Risk of Rain 2 Artifacts update patch notes

Back to the grind.

Risk of Rain 2

It’s a great day for Survivors everywhere, as the new Artifacts update has just arrived for Risk of Rain 2. At the moment, the update is available for PC only, although developers Hopoo Games say that it will arrive on consoles in the near future.

The major addition this time is the titular Artifacts, which will act as modifiers to your game. How exactly they will work is a big secret at the moment, but we are already grinding to see what we can find out.

Also of note is a UI overhaul, which will solve a very annoying issue for people who play with gamepads, and the phantom mouse cursor is no more. After that, it’s a huge amount of balance changes, fixes, bug squashing, and quality of life improvements.

The update is available to download on Steam now, and you can find the full patch notes below.

Major Content

  • Added System: Artifacts
    • The hunt is on! Be the first to explore the planet and find the secret to unlock 16 powerful and mysterious Artifacts that will dramatically change the way you play. We expect Artifacts to be the biggest feature to date in terms of replayability to all players.
  • Added 16 Artifacts
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Honor
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Enigma
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Spite
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Soul
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Death
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Vengeance
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Metamorphosis
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Dissonance
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Chaos
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Frailty
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Kin
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Sacrifice
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Evolution
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Glass
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Command
    • New Artifact: Artifact of Swarms
  • Added System: UI Overhaul
    • This is something we have been looking forward to doing since the launch of Early Access. We primarily wanted to improve the visuals of the UI and finally get rid of the on-screen cursor for gamepad users. There are about a million changes with this change. Did anyone ask for this? No. Did it take a bunch of time? Yes. Was it worth it? No. Am I writing the patch notes? Yes. Is it at the top so you have to read it? Yes.
  • Updated System: Unity 2018.4.16f1
    • Update project to Unity 2018.4.16f1. This will help with a bunch of things, but the major reason for upgrading was to fix late game crashes. It may also be our imagination, but we’ve also noticed general performance improvements.
  • Added New Stage
    •  New Stage: Sky Meadow
  • Added 2 New Music Tracks
    • New Stage Track: The Rain Previously Known as Purple
    • New Boss Track: Antarctic Oscillation
  • Added New Hidden Realm
    • New Hidden Realm: ???
  • Added 5 Skill Variants
    • New Skill Variant: Commando Utility
    • New Skill Variant: Huntress Primary
    • New Skill Variant: Acrid Utility
    • New Skill Variant: Acrid Passive
    • New Skill Variant: Engineer Utility
  • Added New Skin
    • New Skin: Engineer Skin
  • Added 2 New Monsters
    • New Monster: Mini Mushrum
    • New Monster: Parent
  • Added New Boss 
    • New Boss: ???
  • Added 6 Items and 2 Equipment to the game
    • New Item: Repulsion Armor Plate
    • New Item: Squid Polyp
    • New Item: Death Mark
    • New Item: Interstellar Desk Plant
    • New Equipment: Sawmerang
    • New Equipment: Recycler
    • New Lunar Item: Focused Convergence
    • New Boss Item: ???
  • Added New Chest
    • New Chest: Equipment Triple Shop
  • Added 5 Character Challenges to the game
    • New Commando Challenge: Godspeed
    • New Huntress Challenge: Finishing Touch
    • New Engineer Challenge: Zero Sum
    • New Engineer Challenge: Engineer Mastery
    • New Acrid Challenge: Easy Prey
    • New Acrid Challenge: Bad Medicine
  • Added 3 Challenges to the game
    • New Challenge: Automation Activation
    • New Challenge: Cleanup Duty
    • New Challenge: Never Back Down
  • Added 3 New Environment Logs
    • New Environment Log: Sky Meadow
    • New Environment Log: A Moment, Fractured
    • New Environment Log: ???
  • Added 8 Lore Entries to the game
    • New Item Lore Entry: Repulsion Armor Plate
    • New Item Lore Entry: Squid Polyp
    • New Item Lore Entry: Death Mark
    • New Item Lore Entry: Interstellar Desk Plant
    • New Item Lore Entry: Sawmerang
    • New Item Lore Entry: Recycler
    • New Item Lore Entry: Focused Convergence
    • New Item Lore Entry: Ghor’s Tome

