Rift Nightmare Rift Guide

Rift Nightmare Rift Guide by Gamdol

So I thought I’d put together a little (this is a lie) guide to help inform people about Nightmare Rift powerups, and my opinions on how to maximize their usefulness. So first, a brief introduction to powerups.

Powerups usage is the single most important thing that will get you and your group to later stages of Nightmare Rifts. Getting out of all the red and turning from all the shields won’t matter at all if you can’t do insane amounts of raid damage later on, and the only way to get there is via powerups. There are a few rules to powerups:

1) You cap out at 4 available powerups in a Nightmare Rift 2) Every stage you complete with a bonus will add one powerup to the Nightmare Rift, assuming you are below cap 3) The awarded powerups can override the ‘buildable’ powerups at stage completion

Now, here’s what each of them does. I’ll cover general powerup optimization later on. Listed from worst to best (will add other pictures when I remember to screenshot them):

Stage Negative Powerups –


Passive: Heals nearby allies periodically for a small amounts Active: Charges the enemy and does a chunk of damage to all enemies around the target


Passive: Greatly increases movement speed Active: Pulls in all Nightmare Rift creatures and applies a very powerful DoT to them

Stage Neutral Powerups –


Passive: Places a white circle around the user, which increases friendly player damage if they’re inside the circle Active: Places a circle on the ground under the target, does high damage to all enemies inside the circle


Passive: Deals damage to the user periodically Active: Does a large chunk of damage to the target, generally ~50% of their health


On use summons a Radiant Shard. The shard pulses damage to nearby enemies every small percentage of its health, with a large chunk of damage when it dies.


On use tethers the user to the original location, creating a beam that deals high, regular damage to all enemies in close proximity to the beam.


Passive: Causes all offensive abilities to trigger a high damage AoE around the user Active: Causes the friendly target to deal signficantly more single target damage for a short time

Stage Positive Powerups-


On use summons a demon that targets nearby mobs with high single target and area damage. Lasts a very long time. Would be the best if the next powerup wasn’t absolutely godly


Passive: Every ability by the user causes a ridiculously high damage pulse to all nearby enemies Active: Applies an AoE DoT to the target that pulses for ridiculously high damage

Now, what do I meant by Stage Negative/Neutral/Positive? Basically, whether that powerup, by itself, is enough to complete a higher level stage and gain a bonus (to generate a new powerup). Stage Negative powerups cannot by themself guarantee a bonus. Stage Neutral powerups can almost always guarantee a bonus. Stage Positive powerups almost 100% guarantee a bonus on the current stage, and likely on the following stage.

So how do we optimize them? First, we clear initial stages until we have four powerups available. Don’t waste Nightmare Energy building the initial spots, you’ll fill them with bonuses from stage 2-5. Now that you’ve got 4 powerups, it’s time to use them. One every stage until you don’t get a bonus. Use the lowest tier powerup you can that will guarantee a bonus for your group. This is also a good time to bring up powerup ‘replacement’.

If you have one of the Stage Positive powerups as well as one of the Stage Negative ones, you can effectively replace the bad powerup. For Demon, use it whenever it lasts forever. For Unity, use it with ~25 seconds or higher remaining on the timer (get closer to 25s the later in the rift you are). Kill your current stage with the powerup you chose. On the following stage, bring enemies to the Demon or use the Unity active on a target. The previous stage bonus will have replaced whichever one you picked up. Now, use the bad powerup and the combination of it and the previous powerup should guarantee a second bonus, replacing the bad powerup.

Bonus stages (20, 58, 108, 158, etc) also allow you to refresh or replace your powerups. You will get a bonus for completing the bonus stage, and you should be able to get a bonus on the following stage due to the enemies not being bolstered by the number of players in the rift.

Unity usage – This gets a separate section because I can’t tell you how many people I see waste this absolutely broken powerup. If you are not an Arbiter or Phys/Tact, you should probably not be using this power. Arbiter gets double bonus, using a charge generating ability and Soothing Waters (off GCD) to proc Unity twice every second. Phys/Tact has the best spammable ability to proc it otherwise. Personally, I’ve topped out around 3.3 million DPS on single target with Unity, and yes we got the bonus. Use Unity until the last possible second, then apply it to the target. It is an absolute waste to put it on the target early.

Feel free to ask questions in comments, I’ll do my best to answer them as I see them. If you like the guide and would like similar guides to other aspects of RIFT, I’d be happy to put them together to get as much information out about these types of things.

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