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✓ At a glance
  • General tips include being mindful of your attacks and boon combinations, looking out for Hephaestus boons and Daedalus hammers, special vendors, and Arcana cards.
  • Combat advice includes using Cast to trap foes, sprinting to evade projectiles, tackling armored foes, and using Magick liberally.
  • At the Crossroads, remember to speak to each character and offer at least one Nectar if possible. Focus on Incantations to push the story forward and use Forget-Me-Nots to keep track of necessary resources.

Regardless of whether you find roguelikes intimidating or not, these Hades 2 tips and tricks will help you start on the right foot. With new Arcana cards to optimize, resources to collect, and incantations to concoct, it can get overwhelming for a newcomer. After spending a good time in the underworld, we’ve come up with a handful of tips to make the most of each run.

While returning players will find plenty of familiar mechanics, there are some new things you should be aware of in Hades. We praised the game’s approach to combat in our Early Access Hades 2 review. Even the first couple of enemies will show you the importance of coming prepared. We’ve split this guide into three parts – general tips, combat advice, and how to approach the Crossroads, Hades 2’s safe haven between runs. And with that, here are some general tips to keep the slick roguelike’s enemies from catching you underprepared.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player uses the Cast attack to pin enemies in place. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Your Cast attacks can slow enemies down, making them easy pickings. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Remember your Attack, Special, and Cast moves

While the original Hades featured the same three moves, they function differently in Supergiant Games’ latest title. In addition to depending on what weapon you pick, your Cast is now an AoE slow, essential against faster enemies like the screaming ghosts in Erebus. Keep track of how your weapons work, how close you need to be to a foe to land an attack, and how unguarded they leave you mid-attack. But that doesn’t mean you only need to rely on long-range weapons like the Umbral Flames. The close-quarters Sister Blades are a viable pick as well.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out Hermes' boons. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Hermes offers a variety of useful boons. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Experiment with weapons and god boon combos

Speaking of weaponry, Hades 2 has a variety of options even though it’s only in Early Access. You start with the Witch’s Staff, a medium-range weapon with both melee and ranged attacks. These can be augmented with boons that you can earn on your runs by clearing chambers of monsters and other entities. Gifts from the gods of Greek mythos, boons can enhance your Attack, Special, Cast, or improve Melinoe in general. For instance, Demeter’s boons can let you freeze enemies while Poseidon can help you find more resources across your runs. With time, you’ll find synergies between weapons and boons that will let you decimate hordes in an instant.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out Daedalus Hammer perks in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Daedalus Hammers give your weapons a significant power spike. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Daedalus Hammers and Hephaestus’ boons are seriously overpowered

When you see golden pliers as a boon choice, it’s Hephaestus smiling at you. His boons add some serious oomph to your attacks with periodic explosions that deal massive damage. These can help with both hordes of foes and boss fights with huge health bars to extinguish. And if you see a gold-and-blue hammer… yep, it’s from Daedalus, the skillful craftsman. These modify your weapon on a fundamental level, boosting attack speed or how lethal your strikes are. Pair these two upgrades together and you’ll turn into an unstoppable fighting machine.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out the Path of Stars skill tree in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use the Path of Stars to buff your Hexes. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The right Hex can greatly improve your build

Think of Hexes as the original game’s Calls, except these are now exclusive to Selene, goddess of the Moon. Instead of dealing and taking damage to charge them, you activate them by spending Magick in combat. Spend enough and you can call in a favor, ranging from a welcome heal to massive AoE attacks or even a wicked laser beam. Get the right Hex and you could redefine your current build. Get a second Selene boon and you’ll gain access to the Path of Stars, a one-time upgrade tree that amps up the devastation even further.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out Echo's rewards in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Echo can even reward you with older boons from previous runs. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Look out for special vendors like Echo

Just like the last game, Hades 2 has unique vendors who’ve conveniently set up camp on your path. For instance, you’ll run into Arachne early on and get to try on a variety of dresses that act as temporary buffs. Self-obsessed Narcissus gives you lavish presents while a brooding Echo can even reel in a boon from a previous run. While you won’t always run into them, they’re easily the better choice unless you’re really itching for a specific boon. 

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player runs past a weapon imbued with the Grave Thirst attribute. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Grave Thirst is indicated by the dark aura around a weapon. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Use Grave Thirst weapons for Bones to exchange with the Broker

After a couple of runs, you’ll start noticing a dark aura around one of the weapons in your arsenal before a run. This is the Grave Thirst condition, granting free Bones after every enemy encounter. Even if a weapon isn’t to your liking, it’s worth the experiment as Bones can be exchanged with the Broker at the Crossroads for useful resources and items.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out their Arcana cards before a run. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Arcana cards are powerful passives that need Grasp to be utilized effectively. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Gain Ashes and Grasp to utilize your Arcana cards

Earned from runs or Broker exchanges, Ashes and Grasp are two resources you can never have enough of. Ashes from runs let you unlock Arcana cards in Hades 2’s new Tarot card progression system, replacing the old Mirror of Night’s Darkness. Unlocking an Arcana card opens up adjacent cards, letting you unlock them with Ashes and other ingredients. Melinoe can only carry a limited number of Arcana cards. This limit can be upgraded by using Grasp, another resource you’ll find on your runs.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out the gathering tools in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Pick the right gathering tool before you set out. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Swap between tools based on what resources you need