Gameplay Changes

  • General
    • Initial Monster Spawns
      • ? Allow initial monster spawns on the first stage
      • Update spawn logic so initial monsters spawns aren’t nearby players
      • Update spawn logic to allow elite monsters
    • ? Update how AOE falloff is calculated to be more accurate
      • Developer Notes: This affects AOE attacks that did less damage at the edges, like Commando’s Grenade and MUL-T’s Scrap Launcher. They should now do full damage with a direct impact – however, this also affects enemies as well!
    • Characters with damage interrupt thresholds like Lesser Wisp and Lemurian now use total damage received instead of incoming damage with a crit modifier when determining whether or not they should be interrupted when hit. This makes these interrupts more likely when using items that modify damage like Crowbar and Focus Crystal.
  • Survivors
    • Huntress
      • Add 1 New Skill Variant
      • Improve Huntress tracker visuals to be a bit more clear
      • Arrow Rain / Ballista
        • ? Cooldown: 17s ⇒ 12s
      • Strafe
        • Fire Rate: 0.6s ⇒ 0.5s
        • Travel Speed: 60m/s ⇒ 120m/s
        • Improve VFX

    • Commando
      • Add 1 New Skill Variant
      • Phase Round
        • ? Damage: 200% ⇒ 300%

    • REX
      • Bramble Volley
        • Cooldown: 2.0s ⇒ 5.0s
        • Proc Coefficient: 0 ⇒ 0.5 
        • Developer Notes: Cooldowns aren’t displayed anywhere in character select, and are generally a lame way to balance Skill Variants 

    • Mercenary
      • Slicing Winds
        • Cooldown: 7.0s ⇒ 6.0s
        • Developer Notes: Cooldowns aren’t displayed anywhere in character select, and are generally a lame way to balance similar Skill Variants 

    • Acrid
      • Add 2 New Skill Variants
      • Improve Acrid’s poison VFX
      • Caustic Leap
        • The damage from the acid pool is no longer non-lethal

    • Engineer
      • Add 1 new Skill Variant
      • Add 1 new Skin
      • ? Update animations on falling, landing, sprinting, walking and jumping
      • Bubble Shield
        • Increase shield warning flash by 0.5 second and tweak visuals to be softer
        • Now displays selected mine and turret variants in the Character Select screen
  • Items
    • Infusion
      • Max Health per kill: 1 hp ⇒ 1 hp (+1 per stack)
        • Developer Notes: The cap remains unchanged, but it will fill up faster.

    • Medkit
      • Heal: 15 hp (+15 per stack) ⇒ 25 hp (+25 per stack)
      • Heal delay: 2.0s ⇒ 3.0s

    • Royal Capacitor
      • Lightning now strikes where the target was 0.3s before the strike lands, instead of where they currently are.
      • Add new visuals warning before lightning strikes
      • Add glow and improve visuals so it’s more noticeable (hmm…)

    • Spectral Circlet
      • ? Is no longer invisible and missing an icon

    • Stun Grenade
      • Chance to trigger now scales by proc coefficient

    • Gasoline
      • Now checks against hurtboxes in a sphere instead of against root-level character positions, resulting in it hitting more often
  • Stages
    • Scorched Acres
      • ?’Radar Towers’ will now properly appear
      • Can now spawn ‘Equipment Triple Shop’

    • Siren’s Call
      • ?’Radar Towers’ will now properly appear
      • Improve overall stage performance
      • Update rock formations in certain caves

    • Stage Variant: Distant Roost
      • Improve overall stage performance and monster pathfinding

    • Stage Variant: Titanic Plains
      • Improve overall stage performance and monster pathfinding 

    • Hidden Realm: Void Fields
      • ? Time is now stopped in ‘Void Fields’
      • ? Update ‘Cell Vents’ to only charge while the player remains inside the bubble
      • ? Fix health degeneration not running on the final round of Cells
      • Enemy item indicator on the HUD now displays the number of item stacks

    • Abandoned Aqueduct
      • ? Disable Ice & Fire Elder Lemurians from spawning if the gate isn’t legitimately opened. We see you, Mr Streamer.
  • Monsters & Bosses
    • Lesser Wisp
      • Improve performance
      • Increase size of fire effect so they look fuller

