Weapon, power-Up, and character tier lists, stage guides, and tips and tricks, all in one place.
The following tier lists were first made with friends as we played the game for the first time while streaming the experience to each other on Discord. Since then, they have gone through a number of revisions based on my own testing in collaboration with and informed by other players.
Some notes before we start:
- This guide is for Early Access v0.2.8e
- This guide contain spoilers. I haven’t hidden the spoilers because the markup messes up my tables. If you want to experience the game first hand, stop reading. Go play instead!
Now onto the guide…
Tips for Beginners
- You can move your character with Keyboard, or by clicking on screen, or by using a game controller. Keyboard only allows you to move in 8 directions at full speed. Play with a game controller if you have one. You can half-tilt the joystick to walk slowly. Moving slowly is often safer than moving quickly.
- Destroy torches to drop gold, food (+30 HP), or a special pickup. Explore the map to find torches, especially if you are low on HP.
- Don’t worry about leaving some experience gems on the floor. If you are destroying torches, they will eventually drop a Vacuum pickup that sucks up all the experience.
- There is a pickup item and a weapon which freeze enemies. Enemies do not deal damage while frozen. Don’t be afraid to push into a mob of enemies while they are frozen.
- Every few minutes the game will spawn a boss enemy. Kill them to drop a Treasure Chest which gives between 1 and 5 random upgrades and a generous sum of gold.
- When you purchase a power up on the PowerUp Selection screen, each item’s cost is increased by a percentage. Don’t be afraid to click the Refund Gold button. Each item is refunded in full which allows you to purchase items more efficiently later i.e., buying expensive items first.
- Don’t underestimate Luck. Upgrade your Luck stat and you might start noticing epic Treasure Chests and bigger bags of gold.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. The lower tier weapons are actually the most fun.
Many of the following drops are affected by Luck.
|Experience Gem||Increases experience. There are 3 varieties, blue, green, red, in order from least to most XP. More potent experience gems are dropped by stronger enemies. It appears that experience that is too far off-screen gets collected in a red gem which may be sucked up by a Vacuum drop later in the game.|
|Gold Coin||Adds 1 to your gold coins total.|
|Coin Bag||Adds 10 to your gold coins total.|
|Rich Coin Bag||Adds 100 to your gold coins total. Drop rate affected by Luck.|
|Rosary||Destroys all enemies in sight. Drop rate affected by Luck.|
|Orologion||Freezes all enemies in time for 10 seconds AND prevents them from dealing damage. Drop rate affected by Luck.|
|Vacuum||Gathers all experience gems left on the ground. Drop rate affected by Luck.|
|Floor Chicken||Restores 30 health points. Drop rate affected by Luck.|
|Little Clover||Pick up to get 10% luckier.|
|Treasure Chest||Awards coins and power ups. Dropped by strong enemies. Quality affected by Luck.|
Passing through the forest is the only way to reach the Castle. Also, there’s free roast chicken.
Hyper: +50% Gold bonus.
The forest extends infinitely in all directions. Torches spawn randomly.
At 5 minutes, a flower ring surrounds you and a Mantis boss will spawn with a horde of green ghouls. It is not advisable to attack the flowers: they have VERY high HP and the flower ring vanishes after a short period of time. The flowers deal little damage, so you may be able to dash through the ring without dying. At 10 minutes, another flower ring surrounds you and a bigger, stronger Mantis boss spawns with more green ghouls. The flower ring takes longer to vanish. Generally, you will be forced to dash through the ring, so find a gap and run for it. There is another flower ring at 25 minutes, but you should be able to kill them by now.
Tip: Save a Rosary to destroy the Flower Ring.
I usually die at the mid-point when a wave of werewolves and ghosts spawn. They have higher HP than you’d expect. Keep moving, don’t get surrounded. Prepare some strong piercing weapons to carve a path and be prepared to carefully evade them for 5 minutes. Whip, cross, magic wand, runetracer, dagger, and axe work well, but you must level them up to get their key upgrades. If all else fails, if you evolve a weapon before 12 minutes, or you know how to use Clock Lancet, you might be alright. There is a noticeable drop in difficulty during the Mummy Golem wave at 17 minutes so just hold out until then.
This quiet, long library is the ideal place where to rest, meditate, and forage for roast chicken. But what’s a stone mask doing here?
Hyper: +50% Gold bonus. +10% Luck bonus.
The library extends infinitely in a row to the left and right. Near the start, there is a green experience gem on a table. Collect this for a quick level up. Torches spawn in predetermined positions in scene tiles, usually along walls. If you travel a substantial distance to the right, you may find a Stone Mask on a table. If you travel to the left, you may find an Empty Tome on a table. You may collect both for free power ups.
