Fighting tips to give you an edge in Hades

Choose your weapon

Don’t feel the need to stick with the default weapon, the Stygian Blade. Early on, and in exchange for a few Chthonic Keys, you’ll have the opportunity to try different weapons. While the Shield of Chaos damage stats aren’t quite what the Stygian Blade’s are, the shield offers two significant advantages for beginners – blocking and ranged attacks.

Blocking can be very handy against enemies firing projectiles and the Special shield throw is great to combine with Boons that inflict status effects, such as Ares ‘Curse of Pain’. You’ll be doing damage to enemies without getting anywhere near them.

What is the best path to take?

While you’ll see recognisable chambers as you battle your way out of the underworld, the order they appear in is random, as are the rewards they offer. Sometimes, you’ll have more than one option to continue your journey.

In early runs, focus less on how far you progress and more on paths that offer Darkness and Chthonic Keys. This will give you plenty of currency to purchase upgrades that will ultimately help you get further than before. 


Most enemies have just one attack, though bosses are a clear exception to this rule. Come to recognise their ‘tells’ before they attack though and you’ll know to dash out of the way quickly. And while it’s tempting to multitask, focusing your efforts on one foe at a time is often more effective. 

Don’t forget about your Cast

It can be easy in the heat of battle to forget about your Cast. They don’t do a great deal of damage on their own but combined with Boons that inflict status effects they can quickly become a thorn in the side for particularly tricky targets. The Boiling Blood upgrade in the Mirror of Night also ups your damage when your Cast is embedded in an enemy.

Adjusting difficulty

If you want to lower the difficulty or focus more on the story, look for God Mode in the game settings – this makes Zagreus tougher with each death.

What happens when you die in Hades?

Don’t give up!

Don’t feel disheartened if you’ve had a few runs and not lasted a particularly long time. This is a key part of playing Hades. Not only does dying open new dialogue with other characters where you’ll learn more about your dysfunctional family, it eventually allows you to regularly upgrade your abilities. 

Get the Codex

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you visit Achilles in the House of Hades who will gift you the Codex of the Underworld early on. This keeps track of enemies, family members and importantly, who you have gifted Nectar to.

Be sociable

Make sure to check in with characters dotted around the House of Hades. Gifting them Nectar may prove fruitful, especially so once you’ve completed favours for certain individuals. You might even find a use for Ambrosia here eventually…

Use it or lose it

Upon your demise you’ll lose the Boons and Coins you collected in your last run. Make sure to spend as much as possible before you die!

What should I upgrade first in Hades?

Mirror of Night

The Mirror of Night allows you to purchase upgrades using Darkness. It offers a variety of Talents to help you get further with each run, and while all useful, there are some that can be more valuable than others early on. 

Death Defiance

Provides a chance to be resurrected on death and continue the fight.

Greater Reflex

Add an extra dash to your movement to get in and out of combat quicker.

Thick Skin

Increases your base vitality so you can start each run with more health.

House of Hades renovations

The House Contract offers a wide variety of items and customisations that can be purchased with Gemstones.

Early upgrades to look out for here include Fountain Chambers that randomly appear in various levels and restore vitality, and gain the chance to find coins with Urns of Wealth.

Fill your Keepsake cabinet

Once you’ve earned some Nectar, don’t give it away to just anyone. Some keepsakes will be more useful to you in your first few runs than others.

Old Spiked Collar

This boosts your base vitality. Obtain this by gifting Nectar to Cerberus in the House of Hades.

Skelly’s Lucky Tooth

Similar to the Death Defiance upgrade in the Mirror of Night, this revives you once per run upon death. Obtain this by gifting Nectar to Skelly.

Harpy Feather Duster

Running low on health? This keepsake obtained from Dusa gives you a chance to find healing items in broken urns.

Upgrade your keepsakes

Each keepsake can be levelled up twice by completing encounters while equipped to improve their effects.

Upgrade your keepsakes

Each keepsake can be levelled up twice by completing encounters while equipped to improve their effects.

How to get further in Hades

Clear bosses with different weapons

You’ll receive a special Bounty item the first time you beat a boss with a particular weapon. Spend these rare and valuable items wisely, and if you're not sure what to do with them at first, just hang onto them. Subsequent victories over a boss with the same weapon will earn you a large sum of Darkness instead.

Collecting the best boons

Once you have the first few boss battles under your belt, you’ll want to start focusing on improving your ‘build’ – the collection of Boons and upgrades you collect during a single run. A powerful build can render you virtually unstoppable, so choose wisely.

Different weapon and Boon combinations provide for incredibly varied combat depending on your playstyle. However, some Boons have a more universal appeal while you’re finding your feet.


Athena’s Boons that offer Deflect, particularly with your Dash or Special, protect you from damage and bounce projectiles back towards the enemy that fired it.


The After Party Boon allows you to heal a certain amount between each chamber, which can make the difference between beating the next mini-boss or not. 


Reduce incoming damage with Aphrodite’s Different League - the degree of which increases with Boon level. 

Ready to escape the underworld?

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