Risk of Rain Returns Mercenary: Unlock, Abilities, Items

Here is everything you need to know about the Mercenary and what his abilities do, in addition to which items suit him the most.

Veterans of the series are no strangers to Risk of Rain Returns Mercenary. His playstyle is focused on movement and dodges more than dealing damage. He is not available to play from the start, which is why you might want to know how to unlock him, what his abilities do, and what items suit him the best. 

Key Takeaways
  • The Mercenary uses his sword to deal melee damage and gives you plenty of options to avoid danger with his abilities. 
  • Players must beat the game 5 times in order to unlock him.
  • You can use any survivors for the completion of this challenge and have to defeat Providence for it to count. 
  • His abilities include Blinding Assault and Evisceration, which allow him to be invulnerable for a small window. 
  • Here are the items that I think suit the playstyle of the Mercenary:
    1. Alien Head
    2. Tesla Coil
    3. Wicked Ring
    4. Brilliant Behemoth
    5. Toxic Worm

Who Is Mercenary In Risk of Rain Returns?

risk of rain returns mercenary
At the spawn location. [Screenshot by me]

The Mercenary is a survivor with a focus on mobility and movement. 

He has a fast-paced playstyle, utilizing his katana to make quick work of his enemies. He can deal with small hordes of enemies with his abilities. But the department where he shines the most is his mobility. He can steer clear of powerful attacks by utilizing his invincibility, and learning how to time his skills properly is essential if you want to use this character. 

How To Unlock Mercenary

risk of rain returns mercenary
The Mercenary before being unlocked. [Image by me]

You cannot play as the Mercenary right from the get-go, and in fact, it might even take you a lot of time to unlock him in Risk of Rain Returns. On the surface, the condition to unlock seems fairly straightforward. As you can see from the image attached above, his character slot says “Beat the game 5 times“.

Mercenary’s Abilities

risk of rain returns mercenary
The ability of the Mercenary. [Screenshot by me]

Firstly, here are the Mercenary’s Stats in the game:

The following are the abilities that Mercenary can access:

Laser Sword

  • This is the Mercenary’s primary attack.
  • Mercenary uses his sword to attack the enemy, causing 130% base damage.
  • This ability allows you to attack up to three foes at once.
  • It has a cooldown of 0 seconds.
  • It is the only ability in the Mercenary’s arsenal that does not have an alternate version. 


risk of rain returns mercenary
The Whirlwind ability. [Image by me] 
  • This is the Mercenary’s secondary attack in Risk of Rain Returns.
  • With the use of this ability, Mercenary rotates twice and cuts the nearby enemies, dealing 2*80% damage.
  • Utilizing the low downtime of this ability is crucial if you want to get out of harm’s way.
  • It has a cooldown of 2 seconds.
  • An alternate version can be unlocked by clearing the Providence Trial “Don’t Think, Feel.”, or by completing 25 stages using Mercenary. 

Blinding Assault

  • This is the Mercenary’s tertiary attack.
  • It is the keystone behind the Mercenary’s impressive mobility.
  • Upon use, Mercenary dashes forwards and stuns the enemies in his way for 120% damage.
  • This ability can be reused immediately if you hit an enemy, and you can dash again up to 3 times. 
  • During this dash, the Mercenary is invincible and takes no damage, so time it correctly in order to dodge powerful attacks. 
  • It has a cooldown of 6 seconds.
  • An alternate version can be unlocked by clearing the Providence Trial “Assassination Contract”, or by collecting 300 items as the Mercenary. 


risk of rain returns mercenary
Eviscerate ability. [Screenshot by me]
  • This is the Mercenary’s Ultimate ability.
  • In addition to Blinding Assault, Eviscerate is crucial for Mercenary’s fast-paced playstyle.
  • When you activate this ability, the Mercenary attacks the nearest enemy and deals 6*110% damage.
  • Just like before, the Mercenary is invincible during the activation of this ability, so keep in mind to use it both offensively and defensively. 
  • It has a cooldown of 6 seconds.
  • An alternate version can be unlocked by clearing the Providence Trial “Shadows of the Past” or by defeating 3000 enemies as the Mercenary. 

Best Items For Mercenary

The Brilliant Behemoth in the logs. [Image by me] 

Items that reduce cooldowns synergize really well with Mercenary. This allows him to spam his dashes and ultimate, not giving the enemies a single chance to hit him.

Here are some of the best items for Mercenary in Risk of Rain Returns:

  • Alien Head
  • Tesla Coil
  • Wicked Ring
  • Brilliant Behemoth
  • Toxic Worm
The Wicked Ring in the logs. [Screenshot by me]

My Thoughts On Mercenary In Risk Of Rain Returns

Risk of Rain Returns Mercenary is definitely one of those characters that takes some time to get used to. His playstyle demands that you learn the attack patterns of your enemies, especially of bosses. This allows you to time Blinding Assault and Eviscerate perfectly well in order to avoid powerful attacks.

Once you learn how to use Mercenary at his full potential, you’ll never want to go back to any other survivor. His impressive mobility does not end with avoiding attacks. He can also parry fall damage and magma at Risk of Rain Returns. Characters like Acrid or Bandit cannot form this feat, so it’s really handy. 

While you’re at it, consider reading the guide on Chef. He is also one of those characters with difficult unlock conditions but it is pretty rewarding to play as him. Check this out if you wanna learn how to unlock the Artifact of Command. 

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Moiz Banoori is the brains behind eXputer. Having worked at various Video Game sites, with 8 years of Content Writing Experience and a Journalism Degree at hand, he presently monitors teams, creates strategies, and publishes qualified pieces through his aptitude at eXputer. Feel free to get in touch with him through his gaming profile on Steam and PSN.

Experience: 8+ Years || Manages Teams, Creates Strategies, and Publishes Guides on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

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