Complete Guide To Playing Drifter In Risk Of Rain Returns

The Drifter is a melee Survivor in Risk of Rain Returns that uses scrap obtained from smacking enemies with her bag. Using that scrap, the Drifter can then create temporary items to give herself the edge in battle. This ability sets the Drifter apart from other Survivors, making her a great choice for tackling Monsoon difficulty.




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The Drifter can be a bit slow at the start of a run due to her slower animations. However, each of her skills are very effective, more than making up for this shortcoming. Below, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about playing as the Drifter, including each of her unlockable skills, the best items to use, and some tips for surviving.

Drifter Skills

drifter skills selection and descriptions

Below you can see each of the Drifter’s default skills.



Blunt Force

3-hit Combo, hit enemies in a wide range for 120%-240% damage. Each hit in the combo has an added chance to generate scrap.


Toss out some of your spare scrap, spawning 4 bouncing, piercing projectiles for 55% damage each. Small chance to spawn special projectiles.


Slam enemies with your bag for 200% damage, and stunning them. If the enemy is under 20% health, Consume them; converting them into scrap.


Consume a large amount of scrap to spawn 4 temporary items.

Unlockable Skills

Additionally, you can unlock the following three skills as alternate options for the Drifter’s Cleanup, Suffocate, and Salvage skills.



How To Unlock

Scrap Cube (replaces Cleanup)

Consume a small amount of scrap and toss out a large scrap cube. The cube can be pushed and shattered, dealing 150% damage while pushed.

Complete the Providence Trial “Perilous Descent”.

Collect 300 items as Drifter.

Tornado Slam (replaces Suffocate)

Spin around wildly, slamming enemies with your bag for 100% damage. Increases attack speed and lowers your gravity.

Get 20 temporary items at once.

Recycle (replaces Salvage)

Consume a large amount of scrap to re-roll a pickup.

Complete the Providence Trial “Equivalent Exchange”.

Complete 25 stages as Drifter.

As you attack enemies with Blunt Force, or kill enemies with Suffocate, you will generate small pieces of scrap. Picking these up will add to the scrap gauge, found just beneath the Drifter.

You can then spend scrap to use Cleanup, Scrap Cube, Salvage, or Recycle. Suffocate is the best way to quickly gain scrap, while Blunt Force is a great option when facing multiple enemies.

Best Items For Drifter

substandard duplicator item description



Why It’s Good

Soldier’s Syringe

Increases attack speed by 12%.

Increases overall damage and allows you to generate scrap faster.


Deal +50% damage to enemies above 80% health.

Increase damage of Suffocate when used against high-health enemies.

Hermit’s Scarf

10% chance to evade incoming damage.

Increases survivability.


Increases movement speed by 7.5% and attack speed by 6%.

Increases damage and mobility.


Heal for 10 health 1.5 seconds after getting hurt.

Provides consistent sustain when taking damage.

Tough Times

Increases armor by 14.

Increases overall survivability.


Killing an enemy increases your health permanently by 1.

Increases survivability.

Substandard Duplicator

Picking up an item gives you a temporary copy of itself. Temporary items last an additional 10 seconds.

Grants even more temporary items and increases the duration of Salvage’s temporary items.

Alien Head

Decrease your skill cooldowns by 30%.

Reduces the cooldown of Salvage, increasing your supply of temporary items.

Hardlight Afterburner

Add +2 charges of your Utility skill. Reduces Utility skill cooldown by 33%.

Reduces the cooldown of Suffocate, increasing overall damage and scrap generation.

How To Play As Drifter

drifter generation temporary items with salvage

Drifter is on the slower side of Survivors, and can’t move very much while using Blunt Force. In fact, all of her skills have a fairly long animation, which can make avoiding attacks harder. Luckily, with Salvage, there’s a good chance you’ll always have a few movement-based items equipped, which can alleviate her mobility issues.

Where Drifter doesn’t lack is in damage. The Blunt Force combo can deal very high damage, with Suffocate able to finish off enemies below 20 percent health. Both Cleanup and Scrap Cube can deal tons of damage, especially to groups of enemies, or bosses with larger hitboxes like the Magma Worm.

Scrap Cube can be knocked around with Blunt Force, dealing even more damage as it moves.

Managing your scrap gauge is the most important aspect of surviving with Drifter. Try to ensure you stay around half of the scrap gauge at all times. This will let you use Cleanup or Scrap Cube as necessary for extra damage, while staying high enough that you can use Salvage as soon as it’s available.

Salvage is a very strong skill that can let you easily out-scale enemies, especially during the first and second stages. If you get lucky and get a red item from Salvage, you’ll be able to blow through weak enemies and quickly get to the teleporter. Just keep an eye on the timer for these items, as they will eventually expire.

Recycle can also be good, allowing you to re-roll items for a chance at a more favorable one. However, if you’re using the Artifact of Command, this skill is essentially useless, as you can already pick exactly what items you want.

Overall, the key to playing the Drifter is to get stronger than the enemy as fast as possible through temporary items. This will help mitigate her slow attack animations and short range, but always keep these weaknesses in mind, especially when your temporary items expire.


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