79 ratings
Darkfall New Player Guide
By [OT]Nekrage
So you picked up Darkfall Unholy Wars and don’t know what you’re doing. Well don’t feel bad because a lot of players, if not all players, were in the same position you are in right now. Hopefully after you follow this guide you will be in a much better position and you can be on your way to dominating the competition.
Keybindings and Skill Placement
So I just finished the tutorial zone and reached the first safe zone, what now?
Before we get out in the world to start out killing, gathering, and crafting, we are going take some time to customize the game’s bindings to make them just a little more bearable.

1A. Let’s rebind some keys. If you don’t like what you have after we are done you can reset it with the push of a button (I will show you how). Hit O to pull up the options window. On the left column hit the last button called “Input Binding Options”.

1B. Notice the 3 little bubbles at the top right? Those are profiles which allow you to setup 3 entirely different keybinding lists, so pick one or use the default one.

1C. You see those 2 little radial wheels down at the bottom of your screen? You switch which one you are currently controlling by hitting Q and E. Personally...I think that’s a terrible system that will only hinder you in combat...here’s what I did to alter it.

Look for the bindings called “Select Left/Right Radial Slot 1-8” NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH “Select Radial Slot 1-8”. Now I hope you’ve got yourself a good gaming mouse with some programmable keys on the side because you're going to need/want them. Ok let’s start with the Right Radial Slot bindings...bind all of those to their corresponding number on the keyboard, for instance - “Select Right Radial Slot 1” should be bound to the number 1 on your keyboard, do that for the remaining 7 ones.

1D. Now you can bind the 8 “Select Left Radial Slot” bindings to the buttons on your mouse. I use the 6 buttons on my Razer Naga Hex + the Q and E keys. By default the Q and E keys switch which radial wheel you are currently controlling, and the whole point of rebinding these keys is to remove the need to do that, so the Q and E keys can be used for something else. I play a Skirmisher, and as a Skirmisher I have 2 very important escape abilities that I must use quickly in order to avoid a quick death, I bound those 2 abilities to Q and E.

1E. Look for “Activate Quick Item 1-8” Feel free to bind this to the F1-F8 keys if you want, by default they are on the number pad...if you prefer them that way just leave them on the default keys. These keys will be used to quickly swap between equipment (covered in section 1H).

1F. Now that you are done with binding let’s place some skills on the radial wheel. Hold TAB and look at the top of your screen. Those are the abilities you currently own. Each role starts with 6 skills, 3 for each school. The brighly glowing ones are NOT active skills and do not need to be dragged onto the radial wheel. When dragging your skills onto your radial wheels keep in mind that you will be obtaining 3 additional skills, 1 PER role, and 1 ultimate for your primary role...so make some space for 3 extra skills.

1G. Now that your combat skills are on your radial wheel, hold TAB again and take look at the bottom of the screen. The skills at the bottom are called “Common Skills”. Each class gets these skills and they are VERY important. I personally put them on the left radial wheel along with a couple of combat skills (2 of which are bound to Q and E). Let’s start with the transfer skills. Drag the “Health to Mana”, “Mana to Stamina”, and “Stamina to Health” onto a slot on the left radial wheel. Each of these 3 skills converts one resource into another. Get used to using them during combat to keep your resources replenished on the fly. The other one you need at this moment is “Heal Self” which is a small self-heal. The other remaining abilities are for advanced play and are not needed at this point.

1H. Hit P to pull up your “Paperdoll” window. Look at the bottom of the window to see 8 quickslots. These quickslots are used to quickly access weapons and tools. Put your weapon (bow, staff, or 2hander) in the first slot.

In the second slot, put a 1-handed weapon and a shield (craft one when you can - covered in section 4). Every class should have a shield on a quickslot. Why? If a warrior grabs you with his pull ability (Foebringer), you can quickly swap to your shield and hold the parry key (default V). This will minimize the amount of damage he can do to you while you are stuck in his face.

In your third slot put a bow (if you are a warrior it’s a must, to help finish off fleeing players, optional for prim and elementalist, but I would still recommend it.).

Drag your gathering tools into the remaining quickslots.

