This guide is intended to give basic gameplay advice to new players. For more help/tips, read the in-game Miner's Manual, visit the official Deep Rock Galactic Discord server, and the Tips, tricks and strategies page.
How To Play
Starting the game for the first time will launch the player immediately into a tutorial. This tutorial is optional and can be exited out of, it can also be revisited at any time using the Launch Tutorial button in the Miner's Manual, under Getting Started > Basics. The tutorial will teach you the basics of the game and specifically the Gunner class.
Upon completing the short tutorial mission, you will be transported onto an orbital space station, the Space Rig. Here you can relax between missions, purchase vanity and equipment upgrades, begin and abort assignments, or drink at the Abyss Bar.
Assignment missions are marked with a small white diamond Complete them to advance the assignment and receive Crafting Resource and Credit rewards that you can use to upgrade your equipment or purchase items from the Accessory Shop.
Once you have completed the "Conquer Hoxxes IV" assignment, you are free to do whatever you want. Visit the various Planetary Regions to mine crafting resources, complete more assignments to unlock new weapons and terminals, purchase cosmetic items to become a fancy dwarf, or face challenging mutators for large Experience and Credit rewards.
Starting A Mission
Dwarven employees are dropped from the Space Rig onto Hoxxes IV to complete a variety of missions. After interacting with the Mission Terminal, you can select which planetary region to complete a mission in, what mission type to complete, and which game mode to play in. Stepping into the Drop Pod after selecting a mission will begin the launch countdown timer, and once it ends, you will be transported to the appropriate cave system to get the job done!
- Main article: Hoxxes
Currently Hoxxes IV has ten different areas to explore, with each area having a different look and different challenges to overcome. Only a handful will be available at any given time, with new missions in a different shuffled set of areas available every thirty minutes. In order to upgrade your equipment, you must visit the various regions in order to mine crafting resources from each region. The current planetary regions available are:
- The Azure Weald is a chilly place, every bit as hostile as the rest of Hoxxes IV - but still, we cannot deny it is oddly beautiful. Dazzling bioluminescent clusters of lichen light up the darkness, illuminating this fertile and overgrown Region in flickering neon colors. Don't let that lull you into a false sense of security however - the Azure Weald brings to mind the deep jungle, in all its splendor and horror - and much like its terrestrial counterparts, it is absolutely not out to make friends. Kill or be killed - that is the law in this place.
- Among the most spectacular sights on Hoxxes IV, the aptly-named Crystal Caves are truly a sight to behold. Massive crystals erupt from every surface, glittering and twinkling in the dark. Alas, the larger crystals are mostly worthless silicate, but abundant deposits of valuable minerals dot the caves too.
- We're almost sorry to send employees in here, but the rewards are just too great to ignore. So therefore: Welcome to the Fungus Bogs! A truly awful region, built mostly from slime, mold, stinging insects, fungus, stinking mud, and corrosive lichen.
- At least one of our xenogeologists quit in a rage when research started on this region. Instead of having conventional polar ice caps, and in violation of all physical laws we know of, the continental plates of Hoxxes rest on top of a planetwide permafrost layer several miles deep. As always, DRG recommends a "don't ask" approach when dealing with the peculiarities of Hoxxes' makeup.
- Hollow Bough is a biological oddity that has the Science Department scratching their heads - this entire region of the planet is dominated by colossal, organic conglomerations resembling the inside of hollow trees. However, these structures are under attack by an invasive species of voracious vine-like plants, as much a threat to us as the planet itself. We recommend traversing these environs with extreme caution. The deep, dark folds of wood and bark house much more than a first glance lets on.
- Whoever said plant life needs access to sunlight has obviously never visited Hoxxes. This region is dominated by what can best be described as a subterranean rainforest - masses of writhing, (mostly carnivorous) plant life, producing entire microcosms of life deep within the crust of the planet. Tread with care.
- Ravaged by thousands of years of high-intensity gamma radiation, this region of the planet is now a veritable hellhole of radioactive ash and decrepit, mutated flora. Move with great care, and pay particular attention that you maintain full detox procedure upon return.
- Among the deepest of our mining sites, the Magma Caves are a mellow 250-400 degrees and helpfully lit by the churning, molten innards of the planet. We advise that you do not touch anything not mandated by the mission objectives, as your employee insurance does not cover burns.
- The Salt Pits of Hoxxes IV was once the location of a huge underground lake. It dried up billions of years ago and left huge crystallized deposits of red salt. Red salt - though worthless - tastes really good on Glyphid omelettes.
