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Best Bard Builds In Dark and Darker: A Guide To Perks and Songs

A guide to the best Bard builds in Dark and Darker.
Best Bard Builds In Dark and Darker: A Guide To Perks and Songs

Dark and Darker offers an exciting twist on the extraction battle royale formula in which you have to escape a dark fantasy dungeon. While the game is no longer available on Steam, it has developed something of a cult following for its challenging PvPvE combat and addictive gameplay loop. Core to the gameplay system of Dark and Darker is its class system. There are currently 8 classes to choose from, and this choice really shapes how you play. It impacts your character stats, what weapons you can equip, and your secondary abilities. This guide will focus on the Bard, providing you with advice on how to craft the best Bard build.

Note - Dark and Darker Patch 2 was released on November 22 and all eight classes have had their base attributes rebalanced to include two new attributes (Vigor & Dexterity). We'll update this build guide shortly to relfect any changes.

Bard Class Overview

The Bard is a magic-user class with a difference: its musical-based spells are done through a rhythm mini-game. While this adds an extra level of complexity to gameplay, their varied repertoire allows them to offer lots to a party from damage dealing, healing, buffing, and debuffing. 

This class boasts the highest Strength and Agility stat of all the magic users but the lowest Will stat, resulting in a slightly lessened magic resistance and spell power/duration. The way to get the most out of this class is to get acclimated to performing songs with perfect accuracy, as the effectiveness of the Bard's spells is calculated in relation to a Poor/Good/Perfect result.

All Bard Perks

Perks passively buff your character. You can change the perks in your loadout in the ‘class’ tab. At Level 0, you only have access to one perk slot but when you hit Level 5, 15, and 20 you unlock extra slots. 


Charismatic Performance

Upgrades a ‘good’ performance to a ‘perfect’ performance.


Dancing Feet

Increase your move speed by 10 when holding an instrument.


Jolly Time

Drinking ale heals 5 HP and get 10 movement speed boost when drunk.


Lore Mastery

A high level of understanding increases interaction speed of all types by 25%.


Melodic Protection

While playing, the caster’s physical damage reduction bonus is increased by 15%.


Rapier Mastery

When using a rapier, weapon damage increases by 3 and action speed increases by 5%.


Reinforced Instruments

50% increased weapon damage bonus when attacking with a musical instrument.


Story Teller

Give all party members around a +3 will and knowledge buff.


Superior Dexterity

50% faster switching time when switching between weapons/utility items.


Wanderer’s Luck

Increases the chance of finding high quality items when opening treasures chests.


War Song

If the performance is successful, increases nearby allies’ weapon attack power by 3 for 6 seconds.

All Bard Skills

Skills are active for a set duration, and can be prompted by pressing ‘Q’ or ‘E’. The Bard’s skills are somewhat unique in that they can be used to store other abilities called Sheet Music.



Creates an unpleasant noise that stops nearby hostile targets from casting spells for 3 seconds.



The next song is automatically played to the end without any input and is sure to succeed. 


Music Memory

Can store up to 5 sheet music.


Music Memory 2

Can store up to 5 sheet music.

All Bard Sheet Music

Sheet Music serves the same function as spells. As mentioned above, you will need to make sure you have at least one Music Memory Skill equipped in order to perform sheet music.



Rousing Rhythms

Increases all stats of nearby allies by 1/2/3 for 30 seconds.



Din of Darkness 

Does dark magic damage to all enemies in an area around the performer. The amount of damage per beat is based on the quality of the played music. 1 / 3 / 5.



Beats of Alacrity

Grants 25 movement speed for 30 / 60 / 120 seconds. Song does not stack on itself.




Gradually increases the action speed and spell casting speed of you and nearby allies for 8 seconds based on your performance. 3 per second / 5 per second / 7 per second. Up to 3 stack. 




Gradually increase the movement speed of you and nearby allies for 8 seconds based on your performance. 5 per second / 8 per second / 11 per second. Up to 3 stack.



