Well, who would have thought that pressing the left stick in different directions whilst staring at some of the worst visuals since the 1990’s could provide so much entertainment… I certainly didn’t, but that does not stop Vampire Survivors from being one of the most compelling (and maybe best) indie games of the last ten years.
The thing is, there’s a lot going on in Vampire Survivors that is far from apparent at first glance — from the range of characters and levels you can unlock, to the ever-expanding selection of weapons, it’s a lot to take in. And let’s not forget that because this is a rogue-lite, Vampire Survivors also offers plenty of ways to increase the basic power level of your character.
There is also so, so much more to Vampire Survivors that you won’t discover until you’ve played tens of hours, but if this all sounds a little daunting…. Where do you even start? Well, BigBossBattle has your back, and here are the top five things you need to know about Vampire Survivors in order to get by:
- Know Your Enemy – basically all baddies in Vampire Survivors do the same thing — they just come directly at you without any sense or feeling. The game has no “AI” as such, but enemies will overwhelm the player with their huge numbers. Key to success in the early to mid-game is knowing which enemies die easily and which are tougher. Bats will almost certainly die to your starting weapon with a single hit, as will blue lizardmen, but as green lizards begin to appear, you’ll need multiple hits to take them down — try running through weaker enemies and hoovering up the valuable gems they drop, and simply avoid enemies you can’t kill quickly!
- Know Yourself – whilst the characters in Vampire Survivors might appear to be simple skins that are only differentiated by their starting weapon, the base stats actually make a big difference. Some characters are strong but slow, others fire extra projectiles, whilst a few gain experience really quickly and move fast, but do less damage. Tailor your approach and your weapon/augmentations build accordingly to enhance strengths and mitigate weaknesses.
- Choose Your Weapons Carefully – there are many weapons in Vampire Survivors and few are complete duds. I’ve already mentioned that you should link your weapon choices to your character stats, but your own style and build preference also makes a difference. Garlic, for example, provides a powerful passive aura that works well with attractorb, any effect that expands area and damage-boosting spinach because it allows you to simply walk around hoovering up gems without really doing anything. If you’re taking knives or any other projectile weapon, look at augmentations that add projectiles, or increase projectile size or speed.
- Explore Levels Carefully – much as with the characters, at first glance the levels in Vampire Survivors don’t appear to offer much depth or variety. They are vast, but often seem to scroll on past the same scenes forever with little variation. That’s not completely true however, and most levels have at least one or two hidden surprises — from coffins that contain (spoilers: redacted) to relics which add variety or additional content to later playthroughs, there is a lot more out there than you might think!
- Remember To Grab Snacks – of course, it goes without saying that any session of Vampire Survivors means that you’ll need your own favourite crisps or chocolates on hand, but that’s not what I mean here. No, instead I’m talking about the power ups that drop within the game — chickens, orbs, money, four-leaved clover and more. What’s important to know is that these items are persistent – so just like gems, when dropped as a result of you breaking furniture, they will stay. Leaving a chicken that you find early game to collect when the going gets tough is a valuable strategy, as is leaving an attraction orb (which will pull in all gems) until later on when you really need either health or XP respectively. Money, clovers and most other power ups can be grabbed right away — so just go for it!
Hopefully that helps to give you a head start as you head off into the darkest depths of Vampire Survivors. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you’re going to need all the help you can get!
Happy Hunting, folks!
Vampire Survivors is available now on PC.