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How to be a Killer Slayer in Vampire Survivors

[Castlevania pun]
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Vampire Survivors is a Castlevania-inspired, one versus 100 roguelike that sets you against an unending horde of creeps and crawlers. Your goal is to survive for half an hour, earning as much money as possible. But this time limit can be daunting, especially if you don’t quite know what you’re doing. That’s why I’m here. Just this morning I got the ol’ 100% in Vampire Survivors, so I know a thing or two about the creatures of the night.

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Vampire Survivors Beginner’s Guide: Tips and Tricks

After playing through as much of Vampire Survivors as is currently possible, I have a few rules I started to run into. I’ll do my best to lay off dictating what items you use, but a little of that will be unavoidable. Because that’s just mostly what this game is, now that I think about it. Anyway! Here’s some advice to help you be at your Belmont Best.

Damage over defense

There is one universal truth in Vampire Survivors. The key to survival is damage. Sustainability won’t really get you far. Unless you’re going after specific weapons (more on that later), you don’t really want to bother with things like adding defense, movement speed, health and what have you. Instead, you want all the damage. Eat your spinach, kids. It helps you survive supernatural apocalypses. Yes, more than one. I said what I said.

Now, there is one exception to this rule. Certain weapon combinations require items you wouldn’t get much out of otherwise. And one of those combos, the Unholy Vespers, is a straight up weapon of mass destruction. So it’s worth picking up the otherwise useless Spellbinder if you have the King Bible.

Don’t move (much)

In one way, Vampire Survivors is a lot like a shmup. Your character is generally a glass cannon (even with defense bumps), but they’re a small glass cannon. Even if it looks like you’re being overwhelmed, you have a little more space than you might think. When the time comes, it’s much more beneficial to make smaller, twitchy movements than it is to try and find a way to flee. Any type of situation in which you’re surrounded is always less dangerous than it seems.

Earlier on, you can obviously move around a lot more, especially if you want money. But even then, it’s better to weave around tight spaces than trying to take over the whole screen.

Fill your inventory ASAP

With some small exceptions, Vampire Survivors gives you six slots for weapons and six for items. Once you’re full, drop variety comes to a halt and you can pump your stuff up without worrying about it. That means the faster you settle on a loudout, the faster you get it pumped up. And since runs only get tougher the longer they run, that means you get to be more powerful earlier in the run. Plus, once you get everything set your level ups exclusively offer money and Floor Chicken, which is another layer of usefulness.

Related: Vampire Survivors Weapon Upgrade Guide

Plan your kit

This is why we published our weapons guide before the beginner guide! Because of the limitations behind weapon evolution, we really recommend trying each one out, deciding on your favorites, and having a plan ready for when it’s time to optimize. Knowing what you want helps you fill your inventory faster, and of course helps you with synergy and efficiency. And depending on the character you pick or other factors, you might have a little room left over to experiment.

Don’t worry about money

Money comes in pretty slowly at first, but don’t worry much about pouring it into itself for powering up, or getting the 5k in one level achievement. Once you beat the two levels you’ll get access to “Hyper” mode, which speeds up the whole game and gives you extra bonuses. That’s where the real moolah comes from.

That’s all for now! Vampire Survivors is a pretty simple game after all, so there’s only so much depth we can get into. How far have you made it? Have you managed to survive past the half hour goal? Do you have other tips you think work better than ours? Let us know!

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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].