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Spelunky 2 guide to unlocking every shortcut

What you need for Terra’s shortcuts

A character rides a turkey in Spelunky 2 Image: Bitworks/Mossmoth via Polygon

Digging your way through Spelunky 2 is no easy feat. To make life easier, shortcuts are available to open up throughout your adventure, provided you have the right resources to create them. These passageways will bring you to deeper areas you’ve reached, letting you bypass earlier stages.

To unlock new shortcuts, you have to find Terra, a friendly character who is also working their way through the caverns below. However, she ends up hitting obstacles while making shortcuts. You need to hand over a much-needed resource or cash and help her complete her work.

In this Spelunky 2 shortcuts guide, we’ll show you what you need to help Terra build shortcuts for you.

Shortcut requirements

You’ll first meet Terra at the end of world 1-4, and she’ll let you know what she needs to begin work on her first shortcut. Even if you have what she needs, you must visit her twice more, completing a new requirement during each encounter, to access the shortcut.

Once she completes a shortcut, you’ll find it to the left of the main area.

The shortcut area in Spelunky 2
Access shortcuts from the left of the main entrance
Image: Bitworks/Mossmoth via Polygon

Here are all the requirements for every shortcut. Just bring the listed items below to Terra.

After you deliver the requirements, Terra will open up a shortcut. You can find shortcuts by going through the door of your choice from the starting area. While nothing comes easy in Spelunky 2, shortcuts will help you quickly get back to new areas so you can keep running through them to learn all of their nuances.

Shortcut requirements for 1-4

Making a shortcut in Spelunky 2 Image: Mossmouth/Blitworks via Polygon
Step 1: Donate $2,000

This should come naturally the first time you reach the end of 1-4.

Step 2: Donate 1 bomb

You start the game with four bombs, none of which you need to reach the end of the level. Save one for the shortcut builder if you’re up to this step.

Step 3: Donate $10,000

This may sound steep, but it’s not too bad. Focus on grabbing gems and stacks of gold. As long as you don’t spend it all in the store, you should have more than $10,000 by the time you reach 1-4.

Shortcut requirements for 3-1

Making a shortcut Image: Mossmouth/Blitworks via Polygon
Step 1: Donate 1 rope

Another easy one. Holding onto a rope by this point shouldn’t be much of a challenge. If you’d like to make it easier on yourself, use the 1-4 shortcut you already unlocked to get a bit of a headstart.

Step 2: Donate any weapon

If you take the jungle path, you’ll more than likely stumble upon an enemy carrying a boomerang. Hold onto it through the jungle, past the boss fight, and you’ll net another step. But plenty of other weapons count as well, like shotguns and ice rays.

Step 3: Donate any mount

These are starting to get a little tricky. The easiest way to get a mount to the end of 3-1 is to take a the lava path after using the 1-4 shortcut . Here you’ll occasionally find lava-spitting dogs and turkeys. Lava dogs are easier to keep alive because they’re immune to fire damage (though not lava). In a pinch, a turkey works, too.

If you’re not experienced with riding mounts, consider just carrying one around. Once it’s tamed, you can pick it up and carry it for as long as you wish, making some of the tight platforming moments a little easier.

Shortcut requirements for 5-1

Making a shortcut Image: Mossmouth/Blitworks via Polygon
Step 1: Donate $50,000

If you’re using the last shortcut you unlocked, you’ll start at the beginning of 3-1. It can be tricky for a new player to amass $50,000 by the time they reach 5-1, so you may consider just starting from the beginning to ensure you have enough money.

That said, each of the Golden Idols in World 3 are worth $20,000, so if you can score two of them, getting the remaining $10,000 should be a breeze.

Step 2: Donate a Hired Hand

Hired Hands will appear if you break open a coffin. They’re the bald guys that run around and usually cause havok. There’s a Hired Hand coffin in the Ice Caves, just before this shortcut. You can find him in the cave filled with yetis, about halfway down the level.

Getting him to the exit in one piece is another story. Our advice: Kill all of the yetis first before freeing him, and then try to bomb a clear path to the exit door of the yeti cave. Free him, and then sprint for the door before he has a chance to jump on some spikes.

Once through the door, make a dead sprint for the exit of the level (made easier if you have the compass). If you’re fast, you can make it there before he has a chance to kill himself.

Step 3: The Golden Key from World 1

Yeah, you remember that gold key from the first area, right? Well you’re going to be bringing that bad boy all the way to the bottom of the ice caves. It sounds brutal, but with enough experience, it’s doable.

If you want to make it easier on yourself, consider playing in co-op and assigning one player to being the keymaster. The other player can then focus on clearing enemies and hazards.