1) Run setup
The best choice for speedrunning any% is Companion Battie which summons Meg.
While it does less damage on paper than “Thanatos” or “Achilles”, the damage happens much faster and in a large area. Meg is although quite hard to use correctly in some fights.
Meg summon cannot be used in the Fury boss fight. If you can’t use it against Hades, then you need to progress the story.
Usually, summon Meg on every mini-boss and boss except Lernie (and Megaera herself ofc). If you find an extra summon from the well, it can be used for bosses in Styx tunnels. Always keep a summon for the Hades fight.
For most fights, it is better to use it right at the beginning of the encounter, to avoid a miss if the monster moves.
For more information on how and when using Meg, you can check this video guide (and the linked one’s): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sNpMfJ5Tdw
1.2) Pact of Punishment (Heat)
Some pacts can actually make your run faster:
- Forced Overtime (FO): for faster enemy spawn, movement, and attack.
This is of course at the cost of a harder run, but the time gain is not negligible.
Using FO2 is usually the best for speedrunning but it can be hard to manage, especially with melee weapons.
- Extreme Measures (EM) level 2: changes the Lernie boss fight arena for a smaller one.
The heads are more closer and can be grouped at the center for a faster kill overall.
- Tight Deadline: is only used in RTA runs, because it disables the survival room, which takes a very long RTA time.
You want that room in IGT though since the IGT clock stops.
1.3) Resetting a seed
A fast way to restart a run (and get a new seed) is to give up and switch your Pact of Punishment to “Heightened Security” and “Routine Inspection”. You’ll die in no time especially if there are traps in the second room. Remove those Pacts and start your fresh run.
Keep track of the chamber count to know when you can get certain free chambers.
You can press the “Boon info” button to check the current chamber number, preferably in a reward screen or at the beginning of a chamber to not lose any time.
Tartarus starts in chamber 1, ends in chamber 12 (13 is the end shop).
Asphodel starts in chamber 16, ends in chamber 22 (23 is the end shop)
Elysium starts in chamber 26, ends in chamber 34 (35 is the end shop)
The usual best chamber choice is, in order:
Event -> Mid-shop -> Chaos -> Mini-boss -> Other
Save time, and give free good rewards.
Around 40% chance to be offered in a biome, only once. If you skip it, it won’t appear again.
- Sisyphus (Tartarus): always take the money. Gift Bouldy in IGT (but it is a time loss in RTA). The buff is not that important, but it’s a speedrunning tradition.
- Eurydice (Asphodel): take Nectar if you don’t have a Hermes boon already, mostly for an increased chance of getting a rare/epic “Greatest Reflexes”.
Ambrosia is a high gamble, only good if you have few and good boons
Porridge is the default choice if you already saw Hermes and don’t want to gamble with Ambrosia.
- Patty (Elysium): get the Cyclops Jerky if playing an aspect where attack damage is important, otherwise get the Hydralite since health is damage with High Confidence.
If you lost Death Defiance and don’t feel safe, you can choose Kiss of Styx.
100% chance to appear around mid biome once, unless you are unlucky.
Take it even if you don’t have any gold, it will save you time anyway.
Mid-shop is only offered in a chamber if it has 2 or more exits. So it’s possible to not see it in Asphodel if you only get chambers with 1 exit between chamber 18 and chamber 20.
A good time-saver, especially if you get it at the end of the biome.
Chaos gate has a small chance of appearing in any chamber (but shops and events) in any biome but Styx (15% in Tartarus, 7.5%in Asphodel, 5% in Elysium).
It has an internal cooldown though, so when you see one, the next one can only appear after 10 chambers in Tartarus or 8 in Asphodel/Elysium.
You can force a Chaos gate with a “Light of Ixion”, which is very good especially during a biome.
Buying a “Light of Ixion” will however reset the internal CD. So if you buy one from the shop at the end of a biome, you’ll get a Chaos gate in the first chamber of the following biome, but won’t be able to get any natural Chaos during the biome.
