If you're running low on cash, get an Antiquarian. She's very weak in combat, but will dramatically increase your gold generation

This page has new player tips for Darkest Dungeon

  • Always have at least one stun and two members that can hit the backline
  • Focus on stress dealers (usually the enemy backline)
  • Experiment with curios and items, but dont put a torch on the red glowing orb
  • Being overprepared is better than being underprepared
  • Upgrade your StageCoach ASAP! If you get a party wipe and dont have enough people to make 4-man party, its Game Over man, Game Over!
  • There is no shame in retreating a battle or a quest. You'll suffer a great deal of stress but its better than a party wipe
  • Remember that most of your heroes are pretty disposable. Just because you've used somebody 5 times doesn't mean that they're a keeper. Make a point to keep people with good positive quirks; if you want to spoil what quirks are good/bad for yourself, search for one of those threads.
  • As far as heroes, look on the stickied thread about which heroes people like and which ones they don't. Do keep in mind that most of the ratings are from experienced people, and are usually referring to the character's potential usability, not their inherent one (as an example, there's one trinket that takes Plague Doctor from decent to amazing).
  • Stuns are overpowered once you get some trinkets for them. An enemy that's stunned for a turn is neither stressing you nor damaging you.
  • After stuns, damage, accuracy, and speed are king for regular fights.
  • If you're not entirely sure what mission to do, look for the one with the best trinket
  • For the hamlet upgrades, guild and blacksmith are far and away the most important. You should get a couple of stagecoach upgrades to start (4 people per week is good, get a couple of capacity upgrades), then do everything you can to bump up the guild and smith. Any busts you get should go towards sanitarium, not abbey. You can basically ignore abbey, bar, survivalist, and trinket wagon until late game. If you have trouble with stress still, it's best to have one good stress relief activity (usually cloister) than 6 bleah ones
  • Negative quirks that only effect stress relief activities are pretty meaningless, the ones that cause heroes to investigate curios suck. You can change combat skills in between fights, can be handy for boss missions. Medium and Long missions are your friends once you unlock the right camping skills. Coming back from a Long mission with tons of gold and low stress is a great feeling. Dodge is much more effective than Prot since it avoids status ailments and stress in addition to damage.
  • Always bring a healer and a support and two attackers. And within that at least one to stun and one or two that can kill backline stressers.
  • Did you make a stupid mistake in a room battle or was a fight going well but rolled bad luck? Restart. It saves constantly but at the beginning and end of rooms and hallway battles.
  • Do not be afraid to abort missions if one too many heros are stressed hurt etc.
  • If its costing too much to keep a hero unstressed and remove negative quirks don't be afraid to dismiss for a better one.
  • Don't get too attached to your heroes - they do sometimes get killed, and there are times when new heroes off the Stage Coach are a better option. Don't think of the heroes as being you or your friends - you are basically a cold-hearted team manager, and should feel free to hire and fire as needed.
  • Early on, it's not a bad idea to dismiss heroes if they've stacked up too many bad quirks and too much stress and replace them with fresh recruits off the Stage Coach. Removing quirks and de-stressing is expensive, new heroes are free.
  • First investments in the Hamlet should be into the Stage Coach so you can get more options for replacement heroes.
  • Recruit plenty of healers - Vestals and Occultists, maybe Arbalests - but Vestals are the safest option for new players. At least one out of every four recruits should be a healer.
  • Start thinking about investing into your heroes (upgrading equipment and skills, removing seriously negative quirks) when they hit level 2 or 3 and have some good quirks and not a lot of bad quirks.
  • Good quirks are typically combat related (+Speed is top, but also +Accuracy, +Damage, "___ Hater" and "___ Slayer" are also good). Bad quirks are also combat related ("Fragile", "Clumsy", etc.), but some dungeon quirks are also bad since they produce bad curio interactions. "Kleptomaniac" is awful, either remove it immediately or kick the hero (Reynauld, your starting hero, has Klepto right off the bat, so that's something you have to figure out right away). "Curious" is also awful. Town-specific quirks ("Known Cheat" etc.) are not that significant and not worth removing or reinforcing.
  • In combat, focus on killing stress attackers first (e.g., Bone Courtiers with the goblets). This is not intuitive, but stress damage is harder to remove, and you will have more runs end early due to Afflictions than due to physical damage. Unlike physical damage, stress damage snowballs once you have an Afflicted party member, so you really need to focus down stress attackers.
  • In combat, use stuns on stress attackers and high damage attackers. Initially, though, you won't be able to stun two rounds in a row since they get +Stun Resist after your first stun wears off - you can only stun every other round, so plan for that.
  • Keep torch light up, above 75%, to improve scouting and reduce the chance of getting surprised.
  • Hit the "end mission" button if things are going badly. You'll get a lot of stress, but better that than risking a full wipe. You can also retreat from combats, though it isn't guaranteed and may take several tries - but again, better that than a party wipe.
  • Once you start running Medium and Long expeditions, always bring a hero that has a Camping ability that "prevents nighttime ambushes" (Vestal, Highwayman, Hound Master, Occultist - but you need to make sure it's unlocked). Nighttime ambushes can be very bad news for a newer player who doesn't know how to handle them.
  • If you're running low on cash, get an Antiquarian. She's very weak in combat, but will dramatically increase your gold generation, just as long as you have her interact with curios (and you do need to have her actively selected when you click on the curio, otherwise you don't get her bonus items generated).
  • Do a lot of experimenting with party comps and trinkets and abilities. At the starting level (Apprentice) dungeons, it's relatively forgiving, so early in the game is the time to experiment.

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