So we’ve been playing Dauntless quite a bit over the past week or so. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve been playing Dauntless quite a bit over the past week or so, and I’m pretty sure my editor is sick of hearing about it. But, we press on, because this game doesn’t quite have the “Fortnite meets Monster Hunter” simplicity that that comparison from internet commenters would imply.
One of the more complex aspects of Dauntless is how you go about levelling up your Slayer. Instead of earning EXP for completing quests, your Slayer Level is tied to the Mastery system, which governs how thoroughly you’ve completed the different aspects of the game. With that in mind, we’re going to be breaking down how Mastery and Slayer Levels work so you can make the most of your experience.
Slayer and Mastery Levels
Your Slayer Level is determined by your progress in the different Mastery categories, of which there are seven: Behemoths, Axes, Chain Blades, Hammers, Repeaters, War Pikes and Swords. Each category has its own subsets with their own unique challenges. Completing these challenges will increase your overall Slayer Level, allowing you to better upgrade your weapons and armour.
Completing these challenges not only increases your Slayer Level, but also your Mastery Level for that particular category. For both your Slayer Level and Mastery Level, increasing your level will also net you some decent rewards, with the Weapon categories offering new special moves and modifications, while the Behemoth category will give out Cores and increased Tonic capacity. It pays to level up your Mastery.
The Weapon Mastery categories are simple enough. Essentially, using a certain weapon type repeatedly will level up that category. Each class of Weapons has an affinity set of challenges, which include tasks like dealing out a set amount of damage, breaking off parts of the Behemoth and causing Wound or Stagger states depending on the Weapon type.
On top of that, each craftable weapon has its own set of challenges, though those aren’t nearly as in-depth as the Affinity challenges. Essentially, you just need to craft a weapon, upgrade it to +10 and then earn 3,300 experience with it, which should average at around 25-30 hunts in total. They’re not daunting challenges, but they are time consuming.
There’s no Behemoth Affinity set of challenges for this category. Instead, each huntable Behemoth has its own set of challenges, and they mostly follow the same formula. First things first, there’s always a challenge for simply hunting that particular Behemoth, so you’ll get that through your natural progression.
On top of that, you’ll complete challenges for crafting its armour, upgrading it then murdering the Behemoth while wearing its armour, which is pretty disturbing when you think about it, but that Mastery isn’t going to level up itself now, is it? You’ve also got challenges for staggering and wounding each Behemoth, so you’ll be accomplishing that while levelling up your weapons.
Again, there’s plenty of time consuming challenges, with some you’ll be working on for a long time. Dealing 5 million damage is going to be a huge time sink. Lastly, nearly all the Behemoths have two extremely difficult challenges, tasking you with hunting the harder version of each Behemoth in either three minutes, or while taking less than 100 damage solo. These challenges will truly test your knowledge of the game, and fair play to you if you can complete them.