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Dragon’s Dogma 2 - Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Dragon’s Dogma 2 - Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Written by Eric Hauter on 3/22/2024 for PC   PS5   XSX  
More On: Dragon's Dogma 2

Dragon’s Dogma 2 arrives today, and is poised to be one of the most talked about games of the year. Sprawling and unique, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is unlike almost any other game ever released – outside of the original Dragon’s Dogma, that is.

Newcomers to the series could be forgiven for being a bit bewildered by the flow of the game when first jumping in. While we aren’t talking about Elden Ring/Dark Souls levels of difficulty, Dragon’s Dogma 2 does everything slightly weird, to the point where new players might be scowling at the screen a little bit. This series marches to its own drum, which might set you off-kilter. Skyrim it ain’t, and trying to shove it into a Bethesda-shaped box is never going to work out for you, and will likely only result in frustration.

But, if you can readjust your expectations and get onboard with Dragon’s Dogma 2’s unique rhythms, you will find one of the most satisfying fantasy games (for my money) ever created. To help out, I’ve assembled a few pointers that might help ease the pain of entry a little bit. Rise up, Arisen, and take heed to my (spoiler free) words.

The word "Aught" means "Something"

Just do yourself a favor now, and replace the word "Aught" with the word "Something" in your mind. People in Dragon's Dogma love to use the word "aught", I guess because it sounds old-timey. "Is there aught about we should look at, Arisen?" Just substitute out "aught" and plug "something" in, and it will all make sense, I promise. "Is aught the matter, Arisen? Is there aught I should be attending to? I seem to have aught in my eye. Is that aught in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?". You get the point.

Getting there is most of the fun

You might be a bit put off at first by Dragon's Dogma 2's limited fast travel system. Folks that are accustomed to walking to a new location exactly one time and then magically blipping back to it whenever needed are in for a bit of a shock when they realize that Dragon's Dogma 2 wants them to travel by foot 95% of the time. But stick with it - the best moments in the game occur while you are making your way from one place to the next. Not only will you have incredible random encounters that completely knock your socks off, but you will also discover countless treasures, make mountains of cash, and find caves full of adventure that you never would have found otherwise. Don't be at all afraid to leave the path and explore your surroundings - Capcom made sure that every square inch of land in this game is well worth exploring. But also - 

Don't be afraid to run away

While exploring is enormously fun, you will occasionally come across enemies that you aren't nearly ready to fight. Dying in Dragon's Dogma 2 isn't as punitive as it is in Soulslike games, but it isn't any picnic either. You basically lose a big chunk of your health bar, which can't be recovered unless you camp or stay at a hotel. Sure, take a swipe at the big scary thing, because you'll know pretty quickly whether or not you are out-powered. If you are, get the hell out of there. Most creatures will leave you alone if you put a little distance between you and them.

You can bring your primary pawn back to life at any rift stone 

Your primary pawn in the game is pretty much your best friend. They are the one you create at the beginning of the game, and they will have your back throughout your entire adventure. However, if they are killed in action, they stay dead until you can make your way to a rift stone and bring them back to life. Just enter the rift and - POOF - a fully restored best friend.

Consider starting your primary pawn out as a mage

Maybe you have your heart set on making your primary pawn a thief, or maybe you want to play the mage role yourself. But when you are first starting out, consider making your primary pawn into a mage. Why, you ask? Heals, homie, heals. The mage role does amazing damage, but it also has some great support and buff abilities. But the big win when making your main pawn a mage is that they will whole-heartedly devote themselves to keeping your dumb ass alive, which you will sorely need in the game's opening hours. Stay close to your mage-pawn, and they will frequently pop heal bubbles. You just run through the bubble, and all will be well with the world. Trust me, you will save yourself a lot of expensive camping gear and hotel fees. The good news is that you can change roles in the game very easily, and the ability to do so unlocks early in the game. So once you are comfortable with the game and have accrued enough potions, you can pivot your pawn to whatever your heart desires.

Horde everything

While you may be tempted to sell off the various loot and materials you pick up along the way, you might want to horde as much as possible until you get a better feel for what is useful and what is trash. Hotels in Dragon's Dogma 2 offer free unlimited storage, so keep all of those horns and teeth and stow them away. Most of the gear you pick up along the way can be upgraded by vendors, and those upgrades require various materials (along with some silver). So unless you feel like going back and farming for lizard scales, keep that stuff! The game provides plenty of cash along the way, and your pawns are usually happy to scurry over and pick it up for you. Speaking of storage...

