Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

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All you need to know about Vermintide 2 in under 10 minutes
By Malacar
There are lots of important mechanics in Vermintide 2 that are hard to figure out on your own. The purpose of this guide is to tell you what you need to know, without teaching you how to play. I won't cover the stuff that is really obvious, the things that are explained in the Tutorial Mission, or the more advanced/complicated stuff that new players probably won't want to know. If you're an experienced player and you want a more comprehensive guide on hidden game mechanics, I highly recommend this Reddit post.

This guide was heavily inspired by Ullmod's guide to Vermintide 1.
Defense and Teamwork
  • You can block enemy attacks coming from any direction (even from behind). However, blocking non-frontal attacks costs more stamina. (Usually 4 times more, depending on the weapon.)
  • You can only push enemies that are in front of you.
  • When an enemy attacks you from behind, the game plays a "whoosh" warning sound. Learning to identify this sound and react to it will greatly improve your survivability. Video demonstration[streamable.com], courtesy of Reddit user Xanawolf.
  • While reviving a teammate, you automatically block enemy attacks. You can still run out of stamina and have your block broken, which will interrupt the revive.
  • If you push, your stamina stops regenerating for 1.5 seconds (or 0.75 if you're using a weapon with a shield). If you block an attack, your stamina stops regenerating for a brief moment (shorter than when you push). Bonuses to stamina regeneration rate seem to reduce the delay before regeneration starts after blocking or pushing. Dodging does not affect your stamina regeneration.
  • You can pass Potions, Healing Draughts or Bombs to your teammates. To do so, stand right next to a teammate, target them, select the item you want to pass over (so that it appears in your hands) and press the Interact key (default: E). The teammate must have a free slot for that particular item.
  • If one or more players die, the survivors can go back through the map (instead of going forward) and wait for others to respawn. This will make them respawn closer. Whether or not it's worth doing depends on the situation. For example, it's usually worth it if only one player is left alive.
Offense and Damage
  • You can perform a follow-up attack after you push an enemy. To do this, press and hold RMB, then press and hold LMB rather than just tap it.
  • Each melee attack can only cleave a certain number of enemies at a time. Tougher enemies are harder to cleave.
  • Critical hits will do more damage and apply a stronger stagger effect. When you hear a louder-than-usual sound while swinging a melee weapon (and the weapon leaves a bright yellow trail in the air), that means you've performed a critical swing. All the enemies hit by that swing will receive a critical hit. There are similar sound and visual cues for ranged critical shots.
  • Headshots will do more damage and apply a stronger stagger effect. If your targeting reticle briefly turns orange after you've hit an enemy, it means that you've performed a headshot.
  • Each melee weapon cycles through a static chain of light attacks when you spam LMB. If you briefly tap RMB to block, the attack chain will reset. This can be very beneficial for some weapons in some situations. Example: Sienna's longsword will do a right-to-left swing, then left-to-right-swing, then downwards swing, and then repeat these three attacks endlessly. The downwards swing does more damage, but it cleaves less targets, so it's not desirable to use it when fighting big hordes. If you spam LMB, LMB, RMB, LMB, LMB, RMB,... you will perform right-to-left and left-to-right swings repeatedly, always skipping the downward swing.
  • While throwing a bomb, you can hold LMB to delay the throw indefinitely. If you change your mind about throwing the bomb, you can tap RMB to defuse the bomb and cancel the throw.
  • You can use Waystalker's ability (triple homing arrows) or Pyromancer's ability (big homing fireball) to target a particular enemy rather than a random one. To do this, press and hold the ability key (default: F), target the enemy, wait until the enemy gains a red outline, then release the ability key. This works most of the time, but sometimes the ability will still target random enemies.
Getting Knocked Out and Being in a Wounded State
When your health reaches 0, you get knocked out. If a teammate revives you before the enemies kick you to death, you enter a Wounded state. Your health will be white and it will get drained constantly. To cure the Wounded state, you need to get healed with either a Healing Draught or a Medkit. But here's what's really important:
  • On Recruit difficulty, you can get downed and revived up to four times in a row. When you get downed for the fifth time, you will die instead. You can reset your number of "downs" by the use of healing supplies.
  • On Veteran difficulty, you can only get downed and revived twice in a row. When you get downed for the third time, you will die instead. You can reset your number of "downs" by the use of healing supplies.
  • On Champion difficulty or above, you can only get downed once. When you get downed for the second time, you will die instead. You can reset your number of "downs" by the use of healing supplies.
NOTE: In certain situations, it's possible to have a fully green health bar while being in a wounded state. For example, a health regeneration effect (from an item or Waystalker's passive) will give you green health, but it won't cure the wound, so you will still have to use healing supplies or risk dying.
Other ways to cure wounds:
  • If you have the Hand of Shallya trait on your necklace ("Healing an ally with medical supplies also heals you for 50% of your missing health") and you use a medkit to heal a teammate, you will also clear your own wounds.
  • Each career has access to a "Healshare" talent at lvl 20: "Healing yourself with a First Aid Kit or a Healing Draught also heals your nearby allies for 20% of their maximum health. Also clears any wounds [on your teammates]."
  • Some careers have access to a talent that clears your wounds when any boss dies. This works with both random bosses and story bosses.
Dealing with Armored Enemies
Many enemies in the game are armored (Stormvermin, Ratling Gunners, Chaos Warriors, etc.). Some attacks will not do any damage to them.
