Crypt of the NecroDancer: A handy guide
Necrodancer is my favourite roguelike rhythm game. It's also probably the only one that exists. Anyway, the game recently got a new DLC called Amplified which added a lot of new cool stuff. Now I'm back to playing it daily and I'm sometimes overwhelmed by all the neat little mechanics this game offers. After playing it for around 30 hours, I feel like I just scratched the surface. So here's a collection of helpful tips I gathered while reading guides, watching speedrunners and (of course) playing the game itself.
This guide is WIP and will be improved over time while I'm learning the game. 😄
You will die. A lot. Just focus to learn the different patterns of the monsters in the beginning. To make things a tad easier, try playing with the Bard.
Don't start with the All Zones Mode. Play each zone one by one and gather diamonds to unlock additional items. Otherwise you will be overwhelmed by all the available items.
If you struggle against a certain monster, make sure to practice against it by visiting the beast- or bossmaster in the lobby.
More often than not you will die because you don't perfectly know the pattern of your weapon. Again, if you struggle playing with a certain weapon, choose it for training and slay some monsters.
Make sure to try the different soundtracks! There are currently 6 available, all within a different genre. Maybe there is one that makes the game more enjoyable to play for you.
It's okay to stand still to skip beats. It's way better to lose the multiplier than your precious health!
Instead of standing still, you can also dig a wall when you're near one. This is called Dig Buffering. You won't lose your multiplier and stand on the same tile while waiting for monsters to close the gap.
Don't panic when the song is about to end. Once the song is over, you will fall into a trapdoor and end up in the next level in a room with four monsters. So there's still a chance! Note that Dove, Aria and Coda are the only characters that will die once a song has ended.
You don't need the Amplified DLC when you're new to the game. It doesn't hurt though as it adds a few items which can make the game easier. The new zone, modes and characters will add a new challenge.
Turn on Show Item Hints to see what certain items do. You will see the description when you stand near the item.
Turn on Always Show Enemy Hearts, this will make it easier to calculate your damage and remember the health of the monsters.
Turn on Quick Lobby Movement. There are many different characters, modes and NPCs to visit (after unlocking them) and this will let you get around much faster.
Play in fullscreen mode and set the View Multiplier to 2x or 3x. The game will be more zoomed out and you can see more of the map. Makes planning the next moves much easier and will prevent some deaths.
Turn off Screen Shake to be able to concentrate better. This option feels unnecessary, there is already enough going on on your screen.
Be sure to setup your Controls. Both keyboard and controller are fine. You might also want to set keybinds to certain combinations of keys (i.e. up and down). It's important to feel comfortable with your setup. Misclicks can easily turn into frustrating deaths.
Play around with the other settings offered. You might want to toggle Disco Floor. I find it quite helpful to see if the multiplier is active.
There are three different chest types available. A black chest contains armor and weapons, a purple chest contains magic items (spells, scrolls and rings) and a orange chest can contain pretty much everything else like food, shovels or bombs.
Crates and Barrels can be destroyed by pushing them into spike traps, placing a bomb near them or by attacking them with at least three damage. When you push them down a trapdoor, their content will be revealed on the next level.
Shrines will always contain the same item when blown up. The item is only different when the shrine has been activated. Stand near them to see what the shrine will do. Note that some of them will make the game harder and are not worth it for beginners.
There are many different Dungeon Shops, not just the one surrounded by golden tiles. Look out for cracked walls and break them with a shovel or bomb. You can enter them by stepping on the rune teleporter. See this list.
Trapdoors are safe to use when the miniboss of the current level is dead. You won't end up in a room filled with monsters. But you will still lose your multiplier.
You will have a love–hate relationship with 💣 Bombs 💣. They are the most powerful item in the game but you have to be extremely careful when using them. You should also try to always have one in your inventory.
After using a Spell, they can be reused after a certain number of kills. But they can also be used immediately by consuming a heart. Keep that in mind, it might save your life.
The Scroll of Gigantism will turn you into a giant (d'uh). The spell will last for 50 turns and you deal double damage, take half damage, dig in a 3x3 area and won't be affected by any tiles or traps.
The Freeze Spell won't just freeze your enemies, it will also freeze water! This is really good against the Coral Riff boss.
Daggers, Spears and the Glass Shard (a broken weapon) can be thrown and will damage all enemies in a straight line. It stops when it hits a wall.
There are smaller, empty cave rooms that might contain a Hidden Chest. Moving next to it will reveal the chest. Note that hidden chests will show up on the minimap as orange pixel.
If you let a Red Dragon attack the Shop Keeper, he will flee from the shop. Once he is out of his own shop, all items will be free.
If a wall tile has a visible edge, you can break the wall to reveal a hidden cave room.
After stepping on a Tempo Trap (slower or faster), you can blow them up and keep the tempo for the whole level.
Zone 2 has explosive mushrooms (green with orange dots). These can also appear in shops. Destroy them to get free gold from the shop walls. This has no effect on the next levels.
You can manipulate the movement of the miniboss to let them break strong walls for you. This will save you some bombs.
It's a good idea to get a Lucky Charm early on. The charm will increase the floor's item tier by 1, bats will only attack you when they don't have another tile to move to and every crate/barrel that contains food, will have the better version of it (apple -> cheese for example). A Leprechaun will spawn when there's a gold pile of 50 coins unoccupied for eight beats. He will drop the charm when killed.
Sometimes cave rooms are surrounded by stone walls. Try to get inside because they will always contain a rare item.