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BEST Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope Upgrades

This Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope guide will teach players which Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope upgrades are best to invest in.

If you’re playing Darkest Dungeon 2, you’ll quickly learn that every run rewards Candles of Hope which can be spent at the Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope to unlock new heroes, items, and a variety of other bonuses.

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Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List
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I’ve fully completed all of the Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope upgrades, and I want to help you by telling you which Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope upgrades you should focus on early on and which ones you can leave until later.

darkest dungeon 2 altar of hope 1

First, let’s talk about what bonuses are available.

The Intrepid Coast – Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope

darkest dungeon 2 altar of hope the intrepid coast

There are four categories available in the Intrepid Coast.

Journey increases your default inventory size and unlocks more stagecoach upgrade slots.

Resourcefulness gives you more starting relics & baubles and grants small bonuses for visiting the various non-combat nodes during your run.

Renown unlocks different cosmetic stagecoach skins.

The Infernal Flame unlocks the Infernal Flame stagecoach upgrade, which locks your Hope at 1 and increases the amount of candles you earn during your run by roughly 50%.

darkest dungeon 2 infernal flame

I’ll go into more detail about the order I think you should unlock things later on, but for now, I’d say early on you want to unlock 2 stagecoach upgrade slots in Journey and the bonus starting relics in Resourcefulness.

The Working Fields – Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope

darkest dungeon 2 altar of hope the working fields

The second tab in the Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope is called The Working Fields.

This is where you unlock new Trinkets, Combat Items, Stagecoach Items and Inn Items. At the start, unlocking each one only costs one Candle, but the more you invest, the Candle cost increases.

There are 80 Trinkets and 30 of each of the other categories.

Whenever you unlock a new item, you get a free one in your inventory for your current run. That means typically it’s better to invest a little bit in this tree every run. If you dump all your points here, your inventory will fill up and you won’t get the free items.

This can also be a great way to start your run with some extra trinkets and other items that will be helpful.

Early on I’d recommend investing in Inn Items until you unlock any food other than the Slime Mold, because food is a necessity and Slime Mold is horrible.

The Living City – Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope

darkest dungeon 2 altar of hope the living city

The Living City is the Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope tab where you unlock and upgrade your heroes.

Each hero has individual lines that unlock hero-specific trinkets, new hero paths, permanent stat upgrades and, at the end of every line, a powerful hero-specific inn item.

This is most likely the tab where you’ll be spending most of your candles early on, but some things are more worthwhile to focus on than others.

The inn items you get from maxing out each character’s tree are more of a bonus than anything else. They are powerful, but they’re acquired randomly and they’re not that common. They do what you’d expect, based on the hero. Plague Doctor’s heals your party, Jester’s heals stress, etc.

Here’s the Plague Doctor one, just as an example:

darkest dungeon 2 experimental remedy

The heroes themselves and the hero paths are the main things you want to unlock, but keep in mind not every hero path is created equal. Other than Man-at-Arms’ Vanguard path, Grave Robber’s Nightsworn path and arguably Occultist’s Aspirant path, every hero’s 3rd path is their worst one, so investing in Trinkets and the Intrepid Coast tab is, in my opinion, a higher priority than totally finishing all the hero Altar lines.

You should keep in mind, also, that the Bounty Hunter is not a permanent hero and he appears extremely rarely in my experience, so his line shouldn’t be much of a priority.

The Timeless Wood – Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope

darkest dungeon 2 altar of hope the timeless wood

The Timeless Wood is the Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope tab that’s focused on a mechanic called Memories.

Memories are temporary buffs that last until a character dies. If the character survives a run, they can add another memory in the next run, to a maximum of five.

Memories give small, but noticeable bonuses, like +5% max HP, +1 additional DoT damage, etc. There are five to choose from each run, chosen randomly from a larger pool of potential memories. So, the memories you can add one run may not be the memories available to add during your next one.

Memories cost Candles and are easily lost, so it’s very clear this tab is meant to be the last place where you invest your Candles once you’ve unlocked everything else, or at least everything else you want.

