[Top 10] Risk of Rains Return Best Characters

Best Characters In Risk Of Rain Returns
Roguelike Royalty Raptly Reappears

[Top 10] Risk of Rains Returns Best Characters: 

The final instalment of the franchise; Risk of Rain returns with Risk of Rain Returns. A homage to one of Hopoo Games’ most popular titles. Here are the top 10 out of the 14 survivors that crashed onto an immediately hostile planet whilst transporting cargo via, the intergalactic space shuttle, the UES Contact Light. In this article, we rank the characters from good to best, based on the character’s unique skills, stats, and overall survivability. Not to mention, the items and builds required to enhance their abilities based on the current meta. 

 “'The look of someone about to destroy you' - A scene from the intro animation when Providence is seen observing the UES Contact Light entering the orbit of Petrichor V”  


10 - Chef 

  • Dice – Main Ability 
  • Sear – Secondary Ability 
  • Glaze – Utility Ability 
  • Second Helping – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Slice – Main Ability 
  • Oil Jar – Utility Ability 
  • Mince – Special Ability 

A lesser-known character unlocked via collecting a group of unique items in one run, these being: the Meat Nugget, Bustling Fungus, Sprouting Egg, Bitter Root and Foreign Fruit. Chef has a very stylised list of skills all being catered to its culinary aesthetic. Including the unlockable abilities, Chef can either be a projectile fighter or a melee attacker with relatively high damage, however, the reason why it is so low down on the list is its abilities are far too niche. They don’t provide the player with a way to curate a build very easily, instead forcing them into a play style that they may not enjoy. 

“'Not even the Younglings survived' - A scene involving the Mercenary fighting off Children that resembles a moment in Star Wars when Anakin attacks 'Younglings'” 


9 - Bandit 

  • Blast – Main Ability 
  • Dynamite Toss – Secondary Ability 
  • Smokebomb – Utility Ability 
  • Lights Out – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Whip – Main Ability 
  • Flash Bang – Utility Ability 
  • Standoff – Special Ability 

Bandit is fun to play, but difficult to master. Using their Blast to deliver quick, pot-shots and finish off enemies with a final intense shot with Lights Out that resets its cooldown if you get a kill with it. Bandit truly can make anyone feel like a veteran of the battlefield. His old-western charm doesn’t carry him to a higher point in this list, unfortunately. Where he is great for crowd control, he doesn’t have good enough base stats or versatile enough abilities to carry his progression in the higher difficulties and later environments. His Blast damage falls off unless given the Crowbar and The Ol’ Lopper increasing damage to enemies at high and low health, respectively. Making him reliant on specific items. 

 “'Too rich for my blood' - A sacrificial alter that takes a large percentage of the player's health in return for items in the game. It usually only spawns in the later stages” 


8 - Acrid

  • Festering Wounds – Main Ability 
  • Neurotoxin – Secondary Ability 
  • Caustic Sludge – Utility Ability 
  • Epidemic – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Corrosive Wounds – Main Ability 
  • Toxic Bubble – Utility Ability 
  • Dissolving Ambush – Special Ability 

Dealing poison damage over time, skilled Acrid players can weave expertly in and out of close-range combat using Festering Wounds (or Corrosive Wounds) and evacuating swiftly with Caustic Sludge that both deals damage and slows any enemies standing in the lethal slime trail. The only downside to Acrid is that it is still a melee character with a low survivability rate in the more crowded and intense moments when players often find themselves swarmed by extremely difficult enemies. 

 “'Bless you!' - As Acrid uses their Neurotoxin ability, they appear to be sneezing on their target and stunning them” 


7 - Loader

  • Knuckle Boom – Main Ability 
  • Debris Shield – Secondary Ability 
  • Hydraulic Gauntlet – Utility Ability 
  • M440 Conduit – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Bullet Punch – Main Ability 
  • Short Circuit – Secondary Ability 
  • S260 Circuit – Special Ability 

Specialising in high health, regeneration and armour rating - this melee fighter is one the highest rated in their field - as well as having high mobility when using the Hydraulic Gauntlet the uses for Loader are endless. Short Circuit and the third hit of Knuckle Boom also stuns enemies allowing for Loader to unleash a flurry of punches without risk to themselves. The drawback to Loader is that after using their utility skill, they’re stuck in a cooldown and are essentially stranded, unfortunately, they are reliant on utility items that could either boost speed or cooldowns, like Mocha and the Gigantic Amethyst equipment - or maybe increase utility skill usage, like the Hardlight Afterburner. Each of which, are difficult to find and stack in the base game. 

 “'Easier said than done!' - Referencing the "Stay alive!" message portrayed at the bottom of the screen during a hectic boss fight with a Volatile Colossus” 


6 - Pilot

  • Clusterfire – Main Ability 
  • Target Acquired! - Secondary Ability 
  • Rapid Deployment – Utility Ability 
  • Airstrike – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Rapid Fire – Main Ability 
  • Aerobatics – Utility Ability 
  • Aerial Support – Special Ability 

An aerobatic character that excels in movement, agility and shines through aerial combat. With skills that both launch enemies overhead, allowing the Pilot to essentially juggle them and restrict the target’s movement, as well as abilities that allow them to fly upwards and launch barrages from the sky to avoid being caught out by enemy attacks. However, being on the weaker side - similar to Huntress, the builds that truly bring out the best in Pilot are the ones that focus on movement and utility building. Such as Paul’s Goat Hoof, the Hopoo Feather and the Hardlight Afterburner; and as experienced players know, these are extremely irritating to find in bulk. Making the Pilot less effective as a viable survivor but, nevertheless, worthwhile for fans of high-mobility gameplay. 

