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Dungeons 4 Tips & Tricks – Best Units, Perks & Strategy
Our Dungeons 4 tips and tricks guide details how to use the best units, Thalya perks (skills) and general strategy to overcome the Dungeons 4 missions on your preferred difficulty level and in particular the pinnacle of challenge at the ‘Difficult’ level. This guidance can also help players unlock all of the in game achievements and the unlock requirements for Thalya skills for those 100% completion minded players that want to achieve everything that is available within Dungeons 4. With this latest addition to the Dungeons franchise changing a number of the core mechanics from the previous title both returning and new players will benefit from a guide through the evil and good strategic battles ahead.
As an experienced Dungeons 3 and now Dungeons 4 player I’ll draw on my experience in the franchise to provide the tips below and importantly the reasons behind these strategies so you can customise these recommendations to your own playstyle preferences or if playing co-operatively. Like other strategy games there is never going to be a one size fits all approach for every Dungeons 4 campaign mission or skirmish challenge and accordingly players should use page as a guide only rather than rules that must be followed at all times for success.
Dungeons 4 Tips & Tricks
The below tips and tricks are designed as general strategy considerations that players should use as they will generally help you beat specific Dungeons 4 levels. Having an understanding of how to make these game mechanic tips work and when to use them will provide a significant boost at particularly the harder difficulty settings.
- Seek out the Vein of Diamonds: Gold is one of several critical resources in Dungeons 4 and finding an infinite source of gold through the vein of diamonds can be an easy method to remove the need to worry about gold during a level. While some are defended and can’t be instantly claimed the majority of campaign levels allow you to claim a diamond source relatively easily. For information on the location of all of these you can refer to our Dungeons 4 Vein of Diamonds location list.
- Maximise evilness: The evilness currency has received a number of changes between Dungeons 3 and Dungeons 4 which means our strategy to acquire this critical currency also needs to change. Notably players will no longer have a passive source of evilness income from claiming above ground structures which means evilness is generally more scarce as it is directly tied to objectives and defeating heroes. Maximising evilness means that we need to both focus on the many side objectives that often offer large evilness boosts but also efficient spending on research by having a plan in place on how you intend to build your best army composition for that level. This is important as there is rarely enough evilness to research everything and research provides a powerful damage and utility boost to many of our core creatures.
- Dungeon defences: While it can be tempting to play Dungeons 4 as a real time strategy game it is equally a dungeon management and defence game which means protecting your dungeon is critical with many mechanics designed to test your defences. Maximising your defences will require players to use all of the available underground dungeon with a single winding path from dungeon entrance to your dungeon heart giving you a significant amount of time to address attacks and free to create given it only requires time from your Snots. As you do build your gold reserves your focus can then shift to building defences along this path with traps like slime, spikes and saws all having great damage and utility in small spaces.
- Improve room efficiency: Room efficiency is critical to optimising your dungeon with it influencing a number of room specific mechanics by impacting the speed that they work. Room efficiency is primarily decided by the number of gaps in a room so limiting the number of entrances/exits to your core rooms is important and placing doors on the ones that are required. In addition to this some rooms have research to boost efficiency beyond 100% and research options that also increase the room storage that gives improved usability from of smaller room sizes.
- Speed up your Snots: There is no time for down time in Dungeons 4 and once you research the slap upgrade for your Snots you’ll regularly want to be slapping them for the speed boost this provides. They will be able to complete their tasks much faster from gathering resources to working in one of your various Snot powered dungeon rooms.
- Manage your Snots: Snots are not the smartest creatures in your dungeon and will often shift their priorities rapidly when inside your dungeon that can make it difficult to get all the important tasks done. By placing a door and locking it (by giving it a slap) you will ensure that the Snots locked inside will only complete the task linked to that room such as gathering gold, generating mana or making toolboxes. This significantly reduces Snots down time as you remove the time they run between other activities and allows you to keep them focused on a single task while leaving a few Snots free to roam around for other ad-hoc tasks like digging out space, building new rooms or transporting heroes to your prison. Alternatively players can now also assign their Snots specific tasks by picking them up and clicking one of the respective icons on the left hand side of the screen (right of the Snot profile) with gold, mana and toolboxes just being some of the options that this Snot will prioritise above everything else until deselected with the same process.
- Attack support heroes first: In Dungeons 4 you may be surprised to find the heroes much more durable than past titles due to a new defensive aura that the healing heroes possess that provides extra armour to their allies. While these have always been a priority target in fights it is now even more critical to focus these supportive heroes first in a fight by either commanding your units to attack them when above ground or when below ground marking them as a priority target with a right click on PC or the button for slapping Snots on other console platforms.
- Use shortcuts: Dungeons 4 includes plenty of shortcuts for players to quickly access a particular game menu, pick up all creatures, pick up a Snot or group creatures into army groups. Using these players can quickly react to events in the Dungeon and get more actions done in between the timed events that many campaign missions have as core mechanics.
