[Targeted for an Overhaul/Renovation.]
Pixel Dungeon belongs to the roguelike genre of games. One of the conventions of this genre is that character death is permanent and frequent. So don’t worry if you’re dying a lot and haven’t managed to kill the last boss. Unlike an RPG, where competent play will lead to the defeat of the last boss in one playthrough, a roguelike is more like Tetris or Pac-Man, where you’re expected to play many short games and the fun is in seeing what happens before your inevitable death.
Even with ideal play, your results will be heavily based on luck and you will only rarely have a “successful” playthrough.
If you’re new to the game, there is a starting guide too.
Game mechanics Edit
Learn the game mechanics so you can easily use them to your advantage.
Forced items Edit
For every special room there is something to open or used to get an item. This tip will help you guess what kind of potion you have in your backpack.
- There is a Potion of Invisibility for each Flooded vault on a floor.
- There is a Potion of Liquid Flame for each Storage on a floor.
- There is a Potion of Levitation for each Room of traps or Chasm room on a floor.
- There is an Iron key for each locked door on a floor.
- There is a Golden key for each locked chest on a floor.
- There is a Golden key for each pair of crystal chests on a floor.
- Buy Potions of Healing first, as these are more beneficial, important and will help you get through the depth and get more gold.
- Buy Seed pouch/Scroll holder second. These are useful as they will give space in your backpack.
- Buy something you need in the moment, like a Scroll of Remove Curse to uncurse an equipped item.
- Buy other potions and scrolls you will need in the future if you have enough gold and you already bought the things in the points before. For example, it helps a lot in later levels to have scrolls of Magic Mapping, potions of Mind Vision and Invisibility.
- Buy Overpriced Food last and if you need it. Overpriced food will only satisfy 35 % of what a normal food ration would give.
Dealing with health and hunger Edit
- You will be hungry/starving for most of the game. Don't worry about it too much.
- Seed of Sungrass is great for healing, even when you are starving. Try to use it in a safe space, as if you need to move before you are fully healed the healing effect will wear off in a few turns.
- Fill up your Dew vial as soon as possible. Even when your vial is full, when you find more Dew Drops don't consume them unless necessary; remember where they are in case you need to refill your vial.
- A full dew vial is better than an Ankh, as it is not destroyed when triggered and you won't lose your items. Consequently, use Sungrass to heal in quiet moments, use healing potions when at risk of imminent death, and save the dew vial for dire emergencies.
- When fighting a boss or mob, take in account their max/regular damage and your health. If you know they can K.O. you on their next turn, drink a Potion of Healing.
- Starving takes a while to damage you. Wait until your health is near half and eat a piece of food or wait until your health is low and drink a Potion of Healing (but be cautious).
- Warriors heal 5 HP when they eat, so you can starve down that much more before eating. If you eat at full health you will lose this benefit.
- Warlocks regain a bit of both health and hunger every time they kill an enemy. Which means that as long as you encounter enemies regularly and can kill them quickly, you will almost never have to eat (you will constantly be on the verge of starving but that's OK).
- Hold down the wait icon to enable sleep mode. Your hero will gain health faster, but will wake up if any mobs are nearby or if your hero becomes starved.
- Try to find a safe spot to sleep in, such as a garden room or nearby the staircase.
- Chargrilled meat, frozen carpaccio, overpriced food rations and mystery meat will satisfy hunger/starvation for only 35 % of what a normal food ration would satisfy.
- You can throw an item to open the door of a Flooded vault, then you can use a ranged weapon to kill giant piranhas safely. Each one will always drop one mystery meat.
- If you stand on water and are in a situation where you don’t have to worry about the Rooted or the Slowed debuff (not in combat or escaping), the mystery meat only has a 1/5 chance of doing damage to your hero by applying the Poisoned debuff. Beware that you'll still have a chance to burn scrolls in case you get fire, as it takes one turn for the water to take the fire off.
- The most efficient way to use the Mystery meat is by saving all of it until you finish an area where there are mobs who give the meat (the sewers and the caves), then find a patch with the necessary amount of grass tiles, throw the meat on them and set fire to it. This way you will cook all the Mystery meat with one single Liquid Flame potion or Firebloom seed.
- Throwing Mystery meat on a fire trap will both safely disarm the trap and cook the meat.
- If you have a Wand of Firebolt you can use its charges to cook Mystery meat whenever you want.
