A year following its successful launch on PC and consoles, Motion Twin’s highly popular hit title Dead Cells has finally been launched on iOS. With numerous nominations and awards under its belt, the roguelike metroidvania game sets itself apart from Motion Twin’s other games by being known to be quite a challenge. Released just less than a month ago in collaboration with Playdigious, Dead Cells currently stands at the number 1 spot under the role-playing category of the App Store and remains to have near-perfect review ratings like its counterparts on other gaming platforms.
If you are totally unfamiliar with Dead Cells, or the subgenres it belongs to, it is considered roguelike in the sense that levels are procedurally generated and each run on the dungeon will present you with a new experience as far as the general layouts are concerned and some enemy locations. The game likewise feature permadeath and every death in the game will mean losing your weapons, cells, and coins. Influenced as well by the Metroid series and Castlevania games, Dead Cells features one huge interconnected map that players can explore to some extent while some areas are left to be accessed after you obtain special items as you progress through the game.
Dead Cells is a truly difficult game to beat and while it implies that the game may not be designed for everyone, it should not discourage you from attempting to play it if you are up for a challenging epic adventure. There are hardly any tutorials available in the game although the mechanics are fairly simple to understand. Patience is definitely a must as you should read everything you see and also take time to observe the surroundings and enemies. If you have just started playing the game or are planning to do so, be sure to read our Dead Cells beginner’s guide as we have simple yet effective tips, cheats and strategies you should know before you dive deeper into the game.
1. Customize You Control Settings
As challenging as Dead Cells is on its own, playing it on mobile without any controllers whatsoever is even a more taxing experience. For one, it is important for you to be able to have a firm grasp of the controls and be able to precisely use the weapons and skills in your arsenal in every instance. The default settings and button layouts may be cool but to ensure that you set everything up in the best way that makes you comfortable and efficient as you play the game, then be sure to tinker with the control configurations and try out as many setups as you can before progressing further into the game.
To alter control configurations for the game, tap on the menu icon at the upper left side of your screen. Tap on the options tab and then “Controls” to be taken to a highly configurable control settings. Depending on the device you are playing with, you may want to resize buttons and shuffle them as well. As an added tip, make sure that you ensure the “roll” button stays within good reach as you will be using this skill often.
2. Take As Much Time As You Need
As we mentioned earlier, Dead Cells is a game that requires a lot of patience. Most especially if you are a beginner, the best approach is to take it slow and carefully. Each level in the game is generated differently with every run but it will always contain the same essential components like valuable loots and secrets you should always aim to discover before moving on to the next area.
Keep in mind that you can tap on the minimap to have a clearer view of where you are as well as where to venture to and this feature is especially helpful when you have ventured through a huge section of the current dungeon. While some areas are dead ends until you secure the needed items to surpass them, there are various routes to check to ensure that you have nabbed every possible loot before moving forward. Make it a habit to spend some time exploring before you move on to the next area and even though a lot of the loot you obtain will be lost whenever you die in the game, upgrades and runes stay intact which is why scounging for them across each playthrough should be among your goals for earlier plays.
Another valuable application of this approach comes from engaging enemies in combat. As enemies typically walk back and forth, always time your attack while their backs are turned. Likewise, approach with caution as having to fight one enemy at a time is always better than mashing it in with two or three opponents. Enemies behave differently when they see you as an indicated by the exclamation mark atop their heads. For starters, try your best to not see any marks before you land your first blow and combo in to finish the job before they can react.
3. Play Strategically
Being an action-oriented RPG, Dead Cells makes each combat dynamic and fun to watch. While the whole hack and slash appearance of the game may provoke you to play more aggressively, enforcing strategic approaches before and during each combat sequence is the way to go. On top of very limited healing items and the painful permadeath mechanics, enemies you encounter in the game are not generally susceptible to frenzied approaches.
There are plenty of ways to get around or through enemies while preventing any damage to your hero. From stunning them to utilizing weapons that incapacitate to parrying with your shield and rolling to evade all sorts of attacks. Just the same, all these will not suffice on its own without patience and timing skills on your part.
One trick you can constantly utilize to more safely approach enemies is by breaking doors instead of opening them and using slam attacks down on enemies below. Each breakable in the game serves as a potential first attack for you and as enemies are close to the other side of it, attacking the door and breaking it into pieces can damage and stun your enemies. Likewise, tapping the jump button while holding the virtual control pad down will cause your character to initiate a stomp move that can stun enemies within close proximity. Remember to always squeeze in the stomp technique even in the midst of battle as stunning enemies will raise your chances of surviving through each level.
Be sure to always keep an eye on an alerted enemy as each opponent in Dead Cells has an observable gesture before they initiate an attack. From exclamation marks above their heads down to specific movements right before an action, each enemy renders itself predictable if you keep a keen eye on every move they make. With this in mind, you can time your roll, the tap of your shield to parry, or even jump up or away from an incoming attack. While getting the timing takes time and practice, starting to do so early on will pay off in the long run.
4. Spend Your Cells Wisely
Cells are an important currency in Dead Cells that you collect from some enemies you defeat and needed to purchase upgrades and unlock weapons from the Collector. After reaching the exit of a dungeon, you will be taken to a safe area in-between the previous and succeeding dungeons where you can meet the collector. The collector offers permanent upgrades as well as unlocks new weapons that can randomly become available in the dungeon provided that you have found its blueprints.
For starters, be sure to invest cells into general upgrades, especially the more basic ones like health flasks and gold reserves. Increasing health flasks raise your chances of survival while gold reserves make it a little less painful for you whenever you die and as careful and experienced you might be, chances are that you will still die a lot before you manage to finish the game.
One critical consideration you have to think about with the collector is unlocking additional weapons. Choosing to invest in unlocking moe weapons may throw a lot of options into the mix of random ones you can get in the game. While it may sound all the more fun, you may come to find that you won’t be using some of the weapons you have unlocked as you may not find them effective or perhaps they simply do not fit your play style. For efficiency, be sure to read through each weapon description before you invest cells into unlocking them. Having fewer weapons in the mix of available weapons that can randomly appear in the dungeons raises the chances of you having the ones you actually want to use.
5. Defeat Elite Enemies For Special Runes
While exploring each area comes with numerous benefits in Dead Cells, the best ones are perhaps attributable to elite enemies that are far deadlier than their normal counterparts but offer special runes as rewards for defeating them. You may encounter some enemies in the general areas of the map but be sure to be in the lookout for special ones in secluded areas or rooms.
Despite the higher damage output and hit points that elite enemies have, they still behave in the very same way as their normal versions do. As such, confidently engage them as you would the usual mobs and be rewarded with unique runes that will help you progress through the game faster.
This wraps up our beginner’s guide for Dead Cells. We hope that the compilation of tips, cheats and strategies we shared with you will help you on a long journey within this epic game and that you will enjoy the game even more as you apply everything that you have learned. Dead Cells certainly holds a lot of content in it so if you discover additional tips in the game like the ones we shared do not hesitate to share them with us in the comments!