How to play guide for Hades (2024)

How to play guide for Hades (1)
This article is a stub. You can help Hades Wiki by expanding it.

This article is a stub. You can help Hades Wiki by expanding it.

This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Hades.

Warning: this guide has spoilers of all zones currently in the game.


  • 1 Basic Gameplay
  • 2 Controls
  • 3 Advanced Gameplay
    • 3.1 Tips and Tricks
    • 3.2 Keepsakes
  • 4 Dungeon Structure
    • 4.1 Miniboss rooms
    • 4.2 Room rewards
  • 5 Setting up an effective build
    • 5.1 Daedalus Hammers
    • 5.2 Duo Boons and Legendary Boons
    • 5.3 Hermes Boons
    • 5.4 Single ability vs mixed combat build
    • 5.5 Choosing boons
    • 5.6 Using Poms of Power
  • 6 See also

Basic Gameplay[ | ]

Basic gameplay consists of progressing through randomly-generated rooms and killing enemies in an attempt to escape the Underworld. Between escape attempts you return to the House of Hades where you prepare for another run.

Rewards for clearing rooms include:

  • Boons from Olympian gods to upgrade your abilities
  • Daedalus Hammers to upgrade your weapon,
  • Poms of Power to upgrade your Boons
  • Nectar to gift to someone for a Keepsake
  • Centaur Hearts to increase your max and current health
  • Charon's Obols (coins) for currency to spend at Charon's shops and wells.
  • Darkness to permanently upgrade yourself at the Mirror of Night
  • Chthonic Keys to unlock additional abilities at the Mirror of Night and more weapons

After clearing a room, rewards for the next room(s) will become visible over the door, allowing you to choose your rewards.

Other rooms you will encounter along the way include:

  • Charon's Shops
  • NPCs providing special buffs
  • Bosses at the end of a biome
  • Fountains to restore your health (after the appropriate upgrade is purchased from the House Contractor)

After escape attempts you return to the House of Hades, where you can:

  • Speak to various characters
  • Purchase, upgrade, or change talents in the Mirror of Night
  • Purchase both functional and cosmetic upgrades through the House Contractor
  • Convert permanent currencies through the Wretched Broker
  • Change, unlock, and upgrade your weapons
  • Review statistics from past escape attempts

Note that some of the above activities in the House of Hades become available through advancing the storyline.

Controls[ | ]

wasdHow to play guide for Hades (2)Move Up/Left/Down/Right
eHow to play guide for Hades (3)Interact
gHow to play guide for Hades (4)Gift
How to play guide for Hades (5)How to play guide for Hades (6)Attack
qHow to play guide for Hades (7)Special
spaceHow to play guide for Hades (8)Dash
How to play guide for Hades (9)How to play guide for Hades (10)Cast
fHow to play guide for Hades (11)Call
Hold cHold How to play guide for Hades (12)Open Codex
bHow to play guide for Hades (13)Boon info

Mouse and keyboard users may find it helpful to rebind Special to the right mouse button and Cast to an easily accessible key or alternate mouse button. Special is more frequently used than Cast and Cast doesn't become an effective offensive ability until talent upgrades are purchased in the Mirror of Night.

Advanced Gameplay[ | ]

Tips and Tricks[ | ]

  • Mobility is key. It's rarely safe to stand still and spam attack (unless you have a single enemy stunlocked). Dashing is by far more effective than moving, as it grants you invincibility frames, and it can deal damage with a dash upgrade. A dash-attack-dash-attack pattern can help you avoid being hit.

Keepsakes[ | ]

The Old Spiked Collar is a very good first keepsake for the early game. It can be obtained early on by giving a Nectar to Cerberus, and the health boost will greatly help survivability. As you unlock more keepsakes, experiment and find what suit your playstyle the most. Once you have the Thick Skin mirror upgrade, the collar becomes rather unimportant, but it may still be situationally useful.

The Myrmidon Bracer from Achilles is a good defensive keepsake to run in high damage areas such as Asphodel or Elysium, where it can get lots of value. However, you must keep in mind that it only reduces damage from in front of you, and will increase damage from behind you. Skelly's Lucky Tooth will act as a Death Defiance, granting you one extra chance should you end up in trouble. Finally, once you reach Elysium, the Broken Spearpoint from Patroclus is very useful for dealing with enemies with rapid and fast repeated attacks, such as Soul Catchers and the Exalted.