  • If you hit an armored enemy, and a red indicator briefly appears in the center of your screen, it means that you've dealt 0 damage.
  • To learn which attacks do damage against armor and which attacks don't, experiment with an armored Target Dummy in the Keep (the lobby map). In general, light melee attacks usually don't penetrate armor, while heavy melee attacks usually do.
  • Even if the attack normally doesn't penetrate armor, it will do if you hit the head.
  • Any attack will penetrate armor if it crits.
  • Any attack will penetrate armor while under effect of a Strenght Potion.
Dealing with Super-Armored Enemies
There are two super-armored enemies in the game: the Mauler (a tall chaos dude with skulls impaled on spikes protruding from his back) and the Chaos Warrior (a huge chaos dude in rusty full plate armor with a deep rumbling voice).
  • The Mauler only has his head protected by Super Armor. You can damage his body with any attacks. Most ranged weapons (and melee light attacks) will do negligible damage to his head.
  • The Chaos Warrior is fully protected by Super Armor:
    • Most ranged weapons will not damage him at all with bodyshots but will do small to medium damage with either headshots or crits.
    • Some ranged weapons (Bolt Staff, Handgun, Krubers's Longbow) will do significant damage with bodyshots and even stronger damage with either headshots or crits.
    • Most melee light attacks will not do damage even with headshots. Some weapns (maces, axes, the Falchion, the spear, etc.) will do small damage with light attacks no matter where you hit.
    • Heavy melee attacks (with most melee weapons) will do damage no matter where you hit.
    • Any attack will penetrate Super Armor if it crits.
    • Any attack will penetrate Super Armor while under effect of a Strenght Potion or a certain Career Ability (Shade, Huntsman or Veteran Ranger).
Dealing with Shielded Enemies
Some Skaven and Chaos enemies come equipped with shields. When they block your attack with a shield, you do 0 damage. You can't shoot a shielded enemy in the head or the legs if it has its guard up and is facing you, even if you hit a body part that appears to be exposed. Here are some ways to deal with such enemies:
  • Some heavier weapons (wizard's mace, elven glaive, etc.) will permanently break enemy shields when you use heavy attacks. This will not work on Stormvermin's shields.
  • While a shielded enemy is not alerted to hostile presence, you can shoot it with a ranged weapon. The first shot will not be blocked, but the enemy will become alerted if it survives.
  • Shielded enemies cannot block attacks coming from behind. So if your teammate is fighting a shielded enemy, you can circle around it and backstab it. This is a good way to deal with shielded Stormvermin.
  • Repeatedly attacking or pushing a shielded enemy will make them flinch, and eventually expose them for a brief moment where it won't be able to block. Another effective way to deal with a shielded Stormvermin is to push it twice to break its guard, then to hit it in the head with a charged melee attack or a ranged weapon.
  • Certain weapons ignore shields completely. Currently, these are: Flail (Victor) and Handgun (Marcus and Bardin). With the handgun, only aimed shots (right click attacks) penetrate shields. Also, the push-attack of these weapons ignore shields: Sword and Shield (Markus), Dual Swords (Kerillian), Sword and Dagger (Kerillian).
Dealing with Special Enemies ("the Specials")
This topic is huge, but I will only cover a few things that I consider essential and not obvious.
  • If a Gutter Runner has caught your teammate and you are standing right next to him, you can push him (RMB+LMB) to make him instantly release your teammate. If you swing at him with your melee weapon, he might keep shanking your teammate.
  • If a Gutter Runner is about to leap at you, you can either interrupt him by shooting him, or you can escape by moving to the side while facing him. It's better to sidestep than to dodge. Keep in mind that you have to start moving well before he jumps. Don't change your movement direction or you will get caught. As a last resort, you can attempt to push the Gutter Runner mid-air when it leaps at you, but this is very hard to time, and requires low network latency.
  • If a Packmaster is about to grab you, you can avoid it by moving towards the Packmaster and then dodging to the side when he starts the grab animation. If you dodge backwards, you will probably get caught. Also note that Packmasters can't be staggered or pushed (except with bombs or some hero abilities).
  • When a Leech Sorcerer is about to grab you, he will shoot a green wispy projectile at you. You can avoid the projectile by facing the Leech and dodging to the side. The dodge has to be timed perfectly. Unlike the Gutter Runner's leap, you can't avoid it by simply moving. You can also shoot him before he grabs you – this will cancel his grabbing attempt and he will try to teleport away instead.
  • How to distinguish a Leech Sorcerer (a fat guy that grabs you) from a Blight Stormer (a fat guy that makes green tornadoes): the former wields a staff and wears a hood, while the latter wields a spellbook. Also, they have different voices and say different things.
  • Each Special emits a distinctive noise that can be used to locate it. A high-quality headset will help a lot. If you suspect that a Special is coming from a certain location, you can target that location and spam your Ping key (default: T) to spot that special for your team.
  • In Vermintide 1, there is a mechanic called Rush Intervention: whenever one player is far away from the group (or the group splits up), the game spawns one or two extra "grabber" specials (Gutter Runners or Packmasters) to punish the group. Based on observation, this mechanic seems to also be present in Vermintide 2, but it's not known yet how exactly it works.
Effects of Potions
  • Speed Potions (the blue ones) increase your movement speed and attack speed (with all weapons) for the duration.
  • Strength Potions (the yellow ones) increase all damage you do and let all your attacks penetrate armor for the duration.
  • Concentration Potions (the purple ones) increase your Career Ability recharge rate for the duration.
Leveling, Stats, Loot and Progression
  • Your Hero Power affects the damage you do, the amount of enemies you cleave, and the impact of your blows (the extent to which enemies get staggered by them). However, on higher difficulties, enemies are harder to cleave and stagger.