Do not take Chaos in the last chamber of a biome (right before the end shop) because it will just add an extra chamber to your run
100% chance to be offered around mid biome, maximum of 3 times in Tartarus and Asphodel, 2 times in Elysium.
Always faster than a regular chamber, unless you get the Barge of Death. Don’t forget to use your Meg.
Boons have a much higher chance to be rare or epic (but strangely, a smaller chance to be a Legendary or a Duo)
Around 25% chance to be offered in a biome once. You can’t predict which chamber might be a fountain.
Only available in Tartarus, the game timer stops so it’s great for IGT, but bad for RTA.
You can earn up to 60 gold from killing monsters in this chamber. Be careful, and try to be near the exit when the clock reaches 2s.
Great for IGT, bad for RTA. Can appear only once per run, either randomly in Tartarus, Asphodel, or Elysium.
Try to stay near the exit during the fight so that Thanatos stays close too, to pick his reward faster.
If the chamber reward is a Boon, Hammer, or a Pom, you can wait in the menu to let him reach the exit so that you don’t need to wait for him. Fishing can achieve the same thing.
Usually not a good choice for IGT since this chamber can not be a fountain, Than, or Survival, so you might miss a free chamber.
Still a good choice in Tartarus for aspects that need to get specific boons early (like ME builds).
For RTA, taking Elysium trials is also a good idea if you haven’t already met Thanatos.
You can NOT get any duo boon in trials. Getting a legendary is still possible though.
Never take them
The chambers with a small skull head. They are usually faster than the normal rooms since they have fewer (but armored) enemies.
Chamber rewards are divided into two categories, blue and gold rewards.
When you finish a chamber, the game chooses one of those rewards, and every exit door will be either in that category or a shop/event.
Every time the game chooses a blue reward, you have an increased chance to get a gold reward as your next reward. This is amplified by the “Dark Foresight” perk from the mirror.
Every blue reward has an increased effect when upgraded by the House Contractor.
Monsters are spawning in a limited radius around you, usually not far from the edge of your screen at worst.
You can manipulate wave spawn by getting either close to the exit or a wall to make enemies spawn closer.
3.2) Fights mechanic
The game will spawn between 1 and 3 waves of enemies in each regular chamber.
Each chamber has a “difficulty modifier” based on your depth in the current biome. Each enemy is worth a certain number of points, and enemies spawn until that “modifier” is reached. Armored monsters are worth more than their standard counterpart.
For instance in Tartarus, a Witch is worth 5 (15 when armored), and a Lout is worth 15 (35 when armored). This is why you could face either 3 Witches or 1 Lout in a wave.
3.3) Hades manipulation
Hades has 4 different moves: 3 attacks and his infamous invisibility (darkness). He can use any of those randomly.
You can however force him to repeat his last move if you use the “Sigil” call. Wait for him to do a move, and use your call if it is not darkness.
This can easily shave off several seconds from your run if done properly since every darkness will cost you about 3s.
4.1) God pool
You can be offered a maximum of 4 different gods per run (not including Hermes and Chaos), chosen randomly by the game every time a boon is offered until you reach your 4th god.
After you get your 4th god, you won’t see any of the other gods during the rest of your run.
You can still force another 5th god with his keepsake, but this will dilute your pool and probably give you less chance of finding the best boons for your build.
4.2) Satyr Sack
The Satyr sack can replace the last chamber of any tunnel in Styx after you finished the first tunnel.
It has roughly a 50% chance to appear in the second tunnel, and only a 5% chance to be in the last one.
Every tunnel is made of 3 or 4 small chambers, and one final bigger chamber.
Always choose the tunnels with a mini-boss first since the last room will be much faster.
You can however choose a regular tunnel instead after your first mini-boss if the final reward is better and you are gambling on getting the Satyr sack in the second tunnel (2-sack mentality).
4.3) Charon shop in Styx
Generally, never buy from Charon in Styx, you’ll always lose time overall.