Hades 2: Top 10 Tips for Beginners

Whether you are new to the series or familiar with the first game, our Top 10 Tips for Beginners will help you get started in Hades 2!

Hades 2: Top 10 Tips for Beginners

Top 10 Tips for Beginners in Hades 2

Hades 2 has officially launched in early access, and even players familiar with the original game will find many new mechanics to grapple with. Additionally, brand new players unfamiliar with ‘rogue-like’ games, along with how combat and progression work, may be confused at first. In our Hades 2 Top 10 Tips for Beginners article, we’re going to break down the basics so anyone getting started can have a clear understanding of the gameplay.

Here are 10 essential tips and tricks when you begin a new game in Hades 2:

  1. Combat – Hades 2 adds Magick to the game with casts and Omega spells.
  2. Dying – Expect this to happen a lot.
  3. Boons – Olympus gods and other powerful figures grant random power-ups.
  4. Arcana Cards – How you ‘level up’ in Hades 2.
  5. Nocturnal Weapons – There are five weapons to unlock in Early Access.
  6. Incantations – Use the Cauldron to upgrade your base at the Crossroads.
  7. Tools and Resource Gathering – Craft tools that can help you gather resources to spend.
  8. Story Progression – Speak to NPCs early and often.
  9. Nectar and Keepsakes – A gift of Nectar will unlock keepsakes you can equip for an extra perk.
  10. Weapon Aspects – Upgrade your weapons by unlocking their aspects.

1. Combat

Hades 2 Witches Staff Attack Special screenshot

Combat in Hades 2 is much more ranged focused than in the original, which fits with the protagonist Melinoë being a witch. While your weapons can still deal direct damage, you’ll want to practice and get comfortable with casting. Moreover, you will not only have the standard HP bar but will also have to manage a magick bar.

There are 6 different types of attacks in Hades 2:

  1. Attack – Basic attack action, typically does the least amount of damage
  2. Omega Attack – Hold down the button to charge your attack for greater damage
  3. Special – Unique attack/block/cast, depending on the weapon you use
  4. Omega Special – Hold down the button to charge your Special
  5. Cast – Ensnare enemies within an arcane circle to hold them in place
  6. Omega Cast – Hold the button to not only ensnare enemies but deal damage
Hades 2 Combat attacks and button actions Tips for Beginners

Additionally, there is a Sprint movement that allows Melinoë to dart forward. Typically used to dodge attacks or get away from AOE, some boons can also give the Sprint the ability to cause a status effect or damage. Furthermore, you can use a Dash-Strike move to deal damage at the end of the move.

Finally, don’t worry too much about hoarding your magick. While health boosts may be few and far between in Hades 2, you will regularly find ways to boost your pool of magick. Moreover, moving from one area to another will restore some of your magicka as you pass through the doorway.

2. Dying

Hades 2 Death screen after Hecate fight

You will die in Hades 2 – a lot. Doing so is an expectation of the game, built into all other game mechanics. Therefore, it ranks high in our Hades 2 top 10 beginners tips guide. Making a run allows you to collect resources and reagents. After you die, you re-emerge at the Crossroads and can use the materials to unlock or upgrade weapons, unlock perks, or cast spells to upgrade your base.

There are 3 main things you lose by dying in Hades 2:

  1. The progress you’ve made down into the Underworld
  2. Any coins you have collected along the way
  3. All Boons you have chosen

Consequently, you must start your run-over from the beginning. Coins can only be spent with the boatmaster Charon, and he can only be found on your combat runs. Likewise, boons are tied to individual runs; we’ll review them in more detail below.

However, you do get to keep any resources you collect during your attempt. This includes any metals you’ve mined, flowers or mushrooms you’ve picked, or seeds you’ve dug up. Any bones, ash, psyche, and other reagents will remain in your inventory.

3. Boons

Hades 2 Hestia boons example

In Hades 2, boons are granted by the gods and goddesses of Olympus (or other powerful entities) as you attempt to enter the Underworld. You’ll be introduced to this mechanic almost immediately in the game, where door sigils will denote a certain god or goddess ahead. After the fight, interact with the sigil that appears, and you can select from one of three randomly generated boons.

