Hades Getting Started Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Played

The post Hades Getting Started Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Played appeared first on Fextralife.

In this Hades Getting Started Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Played, I’m going to talk about the most important tips and tricks that are beneficial to you right from the very beginning of your playthrough. I’ll be discussing the best Weapons you should equip, the resources to chase after, and the upgrades to unlock early on, to name a few.

Hades is an action roguelite developed and published by Supergiant Games. The game is centered on Greek Mythology and the adventures of Zagreus as he seeks to hack and slash his way through the Underworld with the help of the Olympians. Hades will be released on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and Xbox Game Pass on August 13, 2021, and is currently available on PC and the Nintendo Switch.

Hades Getting Started Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Played

In Hades, you play as Zagreus, the Prince of the Underworld. Throughout your adventures, you’ll be meeting several Olympians like Zeus and Poseidon, who will provide you with powers or Boons for your current runs. Note that these Boons are not persistent, which means that when you die, you’ll lose the corresponding buffs they provide.

As a roguelite however, you progress by acquiring resources that permanently upgrade your Skills and Weapons. Let’s begin with the best Weapons to use.

Equip the Best Weapons | Hades

There are a total of 6 Weapons available in the game with the Stygian Blade as the default Sword. You then unlock the other five using Chthonic Keys that you collect as rewards during your runs. I highly recommend wielding the Heart-Seeking Bow, which only costs 1 Chthonic Key, as your primary Weapon because of its long-range attacks and decent damage.

Hades Heart-Seeking Bow Weapon (Equip the Best Weapons)

Given how fast-paced Hades’ combat is coupled with the enemy’s agile movements, it’s essential to maintain a safe distance when you’re starting out. This way, you can quickly use Dash to dodge their attacks while shooting arrows from behind columns to protect you. Additionally, you get to hit multiple enemies by simply activating Volley Fire.

An alternative to the Heart-Seeking Bow is the Shield of Chaos, which costs 3 Chthonic Keys. You’re able to deal Melee Damage by bashing enemies with this Weapon. Furthermore, hits from the Shield’s Attack can knock enemies back. You can also ram into them with Bull Rush to inflict heavy damage, or hold this charge to block attacks. Lastly, to deal Ranged Damage, you’re able to throw your Shield of Chaos at them. Overall, you only have three actions to remember and these are Attack, Special, and Cast.

Hades Shield of Chaos Weapon (Equip the Best Weapons)

Chase After Death Defiance and Chthonic Vitality | Hades

In your bedchamber, there’s a mirror to your left when you enter from the Lounge of the House of Hades. This is also referred to as the Mirror of Night, which shows the Skills you can acquire for Zagreus. As mentioned earlier, Skills are persistent in Hades, and it’s for this reason that you’ll want to actively collect Darkness so you can upgrade as many of them as possible.

Among the many Skills you’re able to unlock, the two most essential ones are Death Defiance and Chthonic Vitality. Death Defiance prevents you from dying when your HP goes down to 0. What makes it all the more powerful is at Level 1, it also restores 50% of your HP. Your goal is to at least upgrade Death Defiance to the first rank. This is highly beneficial since you’ll be dying a lot in the game as you learn to fight enemies and to face the challenges that await.

Hades Death Defiance (Chase After Death Defiance and Chthonic Vitality)

Next is Chthonic Vitality that regenerates a portion of your HP when you complete and move on to the next chamber. The more HP you have, the better your chances for survival. You should aim to maximize the upgrades for Chthonic Vitality. Later on when you’ve grasped the mechanics, you’ll have the option to reset these Talents by spending 1 Chthonic Key so you can try out other Skills that you deem necessary instead of focusing mostly on HP improvements.

Identify Enemy Tells | Hades

Identifying enemy tells is one of the things you should be learning because this helps you determine the actions you’ll take. Prior to aiming and attacking you, enemies will glow in preparation. As such, you’ll have to quickly change directions to avoid their hits.

For example, Brimstones shake and glow before they hit you with a beam of pink light. Another enemy that you’ll encounter in the first Underworld tier is the Wretched Pest, which throws exploding bombs in your way.

