Each character in Risk of Rain 2 is unique, and they’ve got abilities to help them survive the fight. Although they come with default skills, alternatives are also unlockable once you complete certain tasks. This character skills and loadouts guide aims to help you out with that.
Note: This guide is intended for the game’s early access stage. For more information, check out our Risk of Rain 2 guides and features hub.
Risk of Rain 2: Character skills and loadout unlocks guide
To start off with the basics, the additional skills are found under the loadout tab while choosing your Risk of Rain 2 character. You’ll also see the unlock requirements when playing as specific characters. Since a majority won’t require you to focus on solo play, you could try online coop in case you need a friend to lend a helping hand.
Likewise, you can finish many of these tallies on Drizzle/easy mode. The only clear exception would be the special character skins which require a successful run with Monsoon/hard difficulty selected.
Note: The images for each Risk of Rain 2 character will show the default skills. As such, only the unlockable ones will be mentioned with regard to their effects and prerequisites.
Character unlock requirement: Available by default; your first character in Risk of Rain 2.
Phase Blast (alt. secondary)
- Fire two close-range blasts that deal 8×200% damage in total.
- Land the killing blow on an Overloading Worm – The boss only spawns in higher difficulties or much later during your run, and it’s best to have a team that can help you out.
Tactical Slide (alt. utility)
- Slide for a short distance; can fire while sliding.
- Clear the first stage in less than five minutes – Quite easy to do if you rush.
Frag Grenade (alt. special)
- Throw a grenade that explodes for 175% damage; 4x damage at the center of the explosion; can hold two charges.
- Clear 20 stages in a single run without picking up any Lunar items – This one’s fairly easy to do as long as you avoid picking up any item that looks blue or visiting the Bazaar Between Time.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “Warrior” challenge.
Flurry (alt. secondary):
Fire three seeking arrows for 3×100% damage; crits fire six arrows; can be used while sprinting.
Land six killing bounces with the Laser Glaive skill – If soloing, use Strafe to lower the HP of surrounding enemies before using Laser Glaive. If you have a buddy, ask them to pick Acrid so the poison DOT effects lower the HP of mobs.
Phase Blink (alt. utility):
- Disappear and teleport a short distance; stores up to three charges; can be used while sprinting.
- Collect and carry 12 Crowbars at once – It’s best if you’ve already obtained the Artifact of Command. This will let you pick the type of item that you want to drop. Spend gold on containers and choose the Crowbar each time until you complete the tally.
Ballista (alt. special):
- Teleport into the sky; fire three energy bolts that deal 3×900% damage.
- Finish Rallypoint Delta or Scorched Acres without falling below 100% health – It’s better to do this with a team so you can play it safe. Otherwise, try to have as many Topaz Brooch items so you can have a topped-up barrier shield.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “Verified” challenge.
Scrap Launcher (alt. primary):
- Fire a canister that explodes for 360% damage; can hold up to four charges.
- Defeat two Beetle Queens without leaving the teleporter zone – This might sound like a pun, but this task is actually bugged.
Power-Saw (alt. primary):
- Saw through nearby enemies for 1,000% damage per second.
- Land the killing blow on an Imp Overlord with the Preon Accumulator – Make sure that you’ve got the Artifact of Command so you can select the Preon Accumulator, just in case you can’t find it in the wild. The projectile’s detonation has to be the one that kills the Imp Overlord boss and not the zapping tendrils.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “Engineering Perfection” challenge.
Spider Mines (alt. secondary):
- Place up to four robot mines that deal 600% damage when an enemy walks nearby.
- Defeat the teleporter boss in less than five seconds after it spawns – Try to combine items like Gesture of the Drowned, Shaped Glass, Crowbar, Fuel Cells, Royal Capacitor/Preon Accumulator, and multiple Pressure Mines that have been placed near the teleporter. Start the teleporter event and nuke the boss immediately.
Thermal Harpoons (alt. utility):
- Mark your targets and launch up to four heat-seeking harpoons that deal 500% damage each.
- Finish charging the teleporter with zero monsters remaining on the stage – You should do this within the first level to make things easier. Start the teleporter event and keep damaging the boss until you reach 99%. Move away from the teleporter but keep the boss alive. Kill the remaining enemies and then the boss. If you’re able to do this quickly, you should get 100% just as the last monster dies.
TR58 Carbonizer Turret (alt. special):
- Place up to two mobile turrets that inherit all your items. The turrets fire lasers that slow down enemies while doing 200% damage per second.
