Artifacts are unlockable modifiers in Risk of Rain 2 that alter how the game plays out. Unlike most items though, you choose which artifacts you want to use at the start of the game, and they last until the end of your run. However, the majority of artifracts add challenging modifiers and make the game more difficult. Or, at the very least, they have heavy downsides.
However, there is one artifact that makes a Risk of Rain run much, much easier: The Artifact of Command.
Choose your items!
The Artifact of Command is quite simple. When you get an item, whether from a chest or a boss or whatever, you get a glowing pod instead. It’ll be of one of the five colour rarities. Activating it will give you a menu and you can choose which item to get.
This applies to pretty much all items in the game. You pick whatever you want. This automatically translates to an easy way to build a game-winning inventory. Rather than opening chests and hoping you get a Soldier’s Syringe, you can open any chest and pick all the Soldier’s Syringes you want.
Of course, being able to pick an item rather than relying on RNG means you can build optimally. If you have the skill and know what items you need, then you’re basically guaranteed a win.
Is it too easy?
The question is, however, does the Command artifact make a Risk of Rain run too easy? After all, you can avoid items you don’t like. That Personal Shield Generator or Bustling Fungus doesn’t get left behind, it just never gets picked in the first place. And you can grab all the core items you need, giving you a stronger foundation to win a run.
The Artifact of Command also allows you to more easily experiment. Why hope you can do an all-shields build when you can just buy tons of Personal Shield Generators and go ham? And, of course, getting achievements like “pick up 12 Crowbars as Huntress” are a lot easier too. Then again, that specific achievement isn’t too bad, since Scrappers and 3D Printers exist.
I will admit that relying on the Command Artifact can be a crutch, but it’s also a good learning tool and a bit of fun. Maybe using the Artifact of Command does make things a bit too easy. But it is completely optional. You have to select it before you start., Once your run ends, you can turn the artifact off again. Or you could just never unlock the Artifact of Command in the first place, if you’re really bothered about it.
There’s also the fact that you need to unlock the Artifact first. And doing so isn’t easy if you’re going in blind. To unlock any artifact, you have to find the secret lab on Sky Meadow, put in a combination on a panel and activate a portal to Bulwark’s Ambry. Once you’re there, you have to fight waves of enemies and pick up fragments to defeat the Artifact Reliquary. Doing so forces you to loop, and the lack of space to stand on can make the fight difficult.
At the end of the day, yes, being able to pick your items does make Risk of Rain 2 easier. Even if there’s a small downside of being at risk of death while you pick your item. But you can easily add or remove difficulty as you please, and you can combine the Command artifact with other ones too.
But also, sometimes, I just want to have an easy run, and win for once.