Just like weapons, you can only carry a single tool into the game’s runs. This means that you’ll have to pick a tool based on what resource you require the most. Not bringing a Pickaxe means that you’ll have to bid goodbye to harvesting Silver while the Tablet of Peace lets you pacify lone shades for a chance at some sweet Grasp. While I haven’t got the Fishing Rod to trade fish for Bones, you can get this resource from runs itself. The Shovel pairs well with the plant beds you unlock after a short time, letting you collect seeds to plant back at the Crossroads.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player fights Scylla and the Sirens in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Boss fights will test your skills in-game. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Tips to master combat in Hades 2

Hades 2’s combat builds on its predecessor, meaning that older players will find many similarities. But due to the aforementioned overhaul in how the game’s attacks work, enemies are even more deadlier than they were in the original. Some of them are wicked fast and must be stopped with the Cast attack. Here are some combat tips to keep you afloat against Chronos’ legions.

Use your Cast to trap fast enemies

Cast is now an AoE slow attack which is available alongside every weapon in Hades 2. While this makes it worth investing boons into, it also means that every enemy in the game has been designed with this in mind. Be it Erebus’ screaming shades or the golden ones in the Field of Mourning, these weak enemies move incredibly fast and need to be pinned down with a Cast. This move is great against packs of enemies, especially armored ones. Catch a bunch of enemies, unleash a wave of devastating attacks, and proceed. Cast doesn’t cost mana unless you empower it with Magick, so use it whenever you can.

Cast doesn’t cost mana unless you empower it with Magick, so use it whenever you can.

Remember to sprint in order to avoid certain attacks

This might seem like a boring tip but Zagreus couldn’t sprint in Hades. Melinoe gains this ability and can even improve it with boons. Sprinting near enemies now lets you apply damage-over-time effects like scorch. But what you should definitely use sprint for is when a boss is spraying projectiles all over the map like a water fight. You’ll encounter an enemy early on that quickly fires thorns towards you. While using the dash can get you through with a few scratches, sprinting lets you evade damage entirely.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player uses an Omega attack to defeat shielded enemies in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use Omega moves to deplete enemy shields fast. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Be mindful of armored enemies

Armored enemies make a return from Hades, being immune to stagger effects until you wipe out their yellow shield health bar. This then reveals their regular health bars which can be cut down more easily. Enemies without armor can be stun-locked with basic attacks, interrupting their attacks and turning them helpless. Watch out for chambers with a high number of armored opponents as they can be a challenge to overcome. Even with a solid build, you’ll need to be mindful if you want to emerge unscathed.

Be generous with your Magick for Omega attacks

Melinoe can supercharge her Attack, Special, and Cast moves with Magick, turning them into Omega Moves. While some boons can help replenish Magick mid-encounter, you gain back all of your Magick after an encounter. This means that you should use Omega Moves liberally, especially since some Arcana Cards and boons boost your damage when you’re low on Magick.

Things to remember at the Crossroads

Just like the House of Hades from the old game, Hades 2 has a safe zone with characters that offer banter, resources, and even love. Here’s what you need to keep in mind while stopping by Hecate’s domain between runs.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player speaks to Odysseus in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
You’ll encounter plenty of charming characters like Odysseus. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Talk to characters after each run

While you’ll do this when you start the game, you might skip this after a handful of runs wear you down during a marathon Hades 2 session. Characters in the Crossroads offer helpful hints and even throw in a resource or two to aid your efforts. They’re all well-written, with dialogue packed with personality. Give characters other gifts and you can potentially brew up some romance as well. Remember to admire your plant beds too. Or collect from them.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out keepsakes in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use keepsakes from friends to gain passive buffs before a run. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Give at least one Nectar to as many characters as possible

The friendship mechanic from Hades is back, letting you build relationships with gods and pretty much any Crossroads ally in your fight against Chronos. By gifting them Nectar for the first time, you’ll gain a keepsake in return, a passive buff that you can bring into combat. Some of these are incredible, like the Luckier Tooth that can revive you once. They can also be leveled up by clearing encounters with them, letting you eke out even more from a challenging run.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player uses the Forget-Me-Not feature in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use Forget-Me-Nots to remember what you need most. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Use Forget-Me-Nots to keep track of the resources you need

Early on, you’ll be able to unlock the Forget-Me-Not feature to keep track of required resources by brewing an incantation at Hecate’s cauldron. This will let you know what to look out for while beating enemies to pulp. In the heat of battle, you might forget that you’re in Erebus for a certain flower or material. Use this feature to jog your memory. It even highlights the resource before you enter a chamber.

Hades 2 tips and tricks: A player checks out the incantations at the Crossroads. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Incantations offer a variety of benefits in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Get the right Incantations to boost your runs

Think of Incantations as a revamp of the old House Contractor. With the right resources, you can add new flourishes to the Crossroads and items you’ll find across your runs like healing fountains and wells of Charon that serve as shops. Some of these are tied to story progression as well so be sure to clear them out as quickly as you can.

About the Author

Antony Terence

Antony Terence is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. While he is particularly fond of city-builders, shooters, and strategy titles, he won’t turn down a good JRPG or a turn-based roguelike.

Hades 2

  • Release Date: May 6th 2024
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Roguelike
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