The world of Warhammer 40,000 has been built over decades now. With that, the lore is rather complex, and it takes some time to cover it all. In the short and hectic missions of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, your mission leaders don’t always have time to fill you in on the details of the world you find yourself in.
In this grim dark world there’s much to learn, but little of this knowledge is good news. Regardless, maybe some of this lore can help you better understand what you’re up against in Darktide, or at least it will make some of the weirder facets of the world make more sense. Either way, there are some parts of the universe the game leaves you in the dark about.
You’re sure to run into one or two Servitors on your missions inside Tertium. The medicae servitors, the servoskull you use to scan the environment, even the interrogators used to hack into terminals; they all have one rather unfortunate secret about them. They’re all built out of human corpses. In the 41st millennia they have a severe distrust for anything with artificial intelligence. So, to get around it, they use corpses as the starting point for anything too technological.
Yes, that servitor that you talk to and get the machine god’s blessing was a normal person who has been lobotomized, and his body is now the basis for the machines plugged into him. Don’t worry though, this is usually reserved for people who’ve committed some sort of crimes, what better way to atone then an after-lifetime of servitude?
The forces of chaos you come across in the underhive are varied, but always deadly. While you’ll need your best weaponry to take them down, even the deadliest of them is no match for the creatures chaos can throw at you. The lore has some poignant examples: chaos champions with bodies imbued with sorcery, titans the size of cities, and starships that can blow up entire planets.
While your fight is a holy one, it is on a small scale compared to some of the armies that are fighting all across the universe. Even the terrible daemonhost is a nuisance compared to fully-fleshed daemons when they enter the real world. Thankfully, you probably won’t have to face any of that.
6 Life As A Psyker
Being a psyker in the world of Warhammer 40k may seem fun, and some of it is, the moving and fighting with your mind part is anyway. Other parts aren’t as exciting. The Black Ships in the game are one of the worst parts. They roam from world to world gathering up anyone with potential psychic abilities.
Anyone who does, and who doesn’t, pose a danger gets sanctioned and either goes into the military or becomes a navigator who moves ships through the warp. Why would they be a threat? Anyone with access to the warp can be corrupted by it, and either become a heretic or become a gateway for daemons. So, remember that next time you have a psyker on your team.
5 The Warp
The warp is a dangerous place, and it’s always right there waiting to spill into the real world. It is the thing that fuels the powers of the psykers in the universe, but it’s also the force that corrupts people and turns them to chaos. This is due to the warp being controlled by four chaos gods.
Nurgle is the one who is responsible for the creatures you fight in Darktide. Each of them feeds on negative emotions and the wants and emotions of living beings. It is also how ships can travel from one part of the galaxy to another in a short amount of time. So, it’s useful, but also incredibly dangerous at every turn.
4 The Inquisition
The Inquisition isn’t always too kind on those who they work with, and it’s not passive-aggressive emails either. The members of the Inquisition deal with anything that causes great distress to the way of life of the Imperium, but can’t always be faced on the battlefield. They’re sneaky, intelligent, and have the entirety of the power of the Imperium at their disposal.
When it comes to chaos, they often deploy whatever retinue is at their disposal to fighting it. Once that’s over, they usually “dispose” of whoever was involved to keep things secret and make sure the effects of chaos haven’t tainted anyone further. Keep that in mind, as your missions under the Inquisition continue.
3 The Emperor
The linchpin of the Imperium. The Emperor of Man is a holy figure in Darktide, but he wasn’t always revered as such. He united humanity under one goal, and while many revered him as a god, he was never keen on that idea, and actually outlawed it.
After his betrayal by one of his sons, Horus, who struck a fatal blow to him, the religious following of him has grown to be the focal point of the Imperium. He is still alive though, sort of, he’s locked in time by the throne he sits in, forever locked in the moments before death.
2 One Of Many Enemies
The forces of chaos are the arch-nemesis of the Imperium of Man. As such, they are the one that much of the power of the Imperium’s armies are leveled against. But, they’re far from the only threat. There are a handful of alien species out there that also wish the Imperium harm.
These xenos range from incredibly intelligent and robot-like Necrons, all the way to brutish and explosive Orks. Being up against only a fraction of chaos and being overwhelmed with their power gets humbling when you realize that’s only one of a dozen or so armies that wishes to see the Imperium crumble.
1 Hive Cities
Hive Cities of Tertium aren’t rare. They are huge though. With hundreds of floors, they can easily be seen from space and the highest of the spires often reach into the stratosphere. Underhive gangs often rule the darker sections of these sprawling cities while the more illustrious members of society and government call the spires home.
It could be possible that the higher portions of Tertium have no idea about the heretics in the lower levels, they just feel the repercussions of the facilities down there as they are hampered with. If the spread of chaos does grow though, there’s more and more chance of a full scale planetary war erupting, or the Inquisition destroying the planet and cutting its losses.
Next: Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting Warhammer 40,000: Darktide