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Gameplay mechanics

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Disambig.png Cast redirects here. For a list of the voice cast of Hades, see Voice Cast.

This page covers all Gameplay Mechanics in Hades. It also functions as a glossary of terms.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Zagreus has 5 different abilities that he can use in his escapes from the Underworld. They can all be enhanced with Boons, Keepsakes or items.

  • Attack: Using this ability activates Zagreus' weapon's primary attack. This is often a fast hitting and fast using ability. Some weapons have a separate attack that can be used by holding the Attack button.
  • Special: Using this ability activates Zagreus' weapon's special attack. This is often a slower hitting ability that provides some utility, such as ranged damage, or Area of Effect (AoE) damage.
  • Cast: A long range spell that will launch ammo Cast Ammo at a foe, dealing 50 base damage upon impact. When Cast Ammo hits an enemy, it will stay inside the foe until it is killed or 15 seconds have elapsed, after that, it can be collected and used again. If Zagreus equips Stygian Soul, Cast Ammo won't fall off the enemy and can't be collected, but will regenerate after a short time. See Mirror of Night for more information.
  • Dash: A movement ability which can be used to evade attacks or get into position. While Dashing, Zagreus is immune to damage from all sources. Dashes can be used to cross gaps in rooms, such as the pools of magma in Asphodel. Can also be used to perform a quick "Dash Attack" by using an attack immediately after dashing.
  • "Call" (Wrath): A powerful charge based ability which can only be used if Zagreus has an Olympian Boon which grants him aid. When he has one, his God Gauge will build as he attacks and takes damage. One charge of the gauge can be used for a powerful effect, or the entire bar can be saved up and used for one "Greater Call" which will last much longer and/or have a stronger effect. The God Gauge is located right below Zagreus' health bar.

All of these abilities can be augmented and changed by Boons from the Olympians. Additionally, Chaos boons can increase the damage of the player's Attack, Special, Cast, and Dash Attack, as well as the player's Cast ammo. The Daedalus Hammer specifically will add a major improvement to a weapon's Attack, Dash Attack, or Special, often drastically changing the ability and substantially increasing its damage.

Damage[edit | edit source]

Main article: Damage Calculation


All damage increase percentages in Hades are "additive" which means they do not stack together. This means that any percentages that increase damage will scale off an ability's initial damage (aka its "base damage") and be added to the damage total. They will not scale off each other. (As an example, if an attack did 10 damage, a 50% increase to it would make the attack deal 10 + 5 = 15 damage. If another 50% increase for that same attack was gained, it would do 10 + 5 + 5 = 20 damage. Percents do not scale off each other.)

Damage in Hades can be done not only by Zagreus, but a variety of environmental and bonus effects as well.

Backstab[edit | edit source]

Bonus damage can be applied if a foe is attacked from behind, known as a Backstab. Backstab damage can be enhanced through Mirror of Night upgrades, or the Exposed Status Curse.

Boiling Blood[edit | edit source]

Bonus damage can be applied to enemies with Cast Ammo in them. This damage can only be obtained and enhanced through the Boiling Blood upgrade in the Mirror of Night.

Once an enemy is shot by a cast, an Cast Ammo stays in the target for 15 seconds. The duration can be shortened with Quick Reload or Aspect of Hera.

Punished[edit | edit source]

Bonus damage can be applied to enemies with 2 Status Curses applied to them. This damage can only be obtained and enhanced through the Privileged Status upgrade in the Mirror of Night.

Critical Hits[edit | edit source]

Critical (usually shortened to Crit) is a modifier that causes foes to take more damage than usual. A critical attack will deal at least 300% damage to an enemy. See Damage Calculation for how the damage is calculated.

Wall Slam[edit | edit source]

If an enemy is hit into a wall after being knocked back, they will take Wall Slam damage. This damage is calculated based on momentum and distance from the wall, and deals additional damage based on the biome you are in (Harder biomes deal more damage). Poseidon has multiple Boons that enhance Wall Slams.

Cornered[edit | edit source]

Cornered is similar to wall slams, but occurs when you hit an enemy against the outward facing corner of two walls, dealing extra damage.

Traps[edit | edit source]

Traps are various hazards found in the Underworld. These range from Spike Pits in Tartarus, to Phoenix Eggs in Elysium. Traps can damage Zagreus, but can also be used to do damage to enemies. Traps do considerably more damage to enemies than they do to Zagreus.

Other Effects[edit | edit source]

These are other gameplay mechanics in Hades which don't have a general category.

Armor[edit | edit source]

Armor is an attribute that can be found on Elite enemies. Armor is marked with a yellow outline around the enemy and a yellow health bar. Enemies with armor are immune to stuns and Knockback until the armor bar has been depleted.

When armor is destroyed, the affected enemy would usually be briefly stunned, if in a single hit Zagreus deals more damage than necessary to destroy the armor, it would be ignored and enemy health wouldn't be affected by said damage. Daedalus Hammer upgrades and Boons can affect damage to armor.

Defend[edit | edit source]

Defending is a mechanic unique to the Shield of Chaos. Hold Attack with the shield to block damage (and charge a Bull Rush attack) in the direction you are facing.

Elite Foe[edit | edit source]

Elite Foes are a variant of enemies marked with a skull symbol next to their health bar. These enemies are stronger than their normal counterparts, possessing Armor and having unique attacks. Some elite foes, such as the Megagorgon, only appear in their own unique chambers.

Pierce[edit | edit source]

A projectile will continue along its trajectory after hitting a target. Does not work on walls. Piercing Effects can be found from Daedalus Hammers when equipped with the Heart-Seeking Bow or the Adamant Rail. The Heart-Seeking Bow also features native piercing effects on its primary attack ability.

Reload[edit | edit source]

Reloading is a mechanic unique to the Adamant Rail. When the player runs out of bullets to fire, they will be prompted to reload. Zagreus will automatically reload when out of ammo, but not until the player releases the attack button. He can manually Reload by pressing the Reload button. Once a reload is started, a Dash can be used while reloading without cancelling Reload. The Rail cannot be fired while Reloading, even if it previously contained ammo. The Rail's Ammo is displayed to the right of your health bar.

Shared Suffering[edit | edit source]

Any foe marked by this effect will take a percentage of the damage dealt by Zagreus whenever he Attacks a foe. This effect is only applied by the Special of Aspect of Rama for the Heart-Seeking Bow. It can be used on the enemy it's marked on, so the damage will stack (regular damage + Shared Suffering damage).

Status Curses[edit | edit source]

Status Curses are unique effects granted to attacks via boons. Click here for a full list of Status Curses.

Sturdy[edit | edit source]

You take 30% less damage, and your actions cannot be interrupted by taking damage.

Unblockable[edit | edit source]

Some foes (e.g. Greatshield) can block attack from the direction they're facing, negating the damage completely. An unblockable attack can bypass their shields.