There are some kamikaze ghosts here that deal major damage at close range. Run away from them or knock them back with your weapons e.g., Magic Wand or Cross. Some weapons are not suitable for this stage e.g., Peachone, and Ebony Wings. There are some obstacles here that you and enemies (including death) can get caught on.
Tip: Move left and right between the piano and reading nook to destroy and regenerate torches to amass pickups for when you need them.
I found this stage easier than Mad Forest. There are no massive jumps in difficulty. There is a noticeable drop in difficulty during the Headless Knight wave at 6 minutes. Long hallways here. I travelled at full speed to the right for 15 minutes and found nothing special.
There are many characters to choose from, starting with whip-man, Antonio Belpaese. He has a relatively high skill requirement so don’t be surprised if you die below level 20 on your first run. If you are looking for an easier experience, you can unlock Imelda for just 10 gold. She has an auto-targeting magic wand and levels up faster, which means you can keep your distance from enemies and experience more of the game, more quickly. If you like more intensity, try the knife-man, Gennaro. His knives require targeting and distance management, but he has the best passive bonus in the early game.
If you are a beginner, select a character with a good starting weapon so you can survive the early game. Good starting weapons either have a low cooldown or hit multiple targets. The good starting weapons are: Whip, Magic Wand, and Garlic, in that order. If you do not start with one, it is advisable to find one of these as soon as possible.
|Rank||Name||Weapon||Passive Bonus||Advantages||Disadvantages||Skill Req.|
|1||Mortaccio||Bone||+Projectiles||+1 projectile every 20 levels up to +3 (Need Crown).||Need Magic Wand, Whip, or Garlic ASAP. Need Crown at soonest convenience.||Medium|
|2||Imelda Belpaese||Magic Wand||+XP||+30% XP at level 15. Rises above the difficulty curve quickly.||None||Low|
|3||Gennaro Belpaese||Knife||+1 Projectile||Extra projectile is the most powerful ability.||Forces you to use Knife.||High|
|4||Antonio Belpaese||Whip||+Damage||Starts with good weapon. +50% damage is a lot!||Maxes out bonus at level 50 (Need Crown).||Medium|
|5||Arca Ladonna||Fire Wand||-Cooldown||-15% Cooldown at level 30. Starts with good late game weapon.||Need Whip, Magic Wand, or Garlic ASAP. -15% cooldown is not much.||Medium|
|6||Pasqualina Belpaese||Runetracer||+Speed||Starts with best unevolved late game weapon. +30% Projectile Speed at level 15.||Need Magic Wand, Whip, or Garlic ASAP. Projectile Speed only benefits Runetracer, Cross, and King Bible.||Medium|
|7||Porta Ladonna||Lightning Ring||+Area||Fun start. You can AFK for 1 min. 30% area at level 1.||After you level up, Lightning Ring is bad. Need Whip, Cross, or Garlic ASAP.||Low|
|8||Poe Ratcho||Garlic||+Pickup radius, -30 max health||Picks up XP easier/faster. Garlic kills bats instantly.||Actually decreases max health by 30%. Garlic is bad lategame.||Medium|
There are many weapons to choose from but you can only have 6. Generally, you should choose weapons that complement your other weapons, power-ups, and character. Consider the following:
- Some weapons are buffed by the same power-up.
- Some weapons have a skill requirement e.g., Whip and Knife.
- Some weapons must be built around carefully or else lead to an early death e.g., Pentagram, Clock Lancet, Laurel.
- Some weapons evolve into a stronger form if you have their required power-up. Evolved weapons are ranked in a separate list.
Weapons rank higher if they are easy to use and have good utility at all stages of the game. You will have a good chance of success only selecting weapons in the top 10.
