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Hades 2: 10 Beginner Tips To Get You Started

Hades 2 is finally in Early Access, and boy howdy, can we not tell. For a game with no confirmed ‘full’ release date, Hades 2 is jam-packed with content and polish. It takes what made the original Hades GOATed, and dials pretty much everything to 11 – a feat worthy of praise in and of itself. 

With Melinoe on everyone’s lips, we thought it would be a good idea to help you on your journey with some beginner tips. Some of these will act as refreshers for Hades veterans, and some of them will help you shake off some old Hades habits in preparation for this whole new game. Let’s dive right in. 

Quick note – we HIGHLY recommend using a controller OR using a Steam Deck when playing Hades 2. Whilst playable on keyboard and mouse, we found it far more difficult.

This Is Not Just A Retread Of Hades

Hades 2, whilst being a direct sequel to Super Giant’s rather fantastic, Hades, is not a simple retread. If you go into Hades 2 expecting to pick it up like a bicycle and take it for a smooth ride, you are going to be in for a rude awakening. Whilst the bones of Hades 2 are largely the same, almost every system has been revamped and tweaked to make this a unique experience. Melinoe is not Zagreus, and we love that. 

Be bold, be adventurous, and be prepared to discover. There is a lot to unpack here, and the game still has more things to come in the future. 

Always Be On The Lookout For Resources

One thing you will need to constantly be scouring for is resources. Hades 2 has an ungodly amount of things to find, collect, grow, and harvest. Some of these things come as rewards for combat feats, others are found scattered around the world, and you are going to need to find a lot of them. 

A lot of systems are directly tied to ‘crafting’ back at the Crossroads. So as a general rule of thumb, if you want to progress and unlock new stuff, be sure to pick things up. This way, even when you get slapped around by Scylla and her raucous band of Sirens, you’ve at least made some tangible progress. 

Do be aware that many resources can only be harvested after you have unlocked specific tools.

Experiment With Your Boons

Melinoe is pretty darn weak as standard. Sure she can take on some of the earlier enemies with no bother, but as you progress through the game, you are going to start to feel a smidge underpowered. This is where Boons come into play.

Boons are powerful modifiers that grant Melinoe new powers. Some of these directly alter how you attack, cast or use specials, whereas others are more passive, providing a variety of wild effects. It might be tempting to dive into the loving arms of Aphrodite due to her high Attack % modifiers, but in doing so, you are going to miss out on some wonderful utility. Lady Demeter is one of our favourites as her Freeze ailment helps lock down just about everything. 

Also, just like the original Hades, many Gods can combine boons into Duo Boons that offer incredibly powerful – if often situational – effects that are well worth hunting down. Always experiment to find new ways to defeat your foes. 

Mess Around With Every Weapon

Similarly, sticking to just one weapon will starve you of exciting gameplay experiences. Whilst the starting Staff is fantastic, learning how to use the big stonking axe or nimble blades not only teaches you new ways to deal with Hades 2’s threats but could offer a solution to a problem that has been nagging you. Sometimes you just want to blow things up with a wand. 

Of course, every weapon can be upgraded with Daedalus Hammers, and boons work in a variety of weird ways to boot. At a bare minimum, if Hades 2 is getting a bit stale, pick up a new weapon and reinvigorate yourself. You can unlock most of the weapons without too much hassle, so we recommend spending early runs focusing on gathering the required resources. 

Oh, and there’s a mechanic which grants bonus Bones when you take a specific weapon on a run. You are encouraged to dabble.

Chaos Is Your Friend

Chaos is the being that created all of existence in Hades. An incredibly powerful being who is largely apathetic to the plight of his creation. That being said, he has a fondness for the children of Hades for one reason or another and is willing to grant Melinoe unique Boons to help her on her quest. 

There’s a catch or two though. Firstly,  you have to sacrifice your HP to even have an audience with Chaos. Secondly, all of his Boons require you to endure a negative before they grant you their benefit. New players might find the price of Chaos to be too high or risky, but as a general rule, it is always worth gambling with Chaos. 

The Boons he offers can be game-winningly powerful, and since they never overwrite Godly Boons, they stack. This is another instance of experimenting that will drastically increase your chances of winning. 

Charging Your Attacks Is Key

One of the biggest new additions to Hades’s combat is charging your attacks. Your basic attack, specials, and casts can now be charged to unleash a far more powerful (often different) attack. For example, using your standard cast will immobilise enemies. Charging your cast will do that, and then deal massive damage to everything caught in the circle. 

Every weapon comes with its own set of charge attacks, and knowing when to expend precious mana to unleash a charge attack is key to understanding Hades 2’s combat system. Whilst not immediately apparent, Melinoe has access to all kinds of powerful crowd control options baked into her core kit. You just have to charge. 

Just be wary of the time it takes to charge. Time it wrong and you could end up taking a hefty chunk of damage. 

Priming Can Be Very Powerful

Mana is mostly used to dabble in charging, however, there is another system that is tied to the resource – Priming. Priming is the act of permanently reducing your mana in exchange for a passive effect. This could be something as simple as gaining a small buff to your damage output to complete immunity to damage (for a time). 

Priming, like many things in Hades 2, can be rather daunting. Your mana is a precious resource, and cutting into that finite reserve is a big ask. Take it from us though, priming is very useful and most Boons that use the mechanic are well worth the investment. 

Don’t Forget To Upgrade Your Health

Healing in Hades 2 is very difficult. It is largely granted via Charon, however there is no guarantee he will offer life-sustaining food. Melinoe’s base health is very low – so low that she can be killed in a dozen hits by even the earliest of enemies. When every hit is so difficult to recover from, how do you stay alive?

You increase your maximum health. These upgrades are denoted by hearts when choosing which room to enter and grant Melinoe a substantial +25HP. This functionally acts as a 25HP heal, in addition to increasing your overall health. When in doubt, embolden your defences. 

Grind Your Keepsakes

Keepsakes make their return in Hades 2. These are unlocked by handing various characters Nectar. Keepsakes are powerful modifiers that grant everything from rapid mana regeneration to revivals upon death. Like with everything, you want to gather as many as you can and experiment. 

However, you also want to level them. Every Keepsake can be upgraded twice. You simply have to use them and progress through the game. Every upgrade enhances their effect, so it’s well worth grinding a bit with each Keepsake. Once a Keepsake is fully maxed out, swap it out, and repeat the process.

Every Run Is A Learning Opportunity

Finally, death is inevitable in Hades 2. You will die quickly when you first start, and you will die often. The goal here is to learn from your mistakes, gather resources, and upgrade your stuff back at the Crossroads to make your next run easier. Hades 2 manages to balance player skill and progression perfectly, so don’t get disheartened. You will eventually get to Chronos, and you will whoop his butt. 

That’s all we have on Hades 2 for now. Be sure to keep an eye out for guides in the future for more tips and tricks.

Source: Gameranx


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