- This region is dominated by windblasted and arid tunnels reaching dozens of miles below ground. The particular composition of the surrounding rock means practically no moisture, resulting in one of the driest regions on the planet. With water being so precious, the inhabiting wildlife is particularly aggressive, ravenous for whatever fluids reside within their prey.
- Main article: Missions
Once you've selected an area, you'll be given a list of mission types currently available in that area. Each mission has a Primary Objective and a Secondary Objective, as well as a Mission Length and a Cave Complexity. Sometimes two missions of the same type will be offered, but with such different objectives that they will play very differently, so take note! The current Mission Types are:
- Your main objective is to locate and deposit a specific number of Alien Eggs. The mission takes place in a nonlinear cave system, and you can collect the eggs in any order. The Alien Eggs are surrounded by dull, pink, organic material that can be mined to free them. Beware, as breaking the eggs out of the organic matter will summon enemies, potentially even an entire swarm.
- Your main objective is to refine Liquid Morkite using Pumpjacks and the On-site Refinery. Mission control will drop you into a nonlinear cave system, which has generation similar to Point Extraction. Set up pipes from the On-site Refinery to the Pumpjacks, refine the Liquid Morkite, protect and repair the pipes, and get out.
- Your main objective is to reattach the broken off legs of 2-3 Mini-M.U.L.Es, establish an Uplink between the derelict Drop Pod and the Space Rig, refuel the Drop Pod with fresh Fuel Cells, and survive while the Drop Pod powers up.
- Your main objective is to collect Aquarqs in the cave surrounding the Mine Head, which is protected by turrets mounted on the main platform of the Mine Head, while being attacked by waves of enemies and periodic larger swarms. Once you have deposited all your Aquarqs, launch the Mine Head and wait for Mission Control to send in the Drop Pod. Get in and make your escape back to the Space Rig.
- Your main objective is to protect and refuel the Drilldozer as she drills from cave to cave before reaching the Ommoran Heartstone shell, where she will extract the Ommoran Heartstone itself. Be ready for a tough fight. The Heartstone won't give itself up without a fight, and the bugs definitely don't want you there either. Once you have secured the Heartstone in the M.U.L.E, call in the Drop Pod and make your way back through the tunnels created by the Drilldozer.
- Your main objective is to find and eliminate two or three Dreadnoughts, which are maturing in their cocoons until you pop them. Eliminate them before they can turn into something even worse. After they're all dead, make your way back to a landing zone for extraction via the Drop Pod. Make sure to bring plenty of ammo. They can take a punch.
- Main article: Missions#Mutators
Mutators are special events which may modify the mission for better, for worse, or for both. These can vary from the dwarves having greatly increased movement speed to exploder infestations. Warnings are negative mutators and anomalies are positive or neutral mutators.
Cave Leech Cluster: There will be many more Cave Leeches on the ceiling.
Exploder Infestation!: Glyphid Exploders will spawn more frequently and in larger groups.
Haunted Cave: You will be pursued by an invisible, unkillable monster.
Lethal Enemies: Physical damage by enemies is doubled.
Low Oxygen: You will need to return to Molly or other sources of oxygen or else choke on toxic air.
Mactera Plague: Macteras will spawn more frequently and in larger groups.
Parasites: All medium sized and larger enemies will spawn carnivorous parasites upon death.
Regenerative Bugs: All enemies replenish their health if they do not take damage for a few seconds.
Shield Disruption: Player shield is disabled.
Elite Threat: Elite enemies will spawn in this level.
Swarmageddon: Swarmers will spawn more frequently and in larger groups.
Critical Weakness: Enemy weak spots increase damage even further.
Double XP: Doubles the experience points you gain at the end of the mission
Gold Rush: Large gold veins will appear more frequently.
Golden Bugs: Every kill will drop 1 unit of gold.
Low Gravity: Significant reduction to gravity but you can still receive fall damage.
Mineral Mania: Crafting minerals will be more common.
Rich Atmosphere: You will move much faster, will be able to sprint while carrying large minerals, and your voice will be higher pitched.
Volatile Guts: Enemies explode when killed, dealing damage to Dwarves and other bugs.
As you explore the caves you'll encounter various creatures, including Glyphids, flying Mactera, Cave Leeches, Spitball Infectors, and many others. Periodically, Mission Control will announce that they have detected an incoming swarm, and large numbers of enemies will converge on the Dwarven Employees' location for a fight. Make sure you are ready!
