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Loop Hero tips: How to build strong heroes in this grindy RPG

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Two important Loop Hero tips: 1) goblins kick your teeth in and 2) know when to play GTFO.

In a so far quiet March 2021, Loop Hero caused a sensation as a simple but deep game full of secrets. I love the way Loop Hero doesn’t explain itself, like a pre-internet RPG that you had to ask your friends at school about in order to beat. With that in mind, here’s a guide to Loop Hero if you’re struggling to use certain cards, or just want to know how to build an unstoppable villain with their own force field.

Loop Hero Guide: Starting the Game

Focus on these statistics

There’s no single path to victory in Loop Hero, but I’ve had the greatest success with each class by building these stats through maps and equipment:

  • Warrior: Max HP paired with some kind of HP recovery (rain / sec. Or per day)
  • Villain: Attack Speed, Dodge, Critical Chance
  • Necromancer: Magical HP (the protective layer of HP provided by amulets), maximum skeletons, attack speed (that’s how fast you summon skeletons)

Later in the game, you’ll want to use camp items (“supplies”) to further emphasize these stats.

Higher gear is not always better

It’s tempting to trade in lighter, higher-tier gear right away, but know that rarer, shinier stuff isn’t generally better.

While higher tier equipment should equate to larger numbers, those numbers may not be the ones that interest you most. Why should you focus on HP regeneration when you are usually at maximum HP? If your attack speed is very fast, do you really need + 10% counter? I often stick to a lower level or rarity item when it has something I really need, like Crit Chance for the Rogue.

Yes, orange gear is usually better, but don’t turn your brain off when you’re swapping something. (Image credit: Devolver)

For reference, here is the rarity of Loop Hero items:

  • Gray background (Provides a stat boost)
  • blue (two statistics)
  • yellow (three statistics)
  • orange (four statistics)

Also, keep in mind that integer stats don’t scale with you as enemies level up with each loop. Focusing on building up a bundle of magical damage (which outperforms defense) may help a lot in the early game, but when you run into higher-level enemies, a handful of free damage will feel like a bad investment of your cards. In the meantime, 33% dodging remains useful loop after loop. The necromancer is a particularly good example of why you should check equipment before trading it in. Some lower level rings grant “+1 Skeleton”, which can be a massive difference maker in extended battles and is preferable to many items three or four levels higher.

Likewise, some items of equipment in particular will correspond with useful effects. The villain’s winged boots have a ridiculously high evasion rate that I almost always reach for.

Exchanging items too freely also has a small disadvantage: when you reach the maximum item capacity in your inventory and earn a new item, the oldest item becomes a piece of scrap, one of the most important basic resources.

Loop Hero Tips

You don’t want to meet this guy too soon. (Image credit: Devolver)

Delay the boss!

The boss appears on your campfire tile as soon as you have placed a certain number of cards. The green card end bar in the top left corner corresponds to the number of tiles on the board: watch this closely to make sure you spawn the boss on. If you play every card that comes into your hand, willy-nilly, you’ll be fighting the boss much sooner than you’d like.

Inevitably, this means flipping through cards. That’s fine: once your hand fills the bottom row of the screen, discarded cards actually become a useful resource to use around camp. I actually almost completely avoid playing lower tier cards like Rocks and Forest unless I’m forced to.

The tile neighborhood creates bonus resources and surprise effects

Here’s a basic Loop Hero tip: Don’t just throw meadow cards and other basic tiles wherever there is free space: put them next to a mountain, a building, anything that really improves their effectiveness. Most tiles have some other type of unique interaction, positive or negative. See what happens when you play some forest cards …

Loop Hero

(Image credit: Devolver)

Prioritize the melt

For me, The Arsenal was a groundbreaking card (it grants an extra gear slot for each class) that basically paved the way for late game victory. Gathering the right materials to build the smelter in the warehouse is the patch to unlock this.

Don’t be afraid of GTFO

Loop Hero can be a tricky game if you die often which will ruin 70% of your resources. When you are within a field of your campfire, you can end a run and “retreat” with all of your collected resources to camp. It is a perfectly valid strategy to do resource runs and not focus so much on killing a boss.

Loop Hero Guide: Late Game Tips (Acts 3 & 4)

Skills are very important

Village cards unlock a new XP and level mechanic. Once you’ve filled that XP bar, you’ll have a choice of three random skills from a class-specific skill table. I’m trying to get skills that increase damage or decrease incoming damage rather than things that encourage resource gathering or metagame improvement.

But it’s definitely possible to be unlucky with what you are drawing here. For the villain, I always reach for the 75% ability to spawn a pet that can tank a little damage and return it. And for the necromancer, I always take the +1 Max Skeletons ability, which gives me a little more freedom in choosing the best rings and other equipment. There is an incredible achievement in producing 10 skeletons.

Ruins can mess you up

Ruins spawn up to four giant worms that are apparently so huge that they can attack from a tile away. Pay attention to which tiles you place next to a ruin tile: worms appear in the back row. In any case, avoid putting a ruin tile behind your campfire, on which bosses appear. Otherwise you will fight three or four worms while fighting the boss. No thanks.

Charge watchtowers

Another basic structure that is worth building as quickly as possible are watchtowers, each of which draws an archer into battle on the tiles around the campfire. These guys are great damage dealers who sit in your back line and fight off enemies. Upgrading the towers will increase the distance they will take part in combat, which basically doubles their effectiveness.

… and then turn your campfire into a deadly nightmare

With three or four archers by your side, killing the toughest opponents in the game will be surprisingly easy. I concentrate as many enemy producing tiles as possible around my campfire so I can redeem a ton of resource and equipment rewards. Layering vampire mansions, battlefields, and temporal beacons in this area allows other types of enemies to be added in addition to what you have placed on the path itself.

(Image credit: Devolver)

Build a river like this

I found rivers to be an extremely important map for augmenting other stat boosting maps. They double the effectiveness of everything they are adjacent to, and these stacks double when two river tiles are adjacent to another tile. So if a flowering meadow is surrounded by two river tiles, that’s +12 HP (4×3) per meadow and day. Hell yes.

A zigzag path of L-shaped river tiles maximizes the effectiveness of these bonuses.

This is the card game I bring on rogue expeditions. (Image credit: Devolver)

The best build I found: Rogue & Arsenal & Thickets & River & Sand Dunes

This is the build that ultimately beat Loop Hero with. Along with an arsenal card, the villain receives the amulet equipment slot, which offers a free full layer of HP that you can bring into any battle. Enormously. With a good amulet and a little evasion, I often go entire loops without losing any basic HP.

Interestingly, sand dunes (which lower the HP of all creatures) do not affect magical HP. So if I play more and more sand dunes and the enemies’ HP and my base HP drop, my magical HP shield will remain untouched and disproportionately useful. Thank you, amulet.

And because I’m not focusing on maximum HP at all, I don’t bring any meadow or mountain maps into battle. Instead, I focus almost exclusively on pairing river cards with thickets in order to (eventually) achieve an attack speed of + 300%. At this point, most of the battles are blurry.

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Robert Dunfee