If you want to smash the rat-dudes to pieces, you'll need to master the heroes and their classes.
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 has finally arrived, and this co-operative rat-bashing action-RPG-shooter hybrid sure seems like it's perfect for killing some time with friends online. It's also pretty challenging, however, and so you'll do well to go into battle knowing Vermintide 2's characters and character classes so you know what you're getting into.
In this brief Vermintide 2 Classes Guide for beginners, we're going to run down each of the game's five characters and then beyond that each of the three classes each character can become. Each class has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and in co-op play each will synergize with other classes in your team of choice in unique ways. Team make-up is a big part of ensuring victory against the tide of enemies you'll face.
Below we list every character and their classes, including their basic abilities and how you can expect them play. Choose wisely!
Markus Kruber - the Empire Soldier
Markus is a real deadly gentleman, the perfect image of a noble knight. Markus is world-weary and wise, though he's also pretty dedicated to his job - which in many cases involves bringing the pain to his enemies. He's an aggressive type of character that can dish out enormous amounts of damage thanks to his use of large two-handed weapons, but he doesn't have the greatest speed as a result. He has three classes:
The Mercenary is a versatile class, featuring decent armor that offers protection but also still decent mobility. He's got ranged combat options, but he's really most at home up close and personal.
- Career Skill - Morale Boost: Markus grants nearby party members a boost of temporary health and staggers nearby enemies.
- Passive ability - Paced Strikes
- Hitting 3 enemies in one swing grants 10% increased attack speed for 6 seconds
- Attacks cleave through more enemies
- Increased critical strike chance
Huntsman (level 7 unlock)
The Huntsman class sees Kruber use ranged weapons to take our enemies from afar, and as a result he forgoes heavy armor in favor of more flexible gear. He's faster but also more vulnerable as a result, but deadly at range.
- Career Skill - Hunter’s Prowl: Disappear from sight for a brief period of time, allowing for ambushes
- Passive ability - Waste Not, Want Not
- Ranged headshots recover 1 ammunition
- No ranged damage drop-off
- Critical strike chance aura
Foot Knight (level 12 unlock)
Fully armored in heavy metal gear and a shield, Kruber can certainly take a hit as the knight - and he also has the weapons to aggressively crush his foes in close-quarters combat.
- Career skill - Valiant charge: Charge forward, slamming into enemies and pushing them forward
- Passive ability - Protective Presence
- Damage resistance aura
- Increased stamina
- Reduced damage taken
Bardin Goreksson - the Dwarven Ranger
Bardin Goreksson has the word Gore in his name, and he's got all of the battle hardiness you'd expect despite the fact he's actually quite a jovial chap. In his most basic form Goreksson is all about the ranged attacks, but when push comes to shove he also has unlockable classes that'll allow him to go toe-to-toe with enemies head on.
A crack shot with a crossbow, Bardin can deliver huge amounts of damage to foes from a distance in the Ranger Veteran class, but his superior strength and hardiness also means he can do quite well in melee range too.
- Career skill - Disengage: Drop a smoke bomb that conceals you from enemy sight
- Passive ability - Survivalist
- Specials drop ammo pickups on death
- Double ammo capacity
- Increased reload speed
Ironbreaker (level 7 unlock)
As the Ironbreaker Bardin is a steadfast, powerful ally that won't fall easily. He's powerful and hardy, and can act as the ultimate tank to take enemy attention while allies rally and regroup.
- Career skill - Impenetrable: Taunt all man sized enemies within 10 units, plus get increased defense, plus the ability to block any attack for 10 seconds
- Passive ability: Gromril Armour
- Completely absorbs one hit every 20 seconds
- Reduce damage taken
- Increased stamina
- Increased stun resistance
Slayer (level 12 unlock)
The Slayer is the ultimate dwarven slugger class, dropping all the ranged weaponry for axes and other weapons that allow him to get up close and personal to see the whites of his enemy's eyes. It's all about the bloodlust here, with all the tools you need to deliver major pain.
- Career skill - Leap: Leap forward to stun a target and gain a burst of attack speed
- Passive ability - Trophy Hunter
- Stacking damage buff on hitting an enemy
- Increased attack speed
Kerillian - the Waystalker
Wood Elf Kerillian is a complicated soul who has made the jump from Waywatcher to Waystalker, a mysterious, assassin-like vocation that gives her all the class abilities you'd expect from such a sneaky character. Though she can hold her own in a brawl to a degree, she's really focused on ranged combat and attacking enemies suddenly from the shadows.
The Waystalker class is all about making use of the bow and arrow - but this is true elven archery with supreme accuracy and piercing shots, with skills that ensure she remains alive while she keeps her distance.
