If you’re just getting started in Rogue Legacy 2 from Cellar Door Games, you might notice that things are pretty difficult right out of the gate. There are a lot of options available, and there is no definitive “best” option for classes. Especially if you didn’t play the first game, you may not know what to expect to best move forward.
We’re here to help with this tips guide, which includes tricks for getting started in Rogue Legacy 2, including how the game works, traits to look for, best upgrades to buy, and how best to strategize your runs.
The game is still very early in Early Access on Steam (sorry, folks: it’s not on PS4, Xbox One, or Switch yet). It has a relatively long roadmap in front of it, so things are subject to change. However, this should get you started no matter what patch or update you’re on.
How Rogue Legacy 2 Works
Not to get too specific here, but you should know how your runs in Rogue Legacy 2 work. Each time you enter the castle, you’ll encounter a series of procedurally generated rooms where you’ll find gold, monsters, traps, and more. Eventually, you’re going to die and take all that gold with you back to the beginning. It is a roguelike after all.
But this is where things get interesting.
You can spend that gold on upgrades and equipment, making your characters stronger for later runs. However, you must spend it all (well, almost all; more on that in a bit) because once you move past the screens where you can buy things, all your gold is forfeited to Charon, the boatman.
This means each run gives you a chance to get at least a bit stronger, but upgrades get more pricey as you start to buy more. You’ll need some long runs to gather enough gold to unlock everything!
Keep It Classy
When you pick your character at the start of each run, there will be a few different classes to choose from, provided you’ve accumulated the proper upgrades from previous runs. The classes handle similarly, but there are a few key differences.
The Knight is the game’s basic class, maneuverable with decent health and damage. The knight’s talent allows you to block incoming attacks. This is a versatile class that is solid at everything and great for beginners learning the ropes.
The Barbarian is the strongest class with the highest health. It has a spin attack when jumping, letting you deal a ton of damage to multiple foes in the air. However, you only accumulate mana when performing your regular standing attack, so keep that in mind. The barbarian’s talent is a shout that knocks down projectiles and freezes enemies briefly.
As expected, the mage is skilled at magic but physically weak. The mage’s normal attack is a short-range blast that deals solid damage but is very weak up close. This class generates mana very quickly, but it has the lowest health in the game. The mage’s talent gives them two different spells, letting you put all that extra mana to good use.
The most unique class, the ranger wields a high-damage bow and arrow. You can aim your shots to attack from afar, but the trade-off is you can’t move while attacking. The ranger’s talent allows you to place a platform that provides safe ground to pick enemies off from.
Upgrades You Should Purchase in Rogue Legacy 2
At the start of each run, you’ll be able to buy upgrades for your castle, runes, and equipment. Many castle upgrades have multiple iterations, so you can pump up your damage, health, mana, and other related attributes several times. However, there are a few you should prioritize.
You’ll probably want to unlock classes first. This way you can discover your favorite playstyle and try to emphasize that. There are four classes available in Rogue Legacy 2‘s initial Early Access release, with more on the way in future updates.
Another important upgrade is the Living Safe upgrade. When you normally start a new run, any gold you aren’t able to spend is lost. With the Living Safe upgrade, a percentage of that gold carries over to later runs. When upgrades start getting expensive, you’ll be very glad to have it.
Otherwise, purchase upgrades as you can, and emphasize the ones that will most benefit your favorite way to play. If you like the heavy hitters, build up your damage to shred foes faster. If you like casting spells, increase your magic.
The blacksmith and enchantress offer extremely powerful upgrades, either in the form of gear or runes. You’ll have to find these during runs, then pay a decent chunk of gold to unlock them. However, they are generally extremely powerful, and we recommend that you always prioritize these over any castle upgrades.
Watch for Special Items & Secrets During Your Runs
Each run in Rogue Legacy 2 is randomly generated, but you will start to see some rooms you recognize. If you find a particularly tricky room, it’s probably tricky for good reason — there’s something important in it. Could be items, could be secrets. Here are a few things to watch out for:
If there’s a chest in a particularly tough to reach area, there’s a good chance it contains a gear blueprint, which you can then purchase at the blacksmith. These unlock strong stat upgrades for characters.
These are located in certain rooms, there will be special criteria for reaching them. You have to get through an area without taking damage or reach the chest in a set amount of time, for example. Fairy Chests almost always contain runes, which you can then purchase at the enchantress on future runs.
Heirlooms look like statues that, when approached, allow you to enter a special dungeon. Heirlooms are important for progressions and, like upgrades, only need to be unlocked once to be available to all characters.
There are two heirlooms in the game currently: Aesop’s Tome and Ananke’s Shawl. The tome allows you to read the mysterious “whispers” you encounter, giving you bits of lore and unlocking certain areas. The shawl gives you the dash ability, which you’ll definitely come to rely on. You need to unlock both heirlooms in order to open the door to the first boss.
You’ll sometimes find hidden passages in Rogue Legacy 2. You can identify most of these by the wall texture looking a bit different, but some are totally hidden. Hit them with some magic to open them up; there’s usually pretty good treasure hidden inside.
Have a Plan for Each Run
As you progress further in Rogue Legacy 2, you’ll start to figure out your playstyle. Once you have, it’s much easier to differentiate whether a run will be an “economy” run or a “progress” run.
Economy runs are all about earning as much gold as possible. This means working your way through every room, killing every foe, attempting every Fairy Chest challenge, etc. These are reserved if you get a character with traits that give you a good gold boost, or if you’re stuck with a class that maybe isn’t your best. You can still get quite a bit out of an economy run.
As you start to figure out your style, you’ll also start to gravitate towards certain classes, traits, and spells. If you find a character you think will give you a good shot on a boss you haven’t yet taken down, that’s a progress run.
These runs are about avoiding danger as much as possible to have your full stock of resources when you arrive at a boss. Try to find your way around tricky rooms, check your map often, and try to locate the boss room as quickly as possible. Also, be aware that progress runs can morph into economy runs if things don’t quite go your way.
It helps to learn how all the moves and classes play. The platforming in Rogue Legacy 2 is fair but unforgiving, so mastering the reach of your dash or downstrike hitbox is essential for stringing together strong runs. Learn each class’s talent, as some are more intuitive than others. However, they are all useful in the right situations.
That should be more than enough to get you moving through Rogue Legacy 2. For even more helpful articles, like our Traits guide, check out our RL2 guides page. May all your runs get you enough gold for a new upgrade!