Dead Cells's gameplay will pull you in quick, but you won't survive much without a few essential beginner tips!
Dead Cells is an extremely challenging roguelike that will put everyone’s skill and knowledge to the test. Dying for no reason may make many players feel frustrated, disappointed, and hopeless. Which ultimately leads some to drop the game and never coming back. And that’s okay.
To be fair, I was one of those players. I dropped the game after a couple of months because I had no idea what to do. Luckily, coming back to the game after a few months of neglecting it made me realize how oblivious I was to some things. These things make the game less frustrating, but not easy either. So, don’t get your hopes up. Dead Cells will always kick your butt.
The article features tips that will help newcomers reach up to 2BC in Dead Cells since 0BC and 1BC are just a warming up for the real deal. Oh, and in case if you’re wondering, BC basically means Boss Cell which can be obtained after you defeat the Hand of the King in each run.
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The first step that every newcomer to Dead Cells should embrace is to be patient. Patience is the key to understand how Dead Cells work. While it’s true the latter borrows some elements from Metroidvania titles such as Metroid and Castlevania, it remains a roguelike game that emphasizes difficulty and patience.
What I mean by being patient is that new players should take their time to learn the mechanics, read about what each weapon in the game has to offer, talk to NPCs, explore the surroundings…etc.
There’s no shame in dying because you’ll die several times anyway. Sometimes death will make sense, and sometimes it won’t, but what matters is patience to learn how to avoid dying in the next encounter.
Similar to the Dark Souls franchise, rolling is your way to survive. If you can’t master rolling and jump against regular enemies, your chances of tackling cruel bosses are low. Of course, if you’ve played games such as Salt & Sanctuary or Death’s Gambit, you’ll have no problem with learning this mechanic. However, newcomers who aren’t familiar with the mechanic will have a hard time.
That’s why being patient in Dead Cells pays off. Take your time to learn rolling. Practice with weak enemies and climb up from there. But most of all, don’t be overconfident. Some enemies execute ground attacks that rolling will not help you with. That’s where learning to jump at the exact moment when an attack occurs is crucial.
Status Effect plays a significant role in making Dead Cells’ gameplay varied. Not only that but also making it much easier than it seems. These Status effects come either with gears, skills, or amulets.
When you freeze a target in Dead Cells, you slow them down for a short period of time. This gives you the freedom to attack repeatedly without worrying about them attacking you back. While some enemies may resist being frozen, they cannot nullify the slowdown effect which I personally find very helpful in tackling mobs of enemies.
On the one hand, there’s bleeding and fire. Both are short-lasting effects that damage enemies over the course of their duration. Combining these two effects obliterates every enemy that comes in your way. Usually, the fire effect can be inflicted on an enemy either by stomping the ground or equipping gears that come with this effect. On the other hand, bleeding is inflicted using several melee weapons or skills. If you manage to keep inflicting this effect on an enemy or boss for a long period, victory will be yours.
Similar to Status Effects, Mutations are important to survive in the world of Dead Cells. Don’t just skip them or equip whatever looks fascinating for you. Read what each mutation does. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a particular Mutation?
For instance, Ygdar Orus Li Ox is a very important mutation to have as it saves you one time if you die. However, it cannot be dropped once picked up. In addition, there is Armadillopack which enables the player to parry attack and projectiles with the shield in your backpack while rolling. The Armadillopack inflicts 50% of its base damage, but that number can be increased by picking up scrolls.
There are several Mutations for you to choose from. That is why it’s recommended to pay attention to them every time.
One thing you must know is that there’s no such perfect build. What I mean by that is that you can’t just follow someone’s else builds and expect the game to be a walk in the park. Back when Dead Cells was difficult for me, I’d lurk Reddit, looking for any lazy way to beat the game. Unfortunately, none have allowed me to defeat the Hand of the King. Every encounter ended with me being obliterated. Every single time.
For instance, you can equip Blood Sword with Frost Blast while having two Double Crossb-o-matic as deployable. Or, you equip Electric Whip with Ice Bow while having Death Orb and Great Owl of War as deployable. Of course, this build may not interest everyone, but I hope you get the idea. And one thing you shouldn’t forget is that grenades such as Ice Grenade when equipped, it reduces the damage you take. Try not to throw this one away as it’s beneficial.