Now that your quickslots are all filled up, scroll your mouse wheel and take a look in between your radial wheels. You can see your weapons and tools change as you scroll the mouse wheel. Hitting the middle mouse button (scroll wheel in) will equip the currently selected weapon/tool. In section 1E, we bound some keys to the quickslots, and hitting those keys (F1-F8) will quickly equip that weapon or tool in the corresponding slot. This completely negates the need for the mouse wheel, but it can still be used if you prefer.

1I. Play around with your newly bound skills and key bindings and see if you like it. Move skills around, change bindings if you would like....make your setup comfortable for you
The Tutorial
At the top left of your screen you should have a little box (if not hit ESC to pull up your mouse and click the star to drop down the box)...this box gives you a small tutorial and will get you affiliated with the bare minimum basics of the game. So go around and complete that very basic tutorial.
So you got your tutorial done and did a little bit of gathering, that’s great. Let’s take some time and learn which tool works for what nodes. While gathering you should keep your eye on the “Combat Log” it will let you know when you succed in gathering, when you fail, and when the node is empty.

2A. Go find yourself a node, whether it’s a bush, a tree, a rock, or a lake you will have to equip the proper tool to gather from that node. When gathering the circle in the middle of your screen represents the amount of time it takes to complete the task. When your first gather on a node finishes it should automatically start the next. If it stops auto gathering that means you either moved your crosshair off the node, someone or something stepped inbetween you and the node and canceled the gather, or the node is empty(check combat log) and you have to move to a new node.

Skinning is the only gathering skill that’s slightly different as there is no set node. When you kill an enemy a grave stone will appear that you can target and hit F in order to loot it. After looting the gravestone, pull out your skinning knife and skin it.

2B. Why should I gather? Gathering in Darkfall is extremely rewarding. It gives you the materials needed to craft everything you’ll ever need (essentially everything in Darkfall is crafted) but unlike other mmo’s it makes you stronger (grants prowess points).

2C. When you first start gathering, most of your gathers will end in a failed attempt. Gathering skills can be leveled using prowess points (covered in section 6B) which will increase success rate and reduce gather cast time. This is no longer the case, as of 5/9/2013 the success chance of any gather is 100% regardless of gathering skill. Leveling your gathering skill will only increase the rate that you gather, not increase your success rate at all.
Crafting in Darkfall works in tandem with gathering, as you will need the materials obtained from gathering to craft. I know you already did some basic crafting because you completed the tutorial. Crafting is one of the only things in Darkfall that does NOT level through prowess (to an extent). You must level crafting by crafting items related to that craft. For instance if you want to level your bowyer craft, you must craft bows. At any point in the game you can hit U and click “General Skills” then click “Crafting Skills” this will show you all the available crafting in the game, the recipes, and the materials needed for those recipes. Once crafting is at level 100 you can spend 10k prowess points PER crafting skill (bowyer, tailoring, etc.) to unlock “Crafting Mastery” which gives you access to top notch recipes within that craft skill.

3A. While we’re here covering crafting, let’s craft some “Bags” from leatherworking and/or “Sacks” from tailoring. To do so you will need cloth and/or leather.

You obtain cloth by first obtaining cotton from “Herb Gathering” (gather from bushes) and as a drop from some enemies.
Through the “Weaving” craft, create cloth from the cotton.

You obtain leather by first obtaining rawhide from Skinning and as a drop from some enemies.
Through the “Tanning” craft, create leather from the rawhide.

After you have the required mats, go to the “Workbench”, hit F(the default use key) on it and create your Bags and Sacks, 3 bags/sacks should do for now. Hold onto these because I will explain their use in section 5.

3B. Why should I craft? Like gathering, crafting is used to get stronger (grants prowess points), and to create pretty much everything you will ever equip in Darkfall. Get accustomed to crafting as you will lose anything you have equipped at one point or another. You will either die and lose your equipped gear, or it will eventually lose of its durability and break. Unlike most MMOs, you CANNOT repair your equipment. Do not get attached.
Keeping your inventory and bank organized will make your time in Darkfall a WHOLE lot easier. Remember those 3 bags I had you craft? Hit B and locate them in your inventory (Use A and D to scroll through the inventory faster), after you’ve located them, right click them and hit “rename”. Rename all of them to the following, “Mats”, “Salvage”, and “Spare Armor and Weapons”. Keep these 3 bags in your bank. When you return to town from gathering or killing, drag and drop your newly gained loot in the appropriate bags. Put crap gear that you don’t need in the Salvage bag and only remove it when you plan to salvage (explained further in next section). All of the mats you get from gathering, salvaging, drops and what not go into the Mats bag. Put any weapon and armor that is of decent quality and on the level of the gear you are currently using in the Spare Armor and Weapons bag. These 3 bags are just something to get you started; there is no limit on how detailed you can get when organizing your inventory. For instance you can put “Ore”, “Seeds”, and “Fish” bags inside the Mats bag. So feel free to create your bank layout as you see fit.

