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 R.P.G., 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 mechanisms Edit
Learn the game mechanisms, so you can easily use them to your advantage.
Forced items Edit
- Main article: Level Generation
- Main article: Shop
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 dewdrops 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.
- Mystery meat can be cooked into the safely edible Chargrilled meat by either throwing it onto a Fire trap (can usually cook two, but sometimes only cooks one; also disarms the trap), throwing it on a Seed of Firebloom, placing it on flammable tile, then lighting it up with a Potion of Liquid Flame, or by zapping it with a Wand of Firebolt.
- The most efficient way of using Mystery meat is by saving all of it, until you finish an area where there are enemies that give the meat (the sewers and the caves), then freezing it with either a Seed of Icecap, or a Potion of Frost, turning it into Frozen Carpaccio. Frozen Carpaccio is not only safe to eat, but it provides benefits as well, whereas Chargrilled Meat is only safe to eat & provides no added benefits.
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 20 successful strikes.
- For armor: after 10 received hits.
- For rings: after being worn for 200 turns.
- 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 too 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 only cursed if they are found in hero's remains, 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.
Looking for Hidden Doors Edit
- Main article: Door
If you see a abrupt end to a hallway, press the search icon near the end; as it will likely result in a discovery of a new room. Also, if you have already used a Scroll of Magic Mapping, don't bother trying: as you will already know the location/existence of all rooms and traps.
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 too annoyed if you die in floors 1-4, As these 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 heavy armor that you have identified as not cursed in case of sewer 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 the Goo and survive, consider your play-through successful and then be sure to upgrade your armor so you can use it.
How to defeat the bosses Edit
See the Tips section on the boss' respective page:
Also, see Boss Guides:
- The Rogue class is able to wield missile weapons as melee weapons; use this in combination with the Curare Dart to inflict the Paralyzed debuff to bosses 100 % of the time.
NOTE: Since Update 0.5.4, using missile weapons as melee will also decrease their quantity.
- 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.
Obsolete tips 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.