- Co-operative roles: When playing with a friend in the co-operative game mode it can be efficient to assign clear roles and objectives for each person early on. Not only does this prevent you from missing key information if you are working on the same goal but also prevents mishaps with picking up creatures at the same time for competing priorities.
Dungeons 4 Best Units
There is no single best unit in Dungeons 4 as many of the available units rely on combinations of different creatures for maximum effect and in turn the best army compositions. With this in mind the below discusses when each type of creature faction is at their most effective and how to combine them into a powerful fighting force across the Horde, Demons and Undead.
The Horde creatures are the first that players are introduced to in Dungeons 4 and are creatures that want to be paid, rest in the hideout and eat their fair share of Gobblers. Their primary method of restoring health is resting although they can also be healed by a Naga that makes them capable of maintaining their health during or after a fight. The Horde are notably cheaper in overall recruitment cost and research expenses although they are permanently lost when killed until the late stages of the game when players can access the Laboratory. To help offset this risk further the Horde are quick to level and have upgraded versions if players can reach specific levels that provides significantly more power. The Horde creatures in Dungeons 4 are:
- Orc (Ironhide): Serving as the durable front line the Orc is always a good early game creature especially when supported by a Naga as they can be difficult for heroes to take down. They come with a basic melee attack and also the ability to sacrifice some of their health for a rage that provides attack speed, movement speed and armour. Their upgraded version is the Ironhide that gains significantly more armour and the ability to taunt that means their allies will essentially never be threatened.
- Naga (Naga Shaman): When using Horde players will always want a Naga in their group due to the ability to heal during combat with their healing beam and they can still attack with their Naga acid if necessary. The upgraded version is the Naga Shaman that comes with an upgraded healing beam and even provides an alternative means of resurrecting any fallen Horde creatures.
- Goblin (Worg Rider): The Goblin is another returning Horde creature from Dungeons 3 and fills a similar assassin type role where they deal high damage with a low health pool that means they need to be adequately supported. These high damage attacks are also poisoned that makes the heroes more susceptible to physical damage with the upgraded version being the Worg Rider which adds a charge mechanic to knock down a wave of heroes.
- Gnome (Gnome-O-Bot): The new Horde creature in Dungeons 4 the Gnome adds area of effect potential to the Horde that was previously lacking although they achieve this by throwing short range bombs that can make them vulnerable. The upgraded version Gnome-O-Bot adds a flamethrower to double down on the area of effect damage.
With the above in mind the best Dungeons 4 usage of the Horde is generally to provide front line durability through the cheap and effective mixture of the Orc and Naga which provide both a solid early game setup due to their low cost before transitioning into late game tanks. My recommendation is generally to have the same ratio of Orc to Naga for maximum survivability although capping your Naga numbers around 4 as it’s rare more than 4 creatures will be taking consistent fight damage and upgraded Nagas can heal multiple creatures. In the early game particularly you can also adapt a cheaper 2:1 ratio (4 Orc and 2 Naga for example). If you decide to go all into the Horde as your damage source the Goblin and Gnome are more than capable of providing the damage necessary as well provided you have a healthy number of Orcs to protect them.
The Demons have a number of similarities to the Horde with payday and Gobblers the top of their priorities when in the dungeon. The power of Demons is strong though with self healing that automatically activates when outside of battle that makes them tempting although they are generally more vulnerable in terms of health pool because of that benefit. The Demons are the middle range in terms of initial cost and research that makes them a good support unit for various army compositions in Dungeons 4 given the Demons faction lacks durability by themselves. If Demons do suffer an unfortunate end they can be resurrected but only if a portal has been built in the vortex room although this will cost evilness. The Demons in Dungeons 4 are:
- Imp: The Imp offers the longest ranged attack that makes it a deadly single target attacker although they are squishy so players need to carefully place them behind a durable front line. Like many of the other Demons this is a fire based attack which is an important consideration as it provides some synergy with other Demons.
- Infernal: The Infernal has similarities to the Imp although it exchanges some range for an area of effect fire based attack to help you damage multiple heroes in a group.
- Gazer: The Gazer is an almost must have if players are expecting to use Demons as a significant portion of their damage output as they provide a critical boost to fire damage to an enemy and enemies around the initial target along with slowing them down with moderate damage.
- Succubus: The Succubus is a specialist at converting heroes to your side for a period of time when in combat which allows you to turn a critical damage or support unit to your cause. Given the relatively small sizes of hero groups in most of the campaign and skirmish levels players will generally not want more than 2 or 3 Succubus in their party as while they also have a ranged attack it’s not a significant source of their power.
