What is your current favorite Roguelike? [Or all things roguelike]


My current favorite Roguelike is Caves of Qud. I just started playing it last week and I am very, very impressed. It’s scope is vast and the amount of stuff you can do is crazy. I’ve been playing a bit less than a week and already I can say this may very well be the best and most accessible Roguelike I’ve ever played. I’ll know for sure once I play more but so far it’s both incredibly fun and addictive. The quality of the writing and the world setting is very good. The amount of detail is amazing. I would not hesitate to say that anyone that loves this genre should give it a try. Most Roguelikes have a scope of one dungeon. The scope of CoQ is an entire world. The number of areas and dungeons to explore number in the thousands. Like I said, it’s amazing.

I had a few false starts leaning the game before I settled on a mutant esper Apostle character. He’s up to level 16 now. I finished all the Joppa quests and moved on and finished the Golgotha quests for some nice rewards. I stuck my head in Bethesda Susa at level 15 and killed 2 of the troll key holders but when I saw the third one was invisible and a teleporter, I got the hell out of there. I think I need some more levels to take on this quest.

My character has accumulated some nice mental mutations. Clairvoyance, teleportation, sunder mind, light manipulation, cryokinesis, force wall, they all help me make it though the day. As an Apostle, I started with the proselytize skill, which lets me convince NPCs or any mob to join my cause as a follower. My first follower was a simple watervine farmer from the starting town of Joppa. Now, the CoQ world has a lot of "sim’ features. One of them is that every single mob/NPC in the game are characters just like you are and each with their own skills, mutations, inventory, equipment and attributes. When you kill something that’s wielding a carbonite greatsword and wearing plate mail and boots, that’s exactly what they’ll drop when they die. This is extremely gratifying.

So, using the dominate mutation (which allows you to possess mobs/npcs to reequip and level them), I took my watervine farmer’s vinereaper away and gave him a 2 handed sword and some boots and good armor. I then gave him a mutation when he leveled up (your followers level up too, just like you do) to grow 2 extra arms so I gave him a couple of two hand swords. I also gave him the butchery skill and he would butcher hog corpses and the like for food for us after battles. He could also harvest watervines for food and water. I was sad to lose him in a battle with about 20 mobs but I soon replaced him with a giant boar that had a mutation that allowed him to shoot rifle slugs from his snout. He was great until he ran into another rifle boar.

Right now my follower is a level 15 goatman I renamed “Billy”. He has massive strength so I have him carry all of our heavy stuff. I have him equipped with a counterweighted fullerite long sword, iron shield, lacquered ring mail and chain boots. He’s quite a tough tank which is what I need as a squishy esper. Right now I’m exploring about 10 levels beneath Golgotha and stocking up on parts for tinkering, which is the crafting in this game. I’m mainly using it now to recharge battery cells for some of my equipment and add mods (like scopes) to my equipment. I found some twin semi-automatic pistols I’ve been using so I put scopes on them to improve my accuracy.

So, has anyone else here tried this game?


Tried, yes, many times. Succeeded at, heck no. :)


It’s a great roguelike. I played it many moons ago and loved it but haven’t picked it back up since it started active development again. Even bought it on Steam but have yet to run it again.


I was playing it around a year ago, really enjoyed it. Usually playing as a fire breathing mutant who recycles his own water, I get up to around level 10 before I meet something that is fire resistant and then get into trouble.


How does that translate to play time? My concern with huge, sprawling roguelikes is always that the time you’re expected to take exploring it with a single character undermines the appeal of the core die-retry game loop.


I felt the Spike Chunsoft version was inferior to the original myself, and most of the fanbase is split on it- liking some new stuff but really disliking other stuff.


Reading this, I really think I should get back to it and finally give the mutations a try ;)
I have played few “vanilla” characters about a year ago, and my most successful ones all died at the factory/mine gone berserk place with the conveyor belts and traps.
I had enjoyed a lot the tinkering aspect of the game. And the lore. and about everything, actually.

I have tried picking it up a few weeks ago again, but I experienced repeated crashes. Reading the weekly changelog is always a joy, though.


Good question. So far it seems that if you mostly stick to the main quest chain, that won’t be a big issue as that provides structure and direction to focus your attention on small sections of the map. Of course you can deviate from that and do whatever you want, and probably will need to do that a bit before you try to tackle the later Grit Gate quests. Of course a lot of characters will probably never make it even that far before they die.

My Apostle is level 17 right now and I’ve been exploring the tunnel complex beneath Grit Gate because it’s loaded with goodies. On level 19 I ran into some nasty stuff (mixed in with easy stuff) that nearly killed me after the first 18 levels being easy-peasy. I was able to beguile one of the two Rhinox there into joining me though (I got Beguile after my last levelup) so now I have two followers. I also found a high damage energy weapon there too (it was an artifact in a trash heap I had to identify). I then stuck my head in level 20 very briefly and cast clairvoyance. It revealed some kind of super boss in there called a Chrome Pyramid. It looked really nasty so I slowly backed away since I really don’t like messing with unknowns in Roguelikes. It appears 20 is the final level so I figure it’s probably the boss for that dungeon.


