Risk of Rain 2 Skills 2.0 update adds the Loader plus new skills and skins for all Survivors

(Image credit: Hopoo Games)

Surprise! The long-awaited Risk of Rain 2 Skills 2.0 update is out today on Steam Early Access (and coming to consoles this winter), and like Scorched Acres before it, it's a doozy. It's bringing another playable Survivor called the Loader, a new stage and boss, and new skills and skins for all eight Survivors. 

The Loader is another returning Survivor from the original Risk of Rain, but he's received a considerable overhaul for Risk of Rain 2. Here's a quick look at his new abilities:

  • Passive - Scrap Barrier: the Loader is immune to fall damage. Striking enemies with the Loader's gauntlets grants a temporary barrier. 
  • Primary fire - Knuckleboom: swing at nearby enemies for 320% damage.
  • Secondary fire - Grapple Fist: fire your gauntlet forward, pulling you to the target. This works on enemies and the environment.
  • Utility - Charged Gauntlet: charge up a massive punch for 600 - 2700% damage that sends you flying forward. Deals significantly more damage the faster you are moving. 
  • Special - M551 Pylon: throw a floating pylon that zaps up to six nearby enemies for 100% damage. Can be grappled. 

To unlock the Loader, you need only defeat the unique boss of the new area Siren's Call. So, just play until you roll Siren's Call and be sure to clear it. Check out our Risk of Rain 2 character unlock guide for tips on acquiring all the other Survivors. 

This is the Skills 2.0 update, after all, so the new skills are the highlight. As developer Hopoo Games explains, "each Survivor has a new set of Survivor-specific challenges that, once completed, unlock new individual skills or skins for that respective Survivor." The studio also says that new skills and skins will be added in the future, so expect more challenges down the line.

We've played a bit of Skills 2.0 ourselves, and it seems each Survivor received two to four skill challenges, including the Loader. Here are some of the Challenges we've seen thus far, just to give you an example of what they ask of you (we'll have a proper Risk of Rain 2 Challenges guide for you soon!): 

  • As Huntress, start and finish Rallypoint Delta without falling below 100% health.
  • As Engineer, recruit 12 minions at one time. 
  • As Artificer, kill 15 enemies before touching the ground. 
  • As Mercenary, don't touch the ground for 30 seconds. 
  • As Rex, complete an entire teleporter event while under 50% health. 

An alternate skin for the Huntress.

An alternate skin for the Huntress. (Image credit: Hopoo Games)

As you can see, a lot of challenges have strange and specific restrictions like being at low health, or full health, or never touching the ground. These restrictions ought to push some often overlooked items into the limelight, especially Lunar items, as they'll make completing certain challenges much easier (you can find out how to unlock all the Risk of Rain 2 items in our guide). This can lead to some wild builds and item combos, some of which you may find powerful enough to bring into your normal loadouts. Completing these challenges is tough fun and adds yet more replayability to an already bottomless game, which is impressive to see. 

Risk of Rain 2 continues to be one of the best indie games of 2019. For more info, check out our Risk of Rain 2 challenges guide!

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.