  • You get 10 Hero Power for each 1 hero level, plus the average Power of your 5 equipped items. Max Hero Level is 30, and max Power on items is 300. Thus, the highest total Hero Power you can reach is 600.
  • Loot comes in five rarities: White, Green, Blue, Orange and Red. The rarity of the loot you get from chests and crafting depends on your Hero Level (of the hero you've selected before opening a chest or crafting an item), and also on the quality of the chest. So when you're level 1 you will only get White items, while at level 30 you will get lots of Orange items even if you only play on the lowest difficulty. (But playing on higher difficulties will help a lot.)
  • Each White item only has Power attached to it, each Green item also has one Property (a variable numerical bonus to some stat like Crit Chance or Attack Speed), each Blue item has two Properties. Each Orange item has two Properties and one Trait (a unique bonus such as "Replenish 5% of your max ammo on crit" – their numerical values don't vary). Each Red item will also have two Properties and one Trait, but numerical values on their Properties will always be maxed out, which makes Red items superior to Orange ones. Check out these Steam guides for more info on Traits and Properties.
  • The Traits and Properties on your melee weapon will not affect your ranged weapon, and vice versa.
  • The base damage for weapons of different rarities is the same. I.e., a white longsword and a red one will have the same base damage – the difference is that the white one only provides a Power bonus, while the red one also provides two extra stat bonuses and a trait.
  • The Power of items you get from chests and crafting depends on the highest average item Power you could have attained by equipping your best items for each slot (it doesn't matter if you've salvaged any of those items). The power of each new item can randomly be up to 5 points lower or up to 10 points higher than the current highest average. Simply put, the more chests you open and the more items you craft, the higher Power values you will be getting on new items. That means that if you level your Empire Soldier to 30 and open all chests you get while you're at it, and then you switch to your level 1 Witch Hunter and start earning loot for him, the Power on your Witch Hunter items will be just a bit higher than what you last got for your Empire Soldier. Although the rarity of items will be worse – your Witch Hunter will only be getting White and Green items at first, even if your Empire Soldier is dressed in Orange and Red.
  • You can game the system a little by keeping track of your highest power for each slot, and always crafting items for slots that are lagging behind. Example: you have a 192 Power melee weapon, 199 power ranged weapon, and 200 power on all 3 jewelry items. You should craft melee weapons until you obtain one with at least 200 power before you start opening chests. (I.e. open chests when your highest power is about equal for each of the 5 slots, craft new items when the power is not equalized.) This will let you reach the power cap faster with the same amount of loot.
  • Red Items can only drop from General's Chests or Emperor's Chests (from Champion difficulty), or from any kind of Vault from Legend difficulty. As of v1.1, red items can also drop from Commendation Chests (the ones you get for levelling up), at a very low drop rate. As of v.1.2, you can upgrade your orange items to red items by sacrificing the red items you don't need. Red items that are made in this way will not receive glowy illusions.
  • Hats can only drop from Commendation Chests (the ones you get for levelling up), and are very rare. As of v1.1, you can also earn some Hats, Outfits and Portraits by completing certain Okri's Challenges.
  • You can also get hats, hero skins, and weapon illusions from Bögenhafen chests if you own the Bögenhafen DLC.
  • Here's the explanation for some obscure Properties:
    • Curse Resistance – reduces the amount of Max Health you loose when your group carries one or two Grimoires.
    • Power vs Monsters – increases your Power against minibosses (Ogres, Stormfiends, Trolls and Chaos Abominations), and also against Packmasters.
    • Power vs Berzerkers – increases your Power against Berzerkers, and also against Plague Monks.
    • Push/Block Angle – widens the frontal cone where you can block and push enemies for normal stamina cost. NOTE: the default BLOCK angle for each weapon can be seen in the weapon's description in your Inventory screen (the blue arc above the stamina value). However, the default PUSH angle is the same for all weapons – it's 100 degrees for the stronger effect and 180 degrees for the weaker effect. This means that if you have +30% Block/Push Angle property on your melee weapon, if you aim at your feet and push, you will push all enemies around you.
UI and Settings
  • You can set the game to always show outlines around other players (OPTIONS > GAMEPLAY > VISUAL EFFECTS > PLAYER OUTLINES > ALWAYS ON). This will make it easier to see your teammates amongst enemy hordes.
  • You can change your Field of View setting (OPTIONS > VIDEO > DISPLAY > FIELD OF VIEW). Default value is 65. Increasing this value will expand your peripheral vision, but it will also distort the image, make it harder for you to judge distances, and make the game less immersive.
  • By default, you use the Space key for both jumping and dodging. You can instead assign a separate key just for jumping and a separate key just for dodging (OPTIONS > KEYBINDS > MOVEMENT).
  • Note that the purple bars under your teammates' portraits indicate their ability charge state. Also, when a teammate is low on ammo, a yellow bow icon appears next to their portrait. If they are out of ammo, a red bow icon appears.
  • Vermintide 2 supports player-made mods. Mods that are "sanctioned" by developers can be used in regular games and won't prevent you from getting XP or loot. Consider installing at least some of these mods – they add significant quality of life improvements.
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Scootaloo Jun 1 @ 12:11pm 
Figured out something new for me
ばにちゃん Jan 17 @ 1:40am 
Thanks for the help, homie. This game seems really overwhelming, but your guide is making it more manageable for me. You rock :ily:
HuggyDeathBunny🐰💀 Aug 6, 2020 @ 1:12pm 
Something I've recently discovered I feel worth adding to your well scripted guide:

