Risk of Rain 2 Tier List 2024 (Best Characters Ranked)

risk of rain 2 characters tier list

Risk of Rain 2 is one of the best roguelike games that we’ve seen in recent times and it expanded over its predecessor in every way imaginable. With a transition to fully 3D gameplay, more content, a larger amount of characters, and vast improvements to the gameplay – it is truly the sequel that we deserved.

If you’re getting started with the game and want to know who the best characters are and how to unlock them, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve created a coherent guide of the tier list of the game as well as how you can unlock the characters that we will be talking about in this list. So, without taking any more of your time, let’s get right into it.

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Risk of Rain 2 Characters Tier List For 2024

These are the best risk of rain 2 characters to use today. Right from S-Tier characters to D-Tier characters in Risk of Rain 2.

Tier LevelCharacter(s)
A-TierHeretic, Huntress, Loader.
B+-TierThe Captain.
B-TierArtificer, Rex.
C-TierMercenary, Acrid.

Engineer (S-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Engineer (S-Tier)

The title of the best character is never easy to debate, but almost every Risk of Rain 2 tier list formed by expert players agrees that Engineer is the very least top 3 in the ranks of Risk of Rain 2 characters. Upon further research, we have decided that he is not only one of the best characters in the game – but also the highest on the tier list.

The reason behind that is that he is the best survivor in the game thanks to his ability to heal himself, have great defensive options, and also deal a great amount of damage with the right items.

He is especially a great character for those that wish to play the game solo, as those players need someone who can watch their back against the harder bosses and Engineer is a great all-rounder in those regards.

The only drawback he has is that he can’t escape that well due to poor mobility, so you’d be hitting retry a lot if you can’t figure out how to keep certain enemies at bay. However, he can still keep one of the highest DPS in the game while being on the run, which makes up for it.

MUL-T (A+ Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - MUL-T (A+ Tier)

When it comes to Risk of Rain 2 MUL-T is easily one of the most popular characters due to its unique personality and abilities.

The character has one of the highest damage capabilities in the game as well as one of the fastest attack rates too, all the while having a great health capacity too.

He may lack good range, but starting with 12 armor and having the ability to easily gain more, as well as being able to hold two pieces of equipment easily make up for the very minor downside. So, if the characters without mobility aren’t working out for you, this is the next best thing on the Risk of Rain 2 tier list.

Heretic (A-Tier)

The Heretic is a secret character that was added to Risk of Rain 2 with the Anniversary Update. This character cannot be selected through normal means and even after she is unlocked, you cannot pick her from the character select screen. As such, aside from a few flaws, this character is very powerful.

Her skills include the Hungering Gaze, Slicing Maelstrom, Shadowfade, and Ruin – which are all very useful for their respective benefits. Then we have a very high base health, the ability to triple jump, a speed that is a bit faster than every other survivor, and an incredibly high base damage stat too.

However, it should be noted that some of these skills are more glitter than gold. For example, Visions of Heresy gives you more ammo but the cooldown is increased to 2 seconds per stack. She also cannot be used again after you unlock her and you’ll have to collect all the items needed to play as her in every single run.

And then, we have her negative health regeneration. She essentially has a permanent poison that makes her constantly lose her health, so only players who know how to cancel this disadvantage out will be able to use her properly.

That being said, players who are able to complete the Blockade Breaker challenge in the first place are usually very skilled. So, there should be no issues for them. It might feel like a controversial decision to include her in A-Tier with all of the flaws that we listed, but once you get the hang of it, she’s easily better than many of the other survivors in the game.

Huntress (A-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Huntress (A Tier)

Huntress is a heavily offensive character with good range and great mobility, so if you’re looking for a bit of a tank character who can also keep dashing through the map – then this is the best character for you.

She has tons of skills that are easy to use and they deal great DPS with a decent AOE to make her even more effective. To top it all off, she can even sprint with her primary attack and her dash has an I-frame.

All of this may sound outrageously good, and it actually is too, but the reason she’s not an S-Tier character is that she’s not anything special when it comes to optimizing equipment items.

