Hades is quickly growing in popularity as the game continues to be developed in early access, and one of the reasons players keep coming back is the weapons system.
Each weapon requires a unique playstyle and can drastically change the pace and the difficulty of the game. The weapon aspects take this mechanic a step further by slightly altering each weapon. Between the weapons and the Mirror of Night, players can create a variety of different strategies and character builds to fight through the underworld.
This guide will give a basic overview of all the different weapons currently available and their different aspects and how they work.
Stygius is the first weapon available to players at the beginning of the game. New weapons become available and can be unlocked as players earn more chthonic keys, but in the early game, the Stygian blade becomes very familiar as players progress through the underworld. This is a well-balanced weapon. It has a medium-range with a good balance between speed and strength.
The default attack combo uses wide swings to cut down closely grouped enemies and finishes with a precise thrust. The special attack for this weapon creates a small AoE burst around you when used but leaves you stationary for a brief period. Finally, the dash attack delivers a quick thrust good for getting bonus damage by sticking from behind. This weapon tends to knockback enemies with each attack.
Aspect of Zagreus
This aspect is the default for all of the weapons in the game. For the Stygian Blade, it grants bonuses for move speed and dash distance. This aspect is very straight forward and doesn’t drastically change the weapon for the player. The increases are not dependent on any other conditions like some of the other abilities unlocked in other aspects.
This aspect does change play style quite a bit. At its highest level, this aspect increases speed and dash distance by 25% making it excellent for speed builds. The increased movement speed makes it much easier to navigate the map and maneuver towards or away from enemies. Unfortunately, it is very easy for players to underestimate the change in speed and distance making movement very dangerous in areas like Asphodel. If players aren’t careful they can end up taking damage from traps and lava pits.
This aspect is great for speed runs especially if you have purchased all three levels of Plunder and use items from Charon’s shop to guarantee the appearance of an Infernal Trove. With this combination and a little practice, players can farm troves for their prizes.
Aspect of Nemesis
The Nemesis Aspect costs a bit more to level than the Zagreus Aspect. This gives you a chance to deal Critical damage for three seconds after your special. The Critical chance increases with each level to a max of 30%. This effect can be stacked with Artemis boons. When stacked with boons like Hide Breaker, Deadly Strike, Deadly Flourish, or Clean Kill it becomes easy to mow down tougher enemies thanks to high Critical damage and Critical chances. The effect also stacks with boons from other gods like Dionysus’ Hangover and Athena’s Deflect effects.
This is a great aspect for just about any build but it pairs best with builds using Athena, Aphrodite, or Poseidon attack boons. Builds with these boons can do massive amounts of damage even from basic attacks. Boons from most of the other gods like Zeus do secondary damage which can be good for damage over time builds but will not pull the same numbers on initial attacks. The biggest downside to these builds is that they are don’t have a great range. Players that prefer a longer-ranged playstyle will need to adapt to this aspect or pass over it altogether.
Aspect of Poseidon
This aspect slightly makes up for the lack of range in the other aspects for this weapon. The Poseidon Aspect increases the damage of the Cast attack and causes your special to dislodge Bloodstones from your enemies. This aspect drastically changes the playstyle for this weapon. Players have to switch from focusing on close to mid-range attacks to focusing on unique combos using long-range attacks followed up by close-range specials.
Upgrading your Cast attack and ammo at the Mirror of Night can create a very unique build for this blade. Players need to be careful about choosing boons making sure to avoid any that changes the cast into an attack that can’t lodge into foes like Slicing Shot from Ares or Trippy Shot from Dionysus. Cast should be stacked with boons like True Shot from Artemis and Flurry Cast from Hermes for maximum effect.
Aspect of Arthur
This aspect requires a little work to unlock. Unlike the other aspects, it does not become available after you first collect some titan blood. To unlock this aspect you have to unlock the Aspect of Guan Yu for the spear first. Then you need to invest at least five titan blood in one of the other aspects of the sword. After you have done all of that you need to talk with Nyx, you might have to go on a couple of runs before the dialogue becomes available.
This aspect adds 50 points to your life total and changes up your move set. When using this aspect your special temporarily creates a stationary defensive aura the slows down enemies in the area and reduces the amount of damage you take. There can be up to a 40% damage reduction from this aura when the aspect is fully leveled. The main attack combo and the special also do a lot more damage but are much slower to execute meaning players will have to combine them with dashes or be mindful of their timing.
This aspect is great for a tank build. It offers high damage and good damage absorption combined with lower speed. You can make up for the slower attack speed with boons from Hermes like Swift Strike and Swift Flourish. If these boons aren’t available when you meet Hermes or if you aren’t seeing him pop up at all you can aim for a super high damage build through Poseidon, Demeter, or Artemis. The increased Critical chance granted by Artemis’ boons can cause massive amounts of damage even to armored foes and bosses.
This weapon is also called Choronacht in the codex. It is unlocked from the get-go along with the Stygian Blade. This weapon is drastically different from all of the other weapons in the game. For some players, it can be a devastating tool of mass destruction, and for others, it is an interesting looking paperweight. It takes a moment for the weapon to charge before each attack and you have to time your release just right to get maximum damage. This weapon is all about distance and timing. It can be difficult to master for players that prefer more straightforward hack-and-slash playstyles, but once you are comfortable with the different play style the bow can make quick work of almost any opponent.
The main attack for the bow is a single arrow shot that can be charged to increase the distance and damage of the shot. The dash attack is similar to the main attack but if well practiced can be used to fire more quickly with lower max damage. The special attack fires a volley of arrows in a cone wherever you are aiming. This is a long-range weapon and your playstyle needs to reflect that when you are using it. Keep enemies, particularly bosses and mini-bosses like the furies, at a distance.
Aspect of Zagreus
The default aspect of the bow gives a chance to deal Critical damage. The Critical chance increases with each level up to 10%. This effect is stackable with boons from Artemis which further increases the Critical chance and damage. This buff is really nice as Critical damage, even if there is only a small chance for it, can be very helpful in the later parts of escape runs. There isn’t any situation in this game where an increased chance of Critical damage would not be welcomed.
This aspect is most useful when stacked with boons from Aphrodite and Dionysus. The DoT caused by Dionysus’ Hangover and the debuff caused by Aphrodite’s Weak can make stronger enemies a cakewalk when combined with Critical damage. Ares’ Doom and Blade Rift effects can also work well with this weapon but not as well as Aphrodite’s Weak debuff.
Aspect of Chiron
This weapon is great for handling bosses like Megaera after other foes start spawning mid-battle. This aspect changes the special attack for this weapon so the arrow volley targets the last enemy you struck with the main attack. Just tag the enemy you want with your main attack then spam the special while dodging any other incoming attacks. This aspect capitalizes on the accuracy needed to use this weapon well.
This aspect stacks really well with Dionysus, Aphrodite, and Ares. Combining Aphrodite’s Attack boon with Dionysus’ cast and Ares’ special can cause huge amounts of combo damage to a single opponent. This combo damage is increased with the duo boons available between these three gods.
Aspect of Hera
The Hera Aspect lets you load bloodstones into your attack. This aspect benefits from Cast upgrades and buffs found at the Mirror of Night like Boiling Blood and Infernal Soul. This aspect is great for players that like to use Cast and create Cast builds. This works especially well with Dionysus’ Trippy Shot and Poseidon’s Flood Shot. This attack will apply the same effect as Trippy Shot but does so much faster than normal. If Flood Shot is used the attack does a lot of damage and knocks back foes around the impact making this really good for pushing back enemies that are getting too close. It doesn’t do quite as well with Ares’ Slicing Shot or Demeter’s Crystal Beam unless you get a duo boon. Players will need to stay mindful of their bloodstones and be sure to pick them up after they have dislodged.
The spear or Varatha has become a really popular weapon since the release of the Aspect of Guan Yu. The main attack of this weapon is a mid-range thrust that can be charged to deliver a spinning attack across a wide radius. This weapon and the shield are the only melee weapons with a ranged attack. The special throws the spear in the direction you are aiming. Using the special attack again causes the spear to be recalled. The spear will damage any enemy it passes through as it returns to Zagreus.