4A. Now this really should be under crafting, but I wanted you to have your bags and have your bank organized first.

Salvaging - When you kill enemies or craft gear that you don’t need (just to level your crafting) you will find yourself with an abundance of extra gear that you have no use for. That’s where salvaging comes in to play. (KEEP BACK UP GEAR, don’t salvage good equipment that you can use as backup.)

Go to a Workbench, Smithy, or Laboratory and hit F on it. Click on salvaging and drag your “SALVAGE” bag into the slot. By dragging the entire bag instead of an individual item, you can set up a queue which will salvage all the salvageable items. It removes the tedious click and drag a hundred times problem. You can break down most gear at the smithy, bows can be broken down at the Workbench, and staves at the laboratory. Salvaging gear gives you much needed mats for crafting better gear.
Prowess Gain and Feats
Prowess is listed at the top right of your screen, the first number is the amount currently on hand, the second number(in parenthesis) is the total amount you have including the prowess you have already spent.

Prowess is the only thing in Darkfall that is going to make you stronger (other than some gear which requires certain stats gained through prowess to equip anyway). Your main focus when you first start Darkfall should be 1. Get used to the game, and 2. GET PROWESS!

So im sure you have seen that you gain prowess doing virtually anything useful, and this really complements the whole sandbox feel of the game. “Do what you love and the money will follow”...in this case the prowess.


Feats are essentially achievements within Darkfall that reward you with a nice bonus of Prowess. Hit J to open up the feats window. Take a look at the left column and select a couple of options like Gathering, Crafting, and PVE. Look at the list that is now populated with feats, if you wish you can drag those feats onto the circles at the top to track your progress while playing. Completing these feats should be a goal for you while playing Darkfall. You will constantly discover and unlock new feats. Don’t brush feats off as gimmick or a waste of time, as doing so will slow your prowess gain significantly.
Spending Prowess
So here we are, the section that confuses most people. Well no doubt you’ve got yourself a decent amount of prowess now lets spend it!

Now this will most likely be where some people disagree with any guide they are reading about spending prowess points, so feel free to alter this. I will offer possible deviations.

Hitting U will allow you to access the Skill list in order to level up MOST things. Boosters are accessed with I and basic stats with P.

A great starter build for ANY Role (After spending the prowess on stuff the tutorial makes you spend it on)

1. Gathering Skills to 25, bring skinning to 50.

Why? Spending prowess on gathering will only pay for itself. You only gain prowess from gathering when you SUCCESSFULLY gather something. Increasing your gathering skills increases your successful gather chance AND reduces the time it takes to gather from a node (can beat out other players gathering from the same node).

Skinning goes to 50 because it will most likely be your most used gathering skill as you will skin every enemy you kill. Killing enemies gives you prowess, completing a feat for killing said enemies gives you prowess, skinning dead enemies gives you prowess, completing a feat for skinning dead enemies gives you prowess. You can see how having high skinning would help.

DEVIATIONS: If you find yourself gathering a ton and loving it, raise each gathering skill a bit higher or raise the one you find yourself using most to 50.

POSSIBLE COMPLAINTS: You will see people claim that it’s not worth putting points into multiple gathering skills at the start, I HIGHLY disagree with this. Not only are there feats for EACH gathering profession, you need the mats from all professions to level up crafting which provides even more prowess. On top of all of that, if you decide to dedicate all your time to one and only one gathering profession, you are going to have a harder time finding nodes that aren’t tapped out in the safe zone.

As of 5/9/2013 All gathering will have a 100% chance to succeed. Leveling gathering professions will only reduce the casting time of each gather. If you plan to gather a ton, leveling this is still beneficial.