All the Olympian keepsakes will let you target your boons to create a build that works well. If you like Chaos boons, the Cosmic Egg greatly increases the rarity of Chaos boons and removes the health cost of the Chaos Gate. However, the Cosmic Egg does not increase the chance of a Chaos Gate spawning in the first place, so buy Light of Ixion from wells to make the most use of it.

Dungeon Structure[ | ]

Though the chambers are somewhat randomized, there are patterns that can help you predict the upcoming encounters.

  • Boss rooms are marked with a skull icon, with two orange arrows pointing upward from it, and appear at fixed chamber depths at the end of each zone: Chamber 14 in Tartarus, Chamber 24 in Asphodel, and Chamber 36 in Elysium.

Miniboss rooms[ | ]

  • Miniboss rooms are also marked with a skull icon, but have no arrows pointing up from them. Their reward is a boon with higher rarity. Minibosses can sometimes be avoided by taking an alternative room. A miniboss can only be fought once per run, though you can fight both minibosses in the same zone. Unfortunately you cannot predict which one will come up first.
  • Tartarus has 3 miniboss encounters. There are two possible room layouts in the first, and the enemies are always two Bloodless enemies (either Inferno Bombers, Slam Dancers, Burn Flingers, or Wave Makers). The other encounter has a Doomstone. There is an additional Tartarus room marked with a skull, but it just has armored regular enemies, and the reward is just double the usual amount of darkness. The third miniboss encounter, which is only accessible once you've come to the surface at least once, is a battle with a Wretched Sneak, which is a quite tough early opponent.
  • Asphodel has 3 miniboss encounters: a River Crossing room with 3 waves of Voidstones and Bloodless, a Megagorgon + Skull-Crusher room, and a room with a gathering of Dire Spreaders referred to as the Witches' Circle.
  • Elysium has 2 miniboss encounters: an Elite Soul Catcher room which occasionally spawns exhalted eyeballs, and a one-on-one fight with Asterius. By defeating miniboss Asterius, he will spawn with less health in the Theseus boss fight.

Room rewards[ | ]

  • You can get one Daedalus Hammer in Tartarus or Asphodel, and a second one in Elysium. Typically these Hammers will be offered in Tartarus, and very early in Elysium, but this is not guaranteed. If you do not take a Daedalus Hammer, one will eventually appear later on to make up for one you missed. While it is definitely possible to miss both Hammers, it is not recommended unless you're playing an exclusive cast build.
  • You can get two Hermes boons (you will no longer be offered Hermes boons past your second one.) Unlike the Daedalus Hammer, they can be offered at any time in the first three zones.
  • The only way to get a third Hermes boon is buying them from Charon in Styx.
  • Entering a Chaos Gate or Infernal Gate will skip the next chamber. You might not want to skip an important upgrade such as the Daedalus Hammer or a boon, but you can skip a plentiful resource like Darkness. You also might not want to take a Chaos Gate near the end of a zone, or you'll have to fight the boss while under the negative effect of a Chaos boon. It is important to note that passive encounters (shops, fountains, friendly NPC rooms, and free rooms) do not count down Chaos boon debuffs.
  • Charon's Shop appears twice in each zone, once in the middle, and once right before the boss. When there are multiple doors leading up to the chamber before the boss, the other options will be free encounters. For instance, if you see a Pom door and a Shop door before the boss, you can get a free Pom or hit up the shop. However, the mid-zone Shop will not be accompanied by free rewards.

Setting up an effective build[ | ]

At first you may simply grab whatever upgrades come your way, but picking the right upgrades for your builds can greatly increase your chance of success. Later zones become a huge slog if your damage output can't keep up with the increasing enemy health.

The golden rule is to have a plan, but be flexible. You won't always get the specific build you're gunning for, so if something else just as good comes along, take it.

Daedalus Hammers[ | ]

It is recommended to grab Daedalus Hammers as soon as they appear. Daedalus Hammers are the upgrades that change and modify your run the most, and thus are often the most important to choose early, so you can build around them. In addition, taking a Hammer as soon as it is available means that the Hammer will not have a chance of spawning in a less favorable location later (such as in a shop). It is important to keep in mind when obtaining your 2nd Hammer that not all Hammer upgrades can be combined together, and the Hammer's choices will only be from modifiers that can still be combined with your first one. It is important to choose modifiers that work well together or good enough on their own independently.

