Skul: The Hero Slayer is a thrilling and creative pixel art roguelike game with plenty of content to last you a long while. You play as the titular antihero, Skul, who is tasked with defeating the humans that seek to destroy the demon kingdom. You will do this by venturing out into forests, castles, and biolabs, all the while donning new skulls to gain new powers and abilities.If you have played any other roguelike game before such as Dead Cells or Hades, then you have some idea as to how Skul: The Hero Slayer plays out. The game does a great job at getting you up and exploring right away, quickly teaching you the ropes. The following tips and tricks should help you when first starting out in this game.Updated on May 11th, 2022 by Geoffrey Martin: Skul: The Hero Slayer is a seemingly endless roguelike game that continually gives you new ways to play, mostly through the use of the various skulls in tangent with the random nature of stage layouts. Like many similar action roguelike games, you will die a lot in this game which means a level of strategy and patience is required. Whether you are new to the game or if you just need some helpful pointers, the following beginner tips should help you out when trying to progress.
12 Prioritize Which Baddies To Take Out First
Skul: The Hero Slayer is constantly throwing new enemies your way, often in endless droves and hordes. Some areas of a stage can easily have more than a dozen baddies attacking you at any given time. Even with the best skulls equipped, death can come swiftly.
To mitigate this, you should prioritize which baddies to eliminate first, especially when there are larger, brute-type enemies that have large area-of-effect attacks. While they might often swarm you along with their minions, try to position yourself on a platform or ledge where you can use your skull abilities to fan the herd, so to speak.
11 Take Your Time With Boss Battles (They Are Tough)
As you might imagine, boss battles in this game are downright punishing, oftentimes keeping you from progressing to a new stage without any other options. It may sound simple, but just like a large horde of enemies, it's encouraged to take your time and practice patience in these boss battles, mostly so you can learn their movements and patterns.
Most bosses in this game have an attack "tell" which gives you a heads up as to when they might damage you. Likewise, each boss has a weak point. For example, the giant evil tree boss from the first forest stage is weaker near its top branches, in this case, its head.
10 Use Dark Quartz For Permanent Upgrades
Dark Quartz is the main form of upgraded currency and energy in this game world. Dark Quartz has been harnessed for its dark magic properties with both friend and foes utilizing its properties. Our antihero, Skul, is able to use the Dark Quartz back at the home castle to upgrade.
By speaking to the friendly witch back at your castle, you can unlock and upgrade permanent character stats such as increased HP, dealing more physical or magical damage, and the like.
9 Release Captured Allies
During your runs through the diverse and lush landscapes, you will come across cages. These cages house allies that you need to rescue. By breaking apart their cages and releasing them, you open up their specific abilities back at the castle.
You will want to seek out and rescue every ally that you can since they provide you with more buffs and better items prior to diving into a new run. Fortunately, these allies aren't hidden somewhere obscure but are instead along your given path so you shouldn't miss out on them.
8 Be Sure To Get A Skull From Fox Hunter
The main gameplay mechanic that really separates Skul: The Hero Slayer from its contemporaries is the ability to swap out skulls you come across during your journey. Think of the skulls as different weapons, with each new skull offering differing skills and abilities.
Once you rescue Fox Hunter from his cage early on in the game he will offer up a brand new skull prior to each new run. These skulls are random which means you do have to get used to ones that aren't familiar to you. However, should you wish, you can restart the run to get a new skull right off the bat.
7 The Ogre Peddler Gives You An Item
Another demon ally that you can rescue during your first few runs is the aptly named Ogre Peddler. This hulking ogre will quickly become a good friend because he offers you a new item each time you hop into a new run. These items will be the same as the ones you come across during your runs.
The random chance here, similar to Fox Hunter's skulls, ensures that you are able to try out a wide range of items in the game. Also, you are able to have multiple items equipped at once to provide you with passive buffs.
6 Always Be Dodging And Moving
Skul: The Hero Slayer is a fast-paced and frenzied game with plenty of difficulty spikes to keep you on your skeleton toes. This is not a game where you simply take on one or two enemies at a time but instead take on whole rooms of baddies.
In order to stay alive, you will need to constantly be moving around the screen. Fortunately, this is easy to do since Skul has a handy dodge and double jump. Some of the skulls even provide movement buffs and dodge dash attacks. Simply put, stay mobile to stay alive longer.
5 Change Your Skulls Out
This one may be obvious given it's the major gameplay mechanic of this game, however, it should be stated that you should always change out your skulls depending on your playstyle. With over 100 skulls in the game, there will be something for every type of player.
You have your default skull which gives you a basic attack and a long-range, thrown skull attack, but, you will want to obtain new ones at the end of certain stages or from the respite areas. Try out new ones to see how they fit into your style of play.
4 It's Okay To Use Rookie Mode
Playing Skul: The Hero Slayer on the regular difficulty mode will most certainly challenge you. Given the nature of roguelikes, you will likely die over and over again. There's nothing wrong with that since each time you die you learn a bit more about the worlds and the skulls.
However, if you wish to have a bit gentler of an experience you can hop into the options menu to turn on Rookie Mode. Rookie Mode is essentially an assist mode that decreases incoming damage by 50%.
3 Which Door Will You Choose?
At the end of each level you are given a choice of which door to go through. One type of door will take you to a regular level with a random loot option at the end. Another door will lead to tougher enemies but has a powerful skull at the end. Finally, you also have a treasure door which gives you a chest or coins at the end of the level.
Also, every few stages, or before a boss fight, you are taken to a special respite zone. It doesn't matter which door you choose since they all lead you in the right direction.
2 Save Up Your Bone Fragments
Pretty early on in the game you stumble across an arachnid queen who offers you powerful upgrades to your equipped skulls. In order to obtain these upgrades, you need to offer her bone fragments. So, how exactly do you acquire bone fragments you might be asking?
You get bone fragments by destroying skulls you no longer want to utilize. By holding down a button over the specific skull, it is destroyed and you obtain the fragments to take back to the queen. She appears a couple of times in each world.
1 Use Coins To Heal And Gain Buffs
Coins are plentiful in this game which is a good thing since you need them to partially heal up at the respite rooms. You can stumble across purple healing orbs dropped from certain enemies, however, these typically only heal 10-20 HP overall.
In the respite rooms you can use coins to heal, to obtain new passive buff items, dedicated button items for tangible benefits, and even a new skull from time to time. If you aren't happy with the items, simply pay to restock them or wait until another room down the line.
NEXT: Ranked: The Best Roguelikes On PS4 And PS5