Pixel Dungeon Wiki

Little-Known Tactics and Tips

  • I figured I should share some of my survival tactics. I'm sure others have thought of these, but I haven't seen them anywhere yet. They are in no particular order.

    When to identify things

    If you pay attention to what you drink/read, you will know what types of potions/scrolls are left unidentified. For example, if you only have terror, lullaby, and psionic blast unidentified, then you know there is no reason to read any unknown scrolls except during a battle. It is a small, but useful, advantage.

    Unidentified health potions are cheap to buy

    On games where I get past the Goo, it isn't unusual for me to make it through the sewers without using a health potion. To improve your odds of doing this, use Sungrass seeds to heal up when possible, along with frozen meat, the sungrass plants found in garden rooms, etc.

    Shops seem to always have at least one health potion in them. If you make it to floor 6 without identifying your health potion, you know one of the potions in the shop will be it.

    To further increase your odds of reaching floor 6 without identifying your health potion, consider skipping Piranha rooms on floor 4 and returning to them after buying out the unidentified potions in the shop. Throw things on traps instead of trying to guess which potion is levitation. Use seeds of firebloom or wands of firebolt instead of potions of fire on wooden barricades/bookshelves. If playing as a huntress, prop the Piranha room door open and kill the Piranhas with your boomerang, which saves you an invisibility potion, gives you mystery meat to freeze, and keeps you from accidentally drinking a health potion. (This can also be done by any character with a wand of teleportation.)

    If you make it to floor 6 without identifying your health potion, you should now find a way to identify it without actually identifying it. This is done by killing flies until one drops a potion- now you know without a doubt which color is healing.

    All this work nets you an extra +100 gold in the shop on floor 6 for each health potion you can buy unidentified, and it nets you even more money if you make it to floor 11 or 16 without identifying your health potion. But much more importantly, it keeps you from wasting a health potion before you actually want to drink one.

    Buy stuff and sell junk

    Particularly in the first shop, you should be buying almost everything there. Unidentified potions and scrolls are great- buy them up for cheap, then use them to figure out what they are.

    Lloyd's Beacon is invaluable for shopping; set it to a square just outside the shop and use it to hop back later to sell or buy again.

    Sell scrolls and potions you don't need. Everything can be useful, but often you'll have things you won't use. For example, fire darts do practically no damage; you hit for 1 and a creature takes 3 burning damage before the fire goes out. You may get lucky and the creature burns for 5 turns or more, but I usually sell them for guaranteed gold instead. Likewise with darts. (Re-evaluate this advice if you have no other distance weapon.)

    Many of the armor glyphs have serious downsides. Rather than trying to get lucky with a glyph you actually want, you can sell Arcane Styli and forgo the risk of getting the wrong glyph on your best armor.

    Any character with good wands, or the Huntresses with her boomerang, can often sell Shurikens or other distance weapons they will probably never use. Some wands have precious little use. For example, Wands of Flock and Wands of Telekinesis are so situational that I typically sell them. Evaluate what you have, whether you will use it, and if not, sell it.

    Never sell seeds. They don't get much gold, and you can turn unused seeds into potions.

    Don't buy weapons or armor; these are overpriced. Don't buy Ankhs, as you only resurrect with your equipped items- that means no healing potions, gold, or food. Usually, that just means you live an extra floor before dying again. Save the money (and the inventory space) and use it on something to keep you from dying in the first place. Buy food rations only if you are low on food.

    Transmutation Wells

    Main article: Well of Transmutation

    Typically, people say you should use upgrade scrolls on Wells of Transmutation, then enchant a weapon, but I find this is often a time-consuming and risky endeavor.

    Consider using these rare wells for a less risky, lower-investment option.  If you have, or expect to soon find a strength potion, they are candidates for transmutation.  You can always turn a weapon into another weapon of the same tier, which is great for turning that amazing Glaive +5 into an even better Warhammer +5, or for combining weapons with the Troll's quest.  Rings, or wands with little use, like a Ring of Energy on a character without any wands, could become a Ring of Haste.  If you are feeling lucky, you can even drop in a potion, or a scroll, and see what comes out.

    Scroll of Challenge - Goo Strategy

    Main article: Scroll of Challenge

    I used to think these were worthless, but I've revised my opinion of them. Plant multiple seeds of pain in the corridor outside Goo's door, then use the scroll to bring his death. A huntress in a long corridor, or at the end of a room with only one door, can use this scroll to bring enemies in and pick them off. Any character with a potion of poison gas can read the scroll and then throw the gas strategically, forcing many mobs to take significant damage before ever reaching you.

    Skip the Demon Halls

    Literally, don't play them. Save up three magic map scrolls and use one on each floor. Walk in the hallways from the starting stairs to the stairs down, and if possible, don't fight anything. Mind Vision potions can help you avoid critters.