2. Buy your first 2 booster levels.
The Strong (Warrior)
The Agile (Skirmisher)
The Smart (Elementalist)
The Wise (Primalist)

Why? It provides the quickest boost to your overall stats making you a hell of a lot stronger a hell of a lot sooner.

DEVIATION: Get 1 Booster for now because you want to get to the next step quicker because you find yourself hurting for resources (health, mana, stamina).

3. Heal Self and the 3 Transfer Skills to 50.

(Transfer skills were explained in section 1G)

Why? It helps you stay active during PVE more (and PVP but you shouldn’t be leaving the safe zone yet)

DEVIATIONS: NONE, get used to using these things...it can be a hassle at the start for new players but if you followed my keybinding section of this guide, it should be ALOT easier to quickly swap skills.

3A. Raise your Archery to 100(IF YOU ARE A SKIRMISHER)

Raise your 2 Hander to 100(IF YOU ARE A WARRIOR)


Why? Raising these will greatly increase the damage output of both characters.

But why not Primalist or Elementalist? Raising your Staff is nearly worthless, it doesn’t even compare to the masteries of other weapon. You will end up throwing 3k+ prowess out the window if you invest in staff mastery. – NOT WORTH IT (Yet at least)

DEVIATIONS: Raise your archery to 50 instead (Skirmisher)/ Raise your 2 Hander to 50 instead (Warrior).

Some players like to level 1 handed sword mastery to 50 for Skirms for use in PVE. I am not against this as I find myself using it in some situations EARLY on, plus using the sword over the bow saves some precious gold early on by avoiding the use of arrows... Feel free to do this in addition to 50 or 100 in archery.

POSSIBLE COMPLAINTS: I use my staff alot should I level the mastery? No, it may seem useful early on but it really does not reduce the resource cost of using the staff that much and will cost too much precious prowess points that could have been spent on your stat increases.

4. Increase your main stat until it begins costing 80 prowess per stat point.
Why? You gain 10 of your main stat PER booster level. Since you already have the first 2, the third booster level costs 800...if you do the math, that’s 80 prowess points per stat point gained through the third booster level. At this point it’s much more efficient to manually put in your stat points.

DEVIATIONS: Stop putting points in your main stat when it begins to costs 60 prowess per stat point. Only do this if you are in a rush to get to step 5.

5. Buy Evade(Skirm)

Buy Stampede (Warrior)

Buy Healing Blast (Primalist)/ only if you will be running with a group and you really should when you leave the safe zone. (Join a guild)

Buy Either Magma Bomb or Tornado (Elementalist)/ Tornado if you were worried about those pesky warriors jumping you. Magma bomb gives you slightly higher damage capabilities and more AOE.

These skills can be obtained at the “Battlemaster” and “Spellmaster” NPC’s in your starting city.

Why? Soon (if you haven’t already) you will be adventuring from the save zone and these skills are a must have for PVP with the exception of Elementalist skills.

DEVIATIONS: If you plan to stick around in the safe zone for a while longer you can delay getting these just yet, but they REALLY should be obtained before you leave. The Elementalist can pass this up for a bit but I would not recommend it.

If you are running around with only 1 other player and you are a Primalist you may want to consider picking up Primal Surge to buff that other player while you PVE and PVP. I personally would still take the AOE heal (Healing Blast) to heal both you and him.

6. Buy your Third booster level.
The Strong (Warrior)
The Agile (Skirmisher)
The Smart (Elementalist)
The Wise (Primalist)

Why? At this point it’s much more efficient than manually increasing your stat points.


7. Increase your main stat until it begins costing MORE than 150 prowess per stat point.

Why? You gain 10 of your main stat PER booster level. Since you already have the first 3, the third booster level costs 1600...if you do the math, that’s 160 prowess points per stat point gained through the third booster level. At this point it’s much more efficient to manually put in your stat points.


7A. Purchase Archery Mastery (IF YOU ARE A SKIRMISHER)

Purchase your 2 Hander Weapon Mastery (IF YOU ARE A WARRIOR)

Primalists And Elementalists will skip this step as they did not level staff mastery

Why? This will provide a bigger boost to your damage than the fourth booster will.

