How To Beat The Judgment Trial In Risk Of Rain Returns

The Judgment Trial in Risk of Rain Returns offers both a final test of skill for Risk Of Rain players and a new game mode that plays very differently from the traditional gameplay experience. It’s similar to quick start or boss rush modes in a lot of other roguelikes.


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The biggest change this trial makes over the normal formula is that healing is tightly restricted. Passive healing is disabled and basic healing items are placed on the same rarity tier as the strongest attack items. Enemies do not scale with time so you are encouraged to play slowly and carefully, attacking only when an opening presents itself.


Unlocking The Judgment Trial

The Risk Of Rain Providence Trials, all levels have been completed

The Judgment Trial is unlocked when all other providence trials have been completed. You do not need to achieve gold ranks. You do have to unlock all characters (except Robomando) as they all have trials tied to them.

By the point you have the judgment trial available, you should have a strong grasp of how every survivor plays and how to use the alternative skills added in the remake.

Unfortunately, you aren’t allowed to use any of those alternative skills here.

The trial can be completed with each character, unlocking an achievement and an alternative skin for each. If your goal is to complete all of them, it is best to start with the easiest characters until you learn the format.

Layout Of the Judgment Trial

The Damp Cavern Arena for the Judgment Trial in Risk of Rain Returns

The Judgement Trial has you fight through a series of enemies and bosses in a themed arena in each biome. After each level, you’ll be teleported to a shop-like area. You’ll be given four choices between trios of items and a limited stock of full heals. You are only offered five full heals across a total of ten levels.

If you haven’t already, open the settings menu and reduce the zoom scale to 1x. This will allow you to see the entire arena at all times.

There are two teleporters. The red one will take you through the levels in the intended order, while the blue teleporter will skip you to the sixth level. Unless you’re aiming to set a speed record, you’ll always want to use the red portal.

Environment

Boss Fight

Normal Enemies

Arena Obstacles

Enemy Placement and Strategy

Desolate Forest

Colossus

Stone Golem, Lemurian, Wisp, Trokk, Jellyfish

A second level of the arena above the range of melee enemies. It can be reached by a rope so lemurians can climb up and be fought separately at the top.

You’ll start the level out fighting melee enemies, lemurians, trokks, and stone golems. Prioritise lemurians that can follow you up the rope, then use hit-and-run tactics to wear down the remainder.

Dried Lake

Magma Worm

Sand Crab, Lemurian, Jellyfish, Tuber

There is a raised platform on both sides with ropes leading up. These will start with elite sand crabs, making them dangerous to stand on.

Prioritise clearing the enemies from the raised platforms. The elite sand crabs can teleport, making them a persistent threat until defeated. After this, you’ll want to prioritise the lemurians and jellyfish that can hit you while climbing the ropes, and kite the enemies from left to right and back again while using the rope to dodge the magma worm.

Damp Caverns

Lynx Totem

Tuber, Mushrum, Spitter, Black Imp, Lynx Tribe

There is a series of smaller platforms at the top of the arena. Enemies on the bottom cannot hit you standing in the middle of the floating platforms, giving you a place to restore your guardian’s heart shields and active items.

Make use of the blindspot on the middle platform, with hit-and-run tactics. The enemies at this level don’t hit hard enough to break your shield, so this level can be beaten without taking damage.

Sky Meadow

Ancient Wisp

Wisp, child, parent, bramble

Two platforms of different heights are raised over the arena floor. Agile survivors can jump from left to right but not backwards.

Defend a position on the left platform, ready to jump right when the children overwhelm you. If you have the timepiece, use it when forced to move left along the ground to evade the parents and wisps. Prioritise killing the bramble when it spawns on the left platform.

Ancient Valley

Ifrit

Mechanical Spider, Bighorn Bison, Swift, Rock Golem, Lemurian

There are no arena obstacles here. There are also no walls to the sides, so be careful not to fall.

Ifrit spawns at the beginning of this level. Prioritise killing them quickly before too many other enemies spawn. The next biggest threat is the bighorn bison, as you have no platforms to hide from them. Use mobility skills and hopoo feathers to jump over their attacks, as they’re one of the few enemies that cannot be evaded with a single jump.

Sunken Tombs

Wandering Vagrant

Jellyfish, Sand Crab, Whorl, Clay Man, macrobe

There are two platforms connected by vines hanging from the ceiling.

The whorls and sand crabs can kill you in moments if you land among them. Fighting from the upper layer you’ll only be significantly threatened by the jellyfish and the vagrant. The jellyfish are bigger threats than the vagrant as long as you keep moving between the two platforms and the vines.

Magma Barracks

Cremator

Evolved Lemurian, Bighorn Bison, Mechanical Spider, macrobic predator

This arena has a lava floor with platforms suspended above it in two layers of scattered platforms. The Cremator will be able to attack the ground floor with its melee charge.