Bandit (A-Tier)

bandit risk of rain 2 character tier list

Bandit is a balanced character that is good for both mobility and damage. He has a skill called ‘Backstab’ and it allows him to inflict Critical damage whenever he attacks an unsuspecting enemy from behind.

His primary weapon is a shotgun and it shoots five pellets that have 100% damage each, and his Serrated Dagger Ability allows him to perform a melee slash that inflicts 360% damage too.

The fact that the Bandit has good speed, very high damage, and useful stealth capabilities, makes him a character that has a little something for everyone. And with how easy it is to unlock him, he’s one of the best parts of the Anniversary Update for fans and newcomers alike.

Loader (A-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Loader (A Tier)

Loader feels like he’s built for the game’s map, as she traverses the most conveniently through it thanks to the grappling hook. She deals a great amount of damage, has a very fun kit, and is compatible with many items which can make her very fun and powerful to play even through the hardest difficulties.

The only catch is that she takes a lot of trial and error for getting used to, but practicing has a great reward when you finally get around to it.

The Captain (B+-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - The Captain (B-Tier)

The Captain is an all-rounder character that is both useful for new players and the late game too. He has high damage, destructive weapon capabilities, and his playstyle is best utilized with movement rather than a task-based approach.

He’s one of the best characters to invest in because his hacking ability lets you get items like the Legendary Chest and that saves you a lot of time. Naturally, it takes a lot of practice to master him – but it’s all reward and no risk at the end of the day.

If you’re new to the game and want a character that you can stick around with, then The Captain is a great choice. And if you’re a veteran player, then you already know his reputation within the fanbase.

Artificer (B-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Artificer (S-Tier)

Artificer is a character that is best used in the early game. She has a high DPS rate and she works pretty well with certain weapons, such as the Flamethrower. In the latest updates, she received a buff that increased her nano bomb damage and she gets more drop off during fights too.

However, compared to other characters, she falls behind due to a number of reasons. For example, it can be challenging to properly utilize her mobility with items, and a lot of trial and error is required. Her cooldown takes longer than it should too, and the developers don’t seem to be in a mood to change that.

Ultimately, she’s a character that is best suited for new players and once they are ready, they can move on to someone else.

Rex (B-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Rex (B-Tier)

You won’t find many people using Rex, and those that do act like loyalists to a cause. The reason behind that is the fact he is not very self-sustaining, and you need to have a decent loadout of items to survive most of the harder parts of the game.

If you fail to have the right items, you might find yourself nearly stuck.

However, he has a great DPS if you play your cards right and a life-stealing ability that allows him to manage his health pool well. In a way, if you’re one of the people who purposefully do runs of games where you limit yourself to certain items or difficulties, Rex is a great character to punish and challenge yourself with.

Mercenary (C-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Mercenary (A-Tier)

Before the recent updates that the game received, Mercenary was a pretty good A-Tier character that enjoyed a high-risk, high-reward reputation in terms of its effectiveness in gameplay.

However, that privilege is long gone because he received a massive nerf that changed how good his Base Health and Regeneration were. On top of that, his cooldown was altered too, making it less effective than before.

He’s still not D-Tier, which is good news for those who liked him in the previous versions of the game. And if you’re just getting started with the game, then he’s not the worst character to mess around with.

But he’s no longer as good as he used to be and only hardcore players should invest in him.

Acrid (C-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Acrid (C-Tier)

Acrid is an odd hybrid between melee and long-ranged characters, having abilities that make up for both. Unfortunately, having a bit of both but not enough to be great at either makes him more of a supporting character than someone you can have a great solo time with.

So, if you want to try something different in a game with co-op buddies, then he’s fun to mess around with – but if you’re trying to be effective then you will have to rely on other characters.

Commando (D-Tier)

Risk of Rain 2 Tier List - Commando (D-Tier)

Commando is the first character that the game lets you use, and he’s very easy to use. He has decent versatility when it comes to abilities as he can dodge, use stun, and has decent survivability.

His damage is lower than everyone else but with the right items he can do okay damage too, but it won’t be worth much and you won’t be willing to play him again as soon as you unlock the better characters.

Even if you like his playstyle, Huntress is kind of a better version of him anyway.

