Risk of Rain 2 Characters Tier List: Ranked Worst to Best

Risk of Rain 2 characters are arguably what makes the game so great to play. They all have a totally unique personality and playstyle, and everyone has a favorite. A definitive ranking is never easy, but this is our attempt. This is the Boss Level Gamer Risk of Rain 2 character tier list.

Don’t be disheartened if your main is near the bottom. There are no bad survivors in Risk of Rain 2, and you can have amazing runs with all of them.

There are some, however, that are more powerful, or perhaps more consistent, than others.

Commando – D Tier

Everyone's first Risk of Rain 2 Character
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

D tier is a lonely place, with only the Commando occupying it. That might sound harsh, but I assure you, I don’t have an anti-Commando agenda. He is more a victim of circumstance than an underpowered character in his own right.

As the only character available at the start of the game, the Commando has to have a relatively simplistic moveset and playstyle. He’s just a little bit straightforward in comparison to any other Risk of Rain 2 character.

He has no AOE abilities, his mobility is outclassed by other characters like Huntress, Loader, and Mercenary, and his utility skill (a dodge roll) might be the worst in the game.

Despite all that, you can still have fun with Commando. He isn’t flashy, but he is a competent jack of all trades we all learned the game through him. He might not stack up against the rest of the cast power-wise, but he still plays an incredibly important role, and for that, I salute him.

Artificer – C Tier

Floaty powerhouse
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

Artificer is a lot of fun to play and has some powerful elemental abilities. She can throw fireballs around and summon giant walls of ice. These powers make her an absolute juggernaut in the early game, but her survivability becomes a real issue later on. As the enemies get stronger, avoiding damage becomes more and more important, and Artificer doesn’t have a reliable way to do that.

If you can unlock her special ability “Ion Surge”, which launches you into the air and stuns nearby enemies, things improve a little, but being blown away by an overloading golem is still a distinct possibility. Most other characters have better ways of defending themselves.

Artificer has had a couple of buffs recently so she might end up in a higher tier at some point. The developers seem keen to make her the go-to high damage/AOE character, so if that’s your playstyle, the future looks bright.

Mercenary – C Tier

Samurai warrior
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

How the mighty have fallen. At release, Mercenary was one of, if not the most powerful Risk of Rain 2 characters. He has high mobility, I-frames, and his double jump grants him access to items and areas other survivors can’t reach. Melee characters are always great fun to play, and Mercenary is no exception.

However, a series of nerfs have left everyone’s favorite samurai a shadow of his former self. Both his damage and health have been massively reduced. As a result, it’s a lot harder to play Mercenary than it used to be.

It should be noted that part of the reason Mercenary finds himself in C tier is his high skill ceiling. Playing him properly requires precision and technique. He’s at his best when you can chain together attacks and keep him airborne, which isn’t easy.

Acrid – B Tier

Poisonous fiend
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

Acrid just about qualifies for B tier, he may not have the mobility of the Mercenary or the tankiness of the Loader, but his incredible damage output, especially against bosses makes him a solid choice. He does have a few quirks that take some getting used to, but that’s par for the course really.

The poison mechanic is one of the most unusual in the game. Of all the characters in Risk of Rain 2, Acrid is the only one who can use poison, and using it effectively is key to his success. Poisoning an enemy deals 1% of their max health per second for 10 seconds, but cannot kill them. You have to jump into melee range to finish them off.

That’s where things get tricky because as a melee character, Acrid isn’t quite up to the usual standard. He just doesn’t have the mobility for a quick escape when things go wrong. Furthermore, his poison ability is only really useful against enemies with sizeable health bars.

Against enemies like wisps, Acrid is at a significant disadvantage. He’s great to have around in multiplayer as a boss-killer, but outside of that, he comes up a little short.

Rex – B Tier

One of the strangest Risk of Rain 2 characters

Rex is something of an outlier for this list of Risk of Rain 2 characters because depending on who you ask, he could be anywhere from right at the top, to right at the bottom. He’s very confusing in a lot of ways, and that turns a lot of people off. Even the devs haven’t really touched him update-wise for quite a while.

He’s extremely difficult to play, but he does have the highest base DPS of any character in the game and he has the ability to control his health pool. The latter is one of the reasons he’s so hard to play, but it can be very handy. Dealing damage heals Rex and weakens enemies, which is a huge boost to his survivability. He is also less reliant on healing items and other players as a result.

If you can wrap your head around him, he can be extremely effective, but there’s a steep learning curve involved.

Void Fiend – B Tier

One of the latest additions
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

The first of the two introduced in the DLC, Survivors of the Void, the Voidfiend is a lot like Rex. He is also all about trading HP for damage. As you lose HP, you become more and more “corrupted”. Once you reach 100% corruption the Void Fiend transforms.

In his corrupted state, Void Fiend deals more damage and can exchange HP for more time in the new form. Once you’re healed up you go back to normal. Corruption does allow for some extremely impressive DPS, but having to trade health for it makes you vulnerable. You will very rarely have one-shot protection.

Being one of the newer characters in Risk of Rain 2, this is by no means a definitive ranking for the Void Fiend, there could be a strategy out there that no one has discovered yet that brings out his full potential.

Bandit – B Tier

Image Credit: Hopoo Games

Another survivor with extremely high damage, Bandit is a lot of fun to play, and can technically scale damage infinitely. However, he does have a couple of flaws that hold him back from greatness. He can also reset his cooldowns almost at will, which is an extremely useful tool to have at your disposal.

Lights Out, Bandits special ability, deals 600% damage, and resets all cooldowns if you get a kill with it. It even resets itself. If you can chain a few kills with it, it can be absolutely devastating.

