Affinity is an integral mechanic in Darkest Dungeon II, carrying the torch from the first game while iterating on its foundation. There has been a number of tweaks and balancing touches throughout the game’s early access period, and The Void Between Us update is shaking things once more.
If you have been away from the game for a while and you’re curious about how the punishing RPG is doing at the moment, this is a great moment to return. This guide dives into how affinity works in Darkest Dungeon II after the January 2023 update, and everything you need to keep in mind before embarking on this maddening journey.
Darkest Dungeon II Affinity explained – how does Affinity work?
Affinity is a scale-based points mechanic that is directly tied to the Relationships aspect of Darkest Dungeon II. Each pair of characters has an Affinity scale (which you can see at any point by opening the character screen and choosing the left tab) from 0 to 20 points. While they all start in a neutral state, gaining or losing Affinity points will tip the scale towards a negative or positive relationship.
Below are all Affinity Levels, although bear in mind they’re subject to change throughout the early access period:
- 1-4 Very Unfriendly: Negative Relationship (65%)
- 5-8 Unfriendly: Negative Relationship (33%)
- 9-13 Neutral: Negative Relationship (5%) – Positive Relationship (5%)
- 14-16 Friendly: Positive Relationship (33%)
- 17-19 Very Friendly: Positive Relationship (65%)
You can always see all Affinity Levels in the Relationships tab of your characters’ screens.
Now, as with many other aspects of Darkest Dungeon II, Affinity can be quite uncertain. There is a chance element involved, which means that there isn’t a list of steps to follow in order to gain or lose points. As you’re traveling on your bandwagon, your characters are bound to talk to each other at random, saying both positive or negative things to each other. This, alongside your actions both before and during combat, can tip the scale to either side.
Thankfully, The Void Between Us update aims to simplify the process. All randomized after-the-fact gains or losses to Affinity during combat have been removed. Now, actions that can negatively impact the Affinity level of a character, the change is telegraphed via an icon on said hero. This mostly takes place during combat, but you can also see the telegraphed outcome when your party is interacting with NPCs or are about to begin an encounter. Depending on what you choose, you’ll see the gold and blue colors on the heroes that will be affected. The exact number is random, but it’s super helpful either way.
In this example, following through with Dismas’ choice to flee the encounter will impact negatively on the Plague Doctor and the Man-at-Arms’ Affinity Levels.
The Darkest Dungeon II Affinity system may seem as yet another value to keep an eye on, but considering how important Relationships are in the game, you shouldn’t ignore it. Sure, the stress meter is also vital, as well as quirks and other debuffs that your heroes may gain during their journeys. If you’re on the lookout for some extra help, our Darkest Dungeon II beginner’s guide and explainer on how to defeat the Denial Brain boss can provide the aid you need.