Risk of Rain 2: All Red Items Guide
Red items aren't absolutely necessary for a good Risk of Rain 2 run, but they definitely help. Reds add some extra oomph to your build no matter your skill level, the survivor you've chosen, or the difficulty you're running on.
If you're playing with the Command artifact on, you can choose which red items you get, but even without Command, getting a random red is a welcome surprise to a run.
Below are all of the red items in Risk of Rain 2, along with what they do, how they stack, and my recommendations for use with my over 300 hours of game time. Not all red items are created equal, but they're all welcome additions to an item spread.
All Risk of Rain 2 Red Items
57 Leaf Clover
Though the 57 Leaf Clover's effects may not be obvious at first glance, you'll feel its effects if you've got any on-hit items.
The Clover increases the proc chance for most of the game's on-hit items, such as Ukelele, Tri-tip Dagger, Happiest Mask, and so on. It also affects crit chance. It doesn't affect Tougher Times or the Rusted Key, however; nor does it affect chest spawn rates. The Clover does stack.
With this artifact, you'll be granted a barrier as you are healed past full health, starting at 50% of the amount healed. Each Aegis after the first increases the percentage of healing converted, with two granting 100% shielding, three granting 150% shielding, and so on.
Some items go better with this than others, notably the Rejuvenation Rack. On characters that attack quickly and often (Commando, Huntress, etc.) this can be a huge lifesaver when paired with Leeching Seed and Harvester's Scythe.
You want cooldown reduction? Because the Alien Head is how you get perpetual cooldown reduction.
The Alien Head decreases your cooldowns by 25% at base, but it gives diminishing benefits with each one as you stack them.
Even more cooldown reduction, you say? Later in a run, particularly on Monsoon, Brainstalks makes the Alien Head almost obsolete. Here's how:
When you have Brainstalks and kill an elite enemy, you enter a frenzied state for four seconds that chops your skill cooldowns down to nearly nothing. Brainstalks enables you to spam like nothing else.
Each Brainstalks you have on-hand increases its duration by four seconds.
A carryover from the first game, the Brilliant Behemoth enables all your attacks to explode on hit, dealing an additional 60% damage to nearby enemies. Each stack of Behemoth increases the explosion radius.
The Brilliant Behemoth is a very straightforward item to increase your overall damage output, particularly if you're using a very spammy survivor. It's not necessarily a must-have on long runs, but it sure helps you get further easier. It does not proc on-hits.
Unlike the Brilliant Behemoth, the Ceremonial Dagger does proc on-hits; though it only comes into play once you kill something.
The Ceremonial Dagger releases three daggers when an enemy dies, which then seek out and deal damage to other enemies. Each stack increases the damage, with the first one dealing 150% damage and subsequent stacks adding another 150% on top for each one.
Dio's Best Friend
Dio's Best Friend revives you at full health once you die, after a brief death animation. You'll have a couple of seconds to move around with invincibility before being set loose and able to die once again.
This one's a sleeper hit, but can be a total run saver. Once you revive, however, it is consumed.
Don't worry, Risk of Rain players. This thing won't crash your game if you have a few stacks here in Risk of Rain 2.
Frost Relic surrounds you with an ice field upon killing an enemy, which deals 600% damage per second to enemies within its radius. Its damage doesn't increase per stack, but its maximum radius does increase and it does proc on-hits.
It's not recommended you bother getting a Frost Relic when playing a ranged character, but melee survivors like Loader, Acrid, and Mercenary can get a huge damage boost from this red.
Either you love H3AD-5T v2 or you hate it, I'm in the latter camp but it does have its uses.
This item passively increases jump height, negates falling damage in general, and has a built-in stomp attack that can deal a massive amount of damage and in a huge radius depending on how quickly you're moving.
Stacking the H3AD-5T v2 decreases its cooldown, but does not increase its damage or jump height. You'll have to stack Hopoo Feathers like the rest of us for that.