I tried to get this onto @tomchick’s monthly Patreon review but was dashed by the RNG. As a person who never cared for roguelikes this one sucked me in bigtime. My favourite thing to do is a kind of ‘manual evolution’ with my mutations - whenever I die I roll a new character with a new mutation that is designed to counter the specific thing that killed me last time.


What mutation will help me not suck at this game?

Seriously, I’ve dipped a toe into CoQ every few weeks for the last year and I just absolutely love it, but I almost never can even complete that first quest. There must be something fundamental I’m just not clicking with, I think. I keep meaning to watch some videos and try to learn how to play, but I want to wait on that deep dive for when the game is out of early access, since every time I try it they seem to have redone the UI in some way.

Speaking of, the new UI while you are playing is really nice, but I don’t like the new UI for character creation near so much as it’s original charming self. I guess I can turn off the new UI, make my character, and then turn it back on though.


I’ve only been playing a week but I think it depends on what type of character you’re planning to build. If it’s a non-esper build then from everything I’ve read, Carapace is one of the best mutations (if not the very best) you can pick. Also Freezing Hands in combination with that is excellent. Those two things should easily keep you alive through the starter quests and beyond.

For those wanting to try an esper build, choose an Apostle class (for the ego boost), the mutated human and esper genomes, and then pick up the Light Manipulation, Force Wall and Clairvoyance mutations at CharGen. Put nothing in Strength or Agility. Then make Toughness, Intelligence and Willpower 18 and Ego gets the rest of your starting attribute points (24 total, I think). For espers Ego is your main stat and you want to get it as high as you possibly can.

As an esper, only use your mutation points at levelup when you get a total of 4 to get new mutations because your ego will automatically level up your mental mutations. Never use points to level mutations you already have, it’s a waste. Always pick ego to boost when you get an attribute point and wear ego boosting gear when you find it. You will end up with a ton of powerful, highly leveled mental mutations this way. Bear in mind that initially the level of your mutations will be capped at half your level. So, you will not see the build’s true power until you get some levels under your belt. I read about this build and decided to follow it and I’m still alive at level 17 currently.

When you start out, Light manipulation will be your main (ranged) weapon. And don’t forget to toggle Ambient Light off for that skill. Use force wall defensively to stay alive. It’s very versatile since you can configure the wall into any shape you want. Use it to box in mobs or to box yourself off from mobs. You can’t fire though the force field with Light Manipulation but you can with guns so get one of those ASAP. Before then, just let you follower whack on them while you’re safely walled off. Also, use Clairvoyance to scout ahead and see where the enemy is when needed. That skill will get better and better as you level and the cooldowns on that and most of your other esper mutations will get less and less.

Speaking of followers, use the Proselytize skill the Apostle comes with right away to get a follower in Joppa. A watervine farmer works great. Try to keep them alive since they level and get skills and mutations just like you do and it’s easier to do that with low level followers since it takes less XP.


One thing to remember about Qud is that it’s an old school roguelike design with all that entails. Their new title, the excellent Sproggiwood, was developed basically in counterpoint after Qud. One is big, messy, and wonderful and the other is concise, modern, and great.


Also, when first starting the game, DON’T try to do the starting quests right away. Instead wander the areas immediately around Joppa to kill things, find stuff and get a few levels before doing the starting quests.

And make sure the very first thing you do is loot the 3 chests in town that are in buildings with doors you can close. If you close the doors before you loot, you can take the stuff with no issue. A lot of times they will have a few artifacts which is enough to satisfy the tinker’s first 2 quests and get you valuable XP. You also often will get good weapons, armor or stuff you can sell.


Like Coldsteel said, going for strong melee/armoured builds for your early characters is a good idea.

The dev updates the game every week, but here is a recent tutorial/Qud runthrough


Man I’m looking forward to playing more Qud, just not sure how long I should wait though. Generally I like to wait until things are close to ‘1.0’. Same goes for Cogmind, which had another big update recently.


I’m usually anti-early access games, but I feel Qud fits into the same space as RimWorld - EA but still fully featured. The dev is just adding more good stuff to an already good game.


The current goal of the developer is to add progressively the whole story arc that they had in mind for the game. When that is done, they stated multiple times it will go 1.0.
Playing now or then all depends whether the story (I know it sounds weird, for a roguelike) and your ability to supposedly see it through is something you got an interest in or not, I guess.


The Cogmind team has a great series of dev blog posts that I’ve enjoyed following. They’re here, if anybody is interested.



Yeah, sometimes I worry he spends more time on the blog than the game! ;)

But then a massive update releases and all is forgiven.


I wish Qud were as visually appealing as Sproggiwood…