Unchained Harmony

Unlock and open all nearby doors/containers. It does not work for doors that require a special key. 



Shriek of Weakness

Lowers opponent’s physical power bonus by 3 / 4 / 5 and armor rating by 10 / 25 / 40 for 18 seconds.



Piercing Shrill

Does 15 / 20 / 25 physical damage to a target and cause the echo sound effect on the affected target for 3 seconds if the target is a player.



Banshee’s Howl

Reduces all stats of nearby enemies by 1 / 2 / 3 for 20 seconds. Does not apply to boss or sub-boss monsters.



Song of Silence

Intercepts all enemy spells and prevents the caster from casting magic for 2 / 4 / 6 seconds. Does not apply to boss or sub-boss monsters. 




All nearby players and monsters temporarily lose their will to fight when enchanted by the channeling section of the song.



Lament of Langour

Reduces the movement speed of all enemy targets by 20 in an AOE for 6 seconds.



Chaotic Discord

Excites nearby monsters to attack the nearest target except the performer.



Aria of Alacrity

Grants 15% to action speed for 30 / 60 / 120 seconds. Song does not stack on itself.




Gradually restores the recoverable health of you and nearby allies based on your performance. 8 HP for 4 seconds / 16 HP for 8 seconds / 24 HP for 12 seconds.



Song of Shadow

Turn self and all nearby invisible for 15 / 25 / 35 seconds. Invisibility breaks upon movement.



Harmonic Shield

Grants a shield that lasts for 60 / 90 / 120 seconds that gives 40 armor rating and 40 magic resist to self and nearby allies.



Chorale of Clarity

Restores the spell memory of all nearby allies for 8 / 16 / 24 seconds, 2 per second.



Ballad of Courage

Grants 10 to physical power bonus for 30 / 60 / 120 seconds. Song does not stack on itself.

The Best Bard Builds In Dark and Darker

Beginner Bard Build

There’s no shame in playing a little off-key, you’re still learning.

Recommended loadout: Work on getting upgraded versions of your instruments. 

Recommended perks: Superior Dexerity is a pretty essential perk for any bard and it's worth its place in your single perk slot. It streamlines the change between instruments and from instruments to melee weapons. 

Recommended skills: Equip Encore to secure yourself a freebie perfert performance.This does mean you'll only have one Musical Memory, but five sets of Sheet Music is still plenty to get to grips with for a beginner. Choose Tranquility, Harmonic Shield, Shriek of Weakness, Accelerando, Unchained Harmony, Piercing Shrill.

Support Bard Build

Music is medicine: with this build, you’ll keep yourself and your allies safe and healthy.

Recommended loadout: A Rapier is an easy choice for a Bard that needs an additional melee option. 

Recommended perks: Try Melodic Protection, Superior Dexerity, Story Teller, and Wanderer's Luck. This selection includes two ever-useful Bard perks (SD and WL), a heavy duty protective perk, and a will/knowledge buff. 

Recommended skills: Load up both slots of Musical Memory with Harmonic Shield, Song of Shadow, Tranquility, Beats of Alacrity, Unchained Harmony, Rousing Rhythms, Aria of Alacrity, Song of Silence, Peacemaking, and Allegro. 

Beastly Bard Build

This build is heavy metal, this build is punk rock, this build is aggressive. 

Recommended loadout: The Falchion sword packs a serious punch. Meanwhile the Regal Gambeson is the most protective armor a Bard can have.

Recommended perks: Again, you'll need Superior Dexerity to allow you to quickly swap your battle approach. Add Reinforced Instruments, War Song, and Wanderer's Luck to complete your perk loadout.

Recommended skills: Take two Musical Memories with the following Sheet Music: Lament of Langour, Chaotic Discord, Banshee’s Howl, Piercing Shrill, Din of Darkness, Allegro, Shriek of Weakness, Beats of Alacrity, Song of Silence, and Ballad of Courage.