Hades Brimstones in Combat (Identify Enemy Tells)

Since the bombs will only detonate after a few seconds and when you move within its AoE, you can easily evade them. These are just some of the encounters you’ll face as there are a lot of different enemies per tier but they all glow before they attack. What you’ll have to do is to constantly move to stay alive, which I’ll be discussing further in the next section.

Hades Wretched Pests in Combat (Identify Enemy Tells)

Constantly Move and Take Advantage of Your Surroundings | Hades

You’ll have to adapt to procedurally-generated chambers because of how tough most encounters are. Running and dashing quickly allow you to do just that. To improve your dodge, you’ll have to unlock Greater Reflex in the Mirror of Night in order to dash twice in quick succession. In addition to movement speed, each chamber has multiple set pieces that you can use against enemies.

Hades Constantly Move and Take Advantage of Your Surroundings

There are collapsing columns, bombs, and traps, to name some. For instance, you can use Volley Fire to shoot a series of arrows. Not only does it hit the target but it also triggers the collapse of a column beside them to deal extra damage.

Additionally, you can utilize bombs by first luring enemies next to them and then detonating them with your arrows. At the same time, you’re outside the AoE since you’re wielding a bow from afar. Constantly moving and taking advantage of your surroundings will make combat efficient and therefore, much more manageable.

Hades Utilize Bombs (Constantly Move and Take Advantage of Your Surroundings)

Familiarize Yourself with Essential Reward Icons | Hades

After successfully clearing a chamber, you get a reward that corresponds to the reward icon you’ve selected prior to entering the room. The numerous icons at the start can be confusing especially when you’re made to choose between two rewards. Despite this, the system is beneficial to players because it gives you the option to farm for the artifacts you need.

For instance, to unlock Death Defiance as soon as possible, you’ll have to choose chambers with Darkness as the reward. Darkness is represented as a purple gemstone in the form of a teardrop. Similarly, if you want to unlock the remaining Weapons, you can farm for Chthonic Keys. To stay alive, you’ll have to improve your HP. As such, you’ll want to choose Centaur Heart, which boosts your max HP by 25. This is important especially since you only have 50 HP to begin with.

Hades Centaur Heart (Familiarize Yourself with Essential Reward Icons)

There are also other rewards that you’ll need to take note of as these provide a significant impact on Zagreus’ power and strength. Daedalus Hammer is also a great reward to chase after because it improves your Weapon’s functionality. For example, you can choose to increase the shots of your Attack or to raise the number of affected targets while dealing more damage.

Next, there’s the Boons of the Olympians, which change your playstyle. For instance with Zeus, you’re able to utilize chain lightning to strike multiple enemies at once. Just be careful to sparingly choose reward icons that consist of two Boons at the start. These chambers are generally more difficult to deal with since you’ll face the wrath of the god whose Boon you haven’t chosen. After successfully pulling through, however, you’ll get both Boons.

Hades Boons of Ares (Familiarize Yourself with Essential Reward Icons)

In order to increase their levels and improve the bonuses you receive, you’ll need to select the Pom of Power reward. Lastly, you’ll want to collect Charon’s Obol, which is the game’s money, to buy more Boons, Centaur Hearts, and other upgrades from Charon.

Prioritize the Boons of Specific Olympians | Hades

In Hades, you’ll meet Olympians who will provide you with unique abilities. Out of the 9 gods, it’s better to prioritize the Boons of Athena, Hermes and Poseidon until you become more familiar with the game. Athena’s powers allow you to gain Deflect, which defends you from projectiles. She also enhances your resistance against attacks.

Hades Athena's Deflect in Combat (Prioritize the Boons of Specific Olympians)

Hermes’ Boons improve dash and movement speed to increase the chances of successfully evading enemies. He also boosts your attack speed as well as your Cast’s activation and cooldown time so you can use it more frequently. Lastly, Poseidon focuses on Knockback Abilities while dealing more damage. Moreover, you get abundant rewards so you’re able to efficiently farm for artifacts.

Manage High Risks High Rewards | Hades

On top of the artifacts and Boons of Olympians, there are rewards that require you to take greater risks by losing a portion of your HP or by quickly killing enemies. These risks determine the types of rewards you get.

