Dungeon Defenders: Awakened – Complete Guide (Abilities, Defenses, Maps, Controls)

This is a complete game guide contains abilities, defenses, maps, controls, levels, engine, etc. for Dungeon Defenders: Awakened.

Guide to Dungeon Defenders: Awakened


Welcome! The purpose of this guide is to help familiarize you with some of the differences and fundamental changes that have taken place in Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. If this guide looks familiar, I maintained a similar guide for Dungeon Defenders Eternity.

Before I begin, I want to make two things absolutely 100% crystal clear:

Chromatic Games claims that this is NOT a remake of DD1. It is intended to be a brand-new title. While DD1 and DDA are technically different games, you have the same heroes, summoning the same defenses, using the same number of defense units, battling the same types of enemies, on many of the same maps. The core game loop and mechanics are essentially the same, which means that it 100% deserves a guide that compares and contrasts the two.

THIS TITLE IS IN EARLY ACCESS (and boy oh boy does it show). I intend to keep this guide up-to-date as features are developed and new content is added.

With those two disclaimers out of the way, onto the content!

Overall Platform and Engine

  • Operating systems and console platforms: DDA is currently only available on Windows. Support for the Nintendo Switch is planned by full release, with support for other consoles in the future. DD1 is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox, Playstation, and mobile iOS devices. However, content released by the Community Development Team is only available on Windows.
  • Backend platform: DDA uses Microsoft Azure Playfab to store save data, which allows the ability to save your heroes and equipment across platforms (when those platforms are supported). DD1 stores your equipment on your local machine, synced with the Steam cloud.
  • Engine: DDA is built from the ground up on Unreal Engine 4. Some creative assets (such as models, textures, and sounds) are borrowed from other Dungeon Defenders titles. DD1 was built using Unreal Engine 3.
  • Open/Ranked: DDA does not have Open/Ranked. In fact, DDA does not even have Offline mode yet (something that Dungeon Defenders Eternity even had!). DDA is currently online only. DD1 offers Open mode, which can be played online or offline.
  • Modded content: It is unclear how Chromatic intends to handle modded content, and how that interacts with online play. Their roadmap includes measures to discourage hacking. DD1 discourages modded characters and equipment in Ranked, but openly allows it in Open.
  • Price: DDA’s base price is currently listed at $40 USD, with plans for DLC in the future. DD1’s base price is $15 USD, with numerous DLC’s available. The Dungeon Defenders Complete Collection (base game with all DLC) is $50 USD. Most DLC content in DD1 was free for the first several weeks, allowing active players to pick it up without cost.

Core Game Mechanics

Heroes: DDA currently has the squire, apprentice, huntress, and monk. DD1 shares the same four heroes without DLC. The countess, adept, hunter, initiate, EV, jester, summoner, and barbarian are available through downloadable content. CG has expressed desire to include more heroes as DLC after release.


  • Mana is the base currency in DD1. You used it to build defenses during missions, excess mana went into your bank, and gear was sold into mana.
  • Gold is the base currency in DDA. You still use mana for building and upgrading defenses during missions, however, mana no longer has a use outside playing levels. Selling gear becomes gold.

Level cap: When DD1 was very first released, the level cap was 60 and over the years slowly increased to level 100. DDA has a hard level cap of 100, with a soft level cap of 70. When you hit level 70, the requirements to progress immediately become very steep.

XP: Only the active hero in DD1 earns experience. In DDA, all heroes in your hero deck (up to four) earn experience.

Item types:

  • Armor: DDA includes 5 armor types: primitive, miner, militia, guard, and ancient. DD1 also includes 5 armor types: leather, mail, chain, plate, and pristine. Both games give a stat bonus if all of the same armor types is worn.
  • Weapons: DDA uses mostly borrowed models from DD1. There are a couple borrowed from DD2 and several unique to DDA. Weapons borrowed from DD1 look to be retextured to fit DDA’s art style. There are approximately 5-6 different weapons per hero. DD1 includes about twice the number of different weapons without DLC, and 4-5x the number of weapons with DLC included.
  • Accessories: Both DD1 and DDA have brooches, masks, bracers, and shields. DD1 also includes hats in the brooch slot.
  • Pets: DDA includes around 15 pets, all of which have models and textures unique to the game. Many of these pets share similar themes and functions to DD1 pets. Examples include the propeller cat, pet rock, genie, and giraffe on a treadmill. DD1 has dozens of unique pets with different passive functions.
  • Special items: DDA currently does not have any other item types outside armor, weapons, and pets. DD1 also includes special items like coal, mana tokens, and humongous eggs. Each of these items served a unique and individual purpose.

Stats: Stats are very similar between DD1 and DDA, however, most are renamed. The most notable change is among abilities, better organized by giving each hero a unique skill and boost.

  • Hero health is renamed Vitality
  • Hero damage is renamed Attack
  • Hero speed is renamed Agility
  • Hero cast rate is now just Casting
  • Ability 1 is now Skill
  • Ability 2 is now Boost
  • Defense health is renamed Fortify
  • Defense damage is renamed Power
  • Defense range is now just Range
  • Defense rate remains unchanged

Instanced loot: Chests and loot are reserved just for you in DDA. Drops are shared among all players in DD1.

Tavern: The tavern is mostly redesigned, containing a large, more nature-like crystal in DDA. The secret room, basement, and tavern trophies are currently not in DDA. DD1 contains a large second and third floor created by the CDT.

Local split-screen: A popular mechanic used by players wanting to play with their friends/family on the same device. Many others capitalized on this capability to farm better loot and XP. DDA currently does not have this feature.


The following maps are exclusive to DDA:

  • Ancient mines
  • Lava mines
  • Tornado valley
  • Tornado highlands
  • The promenade

The following campaign maps are exclusive to DD1.

