9 Things To Know Before Starting Hades 2

9 Things To Know Before Starting Hades 2

Hades 2 is now in Early Access, ready to overtake your evenings, lunch breaks, and weekends for the foreseeable future. Playing as Melinoë, you’re tasked with defeating Chronos, aka time itself, to rescue her family and defend Olympus. It’s quite a lot to take in, especially if you go unprepared.

As far as sequels go, Hades 2 draws a lot from its predecessor, so familiarity will be to your advantage here. But even if you’ve played the first entry, developer Supergiant Games has added an array of new mechanics and features to discover. If you’re looking for some beginner’s tips without spoiling yourself with any major surprises, here are X things to know before starting Hades 2.

Gathering resources is less busywork than you think

One of the biggest new features that you’ll notice right away in Hades 2 is a focus on gathering materials using tools. At this time in Early Access, you can use tools like a pickaxe and a shovel to obtain different items, which are primarily used in the cauldron for incantations.

If you’re not a big fan of survival-type mechanics in games, this might deter you at first. That being said, it’s less busywork than you might imagine. You only get to equip one tool at a time, which reduces the time you’ll be spending digging a hole or mining ore, for example.

The actions themselves are fairly short, too, adding some variation to a few rooms during each run, similar to fishing in the first game (yes, you can fish in this one, too). Other times, it’ll only be a matter of picking up a flower from the ground, which takes a quick second.

Don’t forget to chat to everybody

Screenshot: Supergiant Games / Kotaku

That’s a rule of thumb that might sound obvious if you’re already familiar with Hades, but it’s worth a reminder. Whenever you’re at the Crossroads, the hub-like area of Hades 2, make sure to walk around and talk to everybody who has an exclamation mark over their heads.

For one thing, this is a big part of the charm of these games: getting to know the backstories of all the different characters while also hearing their reactions and opinions to the progress you’ve made so far, including recent feats and discoveries.

For another, it’s also a good way of advancing certain conversations that can lead to breakthroughs for story-related events. If you haven’t met up with a certain character in a while, either inside or outside the Crossroads, make sure to go out of your way to visit them. Whenever you get stuck in an objective and don’t have an incantation or item that you need yet, there might be somebody out there who can lend a hand.

Gift everybody nectar at least once

Screenshot: Supergiant Games / Kotaku

Speaking of which, you’ll begin to see nectar as a reward for clearing rooms fairly early on. This item is a part of a mechanic to grow your relationships with key characters. In a similar fashion to the first game, it’s also how you get access to Keepsakes, which are equippable items that add a passive bonus for each run.

It’s key to start a Keepsake collection as soon as possible; otherwise you’ll be missing out on some powerful advantages that are added on top of the bonuses you’re already getting from Boons, Tarot Arcanas, and so on.

For some recommendations, Nemesis’ Keepsake is great to retaliate on an enemy type that killed you in your previous run (which includes bosses), while Arachne’s gives you a great headstart by adding 20 armor from the get-go. All in all, make sure to gift everybody you meet nectar at least once.

Focus on incantations

Screenshot: Supergiant Games / Kotaku

Incantations might seem quite rudimentary at first, but this is a key aspect of Hades 2 as a whole. Without entering spoiler territory, unlocking incantations should be a priority if you want to see everything the game has to offer at this point in Early Access.

Some incantations are related to main objectives, so to speak, which are fairly easy to discern from the rest. Others bring back a few features from the first game, such as Wells of Charon and a merchant for the Crossroads. Most incantations, however, are entirely new.

Even if you’re not that interested in your current incantations, if you have the necessary materials, go ahead and unlock them. It might not happen immediately after, but once you’re back at the Crossroads from subsequent runs, you’ll begin to see new incantations to unlock. Who knows? Some of them might unlock new features altogether.

Tend to your garden

As per important incantations, Melinoë is able to plant seeds at the Crossroads. This new mechanic is fairly simple—once you have seeds, you need to get close to the garden and plant them. They all have a timer, which indicates how many rooms you need to go through until they’re ready for harvest. In short, if you see that a seed has the number eight, you don’t need to do eight full runs, but rather get through at least eight rooms or more during a run.

Gardening is a great way of obtaining certain flowers without having to stumble upon them randomly during runs, especially a few rare ones that are used for later incantations. Always make sure to pay your garden a quick visit before leaving for Erebus.

Unlocking new weapons is worth the investment

Small spoiler: In its current Early Access state, there are five weapons in Hades 2. It’ll likely take you a while to obtain the fifth, as it requires some materials that you won’t find until much further on. The first three weapons available to unlock, however, are quite affordable.

You may have gotten used to the Witch’s Staff or the Sister Blades early on, and that’s fair. That being said, the next two available weapons are quite versatile, and can be devastating if you manage to combine a decent set of Boons. Without spoiling, the melee-focused weapon pairs great with scorch damage for its attack, while the range-focused weapon greatly benefits from weakness damage for its special. But of course, feel free to experiment. It’s part of the charm.

Get yourself the Death Defiance arcana ASAP

Screenshot: Supergiant Games / Kotaku

Whenever you leave the Crossroads as you prepare for a run, you’ll have the chance to meditate and upgrade or change your current selection of Tarot Arcanas. Perhaps one of the most important ones is the XII arcana, Eternity, which grants one Death Defiance.

If you’re unfamiliar with the name, know that you’ll essentially get an extra life. Whenever your HP reaches zero, Death Defiance will activate itself, and restore a portion of your life while giving you a second wind.

There are ways of obtaining more Death Defiances during runs after you’ve made some progress in the game and gained access to later areas. But until then, having that extra chance under your sleeve will prove fruitful, to say the least, while also taking off some of the pressure when clutching boss fights on low health.

To gain access to the Eternity arcana, make your way through The Wayward Son and The Titan, which are also a good pair if you just want to keep your health in check as much as possible during runs.

Terrain kills are much more useful this time around

Terrain kills were already present in the first game, but Hades 2 revamps them to make them much more deadly than before. Each area you plunge through has a few structures that, once they’re hit enough times, will create an area attack. This could be a cloud of steam that damages anyone who gets near, for instance, or a statue that creates a big attack blast that hits everybody in range.

In Erebus, for example, trees can be quite powerful against enemies. Make sure to always hit them from behind as you aim toward an enemy, and they’ll “fly off” in that direction, hitting more than one foe if they’re close enough to each other. In the second area and onward, some mechanisms can be quite involved, and will damage you if you’re in the way. Make sure to keep an eye out on the environment, although Melinoë will often say something once a trap is triggered.

Yes, there is a way of opening the ward at the Crossroads

This isn’t much of a spoiler as it’s quite hard to miss. Whenever you’re entering Erebus, you’ll notice a different ward in the opposite direction, which leads to a staircase. Contrary to what one would believe, that ward can be opened in the current Early Access build.

For now, all you need to know is that characters will eventually start talking about that ward, to the point of kicking off an incantation related to it later on. This will take time, and depending on how things go, perhaps a few dozen runs, so don’t worry too much about it. There’s a lot more than meets the eye in Hades 2, and the second ward is just one of many surprises waiting for you in the underworld.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *