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How to deal with unhelpful teammates…
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I did not think this guide would get so many views, therefore I wanted to make it easier for you to find relevant information depending on the state of your journey through the darkest tides.
I think all players should at least skim through «Exploiting Class Synergies«. It will improve your worth as a part of the team if you understand the other classes better, especially if you tend to only main one class.
For new players, I recommend to at least look through the following parts, while obviously going through the entire guide is always a good idea.
The I in Team!
Difficulty Levels and how to die correctly
Guns and you
For veteran players, especially players planning on moving on to Heresy or Damnation, I strongly suggest to make yourself familiar with the following, while assuming you have obtained the knowledge in the other chapters already:
The nuances of «Heresy»
Caught in a landslide
The two most important parts are definitely «Awareness» and «Exploiting Class Synergies.
The I in team!
Darktide is a team game
Please read the big line above this one again.
Once more just to be sure.
Alright, now that is established, you may wonder what that actually means.
The game is designed to punish solo players! There are several enemies which are extremely hard to fight if you are alone. I say hard, because it is not impossible!
Other guides can go into this in more detail and definitely already have, so the short version is this:
You can «parry-push» dogs before they jump you to incapacitate them. (I have to add here, that dogs seem to currently be sort of unreliable in their behavior. They have developed the power to quantum-leap through obstacles, players and parries, so no method is 100% reliable at the moment.)
You can dodge big muties, just before they bump into you.
You can dodge the trapper’s net by either simply dodging or getting walls between you and them (it is currently unknown what the game considers solid, so take care).
Fine enough if you play in Malice or lower, you can solo a level easily with that knowledge, now why does that not work so well in Heresy and Damnation?
Darktide’s answer to everything: Higher numbers. I am sure you are great at performing admirable dodges, however where do you dodge to when you fight 4 Bulwarks alone in the middle of a horde? Stopping two hounds at once is fun… The two bombers above you have some presents for you as well and the demonhost around the corner, who would love to have a chat with you about our lord and savior…
You might be a really good player, but it is incredibly unlikely that you successfully complete more than half the mission completely alone, lag could disadvantage you and, I promise not to tell anyone, even you might make a mistake. It’s not because you need to git more gud, the game is simply designed to be played as a team. Heresy and Damnation enforce this significantly harder than the lower three difficulty levels.
Yes, they do that. The game’s spawn system deliberately sends «late» enemies to attack you in the back. This is designed to discourage you from staying way back, sniping with your fancy lasgun or psyker staff. Every once in a while, some enemies depart from the main fray into some vent, just to pop out behind you.
The game rewards cohesion
Now what does that mean?
Be close to friendly -> get buff
Numerous feats of all classes gain bonuses from nearby teammates and can even stack, if you have more than one instance of a class in the team (a good team of Sharpshooters never has any ammo trouble on a map with many specialist enemies).
Pick your target
Usually, it is a good idea in shooter games to attack one target as a team. You bring down enemy players super fast if all three of your squad target one target after the other. This is not always the best option in Darktide!
Due to how the classes and their abilities work, it might be a good idea to spread your fire to several enemies instead of one (obviously not with the big monstrosity enemies). What exactly does that mean?
The Psyker gains a warp charge if they kill their target. A Sharshooter gets an extention on their damage bonus when they kill a marked target.
Thus, when you see three maulers and one of them has a nice blue-ish circle around their head, it is a very good idea to target the other maulers, since you either waste ammo or the psykers peril level by focusing the same enemy (he would have died instantly due to the Psyker anyway!).
It is of course a lot harder to coordinate that with a Sharpshooter, since they can’t easily mark what they are shooting at, however it is usually sufficient to simply start firing at the marked enemies that are further away or clearing out normal enemies that are in the way, if you want to be extra nice!
The game gives you audio cues for just about everything! You get a different sound cue when you are being attacked from behind in melee or range. If you learn to listen to them, you will collect a lot less stabbings into your backs or «overlook» enemies who then shoot you from behind.
