Dragon’s Dogma 2: Thief's guide, tips, tricks, and skill list

Dragon's Dogma 2 in-game screenshot
(Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

The vast world of Capcom’s action-RPG, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is rife with a plethora of character classes (known in-game as Vocations) which allow players to experience all kinds of unique gameplay styles. These can range from overpowering opponents with a giant greatsword as the Warrior Vocation, calling down meteors as a Sorcerer, confusing enemies with illusions as the Trickster, and many more.

You can check out our Vocation guide to learn all of the different options, but one of my personal favorite Vocations is the Thief — a fast and agile character class where the user dashes into the fray, dodging enemy attacks with ease and sinking their daggers into an enemy’s weak spots. The Thief also has a ton of useful utility abilities to help out the party such as rope darts to bring flying enemies down from the sky, smokescreens to confuse enemies, or the ability to steal items from an enemy.

That being said, the Thief Vocation has a lot of complicated gameplay quirks and mechanics to learn in order for players to effectively use it in battle. So, we have prepared this handy Dragon’s Dogma 2 Thief tips and tricks guide, which goes over how to play the Thief Vocation efficiently, how to unlock it, where you can find its most powerful skills, what character builds you can create to make it stronger, and more.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Thief Guide: How to unlock the Thief Vocation

Use the Thief's Enkindled Blades skill to set enemies ablaze. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

The Thief Vocation is available to you at the start of the game when you create your character (known in-game as the Arisen). Both your Pawn and the Arisen can be a Thief. What's more, there are no pre-requisite conditions or quests you have to complete to unlock it.

In addition, if you were playing another Vocation when you started your playthrough and want to play Thief instead, you can switch Vocations at a Vocations Guild in a town. Their location is designated by a shield emblem icon on the map.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Thief Guide: What is the Thief Vocation and how do you play it

Bath in the blood of your enemies by dashing behind them to carve out their hearts. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)
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The Thief is a melee-based Vocation that fights with a pair of daggers and can only equip light to medium-type armor like cloth or leather. It is a speedy class whose move-set involves consuming a lot of stamina to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid attacks, unleashing a flurry of combo attacks, and sneaking behind enemies to stab them in the back.

This class also specializes in climbing onto large monsters and allowing players to use their daggers to stab a monster’s weak spots so they can deal massive damage. However, the Thief Vocation has very little physical defense stats due to limited armor options. In other words, if you get hit, you could potentially die in a few hits, especially from strikes by larger enemies.

My advice when playing Thief for the first time is to employ hit-and-run tactics. Let your party of Pawns draw an enemy’s attention, then sneak up behind them to lay into them with your daggers. If one of your Pawns is using the Thief Vocation, it is imperative you attract the enemy’s attention so that your party member is free to attack your quarry’s blindspots.

Of course, there are more advanced ways to utilize the Thief Vocation but we will get to that in due course.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Thief Guide: The Thief’s full Skills and Augments lists

Use Twin Fangs on flinched foes to pin them to the ground. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

The following lists include every Weapon Skill, Core Skill and Augment which the Thief is capable of learning naturally as you level up its Vocation Rankings.

