Hades Guide: Best Keepsakes

The right Hades Keepsakes can change the trajectory of a run. This guide tells you which are the best.

Hades has some of the deepest and most varied mechanics and systems in the entire roguelite genre, and there's almost no incorrect way to build your character for each run. You can make things easier on yourself early on, though, with the addition of Keepsakes, special items keyed to important NPCs throughout the game. 

Many Hades Keepsakes are usable regardless of how far into the game you are, but there are a few standouts you'll want to make sure you get your hands on. 

These are the best. 

How to Get Keepsakes

Before you can get your hands on a Keepsake, you need Nectar, a special, rare currency found in the Underworld. Nectar is sometimes for sale at the Broker in the lounge in the House of Hades, but you'll mostly be picking it up in the world.

What does Nectar look like? 

Nectar looks like a golden liquid in a roughly spherical jar. Once you have it, you can give it to many of the named NPCs you meet. These NPCs are divided into two main groups:

  • NPCs in the House of Hades and the Underworld
  • Olympian Gods whose boons you require to make your way out

Give Nectar to NPCs for Keepsakes

No matter which group an NPC falls into, you must give them the Nectar before speaking to them normally.

A secondary prompt will appear if the NPC in question can receive the item, and once you give it to them, a single Nectar will be subtracted from your inventory.

A separate dialogue will play the first time you give them Nectar, and you'll receive a Keepsake in return. Further uses of Nectar progress character storylines, but have no additional reward.

Special Encounters

Note: If a Keepsake is marked as part of a Special Encounter, you'll find their accompanying NPC in the Underworld behind a door with a gem-encrusted exclamation point above it.

The Best Keepsakes in Hades

  • The Lucky Tooth
    • From Skelly in House of Hades

You'll eventually gain an ability called Death Defiance, which allows you to revive a limited number of times when killed. Skelly's Keepsake, the Lucky Tooth, gives you another chance for free, so long as it's equipped. It rewards up to 100 health when you die, once per escape attempt.

  • The Harpy Feather Duster
    • From Dusa

The Underworld is filled with Urns, and the Harpy Feather Duster Keepsake from Dusa gives you a small chance to find a healing item in any one of them. These tasty snacks immediately reward 10 Health, which will come in handy no matter how far you've made it through your journey.

  • The Broken Spearpoint
    • From Patroclus in Elysium
    • (Special Encounter)

With the Broken Spearpoint Keepsake, every time you take damage, you'll become invulnerable for a brief period. After that period, you must wait seven seconds to reactivate the ability. It's straight damage reduction. Can't get much better than that.

The Best Early Game Keepsake

  • The Old Spike Collar
    • From Cerberus

Until you upgrade Nyx's mirror past a certain point, the only buff to your initial HP will come from the Old Spike Collar. It is a flat upgrade to your health, from a bonus of 25HP at Level 1 to an additional 50HP at Level 3.

Best Mid-Game Keepsake

  • Evergreen Acorn From
    • Eurydice in Asphodel
    • (Special Encounter)

As you continue learning Hades' bosses, the Evergreen Acorn gives you a small safety net. It saves you from damage for up to five hits each time you face a boss.

Best Late-Game Keepsake

  • Pierced Butterfly
    • From Thanatos in the Underworld/House of Hades
    • (Special Encounter)

Thanatos is a very rare spawn in Elysium, and rarer still in the House of Hades. But his Keepsake is worth it. If you're good enough to clear entire rooms without taking a hit, your damage will increase by up to 2%. That's it: a straight buff. No muss, no fuss.

Olympian Keepsakes

All Olympian Keepsakes ensure the next boon you receive is from that particular god and will have upgraded Boon rarity. 

  • Aphrodite's Keepsake: The Eternal Rose 
    • Debuffs and Allegiance Change

Aphrodite makes your enemies do less damage and fight each other, and later upgrades allow you to stack additional damage on debuffed or charmed enemies. She pairs well with Demeter and Dionysus. 

  • Ares' Keepsake: The Blood-Filled Vial 
    • Sustained Damage

Ares increases your damage output, and he does it with style. There isn't much subtlety here: if you want to maximize your DPS, go with Ares. He pairs well with Zeus and Artemis.

  • Artemis' Keepsake: The Adamantine Arrowhead
    • Critical Damage at Distance

Artemis' Boons upgrade your damage and your Cast abilities, making your builds more well-rounded and powerful. She pairs well with Ares and Zeus.

  • Chaos' Keepsake: The Cosmic Egg 
    • How to be OP

Chaos' Boons make some part of your build more powerful, and it doesn't just have to be your abilities. Health, material acquisition, damage reduction, you name it, Chaos can improve it. They pair well with any other Boon. This item also lets you use Chaos gates without taking damage. Handy.

  • Demeter's Keepsake: The Frostbitten Horn 
    • Slow Down and Die

Demeter's abilities inflict the Chill condition, which slows enemies and can link with damage increasing abilities in her tree. They also help with healing and various debuffs. She pairs well with Athena and Poseidon.

  • Dionysis' Keepsake: The Overflowing Cup
    • Dot Damage and Confusion

Dionysis' primary ability is Hangover, which applies Damage Over Time to stack with itself and other skills. Festive Fog is his other primary point of interest, which confuses mobs and deals burst damage. He pairs well with Demeter and Zeus.

  • Hermes' Keepsake: The Lambent Plume
    • Gotta Go Fast

Hermes' abilities improve the speed and mobility of your attacks. All of them, though not all at once. Hermes is never a bad choice. He pairs well with any other god.

  • Poseidon's Keepsake: The Conch Shell 
    • Go Back, Get Paid

Poseidon's main ability grants knockback and damages enemies by throwing them against walls. He can also improve rewards. He pairs well with Zeus and Ares.

  • Zeus' Keepsake: The Thunder Signet 
    • Burst Damage Monster

Zeus is all about burst damage, and lots of it. His abilities are primarily offensive and good for melting bosses, stunlocking enemies, and emptying rooms quickly. He pairs well with Poseidon and Dionysus.

And those are the best Hades Keepsakes. Now you're prepared for any encounter and every boss. Stay tuned for our final review on Hades in the coming days. 

Contributor

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.

Games Hades Genres ActionRPG Platforms PCNintendo Switch Tags guidehades guide
Published Sep. 23rd 2020

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