Duo Boons and Legendary Boons[ | ]

Often, some of the strongest combinations in the game are Duo Boons, and some of the strongest individual focus boons in the game are Legendary Boons. If running a multi-god build, it is a good idea to focus on pairings where you can get helpful Duo Boons, such as Hunting Blades and Low Tolerance. Duo Boons can be offered by either god who they pair with, but it can take a couple tries to get one, even if you have all the proper prerequisites. It is easier to attempt to grab Duo Boons earlier rather than later, so you can focus more on gaining health and strength in Elysium rather than hunting for boons. God keepsakes might be helpful for doing this.

Alternatively, Legendary boons such as Black Out are great for focusing on one specific god, and offer huge benefits for doing so. Be mindful though that other gods will want to offer boons as well, potentially making it more difficult to search for the exact god you want a legendary from.

Hermes Boons[ | ]

Similar to Daedalus Hammers, the number of Hermes Boons you can find in a run is fixed. These boons are often much more situational and less run defining than Daedalus Hammers, but they can still provide useful bonuses. The most useful Hermes boons are: Relative Speed, Greatest Reflex (more dashes are always good), Greater Evasion (directly translates to less damage), Swift Strike/Swift Flourish/Rapid Cast, whichever corresponds to your primary method of attack (the Common versions can be rather unnoticable, but the Rare or Epic versions give you a very significant attack speed increase)

Single ability vs mixed combat build[ | ]

You have three main offensive capabilities: attack, special, and cast. You only have a limited number of upgrade opportunities before facing each area boss, so you can focus on upgrading a single ability or upgrading them evenly. Both approaches are viable, but single attack builds do tend to be stronger. If you find your upgrades are spread a little thin, try to focus on upgrading one ability.

Pros of single ability build:

  • Can achieve very high damage output
  • Can focus on getting powerful high tier boons, like Legendary and Duo.
  • Can get more synergies on one ability
  • Easier to play, more spammable


  • Lack of range coverage if using a melee ability
  • Harder to use combo abilities such as Boiling Blood, Privileged Status
  • Slower attacks, especially if ability has a long cooldown
  • Less flexible, may have bad luck with not getting the right upgrades

Choosing boons[ | ]

You should establish the core of your build first. Before you get to Elysium, you should at least have your major damage dealers, Dash, and maybe Call filled with boons. You can weigh your options and take a really good support boon early, but you really don't want to be going far into Asphodel with baseline damage. Once you have a solid core, you can freely look for support boons that will synergize with what you have. Look for status effects, then aim for Legendaries and Duos.

Sometimes, gods will offer to exchange a boon with a higher rarity one, this is the only way to get Heroic boons (outside of upgrades through Demeter's Rare Crop boon), but don't rely on it happening. If you've already built around that boon with status effects and upgrades, exchanging it may be a downgrade.

One additional later upgrade in the game that can greatly assist you in tailoring your Boons as you go through a run is Fated Persuasion, or to a lesser extent, Fated Authority, available from the Mirror of Night's final unlocked set. If an unappealing selection of options shows up in the boon selection/room previews this can randomize the set to give a better chance at selecting the key boons you need.

The Olympians' keepsakes let you choose a specific god's boon, once per zone. It comes at the opportunity cost of not equipping a more directly useful keepsake, so maybe you find it sufficient to use an Olympian's keepsake in the first zone or two, and switch to a defensive keepsake for the later zones. If you want a specific boon on one of your five main slots, it might a good idea to fill up the other slots with random boons you come across, so when you do find the right god, they're more likely to offer the boon you want. If you have Fated Authority, you have even more opportunities to seek out specific gods.

Some gods require a lot of investment into higher tier boons to be truly effective, but others are quite good right away, so they make good choices for filling out your five main slots:

  • Aphrodite, Demeter and Dionysus offer long lasting status effects without needing upgrades. Their boons are very useful for triggering Privileged Status. Their dash especially can slot into nearly any build. The boons of Aphrodite for Attack and Special are also notable for their very high base damage multipliers compared to others of similar level, making them a good choice for weapons with powerful shots (like the Adamant Rail's Bombard)
  • Ares's attack and special boons have a good flat damage upgrade completely independent of the base damage of the weapon that applied it, and can also proc Privileged Status. Doom is more effective on slower abilities, abilities you don't spam a lot and abilities with an extremely low base damage per hit (such as the Special attack of the Heart-Seeking Bow). It can be a waste on quick attacks unless you have Dire Misfortune or Merciful End.
  • Artemis's dash synergizes with other dash attack upgrades such as Double Edge and Chaos's Lunge. In addition, Artemis's Critical effects work better on weapons and attacks with higher base damages, such as the Nova special on the Stygian Blade and the Bombard Special on the Adamant Rail.
  • Aphrodite's cast is unique in that it's the only cast which applies a status effect without needing upgrades. However it is short-ranged, so it can be risky to use in a melee build.
  • Dionysus's cast is a versatile tool that inflicts high damage onto a large surrounding area. It also fills that area with Festive Fog, which repeatedly stuns enemies who linger in it. While this is very handy crowd control, keep in mind that Bosses, such as the Furies, cannot be stunned by Festive Fog.
  • If your build is not cast-focused, and you are just using cast occasionally to proc Boiling Blood, Ares, Demeter and Dionysus's casts can be a liability because they cannot embed into enemies. Artemis, Athena, Zeus, and Poseidon are straightforward upgrades for filling the cast slot (though be warned that Zeus's chain cast will embed the shot into the LAST enemy hit, which can make it a bit tricky to aim against a specific target within a group). Additionally, Artemis's Cast will bypass shielding enemies like the Exalted Greatshields, which can be annoying to maneuver behind.