Specialists, much like in Vermintide, also usually announce themselves. Bombers and Trappers chat away like crazy, it is next to impossible to overhear them. The same goes for the exploding fat guys. The tick-tock sound should not remind you of watching another 10 second dancing video but of the fact that you will explode in a minute or two (they aren’t that fast or bright).
Your teammates talk too! Whether the players want it or not, the characters always talk. They announce critical damage, grenade and abilities activated, enemy presence, loot etc…
Why would you care? Every second you spend looking at something other than where you are shooting, is a shot you missed. Listening to the surroundings does not cost you anything but can save you in a pinch. Dodge is insanely powerful in this game, so refer to some dodge guides out there and listen to your cue!
The enemies around you are getting closer, they are getting more, your ammo is getting less, your space is shrinking? Congrats, you are alone!
If «normal» sized congregations of enemies seem to be tougher than you are used to, it might mean you have strayed from your teammates and are now missing firepower and cohesion effects.
Everything is going good but you feel like you need about three times as many hits to kill something than you usually do? Go and check if your gun or pointy stick is actually up for the difficulty level you selected!
You are the first to arrive at the next map part. Congrats! You see 3 clusters of enemies, of those clusters, you make out about 4 ogryn-sized gun fanatics, about 3 double axe-wielding maniacs and a handful regular sized rudies. What do you do?
Jump down into the fray, charge the first Bulwark, get killed by the 5 ragers you didn’t see and then start flaming the team why they didn’t help you.
Usually it is a good idea to wait until the entire team is at a «point of no return» (jumps down with no visible way back up). That might cost you 7 seconds of waiting, you are free to go watch 23 tiktok videos while waiting, or you can start tagging enemies, up to you.
This also ties in with the hearing part. Some tough enemies do not announce themselves until you hear the hammer bash in your skull. Tagging and calling out groups of heavies is very helpful for everyone involved, except the chaos fanatics.
Establish your position in a room
Where are your teammates?
They are ignoring your glorious leadership not just because they dislike the colour of your hat! Sometimes, or actually all the time, something spawned behind your group. Some unlucky dude just got bonked to hell by three angry chaos freaks simply because nobody ever looks back. It is your duty to sometimes look back as well! Not all the time, no, but every once in a while. This can save you a lot of trouble.
The psyker not firing a single explosion? Ye he wasn’t lazy, he just had to deal with a constant stream of poxwalkers coming at him while you caroused around the front, having 3 people bash a single trapper.
Move as one
Many missions force your team to move between several important points in order to keep data interrogators running or to kill demonic infestations. Pretty much all areas that have those elements are designed to do two things: Split your group up and make enemies come from more than one direction.
It is sometimes hard to maintain cohesion in those scenarios especially on Heresy but this is also where it is the most important thing to do! Getting cut off from your team because they rushed to the next target point by a wayward horde is not fun at all. Neither for you, nor the team that now has to fight a 4-player horde with only three players!
When riding a motorcycle within a group, it is sometimes custom to let the most inexperienced riders go in the very front because they can then set the velocity they feel comfortable and safe with. Obviously you aren’t going to let the most inexperienced player figure out everything for themselves while all of you are being eaten by Nurgle’s blessed.
This means you as the experienced player have to take point. Show them where to go next and when to go. Horde situations severely limit people’s ability to concentrate on several different things at once, so do not expect miracles. Ping the way, use voice comms, if time allows, type it out and let them know when to depart. Nobody wins if you rushed B just to die there alone while your team could’ve used your help and also dies.
As a player not that familiar with Darktide or the maps: AWARENESS. Try to train it. Listen to people (you have to decide whether they talk words of wisdom or not to the best of your ability). If someone seems obviously experienced, cling to them like an overly attached girlfriend! (Metaphorically speaking…)
Difficulty Levels and how to die correctly
A short description for new players wondering about the different difficulty levels offered:
Sedition Testing new chars and weapons in the Psycanium is boring, this is why you chose Sedition. If you are in your very first round of Darktide or you want to try out random stuff, this is the one for you.
Uprising A good start, a nice learning opportunity. Uprising is overall not much harder than sedition but you can die if you fool around too much. This is good to get a feel for your class and your weapons, you can still make mistakes and not be punished too harshly.