 “'POW - Right in the kisser!' - Bandit is seen using his Lights Out! ability on a Wisp for substantial damage” 


5 – Commando

  • Double Tap – Main Ability 
  • Full Metal Jacket – Secondary Ability 
  • Tactical Dive – Utility Ability 
  • Suppressive Fire – Special Ability 

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Combat knife – Secondary Ability 
  • Tactical Slide – Utility Ability 
  • Point Blank – Special Ability 

The poster boy. A perfect starting point and all-rounder that mixes both movement and attack power, not lacking health or armour to boot. Centre of the pack seems like the most logical place for him, being the starting character used to unlock the rest of the team in the later game. His move set really carries the expectations of new players, as his playstyle truly encourages the player to get a grip with the game’s mechanics and learn how to successfully progress in the malevolent surroundings of Petrichor V. The best items to focus on are Soldier’s Syringe to boost DPS – or even the Mocha to boost movement speed alongside it, Leeching seed, and to stack it where possible, as the damage per second directly increases the rate of healing when attacking an enemy, and Heaven Cracker for a piercing blast after every fourth main ability use, which would dramatically increase after stacking the Soldier’s Syringe. 

 “'That seems like an overreaction' - An Overloading Magma Worm spawns and proceeds to attack Mercenary directly” 


4 - Huntress

  • Strafe – Main Ability 
  • Laser Glaive – Secondary Ability 
  • Blink – Utility Ability 
  • Cluster Bomb – Special Ability

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Pierce – Main Ability 
  • Laser Cyclone – Secondary Ability 
  • Warp Dart – Special Ability 

Huntress is a particularly fast and strong character with low base health. She has the much-desired ability to strafe attack where many of the enemies are grouped and, as if to complement this passive, she also has AOE and piercing attacks. Her only drawback is her fragility. A real glass cannon. But, regardless of this, common items can be found in bulk to balance her out, the Monster Tooth, Mysterious Vial and Bitter Root, also Infusion, each of these items boost health in various ways, thus increasing the chance of progression significantly. Not to mention, the player doesn’t have to worry about increasing damage too much due to her base attack stat being so high. 

“'This is gonna sting' - Many elite Sandcrabs spawn as a pseudo boss fight during the Teleporter Event”


3 - Sniper

  • Snipe – Main Ability 
  • Steady Aim – Secondary Ability 
  • Military Training – Utility Ability 
  • Spotter: Scan – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Improvise – Main Ability 
  • Quick Scope – Secondary Ability 
  • Heavy Recoil – Utility Ability 

Another high damage character. While having the Snipe ability that gives a chance to do bonus damage after completing a Perfect Reload after every shot, Sniper also causes collateral damage with their Steady Aim; which can also do a massive 2000% damage, as well as bonus Perfect Reload damage. After all of this, the issue with Sniper has to be the time taken between shots. Their DPS is non-existent, and your best bet as a player is to keep a wide berth between you and the enemy, this is best achieved by using the Military Training skill that allows you to dodge out of reach almost instantly.

 “'Dare I?' - Bandit stands in front of a large Shrine Of The Mountain, A risky decision to make as it adds an extra boss to the Teleporter Event” 


2 - Mercenary

  • Laser Sword – Main Ability 
  • Whirlwind – Secondary Ability 
  • Blinding Assault – Utility Ability 
  • Eviscerate – Special Ability 

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Focused Strike – Secondary Ability 
  • Skyward Assault – Utility Ability 
  • After Image – Special Ability 

The third highest damaging character; losing out only to Sniper and Miner, and tied with Huntress. However, unlike Huntress, Mercenary has a respectable HP and regeneration stat that pairs perfectly with a melee class, and unlike Miner, Mercenary has a consistent DPS output with no drawbacks and a bonus 172.5% damage on every third hit with their main ability. A great all-round fighter that covers the disadvantages of the previous melee characters. Collecting the Hermit’s Scarf with this character provides a great bonus of being able to evade any attack thrown at them, allowing for more risky plays like inflicting damage on a group with Blinding Assault. Almost any build is possible for the Mercenary, if the player is willing and skilled enough. 

 “'Just what I needed' - Bandit proceeds through the wreckage of the UES Contact Light while still collecting items” 


1 - Engineer

  • Tri-Nade – Main Ability 
  • Bounding Mine – Secondary Ability 
  • Thermal Harpoons – Utility Ability 
  • Auto-Turret – Special Ability  

Unlockable abilities include: 

  • Mortar Barrage – Main Ability 
  • Shockwave Mine – Secondary Ability 
  • V.0.2 Prototype Laser Turret – Special Ability 

A real zone defender. Built for a specific, yet malleable playstyle. This character has an amazing passive ability to duplicate all collected items and apply them to his two deployable Auto-Turrets. Finding the Leeching Seed, AtG Missile Mk.1 or any other DPS-triggered item truly brings out the best in this character. While not having incredible damage per second himself, the turrets also draw aggro from enemies, allowing for a quick escape technique where necessary. Even the Bounding Mines have multiple uses, either used to increase the distance between you and incoming hordes or to defend an area. The Engineer is a versatile character that brings out smart plays over brute force, just be sure to redeploy your turrets after picking up a crucial item for them, as they don't apply straight away. 

“'Please… stay down' - Providence, the final boss of the game, kneels before Bandit until entering the second stage of his fight.”

And so they left, leaving a definitive ranking of the best characters in Risk of Rain Returns… 

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Author, gamer, professional loser. Charlie has spent his youth, teenage life and current adult life playing games that excite and exploring lands unbeknownst to mankind. And then writing about them.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Helldivers 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Left 4 Dead 2, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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