Weapon Skills list

Weapon Skills are active skills that will allow a player or Pawn to perform special attacks with the push of a button. Some Weapon Skills are permanent additions to a Vocation’s move-set while others are learned by leveling up a Vocation’s Rankings or by reading Skill Scrolls given to you by Vocation Maisters. The learnable Weapon Skills can be swapped around to customize your playstyle.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Name and Dcp cost to unlockDescriptionHow to activate
Carve (Free)The Thief’s regular light attack which slices opponents with quick dagger strikes that consume no Stamina. Press the X button to activate.
Twin Fangs (Free)The Thief’s heavy attack which has the player plunge their daggers into an enemy’s hide. If you land this move while an enemy is knocked off balance, has fallen to the ground or is unaware of your presence, you can activate Twin Fangs again to follow-up with another attack where you gut your enemy like a fish. Press the Y button to activate. If you press and hold the Y button while an enemy has been knocked off balance, you can pin them to the ground, leaving them vulnerable for your teammates to finish them off. In addition, if you jump towards a large monster and hold the Y button, you can use the Twin Fangs attack to stab the monster and climb onto their body by using your daggers like mountain climbing picks to cling onto them.
Swift Step (Free)The Swift Step is an evasive manoeuvre where you perform a quick dash. This move has a few split-seconds of Invincibility Frames (I-Frames for short) where you will briefly be invincible during the move’s animation – allowing you to avoid taking damage. This move can also be used to close the distance on enemies who like to run around a lot or quickly get behind enemies to stab them in the back. Press the Right Trigger to activate.
Biting Wind (Free)Dashes past the target with blades extended. Followed by further slashes when using the same attack on contact. Press the assigned button to activate. Press it again to unleash the attack.
Cutting Wind (1,000 Dcp)An advanced form of Biting Wind that has an extended attack range.Press the assigned button to activate. Press it again to unleash the attack.
Enkindled Blades (200 Dcp)Brings the dagger together to ignite, wreathing them in flame for a short time. Can also be employed while clinging to or pinning down a foe. Press the assigned button.
Ignited Blades (1,000 Dcp)An Advanced version of Enkindled Blades, wreathing them in flame for a short time. Can also be employed while clinging to or pinning down a foe. Press the assigned button.
Shadow Clock (200 Dcp)Enables the user to blend into their surroundings, rendering them more difficult for hostile targets to detect. Less effective when attacking or dashing. Consumes Stamina while active. Press the assigned button to activate. Press it again to cancel the effect.
Shadow Veil (1,300 Dcp)An advanced form of Shadow Cloak that renders the user even more difficult for hostile targets to detect at a decreased cost to Stamina. Press the assigned button to activate. Press it again to cancel the effect.
Helm Splitter (300 Dcp)Leaps up, then dives through the air while spinning, blades extended. More powerful when performed from high places. Also employable in mid-air. Press the assigned button.
Skull Splitter (1,300 Dcp)An advanced form of Helm Splitter that employs a faster spin to deliver a greater number of slashes during the spinning dive. Press the assigned button.
Powder Charge (300 Dcp)Places an explosive on the ground at the user’s feet that can be detonated from afar at a moment of their choosing. Can also be employed while clinging to or pinning down a foe. Press the assigned button to set the explosive. Press it again to detonate.
Powder Blast (1,600 Dcp)An advanced form of Powder Charge that plants a more powerful explosive with a greater effective range. Can also be employed while clinging to or pinning down a foe. Press the assigned button to set the explosive. Press it again to detonate.
Concussive Step (450 Dcp)Uses an explosive blast to withdraw from the point of detonation. The blast may cause lightweight targets to flinch. Also employable in mid-air. Press the assigned button. Change direction of movement with the left analog stick. Will launch upward if no direction selected.
Concussive Leap (1,600 Dcp)An advanced form of Concussive Leap that consumes less Stamina and is more likely to cause targets to flinch. Press the assigned button. Change direction of movement with the left analog stick. Will launch upward if no direction selected.
Ensnare (450 Dcp)Casts out cords to snare targets and tug on them. Pulls smaller targets closer, and topples larger targets that have been knocked off balance. Press the assigned button.
Implicate (2,000 Dcp)An advanced form of Ensnare that allows the user to pull targets with greater force. Press the assigned button.
Smoke Screen (700 Dcp)Throws a smoke bomb that blinds nearby targets. Useful for creating chaos when counterattacking or withdrawing. Can also be employed while clinging to or pinning down a foe, or in mid-air. Press the assigned button.
Smoke Shroud (2,000 Dcp)An advanced form of Smoke Screen with an extended smoke radius and a longer-lasting effect. Press the assigned button.
Pilfer (1,100 Dcp)Allows the user to rob targets that have been knocked off balance and targets not in battle stance of a curative or other item. Can only rob larger targets while they are downed. Press the assigned button.
Plunder (2,500 Dcp)An advanced form of Pilfer that increases the likelihood of stealing a rare item. Press the assigned button.
Gut and Run (1,800 Dcp)Cruelly stabs and gouges the target before drawing back. A fearsomely powerful skill, employable only while clinging to or pinning down a target. Inflicts greater harm on a foe’s weak point. Press the assigned button while clinging to or pinning down a foe.
Draw and Quarter (2,500 Dcp)An advanced form of Gut and Run that inflicts greater harm when withdrawing. Press the assigned button while clinging to or pinning down a foe.
Easy Kill (2,500 Dcp)Darts the target after parrying their attack, then slits their throat. Press the assigned button when attacked by target.
Masterful Kill (3,000 Dcp)An advanced form of Easy Kill that can be employed in mid-air. Press the assigned button when attacked by target.
Blades of the Pyre (Skill Scroll)Brings the daggers together to ignite, wreathing them in a blazing inferno so potent that the user cannot escape being burned. Press the assigned button to activate.
Formless Feint (Skill Scroll)Accelerates the user’s reactions to an ungodly degree, enabling them to evade all manner of attacks from hostile targets. Consumes Stamina while active. Press the assigned button to activate. Press it again to cancel.

