Dauntless, the free-to-player monster slaying game from Phoenix Labs, has been out for quite some time. But its recent expansion onto consoles and the Epic Games Store has brought a massive influx of players. With months of content updates to chew through, there’s plenty for new players to wrap their heads around. Fear not, though! We’ve done our best to compile a list of Dauntless tips and tricks in this handy guide. So let’s take a journey to the Shattered Isles and see what’s what.
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Disclaimer: Dauntless isn’t just more popular than ever. It’s so popular that we haven’t been able to log into the game reliably. The servers are just too choked; the queues too long. So, for now, our Dauntless tips are mostly collected from the community. Of course we’ll work to verify these tips and flesh out our guide as quickly as possible. But, in the meantime, please take these tricks with a grain of salt. Thanks for your understanding!
Animation Priority… is a Priority
“Animation priority” is a concept where attacking forces you to complete an action (i.e. an animation) before you can do something else (e.g. dodging). And Dauntless is chock full of this. But don’t let the fancy name intimidate you! Animation priority basically means just one thing: you need to pick your moment to strike.
Swinging a sword, plunging a pike, or basically any other action will force you to stand still for a moment while the animations play out. And you won’t be able to dodge or block an attacking behemoth for as long as this is happening. Luckily, this works both ways. Monsters also have very specific, telegraphed attack patterns that you can learn over time. Acting within (and around) those windows is key to survival and success. Make sure that learning every behemoth move set is your top priority.
Grab Every Quest Immediately
Early on in Dauntless, you will reach the settlement of Ramsgate. This acts as a hub zone where you can do all kinds of things not directly related to slaying behemoths. One of the most important things you can do, however, is grab every quest in sight. These are indicated by the yellow icons on your compass. Scoop them up before you go out!
Here’s why: Dauntless quests don’t just provide minor rewards like currency. They unlock entirely new systems and gear progression. Certain quest objectives overlap, too — though you can’t scoop up an infinite amount. That’s why it’s best to grab every single one you see. You might just make progress towards one quest while working on another, freeing up new missions more quickly, and allowing you to enter late-game content more smoothly.
Know Your Weapons
Dauntless weapons break down into a few different categories. Some offer high speed, but little damage per strike. Others will let you attack from a distance, but actually deal more damage the closer you are — so you might want to get close anyway. Here is some general information about the various weapons in Dauntless to help get you started:
- Axes – This is your heavy hitter of the group. Axes deal tremendous damage, but are also very slow. Used correctly, however, they provide some of the highest damage per second in the game.
- Repeaters – Dual pistols that are nevertheless still best used up close. They deal more damage the closer you are to the behemoth. They also have very short animations, making it easier to dodge suddenly.
- Swords – Your basic melee weapon. Swords don’t really excel in any one area, but make up for it by not being too weak or too slow.
- Hammers – These beaters are ever-so-slightly faster than axes, but deal less damage. The big difference between the two weapon types is stagger damage — which lets hammers stun behemoths more quickly than other weapon types.
- Pikes – If hammers are all about stunning, then pikes are all about breaking. These deal piercing damage, which breaks monster body parts more quickly.
- Chain Blades – Weak but incredibly fast weapons that make it extremely easy to dodge.
Dodging Beats Blocking
Dauntless takes a lot of cues from Monster Hunter — Capcom’s massively popular, and equally influential beast slaying series. And one rule that carries over between both games is that dodging is, overall, better than blocking. It gets you back on your feet quickly and ready to smack the monster right back in its smug face. Animation priority goes both ways, after all; if a behemoth is stuck in its attack pattern, you can slap it around for a good few seconds. On a similar note, dodging forward into the monster is generally better than trying to get away. That will keep you in range for melee attacks while you juke.
The Game is Always Changing
Dauntless gets huge updates on a pretty unreal schedule (like a lot of live games these days, to be honest). That means things are constantly in flux, and you need to be on the lookout for changes. Luckily, in addition to our own wonderful guides, you can keep up-to-date on the game by using official resources.
Developer Phoenix Labs posts pretty extensive Dauntless patch notes every time there’s a new update. You can check those out here! There’s also a content roadmap, broken down by several categories, with hints about what the future holds for Dauntless. That information is also available (and regularly updated) on the game’s website. Just click on the little island graphics for a breakdown of specific information.