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Dauntless: Deathmarks, tips, and the best starting weapons for your new Behemoth hunting adventure

Grab your sword and a health potion or two, it’s time to go hunting in Dauntless.

Dauntless is a free-to-play monster hunting co-op game by Phoenix Labs which finally launched on PC, PS4 and Xbox One last week after a lengthy beta period.

If you’re new to Dauntless, you’ll soon see that there’s quite a lot to get your head around, so we've created this guide to help you get started.

Dauntless offers true cross-play, which means that PS4, PC and Xbox One players can all play together as well as share progress across accounts on different platforms. There’s also the latest Hunt Pass, Hidden Blades, that will allow you to earn exclusive cosmetic items for your Slayer over 50 tiers.

Dauntless - tips to get started

For PC players, it might be more comfortable to change the key bindings in the first instance. Jump is F and dodge is space, but I found switching them around allowed me to control my Slayer better.

In the Mastery section, you’ll see a bunch of challenges you can complete by using certain weapons, killing specific Behemoths and the like which will earn you rewards, such as Cores or Orbs. You'll have to use a variety of weapons and defeat different types of Behemoth to complete them all.

You can open the Cores to find Cells, which are mods and upgrades for your gear. There are loads to find, such as those for speed, evasion and even one that reduces fire damage. As you build your loadout, remember to switch them often to maximise your efficiency on hunts. If you end up with too many of the same Cells, speak to the Middleman in Ramsgate to fuse them together to make an improved version of the Cell.

If you’re the lowest level in your party, then ask to be the party leader so that your higher level friends can help you grind through the early stages quickly.

Some of the Weekly Challenges can be completed simultaneously, like the one where you need to use a Frost weapon and slaying a specific number with a sword. Equipping a Frost sword kills two birds with one stone, so make sure you equip gear effectively before you begin a hunt.

Experiment with different weapons. Axes are good at helping chop off tails or knee-capping a Behemoth which will bag you some extra loot. You can look at a weapon's Move List by equipping it then selecting the Move List menu. Make sure you equip the appropriate potions and grenades before beginning a hunt, too.

At the end of each hunt, you’ll get a hunt rank, which depends on how many times you die, get hit and how much damage you deal. The better you are, the more likely you are to get that sweet S++ rank.

Dodging is important as it uses less stamina than sprinting away, so roll away as often as you can before landing a strike and keep an eye on your Danger meter. Each player has three self-revives, but if you reach 100% Danger, you’ll have to rely on a friend reviving you.

There are five different elemental types you can specialise in: Shock, Blaze, Frost, Terra, and Neutral. You begin as Neutral and it isn’t a bad strategy to stay Neutral for the first few hours of the game as you’ll likely get more loot from Behemoths this way. Once you’re past Level 10, you can diversify and make a build to suit your playstyle. As you progress through the quests, you'll unlock crafting where you can create and upgrade weapons and gear.

And finally, you can pet the dogs in Ramsgate.

Dauntless - where to find Deathmarks and boost your Hunt Pass Exp

Scattered around Ramsgate are red Deathmarks, which are banners on the ends of arrows you find in the side of buildings. Their locations change every day, and collecting all 10 of them will net you 50 Hunt Pass experience, which is the equivalent to half a Hunt Pass level.

They might be in slightly different locations to that of your friends, so just run around Ramsgate until a notification pings that you found them all.

Dauntless - weapon types

As you progress, you'll unlock the six weapon times, which are Axes, Chain Blades, Hammers, Swords, War Pikes and Ostian Repeaters. Each of these types has multiple versions based on the Behemoths you slay, and as part of the main quest, you are tasked with crafting a sword after slaying an Embermane that will be enchanted with fire damage.

Hammers deal Blunt damage, which is also called Stagger damage, if you do enough of this damage you'll stun a Behemoth allowing for some free hits.

The likes of War Pikes deal Piercing damage, which stacks on specific body parts until they reach Wounded status, which then increases the amount of damage that body part takes from all sources of Slashing damage on your team. A Hammer, however, will cause Stammer damage which can stun a Behemoth, allowing your party to slash away for a few seconds unhindered. Swords do an impressive amount of slashing damage, which lets you hack away at limbs and gather teeth and the like.

Axes are relatively slow but deal a higher amount of Slashing damage. Its special move is an axe throw, which is useful if you're keeping an enemy at a distance or if it is a larger, slower Behemoth.

Chain Blades are a quick weapon with light Slashing damage, with a mix of long and close-range attacks. These are good for hacking off Behemoth parts and the special move lets you teleport close to - or away from -a Behemoth. You can also chain attacks, as the name suggests, but using the quick attack three times before using a heavy attack that will send you twirling around dealing damage.

There's also the Ostian Repeaters dual revolvers, which are slow-firing Slash damage weapons. You can fire 12 bullets before you need to reload, and if you fire from close-range you'll become Empowered which lets you double your damage. You can edit the elemental type of the Ostian Repeaters and install Prisms to add extra finesse.

Hammers are also a slower weapon but deal high amounts of Blunt/ Stagger damage. If you hit a Behemoth on the head, you'll stun it. Interestingly, the Hammer's secondary attack is a cannon, and the special allows you to reload the cannon with an active reload timing when you press the second attack key. You can also fire yourself into the air to slam attack the Behemoth, which is pretty cool.

Swords deal a fair amount of Slashing damage and have both fast and slower swings. You can combo moves easily enough and every time you strike the enemy, your elemental burst meter will charge which unleashes a powerful special.

War Pikes offer much the same as swords except they have Piercing damage. Piercing a body part allows your team to inflict increased damage on that part, which is useful when taking down more challenging foes. The secondary attack is a wide swing that inflicts Slash damage and you can combo them together. The special move fires slashing projectiles that aim towards wounded areas for a targetted attack.

In terms of defence, you can equip a Lantern and mods that will allow you to share shields with your party, as well as other bonuses from slaying Behemoths. Dodging, as we said earlier, is your best defence, so keep rolling along and watch out for the Behemoth's pattern of attack.

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PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

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About the Author

Lauren Aitken