On this page we have compiled various tips for playing Hades. These include many important elements of the game, including exploration of the underworld, unlocking weapons, and upgrading the hero. With our starting tips, it will be easier to find yourself in the world of the game.
- Always keep moving
- Unlock new weapons as soon as possible
- Give nectar to other characters to receive keepsakes
- Keep financing new projects at the House Contractor
- Talk to all of the NPCs
- Pay attention to the signs on the passages
- Always be vigilant - you can easily take damage in this game
- Think before you select a boon or upgrade
- Avoid risky behavior while your character is weak
- Death is part of the game
- Buy useful abilities as soon as possible
- Seek out opportunities to backstab your opponents
Always keep moving
In Hades, mobility is key. You should try to stay in motion regardless of the type of weapon you use and your chosen gameplay style. This can lower the chance of taking damage from traps and enemy attacks (especially from ranged and charge-like attacks).
Dash as often as possible while moving. These function as evasions and while dashing, Zagreus becomes temporarily invincible. Dashing can also be used, for example, to avoid traps and various environmental hazards (such as the magma rivers in the Asphodel Meadows).
On the Death - how to avoid? page, we've included other tips to help you keep the main character alive.
Unlock new weapons as soon as possible
Weapons are stored in the armory in the last chamber of the House of Hades. Initially, only the sword (Styx Blade) is available and you will need to unlock the other weapons with chthonic keys. As a reminder, you can find these keys while exploring the underground - look for passages marked with key symbols above them. It should be noted here that the keys also have another use - unlocking new abilities at the Mirror of Night. However, we advise you to prioritize unlocking weapons, especially since Zagreus will be able to permanently keep the purchased weapons.
You can safely test each newly acquired weapon on Skelly, but it's also a good idea to try it out during a longer trip to the dungeon. This will make it easier for you to choose your favourites - ours is the Eternal Spear, which is effective both in melee and ranged combat.
All available weapons are described in more detail in the Weapons chapter. There you will also find tips on how to correctly wield different types of weapons and information about their advantages and disadvantages.
Give nectar to other characters to receive keepsakes
From a certain point in the game, you will begin to find or buy nectar - a potential gift for friendly gods. Every time you choose to gift nectar to a new character, you will unlock a keepsake. These are passive stat bonuses that you can set as active (only one can be active at a time) and you can also upgrade them further to increase their effectiveness. If you come across a particularly valuable stat bonus, it's a good idea to use the keepsake for a long time and reach the required number of fights to upgrade it to the highest rank.
It is worth noting that you can still continue giving nectar to those gods who have already given you keepsakes. This will further strengthen your bonds. For more information, check out the Keepsakes and Nectar - who to gift? pages.
Keep financing new projects at the House Contractor
Early in the campaign, the House Contractor will appear in the House of Hades and you will be able to ask him to complete projects for you. The list is modest at first, but will grow as you keep buying projects and advance in the campaign.
The work orders category contains by far the most important projects, because they can make the game easier or diversify its course in various ways, for example, by giving you the chance to find underground chambers with health-restoring fountains or by unlocking the option to fulfill prophecies. In the next tabs of the project window list cosmetic items, but since they do not affect the course of the game we advise you to leave them for later. You can find our recommendations for which projects you should implement on a separate page: The House Contractor's best projects.
Raw materials are used to pay for renovation projects. Initially, you will only require Crystals, which can be found along with other loot in the underground, but in the later stages of the campaign to complete certain projects you may also need Diamonds, which can be obtained, for example, as rewards for defeating certain bosses in the game world.
Talk to all of the NPCs
As you progress through the game, you may encounter various gods and other friendly characters. You should talk to every NPC with an exclamation mark over their head you encounter. You will find most of the characters you can talk to at the House of Hades (their availability may change on each visit), although you can also initiate conversations with them while exploring dungeons. Conversations are mainly rewarded with new codex entries, but they also give you the chance to hear more about the game world and learn new facts related to the main story.
You can expect to receive some kind of reward at the end of some encounters. Specifically, this applies to NPCs that can be encountered randomly in the underground:
- In Tartarus, there is a chance to meet Sisyphus - at the end of the encounter you can choose health, Darkness or Charon's Obole,
- In Asphodel, there is a chance to meet Eurydice - she can upgrade Zagreus' current keepsakes or increase the rarity level of keepsakes obtained in the future,
- In Elysium, there is a chance to meet Patroclus - he can replenish your Death Defiance charges (the ability to save yourself from sudden death) or give you a damage or health recovery bonus.
Pay attention to the signs on the passages
Some of the chambers you explore only have one exit, but you will often encounter rooms where you can choose between several passages (e.g. two or three). You shouldn't make this choice blindly, because each exit has its own sign, which suggests the type of chamber it leads to. For example, the Darkness sign marks a location where you will be able to obtain this resource, the pouch icon indicates a chamber with a store, and the sign of a specific god marks an area where you will be able to obtain the corresponding gift. We have compiled the most important signs on a separate page: Signs on passages - what do they mean?. We advise you to familiarize yourself with the signs that appear most often in order to remember their meaning.
You should select the next chamber according to what you currently need. For example, if your health bar is low, then look for chambers with a Centaur Heart, and if you plan to invest in new projects once you're done exploring, look for passages with an icon depicting the gems necessary to finance the renovation.
Always be vigilant - you can easily take damage in this game
In the game Hades, it's very easy to lose health points, which will not regenerate automatically and will force you to play a weakened character for a while. This means that you should always be ready to respond to different types of threats. The most important of these include:
- Enemy ranged attacks - these attacks include waves, series of projectiles, bombings or landing in the arena in places where a large shadow appears on the ground. You can try to destroy projectiles in flight, but dodging is far more reliable in most circumstances.