    • Lemurian
      • Update mesh and textures

    • Imp Overlord
      • Improve performance

    • Greater Wisp
      • ?Base Armor: 1 ⇒ 0

    • Bighorn Bison
      • Max Health: 600 (+180 per level) ⇒ 480 (+144 per level)
        • Developer Notes: We aim for monsters to have, depending on their role, an approximate “health per director point” ratio. Some outliers had significantly higher health for what they cost to spawn, so we’re aiming to normalize these outliers

    • Beetle Guard
      • Max Health: 600 (+180 per level) ⇒ 480 (+144 per level
        • Developer Notes: We aim for monsters to have, depending on their role, an approximate “health per director point” ratio. Some outliers had significantly higher health for what they cost to spawn, so we’re aiming to normalize these outliers.

    • Imp
      • Max Health: 200 (+60 per level) ⇒ 140 (+42 per level)
        • Developer Notes: We aim for monsters to have, depending on their role, an approximate “health per director point” ratio. Some outliers had significantly higher health for what they cost to spawn, so we’re aiming to normalize these outliers.

    • Alloy Vulture
      • Max Health: 200 (+60 per level) ⇒ 140 (+42 per level)
        • Developer Notes: We aim for monsters to have, depending on their role, an approximate “health per director point” ratio. Some outliers had significantly higher health for what they cost to spawn, so we’re aiming to normalize these outliers.

    • Beetle
      • ?Change bullseye hurtbox from the chest to the head so Huntress can attack earlier during the spawn animation

    • Void Reaver
      • Nullifier Bomb
        • ?Proc Coefficient: 0 ⇒ 1
        • Delay Time: 2s ⇒ 1s
      • Add missing animations and elite displays
      • Change AI movement behavior

    • Grovetender
      • ? Improve accuracy of hurtboxes
      • ? Fix corpse continuing to play idle sound loop after death

    • Clay Dunestrider
      • ?Improve accuracy of hurtboxes

    • Scavenger
      • ? Can no longer spawn with Ceremonial Daggers
        • Developer Notes: We’re comfortable with Scavengers being a bit BS at times – as long as it’s fun. Preon Accumulator, Capacitor, Disposable Missile Launchers, etc are crazy strong but still fun and have moments of cooldown. Ceremonial Daggers had no downtime, had infinite range, and had no cooldown.

    • Twisted Scavenger
      • Max Health: 3800 (+1140 per level) ⇒ 3230 (+969 per level)
      • Now properly spawns with unique boss health and damage scaling (Aurelionite, Alloy Worship Unit)
        • Developer Notes: This is an enormous change, but was always intended. Expect the Twisted Scavengers to be SIGNIFICANTLY more challenging – Beads of Fealty should now be a significant risk vs reward. They should be treated as a powerful optional boss.

    • Twiptwip the Devotee
      • Remove 3 ‘Tougher Times’
      • Remove 3 ‘Personal Shield Generators’
      • Add 2 ‘Gasoline’
      • Add 3 ‘Chronobauble’
      • Add 3 ‘Lens-maker’s Glasses’

  • Prismatic Trials
    • ? Now spawns with a random selection of Artifacts!
    • ? Fix stage object rotation randomization not being seeded

  • Achievements
    • Huntress: Piercing Wind can now also be achieved on Scorched Acres

Sound and Music

  • Fix Foreign Fruit not playing its activation SFX correctly over the network
  • Fix The Back-up equipment not playing activation SFX correctly over the network
  • Fix Engineer Bouncing Grenades firing SFX and effects not playing for anyone but the client playing as the Engineer
  • Fix Mercenary Whirlwind not playing SFX for anyone but the client playing as Mercenary and not applying forward self-force when playing as a non-host client
  • Clean up explosion sound setups for several projectiles allowing them to play their explosion SFX correctly over the network
  • Update SFX setup for several effects that could fail to play if the VFX budget is exceeded