With the above in mind the best Dungeons 4 usage of the Demons factions is as supportive focused damage units given their great source of damage for the cost although you’ll want to ensure the safety of a portal so your investment is not lost. When selecting which creatures to recruit having a small number of Gazers is critical to buffing fire damage with generally the Infernal performing better than the Imp due to their area of effect attacks working better in the Dungeons 4 challenges that are centred around hero groups. While this leaves the Imp without a clear role the Succubus can be added to your army in small numbers for their ability to turn units temporarily that not only takes them out of the fight but also adds another number to your own army ranks. Given their generally low health pools you’ll never want the Demons to be your core army units and so they are best recruited once you have already established a foundation from one of the other factions.
The Undead are the most expensive creatures that are available in Dungeons 4 but comes with multiple benefits over the other factions given they are essentially immortal without significant conditions and only want to be paid as they have no need for Gobblers in their stomach. This makes them easy to maintain and even your mistakes in combat will result in them slowly reviving from their grave in your dungeon. The Undead are specialists of cold damage in contrast to the Demons fire and each come with their own unique summon by spending the relatively easy to acquire Blight resource that adds further damage and utility. The Undead creatures in Dungeons 4 are:
- Banshee: The screaming undead unit returns in Dungeons 4 with a unit that literally screams at the enemy units in a cone in front of them that deals both cold damage and slows their attack speed which makes them both an offensive and defensive unit. The Banshee can also summon ghosts with Blight that empowers cold damage further to boost most of the other Undead damage sources.
- Bone Lord: The durable undead unit the Bone Lord is happy to fight on the frontlines and is quite adept at absorbing this damage while dealing some decent damage back that is once again cold themed through their melee attacks. Their summon of choice is the skeletal mage that launches balls of ice towards enemies and adds even more damage to your undead units.
- Vampire Queen: While the other units are cold focused the Vampire Queen is supportive to the undead around her due to a ranged attack that heals nearby undead units and closes out a key weakness of this faction with their lack of quick healing in between combat. This can be further enhanced through their minions of ghouls provided the right research has been acquired.
- Necromancer: The Necromancer has some similarities to the Vampire Queen with their own small undead healing mist around them while blasting enemies with projectiles and summoning zombies from Blight.
With the above in mind the best Dungeons 4 usage of the Undead is to generally build heavily around the Banshee and Bone Lord units and ensuring that you grab one source of healing through either the Vampire Queen or Necromancer. This is because the Banshee brings fantastic area of effect damage and debuffs while the Bone Lord provides durability and additional damage through their Blight summons that create the foundation of any Dungeons 4 Undead army composition. One source of healing is also critical as it covers one notable weakness of the Undead compared to the Horde and Demons with the Vampire Queen generally being preferred given the cheaper recruitment and research options.
Dungeons 4 Best Thalya Perks (Skills)
Introducing a new mechanic to Dungeons 4 players can unlock Thalya perks by completing achievements on specific game levels in order to unlock them all at which point they can be used across the campaign and skirmish modes. Players can only choose 3 for each level though that makes selecting the best skill for each level vital to maximising their value and your chance for victory. In general players will want to pick skills that have broad usability and align with your planned playstyle. For example players would want to use the Demons cost and research reduction perk (Demonic Efficiency) if Demons are going to feature in your strategy or instead use the Horde or Undead equivalent if heavily focusing on these factions instead.
All of Thalya’s perk skills available and their sources are presented below:
|Thalya Perk Name
|Thalya gains 100% more experience
|Complete campaign level 4 (The Plains of Strothalm)
|A good default option to include while players unlock more perk choices given faster Thalya levels offer great power.
|Thalya’s skills cost 50% less Evilness when used
|Tristan cannot be allowed to build more than 3 Hero buildings in campaign level 5 (Bad Elves Go Everywhere)
|While this saves some evilness Thalya skills are rarely used enough to warrant this skill over other options.
|All Demon research costs 15% less Gold and Evilness
|No Creatures are allowed to go on strike in campaign level 6 (Heroes’ Gorge)
|If focusing heavily on Demons this is a clear must have.
|All Horde research costs 15% less Gold and Evilness
|Play only with Horde creatures in campaign level 7 (The Ascent)
|If focusing heavily on Horde this is a clear must have.
|Undead minions explode when they die, dealing 25% of their total Hit Points in damage in a 3m radius
|Have at least 10 Undead at a level of at least 5 in campaign level 8 (The Big Eaty)
|The extra damage source is not critical with only a few Blight minions being melee which will benefit from an explosive death radius of damage.
|Master of Traps
|The cost in Gold for Traps and Doors is reduced by 50%. Trap damage is increased by 50%. Door Hit Points are increased by 50%.
|Thalya cannot be allowed to die in campaign level 9 (… like son)
|For campaign or skirmishes that rely heavily on lots of traps to control heroes this is a perk to consider.
|Newly hired Horde Creatures start with 400 XP. Horde Creatures receive 50% more experience.
