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An expedition is a mission that heroes can undertake by visiting one of the various locations near the Hamlet.

Types of expedition[ | ]

Each of the locations outside the Hamlet will have a number of different types of missions to accomplish, with various dungeon sizes, objectives, and difficulty levels. Greater mission length and difficulty make expeditions harder, but also increase the rewards for completion. Each mission's objective, difficulty, and size are generated randomly, with size and especially difficulty being weighted depending on the heroes of the current roster. Regardless of the composition of the roster, there will always be at least one apprentice level mission possible, in case the player wants to recruit new heroes from the Stage Coach.

Expedition length[ | ]

There are three different possible lengths for any mission:

  • Quest short Short: consisting of a handful of rooms, are the least risky, but also the less rewarding at all difficulties. Higher difficulties make for slightly bigger dungeons.
  • Quest medium Medium: featuring a larger dungeon with different branches, making bigger supplies of food and torches necessary for the survival of heroes. When facing medium sized missions, one unit of Firewood will be provided to allow for one camp during the expedition, giving a chance of respite from combat stress and damage and possibly to better prepare for further encounters with camping skills. Boss missions are always of medium length.
  • Quest long Long: especially at higher difficulties, long expeditions will feature much larger dungeons, with extreme branching and a big number of dead ends. Bountiful amounts of food and torches are essential and those, together with the two units of Firewood provided, prevent the party from gathering much loot at the start of the quest. Careful planning for exploration and camping, as well as good stress control, are mandatory to make long expeditions successful.

Mission length acts as a sort of multiplier for the difficulty level, making hard expeditions even harder with longer quests; short quests, however, do not allow any instance of camping, potentially making unfortunate encounters and events more punishing since no camping skill can be used to mitigate the negative consequences.

Difficulty[ | ]

There are three different levels of difficulty an expedition can have, each corresponding to a certain hero Resolve level. Heroes that are two or more levels above the expedition level will refuse to take part in it. Heroes of any level below the expedition can participate, but low level heroes will suffer severe stress damage from partaking in it and will obviously be at a general disadvantage with the dangers thereof, and will protest to the player to warn them. Entering a dungeon will give each hero 20 stress damage for each level above his own.

  • Quest cleanse 1 Apprentice: corresponds to Resolve level 1 and is the least challenging difficulty, with monsters being weaker and dungeons being smaller. Apprentice missions are colored green.
  • Quest cleanse 3 Veteran: corresponds to Resolve level 3 and presents a bigger challenge; dungeons get bigger, posing for a larger consumption of supplies, enemies get stronger, and a broader variety of monsters are introduced, with some of them possibly being champion monsters, harder to slay and control; additionally, many monster attacks gain the chance to apply status effects. Veteran missions are colored orange.
  • Quest cleanse 5 Champion: corresponds to Resolve level 5 and is the most challenging difficulty: dungeons can be very long and intricate (especially on long expeditions), monsters are of the most dangerous variety, and the chance of encountering bigger monsters is a significant threat. Enemy attacks on this difficulty are more accurate and dangerous overall. Champion missions are colored red.

A higher difficulty grants more challenge, but also more valuable rewards for money, heirlooms and trinkets rewarded, with loot found during the expedition becoming more plentiful and valuable also.

Mission objectives[ | ]

Every dungeon has various tasks to take care of, each with different objectives in order to consider the expedition successful. It is never necessary to explore a dungeon completely: it can be left as soon as the objective is complete.

Possible missions for each expedition include:

  • Quest cleanse 1 Cleanse: requiring the party to win every fight encounter in dungeon rooms. Battles along corridors do not count, and can thus be circumvented if scouted in advance and alternative paths are available. These missions allow the party to hold an empty inventory (except for provisions) and consequently do not constitute a problem for the gathering of loot. Despite this, it is probable for the heroes to suffer much damage, hence a good party composition and food supply are recommended.
  • Quest explore 1 Explore: the requirement of scout missions is to set foot in 90% of the dungeon rooms; this means that regardless of the dungeon size, at least one room can be foregone, with larger dungeons having a proportionally higher amount of rooms that can be avoided in case of dangerous paths. Despite being the least dangerous in theory, explore missions have larger risks if a numerous amount of battles are generated throughout corridors and rooms. Moreover, since most of the dungeon will have to be explored, the party is guaranteed to consume a high number of foodstuffs and torches. Despite the risks, it is possible to abandon dangerous battles, especially when in dead ends and circumventable passages, without compromising the mission. It is worth noting that leaving a room by abandoning a fight will still count the room as explored.
  • Quest gather 1 Gather: gather missions will require the party to collect quest items from special curios distributed around the dungeon. The risks of these missions depend on the position of the items, with larger dungeons requiring more items to gather. Especially in smaller dungeons, gather quests can end up being very easy if the quest items are generated closely to each other and the player follows the right route. Due to the items being placed in the inventory, these missions don't allow the party to gather as much loot as others; as such, leaving a gather quest will prove more economically punishing if it cannot be successfully completed.
  • Quest activate 1 Activate: these missions require the party to activate various special curios along the dungeon, consuming special quest items provided with the rest of the provisions at the start of the expedition. These quests constitute a similar amount of risk as gather missions, but, because the quest items are provided at the start, they allow for more plentiful loot toward the end of the quest as the items get consumed, while leaving limited room for additional items at the start.
  • Quest boss 1 Boss: these special expeditions have only one simple objective: to slay the boss of the dungeon. The dungeons of boss quests are always of medium size and their difficulty is not generated randomly: by defeating all the varieties of all bosses of a dungeon, their next versions of higher difficulty will be unlocked. In order to find and undertake a boss quest, it is first necessary to accomplish enough successful expeditions in the same location to clear the path to the boss.
  • Quest darkest Darkest Dungeon/Brigand Incursion: (WARNING, some information ahead includes mechanic spoilers. Read at your own risk) These are the only quests consisting of "Darkest" difficulty, equal to Resolve level 6. These quests are missions that take place in the Darkest Dungeon, or during the Brigand Incursion town event. Quests of this difficulty are the deadliest in the entire game, and in addition, you will lose a hero if you attempt to retreat from them midway through.

