Affiliation is an essential mechanic. Darkest Dungeon IItaking the torch from the first game and iterating on its premise, there have been numerous tweaks and balancing touches throughout the game’s Early Access period, and The Void Between Us update is shaking things up once again.

If you’ve been away from the game for a while and you’re curious about how the punishing RPG is doing right now, now is the perfect time to return. This guide takes a look at how affiliation works in Darkest Dungeon II after the January 2023 update, and everything you need to keep in mind before embarking on this crazy journey.

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Darkest Dungeon II Affinity Explained – How Does Affinity Work?

Relationships is a scale-based points mechanic that ties directly into the relationship aspect of Darkest Dungeon II. Each pair of characters has an Affinity scale from 0 to 20 points (which you can view at any point by opening the character screen and selecting the left tab). While they all start in a neutral state, Affinity points are gained or lost. will tip the scale toward a negative or positive relationship..

Below are all commitment levels, although keep in mind that they are subject to change during the Early Access period:

  • 1-4 very unfriendly: Negative correlation (65%)
  • 5-8 unfriendly: Negative correlation (33%)
  • 9-13 neutral: Negative relationship (5%) – Positive relationship (5%)
  • 14-16 friendly: Positive relationship (33%)
  • 17-19 Very friendly: Positive relationship (65%)
You can always see all affinity levels in the Relationships tab of your character's screens.
You can always see all affinity levels in the Relationships tab of your character’s screens.

Now, as with many other aspects of Darkest Dungeon II, affiliation can be quite uncertain. There is a chance element involved, which means there is no list of steps to follow to gain or lose points. As you travel on your bandwagon, your characters are bound to talk to each other randomly, saying things both positive and negative to each other. This, along with your actions before and during the fight, can tip the scale either way.

Thankfully, The Void Between Us update aims to make the process easier. All random after-the-fact gains or losses to Affinity during combat have been removed. Now, actions that might negatively affect a character’s affinity level, the change is telegraphed via an icon on said hero. This mostly happens during combat, but you can also see the telegraph result when your party is interacting with NPCs or about to start an encounter. Depending on what you choose, you will see gold and blue colors on the heroes that will be affected. The exact number is random, but it’s very helpful either way.

In this example, following Dismas' choice to flee the confrontation will negatively affect the Plague Doctor's and Man-at-Arms' relationship level.
In this example, following Dismas’ choice to flee the confrontation will negatively affect the Plague Doctor’s and Man-at-Arms’ relationship level.

The Darkest Dungeon II affinity system may seem like another value to keep an eye on, but considering how important relationships are in the game, you shouldn’t overlook it. Of course, the stress meter is also important, as well as quirks and other debuffs your heroes may receive during their journey. If you’re looking for some extra help, our Darkest Dungeon II Beginners Guide and descriptors How to beat the Daniel Brain boss. can provide the assistance you need.

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