- Traps - These are very common sight starting from the first land. You must avoid interacting with them, the only exception being to quickly dash over the trap before it is activated.
- Magma rivers - You have to watch out for them while you're in Asphodel. Lava appears in almost every chamber and you can easily step on it after getting hit by a projectile or being pushed by the enemy. You need to get back to safe ground quickly and dashing is very helpful in this situation as well.
Check out the following pages for more tips and tricks: Flying projectiles - how to stop? and Traps - can you disarm?.
Think before you select a boon or upgrade
During the game you can encounter chambers that allow you to choose one out of several available rewards (usually three). This can be, for example, a boon from a specific god or a weapon upgrade that will increase its selected stats.
You should always read the reward descriptions and try to select the most valuable one. Consider the following factors when choosing an upgrade:
- Type of reward or stat bonus- Select those that your character needs most at the moment (e.g. a melee combat bonus if that's how you prefer to fight).
- The reward's rarity level - The rarer the given boon (e.g. epic), the greater the bonus it will confer, or the reward itself is will be more unique. However, this should not be the main factor, because in some situations a common reward might be more helpful.
- The potential duration of the stat bonus - Boons and rewards can remain active until the end of a given run or they might only persist for a certain amount of time, e.g. for the next 8 rooms you visit. When it comes to temporary bonuses, those with very short durations (e.g. only 3 rooms) are only worthwhile if the reward is very valuable.
For more tips, check out the Rewards and upgrades chapter in which we described the most important types of prizes.
Avoid risky behavior while your character is weak
In the game Hades, your character cannot regenerate health by default. Because of this, losing any number of hit points is painful and potentially brings your character closer to death. You should start playing more cautiously if you're at less than half of your health bar, because even a single strong enemy attack could bring you to the brink of death. Mainly focus on:
- using long-range or "safe" melee attacks more frequently,
- searching for chambers that will heal your character (e.g. locations with fountains, Centaur Hearts or stores),
- avoiding chambers with skull icons that provide a distinctly higher challenge level,
- avoiding opening Infernal Troves, which force you to take part in rather intense fights,
- avoiding visiting Chaos (the secret land).
More tips and information on how to stay alive can be found on the Recovering health - how? page.
Death is part of the game
Death in Hades is a gameplay element that you have to come to terms with due to the game's strongly accented roguelike elements. Your first run will probably last a maximum of several minutes, because the character doesn't start out with any weapons, upgrades or abilities to help keep him alive. As you spend more and more time playing the game and also by learning its mechanics, you will be able to reach deeper into the underground and explore new lands and chambers. Don't get discouraged - traversing through locations and defeating bosses will get easier as you become more familiar with them over time.
At the same time, make sure to spend Charon's Obols often, as you will lose them upon death. The good news is that a large part of your progress is carried over to subsequent runs. This includes the abilities and weapons you purchase and the Darkness, gems and chthonic keys you gather. You can gain something from almost each new run - new permanent items and upgrades or simply knowing how to deal with specific situations in order to increase Zagreus' chances of survival in subsequent trials.
For more information on your character's deaths and keeping permanent upgrades and equipment, check out the Death - how to avoid? and Progress - what gets carried forward? pages.
Buy useful abilities as soon as possible
Remember that you can buy abilities at the Mirror of Night, which can be found in the main character's bedroom in the House of Hades. Darkness (one of the most important resources in the game) is used to buy abilities. Additionally, only a few abilities are available at first. You will be able to unlock more as you progress through the game and by using chthonic keys to unlock new items on the list. Abilities can have several levels - each level is more expensive, but also increases the effectiveness and usefulness of the talent. We advise you to unlock the first (cheap) level of each ability and then buy further abilities depending on what you need. In our opinion, the most important abilities are:
- Death Defiance - Each ability level purchased will allow you to be reborn 1 time after death, i.e. to continue a given run. This will definitely make it easier for you to get through more chambers and lands in a single attempt.
- Chthonic Vitality - This ability allows you to restore a small amount of health points each time the main character enters a next chamber. This also applies to chambers where no fights occur.
- Shadow Presence - This ability allows you to inflict more damage when backstabbing enemies. This can happen quite frequently and thus it's easy to make use of this bonus.
- Infernal Soul - This ability permanently increases the maximum number of transferred bloodstones that you can use for ranged attacks, regardless of the weapon used.
- Thick skin - Thanks to this ability, the starting value of your health bar is extended (e.g. from 50 to 60 health points). Of course, you can still find Centaur Hearts, but they will only extend the health bar for the duration of the run.
For more information about using your abilities along with more recommendations for unlocking them, check out the Abilities - Mirror of Night page.
Seek out opportunities to backstab your opponents
When fighting enemies in Hades, you can not only deal standard damage to them, but you can also use unique attacks that can weaken them more effectively. The most common type of unique attacks are Backstabs. These types of attacks deal more damage in themselves, but they also have some additional useful features:
- you can stack them with keepsakes or other stats bonuses to increase backstabbing damage,
- you can effectively attack enemies hiding behind large shields.
You can easily backstab your opponents by quickly dashing behind them. They are also very easy to perform when using the Eternal Spear (one of the weapons in the game), because once you throw the spear, you can summon it back to you and it can backstab enemies on the way back.
More tips on this and other ways to defeat enemies can be found on the Combat page in our game guide.