Understanding Your Role
A good team can be made up of any combination of Dwarven employees, but it's important to understand what makes each one unique, and how to put their special talents to use to help your team. A well balanced team with good communication will stand a better chance at surviving deep down in Hoxxes IV.
- Main article: Driller
The Driller's primary responsibility is crowd control with his CRSPR Flamethrower, and using his Reinforced Power Drills to quickly create entrances and staircases to help others access difficult to reach locations or materials. The Driller is also armed with powerful Satchel Charges that can deal huge amounts of damage to his foes. His default throwable is the Impact Axe, capable of dealing significant damage to single targets.
- Main article: Engineer
The Engineer has two powerful support tools, An LMG Gun Platform and a Platform Gun. Set up turrets to defend against swarms of enemy creatures, and use your Platform Gun to provide your team with ground to stand on and platforms to reach high up minerals. Team up with the Scout to reach resources that are high up on cave walls. His default throwable is the L.U.R.E., capable of attracting the attention of the hostile wildlife.
- Main article: Gunner
The Gunner is equipped with a powerful powered minigun to protect the team from the monsters of the deep. The Gunner's responsibility is all around defense. His Zipline Gun gives the whole team the ability to cross distant chasms and with holdable items. The Gunner is also equipped with a Shield Generator that he can throw to protect his team and recharge their shields. His default throwable is the Sticky Grenade.
- Main article: Scout
The Scout collects hard-to-reach ores using his Grappling Hook, and helps defend the team using his Deepcore GK2 and Jury-Rigged Boomstick, and launches flares using his Flare Gun to provide light in the darkness. His default throwable is the Inhibitor-Field Generator which slows down enemies and causes them to take more damage.
As you play each of the game's four classes, you will gain experience and ranks separately for each of the different classes, up to rank 25. Some weapon and equipment upgrades require you to have a certain rank before you can unlock them. Your current rank and experience progress are indicated at the top left of the screen below your Class Badge.
Your progress as a player is also tracked at the top right of the screen on the Player Badge, the blue gem which shows your name and player rank in title and number form, as well as your current credit balance. You rank up each time the blue gem fills all three of its sections up, and one section fills up each time you gain a rank with one of the four classes.
The player rank titles are as follows:
|76 and onward||Lord of the Deep|
- Main article: Equipment
Usage and ammunition
Your weapons, grenades and special tools work like one would expect: If you fire/throw/use them, you spend ammunition of the respective tool.
Throwable flares refill over time at no cost. If you throw too many you will have to wait a short time until the next one is ready, but you will never have to stay in the dark for too long.
Your pickaxe can be used forever.
Your armor consists of two layers: An energy shield, which gets used up if you take damage but refills slowly if you don't take any more for some time, and the bare skin of your dwarf ("Hit Points") which gets exposed as soon as your shield gets used up completely and can only be healed with Red Sugar and at Resupply Pods.
All of your equipment can be improved by buying modifications at the Equipment Terminal. Each object features multiple slots for mods which must be earned by leveling up with the respective class. For most slots multiple mods can be purchased - however, only one mod per slot can be used. This still leaves room for a hefty amount of personalization and improvement. Available mods can be found on the pages of the respective weapons.
Unlocking new gear
Beside the improvement of your starter set, each class has access to two additional primary weapons, one additional secondary weapon and two more grenade types. All of them must be earned and then purchased. While the grenades are only level locked (to prevent greenbeards from playing around with Cluster Grenades), the weapons must be earned by completing the corresponding assignment.
- Main article: Assignments
An Assignment orders you on a short set of missions, which must be played and accomplished in a particular order (albeit not necessarily in direct succession) to fulfill the Assignment. Most assignments are in place to reward you with something unique in the game: new weapons, access to higher hazard levels or the Mineral Trading Terminal. Two assignment types deviate from this: Weekly Priority assignments, which are renewed every week, that pay a nice amount of credits and crafting minerals upon completion; and Promotion assignments, which are unlocked when one of your dwarves reaches the maximum class level, and are used to promote the Dwarf and reset your class level (unlocked weapons and upgrades are kept).
- Main article: Perks
Aside from improving your gear you can also improve yourself. This is realized with Perks. In your Cabin, at the Key Performance Indicator Terminal (screen at the wall), you can see your milestones (e.g. play 5 rounds in this biome). Upon completing a milestone, you can claim Perk Points which in turn can be invested in Perks. Perk Points and Perks are permanent and consistent across all classes. Your perks can be equipped at the Equipment Terminal.