Aspect of Zagreus
This aspect gives a boost of up to 150% to the speed and range of the special. At the highest level, the spear can actually be thrown completely off the screen. This works great if you focus on throw-and-recall combos targeting multiple enemies as you can pull off the special multiple time in rapid succession. Unfortunately, the speed aspect can be emulated on other aspects using boons from Hermes.
This aspect is best when combined with upgrades from the Daedalus Hammer. The Breaching Skewer and Chain Skewer upgrades work best. Breaching Skewer grants a 400% damage boost to the special against armor making it very useful in later levels if you can line up multiple enemies to skewer with a throw and recall combo. Chain Skewer is probably the best upgrade for this aspect as it allows the spear to bounce between enemies and gives a 30% damage boost. This upgrade causes the spear to ricochet much faster and much further than normal.
Aspect of Achilles
This aspect changes the special so you no longer recall the spear after a special but rush towards it instead while dealing damage. This is great for dealing with ranged enemies as you can strike them with a thrown spear then rush in close to take them out. The rush also grants a damage bonus to the next two attacks or casts. This damage bonus can go up to 150% at the highest level for this aspect.
This aspect, like the Aspect of Hera for the bow, is extremely useful for players that want to create Cast builds. The effect is further accentuated by any Cast boon particularly those granted by Poseidon and Artemis. The rush can also act as an extra dash if you need to maneuver around the level.
Aspect of Hades
The Hades Aspect replaces the standard charged spin attack with an attack called Punishing Sweep. Foes hit by the sweep attack take extra damage from your base attack and special. The damage bonus goes up to 150% when fully leveled. This effect is great for players that like to use the spin attack of the spear. The aspect definitely upgrades the attack with the damage bonus against foes you hit. The problem with the spin attack is the long charge time. This can be remedied with Hermes boons and Hammer upgrades. The best two upgrades for this aspect would be Quick Spin which lowers the charge and recovery time of the attack, and Massive Spin which increases the range and damage of the spin attack.
Aspect of Guan Yu
This aspect takes some getting used to. Like the Hades Aspect, this aspect is also great for players that like spin attacks. The Guan Yu Aspect changes the spin attack so the spear is actually thrown while spinning similar to the Zeus Aspect on the shield. The new spin attack moves slowly in the direction you are facing. The special also steals life from any enemies it hits restoring any damage you have taken. The spear throw has also been changed. The spear now acts like a rocket when thrown and does not need to be recalled anymore.
The downside to this aspect is that it cuts your max life and healing effects in half when fully leveled. When first unlocked, life and healing are cut by 70% so it is better to use this weapon after you have leveled it up some more unless you are going for a low-health build using certain boons and keepsakes. The health cut can be slightly absorbed by the Cerberus Collar keepsake. Like the Aspect of Arthur, this aspect also has a slower attack speed overall. This aspect works very well with boons form Artemis granting Critical damage to the attacks. When combined with special attack bonuses from Chaos this weapon can mow down tough enemies with little effort.
Shield of Chaos
This is one of the most popular weapons in the game and for good reason. This weapon is very adaptable for both close and long-range combat and it is the only weapon with defensive capabilities without needing a boon from Athena. This weapon will also look a bit familiar to fans of certain Marvel movies. For the main attack, Zagreus just swings the shield around in an arc dealing knockback damage to enemies. The main attack can be charged to perform a Bull Rush where you rush forward bashing any enemies in your path. While the shield is being charged it blocks damage coming from the direction you are facing. This ability to block damage is extremely useful in boss fights against Megaera and Hades due to their ranged attacks. The special attack throws the shield, Captain America style, to damage long-range enemies. The shield can also bounce a few times before returning. You cannot attack or defend while the shield is out flying so you will have to just dodge until it returns to you.
Aspect of Zagreus
The Zagreus Aspect is very straight forward and logical for this weapon. The aspect reduces the amount of damage you take up to 15% when fully leveled. This aspect is really good for capitalizing on the shield’s defensive ability when Bull Rush is being charged. A good strategy is to use Bull Rush to defend parry enemy attacks, rush through any enemies that are close, then turn around and attack them from the back where you can earn a slight damage bonus with Mirror and Keepsake upgrades.