Quality of Life

  • ? Update AI so they don’t strafe off cliffs as much
  • Update AI pathfinding so they are less likely to backtrack to positions along their path that they overshot
  • ? Move ‘Unlimited’ option to far right of FPS limit in settings
  • Add optional MSAA (Default to 2x) in Options menu for UI ‘jaggies’
  • Add a new death visual effect for players so it’s clearer when they die
  • Update Quickplay icon
  • Update Ally Indicator to make it more useful when trying to find allies
  • Update Boss position indicators to show a fading marker when reentering the center of the screen to help locate bosses behind objects
  • ? Update ‘Time Crystals’ and ‘Explosive Pots’ to have proper character model setup and proper strings so they are highlighted and named when pinged
  • ? Update ‘Cell Vent’ safe icon to a shield so it’s not the same as the Void Reaver’s debuff
  • ? Add new glyphs for DualShock controller from PEW’s PS4 Port (woo!)
  • ? Update Game End Report to use special strings and icon if no killer is found
  • ? Update Fusion Cells and Explosive Pots so they can detonate each other
  • Add portrait icon for Newt
  • ? Change mouse sensitivity from 1-10 instead of 0.01-1
  • Change ‘Steam Build ID’ string to ‘ver’ string so its smaller
  • Change “Killed by” text to be right-aligned so it can fit longer names
  • Change ‘Exit’ in Title Menu to ‘Quit to Desktop’
  • Update ping functionality to use the same method of raycast modification used for object interaction to make it more likely to hit what you’re looking at

Bug Fixes

  • ? Fix for “black screen” issue by preventing a host player from trying to connect to itself when lobby ownership is somehow lost
  • ? Fix ‘Alloy Worship Unit’ boss event not beginning if multiple eggs are destroyed in 1 frame
  • ? Fix 1-frame flash when changing loadout panels from different survivors
  • ? Fix inverted checkmark/no checkmark on Fullscreen setting in SettingsPanel
  • ? Fix issue which caused blast attacks to calculate hit distance based on the center of the hit hurtbox instead of the closest point. The overall effect of this is that blast attacks with falloff will do more damage since objects will now be considered closer than they were, especially against monsters with large hurtboxes like the Stone Titan. 
  • ? Fix ‘Cosmic Explorer’ not counting the portal to the Void Fields
  • ? Fix ‘Old Guillotine’ item not checking if the victim body is immune to executes (no more instantly killing yourself with Old Guillotine, Wake of Vultures, and Glowing Meteorite/Helfire Tincture)
  • ? Remove stray backslash from Lunar Dagger description English string
  • Fix issue where running up against walls would cause the camerato get extremely close
  • Fix some sprites being on the wrong z-plane in the Game End Report causing weird distortions
  • Fix ‘Disable HUD’ setting not saving when closing the game
  • ? Fix Scavenger gaining a permanent armor buff if interrupted while searching its bag for an item, like when activating Volcanic Egg
  • Unhook window flashing on dedicated servers, which causes a weird window to be created
  • ? Fix spectators earning achievements
  • ? Fix MUL-T’s dash impact with heavy enemies not stunning and dealing bonus damage for clients
  • Fix MUL-T’s dash impact with heavy enemies not triggering on-hit effects
  • ? Fix Scavenger Backpack not dropping items if it’s activated too quickly
  • Fix Loadouts being lost when reconnecting to an online game
  • Fix missing borders on some Commando skill icons
  • ? Fix REX: Mastery achievement icon using old Smoothie skin colors
  • ? Clarify description of Suppressive Fire to be a bit more accurate
  • ? Clarify REX’s passive description to be a bit more accurate
  • Fix dithering on a variety of materials so it fades if the camera gets very close
  • Fix wrong death sound on Acrid
  • ? Fix a variety of effects still showing when using Volcanic Egg and Strides of Heresy
  • ? Fix Chunked! challenge granting on non-teleporter boss kills
  • Fix Teleporters not using the correct decal layer
  • ? Fix Magma Worms and similar monsters from spawning as an elite version in Prismatic Trials. Goodbye Overloading Overloading Worm.
  • ? Fix a variety of typos in logbook descriptions
  • Fix Genesis Loop area indicator being half the actual size of the blast
  • Ghosts with curse no longer have shortened lifespans
  • Fix monsters always spawning facing the same direction
  • Interactables that spawn outside the Teleporter radius after it begins charging (like destroyed drones) now become locked until the end of the Teleporter event
  • Fix Stun Grenade being able to stun certain characters with stun immunity (mainly survivors)
  • Fix non-Teleporter boss encounters counting toward the Keyed Up achievement
  • Fix characters hidden by Spectral Circlet still being visible to AI
  • Fix being able to ping the sky
  • Fix description of Spinel Tonic incorrectly providing the effect duration as 15 seconds instead of the 20 seconds it is in-game
  • Fix a variety of other bugs we probably forgot…