Its alternative, Desperado, gets you 10% stacking damage for every kill. It can be used to stack enormous amounts of damage if used correctly.

Bandit’s big problem (outside mobility) is his primary attack. It’s a shotgun that pales in comparison to the Captain’s Vulcan Shotgun and requires reloading for every shot, which can seriously hamper DPS. His passive, “Backstab” (all attacks from behind are critical strikes) does help a bit, but it isn’t enough to lift Bandit out of B tier.

Railgunner A – Tier

The best of the DLC characters
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

The second, and superior survivor of the void. The Railgunner is another Risk of Rain 2 character that requires a little skill to play but is used correctly, she can be absolutely devastating. If you can time your reloads correctly, and hit the enemy’s weak spots consistently, then you should be in for a solid run.

The Railgunners greatest strength is her passive ability, a magnetic accelerator. Her critical strike chance is converted directly into crit damage, which means her critical damage as opposed to a chance to crit is improved by items like Lens Maker’s Glasses. That means the damage her critical strikes deal can scale infinitely. There’s huge potential there.

Like many survivors outside the top tier, the Railgunner’s one major weakness is her mobility. The only ability that offers her any at all is her concussion device. Essentially a mine that can launch you into the air when it detonates. It’s something but it isn’t reliable or effective enough to compensate for the Railgunner’s overall sluggishness.

Railgunner is one of my favorite characters in Risk of Rain 2. Even if she isn’t the absolute strongest Nailing a precision strike is just so satisfying.

Mul-T – A Tier

Probably the devs favourite Risk of Rain 2 character
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

The first thing that needs to be said about MUL-T is that despite the way it feels, he is just as fast as every other survivor. But even if he was a little bit slow (which he isn’t), his other stats and abilities more than make up for it. MUL-T has the fastest base fire rate in the game, which makes items that proc on hit, like the Ukulele, ridiculously powerful.

As well as the best fire rate, MUL-T also has the highest initial HP of any character in Risk of Rain 2. It’s almost unfair. He can then turn on Transport Mode on top of that, which increases both speed and armor, as well as letting you charge through enemies, great for quickly getting out of a tight spot.

While MUL-T is without a doubt highly effective, I have to dock points for the fun factor. He’s at his best when you charge the enemy and hold down the fire button, hardly a nuanced strategy. The DPS and proc coefficient will do the rest. He’s one tough robot, but he’s not that much fun to play.

Huntress – A Tier

Risk of Rain 2's glass cannon character
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

Huntress is essentially a much, much better Commando. Her dash ability, in all its I-framey glory, is essentially a superior dodge roll and provides great mobility right off the bat. She can also fire while sprinting, which is a huge bonus, making her much harder to hit than most other characters.

She also has incredibly solid DPS, and her Laser Glaive is great for clearing away groups of squishier enemies. Huntress is by no means the most complex character in Risk of Rain 2, but she is still a fantastic choice for anyone looking to make it to the late game consistently.

Her one weakness is her HP. Huntress has the smallest base health pool in the game, making her something of a glass cannon. As stated above, she is hard to hit, which offsets the lack of HP somewhat, but she is still open to being one-shot more so than many other survivors. That’s really all that’s holding her back from the top tier.

Engineer – S Tier

The best solo character in Risk of Rain 2
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

The Engineer is the best Risk of Rain 2 character for solo play, with your turrets (which also get all your items) to back you up, you have no need for anyone else. A lot of people find him a little dull to play as (although I think he’s great fun) but there’s no denying his raw strength.

Because his turrets do the legwork DPS-wise, the Engineer is free to roam the stage and gather items relatively unimpeded. He also has a shield that can totally shut down almost any enemy attack in the game. He’s an incredibly tough nut to crack, and if you can pick up a few Bustling Fungus, is almost unstoppable.

He does lack mobility, but he barely needs any. If you can fortify yourself and your turrets, and throw out your shield at the right time, you’ll hardly have to move. Your turrets are like two extra versions of yourself, which verges on broken frankly.

Loader – S Tier

The best melee character in Risk of Rain 2
Imager Credit: Hopoo Games

By far the best Melee character in Risk of Rain 2. Loader has both the HP, and the mobility to make melee work, and she hits like a runaway steam train. The grappling hook is Loader’s bread and butter. You can use it to zip around the map or to hurl yourself at an enemy and blow them to bits with one punch.

Her fully charged punch deals an incredible 2100% damage, which can increase with speed. That’s enough to stop even the toughest bosses in their tracks. It also feels incredibly satisfying to pull off. The Mercenary has nothing on this.

All that holds Loader back are her lack of range and AOE. Her only means of dealing with enemies like wisps is to throw out her M551 Pylon, which can be tricky to do right in the heat of battle.

Captain – S Tier

The boss
Image Credit: Hopoo Games

He may not be the sprightliest character in the game, but Captain is certainly one of the most powerful. Most of that power is in how well his shotgun and his passive ability work together. Captain deals massive damage at close range, but being in the midst of the enemy is risky for most survivors. You cant see enemies above and behind you so you’re liable to be taken unawares.

However, Captain has a trick up his sleeve. His microbots shoot down enemy projectiles, which is a huge boost to his overall survivability. Any drones you pick up also get microbots, which makes it even harder for enemies to deal damage.

Captain can also call down an orbital strike, dealing huge damage, and has multiple ways to stun enemies, which goes some way to compensating for his lack of mobility. If an enemy is brewing up an attack you can’t avoid, throw out a quick stun. Captain perfectly blends offensive and defensive qualities and is one of the strongest Risk of Rain 2 characters.

Agree? Disagree? And where would you place the secret survivor? Let us know all about it in the comments!

Written by Robert Webb

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