This aspect can stack with just about any boon but does really well with boons from Athena, Ares, and Poseidon. Poseidon boons are usually pretty good for the shield regardless of the aspect being used as they can stack knockback damage with the main attack. Athena’s boons capitalize on the defensive aspect of the shield by adding a deflect effect to most attacks and lowering damage you can take from other sources like traps.
Aspect of Chaos
This aspect is aptly named. The Chaos Aspect increases the number of shields thrown in the next special attack after you use Bull Rush. At the highest level of this aspect, you throw five shields at once if you use the special after using the rush. This effect is a little underwhelming in lower levels when only two or three shields are being thrown, but at the higher levels the shield gains a mock shotgun effect that can do a lot of damage to anyone in range.
This aspect can be used for any build that focuses on your special. Upgrades like Dread Flight and Sudden Rush can be used to capitalize on the playstyle needed to utilize this aspect. To keep this aspect well balanced the developers made it impossible to combine it with the Charged Throw upgrade which can increase your special damage up to 300%.
Aspect of Zeus
This aspect also changes the special attack of this weapon. The Zeus Aspect changes the special attack into a new attack called Blitz Disc. When thrown, the shield acts like a slow-moving drone. It slowly moves in the direction you throw it while constantly spinning and damaging any enemies it comes across. It will return when it hits an object it can bounce off of or come to rest when it travels a short distance and will stay there until you recall it. Something very unique about this special is that unlike the other two aspects you can still perform standard attacks and rushes while the shield is in the air.
A good strategy to use with this aspect is to recall the shield but never let it fully return. When you recall the shield it will not return immediately. Instead, it will slowly make its way back towards you at the same speed it moves when you first throw it. If you dash away before it reaches you it will follow you. You can use this to your advantage to stack damage against enemies with both the whirling shield as it moves towards you and your standard attacks. This aspect works really well with boons from Athena and Poseidon.
Twin Fists of Malphon
Malphon is the newest weapon added to the game. This weapon is pretty straight forward and fairly easy to grasp initially but can be difficult to master. The primary attack is a quick combo of five punches that deal low damage. These five punches can be chained together in sets, Zagreus will keep punching in the direction you are pointing for as long as you hold down the button or until he takes a hit. The special is a rising uppercut that hits twice. This weapon has the fastest attack speed in the game. Something that really makes this weapon stand out is that both the main attack and the special have dash attacks. The main dash attack is a hook that deals more damage than the main attack but less than the special. The dash special is also an uppercut that does more damage per hit than the normal special. However, the dash special only delivers one hit while the normal special delivers two.
The big problem with this weapon is that it is very short-range leaving you more vulnerable to some attacks, particularly from ranged enemies. Players need to account for the short-range when designing builds for this weapon. Like the Stygius, the only ranged attack available is Cast. This weapon works really well with Zeus, Demeter, and Athena builds. Athena’s Deflect effects can make up for the lack of defense and range for this weapon by helping you absorb or block some damage. Poseidon boons are not a great option for this weapon. The knockback effect on many of his boons can push back enemies that are already at the edge of your range, leaving you wasting the rest of the combo by punching thin air. Luckily this drawback can be countered with upgrades like Long Knuckle.
Aspect of Zagreus
The Zagreus Aspect adds a dodge chance and increases the attack speed up to 15%. The dodge chance added by this aspect is very useful since the close-ranged playstyle for this weapon makes you easier to hit. This is a well-balanced aspect but doesn’t have any extra frills to it aside from the increased speed.
Zeus boons are incredibly useful when paired with this aspect. The chain-lightning effect granted by Lightning Strike works perfectly with the increased attack speed making short work of large groups of enemies. Just target the toughest one in the group and go to town on him for the full effect. The damage from Thunder Flourish also stacks with the two hits in the special and creates an AoE attack that can do a lot of damage.
