Dauntless, the free-to-player monster slaying game from Phoenix Labs, has been out for quite some time. But its expansion onto consoles and the Epic Games Store — plus its more recent 1.0 “Aether Unbound” update — 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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Animation Priority is… a Priority – Dauntless Tips
“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 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 moveset is your top priority.
Explore the Hub Town Every Day – Dauntless Tips
Dauntless uses a battle pass, here called the Hunt Pass, to let players rank up and acquire goodies. There’s a free version (that doesn’t offer much) and a paid one that comes with the stuff you really care about. Whichever one you choose, you want to make sure you explore Ramsgate each and every day. It’s filled with recharging braziers. Running up to these and collecting the burning ones will give you free Hunt Pass experience every day. Then, when the reset hits, do it all over again. It’s not much! However, it will help you level up your pass without ever setting foot in a mission.
There’s a “Secret” Login Bonus – Dauntless Tips
I’m not really sure why Dauntless hides this as much as it does, because it’s pretty useful. The game features a login bonus that refreshes once every 24 hours. However, you wouldn’t know it just by… logging in. You actually have to enter the in-game store and dig a few menus down to find the free goodies.
Just open up your menu. Then Featured → Event → Daily Login Bonus. You still have to confirm the “purchase,” but the cost will be set to zero Platinum. That’s all there is to it! For your trouble, you will be rewarded with items like Tonics, a Transmogrification Stone, Ace Chips (for use at The Middleman), and more. That’s not a bad deal at all for the low, low price of free.
Grab Every Quest Immediately – Dauntless Tips
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 endgame content more smoothly.
Sheathe Your Weapon (Sometimes) – Dauntless Tips
This is among our simplest Dauntless tips, but it’s also one of the most vital. You really need to sheathe your weapon — at least some of the time. That’s because a sheathed weapon keeps your stamina from draining when you sprint. Since some attacks require stamina (like the spinning pike attack) you want to keep this up for more than just evasive reasons. It’s a vital part of your ability to do damage.
Know Your Weapons – Dauntless Tips
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, and multiple special attacks that you can customize to your liking.
- 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. You can also load them with explosive ammo for enhanced attacks.
- Pikes – If hammers are all about stunning, then pikes are all about breaking. These deal piercing damage, which breaks monster body parts more quickly. Attacking also builds up a charge that you can “bank” into powerful ranged blasts.
- Chain Blades – Weak, but incredibly fast weapons that make it extremely easy to dodge. They’re great for building up status effects (such as burning) and can attack and long-range.
- Strikers – The newest Dauntless weapons thus far, these are fast, blunt weapons. You can perform different combos to buff the user and deal damage over time, eventually building up to a powerful ranged hit. Strikers are incredibly versatile.
Elements Are Everything – Dauntless Tips
Every behemoth in Dauntless breaks down into one elemental type. Luckily, the game always warns you about them. Your overall armor and weapon power levels are shown before every hunt. And those numbers change according to how well they match up against an element. Fire weapons deal more damage to ice monsters, for instance, while shock armor blocks more damage from the same type of monster. You get the idea. Here’s another: set up different elemental loadouts for each type. That way you can go into battle against the right type of behemoth and leapfrog to victory with minimal fuss.
General Bounties Are Best – Dauntless Tips
The Hunt Pass isn’t just tied to random doodads found around Ramsgate. Most of your XP will come from bounties. These are also tied to the 24-hour reset, for the most part, since they require tokens that refresh every day. But here’s one of our most important Dauntless tips for the new Hunt Pass: pick the most general bounties possible. “Booping” (i.e. staggering) behemoths, for example, is a pretty advanced task for new players. It can only be performed with certain attacks at certain times. Whereas bounties that have you “complete X number of hunts” are going to fill out regardless. Skilled Dauntless players might be able to finish the more specific missions in fewer hunts, but the general populace will get the most bang for their buck by keeping it simple.
Not All Weapons Show Up Right Away – Dauntless Tips
There have been two weapons added to Dauntless since its launch into (and exit from) early access: Repeaters and Strikers. The former are straight-up pistols. They turn Dauntless into a third-person shooter where you aim and press R1/RB to fire — preferably at close-range. Whereas the Strikers are fast-hitting fist weapons that confer buffs and deal damage over time. They are both also quite lovely.
However, possibly because they were added after the game first “launched,” these two weapon types aren’t available at the blacksmith. You need to speak with optional NPCs and finish quick side quests for them both. These allow you to obtain the weapons, as well as various upgrades and blueprints for them. As mentioned above, make sure you check out every NPC and their quests! They are well worth doing.
And that’s all for our Dauntless tips for now. We’ll be sure to update this list as the game develops, more items get added, and updates drop. Until then, we hope this helps you get started in the Shattered Isles and survive to slay enough day.