Testing out items and traps Edit
- To test out potions, stand on a tile with water to prevent fire and near a door to escape poisonous gas. Be careful of location, health and hunger when the paralytic gas potion hasn't been identified. If you have not identified the potion of healing by the first shop, then the type of potion that has the highest amount for sale is almost always the healing potion. Unidentified items are cheaper, so buy them all cheaply before using one if possible. Potions can also be made using the alchemy pot (ex. 3 Seed of Sungrass make a Potion of Healing with a
347/453probability). That way you can tell if the potion is already in your inventory or not.
- Use Wand of Telekinesis to test your way. Zap from it activates every trap on its way. Very useful in the corridors.
- In the early game, test out scrolls on a depth you've already cleared to avoid using the Scroll of Challenge or Teleportation in a depth you haven’t completed, especially when your armor/weapon is weak for the level or health is low. On the other hand, you may risk wasting Scroll of Magic Mapping. Once those have been identified (or if you can deal with being challenged or teleported), test scrolls when first entering a new depth to gain the advantage of possible scrolls of mapping and mirror image. You may want to wait until you have both an item you would like to identify and one you want to upgrade before testing any scrolls. You may want to try to avoid using any until you reach the first shop so you can buy all available scrolls cheaply (unidentified scrolls are 150 gold, a bargain.) Boss depths [5, 10, 15, & 20; and the Shop depth - 21] before & after fights, are also a good time to test scrolls once the common ones have been identified as Mirror Image, Terror, Lullaby and Psionic Blast can be useful and you may never get more than one per game of some.
- Traps will not be on tiles with grass, water, stains, rubble, candles, wood, or doors.
- If you zap a Wand of Regrowth straight down a hallway or even through a room, grass will grow on all the regular floor tiles the energy ball passes over. If grass does not sprout on a floor tile, you can know that tile is a trap, and you can search the tile to see what kind of trap it is, then disarm it if it’s in a hall or go around it if it’s in a room.
- Throw any item on a trap (besides potions and scrolls) to trigger it from a safe distance.
- Summoning traps and Alarm traps will still work (enemies will be summoned or the alarm will be triggered), so only trigger them when you can deal with the consequences.
- Throw mystery meat on a flame trap to both disarm the trap and make chargrilled meat. You can cook two in each trap.
- If you notice that there’s a trap beneath an unopened chest, don’t open the chest first; toss an expendable item first to trigger the trap, then open the chest. That way, if the chest happens to contain a scroll & the trap happens to be a flame trap, your scroll won’t burn (the chest protects it from burning)
- First a bit of statistics:
- Items found in locked rooms are less likely to be cursed than items found in regular rooms.
- Items found in skeletal remains which generate a wraith are from the Hero's remains from another game. They are always cursed, but won't be degraded unless it was degraded when you died with it in the previous game.
- The weapons and armor generation algorithm is more likely to generate equipment whose minimum strength matches your current maximum strength (according to the number of Potions of Strength generated). That means that if you find a high-tier weapon or armor in the beginning of the game, it is more likely to be upgraded than degraded or cursed, and inversely, if you find basic equipment later in the game it is more likely to be cursed.
- Drinking from a Well of Health uncurses all equipped objects. So before drinking from one, successively equip all the unidentified items in your inventory, starting with the ones you most want to identify. If you can equip an item, note that it is not cursed and go on to the next. If the item is cursed, note that it is probably degraded and go on to the next item category (weapons, armors and rings). Once you have tested everything you can, drink from the well, remove the previously cursed items and restore your equipment back to whatever you want.
- Using a Scroll of Remove Curse uncurses all the items in your inventory. However, if the item hasn't been identified as cursed you only know if the scroll affected anything in your inventory (there is a black smoke and the phrase "a malevolent energy disperses") or nothing. As degraded items are always cursed, it is helpful to know whether an object was initially cursed as well as whether it is currently cursed. Therefore, before using a scroll of remove curse, if you do not have a specific item you want to uncurse, drop all the items you know to be cursed, leaving only unidentified objects. If you read the scroll and nothing happens, it means none of your objects was cursed, and therefore none of them are degraded. If a malevolent energy disperses, then you can now test the items safely, but you should expect to find degraded ones among them.
- If you find a Short sword or a Wand of Magic Missile through the Hero's remains, you can easily know if they are upgraded or not by checking if the Reforge / Disenchant option is present in the menu.
