There wasn’t any guides for this game and I think its really fun, and i hope to share some knowledge that will make starting out easier for other players as they discover it.
If you are familiar with action rpg gameplay or specifically the Souls series the combat will feel familiar to one. The one big difference is you have no stamina bar, meaning you can attack and roll to your hearts content. Because of this the game is more chaotic and you will often be fighting multiple enemies at the same time. Your mana only regenerates when you hit enemies with your primary weapon(symbiont), not over time unless you get specific perks.
your right hand weapon is called Symbionts, left hand is Mutagen. At first you can only hold 1 of each but soon you can hold the maximum of 2 of each. Eash Symbiont and mutagen has a primary and secondary attack, Symbionts can combo so you will do a different attack depending on where it is in the 1-2-3 sequence.
there is two stages of dodge, if you tap b you will ‘dash’ which has less invincibility(I) frames but a quicker recovery, or if you double tap or hold down B you will roll which has more I frames but longer recovery. The recovery of the roll with heavy armor is so slow that you can easily get stuck in a perpetual cycle of rolling against more aggressive enemies, so learning the timing to us a dash to dodge is key to mastering the game.
x or square is your estus flask, it refills every floor so don’t hesitate to use it and stay topped off.
y or triangle is to use consumable items, dont forget to use them as inventory space is limited.
the 4 d pad buttons cycle through your symbionts, mutagens, and usable items.
after you unlock Big Momma, you will also have access to your ultimate which is used with LT + RT
when you are out of combat you can use L3 to sprint infinitely.
Like any good roguelike, this game has a hub that you will visit every time you die to purchase upgrades. At first you will only have access to the spawning pool, but as you ‘heal’ the roots of the father tree, more residents of Durnar will return and more upgrades become available. This system will inherently introduce new tech trees one at a time so you are not initially overwhelmed, it also gates the power creep. To purchase these upgrades, you use the troll currency ‘Veri’ which are denoted by blue crystals in the dungeon, or yellow if they are in the village bank. You collect Veri by killing stuff and smashing crystals, but you cant use it in the hub until you complete the floor and send it using the device in the teleporter room. There is also a scummy banker that will sometimes show up around a dungeon floor who will take half of your current Veri back to the hub (but take half for himself). I wouldn’t recommend taking his offer unless you are going to die.
this shows the minimap of the first floor. I will go in the order that things are unlocked, starting on the lower left side of the map with the spawner
This is where you upgrade the selection of Yotunz that will be available upon resurrection. You can also upgrade your item capacity here (top right). I would recommend upgrading the bottom row as much as possible as soon as the next tier of upgrade becomes available, these raise the base stats of your character. Note that some upgrades have multiple levels which become available as you heal more roots.
the first quirky resident that you will unlock is Tadd Da Bat (Symbionts)
the first tab of his menu allows you to select from an assortment of symbionts(weapons) to start your run with.
Its second tab is the upgrade tree, you can upgrade the level of the weapons he has to offer, the number of weapons, and the odds of said weapons having increased stats. I recommend upgrading the weapon level and symbiont damage upgrades as soon as they become available.
you can also spend your veri(crystals) to buy a specific symbiont of your preference in the 3rd tab.
next is Muldogg Da Distortyd (Mutagens)
Muldoog is the same as Todd Da Bat except for mutations, the first tab lets you select your starting mutation.
on the upgrade tree you can upgrade the power of your starting mutagen or your odds of getting mutagens with increased stats. The right column is upgrades to your mana which i would recommend getting early.
and you can similarly purchase a specific mutagen for a price
Next is Gromm Da Stoned (Healing Bongo and Health)
Gromm has upgrades for your Healing Bongo (estus flask in vape form!). at this point you can also unlock the elemental bongos which will provide a bonus effect in addition to healing you. Notably, the max health upgrade is at the top here which will make your life a lot easier early on.
next is Big Momma(Veri and Ultimates)
at this point you can unlock an ultimate ability and corresponding upgrades for them. The top row is upgrades to the rate at which you find Veri as well as capacity per item slot.
now you will have to go upstairs to find even more strange creatures full of upgrade trees!
