How to cast spells in Dark and Darker seems like something that should be intuitive, but like much else in the dungeon crawler RPG, the system isn’t quite as simple as it first appears.
You need the right equipment and skills to cast a spell, and even then, you still have to practice careful timing to avoid getting overwhelmed.
While it appears like you’ll need to wait for the full game to take advantage of everything that spellcasting offers, you can still pile on some powerful magic to help your team stay alive in the demo.
How to cast spells in Dark and Darker
Casting spells requires a bit more than just pressing the right button. You need a magic staff, which is your default weapon bound to “1” for Wizards and “3” for Clerics. The Cleric has a shield in slot “2” by default, but if you don’t fancy playing a defensive game, you can swap the shield for the staff and dual wield.
With that equipped and out, press “E” to open your spell wheel, and move the cursor over which one you want.
You don’t have to click to select. Whatever your mouse hovered over last is the spell you’ll equip.
When you’re ready to cast a spell, hold the right mouse button down. Spells have varying cast times, and the stronger ones take longer to cast. Each spell has a progress bar, and before you get too far into a run, it’s a good idea to experiment with them to see how long they take to cast.
Spells cost knowledge to cast. You start with a base knowledge value of 12 and can increase it with certain pieces of equipment looted from dungeons.
Wizards can use Meditate to restore spell power over time. It takes a while to cast this ability, so make sure you’re either with a capable ally or in a safe space while you use it.
What is spell memory?
Wizards and Clerics also need spell memory to open the slots where you store spells. In the Dark and Darker demo, you get one spell memory automatically, which lets you equip five spells.
Play around with spells to see which ones suit you best. In our experience, offensive spells, such as Lightning and Fireball, are far more useful than the too-brief Invisibility and similar support spells, at least for Wizards. Clerics have the added bonus of casting buffs on themselves, so they can withstand heavier hits and deal some damage with their mace.
You can swap your other skill with more spell memory to unlock five more slots, but we haven’t actually had any luck finding additional memory yet. It might be locked behind the full game, like class skill growth is, or it could just be a very rare loot drop.