Warhammer 40k Darktide: Beginners Guide With Tips and Tricks

Darktide’s most recent patch, which was released on October 3rd and brought massive changes which has prompted many new servants of the Emperor to join the fight in Tertium. The new patch almost feels like a Darktide 2.0 where the maps might be the same but how you approach them is completely different. In this Warhammer 40k Darktide guide we will tell you how to get started if it’s your first time playing and tell you about all the new changes that have come with the patch if you’re a returning player so there is a bit of something for everyone here.

Getting Started

Character Creation


The first thing you’ll be prompted to do when starting out is creating your character. Unlike Vermintide where each character had a set look, personality and playstyle, in Darktide all that is left to the player’s choice so make the character you like and choose the background of your choice. When creating a backstory, choose carefully, as this will have implications for dialogue and how characters react to you. The most notable dialogue importance depends on the class you select, Psyker, Veteran, Ogryn, and Zealot.

Class Overhaul

The biggest change in the new patch is the class overhaul with each class getting an entire new skill tree with more build variety and abilities. Each character has a grenade, a class ability, and an aura. As an example, the ogryn gets to choose between throwing a rock, throwing a box of small grenades, or throwing one big grenade. Each option has its pros and cons; one might be great at eliminating a big specific target, while the other options are good at eliminating small groups of specialists or a giant horde of swarming poxwalkers.

Each class can choose between three new class abilities, including one that’s a much stronger, upgraded version of their original ability. The other two dramatically change the way the class plays out in-game. The veteran can use their ability to highlight enemy specialists and volley fire from afar, or they might choose the option that allows them to duck into stealth. Finally, the auras give the rest of your party a boost in a valuable stat like toughness or cooldown reduction. These abilities are linked in a talent tree web, the big choices are accompanied by smaller stat boosts and utility abilities.

The different nodes available within each talent tree are of the following different types:

  • Blitz ability: The grenade slot or other type of extra attack.
  • Combat ability: The ult, bound by cooldown and high impact on game.
  • Keystone: More iconic talents, varies between the trees but drive playstyle.
  • Talent: Interactive buffs that tie into core gameplay loops
  • Aura: Various team buffs spread as Coherency bonus.
  • Stat node: Simple flat bonus to a core stat (toughness/crit chance/health)

The Classes



This class is the long-ranged firearm specialist of Darktide. They have access to weapons such as the Lasgun, auto-guns, and plasma rifles. Their main role in the game is to keep their distance from enemies and pick out priority targets. These priority targets include snipers, bombers, trappers, and more. Their ability helps in this, as it increases their accuracy, handling, and damage when hitting enemy weak spots. Not only that, but it also highlights said priority targets. Of course, when it comes down to it, they can also use melee weapons like shovels, axes, and knives. If you like sniping, then this is the class for you.



The Zealot Preacher is the close-combat specialist of Darktide. They are well-versed in melee combat and are specifically designed to be in the thick of the horde. They are basically fanatical berserkers, diving deep into the enemy’s ranks to wipe out the God Emperor’s enemies. I say they’re berserkers because their damage goes up the lower their health is. This is extremely helpful when they use their class ability to charge right into the enemy, increasing their melee attack speed in the process. Their guns have a shorter range compared to the Sharpshooter and are mostly for close-range fights. If you like watching heads fly, this is the class for you.



The Ogryn is Darktide’s tank class. Ogryns are easily twice or thrice a normal human’s height. This allows them to block bullets with their bodies, as well as carry heavier and more powerful weapons. This includes a giant shield, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, and other weapons humans can’t possibly carry much less use. They have larger HP pools, and they take less damage to their shields. Much like the Zealot, the Ogryn’s ability allows them to charge forward into the enemy, knocking them back in the process. This is extremely useful when they need to clear a path for their allies. With an Ogryn at your side, you won’t have to worry much about the enemy’s attacks.



Psykers tap into the Warp, this game’s intergalactic hellscape, to cast powerful psychic attacks on their enemies. These can be long ranged attacks, lightning or fire attacks, or even targeted ones that make heads explode. Of course, this comes at a price. Psykers who use their powers too much risk getting damaged, or even killed, themselves. Managing their Peril, which increases with each power used, is important for Psykers. Should they need to defend themselves without using their powers, they have swords and guns to do so. If you want to use demonic powers to take down heretics, then Psyker is for you.

