introduction. basics. cheats. act 1. act 2. act 3. chants. pets. maps. downloads. credits


In addition to the game manual and tutorial stage (Chapter 1), DS2 has an in- game Handbook that is part of your Journal. (For ease of use, the Handbook is reproduced in this guide in section 5.1) If you want to know all the ins-and outs of playing DS2, refer to those resources. This section is intended as a quick-start guide for players who don't like lots of reading before playing.


Movement & Camera

* Left-click accessible ground to move.
* Scroll the mouse wheel to zoom the camera.
* Move the mouse to the edges of the screen, or hold the mouse wheel button and move the mouse to rotate the camera.

Combat & Interaction

* Right-click an enemy to attack, hold the right mouse button down to continue attacking until the enemy is dead.
* Left-click doors, gates, levers, etc. to open/activate them.
* Right-click containers to open/destroy them.
* Press 'Z' to collect all nearby loot on the ground
* Left-click friendly NPCs to talk to them (if they display the talk balloon icon).
* Right-click an ally to cast a beneficial spell on him/her/it.
* Press 'H' to drink health potions (all party members who are in need, drink).
* Press 'M' to drink mana potions (all party members who are in need, drink).
* Press 'G' to set the party in Rampage mode.
* Press 'F' to set party in Mirror mode.
* There are two other party modes: Defend and Wait. By default they do not have hotkeys, so you can assign whatever you wish.

Character Management

* Drag a character's portrait to re-order the party.
* Double-click a character's portrait to open that character's Character Window.
* Left-click a character's portrait to set that character as the active character.
* Press 'I' to open the active character's Inventory.
* Press 'B' to open the active character's Spell Book.
* Press 'P' to open the active character's Specialties (skills).
* Press 'V' to open all character Inventories.
* Press 'K' to autosort all Inventories.
* Drag an item from one character's Inventory to a character portrait to give the item to another character.
* CTRL-left-click while shopping to automatically buy or sell an item.
* Right-click an item in Inventory to automatically equip it.

Game Control

* Press SPACE to pause the game.
* Press ESC to open the game menu.
* Press J to open the Journal.
* Press and hold TAB to view the overhead map.

10 Tips to Get You Started

#1 Pause the game. Frequently.

Don't try to play this as an action/combat game, relying on the twitchiness of your trigger finger to win the day. The combat in DS2 is very tactical, and pausing regularly during combat will help you assess your characters' positions, their health and mana status and the best available targets.

You should also pause every time you stop to manage inventory or add skill points--especially if you are in hostile territory where a monster could wander up and start beating on you while you're absorbed in whether or not you should equip the Sword of Uberness or the Axe of Leetness.

#2 Don't be afraid to use potions. And carry plenty around with you.

Whether you choose to invest in Natural Bond and Survival so you can harvest potions, or you just buy some from the friendly neighborhood potion pusher whenever you're in town; always keep plenty of health and mana potions in your Inventory.

#3 Versatility is a good thing.

Monsters are resistant--or flat out invulnerable--to different types of damage, especially as you get deeper into the game. You must have a variety of damage types available to you. If you've got a party of two fighters and a ranger and you run into a mob that's resistant to melee and ranged damage, you're in trouble.

The best way to handle versatility is to have one of each class in your party: fighter, ranger, combat mage and nature mage. Of the four, the combat mage is inherently the most versatile as she can fling death, fire or lightning damage as needed. Add a shield tank to Provoke mobs away from the caster and you've got all you really need. You can then add in ranged or healing/buffing/summoning support as suits your playing style.

#4 Don't forget the Summon Teleporter spell.

Summon Teleporter is a level-0 nature magic spell. That means any character can cast it to open a town portal for a quick rest and refit. The standard teleporters are rather thick throughout Aranna, but it never hurts to have a quick escape method at hand. Make sure every one of your characters has a spell book with Summon Teleporter in it, even if they never cast any other spell throughout the entire game.

Just remember that town portals do not last through a save/reload and are single-use only.

#5 You've got to know when to walk away, know when to run.

Sometimes, when you're being overwhelmed, a "tactical retreat" is in order. In other words: run away, run away! This is especially important if you have casters. If they get surrounded by brutish thugs, they'll end up unconscious pretty quickly. Since your mages are generally your highest-damage dealers, any time mobs gang up on them, running to a clear area and regrouping your party is a good idea.

#6 Backup your saves.

By default, your save games are stored in

My Documents\My Games\Dungeon Siege 2\Save\SinglePlayer

The game keeps your most recent save and the one save right before that. This doesn’t allow a lot of leeway if you get stuck, hit a glitch, etc. Every time you start a new chapter, ALT-TAB out of the game, ZIP up your character's save game folder and archive it somewhere. If you hit a showstopper bug, replace your current save folder with the most recent archived save folder.

#7 Assign hotkeys to Defend and Wait.

The game basically assumes the Rampage and Mirror party orders are good enough. However, you may also want to use Defend and Wait. Defend causes all non-active characters to attack whatever is attacking the active character. Wait essentially puts the active character into solo mode--the non-active characters will hold their ground while the active character explores.

There are some specific situations where these party orders come in handy, but, by default, there is no way to issue the commands. You'll have to go in and assign hotkeys to these two party orders yourself.

#8 The toughest enemy isn't always the biggest enemy.

When in combat, try to identify the mobs that are hurting you the most. It might be the boss, or it might be the boss' minions. You can even get seriously injured by green-level mobs if you are especially vulnerable to their attack.

In boss fights, it is generally advisable to draw minions away from the boss and destroy them piecemeal before confronting the boss party-a-mano. You also need to be aware of any mobs that are hanging back casting nasty spells or summoning critters. Destroying a summoner also rids you of their summons, which is a good thing.