There are 5 different boon rarities in Hades 2:

  1. Common (White)
  2. Rare (Blue)
  3. Epic (Purple)
  4. Heroic (Gold)

The more advanced the rarity, the less frequently it appears.

Hades 2 Active Boons on screen description Tips for Beginners

Furthermore, boons can be either Active or Passive. Active boons fill in specific slots on the left side of your screen: Attack, Special, Cast, Dash, and Magick Restoration. Additionally, be cautious not to choose the same type of boon twice unless you mean to. For example, if you choose an Attack boon from Zeus and then select Hestia’s Attack boon later, the second Attack boon will completely replace the first. Active boons can be leveled with Poms of Power but do not stack.

Passive boons, on the other hand, can stack as many as you collect. They do not display directly on the screen as Active Boons do. You must press the ‘B’ key if playing on PC or the left arrow on your controller D-pad to see them. Passive boons typically do not offer you direct power boosts to your attacks like the Active boons do. Instead, they offer perks that can boost your resource collection, generate magick, or regenerate health, among other things.

4. Arcana Cards

Hades 2 Arcana Card Eternity grants 1 Death Defiance Tips for Beginners

The Ash you collect along the way can be spent at the Alter of Ashes to unlock Arcana Cards. These Arcana Cards are essentially the ‘level up’ mechanic in Hades 2. These cards offer a variety of boosts to your strength, resource regeneration, coin purse, and more.

In our Hades 2 10 Tips for Beginners guide, we recommend that the best Arcana Card to pick up early on is the Eternity card. It will require 20 ash to unlock, but once done, it grants you 1 Death Defiance each run. Essentially, Death Defiance is like a Final Fantasy Phoenix Down. When your HP falls to zero, you will automatically return to the fight with 40% HP. This might not seem like much, but it can be enough to get you through a tough boss fight or just a bit farther down the path to the Underworld.

5. Nocturnal Weapons

Hades 2 Silver Pool and Nocturnal Arms early access

There are currently up to five different Nocturnal Arms weapons you can unlock in Hades 2 during Early Access. There appears to be a slot for a sixth around the Silver Pool, but we have no information on it yet. When you start the game, only the Witches Staff named Descura will be available. However, you should be able to unlock the Sister Blades relatively early and then the Moonstone Axe a couple of runs later.

Each of these weapons has its playstyle. The Witches Staff is best at more ranged combat, the Blades are fast and furious, and the Axe is slow but powerful. Furthermore, you can switch between weapons with every new run. Cast and Special mechanics will also change depending on the weapon. Therefore, don’t be afraid to head north up to Schelemeus and try some attacks on him.

Additionally, the Silver Pool is where you can craft and unlock your gathering tools, which we’ll discuss below.

6. Incantations

Hades 2 Incantations at the Cauldron and Unlocking the Broker Tips for Beginners

The first time you visit the Crossroads, you’ll see a large cauldron with a lid next to where Hecate is standing. The second time you return, you’ll find that the lid has been removed and the cauldron is bubbling. Our next Hades 2 top 10 beginners tip is to interact with it to find a list of possible Incantations, each with its ingredient cost.

Your priority here is to use one Moly flower to unlock the gathering tools at the Silver Pool with the Night’s Craftwork incantation. Reagent Sensing is another helpful incantation in the early game, as it will tell you whenever there is a resource to collect after a fight. It also only costs one Moly flower.

Finally, try to collect some bones on one of your early runs, as it only takes 10 to unlock the Wretched Broker. This ghostly fellow returns from the original game, accepting the Bone currency for his goods.

7. Tools and Resource Gathering

Hades 2 Gathering Tools UI from the Silver Pool

Resource gathering is a new addition to Hades 2, and if you want to do anything more than the basic picking of flowers, you will need to craft some tools to help you out. As mentioned above, you can visit the same Silver Pool where you unlock weapons. A separate tab in the top left will be to view and craft your tool. You can only take one tool along with you per run!