You can not salvage items equipped to a slot of any other class, or SUB class.

The best practise here i find is to slot all the sub classes with grunt +5 Gear (the lowest hashed icon). This ensure fullly unlock salvaging.

Then, once your main is equipped during a crafting session, return to the BOT Classes you use's primary SUB classes, and replicate your accessories in each slot, and craft a main and offhand weapon to catch them up.

The end result will not only be maxed bots for solo play, but you will have a neater and maximised availability of materials.
Bar1cade May 20, 2019 @ 11:15pm 
Great guide! :vt2:
miniL Feb 21, 2019 @ 3:34am 
Cheers for the swift reply! Am certainly going to follow your advise ^_^
Malacar  [author] Feb 20, 2019 @ 9:26pm 
If you only use Sanctioned Mods, you can play on official realm and get XP/loot/achievements normally. Check the box "Approved" in Steam Workshop to view the list of Sanctioned Mods.
I'd recommend to use at least Numerical UI, Chat Block, Loadout Manager, and Bot Improvements: Combat. Unfortunately, right now some of these mods don't work because the latest update of Vermintide 2 broke them. They should be updated in the next few days though.
miniL Feb 20, 2019 @ 4:16pm 
Nice read, but which mods would you advise?
Thought I read something about mods changing XP/LOOT/Achievements (the first 2 of which you just mentioned sanctioned once wont).

And I guess you still have to go to the modded realm in that case?
Nubblecakes Nov 17, 2018 @ 9:50pm 
This guide is really helpful and to the point like all guides should be. My friends and I just picked this game up and proceeded to get our asses handed to us, but most of the info in this guide will definitely come in handy I think.
Gun Jun 25, 2018 @ 5:13am 
played this game more 500 hours and there are things that I still did not know wow