Dauntless Official Launch Overview: Free to Play Monster Hunting

Dauntless, the monster slaying ARPG by Phoenix Labs, is officially releasing today. Many things have been added to the game since it went into Early Access on PC in 2016, and now Xbox One and Playstation 4 players will get to experience them as well, with Switch and Mobile players getting the game a bit down the road. In this article we’re going to explore the Shattered Isles, and tell you a bit about Dauntless, if you haven’t already heard of it. This is one Free-to-Play game you’ll definitely want to check out, particularly if you’re a fan of Monster Hunter World. Thanks to Dauntless for Sponsoring this video, and be sure to click the link in the description if you’d like to give Dauntless a try.

This is a sponsored post. Please note sponsored posts are only sponsoring coverage, our opinions on the game are our own and not affected by any business relationships with developers or publishers

Dauntless Official Launch Preview

If you haven’t heard of Dauntless before, it is an action-RPG where players hunt and slay monsters in order to gain loot, experience and upgrade their equipment, much like Capcom’s Monster Hunter World. However, there is a marked difference in the game’s art style, which is a mix of something more akin to the cell shading of Zelda and your typical game. But that is not the only difference.

Dauntless features a persistent online city called Ramsgate, where players can gather to pick up quests, upgrade their equipment, change their appearance, and of course party up to go on Hunts. This gives the game much more of a social element as players can chat in Dauntless’s world chat. They can DM each other, add Friends and even create and join a Guild, complete with its own Ranks for its members.

The other thing that sets Dauntless apart from Monster Hunter World is its Free-to-Play business model that allows anyone to jump into the Shattered Isles and try the game themselves for absolutely zero money. Mostly everything in the in-game Store is cosmetic in nature, with there only really being a like one item that speeds up the crafting of certain upgrades.

Character Creation

One aspect of the game that has become a bit of a touchy subject in the game industry as of late is Character Creation, or more specifically the lack thereof. Thankfully Dauntless features a fairly extensive Character Creator, with many different customization options. You can go with fixed presets, or you can change every last detail of your character if you wish. This is something I know players will be happy with, and I myself enjoy spending a good amount of time tinkering with it.

Behemoths

There are many many different Behemoths in Dauntless, and while some are similar in design and nature, they are located in different locals and require different gear to be successful. Players can visit notice boards to go on Hunts for the different Behemoths in Dauntless, and as they complete Quests more and more Behemoths will become available. These have a very wide range of difficulty, and the game eases you into them fairly well, but you will need to spend time farming some of the easier Behemoths if you are to have any chance of success against the more difficult ones. This is because there is a very high focus on equipment, and even the greatest skill is sometimes not enough to overcome the punishing attacks of these Behemoths.

Players will use Materials obtained from these Behemoths to craft and upgrade Weapons and Armor. Breaking body parts of each enemy will give you a specific drop, and this is done via repeated strikes to that area. This is vital to understand, because you will need many different Behemoth “parts” in order to craft this equipment, so you will often find yourself targeting the head or tail in order to get that one part you need, or even the limbs of the enemy. This tends to make the combat a bit more engaging, rather than just run in and slay it as quickly as you can.

Weapons

There are 6 different Weapon Types in Dauntless, and each comes with their own moveset and combos that vary dramatically. Much like Monster Hunter World, players will generally find a type they enjoy playing the most and stick with that most of the time, but they are free to use any they wish, and can experiment any time they want. There have been 2 additional weapon types added to the game since it went into Early Access, so I would speculate that more will be added over the course of the game’s lifespan. What these will be though is anybody’s guess.

In addition to being Crafted, Weapons can also be Upgraded to deal additional damage, and they can be enhanced via Modifications that add certain effects to the Weapon or player. These range from increasing stats by a flat amount, like Stamina, to granting you Life Steal or increased defense. These Modifications are obtained by defeating Behemoths and opening the Cores you receive afterwards. The better quality the Core, the more likely you are to get better Modifications.

Armor

Armor plays a vital role in mitigating the damage that the Behemoths do while out on the Hunt, and just like Weapons they can be crafted and Upgraded with Materials, with more obtainable as you defeat Behemoths and complete Quests. Many Behemoths deal a specific type of damage, and having the right Armor will drastically improve your chances of success. Embermane Armour for example, provides additional Blaze resistance, so is very good against Behemoths that deal this type of damage. However, it is weak to Shock, so you will need something else when facing Behemoths that use this type. This makes players “Hunt” for specific materials when deciding to take on a new foe, and is a large part of the gameplay.

