Risk of Rain 2 by Hopoo Games supports one of the most diverse rosters of playable characters in any
roguelike. The Commando is the first character players have access to, and as such is the face of the Risk of Rain franchise. His run-and-gun playstyle may be basic, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy or simple to devise a build.
Today, we’ve put together a guide to the Commando as the first in a series of Risk of Rain adventurer guides. With that, let’s jump right in!
The Commando Skills that Pay the Bills
For many, a game of Commando is the purest form of Risk of Rain 2 imaginable. Despite that, he’s on
the weaker side of the roster as far as power level is concerned. In order to unlock that sweet hornet
mastery skin, you’ll need to beat the game on Monsoon difficulty.
The Commando has a fairly basic but well-rounded skillset. Double Tap is the one skill you’ll use every single run as the Commando, since there are no alternatives. There are a couple of important factors to remember about this skill.
Firstly, it has default damage falloff, meaning that it deals 100% damage within 25m, linearly decreasing to a minimum of 50% at 60m or farther. In effect, you’ll start noticing a heavy damage drop-off at long range. This means that despite wanting to stay far away from dangerous enemies, the Commando actually wants to be fairly close up. Achieving this can be tricky for a character with otherwise lower mobility.
The second important thing to note about the Commando’s primary fire is its high proc coefficient
relative to its DPS. Essentially what this boils down to is that even though the Commando’s overall
damage output isn’t as great when measured against other survivors, his primary has a high chance of
proccing various items. Things in this category that scale up his damage end up being extremely strong.
As we get into the rest of the skills, it’s important to note that not all skills start off unlocked. In order to
equip the hidden abilities, a corresponding challenge must be completed.
As far as secondaries go, the Commando has two options, the first one being the Phase Round. This
ability gives him a long range shot that builds power as it travels through enemies. For those who would
rather play the Commando at range, building around this skill is the way to go.
The other secondary is the Phase Blast, a double shotgun pump dealing solid damage in close range. This ability is ideal for taking on tanky enemies up close and can help mitigate the Commando’s overall DPS issue.
Moving on to the Commando’s utility options, both are quick movement bursts that have slightly
different applications. First is the Tactical Dive, a combat roll that covers a short distance.
The other option is the Tactical Slide, which covers a shorter distance but allows you to shoot during its duration. The choice here is more about personal preference. The Dive allows for more horizontal mobility, while the slide does more for verticality. Either skill can be used mid-air to break fall damage right before falling from a high height.
For the Commando’s special ability, the two options are very different. The default option is the
Suppressive Fire, a six-shot volley that stuns and scales with the Commando’s attack speed. While not
extremely impressive, the Suppressive Fire does have some broad uses. It’s a DPS increase, especially if you cancel the end lag with either your utility or secondary skills. Also ,the ability to stun an enemy like a stone golem or a brass contraption with a charged attack can be invaluable.
The other special is the Frag Grenade, a AOE explosive that comes with two charges. The frag grenade
deals massive damage at the center of its explosion, but actually landing the projectile is tricky. The
timer for the explosion is one second after its first bounce, so some creative angles are essential,
especially if dealing with flying enemies.
All of the Commando’s abilities are worth using, but when building a loadout, think about what tools you might need to various situations. Having the ability to deal with the various challenges the game
presents is one of the Commando’s strongest qualities.
Commando Guide: Playing the Game
Now that you’ve learned about the Commando’s skills, let’s delve into the kinds of things a player should look out for. Early on, the Commando is fairly adept at clearing the map. There are two schools of thought here, and both are viable. One thought is that speed is critical to avoid having the game out-scale your damage.
The other idea is that the Commando naturally needs to accomplish a strong build in
order to handle the later portion of the game. In that case, farming the levels for items is key.
Which one of these strategies a player goes for is more preference than anything.
Items to look out for as Commando include Tri-Tip Daggers for bleed, Ukulele and Mk 5 Missile Launcher for proc-based DPS, and Soldier’s Syringe for increased attack speed. There are a few corrupted items that are of premium importance to the Commando, including the Lost-Seer’s Lenses and the Polylute.
By the time the later portions of the game come around, the Commando really wants enough attack
speed to reliably proc the DPS items he’s picked up. Additionally, mobility is essential on a
character that lacks it as part of his base kit. Extra jumps with Hopoo feather or movement speed with
Paul’s Goat Hoof are some examples of this.
Another more difficult style of DPS to pull off is with cooldown reduction and high crit chance. This kind
of build also doesn’t mind picking up the Heresy lunar items and can ultimately lead towards a Heretic
Join the High Ground
Thanks for reading our Commando guide for Risk of Rain 2! If you’d like to see more classes spelled out like this let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with new content.