Specifically, these challenges are known as Chaos Gates and Infernal Troves. Every now and then, a portal to the Chaos Gates becomes available in random chambers. To descend into it, you’ll have to sacrifice a portion of your HP.

Hades Boons of Chaos (Manage High Risks High Rewards)

Once inside, the Primordial Originator, Chaos, will let you choose from Boons that involve challenges for the next couple of encounters. One example is Caustic Shot where slain enemies will then hurl Inferno-Bombs at you for 3 encounters. Once you’ve completed this, your Cast will deal +34% damage.

On the other hand, Infernal Troves provide tests for additional rewards. In one case, you have the option to regain 100 HP as long as you quickly slay enemies. The slower you kill them, the lesser the amount of HP restored.

Hades Infernal Trove (Manage High Risks High Rewards)

Choose the Best Keepsakes | Hades

Next we have Keepsakes that further add to the power of your character. This is obtained every time you give a Nectar to NPCs. Remember to give everyone only one Nectar each until you unlock all of these. There are over 20 Keepsakes in the game yet you can only equip one at a time.

The top three best Keepsakes to start with are the Old Spiked Collar, Lucky Tooth, and Evergreen Acorn. Both the Old Spiked Collar and Lucky Tooth are related to improving your HP. The former increases your starting HP from 50 depending on its rank whereas the latter automatically gives back a portion of your HP when it has been fully depleted.

Hades Old Spiked Collar Keepsake (Choose the Best Keepsakes)

Meanwhile, the Evergreen Acorn protects you from a handful of damage against bosses. This is specifically useful in final encounters right before moving to the upper Underworld tier because it gives you time to adjust to the fighting styles of these bosses. If you want to experiment with the others, you can choose Keepsakes given by the gods.

Hades Evergreen Acorn Keepsake (Choose the Best Keepsakes)

Athena’s Owl Pendant ensures that the next Boon you receive is from her. Furthermore, there’s also a chance to receive rare or better quality powers. This is the same for the other Olympian’s Boons as well.

Focus on Unlocking Work Orders | Hades

After playing for an hour or two, you’ll eventually unlock the House Contractor, which provides chamber and house renovations. To gain access to these renovations, you’ll need to spend Gemstones, which are part of the standard reward pool. In most of the tabs though, you only get cosmetic enhancements.

To make chamber encounters much more manageable, you’ll have to unlock Work Order Renovations. These are permanent add-ons to your runs. With Fountain Chambers, you gain access to rooms that restore HP whereas with Keepsake Collection, you can switch between Keepsakes when you enter the next Underworld tier.

Hades House Contractor Work Orders (Focus on Unlocking Work Orders)

Engaging in Infernal Troves also requires that you unlock the Plunder, Lesser Work Order. There are a lot of other Work Orders so make sure to prioritize unlocking them before investing in cosmetics.

Dying Isn’t the End | Hades

Dying in Hades doesn’t feel begrudgingly painful because you’re able to learn more about the lore of the Underworld as well as the gods and supporting NPCs. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to give Nectars to these NPCs, who in exchange will supply you with useful Keepsakes. It also provides you with an avenue to further strengthen Zagreus by unlocking Skills and Renovations, both of which are persistent throughout your playthroughs. This is what makes the game exciting because you reap rewards even when you die.

You’ll get sent back to the House of Hades to improve your character and to try out other Weapons instead of starting from scratch. As such, you feel the progression even when you’re back in the first tier, Tartarus, once again.

Hades Dying Isn't the End

Mastering these techniques allows you to better understand the core concepts behind Hades without fumbling around as much at the beginning. It also helps you complete encounters much more effectively and efficiently.


If you enjoyed this Hades Getting Started Guide, be sure to check out our other Beginner Guides like The Ascent Tips and Tricks Guide: Top 10 Things All Players Should Know and Tribes of Midgard Beginner’s Guide: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Played. What did you think of this Getting Started Guide? Will you be playing Hades on day one? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Hades Getting Started Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Played appeared first on Fextralife.