  • Foundries and forges
  • Magus quarters
  • Servants quarters
  • Castle armory
  • Hall of court
  • Endless spires
  • Glitterhelm caverns
  • 29 additional maps included in DLC and CDT content

Other items to note:

  • Survival is now always 25 waves. Some maps in DD1 go up to 35 waves.
  • There are not any challenges in DDA yet. They are planned, as there is a placeholder in the UI.
  • Pure strategy does not exist in DDA yet. It is planned, as there is a placeholder in the UI.
  • Mix mode does not exist in DDA yet. It is planned, as there is a placeholder in the UI.


All defenses in DDA function nearly identically to the base four heroes in DD1. They all have the same mana cost, defense unit cost, and are unlocked in the same order. The only two exceptions to this statement are:

The mana cost for explosive trap and gas trap are swapped; explosive traps cost 40 mana in DDA, while they cost 30 mana in DD1.

The harpoon turret is unlocked second in DDA, whereas the bouncer blockade is unlocked second in DD1.

While there are currently zero new concepts to defenses, they are balanced differently. Also note that since EV, jester, and summoner don’t exist as heroes yet, their defenses are not yet in DDA either.


Hero abilities are largely the same, with the exception to the apprentice’s and huntress’s second ability.

The squire’s skill is a circular slice, and his boost is blood rage. His abilities are similar between DD1 and DDA.

The apprentice’s skill is the mana bomb, and his boost is an overcharge. His boost increases the attack rate of nearby towers, and right-click attacks always deal maximum AoE and damage.

The huntress’s skill is piercing shot, and her boost is adrenaline rush. Her boost increases fire rate, reload speed, movement speed, and jump height. DD1’s invisibility made it so some enemies don’t target her.

The monk’s skill is defense boost, and his boost is the hero boost. Defense boost stays in the place you activated it, but otherwise, his abilities are similar in DD1 and DDA.


Enemies function nearly identically between DDA and DD1. They look different and have slightly different visuals. For example, dark elf archers fire crossbows instead of bows, and dark elf warriors wield a naginata instead of dual-wielding swords. The largest functional difference is that dark elf warriors can damage Eternia crystals in DDA, whereas they cannot in DD1.

Enemies introduced in DD1’s Eternia Shards DLC do not yet exist in DDA. This includes spiders, djinn, sharken, and goblin copters. Harbingers, an enemy originally introduced in DDE and ported by the CDT, do not yet exist in DDA either.

There are currently no bosses in DDA, not even the demon lord, goblin mech, or dragon included in the original campaign. Chromatic has bosses on the roadmap to include before full release.

Visuals and Artstyle

The following images are a comparison between the taverns in DD1 and DDA. Both images use the highest graphics options available at 1280×720. Note that DDA follows a distinct colorful artstyle that resembles DD2 more than DD1.


While WASD + mouse is the same, most controls in DDA are different. Those who play Dungeon Defenders 2 might find DDA’s controls more familiar.

  • Press ‘1’ to heal in DD1. Hold ‘X’ to heal in DDA.
  • Press ‘2’ to use ability 1 in DD1. Press ‘F’ to use your skill in DDA.
  • Press ‘3’ to use ability 2 in DD1. Press ‘C’ to use your boost in DDA.
  • Press ‘4’ to repair in DD1. Press ‘R’ to repair in DDA.
  • Press ‘5’ to upgrade in DD1. Press ‘Q’ to upgrade in DDA.
  • Summon towers using ‘6’ through ‘0’ in DD1. Summon towers using ‘1’ through ‘5’ in DDA.
  • Selling is not mapped to a hotkey in DD1. Press ‘Z’ to sell towers in DDA.
  • Press ‘Q’ to check out how awesome you look in DD1. You cannot rotate the camera to view yourself in DDA.
  • Press ‘Tab’ to chat in DD1. Press ‘Enter’ to chat in DDA.

It is also worth noting that DDA introduces different behaviors when holding a button down. For example, you must hold ‘G’ for about a second to ready up (instead of just pressing it). You can also save yourself a mouse click by holding ‘Q’ to upgrade the targeted tower, or holding ‘R’ to repair the targeted tower.


I hope this guide has served some value to you! Some notes about comments:

If I missed any major changes you think should be added or if an update makes any part of this guide inaccurate, definitely leave a comment and I’ll update it!

If you’re here to rant on how much better or worse one DD title is over another, be forewarned that I will not hesitate to delete it. You are 100% entitled to your opinion, and I’m sure lots of people share your sentiment! However, take your rant to the forums, as I would like to keep comments here constructive and on-topic.

I wish you all the best in your Etherian endeavors!

by gigazelle

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One comment

  1. Hey! just wanted to make a few notes on the latest updates on DDA.

    Regarding Enemies:
    They have now added the first boss, The Demon lord, to the Alchemical Labs. And a few DLC enemies from DD1 have been added as well. This includes: Spiders, Sharken, Djinn, and Goblin Copter.

    Regarding Challenges:
    They have now included challenge maps. Only 2 challenge maps have been added, along with a bonus map.

    Regarding Online/Offline play:
    From the latest patch notes the devs said that they added offline play support. Although I have not experimented with it yet, from my experience it goes a bit like this. As soon as you log in, you go to an offline tavern and from there you can choose to join lobbies from the crystal.

    Regarding Balancing:
    Balances have been made to Heroes, Gear, Pets, and enemies.

    I’ll go ahead and link the update notice at the end of this post. I enjoy the article you have hosted here and I enjoy the unbiased comparison between DDA and previous DD games. Keep up the great work. Hope to see you crushing dungeons in the future!

    HERES THE PATCH NOTES: https://steamcommunity.com/games/1101190/announcements/detail/2067656730716677415

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