    There you have it; some tips I haven't seen around, that folks may not already know about.

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    • Useful post, with one error however:

      MXan wrote:
      #7: Transmutation Wells. […] A +1 dagger can even become a +1 Shortsword, if you are lucky enough.


          private MeleeWeapon changeWeapon(MeleeWeapon w) {
              MeleeWeapon n = null;
              if (w instanceof Knuckles) {
                  n = new Dagger();
              } else if (w instanceof Dagger) {
                  n = new Knuckles();
              } else if etc. with other pairs of same-tier melee weapons
              if (n != null) {
                  copying all attributes from w to n,
                  except the if-present enchantment that is then re-randomized
              return n;
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    • Interesting. I assumed that, since all three were tier 1, they could turn into each other. I've changed the post accordingly.

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    • It's more of a gamble but when encountering Wells of Trasmutation I tend to throw any ring or wand I possess that isn't Evade or Disintegration/Flock respectively. Of course if I have just a single Ring of Haste or Wand of Avalanche I'm slightly more reluctant to take the risk than when I have a robust supply of useless accessories. Usually you trade one undesirable for another but the few times your +2 Ring of Resistance becomes a great step towards a good run it's worth the trial and error.

      I mean, Potions of Might are certainly cool and everything, but I'd rather cash in the extra 5 HP for an extra "spin" so to speak.

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    • On that last one I obviously meant to say Wand of Disintegration/REGROWTH. Just so you guys don't wonder if I have some crazy secret sheep summoning strategy or Something....

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    • Skillyman wrote:
      On that last one I obviously meant to say Wand of Disintegration/REGROWTH. Just so you guys don't wonder if I have some crazy secret sheep summoning strategy or Something....

      LOL!  I was just about to ask you about that until I read your follow-up reply. XD  Cause I mean, it actually makes sense, now that you've brought it up; since Disintegration deals more damage the more things it pierces through.. (unless sheep don't count in its damage amp?)

      (Also; you know, you could've just edited your previous comment by hovering your mouse over it, clicking on "More", then clicking on "Edit"; rather than posting another comment.)

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    • I'm using my phone and couldn't seem to find any way to edit it even when viewing the full site....

      • Edit - So that's how you do it! Thanks Shadow!  :D
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    • Skillyman wrote:
      I'm using my phone and couldn't seem to find any way to edit it even when viewing the full site....

      If you're using a phone (viewing from Full Site), just tap on your comment, and the options I mentioned should show up on the bottom right corner of the comment.  =)


      Yup!  You're welcome! (^_^)

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    • Made several edits for clarity, to reduce the size of the post, and for accuracy. Should be a bit better now. Added Skillyman's advice on Rings (which I've done before and completely forgot to add into the original post). Thanks Skillyman!

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    • A strategy I found to be quite useful is to choose the armor after completing the sad ghost's quest because armor is important if you want to get past goo. Choosing the weapon wouldn't be a smart choice because you can easily just get a strong weapon in the prison stages by killing skeletons. I've tested this strategy and I've managed to get a plate armor +2 and i only needed to upgrade it 3 times for my "permanent" armor. It would be unfortunate if get a cloth armor but you'll probably find some leather armour within the sewer stages. It is pretty hard to get plate armor in the sewer stages so using the sad ghost will definitely benefit you. And as for weapons, you can just kill skeletons until you find either a battleaxe,a longsword, a warhammer or a glaive for ur permanent weapon. 

      Another strategy which i found useful was to only face animated statues if you are sure you can kill it and only if they have a weapon  that has a decent sell value because you're likely not to get a glaive from facing an animated statue because it's too risky and rare. 

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    • I got a venomous warhammer from a statue the other day. On floor 1, no less.

      Statues are all about strategy; that one was in a long room, and I had a few seeds and the Huntress' boomerang. Plant a seed of blinding in the doorway, throw the boomerang a few times, then retreat (before the statue is right next to you). It hits the blinding and can't follow you; hit it some more. Boom, win.

      That said, there are plenty of times I tackled a Statue and lost, so I agree- only take one on when it is worth the risk. I also agree about the Ghost's quest.

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    • MXan wrote:
      On floor 1, no less.

      Oh! Is there a floor 0? (Just teasing :p)

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    • One more reason for skipping Demon Halls is that they have much lower chance of spawning Upgrade scrolls or Strength potions.

      What I usually do is go straight to the final boss using mapping scrolls, and then AFTER beating him going back up and clearing as much of Demon Halls as possible - for points. If things are looking bad and there are no more healing potions... use the amulet :)

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    • If an enemy is following you, and you go around a sharp turn, you can actually get a surprise attack when he comes around the corner.