Aspect of Talos
This aspect changes the special to Magnetic Cutter. The special pulls nearby enemies towards you while doing a small amount of damage before performing the normal uppercut special. After the special, you can deal up to 40% more damage to any foes pulled by the attack for the next four seconds. This aspect negates some of the danger in closing the distance between you and your target. The magnetic effect is also transferred to the dash special. A common tactic is to spam the special or dash special then dash back out of range of enemies once the attack is completed.
This aspect can be good for Cast builds where bloodstones dislodge or regenerate very quickly. The aspect pairs very well with boons from Ares, Artemis, and Dionysus. If you use the Drunken Flourish boon from Dionysus, the special will inflict hangover on the enemies it pulls in. The damage from Hangover can then stack with the Doom or Critical damage gained from Ares or Artemis along with your increased attack and Cast damage. Add in a Cast boon like Ares’ Slicing Shot and you can create devastating combos.
Aspect of Demeter
The Demeter Aspect will add extra hits to your special after you land 12 normal strikes. This aspect can add up to five extra hits to the special attack. Landing the 12 strikes needed to activate this effect can be very difficult especially in the early levels of a run. The Long Knuckle upgrade from the Daedalus Hammer can help thanks to the increased range, but this effect is still probably best saved for boss and mini-boss battles.
This aspect pairs really well with any boon that increases special attack or all-around damage. Boons from Zeus, Artemis, and Poseidon can do massive amounts of damage when combined with the boosted special. This supercharged special when stacked with boons can make bosses like Alecto and Theseus and Asterius much easier to deal with.
This weapon is pretty straight forward. It is a rifle, not much else to say. Players have a set amount of ammo and need to reload manually after the ammo is depleted. The primary attack is a fully automatic burst of fire that can make the game feel similar to a top-down-shooter. The special attack is a grenade that can be launched for AoE damage. The dash attack is a two-shot burst in the direction you are pointed.
Aspect of Zagreus
The Zagreus Aspect increases your max ammo for the weapon up to an additional 12 ammo. This aspect is nice in the early game, but it is made irrelevant by some of the upgrades available from the Daedalus Hammer. The upgrades for this aspect should probably be purchased last since the ammo change is the only benefit. While the Hammer upgrades can make this aspect irrelevant, it can still be very useful if you plan on using the Hammer to get the special attack upgrades instead.
This aspect is great for chain attack and fast attack builds. It benefits the most from Zeus’ boons, particularly Lightning Strike. The chain lightning effect given by Zeus can damage huge numbers of enemies at once. This is very useful for taking on bosses like the Hydra and Theseus and Asterius. This a good all-around aspect but doesn’t really change the weapon as much as other aspects.
Aspect of Eris
This aspect gives a unique ability to the special attack. If you absorb the damage from the grenade you will gain a temporary damage boost up to 60% for eight seconds. This increases all damage including damage from your boons and call. Players can simply shoot themselves or they can use it on close enemies to both damage them and trigger the boost effect.
This aspect works particularly well with Ares and Dionysus boons. Combining Ares’ Curse of Agony for the main attack with Dionysus’ Drunken Flourish for the special can cause a ton of combo damage with Doom and Hangover. While these two effects are a good combination, just about any combination of boons would work really well with this aspect as it increases damage across the board.
Aspect of Hestia
This aspect can be a bit difficult to get used to. If the player manually reloads before they have run out of ammo, the next shot will receive a huge boost to range and damage. The boost goes up to 150 damage and 150% range when fully leveled. This allows you to one-shot some of the weaker enemies found early in runs. The problem is that manually reloading and keeping up with whether or not you have reloaded can get a bit arduous. To get the full effect against stronger enemies you will basically be reloading after every shot which is tedious and time-consuming. This can also get really frustrating if you happen to miss on your empowered shot.
This aspect works really well with Artemis and Demeter boons. It is really easy to stack the Chill effect granted by Demeter causing enemies to slow down and shatter. This gives you more time to reload and can pass the effect on to other enemies. The Critical effects granted by Artemis have the potential to do a lot more damage while Support Fire creates even more projectiles to be used on particularly tough enemies.