
- Spell Memory – allows you to memorize spells to use in the dungeon.
- Smite – deals an additional ten magic damage to all enemies you hit within seven seconds.
If you like to fight with your fists but don’t want your stealth to be affected as much as it would be with a Barbarian, then you could consider the Fighter class. The Fighter is only class with two starter items: a sword and a shield. Not quite as strong as the Barbarian,= and with lower health, a fighter has better agility, so they are more balanced overall.
Which Fighter perks and skills you equip also reflect this balance, as it covers a range of playstyles. Whether increasing your movement speed, reducing damage taken, or recovering your HP slowly, you can mold the Fighter around your strengths and weaknesses perhaps more than any other class.
Best Fighter perks
- Defensive Expert – increases armor rating acquired by armor by 10%.
- Weapon Mastery – all primary and secondary weapons are available, regardless of class requirements. A 10% physical damage penalty applies for all non-native weapons.
- Counterattack – successful defense increases movement speed and attack speed by 10% for three seconds.
- Projectile Resistance – reduces damage taken from projectiles by 10%.
Best Fighter skills
- Sprint – increases movement speed by 50 for six seconds.
- Second Wind – recovers 50% of health over 12 seconds. Additionally, it eliminates the side effects of Adrenaline Rush. It’s single-use but rechargeable with campfires at a rate of a tier 6 spell.
During the playtest sessions, the Ranger was among the most popular Dark and Darker classes, allowing you to shoot down dangerous foes at a distance. Their starting weapon is the Recurve bow, one of the better-starting weapons available. They also begin the game with a campfire kit that allows you and the rest of your party to rest and recover, that is, if you can find a secluded enough place to do so safely.
Generally, the Ranger’s perks and skills rely on you using ranged weapons and attacks. For example, you can fire five arrows simultaneously in a spread pattern with the Multishot skill or speed up your next projectile when attacking with a long-range weapon using Quick Fire. If your party has a Cleric, the Ranger is a fantastic companion class that can spot danger from afar and replenish their ally’s healing spells.
Best Ranger perks
- Chase – detect recent enemy footsteps.
- Trap Mastery – installation time decreases dramatically when installing trap-type items.
- Nimble Hands – shoot 15% faster when using a bow.
- Enhanced Hearing – can hear enemy footstep sounds from farther away.
Best Ranger skills
- Multishot – when attacking with a bow-type weapon, fires five arrows at a horizontal angle simultaneously. Two of these arrows deal 50% of the base damage, two deal 75% of the base damage, and one deals 100% of the base damage, all for a total of 350% damage if every arrow hits a single target.
- Quick Fire – when attacking using a bow-type weapon, increases the action speed by 50% for eight seconds.
As the most agile class, what the Rogue lacks in health and strength, they make up for in movement speed and agility. Their quick attack sees them attack using repeated pokes with the small Rondel daggers. A Rogue also has limited access to ranged combat as they start with three throwable knives.
Of course, a Rogue specializes in stealth, which allows for some excellent perks and skills, including the ability to steal items from enemies or pick locks without requiring a lockpick. They’re perhaps a bit harder to use in combat than any of the other classes, but being able to hide from your foes can make PvP fights a little more unpredictable.
Best Rogue perks
- Back Attack – increases physical damage bonus by 30% when attacking from behind the target.
- Stealth – if you are hiding, you can move ten steps while crouching or slow walking.
- Lockpick Expert – grants the ability to pick locks without a lockpick.
- Trap Detection – highlights nearby traps, which can then be disarmed.
Best Rogue skills
- Rupture – the next successful attack causes the target to bleed for 20 physical damage over five seconds. This buff is consumed if an attack hits an object or your target.
- Hide – become invisible for one minute. It’s possible to change your equipment in this state. Your position is revealed when you attempt any non-stealthy action, such as moving, attacking, or using a skill.
Warlocks are magic users who have signed up with the devil. They channel their powers through sacrifice, summoning hellfire, and weakening their foes. While nowhere near as explosive in damage as the Wizard, they are a little more durable. Unlike Wizards, a Warlock can use swords and other single-hand melee weapons with finesse.
As the newest class on the roster, we have spent little time with the Warlock. However, as the only other offensive magic user outside of the Wizard, it stands a chance of becoming a fan favorite. Their ability to temporarily escape reality to get some distance is vital to their survivability.
Best Warlock perks
- Immortal Lament – casting spells won’t take you below one health point, but your spell power bonus reduces by 5%.
- Dark Enhancement – increase Dark magic spells magic damage by 10%.
- Torture Mastery – Curse of Pain inflicted upon enemies restores one health point to the caster with each instance of damage dealt.
- Malice – your will stat increases by 10%.
Best Warlock skills
- Spell Memory – allows you to memorize spells to use in the dungeon
- Phantomize – phase through melee attacks and projectiles, increase movement speed by 10%, and reduce magic damage by 50% for six seconds. You can only move while in this state and can’t collide with other players or monsters.
A Wizard is a damage-dealing magic user, wielding spells for attacking enemies. You can always bonk opponents on the noggin with your magical staff instead to deal some damage. However, a Wizard’s magic is their most potent offense, meaning one of your skill slots must include the Spell Memory skill to set more spells at once.
While there are certain perks and skills you should always equip, you have at least one perk slot available to choose from that’s down to personal preference. If you specialize in fire magic, there’s a perk to help burn damage linger. If you want to use arcane magic specifically, there’s a perk to buff the damage. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with, even though a Wizard’s defense is as fragile as tissue paper.
Best Wizard perks
- Reactive Shield – activates an arcane reactive shield that lasts three seconds whenever you take damage. The arcane shield can absorb up to ten total damage. Reactivates after a 12-second cooldown period.
- Mana Surge – increases magic damage bonus by 10%
- Quick Chant – increases spell-casting speed by 10%.
- Either Arcane Mastery (increase the damage of arcane spells by 5% and reduces casting time for arcane spells by 5%) or Fire Mastery (increases the damage of fire spells by 5% and increases burn duration by two seconds), depending on the spells equipped.
Best Wizard skills
- Spell Memory – allows you to memorize spells to use in the dungeon.
- Meditation – enter a meditative state and revive spells at a rate of 40 spell costs over 30 seconds by default. Reviving amount increases when knowledge increases, and meditative state duration is affected by the Spell Casting Speed stat.
And those are your eight Dark and Darker classes in the early access build. There’s a good chance that Ironmace could still add even more classes before the full launch. As this is a combat-heavy game, you’ll want decent performance to ensure you don’t drop frames. To help you get the most out of the game, check out the Dark and Darker system requirements to see if any component needs improving.