Risk of Rain 2 Character Unlock Guide

Now that we have the tier list out of the way and you know what characters are best suited for you, let’s get into the Risk of Rain 2 character unlock guide so you know how to have the characters too.

Here’s how to obtain all 12 characters available in the game:


He is the first character you get to play in the game and you don’t need to unlock him. Simply starting a game will make him available for you to use.


Beating the first 5 levels of the game will unlock MUL-T, and he will be available for you to use from that point on.


Heretic is a secret character in Risk of Rain 2 and cannot be selected like others. Instead, players need to complete a set of requirements in-game to play as her. And once you die or complete a run – you have to unlock her all over again for the next time that you play the game. Unlike the other 11 characters, she never shows up on the selection screen.

What you need to do here is to first complete the ‘Blockade Breaker’ challenge, in which players need to defeat 15 bosses in a single run.

Then, the player needs to obtain four Heresy items, which are the Essence of Heresy, Hooks of Heresy, Strides of Heresey, and Visions of Heresey. These items can be found in the Bazaar Between Time and you should keep the Artifact of Command with you.

If you don’t find the items that you want, you can use the Reroll Pillar too and each item will cost you 2x Lunar Coins. So, with 8x Lunar Coins, you should be able to obtain the right items.

Once you have the items, replace the four default skills with the four Heresy items and your character will transform into the Heretic character. You can use the character for as long as you like – but you won’t be able to select her again. In the next run, you’ll need to collect the four items again and use them like last time if you wish to play as the Heretic once more.


You have to obliterate yourself to unlock Mercenary, and that can be only done through specific circumstances. The earliest you can do that is by obliterating yourself at the Celestial Portal at the end of the seventh level in the game, by locating the Obelisk at the end of a floating path.


Even though the Bandit was added to the game later on, unlocking him is not complicated. All you need to do is to complete the third teleporter event which can be accessed on Stage 3.

Once you’re done with the event, you obtain the ‘Warrior’ achievement and it instantly grants you the ability to play as the Bandit.


You have to complete 30 levels to unlock Engineer, from which point he will be available for you to use automatically.


Beat the first 3 levels of the game but without dying even once. It’s not that difficult of a task once you have the right items, but can be quite tricky in the beginning. You’d have to go back for that at a later point.


You can free her from the Newt Shop for 10 Lunar Coins. Enemies in the game drop Lunar Coins randomly so make sure to grab them when you see them, and the portal to Newt’s Shop pops up randomly after clearing stages. You can also summon a Newt Altar before activating the teleporter and offer one Lunar Coin to make the Shop appear too.


Complete the ‘Guardian Offline’ challenge in the Siren’s Call map and he will be unlocked for you to use from that point on automatically. What you need to do in the challenge to be more specific is to destroy five egg nests, and then defeat the Alloy Worship Unit boss.


Complete the ‘Power Plant’ challenge by taking the Fuel Array from your pod and then taking it to Rex’s body in the Abyssal Depths map. It can be tricky since the fuel explodes if your health is below 50%, but it should be easy once you’re used to the game and have a decent character.


Acrid was a bit of a secret character early on, so unlocking him is tricky. You need to beat 9 challenges in the Void Fields area which is accessible through a secret purple portal hidden between a cave in Under the Bazaar, which is in the Bazaar Between Time. That’s quite a mouthful but the area is truly that redirected.

The Captain

Beat the final boss of the game, the Mithrix. Once the game is over and you manage to escape within the time limit after defeating the final boss, the credits roll and once you’re back at the menu, The Captain is available for you to play as.

In conclusion

That’s a wrap on the Risk of Rain 2-tier list and the guide to unlocking every character in the game.

It’s worth keeping in mind that this tier list delves into the basic effectiveness of every character. The game has a long list of items and skills that the player can swap out to make a personalized build for the characters that they use.

This means that there cannot be a concrete tier list and a character that we ranked lower might prove to be more useful for you if you’re a skilled player who utilizes the true potential of their favorite character.

So, don’t be afraid to experiment and use the tier list as a way to have a headstart on knowing which characters are safe to invest in. We hope that you found the guide useful and while you’re still here, make sure to check out some of our other helpful gaming guides too!

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