The classic Fighter in Dark and Darker is a source of comfort for many, with the class’ ability to wield a wide variety of armors and weapons and the safety of a large shield to block most incoming attacks. The true variety of a Fighter, however, comes in a surprisingly deep perk tree offering 9 different variations. At level 15, four perks can be equipped at once, turning the Fighter from a Jack of all trades into a lean killing machine. Here are the best Fighter perks in Dark and Darker.
Note: This guide is up to date for alpha playtest 4.
All Dark and Darker Fighter perks, ranked
There are a total of nine Fighter perks, and we’ve gone through them all to find the strongest of the bunch. If you’re in a hurry, simply equip the final four perks on this list, although we’d recommend reading through fully to understand when, and why, certain perks should be picked.
9. Projectile Resistance
Dark and Darker developer Ironmace wasn’t redefining the mold with this perk, as Projectile Resistance gives a 10% damage reduction from projectiles. With a shield, however, you can entirely mitigate most enemies. In PvP, archers tend to aim for the head, so simply tilt your shield up while closing the distance — if they choose to engage your legs, the damage is minimal.
8. Defense Expert
Defense Expert gives players a 10% increase to worn armor. As you reach the end of the gear grind, this can turn into a sizeable buff that could give you an slight advantage in combat. In testing, however, this meager percentage simply isn’t enough compared to what else is available. This perk could come in handy with the Dual Wield perk, but trusting in the shield (and your accuracy to block) is far more reliable.
7. Dual Wield
One of the biggest advantages of the Fighter is the ability to Sword & Board, so taking away the ‘Board’ portion of that to add another weapon is a headscratcher, even with the 15% attack speed increase. While weapons have different attack approaches, meaning some weapons work better in close quarters while others shine best in the open, the chances of a Fighter being locked in combat and having drastic results with two weapons equipped simultaneously is extremely low. Learn to use the shield, or play the Barbarian. This perk could work with Weapon Mastery.
6. Weapon Mastery
Weapon Mastery allows the Fighter every weapon in the game, with a 10% damage penalty for off-class weapons. This is a dangerous gamble, but it can work out for smart players. Picking up a ranged weapon to harass distant enemies, in either PvE or PvP scenarios, then switching to the Sword & Board for the melee kill, is brilliant. Whether it’s worth losing a perk slot, however, is a heavy decision that should be weighed carefully with party composition and dungeon type.
While holding the shield up, Barricade gives an additional 15% defensive rating. This can play well with both Shield Expert and Swift, increasing the level of shield-play possible during combat. The ultimate issue is that there are simply better-suited perks for the limited number of slots.
4. Combo Attack
Combo Attack gives players a short-lived buff every time they successfully hit an enemy — a 10% increase in damage for 3 seconds. It’s an interesting equation to balance, where you’ll be amply rewarded for completing a standard three-hit-combo against foes, but whether or not you’ll have enough time to swing that often is another question. Most NPC enemies have a window of two hits, after which the player needs to step back or block, meaning this is a niche perk outside of party play.
3. Counter Attack
Counter Attack plays very well with Combo Attack. With Counter Attack, an enemy hitting your shield increases both your movement speed and attack speed, allowing the possibility of more hits while your opponent recovers. The more hits that can be landed, the higher Combo Attack procs, meaning you can burn down your opponents that much faster.
2. Shield Expert
Shield expert gives an additional 10% movement speed when you’re blocking. This, along with Counter Attack, can be invaluable as you can circle-strafe most foes faster than they can look at you. This results in additional hits, meaning Combo Attack can stack even higher. These three perks are a fantastic combo for Fighters in Dark and Darker — if you’re offered a shield, you might as well use it.
Along with the Cleric, the Fighter is typically found in late-game covered in heavy armors as they take the front-line with the Barbarian. Heavier armor will slow down your character, which is mitigated with Swift. Swift reduces your movement speed penalty from armors by 20%, which allows Fighters to move that much quicker with Shield Expert and Counter Attack.