- Career skill - Trueshot Volley: Fires a trueflight volley that seeks out enemies in Kerillian’s path
- Passive ability - Amaranthe
- Kerillian regenerates health over time
- Doubled ammo capacity
- No ranged damage drop-off
- Ranged weapon zoom
Handmaiden (level 7 unlock)
Unlike the Waystalker, the Handmaiden is much more melee-focused, with Kerillian making use of a spear to simultaneously keep her distance and deliver pain to enemies in a more direct way. It's an incredibly mobile class, and its uninterruptible revive makes it a great support class.
- Career skill - Dash: Kerillian quickly dashes forward through enemies
- Passive ability: The Dance of Seasons
- Increased dodge distance
- Stamina regeneration aura
- Uninterruptible revive
Shade (level 12 unlock)
The Shade is the skill set of an assassin, featuring brutal use of daggers and the shadows to strike at unaware foes and kill them before they have chance to react.
- Career skill - Infiltrate: Kerillian becomes undetectable and can pass through enemies for 10 seconds or until she attacks
- Passive ability: Murderous Prowess
- 50% additional damage when attacking enemies from behind
- Critical hit backstabs instantly slay mansized enemies
Victor Saltzpyre - The Witch Hunter Captain
Victor is an intense fella, but one can hardly be surprised at that given that he's dedicated his life to wiping out that which he sees as evil and unnatural. In Vermintide 2, Victor's a fast-moving character that can weave in to dish out damage with a rapier and then weave back out to blast foes from afar with his pistols. His attacks are weaker, but he can do a lot of them very quickly. Here's his classes...
Witch Hunter Captain
Witch Hunter Captain Victor uses both of his weapons in equal measure, and he's all about tagging enemies before taking them down, using deft, speedy attacks to overwhelm.
- Career skill - Animosity: Boosts critical hit chance for all nearby party members for 8 seconds
- Passive ability - Witch-Hunt
- Tagged enemies take additional damage
- No light attack block cost from frontal attacks
- Critical hit headshots instantly slay mansized enemies
Bounty Hunter (level 7 unlock)
The Bounty Hunter class puts Victor in some heavier armor and places an emphasis on his pistols - essentially maximizing safety through both firepower, armor and distance. This is as measured as a character like Victor gets.
- Career skill - Locked and Loaded: Fire a powerful shot that pierces through enemies
- Passive ability - Blessed Shots
- Guaranteed ranged critical hit every 8 seconds or on melee kill
- Double ammunition capacity
- Increased reload speed
Zealot (level 12 unlock)
The Zealot class is all about furious melee action, making use of heavy flail-type weapons and letting rip with them in a bloody rage, with skills to ensure that your attacks break through even the most steadfast defenses.
- Career skill - Holy Fervor: Charge forward, gaining 50% increased attack speed for 5 seconds
- Passive ability - Fiery Faith
- Power increases by 5% for every 25 health missing to a maximum bonus of 20%
- Uninterruptible heavy attacks
- Resist death on taking lethal damage
Sienna Fuegonasus - the Wizard
Sienna is a powerful Wizard who also happens to be a bit of a pyromaniac - a dangerous combination, to be sure. She uses a staff for channeling her magic power, but she also has a build that allows her to get stuck-in with a sword. Her use of the arcane arts is powerful, and ideal for burning beasts to ash.
The Battle Wizard variant of Sienna is all about blasting enemies with powerful area-of-effect spells that can control large groups of enemies while her allies fight on.
- Career skill - Fire Walk: Blink forward leaving a blanket of fire in your wake
- Passive ability - Tranquility
- Avoiding damage and not casting spells for 8 seconds automatically ventilates overcharge
- Overcharge increases spell charge speed
- Increase ranged damage
Pyromancer (level 7 unlock)
The Pyromancer almost feels like where Sienna is most at home, though this class trades out the area-of-effect skills of the Battle Wizard for more targeted attacks that rip a single target to shreds.
- Career skill - Homing Firespear: Sienna unleashes a projectile that seeks out targets.
- Passive ability - Critical Mass
- Increased critical strike chance based on Overcharge level
- Increased ranged damage
Unchained (level 12 unlock)
The Unchained is without a doubt one of the best looking classes in the game, a raging knight with a flaming sword and an equally flaming head. This is all about magically-enhanced melee combat and even magically-powered armor of flames, making her a bastion of destruction.
- Career skill - Living Bomb: Sienna heats up and explodes dealing damage to surrounding enemies - this ability also clears all her Overcharge.
- Passive ability - Blood Magic
- 50% damage taken transferred to Overcharge
- No Overcharge slowdown
- Increased melee power on high Overcharge
- Reduce block cost on high Overcharge, consumes Overcharge