Next is the farmer
at Drupa you upgrade the power and capacity of the useable items in the game. useable items can be OP when combined with certain perks but, i mostly ignored this guy early on.
next is Tzukal Da Kooky’z the armorer
Yep you guessed it this guy is a mirror of Todd and Muldogg, but for armor.Don’t forget to run upstairs to pick your starting armor before each run or you could be stuck with your level 1 armor to start.
Don’t miss the ability to scrap armors and the right side, when you scrap armor you get a special resource that can only be used here to buy a custom starter armor.
and last for now
mask man allows you to unlock masks which offer benefits and debuffs. You dont have to wear one but once you have gotten this far you might as well unlock one since the first one is only 25k, choose wisely because the price increases by 75k each time.
I will update as i progress
The map layout is randomly generated at the start of each run, so you will always be finding new things in different places. After your first run you will always drop into the starting area where you will be provided with starter gear depending on what you have selected and upgrades in the village hub.
after you beat the first boss this area will expand but I will not spoil that, just kidding its a teleporter room. But we will come back to that.
I won’t spoil all of the games secrets in a beginners guide, there are some things you should be looking for on basically any floor of any level that can influence which way you want to go. First is crates.
These are not shown on the map so you have to actually look for them. They have 1 random symbiont or mutagen or armor in them. Note there is ALWAYS one in the room you drop into, don’t forget to loot it. you can also find items just randomly sometimes which are easier to see because of the light they emit. Almost anything that i’snt an item on the ground is shown on the map so lets talk about that.
This is a chest room, most of them you need to first defeat a few waves of enemies before they open, but you get a handful of items not just one. Its a good idea to do these early on when the enemies aren’t so tough, but you will need to keep fining the next tier of armor and weapon as you progress so you will be doing a lot of these. The only reason i would skip one is if I’m out of healing bongo or i already have as strong of weapon/armor as i can have for the floor that i’m on. Even then you can scrap everything and get a ton of veri.
Sometimes these will need a battery to open, in which case you don’t have to fight anything but it uses a very valuable battery.
The next point of interest is Roots
Roots are always important until you have unlocked everything in the game, you don’t spend them when you unlock a new villager but you also cannot repeat farm roots. I’m not sure exactly how it works but once you have cleared out roots on a certain floor a certain number of times they will all be healed and you will have to heal roots at lower floors to progress. Roots appear as green when they are healed so you know there is no incentive to go get them.
Like chests, to heal roots you fight waves of enemies, sometimes you have to stay in a particular zone other times its just the room. Healing a root will fully heal you at the end of the event so don’t waste a bongo.
Pink roots are different entirely, they are not ‘events’. you cannot heal these but instead they ‘curse’ you until you defeat 15 enemies, and upon the 15th kill you get rewarded with items.the debuffs these give you can cause you to unexpectedly die easily so avoid these if you are just trying to get as deep as possible.
Next is yellow exclamation points
These can mean a lot of different things depending on what floor you are on, but they are events that reward you for completing a challenge. I’ll leave it at that.
Sometimes you will see the symbol for veri crystals or healing totems that appear outside the map limits, that means there’s a “hidden” wall! smash it to get the loot, but sometimes there’s enemies and or bombs hiding back there too. The game can be mean like that.
and this is your goal for each floor, the exit. You don’t need to fight anything or do any events or loot any items at all if you don’t want to, you can walk right to the exit! it is not recommended to do this, you can skip floors using the teleporter if you only care about lower floors.
Except for on the 3rd and 5th floor of each level, these are different because you have to fight a mini-boss before you can descend.
which brings us back to the teleporter room
Similar to hades and dead cells, between every floor is a brief moment of respite.
