Very Quick Tips: Dead Cells

Randomization isn’t so bad if you account for it ::taps head::

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Dead Cells from the community at large and colleagues over the past few weeks, which happened to jell with the copious amount of notes I took during my runs.

Here are some quick tips to help you see this adventure through until the end.

  • For learning purposes upgrading your health potion limit is the most important thing. Think of health potions as “extra lives” as they will extend your runs and allow you to earn more permanent upgrades.
  • Each time you reach a safe room between levels you’ll be able to pick up one mutation, which you can basically view as a perk. I recommend picking up the revival mutation first every single run. Whether it’s early, mid, or late-game, it’s always a useful way to come back and make up for lower health pools. Oh, and if you do pop it early you can simply buy a third mutation afterward as it will no longer count toward the max limit of three mutations. You should pick mutations based on the gear and style of that particular run, but if you’re looking for another catch-all recommendation you can’t go wrong with extra health.
  • One way to immediately get better results is to specialize when you level up (read: use scrolls found randomly in the game world). See the three color schemes linked to each weapon type (red, purple, green)? Those impact how proficient you are with every matching item. I’ve found success in pumping all my efforts into brutality and melee weapons — only upgrading purple or green stats if I find an item that forces me to do so.

    To counteract the lack of massive max health bonuses you’ll be dishing out so much damage that enemies will go down instantly or bosses will go down quicker — shortening the amount of time you need to dodge and in turn take damage. The safety net of the revival mutation only makes this strategy that much easier to roll with.

  • Double check whether or not your items are so strong that they are forcing you to take extra damage. I died instantly on a few runs before I realized that I had picked up an errant weapon upgrade that also came with that caveat. For learning purposes I recommend dumping these “upgrades.”

  • Eliminate all notions of playing in your comfort zone. The item pool is generally balanced, and even though you aren’t keen on a certain weapon style in one game, I can promise you that Dead Cells handles things differently. Try everything.
  • Want some recommendations? Fire and ice grenades are your friends. They not only pair up well with the “lower grenade cooldown” mutation, but they also lower the damage of enemies. Throwing them one after another ensures that your foes are constantly hitting at a lower damage rate — especially useful for bosses that can take you out in a few hits.
  • As for the melee slot the Assassin’s Dagger works very well when pared with the Wolf Trap. The latter will hold enemies in place, making the former’s “critical blow with backstabs” requirement easier to fulfill. Likewise the Twin Daggers “every third hit is a critical” ability is very useful for brutal builds.
  • After a while you’re going to want to pick a route. Each level is connected in the same static way, and learning the ins and outs of each general layout and where every hourglass door is will help normalize your run.
  • To elaborate on that point, hourglass doors are timed gates that require you to enter them before a certain amount of time has passed. On your first series of runs you may encounter them and find them closed, typically positioned at the start of new areas.

    After you’ve grown more comfortable with the game you should be trying to hit every hourglass door in your run. They’ll net you massive amounts of cells for permanent bonuses, as well as items and level-up scrolls that allow you to specialize beyond all of the level-ups you locate from normal progression.

  • Much of Dead Cells‘ endgame and secret weapon pool is accessed by beating bosses multiple times. Sometimes completing the same tasks will net you new rewards over time. To really kick off the endgame you need to beat the final boss twice.
Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!