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Death’s Door beginner’s guide

Tips and tricks for combat and exploration

The titular Death’s Door in Death’s Door Image: Acid Nerve/Devolver Digital

In Death’s Door, you’re a small crow with a dangerous job. Reaping souls across a serpentine landscape isn’t easy. The game’s world map is confusing, and the landscape littered with beasts and giant enemies doesn’t make your work any easier.

Polygon’s Death’s Door beginner’s guide will help you make sense of your difficult quest. We’ll share tips and tricks that will make combat more efficient and exploration easier to manage.

Combat tips and tricks

A giant creature stands above a small crow in Death’s Door
As a small crow, you need to defeat massive monsters
Image: Acid Nerve/Devolver Digital

Combat in Death’s Door is straightforward. You don’t have access to many moves, so you need to learn how to use your limited fighting capabilities to take out hordes of enemies and gargantuan boss monsters.

Learn each enemy’s timing and tells

Since your character can only do so much in combat — they’re limited to only slashing, rolling, and using a projectile attack — you need to pay close attention to enemies to survive. Each creature will have a specific tell before they attack.

Some monsters will wind up before striking, while others will telegraph their attacks with a telltale shriek. All the enemies in the game have some sort of animation that precedes every strike they make. Learning what these are and the timing of all of them is key to staying alive.

Don’t forget your charge and rolling attack

Each weapon in the game allows you to strike multiple times, but they also have a charge attack. By holding the charge button down, your character will build up strength before unleashing a big attack. Each weapon’s timing and distance will be different, so this attack will work best once you learn each enemy’s attack patterns.

You can also perform a quick and powerful strike by pressing the charge attack button after a roll. This attack hits hard and fast but requires learning specific spacing to use well. It can be an easy attack to miss, which can leave you wide open if you whiff.

Refill your magic with melee attacks

Your magic attacks are your only projectile ability. You only get four shots before your magic meter runs out. To refill it, you must hit something. In combat, hitting enemies is the most obvious choice to refill your magic meter. When facing bosses, you can switch between melee strikes and long-range magic attacks to whittle their health down. Since you’ll be hitting them plenty, you’ll always be refilling your magic meter.

Outside of combat, you can hit inanimate objects like crates to refill your magic meter.

Upgrade your magic attacks as soon as you can

After you start getting more magic abilities, you can upgrade them from bosses found in The Lost Cemetery. While beating these bosses can be tough at first, it’s very much worth it. The fire spell upgrade specifically will make bosses later on much easier, as its added damage-over-time effect will make it so you very rarely have to get within melee range.

Exploration tips and tricks

The world of Death’s Door is a confusing place. There’s no map to lead you around so you have to rely on your memory of your surroundings to get around.

Getting lost is part of the game

A long bridge in Death’s Door
Run around, find dead ends, and secrets along the way
Image: Acid Nerve/Devolver Digital

Your opening hours in Death’s Door are going to be a head-scratcher. As you explore the vast, unfriendly environment, you won’t know where to go at first. There’s nothing and no one to tell you where to go as your quest begins.

The best thing to do at the start is get lost. Head down pathways that catch your eye. Find dead ends. Remember areas that you can probably move past once you get new items and abilities. Eventually, you’ll get to explore it all.

Soon enough, you’ll encounter signs for The Summit. Once you find those, make your way there and you’ll get some guidance to start your adventure in earnest.

Look for hidden paths

As you get lost, try to find hidden paths. Just about every secret area relies on using the game’s isometric view to hide its entrance. Try to walk around walls, behind buildings, and into cliff faces to see if there is something hidden behind.

In some cases, you’ll find little bits of dirt or other environmental clues to help you find hidden areas. There are hardly any true dead ends in Death’s Door, so if something seems out of place or you think a path could continue forward, try searching around for a hidden entrance.

A Life Seed and pot in Death’s Door
Life Seeds go into pots. This is how you restore your health.
Image: Acid Nerve/Devolver Digital

Use Life Seeds strategically

The only way to restore your health in Death’s Door is to place a Life Seed into the various empty pots strewn across the world. You’ll find 50 Life Seeds in your journey, and their associated planters are set in specific locations around the world. There’s a pot for every Life Seed in the game, and you’ll actually need to plant a seed in each pot to get the true ending. However, Life Seeds can be sparse in the beginning, so you’ll need to think carefully about if you need them at that moment or not.

When you do place a Life Seed into a pot, you’ll spawn a flower that restores your health. Doing so causes the flower to wilt. However, the flowers grow back the next time you go back to the hub world, either by entering a door that travels back to there or after you die.

Pots are usually found in the middle of long stretches of the map or before a boss encounter. Coming across a pot means you either have a long way to go before you see another one or the next path ahead is going to lead to a tough fight.