On the left is where you pick one perk/stat upgrade. If you found a perk earlier in your run that matches the type you can swap it in if you don’t like the one that matches the stat you want to upgrade. Don’t worry TOO much about which stat you are upgrading, especially early on. The weapon level is far more important to your DPS and theres not much you can do to raise your weapon level aside from finding a better one on a lower floor. The DPS boost you can get with good perk synergy is way more important so think about what effects you already have and how it could interact with your next choice. Balanced builds are viable! For example there is a certain perk that raises your weapon damage 40% if you alternate between r1 and r2, which is easy to do on most weapons. a 40% increase to DPS is better than then 1 or 2 flat damage you get from stats. There is all sorts of nutty combos that will have you melting enemy health bars. On the other hand some perks are worthless with certain builds so picking the stat that matches your weapon type might be the play in that case.
On the right side is where you send the Veri in your inventory back to the village to be spent on upgrade next time you…. visit there.
Note that there is ALWAYS a crate to the left of where you dropped in, and if you have not unlocked all of the current level’s gear and or lore you will always find 1 blueprint or audio log.
the other side of this area is the teleporter, which brings us full circle. If you have a battery, pop it in and congratulations! you never have to play that level you just beat again if you don’t want to. You can use this room to go to lower floors that you have already unlocked. You will also be able to select this teleporter from the starting area, after you beat the first boss.
in order to “unlock” a floor of the dungeon, you must first get a battery (which drop from mini bosses and regular bosses) and place it in the teleporter room for the floor you want to unlock. Good news is you can use the battery you just got from the boss on the following teleporter and never have to fight them again if you don’t want to.
There are currently 3 ‘levels’ with 6 floors each so you will be relying on the teleporter rooms combined with your villager upgrades to progress as you get deeper. It can take 2 to 3 hours to do a full run through the game, and you only get 1 life so good luck!
Symbionts are your basic weapons used with R1/R2. Theres a lot of different kinds each with their own unique move sets that you should try out, but your a noob if you’re reading this so I’ll just explain the broader mechanics.
First of all, each weapon scales with 1 of the 3 different stats in the game, Toughness, Strength, and Focus. Toughness weapons are slow and heavy, Strength weapons are medium/balanced, and focus weapons are faster. If you are going to do a straight 1 stat build, toughness will net you a lot of health and stability, but the weapons you will benefit most from using are slow and clunky, STR builds are balanced while still providing decent health, a focus build you will have lower health than you should so you will need to be dodging more, focus also increases your mana which is used for mutagen attacks so there is also that benefit. Not to mention the damage increase from each stat upgrade, especially if it is not your current Yotunz orange stat, is marginal at best. Early on you are better off picking the best perk and using the highest LEVEL weapon you can find, although later on those stats can start to add up and be a huge DPS increase.
So there’s all these different weapons with all these weird prefixes and elements, what does it all mean internet man? The loot system in this game is deep, but don’t worry in terms of your stats it is easy to understand. There is weapon level and weapon rarity, level is the word right before [weapontype] in a weapons name and rarity is the color. The ‘compare’ popup will also tell you what level the weapon is so you don’t have to worry about remembering all the nonsense lingo. generally, a higher level weapon is better than any rarity of a lower level. The difference in damage is significant enough per level that any traits the weapon might have are less important than the level, with a few exceptions. So don’t be fooled by the pretty colors, WEAPON LEVEL IS EVERYTHING. Use the compare window, it will tell you what is best.
The rarity determines how many random traits a weapon has:
green has 1
blue has 2
purple has 3
orange is legendary and will have 1 unique effect that is generally better than any number of traits. if you find an orange weapon, you should probably use it regardless of build. You may not find another in that run.
You can combine two of the same elemental essence to create a super version of it, and you can then combine THAT with a weapon to not only embue it with the elemental like normal, it will also increase 1 stage of rarity. If you use a super essence on a purple, it re-rolls the 3 traits, you cant upgrade to a legendary as far as i know. Sorry.
Traits are a number of different benefits such as additional stat points, damage increase, damage reduction, lifesteal etc. Someone will have to catalog them all before i cam in a position to offer any advice, additional research is required.