Best Order to Unlock Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope Upgrades

Alright, now that you have a rundown of what all the upgrades in the Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope are, let’s talk about what order you should invest your Candles.

The very first thing almost everyone is going to do is unlock all the different characters. Having played through this game a ton of times, I don’t think that’s necessary, because I use some characters a lot more than others, but if you’re new, you’re probably going to want to unlock all the characters so you can play with them and have variety.

The most important heroes to unlock are Jester and Hellion. Jester is important because he’s the main stress healer in the game. Hellion is good because she’s the only hero who can hit the back row from rank 1, and a ton of bosses require you to be able to reliably hit the back row.

As a veteran player, I’d say the biggest priority is to unlock some food that’s not Slime Mold. +20% HP for every character is a huge bonus.

So, first, unlock Jester and Hellion and spend points in Inn Items to unlock some kind of food, most likely Stale Bread. You should unlock food within the first 5-10 candles.

Then you want to plunk 15 candles into the Intrepid Coast to unlock +1 Stagecoach Upgrade slots and +2 inventory slots from Journey, as well as the bonus starting resources from the first Resourcefulness node.

Next, unlock the rest of the heroes so you have some extra heroes to experiment with.

Then I’d start focusing on unlocking Hero Paths while spending 5-10 Candles per run on unlocking various items and trinkets.

The most important Hero Paths to unlock are these, in my opinion:

  • Rogue/Sharpshot (Highwayman)
  • Vanguard (Man-at-Arms)
  • Alchemist (Plague Doctor)
  • Ravager (Hellion)
  • Soloist (Jester)
  • Warlock (Occultist)

Once you have those Hero Paths unlocks, and whichever other Paths you want as a priority (for instance, if you like Leper you’ll probably want the Tempest Path), I’d say you should change your priority to the Journey tree in The Intrepid Coast until you have 3 Stagecoach Upgrade slots.

From there, it’s up to you whether to finish the The Living City upgrades for the heroes to unlock the Inn Items for your favorite heroes, or to invest in the Resourcefulness line in The Intrepid Coast. The Resourcefulness bonuses are small (the best one is the Oasis one, in my opinion), but the Hero Inn Items are powerful but rare and unnecessary.

Once you’ve unlocked everything else, that’s when it’s time to start investing in Memories in The Timeless Wood.

So, in summary, here’s my recommended unlock order, keeping in mind you should dump some Candles into unlocking items as you go:

  1. Unlock Jester/Hellion
  2. Inn Items until you get Stale Bread or Apples & Cheese
  3. The rest of the characters
  4. +1 Stagecoach Upgrades, Bonus Resources
  5. The high priority hero paths
  6. Another stagecoach upgrade slot
  7. Inn Items for your go-to heroes
  8. Finish the Journey line in The Intrepid Coast
  9. The rest of the hero upgrades
  10. The Resourcefulness line in The Intrepid Coast
  11. Whatever items you haven’t unlocked yet in The Working Fields
  12. The Renown line in The Intrepid Coast if you want (it’s all cosmetic and they’re not very noticeable)
  13. The Infernal Flame
  14. The Timeless Wood

If you follow this priority list you won’t make the mistakes I made, like not unlocking food for several runs or over-investing in character perks you’re never going to use in practice.


RELATED POSTS:
Darkest Dungeon 2 Boss Guides
Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List
Top 5 Darkest Dungeon 2 BEST Trinkets for EVERY Character
BEST Darkest Dungeon 2 Hero Paths for Every Character RANKED

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Author

  • Ryan Night

    Ryan Night is a lifelong RPG fan who had 10 year career in the games industry at various publishers and has been writing guides for RPGs since the early 2000s. He has written over 600 guides for over 70 games. His favorite games of all time include Final Fantasy 7, Persona 5 Royal, Suikoden 2, Metal Gear Solid and Baldur's Gate 3. In addition to writing for Bright Rock Media, Ryan is also a novelist who enjoys travel, music and all kinds of media.

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