Risk of Rain Returns Survivor Tier List: All 15 Characters Ranked

Tier lists are always a matter of opinion, but...

by Davi Braid
Image: Hopoo Games

Who doesn’t like tier lists? It only makes sense that, with 15 characters in the game, it wouldn’t take long for people to rank survivors in Risk of Rain Returns.

Risk of Rain Returns is a remastered version of the original game, but it comes with new characters, items, abilities, and enemies. Defining which characters is the best may depend on many things. Context matters. Either way, here’s my RoRS tier list:

Risk of Rain Returns Survivor Tier List

Top TierMid TierLow Tier

Truth to be told, you can effectively use all survivors in Risk of Rain Returns. Although there are exceptions, tier lists are often just a conversation starter to get people fighting over who’s the best character.

Image: Hopoo Games

Top Tier Survivors

Top Tier survivors either have abilities that make them clearly easier to play and be effective with or can overcome their own weaknesses and clear up the screen in the right hands.

  • Huntress: She is great at kiting. Shooting while running makes her extremely powerful in the hands of a skilled player is her most significant trait.
  • Acrid: This survivor can deal lots of damage and fight well at melee and ranged distances. He is also able to stun enemies inside his Caustic Sludge.
  • Artificer: excels at controlling the battlefield with her elemental abilities, keeping foes at bay with Frost Barriers, and dealing precise damage with Charged Nanobombs and Flame Chackrams.
  • Bandit: The Bandit is a versatile character who can deal high damage and control the battlefield with his Blast, Dynamite Toss, Smokebomb, and Lights Out abilities, and his cooldowns reset to 0 if he kills an enemy with Lights Out. He is fun, brutal, and effective.
  • Commando: I don’t care what people say, but the Commando is a reliable survivor. He isn’t a specialist, but he is good enough to deal with any situation as long as you’re skilled enough.

Related: Best Items in Risk of Rain Returns, Ranked

Mid Tier Survivors

Mid Tier Survivors are not that below the top tiers, but have some more obvious weaknesses:

  • Drifter: The Drifter is an amazing character who can provide a significant boost to your allies. There’s no doubt that this survivor is effective, but you do need allies to make the most out of the Drifter’s abilities.
  •  Han-D: One of the most powerful short-ranged survivors, Han-D has abilities to increase damage, attack speed, and stun chance.
  • Sniper: I love the Sniper. The only reason I don’t rate this survivor higher is because he can have some trouble when enemies are too close and depends on skillful players to be optimal.
  • Loader: Loader is another high-damage close-combat character who is extremely powerful, but can have some trouble when ranged attacks are needed.
  • Mercenary: Following the same trend, the Mercenary is a cool short-ranged character with high mobility and powerful attacks. Although he is not bad, the lack of ranged attacks and the fact he can be a bit hard to use effectively prevents me from placing him any higher.
Image: Hopoo Games

Low Tier Survivors

I don’t consider Low Tier Survivors bad, but a tier list demands a bottom tier, and these are the characters that, similar to Mid Tier characters, have some obvious issues:

  • Miner: This survivor is a close-range character whose abilities generate heat. Upon reaching maximum heat, Miner enters Scorching, empowering his abilities and draining heat over time. This mechanic is the Miner’s strength, but it’s also a weakness along with short-range attacks.
  • Pilot: My biggest issue with The Pilot, besides the fact that one must understand well his skills to make the most out of them, is how Rapid Fire is random and misses small enemies from afar.
  • CHEF: Aside from being a melee survivor, my biggest issue with CHEF is that he is both a melee and a supporting character. He does well against multiple characters, but I can’t see why I’d go with CHEF when there are other amazing short-range characters.
  • Engineer: You depend on mines, turrets, and good positioning when playing as the Engineer. You can make him work decently without much effort due to his turret, but that’s about it.
  • Enforcer: If you like the Enforcer, go for it. I find it really hard to make him work due to his slow movement speed. He is a beefy character with high damage, but I can’t help but feel like he lacks something.

- This article was updated on November 14th, 2023

About The Author

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Davi Braid is a devoted writer and gamer who's immersed in the world of interactive storytelling. Having worked in office jobs, he took a daring leap to pursue his dream job: writing about video games. His work is featured at many publications, and his journey has allowed him to explore the rich narratives and immersive experiences that this medium has to offer. In his quest to uncover the hidden gems within gaming, Davi embraces new genres and unearths unexpected delights in the world of video games.