Core Skills list

Core Skills are special traits that augment existing moves or allow a player to perform unique actions.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Name and Dep cost to unlockDescriptionHow to activate
Scarlet Kisses (150 Dcp)Unleashes a flurry of forward slashes. Tap the X button repeatedly.
Controlled Fall (250 Dcp)Tucks the body into a tight roll when hitting the ground after being knocked down, allowing the user to swiftly regain their feet. Reduces damage taken upon impact. When knocked down, press the A button the instant you make content with the ground.
Bump and Lift (400 Dcp)Robs the target of an item when an attack connects. Activates when using Carve, but has a low success rate. Has a chance of activating automatically when using Carve.
Footpad (600 Dcp)Kicks off a wall, allowing the user to launch themselves a great distance. Jump toward a wall, then, while making contact with it, use the left analog stick to determine the direction of the jump and press the A button.

Augments list

Augments are passive abilities that can enhance a character’s stats. In addition, once a character has acquired an Augment, they will be able to equip it even when playing as different Vocations.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Name and Dcp cost to unlockDescription
Subtlety (300 Dcp)Decreases the likelihood of being targeted by foes.
Gratification (900 Dcp)Slightly restores Health when you deliver the killing blow to a foe.
Poise (1,800 Dcp)Reduces the Stamina consumed when struggling in a foe's grip.
Vigor (3,000 Dcp)Reduces the Stamina consumed when clinging to or pinning down foes.
Verve (5,000 Dcp)Augments Strength.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Thief Guide: Where to find the most powerful Skills

Seek out Flaude the Thief Maister to teach one of the most powerful skills in the Thief's arsenal. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

For the most part, your Weapon, Core, and Augment skills can be learned simply by leveling up your Vocation Ranking and spending Discipline Points to unlock them (which are acquired by defeating enemies). However, there are a couple of skills hidden deep within the game that grant the Thief Vocation its most powerful abilities – Formless Feint and Blades of the Pyre.

These two weapons skills can only be learned via Skill Scrolls that can be acquired during the Nameless Village sidequest During the quest, you encounter Flaude the Thief Maister who will bestow upon you the Skill Scroll for the Blades of the Pyre skill if you or your Main Pawn happen to have a Thief Vocation Ranking Level of 8 or higher. You can take a look at our The Nameless Village walkthrough for additional assistance. 

Later on, after locating the Thieves Guild hideout behind the Nameless Village’s manor house and overcoming a series of platforming trials, the Thieves Guild's leader, Srail, will hand you a scroll that will teach you the Formless Feint skill if again, you or your Main Pawn has a Ranking level of 8 or higher as a Thief. These skills are worth the hassle of tracking them down as they can utterly annihilate even the toughest enemies when used correctly. 

Dragon's Dogma 2 Thief Guide: Best Thief character builds

Use the Ensnare/Implicate skill to pull foes off their feet or bring aerial enemies crashing to the ground. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

When it comes to creating the best Thief character build, I personally recommend a mixture of utility, defense, and offensive skills. The best early Weapon Skills to use for the majority of playtime are: Ensnare/Implicate, Biting Wind/Cutting Wind, Powder Charge/Powder Blast, and Enkindled Blades/Ignite Blades.

Best early-game Thief Weapon Skills

Biting Wind/Cutting Wind is a useful charge attack that will get you close to enemies in the blink of an eye to stab them in the gut. If there are multiple enemies around, you can spam the Weapon Skill to dash between them and slice them apart. This move can also be used as a useful escape tool to avoid big area-clearing attacks as the Biting Wind/Cutting Wind has a greater dash distance than Swift Step.

Powder Charge/Powder Blast is a good crowd-control attack that can take out groups of enemies, sending them flying in all directions with explosions. Plus, it can be used to shatter the armored hides of tough monsters if you can plant the explosives on their bodies while clinging onto them.

Ensnare/Implicate is an invaluable utility Weapon Skill I use to drag flying enemies like Harpies to the ground or drag fast-moving enemies to my party so they can beat them down. Once fully upgraded, it can be used to even pull larger foes like the Cyclops to the ground if they’re off balance.

Enkindled Blades/Ignite Blades is another useful skill that has helped me immensely during my playthrough as a lot of enemies are vulnerable to fire damage. For example, attacking a Griffin’s wings while coating my daggers with flames will cause them to set on fire and prevent the Griffin from flying for a good while.