Known Issues

  • Votes on difficulty and artifacts are reset for non-host players when returning from a run to the character select screen
  • ‘MUL-T: Pest Control’ doesn’t grant the achievement despite completing the requirements
  • The first monster chosen for Void Fields will not be shown on the HUD until starting the second cell
  • Artifact of Vengeance may not work if too many monsters are on the map

If you made it this far into the patch notes… congratulations! This update was our most challenging yet, for so many reasons. We truly hope you all enjoy the update – and good luck!

Survivor Vote

It’s been an absolutely incredible year since launching Risk of Rain 2 into early access. It’s hard to believe that our next update will slap that 1.0 onto the game. We’ve been thinking about the best way to say “Thank you” to this community. We love the feedback, suggestions, and bug reports you provide. There’s no question the game’s better because of your thoughts on Twitter, Discord, and elsewhere. For the 1.0 update, we want to give you an important decision to make on the game’s next survivor.

There’s still six survivors from Risk of Rain that haven’t made their way into the sequel. For the next week, you can head over to our Discord and vote on which of these six survivors (or a brand new survivor) should be the survivor for Risk of Rain 2’s 1.0 update. You call the shot and we’ll build it.

Here’s how the Survivor Vote will work:

  • From March 31st, 10:00am CT through April 7th 10:00am CT, vote on the official Risk of Rain 2 Discord (https://discord.gg/riskofrain2) for the survivor you’d like to see added to the game
  • We’ve placed a post in the “Poll” section of the Discord, where you can vote by using one of seven reactions we’ve built specifically for the survivor vote.
  • Once voting closes, we’ll share the winner the very next day, April 8th.
  • IMPORTANT: Discord reactions don’t display properly past 5,000 interactions, so we’ve partnered directly with Discord to ensure we have correct vote tallies on the backend

Now for the fun part. In order to confidently pull this idea off, we’ve been working on exactly how each of these survivors would translate from 2D to 3D. We’ve written up a small taste of how they’ll come to life to help guide your vote!


“..and so he left, mutated beyond recognition.”

The Enforcer was a shield class that could enter a shield “stance” to block all hits forward. His shield mechanic was particularly interesting in that it would block all incoming attacks from a certain direction – a mechanic that would translate really well into 3D. He also had a piercing shotgun and a shield slam that felt nice to use. Initial thoughts are:

  • The Enforcer felt very “kinetic” – he didn’t fire laser arrows or fire lightning bolts, but just smacked things and used kinetic technology. It’s a cool space to occupy that we don’t really have much of in RoR2.
  • Making a shield large enough to legitimately block things without also blocking vision will be challenging without it being an “energy” shield.
  • The piercing shotgun will make an awesome addition to the roster, since we don’t have any main shotgun primaries.
  • RoR2 is built a lot more on dodging than RoR1 – how will we translate the bunker down playstyle into the new game in a way that’s engaging? 

“..and so he left, with his pyrrhic plunder.”

Everyone’s favorite character…! Bandit was one of the characters we had in development before EA, but he never made it fully into the game. His unique “reset” based play style would work great, and we got to a decent place with him the first time around. We now have a few thoughts and ideas on his kit:

  • The thematic of space-bandit is super awesome
  • Changing lights-out into a revolver was a cool choice, and should remain
  • How will his Primary attack work? In RoR1, it would fire as fast as you could click – in RoR2, that would be incredibly exhausting. Ammo systems are pretty hit/miss and really depend on having a kit that doesn’t rely on M1’s – but Bandit really does.
  • His smokescreen could definitely use sprucing up as well. What if he could do a backstab out of stealth, or a guaranteed crit from behind?

