How to Unlock the Mercenary Survivor in Risk of Rain 2 Game

Key Takeaways:

  • Mercenary is one of the most challenging but rewarding survivors to play in Risk of Rain 2
  • To unlock Mercenary, you must obliterate yourself at the Obelisk after looping back to the first stage
  • Mastering Mercenary requires quick reflexes, deep game knowledge, and the right item builds

As a seasoned Risk of Rain 2 player with hundreds of hours logged, I’ve spent a great deal of time learning the intricacies of each survivor. One of the most thrilling and challenging survivors to master is the Mercenary. This melee-focused character is a high-risk, high-reward choice that can absolutely dominate the battlefield with the right build and playstyle. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to unlock and excel with the Mercenary.

Unlocking the Mercenary

To unlock the Mercenary, you must complete the “True Respite” challenge. This involves obliterating yourself at the Obelisk, which can only be done after looping back to the first stage. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Start a run and progress through the stages until you reach the final stage of the first loop (Stage 5).
  2. After defeating the teleporter boss, interact with the outer prongs of the teleporter to align it with the planet instead of the moon. This will allow you to loop back to the first stage.
  3. Progress through the first stage again and defeat the teleporter boss.
  4. A blue portal will appear. Enter it to access the Celestial Portal.
  5. Jump down the platforms in the Celestial Portal until you reach the Obelisk at the bottom.
  6. Interact with the Obelisk and confirm your choice to obliterate yourself, ending your run and unlocking the Mercenary.

It’s important to note that obliterating yourself will end your run, so make sure you’re ready to start fresh before attempting this challenge. I recommend playing on Drizzle difficulty to make the process easier if you’re struggling to reach the Obelisk.

Mercenary Abilities

Once you’ve unlocked the Mercenary, it’s time to dive into his unique abilities. Here’s a breakdown of his default kit:

  • Passive – Cybernetic Enhancements: The Mercenary can jump twice, allowing for incredible mobility.
  • Primary – Laser Sword: Agile. Slice in front for 130% damage. Every 3rd hit strikes in a greater area and exposes enemies.
  • Secondary – Whirlwind: Quickly slice horizontally twice, dealing 2×200% damage. If airborne, slice vertically instead.
  • Utility – Blinding Assault: Stunning. Dash forward, dealing 300% damage. If you hit an enemy, you can dash again, up to 3 total.
  • Special – Eviscerate: Target the nearest enemy, attacking them for 110% damage repeatedly. You cannot be hit for the duration.

The Mercenary also has three alternate abilities that can be unlocked by completing specific challenges:

  • Rising Thunder (Alternate Secondary): Unleash a slicing uppercut, dealing 550% damage and sending you airborne. Unlocked by completing the “Demon of the Skies” challenge.
  • Focused Assault (Alternate Utility): Stunning. Dash forward, dealing 700% damage and exposing enemies after 1 second. Unlocked by completing the “Flash of Blades” challenge.
  • Slicing Winds (Alternate Special): Fire a wind of blades that attack up to 3 enemies for 8×100% damage. The last hit exposes enemies. Unlocked by completing the “Ethereal” challenge.

Playstyle and Strategy

Playing the Mercenary effectively requires a unique blend of aggression and caution. His abilities allow him to dart in and out of combat, dealing massive damage while avoiding hits. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Utilize your double jump to stay mobile and dodge attacks. The Mercenary’s passive is one of his greatest strengths.
  • Alternate between Laser Sword and Whirlwind to maximize damage output. The third hit of Laser Sword exposes enemies, amplifying the damage of your other abilities.
  • Use Blinding Assault to close gaps and stun enemies, then follow up with Laser Sword or Eviscerate for big damage.
  • Eviscerate grants invulnerability for the duration, so use it to avoid damage during hectic fights. It also scales with attack speed, making it even more potent with the right items.
  • Rising Thunder is a great tool for repositioning and dealing damage simultaneously. Use it to escape dangerous situations or chase down fleeing enemies.
  • Focused Assault is a high-damage alternative to Blinding Assault that also exposes enemies, making it a solid choice for boss fights.
  • Slicing Winds provides some much-needed ranged damage, but be careful not to rely on it too heavily, as the Mercenary shines brightest in close quarters.

Item Synergies

Choosing the right items is crucial for any survivor, but it’s especially important for the Mercenary. Here are some of the best items to look out for:

  • Soldier’s Syringe: Increases attack speed, which scales incredibly well with Eviscerate and Laser Sword.
  • Backup Magazine: Grants an additional charge of Whirlwind, allowing for even more mobility and damage.
  • Leeching Seed: Restores health on hit, helping to offset the Mercenary’s low health pool.
  • Predatory Instincts: Critical strikes increase attack speed, creating a powerful synergy with Laser Sword and Eviscerate.
  • Harvester’s Scythe: Gain a temporary barrier on kill, providing some much-needed defense in the heat of battle.
  • Purity: Reduces skill cooldowns, allowing you to use your abilities more frequently and stay invulnerable for longer with Eviscerate.


Mastering the Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2 is no easy feat, but with practice and perseverance, you’ll be slicing through hordes of enemies in no time. Remember to stay mobile, chain your abilities together, and choose items that synergize with your playstyle. Don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first – the Mercenary is one of the most challenging survivors to play, but also one of the most rewarding.

I hope this guide has provided you with the knowledge and strategies you need to unlock and excel with the Mercenary. Happy hunting, and may the RNG gods be ever in your favor![1][2][3][4][11][13][18]