Unlocking bosses[ | ]

To unlock a boss mission, a dungeon has to be explored and traversed several times. Each expedition completed in a certain location will advance the search for a boss, represented as a progress bar under the location's name: once the progress bar is filled, the dungeon levels up, increasing the amount and variety of quests offered each week, and unlocking a boss expedition.

  • For Apprentice bosses, successful short expeditions will increase the unlocking progress by 50%, medium by 75%, long by 100%.
  • For Veteran bosses, successful short expeditions will increase the unlocking progress by 33%, medium by 50%, long by 67%.
  • For Champion bosses, successful short expeditions will increase the unlocking progress by 20%, medium by 30%, long by 40%.
  • Excess unlock progression from expeditions which unlock the boss DO appear to carry over to the next boss. (For example, at 50% progression to unlock apprentice Hag, a medium mission will unlock the boss AND progress to unlocking the apprentice Brigand Pounder by 25%.)

Rewards[ | ]

Every expedition has a set of rewards that are given to the player if the mission is concluded successfully. Every mission has:

  • A reward in gold, with an increasing amount the more difficult and long a quest is. Gold is used to finance hero management and improvements as well as provisions for future expeditions, but the loot collected during expeditions will most often surpass the amount given as a reward, hence the gold reward is not the topmost priority in choosing an expedition to undertake, unless the Hamlet verses in very poor economic conditions.
  • One or more heirlooms, used to improve buildings in the Hamlet. Every location will reward a different type of heirloom, but particularly dangerous quests such as boss slay missions will sometimes reward more than one type. Additional heirlooms may be collected as loot during the expedition, but some types (such as deeds) stack in very few numbers: when explicitly in search of heirlooms, quest rewards with a large number of heirloom rewards should be prioritised.
  • A trinket, able to be either sold for gold or equipped by heroes for various improvements, usually with one or more drawbacks. Trinkets, especially rare ones, are hard to come by, so this kind of reward is usually the main factor in deciding which expedition to attempt.
  • Progress towards unlocking the boss of that location. The longer the expedition, the more progress is made towards unlocking the boss.

Town Events[ | ]

With the inclusion of Town Events, succeeding in a Gathering or Activation mission greatly increases the chance of certain town events, depending on the region that was conquered. Additionally, Gathering and Activation yield different types of town events; Gathering missions will reduce the cost of certain areas in town, while Activation missions will increase the hero resolve gained and damage dealt in the same area.

Quest gather 1 Gathering Quests
Location Town Event Effect
The Ruins All Saints Day All Abbey treatments are free for the week.
The Warrens Bumper Crop All Supplies and Provisions are free for the week.
The Weald Caregiver's Convention All Sanitarium treatments are free for the week.
The Cove Lost and Found Free Weapon upgrade from the Blacksmith.
Quest activate 1 Activation Quests
Location Town Event Effect
The Ruins Silence in the Crypts Ruins quests gives +33% Resolve gain
and 15% DMG buff for the week.
The Warrens Fresh Air in the Tunnels Warrens quests gives +33% Resolve gain
and 15% DMG buff for the week.
The Weald Sunshine in the Thicket Weald quests gives +33% Resolve gain
and 15% DMG buff for the week.
The Cove Gentle Tide Cove quests gives +33% Resolve gain
and 15% DMG buff for the week.

Resolve[ | ]

In addition to the rewards listed above, characters will earn resolve points for completing a quest.

Short Medium Long Boss
Apprentice 2 3 4
Veteran 4 6 8
Champion 8 12 16

Undertaking an expedition[ | ]

Expeditions always start from the Hamlet, where the heroes rest between missions. An expedition is formed by four heroes recruited through the Stage Coach, with various possible compositions of classes and formations. After choosing the heroes and the location to approach, provisions must be bought from the Caretaker before departing.

Exploration[ | ]

During an expedition, the party will move forming a row following the formation defined before departing; outside of battles, this formation can be changed at will. While the party moves across the dungeon, the dungeon map will reflect their movements and display information. While in a room, a new room must be set as destination before the party can traverse the corridors and continue the quest.