Free-to-Play Model

Players can also Transmog their Armour (and Weapons) to look like something else for extra style points. This can be done by purchasing a new appearance from the in-game store for varying amounts of Platinum. Platinum is the Dauntless currency, and is purchased with real world money. There is only one other way to obtain Platinum besides purchasing it, but there are often specials on this, so keep an eye out in order to get the biggest bang for your buck.

You can spend Platinum on other things besides Transmog as well such as cosmetics, supplies, emotes, styles, flares and even new dyes and banners. There isn’t anything you can buy that I would consider pay-to-win, but probably the most intriguing thing you can get is the Hunt Pass Elite Track.

Dauntless features something called the Hunt Pass whereby players gain rewards for collecting a certain amount of Arid Shards within a fixed amount of time, called a Season. Arid Shards can be acquired by doing Daily and Weekly Quests, so players looking to get these rewards will want to be on the look out for these. In addition, there is an upgraded version of this called the Hunt Pass Elite Track.

The Hunt Pass Elite Track allows you to gain much better rewards for the same amount of work in exchange for 1000 Platinum (roughly 8 USD). What’s really great about this is that it is completely retroactive, meaning whatever progress you have made at the time of your upgrade will unlock everything you would have gotten if you’d had the Hunt Pass Elite Track all along. This allows you the freedom to just play the game and see how you are enjoying it and then upgrade if you feel it’s worth it without missing out. AND…you can gain up to 400 Platinum back from completing the Elite Track, which will save you 400 Platinum to spend on whatever else you want.

The Middleman

Dauntless also features an NPC called “The Middleman” that players can purchase upgrades for their equipment from for either Aetherdust or Platinum. This character operates something like Xur from Destiny, and his upgrades change over time. However, unlike Xur, you can salvage upgrades in order to gain Aetherdust and you can Fuse together certain upgrades for improved versions of these, though this takes time. This time can be shortened by using Ace Chips.

Ace Chips are acquired via the Hunt Pass and Hunt Pass Elite Track, or they can be purchased from the in-game store for Platinum. 1 Ace Chip = 1 hour faster that this fusion will be completed. This means it is possible to make it instant if you possess enough Chips. If you aren’t a fan of waiting for things, like myself, here is another reason to consider the Hunt Pass Elite Track so you don’t have to.

Multiplayer and How It Works

As mentioned earlier, the game is played in a game world where players are free to group up and Hunt Behemoths. Parties can have a maximum of 4 players, much like Monster Hunter World, and you can either form a group of friends or use the game’s Matchmaking system. You can even do a combination of both, and group up with a friend and then enter Matchmaking together, via any of the game’s Notice Boards.

This aspect of the game is handled extremely well, as it is very easy to use, and it isn’t difficult to find a group, particularly for some of the more difficult Behemoths that were intended for group play. The one downside here is that it can sometimes take a few minutes to find a match, but I don’t expect that to be an issue with the large influx of players the game is bound to have now.

Dauntless also features an in-game voice chat, that you can opt into if you wish to speak with players you are Hunting with. And, if this isn’t your thing, then you can always use the dialogue window on the bottom left to type instructions or messages to other Slayers. The text window makes planning things in world chat very easy, and players can find people there simply by inquiring about certain Behemoth groups etc. It’s the best of MHW and an MMO. What more can you ask for?

Final Thoughts

Dauntless is a game that we’ve had on our radar for a loonnngg time, and now that is moving from Early Access to full blown live release, it’s finally time to dive into it on our channel. Playing most games on console, we’ve been waiting for this to come to Playstation 4 to get our co op on with other Slayers around the world. Now we just need to figure out which weapon type to main…

The thing that I love most about this game is just how simple it is to get into. Dauntless does a phenomenal job of easing the player into Hunts, explaining how to make new equipment, showing you how to use your Weapons and Items. Whether you’ve played a “monster hunting” game before or not, after about an hour you’ll be cruising from Hunt to Hunt, knowing exactly what to do between, and doing it with efficiency in order to get back to the combat quickly.

And, if you’re a fan of Monster Hunter World, and you can’t wait all the way until September for the Iceborne Expansion, then I urge you to take a closer look at Dauntless. While it may not be as big of a game, or studio, it has made its mark in its own way. The game just has that “something” that makes it addictive, and it costs you literally nothing to find out.

If Dauntless seems like something you would like to check out please be sure to click the link in the description and download it from there. It helps support the channel, and takes one second to do, so we very much appreciate it.


Stay tuned for more Dauntless content through out the summer, as we dive into some tactics and strategies for the Behemoths, and some fast ways to gain the Materials needed for Weapons and Armor!

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Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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