Malice The general go-to difficulty if you just want to have fun but also some challenge. The better you or your team plays, the more it will feel like Uprising again, especially once your character reaches higher levels.
A side note here: Map modifiers are a thing! Those yellow icons on the map selection screen tell you what they do, so read them carefully! A «high intensity» Malice map can be a lot closer to Heresy than you might like. Check the wikis for detailed info if you want to pick and choose, or just try them out and find out yourself!
Heresy At some point, Malice will get repetitive. You likely have a max level character now, you know your gun, you know your feats. This is when Heresy starts to become a viable option. Personally I recommend lvl 30 characters, however you can also survive with lower levels, if your team and you know how it’s done. This level can go from «oh this is nice» to «that escalated quickly» very fast. Underpowered weapons are a no-go here. No matter how good you shoot, if you need 7 shots to kill a poxwalker, you will have a bad time.
Damnation Try it, it’s fun! Really! Best played in premade parties of 4, which all have max gear, lvl and really know what they are doing!
The nuances of «Heresy»
No, you’re not soooooo much better than anyone else…
…because otherwise, you’d be playing Damnation. …or in a private lobby with only bots. …or only with your 3 friends. …or only in Valorant Ranked at the highest tier.
You play public in Heresy? I’ve got bad news for you…
But what makes «Heresy» special?
There is a considerable step from Malice to Heresy, more than any of the lower 3 difficulties are apart. Therefore, some aspects are to be considered if you do not want the Snowflakes to start crying halfway through the first wave.
Don’t be the Snowflake yourself. If you are THAT much better than the entire team, play Damnation or private games (or maybe Left4Dead, I hear they have some «competitive spirit» there).
Teamplay is even more important on this difficulty and it is enforced a lot harsher!
Public is not the place to go achievement/penance hunting. Use private lobbies for that (you surely have 3 friends/followers, you are a streamer-king after all with your skill) or communicate your desire BEFORE the battle starts. Most people will happily help you out!
Speedrunning is for Super Mario levels. Or PRIVATE LOBBIES. If you are one of the math-meta-timesaver grinder, you should be in Sedition (Guides are out there to explain why, gain vs time blabla).
You will die. Teammates will die. If you can’t handle that, there are discord groups and steam chat topics to form «elite» groups, of people who wanna tryhard a coop game that has no statistics.
You take a lot more damage from behind. Psykers can insta-down in a hord of off 3-4 hits! -> Awareness.
Communicate. Buy a mouse that has something to use as a ping button!
No, you can not carry the game alone.
You do need gear (and character level) that is up to the task! Refer to weapon and class guides, this is not just tied to your skill, it is just how the game is designed.
Be not afraid to drop back to Malice to practice a new character. They play differently and each of them needs some getting used to. Even if you are super-elite-uber-pro with your Sharpshooter, it doesn’t necessarily mean your Psyker is that great as well.
Time of day and weekday IRL can make a lot of a difference in who you meet. Find out which works for you. If you are restricted by real life, you might want to consider getting onto some discords to form premade groups of chill people.
What do you win from playing Heresy? Well you do get more bucks, but usually missions take a lot longer so it balances out with doing two low difficulty missions. Otherwise, a sense of achievement, I suppose? It’s just more fun, as it has more of the «real» 40K feeling of fighting overwhelming odds and just barely surviving.
Caught in a landslide…
…no escape from reaility, or Poxwalkers.
Fighting «monsters» (the big ones) in bad conditions
More often than not, our friends the plague ogryn and the beast of nurgle decide to walk in on our happy little gathering of like-minded individuals in the most inopportune times. They love to play party crasher when you are already in the middle of a horde, fighting waves of dreg gunners and a flood of poxwalkers. Now how do you handle such a situation?
If you squad is far apart, you have lost the mission, congrats!
The first priority should be to kill the monstrosity but for that, you need people who have time to shoot it! Try to keep your psykers and sharpshooters clear of enemy forces eating their shoes, stick together and keep your distance as good as possible (from the monster, not your teammates).