- Recruit 12 minions at once – Simply do a run and spend your gold on any turrets and drones that can be repaired. The Squid Polyp (which creates Squid Turrets) and The Happiest Mask item (which creates ghostly copies of defeated enemies) spawn minions too.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “Pause” challenge.
Plasma Bolt (alt. primary):
- Fire a bolt for 220% damage that explodes in a small area; hold up to four charges.
- Perform a multi-kill of 20 enemies – Using large AoE nukes like your default Charged Nano-Bomb along with a combination of various items such as Crowbars, Shaped Glass, Preon Accumulator, and the like.
Cast Nano Spear (alt. secondary):
- A projectile that does 400%-1,200% damage while also freezing enemies.
- Defeat the teleporter boss in a one-second burst of damage – For some reason, this doesn’t work during later stages when multiple bosses spawn. As such, it’s better to do this early. The same tips you’ll use as the Engineer will apply.
Ion Surge (alt. special):
- Burst into the sky, dealing 800% damage and stunning nearby enemies.
- Kill 15 enemies before touching the ground – Very easy to do especially if you’ve been trying to complete your multi-kills challenge.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “True Respite” challenge.
Rising Thunder (alt. secondary):
- A slicing uppercut that deals 450% damage.
- Don’t touch the ground for 30 seconds – The goal is to use all available abilities that can keep you suspended in mid-air, and even items that can lower cooldown or ones that provide flight or additional jumps (ie. Milky Chrysalis or Hopoo Feather). However, YouTuber Zero/One has a tip that lets you complete this requirement regardless of your items as long as the first stage you get is Distant Roost.
Slicing Winds (alt. special):
- Fire a wind of blades that attack up to three enemies for 8×100% damage.
- Complete a Prismatic Trial without falling below 100% health – This is one activity that you need to do solo. Try to follow the same steps as the one for the Huntress’ Ballista skill unlock.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “Power Plant” challenge.
Directive: Drill (alt. secondary):
- Seed bullets rain down for 450% damage per second.
- Complete an entire teleporter event while under 50% health – You need to be well below 50% health by the time you start a teleporter event, while you’re killing the boss, and once you exit the stage. Avoid using your Tangling Growth special because it can heal you for large amounts, but use your Seed Barrage to keep yourself below half health throughout the ordeal. Oh, and using Shaped Glass won’t work as a shortcut.
Bramble Volley (alt. utility):
- Fire thorns that push and damage all enemies hit for 550% damage; pushes REX backwards if airborne; heals for every target hit.
- Kill a Clay Dunestrider in the Abandoned Aqueduct stage by throwing it into a pit – This clay pot-mushroom-spider abomination has to be the boss that spawns once you reach the Abandoned Aqueduct stage. Your goal is to get it close to the tar pit and then use Directive: Disperse to make it fall down the hole.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the “Guidance Offline” challenge.
Spiked Fist (alt. secondary):
- Fire your gauntlet forward to deal 320% damage and stun enemies; this skill pulls you towards heavy targets but light targets are pulled to you instead.
- Reach and proceed through the Celestial Portal in 25 minutes or less – This one simply requires you to breeze through multiple stages, complete a loop, reach a repeat of the third stage, and go through the Celestial Portal to reach A Moment, Fractured.
Thunder Gauntlet (alt. utility):
- Charge a single punch for 2,100% damage while shocking enemies in a cone for 1,000% damage; deals more damage at higher speeds.
- Land a Charged Gauntlet hit at 300mph or higher – Try to have Paul’s Goat Hoof and Red Whips in your inventory. Find an open plain or start while on higher ground. Use your Charged Gauntlet and beeline straight for an enemy, making sure that you don’t hit anything else in your path.
Character unlock requirement: Complete the challenge/event in the Void Fields.
Blight (alt. passive):
- Skills that apply poison damage apply blight instead, dealing 60% damage per second.
- Land the killing blow on 50 enemies that have 1 HP left – Use Neurotoxin on enemies and wait for their HP to drop. Kill them with any other attack.
Ravenous Bite (alt. secondary):
- Bite an enemy to deal 310% damage and poison them; deals up to 3x damage on low health enemies.
- Land the final blow on a Scavenger – The Scavenger boss monsters can spawn in various stages. When you do encounter one, just make sure to nuke it with everything you have.
Frenzied Leap (alt. utility):
- Leap into the air and slam down on enemies, stunning them and doing 550% damage; cooldown is reduced by two seconds for each enemy that gets hit.
- Inflict poison a total of 1,000 times – You’ll complete this eventually while playing as Acrid due to how the poison spread mechanic works.