The Cremator spawns at the beginning of this level. If you have high damage and the unstable watch, you can use it to kill him before anything else spawns. Otherwise, you’ll want to keep to the ceiling, using the ropes to dodge the artillery attacks and whittling down enemies one at a time.

Hive Cluster

Frenzied Toxic Beast

Parent, Evolved Lemurian, Gup, spitter

Two large platforms over the arena floor with a jumping puzzle to get from one to the other. Trying to travel across this gap is liable to drop you to the bottom where the frenzied boss can kill you quickly.

The Toxic Beast spawns at the start of this level and forces you to stay in the upper levels. Stay to the top left until enemies stop spawning. During this time your biggest threat are the evolved lemurians and the gups. The gups take up nearly the entire platform, while the evolved lemurians can strike you even while hanging from the vines.

Temple Of The Elders

Blazing Imp Overlord

Archer Bug, Swift, bramble, clay man, evolved lemurian, elder lemurian, lemurian cavalry, temple guardian, black imp,

Two platforms in the top corners, with a staircase of smaller platforms leading from right to left.

Prioritise clearing the upper left level, so you have somewhere to hide and recharge your shields or cooldowns. This involves killing first the elite temple guard, and then the several brambles. These are the biggest threats at long range and can hit you through floors.

Risk Of Rain

Providence

Survivor Clones (Engineer Han-D / Enforcer Miner / Bandit / Sniper)

A similar setup to the Sky Meadow arena: Two platforms over the arena at different heights that force you to dodge in a clockwise direction.

The survivor clones will continuously respawn. The Engineer Han-D clone is the most dangerous, due to its ability to place mines. The mines visually persist after killing them but will no longer be active). This level otherwise plays out as a normal battle against Providence. You’ll fight all four phases.

The order of the levels and enemy placements are the same every time, allowing you to plan around specific areas.

The first area, for example, has two elite enemies spawning on the cliffs to your left and right. Opening with an attack that knocks one back can kill them instantly with fall damage and let you focus on the other.

Best Item Choices In The Judgment Trial

A fully geared engineer in risk of rain's final providence trial

Similar to enemy placement, item choices offered during the trial are the same every time. Before the first level, you’re given a single item.

In almost all cases, you’ll want to obtain the Guardian Heart, because of the ablative shield it gives you. Damage can often be unavoidable and this allows you to leave small gaps in your dodging pattern for counterattacks or cooldowns.

Each level after this offer gives you four items, typically choices within a category (such as damage upgrades, utility items and active equipment). Certain options will be consistently better, while others will vary between survivors.

The most notable options are the early choices, with later options consolidating on earlier strengths or providing flat boosts with minimal difference between the options.

Previous Level

Item Selections

Typical Best Item

Notes

Desolate Forest

Ancient Scepter, Alien Head, Hardlight Afterburner

Hardlight afterburner

For any character with a mobility move in this slot, the afterburner will greatly improve survivability by letting you string your evades together. Other characters are better off taking the scepter.

Desolate Forest

Hopoo Feather, Guardian’s Heart, Tough Times

Hopoo Feather

If you already have one guardian heart, the hopoo feather will give you desperately needed mobility. Most enemy attacks can be dodged with a well-timed jump. If your character has enough natural mobility to not need it, take a second heart.

Dried Lake

Gigantic Amethyst, Unstable Watch, Sawmerang

Unstable Watch

The unstable watch gives you a long enough time freeze to move from one end of most arenas to the other while recharging your guardian’s heart shields. The Engineer and Drifter can make better use of the gigantic amethyst.

Dried Lake

Golden Gun, Beating Embryo, Rapid Mitosis

Rapid Mitosis

Active Items are very important in this run. The beating embryo gives a chance of equipment activating twice, but this is less consistent than a percentage cooldown reduction from rapid mitosis.

Damp Caverns

Ifrit’s Horn, Scorching Shell Piece, Imp Overlord’s Tentacle

Ifrit’s Horn

The horn is the most consistent increase in damage. Scorching shell relies on you being hit, which you desperately want to avoid. The Imp minion has a very short distance it will roam from you, meaning that it will do very little when you are trying to keep your distance.

Sky Meadow

Hopoo feather, Ukulele, Frost Relic

Hopoo feather/Ukulele

Whether you need more damage or mobility is entirely dependent on the survivor you’re playing and how proficient you are at avoiding attacks with the number of jumps you currently have.

Ancient Valley

Repulsion Armor, Permafrost, Old Box

Repulsion armor

The extra survivability granted by repulsion armor can bail you out of bad situations. Enemies spawn more quickly now, and you won’t be able to clear them before more appear.

Ancient Valley

Toxic Centipede, Guardian’s Heart, Captain’s Brooch

Guardian’s Heart

This is broadly a straightforward choice unless you want to take a risk on the Brooch. Spawning in chests is the only way to obtain items outside the shop offerings. You’ll earn roughly enough money to activate it twice per stage. The opportunity cost of giving away your unstable watch is too great for most characters.