By employing awareness, you should already be in a favorable position to fight the horde (chokepoints etc.), try to not get pushed into a bad spot by the monstrosity and do your best not to get separated, the four maulers walking by would love to see you alone for a minute!
By default, big enemies as well as muties target the most «convenient» target for them. While we can only speculate on what that entails, we can still use it to our advantage. The target has the power to draw the beast into a position others can take advantage of.
You can attack and successfully kill both monsters with melee, so while the big slug follows your poor teammate, whack it’s back with a charged power sword and see the magic happen. Plague ogryns can also do a little charge, just like muties, which incapacitates them for a minute, giving you time to bonk its head.
Or elite enemies, like the flamer, the dreg gunner, the rager, etc. There are comprehensive guides about them out there, maybe take a look?
Some tips for fighting them which I found helpful:
You can indeed charge and slide under the fire of an enemy firing squad, killing them with melee without getting hit. Not so much with a dreg gunner squad. Their suppression effect is quite powerful in making your character walk like a toddler despite them not even hitting you. Dreg gunner squads usually consists of three or more, which can take a few hits.
What to do then? Circumvent, using terrain. Do not charge directly. Let the psykers and sharpshooters handle them.
Same goes for reapers (the big ogryn gun nerds). Sharpshooters can take them out easily with their ability, as they don’t wear full armor like the bulwarks.
Most enemies can be lured around terrain to create more favorable conditions for melee users.
For the love of the emperor, do not charge a three man armored mauler squad alone as a psyker! They can take a punch and dish out accordingly, killing you instantly on Heresy. Use your brain to defeat their brawn!
Ping specialists. Always. The psyker might just have charged his headpop and the sharpshooter might just be in the middle of using their ability, looking for more targets. Why ping? Because relatively often, vision is obscured by dust, smoke, enemies etc…
Snipers. You can dodge their shots. If the game doesn’t lag, syncs you perfectly, doesn’t hate you and doesn’t crash. If you are not sure all that is the case, get in cover. More often than not, more than one sniper spawns and you get an express ticket into spectator mode.
Psykers and sharpshooters can deal with them very well, if they can see them and have a clear line of fire, which is supported by you being not in the line of fire.
Don’t expect wonders either, it is not always possible to immediately shoot at a sniper due to 30 poxwalkers being in the way or your shooter being eaten alive by a dog.
AKA pinching the eye, is not a one-man job in most cases.
Some maps have the tentacle points spread out so far, you can not destroy them all before they regrow if you are alone.
Shockingly, there is no price for doing it solo. Neither is there for being there first while your team dies to a wave that spawned behind you.
Ranged and psyker bubbles don’t work as well as melee hits on our homebrew chutullu appendages.
The eye appearing knocks you back. «Back» as in «over the cliff» or «into the enemy horde». Stay back a second when it appears.
Rarely, you are done with just one demon eye. Often you are forced to move to the next one. Do so as a group. The maps are designed to split you up in those parts! Outsmart their mapmakers!
Exploiting Class Synergies
There is no one in my team but me!
Some things to look out for:
Playing with a Psyker
Originally posted by everyone:
Psykers are usless above Malice.
The Psyker has something called Warp Charges (I call them Doomstacks). What does it do? In a nutshell, it makes them do more boom. How do they gain it? Killing something with the headpop or by feats. If you consistently shoot the enemie that has a glowing head, it gives them peril (bad thing) and prevents warp charge (good thing). -> Shoot things that do not have a blueish glowing head.
Several Psyker staffs stun. They do not kill outright. What does that mean? It means you rarely see them kill things and you are blissfully unaware that it is not your skill that makes all your enemies die so easily before you. -> Shoot stunned enemies (burning, black from electricity, people on the ground etc.).
If you kill a Bulwark with one hit, think again if you are really that good, or if you maybe hit an enemy a Psyker has headpopped twice already. On that note, do hit those enemies! Dead is dead, we are not counting here for a reason (Psykers rarely use big ones to gather warp charges).
Psykers are meant to stay behind the group a little bit. They can shoot through teammates without problem! That makes them vulnerable for ambushers. If you artillery stops firing, you do not blame them for being so lazy, you clear out the horde that ran past you into them!