|1||Runetracer||Passes through enemies and bounces. 3 sec. cooldown. Best with: speed, duration.||Scales with all good power-ups: projectiles, speed, damage, cooldown, duration, area. Can be more powerful than most evolved weapons.|
|2||Whip||Attacks in a zone in front and slightly above the character and passes through enemies. 1.5 sec. cooldown. Ignores: speed, duration.||Hollow Heart = Bloody Tear||This is the best weapon at level 1 and even better at level 2 where it gains +1 projectile. DPS does not scale well into the late game. Provides good defence if you lower the cooldown and increase area.|
|3||Cross||Aims at the nearest enemy and has boomerang effect. 1.6 sec. cooldown. Ignores: duration.||Clover = Heaven Sword||Needs a few power-ups to be great: projectiles, speed, cooldown, size. Better defence than Runetracer due to targeting nearest. For best effect, stay close to enemies opposite the main mob.|
|4||Fire Wand||Fires at a random enemy, dealing high damage. 3.3 sec. cooldown. Ignores: duration.||Spinach = Hellfire||Starts with multiple projectiles but has a slow cooldown and does not pass through enemies. Hellfire, the evolved form, is much better because it passes through enemies.|
|5||King Bible||Orbits around the character. Best with: speed, duration, area, cooldown. Each projectile hits enemies separately.||Spell Binder = Unholy Vespers||Incredible late game DPS. Monsters too close may avoid damage from this. Requires a bit of skill until you increase its speed (level 3/6, Bracer). Eventually you can start mowing enemies down at full speed.|
|6||Axe||High damage and high area scaling. Lobs up and falls down. Passes through 1 enemy. 2.8 sec. cooldown. Ignores: duration.||Candelabrador = Death Spiral||Terrible between level 1 and 3. Stand below your enemy to focus them down. Scales well after level 4, especially after it gains, “Passes through 2 more enemies”. Evolves into an excellent defensive weapon.|
|7||Magic Wand||Fires at the nearest enemy. 1.25 sec. cooldown. Ignores: duration.||Empty Tome = Holy Wand||Good personal defence. Becomes much more effective at level 7 when it gains, “Passes through 1 more enemy”. DPS does not scale well into the late game.|
|8||Knife||Fires quickly in the direction you are facing. 1 sec. cooldown. Ignores: duration.||Bracer = Thousand Edge||High skill requirement. Fun. Scales well when levelled up, especially after level 5 and 8 where is gains, “Passes through 1 more enemy”. Has low DPS due to how many daggers miss their target but allows you to bust through hordes and focus down bosses.|
|9||Garlic||Damages nearby enemies. Ignores: cooldown, duration, speed.||Good early game defence. Instantly kills bats. Scales poorly.|
|10||Laurel||Shields from damage when active. Best with: cooldown only.||Deals 0 damage. Make sure you have enough damage first.|
|11||Clock Lancet||Deals 0 damage. Chance to freeze enemies (Frozen enemies do not move or do damage). 1.6 sec. cooldown. Ignores: power, speed, amount, area. The target aim rotates 30° increments clockwise, like the hours on a clock.||Allows you to walk casually into hordes of frozen mobs without taking damage, their frozen bodies forming a protective wall around you. Lets you survive the brutal werewolf wave on Mad Forest.|
|12||Santa Water||Drops a potion on the current position of an enemy that generates a damaging zone. 3.3 sec. cooldown. Ignores: speed.||DPS scales well with area, duration, and cooldown. Better defence than Lightning Ring.|
|13||Lightning Ring||Strikes random enemies. Ignores: speed, duration.||DPS scales well with area and cooldown. Truly awful defence however.|
|14||Ebony Wings||Bombards in a circling zone. Best with: cooldown, duration.||Depending on cooldown, may repeatedly attack 1 side of the screen. Not good on Library.|
|15||Peachone||Bombards in a circling zone. Best with: cooldown, duration.||Depending on cooldown, may repeatedly attack 1 side of the screen. Not good on Library.|
|16||Pentagram||Erases everything in sight (including XP and items unless you are lucky). 90 sec. cooldown. Pentagram also triggers whenever you level up Pentagram. Best with: cooldown and luck only.||Fun, although not gaining XP from kills can be devastating. Prepare your build before you pick this and level it up quickly to allow it to drop XP.|
There are many power-ups to choose from but you can only have 6. Generally, you should choose power-ups that complement your weapons and character. Consider the following:
- Does this power-up benefit multiple weapons?
- Is selecting this power-up better than upgrading an individual weapon?
- Does my character benefit from levelling up quickly?
- Is this power-up required to evolve one of my weapons?
Power-ups rank higher if they improve your chance of winning or if they are compatible with a large number of weapons. You will almost always do well selecting the top 6 power-ups in this list. You might consider power-ups in the top 9 depending on the build.