|No Horde creatures are allowed to go on strike in campaign level 10 (The Cathedral of Light
|With the Horde already being quick to level this is hardly necessary as you’ll generally be level capped by other resources like the evilness required for faction levels.
|All Undead research costs 15% less Gold and Evilness
|Destroy at least 50% of the Coffins in campaign level 11 (Tanos’ Crusade Against Thalya)
|If focusing heavily on Undead this is a clear must have.
|Demons do 50% more damage to Good beings such as e.g. Unicorns. Killing these Good beings generates 50% more Evilness.
|Make sure that Tanos does not destroy any good beings in campaign level 12 (All’s Well That Ends Evil)
|On maps where there are significant Good beings available the extra evilness can be a significant reward although this is only applicable on those levels.
|Efficient Dungeon Research
|All Dungeon Research costs 30% less Gold and Evilness
|Do not use the Demonic Portal Spell in campaign level 13 (The Duel)
|While this is a massive 30% discount the amount of dungeon research you’ll acquire can vary dramatically between playstyles. If you are heavy on dungeon research like traps and guard room upgrades then this can be worth taking.
|Subservient Little Snots
|You start with 3 additional Little Snots. Little Snots gain 100% more experience. All Little Snots always act as if they have been slapped by the Hand of Terror.
|Complete all Council assignments under 10 minutes in campaign level 14 (If Looks Could Kill)
|Easily the strongest of all Thalya skills this is a default in every Dungeons 4 game as Snots are critical to everything in your dungeon.
|For Peanuts (or a Gobbler)
|All Creatures collect Gobblers instead of Gold on Payday
|Complete the Map with 100 Gobblers and make sure that not a single Gobbler is eaten by a Spider in campaign level 15 (The Finitude Drill)
|With ample gold sources on Dungeons 4 levels this is not necessary compared to other more powerful options.
|Thalya’s Hit Points are increased by 50%
|Make sure that Thalya does not die in campaign level 16 (Doom Hill)
|With a proper fighting force Thalya is rarely at risk so the additional health is not required.
|Damage done by Thalya is increased by 50%
|Research all factions to Level 7 in campaign level 17 (Raiders of the Lost Stone)
|While early in a level Thalya is a key source of damage her overall impacts on battles quickly falls away as you recruit other creatures and accordingly this is a not a must have perk skill.
|The Heroes’ Grave
|When one of your Creatures dies permanently you recieve a random Ghost Hero of the same level.
|Transform 15 Heroes in the Ice Tomb in campaign level 18 (The Rune Sockets of Finitude (Part 1))
|Players will generally find the more efficient path to success focused on keeping the Creatures they recruit alive although a strategy where you purposely lose creatures to trigger this is an interesting way to play.
|Heroes defeated by Traps generate an additional 5 Evilness
|Build 50 Traps in campaign level 19 (The Rune Sockets of Finitude (Part 2))
|This requires players to adopt a trap heavy approach to combat that requires ample dungeon space to create the traps alongside significant research and construction investment to make it happen that means you are unlikely to gain extra evilness overall.
|Master of all Factions
|Each level of Faction Research (Horde, Demon, Undead, Dungeon) increases the damage of all creatures by 1%.
|Reach the maximum Research level for each Faction in campaign level 20 (The Last Stand – This Time For Real!)
|With a potential 40% damage boost this has some attractive potential on levels where you expect to max out on faction level due to the length of the campaign.
|Creatures move 20% faster on the Overworld
|Complete the skirmish level Tumultuous Transport
|On levels where movement is a top priority this is a nice quality of life to chase down objectives with greater speed although not one you will want to use all the time as you can have a similar effect through brewing potions.
|Defeating Heroes generates 50% more Evilness. However, Heroes also have 20% more Hit Points
|Complete the skirmish level Wave after Wave
|On hero heavy levels the additional evilness can quickly add up to significant numbers although it means longer spent in individual battles that requires players to be effective in research and their time management.
|Guru Mass Slayer
|Gurus no longer have to be be hit one at a time. You can hit several at once by simply holding down the button, just like you do with Little Snots. Just don’t let PITA catch you or was it PATE?
|Complete the skirmish level Break whatever is trying to break you!
|This skill references “Gurus” which are Gobblers in the English game version with this Thalya perk skill intended to give players an easy way to generate Evilness as each Gobbler slapped is equal to 1 Evilness. By taking this skill and building massive Gobbler farms and the appropriate researches you’ll have an incredibly simple source of this key currency.
|Demons are resurrected using Mana instead of Evilness
|Complete the skirmish level A Storm is Brewing/[The Storming of Dollaran
|Returning Demons to the Dungeons 3 mechanic of mana revival this can help prevent cascade failure where your Demons are dead and players have no Evilness available. However, in practice you’ll be better of taking something else that stops your Demons dying in the first place.