Play The Introduction Quest

Once you have picked your class and created your character, you might be tempted to jump straight into the game and skip the introduction. Don’t do that. Not only does the game’s introduction teach you the basics, but it also tells you the story of the game. Warhammer 40k’s lore is some of the most interesting pieces of game lore there is, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that Darktide captures the grimdark setting of the Warhammer 40k universe well. Other than the tutorial from the game’s introduction, you can also go through the advanced tutorial that you will unlock upon reaching the game’s main hub. This teaches you some more advanced combat concepts to help you survive the game and finish your missions.


There are many missions available in Darktide at this point, with more on the way. It might get overwhelming trying to pick a mission on your own. As such, quickplay is your best friend. Quickplay allows you to set a mission difficulty, and join a group doing a mission on that difficulty and there is a boost to the resources you earn after completing a quickplay match. This helps you quickly find teams to do missions with without having to decide which mission to do. The only downside, if it can even be considered one, is that you are likely to join an in-progress mission. This means you might join a mission that’s halfway done or even almost done. Of course, once you’re used to the game’s mechanics, you can start picking out your own missions.


Penances are short- to long-term challenges that players can complete in. Some achievements reward you with cosmetics. Penances that have a number next to them mean that the achievement has multiple stages that can be unlocked. For example, a penance with a number next to it that rewards cosmetics, allows you to unlock multiple cosmetics, as you achieve higher tiers of the penance. In addition to the cosmetics that become unlocked from completing Penances, each of these mini-challenges adds to your overall score. Some Penances are worth more Penance Points than others, and many grant points but no cosmetics.

Beginner Tips

Game Crashes and Performance Issues (PC)

This is more of a disclaimer and a problem in the PC version of the game, where game crashes will happen at random periods. Although they’re usually when you’re about to enter a room or a new area. As expected, this becomes annoying quite quickly as you’ll be slashing down enemies one minute, and the next, you’re straight back to your desktop. These crashes also make it extremely difficult to play with others since you’ll constantly be resetting the game. It’s recommended to jump into the Xbox version if possible for a smoother experience.

Darktide is poorly optimized in its PC version, where even those with the newest CPUs and absolute top-end hardware will struggle to keep it running smoothly without any frame drops or graphical difficulties. In the case of PC Players, be prepared to switch graphic settings to low or medium unless you want to deal with the additional struggles of freezing, crashing, and more. Everything still looks great on the lowest settings and performance will undoubtedly improve at the low end, so you won’t need to worry about your gameplay looking terrible.

Stay Close To Your Team

Toughness is far more important than your health bar because it determines how much damage you can take before hits start affecting your operative’s health. Once your toughness is broken, there are two main ways to get it back. The first is to melee kill opponents, slowly raising the meter back up, or the second is to stand with your team, increasing your toughness much faster. It’s smart to keep with your team at all times anyway, and even if you split up, stick to groups of two. This way, there’s always an ally to help in case you get overwhelmed with enemies and need reviving.

Use Your Melee


Yes, you have guns, powers, and the like to take care of your enemies from afar. However, the main bulk of Darktide’s gameplay is melee combat. Getting acquainted with melee combat early on will definitely help in the long run. You shouldn’t just swing your weapon wildly, although that can get you through the lower levels. You should know when to block, parry, or use your melee weapon’s special attack. Weaving in blocks and charged attacks in between your attacks helps you survive longer when in melee.

Focus on the objectives

Stick with your team if they’re moving in the right sort of direction and help them out whenever possible, but if they aren’t doing anything your best bet is to break away and get things done yourself. Most mission objectives can be handled solo, and while it’s neither recommended nor wise to do so, pushing things along yourself can, in a pinch, save your entire run.

Gearing up Properly

Regardless of what sort of weapons you’re using, you’ll want to keep upgrading them every couple of missions. Higher level items not only bring with them better stats, but higher rarity items also come with extremely handy special effects. These can sometimes drastically increase the amount of damage you do. So make sure to buy the strongest gear you possibly can.

As far as weapon upgrading is concerned, I would recommend waiting with that until you reach max level. Most of the weapons you’ll use during the leveling process will only be with you for a couple of hours, so it makes no sense to spend considerable amounts of resources on getting them stronger when you can save those resources and eventually use them to perfect your end-game build that will last ‘forever’.

Be sure to check out more content on Poggers Memes. Enjoy cooperative games with synergistic abilities? You can check out the best 5 Warframes for a beginner in the new Duviri Paradox update. Or check out our article on how to get the best weapons in Remnant 2.

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