The Huntress in Risk of Rain 2 was among the first batch of survivors, available upon the game’s release. She is also a returning character, having been a part of the first game, Risk of Rain.
She is by no means a second-rate holdover – the Huntress was a powerful character in the first game, and is just as strong in Risk of Rain 2, in the right hands. The Huntress is a glass cannon, capable of dealing the brunt of your team’s damage while also being a tough target to hit. Once hit, though, it won’t take much to kill her. Like the Railgunner, you’ll need to have quick reflexes and stay on the move.
Also Read: Risk of Rain 2 Railgunner Guide
Unlocking the Huntress in Risk of Rain 2
In the past, unlocking the Huntress required you to complete the third teleporter event without dying. Now, the Huntress is available by default, with her unlock challenge being moved to the Bandit instead. Once you boot up the game, you’ll have either the Huntress or the Commando to choose from.
Also Read: Risk of Rain 2 Bandit Guide
The Huntress’ abilities
The Huntress in Risk of Rain 2 has two sets of abilities, one available by default, and one locked behind a series of challenges.
The Huntress’ default abilities
The Huntress has four abilities available by default, each one being active skills.
Strafe: Agile. Quickly fire a seeking arrow for 150% damage. This is the Huntress’ bread and butter ability. It fires fairly fast, has good DPS, and, best of all, can be used while sprinting. This sets her apart from other survivors already, as most are pretty limited when sprinting. It also locks on to enemies, so you won’t have to worry about aiming.
Laser Glaive: Throw a seeking glaive that bounces up to six times for 250% damage. Damage increases by 10% per bounce. The Laser Glaive acts as the Huntress’s crowd control tool. It hits pretty hard and is quick to use, perfect for clearing the area of minor mobs without sacrificing much of your main source of damage.
Blink: Disappear and teleport forward. Blink is responsible for much of the Huntress’s evasive ability. It can be used to cover a fair bit of ground in the blink of an eye, while also granting very brief invulnerability. When used, it will stop any vertical momentum, making it great for minimizing fall damage. Unlike its successor ability, you can also use it to teleport upwards and downwards.
Arrow Rain: Teleport into the sky. Target an area to rain arrows, slowing all enemies and dealing 330% damage per second. In addition to dealing good damage, Arrow Rain is great for evading enemies and repositioning. It is the Huntress’s second option for crowd control, dealing a significant amount of AOE damage. Anything that isn’t killed will be slowed, allowing you to create some distance. Arrow Rain isn’t good against flying enemies, though, as they are often too high to be hit.
The Huntress’ unlockable abilities
The Huntress’ unlockable abilities offer a different way to engage with her fast-paced playstyle. They won’t make any major changes, but they could be preferable for some players.
Flurry: Agile. Draw back a volley of three seeking arrows for 3×100% damage. Critical strikes fire 6 arrows. Flurry is an excellent alternative to Strafe, if you get certain items. It fires slower and does less damage by default, but has a very powerful effect on critical hits. If you choose Flurry, crit chance items are an absolute must, and attack speed upgrades help too. With around 20% critical hit chance, you should equal Strafe in DPS.
Phase Blink: Agile. Disappear and teleport a short distance. Can store up to 3 charges. Phase Blink is, in my opinion, a downgrade from Blink. It can only be used horizontally, and although you can store 3 charges, the distance you cover is only a fraction of a Blink. You’re better off using Blink instead, and trying to get a Hardlight Afterburner. This item increases the number of charges for your utility skill, in addition to shortening the cooldown.
Ballista: Teleport backward into the sky. Fire up to 3 energy bolts, dealing 3×900% damage. Where Arrow Rain is great for AOE and crowd control, Ballista is brilliant for bringing down single targets. It works well as a boss killer and dispatches elites with ease. It’s also just as maneuverable as Arrow Rain, so there’s no compromising on mobility. All in all, it is probably a better choice than Arrow Rain, as the Huntress already has crowd control capability with the Laser Glaive.
Also Read: Risk of Rain 2 Artifacts
The Huntress’ playstyle
As I mentioned, the Huntress is a pretty sensitive character in Risk of Rain 2. It won’t take much to kill her, so you’ll need to be as nimble and slippery as possible. Getting surrounded is essentially a death sentence as the Huntress, unless you have a good deal of items that can help you out. Whether you’re fighting individual enemies or hordes, bosses or mobs, the approach is always the same. Keep moving, take advantage of being able to shoot while sprinting, and use your skills to create distance between you and your targets.
Thankfully, keeping mobile is fairly easy with the Huntress. She’s pretty quick as is, and with carefully timed skill usage, she can always stay out of the reach of enemies. To do this, you’ll want to use your skills to stay airborne, much as you would with Mercenary. You can leap into the air with a Blink, slow your descent with a Laser Glaive, end with an Arrow Rain, then rinse and repeat. You won’t be able to stay airborne forever without items, however.
Key items for the Huntress
As you’ll have probably guessed, movement-based items are a big deal for the Huntress, as are attack speed items. I won’t make an exhaustive list, as most of the items are pretty obvious. Instead, I’ll list the most important.
Backup Magazines: This item is practically a necessity for any successful run as the Huntress. It massively increases the Huntress’ crowd control ability, while also helping her stay airborne for longer when used with the Laser Glaive.
Rose Buckler: The Rose Buckler is perfect for the Huntress, as it gives you armor while sprinting. This translates into an effective damage resistance stat, which will increase her survivability quite a bit. Still best to avoid getting hit though.
Hardlight Afterburner: Another key item, this grants you extra Blink charges while also shortening the cooldown. You’ll be able to stay airborne with this for much longer, indefinitely when used well with other skills.
Alien Head: The Huntress’ unparalleled mobility is largely tied to her cooldowns. Alien Head slashes these cooldowns by 25%, making it much easier to stay on the move and in the air. When paired with Hardlight Afterburner, taking damage becomes a thing of the past.
Mobility items: Anything that improves the Huntress’ mobility is great, like Paul’s Goat Hoof or Mocha. Mocha should be a high priority, as it also increases attack speed. That said, Hopoo Feather is probably the best for this character, since it allows you to remain airborne in between skill cooldowns if you don’t have the previous two items.
Attack speed items: Anything that improves the Huntress’ attack speed is also brilliant, making Soldier’s Syringe and Predatory Instincts high-value items. As a side note, crit boosting items are handy, but if you choose flurry as your primary, they are essential. Failing to grab crit boosting items, like Lens Maker’s Glasses, means you’d have been better off with Strafe.
That’s everything you need to know about the Huntress in Risk of Rain 2. While it might take a bit of getting used to, her damage and maneuverability vastly outweigh her fragility in the right hands. Stay mobile and grab a few of the items mentioned above, and you’ll have successful runs in no time.