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    • If you're ever lucky enough to find a statue in a really grassy room set fire to the grass closest to him from max distance and run for water..I've gotten his weapon with no battle a few times-

      Before I get the scroll case (level 11 shop) - I save my Scrolls of Upgrade and drop them in the 1st room of the dungeon floor till I've explored and set off all potential fire traps--then go back and get them when it's safe--nothing's more demoralizing than burning up a saved Scroll of Upgrade.

      Can't remember how it turned out but I want to say i've tried teleporting the Giant Pirrahna...

      Use to not much like Wand of Teleport till I realized that a +2-3 Wand of Teleport means rarely fighting that tough monster that might kill you AAAANND if you're surrounded aim it at an adjacent wall to Teleport yourself out of danger- Beats the hell out of Blink --similar stategy plant a Seed of Fadeleaf and back up one spot in a tough fight or throw it behind you and run into it--Saved me from the Fetid Rat who snuck up on me in the dark of a garden once

      Wand of Flock can be useful for Tengu- block his Shuriken and force him to teleport somewhere more accessible

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    • Teleporting the giant piranha kills it if it lands on ground. If by any chance they teleported to watery area, they'll live on and swim in the poodle

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    • Well, this one might need a little more testing.. But, disintegrating or burning all doors on a level will seriously neuter enemy spawn rates. I know there's a fixed algorithm that spawns enemies, but it seems to not work properly when there are no door tiles present...

      - Just take this tip with a pinch of salt.

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    • The Well of Transmutation paid off for me just the other day. On lvl 1 found a Statue with

      dagger [turn out +3]. Readied it because is very effective in Sewers, but could not be useful long term. Hoped for lv 4-5 weapon later. But, on lvl 2 found Well. +3 Dagger becomes +3

      Knuckles, a weapon I can use to the end! When game was over I had +6 stunning knucks

      and +8 plates. Killing everything in sight with great ease as you get 2 chances/turn to stun

      you mob, which stays stunned for twice as many rounds!

      For Knuckledusters, stunning is awesome! Any class!

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    • KnowFear wrote: If an enemy is following you, and you go around a sharp turn, you can actually get a surprise attack when he comes around the corner.

      The enemy has to have lost sight of you by the end of your turn. Same theory with doors ;)

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    • Take this advice how you will but I don't recommend skipping any levels ever... Not even the Daemon halls. Unless you know without a doubt that you're ready for Yogi those extra level from killing scorpians are going to help SOOO much in the final fight.

      And with the whole degradation thing now days I highly recommend staggering and saving upgrade scrolls, enchantment scrolls and weight stones to try and preserve weapon and armour levels.

      Get a weapon first. The best tip I can offer on that is that you want to have armour by the Dwarf king. Up till then wing it. When you kill the dwarf king and get the armour upgrade kit, dump all of your upgrade scrolls into your scale or plate and then just the kit. YOUR ARMOUR WILL NOT DEGRADE AS IT ACTS LIKE A LEVEL 0 ITEM! Having your +7 plate not degrading is a massive relief and you can focus on rings and weapon then...

      All of which I'll try and cover in my tutorials ;) #shamelessadvertising

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    • Here are some more random tips and strategies:

      1) throw a seed of blindweed onto the dwarf king's two plinths where he goes to stand to summon skeletons. it usually slows him way down and gives you a bunch of free hits on him.

      2) save all of your curare darts, right from the beginning, for the eye shooters in the demon halls. they are vulnerable to paralysis and that saves you a lot of hit points when you get to their level.

      3) if you play huntress, you MUST read the sniper's guide by Darkoko to learn how to hit partially obscured targets. this is key. learn these trick shots. they apply to long passageways with kinks.

      4) if you do NOT play the huntress, you MUST read the sniper's guide by Darkoko ANYWAY because his tips ALSO APPLY TO WANDS.

      5) Here is the link to the trick shot guide:  TRICK SHOTS

      6) inspect crystal chests before opening and always choose wands, not rings, because they are never cursed

      7) you can always go back to kill an animated statue later after you have levelled up alot and climbed back up to fetch that venomous glaive or whatever - your level keeps climbing but it always stays the same.

      WOO HOO

      happy pixelling

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    • I found a new tip. When ever you receive an item from the sad ghost it's usually always the item next up to it. Like if you got cloth armor on and you ask for armor it mainly always is leather. If your wearing scale mail and ask for armor your most likely to receive plate.

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    • wrote: I found a new tip. When ever you receive an item from the sad ghost it's usually always the item next up to it. Like if you got cloth armor on and you ask for armor it mainly always is leather. If your wearing scale mail and ask for armor your most likely to receive plate.

      Not quite :) The armour the Ghost gives you (or indeed the weapon) is randomly generated, info on that is found here: [1] and for pure armour generation here: [2]

      That I know of the only time this isn't the case is when you have the 'Faith is my armour' challenge enabled in which case you always get -1 cloth armour.

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