The element of a weapon is what type of elemental damage and debuff it will deal on hit, this is a fixed number based on weapon level and type. You will deal more elemental damage to enemies that are weak against it, or less if they are resistant. Its a color-wheel sort of thing, except matching-type deals the neutral amount of damage. You can use spare essences that you find to change the element type to your advantage, although fire and dark always provide a damage bonus if you can apply the debuff. The amout of debuff meter applied per hit depends only on weapon type and enemy resistance. Slower weapons apply more debuff meter so its about the same amount of work to apply a debuff. This can be exploited in a sense when you factor in your mutagen element, if you match elements you can go for max debuff with 1 hit of a hammer and 1 of a shockwave or something. Another fun strat is dark focus builds, since the amount of damage caused by the explosion is based on number of hits after the debuff meter is filled, againt bosses you can get some massive pops if you get a lot of hits in, or against groups of enemies you can cause a chain explosion that murders the whole room with just one proc. Bio lowers the enemies armor when proced which also goes well with focus weapons that tend to have lower base damage, but you don’t get the added benefit until the meter is full and the enemy is likely almost dead by that point, especially early on. Fire is good early on but trash later when the enemies have giant health pools. Shock and frost are more defensive and can be useful for type advantage. You can apply more than one elemental debuff at a time to most enemies so it may be a good idea to have 2 weapons with different types and 2 mutagens with different types so you can almost always have elemental type advantage or inflict whatever debuff you want. Gotta catch em all!
I’m interested to hear what Symbionts other people are using.
Mutagens are your left hand equipment used with L1/L2. Like Symbionts there are a variety of mutagens available and I’m going to stick to the basics. Unlike Symbionts, there is no fixed item score per level, instead mutagens get procedurally stronger as you find them deeper in the dungeon. there is no stat scaling so it is usually a good idea to keep picking up new mutagens regardless of build.
Similar to Symbionts (and all usable items too) mutagens can be embued with elements, or upgraded in rarity using super elements (2x same element). Mutagens are much more effective at applying elemental debuffs than Symbionts, use this to your advantage. For example the launcher L1 attack doesnt do much damage, but costs little mana so you can spam it and stack up the Bio debuff, then go in for the kill with your Symbiont now that their armor is gone. Or you can spam the shockwave L1 with ice and slow every enemy in the room, then use the slow but powerful toughness weapons to easily smash everyone. Until you unlock some of the more powerful mutagens later in the game and max out your mana they are not a very good primary source of damage, so apply debuffs at the start of the fight for easy profits.
Although mutagens do not scale with stats it may seem intuitive to do a focus centric build if you prefer using mutagens, since focus increases your mana. However like with symbionts, there are certain perks that are way more of a benefit than any stat. If you want to do a mutagen focused run make sure you indeed get some focus so you can store multiple casts of your favorite mutagen, but keep an eye out for perks that boost mana regen, or that boost mutagen damage. There are perks that boost Symbiont damage when you use mutagen attacks and vice versa, using both Symbiont and Mutagen in rhythm is a highly effective strat.
There are 4 types of consumable items that you will find around the dungeons. They will either have an element or can be imbued with elements you find on the ground. I usually save my spare essences for drooches or pillars, because it can changes what effect the item has.
Grenades are self explanatory, throw a ball of the elemental type which explodes on impact and applies a large amout of debuff meter. The elemental type just changes damage type to the associated element.
Traps create an area on the ground that will activate and damage an enemy when they walk over it. You seem to be immune to your own traps. Each elemental type makes a diffeent kind of trap but they effectively serve the same purpose of damaging enemies and stacking up the elemental debuff. If placed properly you can get a full elemental proc with a single trap or tons of damage if you lead enemies through a choke point like a door.
Drooches each have a different buff aura which applies its effect and elemental debuff depending on what element it is to nearby enemies.
Totems are stationary pillars which buff you or damage enemies nearby depending on the element. Certain perks interact with pillars to make them even more powerful, so save them for important or difficult fights.
The game is pretty forthcoming with consumable items so use them! they take up valuable inventory slots if you cant fit them in your hotbar. Combined with the element of your Symbionts and mutagens, you can potentially have all 5 elemental debuffs at your disposal. Press all your buttons to use all the things and kill all the enemies on the screen
Here we come to an end for Arboria Informative Guide for New Players + Basic Tips hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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