- If you know a weapon/armor/ring is not cursed (or don't know but are brave) and want to know more about it, you don't have to use a Scroll of Identify: you can just equip the item and it will auto-identify:
- For weapons: after a several successful strikes.
- For armor: after a several received hits.
- For rings: just wear them for a while.
- Here are a few strategies to assess items before the auto-identification kicks in:
- If you've just started the game, the tier-5 and tier-4 weapons will be always to heavy for you. As well as a plate armor.
- The slowing of the speed when you use an armor above your strength is quite easy to notice, so just equip an armor and compare your speed to the monsters. That will give you an idea of its modifier.
- The same goes with weapons and the accuracy penalty. If you keep missing your enemy then the weapon modifier is too low for your strength.
- For weapons/armors that are not above your strength, with some experience it is possible to estimate the modifier from the type of the armor/weapon and the damage prevented/dealt.
- For rings:
- Ring of Detection is the easiest to identify, just check if your search zone increases.
- Ring of Haste can be identified by checking if you can outrun enemies or occasionally land two strikes when they have only one.
- Ring of Power can be very easily identified if you have a wand whose effect directly varies with the level, such as a Wand of Blink or a Wand of Disintegration. If the range extends when the ring is equipped, it is a ring of Power.
- Ring of Accuracy and Ring of Evasion can be identified by monitoring your and the enemy's hit rate, but the effect is not really obvious at level +1.
- Most other rings are tricky to identify, you should probably just wear them for a while.
- Wands are never cursed, but they have three identification levels:
- If you never encountered that type of wand before, you won't even know the effect. Zap it around and you will know a wand of what you hold.
- Then you won't know the level. Just use the wand repetitively until it is empty and you will know the maximum number of charges, from which you can infer the wand's level (see the wand's page, most wands have 2+level charges).
- If you use a Scroll of Identify, you will fully identify the wand and also know the current number of charges.
- It is not worth it to fully identify most wands, unless it is a powerful battle wand you use as one of your main weapons or you have plenty of scrolls of Identify.
Dealing with enemies Edit
- Take out enemies one by one in narrow corridors or behind a door.
- If playing as a rogue assassin, lure enemies into doorways and attack to deal high amounts of damage. You can use the same tactic to use weapon that is too heavy for you (i.e. War hammer in the Sewers).
- Use a Wand of Amok on enemies. This will make them attack other mobs nearby.
- If an enemy with a long-range attack spots you, run behind a door or around a corner so they can’t use their long range attacks.
- If you aren't close enough to a door/corner or are closer to the enemy, use a Wand of Blink or go towards the enemy to close the distance between you and them.
- Avoid trying to fight Giant Piranhas in melee as they are very strong. It is much better to use the potion of invisibility that spawns on the same floor as them. If you insist on killing them, open the door by throwing something unbreakable into it, and then use ranged attacks. REMEMBER, you will not get any XP from them.
- Clicking the ‘?’ button and then clicking on an enemy will show their description and health. For animated statues, this will also show the weapon they are wielding, which is useful to decide whether or not to fight them.
- When meleeing the Fetid rat, avoid the paralytic gas by retreating a block, then hit, retreat, hit; by this you move away from the gas then land a hit. This works best when in a corridor. Paralytic gas initially affects a cross (+) area, so if you can fight the Fetid rat on a tile diagonal from it and move away each turn you will avoid being paralyzed. Alternately, poison it or set it on fire with an appropriate Seed or Wand.
- When you're about to face a normal-speed melee opponent and there's only one space between you, using your turn to close the gap will set you up to be struck with the first blow; instead, hit the 'wait' button and let them approach you, so you get to start the battle with the initial strike on the next turn. When dealing with faster enemies, like crabs, you should instead use your turn to walk one space away. This strategy is not useful for enemies with ranged attacks.
- There will NEVER be a hidden door on the first depth of the dungeon.
- Rooms of traps, flooded vaults, storage rooms, gardens and all locked rooms always have only one door, so don’t bother searching them.
- Clicking the search button will let you search the area around you (3x3) for traps and hidden doors. The Scroll of Magic Mapping does this for the whole level as well as revealing the layout.
- Wearing a Ring of Detection increases the radius and likelihood of discovering traps and doors without searching and the radius when you actively search.
- Scrolls of Magic Mapping can save you a lot of time/hunger on levels where after exploring everything there are multiple areas you think may have hidden doors.
- The edge of the map can be identified by trying to throw an object a square or two beyond the wall. If the item does not get thrown that is the edge of the map and there will be no hidden doors
- If you reached a dead end, check its end with search button, therein often will be a hidden door.
