No matter how you look at it, Risk of Rain 2 has a genuinely diverse cast of characters that range from easy to play and hard to master, to absolutely brain-dead simple, to obtuse beyond reason. That said, once you get a handle of things and spend some time with each of them – you realize they are all capable of mowing through lower difficulties with ease, and even Monsoon with a bit of finesse and luck.
The biggest difference between a top-tier character and bottom-tier character is just how much luck is required in order to succeed at the hardest content the game throws at you – Eclipse difficulty. While none of the ten are face-roll easy, it’s probably fair to say that some are unfairly handicapped and can’t quite make it over the top without a massive push from the fabled RNG gods.
The aim of this list is to establish which characters can be used to consistently win Eclipse runs and which characters need more than pure skill to win in higher difficulties. Feel free to disagree with my assessments in the comment section, or praise my high-minded rationale. Alternatively, if you haven’t played the game yet you should go read my review and see if maybe you should pick up a copy of your own.
Tier 3, aka “The Dumpster”
Rex, Engineer, Commando, Acrid
These are the characters for whom thoughts and prayers may actually improve performance. Although skill is always a relevant factor, and yes, masterful play is an enormous modifier and I am aware of players who can sleepwalk through any mode of any game with any character with their monitor turned off and their speakers swapped around and LOOK the point is that these are the least-great characters for Eclipse difficulty.
In the case of Rex, Eclipse 8 also requires you to not use some of your best skills, as you can’t recoup the lost health.
All of these characters are fun to play and great for easier difficulties – one could make a case for Engineer being the best character for low-difficulty play – but they are simply not built to easily succeed at Eclipse difficulty.
Of course, people have defeated Eclipse 8 with each of these characters – and there is video evidence of such – but there is no good reason to do so aside from simply challenging yourself or maybe for bragging rights.
Tier 2, aka "Okay, I Guess"
Artificer, MUL-T, Loader
These characters all shine brightly on lower difficulties and, with skilled play and a bit of early-game luck, can plow through Eclipse difficulty as well.
Loader takes an especially heavy lump from the escalating difficulty, as her playstyle (especially in early game) requires melee play – and the damage done by enemies up-close gets ridiculous later on.
Artificer is the most likely of the three to dramatically benefit from a few good rolls; after all, cooldowns are her shortcoming, and that can be shorn-up with just one of a few possible, fortuitous drops. Still, don’t hold your breath.
Tier 1, aka "A Fun Challenge"
Huntress, Mercenary, Captain
These characters all have one huge advantage over the others that makes them especially well-suited for Eclipse runs – evasion. For Huntress and Mercenary, evasion comes from mobility and i-frames; these characters lend themselves to superior play by skilled players, and with a few good drops they become nearly unkillable when wielded by pros.
Captain has a different trick up his sleeve – one that nearly validates creating an extra “Tier 0” just for him – his defensive microbots that swat away an enormous amount of incoming projectiles. This skill passively solves some of the most troublesome problems the game throws at players, and as such is borderline overpowered.
OP or not, these are the characters that are most capable of consistently winning Eclipse runs, and it is advised that you begin your journey with one of this set if you want to have the smoothest experience.