Magma Barracks

Brilliant Behemoth, Bustling Fungus, Tesla Coil

Brilliant behemoth/Bustling Fungus

If you’ve run out of heals, the bustling fungus can bail you out here by giving you a consistent heal out of combat. Otherwise, the brilliant behemoth is a nice damage boost.

Magma Barracks

Repulsion Armor, Rapid Mitosis, Alien Head

Rapid Mitosis

The Unstable Watch has a very long cooldown, and you’re very dependent on it with most characters. Dropping a quarter of the item’s cooldown time is a massive upgrade.


If you aren’t using the Watch, the alien head is a better item than a second repulsion armor.

Hive Cluster

Fireman’s Boots, Monster Tooth, Harvester’s Scythe

Monster Tooth/Harvester’s Scythe

You’re finally being given a healing item that works in combat. The monster tooth will keep you alive through waves, while the scythe can do the same during boss fights. Neither can heal more than very basic attrition so don’t get complacent.

Temple Of The Ancients

Hyper-Threader, Wicked Ring, Ceremonial Dagger

Hyper-threader

There’s only the providence bossfight left. Hyper-threader offers a mild but respectable damage boost. The ceremonial dagger will have only a few enemies to activate it. The Wicked Ring could be a good choice if you’ve picked every critical hit item available so far, but is still character-specific (Pilot will love it).

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Beating The Final Providence Trial With Every Survivor

drifter generation temporary items with salvage

Depending on your goal, you’ll be aiming to beat the judgment trial once with your favourite character to unlock their new skin or once with every character for the achievements given each time you win with a new survivor. Hopefully, your favourite character isn’t Artificer.

Like previous providence trials, you are not allowed to customise the skill loadout of your survivor before starting. This means you’ll be using the default abilities of every character.

The easiest characters to complete the judgment trial with have abilities that can negate the trial’s unique obstacles, regenerating health when they aren’t supposed to, or evading enemies well enough to trivialise them.

Survivor

Special Items

Strategy

Engineer

Gigantic Amethyst, Ancient Scepter, time keeper’s secret

Engineer can place turrets and mines and then run away for minutes at a time. Turrets both soak and deal damage, at no cost to health. Taking the gigantic amethyst active item alongside the ancient scepter lets you respawn turrets on a very short cooldown. With good movement, you’ll never have to engage in combat yourself.

Drifter

Ancient Scepter, Gigantic Amethyst

Drifter’s ability to create temporary items lets them break the curated item economy offered by the shops. Some temporary items can even lead to permanent items, such as the 54-leaf clover and the duo of Life Savings with the Captain’s Brooch. The ability to generate temporary items also gives the drifter better access to healing items not meant to be available during the trial. The ancient scepter to upgrade the drifter’s ability to make items is spectacular, while the gigantic amethyst lets you use it several times more often.

Pilot

Hardlight Afterburner, Backup Magazine, Wicked Ring

Pilot’s sustained airtime can evade the majority of attackers. In a normal game, you’d be punished by the clock if you spend five minutes running away and whittling them down with Target Acquired but there are no time penalties in this providence trial. Hardlight afterburner greatly increases his airtime, to the point that he doesn’t need hopoo feathers.

The middle-of-the-road characters have good ranged attacking options and mobility to keep out of danger.

Survivors

Strategy

Ranged attackers (Commando, Huntress, Sniper, Bandit)

These characters all have long-ranged attacks and a dodge move. Your personal preference will shape which of these is easiest to win with.

Acrid

Acrid’s epidemic and caustic sludge can wear down large groups quickly, but he has less mobility than the stronger survivors.

Chef

Chef has one of the weakest mobility moves but his attacks have good wave clear and at least he isn’t a melee survivor.

Robomando

Robomando’s weak skills makes the early levels near impossible without playing the trial dozens of times and learning a perfect (and character-specific) dodge routine. Once the Captain’s Brooch is offered in the shop, they can generate infinite items by waiting around. There’s no reward for winning with them outside bragging rights.

The hardest characters to complete the trial have limited agility, few dodges or need to attack from close range.

Survivors

Strategy

Agile melee characters (Miner, Mercenary)

Miner and mercenary have agility but are melee exclusive. Even with good play, they’re liable to take attrition damage over time. Mercenary is slightly easier, but a player skilled with miner’s mobility moves will be able to win.

Loader

Loader’s debris shield lets them dive into combat and then retreat before invincibility runs out. Backup mags give more flexibility, and with practise you’ll learn exactly how many attacks you can safely make before needing to retreat.

Han-D

Han-D lacks the mobility of other melee heroes but compensates with healing via his drones. This will make the early levels much easier, but Han-D can struggle against the final providence fight.

Short-range attackers (Artificer, Enforcer)

Artificer and Enforcer operate at just outside melee range but lack the survivability tools of the true melee characters. Enforcer’s shield is a risky proposition as it throttles your movement, and you’ll eventually take a hit from behind. Artificer will be trampled by most enemies while trying to channel any of her short-range attacks.

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