Farming Potions of Healing Edit
- If you encounter a swarm of flies, lure it into a room with open space. Equip your best armor and unequip your weapon and continue hitting it. This will cause more swarms of flies to spawn, increasing the chance of getting a Potion of Healing. Keep in mind that the condition for swarm of flies to spawn another fly is to have an unoccupied tile next to it either horizontally or vertically when being hit. As with bats, if you plan to farm many flies in this fashion, do so at night.
- Another option is farming potions off vampire bats on depth 11, where they are the most numerous. They have less chance to drop a potion, but you will also farm gold from brutes as a by-product. This is best done at night, as more bats will spawn in less time, reducing the time necessary to farm and increasing the number of potions you can keep (because you will use fewer of them healing your starvation damage).
- Warning: Farming has been nerfed in update 0.5.4: Enemies drop something only if the Hero’s level is up to maxLevel+2. Consequently, Potions of Healing can be farmed on swarm of flies until level 12 (inclusive) only, and on vampire bats until level 17 (inclusive).
- Don’t get annoyed if you die in floors 1-4. These floors are only “heat-up” floors. Your only mission here is to find suitable armor or weapon, and upgrade it as much as you can, as well as reaching Level 5. Avoid testing your scrolls until you find good weapons or armor that you would like to identify or upgrade. Equipping too heavy weapons will slow you, allowing enemies to take more than one hit on you, and you will most likely miss all the time. However, as Marsupial Rats do little damage, meleeing them can help you identify your new weapon with low risk even if you miss often. Equipping too-heavy armor when in combat is a good tactic as it will protect you despite the lost turns, so equip uncursed heavy armour in case of crabs or skeletons; but remember to reequip your lighter armor when the battle is over or you will be slowed and become hungry faster. If you manage to kill Goo and survive, consider your playthrough successful and then be sure to upgrade your armor so you can use it.
- Lloyd's beacon can be used to mark exits on levels. When you are done exploring the floor, use Lloyd's beacon to teleport back, saving you time and hunger. However, it cannot be used while near mobs.
- Wraiths can be a serious problem if you don’t know how to kill them. They have only one hitpoint but are very hard to hit. Before you loot the grave, try to move the player near statues or walls; wraiths will be spawned only on free tiles around you either horizontally or vertically, so by positioning yourself you can in most cases decrease their number to 3 or lower. The first hit on a mob that is in a doorway counts as a “surprise attack” and has a 100 % hit rate, so lure a Wraith through a door and attack while they are in the doorway. Wands will never miss, so every shot will kill one wraith; Mages have an advantage for fighting wraiths because of their Magic Missile wand. Wraiths can also be killed with a Potion of Liquid Flame or Potion of Toxic Gas, scrolls of Psionic Blast, or a Lullaby scroll followed by an immediate sneak attack. If desperate, set a doorway or on trampled grass afire with a Seed of Firebloom or Wand of Firebolt; any Wraith caught on a flaming square will be killed. Just remember that they will float over plants, so you will have to trigger the plant yourself.
- The scrolls of Psionic Blast, Terror, & Lullaby, and the Huntress Cloak’s Spectral Blades ability, will affect all enemies within your field of view. When combined with the Potion of Mind vision, they will affect all enemies currently on that depth.
How to kill bosses easily Edit
- A good and easy way to kill bosses is by using the curare dart, Potion of Frost/Paralytic Gas on them. Then the player is able to fight them using wands, ranged weapons or potions.
- With Goo, plant a Seed of Sungrass/Seed of Earthroot on the first water tile after the door, set Goo on fire with a Wand of Firebolt or Potion of Liquid Flame or by planting a Seed of Firebloom in the doorway, and then fight him while standing on the sungrass/earthroot. If it happens that there is a water tile immediately adjacent to the door, you're in luck: the door will keep burning as long as there is a mob in it, and it will do a lot of damage. Fire is also helpful with the other bosses, but Tengu is not affected by seeds.
- Another good boss tactic that works with Goo, Tengu and DM-300 is to find a weapon with Stunning enchantment. You can risk upgrading it 1-2 times; however past that, it is better to upgrade it with the Scroll of Weapon Upgrade to avoid losing your enchantment.
- The Stunning enchantment allows you to deal high amounts of damage to bosses, as they will be paralyzed most of the time, even with a low damage weapon.