Finally, here are some secondary boons worth looking out for. These complement almost any build fairly well.

  • Artemis: Exit Wounds and Fully Loaded can be found with no pre-requisites, they're extremely useful for cast builds, and still free damage worth taking for other builds if no better option is presented. Pressure Points works well in any build, especially builds taking advantage of chain effects, Doom, or Hangover Status Curses, because of how it affects all damage you inflict from all sources. Support Fire works well with any weapon that has fast attacks.
  • Aphrodite: Life Affirmation can be very handy if you can get it early, notably increasing the max health you can obtain over time.
  • Athena: Divine Dash is a strong defensive addition to your mobility, it makes you nigh invulnerable while dashing, allowing you to play more recklessly.
  • Ares: Urge to Kill is free damage for your Attack and Cast, and good for any weapon with a high base damage, or a cast build. Battle Rage is great for clearing out crowds if you're using a high single damage attack or special.
  • Chaos: Attack/Special/Cast Damage increases are great because they stack on top of your god boons and are not exclusive, meaning you can stack multiple Chaos boons of the same type in a single run.
  • Hermes: While most of his boons are minor tweaks around the edges, he has one very powerful Boon combo that can greatly benefit every single build of any weapon if you can get it: Rush Delivery and one of Greater Haste or Hyper Sprint (possibly also combined with the Lambent Plume). This damage boost affects every type of attack you can make, does not take up any of the 4 core boon slots (Attack, Special, Dash or Cast) and will stack with any other damage-increasing Boon you have in those slots. Greater Haste will help everything, but doing this with Hyper Sprint is better suited to weapons with effective Dash Attacks.

Chaos Cast Damage boons are especially noteworthy for cast focused builds, as all Cast boons from the Olympian gods replace and modify the base damage of your cast, rather than increasing the base damage by percent or adding secondary damage effects as it is for Attack or Special boons. Further Pom of Power upgrades likewise increase this Base Damage rather than adding percent damage. This is important because the Cast Damage boons from Chaos are percent bonuses, meaning that a first +100% cast damage boon from Chaos will equal a 100% increase in your cast damage output regardless of the Rarity or Pom level of your Olympian cast boon.

Chaos can also provide additional Cast ammo that stacks with Fully Loaded from Artemis - and as stated before is not exclusive meaning you could theoretically stack multiple additional Cast ammo boons from Chaos in a single run, even though unlikely.

Obol and boon rarity increases are very useful if obtained early on, and Darkness increase can transform all Darkness rewards in very potent sources of healing if you are using the Dark Regeneration perk from the Mirror of Night.

  • Dionysus: Premium Vintage basically turns Nectar, a resource with no short-term benefit, into a max health boost. Positive Outlook gives pretty good damage reduction. After Party is not so useful if you're able to sustain your HP. Strong Drink can be very useful if you get it early, giving you a stacking damage boost for your entire run to everything you do for every fountain you drink from (this includes the 4 standard fountains found at the end of each zone and every extra fountain chamber made available by the builds with the House Contractor)
  • Poseidon: Ocean's Bounty is very helpful if found early in a run, as it increases the rewards from all future rooms by a considerable amount.
  • Zeus: His call, Zeus' Aid, is a very high damaging AoE ability, despite its lengthy charge, and is worth running if you need additional multi-target damage.

With the rework of Wrath into Aid, Aid boons are now much more viable to take early on. For maximum effectiveness against bosses, wait until you have a full gauge to activate it, but use the single charges in normal rooms for burst damage. You could also use Athena, Ares or Poseidon Wrath's brief invulnerability to tank Flame Wheels and Asterius's charge head on.

