Welcome to our guide on how to maximize damage in Dark and Darker. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to get the most damage. In Dark and Darker, there is a vast amount of different stats. Many of them contribute to your overall damage in some way. Let’s check out and breakdown how damage is calculated in Dark and Darker.

Damage Formula

The damage formula in Dark and Darker can be intimidating to read at first glance:

  • ((((((Base Weapon/Magical Damage + “Buff” Weapon Damage) * Combo Bonus * Impact Zone Bonus) + “Gear” Weapon Damage/Magical Damage + Divine Strike Damage) * (1 + Power Bonus)) + Additional Damage) * (1 + Hit Location Bonus) * (1 – (Damage Reduction * (1 – Penetration))) * (1 – Projectile Reduction)) + True Damage

As seen above, the damage formula has a lot going on in the background. Next, let’s look at the stats that contribute to the formula.

How to Maximize Damage in Dark and Darker stats image

Damage Modifiers and Bonuses

  • Base Damage – The written damage of a weapon, spells, also skills.
  • Weapon Damage from Perks – Damage added from perks like Slayer and Rapier Mastery. Both Combo Bonus and Impact Zone multiply this stat.
  • Weapon Damage from Gear – Damage from the affix “+Weapon Damage” found on gear. Power Bonus helps this stat. +Weapon Damage only applies to direct attacks and physical attacks, not skills. Attribute Bonus Ratio is the main influencer of +Weapon Damage.
  • Magical Damage – Damage added from the Magical Damage stat found on the Spellbook, Magic Staff and Crystal Ball weapons. Magical Damage increases in power from the Power Bonus stat. Attribute Bonus Ratio also affects this stat. The damage gained from Magical Damage applies to every instance of spells, such as Magic Missiles.
  • Divine Strike Damage – Divine Strike is damage added to players by the Cleric Class, using the spell “Divine Strike”. This damage buff applies to weapon attacks while also affecting skills such as Caltrops and Achilles Strike. Attribute Bonus Ratio plays a part in boosting this damage stat.
  • Impact Zone Bonus – A sweet spot/sour spot modifier on weapon hit. Hitting the sweet spot gives optimal damage, whereas the sour spot will dish out less damage. The spots for the Impact Zone differ for each weapon.
  • Combo Bonus – A damage multiplier that is granted when hitting the second and third weapon attacks in a string. The damage and multipliers are different for each weapon.
  • Additional Damage – Damage added by “Additional Physical Damage” and the “Additional Magical Damage” gear affix. Additional Damage does not scale with Power Bonus. Additional Damage applies to every instance involving the correct damage type. This stat scales with the Attribute Bonus Ratio.
  • Hit Location – Damage from hit location differs based on where on the opponent’s body you attack landed. Players deal 0.5x damage when hitting another player’s limb and 1.5x for headshots. This multiplier applies to every weapon and some Magical Damage sources such as Fireball.
  • Penetration – A modifier commonly found on Blunt weapons or from the “Magic Penetration” and “Armor Penetration” gear affixes. Penetration scales with the opponent’s Damage Reduction percentage and not their flat Armor/Magic Resist Rating.
  • Damage Reduction – A defensive affix that applies to Magical or Physical Damage sources depend on the stat version you have.
  • Projectile Reduction – A defensive affix commonly found on Plate Armor or the Fighter Class. Projectiles include Bolts, Arrows, Throwables such as Francisca Axes and some Magical Damage sources. For example, Fireball and Magic Missiles.
  • True Damage – A damage affix based on either Physical or Magical damage depending on which type you have on your gear. This stat typically avoids other multipliers and as a result, gets added at the end of any calculation. True Damage, however, is affected by the Attribute Bonus Ratio.

Attribute Bonus Ratio

A key factor in how to maximize damage in Dark and Darker, is the Attribute Bonus Ratio. The Attribute Bonus Ratio is a hidden modifier that affects multiple spells, skills and items. The Bonus ratio modifies any source of personal bonus damage, healing, shielding and more, based on the multiplier.

Stats Attribute Bonus Ratio Influences

  • Additional Damage
  • Divine Strike’s damage buff
  • Magical Healing
  • Magical Damage (from Magic weapons)
  • Power Bonus
  • True Damage
  • Weapon Damage

Stats Attribute Bonus Ratio does not Influence

  • Attributes
  • Combo
  • Casting Speed
  • Enemy Damage Reduction
  • Hit Location Bonus
  • Projectile Reduction
  • Projectile Speed
  • Impact Zone


Various damage sources in Dark and Darker scales with 100% Attribute Bonus Ratio, however, some scales with a cap of 50%. As a result, let’s take a look at what only scales with 50% effectiveness:

  • Barbarian’s Achilles Strike DoT
  • Cleric’s spells such as Earthquake, Locust’s Swarm and Sanctuary
  • Explosive throwable items such as Oil Lanterns
  • Healing potions and Troll’s Blood
  • Rogue DoTs such as Poison Weapon and Rupture
  • Warlock’s skills and spells such as Curse of Pain and Torture Mastery
  • Unique weapon DoTs, for example, Cinder and Pestilence
  • Wizard DoT effects, such as Fireball, Ignite, and Zap
  • Wizard’s Arcane Shield

Everything that is not listed above, as a result has a scaling of 100%. However, there is a few sources in Dark and Darker that have 0% scaling:

  • The Bard’s Tranquility song sheet
  • The Cleric’s Protection spell
  • Potions of Protection
  • The Wizard Perk “Reactive Shield”
  • The Warlock’s Dark Reflection & Power of Sacrifice

Damage Optimizing Tips

  • When building a Physical character that relies on their melee weapon, should your overall Physical Power Bonus be in the positive %, stack up +Weapon Damage as much as possible. Each point is effectively 1 x (your Power Bonus). As a result, your damage is massively increased when focusing on direct Physical Damage with your weapon.
  • When building a Physical character that either has a -% Power Bonus or you are specifically building to boost a skill, stacking Additional Damage or True Damage becomes the key stat to stack. This is due to both applying to indirect skills and not interacting with Power Bonus.
  • For Magic Damage users, the Power Bonus affects only the base spell damage and Magical Damage on weapons. However, the Power Bonus scales faster. As a result, more often than not, stacking Additional Magic Damage becomes a must to optimize your damage as a Magic user. True damage can also be good, however a mix of increasing your Power Bonus to boost base damage, and then adding flat damage with Additional Magic Damage is the optimal route for damage.
  • Strength in Physical & melee focused builds is heavily recommended even if it’s not your classes main stat. Strength may not always give more damage outright compared to Weapon Damage (with Power Bonus), however, it still gives some damage, while giving you increased survivability.
  • As a reminder, when building and optimizing your gear, take into consideration the Power Bonus and how it affects what you are trying to achieve. Then, based on whether your build requires a Power Bonus or not, stack into efficient stats as mentioned above to get the most out of your damage! True Damage will always apply after any calculation and as a result can fit into any build.

How to Maximize Damage in Dark and Darker Conclusion

That concludes our guide for How to Maximize Damage in Dark and Darker. With the formula broken down and each stat explained, gearing and optimizing becomes far easier to understand. For more builds and guides, check out our Dark and Darker section. Finally, should you be interested in other classes, check out our Bard and Warlock guides.