Defeating bosses, looping stages, and acquiring powerful items or the stacks of existing ones are the core gameplay elements in Risk of Rain Returns. Having the best defensive items bolsters your chances of surviving anything the game throws at you, and without these, any build is prone to fail, and your character will die as difficulty spikes.
Obtaining offensive items is crucial to beating the game or looping stages, but the need for top-tier defensive items increases significantly as the difficulty curve increases. That is why we have listed here the ten best defensive items you should not sleep on while in the game.
10. Topaz Brooch
Once you have Topaz Brooch, killing enemies is always a rewarding experience. Every elimination gives your survivor 15 barriers, which stacks the more Topaz Brooch items you have. The shield you get is temporary and depletes over time as you do not kill targets.
While this is not a permanent defensive item in Risk of Rain Returns, having a temporary shield that protects you from getting one shot is always a welcome addition.
9. Guardian’s Heart
The best defensive items in Risk of Rain Returns could be any that offer value in terms of overall health, dodge, getting out of danger using increased speed, and more. Guardian’s Health is one such item that offers extra protection for the base health.
Guardian’s Health is a much better shield than what you get while having Topaz Brooch. Each stack of this item gives your survivor 60 health, and it depletes only after taking damage. However, the best part about this item is it regenerates automatically whenever you are outside the combat for seven seconds.
8. Tough Times
If you are coming to Risk of Rain Returns after playing Risk of Rain 2, then you will immediately realize how super important the Tough Times item is in the game. Equipping this item increases your survivor’s armor by 14, and each stack further gives 14 more armor.
Each survivor comes with base health, and the addition of armor during runs is vital to mitigate the damage dealt. Without this, the base health takes a hit first, and there are high chances a boss on very high difficulty could one-shot your character.
7. Energy Cell
At a glance, the Energy Cell item may seem to be more of an offensive item than defensive, but the increase in attack speed you get at low health signifies that it is indeed a defensive item. Your survivor gains up to 40 percent increased attack speed whenever the health falls in the red zone.
This makes the Energy Cell an excellent defensive item that gets activated in the last few seconds, giving your character one last chance to make a comeback or die.
6. Leeching Seed
Healing pickups are the best items in Risk of Rain Returns, and Leeching Seed is by far the best in the category of recovering lost health. Every time you attack a target, your survivor recovers 2 health points. The effect stacks as you get more Leeching Seed items, making it a top choice for defense and survival in the game.
Since the items drop randomly from the chests and after beating Teleporter bosses, the only way to nitpick your items is by using the Artifact of Command. It allows you access to a wide range of pickups after opening a chest, giving you freedom to equip the best defensive items in the game.
Infusion is one of those items in Risk of Rain Returns that shines when you loop stages and keep your run going on and on. Every time you eliminate an enemy, you get one health point added to your health pool. This is a permanent change, and you can potentially increase your character’s base health beyond 1000 health points by equipping the Infusion item in the game.
4. Monster Tooth
Having some of the best defensive items in Risk of Rain Returns that increase the base health is always important. However, items that recover the lost health are equally good and must never be overlooked, especially when you play on looping stages and push runs to the limit.
This is where you will need the Monster Tooth item, as it gives you 10 Health Points for every kill. The best part about this item is the stack bonus you get, +5 per stack, for every iteration of Monster Tooth you have.
Aegis is one of the best legendary items in Risk of Rain Returns. The defense it offers to your survivor in terms of taking massive hits is unparalleled. What this item does is grant a user a 50 percent barrier of the total health you have. So whenever you heal past full health, you get additional protection that amounts to half of max health.
2. Hopoo Feather
Hoppo Feather is an unusual item that I have listed in the list of best defensive items in Risk of Rain Returns. It neither increases your base health nor offers a shield. However, with each stack of this item, your character gets to make an extra jump.
Most enemies in Risk of Rain Returns are grounded, and there are very few ranged attacks to strike you. This is where a double or triple jump comes in handy, enabling you to reach a higher platform or get out of harm’s way instantly.
Hoppo Feather gives you a quick escape from a melee or a ranged attack via additional jumps. This, I believe, makes it one of the best defensive items in Risk of Rain Returns outside the category of items that increase your health or give you a shield.
1. Dio’s Best Friend
Everybody loves second chances. In rogue-like games, you never get a second life. If you die, you need to repeat the entire process again and grind it all back. However, Dio’s Best Friend is one such item in the game that gives your survivor a second life.
Dio’s Best Friend item will be used whenever your character takes fatal damage. In exchange, it will give your survivor a second chance with 40 percent health and two seconds of invulnerability. This is a one-time use but by far the best defensive item in Risk of Rain Returns that acts as a last resort.
That is pretty much everything you should know about the top-tier defensive items in the game. Before you go, I recommend you enrich your knowledge about how to use the Strange Battery, how to unlock Robomando, and Chef Survivor in Risk of Rain Returns.