I really wanted to add a Megumin-picture here but couldn’t find one that doesn’t make it cringe. A psyker that has overdone it, explodes. We all know that…
So what can we do to help our unstable incomparable minds to not explode? Keep an eye out for them. Megumin would’ve died on her first mission without her team and your very own Psyker is also going to be eternally grateful if you could stop the two Bulwarks attacking them way in the back because no one bothered to look back once in a while.
Playing with an Ogryn
Originally posted by ranged classes:
I wish I could shoot through you!
They are tanks, use them accordingly! A Psyker is not meant to take on three armored maulers. An Ogryn easily can withstand the fire!
Ogryn can revive people without being interrupted by enemies. Do not revive someone under fire if an ogryn stands literally next to you and sucks his thumbs idly.
Ogryn can carry heavy stuff faster than you. They can also take more fire than you. What do you think that might mean when the mission makes you carry heavy stuff?
You can in fact duck behind a shield deployed by an ogryn and shoot out the sides! Even two people fit!
I’ve heard people say Ogryn are a useless class, as they always die first. Well, there’s two possibilities: The ogryn player isn’t very experienced, which can happen and is fair enough (you also had a time where you thought clouds were edible), or the team thought the ogryn can take on all 27 elite enemies alone, simply because it’s an ogry.
They are supposed to tank (especially the shield carriers) but all tanks need someone to kill the thing that is attacking them at some point.
Playing with a Sharpshooter
Originally posted by Sharpshooters:
Cool, four Sharpshooters in the team again.
No, you will not run out of ammo the entire time, IF you stay close together! The ammo return bonus on elite kill works overtime then!
No, they can not instantly kill the sniper you pinged. There are about 40 poxwalkers between the Sharpshooter and the target. Snipers can shoot through their own, we, alas, can not. Take cover and ask your Psyker.
If you do not constantly hear them announcing their ability, you can politely remind them to use it. Believe it or not, most people who play this aren’t CSGO world championship winners and might simply forget.
Yes, the Sharpshooter can also fight melee and benefit the team. Weapons like the charge sword are insanely powerful.
However, if the Sharpshooter has announced «low ammo» three times already and is only fighting melee, you might want to ping them some ammo.
You do benefit from their xray vision, utilize it and maybe look back for a sec as well?
Their ability duration extends, when they kill a marked enemy. What does that mean? That means they do more damage for longer if you do not kill every marked enemy just before they do. Usually there is enough to go around until their magazine is empty anyway!
Playing with a Zealot
Originally posted by the swarmed Psyker who is alone at the back:
Could you please come back and be at least not further away than 2 areas of us?
Just like Ogryns, they can take a punch!
Conveniently, they can also dish out a lot of damage!
A skilled Zealot has potential for carrying a team even on Heresy. Unfortunately that makes them forget that it is just not enough to actually win the mission. You can politely remind them that you might simply not be as fast as someone who has a dash ability.
They are a good place to be near when the big hordes come. Together it is a lot more feasible to hold off groups of elites for longer.
They can have a feat that gives them more attack speed the less health they have, that means they might actually have a reason for not healing despite you providing love and affection in a green mist so readily (I’ve seen this more below Heresy level though).
General consensus about the best and worst classes seems to have been established as follows:
Psykers are the worst class. Ogryn are the worst class. Zealots are the worst class. Sharpshooters are the worst class.
That tells me something: People tend to not really understand the classes. Either while playing them, or when playing alongside them. I’ll try to add more «insights» into this section whenever they come to me.
So you feel confident enough to try something a bit more challenging.
You decide it’s time to transcend from Malice to Heresy.
First, maybe read up on the difficulty explanations just above, to make sure you are geared up for the job. You’ll encounter several elements of the game that you did not before on difficulties above 3, one of them is that there can indeed be more than one demonhosts in a map, yes even 4 right where you need to go in short succession, fun!
But the one thing you will encounter in any case at some point, is Snowflakes. It is sadly unavoidable until we restrict internet access to people living in basements, that you will encounter tryhards and, to a greater extend, what I refer to as Snowflakes. Typical Snowflake behavior includes:
Quitting as soon as they down for the first time, especially if they are the first of the team to down.