While exploring, the party will occasionally suffer small instances of stress damage, discouraging long expeditions and superfluous movements. The Light Meter will also deplete by some units for each corridor segment and room entrance traversed, so it is recommended to keep an eye on it before entering rooms that may contain fights, in order not to cause low thresholds of light to trigger ambushes on the heroes. Passing by corridors that have already been explored will, however, deplete the light more slowly, simulating a more secure and swift advance by the heroes and allowing the player to save on torches by taking less fruitful, but more safe paths.

Scouting[ | ]

As the party enters a room, there is a chance that they will scout ahead, revealing possible dangers and treasures in advance, giving the player the chance to prepare for coming battles or circumvent them if possible. Scouting can also be triggered by some curios, and the chances of scouting events occurring can be improved using appropriate trinkets or camping skills. If the room has a battle, the scouting will occur after the monsters are defeated.

Backtracking[ | ]

If the party encounters a danger that the player doesn't want to face, it is possible to proceed backwards along the corridor to get back to the previously explored room. Doing this will be slower than regular movement and will cause the party to suffer additional stress; the heroes will lament this condition through their barks.

Fighting[ | ]

When encountering enemies, battle will commence. At the start of the battle, the chances of either party surprising the other will be calculated, then the fastest units will start acting. Once a battle starts, the active abilities of a hero cannot be changed until it is over; however, all learned abilities can be activated and deactivated at will when out of combat.

Turns[ | ]

The battle is structured in turns: units act one at a time, with their priority being defined by their speed added to a random number that is newly calculated for each unit every turn. When all units with an available action have finished, the next turn begins and the priority is calculated anew.

Enemies will typically act by attacking the player with one of their abilities, while heroes have different actions at their disposal:

  • Using an item from the inventory will not forfeit the turn, but only some provision items can be used in battle and each item can only be used on the active hero.
  • Moving across the formation will make the hero switch places with an adjacent companion and forfeit any further action. This can sometimes be necessary, as many abilities can only be used from certain positions, and enemy move attacks or ambushes can force heroes out of their ideal position.
  • Passing the turn is a last-resort action that will cause the hero to suffer stress damage (the base stress damage is 5) in addition to forfeiting any other action. In extreme situations, it is possible to be forced to do this when abilities cannot be used and movement would be detrimental. [Key Strokes ??? to do "Force Pass"]
  • Using an ability is the typical action taken by heroes to inflict damage or other negative status effects on enemies, or alternatively, to heal injuries or confer beneficial status effects on fellow heroes, in an effort to bring the fight to a victorious conclusion.
  • It is also possible to attempt retreat from combat, which, if successful, brings the party back to the previous explored section of the dungeon map and causes the party to take heavy stress damage. Fights that are not brought to an end will be re-initiated if the section that contained them is re-entered; the enemies remain where they were. The attempt to retreat can also fail, causing the hero to lose his turn, and possibly be exposed to further damage by the enemy during the failed attempt.

Ending an expedition[ | ]

An expedition can be abandoned at any time when not in a battle. During battle, it is necessary to retreat from or finish the encounter before being able to leave the dungeon.

Successful missions[ | ]

When the mission's objective has been fulfilled, a prompt will appear, making the player choose to either continue exploring the dungeon or immediately leave for the Hamlet. From this point onward, the mission can be left without drawbacks at any moment while not in battle. If the party is still in reasonably good condition, it is typically recommended to continue exploring the dungeon in order to gather more loot and make the expedition more rewarding before returning to town.

Aborting a mission[ | ]

Retreat button

If a mission proves too risky or difficult, the party can escape with their lives, bringing with them any loot gathered so far but forfeiting any mission reward. Additionally, heroes that flee from a dungeon without completing their mission suffer stress damage that then has to be cured in the Hamlet; stress damage suffered this way will not cause the heroes to become afflicted if their stress meter happens to go above 100. Aborting a mission also increases the likelihood of acquiring negative quirks, as well as making acquiring positive quirks less likely. Diseases are assigned as normal. There is an additional penalty for aborting a mission in the Darkest Dungeon or Wolves at the Door — one hero will die to cover the others' retreat.

Failing a mission[ | ]

Deadhero portrait

A mission is failed when all heroes die; all collected loot is lost and, naturally, no hero will return to the Hamlet, causing the loss to The Shrieker of any trinket equipped on the heroes. If the mission objectives were completed before the death of the party, however, the quest rewards will be obtained as normal.

Debriefing[ | ]

After leaving an expedition, regardless of its outcome, the debriefing screen will appear, displaying the mission rewards (greyed out in case of an unsuccessful outcome), any additional heirlooms gathered, and the amount of gold collected in the form of valuable loot, raw gold coins, and unused provisions, which are converted into trivial amounts of gold.

Following the reward screen, surviving heroes will receive Resolve experience and randomly assigned quirks, positive or negative, sometimes accompanied by diseases contracted during the adventure, that become apparent on the way out of the dungeon. Any afflicted hero will remain so until they receive treatment to rid them of the affliction, but virtuous heroes will not maintain their condition.

See also[ | ]