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How to play Dead Cells in “easy mode”

Use Aspects to make your next runs a little easier.

Since it was first released in 2018, Dead Cells has had many years of updates and quality-of-life improvements. The developer listens to the community and responds accordingly, adding more weapons, items, biomes, bosses, and general features for them to engage with. One of those features was a way to adjust the game’s difficulty. This guide explains how to play Dead Cells in “easy mode” so you don’t get too frustrated trying to complete it.

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How do you play in “easy mode” in Dead Cells?

Screenshot by Gamepur

To start playing Dead Cells in “easy mode,” you need to die. Start a run, get as far as you can, and wait for death to take you when it all becomes too much. Then, when you rise, you’ll find yourself in the Prisoner’s Quarters. This is your main hub for the game, but it won’t start to populate with NPCs until you’ve died for the first time.

It’s after this first death that you’ll encounter The Doctor for the first time. This NPC will appear in the passageway under your spawn point. Don’t rush off because The Doctor is central to starting Dead Cells in “easy mode.” When you speak to The Doctor, you can open the Aspects menu. Aspects each give your character a massive boost in various ways. For example, taking Toxin Lover allows you to be healed by toxic clouds of gas and the poisonous pools of water you’ll find in the Toxic Sewer biome. If you pick Firestarter, you’ll get +100% damage from your fire attacks and a whopping +200% damage from Violet Flames you produce.

There are many more Aspects for you to play with, though you can only equip one at a time. However, taking them has a drawback. With an Aspect equipped, you won’t be able to claim Boss Stem Cells. These items are dropped by bosses and used to access the true ending of Dead Cells. They also increase the game’s difficulty as you push forward through each new version of the world. If you don’t mind missing out on that, at least for your first run, then equip the Aspect that helps you progress. You can always restart without an Aspect and go for the true ending later.

Aspects were added to Dead Cells with the Practice Makes Perfect Update. They lock you into what most would call the easiest version of the game, allowing you to power through it to get at least one completion under your belt. This update also added the Training Room, which lets you get to grips with your weapons and items before heading out to face any enemies. We recommend making the most of this if you’re still struggling with the game.

All Aspects in Dead Cells

Image via Motion Twin

Related: How to get Maria’s cat and outfit in Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania — Ribboned Key

There are thirteen Aspects for you to play around with in Dead Cells. We’ve outlined what they are below so you can get an idea of how they change the game. The first three are unlocked from the start, but you’ll need to unlock the others by dying over and over again.

  • Toxin Lover: Poison pools and toxic gas actually heal you instead of hurting you.
  • Firestarter: Flames deal +100% damage, and Violet Flames deal +200% damage.
  • Shatter: Enemies take a chunk of heavy damage when you break their freeze.
  • Assassin: Instantly kill all non-boss enemies you attack with your first strike while invisible.
  • Relentless: You are invincible if you have any recoverable HP. The amount of HP you’re missing multiplies your damage.
  • Blood Drinker: Every melee hit on a bleeding target heals you for 3% of your maximum HP.
  • Damned: The spawn rate of Cursed Chests is doubled. Curses no longer kill you, instead doubling the damage you receive and deal to enemies.
  • Gotta Go Fast: Recieve 50% less damage and deal 100% more while speed boosted. Any speed boosts last for twice as long.
  • Grenadier: Resets the cooldown of your grenade when you kill an enemy with it.
  • Menagerie: For every pet, deal +100% damage. This is reduced to +25% for each Biter.
  • Stomper: Deal four times more damage to enemies from fall damage and dive attacks.
  • Superconductor: Your electric damage over time weapons will now bounce between enemies. Each time it jumps to a new target, it deals 50% more damage.
  • Tinker: Sets the cooldown for all deployables to one second.

Is there a “hard mode” in Dead Cells?

Freeing Richter in Dead Cells Return to Castlevania
Screenshot by Gamepur

There are a few ways to increase the difficulty in Dead Cells. First, you can collect Boss Stem Cells and boost the intensity of the world. There are five in total, and each one can be injected or removed before you leave the Prisoner’s Quarters and start a run. Piling all five of these in will massively increase the game’s difficulty and make your life extremely hard.

Another way to increase the difficulty of Dead Cells was added with the Return to Castlevania DLC. Once you’ve unlocked Richter mode, you can play through a new version of the game with a character who has a much more limited play style. You’ll get one weapon and one item. Richter also has a minimal move set, all of which combine to make the game much more challenging than the vanilla version.

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Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp is a Staff Writer at Gamepur. He's been writing about games for ten years and has been featured in Switch Player Magazine, Lock-On, and For Gamers Magazine. He's particularly keen on working out when he isn't playing games or writing or trying to be the best dad in the world.