Using Poms of Power[ | ]

When you pick up a Pom of power, you get to select from three random upgradable boons to upgrade. If you have a spammy, purely single-attack build, it's definitely viable to avoid taking too many upgradable boons, so that you can reliably apply Poms to the boons you want.

You'll want to funnel most pom upgrades to your primary damage dealers when possible. Upgrades have diminishing returns at higher levels so it's usually not worth upgrading beyond level 6 or so. Notably, Dionysus's Poison-applying boons don't suffer as much from diminishing returns, because each upgrade has to at least increase the damage by 1, so you could upgrade them to high levels with mostly linear returns.

See also[ | ]

  • Release date
  • System requirements
  • Run Clear Messages
How to play guide for Hades (2024)


How to play guide for Hades? ›

Tips and Tricks

What is the easiest way to beat Hades? ›

Using boons such as Divine Dash, Blinding Flash, Hyper Sprint, and Aphrodite's Aid will make it easier to beat Hades' final boss. In addition, players can also take advantage of boons like Privileged Status that can stack up to 40% extra damage on an enemy afflicted by two status effects.

How to progress further in Hades? ›

Use the darkness (the purple stuff) to buy upgrades in the mirror in your room (note: at some point you will unlock a second version of each upgrade) If you feel the game is too punishing, use god mode (it reduces damage gradually). You can disable it again when you've gotten a feel for the game.

How many hours should it take to beat Hades? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Hades is about 23 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 95 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

How long is Hades 1? ›

Hades is a giant indie game. Most players agree that completing everything in the game can take anywhere between 90 and 100 hours of gameplay, . Around 10-12 runs until my first successful escape.

How many times do you need to finish Hades? ›

You have to complete ten separate runs to unlock all the dialogue leading to the true ending with Persephone. While you do have to overcome many challenges in each attempt to accomplish this, Hades will stand aside on your final run, letting you skip the final boss entirely.

What am I supposed to do in Hades? ›

Basic Gameplay. Basic gameplay consists of progressing through randomly-generated rooms and killing enemies in an attempt to escape the Underworld. Between escape attempts you return to the House of Hades where you prepare for another run.

Can you keep playing Hades after true ending? ›

Hades is a roguelite, there's no fixed end point, you can keep playing forever. The normal ending is achieved after your tenth clear. Then . Hades' True Ending Brings Olympus & The Underworld Together The true ending of Hades, which sees the Chthonic and Olympian gods come together .

Does God mode ruin Hades? ›

This mode may be turned on and off via the options menu at any point without consequence. When turned off, the player will lose the damage resistance, but retain any percentage gained until God Mode is turned on again. Using God Mode will not lock players out of Achievements or content.

How to make Hades easier? ›

How to Use God Mode. God Mode is available at any time on the settings menu, either from the main menu or just by pausing in-game. You can toggle and untoggle this at any time, too, even during fights. This will immediately grant Zagreus with 20% damage resistance from all enemies.

Can you get through Hades without dying? ›

As far as checkpoints go, you can save and exit the game mid-run, but death will send you back to the starting area, yes. Look, it all depends what you want out of the game. It's fun, and if you never get to some arbitrary point, it doesn't matter.

What system should I play Hades on? ›

OSWindows 7 SP1/macOS 10.14+
ProcessorDual Core 3.0 GHz+
Memory8 GB RAM
Graphics2GB VRAM / DirectX 10+ support Intel UHD 630+ (must support Metal API)
Storage10 GB available space

Is God mode easier in Hades? ›

God Mode grants 20% damage resistance, increasing by 2% each time a run ends in death (rather than escape). The damage resistance caps at 80%. This mode was added to make the game more accessible, as well as to give players a way to experience the story of Hades more quickly if they wish.

Does Hades get easier as you play? ›

Leveling up the skills you acquire can gradually make them even better, allowing you to turn hard encounters into easy fights as you try to clear areas. You need to find Chthonic Keys in Hades to get Mirror Upgrades, either from room rewards, fishing, or the Fated List of Minor Prophecies.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5732

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-12-23

Address: 4653 O'Kon Hill, Lake Juanstad, AR 65469

Phone: +494124489301

Job: Marketing Representative

Hobby: Reading, Ice skating, Foraging, BASE jumping, Hiking, Skateboarding, Kayaking

Introduction: My name is Cheryll Lueilwitz, I am a sparkling, clean, super, lucky, joyous, outstanding, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.