Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - Combat Guide - Gameranx (2024)

Everything you need to know about combat in Warhammer 40,000: Darktide.

Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
  • Combat Cycle
  • Know Your Strengths
  • Suppression
  • Recognise Enemies
  • Health, Toughness, and Coherency
  • Focus Objectives
  • Friendly Fire!
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - Combat Guide - Gameranx (1)

There is a lot to Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, in and out of the safety of your prison block. Of course, exploring the large hub is fun, but eventually, you are going to want to go on suicide missions to deliver the Emperor’s justice with some mates (or randos). Combat is the focus of the game after all, and it just so happens to be a lot of fun.

It’s also fairly complex for a game that, on the surface, is mostly about moving through levels and killing literally hundreds – if not thousands – of enemies in short 15-20 minute play sessions. It’s fast, chaotic, brutal, and a total blast once you get the hang of it – and that’s where we come in.

More Warhammer 40,000: Darktide content:

Beginner’s Guide | New Trailer | Darktide Banter | Release Date

Combat Cycle

Combat in Darktide is very similar to Fat Shark’s previous works – namely Vermintide. By this, we mean that there is a mixture of melee and ranged combat. However, where Darktide really differs, is in the balance of the two. Darktide being set in the far-flung future of the forty-first millennium has way more guns involved.

This means you are going to have to get to grips with shooting if you want to make it out alive. But that doesn’t mean shooting is all you will do because melee is still a huge aspect of the game – especially when you consider the sheer number of enemies charging at you and the limited nature of most classes’ ammo stocks. In general, you want to blast as much as you can, and then when the hordes reach you, whip out a big old shovel and krump their heretical skulls in.

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Know Your Strengths

Every Class in Darktide is unique, and understanding how each Class works is pretty important if you want to survive. For example, the Sharpshooter, as the name implies, is excellent at staying back and unleashing devastating ranged firepower. The Zealot on the other hand loves to get stuck in with their powerful chainsword and rapid-fire auto-pistol.

Outside of these polar opposites, you have the humongous Ogryn who serves as a literal meat shield and crowd controller, and the mysterious Psyker who uses incredibly potent magic to eliminate key targets from a distance. Know your strengths, avoid your weaknesses, and have a good time.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - Combat Guide - Gameranx (2)


An interesting mechanic in Darktide is Suppression. Unlike your typical cooperative shooter, you aren’t just fighting zombies here (although there are hundreds of zombies here as well). No, there are also heretical Guardsmen with all manner of ranged weapons who are more than happy to riddle you with lasgun fire.

What makes them especially dangerous is their lack of need to hit you, to impact you. Suppression occurs when you come under fire for too long. Everything changes when this happens. You move slower, your aim is abysmal, and you are very vulnerable to being rushed. The flip side? Your enemies can also be suppressed. Even if you can’t hit an enemy, spraying in their general direction is enough to spook them into cover. Well worth considering in a hectic battle.

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Recognise Enemies

There are a lot of enemies in Darktide, and they all have their own unique quirks. Your basic Poxwalker (zombies basically) just run at you aimlessly, whereas Guardsmen move in squads and take up defensive positions. Some heretics are carrying make-sh*t melee weapons and are wearing crude armour. Others still are covered head to toe in thick metal and carrying giant hammers.

Then you have special and elite enemies, like the monstrous Plague Ogryn, sneaky Sniper, vicious hound, and more. Every enemy has a unique sound cue as well as a unique visual design allowing you to pick them out from a crowd – and you want to get good at doing this. These enemies are far more dangerous than your standard mooks and they need to be killed ASAP.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - Combat Guide - Gameranx (3)

Health, Toughness, and Coherency

In Darktide, characters have two resources that govern their health. Firstly, you have a non-restoring HP bar. If this drains to zero, you are downed. If you take too much damage, it is semi-permanently reduced. Above this, you have your Toughness, and this acts like a regenerating shield. Provided you have toughness, you should be fine.

Not every character is made equal of course, and different classes have different amounts of Health, and their Toughness is reduced at different rates. There are many ways to improve your Toughness, however, with the primary one being Coherency. The closer you are to allies, the faster your Toughness regenerates – and this scales with the number of allies you are standing next to.

This incentivises sticking together as you are harder to kill when working as a team. Not to mention all the unique Coherency buffs that each class provides passively.

Focus Objectives

Missions in Darktide are rather sprawling. You will be fighting through all manner of grunge locales in an attempt to complete your overarching objective. However, each mission will also have smaller objectives for you to complete along the way. For example, defending a location whilst you hack security doors, etc.

As a general rule, you want to be focusing on these objectives at all costs. Just killing enemies isn’t enough, especially when you have to work as a team to escort vital items to drop zones. You need to work together to protect your carriers, and your carriers need to play smart if you want to get there in one piece. Always. Focus. The. Objective.

Friendly Fire!

Shooting guns is fun, but that fun is stifled when an Ogryn unloads a shotgun into the back of your head by accident. That’s right, Darktide has friendly fire, and it’s not fun. Health is a vital resource in Darktide, and if you are chipping away at your allies by accident, you are being quite the hindrance.

This makes shooting far more stressful as multiple classes enjoy being stuck in melee, which means you are going to have to have expert aim to avoid clipping them with a plasma bolt or revolver round. Thankfully, this does not apply to melee attacks, so feel free to swing wildly with whatever weapon you have on hand.

That’s combat in a nutshell! Keep an eye out for more Warhammer 40,000: Darktide guides. For the Emperor!


Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - Combat Guide - Gameranx (2024)


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