Hades 2 tips for beginners

Find out how to navigate the sequel’s many additions
Supergiant Games

The Early Access phase of Hades 2 has begun, which means that players can finally take on the role of Melinoë and make their way into the Underworld to slay Chronos, the Titan of Time, who’s usurped the House of Hades and is waging war against Olympus.

Though Supergiant Games kept the fundamentals of the game true to the original, there’s plenty of new features and mechanics to wrap your head around, because Melinoë had quite a different upbringing compared to her brother, Zagreus – having been educated and trained by Hecate, the Goddess of Magic, Melinoë has access to the powers of a witch.

Find your footing in this divine roguelike with our Hades 2 tips for beginners and fulfill your oath – death to Chronos!

Hades 2 tips: How to use Omega-Moves and Magick

Magick is one of the biggest additions to the game and will appear as a new resource above your health bar. You can infuse your Attack, Special, and Cast with Magick by holding their respective buttons down, which will enhance them into Ω-Moves and yield different results than their normal counterparts. These vary from weapon to weapon, so make yourself familiar with all the possible moves your armaments have at the Training Grounds in the Crossroads.

Magick will automatically be restored to its maximum at the end of an encounter, so you won’t have to manage it throughout an entire run like HP. However, it won’t recover by itself during a battle at the start of the game – to achieve this, you’ll need to unlock and activate one of Melinoë’s Arcana Cards or get a divine boon that can assist you in this regard. Several gods offer you ways to restore Magick during combat.

Some rooms during a run will reward you with an item that increases your Magick capacity, similar to what Centaur Hearts do for your health pool. If you have rapid regeneration, it may not be necessary to upgrade your maximum too much, but in case a boon increases the cost of an ability or primes some of your Magick (essentially locking a portion of your total to create some other benefit), it’s good to have some reserves.

Another incredibly useful Arcana Card slows down time while you’re channeling Ω-Moves, which ensures that you can carefully aim or place these attacks the way you want them and not waste any of your precious Magick.

Hades 2 tips: Your Cast is your best friend

Speaking of new toys: Melinoë’s Cast should be your best friend in Hades 2, because it’s both a very powerful and useful ability. Activating your Cast will create a magic circle where you stand – though some boons allow you to aim and shoot it somewhere else. This circle will ensnare any enemies touching it, so it’s an incredibly potent survival tool. A quick enemy is charging at you? Cast stops them. An enemy has a powerful attack you find difficult to dodge? Cast keeps them at a distance. You’re surrounded by a swarm of enemies with melee attacks? Stand inside your Cast to remain protected.

Hades 2 screenshot showing a battle with Scylla and the sirens.
Your Cast creates a magic circle on the ground and is one of your most potent tools. / Supergiant Games

In addition, the Ω-Cast will deal damage to enemies caught by it, which can immediately get rid of swarms of smaller enemies. Many boons interact with your Cast, making it stronger or more versatile than before – Zeus can strike caught enemies with lightning bolts, Apollo can make the Cast expand and restore your Magick when you’re standing inside, and Aphrodite can enhance the Cast so it pulls enemies in and debuffs them, among many other options.

Hades 2 tips: Shine for me tonight, oh Moon

Moon Goddess Selene is one of the new helpers you can draw strength from. However, her assistance is quite a bit different from those of the other gods, as it’s bound to your Magick. Instead of enhancing one of your existing abilities, Selene will always grant you an additional active skill, which can be activated only after you’ve used a certain amount of Magick in an encounter. 

Naturally, this makes Selene mostly synergize with Magick-centric builds – however, it’s basically always advisable to add one of these abilities to your arsenal if you have the opportunity and as long as there is some Magick restoration in your build.

Hades 2 screenshot of Melinoe firing a Lunar Beam at Scylla.
The Lunar Beam is a powerful offensive option from Selene's arsenal. / Supergiant Games

Selene’s powers allow you to fire a mighty lunar beam, transform enemies into sheep, or heal yourself during combat, among other options. Even a build not centered around Magick will likely be able to make use of these during long fights.

Another unique aspect of Selene’s boon is that upon finding another one you won’t get to pick a second or third ability from her catalog. Instead, you’ll get to upgrade the existing one, making it or yourself stronger. This is another reason why even a non-Magick build can make use of the Moon Goddess’ gifts – there are upgrades that increase your strength while the power remains unavailable, in effect giving you a permanent buff if you’re not really using Magick.

Hades 2 tips: How to upgrade your base

With the House of Hades occupied by the enemy, the Crossroads between the Underworld and the realm of the living serves as Melinoë’s base of operations. At its center is a giant cauldron of great magical potency, which can be used for all sorts of incantations, such as upgrading the base, unlocking new rooms or features on your runs, or advancing the story.

Frequently check the Cauldron for new recipes, as these are often unlocked simply by talking to NPCs at the base or during a run. Each incantation will require specific ingredients that you can collect while you’re out and about – so make sure you use the Forget-Me-Not function to mark a recipe you want to cook, as this will mark the correct tool you need to take with you on your next journey. Each region you travel to has its own resources, which goes for both the Underworld and the surface.

Hades 2 Thalamus
Hades 2 has lots of resources to collect and use for unlocks. / Supergiant Games

Your pickaxe can mine stone and ore and your spade can dig up seeds that can be planted in your garden. Other materials, such as Ashes, Psyche, Bones, or boss rewards, can be gained by clearing rooms in the dungeon. One incantation also brings the Merchant to your base, who can sell you some useful materials in exchange for Bones – such as the important Fated Fabric.

Hades 2 tips: How to get stronger

While “get good” is applicable advice for Hades 2, there are various ways of becoming stronger over time to better tackle the challenges the game throws at you. Unlocking more features at the Cauldron certainly helps – for example, this will allow fountain rooms to spawn on your runs to give you some healing and a bit of a breather.

Another key way of boosting your strength are the Arcana Cards you can find at the altar in the Training Grounds. Unlocking these with Ashes and activating them boosts your stats and gives you abilities like automatic Magick regeneration. Later on, you can even upgrade these. To get the benefits of more Arcana Cards, you can increase Melinoë’s attunement to the altar through an investment of Psyche.

Hades 2 The Unseen
Working on your Arcana Cards is a good way of obtaining permanent buffs. / Supergiant Games

A third path to additional strength is to collect the best Keepsakes, which work in the same way as in Hades 1 – you can have one of them equipped at a time and their effects get stronger the higher you’ve level them up by clearing encounters with them. You get access to Keepsakes by presenting NPCs with Nectar for the first time, just like in the original game.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to check our Hades 2 Hecate boss guide to face your headmistress and emerge victorious.

Marco Wutz


Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining tl.net, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of tl.net as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: marco.wutz@glhf.gg