|1||Duplicator||Weapons fire more projectiles.||The best power-up for most builds.|
|2||Empty Tome||Reduces weapons cooldown by 8%.||Magic Wand = Holy Wand||You are more likely to die to a horde than to 1 strong enemy.|
|3||Spinach||Raises inflicted damage by 10%.||Fire Wand = Hellfire||(^ But what if it is a horde of strong enemies?)|
|4||Candelabrador||Augments area of attacks by 10%.||Axe = Death Spiral||Best with: Whip, Cross, King Bible, Garlic, Lightning Ring, Santa Water, Peachone, Ebony Wings.|
|5||Crown||Character gains 7% more experience.||Best character: Antonio, Mortaccio. XP means more level ups, more choices, more damage, more killing, more XP. Pick this at your soonest convenience.|
|6||Spell Binder||Increases duration of weapon effects by 10%.||King Bible = Unholy Vespers||Best with: Runetracer, King Bible, Santa Water, Peachone, Ebony Wings.|
|7||Bracer||Increases projectiles speed by 10%.||Knife = Thousand Edge||Best with: Runetracter, Cross, King Bible.|
|8||Hollow Heart||Augments max health by 10%.||Whip = Bloody Tear||Ranks higher because it evolves Whip.|
|9||Clover||Character gets 10% luckier.||Cross = Heaven Sword||Affects treasure and item drops. Not consistent. Best with: Pentagram, Clock Lancet. Ranks higher because it evolves Cross.|
|10||Attractorb||Character pickups items from further away.||Best when you need to evade, especially Poe, Gennaro, Porter. There is a Vacuum item that makes this almost redundant.|
|11||Wings||Character moves 10% faster.||Might be necessary to dodge bat hordes. Generally, your weapons should kill enemies before they touch you.|
|12||Armor||Reduces incoming damage by 1.||1 HP when hit is better than Pummarola’s 1 HP per 10 seconds.|
|13||Pummarola||Character recovers 0.1 HP per second.||1 HP per 10 seconds is awful. Look for chicken instead.|
|14||Stone Mask||Character earns 10% more coins.||Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.|
Evolved Weapon Rankings
The following are the weapons which can be evolved if you pick a compatible power-up. Your run will be much more successful if you quickly level up and evolve a weapon in the top 4. To evolve a weapon, the weapon must be max level and you must have its compatible power-up at any level. Then you must defeat a boss and open the treasure chest it drops. The treasure chest reward will include your newly evolved weapon.
I had a run where I evolved all weapons (not including Knife/Bracer (I cannot hold 7 weapons)). The DPS of those weapons, for that run, is included below.
High DPS, defensive weapons rank high. The top 4 are incredible. The top 2 can almost win the game by themselves.
|1||Unholy Vespers||King Bible + Spell Binder||Orbits around the character. Never ends.||4.1k||Allows you to run at full speed mowing down enemies for 20 minutes.|
|2||Death Spiral||Axe + Candelabrador||High damage, high Area scaling. Passes through enemies.||3.1k||Consistent and defensive.|
|3||Hellfire||Fire Wand + Spinach||Fires at a random enemy, deals heavy damage. Passes through enemies.||3.7k||Inconsistent direction. Spinach is one of the most compatible power-ups.|
|4||Heaven Sword||Cross + Clover||Aims at nearest enemy, has boomerang effect. Can deal critical damage.||1.6k||This was only 2 projectiles. This is the most per-projectile damage in the game. If you have duplicator or Mortaccio, this should rank higher than Death Spiral. Requires a terrible power-up though.|
|5||Holy Wand||Magic Wand + Empty Tome||Fires at the nearest enemy. Fires with no delay.||878||Good personal protection. Insignificant DPS compared to Unholy Vespers and even Runetracer. Empty Tome is one of the most compatible power-ups, but this is not significantly better than Magic Wand.|
|6||Bloody Tear||Whip + Hollow Heart||Attacks horizontally, passes through enemies. Can deal critical damage and absorb HP.||466||+8 HP per hit. Gives good survivability. Requires a terrible power-up and is not much better than Whip.|
|7||Thousand Edge||Knife + Bracer||Fires quickly in faced direction. Fires with no delay. Appears to pass through enemies.||DPS was not recorded for this run, but it would be more than Bloody Tear/Less than Holy Wand. Not significantly better than Knife. If you are not twirling around rapidly, you are wasting damage.|
This guide gives general suggestions that should lead to a successful run, but it could not go into specific details. There are some really powerful combinations that involve low-tier equipment and some equipment scales better with power-ups and level-ups than others.
Try the following for a bit of fun:
- Knife (its good!)
- Pentagram + Empty Tome + Clover
- Heaven Sword + Duplicator + Mortaccio
- Garlic + King Bible, Santa Water + Bloody Tear
Once you understand what works and what doesn’t, you may want to up the difficulty. Try refunding your PowerUps and play with base stats on Hyper mode. You might realise you are not as good at the game as you thought you were (werewolf wave, every time).
This guide was made possible by sharing experiences and opinions with friends. You could improve this guide by providing exact stats for weapons, such as level up progression, damage or cooldown. If you have any experiences or suggestions, please make a comment below.
Here we come to an end for Vampire Survivors Character Tier Lists + Power Up New Players Info Guide 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!
- Check All Vampire Survivors Posts List