Learn how to experiment with builds. What works best for you. What makes the game bearable and less frustrating. There’s too way freedom for experimentation in Dead Cells.
Whether picking up every scroll you stumble across or leave some behind, remains a controversial topic. Some players recommend picking them all and focus on enhancing your weapons stats and refrain from over-enhancing brutality. Some, on the other hand, mix between Brutality, Survival, and Tactics. However, if you want my answer, I’d say picking up scrolls is a good thing, but it comes with consequences.
My advice is to pick one stat to focus on and grab weapons and mutations that unite well with it. But you should stop picking up those “off-stat” scrolls when they are only giving you a 17% health boost.
While these scrolls boost your health, they come with a tiny disadvantage. You see, the more you pick up, the harder enemies become, especially if you focus on one stats only. As a rule of thumb, picking up weapons that lower the taken damage is a good idea, and upgrading their stats is a much better idea. To summarize, pick one stat to focus on and grab weapons and mutations that unite well with it, but try to blend between the three stats.
As a newcomer to Dead Cells, it may be tempting to have everything that looks interesting, but unfortunately, looks may deceive. Don’t just go pouring all your hard-earned cells on anything that looks shiny without knowing what you’re about to do.
In the beginning, try to pour most of your cells to unlock mutations, health potions, reserved gold, and other lasting upgrades that will massively help you in the game.
And since Dead Cells is a roguelike, chances of the re-appearance of something you’ve poured your cells into aren’t always high. So, only unlock what you think will work best for you.
It’s always a good idea to surprise your enemies with a ground smash, but you should also be careful where you smash your feet into.
Surprising your enemies by breaking doors instead of gently opening them is a plus in Dead Cells as well.
But whatever you do, pay attention to your surroundings. In Dead Cells, you don’t want to lose any valuable HP that could save you from death.
Blueprints are valuable findings you stumble across in the game. You can collect them either by access a secret place, defeating an Elite, or a boss. Your chances of surviving without finding crucial blueprints like strong bows and grenades are low.
But, as I said above, even if you collect these blueprints, don’t unlock everything. After all, the odds of having that item in your arms once again are not always high.
Hesitation and fear are your worse enemies in Dead Cells. Not only are you going to die countless times because of it but you will also decide not to try something out of fear. Thankfully, the game knows how to punish you to the extent where you’ll grow into a brave player.
Lots of cursed chests can be found in Dead Cells when exploring different biomes. But before unlocking these, one will always themselves: Is it worth it? Well, nobody knows for sure. It can be intimidating to touch these chests, but they usually come with a worthy item, however that comes with a price. The player gets a curse the moment he touches the chest. To lift it, players have to kill a certain number of creatures.
Other ways of intimidation on Dead Cells are unpredictable enemies. Such as Lancer, Lancerator, Knife Tower, and the freaking Living Barrel. Hesitation against these types of foes basically means death. However, the game teaches you how to overcome the fear of encountering these creatures the more you play.
When I played Dead Cells for the first time, I was oblivious to the Damage Resistance items. All I cared about was boosting my stats by picking up every scroll I stumbled across. I tried so hard not to die without Damage Resistance items, but in the end, it didn’t even matter.
Unfortunately, not every item in Dead Cells has Damage Resistance. You can usually find these in grenades, bows, shields, and amulets. With these boosts, the game becomes less frustrating, but not easy at all.
The Forgotten Sepulcher and Derelict Distillery are one of the hardest places a newcomer will struggle with. That is why it’s recommended to just stick with the easiest biomes. Once you’re confident in your skills, you can then access these places. However, these biomes put even veterans’ skills to the test.
The Living Barrels are also some of the most annoying creatures in the game. But it seems to inflict freeze stops them from exploding at your face. Likewise, in Forgotten Sepulcher the Corpulent Zombies knows how to surprise you in the dark, especially if you’re a newcomer.
If you have beaten the game, then congrats. You are now a prestigious member of the git gud club. But don’t drop your controller yet because what you’ve gone through is just a mere tutorial. Dead Cells turns into a nightmare the moment you step into 3BC. That’s where enemies wipe the floor with you until you start figuring things out.
Unfortunately, I haven’t beaten the game in 3BC yet, but I’m sure I’ll come with something again, and hopefully, I can finish 5BC. (although it seems impossible just from looking at 3bc)
This marks the end of this article. Thank you for reading!