If you want an army but are dissatisfied with drones, the Happiest Mask should be your go-to. This item has a low chance of spawning a ghost of any enemy you kill, whether normal, elite, or even a boss.
Enemy ghosts deal much higher damage than their living counterparts, but only last 30 seconds by default. Each stack increases the duration they stick around by 30 seconds.
If you're playing someone like Huntress, Acrid, or Mercenary with a huge reliance on your utility skill for safety, you could do with a lot worse than the Hardlight Afterburner.
This item adds two charges to your utility skill, and reduces its cooldown by 33%. It's easy to see why the Afterburner is so great.
Each stack grants two additional utility skill charges, but that might be overkill.
Interstellar Desk Plant
This is a weird one, but it can be a lifesaver in the case of melee survivors.
Five seconds after killing an enemy, a plant will spawn in its place to grant 10% maximum HP healing each second for 10 seconds. Each stack only grants radius on this one, and it's certainly not as useful as some other items, but can be a potent aid if you have an Aegis or N'kuhana's Opinion.
How this one actually works is a little strange, but let's put it this way: Your healing fires skills at nearby enemies, each one dealing 250% damage. But only once you reach a healing threshold.
N'kuhana's Opinion needs a chunk of healing items to be worthwhile, and a Rejuvenation Rack to be especially effective. Each stack increases skull damage.
What this item does is simple: doubles your healing. Each stack increases the amount, and it affects all healing sources.
The Resonance Disc is a little strange, but stick with me here.
Each time you kill an enemy, the Resonance Disc gains a charge. At full charge, it launches out from you toward a random enemy target. It pierces all enemies in transit, then returns to you. Ultimately dealing two hits to enemies along the way, and a single large hit to the target.
The damage on this increases per stack, without diminishing returns. The piercing hits do proc on-hits, but the hit on the target enemy does not.
Sentient Meat Hook
The Sentient Meat Hook has a chance to latch onto up to ten nearby enemies when attacking, with the hook dragging them along with you and dealing damage.
This item stacks with diminishing returns, but each stack increases the amount of enemies it grabs by five. It's not too shabby, and it can be very useful for AoE skills.
Shattering Justice can equate to one of the overall highest damage increases in the game if it's held by a survivor with particularly high attack speed or multiple multi-hit skills that can go off in succession all the time.
Each hit with Shattering Justice adds a counter up to five on a target, and when the counter is full the enemy gets a flat armor reduction of 60, for a base eight seconds. A Huntress Flurry critical hit applies it instantly.
This gets to be one of the best party-wide items in the game, but it should be picked up by any rapid attacker even when solo.
The Soulbound Catalyst is perfect for the player who loves their equipment items, as kills reduce a player's equipment cooldowns by 4 seconds each. It eventually boils down to your equipment being up almost all the time.
With a couple of these babies, your equipment really will be up and ready to use all the time. Missiles? Accumulator? Whatever else? Bam! You've got it right there to use, all the time. Each stack increases the cooldown reduction by an additional two seconds.
Unstable Tesla Coil
Is the Tesla the best item in the game? I like to think so, but it might not be.
The Unstable Tesla Coil deals damage to three enemies every half a second when it's on, and switches off every ten seconds. Then switches back on and does it again. Its benefit lies in there being absolutely no requirement for it to zap your foes, it just does it.
Each stack adds two targets at a time. There's really no downside to this thing.
Wake of Vultures
If you haven't gotten a Wake of Vultures and delved deep into a run, you haven't lived.
Wake of Vultures grants you the power of any elite enemies you kill for 8 seconds after the fact. That's quite the benefit considering the number of elites and their effects. You'll leave fire trails behind you like burning elites, have half your health converted to a shield like an overloading, and even get the invisibility bubble of celestine enemies on kill with this item.
Thanks for reading my guide on all of Risk of Rain 2's red items and their effects. Take a look at some of our other RoR2 guides, including an artifact unlock guide if you're still on the journey to all the game's unlocks.