Each of the four Darktide classes has distinctive weapons and several skills that define their play style. Your choice at the beginning is just the start, as with every trust level gained, you get access to new feats and guns to turn your lowly prisoner into a heretic-purging hero.
As for character archetypes in the multiplayer game, the four Darktide classes are the ranged specialist Veteran, the Psyker, who is Warhammer 40,000’s equivalent of a magic user, and two classes that excel with melee weapons: the Zealot and the Ogryn. If they all look a bit drab at first, don’t worry, as you can earn Darktide cosmetics by increasing your trust levels or completing a bunch of unique challenges, known as Darktide Penances. Join us now as we consult the codex to get the lowdown on these classes.
Veterans excel in long-range combat, using their powers to augment the power of ranged weapons considerably, thus making them the ranged DPS of the group. They start with a combat shovel, handy if they have no choice but to use a melee weapon, but they specialise in blasting away heretics with Plasma guns and other ranged weapons.
For their main ability, a Veteran gets Volley Fire, which puts them in a ranged stance for five seconds, instantly equipping their ranged weapon and designating any nearby non-Ogryn Elite and Specialist enemies as their priority targets. Any ranged damage dealt while in this stance increases by 50%.
This ability works well with their Iconic passive abilities as they get an additional 15% damage increase for hitting weak spots and an increased ammo reserve of 40% for all ranged weapons, so they can keep shooting for longer. Your allies in coherency also benefit from any elite killed thanks to the Scavenger Hunt Aura, while Frag Grenades give you some explosive ordinance should the situation call for a surprise attack. If sniping enemies from a distance appeals to you, we have the best Darktide Veteran build for our top feat picks.
Zealots are essentially Darktide’s equivalent of a jack of all trades. They wield two-handed chainswords for melee combat and flamers for burning down more monstrous creatures at a distance.
A Zealot’s central ability is Chastise the Wicked, which has them dash straight forward or towards a targeted enemy. They replenish 50% toughness when they do so and increase the damage they do with their next melee hit by 25%, which makes it a guaranteed critical hit.
They also get Stun Grenades to temporarily halt all enemies within its blast radius and The Emperor’s Will, which raises toughness damage reduction by 7% for all allies in coherency. Their Iconic passive perks focus on increasing their maximum health and melee attack speed while also becoming temporarily invulnerable to any damage that would usually kill them for a short time when enduring a lethal blow. If this sounds like the bloodthirsty warrior for you, consult our best Darktide Zealot build guide for the best feats and weapons to equip them with.
While magic is rare in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Psykers are probably the closest the Imperium of Man has to wizards. The Psykinectic uses Force-imbued swords and staves as their melee and ranged weapons, but their main source of damage is their spell of sorts: Brain Burst. This skill will target enemies to hit and can also charge up for greater damage. Additionally, when you activate the Kinetic Presence aura, all allies in coherency gain 10% additional damage dealt towards elite enemies.
The Psyker’s ability is Psykinetic’s Wrath, which quells 50% of accumulated Peril and staggers enemies in front of them. Thanks to their Iconic passives, they also get a 10% chance to Quell 10% of Peril with every kill and earn Warp Charges for every enemy killed with a Brain Burst. For every charge, the Psyker gets a 3% damage buff for 25 seconds and can stack up to four charges at a time. With the best Darktide Psyker build, you’ll soon be popping heads as if you were firing cap guns at targets in a fairground shooting gallery.
Ogryns are the bruisers of the group, wielding highly explosive ordinance and smacking enemies. Despite packing heat with their Grenade Gauntlets, which do a lot of damage to a single enemy, it’s clear that class is the melee DPS is the key here as both he and his allies in coherency get an additional 10% heavy melee attack damage.
On top of this, through his Iconic passive perks, he gets an additional 25% melee stagger that can activate whenever you hit an enemy with your attacks and 20% total damage reduction and 20% health damage reduction. In addition, Ogryns are immune to getting rid of interruptions when hit as they’re reviving or assisting allies. An Ogryn’s main ability complements these passives, as Bull Rush has them charge forward, knocking any enemies hit backwards. They also get a temporary increase in both attack speed and movement speed by 25%. If you prefer tanking damage to free up your teammates to focus on using their skills, check out the best Darktide Ogryn build.
How to build your Darktide class
Once you’ve chosen one of the four Darktide classes, you’ll need to select additional details to flesh out their character. Unfortunately, you don’t get any bonuses from the Home World choice, but whichever planet you choose as your birthplace can influence the available preferences for their childhood, growing up, and defining moment options.
Home Worlds also have some exclusive appearance choices and personalities, allowing you to get unique character voices such as ‘The Cutthroat’ for a Cadian Veteran. You can also alter your appearance at the Barber-Chirurgeon, but this will cost you credits. The rest of the character creation choices aren’t affected by previous ones, as your sentence gives you the option of which differently coloured prison garb to wear, while the final screen lets you name your character.
Those are all Darktide classes, but there are plenty of other mechanics to get to grips with in the latest Warhammer FPS game. For example, getting the best Darktide weapons for each class will take some time as you need to gain Trust levels to unlock the ability to buy them from vendors. Also, since the best way to play the co-op game is with friends, you may want to learn whether Darktide crossplay is available.