Again, use the PAUSE key a lot to keep an eye on the ebb and flow of battle. Figure out which mobs pose the gravest danger to your health and focus your attacks on them.

#9 Use the map.

If, for some strange reason, this guide alone isn't helping you find your way, keep an eye on your map. It is full of helpful icons:

* Green dots point out friendly NPCs
* Blue dots point out interactive items (buttons, levers, doors, etc.)
* Gold stars mark primary quest objectives
* White stars mark secondary quest objectives
* The compass map always shows a gold arrow pointing you in the direction you need to go to complete your current primary quest task

You can zoom the maps (both small and large) using the slider under the compass map. Use it to search for secret switches and get your bearings.

#10 Use your powers, Luke!

Don't try hording your powers for boss fights. Use them for fighting off standard mobs as well. They recharge pretty quickly, and the larger boss fights always have plenty of war pedestals scattered around for instant recharging. Area-of-effect powers are especially useful when you're surrounded, so use 'em up.

Strategy, Tactics and Quests, Oh My!

Calculating Damage Per Second

In order to truly understand how much damage you are doing, you must learn to calculate DPS (damage per second). Since weapon damage is dependant on your ability stats and class levels, it will vary from person to person. However, you can compare two different weapons for your character by equipping each and calculating DPS for each.

DPS can be calculated with this formula:



MAX DMG = Maximum damage of the weapon
MIN DMG = Minimum damage of the weapon
SPEED = Speed factor of the weapon according to the following table*:

Speed Factor
Slow 0.9
Normal 0.73
Fast 0.67
Faster 0.625

* These factors are the "reload" times of the weapons taken from the wpn_bases.gas game data file. It is the time, in seconds, it takes to "reload" the weapon and attack again.

For example, you want to calculate DPS between a bow and crossbow. Bows are Faster weapons while crossbows are Slow; but crossbows do more damage. Your 34th level ranger has a crossbow with a damage range of 97 to 165 and a bow with a damage range of 78 - 134. The speed factor of the bow is 0.625 and the crossbow is 0.9. The DPS of each weapon is:

Crossbow: (((165 - 97) / 2) + 97) / 0.9 = 145.5
Bow: (((134 - 78) / 2) + 78) / 0.625 = 169.6

As you can see, the bow in this case is clearly superior under normal circumstances.

Now let's consider a 34th level fighter choosing between a one-handed and two-handed weapon. The 2h weapon has a damage range of 90 to 143, the 1h is 67 to 105. Two-handed weapons have a speed factor of 0.9 and 1h is 0.67:

2h: (((143 - 90) / 2) + 90) / 0.9 = 129.4
1h: (((105 - 67) / 2) + 67) / 0.67 = 128.6

The DPS of the weapons are almost identical. However, the 1h weapon allows the fighter to use a shield, thus drastically increasing armor ratings. On the other hand, the 2h weapon can stun enemies and would be greatly superior used with Brutal Strike.

The upshot of all this: when choosing among several weapons, equip each one and run the formula. Take the one with the higher DPS or one with only slightly less DPS but more bonus enhancements. In the long run, the faster your enemies die, the better off you'll be.

It's all about the armor, baby!

No matter how much DPS you're dishing out, some enemies still take a long time to die because they have thousands of health points to your measly hundreds. So, while you're beating them to pulp, you don't want them returning the favor. There are three ways to keep your blood where it belongs (inside your veins):

1) Armor
2) Dodging
3) Resistances/Reflections

Now, why are they in that order?

Simple: Armor is king.

Yes, a chance to dodge melee/ranged attacks is nice. And all the various resistances are nice (especially physical damage resistance). But, when push comes to shove, you just don't want to get hit in the first place. Resisting 20% of an attack that does 500 damage still leaves you 400 health points poorer. Dodging 25% of four attacks launched against you still leaves you to grin-and-bear three attacks.

A well-armored tank can stand in the middle of a mob and lay about with his weapon and take almost no damage. See, the vast majority of enemies you face in DS2 are melee or ranged attackers. There really aren't that many spellcasters outside of the bosses. And they usually have such crappy armor and health (sort of like your own mages) that they go down pretty quickly.

It's all the mutant dogs and kangaroos and sword fighters and archers that come at you in droves that can really make your life miserable. That's why you need armor, and lots of it. When picking out equipment, favor the stuff that increases your armor rating over anything else.

Protect your combat mage

What do you do when you're in the middle of a mob and you notice some freak is drawing the blood right out of your veins? You identify the little git and give him what for! Well, your enemies do the same to you. Combat mages draw aggro like flowers draw bees. Even the stupid dogs will run right past your dual-flashy-pointy-thing-wielding monster of a tank and take nips at the heals of your CM.

Since your CM, like any other mage, has crappy health and armor, he or she winds up unconscious and you are deprived of the hundreds of points of damage he or she can dish out every cast. What do you do?

First, consider not putting curses in the autocast slot. Yes, curses are incredibly useful, but monsters don't like being cursed any more than you, so they go for the curser. Let your fighter(s) get the mobs attention--then curse them. They might still turn away from the fighter, but they'll likely not survive to run to the CM.

Second, use Drown or Infect as both do a certain amount of DPS. Yes, your CM will draw aggro from using them, but low-level monsters will be dead before reaching the mage and blue and yellow mobs won't last much longer.

Third, use a weapon + shield fighter and the Provoke power to keep enemies focused on your tank.

Fourth, have a nature mage with a good insta-heal spell in the autocast slot and plenty of mana potions to keep casting the spell. Your CM may still fall unconscious one in a while, but your NM will get him or her back up in no time.


[ back to introduction] [ continue to cheat codes ]