DEVIATIONS: Purchase the last booster first if you wish.

8. Buy your Last booster level.
The Strong (Warrior)
The Agile (Skirmisher)
The Smart (Elementalist)
The Wise (Primalist)

Why? At this point it’s much more efficient than manually increasing your stat points.


9. Purchase your ultimate skill and last remaining skill.

Why? It's the last thing for you to purchase.


9A. Level the mastery you purchased at step 7A to 100

Primalists And Elementalists will skip this step as they did not purchase a mastery at step 7A

Why? This is the most beneficial thing to level at this point.

Random Tips
-One of the things new players will fail to realize early on is that there is no system in this game that distinguishes between friend or foe when it comes to pvp. What does this mean? That means ANY attack can hit friendly players that are in a party with you, even when you are out just killing some pve enemies. This also means that heals can heal hostile players. This will take some getting used to and you really have to take an extra second to think about that aoe you are about to drop down. – THIS ONLY COMES INTO PLAY OUTSIDE THE SAFEZONES.

-Mounts can be stolen if left unattended for too long. If a player dismounts from his mount, you can target it and see the name of the player who owns that mount, if he remains off it for too long his name will be removed from the mount which is a clear indicator that the mount can now be stolen. If you wish to steal a mount run up to hit and hit F to hop on it. To avoid having this happen to you, always despawn you mount by holding F while targeting the mount, a radial wheel will pop up that allows you to select the option to despawn it. – MOUNTS CAN BE STOLEN INSIDE THE SAFEZONES.

-Arrows, don’t craft them. The mats to craft arrows are worth more than the arrows themselves. Don’t craft arrows; buy them from the vendor and save the mats for your other crafting skills.

-Hit P to pull up your paperdoll window. See that purple square around your gear? That purple bar indicates how much durability the item has. If an item is low on durability, swap it out (place in salvage bag) with backup gear before leaving the town.
Closing Statement
If you made it this far, you are well on your way to kicking some serious a$$ in PVP! All you have left to do is level your class skills, crafting, create a few sets of gear, increase secondary stats, increase gathering skills, and spend 10k prowess on the crafting skill(s) of your choice.
Not much left right? WRONG!

You are just getting started you PVP beast you! Get out there and crack some skulls!

Thank you VERY much for reading my guide, if you have ANY suggestions at all or think I missed something that I should have covered please let me know.

See you on the battlefield!

-Thanks Harley, Caylynx, and Nelorzoul for proof reading and fixing gramatical errors.
< >
Doubleson(认真送分) Nov 16, 2014 @ 9:42pm 
Grand Logic Nov 13, 2014 @ 12:40pm 
omg Archeage i hate this game...
[OT]Nekrage  [author] Nov 8, 2013 @ 8:02pm 
Unfortunately we left Darkfall rocco, we plan to play some Dayz Standalone and get our own server up and running while we wait on Archeage.

If anyone wants to join us for Dayz and get to know us, see if we are a good fit for you, just feel free to let me know, or hop onto www.oranthul.com and apply.
rocco0425 Nov 8, 2013 @ 7:02pm 
sweet, I've been following the game and it looks like its going to be alot of fun. I just recently purchased Darkfall, and I'm still in the noobie zone but so far I'm really enjoying how the game doesn't hold your hand like a large amount of other mmo's out there. Are you still playing Darkfall? Once I get the hang of things a little better I'd love to join your clan
[OT]Nekrage  [author] Nov 7, 2013 @ 2:39pm 
No sir rocco, nothing yet. Heard rumors or a January beta, but nothing concrete.

Cant wait to get my guild in there and race to the #1 spot.

Always recruiting if anyone wants to join us.
rocco0425 Nov 7, 2013 @ 1:31pm 
How are you able to play Archage already? I have signed up for the beta, and as far as I know that game isnt even in beta yet
Gedichtewicht Sep 5, 2013 @ 8:06am 
TY very much, allready recommended this guide to a lt of new players.
Neogenesis Jun 4, 2013 @ 1:04am 
Nice one ty
tomsen Jun 2, 2013 @ 9:13am 
Nice Guide! THX
Joken May 29, 2013 @ 10:41pm 
totally lost but I have a gamer mouse and Im gonna follow this guide. Thanks bud