Caring about how you play your role more than what they do themselves, often playing a lot worse because of it, since they are busy making notes of your mistakes and typing them out.
Blaming the team for getting downed while they are about five areas ahead of you and a horde appears.
Joining a game via quickplay and instantly leaving because you didn’t pick up scriptures but are already in area two of the mission.
Quitting instantly as soon as more than one person is downed.
Now, what can we do to counter Snowflake behavior and still have fun in this no-score cooperate casual game?
We can remind them, gently (they are usually volatile), that they are not playing Left4Dead2.
We can simply ignore them.
We can just focus on our own play.
Any of the above will usually result in the Snowflake leaving, as depicted in this helpful infographic:
Snowflakes are usually a problem that solves itself, so you just have to focus on how you play, and not on how they perceive you and your playstyle. Very often, missions are more than salvageable on Heresy after two players downed and believe me, it feels awesome to stick around and pull it off. Conveniently, Snowflakes insta-leaving also opens up a spot for an actually good player to join and help out!
Guns and you
Skill is one thing. You can not kill anything with a gun if you can’t hit the target.
The other is the size of the boom.
Every gun is unique, just like you!
Guns have different stats, while those sometimes aren’t really that much different from one gun to the next, the little changes in the name and the different descriptors do really indicate a lot of specific usages or behaviors. There are plenty of good gun guides you there, so once you found one that seems to be fun to play with your play style, take a moment to look them up and see how to best utilize them.
«Torrent», «Versatile», «High Capacity» are some of the descriptors I am talking about. Try out different guns in the Psycanium and see how it works. All have some sort of place within the missions, be it elite sniping or wave clearing. The important thing is to be aware of them. Don’t just buy a gun because most letters are similar and the number is higher.
The same goes for melee weapons, although the difference is easier to spot since they look different. Lasguns all look pretty much the same but a «High Capacity» — «High Damage» gun is VERY different from a «Torrent» — «High Capacity» in terms of how it makes enemies disappear and how it wears out your left mouse button.
Appeasing the Machine Spirit
Darktide is one of the nice team games. You do not have to greed for material pickups, as the whole team gets the haul, if you make it to a finish screen.
Refining If you are at a rather low character level, I would advise to not «consecrate» any of your weapons. You might find one that you like better and you will definitely find one with better stats anyway until you reach level 30.
Modifiers and re-rolling
I strongly suggest everyone who wants to move on to Heresy and Damnation, to look at the various discussion topics, reddit posts and wiki/guide entries for a good overview of what modifiers (blessings) there are and which of those you should go for (that work well with your class).
This can change the game from «easier» to «pretty easy» actually, as all is still being balanced by the dev team, so use at your own discretion.
Do me a favor…
and turn off your monitor for a second, then look at what you see. Usually it is some form of a human being (I hope you turned your monitor back on by now).
Behind those sassy, battle-hardened warriors you see in your team are usually also human beings. Depending on your usual gaming session time, you will meet a variety of people. Some of us do not have the luxury of living in our parent’s basement rent-free, playing games 24/7, which means people will be in different states of mind and body.
Some will be tired after a long day at work. Those people will likely not attempt a Heresy or Damnation runs, but still want some fun on Malice, occasionally overlooking the sniper or dreg gunner in the corner.
Some might be stressed out by something that happened that day and might make mistakes, be trigger happy or rush a bit too much.
Darktide is a team game, that does not only mean everyone has to contribute, that also means looking out for your teammates once in a while. They maneuvered themselves into a corner and are now swarmed? Don’t flame them, help them! They stepped into the very obvious pit in the metalfab? Keep your thoughts to yourself and pull them up.
It doesn’t take a lot to not be a nuisance, simply thinking instead of typing usually does the trick.
But that promotes bad players in the long term!
No it doesn’t, it prevents a game from dying in the long term, unless you and your 7 elite gamer friends become private sponsors of the dev team. More players = good, friendly community = more players. See the math?
Consider taking a look at the community of a certain dwarf-based co-op game for an example.