Best later game Thief Weapon Skills

Use the Powder Charge/Powder Blast skill to blow up an enemy's armor and pierce the rocky hides of Golems. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

Once you acquire the aforementioned Weapon Skill scrolls from the Nameless Village Quest, replace Biting Wind/Cutting Wind with Formless Feint and also replace Enkindled Blades/Ignite Blades with Blades of the Pyre.

Formless Feint is an immensely strong defensive Weapon Skill that will allow you to automatically dodge all physical attacks, magic attacks, and grab attacks while it is active. The downside of Formless Feint is that it doesn’t allow you to dodge area-of-effect status effect spells which gradually build over time like a Harpy’s singing which puts players and Pawns to sleep. Plus, Formless Feint consumes a lot of Stamina while it is active.

However, these small drawbacks are completely negligible considering that Formless Feint essentially allows you to automatically avoid nearly every attack. As such, you need to mitigate the Stamina drain by equipping gear that boosts your maximum Stamina gauge like the Rings of Tenacity. You should also keep your weight as low as possible to reduce Stamina loss when performing special actions.

Once you have mastered the Thief Vocation, not even Dragons will be able to stop you. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

As for replacing Enkindled Blades/Ignite Blades with Blades of the Pyre the reasoning is simple. Blades of the Pyre pretty much does the same thing as Enkindled Blades/Ignite Blades but with the addition of causing an area-of-effect explosion when activated, blowing up nearby enemies. 

The drawback of blowing yourself up while activating Blades of the Pyre sounds like a dealbreaker, but you can avoid this if you activate Formless Feint before activating Blades of the Pyre. Formless Feint will allow you to automatically dodge Blades of the Pyre’s explosions so you can reap the benefits without harming yourself.

Best Thief Augments

The majority of the Thief’s Augments are very useful for the Vocation like Subtlety to avoid enemy attention and Verge to increase the Strength of my attacks. However, I recommend you pick up a couple of Augments from the Fighter Vocation as some of them synergize with the Thief Vocation. These include Thew, which increases your weight capacity so can you equip heavier gear without weighing you down, and Mettle to raise your Defense stat for extra survivability in case you get hit by a devastating attack.

My personal recommendations for Best Thief Augments are:

  • Mettle (from Fighter): For extra defense stats.
  • Thew (from Fighter): For increased weight capacity.
  • Verve (from Thief): For increased Strength stats.
  • Vigor (from Thief): To reduce Stamina when clinging onto monsters or pinning down enemies so I can stab them for longer.
  • Subtlety (from Thief): To reduce an enemy’s attention on me.
  • Gratification (from Thief): Recover small amounts of health when killing enemies. 
  • Poise (from Thief): if you’re fighting a large enemy instead of fighting groups of weak enemies in which you can regain your health by killing them, I recommend swapping out Gratification with Poise. This skill will help you escape while being grabbed by large enemies by reducing the amount of Stamina lost when using the Spring button to break free.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Thief Guide: Best team compsition

Having a Fighter to draw attention away from a Thief will help them survive longer and kill enemies faster. (Image credit: Windows Central / Capcom)

When it comes to party compositions, I recommend you have a party member who can draw aggro away from the player/Pawn Thief as they are fragile combatants. The best Vocation for this job would be the Fighter as their Shield Summons skill can grab the enemy’s attention away from the Pawn Thief, leaving them safe to attack your foes.

Having a healing Mage on hand to restore the Pawn Thief’s health in case they get hit is always a good option. 

Another Vocation that would be ideal for drawing attention away from the Pawn Thief is the Trickster Vocation as their illusions can blind an enemy’s senses, leaving them vulnerable to being stabbed in the back by your Pawn.

Strike the shadows and slay your foes, Arisen

With that, we come to the end of our tips, tricks, and skill lists guide on how to play as the Thief Vocation in Dragon’s Dogma 2. With the lessons you have learned here, you will become a master Thief in no time, stealthily dispatching the deadliest monsters and dragons before they see you coming in one of the best Xbox games as well as one of the best PC games of 2024. 

If you wish to learn more about why we think this game is already a top contender for game of the year, check out our glowing review of Dragon's Dogma 2 and see why.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is now available for purchase on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam after releasing on March 22, 2024.

Dragon's Dogma 2

Dragon's Dogma 2

An ancient dragon has once again taken flight to bathe the world in terror and flame. Become the Arisen and raise an army of Pawns to save the world from this nefarious dragon in the long-awaited Dragon's Dogma 2.

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Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!