“..and so it left, servos pulsing with new life.”

HAN-D was another character that was partially developed in RoR2, but never made it. The biggest hurdle that our favorite janitor encountered in RoR2 that he didn’t have to in RoR1 was flying monsters – a recurring theme for a lot of our melee classes. What was HAN-D eventually turned into MUL-T. HAN-D was the tanky bruiser archetype, so we definitely can’t have him dashing around.

  • HAN-D also seemed like a “kinetic” character, just smashing things and punching things.
  • His healing drones had some unique mechanics (only restocking on kill, for one) that would be great additions to the game. They could also help with lesser air monsters – but what about bosses?
  • HAN-D was the primary punchy guy in RoR1, and that space is now occupied by Loader. What could be cool for HAN-D to bring to the table?

“..and so he left, adrenaline still rushing through his veins.”

The Miner was RoR1’s “brawler” class – he would get thick into battle, dodging things and charging up powerful attacks. The biggest hurdle for the Miner is that his design space is firmly occupied by a lot of other characters. His charge-up dash is now part of Loader, his reverse-push is partially part of REX, and his second “jump” is now built into a ton of abilities in RoR2. That doesn’t mean, however, that he couldn’t be awesome in RoR2:

  • His kit would need to be revisited entirely, similar to how we approached Loader’s transition from RoR1 to 2. What thematic elements do we keep?
  • He used dual-wielded pickaxes as a weapon, which is unique. It was cool that he didn’t seem equipped for battle.
  • He has a lot of armor and shielding on his suit – could there be something there with armor, blocking, or something in that nature?
  • Isaac from Dead Space has a ton of mining-based ways to kill things. What if he had a mining laser, or some tool that could really be built around?

“…they left, the sound still ringing in deaf ears.”

Sniper was partially developed in RoR2, but we encountered a few issues the first time around. Sniping was something the game simply wasn’t built around – however, we know people love playing Sniper characters, and we have a ton of cool ideas that we could use:

  • Scoping in changing the perspective into a FPS is a natural conclusion – but would we have headshots? What about weak points? Would that be satisfying?
  • Enemies spawn right next to you in RoR2, and the Teleporter requires you to be nearby to charge it. How would the Sniper handle situations like this?
  • RoR2 is a lot more based around dodging and always moving. We’d like to encourage players to snipe, but we have to make sure we make it viable. What if the Sniper had a jetpack, or could be picked up by drones?

“..and so it left, entirely forgetting its previous purpose.”

It’s a robot chef, what more do you want? But on a serious note… CHEF’s unique “Second Helping” ability would upgrade one of his other 3 abilities, functionally giving him 6 – a super cool mechanic we definitely want to use. He’s also thematically strong, which gives us a ton of inspiration.

  • His Primary was a boomerang cleaver – what if we did something God of War style, where he could pull back a bunch of cleavers?
  • What if he could cook different meals depending on item inputs, with a bunch of “recipes”? Or is that just too much?
  • “Sear” and “Glaze” are a bit boring compared to RoR2 abilities – how can we spruce them up?

What if we don’t bring back one of the RoR1 characters, and made a totally new Survivor to the Risk of Rain universe? We have a couple different ideas on how to make this character feel unique from the rest of the crew. Some random class ideas are:

  • Chemist – mix together chemicals that change abilities
  • Spearman – long range, but has to sweetspot his melee at a certain distance
  • Weaver – create hologram clones that replicate your attacks, could move them around and swap places with them
  • Paladin – a warrior creature from the planet who worships the Survivor from RoR1. Has armor built from pieces of the Contact Light.
  • Something else…!

One last note here. Just because we have loose design ideas for each of these survivors doesn’t mean we can promise to build all of them for Risk of Rain 2. That’s a lot of work for our small team! It’s also important to highlight that just because a survivor doesn’t win does NOT mean they are gone forever. We’re just makin’ it up as we go along – no one’s ever off the table.

If you’re beginning to wonder what post-launch support looks like for the game, we’re working on that plan now and hope to share news soon. Thanks so much for an amazing first year in Early Access. Happy voting!