- The Rogue class is able to wield missile weapons as melee weapons; use this in combination with the Curare Dart to apply the Stunning condition to bosses 100 % of the time. WARNING: since update 0.5.4, using missile weapons as melee will decrease their quantity as well.
- On all bosses (with the exception of DM-300) using a Potion of Toxic Gas in combination with a Potion of Invisibility will aid in the fight tremendously. Provided, of course, you stay out of the gases range.
- When fighting Goo, DM-300 or Yog-Dzewa, plant a Seed of Earthroot and step on the plant. This will decrease the damage of the boss dramatically down to
0 — 7damage. Doing this against Tengu only works if the player has sufficient distance weapons or wands to do battle without moving from their spot.
- Using a Potion of Toxic Gas on Tengu is generally not advised, as the room you fight him in is too small to escape the poison without a Potion of Purification.
- A Scroll of Mirror Image is very powerful against all bosses except DM-300 (his poison gas will usually defeat the mirrors before they can do damage). When fighting the King of Dwarves, it is best to use the scroll early, so your images will hit the King instead of skeletons.
- The Scroll of Psionic Blast blinding effect seems inefficient against Tengu (who still hits you with distance weapons). However, this scroll is great to use against the King of Dwarves when he has summoned many skeletons, and the scroll can do surprising amounts of damage, though this is inconsistent.
- Since update 0.5.4, Potion of Purification will grant a temporary gas immunity when drunk. This makes it valuable for fighting DM-300. Against other bosses, one can first drink such a potion and then throw a Potion of Toxic Gas. The gas will damage boss (and his minions if he has any) but won’t cause harm to the player. Be warned though, as the purification effect is shorter than the toxic gas effect!
- When about to tackle Yog-Dzewa, step off the stairs to remove the initial walls, use a Potion of Mind Vision and/or Scroll of Magic Mapping to locate the Eye or at least speed up exploring (make sure you step off the stairs before reading the scroll, as otherwise it will be wasted), drink a Potion of Invisibility to avoid the Fists (do this after reading any scrolls, as that will remove the effect), throw a Seed of Earthroot onto a square next to the Eye (pick the one with the fewest adjacent empty squares to minimize the number of God's larva in range), step on it and melee him. Each hit will summon a God's larva, which will keep the Fists out of range while you kill the Eye (whereupon the Fists will disappear). After dispatching Yog-Dzewa, another potion of invisibility will speed your escape; with luck, the invisibility will last long enough for you to pick up the key and exit the level without fighting the larvae (of which there will probably be many at this point). The larvae will start to wander randomly when you disappear; if they are on top of the key or blocking the exit be patient and wait a few turns for them to move. Attacking anything will cause your invisibility to wear off.
- Obtaining a rare Vampiric enchanted weapon can be a real boon when fighting Yog-Dzewa. If your HP gets below 50%, simply focus your attacks on the accumulating larva until your HP gets to a safe level.
Tips for previous versions Edit
- Zoom out to see if the depth looks completed, it will always be a square. (Note: as of version 1.6.3 this is no longer true.)
- When playing the Rogue, wielding the Curare Dart as a melee weapon will cause very low damage (0-4) but will cause stun 100 % of the time. Very good for getting through the Prison and Mining Caves. Damage is typically too low for the Dwarf City, but can still be used against enemies on these levels to some degree. This method is especially good when used by assassin because hitting stunned enemies is counted as surprise attack. Since update 0.5.4, this tactic won’t work because one Curare Dart will get destroyed with each successful attack. Instead, wield the dart to stun difficult enemies, and then attack them with another weapon while they are helpless.
- Wielding Curare Dart as a melee weapon works exceptionally well for the Sniper-Huntress, as she can attack by alternating between the dart and the boomerang. The boomerang usually has pathetic damage but it is still better than damage of the dart, and can be upgraded. Remember, though, that the King of Dwarves and his minions are all immune to paralysis so be sure to bring a powerful melee weapon for that fight. Since update 0.5.4, this tactic won’t work because one Curare Dart will get destroyed with each successful attack. Instead, wield the dart to stun difficult enemies, and then attack them with another weapon while they are helpless.
- To kill the Goo, simply kite him to the steps to the upper level and then step up and down and strike him once or twice each time. The goo might strike you a few times so be sure to look for water to wash the goo off on the level above. WARNING: As of update 1.7.0, this method is no longer viable, as the stairs disappear, like they do for the boss fight against Yog-Dzewa.