Your priority when crafting new tools should be the Crescent Pick. This will immediately enable you to mine Silver while fighting your way through the first region of Erebus. Silver is vital early in unlocking other tools and some of the Nocturnal Arms.

Hades 2 Inventory reagents and other tabs

Furthermore, you can check out your stock of materials anytime by pressing the ‘I’ key (for Inventory) on your PC. Your list of Reagents is the default display, but don’t forget to click on the other tabs at the top to see what else you have. The Greenies tab will display all the plant and mushroom flora you have collected or grown. Not all collection tabs will appear at first, but as you progress through the game and find new items, these tabs will automatically appear.

8. Story Progression

Hades 2 Early flashback story cut scene

As we mentioned earlier, progression in Hades 2 is tied to multiple run attempts and the expectation that you will often die in your fight to reach Chronos. Consequently, this holds for story progression, as well. Although it is theoretically possible to beat the game in a single run, that kind of success depends on player skill and luck when getting helpful boons. Additionally, doing so would mean missing a giant portion of the story.

The number one rule for advancing story progression in our Hades 2 top 10 beginners tips guide is to talk to NPCs! Every time you die and return to the Crossroads, speak to anyone and everyone. The game will begin with Frinos, Dora, Hecate, Nemesis, Odysseus, and Schelemeus, though at times, one or another may be gone on your return. Always speak to them if they have an exclamation point over their heads! It’s best to check in with everyone each time. Gifts are another way to advance character storylines; we’ll go into more detail about that next.

9. Nectar and Keepsakes

Hades 2 How to get Keepsakes Tips for Beginners

In Hades 2, Keepsakes are collectibles you can earn by gifting Nectar to character NPCs throughout the game. You can collect one keepsake from each NPC (including gods) the first time you gift them Nectar. Knowing this in the early game is important because you don’t want to give all your nectar to one person.

Nectar does improve your relationship level with characters; however, you want to prioritize getting keepsakes before focusing on relationship levels. Don’t worry; Hades 2 will allow you to collect nectar throughout the game.

Nectar is one of the encounter rewards that you can earn for clearing a ‘room’ as you battle your way down to the Underworld. Look for the door sigils with the image of a nectar jar. You can also purchase nectar from the Broker (once you have unlocked him at the Cauldron; see below). It will require 30 Bones to exchange for one Nectar.

Hades 2 Keepsakes Display Case and how they work Tips for Beginners

Finally, the keepsakes you acquire can be equipped like an accessory (only one at a time), each with its special perk. In Early Access, the individual keepsake artwork has not yet been finalized. However, they all have their own identifying name and unique perk. The Silver Wheel from Hecate restores magick over 3 seconds when your mana bar drops, up to 1000 magick for each run.

Furthermore, keepsakes all have ranks. They start with one star, and as you level them up to two stars and then three stars, the stats of their perk will improve. You level up a keepsake by equipping it. Clear a set number of encounters (25 to go from one star to two), and the keepsake automatically improves!

10. Weapon Aspects

Hades 2 Aspects of Night and Darkness incantation to unlock weapon aspects

Weapon Aspects are a mechanic that won’t be available to you in the early game, but later on, you’ll want to be on the lookout for this ability to upgrade your Nocturnal Arms. Unlocking this ability will require the Aspects of Night and Darkness incantation. This is given to you by Hecate, but you must earn the recipe first by unlocking all available weapons and beating her with each of them in Erebus.

Once you have the incantation recipe, approach the cauldron and spend 5 Bronze and 1 Nightshade to unlock it. Then head down to the Silver Pool, where you will find new aspects to unlock. Additionally, there will be a new tab where you can level those aspects to higher ranks.

Hades 2 Weapon Aspect tab and Aspect Ranks tab at Silver Pool

As with nearly everything else in Hades 2, you will unlock these aspects with various resources. Some, such as silver, are available early on in the game. This suggests that it is essential that you collect all of the materials you come across as you make each run right from the start.

Additionally, don’t forget to change which gathering tool you take with you. Otherwise, you could end up with a bunch of silver and bronze you mined with the pickaxe, but be behind on plants because you didn’t take the shovel out to dig up seeds.

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