This page contains some info about the core mechanics of the game.
Most actions performed by the player must be done to the beat of the music. All actions can be performed on either a full beat or a half beat (these are not musical terms - they relate to the rhythm bar). These actions include:
- Using secondary and ultimate abilities
Note that jumping, interacting (opening chests, etc.), and moving do not have to be done to the beat of the song, and do not count as mistakes if not done to the beat of the song.
Enemies also attack to the beat of the music.
The following things are considered mistakes. They will prevent you from performing an action, and if there are enemies in a room, they will also reset the score multiplier to 1 and count against a flawless room clear:
- Attempting to perform an action off-beat
- Attempting to perform multiple actions on the same beat (only one of the actions will be performed)
- Taking damage
Upon making a mistake (except when taking damage), a red diamond indicator will appear on the rhythm bar.
The following things prevent you from performing an action, but do not count as mistakes:
- Attempting to use an ability on beat while that ability is on cooldown
- Attempting to reload when ammo is already full or infinite
- Attempting to shoot when ammo is empty (if the "Fire Reloads On Empty" option is enabled, this will reload your weapon instead)
- Missing a shot
The rhythm bar appears in the center of the screen and acts as both a crosshair and an indicator of when to perform actions on beat.
The large chevrons indicate full beats, and the small chevrons indicate half beats. Any action can be performed on either a full or half beat.
When fighting certain enemies, the rhythm bar will display special indicators instead of the usual full beat chevrons. These indicators warn the player that an action needs to be taken to avoid an attack.
Directional dodge indicator
- Shown as an ornate, bolded beat chevron on one side of the rhythm bar.
- Indicates that the player should dash in the direction show by the chevron when it reaches the center.
- Unique to Draugr's area attacks.
- This attack can also be avoided by strafing instead of dashing.
- Shown as an ornate, bolded beat chevron on both sides of the rhythm bar.
- Indicates that the player should dash either left or right when it reaches the center.
- Examples include Guardian projectiles and Nidhogg's fireball.
- Some attacks with this indicator can also be avoided by strafing instead of dashing.
- Shown as a bolded half-chevron on the top half of both sides of the rhythm bar and converges in the center to form an upwards-pointing chevron.
- Indicates that the player should jump when it reaches the center.
- Examples include one of Draugr's projectile attacks and Gullveig's ground attack.
- Timing the jump to the indicator is not necessary since jumps can be performed off-beat. These attacks will miss as long as you aren't on the ground when the indicator reaches the center.
- Shown as a dotted beat chevron on both sides of the rhythm bar.
- Indicates that the player should hide behind something or Block when it reaches the center. Examples include Ymir's beam and Fire Eater barrage.
- Attacks are usually long-lasting or involve lots of targeted projectiles.
- Some attacks with this indicator can also be avoided by strafing instead of hiding or blocking.
Performing actions on beat, such as shooting, reloading, and dashing, awards points and increases the score multiplier if there are enemies in the current room. Entering a room for the first time awards 1000 points, but does not increase the score multiplier. Damaging enemies with abilities does not award points.
The score multiplier ranges from x1 up to x4 depending on the note streak:
|Note streak||Score multiplier|
Making a mistake resets the note streak to 0 (and the score multiplier to x1) if there are enemies in the room. In cleared rooms, points are not awarded and the score multiplier is not affected.
On every full beat, an amount of score is lost depending on the amount of time spent in the run:
|Start time||End time||Score lost per beat|
To clear a room, all enemies in the room must be killed. The room is only counted as "clear" the first time all the enemies in the room are killed (killing enemies that spawn in from a Slot Machine, Cursed Chest and second/third activated Challenge room after the room has been cleared does not count as clearing the room again).
After a room is cleared, a message is displayed on screen indicating the quality of the clear. The quality of the clear depends on how many mistakes were made while clearing the room:
- "Flawless Clear": Made no mistakes
- "Good Clear": Made 1 mistake
- "Okay Clear": Made 2-4 mistakes
- "Room Cleared": Made 5+ mistakes or took damage 2+ times.
"Room Cleared" will also be the message displayed if Auto Rhythm is enabled or if no timed actions were performed while in the room (for example waiting until a Cutthroat dies of old age).
Upon clearing a room, a chest appears (except for some miniboss rooms or if the zone has the Barren Modifier). A Flawless Chest appears when the room is cleared flawlessly; otherwise a Plain Chest appears. There is a random chance that a more rare chest will appear regardless of the clear quality.