Food rots in your inventory, but not in storage

A lot has been made of the way that time actively passes in Dragon's Dogma 2. This can lead to you missing out on completing certain quests, but a less publicized side effect is that your food will completely rot in your backpack. Want to keep that stack of apples from going bad? Stow it at the hotel, which works as a sort of time-proof capsule. Keep that scag meat fresh for all time!

Take your time getting to the capital

Almost immediately in Dragon's Dogma 2, the Arisen is tasked with making their way to the capital with some homie from the guard. Ignore that guy (he disappeared somewhere along the way for me anyhow), take your time, and explore the opening area. There are tons of goodies, secrets, and treasures to find along the way, so don't beeline it just to progress the story. You'll get there eventually anyhow, and Capcom is doing it's best to distract you along the way. Give in. Get distracted. No need be in such a hurry. This is definitely not a "get out of the Hinterlands" situation. 

Use that "Go" command on your pawns

Pawns can be commanded around using the D-pad on your controller. In addition to the "To me!" and "Stay!" commands, there is one that is labelled "Go!". Though the game takes its sweet time telling you this, you can use that command to send your pawns after unreachable treasure chests. You remember that Mage Pawn I was so excited about? A few hours in, you'll be able to unlock the ability for them to levitate. Then, whenever you hear them say "Look, Arisen, a treasure chest! How will we ever reach it?", tap that "Go!" button and watch that fool float up there and grab it. 

Golden Bugs raise your weight carry limit

Whenever you see a golden bug glowing on a nearby tree, drop everything you are doing and go grab it. Using these from your inventory raises your carry limit by .15 lbs. That doesn't sound like a lot, but your limit starts pretty low, so every little bit helps. Don't forget to check your pawns' inventory every now and then, because they will totally pick these up and never tell you. Jerks. 

Trade out your pawns every few hours - but check their inventory first

Your primary pawn will level up along with you, but the other two hired hands are stagnant. This means that no matter how much you love them, you will eventually out-level them. Don't get too attached; trade those clowns in for some new blood. I typically try to hire pawns that are at least 4-5 levels above my current level, so they can stick with me for a while. This gives you a nice boost to damage for a time (higher levels pawns are stronger). Just make sure you check the inventory of the pawns you are dismissing - they will totally disappear with all the stuff they picked up along the way, and you will never see it again.

There is so much to see and discover in Dragon's Dogma 2. Hopefully, these starter tips will help you get acclimated in your quest to replace the usurper and ultimately fight the dragon. Be strong, Arisen. Eat those apples, use those golden bugs, and trade out those pawns! See you (or your pawns at least) in the Rift!

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

Howdy.  My name is Eric Hauter, and I am a dad with a ton of kids.  During my non-existent spare time, I like to play a wide variety of games, including JRPGs, strategy and action games (with the occasional trip into the black hole of MMOs). I am intrigued by the prospect of cloud gaming, and am often found poking around the cloud various platforms looking for fun and interesting stories.  I was an early adopter of PSVR (I had one delivered on release day), and I’ve enjoyed trying out the variety of games that have released since day one. I've since added an Oculus Quest 2 and PS VR2 to my headset collection.  I’m intrigued by the possibilities presented by VR multi-player, and I try almost every multi-player game that gets released.

My first system was a Commodore 64, and I’ve owned countless systems since then.  I was a manager at a toy store for the release of PS1, PS2, N64 and Dreamcast, so my nostalgia that era of gaming runs pretty deep.  Currently, I play on Xbox Series X, Series S, PS5, PS VR2, Quest 3, Switch, Luna, GeForce Now, (RIP Stadia) and a super sweet gaming PC built by John Yan.  While I lean towards Sony products, I don’t have any brand loyalty, and am perfectly willing to play game on other systems.

When I’m not playing games or wrangling my gaggle of children, I enjoy watching horror movies and doing all the other geeky activities one might expect. I also co-host the Chronologically Podcast, where we review every film from various filmmakers in order, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow me on Twitter @eric_hauter, and check out my YouTube channel here

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