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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Berserkers are hardy warriors who worship Trog the Wrathful, from whom they get the power to go berserk (as well as a number of other powers, should they prove worthy), but who forbids the use of spell magic. They enter the Dungeon with a weapon of their choice, and dressed in animal skins.

Berserkers are savage warriors who worship Trog the Wrathful. Like other gods, Trog offers further powers and gifts to those who prove worthy. Berserkers can thus be seen as a kind of holy warrior, albeit of a faith that values carnage for its own sake rather than a devotion to good (or evil, for that matter). They are forbidden to learn or use spells.

Berserkers start with 35 piety, giving them immediate access to the berserk ability from turn 1.

Preferred Species

Hill Orc, Minotaur, Merfolk, Gargoyle, Armataur, and Oni are the recommended races if you pick a Berserker background.

Racial Restrictions

Demigods may not become Berserkers (or any other religious background).

While Formicids, Ghouls, and Mummies are not banned from being Berserkers, they cannot go berserk, robbing them of one of this background's main benefits. Vampires also face difficulty as Berserkers, as they cannot go berserk if they are bloodless.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Berserker adds 9 to your starting Strength, and 4 to your starting Dexterity, but reduces your starting Intelligence by 1.


Immediate access to Trog's berserk ability makes berserker one of the strongest backgrounds in the game, as long as you are careful with when you berserk.

Ironically, Berserkers actually need to be played with more restraint than other warrior backgrounds. With their berserk ability, they may seem much more powerful than plain old Fighters, but many a careless Berserker has perished because they ran out of rage (and got exhausted) while still surrounded by enemies. Remember that Trog may extend your berserk rage with every kill - when fighting a really tough monster, it may be worth sparing a turn whacking a weak monster next to it. Once you score enough piety to summon allies, they too can block for you if you get caught exhausted.

Novice players might want to pick Troll for species, as they have claws, high HP, and regeneration, which makes them more forgiving to new players. More advanced players may prefer other species; they will have to go berserk more carefully, but (unlike Trolls) will have the aptitudes to make the most of Trog's weapon gifts.


  • Berserkers were unchanged in 0.29, where most other backgrounds got buffed.
  • Prior to 0.14, Berserkers started with 20 gold.

For additional context on Berserker's gameplay changes, see Trog's History section.

Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterBrigand
Zealots BerserkerChaos KnightCinder Acolyte
Warrior-mages WarperHexslingerEnchanterReaver
Mages Hedge WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistAlchemist
Adventurers ArtificerShapeshifterWandererDelver