Dead Cells - Metroidvania Roguelite in Early Access


What do you use for the other two attacks?


The items? Q/E. Which obviously use the fingers used otherwise by movement, but I think that’s a good tradeoff in exchange of having jump/roll more available, as the items are a bit less used than the primary attacks and the movement options.
Of course I could map them to the scroll wheel or extra mouse buttons, I guess.


It’s a matter of context, but I usually depend on the grenades/traps a lot more than on the melee/range/shield — and infinitly more than the jump or roll. I am now wondering if the control scheme may define the player’s playstyle, instead of the reverse!


That seems workable, but I still think I prefer the controller myself. I love keyboard and mouse games, but even after 20+ years I could never hit Q nor E reliably, and would probably mash CAPS lock at some point when I wanted to roll, for that matter.

For everyone -
Here are some tips I have learned, if you want to have an early advantage:

1 - Dodge (rolling) is your best friend. You are invulnerable when you use it, you can roll through enemies and doors with it, and it cancels animations (like if you are mid-swing with a heavy weapon or climbing down a chain you can just roll away from something). Very powerful, and the greatest tool in your arsenal. You can dodge anything, except traps and environmental damage (spikes).

1b - It’s important to note that dodging doesn’t reset your combo - so if you have, for example, twin daggers that do a critical hit on every third attack, you can attack, attack, roll, critical attack very smoothly.

2 - Shattering Doors/Slamming the Ground - if you attack a door it bursts open in a satisfying manner, but doing so also stuns enemies on the other side of the door! And the same commands you use to drop down a level (down + jump) can be used in mid-air to slam the ground (down + jump) and the greater the distance the more damage (in a small area even) you can deal, and it’s based on your stats (brutality, survival, etc. - the upgrades you pick as you pick up scrolls, your current levels of which are shown bottom left) scale the damage you deal from the dive attack. Super, Super handy.

3 - Blueprints - picking these up unlocks the ability to put Cells into them and unlock them as things you could start with randomly (if you have unlocked Random Bow or Random Melee Weapon), but also make them things that can show up in the game world, I believe, as well. As @Misguided noted a few posts down, if you find a Blueprint they are lost on your death unless you simply make it to an exit, so if you find a blue print you are particularly excited about (like a rare one) feel free to roll through and ignore enemies (when it’s safe to do so) on your way to the closest exit to “bank” the blueprint!

4 - Don’t forget your grenades! I tended to forget them early on, like the RT and LT items you can pick up, but they can be very powerful and they tend to recharge very quickly.

5 - The rooms you may see that say “this door was sealed 2 minutes ago” are for speed running. It’s a cool idea - if you want to dodge and blow through the early stages to get into where the tougher levels you are more used to from playing a lot, these rooms contain some extra cells, upgrade scrolls (level up), and a rare weapon to help offset not being able to explore an area. I haven’t done this yet, but I will just to try it out. I’m not yet tired of the first area, in fact I revel in how much I kind of rock those early enemies and can fully explore and get lots of cells, scrolls, and maybe even a new blue print before I move onto another zone.

6 - Traveling into another zone allows you to fully heal, refresh your health potion (hold LB to use it, btw), and pick a new mutation to help you survive the next zone. If you are getting low on health and have lots of cells, consider running/dodging from everyone until you can find the door to the next zone, so you can jump in, cash in your cells, and be fully healed and ready for the next zone! Knowing this is how it works makes that first zone a lot easier to navigate, as once you find the exit you can use the teleport gates to run around and fully explore the map, and if you get low on health run away from enemies to the nearest teleport gate and zap over to the exit!

7 - Get the Health Flast 2 upgrade (for 50 cells) ASAP - being able to use your healing potion twice per zone is very, very powerful!

I think that’s about all I can think of, it’s not like I’m an expert by any means (I have about 16 runs under my belt) but I feel like those are very solid tips for anyone to succeed in their first hour or two with the game!


Yeah this game is just fantastic, and will be in MANY top 10 lists at the end of the year.


I think the corollary to 5) and 6) is that there’s no reason to feel like you have to kill everything. Also, blueprints get banked when you exit the level, so if you find something that sounds cool, don’t hesitate to make for the exit if you need to.


Great point, I updated my tips to reference it!


I never had any trouble with the gamepad controls. There’s enough time to move your thumb from roll, jump, and attack.

The roll is helpful but this game does a good job throwing things at you in the recovery of the roll where you take damage. I usually felt like if I was rolling to avoid an attack I was likely to get hit by something else.

Instead you really need to use your speed to quickly close with enemies and stunlock them to death. Stunning them with breakable doors and ground pounds also helps.


One intermediate tip: try to focus your upgrades to maximize damage. I’ll leave it at that to let people explore the systems. But you’ll be amazed at much damage you can do, especially if you hit those timed gates.

You can hit those in normal runs too. The goal is to find all the useful spawns like shops and treasure chests, then hit the exit. This is more for advanced play though. I wouldn’t worry about it until 7-10 hous into the game.


Haven’t started playing, but I moved primary attack to ZR, secondary to X, and the skills to L and R.


lol wut.


The action is great, the varied possibilities with the combinations of weapons, items and upgrades are great, the graphics are great, and the meta-progression is addictive.

I’ve already unlocked the two health potions and 5-6 more things. I’ve reached the fishing village finally. BUT…
given the pace of progress I’m seeing in my playthrough (slow because I suck at these games), and the things you can invest cells on… the game is too grindy. The game is great, but not ‘play for 100 hours’ great. , I think I will tire out of the game well before that, and it seems I will need 100 hours to unlock not everything, but just 75% of the stuff possible.
And give how bad I’m I think I will need to unlock all the permanent upgrades to have a shot to finish it!

I wonder if making a mod to double the amount of cells gained (or halving the cells needed) is possible…




The first area is very easy. After a couple of very quick deaths trying to get used to the controls, I made it to the exit. Take your time. Practice stunning enemies with doors and by drop-stomping onto them. This is the sort of game that will really reward you for developing some muscle memory. My biggest concern is being able to stomp reliably.

Also, sinew slicers are AWESOME.


Yay, I reached the second to last level already! Not bad given it’s my fist day playing (15 runs). Maybe I don’t suck so much at this game as I believed at first!


You are paying much more attention than I am: I’ve been playing for months, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you what level I reached!


So, Switch or PC version?

I’d favour Switch but I’m reading some reports that performance is flakey, and that the devs won’t prioritise improving it unless they get lots of complaints.

Apparently they say the vast majority of peope are fine with drops to 40 fps. Consider me in the minority there!


Procedural roguelike with persistent progression and “fast fluid responsive” combat sounds an awful lot like Wizard of Legend. I don’t have either game, is there any reason to favor one over the other?


I had never heard of this, but it looks really cool.

But they seem very different in several key ways, yes. For one thing, Dead Cells is more of a Metroidvania style 2d/side scrolling game (as opposed to isometric view) and while I didn’t get a strong sense of level persistence (like biomes in Dead Cell vs. random levels) I suppose I could have missed it during the brief video I scrubbed through for Wizard.


Dead Cells has more variety in a couple of runs than Wizard of Legend has in the entire game.