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.
* 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
* Right-click an enemy to attack, hold the right mouse
button down to continue attacking until the enemy is
* Left-click doors, gates, levers, etc. to open/activate
* 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
* 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.
* Drag a character's portrait to re-order the party.
* Double-click a character's portrait to open that character's
* 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
* 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
* 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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,
* 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.
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.
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
DPS can be calculated with this formula:
(((MAX DMG - MIN DMG) / 2) + MIN DMG) / SPEED
MAX DMG = Maximum damage of the weapon
MIN DMG = Minimum damage of the weapon
SPEED = Speed factor of the weapon according to the
* 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):
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
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
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.